July 19, 2017 Declared Rebecca Nurse Day in Massachusetts!

Governor Charles Baker has declared July 19th as Rebecca Nurse Day in the Massachusetts.

325th Anniversary Commemoration

July 19th marks the 325th anniversary of the hanging death of one of our three Towne ancestors involved in the trials, Rebecca (Towne) Nurse. Two excellent events took place on that day which provided an opportunity to honor our ancestors. At noon, there was a dedication ceremony for the Proctor's Ledge memorial in Salem. Gail Garda, TFA president, gave an inspiring address as one of the speakers, as did Professor W. Emerson Baker, Salem State University who some of us met las year at our reunion banquet in Providence.

Descendants and community members viewing the new memorial

Gail Garda, TFA President and Genealogist

Gail Garda and W. Emerson Baker
Later that same day, the Danvers Alarm List Company hosted a special commemoration of the execution of Rebecca Nurse. A short reception at 6:30pm in the Meetinghouse at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers preceded the ceremony. Danvers Town Archivist and TFA member, Richard Trask delivered opening remarks before the group moved outside where the official proclamation was read. Guests then followed the drummer down the hill to the Nurse Cemetery where descendants of Rebecca were invited to place a wreath.

A recommendation from Associate Genealogist Virginia Towne...

Websites of Interest to Historic Winter Quarters Era Pioneer Research

This is a listing of websites and databases used at the Pioneer Research Library, Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters. Prepared by and used with the permission of Sister Terry Latey, Research Librarian, Pioneer Research Library Mormon Trail Center. Email her at tglatey@cox.net for additional information. Whether or not you have Mormon ancestors, this collection is sure to be of interest as you research the midwest.

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2017 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com.
Online Genealogy Dictionaries & Other References

The Web is fast replacing reference books. References to almost any information can be found online quickly. In fact, it is often faster to look up information online than to look in a book already on your bookshelf. Of course, an online lookup is also much cheaper than purchasing a reference book. Here are some reference sites that I have found to be useful to genealogists:

    Abbreviations Found in Genealogy: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/abbrev.html and the Encyclopedia of Genealogy at http://www.eogen.com.

  • A List of Occupations, many of which are archaic: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~usgwkidz/oldjobs.htm.

  • Archaic Medical Terms: Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms at http://www.antiquusmorbus.com/, Cyndi's List of Medical Terms at http://www.cyndislist.com/medical#Diseases, a list of archaic medical terms and meanings used in various English speaking countries at http://www.genproxy.co.uk/old_medical_terms.htm, and theEncyclopedia of Genealogy at http://www.eogen.com.

  • The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names: http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/tgn/index.html

  • The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN), contains information about almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States: http://geonames.usgs.gov/index.html

  • Glossar: Die Familie: English-German glossary of terms frequently found in genealogy research: http://www.univie.ac.at/voelkerkunde/cometh/glossar/heirat/h-menu.htm

  • Meanings and origins of first names - an etymology (the origin of words) and list of the most popular names: http://www.behindthename.com/

  • Cemetery Junction Directory - A directory of more than 50,000 cemeteries. Search by cemetery and family name. Links to obituaries and genealogical societies in the U.S, Australia, and Canada: http://daddezio.com/cemetery/

  • A Glossary Of Terms Used In Heraldry (coats of arms): https://www.heraldsnet.org/saitou/parker/index.htm

  • Where to Write for Vital Records - Addresses and guidelines for contacting each U.S. state or territory for vital records and documents: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/howto/w2w/w2welcom.htm


What Is a "Second Cousin Once Removed?"

"A term often found in genealogy is "removed," specifically when referring to family relationships. Indeed, almost everyone has heard of a "second cousin once removed," but many people cannot explain that relationship. Of course, a person might be more than once removed, as in third cousin, four times removed.

In short, the definition of cousins is two people who share a common ancestor. Here are a few definitions of cousin relationships:

First Cousin: Your first cousins are the people in your family who have at least one of the same grandparents as you. In other words, they are the children of your aunts and uncles.

Second Cousin: Your second cousins are the people in your family who share the same great-grandparent with you.

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Cousins: Your third cousins share at least one great-great-grandparent, fourth cousins share a great-great-great-grandparent, and so on.

Removed: When the word "removed" is used to describe a relationship, it indicates that the two people are from different generations. "Once removed" indicates a difference of one generation, "twice removed" indicates a difference of two generations, and so forth.

For example, the child of your first cousin is your first cousin, once removed. That is, your cousin's child would be "almost" your first cousin, except that he or she is one generation removed from that relationship. Likewise, the grandchild of your first cousin is your first cousin, twice removed (two generations removed from being a first cousin).

Many people confuse the term "first cousin, once removed" with "second cousin." The two are not the same.

Keep in mind that you and a relative only need to share one grandparent to be first cousins, or share one great-grandparent to be second cousins, etc. If the ancestor in question had more than one spouse and the two of you are descended from different spouses, you are full cousins. There is no such thing as a "half cousin" although you will hear people use that term occasionally...."

(Source: Excerpts from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, copyrighted and posted here with the permission of the author, Richard W. Eastman)

Click this link for more from this article and others on interesting genealogy topics, available free, at Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

If TFA members have any genealogy questions, please submit them to us. We will be posting common questions and answers as we receive them.

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The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2014 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com.

More than 80,000 Digitized Genealogy and Family History Publications are Now Available Online

One of the greatest genealogy resources available today is the huge collection of digitized genealogy and family history publications from the archives of some of the most important family history libraries in the world. When I travel to various genealogy conferences and societies, I am often amazed at how many genealogists are unaware of these free resources. Not only are the books and other publications available free of charge, you don't even have to pay for gas to visit these libraries!

Click to read the rest of the article.


Susannah Towne and Thomas Hayward - Clarification

We frequently get questions on the website about Susannah Towne who was married to Thomas Hayward. The daughter of William and Joanna Towne was Susan who was baptized on October 26, 1625 at St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, and died in Great Yarmouth on July 29, 1630 before the family emigrated to America.

Lois Hoover, on page 5 of her book, Towne Family:Five Generations of Descendants , clears up the confusion between Susan and Susannah:

Many have identified Susan as Susannah, wife of Thomas Hayward. In New England Marriages Prior to 1700, Clarence Almon Torrey suggests the wife of Thomas Hayward was the Aunt of Peter Towne of Charlestown. This was based on Peter identifying Susannah Hayward's children as cousins in his will; however, Torrey places the name Towne in brackets [-], indicating this claim is not proved. Susannah, wife of Thomas hayward, was born at least 20 years before Susan, based on the ship logs when the Hayward family came to New England.

We have no further information about this family.

Please direct inquiries to TFA genealogist Gail Garda

Email: genealogist@townefolk.com



Associate Genealogist: Elizabeth Hanahan
Associate Genealogist for DNA Project: Margaret Press
Associate Genealogist for English research: Karen Johnsen

Towne Cemetery in Londonderry, NH

Photography courtesy of Heather Wilkinson Rojo

The Boyd and Towne Families of Londonderry, New Hampshire
(Source: Excerpts from the Nutfield Genealogy blog of Heather Wilkinson Rojo by Elizabeth Hanahan)

A few years ago two portraits were donated by a descendant to the Londonderry Leach Library, and their story was printed in the Derry News. They were primitive style paintings of Robert W. Boyd and his wife, Mary Lund Towne Boyd painted by the itinerant portrait painter, Horace Bundy,in 1851. In the days before photography, it was common to hire these self-taught artists to capture the family on canvas. Click to read the story of Robert Boyd and Mary Towne.


NOTE: If members have any stories related to any media postings - photos, cemeteries, headstones, etc. that you would like to share here, we can periodically add them, when your new items are posted.

William Towne and Joanna Blessing were married at St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England