history-genealogy site

This is a site where I will discuss my family genealogy research and related history. When a blog deals with a particular family group, I will try to include it in the title so uninterested people can skip it without skimming it. It is my hope to get feedback on research methods, family members and historical context from other historians, genealogists, and researchers. (c) Barbara L. de Mare 2006, 2007

Location: Englewood, New Jersey, United States

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Organizational Crisis

HELP!! Today my organizational crisis has come to a head, and I am most frustrated. I have my individual people files and family files petty well organized, and have a system which works--except for the stuff I copy in probate and county clerks offices and libraries. The biggest problem is the old deeds, wills, etc. They tend to be in large books, so the copies are huge. They don't fit in my files and notebooks, and I like them in a separate place to transcribe--like the ones i sent you to proofread for me, Sandi. At least I had managed to reduce the size of those somewhat. I have piles of these documents all over the place. They are mostly in separate folders or notebooks (just as a holder--they don't fit to secure in). But I haven't figured out how to store these so I can find them. I have long since run out of bookcase space, and they are really too big to store on bookcases. It is a disaster when a pile falls on the floor! Even the documents from libraries are a problem. Although the ones copied from microfilm are generally a more standard size, I have zillions of them. I brought back large stacks from Boston on my last trip there. They are in a pile on the floor by my bed; hardly a long range solution. For the most part it doesn't work to put these documents in family notebooks or individual files, as I like to keep all the stuff from a single location together, at least my original copies. I'm not sure exactly why, other than that they must be together if I am trying to figure out how properties adjoined and the locations of families in relation to each other. Mostly, it just seems propeer to me that they be together. So now I am trying to complete my documentary history of the Carpenter family, and thus need to find what documents I have which I haven't included. but where are they??? I spent hours finding some deeds and wills I knew I had earlier in the week, and knew I had put back where I found them--where ever that was!! Now they are ON my bed waiting for copies and transcriptions. I guess I will leave them there at least until I go to work tomorrow where i can copy them. If too many kids don't sleep with me, I stand a chance of managing not to kick them on the floor. Then where to put them? Any good ideas would be appreciated. I am plumb out of ideas. I think what I really need is something like map drawers to keep them in, but have never such a thing in office supply stores. I am having a similar problem with documents i have copied from the internet and CDS. They usually involve an area, not a person. I do have area files, so guess the area ones could go in those, but family groups are another problem. For example, a couple of weeks ago I copied all the Hinsham Quaker records that mention family records in Philadelphia and West Jersey. I made two copies of each, so one set I marked up as I entered them on my computer, then put them in the individual files. The second set is the problem. That set was printed to use in my documentary history and any place else I don't want marked up copies. So where do I file those? I also spent a lot of time looking for them today, then found them on my desk chair--"where I couldn't possibly lose them." Again, this is not a long term solution. HELP! HELP! All ideas gratefully accepted!

Saturday, February 09, 2008


I am a member of a Carpenter list which i occasionally check out. I long since learned that I am the only Samuel Carpenter heir on this list--the rest are Rehobath Carpenters. The list is also more of a family discussion list amongst a bunch f closely related people who appear to live at far-flung places, so family news and pictures occupy most of the site. I stay a member as genealogical discussions occasionally pop up. Last week I got very excited when someone posted a picture of a gravestone of a person identified as the daughter of Jedidiah and Sarah (Stratten) Carpenter. I posted a note asking for more information on this Sarah Stratten (Stratton). The reply came back that she is the daughter of Dr. James Stratten and Anna Harris of Swedesboro, West Jersey. Thinking I could have lost my mind, although I know this family line very well, I reviewed all my proofs. I did not rely upon the Carpenter book from which I got the original information that Sarah Stratton the daughter of Dr. James Stratton and Anna Harris married Edward Carpenter. I went back to my own independent research. I had done this work early in my serious genealogical studies, so was afraid perhaps I had not proven it was as I should have. I should not have worried--as I looked it all came back to me. My sister Betty and I had spent one Good Friday in the cemetery of Old Swedes (Trinity) Church in Swedesboro. Our specific quest was to verify this line. We hit pay dirt when we found the tombstone of Edward Carpenter II. It read "Edward Carpenter Son of Edward Carpenter and Sarah Stratton his wife, born May 17, 1813–died March 4, 1889" I recalled that we had been joyous when we found this tombstone as it definitely identified Sarah Stratton as the wife of Edward Carpenter. A few years later we made another trip to South Jersey (as it is now called) and researched in the Gloucester County library. While there we purchased the records of the Old Swedes Church. This contained more information on the two families as both the Carpenters and the Strattons had been very active members in this time period. I gave a sigh of relief that there was not an error in my research. Upon more questioning of the poster of the picture, I learned that his Sarah Stratton had a different birthdate and was born in Massachusetts. Although my Strattons originally went to Philadelphia--West Jersey from Southampton, Long Island, my direct ancestors had left there several generations earlier. Additionally, Jedidiah is not a name I ever discovered in my Carpenter line. Now that I am confidant that I do not have an error in this particular instance, I want to pursue the background of the Sarah Stratton who married Jedidiah Carpenter. Sarah Stratton was a common name--I have six on my database alone. The Sarah who married Jedidiah definitely was not the daughter of Dr. James Stratton and Anna Harris. But who were her parents? Undoubtedly she is collaterally related from the early Stratton beginnings in this country, but not from "my" group. Just in case I didn't have enough puzzles to solve, now I must solve the mystery of the heritage of this new Sarah Stratton! I think I could use a little less intellectual curiosity! PS--it should be pointed out that Louis Henry Carpenter, the author of the highly-regarded 1912 Carpenter book, was the grandson of "my" Sarah Carpenter. And as a final aside, my DAR membership is through Sarah's father-in-law, Thomas Carpenter.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

JAMES AVERY (1646-1728) will

As promised, here is my transcribed copy of the will of James Avery, b. 15 Dec 1646 in Gloucester, Mass.; m. Deborah Stallion 20 Feb 1669/70 in New London, Conn.; d. 22 Aug 1728 in Groton, Conn. I tried to use the spelling and punctuation in the original. A ? means i absolutely could not read a word. Happy reading! Will of James Avery, Late of Groton, Probated 1733 #177 New London Probate District "In the Name of God Amen "I, James Avery, Last of Groton, being of Perfect Memory and understanding thanks be to God for it, Calling to mind the mortallitie of my body and knowing that it is Appoin- ted for all men Once to Dye, Doo make and ordaine this my Last will & Testament Revoaking all Othere and former Wills. "First and Princiblly I Give and Bequeath my soul to God that gave it. Beseaching him in Mercy to Receive itt for the meritts Sake and mediation of his Deare Son my Lord and only Savior Christ Jesus, my Body to the Ground, to be Decently Buried at the Discretion and Charge of my Executor= and what Estate as God in his mercy hath given mee I dispose of in Mannor and form following, when all my just Debts, and all the Debts which my som Ebenezer Avery hath allredy Contracted, for the use of our family, or Shall Contract for said use any time before my Departure out of this Life, are Paide and funerally Expences Discharged . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "Item: I Give to my son James Avery Jun'r, Besides what I have already given him, By Deed Bearing Eaven Date with this my Will, hee paying the Summs therein Mentioned, qnd Beside the Stock I have already Given him, my Loading ?, my Canne & Great Bible which was my Grandfather Averys and I Doo hereby order and it is my Will that my sd son James, Doo Pay to my five daughters Ten pounds A Piece & fifty Pound to Mr. Boroughs of Boaton according as I have obliged him in the Deed-- ? to him for his Portion of my Land "Item: Give Unto my son Edward Avery I having already Given him his portion of Land by a Deed, A seventh parte of my Arms as Guns & Swords "Item: I Give unto my son Christopher Avery Beside his Portion of my Land which I haveSettled on him by Deed, A Seventh Parte of myArms or Guns and Swords "Item: I give to my son Jonathan Avery, hee having had his portion in Lands by Deed already, a Seventh parte of my Arms or Guns & Swords, I also Give to my sd son & his heirs my Lot of Land at ?town which is not given him in his Deed sd "IItem: I Give unto my son Joseph Avery Beside what of Lands I have made over to him by Deed it being his portion in Lands, A seventh parte of my Arms, or Guns & Swords "Item: I Give to my son Benjamin Avery Besides his portion in Lands Settled on him by Deed a seventh Parte of my Arms or Guns & Swords. I also Give my sd son Benjamin three Cows two four year old ? and twenty Sheep "Item: I Give Unto my five Daughters Deborah Allyn, Margaret Morgan, Hannah Morgan, Sarah Lathan and Mary Morgan besides what I have formerly and moor Lately given then Twenty Pounds money, or as money Each of them, to bee paid them By my two sons James Avery and Ebenezer Avery I also Give to my sd five Daughters, to bee Equally Divided Amongst them ? Beds and Bedding belonging to the Beds and all my Pewter Brass and Iron Ware and to each of them A Silver Spone "Item: I Give unto my Seven Sons James, Edward, Ebenezer, Christopher, Jonatha, Joseph and Benjamin Avery the OLands at Pawgounck which I bought of Major Edward Palmer and also that Land which I Bought of ewonecoe, together with my Brothers & Sume other persons. I say all them Lands I give to my sd sons & theire heirs, to bee Equally Divided amongst them both for Quantyty & Quallity & to Each of them I Give a Silver Spoone. "Item: I Give unto my son Ebenezer Avery, in Land Beside what I have settled upon him by Deed, the half or part of A Trust for land lying in this town and at the head of South Plaime(?) which Land was given me by my honoredfather Capt. James Avery and to my sd Son & his heirs for Ever, alsoe I Give to my sd son Ebenezer Avery all my Stock of ?, cattle, horses, Sheep & Swine both what are at home on the farm and those thyat are out in othere ? ?, and all the rest of my moveable estate both within Doors * without not Disposed of before, I give to my sd son Ebenezer Avery, hee paying to my Loving wife Deborah Avery, fifteen Pounds money per annum Soo long as Shee remains my Widow , and also Let my sd wife, have the Use of one Room in my Dwelling House During her Widowhood & Shee to take her choice of rooms but afterward to revert & Return to my sd son Ebenezer & his heirs -- and also to find my sd wife her ? During her widowhood and give unto my Loving wife a feather bed and also all the furniture thereunto belonging and furthere my sd son Ebenezer Avery to Pay to my five Daughters Deborah, Margaret, Hanah, Sarah and Mary, to Each of them ? Pounds money, and all the payments to be made by my sd son Ebenezer to my sd Daughters within five years after my Decease and Liekwise I Doo Constitue, appoint, make and ordain my sd Son Ebenezer Avery my Sole Executor of this my last will and Testament rattifying and confirmingthis and noe othere to bee my last will & Testament and furthere by this my Will I do grant Libortty to all my Sons, to Sell or Exchange theire lands on or to or with an othere not withstanding the Entailments by theire Dower all ?. And in Testimony I havehereunto set my hand and seal in Groton the fifteenth day of March Anno Domine onr thousand seven hundred & seventeen . . . . . . . . . "Signed, Sealled, Pronounced & Declared to bee the Last Will & Testament of James Avery Senr James Avery L.S. in Presence of us. . . . . . . Samuel Avery John Avery"

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

AVERY family

I belong to a My Family group known as the FamGenOs. Although few of us have met in person, we have become good friends through the medium of the site. Occasionally we find a name we think might link two people, but generally it does not pan out. I had that experience last week. The name Fitch was mentioned, and I said I had some. When I went to look, I discovered I had Finch, not Fitch. Somehow in this on-going discussion the name Avery was brought up. It turns out that Agatha, with whom I was primarily corresponding on this subject, is also descended from James Avery. While in Boston a couple of weeks ago, I had been looking for other wills, but fell upon Avery ones, so copied them. Serendipity! Now I have copies of the microfilm of the wills as recorded by the clerk of the court in the will books. I also have inventories, and a variety of other ducuments. I have just started to transcribe them, but will publish them here as I get them done. So far I have only transcribed the will of James Avery, Jr., son of THE James Avery. (Unfortunately my notes aren't at work so I can't give you dates. If anyone is interested, I will be glad to look them up and post them. The Avery family members from whom I am descended married into the Comsticks, who married into the Chapels, bringing us back once again to the renegade Mathew.