Bill West's Blog (66)

GRANDUNCLE CLARENCE REMEMBERS MORE5

GrandUncle Clarence led an interesting life. Here he talks

about blowing up a mountaintop and handling a team of

skittish horses.



And he was still a teenager at the time! :







“I was born March 17, 1895 in Cambridge, NH. I’m 80, and mister,…

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Added by Bill West on November 6, 2010 at 1:00am — No Comments

GRANDUNCLE CLARENCE REMEMBERS MORE4

In this installment, My granduncle Clarence P. West talks

about driving logs over the Azicohos Dam, and describes

how a wad of chewing tobacco saved his life:



“We used to sluice here, and when I started they had to

have 25 men on the sluice boom or they wouldn’t open it…

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Added by Bill West on November 6, 2010 at 1:00am — No Comments

GRANDUNCLE CLARENCE REMEMBERS MORE2

Here's more from the 1975 interview in Maine Profiles of my

Granduncle Clarence West by Lynne Franklin. In this excerpt

he talks about memories of P.C. Ripley's encounters with

game wardens and a school principal (the "school pa").

Clarence also recalls how he got his job at the Aziscohos

Dam with the…

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Added by Bill West on November 6, 2010 at 1:00am — No Comments

GRANDUNCLE CLARENCE REMEMBERS MORE1

Back in 2008 I did a series of posts in which I shared a

published interview with my granduncle Clarence P. West

as he looked back on his life. Recently Alan Johnson,

the area in Maine where my West ancestors lived, sent

me a copy of another interview with Clarence. This one…
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Added by Bill West on November 6, 2010 at 12:30am — No Comments

ANOTHER MAINE SONG FROM NICK HUMPHREY

Last week singer-songwriter Nick Humphrey shared with us his

song "The Wangan Camp" which is based on the poem of the

same name by Holman Day.



Today Nick emailed me a link to another of his great songs

which has meaning both in regards to Maine and to his wife's

family history.



Check it out at and enjoy it…

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Added by Bill West on October 22, 2010 at 1:00am — No Comments

"THE WANGAN CAMP SONG " BY NICK HUMPHREY

A few weeks back I shared a poem by Maine poet Holman Day,

entitled "The Wangan Camp" which was about a company store

in a lumber camp.



Well, today, I received an email from songwriter/musician Nick

Humphrey who wrote a song a few years ago based on the poem.

Here's a link to Youtube to a video of Nick performing the song.

I enjoyed it, and I think…

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Added by Bill West on October 22, 2010 at 1:00am — No Comments

"THE WANGAN CAMP" BY HOLMAN DAY

I've blogged before about American regional poetry and its value

in understanding the lifestyles and times of our ancestors. Every

region of the country had poets who wrote about local events

and often in the language peculiar to their region. One such

poet was Holman Day who was the author of many novels and

poems set in Maine.



The following poem talks about a Maine lumber company's "company

store". Since…

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Added by Bill West on October 22, 2010 at 1:00am — No Comments

CHARLES O. ELLINGWOOD 1845-1864

While going through the process of entering Ellingwood family

information from Florence O'connor's book to my Ancestry.com

family tree, I have come across entries that have piqued my

curiosity. I always keep in mind that Florence did all her research

the old fashioned PC (pre-computer) way and didn't have the

online resources I use today available to her, so I try to find

what I can and fill in the blanks, so to…

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Added by Bill West on August 5, 2010 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

AMANUENSIS MONDAY: THE PENSION FILE STATEMENT OF ELISHA HOUGHTON

I mentioned in an earlier post that I would be exploring the

Revolutionary War service of my ancestor Elisha Houghton.

I'm starting off with his testimony from his Pension Request

file as given to Justice Samuel Putnam :



"Commonwealth of Massachusetts

(“District of” crossed out) Berkshires of Commonwealth of

Massachusetts .

On this sixth day of May 1818 Before me the subscriber one of

the Justices of the…

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Added by Bill West on July 19, 2010 at 10:30pm — No Comments

THE CASE OF FRED R ELLINGWOOD

One of my ongoing genealogy projects is entering the

information on my Ellingwood ancestors and relatives onto

my Ancestry.com tree from Florence Evelyn O'Connor's

book "The Ancestors and Descendants of Asa Freeman

Ellingwood and Florilla(Dunham) Ellingwood". I've started

with the descendants first because there are so many of

them and there are sources and images of records

that aren't available for earlier…

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Added by Bill West on July 15, 2010 at 1:30am — No Comments

ELISHA HOUGHTON: "ON GUARD", "ON COMMAND" AND BUSTED BACK TO THE RANKS

Back in November of last year I wrote my first two posts about

my 5x greatgrandfather Elisha Houghton, including one which

told how he lost his rifle in the aftermath of Bunker Hill. Looking

over his service record and the muster rolls for his regiment, it

struck me he was a colorful fellow and I decided to do a series

transcribing his Pension Request file. But the busy Christmas

season at work and then my illness at the start of the year…

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Added by Bill West on July 7, 2010 at 12:08am — 2 Comments

WITH THANKS TO MY ANCESTORS

I first published this list a few years back, but in honor of the

4th of July I'm publishing it again.We know about Washington

and Knox and Lafayette, but we should never forget that it

was the unknown citizens who served under them who fought

and bled to win us all our freedom.



The italicized names are those whose Pension Files I've found.

I've already shared some of their stories here and plan to do so

with the rest,…

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Added by Bill West on July 5, 2010 at 8:30pm — No Comments

DIGGING UP ALEXANDER AUGUSTUS BARKER

So last night after posting my response to Randy Seaver's SNGF

challenge of "A Prolific Dad" I decided to run the names of some

of my Barker ancestors through FamilySearch's Record Search.

When I put in my the names of my 3x great grandparents

Nathaniel Barker and his wife Huldah Hastings, I found this

surprise:…

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Added by Bill West on June 20, 2010 at 7:39pm — 3 Comments

THE MARRIAGE OF PHILIP JOHN WEST AND CLARA FORD (ELLINGWOOD) TIDWELL

Last week I had success finding information on my mother's

family at FamilySearch Record Search and since then I've

gone back and tried looking up other family members. This

morning I entered my great grandfather Philip John West's

name in the search box and Maine as a location. I was

hoping to find a record of his marriage to my great

grandmother Clara (Ellingwood) Tidwell. but apparently my

streak of genealogy…

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Added by Bill West on June 14, 2010 at 9:30pm — 7 Comments

ANSWERS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT THE WEST BROTHERS

Prior to following up on the link Randy Seavers gave to the

Ancestry.com collection of the Federal Nonpopulation

Census Schedules 1850-1880, I hadn't really given much

thought to how my West ancestors made their daily living.

I knew the regular census images said they were farmers

which seems to have ended with my great grandfather P.J.

West. My grandfather Floyd Earl West Sr was a lumberman

and his brother Clarence…

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Added by Bill West on June 12, 2010 at 7:30pm — 10 Comments

THE WHEREABOUTS OF LEONIDAS WEST

I've been discussing three of John Cutter West's surviving sons

lives in the 1870s and 1880's using the Federal Nonpopulation

Schedules 1850-1880 for the state of Maine. Asa, Jonathan and

Hiram West did quite well for themselves, in my estimation. But

there was a fourth brother, Leonidas. Where was he in all this?



The answer is simple: like many young veterans of the Civil War,

he went West. Leonidas was the youngest son and probably

didn't receive a very… Continue

Added by Bill West on June 3, 2010 at 10:38pm — No Comments

BEEP BEEP!

All genealogists have one: a brickwall. Alright, there may be a lucky

few upon whom the Gods of Genealogy have smiled who don't have a

brickwall. These are probably the same people who got A's on their

trigonometry finals. But the rest of us, we have brickwalls, ancestors

whose names, or places of birth, or parents elude us. Finding the

missing information and smashing through that brickwall to the

ancestors beyond it is the Holy Grail of genealogy. And… Continue

Added by Bill West on June 3, 2010 at 10:00pm — 2 Comments

DOWN ON J.P.'S FARM 1880

As I posted earlier, I recently found the missing 1880 Nonpopulation

Federal Census Agricultural Schedule for my 2x great grandfather

Jonathan Phelps West farm. This helped me get a fuller picture of

JP’s life as a farmer and the dynamics between three of the four

West brothers. It also made me curious about a few things. I’ll talk

about those latter items first.



On the 1870 Census Jonathan and Louisa West’s children are given as

John C.(Cuvier) West and… Continue

Added by Bill West on May 29, 2010 at 1:00am — No Comments

AN HOUR AT FOOTNOTES.COM

It's Thursday and after a short visit to the doctor for some tests the

rest of my day is free.I prefer to schedule the appointments as early

as possible in the day for just that reason.



I thought I'd revisit Footnote.com to see what databases were new or updated

and found one that was unfamiliar to me, the Final Payment Vouchers Index

for Military Pensions, 1818-1864. These records show the date of the

final payment to a Revolutionary War veteran or his widow… Continue

Added by Bill West on May 27, 2010 at 2:30pm — 2 Comments

PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF



I had intended to summarize what I'd learned about my great great

grandfather Jonathan Phelps West and his brothers from the 1850-1880

Nonpopulation Census Schedules. But I hadn't found the1880

Agricultural Schedule for JP yet and I wanted to take a last shot at

it over at Ancestry.com. Searching by name hadn't turned up anything

so I… Continue

Added by Bill West on May 25, 2010 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

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