Thursday, June 23, 2016

Gauis Ellis Letter to the Probate Court Judge Questioning the Action of the Executor of the Baxter Ellis Estate


Letter found in Baxter Ellis Probate File - Case No. 19003, Worcester County, Massachusetts
The will of Baxter Ellis of West Brookfield, Massachusetts was approved 4 December 1866, but settlement of his estate could not be completed until after the death of his widow, Lucy in March of 1887 (some 22 years later.) Baxter Ellis' 91 year old brother Gauis, who lived in Neenah, Wisconsin, wrote a letter to the court in Worcester, Massachusetts, regarding the disposition of the assets of the Baxter Ellis estate, the terms of the will, and Baxter's intentions at the time the will was written. I found nothing more of this matter in the probate packet, but the final settlement of the estate occurred in October of 1887.

The letter handwritten in a shaky script and under the printed letter head of "GAIUS ELLIS, REAL ESTATE AGENT, NEENAH, WIS. reads as follows:
"Neenah Sept 27 /87

Judge Thayer Sir I have rec'd a notice to appear at your court on the first tuesday in Oct about my brother (Baxter Ellis) will

As I have been informed by Dwight Ellis (the executor) that there was after the first enstolment was settled he left for the use of his wife 4700 dollars to be devided among his heirs. One half to sister Lucy B. Ellis + Susan Fitts equally between them or their heirs and the remainder to his other heirs.
[2nd page]

Mrs. Elizabeth Lincoln (D. Ellis sister) sent me a letter feby. 14/82 saying it was as D. E. had stated. Now I don't want a difficulty about the matter but I want it settled right and I will acquiesce
Mr W. E. Lincoln (acting as the executor for my Bros Estate) Sent me a letter saying I must sign a receipt of $ 500, + send it to the Warren Savings Bank Warren Mass and they will send you $500 - I did so + got the $500, dollars. Now they say there is a mistake.
I do believe my Bro meant I should have that, or more,

[3rd page]
Now of the believes that this was my brothers will that one half goes to sisters LB. E. + S.F. and the residue to his other heirs, then I have not enough But they want I should send back 117$ and I will do it if it is right. But out of $4700 they take a goodeal to settle the estate
If I have troubled you out of reason please remit your bill and I will settle it
Respectfully
Gaius Ellis
It is too far for me to be present to attend Court G.E.
Excuse all mistakes I am 91 1/2 years old.
Source "Massachusetts, Worcester County, Probate Files, 1731-1925," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-43227-54-64?cc=2102083 : 16 May 2014), Worcester > Case no 19003, Elllis, Baxter, > image 317 - 319 of 1094; Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Boston.


Three previous posts about this Probate File
http://genealogyinwestbrookfieldmass.blogspot.com/2014/06/52-ancestors-18-deacon-baxter-ellis.html http://genealogyinwestbrookfieldmass.blogspot.com/2016/06/baxter-ellis-of-west-brookfield.html
http://genealogyinwestbrookfieldmass.blogspot.com/2016/06/next-of-kin-and-heirs-at-law-of-baxter.html

Saturday, June 18, 2016

BAXTER ELLIS OF WEST BROOKFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS - WILL TRANSCRIPTION

Will of Baxter Ellis of West Brookfield, Massachusetts
Probate Case No. 19003

    Filed 7 November 1888 and Approved 4 December 1866

[Formatting is not an exact copy and there were some notes in the margin which are not included. LLS]
                   In the name of God Amen,
                        I Baxter Ellis of West Brookfield in the county of Worcester and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, but knowing the uncertainty of the mortal life, do make and publish and declare this my last Will and Testament, in manner and form following, that is  to say ____________________
First                First I give and bequeath to my beloved wife and her   heirs the sum of three thousand dollars --- Also my Household Furniture, wearing apparel, family stores, and Library       
              
Second            I give and bequeath to the Trustees of Phillips Academy at Andover Massachusetts the sum of Five Hundred dollars for the purpose of founding a scholarship (in part) in the Theological Seminary under their care, the income of this endowment only to be expended for the support of needy students in said Seminary from year to year
Third              I give and bequeath to the American Board of Commisioners for Foreign Missions, the sum of Five Hundred dollars
Fourth            I give and bequeath to the Massachusetts Home Missionary Society the sum of Five Hundred dollars.____________
Fifth               I give and bequeath to the American Peace Society the sum of one Hundred dollars ______________
Sixth              I give and bequeath to the American Bible Society the sum of One Hundred dollars.
Seventh          I give and bequeath to the American Tract Society instituted in the city of Boston the sum of One Hundred Dollars.
Eighth            I give and bequeath to my brother Gauis Ellis and his heirs the sum of Five Hundred dollars.____________________________________________
[2nd page]
Ninth              I give and bequeath to my nephew Calvin H. Hayward and his heirs the sum of Two Hundred dollars
Tenth             I give and bequeath to my niece Susan E. Jones and her heirs the sum of Fifty Dollars.
                                                  The aforesaid Calvin H. Hayward and Susan E. Jones being children of my deceased sister, Mary Hayward
Eleventh        I give and bequeath to my nephew R. Gordon Ellis and his heirs the sum of one Hundred dollars and my niece Julia Ellis and her heirs, the sum of Fifty dollars - (children of my deceased brother Calvin Ellis)
Twelfth         I give and bequeath to my sister Caroline Adams wife of Sidney Adams, and her three children the sum of twenty dollars to be equally divided between  them Vis. Five dollars to each
 Thirteenth      I give and bequeath to my sister Lucy B. Ellis, wife of Abijah Ellis, and her heirs the sum of Two Hundred Dollars - And to her four daughters and their  heirs to wit: Susan Allen, Frances Ellis, Mary Ellis, and Caroline Ellis the sum of Twenty five dollars each - In case of the death of either of said four daughters, previous to my decease, the legacy hereby bequeathed to such person to be equally divided among the survivors of said four daughters
               
Fourteenth    I give and bequeath to my sister, Susan Fitts the wife of Samuel Fitts, and her heirs the sum of Two Hundred dollars And to her two sons (by a former husband,) Edwin Upham and Lyman Baxter Upham and their heirs the sum of Two Hundred dollars each
          
[3rd page]
                         And to the four daughters of my said sister Susan Fitts, to wit, Caroline Hayward, Maria Upham, Elizabeth Upham, and Adaline Upham the sum of twenty five dollars each In case of the death of either of said four daughters previous to my decease, the legacy to such deceased person to be equally divided among the surviving sisters.               
            
Fifteenth      I hereby give and bequeath to my nephew Joseph I. F Ellis and my niece Mary Shumway and their heirs (children of my brother Gaius Elllis) the sum of One Hundred dollars each
                 
Sixteenth     I give and bequeath to Curtis Ellis (son of my nephew Nathan B. Ellis deceased) and his heirs the sum of One Hundred dollars
Seventeenth   I hereby authorize and empower my Executors herein after named to sell and dispose of any and all my real and personal estate at such time and in such manner as the may deem proper.
Eighteenth  After the payment of my just debts, funeral charges and procuring a suitable pair of grave stones and the payment of the aforesaid legacies I hereby give, bequeath and devise the use improvement rents profits and income of all my estate both real and personal, which shall remain, to my said wife Lucy Ellis, to hold for
and during the full term of her natural life and at the decease of my aforesaid wife I hereby order and direct that of the residue and remainder of my estate then remaining one half part thereof shall be paid to my sisters Lucy B. Ellis and Susan Fitts and their heirs equally to be divided
      
[page 4]
between them and the other half part thereof I hereby give bequeath and devise to my legal heirs -
                                    And I do hereby appoint my said wife Lucy Ellis and my cousin Dwight Ellis to be joint executors of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking annulling and declaring void all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made
                                    In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this eighth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty- four. 

The words 'and his heirs" "and her heirs" "each" = "them" being interlined before signing.                          Baxter Ellis [signature]
                Signed published and declared by said Baxter Ellis as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other  have hereunto set our names as witnesses
                                                  [Illegible] Blair
                                                  H. B Bosworth
                                               xJos F. Hitchcock 


Source:


Massachusetts, Worcester County, Probate Files, 1731-1881, images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-43227-158-10?cc=2102083&wc=9FGC-YWL:1055512501,1073166901 : accessed 02 Jun 2014), Worcester > Case no 18981-19051, Elliot, Joseph-Elllis, Smith, 1731-1881 > image 331 of 1094, probate file of Baxter Ellis; citing Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts.



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Next of Kin and Heirs -at- Law of Baxter Ellis

Baxter Ellis, son of Nathan B. Ellis and Thankful (Barrett), died in West Brookfield in 1866 leaving a will and a sizable estate. He left a will in which there were bequests to a number of charities, and also to his widow , Lucy (Upham) and other family members. Below is a transcription of the page in his probate file which identifies his next of kin and heirs-at-law according to the statutes at the time.
********
(Minors must be so designated, and the names of their Guardians given, if they have any. If any party is a married woman, her husband's name must be given. The heirs-at-law and next of kin may be determined by reference to Chap. 91 an 94 of the General Statutes)

To the Honorable the Judge of Probate Court in and for the County of Worcester:

RESPECTFULLY represents Dwight Ellis of Warren in the county of Worcester and Lucy Ellis of West Brookfield in the County of Worcester that Baxter Ellis who last dwelt in West Brookfield in said County of Worcester, died on the Eighth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty - six possessed of goods and estate remaining to be administered, leaving a widow, whose name is Lucy Ellis the subscriber and as his only heirs-at-law and next of kin, the persons whose names, residences, and relationship to the deceased are as follows, viz:-


Gauis Ellis a brother residing in Racine Wis.


Lucy B. Ellis a Sister     "         " Boston Mass

Calvin Hayward a Nephew " " New York N. Y.

Susan E Jones a Niece   "     " Albany, N.Y.

R Gerdon Ellis a Nephew " " Cincinnatti O.

Julia Ellis a Niece            " " do ___ do

Caroline Adams a Niece " " West Brookfield Mass

Ephraim Adams a Nephew "     do do

Nathan Adams a Nephew "    " do do

[These last 9 names below are followed by a vertical wavy line on the right side with Wisconsin written to the right]

Edwin Upham " Nephew

Lyman Baxter Upham " Nephew

Caroline Hayward " Niece


Maria Upham " Niece

Elizabeth Upham " Niece


Adaline Upham " Niece

Joseph J. F Elis" Nephew

Mary Shumway" Niece

Curtis Ellis " Son of a Nephew



Source: 

"Massachusetts, Worcester County, Probate Files, 1731-1925," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-43227-89-85?cc=2102083 : 16 May 2014), Worcester > Case no 18981-19051, Elliot, Joseph-Elllis, Smith, 1731-1881 > image 326 of 1094; Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Boston.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I Monument

 West Brookfield, MA War Monument
   The sum of $3,500 was appropriated at the town meeting in the spring of 1920, and this three- sided granite monument, was erected on the town common later that year. Three brass plaques bearing the names of the war veterans were added in March of 1921. A dedication ceremony was held on Memorial Day, May 30, 1921, in remembrance of the service of West Brookfield men who had served in the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and the World War.



West Brookfield War Monument
Photo taken 2 April 2015 by Leah Smith


 1861  The Civil War  1865
Julius A. Amsden                                              Joseph W. Cutler
William L. Adams                                             Ephraim C. Carey
Leonard E. Alexander                                      Charles E. Cutler
Joseph P. Adams                                               Lorenzo Chickering
George E. Adams                                              Eli W. Combs
John E. Adams                                                  Abijah D. Cutler
Elbridge B. Ainsworth                                     William T. Cutler
Charles H. Allen                                               Edwin W. Crane
Joseph W. Allen                                                Jacob Combs
Milton R. Allen                                                 Daniel H. Chamberlain
Waldo S. Allen                                                  Anthony Colburn
Benjamin F. Armitage                                     Pliny Cooper
George Abbott                                                  James Collins
Jabez A. Blackmer                                           James Coughlin
Henry E. Bullard                                             Leander T. Chamberlain
Daniel Buckley                                                 Amos Dean
Lyman Bliss                                                      William Daggett
Edwin T. Brown                                               James Dempsey
Carlos P. Buck                                                  Emerson Dane
Joseph H. Bartlett                                            Ralph O. Dupee 
Azor W. Barlow                                               Patrick G. Dillon 
Edwin W. Barlow                                             Joseph Dailey
Sylvanus T. Barlow                                          John Dillon
Daniel Boyle                                                      James Dillon
Pliny E. Barr                                                     Hiram Eaton
Horace W. Bush                                                Orrin Eddy
William H. Barnes                                            Andrew H. Emery
D. Wilson Barlow                                              Franklin W. Fellows
Joseph E. Bailey                                                John E. Farley
Samuel F. Beach                                               John F. Fobes
Lewis Boria                                                       Lyman W. Gilbert
Rufus E. Blackmer                                           Martin J. Gilbert
Albert Barnes                                                   George H. Gilbert
Jabez Blackmer Jr.                                           Harvey Gilbert
Emerson H. Bullard                                          Hermon J. Gilbert
L. B. Bliss                                                           Barnard R. Gilbert
                                     Alfred W. Gilbert
John F. Hastings                                               Augustus N. Potter
David W. R. Hinckley                                      John J. Powers
William A. Hitchcock                                       James M. Pratt
Adam Howe                                                       Edward W. Prouty
George E. Howe                                                Henry C. Reed
William P. Howe                                               Moses Renon
Amos F. Jackson                                               Jefferson H. Richards 
James Jess                                                         Samuel D. Richards
Isaac N. Jones                                                   Calvin H. Root
Michael Joyce                                                   Henry L. Ross
Charles L. Lamberton                                     Benjamin F. Sampson
Henry C. Lamberton                                       Isaac M. Sampson
Daniel Lawler                                                   Perez Sampson
William G. Lawrence                                       Ira T. Sibley
William Leonard                                              George W. Shaw Jr.
Albert W. Livermore                                       Dennis Smith
Charles H. Livermore                                      Daniel C. Spear
William H. Lombard                                       William A. Sprague
Ezra P. Lovering                                              George W. Temple
Seth L. Lowe                                                     William R. Thomas
Albert Lynde                                                     Charles E. Thompson
Masial Mallett                                                   Harvey Truesdell
John Mann                                                        Lucius Truesdell
Charles W. Marsh                                            Edwin M. Tucker
George L. Marsh                                              Eli Tyler Jr.
John Martell                                                     Frederick A. Varnum
Morris Mathews                                               John M. Ward
John McClusky                                                 Alfred D. Washburn
Lewis M. McCrellis                                           Charles K. Watson
Daniel Mullen                                                    Justus C. Wellington
William A. Mullet                                             George H. Wellman
James Mundell                                                  Abner Wolcott
John Mundell                                                     Erastus W. Woods
John Myles                                                         Oliver Woodbridge
                                  Ebin Woodbury
  
Appears just above the names of the World War I Veterans
                               1917   The World War  1919
Hugh A. Allen                                                    Louis Larose
John H. Anderson                                             William J. Long
George H. Anderson                                         Elverton L. Mara
Arthur H. Brigham                                           Francis S. P. Matthews
Ralph S. Clark                                                  William F. Mulvey   
Robert D. Converse                                          Alfred S. Mundell
Charles D. Cunningham                                   John J. O'Connell
John H. Donovan                                               Horace O. Parker
Howard J. Foster                                               Robert Patterson
Ernest A. Gratton                                              James M. Pratt Jr.
Leo J. Gratton                                                    Clifford L. Pratt
Ellsworth W. Galvin                                          Royford E. Perry
Paul H. Hazen                                                     Maurice T. Risley
Cliford J. Huyck                                                Arthur R. Stone
Clarence E. Hocum                                            Irving L. Tyler
Gordon G. Jaffray                                             Arthur H. Warfield Jr.
Edward F. King                                                  Frank Woodward
                               The Spanish War 1898
Frank H. Stone                                                   William Bassen


I transcribed these names from a collection of photographs I took on April 2, 2015.
Source for monument information was - Jeffrey H. Fisk, A History of West Brookfield 1675-1990, West Brookfield Historical Commission 2009, pages 172 and 179.
      




Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Isabel Amey's Birth Certificate Lacks the Day of Her Birth


Leah Smith

14 March 2016

Homework for Dear Myrtle's Elizabeth Shown Mills Study Group Week 1


Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 1: Analysis and Citation,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-1-analysis-citation :  accessed 14 March 2015)

Isabel Emily Amey Certified Birth Record Analysis   
   I have here a certified copy of my grandmother's birth record. It is printed on heavy weight stock of a pinkish color with navy blue borders and seals. A copy of the record form submitted to the state of New Hampshire by the Clarksville, NH town clerk is on the certificate. Printed toward the bottom of the form is the following statement. "I HEREBY CERTIFY  THAT THIS IS A TRUE ABSTRACT ISSUED FROM THE OFFICIAL RECORDS ON FILE AT THIS OFFICE"  The signature of the State Registrar and an official stamp appear just below that statement.  It also bears a stamp stating, "Original Records filed in Town Clerk's Office in chronological order with other records for the year "  1907 is handwritten after the word year.  A number stamped in red ink is just above the state seal on the bottom left. 
    Upon close examination, I see that her first name, Isabelle, is spelled differently than she spelled it, and that her middle initial "E," rather than her middle name of Emily appears. The day of her birth is missing, and the month is June rather than May when she celebrated her birthday.  Her place of birth, Clarksville, New Hampshire, was also the residence of her parents. Thomas Amey was the name of her father, but other records indicate that he was born in Pittsburg, New Hampshire and not Clarksville, New Hampshire as appears on this record. His residence, age and occupation are in agreement with other sources.  Ardelle  was the middle name of Isabel's mother, and her first name, Nellie does not appear on this record. (Isabel's mother was sometimes identified as Ardel or Dell in both vital and census records.)  Ardelle's maiden name, age, occupation and residence are in agreement with other records. Isabelle was listed as the fourth child.  She was the fourth child of this family, but the eighth or ninth child of  Nellie Ardelle Luther.  
   F. W. McLaughlin of W. Stewartstown, NH was listed as the physician or attendant at birth.  The name does not indicate whether or not he/she was a physician, but I know from Report of the State Board of Health of the State of New Hampshire for the Two Years Ending ..., Volume 20,  Published by Arthur E. Clark public printer 1908, and found on Google Books, that there was a Dr. F. W. McLaughlin of West Stewartstown at that time.
   There are two problems with this record. 
   Firstly - The day of the month is missing. 
   Secondly - The month may be incorrect. My grandmother always celebrated her birthday on May 23rd.
   This is certainly the official birth record for my grandmother. I would use it as a primary source for her place of birth, and the names of her parents, but not for her date of birth. What could account for the lack of a birth date, and the possibility of an incorrect birth month?  I can only guess, that some time passed before the doctor reported the birth, and he simply did not remember when it occurred. Assuming that the Town Clerk's records were in chronological order as stated, perhaps the birth was recorded in the correct place in the record book according to known birth dates of the births just before and after  my grandmother's.  Clarksville was sparsely populated and there would not have been many births in a year. It is likely, but by no means certain, that my grandmother was born, May 23rd 1907.  She was my grandfather's only daughter, and he may have remembered it as a very special day in his life.
   When my grandmother had to furnish proof of her birth information, no birth record was found in Clarksville, New Hampshire. I seem to remember that she was told the records were destroyed in a fire.  May 23, 1907 was accepted by the Social Security Administration only after my grandmother's half-sister, 20 years her senior, wrote a letter stating that she was present at the birth on May 23, 1907. I do not have a copy of the letter, nor can I verify her statement.

    

State of New Hampshire, Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, Registrar of Vital Records, and Health Statistics, Certification of Vital Record , Clarksville, Coos County, New Hampshire, Certificate Number 00484485, Isabelle E. Amey, Certified Copy issued  31 January 2000 held in personal collection of author.













Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Genealogical Giant - Talk about Irish Luck!

   Dave McDonald in his "Thinking Genealogically" blog wrote a recent post about a "genealogical giant" in his life.  He asked his readers about their own "genealogical giants."
   One who immediately came to my mind was Ed O'Day. Ed and I have never met in person, but corresponded for awhile years ago.  I learned about him from a member of the historical society in my Massachusetts home town. I remembered his parents, the Postmaster and Postmistress in town, but I had never met Ed, who had left town, probably before I was born.  Known to many as Professor Emeritus at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, here was a hometown descendant of an Irish Famine era family. He had extensively researched his own family and other local Irish families, as well. And he was willing to share some of his knowledge with me!
   He shared information from the Chattel Mortgage Books he found in the basement of the town hall. (I would never have learned of their existence from any other source.) He had naturalization information found at the county courthouse. I learned from him that naturalization papers for the brother of my husband's great great grandfather contained the parish and county of his birthplace in Ireland. I hadn't even known there was a brother! Later, I was able to locate images of these naturalization papers online at familysearch.org.
   Ed was familiar with the history of the Roman Catholic church in the area, and knew how to find records according to the time period.  He had written a history of the Roman Catholic Parish in our town. He had also researched and written a scholarly article about Irish railroad workers.
   Ed published some information helpful to those researching Irish families.  It is on a website entitled Irish and Irish-American Family Research Many listed resources have become available online in the fourteen years since he posted the information. A checklist for locating Irish origins using American records is just one of the items available on this site.
   I will always be grateful for Ed's kindness, assistance, and encouragement.  I feel so fortunate to have found an Irish genealogist and historian from my own hometown.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Photo of Gordon Richards For Sale on Ebay

EBay has a photo of Gordon Richards for sale.  The photo of an infant child on a pillow, was taken outdoors in a rocking chair.  See the photo at this link  http://www.ebay.com/itm/G09-782-Gordon-Richards-West-Brookfield-MA-idd-/200905907381?hash=item2ec6ecdcb5:g:nH0AAOSwPe1UFKyJ


Most likely this is G[eorge] Gordon Richards, born 14 March 1908 in West Brookfield, Massachusetts, son of George Leonard Richards and Cora Elizabeth Mundell.