Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Favorite Discovery: Eliza May Wells Daguerreotype ~ 52 Ancestors #7

This week's theme is Favorite Discovery. My favorite discoveries come from people who contact me because they found my blog and want to share something with me.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from someone who was searching the name Eliza May Wells and came across my blog post from October 2012: Wordless Wednesday: Eliza May Wells.

He shared an image of a daguerreotype with a note referencing Lucinda, Edwin, and Ruth Wells of Hopkinton, New Hampshire. I recently blogged about these three Wells siblings and that they stayed Close to Home. (It was his email that prompted me to write that post, as I was curious to find out how the three siblings died within days of each other in 1882.)

I was thrilled, as I have a carte de visite that was created from the original, which I shared with him, confirming who was in the image.

My original photo and the note on the back:

Eliza May Wells (Greeley)
Gt. gt. Aunt Lucinda Wells
Oldest sister of Thomas G. Wells

I don't know whose handwriting this is, but it might be Ethel May Greeley (Copeland) writing a note to my grandfather, Lowell T. Copeland, as Lucinda would have been his great-great aunt.

My correspondent provided me with the image of the daguerreotype (slightly cleaned up, to digitally remove some dust under the glass):

Monday, February 10, 2020

Same Name: Ruth ~ 52 Ancestors #6

This week's theme is Same Name. I have several branches of my family where I have trouble remembering different generations of ancestors because of names being repeated.

Here is a case where the name Ruth appears in seven generations. As I've noted before, a picture helps visualize this.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Maine to Minnesota: So Far Away ~ 52 Ancestors #5

This week's theme is So Far Away.

I'm always interested to see an ancestral family where one or two of the siblings move far away, leaving most of the family close to home (see last week's post at Wells Siblings Stayed Close to Home).

Joseph Smith (1773-1852) and his wife Martha Robinson (1775-1857), originally from Litchfield, Kennebec County, Maine, and who died in Lee, Penobscot County, Maine, had eleven children, born between 1795 and 1817: Sarah, Hannah, Eliphalet, Mary, Tappan, Braddock, Martha Jane, Agna, Joseph, Elijah, and Clara Augusta. Almost all of their children were born in Litchfield, Kennebec County, Maine. Most of them died in Maine. The oldest, daughter Sarah, is my third great-grandmother and I wrote about her at Matrilineal Monday and Found a Death at FindAGrave.

However, at least one of Sarah's younger brothers, Joseph, decided to move west: over 1,500 miles to Minneapolis, Minnesota. He appeared in the Minnesota territorial census in September 1857, a census that the territory had to take in order to qualify for statehood, which was official in May 1858.

In 1860, in Saint Anthony, Hennepin County, Minnesota. Joseph, age 47, was working as a carpenter and owned $200 in personal property. His 32-year-old wife, Lucy, and his four older children, Frederick, Hellen, Angus, and George, were born in Maine. The youngest, six-month-old Anna, was born in "St. A., Minn." Don't you love when a census gives you this detail!

1860 U.S. Census, Hennepin County, Minnesota, population schedule, St. Anthony, p. 58 (penned), dwelling 521, family 458, Joseph Smith; image, Ancestry ( accessed 3 February 2020); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 570.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Wells Siblings Stayed Close to Home ~ 52 Ancestors #4

This week's theme is Close to Home.

My third great-grandfather, Thomas Goodwin Wells (1804-1873), traveled from New Hampshire to California, and back to Massachusetts where he died. He was one of ten children of Dr. Thomas Goodwin Wells and Lucinda Lyman. Of these ten children, almost all of whom were born in Hopkinton, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, a few traveled hundreds of miles from New Hampshire (Georgia, Texas, California), but most remained in New Hampshire.

Siblings, Lucinda Lyman Wells (b. 1806), Edwin Ruthwin Wells (b. 1814), and Ruth Lyman Wells (b. 1816), all remained in Hopkinton, where they died within days of each other in 1882.

Brother, Edwin, actually did move around during his lifetime; he lived in Pittsburgh, California, and Georgia, before returning to New Hampshire. The two sisters, Lucinda and Ruth, lived together in Hopkinton for their entire lives.

This newspaper article from the Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers database (accessed using my subscription) lists each of the siblings who died within a week of each other in March 1882.

"Fatality from Pneumonia," Independent Statesman (Concord, New Hampshire), 23 March 1882, p. 196, col. 8;
digital images, Gale Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers via AmericanAncestors ( : accessed 25 January 2020).
"Mrs. Long," the surviving sibling in this household, was Marcia Emeline Wells, widow of Edward Long, who survived her brother and sisters by just over seven years.

Many members of the family are buried at Old Hopkinton Cemetery in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. The FindAGrave memorial for Edwin shows links to memorials for his parents and siblings.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Long Lines of Stantons ~ 52 Ancestors #3

This week's theme is Long Line. I have a lot of colonial New England ancestors and I thought I'd share my Stanton lines in a "Surname Saturday" styled post.

Generation 1: Thomas Stanton (1617-1677) married Anna Lord (1614-1688) about 1636 probably in Connecticut.

Stonington within New London, Conn.
image courtesy Wikipedia
Thomas Stanton has been written about extensively. He likely arrived in Massachusetts in 1635 and was in Hartford, Connecticut by 1636, as one of its original settlers. About 1651, he and his family moved to New London, Connecticut, and a few years later, moved to the area now known as Stonington, Connecticut. He and his family owned land on both sides of the Pawcatuck River which now divides Connecticut and Rhode Island. Many descendants were recorded as living in Stonington, but a few were recorded as living in Westerly, Rhode Island.

One of Thomas's special skills was that he mastered Indian dialects very quickly, which made him very helpful in negotiating with Indians. In 1643, he was appointed Indian Interpreter for all of New England by the Commissioners of the United Colonies.

There is a Thomas Stanton Society which is an organization with membership for those who can show that they descend from him and has a separate membership for those who cannot meet the pedigree requirement. (I am not a member.) Their website provides a lot of information about him and offers many resources for research.

Thomas Stanton died December 2, 1677, and is buried in Stonington. His FindAGrave memorial has additional information about him, as well as the memorials of his ten children linked to him (even though they don't all have burial locations).

Thomas and Anna had ten known children, and I descend from their sons Joseph, Robert, and Samuel.