Elizabeth and William Ratcliffe

Elizabeth A. Ratcliffe

December 21, 1885 – October 9, 1888

Elizabeth was the first child of my great-grandparents John Thomas Ratcliffe and Mary Hannah (Buckley) Ratcliffe. In 1888 there were 100 deaths due to typhoid fever in all for Bristol County. Elizabeth was one of them. She died in Fall River, Massachusetts at the age of 2 years 8 months and 19 days of typhoid fever.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Ratcliffe elizabeth death 1888

fall river typhoid fever 1880s

William Ratcliffe

November 6, 1891 – December 24, 1892

William Ratcliffe was John and Mary’s second son. He died of burns on Christmas Eve, 1892 at the age of 1 year and 17 days.

b2ap3_thumbnail_ratcliffe william 1892 death


Elizabeth and William are buried together in Oak Grove Cemetery, Fall River, in the same plot as their grandparents Zedekiah Buckley and Nancy (Reece) Buckley. 

ratcliffe elizabeth 1888 william 1891.jpg


Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013, image 136 of 1504, Elizabeth A. Ratcliffe.

Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013, image 191 of 1946, William Ratcliffe.

Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. Annual Report on the Vital Statistics of Massachusetts: Births, Marriages, Divorces and Deaths…, Volume 49, 1891.

Father and Son

William Green

Birth 25 December 1727 in Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Death 29 November 1809 in Brookline, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, United States

William Green

Birth 17 Jan 1755 in Pepperell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Death 1 May 1843 in Ashby, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States

“And I further testify and say that I well know Capt. William Green now of Ashby, but who then lived at Pepperell and that he belonged to the same Company with myself, and served in the same Campaign in Col. Prescotts Regt. of which his father William Green who was wounded at Bunker hill was Adjutant. – Robinson Lakin”

Affidavit of William Green
NARA M804, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, William Green, pension #W19542, accessed 17-Jun-2015 at www.fold3.com.

William Green 1727-1809 gravestone

Source: www.findagrave.com
Carol Thomas

World War 2 Heavy Bomber Cold Weather Flight Suits


 WW2 Heavy Bomber Flight Suit  Raymond Everett Bence Jr. in flight suit
Heavy bomber cold weather flight suit on display at the Museum of World War 2 in Natick, MA. Raymond Everett Bence Jr., 445th Bomb Group, wearing his cold weather flight suit in 1944.

“The Museum of World War II is a research and educational institution
devoted to preserving and exhibiting the reality of World War II.
It is the most comprehensive collection of documents and artifacts
on display anywhere in the world, with over 7,000 artifacts on display;
more than 500,000 documents and photographs are in the research archives.”

Learn more online at www.museumofworldwarii.com


Hoyt History of Wentworth manuscript 01

Saturday’s word of the day was serendipity. I’d put off a research trip to Wentworth, New Hampshire for a week due to inertia. I’m looking into the background of the family of a Civil War soldier who was born there.

My first stop was the Webster Public Library in Wentworth, open from 9-12 on Saturdays.

1. I found several books published by a local historian Francis Muzzey that mentioned property owned by the soldier’s family in the early 1800s.

2. I noticed a stack of pamphlets in a dusty case that turned out to be a stack of of original town reports from 1863 through the 1890s with occasional references to his family. I only recognized them because I’d see a couple at the New Hampshire Historical Society the previous week (NHHS only had 3 years worth). I was able to photograph them all.

3. In another case I noticed a thick book with the title “The History of Wentworth, Vol 1 – Manuscript). Turns out it was Hoyt’s original hand-written 1857 history of the town. I own a transcript and was awed to be able to page through the original and photograph the pages relating to the soldier.

4. The library kicked me out when they closed at noon. I headed over to the Wentworth Historical Society, a small building about 1/2 mile away. As I arrived a gentleman was heading out the door on his way to lunch. He asked what I needed. I told him a bit about my research and he said he’d be back in about 10 minutes. At that point I asked if he might be Mr. Muzzey. He was surprised that I knew his name. When he returned we talked for 1 1/2 hours about the family. (The conversation did take a slight detour when he discovered I was related to Lizzie Borden). He’s going to do some research for me on where the various members of the family lived in town before and after the War. He also asked if I would give a presentation to their historical society when I finish my research!

Did I mention that Mr. Muzzey did the 1976 transcription of the Hoyt manuscript? The transcript that I have on my shelf at home.

5. Near the end our talk he pulled out a book he’d compiled of everyone buried in the town cemeteries, sorted by name. We found the soldier, his parents, and an infant brother listed in a cemetery up the street.

He then escorted me down to the cemetery and helped me locate the graves.


The serendipity? If I’d gone to Wentworth last week instead of NHHS:

I wouldn’t have recognized the stack on reports in the display case. The reports were not in the library’s local history section or the their catalog and the librarian at the desk did not know what they were. I only knew what they were because I’d gone to the NHHS and seen one there.

I wouldn’t have met Mr. Muzzey. He says he doesn’t usually go to the historical society on Saturdays because nobody ever drops by. He was only there that one day this summer because they were short handed.

My thanks to the Webster Library for allowing me to examine and photograph the town reports and portions of the manuscript.