Chris Harvey's Blog (12)

John B Armstrong, Civil War Veteran or Not?

I am unsure any of ancestors fought in the Civil War.  Which seems strange, since many of my ancestors resided in the United States during the war.  I have uncovered evidence that two of my relatives took part in the Civil War Battle of Portland, Maine which I blogged about in a previous post.  I don't believe either of those relatives were active…


Added by Chris Harvey on September 19, 2013 at 9:56am — No Comments

Maritime Careers of the Fullers of Portland, Maine

David and Mary Cary Fuller removed from Nova Scotia and arrived in Portland, Maine between 1840-1849 (they first appear in Portland in the 1850 US Census). It is unclear that they followed their sons to Portland or the sons followed them, but their six sons made Portland their home.  I have several other posts regarding David and Mary Fuller in "Can a Published Genealogy be…


Added by Chris Harvey on February 1, 2012 at 11:16am — No Comments

The Death of a Sailor - James Henry Fuller

One of my first blog posts was about the "Loves of a Sailor - James Henry Fuller".   James H. Fuller was my great-great grandfather and I have tried to uncover as much as I can about him.

I know he was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia on Sept 12, 1827, but I really struggled to find out when he died.  I know he didn't live forever, so where did he die?  It wasn't in Maine, Maine has very…


Added by Chris Harvey on October 17, 2011 at 12:32pm — No Comments

Armstrong Family Land Division - 1897

My recent trip to Portland, Maine paid additional dividends.  I was able to go to the Portland courthouse which keeps the land records for Cumberland County, Maine.  I wish I could have spent more time there, but I was able to obtain records of how John Armstrong and Betsey Woodbury Dyer Armstrong's family land was divided and distributed.

Family lore indicates that land was granted to the Armstrong family in 1757 for South Portland, which is now Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  This land…


Added by Chris Harvey on August 22, 2011 at 11:22am — No Comments

The Armstrongs and Woodburys of Cape Elizabeth

I live in Florida, but was recently visiting New England to visit family.  I was lucky enough to spend a few hours in Portland and Cape Elizabeth, Maine (the long-time home of many of my Armstrong and Woodbury ancestors).

I had contacted Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in S. Portland, before my visit.  The caretaker was able to direct me to many of the graves of my ancestors.  Here are the ones I was able to capture.…


Added by Chris Harvey on August 19, 2011 at 9:52am — 3 Comments

Fanning the Flames of The American Revolution - The Burning of Falmouth in 1775

We are all familiar with the Boston Tea Party, Lexington and Concord, and Battle of Bunker Hill, but a lesser known event probably had an important role in fanning the flames of patriotic feeling that galvanized the colonials to fight for freedom from England.

The event was the Burning of Falmouth (now Portland) Maine on October 18, 1775.

Maine, then a part of…

Added by Chris Harvey on July 4, 2011 at 6:32pm — No Comments

A Love of Obituaries - Maine State Library

I still remember my grandmother getting the paper and the first thing she turned to was the obituary page.  She wanted to see if it contained anyone she knew.

I use obituaries in a similar way, to learn more about the family members that I wished I had known.
For my family research, obituaries have been invaluable.  I use a wide variety of…

Added by Chris Harvey on June 21, 2011 at 10:26am — 2 Comments

Tales of Sea Serpents


We all know that Sea Serpents don't really exist. Just like we know there are no dragons, no mermaids, and no monsters.  But 120 years ago, things may have been a lot less certain.

It is said that when you are at sea that your mind can play tricks on you…how else can you explain sailors thinking that manatees, so homely they border on being cute, being confused for mermaids.
However, when the men…

Added by Chris Harvey on June 18, 2011 at 10:11am — No Comments

New England Naturalization Records Resource - The National Archives

I thought I knew where my 2nd Great-grandfather, James H Fuller, had been born and I wanted to see if I could find a record that definitively named his parents.  So, I decided to see if I could get a copy of his naturalization records.

Naturalization records (petitions for our ancestors to become citizens) are one of the best resources to find the birthplace of an ancestor and when they arrived in the US, but they can also be difficult to obtain. has numerous…

Added by Chris Harvey on June 13, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Thomas Woodbury Last Will and Testament (1700-1757)

Thomas Woodbury is my 5th Great-grand uncle.  He was born 9/5/1700 in Beverly, Massachusetts and died 10/3/1757 in Falmouth (now Portland), Maine.  I believe this will was written…

Added by Chris Harvey on June 10, 2011 at 9:30am — No Comments

The Civil War Battle of Portland, Maine??

Yes, that isn't a typo.  The confederates actually made it to Maine, which caused quite a stir for those New Englanders who thought they were safely away from the civil war fighting.

In June 1863, Lieutenant C.W. Read commanded a confederate ship named the Archer (a ship he had captured), which marauded off the east coast.  He and his men intercepted American trading vessels and set about burning and scuttling them.  Union forces…

Added by Chris Harvey on June 7, 2011 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

The Loves of a Sailor.....James Henry Fuller

It may be true the old saying that a sailor has a girl in every port. 

My Great-Great Grandfather, James Henry Fuller was a sailor living in Portland, Maine.  He was a captain or first mate on commercial ships which sailed from Portland to Boston and New York.  He was born 9/12/1827 in Windsor, Nova Scotia and was a commercial sailor from 1847-1905.  These weren't steam or diesel ships, but the old three masted schooners powered by nothing but sails and wind.

When not at…


Added by Chris Harvey on June 6, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

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