Whisper Through Time

Shelbi5Months_edited (17)

Shelbi’s 5 month photo


As winter quickly approaches I am spending more time researching and less time on Facebook.  Christmas will be so much fun with a 5 month old in the house.  Shelbi is starting to sleep through the night, YAY!  Napping we haven’t gotten down yet…

The focus of my research has been on www.ancestry.com, and checking out their “hints” for family members.  Back in April my husband got me a 6 month membership for my birthday.  It’s been AWESOME!! I love it!!  I have started to connect the Lash & Lane lines together!  And as always, collecting & researching stuff for the Barkhamsted Lighthouse tribe (That’s the Webster, Wilson, Chagum line).

My main focus are finding a few brick walls.

Mary J. Reinhart (also spelled Rinehart) was born in December 1831 in New York. She married Lyman C. Lash on December 9, 1848, in Grand Blanc, Genesee, Michigan. They had five children in 20 years.  She is in the 1850 Census in Atlas, Genesee, Michigan with her husband & newborn daughter Emily.  1860 Census in OregonLapeerMichigan with her husband & 3 children Emily, Jane & George.  1870 Census in Richfield, Genesee, Michigan with her husband & two children George & newborn named Frederick (who is their adopted child named John Henry Lash).  1880 Census in Richfield with her husband & son John.  Their children were (from oldest to youngest) Emily, Jane, Hester, George & adopted son John.   She died in 1893 in Michigan, at the age of 61, and was buried in Union Cemetery, Richfield, Genesee, Michigan.

And speaking of Mary & Lyman’s adopted son John Henry Lash another of my brick wall is John’s birth mother.  Phoebe Lash Dowd.  Phoebe Lash was born on October 24, 1841, in Ontario, New York, the only child found of William Lash (according to her death certificate).  In the US Census 1850 & 1860 she lived with Austin Felt & Betsy (Nee: Lash) Felt in New York as Phoebe Lash.  She married William John Dowd between 1865-1866 and they had two children together, Etta Elena Dowd (1866 – 1941) & John Henry Lash (1869 – 1942). Sometime before John was born William Dowd died of gangrene.  In 1870 she & Etta lived in Genesee County, Michigan with Austin & Betsy again.  She then married William E. Lash (son of Morgan Lash & Lydia Brown) and they had four children together between 1875 and 1883. Their children were (from oldest to youngest) Cora A., OliveFrancelia, & Peter Irving. She died on February 24, 1917, in Wolcott, New York, at the age of 75, and was buried in Wayne, New York.

Poem by Bert Webster

I find more & more of the desendants of the Light House Tribe are into writing, most specificly poetry. My mother wrote poem, as did some of her brothers & sisters, their mother Edith Webster-Lash wrote a ton of poems. Here is a poem by

Poem for thought

As I sit here all alone I thank the Lord I have a home.

And now I think I’ve found a gal that will make a real good Pal.

I know that we are getting old so lets not let our love grow cold.

So I nope that we both keep our sight so we will both do things right.

I know it’s hard to leave ones home but it’s much better than being alone.

We might be in a field of clover, so sit rightdown and think it over.

(Page 1)

I know good things are hard to find so don’t think we should change our mind.

And when I go to bed at night I lay and wonder if you will write.

And so if goes the whole night through, I just lay there and think of you.

I hope its plain for you to see so sit right down and write to me.

And tell me just how you feel so we can some day make a deal.

So I will sit and wish and try and so I’ll close and say by by.

With all my Love, Bert

(Page 2)

I just sit and ponder on how this poem was created, was Bert working on the railroad at this time and was Elizabeth (known as Lizzie to her family) living in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada or was she in America already? I wonder if they met while he was working on the line, or if they met through her half brother James. However they met, you can tell that he was smitten with her.

Wedding Day
November 1, 1906

They look so happy in their wedding photo… so sad that 15 short years later Lizzie died only 5 month after giving birth to the youngest of their four daughters of Acute Nephritis (Acute nephritis is a sudden inflammation of the kidney.).


My cousin Coni took this photo up at the Barkhamsted LightHouse site.  It’s a very beautiful flower.  I ponder if James & Molly planted these because they loved the flower or because there was a purpose or even if it was a wild flower….

So my first step was to ask my friends on Facebook if they’d ever seens this kind of flower, I got one response, they thought it looked like the wild flower called Trillium.  I went to google & looked it up.  On Wikipedia it says “Picking a trillium seriously injures the plant by preventing the leaf-like bracts from producing food for the next year. A plant takes many years to recover. For this reason in Michigan, Minnesota and New York it is illegal to pick and/or transplant trilliums from public lands without a permit from the State.”

It goes on to say “Some trilliums have a flower which is bent downward, below the leaves.” It looks like this is what these are doing, and that “In a 1918 publication, Joseph E. Meyer called it “Beth Root” (probably a corruption of “birthroot”) and claimed that an astringent tonic derived from the root was useful in controlling bleeding and diarrhea” (Meyer, Joseph E. The Herbalist and Herb Doctor. Hammond, IN: Indiana Herb Gardens, 1918, p. 50.)  It is a wildflower, but I wonder if it is natural to Connecticut?

I’m sure James knew of its medicinal uses.  What other flowers & plants are up there that can be used for healing or something else.  If you see these flowers, take a pic, admire them but don’t pick them, it could be illigal plus it will harm the plant.

We will be known forever by the tracks we leave…

Contemplating the events of the last week, I am drawn to that old Native man who called me Whitefeather. I talked a bit to my cousin Coni & she encouraged me to embrace my Native name, that it wasn’t done by mistake. So I started researching symbolism of a white feather.

On eHow.com is says that “To Native Americans a white feather represents purity and wholesomeness of heart. A Native American Indian given the name Whitefeather is translated to mean the bravest of the brave.” Bravest of the brave? Really? I was given this name when I was 6 or 7 years old… how could that man have given me this name?

In Texas there is a legend, a white feather if seen was a prediction of death. Oh wow! That’s comforting that I’ve never seen a white feather in person… LOL! Some places show the white feather as a show of cowardice. There is a movie entitled “WHITE FEATHER” Robert Wagner in it, about the story of the peace mission from the US cavalry to the Cheyenne Indians in Wyoming during the 1870s (Yeah right)! I found a book called Whitefeather about a young girl named Whitefeather who, along with her family, are taken on the Trail of Tears. There is a women who is an author named Sheri Whitefeather…. hmm that’s interesting!

I found a quote somewhere on the web that I wrote down, “We will be known forever by the tracks we leave!” I believe this is a call to arms for me. I believe it’s the echo’s of my ancestors that are calling out for me to find them & learn about the “tracks” they left for me to find. Also, it’s a challenge for us, to leave a legacy for our children, grandchildren & beyond… a legacy of purity, wholesomeness of heart & bravery.

William P. Wilson – Revolutionary War Soldier

In my search for William Wilson’s Revolutionary War records, I was beginning to think that he wasn’t in the war or that he wasn’t a white man as people claim him to be, as I couldn’t find anything at all connecting him & the Revolutionary War.  Then right in front of my face on Coni’s Ever Widening Circle blog on the right hand side in a list of Links for the Chagum/Lighthouse Tribe is a gleem of hope!

Barkhamsted Soldiers Monument

The link is the the Barkhamsted Soldiers Memorial, it is a list of soldiers that fought in different wars. Right there 3rd from the last name is William Wilson!! I have hope that he served! Now my search is renewed! I am determined to find William Wilson in records of the Revolutionary War!

Like I said in a previous post, I have found 6 ancestors that served in the Revolutionary War, and I have submitted a request to get an application to the DAR, (Daughter’s of American Revolution), so I am hoping that once I become a member that I will have access to more of their records & I will be able to find him.

Echo’s of Lost Footsteps

Tonight I witness something purely amazing! I went & saw a concert, now I know what your thinking… “How can a concert be purely amazing!” I had the privilege to hear RainSong Music and Storytelling at a church in our community. I was so excited when my new good friend, Dan, emailed me & said the “Indians are coming!” I was raised by my father’s parents, they were from English, Dutch, Irish, Wales & French-Canadian background. I had no knowledge of my Native American ancestry.

I remember when I was 6 or 7 years old, I was with my mother for a visit & she took me to a POW-WOW. I remember standing next to the drum set (very much like the one in the photo to the left) watching with intense joy the men beating on the drum, I could feel the drum in my heart… it was magic to me. Then something awesome happen, the oldest man in the drum circle looked at me (he had been watching me & smiling the whole I time I stood there) and when he looked at me he handed me his drumstick and said “Here little one, you beat the drum Whitefeather.” It was such a great time, me beating that drum! I had forgotten the memory of him letting me beat the drum… but not the name he used… Whitefeather! I remember thinking that was sooooo beautiful. When I was done with the drum, I handed him the stick and he tapped my small head & he said “Whitefeather, beautiful little one, princess.” He smiled and continued drumming & singing. Years later I went to my second POW-WOW, I was 14… stubborn & rebellious! I was too cool to stay with my mother & grandmother. So I walked around by myself looking at the different shops. I was so angry that I couldn’t bring a friend or least one of the cousin’s I liked. I was looking at some art work in a tent. The picture was of a woman on a horse and she was in white clothing, the horse was running or jumping and she had a single feather in her hair, it was long & white. An old lady that was in the tent, came up to me, looking at the picture said “This is Princess Whitefeather, she is beautiful yes?” As she said finished her question she looked at me and with eyes growing wide she said, “Whitefeather?” I didn’t know what to say, so I walked away. A few tents down another person asked me if my name was Whitefeather… I didn’t know what this meant but my 14 year old mind was starting to freak out. I found my mother & grandmother at a picnic table under a canapy. They were listening to the drummers… I sat there for a moment trying to process things I never understood… when one of the drummers said in English “Whitefeather you have returned dear princess!” That was all my mind could handle, I tucked it all away for another day.

Tonight’s concert reminded me of those drums & what my name means, for my birth name Sherry mean beloved, dear one, princess. One of the songs they sang tonight was Echoes of Lost Footsteps. It’s about wondering what happen to the people of the past. It’s one of the slower songs that they have, but as I listened to the song, I could hear deep in my heart that meant something to my Genealogy search. That’s what we do as genealogist, we never hear an answer or know what are ancestors were really like, (oh how I wish Time Travel was real, I would go visit my ancestors and get to really know who they were)! Our ancestors to us will only be Echo’s of Lost Footsteps in the Earth for us to search out & find.

That phrase touched my heart, Echo’s of Lost Footsteps, that I have renamed my Blog this. And I pray that you hear the Echo’s of the Lost Footsteps in your family tree.

…Some in Michigan are Living…

This is a post from my previous blog, it’s my favorite piece of writing about some of my favorite ancestors Hope you enjoy it!

…Some in Michigan are Living…

Calling me back “home,” beckoning me is a little piece of land. Ironically it is called Barkhamsted Lighthouse. I ponder the inhabitants of the Lighthouse “Tribe” even thought what it’s name would mean to those coming after them. To me it is a beacon deep in my heart. A passion that was my mother’s and my grandmother’s to stand where the Websters & Chagum’s once stood. To see the old cemetery & foundations of the homes, that are barely noticed today. To somehow feel their presence from the past. To visit the town’s Historical Society and Records vault, to find my ancestors name in some forgotten record.

It all starts with JAMES CHAGUM and MOLLY BARBER.

James Chagum, it is believed that he is the son of Great James Chagum and Jane/Priscilla Sands, was born in Jun 1710 in Block Island, Washington County, RI. James, by all accounts, spoke English very well, that he “fit in with the community well.”  He went to worked as a gardener for Molly’s father. Other notable events are; Land Grant: 1760. “James Chaugham being awarded a land grant in 1760 by the British Gov. of GT.”, Military Service: Possible that he served in the French Indian Wars. Molly Barber was born about 1714, uncertian where, some reports of Ireland others Wethersfield, CT. Her father’s name could be Peter or Joseph Barber, but it is unknown.  According to one book her mother’s name is Mary. In the 1800, Litchfield County, CT. “Mary Chaugum, P. 32, with 1 Female-over 45, 3 free persons in family”

The story goes that Molly had many male callers, she fell in love with a gentleman caller, and her father denied them to get married and locked her up on their grounds, the gentleman then moved out west. James seeing Molly so sad gave her a rose from the garden and a friendship blossomed. They eventually fell in love and decided to run away so they could be together. Molly’s angered father chased them from Wethersfield, CT into an Indian village near Barkhamsted, were he passed right by Molly and didn’t even recognize her. Molly and James fearing that they’d be descovered then settled in the mountain range around Barkhamsted where they flourished. They had 8 children in all; Two boys Samuel who married Miss. Green of Sharon, CT and Solomon who married Miss Hayes & now I have found that he may have also married a Ms. Sophia Bills-Webster who died while giving birth on 3 Mar 1848 in Kent, Litchfield County, CT. Six girls, two who never married Elizabeth who died in 1854 and Sally who died young. Meribah (aka: Mary) who married Samuel Lawerence. Hannah Sands who married Ruben Barber in 1784. Mercy married Isaac Jacklyn. Polly (aka: Mary) married William Preston Wilson Sr, who was a preacher (some say Baptist) and a school teacher, he also served in the Revolution War, he was lame possibly from battle of Monmouth.

William P. Wilson Sr & Polly (Mary) Chagum lived at the Lighthouse site, & had 4 known children; Susan (b. 1795) married Daniel F. Clarke, Esther (b. 1796) married David Haskell, Polly (b. 1771) married Joseph Elwell Sr. [I have found 6 children for them, one who is Sybil Elwell who married Montgumery Webster, who was the father of Solomon Webster], and finally their only son William Preston Wilson Jr, (b 1799) married Harriet Wilson – daughter of Eli Wilson & Huldah Wadsworth Cook. [I have found 5 children for them one of whom is Mary Wilson who married Solomon Webster the son of Montgumery Webster].

Sybil Elwell & Montgumery Webster’s children were said to be 11 but I have only found 8; Solomon (b. 1828) married Mary Wilson, Henrietta (b. Jun 1830), Minerva (b. 1834), William (b. 1840), Prudence (b. 9 Jan 1845), Henry (b. 1 May 1848 d. 20 May 1848), Stephen (b. 15 Jun 1849) & Samuel (b. Nov 1850). Sybil died 21 July 1851 in Bela Squire Crossing in Farmington, Hartford County, CT age 47 years old and Montgumery died 16 Aug 1883 in Winchester, Litchfield County, CT age 81 years old.

Solomon Webster & Mary Wilson had 11 known children; Franklin (b. 1850) married Mary Corlis in 1882, Laura (b. 30 Jul 1851) married Isaac Elwell [grandson of Joseph Elwell Sr. & Polly Wilson], Frederic Roy (b. 1852) married Mary Blett, Riley (b. Mar 1858 d. 24 Jun 1917) never married, Susan (b. 14 Aug 1861) married Andrew Cochran in 1878, Watson Squires in 1888 and Walter Humphrey in 1810, Janet (b. 1864) married Edwin Snow, Isadora “Dora” M. (b.1860’s) married Francis W. Hack, Emma (b. 22 Feb 1868) married Egbert King in 1891, Mary (b. 1869 d. 1869) died of Cyanosis, Daniel (b. 1870), Justina Janet (b. 1870 d. 1870) died of Cyanosis. I also have two other children in the census with them a Prudence (b. 9 Jan 1859) and a Ferdine (b. 1859) – believe these are the same person & I also believe that Prudence is Solomon’s sister.

Michigan Webster Family, photo was taken at Bert’s wife Lizzie’s funeral July of 1921.Left to Right: Stanley, Bert, Frank, Fred Jr, Nora, Minnie, Elmer, Judd. Fred & Mary Webster standing in front in the middle.

Frederic Roy Webster [moved to Michigan with his aunt & uncle, Isaac Elwell (b. 1812) & Thankful M. Wilson (b. 1812) after 1870] he & his wife Mary Blett had 6 children who where all born in Michigan; Frank E. (b. 1878), Lena Belle (b. 1881), Fred Agusta (b. 1883), Bert Alvin (b. 1887), Nora Delle (b. 1889) & Stanley (b. 1892). It should be noted here that in 1880 Frank should have been about 2 years old & he was not in the census with his parents, however a child was with them named Charles that was born in 1879, I believe this is Frank. Also Mary was married before to Henry W. Price & they had 4 children – Nellie, Minnie, Elmer & Byron Judson (aka Judd) & in many census were named Webster.

Bert is my great grandfather, his daughter Edith Webster married Roy Lash, her daughter was Ruth Ann Lash who is my mother.

I hold in my hand two wonderful books. The first one is A Village of Outcasts: Historical Archaeology and Documentary Research at the Lighthouse Site by Kenneth L. Feder. GoodReads calls it “A fascinating story of Native Americans, freed African-American slaves, and assorted European outcasts who came together and established a settlement that thrived from 1740 to 1860, this case study integrates the history and archaeology of a multicultural, multiethnic New England village.” I have had the book since I purchased it from Walt Langraf in May of 1998. At that time I was still in college & had limited time to read it, I have recently started reading it again. The book talks about Archaeology terminology & a basic knowledge of Archaeology. It also talks about my second wonderful book “The Legend of the Barkhamsted Light House” by Lewis S. Mills, MA. , which is written in the style of The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

In Feder’s book is more factual, while Mills’ book is more “romantic” – both are prized possessions of my collection of family heirlooms. Not only do I treasure the information in those books & the papers I received back in 1998, I treasure the friend I had in Walt Langraf, I know that this world is a little bit darker now that he is no longer with us.

One day in the near future I hope to step onto this Valley where my ancestors lived & loved. One day I hope that my children can see the importance of history. The song by Cher, “Gypsy’s Tramps & Theives” keeps running through my head; James Chagum was considered a run-away servant, he & his brave wife Molly Barber was considered outlaws…

In Lewis S. Mills book, “The Legend of the Barkhamsted Light House” page 93 he writes…

“Molly Barber and James Chaugham
Dead and Buried-gone forever:
Scattered now are their descendants.
Some are in the Town of Woodbury
Busy digging graves and hunting;
Some in Riverton and Colebrook
Some in Harwinton and Winsted,
Some in Michigan are living.

… Generations speeding onward
In an ever widening circle,
Carry far the blood of Chaugham
And his spouse, brave Molly Barber…”

My family are part of that “…SOME IN MICHIGAN ARE LIVING….”