On my maternal side the Gowen surname begins with my great-great grandmother Esther.
Esther Patricia Gowen was born January 15, 1848 in Bradford, Penobscot, Maine. She married Henry Hall on September 27, 1874 in Bradford. She had five children, Allen, Linda, Evelyn, Edwin and Lizzie Mae. She died August 6, 1924 in Bradford. She is buried at William’s Cemetery in Bradford.
Esther’s father Moses Pray Gowen was born December 8, 1814 in Lebanon, York, Maine. He was a farmer. He married Aurilla Bither in Bradford, Maine. They had 7 children, Sylvia, Cynthia, Draxey, Sarah, Dorcas, Esther and Moses. In 1861, the family suffered great loss. On August 26, 15 year old Dorcas died, followed closely by 11 year old Moses (Aug 30), 17 year old Sarah (September 11) and on November 17, newly married mother Sylvia Gowen Pickering also died at only 24 years old. Moses died on March 10, 1903 in Bradford and is buried in Smith Cemetery, Bradford.
James Gowen was born March 5, 1784 in Lebanon, York, Maine. He married Dorothy Pray on June 23, 1812 in Lebanon. They had Sally, Moses and Isaac. James died April 11, 1858 in Bradford, Maine and is buried in Smith Cemetery.
Patrick Gowen was born December 11, 1745 in Berwick, York, Maine. He married Abigail Woodsum on January 1, 1777 in Berwick. They had Mary, James, Samuel, Sarah, Abigail, James, John, Johanna, Draxcy, Miriam, Lemuel and Benjamin. Patrick died April 12, 1803 in Lebanon, York, Maine.
Patrick Gowen was born March 20, 1707 in Kittery, York, Maine. He married Miriam Shackley. They had children Samuel, David, Patrick, Moses, Benjamin, Abigail, Paul, Stephen and Sarah. Patrick and Miriam owned the Covenant at the First Church of Berwick, Maine in 1737. On April 3, 1755, they signed the Covenant of the newly formed Second Church of Berwick, Maine. In the spring of 1762 Patrick left Kittery and travelled to Upper Chebogue, Nova Scotia, Canada where he resided for the rest of his life. He died March 5, 1776 and was buried at the Gowen Family Burial Ground, Chebogue Point, Nova Scotia.
Nicholas Gowen was born 1667 in Kittery, York, Maine. When he was young he was an Indian scout. He became a lawyer and was admitted to practice in York, Maine, April 6, 1703. He was a representative to the General Court in 1709. He married Abigail Hodsdon about 1694. They had Abigail, Elizabeth, Margaret, Hester, Nicholas, William, Patrick, Anna and James. He died about 1752 in York, Maine.
William Gowen was born May 10, 1640 in Scotland. William settled in Kittery, Maine where he was a farmer and a carpenter. He married Elizabeth Frost on May 14, 1667 in Kittery. They had children John, William, Elizabeth, James, Margaret, Lemuel, Sarah and Nicholas. William died April 2, 1686 in Kittery.
Today I am featuring my husband's great-grandfather, Francisco Mastrostefano. Francisco was born in Italy in 1862. He married Concetta DiBiasio in 1867. Francisco and Concetta had some children who were born in Teano, Italy and some in France. Then the family moved to America. Francisco came on the La Gascogne from Havre, France, arriving in New York on February 5, 1905. He traveled with his oldest two daughters, Pasqualina and Maria.
His wife and the rest of the children came some time in 1906. (I have yet to locate them on any passenger lists) One of the children was born August 4, 1906, so Concetta most likely stayed behind till her daughter was born. Francisco's occupation is listed as "shoemaker" on this document. Later US census records show him working in a worsted mill and in a jewelry shop.
No doubt Francisco and Concetta moved their family looking for work and a better life. They have many descendants now who appreciate their sacrifices and love!
A favorite family photo shows Francisco holding his great granddaughter in about 1952. The photo was taken in Rhode Island where most of the family settled.
As part of The Accidental Genealogists series Fearless Females, I am finally going to participate by talking about one of my brick wall ancestors.
On my mother's side of the family tree we find my 4th great grandmother Mary Arnold. Mary declared her intention to marry Benjamin Turner on October 1, 1780 in Pownalborough, Maine. This fact is printed in the Bangor Historical Magazine, Volume 7, Page 17.
Other than that, there is no indication where Mary came from. She and Benjamin did marry and had eleven children that I am aware of: David, Nehemiah, Mary, Daniel, Benjamin, Hollis, James, Lois, Fanny, Eunice and Joseph. I am desended from Daniel who married Sardine Jackson.
Back to Mary. I have tried to find her parentage. There are numerous postings on the various message boards for other cousins looking for this very same information.
I decided to try and locate Arnold families in the 1790 census. There are two listed in Lincoln County. Benjamin Arnold in Lincoln with 1-3-3 and William Arnold of Pownalborough with 2-1-2. The first number represents free white males under 16, then free white males over 16 and lastly free white females (got to love the 1790 census). Researching William Arnold led me to:
William Arnold b. 23 June 1728 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts who married Elizabeth Colby b. 04 November 1729, also in Newbury. They were married on 27 April 1750 in Newbury. According to Newbury records they had three children there, Thomas b. 1750, William b. 1752 and Elizabeth b. 1755. Then there is no longer any record of them in Newbury.
This William was the son of Capt. Thomas Arnold and Rachel. Elizabeth was the daughter of Ambrose Colby and Elizabeth Lawrence. Ambrose Colby was known to have been born in Amesbury, Massachusetts and have moved to Lincoln County, Maine. In Ambrose's will of 1778, he is of Pownalborough. This is where my Mary Arnold is living when her marriage intention was listed.
The records from Maine are notoriously weak. Other family trees listed on rootsweb and/or ancestry give William and Elizabeth (Colby) Arnold other children born in Maine, including Benjamin b. 1763, Rachel b. 1766 and Joseph b. 1771 in Pownalborough. This would leave room for Mary, who I believe to have been born about 1764. These children were wed in Pownalborough as was Mary. Could this be the Arnold family to which she belongs?
The first day of school is always a good time for grabbing the camera and getting pictures of the kids heading off to school. My mother did a pretty good job with this task!
This first one is from 1962 when my brother was off to kindergarten. He doesn't look nervous at all!
Later in 1964 all three of us were school ready. That was the year that a brand new school opened and the three of us were off to South Road Elementary School. I think my brother was the sheriff :-) I am managing to be at least as tall as my younger sister. It didn't last.
I have to show this next one because I remember the Mary Poppins dress and how disappointed I was when it no longer fit. The year was 1965.
Skipping ahead, my younger brother was ready to join us girls in 1969. My older brother was off to Junior High and had already left by the time the rest of us were ready to go. My mother made the dresses! Notice the rickrack? Remember rickrack?!!
The next year was 1970. I was in Junior High and we could finally wear pants! But oh my, look at them pants. What can I say? I think I made them myself.
After that I doubt that we teenagers cooperated much. But what a great record of us growing and changing. The fashions of the day also become apparent. We can remember the front of our houses or what curtains hung in the living room! It's a great way to mark time. I have pictures of my kids all the way through high school, along with their father, a school teacher. So, if your kids have not finished school yet, or maybe haven't even started, make sure when the school bell rings that you are ready! Your kids will never forgive forget you for it!
Today it is time for the Parsons family. This family is from my maternal side of the family. I haven't done a lot of research on the Parsons for a while but this is what I know.
Alice Flavilla Parsons was born October 3, 1867. She married Newell Hannan on March 22, 1885. They had 7 children, Ernest, Charlie, Guy, Irving, Rose, Ross (my grandfather) and Doris. She died on Jun 26, 1956 in Palermo, Maine and is buried along side her husband in Hannan Cemetery.
Alice Flavilla Parsons
Norton Phillips Parsons was born December 28, 1838 in Westport, Lincoln, Maine. He was a farmer. He married first Susan Young on January 23, 1867 in Liberty, Waldo, Maine. They had four children, Alice, Charles, Melvin and Susan, before Susan died in 1875. He then married Mary Turner on May 2, 1876 in Liberty, Maine. They had three children Elvia, Wendell and Hollis. Norton died on July 23, 1887 in Liberty and is buried in Sherman Cemetery, Liberty.
Norton Phillips Parsons was born December 9, 1806 in Edgecomb, Lincoln, Maine. He married Prudence Dunton on December 20, 1825 in Edgecomb. They had 7 children, George, Eliza, Ozais, Stephen, Westbrook, Merrill and Norton. Norton Sr died before 1850.
John Parsons was born January 24, 1773 in York, York, Maine. He married Jemima Phillips on May 9, 1799 in York. They had Margaret, John, Norton, Jerusha and Henry. The 1850 census has him living with his son Norton's family, although Norton had already died, as had his wife Jemima.
Joseph Parsons was born April 2, 1746 in York, York, Maine. He was known as Joseph III. He married first Jerusha Sayward on November 9, 1769 in York. Together they had Thomas, John, Joseph, Jerusha, James, Jotham, Theordore, Susanna and Rufus. Jerusha died in 1805 and he married Mary Brown Wakefield Washburn on November 21, 1805 in Wells, Maine. They had a son Timothy. Joseph died May 18, 1810 in York.
Joseph Parsons was born February 20, 1719/20 in York, York, Maine. His father died when he was just ten years old and his mother died only seven years later. He married Miriam Preble on January 22, 1742 in York, Maine. They had 12 children, Anne, Joseph, Timothy, Josiah, Elihu, Miriam, Nathan, John, John, David, Susanna and Isaac. Joseph was a blacksmith and a farmer. He died December 4, 1781 in York.
Elihu Parsons was born March 31, 1684 in York, York, Maine. He was a housewright and a prominent townsman. He married Ruth Wilson about 1710 in York. They had children Ruth, Hannah, John, Elizabeth, Joseph, Elihu, Josiah, Mary and Susanna. He died July 30, 1730 in York.
John Parsons was born August 14, 1650 in England. By 1677 he was living in York. He was a shoemaker, a cordwainer and a tanner. He married Elizabeth Huckins. They had children John, Elizabeth, Mary, Elihu, Rachel, Christian and Mercy. John was killed by the Indians on January 25, 1691/2 when they raided York. The Indians carried off three of his children, two later returned and the other married a Frenchman in Quebec. The settlement of York at the time was about 300 people in forty houses. Seventy-five persons were killed and almost all the town was burned. Among the captives was the oldest Parsons child, John, age 15 and daughters Rachel and Mercy. John was baptised at Quebec 20 April 1693. He and Rachel were brought back to York in 1645 by Captain Carey. Mercy was in Canada till 1710
Beatrice was my grandmother. She was born June 17, 1906 in Danforth, Maine to Allen and Leilia Hall. She was a school teacher, a gifted piano player, a reporter for the local newspaper in Palermo, Maine and a wonderful grandmother of nine. She died June 9, 1976.
When I look at this picture I see my latest nephew, born almost a year ago.
On my paternal side of the family the surname Craft is one for which I can identify several generations.
The first known generation of this family in America is represented by Thomas Thorneycraft of Warwick, Rhode Island and his wife Jean. Thomas was probably born in England and came through the Massachusetts Bay Colony on his way to Rhode Island. He was recorded as an inhabitant of Warwick on June 5, 1648. He died in 1659 in Maspeth Kills, Newtown, now Elmhurst, on present day Long Island.
Their son William Thorneycraft came to Musketa Cove (now a part of Glen Cove), Long Island in 1675, having lived first in Massapequa, on the southern side of Long Island. He married Hannah Carpenter in 1682. In his will he mentions son Joseph, son Thomas and son William, as well as daughters Hannah Washburn, Elizabeth Pellam, Mary Thorneycraft, Jane Carpenter and Phebe Thorneycraft.
William Thorneycraft was born about 1682 and died in January 1735/36 in Oyster Bay, Nassau, New York. He married Mary Coles in 1707 in Oyster Bay.
Son John Thorneycraft was born about 1724 in Oyster Bay. He married Jerusha. In 1780 he was fined for having two of his sons join the British Army during the struggle for American Independence.
One of these loyalist sons was my ancestor Reuben Craft. (Many of the Thorneycrafts became Crafts over time and by the 19th century Thorneycraft seems to have disappeared from the Long Island area.) He was born about 1760 in Rye, Westchester County, New York. He married Alithea Wetmore about 1792. After the Revolutionary War was over, he and most other loyalists left America for Canada. Reuben and his family arrived in Canada in July 1783 on the "Montague". Reuben died in 1801 in New Brunswick, Canada.
John Henry Craft was born 1795 in Hampton, King's County, New Brunswick, Canada. He married Anna Golding Smith on October 25, 1821 in Hampstead, Queen's County, New Brunswick, Canada. He died on November 20, 1860 in Craft's Cove, Queens County and is buried in the Craft Family Cemetery there.
William Henry Craft was born on February 23, 1839 in New Brunswick. He is listed in the census records as a farmer. He married Martha Jane Belyea on January 8, 1862 in New Brunswick. He died January 25 1907 at Craft's Cove, Queen's County, New Brunswick and like his father is also buried in the Craft Family Cemetery.
William and Martha's daugher Sarah Jemima Craft is my great-great grandmother. She was born November 4, 1868 in Belyea's Cove, Queen's County, New Brunwick, Canada. She married George Byron McKiel on November 3, 1892 at Belyea's Cove. Her marriage index lists her as Sadie J. Craft. She died October 24, 1946 in MacDonald's Point, New Brunswick, Canada.
You know you have partially succeeded as a family historian when some member of your family recognizes you as one. One such moment happened for a me a few years ago when my aunt passed on to me a piece of family memorabilia. It is a copy of The Book of Dow that was originally in the hands of my great Uncle Omar. Omar Dow was born to Isaiah & Emily Dow on September 29, 1877. He died February 7, 1953, a few years before I was born.
I don't know whether he purchased the book himself but I think he might have because he did begin the inscription on the inside cover when he passed the book on to my grandmother Mrs. Ross (Beatrice) Hannon. She in turn passed it on to her daughter, my aunt Gloria, who passed it on to me. Here is the inside cover with dates blocked out (not very neatly but...)
Besides the information this book contains, I am a sentimental sucker for these kind of things. Omar held this book, poured over its contents, perhaps along with another relative or two. Then my grandmother probably did the same and on to my aunt. Now I hold the very same book. There are a few notes inside on the pages relating to our common Dow line. I haven't yet tried to figure out who wrote each of them, but I know that those that held this book before me also wanted to know and remember our ancestors. I love it. It is sort of like the feeling I have when standing in front of the grave of an ancestor. I know that other ancestors stood there, perhaps overcome with grief, perhaps fondly remembering. Right in the very same spot. What can be better than that or a treasure like this book!