NEWS FROM THE EDMUND CHANDLER FAMILY ASSOCIATION
Moonlight-Night by Maxfield Parrish
Happy New Year and I hope that you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. We have big Duxbury news! Also Maine news, the mystery surrounding Reuben Chandler and his family which included the Shaker, Hewett, has been solved. Reuben and his family were declared paupers! TV news about more genealogy shows coming up, a Maine Supreme Court decision involving Cyrus Chandler, research tips and alerts and more!
Next issue, we will feature more details about Reuben’s children. Two of them, plus a brother-in-law were ice dealers and we will find out about ice houses, ice harvesting and ice famines. I still plan to do a story on the new Familysearch, but it keeps changing so hopefully it will be settled down enough to do a story.
Duxbury - Showing Old Location and Path's
Things are popping on the Duxbury front. As most of you know our member, Billie, has been diligently working on the Chandlers of early Duxbury for quite some time. Her biggest and latest project has been Joseph Chandler, son of Edmund the immigrant, and Joseph’s grandson Capt. John.
Billie showed, after looking at over 400 Duxbury deeds, where the lands of Joseph Chandler which include the Mayflower Cemetery, the Partridge Academy, the present day town buildings, the church and meeting house, the Bradford houses, in other words, the heart of the town were. Joseph’s land was on both sides of present day Tremont St. up to Harrison and down to Surplus. Billie created a chain of title for those houses and properties which include 900, 907 and 915 Tremont St.
The town is in the midst of creating more historical districts and because the Chandler information that they had was either incorrect or incomplete leaving a big gap in the town history. We are hoping that one of the new historic districts will be named the Chandler District. Not only did Billie show where Joseph’s land was, Billie provided them the real history of the houses at 900, 907 and 915 Tremont St. solving a town mystery.
The house on 915 Tremont is especially interesting to us because we believe it was Joseph’s house. It is one of the oldest houses in Duxbury. We know that Joseph owned the land originally and that the house went to Capt. John.
As far as our group is concerned, we feel that the case has been made that Capt. John was Edmund and Elizabeth (Alden) Chandler’s son and Joseph’s grandson. This Edmund, who married Elizabeth Alden, was the grandson of Edmund, the immigrant and not the immigrant himself as many have confused the two. However, each group has its own way of looking at things and we hope that the Alden Kindred agrees with us about Capt. John. We will just have to wait and see.
Our long-time member, Dick, has now been appointed president of the Chandler Family Association. Dick is not a descendant of Edmund or of any other American Chandler. So how can that be? He is British, but studies Chandlers worldwide through his “Chandler One Name Study.” In that capacity he has been involved with both Chandler groups. The CFA started out dedicated to the descendants of John Chandler of Jamestown, Virginia, but eventually found that many southern Chandlers did not descend from that John Chandler. As a result the CFA is open to all Chandlers although it does have a mostly southern slant. We take care of the Edmund Chandler family.
Dick, of both the ECFA and the CFA, is on the Chandler DNA committee and writes that this year there will be a push to encourage more English Chandlers to be tested. This will be a good thing for all as it will provide an opportunity to discover the English origins of several Chandler families, including Edmund as we still don’t know where in England Edmund originated from. The operative word is “opportunity” as we don’t know what will be found.
CORRECTIONS, ADDITIONS AND QUESTIONS REGARDING THE “OTHER” JONATHAN CHANDLER FAMILY
REBECCA CHANDLER AND MAYBE A NEW “MYSTERY GIRL”
As I mentioned in the last edition, things could change with this family – people could be added or dropped. Since then I found that Jonathan Chandler may indeed have had a daughter named Rebecca, only she may have married Jonathan Lane.
My Rebecca married Jonathan Snow. If the Rebecca who married Jonathan Lane was a Chandler, she most likely was Jonathan Chandler’s daughter and therefore not my Rebecca Chandler. My Rebecca would return to the Abel Chandler family (not Rev. Abel as that was another family) who descended from Edmund’s son, Benjamin.
This would bring the number of Rebecca Chandlers, all residing in the Minot/Poland area and all born within a few years of each other, to FOUR! We have identified two of them conclusively previously.
This new possible Rebecca Chandler is buried in the Empire Cemetery where several of, who we believe, were Jonathan and Zeruiah’s children and their families were also buried. This new Rebecca is buried with her husband, Jonathan Lane who was the brother-in-law of Jonathan Chandler, Jr. also buried in the Empire Cemetery.
If Rebecca (Chandler?) Lane was born in 1795 (according to her tombstone she died November 25, 1847 at 52 years 7 months) she would be the “mystery girl” born about that time described in the last edition of the Courier.
However, we will have traded one mystery girl for another, because who was the girl born in the 1780s if my Rebecca Chandler is out?
The source was the iffy Ancestral File, but did make sense, and will have to be investigated further. We may know more after the snow melts and one of our members is able to check on where in the Empire cemetery Jonathan and Rebecca Lane are buried.
MORE ABOUT JONATHAN AND REBECCA (CHANDLER?) LANE’S FAMILY AND A CORRECTION
Jonathan and Rebecca (Chandler?) Lane’s children included John B. Lane who married Jacob Chandler’s daughter, Joann Chandler. We believe that Jacob was probably also one of Jonathan and Zeruiah Chandler’s children. So if this theory is correct, John B. Lane married his first cousin.
Jacob and Thankfull Higgins Chandler were buried in the Hotel Rd. Cemetery in Auburn, Maine. We believe that Jacob was the son of Jonathan and Zeruiah Chandler.
Also buried in the Hotel Rd. cemetery in Auburn are Rufus C. Lane, his wife Adeline and daughter Rebecca C. Lane.
However, Ancestral File family trees had them attached to Simeon and Charlotte (Chandler) Lane. This is incorrect because the facts do not bear this out. The only Rufus Lane aka Rufus C. Lane that I could find was the son of Jonathan and Rebecca (Chandler?) Lane.
Rufus Lane appeared in the household of Jonathan Lane in the 1850 census.
There were so many Chandlers and Lanes– spreadsheet anyone? –there may be more corrections in the future.
THE REUBEN CHANDLER FAMILY OF POLAND, MAINE
FROM PAUPERS to PROSPEROUS CITIZENS
(Reuben*>Jonathan>Judah>Joseph>Joseph>Edmund, the immigrant)
Steve Chandler, Janet Griffith, Carol May, Sharron Ross and the ECFA
Last issue we featured a circumstantial reconstruction of the Jonathan Chandler family of Poland, Maine. This time we feature who we believe was Jonathan and Zeruiah (Brown) Chandler’s son, Reuben, and his family. It was Reuben and his wife, Mary Parcher, who started the quest to find their lineage and to solve the mystery surrounding them.
Unbeknownst to each other, there were several of us who were all stuck at the same brick wall — Reuben and Mary (Parcher) Chandler. We each had a different part of the puzzle because we were researching different children of Reuben and Mary. It wasn’t until we converged and pooled our knowledge that we discovered that the children were siblings.
Janet and I were, separately, looking for the Shaker Hewett Chandler’s family. Our member, Sharron, had been on a 20-year-long quest to find Mary Elizabeth Chandler’s ancestors. We found that not only were Hewett and Mary Elizabeth siblings, but so were John, Austin and Malcom who were incorrectly entered into our database as the children of Reuben and Mary (Bucknam) Chandler when they were in fact the children of Reuben and Mary (Parcher) Chandler. Two more siblings were found in Massachusetts records, George, by Sharron and Statira and Luther by Janet.
Research stalled and we were stuck again until more information could be found. Once more information was found, we fit those puzzle pieces together using birth records in Maine, Shaker records, Massachusetts marriage and death records, and census records. From the information that we found, we determined that Reuben and Mary (Parcher) Chandler’s children were:
John born Minot, Maine March 12, 1824
Malcom born Minot, Maine February 8, 1825
Austin born Minot, Maine October 29, 1826
Statira M. born New Gloucester, Maine 1828
Luther P. born Chesterville, Franklin County, Maine about 1832
Hewett born in Poland, Maine December 17, 1833 (from Shaker records)
George W. born Poland, Maine June 27, 1835
Mary Elizabeth born Lewiston, Maine 1837-39
We think that we have found all of the children, but the details and parentage of Reuben and Mary (Parcher) remained elusive. There were no birth records for either of them nor was there a record of their marriage, but we estimate that they were married in the early 1820s.
We had already determined that our Reuben was not a part of the Jonathan and Rebecca (Packard) family of Poland/Minot or of the New Gloucester Philip and Deborah (Hewett) Chandler family despite the fact that Reuben and Mary named one of their sons Hewett.
Having so much difficulty with the Chandler side of the family, we researched the Parchers for clues. Again we were plagued with scant and missing records so we had to do a circumstantial reconstruction of the Parchers. We think that Mary Parcher was the daughter of John and Mary (Gubtail or Guptil) Parcher. We think that her father, John, was the son of George and Mary (Chamberlin) Parcher. Research of the Parchers did come in handy when we tracked who we believe were Mary’s Parcher relatives in Chesterville, Franklin County, Maine. That bit of knowledge explained why Reuben and Mary (Parcher) Chandler’s son, Luther, was born in Chesterville.
We found Reuben in the 1830 US census for New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine with, who we believe, was his wife and three children, Malcom, born in Minot, Austin, born in Minot, and Statira, born in New Gloucester, Maine. We think that probably their first born son, John, died. As we continued our research we found Hewett, born in Poland, Maine, Luther, born in Chesterville and George, born in Poland, and Mary Elizabeth born in Lewiston, Maine.
Then we found Reuben, alone, with no children and no wife and no occupation listed in the 1840 US census for Poland, Maine. The town of Poland is adjacent to both Minot and New Gloucester.
The big breakthrough came with the discovery of the grave stone for Reuben Chandler, who died in 1847, and was buried in the Empire Cemetery in Poland, Maine. Instead of the breakthrough and growing collection of facts making the story clearer, it became murkier because there were now even more questions and unexplained loose ends.
We now knew that Reuben didn’t die young as we first thought, but why was he alone in the 1840 census? Where were Mary and the rest of the children? We knew that Hewett was placed with the Shakers and indentured to Deacon James Holmes on April 18, 1837, but why as he was only six years old? Why was Statira also sent to live with the Shakers? Why were the children born in so many different places? Why wasn’t Mary buried next to Reuben in the Empire Cemetery when she died? The mystery deepened.
That is when Sharron found the key piece of information that tied all of this together, Reuben Chandler and his family had been declared paupers!
From the Eastern Argus newspaper
March 19, 1834
“Reuben Chandler, a pauper, for whose support I have a contract with the town of Poland, for the term of one year from April last has absconded. As I have made suitable provisions for the support of said Chandler and his family, all persons are forbid harboring or trusting them on my account.”
Poland, March 1834
Joseph StroudThen in 1837 a second notice about the family appeared also in the Eastern Argus newspaper.
April 18, 1837
“The subscriber hereby gives public notice that he has entered into bonds with the town of Poland to support for the term of one year, Mrs. Mary Chandler and three children, and has made suitable provision for their support, but the said Mary left on the 10th inst (archaic for current month) The situation provided for her. This is therefore to caution all persons against harboring or trusting her on my account as I shall pay no debts of her contracting, being at all times ready to maintain her agreeably to my contract with said town of Poland.”
Poland, April 14, 1837
In those days if a person or a family were declared paupers, they could be “bid off” which meant being auctioned off to the lowest bidder for their care which is what happened to Reuben and his family. Families could also be split up and children could be taken from their parents and apprenticed out which is probably what happened to Hewett and maybe one or more of their other children. (Read more about paupers, poor farms and poor houses at the end of this article.)
The people who bid on their care were probably counting on the money that was to be paid to them by the town. Having taken on the responsibility for the care of the family, they certainly didn’t want to be held responsible for any new debt the family could incur, hence the legal notices.
Upon first reading it sounds like Reuben was a scoundrel taking off while his family was living on the charity of the town, but a closer look reveals a more complicated story. It may not have been just Reuben who absconded as the newspaper notice also mentions uses the word “them” so it may have Reuben and his whole family. If they left as a family it may have been to stay together and escape the stigma of being declared paupers. According to Jean F. Hankins, author of “Over the Hill to the Poor House”, men didn’t end up on the poor farm because they didn’t want to work it was because they couldn’t work, so it must have also been true for those who were declared paupers.
It is interesting to note the date when Hewett was indentured to Deacon Holmes. It was April 18, 1837, four days after that the notice was printed in the newspaper. Did the town leaders see the notice and send young Hewett to the Shakers. We don’t know.
Reuben and his family were wards of Poland as early as 1833, perhaps earlier, according to the Eastern Argus newspaper. Reuben was a still in his thirties when he was declared a pauper. Things didn’t appear any better for him by the 1840 US census either as he was alone with no occupation listed.
It seems likely that he was disabled. Rufus, who we believe was his brother, was only in his twenties when died in 1826 leaving behind a young family. Could both brothers have been in an accident or suffered from the same illness? As the highest alcohol consumption ever recorded in the US was in 1830, could that have been an additional factor? It is not likely that the town would have supported a drunk. Alcohol was such a problem that men were lying strewn about in the gutters passed out drunk in Portland, Maine. Sometimes entire families were drunk including the children. Hard apple cider often was kept in a pail with a dipper next to the door. The chaos and harm that alcohol brought to families led to the embrace of the Temperance movement especially in Maine. “Taking the pledge” became the new social cause because of the problem.
The disability that caused Reuben to be declared a pauper remains a mystery. It does appear that Mary returned to Reuben at least for a while after she absconded from Joseph Stroud’s custody because she had another child, Mary Elizabeth, born most likely in 1837, but perhaps in 1839. We do not have a definitive source.
As we found Reuben Chandler recorded as living alone in the 1840 US census for Poland, Maine, we can only guess where Mary and some of the children were living because the 1840 only lists the head of household by name.
We know from Shaker records that Hewett and Statira were living with the Shakers, but we still don’t know where Mary was living or where the other children were living until they started showing up in the censuses in the 1850s and 1860s. Did Mary and some of the children eventually go back to Reuben? Were they living with the Shakers, but the records of them living there were lost? Were they living with relatives or friends, ducking authorities even census takers because they had been declared paupers? Was there a rift over religion between Reuben and Mary. We don’t know.
Reuben’s siblings were not having an easy time of it either. Rufus died in 1825 leaving a wife and children and Jonathan, Jr. died in the early 1840s leaving a wife and children.
Reuben died in 1847 and was buried with who we believe were his siblings and their wives. His Chandler family must have loved him and thought well of him because if he were a scoundrel or drunken lay-about it seems unlikely that they would bury him in what turned out to be the center of the row of Chandlers buried in the Empire cemetery. He also had a nice granite headstone and not just a field stone.
Four of Reuben and Mary’s children were found in the US 1850 census. They were Hewett, who was with the Shakers, Luther who was working as a farm hand in Alfred, York, Maine, and Malcom and Austin who had moved to Massachusetts. It is interesting to note that the town of Alfred also had a large Shaker colony.
There was still no Mary, Mary Elizabeth, Statira or George that we could find in the US 1850 census.
Shaker Hill Dormitory in Poland Maine
Mary couldn’t be found in the 1860 US census, either. Shaker records show that she joined the Shakers at Poland Hill on December 4, 1864 when she was 65 and that she died in New Gloucester on July 2, 1868 at age 70. However, other records show that Mary was a few years younger born about 1802. Mary may have lived with the Shakers for years, but did not enter the covenant with them until 1868. She may have been living elsewhere outside of the Shaker community. She could have been an Outer Order Believer who was a follower of the Shakers, but not a covenanted member of the community.
We had wondered why Mary was not buried next to Reuben when she died, but if she had become a covenanted Shaker, most likely she was buried in the Shaker cemetery in New Gloucester. The Shaker cemetery does not have individual stones, just a single stone marker with the word, “Shakers” engraved upon it.
By 1860 all of Reuben and Mary’s children had moved to Massachusetts.
They all most likely moved there for jobs. The American industrial revolution began in the 1840s in Lowell, Massachusetts which caused an exodus of young people, both men and women, to these new industrial centers located in Massachusetts.
Malcom and Austin were living in the same household for the US 1850 census for Charleston, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Malcom later settled in Brighton, Middlesex, Mass and stayed there until he died. Later on Austin moved to Manhattan, New York. Both of them were ice dealers.
Statira married Nathan Tucker on May 12, 1850. Nathan was an ice dealer for a while, but sometime after the US 1870 census for Waterton, Massachusetts the family and the two younger children (the eldest had married) moved to Dunkirk, Chautauqua New York where they were enumerated in the New York State census 1875. By 1876 Statira and the children, were back in Massachusetts. Nathan may have died in New York which prompted the move back to Massachusetts.
Luther had moved from Alfred, Maine to Roxbury, Mass sometime after the 1850 census as he married in Dorchester, Mass in October of 1856. Luther soon chose going west for land and farming over work in the cities of Massachusetts as he and his wife and family were enumerated in the US 1860 census for Burke, Dane County Mass.
We don’t know when youngest brother, George, moved to Massachusetts, but he also lived in Brighton and died in Boston August 28, 1860.
They youngest of the Chandlers, Mary Elizabeth, was enumerated in the US 1860 census for Brighton, Middlesex, Mass, and resided in the household of her brother, Malcom. She married George B. Chamberlin November 27, 1860 in Brighton, Massachusetts. Her husband served as a lieutenant in the Civil War.
The children may have started out as paupers, but Malcom and Austin became prosperous ice dealers, Luther a respected nurseryman, Hewett became a Shaker leader, inventor and nurseryman. The girls married. Statira even had a domestic servant and Mary Elizabeth’s husband was an officer in the Civil War. John probably died as baby and George died, single, at only 25.
Next issue we will have more details about the children and their descendants and a story about what it was like harvesting and selling ice in the days before refrigeration.
PAUPERS, THE POOR FARM AND THE POORHOUSE IN NEW ENGLAND
A usually ignored trove of genealogical information, are records dealing with paupers, poor farms and poor houses. The people in these records often could not be found in censuses or church records because of their impoverished status left them without a regular residence. At the very end of this article check out the websites, especially the website dedicated entitled “Mission Statement” as it is a nationwide resource dedicated to as a resource for genealogist, students, teachers and historians.
Now onto the paupers of New England —
The treatment of the poor in America has its roots in England where the town where the paupers lived was charged with the responsibility for taking care of paupers.
Examples can be found in early New England including Duxbury, where you can read about poor and old widows being boarded with families which were reimbursed for their care by the town. The town also took charge of those who were not of sound mind, like Benjamin Chandler (Benjamin>Edmund, the immigrant). As Benjamin was well off, the town did not have to support him, but town leaders appointed a guardian for him. His guardian hired people for his care and did the accounting.
Towns were responsible for its residents, but the townspeople did not want to be burdened with poor newcomers who required support. To avoid this, the town would issue a “warning out.” The impoverished newcomer could be being literally thrown out of town and sent back to their original hometown to be supported there. However, not all persons served with a “warning out” were forced to actually leave. The “warning out” served as legal announcement that the town would not be responsible for the person or persons warned out if they fell into financial difficulty
Some towns actually issued warnings out to perfectly upstanding citizens who moved to the town in sort of a preemptive strike in case the family ever fell on hard times. It was hard enough for the townspeople to feed themselves, without the added burden of paupers or even worry of potential paupers. The problems of illegitimate children, the feeble minded having children, paupers coming in from other towns were all economic worries that towns faced. Today people think of those early New Englanders as a bunch of uptight people fixated on condemning moral laxity, but the reality was that they were all living close to the edge and being inundated with paupers could overwhelm a town’s scarce resources.
Today we grumble about home owners’ associations, co-op boards and condo rules thinking that in the “good old days” people were free to do what they wished.
In reality in early New England, towns had a lot of control over their citizens. If someone sold a house or property, the buyer in many cases had to be approved by the town. The reasons could range from the practical of whether or not the newcomer could be on the way to becoming a pauper, or to the more narrow-minded of not wanting people of other religions, especially Quakers in some areas, to move in.
Even after the custom of warnings out was phased out, towns would spend time and money trying to send the pauper back to their home town. Towns would also try to bill other towns for the care of a pauper, a practice which eventually ended.
Towns practiced the “bidding out” of paupers who were town residents. Once the town determined that individuals or a family were paupers their care was “bid out” to the lowest bidder. The paupers were also expected to work for family to which they were bid out. It was no free ride. The quality of care varied widely from good to Dickensian.
When only dealing with a few individuals, bidding out worked, but when dealing with large families, the town would often split the children up which appears what happened in the case of Reuben Chandler’s family.
Being declared a pauper was more than just a horrible social stigma. The town could take the children away if they were impoverished or untended and place them with relatives or apprentice them out which is what happened to 6-year-old Hewett Chandler. Children were obligated to stay as apprentices until they came of age. The entire family or even just part of the family could also be “bid out” which is what happened in Reuben and Mary’s case.
Generally, women and children were bid out, but not many men as the women and children could do a wide variety of chores while the men might be disabled and not get along.
Because of the difficulty and expense of bidding out large, entire impoverished families and not wishing to have to split families up, towns began creating poor farms.
The thinking was that the creation of “poor farms” would be a more economical and practical solution for the problem of the taking care of the poor. Responsible people were put in charge of poor farms because running them not only involved care the paupers, a chunk of the town’s treasury was involved. Despite that, quality varied widely from the clean and well run to the dirty and disease ridden.
The poor farms would take in whole families, and also the infirm, the aged, the handicapped, the mentally unsound, vagrants passing through town, and children. Usually there were more men than women as the men were single or widowed, too old or disabled to work and had no family or their family couldn’t or wouldn’t take them in. The poor housed there were called, unfortunately, “inmates.” The idea was that the ”inmates” could work on the farm and making it at least mostly self-sustaining, the town only contributing as needed. Another idea that sounded better than it turned out.
When the townspeople realized that the poor farms were costing more than they saved, poor houses were the next step. A poor farm could be brimming with “inmates,” for a while then only have a few, but the farm needed upkeep and animals had to be fed just the same which became an added expense for the town. The superintendent and his wife could be flooded with people needing care to having no one to care for depending on the health and circumstances of the town’s inhabitants.
The poorhouse was more expensive to operate than a poor farm while it was being used, but less expensive when it was idle.
After abandoning poorhouses, towns in Maine tried the voucher system where the poor would apply to the town for aid and if approved would be given vouchers to use at specific merchants. There was a stigma attached to that too, because every year when an accounting of the town’s books was done, there would be, for all to see, the list of those received aid from the town.
Also, people realized that mixing children, adolescents, the handicapped, paupers of all ages, and the mentally ill all in one place was not the best idea. In the large cities asylums for the mentally ill, and orphanages were created, which also had their own problems.
Today, being ”sent to the poor house” is just an expression, but in those days it was a frightening possibility and a threat if one did not save and practice thrift, or abused one’s health with drink, or for women, married badly. Just as they feared Hell in the afterlife, they feared the poor house in this life.
The picture from the postcard that illustrates this story is that of the poorhouse in Rockland, Maine. Our co-chairperson, Bob’s, ancestor, John W. Chandler ran the Rockland, Maine poorhouse or poor farm.MISSION STATEMENT The Poorhouse Story. A great resource about poorhouses in America geared to genealogists. Another great resource for breaking down your brick walls because that lost relative may have been sent their due to infirmity, being an orphan, injury, or disability. Read “Over the Hill to the Poorhouse” on this site. It is highly readable and interesting.Historical Survey of METHODS OF POOR RELIEF IN MAINEWarning out in New England : Benton, Josiah H. (Josiah Henry), 1843-1917 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive This book was originally published in 1911 and may be read online on this web site.POOR FARM History Project | Facebook Maine poor houses
MPR: Over the Hill to the Poor House Minnesota Public Radio including a song about going to the poorhouse
POOR FARM History Project | Facebook This is where the picture of the Rockland, Maine poor house came from.
A MAINE SUPREME COURT CASE
Benjamin M. Royal vs. Cyrus Chandler
There was a precedent setting case involving Cyrus Chandler involving property boundaries.
Cyrus Jonathan,Jr.*Jonathan>Judah>Joseph>Joseph>Edmund) was involved with a dispute over the boundary of a piece of land. Cyrus argued that the boundaries of the land were pointed out to him by his father, Jonathan Chandler, Jr. His father acquired the property in Auburn (then Poland) Maine on February 14, 1822.
Jonathan later conveyed property to Jonathan Lane (my comment probably his brother-in-law) and Rachel Chandler (my comment: Rachel was Cyrus’ aunt). Rachel later conveyed part of the land to Rufus C. Lane (my comment maybe a great nephew).
RESEARCH TIPS AND ALERTS!
Our member, Sharron, alerted me to movement afoot to restrict access to the Social Security Death Index because of fears of identity theft. It was pointed out by several genealogists among others, is that the SSDI is a great tool against identity theft because all it would take was a search of the SSDI to check if the social security number belonged to someone who was deceased. Loss of the SSDI would also be a blow to genealogists as it is an excellent place to search for relatives who lived in more recent times.
THE “OLD MAN’S DRAFT”
One of the new features of Familysearch is the inclusion of the “Old Man’s Draft.” This included men born from about 1877 to 1897 for possible drafting for duty in World War II. It is also not complete, because most of the records for the southern states and a few other places were destroyed.
If you can find your relative, you will find a trove of information – address where that elusive relative lived, birthplace, job, employer and contact person who was usually a relative. This information was on the front side of the card. The backside of the card gave the person’s physical description.
Unfortunately, with the two people that I looked up, the front side of the card was mistakenly paired with the backside of someone else’s card. So I was getting a wrong physical description.
I found this out while searching for Reuben Chandler’s great-grandson, Clark Gilman Boynton. He was described as a 195 pound, 6’ 1’ black man with probably a desk job. This would have been fine, except that in previous records Clark had been white. So I looked up another Philadelphia area Boynton and found a Charles Boynton, born in Alabama, working as a longshoreman described as 55-years-old, 135 pounds, 5”10” with a pale complexion and gray hair. This also sounded wrong. I figured that there had been a microfilming mix-up and maybe it was a very rare occurrence.
When I looked up my grandfather a similar mix-up occurred. Maybe it was still a fluke, but be aware that it did happen – twice.
I found both men in Familysearch, but neither in Fold3 which serves as a reminder to look in all of the databases that you have access to. At this point, I thought that these mix-ups may be more wide spread, hence the research alert.
If you are ever passing through western Massachusetts you might want to check out Chandler’s Restaurant if only to take a picture of the sign, although it is an award winning restaurant. I called them and asked if they were named after a specific Chandler hoping for an Edmund connection, but they said no. They got the name for the restaurant the same way that most early Chandlers got that name because Chandlers way, way back were candle makers. Later on Chandlers were also known as grocers and ships suppliers.
“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE”
The genealogy TV show, “Who Do You Think You Are” will be back on February 3rd. It will be in the same time slot on Friday at 8 PM on NBC. Check your listings as these things change. The third season will bring Marisa Tomei, Martin Sheen and Blair Underwood amongst others.
For those unfamiliar with show, it traces the ancestry ( using dozens of researchers from Ancestry.com) of various celebrities and actually visits their ancestral homes, from the gold fields of California (Sarah Jessica Parker), to Belarus (Lisa Kudrow) to Italy and France (Brooke Shields). So even if you are not particularly interested in the celebrity, you get to see some fine research (wish it were as easy as the make it look) and get a tour of various parts of the world.
“FINDING YOUR ROOTS”
Also, just being announced today is FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., with the renowned cultural critic and Harvard scholar who also will be in attendance at the TCA/PBS Press Tour. Premiering Sunday, March 25 at 8:00 p.m., the 10-part series delves into the genealogy and genetics of famous Americans, combining history and science in a fascinating exploration of race, family, and identity in today’s America. Professor Gates shakes loose captivating stories and surprises in the family trees of Kevin Bacon, Robert Downey, Jr., Branford Marsalis, John Legend, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters and Rick Warren, among many others
You can read or listen to more about this new genealogy series by clicking the below link to Eastman’s column below.
January 04, 2012
“Finding Your Roots,” a 10-part Series on PBS
*Another genealogy series is about to be launched on television in the U.S. “Finding Your Roots” with historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. will launch on March 25. That will be the first episode of a 10-part series on PBS stations.
The new series will feature two people in each one-hour episode, including husband-and-wife actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, who jokes she’s afraid they might turn out to be cousins. “They are indeed distant cousins,” revealed Gates. “Talk about six degrees of separation, right?”
Check your local listings for the exact time and channel in your area.