Sunday, January 15, 2017

Who is John Tufts (again)!
Why does it always seem to be a John Tufts that gets confusing for researchers? I am still unsure of the ancestry of John Tuffts/Tufts of Ireland in 1723 who shipwrecked on Sable Island in 1737. I am hopeful more people in the McMillan line have tested DNA and compare with our other Tufts lines or contact me if they have tested. There should be some other Ulster Scot family names in these lines as well.

Now I am stuck on Reverend Joshua Tufts’ son John Tufts of Halifax, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and his son George. Maybe someone can look at it and straighten them out or has new records to be discovered to prove these guys. John Tufts born in Litchfield, New Hampshire in 1743 went to Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia with the family, was a ship’s Captain and had a family in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. His full story is told in Chapter 5.

John Tufts story is debated among researchers but I think he grew up in Halifax and was either at sea in 1767 when his parents died or charged with the care of his younger siblings there. At some point he married and the family moved to Saint Andrews, New Brunswick. The only marriage record found for him is from Boston, MA (John TUFFS to Mary Ready). Some records and genealogies state he died in Westbrook, Maine and there is a record of a John Tufts there, but It seems unlikely.

 The question about George Tufts is that some researchers have placed him as a son of John (1743) and some as a son of his son John born in 1775 who also married a Mary (Daley?) (Some online trees have Mary Ready and Mary Daley confused as few records can be found of either.) I use Tufts Kinsmen by Herbert Adams and Tufts Kinsmen Association as my first reference and quote them here with credit to their great work.  I have found the following records on line for George:
1827 marriage record, New Brunswick
1851 Census of Canada
            1865 US Census Acton MA
            1870 US Census Acton, MA
            1873 Death Record Acton, MA

There are some other miscellaneous records for his family but none show the details of which John and Mary were his parents. Perhaps someone with a DNA result on ancestry can find some family members that match these:
GEORGE TUFTS, (1800-1873) New Brunswick, died in Acton, MA, (Massachusetts vital records)Married RUTH DOLLIVER (1803-1883) They had 1) John, 2) George, 3) William, 4) Catherine, 5) Sarah M., 6) Sarah A., 7) Henrietta. 8) Mary L, 9) Caroline M., 10) Robert J., 11) Amelia A., 12) Adeline D. Tufts. The first 2 or 3 children were born in Saint Stephens NB then the family records are in Calais Maine.
             John Tufts 1828 married Amelia Katteau in Boston and had Erena, Georgianna (2), remarried Mary Barney. (Erena married and had a daughter Florence?)
            George Tufts (1830) Married Julia Coombs of Rochester NH?
            William Tufts (1831) no info
Catherine Tufts (1832) married John Burns and had a family in Calais, Maine and moved to Massachusetts.
Sarah Ann Tufts (1835) married Gilbert Thornton Webber and had 4 children, passing in Chelsea, MA
Henrietta Tufts (1839) married Martin (Van) Buren Moore moved to MA and had a family. She remarried Bishop(?).
Caroline Matilda Tufts (1841) married George Clark moved to MA and had 5 children
Robert Joseph Tufts (1843) Married first Lucy Jane Hinckley and had 1) Ruth, 2) John T, 3) Mary, 4) Rollins D. (?) He enlisted in the Navy in June 1861 and is listed at the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia in 1862. Some trees on line list his service in the Civil War but I believe these are for a Robert Tufts of Hingham. Lucy is with the Hinckley family in the 1880 census in Norfolk, MA (including 3-year-old John Thomas Tufts) and she died in 1882 in Ashland (findagrave link). It’s unclear whether they divorced. He remarried Sarah (Latham) James in Ontario and passed in Vancouver, Canada if Kinsmen is correct.

So, If anyone has any information on these John Tufts families, please pass it along. I am writing the full chapter of Joshua's later children and will include everything I have as of now. Contact

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Richard Holland Tufts additional information

Here are some of the news articles and additional information on Richard Holland Tufts

 Halifax Chronicle articles

 (detail of article)

 Richard Holland Tufts grave at Tufts Cove Cemetery 
Ada Tufts and sons stone at Tufts Cove Cemetery

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Richard Holland Tufts of Halifax Nova Scotia

Richard Holland Tufts was a Halifax Harbour Commission Police Officer who died while on duty in 1935. He is not recognized on any memorial there but we hope to change that some day. He had seen much tragedy in his life, losing his entire family in the harbor explosion of 1917.He survived the explosion and went on to remarry and have a family, serving his community as a Peace Officer and soldier. 

"Panoramic view of damage to Halifax waterfront after Halifax Explosion, 1917" by W.G. MacLaughlan - Library and Archives Canada - Reference Numbers: Accession: 1966-094, Reproduction: C-006967 (copy negative number) [1] [2]. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -,_1917.jpg#/media/File:Panoramic_view_of_damage_to_Halifax_waterfront_after_Halifax_Explosion,_1917.jpg

 Born in 1881, his middle name was respectful of his grandmother Ophelia (Holland) Tufts. Richard H was the son of Richard Agozagwell Tufts and Susan Blake. He descended from Peter Tufts, our common immigrant through Jonathan, James, James, and Gershom who came to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia around 1749. Richard’s line from Gershom was James B. Tufts, Charles H. Tufts, and Richard Agozagwell Tufts. They were descended from Dartmouth families but in the 1901 census Richard is living with his parents in Halifax and working as a moulder. His father worked for many years for the Canadian National Railroad. In 1911 He is still in Halifax and married with children, working as a laborer. He married Ada Maud (Clattenburg) in  and had Richard Albert Tufts, John C. Tufts, Harold Hastings Tufts and Clyde Robert Tufts. John C. died at just four years of age on December 26, 1914. Ada and the other boys were killed when their home was destroyed in the harbor explosion. They were living at 91 North Albert Street in Halifax’s Richmond neighborhood at the time which was heavily impacted by the explosion. It is presumed Richard must have been at work at the time of the explosion or on military service. The survivors list from the explosion lists his CPASC barracks for his contact information. He is credited with military service in and around Halifax. In his “Attestation Paper” of 1918 he states he is currently a member of the service and had been attached to the 63rd Regiment (3 years), AMC (9years), and CPASC (4 years, 5 days). The 63rd Regiment was the “Halifax Rifles”. They were placed on active service on 6 August 1914 for local protective duty in Halifax. AMC would have been the Canadian Army Medical Corps, and CPASC was the Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps.

 In 1918 he lists chauffeur as his occupation in the period census. It must have been a terrible loss for him, but he moved on with his life, married again and had another family. His family information can be found in Chapter 4 about half way down under the children of Richard Agozagwell Tufts and entered in red. I have a little more on the family and contact with descendants if any one is looking for more. It is easy to find information about the harbor explosion tragedy. The City of Boston’s help brings them a Christmas tree every year for their aid. You can watch it’s progress on social media.

Richard, Ada, and the children are buried at Tufts Cove cemetery. Gary Wright of Nova Scotia has been restoring the old graveyard and has provided a lot of information for this story. Great thanks are due to him for his hard work on the cemetery which was left to become over run. He has a facebook page and would appreciate any donations or help to the cause.
The cemetery is also on along with many other Tufts and other families descended from Tufts such as Gay, Wright, etc:

As always, please forward any corrections or additions to this story and please comment as appropriate so others can enjoy additional information. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Buttermilk Lane Cememtery, Middleton NH

UPDATE: Happy to report contact has been made with descendents and maintenance planned for this cemetery
Buttermilk Lane Cemetery in Middleton NH is in need of repair. I have known about this cemetery for several years and finally got to visit today. The fall leaves are covering many stones and grass is growing over some as well. many are hard to read due to age and some are even toppled over and covered.
I hope to find out who owns the land which it is on and try to get regular maintenance done next year. I will have to try and do it myself otherwise. There is one veteran. Ransom Tufts was a WW I veteran. Maybe the local American legion can help out.

There are 2 webpages to view the stones from a few years ago and less grown over. Thanks to Suzanne Shay, a Tufts descendant who visited and posted the pictures to findagrave. Her picasa page has the best viewing. There is also a transcription of the burials there at USgenweb archives site
Buttermilk Lane Cemetery internments at findagrave
Buttermilk Lane Cemetery Picasa album
US genweb Buttermilk Lane Cemetery burials

These families are descendents of Joseph Davis Tufts who descended from Thomas Tufts and his father Henry Tufts, the tailor, who lived in Newmarket and Lee, NH. Henry the tailor moved there from Medford MA where he descended from Rev. Thomas Tufts, the son of Peter Tufts and his father Peter Tufts the immigrant.  There are more details in the story of Henry's son Henry Tufts the criminal

 There are 3 or 4 stones buried here.

four years old

It's entirely possible this Lessard is a relative of my wife's Toland family

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Judge James Tufts, Western Pioneer, and Governor of Montana from Alstead, New Hampshire

This is the story of James Tufts the brother of my Great-Great Grandfather Timothy Tufts.
James Tufts born in 19 September, 1829 in Charlestown, New Hampshire. He was the son of Jonas Tufts, who was the first Tufts in our line to come to New Hampshire.  Prior to this the family had lived in the Boston suburbs. They descended from Peter the immigrant through the generations of John, Peter, Timothy and Timothy. Jonas moved to Walpole NH by 1823 where he married Sarah Labaree, the granddaughter of the early settler and Indian captive Peter Labaree. Jonas and Sarah's children were Timothy, Sarah, James, Martha, Clarissa, and Susan. Timothy was the father of Professor James Arthur Tufts who came to Exeter, New Hampshire and was the patriarch of my family (my great grandfather).

I’m trying to figure out what drew this young lawyer from western rural New Hampshire to “go west”. I could imagine he went there because there would be work for a young lawyer in the wild west. It appears he was involved in different business adventures so more likely it was the chance of fortune to be made in new territories and gold mining business as a lawyer, business man and politician.

James was probably educated in the local school in Charlestown, then he graduated from Kimball Union Academy in 1851. He graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1855. He had no wife to hold him in New Hampshire. His father had done well and bought a fine home at the head of the common in nearby Walpole, New Hampshire. Whatever it was he started in Iowa and then headed out west very soon afterwards. He could have been in Niobrara by 1856. Niobrara is a small village on the Missouri River where the Niobrara River enters. It is in Nebraska today but was then part of the Dakota Territories. This short detail is from History of the State of Nebraska first published in 1882 by The Western Historical Company, A. T. Andreas, Proprietor, Chicago, IL.
In the succeeding September (1856), the first building in Niobrara was erected. It was known as the "Old Cabin," was situated on the bank of the Missouri, and constructed of logs three feet in diameter, designed to subserve the double purpose of protection against the elements and their Indian enemies. The old cabin being built, they returned to Sioux City and Council Bluffs, and invited friends to join them in starting the town of Niobrara. The L'Eau qui Court Company was then formed, consisting of the following members: B. Y. Shelley, President; James Tufts, Vice-President; H. W. Hargis, Secretary; J. Austin Lewis, Treasurer; W. H. Benner, R. R. Cowan, George W. Gregg and Henry Thompson, all of whom became residents of Niobrara; and in addition, a number of prominent gentlemen of other places, as Judge A. W. Hubbard, and M. F. Moore, of Sioux City, and Joseph Holman, of Dakota City. In the fall of 1856, improvements were commenced by the company, but during the following winter the Poncas burned what houses and other buildings had been erected, except the "old cabin" or "fort," into which the settlers had retreated for safety, and in which B. Y. Shelley, R. R. Cowan, M. Huddleston and J. T. Smull passed the winter. During this winter the L'Eau qui Court Company was incorporated, its claim defined, and liberal ferry and bridge privileges guaranteed. The claim of the company comprised almost the entire Niobrara bottom, for a town site, about 3,000 acres in extent. The desire, and even the hope seem to have existed, to build up a very large town in a very short time, in an entirely unsettled country. Niobrara became the county seat during this winter…….
The company failed and The Niobrara Town Company replaced it but the town never blossomed, in part due to the outbreak of the Civil War.

The next quotes comes from History of Dakota Territory. By Kingsbury, George W, Chicago, IL, S.J. Clarke Pub. Co, 1915. Niobrara today is a town of less than one square mile and less than 500 inhabitants.
James presumably set up shop as a lawyer and business man, Indian agent and representative to the territory council. In 1862 James was charged with auditing the military of the territory which he did and is presented in History of Dakota Territory. There was considerable controversy over the audit and while his job was complete and thorough and praised by many, immediately after presenting it, he removed from the area and headed west again.  I also found a record of 1859 where he was appointed postmaster for Niobrara. It is also important to note that the boundary lines in these territories were just being worked out and the Niobrara area became Nebraska, and parts of Idaho to which he went in 1863 eventually became Montana.  The book Illustrated History of Nebraska…. by Julius Sterling Morton, Albert Watkins, George L. Miller Western Pub. and Engraving Company, 1911, states that in May 1863 James, along with a Mr. Hagaman, and  a Mr. Barnum travelled up the Missouri River to the Milk River then overland on horseback to Virginia City arriving in September 1863. That is a trip of 875 miles by road today and much further by river, and up into the mountains.
Virginia City was a pretty wild place in 1863. While the rest of the country was embroiled in the Civil War, this area was erupting with the discovery of gold. James wasted no time though, and was soon elected to the territorial council as mentioned in the Tufts Kinsmen detail below. 

JAMES was graduated from Middlebury College, Vt., in 1855 and studied law with John Stewart in Judge Phelps’s office in Middlebury and with Henry W. Starr in Burlington, Iowa, where he was admitted to the bar in 1857. Moving to Nebraska, he won election as a Probate Judge in 1859 and then to the Nebraska Legislature in 1860. After moving to Dakota Terr. he was Secretary of the Territorial Council during the 1861-62 session and in 1862 served as U. S. Commissioner of Military Claims. Moving to Idaho he represented the Third District of Nez Perce Co. (Virginia City and Fort Laramie, east of the Rocky Mts.) as a Republican in the first Territorial house in 1863, and served as Speaker of the 1863-64 session. He moved to Montana Terr. when Pres. Andrew Johnson named him Territorial Secretary and, in 1868, Pres. Ulysses S. Grant appointed him acting Governor of Montana Terr. and Superintendent of Indian Affairs. In 1870 he ran unsuccessfully as a delegate to Congress. He wrote the first book on Montana, which told of the great mineral wealth the region held and it was instrumental in attracting the first large migration of settlers there. After he retired he divided his time between New England and Nebraska.

Many histories of these territories include mention of James and his different capacities of service. There are also many newspaper articles from the area available through different resources on line. Soon he was a member of the Idaho Legislature and in 1867 when the territory became Montana  he was appointed Secretary. Perhaps he left Niobrara like many others in search of the money to be made in gold. The Yankton Press and Dakotan of Yankton South Dakota gave regular reports of his travails and included his letters as reports from the territory. He is also mentioned in the newspapers as having substantial business interests in the gold mines and he could have gone to sell business shares in New York. In one article it describes a tribute dinner for securing the capitol in Helena. A representation of the mining camp decorated the table. The “Gov. Tuft (Tufts) Gulch Capitol District” was honored.

In 1868 he was a key part of the treaties with the Shoshone Indians. Part of that treaty record is available online and quoted here:
SIR: We, W.J. Cullen, commissioner, and James Tufts, secretary of Montana, and acting governor, and superintendent of Indian. affairs, have the honor to make the following report respecting the mixed nation of Shoshone Indians, consisting of the Bannacks and Sheepeaters, and the treaty made and concluded with them near Virginia City, Montana Territory, on the 24th instant. This nation is scattered over a large extent of country westward from the Yellowstone to a mountain between the Bitter Root and Big Hole, running through Montana into Idaho. They are very poor, frequently being in great want both of provisions and clothing, and too weak, as a warlike nation, to contend with the more powerful tribes of Sioux upon the buffalo hunting grounds. They are sparsely supplied with stock, so that their game hunts are confined to very limited boundaries. Many of them depend, in a great measure, for subsistence upon the bounty of citizens in towns, and upon ranches. They are peacefully disposed towards the whites, and very few of them are ever engaged in the larceny or spoliation of the property belonging to the whites. The territory now occupied by the whites in Montana, and over which a land survey district has been extended, is entirely without treaty stipulations for the extinguishment of Indian titles. Many of these people are willing and anxious to work, and only require the encouragement and direction of the United States to cultivate the land and foster habits of thrift and industry, making themselves not only self-supporting but, to a limited extent, contribute to the agricultural development of the country. They are tractable and intelligent, receiving instruction quite readily and with profit. These being the circumstances which surround and govern these people, we have thought it advisable to make a treaty with them. We, therefore, assembled the chiefs and headmen, representing from 500 to 600 of these people, and proposed articles of treaty to them, which were readily and thankfully acceded to and endorsed by them, each provision of the treaty being plainly and fully explained to them.

One other possible reason for James’ excursion to the west comes from a detractor who wanted to see him replaced as Secretary of the Territory. In The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, Volume 19: July 1, 1868-October 31, 1869 the following excerpt appears.
On March 30, Robert E. Fisk, editor, Helena Herald, et al., Helena, Montana Territory, wrote to USG. "We the undersigned committee of Soldiers of the late volunteer union army, appointed at a convention of Soldiers & Sailors held at Helena in Montana Territory on the 9th day of Oct last, to represent the Soldiers & Sailors interest of that territory at Washing¬ ton City at this time, beg leave to submit the following reasons why we ask the removal of James Tufts, the present Secretary of Montana Territory Mr. Tufts was appointed Secretary by President Johnson, and is not in harmony with the Republican party, In the distribution of Government patronage he gives preference to democrats and disloyal men. He was not in the service at any time during the late war, but on the contrary went into the Territories to avoid its dangers,"—LS (3 signatures), ibid. Related papers are ibid. On April 3, USG nominated Wiley S. Scribner as secretary, Montana Territory. On April 15,1870

After his unsuccessful bid for Congress, James returned to New Hampshire. In 1872 he brought my Great-Grandfather to Phillips Exeter Academy. My Great-Grandfather James Arthur Tufts I was presumably named for his Uncle Jim. James Arthur Tufts diaries exist of only a few years but contain descriptions of Uncle Jim traveling with him and going to Walpole from Alstead (in sleigh or wagon) to “carry” Uncle Jim to the train. Judge James is noted in the Walpole NH census in 1880 but returned to Niobrara later in life and took up farming. Still never marrying, he passed in 1884 at age 54, of consumption. He is buried in L'Eau Qui Court Cemetery, Niobrara,
Knox County, Nebraska.