Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Archive for the ‘Putnam Ancestors’ Category

The Y-chromosome Story

Last week I explained a little about mitochondrial DNA. So this week I thought I would do something similar for yDNA. 
A very simplistic explanation as I understand it follows. Humans have 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes (the ‘x’ and the ‘y’ chromosomes). A female receives an ‘x’ from her mother and an intact ‘x’from her father. The y chromosome determines the sex. If you receive a y chromosome you are a male if you don’t then you are a female. Males receive an ‘x’ from their mother intact and a ‘y’ chromosome intact  from their father. Therefore only a male has the y-chromosome and it comes from his fathers, fathers, fathers, fathers, back to our genetic ‘Adam’. Along the way from the genetic “Adam” mutations in the y chromosomes have occurred. Approximately 4,500 to 10,000 years ago a mutation occurred at M269. Also known as R1b1a1a2, R-M269 is the Haplogroup that is found at a higher frequency in Wales, the Basque region of Spain, Ireland,  and Western Europe, decreasing in frequency as we move east across Europe.

Here is My Paternal Line

My maiden name is Putnam and my brother is the last in a long line of recipients of the family name and  y-chromosome. Our y-DNA Haplogroup is R-M269 which is the same as my Dougherty cousins, though they are not related through their y DNA in at least the last 250 years.  My brother has no male siblings, my father had only a sister, my fathers father, only brother had a different father. The next recipient of our line of y dna went to my great grandfather’s brothers, William and Edwin both of whom had male children. 

Joseph Putnam’s Male descendants
click image to enlarge

The magenta tick marks are for female descendents. This graph shows what I know so far. Unless there is a male heir, somewhere here, I know nothing about, that does it for this line. Joseph Putnam our original pioneer to California was an only child. When I originally wrote his story we had him connected to his grandfather Timothy Putnam (1760-1835) and Sarah (Hewitt) of Charlestown N.H., when in actuality he was the son of Timothy and Betsy Dickey (Hall) of Ludlow Vermont, Timothy and Sarah’s son. Betsy died in 1833 when Joseph was almost 10 years old. His father died the following year, he was sent to live with his grandfather who died in 1835. Read more of his story here .



Sierra Nevada Place Names and the Putnam Family


You never know where your next hints to those family records will come from.Last week one of my “cousins” posted a link to an Obituary …read more  

That was last weeks blog and it got me pulling out all the old pictures I have from my grandparents Ira (Ike) and Etta (Gay) Putnam. Included in the photo above is a book that my sister Madeleine gave me back in 1997.


BY Peter Browning
If you were ever wondering how the mountain, meadows, or creeks in the Sierras got their name, this book on place names in the Sierra Nevada may just answer that question. Originally published in 1986 by Wilderness Press out of Berkeley, California. It is a source book that Madeleine found over 20 years ago. We originally were interested because so many of the names around Three Rivers were named for our ancestors and were in this book. Now I find I quite often use it to answer new questions.

Ike Putnam Logging near the Sequoia’s


Ira B. ‘Ike’ Putnam was born in Three Rivers, California in 1883 Prior to Ike’s marriage to Etta Jane Francis in 1907 he worked at Mill Creek falling timber. The photo to the right shows Ike working a steam donkey (steam powered winch invented in 1881).

Ira B. Punam at Quinn Ranger Station

Quinn Ranger Station

The sign on the door reads “Quinn Ranger Station”, once a horse camp then a ranger station named for Harry Quinn.



Whether it was hunting or fishing the mountains east of Visalia was where the Putnam Family went for relaxation. Three Rivers was the gateway to Sequoia’s and the Mineral King Wilderness area.


Ed Bryant and Ike Putnam shown in the photo were brothers. Uncle Ed was the oldest of Ida May Clough’s Children by C.E. Bryant. Ed was born 1872, his sister Allace born 1875 and Maude born 1877. Ida May married Joseph F. Putnam December 30 1880.
Both Joseph and Ida had been married previously. together they had three children (Ike, Lena, and Blanche)

Ready for the Rodeo
Lloyd, Dorothy, Eunice (Babe) and Ike Putnam


Lloyd Putnam, Dorothy (Dougherty), Gertrude Eunice (Babe), and Ike about 1937, probably headed out to the rodeo or maybe even the dance hall. Etta was probably taking the picture.

Blanche (second from left), Ike (second from right)


Franklin Pass Entrance Sequoia National Park

Such  a great shot of a group pack trip. If you know who the others are in this photo please comment below or if you can tell about when this photo was taken I would also love to know.



Seth Putnam~ misfortune of just life on the frontier?

How do you find the stories about your family?
Sometimes it is a notation in a church record, on the census page, in a newspaper account, a note in a will, or a written history of the town or county they lived in. This week’s prompt is Misfortune. Was it misfortune or just life on the frontier? This week’s story comes from the History of two different communities that were the home for one of my ancestors.

Salem, Massachusetts
The Putnam line has been the famous and the infamous. With the early tales of Salem and Danvers,Massachusetts the Putnam’s of 1690’s have been well documented for their part in the Salem Witch hysteria. In 1695 Ann(e) Putnam wife of Thomas and mother to Ann(e) (one of the accusers) gave birth to Seth who was my 6x great grandfather. In May of 1699 when Seth was only 4 years old his father Thomas died and only 14 days later his mother Ann(e) died. Seth was one of 12 children born to Thomas and Ann(e) (Carr) Putnam. His sister Ann(e) was 20 and brother Thomas was 19 when their parents died. Such a misfortune.

For Seth it must have been difficult growing up never knowing your parents and with the knowledge that your sister and mother played such a major role in the witch hysteria. So who raised Seth? There is a record that notes who the guardians were for the other minor children but not Seth or his younger sister. The probate and guardianship papers on Ancestry for Thomas Putnam are a mess. There are many other Putnam’s intermixed with what is supposedly Thomas’ file. The hand writing to my modern eye is atrocious. So they are no help to me, maybe someone else could sort them out and transcribe them (Madeleine?). When Seth’s sister Ann(e) (who never married) died in 1716 she does mention her brothers by name and Seth is listed in her will.  http://www.writeopinions.com/ann-putnam-jr  “When her parents died in 1699, (Ann) Putnam was left to raise her nine siblings aged 7 months to 16 years.”  When Ann(e) died Seth would have been 21 years old. And probably had been on his own for some time.

Seth Putnam's places of residence.

Click on image to enlarge.

Billerica, Massachusetts.

In 1718 Seth married Ruth Whipple in Salem. Seth is reported in the History of Billerica, Massachusetts, A Genealogical Register to have bought a house-lot and 60 acres in 1719 from Samuel Walker (part of the “Church farm”) in Billerica for £200. His name appears several times in the Billerica town records in 1733.  The  Genealogical Register includes the location of the property and that he had lived there 25 years “and then became a grantee of No. 4” of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the early name for Charlestown, later of New Hampshire.

No. 4 (Charlestown).

From the History of Charlestown, New Hampshire, The Old No. 4 , Seth’s sons Ebenezer and Seth Jr. were at No. 4 in 1746 when Seth Jr. (part of the militia) was the first of the settlers killed by Indians. Another misfortune. In the Evening the women were to go out to milk the cows, Major Josiah Willard and several soldiers accompanied them. As they approached the stables a party of eight Native Americans fired upon them. Seth fell and the Major and the other soldiers returned fire striking two of the raiders who where quickly dragged off by the rest of their party.

The fort at No. 4

The remainder of the family including daughter Ruth and sons Thomas and Timothy (my 5x great grandfather) came out to Charlestown about 1750. From the time that the Massachusetts Bay Colony settled No4 until after the Treaty ending the French and Indian War (1754-1763) this outpost was in constant danger. The French and the Native Americans coming down from Canada to raid and fight the settlers and British soldiers, were passing right by this settlement along the Connecticut River. The Fort at No.4 was established about 1745 and Massachusetts provided military protection (by a petition from the citizens to Massachusetts Governor), but life on this frontier was dangerous. Seth’s daughter Ruth married Peter Labaree who was captured by the Indians and managed to escape. Other families had members who were also taken at various times and some were given to the French, who might try to ransom them, or to other Natives Americans who kept them as replacements for their own lost family members. In 1775 a smallpox epidemic swept through the colonies, Seth died that year at age 80, whether or not it was from smallpox I have not been able to determine.

Use History’s of Places.

Title Page History of Charlestown New Hampshire

I really enjoy reading these history’s of the communities were the families lived. It is great that so many of them are now on line. They are not exactly “politically correct” but they do give a look at these early settlements and the families that pioneered them. If you haven’t before or if it’s been awhile, google the town you’re interested in learning more about and see whats out there. You can also use Family Search catalogue file for places and see what they have available.

Favorite Family Photo’s #52 Ancestors

This weeks challenge is to write about my favorite photo. With my passion of genealogy also comes a love of all these old family photos. Instead of trying to choose one, I think I’ll show you a few that have changed how I view those in the photos from how I knew them.
It is great to be able to put a face and context to our family who we did not know in the prime of their lives.

Well that’s a real disappointment. The first photo I was going to go with I can not find. The photo is  of my maternal grandfather when he was at Cornell and when I look at it I see a different young man from the person I only knew as an elderly and stern man. Another one from that same time period is this one of my grandparents on the day they were married. It is not a formal photo and they truly look very happy and carefree. Nothing like the buttoned-up formal couple they were in latter life.

This next photo is of my paternal grandparents who were quite different from my other grandparents. Here they look to be teenagers, that would make it taken about 1900. Since grandpa Ike died when I was just 2 years old I have no memory of him but my grandma (Gay) lived to be 93 I felt I really knew her. She was a little rough around the edges but had a huge heart. This was said to have been taken on the Elliott ranch, where her parents worked, near Visalia in California and it looks like their home was also a little rough. They were most likely pretty poor. Ike is wearing both suspenders and a belt. Her hair is quite something.


This next one is my mothers brother, Walt, who as a kid appears to be a”class clown”.  I think he is about 10 years old here. He was a thespian and a swordsman in college and later in life was a drum major for his local Shriners unit. The man I knew was mechanically inventive and a hard worker.


And now  this is one of my father and his sister (Eunice). It was taken in 1926. This is his first car. I do not know why his sister has a bouquet but I am assuming it was a special occasion. But why are they so serious? My aunt was always one with a ready smile and always so stylish. She was very particular about her clothes. She did not have a lot of clothes but she always handled them with great care and put them away wrapped with tissue paper. Now my dad worked road construction jobs when I was growing up. He drove a grader and came home filthy dirt. He would always clean up before dinner but I did not consider him “dapper”,  but many of his pictures from his younger days show him fairly well dressed, and that car was a “Star” (brand name) and looks quite sporty.


A Putnam family recipe

What is your favorite family recipe? For me it was what my family called Spanish Steak. I can just smell it frying. Spanish Steak cooking

Now mind you we have absolutely no Spanish blood but still my father’s mother made what the family called Spanish Steak. Where this recipe came from I can only speculate. We lived in California and my father’s family had come during the gold rush and his mothers side had mostly been there for several generations also. Maybe it was from the early Spanish Californians or the later immigrants from the Azors that were the family’s neighbor.  My fathers mother was known to me simply as Gay. Now Gay was not a sophisticated woman. She was a ranchers wife and what we would have called tough as nails. She loved her flowers and belonged to the Visalia garden club. Like most women of her generation she spent lots of time in the kitchen and while she was not a fancy cook she got most of the basics correct. Her kitchen was not large, but it had a large round oak table at one end. The stove was to the right by the back door and the sink and drain board was directly accross from the table while the refrigerator was to the left next to the opening into the living room. Gay was a short woman I do not think she was much over five feet tall. She always wore a dress and most often she had a large bib style apron on over her dress. If we were having Spanish steak we would more then likely also have asparagus and roasted potatoes.Spanish Steak

Putnam Family Spanish Steak

1 lb. beef Round Steak  1/2″ thick

1 egg beaten

2 tablespoons of water

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste

salt and peper

Cut meat into 2 serving -size pieces. Place meat between  2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound lightly with meat mallet until well tenderized, remove plastic wrap.

In a shallow dish combine egg and water.  In another shallow pan combine flour, cayenne and salt and pepper. dip meat into flour mixture then egg mixture and then again into flour mixture.

In a cast iron skillet cook meat in hot oil over medium heat until brown, turning once.



Easter Memories

Easter 1955

Easter 1955

My sister Madeleine and I are closer in age to each other then we are to our other sister and brother. When we were quite young about 3 & 4, people would often ask if we were twins. We did not usually dress alike, except  I remember on most Easter Sundays we would wear the latest “hand-me-downs” from our step-cousins Irene and Joanie. They were what I would have called “matchy – matchy”.  For the longest time I did think that Irene and Joanie were twins because their clothes always seamed to match. Gosh those hats are awful. I remember those skirts were a corduroy and so were those hats. The net petticoat was part of the outfit so I guess we had to show them off also. Quite the look back then. Easter morning meant going to St. Paul’s church in Visalia before coming home for our egg hunt either at home or over at Aunt Babe’s. Easter Dinner at Aunt Babe’s was a table set up in her back yard.  I was looking for that iconic photo we have where we are all around the table, even Grandpa Francis our great grand father was there in the background. I do not think the lawn had been cut which of course was better for hiding the eggs.

52 Ancestors – Ruth Whipple Putnam

I have a calendar I printed out with all the relatives birthday, anniversary and death days. In reviewing October I was struck by the number of contemporaries that celebrate their birthday this month. I see one non-contemporary that was born over 300 years ago. Ruth Whipple was born 27 October 1692 ( the year of the Salem Witch Trials) in Ipswich, Essex county Massachusetts to Joseph D. and Sarah (Fairfield) Whipple.

Ipswich Mass. town records, births

Ipswich Mass. town records, births

On 20 November 1708, when Ruth was 16 years of age her father Joseph died and 5 years later  on 16 September 1713 her mother Sarah died.

Ruth Whipple married Seth Putnam on 16 September 1718 in Salem, Essex county Massachusetts. So looking at the map of Ipswich in relation to Salem. I wonder how they met? On the map below Ipswich is north of Salem, and Billerica is to the west. Remember to click on image to enlarge.

Partial Map of Massuchusetts

Partial Map of Massuchusetts

A year after their marriage their first child Ebenezer is recorded as being born 8 August 1719 in Billerica, Massachusetts.


Massachusetts Town Records Billerica

Massachusetts Town Records

From this listing for Billerica we see eight children born to Seth and Ruth from 1719 – 1732. Timothy their last child born on Christmas day 1732.

Sometime between 1740 and 1749 Seth and Ruth Putnam and several of their children including Ebenezer, Seth Jr. and Timothy relocated to Charlestown New Hampshire known at that time as No.4. It was one of 9 settlements from Massachusetts designated in the frontier area. Members of ancestry.com can view the History of Charlestown to learn more about the early years of Charlestown and their troubles during the French and Indian wars. Also we find the death of a Seth Putnam who may or may not be the son of Seth and Ruth.

Seth Putnam Senior dies 30 November 1775. He is buried in Charlestown.

Seth Putnam tombstone Find a grave added by Pam Emery

Seth Putnam tombstone
from findagrave.com
added by Pam Emery

Here lies Buried
Mr. Seth Putnam
Who departed this Life
Nov. 30, 1775 aged
80 years & 6 Months.

Ruth died 1 February 1785 and is buried also in Charlestown, New Hampshire.

Ruth Whipple Putnam tombstone from findagrave.com added by Pam Emery

Ruth Whipple Putnam tombstone
from findagrave.com
added by Pam Emery

In Memory of
Mrs. Ruth, Wife of Mr.
Seth Putnam Who
died Feb. 1, 1785.
In the 93rd year
of her age.


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