Monthly Archives: May 2012

NATHAN STEARNS JR: SEVENTH GENERATION

Lego Millyard, Manchester, New Hampshire

NATHAN STEARNS JR: SEVENTH GENERATION

 Nathan Stearns Jr., third and youngest child of Nathan & Miriam (Blaisdell) Stearns, b. 2 May 1801; d 15 Apr 1877;  m. 1830 to Polly Martin of Goffstown New Hampshire, b. 27 Aug 1810, d. 21 Dec 1901, dgtr of Caleb & Polly (Whitney) Martin. They settled inGoffstown,New Hampshire.

 Children of Nathan & Polly (Martin) Stearns:

 Augustus Stearns, b. 26 July 1832 in Goffstown, New Hampshire

 2. Elvira W. Stearns, b. 24 Jan 1836 in Goffstown New Hampshire; m. 20 June 1861 to Nathaniel J. Colby of Dunbarton New Hampshire; He b. 29 Jan 1839, son of Nathaniel & Hepzibah (Woodbury) Colby; She d. 22 March 1894 in Dunbarton New Hampshire. He d. 5 Oct 1898

3. Mary Ann Stearns, b. 27 Apr 1838; d. 10 July 1879 Goffstown New Hampshire; unmarried

 4. Lucian A. Stearns, b. 20 May 1840,Goffstown, New Hampshire;  a farmer in Goffstown; m1 Martha J Paige; m2 Cora F Libbey, no children d 4 July 1897 age 57 years of Gangrene of foot. He is buried at Grasmere Cemetery, Goffstown, New Hampshire.‎*

 He was a farmer who lived in the easterly part of the town on the road leading from Amoskeag to Dunbarton, a short distance north of his brother in law Henry Blaisdell Stearns. When not busy with farm work, he finished by hand the stockings which the machines of his day could not complete, and hence became known as the stockingman.

A LITTLE HISTORY

 The first washing machine was designed by H. Sidgier ofGreat Britainin 1782. It consisted of a cage with wooden rods and a handle for turning. From this design in the late 1800’s company’s started producing hand operated machines that used paddles or dollies, then came the revolving drum from James King in 1851. This was shortly followed by a revolving drum with reversing action, from Hamilton Smith in 1858. “Family legend has it that they had one of the first in the area.”

 I will continue my search in Manchester, Hooksett, Dunbarton and Amoskeag histories. I will also check out books and links regarding shoemaking and manufacturing in the Manchester, New Hampshire area. Nathan Jr and Augustus Stearns were both shoemakers in Goffstown, by 1840 manufacturing of the shoes began. Even with the manufacturing of shoes some parts still had to be completed by hand.

The names Chase, Fletcher and Nelson are also listed in the Goffstown town history. The history gives a great view of how Goffstown developed. Manufacturing also began in the mid 1800’s which impacted the culture and history of Goffstown and the surrounding areas.

Sources:

1850 Census: Nathan, Polly, Augustus, Elvira, Mary A., Lucien

 The “History of the town of Dunbarton”, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, from the Grant by Mason’s Assign in 1751 to the year 1860, by Caleb Stark, published Concord, NH, 1860 had information on Elijah Stearns (pg 27), and Dr Isaac Stearns (pg 150 & 154,) but none for Nathan Jr.

 Town History of Merrimack

Birth Record

Marriage Certificate

Family Search Records

* I found Lucien’s death certificate under Stearns, no first name, while looking for another family member. They did not write the first name when typed, mostly likely because they were not sure what the spelling was due to handwriting. I have found several children’s death certificate the same way.

While looking under just the Stearns surname without the first name I found several interesting people, including Lucien. Many were listed as Infant Stearns with the fathers name and place of burial. I even found one that reads widow Stearns. Some times I would find a cluster of names with the same cause of death in the same year. Two examples are small pox and scarlet fever.

 

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NATHAN STEARNS: SIXTH GENERATION

Stars and Stripes Forever

SIXTH GENERATION

 NATHAN STEARNS

 Nathan-6 Stearns, fifth child and third son of John & Rachel (Codman) Stearns, b. 22 July 1761 in Merrimack, New Hampshire; d. 9 April 1813 in service to his county;

m. 19 Feb 1795 Miriam Blaisdell of Goffstown, New Hampshire, d. 8 Feb 1844; dgtr of Henry Blaisdell; They settled in Goffstown, New Hampshire

He brought, 22 Mar 1800 of John McDale, land and buildings including a saw mill and water privilege and sold the property to his wife’s brother Henry Blaisdell Jr on 27 Jan 1801

He served in the War of 1812 in Capt M. C. Mills Company, 11th U.S. Infantry (Foot Soldiers) On the rolls it reads “prisoner of war,” died in “the barracks of fever.” His widow was appointed administrator of his estate 11 May 1813. Later David L. Morrill was appointed guardian of his three children.

 Children of Nathan & Miriam (Blaisdell) Stearns:

 1. Henry Blaisdell Stearns, b. 7 July 1798 in Goffstown New Hampshire ; m. 16 May 1837 to Phoebe (Russell) Poor *

 2. Elizabeth Stearns, b. 5 Jan 1800; m. Moses Gould Jr. of Goffstown New Hampshire*

 3. Nathan Stearns Jr., b. 2 May 1801; m. Polly Martin of Goffstown New Hampshire**

 Sources:

Goffstown: A Brief History

This link site has links to other sites with information about Goffstown and its people. There is even a link to the Stearns Family tree starting with Isaac Stearns arrival in 1630.

http://www.nh.searchroots.com/HillsboroughCo/Goffstown/history.html

History of Pinardville: Many photographs to view

http://www.gotopinardville.com/history.htm

This site offers the surname and town list with the volume and pages where you can find our ancestors and town records.

http://www.sos.nh.gov/archives/PDF/Index_NH_State_Papers.pdf

Books:

The History of Goffstown

Has the following Stearns’s listed:

Benjamin Starns

John Stearnes

Benjamin Stearns

Benjamin Jr

Ebenzer

Miss Eunice W. (also listed in Amherst History)

Hiram D

Isaac

James

James B

James R

John

Joseph

Lydia

Mrs. Stearns

Gov. Onslow Stearns

Oren

Reuben

Samuel

Samuel Jr

William D

Zaccheus

I also noticed a Damon Stearns and the Fletcher Surname had 19 names listed.

The Fletchers listed are:

William, his son William

Josiah, his son Josiah

Joseph, his son Joseph

Hannah

Daniel

Merrill

Sewall

Charles

Alpheus

Twins: George Washington and James Adams

Lucy

Mary Robbins

Susan Proctor

Benjamin Chamberlain.

I noticed that the later born Fletchers were given middle names. I would normally check the surname Robbins, Proctor and Chamberlin for links to this family. Both Mary and Susan were unmarried, so their line ends with them. It does not mean there is no link, but it is not my family line, so I will leave that for another to follow. Happy hunting.

* Henry Blaisdell Stearns and Elizabeth Stearns Gould (under her husband’s family Moses Gould Jr.) are both listed separately with more information in the Goffstown Town History

** Nathan Jr. will be our Seventh Generation posting

A TOUCH OF HISTORY

 The Star Spangled Banner was written in 1814 after a 25 hour long fight with the British overFortMcHenry. It was written by Francis Scott Key after he had witnessed the tattered American flag flying confidently, symbolizing the American victory. Do you think it was Betty Ross’ flag with stars for thirteen colonies or the fifteen star flag of 1795 that includedVermontandKentuckythat he saw? Many have disputed which flag was flown, because not everyone of that era recognizedVermontandKentuckyas states.

Today’s Flag

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

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Photographic Tour of Amherst, New Hampshire

 Coming take a virtual walk around Amherst, New Hampshire. A glimpse of what our ancestors helps create. I hope they would be proud of the town’s evolution.

The Library has a tape cassette walking tour of Historic Amherst. I give you this history of some of the photos posted here. Sadly I didn’t write down the information with the photographic when they were taken. It looks like it is time to return for another tour. When I was photographing Amherst I didn’t realize the family connection. I think I will look at some of the historical homes differently on my next visit.  They have several walking trails, below is a link of those trails:

http://www.mapmywalk.com/routes/list/Walk/United%20States/New%20Hampshire/Amherst

A view from a Walking Trail
Ponemah Bog
Amherst, New Hampshire Library
Solider Memorial
Old Meeting House
Next to the Town Hall
Amherst, New Hampshire Town Hall
Amhesrt Cemetry behind the Town Hall

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Zachariah Stearns: Filling in the blanks

In the fifth generation blog I mentioned that In 1750 a Zachariah Stearns is shown on the list of proprietors of North Monadnock Twp [Dublin] NH.  I decided to try and fill out some of his information by going to New Hampshire Search Roots website: http://www.nh.searchroots.com/cheshire.html#towns. Next it went to the Dublin, New Hampshire links: http://www.nh.searchroots.com/documents/History_Dublin_NH.txt

The third paragraph into my reading provided the Zachariah Stearns confirmation and surprise as well. One of the other 39 proprietors of North Monadnock Twp was a Robert Fletcher, Jr.

TAKEN FROM THREE SOURCES:
1. History of Cheshire and Sullivan Counties, New Hampshire 
Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co., 1886, 1073 pgs.
2. Gazetteer of Cheshire County, N.H., 1736-1885 by Hamilton Child,
Syracuse, N.Y.: H. Child, 1885, 882 pgs.
3. Early Dublin: a list of the Revolutionary soldiers of Dublin, N.H., 
by Samuel Carroll Derby; Columbus, Ohio:  Press of Spahr & Glenn, 1901 

“This town, originally known as Monadnock No. 3, was granted November 3,
1749 by the Masonian proprietors, to "Matthew Thornton, Sampson
Stoddard, William Spaulding, Joseph French, Zachariah Stearnes,
Peter Powers, Robert Fletcher, Jr, Eleazer Blanchard, Foster Wentworth,
Josiah Swan, Isaac Rindge, JOhn Rindge, Ezekiel Carpenter, Benjamin
Bellows, John Combs, Stephen Powers, Henry Wallis, Samuel Kenny,
Ebenezer Gillson, Jeremiah Norcross, Isaiah Lewis, Ezra Carpenter,
Enos Lawrence, William Cummings, Mark Hunkin, Joseph Jackson, Thomas
Wibird, Jeremiah Lawrence, John Usher, Nathanl Page, David Page,
Samuel Farley, Daniel Emerson, Joseph Blanchard Jr. Thomas Parker Jr.,
Anthony Wibird, Francis Worster, Jonathan Cummings, David WIlson and
Clement March Esqr.  The whole tract of land was to be divided into 
seventy-one equal shares, each share to contain three lots, equitably 
coupled together, and to be drawn for, at Dunstable, on or before the 
1st day of July 1750.”

The only mention of Zachariah Stearns was as a proprietor. He was not on any tax records, family biography or listed on the church records. No mention of any Stearns or Fletcher having lived in Monadnock No. 3 before it wasDublin,New Hampshire.

Now I need to search other records. I know he lived inMerrimack, andAmherst,New Hampshire, so my next stop would be those town records. The information posted for the previous blog came from both of these town histories. A visit to Merrimack Historical gave me the lots of land that he owned and what is there today. It also leads me to the church he attended. I haven’t been able to research the church records. Back to NHsearchoots.com website forHillsborough County,New Hampshire

1st http://www.nh.searchroots.com/HillsboroughCo/townlist.html

2nd http://www.nh.searchroots.com/HillsboroughCo/townlist.html#Amherst

3rd http://www.nh.searchroots.com/documents/Hillsborough/History_Amherst_NH.txt

           
SOURCE: 
History of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire 
Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co., 1885, 878 pgs.
p. 219 Amherst, NH

I found a Simeon Fletcher on the Tax List for 1760, but no Stearns Surname was listed.

I found a notation of a Joseph Stearns and Samuel Stearns Jr., along with others, on an October 18, 1767 petition presented to the Governor and Council by selectman and inhabitations of the town ofMonson, asking that they be annexed to Hollis. That petition was dismissed.  Later other petitions were granted dividing the town into Amherst and Hollis. On June 3, 1763 the town ofMonson, after 24 years, no longer existed. There were two more charters that were approved again dividing the town ofAmherst; 1803 Mont Vernon was born and in 1794 Milford was incorporated. The petitions provided me with four other town histories to check for the Stearns name; Hollis, Amherst, MontVernon, and Milford. Here again in another example of cascading information. While you are doing your research, just follow where it leads.

A Samuel Stearns served at the Battle of Bunker Hill in Colonel Reed’s Regiment under Captain Crosby’s Company. After the battle a listing of items lost was made. It appears the Samuel lost a pair of shoes. Samuel served again in 1775 under the command of Colonel Timothy Bedel to march to Canada. A John Stearns was sent, in April 1776, toPortsmouth to guard the seacoast under Colonel Nahum Baldwin’s Regiment and Captain Timothy Clement command.

I mention the Regiment and Commanders names because those names are another source to look at for information. Like John Winthrop did, most kept a journal or dairy. Some of these documents may have been saved by the family and are available somewhere to view.

The Association Test was to be signed by all men proclaiming their support and defense of the colonies against the British. Each town listed the men who signed and didn’t sign it. Daniel Stephens and Samuel Stearnes both signed it. I mention Daniel Stephens because on one census I found had the spelling of Daniel Stearns as Stephens when typed but was actually Stearns on the handwritten copy. When transcribing the information someone made a mistake, which is easy when you are trying to read someone’s handwriting.

A record of men who served in the Continental Army in the years 1777, 1778, 1779 listed an Isaac Stearns serving in Cilley’s regiment under Waite’s company for three years. A Benjamin Stearns and Jotham Stearns were listed as having served in battle in Colonel Moses Nichols’s regiment, but no terms of service mentioned. Later records show Jotham having enlisted July 8, 1780 and was discharged on December 6, 1780. Benjamin was listed as serving three months at West Point in 1780. Benjamin Stearns, Isaac Stearns, John Stearns Jotham Stearns and Samuel Stearns were listed as serving in the Revolutionary War. Isaac Stearns served atCrown Point in July of 1776.

The three year men, as they were called, for Amherstwere: Albert Fletcher and William D. Stearns who served in the Fourth Regiment and Henry A Fletcher who served in the United States Navy.

Some men in Amherstsent substitutes in their place to serve; among them was a John Fletcher. It did not say who John sent in his stead. Many men did send a servant or slave. If a slave served in the war they were considered free men afterwards.

The Church records list:

 

The Baptist church list: Robert Fletcher, Otis Fletcher, and Rev. Simon Fletcher, of Goffstown (clerk council.) In 1791 Robert was appointed, along with others, to support and maintainAureanAcademy.

The Press:

A List of newspapers forAmherstprovides more sources for town life, political views, town happenings and death notices.

THE AMHERST JOURNAL AND NEW HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER-
THE VILLAGE MESSENGER succeeded the JOURNAL
THE FARMER'S CABINET succeeded the MESSENGER
The Hillsborough Telegraph
The Amherst Hearald
New Hampshire Statesman
Concord Register 

POCKET ALMANACK or NEW HAMPSHIRE REGISTER 
THE PISCATAQUA EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE 

A Robert Fletcher was listed as a member of the Amherst Social Library. The Society was established June 1797 and dissolved March 1832.

This provides you with one way of how I “fill in the blanks” for each family member. I just follow the clues provided to another document, town, state, society membership, etc. The process is only going. I keep a 5 x 8 index card for each name I find. I place the direct family line in one section and keep the other names just incase I find a connection at a later date. A good example of this is distant cousins marrying.  It also shows how, while looking for one family surname you find another; in this case, Fletcher.

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Bridges of Time: Backing up those bridges

Stowell Road Covered Bridge Merrimack, New Hampshire

This is the remaining covered Bridge in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

Like the other two bridges, that were lost to fire, so can our family records be lost.  Back up, back up, oh yes, back up your research, is a great idea, but don’t forget to put at least one back up copy of those records in a location other than your home.

We lost much of our family records in two separate fires over the years. Thankfully some of those records had been copied and were not in the same home that burned.

I had mentioned in a pervious post that I found my family connection of my great grandfather inMerrimack,New Hampshire and what a great help the library and historical society were.  I didn’t mention one of the most important and useful links that I keep returning to is the History & Genealogy Merrimack, Hillsborough, New Hampshirewebsite.

If you are searching for a family member in Merrimack, then this link is a must view.

http://www.nh.searchroots.com/HillsboroughCo/Merrimack/genealogy.html

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JOHN STEARNS: FIFTH GENERATION

Morning World

JOHN STEARNS: FIFTH GENERATION

 John Stearns, eldest child and son of Zachariah & Sarah B (Sanford) Stearns, b.17 Feb 1728 in Bedford, Massachusetts, d. 2 Oct 1810 in Amherst, New Hampshire at age 82

m. 1751 Rachel Codman and settled in Merrimack, New Hampshire until they moved in 1772 to Amherst, New Hampshire. They had eleven children.

 Children of John & Rachel (Codman) Stearns:

 1. Rachel Stearns, b. 12 Nov 1752 Merrimack, New Hampshire; d. 17 Jan 1829; m. 1 May 1781, John Dutton; 6 children

 2. John Stearns, b. 25 Apr 1755 Merrimack, New Hampshire (twin to Rebecca); m. 9 Oct 1781 Sarah “Sally” Blanchard, b. 3 Jan 1766 in Dunstable, Massachusetts, d. 1846;

daughter of Augustus and Bridget (Lovewell) Blanchard [Per History of Amherst New Hampshire they settled inVermont.]

3. Rebecca Stearns, b. 25 Apr 1755 Merrimack, New Hampshire (twin to John); m. 6 July 1780 to Roger Dutton

4.Jothom/Jotham Stearns, b. 17 Nov 1757 Merrimack, New Hampshire; m. 25 Aug 1785 Abigail Gould and settled in Goffstown, New Hampshire  one of his daughters, Dolly m. Hon. Mace Moulton of Manchester, another daughter, Relief, married (man) Parker and m2, Deacon Cyrus Eastman of Amherst. (2) (3)

 5. Nathan Stearns, b. 22 July 1761 Merrimack, New Hampshire, d. 11 May 1813 See next Genealogy post

6. Elijah Stearns b. 17 Oct 1763 Merrimack, New Hampshire; m1) 27 Oct 1785 to Eunice Wells of Goffstown, New Hampshire; m2) Prudence Wells of Goffstown, New HampshireHe m3) 1 Aug 1802 Mary Rollins of NewburyMassachusetts

7. Eleazer Stearns, b. 26 Oct 1765 Merrimack, New Hampshire; settled inAmherst, New Hampshire; d. 9 March 1846, age 80, unmarried

8. Reuben Stearns, b. 28 June 1768 Merrimack, New Hampshire; m. Miriam Whiting

9. Elisabeth “Betsey” Stearns, b. 30 March 1771 Merrimack, New Hampshire; m. 13 Dec 1791, Zachariah Stearns

 10. Sally Stearns, b. 1779 in Merrimack, New Hampshire; d. 29 March 1853, buried Last Rest Cemetery; m. 18 Sept 1803 to Robert Anderson [his line in Merrimack Town History]

11. James Stearns, b. 30 Aug 1774MerrimackNew Hampshire

 John Stearns served Merrimack, New Hampshireas as: Hog Reeve, Fence Viewer, Field Driver and Surveyor of Highways.

He served during the Revolutionary War in three different enlistments:

1 May 1775 in Capt Archelaus Torus’ Co., 27th Regiment of Infantry (Foot Soldiers) Continental Army;

15 April 1776 in Capt. Timothy Clement’sCo., Col. David Gilman’s Regiment;

20 Dec 1778 in Capt Simon Marston’s Co., Col. Stephen Peabody’s Regiment service at Rhode Island

[History of Goffstown New Hampshire]

 NB: That some sites have a having a Jonathan Dutton from Tewksbury marring a Rebecca Stearns in 1780. I also noted a Rachel Stearns ofAmherst, Massachusetts marring a John Dutton born 1761 of Tewksbury, Massachusetts.

 I try to get more than one source to verify my lines. When not possible I make a note about having only one source. If it is not my direct line or when I hit a brick wall with my line, I will return later to fill in the blanks. The blanks can inadvertently be filled in when researching some else. I find that I triple check dates and names and still I get confused, so I started writing a note card for each name I find that is a possible match. I can reference my file box whenever the name appears and add information or start another card if it is not the same person. The card is set up as follows:

Rachel Stearns 1752

Rachel Stearns, b. 12 Nov 1752Merrimack,New Hampshire; daughter of John and Rachel (Codman) Stearns d. 17 Jan 1829;

m. 1 May 1781, John Dutton Jr., son of John and Rebecca of Billerica; b. 16 Jan 1751, Billerica, Mass; d. 17 Jan 1829; 6 children

Children of John and Rachel:

Rachel b. 27 Aug 1781
Abigail b. 2 Jan 1783 m. Jacob Abbott
John L b. 16 Oct 1785
Frances b. 18 Mar 1788
Timothy b. 1790 d. in the War of 1812 at French Mills 1813
Samueal b. 1792 m. Mercy Gilmore

 Sources: “History of Merrimack, NH” Vol. 1 Merrimack Historical Society pg 178 birth

               “History of Amherst, NH”   pg 404   Go to Vermont Records for research

Goggled Rachel Stearns b 1755 NH several links (NH.SearchRoots.com) http://www.nh.searchroots.com/HillsboroughCo/Merrimack/familytrees1B.html

I would save the link/s in sources under her name for future reference instead of writing each link down, except my top link I used.

The list below is the basic references used for the Stearns Family History generations 1-12. I will add sources to my blog site list as I find them.

SOURCES FOR THE STEARNS FAMILY HISTORY

Eleanor Mae Stearns-Duncan, Shirley Pease-Stearns and June Lee Stearns-Butka Records and Interviews with Family members

1. History ofMerrimack,New Hampshire

 2. History ofGoffstown,New Hampshire

 3. History ofAmherst,New Hampshire

 4. History ofWatertown,Massachusetts

 5. “The Great Migration Begins, Record 5, NEHGS Register, “Isaac Stearns”

6. Genealogy and Memoirs of Isaac Stearns and his descendants by Avis Stearns Van Wagenen [note this genealogy is not completely accurate for theNew Hampshireline]

7. Family search link

 8.Massachusetts BayColony Charter Link

 9. TheWinthropFleet

TheWinthropFleet of 1630 (An Account of the Vesselseake,

Robert Fien English Homes from Original Authorities)

by Charles Edward Banks.

 10. Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire compiled by Erza Stearns 1901 Volume 1 pg 385-394

11. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ancestral File (R), Copyright (c) 1987,  June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998.

June Stearns Butka has hard copies of marriage records, birth certificates, death certificates, baptismal records, Census sheets and other pieces of Stearns history that include books, letters and poems written by family members over the years.

 History is compliled to the best of my knowledge.

 

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Cascades of information

Cascades

I chose that title because when you are researching your family it is like the flow of the cascades. The cascades as a whole are a wonder to behold. The glistening flow of the water provides the feel of continuation and spreading out that touches its surroundings; the rocks are the little bumps you hit when you can’t find a person; the twist and turns show how the family divides yet is still a whole and finally the soft, lush greenery shows the expansion of the family and friends that support you with their beauty and takes in the nourishment the water provides. That is how I feel about researching my ancestors.

I have mentioned in a previous post how one source provides many connections to your family, even when you don’t expect it (cascading of information.) That is how I found my ancestors.

 When I started this blog I gave information about what was happening in the world that affected our ancestors decision to leave England and travel to an unknown place; unknown laws, if any to begin with; unknown land conditions and no family or friend except those that travelled with them. While I was reading about the culture and the history of earlyAmericaI found surnames that linked with mine. I kept notes of those names and was able to match them up with my family line. Well, how did I know my family line?

That was the most important part that I didn’t mention when I started. I had gathered family information and copy of records over the years. It started more as a back up than for family history. It was when people from the older generations, which we had visited on those Sunday drives, started to be “Heaven Found” that I realized I needed to preserve information and stories they told. I would listen at family gatherings and jot down notes afterward. Later when I visited them I would fill in the blanks by asking questions. In 1997 when I finally set up my first e-mail account I even sent out a questionnaire, by both e-mail and snail mail with a SASE, for them to answer and send back. I only had a 25% return, but it was more information than I had before. We must remember that some families, especially the older generations, do not discuss family personal things, like who had babies out of wedlock, who got into trouble as a child and had to do community service or even if someone was placed in an institution. To them those were secrets that they wanted to keep. You almost always hear the good things that happen, but not the bad. When the rich became poor, the lost of the family farm or the black sheep of the family were not talked about. Not even was a pregnancy discussed until the baby was actually born. Yes, it is a challenge to get the basics, but it gives you a place to begin.

I had documents proving the family connections up to my great-great grandfather, Augustus and Sarah (Emerson) Stearns. I had the same starting with Isaac Stearns, the first generation, down to Nathan Stearns. I knew that Augustus father’s name was Nathan, but did not have Nathan’s documentation.  I didn’t want to assume that the same Nathan Stearns I found in the First Families and Genealogy of New Hampshire by Erza Stearns was the same person. It was a good chance he was, but I didn’t want to provide incorrect information. It wasn’t until several years later that I was writing a story for a local writing contest that I found proof to that connection. I had gone to the library to research the 1700’s culture forMerrimack,New Hampshire, the time and place of the story line, that I found Zachariah Stearns and his offspring. I went to the Historical Society of Merrimack and made copies of the information that proved that my Nathan was the son of Zachariah’s great grandson, Nathan. Here again is another example of cascading information from one source providing answers to another.

 I have been providing website links, book titles and personal records as my sources, but the best source is you and your time. I’m hoping what I provide saves you some time in researching your family, but only you know what is pertinent to you.Readingmay be time consuming, but is always informative, even if it isn’t your direct family connection at that time. What I mean by that is that when I started looking into the family I was searching for Stearns surname, thinking that was the least stressful approach. I didn’t think of the other lines until I started my second surname and found myself retracing steps. Now I have four surnames I follow while researching, but I keep a list of the married names and what source I found that information for later use.  There is some back tracking yes, but much less than starting totally from scratch. There is a note that must be remembered here, stay focused, don’t let yourself get side tracked with those other names or you can loose sight of your original goal. I’m still working on this myself; the excitement of finding a new link can carry you away faster than you think.

 I’m at the point now that I started doing research on the other names. Those names are filling in the blanks for my primary surnames. I will continue posting the generations of the Stearns surname with the Fletcher, Chase and Nelson family surnames to follow. I will continue with my thought process of why I chose the link or book I did in hopes it will guide you. Please keep in mind that I am just a caring family member and not a professional genealogist. This is my passion and my goal is to provide future generations a glimpse of the past of which we all will be at some point in our lives. My last point is if you search for nothing else but death certificate you have accomplished a lot. That death certificate can provide not only a family link, but in some cases a family health trait to be looking for. I found four cases of childhood heart disease and cancer deaths that I did not know ran in the family. If we had known about it sooner we may have been able to save a life. Remember I said earlier that the older generations didn’t always talk about the bad things in life, don’t be that generation to our descendents. Knowledge is power and power can save a life. Happy Researching.

 

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