Archive for the ‘Mellen Ancestry’ Category
Maling, N. P. Descendants of Simon Mellen, c. 1636–1694. Seattle, Washington: Sea Genes Family History & Genealogy Research. 2012. 296pp. Indexed, illustrated. ISBN: 978-1-105-90833-0.
The first full-scale genealogical treatment of the Massachusetts Mellen family. The progenitor of this family was Simon Mellen, c. 1636–1694, who settled in Sherborne and later Framingham. The genealogy continues from Simon1 to the late 1800s birth of Albert Fisher10 Mellen, presenting 10 generations of this family. The focus is on the Mellens who settled in New England; fought in the early wars, including the Revolutionary War and Civil War; and established families. Their migration coverage ranges from Massachusetts, to Maine, to New Hampshire, to Connecticut, and to Rhode Island. Several tendrils extend into New York.
Growing out of two brief genealogies previously published in the town history of Framingham, Massachusetts, this greatly expanded and corrected history of the Mellen family is amply documented and footnoted. It corrects and clarifies numerous other publications concerning the Mellen family history. Over 2300 footnotes provide and discuss the source materials used for each piece of information. The index provides both personal names, including maiden names of wives, and place names, enabling a researcher to pinpoint migration patterns.
Constructed in the classic New England Historic & Genealogical Society’s Register style, the first ten sketches are:
1. Simon, b. circa 1636; d. Sherborne, 19 December 1694.
2. Simon, b. Winnisimmet, 25 Sept. 1665; d. Framingham, 30 Aug. 1717.
3. Thomas, b. Malden, in Aug. 1668.
4. Mary, b. Malden, between 1674 and 1677; d. Framingham, 13 March 1727.
5. Simon, b. Sherborne, 16 May 1690.
6. James, b. Framingham, 8 March 1697/98.
7. Henry, b. Sherborne, 12 Aug. 1691; d. 13 May 1767.
8. Sarah, b. Framingham, 22 March 1696/97; d. Sherborne 28 Aug. 1725.
9. Richard, b. Framingham, 10 Nov. 1701.
10. Tabitha, b. Framingham, 4 Jan. 1703/4.
The sketches continue through to numbers 123. Edward E. Mellen, b. 27 Sept. 1886; and 124. Walter Leslie Mellen, b. 10 Jan. 1868. These sketches include the descendants of both men, for a total coverage of 10 generations into the early 20th century.
- Update to Mellen Family History Research (seagenes.wordpress.com)
“Whose story was true?” From Keep it Real, page 77, asks where for the footnotes in historical accounts since the 1970s.
The scope of genealogical and family history writing borders on creativity sometimes. How does one know which parts are fictions and which are verified, and verifiable facts?
One way to determine is the scope of research done by the writer. A writer may have included a preface or introduction laying out the basis for the writing. Another way to tell is simply which material is footnoted and which not. Spot-checking some random facts, or material stated as fact can give you an idea of the veracity of the writer.
- If no citations, treat the entire thing as fiction
- If well cited, tread with caution, especially when the data isn’t explained in at least some of the notes.
The article cited in Keep it Real also discusses the dry-as-dust historical writing and the trend away from it. Another question asked is whether the truthfulness of the writing is good or not depending on the marketing acumen of the writer/publisher affects the acceptance of one version but not another. In other words, is the truth subjective? Yes.
There are any number of genealogies out there which could be fact or fiction. The only way to tell is by checking spot only, or better yet, by reviewing the entire writing assertion by assertion.
For example: Without directly referring to the material in the Shearer book on the Mellen family, I was able to construct a quite different view of Richard Mellen’s family. What my little publication on the web amounts to is a subjectively different view of the truth of Richard Mellen’s descendants. Essentially the same could be said about Simon Mellen, one of the alleged sons of Richard.
Again, the only way for a genealogist to figure out the most likely course of events is to compare both versions and decide on their own what the most likely discussion of assertions is the better.
Asking me whose story is true is asking a scholar whether his work is questionable. I will, however say that I believe that my account of Richard Mellen is the more accurate. Not having checked the veracity of the rest of the Shearer book, I could not say whether much or any is either fact or fiction. The only parts I have considered here, and in my writing are the lines from Simon and from Richard in New England.
 Gutkind, Lee and Hattie Fletcher, eds. Keep it Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. 2008.
 Shearer, Gail Elizabeth. The Mellen and Shearer Families: Pioneers, Puritans and Patriots. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, Inc. 2000.
© 2012 N. P. Maling — Sea Genes – Family History & Genealogy Research
- Update to Mellen Family History Research (seagenes.wordpress.com)
I’ve just updated my published research into the Richard and Simon Mellen families in Massachusetts during the 1600s. There is an interesting document in the published Middlesex County probate records. My added material to the introduction follows.
In the published Middlesex County probate records we find a James Milengs’ property in Malden, in 1674, mentioned. This record, combined with the Weymouth boundary description record provides scant evidence that there was a Maling, or some variation of the surname in the area at those times. The spelling in both records is atrocious and given the consistent spellings otherwise, I’m still less than inclined to believe a Maling, rather than a Mellen, was responsible for those records.
Given that I consider the Weymouth land record a more authoritative document than the Malden will; it is an actual proof of legal division. The will, on the other hand, was probably scribed by the decedent or someone connected to him, but not an officer of the court, or a judicially or legally designated person. Thus, the two documents are still less than the standard of proof that I’d require for a satisfactory saying of “yes, there was a Maling family in that area at that time.”
 Robert H. Rodgers, Middlesex County in the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England: Records of Probate and Administration: February 1670/71–June 1676 (Rockport, Me.: Picton Press, 2005), 274.
The information gleaned from this snippet of data is interesting in that is shows the process of applying the Genealogical Proof Standard in a real-world manner. What I’ve done here is look at the given information in context with other information concerning the family and my overall interpretation of that information. That there is evidence a James Mellen lived in Malden is a given. That there is no evidence a James Maling (referenced in any other document that I’ve seen) lived in Malden, is also a given.
You can download the updated Richard Mellen of Massachusetts: A Brief Genealogy of the Mellen Family from this site. The current document supersedes previous versions found here.
- Announce: Descendants of Simon Mellen is Published (seagenes.wordpress.com)
The Mellen Genealogy Lists site covers the Mellen, Mellon, Melen, Millen, et cetera surname variations. Basic uncited birth, marriage, death, census, city directory, and other interesting data about the surname holders listed is provided in individual type pages with no relation to the other pages. As these are lists of discrete names and dates, you should use extreme care in constructing a tentative individual or family group profile.
This site is interesting to me as it may provide more insight into any individuals I may have skipped or excluded for some reason from my in-progress genealogy of the Simon Mellen (c1636 – 1694) family. The Mellen Genealogy Lists site also provides a rough index of individuals with the surname so you can get a feel for what I’ve put together and will publish on Lulu.com in the near future.
Thanks to Gina Heffernan for posting the lists. Rootsweb also host a Mellen family history mailing list, details available from Mellen Genealogy List pages or from the list info page.
© 2012 N. P. Maling
- More Mellen Family Materials (seagenes.wordpress.com)
As an adjunct to my earlier Mellen family post, “Richard Mellen of Massachusetts – Genealogy Available,” I’m adding two versions of earlier genealogies of the family. The first one is a reprint of William Barry’s sketch in A History of Framingham, 1847, Barry’s Framingham Mellen reprint. The second one is a reprint of J. H. Temple’s sketch in History of Framingham, 1887, Temple’s Framingham Mellen reprint.
The two reprints are set up as 6″ × 9″ pages and are designed for front-to-back printing.
Richard Mellen of Massachusetts is a brief genealogy of the Mellen family compiled from numerous primary and published records. Richard Mellen is a relatively unknown and unknowable persona. Very little is known about him, even where and when he died is unknown. The introduction gives background on the family and their relations. Also included are notes on the family’s surname, places, and records involved. A three-generation genealogical summary is presented in the NEHGS Register style. This paper is also a preview of a forthcoming 10-generation study of the Simon Mellen (c1636-1694) family which will be published and made available for sale elsewhere.
[Update 22 October 2011: The Simon Mellen study is scheduled for publication in December 2011.]
[UPDATE 22 October 2011: A 10-generation study of Simon Mellen (c1636-1694) and his descendants will be published in December 2011, so the following information is no longer right]
I’ve added a couple of items for sale.
The first one is a 17-page report on Richard Mellen, of Massachusetts. It is available as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file (requires Acrobat Reader version 5.0 or greater). Paper copies are available, too.
Also, I’ve released version 1.00 of an ongoing research project into Simon Mellen, of Massachusetts. This version is a five-generation study of Simon Mellen’s family in New England. It covers over two hundred years of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine Mellen family history.
- Full citations
- A complete index
- Internal links (PDF only)