Road Blocks

My personal “medium-term” goal in doing genealogy work is to trace every direct line of my family back to the original immigrant ancestors who came to America.  For most of the branches of my tree, this is done.  My mother and I had a laugh about this recently because with one exception everyone in her family tree came to America between 1840 and 1892.  That really cuts down the work by quite a bit!

But even in my mom’s side of the family, there are certain places where I still have work to do, so I thought I’d make a list here of the temporary “roadblocks” along with some brief notes.  Partly this is for myself, so I can refer here when I’m deciding where to focus my efforts.  Partly this is an appeal for help from the larger Internet community.  Once this is online and searchable, it offers the chance that someone else out there can jump in with a tidbit of information I don’t have and push through to the original ancestors for that line.

Let’s get started!

Florin Herbert “Bert” Curtis (1875-1952) Line

As I said above, there are still some roadblocks in my mother’s side of the tree.  Her great-grandfather “Bert” Curtis is the only person in her entire tree whose family goes back further than the 1850’s, and there are a few roadblocks in his tree:

  • Bert Curtis’s maternal grandmother was Mary Ann Brown (1816-1853).  She was likely born in Montgomery County, Ohio.  She married Anderson Hutchins (1811-1888) in Miami, Ohio on 28 Nov 1833.  They had six children that I know about, and she died on 4 May 1853 only three days after the birth of her daughter Lydia Ann Hutchins.  A tree on Rootsweb suggests her parents were Samuel Brown and a woman named Sarah.  That’s the only clue I have so far.
  • Bert Curtis’s paternal grandmother was Sarah Spencer (1823-1893).  Her mother seems to have been a woman named Anna Sutton (b 1795) who married a James Spencer in Preble County, Ohio on 29 Nov 1810.  They had at least two and possibly four or more children.  James died about 1825 because Anna then married a Samuel Jones on 6 Sept 1825 in Miami County, Ohio, with whom she had at least five more children.  According to census records for Sarah, both Anna and James were born in Pennsylvania.  According to a different census, Anna’s parents were born in Maryland.
  • There is conflicting information on the wife or wives of Walter Chiles Jr.  The book “Genealogy of the Wives of the American Presidents and Their First Two Generations of Descent” by Craig Hart (2004) states that Walter Chiles married Susanna Brooks.  Other accounts say his wife was Mary, a daughter of Col. John Page of Jamestown.
  • Mary Ann Winston was born about 1685 in Jamestown, Virginia and married Henry Chiles (1660-1719) about 1704.  Her parents may have been William Winston and Elizabeth Dabney, but it’s all very murky at this point.
  • William Terrell was born about 1659 in New Kent, Virginia Colony.  He died in 1743 in Hanover, Virginia.  There is some serious 100-year-old dispute about his parentage which I am unlikely to resolve.
  • Roger Oxford and Margaret Kirtley were residents of the Virginia Colony.  Roger was born about 1670 in Culpeper, Virginia and died in 1758 in the same town.  Margaret Kirtley was born about 1675.  Other than that, not much is know about them or their parentage.
  • Hannah Matson (1715-1812)  is believed to have been the great-granddaughter of the accused in the only witchcraft trial ever held in Pennsylvania.   Her great-grandmother Margaret Matson of Chester Co, Pennsylvania was tried for witchcraft in the year 1683.  There are some facts known about Hannah’s ancestors, and her main family line almost certainly came from Sweden, but much if it is still murky.
  • Amy Cox (1698-1778) was born in Newark, New Jersey and died in London Grove, Pennsylvania.  She married John Allen (1694-1771).  There are three theories about who her parents were, the most often seen is that they were John Cox and Rachel Embree Carr.  This is in dispute, however.

And that’s it for my mother’s side of the family.  On to my father’s side, which will be a much larger list.

Horace Luther Thomas (1846-1929) Line

  • Probably the most frustrating roadblock of all is my 5x great-grandfather Beriah Thomas (1742-1836), about whom much has been written on this site.  By his own word he was born in Simsbury, Massachusetts in February of 1742.  There are some suggestions online that his parents were John Thomas and Abigail Griffin, who were married in Simsbury on 27 Mar 1735.  Despite having contacted the Simsbury Historical Society, so far no record has been found of Beriah’s birth (or death in Chazy, NY), so the link to John and Abigail remains just a theory.
  • Similarly, nothing is known of the parents of Beriah Thomas’s wife Elizabeth Hutchinson.  She was born about 1743, and married Beriah Thomas in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on 19 Mar 1763.  They moved to West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, then to Middle Hero, Vermont before settling in Chazy, New York where she died on 19 Dec 1814.  They had seven children, of whom 6 are known.
  • Catherine Gammon (1654-1683) married Thomas Jones (1640 – 1718) in New London, Connecticut on 25 Jun 1677.  Her father was Thomas Gammon, who was from Newfoundland, Canada.  Her mother was said to have been Katherine Gamble from the same place.  I can find no real records of either of them.  Given that they were born about 1620 or 1625 I’m reasonably sure they were not born in Canada.  I’m guessing they may have been British, based on the names.
  • Robert Ransom (1637-1697) was born in Ipswich, England.  The last name of his wife, Hannah [Or Suzannah.  Possibly there were two wives, one with each name.] is unknown.  They were married about 1660 in Barnstable County, Massachusetts and had seven children that I know about.  Theoretically Hannah died in Plympton, Massachusetts in 1683.  It’s almost certain that her parents were British.
  • William Johnson, born about 1706, possibly in Mendon, Massachusetts, married Huldah Aldrich (b 1707) in Uxbridge, Massachusetts on 16 Jun 1731.  Their children Hannah, Molly, Betty, and William Jr. were born in Uxbridge between 1733 and 1743.  There are some notations on various trees that William and Huldah died in Jun, Granada, Andalucia, Spain, but I’ve found nothing online to confirm this.  I have found nothing about William’s parents, nor about why or when either William or Huldah died.  The story about them dying in Spain seems unlikely, given that my grandmother Hannah Johnson married Samuel Pond in Uxbridge, but I suppose it’s possible the family went to Spain, the parents died, and the children came back to live in Uxbridge.  Seems very unlikely to me, though, especially in the mid 1700’s when trans-Atlantic travel wasn’t easy or common.

Helen Maria Nason (1863-1912) Line

  • Thomas Etherington was theoretically born in 1637 in Kittery, Maine.  He married his wife Mary Spencer (1634-1664) about 1656 in either Kittery or South Berwick, Maine.  Mary was the daughter of Thomas Spencer and Patience Chadbourne.  Two daughters, Patience & Mary Etherington, were born in Berwick, Maine.  Thomas and his wife both died at sea in November of 1664 when the barge they were on sank in the Atlantic Ocean near Boston.  Thomas’s parents are currently unknown.
  • Martha Jackson was born about 1692 in Berwick, Maine.  She married James Hearl (1692-1762) in Berwick on 7 May 1717.  She died in Berwick on 4 Nov 1796.  Apparently not much is know about her parents, who were almost certainly English.
  • James Foye was born about 1658 in Scarborough, Maine or Charlestown, Massachusetts.
    Married wife Grace about 1690.
    Grace died about 1715 in Kittery, Maine.
    James died in 1719 in Kittery, Maine.
    Grace’s maiden name and parents are unknown.
    James’s parents are unknown.
  • John McKenney was born about 1635 in Scarborough, Maine.  He died about 1697 in the same town.  He had a son Robert McKenney abt 1667.  John is mentioned extensively in the book “Descendants of Edward Small of New England” [page 339], but his parentage and the identity of his wife remain a mystery at this point.  It is said that he was Scottish or Irish, depending on the preference of his descendants.
  • Jacob Walker was born 6 Jul 1689 in Billerica, Massachusetts.  He married Hannah Chase about 1713, and they had three sons and two daughters that I know of, which were all born in Billerica.   Apart from Hannah Chase’s birth in 1696 in Massachusetts, nothing is known of her parentage or death.
  • Nicholas Smith Sr. was born in 1629 in Shropham, England.
    Arrived in Exeter, New Hampshire about 1658.
    Married a Mary (or Ann) who was born about 1635.
    Nicholas died in 1673 in Exeter.
    Nothing is known about the parents of his wife, Mary, but they were almost certainly British.
  • George Jones was born in England in 1630.  He died in 27 Sep 1694 in Exeter, New Hampshire.  His wife, Mary’s maiden name and parentage are unknown, but again, they were almost certainly British.
  • John Jackson III was born in 1666 in Bradford, Massachusetts.  He married his wife Sarah in Salem, Massachusetts in 1690.  He died in Brunswick, Virginia in 1746.  Nothing is known about his wife Sarah’s maiden name or parentage.
  • Elizabeth E. Judkins was the maternal grandmother of Helen Maria Nason.  Elizabeth was born in Fayette, Maine on 15 Oct 1808.   Her parents were Jonathan Judkins III and Dolly Smith, who were married on 6 Nov 1801.  They had four boys and two girls that I know of.  Dolly Smith’s parents are currently unknown.
  • Elizabeth Batchelder was the paternal grandmother of the afore-mentioned Elizabeth Judkins.  She was born in 1755 in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, and married Jonathan Judkins II in Hampton, New Hampshire in 1777.  Her father was Stephen Batchelder (1727-1794) and I have elucidated his full family tree.  Her mother is unknown, however.  There is some evidence that her name was Mehitable and that she may have been born in Amesbury, Massachusetts.  One tree suggested her last name may have been Dalton.  So far nothing more is known about her, but one of her children was named Mehitable Batchelder Judkins, so that is a good indication that the Mehitable name might be correct.
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About cthomas1967

Seeking to bring my ancestors out of the shadows of history and into the light. I have always been interested in history, and at a few different times I tried to do a family tree, but wasn't able to do it with the technology that was available then. On a business trip I visited the World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO and it was a very impressive establishment. While I was there I remember thinking, "Didn't my great-grandfather father fight in World War I? And wasn't his brother killed alongside him in some famous battle? I wonder if I can find out where he died." That's what started it all. View all posts by cthomas1967

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