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 172011
 

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’s SS 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 (www.sharlot.org).   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.   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.

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.

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
 
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 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.

Sep 162011
 

Tomorrow we leave Moosehead Lake (Greenville, ME) to begin our journey home.   On Tuesday we traveled with Ruth’s mother to Kineo, where she told us about her experiences as a child living on the island each summer while her father worked as a guide (see Memories from Kineo).   On Wednesday we visited the Moosehead Historical Society in Greenville.  It has to be one of the best small town museums in America.  It was also great to find some newpaper clippings about the Templeton family.

On Thursday I went to Augusta to visit the Maine State Archives and State Library, making some progress, along with developing some new questions about what happened to Emily Sears Templeton after her husband, John Frank Templeton, died.   I will update this information when I get back home.

Today I visited cemeteries in Willimantic and Milo, both here in Piscataquis County.   Found the grave markers I was looking for. It was a great, memorable week with lots of pictures to process and information to organize and ponder.  It will be good, too, to get back to a warmer place.

Sep 132011
 

David Brooks wrote an interesting column in today’s New York Times about the rise of moral individualism, where the family, religion and culture are being replaced by the “free-floating individual as the essential moral unit.”   I read this the same day as my wife and I spent a very special time with her mother, going back to her summer island home in Maine. (See Memories from Kineo).

I believe that genealogy is a great tool to help us place our lives in focus.  It steers us away from thinking it’s all about us.  I always feel profound respect for the courageous sacrifices that our ancestors made that set the table so bountifully for our journeys today.  No, they were not perfect.  But then, neither are we.   Now that I am a grandparent,  I also think about the choices I make and those we collectively embrace that will impact generations to follow.

Here’s to Genealogy  – helping us to keep our focus and our balance!