All things history and genealogy.

All things history and genealogy.

Tag: Immigration

Newfoundland and Labrador are the gems of Canada.

Melanson Village Community Hall
Melanson Village Community Hall

Mark is scared to death.

As we get closer to retirement, I’ve been focusing on possible places we could retire to. Unfortunately, unless something drastic changes, it isn’t likely we’ll be able to afford to stay in British Columbia, where the average home price in our area is $375,000.

This is not what Mark wants to hear. His family has lived in Chilliwack, British Columbia since the 1930’s after his grandmother sold the family farm on the Saskatchewan prairie.

I always thought like Mark. Having spent most of my life in British Columbia among the mountains, I never could foresee living elsewhere – until 2005 when we traveled to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to research my mother’s Melanson, Acadian family history.

New Brunswick was pretty in its own way and it was great seeing it as we drove through, but there was something primal tugging at me in Nova Scotia. Each of the Acadian sites we visited tugged at me more and more.

Melanson Mountain Sign
Melanson Mountain directional sign.

I had this strange feeling of ‘welcome home’, which was bolstered by the odd coincidences we experienced, the people we met and the places we discovered. One of the weird coincidences was my being disappointed in how little there was in my family’s pioneer ‘Melanson Settlement’ site.

All my life I’d heard my mother talk about the dike systems devised by the Acadians to drain the land on the ocean front and create some of the most fertile farmland anywhere. We were never able to find an example of the aboiteau (dike valves) that were used – not at Grand Pré museum, nor at the Melanson Settlement site or anywhere else. Yet, that very day, on our way after seeing the Melanson Settlement and being very disappointed, we happened upon a non-descript little house with a sign out front, “North Hills Museum.” We decided to stop and check it out. It seemed like the usual home refurbished to look as it had centuries before with period furnishings, art, utensils, dishware, etc. We did, however, strike up a conversation with the woman working there and upon mentioning our disappointment in the Melanson Settlement and not being able to find an aboiteau, she said, “We have an aboiteau stored here, ready to be archived and put on display.” I couldn’t believe it and my mind raced as she led us to a back barn being used as a storage shed – and there was the aboiteau. From one angle it looked like  a log, but looking up from the open end, the valve could be seen and it was easy to imagine it in operation. This and other odd coincidences such as the graveyard tour at Fort Anne being led by Alan Melanson, another direct Melanson descendant, led to my feeling like we were expected and welcomed.

Since this trip to Nova Scotia and my resulting love of the area, I’ve been checking out properties there and have seen some amazing, waterfront acreages with heritage homes for $100,000 or less. This would be ideal for our retirement budget. Every time I show Mark one of these, I can see the panic in his eyes.

Over the last few years, I’ve been noticing the wonderfully charming, quaint commercials being produced by Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism. Each time, I feel so sorry that we never ventured that far while visiting the east coast on our genealogical quest. There’s something about the charm and hominess of these ads that invokes the same kind of ‘Welcome Home’ feeling and I mentioned to Mark that it might be smart to consider retiring there as well. The bonus there is that the rugged waterfront, high cliffs and jagged rocks are somewhat reminiscent of our Rocky Mountains in British Columbia. Again, I immediately saw panic in Mark’s eyes.

After this experience, I truly believe there is an innate tie between us and the homeland of our ancestors. I’d never seen Nova Scotia before and have no explanation for the deep draw and connection I experienced.

I still wonder at the ads produced by Newfoundland and Labrador tourism and have placed the videos of my favorites below.

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Videos

Iceberg Alley

Secret Place

Most Easterly Point

Gros Morne




Place Names

The Edge

Transcription: French plaque commemorating Samson settlers.

Plaque of St. Gatien-des-Bois, France commemorating the first Samson settlers was erected at the Church of St. Gatien-des-Blois in January of 1997.

Samson brothers plaque.
Samson brothers plaque.

Inside the church of St Gatien-des-Bois, France (pictured above), a plaque commemorating the first Samson settlers was erected in January of 1997, which reads (translated from French):

“In 1665 the brothers Gabriel and Jacques Samson, born at St. Gatien des Bois and baptized in this church in 1643 and 1647, left to settle in New France, and are the ancestors of numerous descendants living today in Canada and the United States.”

St Gatien des Bois ; Le 15 Janvier 1997.


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

This homebody wishes to be part of an Acadian trip to France.


Of all of the numerous branches in our family history, there are two of which I am almost obsessive in my interest – and research.


Those are my mother’s Acadian roots and my father-in-law’s Welsh Quaker ancestry.

Featured image: La grande derangement (Acadian Expulsion)


A few years ago, we had the amazing experience of visiting New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for a prolonged camping trip to take in the sights and sounds (and smells) of the lands originally settled by the French Huguenot exiles in the 17th century.

I came across an article on the Daily World website describing a trip to be taken by a group of Acadian descendants from Canada, Louisiana and other US locations. These families had relocated to diverse areas as a result of the Acadian Expulsion (la grande dérangement) at the hands of the British under authority of the king in retaliation for the Acadians’ refusal to swear allegiance to the British king.

La Rochelle, France in 1628.
La Rochelle, France in 1628.

This trip is an amazing opportunity to see and experience the lands from which the original Acadian settlers came.In our family’s case in particular, it would be great to have a chance to visit archives, churches and other repositories to try to trace the origins of our Melanson ancestors.

The couple who originally settled in Acadia were Pierre dit Laverdure and Priscilla Mellanson, as well as their sons, Pierre, Charles and Jean.

It is widely believed that although they traveled from England, Pierre was originally a Huguenot exile from the La Rochelle area of France, who married Priscilla in England, later traveling to Acadia with his family.

Researchers in the past have been unsuccessful in locating documentation proving Pierre’s origin, and I would love a chance to explore the possibilities in France.

Then again, a tour  may not be the best way as a great deal of personal freedom to explore and time to research would be necessary. Perhaps one day, in our retirement, our dream of traveling Europe will come true and I will have my opportunity.


Transcription: Prominent Families of the United States of America, page 402-4; BURKET

Transcription:  Prominent Families of the United States of America, page 402-4; BURKET


Burket Family Lineage
Burket Family Lineage

Jacob F. Burket, b. in Perry Co., Ohio, 25 March 1837 ; m., at Lenawee Co., Michigan, Pamy D., dau. of John Walters, of Findlay, Ohio, and, by her (who d. 6 June 1900), had issue :–

1.  Harlan Fessenden, b.  15 May 1860 ;  m., 16 Jan. 1895, Augusta, dau. of Cyrus Dukes, and has  issue :–

  1.     Jacob F., b. 28 Jan. 1897.

2.  Charles Osterlin, b.  23 June 1862 ; m., (I), 31 Dec. 1884, Florence, dau. of Captain Hiram Henderson, who d. 4 May 1908, and had issue :–

1.  Winifred.

   m. (2) Sarah, dau. of Robert Fleming, and has issue :–

1.  Reginald William, b. 4 May 1905.
2.  Thomas George, b. 4 May 1907.
2.  Janet, b.  25 Aug. 1903 ; d. young.

3.  William Jacob, b. 22 July 1869 ; m., 15 Jun 1897, Forence, dau. of William Carr ; d. 27 July 1902.

4.  John F., b. 15 June 1875 ; m., 21 Sept. 1905, Bess Louise, dau. of Dr. George Lester Hoege, and has issue :–

Harriet Walding, b. 14 June 1908.

5.  Reginald, b. 8 June 1878 ; m., 31 Oct. 1904, Mary Louise, dau.  of Robert Burne Motherwell, and has issue :–

Robert Burns, b. 14 Sept. 1905.

1.  Lillie B., b. 5 Feb. 1867 ; m., 30 May 1889, Louis White Eoff, and has issue :–

William Burket, b. 6 July 1890.

The Hon. J. F. Burket graduated at Seneca Co. Academy, Ohio, 1859, was admitted to the Bar, 1861 ; and was Judge of Supreme Court of Ohio, 1893-1904.


Christoph Burckhardt, of Basel, Switzerland, m. Barbara Gottenschier, and had issue :–

Christoph Burckhardt (1490-1578), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 1490 ; m., 29 July 1539, Gertrude, dau. of Theodor Brand, and, dying 6 Oct. 1578, left, by her (who d. 3 Jan. 1600), issue :–

Theodor Burckhardt (1549-1623), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 5 Sept. 1549 ; Councillor and Judge ; m., 18 June 1582, Maria, dau. of Jacob Oberreid, and, dying 18 Feb. 1623, left,by her (who d. 30 Nov. 1629), issue :–

Chrisoph Burckhardt (1586-1639), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 14 Aug. 1586 ; Councillor and Judge ; m. Margaretta, dau. of Michael Kimmell, and, dying 4 April 1639, left, by her (who d. 22 July 1675), issue :–

Christoph Burckhardt (1631-1705), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 13 June 1631 ; Councillor, Judge, and Ambassador ; m., 5 June 1654, Judith, dau. of Bonifaz Burckhardt, and, dying 24 July 1705, left, by her (who d. 6 Jan. 1679), issue :–

Christoph Burckhardt (1657-1693), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 27 Aug. 1657 ; Councillor and Administrator ; m., 30 Nov. 1682, Marie Magdalena, dau. of Emanuel Stupanus, and, dying 8 Jan. 1693, left, by her (who d. 14 April 1731), issue :–

Emanuel Burckhardt (1684-1740), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 28 Dec. 1684 ; J.U.C. Judge ; Administrator of the Hospital ; m., 1 March 1717, Susanna, dau. of Leonard Felber, and dying 18 March 1740, left, by her (who d. 26 March 1749), issue :–

Emanuel Burckhardt (1720-1787), of Basel, Switzerland, b. 19 April 1720 ; J.U.L. Judge ; Lieutenant in the French Army ; m., 16 May 1740, Anna Maria, dau. of Emanuel Linder, and, dying 19 Jan. 1787, left,by her (who d. 26 Aug. 1765), issue :–

John Burckhardt (1753-1847), of Reading, Pennsylvania, b. at Basel, Switzerland, 20 Aug. 1753 ; in General Washington’s Lifeguards ; m. Catherine Fox, of Reading, Pennsylvania, and, dying 2 Jan. 1847, left, by her (who d. 16 June 1862), issue :–

Solomon Burket (1806-1847), of Hancock Co., Ohio, b. 4 Nov. 1806; m., 1 June 1823, Mary, dau. of George Brehm, and left, by her (who d. 26 Sept. 1869), issue : —

    1.   Jacob R., of whom we treat.

He died 6 March 1847.

Residence — Findlay, Ohio.


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

Transcription: Biographies of John Sloan Smeltzer, Jules Hugg, James Keating (in part) and including Jacob and Mary Shellhammer.

The following is my transcription from the original image of page 563 of “The History of Westmoreland County”, in my case concerning the Shellhammers, but mentioning the Smeltzer, Chambers, Meeker, Fox, Sloan, Stidard, Lawrence, Wicht, Theibert, Beck, Hugg, and Keating surnames.


John Smeltzer biography
John Smeltzer biography



JOHN SLOAN SMELTZER.   The father of John Sloan Smeltzer, of Vandergrift Heights, was Christopher C. Smeltzer, born July 25, 1841, in Armstrong county, where he was reared to a farm lite. He has always followed agricultural pursuits. in connection with which he engaged for many years in threshing. He is a Democrat and a member of the Lutheran church. Mr. Smeltzer married Sarah Chrissman. and six of their ten children are now living: Ada. wife of Claude Chambers, of Grove county. Kansas; Robert Charles, heater in Vandergrift mills; Anna, wife of William Meeker, of Russel county, Kansas ; Jennie,  wife of David Fox, of Pawnee county. Kansas: Carrie, wife of Gibson Sloan, of the same county : and John Sloan. mentioned hereinafter. Mr. Smeltzer, the father, now resides near Ellerton, Armstrong county.

John Sloan Smeltzer, son of Christopher C. and Sarah {Chrissman) Smeltzer, was born February 10, 1878, in Adams county, Ohio, and received a limited common school education. 1n 1893 he entered the mills of the Apollo lron & Steel Company, serving first in the capacity of matcher. Three months later he was promoted to the position of doubler, in which he served eleven months and was then made catcher. Five months later he became rougher and in this capacity served seven years. In July, 1902, he was advanced to his present position of roller. Politically he is a Democrat. Mr. Smeltzer married, February 1, 1898, Daisy E., daughter of Jacob B. and Mary (Beck) Shellhammer of Armstrong county, and their children are: Viola M., Rita E., Ora A. T., Iva E., and Williard S.

JULES HUGG.   The parents of Jules Hugg, of Arnold. were John Battis and Victoria Hugg, his birth occurring February 3, 1843, near Lyons, France, and his education being received in the schools of his native country and England. He learned the glass-blowers trade, which he followed until 1870. In that year he emigrated with his wife and three children to the United States, settling in Norristown, Pennsylvania, where for a short time he worked as a glassblower. After a residence of seven months in McKeesport, he moved to New Albany, Indiana, remaining, however. hut a short time and going thence to Rock Island. Illinois. where he spent one year. At the end ot that time he returned to Pennsylvania and took up his abode in Belle Vernon, where he remained three years, after which he spent four years in Europe. On his return he settled at Albany, Indiana, and after remaining five years spent four years in Pittsburg. For three years thereafter he lived at Jeannette, and in 1892 moved to Arnold, the borough being but one year old. He there purchased property on which he has lived ever since, and for ten years worked in the mills as a glass-blower. During the last two years he has lived in retirement.

Mr. Hugg married, January 22, 1865, Marie, born June 29, 1846, in England, daughter of Caspar and Melina (Wicht) Theibert, and their children are: Ernest. born December 9, 1865, now of Jeannette : Minnie. born December 1, 1867, wife of Isaac Stidard, of Pittsburg : Clarice, born  June 21, 1870, wife of Clarence Lawrence, of Arnold : Lewis, born August 20, 1877, glassblower : Charles, born April 28, 1880, glassblower at Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania; and Harry, born August 12, 1883, also of Reynoldsville.

JAMES KEATING. It was in Ireland that James Keating. of Arnold. was born December 20. 1850. and it was thence he emigrated in 1863, with an aunt. settling for a short time in Elmira, New York. He then went to Pennsylvania. where for a time he worked about the mines in Canton and Fall…

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.


Researching Welsh Quakers in Pennsylvania.

Welsh Quaker ancestors are the cultural group from which the majority of the ancestors of my children originate (on my husband’s side).


One of the benefits of researching this culture is that the people were religious, often educated (could read and write) and were very good at documenting vital statistics and events. As a result, there are several very good written resources available that directly cite or are based upon this documented data.

The following are valuable, highly informational links to texts and websites focusing on Welsh Quaker pioneers in Pennsylvania.



William Penn
William Penn


Transcription: Marriage Certificate for Chester Blythe and Louise Matthews (Froemling)

Transcription: Marriage Certificate for Chester Blythe and Louise Matthews (Froemling)

Marriage Certificate for Chester Blythe and Louise Matthews.
Marriage certificate for Chester Blythe and Louise Matthews (Froemling).

This is to Certify that

Mr. Chester Blythe

of Chicago, Ill.

and Miss Louise Matthews

of Chicago, Ill.

Were united by me in

Holy Matrimony

according to the Ordinance of God and the Laws of the

State of Illinois

at Chicago on the –25th–

day of November in the Year of OUR LORD,

One Thousand Nine Hundred and Thirty-Six.

Rev. Preston Bradley, D.C.?.

Pastor – The Peoples Church of Chicago




“Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder”


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

I’m related to Ellen Degeneres and Madonna?

What a shock to find out that I and the rest of my family are related to Ellen Degeneres and Madonna!

I was reviewing old genealogy articles to find story and post ideas and hit the jackpot with this one. In an article by CanWest News Service’s Randy Boswell from March of 2010, he recounts the relationship between Madonna and Ellen Degeneres.

View of the entrance to La Rochelle harbour in 1628.
La Rochelle harbour circa 1628.

Mr. Boswell states that they are eleventh cousins, descending from the same 10th great-grandfather, Martin Aucoin, from La Rochelle, France. It is unclear whether he ever immigrated to Acadia, but his two daughters Michelle and Jeanne were both living in Port Royal after 1641.

Relationship Chart - Christine Blythe to Martin Aucoin
I find out that I and the rest of my family are related to Ellen Degeneres and Madonna!

As you can see in the relationship chart below showing my descent from the same original ancestor, my branch descends through his daughter Michelle, who married Michel Boudrot in Port Royal in 1641.

In a later generation, my 6th great-grandfather, Charles Mellanson married Anne Bourg in 1701. Anne being the great-granddaughter of the original Martin Aucoin, all subsequent descendants of Charles Mellanson were also direct descendants of Martin Aucoin.

Finding family connections with noted people from history is one thing, but nothing beats the fun of finding connections to living celebrities, personalities, politicians, royalty, etc. Another connection I recently wrote about was that of my husband to Barack Obama, both being directly descended from Ulrich Stehle, who was 6th great-grandfather to Mark and 7th great-grandfather to Barack Obama.

Biography of Martin Aucoin and his daughters Michelle and Jeanne.

Martin Aucoin was born before 1619 in La Rochelle, France and married firstly, Barbe Minguet and secondly, Marie Salle (daughter of Denys Salle and Françoise Arnaud) after 1630. Martin and Barbe Minguet had the following children:

Michelle “Michele” Aucoin was born about 1621 in France and married Michel Boudrot (born about 1600 in France) in 1641 at Port Royal. Michel had immigrated to Acadia from France before 1639. The 1671 Acadian census is listed as a farmer in Port Royal, owning 20 cattle, 12 sheep, 8 arpents of land. In 1678, again at Port Royal, he owned 12 acres, 10 cattle, 3 guns. In 1686, Michel was a Lt. General of the Jurisdiction of Port Royal  and is shown in the census of that year owning 3 guns, 20 arpents, 16 cattle, 17 sheep, 6 hogs. According to the 1693 Acadian census, she was a widow living in Port Royal and owned 20 cattle, 18 sheep, 12 hogs, 25 arpents, and 1 gun. She died on December 17, 1706 at the age of 85 and was buried on 18 Dec 1706 in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal. Michelle Aucoin and Michel Boudrot had the following children:

  1. Françoise Boudrot, born about 1642 in Port Royal, married Etienne Robichaud about 1663 and died in 1714 at the age of 72.
  2. Jeanne Boudrot was born about 1650 in Port Royal and married Bonaventure “Venture” Terriau (son of Jean Terriau and Perrine Rau) about 1666. She died on May 8, 1710 at the age of 60 in Port Royal and was buried the next day in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal.
  3. Charles Boudrot was born about 1649 in Port Royal and married Renée Bourg (daughter of Antoine Bourg and Antoinette Landry) about 1672. He later married Marie Corporon about 1686. Charles died after 1714 at the age of 65 in Pisiquit.
  4. Marguerite Boudrot is my 7th great-grandmother and was born about 1648 in Port Royal. She married firstly, Jean Babineau, who was born about 1652 in Acadia. Secondly, she married François Bourg (my 7th great-grandfather)  about 1665. Marguerite died in 1718 as records show her burial on November 9, 1718 in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal.
  5. Marie Boudrot was born about 1650 in Port Royal and lived in Beaubassin, Acadia between 1693 and 1700. Marie married Michel Poirier (son of Jean Poirier and Jeanne Chebrat) about 1673 in Port Royal.
  6. Jean “Jehan” Boudrot was born about 1655 in Port Royal and married Marguerite Bourgeois (daughter of Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan) about 1676. He died on November 30, 1679 at the age of 24 in Port Royal.
  7. Abraham Boudrot was born about 1656 in Port Royal. In about 1685 in Port Royal, he married Cécile (Anne) Melanson (daughter of Charles Mellanson and Marie Dugas). He died in 1700 or 1701 at the age of 44 in Port Royal.
  8. Michel Boudrot was born about 1659 in Port Royal. He married Marie-Madeleine Cormier (daughter of Thomas Cormier and Marie-Madeleine Girouard) about 1690 and he died on February 13, 1714 at the age of 55, also in Port Royal.
  9. Olivier Boudrot was born about 1661 in Port Royal. About 1686, he married Isabelle Petitpas.
  10. Claude Boudrot was born about 1663 in Port Royal. He married Anne-Marie Thibodeau (daughter of Pierre Thibodeau and Jeanne Terriau) about 1682 in Port Royal and died on March 7, 1740 at the age of 77 in Grand Pré.

Jeanne Aucoin was born November 23, 1630 in La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, France and was baptized on November 26, 1630 in Ste-Marguerite Parish, La Rochelle, France. She married François “la varanne, le pere” Girouard about 1616 in France and immigrated with him to Acadian sometime before 1671. She appears first in the census of 1671 with her husband, who is shown to be a farmer in Port Royal, owning 16 cattle, 6 sheep and 8 arpents of land; in 1678 he owned 16 acres and 18 cattle; and in 1686 he owned 1 gun, 5 arpents of land, 13 cattle, 16 sheep and 8 hogs. In the 1693 census, Jeanne was a widow living in Port Royal and she owned 20 cattle, 40 sheep, 10 hogs, 20 arpents of land and 2 guns. The 1700 Acadian census shows Jeanne owning 15 cattle, 34 sheep, 20 arpents of land and 2 guns She died April 16,  1718 at the age of 87 and was buried April 18, 1718 in St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal. Jeanne Aucoin and François Girouard had six children:

  1. Marie Girouard, born about 1651 in Port Royal.
  2. Marie-Madeleine Girouard was born about 1653 in Port Royal and married Thomas François Cormier, son of Robert Cormier and Marie Peraud.
  3. Germain Girouard was born about 1656 in Port Royal. He married Marie Bourgeois (daughter of Jacques Bourgeois and Jeanne Trahan) on June 9, 1680 in Beaubassin and he died March 7, 1741 at the age of 90 in Beaubassin.
  4. Jacques Girouard was born about 1658 in Port Royal.
  5. Charlotte “Anne” Girouard, born about 1660 in Port Royal, married Julien “dit La Montagne” Lord sometime before 1678. She died before 1712 at the age of 52.
  6. Anne Girouard was born about 1671 in Port Royal.


  1. 1671 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  2. 1678 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  3. 1686 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  4. 1693 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  5. 1698 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  6. 1700 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  7. 1701 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  8. 1752 Acadian Census, (N.p.: n.p., n.d.). Annotation.
  9. Michael B. Melanson, “Melanson – Melancon: Genealogy of an Acadian and Cajun Family”, (Dracut, Massachusetts: Lanesville Publishing, 2004).
  10. “Origins of the Pioneers of Acadia”, Stephen A. White online (
  11. H. George Friedman Jr., “Aucoin Genealogy,” database, H. George Friedman, Jr., Aucoin Genealogy ( .
  12. Stephen A. White, ( (Université de Moncton: Centre d’Études Acadiennes, 1999).
  13. Donald J. Hébert, “Southwest Louisiana Records” (N.p.: Hébert Publications, n.d.).
  14. Donald J. Hébert, “Acadian Families in Exile – 1785” (N.p.: Hébert Publications, n.d.).
  15. “Baptiste Was Said to Have a Wife in Every Port”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (
  16. “Marriage Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (
  17. “Baptism Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (
  18. “Burial Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (
  19. “Dictionary of Canadian Biography,” database, (
  20. “The Seizure of ‘The Pembroke’ by the Acadians”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (
  21. “She Presided Over Councils of War Against her Kindred”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (
  22. “Baptiste, The Rascal”, Clarence-J. d’Entremont online (


Dad is the link to our French Canadian and military heritage.

Although both sides of my family are ‘French Canadian,’ my mother’s ancestors are Acadians who settled in the maritime provinces and the eastern seaboard of the United States. Dad, however, is the link to our Québecois French Canadian and military heritage.
Gerard Ronald Joseph Turmaine
Gerard Ronald Joseph Turmaine at 3 circa 1938.

In earlier posts about our family’s WWI war casualties, I discussed our family’s attachment to the Canadian military. My own father, Gerard Ronald Joseph Turmaine, was an Instrument Electrical Technician in the Canadian Armed Forces for almost thirty years.

Gerard Turmaine in full pipe bank regalia playing his snare drum.
Gerard Turmaine in full pipe band regalia playing his snare drum.

Born in 1934 to Henry Joseph Turmaine and Rose Amande Emery of Quebec, he was nephew to both family members we lost in WWI, Joseph Philias Albert Emery (Rose’s brother) and Joseph Turmaine (Henry’s half-brother). (See photo at right of Gerry Turmaine at age 3.) As a new Canadian forces member, he spent some time in New Brunswick visiting the family of another recruit, Paul Melanson and met my mother, Patricia Gail Melanson – Paul’s sister.

Shortly after, he was transferred to Baden Söllingen, Germany and a long distance relationship proceeded for a while until he eventually asked my mother to go over and marry him. She traveled over on ship, they were married, and just over a year later I was born.

A year after my birth, my father was posted to Trenton, Ontario by the Canadian military, where we lived for ten years. During this time, he was a member of the national military pipe band (see photo at left) and frequently played all around the nation – and on one occasion, I can remember him traveling to Washington, DC to play.  During the ten years we lived in Trenton, my parents had three more girls, my sisters Renee, Andrea and Danielle.

We finally left Trenton when my parents’ dream came true and we were transferred to Comox, British Columbia. I can remember my parents talking about how much they’d like to live on the west coast of Canada for years. As a matter of fact, the story told ever after was that my Dad was so happy at the news of our transfer to British Columbia he wore holes in his socks dancing around the coffee table.

Their intention to remain in British Columbia was evident when my Dad told his superiors in Comox that he would rather forego any further promotions in order to remain in British Columbia until he retired. My parents lived in Comox until his death in 2005.

Turmaine Family in the late 1960's.
Turmaine family photo with Gerry in rear on the right; middle: Renee, Christine, Gail and Andrea; front: Danielle.

Twenty years ago I met my husband while he was training in Comox. He was an Aviation Technician with the Canadian Armed Forces and retired in 2006 to take a position with Marshall Aerospace in Abbotsford, British Columbia – where he could continue to work on his favorite aircraft, the CC130 Hercules.

To add to the tradition, my husband’s father, Marsh Blythe, retired in the 1980’s as a Sergeant in the Canadian army and my sister Andrea’s husband Larry Potter also retired several years ago from the Canadian army.

Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky

Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky is the grandson of the original immigrant from Wales, Evan (Dhu) Shelby (Selby), who is eighth great grandfather to my children, Erin and Stuart; the son of Brigadier General Evan Shelby, who is the son of Evan (Dhu) and seventh great granduncle to my children; and is therefore first cousin eight times removed from my children.

Although not a direct ancestor of my husband, Marshall Mark (Mark) Blythe or our children, Isaac Shelby is of great interest to us for a couple of reasons. First, he was renowned for and distinguished himself for his actions in battle against United Empire Loyalists in Canada in the War of 1812, ultimately defeating Loyalist forces at the Battle of the Thames in southern Ontario. We are also related to and are descended from Loyalists who settled in this area. For a lengthy period of time, we lived in Trenton, Ontario which is located in the area of Loyalist activities and battles against American forces. This area is steeped in this history and it is still considered to be an honor to be from a Loyalist lineage.

Marshall Matthews Blythe
Marshall Matthews Blythe
Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.
Portrait of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky.

Second, because Isaac Shelby is so revered in history, there are accurate portraits of him during the latter period of his life available. Upon comparing portraits of him with recent pictures of my father-in-law, Marshall Matthews Blythe (father to my husband Mark and grand-father to my children Erin and Stuart), the resemblance between them is quite remarkable. For clarification, Isaac is first cousin six times removed to my father-in-law.

Isaac Shelby (December 11, 1750 – July 18, 1826) was a revered and decorated soldier and the first Governor of Kentucky.

The son of Brigadier General Evan and Letitia (Cox) Shelby, Isaac was born December 11, 1750 near North Mountain, Frederick (now Washington) County, Maryland.

Having been raised with the use of arms, he became proficient at an early age and was very familiar with and accustomed to the hardships and stresses of frontier life. Isaac worked on his father’s plantation. However, having received an education, he was occasionally employed as a surveyor and also as Deputy Sheriff.

About 1773, the Shelby family moved to the Holston region of Southwest Virginia, now East Tennessee, where they established a new home. A timeline of Isaac Shelby’s military and political career thereafter is as follows:


  • Isaac Shelby served at the Battle of Point Pleasant as a Lieutenant under his father, Brigadier General Evan Shelby, in the Fincastle Company on October 10.
  • Second in command of the garrison of Fort Blair (until July 1775), which was built on the site of the battle. An uprising of the Shawnee and Delaware Indians compelled Isaac to take up arms and he served as a Lieutenant under his father Brigadier Evan Shelby in the Battle of Point Pleasant in West Virginia.
  • He fought in the Battle of Kenhawa of 10 October. This was believed to be the most severely contested campaign ever fought with the north-western Indians.


  • After July of 1775, he visited Kentucky and surveyed lands for the Transylvania Company.
  • After returning to Kentucky due to failing health, he became involved in the Battle of Long Island Flats.
  • At the first onset of the Indians, the American lines were broken and Shelby, who was there only as a volunteer Private, seized command, reformed the troops, and severely defeated the Indians.


  • In July he was appointed by the Virginia Committee of Safety to the position of Captain of a company of minute men. However, he was not called into service.


  • Governor Patrick Henry promoted Shelby to Captain and made him Commissary-General of the Virginia forces.
  • He attended the Long Island Treaty with the Cherokees, which was finalized at Fort Patrick Henry on July 20, 1777, at which his father was one of the Virginia commissioners.


  • Helped to provide supplies for the Continental Army and for the expedition projected by General McIntosh against Detroit and the Ohio Indians.


  • Provided boats for Clark’s Illinois campaign and collected and provided supplies upon his own personal credit for the successful campaign waged about the same time against the Chickamauga Indians.
  • In the spring he was elected as a member for Washington County of the Virginia legislature.
  • In the fall, Governor Thomas Jefferson made him a Major in the escort of guards for the commissioners appointed to run the western boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina. By the extension of that line, his residence was found to be within the limits of North Carolina.
  • He resigned his commission, but was at once appointed Colonel of Sullivan County by Governor Caswell.


  • Upon receiving news of the fall of Charleston on May 12th, he returned home to an urgent summons for help from Colonel Charles McDowell.
  • He organized a force and about July 25, he joined McDowell at the Cherokee Ford, South Carolina.
  • On July 30, Shelby captured the major Loyalist stronghold, Thicketty Fort (Fort Anderson), at the head of the Pacolet River. On August 8, his command successfully repulsed a party sent by Major Ferguson at the second Battle of Cedar Springs.
  • Upon receipt of the report of General Gates’ defeat at Camden on August 16, operations under McDowell and Shelby were halted.
  • On August 18, he was largely responsible for the victory at Battle of Musgrove’s Mill on the north side of the Enoree River.
  • As a result of a threatening message dispatched by Ferguson, Shelby held even greater resentment and determination and in consequence, with the assistance of John Sevier and others, he organized and conducted the expedition against Ferguson.
  • On October 7, they overwhelmingly defeated Ferguson’s combined Provincial and Loyalist force in the Battle of King’s Mountain.


  • Shelby has also been credited with the plan for the attack, which led to the Battle of the Cowpens on January 17.
  • In February, the legislature of North Carolina adopted resolutions of thanks to Shelby and his compatriots for their services at King’s Mountain.
  • Similar resolutions were adopted by the Continental Congress on November 13.
  • As a result of repeated uprisings by Cherokee Indians during the first half of the year, it was impractical to send forces from there to assist.
  • A treaty with the Cherokees was negotiated on July 20.
  • In October, upon receipt of a delayed message of appeal, Shelby raised 500 mounted riflemen and was accompanied by Colonel John Sevier in command of 200 more.
  • He marched to join Greene, by whose order they reported to General Marion on the Santee.
  • The joint command of Shelby and Colonel Hezekiah Maham, of the Carolina dragoons, contributed greatly to the capture of a strong British post at Fair Lawn, near Monck’s Corner, South Carolina on November 27.
  • Meanwhile, having been elected a member of the North Carolina legislature and having obtained a leave of absence, he attended the sessions in December.


  • Reelected to the North Carolina Assembly, he attended the legislative sessions held at Hillsboro in April.
  • He was appointed one of three commissioners to superintend the laying off of the land south of the Cumberland River allotted by North Carolina for military service in the Revolution.


  • Completed the laying off of the land south of the Cumberland River.
  • He relocated to Kentucky, where he was married to Susannah Hart, daughter of Captain Nathaniel Hart, at Boonesborough on April 19, by whom he had eleven children.
  • Appointed a Trustee of Transylvania Seminary (later Transylvania University).
  • Chairman of the convention of militia officers held at Danville on Nov. 7-8 (was also a member 1787-1789).


  • In January 1791, he was appointed a member of the Board of War, which was created by Congress for the District of Kentucky, and was charged with providing for the defense of the frontier settlements mounting punitive expeditions against the Indians.
  • For several years he served as High Sheriff of Lincoln County.


  • Member of the convention (April 2-19) which framed the first constitution of Kentucky.
  • In May he was elected Governor, taking office on June 4 and serving four years.
  • During his administration many events of importance to the infant commonwealth occurred, not the least being the part it took, under Shelby, in supporting Wayne’s campaigns against the Indians in the Northwest Territory.


  • At the close of his term, he declined reelection.


  • Retired from service.


  • Elected Governor of Kentucky a second time in August.
  • He actively participated in the planning and preparation for war.


  • With a sword presented to him by Henry Clay as voted by the legislature of North Carolina for his gallantry at King’s Mountain 32 years before, Shelby assembled and personally led 4,000 Kentucky volunteers to join General Harrison in the Northwest for the invasion of Canada, resulting in the defeat of the Loyalists on October 5 at the Battle of the Thames.


  • He was given the portfolio of War in March by President Monroe, but declined due to his age.


  • Isaac Shelby was awarded a gold medal by Congress on April 4 in recognition of his patriotic and heroic services.
  • Shelby and General Andrew Jackson were commissioned to hold a treaty with the Chickasaw Indians for the purchase of their lands west of the Tennessee River.
  • He was President of the first Kentucky Agricultural Society, formed at Lexington in 1818.


  • He was Chairman of the first Board of Trustees of Center College, founded in 1819 at Danville, Kentucky.
Governor Isaac Shelby - Traveler's Rest Burying Ground Plaque
Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky – Traveler’s Rest Burying Ground Plaque.


  • After his death on July 18, he was buried at his historic home, “Traveller’s Rest,” and a monument was erected over his grave by the state of Kentucky. Counties in nine states have been named Shelby in his honor. __________ An account of Governor Isaac Shelby by Samuel M. Wilson is as follows:


Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky - Grave Marker.
Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky – Grave Marker.

“In person, Shelby was of a sturdy and well-proportioned frame, slightly above medium height, with strongly marked features and florid complexion. He had a hardy constitution capable of enduring protracted labor, great privations, and the utmost fatigue. Habitually dignified and impressive in bearing, he was, however, affable and winning. A soldier born to command, he nevertheless evidenced a high degree of political sagacity and executive ability. Numerous difficulties confronted him during his first administration, when the new government was passing through its formative stage, and much depended on the choice of officials then made by the executive. Shelby exhibited rare selective intelligence and an extraordinary mastery both of men and measures. Kentucky at this time experienced constant dread of the occlusion by Spain of the Mississippi River, and use was made of this situation by designing men to promote speculative ventures and political schemes hostile to the true interests of both Kentucky and the Union. Through it all, Shelby pursued a wise and moderate course which baffled the plots of all conspirators and held Kentucky firmly to her federal moorings. During his second administration, the pressure of the war with Great Britain fell with extraordinary and unremitting severity upon the state, and he showed himself not only a prudent and farseeing counselor, but an active, resourceful, and patriotic leader. His energy, determination, and perseverance knew no bounds, and his devotion to duty was unflagging.”

You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site are available for free access and download.


  1. Shelby, John Todd: KERR, C. ed. History of Kentucky, v. 3-5, 1922 #4.
  2. History of Michigan; Moore, C.; v. 2-4; 1915; Shelby, William Read.
  3. Family Data Collection – Births; Shelby, Alfred, 1765.
  4. Family Data Collection – Individual Records; Shelby, Nancy, 1792.
  5. 1860 US Census; Shelby, John Warren, b. 1835; PO Lexington; Roll M653_365; Pg 0.
  6. Shelby, Isaac Flournoy: KERR, C. ed. History of Kentucky, v. 3-5, 1922.
  7. The Pioneer Mothers of America 1; Shelby, Susannah Hart; Green, H.C. and M.W.; 3 v., 1912.
  8. American Biographical and Historical Dictionary; Shelby, Isaac; Allen (W); 1832.
  9. Military Heroes of the War of 1812; Shelby, Evan; Peterson, C.J.; 1848.
  10. Eminent Americans; Shelby, Isaac; Lossing, B.J.; 1857.
  11. National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans; Shelby, Isaac; 4v.; 1865.
  12. Dictionary of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac; Drake, F.S.; 1870.
  13. Biographical Annals of the Civil Government of the US…; Shelby, Isaac; Lanman, C.; 1876.
  14. Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky; Shelby, Isaac; 1878.
  15. National Cyclopaedia of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac; v.1-13; 1898, 1893-1909.
  16. Harper’s Encyclopaedia of American History; Shelby, Isaac; 10v.; 1902.
  17. Century Cyclopedia of Names; Shelby, Isaac; 1904.
  18. Herringshaw’s National Library of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac; Herringshaw, T.W.; 5v.; 1909-14.
  19. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army…; Shelby, Isaac; 1775, to… 1783; new, rev. & enl. ed. 1914.
  20. History of Kentucky; Shelby, Isaac; Kerr, C. ed.; v.3-5; 1922.
  21. An American Biographical and Historical Dictionaryy; Shelby, Isaac; Allen, W.; 2nd ed.; 1832.
  22. US Army Historical Register; Shelby, Isaac; 1789-1903; Vol. 1.
  23. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography; Shelby, Evan; 6 vol.; 1888.
  24. 1820 US Census; Shelby, Isaac; 1750; Roll No. M33_25; Pg 59; Image No. 38.
  25. Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1500s-1900s; Shelby, Isaac.
  26. Settlers of Maryland 1679 – 1783; Consolidated Edition; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc.; 2002; Pg 597.
  27. Kentucky Land Grants, Shelby, Isaac; Jillson, Willard Rouse; The Kentucky Land Grants, Vol. I-II, Louisville, KY: Filson Club Publications, 1925.
  28. US and International Marriage Record; Shelby, Isaac b 1750; 1560-1900.
  29. Shelby, Isaac; KY Historical Society: KW-N-399-3.
  30. Dictionary of American Biography; Shelby, Isaac.
  31. DAR; Mrs. Maria Shelby Tevis Field; DAR ID Number 7785; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; Vol. 8; Pg 265.
  32. DAR; Anna Stein Shelby (Annie Shelby Darbishire); National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number; Vol. 11; Pg 182.
  33. DAR; Mrs. Alice McDowell Shelby Riddle; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 16130; Vol. 17, Pg 51.
  34. DAR; Mrs. Katherine Shelby Scott; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 18004; Vol. 19; Pg 3.
  35. DAR; Miss Katharine Shelby Todd; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 25234; Vol. 26; Pg 83.
  36. DAR; Mrs. Laura Shelby Fisher; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number; Vol. 42; Pg 154.
  37. DAR; Mrs. Mary P. Shelby Napton; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 62264; Vol. 63, Pg 87.
  38. DAR; Miss Christine Shelby; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 68811; Vol. 69; Pg 291.
  39. DAR; Miss Shelby Walker Patton; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 83679; Vol. 84; Pg 263.
  40. DAR; Miss Susan Shelby Taylor; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number 85134; Vol. 86; Pg 51.
  41. DAR; Mrs. Ann Shelby Magoffin Austin; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR ID Number; Vol. 114; Pg 141.
  42. “Soldiers of the American Revolution from Franklin County,”  database,; extracted from  (N.p.:n.p.n.d.).Revolutionary Soldiers in Kentucky p. 174.74.
  43. Shelby Historical Data (Chronology for Evan Shelby, Jr. and Letitia Cox), online, accessed.

The Discovery Service at the National Archives in Great Britain

The UK National Archives  has a free online search, but there are problems. Some knowledge has always been necessary to search the catalogue with any success.

The Discovery Service makes it easier for everyone – novice to expert – to search and use the collection.

The user is able to search the collection, explore and browse, whether for genealogy research and/or scholastic purposes.

Discovery is a digitized document delivery service that will make it easier to search for genealogy records such as wills and testaments, court proceeding transcription and order digitized genealogy records.

To experience Discovery, visit the Labs section of the National Archives website, the place they release new online services for customers for testing and to provide feedback. New features are being added to Discovery regularly and the latest release includes advanced search and fixes existing problems in previous versions.

The Discovery service will be fully tested and approved before it replaces any other services.

The National Archives holds over 22 million historical government and public records, doubling in just over two years and making it one of the largest archive collections in the world. From Domesday Book to modern government papers and digital files, the collection includes paper and parchment, electronic records and websites, photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings.

The old catalogue offered a free search of the collection, but had its problems. A minimum knowledge level was necessary to be able to effectively search the collection. This required level of knowledge made it difficult for new users to take advantage of the search.

The National Archives Discovery Service implemented a system that makes it easier for users of all levels.

Transcription: Biography of William Read Shelby; National cyclopaedia of American biography.

NOTE: In the biography of William Read Shelby as well as some biographies of earlier Shelbys, the birthplace is erroneously claimed to be Cameron, Wales, when in truth it was Tregaron, Carnarvon, Wales.

Biography of William Read Shelby
Biography of William Read Shelby

1842-1930 (handwritten)

SHELBY, William Read, railroad president was born in Lincoln county, Ky., Dec. 4, 1842, eldest son of John Warren and Mary H. (Knight) Shelby, and a descendant of Evan Shelby, who came from Cameron, Wales, about 1740, and settled near Hagerstown, Md. Evan, son of Evan Shelby, was appointed brigadier-general by the state of Virginia, in 1779, for services rendered in Indian warfare. His son, Isaac Shelby, was the first governor of Kentucky. William Read Shelby acquired his eduation in the preparatory schools and at Centre College, Danville, Ky., his studies being cut short by the civil war, and subsequent occupation of Kentucky by the Federal and Confederate troops. As a member of the “Kentucky Home Guard,” he enrolled and recruited men for the Federal army. In 1863-5 he supplied wood to steamers on the Mississippi river at Isalnd No. 37, being protected by U. S. gunboats. From then until 1869, he was employed by the Adams Express Co., at Louisville, Ky., removing to Pittsburg to become secretary of the Continental Improvement Co. Among its first undertaking was the contract to build the Grand Rapids and Indiana railroad in Michigan and Indiana. Mr. Shelby took charge of a branch office at Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1871, having in the year previous been elected secretary and treasurer of the Grand Rapids & Indiana and the Michigan & Lake Shore railroad companies. On Jan. 1, 1892, he was made first vice-president of the former company, retaining the positions of treasurer and purchasing agent. In June, 1896, the Grand Rapids & Indiana


William Read Shelby bio
Biography of William Read Shelby

Railroad Co. was sold out under foreclosure proceedings ; a  new company, with the same name, was organized, and Mr. Shelby elected vice-president, treasurer and purchasing agent. In 1870-73 he held also the office of secretary and treasurer of the Southern Railway Security Co. On Oct. 16, 1899, he was elected president of the Muskegon, Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Co. and president of the Big Rapids & Western Railroad Co., and on Oct. 14, 1899, he was elected president of the Cincinnati, Richmone & Fort Wayne Railroad Co. Mr. Shelby has been extensively interested in the development of farming interests in various sections of the country. He is a member of the board of directors of the First National Bank, later known as the ” Old National Bank, ” of Grand Rapids, and a stockholder in various manufacturing and mercantile concerns ; a member of the board of education, and chairman of its committee on grounds ; in 1888-93 he was a member and part of the time president of the board of public works. Mr. Shelby is a Democrat, and it was on his motion in the sound money conference in Chacago that the “Indianapolis convention” was held in 1896, causing the defeat of the Chicago platform and Bryan. He was chairman of the sound money Democratic organization in Michigan, which conducted so vigorous a campaign against “Free Silver and 16 to 1.” Mr. Shelby was married, June 16, 1869, at Sewickley, Pa., to Mary C., daughter of Gen. George W. Cass, the issue being five sons and two daughters.

The National cyclopaedia of
American biography.  v.1-13.
1898.  1893-1909.


The complete original scans of the document clips above can be accessed by clicking the image. To access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, click on the name link above, or search the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link in the upper right corner just below the search box and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar. It is recommended to search using both methods as the results do sometimes differ. All data on this site is available for free access and download.

Genealogy Database

Athelwulf, King of Wessex
Athelwulf, King of Wessex

Our Blythe Genealogy Database

After extensive work, my genealogy database is now updated and links can be found in the upper menu or in the left sidebar. There are thousands of surnames and the extensive lineages include Welsh Quaker immigrants to the USA, French Canadian, Acadian, American pioneers, Canadian pioneers, French, British, Welsh, German, Scandinavian and medieval and royal genealogies.

The database includes extensive facts, sources and some images.

Brig. Gen. Evan Shelby Jr. of Tregaron, Wales

Brig. Gen. Evan Shelby Jr. of Tregaron, Wales.

Brig. Gen. Evan Shelby Jr., born in 1725 in Tregaron, Ceredigion, Wales to Evan (Dhu) Shelby (Selby) and his wife Catherine Morgan and was baptised in St. Caron’s church. This Evan Shelby’s birth is frequently confused with that of his earlier brother Evan, who was born in 1720 and died as an infant in 1721.

Tregaron, CeredigionEvan and his family immigrated to America from Tregaron, Wales in approximately 1735, when he was about ten years of age, and settled in what was later called Antrim Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

In 1739, they moved into Prince George’s (later Frederick) County, Maryland where his father died in July 1751.

Evan Jr. continued to reside in Maryland, near the North Mountain, Frederick County (now a part of Washington County) where he obtained by either deed or patent nearly 24,000 acres of land. He became interested in the Indian fur trade and was concerned in trading posts at Michilimackinac and Green Bay.

On February 26, 1745, Evan Jr. purchased property from his father, called “Maiden’s Choice” in Prince George County, Maryland.

Evan married Letitia (Leddy) Cox (Coxe) on December 4, 1745 at Kings Meadow. They had seven children: Rachel, born 1745; Susannah, born 1746; John, born 1748; Governor Isaac Shelby, born 1750; James, born 1752; Catherine, born 1755; Major Evan Shelby III, born 1757; and Moses, born 1761.

In his publication “The Birthplace and Childhood Home of Isaac Shelby in Washington County, Maryland”, 1972, Gerald J Sword describes how  Evan and Letitia Shelby lost the fight for their land (part of “Maidens Choice”) to Dr Charles Carroll. It’s not clear who aptly renamed the land to “Shelby’s Misfortune”.

Mr. Sword states:

“…The reason for Letitia to appear in court was to answer charges that she instructed their ‘Dutch servant man’ to cut down and burn the tree marking the beginning point of this land.

In June 1754, Shelby gave a recognizance of 6,000 lbs of tobacco for the appearance of his wife to answer the charges against her in the Frederick Co. Court. The case was continued from time to time until the June court of 1758:

“A suit on behalf of the Lord Proprietary vs Letitia Shelby for destroying a bound tree for a tract of land belonging to Dr Carroll, when it was ‘maked struck off after 15 continuances…”

Evan’s great skill as a hunter and woodsman led to his appointment as Captain of a company of Rangers in the French and Indian War, during which year he made several successful expeditions into the Allegheny Mountains.

He fought many battles in what is called Braddock’s War and was noted for his performance in the battle fought at Loyal Hanning, now Bedford, Pennsylvania.

During the French and Indian War, Evan participated in General Edward Braddock’s campaign in 1755 and laid out part of the road from Fort Frederick to Fort Cumberland. He led the advance of the army under General Forbes, which took possession of Fort Du Quesne in 1758.

Having served as First Lieutenant in Captain Alexander Beall’s company 1757 to 1768, he was commissioned by Governor Sharpe of Maryland as Captain of a company of rangers, and also held a commission as Captain under the government of Pennsylvania. He was in the advance party of the force under General John Forbes, which took possession of Fort Duquesne in 1758, and crossed the Ohio River with more than half his company of scouts, making a daring reconnaissance of the fort.

On November 12, 1758, near Loyalhanna, he is said to have slain with his own hand one of the principal Indian chiefs.

In the same war, he served later as Major of a detachment of the Virginia regiment.

For several years after the conflict, Evan was a Justice of the Peace.

In May 1762, he was chosen one of the Managers for Maryland of the Potomac Company. He sustained heavy losses in the Indian trade from the ravages growing out of Pontiac’s Conspiracy of 1763, and most of his property in Maryland was subjected to sale for the satisfaction of his debts.

Hoping to better his fortune he moved, probably in 1773, to Fincastle County in southwest Virginia, where he engaged in farming, merchandising, and cattle ranching. He again became a prosperous landowner and influential frontier leader.

In 1774, he commanded the Fincastle Company in Dunmore’s War, and in the battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774, he succeeded near the close of the action to the chief command as a result of the death or disability of his superior officers and he utterly routed the enemy.

His son, Isaac, served under his command as his Lieutenant in the Battle of Point Pleasant, which he was instrumental in winning. Isaac commanded the fort there until July, 1775, when his troops were disbanded by Lord Dunmore.

After returning to Kentucky due to failing health, he became involved in the Battle of Long Island Flats. At the first onset of the Indians, the American lines were broken, and then Shelby, present only as a volunteer Private, seized the command, reformed the troops, and defeated the Indians, with the loss of only two badly wounded men.

This battle, and John Sevier’s defence of Watauga, frustrated the rear attack by which the British hoped to envelop and crush the southern colonies.

In 1776, he was appointed by Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia a Major in the troops commanded by Colonel William Christian against the Cherokees, and on December 21, he became Colonel of the militia of the County of Washington, of which he was also a magistrate.

In 1777, he was entrusted with the command of sundry garrisons posted on the frontier of Virginia, and in association with Preston and Christian, negotiated a treaty with the Cherokees.

When Sevier, in 1779, projected the expedition that captured the British stores at Chickamauga, Shelby equipped and supplied the troops by the pledge of his individual credit. In this year he was commissioned a Major by Governor Thomas Jefferson, but, when the state line was run, his residence was found to be in North Carolina. He then resigned his commission, but was at once appointed Colonel of Sullivan County by Caswell.

He was in Kentucky, perfecting his title to lands he had selected on his previous visit, when he heard of the fall of Charleston and the desperate situation of affairs in the southern colonies. He at once returned to engage in active service and, crossing the mountains into South Carolina in July, 1780, he won victories over the British at Thicketty Fort, Cedar Springs, and Musgrove’s Mill. But, as the disastrous defeat at Camden occurred just before the last engagement, he was obliged to retreat across the Alleghanies. There he undertook with John Sevier the remarkable expedition which resulted in the Battle of King’s Mountain and turned the tide of the revolution. For this important service he and Sevier received the thanks of the North Carolina legislature, and the vote of a sword and a pair of pistols.

As a result of the new boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina, it was discovered that his residence was in North Carolina, and in 1781, he was elected a member of its Senate. Five years later, the Carolina Assembly made him Brigadier General of the militia of the Washington District of North Carolina, the first officer of that grade on the “Western Waters”.

In March 1787, as commissioner for North Carolina, he negotiated a temporary truce with Col. John Sevier, Governor of the insurgent and short-lived “State of Franklin”.

In August 1787, he was elected Governor of the “State of Franklin” to succeed Sevier but declined. Having resigned his post as Brigadier General on October 29,1787, he withdrew from public life.

Genealogy: Children learn about their ethnicity, history and culture.


Genealogy is an ideal way for children to learn about their ethnicity, history and culture.


By researching their own ancestry, they will learn about the times, locations, circumstances and eras in which their ancestors lived.


A nomad yearns for roots.


archaeology, genealogy and science teach about our past and history.I was a military ‘brat’.

There’s no malice or insult intended in this word as it was the way we did and still do refer to ourselves.

As a result of living in a military family, we relocated frequently and were not able to get to know our extended family.

What a surprise it was to learn how much a part of Canadian history both my mother’s and father’s branches were.


Acadian ancestry.


As I’ve posted about several times in the past, my mother comes from the Melanson family.

Original Acadian settlers, they came over on ships from France in the 17th century.

They used their knowledge of agriculture to make lives for themselves in the Atlantic provinces and a few even married and had families with MiqM’aq Indians.


Métis ancestry.


My father’s family were original French settlers who proceeded further along the St. Lawrence River into Quebec.

His direct line descends from Abenaki Chief Roch Abenaki Manitouabeouich and his children.

They were his son Étienne whose daughter married a French settler, and Roch’s daughter, Marie Olivier Sylvestre Pigarouic, who also married a French settler.


Welsh Quakers.


My husband’s paternal branch originates from Welsh Quaker settlers, pioneers of the New World in Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, etc.


Swedish ancestry.


Mark’s maternal branch were Swedish immigrants who came to the United States in the late 19th century.

They subsequently took advantage of land offers in Canada for settlers and relocated to Saskatchewan to farm in the early 20th century.


Genealogy: a love of our own history.


Prior to my taking up genealogy, my historical knowledge comprised only of what I learned in school or picked up from television.

Let’s face it, most of us spent our youth watching ‘entertaining’ shows and not ‘historical’ or ‘educational’ shows.

As I’ve progressed through documenting our genealogy, it has become a regular point of discussion in our household.

I frequently tell Mark and the kids about my latest discovery, whether it be about honor, scandal, valour, tragedy, wealth or poverty. Our family through history has experienced all of these.

I’ve also found common ground when things come up in every day conversation or on television related to someone we are related to.

Whether direct or distant, I mention the connection and how it affected history and our family. It has become a natural part of our conversation.

The most recent story that related to our genealogy was that of the man who killed Richard III. He was Rhys ap Thomas, a distant ancestor to Mark and our children.

This followed earlier excitement about the discovery of the remains of Richard III in a Leicester parking lot – and his re-interment.


Families take up arms.


It’s interesting to note that some of my husband’s Welsh and British ancestors included some who participated in the expulsion of the Acadians in order to claim the land they had worked so hard to cultivate.

These same ancestors also included some who took up arms against the French in the French and Indian Wars. They also fought against upper and lower Canada (and some Acadians) in the War of 1812.


A lasting legacy.


Children learn about their ethnicity, history and culture.
By researching their own genealogy, children learn about their ethnicity, history and culture – and learn that we’re all immigrants in one way or more.

Although I wondered for a while if any of what I was relating to my kids was having an affect on their knowledge and understanding, it soon became apparent it was.

They both chose their own ancestral cultures for school social studies and history projects.

It was rewarding to see how much more personal these projects became because they were about their own family history.

Over twenty years of research have gone into the invaluable genealogy I now have to pass on to them.

This legacy includes almost forgotten photographs; documents such as military records and war diaries that provide deep and profound  explanations of events that led to deaths and injuries; a library of published materials and books about various aspects of our families’ histories; as well as some artifacts.

All of this material is organized, sourced and detailed in my extensive database.

I intend to give them copies of everything, but my one hope is that one or both of them will carry on to research further as more and more information, documents, and photos became available over time.

(Images at top right: War of 1812: clockwise, from top: damage to the US Capitol building after the Burning of Washington; mortally wounded Isaac Brock spurs his troops on at the Battle of Queenston Heights; USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere; death of Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames; Andrew Jackson leads the defence at the Battle of New Orleans.)



The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.


It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.


All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.



From Chatterton to Blythe: A Lincolnshire family’s story.

Richard Chatterton was born and baptised before August 17, 1689 in Frodingham, Lincolnshire, England as the fourth child of Richard Chatterton Sr. and Frances Coates. He had three siblings, George, Robert, and Rachel.

On May 26, 1725 and at the age of 35, Richard married Mary Brumby (see relationship chart at left). They had the following children:

  • William Chatterton was born about 12 Dec 1728 in Frodingham, Lincolnshire, England.
  • Mary Chatterton was born about 17 Nov 1731 in Frodingham, Lincolnshire, England.  She married Edward Blyth about 1750.
  • Elizabeth Chatterton was born about 20 Mar 1733 in Frodingham, Lincolnshire, England.
  • John Chatterton was born about 27 Jan 1736 in Frodingham, Lincolnshire, England.

The remainder of his life was spent providing for his family as a farmer and landowner. Some of the Lincolnshire communities in which he and his family lived and/or owned property were Louth, Crosby, Scamblesby, Saltfleetby, Scunthorpe, Gunhouse and Thealby, Skidbrook and North Somercotes.

According to the records I found, his descendants remained in the Louth and Somercotes areas of Lincolnshire until the emigration of his great grandson Thomas Blyth and Thomas’  sons Charles George (3rd great grandfather to Erin and Stuart), John Mumby and Robert to America.

Blythe Ships List Ironsides
Blythe Ships List Ironsides

Richard died and was buried at the St. Lawrence Church in Fordingham before February 15, 1772. He must have been ill prior to his death as his will was drafted and signed within a month of his death on January 21, 1772. His estate was probated on 20 Feb 1772 in Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom.

The following is the record of Richard’s will located on the UK Archives site.

Copy of a will. 

Sheff/A/40/1  21st. January 1772


Testator: Richard Chatterton gent. of Louth.

Beneficiaries: son William Chatterton – lands, tenements etc. at North Somercotes, 2 closes of pasture at Saltfleetby, cottage and land, and 1/ 3 of a farm at Scamblesby, ½ of a farm at Thealby, cottage at Crosby, ¾ oxgang of moor at Scunthorpe, 6 gads in Gunhouse Ings, close of pasture in North Cotes, after his death property in Crosby to go to testator’s grandson Robert Chatterton with lands etc. in Scunthorpe, Gunhouse Ings and Thealby; property at Saltfleetby to grandson William Chatterton; property at Scamblesby to grandson Richard Chatterton; property at North Somercotes and North Cotes to grandson John Chatterton. Daughter Mary Blyth, dwelling house in Louth. And the Mill Closes in Louth, 2 closes of pasture in Louth called Hagar ths, messuage in Louth, 2 closes of pasture in Skidbrooke; after her decease to her sons John and Thomas Blyth. Grandchildren

Robert Chatterton £100

William Chatterton £100

Richard Chatterton £100

John Chatterton £100

Frances Chatterton £100

John Blyth £200

Thomas Blyth £200

Residue to son William and daughter Mary

Executors: son William and daughter Mary.

Extracted Probate Records regarding Richard Chatterton, died 1772.


Chatterton, Extracted Probate Records
Chatterton, Extracted Probate Records

Probate Records






The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.


  1. Robert Chatterton et. a.l., to George Chatterton, 1 DIXON 1/E/1/3, 8 February 1584, , UK Archives; privately held by http:, [address for private use].    FreeREG;; UK Parish Registers; Additional records: 1559068, 3226772, 3955559, 2185138, 2185093, 2185216, 3658882, 6320726, 6320654, 6320812, 6320934, 3053499, 4572154, 5367405, 3210536, 326460, 3053777, 5811109, 5811145, 5810977, 5811068.    
  2. Blyth, Norton, 1861 UK Census; Louth, Lincolnshire.
  3. Blythe, Norton, 1851 UK Census – Leddington, Lincolnshire, census,, .
  4. Blythe Norton, 1841 UK Census – Tealby, Lincolnshire, census,,
  5. Blyth, Thomas, 1841 UK Census – Marshchapel, Lincolnshire.
  6. Blyth, Thomas, 1851 UK Census, Pages 1-2, Marshchapel, Lincolnshire.
  7. 1857 Ship’s Roster; Ironsides; Blyth, Thomas.
  8. Charles G. Blythe obituary, The Hoosier Genealogist, Indiana Historical Society, June 2001, Vol. 41, No. 2.
  9. Blyth, John and Robert and Charles; 1860 US Census – Strongs Prairie, Adams County, Wisconsin.
  10. Naturalization Record: Sargent County Naturalization, Vol. 8, Pg. 185; 28 Jun 1892, County of Sargent, State of North Dakota: Chas Afdan and A. N. Carlblom witnesses; J. N. Christian, Clerk..
  11. Blythe, John, Hanna, Thornton; 1900 US Census, Sargent, North Dakota;.
  12. Blyth, John and Anna; 1870 US Census, Monroe, Adams County, Wisconsin.
  13. Blythe, John and Anna and William A.; 1910 US Census; Wilmot, Sargent County, North Dakota.
  14. Blythe, John and Middleton, Hannah: ; Register of Marriages, Lincolnshire, England.
  15. Blythe, Charles G.; 1870 US Census; Fountain Prairie, Columbia County, Wisconsin.
  16. Blythe, Charles G.; 1900 US Census; Lawrence County, Tennessee.
  17. Blythe, Charles G.; 1880 US Census; Fountain Prairie, Columbia County, Wisconsin.
  18. Blythe, Charles G.; 1910 US Census; Troy, Fountain County, Indiana.
  19. Charles G. Blythe File, American Civil War Soldiers Database, ( Ancestry Website).

Transcription: Civil War Roster of the 8th Independent Battery, Wisconsin Light Artillery.

Following is my transcription of the Civil War Roster of the 8th Independent Battery, Wisconsin Light Artillery showing ancestors Charles George Blythe and his brother John Mumby Blythe.

Featured image above: Wisconsin state crest during the Civil War.


My husband’s 2nd great grandfather, Charles George Blythe and his brother, John Mumby Blythe, emigrated from Lincolnshire, England with their brother Robert Joseph and their father Thomas in 1857.

A mere four years later their loyalty to their new country was tested and they enlisted together on November 21, 1861, and remained in active duty with the 8th Independent Battery, Wisconsin Light Artillery, Co. A, until their discharge together on August 10, 1865.





Captains; [Enlistment Place] ; Rank from; [Comments]

Stephen J. Carpenter; Stevens Point; Oct. 8, ’61

Enl. Oct. 8, ’61; killed Dec. 31, ’62, Stone River.

Henry E. Stiles; Stevens Point; Jan. 4, ’63

Enl. Oct. 12, ’61; Jr. 1st Lieut. Dec. 7, ’61; M.O. Aug. 10, ’63.

Sr. 1st. Lieutenants; [Enlistment Place] ; Rank from; [Comments]

James E. Armstrong; Wausau; Dec. 7, ’61

Enl. Nov. 6, ’61; res. July 9, ’62.

James Toner; New Liston; Dec. 21, ’61

From 10th Wis. Batt., Mar. 31, ’62; res. Dec. 17, ’62.

George L. Cross; Wautoma; July 16, ’62

Enl. Nov. 16, ’61; Sergt.; res. Nov. 27, ’62.

Obediah Germans; Friendship; Nov. 27, ’62

Enl. Nov. 19, ’61; Gun Sergt., Q. M. Sergt., 1st Sergt.; M. O Aug, ’65.

Sr. 2nd Lieutenants; [Enlistment Place] ; Rank from; [Comments]

John D. McLean; Stevens Point; Dec. 7, ’61

Enl. Nov. 13, ’61; Jr. 1st Lieut. Jan. 29, ’63, not mustered; M. O. Jan. 20, ’65.

Henry L. Wheeler; Eau Plaine; Jan. 29, ’63

Enl. Nov. 20, ’61; Q. M. Sergt., 1st Sergt.; Jr. 2d Lieut. Nov. 1, ’62; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.

Jr. 2d Lieutenants; [Enlistment Place] ; Rank from; [Comments]

Azro Mann; Stevens Point; Dec. 31, ’61

Enl. Dec. 31, ’61; res. Mar. 15, ’62.

Samuel S. Armstrong; Wausau; Apr. 23, ’62

Enl. Feb. 1, ’62; Sergt.; res. Sept. 23, ’62.

Thomas B. McNair; Stevens Point; Jan. 29, ’62

Enl. Oct. 14, ’61; Q. M. Sergt.; Jr. 1st Lieut. Aug. 3, ’65, not mustered; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.

Surgeon; [Enlistment Place] ; Rank from; [Comments]

A. F. St. Sure; Lindsfeldt; May 26, ’62

Prom. Surgeon 15th Wis. Inf., Nov. 27, ’53.

Enlisted Men; [Enlistment Place] ; Rank from; [Comments]

Adams, Daniel; Stevens Point; Aug. 2, ’64; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Adams, John W.; Friendship; Feb. 16, ’64; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Adams, Warren; Berlin; Dec. 27, ’61; Vet., Corp., Sergt.; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Agnew, William; Stevens Point; Oct. 19, ’61; Sergt., 1st Sergt.; disch. Nov. 10, ’63, disability.
Aldrich, Gaines; Stevens Point; Feb. 4, ’62; Disch. Jan. 14, ’63, disability.
Alexander, John; Sabatha, Mo.; Jan. 5, ’64; Vet. Recruit, Corp.; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Allen, Charles; Waupaca; Jan. 25, ’64; Vet. Recruit; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Alvord, Joel N.; Vandalia, Ill.; Jan. 5, ’64; Vet. Recruit; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Anderson, Jens; Pine River; Jan. 5, ’64; Vet. Recruit; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Austin, Silas F.; ; Nov. 18, ’61; From 10th Wis. Battery.
Averill, Chilli; Jenny; Dec. 3, ’61; Vet. Corp.; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Avery, Edward F.; Middleport, Ill.; Jan. 5, ’64; Vet. Recruit; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.

Baker, Edward C.; Adams; Jan. 25, ’64; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Baker, John W.; Plainfield; Dec. 30, ’63; M. O. Aug. 10, 65.
Ballentine, Thomas; Mauston; Dec. 14, ’61; From 10th Wis. Battery; died Sept. 14, ’62.
Banker, George; Stevens Point; Dec. 23, ’61; Vet., Corp.; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Bark, Ira M.; Chicago, Ill.; Jan. 5, ’64; Vet. Recruit; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Barker, Jonathan; Texas, Wis.; Nov. 18, ’61; M. O. Jan. 20, ’65, term exp.
Barr, James; Stevens Point; Oct. 26, ’61; Disch. Nov. 7, ’62, disability.
Barr, James F.; Waupaca; Jan. 5, ’64; Vet. Recruit, Corp.; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Bassett, Charles H.; Friendship; Jan. 23, ’64; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Bassett, Elias; Menasha; Feb. 13, ’64; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Bassett, William A.; Strong’s Prar’e; Dec. 24, ’61; Disch., disability.
Beaston, Peter; Strong’s Prar’e; Nov. 19, ’61; M. O. Jan. 20, ’65, term exp.
Bell, John; Madison, Ind.; Jan. 25, ’64; Vet. Recruit, Artificer; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Benedict, William A.; Friendship; Dec. 25, ’63; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Bennett, George D.; Fox Lake; Dec. 5, ’61; Vet.; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Bennett, Thomas J.; Madison, Ind.; Jan. 5, ’64; Vet. Recruit; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Bentley, David P.; Eau Plaine; Nov. 18, ’61; Vet.; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Betts, James A.; Menasha; Feb. 24, ’62; M. O. Mar. 24, ’65, term exp.
Blythe, Charles G.; Monroe; Nov. 21, ’61; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Blythe, John M.; Strong’s Prar’e; Nov. 21, ’61; Vet.; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Bound, Freeman T.; Plainfield; Dec. 23, ’63; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Bound, Job, Jr.; Plainfield; Jan. 30, ’64; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Bound, Thomas V.; Plainfield; Dec. 23, ’63; M. O. Aug. 10, ’65.
Boyd, Joseph W.; Wautoma; Feb. 1, ’62; Deserted June 2, ’62.

(See page links below to navigate to the next page.)

David Coon: A Civil War story… and tragedy.

I spent a great deal of time transcribing the typewritten copies of handwritten letters of David Coon to his wife and children from Confederate prison, marking the days until his subsequent death from disease. The original transcriptions were completed by his son, Dr. William B. Coon in 1913, one for each family member. My father-in-law now holds one of the transcribed sets of letters.


David Coon and Mary Ann Adams
David and Mary Ann (Adams) Coon

David Coon, born February 10, 1824 in Beekmantown, Clinton County, New York, was the son of William B. Coon and Clarissa Haskel Williams. David Coon was the 4th great grandfather of my children on their father’s side by adoption.

My husband’s father-in-law, Marshall Matthews Blythe was the son of Louise Matthews, who was adopted by Dennis William Matthews, son of Elam Dennis Matthews and grandson of David Coon.

On June 15, 1843, David married his first wife, Mary Ann Adams, daughter of Alanson Adams and Submit Hall, in Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont. In subsequent years, they had seven children: Alonzo Beckwith Coon, Edgar Coon, Herbert William Coon, Emma E. Coon, Hiram Southwick Coon, Elam Dennis Coon and Orilla (Mary) Coon. Mary Ann died June 3, 1859.

Between 1843 and June of 1844, he was living in Licking County, Ohio and in 1844, started a wagon making business with his brother-in-law Elam Dennis Adams. He is shown in records of November 27, 1854 in Waushara County, Wisconsin, living on 40 acres of military bounty land at the SE Quarter of NW Quarter of Section 12, Township 19. He is recorded in the 1860 census for Bloomfield, Waushara County, Wisconsin, farming his land.

David married his second wife, Isabel Ann Hall, daughter of Benjamin Hall and Eliza McReynolds on November 24, 1859 in Leon, Waushara County, Wisconsin. They added to the family with three more children: John Williams Coon, Matthew Edgar Coon and Jedidah Wood Coon. Isabel Ann was the cousin of David’s first wife Mary Ann as Benjamin and Submit were brother and sister, both children of John Hall and his wife Submit.

John Williams Coon, MD
John Williams Coon, MD

Assuming that the responsibilities of caring for such a large family as a widower were too much for David after the death of Mary Ann, the younger children went to other families. Elam Dennis went to the Matthew’s family, who later adopted him. He took the last name Matthews. Orilla went to live with a family named Ellis, who later adopted her, and Hiram lived with a different Matthews family (although related to the family who took Elam) but later returned to live with his father and his father’s new wife, Isabel.

Leaving his farm close to Bloomingfield in Waushara County and proceeding to Berlin to enlist in the army, he was told he had to leave right away to proceed to Madison. His departure for camp Randall was so quick, he did not have time to go back and tell his family he was leaving. They only found out in a letter dated February 28, 1864 that he “…enlisted in the 36th Regiment.” David enlisted in the Union army from Green Lake County on February 26, 1864 and served as a Private in Co. A, 36th Wisconsin Infantry, and is recorded on his military documents dated August 15, 1861 as being 5 feet, 8 3/8 inches in height with blue eyes and sandy hair. The following is an excerpt from the foreward of the original typed transcription of David Coon Letters, prepared in 1913 in Wales, Wisconsin by his son, John W. Coon, MD.

“David Coon was a great man, a kind husband and father, a true soldier of the American type, not only a patriot but a philosopher.” During his service in the Civil War, David wrote frequently and consistently, approximately one letter per week, to his wife and children, his devotion to all being very evident. Even if he did not have any stationary to write on he made sure they knew he was okay. He once wrote a letter on the label of a condensed milk can. As described by his son John W. Coon, MD in the typed transcription he prepared of his father’s letter home, “Many of the letters were written on such scraps of paper as were available, the ink being often very poor — in one instance at least, made from the juice of pokeberries gathered on the battlefield.”

Forest Cemetery, Stephens Point, Portage County, Wisconsin
Forest Cemetery, Stephens Point, Portage County, WisconsinSources

David was stationed with his regiment at Camp Randall until May 10, 1864, where he nursed the sick at the hospital before being sent to battle. He was then ordered to join Hancock’s Corps in Virginia where he participated in many of the noted great battles of that campaign.On May 8, 1864, he sent a letter to his family telling them that he was to be sent away to Washington to join General Grant’s Army.The regiment moved from battle to battle. They hardly ever had time to rest. During a battle, Coon was captured by a Confederate officer and was handcuffed for two hours. The officer let him go with a note of warning. Coon wrote to his family, “He offered to let me go back to the regiment but wanted me to promise to be a better boy.”Not until August did the regiment start to travel again. They went to Richmond where they fought against the rebels. When they finished they returned to their camp near Petersburg. On August 25, 1864, he, along with 11 officers and 175 other men from the regiment, posted themselves at Reams Station on the Weldon Railroad. Before long, he, along with 133 other men from his regiment were reported missing. On August 27, Coon wrote a letter to his family telling them that he and 127 other men had been captured and taken prisoner. He talked about how the officers and guards had treated them fairly until then and he wrote that he was expecting to be sent to Libby Prison in Richmond and for his family to keep up courage. That was his last letter. He was first held in Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia, then at Belle Isle, later being transferred again to Salisbury Prison in North Carolina.

Salisbury Prison was one of the best Confederate prisons. However, soon after David and the other men arrived, the conditions grew worse. The prison became over crowded with 10,000 people in a space that had reached capacity one year before Coon arrived. Living in these terribly overcrowded conditions, one third of the prisoners, or 35,000 men, died. David Coon was one of these. The diary of James Canon, a Sergeant in the same company, states in a simple entry dated November 2, 1864, “David Coon died today.” He was buried the same day in Forest Cemetery at Stephens Point, Portage County, Wisconsin.


  1. Matthews, Dennis, 1910 US Census, Louisa County, Iowa.
  2. Coon, David, 1860 US Census, Bloomfield, Waushara County, Wisconsin; .
  3. David Coon and Family tombstone, Stevens Point Cemetery, Wisconsin.
  4. Emily Bailey, “David Coon and Family Background,” e-mail message from <> to Christine Blythe, 19 Nov 2006.
  5. Emily Bailey, “William B. Coon Family,” e-mail message from <EnBBailey@> to Christine Blythe, 20 Nov 2006.
  6. Military Bounty Land Warrant – David Coon – 27 Nov 1854.
  7. Act of Sept. 28 1850 Land Warrant Card – Coon, W.B. and Coon, David.
  8. Military Bounty Land Location Record.
  9. Military Bounty Land Warrant Certificate – Coon, William B.
  10. David Coon, “Hiram Coon Biographical Information,” e-mail message from <> to Christine Blythe, 21 Nov 2006.
  11. Widow’s Declaration of Pension – Isabel Ann Coon (5 M ar 1865).
  12. Statement of Pension Claim of Nathan H. Matthews (16 Mar 1870).
  13. Coon, David, death certificate no. Widow’s Claim to Pension – Emma and Hiram Coon (1864).
  14. Sworn Statement re Matthew Coon’s Birth, compiler, (27 Feb 1867).
  15. Statement re David Coon’s Children.
  16. Claim for Increase of Widow’s Pension – Coon, Isabel – 22 Aug 1865 (22 Aug 1865).
  17. Widow’s Pension Statement – Isabel A. Coon (15 Se p 1893).
  18. Notice of Death of Isabel Coon to Pension Agent.
  19. Wisconsin Civil War Volunteers Roster – C (Coon), Wisconsin Historical Museum online
  20. Claim for Widow’s Pension – Isabel A. Coon (1865).
  21. Affidavit of Alanson and Mitty Adams (31 Mar 1869 ).
  22. Statement of Isabel Coon re Custody of Children (4 M ay 1870).
  23. Sworn Statement of Isabel A. Coon re Orilla Coon (2 8 Jun 1869).
  24. Statement of Minister re Marriage of David and Isabel Coon (24 Mar 1875).
  25. Statement of Clerk re Missing Marriage Record of David Coon (8 Apr).
  26. 1850 OH, Licking, Alexandria, M432_702, Page 170 Dwelling 66, Family 68
  27. s/wright/civilwar/36regmet.

If today’s political environment existed in the past, would we be citizens in our own countries?


Those who became citizens of our countries today, were the immigrants of the past, whether illegal or legal. They were the explorers, pioneers and settlers we learn about today with so much pride.


As a matter of fact, if there were a ‘law of historical possession’ everyone except the first nations and natives in North America could be considered descendants of illegal immigrants.



In today’s society, we have the knowledge and foresight to manage immigration through our laws, ensuring every immigrant has the same opportunity to work hard to achieve a comfortable life, make friends and raise families – and be considered citizens.

Our laws are also in place to ensure everyone is treated equally, whether an immigrant or full citizen.

Every aspect of our lives has been impacted by the traditions handed down through the generations.

Researching and studying our family’s collective genealogies made me realize what a boring, milk-toast group of people we’d be without the multicultural mix created by the intermarriage of cultures and ethnicities through the generations.

In 2013, Vice President Joe Biden was quoted, “My parents, my great grandparents, my great-great grandparents came to escape the famine and they didn’t all come here legally… So listen, the existence of the system wasn’t as nearly as truncated as it is now. A lot went to Canada. Came down. So, I’d check your ancestry to make sure they did come in legally, if that’s a concern to you.”

For all of us, our roots in North America originated with those immigrants seeking the promise of their futures in a new land. Who are we to judge others seeking a better future amongst us today?

The Bourgs of Acadia


I and my children are descended from several noteworthy immigrants from France who were original pioneers of Acadia, including the Bourgs of Acadia.


In the past, I have posted about our Melanson ancestors, who we most readily associate ourselves with, since the family name carried down through the generations to my mother, who stopped using the Melanson name upon marrying my father, Gerard Ronald Joseph Turmaine.

Bourgs of Acadia were a founding family in Port Royal
Bourgs of Acadia lived in Port Royal.

In fact, considering sheer numbers, our ties to the Bourg family are the strongest. Antoine Bourg, originally from Martaizé, near Loudon, in France, was the original pioneer of this family and 9th great grandfather to my children, Erin and Stuart. The Bourg and Melanson families intersect with the marriage of Anne (Jeanne) Bourg, daughter of François Bourg and Marguerite Boudrot to Charles Melanson, son of Charles Mellanson and Marie Dugas (and grandson to the original Melanson pioneer couple – Pierre dit Laverdure and Priscilla (Mellanson).


Antoine Bourg


Antoine was born in about 1609 in Martaizé, Loudun, Vienne, France. He immigrated to Port Royal around 1640 and married Antoinette Landry in 1643. Born about 1618 in France, she lived in Bourg Village near Port Royal with her family and shows in the 1693 Acadian census as a widow in the house of her son Abraham and his wife Marie in Port Royal. Therefore, it seems safe to assume Antoine died prior to 1693. According to this same census, her property at the time consisted of 12 cattle, 20 sheep, eight hogs, 26 arpents of land and one gun.

Their children were François (born about 1643); Marie Bourg (1644-1730); Jean Bourg (1645-1703); Bernard Bourg (1649-1725); Martin Bourg; Jeanne Bourg (1650-abt 1700); Renée Bourg (born about 1655); Huguette Bourg (1657); Jeanne Bourg (1658-1724); Abraham Bourg (1660-after 1736); Marguerite Bourg (1667-1727); Alexander Bourg (1667).

In various Acadian censuses, Antoine Bourg is recorded to own land holdings of various sizes; differing quantities of livestock including cattle, sheep and hogs; and a gun.

Sir William Phipps
Sir William Phipps

In 1690, a New England Commander, Sir William Phips, took Port Royal. Governor Meneval of Acadia, after considering the circumstances and the fact that they were greatly outnumbered, opted to surrender. At the time of his surrender, Meneval was assured the church and private property would be left alone, but over twelve days of pillaging, the church and several private buildings were destroyed.

Phips made the Acadians swear allegiance to King William and Queen Mary, in what Phips later falsely described as great rejoicings and acclaim.

After Phips left Acadia, the Acadians lived in a political and patriotic limbo. Authority had not been asserted by either New England or France and the Acadians, preferring to avoid more direct authority and control, insisted the French representative not try to change anything. They feared the English would hear of it and decide to return to punish them. New England made no attempt to assert its authority and the French made no attempt to regain control.

My children and I are directly descended from three of their sons, namely Francois, Bernard and Abraham, who were each an eighth great grandfather to my children.


François Bourg


The oldest child of Antoine and Antoinette was François Bourg born about 1643 in Port Royal. About 1665, he married Marguerite Boudrot (born 1648), daughter of Michel Boudrot and Michelle Aucoin.  Their seven children were Michel “Michaud” Bourg (1663-1712); Marie Bourg (born 1668); Alexandre “dit Belle-humeur” Bourg (1671-1760); Marguerite Bourg (born 1673); Magdeleine Bourg (born 1677); Pierre Bourg (born 1681); Anne “Jeanne” Bourg (1683-1749), married to Charles Melanson (1675-1757) and both being my children`s seventh great grandparents. During the years 1671 to 1678, François is recorded as a farmer who in 1678 owned eight acres of land and 15 cattle. François died sometime around 1686 in Port Royal.


Captain Pierre Baptiste Maisonnat


Of particular interest and notoriety, is the husband of François Bourg`s daughter Magdeleine. Commonly known as `Baptiste`, he was Captain Pierre Baptiste Maisonnat.

Born in 1663, in Bergerac, France, he was notorious and fairly well documented as a pirate and cad. He also would be thought of as a playboy by today`s standards. Taken in May of 1690 as one of the prisoners of Sir William Phips during his seizure of Port Royal, Baptiste sometime afterward managed to gain his freedom. The following year, he dedicated much of his time to sailing the waters of New England in his quest for prizes.

Governor Frontenac of Quebec
Governor Frontenac of Quebec

Although Baptiste was frequently captured, charged, imprisoned and even on one later occasion sentenced to hanging, he either managed to escape on his own or was released after intervention and negotiations on his behalf by Governor Frontenac of Quebec on several occasions or the Governor of Acadia on another occasion by threatening retaliation were Baptiste indeed hanged.

During his pirating career, Baptiste took François Bourg`s 15 year old daughter Magdeleine as his bride in 1693. Shortly after marrying, Baptiste moved his new wife to Quebec on the pretense that she was in danger in Port Royal. It is far more likely, from what we now know, he wished to hide his marriage from those who were already aware of his other wives in several other localities including France. On November, 1695, Frontenac wrote to the Minister of France, to whom he had once praised Baptiste, informing him that he had heard that Baptiste had several other wives, including in various locations. It is definite that Baptiste had one wife at Bergerac, France, namely Judith Soubiron (born 1660), who gave birth to his daughter Judith-Marie Maisonnat in 1689.

In 1695, once the news of Baptiste`s polygamy broke in Acadia, Magdeleine, recent mother to his daughter Marie-Magdeleine Maisonnat Bourg decided to return home to her father and mother.

Baptiste then returned to France to retrieve his lawful wife and daughter. His wife, Judith Soubiron, later bore him two more children, Pierre and Jean, dying in Port Royal on October 19, 1703.

Baptiste remarried on January 12, 1707, to a widow, Marguerite Bourgeois, the daughter of Jacques Bourgeois. She had been married twice previously, first to Jean Boudrot, son of Michel Boudrot; second to Emmanuel Mirande, a Portuguese.

Baptiste`s poor young bride, Magdeleine Bourg, later married Pierre LeBlanc, Jr. in 1697. He was the son of Pierre LeBlanc, Sr. and Marie Terriot. They had seven children.

Marie-Magdeleine Maisonnat


Marie-Magdeleine Maisonnat, the daughter of Baptiste and Magdeleine Bourg, was a major influence in Annapolis Royal during the late 1600`s. Known to be somewhat domineering and aloof, she fostered enough grudging respect and influence that she could exercise her own authority in the matters of soldiers, whether to be released from custody or other administrative matters without her right to do so being questioned. She presided at councils of war in the fort, appearing to have inherited some of her father`s spirit and drive.

In 1711, at about 16 years of age, she married William Winniett, a French Huguenot who was a leading merchant in Acadia, at some point receiving the title of “Honorable”`, becoming a member of the Governor`s Council. His sympathy for the Acadians was made obvious resulting in his being under suspicion. He drowned in Boston, bequeathing his considerable property and assets “to my beloved wife Magdeleine Winniett,” whom he had appointed sole executrix. William Winniett and Marie-Magdeleine Maisonnat had 13 children born in Annapolis, including seven boys and six girls.

Bernard Bourg


Antoine and Antoinette Bourg’s fourth child, Bernard, was born in 1649 in Port Royal. About 1670, he married Françoise Brun (1652-1725), daughter of Vincent Brun and Marie-Renée Brau, both immigrants to Acadia from France.  They had eleven children, including Marguerite “Margueritte” Bourg (1670-1747); Marie-Claire “Claire” Bourg (1670); René Bourg (born 1676); Jeanne Bourg (1677-1725); Anne Bourg (1680-1751); Françoise Bourg (1682-1715); Claire “Clare” Bourg (born 1682); Abraham Bourg (1685-1751); Renée Bourg (1687); Marie Bourg (1690); Claire Bourg (1692). Between 1671 and 1725, Bernard and his family continuously lived in Port Royal, their livestock and personal property steadily increasing in quantity and value over the years. Prior to his death in Port Royal on May 23, 1725, Bernard had amassed an estate consisting of  24 cattle, 18 sheep, 30 arpents of land and one gun.


Abraham Bourg


Born 1662 at Port-Royal, Abraham was the tenth child of Antoine Bourg and Antoinette Landry. In 1683, Abraham married a young widow, Marie- Sébastienne Brun (1658-1736), daughter of Vincent Brun and Marie Brau. Marie`s first husband was François Gautrot, who died young, leaving her alone to care for a young son, also named François. They were recorded in the 1678 census of Port Royal with a young son, two cattle and a gun. Young François was recorded living with his new family 1791 census. Abraham and Marie- Sébastienne had nine children including Jean-Baptiste Bourg (born 1683); Marguerite Bourg (born 1685); Claude Bourg (1687-1751); Pierre Bourg (1689-1735); Marie Bourg (1690-1727); Marguerite Bourg (born 1691); Michel Bourg (1691-1761); Charles Bourg (born 1694); and Joseph Bourg (born 1697).

Abraham is show in the Acadian censuses between 1686 and 1701 accumulating up to 26 arpents of land; livestock including up to 14 head of cattle, 20 sheep and 12 hogs; and dozens of fruit trees.

Abraham appears to be a relatively educated person of standing as his signature is recorded on the 1695 oath and in the Port Royal church register. He also witnessed the marriage of his daughter, Marie and Jean Fougère, as well as his son Michel’s wedding to Anne Boudrot.

Abraham was one of those chosen to sail to Ile Royale to assess the lands there for settling. The land was found to not be good for farming and the majority of Acadians did not wish to leave the fertile lands of the Annapolis Valley. It appears though, that Abraham did settle there as in 1720, the first record appears indicating he was living in Port Toulouse, Ile-Royale.

Abraham Bourg was chosen to be a Deputy chosen representing the Acadian districts in 1720, but was apparently released from his duties in 1726 due to his deteriorating condition and lameness.

On September 16, 1727 he was one of those who refused to take the oath of allegiance to George II. Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence Armstrong claimed that they had assembled the inhabitants a day earlier and “instead of persuading them to their duty by solid arguments of which they were not incapable they [the deputies] frightened them . . . by representing the oath so strong and binding that neither they nor their children should ever shake off the yoke.” Although many had taken the oath in 1695, the Acadians were using the taking of the oath as a bargaining tool in 1727. They claimed and wished to preserve neutrality between the English and the French and Mik’maq. The Acadians also strongly wished to practice their own religion.

The Deputies were sentenced to prison for their actions in opposition to the adopting of the oath. Bourg, “in consideration of his great age” (he was 67) was allowed to leave the territory without his goods. For their alleged opposition they were committed to prison. The others were released in a short time, so Abraham may never have left at all.

Abraham died and was buried at Port Toulouse, but the actual dates are not known.



John ap Evan (John Bevan) of Wales


John Bevan was the 12th great grandfather to my children. He was born 1646 in Treverigg, Llantrisant, Glamorgan, Wales, and was one of five children of Evan ap John (1600-1665) and his wife Jane ferch Richard (born 1645).


John Bevan's Signature
Signature of John Bevan (ap Evan).

According to “Merion in the Welsh Tract”, the Bevan “family of Treverigg was one of the most ancient in Glamorgan, and possessed considerable wealth for that day. The Bevans descended in the direct male line from the ancient Princes or Lords of Glamorgan, whose lineage is traceable for many generations back to the old Cymric Kings of the Island of Britain.”

His parents having died while he was very young, John inherited their very large estate, his brothers and sisters being excluded from the inheritance. Being a man of conscience, he provided for his brothers and sisters from the inheritance.

Treverigg Meeting House
Meeting house built by John Bevan on his estate in Treverigg.
Barbara Bevan's Signature
Signature of Barbara Bevan.

In 1665, at the age of 19, John married Barbara Catherine Aubrey (1637-1710) and became a Minister of the Society of Friends in Wales soon after. He built the Friends’ Meeting House on his estate in Treverigg, Glamorgan.

Over the next fifteen years, they had six children:

  • Jane Bevan (born 1667) married John Wood of Darby in 1687.
  • Evan Bevan (1674-1720) married Eleanor Wood of Darby in 1693.
  • Katharine Bevan (born 1675)
  • Lady Ann Bevan (1676-1723)
  • Elizabeth Bevan (born 1678) married Joseph Richardson of Philadelphia in 1697.
  • Barbara Bevan

Transcription: List or Manifest of Alien Passengers Applying for Admission


The following is my transcription of the ” List or Manifest of Alien Passengers Applying for Admission ” at the port of Eastport, Idaho, as required by the US Department of Labor, Immigration Service.


Manifest or List of Alien Passengers.
Manifest or List of Alien Passengers.

There was a wide variety of passengers of the surnames Gordon, Gumeson, Schroder, Wiese, Ireland, Renouf, Kulpas, Sprague, Hall, McLean, Smith, Peterson, Sheldon, Sims, Bremer, Hobbs, Skotkoske, McMicking, Orthner, and Laycock.

Ages ranged from 2 to 63. All immigrants were beyond primary school years are noted as able to read and write.

All were Canadian citizens, but originality or race included Irish, Scandinavian, German, English, French, Finnish, and Scotch.

US destinations included Oregon, Washington, California and Idaho.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR                      T        
  INDEXED                   Required by the regulations of Secretary of Labor of the United States
  A to K ?                              
Sheet No. 21 L to Z ?         567             PORT OF EASTPORT, IDAHO.      
1 2 3 4 5 6 7   8 9 10   11 12   13
No. or List. NAME IN FULL Age Sex Married or Single Calling or Occupation Able to – Nationality. (Country of which citizen or subject.) Race or People. Last Permanent Residence The name and complete address of nearest relative or friend in country whence alien came. Final Destination  
Family Name Given Name Yrs. Mos. Read. Write. Country. City or Town. State. City or Town.
1 Gordon James 19 M S Farm Lab. Yes Yes Canada Irish Canada Jenner Brother, Alex Gordon, Jenner Alta Ore Portland None
2 Gumeson Herman 37 M S Farmer Scand Cabri Bro. August Gumeson, Cabri, Sask USA
3 Schroder Julius 52 M M Hotel Keeper German Wetaskiwin InniSfail, Alta. Germany
4 Schroder Mary 47 F M None
5 Wiese Mary 63 F M Husb. Fred Wiese, Prussia, Sask. Wash. Ritzville Russia
6 Ireland George 55 M S Farmer English Carlisle Bro. E. Ireland, Carlisle, Ont. Selah None
7 Renouf Reginald Francis 29 M S Hall French Edmonton Aunt. Mrs. A. Baker, Edmonton, Alta. Walla Walla England
8 Kulpas Gus 30 M S Farmer Finnish Barons Cousin, Antone Kulpas, Barons, Alta. Spokane Russia
9 Sprague Winfield J. 40 M S Farmer English Glenbogie, Sask. None Leahy USA
10 Sprague Stella 38 F M None Scotch
11 Hall Sirge Craig 27 M S Farmer Irish Imperial Mother, Ida May Hall,Imperial, Sask. Spokane
12 McLean Richard Norton 24 M S ??? ?? Scotch Medicine Hat Bro. Melville McLean, Foremost, Alta. Calif. San Jose None
13 Smith Albert 31 M S Farm Lab English Calgary Bro. Alfred Smith, Manchester, England Calif. San Francisco England
14 Peterson Christian 61 M M Farmer Scand Curlew Daughter, Mrs. A. Haigel, Curlew, Alta. Calif. Fresno Denmark
15 Peterson Hannah 42 F M None “ “
16 Peterson Hazel 14 F S “ “ None
17 Peterson Pauline 10 F S “ “
18 Peterson Warren 8 M S No No “ “
19 Sheldon Allan Eggleston 23 M S Farmer Yes Yes English Kimiemuir (sp?), Alta Father, Oliver C. Sheldon, Kimiemuir, Alta Ida Win???? USA
20 Sims Elmer 33 M M Clergyman Scotch Stoney Plain Bro. Bert Sims, Stoney Plain, Alta. Reubens
21 Sims Mae 26 F M None English “ “
22 Sims Viola 7 F S Scotch “ “ None
23 Sims Sylvia 5 F S No No “ “
24 Sims Inez 2 F S “ “
25 Bremer William Henry 29 M S Farmer Yes Yes German Carmangay, Alta None Kendrick, USA USA
26 Hobbs Clarence 28 M S Irish Heart Lake, Alta “ “ Twin Falls
27 Scotkoske Edward 28 M M German Leduc Wife,Martha Schotkoske, Leduc, Alta Ore Williamette Russia
28 McMicking Fred 44 M Wd Scotch Eber, Alta Bro. Wm.McMicking, Stanford, Ont. Portland None
    Above Daur. File 11316 -o Gen. A. 36. Noted 11/14/36              
29 Orthner Edward 31 M S German Raymore Brother, Carl Orthner, Raymore, Sask. Austr?
30 Laycock James P. 50 M M English Russell, Man Wetwyn, Sask. None
26 NOT USED                                
30 “Race o Pelple” is to be determined by the stock from wich aliens sprang and the language they speak. List of races will be found on back of this sheet.          
        CLASS E.’                    


The image of the obituary for General George Cadwalader above links directly to the transcription of the document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data on this site is available for free access and download.

Genealogy and bio: Reynolds, Matthews family moves from Canada to America.

Harmond James (Jim) Reynolds (see left) was the step-father of my father-in-law, Marsh Blythe and his brother Paul, as well as father to Marsh and Paul’s half-brother William and half-sister Helen. (The original data and images on this individual and family are available on Blythe Genealogy.)

It was as a result of his relationship with Louise Matthews that most of the Reynolds and Matthews family transitions from American to Canadian occurred.

Portrait of Harmond James ReynoldsBorn on October 19, 1902 in Clarkson, Monroe County, New York, he was the first child of William Henry Reynolds and Helen (Hannah) Elizabeth Keller, whose family was originally from Seymour Township, Ontario, Canada.

Reynolds Family circa 1944
Rear: Jim and Louise Reynolds. Front: Louise’s sons, Marsh and Paul Blythe (respectively) from her first marriage.

In about 1950, Jim married Louise (Froemling-Matthews) Blythe, a young divorcee with two young boys, whom he met while living in Chicago.

According to his military records, Jim was 5’9″, 138 lbs., had gray eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion, “P M (sic) left shoulder”, with the tips of three fingers on his left hand missing and two on his right hand badly smashed.

Jim spent his earliest years with the Keller family of Havelock and then resided with his father in Rochester, New York.

USS Savannah
USS Savannah

He enlisted in the US Navy on or about November 12, 1920 at Rochester, New York as A.S. (sic) for 2 years and served on the USS Southery and USS Savannah, based out of Norfolk, Virginia and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Pennacook Tug Yard. Jim was discharged November 12, 1922 from the Portsmouth Navy Yard as a Seaman 2nd Class. He was a Bosun’s Mate on the USS Savannah (see left below) AS 8 Submarine Tender, commissioned November 3, 1917 at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, with Lt. Commander Arthur Jensen in command.

USS Southery
USS Southery

In 1943, his residence was recorded as 1116 Webster Ave., Chicago, Illinois.

Subsequent to his mother’s death in 1944, Jim had to apply for permission to leave the US as his discharge certificate from the military was ‘lost or destroyed’, along with all of his possessions, in or about June, 1940 in a rooming house fire at 2 West Ohio Street, Chicago, Illinois. He inherited the family property at Mud Lake (see left bottom), Havelock, Ontario from his mother.

Jim Reynolds, Marsh and Paul at the Mud Lake property.
Jim Reynolds, Marsh and Paul at the Mud Lake property.

Jim, Louise and their family continued to live on the Mud Lake property while Jim worked to support his family in the carpentry trade and was employed in Peterborough and Bancroft, Ontario. He also operated a bread route for Scott’s Bakery in Havelock.

Jim died on December 3, 1965 in Mud Lake, Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, after suffering with an illness of four years duration. He was buried on December 6, 1965 in Maple Grove Cemetery, Havelock, Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada.

Although a large portion of the Mud Lake property was flooded during the creation of the Trent-Severn waterway, the Reynolds/Blythe family continued to own the property to this very day. It is much smaller today, though, as Louise had gradually sold off parcels to provide an income for her family. The small portion remaining still has the house pictured at left, although it is not in habitable condition, and a small ‘rustic’ cabin on a small piece of the property that belongs to Mark’s father, Marsh to this day.

While living in Trenton, Ontario for over ten years from 1995 to 2006, we frequently visited family in Havelock and spent a great deal of time camping at the Mud Lake property, as described in a recent post on my personal blog, ‘Feathering the Empty Nest‘.



  1. Reynolds, Harmond James obituary, Havelock, Ontario, Canada, Abt 10 Dec 1965.
  2. Letter from Harmond James Reynolds (1116 Webster Avenue, Chicago, Illinois) to Helen Elizabeth Reynolds, 11 Apr 1943; held by Bill Reynolds (Havelock, Ontario).
  3. Letter from Stanley Kellar (Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada) to Dominion of Canada, 1957; held by William Edward Reynolds (Havelock, Belmont Township, Ontario, Canada).
  4. Interview with Marsh and Bev Blythe – about 15 March 2005.
  5. Chicago Telephone Directory, (Chicago, Illinois:, 1936).
  6. Reynolds, Harmond James, Permit of Local Board for Registrant to Depart from the United States, Mar 6 1945 at 4532 N. Broadway, Rm. 133, C hicago 13, Illinois.
  7. Rooming House Fire article, “3 Die as Flames Sweep Flats on Near Northside”, Chicago Daily Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, July 8, 1940.
  8. Reynolds, Harmond James obituary, Havelock, Ontario, Canada, Abt 10 Dec 1965.
  9. Letter from Harmond James Reynolds (1116 Webster Avenue, Chicago, Illinois) to Helen Elizabeth Reynolds, 11 Apr 1943; held by Bill Reynolds (Havelock, Ontario). Letter from Stanley Kellar (Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada) to
  10. Dominion of Canada, 1957; held by William Edward Reynolds (Havelock, Belmont Township, Ontario, Canada).
  11. Interview with Marsh and Bev Blythe – about 15 March 2005.
  12. Chicago Telephone Directory, (Chicago, Illinois:, 1936).
  13. Application for Certificate in Lieu of Discharge; Reynolds, Harmond James File, Permit of Local Board for Registrant to Depart from the United States, Mar 6 1945 at 4532 N. Broadway, Rm. 133, Chicago 13, Illinois.

Dates and details: Keep a genealogy resource file.


Everyone knows that Portland is in Oregon, don’t they, but what year did that area develop?


Did you know that in earlier times, it was in the Oregon Territories?




And when did Saskatchewan become a province, eh?


These details about states, provinces, counties, and other events, can be overwhelming if you try to remember them all.




keep a genealogy resource file

Start to develop and keep a genealogy resource file; or you could file papers in your family Genealogy folders or create a computer folder in your Genealogy master folder with specific dates and places to keep track of.

For example, you may need to know when your ancestors emigrated into the USA, in order to determine where to research their entry. Although you may think you know a great deal about Ellis Island and immigration, it was used for screening immigrants from these dates only – January 1, 1892 to 1924.

However, during those years over 400,000 immigrants were screened via the Barge Office (at the tip of Manhattan) in 1891 before the official immigration office was opened. Those dates, 1892-1924, would be useful to have in a handy form, wouldn’t they?

Before that time, Castle Garden (Castle Clinton) at the southern tip of Manhattan, NY City, was an immigrant receiving center from August 1,1855 to April 18, 1890 – more good dates to know.

Search “US immigration, timeline” for more information, including how to search both Ellis Island and Castle Garden records.

Did your ancestors come to North America from another country?

Ireland, for instance?

It would help to know dates of the major famine periods in Ireland, (search “famines, Ireland”) as well as where most emigrating Irish families landed in Canada or the United States.

Or, if they crossed the sea to England, where might they have landed there?

ArchivesIf you are searching censuses in England, many counties changed boundaries several times, particularly after the 1974 Boundary Changes, but some changed prior to that time.

One line of my family lived in the Black Midlands, and their town (Dudley) changed counties several times between Staffordshire and Worcestershire. I was sure that others must have recorded the county incorrectly, until I found an article detailing the various changes in boundaries!

Search online for “British counties, changes” and you will find several excellent sites with details.

You can imagine how important this information could be when searching through Censuses! I’ve learned to check on maps, and look in nearby counties, states, provinces, when researching an ancestor’s residences over time.

We are used to registering every life event with the government, but such was not the case in our ancestors’ days.

For example, passenger lists were not required to be recorded and filed until 1865 in Canada, 1820 in the USA, 1837 in much of England.

In Germany, some vital statistic registrations began in 1792, others not until 1876, varying by state, and they were not kept in a central repository. In general, birth, marriage, death registrations were not required until a state/county or province was formed and had a center for records.

This date of “vital statistics” is remarkably varied throughout the world, and you will need to have the details for each place, in order to search successfully and efficiently for your ancestors.

My personal Genealogy Resource File includes the following (based on my particular ancestors):

  1. Canadian Provinces/Territories, dates of Confederation and Civil Registration – and maps!
  2. Canadian ships passenger lists source (at Library & Archives)
  3. Border Crossings dates, and Passport requirements for both US and Canada
  4. Canadian land grants periods
  5. U.S. States (PA, CT, NY, MA, ME, WA, OR) and county borders, history of formation
  6. Immigration dates for Ellis Island, Crystal Garden
  7. US cities receiving immigration ships; dates
  8. Dates of US wars from 1600-1945
  9. UK Civil registrations, where held
  10. UK counties, border changes, where to find details
  11. Scotland, Ireland church registrations, census dates
  12. The German Palatine emigration paths
  13. Blank Census forms for Canada, USA, UK

…and much more! Pensions, social insurance records, railway historical maps – there is no end to the variety of resources available to help you.

I also have old and current maps of all sorts including of villages, land grants, towns, county borders, plus details of various historical events which might have impacted on my ancestors’ lives.

All of these resources in a genealogy resource file would make your research more efficient and accurate, plus these resources will allow you to provide correct citations of the sources you find.

Enjoy your research and build up your own personalized Genealogy Resource File!

Now that you understand some of the common issues of internet genealogy, you may want to look at other helpful resources.


About the Author

Celia Lewis, MA, is a Genealogy Consultant who loves both mysteries and families, finding Genealogy research a perfect fit! Now retired, she enjoys having the time to pursue her passions, along with spending time with her five grandchildren.

photo credit: waterlilysage via photopin cc