Alexander Wright born 1842

Alexander Wright was born about 1842 in Carclinty, County Antrim, Ireland.  On 2 October 1863, Alexander married Eliza Harkness in Rasharkin, Co Antrim.  The record lists his father as Matthew, and the bride’s father as William. 

Alex and Eliza had a large family, of at least 11 children.  William was born in 1864 in Portglenone.  Matthew was born in 1865 at the same place.  Mary was born in 1867 in Galgorm, followed by Sarah in 1868.  Eliza was born in 1869, James in 1870, and Jane in 1871 all in Portglenone.  Alex was born in 1872, Robert in 1874, John in 1876 in Ballymena, and Anne in 1879.  Since the first two sons were named for Alex and Eliza’s fathers, I suspect that the first two daughters, Mary and Sarah, are the names of their mothers. 

The locations mentioned are all within about 10 miles of each other, all villages in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.  The family may or may not have moved as much as is indicated by the birth locations. 

Eliza died in early 1880, and Alexander married Mary Elizabeth Smyth in about 1885.  They had two daughters born in Ballymena, Emma born in Feb 1886, and Caroline in April 1888. 

Alexander and most of his family left Ireland, probably from Moville (although the ship also collected passengers at Glasgow, Scotland.)  The family arrived in Philadelphia on 9 October 1888.  His age on this record was 50, giving him a birth year of 1838.  The family included his children William, Matthew, Mary, Lizzie, Jane, James, Alex, Robert, John, and Emma.  Missing from the group are Sarah and Anna.  I found a death record for a Sarah Wright, who died in the fall of 1888 in Ballymena.  I don’t know if this is Alex’s daughter as the parents were not listed in the index.  Sarah would have been 20, so also could have married, although I did not find a marriage record for her.  Annie would have only been nine so wouldn’t have been married then.  The Wrights travelled on the SS Scandanavian, which was built in 1869, as part of the Allan Line Royal Mail Steamers.  The ship was 340 feet long and 40 feet wide and the manifest for that trip listed about 160 passengers. A drawing of the ship shows that it also had sails.  Alex said his occupation was farmer, and his destination as Milwaukee, WI.  The record shows Alex intended to settle in the US. 

Alex’s second wife Mary and younger daughter Caroline came two years later.  I have not yet found their ship manifest.  It is possible that Anne came with her stepmother and stepsister.    

Alexander Wright had a homestead of 160 acres in Dickey county, described as being at Township 129N, range 66W, the south half of the north half of section 22, which is just south of the community of Spring Valley.  Visiting via Google Earth, I found an area that had lots of small ponds and lakes, important for someone with livestock.  Now it has wind-powered generators. The only other Wright who had a homestead in Dickey County, was Robert, near his father, in section 28, also with small lakes, and now with wind-powered generators.   

Alex and Mary were counted in the 1900 census in Spring Valley, Dickey County, ND.  He was a stock farmer and owned his property free of mortgage.  The family included his daughters Emma and Caroline, and Lavenia who had been born in North Dakota in 1897.  His sons Robert and John from his first marriage also lived with them.  I have not yet located his children William, Matthew, James, or Jane.  Daughter Mary had married Thomas Shimmin in 1891, and they later lived in Minneapolis.   Eliza married Charles Saunders, and they lived in Ellendale, ND at least until the 1920s.  Son Alexander married Lillian Hodges, and ran the local Ellendale newspaper.

Alex, Mary, and the three youngest children moved to River Falls, in Pierce County WI and were counted there in the 1905 state census.  Alex was listed as not working (he was 66).  Mary was a housewife, Emma was an office girl, and Carrie was a student.  He owned the house free of mortgage.  Emma married Myron Lloyd Kimble in 1907 in River Falls.

Alex, Mary, Caroline, and Lavinia were in the 1910 census in River Falls.  Alex’s occupation was “own income”, and Caroline was a school teacher. 

A book called “Ellendale Pioneers” had this listing:   “Alexander Wright came from Scotland. He had a cousin who owned land north of Ellendale, and it was probably through him that Mr. Wright got the notion of coming to Dakota. He secured land seven miles northwest of Ellendale and brought his large family out to the new country where there was plenty of room for everybody to work. Mrs. Chas. Saunders, who came after the family was located, and Mrs. Shimmin were two of the daughters, Alex Wright Junior, one of the sons, was with the Dickey County Leader at Ellendale for some time and for many years was publisher of the Oakes Times at Oakes, where he is now (1929) postmaster. His brother, Robert Wright, and family, also reside in Dickey County near Forbes.”

Alexander died in 1913, and his wife Mary in 1925.  Both are buried at Greenwood Cemetery in River Falls, WI. 

More about Alexander’s son Alex is available at 



Henry Z Pollard born 1843

Henry Z Pollard With Medals

Henry Zeb Pollard was born about April, 1843, in Athol, NY.  I have not found a birth record for him.  However, a death record for his sister, Olivia Pollard Sargent, lists her parents as James C Pollard and Amyrrillis Sawyer.  The marriage record of his daughter Etta names his birth place as Athol, which matches his sister’s information.

The earliest record I have for Henry is the 1850 census, with his mother “Amarilla” Pollard, 36, and Olivia, 10.  They lived in Ludlow, in Windsor County, Vermont.  Amarilla had no occupation listed, and no value for real estate.  It appears that Henry’s parents had divorced, as James C is listed in the 1850 census in Athol with an apparent second wife and her children (last name Pendell).

In 1860, Henry was living with the Asa Burnham family in Reading VT, working as a farm laborer.  Asa was apparently a very successful farmer, as his real estate was valued at $11,000, and his person property at $3000.  Besides Henry, he employed three other live-in farm laborers. 

On 15 October 1861, Henry Z Pollard of Ludlow enlisted in Company E, Vermont 6th Infantry Regiment.  It appears that he was wounded at the Battle of Lee’s Mills, on 16 April, 1862.  A history of his regiment says:  It was, however, subjected to no loss, and it was not until the 16th of April, at Lee’s Mills, that it received its “baptism of fire.” On that day the right wing crossed Warwick Creek, through water up to the waist, under a severe and galling fire, and attacked the enemy’s works. At the moment of success it was decided to abandon the attack and they were ordered to retire. The loss of the regiment in this battle was 23 killed and mortally wounded, and 57 wounded, the bulk of the loss being from the right wing. Thereafter the regiment remained in sight of the enemy, doing picket duty, during the remainder of the month of April, with no incident worthy of note, except that on the 29th it made a reconnaissance resulting in a slight skirmish. Lieut. A. M. Nevins of company G was mortally wounded, and a man in company K wounded.

On the night of the 3d of May the enemy abandoned their line across the Peninsula, and on the morning of the 4th the regiment crossed Warwick Creek and occupied the entrenchments which they had assaulted so gallantly on the 16th of April. When the enemy moved out of these works they left behind them evidence of an utter disregard of the rules of civilized warfare. There were found scores of loaded shells buried in the ground near the surface, to each of which was attached a fuse surmounted by a percussion cap just at the surface. These were thus planted for the purpose of killing our men when they stepped upon the percussion cap and exploded the shell. Several explosions took place, killing a few and maiming others, upon which a search was made and the remaining shells unearthed. This is no camp rumor, but an absolute truth, for the writer saw scores of these shells dug up and carried away.

On 3 May, 1862, the New York Daily Tribune published a story entitled The Wounded Vermont Soldiers.  The article reported that 114 soldiers of Vermont regiments, most of the wounded in the late skirmish at Lee’s Mills, arrived in NYC on the steamer “Richard Willing”.  Someone in Philadelphia wrote to Dexter H Hawkins, Esq., of NYC complaining about the “want of proper treatment of the soldiers on the Welling”.  A reporter for the NY Daily Tribune visited with some of the wounded soldiers, but none complained about their care.  The most seriously wounded of the group were dispersed between two hospitals in NY.  Most of the rest stayed on the steamer which would take them to Troy, and then they would proceed by railroad to Vermont.  Henry Z Pollard (Co A, 6th Reg) was listed among that group.  He was “discharged for wounds” on 31 October 1862.  During the period from 1861 to 1865, this group had 191 soldiers killed, and 212 who died of disease or accident.

Henry is listed in the Civil War registration records from Vermont. The record indicated that he was a veteran of the 6th regiment, and that he had been discharged in November and was drawing a pension.  He was a farmer, unmarried, and a resident of Plymouth VT.

On 22 July, 1863, Henry was drafted back into Company D, Vermont 3rd Infantry Regiment, from Plymouth VT.  During the period of 1861-1865, this group lost 201 killed, and 164 who died of disease or accident.  This group was at Gettysburg, but that battle was three weeks before Henry was drafted.  He received a disability discharge on 17 January 1864.  His pension application number was 5836, and his certificate number was 30401. 

After the war on 3 December 1865, in Plymouth VT, Henry married Betsey Belinda White, daughter of Ira A White and Patience Taylor.  She was 21, and this was the first marriage for both.  Occupations were not listed in the marriage record, and Thomas Baldwin, minister, performed the ceremony. 

Henry and Betsey’s first two children were Mary, born in 1867, and Adeline Maria, born 22 March 1869, both in Plymouth.  The family was counted in the 1870 census in Plymouth, where Henry was a farmer.  His real estate was valued at $700, and his personal property at $500.  Daughter Etta was born later that year, on 22 August 1870.

Years later Etta told her niece of the family’s trip to Kansas.  In the early 1870’s, Henry and Betsey took their two daughters Addie and Etta west to Kansas.  They were going to join friends who had moved out there and told them that life was great.  The older daughter Mary was not mentioned in Etta’s story, but she was still living, and perhaps stayed with other relatives if she didn’t go to Kansas.  The family travelled in a wagon pulled by oxen.  Etta didn’t remember how long the trip took, but did remember that food was scarce.  In Kansas, they lived in a dug-out, with a blanket hung at the door.  Henry had a job, and returned one day in 1872  to find that his son Harry D had been born, and Betsey was up and getting his supper. I did not find Henry in the 1875 Kansas census, and do not know exactly where they lived.  I did not find a record of a homestead in Kansas.   Apparently life was not great for the Pollard family, and they returned to Vermont. 

Henry and his family were listed in the 1880 Federal Census in Reading, VT.  Henry did not have an occupation listed, nor any property value listed.  The household consisted of the four children – Mary, Maria, Etta, and Harry.  Son Albert was born 10 November 1880, and his birth record provided the towns of birth for both his parents (Athol NY and Sherburne VT.)  Albert died at age 23 days from pneumonia.  A playmate of Harry was Calvin Coolidge, later 30th president of the US. 

Henry is listed in the 1883 Gazetter and Business Directory for Windsor County.  His address was South Reading post office, and he lived on road 34.  He was a farmer, leasing 160 acres from David E Burnham.  He was also named in a list of area pensioners, living in South Reading.  His disability was a gun shot wound to his left thigh, and his pension was $8 per month.

Reported in the Vermont Watchman (Montpelier) 29 December 1886 – Henry Pollard of Bridgewater corners thought a few days ago tht he did not care to live longer and took three ounces of laudanum, but the attempt at suicide was not a success. 

Henry is listed in the 1890 Veterans Schedule from Plymouth, with his post office listed as Tyson, VT.  The record says his disability was a gunshot wound to the thigh, and chronic something that begins with a D – probably diarrhea.

Reported in the Vermont Watchman (Montpelier) on 2 September 1896, Pensions recently granted to Vermont veterans:  Additional, Henry Z Pollard of Plymouth; (and others.)

The 1900 census lists Henry and Betsey living in Plymouth VT.   He was a farmer, owning his own property.  The record says that Betsey had six children, with three still living.  Addie (now Mrs. Hiram Baker) was still alive.  Etta was in the census with them, working as a weaver.  Harry was still living.  Albert had died in 1880, Mary had married Milan L Willis in 1883, and must have died before 1900.  I am missing one child.  The first four children were all spaced at about two years, and then there is an eight year gap between Harry born in Kansas, and Albert born in Vermont.  Perhaps another child was born and died in that gap, either in Kansas or Vermont. 

Henry’s granddaughter remembered that at one point, Henry, Betsey, and Etta moved to New York.  They ran out of money and the people there took up a collection go get them back home.  The granddaughter also remembered that Betsey seemed to be the harder worker.  For example, she would work the plow while Henry led the horse.  She would pitch the hay onto the wagon while Henry placed it more carefully onto the stack on the wagon.  She knew that Henry had served in the Civil War, and was missing a finger which she thought was shot off, and she thought he got a pension of some kind. 

The 1910 census lists Henry and Betsey in Plymouth.  He is a farmer, on a general farm.  The household included John Hickory, age 13, listed as hired hand.  This record confirms that Betsey had six children, but now only two are still living, as daughter Addie Pollard Baker died in 1901.  Addie’s daughter remembered her Grampa Pollard as a big man with a mustache who wheezed a lot, probably due to asthma.

Soon after the census, Henry sold his farm, and moved with Betsey, Etta, and John Hickory to Virginia.  The family later speculated that Henry remembered Virginia from his Civil War days, and thought life would be better there.  Johnny was described as a “young crippled boy” with a tumor on his hip who Etta had taken into her home and cared for.

Henry and Johnny both died in Virginia and are buried there, although at this time I do not know the exact date or place.  I do know that Betsey applied for the widow’s pension on 22 July 1912, and I expect that he did not die much before that, as his pension, at any amount, was probably needed by the family. 

Betsey and Etta returned to Vermont, probably before or by 1916, when Etta married her third husband.  In 1920, Betsey lived with Etta and Charles in Bridgewater, VT.  She died 8 July 1924 in Bridgewater. 

There is a headstone for Henry at Baker Hill Cemetery in Bridgewater which says he died in 1912, but the headstone says he was “burried” in Virginia.  Just where in Virginia remains a mystery, but I suspect there are clues to be found in his pension and Betsey’s widow’s pension at the National Archives.  He shares the headstone with his wife, Betsey (1844-1924).

Abigail Norton Revisited

Abbie’s story, as I knew it to that point, was first published 28 May 2011, and can be reviewed at  She was the daughter of John and Lina Norton, and had married and divorced Barney LaClair. I found a death record for her that listed her married name as Abbie Eliza Norton Davis, and parents as John and Delina Norton.  Her date of death was 28 May 1901, and “disease causing death” was written as P-    Sephenitis.  I still have not found out what that means.  This record was typewritten, so easy for me to read, although it might have been mis-transcribed when copied from the original Newport VT death records onto the index cards that were sent to the state. recently released their updated Vermont Vital Records 1760-1954 database, and I went back through looking for previously undiscovered cousins.  Looking for Abbie Norton, I began to find her name attached marriage records of children, with the father named Wilson Davis or Wilson Willington Davis.  I went back to the 1900 census in Newport VT, and found Wilson (occupation farmer) and Abbie Davis.  I probably looked at this record before, but discarded it because the birthdates were 20 years older than the Abbie I was seeking.  But this family had the same children who were getting married 10 to 20 years later, and naming parents as Wilson Davis and Abbie Norton.  When I studied the actual image, I saw that the census taker was mathematically challenged.  Although he recorded Abbie as 41, when he wrote her birth date, he wrote it as October 1838 instead of October 1858, which would have been more accurate.  He made the same error with Wilson, listing his birth year as 1842, instead of the 1862 which would have matched his true birth date.  Once I had the names of the children (Urma, Rufus, Lucias, and Eli) I was able to find other records that linked the family together. 

I still have not been able to find a marriage record for Abigail marrying Wilson Davis.  She married Barney LaClair in 1885, but I don’t know how long the marriage lasted.  The 1900 census records that she and Wilson have been married 21 years, but I suspect that was not true.    

The first child in the census was Urma (?)  V or U (?) Davis born Feb 1883.  When I was looking at one of the other children’s baptism records, I checked the previous page, and found a baptism record for Hermoine Eudora Davis, “born the first day of February Anno Domini eighteen hundred and eighty three of the lawful marriage of Wilson Davis of the township of Brome laborer and Abbie Norton, his wife.”  This record matched Urma in the census.    I have not been able to find any more records in Quebec or Vermont for this daughter.  I do note that she was born before Abbie married Barney LaClair.

The next child in the census was Rufus, born Feb 1889.  His baptism record says he was “born the fourteenth day of February Anno Domini eighteen hundred and ninety of the lawful marriage of Wilson Davis of the township of Brome, laborer and Abbie Norton his wife.”  Rufus married Daisy Unwin in Knowlton, Quebec on 7 July 1921, and that record also named his parents as Wilson Davis and Abbie Norton.  I have no more records for Abbie’s son Rufus.

The next child was Lucias born April 1892.  The baptism record says “This fifteenth day of October Anno Domini eighteen hundred and ninety three, I the undersigned baptized Luke son born the seventh day of April Anno Domini eighteen hundred and ninety two of the lawful marriage of Wilson Davis of the Township of Brome laborer and Abbie Norton his wife.”   Luke married Nina Damon on 11 May 1927, and his marriage record also names his parents as Wilson Davis and Abbie Norton. 

All three children were baptized on 15 October 1893 in Knowlton, Quebec, at the Anglican Church.  Any doubt that I had as to whether this was the right Abbie Norton went away when I turned the page and found three children of her older brother Charles Norton being baptized on the same day.  (Hint:  it pays to check the record before and after the one you are examining.)  All the Davis baptism records said that the parents were witnesses but could not write, but a witness, Frank Belknap Jr also signed with the minister.  Knowlton is about 35 miles northwest of Newport VT.

The last child in the census was Eli, born April 1895.  Although I have not yet found a birth or baptism record for him, his marriage record lists his parents as Wilson and Abigail.  He married Hazel Lafoe on 4 Jun 1914. 

The 1900 census says Abbie had five children, four still living, but I was not able to find a record for a child of hers who died before 1900.   

The next child born was Myrtle Mae Davis.  Her death record lists her date of birth as 23 May 1901, in Newport VT.  Note that Abbie died five days later, on 28 May 1901.  Was her cause of death related to her pregnancy?  Does the P in “P-  Sephenitis”  refer to pregnancy?  Myrtle married Charles Blake in 1919, and had at least one child with him – Jennie born 22 Feb 1921.  Myrtle married again, in 1925, to George Ambrose Allard.  They had seven children.  A son, Ralph Allard, married Louise Tulip, daughter of William Tulip and Bertha Labor (daughter of Louis Labor).  A daughter, Lizzie Allard, married Russell Humphrey, a son of the same Bertha Labor, and her first husband Wayne Humphrey.  I had not made the connection, but my Family Tree Maker software did, so I was able to link where these two families connected, rather than typing in all new information.  (No, I don’t own stock in FTM.)

Wilson remarried, to Mary Satwell, on 29 Aug 1904, in Newport, VT.  There is a record of Wilson crossing the border in 1914.  When Rufus was married in 1921, he also could not write, but signed with an X.  His father also signed the marriage record with an X.  This is the last record I have for Wilson Davis.

Moses Colcord born 16 April 1835

Moses Colcord was born 16 April 1835.  Some records list his place of birth as Plaistow, NH, and some as Springfield, NH.  His death record names his father as Joseph, but doesn’t list his mother.  There were other Colcords born about the same time in Plaistow, listing the parents as Joseph Colcord and Almira Harrington, who were married 17 October 1830 in Burlington, MA.  Moses’ second daughter was named Almira.  The woman, Betsey, wife of Joseph in census records, has been named in some posted family trees as mother of Moses but she is too young to be his mother. I suspect that Moses’ mother is Almira, and that she died before the 1850 census. 

The 1850 census lists Moses, age 15, living in Wendell, NH.  His father, Joseph, is a cooper, or barrel-maker, with property valued at $700.  Betsey, his wife, is only 25, while Joseph’s two older sons, David and Moses, are 17 and 15, meaning that if she is their mother, she had them at age 8 and 10, and that is just not likely.  Moses was also listed as a cooper, his brother David was a farmer, and he had two younger (probably half) brothers, William and Ezra. 

The 1860 census lists Moses in Springfield, NH.  His father is a sawyer, with real estate valued at $900, and personal property at $300.  His two brothers and three sisters are in the household – Willard, Zalmunah, Ann, Sarah, and Amanda. Moses did not have an occupation listed.

On 9 October 1861, Moses, age 24, married Lidia Sanders, age 20, in Springfield.  This was listed as the first marriage for both, and was conducted by John M Brown, Esq, Sheriff.  Parents were not listed.  I have not found records for any children for Moses and Lidia. 

Moses enlisted as a private on 29 July 1862, at age 27, joining Company F, 11th Infantry Regiment of New Hampshire.  This regiment consisted of 1006 officers and men, and became part of the Second Brigade of the Second Division of the Ninth Army Corps.  They participated in the battle of Fredericksburg on 13 December 1862.  They were at Vicksburg, pursued Longstreet in eastern Tennessee, doing heavy and severe work in marching picketing, skirmishing, and fighting; living upon the shortest rations, having many days but one ear of corn per day; with no new clothing for severe months, being the only New Hampshire regiment that participated in that arduous campaign.

More details can be found on line at Civil War sites that have regimental histories.   The 11th was reviewed by President Lincoln in April 1864.  During the engagement at North Anna River, Virginia, May 23-27, 1864, Moses was shot in the left knee.  Both the north and the south suffered about 2000 casualties during the four days of fighting, and some believe that this was General Lee’s last chance to defeat the Union Army.

The 11th Regiment returned to Concord NH and was mustered out on 4 June 1865.  Records show that 5 officers were killed, and 1 died of disease or accident.  Among the enlisted men, 140 were killed, 151 died of disease or accident.  Moses had been appointed corporal, and he did earn a pension for his service in the Civil War. 

I was not able to find a death record for Moses’ wife Lidia, but the marriage apparently ended in some way, as he married for a second time on 8 March 1867 to Sarah Emma Daniels, daughter of Henry Daniels and Fila Clark.  They were married in Springfield, NH.  This record is from an index, and doesn’t indicate how Moses’ previous marriage ended. 

The family was counted in the 1870 census in Springfield.  Moses was listed as a farm laborer, with no real estate, and personal property valued at $100.  The household included his wife Sarah, and their first two children – Andrew born 3 January 1868, and Sarah born 21 Sep 1869. 

Moses and Sarah had several more children born in the following years:  Almira born 7 May 1871; Frank born 7 Mar 1873; Mary b 30 Dec 1874; Delber born 1 Feb 1877; and Theron born 17 December1878.  Sadly, the family was stricken with diphtheria. Mary died 16 December, Almira died 17 December,  Theron and Andrew died 25 December 1878.   Theron was only 8 days old, having been born the day Almira died.  Theron’s birth and death records say “premature.”  We can only guess what a sad time this was for Moses and Sarah, having lost two daughters, then two sons in a matter of nine days.  Being contagious, it is likely that they feared for the lives of the other children, and it is no wonder that that Sarah went into labor prematurely.  Diphtheria is an infectious disease caused by bacteria that affects the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract.  It was a leading cause of death among children, once called the “strangling angel of children”.  The diphtheria bacterium was identified in the 1880s, with an antitoxin developed in the 1890s, and vaccine in the 1920s.  It is now a rare disease in the US, with only about 5 cases per year – only one more than the Colcord family lost in 1878.  Diphtheria is transmitted by close contact via airborne respiratory droplets or direct contact with nasal secretions.  Symptoms are sore throat, fever, malaise, hoarseness, and difficulty swallowing or breathing.  Swelling in the area of the larynx and trachea can lead to the obstruction of the airway with subsequent suffocation and death. 

The 1880 census lists Moses and his family in Springfield.  The family consisted of Moses, a farmer, his wife, and their children:  Sarah, age 11, and Frank age 7, attended school.  Delber was 3, and baby Daniel had been born 13 Dec 1879.  After 1880, Moses and Sarah’s family continued to grow.  Chester was born 9 October 1882.  Clarence was born in September 1884.  Dora Colcord was born 30 Oct 1885.  (She married William Henry LaBombard, son of John A LaBombard and Isabella Tourville.)  The 12th and final child was a daughter born 21 August 1887.  The birth record does not name her.  Sarah died three days later, on 24 August 1887.  The cause of death was listed as Brights disease (kidney disease.) 

A month later, 28 September 1887, Moses’ father Joseph died from an injury from a fall.  He was 84.  In 1889, his stepmother Betsey died at age 61, from apoplexy (stroke). 

The 1890 Veterans Schedule lists Moses as living in West Springfield, and lists his disability incurred as “shot in the leg”. 

In 1900, Moses was living in Springfield, with his daughter Sarah, who had married William Stevens.  A few of the other children were living with different family members.  I do not know if the last daughter survived.  I was not able to find a 13-year-old Colcord girl in Springfield.  If she lived, it is possible that she was adopted out. 

Moses was living in Sunapee in 1904.  In 1905, his son Chester died there, of pneumonia. 

Moses died 1 June 1908 in Springfield.  His death record indicates that he was a carpenter, and widowed.  He was involved in an accident where a dray (a low cart without fixed sides) overturned, injuring his leg.  Moses developed septicemia and died 10 days later, at age 73.

John Labombard b 11 Jan 1866

John Baptist Henry LaBombard was born 11 January 1866 in Ellenburg, NY, and baptized 29 April 1866 at St. Patrick’s in Chateaugay.  He was the son of John Andrew LaBombard and his first wife, Virginia Goyette.  His godmother was Ceres LaBombarde and his godfather was Peter Nepreu.  John’s mother died when he was very small, and his father remarried, to Isabella M Tourville.

I have not been able to find the family in the 1870 census.  John’s father and stepmother married in 1869 at Chateaugay, and the first child (John’s half brother George) was born there in October 1870, but I have not been able find them in the census.  It is possible that they lived elsewhere and went to St Patricks at Chateaugay for the marriage and baptism.  An on-line tree has linked a John LaBombard in Rouses’ Point in 1870 to this family tree.  While John had a son John age three, the wife’s name and age was wrong to be Isabella, and they had another child who is not a child of John A and Isabella.

The 1880 census lists John Bombard with his father and stepmother, and his five half brothers, living in Ellenburg, NY.  John’s father was a farmer.  The LaBombards moved to New Hampshire. 

On 20 March 1899, John married Estella Marie Tacy, daughter of Israel Tacy and Selina Sandcom.  From this point on, records for John list his middle initial as P, but the marriage record does list his parents as John LaBombard and Virginia Goyette.  John and Estella were married in Lebanon NH by William B Weeks, Justice of the Peace.  Both were residents of Hanover.  He was 33 and a farmer.  She was 17 and a domestic.  Both were born in Ellenberg, and it was the first marriage for both. 

The 1900 census lists John and Stella Bombard, and daughter Mabel, age 3 months.  They lived at #3 Washington Terrace, in Concord NH.  John was a shoe maker.  Mabel had been born in February, but died in October 1900.  Her death record said she died of “milk fever.”  She was buried at Pine Grove, but in 1920, her mother had her moved to Blossom Hill cemetery. 

The 1910 census lists John P Bombard and Stella living at Curtis Villa, in East Concord NH, with their two children, Herbert age 8, and Theresa age 4.  Another child, Wesley, had been born in 1903 but died in 1908 of pneumonia.  John worked as a car cleaner for the railroad, and they rented their home.   

John and Estella divorced, and she remarried in 1917 to Ralph Hutchins.   John was ill with Brights Disease (kidney disease).  He lived with various LaBombard brothers, and eventually died 5 July 1918.  He apparently did not practice the Catholic faith of his parents, so was not buried with them in Lebanon, but rather at the cemetery in Etna, NH.

John Hilsman Tilly/Tilley married Rosa May Nave 10 January 1900

John H Tilly was born about 24 March 1864 in Johnson County TN.  His parents were John C Tilly and Francis “Fanny” Speer.  John joined older half-siblings, Mary Henrietta and Albert Newton Tilly, children of John C’ deceased first wife, Elizabeth Johnson.  John H had a twin brother, William Crawford Tilly.  I have not been able to determine what the “C” stands for in their father’s name – perhaps Crawford? 

This particular part of Tennessee was more pro Union than Confederacy, but was the southern sympathizers were nearby.  During the Civil War, John’s father was away from home.  I have not found a record that he was a soldier, but he may have been a scout for the federal forces.  He received word that a son was ill and returned home.  The following story was published in “Thrilling Adventures of Daniel Ellis” published in 1867 and describes the murder of John’s father.      

 A man by the name of John Tilly also fell a victim to Bill Parker’s vengeance, and was savagely murdered in the following manner:  Tilly had been scouting for some time, and one of his twin children was taken violently ill, and was not expected to live; he had come to the house to see his sick child, and was nursing it in his lap when Parker and his gang of murderers road up to the house.  He laid his child down, and went out in the yard and surrendered, when Parker drew out his pistol and shot at him, giving him a severe wound in the head.  He was now convinced that they intended to kill him, and asked them only to allow him a few minutes to pray.  But they returned him no answer and continued to shoot at him.  The poor fellow now turned to run, but he soon fell to the ground, his body having been pierced through with ten balls.  His wife now ran toward her murdered husband, screaming and crying with wild and frantic agony, when one of those incarnate devils seized hold of his gun and knocked her down by the side of her dead husband.  His little children cried and begged for their father all the time, but as well might they have raised their tiny hands and feeble voices to calm the raging storm in its mad career, as to endeavor to stop this gang of rebel demons in their bloody work of murder.  After waiting until their victim had breathed his last, these manslayers went on their way laughing at the terrible misery they had left behind them, and looking forward in search of more human blood. 

Family lore is that John’s mother Fannie was raped and beaten and left for dead.  She survived but was scared of people for a really long time. She stated that the soldiers killed her husband because they believed that he was a spy.  Since the twins were just infants, we can infer that the children crying for their father were Albert and Mary.  John’s twin brother William did die about that time.    

There is a record of a William C Crosswhite marrying a Frances F Tilly in Johnson County.  I have only seen the index.  It does not list parents for Frances, or a marital status, so I am not sure if this is John’s mother and a step-father.  There is also information on a posted tree that Fannie may have married a man named Ellsworth Speers, but I have not found that record.  However, it might explain why she had more children named Speer – not her maiden name but a subsequent married name. 

The 1870 census lists John as John Speare.  John lived with his mother, her parents, and her sister Armenia and children in Pandora, in Johnson County TN. 

The 1880 census lists John Tilly with his mother Fannie Tilly in Johnson County, with his half-siblings, Troy 13, Lawra 9, and Virginia, 7.   John’s mother listed her marital status as widowed. 

Rosa May Nave was born 24 October 1880 in Johnson County TN. One posted tree lists her as the daughter of John C Nave and Mary Goodwin.  Being born after the 1880 census was taken, she first shows up in the 1900 census with John Nave and his wife Genettie.  Some posted trees list Genettie as Rosa’s mother, but I do not believe this is accurate.  The 1900 census says that Genettie has been married 12 years, but several of the children are older than 12.  That record also says that Genettie has had four children, three still living.  Seven children are listed, so presumably the first four are from John’s previous marriage.  I did find a marriage record for John Nave and Mary Goodwin in Johnson, TN in 1879, and Rosa was born 10 months later.   

John H Tilly married Rosa May Nave on 10 January in Doeville, Johnson County TN.  The record does not name parents, but a JC Speer posted the marriage bond with John. His grandfather John was already deceased, so perhaps JC Speer was an uncle, or some other relative of his mother. 

John went west and homesteaded.  On 3 April 1893, he was granted 160 acres in sections 17 and 20, in Township 9S, range 23E. This is up the John Day River, west of Spray OR.  He was counted there in the 1900 census, which was taken in June.   He was employed as a farm hand and was part of the household of Robert R Keys.  The Keys family was probably well-to-do, as the family included four servants.  Rosa was still living with her father’s family in 1900.  The town of Waldron was named after the Waldron family that settled in central Oregon.  The post office there was open from 1879-1902, and it appears that the town is gone now, except for the school house. 

John Tilley was granted 160 acres of homestead lands in Section 7, Township 9, Range 23E, on 13 July 1907.  This near or adjacent to the property in section 17.  On 26 July 1909, May received a homestead grant in nearby Township 8.  This property was not adjacent to the property homesteaded by John. 

John and Rosa (later called May) had three children:  George Clarence (1905-1974), Edward (1902-1985), and Ethel (1907-2003).  The 1910 census shows the Tilley family at Township 9, Wheeler County, OR.  John owned a farm.  On 18 July, 1912, May received a homestead land grant in section 18, adjacent to the other property already claimed. The 1915 Oregon Sportsman report listed John H Tilley of Fossil as having raised 24 Chinese or Ring-necked pheasants, and liberated them to establish the species in the area.  He was the only person from Wheeler County in the list. 

In 1920, they were listed in Service Creek, OR, and John was listed as operator of a truck farm.  The record indicates that he could read and write.  The census records also indicate that he lived in a neighborhood where most people were from Tennessee and Virginia.   John’s half-brother Albert Tilley homesteaded a few miles away. 

On 18 May 1925, John received 160 acres of homestead lands in sections 6 and 7, adjacent to his other property.  He also received 314 acres as authorized by the Homestead Entry-Stock-Raising.  His property was all west of Spray, along the John Day River.  

John died 28 January 1929 in Wheeler county.   

The 1930 census shows Rosa and the three children living in Spray, OR.  Edward was a farm laborer, George was a laborer for the state highway department (and that department became his life career).  Ethel was a teacher. 

Rosa died 16 May 1963, and both are buried at the IOOF cemetery in Fossil, OR.

Henry Parker Spinney born 6 January 1836

Henry P Spinney was born 6 January 1836, in Kittery, Maine.  His parents are listed as James and Nancy Spinney.  I have not been able to find Nancy’s maiden name.  There are a lot of Spinneys in the area.  One James married Nancy Libbey, and another married Nancy Putnam.  I only found one record that spelled out the middle initial P as Parker. Lacking that, I would have guessed that Nancy Putnam was the right mother, and the P was for Putnam.  That is still a possibility.  Kittery is a very old town, previously known as Piscataqua Plantations and formed in 1647.  Kittery was named for a town near Dartmouth, England.  

The 1850 census shows the Spinney family living in Elliot, Maine.  Henry’s father was a sailor, with real estate valued at $50.  His older brother Joseph was also a sailor, and James was a laborer.  Henry was only 14 and didn’t have an occupation listed.  Besides two brothers, the census also lists Sarah Spinney.  Family relationships are not listed in 1850, but she is likely a sister.  Elliot is a small town across the Piscataqua River from Portsmouth NH, near Kittery, ME. 

On 12 January 1857, in Eliot (newer spelling for Elliot) Henry married Olive Ann Newbegin, daughter of Harvey Newbegin.   I do not know Olive’s mother’s name, but Olive was in the 1850 census in Newfield ME, and Harvey’s wife is Hannah.  Harvey was a carriage maker.  In a death record for Olive’s brother Luke, the mother is identified as Hannah Libby.  I haven’t found any public family trees posted for Henry P Spinney, but if his mother was Nancy Libbey, and Olive’s mother was Hannah Libby, they might have been related – cousins, even.  I just have not yet been able to make that connection. 

The 1860 census lists Henry and Olive living in Eliot.  Henry’s real estate was valued at $100, and his personal property at $25.  Olive worked as a domestic.  Henry was a caulker.  Caulking is a process to seal joints or seams in wooden boats or ships watertight by driving fibrous materials into the wedge-shaped seams between planks.  The fibers may be cotton or oakum (hemp fiber soaked in pine tar).  The tools used are a caulking mallet, and chisel-type tools called a caulking irons, plus scrapers to clean the seams prior to caulking. The calking is then covered over with putty or with melted pine pitch.  Most photos of caulking kits also show a stool.  Caulking was important to the shipping industry, and caulkers were skilled and important shipyard workers. is a website that has photographs and more information about ship caulking. 

In 1863, Henry registered for the Civil War Draft from Eliot.   The record listed him as 27, white, married, born in Maine, occupation caulker.  I found no indication that he was called up to serve. 

The 1870 census lists Henry P Spinney living in Elliott Depot.  His real estate was valued at $500, with personal property valued at $150.  His occupation was caulker.  They now had four children: Eugene Hertwell (born 1861), Adeline L (1863), Henry Clinton (1865) and Harris E (1868).  Henry’s wife Olive died 21 April 1872 in Eliot.

Henry did not remarry.  The 1880 census lists him as widower, living in Eliot.  He continued his work as a caulker.  All four of his children lived at home.  Addie had just married Charles Tetherly, she was with her father, and he was living with his parents.  (They had one daughter in 1882, but later divorced.)

The Portsmouth Herald newspaper covered the Eliot area, and Henry occasionally appeared in the South Eliot items.  On 8 October 1898, the paper reported that: Chas. H Cole and Henry P Spinney left Sept 27th for Wolfeboro’, N. H., where they will be employed for a while caulking a steamer.  12 October reported that they returned home from Wolfeboro, where they have been employed caulking a schooner.  Wolfboro is on Lake Winnipesauke and has been a resort town and vacation destination, with the tourist industry beginning to flourish in 1872, when the Mt. Washington was launched.  That side-wheeler was the best known on the lake, and was in use until it burned in 1939.  Being just one of many ships on that lake, I don’t know of Henry worked on that ship.

The Herald of 3 May 1899 reported Henry Spinney, who has been engaged in caulking a gondola at Durham, has finished his labors there, and returned home on Saturday. Not to be confused with gondolas of Venetian fame, the gundalows were shallow-drafted freight boats that moved popular in New England.  Sails could be lowered to pass under bridges.  Later, the hulls were turned into barges and pulled by tugboats. tells about a group trying to preserve the history of these small boats.  

On 24 May, 1899, the Herald reported Henry P Spinney has gone to Lake Massabesic to caulk a steamer.  This lake is in Manchester NH.  A year later, on 4 April 1900, it was reported that Henry P Spinney, the veteran caulker, is at work on Jeremiah Langley’s scowe, of Durham, which lie at the dock of Thomas E Call’s lumber yard in Portsmouth.   

Henry also served as “road agent”.  This is an elected or appointed official in charge of maintaining town roads, comparable to a director of public works.  The Herald reported on 9 May 1900 that Road Agent Henry P Spinney has a large gang of men at work on the highways, putting them in condition for the summer travel.  Henry continued to work as a caulker, as the paper reported on 13 June 1900 that Charles Cole and Henry P Spinney have been at Wolfboro for the past two weeks, caulking a big barge which is to be used to freight coal across the lake.  

The 1900 census lists Henry P Spinney, now 64, living in Eliot, ME.  An exact address was not listed.  His occupation was highway commissioner, and he reported that he was employed in that position for 8 of the last 12 months.  He owned his home (not a farm) and it was free of a mortgage. His son Harris lived nearby.   The Herald reported on 2 October that George Adams of Portsmouth was the guest of Charles H Cole and Henry P Spinney on Sunday.

From 22 January 1901, the Herald reported Henry P Spinney and Charles H Cole are caulking several tanks for Arthur Walker of Portsmouth. On 16 April, 1901: Charles H Cole and Henry P Spinney are engaged in caulking barges at Durham Point for Seth Langley.  On 19 August, 1902, Clinton Spinney of Lynn MA passed Sunday in town with his father, Henry Spinney.  Clinton is his son, Henry C.  On 29 May, 1906, the Herald reported Henry P Spinney, the veteran caulker of Eliot, is at Lake Winnepesaukee, where he is doing some work on a steamer. He was 70 years old at the time.

The 1910 census lists Henry in Eliot.  For occupation, the census taker recorded “own income”.  He lived next door to his son, Harris, who had a grocery store in Eliot.  The Herald reported on 6 January 1911 that Henry P Spinney, of Eliot, today celebrates his 75th birthday.  Five years later it reported on 36 February 1816 that Henry P Spinney, one of the oldest citizens, is reported to be quite ill at home, Main Street.  

Henry died 28 August 1917 in Portsmouth.  Cause of death was recorded as cerebral hemorrhage with duration of one week and contributing cause, insanity with attacks of violence, duration one year.  Alois Alzheimer, known for his work regarding presenile dementia, had just died two years earlier.  Perhaps in later years, Henry would have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, rather than the more generic “insanity” label. 

28 Aug 1917 Obituary: Henry P. Spinney of Eliot died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. George H. Fuller, No. 25 Gates street in this city, Tuesday evening, after a long illness.   Mr. Spinney was 81 years old and was born in Kittery, Jan. 6, 1836, the son of James and Nancy Spinney.  He worked as a caulker on the Portsmouth navy yard for a number of years.  Besides his daughter he is survived the three sons, Eugene H, of this city, Henry C. of Eliot and H. Clinton of Lynn, Mass, also several grandchildren.

Henry’s daughter Addie, mentioned above, had married George Fuller, son of Eliza Hawkins and Joseph Fuller.

Louise (Lois) Hodges born 5 January 1851

Louise Serepta  (or Ceretha) Hodges was born 5 January 1851, in Aylesford township of Kings County, Nova Scotia.  Her parents were John Clear Hodges, originally from Ireland, and Rachel Parker, whose ancestors moved to Nova Scotia at the time of the American Revolution.  Louise was the 11th and last child.  All her siblings lived to be adults.  Her first name is seen as Lois in later records, so perhaps it was pronounced as Lois rather than Louise. 

On 28 August 1869, Louise married John H Banks at the Baptist church in Factorydale, a small community near Morristown NS.  John was the son of George Edwin Banks and Sarah Ann Taylor.  Louise and John were distant cousins. 

Louise’s first daughter, Lena Belle, was born 13 April 1870 in Aylesford. John’s occupation was recorded as “yeoman”, which meant land-owning farmer. Louise must have had family support to help her at this time, as John sailed on the Oriental from Margaretsville NS arriving in Boston two days later.  The 1871 Nova Scotia directory listed John’s family as living in the Jacksonville area of Aylesford Township, a small town of about 100 people on the South Mountains, five miles from the community of Aylesford.

The 1871 census shows Louisa (recorded incorrectly as Eliza) living with her husband John and one-year-old daughter Lena, living in the area called South Aylesford.  This part of the township would also include the communities of Morristown, Nicholsville, Millville, Factorydale, and Windermere. She was neighbors of her brothers Jonathan C and Joseph, and her uncle, Jonathan Hodges.  The family was recorded as Baptist, of English descent, and her husband was a shoemaker. 

Louise’s second daughter, Eva Louella, was born 31 January 1873 in Aylesford.  The family moved to Wayland, MA.  Sarah Ardena was born 10 September 1874 in Cochituate (a town now absorbed into Wayland) and John was listed as a farmer. The mother’s name was written as Lois (rather than Louise) and seems to appear that way from this time forward. 

When Etta Sophia was born on 6 February 1876 in Wayland, her father’s occupation was listed as well digger.  The next move was to Natick MA, where Lois’s first son, Charles, was born 13 Aug 1877.  John continued his work as a well digger.  During this time, Louisa’s cousin Jonathan and family (son of Jonathan and Ruth Hodges) also lived in the Cochituate area, and also worked as a well digger.  I wonder if John and Lois helped his wife Henrietta when Jonathan was ill and dying, and she was pregnant with their fourth child.  I do not currently have access to city directories from Cochiuate, Wayland, or Natick for the years of interest, so don’t know if they lived near each other. 

By the time of the 1880 census, the family had moved to Medford, in Taylor County, in the north-central part of Wisconsin.   John worked in a saw mill.  Lena and Eva attended school.  Charles was 2 and this is the last record I have for him. 

Lois’s family moved to Ashland, Wisconsin, a town in Ashland and Bayfield counties, a port city on Lake Superior, at the north end of the state.  Daughter Francis Sophrona was born there 31 May 1883.  The 1885 Wisconsin state census listed JH Banks in Ashland town, Ashland County, and recorded that the family consisted of one male and six females.  Only the head of the household was recorded, and no occupation was listed.  If John was the only male, that would indicate that his and Lois’s son Charles had died between the time of the 1880 federal census, and the 1885 state census.  I have not yet found an actual death record for Charles.  The unnamed females would have been Lois, and the daughters Lena, Eva, Sarah, Etta, and Francis. 

Lois’s seventh child, Molly Abina, was born 20 December 1886 in Ashland.  It appears that Lois next gave birth to twin boys, Warren and Orrin, in 1890.  Orrin died 4 August 1890, and Warren died 2 September 1890.  I have not yet located their birth records, but the index for their deaths lists them both age 0, meaning they had not yet reached their first birthday.  Lois’s final child, Hazel S, was born 15 November 1891. 

The 1895 state census lists JH Banks in Bayfield, Wisconsin.  The household consists of one male and four females.  John would be the male.  The females would be Lois, and the as yet unmarried daughters, Francis, Molly, and Hazel. 

In 1900, the Banks family lived in Washburn, Wisconsin.  John worked as a carpenter.  Fanny, Molly, and Hazel were still in the household.  The census doesn’t list an address, but describes the location as Township 47, Range 6W, Benoit. This location would be west of the south end of Chequamegon Bay and Ashland.  This record says that Lois had ten children, seven still living.  With the recent “discovery” of the twins, all Lois’s children have been identified.  Daughters Sarah Ardina, Etta, and Lena are all on the same census page with their own families, so it appears that even after the daughters married, they were living close to each other.  A soon-to-be son-in-law also lives next door.  Only Eva has moved away and was living in Asotin WA. 

The 1905 state census lists the family in Eileen, WI, a small community southwest of Ashland. The household consisted of John Lois, Hazel, and John’s brother Charles.  John was a farmer. Daughters Lena, Etta, and Fanny all lived nearby. 

Lois’s husband John died in 1908, and Lois moved to nearby Pilsen, WI to live with her daughter Frances.  The 1910 census also reported that she had ten children, seven still living.    No home address was listed. 

In 1920, Lois was living with her daughter Molly and family in Ashland at 121 7th Street.  The household also included daughter Hazel Jenkins, listed as a widow.  In 1930, Lois was living in Ashland with her youngest daughter Hazel (recently remarried). Their home address was 815 3rd Avenue West.   

Lois Banks died 13 August, 1938, at age 87, and is buried with her husband John at the Benoit Cemetery.     

Lois’s daughter Lena married Leander Fleck, and died in 1961.  Eva married Adam Lamb, and moved to Asotin WA by 1900.  Since Lois reported seven children still living in 1910, I am assuming that Eva died after that.  Sarah married Jay Wood, and their family ended up in South Carolina, where Sarah died in 1955.  Etta married Hiram E Hubbard, and died in 1912.    Francis (Fanny) married Samuel Horn, and died in 1974.  Molly married William Smith, and my last record for them is the 1930 census.  Hazel married a Jenkins, then Joseph Cross, and died in 1977.  Lois had at least 18 grandchildren.