Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and hope this blog will help with that. I am not an expert and I consider most of my research as a work in progress. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My Mayflower Ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Samuel Berry 1691-1741 and Rebecca Gray (ca 1691), of Yarmouth and Harwich, Massachusetts

 

Samuel Berry was born November 1691 at Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Bell) Berry. His birth is recorded in Yarmouth Vital Records, as son of Samuell and Elesa(worn) “Beery.” When Samuel was a young boy, his family moved to Harwich where they were among the first white settlers. They lived on the north side of Herring River in North Harwich. I wrote about Samuel and Elizabeth here.

Herring River, N. Harwich
Herring River, N. Harwich

Samuel married Rebecca Gray on 16 October 1712 at Harwich. They lived in the Harwich house where Samuel grew up, according to Josiah Paine.

Rebecca was born Harwich about 1691, the daughter of William and Rebecca (Dillingham) Gray.  Her birth isn’t recorded, but her parentage is shown in her father’s 22 May 1723 will which names her as Rebecca, wife of Samuel Berry. I haven’t seen the will myself. Samuel and Rebecca are my 7th great-grandparents on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family.

Rebecca and Samuel had just one known child, which was unusual at the time. Their daughter, Thankful Berry, married, first, Rev. Richard Chase and, second, John Chase. I wrote about Thankful and Richard here.

I have read that Rebecca Gray Berry died before 12 August 1721, but without a source. Paine has Samuel’s death as 1741 at Harwich, but again not sourced.  

As you can see, I have found very little information on this couple, mostly because of scarce records in the early days of Harwich. I’d love to hear from anyone who has more information.

Sources:

 Josiah Paine, History of Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts, 1620-1800, 1937

 CW Swift, The Yarmouth Family of Gray, Cape Cod Library of History and Genealogy, No 58, 1913

 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Christian Remick ca 1631 to ca 1710 of Kittery, York County, Maine

 

Christian Remick was born about 1631 likely in Holland or England. His birth year is based on later records: In 1698/9 he is said to be about 67; in 1710 about age 80. His is my 9th great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family.

He came to America as a young man; he was living in Kittery, York County (now Maine but then part of Massachusetts) in 1651 where he lived until his death in 1710. The part of Kittery he lived in later became the town of Eliot. He was a Kittery freeman in 1652. 

Christian was one of the proprietors of Kittery and was prominent in town, serving as surveyor, selectman, and treasurer. He also was a representative to the legislature. He was granted a great deal of land over time in what are now the towns of Kittery, Eliot and South Berwick, amounting to about 500 acres. His first land grant in 1651 was where he made his home. It was on Eliot Neck, near the Piscatiqua River, not far from the Remick family burial ground.

 In about 1654 Christian married a woman named Hannah, whose last name is sadly unknown. I have seen it as Foster without a source; Torrey gives it as possibly Thompson. They had 9 children, all born in Kittery:

Hannah

Mary

Jacob

Sarah

Isaac

Abraham

Martha

Joshua

Lydia

I descend from two of their daughters: Hannah who married Richard Gowell of Kittery and Sarah who married Barnabas Wixon of Cape Cod. I wrote about Hannah and Richard here and Sarah and Barnabas here..

Christian received some education as he signed his name, drafted letters/papers, and served in important offices. His four sons also had some education as they could write and served their communities in a variety of roles.

Hannah and Christian’s great-grandson Christian Remick was an artist who was a sea captain, privateer, and a Naval officer in the Revolution. NEHGS in Boston owns one of his paintings of the British blockade in Boston Harbor. He also worked with Paul Revere, adding the color to the famous image of the Boston Massacre that Revere engraved.

 

Source: masshist.org

Hannah died after 1703.

Christian died circa 1710 in his 80th year. He and Hannah are likely buried in the family burial ground on Pleasant Street in Eliot, Maine. A descendant erected a monument for Christian and his son Joshua.



The inscription reads:

CHRISTIAN REMICK

B 1631 D

A PROPRIETOR OF KITTERY ELIOT AND THE

BERWICKS SELECTMAN SURVEYOR AND PLANTER

FIRST OWNER OF THIS LAND LIVED HERE

OVER 60 YEARS AND WAS BURIED HERE

 

JACOB REMICK HIS SON

B NOV 05 1660 D JUNE 1745

PROPRIETOR SELECTMAN TOWN TREASURER

 

Sources:

Charles Thornton Libby and Sybil Noyes, The Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, 1928

Oliver Philbrick Remick, Remick Genealogy, NEHGR October 1893 (vol 47), p. 473-7y

Everett S. Stackpole, Old Kittery and Her Families, 1903

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Alfred and Mildred (Booth) Rollins: A Love Story

 

In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm taking a break from my usual blog format to write about my grandparents, Milly (Booth) and Alfred Rollins.  I always think of them on this day because Al was absolutely crazy in love with Milly! Even in their 70s he would call her "my Bride" and "Peach Blossom." She wasn't as open about emotions and would roll her eyes, but she adored him too. He would leave notes and poems for her to find around the house. She kept many of them which I found after she passed away. Below is one of the notes. He wrote better poems, but I love the heart on this one!

    
Milly was born Mildred Louise Booth on 15 May 1917, at West Dennis on Cape Cod, in the family home on Ferry Street built by her great-grandfather Hiram Kelley. Her parents were Wallace and Ethel (Kelley) Booth. As a teenager she married Arthur "Art" Washburn Davis, and they had a son Robert (my dad) in 1934. Their marriage was brief, unhappy, and sometimes violent and they soon divorced. Art did not stay involved in my Dad's life, so I never met him. From all the research I have done, it seems he was a troubled man. Because of him, though, I am descended from a boat load of Mayflower passengers and I had the immense pleasure of meeting his sweet half-sister Dorothy. 


The stars aligned when Milly met Al Rollins, a handsome, sweet, gentle, quiet man with a dry sense of humor. He fell in love with her instantly and grew to love her son. Although he was aware my grandmother could not have any more children, he popped the question and they were married on 22 Jan 1942 in Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts.



They weren't perfect, but I find I focus mostly on the good things from the past. Although Al wasn't my biological grandfather, he was my grandfather in every sense of the word. They made time spent with them magical for my sister, Beth, and me. They lived on the ocean with their own private beach and it was like heaven on earth. They and my parents were into boating and both of our families always had multiple dogs. Christmas at their home was magical and we were spoiled rotten with presents. 



Al was born Alfred Addison Rollins in Danvers, Essex, Massachusetts, on 06 Apr 1913, to Alfred Rollins and Edith Norris. He served in the Air Force during WWII and signed the papers to adopt my Dad when he was serving overseas. 



 
Al died at Wareham, Plymouth, Massachusetts on 22 Sept 1991 at age 78 from lung cancer. In nearly every photo I see of him during his more than 2 years serving in WWII, he has a cigarette in his hand. 

Milly died suddenly from a heart attack on 9 Feb 1999 in Onset, Plymouth, Massachusetts at age 81. 

They have been gone a long time, but I think of them often. I was closer to my grandmother than nearly anyone in my life. From her I got my love of the ocean, boating, dogs (I even have 3 dogs like she did), antiques, jewelry, home decor, and all things Christmas. She was tough as nails: she was the one to bait my fishing hook and clean the fish we caught. From my grandfather I get my appreciation of nature and a beautiful yard. They set a wonderful example of what it means to be in a committed, loving relationship and for that I will always be grateful.