Jan 13

52 Ancestors: #2 Joseph H Waddell

52 Ancestors: #2 Joseph Howe Waddell

The parents of Sara Waddell were Joseph H Waddell and Elizabeth (called Libbie) McDougall who were married in Windsor, Hants County, Nova Scotia, 1 June 1871.[1]

Children of Joseph and Libbie were[2]

  1. William John Waddell, born 23 February 1872
  2. Ruby Waddell, born 11 September 1874[3]
  3. Maude Waddell, born 23 September 1875
  4. Warren Waddell, born 26 January 1877[4]
  5. Gertrude Waddell, born 16 August 1880
  6. Sara Waddell, born 25 December 1881
  7. Bessie Waddell, born 18 July 1884
  8. Herman Waddell, born 18 July 1884 and died 26 June 1895.[5]
  9. Owen Waddell, born 20 January 1886
  10. Grace Waddell, born 17 November 886
  11. Joseph H Waddell, born 15 January 1889 or (15 February 1889)[6]

According to Joanna Currie and Jane Wile, Joseph Howe Waddell was born in Maitland, 25 October 1884, the second son of John and Mary Waddell; and died 30 June 1942 at the age of 98. [7]

The family of Joseph Waddell and Lizzie McDougall were enumerated in the 1881, 1891, and 1901 Census of Canada.[8]

On the 18th of April 1891, the family of Joseph Waddell, ship carpenter, was enumerated in the 35th District of Hants County.[9] The Waddell family was Presbyterian.

Elizabeth (McDougall) Waddell died, 18 April 1918, and was buried in the McDougall Cemetery in South Maitland.[10]

Sibling photographs

Waddell Sisters

Waddell Sisters

Waddell Sisters—back center is Sara (Waddell) Woodward, the others are Maud, Bessie and Gertrude, but I can’t match position with a name.

Owen Waddell

Owen Waddell

I had the pleasure of briefly meeting my great uncle, Owen Waddell, in July of 1975 when traveling through Nova Scotia. I took the photograph of him at that time.

Research of the records of Nova Scotia have barely begun, but will be a main focus when I’m in Salt Lake City in February. There is so much to learn.

[1] Marriage of Joseph H Waddell and Libbie McDougall, Nova Scotia, Canada, Marriages, 1763-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010, viewed 12 January 2014.

[2] Interview with Virginia Woodward Smith, granddaughter of Joseph H Waddell and Lizzie McDougall, 7 September 1991.

[3] Birth Record of Ruby Waddell, Births registered at Maitland, Hants County, Nova Scotia, 1874; FHL microfilm 1,319,533 (item 2)

[4] Birth record of Warren Waddell, Births Registered at Maitland, Hants County, Nova Scotia, 1877; FHL microfilm 1,319,554.

[5] McDougall Family Cemetery, South Maitland, transcribed by Glenda Clooney, 1987; viewed at Hants County, Nova Scotia GenWeb Project (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nshants/resources/cemetery/somaitmc/index.htm), 8 December 2008. Hereinafter cited as McDougall Family Cemetery.

[6] Attestation Paper, Joseph Howard Waddell, Jr., #134214, Canadian Over-seas Expeditionary Force; Family History Library microfilm xxx.

[7] Joanna (MacLean) Currie and Jane (Currie) Wile, Genealogical Profile: Mathews [and] Waddells (Turo, Nova Scotia: privately printed, n.d.), 50. The organization is un-orthodox and frequently difficult to follow.

[8] 1881 Census of Canada, Maitland, Hants County, Nova Scotia, family 82, FHL microfilm 2,476,820; 1891 Census of Canada, Maitland, Hants County, Nova Scotia, family 94; Family History Library microfilm 1465741; and 1901 Census of Canada, Maitland, Hants County, Nova Scotia, family  ; Family History Library microfilm 2,854,645.

[9] 1891 Census of Canada, Maitland, Hants County, Nova Scotia, family 94; Family History Library microfilm 1465741.

[10] McDougall Family Cemetery.

© 2014. Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGL. All Rights reserved.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=613

Jan 12

52 Ancestors: #1 Sara Waddell

Sara Waddell

Sara Waddell

“You probably think of me (your grandmother) as a nice old lady living a very quiet and, in your opinion, a not very interesting life…” These words begin a letter to her grandchildren, which she related to my grandfather as he typed the letter for us.[1] That first sentence was “spot on.” As I recall Grandmother Woodward was a sedate, heavy set, matronly woman who enjoyed knitting and playing canasta. Unlike my maternal grandmother, she rarely spoke about her life growing up in Nova Scotia. That is why her letter to her grandchildren is so very special.

Sara Waddell is my only grandparent not born and raised in New England. Of Scottish ancestry, she was born in South Maitland, Hants County, Nova Scotia, in 1881 on Christmas day,[2] daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (McDougall) Waddell.

Grandmother related that she was impulsive and impatient in her early years.  She described her birthplace, South Maitland, Nova Scotia, as a small village with no store or railroad and the post office was in one room of a private dwelling.

Of her childhood, grandmother related

         When I was five or six years old, I went to stay with my grandmother and two aunts who lived in a big, two-story house, situated on a high know, just across the road from my home. This house was surrounded by a white picket fence. Grandmother’s maiden name was Sarah O’Brien… I do not remember much about my grandfather who was William MacDougall from Scotland. He passed away when I was quite young. I do remember that he built sailing vessels.

         Grandmother was a severe looking woman, strict, but just and good hearted. She always dressed in black, but whether this was intended to be perpetual, I don’t know. It never occurred to me to ask when I lived there. She was over 80 years old when she passed on and at that time she did not have a gray hair, it was as black as midnight, parted in the middle and combed down over her ears in sharp contrast to the classy permanents that adorn present day grandmothers.

         She was a fine cook and in the sixty years that have passed I have never forgotten her sour milk biscuits. How I used to lay into them, getting my full share if not more. Down in Nova Scotia we always had plenty to eat and I was blessed (to speak loosely) with a hearty appetite. Our children must have inherited from me their ravenous desire for nourishing food although your grandfather was never one to toy with his vittles, either at meal time or when he had a light snack or one or two sandwiches. Leftover included hash, chowder, or some similar dainty tidbit before going to bed. Perhaps it is because of a good appetite is one of the few traits of my youth I still retain, I am, let us say, reasonably well fitted. When we were married, I weighed only 13_ although I was five feet, seven inches tall….

 The letter continues to relate stories the family cows, a frightful thunderstorm, riding horseback, and childhood Christmases.

Sara, with her sisters Gertrude and Mode sailed from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on the S.S. Prince George, 14th of September 1900 and arrived in the port of Boston the following day. [3]was eighteen, she traveled from Nova Scotia to the suburbs of Boston where she worked in a variety of capacities. In 1902, their sister Bessie joined them in the United States.[4]

Orphanage, Franklin, N.H.

Orphanage, Franklin, N.H.

When she was about twenty-two she took a position with the Orphan’s Home in Franklin, New Hampshire. While she was employed there, she met Oscar H. Woodward. The couple wa wed on the 28th of September 1907, in Belmont, Massachusetts.[5]

Sara Waddell Woodward died at the age of seventy-three on the 1st of July 1955, in Hartford, Connecticut.[6]

[1] Grandfather Woodward loved to write and submitted many stories to various magazines, so since he adored weaving tales, I’m sure that many of the words and phrases that were written were not those of my grandmother. A copy of the letter is in the possession of the author.

[2] Death Certificate of Sara Waddell Woodward, #11435, Connecticut State Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Hartford, Connecticut; and undated letter from Sara Waddell Woodward to her grandchildren written about 1950.

[3] Manifest of Alien Immigrants for the Commissioner of Immigration, S.S. Prince George arriving in Boston, 15 September 1900, page 163, Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, 1917-1943; National Archives microfilm T938, reel 40; viewed on Ancestry.com 12 January 2014.

[4] Manifest of Alien Immigrants from the Commissioner of Immigration, S.S. Boston, arriving in Boston 21 December 1902 page 118, Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, 1917-1943, National Archives and microfilm T938, Reel 57; viewed on Ancestry.com 12 January 2014.

[5] Indexes to Marriages in Massachusetts, 1906-1910, Vol. 571:348

[6] Death Certificate of Sara Waddell Woodward, #11435, Connecticut State Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Hartford, Connecticut.

© Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGL. All rights reserved.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=609

Dec 04

Remembering WHS, Class of ’59 Revisited

Blogging is rewarding in so many ways!

On the 27th of July, I made a short post by my high school days in Walpole, New Hampshire. That original post may be read by visiting http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=500.

Before (or after) my visit to the Fitness Center, I pick up my mail at the postal facility in Wolfscratch village here at Big Canoe. This morning I was bewildered by a 6″x9″ envelope from a stranger named Arthur in New Hampshire. I was stunned to find two photographs of the Allen Kendall Orchestra taken in 1956 and a CD of their venue on New Years Eve 1955. Tears flowed (and continue to trickle down as I write this post) as I read the accompanying letter. “I was looking up Allan Kendall on the web the other day and up came your REMEMBERING WHS, CLASS of ’59….”

Santa2Arthur you have made me believe in Santa Claus once again. I’m so touched by your taking the time to send me the CD from the 1955 reel-to-reel tape and the photographs. This is the best present ever! “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!”

I’ll contact Santa Arthur and ask his permission to post the photographs he shared with me.

Wishing all of you a wonderful, memorable, and safe holiday season!


Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=605

Nov 21

Why were Alice M. Brown & Homer L. Perkins married in Chester, NH?

Among the effects of my grandmother, Alice M. (Brown) Perkins, was a certificate of marriage (image shown in Fig. 1). When I first saw this slip of papers many years ago, but after the death of my grandmother, I thought it strange that she married Homer L. Perkins in Chester (Rockingham Co.), NH. She had been born and raised in Canterbury and he in nearby Loudon. Nana Perkins once told me that she had boarded in the home of Homer’s parents, John B. and Emma (Jenkins) Perkins,  when she had taught at the Yellow School in Loudon. I eventually passed off the “strange” marriage location to the romantic notion of elopement. That assumption proved to be incorrect.

I’ve recently begun a huge project of scanning the documents that I’ve collected during my family research during the past forty years plus. I’m finding some valuable treasures.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

Newspaper Article – a Revelation. This morning, I found an article (see Fig. 2) regarding the 25th wedding anniversary of Homer and Alice. The article contains several pieces of information including whey they were married in Chester. As the above certificate indicates, the couple was married on the 8th of April 1908 by the Rev. Albert E. Hall. In the newspaper clipping below (newspaper not identified) we are told in the 3rd paragraph, that the Rev. Hall had been a former pastor of the Canterbury Church. In fact Rev. Hall was the minister of The Center Congregation Church in Canterbury from June 16, 1895 to March 27, 1898.[1] It is likely, then that the Brown family had belonged to Hall’s congregation, but at this point in time I have no evidence of that.

The article also provided an interesting fact about my grandfather, Homer L. Perkins, that I never knew. I knew that he own a store in Loudon Village, and was strongly involved in buying and selling real estate. What I didn’t know was that he had left Loudon to study law, but had left those studies to return to Loudon. Now, where or under whom did he read law? Another project for research.

[1] James Otis Lyford, History of the Town of Canterbury, New Hampshire, 1727–1912, 2 volumes (Concord, New Hampshire: The Rumford Press, 1912), I: 314.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Fig. 2

Fig. 2

Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=599

Jul 05

Military Service of Lewis M. Davis

Searching for possible military service of my great uncle, Lewis M. Davis was not straightforward. My first go to for Civil War service is the National Park Service database of Soldiers and Sailors [http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm]. I’ve not used the site for quite a while and was greeted by a complete makeover since my last visit. I searched soldiers for “Lewis M. Davis” and “New Hampshire” with no result. Broadening the search I sought “Lewis Davis” and “New Hampshire with the following result:


NPS “Soldiers & Sailors” database

Who is this Lewis F. Davis serving in the 16th NH (middle entry). Could this entry have been miss-read by someone who interpreted the letter “M” as “F”?

Since I’m not physically located near a repository with the microfilm of New Hampshire service records, I needed to try another Online search tool. I turned to Ancestry.com. Ah Ha! Lewis M. Davis was located in the database “U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865. Like his brother-in-law, he had enlisted in Company E, New Hampshire 16th Infantry Regiment [Ancestry's source: Register of Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire].





Ancestry – “U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles

I found it interesting that this abstract indicates that Lewis M. was mustered out on the 20th of August 1863 at Concord, NH and died one day later.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=574

Jul 02

Davis Burials in Sawyer Cemetery, Merrimack County, NH

In September 1991, I was fortunate to have a road-trip with my uncle, Douglas Russell Woodward, while visiting in New Hampshire. Uncle Doug, 2nd child of Oscar H. Woodward and Sara Waddell, had spent much of his youth in West Franklin before his family removed to East Concord. We visited West Franklin where he pointed out the house his father rented on South Main Street while he was a young boy. He also showed me the house where he recalled his great grandmother Nancy (neé Glines) Davis resided and the cemetery, Sawyer Cemetery, where she was buried with her husband and at least two of her children. Alas, I had no GPS unit at the time, nor did I take careful note of the location of the two homes. What was I thinking?

A DeLorme map of New Hampshire, published in 1984, illustrates the location of Sawyer Cemetery.

1984 map showing location of Sawyer Cemetery.

Green Arrow Points to Sawyer Cemetery near the head of Webster Lake

Apparently, at one time the road on which the Davis family resided (in Andover just over the Franklin line) continued on past Sawyer Cemetery and on to the head of Webster Lake. That road had long since been impassable in 1991.

Davis Tombstones in Sawyer Cemetery

Davis Tombstones in Sawyer Cemetery

Lewis Davis

Lewis Davis


Nancy Davis

Nancy Davis














Lewis M. Davis

Lewis M. Davis

Catherine Davis

Catherine Davis














On that trip Uncle Doug also showed me the cemetery in Franklin where his paternal grandparents were buried the needle factory building were several of his uncles and great uncles worked. The needle factory will be discussed at a later date.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=587

Jul 01

From NH to Minnesota in a Conestoga Wagon?


Family Tradition…. Several family stories have been proven to be way off the mark and only apparent wishful thinking on the part of my grandfather and uncle. Consequently when my uncle told me that his great grandmother (Nancy Glines Davis) had gone to Minnesota in a Conestoga wagon, but had returned since they didn’t like living there, I was somewhat skeptical.

Many years later the memory and interest in the story was renewed when I found the will of Lewis M. Davis, written on10 November 1862 in Franklin, New Hampshire and probated in September 1963.[1] In his will, written while a soldier in service of the United States, “First One hundred and sixty acres of land situated in the town of Sauk Center Sterans County in the State of Minnesota….to Cora Judkins for her sole comfort and benefit she to come in possession at the age of eighteen the daughter of Horace and Esabeth Judkins…”




Lewis M. Davis, son of Lewis and Nancy (Glines) Davis,[2]  died  21 August 1863, at the age of 31.

I need to determine where and how he died. I suspect while he was serving with the Union forces.

Lewis is not a direct ancestor. His sister, Laura Davis, wife of Daniel R. Woodward, was my great grandmother. Daniel R. Woodward served in the Company E, 16th New Hampshire Volunteer Regiment.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Will of Lewis M. Davis, Probate Case #6128, Merrimack County, New Hampshire; Probate Clerk’s Office, Concord, New Hampshire.

[2] Tombstone of Lewis M. Davis, Sawyer Cemetery, located just off Hoyt Rd. near the Franklin and Andover town lines at the head of Webster Lake, Merrimack County, New Hampshire; viewed and photographed by Linda Woodward Geiger in September 1991.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=554

Jun 24


When reading Russ Worthingon’s blog, “A Find-A-Grave Experience“ today, it brought to mind that I’d never checked Find-A-Grave for any records of my late husband’s burial. He passed on the 22nd of June 2008 and according to his wishes his remains were cremated and taken to his hometown of Ottawa, Illinois, for burial in the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery where many of his family and ancestors had been interred.

I knew where Charlie was buried (I was there) and I have photographs of his marker, so it really never occurred to me to look for him in Find-A-Grave. Today I did! I searched for him using the filters of his surname, “Illinois” and died “2008.” Happy day, he was there, but not in total. Someone, with a username I cannot identify, had posted his obituary. There is not an image of his grave marker. It is apparent that the obituary was provided by the funeral home in Georgia that took care of the basic arrangements.

Apparently posting of obits is a common practice on Find-a-Grave.

Posted below is an image of the grave maker taken about 8 months after it was placed. I was dismayed to find that although the family has perpetual care, the lower left part of the stone had been over-run with grass.

Since Charlie and I had lived in Georgia for nearly 25 years when he died, I had a memorial plaque posted on a wall at the Big Canoe Chapel Cemetery.

DSCN3000 DSCN1524

Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=550

Dec 23

Bible of Alfred H Brown

Bible belonging to Alfred H. BrownThe Sunday School Class taught by Alfred H. Brown presented him with a Bible. Unfortunately, a date of publication has not been located.

The family records are sparse containing marriage and birth information for Alfred H. Brown and Miss Lizzie Gale and the birth dates fo their four children. The Bible also presented the opportunity for place of sixteen photographs, but only twelve have survived. It would be logical for the images to be those of family and close relatives. None of the images carry identification. Could some of the individuals be members of the Sunday School class?

I present you scans of the pages and will hope that someone will be able to identify some of the people.

Bible belonging to Alfred H. Brown

Bible belonging to Alfred H. Brown


Bible belonging to Alfred H. Brown













Bible belonging to Alfred H. Brown

Bible belonging to Alfred H. Brown


Bible belonging to Alfred H. Brown













The Bible is in the possession of Linda Geiger, Big Canoe, Georgia.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=527

Jul 06

Your Story – Career

Scrapper’s Guide theme for the month of July is Career. I’ve completed two pages (teacher & genealogist), but have not yet completed the roles that were most important to me (#1 mother & #2 wife). I’ll be completing those pages later this month. But for now….


© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.musingsbylinda.com/MyFamily/?p=510

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