Augustus Stearns, eldest child of Nathan Jr & Polly (Martin) Stearns, b. 26 July 1832 in Goffstown, New Hampshire; d. 4 Feb 1882 in West Derry, New Hampshire buried in Goffstown, New Hampshire

m. 4 Aug 1852 Sarah H. Emerson of Weare, New Hampshire, b. 12 Sep 1832, d. 1907; daughter of Obadiah & Eunice (Marshall) Emerson; Her ancestor, Stephen Emerson, was an early settler of Weare, New Hampshire.

Alternate surname spellings: Sturns 1850 Census Goffstown, New Hampshire index,

Rowell: Wilmont Rowell household 27 Dwelling 30, 1880 US Census Derry, New Hampshire list Augustus as, Augustin Rowell and his wife Sarah H., daughter Carrie E. and son Frank L. as Rowell in index, visual of page list Stearns,

Stevens: New Hampshire, Marriage and Divorce Records, 1659-1947;

 Children of Augustus & Sarah H. (Emerson) Stearns:

1. Ellen Stearns, b.1851 in Goffstown, New Hampshire

2. Mason William Stearns, b. 11 March 1856; m. Rachel Emma Fletcher of New London, daughter of William and Susannah J. (Hastings) Fletcher

3. Lyman Marshall Stearns, b. 4 March 1858; d. 28 Dec 1918 in Manchester, New Hampshire, m. 5 June 1878 Alnora Maria Chase of Londonderry NH, b. 11 May 1854, daughtet of Trueworthy and Nancy (Pettingill) Chase. They settled in Derry, New Hampshire. He was editor and publisher of checker books, and a professional player, having the rare gift of being able to play checkers blindfolded.  Published author and Checker Champion. No children

4. Carrie Elilsworth Stearns, b. 24 March 1863 in Lynn, Massachusetts m 10 Nov 1863 Herman Foster Nutt of West Derry, New Hampshire. Known Children Herman Elwyn and Bernice Irene.

 5. Frank Leslie Stearns, b. 7 Dec 1866 in Salem, Massachusetts, m. Abbie L Farr of Methuen, Massachusetts. Children: Harry (Henry) L, John H, Blanche E, Ralph M, and Frances May.

Augustus was most likely the male 5-under 10 in the Nathan Stearns Household residing in Goffstown, New Hampshire in 1840. Also living in the household was a male under age 5 [Lucien E. born 19 May 1840,] male 30-40 [Nathan Stearns,]  2 females under 5 [Elvira 26 Jan 1836 and Mary Ann 27 Apr 1838,] and 1 female 30-40 [Polly Martin 27 Aug 1810.]

 He was a shoemaker. He and his family resided in Goffstown, New Hampshire 1850;  Middleton, Massachusetts in 1855, returning to the old homestead in Goffstown, New Hampshire sometime between the 1855-1860 US Census. moved to Lynn, Massachusetts sometime before 1863 when daughter, Carrie E. was born; returning to Goffstown, New Hampshire before the 1870 US Census for. He worked in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1869, where he followed the trade of a finished custom shoe maker until 1878. One of his eyes was injured by chestnut burr, and from this injury gradually became totally blind. He moved to West Derry about two years before his death. Middleton, Massachusetts, Lynn, Massachusetts, Derry New Hampshire and Manchester, New Hampshire all were known for shoe manufacturing. Augustus was following the work of his trade.

Military enlistment 13 June 1863 5th District Lynn, Massachusetts: U.S. Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 for Augustus Stearns on Ancestry.  1 July 1863 was 31 years old, residing in the 5th district of Lynn, Massachusetts, trade a shoemaker, married, born New Hampshire, no list of regiment or date of former service noted in this enlistment record.


A Tidbit about Shoe Making

 Inventors had managed to create machines to cut out the different parts of the shoe and to sew together the leather that made up the top, but the last and hardest part still had to be done by hand. Skilled shoemakers would shape the leather upper part of the shoe over a foot-shaped wooden mold called a last and then sew it onto the sole, or bottom, of the shoe. An expert shoe laster could make about fifty pairs of shoes a day.


For more information on shoemaking read:

“The Shoemakers of Lynn, Massachusetts, 1850-1880: The Family during the Transition from Hand to Machine Labor”, by Milligan Jr., William H

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 (pge 150 & 154,) but none for Nathan Jr.

History of the town ofGoffstown1733-1920 Narrative by George Plummer Hadley in two volumes: Link to read online

Genealogical and Family History of the State ofNew Hampshirecompiled by Erza Stearns 1901 Volume 1 pg 385-394

History of Goffstown, New Hampshire1733 -1920, A Narrative by George Plummer Hardly

1840 Census Goffstown, New Hampshire for Nathan Stearns:  Year: 1840; Census Place: Goffstown, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; Roll: 238; Page: 135; Family  History Library Film: 0014932; accessed 5 Jan 2017, image 25 of 31; 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

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

1855 Census Middleton, Essex, Massachusetts: Augustus 23 y, wife of A Stearns 23 y, Ellen L 4y

1860 Census Goffstown, Hillisborough, New Hampshire: Augustus 27, Sarah H 27,Ellen L 9, Mason W 4, Lyman M 2

1870 Census Goffstown, Hillsborough, New Hampshire: Augustus 38, Sarah H 38, Mason W 14, Lyman N 12, Carrie E 7, Frank L 4 (Carrie & Frank born Massachusetts) U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registrations, 1863-1865. NM-65, entry 172, 620 volumes. NAI: 4213514. Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War), Record Group 110. National Archives at Washington D.C. image 176 of 244 vol 2 of 4


DYI Photography set up

I scan or take photographs of older, non-digital pictures to catalog into my digital files. I also take photographs when I visit family. Carrying around a photograph box set, tri-pod and camera are not always convenient.

Here is a simple set up that most of us have supplies to make on the spot.

Cell phone

File folder

Paper Clips

photograph or memorabilia of the moment.

DYI Photo Set up

Bend the paper clip as shown; bend the single part of the clip toward the back and the double part of the clip in the front.

Unfold the file folder. Lean it against something, like books for support.

Place the phone in the clips. I found using two clip holders were more stable than a single clip to hold the phone. Remember not to place the phones buttons on the clip. You’ll end up with unexpected photos.

Place your photo or object centered in the view finder. Adjust phone zoom as needed and AE/AF Lock (hold finger on object until AE/AF lock appears.) This allows for multiple photographs with resetting.

Take your photo.

Harding Ave House-Zoom
Harding Ave House
Pig Pull Toy


I hope my simple suggestion is useful to you.


Down For the Count Day: Photos from the past


Today is a day of total rest. I hope you enjoy these photos from 2010 “I Love It Here” photo challenge from VisitNH  from Portsmouth and Manchester New Hampshire. Michael D Butka and June L Stearns Butka travels to find that special photo that captures a little tidbit of why we love new Hampshire.

DSC05597 DSC05687 DSC05280 DSC05406 DSC05505 DSC05528

Nelson William Stearns (1930-1988) Pictorial


When Nelson William Stearns was born on April 8, 1930, in New London, Merrimack, New Hampshire, his father, Nathan Augustus Stearns, was 42 and his mother, Lillian may Stearns, was 34. He married Shirley Beatrice Pease on July 3, 1953, in Concord, Merrimack, New Hampshire. They had a baker’s dozen of children in 16 years. Six children remain living; June Lee, Vickie Mae, Marjorie Rae, Eleanor Ann, Susan Ruth and Nelson Neal. He died on August 12, 1988, in Bridgton, Maine, at the age of 58, and was buried in Millwoods Cemetery South Sutton, Merrimack,  New Hampshire along side his son, William Nelson Stearns 1962-1962. His other children were still born. He had one sister, Eleanor May Stearns Duncan.

Here are a few photographs from his lifetime:

Nelson age 3, 1933 Sutton, New Hampshire
Nelson age 3, 1933 Sutton, New Hampshire


Nelson 1944
Nelson 1944


Nelson loved to fish circa 1970
Nelson loved to fish circa 1970


Nelson at the Garage circa 1972
Nelson at the Garage circa 1972

I believe this is the Pembroke Garage in Pembroke, Merrimack, New Hampshire. It is possible that it is the shop on Route # in Hooksett, Merrimack, New Hampshire.

Nelson and Destiny 1972 Pembroke, New Hampshire
Nelson and Destiny 1972 Pembroke, New Hampshire

He loved to barter. He bartered stud fees for meat with the farmer, Mr. French, across the street. I remember working beside my parents cutting, grinding and package our meat for the freezer.

Nelson William and Shirley Beatrice Pease Stearns 35th wedding anniversary party June 1988
Nelson William and Shirley Beatrice Pease Stearns 35th wedding anniversary party June 1988

This is one of the last photographs of my father before he died 12 Aug 1988 of colon cancer. The happiness and loved they shared just exudes from this photo.

I love and miss you both. You are in my heart and thoughts daily.



Mother’s Binder: Finally Getting Organized


Mother’s Binder: Finally Getting Organized 1 Feb -7 Feb 2016

Daily work on getting organized is a challenge and a pleasant adventure. One of DearMyrtle’s challenges this week is to work on the first four generation binders, starting with your mother’s maiden name binder. I have folders not binders for my ancestors. I created “coffee table” books with photographs and stories for some of my more recent family members, as Christmas gifts. I will continue doing so.

DearMyrtle’s idea of 3-ring binders with archival safe materials is a more cost effective way of providing a “coffee table” book for little fingers to explore. It also forces me to go through those file folders. While reviewing the folders I can discard duplicates, saving originals, scan to my digital surname/maiden folders on my computer and enjoy the memories that come flooding back. I will also verify that my FTM2014 Family tree program is current with the same information. [I’m happy that announced that a company has purchased the software and will continue with updates and syncing with Ancestry after the end of 2016. FTM2014 is my program of choice, although RootsMagic is coming in a close second with Legacy. I can’t wait for RootsMagic to be able to sync with at the end of the year. End of my digression.]

Here is a brief overview of what’s in my Mother’s Binder:

  1. Narratives of traditions, life story and family memories,
  2. Family Group Sheet
  3. Four generation pedigree chart
  4. Original documents,
  5. Copies of on-line documents that I think the family will enjoy,
  6. Photographs of interest [I have photograph albums and scrapbooks also,]
  7. Some trinkets or photographs of my mother’s memorabilia.

Here are a few photographs and a quick story that is in my mother’s binder.

My mother has two 1940 US Census records listing here residence. I know this is the year Shirley’s mother, Irene Elizabeth Place Pease, became ill [listed on New Hampshire Hospital 1940 US Census.]

Shirley’s father, Charles [Lawrence] Pease [informant,] is listed on the 22 Apr 1940 US Census in Monmouth, Kennebec, Maine, living with his mother, Mary [Downs] Pease; son and Shirley’s brother, Arthur Pease; Shirley [Beatrice] Pease and a housekeeper Ethel Hoyt [cousin.]

1940 US Census Monmouth, Maine
1940 US Census Monmouth, Maine

Shirley [Beatrice] Pease  is listed on the 26 Apr 1940 US Census Sutton, Merrimack, New Hampshire in the household of William E Doyle [informant and step grandfather to Shirley,] Tina May [Hutchins-Spooner-Towle] Doyle [Shirley’s maternal grandmother,] her half brother, Fredrick [Francis] Allen.

Here is a photograph of Shirley from 1940.

Shirley playing the Ukulele
Shirley playing the Ukulele

Shirley over the years:

Shirley circa 1948 Sutton, New Hampshire
Shirley circa 1948 Sutton, New Hampshire
Shirley 1978 Pembroke , New Hampshire
Shirley 1978 Pembroke , New Hampshire
Shirley 1984 baptism, Kezar Falls, Maine
Shirley 1984 baptism, Kezar Falls, Maine
Shirley drawing the P.E.T Project Raffle winner 2000
Shirley drawing the P.E.T Project Raffle winner 2000

Shirley was known for making and donating her handmade quilts to various charity fundraisers throughout her lifetime. This was one of the last quilts she donated to the Pets and Elders Together Project (P.E.T. Project) for Rockingham County Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice [Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire] in 2000. The following year the P,E.T. Project quilt raffle was dedicated in her memory.

I have added a copy of this post to her binder and digital Surname/Maiden name folder.

Thank you DearMyrtle for the challenge and memories you have given me. Each day of organizing forces me to review work from years ago. I almost always find something I forgot was in the file folder. The memories are precious and are meant to be remembered and shared.

Source Citation:

Finally Getting Organized 1 Feb -7 Feb 2016

Richley-Erickson, Pat “Finally Get Organized,” Dear Myrtle, DearMyrtle’s Genealogy Your Friend In Genealogy since 1995 Blog, 31 Jan 2016. Access 2 Feb 2016, checklists.


Remembering Our Pets-Duchess


Remembering Our Pets-Duchess

Yoda, Duchess and Tess
The Trio

Duchess is the last of the trio. Technically she is not a rescue. I found her at a yard sale while returning from a birthday lunch date with my cousin, Lilly. The family were moving and couldn’t bring all six pets with them. Any pets that did not find a home would be taken to the animal shelter.

Okay, I’m a sucker for a sad story. Duchess, a beautiful, calico, 6 year old feline, came home with me that day. She was one of the most affectionate felines I have ever met. Our Veterinarian informed us that Duchess had a heart murmur. She lived another ten years under our love and care. Sadly she 6 weeks after our move from Derry, New Hampshire to Merrimack, New Hampshire. The doctor said the stress of the move was more than her little heart could take. She lived to be sixteen years old. A good age for a cat.

Duchess, Yoda and Tess loved to curl up together on my son’s bed before we moved from Derry. I wish I could find the photograph I have of the three of them all snuggled so contentedly together. When we moved to Merrimack, each found a place to hide during the day, coming into bed with me at nighttime. The stress of the move was a challenge for all of us to overcome. It was time to downsize from a large house to a 2 bedroom condo. It was the correct move for us, even with the loss of our beloved pets, Duchess in six weeks (2008), Tess in 2 years (2010) and Yoda in five years (2013.)

Please meet Ninja Buddy. He joined our family the first Saturday in December of 2013. Who could turn that sad face of a 2 1/2 year old dog who spent his life in shelters? He was found on the streets of Methuen, Massachusetts at 6 months old.

Ninja Buddy 2013
Ninja Buddy 2013

Ninja Buddy needed a lot of care and patience for him to build trust. He has settled in nicely to our home. I know the Trio would want somebody looking out for us.