Thursday, December 5, 2019

James George Zafris and Marguerite Greeley Russell of Newburyport

Photo of James George Zafris and Marguerite Greeley Russell at Zafris Brothers in Newburyport MA it was the location of Taffy's and now Lexie's on State Street. Marguerite Russell daughter of Albert Russell (1862-1921) and Margaret Moynihan born in Ireland to Cornelius Moynihan (1835-1922) and Catherine Buckley (1844-1937). Albert Russell son of Samuel Chester Russell (1820-1884) and Eunice Gertrude Berry (1828-1897)

When confectioner James George Zafris (1883-1977) tied the knot with Marguerite Greeley Russell (1892-1986) on October 14, 1911 it made the coastal town of Newburport, Massachusetts much sweeter.  

Wedding announcement James Zafris and Marguerite Greeley Russell daughter of Albert Russell and Margaret Moynihan.

Ads from Newburyport newspapers for Zafris Brothers State Street Newburyport, MA

Over the past few years I have worked with James Zafris JR (b. 1928) son of James Zafris SR and Marguerite Greeley Russell of Newburyport. The photos he shared are a great contribution to the Port’s rich history,  Photo to left is James Zafris JR at his home on Tremont Street in Newburyport. He had three siblings: Marguerite Zafris Walton, Georgiana Zafris McDonnell, and Eugenia Zafris Arsenault. James and I discovered many ancestral connections which include the Wolfe Tavern founder, Mayor Moses Davenport, and Salem 1692 witch trials. We have traced the family line back to John Perkins of Ipswich, Newbury, MA settler families Knight, Chase, Noyes, and Chase, and Captain William Berry of Rye, New Hampshire.

Store front of Zafris Brothers on State Street Newuryport MA
James Zafris SR left Greece when he was thirteen to attend school in Alexandria Egypt. He came to the United States in 1907 with his brother George Zafris. George was his partner until he returned to Greece after 1917. James SR established himself quickly and proved to be a real entrepreneur. 

Zafris Brothers James and George Zafris

Zafris Brothers had two locations--38 and 88 State Street in Newburyport.  Zafris enticed the locals with an elaborate soda fountain shop shelved with sweets, butter kist corn, succulent fruits, and exotic figs and nuts. 

They stocked with only the best quality goodies such as Schrafft's Candy Factory in Cambridge and Jersey Ice Cream Co in Lawrence. Aromatic coffee blends and the best cigars and could be had as well. They catered and made home deliveries. In 1916 James did renovations on 88 State Street as per “patron demand” and added a new room to serve luncheon.

As the mint multiplied so did the family enterprises which included a vending business and the Riverton Trolley Park in Portland Maine (partnered with Dennis J Kelleher). 

The sale of 88 Street store to a Miss Annie J Ryan was noted in “Confectioners' and Bakers' Gazette, Volume 41.” James Zafris is listed in the 1922 “The New England Business Directory and Gazetteer” running a wholesale Confectionery goods company on 13 Market Street in the same town. James JR remembered he was a wholesale distributor for Drake’s Cake Company after he closed his shop. 

I did find a few dramas. On December 30, 1912 James was held up by gunpoint, but he outsmarted the thief by pulling out his flashlight which the thief mistook as gun. 

A news clip “A Lively Time,” recalled the events one afternoon when a man named Crocker was in town to repair chimneys. He left his horse and buggy near the new Kimball block on Main Street alone. The horse got startled and made his way down Main to Timothy Sullivan’s store and crashed into the auto truck owned by Zafris Brothers. The buggy and trucked were wrecked, but the horse just trotted on making his way to Market Square. 

According to “The Standard” in 1922 a fire consumed all the candy stock at Zafris Brothers on 13 Market Street and a loss of 10,300 was reported. 

James JR remembers his mother was proud to be a “Joppy-ite,” a term used by the locals who lived in the area named "Joppa Flats."  Her father, Captain Albert Russell (1862-1921) served on Newburyport Hose 8 fire station and was chief for part of his career. Her mother, Margaret Moynihan a talented dressmaker born in Ireland. 

Captain Albert Russell

 “My parents were real opposites,” James JR said, “my mother was extroverted, and my father was reserved.”  What brought these two together? Perhaps the magic started at the local dance hall. James JR showed me his mother’s dance card from “Sixth Annual Dance” given by “The Telephone Girls Club” which his mother was a member.  She was as a telephone operator at the time, and “she knew everyone’s name.”

“She was a gifted pianist and loved music,” noted James JR.  She taught private lessons and volunteered her time to teach children. I found several newspaper clips of community concerts, pageants and festivals which Marguerite performed in.  

James JR noted that his father was a very disciplined fellow. He was a 32nd degree mason head of the Newburyport Commandery, No 3, Knights Templars, and a Shriner.

In addition, he served on the school committee, trustee of the library, and as director of the Y.M.C.A.  

Marguerite’s vivacious personality must have rubbed off on James. I found news clips revealing this match liked to party and cut a rug. When the South End Civic Association was raising money for Christmas James furnished the lasts tunes at the rock hop! Opposites really do attract! 

Below are more photos in the family collection Also see Charles Freeman Russell family, and Berry Dodge & Marquand

Marguerite Greeley Russell (1892-1986)
Marguerite Greeley Russell (1892-1986)

Brothers James and George Zafris 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

1780 Document Payment for Stephen Davenport Deceased Connecticut Signed by Abraham Davenport

Abraham Davenport (1715 – November 20, 1789) born in Stanford, Connecticut son of John Davenport (1668-1730) and Elizabeth Morris (1675-1757) grandson of Reverend John Davenport (1597-1669/70) co-founder and Pastor of the Colony of New Haven Yale: A Short History
painted by Ralph Earl, 1788. Yale University Art Gallery
Committee of the Pay Table in Connecticut Also known as the Committee of Four during the Revolutionary War, the Committee of the Pay Table was responsible for handling military finances. The office changed names in 1788 becoming the Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts. Davenport was Judge of the Fairfield County Court at Fairfield and Danbury from 1768 to his death in 1789.
This receipt is from Heritage Collectors Society December 2, 1780 Payment to Stephen Davenport deceased 26 pounds, seven shillings, and six pence. signed by Abraham Davenport Transcription
"12/2/1780 Hartford Connecticut, rec'd of the Pay Table Committee, their order on the treasurer of this state, to secure the payment of 26 pounds 7 shillings 6 pence, the balance due to Stephen Davenport, Dec'd., on the first day of January last. Received for Mr. John/Jonathan?  Davenport, Adm. the said Stephen Davenport, 26 pounds 7 shillings 6 pence by Abraham Davenport.
I propose this is Stephen Davenport (1752-1777) son of John Davenport (1724-1756) and Deborah Ambler (1726-1807) grandson of John Davenport (1666-1742) and Sarah Bishop Brother John Davenport (1749-1820) administrator married to 1st Prudence Bell and 2nd Sarah Gaylord. I found a Stephen Davenport, school teacher, but not sure on his service record. A Big Thanks to Jane Wallace Wild for helping with transcription. The family lived at "Davenport Ridge" Stamford Connecticut 

A Supplement to The history and genealogy of the Davenport family, in England and America, from A. D. 1086 to 1850

More on Abraham Davenport-----During the Revolution Abraham Davenport was a staunch patriot, and served on the state committee of safety. He was a man of stern integrity and generous beneficence, and in times of scarcity and high prices sold the product of his farm to the poor at less than the current value. For some time he was a member of the executive council of Connecticut, for twenty five years he was a member of the state legislature, and state senator from 1766 till 1784. He also held the office of judge of the court of common pleas. When he was a member of the council in Hartford, on the dark day in 1780, it was proposed to adjourn, as some thought the day of judgment was at hand; but he objected, saying: "That day is either at hand or it is not: if it is not, there is no cause of adjournment; if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish, therefore, that candles may be brought." From
Below is from Stanford Historical Society
Portrait of a Family: Stamford through the Legacy of the Davenports
A few lines composed on the dark day. May 19, 1780. [New Hampshire? 1780]

Digital Photograph. Steve Castagneto, Academy of Information Technology Stamford
Digital reproduction of a section of the mural painted in 1934 by Delos Palmer, a prolific Stamford artist, depicting Abraham Davenport standing before Governor Jonathan Trumbull on the famous Dark Day, the 19th of May, 1870. The nationally funded W.P.A. Federal Arts Project in Connecticut commissioned the mural during the Great Depression, as part of an effort to put artists to work embellishing public buildings.
John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poem about the famous incident, "Abraham Davenport", first published in The Atlantic Monthly (May 1866).
John Greenleaf Whittier 1868:
“Abraham Davenport” from
Tent On The Beach
In the old days (a custom laid aside
With breeches and cocked hats) the people sent
Their wisest men to make the public laws.
And so, from a brown homestead, where the Sound
Drinks the small tribute of the Mianus,
Waved over by the woods of Rippowams,
And hallowed by pure lives and tranquil deaths,
Stamford sent up to the councils of the State
Wisdom and grace in Abraham Davenport. 'Twas on a May-day of the far old year
Seventeen hundred eighty, that there fell
Over the bloom and sweet life of the Spring
Over the fresh earth and the heaven of noon,
A horror of great darkness, like the night
In day of which the Norland sagas tell,
The Twilight of the Gods. The low-hung sky
Was black with ominous clouds, save where its rim
Was fringed with a dull glow, like that which climbs
The crater's sides from the red hell below.
Birds ceased to sing, and all the barnyard fowls
Roosted; the cattle at the pasture bars
Lowed, and looked homeward; bats on leathern wings
Flitted abroad; the sounds of labor died;
Men prayed, and women wept; all ears grew sharp
To hear the doom-blast of the trumpet shatter
The black sky, that the dreadful face of Christ
Might look from the rent clouds, not as He looked
A loving guest at Bethany, but stern
As Justice and inexorable Law.
Meanwhile in the old State House, dim as ghosts,
Sat the lawgivers of Connecticut,
Trembling beneath their legislative robes.
"It is the Lord's Great Day! Let us adjourn,"
Some said; and then, as if with one accord,
All eyes were turned to Abraham Davenport.
He rose, slow cleaving with his steady voice
The intolerable hush. "This well may be
The Day of Judgment which the world awaits;
But be it so or not, I only know
My present duty, and my Lord's command
To occupy till He come. So at the post
Where He hast set me in His providence,
I choose, for one, to meet Him face to face,
No faithless servant frightened from my task,
But ready when the Lord of the harvest calls;
And therefore, with all reverence, I would say,
Let God do His work, we will see to ours.
Bring in the candles." And they brought them in. Then by the flaring lights the Speaker read,
Albeit with husky voice and shaking hands,
An act to amend an act to regulate
The shad and alewive fisheries, Whereupon
Wisely and well spake Abraham Davenport,
Straight to the question, with no figures of speech
Save the ten Arab signs, yet not without
The shrewd dry humor natural to the man:
His awe-struck colleagues listening all the while,
Between the pauses of his argument,
To hear the thunder of the wrath of God
Break from the hollow trumpet of the cloud.
And there he stands in memory to this day,
Erect, self-poised, a rugged face, half seen
Against the background of unnatural dark,
A witness to the ages as they pass,
That simple duty hath no place for fear.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Hartwell Blaisdell Civil War Soldier Vermont

Hartwell Blaisdell (1841-1932) married Zibiah Wright (1842-1911) Children: Elgin Blaisdell (1866-1946) and Adella May Blaisdell (1870-1949) married 1st Newbern Keach Cole (1866-1913) and 2nd Hubert Morton Cole (1866-1913)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Book Review of Mayflower Live Pilgrims in a New World and the Early American Experience

Mayflower Live Pilgrims in a New World and the Early American Experience by Martyn Whittock at Amazon
This is a book review from New York Journal  written by Robert S. Davis, an award-winning senior professor of genealogy, geography, and history. His writing credits include more than 1,000 contributions as books, articles, and reviews in historical, library, education, and archival journals related to the South. He is also a frequent speaker.

"Each chapter in this book becomes not just a separate life and adventure but a different way to learn about the Pilgrim experience."
A new century brings special anniversaries as occasions for reflection; 2019 had plenty of such benchmarks including for Jamestown, and 2020 will include the Pilgrims' "impact on popular consciousness" while putting their "hardships in sharp perspective."
Author Martyn Whittock in Mayflower Lives seeks to explore "the motives, trials, tribulations, successes, and significance of this myth-making voyage" of the Pilgrims. The author does this through the "dramatic and colorful" "interlocking lives of fourteen of those who were part of these events." "They move the story forward from journey, to settlement, to building a community."
Religion and its politics permeate this story. "Puritan religious beliefs had set them [the Pilgrims] at odds with an increasingly authoritarian Church of England" and the king. Whittock tells the Pilgrims' tale both in terms of the turbulent politics of 1640 England and as immigrant refugees and exiles.
True Puritans sought to change the Church of England, but the Pilgrims wanted separation in every way. The Pilgrims left England for the religious freedom of Holland but where "their sons were facing conscription into the armies of the Protestant Dutch" in Europe's religious wars.
After a "long and hard" voyage on the Mayflower, weather conditions forced the Pilgrims to settle on Cape Code, "a strange and alien environment," instead of the distant "northern parts of the colony of Virginia" or the Hudson River of today's New York. Plymouth settlement began as a poorly planned fluke, "in an area that lacked royal authority" but so did the other efforts from which would come the British Empire.
The Pilgrims and the strangers (non-Pilgrims) in their impromptu home in the New World would face huge challenges. "Desperate hardly begins to describe them." Half of these 130 settlers died in the first winter of 1620–21" from sickness. Of the survivors, half were "children and teenagers."
Fourteen of the settlement's 18 adult women died that first year. Settlers buried children and spouses. Pilgrims like widow and mother Susanna White married from the survivors; with widower Edward Winslow, she started a new family.
Love could develop powerfully, "even if it was not the initial driving force" of necessity and survival and the Pilgrims "stressed the quality of lovemaking as well as its regularity" in achieving an average of eight children per person. That became the basis of the legendary love story of the Mayflower lives of John Alden, Myles Standish, and Priscilla Mullins.
Scandal and tragedy runs through many of these tales. Whittock devotes a chapter to the rebels and scoundrels of Plymouth. Myles Standish led brutal outrages against the Native Americans.
Of a family of four abandoned children, only Richard More survived the first year at Plymouth. Their vengeful father had declared these helpless infants. Richard grew up to serve against the Dutch, the French, and the Native Americans. He lived to witness the Salem Witch trials.
The book appropriately begins with Christopher Jones, the master of the Mayflower who brought the Pilgrims to America. He had no real experience with the dangerous Atlantic. So much went wrong, but Jones persevered even when the Mayflower started to fall apart.
The author describes Jones and his ship as exceptional in a time of seafaring and trade that Whittock writes even made each of Jones' marriages a "sound commercial prospect." Two years later, he died in England and the decrepit Mayflower became scrap lumber.
William Bradford led the Pilgrims. A modern docudrama told the history of the settlement through his history, a document that, like the Pilgrims, had a complicated history.
Whittock gives the lives of these founding fathers and mothers within the story of the Pilgrims of Plymouth as a whole. "Some were men, some were women, one was a little child who did not survive the first winter; one was a Native American." Each chapter in this book becomes not just a separate life and adventure but a different way to learn about the Pilgrim experience.
Although the Puritans believed in the "weakness of women," the author discusses the forgotten but critical female history of Plymouth. "The girls were tougher than anyone had imagined" and lived longer; young women, although few in number, managed to survive "to a remarkable degree."               
The characters featured each lived a complicated "Mayflower life." Stephen Hopkins, for example, had survived Bermuda and Jamestown. He knew Pocahantas. At Plymouth as "a stranger among the saints" or not a Pilgrim, he proved a skilled hunter, acted as a negotiator with Native Americans, and owned a rowdy tavern.
Native American Squanto (Tisquantum) became a part of the legend of the Plymouth settlement. His story had the elements of the worst of the European discovery. Kidnapped and enslaved by fur traders, he lived in Spain and England before he found himself back home after his people had died from an epidemic passed to them by the Europeans.
Mary Chilton's Mayflower life serves as an opportunity to explain the legends of Plymouth Rock and Thanksgiving. Whittock often uses these biographies to look for truth about myths. She would become the widow of the wealthiest merchant in Boston and mother of their 10 children.
The entertaining narrative of Mayflower Lives carries the reader through the times as reality and not children's stories. The book has annotation but no illustrations.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Mary Follansbee Wigglesworth and Captain Edwin John Colby

Captain Edwin John COLBY (1812-1859) born in Salisbury, Massachusetts son of John COLBY and Dolly BAGLEY
Originally given the name Lorentz Spitzenfiel Colby, List of Persons Whose Names Have Been Changed in This Commonwealth Feb. 26, 1814.) He appeared in the census in 1850 in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts. (SOURCE: 1850 Massachusetts Census. Salisbury, Essex County, page 20. Age 38.) He died on 19 DEC 1859 at Bremen-Vegesack, Weser, Germany.
Name: Edwin J. Colby
Mary Follansbee Wigglesworth daughter of Samuel Wigglesworth and Joanna Heckettboth of Newbury, MA

Capt. Edwin John COLBY and Mary Follansbee WIGGLESWORTH were married on 2 MAY 1836 in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts. 

Page 3 Newburyport Herald Newburyport, Massachusetts Tuesday, May 10th, 1836
Children were: John Edwin COLBY, Mary Elizabeth COLBY, Ada Josephine COLBY, Joanna Alice COLBY.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Ada Shepard Badger

Ann Adeline "Ada" Shepard/Shephard (1835-1874) daughter of Otis Shepard/Shephard (1797-1858) and Ann Pope (1803-1886) born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She married Henry Clay Badger and had four children: Theodore Badger (1862-1910), Frederick Badger (1865-1944), Ernest Badger (1869-1888), and Katharine Badger (1872-18920. Ada is a direct line to Ralph Shephard, who came to Massachusetts in 1635 on the ship "Abigail." Photo from Special Collections Concord Library
The "Banner of Light" published an account of Ada was governess and translator to the children of author Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) and Sophia Peabody (1809–1871): Below is a photo of the Hawthorne children: Una Hawthorne (1844-1877) Julian Hawthorne (1846-1934) Rose Hawthorne (1851-1926) taken 1862 by Silsbee and Case courtesy of Hawthorne in Salem
Ada was recommend by Horace Mann, husband of Mary Tyler Peabody Mann, sister of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne. Horace was president of the co-ed Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio where Ada was a student.
Read my article on GenealogyBank blog "Writer Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Real-Life ‘Ghost Story’"

Ada traveled with the Hawthorne family for two years visiting major cities in France, England, Italy and Switzerland. 

Susan D Abele (1904-1999), granddaughter of Ada notes in her essay, "Ada Shepard and her Pocket Sketchbooks, Florence 1858,"
that "scholars have pigeonholed Ada as the governess, using her correspondence to illuminate her famous employer's European experiences. But Ada was more than a governess. Her education was unusual for the time and her later work as an educator gained the respect of her peers." Susan Abele's assertion is quite accurate. Ada attended speeches and lectures given by women's right advocate Lucy Stone and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison

In Memories of Hawthorne, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (1851-1926)  "Last evening Miss Ada Shepard and I went to a neighboring villa to see some table-turning, which I have never seen, nor anything appertaining to spirits,"  Miss Shepard then took a pencil and paper for the spirits to write Photo from Sundry Thoughts
Aunt Ingersoll Julian Hawthorne wrote to regarding Mary Rondel.
Among the artist circles present during these 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1860), Robert Browning (1812-1889) and their son, Robert "Pen" Wiedeman Barrett Browning (1849-1912), Margret Fuller  
William Wetmore Story (1819-1895), his wife Emelyn Story (1820-1895). 

William Wetmore Story (1819-1895) son of Joseph Story (1779-1845) and Sarah Waldo Wetmore (1779-1855) married Emelyn Eldredge (1820-1895) daughter of Oliver Eldredge (1789–1857) and Hannah Smalley (1793–1867) His sculpture Cleopatra Photo from The New York Times 1916

Ada married Henry Clay Badger (1832-1894) son of Joseph Badger (1792-1852) and Eliza Mehitable Sterling (1799-184) .

Henry Clay Badger (1833-1894) graduated from Antioch College in 1857, and from 1859 to 1861, he was its Professor of Modern Languages. He was ordained on Nov. 13, 1862, and served congregations in Cambridge, Dorchester (Christ Church), Staten Island, and Ithaca, New York. He was curator of the Harvard Map collection from 1889 to 1892 Photo from Unitarian Universalist Association. Minister files, bMS 1446. Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School

The couple met a professor at Antioch Ada established a  School known as the Newbury Street School in Boston.
One account of Ada's death was published by Henry's brother, William Whittlesey Badger (1835-1898) who it an "over-sensitive constitution resulting in nervous prostration and loss of reason."

Henry Clay Badger Photo from Andover-Harvard Theological Library Special collections Unitarian Ministers bms 1446

The Newbury Street School. [A Circular.] 1874 The school year announcement to reopen after Ada passed

Lucretia Peabody Hale (1820-1900) daughter of Nathan Hale and Sarah Preston Everett

 William Wetmore Story--Cleopatra (1858) was described and admired in Nathaniel Hawthorne's romance, The Marble Faun, or The Romance of Monte Beni. The replica in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry M. Bateman (78.3) see William Story and Cleopatra by Albert T Gardner 

  • Giles Badger and his Descendants, First Four Generations by a Descendant John Cogswell Badger, Manchester, N.H. 
  • A History of the Dorchester Pope Family. 1634-1888: With Sketches of Other Popes in England and America, and Notes Upon Several Intermarrying Families
  • Ralph Shepard, Puritan published in Massachusetts 1893 Ralph Hamilton Shepard
  • Ada Shepard and Her Pocket Sketchbooks, Florence 1858 Susan D, Abele
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife, Volume II Julian Hawthorne, 1884
  • A Volume of Records Relating to the Early History of Boston, Volume 36
  • Letter 
  • The Brownings Correspondence 
  • The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne 2001 Margaret B. Moore 
  • Hawthorne and his circles Julian Hawthorne 
  • Mary Peabody and Horace Mann 
  • Julian Hawthorne's Contributions to the "Pasadena Star-News", 1923–1935 
  • Tea, Strawberries, and Spirits: A History of Spiritualism and the Occult in Salem: The Rise of Witch City Maggi Smith-Dalton (Charleston, SC: History Press, 2012)
  • Hawthorne's mad scientists: pseudoscience and social science in nineteenth-century life and letters
Joseph Badger the first missionary of the Western Reserve published by Ohio Archeological and Historical publication Byron R Long
Jonathan PHELPS, father of Rachel Phelps Hawthorne from "The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 104"