My mother’s maiden surname was “Carpenter.” She is a direct descendant of the founder of the Rehoboth Carpenters, William Carpenter, who came to Rehoboth, Massachusetts in 1638.
Several years ago I was gifted what is now one of my most cherished genealogical artifacts. My mother’s brother inherited an original copy of A Genealogical History of the Rehoboth Branch of the Carpenter Family in America Brought Down From Their English Ancestor, John Carpenter, 1303, With Many Biographical Notes of Descendants and Allied Families. It was given to me by my aunt after my uncle’s death. The monumental genealogy was copyrighted in 1896 by the author/compiler Amos B. Carpenter of West Waterford, Vermont.
|Amos Bugbee Carpenter, No. 3010 in The ABC|
The voluminous genealogy, known as “The Carpenter Memorial” or “The ABC” because of the inscription on the outer front cover [Carpenter Memorial OUR FAMILY 1303-1638-1898 Amos B. Carpenter], was published by the Press of Carpenter & Morehouse in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1898. My great grandfather, Samuel Eber Carpenter (1853 – 1929), was one of the 345 named individual subscribers to the original publication.
|Samuel Eber Carpenter|
The subscription roster in the back of the ABC lists all the individual subscribers and the number of copies they ordered if more than one. The list also indicates that there were only seven libraries that originally subscribed to The ABC:
New Hampshire State Library Philadelphia Historical Library
Minnesota Historical Society Vermont State Library
New England Historic Genealogical Society Library
Library at Washington [perhaps the Library of Congress?]
Yale University Library
Each of the named libraries bought a single copy of the Carpenter Genealogy, except for the “Library at Washington,” which bought two. In total, there were 399 copies produced for the original subscription list – 391 copies by 345 individuals and the eight copies purchased by the named libraries. The published book was leather bound and consisted of some 908 pages not including the title pages, Introduction, Preface, Contents and List of Illustrations.
Unfortunately, when I received this very generous gift from my aunt, the book was 108 years old and in damaged condition.
About a year after receiving The ABC, when I realized fully what a rare, classic work it was, I decided to have it restored. I also decided to have a clam-shell box constructed to properly house and protect it. [The wonderful bindery resource I used will be the subject of a future posting.] The result of the restoration is pictured below.
There is probably no such thing as a perfectly accurate genealogy -- and the larger the scope and ambition of a family history, the greater the room and likelihood for errors. The sweeping scope of The ABC certainly made it vulnerable to inaccuracies and, over the years, many have been discovered. Nevertheless, the monumental effort represented by The ABC makes it an extremely useful resource for any member of the greater Rehoboth Carpenter family. The ABC also has an “Index of Persons Connected with the Family by Marriage” so it provides a convenient and valuable tool for researching other surnames.
Generation 1: William Carpenter m. Abigail Briant
Generation 2: Samuel Carpenter m. Sarah Readaway
Generation 3: Abiah Carpenter m. Mehitable Read
Generation 4: Thomas Carpenter m. Mary Barstow
Generation 5: Thomas Carpenter m. Elizabeth Moulton
Generation 6: James Carpenter m. Lucy Bliss
Generation 7: Joseph Carpenter m. Nancy Mason Bullock
Generation 8: Samuel Carpenter m. Ruth Ann Miller
Generation 9: Samuel Eber Carpenter m. Sarah Etta Freeman
Generation 10: Everett Shearman Carpenter m. Ruth Eaton Cooke (my grandparents)
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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