Sunday, October 16, 2016

Using County Histories to Find Information-Timothy Alden

With Thanksgiving a little over a month away I have been thinking of my Pilgrim ancestors.  I decided to take a look at what I could find out this week about Timothy Alden,  my maternal 5th great-grandfather and the great-great-grandson of John and Priscilla Mullen Alden.

I was surprised at what I was able to find out on the web by searching County Histories.
I knew that Timothy was born in 1770 and died in Pennsylvania in 1859.  That’s a long time ago.    Where do I start???

I had information that Timothy had lived in Monroe, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.  I began searching on the web by putting in the search “Bradford County, Pennsylvania”.  I found the following:


From this I found an amazing 143,000 results, maps of Bradford County and a lot of sites to begin checking out.  Wow!!  Now the reading begins…….

After I read through several sites and I found The History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania-Tri-Counties Genealogy.  BINGO!  This website had information from several books/pamphlets published in 1885, 1891, 1892.

Since I knew Timothy had come from Berkshire County, Massachusetts I repeated the process and searched the History of that county as well.  From the website Berkshire County History  I found:
From just these 2 websites I was able to find an amazing amount of information about Timothy Alden:
  • Timothy, son of Israel Alden and Lucy Markham Alden, was born on 23 Feb 1770 in Tyringham, Massachusetts.
  • Timothy married Lois Wilcox on 11 Nov 1790 in the Town of Tyringham, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
  • Timothy moved from Otis/Tyringham, Berkshire County, Massachusetts with his family to Monroe, Bradford County, PA in 1801.
  • Timothy purchased eight hundred acres of land in Monroe.
  • “Mr. Alden moved in with his family in the month of December, with horses and sleighs, having two or more. The party crossed the river at Binghamton, where, at that time, there was but one log house. Mr. Alden had built a little log house, where there was a natural opening, about twenty rods below the stone house on the creek, and moved his family into it.”
  • In 1827 Timothy built a stone house for his family.
  • "Mr. Alden was of a distinguished and honorable line of ancestry, being a direct descendant of John Alden of the Mayflower."  (Gee, I wonder if this statement published in 1885 will help me prove my Alden lineage??)
  • Timothy was a blacksmith by occupation and worked at this in Monroe also.
  • For a change, Timothy enjoyed a hunt.
  • “Mr. Alden is described as a man six feet two inches in height, well proportioned commanding and of noble bearing. He was firm, benevolent, and possessed of good judgment. Though not given to frivolous things, he was fond of humor.”
  • For some time he was captain of militia, and was generally addressed as "Captain Alden."
  • “He was one of the first and most liberal supporters of the Baptist church in Monroe, and remained a consistent and faithful member until the time of his death.”
  • “He was a great reader and had a most retentive memory. He was a frequent contributor to both the local and foreign press.”
  • Education was with him a necessary and not an ornamental accomplishment. His power to acquire an education was great, and his mental retention scarce ever at fault when in the prime of life.
  • Timothy died Sept 29, 1859 in Monroe, Bradford County, Pennsylvania
A huge thank-you to Joyce M. Tice and Berkshire County Gen Web Project for all the hard work they have done to make this information available to so many via the Web!

Now this man who I knew basically nothing about except the date of his birth and the date of his death has come to life for me just from searching County Histories on the web.
If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

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