Finding Local Ancestors in Unexpected Places

This item about Benjamin Goldthwaite of West Winfield was sent in by contributing editor Betsy Voorhees. Betsy is not a descendant of Benjamin but thought that it might be helpful to another researcher. "That's something I think would be good to remind researchers of, to link into when researching years back because our ancestors landed on the coast first. That's how I was lucky in tracing my husband's mother "Goldthwaite" back to when they landed in the 1600s and further back history way before then." Betsy Voorhees

For researchers new to online genealogy, Massachusetts-L is one of many free subscription special interest mailing lists, not a web site, hosted by Rootsweb Genealogical Data Cooperative. Information about mailing lists, and many other useful resources, can be found on the main Rootsweb page at: Rootsweb sponsors the Herkimer/Montgomery Counties NYGenWeb (and most other GenWeb sites) by providing us free server space to house this site. As our sites and the mailing lists grow, the need for more disk space, servers, T-1 lines, etc. grows exponentially. GenWeb sites, and other sites hosted by Rootsweb, provide valuable genealogical information for free to all family researchers. No one is locked out of viewing information because they can't afford monthly membership fees. On top of it all, Rootsweb now provides an email newsletter with news that you can really use. This is all paid for by donations from individual family researchers and corporate sponsors. Because of the generosity of online researchers, our sites have far fewer "we're busy, try again later" messages than most "pay-per-view" sites. Please take the time to read all about it and consider becoming a sponsor of the Rootsweb Genealogical Data Cooperative this holiday season.

"Benjamin Goldthwaite of West Winfield, Herkimer County, New York, born in Northbridge, Mass., March 10, 1776, went with his father's family to Peru, Mass, where he seems to have been living in 1805, soon after, probably, removing to the State of New York. He married March 5, 1809, Orpha Curtis, born November 5, 1786, in Chautauqua Co., N. Y., daughter of Benjamin and Ruth Curtis.

West Winfield was on the direct road between Albany and Buffalo, at that time a plank turnpike maintained by the State. The country about was still covered with woods in which were wolves and other wild animals, and the family experienced much of the hardship and danger incident to the new settlement. Benjamin was a pump-maker by trade, part of his business consisting in the making and laying of pump-logs, then largely used for conveying water for manufacturing and other purposes. Mrs. Goldthwaite was a woman of strong character and kind disposition, a member of the Freewill Baptist church, and an earnest worker in the Sunday-school. Benjamin died May 23, 1840, aged 64 yrs. 2 mos. 13 d., and his wife January 27, 1850; gravestones at West Winfield."

Thomas Goldwaite born in England came over on the Winthrop Fleet. Mr. Goldthwaite's name first appears recorded by Rev. Eliot in 1632 at Roxbury, Massachusetts when Rev. Eliot began his pastorate there. The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon verb "thweatan," to cut down, and is defined as an open space cleared in a forest, or reclaimed land; land once covered with wood brought into pasture or tillage. Various family names came about such as: Goldthwaite, Crosby Thwaite, Southwaite then Southwick, Applewaite, Thornywaite, Wanthwaite, Littlewaite, Timberthwaite, etc. The person buried in West Winfield lists as one of his children: Jane A., b. Sept. 28, 1823, m. Dec. 25, 1842, Merritt P. Ellison. Mr. Ellison born Jan. 1, 1817 at Brookfield, son of Stephen and Sina Ellison.

I made my link to the family on the Massachusetts-L list when someone else posted the name. So I was more than lucky. The person who had all the Goldthwaite genealogy traced back to l610 to the first generation in Lancashire and parts of Yorkshire and scanned me the part of my side of the family. It was taken from the "Goldwaite Genealogy" published in 1899. She didn't tell me who the publisher was. I'll have to e-mail her and find out so if anyone else would like to know. The book traces back to before 1347 in England and the descendants get quite confusing.

An Early Settler of Salem, Mass.
with some account of The Goldthwaite Family in England.

Compiled and Published by Charlotte Goldthwaite
Compiler of the Boardman Genealogy
Hartford Press: The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company 1899"

Betsy Voorhees
Thanksgiving Day 1998

Back to Town of Winfield Page

Back to Herkimer/Montgomery Counties GenWeb

Back to New York State GenWeb

Copyright © 1998 Betsy Voorhess/ Martha S. Magill
All Rights Reserved