26 year old Edward Winslow Jr. was furious about Plymouth’s Patriots supporting Boston’s Committee of Correspondence in the aftermath of Dartmouth’s landing with a cargo of tea in Boston Harbor. He quickly wrote a point-by-point response in protest, and tried … Continue reading 13 December 1773: Edward Winslow’s Plymouth Protest
The Boston Tea Party occured on the evening of December 16, 1773. But the actions of the Boston patriots that evening were not a guarantee in the lead up to that event. The American ship Dartmouth arrived in Boston Harbor … Continue reading 7 December 1773: Plymouth Patriots Lend Support Prior to the Boston Tea Party
In the autumn of 1877, a reporter for Augusta, Maine’s Daily Kennebec Journal documented a remarkable interview with an elderly African American man known as “Parson Eason”, a former Baptist preacher with Massachusetts roots. FATHER EASON. The Man of a Century – Something of His Life and Experience. “It may not be generally known that there lives in our midst a man whose birth day dates back more than one hundred years who stands among us a living monument of a past age and whose memory travels back almost to the time when the foundations of the republic were laid … Continue reading The “Man of a Century”: Parson John Eason of Augusta, Maine
Part One: The Funeral of Lucy Stewart In the fall of 1859, an unusual obituary was published across the country: A DECIDED CHARACTER. Miss Lucy Stewart, of South Scituate [Norwell], Mass., recently died at the great age of 96 years. The following account is given of her strange personal history: Her father was a white man, a sea captain, and her mother a full-blooded Indian. She was brought up in [the Stockbridge family] one of the first families of the town of Scituate, and had, until within a year or two, lived in the family down to … Continue reading Mattakeeset Indian Lucy Stewart (1763-1859) of Norwell, Mass.
George McClellan packed his bags and left his wife and three children behind in Hanson, Massachusetts. He took the train to Boston, and disappeared. His family never knew what became of him. But of course, his story continued. He settled in Boston where had lived when he first emigrated from Nova Scotia, and he continued to work as a brick mason. In the 1900 Census, taken 13-14 June 1900, George R. McClelland (b. Jan 1846, Canada English, to father b. Canada English and mother b. Scotland, single, immigrated 1880, naturalized, brickmason, 3 months unemployed in the year) was enumerated at 6 … Continue reading Mystery Monday: The Disappearance of George McClellan: Life and Death in Boston
Imogene (Everson) McClellan was an avid genealogist. About 1903, several years after her husband George Roderic McClellan disappeared, Imogene began compiling her own genealogy. While doing so, she wrote on a small slip of paper all that she could remember about George McClellan’s immediate family, and gave it to her daughter Lillian McClellan. Lillian’s grandniece Maria McClellan discovered it years later, when she inherited Lillian’s papers. It was the first clue to discovering the origins of George Roderic McClellan. It reads: McClellan Family Dougal McClellan, son of Dougal McClellan and Mary Scott, born in Edinburg, Scotland married Christina Cameron, b. I[n]verness, Scotland Oct. … Continue reading Mystery Monday: The Disappearance of George Roderic McClellan: His Roots
Part One: Family Traditions: The Disappearance of George Roderic McClellan My grandmother’s house, the childhood home of my father, has been in the family for several generations. It holds countless memories and stories, and the story of its origin looms large in family lore. My grandmother is a McClellan from Hanson, Mass., but the introduction of the family surname to Hanson was surrounded in a century-old scandal. Built in 1903 for my great-grandmother Imogene Lillian (Everson) McClellan, the house was intended to be a fresh start for Imogene and her three children. Her husband, Nova Scotian-born (with Scottish roots) George … Continue reading Mystery Monday: The Disappearance of George Roderic McClellan
235 days ago today, on 19 May 1780, New England experienced a mysterious “Dark Day”. The sky was reported as dark or yellow, and the sun was reported as red or completely obscured. Ash filled rain fell from the sky in some areas, and some reported the smell of smoke in the air. For many it was taken as a possible sign of the coming apocalypse. Today it is believed that massive forest fires in and near present-day Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario were the cause of New England’s Dark Day. Tales from that day were passed down for generations. … Continue reading New England’s Dark Day, as later told by Jane Austin
Putting this request out: I am hoping to locate the Rev. Thomas Smith Bible. The bible of Rev. Thomas Smith (1706-1788) of Pembroke, Massachusetts was mentioned in A Memorial of Rev. Thomas Smith (Second Minister of Pembroke, Mass.) And His Descendants , Compiled by Susan Augusta Smith (Plymouth, MA: Avery & Doten, 1895). There are many references in the Smith Memorial to this bible, such as: In the bible of his son, Rev. Thomas Smith, occurs this quaint record, in his own handwriting, now dim with age and almost illegible: “My father died March 4th, 1746, it being on Saturday about … Continue reading Wishful Wednesday: Seeking the Bible of Rev. Thomas Smith of Pembroke MA
As NEHGS celebrates its 170th anniversary, this week the New England Historical and Genealogical Register launched a beautiful new format and style. This Register features my article “Descendants of John Everson of Plymouth, Massachusetts” which identifies and untangles the early Everson family of Plymouth Colony. In the 17th century, John Everson was an unwelcome transient in both Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth Colony, and he ultimately gave up custody of his three young children, who were each taken in and raised by separate Plymouth families. Very little has been published on the family up until now, and the few publications … Continue reading Surname Saturday: John Everson of Plymouth, Massachusetts
Just in time for Halloween, a bit of historical haunting debunking… By the 1820s, Dr. James Thacher of Plymouth, famed Revolutionary War surgeon and doctor, was on a mission: to provide scientific or medical explanations for superstitions he had encountered. He gathered evidence from medical journals as well as anecdotes from learned friends near and far and compiled An Essay on Demonology, Ghosts and Apparitions, And Popular Superstitions. Also, An Account of the Witchcraft Delusion at Salem, published in 1831. He reported the following story: “Were all the supposed apparitions and spectres to be met with the intrepidity displayed in … Continue reading Tombstone Tuesday: An 18th Century Graveyard “Haunting” in Hingham, Massachusetts
While performing research in Scituate, Massachusetts town records, I came across an unusual record from a town meeting (edited slightly for spelling): 25 May 1767 Upon the Petition & Request of Ebenezer Mott setting forth that he about four years ago took by indenture an apprentice named Ezekel Sprague to learn the trade of a cordwainer & to provide for him til he should arrive to the age of twenty one years he being now about 13 years old but so it is that yt Ezekel has been for some time troubled with uncommon fits and it is doubtful whether … Continue reading Amanuensis Monday: The Broken Indenture of Ezekiel Sprague Jr. of Scituate, Mass.