Plimoth Plantation, New Beginnings

At 3 am last night I wondered myself after the end of a long rush of research in the middle of the night, whether my ancestors had led me here to the old colony so I could discover something of their past. About 4 months ago, I was offered an internship position at Plimoth Plantation. My boss is head of Research and Curator of Original Collections. Since then my internship has been a frenzy of tasks ranging from object loans, accessions, condition reports (museum work) to research in genealogy/local history, as well as preparing original exhibits of 17th century ceramics. But this rather cosmopolitan exposure to historian work has opened my eyes. I’ve been bit by the research bug.


Getting into Family History, I had an inkling i was related to pilgrims and have since wanted to join GSMD. I am working on the proof for two lines, one direct to RICHARD WAREEN and one to WILLIAM BREWSTER. To start, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations. From there proof has to be given in a record as contemporary event as possible. Assembling the lineage reports while dusting off cobwebs of five years or so in terms of memory was not the best idea. A great primer for the art of genealogical research is Drake’s You Ought To Write That Down.

In time, I will revisit more Cape Cod Genealogy but for now I need to review what I have done. This involves indexing every source. This has proven to be a good exercise, it allows you to review the types of sources available, how they offer proof, and their reliability.


My goal is to be able to analyze large sets of primary documents to bring together a comprehensive historical understanding. Deeds from Norwich, Vermont that I collected some years ago (see post) have sat on my shelf, unread and untapped for their wealth of genealogical information. Why is this the case? Because at that time in life I did not understand patience. The answers or even clues to the answer are not a click away all the time, as in the case of, which I use extensively, but we have to be mindful of human nature and how it effects the order of record keeping (Drake’s book explains this well). So I’m going to take it step by step, the past week has been overwhelming with how many lineages need work and how many new clues I have found, so in the near future I will post transcription of deeds regarding ELISHA FREEMAN (b. 1747 – d. 1838) and DAVID FREEMAN (b. 1793-d. 1881).

Published in: on October 8, 2014 at 10:01 pm  Comments (4)  

Divorce Record of my Great, Great Grandparents!

A while ago I contacted the clerk of Lincoln county, Washington to see if they had a divorce (or dissolution of marriage) record in their archives of my second great grandparents, Wallace and Lizzie (Williams) freeman. They had been a brick wall in my research for a long time, my dad knew they got divorced and said according to his mother Lizzie ran off with a priest. Well this file sheds a lot of light and brings a little closure on this family drama.

The case took place in the Washington State Superior Court in Lincoln County. My 2nd great-grandmother was the one who filed for divorce in 1908. According to the record, they were married 5 Feb 1889, a year earlier then the marriage record I had. Lizzie alleged that eleven years ago, which would have made that 1897, Wallace “without any right or reason for so doing, deserted and abandoned the above named plaintiff, and ever since said time has failed to live with the plaintiff or provided her with the necessaries of life, though amply able to do so”. Lizzie had stayed in Lincoln County, Washington ever since. In the Findings, it said that she was abandoned in British Columbia, Canada, so either they lived there or were on holiday?

Wallace and the kids left for Fresno County, California. He actually failed to appear in court! But they found that
Wallace was entitled to the kids and the divorce was determined legal on 13 April 1909.

In the midst of the Divorce Hearing, there is a record of an affidavit, affirming  a man named James S. Williams delivered the summons to Wallace himself. It strikes me though that Lizzie’s maiden name was Williams, so perhaps there is a connection?

Copyright (c) 2010 by Jake Fletcher

Published in: on July 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Original Baptismal Records of the Oliver Family

Thanks to Professor Bryan Lamkin for conducting this research while he is on his tour of Europe. Now I would like to share these fascinating records with you.

These are the original baptismal records of my 3rd great-grandfather John Oliver, and his brother Denis James Oliver.

John Oliver, baptised April 2nd 1826, to Bartholomew Oliverand Catherine Mannion

Denis James Oliver, baptised July 25 1823 to Bartholomew Oliver and Catherine Mannion

Here’s a picture of where the Oliver’s approximately lived in Galway! Very cool stuff, would like to thank Bryan again for sharing this with me and letting me share it with all of you.

Copyright (c) 2010 byJake Fletcher

Published in: on August 28, 2010 at 6:49 pm  Comments (1)  

Diary of Katherine Connor

I have been given permission to post this incredible piece of my family history and for that matter, a small slice of our nation’s history. My cousin scanned the entire diary of Katherine (Connor) Oliver, my 2nd great-grandmother, which she gave to her children in 1931. The diary is a biography and provides many anecdotes of her travels, Here it is for the world to see. Enjoy!

Diary of Katherine Connor

Copyright (c) 2010 by Jake Fletcher

Published in: on August 10, 2010 at 4:48 am  Leave a Comment  

Finally connected back to Germany

Got a great email the other day from a fleischhauer cousin in germany who found my blog and confirmed that the fleischhauer family was originally from Hanover, Germany! here is the website that he directed me that i think he created

guess i will be using a lot of google translate

Copyright (c) 2010 by Jake Fletcher

Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm  Comments (4)  

Research Brick Wall: 2nd Great-Grandmother Lizzie Williams

My 2nd Great-Grandmother Lizzie Williams has been my biggest brick wall to date. I need to find her birth and death dates and identify her parents. I am posting this because I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. So far I’ve struck out on everything. A lot of my research has come pretty easy up until this point.

According to the Fletcher Family Records, Elizabeth Maria Williams was born 12 Feb 1862 and died 27 Jan 1951 in Madera, California. There is no primary documentation of these dates[1]. I have her marriage record where Maria Elizabeth “Lizzie” Williams married Wallace E Freeman on 05 Feb 1890 in Spokane Falls, Spokane, Washington[2]. I searched the 1892 Lincoln County Census on the US GenWeb site for Lincoln County and found Wallace and Elizabeth Freeman. Elizabeth Freeman was 20 years old and born in Illinois[3]. This is the only documentation of them. I searched the transcriptions of the 1902 Lincoln County Census and found no record of them. In 1910, Wallace Freeman is found living in Lemoore, Kings County, California and is listed as divorced[4]. According to Family Lore, Lizzie ran off with a priest! I have not been able to find a record of Wallace and/or Lizzie in the 1900 US Federal Census. I searched the Lincoln County GenWeb Site Weddings of Lincoln County Pioneers and found no record of Maria Elizabeth Williams. I searched the California Death Index, 1940-1997 for a Maria Elizabeth who died 27 Jan 1951 in Madera, California. I found no record that matched the information I had. I searched the 1880 US Federal Census for Maria Elizabeth Williams born 1872 in Illinois and found a record of Elizabeth M Williams born 1872 in Illinois living  in Bedford, Wayne County, Illinois[5]. Her father was named John N Williams and was born in Kentucky in 1838. In the Fletcher Family Records, I have a record of discharge for a John N Williams who served in the Kentucky Fifth Volunteers during the Civil War and was discharged 14 Sept 1864. The record said he was 22 years old and born in Anderson County, Kentucky. This is a possible match,  but more research needs to be done. The next step is to find the divorce record of Wallace Freeman and Maria Elizabeth Williams. I sent a query to the Lincoln County Washington Clerk since it is their last known residence.

Curiously enough, I have all of these photos of the Williams Family but I cannot identify them. Hopefully I can break through this wall.

[1] Margarette Elizabeth Freeman, Freeman Family Cards, Privately Held in the Fletcher Family Archives

[2] Marriage Certificate of Wallace E. Freeman and Marie Elizabeth Willaims, 5 February 1890, Spokane Falls, Spokane County, Washington, Copy in Possession of Author.

[3]1892 Lincoln County, Washington Census, database online,  Lincoln County, Washington Gen Web.

[4] 1910 United States Federal Census, Lenmoore, Kings County, California, roll 79, Enumeration District 180, page 7A.

[5] 1880 US Federal Census, Bedford, Wayne County, Illinois, roll 257, ED 141, page 2.

Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 7:56 pm  Comments (2)  

Blog Published in TIARA Newsletter

After a day of volunteer work down at the TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association)  in Newton, I received a copy of my newsletter, which had an excerpt of my blog in it. It was an article written on their Galway Networking Event and I submitted to them a blog post I did on the event.

To see the original post, click  here .
To see the newsletter in which I was published, click here .

TIARA Website, click here .

Happy New Year Everyone

Copyright (c) 2010 by Jake Fletcher

Published in: on January 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Land Records in Norwich, Vermont

Last weekend, my dad and I drove up to Norwich, Vermont to look at some land records I had found in the index which i ordered from the Family History Library. It was a beautiful day and was a 2 hour drive up to the town hall in Norwich, VT. I already had the page numbers, so I just went into the vault to look at the land records. Overall, there were no major breakthroughs and everything in terms of land transactions back in that period were pretty standard. However, every record helps and it better shows the Freeman connection to the Waterman/Bartlett families that I am related to.

The first record I found was the one I was most excited about. It was a deed from Gershom Bartlett to Elisha Freeman. Gershom Bartlett is most likely Elisha’s father-in-law, but I need proof! The land transaction was made March 4 1776, a year after he married Lucy Bartlett.  Elisha said he lived in Hanover, NH across the Connecticut River. It involved a parcel on the Northeast Corner in the Samuel Waterman estate, son of Daniel Waterman and town selectman. The Watermans settled in the Pompanoosuc District (infact there is Waterman cemetery up there which I need to check out next time!) The record does not mention Elisha being married to Lucy or her name at all.

Source: Norwich, Vermont Deeds, 1: 27.

Through all of these land records, I was able to track this parcel of land and how it was handled by Elisha. It was involved with a man named Abijah Wheeler. Here are citations for the land records:

Norwich, Vermont Deeds, 2:168.

Norwich, Vermont Deeds, 2: 203.

Norwich, Vermont Deeds 2:241.

These records were recorded with the latest date being 1803, so I can say with assurance that Elisha Freeman was alive up until this point.

I then looked at land record of Elisha’s son, David Freeman. I wanted to use land records to determine when he left Norwich for Westville, New York. The latest one was a deed from David Freeman to William Swett?, dated 18 Oct 1831. He was noted as living in Westville, so based on the records he moved between 1830 and 1831. He sold land also to Thomas Emerson in 1830. However, in that same year he was deeded land from Seth Hall and Israel Pierce. Why did he get all of this land before he left?

Source: Norwich, Vermont Deeds, 7:168.

David Freeman had many land records with his name. I will need to do more analyzing to pick up more clues, perhaps a trip to the NEHGS would help.

For fun, here are some pictures of my trip up to Norwich and Hanover, including Dartmouth College. My ancestors gave land to this school, scholarship maybe?

An Old Inn in Norwich

Me hard at work in Norwich Town Clerk office.

Pictures of the Quad on Dartmouth College.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Jake Fletcher

Published in: on December 14, 2009 at 12:21 am  Comments (2)  

A Day at Kings Point

For my dad’s birthday we drove down to the Merchant Marine Academy on Kings Point in Long Island. We went to the Merchant Marine Museum. Lots of interesting history and ship models. We had lunch at the Seafarer’s Restaurant and then went to the Library to try and find any information on my grandfather Robert Fletcher. He graduated from Kings Point in 1943 and went into Naval Service soon after.We found out that the academy was not active until 1944, so my grandfather was actually trained at sea.

The archivist only had Kings point yearbooks back until 1944, so no luck there. We found more information on the ships he served on, the USS Ajax (AR-6) and USS Delta (AR-9).

The Ajax was in the pacific campaingn,  repairing ships through the Hollandia strikes and for the Marianas Campaign. Late in August of 1944, a huge case of dystentery broke out and the ship was quarantined for some time. After that, the ship continued her work at Ulithi in support of operations in Phillipines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

USS Ajax (AR-6)

The Delta, a leading ship amongst it’s class, was involved with repairing ships at Oran, Algeria, Bizerte, Tunisia, and in Italy, to send crafts back home. My grandfather was a Lieutenant on these ships.

USS Delta (AR-9) courtesy of

We went searching for a couple houses as well

196-14-112th Ave, St. Albans, Queens this is the house my grandfather lived in as a kid. There are letters my grandfather sent back to this home as a kid, very treasured aritifact.

89-36 187th Place, Queens. House that my 2nd great-grandfather lived in. Looks like it may have been rebuilt or repainted.

A great day overall. I plan on researching the ship logs of these ships to find any mention of my grandfather, a record of his service would be of great importance to me. Hope you enjoy the pics!

Copyright (c) 2009 by Jake Fletcher

Published in: on December 5, 2009 at 4:04 am  Comments (1)  

College Credit for my Blog

I would just like to mention that my blog and all my genealogical research has paid off as college credit. I’m using it as Life Experience Credit at Fitchburg State College. As proof of my credit, i actually published my blog using, it came out really nice and is a nice product!

 i would like to thank everyone for all the support and encouragement

Published in: on November 22, 2009 at 4:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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