“It seems that we had a witch in the family”

October 24, 2013

I have been reviewing some data in my genealogy database management program of late, because I found a “new cousin”. This new cousin had a blog called The Barefoot Genealogist. She also can be found on her YouTube Channel. I have actually had the pleasure of meeting her in person.

In one of her online events, I saw a place name and several surnames that I am very familiar with. I did a blog post on that not too long ago.  Re-Read what you have That really talks about what I am doing with my database.

I am re-looking at about 100 Family Group Sheets that I was given by a cousin who has been doing family research for years. In fact my Grandfather’s brother’s family all have been part of this work. About 15 years ago, we even gathered “to tell stories”. My notes reflect that I worked with these Family Group Sheets 13 years ago. Documented everything AND cited my sources.

My major task was to move the source information into the appropriate Evidence Explained format. But because of who the Barefoot Genealogists is, I thought I better get my act together. In doing so, I looked at every Family Group Sheet that I have, but focusing on this specific “line” to make sure I captured everything. I didn’t miss much the first time. In fact, I hadn’t done too bad of a job. But my genealogy database management program has added many features, I wanted to make sure I had the data entered to take advantage of those features.

Note where notes belong, research notes where they belong, remove timelines as my software can do that more accurately, and really identify the source material that made up the research for these Family Group Sheets.

But then, I came across a NOTE that I must not have read, as it’s not in my file, but its on one of the pages with the Family Group Sheets. The note said: 1

“It seems that we had a witch in the family”

Halloween

In an article (not documented yet) is has terms like “Widow Burt”, “old goody Burt”, “awld wich” in it. It talks about a complaint against her “for witchcraft”. Hmmm. There was no indication that there were any actions taken against her.

But wait, this is in Lynn, Massachusetts and I am working on a line in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. Same person, same family ??? What’s going on here?

What are Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony doing in Fenwick’s Colony?

Looking around a little more in my New Jersey folks are mentions of several other families from Long Island, also within a generation moving “south”. So, what is going on? Witches, Quakers, mid-1600’s ??

For grins and giggles my daughter did a Google Search for “Quakers In Mass”. The hint may be here.

I knew of the Puritans in Massachusetts, and that there were Quakers there as well. In fact I have “The Naked Quaker” by Diane Rapaport (Commonwealth Editions –  Carlisle, Massachusetts, 2007) sitting on my bookshelf, in my Must Read section of my library. But it’s what I didn’t know that the Google Search helped me understand.

They didn’t like one another, I guess.

Here are a couple of links:

  1. Quaker and Puritan Interactions in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

    Aug 14, 2013 – Looking specifically at the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the relationship between the Puritans and Quakers is intriguing

  2. Quakers fight for religious freedom in Puritan Massachusetts, 1656

    Massachusetts Bay Colony. Location Description: Boston and surrounding locations. View Location on Map. Goals: The Quakers (Religious Society of Friends)

  3. Boston martyrs – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Boston martyrs is the name given in Quaker tradition to the three English Mary Dyer was an English Puritan living in the Massachusetts Bay Colony at

     

  4. Mary Dyer – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    1611 — June 1, 1660) was an English Puritan turned Quaker who was hanged in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony (now in present-day Massachusetts), for

  5. First Quaker colonists land at Boston — History.com This Day in

    Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, two Englishwomen, become the first Quakers to immigrate the ship carrying them lands at Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

To name a few.

Since Salem and Lynn are on or near the water, I guess that some of the Quakers got on boats, traveled south, dropped some off in Rhode Island, maybe picked some passengers up along the way, like on Long Island. Perhaps they heard of Fenwick, in West Jersey and headed in his direction (gotta read more on this).

Something must have taken them to what is Tuckerton, New Jersey. Egg Harbor, Little Egg Harbor and found some of Fenwick’s folks in the area. I am finding the connection with Fenwick and this south Jersey area with the West Jersey Quakers. Sounds like what WAS Burlington County, West Jersey was “Quaker Friendly” as compared to Lynn, Mass.

I should mention that I made a comment on the New England Geneablogger Facebook Group about this finding, and within about 1/2 hour, I had 2 new cousins, both of whom I have met. Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy and I are 10th cousin’s according to our records.

Heather said “Just in time for Halloween!”

All of this because I “Re-Read What” I have.

1 Fayette Loomis Worthington, Worthington Family Group Sheet Collection; Fayette L Worthington, Tacoma, WA  98498, 1999.  Family Group No. 01248; dated Aug 1987. Record for Roger Bassett.


Re-Read what you have

October 4, 2013

I have made a family connection that came as a surprise. Some of you know that DearMYRTLE and I are cousins. That came about by some computer screen sharing during a couple of presentations. The new cousin, Crista Cowan, The Barefoot Genealogist was giving a presentation on livestream/ancestry, and like Myrt saw a name, location, and timeframe that I knew.

Now, this IS a challenge. Related to someone at Ancestry?

What a golden opportunity to try to demonstrate how I use a connection, through an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT), to collaborate. I live within 2 hours of the “common place”. It was a Quaker Meeting, had hoped with an attached Burial Ground, so I started to see if we had a connection. I certainly knew the Surname that got my attention, found it very quickly in my genealogy database. We shared our links to our AMTs, sure enough, not just one surname but several.

I have blogged about this in another Blog, if you are interested:

FTM2014 – Ancestry Member Tree Connection – Part 1

FTM2014 – Ancestry Member Tree Connection – Part 2

FTM2014 – Ancestry Member Tree Connection – Part 3

But, I haven’t looked at that branch for a very long time. I better get to work and clean it up, as I have been doing. So, I thought I would share a lesson, already learned in the past, GO BACK AND LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE, and I have.

I started with about 300 Family Group Sheets from my Dad’s first cousins. I worked with them over 10 years ago. So, I had all of those Family Group Sheets entered into my database.

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So, I am taking this time to Scan these Family Group Sheets, putting the Citations into the correct Source Template for this type of document. Then I go back and check that all of the facts / events on these sheets are properly cited. Although done 10 – 12 years go, I hadn’t done too bad of a job.

So, why blog about that ?

Because I also read the notes that I already had in my database. It came from this page of that Family Group Sheet.

FGS0036-3

I am sure you can’t read that, but this is what it said, that got my attention and the reason for this blog post.

“Sixty or seventy years ago [that would be ca 1800], some of the farmers of Little Egg Harbor, who had not farms for all of their sons, sent the farmless over to Philadelphia to lean the brick layers trade, and especially this was the case among the Willits; and this is the cause of so many of them being residents of that city. Those who were sober and industrious amassed clever fortunes, but those who embarked in the craft of dissipation, went down to the grave in utter destruction, “unhonored and un____”!

“Among the youngsters of Little Egg Harbor who were apprenticed to the brick layer’s trade, was Allan, son of Thomas Ridgeway, 3rd, Eben, John, and James, sons of Thomas Willits, Sr. Jeremiah [18], son of Jeremiah Willits, Sr., [36] and Archelan R., son of Timothy Pharo, Jr., also Job, Nathan and Edmond, sons of Nathan Bartlett, 2nd.”

That little, re-read note, with 10 years of learning under the belt, NOW I have a Hint about why this family left Little Egg Harbor and moved closer to Philadelphia. The family did have a large farm, and I need to go back to Little Egg Harbor to find the farm, but the mentioned children headed to Philadelphia to learn a trade. Sounds like a reasonable reason to relocate.

That last name, Nathan Bartlett, may be connected to The Barefoot Genealogist family.

Lesson Learned: Re-Read what you already have. You may have learned something between the time you entered it, or last looked at it. May have given you new eyes to see what you want to find.


Who moves at Christmas ?

December 20, 2012

Today is a big day. We close on our new house.

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Thirty years ago (1982) I moved our family from Washington, DC to Long Valley, New Jersey. Who knew that 30 years later, on the same date, I would be moving again. We have been in an apartment too long. But, it wasn’t possible to purchase a house any earlier. In a couple of hours, we will close on this house. Can’t wait.

Our cat, J.T., has been running around trying to understand what all the boxes were about. Now clue that tomorrow, his kingdom will be in a new place. 30 years ago, the kids had many boxes to open on Christmas day. Guess I’ll have to leave a couple of small boxes for J.T. to play in, when we move.

We will finally have SPACE. The two windows to the left of the door, will be the room for our Genealogy Cave. A Genea-Blogger, Bill West of http://westinnewengland.blogspot.com keeps posting, on FaceBook, pictures of his bird feeders outside of his window. I hope to be able to compete with him in a couple of days, or how ever long it takes for birds to find a new “Diner”.

For many years, my parents had a Christmas Cactus that was always in full bloom at Christmas. When my mother passed away, I took a shoot from that Cactus and brought it home with me. It has bloomed in the past and continues to grow. But, it needs room. Too many other (small) plants in the windowsill. 2 days ago, it started to bloom. It is ready for space. It will be in it’s new home this afternoon.

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This was taken a few minutes ago, in the crowded flower tray. This tray was also from my parents house. Tomorrow, this Christmas Cactus will have room to grow. The cat will have room to roam.

I think we all are ready for a new beginning.

Merry Christmas to All.


The Whitall House

September 17, 2012

I have been following a Blog, Historic Places in South Jersey, for some time and have been in contact with the Blogger. Afterall, she is a docent at my 5th Great Grandparents home. Yesterday, Sunday, I noticed this entry.

http://historicplacessj.blogspot.com/2012/09/sunday-91612-at-red-bank-battlefield.html

Gee, a Genealogy Day at the Whitall House.

House_WhitallHouse-Red_Bank-Entrance

Quickly had Patti text to Carrie, to let her know what I was doing, showered, and out the door in record time. Once again, I am reminded how nice it is go live within 4 or 5 hours from where my ancestors lived. This one is about 1 1/2 hours away.

My first item on the agenda was to meet my blogger buddy. Found her in the “hospital”.

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Finally, got to meet her in person. Way cool.

Carrie arrived, and the fun began. We went back to the “hospital” and introduced Carrie to the “nurse”.

This room was presenting what the room may have looked like, during the battle that took place at Fort Mercer, right next door. Ann Cooper Whitall opened the house to “both sides”. This, as I understand it, would not allow Carrie to join the DAR, due to recent activities that took Ann Cooper Whitall from being a Patriot, as she took in both the both sides of the war.

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In the next room, we would meet “new cousins”. A gentleman and HIS daughter, for the same reason, visiting our Ancestors home.

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We are in the “front room” with the “hospital” behind us. We would spend the next hour or so, walking through the Whitall House, sharing stories.

More photos can be seen here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hrworth/7996137965/in/photostream

Now to begin our journey in sharing our research and see how we are related. We are descendants of James (1716-1797) and Ann Cooper Whitall (1717-1808).

One item of interest, is that Ann Cooper Whitall kept a Diary and it was on display.

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More information on this historic place can be found here>

http://www.nj.searchroots.com/Gloucesterco/redbank.html

What a great day !!!


Fort McHenry, Maryland

August 10, 2012

Last weekend’s “day trip” became two Day Trips. Unfortunately, Patti was not up to the trip, but we agreed that I would make the trip to Frederick, Maryland and the celebration of Special Orders 191 (will blog later on that). Our plan was to spend the night, visit Worthington Valley, then proceed to the Worthington Reunion. (already blogged about that).

It was hot, but there was time.

Since doing my research last summer (Inferential Genealogy), I wanted to Visit Fort McHenry.

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The Howard family played a role at Fort McHenry early in the Civil War. While doing that research I realized that Frances Scott Key was in my family file. I had known of other Worthington / Key interactions in the past. There is a house in Anne Arundel County that belonged to Key and Worthington. (but that’s another story).

As you may be able to tell from the above picture, that is was a beautiful day. Fort McHenry has programs in the evenings on the weekends, War of 1812 Twilight Tattoo. Why not …. it gave me a chance to re-visit the Fort, as it’s been a number of years since I last was there AND had no pictures. Great day to visit and to that Pictures.

As may have been a tradition at Fort McHenry, in the evening, there was a gathering of the troops (Tattoo), and as was presented this evening, a band was there, along with the local “ladies”.

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The Chesapeake Concert Band and the Fort McHenry Fife & Drum Corps played for those in attendance.

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Period music was presented, including some music specifically created for Fort McHenry.

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The Traditional Canon Salute was included in the ceremony.

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So why all the fuss about Fort McHenry and Frances Scott Key? According to my database, he was the Father-in-law of my 10th Great Grand Uncle. What ??? OK, he’s distant, but still related. Looking at HOW we are related, I run into TWO, not one, but TWO Revolutionary War “Hero’s”. As reported on this Blog, John Eager Howard, grandfather of David Ridgely Howard and McHenry Howard, of Civil War fame, but also Ann Cooper Whitall, wife of James Whitall. (The Battle at Red Bank, New Jersey).

The Whitall House it across the Delaware River from Fort Mott. Another visit to the Whitall House is in order.

In this one line, I have Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War hero’s.

 

More Photo’s can be found here:


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