Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Surname Christmas Tree

I know I'm a day late, but I just had to join in Randy's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and make a real Christmas tree.

The surnames in this tree are my New England branches.

I used Photoshop 5 to make my tree shape and type my surnames. I saved it as a .png and then opened it up in Photoshop Elements 7 to add Christmas decorations from my library of scrapbook images.

 Well, that was fun. Let's do it again next year :-)

Leslie Ann

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's My Blogiversary!

I can't believe it has been four years already!

I have enjoyed blogging and being a part of the genealogical community.

You may have noticed that I have slowed down a bit. I have been concentrating more on researching than blogging as well as participating in well, you know, everyday life.

Right now I am working on the yearly family calendars. I expect to be blogging more after those are done. I have a lot of wills to transcribe and share!

Leslie Ann

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday's Tip ~ Don't Count Your Ancestors Before They're Hatched

Boy, did I make a rookie mistake. You may remember (or not) a post I did about Thomas Day. I thought he was the grandfather of my 10th great-grandfather Edmund Woodgreene, but it turns out that he is actually the father of Edmund's daughter-in-law.

Thanks to correspondence with a Day family researcher, I realized that I made the wrong connections with the Woodgreene families.

The following excerpt from Thomas Day's will, written the 16th day of January 1662 is what led me to the Woodgreene/Day connection:
It[e]m I doe will and give unto my daughter Elizabeth Woodgreene, during the terme of her naturall life, my two Tenem[en]t[es], w[i]th backside, garden and appurten[au]nc[es] thereunto belonging, scituate and being in the p[ar]ishe of St James the Apostle in Dovor, late Gourlyes,
And after the decease of my said daughter Elizabeth I doe will and give the same to my Grandchild Thomas Woodgreen and his heires for ever,
And I doe will and give to my Grandchildren Edmond Woodgreene, Thomas Woodgreene, Elizabeth Woodgreene, Susan Woodgreene, Isaac Woodgreene, and Mary Woodgreene, the su[m]me of fortie shillings a peece, to be paid by my Executo[ur] and imployed by him for their best benefitt till they severally come to the age of twenty one yeares or day of marriage, w[hi]ch shall first happen.

If I would have paid a little more attention instead of jumping the gun, I would have known that Thomas wasn't referring to my Edmund because he was way over 21 in 1662! He was actually referring to my Edmund's grandson named Edmond.

Now I am trying to solve my Woodgreene line. In trying to solidify the children named in my Edmund's will, I can only find probable children listed with a father named Edward Woodgreene in the parish records. Could Edward be a variant for Edmund?

Hopefully I can make the right connections without too many headaches.

Leslie Ann

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thriller Thursday ~ Jonathan Pugmire

Jonathan Pugmire was my 4th great-grandfather. In 1842-1843 he was living in Crewe, Cheshire, England. A blacksmith by trade, he was working with the Grand Junction Railroad Company. He was a mormon elder and had baptized several people while in Crewe, but one baptism did not go as planned.

Jonathan was baptizing Sarah Cartwright, the wife of his friend and co-worker, when the river bank gave way and the two of them fell and were swept away into the water.

Jonathan lost hold of her and Thomas jumped in and was able to grab hold of her petticoat, but the current was stronger and separated Sarah from her garment. They were both swept away down stream. Pugmire was pulled from the water and they found Cartwright about 100 yards down stream, but poor Sarah drowned.

Cartwright and Jonathan were both arrested for manslaughter and sent to Chester Castle until their trial. They were both acquitted.

By all accounts Sarah Jane Cartwright was an unwilling participant. The only reason she gave in to her husband's demands for being baptized was so he would quit pestering her about it. There are several accounts of the incident in newspapers from England, Australia, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. These same articles were printed in some U.S. papers.

Jonathan Pugmire, jr gives his own account of what happened years later and it is recorded in the church history:

History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Volume 6

The British articles present a clear account of what happened, but it's obvious you need to look past the obvious bias towards the Mormons. Here is an example from the Leeds Intelligencer, December 9, 1843:

There is an excellent article about the tragedy at The Keepapitchinin. I totally agree with his viewpoints.

I have known about this incident for quite a while, but imagine my surprise and horror when I discovered that these two characters were involved in the Mountain Meadows Massacre!

Leslie Ann

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mama's Got a New Phone

I finally got the long awaited Samsung Galaxy Note 3! I have been exploring all the neat things it can do. I am still learning, but I wanted to share what I made using one of the apps that it came with.

The S Note app is a Samsung app that came with the phone. It is basically a scrapbook app where you can add photos, text, and even write with the stylus pen. You can add pages and use different backgrounds.

 After you are finished with your project you can export it as a .pdf or an image file and share it numerous ways.

I put these few pages together just to see how it worked.

So this is just a taste of the possibilities using S Note. The experimentation will continue with family history and scrapbooking related apps.

Leslie Ann

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday's Faces From the Past ~ Unidentified Photo 2 from William Taylor Album

This is another photo that was among the photos labeled Elizabeth Stafford in William Taylor's photo album. I am leaning towards the possibility that they are Stafford family members.

Here is a shot of the Henry Stafford and Elizabeth Taylor Family:

Leslie Ann

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mystery Monday ~ Thomas Day Victim of Mary Carleton

While trying to expand my Tiddeman ancestor tree I stumbled onto a very interesting woman.

Mary Carleton was tried and executed for returning from penal transportation in January of 1673. Her criminal activities began about ten years earlier when she was tried in Maidstone for bigamy in 1660.

She was born Mary Moders, daughter of a Canterbury musician. Her first husband was Thomas Stedman, a Canterbury shoemaker. Apparently she grew tired of being a shoemaker's wife and went to Dover where she married Thomas Day, surgeon.

Apparently she convinced the court that she had received word of Stedman's death, Mary pleaded not guilty to the charge of bigamy. She was released with a reprimand: the court merely ordered her either to produce proof of Stedman's death or to stop living with Day.

She was tried for bigamy again in 1663 when she married John Carleton while still married to Thomas Stedman. Apparently she married a few men and relieved them of their riches and went on her merry way.

The husband I am most interested in is Thomas Day.  He is either my 12th great-grandfather or his son. They were both surgeons of Dover. According to Thomas the elder's will proved in 1663, he was a widow. It's not totally out of the question for a young gold digger to marry an elderly rich doctor. But then again, why have the senior, if you can have the junior?

I just can't seem to find enough information about either of them to know for sure which surgeon fell victim to Mary Carleton dubbed "The German Princess".

This is all I have been able to find about the two of them:
Day, Thomas jun. (d.1679)
Surgeon of Dover
Diocesan Licentiate 1661. Signatory 1662 (Haggis, pp.72, 76; ‘Liber P’ f.146)
Probate granted 1679 (PRC27/28/66)
1664: Joane Kingsmill of Dover, Mrs/widow (£206) ‘To him [Mr Day] more due by the said
deceased for rent due by the deceased and for attendance on her in her sicknes’ (CKS
1664: Joane Kingsmill of Dover, Mrs/widow (£206) ‘To Mr Day for his attendance on and
Curing of Joane the deceaseds daughter in her sicknes’ (CKS PRC19/3/55)
1670: Henry Pilcher of Dover, maltster (£255) ‘Item paid unto Mr Day of Dover for phisicke
and chirurgerie administred <and used> unto the said deceased... and for his care and
paines in coming to visit the said deceased in his aforesaid sicknes’ (CKS PRC19/4/89)
1676: John Sutton of Lydden, yeoman (£325) ‘Item paid vnto Mr Thomas Day... for phisick
administred to the said deceased’ (CKS PRC2/37/96)
1680: Edward Pellett of Dover, surgeon (£56) ‘Item paid to Thomas Day Chirurgion for
Cordialls by him administred to the said deceased’ (CKS PRC20/13/52)

Day, Thomas sen. (d.1663)
Surgeon of Dover
Diocesan Licentiate 1610. Signatory 1661, 1662 (Haggis, pp.72, 76; ‘Liber P’ f.146)
Probate granted 1663 (PRC27/15/23)
1633: Laurence Wigmore of Ewell (£35) ‘Item paid to Mr Thomas Day of Dover chirurgion
<or physician> for a iourney by him made to the said deceased in his last sicknes and for
his advise and receites administred to the said deceased’ (CKS PRC2/32/132)
1637: John Spicke of Dover, gentleman (£171) ‘Item to Doctor Beomont Phisicion and Mr
Day and Christopher Belton Chirurgion for phisick and chirurgery for the said deceased’
(CKS PRC19/1/9)
1637: Robert Owen of Charlton nr Dover (£65) ‘Item paid to Mr Thomas Day of Dovor
Chirurgion for plasters and other chirurgicall applicacions for them in the tyme of their
said infeccion’ [Plague] (CKS PRC2/34/251)
1641: John Newman of Dover St Mary (£31) ‘Item to Mr Goulder of Dover phisitian to Mr
Day Chirurgion there and to Mr Partrich Apothecary for their helpes and needfull
necessaries in the time of the said deceaseds last sicknesse’ (CKS PRC19/1/67)
Source:  A Directory of Medical Personnel Qualified and Practising in the Diocese of Canterbury, circa 1560-1730

This is definitely a mystery I would love to see solved.

For more reading on Mary Carleton you can explore the following links:

Leslie Ann

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday's Obituary ~ Beverly Steiger

Beverly was my mother's cousin. This clipping was among other ephemera that she had stashed in a shoebox so I can't be sure which newspaper it came from. I am guessing the Idaho State Journal.

Beverly Schofield
(should be Scofield)

Beverly Schofield Steiger, 44, 5728 Waterbury Way died September 22, 1976 in a Murray hospital.
Born March 22, 1932 in St. Charles, Idaho to Cornell and Adelia Barker Schofield. Divorced. Northwest Regional Secretary for Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company. Former employee Federal Reserve Bank for 13 years. Member LDS Church. Active in YWMIA.
Survivors: mother, Bountiful; sons and daughter: Dirk R., Darcel, both Salt Lake; Mrs. Kevin (Kimberly) Clark, Boise, Idaho; brother and sister: Blair, Orem; Mrs. Robert (Florine) Berntson, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Funeral Saturday 1:30 p.m., Butler 9th Ward, 2522 East 6710 South. Friends may call Friday 6-8 p.m. at 4760 South State Street, and Saturday 1 hour prior to services at the chapel. Interment Bountiful City Cemetery.

I don't know who wrote this, but it looks like they didn't like whole sentences.

Leslie Ann

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday's Faces From the Past ~ Grandma Nancy's sister Elizabeth

Elizabeth Stafford Taylor

Elizabeth Stafford was the sister of my gr-great-grandmother Nancy Stafford. She was married to Titus Taylor.

Recently I was contacted by my 4th cousin who is the 2nd great-granddaughter of Elizabeth and Titus Taylor. She inherited a photo album from her great-grandfather, William Taylor and wouldn't you know it there are some unidentified photos inside.

She sent me a few and I am going to post them in the hopes that someone can help identify the subjects. I imagine the photos are of Taylor or Stafford family members from Arnold, Nottinghamshire.

Can you name these people?

Leslie Ann

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday's Faces From the Past ~ Unidentified Photo 7

Photo number seven from grandma Nancy's photo album  almost leaves me with a feeling of familiarity. I am thinking she may be a Stafford.

I hope someone out there has a definite feeling of familiarity when they see this photo.

Leslie Ann

Monday, August 26, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Will of Richard Price

A couple of weeks ago I received a will from England, Buckinghamshire to be exact. If you have ancestors that died in Buckinghamshire, you may want to search here to see if they left a will.

This is the last Will and Testament of me Richard Price
of Great Missenden in the County of Bucks Salesman which I make publish and declare as such in manner following Whereas on the Sixteenth Day of this Instant Month of March I Caused the Freehold Messuage or Tenement in Great Missenden aforesaid wherein I now dwell with the yard garden and appurtenances to the same belonging (Which Message or Tenement I lately Erected and built on part of the ground of and belonging to a Messauage or Tenement with the -
Appurtenances some time since purchased by me of John Hoare and the greater part wherof I have since sold and conveyed to Job Woodman) to be offered for sale by Public Auction under certain Presented Conditions of Sale then and there produced And as such sale Samuel Stevens of Great Missenden aforesaid Higler became and was declared the Purchaser of the same Hereditaments and Premises at the Price of Two hundred and Sixty Pounds but no Conveyance hath yet been Executed in
persuance of the Contract so made Now I do herby give and devise All and singular the Herediatments and Premises for the Sale whereof I have Contracted in manner aforesaid And all other my Real Estate whatsoever and wheresoever Unto and to the Use of my dear Wife Maria Price and of her Heirs and Assigns for Ever But Subject nevertheless to and to the intent and purpose that she my said Wife (in Case I shall depart this Live without having performed and completed such contract) do and shall perform and Carry the same into Effect as fully and espechially to all intents and purposes as if I were living to Execute and perform the same For which End I declare that the Receipt or Receipts of her my said Wife her Heirs or Assigns shall be a good and Effectual Discharge for such Purchase Money And as to the Monies to be received as the Price or Consideration for the Sale and Conveyance of the same Hereditaments and Premises And as to all my Household Goods and
Furniture Monies Securities Debts Rights Credits Goods Chattels and Personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever I give and bequeth the same to her my said Wife to and for her own proper Use and Benefit she there and satisfying all my just Debts and Funeral and Testamentary Expences And I Constitute and appoint her my said Wife Sole Executrix of this my Will In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal the twenty fourth Day of March In the Year of ou Lord One thousand Eight hundred and fifteen 
            Richard Price (Seal)

Signed Sealed Published and Declared by the above named Richard Price as and for his last Will and    
Testament in the presence of Us who in his Presence
and in the Presence of Each other have attested and 
subscribed the Same 
Isaac Stevens
Robert Harper
both of Great Missenden
Thos Marshall Amersham

1815 April 8th ----- The Executrix whithin named was Sworn as usual and that the personal Estate of the deceased is under the value of Three Hundred Pounds
Before me
W. Stockins Senr
Proved the 8th day of April 1815 Before the Reverend William Stockins Clerk Surrogate by the oath of Maria Price widow the sole Executrix to whose administration was committed she being first sworn duly to administer

For some reason Richard (my 4th great-grandfather) only mentioned his wife Maria (my 4th great-grandmother) and not his children's names. And why he referred to them as "her heirs" puzzles me. They had three surviving children at the time of his death, Martha, age 12; Louisa Maria, age 8; and my 3rd great-grandfather Simon, age 5.

Amanuensis Monday is an ongoing series created by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch.

Leslie Ann

Friday, August 16, 2013

Did You 'Find Photos of your Ancestors'?

Some photos that I uploaded
As you may have noticed I haven't been posting as much lately. I've been spending a little more time researching and after reading the blog post Find Photos of Your Ancestors  I have been spending more time on FamilySearch.

So I have been busy matching and merging with RootsMagic6 putting my family tree on FamilySearch. Then I clicked the button to see if I could find photos of my ancestors. I did find photos of my ancestors, but most of them I already had. 

There was one photo that I didn't have. One photo that I remember from grandma's house and have wondered all these years what happened to it. One of my cousins put it up there. I did a happy dance!

As I looked through my family tree on FamilySearch I noticed that there were photos that other people have tagged to my ancestors, but they did not show up when I clicked that button. I wanted to know why so I asked. This is the answer I got from one of the horse's mouth:
 The program does not search ALL of your ancestors. To my knowledge it looks at:
1. the people on your pedigree back to your great great grandfather, and their spouses.
2. The children of your great great grandfather.

 So I wanted to let you all know in case you haven't figured it out, use the Find option to search for your third great-grandparents and beyond. Or better yet, check out the profiles in your family tree.  That is how I found two photos that I never knew existed. I don't think anyone from my branch of the Henderson family knew about these pictures either! So I left a comment to thank whoever posted them.

There were some members of my tree who didn't have photos, so I uploaded them. I also added photos of hubby's ancestors and the x's ancestors. Because that's how I roll. I have uploaded 50 so far.

Leslie Ann

Monday, July 29, 2013

Madness Monday ~ That's Not A Real Death Certificate!

I recently ordered the death certificate of Samuel Pig[g]ot from St. Clair County, Michigan; or, what I thought was going to be the death certificate of Samuel Piggot, silversmith. I am trying to get all my ducks in a row and make sure my Piggot family is documentally sound.

I learned absolutely nothing from this certificate other than he died of old age. The genealogist in me went "grrr!" There are no parents names, or burial information. The probable third great niece in me was very saddened to think that Samuel died alone with no family around him. The certificate says there was no informant, no one to fill in the blanks.

I couldn't understand why his death wasn't recorded until June 2, 1886, when he died October 31, 1885. All kinds of things went through my mind. Were they waiting for someone to claim the body? I was Googling like crazy trying to find an answer. Then I stumbled on to the FamilySearch Wiki about the Michigan Death Records.

It seems that from 1867 to 1897,  Michigan counties were only canvased annually and recorded the deaths that took place the year preceding the first Monday in April. Death certificates weren't required until 1897. 

I sure wish I would have checked out FamilySearch before I ordered it. I could have saved myself $10! They have the actual images of the Return of Deaths in the county of St. Clair.

I can't find any death records for Samuel's wife Euphemia. I'm afraid she fell between the cracks and is among the deaths that didn't get reported.  I'm sure she died before he did. I can't imagine that he moved to Michigan from New York without her. He was last recorded in New York in the directory in 1892.

So basically all I got was a piece of paper that the current county clerk, transcribed from the record book.

Lesson learned: Google, google, and google some more before reaching into the pocket book!

Leslie Ann

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sarah Ann Handley, The Key to Piggott Doors

A couple of days ago I received the death certificate of Sarah Ann Handley. From census information I figured that she was the aunt of George W. Piggott, artist and I just had a gut feeling that she was connected to my 3rd great-grandfather George Washington Piggott, but I wasn't sure how.

After I gave her death certificate the once over and compared it to all my notes, I was flabbergasted at what I discovered. She was my third great aunt!

Sarah died June 3, 1884 of exhaustion due to probable cancer of omentum. Her age at death was seventy four years, three months, and 16 days. After calculating I came up with a birthdate of September 19, 1809. Wait a minute, that's the same exact birth date I have for Sarah Ann Piggott. Then I noticed that their death dates are the same! I have had the info on Sarah Piggott since 1994. Her birth and death information came from LDS Temple records of proxy baptisms and listed Abbie Ann Piggott as the relative. She was George Washington Piggott's daughter.

Oddly, this death certificate doesn't ask for parent's names, but where they were born. Sarah Handley's father was born in London, England. Guess what? So was Sarah Piggott's. Their mother's were both born in New York. Hmm.

Now the Sarah Ann Handley,  mother of Theodore Wallace Handley, I have been chasing around in the census records showed birth dates of about 1820, not 1809. There's one more thing I needed to check before I was certain this was the same Sarah Handley from the census records.

According to the death certificate Sarah died at her home, 336 East 17th street, New York. A look at the New York City 1884 directory reveals that Theodore W. Handley, Lawyer is indeed living at that same address. And, guess who else was living there? You guessed it, George W Piggott.

Another clue is that Sarah Piggott's sister Phoebe who was married to Jacob Handley, lost a five year old child named Theodore Wallace Handley on June of 1838. Sarah Ann Handley's son Theodore Wallace Handley was born about 1838.

So I think that this is enough evidence to say that Sarah Ann Handley and Sarah Ann Piggott are one and the same. Now I see that her sister Augusta also shaved about ten years off of her age. Those tricksy Piggott girls!

So where does George W. Piggott the artist fit into all of this? His death certificate states his father's name was William. I did find this passenger information:

Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945
Wm  Piggott - merchant
Arrival Date:
1 Sep 1840
31 Years
Estimated Birth Year:
abt 1809
Port of Departure:
La Guaira and Puerto Cabello, Venezuela
Ship Name:
Port of Arrival:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Microfilm Roll Number:

Source Citation:  Roll:  M425_57;  Line:  3

The birth date matches with Sarah and Augusta's brother William, who was born in 1809.  He was actually Sarah's twin. Which makes perfect sense why little 7 year old George W. would be sent to live with his aunt Sarah in February of 1860 after his father died in December of 1859.

So this means that George W. Piggott, artist is my first cousin 4 times removed.

I have been trying to put this Piggott family together for years! This death certificate really made me do the happy dance!

Leslie Ann

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday's Obituary ~ George Piggott

New York Herald November 26, 1896, pg 14

I happened upon another obituary for George W. Piggott, artist. It's as short as the other one, but it reveals some other clues and answers the question I had about why he was sent to America alone when he was a child.

George Piggott, a portrait artist and a native of South America, died last Sunday after an illness resulting from blood poisoning. His father, an American citizen, was killed during an uprising of slaves in the tropics, and the child was sent to the United States by the American Consul. He studied art in Rome, and was recently associated with the art department of a large New York firm.

 Now if I can only find information on his father William Piggott, who was killed in a slave uprising.

Leslie Ann

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

George W. Piggot Death Certificate

I have finally received the death certificate of George W. Piggott, the artist, from The City of New York Municipal Archives. I did learn a few things, but not enough to pinpoint his parents. Plus, there are more contradictions -- Grr!

George died of Typhoid Fever and contributing cause was Acute Myocarditis. He was buried at Cypress Hills on Nov 24, 1896. I have set up a Find A Grave memorial in the hopes that someone can find his headstone and take a photo.

For some reason his occupation is listed as watchmaker. His birthplace is listed as Venezuela, like his obit and a passenger list that I mentioned in the earlier post, but his passport application states that he was born in the U.S. Now why would you apply for a U.S. passport if you were not already a citizen?

His father is listed as William and I am assuming his last name is also Piggott. His mother is listed as Mary and no maiden name (grr!). So there's really not much to go on.

According to George's obituary his mother was from Venezuela, but here it states she was born in the United States.

So now I am on the search for William and Mary Piggott.

Wish me luck!

Leslie Ann

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Workday Wednesday ~ Simon Price, Clothier and More

Simon Price
Simon Price, father of Robert Price, was my 3rd great-grandfather.

When he was young, Simon was apprenticed to a tailor. Upon completion of the apprenticeship he set up his own business in his hometown, Great Missenden.

In the 1841 and 1851 census of Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England his occupation was listed as tailor &c. I am assuming the "c" means clothier.

The 1861 Boston, Lincolnshire, England census lists him as a clothier, while the 1871 and 1881 census list him as a retired clothier.

While I was scouring old newspaper archives I was lucky enough to find a couple of ads.

Lincolnshire Chronicle, Dec 18, 1863, page 2

Lincolnshire Chronicle, Dec 25, 1863, page 2

Not only was I able to find these ads, but I found others that indicated he sold other things besides clothing. It turns out that Simon was also a tea agent, and according to the 1844 Pigot & Co directory, he was also a fire insurance agent as well as a tailor.

Bucks Herald, Oct 17, 1846, page 2

I guess when you have a shop, you're going to sell what you can, right.

Leslie Ann

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Workday Wednesday ~ Robert Price the Pawnbroker

Although gr-great-grandpa Price only did a short stint as a Pawnbroker, It was the profession that brought him to manhood.

About a month before his 15th birthday, Robert Price left his family in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England for London. He was to become an apprentice pawnbroker under Henry Ashman.

The 1851 census finds him in St. Martins, Middlesex, England, 65 Long Acre street, living in the household of Henry Ashman listed as a 15 year old servant pawnbroker.

Robert was released from Mr. Ashman's employ after 3 years. While he started as a stock boy, he must have had a few dealings with customers; maybe just enough to influence his decision to leave the trade. After all, pawnbrokers weren't a very much liked 'lot'.

The following is an excerpt from his biography written by Ezra J. Poulsen:

"...One has but to reflect on the nature of the pawnbroking business to clarify his mind on some of Robert's probable reactions during those years. The banks of that day had not developed to their present status in the small loan field; nor was credit used as widely in a constructive sense as it is today in America. the pawnshop, therefor, was the main contact for those in financial distress; the poor, the improvident, those involved in sudden crises, such as sickness or death. This type of clientele could have had a depressing effect on a sensitive youth like Robert Price.
Pawn brokers were not a popular class. They were probably looked upon as a sort of necessary evil, and often hated by the very people who came to them for help. the risks they took were great; consequently, their rates were high, and their methods sometimes extortionist. The debtor's prison was still a grim reality..." 

Ezra claims in his book that Robert eventually went to work for a silversmith, but according to the 1855 passenger list to New York he was still a pawnbroker. The 1860 census of Connecticut however, finds him as a painter.

Did you know that there was a pawnbroker's symbol? It is three golden balls. I had no idea.

The illustration on the left is the cover of a book written by George Robert Sims. This story is a narration of some of the customers of pawnbrokers.

Coincidentally, George Sims is the name of another pawnbroker who was an apprentice with Robert under Henry Ashman.

And did you know that the nursery rhyme "Pop Goes the Weasel" comes from pawnbroking?

If you have pawnbrokers in your ancestry, don't forget to check newspaper archives.  Pawnbrokers often found themselves in legal situations for receiving stolen property, most of the time innocently of course. The Old Bailey even found Mr. Ashman as witness to such thievery.

Many victorian writers wrote detailed accounts about pawnbrokers. GoogleBooks would be a good place to start.

Thanks to Denise Spurlock for suggesting for suggesting this prompt.

Leslie Ann

  • Robert Price, by Ezra J. Poulsen
  • 1851 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1851. - Class: HO107; Piece: 1482; Folio: 264; Page: 21; GSU roll: 87807.
  • New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 - 1855; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 159; Line: 21; List Number: 1256.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Workday Wednesday ~ William Henry Piggott, Lumber Merchant

This awesome page from gr-great-grandpa's lumber business  was included in grandma Hazel's ephemera.

W. H. Piggott was listed as a sawyer in the  E. L. Sloan & Co. 1874 Salt Lake City Directory. In the 1870 Salt Lake census he is listed as a sawmill hand, and in the 1800 Bloomington, Idaho census he is listed as a sawyer.

The following excerpts are from a history written by Claude and Elma Reay, Edited by Beatrice Cannon Evans and Janath russell Cannon, Cannon Family Historical Treasury George Cannon Family Association, 1967, Pages 295-298.

"...William worked in a mill and lumber yard in Salt Lake City.  His knowledge of timber and his ability in mathematics gave him the position of buyer.  He always went to work in a white linen suit, which was starched until it would stand alone.    He measured the logs that were brought to the mill and decided the kind of lumber to be cut from each log and the number of board feet that should be credited to the men delivering the load."
"...William was called by the church authorities to go to Liberty, Idaho and set up a saw  mill to furnish lumber for the people of the Bear Lake area. .....The Piggott family lived in Liberty, Idaho for three years, the William moved the saw mill to Bloomington Canyon and set it up at the foot of Paris Peak."
"The Piggott family had just become well established when William was called to the Leeds Mission in England.  Lumber from the Piggott mill was always in demand because of its high quality and even size.  William leased the mill with the understanding that enough money would be given to Elizabeth to keep the family and to help him on his mission.  He left for England with the feeling that his family was well cared for and that he would receive enough money to carry on his work in the mission field.  He didn't know until he returned twenty-two months later that the incompetent men who leased the mill found that boards one-half inch thick on one end and one-and-half inches thick on the other didn't sell; so they were soon out of business and there was no money to pay for the lease.  The loss of the income from the mill left the family without funds.  They had a cow, chickens, and a garden.  Elizabeth knew that if they were faithful, the Lord would provide for them.  She took in sewing and gave music lessons on her treasured melodeon."  
"...He re-established his lumber business, and it was very successful until he felt he was no longer able to work, when he sold the mill." 
In 1894 William was among other mill owners in who were arrested by the United States Marshal for "cutting timber on Uncle Sam's dominion". He gave bonds in $1,000 to appear before the United States commissioners for examination.

According to this newspaper article from The Salt Lake Herald, dated September 9, 1890, United States timber agent A. H. Tyner closed the mills and claimed all the lumber as Uncle Sam's.

And according to an October 1890 article in the Salt Lake Tribune, Mr. Tyner claimed to have proof that the owners of the sawmills in Bear Lake County were illegally shipping timber out of the territory.

Whether there is any truth to these allegations, I do not know. It would be interesting to know the outcome of these suits.

Thanks to Denise Spurlock for suggesting this prompt.

Leslie Ann

Monday, June 10, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ A Hard Case

As you may have noticed, I have been concentrating on my Piggot(t) line. I am trying to piece together the family of my 4th great-grandparents George and Sarah Hull Piggot in the hopes it will lead me to more clues and/or proof that George really was the son of Lord William Pickett.

I have found quite a bit of info regarding Samuel Piggot who is one of their sons.  Samuel was a jeweler in New York City. The above image is his mark that I found on the website Silversmiths and Related Craftsman.

According to some news articles I have found, my poor 3rd great-granduncle had quite a few misfortunes.

The following article is from the New York Tribune dated July 31, 1862.

To the Editor of The N. Y. Tribune.
Allow me to state briefly the case of an old friend and fellow citizen, Mr. Samuel Piggot, who kept a jeweler's store in Hudson street, this city, for over 20 years. Some 10 years he gathered his little all together and emigrated to Virginia, where he purchased a farm. When the rebellion broke out, Mr. Piggot was too loyal to live among Rebels who drove off his cattle, threatened his life, and burned all his buildings. He came back to this city, and by the aid of friends began business at No. 643 Eighth avenue, and it is to be hoped the loyal people of New York will give him a lift by leaving their watches and jewelry with him for repairs. He needs help.
New York, July 26, 1862

There is an article in the New York Tribune dated February 7, 1862 that goes into detail in his own words about the terrible treatment Samuel and his wife endured in Virginia. It's a bit lengthy so I haven't transcribed it yet.

I sure hope he got some extra business after this article. I wonder who wrote the letter to the editor. He must have been a swell guy.

Leslie Ann


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