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Volume 5 Issue 11 November 2000





For many years we have searched for Elizabeth Gregory, daughter of James and Matilda Ann (Wiser) Gregory, after she married Burr Merrill, October 4, 1873 in Dubuque, Iowa.

Matilda Ann Wiser was the daughter of Samuel and Betsey Babcock and granddaughter of Benjamin Wiser Senior.


Thanks to an database on Iowa cemeteries, we found that both were buried in the Greenwood Cemetery of Cedar Falls, Iowa.  I also appreciate Jack Gregory traveling to Des Moines, Iowa and finding their obituaries.


Burr M. Merrill, the son of Joseph Milton and Asenatha (Phillips) Merrill, was born January 27, 1844 in Jamestown, New York, and died January 30, 1899 in Blairsburg, Iowa.


OBITUARY: Died, at Blairsburg, Iowa, on January 30, Burr Merrill.  Mr. Merrill resided at Cedar Falls during his boyhood and was for many years a conductor on the Illinois Central R.R.  His remains will be brought to Cedar Falls for interment on Wednesday.  He was Mrs. Wm McClure's brother.


Elizabeth Gregory was born July 20, 1848 in Dubuque, Iowa and died July 15, 1932 in San Diego, California.


OBITUARY: Mrs. E. Merrill Dies in West; Funeral services for Mrs. Elizabeth Merrill, 86, widow of Burr Merrill and a former resident of this city, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday from Dahl chapel.  Interment will be made in the mausoleum at Greenwood cemetery.  Mrs. Merrill died in San Diego, Calif, last Friday, where she had made her home since leaving this city in 1919.  Her husband, Burr Merrill, died here in 1898.  Mrs. Merrill was a long-time resident here and was well known thru her active work in the Woman's Relief Corps and Greenwood cemetery association.  The body will arrive here tonight, accompanied by Mrs. Manson, with whom Mrs. Merrill made her home in California.  Surviving is a brother, Neil Gregory, Milwaukee, two nephews, Sam and Will McClure, Ft. Dodge, and a niece, Mrs. Becht of Milwaukee, all of whom are here to attend the funeral.




There was a new book published in 1999 containing references to our ancestor, James Wiser.  The book is “King Philip’s War, The History and Legacy of America’s Forgotten Conflict”, by Eric B. Schultz and Michael J. Touglias, published by The Countryman Press, Woodstock, Vermont.


On page 54, “In late January two Praying Indians, James Quannapohit and Job Kattenanit, returned from a successful spy mission at Menameset with news that the frontier towns of western Massachusetts‑Lancaster, Groton, Marl­boro, Sudbury, and Medfield‑would be attacked within the coming weeks. The plan for attacking Lancaster, the natives' first target, was even described in some detail. Nevertheless, when four hundred warriors under Monoco descended on the town on February 10, only Captain Samuel Wadsworth and his forty men at Marlboro were ready to respond, and even then too late to prevent the destruction of Lancaster's central village and one of the town's six garrisons. Several of the occupants of this garrison, home of the town's minister, Joseph Rowlandson, were killed, and twenty ­four others taken captive. One of those kidnapped was Rowlandson's wife, Mary, who would keep a diary of her nearly three months of captivity un­der the Narragansett sachem Quinapin, who purchased her from Monoco. Published in 1682, this diary became a classic of colonial literature‑both for its firsthand account of the Lancaster attack and for its observations of the Algonquian‑and the prototype of the American captivity narrative.”


On page 153, “Temple then turned to the testimony of two Indian guides in Wheeler's party. One, James Quannapohit, said that Menemesseg (another name for Winimisset; neither term was ever used by Wheeler in his report) was about eight miles north from where Capt. Hutchinson and Capt. Wheeler was wounded and several men with them slain.”

On page 263, “James Quanpohit, a Christian Indian who spied for the English during the war, visited with Nipmuc and Narragansett warriors at their camps at Menameset not long after the Great Swamp Fight. Quanpohit probably would have been killed by the Narragansett (for his suspected friendship with the English) had not his long time friend, Monoco, intervened; "he said he was glad to see me; I had been his friend many years, and had helped him kill Mohaugs; and said, nobody should meddle with me.” Despite being suspected as a spy, Quanpohit would hear and pass on to colonial authori­ties a wealth of accurate information concerning native plans to conduct the remainder of the war. In addition, Quanpohit would report that the Narra­gansett lost but forty fighting men, and three hundred old men, women and children.”


On page 267, “The Great Swamp Fight ensured that the roused Narragansett would now prosecute the war against the English with great vengeance. A series of peace talks was held throughout the end of December and on into early 1676, but it seems in retrospect that both sides were stalling for time to re­coup and plan their next moves. It is also possible that the Narragansett were paying for their neutrality with the Nipmuc and Wampanoag. James Quanpohit reported that "the Narragansett sent up one English head  to them by two of their men; and they shot at the Narragansett, told them they had been friends to the English, and that head was nothing. Afterwards they sent up two men more, with twelve scalps; they received them, and hung the scalps on trees.”


For additional information on James Wiser check previous newsletters.  Also, check the following website compiled by Robert Raymond:




Bertha Morse Snook, (Simeon DeWitt Morse, Joseph Morse, Alathea Wiser, Benjamin Wiser), daughter of Simeon DeWitt and Prudence (Elliott) Morse, was born October 28, 1860 at Merrillsville, New York and died January 31, 1934 at Kenmore, New York.  Thanks to a descendant, Peggy Maharan, the cemetery records of this family were recently located at the Ridge Lawn Cemetery, Cheektowaga, New York. 


Cemetery Lot Record, Lot No. 207, Sub. 1, Section B; Owner-Bertha Snook:

Claude M. Snook

Elaine Snook, buried 26 Nov 1915

George W. Snook, buried 20 Sep 1921

Bertha Snook, 2 Feb 1934

Simeon D. Snook, 24 Mar 1939.


OBITUARY: Oneida Daily Disptach, 1 Feb 1934; Mrs. Snook, 73, Buffalo, Dead; Oneida relatives to attend funeral tomorrow; Mrs. Daisy Dennison, and daughter, Mrs. Richard M. Whittin of this city, left today for Buffalo, where they were called by the death of the former's sister, Mrs. Bertha Snook, 73, which occurred yesterday following a long illness.  Mrs. Snook had several friends in Oneida and many in Merrillsville, her former home, her last visit to this city was about three years ago, when she spent several weeks with Mrs. Dennison who is her only sister.  Other survivors are one son, Simeon Snook, with whom she lived in Buffalo; a brother Wallace Morse, Toronto, Canada; several great grandchildren and grandchildren.  Funeral services will be conducted Friday afternoon.  Burial will be in Buffalo.




Ruth Annalee Gorman


Ruth Annalee Gorman, (Mary Edith Gregory, James Gregory, Jr., Matilda Ann Wiser, Samuel Wiser, Benjamin Wiser), 94, homemaker and caregiver, died November 14, 1999. She was born May 20, 1905, in Chillicothe, Livingston County, MO.


She was the oldest of the 12 children born to John William Albert Pennington and Mary Edith Gregory Pennington. The only other surviving sibling is Hazel Adams of Kansas City, MO.


Other surviving family members include her daughter, Dixie Griffith, Maize, KS; foster daughters, Aletha Russell, Fall River, KS, and Jacci Wallis, Wichita, KS; eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.


Mrs. Gorman married James A. Gorman May 29, 1926, in Kansas City, MO. He preceded her in death Oct. 14, 1953.


She had been a member of the Friends Church since 1930 and memorials have been established at her church, Northridge Friends, 2655 Bullinger, Wichita, KS 67204, and at World Gospel Mission, WGM Kansas Auxiliary, c/o Arlene Billington, P.O. Box 164, Atwood, KS 67730.


A memorial service was held at Northridge Friends Church, Nov. 17, 1999. Burial was in Elmwood Cemetery, Augusta, KS. Cochran Mortuary was in charge of arrangements. (Margaret Wood, author.)


David Jones


Syracuse, NY paper; October 30, 2000; David L. Jones, (Bertha M. Jacobe, Cora M. Albro, Andrew J. Albro, Sabra Morse, Alathea Morse, Benjamin Wiser), 72, of 9 1/2 Hamlin St., Cortland, died Friday in Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  He was born in Cazenovia.  He worked for Palmer Real Estate, F.H. Cobb Co. and Great American supermarkets.  He was a member of United Community Church, YMCA and Elks Lodge.  An Army veteran, he was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, chairman of the Cortland County Family Support Group for the Persian Gulf Veterans and a service officer with the Veteran Affairs Medical Center.  He was chairman of the Cortland Memorial Day Parade.  Survivors: His mother, Bertha Jones of Cortland; five sisters, Jennie Jones of Auburn, Edna Clark, Lula Burnett and Angeline McClory, all of Cortland, and Betty Root of Tully. Services: 11 .m. Thursday at Wright-Beard Funeral Home.  Burial, Sheds Cemetery.  Calling hours, 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home, 9 Lincoln Ave., Cortland.  Contributions: American Cancer Society, Cortland Unit, 6725 Lyons St., East Syracuse 13057.



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Ron Wiser                                            6 Baton Rouge                          Roswell, NM  88021