Friday, November 29, 2013

Crossing Paths in Salem. MA

I was sharing a document image from the Salem Witch Trials with a relative, when I noticed something in the transcript--the name Nathaniel Felton. I turned to my husband to confirm if Felton was his mother's maiden name. It was.

So, yesterday, at Thanksgiving dinner, I asked my mother-in-law how much she knew about her Felton line. Turns out her sister had traced it all the way back to Massachusetts in the 1600s, a man by the name of Nathaniel Felton.

It appears my ancestors, Edward, Samuel and Provided Gaskill were well-acquainted with my husband's ancestor, Nathaniel. This document was presented in defense of one of the accused, so they were probably trusted friends (or even literally, Friends, as my Gaskills were Quakers), because signing this would not have been without risk.

Funny, that I knew the instant I met my husband, that I could trust him.

We whose names are under written havinge several yeares knowne John Procter and his wife do testefy that we never heard or understood that they were ever suspected to be guilty of the crime now charged apon them and several of us being their neare neighbours do testefy that to our aprehension they lived christian life in their famely and were ever ready to helpe such as stood in need of their helpe 

*Nathaniel Felton sen: and mary his wife
Samuel Marsh and Prescilla his wife
*James Houlton and Ruth his wife
*John Felton
*Nathaniel Felton jun
*Samuell Frayll and an his wife
* Zachriah Marsh and mary his wife
*Samuel Endecott and hanah his wife
*Samuell Stone
*George Locker
* Samuel Gaskil & provided his wife
*George Smith
* Ed Edward: Gaskil

Monday, November 4, 2013

From a distance of nearly 200 years

Even from the distance of five generations, it was surprisingly sad when I discovered this brief obituary for my 3x great-grandfather in the June 12, 1822 Cayuga Republican:

Based on 1880 census information for his daughters, he was born in Connecticut and based on his own enumeration in the 1820 census, he was born between 1776 and 1794. He was a witness on a Brutus, NY 1810 deed of sale between David Murray and Francis Hall (so there's a chance David was his father or other family member). He married a widow, my 3x great-grandmother Ruth Snow Stanford, around 1811. In addition to his wife, he left behind five children: stepson David Stanford, age 12, Erastus (my gg grandfather), age 10, Jane, age 8, Lydia Ann, age 7, and Lucetta, age 1.

That's it. That's all I know. It may be all I'll ever know. I'm guessing part of the reason we knew so little about this line of my family was because of the stigma of mental illness. Just another family secret kept like the secrets of so many families throughout history.