04 June 2010

First Friday Folder: Catlin, Baldwin, & the 1704 Deerfield Raid

 I took this photo of the Old Deerfield Cemetery in 2004.  I only wish I had been more careful and had taken far more photos.  I just remember that so many of the stones were seemingly impossible to read.  There are many good shots with transcriptions at other websites; here's an especially good one by "Cyndy."

This month's First Friday Folder was selected because I found TCasteel's  Tangled Trees blog.  I have already forgotten how I recently stumbled on it (probably something from a Geneablogger), but it gave me new info to add to this folder, so here we are!

8th Great-Grandparents John Catlin and Mary Baldwin
John Catlin was born 1643, possibly in Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut, the son of John Catlin and Isabella Ward [1].  He was killed 29 February 1704 [2] during the Deerfield, Hampshire (now Franklin county), Massachusetts raid.

Mary Baldwin was probably baptized 23 June 1644 in Milford, Hartford, Connecticut, daughter of Joseph Baldwin and his wife Hannah (Whitlocke) [3].  Mary died 9 April 1704 [2], at least in part from the trauma and stress of the death and abduction of so many of her family in the raid.

They were married 23 September 1662 in Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut [1].  Their children were John, Mary, Elizabeth, Hannah, Esther, Sarah, Joseph, and possibly 3 others.

What the Folder Needed
The most fun was adding printouts of a blog post from TCasteel on Mary and another about John, and adding the info to my database.   I knew there was a monument honoring John Catlin's status as the first school teacher in Newark, New Jersey, but I had never seen it.  TCasteel posted a photo and transcription!  It's so nice to finally have a photo of the monument!  Thank you, Tangled Trees!

The database family group sheet was from 2004 and my old software, so I printed out a new one.  There were about 6 things in the folder to discard: old undocumented website printouts, a 26 Nov 2004 Los Angeles Times article (p. A33) about George Catlin (not my line), old handwritten family group sheets from before I had a computer database, and so on.  I am forcing myself to be less compulsive and not hoard everything: I am NOT responsible for archiving the world!  I also made a new folder and family group sheet for John's parents.

Of course, reviewing the folder led to a bit of new research.  TCasteel had slightly different info than I do for some of the details and, as new genealogy cousins, we are in the process of analyzing it all.  It's so exciting!  I did find an article from New England Historical and Genealogical Register (NEHGR), today, that is new to me [4].  It fits well with a comment Gary Boyd Roberts made to me that 'John Whitlock' is not the father of the Hannah who married Joseph Baldwin.  So, I have just removed 'John Whitlock' as Hannah's father in my database. 

I see that, yet again, my sources for some of the BMD data are not what they should be: mostly compiled genealogies.  I also see that I have only 7 children listed for John and Mary and it appears that there may be 10.  I will definitely look at that issue first!

Great Resources on the 1704 Deerfield Raid
I admit that I had never heard of the "Deerfield Massacre" before I learned of my relationship to the Catlin family.  I remember asking myself why had all these people died on the same day....  This post is not the place to go into details, but the following book, magazine, and website are filled with info about the 1704 raid on Deerfield:

Evan Haefeli & Kevin Sweeney, Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield.  Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003.  This book is very thorough and well written while remaining enjoyable reading. The endnotes, appendices and bibliography are excellent.

Historic Deerfield.  A nice website and a great place to visit.  There is a general newsletter and a group for descendants. 

Historic Deerfield Magazine.  Vol 4 (1), Spring 2004  .  The magazine is published by Historic Deerfield, Inc., and this issue is still available through their online museum store.  The description there says 64pp, but my copy is only 40pp.  The whole issue was dedicated to the raid, given that it was the 300th anniversary.  I especially like the article by Philip Zea, which includes a map and photos by Allison Williams Bell from along the trail the captives were forced along north into Canada.  Since the photos were taken about the same time of the year, it gives a much better idea of what the captives faced than when I was there in late summer.

I feel a good bit of closure now having seen at least a photo of the Catlin monument in New Jersey.  And, I have a new cousin!

This was my third First Friday Folder, and I think that's a good thing.  But, I am now 3 for 3 at finding family group sheets with sources that are far less than what they should be.  Yuck!  These three folders are now in better shape than they were, but I shudder at the thought of what else is lurking in that file cabinet!

Sources & Disclaimer
I receive no special consideration from any of the companys or groups mentioned here.  I purchased my copies of the Deerfield book and magazine.  I am a member of NEHGS.  Photo by MHD.

[1] George Sheldon, George.  History of Deerfield, Massachusetts (2 volumes).  Greenfield, Massachusetts: Press of EA Hal & Co.,1895. (available at Heritage Quest Online)

[2]Thomas W. Baldwin (comp.). Vital Records of Deerfield, Massachusetts to the Year 1850. Boston: 1920.  p. 271. (available at both HeritageQuest & Ancestry.com)

[3] Eugenie Fellows, "How One Descendant of Baldwin, Catlin and Ward Became a Canadian." Connecticut Nutmegger, 30:370.  [May 2014 update: better sources are a) "Ancestry of the Children of Robert Croll Stevens and Jane Eleanor (Knauss) Stevens," vols. 4 &6, by Robert Croll Stevens; and 2) Connecticut VR to 1870 {Barbour Collection} at NEHGS--Milford p. 12]...year only for Mary's baptism.

[4] David Kendall Martin, "Joseph2 Baldwin, Jr. of Milford, Connecticut, and Hadley, Massachusetts." NEHGR, 156:103-111.  Joseph of the title is a brother of my Mary Baldwin.  A good deal of info and some exciting leads on other sources to pursue about his parents is included!


  1. Thank you for the shout-out. Regarding hoarding: keep those notes on family names - I have found that many times down the line they end up connecting. More than once I have come across something years later that I had printed or copied and realized later that it was the link I needed! Such as my Susannah Underwood brick wall problem... now I look at & it is like a V-8 moment.. I should've seen it ages ago!
    Note regarding Hannah's birth place / date: I am looking into it and have posted a query on the Whitlock message board. I'll let you know if I get anything 'definate'.

  2. Just an FYI - I referenced your blog in my latest post. :-) http://bit.ly/9UqXo6