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Monthly Archives: May 2010


Another revelation about our new old house. From the discovery of the amazing fifteen occupants in 1930, I knew the house had had its west wing rented out at the time. Further deed digging gave me a new conundrum: according to the town’s deed index, the owners of the house in 1930 seem to have […]

fifteen people lived here…

In 1930, our new house was pretty full. The census shows that Emanuel and Maria lived there with their eight daughters. Eight daughters. And, in the west wing (which back then boasted a separate street number) Ezra and Marian, renters, lived with three more daughters. Eleven girls. Maybe their ages & surnames were faked, and […]

colonial recycling, on the attic walls

A couple of days ago I posted on the eighteenth-century trigonometry homework on the walls of our attic. Now I have some pictures. The trigonometry, it turns out, was for the study of navigation. There are also legal papers and accounts, and the odd scrap of printing. I should explain the context you can see […]

Allin house — the smokehouse

I mentioned earlier the space within the central chimney complex in our house. The description we were given of it — as a ‘hidey hole’ — hardly does it justice, and it would have been a pretty sooty place to hide. It is a glorious smoking chamber with probably 40 to 50 wrought nails in […]

the draper’s apprentice: Arthur Mackworth

I’ve been working for some time now, albeit sporadically, on an article on the Shropshire Mackworths. Lately I’ve been in correspondence with an English Mackworth descendant, in Shropshire, who was introduced to me in correspondence by a mutual friend. Liz Roberts, who descends from the Betton Strange Mackworths, is a keen genealogist and actually volunteers […]

four wills, four generations, four courts: the Allins of Barrington

I’ve begun to poke around in the history of the Allin family to see about the land and house. The attributed builder of our house is Thomas4 Allin (Matthew3, Thomas2, William1), who lived from 1742 to 1800. His great-grandfather, William1 Allin, had bought a portion of the original land purchased from the family of the […]

she grew up here too: Elizabeth (Allin) Bicknell

Turns out Amy Allin’s sister has a picture in Bicknell’s Barrington too, Elizabeth Waldron Allin: And well she should, since Elizabeth went on to marry her cousin (at least two different ways), Allin Bicknell; they were parents of Thomas W. Bicknell, the author. No wonder he seems to have felt a special attachment to our […]

hige sceal the heardra: a possible descent from Maldon

In reviewing Stephen Baxter’s Earls of Mercia for The American Genealogist one thing that struck me was a possible descent from a casualty at the Battle of Maldon — even one of those whose stirring speeches are preserved in the great fragmentary Anglo-Saxon poem. Ealdorman Leofwine, founder of a dynasty of Mercian earls, might have […]