Another milestone - a reader emailed me a referral to some Mayflower descendant photos I would otherwise never have found. Thank you, reader! I have emailed the owner of the web site to ask permission to reprint these. They are family photos of a Doten branch of the Doty family, in Maine. One of them is a Generation 6 descendant who is noted in the Doty Silver Book.
I just created an entry for Alden-Mullins descendant DeWitt Clinton Packard, whose name I recognize from my great-great-great grandparents' Civil War pension claims. He was Brockton (North Bridgewater) town clerk. In the entry I noted the following, but will also post it here so that more readers see it: "[DeWitt Clinton Packard] is an example of a phenomenon that dates to the Revolutionary Period, parents no longer naming their children after family, but for prominent Americans, even neighbors to whom they were not related. Suspect this if you have a relative named "DeWitt C.," "Lorenzo D.," or "Henry C." (for NY Gov. DeWitt Clinton, "father" of the Erie Canal; Lorenzo Dow, the original tent preacher; or Henry Clay, author of the Missouri Compromise.) Names like "George W." for George Washington or "John Q. A." for John Quincy Adams are easier to guess today, but if you find a 19th century ancestor whose first or middle name is a surname rather than a first name, and you don't recognize it, search for a popular figure of that era with that name, or even a prominent, successful local person before you waste time trying to "prove" a link to "some guy" named Andrew Jackson, James Madison, etc. -- and bone up on your U.S. presidents!"
In my own family I have a James M. Whalon (born in coastal MA around 1816 and named for War of 1812 president James Madison), a James W. Phillips (for James Weeden, an early settler in southeast MA/RI), and a Daniel P. Colesworthy (for Daniel Pecker, a Bostonian who might have been a friend of young Daniel's parents or just a fellow city office holder.) Richard & Hope Collins of North Dartmouth, whose fathers and uncles were Revolutionary War veterans, gave 3 of their children neighbors's surnames: Brightman, Davis, and Alden. My Revolutionary War Phillips ancestor named his first son after his wife's father, which was traditional, but the second son was named "Russell," likely a tip of the hat to the local Russell family. Russell named his oldest son "Grafton" and to this day we don't know why. The town of Grafton, MA is not even close and no Graftons lived in Bristol County. Young Grafton may be the first example of someone naming their child something they simply liked the sound of. On the other hand, the various Clement Collinses in my family were named for maternal ancestor Augustine Clement, a Boston portrait painter of the 1600s. So, if you don't find a link pretty quickly, for ancestors born after 1776, don't waste a lot of time looking for a female line to the Brightman, Davis, Alden, Pecker, Weeden, Russell, or Grafton families, or the equivalent in YOUR family tree. Naming follows societal patterns, and this one was a factor of people relishing their independence, no longer having to name their child after a king, a saint, an Old Testament figure, their parents, grandparents, or even themselves (following the Biblical injunction to reproduce and replace themselves.) Their children were the first "Americans" and deserved "real American" names.
I've been experimenting with other software and other site possibilities. Any ideas for making this work better as a photo gallery? The Billington page shows one idea my site administrator is working with. I'm also not happy that few ads I've been able to get to work on weebly have disappeared and the Google Ad Sense "ads," really just dummy boxes, never did get any ads put into them and then disappeared. So far, this is a real disappointment in terms of getting the revenue portion to work, thus I am not doing weebly or ad sense the favor of actually soliciting any readers. If you are reading this, it is purely by accident.
Dr. Maura Mackowski is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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