John O. Stevens

During a re-reading of Hoyt’s History of Wentworth, I found details of the death of John O. Stevens that I missed before.

Sergt. John O. Stevens, Co. B“John O Stevens, Co B, 2nd N H Reg. was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg Pa July 1st or 2nd 1863. He was struck by a ball in the loins, which undoubtedly caused his death shortly after. But little is known of the particulars of this death, as no report has been given by any of his comrades. His body was found by the side of a barn by a soldier in one of the western regiments and by him caused to be buried and the grave marked. From the papers in his pockets his name and residence was learned and his father notified of the fact by this kind soldier. His body was brought home and buried with Masonic honors, witnessed by a very large concern of people – August 2, 1863 This brave young man was the first to volunteer in defense of his Countrys flag from this Town. He was esteemed by all for his moral worth as well as patriotism. After enduring the hardships and perils of more that two years service, being a participant in most of the battles in which the Gallant Second were engaged, he at last fell a victim to the most wicked Rebellion. Let his memory be hallowed.”


Source: Hoyt, Peter L., Hoyt’s History of Wentworth New Hampshire. Transcribed from the original manuscript by Francis L. Muzzey. Littleton, New Hampshire: Courier Printing Company, Inc., 1976, p. 345.

Listening Now – Albion’s Seed

Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, Vol. 1 by David Hackett Fischer

This is an eye-opening (for me) analysis of the settlement of four regions of early America – New England, the Chesapeake, the Delaware Valley, and the Appalachian back country – and how the differences in their origins echo down to the present day.

Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, Vol. 1

Mystery Man


This photo is of my great-grandmother Mary Hannah (Buckley) Ratcliffe with a unknown (to me) man. Comparing this to other photos of Mary taken when my father was born in 1925, this was most likely taken in the early 1920s. Given their pose I’m guessing that they are related. The man is probably either my great-grandfather John Thomas Ratcliffe or Mary’s younger brother Zedediah Buckley. Hopefully other photos of him will surface as I work my way through the family albums.

William Bence and Family – 1851

William Bence (1828-1900) and his family in the 1851 Great Britain Census

9 Kings Street, Heaton Norris, Stockport


Name  Position  Mar. Status  Age  Occupation  Place of birth  Relationship to me
Hannah Bence  Head  Married  62     Yorkshire Huddersfield  Great x3 grandmother
Frederic Bence  Son  Widower  26  Coach Guard   Cheshire Stockport  
William Bence  Son   Married  24   Power Loom Weaver  Cheshire Stockport  Great x2 grandfather
John Bence  Son   Unmarried  22   Self Acting Winder  Lancashire Heaton Norris  
Mary Bence  Daughter   Unmarried  20   Power Loom Weaver  Cheshire Cheadle Bulkeley  
Ann Bence  D.-in-law  Married  24  Throstle Piecer  Disley  Great x2 grandmother
Peter Bence  Grandson    1    Lancashire Heaton Norris  Great grandfather

At the time of this census Hannah’s husband John Bence was still alive though he is not listed here. According to the England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index he died in Stockport in 1855.

Union Congregational Church, East Braintree – 150th Anniversary Celebration, Spring 1961

My mother was great at labeling group photos, this one was no exception. Thanks, Mom!

union cong church 150th 1961

1st Row – Left to Right
1. Patricia Weetman
2. Helen Lavery
3. Peg Bence
4. Grace Crispin
5. Faith Lowry
6. Polly Nickerson
7. Jan Johnson
8. Rev. E. Johnson
9. Lois Harvey
10. Norma Tompkinson
11. Marge Erickson
12. Helen Dawe
13. Marge Young
2nd Row – Left to Right
1. ? Walsh
2. Lucy Meyer
3. George Cumming
4. Marjorie Fitch
5. Warren Olafsson
6. Gena South
7. Connie Newton
8. Lang
9. Susan Johnson
10. ? Moffat
11. Shirley Bewley
12. George Young
13. Sally Day
14. Hugh Saucha
15. Alice Cumming
16. Abner Tompkinson
17. Warren Ford
18. Roberta Lang
19. Robert Lang
Top Row – Left to Right
1. Walsh
2. Joseph Hale
3. Mr. Andersen
4. Jim Dewing
5. Cummings
6. Nelson Barden
8. Beth Adams
9. Betty Crowe
10. Alden Adams
11. Scotty Dawe