Songstress, composer, poetess and “Spartan Woman” : Helen A. Harris

It happens to all family historians at some point during their research: you come across a collateral relative (i.e. not a direct ancestor) whose life captures your imagination. You find that you just MUST tell this person’s story! And when there are no descendants of this person, all the more reason to memorialize them.

Helen Amanda Harris Deming, my paternal 2nd great grand-aunt, is a woman who deserves to be remembered.

“Mrs. D’s portrait to be seen at Brainard’s is a fine specimen of art, and is said to be a correct likeness.” – The Daily Cleveland Herald (October 2, 1855)

Helen was born on September 10, 1829, in Rochester, Monroe County, New York. She was the second child of Sluman W. Harris (b. 1800 in Otsego County, NY – d. 1874 in Cleveland, OH) and Mary W. “Polly” Histed (b. 1804 in Cayuga County, NY – d. 1860 in Rochester, NY).

Sluman Harris moved from Otsego County to the western New York frontier with his father, Daniel Harris, in 1816. The Harris family was among a handful of pioneer settlers in what was originally known as Rochesterville. His wife, Polly, was the daughter of Capt. John A. Histed, a veteran of the War of 1812. The Harris family inhabited a log cabin and farmed in the area that is now the Mount Hope Cemetery. (Read here an interesting article about Nancy Harris Quackenbush, Sluman’s sister.)

Sluman and Polly had a small family: just one son and two daughters. Helen was the middle child, 3 years younger than her brother, Wilna, and 2 years older than her sister, Marion (“Mary”). The family lived in a large brick home located at #2 Broadway, near Union Street, and not far from the Canal. Four years before Helen was born, the Erie Canal, which would figure large in her family, had opened up. The population and economy of Rochester were greatly impacted with the opening of the canal. About the time Helen was born there were over 9,000 citizens. But, by the time Helen was a young lady the population swelled to about 34,000.

Erie Canal in Rochester - view of the first aqueduct from the west, 1835.

Erie Canal in Rochester – view of the first aqueduct from the west, 1835.

Sluman capitalized on the opening of the Erie Canal, becoming a boat contractor and agent. He prospered in his profession and took a role in community affairs. When the city of Rochester was incorporated in 1834, Sluman and 4 others were named the first constables of the growing town. In those days, constables weren’t policemen; they were hired to collect taxes from homeowners within the city ward assigned them. The taxes collected were used to pay the cost of keeping streets lit at night to prevent crime.

1835 – Rochester Old Center Market and Police Headquarters

While in Rochester, Sluman provided a comfortable living for his family. When his only son, WIlna, reached the age of 12, Sluman commissioned an oil portrait be done of him. The children were often carried to school via horse-drawn carriage. Presumably, this same affluence financed a musical education for Helen, for she was to become a noted songstress in her time.

In the spring of 1846, Sluman moved his family to Buffalo, New York. Helen was age 17 at the time and we don’t know whether she went with the family to Buffalo. The next recorded event in Helen’s life is her marriage on October 25, 1849. As yet, I have not found how Helen came to meet her husband, Lafayette Lancaster Deming (aka L. L. Deming) or where they married. At the time of their marriage, Helen was 20 years old and Lafayette (“L. L.”) was 22. The groom had been born and raised in Great Barrington, MA, the son of Elizur & Electa Deming.

The early marriage of L. L. and Helen Deming is somewhat puzzling. Apparently they resided in Boston, but in the fall of 1850/51, Helen relocated to Hudson, NY, which is but 27 miles from Great Barrington. It isn’t clear whether L. L. was with her.

The Hudson Daily Star,  September 12, 1851

The Hudson Daily Star, September 12, 1851

The Badgley Hotel was a rather posh establishment, described in this snippet from a publication from the same period.

From The Rural Repository Volumes 26-27, June 1850.

From The Rural Repository Volumes 26-27, June 1850.

A few years later, she moved from the hotel to what appears a boarding house.

The Hudson Daily Star, November 4, 1853

The Hudson Daily Star, November 4, 1853

It is curious that she appears to be living alone and supporting herself. The whereabouts of her husband is unknown. It may be that during this period, Helen was still undergoing music and voice instruction, for in the spring of 1854 she made her stage debut at the Niblo’s Garden, then one of New York City’s popular theaters. The Spanish Concert was headlined by prima donna, Madame Catterina de Ferrari, with Helen and others offering supporting performances. A review of the concert states of Helen’s performance that she “agreeably seconded Mad. Ferrari and reaped a harvest of bouquets and applause.”

The following year, L. L. and Helen relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. L. L. Deming’s parents and siblings had moved from Great Barrington to Cleveland by 1850. (The Deming family identified living in Cleveland, 1850 U. S. Census.) Cleveland became Helen’s home for the remainder of her life.

During the years leading up to the outbreak of the Civil War, Helen gave many concerts in the east and the midwest, mostly in Ohio and New York State. Below is a typical concert review:

Sandusky Daily Commercial Register, December 27, 1856

Sandusky Daily Commercial Register, December 27, 1856

During this same time, Helen was writing and publishing both music and poetry. Some of her music is preserved at The Library of Congress and in various university music collections. Her poetry was published widely in newspapers, but apparently never collected in a single volume. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Cleveland Plain Dealer Mazourka, 1857

Cleveland Plain Dealer Mazourka, 1857

"Sonnet to ___ " Published in the Sandusky Daily Commercial Register,  July 8, 1858

“Sonnet to ___ ” Published in the Sandusky Daily Commercial Register, July 8, 1858

The War Between the States broke out in April of 1861. In February and March, Helen was on concert tour in Wisconsin (Madison and Kenosha) and Illinois (Chicago and surrounds). In September, L. L. Deming was in Jackson County, Michigan, as the 10th Regiment Michigan Infantry Volunteers was forming and got himself commissioned captain of Company G. The regiment organized in Flint, MI, in February 1862 and left the state in April. A leaving ceremony was held with many of the citizens of Flint in attendance. Col. Charles M. Lum was presented with a flag, the soldiers drilled on parade, speeches were made, national and patriotic songs were song. For the event, Helen composed and sung the following poignant song for those gathered:

The Farewell Song

The Farewell Song. History of the formation, movements, camps, scouts and battles of the Tenth Regiment Michigan Volunteer Infantry. Internet Archive.

The regiment was ordered to Corinth, and was first in action at Farmington. Helen followed her husband on the campaign, offering her services as a “daughter of the regiment.” A brilliant tribute to her war time service to the troops was published in a St. Louis newspaper and picked up by other papers far and wide, including the New York newspapers.

St Louis Democrat, September 12, 1862

St Louis Democrat, September 12, 1862

After the evacuation of Corinth, Capt. Deming resigned his commission. He was given an honorable discharge on Sep. 3, 1862. Sources differ as to why; one source states he departed due to failing health, while another source claims he left due to illness in his family. It is true that Helen had a broken arm on the occasion of performing a Cleveland concert on early October, 1862.

After his discharge, Capt. Deming sent off a letter to President Lincoln requesting a position as assistant quartermaster. Failing to gain that post, he assumed the role of war correspondent. His reports got him into some trouble, though, for criticizing the war effort.

The Louisville Daily Journal, Jan. 29, 1863

The Louisville Daily Journal, Jan. 29, 1863

Throughout the war, Helen continued to give concerts, mostly with a patriotic theme. The following photo of Helen, published in a family history, appears from the style of dress to date during the war years.

Helen A. Deming, circa 1863

Helen A. Deming, circa 1863

After the war, L. L. returned to his wife in Clevelend. He seems to have struggled to settle on a career, for Cleveland city directories list his occupation from 1865 through 1869 as clerk, agent and salesman. Meanwhile, Helen appeared less on stage and focused on her poetry.

In 1867, Helen performed with other artists at a concert in support of the Irish Cause.

The Daily Cleveland Herald,  Mar. 30, 1867

The Daily Cleveland Herald, Mar. 30, 1867

Below is a resplendent photo of Helen taken that same year.

Mrs. L. L. Deming, 1867

Mrs. L. L. Deming, 1867

In late January, 1871, Helen was invited by the St. Andrews Society in New Orleans to participate in a Robert Burns birthday celebration. Of her performance is was said: “A highly appreciated feature of the entertainment were some of Burns’ sweet songs, sweetly sung by Mrs. L. L. Deming.” (The Times Picayune, New Orleans, 26 January, 1871).

A short time later, Helen’s health began to fail. Following a two-year illness, she died on Aug. 12, 1874,  at the home of her in-laws, Lieut. Albert Gray Jones and his wife Mary Elizabeth Deming Jones. She was only 44 years old. She was laid to rest at the East Cleveland Cemetery.

Headstone for Helen Amanda Deming (1829-1874), East Cleveland Cemetery

Headstone for Helen Amanda Deming (1829-1874), East Cleveland Cemetery

An obituary for Helen provides a beautiful tribute to this amazing woman:

Helen was among the most companionable of her sex. Her suffering was protracted, amidst which her solicitude was unceasing for those who watched with her for the end of earthly sorrow and the beginning of immortal joy. (The Daily Independence, Aug. 20, 1874)

There is so much more of Helen’s life, and the rather sketchy life of her husband, yet to be shared. I have gathered many of her published poems and will publish them on this blog in the future.

In tribute, may the angels above sing back to Helen the song she composed for a friend in 1854, Mary in Heaven:

There lived on the banks of a smooth flowing river,
A maiden whose soul was a fountain of love.
As gushing and pure as ever sprang from its giver,
To mirror on Earth His own brightness above.

As sweet as the gleaming of starlight that’s streaming,
From orbs all unclouded in Heaven’s deep blue,
Was the light of her eye in its innocence beaming,
When friends were around her whose fondness she knew.

Twas thus in an hour of joy that I met her,
And fondly I hoped it was never to part.
For well did I know I could never forget her,
And deeply her name was engraved on my heart.

As a young vine that clingeth, a sweet bird that singeth,
Were the trust and the gladness her fondness betrayed.
Oh, the love from a bosom so guileless that springeth,
Is dear unto hearts where an anguish has preyed.

We parted, I deemed not parted forever.
Ah! no, to that cherished one would I return.
But ties that are strongest on earth may dissever,
And hearts that are fondest be soonest to mourn.

Again by the water all hoping I sought her,
Alas, it was only to weep o’er her grave.
To the dust had returned earth’s most beautiful daughter,
And her spirit was gone to the Spirit that gave.

Mary in Heaven

February Life Events

Mary F Bancroft, Feb 1828
Libbie J Barton, Feb 1859
Gerald Caufield, Feb 1887
Marguerite Caufield, Feb 1878
Cora Erhardt, Feb 1878
Albert Irvine, Feb 1875
Gertrude Wheeler, Feb 1875
William H Snyder, Feb 1886
William Fifield, 1 Feb 1651
Clara Rose Snyder, 1 Feb 1888
Dean V Hoover, 2 Feb 1898
Lois Preston, 3 Feb 1738
Joseph Beach, 5 Feb 1671
Mary Irvine, 5 Feb 1875
John Buckman Wheeler, 6 Feb 1834
Ebenezer Bucknam, 7 Feb 1766
Patience Eames, 7 Feb 1702
Paulina Chastine Wheeler, 7 Feb 1832
Thomas Nelson Barton, 8 Feb 1822
David Rice, 8 Feb 1797
Lavinia Elizabeth Wheeler, 9 Feb 1845
Serviah Tidd, 10 Feb 1748
Silas Bond, 12 Feb 1799
William Gibson Hoover, 12 Feb 1842
John Cutter Rice, 12 Feb 1839
William Bacheller, 13 Feb 1749
Dolley Burnham, 13 Feb 1796
Abraham Bryant, 14 Feb 1671
Elizabeth Frothingham, 15 Feb 1673
Lott Conant, 16 Feb 1657
John Willy, 16 Feb 1776
William Kendall Rice, 17 Feb 1843
Hannah Tidd, 17 Feb 1749
Squires S.Tidd, 17 Feb 1821
Mary Thompson Tidd, 17 Feb 1806
Charles Tyler Beach, 21 Feb 1826
Mary L.Fister, 21 Feb 1883
Ephraim Willy, 22 Feb 1789
Polly Amidon, 23 Feb 1778
Isabel Irvine, 23 Feb 1900
Hanna Frothingham, 24 Feb 1679
Hannah Beach, 26 Feb 1684
John Tidd, 26 Feb 1654
Delia Jane Feister, 27 Feb 1918
Helen Huver, 27 Feb 1810
Fidelia Norton, 27 Feb 1803
Peter Shumway, 27 Feb 1752
Frederick G . Irvine, 28 Feb 1864
Sarah Biscoe, 15 Feb 1692
John Benton Hoover, 16 Feb 1910
Theodore Cassius Snyder, 17 Feb 1916
Jonathan Tidd Junior, 19 Feb 1842
William Bond Tidd, 21 Feb 1935
Peter Shumway, 25 Feb 1754
John McCue, 26 Feb 1886
Lydia Adams, 26 Feb 1795
Albert R Wheeler, 27 Feb 1850
Mary Whitney, 27 Feb 1726


Henry Rice & Elizabeth Moore, 1 Feb 1644
Abraham Rice & Patience Eames, 1 Feb 1722
Abraham Bryant & Mary Kendall, 2 Feb 1664
Francis L Hoover & Mary Catherine Wharton, 2 Feb 1832
Francois Dupuis & Jeanne Rougier, 3 Feb 1722
Jared Hildreth & Arethusa Rice, 3 Feb 1814
William Bond & Sarah Biscoe, 7 Feb 1649
Jonathan Rice & Elizabeth Wheeler, 12 Feb 1691
Robert C Beach & Anna Caroline Shultus, 14 Feb 1861
Tyler Moses Beach & Sarah Holmes Clark, 14 Feb 1833
Paul-Francois Cardinal & Marie-Marguerite Perras, 14 Feb 1746
Squires S. Tidd & Mary E Pierce, 22 Feb 1866
Charles Wilkins & Mary Ann Palmer, 23 Feb 1848
William A Beach & Adeline Palmer, 25 Feb 1846
Buel Bishop, 1 Feb 1864
John Wheeler, 1 Feb 1895
Philip Amidon, 2 Feb 1834
William Bond, 2 Feb 1781
Arthur L Newton, 2 Feb 1965
Samuel Norton, 2 Feb 1679
Anna Maria Reichelsdoefer, 2 Feb 1845
Lois Preston, 4 Feb 1794
Susannah Blodgett, 6 Feb 1697
Delia Jane Feister, 6 Feb 1982
Joseph Henry Beach, “Harry” 7 Feb 1847
Charlotte Eaton, 7 Feb 1899
Squires S.Tidd, 9 Feb 1888
Delia Jane Rice, 1 Feb 1942
Henry Rice, 1 Feb 1711
Joan May Newton, 11 Feb 212
Clarissa Norton, 11 Feb 1886
Sarah Bancroft, 12 Feb 1724
William Tidd, 13 Feb 1874
Sarah Biscoe, 15 Feb 1692
John Benton Hoover, 16 Feb 191
Theodore Cassius Snyder, 17 Feb 1916
Jonathan Tidd, Junior 19 Feb 1842
William Bond Tidd, 21 Feb 1935
Peter Shumway, 25 Feb 1754
John McCue, 26 Feb 1886
Lydia Adams, 26 Feb 1795
Albert R Wheeler, 27 Feb 185
Mary Whitney, 27 Feb 1726

Capt. James Oliver, Revolutionary War Privateer

The suggested theme for this week is “so far away,” in which we are encouraged to write about an ancestor who is far away in time or distance. I decided to write about James Oliver, a man who, in service to his country, traveled far away. And, a man about whom I am far away from finding sufficient details of his life.

What I know about James Oliver (my maternal 6th great-grandfather) begins with his marriage to Abigail Bryant, daughter of Major Joseph Bryant of Stoneham, Middlesex County, MA. The marriage intention was published in James’ home town, Boston, on Dec. 22, 1779.

James Olliver & Abigail Bryant marriage intention

Source: Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988

The actual marriage occurred in Reading, near to the bride’s home town, Stoneham. The marriage took place on Jan. 18, 1780. At the time of their marriage, James was 30 years old, and Abigail was 23.

Source: FOLD3 / Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service, compiled ca. 1800 - ca. 1912, documenting the period ca. 1775 - ca. 1900

Source: FOLD3 / Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service, compiled ca. 1800 – ca. 1912, documenting the period ca. 1775 – ca. 1900

Their first child, Abigail, was born on Jan. 15, 1780 — three days before their marriage (!). When I first made note of this, I thought it must be an error in the records. But research revealed that premarital sex in the mid-18th century was not uncommon. One source reports that, in that era, over 40% of women were pregnant at the time of their marriage (The Colonial Family in America). Apparently, sexual relations between a couple was commonplace once they were engaged to marry. And an engagement could precede the publication of their intent to marry.

Not long after his daughter was born, James left his wife and child, presumably in the care of his in-laws, and headed to sea aboard the Junius Brutus, a privateer commissioned by the Continental Congress to engage the British Navy. The Revolutionary War was still raging, both on land and at sea.

Source: Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the American Revolution, Vol. XI, 1903, p. 639

Source: Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the American Revolution, Vol. XI, 1903, p. 639

As James was 30 years old in 1780, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that he’d already been in naval service before joining the crew of the Junius Brutus. Especially as he was from the port city of Boston. He did apparently maintain a career at sea, for in many vital records and other citations following his service record above, he is referred to as “Capt. James Oliver.” Also, no land, tax, or census records can be located for him. This supports the theory that he led a seafaring life.

James certainly had shore leave in Stoneham to spend time with Abigail from time to time. They had six children together (one stillborn), as recorded by Abigail’s father:

Manuscript Record of Joseph Bryant p.1

Manuscript Record of Joseph Bryant

Sadly, their youngest born child, Joseph, only lived 6 months. He died in November, 1790. Sadder still, Abigail passed away the following summer, leaving behind four children and a husband who very well may have been away at sea. She was 35 years old.

Source: The Salem Gazette. July 12, 1791

Source: The Salem Gazette. July 12, 1791

Of James & Abigail Oliver’s four children, only one would live past the age of 30 (Abigail Oliver Wheeler, my 5th great grandmother). The tombstone inscriptions for Abigail and little Joseph read as follows:

Cemetery Inscriptions - Abigail Oliver Bryant and Joseph Bryant Oliver

Cemetery Inscriptions – Abigail Oliver Bryant and Joseph Bryant Oliver

I have yet to determine exactly when and where James Oliver died. I only know that in July 1801, Abigail’s father, Major Joseph Bryant, was awarded guardianship of James’ only son, James Oliver (1785-1808). The Major took care of his grandchildren, favoring them generous bequests in his will. Perhaps the orphaned children they grew up in their grandparents’ home.

The identity of Capt. James Oliver’s parents, the existence of siblings and other background information on him remains elusive. Did he die at sea? Was he indeed a “captain?” Or, was his rank exaggerated, as is nearly always the case.

One true thing about family history research: the end always remains far away!

My Birthday Twin: Elizabeth Fifield Tidd (1757-1732)

Relationship chartAmong the hundreds of ancestors I’ve tracked down thus far, only one was born on my birthday, and as it happens we also share the same name. I had to go back eight generations to find Elizabeth. From the descendancy chart shown here, you can see that the links between Elizabeth and I are primarily through the men in our family tree. This is appropriate, seeing as it is pretty much only through the men in Elizabeth’s life that I know anything about her.

Elizabeth Fifield was born July 7, 1757, in the seacoast Colonial settlement of Hampton, New Hampshire. Her parents were William and Mary Fifield. William Fifield has been researched by others and a sketch of him is included in The Great Migration Study Project. He arrived first in Newbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony, aboard the ship Hercules which sailed from London in April 1634. Most sources are unable to pin down his exact birth date, but as one researcher puts it, “a variety of depositions [i.e. court proceedings in which he was deposed as a witness] give him in round number ages” from which we can estimate his birth to about the year 1615. As to his place of birth, I’ve only found one hint. In the book, Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England, 1620-1650, the author lists William Fifield’s “English parish name” as Littleton.

Map of HamptonIn 1638, the Rev. Stephen Bachiler and a group of men from Newbury received permission from Gov. John Winthrop and the General Court to remove to an area along the coast and establish a plantation there. The place was known as Winnacunnet which translated from the Indian meant “pleasant place of pines.” Within a year, the settlement grew to about 60 families and in June 1639, the General Court allowed the residents to incorporate as a town. Soon after, the place was renamed Hampton.

Sources differ as to whether William Fifield came with the Rev. Bachiler’s group in 1638 or arrived in Hampton in 1639. What we do know is that in June of 1640 he was among a group of over 50 men receiving land grants in Hampton.  William was initially granted 5 acres for a house lot and 5 acres of fresh meadow near the beach. Later that year he was granted 20 acres of upland. Subsequent land grants included: 5 acres of salt marsh in 1642; 20 acres in 1644; and two shares in the town common in 1645. He also purchased a house lot in 1644 and more marsh land in 1648.

Dame_SchoolAbout eight years after arriving in the wilderness of Hampton, William took a wife. In 1646, he married a woman named Mary. Researchers are unable to determine the identity of Mary’s parents. At the time of their marriage, William was around 31 years old — practically middle aged for those times! — and Mary was 25 years old.  Mary was kept plenty busy after marrying William; she gave birth to nine children over the next 15 years: John (b. 1646); Benjamin (b. 1648); Mary (b. 1650); William (b. 1651); Sarah (b. 1653); Lydia (b. 1654); Elizabeth (b. 1657); Hannah (b. 1659); Deborah (b. 1661).

William Fifield was appointed to various town offices over the years: timber surveyor (1653); selectman (1659); constable (1662); deputy constable (1669). He served on numerous juries and chosen to serve on various town committees. He was apparently an esteemed member of the community, having been assigned to act as attorney for the town in various law suits and as an agent to the General Court. (History of the Town of Hampton).

From what we know about William, it can be inferred that his wife and children were materially well provided for and were a typical family for the times. They worked the farm and attended the meeting-house on the Sabbath. The children, both the boys and the girls, attended school. Being close to the shore, it’s impossible not to envision William and Mary’s children frequently exploring the beach. The family endured the loss of one child, Hannah, who lived only 20 days after birth.

Meeting-house gatherings were the center of social life at the time. William and Mary were active members, being among the list of member in full communion. An amusing excerpt involving William Fifield, and his children no doubt, is found in History of the Town of Hampton:

Meeting-houseThe arrangement of the seats in the meeting-house did not allow of families being seated together. A large number of children occupied seats in the gallery, and these must be cared for. Accordingly, in town meeting in February, 1664, it was ordered, “that two of the inhabitants of the town should sit in the gallery, to keep the youth in order in the time of the public exercises, that they keep their places and sit orderly and inoffensively.” Under this arrangement, Thomas Sleeper and John Redman were to sit in the gallery the first Sabbath, and they were to give notice to John Brown and William Fifield for the next Sabbath, “and so to take their turns about the town successively.”

Kids will be kids! When this action was taken, William & Mary’s children ranged in age from 4 to 18 years old. Sadly, the eldest son, John, died the following year. We know not of what. Elizabeth was a child of 8 at the time. After this sorrow, the family continued on with the business of life until the children came of marrying age. Elizabeth began to see her siblings move out to establish their own families beginning in 1670 when Benjamin married (Elizabeth was 13 years old), followed by Mary in 1672 (Elizabeth was 15) and then Sarah in 1673 (Elizabeth was 16).

Finally came Elizabeth’s turn to leave the nest: she married John Tidd of Woburn, Massachusetts, on June 12, 1678. One source has them married in Hampton:

1678 marriage record

Vital records of Hampton, New Hampshire : to the end of the year 1900. Boston, Mass: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1992.

Other sources show the couple were married in Woburn. My money is on them being married in the bride’s home town.

The question that first occurs to me is: how did these two young people, living some 50 miles apart, come to know each other? The answer to this question involves an issue that has not been settled by those researching William Fifield and an apparent relation of his, Giles Fifield. While no family link between the two men can be verified, it’s quite probable that they were related in some way. William was about 15 years older than Giles, so it’s doubtful they were brothers. William may have been Giles’ uncle or cousin.

In 1652, Giles Fifield was wed to Mary Perkins in Hampton. Mary died in 1670 and two years later, Giles was recorded living in Charlestown, MA, where he took a 2nd wife. He remained in Charlestown until his death in 1676. Charlestown was settled in 1629 and by the early 1630s the town sought to expand. The area they expanded into became known as Woburn. So, for some time we find people being said to come from “Charlestown/Woburn.”

Barrel making

Barrel making

John Tidd was born in Woburn in 1654. John was a 2nd generation Colonist; his grandfather, also named John, immigrated from England in 1637 at the age of 19.

John Tidd served in King Philip’s War in 1675/76, just a few years before marrying Elizabeth. As it happens, Giles Fifield was living in nearby Charlestown at the time and he also served in the conflict. Being close in age and living in proximity of one another, it’s very likely that John and Giles met up either before the war, during it, or after.

Thus, it could be that John Tidd accompanied Giles to Hampton on an occasion where he met up with Elizabeth. Or, Giles may have mentioned his unmarried cousin Elizabeth to John. We can’t know, of course, but that Giles brought the two together seems the most probable answer to the puzzle of how they met.

It was early summer when Elizabeth left her seaside home in Hampton to settle with her new husband in the town of Woburn, located about 12 miles from Boston. She was 21 years old; John was 24. It was not an ideal time to be living in Woburn. The area was just coming out of the terror of King Philip’s War only to be visited with the scourge of smallpox, which was raging at the time of Elizabeth’s arrival there and continued for another year. Miraculously, Elizabeth not only gave birth to her first child during this perilous time, but her daughter survived.

Elizabeth gave birth to six children, all of whom survived to adulthood:

  • Elizabeth (b. 1679)
  • John (b. 1681)
  • Joseph (b. 1684)
  • Rebecca (b. 1687)
  • Mary (b. 1690)
  • Ebenezer (b. 1693)

Compared to other families of this period that I’ve studied, Elizabeth’s pregnancies were a bit more spread out, there being about 3 years separating them, with a span of 14 years separating her oldest child from her youngest. Elizabeth was 36 when her last child was born.

Woburn was a pretty small town at the time, there being only 100 families living there in 1685. The Tidd family was settled on the edge of town. In Abstracts of Early Woburn Deeds, there appear few land transactions under the name Tidd, This suggests that John Tidd, who had followed his father into cooper trade, had sufficient income from this to support his family; their farm lands served to provide the household with vegetables, fruits, herbs, milk, eggs, meats, etc.

Map of Woburn

1770_MaryRowlandson_CaptivityLiving on the edge of town, somewhat isolated, may have been a concern for Elizabeth, even if her husband were a military man. The nearby river presented a danger to her children. But even more threatening was that of Indian attack. While it had been 10 years since the Woburn family of Samuel Richardson had been killed by Indians, Mary Rowlandson’s narrative of her abduction and 11-week ordeal was published in 1682. The Sovereignty and Goodness of God was very widely read and, as her husband had fought in the War and remained a member of the militia, I have to think Elizabeth read the book.

John Tidd continued his military service as sergeant of the militia for over 40 years. He also served as constable. On occasion, he was tapped for services he was able to duck out of:

A memorable instance of [seating the meeting-house] occurred in 1710. The work of repairing and enlarging the house of public worship the year before having been completed, it became necessary to seat it anew. Accordingly, at a general meeting, December 9, 1709, John Brooks, Sergeant Eleazar Flegg, Sergeant John Tidd, Sergeant George Read, and James Fowle were chosen a committee for this purpose. But so irksome was this office accounted, and at the same time so thankless and invidious, that two of the persons nominated for it on this occasion, Mssrs. Tidd and Fowle, immediately declined. (The History of Woburn)

Smart man! Apparently, when it came to dealing with the petty issues like seating the meeting-house, John wisely judged his time could be better served. Yet when more weighty issues were laid in his lap, he took them up and executed them with success. In 1716, Sgt. Tidd and Ensign John Peirce were selected to represent the town before the Massachusetts General Court to petition for a renewal of the town’s 2000 acre land grant. The grant was renewed.

In 1692, the population of Woburn had grown to 550, and it continued to grow through the early part of the new century. By 1708, it was 4th in the county of Middlesex for wealth and population. A school was built in 1713. In 1717, The Great Snow hit, covering the area with 20-25 feet of snow and 1727 was the year of “the great earthquake.”

Some of John and Elizabeth’s children grew to marry and begin families of their own:

  • Elizabeth Tidd m. Joseph Stevens on 24 Sep. 1701
  • Ebenezer Tidd m. Martha Wyman abt 1715
  • John Tidd m. Abigail Gould on 6 Nov 1729
  • Joseph Tidd m. Martha Pierce on 22 Nov 1732
  • Rebecca Tidd never married
  • Mary Tidd never married

John and Elizabeth sadly saw the death of their youngest child, Ebenezer, in 1725. He died shortly after his 31st birthday, leaving behind three boys. Did John and Ebenezer take in their widowed daughter-in-law and grandsons? It may be so, for when John passed away he greatly favored them in his will. Elizabeth was 68 years old when her son Ebenezer died, and one can imagine her happiness at having the home come alive again with the presence of her grandsons: Samuel (9), Ebenezer (7) and baby Jonathan (1).

Elizabeth passed away in 1732 at the age of 75. Her husband, John, went on to live another 11 years, so that when he died in 1743, the passing of “Old Mr. Tidd” was noted in the town record. We don’t know where Elizabeth and John were laid to rest in Woburn, but it is likely that they are in the Old Burying Ground.

In reflecting on the life of Elizabeth Fifield Tidd, I envision a child growing up in a large family that maintained a farm along the New Hampshire coast. Her father provided well for the  family and was held in esteem within the town. To have spent 8 years forging a homestead and a farm from a wilderness before taking a wife and starting a family suggests that William Fifield was a practical and responsible man.

It appears that in John Tidd, Elizabeth found a husband much like her father. John provided comfortably for Elizabeth and their children. He was their protector during a time when the threat of Indian attack was fresh in everyone’s memory. Together, they raised a family,  endured the trials and enjoyed the benefits of a long life.



Working to Get Home

Night shift work

Night shift work

This month (January), I took a seasonal position with the IRS working the night shift: Monday through Friday, 4:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Ordinarily, I would have viewed such a work schedule as a real imposition. This past summer, though, my aunt shared with me several letters that my grandmother, Delia Jane (Feister) Irvine, had written during World War II. Grandma worked a night shift at a defense plant in Northern California. While Grandpa was working, too, he wasn’t earning enough money to get the family back home to Western New York. Grandma, a young woman with four children under the age of 8, took up the slack with one goal in mind: to get home.

Jack and Delia Irvine were married on Jan. 21, 1937; he was 22 and she was 19 years old. Grandpa came from a Catholic family in Bradford (McKean County), PA, and Grandma was born to a Protestant couple in Olean (Cattaraugus County), NY. Grandpa was a machinist, like his father and grandfather before him. As the young couple started off  married life, the country was still struggling its way out of the Great Depression. Their first child, Barbara, was born in early fall. Grandpa must not have been able to find machinery work in the small city of Olean, because in the 1937 city directory he was working as a salesman.

Jack & Delia - 1940 US Censis

Jack & Delia – 1940 US Census – Line 15

A few years later, at the time of the 1940 U.S. Census, Jack and his young family had moved about 100 miles north to the town of Penfield, NY (just outside Rochester), where he’d found a machinist position with the Gleason Corporation. But the family was barely making it: he was earning only $43 a month. At a time when the average monthly income was $144, I have to wonder how he managed to support his wife and child? To add further stress, another child was on the way.

By 1943, Jack & Delia had moved from Penfield to Webster, about 5 miles away and further out from the city, which meant a longer commute to work for Grandpa. The family had grown to 6 with the births of Mary (1940), Carole (1942) and John (1943). Jack then had a large family to support and must have been desperate to find good-paying work.

Jack Irvine with kids - 1944

Jack Irvine with the kids in 1944 – (l-r) Carole, Mary, John & Barbara

The War was raging across the globe and defense jobs in California were plentiful. No doubt, wartime movies like this one were very compelling (be sure to watch the brief movie after clicking the page link!). So, in the early summer of 1944, Jack packed the family up and headed to California where he hoped to put his machinist skills to use in defense work.

It was probably hard to convince my grandmother to go. The youngest of four children, Grandma had always been very close to her mother and would find the separation difficult. But her new baby, John, had been severely ill nearly his entire first year of life. John would benefit from the warmth and sunshine that California had to offer. When they departed for the 2600+ mile trip to California, Jack & Delia took with them only the children and a few changes of clothing for everyone. Their household goods were to be shipped after.

Grandma's letters to her mother, 1945

Grandma’s letters to her mother, 1945

As soon as she got to California, Grandma began sending letters home to her mother, sisters and friends. The letters offer a glimpse into a time that was, no doubt, both an adventure and a trial. One thing is clear, though: there is nothing Grandma wanted more than to GO BACK HOME!

Carole, Mary, Barbara & John in San Pablo, 1945

Carole, Mary, Barbara & John in San Pablo, 1945

When Jack & Delia arrived in California, he was 29 years old and she was 26. The children were: Barbara (7), Mary (4), Carole (2) and John (1). The took a small apartment-size place at the El Portal Housing Park in San Pablo.

The homes were barracks-style places thrown up in a hurry to accommodate the tens of thousands of new residents who had swarmed to the area from all over the country to work in the shipyards. The nearest city was Richmond, about 5 miles from San Pablo. Though her letters don’t state specifically where she and grandpa worked, presumably they worked at one of the four Richmond Shipyards.

When they first arrived, Grandpa worked a  4 p.m. to midnight shift while Grandma stayed home to care for the children. The earliest letter we have from Grandma to her mother is 9 pages of 8½” x 11″ lined notebook paper, written front and back, covering the three week period from July 10 – 31, 1944. In the letter, she mentions the Port Chicago disaster:

"Portchicago2" by Mare Island Navy Yard

“Portchicago2″ by Mare Island Navy Yard

“I suppose you read in the paper about the ammunition dump that exploded. They said it was the worst disaster around here or in the country I guess. It was twenty miles from here. We heard it plenty. I sure was scared. After the second explosion, there were two, the house rocked and the wind sailed through. The first thing I thought about was an earthquake, but I guess they don’t have them much anymore. I guess it was pretty terrible. So many lived lost and the town of Port Chicago all blown to bits. Windows were smashed for miles around.”


In San Pablo, CA, 1944-1945

In San Pablo, CA, 1944-1945

After several months, Jack switched to a day shift and Delia took up a night shift, becoming another “Rosie the Riveter.” She didn’t work in ships or airplanes though, she worked in a munitions plant grinding down hand grenades. That she had the courage to work around munitions with the Port Chicago horror only a few months previous makes her one tough woman in my mind!

Grandma worked the night shift, at times 9-hour days, six days a week and occasionally on a Sunday. They paid her $1.02/hour. They found a neighbor to stay with the children during the short two hours between the time that she left home and Grandpa returned from work.

Though women have always worked “outside home,” in those days, for women in my Grandma’s family to take a job was still frowned upon. When she donned a pair of overalls and headed off to work outside the home for the first time in her life, she was well aware of what her family back home would think of it, as she expresses in a letter to her mother:

“Now here’s something else. I know how you felt when Hattie was working, I thought it was terrible, too. But sometimes Mother we have to do things regardless of what anyone thinks. I’ve got a job. If I don’t work we never will have enough money to get home. We just get along on what Jack makes and if the war should end tomorrow we wouldn’t even have enough money to make the trip … Say another prayer for me Mother that I’ll be able to save a lot of money quick so I can get home to you quickly. That’s the only reason I’m doing it, so I can get home to you all.”

Rosie the Riveter - "In my spare time ... "

Rosie the Riveter – “In my spare time … “

Though she describes work at the plant as “easy,” she still had work at home, too. Day times, before heading to the plant, Grandma writes of doing laundry with a scrub board (because the laundromat charged .10¢ per pound), of taking the kids to the clinic for checkups, running errands to the store for groceries and the post office, and staying up into the early morning hours to bake bread for the next days’ meals.

Ever since WWII, women have juggled work and home. But advances in technology and our general standard of living has risen considerably. We don’t have it near as tough as they did!

Lewis Palmer (1795 – 1879) of Bertie : In the King’s Service

I’ve had a fabulous week looking into the life of Lewis Palmer as my second post in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Even before I began researching family history, I’d been drawn to the Niagara area. Perhaps Lewis and his family have been calling to me to rediscover them and share their lives with family and friends?

Significant in my research has been straightening out Lewis Palmer’s parentage. Most online family trees have it wrong. What followed from that discovery was a clearer picture of a British/Canadian family who lived, worked, traded, farmed, raised families and fought with and against Americans and Indians on both sides of the Niagara River through peace and war on the frontier. The big prize in my research this week was coming across a newspaper clipping narrated by Lewis himself!

But let’s start at the beginning, for Lewis had a pretty interesting start in life.

According to Lewis, he was born in 1795 in Bertie Township. Bertie faces Lake Erie on the south and the Niagara River on the east. The community grew up around Old Fort Erie, as soldiers built homes for their families. Traders, merchants, churches and schools followed. Fort Erie had been used as a supply depot for British troops during the American Revolution. After the war, the area was settled by soldiers demobilized from Butler’s Rangers. Many Loyalists also settled in Welland County after the Revolution.


Bertie Township highlighted in green, 1818

Lewis’ father was John Palmer (1776-1850), eldest son of Joseph Palmer (1739-1802). From  land petitions submitted by Joseph and his sons, John and Joseph Richard, we know that Joseph Palmer served 36 years in the 34th Regiment of Foot Soldiers. The 34th Regiment arrived in Canada with General Burgoyne’s army in the spring of 1776 to fight the Americans. That would have made Joseph 37 years old when he arrived in Canada.

34th Regiment of FootI found a treasure trove of information about the Palmers in petitions for land and in abstracts of deeds. The folks curating the site, Niagara Settlers, has done an amazing job of transcribing the early history of the area.

I would not have expected to find intimate details about a person in a land petition, yet from the petitions submitted by Joseph and his sons we learn that in June of 1784, Joseph was: “Five feet six Inches. Forty five Years old. Fresh Complexion Black Hair Black Eyes.” The Crown did indeed reward Joseph for his years of service: he was granted nearly 500 acres. But by 1793, Joseph realized that his many years in military service had worn him out to the point of “circumstances bordering on distress.” Unable to physically work the land, Joseph  petitioned for a post with the customs office.

As the sons of a career soldier, both John Palmer and his younger brother Joseph Richard Palmer, were entitled to make petitions for land as well. The brothers submitted their petitions in 1793 and were granted 200 acres each. Curiously, though, the brothers left the area a few years later, crossing over to the American side where they remained for about 5-7 years. They settled for a short time in the rustic community of Buffalo. Though there for a brief period, they made an impact.

FrontierSocietiesVarious accounts of the early history of Buffalo, including this one, tell us that about the year 1795 John Palmer built a house there. He came to the area as an Indian trader, the primary trade being rum and whiskey. He ran a tavern and inn near the mouth of Buffalo Creek. This made John Palmer Buffalo’s first innkeeper!

Sources record that John’s first wife, Catharine Mabee, died in Buffalo. So, apparently John brought his family with him. Lewis must have been born just before they left Bertie. No doubt, it was a rough life for the young family, living among the Indians on an outpost of the Western New York frontier. A dramatic account of “the first murder” in Buffalo history reads:

An Indian from one of the villages on Buffalo Creek, attacked (it is said without provocation) John Palmer, the inn-keeper, with a drawn knife, with the intent to stab him. Two men, of the name Ward and Keeler, were sitting with Palmer at the time. Not succeeding in his attempt upon Palmer, the Indian struck his knife into the neck of Ward. The alarm soon brought together the few white inhabitants, and in the attempt to secure the Indian, a man of the name of John Hewitt, received several stabs from the desperate savage, producing almost instant death. (An Authentic and Comprehensive History of Buffalo)

indian attackIf little Lewis didn’t witness this violent incident, he surely heard about it. But life in those times could be harsh. As a boy, Lewis lost his mother, Catharine Mabee. But some time soon after, before John took the family back to Bertie in 1802, he married Catharine’s younger sister, Mary. Hopefully, having Mary step in to care for them softened the blow of losing Catharine for both John and Lewis.

333x251xFrontier_Education.jpg.pagespeed.ic.HUVcWkKOeoThough it sounds a dangerous environment for a child, the Palmer brothers made attempts to civilize the place. In a letter dated August 11, 1801, Joseph Richard, requested of Joseph Ellicott, a surveyor for the Holland Land Company, to “grant them the liberty of raising a school house on a lot in any part of town, as the New York Missionary Society have been so good as to furnish them with a school-master.” Ellicott complied with the request and a school house was erected. Thus, the Palmer’s brought the first school to Buffalo! Young Lewis may have attended for a brief time before his father took the family back to Bertie Township.

In 1802, John Palmer got word that old Joseph was either near death or had died, for he took his family back to Bertie. As the oldest son, it fell on him to settle his father’s estate, for Joseph died intestate. According to deed abstracts, John sold off his father’s lands when he returned to Bertie. Perhaps to settle his father’s debts, get his mother settled, and fund the building of another tavern — for we know that he did indeed run another tavern about 6 miles from the Old Fort Erie. His wife, Mary, had been given 100 acres by her father, Lewis Mabee, so the family had land to live on and farm. John ran the inn until his death in 1850, after which Mary took over.

Lewis Palmer was about 7 years old when the family returned to Bertie and he lived there the rest of his life. Of his life as a youth in Bertie, we have this account in his own words:

brown bear“When I was a boy wolves and even bears were not unfrequently to be met with in the woods near our house. One of my earliest recollections is meeting a large brown bear, face to face, in a ravine only a few hundred yards from the garrison at Fort Erie while searching for stray cattle. The animal showed me no disposition to attack me, and of course I did not molest him.”

Battle of Niagara Falls map

Battle of Niagara Falls map

In Lewis’ narrative (please do read the entire article — it’s wonderful!), he tells of his military service in the War of 1812, which broke out when he was 17 years old. He signed up with the militia and was involved in some skirmishes before being captured at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. The prisoners were taken to Batavia, but Lewis escaped from there and traveled some 40 miles to the shore of Lake Erie. He hid out until he was able to get hold of a boat and cross back over to Canada “at the risk of drowning, as the boat leaked rapidly, and [he] was obliged to stop every few minutes and bail out the water.”




Lewis was 19 years old at the end of the war. Presumably, for the next 5-6 years, he lived with and assisted his father in maintaining the farm and helping out at the inn. When he was 20, Lewis was brought into the society of freemasons by his father. It is said that old Joseph Palmer, Lewis’s grandfather, had brought over a lodge warrant with him from England. Lewis was a mason his entire life, holding various leadership roles in the lodge, and the masonic emblem can be seen on his tombstone. An account of Lewis’s lodge activity can be read online in The History of Freemasonry in Canada. Notably, just before Lewis died, they named the lodge after him. It is still called the Palmer Lodge.

St Paul

St. Paul’s Church, Fort Erie

About 1820, Lewis married Catharine Woolever, then 17 years of age. Catharine was the daughter of Peter Woolever and Susannah Shannon. The children of Lewis and “Caty” were:

  • Adeline b. 1821
  • Ellen b. 1824
  • Mary Ann b. 1827
  • Catherine b. 1831
  • John Lewis  b. 1836
  • William Nelson b. 1839
  • Leah Letitia b. 1841

The baptism of Lewis and Caty’s children is recorded as taking place at St. Paul’s Church in Fort Erie. They were all baptized on the same day: August 26, 1838.

According to the Canada Census of 1851, Lewis supported his family as a farmer. Lewis inherited land from his father, John, who passed away in 1826-27. The first recorded land transaction for Lewis is dated January 12, 1827, wherein he sold off 100 acres of his father’s lands. About a year later, he sold another 100 acres. A year after that, Lewis was given a quit-claim to 492 acres along Lake Erie. He then went on to mortgage parts of that land to others. It seems Lewis enjoyed dealing in land, for he made numerous land transactions in Bertie between 1827 and 1856.


Rural mail delivery in Canada (source: Library and Archive of Canada)

From 1832-33 Lewis supplemented his farm and land speculating income by serving as postal carrier on the 36 mile Niagara River route between Fort Erie and Niagara. He was paid £78 in 1832 and £19 10s in 1833. He made 2 trips a week and the trip took him about 4 ½ hours.




When Lewis was In his early 40s, he was again called into military service.  When the Rebellions of 1837 broke out in December, Lewis served as an adjutant in the 3rd Regiment of Lincoln Militia. The rebellion was pretty short-lived, though, and Lewis was called up to serve for less than two weeks.

Lewis Palmer was active in town government. In 1843, he was appointed a school commissioner. The following year, he was elected to the critical position of district councilor, serving in the post for 3 years. District councilors were “practical men who took hold of the work of opening up the townships … They knew the state of nearly every road and every bridge in the district. If any elector needed improvements in his neighborhood, he went to the district councilor representing his township and stated his needs.” (The Ontario Township). In 1848 and 1849, Lewis served as chairman of the township. In 1850, he stepped down to the position of councilman, and in 1851 took the post of town collector. (A Century of Municipal History, 1792-1892). After nearly 10 years holding public offices, Lewis retired to his farm.

A woodcut of Tubman in her Civil War clothing

A woodcut of Tubman in her Civil War clothing

The Canada Census of 1861 shows Lewis, Caty and two of their adult children living in a 1½ story frame house. Caty’s mother, Susan Woolever resided with them and many Woolever’s lived nearby. At that time and for the next several years, the area around Fort Erie became a major end station for slaves using the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman held her headquarters in St. Catharines, just 25 miles north of Bertie.

After the American Civil War, a brief period of unrest struck the Fort Erie area again in what became known as the Fenian Rising of 1867. The Irish fight for independence visited itself upon Canadians when “1,000 Irish veterans of the American Civil War [launched] raids on British army forts, customs posts and other targets in Canada in order to bring pressure on Britain to withdraw from Ireland.” (Wikipedia) By then, Lewis was an old guy of 71, yet on June 2, 1866, he played a small role in the Battle of Ridgeway. The  paper, Combat, Memory and Remembrance in Confederation Era Canada: The Hidden History of the Battle of Ridgeway, provides a colorful account of the incident:

“At about this time Lewis Palmer, a former Captain in the British army in his seventies, a veteran of the War of 1812 and the 1837 Rebellion, was smoking in the door of his house near Garrison Road about two miles outside of Fort Erie when he suddenly observed in the distance the glistening in the sun of rifles and bayonets in the road to the west.57 Palmer at first assumed that these were Canadian or British troops advancing into Fort Erie but as they came closer into view he realized they were Fenians. He quickly mounted his horse and galloped off into town to give warning.”

Battle of Ridgeway

Battle of Ridgeway

In the Canada Census of 1871, Lewis and Caty are still on the farm and a grandchild, Ezra Palmer is living with the elderly couple. A few years later, in 1876, Lewis was one of the surviving veterans of the War of 1812 to receive a small honorarium from the Canadian government in acknowledgement of his service.

Lewis passed away of “general disability” on January 17, 1789, at the age of 84. He was buried at St. Paul’s Anglican Cemetery in Fort Erie. Caty followed him in on May 7, 1881. That his service in the War of 1812 is inscribed on his death record should not, I think, be held of slight significance. I think we can view Lewis’s service in that conflict as a defining point in his life. Certainly, it had to have been the most dramatic time of his life, having been engaged in battle, captured by the enemy, marched 40 miles to a prison camp, escape and near drowning in the attempt to get back home.

Lewis was clearly a patriotic, service-oriented man. He served his King, and he served his community. He was rewarded with a long life and recognition for his service by his country.

Lewis Palmer tombstone

Lewis Palmer tombstone

Lewis Palmer - death record

Lewis Palmer – death record

Lewis Palmer was my 4th great-grandfather. His eldest daughter, Adeline, married William A. Beach of East Otto, NY, in Buffalo in the year 1846. After living a time in Bertie, William took Adeline and their children back to East Otto where they lived out the rest of their lives. What took William from East Otto to Buffalo? How did he meet Adeline? This is a “loose end” that I intend to investigate with diligence, so stay tuned!

January Life Events


An ice-skating scene, as seen in a print titled “January”, one of an early 1820’s series of prints of the months.


The days are short,
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.

Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor.
Milk bottles burst
Outside the door.

The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees of lace.

The sky is low.
The wind is gray.
The radiator
Purrs all day.

— John Updike


  • Jan 2, 1661 ~ Sarah Woolson Bond, in Newton, MA
  • Jan 6, 1747 ~ Philip Amidon, in Oxford, MA
  • Jan 13, 1842 ~ Arthur Thomas Irvine, in La Prairie, Quebec,
  • Jan 15, 1780 ~ Abigail Oliver Wheeler, in Stoneham, MA
  • Jan 22, 1746 ~ Joseph Francois Leber, in La Prairie, Quebec
  • Jan 24, 1778 ~ David Palmer, Jr., in No. Carolina





  • Jan 1, 1736 ~ Joshua Conant & Jerusha Cummings,
    in Ipswich, MA
  • Jan 4, 1796 ~ Cornelius Wheeler & Abigail Oliver,
    in Stoneham, MA
  • Jan 7, 1741 ~ Jean-Baptiste Biron & Marie-Joseph Prudhomme, in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jan 7, 1711 ~ Rev. John Fiske & Mary Whitney,
    in Watertown, MA
  • Jan 8, 1755 ~ David Park & Sarah Gibbs,
    in Lincoln, MA
  • Jan 16, 1859 ~ Buel Bishop & Lucina Ingols,
    in New Albion, NY
  • Jan 18, 1780 ~ Capt. James Oliver & Abigail Bryant,
    in Reading, MA
  • Jan 21, 1937 ~ John T. “Jack” Irvine & Delia Feister,
    in Olean, NY
  • Jan 25, 1717 ~ Daniel Cardinal & Marie-Madeleine Gibaut,
    in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jan 28, 1728 ~ Thomas Norton & Mary Perkins,
    in Ipswich, MA
  • Jan 29, 1747 ~ Jonathan Tidd & Serviah Baker,
    in Boston, MA



  • Jan 2, 17986 ~ Patience Eames Rice, in Massachusetts
  • Jan 3, 1698 ~ Peter Ayers, in Haverhill, MA
  • Jan 4, 1835 ~ John Norton, in Royalston, MA
  • Jan 6, 1728 ~ Mercy Rust Norton, in Ipswich, MA
  • Jan 7, 1835 ~ Margaret Bacheller Norton, in Royalston, MA
  • Jan 10, 1733 ~ Eunice Tyler Beach, in Connecticut
  • Jan 11, 1851 ~ Moses Tyler Beach, in East Otto, NY
  • Jan 13, 1761 ~ Caleb Beach, in Goshen, CT
  • Jan 13, 1747 ~ Pierre Cardinal, in Lachine, Quebec
  • Jan 13, 1810 ~ John Shumway, in Oxford, MA
  • Jan 13, 1713 ~ Timothy Wilcoxson, in Stratford, CT
  • Jan 15, 1836 ~ Rhoda Thompson Tidd, in Woburn, MA
  • Jan 16, 1811 ~ Abijah Thompson, in Boston, MA
  • Jan 17, 1879 ~ Lewis Brock Palmer, in Welland, Ontario
  • Jan 17, 1738 ~ Maria Smith Shumway, in Oxford, MA
  • Jan 22, 1746 ~ Josiah Wright, in Woburn, MA
  • Jan 25, 1905 ~ Adeline Palmer Beach, in Duke Center, PA