Category Archives: Pond

Immigrant Ancestors from England

A look at some of the branches of my family I’ve traced back to England, and the original immigrant ancestors from those lines.


Jonathan Fairbanks arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1633 from Yorkshire, England before settling in Dedham, Massachusetts.  The weird thing about the Fairbanks family is that they touch mine via marriage of Jane Fairbanks to Rev. William Duff, who lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia!

Jonathan Fairbanks (1595 – 1668)
George Fairbanks II (1619 – 1683) Son of Jonathan
Eliezur Fairbanks III (1655 – 1741) Son of George
Cap. Eleasur Fairbanks IV (1690 – 1741) Son of Eliezur
Eleazer Fairbanks (1716 – 1760) Son of Cap. Eleasur
Rufus Fairbanks (1759 – 1842) Son of Eleazer
John Eleazer Fairbanks (1793 – 1860) Son of Rufus
Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks (1823 – 1871 Daughter of John Eleazer
Annie E. Prescott Duff (1847 – 1930) Daughter of Jane Elizabeth


Thomas Jones (1620 – 1671) arrived from Hampshire, England to Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1638.  His great-granddaughter Sarah Jones married Newton Ransom (1722-1796):

Sarah Jones (1724 – 1804)
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) son of Sarah
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) daughter of Luther
Charles H Thomas (1821 – 1873) son of Sophia

William Jones came from England to Massachusetts, likely around 1640.  His descendant Mehitable Jones married Paul Dexter Pond (1760-1843):

William Jones (1589 – 1677)
Thomas Jones (1645 – 1679) son of William
Thomas Jones (1674 – 1729) son of Thomas
Aaron Jones (1713 – 1742) son of Thomas
Samuel Jones (1740 – 1786) son of Aaron
Mehetabel Jones (1765 – 1841) daughter of Samuel
Samuel Pond (1790 – 1865) son of Mehetabel
Louisa “Lois” Adams Pond (1823 – 1896) daughter of Samuel


Richard Knight (1603-1683) arrived in Newbury, Massachusetts in April, 1635 aboard the ship “James” with another of my ancestors, Anthony Morse.  His daughter Elizabeth Knight married Anthony Morse (1631-1677):

Deacon Richard Knight Sr. (1603 – 1683)
Elizabeth Knight (1639 – 1667) Daughter of Deacon Richard
Ens. Anthony Morse (1662 – 1710) Son of Elizabeth
Elizabeth Morse (1697 – 1762) Daughter of Ens. Anthony
Nathaniel Morse (1728 – 1781) Son of Elizabeth
David Morse (1756 – 1840) Son of Nathaniel
Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805 – 1890) Daughter of David
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Sally Maria “Mariah”


Samuel Lathrop came to Plymouth from Egerton, Kent, England in 1634.  His descendant Sarah Lathrop Adams (1765-1857) married David Morse (1756 – 1840) thus combining two Pilgrim lines:

Samuel Lathrop Lothrop (1623 – 1700)
Israel Lathrop Lothrop (1659 – 1733) Son of Samuel
Samuel Lathrop (1692 – 1753) Son of Israel
Capt Elisha Lathrop (1713 – 1787) Son of Samuel
Sarah Lathrop (1765 – 1857) Daughter of Capt Elisha
Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805 – 1890) Daughter of Sarah
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Sally Maria “Mariah”


Anthony Morse came from Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, and settled in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1635. Apparently Anthony testified at his sister-in-law’s trial where she was accused of being a witch!  His descendant Sally Maria Morse married Samuel Pond (1790-1865):

Anthony Morse Sr. (1606 – 1686)
Deacon Benjamin Morse (1641 – 1707) Son of Anthony
Deacon William Morse (1673 – 1749) Son of Deacon Benjamin
Daniel Morse Sr. (1697 – 1766) Son of Deacon William
Nathaniel Morse (1728 – 1781) Son of Daniel
David Morse (1756 – 1840) Son of Nathaniel
Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805 – 1890) Daughter of David
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Sally Maria “Mariah”


George Polley (1625 – 1683) came to Woburn, Massachusetts before 1649 from Shoreditch, Middlesex, England.  His grand-daughter Mary Polley married Thomas Jones (1681-1729):

George Polley (1625 – 1683)
George Polley (1656 – 1698) Son of George
Mary Polley (1682 – 1729) Daughter of George
Sarah Jones (1724 – 1804) Daughter of Mary
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) Son of Sarah
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) Daughter of Dr Luther
Charles H. L. Thomas (1821 – 1873) Son of Sophia


Daniel Pond arrived in Dedham, Massachusetts from Edwardston, England in 1630.  His descendant Lois Pond married Charles H. Thomas.

Daniel Pond (1627 – 1697)
Ephraim Pond (1656 – 1704) Son of Daniel
Samuel Pond (1729 – 1806) Son of Ephraim
Paul D Pond (1760 – 1843) Son of Samuel
Samuel Pond (1791 – 1866) Son of Paul D
Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823 – 1896) Daughter of Samuel


Robert Ransom arrived in Massachusetts from England in 1654.  His descendant Sophia Ransom was the mother of Charles H.L. Thomas

Robert Ransom (1637 – 1697)
Joshua Ransom (1665 – 1713) Son of Robert
Robert Ransom (1687 – 1777) Son of Joshua
Newton Ransom (1722 – 1796) Son of Robert
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) Son of Newton
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) Daughter of Dr Luther
Charles H. L. Thomas (1821 – 1873) Son of Sophia


Richard Smith (1596-1666), came to the US from Gloucestershire, England and settled in Rhode Island in the 1630’s.  He established a trading post on the western side of the Narragansett Bay at a place called Cocumscussoc, later to become the village of Wickford in modern-day North Kingstown, Rhode Island.  His daughter Joan Smith married Thomas Newton (1630-1683):

Richard Smith (1596 – 1666)
Joan Smith (1627 – 1664) daughter of Richard
Capt James Newton (1654 – 1739) son of Joan
Alice Newton (1686 – 1779) daughter of Capt James
Newton Ransom (1722 – 1796) son of Alice
Dr Luther Ransom (1758 – 1832) son of Newton
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) daughter of Dr Luther
Charles H Thomas (1821 – 1873) son of Sophia


Nancy Taylor, born about 1784, was born in London, England according to her son Seneca Folsom’s death record.  She married Gordon Folsom (1788-1813) on 27 Jan 1806 in Rome, Kennebec, Maine.  She died about 1835 in Monmouth, Kennebec, Maine.  She is one of the only English direct ancestors I have that didn’t arrive at the time of the Pilgrims.

Nancy Taylor (1784 – 1835)
Charles Taylor Folsom (1808 – 1886) son of Nancy Taylor
Lucy Gilman Folsom (1835 – 1916) daughter of Charles Taylor Folsom
Helen Maria Nason (1863 – 1912) daughter of Lucy Gilman Folsom


Simon Wolcott arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts with his parents Henry Wolcott (1579 – 1655) and Elizabeth Saunders (1584 – 1655) at the age of six from Tolland, England.  His descendant Theodosia Wolcott married Dr. Luther Ransom:

Simon Wolcott (1624 – 1687)
Henry Wolcott (1670 – 1747) Son of Simon
Thomas Wolcott Sr (1702 – 1762) Son of Henry
Luke Wolcott (1730 – 1762) Son of Thomas
Theodosia Wolcott (1762 – 1825) Daughter of Luke
Sophia Ransom (1792 – 1868) Daughter of Theodosia
Charles H. L. Thomas (1821 – 1873) Son of Sophia


The Parents of Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805-1890)

This morning I got an email from a cousin related to my Morse and Pond families.  She was writing about my 4x great-grandmother Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse.  She asked:

“Do you have firm evidence that Sally Maria Morse ( Samuel Pond’s wife) was in fact the daughter of David Morse? I have seen other trees that attribute her parentage to a Benjamin Morse.”

Here is what I’ve been able to piece together about this. (Note: For purposes of disambiguation, I’m going to refer to my grandmother as “Sally” despite the fact that she actually always went by “Mariah” or “Maria” in all the records we have for her.)

According to the Morse Society, Sally was born on 24 Mar 1805 to David Morse and his second wife Sarah Lathrop in Sharon, Vermont.  Indeed Sally’s headstone in Burke, New York gives that as her birth date.


Sally Morse’s grave in Burke Center Cemetery.

Sally’s obituary states: “In Malone (NY) Aug. 23rd, Mariah Morse, relict of the late Samuel Pond of Burke (New York), died aged 85 years 5 months.  Deceased was born in Sharon, VT, March 24, 1805, and moved with her parents to Chateaugay, this County (Franklin County, New York) in 1809.”  It also indicates she moved to Burke, NY around 1830.


Obituary from the Franklin Gazette (Malone, NY), Friday August 29, 1890.

We do, indeed, see David Morse in Sharon, VT in the 1800 Census, then in Chateaugay, NY in the 1810 and 1820 Census, so that fits perfectly with what the obituary says.

David Morse died in 1840 in Johnstown, NY.  If we look in the 1850 Census for Burke, NY we can see Sally with her husband Samuel Pond, and eight of their children.  Also living with them is Sarah Lathrop Morse (age 85):


Pond Family 1850, Burke, NY

It was very common for elderly women to live with one of their children after their husbands passed away.

David Morse was, according to his death notice, a “patriot of the revolution”.  He was also listed as a veteran in the 1840 census for Johnstown, New York.


David Morse death notice, Albany Argus, Albany, New York, 14 Jul 1840

(Note: I have found reference to a “Sergeant David Morse” who served in Guilford, Connecticut before and after the Revolutionary War, but I don’t believe this is my ancestor.  So far I have not managed to find reference to a David Morse in the Revolutionary War that matches what we know of my grandfather.)

David’s wife Sarah Lathrop received pension payments of $96/year for her husband’s military service (wherein he is also described as a sergeant).  The payments stop after a final payment in March 1857, and no payment is made in September 1857.


David Morse Pension, 1857

Sarah Lathrop Morse died in Burke, NY on 2 Jun 1857 (between the pension payment that was made and the one that was not made).  She was buried in Burke.  From this, we know the Sarah who died in Burke and had been living with Sally is the same Sarah who had been married to David Morse.  This, to me, firmly establishes the link of Sally Morse Pond to David Morse and Sarah Lathrop.

On the other side of this, evidence-wise, is a copy of a birth record from New Hampshire which shows a Mariah Morse born to Benjamin Morse and his wife Abigail exactly one year earlier on 24 Mar 1804 in Haverhill, New Hampshire.


Mariah Morse Birth, 1804

This Benjamin Morse married Abigail Emery in Orford, New Hampshire on 31 Dec 1799, and had at least six children in Haverhill.

There is a Benjamin Morse in the census for Sharon, VT for 1800 with two sons and two daughters, but this Benjamin Morse was having children in that town as early as 1791 (Son Henry Morse, alongside Benjamin in the 1840 census, was born in Sharon on 16 Jun 1791). This rules him out as the Benjamin who married Abigail Emery and moved to Haverhill.

The Benjamin from Haverhill seems to have stayed in New Hampshire; he is in the Haverhill Census for 1800 and 1810, and in the 1850 census for Concord, New Hampshire living with his daughter Harriet (who was born in Haverhill).

We have seen that our Sally Morse moved to Chateaugay in 1809, whereas Benjamin Morse is in the 1810 Census for Haverhill with three young daughters.  We also have birth records for three daughters born to him in Haverhill between his marriage and 1810, one of whom is Mariah Morse.  So it would seem from this that the Mariah Morse who was born in Haverhill was still there with her parents in 1810, not in Chateaugay, New York with David Morse.  This makes unlikely the idea that she was born to Benjamin in Haverhill, but then went to live with David in Chateaugay as an adopted child.

Going back to Sally’s birth… she was said in her obit to have been born in Sharon, VT on 24 Mar 1805.  David Morse is indeed seen in the 1800 Census for Sharon, Vermont with his first wife Esther Larabee.  Esther died 31 Dec 1803 in Sharon (her death was recorded in nearby Royalton, VT), and David married Sarah Lathrop on 21 Feb 1804 in Sharon, VT according to the Morse Society.  So that aligns well with them having a daughter a year later in March, 1805.


Esther Laribee Death, 1803

Sally, for her part, gives her birthplace as “Vermont” in the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 Census records.  She certainly believed she was born in Vermont and not in New Hampshire.

I believe at this point that the name and birth day are a coincidence, and the Mariah Morse born in New Hampshire is not Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse.



Thomas Family Religion

I thought it might be interesting to post any information I could find about the religious beliefs of the Thomas line of my family.  I may add to this as I find out more.

My 3x great-grandfather Charles H. Thomas (1821-1873) married Louisa A. Pond (1823-1896) around 1845, probably in Burke, New York.  Before her marriage, Louisa had been one of the founding members of the Burke Presbyterian Church per an historical article published in the “Malone Farmer” in 1933.  The article also mentions many members of the Morse family (Louisa’s mother was Sally Mariah Morse).

“Other charter members were [..] Miss Lois Pond…”

"Malone Farmer", 1933

“Malone Farmer”, 1933

My great-great grandfather, Horace Luther Thomas [son of Charles and Louisa] married Anna Clifford on 3 Jul 1872.  The official was listed as “Rev. A. J. Ingalls, Methodist Pastor”.  Rev. Ingalls was the pastor of the First Methodist Church in Winooski during the years 1871-1872 according to the “History of Chittenden County”, p 568.  So Horace and his wife attended the Methodist church in Winooski at least that early.

Thomas / Clifford marriage, 1872

Thomas / Clifford marriage, 1872

My father simply called Horace a “Protestant” in this little story about his great-grandfather:

“Horace was a Protestant and he was a strong Republican. And he lived in Winooski which was a very Catholic community, very union-dominated, so the Democratic Party was real strong in Winooski because they were in those woolen mills which was the lifeblood of the whole town.  So it was Election Day and he had just voted. And the union had a couple of thugs outside the polling place to try to intimidate people. And these two union guys were talking to each other and they see my great grandfather coming down the sidewalk and they says, ‘Here comes one of those Goddamn Republican Protestants right now.’ And my great grandfather steps up to the guy and he flattens him right on the side with one punch. “

Horace was confirmed in the “Holy Trinity Chapel” in Winooski, Vermont on 15 Jul 1896.  He was 49 years old, and the confirmation happened around the same time his son, Horace Jr., was confirmed (14 Jun 1896), and on the same day that his daughter Anna Thomas was confirmed.  I believe Holy Trinity, which was established in 1876, was an Episcopal Church.

Horace Thomas confirmation, 1896

Horace Thomas confirmation, 1896

Both Horace and his wife Anna had their funerals at “Trinity Episcopal Church” in Winooski.  Presumably the same one where he was confirmed.  Anna was a member of the Ladies’ Auxiliary there.

Their daughter, Emma Thomas (1878-1931) was married at the Trinity Episcopal church in Winooski.

Their son, Robert Erwin Thomas (1887-1965), was a member of the Trinity Episcopal church in Winooski, Trinity Episcopal in Milton, Vermont, and his funeral was held at Saint James Episcopal Church in Essex Junction, Vermont.

Their son, Frederick Clifford Thomas Sr. (1889-1976), married his first wife, Delia Bacon, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Delia, like her entire family, was Catholic. Fred was listed as a member of the Episcopal Church of Winooski in his obituary.

Frederick Clifford Thomas Jr. (1918-2006) was married at the Universalist Church in Essex Junction, Vermont.  His wife, Mildred Jean Forrest, was a member of the First Congregational Church in Saint Albans, Vermont, where she was a Deacon.  My father wrote about his parents:

“My father was not at all religious and attended church only when forced by my mother.  I know that he was originally baptized in the Catholic Church which would have been the religion of his mother.  My mother was a devoted Christian and was active in the Congregational Church.  She taught Sunday School for many years, was a member of the choir, and eventually became a deacon of the church.  The Congregational Church is now called The United Church of Christ.”

Charles H. Thomas (1821-1873) and Louisa A. Pond (1823-1896)

Louisa A. “Lois” Pond was my 3x great-grandmother.  Louisa’s father, Samuel Pond, was married first to Betsey Walker, then in November of 1821 he married Louisa “Lois” Adams.  Unfortunately Louisa died only a couple months later in June of 1822.  Her tombstone in the Middlebury Cemetery in Middlebury, Vermont reads “Lois, daughter of Silas and Lois Adams and wife of Samuel Pond died in Chateaugay, NY in June 1822 at the age of 24 years”.

Samuel remarried almost immediately to his third wife,  my 4x great-grandmother, Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse (1805-1890) on 3 Aug 1822.  But Samuel must have still carried a torch for his recently-departed, as he named his first-born child Louisa A [Adams, likely] Pond.  My grandmother was born nine months after the marriage on 11 May 1823 in Burke, New York, and was the first of 13 children.

Louisa was mentioned as one of the founding members of the Burke Presbyterian Church in 1845 when she was 22 years old.

Presbyterianism or Congregationalism in Burke was one with that of Chateaugay until 1845, when, upon the erection of Burke as a town, twenty-six members of the mother church ( which had been formed in 1816) were granted letter of dismission to form a Congregational church in the new town.

"Malone Farmer", Malone, NY, April or June 1933

“Malone Farmer”, Malone, NY, April or June 1933

Right around the same time (1845 or 1846)  Louisa married Charles H. Thomas, a blacksmith.  I believe the “H” stands for Horace, as their first child was given that name.  Charles was born in Chazy, New York in 1821, the son of James S. Thomas and Sophia Ransom.  Their son Horace Luther Thomas was born in Burke on 13 Dec 1946.  Horace was my great-great-grandfather.  Six children followed: Lovisa Maria Thomas (1847-1930), two boys who died in infancy (Charles Thomas and Charles W. Thomas), Alma M. Thomas (1852-1943), Charles Franklin Thomas (1854-1927), and Warren Perry Thomas (1860-1896).  I have written about Charles Franklin and Warren Thomas several times, as they were involved in a tragic train accident in 1896.

Horace Luther Thomas

Horace Luther Thomas

The family appears in the 1850 census for Burke, New York where Charles is 29 years old and is listed as a “Blacksmith”.  My grandfather Horace is only 4 years old.  The Charles Thomas listed here (born about Feb, 1850) is the first of three children with that name.  The first two, as stated previously, died in infancy.


Taylor Family

Taylor Family c1921

Above: Lovisa Thomas (second from left) with her son Francis Lavery and the family of her daughter Addie Lavery Taylor (far left).

The family moved from Burke, New York to Canton, New York [about 55 miles away] sometime between the births of Charles Franklin Thomas in 1854 and his brother Warren in 1860.  The next mention of Charles and Louisa is in the 1860 census for Canton, New York.  Horace is listed as “Henry L” Thomas, his sister Lovisa is listed as “Louisa” (like the mother), and Charles Franklin is listed as “Franklin”.

1860 Census, Burke, NY

1860 Census, Canton, NY

Charles’s Civil War Draft Registration form from June of 1863 lists him as a Blacksmith living in Canton, New York.  Charles was 42 years old at the time.

Civil War Registration, 1863

Civil War Draft Registration, 1863

Charles and Louisa appear again in the 1870 Census for Canton.  Lovisa is already listed as a “Dress Maker”, and Charles Franklin is listed with his brother Warren as “At School”:

1870 Census, Canton, NY

1870 Census, Canton, NY

Charles passed away in Canton on 7 Dec 1873 and was buried in Bridge Cemetery with his wife and his son Warren.  A one-line notice was the only notation I’ve found of his death.


From the “St. Lawrence Republican”


Charles H Thomas Tombstone, Bridge Cemetery, Canton, NY

After the death of her husband, Louisa stayed in Canton where she and son Warren are found in the 1880 census:

1880 Census, Canton, NY

1880 Census, Canton, NY

In 1885, Louisa married Alvin A. Hine, a 68-year-old, widowed, retired farmer.  This photo of her was likely taken on or around the occasion of her second wedding.  I like this photo because my great-great-grandfather Horace Luther Thomas obviously has the lips, nose, and ears of his mother:

Louisa Pond c1885 courtesy of Dave Momot

Louisa Pond c1885 courtesy of Dave Momot

Louisa’s husband Alvin died on 16 Mar 1896.  Louisa followed on 8 Aug 1896.  Her son Warren was killed on 8 Dec 1896.

Death announcement. From "The Palladium", Malone, New York, Thursday August 20, 1896.

Death announcement. From “The Palladium”, Malone, New York, Thursday August 20, 1896.

Horace Luther Thomas married Anna Elizabeth Clifford, the daughter of Irish immigrants.  They had seven children: Anna, Agnes, Emma, Horace Jr, Nellie, Robert Erwin, and Frederick.  They lived in Winooski, Vermont for almost 60 years where Horace worked as an electrical engineer at the Winooski hydroelectric power plant.

Lovisa Marie Thomas married Julius T Lavery.  They had four children: Martha, Warren, Francis, and Addie.  Lovisa lived in Canton, New York for 70 years where she worked as a dressmaker and seamstress.

Alma M Thomas married Henry H Eggleston, a farmer, about 1870, and they moved between Canton and nearby Potsdam, New York for the next 70 years.  Henry and Alma had two daughters: Frances L “Frankie” Eggleston, and Jessie M Eggleston.

Charles Franklin Thomas was a railroad conductor for many years.  He married Mary M. “Polly” Thomas in Burlington, Vermont in 1876 and they had five children: Charles Franklin Jr, Horace Edward, George, Ira, and Harold Wilmer “Catcher” Thomas.  “Eddie”, “Georgie” and Ira all died in 1889 from Diphtheria.  Charles Jr was killed in a freak train accident in 1899, so Catcher was the only child left to carry on the family line.

Warren Perry Thomas was a miller and a fireman for the Vermont Central Railroad.  He married Marion Dixon in 1880 and they had two children, Delbert Wilford Thomas and Mildred Marion Thomas.  As stated before, Warren was killed in a train explosion in Eagle, Connecticut in 1896.


The Tale of Fred W. Thomas of Malone, NY

There are at least two Thomas families in my Family Tree which, so far, are not directly-related to my main Thomas line.  One of them is the family of Florence Anna “Flora” Thomas (b Oct 1857), who married the brother of my 3x great-grandmother Louisa Pond.  The brother’s name was Anthony Worcester “Wooster” Pond (1847-1896), and as far as I can tell, he married Flora when she was 13 and she had her first child with Wooster when she was 14.

Florence Anna Thomas (c1900)

Of course, when I saw that Wooster’s wife’s name was Florence Thomas I became curious to see if her Thomas family was actually a part of my Thomas family.  So I did a LOT of research on her line.  I still haven’t resolved the issue of whether or not her line is the same as mine, but thanks to the copious stories in the local newspapers of the time (The Malone Farmer and the Malone Palladium), I have discovered a lot about this family.  I guess I’m presenting this because it’s interesting to me the degree to which the details of someone’s life can be fleshed out if they are lucky enough to live in a small town that needs gossip to fill the local paper.  For better or worse, some members of the family were in the papers a lot.  Florence’s brother Frederick W. Thomas was one of them.

Frederick W. Thomas was born in Malone, Franklin County, New York in June of 1864 at the height of the Civil War.   His grandparents were Aaron (1793 – 1869) and Betsey Thomas (1799 – 1874).  His parents were Marvin Thomas (1821-1885) and Hannah Benedict (b 1821).

One of the first things I found about Marvin Thomas led me to understand that his household was perhaps not a happy and stable one.  It was a printed notice from the August 27, 1868 edition of The Malone Palladium:

Marvin Thomas' Printed Notice, 1868
Marvin Thomas’ Printed Notice, 1868

I have no idea what this means, but it certainly sounds dire.  “I forbid all persons harboring or trusting my wife or any member of my family”.  Wow.  That’s… weird.

Fred married his first wife, Cynthia, in 1884 when he was 20 years old.  I’m guessing that they had a hard time conceiving their first child, because Fred and Cynthia adopted Henry P. Thomas who came to live with them.  They subsequently had two other children before 1900, Madge (b 1894) and an unknown daughter born in 1897 who did not survive to the 1900 census.

In November of 1888 Fred opened a grocery store in Malone in a house formerly owned by a Mr. William Johnson.  This is the first mention I’ve found of Fred in the Malone papers, but there were many more to follow over the next 45 years.  For example:

“While Fred Thomas was driving across Lake Champlain the other day with a load of hay the wheels of the wagon broke through the ice and the load and horses landed in the lake.  The team was rescued and also the greater part of the hay.” – Malone Farmer, 31 Jan 1900

A notice of a birth in the family:

Thomas girl birth.
Thomas girl birth.
And another birth, which would be important later:

“Births – THOMAS – In Chasm Falls, NY on Saturday Jan 12, 1901, a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Fred Thomas” – Malone Farmer, 23 Jan 1901

Unfortunately, that birth would be the last bit of happy news for Fred for a while.  In March of 1901 his wife Cynthia was struck by influenza, and pneumonia set in after that.  She was gravely ill for about a month before she finally passed away:

Cynthia Thomas's Death 1901
Cynthia Thomas’s Death 1901

Suddenly alone with  8 and 6 year old children and an infant only two months old, Fred decided to put the newborn girl up for adoption.  The paper reported that a Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Webster adopted the girl on the 10th of April, 1901.

About a month later, in May, Fred himself became very ill, and it was reported that he was going to Montreal for “hospital treatment”.  Montreal was about 70 miles away, so it was probably a two-day journey to go there by horse-drawn wagon.  Fortunately, he recovered.

[I was struck by this part of the story, because of the echos from my own family.  My great-grandfather, also named Fred Thomas, also had his wife die from influenza and pneumonia, and was also desperately ill after his wife died.  After she died, my great-grandfather similarly had a two-month old infant, and similarly made the decision to give his child away because he was not able to care for it. ]

In August, he decided to pull up stakes from Chasm Falls (also known as Whippleville) to re-open his store in Thayer’s Corners, a town about 8 miles away.

“Fred Thomas sold his stock and farming tools at public auction Thursday.  Mr. Thomas has some intention of locating at Thayer’s Corners where he will keep a grocery store.” – Malone Farmer, 21 Aug 1901

But he wasn’t there long before he decided to move back:

“Fred Thomas, who moved to Thayers Corners a few weeks ago and opened a store there, is not satisfied with his new location and has decided to move back to Chasm Falls.” – Chateaugay Record, 4 Oct 1901

Right about this time, some serious scandal was unfolding in the little town of Chasm Falls.  When Fred’s wife Cynthia was ill with pneumonia, he met an 18 year-old girl named Elda Fisette from neighboring Saranac Lake, New York.  He was “very much in need of a hired girl” and, according to the news story written about the events about a year later in the “Malone Farmer”, Fred decided to hire Elda as a household servant.  A few weeks after Cynthia passed away Fred “took [Elda] to a Justice of the Peace and married her, supposing her to be a rare and radiant maiden”.  But soon after they were married it came out that Elda was actually already married to another man, from whom she had been separated.  She and Fred tried to make it work for a few months, but soon “the battle of life in which they were engaged waxed so hot and fierce that they were obliged to separate in order to prolong their lives”.  Elda moved back to Saranac Lake.  Unfortunately she and another woman were murdered in November of 1902.  The Malone Farmer described them as “disreputable women”.  I’m not sure if that means they were suspected prostitutes, or if it was just an editorial judgement passed down for some other, more puritanical, reason.

On 29 Mar 1902, Fred married a third and final time, to Priscilla A Petell (1887 – 1939), a sixteen-year-old girl from the nearby town of Owl’s Head, NY.

Thomas Petell Marriage, Malone Farmer, 9 Apr 1902

Thomas Petell Marriage, Malone Farmer, 9 Apr 1902

Fred continued to run his grocery business for a while, but less than three months after their marriage, another scandal erupted with Fred and his family at the center:

“Mrs. Fred Thomas of Chasm Falls attempted suicide last Sunday by taking rat poison.  Dr. Harwood was called and saved her life.  It is said that the wife is only 16 years old and that she is the second one that Mr. Thomas has had within a year.” – Malone Palladium, 24 July 1902

More details emerged later:

“Sunday afternoon Fred Thomas, living at Chasm Falls, seven miles south of Malone, hailed a man driving past his place and asked him to drive at once to Dr. Harwood’s and get the doctor, as his wife had just taken a dose of rat poison with suicidal intent.  The doctor came and soon had the woman out of danger.  Report says Thomas came home Saturday night much the worse for liquor, and there was a quarrel between them.  His wife is not over 16, and the second one Thomas has had within a year.  He conducts a grocery store.” – Chateaugay Record, 24 Jul 1902

Adding insult to injury, bad news followed only a month later:

“Fred Thomas’s dwelling house and store, with their contents, at Chasm Falls, were destroyed by fire one night last week.” – Malone Palladium, 7 Aug 1902

Fred and Priscilla had three boys in the following years: Clarence (b 1903), Harold (b 1905), and Lawrence (b 1909).

The next item of note (as far as the local papers were concerned) happened in April of 1908.  Fred’s adopted son Henry became ill with peritonitis, and once again Fred turned to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal for his care.  Unfortunately, unlike his father, Henry didn’t pull through.

Henry Thomas Death 1908
Henry Thomas Death 1908

Making matters worse, Fred’s other son Clarence Thomas also came down with symptoms similar to those that took the life of his adopted brother Henry.  After that, Fred decided to sell his farm.  It may have been necessary to pay for the medical care of his two sons:

“We are glad to note that Clarence, the 5-year-old son of Fred Thomas, who was taken to the Ogdensburg City Hospital with symptoms similar to those with which Henry Thomas died recently at Montreal hospital, successfully treated and has recovered without an operation being performed.” – – Malone Farmer, 13 May 1908

“Fred Thomas has sold his farm at Chasm Falls to Arthur Johnson for $3,100 and will sell his personal property at auction May 19th.  The farm comprises 70 acres.  Mr. Thomas has not decided what he will do in the future.” – Malone Farmer, 13 May 1908

“AUCTION SALE – The undersigned will sell at public auction on the Fred Thomas Farm at Chasm Falls, on Tuesday, May 19th, at one o’clock P.M, all the following property: Six milch cows, one two-year-old heifer, one yearling bull, six sheep, two work horses, 25 bushels seed oats, mowing machine, wagons, sleds, and all farming tools on the place.  Terms will be announced at opening of sale.  Am selling personal property because farm has been sold.  FRED THOMAS, W.H. O’brien, Auctioneer.” – Malone Farmer, 13 May 1908

A few months later, yet another scandal erupted in the local papers with Fred Thomas at the center.  On 20 Nov 1908 the “Chateaugay Record” noted that Fred had been charged by the State Supreme Court with a violation of the liquor tax law for selling intoxicating beer to the clients at his hotel and saloon without paying the proper taxes.  A trial followed with Fred giving testimony on his own behalf.  Initially the news was good:

“The jury returned a verdict of “not guilty” in the case of Fred Thomas who conducts a saloon at the “river bend” on the Duane Road.  Thomas was charged with violation of the excise law by selling beer on Sunday.  Thomas did not deny the charge but produced abundant evidence to show that the beer he sold was “homemade” and not intoxicating.” – Malone Palladium, 17 Dec 1908

But that was hardly the end of the matter. Ironically, an alcohol-related incident occurred just after the trial:

“John Brean, of Riverbend, who usually worked in the woods in winter… had been missing since Sunday afternoon when he left the hotel of Fred Thomas.  On Saturday he appeared at the hotel of Thomas and tried to purchase liquor, but Mrs. Thomas, who was alone, refused to sell it.  He went away but came back that night and was given lodging by Mr. Thomas.  On Sunday morning, after refusing breakfast, Mr. Brean asked for a drink of whiskey, which was refused, and he went away.  He left and was not seen again ’til his body was found.” – Malone Farmer, 3 Feb 1909

Perhaps as a result of this incident which was billed in the papers as a “whiskey-related death”, the grand jury decided that Fred had lied in his testimony, and he was charged with perjury.  He was arrested:

“Indictments found by the grand jury and not made public until Monday noon was one against Fred Thomas, of Chasm Falls.  Thomas was arrested Monday on the charge of perjury as found on the indictment, and was held in $1,000 bail which he furnished.  The charge grew out of the recent case against Mr. Thomas for violation of the liquor tax law.  Charged with having sold beer on Sunday, he made the claim that the beverage he sold was only home made beer and not intoxicating.  It is quite evident that his story is not believed.” – Malone Palladium, 13 Apr 1909.

But this time, he was able to avoid the negative outcome:

“Fred Thomas was tried and acquitted on the charge of perjury.  He keeps a hotel at Riverbend, near Chasm Falls, and in a former trial for violation of the excicise law, swore that what he had sold was home-made beer and not intoxicating.  Witnesses were produced to show the contrary, but Thomas took the stand and reiterated the fact that it was “home-made” beer.  Testimony regarding Thomas’ good character was also introduced and the jury brought in a verdict of not guilty.” – Malone Farmer, 2 Jun 1909

Apparently Marvin Thomas had been in Canada at some point, because there are three of Fred’s siblings who were mentioned as being from there:

“Mr. and Mrs. James Thomas of Ottawa, visited Mr. Thomas’ brother, Fred W. Thomas, and family in this place last week.” – The Malone Farmer, July 1916

“Mr. and Mrs. Fred W Thomas of Riverbend are visiting a half-brother of Mr. Thomas, whom he has never seen before.  This brother is from Alberta, and the brothers meet at a town in Ontario, beyond Ottawa.” – Malone Farmer, 15 Jul 1925

“James Thomas, Hull, P.Q. and sister, Miss Jessie Thomas of Ottawa, Ontario, visited at the home of their brother, Fred Thomas, Webster Street, over the week-end.” – Malone Farmer, 18 Oct 1933

The rest of the entries are of a more calm nature.  Things seem to have settled down for Fred and his family.  There are more normal mentions of visits from children, trips to visit friends and relatives, and meetings:

“Mrs. William Johnston [Madge Thomas] of Malone spent Saturday and Sunday with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Thomas, at her old home here [Chasm Falls].” – Malone Farmer, 16 Jan 1918

“The Ladies’ Aid Society will serve a supper at the home of Mr. Fred Thomas on the Webster road, near Malone.  Supper served from 5:30 until all are served.  Mr. and Mrs. Thomas are old residents of Chasm Falls and now is a good opportunity to visit them again.” – Malone Farmer, 29 Aug 1934

The service of Fred’s son Clarence in Panama was also mentioned:

“Maurice King, who has been serving as a solider in the US Army in Panama for some time past, is home, having received an honorable discharge.  Clarence Thomas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Thomas, also of Riverbend, who went away with Mr. King, is expected home very soon now.” – Malone Farmer, 8 Oct 1924

The final entries mention Fred’s son Lawrence buying a farm down the road from his father:

“Paddock Farm is Purchased by Lawrence Thomas – Lawrence Thomas, son of Fred Thomas, has purchased the George Paddock farm on the Webster St. Road and has already taken possession.  He will repair the buildings and put the place in good condition.  It is one of the well-known farms of this locality and has always been considered a very desirable property.  The water of several abundant springs was formerly dammed and created a large pond there and was at one time used as a part of the Malone village water supply.” – The Malone Farmer, 24 Apr 1935.

And a visit from friends:

“Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Barse visited Mr. and Mrs. Fred Thomas, Malone, recently.” – Malone Farmer, 31 Jul 1935

The articles end there because the “Malone Famer” is only digitized through 1936.

Priscilla died in 1939, and Fred is listed in the Malone, NY census in 1940 as a “widower”.  Living with him was a woman “servant” named Hazel Hensman, who was less than half his age.

Fred died in Malone in 1948 and was buried in Morningside Cemetery, according to the Franklin County Historical Society.  I really enjoyed piecing together this story from the local papers of the day.  It gives a glimpse into one person’s life in a way we rarely get as genealogists.

Finding the Lost Morse Family Link

On a lark, I did a search for “Morse Family Genealogy” tonight and came across a website dedicated to the Morse family in New England.  So I shot them a note about my 4x great grandmother Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse.

Sally Maria “Mariah” Morse was born in Sharon, VT on 24 Mar 1805 and moved to Chateaugay, NY about 1809 with her family.  She married Samuel Pond (of the well-documented Pond family) in Burke, NY on 3 Aug 1822.  In fact, in the 1850 Census for Burke, NY Mariah’s mother Sarah Morse is living with them, so her father probably died before that.  I have tried (so far without success) to find her father’s name.

Mariah and Samuel Pond’s first daughter was Louisa “Lois” A. Pond (1823-1896) who was named after Samuel’s previous wife Louisa Adams whom he married 28 Nov 1821 in Whiting, VT.

Louisa Pond married Charles H. L. Thomas (11 May 1823 – 8 Aug 1896), a blacksmith from Chazy, NY, about 1845 in Burke, New York. They had six children, all of whom I have researched thoroughly.  The eldest son was Horace Luther Thomas (1846-1929), my 2x great grandfather.

Horace married Anna Clifford (2 Aug 1851 – 8 Jan 1929), the daughter of Irish immigrants, born in Alburg, Vermont.  They were married 8 July 1872  in Colchester, Vermont.  They had seven children, the youngest of whom was Frederick Clifford Thomas Sr. (1889 – 1976), my great-grandfather.

Frederick Sr. married Delia Bacon, the descendant of one of the first French families to settle in Quebec City in 1645.  My 8th great grandfather Gilles Bacon (1622-1654) arrived in Quebec as a Jesuit missionary in 1645.  Delia and Fred had two children, a girl and a boy, before Delia died in the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918.  The boy was Frederick Clifford Thomas Jr (1918-2006), my grandfather.

His eldest son is Frederick Clifford Thomas III, my father.

I got back a reply almost immediately:

Sally Maria’s father was David Morse, b. 1756 in Preston, CT. He married Sarah Adams in 1804. He and Sarah had 4 children, plus he had 10 children from a previous marriage. His first wife died in 1803, so Sarah was undoubtedly a very busy mom! We have all the details back to Anthony Morse (who landed in Newbury, MA in 1635).  We will send them shortly…


Oddly, the Morse family is from Dedham, Massachusetts, the same town the Fairbanks Family was from.  Apparently the webmaster for the Morse family site is, like me, also related to the Fairbanks family.   Small world back in the New England of the 17th Century!

Obituary from the Franklin Gazette (Malone, NY), Friday August 29, 1890.