Sunday, December 08, 2013

Thomas Hale, Jr.

Lt. Thomas Hale, my sixth great grandfather, was born in Boxford, MA on January 22, 1743/44. He was the second son of Captain Thomas Hale and Mary Kimball. He had 12 siblings. William, Mary, Joanna, Eunice, Anna, Mercy, Joseph, Abigail, Mordicai, Amy, Elizabeth, and Lydia. On July 21, 1768 Thomas Hale married Ruth Hardy of Westboro, daughter of Phineas and Prudence Warren-Hardy. The Warren line goes back to Mayflower. They had seven children: Perley, Ruth, Thomas, Lucy, Daniel, Mary, and Anna. He, his wife, and children were all professors of Religion.

In Thomas Hale's earlier days he removed with his father to Brookfield MA, and was a farmer and assessor and later a selectman. Thomas Jr as he was called, enlisted as 2nd Lieutenant, 9th Company, 4th Worcester County Regiment of the Massachusetts Militia. He was Commissioned Sept 7, 1779 as a LT. in Capt William Henry's Co; engaged Oct 2, 1779. He was discharged Nov 10th, 1779 service one month, 12 days at Castle and Governors Island,including time to return home. The Company was raised in Worcester Co., roll sworn to in Suffolk Co. After the Revolutionary War, Lt. Thomas was a Massachusetts State Representative for nine years, and a Massachusetts Senator for twelve years. While in the Senate, he was a member of the legislative committee before office of the Auditor was created. He held seats in both houses, and several times was chosen Governor's Councilor while in the Senate but declined the office. In his earlier years he was a Civil Engineer, but afterwards relinquished that part of his business to his son Perley, who practiced it for many years. He was mostly engaged later as a State magistrate and was engaged in the settlement of estates and other judiciary and fiduciary matters as well as more public business. As magistrate he tried more civil cases than any other in his vicinity. Thomas Hale was a man of high integrity and sound judgment and had the deserved respect and confidence of the whole community. North Brookfield was set off from Brookfield, as a separate precinct in 1812.

Lt. Thomas Hale died in North Brookfield on January 2, 1834. His wife Ruth Hardy-Hale died on Oct 3, 1828, six years prior to him. Thomas did leave a will naming all his children. Perley was named executor of his estate.

Source: Western Histories of NY families, by William Richard Cutter

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Story about the LDS Missionaries finding the Richard Britton family in 1964.

Our Unexpected Missionary Harvest

When I was 12 years of age, my father heard about the Church from one of his fellow airline pilots. Though somewhat intrigued, he did not pursue the matter at the time. A few months later we moved from California to Buffalo, New York, and we decided to take a drive one afternoon to see some of the surrounding countryside. My father recalled that Joseph Smith had once lived somewhere in the vicinity of Palmyra, and we drove in that direction. We found the Hill Cumorah and stopped at the visitors’ center, where we were impressed with the displays.
Two days later missionaries knocked on our door, and my mother gladly let them in. We began taking the missionary discussions, but the elders were transferred shortly after we began. Although in later years we could not recall their names, we were grateful to those first elders who knocked on our door. We never dreamed our paths would cross again—in a most unexpected way.
New elders began visiting, and with their help we studied the gospel and decided to be baptized. Over the next few years, not only our entire family but also many extended family members and friends joined the Church.
Four years later our family returned to California. In high school I met the young man I would one day marry, and he too joined the Church. We were sealed in the Oakland Temple, and we raised six children. Our eldest son, Elliott, was called on a mission to France. When he returned, he attended Brigham Young University. There he met and fell in love with a young woman named Ginger Riggs, from Pasadena, California. Elliott and Ginger became engaged, and since Pasadena was only about 50 miles from our home, we decided to go to dinner with her parents.
Over dinner we discovered that Ginger’s father, Brent, had served a mission in upstate New York in 1964—the same year we had visited the Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center. We told him of our conversion at about that time, and Brent went home and looked up some of the missionary letters he had written home to his family. He was thrilled to find one in which our family was prominently mentioned. It seems that one day he and his companion had passed our street and been impressed to stop and tract our block one more time, even though they had tracted our entire neighborhood thoroughly just weeks before. It was Brent Riggs who had felt prompted to knock on our door that day, and now his daughter, Ginger, was about to marry Elliott—the son of a young woman Brent Riggs had first introduced the gospel to 33 years earlier.
The blessings of a righteous missionary indeed flowed into the life of his future daughter—and back again into our family as well.

This story was published in the LDS Ensign Magazine in 1999.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

The burning of Groton and the death of John Nutting

My 9th great grandfather, John Nutting, emigrated from England to America. He was born around 1623 and helped settle the towns of Chelmsford and Groton, in Massachusetts (where we live now!). John was killed by Indians in King Philip's War.  Here's the story, from "Nutting Genealogy" by John Keep Nutting:

The Burning of Groton

It is hardly necessary to remind ourselves that when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, it was with only friendly intentions toward the Indians. They very soon secured the friendship of Massasoit, the most influential Sachem of the region, and made with him a firm treaty of alliance. This condition lasted during the lifetime of the chief, and for some time after. During this period white civilization was pushing into the wilderness in every direction, the settlers usually, as at Groton, purchasing the claims of the Indians of the vicinity by the payment of values satisfactory to them, if not of great intrinsic worth.

But at length one of the sons of Massasoit, who had received the English name of Philip, gained sufficient intelligence to perceive whither all this was tending. He saw that in a short time all the lands of the Indians would be taken by the white men, however friendly. The Indian would be obliged to take refuge in the West, already fully occupied according to Indian modes of life, and for the most part by tribes hostile to his own. 

It was necessary that the intruding whites be driven out. Realizing the magnitude of the task, Philip sought to unites all the tribes of the region for the supreme effort. As so often occurs, his plans were betrayed, and active hostilities began before he had intended.

Settlement had moved forward by different detachments, so to speak--one line directly westward from the Bay towards the Connecticut, and up along its course, and another, with which we are most concerned, in a northwesterly direction. On the frontier of this latter series of settlements, Lancaster, Groton, and Chelmsford were the exposed points. West of these, all was Indian territory until near the Connecticut. 

Mutterings of the coming storm began to be heard from all quarters. The settlers began to prepare. Five of the dwellings of the pioneers were fortified by surrounding them with strong stockades, so arranged as to be defended by musketry. Four of these were quite near each other, so situated, on either side of the James brook, that its flow would provide water for the cattle yarded between the "garrisons". One of these four was the house of our ancestor [John Nutting], and it is natural to regard him as, either with or without formal title, the leader of its little force. In that force were his own sons John and James, both able to bear arms, and John already a man of family. Ebenezer would be a lad of ten, and Jonathan only eight.

The fifth garrison has never been located, but it was "near a mile from the rest". I am fain to think it may have been near the River, at the place tradition calls "the White-man's Fort". That would be rather more than a mile, however.

Trouble actually began March 2, 1676. That night, Indians came and rifled some of the deserted houses, carried off cattle and swine, and pretty thoroughly waked up the town. 

March 9, four men, who had gone out with two carts to bring hay, were attacked. One was killed, two reached shelter, and one was made prisoner. He however escaped, and reached Lancaster, up the River south ward.

March 13, a body of about 400 Indians stealthily came to the place. They were under the command of a chief named Monoco, or Monojo, the latter indicating he had been among the Spaniards. He could speak English brokenly, and was well acquainted with Captain James Parker, and probably with all the men of Groton. The settlers translated his name, calling him One-eyed John, indicating that he had lost an eye. This chief knew his business. Scouts from town had been out in all directions the day before, and reported no Indians. Either the attacking body had been hidden, or had come from a distance later.

Early in the morning, the watch at Nutting's garrison reported two Indians skulking about,--no doubt "upon discovery", or scouting. As there were supposed to be no other Indians in the neighborhood, it seemed to all a desirable thing to capture or kill these rascals. It would be easy, it seemed, if a sufficient force went out, to surround them. Accordingly the whole fighting force of that garrison, and some from Parker's (which was within speaking distance) sallied forth, led as we suppose by our Founder himself. 

Monojo had planned wisely. The two supposed scouts led the whites on and on, till they were in the midst of the ambuscade prepared for them, which rose up and poured in a volley. thanks probably to the worthless guns furnished to the Indians by traders, or to the equally worthless ammunition--perhaps also to poor marksmanship--only two shots took effect. One man was killed outright, and another was wounded. A panic ensued, and the men, apparently thinking nothing of the defenceless women and children at the Nutting garrison, fled to Parker's en masse. Meanwhile the other part of Monojo's plan had also succeeded, a second ambush having risen up behind Nutting's pulled down some of the palisades, and effected an entrance. 

However, the women and children all escaped to Parker's. The enemy found only an infant, already dead. Whose, it is not recorded. There were five families in refuge there.

Monojo lost no time in occupying the garrison thus captured, from which he kept up such fire as he could upon the other houses. Night put an end to active hostilities, but Monojo called up Captain Parker, reminding him that they were old neighbors, and held quite a conversation with him. He discussed the cause of the war, and spoke of making peace. He naturally ridiculed the white man's worship of God in the Meetinghouse, seeing that God had not helped them. He boasted that he had burnt Medfield and Lancaster, would now burn Groton, then "Chelmsford, Concord, Watertown, Cambridge, Charlestown, Roxbury, and Boston", adding, "What me WILL that me DO!" The chronicler, however, is pleased to add to his account that not many months later this boaster was seen marching through the Boston streets which he had threatened to burn "with and halter about his neck, wherewith he was hanged at the town's end", in September of the same year.

The Indians cut off the head of him who had been killed by their first fire, and "did set it upon a pole, looking unto his own lande."

Undoubtedly the person killed was our Founder. It is singular that of the four who lost their lives at this time (two of whom were shot while driving carts the fleeing settlers toward Concord) not a single name comes down  to us. Two possible reasons may be cited for this omission  One is, the light estimate in those days of the ordinary laborer or servant. To persons of education or wealth, what happened to such was of little importance. No record was called for. On this supposition, the Minister of Ipswich, who penned the only account of the Groton disaster, would perhaps not think of mentioning the names of those killed, unless they were of rank at least above mere servants or laborers. This explanation, I am aware would indicate that the one whose head was displayed as mentioned could hardly have been farmer Nutting, but was probably some menial. 

A second possible (and very natural) explanation of the omission of names, is found in the haste and trouble of the time, and the probable hearsay character of the information upon which the Minister of Ipswich constructed his account. Not being personally acquainted with the individuals, it probably seemed unimportant to search for their names. 

One thing is certain, the unbroken and unvarying family tradition, in all branches, has been that our Founder "was killed by the Indians". In many cases the added phrase is "in King Philip's War", or "at the burning of Groton". 

Monojo was undoubtedly acquainted with John Nutting, and knew well where "his own lande lay"--namely, at his garrison, a few rods to the north of where he fell. It seems to me likely also, that the particular direction toward which the gory trophy was made to "look" would hardly have been noticed, had not the chief called attention to it by way of boasting, in his talk with Captain Parker.

The Town and Church Records, of course were in abbeyance for some time following the catastrophe, so that the absence of any entry concerning the death of John Nutting is not to be wondered at. (The Church Record is hopelessly lost.) But it is significant that his name never appears after, in any connection. The names of his sons, John, James, and (once or twice) Ebenezer, naturally take the place of his. Sarah, his widow, is found some time later at Woburn, living, it is supposed, with her married sister--Blodgett.

Dr. Green says (p. 28) in his Historical Address, Feb. 20, 1880:

"In this assault John Nutting's garrison was taken by stratagem  The men defending it had been drawn out by two Indians apparently alone, when the savages in ambush arose, and killed one of the men, probably John Nutting himself, and wounded three others...There is a tradition, which is entitled to credence, that John Nutting was killed while defending his log-house fort during King Philip's War. His wife's name appears a few months later in the Woburn records as 'Widow Nutting', which is confirmatory of the tradition".

And so we take leave of our first American Ancestor. Evidently he was a man of enterprise and energy. It is also certain that he was not without means--witness his Proprietorship, first in the Chelmsford enterprise, then in that of Groton. If he proves to be the man of Governor's Island, the source of such wealth as may have been his is easily explained. But at least he was no pauper or mere man of his hands.

It is equally certain that he was truly a pious man. Among the things he coveted, was a home "nigh to the Meetinghouse", so that he and his wife and his "smale childr:" might not miss the beloved "ordin:". His humble position as sexton or janitor of the Meetinghouse, both at Chelmsford and at Groton, could not have been because he needed the trifling stipend but rather because he felt it to be an honor to be "a door keeper in the house of the Lord".

That he was a brave man needs only the history of his last morning to show. Without doubt he fell in leading his little force for the defence of his town and family.

The entire village was burnt, except the three garrisons still held by the settlers. These were probably burnt upon being abandoned. the church was the second building to be fired. Judging from certain bills and accounts in reference to it, it must have been a very humble structure.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Gershom Hobart Jr.'s return from captivity

The following extract is taken from a letter in the Library of the
Massachusetts Historical Society, written by the Rev. John Cotton to
his wife at Plymouth, and dated "Election night Boston" (May 29, 1695).
It is found in the volume marked on the back, "Letters & Papers 1679 -
1700" (page 102), and gives very nearly the day of the release of the
Reverend Gershom Hobart's son, who was captured by the Indians at their
assault on the town, July 27, 1694. The writer says:

"Some Indians that went upon scoute have brought in 2 scalpes & 3 guns
& they conclude that the third gun had an owner whom they sorely
wounded or else they should not have found his gun: noe newes of the
snow frigat, it is greatly feared it is cast away upon rocks for want of a 
skilfull pilot: but the choice newes is that all the Easterne
sachims but one (at least most of them) are come to Pemaquid & have
brought in eight captives, confest their great evill in fighting against us; 
litle Gershom Hobart is one (tell his Aunt Bradford soe)
if an Easterly winde come they will be here by tomorrow this houre."

Gershom Hobart, Jr. was born undoubtedly at Groton, though the date of
his birth does not appear in the town records. He was married on Feb 26, 
1713/14 to Lydia Nutting, daughter of James and Lydia Nutting, born
on June 3, 1686. He probably was near the same age as his wife, which
would have made him a boy of eight or ten years old at the time of his
capture. For some other facts relating to the lad, see the first volume of 
this Series No. XII (p.6). 

Joseph Bradford of Plymouth was married to Jael Hobart, aunt of 
Gershom Hobart, Jr., and the allusion in the extract "tell his Aunt
Bradford so(e)," given above is to her.

Source: Historical Series by Dr. Samuel A. Green Vol II, 1890; p. 59

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Clayton and Sadie

Clayton Charles Britton

Sadie Stella Vasseur

From Clayton's autobiography:
Now an event took place [in 1920] that perhaps had strongly influenced future developments. I got a call in Edmunston from Sadie Vasseur inviting me to a leap year ball to be held on Friday night. I believe this was the day I got the call. At any rate there was no further passenger trains to Grand Falls that day and it was in the dead of winter. No cars were running in the winter in those days, so what to do. Grand Falls was 38 miles down river, and almost just might as well have been on the moon. However, a good looking gal had sent out a call and this young buck was going to find a way. It was alot of years later that I found that I wasn't the first choice. In fact it was sort of last chance thing. I sometimes wonder had I known that, would I have taken the chance it involved. Going down to the railroad station I found out they were making up a freight train going in that direction. But I had to sign a paper excusing the railroad of any responsibility because owing to the heavy snowfall the train would not stop in Grand Falls, nor slow down, for fear that they would not be able to keep going. 
So I spent the trip in the kaboose at the rear of the train and about 200 yards from the station I jumped into the deepest snow drift I could spot, and did a few loops before coming to a halt. After gathering myself together I found that outside of my dignity, nothing else was seriously damaged. There was still about six miles to walk before I could reach home and get ready for the big ball. Mother always prevailed upon me to wear the red label heavy wool underwear, so after a couple of dances you had to go outdoors to let the steam roll up your collar and let some of the sheep smell evaporate. 
My gal was dietician at the hospital. She looked real sharp that evening with her fiery red stockings and red slippers to match. I remember he rlong hair was done up in two braids, one over each ear. I'm not sure but I don't think I got a good night kiss for all my troubles which perhaps just wetted my appetite for another go at it. 
By spring [of 1922] I was going real well in the romance department, even though I was a dedicated protestant and Sadie was a catholic. Besides my horse eating away the most of her father's piazza post, which I tied her to, there was considerable competition from a guy named Nub Esty. When she worked at the hospital, he would wait until I had gone then show up with a bottle of olives or candy of some sort. One evening in the spring I put a stop to that coniving. She and I were walking up Broadway when we came upon Nub and another guy sitting on the grass by the sidewalk. My little girl plumped herself down on the grass beside them and said something like that was comfortable and guessed she would spend the evening there. That kid of curled my hair so I bid them goodnight and kept right on walking. I hadn't gone far when my little old gal came trotting to catch up with me, mad as a hornet. That came very near ending that romance on the spot, but I held out and gave her to understand that I shared my girl with nobody! 
That fall Wade Taylor and I decided to go hunting back to the Long Grade area. While waiting for a 2 o'clock train the night we left, I spent the evening on a couch in the hospital waiting room. I had my rifle leaning against a chair but I don't think that influenced Sadie and when I asked her to marry me, she accepted. I took cloud nine to the station.

The wedding:
I got a letter from Sadie saying that things were getting a bit sticky with her family and if we weren't going to get married right away she would take a job in a nursing home in New Jersey. That didn't set too well with me so I sent her some money and told her to get out to Mansfield fast. Though I was about to be 22 years old I still was pretty nervous about taking on a wife and all the problems that went with it. Just the same, I felt that I had wandered enough and needed to get settled down with some purpose in life. 
Sadie landed around the first of November, 1922 and we were married [in Mansfield, Massachusetts] on the eleventh in the Methodist Church by a saintly looking old preacher that seemed to please Sadie very much. I very stupidly figured I could not afford to go on a honeymoon with winter coming on and thought I'd better get in every day that I could. We went to a dance that night and had a special waltz played for us.

Gershom Hobart, 1645-1707

My 8th great grandfather, Gershom Hobart, was born to Reverent Peter Hobart and his wife, Elizabeth Ibrook, in Hingham, Massachusetts, in December 1645. Gershom followed the examples of his older brothers, Joshua and Jeremiah, and graduated from Harvard University.  His brothers Nehemiah and Japhet also received their degrees from Harvard the same year, in 1667.  After graduating, he returned to Hingham, where he was living when he made freeman at the May session of the General Court in 1673.

In April 1676, Gershom married Sarah Aldis in Dedham, Massachusetts, and they went on to have as many as 12 children together. 

In June 1677, John Cotton wrote to Increase Mather saying that he had employed Gershom to preach "because he was forced from his worke," and procured a contribution for him.  Because they looked "upon [Gershom] as low," the deacons made an additional gift from the church treasury, in addition to what John Cotton was already paying him.

Soon after, Gershom accompanied or followed the settlers, who, after the destruction of Groton by the Indians in 1676, returned in the spring of 1678.  On June 29, 1678, the settlers made him liberal grants of land and privileges, if he would "accept of ye call and come to settle among" them "to be ye Townes Minister & the churches officer." He was ordained as minister of the Congregational Church there on November 26, 1679.

In 1680, records show that Gershom was to be paid "seaventy pound for this year [1681]: ensuing and to pay him in corn Indian wheat Rye barley at price curant as the court stat it and in other provission as god blesse us withall and 30 cord of wood to be proportioned by the sellect men according to every mans proportion to be payd by the first of March." Later, his salary was reduced to 50 pounds, one quarter of it to be paid in money.

It appears that Gershom did not live harmoniously with his parishioners in Groton. They differed at first about the location of the new meetinghouse (the old one had been burned down by the Indians in 1676), and then about his salary.

In 1682 it was voted that "the salackt men doe mak and maintain pase and love one with an other in the town and ashpashaly with m. hubard [Hobart] in incoridging him in his work by forwarding won and other in being wiling to alow him honorabl maintanans as the law darackts in pay and they warn the in habitants to gather till thay be agreed with him and the salack men mak no rate till the town be agreed with him."

Unfortunately the disagreements over his salary continued, and in December 1685 it was voted that Gershom had "set himself at liberty from the said town as to any engagement from him as their minister as also he has freed the town from any engagement to refusing and slighting what what the said town had offered him for his salary." A vote was held to increase Gershom's salary, but it did not restore peace.  It seems the primary problem was a scarcity of money, and disagreement over whether corn and other supplies could be used by settler families to pay their portion of Gershom's salary.

Gershom decided to leave the town sometime in 1689, and the town made proposals to him to return in 1690 and again in 1693.

Gershom came back with his family sometime before January, 1694.  In July of that year, the Indians attacked the town again. They killed more than 20 people, and carried away more than a dozen. During the attack, "Mr. Gershom Hobart, the Minister of the Place, with part of his Family, was Remarkably preserved from falling into their Hands, when they made themselves the Masters of his House; though they Took Two of his Children, whereof the one was Killed, and the other [Gershom, Jr., my 7th great-grandfather] some time after happily Rescued out of his Captivity." A captive, who escaped from the Indians and arrived at Saco on April 25, 1695, reported that "Mr. Hobart's son Gershom is well at a new Fort a days journey above Nerigawag [Norridgewock], Master's name is Nassacombewit, a good Master, and Mistress."  A ransom was paid, and Gershom, Jr., was reunited with his family, after having spent about a year in slavery.

Gershom Sr. continued to preach in Groton until 1705. The town of Groton experienced many difficulties during that time.  A petition to the General Court from the town of Groton in January 1704 speaks of the "grat damidg & discoridgment and spashaly this last yere having lost so many parsons som killed some captivated and som ramoved and allso much corn & cattell and horses & hay wharby wee are gratly Impoverrished and brought vary low." The petition represents Gershom as having been "for above a yere uncapable of desspansing the ordinances of God," and that neighboring ministers advised them to "hyare another minister and to saport mr hubard [Hobart] and to make our adras to your honors...for we are so few & so por that we canot pay two ministers nathar are we willing to live without any." Twenty pounds were granted by the Court to the town of Groton to pay another minister and to "help them under the present Disability of their Pastor Mr. Hubbard [Hobart]."

Gershom died in Groton on December 19, 1707. His wife Sarah died on April 14, 1712.

Source: Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University.

Note: Groton, where Gershom preached and lived, is five minutes from our home.

Another note, about Gershom's brothers: Japhet, who graduated from Harvard the same year as Gershom, trained to be a medical doctor, and left on a ship for England as the ship doctor shortly after graduation.  His intention was to then continue on to the East Indies, but he was never heard from again. Family tradition states that Japhet "travelled into foreign parts, renounced his Religion, & became a Romanist, & died a Cardinal or some great Dignitary in the Church of Rome." The brother with whom Japhet and Gershom graduated, Nehemiah, went on to become a preacher in Newton, and a Senior Fellow at Harvard.  His obituary in the Boston News-Letter, stated that Nehemiah was "Senior Fellow of Harvard College, an excellent scholar, divine, and Christian; very much lamented throughout the whole Province." One of his successors at Harvard wrote that in Nehemiah "shone the scholar, the gentleman, and the Christian...An unshaken harmony subsisted between him and his people through life." He had a "serious and winning manner of address, which caused his congregation to hang upon his lips."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Charles A. Hale, 1845-1864

Charles A. Hale was the son of Sprague Taylor Hale and Nancy May Moulton.  He was my 1st cousin 5x removed.  (Sprague's brother Amos Spaulding Hale was my 4th great grandfather.) Charles' grandfather, Nathan Moulton, fought in the Revolutionary War.

During the Civil War, Charles volunteered for the 11th Vermont Infantry, the largest regiment that Vermont sent to the war. For a long time, the 11th had a relatively easy assignment, defending Washington.  That changed in 1864, after the terrible losses at the Battle of the Wilderness, when the regiment was ordered to reinforce the army of the Potomac and report for duty as infantry near Spotsylvania Court House. Charles survived the battles at Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg before he was captured at Weldon Railroad, Virginia.  In the affair at Weldon Railroad, on June 23, 1864, the regiment suffered the greatest loss suffered by any Vermont regiment: 9 killed, 31 wounded, and 261 captured (including Charles).

Charles was sent to Andersonville, the terrible POW prison in Georgia, where he died of scurvy on November 17, 1864.  He is buried at Andersonville, in grave 1206.

Charles' younger brother Franklin married, had three children and died in 1940. His younger sister, Nellie, attended Amherst after the war, married and had a daughter.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Leslie Willard Fish

LESLIE WILLARD FISH was born on May 15th, 1890 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. His parents were George Franklin Fish and Rilda Warren, both of Cape Wolfe, PEI. As a young man, Leslie worked on farms. He met and married his wife, Ruth Frances Elliott Harris, in Littleton, New Hampshire. They were married on 20 Sep 1916. He had come to the United States in 1909 to find better work. He worked on Highland Croft Farm, a home and pond in Littleton. He was also the Superintendent on the Lewis Dairy Farm for a time. He later leased a poultry farm in Bristol, Rhode Island. His daughter Wilma remembers that he always found work during the Depression, even if he had to leave town to find it. He and Ruth had six children, and you can trace the Fish family's moves by the birthplaces of their children (Hermon Willard b. 1918 Littleton, NH; Harris Eldon b. 1925; Leslie Willard b. 1927 [died as an infant]; Wilma Gertrude b. 1927 [all born Norwood, NH]; George Franklin b. 1931 Assonet, MA; and Warren Emerson b. 1935 Bristol, RI). He often told his wife that he "would have had a dozen children." "He never thought there were too many," Wilma said.

In June 1917, Leslie filled out his WWI draft card. At the time, he was working as a farmer for William Brown Dickson in Littleton, New Hampshire. He was tall, with medium build, blue eyes and red hair.

At the time he filled out his WWII draft card, Leslie was working at the Frank M. Hill Machine Company at 52 School Street in Walpole (click on street view to see the building where he probably worked. The company looks to have manufactured power paper cutters.)

Leslie passed away on July 3, 1958 in South Walpole, Massachusetts.

What memories do you have of Leslie? Please add them in the comments!

UPDATE: According to the 1910 Census, when Leslie arrived in the US, he lived with his uncle Elijah William Warren and Elijah's family in Newton, Massachusetts. Leslie's employment was listed as being the same as Elijah's: both were "linemen" working for the New England Telephone Company. Also living at the home were Leslie's grandparents, John Warren and Mary Jane Rix Warren. Grandpa John died shortly after, in September 1910. Here's a copy of the census form (click to see in larger format--Leslie and the Warrens are halfway down the page):