Monday, November 12, 2018

Pioneers of Massachusetts

Recently someone posted a link to a free Google ebook about the early members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (The Pioneers of Massachusetts: A Descriptive List, Drawn from Records of the Colonies, Towns, and Churches, and Other Contemporaneous Documents, Charles Henry Pope, 1900). I have seen references to this book previously but had not gone through it, so I took the opportunity to read about some of my ancestors.

Page 361


James, Ipswich, herdsman, 1646.

John, malster, Ipswich, 1648, had deed of land in Roxbury from his father-in-law John Stow. He bought land in Ips. 15 Nov, 1649. Memb. Chh Rox. Nov. 17, 1650; frm. May 26, 1652. Town Officer. Ch. Thankful b. Nov. 26, 1649, John b. July 22, 1651, John b. Oct 28, 1652, dau. Experience b. 4 (11) 1654, infant b. and d. 1657, James bapt. 8 (11) 1659, Ebenezer bapt. 22 (10) 1661, Jonathan d. 23 (8) 1663, Thankful bapt. 27 (10) 1663, Joseph bapt. 12 (6) 1666, Benjamin bapt. 2 (6) 1608. He deposed in Essex Court in 1670, ae 51 years.
He d. at Rox. Dec. 7, 1682, ae. 64 years. Will, written by himself, 12 Oct. 1681, prob. 21 Dec. 1682, attested by his brother Robert P., his widow Thankful, his ch. John, James and Ebenezer, the guardians of his sons Joseph and Benjamin, John Hayward, husband of his dau. Experience, and Dea. Wm. Parke. Beq. lands, mills, malthouse, etc. Refers to cousin Baret.

Robert, Ipswich, maulater, resident, 1648. Rem. To Roxbury; wife Maria adm. chh. 20 (6) 1665. Ch. Jonathan d. 23 (8) 1663, Jonathan bapt. 20 (6) 1665, Thomas bapt. 6 (11) 1667, Ezra d. 21 (9) 1669, James bapt. 25 (8) 1674, Sara bapt. 29 (3) 1680.
Admin. of his est. was gr. 12 July, 1694 to Sarah and Jonathan P.

Notes on the above:

1 – John and Robert were the first of the Pierpont family to change their name from Pierrepont (originally de Pierrepont in French). But many people spelled it the way they heard it, thus the variety of spellings here which were taken in the original documents of the time.  See (*1) for additional information.
2 – The first James mentioned is the father of John and Robert. It is believed that he came to MA to visit his sons, but little else is known about him or his visit.
3 – The above information is included in the official Pierpont Genealogies (*2) where the reference [MP] refers to this book. There are a few minor discrepancies of the above information with that from other sources, these are noted in (*2).
4 – The occupation of “malster” is a mill owner, occupation of “maulater” is an operator of a mill for malting.
5 – Family involvement in the church (“chh”) at Roxbury has been commented before at (*3). However, the above reference to Deacon William Parke as being one of the witnesses to the signing of John’s will indicates not only that Parke knew him, but that they had a closer relationship. As noted in (*3), Parke is the great*9 grandfather of pastor/author Rick Warren and John is my great*8 grandfather. All the other families mentioned in (*3) (Alcock, Eliot, Hooker) are mentioned in this book as well.
6 – Robert had other children who are not listed here.

There are other of my ancestors from other branches of my family tree who are also mentioned in this book, i.e. Merrill, Rogers, Talmadge and others, but I will not go into all the details here.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Anatomy of a Scam

Recently my wife and I decided to post a few items for sale on Craigslist. One of the items was a dining room set that we had purchased a few years ago thinking that we would be using it, but as our plans developed, we realized that we would not. I posted the item at 1:54pm. The following is an interaction that transpired.

In slightly less than a half hour after the item was posted for sale (2:22pm) I received the following as a text message response to the posting.

Hi email me asap at ( if your posted item ads on CL, is still available for sale… Thomasville Dining Room Set - $500 (6607 Crown Lane, Zionsville) .

Apart from the somewhat intriguing email address (meant to be sexually interesting, but misspelled with an extra “I”), there was nothing yet to be concerned about. Thinking that I might have a quick sale, I responded two minutes later with “Still available”. But then things stopped being quite so quick. It wasn’t until about 3 hours later that I received the following email from this individual:

Thanks for the prompt response to text. I will be  buying this from you,  kindly withdraw the advert   and considered it sold. My husband will be overnight the payment asap but he will be paying with a certified check from his Bank and it will  deliver to you via United Parcel Service (UPS), so  I'll need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate the mailing of the check... 

Name to be on the payment...........
Address to mail the check to.............(NOT PO BOX)
Final Asking price...................
Cell phone # to text you on ................

I will make arrangements for the pick up as soon as you have your check clear, due to my work frame and my Kids,  I will not be able to come with the cash and pick it up myself , so my husband will mail the check and have someone pick up the item after the check clear., Reference to your   post  am completely satisfied with it  and the payment will  be deliver within 24hours.. God Bless.

At this point I was getting a little suspicious. There were extra spaces, incorrect capitalizations, etc. Also, the person has not identified herself. And why the need to mail the check? Even if they have to have someone else with a truck to pickup the table, why could this person not bring the payment with them. And if they can go to the bank to get a certified check, why not just withdraw the cash needed instead? Finally, the reference to having family and the closing “God Bless” seem intended to elicit emotional attachment. Despite the misgivings, I decided to play along a little longer to see where this would go. If they did mail a “certified check”, I would not consider it “clear” until it was not only deposited, but the bank had a few days to make sure that the money actually was there. I know how the banking system works! Thus, I responded a few minutes later with the requested information.

I questioned whether the man would be able to get a certified check that evening since it was after the typical hour that banks close. So it did not surprise me that I didn’t hear from them that night. But it was still a bit unusual that the next email from them was a 4:40am the following morning:

Thanks for the information,i will need your honest and trust to end up this transaction. I will like to know if i can trust you with my money, since the payment was mail out already... please i want you to remove the item from sales list i will get back to you with the tracking # from UPS.COM so that you will know when to expect it.I include the mover funds along with your payment cos they need to pick some valuable item for me in your area. So when you receive the check get your item fee and the rest goes to the mover guy so that it will be delivered directly to my house and LET ME KNOW IF I CAN trust you with this transaction

Wow! So many issues in one short email. Let me try to enumerate them:
1.     Continued bad spacing and use of lower-case “i” in several places.
2.     Since I didn’t give them my name until after bank closing hours the previous night, how did they get a bank certified check already? And how have they already mailed it to me via UPS when UPS pickups haven’t yet started at 4am?
3.     They repeat the request to remove the item from Craigslist, when it was already removed the previous afternoon. Haven’t they checked it?
4.     Why this new request that they have included a mover fee in the check and want me to pay the mover in cash when he arrives? If he’s taking it “directly to my house” can’t they pay him then? They expect me to give up the item AND some cash before I’ve had enough time to verify that their check is really good?
5.     Three times in the same message they ask if they can trust me? How about can I trust them?

Sorry, but this transaction has so many red flags in it that I am positive it is a scam. Some third party is going to show up at my house, pick up an item AND some cash and drive away. Then a few days later I will find out that the “certified check” was phony and bounced. I won’t know the name or address of the individual and only the license plate number (maybe also phony) of the truck that took away the furniture. Yep, they are really trying to set me up and distract me by asking if they can trust ME!

When I read the above after getting up (at my usual time between 5 and 5:30am), I didn’t have to think long before I sent the following final email:

“Sorry, I recognize a scam when I see it. This sale is terminated. Bye!”

As confirmation, I will note that the “certified check” which they said “was mail out already” never arrived.

I wasn’t born yesterday, and despite being a 70yo senior citizen, I will not fall for these kinds of scams.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Preserving the Environment

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my grandfather being inducted into the Silas Bronson Library Waterbury Hall of Fame (*1). This was based on he involvement with maintaining the blue-blazed trails in the area so that other could hike on those trails and experience the sights, sounds, and smells of nature and the world around us. But his legacy has lived on in the following generations of our family. I alluded to this in an earlier blog (*2), but I’d like to expand on some of the specifics here.

Trail Development and Preservation – My grandfather only had an 8th grade education. His working career included being a milkman for the Maple Hill Dairy that was owned by his cousin as well as working in a plumbing supply store. He and my grandmother lived on a reasonably large lot in the east end of Waterbury where they raised their five children. The back yard, which ran all the way back to the trolley tracks had a garden where they raised their own vegetables. His working on the blue-blazed trails as well as introducing the children at the East Farms School (next door to their house) to plants was his way of getting others involved in nature.

The Russell Preserve – When my parents married, they bought a 23-acre piece of land in Wolcott where they raised their five children. My father worked as a draftsman and tool designer. In their later years they sold off the back part of the property, but about 8 acres and “Russell’s Pond” behind the house were then donated to the Wolcott Land Conservation Trust to be preserved in perpetuity for others to enjoy (*3, *4, *5, *6).

Horton Creek Preserve – When my wife’s parents passed away I was named as the executor of their estate. They were not rich and had little cash, but they did have a large piece of property in Northern Michigan where they had raised their seven children. In selling this property, I contacted the Little Traverse Conservancy, the land conservation group serving a two-county area (*7). They have donors who will purchase land for conservation purposes, providing that the owner will sell it to them at the state appraised value which we were willing to do. The western side of the property has a steep drop off and is bounded by the Horton Creek which defines that side of the property. In order to subdivide and sell the upper flatter portion as a separate lot, they needed to have a better property description than just the creek as a boundary. Thus, they needed to have someone wade the length of the creek (1/2 mile) carrying a GPS device that could track the points at every bend in the creek and plot it all to define the edge. I think there are something like 60 “bends” in the creek in that ½ mile. You can see the eventual property line in the below picture.

Training the Next Generation – As I mentioned in (*2), our grandchildren here in PA are attending a charter school which has its focus on the environment (*8). Tonight at the dinner table we asked them to describe for us the various part of a tree (roots, trunk, branches, leaves) and the part that each plays in the “system.” They then also indicated the chemical reaction that takes place with the tree taking in water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and energy from the sun and producing oxygen (O2) and sugar (various forms of carbohydrates C+H+O) as well as the reaction in the human body which takes in the carbohydrates (eating) and oxygen (breathing) and doing the reverse chemical reaction which release the energy that our body needs. Even in kindergarten they understand the relationship between the body and the environment and the need to preserve our trees and plants. I’ve listened to other students in the various open houses that the school has each year and it’s pretty impressive to hear these young students talk about things that I didn’t learn until high school.

We all have our part to do in preserving the environment. In our house we have a container for recycling that is twice as large as the one for “garbage” each week. That’s just one measure of how we can contribute. We also collect all old batteries in a big jar which we take to a battery recycling place every year or so rather than throwing them away. Every little bit helps. What are you doing to preserve our environment?