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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Saturday this week

The records of marriages registered in Boston, in the year 1793.

I kept this record of the marriage of Betsey Dwelle and Ebenezer Pulsipher, on May 11 1793. It is alphabetized for the year, but I wonder about the date. Beautiful penmanship is also noteworthy and much appreciated!

Now I scratch my head, to remember the meaning of the record.  My grandmother was a descendant of the Pulsifers (Pulsiphers) of Massachusetts.  So let's go over to Ancestry and see how she connected to this early couple.

Their daughter Lucy Pulsifer, married George T. Granger, who during the Civil War wrote letters and helped save their orphaned granddaughters in Texas.  One of those granddaughters was my paternal great-grandmother.

I'm amazed at all the records that Betsey and Ebenezer Pulsipher (Pulsifer) managed to have in their short lives! They may have gotten married on another day, or perhaps the registration date wasn't the same as the wedding date.

Betsy Dwelle m. Ebenezer Pulsifer Boston
This record shows on fourth entry that the couple were married in February of 1794, in Boston. It may also have been the place where legal records were kept, since they spent all their lives in Newburyport, Essex County, MA.

They had 5 children. I don't know for sure what Ebenezer Pulsifer did for a living, but Newburyport, MA was a ship building and sailing town.  And when he died, he was listed in the Columbia Centenal (published Nov 21, 1827) newspaper as "Captain Ebenezer Pulsifer" age 54.  The Essex County records (below) state Captain Ebenezer Pulsifer died Nov. 7, 1826.

Capt EbenezerPulsifer death record 1827

Old Hill Burying Ground Newburyport MA Pulsifer
Old HIll Burying Ground Newburyport
Old Hill Burying Ground, Newburyport, MA
Old Hill Buyring Ground entrance
Entrance to Old Hill Burying Ground, Newburyport, MA

Here is my submission to link to Sepia Saturday's meme of old photos...a topic on "Love and Marriage" for August.   I don't know how many posts I will have on topic, but this is a forgiving bunch! Go on over and see what other romantic fools have come up with!


  1. Wow - those are a lot of records with a lot of information!

  2. I wonder if once you registered you had a certain amount of time in which to get married.

  3. Also, remember that the boundaries of counties were sometimes different than our modern day ones!

  4. You hmust have a lot of patience looking up all those records. They are interesting though.

  5. The year the marriage took place was 1794, not 1793 (see halfway down the page) The date in the second record is February 13, 1794. It is probably the date of the notice of marriage of Betsey Dwelle and Ebenezer Pulsipher. With just two months between that date and the date of marriage that certainly looks like a possibility to me. Local laws or habits need to be checked for confirmation.

  6. Interesting! Perhaos the February record was similar to marriage banns. If these records are freely accessible, maybe check a few others and see if they also appear twice within a three month period?

  7. How wonderful to have found records on your ancestors that old. The writing on the Boston archive is beautiful and, unlike others, so easy to decipher. A different fascinating interpretation on this week's prompt.

  8. Mr. Jacob Johnson must have been a special case as its noted he died when an anchor fell on his head. When the cause of death was drowning, this is also recorded. Otherwise I guess we assume death was of natural causes. Wonderful much interesting information to ponder.

  9. Look at the beautiful handwriting on that first document! Stunning.

  10. I too was struck by the beautiful script. As a newcomer to browsing old Parish records etc, I have found some very difficult to decipher.


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