Advent Calendar – Honoring the Deceased

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar  of Christmas Memories
prompt for December 22 asked how our family honors our decease relatives at  Christmas. . .

Sometimes sentiments are not spoken,
rather expressed with a heartfelt token

So to honor loved ones that did depart,
offer a gift of remembrance from the heart.
(C. Gade)

This has been a year of losses in our family.  It’s our first Christmas without my Step-dad who has been gone for only 4 months now.  I found that this blog lent me an opportunity to share and recall some Cherished Memories, including a genealogy gift I gave to him one Christmas.  Our family is also still grieving the loss of my cousin who was murdered, along with several others, in January.  Her sister has been working on some family history pages also (Ron Buckley, Deb Tillotson). It’s amazing how bits of healing can come through doing a family history.

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William Moody (1611-1673)

Emigrated From: Ipswich, England
Ship: Mary & John
Settled: Newbury, MA
Ancestor: George E. Currier (1834)

WILLIAM MOODY (WILLIAM, ROBERT, RICHARD, EDMUND ) was born 1611 in Ipswich, Suffolk Co. Eng, and died Oct 25, 1673 in Newbury, MA. He married SARAH.

He left Southhampton, Apr 10, 1634, on the ship Mary & John, and landed at Boston at the end of May. With 100 others, he removed to Ipswich, MA and remained there for the winter. He was then induced to settle in the new town of Newbury and was admitted as a Freeman May 6, 1635. He was a Saddler, Furrier & Smith.

Children of WILLIAM MOODY and SARAH are:

  1. Samuel MOODY , born 1630 in England; died Apr 04, 1675 in Newbury, MA.
  2. Joshua MOODY, born 1632 in England; died Jul 04, 1697 in Newbury MA.
  3. CALEB MOODY, born 1637 in Newbury, MA; died Aug 25, 1698 in Newbury, MA.


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Hugh March (1620-1699)

Emigrated From: Southhampton, England
Ship: Confidence:
Settled: Newbury, MA
Ancestor: George E. Currier (1834)

HUGH MARCH, the progenitor of a large branch of the March family of the U. S., was an early settler, of Newbury, Mass. Tradition says that he was born about 1620 and came from Newbury, Eng., Apr. 24, 1638. He sailed from Southhampton, Eng., on Apr. 24, 1638, in the ship, “Confidence.” He married 1st, Judith (prob. Trueman) who died Dec. 14, 1675. In 1653 Mistress Judith was “presented for wearing a silk scarf,” but was discharged on proof that her husband was of considerable estate. (Coffin’s History, of Newbury.) He married 2d, May 29, 1676, Dorcas Bowman Blackleach, dau. of Nathaniel Bowman, of Conn. She died Nov. 22, 1683, and he m. 3d, Dec. 3, 1685, Sarah Healy.

By occupation, Hugh March was a carpenter. From 1670 to ’80 he kept a tavern, having been licensed by the court to “keep an ordinary.” Mr. March died Nov. 12, 1693. Sarah Healy March died Oct. 25, 1699.

Children by Judith Trueman:

George, b. 1646, m. June 12, 1672, Mary Folsom.

Judith, b. Jan. 3, 1652, m. Apr. 13, 1670, Thomas Thorley.

Hugh, b. Nov. 3, 1656, m. Mar. 29, 1683, Sarah Moody.

John, b. June 10, 1658, m. Oct. 1, 1679, Jemima True.

James, b. Jan. 11, 1663, m. Mary Walker.

Excerted from: The Harmon genealogy, comprising all branches in New England, 1920

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Related to Jane Austen?

Known to many by her writings, endeared to her
family by the varied charms of her characters
and ennobled by her Christian faith and piety
was born at Steventon in the County of Hants.
December 16 1775
and buried in the Cathedral
July 18 1817.
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom
and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

“It is pleasant to be among people who know
one’s connections and care about them,” Jane Austen

Could it be that I have a relation in distant past with connections to Miss Jane Austen. Be still my heart. Sometimes, I believe genealogy enthusiasts can be a bit zealous to find someone of renown in the branches of there family tree, perhaps finding what more resembles tangled vines seeking nurture from the true tree, (ie. distraction).

So be it.

There is a Richard Knight in my family line. Born 14 Jan. 1603 in Romsey, Wiltshire, England, died 4 Aug. 1683 in Newbury, MA.  Jane Austen had cousins who were Knights. In fact, in 1814, Thomas Knight, who was without heir, adopted (customary in the day) his cousin, Rev. George Austen’s third eldest son, James, Jane’s brother.  James inherited Chawton House , and became Jane’s home during the most prolific time in her life.  She strolled the gardens and walked on ground that royalty had tread in centuries before, when kings visited the grand estate belonging to the Knight family, some whom were our own ancestors. Could they have been Austen relations?
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Living History at Christmas

Living Nativity in West Springfield, MA (2010)

Rev. A. E. Lavalley & wife, Nancy Mitchell LaValley, uncle and aunt

It has become an annual tradition at the West Springfield Covenant Community Church, MA, where my Uncle Al LaValley is pastor, to treat the community to a living nativity. And for many of my family members who participate, they are not only living history, but making their own history. So I present to you several of my cousins from the Mitchell branch of my family tree, who bring you tidings of great joy!

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Posted in Living History, Mitchell (Scots-Irish) | 2 Comments

Opening Doors to the Past and Present

“Growing up, I was the only one around that didn’t have any grandparents.  They were in Sweden and we never  really talked about them.”  So my father said, when I asked him for some information about his grandparents, all from Sweden. “I think you know more about it than I do, since you gave me the passenger lists.”

What a contrast in searching for my elusive Swedish origins from the wealth of information I have with my early New England ancestors with their well recorded histories. My father is the last of six children, as far as I know there are no other living relatives from that generation or before.  Hopefully, I could get some information on his family’s history to help fill in my family tree.
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Knock on WOOD

Funny thing about genealogy – the harder I search, the luckier I get.

My husband and I each have the surname Wood in the branches of our family tree and I’m trying to find out a little more about each of them. My husband’s mother’s paternal line is a Wood from Massachusetts for which we have information going back a few generations, while my mother’s paternal grandmother was a Wood from New York that I have little information on. I used Family Search and discovered a 1900 census with Bertha Wood from Burke, New York (census taken by a Mitchell, no less).

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