I became interested in genealogy in the 1970s, when I began to ask where I came from. That interest became a passion. I love researching, learning about history, and now sharing what I have discovered. Now retired from over 40 years in human services, I have more time to pursue my passions - what fun!
As we continue to climb the Andrews branch of the tree, we have almost reached the top of what I have been able to find. The father of CalvinDexterAndrews was PhilipAndrews, Jr. Philip was a lifelong resident of Ludlow, Massachusetts. He was born about 1808, the son of Philip and Sarah (unknown) Andrews. Philip must have been married twice, since his second wife would have been too young to be the mother of Dexter. He married (2) Mary Ann Powers on January 1,1838 in Ludlow. Mary Ann was eight years old when Calvin Dexter was born, supporting Philip’s relationship with another woman before his marriage to Mary Ann.
Calvin was probably the only child born from Philip’s first marriage. Philip and Mary Ann had one child: Mary Ann Andrews (Jr) was born about 1830, and married George W Mason April 12, 1855. Philip is listed in the 1840 census with four in the family, one adult male (Philip), one adolescent male (Calvin Dexter), one adult female (Mary Ann Sr.), and a girl under 10 years (Mary Ann Jr.).
Not a lot is known about Philip. He probably worked as a laborer on the farms in Ludlow. Philip died violently at a young age. He was 34 years old when he was accidentally shot to death on October 17, 1842. I have not found out the details of this death. If someone can find the old newspapers that covered Ludlow during this time period, that might give us more information on what happened. His death occurred only six months after his father’s tragic death.
We only have a couple of pictures of these women, and I wanted to share them with you.
Bessie (DeBoise) Smith was Frank DeBoise’s sister, and the aunt of James DeBoise. When Richard was young, he would spend summers in New Haven, Connecticut with his aunt Barbara, sister of James, as well as Bessie and her husband Billy. Richard hated the short pants that Barbara made him wear!
Passing on information about the family through oral history is sometimes the only way we have clues to the past. Some of that history proves to be true, other pieces cannot be proven as true or false, and some parts are just plain wrong. Oral history indicated that part of the family was Native American. Charlie Andrews had coppery skin color and high cheek bones, which does not mean you have Native American heritage, but gives you pause. Jimmy DeBoise, son of James, and who spent a lot of time with Charlie and his wife, told us that the family had Native American heritage – he thought Mohawk but wasn’t sure. Richard and I attended our first Pow Wow in Sioux City, South Dakota. One of the dancers looked like one of Richard’s brothers, carried himself the same way, and had the same mannerisms. Again, that doesn’t prove anything, but to me it’s the past calling and waiting to be discovered. Researching the children of Calvin and Lovina verified the Native American heritage when at least one child was identified as Indian on several censuses, and indicated that her father was of Mixed Race. Census takers did not always ask what a person’s race was. Indians were often marked as mulatto or Negro/black. Additionally, Indians were being pushed west so you didn’t always broadcast your heritage. Native American heritage was also verified by DNA results.
Shortly after Calvin and Lovina were born, Andrew Jackson was elected the 7th President of the United States. In 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act which forcibly removed most Indians in the Southeastern United States to territory West of the Mississippi. The “Trail of Tears”, a phrase coined to describe the forced removal of much of the Cherokee Nation in 1838 in which large numbers of Cherokees died of starvation and disease, is often used to refer to these actions. These removals did not just occur in the Southeastern states. I have found some of my non-Indian family members who had married Native Americans and were living in Indiana also forced to relocate to “Indian Territory” along with their families during this period.
At the DeBoise Family Reunion in 1984 the senior family members – Rose, Frank, James, Joe, and Teddy – received framed pictures of their parents, brothers and sisters. All the senior family members have since left us, and these pictures have been passed down to their children. Pictures of Frank and Patience DeBoise have already been posted. I am including pictures of the rest, as well as a picture of Frank DeBoise driving a car. Thank you, family members, for finding the pictures and putting this memento together.
When George Washington Andrews, Ruth Andrew’s great grandfather, was born in 1853, the United States was in turmoil over slavery. Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States. Harriet Beecher Stowe had released her bestselling book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” the year before. When George was four, the Supreme Court issued the Dred Scott decision, stating that slaves are not free when transported from a slave territory to a free territory. They also ruled that Congress could not ban slavery in a U.S. Territory, and that blacks could not be awarded citizenship.
Abolitionists, opposed to slavery, became more vocal. The conflict between pro-slavery and anti-slavery supporters became more violent. John Brown, educated in Massachusetts and Connecticut, became strongly committed to the abolitionist movement while living in Springfield, Massachusetts. He became the leader of violent actions against slaveholders and slave supporters, most known for the Pottawatomie Massacre in Kansas of pro-slavery supporters and the raid on Harper’s Ferry in Virginia while trying to initiate an armed slave revolt. The turmoil of the 1850s led to the Civil War. It was much better to be a black or Indian family living in the North than the South, but life was hard.
In New England, the Industrial Revolution resulted in more factories opening along rivers. The upper Connecticut River Valley experienced the growth of industry, as well as French-Canadian and other immigrants moving to the area to work in the new industries.
George Washington Andrews was born March 25, 1853 in Ludlow, Hampden County, Massachusetts. He was the son of Calvin Dexter and Lovina (Jones) Andrews, and the sixth of 10 children. About the time of his birth, his father left the family and moved to Ellington, Connecticut. Not far from Ludlow, Dexter saw this as an opportunity to ensure his family had a better life. His family received state assistance and was listed on the Ludlow pauper rolls as early as November 1, 1853. Lovina’s family was still living in Ludlow, and provided support for her and her children while her husband was getting established in Connecticut. Her family was from Connecticut, and there was movement back and forth between Massachusetts and Connecticut among family members. Continue reading “George W and Jeanette (Freeman) Andrews of Vernon and Manchester, Connecticut”→
Charles “Charlie” Henry Andrews, the grandfather of Ruth and father of Blanche Louise, was described by his great grandson as a nice man, very easy going. He was tall, 5’11” and 185 pounds according to his World War I draft registration, with coppery colored skin, black straight hair – what was left of it since he was balding, brown eyes, and he had a big moustache. He chewed tobacco and smoked a pipe. A big Yankees fan, he did not like the Red Sox. He thought the Red Sox were foolish for trading Babe Ruth, and that they were prejudice against black baseball players. In fact, the Red Sox was the last professional baseball team to integrate, although they had the opportunity to sign Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and other talented black players and chose not to do so. They did not integrate their team until 1959, long after Charlie’s death. Charlie did not particularly like black people from the South. He said there were African-Americans fighting with the Confederates, and shooting at his people, who fought for the North. His father-in-law, as well as several of his and his wife’s uncles fought in the Civil War for the North.
Charlie was born September 11, 1877 in Vernon, Connecticut, the son of George Washington and Jeanette (Freeman) Andrews. He was the second child and first son of his parents’ eleven children. As a young man, he worked as a farm laborer on the local farms. He met Martha “Mattie” H. Gibbons, and they married on January 10, 1895 in Monson, Massachusetts. Charlie was 17 years old, and Mattie was 25. Mattie was pregnant with their first and only daughter, Blanche Louise, at the time of their marriage. They initially lived in Vernon, and moved to Monson by 1900. They were living in Palmer in 1906, where they made their home for the remainder of their lives. Continue reading “Charles Andrews and Martha Gibbons”→