Sunday, April 29, 2007

Wood family of Bluehill, Maine

The torment of being without a computer has been somewhat alleviated as my husband fixed some minor problems with his PC, so I now have use of it. He has a laptop as well, but the PC is faster. My own PC will be repaired shortly, and I will also have a brand new laptop before the end of May (what every genealogist needs - it makes trips to the FHL, public library, town hall, cemeteries, etc. so much simpler!).

The only issue is that my backup of my GEDCOM is from January 2007. I had all new information that I had just entered into my FTM (Family Tree Maker) program recently, and it was saved, even uploaded to Rootsweb. But I simply had not yet backed it up to CD.

Fortunately the friend currently helping me to repair my computer can access it off the harddrive and email the file to me, so I am simply (ok, impatiently) awaiting my GEDCOM file. I will import it to FTM on my husband's computer and have a working back up (and when I purchase my laptop this coming month, I will be golden).

The only other drawback is that I was in the midst of volunteer work for the LDS (Latter Day Saints), transcribing the 1900 census. I will have to either wait until my computer is fixed to continue, or download work to this computer too. I also have volunteered for NEHGS, but I can get on that pretty quickly - I am starting a brand new project, and nothing is on my (currently non-working) computer. So no lost time or work there, at least.

Despite the computer complications, I enjoyed a Saturday morning at the local FHL (Family History Library). Volunteers contacted me within about a week of one another to inform me of two films that had arrived, but when I got to the library on Saturday, I was happy to see a third film.

As of Saturday, I think I had 6 films ordered, so this leaves 3 to come. One was ordered in January and another in March; these backordered films are for Plymouth County, Massachusetts deeds. These must be in high demand, because I have waited a long time for them. I am crossing my fingers that they arrive soon, as they both may have vital clues to two brick wall ancestors.

The films that arrived and with which I worked were:

1. Intentions of Marriage for Portland, Maine - This is on my most fascinating brick wall ancestor, my great-great grandmother Emma Anna (Murphy) (Regan) Shaw. Her death record and obituary give her place of birth as Portland, Maine. Two censuses also list her nativity as Maine, but I believe this information is incorrect.

I am inclined to accept the information off her marriage record of 1888 (her 2nd marriage, this to my great-great grandfather, Erastus Bartlett Shaw), that she was born in Nova Scotia, Canada.

However, her first marriage certainly may have taken place in Portland, or perhaps she lived there for a time.

My goal in delving into the marriages and other records of Portland, Maine is to rule it out. And since we have no way of knowing which town (or even which county) in Nova Scotia is the one from which Emma came, I have to narrow this search down as well.

There is a great deal more to the Emma tale, and one day I will post my notes. Who knows - maybe someone will have a suggestion.

2. Vital Records of Sedgwick, Maine

3. Records of Christ Church in Bluehill, Maine

Both Sedgwick and Bluehill are in Hancock County, Maine. As the story goes, Joseph Wood (my paternal ancestor) and John Roundy went on up there in 1762 and created the town of Bluehill out of the wilderness.

A long line of my paternal grandpas lived in Bluehill, starting with Joseph and his wife, Ruth Haskell. They had Joseph Wood, who married Eleanor Carter in 1776 in Bluehill.

They had Andrew Wood who married Hannah Ober. Their son, Benjamin Stone (sometimes listed as Stover) Wood, married Susan Whitmore (thus adding extensively to my nearly 60 Mayflower lines).

Their son, Lemuel Augustus Wood, is my great-great grandpa. Lemuel married a woman named Susan first. She must have passed away (divorce wasn't common then, though it was not unheard of), and then he came to Boston. So great-great grandpa was the last of my ancestors born in Bluehill.

Lemuel married my great-great grandma, Georgianna Winsor (more Mayflower through there - someday I will post about how precisely my parents, all 4 of my grandparents, and most of my 8 great-grandparents are related).

Georgianna was probably considered an old maid by then (1884), at the age of 33 (she was born in 1851). But they had my dear great-grandpa Lewis Preston Wood in 1892. My beloved great-grandpa passed away when I was 6, but I remember him very well.

Thus is my line back to Bluehill, Maine. Great-grandpa and great-grandma Wood (his wife's maiden name was Wood - that can get confusing!) had 8 children, my grandpa Vincent Wood being the third-born (but first to pass away in 1995).

Grandpa, of course, gave me my dad, and here I am.

So in looking at records of Sedgwick, I was confirming dates and names, particularly on the Ober lineage. And the records of Christ Church are really splendid. The film included deeds in Hancock County too, and the pastor of Christ Church - Daniel Miller - wrong extensive notes about the Natives in the area, wildlife, and the life of the inhabitants of Bluehill. It was really a great read!

Unfortunately, the microfilm copier was out, so I had to take notes when I found information that I was trying to verify, to fix incorrect dates, etc. This is why I am eagerly awaiting my GEDCOM - I need to put all my notes into my file, and post the updated family tree.

Someday in the near future, I hope to see what is referred to as "The House on the Rock" in my great-grandfather's 1948 story of his visit to our family in Bluehill. :-)