All things history and genealogy.

All things history and genealogy.

Category: History

Quidi Vidi Village: A Part of St. John’s, Apart From St. John’s |

Edited by Gerald L. Pocius and Lisa Wilson

Quidi Vidi Village
Quidi Vidi Village Fishing Stages

Fishing outports (like Quidi Vidi) typify the Newfoundland rural landscape, but fishing went on for generations within the confines of the city of St. John’s.

Seven years ago, public sector folklore graduate students documented the spaces of another St. John’s fishing community—the Battery—perched on the cliffs of St. John’s Harbour. The 2013 field school focused on the well-known fishing settlement within city boundaries—Quidi Vidi.

Quidi Vidi is the only community in the province that is actually referred to as a village— perhaps attesting to it being a place within a place. For generations, local residents have often referred to their living in Quidi Vidi Village, or simply—the Village. The community, therefore, has exhibited this dualidentity of being part of a city and being unique in its identity.

So to this unique place the participants of the 2013 field school turned their attention. Seven students spent three weeks in September, documenting a series of houses and outbuildings throughout the community.

These seven were: Christine Blythe (Florida), Kayla Carroll(Newfoundland), John Laduke (New York), Adrian Morrison (NovaScotia), Klara Nichter (Kentucky), Kari Sawden (Alberta), and XuanWang (China). Cyndi Egan (Florida) acted as the field school assistant.

Students were divided into three teams, and each group then documented one house. After this work, each student was responsible for the measuring of one outbuilding, and preparing the text for that plan, gathering information from interviews with the owners as well as describing the structure itself.

Besides the architectural research, each student wrote a brief essay on particular traditions found in the village, interviewing long-time residents about local knowledge and practices. 

Read on …

Source: Quidi Vidi Village: A Part of St. John’s, Apart From St. John’s |

Richard 3rd’s facial reconstruction illustrates show family traits can span generations.

A while ago, I watched with great interest the progress of the effort to positively identify the remains found in a Leicester parking lot as those of Richard III, as described in a past post.
News was later released that a Richard 3rd’s facial reconstruction was done from his skull and a photo was published on News Leicester next to that of his 17th generation nephew, Michael Ibsen.

Marsh Blythe: Richard 3rd's facial reconstruction illustrates show family traits can span generations.

Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.

I hope it’s not just me, but I can see a familial resemblance and wonder if the likeness of Michael Ibsen had any bearing on the artist’s rendering, or if it was indeed solely based on the skull. If it is only based on Richard III’s skull, the resemblance is quite striking.

In an earlier post, I posted images of, and described the remarkable resemblance between my father-in-law (see right) and Isaac Shelby, nephew of my father-in-law’s seventh great grandfather (see above left), Governor of Kentucky and hero of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

I only wish I could one day compare these images with images of the original Shelby family immigrant, Evan (Dhu) Isaac Shelby (direct ancestor to both).

In another instance I had conducted research into a family friend’s background with the story surrounding the mysterious ‘aunt’ of another ancestor in mind. This aunt had always intrigued the family as they never knew much about her.

My research led me to the story of a young, single girl working as a domestic in the home of a wealthy business man, and soon becoming pregnant and bearing an illegitimate child. This girl turned out to be the mysterious aunt, only the ancestor, although believing she was an aunt, never learned she was actually her mother.

I wondered if this ‘aunt’ had become pregnant by her employer as there were no other males of an age to be candidates in the household. I managed to locate photos of a second generation descendant and his son who still owned and operated the family business. Upon comparison, I could see a definite likeness, although not quite as marked as in the two examples above. This likeness strengthened my belief that my conjecture was correct.

Without documentary proof of any kind and with no possibility of DNA testing, this is the best I can do.

It’s truly amazing to me how similar and consistent family traits can remain over the generations.

Hilarious history: From Napoléon’s petit package to Pythagoras’ fear of farts | Ancient Origins

History is often presented in grey, rather dry terms, but when you do a bit of digging, our past is full of remarkable people who had wicked senses of humor and died with as much vigor as they lived.

In this article we will look at some of the most prominent people and funny events in history, where you just have to laugh.

Plea For A Pilgrim’s Pint

The Pilgrims were the first English settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States. It has been said that the first thing said to the Pilgrims by the Native American Samoset, was specifically: “Do you have any beer?” in perfect English.

European trade routes to North America had already existed for several generations and cod fishermen and trade diplomats had traveled extensively to the Americas from Europe.

Historical records back up the fact that Samoset was the first Native American to greet the pilgrims and the possibility that he requested a cold beer is actually supported by most specialists.

Read on . . .

Source: Monumentally Funny Events in History: From Napoléon’s Petit Package to Pythagoras’ Fear of Farts | Ancient Origins

What does Elizabeth Warren’s ‘native’ ancestry mean?

On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released results from DNA testing, suggesting she has Native American ancestry and thrusting the issue of genetic testing and Native American identity into the spotlight.

The DNA report comes after years of political back-and-forth exchanges between Warren and Republican opponents, who accuse her of pretending to have Native American blood to further her law career. A DNA “fact check” on a political debate would have seemed like science fiction even a few election cycles ago. Even today, though, DNA ancestry testing is not as simple as it might seem, especially when it comes to the search for a Native American identity. [How Do DNA Ancestry Tests Really Work?]

“It’s important to be thinking about where community and culture is derived from,” said Matthew Anderson, a geneticist at The Ohio State University, who is of Eastern Cherokee descent. “It’s not the DNA.” . . .

Read on . . .

Source: What Does Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Native’ Ancestry Mean?

Journey through centuries: An ancestral doppelganger is discovered!

My biggest fascination with my genealogy research is finding old photos of the people – especially any rare ancestral doppelganger to current family members.
An ancestral doppelganger is discovered!
Marshall Matthews Blythe (Mark’s father) c. 2004.
An ancestral doppelganger is discovered!
Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky, c. 1812 – An ancestral doppelganger!

These images bring some life to the profile created by the fact finding of my research and brings these characters closer and makes them more relatable and understandable.

A while ago, while I was researching the Shelby family which included the original Welsh Quaker immigrant Evan Isaac Shelby (8th great grandfather to my father-in-law), his son Brigadier General Evan Shelby (7th great granduncle) and Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky (1st cousin, 8 times removed, and born in 1750),

I was immediately struck by the resemblance between my father-in-law and Governor Isaac Shelby.

Considering this relationship spans seven generations, it is quite amazing!

In another instance, I was doing some research for a friend who was curious about what happened to one mysterious great great aunt who had a past around which there had been rumours. Upon researching, I discovered that she was actually the birth mother of a girl who was raised by another family member, believing this person was her own aunt.

At the time of the child’s birth, this woman worked as a domestic in the home of a wealthy entrepreneur in the late 1800’s and became pregnant, having the child out of wedlock.

Knowing how often the domestics were taken advantage of by the men of the house, I looked into it further, believing he might be the baby’s father. I was sort of surprised (but not too much) to find a picture of this gentleman’s grandson and great-grandson – and there was a definite resemblance! In this case it was not quite as striking, but was there nonetheless around the mouth and eyes.

William B. Coon – Soldier in the War of 1812

In a previous post, I told the story of David Coon, the fourth great grandfather to my children Erin and Stuart, and his service and death in the Civil War.
His father, William B. Coon (about 1789 to August 25, 1854) was also a soldier, but in his case he served in the War of 1812.
William was born in Beekmantown, Clinton, New York and was the son of Joseph Coon.


War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty Land for William B. CoonWar of 1812 Claim to Bounty Land by William B. Coon, page 1.

War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty LandWar of 1812 Claim to Bounty Land by William B. Coon, page 2.

Zebulon Pike
Colonel Zebulon Pike

In 1813, at the age of 24, William enlisted as a Private with the 36th Regiment of the New York Militia under Captain Fillmore at Plattsburgh, New York.

On January 4, 1851, William B. Coon swore an affidavit before John Kilborn, Justice of the Peace in Canada West, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, in support of his claim to bounty land in compensation for his service in the War of 1812. According to the affidavit, he, along with his horses and sleigh, were pressed into service March 1, 1813 by Colonel Pike’s 15th Infantry Regiment to go from Plattsburgh to Sackets Harbor, serving seventeen days.

Subsequently, he enlisted August 25, 1813 at Beekmantown, Clinton County, New York, as a Private in Captain S. Fillmore’s Company of the militia commanded by Major John Roberts. He was honorably discharged about December 1, 1813. During this three month period of service, they defended the town of Plattsburgh during the burning of the newly promoted General Pike’s encampment, under command of Colonel Thomas Miller.

War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty LandWar of 1812 Minor’s Claim to Bounty Land, page 2.

War of 1812 Minor's Claim to Bounty LandWar of 1812 Minor’s Claim to Bounty Land, page 1.

A supporting “Declaration on Behalf of Minor Children for Bounty Land” of August 3, 1869 by Harriet (Hattie) Laplaint of Beekmantown, Clinton County, New York states she is the child of William B. Coon, who had been married to Elizabeth Hicks. She further states William B. Coon had died August 25, 1854 and that Elizabeth had predeceased him on September 26, 1842. She was the only child of William and Elizabeth listed and as there were other children by both of his marriages, it appears she was the only claimant for the bounty land. This declaration is witnessed by her half-brother Samuel C. Coon and one Joel Cudworth.

Bounty Land Claim signed by Hiram Southwick.Bounty Land Claim signed by Hiram Southwick.

The “Bounty Land Claim” document signed by Hiram Southwick proves the previous marriage of William B. Coon, although his first wife is not named, stating he was the half-brother of Hattie in support of her claim. William’s first wife Clarissa Haskill had previously been briefly married to Ebenezer (Eben) Southwick and had two sons by him, Hiram and James.

Power of Attorney re land claim.Power of Attorney re William B. Coon’s land claim.

William B. Coon was married about 1818 to Clarissa Haskill at Beekmantown. Their children were: John Williams Coon (1819-1842); David Coon (1824-1864); Samuel Churchill Coon (1824-1903); and Clarinda Coon (1826-1870).

The fate of Clarissa is unknown at this point, but it is assumed she had died sometime between 1826 and 1840, as William married a second time in about 1840 in Ontario, Canada to Elizabeth Hicks. Their children were: Mary Eleanor Coon (born circa 1840) and Harriet “Hattie” Coon (born circa 1841).

Military Bounty Land Warrant Certificate - William B. CoonWilliam B. Coon’s Military Bounty Land Warrant Certificate.

William died August 25, 1854 in Alexandria, Licking County, Ohio. Unfortunately, this was before he could receive his 40 acres of bounty land in Wisconsin, which then went to his son David, who relocated there with his family prior to his own service in the Civil War.

Keep checking back as I will soon write a post about my children’s other fifth great grandfather, Alanson Adams, the father of David Coon’s wife, Mary Ann Adams. Alanson also fought in the War of 1812, having enlisted along with his brother Gardner in 1813.


  1. Emily Bailey, “David Coon and Family Background,” e-mail message to Christine Blythe, 19 Nov 2006.
  2. Emily Bailey, “William B. Coon Family,” e-mail message to Christine Blythe, 20 Nov 2006.
  3. Coon, William B.; War of 1812 Service File.
  4. Act of Sept. 28 1850 Land Warrant Card – Coon, W.B. and Coon, David.
  5. Military Bounty Land Warrant Certificate – Coon, William B.
  6. Military Bounty Land Location Record – Coon, William B.
  7. 1851 Canadian, Lansdowne Township, Leeds County; Ontario GenWeb;
  8. “Genealogy Genforum,” database, Coon Family (


Edward “Longshanks” I, King of England


Edward “Longshanks” I, King of England was born 17/18 June 1239, eldest son of Henry III, King of England (1207-1272) and Eléonore de Provence (1223- ), in Westminster Palace, London.


Edward I, King of England
Edward “Longshanks” I, King of England

Edward was created Earl of Chester and granted the Dukedom of Gascony on 14 February 1254, after arriving in France.

Leonore de Castile
Leonore de Castile

Edward’s father arranged his  marriage to Infanta doña Leonor de Castile y León (1240-1290) with an eye to preventing the barons obtaining help for their rebellion from Castile. What started as an arranged marriage on 18 October 1254 at Abbey of Las Huelgas, Burgos, Castile, Spain, later became a love match. Leonore was born to Infante don Fernando, III, de Castilla y León, King of Castile, Toledo and Extremadura from his second marriage to Jeanne, de Dammartin, Comtesse de Ponthieu.

Their children were:

Eleonore (1264-1297)
Joan, of England ( -1265)
John, of England ( – )
Henry, of England (1267-1274)
Julian (1271-1271)
Katherine of England (1271- )
Joan D’Acre, of England ( -1307)
Alfonso, Earl of Chester (1273-1284)
Margaret (1275-1318)
Berengaria, of England (1276-1276)
Mary, of England (1278-1332)
Alice ( – )
Isabella (1279-1279)
Elizabeth (1282-1316)
Edward, II, King of England (1284-1327)
Beatrice (1286-1286)
Blanche (1290- )

Edward initially supported the rebellious barons under Simon, de Montfort, Earl of Leicester (26th great grandfather to Mark). He later changed to support his father, served and was taken prisoner at the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264 by Simon de Montfort’s rebel Barons, but escaped after only 12 days on 16 May 1264. With the objective of making peace and ending the war, Edward gave Simon de Montfort the Earldom of Chester on 24 Dec 1264. The Earldom of Chester was restored to Edward after he killed Simon de Montfort at the battle of Evesham, on 4 Aug 1265.

Although originally planning to join Louis IX, King of France (27th great grandfather to Mark) in Tunisia in the summer of 1270, his plans were changed upon hearing the news of the King’s death when he arrived in Africa. After spending the winter with King Charles in Sicily, he sailed for Acre, Palestine,  to join the seventh crusade, landing on 9 May 1271.

Lacking resources against the Mameluk Sultan Baibars, he and the Sultan signed a peace agreement at Caesarea on 22 May 1272.

In an assassination attempt, Edward I was stabbed him with a poisoned dagger. Although he survived, the effects of the poison left him incapacitated until he left Acre to return to England 22 September 1272. He succeeded his father as Edward I, ‘Longshanks’, King of England while stopped in Sicily during his return from the Crusade.

He returned to England just prior to being crowned King of England on 19 Aug 1274 at Westminster Abbey in London.
Edward turned out to be a strong king and managed to increase the power and influence of the crown at a high cost to the Barons.

Caernarvon Castle
Caernarvon Castle

In 1277, Edward initiated a war with Llewelyn ap Gruffydd (25th great grandfather to Mark), ruler of Wales, and husband to Eleanor de Montfort, the daughter of Simon de Montfort, after Llewelyn he refused to submit to the English crown. As a result, the dominions of Llewelyn were halved. In 1282, Llewelyn’s brother David rebelled. Llewelyn joined him in the revolt but was soon killed in a small foray. With no leader remaining, Wales became annexed by England in 1284, and soon after, Edward saw several large castles built including Caernarvon, Harlech and Conway, to prevent any further revolt. Edward resided in Caernarvon Castle, Caernarvonshire, Wales, where his own son Edward II, future King of England, was born in 1284.

Edward Longshanks I presiding over parliament.
Edward I presiding over parliament.

In 1290, the same year Edward I lost his wife Leonore, the royal line of Scotland ended, and Edward agreed to arbitrate the negotiations with claimants to the throne of Scotland on condition that he was recognized as overlord of Scotland. In the end, the Scots acted against him, allying with France. To support his efforts to resolve the situations in Scotland and Wales, Edward formed the ‘Model Parliament’, the forerunner to following parliaments. Buoyed by this support, Edward was able to quell the Welsh rebellion in the field, conquering northwest Wales and ending the rule of the native Princes of Wales, naming his own son Prince of Wales. After his invasion and conquest of Scotland in 1296, he named himself King of Scotland and began a rather brutal, ruthless rule. In 1298, he was again called to invade Scotland to suppress a new revolt under Sir Walliam Wallace. Although victorious at the Battle of Falkirk, he was unable to win the war.

In 1299, peace was made with France and Edward married Marguerite de France (1275-1318), daughter of Philippe III, King of France (son to Louis IX above, and 26th great grandfather to Mark) and his second wife Marie de Brabant, on 8/9 September 1299 at Canterbury Cathedral.

Free of conflict with France, he again attempted to conquer Scotland in 1303. Sir William Wallace was captured and executed in 1305, only for another revolt to start up, this time successful and culminating in Robert Bruce’s coronation as King of Scotland.

Edward once again sought to subdue the Scottish, but before he could, he died 8 July 1307 near Carlisle and was buried 28 October 1307 at Westminster Abbey in London.

John Fines, author of “Who’s Who in the Middle Ages” describes Edward Longshanks I, King of England as:

Son and father of weak and ineffectual kings, Edward I had many fine qualities which seem to make nonsence of heredity. He was tall and strong, a fine horseman and a doughty warrior. A great leader of men, he was also able to lead to success. He was interested in government and law in a very genuine way. As a personality he was pious, but easily provoked to rage and often vindictive. He was fond of games—so passionately did he love his hawks that when they were ill he sent money to shrines to pray for their recovery. He was generous to the poor, and often a gay companion: he played chess, and loved music and acrobats; once he bet his laundress Matilda that she couldn’t ride his charger, and she won! Every Easter Monday he paid ransom to his maids if they found him in bed. He loved his two wives, and fussed over their health and that of his children with a pathetic concern—sometimes threatening the doctor with what would happen to him if his patient did not recover. His people feared, respected and remembered him.


  1. Kings and Queens of England – The Plantagenets, The Royal Family online [].
  2. Gary Boyd Roberts, The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants, (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983).
  3. T. H. Owen, Compiler, Cross Index of Ancestral Roots of 60 American Colonists and Supplement (Supplement by Frederick Weiss,). David Faris, The Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth Century Colonists (English Ancestry Series, Vol. I, Second Edition; New England Historic Genealogy Society, 1999).
  4. John Fines, Who’s Who in the Middle Ages (New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1995).
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Th.D., The Magna Carta Sureties, 1215, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc.), 5th Ed., c1999. George Smith, Dictionary of National Biography, Vols. 1-21 (: Oxford Press, 1885-1990).
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came To America Bef ore 1700, 8th Edition (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., 2004).
  7. The Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth Century Colonists. Directory of Royal Genealogical Data, Brian Tompsett, Dept. of Computer Science, Hull University online [].
  8. Ernst-Friedrich Kraentzler, Ancestry of Richard Plantagenet and Cecily de Neville (Selp-published, 1978).
  9. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdon, Extant, Extinct or Dormant (G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I.).
  10. Sir Bernard Burke, LL.D., A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire; New Edition, 1866; London, Harrson, 59, Pall Mall; Bookseller to her Majesty and H.R.H. the Prince of Wales..
  11. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, online [,%20Kings%201066-1603.htm#HenriIIdied1189A].

Transcription: Last Will and Testament of John Royall Jr. of Powhatan County, Virginia.


The following is my transcription of the Last Will and Testament of John Royall Jr. of Powhatan County, Virginia.


In the name of God, I John Royall Jr of the County of Powhatan being weak of body but of sound mind and disposing memory do make and ordain this to be my last will and testament in manner and form as follows.

Imprimis I lend to my dear and affectionate wife Elizabeth Royall during her natural life the plantation I now live on together with the following slaves (Viz) Phill, Peter, Lambrick, Arthur, Poll and her three children viz George, Squire, and Maria, Kate and her child Chmberlayne, and Emily & her child Fanny, and at the death of my wife I give her the fee simple right to dispose of five of the above mentioned slaves by will or otherwise, the value of the value of the First five slaves to bear proportion to the aggregate value of the whole. I further give her all my household & kitchen furniture to dispose of as she may think proper. I also lend her during my natural life the use of all my stock of Horses, cattle, sheep & hogs also such of my plantation utensils as will be sufficiently of the use of the hands mentioned above, which several bequests are to be considered in lieu of her right of dower.

Secondly, The residue of my estate of whatever nature or kind, either in possession, expectancy, or reversion I give & bequeath unto my son Joseph Albert Royal, also that part of my estate that I have loaned to my wife during her natural life I give to my said son after the death of his mother. But it is expressly my will and desire that in case my said son Albert should not arrive to the age of twenty one years or marry that then the whole of what I have divised him shall be equally divided between my brothers (First), Joseph A. Royal, Will Royal & James F. Royall. But in case that either of my said brothers should die before my son Albert, without bearing lawfull issue, that then the said estate should be divided between the survivor or survivors of them, or the issue of the survivor or survivors of them such issue if more than one to have the part divided among them that their father would have been entitled unto in case of his being alive at the time of the death of my said son Joseph Albert.

Thirdly, I do hereby constitute and appoint by this testament my brother William Royall guardian to my said son Joseph Albert and do vest him with full and ample powers over that part of my estate that I have divised unto my son Joseph Albert, so that he may sell or exchange any part thereof that he may think will be conducive to the interest of my said son, as I myself might or could do were I living, also it is my will that in case my wife should die before my said son arrives to the age of twenty one years or marries, that in case of such an event that my said brother William have as guardian the same control over that part of my estate that I have lent to my wife during her life as I have given him over the part devised to my said son And having implicit confidence in my said brother William it is my desire that security be not required of him as guardian of my son, and do require and expect of him that he will have my son well & virtuously educated and that he will have him qualified for such profession as his education and talents may fit him for.

Fourthly, it is my will that the whole of my estate be kept together untill my just debts are paid.

Fifthly, it is my desire that my estate be not appraised & that my executors hereafter named be not required to give security for the execution of this my last will.

Lastly I do appoint my brother William Royall & my worthy friend William Archer Cocke executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all wills heretofore by me made. As Witness my hand & Seal this twelfth day of January one thousand eight hundred & three.

John Royall Jnr {SEAL}

Signed sealed & ackn’d in presence of
John Royall
John Winston
Jas. Cocke
John R. Robertson

A codicile explanatory of that part of the first clause of this my last will and testament relating to Emily and her child. Whereas I have some debts respecting my title to the wench & Child Fanny – now it is my desire that my wife Elizabeth Royall shall possess in fee simple all the right title or interest that I have or may have in said slave Emily with her present and future increase which I give to her and her heirs forever.

Whereas in the third clause of this will I left my brother William guardian to my son Joseph Albert with full powers and controul over my estate both real and personal whereby he may buy sell or exchange for the benefit of my said son. Now in case of the death or any other disability of my said brother William which may take place before my said son arrives to the age of twenty one years or marries then I do hereby invest my friend William Archer Cocke with the same powers to act as guardian to my said son as I have given to y brother William in the former part of this will. As witness my hand and seal this 12th day of January 1803.

John Royall Junr {SEAL}

Signed sealed and acknowledged in presence of
Jas. Cocke
John Royal
John R. Robertson

At a court held for Powhatan county the 16h day of March 1803 This last will and testament of John Royall decd together with the Codicile thereto annexed was presented in open court and proven by the oath of John Royal and John R. Robertson two of the witnesses thereto & thereupon ordered to be recorded. And on the motion of Wm. Royall and William A Cocke the executors named in the said will who made oath thereto Certificate is granted them for obtaining probate thereof in due form.

Jas Poindexter CPC

Transcription: Last Will and Testament of John Royall of Powhatan County, Virginia.
Transcription: Last Will and Testament of John Royall of Powhatan County, Virginia.


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

Fenian Raid Pension Grant Application; Laurent Jude Melanson.


The following are my transcriptions of three documents of the Fenian Raid Pension Grant Application relating to the pensionable service of my 2nd great grandfather, Laurent Jude Melanson.

Featured image: Red Sashes with a Fenian Cannon.

Detailed biographical information, sources and other data are available here.

CO6 5/14





(This application and the declaration of a comrade in support of the claim, should be sent to The Secretary, Militia Council, Ottawa.)

I,        Jude Melanson       (Name in Full)  of       Jaggin Mines Cumb Co       (P.O. Address)  in the Province of       Nova Scotia      

do hereby apply for a grant under the provisions of The Fenian Raid Volunteer Bounty Act.

The grounds of my application are as follows :-

I was enrolled in the       2D Cumb Regt       and served with it at       Minudie       in the Province of       Nova Scotia       from       Apl       to       May       in the year 1866      

Name of Battalion or Corps       2 Cumb Regt      

Name or number of Company       No. 5      

Name of Captain or Commanding Officer                         


I have not previously made any application for a grant under the said Bounty Act.



   I,       Jude      of the       Jaggin Mines       of       Cumb       in the Province of       NS      

do solemnly declare that I am the person mentioned in the foregoing application for Volunteer Bounty.

That all the statements made by me in said application are true.

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath and by virtue of the Canada Evidence Act.

(left side…)

Declared before me at the       J Mines      

of       Cumb Co       in the Province

of       NS       this       11      

day of       Oct       1913      

(right side…)

      Jude Melanson      

      his X mark      


      A.E. Melanson is signature      


      C Des Bar J. P.      ; A Commissioner, &c.





Melanson, Jude; Fenian Raid Pension Application (3)



I,       A E Melanson       of the       Jaggin Mines       of       Cumb Co       in  the Province of       Nova Scotia       do solemnly declare that I personally know       Jude Melanson       of       Jaggin Mines       in the Province of       N Scotia       who has applied to the Militia Department for a grant under the terms of The Fenian Raid Volunteer Bunty Act, on account of service performed by him with the       2 Cumb Regt       (Name of Corps) and I identify him as the       Jude Melanson       (Name of Claimant) who served as a       Private       (Rank) in and with the said       2 Cumb Regt       (Name of Corps) on active service at       Minudie       in the Province of       N S       in the month of       Apl       in the year of 1866      

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath and by virtue of the Canada Evidence Act.

(Left side…)

Declared before me at

      Jaggin Mines      

of       Cumb Co      

in the Province of       N S       

this       11      

day of       Oct 1913      

(Right side…)

      A. E. Melanson       (Declarant’s signature)


      C Des Barrs J.P.        (A Commissioner, &c.)



Melanson, Jude; Fenian Raid Pension Application (1)



Address reply to The Secretary, Militia Council, Headquarters, Ottawa, Canada.

And quote number       F.B.      

Stamp in right margin:

DEPT, MILITIA & DEF????; MAY 14 1??4; H.Q.; CANADA


Ottawa,       May 6, 1914      


1866 and 1870.


With reference to your application for the Fenian Raid Volunteer Bounty, the following information is required. Please write your answer in the space provided against each question and return this paper to headquarters.

Name of Captain       John Conham      

Name of Regiment       No 2 Cumberland      

Name of Number of Company       No 4      

Name of your Commanding Officer whilst on Active Service       John Conham      

Dates upon which you claim to have been on Active Service       Mch & April date not remembered      

Rank held whilst on Active Service       Private      

I have the honour to be,


Your obedient servant

      Jude Melanson      

       his X mark      

      Chas. L. Pauet       (Secretary, Militia Department)

Jude Melenson, Esq.,

Jaggin Mines, Cumberland Co., N.S.

M.F.A. 1036.



H.Q. 1772-39-636.

Melanson, Jude; Fenian Raid Pension Application (2)

Canada Post issues Halifax Explosion stamp marking 100 years since the disaster | CTV Atlantic News

Published Monday, November 6, 2017 7:29AM AST
Last Updated Monday, November 6, 2017 11:25AM AST


HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Lt.-Gov Arthur J. LeBlanc has unveiled a Canada Post stamp that commemorates the Halifax Explosion.

The stamp depicts the moments after the munitions vessel SS Mont Blanc collided with the SS Imo in Halifax harbour on Dec. 6, 1917.

The image of the ships is depicted with a newspaper headline from 1917 saying “Halifax Wrecked.”

Designer Larry Burke says the challenge was to tell the story in a way that had enough impact so people would understand the “enormity” of the tragedy.

Burke says the newspaper headline “really says everything”, and he knew it had to be at the heart of the stamp’s concept.

The massive explosion that resulted from the harbour collision killed 2,000 people, injured 9,000 and left 25,000 homeless.


Source: Canada Post issues Halifax Explosion stamp marking 100 years since the disaster | CTV Atlantic News


Staying on their toes: How medieval people walked, ran and fought.


As a consequence of my 20+ years of genealogy research into our family’s history, I have become fascinated with how medieval people lived, including the flexibility and adaptability of the different times and cultures.


Part of life was learning to live and succeed by using our own body mechanics for the best result in adapting to our environment, available materials, etc.


This video is particularly fascinating as it illustrates how medieval people walked, ran and fought prior to the invention of hard soled shoes with built in heels.



On impulse, I took the time to explore some of the comments and found them quite illuminating, educational or funny.

And he isn’t using only the fencing manual illos as evidence, he just happened to toss that one up as an example. You see this ball-first gait and posture in illuminations, illustrations, and tapestries all over the damn place in medieval through early Renaissance artwork depicting all sorts of activities. It’s why so many figures in these look kind of dainty compared to what we might expect.     Xaos Bob


I think you’re missing an important distinction here;  walking gaits vs running/athletic gaits. Wear patterns on historical shoes (see the MoL – Shoes and Pattens chapter dedicated to this) and observation of primitive people of today suggest a normal heel to toe walking gait, just as we perform today in modern soled and heeled shoes.  However, when running you do have to forefoot strike in historical shoes just as you do in modern barefoot style running shoes if you value the health of your joints.  Historical people walked just like we do, but they likely ran differently than most modern people do.  You can observe proper mechanics in young children.  They instinctively walk heel-to-toe, but they run with a mid to forefoot strike.  It’s not until years of sitting in a chair (adaptive shortening of the heel-cords, and reduced glute function etc.) and walking with modern footwear that they ‘re-train’ to heel-strike while running.     Knyght Errant

This was quite interesting and it hit close to home. My father was an avid runner for most of his life. At different times I took up jogging to help lose weight but I struggled with it….as my time and distance was difficult to improve. I told this to my father who in turn told me a story.

My father said he had read a book by a man (I don’t remember his name) who was from Europe and was a long distance runner. Long story short, he said that we should run as ancient people ran. These people ran on the balls of their feet. They never let there heels hit the ground first, even when they walked! Heel walking is not how our is designed to function. He also said conventional running shoes with the thick soles under the heel is a horrible shoe and we should run in shoes with little to  no heel at all.

I started ball running after that…and took about 3 days to get used to it and I bought track shoes that had no heel at all. By the end of the week I was easily running twice the distance at a faster pace. It felt like every time I had put my heel down first, I was “breaking” my forward momentum.     POPPASHANGO

Supposedly back in colonial times trackers could differentiate between Native American tracks and European tracks because of the different body mechanics.     Furor Teutonicus
You can’t just trust the word of other reenactors and illustrations of dueling, go back to the artifacts.  Check out “Shoes and Pattens” by Grew & de Neergaard or their source “Interpretation of wear marks seen in footwear” by Swallow, A W.  Fighting, stalking, and other activities certainly start with a ball or toe strike, but not for normal walking.     deadextra


View history through time lapse mining from internet archived photos.

Just imagine what it would be like to see historical changes in our world occur over time.
One site that gives us the ability to view history through time lapse mining from internet archived photos is a reality.


Lombard St., San Francisco
Lombard St., San Francisco

Ricardo Martin-Brualla of the University of Washington and David Gallup and Steven M. Seitz of Goggle Inc. have devised a method of mining photos of a particular subject from the numerous free archives online, piecing them together chronologically, setting them around a median, and stabilizing the result, creating a time-lapse video.

The video below shows the results of this process using images spanning several years of oft photographed landmarks such a Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Lombard Street in San Francisco, glaciers in Alaska and Norway, the World Trade Center and major cityscapes.

The process has been tested and improved upon using subjects that are frequently photographed by the general public and saved to free photo storage and sharing sites such as Picasa, Panoriamio and Flickr.

This process they call time-lapse mining takes millions of photos available online, sorting chronologically, and creating a 3D time lapse video of the subject. Once the photos have been overlapped to document the very slow changes over time, the images are stabilized.

According to the researchers:

The scale and ubiquity of our mined time-lapses creates a new paradigm for visualizing global changes. As more photos become available online, mined time lapses will visualize even longer time periods, showing more drastic changes.


So far, the researchers have created 10,728 time lapses of 2,942 landmarks, the majority of which are in Europe. The quantity and subject matter of these videos is dictated solely by the availability of images online.

I find this new technology fascinating and can’t wait to see how this progresses.

Private Joseph Philias Albert Emery’s letter home from the WWI french front.


This letter was written by my great uncle Private Joseph Philias Albert Emery to his sister and brother while he was serving in France during WWI.


Six months later, he was killed during advance preparations for the battle of Vimy Ridge.


I did use Google translate, hoping to get a reasonable English translation of this letter to include below the French one. The end result, however, was very poor. I’m assuming that’s because of some transcription problems in the French text. 

If you are able to decipher missing words or errors, please do let me know. I might them be able to get a decent English translation.



Quelquepart en France


aout le 26/16


Bien Chère Soeur et Beaufrère


Cést en reponse a votre aimable letter que je viens de recevoir et qui ma fait un grand plaisir d’appres dan le vos nouvelles qui sont tres bonnes il en est de mème pour midi et j’espère que ma littre va vous trouver aussi bien qu’elle me laisse pour le manger on mange un peut mieux on a guiguer et ca fait du bien et pour les gateaux vous pouvez les envoyer



dans une boite de fer-blanc et enrégistrer c’est a peut près le seul moyen qui ca se rend parce que quand le paquet est decouvert et que ce n’est pas bien envelopper il est voler. Je n’ai pas manger de vous apart de la ????? qu’ils nous donnent depuis que jus suis traverser du Canada et je n’ai pas retirer d’argent depuis le 27 Juillet. Je n’ai eu rien deguve fumer depuis 10 jours. Vous ferez des respects a Polydore pour mai j’ai bien de la peine pour lui el aurait pu avoir d’autre ouvrage que ca il a une bonne



instruction. Vous ferez des respects a Fabiola ausssi et vous me derez comment elle s’arrange et si elle est bien et le petit vous me direz s’il est mieux j’aimerais bien à avoir unedent sur les tomates et les comme ????? ????? ??????? regallerais unpeu ici rien est mûr encore et on voit rien et on entend parler de rien vous savez plus long de la guerre que nous autres la dernière nouvelle qu’on a su c’est que l’Autriche donnait 30 jours a l’allenagne soit pour lui donner a manger et des hommes ou de faire la paix c’est tout le nouveau pour aujourd’hui je termine en vous souhartant bien de la chance et en embrassant tout la famille je suis pour la vie votre Frère et BeauFrère.

Albert Emery

La termperature est apeu près la même du Canada ici je ne peux pas voir pourquoi manan ne prend pas de remide.



Transcription: Parish Registry of Births and Baptisms of Lytham, Lancaster 1822.

The following is my transcription of the Parish Registry of Births and Baptisms of Lytham, Lancaster for 1822.

A true and perfect copy of the Parish Registry of Lytham in the County of Lancaster from the first day of January to the thirty first day of December 1822.

Children and parents names     place of abode     profession     When born     When baptized     By Whom

Sarah Daughter of Isaac and Betsey Teeling     Lytham     Sailor     Decr 17th 1821     Jany 13th 1822     P. J. Lister
Agnes Daughter of John and Sarah Corwen      Do     Labourer     Decr 8th 1821     Jany 13th 1822     P. J. Lister
James Son of Thos and Alice Whiteside     Lytham     Weaver     Decr 18th 1821     Jany 27th 1822     P. J. Lister
Isabelle Daughter of Thos and Betty Greenbank     Lytham     Labourer     Oct 14th 1821     Jany 10th 1822     P. J. Lister
Willm & Ellen Son & Daughter of Robt and Magdalene Fox     Lytham     Bricklayer     Jany 11th 1822     Feby 17th     P. J. Lister
Sarah Daughter of George and Sarah Pearson     Lytham     Shoemaker     Jany 25th     Feby 24th P. J. Lister
James Son of Thomas and Margaret Fox     Lytham     Joiner     Jany 30th     March 17th     P. J. Lister
Thomas Son of Richard and Mary Wilking     Lytham     Labourer     Feby 9th     March 17th     P. J. Lister
Willm Son of Robert and Ellen Knowles     Do     Sailor     Feby 13th     March 17th     P. J. Lister
Margaret Daughter of James and Betty Atkinson     Lytham     Labourer     March 14th     April 14th      Wm Barton
John Son of John and Mary Fell     Do     Sailor     Feby 25th     April 21st     P. J. Lister
Robt Son of Richd and Betty Webster     Lytham     Farmer     March 16th     April 21st     P. J. Lister
Alice Daughter of Christn and Betty Whiteside     Do     Sailor     April 6th     April 28th Wm Barton
James Son of Alice Jamison and John Kirk     Lytham     Labourer     April 14th     May 5th     P. J. Lister
Jane Daughter of James and Betty Ormond     Lytham     Husbandman     April 11th     May 19th     Wm Barton
Betty Daughter of Robert and Marjery Singleton     Do     fisherman     April 19th May 19th Wm Barton
Emmelin Daughter of Barnaby and Alice Whiteside     Lytham      Weaver     May 30th     June 23d     Wm Barton
Maryanne Daughter of James and Betty Cortmell     Do     Mariner     May 31st     June 23d     Wm Barton
Ellen Daughter of Joseph and Sarah Cortmell     Lytham     fisherman     May 24th     June 30th     Wm Barton
John Son of Willm and Ann Marshall     Do     Gentleman     May 30th     June 3d     P. J. Lister
Carolina Daughter of Jane Cookson & Wm Moorehouse     Do     Butcher     June 27th Augt 11th     P. J. Lister
Jane Daughter of Willm and Grace Wade     Lytham     fisherman     June 23d     Augt 11th     P. J. Lister
Jane Daughter of Francis and Margaret Fox     Do     Bricklayer     July 12th     Augt 11th     P. J. Lister
Peggy Daughter of Thomas and Mary Rimmer     Lytham     Sailor     Augt 18th     Sept 8th     P. J. Lister
Hannah Daughter of John and Ellen Breckall     Lytham     Weaver     Sept 14th     Sept 22d     G. L. Spencer
Cornelius Son of John and Magdalane Cordwell     Peel     Farmer     Sept 7th     Oct 6th         P. J. Lister
Thomas Son of George and Ellen Miller     Lytham Husbandman     Sept 15th     Oct 13th     Wm Barton
Sarah Daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Ditchfield     Do     Innkeeper     Sept 3d     Sept 5th     P. J. Lister
James Son of Richard and Jane Worthington     Lytham     Labourer     Oct 2d     Oct 27     P. J. Lister
Charles Frederick Clifton Son of Thomas Joseph Clifton Esqr of Lytham Hall Lancashire and Hetty his wife was born at Hatch Court in the County of Somerset     June 17th     June 25th     Samuel Fisher
Betty Daughter of Robert and Sarah Hesketh     Lytham    Labourer     Sept 19th     Nov 3d     Wm Barton
Jenny Daughter of Thos and Jane Wade     Peel        Husbandman    Sept 14th     Nov 17th     Wm Barton
Thomas Son of John and Margaret Cookson     Lytham     Husbandman     Nov 15th     Dec 15th     Wm Barton     Offitg Minister




The complete original scans of the documents clips above can be accessed by clicking the images.

To access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, search the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search linkand the ‘All Media‘ search link, both in the top menu.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results do sometimes differ. All data on this site is available for free access and download.

Unravelling the mysteries behind one of Canada’s oldest cemeteries.

I had to post this article as soon as I saw it. Visiting this graveyard was one of the best family experiences we’ve ever had – and it was a great opportunity to explore our own family history.

As a matter of fact, the tour guide, Alan Melanson and I are 7th great grandchildren of Charles Mellanson and Marie Dugas (Charles was a son of the original Melanson couple – Pierre and Priscilla.)

Stuart, Erin and Alan Melanson in graveyard.
My children, Erin and Stuart, sit through an enthralling tale told by fellow ‘Melanson’ cousin, Alan Melanson, the very informative and entertaining tour guide.

It’s been a century since Fort Anne became Canada’s first administered national historic site, but much of the history surrounding the once hotly contested grounds in Annapolis Royal, N.S., is still shrouded in mystery.

On Monday, a team of researchers hope to use new technology to unlock some of the old secrets buried within Fort Anne’s Garrison Graveyard, which is one of the oldest English cemeteries in Canada.

“To understand where we’re going, we need to understand where we’ve been,” said Ted Dolan, Parks Canada’s site and visitor experience manager for historic sites in southwestern Nova Scotia.

“Any additional information that we have as to what happened on our landscape in the past is really going to inform us as to who we are and where we come from.”

Dolan describes Fort Anne as “the most fought-over piece of land in Canadian history since European colonization.” Originally fortified by the Scots as early as 1629, the site was later taken over by the French, before it fell to British troops in 1710. It would remain a regular battle scene for another 50 years.

While over 200 British headstones still stand in the Garrison Graveyard, Dolan said researchers believe there could be more than 2,000 people buried at the site whose wooden markers have since decayed over time.

In addition, prior to 1710, Dolan said French soldiers and Acadians from the region were buried at the nearby St. Jean-Baptiste parish, which had a cemetery located close to the fort.

While researchers aren’t completely sure where the French and Acadian cemetery is, he said they have a “pretty good idea. . .”

Read on . . .

Source: Unravelling the mysteries behind one of Canada’s oldest cemeteries | CTV News Atlantic

Scientists confirm world’s oldest natural mummy is Native American ancestor.

Researchers recently concluded that a 10,000-year-old skeleton in Nevada, believed to belong to the world’s oldest naturally preserved mummy, represents that of an ancestor of a modern-day Native American tribe.

According to SlashGear, the so-called “Spirit Cave mummy” was originally thought to be the skeleton of an individual that belonged to the “Paleoamerican” group that predated Native Americans in North America. However, that theory was disproven by the scientists behind the new research, who extracted DNA from the prehistoric skull and concluded, based on analysis of the DNA, that the mummy was actually an ancestor of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribe in Nevada.

A report from the Guardian further noted that the Spirit Cave mummy, which was first discovered in 1940, was the skeleton of an adult male who died at around 40-years-old. The individual, who was wearing moccasins at the time he was buried, was wrapped in reed mats and a rabbit-skin blanket. The research on the mummy was conducted with the assistance and approval of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribe, which reburied the skeleton this summer after a “decades-long legal dispute” with scientists over whether it should be kept in a museum or given a proper reburial.

“[It] confirms what we have always known from our oral tradition and other evidence – that the man taken from his final resting place in Spirit Cave is our Native American ancestor,” the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe said in a statement.

University of Cambridge evolutionary geneticist Eske Willerslev, who led the team that performed DNA sequencing on the Spirit Cave mummy, attended the reburial ceremony earlier this year and recalled to the Guardian that there was a lot of “crying, singing, and prayers” involved, as well as the placing of farewell gifts. He described the experience as being similarly emotional as burying a close relative, even if the mummy was originally buried about 10,000 years ago.

Willerslev also said that his team’s analysis proved that it’s too simplistic to base ancestry on the shape of one’s skull, given that the aforementioned theory that the Spirit Cave mummy was Paleoamerican was based on how its skull had a different shape than that of Native Americans.

“Looking at the bumps and shapes of a head does not help you understand the true genetic ancestry of a population – we have proved that you can have people who look very different but are closely related.”

The above research was part of a broader, multinational project on the ancestry of modern-day North and South Americans, which was documented in separate studies published in the journals Science, Science Advances, and Cell. Aside from determining that the world’s oldest natural mummy shares DNA with an existing Native American tribe, the project also revealed that there were two migrations into South America that were not documented in previous studies.

Likewise, the researchers discovered some proof of Australasian ancestry in native South Americans, but found no such traces in native North Americans. Both the Guardian and SlashGear pointed out that this could suggest modern humans arrived in the Americas about 30,000 years ago, far earlier than originally thought.

Read on . . .

Source: Scientists Confirm World’s Oldest Natural Mummy Is Native American Ancestor

Related Posts:

Study reveals common ancestry for all Native Americans.

The indigenous people of North and South America are collectively known as Native Americans. Despite the European invasion occurring several centuries ago, Native Americans are still subjugated and are yet to find a voice of their own.

One of the reasons for that is a lack of scientific evidence that manages to bring forth their cultural heritage and upbringing in front of the world. While previous anthropologic studies have focused on the timing and number of initial migrations, the subsequent spread of people within the two continents have garnered lesser attention.

As scientists could only describe the peopling of the Americas in broad strokes, plenty of mysteries regarding when and how they spread across still remains a mystery – and is critical to understand their historical lineage.

Two independent studies, one being published in the journal Science and the other in Cell, have sequenced 15 and 49 ancient human genomes, dating back around 10,000 years. Prior to these studies, only six genomes older than 6000 years from the Americas had been sequenced, leading to oversimplification of genetic models that were used to explain the peopling of the Americas.

The genomes of the current study spanned from Alaska in North America to Patagonia in South America. The teams worked with government agencies and indigenous people to identify the samples, extract powder from skeletal material, and extract the DNA necessary to create double-stranded DNA libraries.

The results from the genome sequencing have spawned some very interesting results. The study published in Science, called “Early Humans dispersals within the Americas”, provides evidence of rapid dispersal and early diversification as people moved south, as early as 13,000 years ago. The study sequenced an “Ancient Beringian,” a 9000-year-old remains from Alaska’s Seward peninsula to come to the conclusion that first migrants that entered the Americas from the Bearing strait split into two groups – “Southern Native Americans” and “Northern Native Americans” (also sometimes called Ancestral A and B lineages), who went on to populate the continents . . .

Read on . . .

Source: Study Reveals Common Ancestry for all Native Americans

Related Posts:

Wabanaki Collection launched to educate about Maritime Indigenous peoples | CBC News

‘We are all treaty people,’ says curator of a portal aimed at better mutual understanding.

David Perley is the ‘visionary’ First Nations education specialist and Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre director behind the inception of the Wabanaki Collection, a web portal of Indigenous educational resources. (University of New Brunswick)

The Wabanaki were New Brunswick’s first peoples, but David Perley says many students in the province are graduating from high school without knowing much about them.

“My ancestors identify themselves as Wabanaki people,” Perley said.

“In my language, that means people of the dawn.”

The Wabanaki Confederacy was around long before contact with European settlers, said Perley.

“They were dealing with other Indigenous nations, such as the Mohawks and so on. It was always discussing boundary lines, for example, or the need to have alliances against a common threat, political discussions on what they had to do in terms of internal governance and so on.”

After contact, said Perley, “It became a strong confederacy because of the need to have unity in terms of dealing with settler society.”

One of the resources in the Wabanaki Collection is an interactive map with legends about the formation of various geographical features. It was contributed by the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine. (The Abbe Museum)

The director of the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton said textbooks make barely a reference to Wabanaki history, let alone the culture and traditions that have been passed down for thousands of years.

The centre has launched a new online resource to try to rectify that.

It’s available to anyone looking for information about Indigenous peoples of the Maritimes.

Perley said the project was spawned by the many requests he used to get — dating back to the 1990s — from students and teachers looking for reliable reference material.

At the time, there was little to be found.

“And especially not any resource that was written by or produced by Wabanaki people — the Wolostoqiyik, the Mi’kmaq, the Passamaquoddy and the Abenakis,” Perley said during an interview with Information Morning Fredericton . . .

Read on . . .

Source: Wabanaki Collection launched to improve education about Maritime Indigenous peoples | CBC News

Transcription: The marriage of Abell Thomas and Elizabeth Humphreys.

The following is my transcription of the written record of the marriage of Abell Thomas and Elizabeth Humphreys on May 19, 1693 at Merion Monthly Meeting in Pennsylvania.


37   Whereas Abel Thomas of Meirion in the County of Philadelphia Bathelor and Elizabeth Humphreys of the aforesaid Township and County sign for having declared their intention of Marriage with each other before several meetings of the ???? of God called Shakers m Haveford according to good order ???? amongst them whose proceedings hereing a deliberate confedration there of consent of part as in Relations Concerned, being Clear of all others there aproved of by the sd meetings Now these are to Certify all whom it may Concern that for the full accomplishment of theirs Intentions this Nineteenth day of the third month vulgarly called May in the year according to ye English account one thousand six hundred neinty and three, They, the said Abell Thomas and Elizabeth Humphreys appeared in a solemn publick assembly of the aforesaid people ???? to go therfor that and a purpose in their publick meeting plans at meirion and in a solemn manner according to example of the Holy men of God ???????? in the scripture of ????? He ye is Abel Thomas taking the Elizabeth Humphreys by the hand, did solemnly declare as followeth viz I do heare in the presence of God and this Asembly I do take Elizabeth Humphrys to be my wife and do promise to be ??? my ???? towards her as becometh a Loving ?? in all Conditions till death separate us And then and there in sd assembly those assem??? Elizabeth Hmphreys did declare as followeth viz In the presence of God and this asembly I do take Abell Thomas to my Husband I do promise to be he?? ???? kind Loving wife till deat separate us

And the to Abell Thomas and Elizabeth Humphrys as further Confirmation thereof in then and there to those prents so? their And in witness whereof have hereunto subscribed our Names

Abell Thomas

Tho. markd

Elizabeth Thomas

The marriage of Abell Thomas and Elizabeth Humphreys on May 19, 1693.
The marriage of Abell Thomas and Elizabeth Humphreys on May 19, 1693.

Transkribus system makes breakthrough in understanding medieval texts | Euronews

How do you find a text in ancient manuscripts, and do it fast? Until recently, computers weren’t very good in reading handwritten scripts — but now artificial intelligence has produced a breakthrough.

The Tyrolean State Archive in Innsbruck stores countless documents dating from the 11th century onwards — mostly official records, legal documents and other important handwritten documents from the past. Transcribing these books isn’t easy. But this archive is working with scientists to automate the transcription using cutting-edge computer technologies.

“With difficult scripts I believe the new technique will have problems. But with relatively nice calligraphy, the new system has great advantages and helps us a lot,” says the Director of the archive, Christoph Haidacher.

To digitise such books, scientists working on a European research project, READ, designed a simple-to-use system based on a specially-developed smartphone application: it detects when pages are turned and automatically takes high-resolution photos of each page.

“We use, of course, a combination of low-tech and high-tech. A dark tent is a relatively simple, low-tech accessory. But it works with a high-tech app running on a smartphone that is connected to the Transkribus platform: the app uploads the images to the server that performs the recognition of the handwritten text,” says the READ project co-ordinator & Researcher in Digitalisation & Digital Preservation at the University of Innsbruck, Dr. Guenter Muehlberger.

Transkribus simplifies tasks that would often take years of work, helping scholars with complex handwritings and unusual layouts. It is currently being used to transcribe the 500-page “Hero Book“, the most significant anthology of Medieval German texts commissioned by Maximilian I in early 16th century.

Read on . . .

Source: Transkribus system makes breakthrough in understanding medieval texts | Euronews

Researchers unveil findings of Thibodaux massacre |

This article is of great interest to me because Henry Schuyler Thibodaux, the founder of Thibodaux, Louisiana, is my third cousin, 6 times removed.

We have numerous common ancestors resulting from the close knit nature of the Acadian and Cajun communities.

The closest of them, all being ninth great-grandparents of mine include: Vincent Brun and Marie Renée Breau, Étienne Emanuel Hébert and Marie Anne Gaudet, and François Gautrot.


Researchers revealed their findings Wednesday in their efforts to unlock the mystery of an American tragedy more than 130 years in the making and said more work is needed.

On Nov. 23, 1887, at least 30 people lost their lives during a racially motivated attack carried out by a mob of white men against black sugar plantation workers protesting a wage system that effectively kept them tied to the farms where they worked.

Although no one knows for sure how many people lost their lives during what became known as the Thibodaux Massacre, historians estimate 30-60 were murdered during the day-long attack.

Laura Browning, who’s assisting in the research of the historical documents associated with the massacre, read a first-hand account of that infamous day.

“On Wednesday morning of Nov. 23, 1887, about five o’clock, I heard a shot fired,” Browning read. “A moment later I heard two more fired after the other.”

The burial site of the victims wasn’t recorded. But through oral histories, it’s believed the property of the American Legion Post 513 in Thibodaux is possibly the site of the mass burial.

John DeSantis, author of the book “The Thibodaux Massacre: Racial Violence and the 1887 Sugar Cane Labor Strike,” said much of the information we have from that time period was passed down from person to person.

“In situations like this oral history is sometimes all that you have, especially when it comes to a mass burial of people who were killed under extremely spurious circumstances,” DeSantis said.

The aim of the project is to not only locate and identify victims’ remains but hopefully give them a proper burial as well, researchers said.

Read on . . .

Related posts you might like:

Melansons and the Acadian Expulsion
A breakthrough in the mysterious Melanson genealogy?
Pierre dit Laverdure and Priscilla Mellanson – A Family Mystery
The Bourgs of Acadia
My list of the best genealogy links for Acadian research.


Data and sources for some individuals mentioned in this and related articles can be found on Blythe Genealogy – my genealogy data site.

You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

Source: Researchers unveil findings of Thibodaux Massacre


How Europe’s royal families are all related, share single ancestor | Insider

Almost all the royal families of Europe are related to each other. This family tree shows how they share a single ancestor.

Royals in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Monaco are related to each other and to the UK royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II.

Almost all of Europe’s royal families are related.

These families share a common ancestor: King George II, who was the King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1727 until 1760.

Here is how the royal families of Spain, Monaco, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, and more are related.

The royal families of Europe are vast and diverse, with each family possessing different titles and powers.

But one thing they do have in common is a shared ancestor.

While the family trees are complicated, and there are many ways that Europe’s royals are all related to each other, one of the simplest is to look at King George II, who was the King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1727 until 1760.

George’s ancestors now head Europe’s royal families, as his children and grandchildren married royals from around the continent.

Read on . . .

Source: How Europe’s royal families are all related, share single ancestor – INSIDER

Long after they died, military sees surge in identifications.

Nearly 77 years after repeated torpedo strikes tore into the USS Oklahoma, killing hundreds of sailors and Marines, Carrie Brown leaned over the remains of a serviceman laid out on a table in her lab and was surprised the bones still smelled of burning oil from that horrific day at Pearl Harbor.

Featured image: Unidentified soldiers’ remains returning home.

It was a visceral reminder of the catastrophic attack that pulled the United States into World War II, and it added an intimacy to the painstaking work Brown and hundreds of others are now doing to greatly increase the number of lost American servicemen who have been identified.

It’s a monumental mission that combines science, history and intuition, and it’s one Brown and her colleagues have recently been completing at ramped-up speed, with identifications expected to reach 200 annually, more than triple the figures from recent years.

“There are families still carrying the torch,” said Brown, a forensic anthropologist with the Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s lab near Omaha, Nebraska. “It’s just as important now as it was 77 years ago.”

Officials believe remains of nearly half of the 83,000 unidentified service members killed in World War II and more recent wars could be identified and returned to relatives. The modern effort to identify remains started in 1973 and was primarily based in Hawaii until a second lab was opened in 2012 at Offutt Air Force Base in the Omaha suburb of Bellevue.

With an intensified push, the identifications climbed from 59 in 2013 to 183 last year and at least 200 and possibly a few more this year . . .

Read on . . .

Source: Long after they died, military sees surge in identifications

In their honour, we publish their names | Maclean’s

Maclean’s has published more than 66,000 covers, each one dedicated to an individual Canadian who died in the First World War.

Featured image: The statue known as Mother Canada looks out over Vimy Ridge as part of the memorial commemorating Canadian war losses near Arras, France.

If you hold a paper version of Maclean’s, consider closing this issue for a moment to read the dedication on the cover. You’ll find the name of a Canadian serviceman or woman whose life was snuffed out more than a century ago in what became known as the “Great War.”

Where possible, we also list their rank, age and date of death. But even such tombstone details for thousands of soldiers were lost in the chaos of war or the mists of time.

This compounds the tragedy of Canada’s deadliest war, for surely we owe them this: respect for their courage, and remembrance for their ultimate sacrifice; lessons written in blood and, as history shows, too easily forgotten.

And so, you hold a name . . .

Read on . . .

Source: In their honour, we publish their names