My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wyoming, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Obituary Poem for Bill West's Second Great American Local Poem Genealogy Challenge

For Bill West's Second Great American Local Poem Genealogy Challenge I have decided to enter a poem I recently received from my distant cousin, Claire. She in turn, received it from somebody trying to solve her own Adams "Brick Wall." Upon reading it, I realized it was a a story of a person's life, more like an obituary.  The only thing missing are the names of his parents, and the year of birth and death. Everything else is in, including his wife's name, years married and her father's name. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks Bill and I'm glad I'm participating in your challenge.

A LONG LIFE ENDED

At his son's house near the village,
  JASON ADAMS, ninety-three,
On the twenty-eighth of February
  Pass'd into eternity.
In Connecticut our subject,
  On the ninteenth of July,
In the county of New London,
  Like us all, was born to to die.

He was vigorous and rugged,
  And of Anglo-Saxon stock--
From the May-flow'r his grandfather
  Landed safe at Plymouth Rock.
Zachary Mann, his wife's father,
  Fought on fields where blood did run,
In the awful revolution,
  Under Gen'ral Washington.

He was present when the British
  Put the torch to Buffalo ;
And for us he used the musket
  In our fight with Mexico.
And was proud when Montezuma
  To defeat was found a prey,
And in triumph told the story,
  E'en upon his dying day.

He removed to Massachusetts
  When a lad of seventeen.
Where he Betsey Mann did marry
  With the virtue of a dean ;
With his wife he went to Bergen
  In the county Genesee,
And removed from there to Sheldon
  At the age of twenty-three.

'Mong the wolves, wildcats and panthers,
  Came our subject with his wife,
To the hardships was accustom'd
  Incident to frontier life.
He was sire of youths and maidens--
  Some are numbered with the dead,
And the years were sixty-seven
  Which were spent with her he wed.

He in life enjoyed religion,
  Died as Christians always die,
And his soul released from bondage,
  To the breast of God did fly.
And his children and their children
  And their children's children, too,
Will with him unite, if faithful,
  Heaven's King in glory view.

F. S. NOATMAN



As a genealogist, I just had to find out about Jason Adams, but it wasn't easy. One person had him and Betsey Mann in their tree, but no other information, and no sources. I discovered a Jason Adams mentioned in several newspapers, one dated March 12, 1887, stated, "Jason Adams, of Java, N. Y. aged 93, is dead." and a paper from Castile, N. Y. has "He was the oldest son of the late Jason Adams, who died in this village February 1887, aged 93." The person who located the poem said it was from a Warsaw, New York newspaper. So based on these facts, I believe it is the same person. All three towns are in Wyoming County, New York.

With the above information and his calculated birth year of 1794, I was able to locate him, his wife Betsey and children in the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 census. In 1880 Jason was 86 years old and died seven years later at age 93. It is nice to know I found my man.

7 comments:

Bill West said...

Now that's a definite connection between a poem and family history. Thanks for sharing it, Barbara, and thank you for participating!

Nolichucky Roots said...

Fabulous! I've never seen a poetic obituary before. And thanks for digging into his story. I was mapping out my search strategy halfway through the poem, but you saved me the time.

Barbara Poole said...

You are welcome Bill, I enjoyed it.
And Susan, I'm glad I saved you a bit of time. There was no way, I wasn't going to do it!

Nancy said...

What a great tribute/obituary for a great man.

Barbara Poole said...

Thanks Nancy. I was lucky to find it and actually research somebody I didn't know!

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Don't know how I missed this last year, Barbara! Great poem and obituary. I love that you tracked him down.

Judy

Bill West said...

Good piece of poetry and good genealogical detective work. Thanks for the resubmission, Barbara