Sunday, December 18, 2011

Paul Crosby Chamberlain - born Dec. 18, 1883.

Paul Crosby Chamberlain was the fifth born son of Daniel Henry Chamberlain and Alice Maria Ingersoll.  He was born on December 18, 1883 in New York, NY where his family lived after his father left the governorship of South Carolina.  His middle name and birth information are found on his Sept. 15, 1911 passport application found on Ancestry.com.

Paul lived with his father and younger brother Waldo on the family farm in West Brookfield, at the time of the 1900 United States census.  He was age sixteen and attending school at that time.  He attended Yale Medical School beginning in Oct. 1901.

He became a journalist, according to the above mentioned passport application, and went to England.   Paul served in the Royal field artillery and was wounded in the battle of Flanders in 1915.  An article in the Springfield Daily Republican of Oct. 28, 1915 states that he was a 2nd lieutenant at the time, and recovering in the Ewell and Epson war hospital on Epson Downs near London.

A History of West Brookfield, 1675 - 1990, by Jeffrey H. Fiske, page 163, states that Paul and his wife were killed in a London bombing raid in December of 1940.  According to this reference, Paul had become a British citizen after service in World War I, and was a member of the London home guard.  England & Wales Death Index, 1916 - 2005, Ancestry.com has Paul C. Chamberlain, age 50, death Dec. 1940, Westminister, London, England.  There is also an entry for a Marian Chamberlain at same time and location.  England & Wales Marriage Index has entry in July - Sept.  of 1933 for a Paul Chamberlain and a Marian Greenaway.  Further research needed to confirm that the records refer to Paul Crosby Chamberlain, son of Daniel Henry Chamberlain.

I would be interested in learning more about the life of Paul Chamberlain from the time he left West Brookfield until the time of his death.  Please contact me if you have photos or further information.

Further information about the Chamberlain family is available at West Brookfield, Massachusetts Genealogy Project

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Alfred Cornelius White, born Nov. 23, 1847 - Mayflower Descendant?

Alfred Cornelius White was born Nov. 23, 1847 in Amherst, Massachusetts to Samuel Newell White and Harriet (Chamberlain), both born in Brookfield. He came to West Brookfield with his parents and siblings sometime between 1850 and 1852 and settled on the White family farm. (now Salem Cross Inn)  Alfred, the only male child among nine children in the family, appears to have left West Brookfield between 1870 and 1880, for a period of at least twenty years.  He returned to the family farm sometime in the 1890's and became active in West Brookfield town and social affairs.  He was a long time member of the school board, the West Brookfield Farmers' Club, the grange, and the Masonic Lodge.

Where was Alfred for those twenty or so years?  According to his obituary in the Springfield Daily Republican of August 8, 1914, he lived in the south and west, and for a time was a "sheep raiser and ranch man in Texas."  I have not yet found any evidence of his whereabouts during those years, but intend to continue my research. One might wonder about the circumstances of his leaving the family farm, and also of his return.

What of the Mayflower ancestors?  It has been written, that Alfred's family was descended from Peregrine White, who was the first white male born in this country.  I have not done the research necessary to verify this information, and some who  have attempted to verify it, have been unable to identify the parents of John White, the first of this White Family to settle in West Brookfield.  Readers might start a search by contacting the Mayflower Society.

Some information on Alfred and his family in West Brookfield may be found online at http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=wb2006&id=I4886

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Mary Catholic Parishes to Merge on Nov. 21, 2011

An article from the Catholic Free Press of Nov. 17, 2011 may be found online at http://www.catholicfreepress.org/lead-story-1/2011/11/17/brookfield-parishes-officially-merge/

According to the article, the new Parish will be named Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, and although both churches will remain open, the West Brookfield Church with more space and more parking, will be the main church.

Useful Data in Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts Membership Cards

Members of the New England Historic Genealogical Society now have access to Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts Membership Cards, 1733­–1990.  They are available at  https://www.americanancestors.org/ for surnames beginning with A thru T.  The cards contain person's full name, date and place of birth, residence, occupation, dates pertaining to status in the lodge, and in some cases, date of death for those who died or left the organization before 1990. 

The database may be searched by name, but for my purposes as a West Brookfield researcher, I found it helpful to search by only the name of the lodge in West Brookfield, which is Bay Path.  I went to the search screen and selected the Category, Societies and Organizations; then the Database, Massachusetts: Grand Lodge of Masons Membership Cards, 1733 - 1990; then I scrolled down the page to where it said Lodge and typed in Bay Path.  There were 105 entries from which I was able to extract information which I had not previously found, such as birth dates post 1915, and death dates predating the Social Security Death Index. 

What's next?  I can search for West Brookfield men who left town and became members of Masonic Lodges in other towns using the name search function.  I can use dates of death to look for obituaries at http://www.genealogybank.com/.  I can look for census and vital record information on https://www.familysearch.org/ for free, or on paid sites such as Ancestry.com.  I can use address information to search the http://www.masslandrecords.com/Worcester/ 

I hope my readers find this information helpful.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Some still without power in West Brookfield

It has been almost a week since 15" of snow fell in West Brokfield, and many homes are still without power.  Snow covered trees and branches, with leaves still on them, are laying across power lines and roads.  Some power and phone lines were even ripped from homes.  Patience is wearing very thin for even the hardiest of folks blame the power company for not trimming the tree branches which were hanging over the lines. 

Those familiar with the area know that cell phones do not work in some locations due to the lack of cell towers and the hilly terrain. Communication is difficult, if not impossible.

Snow is beginning to melt slowly, and businesses along Route 9, where there is power, are open.  Gas stations and restaurants, especially, are doing a booming business.  I would imagine that people who cut and sell wood are doing well, too.

Schools remain closed.  Quaboag Regional High School is still operating as a shelter for people who need a warm place to sleep, or perhaps a warm shower.

Today's Quaboag Current does have some storm related stories and photos.  You may view them online at http://quaboagcurrent.com/

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

James Dillon - born Nov. 2, 1807 in Ireland

Ancestry.com has a database called, Selected U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1966.  A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to find an entry in Vol. 3-468, Worcester Superior Court, for James Dillon of West Brookfield.  The index card gave Nov. 2, 1807 as his date of birth, and Ireland as his place of birth or allegiance.  His naturalization date was January 1, 1860.  This source is the only one I have found which gives a date of birth.  James' death record , [Massachusetts, Worcester, West Brookfield Deaths, 1860, Vol. 140: Pg. 258,] does not give his age at death, nor does it name his parents.  It does say that he was born in Ireland.  Census records seem to indicate that 1807 certainly could be the correct birth year for James.

I know that James came from Ireland sometime between 1846 when his son, John was born or baptized in County Galway, Ireland, and 1849, when a daughter Honora, was born in West Brookfield.  James and his wife Honora (Liddy) had a least four children when they came to the United States from Ireland.  The first known child, was a daughter Sarah, born or baptized in Galway in 1839.  Sons Patrick, John, and James, also were born or baptized in County Galway.  West Brookfield vital records reveal five children born to this couple in that town.

James worked as a laborer in town, possibly on the railroad.  The 1850 census indicates that he was unable to read or write.  He died on April 16, 1860 of Dropsey, according to West Brookfield records.  He was a storekeeper at the time of his death.  The 1860 Federal Mortality Schedule has an entry for James Deland, of West Brookfield who died of "Consumption Blood."  This James Deland's age was noted as 56, and birth place was given as Ireland.  He was a day laborer who had been ill for 11 months.  Burial was in St. William's Cemetery in Ware.

Three sons of James and Honora Dillon, Patrick, John, and James, fought in the Civil War. 

More about the family of James and Honora (Liddy) Dillon may be found on the West Brookfield Genealogy Website http://westbrookfieldgenealogy.org/genealogy/   This is a free site, and no log in is needed in order to search the site.

The County Galway birth/baptismal records may be purchased from http://www.rootsireland.ie/    Three of them are from the civil parish of Oranmore in County Galway.  The fourth says, " St. Nicholas Combined N&E," on the Parish/District Line.  Witnesses are noted on all four records.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Eli M. Converse - West Brookfield Merchant - born October 31, 1850

Eli M. Converse was born in Brookfield on October 31, 1850.  His parents were James, a shoemaker, born in North Brookfield,  and Mary, born in Brookfield..  Eli spent his boyhood in Brookfield and married Nancy M. Prouty there on May 1, 1878.  Nancy died on October 14, 1883.  On December 20, 1887 Eli married a school teacher from Brookfield named Lucy Maria Dunton.  They moved to West Brookfield probably the following year.  A daughter Elsie was born in 1889 and a son Robert came along in 1891.

Eli was engaged in commerce in West Brookfield, owning and operating a general store in the Wheeler-Conway Block, first with Frank Blodget and then by himself.  The business was sold to Charles O. M. Edson in 1914.

Eli served the town of West Brookfield as a selectman and school committeeman.  He also served in the Massachusetts Legislature in 1911.  He died in his home on School St. on February 24, 1936 after a long illness.  His obituary appeared on page four of the Springfield Daily Republican on February 25, 1936.

Sources: A History of West Brookfield :1674 - 1990 by Jeffrey H. Fiske
Obituary of Eli M. Converse; Springfield Daily Republican, Feb. 25, 1936; p.4
Vital records of Brookfield and West Brookfield, MA

Weekend storm leaves 15" of snow - downed trees, no electricity or phone

Word from family is that there is 15" of snow on the ground, along with many trees and branches.  Power is not expected to be restored until at least Thursday.

Although I remember snow flurries once on Halloween, I do not remember ever having any significant amount of snow in October when I was growing up in West Brookfield.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Orianna Tyler and Eugene Kirkland married Oct. 28, 1891

Orianna Tyler was born in West Brookfield on April 13, 1863.  She was the daughter of George F. and Caroline (Pepper) Tyler.  Orianna married Eugene Kirkland, son of Charles and Elizabeth on October 28, 1891, according to The Tyler Genealogy: The Descendants of Job Tyler, of Andover, Massachusetts, 1619-1700.  No location is given for the marriage, and no record has been located in Massachusetts vital records.

Eugene was born in Huntington, MA on Nov. 14, 1857, according to the Tyler Genealogy.  Huntington vital records show the birth of an unnamed male Kirkland on that date.

 The 1880 census has Eugene living with a brother in Washington State, and the 1900 census has Eugene, Orianna and daughters Helen and Eva living in Colfax, Whitman County Washington.  Daughter Eva died in 1925, Eugene died in 1926, and Orianna lived until Dec. 13, 1954.  I have found no record of Helen after the 1920 census.

Where were Orianna and Eugene married?

What became of Helen Irene Kirkland born Whitman County Washington on April 13, 1895?

Please share the answer if you know it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Alonzo Edmond Gilbert - Born Oct.26, 1846; married Oct. 26, 1871

Alonzo Edmond Gilbert was born in Brookfield on October 26, 1846.  His parents were Nathaniel and Lucy S. (Rich) Gilbert.  Alonzo grew up in West Brookfield and worked in the shoe industry as a young man.  He married Annie May Handy, a native of Readville, ME, on October 26, 1871.  Their marriage is recorded both in Brookfield and West Brookfield vital records.  Since both Alonzo and Annie lived in West Brookfield at the time of the marriage, I suspect that they were married in Brookfield.

Alonzo and Annie had a son, Eugene Alonzo Gilbert, said to have been born in Dover, New Hampshire in 1873. [no record found]  By 1900 the family was back in West Brookfield where Alonzo was employed as a grain and coal dealer.  Annie died in 1910, and Alonzo moved with Eugene's family to Wilbraham sometime between 1910 and 1920.  Alonzo's Death was recorded in Springfield in 1925 in Volume 73, page 434 of Springfield Vital Records.   Eugene and family are found in the 1930 census in Springfield. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lillian Nancy Gilbert - born October 25, 1866

Lillian Nancy Gilbert, daughter of David Wait Gilbert and his wife Sarah Jane (Bush), was born in West Brookfield on Oct. 25, 1866.  The family moved to Boylston by 1869 and to Worcester by 1880.

Lillian married Artliff F. Dunkerton in Worcester on March 15, 1888.  The couple had three children.  Artliff died in Leicester in 1918, but Lillian was was enumerated in the 1930 census with the family of her son Charles in Auburn.  She died in Paxton in 1948.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Edward Clennan - born October 24, 1877

Edward Clennan was born in West Brookfield on October 24, 1877.   His parents  Andrew and Margaret (McEvoy) Clennan were both West Brookfield natives.

Edward worked as a day laborer doing odd jobs in the area and continued living at home until at least 1910, when a young Minnie Frohloff  boarded in the Clennan home in West Brookfield while working as a stitcher in a local corset factory.   Minnie was the daughter of Julius Gustave and Wilhemena (Priebe) Frohloff.  She was born in Massachusetts on Dec. 22, 1891.  Her parents had come from Germany and settled in New Braintree.

According to Edward's World War I Draft Registration Card, dated September 12, 1918, he was still living in West Brookfield and had secured employment working for the local highway department.  I have not found Edward in the1920 census.

Minnie Frohloff was still boarding in West Brookfield in 1920, but was living with the Boucher family. She had become a forelady in the corset shop by this time.

By the time of the 1930 census, Edward and Minnie had married and were living in Manhattan, New York where Edward worked as a carpenter.  They returned to Massachusetts in the late 1930's and settled in Holyoke.  Edward died at home in Holyoke in July of 1943.  He was buried in West Brookfield Cemetery.  (probably Pine Grove)  Minnie lived on in Holyoke, and died in a Chicopee nursing home on July 12, 1971.  A brief obituary stated that she was cremated.  [No children were enumerated in the 1930 census and none were mentioned in either Edward's or Minnie's obituary.]

Where and when (1920 -1930) were Edward Clennan and Minnie Frohloff married?  I suspect that they were not married in a church, but cannot be certain.  Edward's family was Catholic and Minnie's family was Lutheran.  Please post the answer to this question in the comment section, if you know.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Quick Trip to West Brookfield - Always Beautiful in Autumn!

I just returned from a very short visit in West Brookfield.  I did not have time to do any family history research, but did see some family members I had not seen in quite a while, as we all celebrated some family milestones.  The leaves were beginning to show their beautiful fall colors and this coming weekend should be a wonderful time to drive in the country.  Howard's Drive-In will be closing for the season this weekend, so be sure to stop by for your favorite fare.  I certainly enjoyed the fried scallops and onion rings, as always.

West Brookfield researchers will be happy to hear about a new resource becoming available this week.  Due to the generosity of Alice Jay, each library in the Quaboag Plantation towns will be receiving a copy of a new book.  This book, entitled, Quaboag Plantation, the Beginning, includes transcriptions of early parish meeting records (Congregational Church) from 1754 - 1826.  I will try to find more details about the publication this week.

Coming very soon is the auction for the preservation of the Rock House Reservation.

Those whose research includes the village of West Warren, may be interested to know of an effort to compile a village history.  Pete Hastings is the person to contact for information.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Joshua Metcalf Chamberlain - born October 2, 1825

Joshua Chamberlain was born in Brookfield, Massachusetts on October 2, 1825 to Eli and Achsah (Forbes) Chamberlain, according to Brookfield Vital Records.  He was one of a family of ten children which included younger brothers, Daniel Henry and Leander Trowbridge Chamberlain.

Joshua became a Congregational minister who worked in Dubuque, Des Moines, and Eddyville, Iowa.  He did Christian Commission work and served the American Missionary Association as state agent.  He was mostly identified with Iowa College in Grinnell, Iowa where he served for thirty-six years as trustee, nearly twenty years as treasurer and financial agent, and six years as librarian.  He generously donated thousands to the college. A women's dormitory was built on the property where the Chamberlain home once stood.  This land was also a gift to the college.

He was at different times editor of the Grinnell Herald, the Grinnell Independent and Congregational Iowa.  He also contributed to various periodicals.

Joshua died on November 12, 1897 in Grinnell, Iowa, leaving his second wife, Eliza, and daughter Mary, from his first marriage. He was buried in Hazelwood Cemetery in Grinnell.

Sources:The pilgrims of Iowa; by Truman O. Douglass, Pilgrim Press, Boston, MA; Heritage Quest

Annual reports of the Department of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1898. Report of the Commissioner of Education. Volume 2. Containing Parts II and III.
Date: 1899-01-01; Publication: Serial Set Vol. No. 3767, Session Vol. No.25; Report: H.Doc. 5 pt. 5.2 & 5.3;  Genealogybank.com

Iowa Cemetery Records;  Ancestry.com

Friday, September 30, 2011

Charles E. Thompson - born Sept. 30, 1843

Charles E. Thompson was born Sept. 30, 1843 in South Hadley Falls, to Francis W. and Mary W. (Gilbert) Thompson. 

Charles lived in West Brookfield from a very young age and attended local schools.  He entered the shoe trade, as a young man.

He saw service during the Civil War enlisting as a Private in Co. D, 34th MA on 27 July 1862, and continuing to serve until his transfer out in Harpers Ferry, VA on Sept. 6. 1864.  That same day, he joined the Co. H of the 22nd VRC (Veterans Reserve Corps) as a Corporal, and continued his service until the end of the war.  He was discharged in Columbus, Ohio. [July 1, 1865]  He suffered from rheumatism and heart disease while serving in Harpers Ferry in 1864 according to records from  the US National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866 - 1938 database found on Ancestry.com.

It is unclear what Charles did immediately after his discharge in 1865, but he eventually returned to West Brookfield and married Emma Jane Bigelow there, on May 3, 1871.   The 1880 census in West Brookfield shows that Charles had returned to the boot trade, and that his wife had given birth to two daughters.  Estella, was born in 1872, and Carrie was born in 1874.

Charles applied for Civil War Pension as an invalid Sept. 5, 1890.  He was admitted to  the U. S. National Home for Volunteer Soldiers in Togus, Maine, in 1892, but was discharged dishonorably "for drunkenness and bringing liquor into the home with intent to distribute," in 1893.  He may have stayed in Maine where he died in Oakland, Kennebec County on December 23, 1906.  He was buried in Oakland, according to Maine records.

Emma Bigelow Thompson lived in West Brookfield until her death in 1937.  Daughter Carrie married William Edward Dixon in 1894 and moved away.  Estella, known to me as "Stella" stayed in town and never married.  She spent the last nine years of her life at Quaboag Nursing Home and died at Mary Lane Hosptial in Ware at the age of 99.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

James Joyce - born September 28, 1866 - When and where did he die?

James Joyce, son of William and Julia (Hyland) Joyce, was born in West Brookfield on September 28, 1866.  He was enumerated in West Brookfield a the time of the 1920 census, and was probably the unnamed brother, aged 63, enumerated with Elizabeth Joyce in 1930.  The August 3, 1941 obituary of his nephew, William Edward Joyce, found in the Springfield Sunday Union and Republican, page 14A, named James and his sister Elizabeth as surviving relatives living in West Brookfield.

Please leave a comment, or contact me privately, if you have additional information about James, or the Joyce family of West Brookfield.

Jerome P. Ducy/Ducey - born Sept. 28, 1862

West Brookfield Vital Records show the birth, Sept. 28, 1862, of Jeremiah Ducy, son of James, Shoemaker, & Mary Martin, both born Ireland.  He was the seventh child in a family of eleven children.  He is called Jerome in the 1870 census in West Brookfield, and also in 1880, when at age 17, he was working in a boot shop.  After the death of his father James in 1890, Jerome, along with his mother and sisters moved to Worcester.  Jerome's mother Mary died in Worcester in 1899, and he continued to live there with his sisters.  The 1900 census taker enunmerated the family on Bancroft St.  Jerome, enumerated as Patrick, was working as a shoe stitcher.  Patrick and his sisters Mary, Martha, and Agnes lived on 20 Stoneland Rd. in 1910.  Patrick was employed in a shop as a machinist.

Sadly Jerome Patrick Ducy died of Lobar Pneumonia on April 27, 1913.  The record of his death included the following information: Patrick J. Ducey of Worcester, born West Brookfield, son of James and Mary (Gilmartin) both born Ireland, died at 20 Stoneland Rd. on 27 April 1913, of Lobar Pneumonia,, and was buried Apr. 29, 1913 in Sacred Heart Cemetery,  West Brookfield.  He was a stitcher for Warren Leather Goods.

A notice in the Springfield Daily Republican of April 30, 1913 read, "The body of Jerome P. Ducey, a former resident of West Brookfield, was taken there for burial yesterday morning for burial in Sacred Heart cemetery."  The notice also stated that he was born in West Brookfield.  Siblings who survived him were named as Frank [John Francis] Ducey of San Francisco, James Ducey of Brockton, and sisters Mrs. Kate Fitzpatrick, and the misses Mary, Marie, Mattie, and Agnes Ducey, all of Worcester.

[There were two families in West Brookfield with the name of Ducey or Ducy.  These families seem to have been unrelated.  The family of James Ducy, which included Jerome Patrick, most often spelled the name DUCY.  The family of John Ducey, most often spelled the name DUCEY. ]

More information about these and other West Brookfield families may be found at
http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=wb2006&id=I1626

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Alvin M. Thompson and Mary Rice Bigelow - married Sept. 27, 1843 in North Brookfield

Alvin M. Thompson, born Feb. 22, 1823 in Brookfield, son of William and Ormacinda (Moore) Thompson, married Mary Rice Bigelow, daughter of Jonas Bigelow and Nancy Maynard.  The marriage was performed by Rev. Dr. Snell of the Congregational Church in North Brookfield on Sept. 27, 1843.

Alvin and Mary had four children including Ella Medora, who married Myron Sherman, twins Elnora and Nellie who died at six months old, and Henry Moore Thomspon who married Charlotte H. Maars.

Alvin enlisted in 1862, as a Private in Co. K of the 36th MA Infantry.  He was taken prisoner at Campbell's Station on Nov. 11, 1863 and supposed to have died at Andersonville Prison on March 4, 1864.

Mary died in West Brookfield on May 4, 1902, and is buried in North Brookfield.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Leander Trowbridge Chamberlain born September 26, 1838

Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915, and online database of record extractions provides that Leander Trowbridge Chamberlain was born or christened in Brookfield, Worcester, MA in August of 1837.  His parents were Eli Chamberlain and Achsah.  His obituary provides a birth date of Sept. 26, 1838.

Rev. Chamberlain graduated as Valedictorian from both Phillips Academy and Yale.  He enlisted as assistant paymaster in the Navy on the day he graduated from Yale, and was sent to the South Pacific.  He was promoted to the office of naval storekeeper and later, judge advocate of the fleet.

He graduated from Andover Theological Seminary in 1869, and became pastor of the New England Congregational church in Chicago.  His parish was in the the center of the great fire in 1871 and he became superintendent of the relief association. Rev. Chamberlain left Chicago in 1876 to become pastor of the Broadway Congregation Church in Norwich, Connecticut.  He received his doctor of divinity degree from the University of Vermont in June of 1879.  In 1883 Rev. Dr. Chamberlain became pastor of the Casson Avenue, Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, NY where he preached until the day before his marriage when he left for Philadelphia.

Records show that a marriage license was obtained in Philadelphia, PA in 1890 and that the intended bride's name was Lea.(index no. 39554).  The New York Herald - Tribune of December 30, 1890 names the bride as Frances Lea, a sister of writer Henry Carey Lea, and gives details about the wedding that is to happen in Philadelphia that very day. Sadly. Frances Chamberlain died in early March of 1894.

Throughout his life Rev. Chamberlain continued to preach throughout the nation and served in numerous capacities in New York City and elsewhere.  He founded the Brooklyn institute of arts and sciences, and was President of the Untied States Evangelical alliance.   He was also president and secretary of the American and Foreign Missionary union.  He was vice president of the Immigration Committee of the Civic Federation in 1909 and spoke in opposition to further restrictions on immigration, stating that the immigration laws at the time were sufficient to protect the county from undesirable foreigners.

Leander was a resident of Pasadena, California when he died in Altadina on May 9, 1913.  He was buried with his wife in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA.  Dr. Chamberlain left $63,000 to religious, benevolent and scientific organizations.  He also gave $100,000 to an institute in Turkey which he had projected and fostered.

Rev. Dr. Chamberlain was the brother of the Honorable Daniel Henry Chamberlain, once governor of South Carolina.  Dr. Chamberlain preached or spoke in West Brookfield numerous times,  including at the dedication of the Meriam Public Library in 1880.

Friday, September 16, 2011

William Adams - Born Sept. 16, 1824 - Was Civil War Casualty

William Adams was one of three sons of Benjamin Adams and Frances Holmes who fought in the Civil War.  The West Brookfield Historical Commission has more information about the Adams brothers on its website at http://westbrookfield.org/biographies/15th-adams-3/

For more information about the family you can go to http://westbrookfieldgenealogy.org/Genealogy/
No user account or log in is required to use the search function.

More information on this or any West Brookfield family is always welcome.

Lucius Phelps Chamberlain - Born Sept. 16, 1830

Lucius Phelps Chamberlain was born in Brookfield, Massachusetts on September 16, 1830 to Eli and Achsah Chamberlain.  The eighth of ten children, he was the brother of Daniel Henry Chamberlain, and Rev. Dr. Leander Chamberlain, both of whom achieved national prominence.  Educated in local schools, Lucius continued his schooling at Amherst Academy.  He taught school for several years, after which he was employed at the State Reformatory at Westboro, MA, for a period of four years. Lucius left Westboro to be come farm superintendent at the Connecticut State School for boys. 

He married Eliza A. Merriman in Meriden, Connecticut on April 5, 1859 and lived in Meriden, CT for twenty-five years, serving once as a member of the Common Council there. In 1884 he became a professor of agriculture at the Connecticut Agricultural College at Storrs where he stayed until1902.  Lucius moved to the Hartford area in 1902 and to Rocky Hill in 1910.  He died in Rocky Hill on February 25, 1916, and was buried in Walnut Grove Cemetery in Meriden. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Charlotte Tomblin Fales born September 14, 1871

Charlotte Tomblin Fales was born in West Brookfield on September 14, 1871.  Her parents were George H. Fales and Laurinda Tomblin, both West Brookfield natives.  Charlotte graduated from the music department of Wesleyan Academy in Monson (later Monson Academy) in 1891.  An accomplished pianist and organist, she served the Congregational church in West Brookfield for a total of fifty years, retiring in 1963.  She also was the organist for the Ware Congregational Church for a time.

Charlotte was an active member of the West Brookfield Congregational Church where she belonged to the social and charitable society; as well as, the parish auxiliary.  She was also a Red Cross volunteer and a member of the Quaboag Historical Society.

Miss Fales died February 17, 1971 in her home on Main St. at the age of ninety-nine.  She was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.


The West Brookfield Historical Commission has a file containing information on the Fales family.  The file includes handwritten notes and family trees. Some of the notes were written on small pieces of paper about 2"X 3" probably by Charlotte's sister Marguerita (Fales) Fuguet. The file also contains information on the Tomblin and Rice families. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

George Hammond Brown, born Sept. 3, 1937

George Hammond Brown was born September 3, 1837 to Hammond and Roxy Bemis according to Brookfield Vital Records.  He was educated in local schools, and married Alice Maria Shaw in West Brookfield on September 25, 1865.  George was engaged in the grain business with George Crowell in the firm of Crowell & Brown.  Later, he joined his father, Hammond Brown in a shoe business known as Brown & Son.  Once retired from the shoe business, he farmed in town.

Mr. Brown served the town of West Brookfield  as a selectman, a member of the Common Committee, a constable and a fireman.  He also served as a delegate to the state legislature in the 1880's.

George and Alice had two sons, Herbert Shaw Brown, and George H., Jr.  Alice died in 1915, and George died at his home on South Main Street, on February 2, 1919.  They are buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Peter and Hannah Mulvey


This photo was taken in 2009.  I returned to Sacred Heart Cemetery in West Brookfield in September 2010 and found that the columns and the top of the monument were missing.  I do not know the circumstances under which the monument changed.

More information on the family of Peter and Hannah Ford Mulvey is available at http://westbrookfieldgenealogy.org/Genealogy/
The site may be searched without a login.  Anyone interested in copies of family obituaries is urged to click on the Information Request Form tab above, and submit the form with the name Mulvey and your contact information.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Charles Ernest Bell and Thelma A. Allen - married August 20, 1936

Springfield Daily Republican, Springfield, Mass., Friday, August 21, 1936
"Miss Thelma Allen Weds Charles Bell"
"West Brookfield, August 20 - Miss Thelma A. Allen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Helen[sic], and Charles Ernest Bell, son of Mrs. Charles Bell, were married this afternoon at the home of the groom on Myrick street.  The double ring service was performed by Rev. Oliver S. Weise, pastor of the First Congregational church, assisted by Rev. J. Howard Gaylord, pastor of the Congregational church at New Braintree.  The wedding march was played by Mrs. William Richardson."
"The bride was attended by her sister, Mrs. Permelia Froton, and the best man was George H. Bell, brother of the groom.  The bride wore white crepe with hat to match.  the matron of honor wore pink crepe with matching hat.  Both carried arm bouquets of roses."
"The couple left for a wedding trip to Niagara Falls.  On their return the will be at home in the Bell home on Myrick street.  Miss Helen[sic] has been bookkeeper at the Quaboag Roofing company.  She is a member of the Congregational church and the Grange.  Mr. Bell is employed at the Warren Steam Pump company.  He is chairman of the town Republican committee."

Thelma and Ernest lived in the home on Myrick street and raised two daughters there.  Mr. Bell could sometimes be observed tending to bee hives which he kept on the property.  Ernest was an accountant at Warren Steam Pump company for thirty-seven years.  He also was a deacon emeritus in the Congregational church, and served the town as a member of both the School Committee and the Board of Registrars.  Thelma served for a time as town tax collector.  For eighteen years, she was clerk of the West Brookfield Water Department.  She was an active member of the Congregational church and  the American Legion Auxiliary. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Miss Bertha May Henshaw, born Aug. 19, 1899 - School Teacher

Bertha May Henshaw was born in West Brookfield on August 19, 1899.  Her parents were David Forbes Henshaw, a West Brookfield farmer, and his wife Nellie (Lawrence.)   Bertha graduated from West Brookfield Grammar School in 1913, and Warren High School in 1917. She was a graduate of Westfield State College.  She taught at the Thorndike Street School in Palmer in 1929.  Sometime before 1937 Bertha began teaching in West Brookfield at the Milk Street School.  She served as Principal in that school, while continuing to teach,  beginning in the fall of 1938 and ending in the 1950's.  She taught at West Brookfield Elementary School, which replaced the Milk St. and School St. Schools in the spring of 1953, until her retirement in 1964.

I remember that Miss Henshaw, during her years at West Brookfield Elementary School, taught first grade.  She guided us as we learned to read, using the "Look -See" method, and taught us simple arithmetic using little green wooden cubes called "counters."  She had a pair of gray wool slacks which she wore outside at recess in the winter time, and was the only woman that I knew to wear slacks in the mid 1950's. 

Bertha was active in the Congregational Church in town, and a member of the local senior citizens group.  She died in Quaboag Nursing Home on March 2, 1990.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Edna Mae (Allen) Nelson born Aug. 18, 1887

Edna Mae Allen was born in West Brookfield on August 18, 1887.  Her parents were George E. and Nellie Jane (Spear) Allen.  Edna attended West Brookfield schools, and in 1910, was a member of the first graduation class of the Worcester Art Museum [sic] according to her obituary.

In 1917, Edna married Arthur Nelson, a Methodist minister who was almost thirty years her senior.  Arthur died in Orange, MA in January1920 after becoming ill from Ptomaine poisoning.  Edna returned to West Brookfield where she was active in the Methodist church. She also worked as a dressmaker. 

Edna and her sister Nettie (Allen) Woodward were very often seen together in town.  They, along with Nettie's step-daughter Winifred Woodward,  were easily recognized wearing their fur coats when the season for such attire had passed for most.

Edna died in Northampton on August 7, 1979 at the age of 92.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - E. Pearl Burgess

I subscribe to a blog called Geneabloggers which helps me keep up with blogs written by and for family history researchers.  Among the features of Geneabloggers are Daily Blogging Prompts which are suggested themes for bloggers to try.  One of these prompts is Amanuensis Monday which provides encouragement for family history bloggers to transcribe materials related to their research.  It was originally the suggestion of John Newmark on his Transylvanian Dutch blog.  Each Monday, when I read this prompt, I am reminded of the following document, some of which I thankfully transcribed before it became brittle and disintegrated.

St. Stephen's Collage
  E. Pearl Burgess has completed the regular course of study and practice prescribed in this Institution and upon a proper examination has been found to be a competent Stenographic Amanuensis and Typewriter Operator and as such she is commended to the favorable consideration of the business community.
December 19, 1913
[The wording of the body is exact; however, I am not certain as to the format of the lines and the placement of the title and date.] 

Edna Pearl Burgess was born in Little Ridge, Charlotte County, New Brunswick on March 26, 1891.  She was the daughter of Isaac Porter Burgess and his second wife Lucy Anne Blakeley.  Pearl joined two older brothers and six older half-siblings in the household.  Two younger brothers and three younger sisters were born into the family in subsequent years. 

Pearl attended St. Stephen's Collage in New Brunswick and completed the course of study there.  I have often wondered how it was that she was able to go to college, as her mother had died in 1907,  leaving six children between the ages of six and sixteen still at home.    Her education was to serve her well in life, although I do not know if she ever gained employment in New Brunswick. 

Pearl followed the example of her older brothers and came to Massachusetts in 1916.  She married Clarence Stanley Lyman in Athol the following year.  Clarence and Pearl began their married life in Athol and moved to Hardwick a few years later.  They operated a poultry farm in Hardwick, from which Clarence had an egg delivery route.  He also sold and delivered wood and ice.  In 1938, the Hardwick property became a part of the Quabbin Reservoir Watershed, and the couple moved to West Brookfield.

Once established on Church St. in West Brookfield, Clarence operated an oil delivery business in addition to his ice route.  The business office, in the dining room of their home, was Pearl's domain.  She answered the telephone, saying "Hello Lymanoil," and kept the financial records using a double pointed accounting pencil with a red point on one end, and a blue point on the other.  Shoe boxes full of receipts, placed in envelopes and bound in rubber bands, were kept on shelves.  I never saw her use shorthand or operate a typewriter, however.  Pearl often shared her business college wisdom with her grandchildren.  Most often this came in the form of lectures regarding the importance of one's physical appearance.  Hair was never to be so long as to completely cover the forehead, as one's intelligence could be judged by the appearance of his countenance.  "Beatle" length haircuts and short skirts of the 1960's were also of some concern.

Clarence Lyman died in October of 1960, and Pearl and her youngest son, Gordon, continued to operate C.S. Lyman and Sons, Inc., for a few years afterward.  Pearl died in September of 1970.



Clarence and Pearl Lyman
They lived in Hardwick but mailing address was Ware.

Edna Pearl Burgess Lyman
1960's


Monday, August 8, 2011

Josephine (Madden) Irish born August 8, 1879

Josephine Madden was born Johanna Madden on August 8, 1879 in West Brookfield. [West Brookfield Vital Records]  Her parents were John Madden, born in Ireland, and his second wife Johanna Daneher, born probably in Roxbury, MA.

Josephine married Frank (Chauncey Franklin) Irish, son of Samuel and Maria (Eaton) Irish, in Brookfield on November 27, 1901.  Frank worked at the Fishing Rod factory in town and Josephine was a stitcher.

Sometime after the birth of their first son, Harold, in August of 1903, the family moved to Connecticut, living first in Canaan, and eventually settling in Waterbury. Josephine died about 1939 in Waterbury,  leaving her husband and three children.  She is buried in Calvary Cemetery, in Waterbury.

[The maiden name of Josephine's mother, Johanna Danaher Madden,  is found in the records to have many variations, including Donahan, Danahar, and possibly Donbar.  Her parents were John and Bridget (Cunningham) Danaher, and I believe they arrived in the United States shortly before Johanna's birth, although I have located no birth record to date.  Johanna is sometimes found as Joanna on census records in Roxbury and later in Marlborough.]

Further information on the Madden and Irish families may be found in my online database which is linked to
http://westbrookfieldgenealogy.org/

Friday, August 5, 2011

Walter Potter and Mary Elizabeth Pratt - Married August 5, 1904

Walter Herbert Potter, son of Augustus N. and Mary (Sampson) Potter, and Mary Elizabeth Pratt, daughter of Austin W. and Elizabeth (McArdell) Pratt, were married at the home of the groom's parents, in West Brookfield, on August 5, 1904 by Rev. Leonard L. Beeman.  The marriage was announced in the August 8, 1904 edition of the Springfield Daily Republican.

Walter worked for the Standard Fishing Rod Company at the time of the marriage and Mary was "at home." [probably with her grandmother Ruth Pratt]  A son Herman was born in 1909. 

Walter was a foreman in a toy factory by the time of the 1910 census and was still doing that work in 1920.  The 1930 census gives his occupation as a painter of buildings, and his 1942 World War II Draft Registration gives his employer as Mc Laurin Jones Company of Brookfield.  He conducted his own business as an interior decorator for 30 years and was a member of the West Brookfield Fire Department, according to his obituary published in 1968.

Mary died in January of 1982 according to the Massachusetts Death Index.  I have been unable to find an obituary.

A possible note of interest  - Mary's father, Austin Wellington Pratt, was also known as "Hobo Kelly."  Newspaper articles from the 1920's describe him as a colorful character and story teller who rode the rails across country and back, and was occasionally jailed or committed to state hospitals.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wladyslaw Mazur and Emelia Furgal married August 3, 1909 in Warren, MA

Walter Mazur, born July 1, 1884 in Slupiac, Galicia, Austria and Emelia Elizabeth Furgal, born Lubacz, Austria were married in Warren on August 3, 1909.  They raised four children in Warren and divorced sometime between 1920 and 1930.

Emelia later married Edward Albert Buss and owned a home on Lake Wickaboag in West Brookfield.  She died in Norfolk, MA on June 20, 1961.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Clara Eliza (Hamilton) Reed - Born July 31, 1856

Clara Eliza Hamilton was born in West Brookfield on July 31, 1856.  Her parents were Horace Warren Hamilton and Laurinda (Barlow).  Clara graduated from Brookfield High School in 1874 and attended Oread Collegiate Institute of Worcester, according to her obituary published in the Springfield Daily Republican of July 10, 1937 on page 5. 

Clara married Sumner Haynes Reed, the son of Rev. Joel Everett and Serafina (Haynes.) (adopted son of Abel Wheeler Reed.)  The marriage took place in West Brookfield on June 6, 1878, according to Massachusetts Vital Records.  Clara's obituary tells of her prominent role in the Sunday school of the First Congregational church, stating that she held offices both on the local and regional level, and addressed conventions throughout New England.  The obituary goes on to say that she wrote papers for the various clubs and societies to which she belonged, and that she contributed poems and articles to newspapers and magazines.

Clara and Sumner Reed moved to Howard St. in Brookfield sometime between 1910 and 1920.  Clara died there on July 9, 1937 leaving three children.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Helen Stanley Dodge and Raymond Wells Burrington married July 30, 1927

The Springfield Sunday Union, July 31, 1927; page 10A announced the marriage in an article entitled "Helen S. Dodge Weds at West Brookfield: Becomes Bride of Raymond Burrington in Attractive Ceremony."
Details about the ceremony and wedding party, and the attire of the day followed. The announcement went on to relate information about the bride and groom including the education and occupations of each. 

Helen Dodge was the daughter of Herbert Dodge and Annie Ford.  She was born May 18, 1900, in West Brookfield and attended schools in town.  She graduated from Worcester Trade school and attended Post's Business school.  She was employed by Manchester Picadilly company of Springfield. 

Ray Burrington was born in Oct. 15, 1899 in Lunenburg, MA, to Horace and Lulu Genevieve (Rice) Burrington.  The family moved to Amherst where Ray graduated from Amherst High School and attended Massachusetts Agricultural college (now UMass).  He graduated from Michigan State Auto School in 1921, and in 1922 moved to West Brookfield and went to work for Carter's Complete Car Service. Ray, owned and operated  Ray's Service Station in what had been Carter's location on Main Street in town for many years beginning in the mid 1930's.  He was known to have an avid interest in antique automobiles and bicycles, and carried parts to use and sell to others who shared his interests.

Ray and Helen lived out their lives in West Brookfield where they were members of the Congregational Church.  Helen died May 23, 1973 and Ray died June 6, 1992.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Honora (Dillon) Slawson born July 28, 1849

Honora Dillon was born to James and Honora (Liddy) Dillon on July 28, 1849 in West Brookfield.  She was the fifth of nine known children, and the first to be born in the United States.  Her older siblings were born in County Galway, Ireland, and so, most likely were her parents.

Honora married Edward Slawson in May of 1870 and lived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at the time of the 1870 United States Census.  A son Robert D. Slawson was born in Pennsylvania in February 1872.  Sometime between 1880 and 1900 Edward Slawson died.  Honora lived in Easton, PA probably until her son was married and then returned to West Brookfield for a time. She was enumerated in Chicago with her sister Mary in the 1910 census.  Honora returned to Pennsylvania sometime between 1910 and 1920 and lived in Wilson with her sister Mary.  Mary died October 22, 1930, and Honora died July 22, 1936. 

The Easton Area Public Library has an index of newspaper death notices and obituaries which are on microfilm there.  I know from the index that there are newspaper notices for Honora Dillon Slawson, on July 23 and July 25, 1936.  Mary Dillon on Oct. 22 and 24 of 1930, and Robert D. Slawson on Oct. 14,16, and 18th of 1909.  The library will send copies of these notices for a fee of $5 each plus a SASE.  There is no way to know ahead of time what information is contained in these notices.

The index can be found online at http://www.eastonpl.org/obituary_index.htm and there is a link to a downloadable request form.

Robert Slawson, an electrician, died in East Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Oct. 13, 1909 leaving his wife Sue and two children.  Sue raised the children in Warren County, New Jersey.

I have more information on the family of James and Honora (Liddy) Dillon, and a family contact as well.  I can share what I have if you click on the "Information Request Form" tab at the top of the blog,  fill in the name of the person you have an interest in and your contact info, and submit.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Alfred Dwight Washburn died Martinsburg, West Virginia, July 24, 1864

   Alfred Dwight Washburn was born July 29 , 1819, in the part of Brookfield which became West Brookfield.  His parents were Ezra and Clarissa (Bartlett)Washburn.  He married Eliza Ann Gilbert, daughter of Coleman and Dorothy (Morse) Gilbert, in Brookfield on May 1, 1851.  Three children were known to have been born of this union.
   Alfred mustered in to Co. I of the 34th Massachusetts Infantry on August 2, 1862.  He died of disease in Martinsburg, West Virginia  on July 24, 1864.  His remains were returned to West Brookfield and he was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.  Eliza continued to live in town until her death in June of 1912.
   Daughter Laura Adelaide, married James Carnes in 1873.  Laura died in West Brookfield in 1925. Daughter Etta died in West Brookfield in 1909 at age fifty-one. Son Myron died in infancy.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Samuel Gardner Irish, Civil War Veteran, born July 23, 1842

Samuel Gardner Irish was born in Southbridge, MA on July 23, 1842 to Isaac C. and Lucy (Dodge) Irish.  He lived his boyhood years in Southbridge and moved to Brookfield in his late teens.  He worked in the shoe trade until mustering into Co. H of the 21st Massachusetts Infantry on Aug. 5, 1861.  Samuel was wounded in Newbern, North Carolina on March 15, 1862, and suffered a debilitating gun shot wound to the right shoulder at Petersburg, VA on July 30, 1864.  He was mustered out as a Sergeant on 30 Aug. 1864.  His service was credited to the town of Southbridge and his name appears on the monument there.

Samuel married Maria Ann Eaton, daughter of Hiram and Sarah Jane (Kendrick) Eaton on August 6, 1867 in North Brookfield.  The clergyman, J. W. Lewis of Southbridge, also married Samuel's brother Isaac Franklin Irish and Maria's sister Lucy Eaton in a double marriage ceremony.

Samuel and Maria lived in North Brookfield where their daughter Mabel and son Chauncey Franklin were born.  They moved to Lake Street in West Brookfield sometime between 1880 and 1890, and in October of 1895 Maria died of Carcinoma of the Breast at age 51.

Samuel married Maria (Nichols) Morton in West  Brookfield on Nov. 25, 1896 and they continued to live in West Brookfield where Samuel was a Senior Vice Commander of G.A.R. Post 160.  Samuel's eyesight failed considerably and he suffered from heart trouble, fainting spells and dizziness; as well as headaches, during his final year of life.  He died on May 23, 1925 and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.

Samuel's son Chauncey "Frank" Irish married Jospehine Madden, daughter of John Madden and Johanna Daneher, and eventually relocated to Waterbury, Connecticut.  He shortened his last name to Iris and his descendants are known by that name.  Samuel's daughter Mabel married Henry Nelson Smith of North Brookfield, the son of Lemuel anad Cornelia (Nelson) Smith.  Henry was crushed to death by the electric train in Brookfield in 1908 and Mabel eventually moved to Springfield, MA.  Many of Mabel's descendants live in Worcester County today.

Friday, July 22, 2011

John Joseph Mulvey - West Brookfield Fire Chief 1913 - 1916

John Mulvey's July 22, 1868 birth was recorded in West Brookfield Vital Records as John Joseph Mulverhill, son of Peter and Hannah, both born in Ireland. His father, Peter, was a Currier by trade, and a Winter Street property owner, by 1865.

John married Julia McCarthy in North Brookfield on September 13, 1893 and they raised their family of eight children in the family home on Winter St.  John learned the shoe making trade as a young man and later he became a travelling salesman for E. E. Angell Company of Boston. (1900 census lists occupation as provision dealer, 1910 census says travelling salesman - Bank Stamps)  He also worked for the Olmstead Corset company for a time, resigning from his position there in order to return to sales.

Active in the community, Mr. Mulvey was a member of the Quaboag Tribe of Red Men, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.  He served the town of West Brookfield as chief of the fire department from 1913 until his death.  He was also just a few months into a three year term as selectman, having been elected in the spring of 1915.  John became ill on Christmas day of 1915 and died of pneumonia on January 7, 1916 at the age of 47.   His obituary appeared in the Springfield Daily Republican on Saturday, January 8, 1916 on page 15.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Miles Cutler Webb - born July 18, 1899

Miles Cutler Webb was born in West Brookfield on July 18, 1899 to John Henry Webb, farmer, born Worcester,  and Carrie Etta (Cutler), born West Brookfield.  He received his education at Worcester Academy, Brown University, and Harvard Business School and returned to West Brookfield to work on the family farm until he found employment with Ware Trust. Co. 

Miles married his wife Gertrude about 1928.  She became the proprietor of Open Hearth Tea House located on East Main St. in what had been the Austin Phelps House, in June of 1929.
 
Mr. Webb was an Assistant Treasurer for Ware Trust Co. in 1936 and was appointed chairman of the agricultural committee of the Massachusetts Bankers Association.  He retired in August of 1964. Active in town affairs, he served two terms as a selectman in West Brookfield and later served the town as moderator. He died in June 1987.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Charles G. Knowlton died July 14, 1912

Charles Gilman Knowlton was born in Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hamphire on March 9, 1831, to John and Eliza (Burpee) Knowlton.  He married Jane Sholes in Pembroke, Plymouth, MA on March 1, 1860.

Charles' obituary found in the Springfield Daily Republican, Tuesday, July 16, 1912 on page 16, states that he was in the South during the Civil War and was taken prisoner in Brasser City, Louisiana on June 23, 1863 and released on October 21, 1864.  It further states that he was prohibited from returning to the North until five years had elapsed, and that he had spent time in Hempstead, Texas before returning to New England.  This is an interesting tale, and while I have been unable to verify all of the facts, I believe it may be true.

Charles and Jane were enumerated in Pembroke, MA in 1860.  Jane was living in Charlestown, MA with her mother and stepfather Rebecca and Albert Delano at the time of the 1865 Massachusetts Census.  Charles was not a member of that household nor did I find him in the Massachusetts State Census for that year.  I have been able to find birth records for sons Charles Dwight and George Philip Knowlton in Boscawen, New Hampshire in March 1867 and May 1868. These are the oldest known children of Charles and Jane and would indicate that seven years passed between their marriage and the birth of their first born.  Charles could have been in the South anytime between 1860 and 1866 based on my findings thus far.

Two other known children were Jennie, said to have been born in NH about 1872 [no record found] and Frank, who was born in West Brookfield in 1880 and died of Diphtheria in 1888.  The family had moved to West Brookfield between 1870 and 1879 when a local newspaper reported that Charles had launched the steamboat "Emma" on the river for the purpose of transporting picnickers to Brookfield or Podunk.  Mr. Knowlton was remembered as an engineer who was for many years the superintendent at the condensed milk factory in West Brookfield.

Jane (Sholes) Knowlton died in 1890, and Charles married Annie (Fowler) Martin in 1893.

Son Dwight drowned in Lake Wickaboag in 1885, while sailing with a friend. 

George Knowlton married Addie Dockham of Warren in 1890,  and Jennie Knowlton married Denny Livermore of West Brookfield in 1893.

1909 School St. School Photo Added to West Brookfield, MA Genealogy Pages

Ed O'Day contributed his 1909 photograph of the teacher and students of the School St. school in West Brookfield.  It is not necessary to log in to search the site.  Just click on Photos to view the new photo; as well as, other photos on the site.

Photo includes :
1st Row -  George Donovan, Edward O'Day, William Brown, Lillian Clouse, Hazel Anderson, Esther Mulvey, Myrle Dodge
2nd Row - Edmond Smith, Harry Allen, teacher Miss Thurston, Raymond Howe, John Howe, unknown boy (blurred face), unknown boy, Ruth Warfield, Eleanor Reardon, Ralph Buffington, Lizzie Joyce.
3rd Row (on steps) - Agnes Cunningham, Frances Morgan, Wallace Fountain, Emma Tyler
4th Row - Nellie Mulvey, Alice Babbot, Gladys McCurley, Bessie Gilbert. (There's a question mark between McCurley and Gilbert, but I only count four in that row)
5th Row - Burton Mason, Albert Richardson, James Pratt, Clarence Hocum
http://westbrookfieldgenealogy.org/genealogy/

Working on a short biography of Charles G. Knowlton which I hope to complete sometime today.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chamberlain Family Marriages

A marriage announcement in the National Aegis, July 21, 1847, on page 3, read, "Married in this town, July 13, by Rev. George P. Smith, Ephraim Chamberlain to Maria A. McFarland."  Worcester marriage records confirm the information.  Ephraim was born in West Brookfield about 1822, the son of Eli Chamberlain and Achsah Forbes.  He lived in Worcester where he was a farmer. He was a member of the Worcester County Horticultural Society; as well as, the Worcester, and New England Agricultural Societies.  He also served as President of the Tatnuck Benevolent and Literary Association.  Ephraim and Maria had five children including Frederick H. Chamberlain who later become Judge of the Worcester County Probate Court.

Ephraim's sister, Achsah Juliet Chamberlain, married ten years later on July 13, 1857 in Cuyahoga, Ohio, Jared H. Clark.  Juliet and Jared had a daughter Lucy, who married Edward Hayward in Cook County, Illinois in 1887,  and a son Allan.  Juliet may be the Juliet Clark who died in London, England in 1905. (Lucy and her husband lived in England in 1901.)

Ephraim and Achsah Juliet Chamberlain were older siblings of Daniel Henry Chamberlain who was governor of South Carolina in the 1870's.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Edward J. O'Day, born July 11, 1895 was Postmaster for 29 years.

Edward J. "Doc" O'Day, was born in West Brookfield on July 11, to Edmund J. and Theresa (Lynch), O'Day according to town records.  Census records show that he lived on Ware Street in West Brookfield with his parents and three sisters. 

Edward's World War I Draft Registration Card dated June 5, 1917 indicates that he was a Dental Student at that time, in Baltimore, MD.  The 1920 United States Census occupation entry for him is, "Dentist, just graduated." Dentistry, however, may never have been his occupation, as he went to work for the Boston & Albany railroad in the maintenance department by 1930, and was still working for the railroad at the time of his marriage to Grace Mary Dillon.

An account of the wedding of Grace Dillon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dillon of Ware, and Edward J. O'Day, son of Mrs. Theresa O'Day, appeared in the Springfield Daily Republican, March 29, 1932, page 17.   "Grace Dillon Marries West Brookfield Man"  The marriage took place on March 28 at All Saints church in Ware.  Other articles on the page tell of a strong Northeaster that day with heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions.  The couple had planned a honeymoon trip to Canada which I understand they never took.

Doc was appointed Postmaster in West Brookfield, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in April 1936 after four years of unemployment except on the town roads.  (He had lost his job with the railroad shortly after his marriage in 1932.) He was Postmaster for twenty-nine years until his retirement in July of 1965.  His wife, and sometimes his son,  also worked in the Post Office. 

Obituaries of West Brookfield residents often mentioned Edward  O'Day as a pall bearer.  Tall and distinguished in appearance, he also always owned a nice automobile in which the bereaved family members might ride.  I imagine many families called upon his generosity in their time of need.

Doc died in Mary Lane Hospital on January 7, 1971.  His obituary appeared the next day in the Springfield Union.  Grace continued to live in the home they had shared on Main St. until 2001.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Massacre of the Haymakers - July 10, 1710

The West Brookfield Historical Commission web site is being revised .  The story of the surprise attack by Indians on six men making hay in the meadow is not available as of 4/26/2014, but hopefully will be soon.

Here is the link for Biographies of the men involved.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Catherine Gallivan born July 9, 1879

Catherine (sometimes Katherine or Kate) Gallivan, born July 9, 1879 in West Brookfield, was the youngest known child of John T. Gallivan, born County Kerry, Ireland, and Catherine Harrington, born in West Brookfield.. She died in Providence Hospital in Holyoke on July 30, 1950 and was buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in West Brookfield.  Her obituary found on page 20 of the Springfield Union published July 31, 1950 states that she was educated in West Brookfield schools, later attended Worcester Teachers College, and taught school in West Brookfield for many years.  1900 census records do not have an occupation for Catherine, but census records from 1910, 1920 and 1930 indicate that she worked in the corset industry as a book keeper and later a time clerk.  Further research is needed to determine if and when she worked as a school teacher.  This information might be found in old town report from West Brookfield which may be found in the Merriam Gilbert Public Library.  Another place to search would be old school records from town which may be located somewhere in the town hall.  I will have to add this to my list of things to check on.  Perhaps someone from town would be willing to check for me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Harriet Amelia Chamberlain White - born July 7, 1820

Harriet Chamberlain, born on Elm Knoll Farm in West Brookfield on July 7, 1820 was one of ten children born to Eli and Achsah (Forbes) Chamberlain.  She survived all of  her siblings including Daniel Henry Chamberlain, one time governor of South Carolina, and the Rev. Dr. Leander T. Chamberlain, a learned and influential Congregational minster.

Harriet married Samuel Newell White, a school teacher,  Feb. 24, 1843, [ Massachusetts Marriages 1633 - 1850, Ancestry.com] and moved to Amherst, MA where the couple's their first four children were born. The family returned to the White family farm (now Salem Cross Inn)  in West Brookfield sometime between 1850 and 1852. Five more children were born in West Brookfield. Harriet was a member of the Congregational Church in town where her husband served as a deacon, and was probably active in the local grange and the West Brookfield Farmers' Club, which her brother Lyman Chamberlain had helped to organize.
Harriet, the town's oldest resident, died in her husband's ancestral home in West Brookfield on March 24, 1916.  She was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.  Only three daughters survived her including Alice who taught school in town until age 70, and Grace who had been the 1880 census taker,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Roy Smith born July 5, 1890

Roy Smith, son of Henry Nelson Smith and Mabel Idelle (Irish) was born in West Brookfield on July 5, 1890 according to his World War I and World War II Draft Registration Cards found at Ancestry.com, and also the record of his marriage to Annie Eliza Dickinson.  The record of his birth does not appear in West Brookfield vital records available at Americanancestors.org, but perhaps there is an amended record.  His marriage to Annie Eliza Dickinson in Putnam, CT on June 1, 1910 was recorded in Worcester where they both lived and worked. (Worcester Vital records Vol. 596: Page 515)  Two children were born of this union - a daughter Arline born March 7, 1911, and a son LeRoy P.,born in March 16, 1915.  Roy and Annie divorced probably by 1920, and Roy married Florence (Anger) Holden sometime between 1930 and 1942.

Roy worked in the food and beverage business for many years, managing diners in Worcester, and North Attleboro.  He owned the City Line Diner in Worcester in 1942 at the time of his World War II Draft Registration. He died Dec. 13, 1961 in Attleboro, MA and was buried in Hope Cemetery in Worcester.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who knew Roy, or who might have family photos, or photos of the diners where he worked.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Robert Emmet Ducey and Florence Irene Allen married July 2, 1917 in Thorndike

Robert Emmet Ducy was born March 5, 1884 in West Brookfield, the son of John J. Ducey and Mary Ann Welch.  Robert became a steam fitter and a master plumber.  He and his brother Edward owned and operated Ducy Brothers' Plumbing.

Robert married Florence Irene Allen on July 2, 1917 in the Thorndike section of Palmer, MA. Flossie was the daughter of William and Jane (Nimmens) Allen and was born in Ware, MA on June 7, 1893 according to town birth records. Three sons and a daughter were born to this union, most likely in Thorndike where the family lived.

The 1941 obituary of Robert's brother Edward indicates that Robert and family had moved to Manchester, CT.  Since the family was enumerated in Thorndike in 1930, we know the time period of the move to have been between 1930 and 1941.

Robert died August 1, 1955 in Los Angeles, California where he had been a plumbing contractor and a member of the Congregational Church. His obituary stated that he had moved there in 1946.  Florence died Dec. 28, 1966 also in Los Angeles County, California.

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Friday, July 1, 2011

John J. Ducey and Mary Ann Welch married July 1, 1882 in North Brookfield, MA

John J. Ducey, son of John Ducey and Ann Meehan, and Mary Ann Welch, daughter of James Welch and Catherine Moran, were married in North Brookfield, Massachusetts on July 1, 1882 by C. M. Foley, Catholic Priest, St. Joseph's Church. 

John and Mary Ann lived on Church St. in West Brookfield and raised a family of 12 or 13 children.  John, like his father was a Boot Maker.  The area of town where they lived was sometimes referred to by West Brookfield folks, as "Gahway" because many of the inhabitants had come to the United States from County Galway, Ireland.  John and Mary Ann Welch both claimed West Brookfield as their place of birth, and although no birth records have been found, it was likely true since both families were living in town when John and Mary were born.

Mary Ann's father, James was most likely born in Ballinakill, Queens County, Ireland.  A Welch family researcher has evidence of the marriage of James' parents and the baptisms of some of his siblings there.  John Ducey's father, came from County Waterford, Ireland, according to his naturalization papers.  His mother, Ann, was also Irish, but I have been unable to discover more about her origins thus far.

My husband is a descendant of John and Mary Ann Ducey, and I have over the past 12 years, collected a great deal of information about them, their ancestors and their descendants, some of whom are living in West Brookfield today.  I am always willing to share my research and love to hear from folks with similar interests.
A family tree with information on the Ducey and Welch families is located at http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=ls046&id=I01172

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Waldo Emerson Chamberlain

Waldo Emerson Chamberlain was born June 28, 1886 in Manhattan, NY.  His father, originally from West Brookfield,  was Daniel Henry Chamberlain who was governor of South Carolina from 1872 - 1877.  His mother was Alice Ingersol.  Waldo and his father came to live in West Brookfield when Waldo was about 10 years old, settling in at the family farm known as Elm Knoll. He died of rheumatic fever in West Brookfield on Sept. 12, 1902 and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery next to his mother and four of his brothers. 

I do have more information on the Chamberlain family which is available on request.

Blog entries this week may be few and far between while I am waiting for a new power supply for my computer.  I hope to resume more detailed entries as soon as the new power supply is installed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

John Philip Morgan and Helen Murray Fox - Married June 24, 1913

Vital Records in West Brookfield and Monson show that on 24 June 1913 John Philip Morgan, age 23, born West Brookfield, Foreman in Corset Shop, son of John and Helen (Harrington), married Helen Murray Fox, age 22, Corset Shop employee, born Fall River to John [sic], and Nora (Fox).   The marriage took place in Monson with Thomas O'Keefe, Catholic Priest Officiating. 

John continued to work in the corset industry in West Brookfield and later in Springfield.  Four daughters were born to this union.  John died in Springfield in 1973.  Helen died in Springfield in 1960.

John Morgan's mother, Ellen, was a daughter of Philip and Julia Harrington.  She was one of fourteen children.  Philip and Julia came from Ireland and had settled in West Brookfield by 1850.  I have several family obituaries in my possession, as well as some land records including a Quit Claim.

Helen Murray Fox had a sister Margaret who married Richard Dixon Olmstead.

Please click on the Information Request Tab at the top of the page, fill out, and submit the form for more information.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Clarence Eaton Hocum married Maude Mae Parker on June 23, 1919, his 24th birthday

Clarence Eaton Hocum was born June 23, 1895 in West Brookfield to George and Friendship (Allen) Hocum.  Clarence was working on his father's farm at the time of his World War I Draft Registration in June of 1917.  He married Maud Mae Parker on June 24, 1919 in West Brookfield and they lived with Maud's parents, George and Ida (Richards) Parker of North Main St. at the time of the 1920 census.  He listed his occupation in 1920 as Fireman in Toy Shop.  Clarence was warden of the Town Farm in 1923.  The 1930 census lists his occupation as truck driver and his residence as Long Hill Rd.   He became an active member of the Quaboag Sportsmen's Club which was organized in 1931. A 1942 World War II Draft Registration Card indicates that Clarence was living on Long Hill and working for the Cutler Company on Ware St.  He was the Commander of the American Legion Post in 1944. He served the town of West Brookfield in the appointed postion of caretaker of the soldiers' graves, and  like his father, was a police officer for  many years.  He died in November of 1969.  Maude died ealier that same year on January 30 in Quaboag Nursing Home.

Finding the birth and death dates for Maude Parker Hocum was a little bit of a challenge.  I did not find her listed in the Social Security Death index, nor did I find an obituary for her at genealogybank.com.  I knew that she was living in February of 1963 according to the obituary of her brother James.  I decided to look at land records for West Brookfield at http://www.masslandrecords.com/ The records are indexed beginning in 1966, but with a Deed Book and Page No. an unindexed property search can be performed.  I found deeds for a Milk St. Property which had belonged to Maude and Clarence, and one had a reference in the margin for Deed Book 8142, Pg. 68.  There on page 68 of Book 8142 was a copy of the death record of Maude Mae Hocum.  The death record gave me her date of death and also her age at death (79 y, 0 m, 23 days) which would have made her birthday Jan. 7, 1890.   The death record also listed her birthplace as Gilbertville, which I know to be a section of Hardwick.  Hardwick birth records had the birth recorded as an unamed male child of George and Ida Parker born Jan. 7, 1890.  The 1900 census gave Maud's birth month and year as May 1890.  It appears that Maud's gender was recorded incorrectly in the Vital Records, and that the month of her birth was reported incorrectly in the 1900 census.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Married on June 22, 1940 - Madeline Louise Balcom and Alfred R. Kretzschmar

Springfield  Daily Republican ; May 16, 1940; p.6
West Brookfield, May 15 - "Mr. and Mrs. Louis A. Balcom of the Boston Post road announce the approaching marriage of their daughter, Madeline Louise, to Alfred R. Kretzschmar of North Wilbraham, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Kretzschmar.  The wedding will take place June 22."

The Sunday Union and Republican of June 23 published an account of the wedding on page 2, dated June 22 which states that the couple was married by Rev. John Engstrom at St. Mary's Rectory at 11:00 that morning.  Attendants were Thomas Ruddeford, a friend of the groom and Claire Leamy, a cousin of the bride, both from Springfield.

The article, which may be found at genealogybank.com, contains a detailed description of the bride's attire; as well as, that of her maid of honor. It also mentions Mary and Annie Murphy of Palmer, cousins of the bride, who played at the reception.

Alfred was employed by American Bosch Company in Springfield and he and Madeline were to live in Hampden after their marriage.

A son Barry was born in Springfield in 1941. 

Sadly, Madeline died December 18, 1943 in Ludlow hospital as she was preparing to go to her home in Wilbraham where the family lived at the time.  Her obituary dated Dec. 20, was published Dec. 21, 1943 on page 2 of the Springfield Daily Republican.

Alfred died in Springfield on May 11, 1995.

I have more information about Alfred and Madeline and their families.  Click on the information request tab above to request copies of the articles mentioned, or visit http://westbrookfieldgenealogy.org/Genealogy/ to find more family information.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Eugene Alonzo Gilbert and Charlotte Elizabeth Wilbur married June 21, 1899

Massachusetts Marriage Records for 1899 in West Brookfield, Worcester County, Vol. 490, Page 95 indicate that Eugene Alonzo Gilbert, age 26, Engineer, born Dover, NH, son of Alonzo E. Gilbert and Annie Mae Handy,  married Charlotte E. Wilbur, age 26, Librarian, born West Brookfield, daughter of Edwin Wilbur and Mary Duell on June 21, in West Brookfield.  Alliston Gifford, Clergyman, of West Brookfield performed the marriage.

The following year a daughter, Nathalie Wilbur Gilbert was born in West Brookfield.  A son, Alonzo E. followed in 1903.

Eugene and Charlotte stayed in West Brookfield for a time while Eugene worked for the local corset company.  The family moved to Wilbraham sometime between 1910 and 1920, and by 1930 they were living in Springfield. 

Eugene died in the Bondsville section of Palmer on June 20, 1939 and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in West Brookfield.  Charlotte lived until Oct. 25, 1964 when she died in a Massachusetts nursing home.  She was buried close to her husband.

[I have obituaries of Eugene and Charlotte and their daughter Nathalie.  Please contact me if you would like a copy.]

Friday, June 17, 2011

June 17 was a special Day for Ruby Eliza Bliss

Ruby Eliza Bliss was born on June 17, 1888 in West Brookfield, MA.  Her father was Albert Warren Bliss, a blacksmith by trade, who was active in the affairs of the town and the Congregational Church.  Ruby's mother was Melinda N. Hooker.

Ruby was married on her 21st birthday (June 17, 1909) to Alfred J. Fletcher and went to live in Portland, Maine where their son Robert Bliss Fletcher was born.  The family moved back to Massachusetts, settling in Worcester by 1917. A second son was born abt. 1924.

Ruby and Alfred went to live in Florida sometime after 1944.  Ruby died in St. John's County, Florida in November of 1968.  Alfred died in St. John's County on July 26, 1979.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Emily Augusta Allen and Windsor Reed Smith were born in West Brookfield on June 11

Emily Augusta Allen was born to Amos Crosby Allen and his wife Almira on June 11, 1860.  Sadly,  Emma died of Diptheria on Nov. 3, 1864.

Windsor Reed Smith was born June 11, 1872 to Augustus Windsor Smith and his wife Ruth Tyler.  Windsor was a veterinarian.  He married Mary E. Watson, daughter of Charles and Jane (Crambury) Watson in West Brookfield on Feb. 15, 1910.   A daughter Jeanette Watson Smith was born on March 26, 1911, in a Springfield hospital.  The couple moved to North Brookfield between 1911 and 1920.  Windsor died about 1959 and Mary died in January of 1967.  They are buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in West Brookfield.

I would welcome more information about this couple.

The 1880 United States Census was taken in June of that year.  The enumerator in West Brookfield was Miss Grace C. White.  More about this in future posts.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Howard's Drive -In Memories, Death of Mabel Disney Kendrick

West Brookfield is home to a popular drive-in restaurant which serves the best the area has to offer in fried clams and scallops, onion rings, and rotisserie chicken.  Howard's Drive-In was opened by brothers Howard and Billy Brodeur on Route 9 in 1947.  Howard sold the restaurant in 1973, and today it is still open, to the delight of local residents and visitors.  Friday evenings, especially in hot weather, business is booming as customers stop by for dinner and/or ice cream.

Working there as a teenager, I sliced many, many pounds of onions on the slicer, made lots of frappes, and ate lots of scallops and onion rings.  I make it a point to go there at least once when visiting in town.

June 10 Died
Mabel (Disney) Kendrick, daughter of Frank and Eleanor (Winslow) Disney was born in Worcester, MA on 02 Nov. 1881. She graduated from English High School and Worcester State Normal School and taught school in Westminster Depot, West Brookfield and New Braintree. She married Webster Lawrence Kendrick in Worcester on Sept. 6, 1913 and moved to his home in West Brookfield.

Mabel was a news correspondent for The Springfield Republican and very active in civic and church affairs in West Brookfield. A member of the First Congregational Church, she belonged to the Martha Guild, and taught Sunday School there for many years. Mabel also was a member of the Worcester Chapter of the Red Cross, the West Brookfield Grange, and the Stella Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. She was a
member of the board of Trustees of the Merriam Public Library, and also served a three year term on the town school committee.

Mabel died on June 10, 1937 after a long illness, leaving her husband and one son, Webster Lawrence Kendrick, Jr. She was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.

I do have more information about the Kendrick and Disney families.  Please use the Request for Information tab, fill out the form, and scroll down to click on Submit if you would like to receive copies of family obituaries or other family information.

Quaboag Current
I always make it a point to read the Quaboag Current online edition on Fridays.  This local publication helps me to stay in the know about the interesting people and events in town.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 9 in West Brookfield Genealogy

June 9 was the date of the birth of James Campion, the death of Ephraim Chamberlain, and the marriage of Burnham Smith and Mabel Cutler.

BornJames Campion was born in West Brookfield on June 9,  1869 to Daniel and Honora (Lawler) Campion.  Daniel, a shoemaker in 1869, and Honora, or Anna as she was sometimes called, were born in Ireland.  Their oldest known son, Daniel was born in Ohio in May of 1868. Seven younger childen, including James, were born in West Brookfield.
James Campion died of Consumption in 1898 as is buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery.

DiedEphraim Forbes Chamberlain, son of Eli Chamberlain and Achsah Forbes, was born in Brookfield about 1822 and died in Worcester on June 9, 1892. He was a brother of South Carolina Governor Daniel Henry Chamberlain, and Rev. Dr. Leander Trowbridge Chamberlain.
Ephraim,  a farmer, was a member of the Worcester County Horticultural Society; as well as, the Worcester, and New England Agricultural Societies.  He also served as President of the Tatnuck Benevolent and Literary Association.  He and his wife, the former Maria McFarland, were parents of five children including Fred H. Chamberlain, who became a lawyer and later a judge.

MarriedMabel Bartlett Cutler and Burnham Perry  Smith were married 9 Jun 1910 in West Brookfield, MA. Mabel was born in West Brookfield on 28 Sept. 1884, the daughter of Alonzo Cutler and his wife Sarah (Richards).  Burnham was born 22 Feb. 1882 in Brandon,Vermont to Albert Smith and his wife Emma (Newell.)
Burnham, had worked as a Trade School Supervisor in Connecticut and was also employed by Smith & Wesson in Springfield for a time.  Later he managed Buddy Lunch for several years.  He was serving the town of West Brookfield as Tax Collector at the time of his sudden death on Jan. 28, 1938.  He was a Mason, an Odd Fellow, and a member of the local Grange.
Mabel was an inspector for Gavitt Wire & Cable until her retirement.  She belonged to the Whitefield United Methodist Church.  She died in West Brookfield on Feb. 18, 1976.
Their daughter Barbara served in the U. S. Marine Corps and married Fred Ivy.

For further information about any of these people, click on the Information Request Form tab at the top of the page, fill in the form and click  Submit.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Connecting with owners of online data

I contribute data to a TNG website dedicated to families from the town of West Brookfield, MA.  I have the ability to monitor traffic to the site and see what individuals are of interest to viewers.  Then I make an effort to see what additional information I can post on those particular individuals.  I also check to see that I have done a good job of citing my sources.

This morning while looking for more information, I discovered that I had a maiden name which was probably incorrect, and that I had not listed the source where I had found the incorrect name.  I was able to correct the error and add the sources, but I have no way to contact the researcher who accessed the incorrect information.  I hope this person will come back to the sight and see the corrected information. 

What do you do when you find incorrect information online? 
Do you try to contact the owner of the tree?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Welcome!

Today I decided to begin  blogging about the research I have done on some families from the small town of West Brookfield, Massachusetts.   Future posts will include some of the valuable things I have learned during my twelve year quest to find information about families and individuals mostly from Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire.  Some of these families came to the United States from England in the 1600's.  Others came from Ireland in the mid 1800's, and still others came from Europe in the early 1900's.

My purpose in writing is to exchange tips and ideas with others interested in local genealogy and history. Comments and questions are welcome.