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Many Years Ago

Genealogy writings about my ancestors

Wikitree is a load of shit

Wikitree is a load of shit

If you do, request to be put on the trusted list. (interested so kept on trusted list for now, but will make no further edits. This is an important person in history, and should probably be part of a protected project. Does this have a blending of two Fishers? Certainly a possibility for sure. WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE ? “
I do thank you for your interest and concerns, they are merited. posted 5 months ago by Michael Schindler” WHAT ARE INTEREST & CONCERNS ? YOU NEED TO MAKE THAT CLEAR. yOU HAVE STATED THAT “The goal is not perfection, but writing an accurate and meaningful story.” SURELY AN ACCURATE AND MEANINGFUL STORY IS PERFECTION OR NEAR TO PERFECTION THAT YOU CAN REACH THAT TELLS THE TRUTH NOT A CONSPIRACY THEORY.

A mis-interpretation of the matriliny of Samuel Paynter, (1768 – 1845)

Problems with “Stories for a Sunday Afternoon”

Evidence from the Past

In his monograph, “Stories for a Sunday Afternoon”, Maynard H Mires presents an unconvincing case his “revolutionary” ancestor Daniel Myers (Miers, Mires), Indian slayer and original settler of the Minisink township, descends from Delaware Quaker families, Miers and Cummings.

Mires is correct in stating Ann Cummings daughter of Enoch Cumming married John Miers between 1747-48 but the statement that the Cummings family belonged to the Established Church is false. Minutes of Duck Creek Monthly Meetings show that Ann Cummings and John Miers married with the approval of the Quaker community.[1] Minutes of Quaker meetings held in Chester county show Cummings daughters, Jane and Elizabeth, committed to Quaker principles. Moreover, Enoch Cummings’s second marriage to staunch Quaker, widow Sarah Blundell (nee Miers formerly Ozburn and Rowland) met with the approval of the Quaker community.

Ann Cummings married widower John Miers, the son of John and Mary Haworth and not John…

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Obadiah Eldridge, Phila. 1740-1755; Is he the son of Joseph Eldridge, Kent county 28 1749 Fifth (28 Jul 1749)?

Evidence from the Past

Phila. MM Minutes 1740-1755 (image 102) 28 1749 Fifth (28 Jul 1749) The Meeting being informed that Obadiah Eldridge is lately broke much in debt and as he says unable to make any reasonable composition with his creditors, and as it appears that he was a considerable time since advised to deliver up his effects to his creditors and that both he and his wife refused to comply with the advice of Friends, but had conducted very disreputably in continuing running further in debt and do not give any satisfactory reason for so large a deficiency. The Meeting therefore appoints Edward Oathrall & Israel Pemberton Junr. to draw up a testimony against them to be brought to next Meeting unless in the mean time they should offer anything to the meeting and can give such an account of their conduct which may be satisfactory.

Phila. MM 5 Aug 1749 25…

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Catherine Dingee

Sarah Miers

Who is she?

Mother, Wife, Femme Sole, Business Woman; the last two not part of of colonial culture; or was it?

Was she a savvy entrepenuer that had the respect of her male peers?

Jane Stoker, 1799-1867

Background:  This research provides the genealogical background and historical context for the “engagement token” of Jane Stoker and Edward Thomas (“JS to ET 1 April 1820) in the possession of one of their descendants.

A transcribed record in Ancestry’s database shows Jane Stoker born 15 December 1799 to John Stoker and Jane Penman was baptised on 2 March 1800 Whickham, Durham, England.  A more detailed transcription at freereg.co.uk shows Jane was baptised in St Mary the Virgin Church, Whickham, Durham. The family lived at Swalwell and John Stoker’s occupation is Keelman, an operator of flat bottom boats.[1]  There is also a notation describing Jane as the third daughter of John Stocker, native of Ovingham Parish (Northumberland) and his wife Jane, daughter of Andrew Penman, native of this Parish (Durham). [2]   A search through marriage transcriptions on freereg.co.uk reveals John Stoker and Jane “Ponman” (sic) married at St Mary the Virgin Church, Ovingham, Northumberland on 28 May 1792.  John’s occupation is not recorded. [3]  Images of the original documents are not available to verify the accuracy of these transcriptions. 

However, these details fit partly with the search results for Jane Thomas’s registered death, 1867, on the Births Deaths and Marriages Registry, Victoria, Australia.  Her father’s name (John Stoker) and her place of birth (Durham) are recorded while her mother is documented as Jane, surname unknown.  More likely, the John Stoker of 25 Meeting House Alley, Old Gravel Lane, London listed as a relative in the diary kept by Jane and Edward’s third born son Edward William, on the voyage from England to Australia in 1849 is a brother or relative rather than Jane’s father.

It may be the inscription date of 1 April 1820 on the “engagement token” or love tokens as they were also known commemorates the date an understanding of marriage was reached, either by the couple or their families.  Another way of thinking about the token, is that Jane Stoker, gave it to Edward Thomas “JS to ET” as a declaration of her love. 

Fortunately the “engagement token”, identified as a Shilling, was minted in 1817. [4]  Before this date, identifying coins circulating in Britain’s monetary system were made difficult by an array of currency, “guineas, silver trade tokens, worn silver of William III, Anne, George I and II, plus copper trade tokens, cartwheels, worn halfpennies of George III as well as foreign currencies and, of course, large numbers of counterfeits”. [5]  The smoothing of the back of the coin and inscription may have been executed by Edward. 

Marriage banns were not published until 1824.  The lengthy betrothal may be indicative of the time for Edward Thomas to earn sufficient money to support a family and, or complete his apprenticeship in lapidary or gemstone cutting.  Both Jane and Edward could marry with parental consent before they turned twenty-one years.  Under the Clandestine Marriage Act of 1753, as under the cannon law, “the legal power of a parent to forbid a marriage ended when a child reached the age of twenty-one, but wills and settlements could – and sometimes did – specify that provision would be delayed to a later age”. [6]  On 9 May 1824 and the two successive Sundays, marriage banns were proclaimed at St James Church, Clerkenwell, Islington.  Jane signed the marriage register by her mark on 30 May 1824 before witnesses Matthew Brown and Rachel Miller.[7] 

Attached to John Stoker Thomas in several family trees on Ancestry is an extract from a family bible or manuscript chronicling the births and deaths of Jane and Edward’s children. Two daughters not mentioned in this extract are Elizabeth and Mary Ann Thomas.  Elizabeth born 6 February 1837 was baptised November 1848 three years after Edward’s death.  The baptismal register does not state Edward is deceased and his occupation of lapidary is recorded.  Jane and her children reside at 26 King Street, several doors down from Mr Morgan (Oil and Colorman) of 34 King Street, Clerkenwell described as a relative in the diary of Edward William Thomas. [8]

A baptismal record has not been located for Mary Ann Thomas, the youngest child of Jane and Edward who married John Hiscock, son of Thomas Hiscock the gold discoverer.  However, she is enumerated in the 1841 Census England with her family, domiciled at Lower Smith Street, Clerkenwell in the Borough of Finsbury, where watchmakers, jewellers and silversmiths resided.  Clerkenwell was not overwhelmed by poverty and decay like many other working-class areas of London.  A Report prepared by the Education Committee of the Statistical Society of London on the Borough of Finsbury, 1843, says Clerkenwell “has, none of the usual characteristics of a manufacturing town. There are many miles of open well ventilated streets containing exclusively private houses which look neat and comfortable and the stranger is not struck by the appearance of extreme misery and wealth alternating with each other in close juxtaposition. The cause of this peculiarity of Clerkenwell, which so distinguishes it from other parts of the metropolis is to be found in the nature of its manufacture …”.[9]

Edward Thomas died June 1845 and in 1849 Jane emigrated to Australia with her children.  Her death notice appeared in The Ballarat Star, Friday 25 October 1867.  She is described residing Buninyong, age sixty-eight years, widow of Edward Thomas, lapidary, Clerkenwell, London.  Cause of death dropsy.  The Benalla Standard published Elizabeth (Mrs Thomas Hiscock) Thomas’ Obituary, October 1922.

Copyright rests with the author Sarah Baird, and due acknowledgement must always be made of the use of any material contained in, or derived from, this paper. All errors are my own. Citation: “Sarah Baird, “Jane Stoker 1799-1867,  December 2020” at https://sbaird1.wordpress.com/2021/04/06/jane-stoker-1799-1867/


[1] For more information about Keelman see https://www.sunnisidelocalhistorysociety.co.uk/durham.html. In the Durham area, keelmen transported coal by river.

[2] Free UK Genealogy, “Register of unspecified type, St Mary the Virgin Church, Whickham, Durham” database, FreeREG (https://www.freereg.org.uk/search_records/58180f07e93790ec8ba777af) : accessed 9 Dec 2020), [data about Jane Stoker 2 Mar 1800 ]; citing Register number.

[3] Free UK Genealogy, “Register of unspecified type, St Mary the Virgin Church, Ovingham, Northumberland” database, FreeREG (https://www.freereg.org.uk/search_records/58182971e93790eb7f48d3e2) : accessed 9 Dec 2020), [data about John Stoker to Jane Ponman 28 May 1792 ]; citing Register number : Detailed information about the Parishes of Ovingham, Northumberland and Whickham, Durham can be found on the website genuki.org.uk.

[4] The “engagement token” matches an image located on museums Victoria website. Item NU 875 Coin – Shilling, George III, Great Britain, 1817 Silver coin; denomination Shilling Royal Mint, London George III (1760-1820). Image https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/search?query=silver+coin+George+1817

[5] Bridget Millmore, “Love tokens: engraved coins, emotions and the poor 1700-1856”, (PhD thesis University of Brighton, 2015), 98, https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/studentTheses/love-tokens-engraved-coins-emotions-and-the-poor-1700-1856.

[6] Rebecca Probert, Control over Marriage in England and Wales, 1753—1823: The Clandestine Marriages Act of 1753 in Context, Law and History Review , Summer 2009, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Summer 2009), pp. 413-450, 415.

[7] “London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921” Ancestry.com “London Metropolitan Archives, Saint James, Clerkenwell, Register of banns of marriage, P76/JS1, Item 177”: “London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921” Ancestry.com “London Metropolitan Archives, Saint James, Clerkenwell, Register of marriages, P76/JS1, Item 039.

[8] “London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906” Ancestry.com “London Metropolitan Archives, Clerkenwell St James, Register of Baptism, p76/js1, Item 019”.

[9] Naima Browne, “Socio-Economic Factors and the Schooling of Working-Class Children aged seven and under in seven areas of north of London, 1800-1851”, (PhD thesis University of London, 1990), 87: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10018504/1/122428.pdf.

Finding Mary Graham McPhail May

This is the second part of a research paper titled “The family of Angus McPhail and Mary Graham 1783-1877”.

Angus McPhail and Mary Graham both in Glensellach (sic) married 21 January 1812.[1]  OPR entries are in date order and it appears the data has been batch processed (recorded in one sitting).  Where a researcher would expect to see a change in the handwriting script when entering marriages immediately after each event, there is no variation. The OPR Registers of Births for Kilmore and Kilbride show Angus McPhail and Mary Graham, are the parents of Isobel, Duncan and Donald.[2]

An incomplete death certificate exists for Mary Graham age 86, single, who died 1877 at Lorn Combination Poorhouse. [3] Details of parents and spouse are not recorded, presumably because the gatekeeper at Lorn Combination Poorhouse, also the informant, was not cognizant of her personal details.  However, the parental details in Donald McPhail’s death certificate 1888 lists father Angus McPhail(e)’s occupation as butler while his mother is described as “Mary McPhail afterwards May Ms Graham (deceased)”.[4]  There is no reason to doubt the validity of the information supplied by John McPhail, to complete his father’s death certificate because at the time of the 1871 census Mary Graham is enumerated as mother, in the home of Donald McPhail.[5]

Indeed, the 1879 death certificate for Isobel McPhail daughter of Angus McPhail and Mary Graham confirms her mother’s second marriage in a roundabout way, “Mary McPhail previously May Ms Graham” but not her decease. [6] A series of OPR documents and statutory records uploaded by sledgehammer127 between 2011 and 2014 to an Ancestry Tree confirm that in 1838, “William Allan, weaver in Glasgow and Isabella McPhail residing there [were] married 30 March by Dr John Forbes one of the Ministers of Glasgow”. [7]

An overwhelming reason for Mary Graham’s return to Oban is the lack of immediate family members in Kilbrandon to care for her.  After a six month illness, thirty-nine year old James May, died in February 1867 at Balvicar, Kilbrandon.  He is described as pauper formerly an ag. labourer.[8]  Another son, Hugh died in 1857. A copy of Mary Graham’s Poor Law appeal can be obtained from http://www.oldscottish.com “Poor Law Appeals Widow Mary GRAHAM or MAY 1870 (2) Refused (poorhouse). Cursory details of her application are provided at page 110 in the Annual Report of the Board of Supervision for the Relief of the Poor: “No. 242 Date of receipt of application 1870 June 1 Eo die to Inspector received June 17: Pauper Widow Mary Graham or May Kilbrandon Parish Application laid before Board 23 June 1870 Refused poorhouse Deliverance intimated to applicant”.[9]

While this paper (when read in conjunction with a previous post titled “The family of Angus McPhail and Mary Graham, Oban, Argyll, Scotland”) has proved that Angus McPhail is the son of Duncan and his first wife Mary Cameron, it did not confirm that Angus’ parents were first cousins.  Further research into the families of Isabella McPhail-Donald Cameron and Colin McPhail-Marion Campbell is necessary to identify kinship relationships.  That may lead to a more accurate identification of the family of Donald and Isabella Cameron enumerated High Street, Oban 1841. The second part resolved what it set out to do, connect Mary Graham to both the McPhail and May families and provide the context for her return from Kilbrandon to Oban and subsequent death.  This paper has also shown that by widening the scope of research to include extended family members, neighbours and acquaintances of the McPhail family it is possible to place an obscure figure with his family.  This study makes an original contribution to the lineage of Angus McPhail and Mary Graham.

This paper provides an original contribution to the family of Angus McPhail, Mary Graham and their descendants. This research should not be accepted as conclusive, there may be mistakes in the transcription of records or my hypothesis may prove to be false. If you wish to include any of the material contained in, or derived from this paper, place quotation marks around the extracted portion and credit it as follows: “Sarah Baird, “Angus McPhail and Mary Graham 1783-1877”, August 2020 at sbaird1.wordpress.com/2021/04/06/the-family-of-angus-mcphail-and-mary-graham-oban-argyll-scotland/”.


[1] “07/01/1813 MCPHAILE, DONALD (Old Parish Registers Marriages 523/ 10 163 Kilmore and Kilbride) Page 163 of 168”, National Records of Scotland; digital image; (https://scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 21 January 2020) “1812 Jany 21 Angus McPhaile and Mary Graham both in Glensellach”.

[2] “27/10/1812 MCPHAIL, ISOBEL (Old Parish Registers Births 523/ 10 87 Kilmore and Kilbride) Page 87 of 168”, National Records of Scotland; digital image; (https://scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 19 July 2020) : “24/08/1814 MCPHAILE, DUNCAN (Old Parish Registers Births 523/ 10 93 Kilmore and Kilbride) Page 93 of 168”, National Records of Scotland; digital image; (https://scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 8 February 2020) : “14/11/1816 MCPHAILE, CATHARINE (Old Parish Registers Births 523/ 10 99 Kilmore and Kilbride) Page 99 of 168”, National Records of Scotland; digital image; (https://scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 27 January 2020) “Oct 10 Baptised Dec 11 Donald lawful son to Angus McPhail and Mary Graham in Glenshellach”.

[3] “1877 GRAHAM, MARY (Statutory registers Deaths 523/ 74)”, National Records of Scotland; digital image; (https://scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 27 January 2020).

[4] “1888 MCPHAIL, DONALD (Statutory registers Deaths 523/ 86)”, National Records of Scotland; digital image; (https://scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 27 January 2020).

[5] “MCTAVISH, DUNCAN (Census 1871 523/00 002/00 018)”, National Records of Scotland; digital image; (https://scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 29 November 2009) “Donald McPhail head m. Age 50 Fisherman b. Kilbride Catherine (McRae) wife Age 54 b. Kirkintulloch John McPhail son 20 Sailor b. Kilbride Mary Graham mother w(idow) Age 85 mother b. Kilbride”.

[6] “1879 MCPHAIL, ISABELLA (Statutory registers Deaths 581/ 5)”, National Records of Scotland; digital image; (https://scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 1 August 2020).

[7] “30/03/1838 ALLAN, WILLIAM (Old Parish Registers Marriages 644/1 420 134 Glasgow) Page 134 of 798”, National Records of Scotland; digital image; (https://scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 1 August 2020).

[8] “1867 MAY, JAMES (Statutory registers Deaths 515/ 4)”, National Records of Scotland; digital image; (https://scotlandspeople.gov.uk : accessed 20 July 2020).

[9] Twenty-Fifth Annual Report of the Board of Supervision for the Relief of the Poor in Scotland (Accessed July 2020) https://books.google.com.au/books?id=AC0MAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA110&dq=Pauper+Widow+Mary+Graham+or+May+Kilbrandon+Parish&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi6krLkjeDqAhWDwTgGHTpbBCsQ6AEwAHoECAQQAg#v=onepage&q=Pauper%20Widow%20Mary%20Graham%20or%20May%20Kilbrandon%20Parish&f=false

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