Fascinating New Find About Richard Mellen

Just found a newish website whose author is apparently unwilling to commit to scholarly diligence and credibility. Doug Sinclair wrote a paper about Richard Mellen of Massachusetts, alleged father of Simon Mellen of Sherborne and Framingham.

Mr. Sinclair states that his website doesn’t claim to the standard of scholarly journals, and it certainly doesn’t.

Further, he ignores the clear, cogent, and concise statements at the beginning of my paper on Richard Mellen, and the genealogy of Simon Mellen, that they are each “extended literature review[s].” Further, the next paragraph in those publications cogently states that the focus of each was on “published record sets.” What is not credible or clear about that?

Mr. Sinclair fails to cite his sources for the statements concerning my work, yet appears to cite everything else he writes about. Nothing new was presented that hadn’t been already written about by myself or others, just pictures. One picture in particular clearly shows he read my blog article and paper about Richard “Maling” aka “Waling.” The picture he posted clearly shows a “W”.

Any diligent genealogical researcher will use both of our works as clues only. Any diligent genealogical researcher will also follow the BCG Code of Ethics in using our works.

NPM

Surname Saturday: Richard Mellen

Looking at the directory entry for Richard Mellen in Robert Charles Anderson’s The Great Migration Directory, I found a reference to Ernest Flagg’s Genealogical Notes on the Founding of New England.

In Flagg’s book I see two pages of information about the first couple of generations of Richard’s family. Much of the material is copied from Thomas Bellows Wyman’s Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown (see volume 2).

What I find interesting is that there is no reference to Simon Mellen, an alleged son of Richard’s. Wyman’s Genealogies include Simon in the entry for Richard, but he was basing his conclusion on the assumption that there was a direct familial relationship between the two. Many online trees contain a connection between the two, but I do not think that there is any factual evidence to say one way or the other. I have covered both families separately and together in separate places with extensive research into each. See Richard Mellen, a 3-Generation Study, and the Simon Mellen genealogy, for further information.

The only reason I included Simon in my coverage of Richard’s family was to make a point about the possibility they were related. My educated guess is still that they are not related as father and son. They may have been brothers or cousins, but we still do not know how.

Thoughts?

NPM

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.]

One Child or Two?

More Mellen errors and omissions.

I’m revising Descendants of Simon Mellen, c. 1636-1694, and have found yet another problem with his descendants. This time with the family of John(5) Mellen and his wife Martha Fitch Wendell at pages 109 through 112.

Somehow, I assumed that there were two children, one who died young, the unnamed infant who died in 1802 and another, named Martha F. who was born and died in 1805.

The error came about from misreading some of the records, published sources, that I used to build the family sketch. One of the offenders is Binney’s account of the family which I have described as troublesome. It turns out that he was correct in this instance, however. The other two sources in the problematic sketch are the Cambridge vital records and Sharples’ volume of church records.

In the Cambridge vital records, volume 2, is an entry for an unnamed infant child surnamed Mellen who died 5 March 1802. There is no corresponding entry in volume 1 for a birth of this child. The death entry also appears in the Sharples compilation. Binney, on the other hand, wrote that it was Martha Fitch Mellen who was born on 5 March 1802 and died 6 March 1802.

Binney’s statement is backed up by an account of the family in a handwritten manuscript copied from an original, location currently unknown. The copy apparently is in the possession of the Pennsylvania Historical Society. It is available on the FamilySearch platform.

See also my earlier post on the two sisters who seemed to have been born to close to each other.

Follow Friday: The Turning of Generations

In the midst of finalizing and indexing the Mellen genealogy, I try to keep abreast of geneablogging. This week I found a new (to me) blog, called The Turning of Generations. The current theme on this wonderful piece of work is the 21st Century Organized Family Historian (#21COFH).

What’s interesting about 21COFH is that all genealogists can learn from reading about it. I’ve been working on digital organizing since I had an 8086 KayPro, so had to use very restrictive (nowadays, anyway) file names and directory structures. Eeew!

There seems to be a growing number of other folks reading and practicing the exercises for this theme, so I hope to learn something and perhaps contribute something when I’m more free from other concerns.

NPM

© 2012 N. P. Maling