Richard Mellen of Massachusetts 3-Generation Study

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 the 10-generation study of the Simon Mellen (c1636-1694) family which is available for sale elsewhere.

[Update 22 October 2011: The Simon Mellen study is scheduled for publication in December 2011.]

[Update 01 October 2021: The Richard Mellen 3-generation study is now available for sale here.]

Updates to the Wyeth Family Project

One of my current projects is to document the Wyeth family of New England through the 1600s to the 1900s. The progenitor of the family was Nicholas Wyeth, born in England and emigrated to Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts during the early part of the Great Migration. He died in 1680. He was my 10th great-grandfather.

The genealogy itself, while only partly documented, is coming along nicely. I’ve been touching it off and on for several years now. Parts of this genealogy I’ve lifted off of the Internet. I’ve been looking for documents to back up the assertions made in that version. Some of the undocumented materials seem to be based on personal knowledge and recent events, so there should be documents online.

The genealogy as it exists right now is about 25 8.5” x 11” inch pages with footnotes. It is in a fairly strict NEHGS Register style. I plan to post it somewhere in the future, but not just yet since there is unfinished business with the more recent family sketches. Since it is a fairly short document, perhaps growing to 50 or so pages, I’ll probably not publish it on Amazon or Lulu, where my other publications are available.

One of the more interesting parts I’ve found is: Ruth Shepard, who married William Wyeth (1657-1703), was not the daughter of Thomas Shepard, born say 1635-1637 and died at Milton, Massachusetts 26 September 1719, and Hannah Ensign, born probably at Scituate, Massachusetts circa 1638 (baptized at Hingham, Massachusetts 6 July 1640) and died at Malden, Massachusetts 14 March 1697/8. [Robert E. Bowman, “Ensigns Revisited,” The American Genealogist, 73 (October 1998), 249.] Who she was seems to remain a mystery.

Some of the families covered, in particular the New England families, I’ve fairly completely documented, but trailing the others will be a challenge. Since they seem to have dispersed across the country, some to Washington state and some to the western states, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

The Wonderment of Walter Goodwin Davis


I’ve been working with a copy of Lunt: A History of the Lunt Family in America, by Thomas S. Lunt, published in 1913.

There are a few weird things in it that can be traced to differences with Walter Goodwin Davis’ treatments of the family in his Descendants of Abel Lunt and Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis.

One item is that Davis seems to have renamed a child of Henry(5) Lunt from Joseph to Henry. The Newbury, Massachusetts vital records record at volume 1, page 297 a Joseph born on 13 February 1774 but there is no similar entry for a Henry at page 296. There’s no indication in either Lunt or Davis that the child born on 13 February was a twin, either. Where did Davis come up with another Henry? Or did he?


Haven Genealogy Available on

Here is the link to the Haven genealogy on

I’m removing the link in the below article as the for-sale and only available version is corrected and the free version wasn’t.



Announce: Richard Haven, of Lynn, Massachusetts Genealogy Available

Adams, Josiah, author, and N. P. Maling, editor. Haven Genealogy: Descendants of Richard Haven, of Lynn, Massachusetts. Boston, Massachusetts: the author. 1843 (reprint, Seattle, Washington: Sea Genes F.H. & G.R. 2012).

I’m making this work of mine available at no charge on this site since the source material it is from is in the public domain. Printed copies of it will be available for purchase on in August 2012.

The Original Version and Changes Thereto

The format of the published research is the author’s own creation and interesting in that it combines in discrete family group sketches several generations of the Haven family. The author created a format for presentation of his forebears and relations that is extremely dense and difficult to work with, however. Adams’ style of using all caps, small caps, and italics for each of the generations within the sketches makes for easier finding.

Due to these factors, I decided to re-work what Mr. Adams had done to make it more accessible to current and future researchers.

The pages are also full and the text cramped. The author used a large number of abbreviations for places (i.e., “Fram.” for Framingham) and terms frequent in the text (i.e., “com.” for committee). The result of the abbreviations and the typographical style is a nightmare of typography.

The type has been changed and the formatting slightly modified to meet current publishing standards. The original page size was smaller than it is here and the type more closely set, resulting in difficult reading.

Most of the abbreviations that Mr. Adams used in the original have been fully spelled out to prevent possible confusion. This change also makes the text flow more realistically.

Editorial and Content Changes

When I started working with this particular book as a resource in a genealogical research project, I kept wondering how much easier it would be to use if there were an index. I also wondered what it would look like if it were re-set in a somewhat different format. An index however, would be as unworkable and as dense as the original, so I decided to leave the volume as an online, on-screen document. This way a researcher can simply work with the book alongside their favorite genealogy program, making their own changes there and comparing their work to what has already been published.

The first thing I did was find a clean copy to work from. One copy I found had considerable marginalia and blobby type. Another copy had no marginalia and clean type; perhaps it was an earlier impression in the printing run. The text file from the clean-type copy gave a much better working draft to begin cleaning up and indexing. The mechanical editing and proofreading was carefully done as there were stray characters inserted by the optical character recognition (OCR) software. Words and characters also had to be reinserted because the OCR software had either misread the text or removed them entirely.

Further editing was then possible. This was necessary to flesh out abbreviated terms and correct typographical and other errors. The resulting text is more readable, and a bit more visually pleasant to use. I also made a number of editorial and typographical changes to modernize the text.

More Improvements

One idea I had was to restructure the text into a New England Historic and Genealogical Register-style format. This would have resulted in a completely different text, so I have left the structure pretty much as found in the 1843 edition. Readers familiar with that edition can compare it to the new one. Because the new edition has a different typeface and a more open presentation, the original pagination was lost. The original page numbers are inserted where they occur as editorial additions in the margin, as such “OP 42”. This addition also preserves the connections between the jump links in the original (i.e., the use of jump links between sketches, like “(See p. 48.)” and “(From p. 17.)”) placing the “From p. 9”, for instance in the margin, also.

It is important to remember that the generation numbers used by Mr. Adams do not consider the immigrant ancestor as generation one. Generation numbers in the Haven genealogy begin with Richard Haven’s children; Richard, the immigrant would be considered generation zero.

The name Sherburne, as used by Mr. Adams, refers to the place called, officially, Sherborne, and later, Sherborn. There was another place called, officially, Sherburne, but it is not correct in the context of this genealogy. I have changed it to the proper form.

Almost all of the italicized words, especially those inside quote marks, have been made regular type. The reason being is that the unnecessary italicization makes the proper names in italic type harder to find.

Toward the end of the original are several items that I thought would be unnecessary in the new edition. At the bottom of page 49 of the original is a note from Mr. Adams; it has been removed. Following page 49 in the original are two tables listing graduates from New England colleges and universities. These have been removed as their content has been shifted to the index. Pages 53 and 54, the transcript of Richard Haven’s will, remain and are set pretty much as found. The will transcript is referred to in a number of the earlier family sketches, while the graduate tables are not referenced at all.

The Typesetting

The typeface used in the original is unknown to me, so I used Linux Libertine. Linux Libertine is a modern interpretation of an early typeface and is designed for use in general-purpose publishing. While the Haven genealogy uses only a few of the characters in the Linux Libertine set, the visual effect is reminiscent of the time that Josiah Adams lived in, and is therefore appropriate to the subject matter of the book. A number of weights and fonts in the family appear, making the entire volume pleasant to look at on-screen and in a printed version. While there appear to be many fonts used, the important thing to remember is that they are all complementary and they fit together as a family in themselves.