Friday, January 20, 2017

Rogers Rangers and “The Fight on snow shoes”

Today’s soldiers of Mountain Infantry or Special Forces train today at Camp Ethan Allen in Vermont and I can’t help but think of the soldiers who fought in those woods 250 years ago. Not far from here along the New York side of Lake George in 1758 Rogers Rangers fought “The Battle on Snowshoes”. They had gone out to scout from Fort Edward and were ambushed by more numerous French and Indian forces resulting in tremendous loss. It was reported that Robert Rogers himself only escaped by sliding 400 feet down what is now called Roger’s Rock. There is a lot written about the French and Indian conflicts and the woodsman’s style of war, and some of today’s soldiers are still taught similar “Rules of Ranging” as outlined by Rogers. I just hope they give them better equipment and clothes.
  Wikipedia is a good start but I trust the references better. 

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.