Emery Family Bible

file-sep-24-11-40-45-amIn 2015, I stumbled upon an Emery Family bible for sale on eBay. The bible was being sold by “Milkman” at Ridgecrest Farms in Wilton, Maine. When I received the bible, I was delighted to note the family records detailed the descendants of William and Ruth (Brown) Emery. William was born at the Old Emery Farm in 1779 either in this house or in the cabin that preceded it.  I have contacted the seller to see if he has any additional information about the history of the bible.

This Holy Bible was published in 1821 by Holbrook & Fessenden in Brattleborough, Vermont. It measures 12 inches tall, 11-1/2 inches wide, and 4-1/2 inches thick. There were quite a few papers tucked into the middle and the family records pages had been filled out with births from 1779 to 1925 and deaths from 1848 to 1908. There are also marriages listed from 1802-1925. (See family records transcription here). See family tree at Ancestry.com here.




Going to the registry of deeds is like going to a foreign country. The first thing you have to do is learn the language. Even if your just visiting online, here are the two main terms that you need to know:

Grantor – is the seller of the property
Grantee – is the buyer of the property

I recommend that you start with yourself as the current owner of the property and work backwards. Here is a worksheet that you can fill in to track your progress using Adobe PDF Deed Research Worksheet or Excel Deed Research Worksheet. So you will hopscotch back in time by recording your deed on the first line and then searching the Registry of Deeds looking in the Grantee Index for the person who sold you the property.

To find Andover deeds on or after August 1, 1823 go to the Merrimack County Registry of Deeds website. The home page tells you what records have been indexed for the Grantors and Grantees. This continually changes, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for, check back later or plan a trip to Concord.

Searching the index is free. But if you want to actually view and print the documents, you will need to set up an account and pay for them. The details of the charges are on the web site (on 4/18/16 it was $4 per document  or $25 per month to subscribe and $2 per document).  Or you can go into the registry in Concord and pull many of the records yourself. The last time I was there, there was a small charge for copying the records. Or you can take a scan of the document with a smartphone or camera.

When you are ready to search, click on “Search Registry Records”.I like to start my search with broad parameters and then narrow them down if I get too many responses. At the Merrimack County site,

  • Click on the woman in a green sweater to do a name search
  • For the Party Type, select “Grantee” from the drop down list
  • Enter the last name of the person you bought the property from
  • Leave the document type and dates at their defaults at first
  • Select “DEEDS” from the Document Category drop down list
  • For the Town, select “Andover” from the drop down list
  • Click “Submit”

Based on your search results, you may need to narrow the filters down by changing some of your choices. You might want to narrow down the dates or add a first name if you are getting too many results. To change your search parameters, just scroll back up to the top of the page, make your changes and click “Submit” again. You can find more search instructions back on the home page if you are not getting the results you expected.

Scroll through your results list  until you find the person who sold the property to you in the Grantee column. Keep an eye on the Legal column to see if there is a description of your property there. If you’re lucky, you will find enough information in the index to identify your property and get the name of the new grantor. Fill this information into the second line of the Deed Research Worksheet and repeat the search using this new grantor as the grantee.

If the previous owners of your property had a lot of real estate transactions in town, you may need to actually go to Concord or set up an online account to view the documents to be certain it is your property.

I would recommend initially focusing on deeds and ignore the mortgages, liens, releases and other document types. But later, you might want to go back to see what other documents are available.

Once you are back to 1823 in your deed search, you will go to the Rockingham County Registry of Deeds.  Fortunately, most of these old deeds are available online.

….More to follow…


Peter and Sarah Ann (Leeman) Murray photographed by J.B. Wallace

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Number # 12
Photo  2015-10-13 17.10.39
Type Cabinet Card
Size 6.5″ x 4.5″”
Est. Date 1886
Photographer J.B. Wallace Main Street, North End, St. John. N.B.
Dates in Bus. 1884 found in city directory at this address. Other photos from this photographer were CdV’s so they are probably older than this one
Description Seated man and full pose woman with painted backdrop. Off white card stock (popular 1866-1880) with no border. Same backdrop as the photo of the woman by the gate, a CdV by the same photographer. Straw on the floor
IDENTIFIED Peter Murray b. 1851 would be about 35 years old, his wife
Sarah Ann (Leeman) Murray b. 1852 would be about 34 years old.


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Two Moncton Photographs by C. E. Northrup Cabinet Cards

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Number #13 – Man with large, dark mustache
Photo  2015-10-12 12.51.32
Type Cabinet Card
Size 6.5″ x 4.5″
Est. Date 1885
Photographer C. E. Northrup Moncton, N.B.
Dates in Bus. 1876- ?
Description Vignetted head shot of man with large, dark mustache. Approx age 40 (b. abt. 1845) Off white card stock with no border (popular 1866-1880). Gold beveled edge (popular 1885-1892). Blank back.
Possible individual  Alexander (b. 1844) or Ansley (b. 1848) Leeman, Lucinda’s older brothers
Number #14 – Children on an Eastlake Chair
Photo  2015-10-12 12.54.10 2015-10-12 12.55.01
Type Cabinet Card
Size 6.5″ x 4.5″
Est. Date 1890
Photographer C. E. Northrup Moncton, N.B.
Dates in Bus. 1876- ?
Description Seated boy? (approx age 4, b. abt. 1886) in white dress with black stockings. Full posed girl (approx age 7, b. abt 1883)  in white dress, black stockings and long hair. She is wearing a corsage and holding a bouquet. Props include an ornate, Eastlake chair (popular from 1870-1890) and painted back drop. White cardstock with no border. Back of card is elaborate.
Possible Individuals Ethel b. 1883 and John Herbert b. 1886 Leeman children of John Arthur and Marilla (Taylor) Leeman and Lucinda’s niece and nephew.

Identical card stock and logo used for this photo identified by owner as 1889-1890 Click here to see similar photo by same photographer on Ancestry.com

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Man with a cravat pin photographed by McLean’s

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Number 11
Photo 2015-10-10 16.17.42 2015-10-10 16.18.08
Type CdV
Size 2.5″ x 4″
Est. Date 1882
Photographer McLean’s 34 Charlotte St, St. John, New Brunswick
Dates in Bus. Jas. R. McLean Photographer found in directory at this address – 1882, 1883, 1885;
Description Oval matted portrait of man (approx age 30, b. abt. 1852) with a lion shaped cravat pin and a wool jacket. Mounted on pink card with no border. Back logo has “camera & Cherub” ( popular abt 1865), Ornate groundwork with bilateral avoid (popular abt 1865)
Possible Identity  Thomas W. Beaman b. 1857


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