July 18, 2015

Resemblances: my mom and me

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a photo of me at the age of six; it was taken in our backyard in California in June or July of 1981.

I was reminded of a photo that I have of my mother when she was about the same age, and decided to put them side by side:

Left, my mom, circa 1942 ; right, me, circa 1981
I never thought we looked that much alike, but we certainly do in these photos! At least I think so.

July 3, 2015

Josiah Bartlett, 2nd cousin and signer of the Declaration of Independence

Josiah Bartlett was a physician, statesman, delegate to the Continental Congress for New Hampshire, and a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. He later became Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court of Judicature and the 4th governor of the state.

He was born to Stephen Bartlett and Mary Webster on 21 November 1729 in Amesbury, Massachusetts. His great-grandparents were Richard Bartlett (1621-1698) and Abigail Wells, who were my 9x great-grandparents, making us second cousins eight times removed. At the age of 21, he was a physician and had moved to Kingston, New Hampshire to establish his practice. He got involved in local politics, and this small-town doctor became one of the most important politicians in New Hampshire history.

A word about signing the Declaration of Independence: this was an extremely brave thing to do, as you were publicly marking yourself as a traitor to the Crown and therefore liable to be executed if captured. He knew the risks, as his house had already been torched by Tories a couple of years earlier.

Bartlett was the second to sign, after John Hancock (who famously made his signature large so that the near-sighted King George would be able to see it without his spectacles).

Anyone who has researched New England genealogy has probably noticed that many of their colonial ancestors were friends, neighbors, and coworkers to each other. Turns out that my 5th great-grandfather, Captain Jacob Webster (1845-1836) of Kingston, was an associate of Josiah Bartlett; Bartlett mentions him by name a couple of times in his letters, and Jacob was also a signatory of Bartlett's 1795 will.

Sadly, an image of Josiah Bartlett's original will is not available on FamilySearch (I looked for it), just a copy that, judging by a familiar cursive font, was typed up in the 1980's. He passed away at his home on 19 May 1795.

Josiah's Bartlett line:

Richard BARTLETT (1621-1698) m. Abigail WELLS
Richard BARTLETT (1648-1724) m. Hannah EMERY
Stephen BARTLETT (1691-1773) m. Hannah WEBSTER
Josiah BARTLETT (1729-1795) m. Mary BARTLETT 

My Bartlett line:

Richard BARTLETT (1621-1698) m. Abigail WELLS
Samuel BARTLETT I (1645-1732) m. Elizabeth TITCOMB
Samuel BARTLETT II (1676-1753) m. Abigail WELLS
David BARTLETT (b. 1713) m. Priscilla HOLGATE
Priscilla BARTLETT (1756-1832) m. John DAVIS
Priscilla DAVIS (1798-1828) m. William FITTS
Sophia Haskell FITTS (1823-1880) m. Isiaiah F. PURINTON
Mary Olivia PURINTON (1851-1898) m. George Bailey PALMER
Frank Bailey PALMER (1888-1958) m. Bessie Maud WINSLOW
Dorothy Elizabeth PALMER (1918-1984) m. Henry Richard HOWES
S. HOWES (1937-1999) m. my father

Josiah and I are also cousins through his mother's Webster line-- his 2nd great-grandparents were John Webster and Mary Shatswell, my 9th greats. And another set of Josiah's great-grandparents were John Emery and Mary Webster-- also 9th greats to me.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: genealogy is so cool.