Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Julius Ensign Rockwell, I wish I could hug you

A long time ago, when the world was young and so was I, being a genealogist meant a lot more time in libraries making photo copies of books.

It's still something that should be done, but back then you didn't have as much of a choice.  So I have quite a library of photocopied pages from books in my files - town histories, published genealogies, etc.

I don't even want to think about all those pages being a dime a piece to copy!!

So in a fit of thinking about things that are not the laundry or cleaning I should have been doing, I thought about all those pages recently and thought, hey, I bet I could find some of them as used books online and then could have the book as my own reference!  I pulled a bunch out and went searching on various used book sites and found a few that seemed worth ordering and did.

One book that I ordered was "The Rockwell Family in America from 1630 to 1873" by Henry Ensign Rockwell, published in 1873.

I have one family line that goes back deep into New England history, and have some Rockwell ancestors, specifically the immigrants John Rockwell (1627-1673) and Sarah Ensign (abt 1630 - 1659).

The author of the book isn't a direct ancestor, but is in fact my 6th cousin 5x removed.

So I order the book and when it comes I'm surprised to open the box and have an envelope along with it - the envelope is full of old newspaper clippings and other handwritten notes on scraps of paper that apparently were all stored in the pages of the book - all on Rockwells!  I look through the book and there are a bunch of pages with handwriting all over them - further notes on the people mentioned on the page, I can't believe what I'm seeing!!! 

 
I look at the inside cover and it's signed "Julius Ensign Rockwell".


I look him up, and he's the son of the author!  So I have the author's son's notations and newspaper clippings and I spent exactly $24.50 on this book.  What a TREASURE!!

It's a genealogist's dream!!! 


The separate envelope contained things like this:








What I really enjoyed seeing was how similar it all looked to my files with random scraps of paper and notes on things I saw somewhere to look up later.  It's wonderful to have these kinds of reminders of the humanness of our ancestors.  Also, it's really freaking cool to have this book and these notes!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mix Ancestors Home Towns in England

My Mix family research has been able to go back far enough to identify the towns from which people emigrated before coming to the US.  This is my maternal grandfather's line and includes lots of very English names like:

Bishop
Bliss
Bosworth/Bozworth
Bourne
Bowen
Brotherton
Brown
Burnet
Capen
Chickering
Churchill
Clark
Collins
Cooper
Daggett/Doggett
Deming
Elson
Ensign
Fiske
Foote
Foys
George
Howland
Ide
Kent
Kingbury
Manross
Marshall
Mix
Palmer
Peck
Rockwell
Rowning
Royce
Rutherford
Sims
Smith
Sutton
Tilley
Trowbridge
Turner
Wheatlie

Of course there are a few notable exceptions in calling these English, like the two Welsh surnames (Bourne and Bowen) and the Burnet name which although Thomas Burnet himself came from Braintree in Essex, the Burnet family is actually Scottish and from the Borderlands area of southern Scotland.

As a visual to help me, I went to My Maps in Google and put pins in each town that my Mix line immigrant was born in.  As you can see below, it really helps show the clustering of where this line of ancestors comes from (click to view larger):


So I can see with this that other than Wales and Scotland as mentioned earlier, the Mix ancestors are very clustered in the southern third of England, with a special concentration in East and Southwest England.


After emigrating, this is a very New England-centric line - they came to Massachusetts and Connecticut and those that moved, made their way to Rhode Island, or to Vermont, but then eventually to the Finger Lakes region of New York, which is where my Mix line ends up.

All in all though, a great visual!!