Jun 102015
 
Store Ledger 1794-95 John Wales (1762-1823)

Store Ledger 1794-95
John Wales (1762-1823)

Tucked deep in the back of the drawer of John Wales Rollason’s desk was this very old book, about 15” tall by 6” wide.   Found again after his death in 2008, we discovered that the book is a store ledger from 1794-1795.

The shop keeper was also a John Wales (1762-1823), the 3rd great grandfather of John Wales Rollason.   From a book “The History of North Bridgewater” written by Bradford Kingman in 1866 we read that John Wales had a store previously operated by Daniel Cary at the corner of Main and Belmont Streets in North Bridgewater (now Brockton) Massachusetts. (Kingman, p 386).

Account of Benjamin Silvester (Click to enlarge)

Account of Benjamin Silvester

 

The ledger tracked details of purchases by customers.  Here we see part of the account for Benjamin Silvester and see purchases of salt pork, sugar, butter. “mallases”, salt, and lots of rum.   We can only imagine John Wales delight when he wrote “by cash then Recd twelve pound, Nineteen Shillings and 8 pence in full of the above accounts.”  Signed – John Wales.   What a treasure – to see his signature and to get a sense of this part of his life as a young man 33 years old.

 

 

Thayer payment

Thayer payments (Click to enlarge)

In that day shopkeepers were called traders for good reason.   Here we see that Enoch Thayer paid on his account by trading lots of nails as well as “by two days work of a boy.”  Thomas Reynolds paid in part by “work one hand one yoke of oxen one day”, one dozen eggs, 17 ½ pounds of hay seed, et al.

Reynolds payments (click to englarge)

Reynolds payments
(click to englarge)

Interestingly this ledger covers the period in which John Wales, Jr. was born (18 March 1795).  As with so many families of this period, John Wales’ first wife, Mehitable Howard (1765-1791) died shortly after the birth of their second child, Anna Howard Wales.  John Wales then married Susanna Capen.  Susanna Wales was born in 1792, followed by John (1795) and finally Sally (1796).  In the context of John Wales’ store, we see that he was providing for a family with three children under 6 with a fourth on the way.

John Wales grandson, also John Wales, continued the business tradition, becoming a very successful merchant and industrialist in Boston in the late 1800’s.

Aug 132013
 

(Is a Goff family ghost still there?)

On a trip to California in June, we visited the Chateau St. Jean Vineyards in quiet, scenic Kenwood, located in the Sonoma valley.  While we are familiar with some of their wines, we wanted to see Chateau St. Jean because of its history.   The winery is built around the summer home of Ernest Abner Goff, who was a second cousin of my grandmother.   I had also heard a story from a distant cousin about Ernest Goff’s daughter, Camilla, who sadly died as a teenager.   Some legends say that her spirit still visits the old family home.

Chateau St Jean-2

Summer Home of Ernest Abner Goff (1872-1957) in Kenwood, Sonoma, California. Now part of the special tasting rooms at the Chateau St Jean winery.
(Click on image for larger view)

Ernest Abner Goff was born 24 March 1872 in Michigan, son of Gilbert B Goff and Emily Marsh.  Ernest’s paternal grandfather was Rev. Abner Goff (1782-1857).   While my branch of the family stayed in Ohio and remained poor farmers for another couple of generations,  Gilbert B Goff moved to the wilderness of Michigan and became successful in lumber.   Ernest followed in this tradition, also developing interests in mining and more lumber in the Pacific northwest.   He bought this property in Kenwood and built the home which his family occupied in 1920.   It remained in the family until the 1970’s.  Camilla died on 27 Sep 1928 at the age of 18 at the family home in Michigan.

While we visited the winery we asked a couple of the staff about the rumors that the ghost of Camilla Goff was still present in the home.   Several acknowledged the stories.  One, whose office is now located in what was Camilla’s bedroom, told me that she will come back to her office to find her chair moved.  She also described how a wine glass mysteriously moved during a tasting.  Camilla, it seems, has a reputation as a trickster.

Chateau St Jean

Ernest Abner Goff and family 1919
(click on picture for larger view)

 

Obituary for Ernest Abner Goff

 

Aug 052013
 
Nantucket2

 

We revisited Nantucket in 2009 to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.    While there we also had the opportunity to enjoy not only the beauty of the island, but to also explore some of its rich history.

Nantucket Harbor- 2009

Nantucket Harbor- 2009

Ruth’s grandmother Susan Hervey Wales (1889-1989) great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Easton (1779-1838) was the last person in her line born in Nantucket.

Among Mary Easton’s Nantucket roots:

  • 3 of the original purchasers of Nantucket ((Tristram Coffin, Christopher Hussey and Thomas Macy) along with other early settlers, Nathaniel Starbuck and John Gardner.    
  • Her family lived in the oldest house on Nantucket (the Jethro Coffin House)
  • Several of her ancestors had active roles in Nantucket’s Whaling activities.
  • Many were part of the active Quaker community, including Mary Coffin Starbuck.
Sep 082012
 
Nana's Notes

Mabel Louise Hervey

We recently had the opportunity to look through a drawer of  ”memories” during a recent visit with Ruth’s uncle.   One of the treasures was a spiral notebook written by Ruth’s great grandmother, Mabel Louise Hervey (1863-1960), wife of George Rogers Wales and mother of Susan Hervey Wales Rollason.

The 30 plus pages of the spiral ring notebook start at her birth as Adelaide Francis Gifford, her adoptive family, Abraham and Elizabeth Boynton Hervey, her courtship and marriage to George and the birth of her children.    She remembers being stranded  in a snow storm on the train ride home from the Centennial celebration in Philadelphia in 1876, and much more.   Follow this link to read the Biographical Notes of Nana.

 Posted by at 10:48 pm  Tagged with:
Nov 222011
 
Kilborn Header1 copy

300 years ago this week (November 25, 1711) John Kilborn, one of the founders of Glastonbury, CT died.

Here lieth the body of Mr. Jn Kilborn, who died November y 25th 1711 in ye 60th year of His age.

According to a family history [1], John was instrumental in providing the land and building the parsonage for the first pastor, a requisite for establishing a new town.   His father and grandfather arrived in Connecticut in 1635 and were active leaders in Wethersfield, just across the Connecticut River.  John Kilbourn is buried at the Glastonbury Green Cemetery.

What makes this story special to our family is that my wife, Ruth, grew up just 10 miles southwest of Glastonbury in Middletown.   Until recently, however, she had no idea that one of her ancestors (her 7th great grandfather) had lived so near.  As we have traced her family history, her line goes to Greenville, Maine where Fred Templeton and Angie Stiles were married.  Angie was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, where our story ended until the last few years.

What we discovered in 2004 was that the Stiles family, along with several of Angie’s other ancestors, were New England Planters, a group of 8,000 people from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island who moved to Nova Scotia before the Revolution to claim offers of free land from the British.   After expelling the French-speaking Acadians, they were desperate for farmers to settle the lands.

A large group of these New England Planters came from the area around Hebron and Lebanon, Connecticut,  just 15-20 miles east of Glastonbury.  Among these were Nathan Stiles, Jr. and Kesiah Kilbourne, the great granddaughter of John.

The map outlines the chapters in this 300 year story.  As we learn more and more about the stories of vision, courage and struggles of our ancestors, I appreciate how deeply indebted we are to them in so many ways.

Click here for a larger view of the map.

 

1)  Kilbourn, Payne Kenyon, The Family Memorial: a History and Genealogy of the Kilbourn family in the United States and Canada from the Year 1635 to the Present Time, Hartford, Connecticut, Brown and Parsons, 1845 as accessed on Google Books.
Nov 042011
 

Job Lane (1689-1762)

   On a sunny August Sunday afternoon in 2008, Ruth and I visited a home first built by Ruth’s 7thgreat-grandfather, Job Lane (1689-1762).   Located on the Old North Road, just north of

Job Lane House
Bedford, MA

Bedford,  Massachusetts, the home was built by Job Lane for his bride, Martha Ruggles at the time of their wedding in 1713.  Maintained by the Bedford Historical Society, the home is open for tours one Sunday each month.  The original home was from the front door to the right.  The left portion of the home was built more than one hundred years later.

The property for the home was part of a larger 1,500 acre parcel which Job Lane’s grandfather, Job Lane (1620 – 1697) was given as payment for building a home for the grandson of Governor Winthrop in New London, CT in 1664.

The house is maintained by Friends of the Job Lane House.  More information and hours for tours can be found here.   You can also find them on Facebook.  The Bedford Historical Society also maintains an extensive list of historical papers from the Lane family that can be viewed at http://www.bedfordmahistory.org/Lane%20Family%20Papers/index.html.

Job Lane’s son – Job Lane Jr. (1718-1796) was a private in the Bedford Company that marched to Concord on April 19, 1775 to defend against the attack by the British troops.  Hit in the leg by a musket ball, Job Lane served only one day, but was a part of that historical step in our nation’s history.  His wound left him crippled; some reports say that his leg was amputated.   Fortunately he survived for another twenty-one years to see the fruits of the struggles – the birth of our new nation.

Job Lane. Jr’s great granddaughter, Abigail Kittredge Richardson, was the grandmother of George Rogers Wales. The line: George Wales; Susan Howard Rogers; Abigail Kittredge Richardson; Hannah Bacon; Hannah Lane; Job Lane, Jr; Job Lane.  Many of these families are found back to the earliest of English days in towns such as Woburn and Billerica, MA.

Sep 232011
 
Canoes76

During our recent trip to Moosehead Lake, Maine, we visited the Moosehead Historical Society in Greenville Junction.    This was just a short walk from where Ruth’s mother grew up.   Following an excellent guided tour we stopped in the office to see what they might have about the Templeton family.   Several files!    One treasure was this clipping from the Moosehead Gazette, July  4, 1952 about Ruth’s grandfather, Fred Templeton.  The headline reads: “Fred Templeton Still Making Canoes at Age of 76 Years.”

In the story Fred recounts experiences from his years (1898 – 1945) as a guide at Kineo (see Memories from Kineo).   He remembers seeing as many as 84 moose in a day.  The last caribou he saw was in 1899.   He had other stories to tell, but he had to get back to work to finish the canoe.    Fred died on 9 Oct 1952, just four months after this interview.  Templeton canoes are still known in this part of Maine.

I am so happy that we found this article.  Thanks to organizations such as the Moosehead Historical Society for the work they do to preserve these memories.

Sep 132011
 
Kineo

 

Mt Kineo on Mooshead Lake, Maine

Today the weather was perfect as we took Ruth’s mother, Ruth Templeton Rollason, back to Kineo, an  island on Moosehead Lake in Maine where she lived all of her childhood summers.  The shuttle captain loaned us his golf cart so that we could see the island.  We had the best guide – Ruth’s mom – who reminisced about her 17 summers here.

Kineo was a destination resort from the 1850’s until the 1930’s.  In 1903 young Angie Stiles and her sister Martha came from Amherst, Nova Scotia to work at the Kineo Resort.   Fred Templeton was a guide for the guests who wanted to hunt and fish.  He also looked after the boats for families who summered here.

A year later Fred and Angie married in Greenville where they made their winter home.  When school was out, Fred and Angie took their family to Kineo for the summer.

Fred leased land on a small island where he built a modest summer cabin for his family.

Island in Kineo Cove where the Templeton family lived during the summer

The resort is long gone.  Today there is a public golf course, a state park, and many beautiful summer homes.