Thursday, September 27, 2018

Waterbury First Families

Recently in the Facebook group New England Family Genealogy and History, someone posted a hand-drawn map of Waterbury, CT, with the names of the residents and where they lived. I recognized many of the names as being families in my family tree and decided to see how many of the individuals listed on the map were related to me.

Notes on the maps

In doing this research, I was drawn to the fact that many of these individuals were listed in an old book on the history of Waterbury (*1). This book was written in 1858. The hand-drawn map was a copy of the map that appears in the first chapter of this book, but with a few important details left out.

First, the original map has many of the names in parentheses indicating that the dwelling there was not part of the original layout of the town (then still called Mattatuck, the name was not changed to Waterbury until several years later). The below list of individuals restores those parentheses.

Second, there were a few notations not carried over to the hand-drawn version. For example, the name Thomas Judd near the top would seem to indicate that there were three such individuals since Thomas Judd Sr and Thomas Judd Jr had homes farther down the street. But the original map notes that the structure toward the top was Thomas’ blacksmith shop, not a house.

The map in the book is an attempt to show the layout of the original town around the end of the 1600s, with the first dwellings have been constructed around 1678 and some of the latter ones some 20 years later. For example, John Bronson Sr. was one of the first settlers, but his son John Jr. was born in Mattatuck in 1665 and was not granted the dwelling shown on the map until he became of age and married. It was not until 1686 that the name was changed from Mattatuck to Waterbury.

Notes on the annotated list

The designation of individuals as “Sr.” or “Jr.” is not necessarily the typical father/son relationship as we would use it today, but is based on the relative year in which the individuals became proprietors in the town. In those instances where it does not correspond to a father/son relationship I have inserted an italicized comment after the name of the individual.

Because the book in which this map is found is based on sources of information in Mattatuck/Waterbury records, the date of death of each individual can be found in the book. However, since except for sons who later became proprietors themselves, they were not born in Mattatuck, the dates of birth are not taken from the book. I have relied on other sources for the date of birth, subject to the typical irregularities in records of the time.

One of the things that becomes pretty obvious in looking at the below list is how many of these families were related to each other, as you can see the last names of the wives were often from one of the other families listed. Being part of such a small community, it is only natural that the friendships that developed would lead to some of this, but it was also just a continuation of the practice that had already been in place as most of these families moved here from Farmington where they had already known each other and often intermarried. For example, Abraham Andruss Sr was already married to Rebecca Carrington when he moved here. These family connections are also the reason why I am related to so many of these families.

My mother was Sylvia [Pierpont] Russell. Her Pierpont ancestors did not move to Waterbury until the end of the 1700s when Ezra Pierpont moved from New Haven to the East Farms area of Waterbury. But Ezra’s in-laws were already living in the area as his father-in-law was one of the first settlers of Wolcott (then called Farmingbury and part of Waterbury) in 1731. It is through these ancestors of mine and their later intermarriage into many of the families from Waterbury that have given me so many connections to this group of “first families” of Mattatuck/Waterbury. In some cases I am connected to these individuals by more than one ancestral path In these cases I have listed the shortest/most straightforward connection.

List of First Families

·       Andrews/Andruss
o   Abraham Sr. (1652-1729), m. Rebecca Carrington, great*8 grandfather
o   Abraham Jr. (not the son of Abraham Sr, but a later arrival of the same name) (1648-1688), m. Sarah Porter (daughter of Robert Porter), no relation
o   (Abraham 3rd) (son of Abraham Jr.) (1680-1733), no relation
·       Barnes
o   Benjamin (1653-1688), m. Mary Andrews, great-uncle of 1st cousin, 8 times removed
·       Bronson
o   John Sr. (1643-1711), m. Hannah Scott, great*8 grandfather
o   (John Jr.) (1665-1746), m. Mary Hickock, great*7 grandfather
o   Isaac (1645-1719), m. Mary Roote, great*7 grandfather
·       Carrington
o    John (1645-1690), half-brother of great*8 grandmother (Rebecca m. Abraham Andrews)
·       Gaylord
o   Joseph (1649-1713), m. Sarah Stanley, grandfather-in-law of great*7 uncle (Thomas Upson)
·       Hancox
o   Thomas (1647-aft. 1721), m. Rachel Leonard, no relation
·       Hickox
o   Samuel Sr. (1643-1695), m. Hannah Upson, grandson-in-law of great*8 grandfather (Stephen Upson)
o   (Samuel Jr.) (1669-1713), m. Elizabeth Plumb, great-grandson-in-law of great*8 grandfather
o   (Joseph Jr.) (Son of Samuel Sr., not of Joseph Sr.) (1678-1725), m. Elizabeth Gaylord, great-grandson-in-law of great*8 grandfather
o   Joseph Sr. (1645-1687), brother of Samuel Sr.
·       Hopkins
o   (Stephen) (1630-1689), m. Dorcas Bronson (sister of John and Isaac), great*8 uncle
·       Jones
o   Benjamin (1636-1690), m. Hannah Spencer, no relation
·       Judd
o   Thomas Sr. (1638-1703), m. Sarah Steele, grandfather-in-law of great*7 uncle
o   Thomas Jr. (1662-1724), m. Sarah Gaylord, father-in-law of great*7 uncle (Thomas Upson)
o   Philip (1649-1689), m. Hannah Loomis, great-uncle of great*7 uncle
·       Newell
o   Thomas (1650-1723), m. Elizabeth Wrothem, no relation
o   John (1646-1696), no relation
·       Peck
o   Jeremiah (1623-1699), m. Johanna Stanley, great*8 uncle
·       Porter
o   Daniel Sr. (1628-1690), m. Mary Scott (sister of Edmund Scott Sr.), great-grandfather-in-law of Lucy Bronson (first cousin, 6 times removed)
o   (Daniel Jr.) (1652-1726), m. Deborah Holcomb, grandfather-in-law of Lucy Bronson
o   Richard (1658-1739), m. Ruth Holcomb, great uncle of Lucy Bronson
o   Robert (1624-1692) (not related to other Porter family), m. Mary Scott, no relation
·       Richardson
o   (John) (1672-1712), no relation
o   Thomas (1645-1721), m. Mary Stevenson, no relation
·       Richards
o    Obadiah (1646-1702), m. Hannah Andrews, great*7 grandfather
o    John (1667-1735), great*7 uncle
·       Scott
o   Edmund Sr. (1618-1690), m. Hannah Mary Bird, father of great*7 uncle
o   Edmund Jr. (1658-1746), m. Sarah Porter, brother of great*7 uncle
o   (George) (1657-1724), m. Mary Richards, great*7 uncle
o   Jonathan (1657-1745), m. Hannah Hawk, brother of great*7 uncle
·       Scovill
o   John (1667-1726), m. Hannah Richards, great*7 grandfather
o   (William) (1703-1755), m. Hannah Richards, great*6 grandfather
·       Southmayd
o    John (1676-1755), m. Susannah Ward, great*7 grandfather
·       Stanley
o   Timothy (1653-1728), m. Mary Strong, brother-in-law of Joseph Gaylord (above)
o   John (1647-1729), m. Hester Newell, brother-in-law of Joseph Gaylord (above)
·       Upson
o   Stephen Sr. (1655-1735), m. Mary Lee, great*7 grandfather
o   (Stephen Jr.) (1686-1777), m. Sarah Bronson, great*7 uncle
·       Warner
o   Daniel (Mrs.) (Sarah Roe), (1653-1727), aunt of 7th great-grandfather
o   John (1649-1723), m. Margaret Howard, great*7 grandfather
o   Thomas (brother of John) (1645-1714), m. Elizabeth Southerton, great*7 uncle
·       Welton
o   John (1633-1726), m. Mary Upson, brother-in-law of great*7 grandfather (Stephen Upson)
o   (Stephen) (1677-1713), m. Mary Gaylord, nephew of great*7 grandfather


*1 – The history of Waterbury, Connecticut by Henry Bronson, 1858 (map is insert between pages 16 and 17)

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Immigration and Customs

Recently I’ve been binge watching a bunch of shows on YouTube about various border security agencies. There are ones for the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It’s interesting to see all the various types of security for travel by land, sea, or air, as well as the scanning that takes place of all mail (esp. packages) that travel from country to country. This made me think about all the times that I’ve been through immigration and customs as part of all the international travel that I’ve had the opportunity to do during my career.

I’ve been through the customs/immigration process well over 100 times that I can recall. Most of these have been pretty uneventful – on the outbound side getting my passport checked and then checking in my bags – on the inbound side getting my passport checked, gathering my bags from the carousel, and going through the “nothing to declare” aisle. But I’d like to report on four instances where it was not “uneventful,” in order from easiest to most intense.

Random Second Level Customs Check

In addition to pulling people for secondary customs checks “for cause,” the various customs authorities will occasionally pull people at random. I don’t know what percentage they pull, and it may vary from country to country, so you never know when they may decide to pull you for additional checking.

This only happened to me once, and I don’t recall which country it was – as I noted above, I’ve done a lot of international travel. It wasn’t a big deal, I just had to put my bag on a counter (I generally only traveled with a single small bag plus a carry-on for my laptop/papers), unzip it (I almost never locked it), and allow the customs inspector to go through everything. Nothing was found, I repacked my bag, zipped it back up, and was on my way. Probably only added an extra 10 minutes to my time going through customs – a small price to pay for helping the customs inspectors keep current with doing their job.

Going Through My Car

During the period from 1970 (when I purchased my first car), and 1975 (when we moved to PA), I made frequent trips between CT (my legal address before I got married and our first home after I got married) and MI (where I was still in grad school until 1971 and where my wife’s family lived). Most of the time that trip included crossing into/out of Canada at Niagara Falls, and crossing into/out of MI at either Detroit or Port Huron. During that time period a passport was not needed for US citizens entering Canada and you only had to show your driver’s license.

On one occasion we were crossing into Canada via the Detroit-Windsor tunnel and going through customs in Windsor. I didn’t have any suitcases, everything was just stuffed into my trunk in my fairly new 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger (red with a black vinyl roof). The customs folks decided that as a young man in his early 20s that I needed to be subject to a thorough inspection. I gave them the keys to my car and sat inside the customs building looking out the window as they went through my car with a fine-tooth comb. I remember nearly laughing when they found under my seat a plastic water bottle that I carried there to have a sip from time to time during the long drive to CT. The plastic bottle was shaped like a whiskey flask (which made it less prone to rolling around), and had a “jigger” shaped cap that you could use to measure out a small sip without putting the entire bottle to your lips. I pointed this to my wife as the inspector opened the bottle and put it up to her nose to smell what was in it. But to the inspector’s surprise it wasn’t vodka (which is also a clear liquid) but just plain old H2O!

This secondary inspection took a little longer than the 10 minutes of the first incident above – probably 20-25 minutes since the trunk was so disorganized. But, like the first incident, it was only a short delay in an otherwise long trip. I am very supportive of the work that these people do and felt fine about it.

Middle-East Trip

As part of my Y2K checking and visiting many of our subsidiaries around the world I needed to visit our subsidiaries in Dubai (UAE) and Israel.  Since the Arab countries and Israel are not on friendly terms with one another it is not possible to fly between these two countries.  I checked with my contacts in those countries to determine how to schedule the trip.  Thus, I first went to Dubai (via London) for a couple of days, then flew back to Europe (Rome) where I stayed overnight, removed the Dubai luggage tags and switched to a separately booked set of tickets.  Thus prepared, I went to the El Al section of the terminal the following day – three hours in advance (as instructed) instead of the standard two. 

Before even being allowed to check in my bags, I was assigned to a security officer for a 20-minute one-on-one interview.  He asked not only where was I from and where was I going, but such things as what was I going to be doing in Israel, who was I seeing, what hotel was I staying at, how was I planning on getting from the airport to the hotel, etc., how much the taxi ride cost – pretty detailed stuff (I was well prepared for all of it and had website printouts from the hotel, etc.).  He then left me and went and called my contact person in Israel to verify that I was expected.  Only then was I allowed to check in and get my boarding assignment. 

When I actually arrived in Israel, I asked the person in immigration to NOT stamp my passport as I might have to travel to an Arab country in the future, which request he honored, instead stamping a piece of paper and putting in my passport to be surrendered when I left the country (this is standard practice for business men in the middle east – some even claim to have “lost” their passport and get a second one so they can use one for Israel and one everywhere else.)

An interesting follow-up to this trip: since I was flying business class on this trip El-Al handed out a “goodie bag” to the customers in that part of the plane. This included El-Al labeled items such as a face mask (to help with taking a nap), and a small pouch with a pair of tweezers, nail clippers, and a pair of cuticle scissors. I found the latter quite useful and put the pouch in my travel bag with my shaver, etc. On a trip several years later, and in the aftermath of 9/11 when TSA was new and was really clamping down on travel, I went through TSA security with just a small carry-on for a short trip. The travel implements showed up on the x-ray scan and TSA confiscated my cuticle scissors. How ridiculous! These “scissors” had blades that were about 3/8” long!  But the TSA was in the process of refining their newly developed rules and ANY scissors were considered contraband at the time so they took them away from me. I still have that travel pouch and use it on a regular basis, so the blank spot where the cuticle scissors used to be is a constant reminder of how reactionary the US government can be!

Getting Flagged for a Potential Illegal Substance

In the mid-1980s I took a trip with our church to Venezuela.  We have a program called TFE (Teens For Evangelism) that introduces teens to missions – first with a weekend ministry in the US, then with a week-long ministry in the US, and finally in their third year with a two week trip to a foreign country.  My wife and I helped lead the team to Rubio, Venezuela. 

While that was our home base, we traveled to other cities/towns in the area.  Since this part of Venezuela is right up against the Columbian border, it had its interesting moments.  The most memorable for me was on the return trip. 

We had gone through customs and immigration and were in the gate area when a LARGE security officer came up to our group and asked for me by name.  He asked me to follow him as we went back through security (at that point I was technically in the country illegally and no one else in our team knew where he had taken me).  We went back to the area where they were scanning bags and he asked me to unlock my bag. 

While scanning my suitcase they had seen some suspicious shadows of bags of powder in my suitcase and wanted to see if it was illegal drugs (since we had been on the Columbian border).  What it was were the bags of Venezuelan coffee I had purchased at a coffee plantation the previous day to use as gifts – but the x-ray machine only showed bags of powder.  After checking them out and determining that I was not a drug runner, I was escorted back through security to the gate area – and everyone else on the team was very happy to see me again!

This was definitely the most unusual and somewhat scary incident in all my times going through customs and immigration. Not because I was doing anything illegal, but because my wife and the entire rest of the team did not know where I was being taken and if/when I would be coming back.

As I stated earlier, I am very supportive of the work that the various customs and immigration agencies do. Their job is not an easy one and the occasional inconveniences that I have had over the years are a small price to pay.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Genealogy Story – Caleb Barton

Caleb Barton is my great*4 grandfather. Recently, one of my distant cousins has raised some questions about he and his family. I thought it would be worthwhile to do some detailed investigation into this and to document what we can learn about him, his wife/wives, and children.

Gravestone Information

I thought it would be good to start with a review of gravestones in Kent, CT, the small town where he spent most of his life. There are three major cemeteries in town, one at the Congregational Church, one on Skiff Mountain, and one at St Andrews Church (which I will not list here as none of Caleb’s family were Catholic). There are also a number of small private cemeteries, but no Barton family members are found there. There are also two different sources for grave information. The most recent one is find-a-grave which often has pictures of the gravestones, but for Connecticut there is also what is known as the Hale Index, a listing of all the grave markers written in 1934 by someone going through each cemetery row by row and writing down what they found, including such things as “broken stone” or “unreadable”. Here is a composite list of all the Barton family members in Kent.

Note that “ae” means “approximate age” and this is subject to some of the same vagaries as ages in the census records, so date of death is likely to be quite accurate since it is recorded at the time of death, but age is not so accurate.

Skiff Mountain Cemetery

·       Almira Barton, ae 55, 9 May 1858, wife of Caleb Barton
·       Caleb Barton, ae 104, 12 Mar 1883
·       Henrietta Barton, ae 2, 22 Sep 1845, daughter of Charles and Lucy
·       Henrietta Barton ae 14 mo, 30 Aug 1847, daughter of Charles and Lucy

Congregational Church Cemetery

·       Anna Barton, ae 76, 8 Feb 1882, wife of Caleb
·       Charles Barton, ae 68, 8 Nov 1889
·       Elmore Barton, 1831, 1907, Husband of Sarah E Cook Barton
·       Frankie Barton ae 3 mo 13 days, 18 Mar 1872, son of Elmore & Sarah
·       Frederick E Barton, ae 30, 18 Feb 1895, son of Elmer & Sarah E
·       George Barton, 1827, 22 Oct 1903 (Civil War veteran)
·       George W Barton, ae 9 mo, 20 Feb 1868, son of Elmor & Sarah E
·       Henry F Barton, ae 28, 1 Nov 1888, son of Elmore & Sarah E
·       Joseph B Barton, 1868, 1927
·       Katie Barton, ae 35, 24 Nov 1878, wife of Egbert
·       Lucy Barton, ae 50, 10 Aug 1875, wife of Charles Barton
·       Mary F Barton, ae 6, 12 Jul 1860, daughter of Elmore & Sarah
·       Peter Barton, 11 Jul 1862, son of Elmor & Sarah E
·       Polly M Barton, ae 67, 17 Mar 1866, wife of Caleb
·       Sarah E Cook Barton, 1636, 1906, wife of Elmore
·       Sherman Barton, 1862, 1939, husband of Virginia A Barton
·       Thompson Barton, 1834, 1909
·       Virginia A Barton, 1867, 1948

There are also two graves in other nearby cemeteries which may be of interest in this research

·       Harriet Marie Barton Palmer, ae 74, 10 Oct 1917
·       Francis C (Fannie) Barton, 1836, 22 Dec 1880, wife of William Parker Waldron (the find-a-grave entry has some further information (mother of Lucy, Julia, Delilah, Charles, Edward & William Henry, daughter of Caleb and Almira Beecher Barton))

One of my concerns when gathering the above is because of the age differences between Caleb and his wife Almira, and because he lived so much longer than her, that he might have had other wives either before Almira or after she passed away. The picture of his grave shows that he and Almira had two stones which shared a base, but that is probably because he purchased the single base with two stones on it at the time of her death in 1858 when he was nearly 80 years old, not expecting that he would live on for another quarter century. But he may have gotten lonely without her and remarried. The below analysis of census records will answer that question.

Census Data from 1850 on

Next, I thought it would be useful to use both the annotations on the gravestones together with the 1850 census (the first one which listed everyone in the family instead of just counts by gender and age ranges) and try to build the start of Caleb’s family tree.

In 1850, Caleb is shown as the head of household consisting of he, his wife, and 5 children as follows:
·       Caleb, age 60 (born in NY, both parents from NY) [note that his age here is about 10 years different than that on the gravestone, can’t be sure which is correct at this point]
·       Almira, age 49 (born in CT, both parents from CT)
o   Elmore, age 20
o   Sally, age 15
o   Mary, age 10
o   Egbert, age 6
o   Harriett M, age 3

In the 1860 census, Almira would be no longer living. Thus, we find Caleb (then age 70) with his next wife Polly (age 61) and children Thompson (25), Egbert (17) and Harriett (14).

In the 1870 census, Polly has also passed on, so we find Caleb (age 80) with third wife Caroline (age 61), living with Egbert who is now married to his wife Catharine (Katie), and their children Lewis and Josephine.

Finally, in the 1880 census, Caroline has also passed on and we find Caleb (now listed as age 95) with his final wife Ann (age 73).

Using this, together with the above gravestones we have the following family tree:

·       Caleb (1779-1883) [but birth year very suspect and more like 1790!]
+ Almira [Beecher] (1803-1858)
o   Elmore (1831-1907)
+ Sarah F [Cook] (1836-1906)
§  Mary F (1854-1860) dy
§  Henry F (1860-1888)
§  Peter (1862-1862) dy
§  Frederick E (1865-1895)
§  George W (1867-1868) dy
§  Frankie (1872-1872) dy
o   Thompson (1834-1909)
o   Sally (1835-1922)
o   Francis C (1836-1880)
+ William Parker Waldron
o   Mary Jane (1840-1903)
o   Egbert John (1844-1928)
+ Catharine/Katie ____ (1843-1878) (born to foreign parents)
§  Lewis (1868-)
§  Josephine (1870-)
o   Harriett Marie (1847-1917)
+ ____ Palmer
·       + 2nd wife Polly M [Walker] (1799-1866)
·       + 3rd wife Caroline [Palmer] (1807-1873)
·       + 4th wife Ann/Anna [Douglas] (1807-1882)

Census Data before 1850

Before 1850 the federal census did not record all family members. Only the name of the head of household was recorded, together with counts for various gender/age-range categories. However, since we have a pretty good family tree already built, let’s see what else it might tell us.

In the 1840 census, Caleb is listed as head of household. He is listed with an age of 40-49 and his wife with an age of 30-39. There are five children with the following demographic: M 5-9, M 10-14, M 15-19, F <5, F <5. These would line up with the known children as follows:
·       M 5-9 – Thompson, then age 5
·       M 10-14 – Elmore, about 10
·       M 15-19 – unknown, see explanation below
·       F <5 – Sally, then age almost 5
·       F <5 – Francis, then age 4

Similarly, in the 1830 census, Caleb is listed with an age of 30-39, his wife is 20-29, and he has 3 children M <5, M 5-9, and F <5. This would be respectively Elmore, the unknown male, and Sally.

The oldest boy is most likely Charles, who with a date of birth around 1825 would then be 15 in the 1840 census and 5 in the 1830 census. This fills in one of the major holes in accounting for all those with gravestones above. Thus, we would add to the family tree:

o   Charles (1821-1889)
o   + Lucy [Waldron] (1825-1875)
§  Henrietta (1843-1845) dy
§  Henrietta (1846-1847) dy

Cleaning up loose ends

The only individuals in the two Kent cemeteries now unaccounted for are George (1827-1903), Joseph (1868-1927), Sherman (1862-1939) and his wife Virginia (1867-1948). Further research showed that none of these individuals was related to Caleb.

I have also done some further research and filled in the maiden names of the 2nd-4th wives of Caleb above.

I also checked several family trees and other information in and the above all seems correct. Besides not being sure of the exact date of birth of Caleb, there are a few instances of the birth years of his children also being off by one or two years, but as noted at the beginning of this research, that is not unusual. I’m pretty certain that the four wives and eight children of Caleb are all correct.

Since I have confined my research to Kent, there is of course other information about who Caleb’s children married and what other grandchildren he eventually had. But the above gives a pretty complete and documented picture of him as well as some insight into the type of research that one must do to complete and verify just this one little bit of a family tree.