On Genealogy: Jack Tripper is my 9th Cousin, 2x removed!

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Rev. Obadiah Holmes definitely has some Famous Kin.  I’ve covered Abe Lincoln & Amelia Earhart and now I’m covering my connection to comedic legend,  John Ritter.

Another descendant of Rev. Holmes, is Willis Carrier – the inventor of air conditioning (I really love this guy on hot, sticky, humid days!) – Carrier is his 8th great grandson.

I find the relation to John Ritter especially interesting because of his manner of death.  He passed away of an aortic dissection – the EXACT same thing that my brother, who would also be his 9th cousin, 2x removed, almost died of!  Aortic dissections are relatively uncommon. Weakened aorta walls can be congenital   –  refer to my previous blog entitled “Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do” – I wonder if they run in all lines of this family?

John Ritter, is probably best know for the lovably goofy closet heterosexual Jack Tripper in the television comedy series ‘‘Three’s Company,” a smash hit in the 1970’s.   Jack’s character is of the lucky man who shares an apartment with two beautiful women, Chrissy, played by Suzanne Somers, and Janet, played by Joyce DeWitt. I used to love watching Jack, Janet and Chrissy and still love watching the reruns to this day! 

Early Life

Johnathan Southworth Ritter was born in Burbank, California, on September 17, 1948. He was the son of legendary country singer/actor Tex Ritter and his wife, actress Dorothy Fay. The couple married in 1941 and had their first child, Tom Ritter, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 4.41.00 PM.pngJohn was destined to follow in his parents footsteps. He was enrolled at Hollywood High School where he was student body president. After graduation from high school, he attended the University of Southern California where he majored in Psychology and minored in Architecture. His first appearance on TV was in 1966 as a contestant on The Dating Game (1965) where he won a vacation to Lake Havasu, Arizona. After making his very first cameo appearance, he was induced to join an acting class taught by Nina Foch. He changed his major to Theatre Arts, graduating in 1971 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama. He also studied acting with Stella Adler at the Harvey Lembeck Comedy Workshop. Between 1968 and 1969, he appeared in a series of stage plays in England, Scotland, Holland and in Germany.

Filmography

His TV debut came playing a campus revolutionary on Dan August (1970) which starred Burt Reynolds and Norman Fell, who later starred with him on Three’s Company . Then he appeared as “Reverend Matthew Fordwick” on The Waltons (1971). He continued making more guest appearances on Medical Center (1969), M*A*S*H (1972), The Bob Newhart Show (1972), The Streets of San Francisco (1972), Kojak (1973), Rhoda (1974) and Mary Tyler Moore (1970).

The following year, in late 1975, ABC picked up the rights for a new series based on a British sitcom, Man About the House (1973). Ritter beat out 50 people, including a young Billy Crystal, to get a major role. The first pilot was trashed, and in order for it to be improved, Joyce DeWitt, an unknown actress, played the role of “Janet Wood”, along with Suze Lanier-Bramlett as the dumb blonde, “Chrissy Snow”. It did better than the first pilot, but the producers still needed a change and Suzanne Somers came to the show at the very last minute to play “Chrissy”. Thus the series, Three’s Company, was born. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 4.38.01 PMIn 1980, when Three’s Company was sold into syndication, the show became a ratings phenomenon. At the height of Ritter’s popularity, he won a Golden Globe in 1983 for Best Performance by an Actor after being nominated twice for Best TV Actor in a Musical-Comedy Series and, one year later, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor In a Comedy Series after being nominated twice. By its eighth season, the show began to drop in the ratings and was canceled in 1984. After cancellation, he starred in its spin-off, called Three’s a Crowd (1984), also starring Mary Cadorette, but it lasted for only one season.

His first animated movie was that of a man turning into a dragon, whose job was to defeat “Ommendon” in The Flight of Dragons (1982). The following year, he came back to series television as “Detective Harry Hooperman” in the comedy/drama, Hooperman (1987) for which he was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 1988 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He also won a People’s Choice Award for this role. He continued doing more box-office films such as Skin Deep (1989), in which he played a womanizing, alcoholic writer whose life seemed to be falling apart at the seams. In the movies, Problem Child (1990), and Problem Child 2 (1991), he played the surrogate father of a rebellious little boy who wrought havoc on the family. He also worked on Noises Off... (1992) and Stay Tuned (1992) before returning to another TV sitcom called Hearts Afire (1992) that also starred Billy Bob Thornton. The show had well-written scripts but failed to reach a massive audience which led to its cancellation in 1995. While he was working on Hearts Afire, he played “Ward Nelson” on North (1994). Then, he had the opportunity to work with Billy Bob Thornton, in the movie Sling Blade (1996), in which Ritter played the gay manager of a department store. He also provided the voice of “Clifford” in Clifford the Big Red Dog (2000). He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award 4 times in a row, totalling seven Emmy nominations in his 35-year career. In 1999, he was also nominated for an Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series playing the role of “George Madison” on an episode of Ally McBeal (1997).

Soon afterwards, he landed his last television role in 8 Simple Rules… for Dating My Teenage Daughter (2002), based on the popular book. On this sitcom he played “Paul Hennessey”, a loving, rational dad, who laid down the ground rules for his three children and dealt with such topics as curfews, sex, drugs, getting arrested, etc. The show was a ratings winner in its first season and won a People’s Choice Award for Best New Comedy and also won for Favourite Comedy Series by the Family Awards.

Death

On September 11, 2003, Ritter fell ill while rehearsing for 8 Simple Rules.

He began sweating profusely and vomiting, and complained of having chest pains. He was taken across the street to the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, by coincidence the same hospital where he was born. Physicians misdiagnosed Ritter and treated him for a heart attack (this is very common as the symptoms often mimic those of a heat attack).  However, his condition worsened. Physicians later diagnosed Ritter with an aortic dissection. Ritter died during surgery to repair the dissection, six days before his 55th birthday. This is were I’m in awe.  I hear of John Ritter and Alan Thicke dying in surgery for aortic dissections and yet my brother lived during the same surgery – was he ever blessed and he had an amazing thoracic cardiac surgeon in Dr. Ash.  

A private funeral was held on September 15 in Los Angeles, after which Ritter was interred at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. He died on his daughter Stella’s birthday 😦 

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John Ritter’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is next to his father’s (see photos below).

He left behind four children: Jason Ritter, (born on Sunday, February 17, 1980), Carly Ritter, (born on Monday, March 1, 1982), Tyler Ritter, (born on Thursday, January 31, 1985) and Stella Ritter, (born on Friday, September 11, 1998).

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I’m excited to see what connection I make next and from which line!

Namaste

T xo


 

Remembering John Ritter A life of laughter
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On Genealogy: Say What? I’m Connected To Amelia Earhart!

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Aviation, this young modern giant, exemplifies the possible relationship of women and the creations of science. Although women have not taken full advantage of its use and benefits, air travel is as available to them as to men ~ Amelia Earhart

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My lineage just gets better and better!  To date I have discovered a relation to a  King of France, a US President, a Filles du Roi, an explorer,  a colleague of Samuel de Champlain, a great Uncle who died in WWI in Flanders … these are just some of my finds … and NOW …. a relation to the great aviatrix Amelia Earhart!

It’s one of the greatest unsolved mysteries!  It’s been 80 years and no resolution. I have long been fascinated by the story of Amelia Earhart.  I have watched numerous documentaries about her disappearance on History, Nat Geo, CNN etc.  The story fascinated me long before I discovered our distant relation.  Amelia is my 9th cousin, 2 x removed via the Obadiah Holmes line – the same lineage that my relation to President Honest Abe Lincoln comes from.  So RICHARDS family, this one is also for you!

Background

Amelia was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas, USA, to Amelia Otis, age 28, and Edwin Stanton Earhart, age 26.

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 10.10.26 PMAs you may well know, Amelia Earhart was an Aviation Pioneer. Her flying career began in Los Angeles in 1921 when, at age 24, she took flying lessons from Neta Snook and bought her first airplane, a Kinner Airstar. Due to family problems, she sold her airplane in 1924 and moved back East, where she took employment as a Social Worker.

Four years later, she returned to aviation bought an Avro Avian airplane and became the first woman to make a solo-return transcontinental flight. From then on, she continued to set and break her own speed and distance records, in competitive events, as well as personal stunts promoted by her husband George Palmer Putnam.

Marriage to George Putnam

Amelia married George Palmer Putnam in Noank, Connecticut, USA, on February 7, 1931, when she was 33 years old.

A little about George:  In July 1927 he was responsible for the blockbuster publication of “We”, Charles Lindbergh‘s autobiographical account of his early life and Orteig Prize winning non-stop transatlantic solo flight from New York to Paris made in May of that year. The book proved to be one of the most successful non-fiction titles of all time selling more than 650,000 copies in less than a year and earning its author over $250,000, which is the 2017 equivalent of $3,410,056.50.

A significant event in Putnam’s personal and business life occurred in 1928, before the merger. Because of his reputation for working with Lindbergh, he was contacted by Amy Guest, a wealthy American living in London who wanted to sponsor the first-ever flight by a woman across the Atlantic Ocean.

Guest asked Putnam to find a suitable candidate and he eventually came up with the then-unknown aviatrix, Amelia Earhart.As it turned out, they shared many common interests: hiking, swimming, camping, riding, tennis and golf. When Putnam first met Earhart, he was still married to Binney. After she successfully completed her flight across the Atlantic, Putnam offered to help Earhart write a book about her flight, following the formula he had established with Charles Lindbergh in the writing of “WE”. The resulting Earhart book was 20 Hrs., 40 Min. (1928).

When they began writing, Putnam invited Earhart to live in his home because he felt like it would make the process easier. Shortly after, Binney left for South America which was followed by the divorce of George and Dorothy Putnam in 1929. Putnam had undertaken to heavily promote Earhart in a campaign that included a series of lecture tours and using pictures of her image in mass market endorsements for products including luggage, Lucky Strike cigarettes (this caused image problems for her, with McCall’s magazine retracting an offer) and other products.

In 1930, the various Putnam heirs voted to merge the family’s publishing firm with Minton, Balch & Co., which became the majority stockholders. George P. Putnam resigned from his position as secretary of G. P. Putnam’s Sons and joined New York publishers Brewer & Warren as vice president.

Putnam and Earhart made their relationship official shortly after his divorce was finalized, but they didn’t marry until 1931.

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Amelia & George, circa 1935

Accomplishments

She became a household name in 1932 when she became the first woman, and second person, to fly solo across the Atlantic, on the fifth anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s feat, flying a Lockheed Vega from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland to Londonderry, Ireland. That year, she received the Distinguished Flying Cross from the Congress, the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French Government, and the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society from President Hoover.

In January 1935 she became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu to Oakland, California. Later that year she soloed from Los Angeles to Mexico City and back to Newark, N.J.

In July 1936 she took delivery of a Lockheed 10E “Electra,” financed by Purdue University, and started planning her round-the-world flight. Her flight would not be the first to circle the globe, but it would be the longest, 29,000 miles, following an equatorial route – the longest in history.

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On March 17, 1937 she flew the first leg in her state of the art, twin-engine Lockheed 10 Electra from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii. As the flight resumed three days later, a tire blew on takeoff and she ground-looped the plane. Severely damaged, the aircraft had to be shipped back to California for repairs, and the flight was called off.

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Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan

Her Greatest Journey – To Circumnavigate Around the World Was Not To Be 

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 10.08.24 PM.pngThe second attempt would begin on May 20 1937 heading East; Fred Noonan, a former Pan Am pilot, would be her navigator and sole companion in flight for the entire trip. Their last known refuelling stop was in Southeast Asia, when they arrived at Lae, New Guinea on July 2 1937. About 22,000 miles of the journey had been completed. The remaining 7,000 miles would all be over the Pacific Ocean. Their intended destination was Howland Island (their next refuelling stop), a tiny piece of land a few miles long, 20 feet high, and 2,556 miles away. Their last positive position report and sighting were over the Nukumanu Islands, about 800 miles into the flight. Earhart and Noonan are never seen alive again.

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The United States Coast Guard cutter Itasca was on station near Howland, assigned on short notice to communicate with her plane and guide her to the island once she arrived in the vicinity. But it soon became evident that she and Noonan had little practical knowledge of the use of radio navigation. The frequencies she was using were not well suited to direction finding (in fact, she had left behind the lower-frequency reception and transmission equipment which might have enabled Itasca to locate her), and the reception quality of her transmissions was poor. After six hours of frustrating attempts at two-way communications, contact was lost. A coordinated search by the Navy and Coast Guard was organized and no physical evidence of the flyers or their plane was ever found. Their fate has been the subject of many rumors and allegations which were never substantiated. Modern analysis indicates that after passing the Nukumanu Islands, she began to vector off course, unwittingly heading for a point about 100 miles NNW of Howland. A few hours before their estimated arrival time Noonan calculated a “sun line,” but without a successful, radio-frequency range calculation, a precise “fix” on the plane’s location could not be established.

According to the crash and sink theory, Earhart’s plane ran out of gas while she searched for Howland Island, and she crashed into the open ocean somewhere in the vicinity of the island.

Several expeditions over the past 15 years have attempted to locate the plane’s wreckage on the sea floor near Howland. High-tech sonar and deep-sea robots have failed to yield clues about the Electra’s crash site.

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Theories About Their Disappearance

There are numerous conspiracy theories about Earhart’s disappearance.

  1. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) postulates that Earhart and Noonan veered off-course from Howland Island and landed instead some 350 miles to the Southwest on Gardner Island, now called Nikumaroro, in the Republic of Kiribati. The island was uninhabited at the time.

A week after Earhart’s disappeared, Navy planes flew over the island. They noted recent signs of habitation but found no evidence of an airplane.  TIGHAR believes that Earhart—and perhaps Noonan—may have survived for days or even weeks on the island as castaways before dying there. Since 1988, several TIGHAR expeditions to the island have turned up artifacts and anecdotal evidence in support of this hypothesis.

Some of the artifacts include a piece of Plexiglas that may have come from the Electra’s window, a woman’s shoe dating back to the 1930s, improvised tools, a woman’s cosmetics jar from the 1930s and bones that appeared to be part of a human finger.

In June 2017, a TIGHAR-led expedition arrived on Nikumaroro with four forensically trained bone-sniffing border collies to search the island for any skeletal remains of Earhart or Noonan.

2) Another theory posits that Earhart and Noonan were captured and executed by the Japanese, and were captured as POWs.

3) Another theory claims that the pair served as spies for the Roosevelt administration and assumed new identities upon returning to the United States.

4) The final theory, and likely most realistic is that they ran out of fuel, having not been able to locate Howland Island and crashed into the sea.

What do you think happened?

My Lineage 

Starting from the Obadiah Holmes line ….

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Namaste

T xo

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Amelia Earhart 2017 full documentary (The Lost Evidence)

Amelia Earhart documentary 2017 Former FBI official Shawn Henry investigates new, shocking evidence that aviator Amelia Earhart was captured by the Japanese military, including a photograph that purports to show Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan alive after their disappearance. Evidence includes documents containing new information indicating that the U.S. government knew that she was in the custody of a foreign power, and may have covered it up.

On Genealogy: I always knew I was a Princess! My Relation to King VIII of France!

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Ok, I’m all over the place with this ancestry stuff.  I just moved, am sick in bed but can’t stop researching.  Each line steers me to something new and exciting – I’m honestly just just jumping around when I find a new cool hint – I follow it and away I go – on a brand spanking new tangent.

I always knew I was special – a princess ♕ you might say – now I have something to back it up  – my 24th great grand-father was King Louis VIII of France.  

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In all honesty, I know very little about my 24x GGF, but, from what I’ve seen on the line (Internship joke) Louis VIII the Lion (aka Louis VIII le Lion) (5 September 1187 – 8 November 1226) was King of France from 1223 to 1226 (only 3 years). He also claimed the title King of England from 1216 to 1217. Louis VIII was born in Paris, the son of King Philip II of France and Isabelle of Hainaut, from whom he inherited the County of Artois at Palais Royal, Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France.

On 23 May 1200, at the age of 12 (what????, 12!!!), Louis was married to Blanche of Castile, daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England, the sister of King Richard I and King John of England. The marriage could only be concluded after prolonged negotiations between King Philip II of France and Blanche’s uncle John.

Louis VIII succeeded his father on 14 July 1223; his coronation took place on 6 August of the same year in the cathedral at Reims.

Born to wealth, Blanche of Castile (1188-1252) took the reins of leadership early in life as the wife of Louis VIII, King of France and later as co-regent during her son, Louis IX’s, minority. She proved to be a good, albeit strong willed leader, keenly adept at dealing with her male counterparts.

Blanche of Castile was born on March 4, 1188 in Palencia, Castile, an area that is now part of central and northern Spain. She was the daughter of King Alphonso VIII of Castile and Princess Eleanor Plantagenet of England. Her grandfather was Henry II of England, her grandmother was Eleanor of Aquitane and her uncle was John I of England. This rich lineage prepared her well for a place on the throne of France.

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 9.52.27 PMDuring Louis VIII’s short reign, Blanche confined her activities to the education and upbringing of her children. She was especially careful of the education of her favorite son, Louis. She was a stern Christian and taught him to be pious and devoted to the services of the church.

In 1236 Louis came of age but Blanche remained at his side—his strongest supporter and advisor. Louis proved to be an energetic king devoted to his people. He was a devout Roman Catholic, austere and prayerful and a devoted husband and father.  Blanche of Castile suffered with a heart ailment, but continued to preside over court responsibilities. In 1252 she suffered a heart attack while on her way to the Abbey of the Lys for a retreat. She was returned to the Palace of the Louvre in Paris where she received the last rights and died.

The King died of dysentery (is a type of gastroenteritis that results in diarrhea with blood.) on November 8, 1226 (39).  The Saint Denis Basilica houses the tomb of Louis VIII.

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Louis and Blanche had thirteen children:

  1. Unnamed daughter [Blanche?] (1205 – died soon after).
  2. Philip (9 September 1209 – before July 1218), betrothed in July 1215 to Agnes of Donzy.
  3. Alphonse (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 26 January 1213), twin of John.
  4. John (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 26 January 1213), twin of Alphonse.
  5. Louis IX (Poissy, 25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270, Tunis), King of France as successor to his father.
  6. Robert (25 September 1216 – 9 February 1250, killed in battle, Mansoura, Egypt), Count of Artois.
  7. Philip (20 February 1218 – 1220).
  8. John (21 July 1219 – 1232), Count of Anjou and Maine; betrothed in March 1227 to Yolande of Brittany.
  9. Alphonse (Poissy, 11 November 1220 – 21 August 1271, Corneto), Count of Poitou and Auvergne, and by marriage, of Toulouse.
  10. Philip Dagobert (20 February 1222 – 1232.
  11. Isabelle (March 1224 – 23 February 1270).
  12. Stephen (end 1225 – early 1227).
  13. Charles (posthumously 21 March 1227 – 7 January 1285), Count of Anjou and Maine, by marriage Count of Provence and Forcalquier, and King of Sicily

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Now I’m impressed, what is going to top this?  Maybe not too much, but that does not mean that there isn’t a lot of exciting stuff to learn about my GENES & my ANCESTRY, I guess we will have to see ….

Namaste

T xo


Minute Culture

Published on Nov 26, 2015

 

On Genealogy: My Connection to President Lincoln

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So this was the MOST EXCITING ancestral find to date!  The connection, albeit distant – with the most impressive US Presidents of all time – Honest Abe is my 6th cousin 5x removed.

I posted yesterday on my connection to Obadiah Holmes – the important member of the Baptist church who was whipped for his beliefs – this amazing man was the 5th great grand-father of another revolutionary man  who needs no introduction or biography, the great emancipator, Abraham Lincoln.

My Lineage – Off of the Obadiah Holmes Line

Rev. Obadiah Holmes + Katherine Hyde

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Lydia Holmes + Capt. John Brown

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Hannah Salter + Mordecai Lincoln

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John Lincoln + Rebecca Flower

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Capt. Abraham Lincoln + Bethesda Herring

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Thomas Lincoln + Nancy Hanks

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President Abraham Lincoln + Mary Todd

Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 9.52.36 PM.pnguntil his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, paved the way for the abolition of slavery.

In 1840, Lincoln became engaged to Mary Todd, who was from a wealthy slave-holding family in Lexington, Kentucky. They met in Springfield, Illinois, in December 1839 and were engaged the following December. A wedding set for January 1, 1841, was canceled when the two broke off their engagement.  They later met again at a party and married on November 4, 1842, in the Springfield mansion of Mary’s married sister.

The couple had four children. Robert Todd Lincoln was born in 1843 and Edward Baker Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 9.53.40 PM.pngLincoln (Eddie) in 1846. Edward died on February 1, 1850, in Springfield, probably of tuberculosis. “Willie” Lincoln was born on December 21, 1850, and died of a fever on February 20, 1862. The Lincolns’ fourth son, Thomas “Tad” Lincoln, was born on April 4, 1853, and died of heart failure at the age of 18 on July 16, 1871. Robert was the only child to live to adulthood and have children.

On November 6, 1860, Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States, beating Douglas, Breckinridge, and Bell. He was the first president from the Republican Party.

On June 19, 1862, endorsed by Lincoln, Congress passed an act banning slavery on all federal territory.  Lincoln drafted the Emancipation Proclamation. In it, he stated that “as a fit and necessary military measure, on January 1, 1863, all persons held as slaves in the Confederate states will thenceforward, and forever, be free”.  The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on September 22, 1862, and put into effect on January 1, 1863.

President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre as the American Civil War was drawing to a close. The assassination occurred five days after the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.  Lincoln died at 7:22 a.m. on April 15.

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In surveys of U.S. scholars ranking presidents conducted since the 1940s, Lincoln is consistently ranked in the top three, often as number one.

Nicknames

  • The Ancient One, a nickname favored by White House insiders because of his “ancient wisdom”
  • The Great Emancipator and The Liberator for the emancipation of the slaves
  • Honest Abe
  • The Rail-Splitter
  • The Tycoon for the energetic and ambitious conduct of his Civil War administration
  • Uncle Abe for his avuncularity in his later years

Pretty INTERESTING FIND to see that I have some connection to a US President – like I said coming from Canada this line is FULL of amazing discoveries.  Only this ONE line goes back to the States, let alone all of the way back to the foundation – it’s also very exciting that in Canada I am also related to a Filles Du Row and Filled a Married – which is Canada’s equivalent of coming over on the Mayflower.

Tune in for the next blog to see what else I discover …

Namaste

T xo


Donnette Johnette Qonita

Published on Jan 19, 2017

As the Civil War continues to rage, America’s president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

 

 

On Genealogy: Whipped for Baptist Beliefs – My Connection to Rev. Obadiah Holmes

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Ok, it’s safe to say we all know that I’m a genealogy NUT, I won’t even try to deny it.  I love learning and I love history, especially when it comes to MY OWN.  They say to know where you’re going, you’ve got to know where you’ve been.  I believe in knowing the trials, tribulations and successes my family has gone through, endured, surmounted and overcome, I can better understand a part of myself – and mainly teach this to my own children and to my family.  I believe I’m the first in my family to have undertaken such an in depth look at ALL lines of our family.  Sometimes I get so excited with where each branch goes, I don’t know where to go next after I’ve followed one to something exciting.

Yesterday I wrote about my familial connection to the Salem Witch Trials and I could have and likely should have stayed with that line as original settlers to the new colony, but something else piqued my interest in another line and off I went …

adfae337-bb9f-44ca-95e6-7d0edcc42dabIn going through my photo and story hints in my Ancestry.ca site, I came across a photo that someone had posted about a distant relative by the name of Obadiah Holmes.  Being Canadian, I’m astounded to see such American roots and the importance that some of my ancestors/colonial descendants have.  I had NO IDEA who Obediah Holmes was before starting this research and this blog.  A quick check online and up came a litany of information,  videos, articles and movies/documentaries on HIM.  In all honesty, I was going to write this blog about one of Obadiah’s famous descendants, but as I researched him and his significance to American history and the Baptist church, I felt it was worth writing about.

I’ll add the link to” The American family of Rev. Obadiah Holmes”  here for you to take a look at, but, I’ll provide a brief synopsis of his ancestry:

Arrival to the New Colony:

The decade of the 1630’s so disheartened England’s Puritans that they left their homeland in shipload after shipload to create a newer and purer England far away. These were the years of the Great Puritan Migration and Obadiah Holmes also “adventured the danger of the seas to come to New England.” Holmes and his wife probably sailed from Preston (just north of Liverpool), down the River Ribble, across the Irish Sea, and into the open Atlantic. They had an extremely stormy voyage that prevented them from entering Boston harbor until six weeks had passed. Soon after landing at Boston, most likely in the summer or early fall of 1638, they made their way up the coast and settled at Salem, Massachusetts.  Later removed to Rehoboth in Plymouth Colony.

Obadiah is said to have brought the first pendulum clock to America. This timepiece, one of the first of the kind ever constructed, is still doing duty in the cabinet of the Long Island and Historical Society, Brooklyn, having been presented to them by John Holmes Baker, Esq., a descendant.

Born Obadiah was born/baptized March 18, 1610 in Didsbury Chapel, County of Lancashire, England.  His father, Robert, was 31 and his mother, Katherine, was 26.
Died 15 October 1682 at Newport, Rhode island
Resting place Holmes Cemetery, Middletown, Rhode Island
Education It is said that he attended Oxford in England, but it is not certain if he graduated.
Occupation

The young Salem settlement encouraged Obadiah and his co-workers in the development of what may have been the first glass factory in North America. They made the common window glass.

Obadiah performed other duties befitting a good citizen; he surveyed and set boundaries for the land of another citizen.

In February, 1643; he accepted an appointment by the town in September 1644 to cut and gather firewood for the church elders.

He often served on juries during his years of residence at Salem.

He succeeded Dr. John Clarke & became the minister of the First Baptist Church in America. The church at Newport was his permanent charge for more than thirty years until his death.

Spouse Married Katherine Hyde (1608 – 1682) at the age of 21.  They were married in Manchester’s Collegiate College Church on November 20, 1630.
Children John, Jonathan, Mary, Martha, Samuel, Obadiah, Lydia, John, Hopestill
Parents Robert Hulmes / Holmes (1578 – 1649)  and Katherine Johnson (1584 – 1630)
Religious Affiliations

Obadiah soon found himself disliking the rigidity of the established church. Then came the horror (for the Puritans) known as Anabaptism. The Baptist zeal in Rhode Island was immeasurably heightened by a direct infusion of English Baptists from abroad. They were convinced that immersion or “dipping” was the only proper form of baptism. This innovation brought conflict and irritation to the Puritans, but brought peace and serenity, at last, to Obadiah Holmes.

He was Baptized with the “new baptism” along with 8 others and became out and out Baptists, with Obadiah becoming their leader and pastor. Obadiah took the irrevocable step toward separation from New England’s official way. It took three years for the membership of the Rehoboth church to become divided on doctrinal and legal lines and become aligned behind the minister and Obadiah as the respective leaders. Obadiah’s conversion to the distinctive views of the Baptists was developed here. He became the leader of the Schismatists (he formal separation of a church into two churches or the secession of a group owing to doctrinal and other differences).

Rev. Obadiah Holmes was a Baptist minister at a time when Baptists were barred from worshipping in the colony of Massachusetts.

A grand jury — included William Bradford, John Alden and Miles Standish — indicted Obadiah Holmes for heresy. He and his family left Plymouth for Newport, R.I., in 1650.

Fateful Trip to Lynn, Massachusetts

On July 16, 1651, Dr. John Clarke (pastor of the Baptist church in Newport, Rhode Island), John Crandall and Obadiah Holmes walked 80 miles from Newport, RI to Massachusetts.  The purpose of the visit was to bring spiritual comfort and communion to William Witter, a blind and aged Baptist who had invited the three to come to his house. The broader purpose was, of course, an evangelical one: to tell of the new baptism and its importance. The word was proclaimed, converts were baptized, the elements of the Lord’s Supper were served all of this done privately in William Witter’s home.  I

On Sunday, July 20, they were holding church services to a small congregation. While Dr. Clarke was reading passages of scripture, two constables, with a warrant for the 3 visitors, broke in on the scene. The offence charged against them was conducting religious services in non-conformity with the statutes. The 3 Rhode Islanders were placed under arrest and taken to the local Anchor Tavern, to be fed and to await their scheduled appearance before the General Court, early the next morning. 

In the morning, after a brief appearance before Robert Bridges in Lynn, Mass, the evangelists were sent to Boston for trial. The authorities denied the defendants the opportunity to offer a defence, they simply read the charges and imposed the fines. The court order for commitment to prison, indicated essentially four complaints against the “strangers”. They had offended by (a) conducting a private worship service at the same time as the town’s public worship; (b) “offensively disturbing” the public meeting in Lynn; (c) more seriously, “seducing and drawing aside others after their erroneous judgment and practices”; and (d) “neglecting or refusing to give in sufficient security for their appearance” at the next meeting of the county court.  

The same charges were levied against all three men, all of whom fell under the proscription of the 1645 law against Anabaptists. Clarke, was fined £20; Crandall, as a tag-along and largely silent companion, was fined only £5. Obadiah Holmes, already under the cloud of excommunication from the church in Rehoboth, received the largest fine of £30. Should they not wish to pay the set fines, they had an alternative: the culprit was to be “well whipped”. 

Holmes refused to accept the offer of friends to pay his fine, believing it would be an admission of guilt, making it a matter of his conscience and scruples. He remained in prison from July till September.  

The Whipping

On September 5, 1651, Obadiah was taken from the jail, outside to the market place, where Magistrate Increase Nowell told the “executioner” to strip Obadiah naked down to the waist after he refused to disrobe himself, saying “that for all Boston I would not give my bodie into their hands to be bruised upon another account, yet upon this I would not give the hundredth part of a Wampon Peaque to free it out of their hands, and that I made as much conscience of unbuttoning one button, as I did of paying the £30 in reference thereunto.” He was then tied to the post and publicly flogged at Devonshire & State Streets in Boston, just because he was a Baptist.  

There were thirty strokes (which was 10 lashings short of a death sentence), with a three-cord whip, Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 4.21.20 PMheld by the executioner – one lash for each pound he owed. Holmes proclaimed, “I bless God I am counted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus.” Though he received 30 lashes, to his bare back, Obadiah is said to not have let out a groan or scream – after the whipping he uttered the words “You have struck me as with roses.”  

After the flogging and out from the crowd came forward to offer their sympathy and shake Obadiah’s hand.  John Spur and John Hazel were promptly arrested and jailed.  Obadiah’s testimony deeply affected Harvard’s President, Henry Dunster.  For weeks and weeks after the flogging had to sleep on knees and elbows. 

Life After Religious Persecution

Obadiah returned to Newport and in 1652 succeeded Dr. John Clarke. He became the minister of the First Baptist Church in America. The church at Newport was his permanent charge for more than thirty years until his death. In 1656 he was made a Freeman (in U.S. colonial times, a person not under legal restraint). He served as a Commissioner from 1656-58.

Obadiah died October 15, 1682 in Newport and was buried in his own field, where a tomb was erected to his memory (in what is now the town of Middletown). His wife did not long survive him.  He had nine children and 42 grandchildren when he died.

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Thank God for men who put principles and compassion for fellow believers above their personal safety.

Last Will & Testament

These are to signify that I, Obadiah Holmes of Newport on Rhode Island, being at present through the goodness and mercy of my God of sound memory; and, being by daily intimations put in mind of the frailty and uncertainty of this present life, do therefore – for settling my estate in this world which it has pleased the Lord to bestow upon me – make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament in manner following, committing my spirit unto the Lord that gave it to me and my body to the earth from whence it was taken, in hope and expectation that it shall thence be raised at the resurrection of the just.

Imprimis, I will that all my just debts which I owe unto any person be paid by my Executor, hereafter named, in convenient time after my decease.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Mary Brown, five pounds in money or equivalent to money.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Martha Odlin, ten pounds in the like pay.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Lydia Bowne, ten pounds.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my two grandchildren, the children of my daughter, Hopestill Taylor, five pounds each; and if either of them decease, the survivor to have ten pounds.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my son, John Holmes, ten pounds.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my son, Obadiah Holmes, ten pounds.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my grandchildren, the children of my son Samuel Holmes, ten pounds to be paid unto them in equal portions.

All these portions by me bequeathed, my will is, shall be paid by my Executor in money or equivalent to money.

Item. I give and bequeath unto all my grandchildren now living ten pounds; and ten shillings in the like pay to be laid out to each of them – a bible.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my grandchild, Martha Brown, ten pounds in the like pay.

All [of] which aforesaid legacies are to be paid by my Executor, hereafter named in manner here expressed: that is to say, the first payment to [be] paid within one year after the decease of my wife, Catherine {sic} Holmes, and twenty pounds a year until all the legacies be paid, and each to be paid according to the degree of age.

My will is and I do hereby appoint my son Jonathan Holmes my sole Executor, unto whom I have sold my land, housing, and stock for the performance of the same legacies above. And my will is that my Executor shall pay unto his mother, Catherine Holmes, if she survives and lives, the sum of twenty pounds in money or money pay for her to dispose of as she shall see cause.

Lastly, I do desire my loving friends, Mr. James Barker, Sr., Mr. Joseph Clarke, and Mr. Philip Smith, all of Newport, to be my overseers to see this my will truly performed. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this ninth day of April, 1681.

Obadiah Hullme [Holmes][Seal]

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of
Edward Thurston
Weston Clarke
(Edward Thurston, Sr., and Weston Clark appeared before the Council [of Newport], December 4, 1682, and did upon their engagements [pledges] declare and own that they saw Obadiah Holmes, deceased, sign seal and deliver the above written will as his act and deed; and, at the time of his sealing hereof, he was in his perfect memory, according to the best of our understandings. Taken before the Council, as attested. Weston Clarke, Town Clerk.)

My Lineage 

Rev. Obadiah Holmes (10th Great Grand Father)

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Martha Holmes

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Hannah Audley

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Abigail Devol

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Job Milk II

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Sarah Milk

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Roger Moore

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Ambrose Richards

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George Richards

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Ambrose Richards

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Benjamin Richards

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Patrick Richards

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MOI

 

Conclusion

This was an interesting person to research, I had no idea that I was connected to such a significant man/family.  It’s warning to see how revered he is in the Baptist community.

Stay tuned for the original reason I was going to write about Obadiah – his most famous descendant …. any guesses on who it is?

Namaste

T xo

 


Baptist History and Heritage Documentary: Obadiah Holmes

This is a clip taken from a Baptist history documentary produced by Our Baptist Heritage. For more information go to http://www.ourbaptistheritage.org

 

On Genealogy: Salem Witch Trial Connection

Late last night, I couldn’t sleep, I decided to do a bit of digging on some hew “hints” on my Ancestry.ca site and take closer look into my DNA profile.

A while back I posted a blog called “On Genealogy: My Quaker Connection; Descendant of John Milk, British Colonial America, 1662” which traced my roots back to colonial America.  I had an inclination based on that research that were was going to be a lot of interesting genealogical & historical facts and significance coming out of this line – and there it was – I found my first nugget.  A connection to the Salem witch trials.

salem631The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts (The Massachusetts Bay Colony) between February 1692 and May 1693. They say that between 150 and 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the Devil’s magic. As a wave of hysteria spread throughout the Puritan colony, a special court convened to hear the cases.  Assembled on the bench were “people of the best prudence and figure that could be pitched upon.” Examinations took place in Salem Village (present-day Danvers, Massachusetts). The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, fourteen of them women, and all but one by hanging. Five others (including two infant children) died in prison.

Most of the convictions and executions were grounded on testimony of spectral evidence. Spectral evidence is evidence based on visions and dreams of the actions of a witch’s spirit or specter, i.e. the testimony about what an accused person’s spirit did, rather than actions of the accused person in the body.  Opposition by the contemporary clergy to the use of spectral evidence didn’t mean the clergy did not believe that specters were real.  They believed, rather, that the devil could use specters to possess and get them to act against their own will. That Satan possessed a person was not evidence that the person had consented.  Crazy to think of in this day and age, isn’t it??

In terms of my relation – in late January/early February of 1693, the Court sat in Charlestown, Middlesex County, and held grand juries and tried five people: Sarah Cole (of Lynn), Lydia Dustin & Sarah Dustin, Mary Taylor and Mary Toothaker.

List of the Afflicted

Name Location
Alice Booth Unknown
Elizabeth Booth Salem Village
Sarah Bridges Andover
William Brage Salem Town
Mary Brown Reading
Sarah Churchill Salem Village
Johanna Dod Marblehead
John Doritch Unknown
Mary Fitch Gloucester
Rose Foster Andover
Goodhall Probably Salem Village
Benjamin Goodwin Boston
John Goodwin, Jr. Boston
Martha Goodwin Boston
Mercy Goodwin Boston
Mary Herrick Wenham
Mary Hill Salem Town
Elizabeth Hubbard Salem Village
John Indian Salem Village
Elizabeth Knapp Groton
Mary Lacey, Jr. Andover
Mercy Lewis Salem Village
Mary Marshall Reading
Abigail Martin Andover
Elizabeth Parris Salem Village
Hanna Perley Topsfield
Sarah Phelps Andover
Bethshaa Pope Probably Salem Village
Ann Putnam, Jr. Salem Village
Ann Putnam, Sr. Salem Village
Margaret Rule Boston
Susannah Sheldon Salem Village
Mercy Short Boston
Martha Sprague Boxford
Tituba Salem Village
Rebecca Towne Topsfield
Peter Tuft’s maidservant Charlestown
Sarah Vibber Wenham
Mary Walcott Salem Village
Mary Warren Salem Village
Elizabeth Weston Reading
Rebecca Wilkins Salem Village
Abigail Williams Salem Village

My Lineage

Elizabeth WESTON (9th Great Grandmother)

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John WESTON

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Sarah WESTON

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John MILK II

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Job MILK II

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Job MILK I

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Jedidiah MOORE

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Dudley MOORE

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Roger MOORE

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Olive MOORE

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George RICHARDS

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Ambrose RICHARDS

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Benjamin RICHARDS

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Patrick RICHARDS

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MYSELF

The Afflicted: Elizabeth Weston

From the linage tree above, you probably noticed that my ancestral connection lies with Elizabeth Weston, daughter of John Weston of Reading.  She accused Sarah Dustin of tormenting her and was held for trial.

Her father, John Westing was born 

Place of Burial: His gravestone in the graveyard shows that he was one of the founders of the church (the First Church of Salem, MA).
Immediate Family: Son of John Weston, II and Martha Weston
Husband of Sarah Weston
Father of John Weston; Sarah Milk; Mary Weston; John Weston; Samuel Weston and 16 others
Brother of Henry Weston, I; Thomas Westonand Francis Weston
Occupation: Owned Sailing Vessels, 1644 emigration (Stow Away), Fought in King Phiilips’ War

I will write separately on John Weston in another blog as HE is the IMMIGRANT ancestor of this line and researching this has lead me to discover other interesting facts about Mr. Weston.

Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 1.46.55 PMAccused of Witchcraft:  Sarah Dustin

Lydia Dustin/Dastin (1626? – March 10, 1693), was a resident of Reading (Redding), Massachusetts, she was arrested on April 30.  She was examined on May 2 by magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne, on the same day as Sarah Morey, Susannah Martin, and Dorcas Hoar were examined. She was then sent to Boston’s jail.

Lydia’s daughter Sarah Dustin was the next in the family accused and arrested, followed by Lydia’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Colson. Lydia’s daughter Mary Colson (Elizabeth Colson’s mother), was also accused; she was examined but not indicted.

Sarah Dustin/Dastin was the unmarried daughter of Lydia Dustin. Her father was Joshia Dustin, who had been one of the founders and leading land owners of Reading, Massachusetts. She was arrested for witchcraft and for tormenting and afflicting Elizabeth Weston, the daughter of John Weston of Reading.

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Excepts from the book The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege.  By Marilynne K. Roach

Judgement

Both Lydia and Sarah were found not guilty by the Superior Court of Judicature, Court of Assize and General Gaol Delivery in January or February, 1693, after the initial trials had been suspended when criticized for their use of spectral evidence. However, they could not be released until they paid jail fees. Lydia Dustin died still in jail on March 10, 1693.  Because of this she is included on lists of those who died as part of the Salem witchcraft accusations and trials.  Sarah, must have found a way to pay and was released. Nothing more is known of her.

Ruling in the Case of Sarah Dustin 

      Sarah Dastin of Reding in the County of Midlesex being Indicted by the Jurors for our Soveraigne Lord & Lady the King and Queen upon their Oathes by one Indictment That is to say. For that the said Sarah Dastin of Reding in the County of Midlesex single woman on or about the month of May in the year 1692 And divers other dayes and times as well before as after certain detestable arts called Witchcraft and Sorceries wickedly mallitiously & feloneously hath used practised and Exercised at and in the Towne of Reding in the County of Midlesex aforesaid upon and against one Elizabeth Weston of Reding daughter of John Weston of Reding by which wicked Arts the said Elizabeth Weston the day and year afores’d and divers other dayes and times as well before as after was afflicted tortured tormented pined and wasted against the peace of our Soveraigne Lord & Lady the King & Queen their Crowne and dignity and the Lawes in that case made and provided. Upon the aforesaid Indictment the said Sarah Dastin was then and there before the Justices of our Lord and Lady the King and Queen aforesaid Araigned & upon her Arraignement she did then and there the day and year aforesaid plead to the said Indictment Not Guilty and put her selfe upon Tryall by God and the Country.

     Jury Sworn

      Mr Samuel Hunting

      Samuel Whitmore

      Nathaniel Bassam

      Stephen Willis

      Henry Green

      James Lowden

      Nathaniel Cooledge

      Thomas Welch Jun’r

      Daniel Dean

      Samuel Jenison

      Joseph Willson

      Josiah Convers

     A Jury being called Samuel Hunting foreman and accordingly sworne no exception being made by the Prisoner The Indictment being read together with the evidences And the prisoners defence being heard The Jury went out to agree upon their verdict Who returning did then and there in open Court deliver their verdict That the said Sarah Dastin was Not Guilty of the felony by witchcraft for which shee stood Indicted in and by the said Indictment.

     The Court Ordered the said Sarah Dastin to be discharged paying her fees.

     Anno RR’s et Reginae Gulielmi et Mariae Quinto At a Superiour Court of Judicature Court of Assize & General Goal Delivery held at Boston for the County of Suffolk on the 16930425 25’th day of Aprill 1693

     Present:  William Stoughton Esq’r Chief Justice, Thomas Danforth Esq’r, John Richards Esq’ & Samuel Sewell Eq’r

 

Bridget-Bishop-Salem-83931673A-56b82fb25f9b5829f83daeb9

 “He wondered at the atrocities human kind was capable of committing. The majority of those housed below were ill, mentally or physically, not witches. Most were poor victims–the outcasts of society; or the opposite, people so blessed, others coveted their lives.”
― Brynn Chapman, Where Bluebirds Fly

I find it an interesting familial connection to this dark piece of American history.  The Salem witch trials remain a profoundly important chapter in American history.  Over 300 years after the final hanging took place, I plan on driving down to Boston & Salem this coming Summer to see, in person, the remnants of Salem’s dark summer of 1692.  Of course, I will blog of my adventures & research there – stay tuned …

Namaste

T xo

 


Lolip Kindo – Published on Aug 2, 2015

National Geographic Documentary 2015 Salems Witch Trial Witchcraft & Witchhunt Full Documentary HD National Geographic Documentary 2015 Salems Witch .

 

 

On Genealogy:  Great Scott! My SCOTTISH Roots, Descendants of Andrew McKenzie

scottish-drives-02

Today’s blog #7 on genealogy features my SCOTTISH roots.  Before my AncestryDNA results, I hadn’t spent too much time on this line – it follows my father’s line – through my 3x grand father George Richards’ wife, Cecelia —>  see tree below.

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I assumed we had some Scottish in us given my GGG Gramma’s last name was McKenzie.  But I hadn’t spent all that much time on this line yet.  Not because I didn’t think it wouldn’t be interesting, just that I have my hands in so many different lines at the moment that sometimes I bounce around and forget to go back to a line I started.

Ok, let’s get started ….


Generation 1 

ANDREW MCKENZIE married ELIZABETH (last name unknown).

At this stage I can’t confirm who the immigrant family was.  Was it Andrew and Elizabeth who brought over Andrew or did Andrew Jr leave his family behind in Scotland for Canada?


Generation 2

ANDREW MCKENZIE II was born about 1809 in Scotland. He died on Oct 16 1881 of “Lung Congestion” – likely Pneumonia which he suffered from for a period of 10 weeks. The Death Certificate says he was a “Bookseller” in Almonte, Ontario.

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Andrew’s Death Record – 1881

He married (1) AGNES LECKIE on 21 Oct 1836 in Ramsay Township, Ontario. She was born about 1813 in Scotland. She died on 27 Feb 1875.

He then married (2) JANET GREVILLE TOSHACK on 08 Jan 1877 in Almonte, Ontario, daughter of William and Margaret. She was born about 1821. She died on 15 Nov 1893 in Ottawa, Ontario.

He emigrated from Scotland before 1836, but actual date is unknown.  I am unable to locate any records of his immigration to Canada, but records were not commonly kept during that time frame.  We also know that he was one of the original settlers in Lancaster County, Ontario, Canada.

In 1861 we find him living as the Head of Household in the County of Renfrew, Ontario. The census information notes that he is Scottish,  is a Labourer and is a member of the Free Church. The Free Church of Scotland was formed by Evangelicals who broke from the Church of Scotland in 1843 in protest against what they regarded as the state’s encroachment on the spiritual independence of the Church.

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——————–
Almonte Gazette, Friday, October 28, 1881: 

OBITUARY: Another old settler has gone to his last rest. Mr. Andrew McKenzie died of congestion of the lungs at his residence in Almonte on the 17th Oct., 1881, aged 72 years. Mr. McKenzie was for over twenty years a *colporteur in the service of the Ottawa Valley Branch Bible Society. In the winter time he visited the shanties in the Ottawa Valley, selling bibles to the shantymen, and speaking to them of Him who came to seek and save the lost. Dreary and long were the journeys he often took, and many were the hardships he endured, and the dangers he escaped as he passed from shanty to shanty. But his work is done, and we doubt not but he has received his Master’s approval, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Lord, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” 

* A colporteur is a peddler of devotional literature.

The Renfrew Mercury, Friday, October 21, 1881:  DEAD – The corpse of Mr. A. Mackenzie, the colporteur, a former resident of Renfrew, was taken through the village on Tuesday, from Almonte, for interment in Admaston.

Andrew is mentioned in the blog Up and Down the Shantymen Used to Roam, posted on February 6, 2017 by lindaseccaspina.

Note for Andrew McKenzie:  Admaston Cemetery records show Georgina McKenzie Brown, wife of John Brown, born June 11, 1850, died March 4, 1939. It is probable that Georgina is the daughter of Andrew and Agnes since Andrew’s will mentions Georgina Brown, wife of John Brown. The will of Andrew’s second wife, Janet, refers to “Mrs. John Brown”. Georgina’s relationship to Andrew has to be verified but she is included with his children based on the circumstantial evidence in the estate files.


Generation 3

CECILIA MCKENZIE was born on 09 Dec 1851 in Ontario. She died on 12 Sep 1921 in Mattawa, Ontario. She married GEORGE RICHARDS in 1886 in Mattawa, Ontario, son of Ambrose Abraham Richards and Olive Moore. He was born on 26 Jul 1858 in Eardley Township, Ottawa County, Quebec. He died on 25 Apr 1942. Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 11.15.40 PM

1881 Census:  George Richards, married, 23, born: in Ontario, Scottish, Farmer, Presbyterian. Rosy Richards, married, 19, Irish, born in Ontario, Presbyterian.

The next entry on this census is the family of Donald and Agnes Fraser. We find Cecelia McKenzie living there, with her sister Agnes, at the time. She and George likely knew one another and married after the death of his first wife, Rosy.  Cecelia was employed as a Seamstress.

Their son, Ambrose Richards was born in 1885 (according to his death certificate), however Cecelia and George were married in 1888.  Some 3 years later, was he born out of wedlock?


Generation 4

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Ambrose driving the grinder & Cecelia McKenzie – Richards Farm abt 1914

AMBROSE RICHARDS (B: Dec 12 1887 – Mattawa Ontario, D: 1957 – Mattawa Ontario) m. BRIDGET ANGELINA MULLEN (B: Jan 3 1887 – Vinton, Québec, D: April 10 1976 – Témiscaming, Québec) on 20 Nov 1912 in Sacre Coeur Parish, Sturgeon Falls, Nipissing, Ontario.

Of interest, Ambrose converted to Roman Catholic from Presbyterianism – apparently to marry Lina as he was baptized only 10 days before they were married.Godparents were Denis Leaghy & Mary Brown.

He was baptized Catholic on 10 Nov 1912 • Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, Canada.  


Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 11.32.53 PM.pngGeneration 5

BENJAMIN GEORGE RICHARDS (B: Feb 10 1916 – Sturgeon Falls Ontario, D: June 17 1977 –Montréal, Québec) m. SARAH ANN LEE (B: Dec 7 1922 – Meltham Mills, Yorkshire England, D: March 1993 – Montréal, Quebec)

Refer to my blogs on the LEE family and Pte. Benjamin Richards for details about my grandparents.


Generation 6

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 11.39.37 PM.png

 

PATRICK JAMES RICHARDS (B: Jan 15 1954 – Témiscaming Québec, D: Nov 18 2014 – Témiscaming, Québec) m.  MONA ROSE LAMOTHE (B: Jan 20 1956 – Bonfield Ontario, D: —-)


Generation 7

MOI – TINA RICHARDS

~ A thread will tie an honest man better than a chain a rogue – Scottish Proverb

Namaste

T xo

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On Genealogy: My Genetic Ancestry DNA Results Are In!

maxresdefaultI know I already posted a blog today.  But, as I was walking out the door, I got an email from Ancestry that my DNA results were in and I had to check them stat!

If you’ve been a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll likely know that I’ve been working hard on my family tree and tracing my roots.  I’ve come across some interesting finds along the way, some of which I have posted, others whose blogs I continue to work on and others which I continue to dig into the past to verify facts.

About DNA Testing:

genealogical DNA test is a DNA-based test which looks at specific locations of a person’s genome in order to determine ancestral ethnicity and genealogical relationships.  AncestryDNA utilizes some of the latest autosomal testing technology to revolutionize the way you discover your family history. This service utilizes advanced DNA science to predict your genetic ethnicity and help you find new family connections. It maps ethnicity going back multiple generations and provides insight

I chose to use AncestryDNA since I already use their services for my family tree.  The AncestryDNA test analyzes your entire genome—all 23 pairs of chromosomes—as opposed to only looking at the Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA (which makes other types of tests gender specific). Your autosomal chromosomes carry genetic information from both your parents that’s passed down through the generations.

Genealogical DNA tests do not give information about medical conditions or diseases.

The Process:

Taking a genealogical DNA test requires the submission of a DNA sample. The process of DNA testing is fairly simple and relatively inexpensive, I paid $129.00.  The DNA kit was sent to me via Ancestry, at which time I did a spit test (accumulated my saliva into a tube, to the fill line).  Once that was completed, I put everything back into the self-addressed stamped box and mailed it to Ireland for processing.

On May 10 2017, they acknowledged receiving my sample, and that they were sent to the processing lab on June 13 2017.

Today, I was finally notified that my results are in … I have been waiting a little over two months for this!   I haven’t looked at the results on my Ancestry.ca account yet.  I have a pretty good idea of what to expect because of all of the work I’ve been doing on my family tree lately, but, I’m going to take a gander here and see how close I am when I read the results.

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 11.18.29 AM

My Presumptions:

British and French: I know that we have roots dating back the to the 1500/1600’s coming from France and Britain, so I am expecting to see some of those genes appear in the results.

I also know that we have some Scot, Irish and perhaps Nordic blood.  The Norman DNA may show up as Scandinavian of some sort.  I am assuming this because the line I am tracing at the moment indicates that there was some land purchases made by one of my ancestors from William the Conquerors half brother, and Nord, British mixing was common at the time.

I also know that we are Native American because I have posted on that already.

The percentages and other lines however, that I am unsure – so I am very curious about this.

The Results:

Ok, let’s see how close I was.  And, the results are …. Drum Roll PLEASE …..

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My ethnicity estimate shows where my ancestors came from hundreds to thousands of years ago.  Ancestry.ca calculates it by comparing my DNA to the DNA of a reference panel of people with deep roots to specific places around the world.

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 11.24.08 AM

Genetic Communities show where my family probably lived in the past few hundred years. Ancestry created these by identifying groups of AncestryDNA members who are genetically connected to each other.

Overall Thoughts: 

On ethnicity estimate:  Very surprised that it did not pick up an First Nations, since I have lineage to prove it and I have my Algonquin status 🤷🏻‍♀️

Also, surprised that I am as much Irish and Scandinavian as I am, but at least that tells me I’m on the right path as I’m doing my research.  I did see reference of a few of my family members immigrating from Ireland including my great grandfather – so maybe there are a few more?

I’ve found no traces of Italian, Greek, Spanish or Portuguese in my tree as of yet.  I’m shocked by the only 9% French, as I have been able to trace my tree to Quebec and then back to France.

On genetic communities:  It was bang on!  The French settlement in Beauce and Montmorency are accurate with the ‘very likely’ as is the English in Yorkshire – that’s where my Gramma Sally was born before moving to Canada as a WWII War Bride in 1946.  My whole on the LEE side is from Yorkshire.

Well this was an interesting little genome experience that I am sure will help on the further discovery of my roots.

Namaste

T xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Genealogy: My Quaker Connection; Descendant of John Milk, British Colonial America, 1662

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Today’s blog on genealogy #5 is on the lineage of the Milk family.  This surname has long been associated with the county of Norfolk, England, where it appears about twenty-two times in proportion to each 10,000 of the population of that county.  There, throughout history, it has been associated with small landowners.

This is was interesting line to research and write about as I never imagined having anyone in my lineage trace back to Colonial America, never mind some who resided in Salem, Massachusetts during the Witch Trials.

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The surname MILK first appeared on record in America in 1662 with the mention of John Milk of Salem, Massachusetts in the town vital records where he was appointed as Cowherd for the town of Salem and then was chosen to chimney sweep.  Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 6.19.18 PM.png

In Colonial America in 1662, The Massachusetts Bay Colony’s charter was accepted by England as long as they extended the vote to all landowners and allowed for freedom of worship for Anglicans.

The home of John Milk was listed in “(Rambles in Old Boston, by Rev, Edward G. Porter, 1887, p.288.) It was built some fifty years earlier than the Paul Revere home some 300 feet away across a little Square from the corner of Sun Court and Moon Street, just south of the Old North Church and North of Faneuil Hall “the Cradle of Liberty” near Milk Street.

IMMIGRANT Family 

John Milk I  (B: 1640 Norfolk, England, D: Nov 26 1689 – Salem, Massachusetts) m. Sarah Weston (Wesson) (B: 1656 – Salem, Massachusetts, D: 1685 – Salem, Massachusetts) on m. 3 APR 1665

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From the Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988

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John Milk I died on Nov 26 1689.  The following is his Last Will & Testament:

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FIRST Generation

John Milk II: (B: Jan 8 1668 – Salem, Massachusetts, D: 1720 Boston, Massachusetts), shipwright, married:

(1) Elizabeth Hempfield (1670 – 1707), daughter of Edmund Hempfield of Salem, on 20 Aug. 1689.

Children of first marriage

  • John Milk, b. abt. 1690, died young
  • Job Milk

(2)  Mary Scolly (Scolby) at Boston, 30 Oct. 1707, who subsequently married Francis Hudson abt ******

Children of second marriage:

  • John Milk III, b. 23 June 1708/09, m. Jane Marvin (Marvel)
  • James Milk, b. 31 Jan. 1710/11, m. (1)Sarah Brown ; (2) Mrs. Mollie Peering
  • Mary Jane Milk, b. abt. 1713

My lineage follows the marriage to Elizabeth Hempfield (B:  Jan 8 1668 – Salem, Massachusetts, D: 1707 – Salem, Massachusetts).

The below excerpt talks about their homestead and surrounding buildings.

 

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Close-up of 1700 map showing John Milk lot in yellow (located on current day Washington St somewhere around Federal or Bridge Streets)

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SECOND Generation

Job Milk I (B: 1695 – Salem, Massachusetts, D: 1778 in Little Compton, Newport County, Province of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations) m.  Abigail Devol (B: 1695 – Newport, Rhode Island, D: 12 Jul 1719 – Dartmouth, Massachusetts) on July 12 1719 in Little Compton, RI.  Abigail was the daughter of Johnathan + Hannah (née Audley).

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Note: The association and acceptance by the Quakers of the time, imply that Job Milk and his family were probably Quakers. Although there are no known records of this, it is recorded that Phineas Chase, who lived close to Job Milk, and was father to two of Job’s sons-in-law was a Quaker.

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Footnote:  Some information has been borrowed in part from: History And Genealogy Of The Milk-Milks Family – October 15, 2011 by Grace CroftLee MilkGrace Irene Barnhart.  This information was only borrowed for the sake of completing an accurate family portrait of my lineage to the Milk family as early settlers and not for any wage or profit.


THIRD Generation

Job Milk II (B: April 17 1725 – Dartmouth, Massachusetts, D: 1804 – Dartmouth, Massachusetts) m. Amy Fish (B: Oct 29 1729 – Dartmouth, Massachusetts, D: Belkshire, Massachusetts).  He married Amy Fish 2 Nov 1746 at Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island.  Amy Fish was born at Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts 29 Oct 1729 daughter of Thomas Fish and Mercy Mary Coggeshall .

They were the parents of 9 children:
Benjamin Milk born 1747.
Sarah Milk born 1749. 
Job Milk born 1751.
Mary Milk born 1752.
Jonathan Milk born 1755.
David Milk born 1757.
Cabel Milk born 1759.
Thomas Ambrose Milk born 1761.
Amy Milk born 1763.


FOURTH Generation

Sarah Milk (B: 1749 – D: Eardley,) m. Dudley Moore (B: 1747 – Nine Partners, Duchess, New York,  D: 1815: Eardley, (Hull) Québec). They married at Saratoga, New York .

Dudley Moore’s parents were Jedediah Moore and Dorothy Begnell (I’ll get more into the “Bicknell” story in another blog).

They were the parents of 9 children:
Sarah Moore born Abt 1769.
Jedediah Moore born Abt 1771.
Dudley Moore born 8 Aug 1773.
Roger Moore born Abt 1774. 
Benjamin Moore born Abt 1776.
Martin Moore born Abt 1779.
Job Moore born Abt 1781.
David Moore born Abt 1783.
Rebecca Moore born Abt 1785.


FIFTH Generation

Roger Moore (B: 1775 – Rutland, Vermont, D: 1860 – Napean, Ontario) m.  Sarah Hicks (B: 1775 – New York,  D: Nov 27 1872 – Québec)


SIXTH Generation

Olive Moore (B: Sept 10 1821 – Napean, Ontario, D: 1871 – Eardley, Québec) m.  Ambrose Richards (B: Feb 27 1816 – Quebec,  D: Jan 9 1864 – Eardley, Québec)

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SEVENTH Generation

George Richards (B: July 26 1859 – Eardley Quebec, D: April 16 1942 – Mattawa Ontario) m.  Cecelia McKenzie (B: Dec 9 1851 – Renfrew Ontario, D: Sept 13 1921 – Mattawa Ontario)

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EIGHTH Generation 

Ambrose Richards (B: Dec 12 1887 – Mattawa Ontario, D: 1957 – Mattawa Ontario) m. Bridget Angelina Mullen (B: Jan 3 1887 – Vinton, Québec, D: April 10 1976 – Témiscaming, Québec)

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NINTH Generation

Benjamin Richards (B: Feb 10 1916 – Sturgeon Falls Ontario, D: June 17 1977 – Montréal, Québec) m.  Sarah Ann Lee (B: Dec 7 1922 – Meltham Mills, Yorkshire England, D: March 1993 – Montréal, Quebec)


TENTH Generation

Patrick James Richards (B: Jan 15 1954 – Témiscaming Québec, D: Nov 18 2014 – Témiscaming, Québec) m.  Mona Lamothe (B: Jan 20 1956 – Bonfiled Ontario, D: —-)


ELEVENTH Generation

MOI – Tina Rose Richards


I found this helpful when trying to better understand the difference between the Quakers, the Pilgrims and the Puritans.

Pilgrims: A small group of people arrived in the New World from England on a ship named the Mayflower. They landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. Back in England, everyone had to belong to the Church of England. The Pilgrims did not want to belong to the Church of England. They were seeking religious freedom from the Church of England. 

Puritans: About 10 years later, a large group of people called the Puritans arrived in the New World, also from England. They believed everyone should belong to the Church of England or be punished. They left England and came to the New World because they believed the Church of England needed to be purified. In their opinion, the Church was embracing too many Catholic beliefs. They settled in Boston. They practiced religious intolerance. They wanted to be part of the Church of England, but they wanted the church’s beliefs purified. 

Alike: Both groups spoke English. Both groups arrived from England at about the same time. Both groups thought of themselves as Englishmen and were loyal to the King. Both groups came to the New World because of their disagreement with the Church of England.

Quakers: There was another religious group in the colonies called the Quakers. They also disagreed with the Church of England. Many Quakers left England for the New World. They settled in Pennsylvania in the 1600s. There, they practiced religious freedom for everyone. People were free to believe what they wanted and talk to God in their own way. People from all over Europe poured into their communities, seeking religious freedom. The Quakers believed that violence was not the way to solve problems. The Quakers were known as “The Friends”.

 

Namaste

T xo

Featured Image Photo Cred: Map of Salem Village in 1692 physical features, and the dwellings of prominent and important residents in Salem during 1692.

On Genealogy: Story of Pte. Émile Lamothe

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 10.16.14 PMGenealogy story #4 features my Great Grand Father, Émile Lamothe, whom I called Grand-Pépère Lamothe.  I figured since my last two blogs featured the other Veterans in my family, that I’d continue on that note.

Cleophas Émile Lamothe was born on June 10, 1897, in Bonfield, Ontario to Marie Louise Charron, age 38, and Joseph Magloire Lamothe, age 42.  For those of you who don’t know where Bonfield is (and I don’t blame you, I’d actually be more surprised if you actually knew where it was), it’s a small township in Northeastern Ontario, located on the north shore of Lake Nosbonsing in Nipissing District.

Émile enlisted on May 13 1918 to the 1st Depot Batallion, 1st Central Ontario Regiment. Regimental #3037591.

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 11.53.15 PMThere was some question as to whether he volunteered or whether he was drafted.  So, I did some research – turns out volunteers for the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) were questioned at the place of enlistment to complete the two-sided Attestation papers which included the recruit’s name and address, next-of-kin, date and place of birth, occupation, previous military service, and distinguishing physical characteristics. Recruits were asked to sign their Attestation papers, indicating their willingness to serve overseas. By contrast, men who were drafted into the CEF under the provisions of the Military Service Act (1917) completed a far simpler one-sided form which included their name, date of recruitment, and compliance with requirements for registration.  Having reviewed his Attestation Papers/Particulars of Recruit – I was able to deduct that Grand-Pépère volunteered his services.

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 8.59.58 PMÉmile was short in stature, only 5’2.5″ and was 20 years and 11 months old when he enlisted.  He was noted as being single and a Farmer.  He was listed a Class One, Category A2.

Assessments were made by medical officers as to the suitability of men to perform military duties. A system of lettering and numbering was devised to enable a mans abilities to be quickly noted. Class One meant he was single and Category A meant that he was able to march, see to shoot, hear well and stand active service conditions.  The 2 meant that he was fit for dispatching overseas as regards to physical and mental health but required training.

The other thing I wanted to investigate further was  the Depot Battalion.  At first I had no idea what a Depot Battalion even was.  It turns out that in 1917-1918, when it was no longer possible to recruit enough men for infantry battalions, depot battalions were organized in Canada to obtain personnel who would then be sent to the Canadian Reserve Battalions in England.

Émile was initially part of the 1st Depot Battalion, 1st Central Ontario Regiment.  What I have been able to find out so far is that it was authorized by General Order 89 of   September 1 1917 (see below) and by General Order 57 of 15 April 1918.  They were to reinforce the 4th, 19th, 123rd and 208th Battalions through the 3rd Canadian Reserve Battalion.  They were commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel B. H. Belson.

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His military records are quite scant to be honest and contain only about 15 documents in total.  So I’m not able to get a really good idea of what he did in The Great War or even where he was posted, not even his position is noted in his records!   All I know thus far is that on August 20 1918 he TOS (took on strength) at Bramshott Military Camp.

I don’t have his regiment’s war diaries and mobilization accounts – I will have to request them in person, but I believe I have found the reference to them and can find them at the Canadian National Archives when I go to Ottawa later this month.  However, there’s a snag – I see from his personal file that he’s noted under 3 separate regiments – 1st Depot Battalion, 1st Central Regiment, then the 1st Depot Battalion, 2nd Quebec Regiment and 1st Depot Battalion 10th Canadian Reserve Battalion.  But, I cannot decipher when he was SOS from one and TOS with another.  This is important for tracking his movement in the war diaries.

June 20 2017 Update:  Spent the day at the National Archives of Canada today.  The assistant working at the genealogy desk provided me with some information I had been seeking.  She said that as part of a depot battalion and because we can only find him in England – that he likely did not see action.  He would have been training and keeping in shape over his time in one of the military camps, in the event that he was called up to infantry for one of the battalions they were backing up.  She further added that there are not likely war diaries for depot battalions, but if there was they would not be very interesting, but that I could check the records anyway.  

 

All WWI military records are available online, so I was able to access his WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel File via Ancestry.ca (the site I am doing my family tree on).  You can also access them through the archives website.

I am just now taking in that these documents are 100 years old, I am going to post as many documents as I possibly can!


Military Records Summary

May 13 1918:  Attested at North Bay, Ontario

July 21 1918: Embarked at Québec

August 8 1918:  Arrived London, England via the S.S. Somali – she was built in 1901 by Caird & Company Greenock and served as a troop carrier in WWI

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📷: 1st August 1914  – Serving as a Hospital ship

August 20 1918: TOS (took on strength) at Bramshott a.k.a. Bramshott Military Camp, which was a temporary army camp set up on Bramshott Common, Hampshire, England during WWI. Bramshott was one of three facilities in the Aldershot Command area established by the Canadian Army. The permanent facility on both occasions was at the British Army’s Bordon Military Camp. Bramshott was one of two temporary camps set-up for additional accommodation in the lead-up to D-Day, along with Witley Camp.

November 11, 1918 – WWI ends – Armistice

Feb 19 1919:  In Ripon he was admonished and condemned to pay 1/9.5 (confirmed as 1 pound, 9 schillings, 5 pence) for losing 1 scrubber (??? What kind of post did he after the war ended that he would have that he lost a scrubber?  Did he work in a mess hall?  Did he work in a medical unit? Was it for scrubbing his boots?)  The only notation I’ve found that can be somewhat related to war is a breathing apparatus that absorbs the carbon dioxide . But I don’t think that would be it because this has specifically to do with diving.  

June 20 2017 Update:  Genealogy Assistant at National Archives advised that he literally lost a “scrubber” for cleaning.  The reason she believes this is that he was there well after the war ended and was likely involved in clean up tasks.  Given the price he was penalized to pay, she thinks it was likely a long handled scrubber.

June 14 1919: SOS (struck off strength) at Ripon – was now a part of the 10th Reserve Battalion.  He was likely transferred to this Battalion as the other battalions he was part of demobilized and returned home.

Belgic4th-bJune 23 1919:  Embarked at Liverpool on the SS Belgic. The White Star Line vessel was to be named Ceric & intended to replace Titanic in 1914. The outbreak of WWI changed all of that.  During construction, White Star decided to go with the name of Belgic IV. She was launched in Jan 1914, but was not yet completed when WWI  began later that year and the work was stopped. Belgic IV  was eventually completed in 1917, but as a troop transport and freighter rather than the passenger liner she was designed to be.

July 1 1919:  Disembarked in Halifax, NS

July 3 1919:  Discharged due to Demobilization

QUESTION:  DOES ANYONE KNOW WHY HE WOULD HAVE STAYED IN ENGLAND AS LONG AS HE DID  AFTER THE WAR HAD ENDED?

June 20 2017 Update:  While at the Canadian Archives the genealogy lady informed me that some of the troops had to stay overseas longer to clean up and pack up.  Not everyone was able to go home right after Armistice, that AND there were only a limited supply of troop ships, so everyone had to take their turns.  The sick, injured, infirmed were sent home first.  The abled bodied men, were left to clean.

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After being discharged from the military he returned to Bonfield.  He married Marcella Houle on September 27, 1927. They had three children (Thelma, Clifford and Edward) during their marriage.

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Copy of their marriage certificate – I had no idea he was a taxi driver!

When I was young we’d drive up to visit them from Kitchener, it was about a 5-6 hour drive.   They lived at 217 Yonge Street.  I haven’t been there since 1993 (the day of Grand-Mémère Lamothe’s funeral) and the house has long been sold.   I remember it was a white and light green house, with a large wrap around veranda.  I always thought the house was cool and creepy at the same time, because it was so old. It was Grand-Mémère Lamothe’s parents place – she was born there.  When you’d walk in, you’d immediately walk into the living room (to the left) and the stair case to go upstairs was  to your right, it had a white railing.  I remember Grand-Mémère rocking away in her chrome glider , by the window, watching her shows.

The room immediately to the right when you walked in the front door used to be a parlour and as a child that totally creeped me when out they told me what it had been used for, but, that was in the days well before funeral parlours. Nonetheless, I could always envision dead people in there.  I remember they’d put their Christmas tree up in there and that’s where the whole lot of us would open gifts before/after midnight mass at St. Bernadette’s.

When you walked toward the back of the house from the entrance, I recall there being a long dining table before you stepped through a single door to the kitchen.  Just before you entered the kitchen (on the right hand side) there was a cabinet, that’s where Grand-Mémère would hide all of the goodies – and where I may or may not have snuck a few extra pieces of licorice.   The kitchen must have been to be an addition,  I’m sure of it.  It was big (or seemed big for a 12 year old) and filled with white cabinets.  There was a kitchen table in there with a bench, and on the back wall was a picture of The Last Supper.  They never had a bath tub or shower in the house, we’d have to bathe in the kitchen sink.

Grand-Mémère would get up very early in the mornings – and when we’d come down she’d make us peach or maple soupan (French slang for porridge) and the best Map-O-Spread toasts.

Photos above:

  • Left  – “The cousins” (Mona, Darlene and Doreen) and their children (Mona: Tina & Darryl), (Darlene: Lisa, Francine & Stephanie), (Doreen: Sylvie, Ginette and Stephanie).  Note the green colour of the house and the laundry station.
  • Top Right – “June 1984” – Mom Mona, Me, Darryl, Grand-Pépère and Grand-Mémère and Pépère.  Note the white cabinets!
  • Bottom Right – “Grand-Pépère’s 87th Birthday” at Ma Tante Thelma and Uncle Rene’s in Bonfield.

There were two doors in the kitchen – one exiting to the veranda toward the front and the other going out the the old step up laundry washing area/ line they had (see photo above).  They never owned a dryer. Grand-Mémère did all of the laundry by hand and hung it out back on the line to dry.  Now by hand I mean, she had an old fashioned washing machine where you would wash it and then you had to take the piece of clothes and put it in a wringer and it would fall in a big bucket of clean cool water to rinse, then she would take it out of the rinse water and wring it again – so to me that is still by hand!

Coming from a generation that they did, and the house sourcing from a well, I’m sure they were afraid of the well running dry – at night time we had a large marmite (pot) at the top of the stairs to pee in, if we had to go.  Grand-Mémère would empty it when she got up in the morning.  I also remember that the rooms didn’t have doors, they had curtains – and that there were 3 bedrooms plus theirs which was at the front of the house.   Come to think of it, I don’t think I was ever in their room.

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At Grand-Pépère & Grand-Mémère Lamothe’s in Bonfield, 1981

I remember Grand-Pépère fiddling around in the back tool shed.  I remember going in there as a child and thinking “wow this place is filled with really cool old junk”. 

They had a garden out back and had a rain barrel that they’d collect water in to water their garden.

I remember the house wasn’t too far from the train tracks cause I would hear it whistling at night time.

It’s when you sit here and reminisce on your life that you wish you had the thirst for knowledge then like you do now.  The things I would love to have asked Grand-Pépère;  from 1897 to 1992 he must have seen soooo many crazy things!  He went from a seeing the first Ford Model T to a Lamborghini.  He went from coal and wood fires to electricity, telephones and tv’s all during HIS LIFETIME.  He saw two World Wars and was at one of them.  Oh the stories  Grand-Pépère would have told me as he puffed on his pipe and  sat on the front veranda.

Emile Lamothe died on April 17, 1992, in his hometown at the age of 94.

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I Googled what their house at 217 Yonge Street looks like today … disappointing – it hardly looks at all like the house in my memories.  It looks run down and dilapidated 😦

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📷: circa 2014

Namaste

T xo


GordonYYZ – Published on Feb 7, 2009

The first song off the Tragically Hip’s first self-titled EP album release from 1987.