Isabel Wright

On Saturday, we looked at Fuller Cemetery in Ludlow for information related to the family of Timothy Wright. Timothy Wright is my sixth great grandfather. He and his family lived in Ludlow, but I have only found limited information on their extended families.

We had looked at Fuller Cemetery once before, so I wasn’t expecting to find anything major. I figured it was worth a second look because there were some Wrights in Fuller Cemetery that I had previously ignored because it wasn’t clear where they fit in.

One of the previously ignored Wrights was Isabel (Searl) Wright. Her headstone identifies her as the wife of Abel Wright. It turns out that Abel Wright was the brother of Timothy. Abel was born in Springfield on February 8, 1739. According to the research of others, he married Jerusha Griswold and settled in Windsor, CT. Some time before 1786, he relocated to Ludlow, MA. Jerusha died some time after this (presumably in Ludlow). Abel remarried Sarah Wilder and then Isabel. He died in Ludlow in 1836.

I don’t know if Abel is buried in Fuller Cemetery or somewhere else. There is open area next to Isabel’s headstone that could be Abel’s unmarked grave. Another possibility is Island Pond Cemetery. Island Pond Cemetery is actually Ludlow’s newest cemetery. The graves from Jenksville Cemetery (aka Village Cemetery) where moved there in around 1902. Like Fuller Cemetery, we have visited Island Pond Cemetery once before and it probably warrants a second look.

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William, Susannah and Resolved White

I have added some new entries to my Famous Relatives page. William White and Susannah Fuller were my 11th great grandparents. The Whites and their five year old son, Resolved, were passengers on the Mayflower. William was a signer of the Mayflower Compact.

Susannah was a couple months pregnant at the start of the journey. She gave birth to a son (Peregrine) on the Mayflower on November 20. 1620 while the ship was located just outside the tip of Cape Cod.

William died on February 21, 1621. Susannah remarried fellow Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow. Edward’s wife Elizabeth had also been a pilgrim and died. Edward adopted both the White children and made them his heirs. Edward later served as the governor of Plymouth Colony.

I am a direct descendant of Resolved. I discovered this connection about a month ago when researching my sixth great grandmother, Miriam (Goss) Wright. Because there is a lot of bad research out regarding Mayflower lines, I wanted to make sure my information was solid before publishing it. To be honest, I half expected it to fall apart. I have already had that experience more than once.

The first five generations of the Mayflower descendants are fairly well established. My research is solid up to Miriam Goss. This gave me about a two generation gap to fill in. Most of the information was readily available online, but I was having trouble with the marriage of Timothy and Miriam. I found two marriage records. One was from Springfield and put their marriage as December 14, 1759. The other was from North Brookfield and put their marriage at February 6, 1761. This had me concerned that I was mixing two similarly named couples. The distance between the two communities (about 40 miles) amplified this concern. When taking a second look at it this week, a scan of the microfilm for the marriage record in Springfield was online through I don’t know if this is new or I missed it previously. The first record was not a marriage record, but a intention of marriage. Furthermore, it identified Timothy as being from Springfield and Miriam as being from North Brookfield.

The family of Timothy and Miriam outside of my own lines is still mostly a mystery to me. After marriage, they settled in Ludlow, MA and had at least 9 children. With the exception of my fifth great grandfather, the family seems to have left Ludlow and gone somewhere else. Where they went isn’t clear to me yet.

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John and Eunice (Hatch) Wright

John Wright and Eunice Hatch are my fourth great grandparents. While I have some good information on them, I don’t know when they died or where they are buried. Figuring this out has been a recent quest for me.

I know John was alive in 1855 and living in Palmer, MA. I can’t find any information on him or two of his younger sons after 1855. Assuming he and/or his sons died while living in Palmer, it seams reasonable that he was buried either in either family plots in Ludlow or Palmer. Last year, Laurie and I walked the relevant Ludlow cemeteries and had no luck. Yesterday, we walked a couple Palmer cemeteries.

The first cemetery we visited was Three Rivers – Thorndike Cemetery. It is a small cemetery with a very steep incline for most of the front. There were very limit records available on the cemetery and it wasn’t listed on Many of the stones were hard to read. There were large sections without any stones. I don’t know if this was by design or there are many graves with missing headstones. While there were some small clusters of names with similar names, there weren’t so much as to make me think the cemetery was a informal burial ground for local farming families. The oldest headstones seemed to go back to the early 1840s. We did find a Lucretia Wright, but there is no immediate relationship to my family.

The second cemetery we visited was Four Corners Cemetery. This cemetery has been able to expand by acquiring adjacent property. According to the Town of Palmer’s web site, the cemetery was laid out in 1851. We concentrated our search in the areas that seemed to be original. Once again, no luck. The only Wright I found was Henry Nelson Wright Jr. He is also a descendant of John and Eunice, but a relatively recent burial.

While I thought both cemeteries were real possibilities, we had no luck in Palmer. There are two other non-Catholic cemeteries in Palmer: Palmer Center Cemetery and Oak Knoll Cemetery. Palmer Center Cemetery is very interesting, very old and supposedly haunted. It is also well documented and would have been closed to new burials at the time of John’s death. Oak Knoll Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Palmer. It is also one of Palmer’s oldest cemeteries, but was able to expand and is still open for new burials. I have walked it in the past, but it probably warrants a second look some time in the future.

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Jane Almira (Wright) Cook

My third great grandfather, Solomon Wright, was one of twelve children. I know the number is twelve because I have an old letter with a list of names and birth dates. Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened to all twelve children.

A couple days ago I had a research break through and located the youngest sister, Jane Almira Wright. She had moved to Illinois, married Calvin D Scott and had four children: Eugene, George, Cora and Edwin.

Jane’s mother was living with her in Illinois in the 1860 Federal census. Her father is absent. He did appear with his family in the 1855 Massachusetts census. I had initially assumed he died before 1860 and this seems to help support this assumption. Unfortunately, the 1860 census doesn’t include marital status.

All of Jane’s children married. Eugene had one child, but she died as a young adult. George and Cora married, but didn’t have children. Edwin married and divorced. I don’t know the name of Edwin’s wife or if they had children. Unless Edwin had children, this line is a dead line.

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Web Site Upgrade

I have upgraded my web site to the latest version of WordPress and integrated The Next Generation (TNG) 8. The thing I like about TNG is it provides an excellent engine for displaying genealogical data. The thing I don’t like is it doesn’t do much else. Fortunately, there are available modules that allow TNG to work with CMS packages like WordPress. If you click the Genealogy Database tab in the main menu, you will be able to search my research.

My old site used Drupal. TNG has software modules/plugins that integrates TNG with several CMS packages including Drupal and WordPress. I decided to port over to WordPress because I could find web sites that used TNG and WordPress together, but not TNG and and Drupal. Plus, I was looking for an excuse to become more familiar with WordPress. Unfortunately, getting this working wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. It was important to me that the themes in the two packages at least looked like they belonged together. I spent a lot of time getting this to work properly.

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Gertrude (Finley) Lever

This is a picture of a great grandmother, Gertrude (Finley) Lever. I actually have quite a few photos of her, but this one is one of my favorites. The picture is less than an inch square. I had thought about attempting to remove the photo from the border so I can see more of the photo, but I am afraid I would damage it.

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Bessie Mae (Beauregard) O’Donnell

Today, I located the headstone of Bessie Mae (Beauregard) O’Donnell. Bessie was my great grandmother’s sister and is interred at Hillcrest Park Cemetery in Springfield.

Bessie was the oldest of three sisters born to Napoleon Beauregard and Hattie Beals. Napoleon was born in Vermont, but was of French Canadian descent. Hattie was of English descent with the majority of her ancestors being part of the Puritan migration.

Bessie’s two younger sisters were Hazel Ruth Beauregard (b. 1896, d. 1992) and Helen Irene Beauregard (b 1902). Hazel was my great grandmother and like Bessie, she also lived into her mid 90s. Helen, on the other hand, is an enigma. She married Chester Samuel Clark in 1922, but divorced in 1925. That is the last piece of solid information I have on her. Most relatives I have talked to were surprised to learn there was a third sister. The only potential lead I have is someone told me we had a relative who was abducted by pirates and never heard from again. I don’t know how true this is, but it certainly makes it more interesting.

Bessie’s husband was Patrick O’Donnell. According to her obituary, he died in 1924. I don’t have any further information on him. I do not know where he is interred, but it isn’t at Hillcrest Park Cemetery.

The other interesting tidbit of information in Bessie’s obituary is that “her father was a direct descendant of Confederate Gen. Pierre Beauregard.” While is is true that her grandfather was Pierre Beauregard, he clearly wasn’t the Pierre Beauregard, the Confederate General. I find it very interesting that this was included. Part of me says that Bessie had to know this wasn’t true, assuming she was aware of the assertion. Her grandfather died before she was born. Her father died in 1903 and her grandmother in 1905. She should have been old enough to understand that her French Canadian born grandmother and Vermont born father weren’t the family of a Confederate General. Then again, she may have had limited exposure to her father’s family and he may not have spoken with a French-Canadian accent.

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Francis (Frank) J. Beauregard

Recently, I located the gravesite of Francis (Frank) J. Beauregard. He is interred in Calvary Cemetery in Holyoke, MA Frank was the brother of my 2nd great grandfather, Napolean Beauregard.

The inscription on his headstone reads:

Frank J. Beauregard
(1868 – 1931)

Margaret C. Smeddy His Wife
(1874 – 1918)

The headstone is larger and more ornate than the other lots in the same section. Furthermore, the lot has a stone border, which is a feature not present in other lots in the same area.

I had expected to see other names on the headstone. Lots in this area typically have room for four or eight burials and my information had some of the children of Frank and Margaret at Calvary. Furthermore, I couldn’t find the other Beauregards. To get some answers, I called the cemetery office. Their records had the following additional people in this lot:

Grace A (Beauregard) Wilson (1891 – 1955)
Beatrice C. (Beauregard) Johnson (1893 – 1979)
Francis M. Beauregard (1895 – 1971)
Marion A Beauregard (1897 – 1975)
Raymond Beauregard (1902 – 1963)
Ira A. Johnson (? – 1933)
Pierre Smeddy (? – 1943)

Ira was the husband of Beatrice and Pierre appears to have been the brother of Margaret. The rest were the children of Frank and Margaret. According to my research, they had one other child ( Lucy) who was born in 1890 and died before the 1900 census.

After Margaret’s death, Frank married Delia Pauze. Delia was born in French Canada in 1891. Their only child was named Norman and he was born in either 1920 or 1921. Unfortunately, their marriage was a short one as Delia died in Holyoke Hospital on September 29, 1921. She is interred in her family’s lot at Notre Dame Cemetery in South Hadley.

I have very limited information on Norman. Norman survived Beatrice and was living in Florida at the time. I found a Norman E. Beauregard who was born in Holyoke in Jan 1921 and died in Florida in 1987. This feels like a match, but I am not completely certain.

To my knowledge, Grace and Francis had children and Beatrice, Marion and Raymond did not. If my Norman is the correct Norman, he also had children.

I do find it interesting only Frank and Margaret are listed in the family headstone. I have to wonder if this was because of the cost, disagreement over the arrangement of the names in a limited space or something else.

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Doris (LaCasse) Morin

Back in December, Laurie and I located her great grandmother, Doris (LaCasse) Morin. She is interred in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Springfield, MA. Doris’s marker has sunken into the ground considerably. Here is what it looked like before we edged it.

Doris was born in Southbridge, MA on Jan 15, 1897 and died in Springfield, MA on June 10, 1959. She was the daughter of Frank and Mary (Lavallee) LaCasse. Both Frank and Mary had migrated to the United States from French Canada in the late 19th century.

As of this writing, I am undecided on whether the Doris’s maiden name was “LaCasse” or “LaCosse”. Her obituary and census records seem to indicate “LaCasse.” However, her sister Evelyn’s headstone and the obituaries of other family members says “LaCosse.” I would speculate that it was originally “LaCasse” and changed to “LaCosse”. In the 1900 census, Doris’s parents, Frank and Mary were listed as Francois and Marie, so we know they were willing to anglicise their names. My guess is they “LaCosse” is an anglicised version of “LaCasse” as “LaCasse” in French would sound like “LaCosse.”

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Silas Wright

I have added Silas Wright to my list of famous relatives. Silas was a prominent politician from New York. His offices included United States House of Representatives (1827-1829), New York Comptroller (1829-1833), United States Senate (1833-1844) and New York Governer (1845-1846). He was known for his financial acumen and was honored when his protrait was featured on the $50 Gold Certificate when it was first issued in 1881. His protrait was replaced by Ulysses Grant in 1913.

Silas was the nephew of my 5th great grandmother, Mary Wright (1774-1841). Mary married Asher Loveland (1767-1849). My 2nd great grandmother on my Wing side was a Loveland.

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