Thursday, November 19, 2015

Laudislaus Mazur Baptismal Record - Index Entry From Polish Church Records

Leah Smith
11 November 2015
Dear Myrtle's Tracing Immigrant Ancestors Study Group
Homework - Document from county of origin

Baptismal Information for Laudislaus Mazur from a Polish Church Record Index
   The names in these records are Latin.  I needed to know that Walter in English was Wladyslaw in Polish and Laudislaus in Latin.  I could also do a search using just the last name, Mazur, and the names of his parents Stanislaus, and Katarzyna Novak. ( Entering "Stan*" and "Novak" in the search boxes produced the result I was looking for.), which holds the records I accessed, describes the records as being written in Polish, but the names in the index are Latin.

 This is a transcription of the index from the Poland, Tarnow Roman Catholic Diocese Church Books, 1612 -1900 found at, enrtry for Laudislaus Mazur
  Laudislaus Mazur, baptism July 4, 1884 in Slupiec, Slupiec, Krakow, Poland, House Number 44,  Father Stanislaus Mazur, Mother Catharina Nowak. Volume Beginning Year 1840, Volume Ending Year 1884. Gender  female

The microfilm containing these church records, can be ordered from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, for viewing at a Family History Center near my home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Paul Crosby Chamberlain Emigrated from the United States

Leah Smith
11 November 2015
Dear Myrtle's Tracing Immigrant Origins Study Group

Show an example of an emigration document.

I spent a great deal of time looking at examples of documents and trying to find one that related to my family or hometown research (although that was not a requirement.)  I never did find just the right thing, but I did learn a great deal about what types of documents were in this category, and where I might find them if available.

I decided to show this US Passport Application of Paul Crosby Chamberlain, born 18 December 1883, New York, NY, USA, son of a former South Carolina Governor Daniel Henry Chamberlain, and Alice Cornelia Ingersoll.  Paul was a journalist who appeared to have been staying in London.  A US citizen, he needed permission to travel to Servia, Bulgaria, Roumania, and Turkey, probably in connection with this work, as this was just prior to the Balkan War of 1912 -1913. To my knowledge, Paul never returned to the United States to live.  He served with the British Royal Field Artillery during World War I, and became a British Citizen after that service.  He and his wife were killed in December 1940 during a bombing raid in London.

Passport Application of Paul C. Chamberlain on

U. S, Passport Applications, 1795 - 1925 U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007: Accessed 11 November 2015; Application for Paul C. Chamberlain, American Embassy at London, 15 September 1911.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Will of Hannah Mulvey

Transcribed from the digital image of a typewritten copy found on's "Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991"  This is not an exact transcription as the lines do not all begin and end the same.  I could not seem to accomplish that with Blogger.
Link  Hannah Mulvey Will

Case 26138.                                Hannah Mulvey.    Will.                                              
 In the name of God, Amen, I Hannah Mulvey, widow of the Town of West Brookfield in the county of Worcester and the State of Massachusetts, being of sound mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of life, do now publish make and declare this my last will and testament. After the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses I give and bequeath as follows: -

To my son, Thomas E. Mulvey my Bible ( family) and $100, now on deposit in the North Brookfield Savings Bank.

To my grandson Willie H. Mulvey a feather bed.

To James H. Mulvey my son the house now occupied by my son John J. Mulvey.

To my neice Teressa Mulvey a feather bed.

To my son John J. Mulvey the homestead consisting of the house where I have lived and the barns adjoining and all my household furnishings.

To my son Kervin Mulvey $100 should he ever return the said $100 to be paid by John J. Mulvey from his share of the estate.

I hereby constitute and appoint my son James H. Mulvey  executor of this my last will and testament.

I hereby revoke all former wills made by me.

    In witness whereof I the before named testator in the presence of three witnesses do hereunto set my hand and seal this 4th day of April in the year of our Lord 1900 .
                                                   Hannah X Mulvey


On this 4th day of April Mrs Hannah Mulvey of West Brookfield, Mass. Signed the foregoing instrument in our presence, declaring it to be her last will and testament and in witness hereof we do now in her presence and in the presence of each other, and at her request subscribe our names.
                                                              Witnesses               James Malloy         
                                                                                             John G. Shackley
                                                                                              Catherine McCarthy

Probate Records (Worcester County, Massachusetts); Index 1731-1881; Author: Massachusetts. Probate Court (Worcester County); Probate Place: Worcester, Massachusetts
Notes : Probate Records, Vol 553-556, 1899-1900 Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Massachusetts County, District and Probate Courts.
Note: Son Kervin was known as Kieran and was said to have lived in Iowa at the time of his mother's death, just ten days after she signed this will.  To my knowledge he never returned to Massachusetts.  The only Teressa Mulvey I know of, was a granddaughter and not her niece.

Monday, August 31, 2015

An 1839 Antislavery Petition Signed by the Legal Voters of West Brookfield

Harvard University has a collection of Massachusetts Anti-Slavery and Anti Segregation Petitions available online.  One such petition was Senate Unpassed Legislation 1839, Docket 10525, SC1/series 231, Petition of Seth Field .  This was a petition against the admission of Florida or any other slave state to the union.  It was signed by the legal voters of West Brookfield. The eighty-five signatures included such names as Alanson Hamilton, (for whom the GAR chapter was named,) Ebenezer Merriam, Eli Chamberlain, (father of Daniel Henry Chamberlain, who commanded colored troops in the Civil War and served as governor or South Carolina during Reconstruction). Other signers were Alfred White, Seth Field, and Francis Stone (the father of Lucy Stone who was an abolitionist and suffragette.) 

Those researching West Brookfield families or town history should find this interesting. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Notice the Shamrocks on this headstone.

 Shamrock from Wikipedia
   A transcribed entry from the Balinakill Roman Catholic Church Registry shows that James Welch was baptized in May of 1832.  The youngest of seven known children of William and Elizabeth "Bessie" (Cahill) Welch, James came to the United States in 1852, according to information recorded when he was enumerated in the 1900 U. S. Census in West Brookfield, Worcester County, Massachusetts.  Possibly James traveled from Queens County (now Laois County), Ireland with his older brother William who also arrived in 1852.  Brothers Thomas and Michael had arrived in previous years, and had settled in Worcester County, Massachusetts.  Eventually James' parents and all of his known siblings came to Massachusetts.
   James married Catherine Moran probably in 1859, although I have been unable to locate their marriage record.  Catherine, also born in Ireland, was the daughter of John Moran and Katherine Carey.  A daughter, Mary Ann followed in 1861, although, again, I have found no birth record.   Mary Ann married John Ducey on 1 July 1882 in North Brookfield, Massachusetts. 
  James Welch died in Worcester State Hospital on 7 August 1909.  Catherine died 13 February 1926 in West Brookfield.  They are buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in West Brookfield.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Historical Brookfield Area Newspapers, 1872 - 1953, available online

Dan Hamilton's Brookfield Research Website now hosts Brookfield Area Historical Newspapers 1872-1953 in PDF format.  These files do take a long time to load, but if you research families from Spencer, the Brookfields, Leicester, or Charlton, they are worth waiting for.  A rich source of obituaries, and information about town and family events, you will need to set aside some time to peruse digital copies of the Spencer Sun, Weekly Times, and Spencer Leader.  Take some time from shoveling snow and browse some old newspapers while you relax in front of the fire. You are likely to find something of interest that is relevant to your genealogical research.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Clifford L. Pratt - Veteran of World War I

   Clifford L. Pratt was born 20 April 1892 in West Brookfield, Massachusetts.  He was the fourth child born to James H. Pratt and his wife Martha "Mattie" Emma Potter.
  Clifford served in Yankee Div., Co. H. 104th Infantry during World War I,  and was cited for his bravery at Chateau Thierry in France.  He was gassed at Argonne-Meuse receiving burns on his legs.
   Mary Cora Boutin became his wife at St. John's Church in East Brookfield, MA on 19 August in 1919.  A daughter Evelyn Doris was born in 1920, and a son Leon was born in 1924.
   Clifford was a Charter Member of American Legion Post 244 in West Brookfield, and its first Associate Commander.  He was Post Commander in the 1930's.  (This American Legion became the Adams-Coney-Frew Post #244 after World War II.) 
   He died suddenly at the home of Douglas Lyman in West Brookfield on 2 January 1958.  Burial was in Sacred Heart Cemetery after a requiem mass at Sacred Heart Church on the fourth of January.

 1. Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910, online image,  Copyright 2001-2005, New England Historic Genealogical Society;
 2. Massachusetts State Vital Records, 1841 - 1920, online image,
 3. Spencer Leader, Clifford L. Pratt, 9 January 1958, p. 10, copy from microfilm, Boston Public Library
 4. Springfield Daily Republican; Location: Springfield, Massachusetts; Etta M. C. Boutin and Clifford L. Pratt Marriage Announcement Date: 12 August 1919, online image,
 5. State Library of Massachusetts, World War I Soldier Photograph Collection, online images,

William E. Gilinsky - World War I Soldier

   William E. Gilinsky was born 1894 in Worcester, Massachusetts to William E. Gilinsky, a Lithuanian immigrant, and his wife Josephine (Stone.) He enlisted in the Army from Worcester, on 26 May 1917, and served in Battery E. of the 102nd Field Artillery, during World War I.  He was honorably discharged on 17 January 1919.
   William married Mary Emma Snyder in Worcester in 1923.  Two children soon followed, Mary Frances, in 1924, and a son who is still living.
   On the night of 20 January 1935, while freeing sand from the back of a state highway department sanding machine,William was fatally injured when a car crashed into the rear of the sanding machine pinning him between the machine and the car. The accident occurred in Brookfield near Lone Oak Lodge. He was rushed to Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, where it was determined that both his legs were broken, and his lower body was crushed and mangled.  He died later that night. 
   A military funeral was held in Sacred Heart church in West Brookfield on January 23rd with members of the American Legion Post 244 serving as bearers and color guard. The procession included the American Legion Auxiliary, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Ware, a delegate from the Battery E. 102nd Field Artillery Association of Worcester, and a representative from the local fire department.  The organ music for the mass was provided by Mrs. Milton Fountain, and soloists included Mrs. Walter Skiffington, Napoleon St. Denis, and Thomas Hamel. The funeral procession proceeded to Notre Dame Cemetery in Worcester for a committal ceremony following the mass.  Members of Worcester Post 5 fired a volley, and Thomas Hamel, bugler of Post 244, sounded taps

Jeffrey H. Fiske, A History of West Brookfield, 1675-1990, West Brookfield Historical Commission, 2009.
Spencer Leader, 31 January 1935, p.16 William Gilinsky Killed.  Copy from microfilm, Boston Public Library.
Springfield Daily News, 24 January 1935, p. 6, Gelinsky Accorded Military Funeral. Online image,
State Library of Massachusetts, World War I Soldier Photograph Collection, online images,

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Edward F. King - World War I Soldier

   Edward F. King was born in Chester, Hampden, Massachusetts, on 15 December 1898.  He was  the third of four children of Edward W. King, born in Washington, D.C., a railroad section master, and his wife Mary Power who had come from Ireland as a young girl.  The King family moved to West Brookfield, MA, sometime between 1910 and 1920 and Edward is said to have attended school there.  He received his secondary education at Warren High School before moving to Hartford, Connecticut where he was employed by the Chase Metal Co.
   Edward enlisted in the Army in Hartford, Connecticut on June 30, 1917, and received training in Sparta, Wisconsin.  He served in Headquarters Division, Battery C. of the 17th Field Artillery, of the 2nd Division, A.E.F. and saw action in France during World War I.  He was also a part of the Army of the Occupation of Germany.
   The French Croix de Guerre with star was awarded to Edward for bravery in action in the Champagne battle during the attack on the famous Blanc Montridge.  He wrote a letter to his parents, dated March 20, [probably 1919], from Coblenz, Germany, relating his thoughts on his service, and an account of a review of the troops by General Pershing.   The letter was published in a local newspaper (probably the Spencer Leader) as was common during that era.
   One quote from this letter reads, "The 2nd Division won its glory by releasing the doomed city of Rheims.  We lost men so rapidly that it was literally a slaughter.  All one had to do was just close one's eyes and fight like hell, and trust in the Lord.  We lost more men than any other division over here.  Some of the men are buried in the poppy fields of Flanders and in the fields of Picardy."
   Another quote says, "I know I joined the army to fight and I did it every chance I got.  I know one thing, the old 2nd division never retreated, they always lead the attack."
   Edward returned to the United States after the war, and sadly became ill with Tuberculosis.  He died December 5, 1933 in Madisonville, Kentucky after nine years of illness.  He was buried with full military honors on Dec. 9, 1933 in Sacred Heart Cemetery, in West Brookfield, Massachusetts.

Sources available upon request.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Are you interested in West Brookfield World War I and World War II Servicemen?

   Recently I received some war time scrapbooks full of newspaper clippings.  Included are articles about local servicemen (some with photos), and also activities of local organizations in support of the troops, and the war effort.  There a some articles about war time rationing, and some recipes, as well.  There are handwritten dates on some of the articles, but the newspaper they came from was not identified (probably Spencer Leader and/or the Worcester Telegram.)
   I hope to share the information contained in these scrapbooks in future blog posts; but in the meantime, I will be happy to answer requests for lookups.  Please leave a comment requesting information about a particular soldier of interest, or fill out the Information Request Form available by clicking on the tab above.