Arches at Glendalough 2009

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Internal/External traits

Last week I taught my third graders the importance of character traits. By the time the lesson was over, I was humbled by my little folks' minds and comments. It made realize that genealogy ideas for research and writing can come from any location, place, or setting. Children have the most erratic but flexible minds...that is way I love working with them.

It began with my story of my sea captain, James Peters. I told the class of the time period after the American Revolution when the French began to suspect their new American allies were still friendly to the English and were likely to act like them. Both the English and French navies were impressing American sailors into service and the results leading to the French Spoliation. Fascinated by James Peters' story of hiding his ship logs so that the French Navy couldn't confiscate his cargo, my class assisted me in creating a character traits for him. Here is a snippet of the conversation that day...

"He had to be strong to sail the ship."
"He had to brave to fight off pirates or to sail to places he never had been before."
"What color was his hair?" Which I responded that I didn't know. "It could be possible that it was black and curly like yours."  Hmm... I never thought about that.
"Did he have a beard? That would make a good disguise to hide him from the pirates."
"He could have had blue eyes like you!"
"He had to be smart to hide the his papers."
"Or clever."
"He had to be friendly so he could meet and make new friends." I didn't think of that possibility!
"He had to know how to read maps so he wouldn't get lost."
"He had to know how to read ." I had told him how  1001 Arabian Nights  was in his book collection from his will.
"And he knew how to write ." This was after I told them how one of his letters is recorded in the Congressional Records.
"He could speak French!" piped one little boy. Oui! I didn't think about that!
"He was lonely." When asked to explain, the student said, "He sailed away from his family to help them have a better life. He must have missed them very much."

When we were through I stepped back and examined at the traits. Whether or not these traits were right, it gave me a moment to reflect on what I learned. Thanks to my students I was able to understand my ancestor a little better.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New London Custom House Records

I’m taking a break from the Tabor Bankruptcy files to share what a custom house blotter may look like. The following information is from NARA (Boston) New London custom House blotter for two weeks in 1795. The first number I need to verify but may be the ship size/weight. The “S” is an abbreviation for sloop. The name of the ship is given followed by the captain’s name.  Places in the document where I wasn’t certain of the symbol/writing I used this: (?)  There were times when  a number was written followed by the letter c with a line through it. I transcribed it with the letter c.  To see what the size of the ships, visit Rob Ossian’s “Pirate King” website.  (I love his site for the information he gives!)
New London Customs House Blotter

Wednesday 17 June 1795
20          Certificate for goods Coastwise S. Phebe-Leeds, S. Betsey , Dart
150      Entered from Middletown Brig William & George  Josiah Benton

            (?) Cleared from the same for Lusinam (?) 1771/2 beef (?) 196 1/2 pork, 10 fish, 21 lard, 38 horses, 150 pairs of nankeens, 3 hhd. (hogsheads) hams, 4 of shoes, 10 of books, 6 hogs, 10 poultry, 7 candles, 4 butter, 9 ton of hay, 500 oats, 58 hhd.  6 c bread

Thursday 18
50        Cleared for New York S. Juno Rob. Niles

            Certif. goods coastwise Peabody & Huntington
25        Entered from New York, S. Sally  Daniel Harris

Friday 19
150      Entered from N York S. Hiram  James Peters

            Cleared from Hispaniola Brig Betsy Ezra Caulkins                                                                                    43 pork, 107 beef, 5 fish, 8c Fish, 15 lard, 18 butter, 31 beans,                                                                       128 books, 24 hats @/8/ 430 cheese, 40 horses, 14 sheep, 21 boards                                                1500 slarus(? staves) 172 shingles. 9 ½ hay, 280 oats, 77 Cow, 7c bread, berthd

150      Entered Middleton B. Juno Isaac Burr / (?)                                                                                               Cleared for St. Bartholomews, 14 horses, 12, cattle, 17 mules                                                      83 fish, 17 pork (?) 18 beef, 128 meal, 16 d (? Probably dozen) 2 m boards, 2 m Slairus (?staves)            
3 m hoops,16 t head, 30 beams, 120 cow, 9 hay, 500 oats, 50 hhds.       

Change 100 Cleared for Nantz (?) Sloop Democrat James Lamphere                                                    210 barrel flour, 120 barrel, meal, 13 bales of cotton 431@                                                                  2 hhd. Rum 211 gallons, 300 p shoes, 2 half T (?)s rice, 1 box                                                            hats 100 doll

Saturday 20
This notation is clustered together:  

110.46//150    Entered from Philadelphia B. Betsy Eben Hotchkiss
            6.65     Luineced (? Probably licensed ) for fishing /to trade at foreign port Sloop

            50        Two Friends  Jonathan Crary

Change 20
31  49 tos//126 for S Md

Second page
Blotter Monday 22 June 1795

25        Licensed for coasting  Sch. Ranger Groton John Widger

Clustered together
825 tons // 51 ENTERED from Liverpool & New York Ship

(No. 52) 150   Charlotte Samuel p. Fitch
Surrey (?) 300

Tonnage pd. In N York 12 June

Tuesday 23
20        Permit to Paul Cancand Schooner Co cotte  cleared from                                                             N York for  Portaupaix to land his baggage

25        Entered from N York S. Hiram Wm. Pigon

Wednesday 24
100      Enrolled & Licensed Sloop Two Brothers N London

Clustered together
20.88 tons//125         Henry Norris

50        Licensed for Codfishery Sch. Union of Groton Wm. Sloan
Change 20

29(?) 47//97 for g m d
            Cleared for Jamica Snow Adolphe of New London

Measuring 200 William Briggs  Master
            3791 Whiteoak Staves, 22816 black oak d(? maybe ditto?) 161337 of pine board

            6 beef, 6 pork 6 bread
20        Certificate that Elijah Ely is owner of  Sch. Patty
N.R. 175 Enrolled & Licensed  Sch. Polly, Stonington Peleg Noyes for

25        Fishing & license to trade at a foreign Port

36.54 tons// 219 Friday 26
50        Cleared for New York Sch. L. Washington, Colver

Saturday 27
40        Endorsed John Smith Master of S. Lively instead of D. Belding

100      Enrolled & Licensed Sloop Polly Stonington Joseph Latham

21~84//131 Brig Zeleared (?)for N York B Sally. Geo W. Champlin

    225  Cleared for West Indies S. Hiram J Peters, 104 s corn, 300 pease                                 
1,50     150 Meal , 50 flour, 1140 Staves, 17 shakes, 125 sheep, 4 hhd tobacco, 2 fish

            Cleared for West Indies, S. William  John French 39 mules                                                                    11 pork, 17  beef, 37 beams, 1 lb meats, 55 fish, 10 butter, 2 lard                                                       1 box cheese, 19 bundle hoops, 5 bread, 34 c staves, 7 ton hay, 24 hats a 151                                 10 ream paper ad 181 half lb shad, 43 hhd, 200 oats, color pottery






Friday, August 16, 2013

More of the same...

Please note that where there was a (?) was either a letter or word unreadable.

Page 3

Amount of Debts proved Brot. (brought) over
Ledyard and Whert                         $267.60
Isaac Williams note                          $287.00
Elias Perkins note signed A. Morgan        $1009.78
Amos Hull                                            $56.97
Amos Wheeler                                  $71.34
Crossed off William Chippotle    $117.50
Peter Avery  G(?)                             $83.72
Lawrance Van  Lunderen of New York City           $364.70
Isaac Carias                                         $159.39
L---an P. Chew                                  $720. 28
John Deshon                                      $4.79
Crossed off                                         $23529.58
Crossed off Elizabeth Turner       $63.33
James Noyes                                     $74.90
John B. Stanton                                                $51.67
Joseph D. Phelps                              $27.60
Michael Huntley                               $4.52
David Churchill                                  $30.67
Joseph Foot                                       $55.87
Almy &Brown                                    $285.48
Rufus Mason                                     $46.87
John Mumford                                  $125.10
Richard Chappell                              $121.71
Robert Wheeler                                               $135.67
John Noyes balance of a note in far (?) of Eleazer Clark of Lyme $154.50
1803 July 19 Richard J (?)  Hallett                $161.75
Stanton Lergo (?)                             $9.00
Continued forward                         $24907.76


Sunday, August 11, 2013

More form the Bankruptcy record of Job Tabor

Please note that where there is a (?) it is either a letter or word unreadable.
Page 2
The second page carried over from the first…
Amount of debts Brot. (brought) over                   $15144.28 (yes…2 cents higher!)
John French                       $352.34
James Catterel                  $41.34
Samuel Hurbert bond from custom house            $381.34
Francis Hazard $18.99 and $17.68 crossed off
David Wait                          $9.96
Caddington Billings          $120.35
Latham Hull                        $104.06
Rinadam(?) Williams       $157.65
Amos Hull                            $202.37
John Avery                         $19.53
Elizabeth Proctor              $105.36
Pardon Tabor                     $517.83 (could be a relative of Job’s)
Ditto                                      $43.75 then $561.58
Richard Douglass              $214.84
Samuel Corss(?)                               $654.98
William Holray (?)             $203
Charles T. Smith and Shubel Smith $1106.78
Jared Starr                          $2.00
Ephraim Williams              $20.11
Nathaniel Ledyard           $32
John I.Glover                     $975.70
Jonathan Starr as assignee for the creditors of William Woodworth $123.36
Elijah Baley                         $7.00
Isaac Turner                       $225
Crossed off I(?)aez Holms
Francis R. Winthrop         $77.59
Gurdon Manwaring        $191.87
Joseph (?)oot                    $34.10
Continued forward         $21024.61


Friday, August 9, 2013

Bankruptcy Records part 1

The next groups of blogs will focus upon the list of names found in the bankruptcy records for Job Tabor and Stephen Tripp. This is the first set of records. Each group is a hand-written page...
As I was transcribing this it was interesting to find two women on the list, Lucy Smith and Ann B. Coit. To calculate what it is worth, use an inflation calculator. Try a few- I found the total for this first page was worth in today’s cost is roughly $300,000.

Any place with a (?) is a word/letter I could not read or decipher.

First page
No. 1
New London District of Connecticut, March 17, 1803 Debts proved against Misters Tabor and Trip NegT (?)
Asahel Otis                         $61.62
Samuel Mather                 $1513.25
William W. Houghton     $196.89
Stephen Prentice             $22.12
George Williams               $103.87
Ephraim Browning           $326.37
Crossed out Thomas Williams
Jonathan Starr & sons    $144.58
Jacob B. Gurley                 $1520.35
John Beckwith                   $86.50
James Baxter                     $241.19
Daniel Chapman               $486.56
Bonds for the Custom house as Jed. Huntington Collector statement
Gabriel Sistar                     $839.09
Vaux (?) Huret (?) & Franklin
Lucy Smith                          $31. 99
Samuel Hayes                    $300
Ditto                                      $759.93
Crossed off                         $4059.95
Ann B. Coit                          $95.43
Lemuel Wells & Company            $287.42
John Arnold                        $4460.00
Edward Chappell              $1246.90
Ditto                                      $42.95
Written small $1289.85
Continued forward




Thursday, August 8, 2013

Job Tabor/Taber’s Bankruptcy Record

Before delving into the records I wanted to see, the archivist in the NARA research room explained about the 1800 US Bankruptcy Act. The sole purpose of the act was for district justices to review, administer, and oversee bankruptcy cases.  This act allowed creditors to go after merchants. There had to be two thirds agreement with all creditors and forced merchants into bankruptcy. With a sunset clause of five years, it created corruption and excessive costs and was repealed in 1803 by Congress.  The Federal Judicial Center in Washington, DC has an online timeline which gives a brief synopsis of the 1800 Act and history of bankruptcy in the US.

It was in this time period which Job Tabor faced bankruptcy. In Box 10 of 11,  his papers included oaths of executing bankruptcy, accounts from firms in New York City, receipts for bankruptcy, and accounts of debt. It seemed to me that many New York City merchants used Tabor and Tripp to act as agents. It also included information such as Captain Thomas Wilson sending goods to Tabor and Tripp. It included notes paid by others to Captain Wilson and came from places like New York City, Hartford, New London, Providence, Newport, and the Washington Insurance Company. Bills due for James Rogers- twenty-six shillings and six pence due March 1799, Caleb Greene of Newport, Olcutt of Hartford , New York merchants Thomas Pearsall and sons, Isaac Caraw, William Bache, Thomas Chew; and New London merchants John Deshon, Jared Starr, and Lathan (probably Latham)  Hull were all included in the bankruptcy proceedings.

An affidavit by Peter Richards of New London swore that he saw General Jedidiah Huntington sign his name on a certificate purporting his consent that Job Taber and Stephen Tripp be discharged of his debts. It was signed in front of Mr. Jon Tripley, Commissioner on April 14, 1803. (It would be interesting to see if this date was before or after Congress appealed the act!)

A receipt from Mr. Michael Huntley to Taber and Trip in 1803 listed: July 15- 1 pair of stockings worth 0.75; July 29- 1 box worth 0.33, July 31- one blanket valued 2.33, February 7- 251 (?) cheese at 5 (?)  worth 17.42 for a 20.83. The value of this note was in dollars. Taber and Tripp also wrote a promissory note to Michael Huntley “for Twenty-four dollars and thirty-five cents with interest from November 24th being the balance of wages on board Brig Minvera_New London, December 4, 1802.” It also included a notation of $24.35-20.83=$4.52 balance allowed.



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bankruptcy Records from New London, CT

In December my visit to  NARA was fruitful. Determining the best way to share what was found, it was decided to blog my results. Who knows...maybe it will help someone out there? My next series of blogs will focus on the documents found and list the names found from the documents. What are the documents you ask? Bankruptcy records  and shipping records of course!

RG 36 of NARA contain US Custom Records from New London. This included bonds for ships: 1790-1825, import bonds: 1790-1821, and original papers for ships. Anytime a ship pulled into the seaport there had to be documentation of proof of the ownership, captain, crew, and cargo. Looking at the cargo of the ship can tell you what was it carried and idea of how big the ship was. Sloop or brig, you can get a good idea of what the size of the boat was like. For example, Stephen Miner in 1799, master of the sloop Fanny arrived in New London with 2 hogshead of rum, navigated with four men. In 1792 James Powers of New Haven submitted papers that he was the co-owner and master of the brig Rebecca. Thomas Wait and Samuel Mather paid to Thomas Wait, master of the schooner Maria. (Most likely a son and friend purchasing the ship from the elder Wait or a change of ownership status.)

Some records included correspondence. I found several references to "Nathanil" Ingraham. The blotters are another part of this series to examine. Blotters from #106: 1794-1795 through #109: 1821 that were helpful to me. On June 19, 1795, my ancestor, James Peters, left New London on the sloop Hiram. He was cleared to sail and lists the cargo he carried. One other record that I didn't have time to examine was Ships Oaths. I have that on my future research list.

One last interesting item to look at was found in the bankruptcy records for Job Tabor. It was insurance on the sloop Betsy and Point Judith. Phineas Huntley, Thomas Rice, and John Arnold were mentioned, Edward Chappell featured predominately in the folder. A promissory note from James Noyes was listed as well as two females Elizabeth Proctor and Lucy Bolles. (Lucy was a relative of the Bolles captains who later sailed to the South Pacific in the 1850s.)

Next: Job Tabor's bankruptcy records

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Alien files revisited

Last year I blogged about the Alien Case Files. (See my post in February, 2012) These files collected information on people who were aliens. The files are available through NARA for the years 1944-2003.  They can contain valuable genealogical information of the people who registered with the government.

While preparing for my genealogy class on Friday, I accessed the ARC database via (ARC aka Archival Research Catalog  is where the files were found.)  As of August 15th the ARC database will be permanently shutdown. NARA is asking that you access records via the Online Public Access search engine, now called OPA. To see if it was any easier to use, I searched for the Alien Case Files in the new search engine.

Reaching the OPA was much easier. You click on the first panel on the home page titled, "Research Our Records," and click, "Online catalog." It took me straight to the OPA page. There I was able to type in Alien Case Files in the query box. Like the former ARC search engine, it did take some time to load but not as long as ARC.

OPA displayed 503678 results with 280 online holdings. Just below the top three holdings were more links. The first link was to the same database that you had to hunt and peck to find in the old ARC catalog. The "search within this series" button is still halfway down the page but was larger to see and easier to use than the old ARC database. Typing in my search queries I found the results were displayed faster.

I didn't think I would find anyone in these files. I was surprised to see some of my grandparent's French Canadian relatives as well as my husband's German ancestors in these files. They are worth a look even if you don't think your family may not be included.

Happy researching!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Genealogy amongst friends

Last week I paid a visit with my two college friends. Unbeknownst to me my friend  was "doing" genealogy for nearly 30 years. Off on that path we went! He apologized to me at the end of our conversation for the length of his presentation and I laughed! No "deer in the headlight" look from me. I was impressed with his collection and his sourcing.

He was very careful about his sourcing. He uses primary sources whenever possible. In this day of quick information and poorly sourced documentation, his research was refreshing. He was extremely fortunate to have primary sources from his own family including memorabilia and photos from his family's store. Along with his wife, they spend time combing antique shops in pursuit of family advertisement cards from the store his gr-grandfather had. He had a wonderful collection of cards which enhanced his genealogy research.

Our conversation had me thinking-what could I find? Several of my recent finds have been from primary sources through online databases. Published Congressional records led me to obtain a copy of documentation from an admiralty case from the 1790s through NARA.  Of course there was the discovery of another gr-granduncle who sold reindeer to Alaskans. (Can you imagine how much fun I have with my third graders and that tidbit at Christmas?) Then there was the ophthalmology article I found through Google books that discusses how my gr-gr-granduncle was the first to advertise sunglasses, "white, blue, green, and grey glasses to suit all eyes."  A visit to an online antique store led me to a pair of sunglasses made by him! (Yes! I bought them!)

The importance of family history and passing it forward is a dilemma for all of us. Remembering who gave us the information, where it is found, and how we present it to others is always a challenge as we research. The one constant is sourcing. Remember to cite your sources...your descendants will love you for it. Thanks, Bob, for the reminder.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Revisiting Sources

Having time to rejuvenate and explore in genealogy is a blessing I have every summer. With hot temperatures cooking my tomatoes in the garden and my painting on hold until cooler weather prevails, I have been taking the opportunity to revisit my sources both in hard print and online. I am amazed at what is out there  and anxious for more data to be uploaded!

Trying to unknot my Caswell/Brown/Wilkinson lines, I revisited my binder on the Caswells. 20 years ago I was fortunate to have met my second cousin who had a copy of her grandmother's/my gr-grand aunt's Bible. Along with her sister, both cousins gave me information about our Caswell family. Rereading their letters got me thinking about how we couldn't get back before our Job Caswell and Sabrina Brown. After  reviewing our correspondence I had an, "Ah-duh!" moment. Breaking down the information I discovered that several generations of the family married Browns.
Job Caswell married Sabrina Brown...
Their sons, Joshua Bill Caswell and Joseph Caswell married Browns-Phoebe and Abby
Their grandson, Rueben Wilkinson married Isabel Brown 
Their granddaughter Harriet Caswell had children who married Browns.
All these Browns were reminding my about my tomatoes and other plants that I needed to water.

So, while watering the tomato plants and thinking about my notes, I realized that I had a huge clue from the two cousins from that Bible copy-Squire Richard Brown and Zeruiah Buttolph. These two people were related to one of these Browns; most likely my Abby. By now all these Browns were shriveling my brain so I decided to explore the Buttolphs to see what I could find. Two weeks later (and my tomatoes still surviving the scorching weather) I discovered if you play with the major websites like Heritage Quest, Family Search, and Ancestry, you can find some hidden gems in search engines like Google.

For example: Using the PERSI index on Heritage Quest I was able to find an article via Google Books. There was a  genealogy magazine simply called, "Genealogy." This weekly treasure, dating from 1910-1922, collected information from all over the US with emphasis on the three NEWs-New England, New York, and New Jersey. Don't dismiss it. There were family articles from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and other locations. What was fascinating was discovering  my gr-granduncle's headstone information in the 1915 issue-11 years after his death! Can you imagine uncovering a little tidbit of information that could help you? Although  a complete run is  not available on Google, it gave me enough information to request a copy of a few pages from Allen Public Library. (I found it by typing "genealogy vol. 5 + New York" in Google books.)

Using Heritage Quest again, I put "Squire Richard Brown" in the "people" section of Books. Lo and behold, I discovered in the Cleveland genealogy four little footnotes. Two were about the Buttolphs and Browns. This information gave me enough to go back and look on Ancestry, Family Search as well as Find a Grave. Between the three sites and NEHGS, I was able to uncover an article from The American Genealogist, a Revolutionary War ancestor, more clues on the Brown families, and a mistake in the NSDAR lineage book.

Revisit your sources. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
Time to pick tomatoes!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Loving this conference...don't know who is more impressive? Introducing Dick Eastman or sitting in the front row with Steve Morse!

Connie Reik's talk on the War of 1812 was dynamic! Lots of great links to find your 1812 soldier. I also enjoyed Jolene Mullin's talk on colonial records in CT (her two volume book is massive!) and Jean Nudd's presentation on records found in NARA. (I am a NARA groupie!)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NERGC Manchester

I love the NERGC! Today was Librarians' and Teachers' Day. Although the day focused upon librarians, the teachers also benefitted. I walked away with many project ideas for my class as well as ways to get the history of a location into the hands of students. The best idea was the biography report that encouraged students to research on their own and was based upon the Core Curriculum Standards.

Ironically the same advice Judy Russell gave last week on the Legacy Family Tree webinar was repeated today...going in and telling a librarian your entire genealogical background will get you the glazed deer in the headlight look. But focusing your  question to a specific topic or record group will get you the collection you need or the answers you seek.

And the speakers were knowledgeable and shared great tips. I didn't know about genealogy and look forward to exploring this site. I've read Lisa Alzo's  articles and enjoyed hearing her as a speaker. Michael Hall's presentation on the War of 1812 pension records was great as well as William Forsyth's Proquest presentation. Christine  Sharbrough was a riot and a genealogist's friend. Josh Taylor was great as usual and having lunch with Marianne Marcussen was delightful.

I am looking forward LTD in Providence in 2015.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Organizing Your Files

Have you backed up your files lately?
Attached to my laptop is a hard drive of files. I try to do a back up once a month...usually on my monthly birthday date. Fortunately I had a backup when my mother board died last year and only lost a few items.
Some people back up to the cloud. (I do have some of my favorite family photos there as well.) Some people do both. If you haven't backed up your files please do it and save yourself grief.
But what do you do when you have multiples of the same files? Or begin to organize it? My solution is KISS...keep it simply simple.
For example, I started with a file that says, "Our family." In it I have a folder for my daughter, one for my in laws, one for my family, and one for our home. Then I sort my pictures and files to the person that is associated with it. When my grandparent's family had material-such as a newspaper article found on the web or a photo a distant cousin gives you, I simple place it into which side of the family it belongs. My husband's Fehlauer family is placed with his family; each one of my siblings have their own folder. School and genealogy items have their own separate folder.
I will admit that I didn't always do this. But since I have been doing this it has been simply simple to find my photos and genealogy files a breeze.
Now I'm off to rename my photos-year, month, date, place and subject!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cool stuff in Genealogy World

I just wanted to post a quick blog about three great places I have visited online in the last few weeks.

1. Maryland Archives...OMG! I hope more states follow their lead. Their online indexes are great!
2. Legacy Family Tree Webinars...I just saw the webinar on Youtube your Genealogy...Great ideas!
3. Family Search...the amount of information upload is fabulous.

Stay warm my New England friends!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Looking at the friends of the family

One of the best way to hurdle the brick walls in my research is to look at the family and friends of my ancestors. By looking at other family members you can find clues that may lead you on a path to where you want to go. Examining the neighbors, friends, and associates of a ancestor can also point the way as well as finding new areas of research. Here is an example of what I did with a will.

When Captain James Peters wrote his will in August of 1802, he was suffering from yellow fever. A huge epidemic swept through New York at that time and sadly, at the age 41 he was a victim of the disease. When his will was probated not once, not twice but four times, the original and copies of it were made. These copies had to be accurate because it was a legal document. The fact that he was a sea captain and was wealthy according to the standards at that time made his will an important business document.

According to his will his executors were William Seaton of New York City and John Woodward and Job Tabor of New London. William Seaton died in Italy shortly after leaving New York for a better climate. (Yes, he was  Mother Elizabeth Seaton's husband!) Job Tabor was forced into bankruptcy in 1804 and by 1806 had died. The surviving executor, John Woodward, advertised in both New London and New York City newspapers that he was the surviving executor of James Peters. He also died before the probate could be completed because by 1809 Guy Richards of New London had petition in New York City courts that he was guardian of Captain Peters' son, James, and asked to be named the executor of Captain Peters' will.

On my "to do" list, I still need to examine William Seaton's and John Woodward's wills. I did look at the bankruptcy records for Job Tabor (located in NARA in Waltham). On a hunch I decided to also look at Guy Richards' will and lo' and behold there was James Peters Junior listed. This lead me to other records in other locations including tracking down James Peters Junior's will in Philadelphia and discovering more records for me to examine.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fun times at NARA Waltham

My frugal Yankee ancestors would be proud of friend and one of my cohorts in genealogy adventures, Eileen, and I were able to get to Boston on a shoe string thanks to Amtrak. After snagging the great deal we arrived in Beantown with visions of ancestors dancing in our heads. We raced to the His. Gen. (A.K.A. New England Historic Genealogy Society) where we planned our researching hours and then trooped over to the NARA branch in Waltham.

I went to Waltham years ago and enjoyed my research visit at that time.I remembered that I broke through some of my brick walls looking at records housed there. Today was no different. What I  remembered from my previous visit were the people being fabulous, helpful, and kind. Today the people there were fabulous, helpful, and kind. From the two security guards who patiently went over the procedures and helped us get a taxi to the train station to the archivists themselves who assisted us in retrieving records-they were fantastic.

The big find of the day was discovering they had the original journals for the New London Custom House. These journals were the day to day records of the ships arriving (entering) and leaving (cleared) New London. The blotters, as they were called, gave information for ship captains, their boats, the type of boat, and what they were carrying. The blotters went from 1790 to 1797. There was a huge gap of  25 year before the records began again in 1821.

Nestled in this group of papers and journals were Records of Masters and Owners Oaths, Letters Received, and Vessel Enrollments. Each box had papers stuffed with information for people having business in New London from the late 1790s to the 20th century. The surprise of the day was discovering three crews lists that may not have been included in the microfilmed records. Another surprise was seeing early passenger records for New London. There were quite a few Irish listed in these records. Sadly it is not a complete holding. The folder I examined went from 1790 to 1821 and
contained about 20-30 papers.

All in all it was great visit.