"...one supposed it lucky to be born"

So the other day was my birthday, and at my age you don't make too much of it--although I did get a smashing donut "cake." As I was reading the morning paper (before it became too covered in chocolate and sprinkles to make out), my eye fell on the "Today in History" column, and later on the list of the day's celebrity birthdays. It was reasonably interesting to discover that in 1609 Henry Hudson began exploring the river that was later to bear his name, and that Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning chose to elope on "my day" in 1846. I have no idea who Yuto Nagatomo is, but it was nice to see that H. L. Mencken, Maurice Chevalier, Alfred A. Knopf, and Jesse Owens are all among my Virgo buddies. Apparently 12 September is also the feast days for several saints, including Ailbe of Emly (patron saint of wolves) AKA Saint Elvis (!), and Guy of Anderlecht (who protects against rabies). Fascinating.




Putting aside these strangers, I wondered who in my family tree shared my birthday; out of over four thousand people (albeit many of whose birth dates are unknown), I figured there had to be a few.

Reviewing the report I generated, I noticed that there were other events tied to 12 September as well: two deaths, Lillian Amelia Johnson, mother-in-law of a maternal first cousin, twice removed (26 Oct 1886 - 12 Sep 1977); and Robert Elmer Velin, father-in-law of a maternal first cousin, once removed (3 May 1916 - 12 Sep 1979). My birthday is also the death date of John Alden (15 Sep 1598 - 12 Sep 1687) of history and legend, who may be a paternal eleventh great-grandfather, although I am still verifying this.


A fictional representation of a feasible ancestor.

There has also been one marriage, that of Moses Steele (10 Sep 1745 - 9 Feb 1814), a maternal first cousin seven times removed, to a Lydia Campbell--or Gibson, records vary--(19 Sep 1776 - 7 May 1836), on 12 September 1805, in New Hampshire, just months after the death of his first wife, Abigail Codd (15 Dec 1751 - 24 Jan 1805). Miss Campbell being Mr Steele's second wife may explain the nearly twenty year age difference....

But back to the birthdays. More distant relations include Elizabeth Mott (12 Sep 1672 - 22 Mar 1749), a paternal ninth great grand-aunt (and one of five women by that name in the family), and Claire Elaine Runser (12 Sep 1929 - 4 Oct 1946), a maternal second cousin, once removed.

My only direct ancestors who share my birthday are actually father and son: Benjamin Lowell (12 Sep 1642 - 22 Oct 1714) and Joseph Lowell (12 Sep 1680 - 8 Apr 1753), paternal eighth and seventh great grandfather, respectively. In an odd coincidence, Benjamin died on the same date as my sister's birthday.

Benjamin Lowell was born in Newbury, Massachusetts, the son and grandson of two of the town founders: Percival Lowell (1571- 8 Jan 1664), who emigrated from England with his family, including son John Lowell (1595 - 10 Jul 1647), Benjamin's father. The family connections with Newbury run deep. Benjamin Lowell married Ruth Woodman (28 Mar 1646 - 22 Oct 1714), daughter of another town founder, Edward Woodman (27 Dec 1606 - 11 May 1670). There are excellent articles about John Lowell and Edward Woodman at the Newbury, Essex County, MA GenWeb site.

http://newbury.essexcountyma.net/lowell.htm
http://newbury.essexcountyma.net/woodman.htm


A vintage postcard of the Founder's Memorial, and a detail of one of the sides.


Somehow this post seems to have taken us quite a ways from my birthday, which when you get to be my age, might be just as well. Time for another donut.

1. Benjamin Lowell (12 Sep 1642 - 22 Oct 1714) was born in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts, where he married Ruth Woodman (28 Mar 1646 - 22 Oct 1714) on 17 Oct 1666.

2. Joseph Lowell (12 Sep 1680 - 8 Apr 1753) was also born, and died, in Newbury. It was also there that he married Mary Hardy (2 Feb 1693 - 4 Nov 1747), daughter of George Hardy (1660 - 6 Nov 1694) and Mary Fogg (1 May 1662 - 6 Nov 1694), on 6 Dec 1707.

3. Joseph Lowell (20 Feb 1720 - aft 1769) married Mary Jones (5 Feb 1726 - ?), daughter of Joseph Jones (1 Oct 1702 - ?) and Mary Prowse (26 Nov 1703 - 1783), on 11 Jan 1745, in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts.

4. Hannah Lowell (23 Jan 1759 - Sep 1802) married Reuben Grindle (20 Mar 1757 - 15 Jul 1835), son of John Grindle (1 Aug 1714 - 1794) and Elizabeth Dorr (1727 - 12 Apr 1761), on 6 Oct 1777, in Penobscot, Hancock, Maine.

5. Deborah Grindle (25 Feb 1784 - aft 1860), married Isaac Burnett (1780 - May 1860), parents unknown, on 23 Dec 1802, in Hancock County, Maine.

6. Nathaniel S Burnett (12 Mar 1826 - 10 Oct 1885) married Rachel Elizabeth Squire (28 Jan 1829 - 21 Apr 1902), daughter of Samuel Squire (13 Apr 1797 - 26 Jul 1871) and Lovina Coleman (27 Oct 1806 - 2 Jul 1901), on 26 Dec 1850, in Hancock County, Maine.

7. Charles A Burnett (Feb 1856 - 17 Jan 1930) married Ella Swarts (1 Sep 1861 - Apr 1899), daughter of Charles Swarts (12 Feb 1835 - 8 Jan 1909) and Henrietta Davenport (Jan 1836 - May 1904), on 1 Sep 1879 (her eighteenth birthday), at Spring Lake, Minnesota.

8. Alfred Nathaniel Burnett (19 Aug 1883 - 31 Jul 1959) married Jennie Arleta Eaton (14 Mar 1891 - 15 Apr 1979), daughter of Dor Henry Eaton (May 1869 - 31 Dec 1945) and Anna B Miller (Jan 1867 - aft 1920), in 1909 in Minnesota.

9. Leroy Stanley Burnett (31 Aug 1910 - 11 May 1980) married Hazel Lucille Erickson (6 Sep 1910 - 6 May 2002), daughter of Erick Albert Erickson (28 Aug 1864 - 27 Nov 1948) and Johanna Maria "Marie" Svard (5 Feb 1875 - 28 Apr 1914),on 21 Jun 1933 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

10. [Living] Burnett married Beverly Alane Brown (8 Aug 1934 - 7 Mar 2010), daughter of Dana Earl Brown (26 Jan 1910 - 10 Sep 1984) and Myrna Margaret Severin (6 Nov 1907 - 12 Jun 1997), on 4 Mar 1961 in Long Beach, California.

11. Your humble blogger.

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