Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Third Great-Grandmother's Photo in a Museum

The blog reader who shared the original daguerreotype of my second great-grandmother, Eliza May Wells, recently notified me that he had discovered a daguerreotype of Eliza's mother, in a book he owns, and he found that the original is in the Nelson-Atkins Museum, which has one of the world's most significant collections of photography.

According to the museum, there is a note taped to the back of the daguerreotype case, in pen:

"I herewith bequeath to the Louisa May
Alcott memorial association at Orchard
House, Concord, Massachusetts, this
daguerreotype of my Grandmother,
Elizabeth Sewall Willis Wells (the daugh-
ter of Elizabeth Sewall May Willis) play
ing chess with her sister-in-law, Mrs.
Phineas Wells. The left hand figure is my

Elizabeth Sewall (Willis) Wells (1820-1900) married Thomas Goodwin Wells (1804-1873). His brother, Phineas Parkhurst Wells (1808-1891) was married to Catherine (French) Wells (1810-1873).

I descend from Elizabeth and Thomas as follows:

Elizabeth Sewall Willis (1820-1900) married Thomas Goodwin Wells
Eliza May Wells (1839-1880) married Samuel Sewall Greeley
Samuel Sewall Greeley (1824-1916) married Eliza May Wells
Ethel May Greeley (1875-1931) married Lowell Copeland
Lowell Townsend Copeland (1900-1974) married Helen Lysle Hunter
My mother

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Pyles and McAlpins

Last week, I shared photographs of Sara Carter (Pyle) McAlpin and an abbreviated family tree showing how a Pyle brother and sister were married to a McAlpin sister and brother. 

All four are all buried next to each other in Evergreen Cemetery in Morristown, New Jersey.

Sara's stone:

Sara Pyle McAlpin
February 9, 1863
May 14, 1949
"Gentle Unto All....
Apt to Teach, Patient, in
Meekness Instructing."


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wordless Wednesday ~ Sara Carter Pyle

Thank you very much to my third cousin once removed who has recently spent some time going through old family memorabilia and shared the following photographs with me.

All three are of my second great-aunt, Sara Carter Pyle, sister of James Tolman Pyle. Unfortunately only one is dated, though I think they may all be from the 1880s.

Aunt Sarah [sic] Pyle McAlpin
sister of W. S. Pyle senior
William Scott Pyle's father
J.P.D.'s father

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Happy 9th Blogiversary!

I started From Maine to Kentucky nine years ago. I have been mulling over why I haven't been inspired to blog and I think there are two main reasons. One is that I like to write about recent discoveries, and I don't feel that I've had any exciting breakthroughs recently (though I do have a breakthrough but am looking for more evidence to be sure).

The other is that I mostly enjoy researching and writing about ancestors in the 19th and early 20th centuries and I've done quite a bit of blogging about all my known direct ancestors during this period (and even some collateral relatives). Perhaps I'll blog more about some of my interesting distant uncles, aunts, and cousins.

As I have noted at Counting Third Cousins, I have spent almost three years, on and off, doing descendancy research: researching the descendants of all my second great-grandparents. This helps me identify my DNA matches. During the past year, I shared several stories about my half cousins who descend from my second great-grandfather, Samuel Sewall Greeley, and his first wife. (I've identified several DNA matches in this branch.)

I also update my DNA Resources page as I blog about DNA testing and resources.

One of my favorite posts from the past year is Wordless Wednesday ~ MyHeritage In Color™. If you haven't had a chance to colorize some of your old black and white photos, I encourage you to check it out. Here is another one of my grandfather in Wyoming in 1917. I originally blogged about his trip in a series of posts which started at Grandfather Out West.

This is my grandfather, Lowell Townsend Copeland, on the left and his friend, Bill Sidley, on the right.

Thank you to those who continue to follow and read my blog.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wordless Wednesday ~ MyHeritage In Color™

Well, life got in the way of my good intention of blogging at least once a week in 2020. However, I have wanted to share this cool tool for awhile, and it's now free for just a few weeks.

MyHeritage In Color™ is Now Free and Unlimited for One Month!

MyHeritage In Color™ has been available to subscribers for a couple of months, but until April 22, they are offering unlimited use to everyone as a fun way to pass the time and enjoy colorizing your old black and white photos.

If you have old digitized black and white photos, visit MyHeritage In Color™, create an account and have some fun! Below are just a few of my many black and white photos that I have colorized:

About 1909: Marion Hunter, Margaret Hunter, Aunt Helen Rainey Hunter, Caroline Hunter, Mary Hunter
See a larger image at MyHeritage where you can view it with a slider.  Note that there is a palette icon in the lower left hand corner of the color image indicating that this is not an original photograph, but has been colorized.

About 1909: Margaret, Mary, Marguerite, Helen, Percy, and Caroline Hunter

See larger image at MyHeritage with slider.

About 1904: Charles C Adsit, Jr. and his sister, Elizabeth Adsit

See larger image at MyHeritage with slider. I originally shared the image on the right in 2011.

About 1929: Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr.
See a larger image at MyHeritage with slider. I originally shared this at Dad's Pet Goat.

I have enjoyed seeing the colorized photos that other genealogists have shared. Share your links in the comments!

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.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

1903 Photo Mary Adsit ~ 52 Ancestors #2

I am hoping to blog more, using Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks themes, and this week's theme is Favorite Photo. (And, no, you didn't miss post #1; I didn't post last week.)

I am very lucky to have many family photos and I have many favorites. See my many posts with the tag Wordless Wednesday.

Here is a portrait of my great-grandmother, Mary Bowman (Ashby) Adsit, taken in July 1903 according to a penciled notation on the back.

She would have been 40 years old.

Mary Bowman Ashby was born in Glasgow, Kentucky, in 1863 (though for most of her life, she lied about her age). She married Charles Chapin Adsit in 1890.  They settled in Chicago, where she gave birth to her son in July 1892 and to her daughter (my grandmother, Libby) in June 1897. I shared a photo of her with her son at M. B. Adsit and C. C. Adsit Jr. Circa 1893.

I also shared a photo of brother and sister at Wordless Wednesday ~ 1904 Car.

I have several portraits and photographs of Mary Adsit throughout her long life and she always looked very stylish.