Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cape Cod Gazetteer

I have been collecting place names and other gazetteer information for Cape Cod and Barnstable county for many years.

Here is a sampling of the letters A-B.

It is interesting how many duplications there are. Were the folks just not very imaginative when it came to naming places or were they honoring the name by using it more than once.
There are four David Baker houses -
1) Upper County Rd, Dennis
2) 3118 Main St, Barnstable
3) Main St, Dennis
4) Bound Brook Island, Wellfleet

Francis Baker has a house in Brewster and one in Falmouth.

Just wait til I take a look at some of the ponds! How many Long Ponds are there on Cape Cod anyway?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Boston Tea Party

With the recent Tea Parties being held around the country to protest government spending (and resulting taxation) I am reminded of the Cape Cod folks that participated in the Boston Tea Party on Dec 16, 1773. My Great4-Grandfather Capt Edmund Sears (1712-1796) was listed as a member of the colonists who threw boxes of tea into Boston Harbor. He was definitely for independence and all four of his sons served in the war supporting the patriots from Yarmouth. Tea smuggling was big business in the middle 1700s.

Upon Edmund's return to the Cape soon after the Tea Party, (as a sea captain he had been long absent from home), on entering the house he went straight to the "bowfat," and without saying a word to any one, seized the teapot and caddy, and threw them into the garden with a crash.His astonished wife whispered to the children, "your poor father has come home crazy."He then proclaimed that from theat time henceforth none of his family were to drink tea, or wear upon their persons any articles of British manufacture.

Sorry Grandpa but I guess I am violating family tradition by becoming an avid tea drinker. Maybe he would excuse this since we won the war and later Cape Cod family fortunes and the shipping industry of the 19th century depended on Clipper ships racing from Boston and New York to China to bring home the latest tea harvest.

My current cuppa is from a box of twenty different flavors I received for Christmas labeled Boston Tea Party tea from the Boston Tea Company, established 1949. The English Breakfast variety is very delicious and the only thing puzzling me now is that the back of the box says
Boston Tea Company
Hackensack, NJ

"Some like pictures of women and some likes 'orses best,
But I like pictures of ships, by Gum, and you can keep the rest,
And I don't care if it's North or South, the Trades or the China Sea,
Shortened down or everything set, close-hauled or running free;
But paint me a ship as is like a ship and that'll do for me."

Enjoy a cuppa tea soon!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Consanguinity - The Cousin Factor

I have posted about connections among cousins before. I believe there is a high degree of consanguinity amongst Cape Cod residents up to about 1880. Cousins marrying cousins was a necessity or at least a common occurance in isolated communities like those on the Cape.

My PAF database has most of the descendants of Richard Sears of Cape Cod and many of those of Thomas Howes. By adding to this collection from the Cape Cod Library of Local History and Genealogy series, the Nickerson Family genealogies, Burgess family, et al I believe I can study these relationships more closely.

From PAF I can export the family number of each individual and whether they are a spouse in another family.

Then I can create a database table of each person in the database and all of their descendants.

Finally I can then count the number of common ancestors shared by each pair of individuals in the database and calculate the distance to the ancestor. For example if the distance to the common ancestor is 2 the ancestor is a grandparent(the two people are first cousins). If the distance to the common ancestor is 1 then the ancestor is a parent (the two people are siblings).

I will generate some preliminary results based on Sears and Howes in my current database and let you know what they look like. I know of many second, third and fourth cousins in these two families that intermarried.