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.

The New England Planters


This year marks the 250th anniversary of a courageous group of people who left Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to seek a new home in Nova Scotia and what is now eastern New Brunswick.   Called the “New England Planters”, more than 8,000 people responded to an invitation of Governor Lawrence to come to Nova Scotia to accept free land grants.   Farmers were desperately needed to till the fertile soil left untended after the English expelled the French-speaking Acadians a few years earlier.

These settlers predated the loyalists of the American Revolutionary period by more than a decade.

In 2004 Ruth and I visited south western Nova Scotia and the nearby eastern part of New Brunswick to see where some of her ancestors made their new home.   Both parents of Ruth’s grandmother, Angie Stiles, came from these “Planter” families.   In Kentville, Kings County, Nova Scotia we visited the Kings County Museum, where there is an exhibit on these immigrants.

More information about the New England Planters can be found at these websites:

Nov 172011
HC Templeton

Several weeks ago I posted about my ongoing search for more of the story of Emma (Emily) Sears Templeton Jenkins.  More detail on my search for Emma is found on this page which explains our search for the missing 53 years of of the story of my wife’s great grandmother.  One of the tasks I listed was to request the Social Security application for a Harry Templeton, who was living with an Emma Templeton in Waterville, Maine in the 1900 census.

A copy of Harry Templeton’s Social Security Application  arrived in today’s mail.   Indeed Harry was a brother of Fred Templeton (my wife’s grandfather) since he lists his parents as Emma Sears and Frank Templeton.   The Emma living in Waterville, Maine is indeed Fred’s mother.

From his WWI Draft Registration card we know that he was living in Wyoming in 1918.  At the time of his Social Security application (1937) he was living in Sedona, AZ.  He died and was buried in Yavapai County Cemetery on November 13, 1968 according to records found at the website of the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, AZ (   There is no marker.

Another piece of the puzzle and a new member of the family.   We hope that we can learn more about Harry’s life.

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

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.

Oct 092011

One of my most cherished church records is a tribute to my 3rd great grandfather, Rev. Abner Goff, published in the Minutes of the Ohio Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1857, the year of his death.  Born in 1782 in Vermont, the Goff family came to Ohio in 1813, purchasing land in Newton Township, Licking County.  Within a few years Abner was licensed to preach within the Methodist circuit.  During the next 25 years of ministry he traveled extensively throughout central and north central Ohio, covering many circuits. A Google search produces listings of many marriages performed by Rev. Goff, as well as listings among the clergy in several Ohio county histories.

Abner Goff married Patty Hudson in 1800 in Clarendon, Rutland, Vermont. They had four children before coming to Ohio in 1813: Mira, Shadrach, Delano and Varnum (Vernon), my great-great grandfather. They may have had other children after coming to Ohio.

From the tribute published in 1857:

“Brother Goff was acknowledged by all who knew him to be a good man. His moral, religious, and ministerial character was unblemished and irreproachable. He was held in the highest esteem by his neighbors, and those with whom he associated. In the society and community where he lived thirty-five years, no preacher was heard with more pleasure than brother Goff, and he was always ready cheerfully to labor to the extent of his ability, when necessity demanded.”

Read a copy of the complete memoir here.

View Abner Goff’s Genealogy Page here

Rev. Abner Goff (1782-1857)


Memoir of Rev. Abner Goff

 Published in the Minutes of the Ohio Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church,  1857,  located at the Archives of Ohio United Methodism, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH 

“Rev. Abner Goff was born in Shaftsbury, in the state of Vermont, November 4, 1782.  Of his early life and religious training, we have no means of knowing anything.  In 1800 he was united in marriage to Patty Hudson, and settled in his native place, where he resided till some time in the year 1813, when he removed to the west, and settled in Licking county, in the state of Ohio, where his family have lived to the present time.

“In 1809 brother Goff gave his attention to the subject of religion.  He sought, and soon obtained a full and free pardon of all his sins.  His conviction was deep, and his conversion was sound and clear.  He united himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was soon after licensed as a local preacher.  Before he left his native state he traveled one year as an itinerant preacher, under the presiding elder of the district.  In 1819 brother Goff was admitted on trial as an itinerant preacher in the Ohio conference, and was appointed to the Fairfield circuit, where he traveled two years.  During his probation he gave satisfactory proofs of his gifts, grace, and usefulness, and in 1821 he was received into full connection with the conference.  From the time of his connection with the conference till 1841 he was an effective and faithful minister of Christ.  He traveled, consecutively, the following-named circuits: Fairfield, Granville, Muskingum, Knox, Mansfield, Wayne, Delaware, Mansfield, Granville, Knox, two years; Putnam, Mt. Gilead, Granville, Worthington, two years; Roscoe, Putnam, Irville, Hebron, and Irville again, where his effective labors in the itinerant ministry ended.

In 1842 brother Goff’s name was placed on the supernumerary list, and to the day of his death he sustained to the conference a supernumerary or superannuated relation, as his declining health and increasing infirmities demanded.  During most of the time of his effective labors the country was new, his family large, and ministerial support very limited; he was therefore, accommodated with work near his residence.  But although he was several times appointed to the same fields of labor, he was acceptable among the people, and they always received him as the messenger of God, and treated him with great kindness and respect.

Brother Goff was acknowledged by all who knew him to be a good man.  His moral, religious, and ministerial character was unblemished and irreproachable.  He was held in the highest esteem by his neighbors, and those with whom he associated.  In the society and community where he lived thirty-five years, no preacher was heard with more pleasure than brother Goff, and he was always ready cheerfully to labor to the extent of his ability, when necessity demanded.  If the regular minister failed to meet his appointment and brother Goff was present the congregations were never disappointed.

As a preacher his talents were of mediocrity, and his sermons were clear, sound, and Scriptural, and always acceptable to the people among whom he labored.  He was plain, artless, and solemn in his style and address.  He never studied to please the ears of his hearers with pleasant sounds, nor to dazzle them with shining things.  He was a plain, practical Methodist preacher – he aim was at the hearts of the people, and the conscience was not quiet in sin when he preached.  He was serious in and out of the pulpit, never trifling, never light.  He did not allow himself to speak evil of any person, or to utter an idle word.  He was very reserved in his manners; possibly he carried this too far, but it appeared to be a principle with him never to be obtrusive with his words or opinions.  With his friends, and when good counsel was necessary, he was communicative and free; but he did not talk to be heard by himself, or to amuse others.  The temperament of his nature, and the restraints which he imposed upon himself, sometimes inclined him to dejection of spirits.  His piety was deep and consistent, but his spiritual comforts were not always prominent.  His temperament had a strong and decided influence upon the state of his mind; but it is believed that disease and the infirmities of age had a far greater influence upon the state of his mind than anything else.  During the time that he sustained the supernumerary and superannuated relations to the conference he seldom attended its sessions.  A disease of the heart, with which he had long been afflicted, and the infirmities of age gradually increased, exhausting his strength; and as his health failed he become more and more subject to depression of spirit.  Indulging the hope that he might be restored to health and soundness of mind, he was brought toColumbus, and committed to the care of Dr. Hills, some time last winter.  But the hopes of his family and friends were not realized.  From that time his health failed rapidly, and his mind fell into most gloomy, discouraging, and fearful apprehensions.  The horrors of despair constantly preyed upon him.  From this unhappy state of mind, however, he was mercifully delivered, and his mind became clear and quietly fixed on the promises of the Gospel as in other days, and for some ten days before his release from suffering and from earth the state of his mind was calm and lucid as in the days of his strength.  He talked of the past and the future with great composure.  His confidence was firm, his hope was strong, and his happiness was inexpressible, and to the last moment of his earthly existence his peace was without interruption.  Though from home, he was surrounded by his family and friends, who ministered to his wants, and witnessed with what composure and confidence a good man can die.  His sufferings were protracted and most intense, but when they were most extreme, and his mind in its most melancholy state, he was patient, submissive and childlike in his demeanor.  No word deserving censure escaped his lips.  He received the kind attention of his physician and friends with expressions of the most affectionate gratitude.

Brother Goff died in the city of Columbus, Ohio, on the 15th day of March, 1857.

Minutes of the Ohio Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the Year 1857, Cincinnati: Methodist Book Concern, RP Thompson, Printer, pp 33-35

 Posted by at 6:49 pm  Tagged with:
Oct 022011

Emma Jenkins died in Guilford, Maine on August 24, 1932 at the age of 76.  What I find sad about this obituary is what it doesn’t say:  anything about her first husband, John Frank Templeton and their two sons, Hermon Orman (b. 1874)  and Fred Frank (b. 1876).

Her first husband died in 1879, leaving her with two sons 5 and 3.   From the Templeton side of this family we do not know much about what happened to Emma in the next 53 years.  By 1880 Fred went to live with his aunt and uncle; Hermon with their aunt’s parents.

For more about the search for the rest of this story of Emma Sears Jenkins click here.

 Posted by at 3:47 pm
Sep 282011

While I grew up thirty miles away in Lima,  my family search takes me to Hardin County, Ohio where both sets of my grandparents were married.


Frank Kimble and Clara Goddard
18 May 1892

Frank Kimble and Clara Goddard were married on 18 May 1892 in Ada, Ohio.   Like so many Americans of that era, Frank was a farmer, plowing his rich 40 acres with a mule.   It would be more than 35 years before electricity came to their farm.

Frank and Clara had six children: Ethel, Roy, Avery, Marcellus (Ted), Cora and Anna, my mother.

Frank kept a diary, which I have had the privilege of reading.   Neighbors helped neighbors harvest, build barns and split wood.  Along with their neighbors Frank and Clara did their part in supporting the one room school house and the Sugar Grove Methodist Church.

Frank and Clara Kimble 50th Anniversary

This picture is from their 50th wedding anniversary, celebrated surrounded by family and freinds.   Frank Kimble died on 16 Jan 1948.  Clara died on 28 Feb 1954.  They are buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Ada, Ohio.

As I research my family stories in Hardin County, I appreciate the hard working volunteers at the Hardin County Genealogy Society, who have rescued many records from the dumpsters and have expanded their office to house their growing collection.

Sep 232011

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 222011

We just returned from a wonderful trip to Maine.  Last Thursday I went to the Maine State Archives and State Library looking for information about the Templeton Family, especially Fred and Hermon Templeton’s mother, Emily Sears.   The Templeton family lost contact with Emily after the death of her husband, John Frank Templeton in 1879.  What happened during her next 53 years?

I was very happy when I found her record of death in 1932.   I was even more delighted in finding an obituary in the Bangor Daily News.

Emily (Emma) Sears

However, like many puzzles: pieces found  and now new questions to ask.  I have laid out the story and questions in much greater detail on  a new page focused on her story.   This is the first time I knew that she spent some of her last few years in Bangor, Maine.   Her obituary says that she was the widow of Frank Jenkins.   That’s also new information.    That’s what makes these quests so interesting!

We also had a chance to visit her grave in very rural Willimantic in Piscataquis County, Maine and see this very tiny community where Ruth’s grandfather was born.