Thought For The Day

Enjoy your life, this is not a rehearsal

Genealogy success story. Possibly one of our members ??

Originally posted on johnzboston:

Recent article from the Jamaica Plain/Boston Gazette newspaper.          Is this the lady who came to some of our meetings a year or two ago ?

Recent article from the Jamaica Plain/Boston Gazette newspaper.
Is this the lady who came to some of our meetings a year or two ago ?

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The Bravery of Madeleine Jarret de Vercheres

Madeleine  de Vercheres

Madeleine Jarret de Vercheres    3 Mar 1678 –  8 Aug 1747

When Madeleine was but 14 years old her ingenuity is credited with saving Fort Vercheres in New France (now Montreal) from an attack and raid by the Iroquois Indians.
October 1692 Madeleine’s parents left her in charge of her siblings while they left the fort on business and to get supplies for the winter.
One morning some settlers, along with eight soldiers left the fort to tend to fields and gardens. Madeleine was working in her families garden, which was quite close to the fort, when suddenly the Iroquois descended on the settlers. The men tried to make a run for it but were caught off guard and the Indians caught them and carried them off. Madeleine was close enough that she made it to the fort shouting “aux armes, aux armes” (to arms to arms), she made it to the bastion and fired a rifle, then encouraging the people to make as much noise as possible so that the Iroquois would think there were too many soldiers still defending the fort. Then Madeleine fired the cannon to warn other forts of the attack and to call for reinforcements. When a canoe was spotted with another family the soldiers refused to go to their aid, so Madeleine ran to the dock and quickly led the family to safety pretending they were reinforcements.
Late in the evening the settlers cattle returned to the fort, she knew the Indians might be hidden amongst the cattle. She and her brother ascertained that no Indians were among them and proceeded to bring the cattle into the fort. Reinforcements did arrive, caught the Iroquois and returned the settlers, at about the same time her parents returned to the news of Madeleine’s bravery.
You can read more fully about Madeleine at

Thought for Today

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

Deborah Sampson Lady Soldier of the Revolutionary War

Deborah Sampson was born 17 Dec 1760 in Plympton, Plymouth Co. MA. to Jonathon and Deborah (Bradford) Simpson. One of eight children, they lived in Middleborough, MA. Their father apparently deserted the family and went to Maine.  Her mother, destitute,  was forced to farm out the children to various family and friends.  At 10 years old she became an indentured servant on the farm of Deacon Jeremiah and Susana Thomas until she was eighteen. Not being allowed schooling, she talked the Thomas sons into teaching her to read and write. She did well enough that for a short time she taught school.  Among her Hobbies were hunting and horseback riding.

In 1780, she had the idea of enlisting in the Continental Army, since women were not allowed to do this, she disguised herself as a man, being 5ft 7in, she was tall for a woman and on 20 May 1782 she successfully enlisted in Uxbridge, MA using the name of her deceased brother Robert Shurtlieff Sampson on the muster of Master Noah Taft of Uxbridge, she was chosen for Light Infantry Co. of the 4th Mass Regt under the command of Captain George Webb, later in Worcester under Colonel Shepard.

She fought in several battles, put up with the hardships and deprivations that the rest of the soldiers did.  She was wounded severely in Tarrytown, NY, with 2 muskets balls to her thigh and a deep cut on her forehead. One of her comrades took her by horseback to a hospital 6 miles away. Afraid of being discovered she allowed them to dress her head wound, left the hospital and attend to one of the balls in her thigh with a penknife and sewing needle, the other ball was too deep and was never removed.  It caused her trouble for the rest of her life.

On 1 Apr 1783, she was promoted and spent 7 months serving as a waiter to General John Paterson.  This job entitled her to a better quality of life, better food, less danger and shelter.  However, after the Treaty of Paris in 1783, when it was thought that the war was over, she was sent to Philadelphia that summer to aid in the squelching of a rebellion. Deborah came down with a malignant fever and was cared for by Doctor Barnabas Binney, who upon removing her clothing discovered her secret. Dr. Binney did not betray her, instead took her to his house where she was housed and cared for by his wife and daughters.  When she recovered she returned to her army but not for long as the Treaty of Paris was signed in September. On 25 Oct 1783, after a year and a half of service, General Knox honorably discharged her from the army at West Point with some words of advice and enough money to sufficiently cover her expenses home.

On 7 April 1785 Deborah was married in Stoughton, MA to Benjamin Gannet, farmer, of Sharon, MA. They had 3 children and one adopted daughter.  Eight years after in 1792, she petitioned the Massachusetts State Legislature for pay which the Army had denied her because she was a woman.  It was passed,  signed by John Hancock and she was awarded a total of 34 pounds.   Her family ever in financial troubles, she again petitioned Congress for a pension as an invalid soldier, she was given a pension of $4.00 a month, finally in 1816 she was awarded $76.80 a year and was able to pay her debts and better care for the family farm.  Deborah died of Yellow Fever 29 Apr 1827. Her husband was able to receive her pension until he died in 1837.

There is a statue of Deborah on the grounds of the Public :Library in Sharon, MADeborahSampson fought in the revolutionary war


After 17 years, the search engine for genealogy sites, picosearch ended July 1st 2014. 

I know during my researches over the years I was always pleased when a website was using PicoSearch, you put in the last name of an ancestor and low and behold up would come a link to every family with that name on the website. Now the websites are scrambling to find another search engine as good as picosearch was.

Some websites use freefind or googlesearch. They are, in my opinion, not as good, but will have to do, at least for now.

Family Record Sample from the Library of Congress

Family Record Sample from the Library of Congress

One sample of family record


An Excerpt from the Battle of Fort Griswold, Groton, CT.

My 4th great grandfather Jabez/Jabish Pembleton was in the Rev War,. he was wounded in the hand, taken prisoner, sent to Long Island with 5 other soldiers, later traded or paroled ( both accounts are recorded) returned to rejoin his regiment. The death of Colonel Ledyard is written in Jabez’ Pension Records.

This is a narrative from the American side of the Battle at Fort Griswold.

“Only six of the Americans were killed in the fight, but after the surrender, the British officer in command, one Benedict Arnold, murdered Colonel Ledyard with the very sword that Col Ledyard surrendered to Arnold. Arnold refused to give quarter to the garrison, instead seventy-three were massacred.

Some were badly wounded and others were carried away captive. Some of the wounded were placed in a baggage-wagon at the brow of the hill on which the fort yet stands, it was sent down the rough and steep slope a hundred rods, with great violence, for the purpose of plunging the helpless victims into the river. This jolting caused some of the wounded to expire, while the cries of agony from the lips of the survivors were heard across the river in the midst of the crackling noise of the burning town   An apple tree had arrested the course of the wagon and there the sufferers remained more than an hour, when their captors laid them on the beach to die.  Friendly hands conveyed them to a house nearby, where they were cared for by tender women.”



New Start for our Blog

Dear Genealogy Club Friends,

Well here I am again. It is my hope that this time it will succeed. You can scroll down on the front page to read the posts, and there is also, towards the bottom, interesting links to free genealogy websites. Some or most of these you probably are aware of already. Welcome all of the new people who have joined or Genealogy Club this past year, they have made our meetings interesting with their contributions

I welcome any news, questions, or stories concerning genealogy you may like to share. We have members that are not able to attend our meetings so this blog is one way to keep them in the loop and give them a chance to participate.


Nan Whitcomb (nunzw15)

The Trials of Phoebe Covert

Phoebe was my g g grandmother, born 1835 Phoebe Platt in Susquehanna County PA.  She married Charles Covert October 6 1853 in Windsor, Broome Co. NY.  The young couple lived on a farm and started their family.  Elizabeth born Aug 1854, Julia Etta July 1856, James Mar 1858, Lyman Apr 1860, and Lucy Apr 1862.
Her husband Charles was itching to go to the aid of the Union and join his two younger brothers Abram and Benjamin, who had already enlisted in 1861.  So Charles enlisted Aug 19,1862,  leaving behind Phoebe and his five babies.  He first went to Gettysburgh where he was wounded in the head, but not seriously enough to be able to rejoin his company  to Alabama, where he soon contracted measles was hospitalized and died of congestive fever Mar of 1864.  Not knowing his two brothers had already died in 1862, his parents were left to mourn the loss of their only sons.
Phoebe received word that her husband was gone forever and she was left destitute with their five small children.  She applied for a pension but it was a very slow and  long process.  Phoebe had to prove that these children were the children of Charles and that she was married to Charles.  She traveled on horseback and walked to get her affidavits that were required. From the Minister that married them, her mother-in-law and her mother that attended the birth of her oldest daughter, (I might add here that her mother-in-law died soon after in 1866),  the doctor that attended the birth of her 2nd and 3rd children, her mother who attended the birth of her 4th and 5th children.  Phoebe also had to get affidavits from others to verify that these folks that signed the affidavits were honest and trustworthy people.

By now Phoebe was overwhelmed and finally had to put her precious children in a Home far away in New York City when she could no longer care for them.  Her own sister had died in childbirth, so her mother could not help her, and both of Charles parents had died.  Although Charles grandmother was still living, she was not well enough to help her either.  The government required a guardian by law for the children and she asked Charles’ Uncle Lyman Welton to be guardian.  Women were not allowed at that time to handle financial matters.  Phoebe was finally to receive monthly pension of $8. for herself and $2. for each of her children.  By 1870 Phoebe was desperate so when a proposal of marriage came from a widower with a young daughter who promised to help her retrieve her children she decided to remarry even knowing she would lose her own pension, but when the money for the children came he would not help her.  In 1872 Phoebe then turned to Uncle Lyman for help, she left her husband and was at long last reunited with all but her oldest daughter Elizabeth. The whereabouts of Elizabeth is a mystery as no researcher has found her to this day.

They were all together in the Binghamton NY census as of June 1880 but Phoebe died suddenly in July of 1880 at 45 years of age.   Her mother lived another 12 years and they are buried side-by side.
Phoebe’s son James had disappeared by 1895 it is said that he went west,  Julia married and had 3 children,  Lyman married and had one son, and Lucy married but was unable to have any children.  Perhaps one day we will find out what happened to Elizabeth.

My g g grandmother Phoebe is a hero to me for the struggles and heartaches that she endured and she never gave up.

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