All things history and genealogy.

All things history and genealogy.

Tag: Wills

Transcription: Last Will and Testament of Richard Chatterton of Caenby, Lincolnshire, 1657.

The following is a transcription to the best of my abilities of the last will and testament of Richard Chatterton of Caenby, Lincolnshire, 1657.

He was 9th great grandfather to my children and the son of Rachell Chatterton of Glentham, whose 1653 will also appears on this site.


Featured image: St.Nicholas at Caenby. Although originally built in medieval times, it was retored 1795 and 1869. © Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.  


Last Will and Testament of Richard Chatterton of Canby
Last Will and Testament of Richard Chatterton of Canby.

In the name of God Amen the eight and twentyeth day of August one thousand six hundred fifty seaven I Richard Chatterton of Canby in the county of Lyncolne, yeoman being weake of body but of ??????? remembrance (God be praised) do ordaine this to be my last will and testament In the first place I command my soule unto the hande of Almighty God resting in a moderate christian and comfortable observance which is wrought in me by God the Holy Ghost that by the ????? ??????? and ???????? of God the Sonn all my sinns and fully and freely forgiven me And that whomsoever my soule and body shalle separated and shall enjoy the joy of those heavenly places that are prepared for the ????? of God In the ???? place I commit my body to the earth from whence it came there to be paid up in a  common ??????????? and ???????? till my saviour ??? second coming nothing doubting but that I shall have a joyfull ??????? that day of the ???? will resurrection and divine the sonne may be decently interred in the ???????? and I happen of ????? And as ??????????? that would ?? ? estate whom with God hath blessed me and doe dispose of the same as followeth In the first place and give and bequeath unto John Chatterton my sonne tenn pounds of lawfull english monie  to be paid unto him within one yeare after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto his two children each of them one ewe sheepe and one lambe to be delivered into theire ?????????? custodie for theire use and benefit within one month next after my decease Item I give to George Chatterton my sonn tenn pounde of lawfull english monei to be paid within one yeare next after my decease Item I give unto his daughter two ewes and two lambes to be delivered to the said Georg within one month next after my decease to and for the use and benefit of the said childe Item I give to Richard my sonne threescore pounds of good and lawfull english monie to be paid unto him when he shall attaine to the age of twentye and one yeares And  if it happen the said Richard shall prove a good husband and dutifull and obedient and loveing unto Ellen his mother and give a signall testimonie of his paines and diligence unto my supervisors in this my will mentioned then I give unto my sonn Richard fortie pounde more to be paid unto him when he shall attaine unto the age of twenty and one yeares Item I give unto Rachell Williamson my daughter sixteene pounde thirteene shillinge and foure pence of lawfull english monye to be paid within one yeare next after my decease Item I give unto Richard Williamson her sonne one two yeares old colt Item I give unto Robert Williamson another of her sonns one two yeares old colt both of them to be delivered to Rachell theire Mother within one yeare next after my decease to and for theire use and advantage Item I give unto the daughter of my daughter Mary (H or F)owler  one ewe and one lambe to be delivered to her mother for the use of her daughter within one yeare next after my decease from whereas William (H or F)owler of Bromby in the County of Lyncolne gent before the intermarriage of his sonn William (H or F)owler unto Mary my daughter promised to make her a good and lawfull ???????? for her life of all his lande in the County of Lyncolne if it happen the said William shall hereafter make her a good and lawfull ????????? of all his lande which he is now seized of for her life in the Countye of Lyncolne I then give and bequeath unto Mary my daughter fortie pound to be paid within one yeare next after such assurance be made and perported Item I doe constitute ordaine and make Ellen my wife the sole Executrix of this my last will and testament to debte whome I give and bequeath all the residue of my goods chattels ????? ready monye ????? and household staffe whatsoever unbequeathed my debte first paid my loyaryes satisfied and my ???? ???? discharged in assured confidence that I have rather that shee will faithfully and justly performe the same and will be loveing unto and holyfull to all my other children And I doe hereby appoint my welbeloved brothers John Chatterton and Robert Maultby supervisors of this my last will And my desire is they will use theire best endeavours to see the same performed according to the ?????????????? ?????? And if any ambiguitie question or doubt shall hereafter arise about anything therein contained I doe hereby give full power and authority unto them and the survivor of them to determine the same And what is soe determined I doe hereby will and I doe give my brother John Chatterton forty shillinge and to my brother Maultby forty shillinge for theire paines to be taken therein above all charges they shalle put unto And my will is in ???? any legatees herein named be not contented with such determination of my said supervisors then I doe give unto him or them soe discontented the sume of two shillinge and six pence only And doe will that they shoe or be soe displeased shall have noe other benefit by this my will In witness whereof, unto this my will I have set my hand and seale the day and yeare first above-written Richard Chatterton his marke and seale signed sealed and published in the ???????? of John Chatterton ????? Ba?iton Williame Hughs marke

This will was proved at London before the Judges for probate of wills and granting Administrations lawfully authorized the second day of December in the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred fifty seaven by the oath of Ellen Chatterton Relict and sole Executrix named in the said will to whome Administration was Committed of all and singular the goods Chattells and debte of the said deceased shee being first sworne by Commission ?????? to Administer


Click on any of the images below to see them in full size.

Chatterton, Richard, d. 1657; Will

Chatterton, Richard, d. 1657; Will 2

Chatterton, Richard, d. 1657; Will 3


The images below link directly to the original documents. 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.

Originally posted 2016-01-06 12:44:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Thousands of wills online, including Shakespeare, Austen and Drake.

I was so excited to hear the news that thousands of wills are now online by Among the wills published are those of famous and noted individuals including William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Sir Francis Drake.

Thousands of wills are now online.
Thousands of wills now online.

According to’s news site, “We’ve just added the most important collection of wills for England and Wales from before 1858 proved by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. It’s packed with wills from members of the old middle and upper classes and paints a rich picture of life at that time.”

Richard Chatterton Will
Thousands of wills now online.

Of all of the source documents I’ve worked with, my favorite are wills. I love the look of the beautiful scripts used throughout history and thoroughly enjoy the challenge of transcribing them as accurately as possible. I find that wills are the most information and ‘colorful’ documents. Yes, yes, I know they’re pen and ink and ‘black and white’ in reality, but what I mean by ‘colorful’ is that they provide the details of the lives of the persons involved. It’s never just dates, locations, etc. Wills provide the prologue, main story and epilogue of an individual’s life and introduces us to their family and sometimes friends. We learn details of financial circumstances, social standing, property owned, and best of all, their relationships, whether good or bad.

Once we have come to understand the contents of a will, we know more of their life story. Although they are only accessible through paid subscription, offers a 14 day trial period for users to check it out before committing to a full subscription.

Transcription: Andreas Keefer (Andrew Keefer), Will and Testament

The following is my transcription of the Will of Andreas Keefer.

Andrew Keefer – Will

IN the name of God Amen. I Andrew Keefer of Hanover Township Lebanon County State of Pennsylvania being weak in body but of sound mind and disposing mind memory and understanding calling to mind the uncertainty of this transitory life and knowing that it is appointed to all men once to die have hereby made my last will and testiment in manner and form following to wit whereas I have already given to my sons George Keefer, Frederich Keefer & Andrew Keefer Twenty Two hundred and Forty four dollars and twenty two cents as charged against them. It is my will and I do order that they shall receive no more of my estate till each of my other children to wit Jacob Keefer, John Keefer, Elizabeth intermarried with John Bamgardner, Eve intermarried with Casper Dasher, Catherine intermarried with Philip Johannes and Sarah or their legal representatives shall have each have received a like sum of Two Thousand Two Hundred and Fourty four and Twenty Two cents. I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah the plantations piece of land whereon I now live building and improvements together with the wood land which I reserved off my son Frederich’s place supposed to contain in the whole fifty acres or there abouts to her heirs and assignees forever she allowing therefore forty dollars per acre but of it should not amount to her equal share she must have it made up to her out of my other estate. It is my will and I do order that the residue of my estate both real and personal and mixed after each of my said children or their legal representataives shall have the aforesaid sum of Two Thousand two hundred and Forty four dollars and twenty two cents shall be equally distributed to and amongst all my children or their legal representatives share and share alike. It is further my will that my daughter Sarah shall have her choice in iron Pots and Kettles. I do order and direct that the share of my estate which is due or will be  due coming to my daughter Eve intermarried with Casper Dasher the said Eve shall have the one half of share the other half to Eve’s children which Eve and Dasher will have. I do order that after there is money due beginning at the one that has the ? Siste now and so on but not till after my death. It is my will and I do order that in addition to what I have willed to my daughter Sarah I give her one full years living out of my estate that is to say all the household and kitchin furniture that she may want together with wheat rye and other grain which she may want for her own use for and during the term of one year she shall have the stove and one bed which ever she uses besides her own ?—- in her own right as also her choice of one cow of mine for her own use. It is further my will that all the bonds from my children wich? is in my  ____ ____ ____ ____  time shall bear no interest till after my decease. As lastly I do hereby nominate my beloved son Frederich Keefer and my Son in law John Baungardner?  to be the executive of this my last will and testiment declaring that no other my last will and testiment. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this nineteenth day of May One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty-Seven.

Signed sealed published and pronounced by the testaor as his last will and testiment in the presence of us who in his presence and at Ihis request have hereunto set our names.

jacob Unger     John Snyder

Further it is my will and I do order that my son Jacob Keefer children shall have his legal share but no more when they arrive to their legal age.

Recorded Jan 25th 1828     Peter Lineweaver      Registrar

Andreas Keefer’s Will


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: Thorne, John; Will Extract; New Jersey and Colonial Documents; Page 480.


Transcription of an extract of the will of John Thorne, taken from ” New Jersey and Colonial Documents “; Page 480.

Featured image: Little Red Schoolhouse; Maple Shade, Burlington County, NJ; built in 1811.



New Jersey, Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817me and Stephen Brown. Other children—Thomas, Daniel, Sarah and Joanna, land purchased of George Harris, dec’d. Executors—Wife,  Sarah, and brother Jonathan Thompson. Witnesses—James Galloway, Samuel Whitehead, Jonathan Meeker. Proved April 13, 1731.
Lib. B, p. 206.
1734, May 15. Inventory, £111.18.09; made by David Whitehead and Henry Peirson.

1733, April 7. Thompson, William, of Alloways Creek, Salem Co.; will of. Sons—Joseph (had portion); William (had portion); Samuel, the home plantation, he paying £15 to my son Benjamin and £5 to my grandson Sam’l Test when they will be 21; the said Benjamin to have 20 acres on the south side of the creek and 5 acres joining the bridge. Daughter, Sarah (had portion). Rest of personal estate  to son Benjamin and daughter Rebekah. One acre for use of a burying ground and a meeting-house for the people called Quakers. Executors—sons, William and Benjamin. Witnesses—Benjamin Holme, John Powel, Richard Bradford. Affirmed 25 April, 1734.
1734, April 25. Letters granted to William Thompson.
Lib. 3, p. 418.
1734, 2 mo. (Apr.), 16 da. Inventory (£146.13) made by Benj. Holmes, Daniel Fogg.

1750, Sept. 21. Thomson, Lewis, of Freehold, Monmouth Co., yeoman; will of. Wife Sarah. Daughters—Mary and Elizabeth. Brother,  Cornelius. Executors—brother, Thomas Thomson, and friend John Clayton. Witnesses—James Wilson, Rachel Willson, John Anderson.
Proved October 17, 1750.
Lib. E, p. 460.

1742, Oct. 4. Thorn, William, of Nottingham, Burlington Co.; will of. Son, Jedidiah, 30 acres. Son, Joseph, his present land, adjoining Abraham Tilton by the York Road. Sons—William, Thomas and Mahlon. Daughters—Mary Wright, Elizabeth Sykes and Meribah. Executors—wife, Meribah, and son Joseph. Witnesses—William Stiles, William Wetherill, Jos. Reckless. Proved Nov. 17, 1742.
Lib. 4, p. 350.
1742, Nov. 5. Inventory, £222.10.7; made by John Steward and Benjamin Robens.

1734, Sept. 18. Thornborough, George, of Shrewsbury, Monmouth Co., cooper. Administration granted to Robert Ireland.
Lib. B, p. 587wi
1735, July 24. Account. Mentions bond of Adam Brewer.

1735-6, Feb. 16. Thorne, John, of Chesterfield, Burlington Co.; will of. Sons—John, Joseph, Samuell, Benjamin and Thomas, all under age. Daughters—Rebecca Simmons, Kathron King, Hannah, Sarah, Mary and Debra. Real and personal estate. Wife, Kathron, executrix. Witnesses—William Murfin, John Tantum, Samuel Merrit. Proved June 14, 1737.
Lib. 4, p. 106.
1737, June 6. Inventory, £200.19; made by John Tantum and William Wills. Includes silver plate £15; two Bibles and other books.

1735, May 20. Thorne, William, of Woodbridge, Middlesex Co. Int. Adm’rs, Mary Thorne and Richard FitzRandolph.
Lib. B, p. 587.

1730, March 24. Thorp, Joseph, of Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., yeo-


The complete original scans of any documents clips linked above can be accessed by clicking the images. To access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, search using the linked names above or the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link, both in the left sidebar. It is recommended to search using both methods as the results do sometimes differ. All data on these sites is available for free access and download.

Melansons and the Acadian Expulsion

The British conquered Acadia from the French in 1710 and subsequently, the Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britain. At this time, the Acadians and Mi’kmaq formed militia against the British and as a result of what the British viewed as the rebellious actions of some of the Acadians, British Governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council ordered the expulsion of all the Acadians. This action led to the deaths of thousands of Acadians.
The Acadian people were expelled from what are now the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island between 1755 and 1763 and were deported to Britain, France and other British colonies.

Fort Edward in 1753

Fort Edward, in what was then Pisiguit (Windsor, Nova Scotia) played an important role in the Bay of Fundy Campaign (1755) of the Acadian Expulsion. Fort Edward was one of four forts in which Acadians were imprisoned over the nine years of the expulsion (the others were Fort Frederick, Saint John, New Brunswick; Fort Cumberland; and Fort Charlotte, Georges Island, Halifax).
In the early 1760’s it was illegal for Acadians to reside in Nova Scotia. Families and individuals who had avoided capture in 1755 were imprisoned. The prison lists for Fort Edward between 1761-1762 still exist (For a list of the prisoners see List of Acadian Prisoners – Fort Edward). There was Acadian and Mi’kmaq resistance to the Expulsion. In April of 1757, a band of Acadians and Mi’kmaq raided a warehouse near Fort Edward, killing thirteen British soldiers and, after taking what provisions they could carry, setting fire to the building. A few days later, the same group also raided Fort Cumberland.

Fort Beausejour in 1755

Fort Beauséjour, (later known as Fort Cumberland) is located at the Isthmus of Chignecto in present day Aulac, New Brunswick, Canada. This fort was famous for the Battle of Fort Beauséjour, which was both the final act in the long fight between Britain and France for control of Acadia and the beginning of the final struggle between the two great empires for North America itself. Fort Beauséjour was one of several French forts erected to strengthen the French position in North America against the British.
In 1755, there was a major battle at Fort Beauséjour. It was also the site of the start of the Expulsion of the Acadians and the area was afterward subjected to the resistance of the Mi’kmaq and Acadians. On June 4, 1755, British forces and militia attacked Fort Beauséjour from their base at Fort Lawrence. After taking control of Fort Beauséjour by June 16, 1755, they changed its name to Fort Cumberland. After the capture of the fort, British forces attempted to convince Acadians of the Beaubassin region to sign the oath of allegiance demanded by the British Crown; however the Acadians refused, stating that they would rather remain neutral. Some of the captured Acadians who remained reported that they were forced to help defend Fort Beauséjour. Armed with this information, the British planned and executed the expulsion of Acadians in August 1755.
This event was the start of what would come to be known as the Great Upheaval (le Grand Dérangement) of Acadian society. It commenced with the Acadians in the Beaubassin region. British forces burnt Acadian homes at Beaubassin and the vicinity of the fort to prevent their return. Fort Cumberland became one of four sites in which Acadians were imprisoned during the nine years of the expulsion, including Fort Edward.
Pierre “Parrotte” Melanson was born in 1720 in Port Royal (later Annapolis Royal). Pierre “Parrotte” Melanson and Marie Josephe Granger (my 5th great grandparents) were married on 1 Feb 1746 in Port Royal. Marie Josèphe Granger, daughter of Laurens Granger and Marie Bourg, was born on 12 Jan 1723 in Port Royal. He and Marie Josèphe had six children: Marie-Josèphe, Jean “Janne”, Osite, Pierre, David and Dominique-Pierre. Escaping deportation during the Acadian Expulsion, Pierre, Marie Josephe and their three living children, Marie-Josephe, Janne and David (see below for more information about the children), sought refuge in the Petitcodiac region (today in New Brunswick) from 1755 to 1760. They were captured and subsequently held prisoner at Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763. They then lived as captives in Fort Cumberland, between 1763 and 1768. Their youngest son Dominique-Pierre was born in captivity at Fort Cumberland. Pierre “Parrotte” and his family lived after their release from Fort Cumberland in Minudie, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, where he died about 1791 at the age of 71. His wife Marie Josèphe remained in Minudie until her death about 1790 at the age of 67.
Marie-Josèphe Melanson was born on 4 Mar 1747 in Port Royal. Marie-Josèphe Melanson and Jean-Augustin Gaudet, son of Augustin Gaudet and Agnés Chiasson, were married about 1767 while in captivity at Fort Edward. They lived as captives in Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763, and then also in captivity in Fort Cumberland between 1763 and 1768. They had nine children: Marie-Madeleine, Isabelle, Marie-Anne “Nannette”, Marguerite, Jean, Marguerite, Pierre, Pélagie and Sauveur and they all settled in Westmoreland County, New Brunswick, Canada.
Jean “Janne” Melanson was born on 12 Aug 1749 in Port Royal. Janne lived as a captive along with his family in Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763. He lived as a captive along with his family in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia, Canada between 1763 and 1768. Janne later died in Minudie.  Jean “Janne” Melanson and Modeste “Ursule” Forest (4th great grandparents), daughter of Charles Forest and Marie Chiasson, were married on 20 Nov 1773 in Franklin Manor, Minudie. Janne and Modeste had seven children, Louise “Lizette”, Henriette, Romain “Roma”, Apollonie, Pélagie, Rose Anne and Pierre Melanson (3rd great grandfather).
David Melanson was born in 1755 in Port Royal. He lived as an escapee with his family in Petitcodiac between 1755 and 1761. He lived with his family in Fort Edward between 1761 and 1763 and in Fort Cumberland between 1763 and 1768. David Melanson married firstly Marguerite Leblanc, daughter of Joseph Leblanc and Marie Doiron, about 1776 in Minudie, Cumberland County. They had eleven children: Pierre, Cécile, Rosalie, Dominique, Fabien, Firmin, Brigitte, Joseph “dit Magoune”, Gertrude, Romain “Roma” and François. David became a land owner from land grants in Dorchester Crossing and Scoudouc, New Brunswick. David and Marguerite both died in Memramcook, Westmorland County, she in 1810 and he in 1834. Marguerite is among those originally buried at the old Memramcook parish cemetery that were exhumed and re-interred at the new church’s cemetery (St. Thomas) when it opened in 1840.
David married secondly Anne Nanette Richard, daughter of René “petit René de Beaupré” and Perpétue Bourgeois, on 4 Feb 1811 in Memramcook, Westmorland County. They were granted dispensations for third to fourth degree of consanguinity and a third degree of affinity. She died shortly after their marriage at the age of 44 in Memramcook.
Dominique-Pierre Melanson was born in captivity in Fort Cumberland in 1765 and was captive there along with his family between 1765 and 1768. Dominique-Pierre Melanson and Anne-Rosalie Babin, daughter of Pierre Babin and Madeleine Bourque, were married on 8 Nov 1783 in Franklin Manor, Minudie. They had five children: Apolline, Isabelle, Laurent “P’Tit Laurent”, Franéçois and Anne. Dominique-Pierre died on 11 Aug 1813 at the age of 48 in Memramcook.

1. Michael B. Melanson, Melanson – Melancon: Genealogy of an Acadian and Cajun Family (Dracut, Massachusetts: Lanesville Publishing, 2004).
2. “Baptism Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives (
3. “Marriage Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives ( .
4. “Baptism Records of St-Jean-Baptiste, Port Royal, Acadia,” database, Nova Scotia Archives ( .

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


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.

WWI War Stories: Turmaine and Emery.

In honor of today’s ceremonies in honor of the 100th anniversary of the battle at Vimy Ridge, I am reposting several articles about my own ancestors who died in WWI. 


In my father’s French Canadian, ‘Turmaine’ branch of the family, we have two known soldiers who died in the first world war. The first was my grand uncle, Pte. Joseph Philias Albert Emery, and the second was another grand uncle, Pte. Joseph Turmaine – and here are their WWI war stories.


Pte. Joseph Philias Albert Emery
Pte Joseph Philias Albert Emery – just one of many WWI war stories.

PTE. JOSEPH PHILIAS ALBERT EMERY, the son of Albert Emery and Émilie Labelle was born in Saint-André Avellin, Ripon Township, Papineau County, Québec, Canada. At 5’6″, he had a fair complexion, brown hair and grey eyes and he was a papermaker at the time of his enlistment in the 77th Canadian Battalion, Governor General’s Foot Guards.

Having later been reassigned to the 73rd Battalion Canadian Infantry, Black Watch of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, he was engaged in the preparations for the advance on Vimy Ridge. He was reported missing on March 1, 1917, about a month prior to the capture of the ridge. His remains were never found and he was memorialized at Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez in Pas de Calais, France.

Gas Attacks in March 1917 at Vimy Ridge - war stories
Of many WWI war stories, this one included deadly gas attacks in March 1917 at Vimy Ridge. Image of a gas cloud being released fromm canisters on the Western Front circ 1916.

During gas and artillery attacks planned for that day, the troops came under fire from the Germans.

An excerpt from the war diary of the 73rd Battalion dated March 1, 1917 reads, “Officers and men without exception fought magnificently. Casualties during the attack were as follows: 26 OR killed, 99 OR wounded, 27 OR missing.”



Preserved WWI tunnel at Vimy Ridge
Preserved WWI fighting tunnel at Vimy Ridge.

Pte. Emery was among those missing and was never recovered.

A very detailed and well-researched account entitled, “A Proper Slaughter: The March 1917 Gas Raid on Vimy Ridge”, written by Tim Cook contains some great photos and makes great reading.

Another account of the incident taken from the ‘ Canadian Battlefields ‘ website is as follows:

   “Thirty-nine days before the Canadians infamous and victorious attack on Vimy Ridge from April 9-12, 1917 there was a disastrous reconnaissance raid.   On March 1, 1917 at 3:00 am the gas sergeants took their positions to release the phosgene gas from the hundreds of gas canisters, referred to as “rats”, they had placed prior to the scheduled raid date. Every night they had lugged the heavy, poisonous gas canisters four miles to the front lines. They dug holes in the ground, nicknamed “rat traps” where the canisters were carefully placed and held in position with dirt and sandbags. A rubber hose connected to the canister would be maneuvered away from the trench, into No Man’s Land towards the enemy. The Canadians knew all too well what poisonous gas did to the human body from their experience at the Ypres Salient in 1915 when they were hit with gas for the first time.

    At 5:00 am the gas sergeants were to release the chlorine gas and 45-minutes later the 1,700 troops assigned to the raid were to go “over the top”. Of course things didn’t work out. For a gas attack, the velocity and direction of the wind is crucial. Secondly, gas is heavier then air. This meant that even if the gas sergeants managed to release the gas from the canisters and through the hose into No Man’s Land, the gas then had to travel up the hill to kill the Germans. (I shake my head at this, as I’m sure you are too). Gas is heavier than air, therefore it is logically impossible for it to flow up hill. Rather, they would find that the gas would settle in the pot-marked landscape and trenches, the very places our soldiers would seek protection from German fire. The idea was that the first gas release would kill most of the Germans. The second release, of chlorine gas, would surely finish off the Germans. 45-minutes after the chlorine gas release, a proposed sufficient amount of time for the gas to dissipate, our soldiers would walk in, finish off the few struggling Germans, collect the information they were sent for and then return. If I, a civilian, can see flaws in this plan, I cannot help but question, almost scream, “How did anyone ever let this plan go further than its first mentioning?!”

   The Germans realized a gas attack has been launched. They sounded the alarms, and released hell on No Man’s Land. A German artillery barrage and a steady pumping of rifle and machine gun fire rained down on the Canadians. The shells smashed into buried gas cylinders, causing our own trench to instantly fill with poison gas. With a tremendous rupture a wave of yellow gas plummeted from our trenches. The chlorine gas cylinders had been hit. “Making matters worse, the wind had changed direction. The release of the second wave of gas to supposedly finish off the German defenders began blowing back in the faces of the Canadian brigades.” (Barris, 2008: 13).
   In about 5 minutes we lost 190 men and two company commanders. It total, there were 687 casualties. Only 5 men actually reached the German trenches. Those that somehow managed to stay alive in No Man’s Land, were captured and spent around 21-months in a German prison camp
   On March 3 an extraordinary event took place. No Man’s Land had been eerily silent after the attack, but out of the mist a German officer carrying a Red Cross flag walked out into No Man’s Land in front of Hill 145. He called for and was met by a Canadian officer to discuss a two-hour truce ‘from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon’ during which time Canadian stretcher bearers and medical staff could carry back casualties and remains. What seemed even more remarkable [was] “the Germans said they would assist by bringing Canadian casualties halfway.”


PTE. JOSEPH TURMAINE, son of Herménégilde Turmaine and Virginia Perrault, was born in 1891 at Lac Mégantic, Québec, Canada. He was 5’7 1/2″ tall, had a dark complexion, blue eyes and very dark hair. He was a Private in the 27th Battalion Infantry, Winnipeg Regiment and took part in action against the Germans in Courcelette. He was reported ‘missing in action’ and was never recovered.

I have summarized the account of his Battalion’s war diary for the date he went missing below:

The 27th Battalion, Winnipeg Regiment left at 2 pm, September 14, 1916 for brigade headquarters, arriving at 5 pm. They then left brigade headquarters at 9 pm and proceeded to the front line to take up position in assembly trenches, which was delayed due to congestion of the trenches and was completed just after 4 am.

At 6:20 am, the artillery barrage opened 50 yards ahead of the German trench and the first wave started crawling over. As the barrage lifted, the Battalion advanced to the first German line and were met with heavy rifle and machine gun fire. As soon as the Canadian troops reached the trench, the Germans threw up their hands and surrendered. The Battalion followed up the barrage closely and met very little resistance at Sunken Road, the Germans surrendering in large numbers. By this time, the first wave was nearly wiped out and the second wave took their place. Owing to casualties, reinforcements were sent to hold the line at Sunken Road. The Germans attempted to advance but were driven back by Canadian fire. A large number also advanced and started sniping the Canadian front only to also be driven back by Canadian fire.

Two Canadian patrols pushed on toward Courcelette, but were forced to return to the line due to barrage fire. The German artillery fire was very intense for 48 hours on the front line.

A few troops dashed forward under cover of Canadian machine guns and captured a German Maxim. Approximately 22 Germans surrendered.

The Germans had thrown away the feed block of the captured gun but after considerable searching it was located and the gun was turned on German snipers, causing considerable damage. After the Battalion returned to the Brigade Reserve it was reported that there were 72 killed, 250 wounded and 72 missing (including Joseph Turmaine).

photo credit:

Sources for WWI War Stories: Turmaine and Emery:

  1. Cook, Tim (1999) ““A Proper Slaughter”: The March 1917 Gas Raid at Vimy Ridge,” Canadian Military History: Vol. 8: Iss. 2, Article 1. Available at: (
  2. Books of Remembrance, Veterans Affairs Canada, (
  3. Pas de Calais, France, “XIV. F. 25.,” database, Commonwealth War Graves Commission ( . Attestation Papers – Archives of Canada, digital images.
  4. Certificate of Memorial; Private Joseph Phillias Albert Emery (SN: 144880), 73rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry; Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France.
  5. Casualty Form – Active Service; Private Joseph Philias Albert Emery.
  6. Form of Will; Private Joseph Philias Albert Emery.
  7. Medals, Decorations, Promotions and Transfers Record; Private Joseph Philias Albert Emery.
  8. War Service Gratuity Form; Private Joseph Philias Albert Emery.
  9. Provencher, Gérard and Blue Jeans, George, Pontbriand, B.; ” Marriages of Outaouais (Theft. I-II) 1815-1970 “, *86-87, Québec, 1971, S.G.C.F. * S.G.L. (Directory); French Title: Mariages de l’Outaouais (Vol. I-II) 1815-1970.
  10. Canadian Battlefields; Vimy Ridge: Before the Gas at Hill 145 (website:
  11. Les Labelles, Daniel Labelle online (, accessed.1901 Canadian Census – St. André Avelin, Labelle District, Québec; Émerie Family: Charles, Émelie, Alice, Albert, Clarinda, Émeralda, Rose A. (Amande).
  13. Personal knowledge and interviews with family.

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.

Transcription: Wills of Centre County, Pennsylvania.

The following is my transcription of abstracts of Wills of Centre County, Pennsylvania.

Featured image: Farmstead dating from 1858 in Ferguson, Centre, Pennsylvania.




Will of Centre County, Pennsylvania
Wills of Centre County, Pennsylvania; including that of Captain George Meek.


Ira F. Fravel, Col. U.S. Army, published 1/19/1939

Re-copied December, 1967 by Mary Belle Lontz


Will Book A


Page 1

CHRISTIAN STROM, Oct. 29, 1800-12/8/1800, wife Margt. Son, David, Executor, Dtr. Catarina, Dtr. Anna, grandchild, Sally (not 18).

Witnesses: Philip Danna, Lyons Mussina.

Page 2

CHRISTIAN BECHTEL, 6/3/1800_1/30/1801, son Christian (not 21), wife Mary, Son, David, first born son, Samuel: children already married are not named: Son Jacob, son Christian to have young roan mare. Ex: son David, & son-in-law, Frederick Shank. (Written in German, translated)

Page 4

ADAM LEEVER, Ferguson Twp. 3/26/1801_4/6/1801, wife Cath. Children: Elizabeth, Adam, Peter, George, Barbara, Benjamin, Joseph, Lewis, unborn child, son-in-law Philip Anshuts. Witness: Valentine Fleegle, Wm. Richard, Barnabus Riley, John Rea, John Brisbin.

Page 6

MICHAEL WEEVER, Haines Twp. 4/20/1801_5/11/1801, wife Anna Barbara, children: David, John, Michael, Andrew (absent 14 years), Margaret Row, Barbara Bickel, children of Dtr. Christina Brown, dec’d., children of Dtr. Elizabeth Wolf, dec’d. Dtr. Julianna Stober. Ex: son, John, David. Witness: George Wold, Jac. Hosterman.

Page 7

CHRISTINA RICHARD, Bald Eagle Twp., Aug. 11, 1801_Aug. 17, 1801_ 4 sons: Frederick, Henry, Casper, Mathias. Dtrs: Hannah, Margaret, Rebecca, Susannah: Grandson Mathias (s/o Casper) and Frederick (s/o Mathias) Grandtr. Elizabeth Balt. Ex. Samuel Wilson, John Balt. Witness: John Vinack, Mark Caldwell, David Dunlap.

Page 9

RICHARD MALLONE (Malone), Bald Eagle Twp., Aug. 3, 1801_Aug. 31, 1801_ wife Mary, two youngest children: Frederick, Morgan. Son-in-law Jos. Alexander and his children: My children: Ann Armstrong: Francis Malone: Francis Alexander: Richard & Leslie Malone: Samuel & Hartley Malone: Catherine Boggs; Frederick & Morgan Malone: Rebecca Howard: James Ramsay. Witness: Thomas Memmenger, William W. Miles, Henry C. Gates. Ex: Thomas Hamilton, Samuel Miles, John Miles.

Page 10

DANIEL MILLER, Haines Twp., 12/13/1801_Jan., 1802, wife Catharina, eldest Dtr. Catharine, son Henry, David. Ex: Joseph Miller of West Buggalo Twp. (Then North’d Co., now Union Co., Pa.). Witness: Jacob Kryder, Johannes Krider.

Page 12

GEORGE MEEK, Ferguson Twp., 11/3/1801_1/19/1802, wife Rachel. Friend Jonathan Wales, eldest son Robert, son William, David, John. Youngest Dr. Sarah not 21, Dtr. Mary Steelly, Dtr. Isabella, Dtr. Jean. Ex: Wife, & Thomas Ferguson. Witness: Thomas Ferguson, Joseph Diven, John Barron.

Page 15

CHRISTIAN SPANGLER, Miles Twp., 6/7/1800_1/20/1802, wife Anna Maria, oldest son George Christian, my children according to seniority as follows: oldest son George Christian, my children according to seniority as follows: Margaret, w/o Francis Gramley, John Michael, John Henry, John Christopher, John, John George, George Peter, Susanna, Anna Maria. Ex: son John Christopher, Francis Gramley. Witness: Elam Miller, Jacob Miller.

Page 16


Potter Twp., 6/30/1802_Aug. 18, 1802, wife Grace, children, eldest son Charles, youngest son Daniel (in care of Charles), John, son-in-law Patrick McMenomey, son John. Ex: James Whitehill, Robert Moore. Witness: Michael Witheright, Michael Trester.

Page 18


Centre Twp., 6/9/1802_Aug. 28, 1802, son William, Frances, youngest son Henry, children of my daughter Elizabeth Petrikin, children of my daughter Anne Petit. My dtr. Mary, Sarah, son James O. and my wife Elizabeth, Dtr. Jane Williamson. Ex. Son Wm. & Frances McEwen, & Wm. Petrikin. Witness: James Steere, Thomas Steere.


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.

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Transcription: Probate record of Henry Jaques.

The following is my full transcription of a scan of the original probate record for Henry Jaques.


Henry Jaques

Probate record of Henry Jaques.
Probate record of Henry Jaques.


At a term of the Court of Common pleas, within and for the County of Geauga, in the state of Ohio begun and held at the Court house in Chardon, on the first day of June in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine before the Honourable George Tod, president, and Asa Cowles, John Hubbard and Daniel Kerr, associates, Judges holding said Court, & sitting as a Court of probate on motion the Court appointed Betsey Jaques administratrix on the estate of Henry Jaques, late of Munson in said county, deceased, and accept Aaron Stobbins and Chauncey Porter as her sureties in the sum of five hundred dollars. The Court, also appointed Charles Keith, Luther Thwing and David Tanner appraisers, to appraise the personal property belonging to said estate. The said Between Jaques, having given the bonds required by the order of the Court, Letters of administration was issued, in the words and figures following, to wit,

The State of Ohio
Geauga County

George Tod, president of the third circuit of the Court of common Pleas, & Asa Cowles, John Hubbard and Daniel Kerr his associate judges of the same court, within and for the county Geauga aforesaid, in the name and by the authority of the state of Ohio, To all, to whom these presents shall come, Be it known, That administration of all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits, which were of Henry Jaques, late of the township of Munson in the county aforesaid, at the time of his death, is herebby committed unto Betsey Jaques, whose duty it shall be (under oath) to know all and singular the said goods and chattels inventoried and appraised by Charles Keith, Luther Thwing and David Tanner, house holders of the county aforesaid, (after deducting for the widow, her wearing apparel, one bed and bedding, and all the wearing apparel of her deceased husband, together with such articles of property as are, or may be, by law, exempt from execution, and such other provisions as the appraisers aforesaid, shall consider reasonable for the support of herself and children, one year from the time of the death of the deceased, and make a return thereof, signed by the said appraisers, with a bill of the sale of the goods and chattels of the said deceased, together with a true and accurate statement of the debts due and owing to the estate of the said Henry Jaques deceased, to the office of the Clerk of the Court of common pleas, for the county aforesaid, within three months from the date hereof, and moreover to adjust and settle up the account of her administration, within eighteen months from the date hereof, as the law directs. And we do by these presents appoint the said Betsey Jaques, administratirix of all singular, the goods, chattels, rights and credits which were of the said Henry Jaques deceased.

In Testimony of which, we have caused the seal of our said Court to be hereunto affixed.


Witness the Honourable George Tod, president thereof, at Domini, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine.
D.D. Aiken, Clerk.

Afterwards, on the twenty-third day of November, in the year aforesaid, the said administratrix deposited in this office, an inventory of the goods and chattels belonging to said estate, in the words and figures following, to wit.
A true and accurate Inventory of the goods and chattels of the estate of Henry Jaques, late of Munson in said county deceased, presented to us, the undersigned appraisers of said estate, by Betsey Jaques the administratrix thereof, this day of AD 1829.

one hundred weight of pork with [???????]          $9.00
2 Red Stays         $28.00
1 Yoke & Irons         $1.00
2 Red Bulls         $20.00
1 Brown Lineback Cow         $9.00
2 two yr. old heifers         $14.00
2 Cows         $18.00
9 Sheep         $11.25
7 Harrow teeth         $3.25
1 Sett Log chains         $4.25
1 Grind Stone         $1.25
1 Iron Wedge         $.75
2 Axes         $2.00
1 Sickle         $.25
1 Gun         $.75
1 Whiffletree & chains         $.75
4 Weavers Reeds         $4.00
1 Sett silver Tea Spoons         $2.00
1 [????] & Warping Bars         $6.00
1 Cl???s & pin         $.50
1 Plough Share         $1.00
1 Inch auger         $.75
1 Drawing Knife         $.25
1 Hammer         $.25
2 Kettles         $4.00
3 Barrels         $1.00
Amount         $143.50

Munson Sept 30th 1829
David Tanner
Luther Thwing
} Appraisers.

Also accompanying the said Inventory is the schedule of property set off to the widow for her support, in the words and figures following, to wit:

A Schedule of property set off by us, the appraisers, as aforesaid, for the support of the widow and children, one year from the death of the intestate, estimated at thirty-two dollars, from the date of this appraisal to the expiration of the year.

The provisions on hand, at the time of the decease, & articles used for the support of the family till the present time.

For the remainder of the year, articles of property [????aced] in the foregoing schedule, amounting to thirty two dollars, and such as she may select.         $32.00
Appraised & set off by us this 30th day of Sept. 1829 –
Luther Thwing
David Tanner
} Appraisers
Accompanying the said returns is the certificate of [?????] Canfield, Esquire, a Justice of the peace, in the words and figures foillowing, to wit

The State of Ohio
Geauga County
[????????] [?????] Canfield


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: Civil War Letters of Private David Coon (1824-1864)

Transcription of the final pages of this extensive project of the Civil War Letters of Private David Coon was completed April 10, 2013.


David Coon and Mary Ann Adams circa 1843.
David Coon with his wife Mary Ann Adams in about 1843.

Page 1…


The following letters, written by David Coon to his wife and children, are here collected, carefully copied from the originals. 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, — so that they have become greatly faded by the lapse of time, and a number are quite difficult to decipher.

David Coon enlistment record.
David Coon enlistment record.

It is desired in this way to preserve for his children and grand-children, the letters, giving in a simple and direct way, some of the experiences of a private soldier through a por-tion of one of the greatest campaigns of the Civil War.

Dedication to E. D. Matthews on Coon Letters
This is the dedication to E. D. Matthews on the first page of the transcription of David Coon’s letters by John, David’s son and E. D. Matthews’ brother.

David Coon enlisted from Green Lake County Feb. 26, 1864, in Co. A, 35th Wisconsin infantry. With his regiment he remained at Camp Randall until May 10, when he was ordered to join Hancock’s Corps in Virginia, participating in many of the great battles of that terrible campaign until Aug. 25, 1864, when he, with nearly the whole regiment, was captured at the battle of Ream’s Station. He was taken first to Libby prison, Richmond, and afterward transferred to Salisbury, N. C., where he died Nov. 2, 1864.

David Coon was a good man, a kind husband and father, a true soldier of the American type, not only a patriot but a philosopher.

In loving remembrance these words are penned by his son,

John W. Coon, M. D.

Wales, Wis., July 16, 1913.


Page 2…


By H. W. Hood.

(From the Madison Democrat, January 12th, 1913.)



A goodly number of survivors of the 36th Wisconsin infantry are dwelling upon the Pacific Coast. They hold reunions from time to time, and it goes without saying that they heartily enjoy themselves when together.

In August, of 1903, when the national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic was held at San Francisco, several members of the regiment from east of the Rocky Mountains were in attendance, and on the 18th day of the month they met with their comrades of the coast, and then had an unusually good time together. At that meeting Colonel C. E. Warner, of Windsor, was chosen President and James M. Aubery, secretary. Aubery enlisted February 29, 1864, in Company G of the 36th, and was, September 1, ’64, promoted to the position of sergeant major of the regiment. November 1, same year, he was made quartermaster sergeant, and on the 15th of June, 1865, was commissioned second lieutenant of Company G, but was not mustered as such. In the year 1900, he published a history of the service of his regiment, — a book containing 430 pages. It has about it many excellent features, and is good reading. It would be a good thing if every regiment could have had so able a historian.

On the occasion of this reunion, there were present,


Page 3…

Colonel Warner, wife and daughter; Captain Austin Cannon, Company H, who came from Pennsylvania; Charles A. Storke, Company G, of Santa Barbara, daughter and son-in-law; Judge James Paris, Company H, and wife, of Long Beach; A. T. Large, Company D, Los Angeles; William Patton, Company H, Berkeley; William Bright, Company I, Santa Cruz; David Kribs, Company I, and wife; Frederick Jennings, Company H, Lamorie; J. W. Thomas, Company K, and wife, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; George Clark, Coimpany B, Midway; James LeTellier, Company C; W. S. Hengy, Company B., and wife, Oroville; James M Aubery and two daughters, Los Angeles; Mrs. Skeels, Menomonie, Wisconsin; E. M. Chamberlain, Company D, and wife, Albany, Wisconsin.

After a season spent in reminiscences and renewing their ancient comradeship, they sat down to a feast — twenty-eight of them — given by Comrade Large. The spread before them made it plain that their host was not only Large by name, but of heart. They had a jolly time of it.

On the 12th of last September several of those old badgers gathered again at table, at Los Angeles, Comrade Storke being the genial host. He was chosen chairman of the meeting and Comrade Aubery, secretary. On that occasion there were present, Comrades Storke, Aubery, Clarke and wife, Jennings, Parish, and Large, of those mentioned above; also F. A. Wilde, Company F, Kingman, Arizona; Robert Moorhouse, Company G, Heber, California; J. V. Bartow, Company G, Long Beach; Edward Parish, Company H, Los Angeles, wife and daughter; Captain Wesley S. Potter, Company D,


Page 4…

Pasadena; George W. Raymer, Company D, Madison, Wisconsin; Benjamin Bailey, Company A, San Diego.

I have been looking over the records to see how the comrades named above fared in their term of service of a year and a third. Colonel Warner was so wounded at the battle of Deep Bottom, Virginia, August 14, ’64, that it was necessary to amputate his left arm. Chales A. Storke was taken prisoner at Cold Harbor, June 1, ’64. W. H. Patton was wounded at Petersburg, June 18, 1864. William Bright was wounded at the same place, same day. David Kribe was taken prisoner at Ream’s Station. Frederick Jennings was wounded in the battle at Petersburg, June 18, ’64, J. W. Thomas was wounded at Petersburg, George Clarke was sun-struck July 14, ’64, Edward Parish was wounded June 18, ’64, at Petersburg, F. A. Wilde was taken prisoner June 1, ’64, at Cold Harbor, Robert Moorhouse was taken prisoner the same day, George W. Raymer was wounded near Petersburg, June 18, ’64.

The Thirty-sixth was recruited under President Lincoln’s call, February 1, 1864, for 500,000 men. It was quickly recruited at Camp Randall to the maximum number under direction of Colonel Frank A. Haskell, who had been adjutant of the 6th Wisconsin. He was commissioned colonel on the 23d of March. The regiment left Camp Randall on the 10th of May and was in Washington on the 14th. It served till the close of the war in the first brigade, second division, second army corps.

This is a brief sketch of the service of the regiment:


Page 5…

It was at Spottsylvania May 18-21, North Anna river May 23-26, Totopotomy May 28-31, Bethesda Church June 1, Cold Harbor June 1-12, before Petersburg June 16-18. It was in the siege of Petersburg from June 16, ’64 to April 2, 1865. In the meantime it was on the Weldon railroad June 22-23, demonstration north of James river at Deep Bottom August 13-20, where Colonel Warner lost his left arm, Ream’s Station August 25, Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run, October 17-28, Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run, February 5-7, 1865, Watkin’s House March 25. It was in the movement, March 28-April 9, that terminated in the surrender of General Lee. On the second day of May it started for Washington, where, on the 23d of that month, it marched in the Grand Review that was the formal close of the war. On the 17th day of June the regiment left Washington for Louisville, Kentucky, going into camp on the north side of the river, at Jeffersonville, Indiana. There on the 12th of July it was mustered out of the service and started for Madison, where it arrived on the 14th, and was disbanded on the 24th.

Colonel Haskell was killed at Cold Harbor June 3, ’64, and Colonel John A. Savage, who succeeded Haskell, died July 4, ’64, of wounds received June 18, at Petersburg. Colonel Harvey M. Brown, of Columbus, who succeeded Savage, was, because of wounds received June 18, discharged October 27, ’64. He was succeeded by Colonel Warner.

No other Wisconsin regiment lost so many men during a corresponding term of service as the Thirty-sixth. The original


Page 6…

Strength of the regiment was 990. It received twenty-four recruits, making in all, 1,014. Of these, 156 were killed in action or died of wounds, 172 died of disease and 12 of accidents, — making a total loss of 340, or 43-1/3 per cent. Of all who enlisted in the regiment.

I am taking these figures from the report of the adjutant general of the state in 1866. Comrade Aubery, in his history of the regiment, makes his figures a little different. Abuery says that during the first two months of the real campaigning of the regiment there were losses as follows: 273 killed and wounded— averaging 34 every week, five a day; 61 killed outright— eight a week, one a day; 221 wounded— 26 ½ a week, nearly four a day; 336 killed, wounded and prisoners— 42 every week, six a day. At the charge of Cold Harbor there were 17 killed and 53 wounded in about the time it takes to tell it. At Bethesda Church there were killed, in the charge, 49, wounded, 79.

The Thirty-sixth was one of the hardest fighting regiments of all in the service from all of the states and its losses were among the greatest. Every survivor feels proud of having been a member of it.


Page 7…

Camp Randall, Madison, Reb. 28th, 1864.

Dear Wife and Children:-

Well, I didn’t go back to bid you good-bye. I found it necessary when I got to Berlin to come right on to this place in order to get in in time to make arrangements to secure my bounty, &c. I have enlisted in the 36th regiment, and yesterday was taken into a room with nine others and stripped naked, and passed examination so slick that there wouldn’t have been any chance at all of getting clear if I had been drafted, but Orange Snell was thrown out, the last man I should have thought of.

Tomorrow we are to be mustered in. We expect our company will be “A”, as it is the first one of all. Messs. Vergin, Putnam, Dewey, Wm. Luckey, Gordon and Mart Haskill are all in the same company; all accepted but the two last, their case is not decided yet. Luckey is my bunk partner. Thos. And Jess Brown are in the same reg. but another Co. We are in Luman’s quarters to-day, as there was no good chance for writing in the barrack. Palen and Sol. Reynolds go into the 18th Colts Co. Little Lester Stephens goes into the 16th.

Now about the pay and bounty. I expect $165 local bounty, which I think we had better pay for the sugar bush, 40, and all of our other debts, and you will get $5.00 a month from the state, and I think I can send home $5.000 a month more; and I hope Herbert will be able to raise your own provisions and some to spare. Plant an acre of beans, and Emma must help hoe them and work in the garden, &c.,


Page 8…

and do the best you can, all of you.

The Government bounty I want to have salted down, so that it will keep. I got 44 brooms and sold at $2.00 per doz. Poor little things. Got the things you sent for and left them at L. A.’s. I wish you had them. I had a chance to get the brooms and myself bro’t down to Berlin, and did not get a chance to go to see Hiram and Dennis, and I have thought that it was best perhaps that I should have left the way I did, as it spared us all the pain of parting that we should have experienced had I not expected to return before my final departure. Herbert, I expect Mr. Dunlap will send for a hundred buckets, and I want you to tighten the hoops and let him have as good as there is. I have been thinking that we are a good deal better off than the rest in the neighborhood that have left, in having a team and a boy old enough to use it and take care of things, and I hope you will succeed and take good care of things. I must close for this time, hoping to write again in a few days when we get a little settled. You needn’t write until I write again.

Your affectionate husband and father,

D. Coon.

P.S. – Herbert, try and get Mr. Locke to take that lumber to Berlin if he is going, so that he can to to Brushes, and get that, and the rest from Poysippi.


Page 9…

Camp Randall, March 2, 1864.

Dear Wife and Children:

Well, we were mustered into Uncle Sam’s service yesterday, and here we are tight, to-day not allowed to go out of camp, and we can’t go out any day without a pass from headquarters, and the orders are not to give any of us a pass to-day. There was several hundred left camp yesterday for Dixie for the old regiment.

Now I will give you a history of the time I had about my local bounty. There was a man from Green Lake town on the care that wanted a few men for their town to fill their quota. They offered $200.00, to be deposited in the bank at Ripon by the first of April. He took my name for one, but found on getting here that he didn’t want me, so I engaged to another man for $165 cash down, but found afterwards that he didn’t take down my name, and got the number he wanted without me, so I was out again and the bounties were falling. I then heard that my Green Lake man’s men hadn’t all come on and he still wanted more. I then went to him (I knew where he put up) Monday morning engaged to him, making the thing sure this time. That same afternoon I saw the Captain. He told me that he had done the best for me, got me into some town for $150.00 cash down. I told him I didn’t want to be credited to that town, I had made other arrangements, that I couldn’t afford to lose $50.00. He said they had to make out the muster roll in order to muster us in and they couldn’t make out the roll without crediting us to some town and that was the best chance they could find, and when the roll was made out they couldn’t be altered, &c.


Page 10…

I gave them to understand that I wasn’t satisfied, so they concluded to make out a new muster roll and put me into Green Lake, and so it is at last.

Joe Howard, Wormwood, his boy, T. L. Hall and Jesse Brown was all thrown out on examination. Paln, J. Snell, Cross, Sol. Reynolds not mustered in yet. L. A. gave me an empty housewife. If we should stay a good while here we may get a chance to come home, but it is doubtful. I can’t think of the name of the place where that cousin Margaret lives. Please tell me. As I couldn’t get out to get writing materials I borrowed what I could get, but such a place to write, playing cards, swearing and all sorts, but I am thankful that all are not of that kind. I attended the best prayer and conference meeting last night that I have attended in the state. A Miss Hobart is lecturing in camp on temperance, &c. She is to lecture tonight. I wish you would write as soon as you can. You may expect a letter from me as often as once a week while we stay here. I must stop. Kiss the babies for pa. Herbert had better let Chas. Have that calf skin towards the shoes, if he will take it.

Yours affectionately,

D. Coon.

P. S. – Direct Co. A. 36 Reg., Campb Randall, Madison.

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.

Transcription: Partial will of Robert Owen of Pennsylvania’s Welsh tract.

The following is a transcript of the partial image of the will of Robert Owen of the Welsh Tract in Pennsylvania, scanned from “Merion in the Welsh Tract”. I’ve been able to find any reference to the missing top portion of the will.


Robert Owen will
Partial will of Robert Owen.

…????? fifty pound for & towards ye mantenance & pre?????ment of my other children which sume I doe wholey reffer to ye di????? of my here after named Legatees to be shared & divided among them as they find convenient & see cause

Also I doe constitute nominate & appoint my trusty & wellbeloved ffriends John Humphrey Hugh Roberts, John Roberts, Griffith John, Robert Jones, Robert Roberts, Robert Lloyd & Rowland Ellis to be trustees and overseers of this my will & testament, And doe hereby give full power to my forementioned friends to be my trustees to manage & dispose off my estate according to ye true ??? ??? of this my will & testament to ye best proffitt & advantage of my children.

Lastly I doe nominate & appoint my wellbeloved Cosin Griffith John abovenamed to be sole Executor of this my last will & testament. And doe hereby revoke & anull & make void all former wills by me hereto fore made In wittness whereof I have  hereunto sett my hand & seal the second day of ye tenth month in ye year 1697

Signed sealed & published in ye sight & presence of
Robt Owen     ‘SEAL’
John Owen
Rowland Ellis
Robt Jones


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.



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

Genealogy transcription: Watchman article regarding George Meek of Cumberland County.


The following is my own genealogy transcription of a Watchman article regarding George Meek of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. (The original data, images and more on this individual and family are also available on Blythe Genealogy.)


George Meek of Cumberland County

Excerpt from: Watchman, May 1, 1931


Four soldiers of 1776 memorialized by D.A.R.


GEORGE MEEK — In War and in Peace. From a paper prepared by Elizabeth Meek, of Bellefonte, Pa.

Meek, George - Watchman Article, May 1, 1931
Transcription: Watchman article regarding George Meek of Cumberland County, PA.

Robert Meek came from Edinburgh, Scotland to Maryland with his sons and lived there near Hagerstown until 1755 when they moved to Cumberland County, Pa. He served in the French-Indian war and died in Hopewell township, Cumberland county, 1777. Letters of Administration were granted May 20, 1777 to his brothers Hugh and John Meek. He gave six sons to his country who served in the Revolutionary War in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Regiments. One son, Robert, was killed in action: Two others, John and William, made prisoners, had fed lime bread which killed them.

The fourth son of Robert is the George Meek whose name appears on this monument. George Meek served in the Fifth Pennsylvania Battalion under Captain Thomas Alexander, March 1778, to 1781. In 1780 he was sent to Potters Fort, Penns Valley, under Lieutenant James McClure to aid in suppressing the Indians. He served also in the militia of Cumberland county in 1780-1782 and his name is on the list of those receiving Depreciation Pay: He has always been called Captain George Meek and to distinguish him from the other George Meeks named in this record, this title will be used to designate him wherever necessary.

In 1784 he came into Centre county with James Harris in his early surveying expeditions. On January 21, 1790 he took up a tract of land, surveyed June 5, 1790, in Ferguson township, part of which still belongs to his descendants, the George W. Meek farm, later known as the D. G. Meek farm and now owned by George W. Meek’s grandchildren.

He married Rachel Herron in 1770, who was the daughter of David Herron, Newton township, Cumberland county, and whose will probated March 18, 1778, in Carlisle, says: “To my daughter Rachael’s children, she being now wife to George Meek, I do give and bequeath forty pounds which is all I allow her.” That she survived her husband is proven because, in his will, made November 23, 1801, proven January 19, 1802, he says: “give and bequeath unto my dear wife, Rachael, the farm that I now live on, dwelling house and buildings erected on same with all the clear land, orchard and meadow on said premises” and various other belongings. The will further states, “I nominate, constitute and appoint my ssaid wife and my well beloved friend, Thomas Ferguson, Esq., of the Township of Ferguson, to be executors of this my last will and testament.”

As to the character of George Meek — To quote from Linn’s Center County History, as follows: —

“Captain George Meek, a Revolutionary soldier, was a member of a remarkable family, remarkable not only for valor displayed in war, but also for unusaul stature which they attained in manhood. Two of them, John and William, brothers of George, stood six feet seven inches and sex fee four inches respectively. They entered the service together. John and William were taken prisoners and died as such.” While it is his war record that we are commemorating today, and the sword he carried through the Revolutionary War a prize possession of his descendants — evidence of his valor and loyalty in defense of his country’s ideals — it is his last will that discloses the traits of the man in Peace.

“His loyalty and fidelity to God appear in the opening paragraph, “In the name of God, Amen. I’ George Meek, of the township of Ferguson, Centre county and State of Pennsylvania, farmer, being very sick and weak in body but of sound mind, memory and understanding (Blessed be God for the same.) But considering the transitoriness of life, do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following, to witness: Principally first of all I commend my immortal soul into the hands of God who gave it and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent christian-like manner at the discretion of my executors hereinafter named, and as to such worldy estate wherein it hath pleased God to bless me in the life I give and dispose of the same in the following manner:”

The Revolutionary War record of George Meek and his brothers shows that he is worthy of a place on this marker. The quotations from the last wills and testaments indicate the private character of himself, his brother and his wife’s family and names of his descendants have been cited to show they have preserved, honored and carried on those qualities of honor and love to God, honor to country, honor to wife and womanhood, honor and love for friend, that become a part of all who inherit from good ancestry.

In closing, [all] the living desecndants of George Meek, wish to express our appreciation to the Bellefonte Chapter for the honor it has, this day and for all days to come so long as this beautiful marker shall endure, given him and of which we have tried to show he was not unworthy.

May coming generations, truthfully, find in us of the present generation, as many fine qualities to respect and emulate as we have found in this man and his wife, Rachel Herron, who no doubt could say as did King Alfonso, when leaving Spain: “Believe me, it takes more courage to act as I have than to charge at the head of a squadron!”


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.

You may also like to read:
Biography of Capt. George Meek and Rachel Meek.
Transcription: Biography of Reuben H. Meek.


Genealogy and bio: Evan Isaac Shelby of Tregaron, Wales

Evan Isaac Shelby of Tregaron, Wales was the son of David Phillip “Phillip” Shelby (1648-1731) and Margaretta Alexander (1660-    ) and was the one who was honored by future namesakes including Brigadier General Evan Shelby(The original data, images and more on this individual and family are also available on Blythe Genealogy.)

Also believed to have used the nickname ‘Dhu’ (meaning black), he was born about 1694 at the beginning of the reign of William and Mary (1690-1695), and was baptised on September 2, 1694 at St. Caron’s Church in Tregaron, Cardiganshire, Wales.

He was most likely a farmer and/or shepherd in Wales as these occupations were very common in the mountainous region.  Although he would be considered illiterate, he could write his name.

He married Catherina “Catherine” Morgan (1697-1751) on November 9, 1716 in Tregaron, Cardiganshire, Wales and they had 11 children:  Moses Shelby (1718-1776); Brig General Evan S. Shelby Jr. (1720-1794); Rees (Reece) Shelby (1721-1802); Capt. John Shelby (1724-1794); Mary Hannah Shelby (1725-1805); Thomas (James) Shelby (1725-1760); David Shelby (1730-1799); Rachel Shelby (1732-    ); Mary Shelby (1735-1813); Eleanor Shelby (1736-    ); and Solomon Shelby (1738-    ).

Approximately seven years after the succession of George II to the throne, Evan Shelby, then about forty years old, emigrated to America with his family, ultimately settling in Pennsylvania (then Penn’s province).

The “Blunstone License Book” of Lancaster County in the land office in the capital at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, shows that Evan Shelby was licensed on July 4, 1735, to take up three hundred acres in the then Indian owned territory west of the Susquehanna River.  Here the Shelbys settled on a beautiful spot on the east bank of Conococheague Creek on Potomoc Road, at the junction with Muddy Run, naming their farm “Black Walnut Point”.  It was in Lancaster County (now Antrim, Franklin County) “between Neild’s FFRIEND (sic) and Edward Nichols”, five miles north of the Maryland (Mason-Dixon) line,  north of the bridge over the Conococheague.

Two years later he was licensed to acquire an additional 200 hundred acres at Rocky Spring, somewhere near his first tract.

In late 1739, after his home had  been seized to satisfy a debt he owed to a Richard Phillips, he relocated to Maryland, having acquired two warrants for twelve hundred acres in Prince George’s County, in the area which is now the Indian Spring District of Washington County, on June 7, 1739.  One tract, called “Rich Lands” was approximately northwest of the site of Hagerstown and had been owned by Dr. Robert Stuart of Annapolis.

The other, a 1,000 acre tract which he named “Maiden’s Choice”, seems to have been his home plantation. It was a narrow and irregular shaped tract that stretched from the Pennsylvania line southward along the base of the North Mountain three and a half miles.  Evan built a house that was situated at the south end, probably on the road that later connected Clear Springs, Maryland, to Mercerburg, Pennsylvania.

On the 26 Feb 1745, Evan sold 54 acres of “Maiden’s Choice” to his son Evan Jr.

Evan Sr. obtained other land warrants and secured patents on them over the next eleven years, until he was in possession of 2,500 acres.  With the exception of “Rich Lands” and a 50 acre piece called “Hunt’s Cabin”, all of Shelby’s lands seem to have been located between Conococheague Creek and the east side of North Mountain.

He periodically sold some of his land and also gave some as gifts to his sons.   It is recorded in the Testamentary Proceedings on file at Annapolis that  his wife, Catherine, and son, Evan Jr., filed a bond on July 18, 1751, as administrators of his estate. However, since he had conveyed a piece of land to his son John on May 19, 1751, his death must have occurred between those two dates when he was about 56 years old.

He died and was buried at North Mountain, Frederick County (now Washington County), Maryland. His will was probated on July 18, 1751, also at Frederick County.

The Shelby family is identified with the early history of Tennessee and Kentucky, and they share, with the Seviers and Isbells, the honor of having had the greatest number of representatives in the Battle of King’s Mountain. There were seven Seviers, six Isbells and six Shelbys who participated.

By coincidence, the youngest soldiers in that same battle were of the same families: James Sevier, sixteen; William Isbell, fifteen; and David Shelby, seventeen.

Evan Isaac Shelby died intestate and his will was probated July 18, 1751, with his wife Catherine and his son Evan Jr. as Executors.  The record of the naming of Catherine and Evan as Executors for the purposes of probate is as follows (verbatim):

Adm Bond 18 Jul Maryland ss Charles, Absolute Lord and Proprietary of the Province of Maryland and Avalon, Lord Baron of Baltimore, &c, To Catherine Shelby & Evan Shelby Greeting. Whereas Evan Shelby died Intestate, as it is said, We do therefore give and grant unto the said Catherine Shelby and Evan Shelby full power and Authority to Administer all and singular of the Goods, Chattels, and Credits, of the said Deceased: and to exhibit both into our Office for Probate of Wills, &c. Lawfully authorized; touching which Inventory you are presently assigned to perform, or at farthest at or before the 15th Day of October now next ensuing; and an Account within Twelve Months from the Date of these Presents. And lastly, We do hereby constitute and appoint you the said Catherine Shelby & Evan Shelby  Administrators of all and singular the Goods, Chattels, and Credits of the said Deceased. Given at Frederick County this 18 Day of July in the 37th Year of our Dominion, &c. Annoque Domini 1751The Inventory of Evan’s estate did not appear to be very valuable but indicates that he had several slaves. His sons Moses and John signed as next of kin August 6, 1751. James Davies and Isaac Baker signed as witnesses. The sale took place at the home of Evan Shelby Sr. on September 6, 1751.

Later records indicate that the sale did not cover all of Evan’s debts, as by 1754 Catherine and son Evan, Jr. were still being sued for his debts.The following ‘vendue’ was taken from the records of the clerk’s office, Frederick County, Maryland.

His estate inventory was recorded as follows:

First. Whoever buys the value of 20 shillings and upward shall have nine months’ credit; and whosoever buyeth under the value of 20 shillings shall pay before he, or they, shall move any particulars, and the highest bidder shall be the buyer after three distinct crings. The administrators reserve one bidding for themselves at every particular, and if, in case any one should return back any of these goods to the damage or hindrance of said sale, shall pay 2 shillings per pound to said administrators, and that every one shall give sufficient security.signed: Evan Shelby, Jr Catherine Shelby.

Inventory of Evan Shelby Sr 1751 MD Frederick Co Inventory made 6 Aug. A True Inventory of the appeasement of the goods….of Evan Shelby late of Frederick County Deceased in current money so far as the same hat been brought to the Sight and Knowledge of us the appraisers having first Qualified according to the Directions and authority to us Given before Nathaniel Alexander one of the Justices of the Peace for said County the sixth day of August 1751 Imprimis [L=pound s=Sterling d=?] To his Ridding horse saddle & Bridle & his apparel 14L 10s To 6 heads of horses 12L To 10 heads of old hordes mares & colts 24L To 7 cows 14L 10s To 16 young cattle & calves 1 heifer & 1 steer 23L 16s To 24 sheep 4L 10s To 13 head of swine 3L 5s To 25 shoats 2L 10s To household goods 14L 9s 6d To plow & harrow and some old irons 3L 6s 8d To 2 stacks of winter grain 4L To 3 servants George Mercy 10L To Mary Sterling 5L To Ben Knight a mulatto 10L To a blind servant man named John Harvey 9s The above appraised by us as witness our hands James Davies Isaac Baker Signed by the nearest kin: Moses (M) Shelby and John Shelby. Geo. Gorton, Creditor; William Belle Jun Cruder

There is a family story that has been passed down through generations. Although there is no recorded evidence to support any of it, it’s worth mentioning in this post as follows:

It is said that David Phillip (Phillip) Selby was a knight living in a small castle in Cardiganshire, Wales.  He was obliged to support the King of England by sending men to fight when ordered.  The King requested the men and Shelby sent them to Ireland under command of his son Evan.

After the end of the campaign, Evan’s family was disgraced when he returned with an Irish, Roman Catholic bride.  His parents demanded that she be sent back to Ireland and the marriage be annulled. At that time, Protestants could be executed for marrying Catholics.

Evan refused.  He attempted to settle but everyone shunned him – including his parents.  As a result, Evan emigrated to America with his wife and children.

These circumstances are believed to be the reason Evan never named a son for his father Phillip. His mother was Margaretta Alexander and name ‘Margaret’ has been passed down through the descendants for generations.

Tombstone of Evan Dhu Shelby
Tombstone of a later namesake, Evan Dhu Shelby.


There is some dispute about whether the use of the nickname ‘Dhu’ is valid. The baptism record in Wales does not mention ‘Dhu’ at all. However, there are enough other secondary sources that do mention the nickname ‘Dhu’ that I prefer to keep it in my database until there is proof that it indeed was not used. Most of these are written record, but there is a tombstone of a later Evan Shelby for whom the nickname ‘Dhu’ is documented on his tombstone.

The baptism record is the argument used by detractors against the validity of this nickname, but it’s my experience being from a family of French origin where the use of nicknames were rampant, that the nicknames never appeared on birth and baptism records. The nickname only started appearing later when it was assigned by friends and family for a particular reason.

Photo by Aeronian at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

1.  Birth Registration; Shelby, Moses; 1728; Family Data Collection – Births.
2.  US and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900; Shelby, Evan, m. 1778.
3.  Family Data Collection – Births; Shelby, Eleanor; b. 1736.
4.  Family Data Collection – Births; Shelby, Solomon, b. 1738.
5.  Passenger and Immigration Lists Index; Shelby, Evan, 1750; 1500s-1900s.
6.  Passenger and Immigration Lists Index; Shelby, Evan; 1500s-1900s; 1735; Pennsylvania; Source Pub. Code 9448.
7.  Family Data Collection – Individual Records; Shelby, Mary; b. 1735.
8.  Shelby Historical Data (Chronology for Evan Shelby, Jr. and Letitia Cox), online [, accessed.
9.  Janet D. Schonert, Chasin’ Shelbys: A Basic Outline of the Descendants of Jonathan, Jacob, Rees Shelby, , , (
10. Soldiers of the American Revolution from Franklin County,  database, (
11. History of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, 1887; Warner, Beers, and Co.; Chicago; Pg 153 (Little Cove).
12. Inventories (1751-2), No. 48 T.A.S., page 332, at the Land Commissioner’s office, Frederick County, Maryland.

Awesome links for genealogy and family tree research in Canada.


I love Canada and I’m proud to be Canadian.




I learned very quickly when I started researching, that Canadian genealogical data available online can be sporadic and difficult to find.


Because genealogy research in Canada can be problematic, this post lists ‘awesome’ links for genealogy and family tree research in Canada.


Upper Canada governmentIn the beginning, I literally spent hours online searching key phrases and keywords looking for information and the results were disappointing. Most of these sites are not optimized for search engines and one must dig through a lot of dirt to find the ‘gems’ – and there are some gems.

Once I found great sites for Canadian family genealogy research, I made a point of saving them to my ‘favourites’ and quickly built up quite a list of valuable links related to my own research.

Here are the best sites for Canadian genealogy research that I have found with some background information and tips and hints. I feel that these ten links provided 90% of the verifiable data I obtained regarding Canadian ancestors.

  1. Archives of Canada – Although this site can be confusing and difficult to navigate, it’s well worth the time and effort. There is a wealth of information available here. My advice? Think of it as a genealogical treasure hunt and explore every link you come across that may be relevant to your research. Be sure to bookmark and/or record the ones you find valuable as it can be very difficult to find them again later. To get you started here are my favourite links within the archives collection:
  2. Automated Genealogy – This site provides detailed and proofed transcriptions of the Canadian Censuses as well as links to other genealogy projects.
  3. Veterans’ Affairs Canada – Records and Collections – This collection includes the Books of Remembrance; the Canadian Virtual War Memorial; and Diaries, Letters and Stories.
  4. Commonwealth War Graves Commission – This site is for research of Commonwealth soldiers and veterans who died during wars.
  5. Dictionary of Canadian Biography – Great dictionary of biographies of prominent and noted Canadians.
  6. Rootsweb – A global collaborative site of user input data, family genealogy histories, documents and information.
    • Message Boards – Canada
  7. Canada GenWeb
  8. Cyndi’s List – This site leads you through numerous links to resources for Canadian genealogy research.
  9. Olive Tree Genealogy – The Canadian section of this site contains numerous links for Canadian genealogy research – some of them being quite obscure and valuable.
  10. – A free site from the LDS that has improved substantially over the past few years, making available original documents, transcriptions, etc.
  11. – A paid site that is well worth the money to attempt to fill in the gaps not filled by using the free resources and sites available.
    • Drouin Collection – French Canadian collection of parish and church records from 1608 to 1935.


The following is my complete list of sites for Canadian research.


Association, Organization or Society



Genealogy Sites



Record Types


Melansons in Acadia

Melanson-Crest-150x1501.jpgPierre ‘dit Laverdure and his wife Priscilla Mellanson (my eighth great grandparents on my mother’s side) were known by the name, nickname or title of Laverdure. We are descended from the second of their three sons, Charles ‘dit la Ramee’ Mellanson, (my seventh great grandfather).

The origin of the name ‘Laverdure’ is not known, but it is believed that this was actually a title or nickname referring to the area of France from which Pierre came. This is supported by the fact that he was not the only one to use the Laverdure name. The common practice of the day in the French culture was to signify a title or nickname with the use of the preceding word ‘dit’, such as ‘dit Laverdure’ in this case.Two of their sons, Pierre (of the nickname ‘Laverdure’ as well) and Charles (nickname La Ramee), appear to be the first to have begun using “Mellanson” and were both well educated and literate in English and French. The origin of this surname is unclear as their father was not known to have used it. There is speculation that ‘Mellanson’ originated from Priscilla’s last name, which is believed by some to have been Mallinson. This belief is supported by the fact that there is a document containing Priscilla’s signature as the initials ‘PM’, since neither of her married names began with the letter ‘M’.

Pierre and Priscilla had another son named John, who was also known by the name ‘Laverdure’, as was Charles dit La Ramée Mellanson’s daughter Marie (later known as Mary Laverdure), who lived with her grandmother Priscilla in Boston from a young age.

Pierre and Priscilla immigrated to Acadia (see image at left) from England on the ship ‘Satisfaction’ with the English Governor of Acadia, Sir Thomas Temple and several other settlers. They disembarked at St. John’s Fort on the St. John River. Pierre and Priscilla remained in Acadia for ten years.

About 1667, the Treaty of Breda between the English and French resulted in control of Acadia reverting back to France.

Being Protestants, Pierre and Priscilla most likely moved to Boston, Massachusetts to avoid living under a French Catholic government. A petition on file in Boston refers to ‘Peter Laverdure’ as a French Protestant and ‘Priscilla Laverdure’ as an English woman. It also states that Priscilla’s husband left St. John’s Fort to escape the Catholics, supporting the theory that Pierre may have been an Huguenot who left France in the 1620’s to escape Catholic intolerance of Protestants. Pierre is later shown in England where he married Priscilla about 1630.

Having both converted to Catholicism, eldest son Pierre dit Laverdure married Marie-Marguerite Muis d’Entremont, daughter of Philippe Muis d’Entremont and Madeleine Hélie; and Charles dit La Ramée married Marie Dugas, daughter of Abraham Dugas and Marie-Marguerite-Louise Doucet. Pierre and his wife Marie-Marguerite founded Grand Pré at Les Mines (Minas). Later becoming the Captain of the Militia while Acadia was under French control, he held a position of authority and some power in the Les Mines. He was also known to have become a French spy.

Charles became a spy for the English – the opposing side of his own brother, Pierre. In 1695, he signed his name to an oath of allegiance to the King of England at Port Royal.

Medieval Genealogy Research: Myth vs. Fact

I have found my many years of our family genealogy research to be both difficult and rewarding; especially medieval research when one has to distinguish between myth and fact. There is no feeling like breaking down a ‘brick wall’ and finding solid support and/or primary genealogy sources to document the finds.


There are a few sites for ancestry research that I consider to be ‘gold standard’. I have itemized these global and Canadian sites in my previous post ‘O Canada!‘ and on the site’s ‘Genealogy Links‘ pages.

Research into my husband’s royal and Welsh Quaker family history has been consistently rewarding and I was able to find sources without a great deal of difficulty – until I reached the medieval period. I spent a great amount of time searching for reliable and respected sites and usually had to resort to entering unsupported data until I could locate sources for verification.

The truth of the matter is that medieval genealogy research incorporates fact and myth and it can be very difficult to verify information as few primary sources are available.

Foundation for Medieval Genealogy LogoThe one site I have found and rely upon the most is that of the ‘Foundation for Medieval Genealogy‘, a non-profit organization consisting of British genealogists and historians with a special interest in the medieval period. They seek to educate in, promote research in and publish results from the study of medieval genealogy.

It is possible to search for specific individuals. However, one thing I have learned is that name spellings can vary greatly. When researching one individual, I will usually search for them first and then close family members second. Once a family member is identified, it’s a simple matter of comparing the data of the others to identify duplicates for merge.

To access the digital collections, it is necessary to register. I have never registered, but I have been able to obtain information by using their open genealogical database that does not require registration.

Those responsible for this database have made every effort to cite the best possible sources in support of their conclusions and deductions. I especially like and respect the fact that they make it clear when information is speculative and provide detailed explanations of their conclusions. Any information that is speculative or unsupported is contained within square brackets (i.e. ‘[ ]’). Facts supported by sources are signified by numerical links to the source citation.

I consider this site to be the best source for medieval genealogy research and would not hesitate to recommend it for such.