Joseph C Patterson born 1749

Joseph Patterson was born about 1749 in Londonderry, NH.  He was the son of Alexander Patterson of Bush Mills, Ireland.  His mother, Elizabeth Arbuckle, was born on the ship crossing the Atlantic from Scotland.  Alexander helped settle Londonderry, and Elizabeth was well educated and taught school.  Joseph had at least six older and four younger brothers and sisters. 

Joseph married Susannah Duncan in 1777 in Londonderry.  She was the daughter of William Duncan and Naomi Bell who were both from Ballymony, Ireland but of Scottish descent.  Joseph and Susannah had at least 11 children.  She died 23 March 1812 in Henniker NH.

Joseph was a Revolutionary War soldier and received a pension, as he was determined to be an invalid and one half disabled. The physicians who examined him testified that he had been struck by a musket ball entering behind the ear and passing out by the angle of the mouth, which caused his hearing to be considerably impaired. Other documents are more specific, saying that he was wounded in 1776 in White Plains, that the shot to his head made him deaf on that side, and that he suffered from constant pain in his head, and “painful sensations” when he takes cold. 

Part of Joseph’s application process includes a statement that he was contacted a Jonathan Grant who offered to help him get his invalid pension, in exchange for two thirds of what Joseph was going to get.  Joseph honored that agreement for a while, but eventually found that he needed the entire amount to support his large family. He filed a protest against Jonathan Grant and his agent, complaining that the agreement was unjust and cruel.  He alleged that Grant took the power of attorney, and paid Joseph nothing.  Joseph alleged that Grant took $500 of his pension and refused to return his pension certificate to him. 

Grant answered the accusations saying that he did owe Patterson $200 and would pay it.  Grant said he had been hired by Patterson to apply for the pension and it appears that his statement is now an attempt to negotiate a settlement.  Another man testified that according to bank records, Patterson had not been receiving his payments, that he was now “reduced and worth nothing and is old and very in firm and needs all his own pension.”  It appears that Joseph Patterson did eventually get his pension, at the rate of $48 per year, until he died, on 4 February 1831 in Henniker.    



Royal H LaBombard born 23 November 1895

Royal H LaBombard was born 23 November 1895 in Ellenburg, NY.  He was the  youngest of the seven sons and one daughter of John Andrew LaBombard and Isabella M Tourville.   The family moved to Hanover, NH, and was counted there in the 1900 census.  The older siblings had married or otherwise moved out of the household.  John had his own farm, and Samual and Chandler were listed as farm laborers.  Ernest was probably in school, but Royal was only 4.

The 1910 census lists the family still in Hanover.  Royal’s father still operated a general farm.  His brother Ernest, at age 16, was listed as a farmer as well.  Royal, age 14, did not have an occupation listed.

In April, 1915, Royal was the victim of an accidental gunshot wound to the head.  I do not know if he shot himself.  He developed septicemia, and died 27 May 1915.  He was buried at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Lebanon NH, and his headstone can be found on Find A Grave, where he was listed as Roy LaBombard.

Harriet Parmenter born 24 July 1815

Harriet Parmenter was born 24 July, 1815, in Antrim, New Hampshire.  Her parents were Amos Parmenter and Tryphena Bannister.  Her father was a farmer, a Deacon in the Presbyterian church, and held many town offices.  Harriet was the 11th of 12 children.  One older brother died young.  Her mother died ten days after the birth of the youngest child, and that child also died before her first birthday.  Harriet’s father remarried, to Mrs. Hanna Heald in 1820.  Harriet’s brother Luke died in 1828 at age 25. 

On 30 October 1834, Harriet married Dimon Twiss, in Antrim.  He was the son of Dimon Cressy Twiss and Sarah Ireson and made his living as a blacksmith.  They had three daughters, Harriet born in 1836, Mary Elizabeth born in 1838, and Hannah born in 1840.   Harriet married William Henry Weed Hinds, and died 7 February 1870 in Milford NH.  Mary Elizabeth married Daniel Richardson and she lived until 23 July 1929.  Hannah married Elbridge Trow, and died 28 March 1892.

 Harriet died 2 December 1844 in Antrim, and is buried with other Parmenter family members at Center Cemetery in Antrim.  I do not have a cause of death for her.  Her passing was noted in The Farmers’ Cabinet published January 9, 1845.  She was 29.

Dimon remarried on 10 Jun 1845, to Mehitable Hill.  He died in 1888, and she died in 1874 in Mont Vernon NH.

Harriet Newell born 21 April 1816

Harriet Newell was born 21 April 1816 in Gardiner, Maine, the daughter of George W Newell and Abigail March.  Harriet’s father was probably born in Maine about 1776, but I have not been able to identify his parents.  Harriet’s mother was from Ipswich, Massachusetts. 

The early census shows George Newell living in Gardiner, but of course family members are not named.   Harriet’s mother died probably before 1830 as that census didn’t list a woman her age in George’s household.  In 1834, George remarried, to Lydia Edgecomb.

Harriet returned to Ipswich, and on 5 July 1939, she and Joseph Smith entered their intentions of marriage.  Joseph Smith, son of Joseph Smith and Hannah Lord, married Harriet on 17 December 1839 in Ipswich.   They were counted in the 1840 census living next to his parents.

Harriet’s first child was Abby Newell Smith – apparently named for Harriet’s parents – born 22 March 1841.  Albert Warren was born 1 September 1843.  At the time of his birth, his father Joseph was a cordwainer, which is a shoemaker who specializes in soft leather high quality shoes.  Harriet Augusta was born 10 December 1845. 

The 1850 census lists the family in Ipswich, living next door to Joseph’s father.  Joseph was a laborer.   Daughter Drucilla A (or Drusilla) was born 22 December 1850, and the last child, George William (perhaps named for his grandfather) was born 18 September 1853.  His birth record lists his father as a laborer.

The 1855 state census lists Joseph as a farmer.  The 1860 census lists him as a farm laborer, with real estate valued at only $150.   The 1865 state census shows Harriet’s family in Ipswich.  Joseph was a farmer.  Her newly married daughter Abby and son-in-law Amos Searles lived with them.  Amos was a shoemaker.  Abby died in 1867 of diphtheria.  Harriet’s son Albert moved to Lynn, MA, and married his first wife, Lucinda Stone, on Christmas in 1867. 

The 1870 census lists Harriet’s family in Ipswich.  Her husband was a farm laborer.  Her daughter Harriet, called by her middle name Augusta in this record, was listed as having no occupation, and was labeled as “idiotic”.  That label, and “insane” were both used for different people on that census page, but I don’t know how they were defined in that era.  Drusilla was a teacher, and George was a clerk in a grocery store.  It appears that Harriet was running a boarding house, as there were eight other people in the household who were not family members. 

Harriet’s daughter Harriet Augusta died 22 November 1874, of consumption.  On January 15, 1877, Harriet’s son George married Josephine Felton.  On 29 March, 1877, daughter Drusilla married Isaac Edward Burnham Perkins.

In 1880, Harriet and Joseph lived on Center Street, and Joseph worked as a laborer.  Their children were all out of the household, but niece Annie Tolman lived with them.  She had also been in the 1870 census with them. 

Harriet’s husband died 29 December 1894, cause of death listed as old age and heart disease.  The 1896 Ipswich city directory listed Harriet N Smith, widow of Joseph, living at IEB Perkins – with her daughter Drusilla.   The 1897 Ipswich Directory also lists Smith, Harriet N, widow of Joseph, on Green at the corner of Meeting House Green, b 21 Apr 1816.  The house at #2 Green Street is still known as “The Perkins House” and when visiting Ipswich, I used a photo of Drusilla and her husband on their front steps to confirm that this is still the correct address for Harriet’s last home.

The 1900 census for Ipswich lists Harriet with her daughter Drusilla, her son-in-law, and his mother.  The census taker recorded “0” for both of the elder women, for the questions how many children born and how many children still living even though he listed them as mother and mother in law of Mr. Perkins. 

Harriet died 1 Jul 1901, age 85, at her home, in Ipswich, of dysentery.   She, Joseph, daughters Harriet and Drusilla, and son George, with other family members, are all buried at Highland cemetery.   Highland is also known as Cawles, Cowles-Highland, Highland-Cowles, the Old Burying Hill, Old North Burying Ground, and Old North Cemetery.  She and her family are documented on Find-A-Grave.

Philip LaClair married Modeste Chine 8 Feb 1808

Philip LaClair was born about 1776, the son of Jean LaClair (LeClerc) and Marie Angelique Roi. I have not been able to find his baptismal record, but his parents were named in his marriage record. His parents were married at St-Vallier, Bellechasse, Quebec, so it is likely that he was born there.  Bellchasse is in eastern Quebec, along the St. Lawrence river south of the Ile d’Orleans.    

Marie Modeste Chine was born 23 August, 1790, and baptized at St-Gervais, another parish in Bellechasse, 20 miles from St-Vallier.  The priest who recorded this event (in French, of course) must have felt compelled to conserve paper, as the writing was small, and there were about 11 entries on that one page.  Her parents were George Chine (sometimes seen Shinke or Zinque) and Modeste Ayöt.  Her father’s occupation doesn’t seem to be listed. 

On 8 February 1808, Modeste married Philip LaClair in St-Gervais.  This record says that Philip’s father and Modeste’s father were both farmers.  Philip and Modeste had at least six children:  Philip born in 1809 (died at 3 days), Francoise born in 1810 (died at 10 months), Elizabeth born 1812, Modeste born in 1815 (died at 7 months), Phillip born 1816 and Barnabas born 1827.

Vital records for the children indicate that Philip was a farmer.  Modeste died some time after the birth of her son Barnabus, and Philip remarried, to Esther Dauphine, in 1837.  Philip died 27 Nov 1848 and was buried at St-Michael in Bellchasse. This record gives his age as 72, and states that both his parents predeceased him. 

Modern descriptions of St-Vallier, St-Gervais, and St-Michael say they are small communities of about 1000-1500 people, and a Google satellite view shows the long narrow parcels of property that allowed more landowners access to the St. Lawrence.

Genealogy of a Gold Watch

I was recently contacted by someone researching a pocket watch he inherited from his grandfather.  The watch said “Chas H Tourville  Special ”.  He was not familiar with the Tourville name, and posted information about the watch at   the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors.  Besides telling him about the company that made the watch, and the year 1898, the experts there suggested he try to find out about the original owner and see if he could trace the watch as it passed through different owners.  I’m guessing that he Googled the Tourville name, and found his way to my blog.  It is possible that  it belonged to Charles born 1828, and may have been a 70th birthday present.   I ordered a copy of the Franklin County probate records for Charles but his property list did not include a gold watch.  I also shared this story with other Tourville researchers, but we did not come up with proof of original ownership.  It may have belonged to Charles, his son, grandsons, or nephews.

Josie’s Watch

 I shared this story with family members, one of whom has a pocket watch that belonged to my great grandmother Josie Newell (Smith) Hodges.  I posted photos and information about the watch at the NAWCC website.  Here’s what I learned.

In the era that this watch was made, the watch case was a separate part of the pocket watch, sold separately, and selected at the time of the purchase of the watch movement.  Although the watch case had serial numbers, they were used for internal purposes, as opposed to the movement serial numbers, which were needed for obtaining the correct replacement parts.  If the case was original to the watch, dating the watch would date the case, to within a year or two. 

This watch case was made by Keystone Watch Case Company, and is called a hunting case.  It had a cover over the front of the watch to protect the timepiece in the hunter’s pocket.  The case holds the watch so that the stem is at the “3” position rather than at “12”.  This watch case says “J Boss” on the inside.  James Boss worked for a watch case maker in Philadelphia.  He received a patent in 1859 for cases made of “gold-filled” material.  This was a sheet of composition metal (usually brass) sandwiched between two thin sheets of gold.  He was able to make less expensive and stronger cases, which were less apt to wear.  A series of business mergers eventually resulted in the Keystone Watch Case Company.  The balance (scale) and crown trademark for J.Boss indicates a 25-year guarantee, and that it is the gold-filled model.  The guarantee referred to the number of years during which the gold on the case was guaranteed not to wear through to the brass.  Some less reputable companies didn’t stand behind their guarantees, and eventually laws were proposed to forbid gold filled or plated watches to have such a guarantee. 

The watch case holds a Waltham watch.  AWWC, or the American Waltham Watch Company was in operation from 1851 to 1957 in Massachusetts.  Opening the back cover of the watch allows access to the movement serial number.  The folks at NAWCC have a database that allows someone to enter the model name and serial number, and determine some information about the watch.  Based on the serial number, I learned that this Waltham watch was a model 1907, which means that this particular model began to be made in that year, and continued for some years afterwards.  Based on my number, it is estimated that this watch was made about 1908.  Josie received this watch as a gift from her son Roland, who was a watchmaker.  Since Roland was born in 1906, I now know that this is not a watch that he helped build.  Perhaps when he came across it later, he used his knowledge as a watchmaker to pick it out as a gift for his mother.

 The database says that the grade or name of the watch was No. 165. The number doesn’t refer to the quality of the watch but just identifies the run of manufacture.  The Material designation is “U”, and this does refer to the grade of material used by Waltham.  “U” stands for “Unadjusted” and includes most 7-15 jewel watches.  NAWCC says:  These are usually not adjusted for positions or temperature (other than that provided by the bi-metallic compensation balance). Timing screws are brass and there are usually no mean-time screws. A “U”-grade balance staff has no oil grooves and the coarsest pivots. Wheel pivots are the coarsest used in the model. 

Size refers to the size of the movement.  This serial number database tells me that it is a size “0” which is 1 and 5/30inches across, the size common for a lady’s watch.  “Jewels” or “Jewelling” refer to the number of jewels used in the watch to reduce friction on the bearing points:  7 jewels are found in the escapement, and additional jewels – if used – would typically be found on the plates for jewelling the gear train.  A watch with 15 jewels has four pairs.  The balance is recorded as “Pat. Reg. – Breg.HS”.  Breg HS seems to refer to their patented micrometric regulator (star wheel), a hairspring with a Breguet overcoil to improve timekeeping. 

Although the case is different, I found an identical watch advertised for sale at  It describes the face as “single sunk porcelain dial with bold black enameled Roman numerals, Waltham logo, subsidiary seconds register and outer minute track.  The 5 minute markers are trimmed in red enamel.” That matches Josie’s watch exactly.  Josie’s watch hasn’t been run recently, and the websites caution against trying to make an old clock or watch run unless it has been properly serviced first.

I have now gone through all my photos of Josie and have not found one that shows her with the watch.  I have asked that her three granddaughters check their photographs and see if they have better luck.