Thursday, August 10, 2017

Where in the World is "Elsabeth" Brook? Crowdsourcing Works!

A funny thing happened as I went about abstracting the deeds of Amos Gates - I got help from a genea-blogger, and found a distant genea-blogging cousin.

For the abstracts of all of the deeds, and transcriptions of a probate record and a deed, of Amos Gates (1706-1783) of Stow, Massachusetts, see:

*  52 Ancestors - Week 185: #264 Amos Gates (1706-1783) of Stow, Massachusetts (posted 28 July 2017)

*  Amanuensis Monday - Distribution to Widow in Amos Gates (1706-1783) Probate Records  (posted 24 July 2017)

*  Amanuensis Monday - 1791 Deed of Deborah Gates to Isaac Whitman for Land in Stow, Massachusetts (posted 31 July 2017)

The probate and deed records mention several physical features near Stow, Massachusetts - "Elsabeth Brook," Lancaster Road, Long Hill, Bolton Line, etc.  All of these are in the western part of Stow or the eastern part of Bolton, Massachusetts, the town to the west of Stow.  Can I figure out where the Amos Gates land was?

I figured "Elsabeth Brook" was probably Elizabeth Brook.  Here is a Google satellite map of the western portion of Stow:



Elizabeth Brook runs roughly west to east on the north side of Highway 117, and then turns southward on the east side of Hudson Road.  It then flows eastward to the Assabet River, which flows north to the Concord River, which flows northward yo Lowell and into the Merrimack River.  

The Bolton town line is the pinkish line on the left side of the image above.  Long Hill is off the image above, in Bolton and further south.  I think Lancaster Road in the 1780s was probably where Highway 117 is today.

So it is probable that Amos Gates land was east of Bolton line, south and west of Elsabeth Brook, and extending south a ways toward Long Hill on the south.

Each day, I post a link to most of my blog posts on Facebook, and they usually have an image.  On 6 August, geneablogger Midge Frazel read some of my posts, and posted a map similar to the above with a stickpin showing where she lives (in the area south of 117 and west of Hudson road), and commented:

"Imagine me laughing at how close I live to Elizabeth Brook!"

I commented:

 I think there's a good chance you live on land once owned by my 6th great-grandfather Amos Gates - Elizabeth Brook was a northern bound and the Bolton line was another bound. I can see a visit to all of my home places needs to be added to my to-do list!"

She said:

"There is a gates lane not on the photo further away. We will check it out."

On August 7, Midge and her husband went walking on the road by Elizabeth Brook, and made a short video of the peaceful flowing water from a bridge.  Then they went hunting for Gates Lane, drove down it and took photos of the oldest house they could find, and took photos of the street sign and also a sign for Elizabeth Brook.  You can see these on my Facebook page or on Midge's.

In the comments on the Gates Lane post, geneablogger Jo Arnspiger commented:

"Also a Gates descendant. I am assuming this is Stow, MA right? Randy which Gates lived in this area? I am descended from Lydia Gates daughter of Elisha, son of Simon, son of Stephen. I guess from the street named Gates, alot of them did."

I checked, and Elisha Gates was my Amos Gates brother, both were sons of Simon and Hannah (Benjamin) Gates.  So Jo and I are 8th cousins.

I know that Midge and I are distant cousins also with deep New England roots, as I am with Heather Wilkinson Rojo, Bill West, and several other geneabloggers.

The point is that we are all part of a larger community - distant cousins, geneabloggers, Facebook friends, genealogists, etc.  The community is a tremendous asset, and a wellspring of information and fun.

My thanks to Midge and her husband for taking their excursions to find out more about Elizabeth Brook and Gates Lane, and to Jo for reaching out to her cousin, and finding some information about her Gates ancestors.  This is one reason for blogging about my genealogy - crowdsourcing is really helpful.  And cousin bait is really useful.

Of course, my bucket list just got longer - I need to go visit Elizabeth Brook and see the land where my 6th great-grandparents lived.

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Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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