Saturday, June 29, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Lowell of Massachusetts and Maine

Location of Bristol, England
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
My immigrant Lowell ancestor is Percival Lowell (or Lowle), who was born in England about 1570 or 1571 and died in Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, on January 8, 1664/65. He was a merchant in Bristol, Gloucestershire, before his emigration to America.

The Lowle (and Lowel) spelling is found in many of the early records, before spelling was standardized, but by the late 18th century, just about all the records spell the name Lowell.

Percival, with his wife and children, arrived in Massachusetts in June 1639, on the ship Jonathan. He was in his late 60's in age and with his extended family, moved north to Newbury, and lived to the age of about 93. Because of his age, he was not particularly active in Newbury town affairs.

His wife was Rebecca and they had ten children, all born in England. The first eight were baptized at St. Mary's Church, Portbury, Somerset: Christian, Richard, Agnes, John, Thomas, Gerard, Edward, Peter, Joan, and Anne. (Gerard and Edward died young and were buried at Portbury.) The children who are known to have immigrated with their parents are Richard, John and Joan.

Percival Lowell is buried in the First Burying Ground in Newbury.

Newbury, Essex Co., Mass.
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
I am descended from his eldest son, Richard (who was named for his paternal grandfather).

Generation 2:
Richard Lowell (1602-1682) married, in England, Margaret [unknown], who died (according to Delmar R. Lowell's 1899 genealogy) in January 1642 the day of her daughter's birth. They had two children, Percival and Rebecca. Richard re-married another Margaret and fathered two additional children, Samuel and Thomas. However, another source indicates that Richard had one wife named Margaret who survived him and fathered four children by her. In a 1670 deed, he is referred to as "gentleman."

I am descended from his oldest son, Percival (again named for his paternal grandfather).

Generation 3:
Percival Lowell (1639-after 1721) married Mary Chandler and had six children: Richard, Gideon, Samuel, Edmund, Margaret, and Johanna. In a 1670 deed, he was called a "planter." In a later record, he is referred to as a "yeoman." His name is mentioned in a 1721 deed, but there doesn't appear to be a death record for this Percival. It appears that he lived in Newbury, Massachusetts, for most, if not all of his life. I descend from his second son, Gideon.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Greeley Family Descriptions in Harry Stokes' Letters

In my blog post about the Greeley family plot at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois, I mentioned William and Elizabeth Stokes who were not family members yet were buried in the Greeley family plot. I have been in touch with Teresa, a second great niece of William and Elizabeth and, although it doesn't appear that the Stokes family was related to my ancestors, they were very close.

Teresa told me that William died two years after emigrating from Ireland, leaving his wife with an infant son, Harry. The family begged Elizabeth to return to Ireland with the baby, but she stayed in Chicago. Mother and son returned to Ireland some years later and Harry attended school in England. In 1894, he returned to Chicago alone, writing several letters to his mother who remained in Ireland. Teresa's cousin, a granddaughter of Harry's, is in possession of these letters and has given me permission to share excerpts here.

She notes that these letters were mailed from the home of Samuel S. Greeley. Many of the letters described his trip by ship and train to get to Chicago. Although his descriptions of his travels are wonderful, it is his descriptions of my Greeley family that I really enjoyed. The following is a small excerpt of all that was shared with me. The [bracketed numbers in red] indicate the family members I am able to identify. Those family members are identified below.

Weds, May 30th, writing from Mr. Greeley's home 
6pm came at last and I arrived here (Mr. Greeley's) [1] greeted with a welcome I can't describe and treated as if I was one of their best sons. You can't imagine the kindness that they've shown me. Well, after dinner Mr. Greeley (look at this for a bit of kindness) came with me to get my bags out of this hotel. I was ashamed to take him down there. Well he helped me to carry the bag, a fearful heavy bag it is too, and then we got home here and I met Louis Greeley [2], Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Greeley [3 & 4], (of course I had met old Miss G. [5] at dinner) then I went to bed and fell asleep. Had breakfast at 7 then went to bank and got money out, looked up some chaps that Jack (Hodder?) knew but couldn't find them, then I sat down and wrote you this letter, which so far has taken from 12 to 4 o'clock. Now as to the kindness and description of everything here you'll have that now. I talked to Mr. Greeley [1] last night, he said I had plenty of good letters and very good "testys" [testimonials] he is an awfully decent old chap, so awfully kind and nice and decent to me, he is a dear old chap and I believe likes me or he wouldn't have helped me with the bag, the best and dearest friend I have, then Miss G. [5] is a nice old girl, with one eye but very decent, then Louis G. [2] is a fine chap with very dark hair and good honest good natured chap too. Then Maurice G. [3] and Mrs. Maurice nice rather measly he's got spec.s and is conceited but very decent chap. Mrs. Maurice [4] is straight forward decent and jolly, she's got a little boy [6]. I've got a lovely room and am very happy but I'm afraid there isn't much chance of work for a while. I'll go look for work in earnest tomorrow. I got 3 letters from Ball (?) to very good men in town , so that's not bad. I must write to him and thank him. Also Mrs. Wells [7] who is quite well now, left an awfully kind little note for me saying she was sorry not to have seen me.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Greeley Plot Card at Graceland Cemetery

Last week, Heather Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy wrote a blog post about clues from the plot card of a family cemetery plot. I thought I would share what I recently found from a plot card from Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois, about my second great-grandfather's family plot there. I had to mail a check for $5 to Graceland Cemetery, but in addition to receiving the plot cards, I had a helpful email conversation with their researcher to fill in a few blanks. It was well worth the $5. And many cemeteries don't charge you for the information, so it is always worth it to ask.

Plot Card (page 1) for Lot 184, Section N, of Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.

1. Elizabeth S. Greeley was the oldest daughter of Samuel Sewall Greeley and his second wife, Eliza May Wells.
2. Annie N. [sic] Greeley was Samuel's first wife who died in 1864. From this card, it looks like she was likely buried elsewhere and moved to this family plot in 1868. (Her maiden name was Annie Morris Larned.)
3. Lucie Greeley, who died in 1861, was an infant daughter of Samuel and first wife, Annie, and with the sequential interment numbers, it looks like their remains were moved to Graceland together.
4. William Stokes was buried here in 1874 and his remains were moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery in 1911. More about him later.
5. Anna P. Greeley, who died at age 7, was the second daughter of Samuel and Eliza.
6. Henry S. Greeley was the third child and oldest son of Samuel and Eliza. It is noted that he died of Scarlet Fever in 1877 at the age of six. He was buried the same day he died.
7. Sarah F. Greeley and 8. Julia V. Greeley - I have not been able to figure out how these fit into the family.
9. Annie L. Greeley is a granddaughter of Samuel and first wife, Annie. She was a daughter of their oldest son, Frederick and his wife Florence Arnold. Her remains were moved to Lot 187, Section N, which I found out is in the name of Isaac N. Arnold, Florence's father. (Click here to see his Find A Grave memorial.) Both Frederick and Florence are buried in that lot, as well.
10. Louisa M. Greeley was Samuel Sewall Greeley's sister and only sibling. From what I can tell, she moved from Boston to Chicago between 1860-1870 and appears in his household until her death.
11. Elizabeth M. Stokes died and was buried here in 1910, but, with William Stokes, was moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery in 1911.

I was curious about William and Elizabeth Stokes so I searched for them in public family trees at I found a tree that had them as a married couple and I sent a message to the owner of the tree.