Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hurstmont ~ An Update

I started this blog with a post that included information about Hurstmont, the estate of my paternal great-grandparents, James Tolman Pyle and his wife, Frances Adelaide (McAlpin) Pyle.

I later shared some photos of the estate in its heyday, as well as some photos we took when we visited. This post includes a link to the June 1907 issue of American Homes and Gardens in Google Books which had an extensive article about Hurstmont, photos of which are included in the first video below.

I also found that I have an aerial photo of the estate.

Click here to read more about James Pyle and Sons successful Pyle's Pearline soap business.

Thank you to my cousin, who shared the link to a July 19, 2013, article in the Observer-Tribune (a New Jersey Hills Media Group newspaper) entitled "Three new homes OK’d for Hurstmont property in Harding". I'm glad that the current owner, an architect, was able to come to an agreement with the local Board of Adjustment that saves at least part of the mansion.

In addition, my cousin also suggested that I search on YouTube for Hurstmont and check out some videos that have been posted there. I found the following videos (really slideshows) which are from the local realtor's YouTube page. These give you a wonderful sense of the beauty of the landscape, the former grandness of the estate, and the wonderful potential of these four new and renovated properties.

Update: Because the property has been sold, the realtor's videos are no longer available to view, so I have removed the links from this post.

The former mansion will be renovated and diminished in size.

The former carriage house, which is behind and to the right of the mansion, will be renovated.

This will be a new home called the Tennis Cottage, which looks like it will be built to the right of the current driveway just after you turn off Mount Kemble Avenue.

And this will be the Garden Cottage, which looks like it will be built where the former gardens were.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Matrilineal Monday ~ Aunt Lukie, Part 1

My great-grandfather, Lowell Copeland was married twice. He married Ethel May Greeley (see her photo here) on January 1, 1900, in Winnetka, Illinois. I shared their marriage record on one of my very early blog posts. My grandfather, Lowell Townsend Copeland, was born on December 21, 1900. Two sisters followed: Elizabeth (Betty) in 1903 and Ruth in 1907.

My grandparents married on September 5, 1931. His mother, Ethel, died on October 3, 1931, at the age of 55.

Ethel's younger sister, Ruth Lyman Greeley, was born July 14, 1878, in Chicago, Illinois. She was known in the family as Aunt Lukie. Not only is she my 2nd great aunt, but she is my step-great-grandmother. (So for those in my mother's generation, she is great aunt and step-grandmother.)

By the 1910 U.S. Census, Ruth L. Greeley was living in Boston, at 15 Pinckney Street, with her mother's youngest sister, Ruth Lyman Wells (1862 - 1943) and an Irish servant.

1910 U.S. Federal Census, Boston Ward 11, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T624_618; Page: 5A;
Enumeration District: 1413. Record for Ruth L. Wells and Ruth L. Greeley.

Ruth Lyman Wells was 48 years old and born in Massachusetts. Ruth Lyman Greeley was 32 years old and born in Illinois. Under occupation, both show "Own Income."


In 1920, Aunt Ruth Wells and Niece Ruth Greeley were still living together on Beacon Hill, now at 5 Lime Street.

1920 U.S. Federal Census, Boston Ward 8, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T625_742; Page: 10A;
Enumeration District: 228. Record for Ruth Wells and Ruth Greely.
This time, Aunt Ruth Wells is recorded as 57 years old, but Niece Ruth Greeley is 49, where it should have been 41. I don't know who Dorothy Hill, age 17 is; there are several Dorothy Hills in Massachusetts birth records in 1902 and 1903.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Who Was Mary Eliza Wells?

I recently found on Find A Grave that several Wells family members were buried in Old Hopkinton Cemetery, Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Most were buried together in one plot. My 4th great-grandparents, Dr. Thomas G. Wells (1780-1849) and wife Lucinda Lyman Wells (1785-1860) are buried there with most of their children. Dr. Thomas G. Wells' Find-A-Grave Memorial is linked to his wife's memorial and nine of his ten children's memorials. Six of his children are buried in Old Hopkinton Cemetery.

However, his son Thomas Goodwin Wells (1804-1873) is buried in Forest Hills Cemetery, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. (I shared their Find-A-Grave memorials in September 2012.) I am descended from him and his wife, Elizabeth Sewall Willis (1820-1900). They were married in Newburyport, Massachusetts on November 6, 1838.

I always thought that Elizabeth was his only wife, until I recently received notice of a fulfilled photo request for an unknown Mary Eliza Wells (1808-1836) who was buried in Old Hopkinton Cemetery.

Find-A-Grave Memorial# 83322264
Photo courtesy of alden
wife of
Thomas G. Wells,
Obt. April 16, 1836.
AEt. 28 years.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Samuel Greele's Fourth Wife ~ Solving a Mystery

In my last post, I noted that my third great-grandfather Samuel Greele (1783 - 1861) had four wives. This is documented in the Greely-Greeley Genealogy (page 303), as well as in an obituary for Samuel Greele in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register from 1861 (pp. 360-361). These secondary sources provide details about his first three wives and note that he is survived by his fourth wife, the former Sarah Follansbee Emerson.

The name of Sarah Follansbee Emerson comes from the Newburyport, Massachusetts, marriage record. Newburyport Marriage records are found in Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, variations of which can be found at AmericanAncestors.org, Ancestry.com, and FamilySearch.org handwritten and in printed form. Two examples follow:

Newburyport, Essex County, "Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850." Marriages, Vol. 2, p. 196.

(C.R. 1. indicates that the record source is "church record, First Religious Society (Unitarian).")

"Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch.org.
Record for Samuel Greele and Sarah F. Emerson, 1844, left hand page.
"Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch.org.
Record for Samuel Greele and Sarah F. Emerson, 1844, right hand page.
This record provides more information: That Reverend Thomas B. Fox, Pastor of the First Religious Society in Newburyport officiated at the marriage in Newburyport on October 8, 1844. Samuel Greele, widower, is a merchant in Boston, and didn't report the names of his parents. Sarah F. Emerson, single, is of Newburyport and her father's name is Thomas. (Note that his surname is not noted and her mother's name is not listed.)

Each of these note that Sarah F. Emerson or Sarah F[ollansbee] Emerson married Samuel Greele on October 8, 1844. She was not quite 40 and he was just over 60 years old.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sympathy Saturday ~ Samuel Greele's Wives

Ancestry.com now has Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 available to search. My third great-grandfather, Samuel Greeley (or Greele) (see Surname Saturday ~ Greeley for my Greeley ancestry) had four wives.

I was looking for the death record for Samuel's second wife, Louisa May Greeley, who was my third great-grandmother (and was the only one of his wives to bear him children who survived) and I found the following record of Boston deaths, listed alphabetically:

Ancestry.com, Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988
(Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), www.ancestry.com, Database online.

The top of the right hand page shows the deaths of three of his four wives:

Lydia Maria (Sewall) Greeley, d. Aug 11, 1822, at age 32, was his first wife. Cause of death was "Child bed" and she was buried in the "Chapel Gd V P". She had earlier given birth to a daughter, Abigail, in 1814, who died at six days old.

Louisa (May) Greeley, d. Nov 14, 1828, at age 36, of Bilious fever (a term no longer used, but could possibly refer to typhoid, malaria, or hepatitis). She was buried in the Central Burying Ground on Boylston Street in Boston. Her children were Samuel Sewall Greeley (1824-1916) and Louisa May Greeley (1827-1903).

Maria Antoinette (Paine) Greele, d. Mar 26, 1842, age 58, of Lung fever (pneumonia). She was buried at the Granary Burial Ground on Tremont Street in Boston.

Samuel died August 16, 1861, leaving a widow, Sarah. He is buried in a plot at Forest Hills Cemetery, in Jamaica Plain with no stone and no additional family members in the plot. More about his widow, Sarah is found here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday ~ Local History of Buckfield, Maine

A couple of years ago, I found on Google Books, A History of Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine, from the earliest explorations to the close of the year 1900, published in 1915 by The Journal Printshop of Lewiston, Maine. Readers should remember that these are secondary sources. However, these local histories are absolute treasures, and you never know what you might find.

I was searching for the surname Lowell, and came across a story about how my 4th great-grandfather, Thomas Lowell (1761-1810), met his wife, Judith Farrar (or Farrow). The following is transcribed from pages 74-75 of the History of Buckfield.

   A survey of the township was made in 1785, as we have seen and the land run out into ranges and lots which were numbered. The first range in the West Division bordered on Paris town line. In the section west of the settling lots of those who had come into the township prior to Jan. 1, 1784, was some excellent land but the country here was hilly and the bears were numerous. In 1787 the first settler entered the region for the purpose of selecting a lot for a settlement. It was David Farrar—then generally written Farrow— of Hingham, Mass. He purchased a lot in the fourth range, adjoining the lots of the Warrens. Here he made a clearing and erected a log house. In the early spring of 1788 he set out with his wife and children for his pioneer home. They landed from a vessel at Falmouth, now Portland. It is said that he had but fifty cents in his pocket when the family started from Falmouth on foot for Bucktown.

   His family then consisted of his wife, who was Judith Stoddard of Scituate and six children. Judith, the oldest, was in her 16th year; David, 13; Samuel, 9; Phillip, 7; Tamar, not quite 4 and Mehitable one year and three months old. It must have taken them several days to reach the township.

   As the family entered it, on the route traveled by the early settlers over South Hill, tradition says that it was nearly sundown. Ahead of the others of this weary little company was the girl Judith, when a large black bear was espied in the path before her. As might have been expected from a girl reared in one of the oldest towns in the old colony she screamed. This brought quickly to the scene an athletic young man with his gun from a nearby clearing. At a glance he took in the situation and bidding the frightened girl step aside, he took aim at the bear and fired. The sharp report of the gun hastened the footsteps of the rest of the Farrar family and when they reached the place they found the animal just breathing its last. Gathering around the dead bear they had their first experience in pioneer life.

   The young man was Thomas Lowell, who had selected a lot for settlement nearby and had provided a home in his log house for his father and mother. He invited the Farrars to the house, where they were made welcome. In after years they often referred to their first night in Bucktown and the generous hospitality they received.

   The next day leaving his family with the Lowells, David Farrar went on to his clearing. He found that the snow had blown into his log house. This was thrown out and the places where the snow had sifted in made tight. When it was rendered comfortable the family was brought to it. While the father was working on the future abode of the family, it is said that Thomas Lowell began his wooing of the fair daughter, Judith. As may be supposed, it was not opposed by either family. When the father gave his consent, he told his future son-in-law that he must hunt up a minister to perform the marriage ceremony as he had no time to do so. The lovers were married in 1790.

   David Farrar spent the greater part of his time at work for the settlers at his trade as a housewright, as it was called in those days. After a few years he prospered and became well to do. He died in 1810 and Buckfield lost one of its most worthy citizens of that period. David Farrar was of medium height and slightly built, but his wife was a large woman from whom the Farrars have inherited forms of good size. There were ten children in all. Those born here were: Nathan, Sept. 16, 1789: Bela, Dec. 26, 1791; Desire, Oct. 3, 1796 and John, July 10, 1800. They all settled near the old homestead.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Percival Lowell

My 10th great-grandfather, Percival Lowell is buried in the First Burying Ground, High Road (Route 1A) in Newbury, Massachusetts.

Image courtesy of Find A Grave memorial for Percival Lowle.

See my Lowell ancestry at Surname Saturday: Lowell.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ From a Copeland Photo Album

I have pieces of an old photo album from my maternal grandfather, Lowell Townsend Copeland (b. 1900). It's in pieces because at some point, according to some writing in it, the pages were divided between my grandfather and his sisters, Betty and Ruth. The child in these photographs is my grandfather, age about 21 months. I don't know who the adults are in the photos.

September 1902

One of the bottom photos is loose and on the back is written:

Grandmother this is your
boy with the Ambulance
his Grandfather G. gave him
Sept. 1902

I am guessing that "Grandmother" is his paternal grandmother, Sarah (Lowell) Copeland (1833-1916) who lived in Maine in 1902. "Your boy" is of course, my grandfather, Lowell Townsend Copeland. I am guessing that "his Grandfather G" is Samuel Sewall Greeley. His family lived in Winnetka, Illinois.

Look closely - the ambulance is horse-drawn.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mappy Monday ~ Essex County, Massachusetts

This present-day map of Essex County, Massachusetts, (source: mass-doc.com) shows the detail of towns where I find my Lowell ancestors. The names of current cities are capitalized; towns are not.

The dates of settlement or incorporation are in parentheses. Newbury (1635), Newburyport (1764, from Newbury), Salisbury (1639), Amesbury (1666, from Salisbury). (The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and New Hampshire is to the north.)

If this looks familiar, it is because my Greeley ancestors settled in Salisbury and later moved inland to Haverhill (1640).