Thursday, March 31, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - Memoirs of Roger Williams

I recently found a copy of a book in my Dad's bookcase that was apparently owned by my third great grandfather, Amos Haskell (1787-1859). The book is titled Memoirs of Roger Williams, The Founder Of The State Of Rhode-Island by James D. Knowles, published by Lincoln, Edmands and Co., Boston in 1834. My grandfather's name is written inside the front cover and there is also a small slip of paper with his name on it. I believe this is probably the oldest book on my Dad's bookshelf. The book is in remarkably good condition and was likely passed down from Amos to his son Alfred, then to Frank Owen, then to Merrill and finally to my Dad.

This brings up an interesting question as to whether Amos was literate. According to the book The New Century Book of Facts: A Handbook of Ready Reference, published in 1909, New Gloucester, Maine, where Amos was born had a school in 1764. So it is likely that he was literate. Were your ancestors who lived in the 18th and early 19th centuries literate? I am going to do some more digging into this question.

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Governor Frederick Holbrook - Letter to Abraham Lincoln

 Frederick Holbrook was the Governor of Vermont during the Civil War years. On July 29, 1862 he wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln. Click on the link to see a digital image and transcription of the letter at the Library of Congress. The letter urges Lincoln to call up more troops to fight for the Union. Governor Holbrook thought that a million more men would be needed; however, Lincoln was calling for 300,000.

Frederick Holbrook, Governor of Vermont 1861-1863

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Reuben Merrill [Sr]

Cemetery: Pine Grove, Falmouth, Cumberland County, Maine
Photo Date: 30 August 2009
Subject Name: Reuben Merrill
Notes: Father of Reuben Merrill and grandfather of Nathaniel Edwin Merrill. My third great-grandfather. Reuben Merrill [Sr] was born 2 Aug 1765, he married Clarissa Jones about 1794.
Transcription: REUBEN MERRILL/DIED/July 29, 1818, AE. 53.

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Strawberry Meadows Farm - Cutting Wood & Miscellaneous

Saturday 19 March 2011 - I started cutting firewood for next year over at my Dad's. His farm is called Strawberry Meadows Farm - named for the wild strawberries that grow in the fields. Here are a couple photos of the farm and me cutting wood.

Strawberry Meadows Farm
Will Haskell cutting wood
Will Haskell cutting wood
Will Haskell splitting wood

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Reuben Merrill [Jr]

Cemetery: Pine Grove, Falmouth, Cumberland County, Maine
Photo Date: 30 August 2009
Subject Name: Reuben Merrill [Jr]
Notes: Father of Nathaniel Edwin Merrill. My second great-grandfather. Reuben was born 27 Oct 1795 and married Frances Pope 14 Mar 1819
Transcription: REUBEN MERRILL/DIED/Nov. 25, 1890./AE. 95 yrs./At Rest

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Frederick Holbrook - VP of American International Corporation

I guess civil engineering is in my blood. My great grandfather, Frederick Holbrook, was a civil engineer and a contractor. My great granduncle, William Brooks Cabot was a civil engineer as well and was a partner in Frederick Holbrook's firm, Holbrook, Cabot & Rollins. My dad was also a civil engineer and land surveyor, and now I am carrying on the civil engineering family tradition. Here is a brief article about Frederick Holbrook that was printed in the American International Corporation Argosy in 1919.

FREDERICK HOLBROOK has been a Vice-President of American International Corporation since August 31, 1916. He was placed in charge of the Russian affairs of the corporation and sailed for Petrograd in September of that year to represent A.I.C. in the investigation of Russian propositions, remaining there until August, 1817. Mr. Holbrook is President of Grace American International Corporation, formed earlier this year to engage in Russian business. He is also a Director of American International Steel Corporation and of Allied Machinery Company of America, and from March until December, 1918, was President of American International Shipbuilding Corporation.
     Mr. Holbrook was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, July 20, 1861, and his business life has been spent in engineering and contracting work in the United States and Mexico, and for the year before his coming with American International, in Russia. For this work he formed the Holbrook, Cabot & Rollins Corporation some twenty years ago.

Source: American International Corporation. "The American International Corporation Argosy", November 1919, Volume 1, Number 7, page 2. 120 Broadway, New York.

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Mary Lizzie Haskell

Cemetery: Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, Cumberland County, Maine
Photo Date: 4 November 2006
Subject Name: Mary Lizzie Haskell
Notes: Daughter of Alfred and Elizabeth (Owen) Haskell.
Transcription: MARY LIZZIE/Daug. of Alfred &/Elizabeth Haskell,/DIED/Feb. 26, 1875/ AE. 27 yrs 11 ms/15 ds

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

Monday, March 7, 2011

Water Cure Days - Miss Lucy T. Brook's Cure

The Wesselhoeft Water Cure in Brattleboro, Vermont was the third water cure in the country. According to the Annals of Brattleboro by Mary Rogers Cabot, the Water Cure opened in 1843-1844 by Dr. Robert Wesselhoeft. A water cure is a form of hydrotherapy, involving the use of water for pain-relief and treating illness. Water cure's were so popular in the mid-1800's, there was even a Water Cure Journal that was published. Many of the journal volumes can be found on Google Books site, such as this one Volume 1. The Brattleboro Water Cure became extremely popular and was visited by many. Several of the more famous guests to the Brattleboro Water Cure, included: ex-President Martin Van Buren; two sons of John C. Calhoun; and Mr. & Mrs. John Stoddard (Cabot, Mary Rogers. Annals of Brattleboro, vol II, page 573-574)

Source: Cabot, Mary Rogers. 1922. Annals of Brattleboro, vol. II

Source: Cabot, Mary Rogers. 1922. Annals of Brattleboro, vol. II

In my grandmother's records, I found a typewritten page for Miss Lucy T. Brooks' water cure, which is transcribed below:

Miss Brooks will
  1. Sweat every morning early in a wet sheet, and after it bathe or wash in water of 72 degrees to 60 degrees.
  2. Drink cold water after it and walk until she becomes warm, --before breakfast.
  3. Breakfast on cold bread with milk or butter.
  4. Walk and drink again after breakfast.
  5. At 11 o'clock take a hip-bath from 10 increasing gradually to 30 minutes in water 72 degrees gradually growing colder daily to 30 degrees.
  6. Drink again and walk until you get well warmed.
  7. Dinner without condiments, pies or rich food. Drink several tumblers of water with dinner and none for 2 hours after dinner.
  8. After 2 hours drink and walk.
  9. At 5 P.M. take a hip bath of same temperature and duration as at 11.
  10. Walk again and after every bath and drinking.
  11. Take supper as early as 6 same as breakfast but quite little.
  12. Take a foot-bath before retiring 10 to 30 minutes, --temperature 73 degrees to 60 degrees as in other baths, and rub the feet and walk until they become warmed.
  13. Take an ear-bath forenoon and afternoon at the Douch house.
R. Wesslehoeft,
(by Secretary)

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Last Time You Had Genealogy Fun

 It's Saturday night! Time for Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  When was the last time you had Genealogy Fun?  It could be research, conferences, a society meeting, or just talking with friends about your research, a favorite trip, etc.

2)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook status or comment.

Here is mine -

I had some genealogy fun today at the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society meeting. Our scheduled speaker had to postpone her talk due to illness, so I brought in my laptop and projector and we did an online search and strategy session. Lots of fun. We discussed search techniques for Google, Google Books,,, and several other sites of interest. The whole group pitched in with their experiences, hints and tips and we did a few test searches for folks as well.

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

Ellen Malvina Brooks and George Jones Brooks - Post #2

Continued from Post #1

     As we grew older, we began to wonder why she had not married, --speculation among the girls of the family was rife on the subject, --as we were told by members of her generation that she had been much admired, and had received many offers of marriage. Indeed we could realize this for ourselves, as her charm, real gayety [sic] and repartee never entirely waned.
     Among the family traditions was a story that, when she was sixteen, she met at the house of her cousins in Medford a young man, George Washington Warren; that he came to Chesterfield, on horseback, to formally declare his affection, which was reciprocated. As Grandfather was going to Boston on business at this time George Washington Warren returned his company. On the journey he extracted a promise from the young man not to write to, or to see his daughter for a year. This was because her father considered her too young to think seriously of love and marriage and he wished to enforce the test of time. Grandfather did not explain, or repeat his conversation with G.W.W. to his daughter. Silently she looked for letters, which never came. When the year of probation was ended and her lover reappeared  to claim her hand , she refused to see him. They did not meet again until middle life, after his marriage to another. How much this experience had to do with the very obvious and intense pride of our Aunt Malvina, we do not know. It was also said that her Mother made fun of each of her lovers in turn, and that this unfortunate attitude prevented her marriage in another case. She was excessively sensitive, and gave the impression of one who had suffered from harshness or shock. Her delicate nervous organization was also undermined by the condition of her Father's long and painful illness.

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mary Elizabeth Haskell - Death Record (Delayed)

Mary E Haskell Death Record - page 1
Mary E Haskell Death Record - page 2

Transcription - Page 1 (only non-blank fields)
Place of Death     Portland
Name     Mary E. Haskell
Sex     F
Age Years 27
Name of Father     Alfred Haskell
Date of Death     Year 1875     Month Feb     Day 26
Cause of Death     Consumption

Transcription - Page 2 (only non-blank fields)
Place of Burial     Deering
Name of Cemetery     Evergreen
Undertaker     J.M. Currier
Source of Record   City Clerk's Office Portland

Downloaded from on 27 Feb 2011 
Source Citation: Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; Pre 1892 Delayed Returns; Roll # 50.
Death Record Source Information: Maine Death Records, 1617-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Maine Death Records, 1617-1922. Augusta, Maine: Maine State Archives.

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Augusta G. (Thompson) Haskell

Cemetery: Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, Cumberland County, Maine
Photo Date: 4 November 2006
Subject Name: Augusta G. Thompson
Notes: First wife of Alfred Haskell
Transcription:AUGUSTA G./wife of/Alfred Haskell,/DIED/May 15, 1842./AE. 23/Also their infant daughter/[epitaph] mostly illegible

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell