Genealogy Organizational Challenge

Genealogy Organization is a Challenge

Old School Files
Old School Files 

My partially organized files.


I spent Saturday with two very organized people, Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee. Their “Getting your Genealogy Groove Back” Boot Camp. It was a very information and helpful presentation.

I spent Sunday attempting to familiarize myself with some of the organizational tools they discussed. It was a mixture of “old School” and new Technology, at least new to me.

This morning I spent it organizing the old school way. My thoughts were, How can I use the new technology if I don’t have myself organized with what needs to be entered into the computer program.

In the photograph above the top bind holds my webinar folders that still need a little tweaking. They were mixed in with the folders in the lower draw. The lower draw is now organized with my family folders only. I have decided to continue my Surname way of organizing.

The major Surnames for each of my family lines include the sub-surnames by married. I organized this way as a reminder of who married into the family line and where. (To date I have 99 surnames in total, with 349 shaky leafs on Ancestry to research.)
My husband Major Surnames are:
Parental side:

Maternal side:

Misc.: Two Unknown Surnames (one for each line) I still need to verify before adding to my list

My Major Surnames are;
Paternal side:

My Maternal side:

Computer Files to date

My computer files to date

Now I’m off to organize the familiar computer technology I currently use. I will take the save items and place them into the correct family line folders in the same manner I did with the old school files. Once this is completed I can then take one old school folder and one computer folder; compare the information and enter it into the research log that I learned about during “Boot Camp.” Once I have entered all my research, I will find the gaps I have in my family tree. Those gaps will become my “To Do” List.

Yes, it is time consuming to organize these records. In the long run I will be saving time. I have already found duplicate name records with different information in them. I will be able to grab the correct file, find the information I’m looking for without hunting and pecking throughout my paperwork or computer. I will set up my Research Log by major surnames: Consistency, Organization and staying with what is familiar will be my organization tools from now on.

Thank you Lisa Alzo at and Thomas MacEntee of Hack Genealogy for all the little tidbits of information on how to organize.

Bye for now. I’m off to organize and get ready to Post my next #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks blog about Arthur W. Place, my great grandfather, one of my great grandmother, Tina May Hutchins, four husbands.


Tombstone Tuesday: Hannah Nelson, No not that one the other one

Hannah Nelson Wife of Philip
Hannah Nelson
Wife of Philip



Wife of

Philip Nelson

Died April 16, 1831

In her 73, year

Virtue lies beyond the grave.


This grave marker does not tell Hannah’s full story. She was born 18 Oct 1758 in Sutton, New Hampshire to Moses Quimby and Judith Bean. Hannah married Philip Nelson 24 Oct 1776in Danville (Haverhill) Massachusetts. They settled in Sutton, New Hampshire. She was the mother of six children. She died 16 April 1831 in Sutton, New Hampshire.


I will post her husband, Philip Nelson and more information of their life in my next post.


Thomas Nelson: First Generation America

Thomas Nelson

Thomas Nelson Immigrant First Generation America died on a return trip to England on Business.

The above grave Marker is his sixth child and third son, Thomas Nelson who died 5 Apr 1712 Rowley, Massachusetts.

Here is the First Generation, Thomas Nelson’s Family Tree.


Thomas Nelson b 27 Jun 1601 Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire, England; d 6 Aug 1648 in England on a return trip to the motherland; m (1) 27 Jan 1627 in All Saints Church, Yorkshire, England; daughter of Philip and Dorothy Hill Stapleton, she b 11 Aug 1608, d 27 Sept 1637 Pannall, Yorkshire, England; he m (2) 1642 Joan/Joane Dumer/Dummer in Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts; A marriage contract was signed on 15 Dec 1641 by Thomas Nelson and Richard Dummer of Newbury, uncle to Joan; in steed of her father Thomas Dummer of Badgely, England

Children of Thomas Nelson and Dorothy Stapleton

1. Thomas b 26 Nov 1628 Cottinghan,Yorkshire,England; d 27 Nov 1628 Cottingham,Yorkshire,England

2. Katherine b 18 May 1630 Cottingham,Yorkshire,England; died young before 10 Nov 1637

3. Mary/Marca b 10 Apr 1632 Cottingham,Yorkshire,England; d 6 Aug 1636 Cottingham,Yorkshire,England

4. Dorothy b 19 Nov 1633 Cottingham,Yorkshire,England; d 13 Jan 1634 Cottingham,Yorkshire,England

5        Philip b 22 Jan 1634 Cottingham, Yorkshire, England; d 19 Aug 1691 Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts( See future post)

6. Thomas b 14 July 1636 Cottingham,Yorkshire,England; d 5 Apr 1712 Rowley,Essex,Massachusetts; m Ann Lambert

Children of Thomas Nelson and Joan Dummer

7. Mercy b 26 Dec 1643 Rowley, Essex,Massachusetts

8. Samuel b 1646 Rowley, Essex,Massachusetts

9. Mary b 1648 Rowley, Essex,Massachusetts; d unknown

One source mentions a son, John, who died young, no year of birth mentioned.

The year after his first wife’s death, Thomas set sail with the Ezekiel Rogers Company aboard the ship, “John of London.” They arrived in Boston Harbor and wintered there in 1638. They settled a piece of land between, Newbury and Ipswich, known now as Rowley,Massachusetts. Thomas is listed on the passengers list but no mention of his children, Thomas and Phillip. His sons were mentioned in the Rowley Massachusetts History of the Early Settlers as immigrating with their father.

Thomas was one of the wealthiest of men in the Roger’s Company. In the first allotment of land, he received thirty-six acres of upland in the Mill Field area of town. Twenty-six were for personal use and ten acres for the purpose of building a mill. He built the first grist mill and saw mill in town on Mill River. The grist mill, later known as “Glen Mills,” remained in operation until a fire in 1916.

Thomas was made a freeman on the 23 May, 1639. He was appointed by the court, in 1640, along with Edward Woodman and William Paine to view and settle the boundary between Hampton and Colchester (Salisbury) which was done. He was a court representative in 1641. Thomas, as chairman, along with three others was appointed by the town in 1643 to survey the town and register house lots to all inhabitants. The smallest amount of land of one and half acres went to those who did not pay for the land. Those who paid for land were proportioned in relationship to payment. Thomas received a six acre lot near Bay Road and the road to Newbury, not far from the common land section of town.

In regards to the date of marriage to his second wife, Joan Dummer, I found no marriage date. I did find mention of marriages as early as 1638 and 1642, but no documentation other than a marriage contract dated, 15 Dec 1641, found in the files of the Quarterly Court Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 11, 1658-1662, as mentioned above. The contract was sealed and delivered in the presence of Richard Saltonstall, Thomas Nelson, Ezekiel Rogers and William Wakefield.

A notation in Winthrop Journals, in 1643, states “our supplies from England failing much, men began to look about them, and fell to manufacture of cotton, whereof we had store from Barbados, and hemp and flax, wherein Rowley to their great commendation, exceeded all other towns.” It should be noted that John Pearson arrived in Rowley about 1643 and erected the first “fulling” mill in New England.

His will date 24 Dec 1645; “being by providence called to make a voyage to old England” with a codicil made in England 6 Aug 1648, proved 21 Oct 1649, mentions his wife Jane, “my mill, mill house, etc, in Rowley, also all that ground lately occupied by Joseph Wormell, eldest son Philip, son Thomas, youngest son Samuel born since will was made, daughter Mercy and any other child that my wife may have ( a daughter, Mary, was born in 1648.) Richard Bellingham and Uncle Richard Dummer were executors. Mr. Ezekiel Rogers and Mr. John Norton were overseers.

“The History of Rowley” sights the Essex Deeds, 4 Ips, 190, 5 Ips 148 and 5 Ips 484 in regards to Thomas’s widow Joan and younger children, being in Stoneham, County of South Hampton in the year 1654. “The Book of Grants” mentioned Mr. Thomas’s children being in England in the years 1661-1662. His daughter, Mercy married John Stroke of Rumsey,England. His son, Samuel died in England without issue before 1676.


“Town History of Rowley,Essex,Massachusetts” by Thomas Gage

 “Town History of Sutton,Merrimack,New Hampshire” Page 829 – 842

“The Family and Genealogical History of the first Families of New Hampshire” by Ezra Stearns, 1908 Volume 4

 “Town o fGoffstown History” by Henry M Nelson

 “History of Essex County Massachusetts with biographical sketches of many Pioneers and Prominent Man” Volume I Philadelphia JW Lewis & Co. 1888

 Descendants of Thomas Nelson

 A great online link for e-books–%20History&c=x

 Records of the Quarterly Courts ofEssex County,Massachusetts, Volume 11, 1658-1662 (Marriage Contract)

 Rowley Vital RecordsMassachusetts, Early Settlers of Rowley,Massachusetts

 Passenger list for the “John of London” Ship

 Winthrop’s Journals

 Essex Deeds, 4Ipswich, 190; 5 Ips 148; 5 Ips 484

 Plantagenet Ancestry: A study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Volume III, 2nd edition 2011, by Douglas Richardson, Kimball G Everingham, editor, page 275

 Early Settler’s of Rowley,Massachusetts, compiled by George Brainard Blogette, A.M. Revised. Edited and Published by Amos Everett Jewett, page 242-243, page 152-152

Nelson Family

Nelson Family Crest

Nelson Family


The Nelson name is of Scandinavian origin; derived from Nilson; meaning son of Nils. It is found in Scotland,I reland, and almost every county inEngland, especially along the coastline. In ancient times the seaboard was navigated and ravaged by the pirates of the Norsemen and Vikings.

 According the book “Descendants of Thomas Nelson” and the “History of Rowley, Massachusetts,” the Nelson’s of New Hampshire, Maine and northern Massachusetts are from the Thomas line. He arrived in 1638 with Reverend Ezekiel Rogers from Rowley, Yorkshire, England. They settled Rowley, Essex, Massachusetts. Roger’s company was composed of twenty families; the Nelson’s being one of the richest.

Here is my line of Ancestors

Thomas Nelson                          m (1) 1626/1627         Dorothy Stapleton

                                                           m (2)1638/ 1642       Joan/JoaneDumer/Dummer

Capt Philip Nelson                     m (1) 1657                    Sarah Jewett

                                                           m (2) 1666                   Elizabeth Lowell

Joseph Nelson                             m 1706                         Hannah Brocklebank

Jonathan Nelson                        m 1752                        Hannah Cheney

Philip Nelson (2)                        m 1778                        Hannah Quimby

William Nelson                           m 1820                        Patty/Polly Teel

Benjamin P Nelson                    m 1849                        Elinor/Eleanor Babb/Babbs

William F Nelson                       m 1894                        Clara Jane Chase

Lillian Mae Nelson                    m 1920                        Nathan Augustus Stearns

Lillian was my paternal grandmother.

Here a some of the sources that I will be using in my upcoming post. I will add any additional sources used with the post.

  1. “Town History of Rowley,Essex,Massachusetts”
  2. “Descendants of Thomas Nelson ofRowley,Massachusetts”
  3. “History ofGeorgetown,Essex,Massachusetts”
  4. “History ofEssexCountyMassachusetts”
  5. “History of the Town ofSutton,Merrimack,New Hampshire”
  6. “Genealogy and Family History of the State ofNew Hampshire”
  8. Research of D. G. Weymouth (links no longer available)
  9. Family papers and interviews
  10. Find A Grave Website

 Note: I have listed the different dates and spelling of names that I found in my research..