BSO = Down the Rabbit Hole.

This week, I got into the current issue of the New England Historic and Genealogical Register. I had planned on scanning the Table of Contents, realizing there was nothing of immediate interest and putting it aside. Well there was a Bright Shiny Object in that issue (and since I had not a very good job of scanning the prior issue, there was part 1 in that issue). The article was Samuel and Abigail (Sprague) Call of Charlestown, Massachusetts, and Nova Scotia. My 11 times great grandfather was Trisram Sprague of Dorset, England. I jumped down the Rabbit Hole to see if and how I was related to Abigail Sprague. Well 3 days later I have amassed all kinds of new Sprague family information and have determined that Cousin Abigail is my 3C8R! But, the Rabbit Hole has turned into a giant sink hole as I am now fully occupied with the Sprague Lineage.

My 9th great grandfather arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1629 and married Millicent Eames in 1635. And so it will continue as long as I can see some daylight above the rim of the hole and more Bright Shiny Objects calling to be dug out of the mine.

The Sprague Line marries into my Jenks Line and that becomes a whole other Rabbit Hole.

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September was a busy month …

And now I am thinking I had come up with a theme for the rest of the year and that I really do not need one either. There has been a lot of updates to the house which has taken all my energy. Then I built a database for my library with a number of search queries. I also converted my Address Book, Christmas Card list, genealogy correspondence log, DNA matches to databases.

So, now I am getting back in the research saddle. I have recreated my AutoCluster reports for my DNA Matches on MyHeritage, 23andMe, and FamilyTreeDNA. Since I cannot run an AutoCluster on Ancestry, I ran a Collins-Leeds Method chart on Ancestry. Then, I pulled the most significant groups from each and created a genealogy database for each of those, trying to tie the persons in those groups to my most common ancestor couple. The persons that appear without links are now my research project.

I have also enrolled in a 6 week course on Sons of the American Revolution certification process. I have 4 supplemental applications pending and I hope to use the procedures to get them moving and submitted. Once that is done, I will see about reviewing applications by others.

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Wow, life has gone on ..

What have I been up to?

It has really been a long time since I booked and entry in this blog. So, now sitting at my computer on 31 August, I think I have lost interest in explaining why I have the books that I have in my personal library. Actually, what caught my interest was that I needed to have a easy way to determine what was in my library. I have 259 actual books and 452 digital books. So, it is really getting difficult to remember titles and authors. And these are just the items in the library that deal with Genealogy!

I decided that it was time to take action on getting this under control (i.e. reduce the possiblity to purchase another copy of the same tome that I already one either on paper or in disk). The result is the database that I have created that contains all of the above plus more:

My Library Application

I have also been keeping track of the books I have been reading for entertainment for a number of years. And added that to my list — it covers actual books, Kindle Books, and Nook Books. Then, because I tend to add important / interesting / research items to notebooks, I have added the inventory of those notebooks and what is in each (still a work in progress. I have a few more shelves of notebooks to add.

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Reschedule original plan to add comments on the one above / below.

I had planned to go ahead with the next book on my list of why each is taking up bookshelf space in my den when I got sucked into looking at the just prior book and digging deeper into what the references were telling me.

First of the references that caught my eye was The Great Migration, Immigration to New England 1634-1635 by Robert Charles Anderson. I got gob-smacked since I own the entire seven volume set – I used to buy one volume at a time with the birthday money my father used to give me (ya, they were that expensive and Pop wasn’t chintzy on his gifting). I dove into a number of ancestors.

My next moment of enlightenment was when I realized there were references to a number of publication s that I did not have but were available to me through my membership in the New England Historical and Genealogical Society membership: This gave me access to:

The American Genealogist – article on Samuel Botsford of Milford, CT

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register – article on Henry Botsford — actually on identifying his wife.

The Great Migration Begins – article on Mayflower Passenger, Edward Fuller (my direct ancestor).

Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries – grave stone of Joseph Jenks of Pawtucket.

Early New England Families Study Project – Joseph Jenks and Esther Ballard Jenks daughter Sarah.

The Great Migration Begins – article on John Howland, Mayflower Passenger,

I also pulled my copy of Mayflower Families Through Five Generations – Vol 23, parts 1, 2, 3) out of storage and put it back so I can connect John Howland to my tree.

The one book referenced but not digitized at NEHGS was The Pilgrim Migration, Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633. by Robert Charles Anderson. It arrives next week!

Once I go through all of these and dictate pertinent extracts into my database, I will need to make another pass through New Englanders in the 1600s.

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New Englanders in the 1600s

The Guide to Genealogical Research by Martin E Hollick was published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society. I bought it because I knew I should be able to find a number of my ancestors listed.

P 17 – Botsford, Henry, b1608, of Connecticut. Samuel(3), Elnathan (2)

p 90 – Fuller, Samuel, Mayflower Passenger, b 1580, d Plymouth, Mass., between 9 August and 26 September 1633

p 134 – Jenks, Joseph, B 1599, d Lynn, Mass., March 1683.

Now, the import part of these citations is not the information that they have, but each one supplied a reference to a major Genealogical publication that would help in the research of these ancestors.

I only listed 3, there are lots more — the big thing about New England in the 1600s was that the population was small and there was a lot of intermarriage between the families.

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History of Seymour, Connecticut with Biographies and Genealogies – W. C. Sharpe

History of Seymour, Connecticut with Biographies and Genealogies by W. C. Sharpe was published by Record Print, Seymour, Connecticut in 1879.

I must admit that what first caught my eye about this volume was that Seymour was one of the surnames in my extended family and that my direct line was in Connecticut. Then I started to go through the book. It is full of information about the Botsford, Holbrook and Lee families (all part of my direct line). In reviewing this tome for today’s post, I realized I need to go back though its pages and glean more information. Since I first reviewed the contents, my research has expanded my knowledge of persons who just might be hiding between these two covers.

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Rolls and Lists of Connecticut Men in the Revolution 1775 – 1783

This is Volume VII, published by the Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut, 1901.

I knew I had a number of ancestors that either came from or stopped for a bit in Connecticut. I was aware that my line of the Lee, Botsford, Munn, had been in North America prior to the American Revolution. This seemed like an obvious book to purchase.

The book references a number of my ancestors, many of whom I will spend a winter time putting together a supplemental application to the Sons of the American Revolution. If nothing else, when a finally crack it open to really use the volume, I will have a number of projects.

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Historical Sketch of the Town of Pawtucket [RI]

The Historical Sketch of the Town of Pawtucket [RI] by Rev, Messena Goodrich, per the Town Council was originally published in the centennial year, 1876. Since my Jenks branch was residing there in the early 1600s to 1700s, I decided to buy this book to see what was recorded. Starting on pages 17 – 18, the following appears:

“Perhaps space enough is been given to the municipal history of what now constitutes the town of Pawtucket. Another, perhaps more interesting, grants now claims are a consideration. The civil history of the place begins with Joseph Jenks [my 8 times great grandfather]. Respecting the time of his emigration hither and the circumstances under which he came to the neighborhood of Pawtucket Falls, a distinct and doubtless a very trustworthy count has been preserved by some of his descendants. His father [my 9 times great grandfather] who bore the same Christian name is supposed to have come from England with Gov. Wolf Winthrop; and Lewis, in the history of “Lynn, speaks of him in the following strain:” Joseph Jenks deserves to be held in perpetual remembrance in American history, as being the first founder who worked in grass and iron on the Western continent. By his hands the first models were made, and the first casting taken of many domestic implements and iron tools. “On 6 May, sixteen forty-six, “the general court of Massachusetts resolved, that,” in answer to the petition of Joseph Jenks, for liberty to make experience of his abilities and inventions for you making of engines of for Mills to go with water for more speedily dispatch of work and formerly, and mills for you making of sides and other edge tools, with the new invented sawmill, that things may be afforded cheaper than formally, and that for fourteen years without disturbance by any other settled up no like inventions; this petition is granted.” In May, sixteen fifty-five, he obtained another patent for an implement of the manufacture of sides quote for the more speedily cutting of grass for seven years unquote the old English side, previously in use, it may be remarked was a very clumsy instrument, short and thick like the Bush and’s stab sides. His invention gave greater length and thinness to the plate and wielded a bar of iron on the back of to strengthen it. Indeed, no radical changes has been made in that useful instrument since and stay.

In the interval between the two dates named, the younger Jenks followed his father to the New World. He becomes acquainted with the improvements that his father made, and gains skill in his craft. But one circumstance breeds alarm in his mind. The population is rapidly increasing near Lynn, and making fearful havoc with the forests. It was long before the capabilities of anthracite had been found out, and forges and furnaces were wholly dependent on charcoal. The same enterprise spirit that had induced him to cross the ocean prompts him to seek a new home. Doubtless, as Roger Williams removed from Salem, when he fled to this region, he had left some friends there who were anxiously watching his career. Perhaps the fact already adverted to, that the Indians were growing fastidious about their hatchets and other tools, makes the colonists in this neighborhood solicitous that some skilled ironworkers should remove hither. Word soon reaches Lynn, therefore that the shores of the Pawtucket are dark with a thick forest and that there are cataracts on the stream, affording ample power to carry such mills as the elder Jenks is been devising. And the young man resolves to come to Providence plantations, and naturally chooses for his new home a site near the lowest falls on the river.

The traditions spoken of represent that he came here in the year 1655. As his eldest son was born in 1657, perhaps he was already married, and his house is said to have stood on the spot on East Avenue now occupied by Mr. Joseph T Greene, who lives in the house reared by his grandfather Timothy Green. It is supposed that his first purchase of land was made the family by the name of Mowry. A copy of the deed of land the subsequent purchase however was found by Dr. Benedict in the records of the proprietors common lands of which company Judge Staples was clerked twenty-two years ago.”

Also, probably contributing to 8 times great grandparents’ decision to leave Massachusetts for Rhode Island, was Grandmother’s conviction for wearing Silver Lace. Her fine was 2 shillings. Grandfather minted the Pine Tree Shilling for the colony. Hmm…..

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Tioga County, New York, was a stop-over for my Jenks Line

Historical Gazetteer of Tioga County, New York.

Early on in my research into how my 4 times great-grandparents had migrated to Oakland County, Michigan, I was online in a genealogical site and when I mentioned my Jenks line, a distant cousin from New York told me I needed to get ahold of the Tioga County Gazetteer. When I asked where I might find one, the answer was quite simple: The Tioga County Historical Society had created a reprint of the original 1888 volume in 1985 and had some in inventory. I got that order in immediately.

As an example of the Jenks family information contained:

p 149:

“Elisha Jenks lived on lot 300, east of the creek road, and north of the hill road. It is said that he was a cousin of Michael Jenks, the first settler there [Town of Berkshire]. Laban Jenks was his brother. Elisha Jenks was born about 27 June 1774, and died 13 Nov. 1840. His wife, Anna, was born about 27 Sept. 1771, and died 15 June 1854.”

p 156:

“Leman Case was a carpenter, came from Litchfield county, Conn., and married with Polly Jenks, daughter of Laban Jenks, an early settler at Speedsville. He settled in a house that was built by Job Hall, on lot 380, west of the road, some thirty of forty rods south of his brother , Phineas Case. He moved to Michigan not far from 1824.”

There are a great number of citations that occur though out the volume, referencing my 4 Times Great-grandparent, Laban and Prudence White Jenks and their children, siblings, and cousins. Based on family records, the Jenks brothers and cousin arrived in the 1790s and had moved on to Michigan by the early 1820s.

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Saugus, Massachusetts was home for the family in the 1600s

Ironworks on the Saugus – E. N. Hartley

I found this volume on eBay a number of years ago. Since my research indicated that 8 and 9 times great grandfathers, Joesph Jenks and his son, Joseph Jenks, Jr. both had a hand in the development and building of the Ironworks, I jumped on the item and bought it.

Once again, 8*GGF’s political bent was chronicled on page 18:

“The magistrates tried to enforce sumptuary laws, restricting, for example, the wearing of fancy clothing to people of recognized social and economic standing. If the ironworkers managed to get their hands on silver lace, they or their wives were, by their lights, freely entitled to wear them. Much the same essentially non-medieval outlook underlay a workingman’s interest in politics, or in religion mixed with politics, which must have been close to zero when the Ironworks was first erected, but which by 1661 had a son of Joseph Jendks [Joseph, Jr] in court for treason. He had dared to say that ‘if he hade the King heir he would cutt off his head & mak a football of it.’ Testimony offered in a number of court cases also made it plain that certain workers held no high opinion of local government authority, particularly when liquor had loosened lips that ordinarily had closely to be guarded”

There is a great deal more on Jenks’ participation. But being charged with treason is one of the high points. Grandfather was not convicted. As stated in an earlier posting, Grandmother was not as lucky in the courts as Grandfather; she was convicted and fined for wearing the silver lace mentioned above.

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