Saturday, September 24, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ Smith of Massachusetts and Maine

Watertown, Mass. from Wikipedia.
My immigrant Smith ancestor is Thomas Smith, who was born about 1601 and died in Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, on March 10, 1692/93 (Watertown Vital Records).

There are a few online family trees that have a birth location for Thomas Smith in England, and although I'm pretty sure he was born in England, until I see a primary source for a specific birth location, I don't plan to include it in my family tree database.

It is unclear as to when he arrived in Massachusetts, though there is a suggestion that he arrived in 1635. Robert Charles Anderson states that this Thomas Smith is no relation to other Smiths in Watertown at this time.

He was definitely in Watertown by 1637, when he was admitted as a freeman on May 17, 1637, and owned land in Watertown.

His wife was Mary Knopp, daughter of William Knopp and Judith Tue. Thomas and Mary had ten children, not all of whose births are recorded in the Watertown Vital Records.

His will was dated March 16, 1687/88, in Watertown and he died March 10, 1693. His will leaves 40 shillings to "his grand child James Smith of Pascattaqua." This indicates that this family was just north of what is now known as the New Hampshire-Maine border.

I descend from his eldest son, James (father of the grandchild James mentioned in Thomas' will).

Generation 2:
James Smith the son of Thomas and
Mary Smith born the 18th - 7 m

Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988
"Watertown, Massachusetts, Births, Marriages and Deaths." 1637 record of birth for James Smith

James was born on September 18, 1637, in Watertown, Massachusetts, to Thomas and Mary Smith.

By 1668, he was in the area of York, Maine when he appears in deed records.

York County, Maine
The U.S. Wills and Probates collection at Ancestry.com is worth the subscription price for the wealth of information that can be found for early American ancestors. Although there are several online family trees that have James Smith dying in 1701 (that's a different James Smith), I know that he died between August 10, 1687, when he wrote his will, and September 14, 1687, when his will was probated in Berwick, York County, Maine. The will bequeaths half of his land and houses to his eldest son James when he reaches the age of 21, implying that the son James was born after 1866. (A later document indicates that he was born about 1675; he was 63 in July 1738.)

Her married Martha Mills, daughter of Thomas Mills and Mary Wadleigh and had at least four children (who were mentioned in his will): James, Mary, Elizabeth, and John.

I descend from his oldest son, James, who was mentioned in his grandfather Thomas' will (as noted above).

Generation 3:
James Smith (about 1675-17??) married Martha Bragdon and had six children: Joseph, James, Daniel, Mary, Martha, and Ebenezer

I descend from his oldest son, Joseph. This James is my weakest link in this Smith ancestry.  I need to dig into probate and land records and possibly other unknown-to-me local records in order to confirm this connection with more authority.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wordless Wednesday ~ Copeland Family Circa 1904

My second cousin has digitized a bunch of old negatives and shared the images with me. I have copies of a few of them. This is the copy of one that I have:


This is the digitized negative shared with my by my cousin:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Pyles at Green-Wood Cemetery

My husband and I visited New York City last month and of course, there were visits to cemeteries. Green-Wood Cemetery, in Brooklyn, is a beautiful cemetery to visit. They have an online burial search at their website.

James Pyle is my second great-grandfather, founder of Pyle's Pearline Soap. I had seen photos of the Pyle plot at FindAGrave (start here to see James Pyle's memorial), so I knew what I was looking for.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wordless Wednesday ~ Copeland Siblings Circa 1910


Elizabeth (Betty) Copeland, born March 17, 1903; Ruth Copeland, born July 8, 1907; Lowell Townsend Copeland, born December 21, 1900.

I was able to help identify these children because I recognized my grandfather, Lowell Townsend Copeland. Thank you to second cousin, Suzanne, for sharing this photo with me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wordless Wednesday ~ Young Lowell Copeland

My great grandfather, Lowell Copeland, was born in Calais, Maine, on October 5, 1862, and died in Princeton, New Jersey, on December 24, 1935. I have collected quite a few images of him, the following framed image thanks to my second cousin, Suzanne.