Kimmitt Genealogical Research

28 January 2015

Week #4 of 52 Ancestors: Emily (Churton) Churton (1847-1918)

Emily Churton was the granddaughter of William Churton, daughter of William Churton, wife of William Churton, sister of William Churton, and mother of William Churton.

She was born 21 November 1847 in Whitchurch, Shropshire, England, the daughter of William Parker Churton and Jane Weaver. (1) She was my husband Myles's great-grandmother: his mother's father's mother. So he will not have inherited any Y-DNA (male), or mitochondrial DNA (straight female line)--just autosomal, and not too much of it at that distance. This is his only English line, the other three grandparents being of Irish descent.

Little is known about Emily. On 25 August 1868, she married her first cousin William Henry Churton in Whitchurch.  Their fathers were brothers, sons of William Churton and Anne Parker. (2)

"Births, Marriages, and Deaths," Churton-Churton, 25 August 1868, Whitchurch, Shropshire, England
Solicitors' Journal and Reporter, 5 September 1868, 915; Google Books (
This was really not a great idea, especially since the family lore depicts Emily as already being high-strung. At least that's the story my mother-in-law used to tell. (3) And it will mess up the DNA measurements, giving undue weight to Churton ancestor relationships.

When our youngest son was christened he was presented with Emily's Bible. It does not contain any genealogical information, just two inscriptions on the inside cover as shown below. William Henry, aka Harry, originally gave this Bible to Emily on 21 November 1869.

Apparently they had consulted the Table of Kindred and Affinity and found nothing to discourage them from marrying, though I will say that number 6 comes pretty close: "Wherein whosoever are related are forbidden in scripture and our laws to marry together: Father's Brother's Wife." Just one more step and it would have been forbidden. I really can't believe there are no cousins on there.

Margaret's work tells this story: "According to a diary kept by Emily, the wedding was at 11 o'clock in the morning (Rev. W. H. Egerton and Rev. John Gorman officiating) and after the wedding breakfast they left for London. The next day they crossed the channel from Folkestone to Boulogne and spent their honeymoon touring on the continent -- for four weeks." (4)

Emily and William Henry Churton went on to have four children, all born in Chester, Cheshire:
  • Ida Helen, 18 September 1869–23 May 1937
  • Jessie Lillian, 3 March 1873–28 August 1946
  • William Arthur Vere, 16 December 1876–26 July 1949
  • Harry Leslie, 4 August 1879–17 February 1964 (5)
Because I've known Margaret Churton is researching Churtons I haven't delved into them. But when reading through Margaret's great summary of the family documents she inherited I realize hers is not a traditional genealogical study--many record groups were omitted. With 2015's ease of internet searching it will be a much simpler chore than it would have been in 1983 when her work was created. And it gives me a goal for next trips to the UK.

I have only dabbled, but Emily appears in the UK censuses consistent with where family stories and documents say she should be. Most of these Churtons are listed in the Birth, Marriage, and Death indices on Ancestry. I have plenty of work ahead documenting the facts, that's for sure.

Emily died on 21 August 1918, after "deterioration of her mental health necessitated a move into a 'home' of some sort... at Gan-y-Don, Colwyn Bay. She is buried in Chester. (6) This cries out for investigation!

A quick visit to the website of The National Archives ( brings up reference to "Deeds and papers relating to the estates of the Churton family, auctioneers and solicitors, in Cheshire, Shropshire, Wales etc", deposited in the Cheshire Archives (not NA) by none other than Margaret!

Reference: DBC 3233
Date: [1635]-1947
Held by: Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Extent: 44 docs., 18 bdls.
Custodial history: Acc. 3233
Immediate Source Of Acquisition:  Summary list of records deposited by Mr H T V Churton in Apr. 1983.

I can't wait to really dig in to those Churtons. They have a noble and interesting history.


1. A. M. G. ["Margaret"] Churton,  "A Churton Story from Heirlooms and Archives," (hereinafter called "A Churton Story"), typescript, "mostly written in 1983, with some later revisions," photocopy sent to author in 2011, pedigree chart. Margaret is the keeper of the Churton family papers and has inherited much original documentation, along with very old pedigree charts, photographs, and business papers. She is thorough but does not use many of the more common genealogical records groups like census and vital records, nor does she cite her sources. Also, “England and Wales, Free BMD Birth Marriage and Death Indexes, 1837-1915, and 1916-2005” (hereinafter called Free BMD) digital image of index register pages, birth of Emily Churton, 21 November 1847, Wem Registration District; ( : ), 18:179. Wem was originally called Wem and Whitchurch, and after 1935 known only as Whitchurch.

2. Free BMD, marriage of Emily Churton and William Henry Churton, 25 August 1868, Wem; 6a:1192. Also Margaret Churton, "A Churton Story," pedigree chart.

3. Ida R. (Churton) Kimmitt, conversation relating family history to author, 10 September 1988. Also Margaret Churton, "A Churton Story," 14.

4. Margaret Churton, "A Churton Story," 14.

5. Margaret Churton, "A Churton Story," pedigree chart, and throughout.

6. Margaret Churton, "A Churton Story," 14 and pedigree chart. Also, Free BMD, deaths, 1918, 11b:542.

19 January 2015

Week #3 of 52 Ancestors: Philip Joseph Sullivan (1911-1969)

First, let me just effuse about what a good exercise this is! By writing about an ancestor I take a critical look at what I've gathered so far. Things I may have neglected for years look completely fresh and I am inspired to search in the many databases that have been created since I last investigated. I find this preferable to starting over completely.

I get a lot of clients looking for Sullivans. And Sullivans, in Boston or anywhere, are tough to research. There are billions of them and they all used the same eight names. Jeremiah Sullivan is a popular one--nickname Jerry. The client I was working on today had a Jeremiah Jerome Sullivan, aka Jerry Jerry Sullivan!

Today's subject, Philip Joseph O'Sullivan, was my father's first cousin. He was the son of my grandmother Annie Josephine [O']Sullivan's brother, Jeremiah Sullivan, and his wife Roseanne Dunn. While he may not be in my direct line, I love him for two reasons.

First, he was born in New Zealand. Long ago I found in the 1920 and 1940 censuses that his place of birth was NZ. At first I thought it must be an enumerator error, but it wasn't, because his death certificate confirmed it [Mass. VRS, deaths, 1969, Arlington, 2:208]. Then a few months ago I stumbled upon an index to NZ births online, and couldn't resist, so I sent away for his birth certificate. So now, if I go on vacation to New Zealand, I have as a destination: Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket. I like that it provides his parents' ages, AND gives Rose's county of birth as Roscommon as well. I have read that many people from the Milltown area in County Kerry emigrated to New Zealand.

New Zealand, Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages, birth certificate, Philip Joseph O’Sullivan, reg. n. 1911006915, 
26 May 1911, Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, son of Jerry O’Sullivan, 31, b. Co. Kerry and Rose Dunn, 30, 
b. Roscommon; issued 3 November 2014.

I have not seen any evidence that he ever married, and he was single in 1940 when living with his father Jeremiah and siblings in Somerville, working as general job man. I just noticed that for his brother Thomas the enumerator wrote that he had filed his first papers ("Pa"), yet he was born in Massachusetts.

1940 US census, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Somerville, Ward 7, ED 106, sheet 61A,
1256 Broadway, household n. 61, Jeremiah Sullivan; ( : accessed 19 January 2015).
The second reason I love him is that he was naturalized. My grandparents came in the late nineteenth century and never bothered, probably hoping to return to Ireland some day. I wonder if World War II had anything to do with him filing his Declaration of Intention.

There are a few interesting tidbits in this file.

  • He arrived in Boston on 12 June 1913 from Queenstown on the SS Cymric, so his parents must have returned to Ireland before coming here.
  • He officially changed his surname from O'Sullivan to Sullivan. 
  • He claimed to be a chemist!
  • Some time after coming to Boston he lived in Milltown, his mother's Irish home townland. 
  • He was still not married and had no children in 1942.
  • He had blue eyes, black hair, and was 5'7.
  • He gained ten pounds between 1939 (140 lbs.) and 1942 (150 lbs.).
  • Witnesses were Edward F. Woods and John E. O'Brien.

Even better, his paperwork had a photograph!

United States District Court, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, Declaration of Intention, Philip Joseph Sullivan, n. 282025 (red stamp), n. 146348 (printed in black), certificate, n. 5554477, issued 3 August 1942; NARA, Waltham, Massachusetts, received 30 August 2012.
Sadly, my first cousin once removed died without us meeting. He was only 58 when he died on 1 June 1969. Somewhere in a pile in my office is the transcription I made of his death, listing the cause. I imagine he had a hard, lonely life, ping-ponging between continents, working variously as a longshoreman or shipper (or chemist?) I just hope he managed to find a little joy and love along the way.

14 January 2015

How My Quiet Afternoon Devolved into Chaos, Yet Still Had a Happy Ending

When I started my blog I announced it was going to be about juggling genealogy and everyday life. So today I'll tell you a story about weight loss, aging, mental decline and frustration.

I had a bunch of errands to do today: dropping things off at three friends' houses and picking things up at another, picking up all 3 sons' framed high school photos from the framer, grocery shopping, but most important, getting a new purse and a belt. I need a purse with better compartments because I keep losing things. And one of the things I keep losing is weight, which is making me lose my pants, hence the belt.

As I rushed out the door I flung on some dangly earrings with no stops in them. "That's okay, I won't be doing anything strenuous," I thought. "They'll stay put." Well. I also donned a nice neck warmer scarf-y thing because it's 18º out. Said lovely neck warmer tends to come unfastened and slip to the ground but I thought I had it pretty well secured.

I haven't worn a belt in many a year but due to recent 45-pound weight loss (yay! lifetime struggle) and the new style of pants that seem to have no waist, my pants keep falling down. It's really annoying. It's a horrible feeling to be whipping around and feel your steps get smaller and smaller because your pants are slowly sliding towards the earth. It's like wearing panty hose that are a size too small--forces you to walk like a penguin. And slows down the errand-running.

Every time I made a stop I had to get out, hike up my drawers, and proceed with the errand. Every time I hoisted the jeans the scarf would come undone. When I refastened it, it would knock an earring out of my ear. So by stop number six I was a little frazzled. And minus one earring.

Stop number six was Wegman's. The place is chaos to me: amongst other aggravations, organic red peppers sold individually clear across the room from regular red peppers sold by the pound. They don't make it easy to shop wisely there. At the checkout counter I had a rollicking discussion with the cashier about arthritis and how it hurts and it sucks to get old, etc. She thanked me for letting her vent.

I loaded up my car and walked, hiking and hoisting, to TJ Maxx to look for belt and purse. On the way I realized my phone was neither in my coat pocket nor my purse! "Stupid coat pocket, I knew it was going to fall out!" But I thought I'd just get the damn belt before I lost the pants completely because that would embarrass my children and besides, did I mention it's only 18º out?

So I drove the 30 yards to TJ Maxx (if I had walked it would have taken 3 weeks with the ever-tinier mincing steps) and parked there. I browsed through the purses--nothing. But I couldn't concentrate knowing I didn't have my phone. I waddled over to Dress Barn where I hoped to a) find a purse; b) find a belt; and c) chastise them for selling me pants that fall down.

I found a decent purse but they don't sell belts even though the pants they sell you fall off. So I drove the 30 yards back to Wegman's to look for the phone. I searched where I had parked previously, on the ground and all around. Stupid coat pocket! The thing just flaps open. It was bound to fall out when I was hoisting! But nothing. Maybe someone took it already. I even looked in the cart I had returned to the little cart hut. Not there.

I figured I must have left it with the cashier during the exciting old age discussion. She was very happy to see me again, but then told me she hadn't found anything. So I inquired at Customer Service. Nothing! Crap!! Wait a minute. I reached around and slapped myself on the right back pocket. There it was!  I forgot I had put it there so it wouldn't fall out of my coat pocket! Yay, a happy ending, even if I am a forgetful goob.

Elated, I returned to the car. As I inched along, I rummaged through the dreaded purse for the keys. This purse has a rip in the lining, so things exit the purse proper and disappear into the netherworld between lining and leather. OMG. So I couldn't find my damn keys. I stood at the car cursing myself, the purse, low-waisted pants, scarves that don't work right, Wegman's, TJ Maxx, 18º weather, Dress Barn, but most of all, my scatter-brain. My stupid, aging, distracted, doing-too-many-things-at-once-ADD brain.

A lady came out to her car and looked at me for a second too long. I swear she had a glint in her eye, as though she were amused. But she didn't say anything. I took this as a good sign and returned to Customer Service, feeling a little like a mental patient. And wonder of wonders she got a huge grin when she saw me. Phew!!!!! I had left them there (along with my pride). I left before they could call the men in white coats.

So all's well that ends well except I'm annoyed that the lady didn't tell me they had my keys inside. It's okay she was probably afraid of me.

13 January 2015

Week #2 of 52 Ancestors: Robert Robertson Kimmitt, 1871-1951, Man of Many Titles

Robert Robertson Kimmitt, O.B.E (Mil.), T.D., D.L

This is my second post in the "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" blogger challenge. So far, so good!

This week I'm switching to the Kimmitt side. I get many inquiries from Kimmitt cousins around the world and I'm afraid I've been telling them all the same thing since 1993: when I retire I hope to tie together all those loose cousin threads and produce a family history. In the meantime I'm gathering evidence here and there, and always happy to hear from members of all branches, from New Zealand to Canada. Part of the reason I don't like to write is because it feels endless. There is so much to say about some people, and Robert Robertson Kimmitt is one of them. So I will present some of the odds and ends I have assembled on him to date.

Robert Robertson (RR) Kimmitt was my husband's great-grandfather. He was the second youngest of the ten known children of the Reverend Edward Kimmitt and his wife Margaret Unwin, born 4 December 1871 in the little village of Benturb, County Tyrone, Ireland, near Moy (1). Guide books say that Moy is one of the most beautiful towns in Ireland, especially in summer when it is "filled with flowers from top to bottom" Yet I could NOT convince his descendants to visit his place of birth when we were on vacation in Northern Ireland this past summer! I can't imagine why, but they were afraid I'd get sidetracked.

The Rev. Edward Kimmitt was minister of the Prebysterian Church in nearby Loughgall, "Cloveneden," when son Robert was born, and he baptized him there on 3 March 1872 (2). Edward Kimmitt appears in Griffith's Valuation in 1864 in Ballygassey. (3) I haven't researched the Kimmitts on the ground in Ireland yet but I believe a research trip to Belfast is in order!

Robert married Elizabeth Marie Rowand Loudon in Belfast on 2 August 1899. Robert's occupation was "agent" (4). Though I can't put my finger on the source, I know that he was an agent for the Belfast Rope and Twine company. They moved to London by 1900 when son Gordon (my husband's grandfather) was born, and in 1901 the family is in Ealing, a borough of London, at 38 Egerton Gardens. (5) 

Photo courtesy of  The Man and Other Families website.
In 1911 Robert and Elizabeth and their two oldest children, Gordon, 11, and Vivian Robertson, 7 (male) were living at 33 Loveday Road, West Ealing when the census taker came to call. He noted their birthplaces: Robert was born in Moy, Elizabeth in Cork, Gordon in Shepard's Bush, London; and Vivian in Ealing, London. At that time Robert was still an agent for [Belfast] Rope and Twine Makers (6). According to a display in the Titanic Museum in Belfast we visited last summer, in 1900 it was the largest rope works in the world.

Detail of Rope Bridge at Carrick-a-Rede, Co. Antrim, No. Ireland, taken July 2014 by author.
Robert and Elizabeth went on to have their third child, Rowand Everil R. Kimmitt (female), in the third quarter of 1912. (7) RR (and his father before him) moved around frequently, so a timeline is definitely in order here. That will help me define the jurisdiction of various records I need to pull to fill in the gaps.

He seems to have been a natural leader. He is pictured below in 1915, the commanding officer of this group of Non-Commissioned Officers of the 3/18 London Regiment (the London Irish Rifles) --he is fourth from the left in the second row from the bottom. (8)

Here is a detail showing remarkable similarity to my father-in-law:

Robert Robertson Kimmitt served as Mayor of Ealing from 1924-25, and details of his election to the position, and the high regard in which he was held by the community appear in a newspaper article kindly sent to me by the Ealing Historical Society. (9) They look so... Downton Abbey-ish.

In 1947, was appointed High Sheriff of Middlesex. A glowing article about him says: "His first commission was with the 5th Royal Munster Fusilliers in 1899. He served in the First World War with the 18th Battalion London Regiment (London Irish Rifles) of which he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel in 1916; he was Hon. Colonel of the 44th (Home Counties) Division Signals 1928-1933, a military member of the County of Londonderry T.A. and Air Force Association from 1917-1936, and of the Middlesex Association from 1925 until the beginning of this year. In 1937 he became County Controller V.A.D. Middlesex, was appointed an Officer of the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem in 1928 and Commander in 1939; he was awarded the O.B.E. (Military Division) in 1919, and the Territorial Decoration 1932, and has served as Army Welfare Officer for the County Middlesex since 1941. (10) I wonder what ever became of those medals, ribbons and pins?

He went on to head up or serve on many local committees such as the Ealing Public Health Committee from 1923-38 and many others, taking a special interest in the local hospital, King Edward Memorial. He was also a mason, according to his grandson, Brian Robert Rowland Kimmitt.

He "collapsed while attending the hospital he served,"  and "died with almost startling suddenness” there in Ealing Broadway, London on 24 January 1951 at 79 years old. Wife Elizabeth had died in 1944. His funeral was held at St. Andrews Church, Mount Park Road and he is buried in the family grave at Westminster Cemetery, Hanwell. (11)

1. Brian Knox, "The Kimmitts of Armagh" September 2001, 4;  typescript report, in author's files. Brian's report is carefully researched, well written, and though not strictly documented he does make reference to where is obtaining information. He hired local researchers to pull parish and civil records. Also, "Ireland Births and Baptisms, 1620-1881," transcription from unknown source; ( : accessed 12 January 2015), Kimmett, 04 Dec 1871; citing Tyrone, Ireland, reference v 16-2 p 546; FHL microfilm 255,832.

2. Knox, "The Kimmitts of Armagh and Tyrone," 4.

3. Richard Griffith, General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland, Loughgall Parish, townland of Ballygassey, Co. Armagh, p. 25, taken in 1864, Rev. Edward Kimmitt; ( : accessed 13 January 2015).

4. Marriage of Robert Robertson Kimmitt and Elizabeth Marie Loudon, 2 August 1899, Macrory Memorial Presbyterian Church, Belfast, Antrim, Ireland; online subscription database, transcription Irish Family History Foundation (http"// accessed 14 Apr 2010, now

5.  1901 England, Wales and Scotland census, Ealing, Middlesex, England, Castlebar Municipal Ward, St. Stephen's Parish, Brentford Reg. Dist., folio 164, p. 43, 38 Egerton Gardens, sched. n. 265, household of Robert R. Kimmitt; digital image, ( : accessed 12 January 2015).

6. 1911 England, Wales and Scotland Census, Ealing, Middlesex, England, ED 28, Brentford Reg. Dist., Reg. Dist. n. 128, sched. 297, 33 Loveday Road, household of Robert Robertson Kimmitt; ( : accessed 13 January 2015).

7. "England and Wales Births 1837-2006," index, birth of Rowand E R Kimmitt, 3rd quarter, 1912, Brentford Dist., Middlesex, England, 3A:264; ( : accessed 13 January 2015).

8. NCOs of the 3/18 London Regiment (London Irish Rifles), photograph, Illustrated War News, 6 October 1915; Northwest Family History Society  ( : accessed 18 August 2013). This link no longer works and I cannot find the site today.

9. "Mayor and Mayoress Designate for 1924-5," Middlesex County Times, Ealing, London, England, 26 July 1924, no p. n.; photocopy sent to author by Borough of Ealing Local History Centre, London, England.

10. "High Sheriff of Middlesex: Alderman R. R. Kimmitt appointed", Middlesex County Times, Ealing, London, England, 15 Mar 1947, no p. n.; photocopy sent to author by Borough of Ealing Local History Centre, London, England.

11. "Alderman Colonel Kimmitt Dies," West Middlesex County Times, Ealing, London, England, 27 January 1951, p. 1photocopy sent to author by Borough of Ealing Local History Centre, London, England.

07 January 2015

Week #1 of 52 Ancestors: Benjamin Barnes of Hingham, Massachusetts (1747-1833)--Farmer, Patriot, Landowner

All right. I'm going to try--TRY, mind you--to participate in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for Geneabloggers! Well. I'll participate, but whether I'll manage to post 52 times cannot yet be known. To begin, I closed my eyes and selected someone from the index in my genealogy program, and voila, one of my favorite ancestors! So I'm commencing with my 4th great-grandfather, Benjamin Barnes of Hingham, Massachusetts. I posted about him in 2009, but wanted to update that post, so I'm not sure if this will count as 2015, but oh well!

So far, I've only discovered the term non compos mentis applied to one ancestor, and that happens to be him, poor guy. But he led a full life before that diagnosis and that is what I'd like to focus on. Benjamin was born in 1747 in Hingham (1), a pretty town south of Boston, right on Massachusetts Bay. He owned land near Hingham Harbor, where I go boating with my best friends from college every summer. The general area in which he owned land can be seen in the background of this photo. This is one of those moments when you wonder why that land hasn't passed down directly to you!

What has been passed down, however, is a precious 1777 framed deed. Until yesterday I was unable to scan it because of the glare from the glass. The back was sealed and I didn't want to mess with it. However, it fell off the wall and cracked open the frame, so yesterday I took it to a restorer to clean, deacidify and preserve it. It had been glued down to some acidic cardboard. I mention this because I was finally able to scan it.

I won't transcribe the entire deed, but on 15 March 1777, Benjamin Jr., yeoman bought two acres of salt meadow and upland (on the east side of Weir River, near the mouth, perhaps now part of Hull) from his father, Benjamin Sr., yeoman, my 5th great-grandfather, for 16 pounds, 13 shillings, 4 pence. Hannah (Beal) Barnes, my 5th great-grandmother, relinquishes her dower, with a signature next to the X. Oh yeah, female signature!

George Lincoln, in his History of Hingham, says that Benjamin was a farmer. I wonder if he grazed his sheep in the salt meadow as they still do in France around Mont St. Michel, where the lamb is said to be extraordinarily tasty because of it? I'm making a mental note to go kayaking there some day when the weather is fair. In the Weir Estuary, not Mont St. Michel, though that's not a bad idea...

Benjamin is listed in the Hingham census of 1790, near his father, and brother Canterbury Barnes. Two more brothers, John and Ensign, appear on the same page.

Benjamin was the patriot I used in my application to the DAR. He has a pretty detailed Revolutionary War pension application file, submitted in 1832 on his behalf by Ned Cushing, his legal guardian, when Benjamin was 85. It mentions that Benjamin was "himself incapable of recollecting the past events of his life with correctness" so they get his war buddies to give affidavits telling about his service: in 1775, like half of the state, he was called to Lexington to "march on the alarm of April 19, 1775. After that he "guarded the sea" in Hingham (they don't mention that he could probably do that from his father's front yard); in 1776 he did the same in nearby Nantasket. But in 1777 he was present at the surrender of Gen. Burgoyne. And there is more. Length of service for him was anywhere from three days (Lexington) to eight months. He remained a private for the entire war. (2)

Service accounts vary slightly among those giving affidavits. Of course they do! How can 75-85 year old men remember back 58 years to which three-month stint they served with whom? I think it's sweet that so many years after the fact, these very old men put their heads together on behalf of poor Benjamin so that he could get some relief from the government he fought to create.

I love pension files because you find attestations by town clerks to vital records: an affidavit of his birth on the Hingham town records.

Benjamin Barnes, son of Benjamin & Hannah
born June 7, 1747 ––
A true copy from the Records of births in Hingham
James S. Lewis
Town Clerk

Then, Justice of the Peace Ebenezer Gay attests that he "verily believes it to be a record of the birth of Benjamin Barnes of said Hingham now under the Guardianship of Ned Cushing who applies in behalf of said Benjamin for a pension under the law of the United States passed in June last –– and I hereby certify that the said Lewis is personally known to me and that his reputation for truth is unquestionable." 
Then, it makes me laugh because on the next page, they get the Register of Probate to attest that Ebenezer Gay is honest and forthright as well. Then on the next page, George Washington attests that Ebenezer Gay is trustworthy and true, also! Just kidding about that last one. But really, when does it end?

I use the Revised Fourth Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, published in 1968, because it is pretty good for older legal terms. On page 1200 you can find a definition of Non Compos Mentis:
"Lat. Not sound of mind; insane. This is a very general term, embracing all varieties of mental derangement. See Insanity. [Then, the best part follows...] Coke has enumerated four different classes of persons who are deemed in law to be non compotes mentis

  • First an idiot, or fool natural; 
  • Second, he who was of good and sound mind and memory, but by the act of God has lost it; 
  • Third, a lunatic, lunaticus qui gaudet lucidis intervallis, who sometimes is of good sound mind and memory, and sometimes non compos mentis
  • Fourth, one who is non compos mentis by his own act, as a drunkard, Co. Litt. 247a; 4 Coke, 124."
I think that poor Benjamin, after his honorable service to the cause of freedom, was an example of Coke's definition number two: "of good and sound mind and memory, but by the act of God has lost it." I'm just thankful that everyone else was there to help him pick up the memories. Benjamin died on 30 December 1833 and was buried in January of 1834 (3). I sure hope someone took care of Ned Cushing when he need it, too.

1. George Lincoln, The History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, 3 vols, Vols 2-3, The Genealogies (Somersworth, New Hampshire: New England History Press, 1982), 2:26. Also, "Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Application Files," online subscription database linked to original images, Benjamin Barnes, private, file n. S. 30,262, Massachusetts; ( : accessed 7 January 2015); citing NARA microfilm series M804, RG 15;
2. Revolutionary War pension application file, Benjamin Barnes.
3. "Index to Selected Final Payment Vouchers, 1818-1864," online subscription database linked to images of cards, Benjamin Barnes, Massachusetts, date of death 30 December 1833; ( : accessed 7 January 2015); citing NARA, RG 217. Also, The Hearse Account, Hingham, April 1, 1830, account book, Benjamin Barnes was buried in January 1834; microfilm 76.13, Hingham, Massachusetts Public Library.