Thomas Miner

My Paternal American Ancestor, Thomas MINER (1608 –  1690) was a founder of Charlestown and Hingham Mass and  New London and Stonington, Connecticut, and the author of one of the few diaries to survive 17th Century New England. The Diary of Thomas Minor is a lasting memorial. Although the entries are terse and never give details, they do give us a glimpse into his daily life and community activities. He  is Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather, one of 2,048 grandfathers in this generation in the Miner line.

Thomas Miner – Monument Inscription: Leut. Thomas Minor born in Chew Magna Somerset County England, April 23, 1608. He was first by the name of Minor to migrate to this Country coming on the ship Arabella which reached Salem harbor June 14, 1630. He married Grace, daughter of Walter Palmer in Charlestown April 28, 1634. He took up his permanent abode at Quiambaug  in 1653 or 1654. There he lived till his death Oct 23, 1690. One of the founders of New London and Stonington: prominent in public office: an organizer of the church.

Thomas Miner was born in Chew Magna, England, on April 23, 1608. His parents were Clement MINOR Sr. and [__?__].  He emigrated to Salem, Massachusetts in 1629, aboard the Lyon’s Whelp (See the story of the voyage here). He quickly moved to Watertown, and then on to Charlestown, after typhus fever broke out in Salem.  He married Grace PALMER on 23 Apr 1634 in Rehoboth, Plymouth, Mass.   In 1636, the Miners moved to Hingham.  After several years in Hingham, the family moved south to the Wequetequock area of present-day Stonington, Connecticut, where Miner and his son Ephraim helped found the Road Church. In about 1653, Miner bought land west of Stonington, across Quiambaug Cove near present-day Mystic, and built a house for his family. His diary covers  the years 1653 to 1684 and was published in book form in 1899. Thomas died on 23 Oct 1690 in Stonington, CT. He is buried with his wife Grace in Stonington’s Wequetequock Cemetery. The founders monument in Stonington has one side dedicated to him.

Thomas Miners wolfstone marker in Wequetequock cemetery.  Thomas Miner had selected this stone himself from his farm at Quiambaug. Here lyeth the body of Lieutenant Thomas Minor, aged 83 years. Departed 1690

Thomas wrote back to England  about 1683,  in investigation of his ancestory and received

A (False) Herauldical Essay Upon the Surname of Miner

Grace Palmer was born 9 May 1612 in England.   Her parents were Walter PALMER and Ann Elizabaeth SHORT. The first record we have of Grace Palmer is found in the “Record Book of the First Church in Charlestown” (Mass) when she, her father and her step-mother were admitted to membership on 1 June 1633.  Until her father married Rebecca Short in 1633, Grace, being the oldest child and daughter, probably was “mother” to her three younger brothers and one sister.  The name “Grace” was not one used often in the days of her birth and it is thought by some that she may have been named for her Aunt Grace Palmer, wife of Abraham Palmer,  who some believe was a brother to Walter, though no proof of that relationship has been found.  Grace died two weeks before her husband on 12 Oct 1690 in  Stonington,  CT.

Grace Palmer Gravestone

Thomas Miner – Wequeteduock Burial Ground

Children of Thomas and Grace:

Name Born Married Departed
1 John Minor 30 Aug 1635 Charlestown, MA Elizabeth Booth
19 Oct 1658 Stratford, CT
17 Sep 1719 Woodbury, Litchfield, CT
Clement MINER 4 Mar 1637/38 Hingham MA Frances BURCHAM (Widow of Isaac Willey)
26 Nov 1662
Martha Wellman
20 Feb 1672/73
Joanna [_?_].
8 Oct 1700 New London, CT
Thomas Miner 10 May 1640 Hingham MA Unmarried 19 April 1662 Narragansett, RI
4. Ephraim Minor 3 May 1642 Hingham Hannah Avery
20 Jun 1666 Stonington, CT
16 May 1724 Stonington, New London, CT
Dr. Joseph Miner 25 Aug 1644 Hingham Mary Avery
23 Oct 1668 New London
Bridget Chesebrough (Widow of William Thompson)
7 Dec 1709 Stonington, CT
1 Feb 1712 Stonington, New London
Judah Miner ca. 1646 Listed in books and the essay but unconfirmed in records
Manassah Miner 28 Apr 1647 New London Lydia Moore (Daughter of our ancestor Miles MOORE)
26 Sep 1670 New London
Frances West
20 Apr 1721 Stonington
22 Aug 1728 Stonington
Ann Miner 28 Apr 1649 New London - 13 Aug 1652 Stonington (the first registered death in Stonington)
Mary Miner 5 May 1651 New London - 24 Jan 1660/61 Stonington
Samuel Miner 4 Mar 1652/53 Stonington Marie Lord
15 Dec 1681
Jul 1682
Hannah Miner 15 Sep 1655 Stonington Thomas Avery
22 Oct 1677 Stonington
about 1692

Miner was active in public affairs in both New London and Stonington. He and his sons fought in King Philip’s War.

1632 –  Thomas was a founder of the First Church of Charlestown, his name appearing 34th on the roll. Two years later he was granted four acres of land at the line of Newtown, now Cambridge, and by 1637 owned a 10 acre plot.  Thomas Minor received lot 18 in the first division of land at Mystic side, now Charlestown, MA. on the sixth of the first month 1637. His future father-in-law Walter PALMER, receiving lot 15.

4 Mar 1633/34 – Thomas was made a freeman in Charlestown, Mass.

1636 –   The young couple moved once again, settling in Hingham, MA where they remained until 1645.  Thomas’ first child, John, was baptized in 1635 before they moved to Hingham.  During their years in Hingham, their sons Clement, Thomas, Ephraim and Joseph were born.

1645 – Thomas joined John Winthrop Jr.’s colony of Massachusetts Puritans in the settlement of New London, CT.   During the years that Thomas lived in New London, his son Mannassah and his daughters Ann and Mary were born.  Manassah was the first white child born in New London.

May 1649 – At the session of the General Court,  the following regulations were made respecting Pequot:

1. The inhabitants were exempted from all public country charges — i.e., taxes for the support of the colonial government — for the space of three years ensuing.

2. The bounds of the plantation were restricted to four miles each side of the river, and six miles from the sea northward into the country, ” till the court shall see cause and have encouragement to add thereunto, provided they entertain none amongst them as inhabitants that shall be obnoxious to this jurisdiction, and that the aforesaid bounds be not distributed to less than forty families.”

3. John Winthrop, Esq., with Thomas MINER and Samuel LOTHROP as assistants, were to have power as a court to decide all differences among the inhabitants under the value of forty shillings.

4. Uncas and his tribe were prohibited from setting any traps, but not from hunting and fishing within the bounds of the plantation.

5. The inhabitants were not allowed to monopolize the corn trade with the Indians in the river, which trade was to be left free to all in the united colonies.

6. ” The Courte commends the name of Faire Harbour to them for to bee the name of their Towne.”

7. Thomas MINER was appointed ” Military Sergeant in the Towne of Pequett,” with power to call forth and train the inhabitants.

May 1649 – By Colonial appointment Thomas Minor served as Magistrate or Justice, in the town of New London,

Sep 1650 – Thomas Minor and Jonathan Brewster were made the first deputies to the General Court (the Legislature) from Pequot, now New London, CT.

1652 –   Thomas moved to Pawcatuck, now Stonington, CT, and became a founder of the town with three associates:  William Chesebrough, Thomas Stanton, and his father-in-law, Walter Palmer.  On the grounds of Wequetequock Cemetery there is a monument honoring these four men.  In Stonington, Thomas built a house on land granted to him, which he later relinquished to Walter Palmer, there having been some confusion during which time the land was also granted to someone else who sold it to Mr. Palmer.

Stonington Map c. 1680

1652 –  A general apprehension existed throughout the country that the Indians were preparing for hostilities. The Narragansetts were especially regarded with suspicion, and preparations were made in the frontier towns to guard against surprise. At Pequot the town orders were peremptory for arming individuals and keeping a vigilant eye upon the natives. Watchmen were kept on the look-out both night and day. A fresh supply of ammunition was procured and the following directions published :

” July 8, 1652.

” Forfeiture of false raising of an alarum, £10.

” Forfeiture of not coming when an alarum is raised, £5.

” Forfeiture of not coming to there pticnlar squadron, £5.

“It is agreed y’ it shall be a just alarum when 3 gunnes are distinctly shot of, and the drum striking up an alarum.

“If the watchmen here a guun in the night, they well considering where the gunn was firing if they conceive to be in the Towne may raise an alarum.

” For the seting of a gunn for a wolfe they y* set a gunn for that end shall acquaint the constable where he sets it that he may acquaint the watch.”

Three places in the town were fortified, the mill, the meeting-house, and the house of Hugh Caulkins, which stood at the lower end of the town, near the entrance of Cape Ann Lane. The inhabitants were divided into three squadrons, and in case of an alarm Sergt. Miner’s squadron was to repair to Hugh Caulkins’, Capt. Denison’s to the meeting-house, and Lieut. Smith’s to the mill.

Severe restrictions were laid upon the trade with the Indians in the river, which was to be confined to Brewster’s trading-house. No individual could go up the river and buy corn without a special license, which was only to be given in case of great scarcity. Happilv no alarm occurred, and all fear of ‘an Indian war soon died away. But Mr. Brewster was allowed for several years to monopolize the Indian trade. This granting of monopolies was perhaps the greatest error committed by the fathers of the town of Stonington in their legislation.

1653 – Thomas then bought some land situated on Quiambaug Cove from Cary Latham.  In his diary, Thomas tells of his building his house at Quiambaug.  His first published month, November 1653, and the following month, December of the same year, indicate very clearly his life in Stonington.  During the following months, one can follow the building of his home:  “I had 9 peeces to hew”,  “I made an end of hewing of timber”, “goodman redfield was making our backe for our Chimbloy and wensday the 22nd our backe of our Chimbly was ended goodman Redfild has 22 s and 6 d for doing the stone walle”, “I had newly raised my roofe of my house”.

Quiambaug Cove looking North from the rocky point – the site of the original Miner farm is where the house in the photo is.  Part of the cove wraps around to the west(left), making this point a bit of a promontory – a great place to fish from.

Looking South from the same Quiambaug Cove location – the main channel passes right near this point, a few feet to the left.

Click Here to See Google Maps Satellite View of Thomas Miner’s Quiambaug Homestead

The current house (the third one on this site) on the location of the original Miner farm.

From 1658 to 1662 Thomas was a party to a dispute whether Stonington was part of Connecticut or Massachusetts.

Stonington was now settled, albeit somewhat sparsely. Stanton was on the Pawcatuck River, Walter Palmer on the east side of Wequetequock Cove, Chesebrough in Wequetequock and Stonington Point, Amos Richardson at Quanaduck, Hugh Calkins owning Wamphassuc Point, Isaac Willey owning Lord’s Point, Minor in Quiambaug, John Mason owning Mason’s Island and adjoining mainland up to Pequotsepos Brook, Denison in Pequotsepos, Gallop on the Mystic River, and Park in Mystic. Nearly all of the waterfront was taken, showing the keen interest of the settlers in seafood, salt marsh hay, and trading.

The inhabitants now faced difficulties: being accepted as a town by either Connecticut or Massachusetts, settling the old boundary disputes, deciding how to treat the remnants of the defeated Indian tribes, and providing for their own religious needs.

The settlers of Stonington, who had received various grants from Connecticut and New London, had no government and had resolved their affairs by discussions among themselves. They wanted a body of laws to guide them in their decisions and they also felt that the community needed the protection of a colony. Under the leadership of Chesebrough, who had been New London deputy to the Connecticut Court for several years, they petitioned the Court to be recognized as a township and also to permit them to establish a separate church. It was defeated, largely because of the opposition of New London, which wanted the town to extend eastward to the Pawcatuck. A second petition was likewise defeated.

Thwarted in their ambitions by Connecticut, the inhabitants of Mystic and Pawcatuck petitioned Massachusetts for the privilege of a township, twenty families now being settled in this place. This petition was backed by Captain George Denison, who had influential friends in Boston. This also failed. A second application was made and denied, with the suggestion that the matter be referred to the Commissioners of the United Colonies and that in the meantime they manage their own affairs. In 1658 the Massachusetts General Court resolved that the territory between the Mystic River and the Pawcatuck River be named Southertown and belong to Suffolk County, Massachusetts. The plantation was to extend into the interior eight miles from the mouth of the Mystic River. Captain George Denison and five others were appointed to manage prudential affairs; Captain Denison, William Chesebrough, and Thomas Minor were appointed commissioners to handle small causes. Walter Palmer was appointed constable.

In 1662 Governor John Winthrop, Jr., obtained a new charter for Connecticut from Charles II. It set the eastern boundary of Connecticut at the Pawcatuck River, putting Southertown back in Connecticut. William Chesebrough was elected the first deputy from Stonington to the Connecticut General Court. The name Southertown was changed to Mystic and shortly thereafter to Stonington. The old boundary dispute was finally settled; future disputes would arise between Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Stoington History

Oct 1664 and May 1665 – By Colonial appointment Thomas Minor served as Magistrate or Justice, in the town of  Stonington

May and Oct 1665; Oct, 1677;  Oct 1670;  Oct 1672;  May, 1677;  May and Oct, 1679; May, 1680: and Oct 1689 – Thomas served as deputy to the Connecticut General Court from Stonington.    He was selected Commissioner in dealings with the Indians and settlers inasmuch as he had mastered the language of the Indians so he could act as interpreter in dealings between them and the white settlers.

May, 1666 – Thomas received a Colonial grant of 100 acres of land and in October, 1667, 50 acres more; such grants were made to those who had performed distinguished public service.  His last two children, Samuel and Hannah, were born 4 March 1652 and 15 Sept 1655, respectively.

“This 24th of Aprill, 1669, [From his diary]  I thomas Minor am by my accounts sixtie one yeares ould I was by the towne & this yeare Chosen to be a select man in the Townes Treasurer The Townes Recorder The Brander of horses by the generale Courte Recorded in the head officer of the Traine band by the same Courte one of ffoure tht have the charge of the milischia of the whole Countie and Chossen and sworne Commissionor and one to assist in keeping the Countie Courte”.

1675 – Thomas was a lieutenant in the Narragansett Campaign of King Phillip’s War in  1675-76.  He reportedly took part in the “Great Swamp Fight” near Kingstown, RI even though he would have been 67 years old.  Almost all of the able-bodied men of Stonington were engaged in the Indian wars of their time.   Thomas was appointed Member of a Court Martial to meet in New London, January 2, 1676.

Jul 1685 –  Appointed Chief Military Officer of the Mystic Trainband.  During King Phillip’s War, Thomas served as a Lieutenant and was referred to that title in February and in April of 1676.  In August, 1676, he was called Captain, although in later years, he usually is mentioned as Lieutenant.

Sometime during the mid 1600s, perhaps about 1683, Thomas Miner wrote back to England to answer the question whether the surname should be spelled with an “e” or an “o”,  In return, he received the this linked manuscript. It purports to explain the origin of the name by noting that a Henry Miner of the Mendip Hills in Somerset was given a coat of arms by Edward III for his services for the up-coming war with the French.

The reason (as Garcillasso sayeth, page 432) is this: Edward the third going to make warre against the French took a progress through Somersett and coming to Mendippe Colles Minerary, Mendippe Hills in Somersett, where lived one Henry MINER [1] his name being taken both a denominatione loci et ab officio, who with all carefullness and loyalitie having convened his domestic and menial servants armed with battle axes, proffered himself and them to his master’s service, making up a complete hundred.

This Henry was said to have been a miner, or mine operator; therefore, the name should be spelled with an “e.”  Since receieving the scroll in 1683, our line of Miners have used an “e'”  The essayist went on to give the descent from Henry (said to have died in 1359) to Thomas and cited Thomas’s children. The coat of arms is colorfully displayed at the top of the scroll.

For over a period of perhaps some three hundred years, descendants of  Thomas Minor, as well as students and writers of history and genealogy, have accepted a certain coat of arms and the seventeenth-century essay detailing Thomas’s heritage as fact.

Parish Church of St Andrew where Thomas Miner was christened in 1608

The authenticity of the scroll and the coat of arms remained unquestioned until the fall of 1979 when some 75 descendants journeyed to Chew Magna, Somerset, England, Thomas’s birthplace, to commemorate the 350th anniversary of his departure for America. To recognize the occasion, a marble plaque honoring Thomas Minor was affixed to an inner wall of St. Andrew’s Church where he was baptized in 1608. His coat of arms was to have been placed above the plaque, but this was delayed pending approval by the bishop following the customary search and recommendation of the College of Arms.

Thomas Miner – Commemoration Plaque St Andrews Church Chew Magma England

In late November 1979, the Chester Herald, D. H. B. Chesshyre, M.A., F.S.A., of the College of Arms sent a letter to the Vicar of St. Andrew’s Church, stating he had “found no references to the Miners of Chew in any of the Herald’s visitations to Somerset and, thus, no confirmation of the arms which appeared to be very similar to those of a family of Mynors of Uttoxeter – but with a different crest.” Accordingly, he would not recommend the display of the arms in question. Details are described in “The Curious Pedigree of Lt. Thomas Minor”. Much the contents of this document and the coat of arms it presents are FALSE.  If a family history has been a fiction for 327 years doesn’t that become real for us?   Plus, we have a story to tell when people want to spell our name with an “o”!

1980 – Christams Greetings from Chew Magma

1980 – Christmas Greetings St Andrew Church Chew Magma

1980 – Greetings from the Vicar and People of Chew Magma


1. John Minor

John’s wife Elizabeth Booth was born 10 Sep 1641 in Stratford, CT. Her parents were Richard Booth and Elizabeth [__?__]. Elizabeth died on 24 Oct 1732. John and Elizabeth were the 4GG of General and President Ulysses S. Grant. (See lineage below)

John spelled his name Minor and so did most of his descendants. On 23 Sep 1654, John Stanton and John Minor were selected for teachers of the Gospel to the Indians. Both young men, however, left their studies. About a year later John moved to Stratford, CT where on 19 Oct 1658 he married Elizabeth.

A dispute over the replacement of the first pastor, the aging Mr Blackman, arose. The followers of Israel Chauncey remained in Stratford while the followers of Zechariah Walker received permission to start a new plantation at Woodbury, Litchfield, CT in May of 1672. John Minor settled in what is now Woodbury in the spring of 1673 where he was town clerk for about 30 years before dying there on 17 September 1719. Elizabeth died on 24 October 1732.  John served as Deputy for Stratford, Oct 1676, and for Woodbury Nov 1683.

John Minor was a founder of Woodbury, Litchfield, CT. The center of Woodbury is distinctive because, unlike many New England towns, it is not nucleated. In Woodbury, the older buildings are arrayed in linear fashion along both sides of a road that stretches for over a mile.

History of New London county, Connecticut, with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (1882) by Hurd, D. Hamilton

The commissioners of the United Colonies were in 1650 appointed agents of the Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Indians in New England ; in pursuance of which, in 1657, they proposed to Rev. Richard Blinman to become the missionary of the Pequots and Mohegans, offering him a salary of twenty pounds per annum which he declined.

The same year they employed the Rev. William Thompson, son of the Rev. William Thompson of Braintree, Mass., to preach to the Pequots at a salary of twenty pounds per annum.

He came to Southertown in 1658, and began his labors with Harmon Garret’s company, and was assisted by Thomas Stanton as interpreter. He continued to preach to the English and Indians for about three years, and then went to Virginia.

After this the commissioners, in 1662, invited the Rev. Abraham Pierson, of Bradford, Conn., to remove his habitation to Southertown, and to apply himself in a more special way to the work of preaching the gospel to the Pequots, but he declined.

Previous to this, and in the year 1654, the commissioners of the United Colonies, at the request of the Connecticut members thereof, provided for the education of Mr. John Miner with the Rev. Mr. Stone, who was to fit him as a teacher and missionary to the Pequot Indians.

Soon after Mr. Thompson left the commissioners, in 1664, instructed the Connecticut members to employ this Mr. John Miner to teach the Pequots to read ; but whether he was so employed or not does not appear. The commissioners also, in 1654, offered, at the expense of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, to educate Thomas and John Stanton, sons of Thomas Stanton, the interpreter-general at Cambridge, Mass. The object was to fit them as teachers for such Indian children as should be taken into college to be educated. They accepted the commissioners’ offer and entered college, but did not remain long enough to graduate, nor does it appear that either of them was ever engaged in teaching the Indians.

The efforts of the English to civilize and Christianize the Pequots were not very successful, the reasons for which may be more easily imagined than described. The agents of the London Missionary Society did not wholly neglect them, for as late as 1766 they employed Mr. Hugh Sweatingham to teach the Pequots, at their school-house at Mashantuxet, at twelve pounds per annum. They also employed Mr. Jacob Johnson to preach to them at five shillings elghtpence per sermon.

Children of John and Elizabeth:

i. John Minor b. 9 Sep 1659 Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 14 Mar 1730/31 Stratford, Fairfield, CT; m. bef. 1686 in Woodbury to Sarah Rose (b. Aug 1664 in Woodbury, Litchfield, CT – d. 1731 in Woodbury)

ii. Thomas Minor b. 29 May 1662 Stratford; d. 15 Jun 1722 Woodbury; m. Hannah Curtiss. Her parents were Israel Curtiss and Rebecca [__?__]. There were three marriages between these siblings. Hannah’s sister Rebecca married Thomas’ brother Ephraim and Hannah’s brother Stephen married Thomas’ sister Sarah.

iii. Hannah Minor b. 2 Oct 1664; d. May 1683

iv. Elizabeth Minor b. 16 Jan 1666/67; d. 19 Dec 1749; m. Zechariah Walker (bapt. 22 May 1670 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT – d. 21 Dec 1753 in Woodbury) Zechariah’s parents were Zechariah Walker and Mary Prudden. Their nine children were born in Woodbury, CT and baptized there at the First Congregation Church

v. Grace Minor b. 12 Sep 1670 Woodbury; d. 16 Apr 1753 East Windsor, Hartford CT; m. 11 Apr 1688 in East Windsor, Hartford CT to Samuel Grant (b. 20 Apr 1659 in Windsor, Hartford CT – d. 8 May 1710 in East Windsor) Samuel’s parents were Samuel Grant, Sr (b. 12 Nov 1631 in Dorchester, Suffolk County, Mass) and Mary Porter (b. 1 Oct 1637 in Messing, Essex, England) He first married 6 DEC 1683 in East Windsor, Hartford CT Anna Filley. On 2 Sep 1684 Anna had triplets: Anna, Hannah and Sarah.

Their son Capt. Noah Grant (b. 11 Dec 1693 in Windsor, Hartford, CT – d. 10 Oct 1727 in Tolland, CT) married Martha Huntington (1696 – 1779)

Their grandson Noah Grant (b. 12 Jul 1718 in Tolland, Tolland, CT – d. 20 Sep 1756 in CT) narried Susanna DeLano (1724 – 1806)

Their great grandson Noah Grant (b. 20 Jun 1748 in Tolland, Tolland, CT – d. 14 Feb 1819 in Maysville, Kentucky) married Rachel Kelly (1774 – 1860)

Their 2nd great grandson Jesse Root Grant (b. 23 Jan 1794 near Greensburgh, PA – d. 29 Jun 1873 in Covington, Campbell, KY) married Hannah Simpson (1821 – ) Jesse was a self-reliant tanner (leather producer) and businessman from an austere family.

Their 3rd great grandson was Ulysses Hiram “Simpson” Grant (27 Apr 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio – d. 23 Jul 1885 in Mount McGregor, Saratoga County, New York)

Ulysses Grant (1870-1880) 18th President of the United States

Raised in a Methodist family devoid of religious pretentiousness, Ulysses prayed privately and was not an official member of the church. Unlike his younger siblings, Grant was neither disciplined, baptized, nor forced to attend church by his parents. Grant is said to have inherited a degree of introversion from his reserved, even “uncommonly detached” mother (she never took occasion to visit the White House during her son’s presidency). Grant assumed the duties expected of him as a young man at home, which primarily included maintaining the firewood supply; he thereby developed a noteworthy ability to work with, and control, horses in his charge, and used this in providing transportation as a vocation in his youth. At the age of 17, with the help of his father, Grant was nominated by Congressman Thomas L. Hamer for a position at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Hamer mistakenly nominated him as “Ulysses S. Grant of Ohio.” At West Point, he adopted this name with a middle initial only. His nickname became “Sam” among army colleagues at the academy, since the initials “U.S.” stood for “Uncle Sam”. The “S”, according to Grant, did not “stand for anything”, though Hamer had used it to abbreviate his mother’s maiden name

vi. Joseph Minor b. 4 Mar 1672/73 Stratford, CT; d. 30 Oct 1774 in Woodbury aged 101 years, 7 months, 26 days; m. Susanna Roots (b. 13 May 1678 in Fairfield, CT – d. 26 Apr 1738.) Susanna’s parents were John Root and Dorcas Abbott.

Joesph served the town of Woodbury in many capacities for many years and achieved the military rank of Colonel.

vii. Sgt. Ephraim Minor b. 24 Oct 1675 Stratford, CT; d. 16 Sep 1762 Woodbury; m. 21 Aug 1701 to Rebecca Curtiss ( b. d. 13 March 1763) Her parents were Israel Curtiss and Rebecca Beardsley. There were three marriages between these siblings. Rebecca’s sister Hannah married Ephraim’s brother Thomas and her brother Stephen married Ephraim’s sister Sarah.

viii. Sarah Minor b. 19 Jun 1678; m. Stephen Curtiss. His parents were Israel Curtiss and Rebecca Beardsley. There were three marriages between these siblings. Stephen’s sister Hannah married Sarah’s brother Thomas and his sister Rebecca married Sarah’s brother Ephraim.

ix. Abigail Minor b. 6 Feb 1680/81 Woodbury, CT; d. 10 Aug 1759; m1. John Treadwell (b. 11 Feb 1673/4 – d. 15 Aug 1716 in Stratford, CT); m2. 22 Nov 1721 to Samuel Miles (b. 23 Mar 1671/72 – d. 5 Jul 1756) on

x. Joanna Minor bapt. 29 Jul 1683 Woodbury, CT; d. 24 May 1741 and was buried Gaylordsville Cemetery Litchfield.; m. 12 Feb 1706/07 in Woodbury to William Gaylord (b. 16 Jan 1675 – d. 25 Oct 1753).

2. Clement MINER (See his page)

3. Thomas Miner

Thomas MINER Diary — “Thomas first fell sick at Narraganset as he was looking the mares … Thomas departed (this life) sabath being 20 he buried the 22 [April] 1662. [age 21]

4. Ephraim Minor

Ephraim’s wife Hannah Avery was born 11 Oct 1644 in Gloucester, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Capt. James Avery and Joanna Greenslade. Hannah died 22 Aug 1721 in Stonington, New London CT and is buried in the Old Taugwonk Cemetery.

Hannah Avery Minor Gravestone — Old Taugwonk Cemetery, Stonington, New London, CT

Ephraim went with his father’s family to Pequot (later New London) in 1645 and in 1653 they moved to Quiambog Cove in Stonington. That place remained in possession of their descendants until a few years before 1981.

Ephraim lived at Stonington, CT, was a farmer, freeman, 1669, deputy to the general court, 1676, 1677, 1681, 1690-93, 1699, 1701-05, 1713; lieutenant of train band. He served in the King Philip war and for his service received arable land and cedar swamp in Voluntown, CT.  (See Great Swamp Fight – Aftermath for details) Ephriam was thirteen years old when his family left Hingham. There he had known eleven year old Hannah Avery, daughter of James Avery. Ten years later they were married after the Averys moved to Groton. He faught in King Philip’s War when he was thrity-three. He left ten children, and was buried at Taugwonk.

Ephraim Miner – Gravestone – Burial:Old Taugwonk Cemetery StoningtonNew London Connecticut,

Children of Ephraim and Hannah:

i. Hannah Minor b. 5 Apr 1667; d. 26 May 1667

ii. Capt. Ephraim Minor Jr. b. 22 Jun 1668; d. 19 Feb 1739/40 Stonington, New London, CT; Burial:Old Taugwonk Cemetery; m. 24 May 1694 in New London to Mary Stevens (b. 8 Jun 1672 Taunton, Bristol, Mass. – d. 27 Sep 1748 Stonington, New London, CT; Burial Old Taugwonk Cemetery) Mary’s parents were Richard Stevens and Mary Lincoln of Taunton, Mass.  Ten Children: Ephraim Minor IIIThomas MinorMary Minor Wheeler, Henry Minor, Rufus MinorBridget Minor Grant, Simeon Minor, Stephen Minor, Hannah Minor Punderson, and Samuel Minor.

Ephraim was a sergeant when promoted to a lieutenant in May 1704 of the New London County Troop, a lieutenant of the North Stonington Company Oct 1707, and a captain of the Stonington 2nd Company Oct 1715. He was a deputy from Stonington to the General Court for many years

iii. Thomas Minor b. 17 Dec 1669; d. 8 Sep 1688

iv. Hannah Minor b. 20 Apr 1671 Stonington; d. Bef. 1710 in Stonington; m. 6 Jan 1691/92 in Stonington to Samuel Frink (b. 14 Feb 1667/68 in Stonington – d. 12 Oct 1713 in Stonington) Samuel’s parents were John Frink (b: 20 Aug 1639 in Malborough, Devon, England) and Grace Stevens (b: 24 Jan 1632/33 in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, England) Samuel and Hannah had nine children born between 1693 and 1708. After Hannah died, Samuel married ~1709 in Stonington to Dorothy Stanton (bapt. 24 Apr 1682 in Stonington) and had three more Frinks.

v. Rebecca Minor (twin) b. 17 Sep 1672 Taugwonk, Stonington; d. 15 Jan 1746/47 Stonington, New London, CT; Burial Old Taugwonk Cemetery; m. 8 Jul 1696 Stonington, CT to Josiah Grant (b. 19 Mar 1668 Windsor, Hartford, CT – d. 28 Mar 1732 Stonington, New London, CT; Burial Old Taugwonk Cemetery) Josiah’s parents were Samuel Grant and Mary Porter.

In Memory of
Rebecca ye Spouse of
Mr. Josiah Grant died
Janr. ye 15 A.D. 1746
in ye 75th Year of
Her Age

Josiah and Rebecca joined the First Congregational Church of Stonington on August 27, 1699.

Children: Josiah Grant JrJohn GrantOliver Grant, Noah Grant*, and Miner Grant.

(* NOTE: Noah Grant married Hannah Minor, daughter of Thomas Minor and Hannah Avery Minor, as evidenced by the 1762 will of Hannah Avery Minor.)

vi. Deborah Minor (twin) b. 17 Sep 1672 Taugwonk, Stonington; d. bef. 15 Apr 1676 in Taugwonk, Stonington

vii. Elizabeth Minor b. 30 Apr 1674; d. 19 Jan 1736 Stonington, New London CT; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery ; m. 16 Oct 1692 Stonington to John Brown (b. 1664 Lynn, Essex, Mass. – d. Aug 1733 Stonington; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery) John’s parents were  Thomas Brown (1626 – 1693) and   Mary Newhall  (1637 – 1694).  His grandparents were our ancestors Nicholas BROWN and Elizabeth LEIDS. Elizabeth and John had ten children born between 1693 and 1716.

John moved to North Stonington as a young man. He built his residence west of the site of the old Roswell Brown Tavern years before the New London and Providence Turnpike was built. On the preceding track of land described is one of the old burying grounds in the town. Before the turnpike was built, a road passed by this ancient burying ground but after the turnpike the road was abandoned. No internments have been made for many years. Many settlers including John are buried here but no headstones remain.

viii. Samuel Minor b. 9 Dec 1675 Taugwonk, Stonington; d. bef. Aug 1681

ix. Deborah Minor b. 15 Apr 1677 Taugwonk, Stonington; d. 19 Sep 1678

x. Deborah Minor bapt. 30 Mar 1679 Stonington; d. 8 Sep 1697 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island of Complications from child birth; m. 8 Jul 1696 in Westerly to Joseph Pendleton (29 Dec 1661 in Sudbury, Middlesex Mass – d. 18 Sep 1706 in Westerly) Joseph’s parent were James Pendleton (b. ~1628 in City of London) and Hannah Goodenow (b: 28 Nov 1630 in Sudbury, Mass.). After Deborah died, he married 11 Dec 1700 in Westerly to Patience Potts (b: 12 Aug 1683 in Groton, Middlesex, Mass.)

Joseph took oath of allegiance to the Colony of Rhode Island at Westerly Sep 17, 1679, elected constable of the town 1697, tax assessor 1698, 1699, 1704 and 1705, admitted to the Church of Stonington May 24, 170 2, elected town clerk of Westerly for six consecutive years, he styled “Ensign” 1703, and elected grand juryman 1706.

xi. Ensign Samuel Minor b. 28 Aug 1680 Stonington, New London CT; d. 8 Dec 1717 Stonington; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery; m. 1 Apr 1702 at Stonington to Anna Denison (b. After Samuel died, Anna married Mar 2, 1717/18 at Westerly,RI, her cousin Edward Denison, an innkeeper at Westerly,RI, as his second wife.

Oct 1716 an ensign in the 2nd Company, Stonington

xii. James Minor b. Nov 1682 Stonington, New London CT; d. 3 Jun 1726 Stonington; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery; m1. Abigail Eldredge (b. 19 Aug 1688 Kingston, Washington, Rhode Island – d. 13 Aug 1720 Stonington; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery buried also a new born baby) Abigail’s sister Mary married James’ brother John. Her parents were Capt. Daniel Eldredge (  ?  – 1726) and Mary Phillips; m2. 4 May 1721 Stonington to Sarah Ayers.

In May 1720, James became lieutenant of the 3rd Company, Stonington. He was later elected or appointed deputy to the Connecticut General Court (State legislature)

Children(by first marriage): James Minor Jr, Charles Minor, Zerviah Minor, Daniel Minor, Abigail Miner Fanning (1714 – 1777), Sarah Minor, Freelove Minor Hilliard, Anna Minor Fanning, and an infant daughter.

Children(by second marriage): Sarah Minor Shaw and Eunice Minor Jones. [These are children attributed to this James Minor in Avery and Minor genealogies. They are more likely attributable to James Minor Jr, who married Sarah Breed in 1724.]

Abigail Miner Fanning was the wife of John Fanning . and mother of three sons, Nathan, Roger & Thomas– Officers in the U.S. Navy of the Revolutionary War, lost, with their father in that service.


James Minor Headstone — Stonington; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery

xiii. Grace Minor b. Sep 1683 in Stonington; m. 10 Jan 1701/02 in Stonington to her first cousin once removed William Palmer (bapt. 25 Apr 1678 in Stonington – d. 1729 in Pun-hun-gue-nuck, North Stonington) William’s parents were Gershom Palmer (b: 14 Apr 1644 in Rehoboth, Bristol, Mass.) and Ann Denison (b: 20 May 1649 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.) His grandparents were  Walter PALMER and Ann Elizabaeth SHORT.

xiv. John Minor b. 19 Apr 1685 Stonington; d. 8 Feb 1716/17 Stonington; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery; m. 5 May 1709 in Stonington to Mary Eldredge (b. 6 Dec 1691 in Groton, New London, CT) Mary’s sister Abigail married John’s brother James. Her parents were also Daniel Eldredge (b. 1663 in Wickford, Washington , RI) and Mary Philips (b: 1665)

John Minor Headstone — Old Taugwonk Cemetery, Stonington

xv./xvi. Twins b. 22 Mar 1687; d. 23 Mar 1687

5. Joseph Miner

Joseph’s first wife Mary Avery was born 19 Feb 1648 in Gloucester, Essex, Mass. Her parents were James Avery and Joanna Greenslade. Mary died 2 Feb 1708 in Stonington, New London, CT and is buried in the Old Taugwonk Cemetery.

Joseph’s second wife Bridget Chesebrough was born 25 Mar 1669 in Stonington, New London, CT. Her parents were Nathaniel Chesebrough and Hannah Denison. She first married 7 Dec 1692 in Stonington, New London, CT. to William Thompson (b. 9 Apr 1664 in Stonington, New London, CT – d. 13 Jun 1705 in Stonington, New London, CT) Bridget died 28 Nov 1720 in Stonington, New London, CT.

Joseph removed from Nameaug to Southertown, Massachusetts to what later became Stonington, Connecticut with his father’s family. Joseph was a farmer and physician. He became a freeman 1669; deputy to the general court, 1696, 1706; selectman, 1694-98, 1704, 1709, 1719. He served in King Philip’s War and for his services received arable land cedar swamp in Voluntown, Connecticut. (See Great Swamp Fight – Aftermath for details)

Thomas MINER records in his diary, March, 1667/8: “wensday the 18, we made an End between Jossepth and Marie Averie.”

On the Stonington town books in the following:

Joseph, son of Thomas Minor and Marie, daughter of James Averie of New London, married the 23d of October [1668] by Lieut. James Averie.

Joseph Miner – Headstone – Old Taugwonk Cemetery, Stonington, Connecticut

Children of Joseph and Mary

i. Joseph Minor b. 19 Sep 1669 Stonington; d. 8 Feb 1739/40 Stonington; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery; m. Sarah Tracy (b. 17 Dec 1677 Preston, New London CT – d. 24 Nov 1758 Stonington Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery) Joseph’s sister Sarah married Sarah’s brother Nathaniel. Sarah’s parents were Sgt. Thomas Tracy and Sarah [__?__].

ii. Marie Minor b. 6 Oct 1671; d. 29 Nov 1704 Stonington; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery; m. Elisha Chesebrough (b. 4 Apr 1667 Wequetequock, New London CT – d. 1 Sep 1727 Stonington; Burial: Chesebrough Cemetery)  His parents were  Samuel Chesebrough (1625 – 1673) and   Abigail Ingraham Holmes (1636 – 1714)

iii. Mercy Minor b. 21 Aug 1673; d. 6 Sep 1751 Tolland, Tolland CT; Burial: South Yard Cemetery; m. 20 Dec 1696 at Preston, Conn. (by Samuel Mason, Assistant) to Francis West (b. 13 Dec 1669 Duxbury, Plymouth, Mass. – d. 12 May 1731 Tolland, Tolland CT) His parents were Samuel West and Tryphosa Partridge.

iv. Benjamin Minor bapt 25 Jun 1676; d. 28 Feb 1711 Stonington; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery ; m. Mary Saxton (b. 4 Sep 1681 Stonington – d. 17 Oct 1750 Stonington) After Benjamin died, Mary married Joseph Page (b. 31 Dec 1679 Watertown, Middlesex, Mass.)

v. Sarah Minor bapt. 30 Mar 1679; d. 24 Nov 1753 Preston, New London, CT; Burial: Palmer Cemetery ; m. Nathaniel Tracy (b. 19 Dec 1675 Preston – d. 12 Mar 1751 Preston; Burial: Palmer Cemetery) Sarah’s brother Joseph married Nathaniel’s sister Sarah. Nathaniel’s parents were Sgt. Thomas Tracy and Sarah [__?__].

vi. Joanna Minor b. 12 Dec 1680; d. 15 Jan 1725/26 Stonington; Burial: Richardson Grave; Inscription: ye wife of Mr. Stephen Richardson, in the 47th year of her age; m. Stephen Richardson

vii. Christopher Minor b. 28 Dec 1683 Stonington, CT; d. 11 Dec 1707; m. 9 Mar 1703/04 to Mary Lay Her parents were Robert Lay and Mary [__?__].   After Christopher died, Mary married Joseph Page on 12 April 1709.

viii. Prudence Minor bapt. 6 May 1688; d. 17 May 1726 Stonington, Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery; m. Joseph Denison (b. 1681 Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island – d. 18 Feb 1724 Stonington; Burial: Old Taugwonk Cemetery) Joseph’s parents were George Denison and Mercy Gorham. His grandparents were our ancestors Capt. John GORHAM and Desire HOWLAND.

Children of Joseph and Bridget

ix. Bridget Minor b. 1 Jan 1710/11; d. 23 Apr 1766 Stonington; Burial: Wequetequock Burial Ground; m Jonathan Chesebrough (b. 13 Feb 1699 Stonington – d. 16 Nov 1764 New London CT; Burial: Wequetequock Burial Ground, Stonington)

7. Manassah Minor

Manassah was the first white child born in New London, Connecticut.

Manassah’s first wife Lydia Moore was born 6 Oct 1644 in Stonington, New London, CT.  Her parents were our ancestors Miles MOORE and  Isabell JOYNER.   Lydia died 12 Aug 1720 in Stonington, New London, CT.

Lyde Moore Minor Gravestone — Wequetequock Burial Ground, Stonington, New London, CT

Manassah’s second wife Frances West (Werden)  was born about 1650.

Manasseh Minor – Gravestone – Wequetequock Burial Ground Stonington, New London, Connecticut

Children of Manassa and Lydia

i. Elnathan Miner b. 5 Oct 1671 New London

ii. Lt. Elnathan Miner b. 28 Ded 1673 in Quiambog Cove, Stonington, New London, CT; d. 11 Oct 1756 Stonington; m1. 21 Mar 1694 to Rebecca Baldwin (b. 22 Jun 1668 Stonington – d. 19 Feb 1740 Stonington Burial: Wequetequock Burial Ground). Her parents were John Baldwin Sr. (bapt. 28 Oct 1635 in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, England – d.  19 Aug 1683 Stonington) and Rebecca Palmer (bapt. 7 Jul 1647 in Rehoboth, Mass.)  Her grandparents were .Walter PALMER and Rebecca SHORT.  

Elnathan and Rebecca had 4 children born in Stonington, CT. Rebecca died on 12 Mar 1700/01, and he married second 21 Mar 1694 to Prudence Richardson, daughter of Amos Richardson and Mary Smith and widow of Capt. John Hallam, (b. 166 Barbados – d. 20 Nov 1700 Stonington) on 17 Mar 1702/3. They had 1 child born in Stonington. She died on 6 Aug 1716 and is buried in Wequetequock Burial Ground,Stonington.  Elnathan married third 14 Oct 1718 to Tamsen Wilcox. They had 1 child born in Stonington.

Elnathan was elected or appointed Stonington Town Clerk for many years. He was elected or appointed OCT 1705 Deputy for Stonington.

iii. Samuel Miner b. 20 Sep 1674; bapt. 15 Nov 1674; d. 17 Nov 1693

iv. Hannah Miner b. 1 Dec 1676; d. 22 Aug 1751 Stonington; Burial: Wequetequock Burial Ground; m. 4 Jul 1698 in Stonington to Elihu Chesebrough (b. 3 Dec 1668 in Wequetequock, New London CT – d. 28 Jun 1750 in Stonington Burial: Wequetequock Burial Ground). His parents were Elisha Chesebrough and Rebecca Palmer.   His grandparents were Walter PALMER and Rebecca SHORT

A portion of an extract of Elihu’s estate (from the Wildey book with minor punctuation changes for clarity):

In an Inventory of Mr. Elisha Chesebrough’s Estate, which is quite long, dated Nov. 25, 1769, among “silver buckles, leather breeches, horses, mares, sheep and lambs, hogs and cattle” t he next after “12 calves at 12s each” is:

£/ s
A Negro Man named Jeremiah 400/
Do named Prince 400/ 40 00
Do named Africa 500/
Do named Jack 900/
A negro boy named Cuffee 700/ – 105 00
Do named Negro 700/
Do named Cato 600/
A Pigeon Net 5/
Wheat riddles 3/ – 65 08

v. Lydia Miner bapt. 17 Aug 1679; d. 21 Apr 1707; Stonington from complications with the birth of her son John Baldwin  m. Sylvester Baldwin (b. 4 Mar 1676/77 in Stonington)  His parents were John Baldwin Sr. (bapt. 28 Oct 1635 in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, England – d.  19 Aug 1683 Stonington) and Rebecca Palmer (bapt. 7 Jul 1647 in Rehoboth, Mass. – d.  2 May 1713 Stonington)  His grandparents were Walter PALMER and Rebecca SHORT. After Lydia died, Sylvester married 9 May 1724 in Stonington by Rev. James Hillhouse to Lydia’s cousin Elizabeth Avery (b. 9 Dec 1691 in Norwich, New London, CT – d.. 17 Jul 1728 in Stonington) Elizabeth’s parents were Thomas Avery and Hannah Miner (See below).

vi. Thomas Miner b. 20 Sep 1683 Stonington; d. 9 Apr 1739 Stonington; buried  12 Apr 1739   at Wequetequock Cemetery under a large carved slab. He left a will dated 9 Apr 1739.; m. Hannah Avery m. 26 Dec 1706, he married his first cousin Hannah Avery ( 4 May 1686 Stonington – d. 9 Dec 1762 Stonington;buried in Thomas Miner Cemetery, Stonington). Hannah’s parents were Thomas Avery and Hannah Minor (see below).

10. Samuel Miner

Samuel was born 4 March 1652/53. His father wrote to Winthrop 17 January 1652/3 “at this time think meet to acquaint you with the present trouble that I and my wife is in though an unfit time to trouble her in the condition she is in.”

11. Hannah Miner

Hannah’s husband  Thomas Avery was born 6 May 1651 in New London, New London, CT. His parents were James Avery and Joanna Greenslade. Thomas died 5 Jan 1736 in Montville, New London, CT.

Thomas served in King Philip’s War and was a successful Indian interpreter. During the latter part of his life he removed to Montville, Conn.

The following items are taken from Thomas MINER’s diary:

    • 1655, Oct. ‘Satterday the 15 my wife was delivered of hana’
    • ‘Tho: Averie and Hanah Minor was maried the 22 of october 1677.’
    • 1679, April. ’20 day Hanah son was borne.’
    • 1680, Nov. ‘Monday the 15, hanahs second sonn was borne.’
    • The second of October 1682 Tho: Averys daughter was borne.’
    • 1684, Aug. ‘Tuesday the 12, Thomas Avery his childe was buried.’
    • Hanah Avery her children. Tho Avery Samuell Avery Ephriam Avery Hanah Avery.’ This last item has no date but must have been written shortly before his death.

Thomas Avery may have for a short time at Stonington, but most of his life was spent at New London, first on the east side of the river in what is now Groton, and later in the North Parish, now called Montville. May 12, 1681, he was made a freeman of New London; May, 1693, he was commissioned captain of the train band on the east side of the river, New London; in 1694, he was deputy of the general court.

It is evident that James Avery and Thomas Minor had a clear understanding concerning the marriage portions to be given to their children. One the twenty-sixth of December, 1677, Captain James Avery and his wife, Joanna, executed a deed which was owned and subscribed before Thomas Minor as commissioner. The deed ran as follows:

This prsnt writing witnesseth to all it doe or may concerne that I James Avery of the couonty of New London, in ye Collony6 of Connecticott for divers good reasons & considerations known to myself and with my wife Joane Avery’s consent fully give to my sonn Thomas Avery and his wife Hannah Avery my whole right of my parcell of land that I borght of Amos Richardson of Stonington be it more or less wh formerly was laide out and bounded to Mr. Obadiah Bruen of New London and also thirtie acres of upland upon Poquanys Plaine as it was formerly bounded to me from the swamp to the river, moreover one halfe of one hundred acres of upland and meadow as it was carried out and bounded and recorded to me at Pachauge next to Mr. Thomas Stanton, sen., his land. Also a piece of land joyning to Mr. Nehemiah Smith his playne lying betwixt Nehemiah Smiths land & ye comon I say all and every of these tracts and parcels of land I I doe give grant pass over alyeanate & confirm all my whole right and title to my sonn Thomas Avery & his wife Hannah Avery with all the privilledges & appurtenances to them belonging to them their heirs, executors and assigns forever to have & to hold possess & enjoy to use & improve for their best advantage provided that if either he or she shall have occasion to sell any one or more of these particular tracts or parcells of land they shall first make tender of it to the said Thomas Avery’s Brothers and if they accept of the profer to give a rational price for it to sell it to no other person I doe hereby bind my other sonnes to make him or her the like tender upon the same terms and to the ture performance of and to every particular hereof we set our hands & seals this 26th of December, 1677.

Signed seaaled and delivered in the presence of
James Avery
William Mead                        Joane Avery
Jonathan Avery
(New London Deeds.)

Thomas Minor and Grace his wife had already deeded, Dec 17, 1677, 150 acres of land to their daughter Hannah and her husband, Thomas Avery:

 To daughter Hannah Avery, during her natural life and to her husband Thomas Avery during his natural life although my said daughter should die before him and in case my daughter shall have any child or children at the time of her departure then living it shall be theirs forever to have and to hold possess and enjoy to use and improve with all the meadows joining to it, I say all the one hundred and fifty acres of upland and meadow as it was laid out to me with all the privileges & appurtenance belonging thereunto. And in case my daughter should die without any child then she shall have by deed full power to dispose of it to any one or two of my son Clement Minor, his sonnes as she shall see meet. Provided it shall not prevent her husband of it during his natural life if she die before her husband. I say my one hundred and fifty acres of upland and meadow lying at Anagomenacunuck as it was laid out to me and bounded and recorded at Hartford and in Stonington books of records. And hereinto we set our hands and seals this seventeenth day of December one thousand six hundred and seventy and seven.

James Noyes                         Thomas Minor
Samuel Avery                        Grace Minor
Acknowledged before James Avery Commissioner.

Thomas Avery was in the King Philip war of 1675, and, for his services, hat lot No. 10 of arable land and lot No. 154 of cedar swamp allotted to him in Voluntown.

Thomas was in the ill fated Fitz-John Winthrop expedition of 1690 which was to advance from Albany by way of Lake Champlain to Montreal.  For details on the campaign, see my post Battle of  Quebec 1690. In his diary, Winthrop gives an account of the difficulties that they encountered. Under the date of Aug. 4, 1690, is found the following:

“I consulted with the officers & twas concluded to march forwards, & then devided our provition, wch was about 35 cakes of bread for each souldr, besides pork, which was scarce eatable. At this post (Saratoga) i left Liut Tho. Avery with some souldrs to gaurd our provition to us wch was coming up the river”. (The Winthrop Papers, Massachusetts Hist. Col., Fifth Series, 8:314).

For an account of this expedition, see Avery’s “History of the United States and Its People,” vol. 3, pages 263, 264.

The latter part of his life he lived near the Mohegan Indian reservation. On the 22d of June, 1720, Capt. Thomas Avery and his brother Capt. James Avery were appointed interpreters for the Mohegans in a suit then pending before the governor and council. In 1721, Caezer, the sachem of the Mohegans, conveyed to Thomas Avery 160 acres of land in consideration of the kindness shown them by Captain Avery and his family. Upon this land Thomas Avery lived; the house he built there is still standing. [though there is another Thomas Avery house in the neighborhood built in 1845]. About ten years before his death, in consideration of love and good will and on account of the infirmities of age, he conveyed this land to his son, Abraham.

The last entry of accessions to the church of New London during Mr. Bradstreet’s ministry reads: “Sept. 10, 1682, Thomas Avery and wife were added to the Church.” They were among the organizers of the church of the North Parish, afterward called Montville. Their names appear first on the list of original covenanters. Before the North Parish could enjoy religious services, a long-standing quarrel had to be settled. October, 1721, the parish petitioned the general court for liberty to form a separate church.

Children of Hannah and Thomas:

i. Thomas Avery , Jr  b. 20 Apr 1679 in New London, New London, CT; d. 25 Nov 1712 in Montville, New London, CT; m. 12 Jun 1704 in Montville to Ann Shapley (b: 31 Aug 1685 in New London, New London County, CT – d. 17 Jun 1751 in Groton) Ann’s parents were Benjamin Shapley (b: Sep 1645 in Boston) and Mary Pickett (b: btw. 1652 and 1654 in New London) After Thomas died, Ann married 21 Nov 1712 in Groton to Jonathan Rosse and a third time after Jonathan died, 24 Jun 1729 to James Morgan.

ii. Samuel Avery b: 15 Nov 1680 in Groton, New London, CT; d. 25 Feb 1749/50 in Montville; m. 23 Jun 1702 in Groton to Elizabeth Ransford (b: ~1682 earliest record Boston – d. 9 Sep 1761 in Montville). Her parents were Jonathan Rainsford , Jr (b: 26 Jul 1661 in Boston) and Martha Raymond (b: ~1666 in New London)

In 1710 he bought land on north side of Saw-mill Brook in Mohegan section of Montville, CT. In his will dated Feb 22, 1749/50, New London, North Parish, Samuel Avery mentioned wife, Elizabeth; sons, John and Ephraim; daughters, Martha, Elizabeth, Alethea, Hannah, Anna and Mary; son Ransford deceased and his son Samuel who now lives with me.

iii. Hannah Avery b: 2 Oct 1682 in Groton; Burial: 12 Aug 1684 Groton

iv. Jonathan Avery , Sr, (twin) b: Nov-Dec 1683 in New London; m. 11 Apr 1703 in Groton to Elizabeth Bill (b: 1686 in Groton – ) Elizabeth’s parents were Philip Bill (b: 1658 in Ipswich, Mass.) and Elizabeth Lester (b. ~1660) Jonathan and Elizabeth had ten children born between 1703 and 1724.

v. William Avery , (twin) b: Nov-Dec 1683 in New London; d. 12 Aug 1684 in New London

vi. Ephriam Avery bapt. 18 Oct 1685 in Stonington; d. 5 Nov 1776; m. ~1708 in Stonington to Abigail Mason (b: 3 Feb 1688/89 in Stonington – d. 25 Aug 1717). Abigail’s parents were Daniel Mason and Rebecca Hobart. Her grandparents were our ancestors John MASON and Ann PECK.

vii. Hannah Avery b: 4 May 1686 in Stonington;  d. 9 Dec 1762 Stonington; buried in Thomas Miner Cemetery, Stonington; m.  26 Dec 1706 to her first cousin Thomas Miner (b. 20 Sep 1683 Stonington; d. 9 Apr 1739 Stonington; buried  12 Apr 1739   at Wequetequock Cemetery under a large carved slab. He left a will dated 9 Apr 1739). Thomas’ parents were Manassah Minor and Lydia Moore (See above)

viii. Mary Avery b: 1688 in Stonington; m. ~1708 to Benjamin Baker (b: ~1686 earliest record Fairfield, Fairfield, CT)

ix. Abraham Avery bapt. 6 Mar 1691/92 in Stonington

x. Elizabeth Avery b: 9 Dec 1691 in Norwich, New London County, CT;  m. Sylvester Baldwin (b. 4 Mar 1676/77 in Stonington)  His parents were John Baldwin Sr. (bapt. 28 Oct 1635 in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, England – d.  19 Aug 1683 Stonington) and Rebecca Palmer (bapt. 7 Jul 1647 in Rehoboth, Mass. – d.  2 May 1713 Stonington)  His grandparents were Walter PALMER and Rebecca SHORT Sylvester first married Elizabeth’s cousin Lydia Miner (bapt. 17 Aug 1679; d. 21 Apr 1707; Stonington from complications with the birth of her son John Baldwin) Lydia’s parents were Manassah Minor and Lydia Moore.

Sources: -

  1. Thomas Minor Family History
  2. Thomas Miner Wikipedia Entry
  3. The Miner Branch of the Hubbards
  4. Biography of Walter Palmer“. Walter Palmer Society.
  5. Miner, John A. and Miner, Robert F. “The Curious Pedigree of Lt. Thomas Minor“. New England Historical and Genealogical Register Sources: New England Historic Genealogical Society. July 1984, pg 182-185.
  6. An Herauldical Essay Upon the Surname of Miner“. In possession of the Connecticut Historical Society. Hartford, Connecticut.
  7. Stonington Historical Society “In Search of the First Settlers” by Geraldine A. Coon (From Historical Footnotes, November 1999)
  11. – History of Quiambaug Cove
  12. History of New London county, Connecticut, with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (1882) by Hurd, D. Hamilton
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Art of Albany Bulb

(In Progress)

The Albany Bulb is a former landfill, jutting west from the east shore of San Francisco Bay, largely owned by the City of Albany.   The Bulb is home to a vast array of urban art including mural, stencil, graffiti, sculpture, and installation art.




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In the midst of a complicated stew of people and competing interests, a multi-authored creative vision united in spirit has arisen from this mound of detritus. The art that stands and dangles and juts all over the Bulb, just like the art that used to grace the Emeryville Mud Flats, is a monument to the free-wheeling, nature-centered, found-object California art aesthetic.

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There’s a section of the San Francisco Bay shore called the Emeryville mudflats. Decades ago, local artists wandered out to the mudflats, gathered driftwood and other detritus, and built odd sculptures. The works, which were featured in the movie Harold and Maude, were charming and popular. The only problem was, the mudflats were a fragile environment ill-suited to repeated trampling. Eventually, environmentalists persuaded the arts community that the sculptures weren’t worth the damage to migratory birds, but it took some time, and there was loud whining from aggrieved artists. They looked out over the rich pickleweed flats, the mud with its millions of microorganisms at the mouth of Temescal Creek, the sanderlings and clapper rails and egrets, and said “but there’s nothing out there!”

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For More – Many of these are gone, especially the paintings on plywood

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Havey Canyon Loop

3pm – 6pm  Sunday, October 19
Meet at the End of Rifle Range Road

Come enjoy the fall afternoon light in Wildcat Canyon.  This five mile hike descends into the Canyon on the Rifle Range Road trail and then goes up the other side on the beautiful Havey Canyon trail which is shaded and full of native trees and shrubs.  The route connects with Nimitz Way at the top for stunning Bay views and a short side trip to a look out and old Nike Missile site.  Then back down Menzes trail in cattle country, back across Wildcat Creek Bridge and back up Rifle Range Road Trail.

Havey Canyon Loop

Havey Canyon Loop

I counted an 1100 foot elevation gain so this is a moderately strenuous hike.  We go down one side of Wildcat canyon, up the other and back again.   Google counts the hike as 1 hour 45 minutes,  but that is a brisk pace.  I did it in two hours with time for pictures. We’ll plan on a leisurely three hours with plenty of time for pictures, snacks and a scenic detour.

Meet at the end of Rifle Range Road

Meet at the end of Rifle Range Road

Large coast live oaks, bay laurels, and a scattering of bigleaf maples and madrones grow on the park’s east-facing slopes. North-facing hillsides support some beautiful, nearly pure stands of bay laurel, fringed with coast live oak. Moist chaparral of coyote brush, poison oak, elderberry, snowberry, bracken fern, and blackberry grow in thickets high on the north-facing slopes.

Havey Canyon from across the way

Havey Canyon from across the way

The Havey Canyon  trail is shaded and full of native trees and shrubs.  If wet, it will be a very muddy walk with a steep creek to cross so heavy rain or mud cancels.    If in doubt look for an announcement on the Trekker website.

Rifle Range Trail

Rifle Range Trail

October 19  Sunset – 6:27 pm
Civil Twilight Ends – 6:53 pm

Dogs are allowed off leash under voice command in Wildcat Canyon, but we would prefer only leashed dogs for this hike.

Havey Canyon

Havey Canyon


Havey Canyon Trail

Rifle Range Trail


Havey Canyon Trail

Havey Canyon Trail


Madrone Limb Over Havey Canyon Trail

Madrone Limb Over Havey Canyon Trail


Havey Creek Trail Crossing

Havey Creek Trail Crossing


Havey Canyon Trail

Havey Canyon Trail


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About 2

I think I’ve found every ancestral family that can be found, so it will be hard to make new ancestor posts.  You can click on the “Missing Parents” category to see the possible candidates.  I’ll continue to make updates and revisions based on your comments.

I’ve finished adding cousins/grandchildren, through about 8 generations, but there are hundreds more to find in older generations, so I may go back some day and flesh out earlier families.
My new posts are more likely to cover neighborhood history.   Recents ones include Murrieta Rock – El Cerrito,  Fred Korematsu and El Cerrito Architecture

In urban planning circles, El Cerrito is known as a “first suburb”;  mostly residential; not super fancy.     It shares liberal values with neighboring Berkeley, but with perhaps a little less histrionics and righteousness.  At one point, El Cerrito had the most Nobel Prize winners per capita.  (helps to have a smaller denominator for these kind of rankings – lol)  and the second most Priuses per capita in the state after Santa Monica.

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Murrieta Rock – El Cerrito


Murietta Rock

Murieta Rock


From Dave Weinstein

  • Which leaves us with El Cerrito’s top rock, a pile of blueschist that was so legendary in the years before the Gold Rush it was said to have attracted none other than the bandit Joaquin Murieta. Murieta, it is supposed, hid among the rock’s gray matter, soaked up power from the heated stones, and then descended with his gang on the coaches that traversed Contra Costa Road so far below.
    2014-08-26 11.33.43a
  • Today this former power spot, privately owned but much visited by the public, squats beneath brush and poison oak, smeared with graffiti and decorated with broken glass for beer bottles. Stand beneath Murieta Rock, at the corner of Arlington and Cutting boulevards, and you won’t see a thing. Head north a bit on Arlington, though, and look back. Astounding!
    2014-08-26 11.34.30a


Joaquin Murrieta Carrillo (sometimes spelled Murieta or Murietta) (c. 1829 – c. July 25, 1853), also called the Mexican Robin Hood or the Robin Hood of El Dorado, was a famous figure in California during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. Depending on the point of view, he was considered as either an infamous bandit or a Mexican patriot.

Joaquin The Mountain Robber

Joaquin The Mountain Robber

Controversy surrounds the figure of Joaquin Murrieta: who he was, what he did, and many of his life’s events. This is summarized by the words of historian Susan Lee Johnson:

“So many tales have grown up around Murrieta that it is hard to disentangle the fabulous from the factual. There seems to be a consensus that Anglos drove him from a rich mining claim, and that, in rapid succession, his wife was raped, his half-brother lynched, and Murrieta himself horse-whipped. He may have worked as a monte dealer for a time; then, according to whichever version one accepts, he became either a horse trader and occasional horse thief, or a bandit.”

John Rollin Ridge, grandson of the Cherokee leader Major Ridge, wrote a dime novel about Murrieta; the fictional biography contributed to his legend, especially as it was translated into various European languages. A portion of Ridge’s novel was reprinted in 1858 in the California Police Gazette. This story was picked up and subsequently translated into French. The French version, featuring a fictional Chile-born Joaquín Murrieta, was translated into Spanish by Roberto Hyenne. He claimed to have been in California during the Gold Rush and to have learned of Murrieta there.




Murrieta reportedly went to California in 1849 to seek his fortune in the California Gold Rush. He encounteredracism in the extreme competition of the rough mining camps. While mining for gold, he and his wife supposedly were attacked by American miners jealous of his success.  They allegedly beat him and raped his wife. However, the source for these events is not considered reliable, as it was a dime novel, The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta, written by John Rollin Ridge and published in 1854.[2]

The historian Frank Latta, in his twentieth-century book, Joaquín Murrieta and His Horse Gangs (1980), wrote that Murrieta was from Hermosillo in the northern Mexican state of Sonora and that he had a paramilitary band made up of relatives and friends. Latta documented that they regularly engaged in illegal horse trade with Mexico, and had helped Murrieta kill at least six of the Americans who had attacked him and his wife.

He and his band attacked settlers and wagon trains in California. The gang is believed to have killed up to 28 Chinese and 13 White-Americans.  By 1853, the California state legislature considered Murrieta enough of a criminal to list him as one of the so-called “Five Joaquins” on a bill passed in May 1853. The legislature authorized hiring for three months a company of 20 California Rangers, veterans of the Mexican-American War, to hunt down “Joaquin Botellier, Joaquin Carrillo, Joaquin Muriata [sic], Joaquin Ocomorenia, and Joaquin Valenzuela,” and their banded associates. On May 11, 1853, the governor John Bigler signed an act to create the “California State Rangers“, to be led by Captain Harry Love (a former Texas Ranger and Mexican War veteran).

Joaquin Murrieta Carrillo

Joaquin Murrieta Carrillo

The state paid the California Rangers $150 a month, and promised them a $1,000 governor’s reward if they captured the wanted men. On July 25, 1853, a group of Rangers encountered a band of armed Mexican men near Arroyo de Cantua near the Coast Range Mountains of Coalinga. In the confrontation, three of the Mexicans were killed. They claimed one was Murrieta, and another Manuel Garcia, also known as Three-Fingered Jack, one of his most notorious associates. Two others were captured.   A plaque (California Historical Landmark #344) near Coalinga at the intersection of State Routes 33 and 198 now marks the approximate site of the incident.

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Fred Korematsu

Portola Middle School in El Cerrito has been renamed after Fred T. Korematsu, the Japanese American who famously defied an order to be placed in internment camps during World War II. He was from San Leandro and Oakland, but there were a lot of Japanese-American who were also flower growers in El Cerrito at that time.

Fred Korematsu Middle School Under Construction - Aug 26, 2014

Fred Korematsu Middle School Under Construction – Aug 26, 2014

It was a bit of a controversial pick because Korematsu wasn’t popular in the Japanese American community who didn’t want him making waves. Maybe he just wanted to be an American, not a Japanese-American. Even the ACLU wasn’t too supportive because they were friends with Roosevelt. In my mind, he was a special hero because he stood alone.

Fred Korematsu Middle School Under Construction - Aug 26, 2014

Fred Korematsu Middle School Under Construction – Aug 26, 2014

I put this report into my familiar genealogy format. Much of the content is from his standard biographies.

Fred Toyosaburo KOREMATSU was born Jan 30 1919 in Oakland, California. He was the third of four sons to Japanese immigrant parents who ran a floral nursery business in Oakland, California.  He married Frances “Kathryn” Pearson  October 12, 1946, in Detroit, Mich., where they met.. Fred died Mar 30, 2005 (aged 86) in Marin County, California.

Fred Korematsu - Colored Gelatin Print.  This picture was included in a special exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery

Fred Korematsu – 1944 – Colored Gelatin Print. This picture was included in a special exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery

Frances “Kathryn” (Pearson) Korematsu was born was born on March 14, 1921, in Greenville, S.C..  Kathryn passed away in her sleep on October 28, 2013, in Oakland, Calif., at age 92.

Kathryn Korematsu (Source: Korematsu Institute)

Kathryn Korematsu (Source: Korematsu Institute)


  Name Born Married  
1. Karen Koremastsu      
2. Ken Koremastsu      

Early Life -

Several Korematsu family members in their nursery, circa 1939.  (Source: Korematsu Institute)

Several Korematsu family members in their nursery, circa 1939. (Source: Korematsu Institute)

World War II -

After the U.S. entered World War II, Korematsu tried to enlist in the U.S. National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard, but was turned away by military officers who discriminated against him due to his Japanese ancestry. Korematsu then trained to become a welder, eventually working at the docks in Oakland as a shipyard welder and quickly rising through the ranks to foreman. One day, when he arrived to punch in his time card, Korematsu found a notice to report to the union office, where he was suddenly fired from his job due to his Japanese ancestry.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii by Japan on December 7, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, authorizing the U.S.  military to remove over 120,000 people of Japanese descent, the majority of whom were American citizens, from their homes and forced them into American prison camps throughout the United States.

Fred Korematsu chose to defy the order and carry on his life as an American citizen. He underwent minor plastic surgery to alter his eyes in an attempt to look less Japanese. He also changed his name to Clyde Sarah and claimed to be of Spanish and Hawaiian descent. On May 30, 1942, he was arrested on a street corner in San Leandro, California, and taken to San Francisco county jail. While in jail, he was visited by Ernest Besig, the director of the San Francisco office of the American Civil Liberties Union, who asked Korematsu if he was willing to become the test case to challenge the constitutionality of the government’s imprisonment of Japanese Americans. On September 8, 1942, Korematsu was convicted in federal court for violating the military orders issued under Executive Order 9066. He was placed on a five-year probation. For several months, he lived at the Tanforan “Assembly Center” in San Bruno, CA, one of the former horseracing tracks where Japanese Americans were first held before being sent to the more permanent American concentration camps. Korematsu and his family were transferred from Tanforan to Topaz, Utah, where the government had set up one of 10 incarceration camps for Japanese Americans.

Post War

Following World War II and the release of Japanese Americans from the concentration camps, Korematsu attempted to resume life as an American citizen. He moved to Detroit, Michigan where his youngest brother resided. There, he met his soon-to-be wife, Kathryn, a student at Wayne State University who was originally from South Carolina. At the time, anti-miscegenation laws prohibited interracial marriage in states including California and South Carolina, but mixed-race marriage was legal in Michigan. Fred and Kathryn Korematsu married in Detroit before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1949, where they raised two children, Karen and Ken.

Vindication -

Korematsu maintained his innocence through the years, but his U.S. Supreme Court conviction had a lasting impact on his basic rights, affecting his ability to obtain employment.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed a special commission to instigate a federal review of the facts and circumstances around the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. In June 1983, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) concluded that the decisions to remove those people of Japanese ancestry to U.S. prison camps occurred because of “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

During this time, University of California San Diego political science professor Peter Irons, together with researcher Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, stumbled upon secret Justice Department documents while researching government archives. Among the documents were memos written in 1943 and 1944 by Edward Ennis, the U.S. Justice Department attorney responsible for supervising the drafting of the government’s brief. As Ennis began searching for evidence to support the Army’s claim that the incarceration was of military necessity and justified, he found precisely the opposite — that J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI, the FCC, the Office of Naval Intelligence and other authoritative intelligence agencies categorically denied that Japanese Americans had committed any wrongdoing. These official reports were never presented to the U.S. Supreme Court, having been intentionally suppressed and, in one case, destroyed by setting the report afire.

It was on this basis — governmental misconduct — that a legal team of pro-bono (voluntary and free-of-charge) attorneys, including the Asian Law Caucus, successfully reopened Korematsu’s case in 1983, resulting in the overturning of his criminal conviction for defying the incarceration. During the litigation, U.S. Justice Department lawyers offered a pardon to Korematsu if he would agree to drop his lawsuit. In rejecting the offer, Kathryn Korematsu remarked, “Fred was not interested in a pardon from the government; instead, he always felt that it was the government who should seek a pardon from him and from Japanese Americans for the wrong that was committed.”

On November 10, 1983, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court of Northern California in San Francisco formally overturned Korematsu’s conviction. It was a pivotal moment in U.S. civil rights history. Mr. Korematsu stood in front of Judge Patel and stated, “According to the Supreme Court decision regarding my case, being an American citizen was not enough. They say you have to look like one, otherwise they say you can’t tell a difference between a loyal and a disloyal American. I thought that this decision was wrong and I still feel that way. As long as my record stands in federal court, any American citizen can be held in prison or concentration camps without a trial or a hearing. That is if they look like the enemy of our country. Therefore, I would like to see the government admit that they were wrong and do something about it so this will never happen again to any American citizen of any race, creed or color. ” Although Judge Patel’s ruling cleared Korematsu’s conviction, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1944 ruling still stands. It would require a similar test case, involving a mass banishment of a single ethnic group, to challenge the original Supreme Court decision.

Korematsu remained an activist throughout his life. After his conviction was overturned, Korematsu became an active member of the National Coalition for Redress and Reparations. He traveled to Washington DC and helped lobby for the passage of the bill which would grant an official apology from the U.S. government and a token compensation of $20,000 for each surviving Japanese American that was incarcerated. Although President Ronald Reagan had initially opposed the redress and reparations legislation, he soon reversed his position due to political pressure and an increasing effort on behalf of Japanese Americans to seek economic, legal and political redress. On August 10, 1988, President Reagan signed the redress and reparations legislation into law.

Post 9/11 -

After 9/11, Korematsu continued to speak out. In 2003, he filed a “Friend of the Court” amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court for two cases appealed before the Supreme Court of the United States, on behalf of Muslim inmates being held at Guantanamo Bay: Shafiq Rasul, v. George W. Bush and Khaled A.F. Al Odah v. United States of America. In the brief, he warned that the government’s extreme national security measures were reminiscent of the past. In 2004, he filed a similar brief on behalf of an American Muslim man being held in solitary confinement in a U.S. military prison without a trial.

Similarly, in his second amicus brief, written in April 2004 with the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, and the Japanese American Citizens League, Korematsu responded to Donald Rumsfeld v. Jose Padilla. The amicus brief’s statement of interest emphasized the similarity of the unlawful detainment of Fred Korematsu during WWII and that of Jose Padilla following the events of 9/11 and warned the American government of repeating their mistakes of the past. He believed that “full vindication for the Japanese Americans will arrive only when we learn that, even in times of crisis; we must guard against prejudice and keep uppermost our commitment to law and justice.”

Awards and Recognition -

In 1998, Fred received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Bill Clinton. He was invited to speak at numerous events and university campuses all over the United States about his experience, including the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, Georgetown University, University of Michigan, Harvard and Yale.

Fred Korematsu receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton

Fred Korematsu receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton

On Sep 23,  2010, the state of California passed the Fred Korematsu Day bill, making January 30 the first day in the US named after an Asian American.


On Sept. 24, 2010, San Leandro High School’s Fred T. Korematsu Campus, a new 9th grade state-of-the art building, was dedicated and opened in San Leandro, CA.


On September 6, 2011, Fred Korematsu’s sculpture was unveiled in Oakland, CA as part of the “Remember Them: Champions for Humanity” sculpture. The 30-ton, 1000 square-foot monument includes 25 international humanitarians such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Dr. Martin Luther King. Fred Korematsu is featured in section 3, which honors Bay Area humanitarians, including Marcus Foster, Oleta Abramhs, and Carmen Flores

Close up of Fred Korematsu in the Remember Them - Champions for Humanity

Close up of Fred Korematsu in the Remember Them – Champions for Humanity

On February 2, 2012, Fred Korematsu’s became the first Asian American featured in The Struggle for Justice, the permanent civil rights exhibition in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

Karen and Ken Korematsu, children of Fred Korematsu at the National Portrait Gallery

Karen and Ken Korematsu, children of Fred Korematsu at the National Portrait Gallery


1. Karen Korematsu

Karen Korematsu

Karen Korematsu

2. Ken Korematsu










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El Cerrito Architecture

These pictures come from an El Cerrito Trail Trekker hike “Storybook Houses” led by Dave Weinstein on Saturday,  July 19, 2014.  This two hour tour of the northern border of El Cerrito took us past some of the most charming houses in town, Poinsett and Tassajara parks, hidden creeks and more. We saw some of the city’s loveliest Storybook, mid-century modern and ranch-style houses. We walked on the city’s public paths, saw beautiful gardens, stone walls showing a wide variety of styles and technique, and natural stone outcrops of blue schist and greywacke.

El Cerrito Storybook House

El Cerrito Storybook House

The Storybook style is a nod toward Hollywood design technically called Provincial Revivalism and more commonly called Fairy Tale or Hansel and Gretel. While there is no specific definition of what makes a house Storybook style, the main factor may be a sense of playfulness and whimsy. Most seemed snapped out of a craggy old-world village with intentionally uneven roofs, lots of cobblestone, doors and windows which may look mismatched and odd-shaped. It took a foothold in California during the 1920s-1930’s.

El Cerrito Storybook House

El Cerrito Storybook House



Period Revival

Period Revival

Revivalism in architecture is the use of visual styles that consciously echo the style of a previous architectural era.

During this period the homes were designed to look like buildings from another place or eras. Spanish or Mediterranean Revival homes were designed to look like Mediterranean villas. The Tudor Revival architecture was designed to look like English Tudor mansions. Colonial Revivals were designed to look like American and Dutch Colonial homes from the East Coast.


2014-07-19 11.36.42 b

More Period Revival


2014-07-19 11.37.59 b


Mediterranean Revival,

Mediterranean Revival,

The Mediterranean Revival, sometimes known also as Spanish Revival, were designed to look like Mediterranean villas. It has been said that American soldiers returning from WWI found the Period Revival homes appealing because they were reminded of the architecture they had seen in Europe.

Streamline Moderne

Streamline Moderne

Streamline Moderne, or Art Moderne, was a late type of the Art Deco architecture and design that emerged in the 1930s. Its architectural style emphasized curving forms, long horizontal lines, and sometimes nautical elements.

As the Great Depression of the 1930s progressed, Americans saw a new aspect of Art Deco—i.e., streamlining, a concept first conceived by industrial designers who stripped Art Deco design of its ornament in favor of the aerodynamic pure-line concept of motion and speed developed from scientific thinking. Cylindrical forms and long horizontal windowing also may be influenced byconstructivism. As a result an array of designers quickly ultra-modernized and streamlined the designs of everyday objects. Manufacturers of clocks, radios, telephones, cars, furniture, and many other household appliances embraced the concept.

he Streamline Moderne was both a reaction to Art Deco and a reflection of austere economic times; Sharp angles were replaced with simple, aerodynamic curves. Exotic woods and stone were replaced with cement and glass.

A style all its own

Follow Your Own Style


Mid Century

Mid Century xxx

Though the American component was slightly more organic in form and less formal than the International Style, it is more firmly related to it than any other. Brazilian and Scandinavian architects were very influential at this time, with a style characterized by clean simplicity and integration with nature. Like many of Wright’s designs, Mid-Century architecture was frequently employed in residential structures with the goal of bringing modernism into America’s post-war suburbs. This style emphasized creating structures with ample windows and open floor plans, with the intention of opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors in. Many Mid-century houses utilized then-groundbreaking post and beam architectural design that eliminated bulky support walls in favor of walls seemingly made of glass. Function was as important as form in Mid-Century designs, with an emphasis placed specifically on targeting the needs of the average American family.

2014-07-19 11.46.23  b

Three part roof

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2014-07-19 12.50.42 b

More Mid Century

Check out El Cerrito Modern on Facebook

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Point Molate Beach


In close proximity to the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, Point Molate Beach was closed in 2001 and only reopened last month.  The Richmond city council allocated a portion of the settlement received from the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill to fund the park improvements. While this park is just north of the San Rafael bridge where tens of thousands of commuters drive every day, it is hidden and in some ways unspoiled.

Point Molate Beach

Point Molate Beach

Point Molate Map

.Point San Pablo along with Point San Pedro in Marin County, defines the San Pablo Straits separating San Francisco and San Pablo Bays.

The majority of land on the San Pablo Peninsula is owned by Chevron, with their refinery operations on the east side of the San Pablo Peninsula ridge.

Ferry cruises up San Pablo Bay towards Vallejo.  Beats 35 miles of traffic jams!

Ferry cruises up San Pablo Bay  from San Francisco towards Vallejo. Beats 35 miles of traffic jams!

Waves from the ferry have helped create a five foot bank behind the beach.

Nesting Osprey P1040873a In late April, the guard at the Chevron gate said that moma osprey had just started sitting on her nest.  She originally starting building her nest in an unsafe spot near some power wires.  A nest was built for her here, but she dismantled it piece by piece and rebuilt according to her own specifications.

Point Molate Osprey Nest

Point Molate Osprey Nest

Osprey first began nesting in the San Francisco Bay Area in the year 2000, having moved their nesting range further south.   >Ospreys go south for the winter and spend the breeding season in higher latitudes. In the past, they would pass up the San Francisco Bay to nest farther north.

Since 2008 they have been nesting at Pt. Molate and this year there are 6 active nests along Richmond’s shoreline. Osprey nests are currently active atop the Whirley Crane and near the Red Oak Victory at Terminal 3 in Richmond, and at Pt. Orient just north of Pt. Molate. There are two nests at Pt. Molate – one out on Pt. Molate pier, and one just north of Pt. Molate Beach.

Moma Osprey, I could only see a flash of white, but upon enlargement, she was clearly checking me out

Moma Osprey, I could only see a flash of white, but upon enlargement,  it became clear she was checking me out

The parents begin arriving and building nests in late February, with incubation starting in late March. The first young hatch at the beginning of May, and in late July they begin fledging, or flying for the first time.

The ospreys are usually  on top of dead, open-topped trees or on manmade structures like cranes and lampposts, which they find convenient platforms for their extensive nests. That makes this species one of the few that can adapt well to densely urbanized habitats.

Experts don’t know why ospreys have started nesting on the bay, but have seveal theories:

  • The Bay has grown clearer in recent years, the turbidity from the upriver placer mining of more than a century ago having finally settled, leaving the waters clearer and – likely – easier for ospreys to fish in.
  • Ospreys may be spreading down from the Kent Lake colony in Marin, which was first noted in the 1960s and has since grown substantially. There are two parts to that particular theory; it may be that the ospreys are simply moving due to space constraints, but it is also possible that the recent appearance of nesting bald eagles at the lake may have upset the osprey population, inspiring its bay-ward move.
  • The recent ecological restoration of the Napa River may be playing a role.
  • Osprey populations from farther north may have grown to such an extent following the ban of DDT that as they migrate over the San Francisco Bay they are choosing to stay.


Fishing duties will be up to dad for the duration

Fishing duties will be up to dad for the duration


Point Molate has some of the last undisturbed grasslands along the east shore of San Francisco Bay.  Some of the areas on the Chevron property have been ravaged by goats, but the goats are gone now and were never a presence by the shore.

Point Molate Grasslands

Point Molate Grasslands

Herbs and Vines

Dichondra donelliana – Also called California Ponysfoot.  An uncommon native Dichondra.  it has great potential as a ground cover.  We had a dichondra lawn growing up.  Bet you didn’t know there was a California native species.  Also found on the eastern slopes of Mt. Tam.


Dichondra donelliana. It is an uncommon native Dichondra, I think it has great potential as a ground cover.

Dudleya farinosa  – Also known as powdery liveforever, north coast dudleya, Sea Lettuce, or Bluff Lettuce.  A now rare succulent of the coastal bluffs. Most most of this has be taken over the years by succulent addicts.   Mostly along the coast Mendocino to Monterrey counties.

Dudleya farinosa


Wyethia angustifolia

Wyethia angustifolia  narrow leafed mule ears

Wyethia angustifolia narrow leafed mule ears

Lupinus albifrons




Built in 1908, the Winehaven winery was the largest in the US and maybe the world before it was closed down by prohibition. After the 1906 earthquake left San Francisco in ruins, the California Wine Association moved to Point Molate.   At the peak of the season as many as 400 workers lived here, as all of the California Wine Association’s shipments to foreign, coastal and New York markets sailed from the Winehaven dock–shipment capacity was 500,000 gallons a month, and 40 ships sailed annually for New York alone.


WInehaven Winery

Prior to WWII, visitors to Winehaven; which had become a tourist destination after its closing, enjoyed afternoons picnicking and swimming at Point Molate beach.

During both WWII and the Korean War, when the Navy Fuel Depot was in full swing, there was no recreating in the waters off Pt. Molate. Floating on the shallow waters was a permanent oil slick deterring bathers and swimmers. The Navy developed a system of sump ponds at Pt. Molate to collect oil and fuel to prevent runoff into the Bay. By the early 1960’s the waters off Pt. Molate had been successfully cleaned up, opening the area to recreation again.


  2. Citizens for a Sustainable Point Molate
  3. Claire Mathieson “Ospreys taking a liking to San Francisco Bay” Bay Nature, Sep 11, 2013
  4. Point Molate Beach Restoration Project (PDF)
  5. Point Molate Community Advisory Committee – works with the City Council, staff and other citizen advisory boards and commissions to provide advice and input on all Point Molate matters; that reviews proposed Point Molate development budgets with City staff; and that makes Point Molate development expenditure recommendations, in conjunction with staff, to the City Council.
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