Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - The "When I Was Young" Genea-Meme, Part 2

It's Saturday Night, 
time for more Genealogy Fun!!

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

1)  Geneablogger Alona Tester has devised a new meme called the "When I Was Young" genea-meme on her blog, LoneTester HQ.

2)  Since the genea-meme is 25 questions, let's do the rest 10 at a time.  This week, answer questions 6 to 15.

3)  Share your answers on your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a Facebook post or a Google+ post.

Here's mine: 

Q6:   When you were young, do you remember what it was that you wanted to grow up to be?

First, I really wanted to be a baseball player.  My eyes jinxed that, I couldn't hit worth a damn.  With glasses or without.  

Next, I wanted to be President.  I achieved that in 2007 when I was elected President of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society.  

Finally, after taking my first airplane ride in 1956, I wanted to design airplanes.  With that as av goal, I studied math, physics, and chemistry, I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1966.  I worked for a small company designing a revolutionary aircraft.  That company folded, so I worked at Rohr designing and analyzing commercial aircraft parts.

Q7. Did you have a favourite teacher at school?

In elementary school, it was Mrs. Williams (I don't recall her first name).  She was excellent, and I was a good student.  I remember being so nervous doing a verbal report and she was encouraging.

In high school, my favorite teacher was Mrs. Johnsie Posey, who taught geometry and calculus.  Again, very encouraging and supportive in a challenging subject.

Q8. How did you get to school?

In elementary school, my mother walked me to school in the first two or three years.  After that, I rode my bike the 8 blocks down 30th Street to Brooklyn Elementary, and home.  

In junior high school, I took a school bus to Roosevelt Junior High School on Park Blvd.  It went up 30th Street to University Avenue to Park Blvd.  

In high school, I took the #2 San Diego city bus to San Diego High School, getting off at 12th and Broadway and walking the four blocks to school.  I occasionally walked the four miles home from high school.

Q9 What games did playtime involve?

Baseball, Football, Basketball, Dodge ball, Kickball, Tag, Ball Tag, Ping Pong, Bike tag, Hide and seek, Three flies up, Horse, many more.  All day long outside in the summer, until dark in the winter.  

At home, we played board games like parchesi and sorry, and card games like Canasta and hearts. I also created some dice games for Baseball and football, and announced the games (no one in the family listened...).

At the dinner table, we played a word game called Ghosts involving spelling a word one letter at a time, and whoever spelled an actual word got a Ghost.  Three ghosts and you were out.

We often set up the Lionel train set and ran the track all around the house, and tried to crash two engines into each other.  

Q10 Did you have a cubby house?

I think you mean what we call a tree house or a fort - special place to hide out and have fun.  Our upstairs apartment had a "cubby hole" off the living room and above the front stairs.  I would go there to read, and time the bus schedules when I was sick.

We built forts down in the back yard, but later down in Balboa Park.  We roamed the eastern side of the park around Grape Street, and had a number of forts built with brush and branches to hide from each other, then the game was to find one of the guys.

Q11.  What was something you remember from an early family holiday?

The best family holiday was the first vacation we took in 1954.  My parents took us to Bass Lake, about 20 miles south of Yosemite National Park.  We stayed in a cabin, had the lake to swim in, and the general store had great baseball cards - different from what we had collected in San Diego.  I learned to swim there.  

Q12.  What is a memory from one of your childhood birthday’s or Christmas?

Christmas of 1955 was the best, because we got our Davy Crockett coonskin caps and Daisy Air Gun rifles.  We spent Christmas Eve and morning at the home of my grandparents, Lyle and Emily Carringer.  They had a chimney, so Santa could visit their house in the traditional way.  My grandmother would sing Christmas carols to put us to sleep.  

Q13. What childhood injuries do you remember?

I was remarkably free of injuries as a kid - I wasn't too courageous or stupid.  When I was 12, we had Flexible Flyers (essentially a sled with wheels and steering handles with springs).  We went everywhere on the flexies, which were only 6 inches off the ground, pushed by our feet.  Going down 30th Street to the nickel and dime store, I sailed off the sidewalk curb, veered out into the street, and was planning on going up the first driveway on the next block.  This maneuver really surprised the driver of the big bus just to my left...and surprised me that he was there.  I veered back toward the curb, hit it and flipped head over heels and landed on my head.  A concussion laid me up for a day or two.  I was very lucky!

Q14. What was your first pet?

We had cats all through the time I was a kid.  Usually more than one because there was no spaying at the time.  They invariably were killed on one of the streets on either side of the block.  The longest lived was Rootie-Toot-Toot who lived about 15 years.  He was a big gray and white cat.  We never had a dog.

Q15.  Did your grandparents, or older relatives tell you stories of “when I was young ..?”

Not that I recall.  Since my mother was an only child, and her parents were only children, and my father's family were in Massachusetts, there was no extended family to talk about ancient family times.  My parents didn't have many close friends.  Our free time was spent playing with our friends, and playing baseball at the park or at the Little League field.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - FISHER (England to colonial Massachusetts)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  

I am in the 8th great-grandmothers and I'm up to Ancestor #1105 who is  Elizabeth FISHER (1659-1694) 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 8th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through three generations in this FISHER family line is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920)

16. Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)
17. Lucretia Townsend Smith (1827-1884)

34. Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840)
35. Elizabeth Horton Dill (1791-1869)

68.  Aaron Smith (1765-1841)
69.  Mercy Plimpton (1772-1850)

138.  Amos Plimpton (1735-1808)
139.  Mary Guild (1735-1800)

276.  John Plimpton (1708-1756)
277. Abigail Fisher (1711-1785)

552.  John Plimpton (1680-1730)
553.  Susanna Draper (1688-1769).

1104.  John Plimpton, born 16 June 1649 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 30 January 1704 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 2208. John Plimpton and 2209. Jane Dammant.  He married 02 January 1678 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
1105.  Elizabeth Fisher, born 06 February 1659 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 13 May 1694 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of John Plimpton and Elizabeth Fisher are:
*  John Plimpton (1680-1730), married 1707 Susanna Draper (1688-1769).
*  Henry Plimpton (1684-1731), married 1706 Mary Smith (1688-1774).
*  Joseph Plimpton (1686-????).

2210.  John Fisher, born beofre 26 January 1634 in Redenhall, Norfolk, England; died 03 July 1668 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.    He married 06 April 1658 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
2211.  Elizabeth Boylston, born 21 September 1640 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 04 May 1665 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 4422. Thomas Boylston and 4423. Sarah.

Children of John Fisher and Elizabeth Boylston are:
*  Elizabeth Fisher (1659-1694), married 1678 John Plimpton (1649-1704).
*  John Fisher (1661-1755), married (1) 1683 Mary Metcalf (1652-1727); (2) 1731 Sarah Harding (1680-1766).
*  Thomas Fisher (1663-1663).
*  Esther Fisher (1665-1666).

4420.  Joshua Fisher, born before 24 March 1588 in Syleham, Suffolk, England; died 18 October 1674 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 8840. Anthony Fisher and 8841. Mary Fiske.  He married about 1618 in probably Suffolk, England.
4421.  Elizabeth, born about 1599 in England; died before 11 September 1638 in Syleham, Suffolk, England.

Children of Joshua Fisher and Elizabeth are:
*  Elizabeth Fisher (1619-????).
*  Joshua Fisher (1621-1672), married (1) 1643 Mary Aldus (1623-1653); (2) 1654 Lydia Aldus (1621-1683).
*  Mary Fisher (1623-1691), married 1648 Thomas Battelle (1620-1706).
*  Hester Fisher (1625-1625).
*  Sarah Fisher (1627-1627).
*  Amos Fisher (1630-1630).
*  John Fisher (1634-1668), married (1) 1658 Elizabeth Boylston (1640-1665); (2) 1665 Mary Treadway (1642-1677).
*  Samuel Fisher (1635-????).

Information about this Fisher line was obtained from:

*  Dean Crawford Smith, edited by Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton, 1878-1908, Part IV: The Ancestry of Linda Anne Powers, 1839-1879 (Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2000), pages 236-238.

*  William S. Tilden (editor) History of the Town of Medfield, Massachusetts, 1650-1886 (Boston, Mass. : Geo. H. Ellis, 1887).

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, April 10, 2015 Launches Family Trees

I received this information from the folks:


I just wanted to share some exciting new features that we recently launched on  Hopefully you like our new family tree creator!

Family Tree Creator is now available!

- Our new family tree creator is finally live! You can now build your family tree directly on the site.  Add photos, source citations, and full profiles for your ancestors.  Some highlights:

- Built from the ground up using the latest technology to run great on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.   It's very fast and easy to use on all devices.

- Easily share your tree with family members so you can collaborate and build your tree together.

- Build a complete profile of your ancestors by adding photos, family members, and biographies.

- Add full source citations to your records quickly and easily, including links to external resources and high resolution photos of record images and historical documents.

- Easily search for record matches for any members of your family tree.  Add source records from census, birth, living people records and more with just a couple of clicks.

- Full privacy controls so only the people you choose can see your tree.

Family Tree Creator is 100% free to use, just like everything else at  Try it out today!


I couldn't resist trying this out, so I entered myself, my wife, and my parents to see how easy it is to enter data, and to see if they have some of the features we have come to expect with online family trees.

I opened the "Tree Pages" link to see what was included there - you can List All People, View Record Matches, Share Tree (using email, defining role), Tree Settings (tree name, tree description, and privacy controls, delete tree).

Here are just a few of my observations about Family Tree Creator, in its present form:

*  This is a separate family tree, owned by the creator.  You can make it as private as you want.

*  There is no GEDCOM upload or download capability yet.  This is, to me, critical because I don't want to enter thousands of people into any family tree program one person at a time.   

*  For each person entered, birth and death dates and places can be entered.  However, I found no way to enter marriage dates and places for a couple.

*  Other relatives can be entered - parents, siblings, spouses, children.

*  A biography, source citations and photographs/document images can be added for each person.

*  For each person, the program finds Record Matches in the databases available on  

*  This feature, and the website, are FREE at this time.

That's as far as I've gotten in about 30 minutes of working with it.  

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

"Discover Your Ancestors" Magazine - 4th Annual Print Edition

I received this recently from Discover Your Ancestors magazine (published in England):


The 4th annual print edition of Discover Your Ancestors is a unique collection of original articles, written by experts, on a wide range of family and social history themes. Inside you’ll find a wealth of information and inspiration, helping you to trace your ancestors back through time and understand what their lives were actually like.

Each issue of Discover Your Ancestors - which also has a digital edition, the Periodical, published online every month - is different, much bigger than a standard magazine, and amazing value. Issue 4 is packed with almost 200 pages, with well over 30 features covering everything from medieval records to life in a Victorian asylum, from DNA research to the history of spa towns. We also have an exclusive on the swashbuckling ancestry of James Bond actor Daniel Craig.

Not only that, Issue 4 (now available in branches of WHSmiths, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Easons and Martin McColl as well as larger groups in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) has our first-ever cover DVD, with an amazing collection of resources and offers - including a FREE three-month subscription to - worth more than £130 in total.

Find out more at! We'll also be on Table 94 at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in Birmingham from 16-18 April 2015.


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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 67: #73 Josiah Sawtell (1768-1847)

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post Challenge:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I am extending this theme in 2015 to 104 Ancestors in 104 Weeks. Here is my ancestor biography for week #67:

Josiah Sawtell (1768-1847) is #74 on my Ahnentafel list, my 4th great-grandfather. He married in 1789 to #75 Hannah Smith (1768-1827).

I am descended through:

*  their daughter #37 Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857) who married #36 Zachariah Hildreth (1783-1857), in 1810.  

*  their son, #18 Edward Hildreth (1831-1899), who married #19 Sophia Newton (1834-1923) in 1852.  
*  their daughter #9 Hattie Louise Hildreth (1847-1920), who married #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) in 1874. 
*  their son, #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942), who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
* their son, #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983), who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) in 1942.
*  their son, #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                       Josiah Sawtell[1–4]
*  Alternate Name:       Josiah Sartell[5–6,8]    
*  Alternate Name:       Josiah Sawtelle[7]

*  Sex:                          Male  

*  Father:                      Ephraim Sawtell (1734-1800)   
*  Mother:                    Abigail Stone (1736-1800)   
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                       24 January 1768, Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1]
*  Census:                   1 June 1800 (age 32), Mason, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, United States[5]
*  Census:                   1 June 1810 (age 42), Townsend, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[6]
*  Census:                   1 June 1820 (age 52), Townsend, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[2]   
*  Death:                     7 December 1847 (age 79), Townsend, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[3–4]
*  Burial:                    after 7 December 1847 (after age 79), New Cemetery, Townsend, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[7]    
3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1:               Hannah Smith (1768-1827)   
*  Marriage 1:            5 February 1789 (age 21), probably Raby, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, United States[8]   

*  Child 1:                  Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857)   
*  Child 2:                  Josiah Sawtell (1791-1871)   
*  Child 3:                  Mary Sawtell (1793-1831)   
*  Child 4:                  Chester Sawtell (1795-1872)   
*  Child 5:                  Esther Sawtell (1797-1852)   
*  Child 6:                  Horace Sawtell (1799-1825)   
*  Child 7:                  Neuma Sawtell (1803-1826)   
*  Child 8:                  Walter Sawtell (1806-1857)   
*  Child 9:                  Price Sawtell (1810-1891)   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

Josiah Sawtell (also Sartell and Sawtelle) was born  in Groton, Massachusetts, the son of Ephraim and Abigail (Stone) Sartell.[1]  The birth record in the Groton Vital Record book says:

"SAWTELL, Josiah [Sartell, C.R. 1], s. Ephraim and Abigail [(Stone) C.R. 1], Jan. 24, 1768"

Very little is known about the family of Josiah Sartell.  The most information was obtained from a  contribution to the Genealogical Query Column in the Boston Transcript newspaper, dated 21 April 1932 (entry #3534):[8] 

"(3534)  1. SMITH, SARTELL, BISHOP.  Hannah Smith, born Jan. 1 1768, at Amherst, Mass., married Feb. 5, 1789, at Amherst, Josiah Sartell of Hollis, Mass.  I wonder if her parents were Noah Smith and Mary, daughter of Edward Elmer, who were married in Amherst in 1766 at Amherst (probably).  If this is true, who were Noah Smith's ancestors? The children of Hannah Smith and Josiah Sartell were:

"(1) Josiah, Jr. born Brookline, N.H. Nov. 26, 1791 (I believe married Rebecca Manning).
(2) Hannah, born Brookline N.H. Nov. 6, 1789, married Zachariah Hildreth, who was born Townsend Mass. and died at Townsend Jan. 22, 1857; Hannah died at Townsend Jan. 13, 1851, children: Aaron, Clarissa, James, Clarissa 2d, Elizabeth, Milo, Moses, Edward, Harriet and Moses.
(3)  Mary (Lee), born Townsend April 11, 1793, and died at Pelham, May 26, 1831, children Enos, Edwin, Samantha.
(4) Chester, born Townsend Aug. 6, 1795, died April 19, 1875; children Sophia and Mrs. Bizel.
(5)  Esther, born Townsend May 13, 1797, died Amherst Mass. March 5, 1859.
(6) Horace, born Ashburnham, Mass. July 9, 1799, died Mason, N.H. May 21, 1825, married Sally Saunders, had daughter Elizabeth.
(7)  Neuma, born Townsend June 6, 1802, and died Mason, N.H. Aug. 11, 1826.
(8)  Walter, born Townsend, March 21, 1806, and died Townsend, Aug. 26, 1857, married Louisa Adams; had a son Perry.
(9)  Price, born Townsend, Feb. 2, 1810, married Eliza Bishop at Watertown, N.Y., Feb. 21, 1831, who was born Dec. 12, 1806 at Westmoreland, Vt., and died Feb. 14, 1875 at Milwaukee; Price died Milwaukee, June 5, 1891.  (Who were the parents of Eliza Bishop?)."

In the 1800 U.S. Census, the Josiah Sartell family resided in Mason, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire.[5]  The household included:

*  3 males under age 10
*  1 male age 26 to 45
*  2 females age under age 10
*  1 female age 10 to 16
*  1 female age 26-45

In the 1810 U.S. Census, the Josiah Sartell family resided in Townsend, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.[6]  The household included:

*  2 males under age 10
*  2 males age 10-16
*  1 male age 16-26 
*  1 male age 26 to 45
*  1 female age 10-16
*  2 females age 16-26
*  1 female age 26-45

In the 1820 U.S. Census, the Josiah Sawtell family resided in Townsend, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.[2]  The household included:

*  1 male under age 10
*  1 male age 26 to 45
*  1 male over age 45
*  1 female age 26-45

In the 1830 and 1840 U.S. Census records, there are no listings for a Josiah Sa?tell of the appropriate age group.  He may have resided with another Sa?tell family, probably in Townsend.

Josiah Sawtell died of "old age" on 7 December 1847 in Townsend, Massachusetts.[3-4]  The Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1915, provides this information from the death record:

*  Date of registration:  25 December 1847
*  Name:  Josiah Sawtell
*  Sex:  Male
*  Age:  80 years
*  Occupation:  Farmer
*  Date of Death:  7 December 1847
*  Cause of death:  Old age
*  Birthplace:  Brookline N.H.
*  Name of parents:  a Pauper

He is buried in the New Cemetery in Townsend, Massachusetts.  The entry in the Townsend Vital Record book says:[7]

"Sawtelle, Josiah, b. Groton, Jan. 24, 1768, d. Townsend, Dec. 2, 1847, a 79y 10m."

No probate record for Josiah Sawtell was found in the Middlesex County, Massachusetts probate records.

[1]. Vital Records of Groton, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, Mass. : The Essex Institute, 1926-1927), Two volumes, Births, page 210, Josiah Sawtell entry.

[2]. 1820 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Townsend,  Page 571, Josiah Sartell household; digital image, (, citing National Archives Microfilm publication M33, Roll 51.

[3]. Henry C. Hallowell (editor), Vital Records of Townsend, Massachusetts (Boston, Mass. :  New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1992), Deaths, 1844-1851, page 333, Josiah Sawtell entry.

[4]. "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1915," indexed database and digital images,  New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors (, Deaths, Volume 33, Page 88, Townsend, Josiah Sawtell entry.

[5]. 1800 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, Mason, page 570, Josiah Sartell household; digital image, (, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M32, Roll 20.

[6]. 1810 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Townsend,  Page 299, Josiah Sartell household; digital image, (, citing National Archives Microfilm publication M292, Roll 20.

[7]. Henry C. Hallowell (editor), Vital Records of Townsend, Massachusetts, New Cemetery Records, page 367, Josiah Sawtelle entry.

[8]Boston Transcript, (Boston, Mass.), 21 April 1932, Item 3534, SMITH, SARTELL, BISHOP, Boston Transcript Genealogical Column Microfiche Collection, Card 7 1832; San Diego Public Library, San Diego, Calif.. citing Carlos Parsons Darling, Boston transcript genealogy newspaper columns, June 6, 1896-April 30, 1941 (Middletown, Conn. : Godfrey Memorial library, 197-), on 682 microfiche.


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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, April 9, 2015

It's always the Last Place You Look -- Zachariah Hildreth's (1754-1829) Death Notice

I posted two weeks ago in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 65: #72 Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1820) that the death of Zachariah Hildreth was after the 1820 U.S. census, although the death record in the Townsend, Massachusetts vital record book seems to say it was in 1819.  

Today, while doing some research in GenealogyBank for this week's biographical sketch, I checked GenealogyBank and came up empty for this week's target.  But I did not recall checking GenealogyBank for Zachariah Hildreth several weeks ago, so I put the name into the search field and came up with three matches:

Hmmm, a Historical Obituary in 1829; could that be "my guy?"  Here's the article in the Farmer's Cabinet newspaper, from Amherst, New Hampshire, dated Saturday, March 18, 1829:

The record for Zachariah Hildreth says:

"In Townsend, March 16, Capt. Zachariah Hildreth, aged 75."

Let's see -- 1829 minus 75 equals 1754!  Yep, that's my 4th great-grandfather!!  

Now that I've found this, I need to add this content and source to my RootsMagic family tree database.  And do some more searching.

A source citation, you ask?  Using the "Newspapers, Online Images" source template in RootsMagic, which is based on Evidence Explained, Section 14.22:

"Died," death notice, Farmer's Cabinet (Amherst, N.H.), 18 March 1829, page 3, Death Notice for Zachariah Hildreth; GenealogyBank ( : indexed database with digital image, 9 April 2015), Newspaper Archives collection; citing American Antiquarian Society collection.

My  lesson learned here is:  I need to check all of the resources available for newspaper articles or notices for my 18th and 19th century ancestors.  This includes GenealogyBank ($$), NewspaperARCHIVE ($$, through Ancestry ($$) or MyHeritage ($$)), ($$, free at FHCs), American Ancestors ($$) (which has two historical newspaper collections), Google News Archive (free) and Chronicling America (free).  There are other smaller newspaper collections with a local or regional scope also.  

A good resource for available online historical newspapers is Kenneth R. Marks blog posts on The Ancestor Hunt blog for each state.  The list for New Hampshire is at

Another lesson learned here is to think more about adjacent counties and states for records.  In this case, Townsend, Massachusetts is on the border with Brookline and Mason towns in New Hampshire.  Amherst, New Hampshire, where this article was published, is three towns away from Townsend.  It may have been one of the only newspapers for this rural area of southern New Hampshire.  The Amherst newspaper with Zachariah's death notice has notices from towns on both sides of the state line.

Newspaper research is very difficult without digitized newspaper pages and a search capability if there is no available index. Even though name searches are often frustrated by name spellings and the vagaries of OCR, the online searches can be productive.  I really appreciate GenealogyBank and the other digital newspaper websites but only occasionally use them - like once a week or so for a specific name.  Obviously, I need to use them more often, especially for my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks biographies.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 257: 1847 Death Record of Josiah Sawtell of Townsend, Mass.

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the  1847 death record of my 4th great-grandfather, Josiah Sawtell, in Townsend, Massachusetts:

The snip of the Josiah Sawtell record:

The extracted information from this record is:

*  Date of registration:  25 December 1847
*  Name:  Josiah Sawtell
*  Sex:  Male
*  Age:  80 years
*  Occupation:  Farmer
*  Date of Death:  7 December 1847
*  Cause of death:  Old age
*  Birthplace:  Brookline N.H.
*  Name of parents:  a Pauper

The source citation for this record is:

"Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1915," indexed database and digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( : accessed 12 August 2011), Deaths, Volume 33, Page 88, Townsend, Josiah Sawtell entry; citing original entries in the Massachusetts Archives.

There are no real surprises in this death record.  The names of the parents are not given - perhaps the informant did not know them.  He apparently died a pauper of "old age."

Josiah Sawtell (1768-1847) is my 4th great-grandfather, the son of Ephraim and Ann (Stone) Sawtell.  He married Hannah Smith in 1789 in Brookline, N.H.  They had nine children, including my third great-grandmother, Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857), who married Zachariah Hildreth (1783-1857).  

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver