Highlight: Video by Nick Ornstein on YouTube

Longevity researcher Nick Ornstein has produced an illuminating video of the ten verified oldest people living as of 4 November 2010. The video, posted on 28 November 2010, was posted on the day that Venere Pizzinato, born 23 November 1896, broke the all-time record for the oldest person ever from Italy, at age 114 years, 5 days.
Click here to see the video.
  • Definitions and background of the validation process for supercentenarians, etc.
  • A list of the ten verified oldest people living, in ascending order, with photographs of every one of them except Shige Hirooka of Japan (b. 16 January 1897).
  • Trivia on Melinda Harris of the United States (4 May 1898 –c. 20 October 2010)
  • In Memoriam: Ida Stewart of Jamaica (13 November 1896? –12 November 2010), with a claimed age of 113 years, 364 days.

Apuntes unit 3 1º Bachillerato


Esta es la dirección en la que están colgados los ejercicios en internet. Cuando estéis en esta dirección, en la barra que pone "beta issuu" hay unas páginas con un triangulito para abajo,ahí hay que hacer click, aparece un menú con dos opciones le dais a cualquiera de las dos opciones y ya aparecen los apuntes, sólo os queda hacer click en imprimir.


La otra posibilidad es que los imprimáis directamente desde aquí!

Gareth y DCShu


Can you write the script of this episode?

Some Past Tenses I

I have some good questions to be answered with the past tenses, but first I would like to remind you....

Past simple: an action finished in the past.

Present Perfect: an action that began in the past and lasts until today or to express an experience.

Used to: Actions that you performed some time ago but you don´t now.

The questions are the following:
1)What good/bad memories have you got from primary school?

2.What is something you have made you are proud of?

3.What was your most embarrasing moment? What happened?

4.What is the best decision you have ever made?How did it help you?

5. What is the worst mistake you have ever made? What did you learn from it?

Tanekichi Onishi

Tanekichi Onishi, pictured above a week before turning 107, is a male Japanese supercentenarian who is the world's third-oldest male following the death of Stanley Lucas on 21 June 2010.
Born on 15 February 1900, he was confirmed alive in September 2010, Onishi was added to GRG's Table E on 31 October 2010.
 He is, at present, the 84th oldest man ever, the 67th oldest living person, the 122nd-oldest Japanese ever, and the 19th-oldest living Japanese, as well as Japan's second-oldest male.

15 February 2011 - Tanekichi Onishi, if still alive today, would now be 111 years old.

Eunice Bowman

Eunice Bowman is a British supercentenarian who became the United Kingdom's oldest living person on 8 May 2010, upon the death of Florrie Baldwin who died aged 114 years, 38 days.
Born Eunice Crook in Lancashire, England, on 23 August 1898, Bowman was the second-oldest out of twelve children; her parents were Thomas Crook and Sarah (Hosler) Cook. Her baptismal records presumably made their way into her documentation as a supercentenarian; she was baptised on 13 November 1898, aged three months.
Bowman and her family, following a decline in the textile industry, moved to Gateshead in 1905 when Bowman was seven; she would live there for the next 105 years. Her father would work in the coal mines when they lived at Gateshead.
As a child, Bowman was kept from school to look after her younger siblings and assist in the housework.
After completing school, Bowman would work in a fish-and-chips shop together with her grandmother.
She went to work in a munitions factory during World War I, working for twelve hours, seven days a week; her work initially consisted of messenger work until she was sent to assist in gunpowder work.
On 25 December 1919, Bowman married her first husband, Robert Pearson (c. 1900-1928), who died at the age of 28 from complications following tuberculosis, but not before having four children with her.
During the Second World War, she re-married to Frank Bowman and had two children, one of whom died in infancy. Their marriage lasted until Frank Bowman died in 1950.
His death would be followed three years later by her father at age 74. Her mother would die in 1970, at age 92.
Bowman would continue to work in a fish-and-chip shop until she was 84. Her work was accompanied by her sister, Annie, who would become a centenarian.
St. Mary's lighthouse, Whitley Bay, was re-opened by Bowman herself a week after her 110th birthday; the ceremony apparently marked both the 110th anniversaries of her birth and the lighthouse.
Bowman would later go on to outlive all her siblings and most of her children; the last remaining child of hers, Connie Bowman, died in 2010.
Bowman was reported to have "a very positive attitude and just had simple pleasures. She has always had a nice outlook on life and is always smiling."
She stated on 23 August 2009, "I have never drank alcohol or smoked. I have had a happy life."
Bowman became the oldest living British on 8 May 2010, upon Florrie Baldwin's death. She was 111 years and 258 days old at the time of her accession to the title. However, Bowman passed away sixty-nine days later, on 16 July 2010, at the age of 111 years, 327 days, passing the title to Annie Turnbull (21 September 1898 – 3 September 2010) of Scotland. She died as the 26th-oldest British ever, to be displaced one spot some time later by Turnbull.
She was buried at Heworthburn Cemetery, in Gateshead, on 22 July 2010.

Tomasa Méndez

Tomasa Méndez, seated in the photograph above, is a Spanish supercentenarian whose death was not discovered until more than a year after her 110th birthday, and even by then, an exact date of death could not be determined at that time.
Born on 2 June 1899, she was added to the GRG's pages on 24 July 2009. It was reported by Miguel Quesada, a Spanish GRG correspondent, on 18 June 2010 that she had "died a month or two after her 110th birthday", and Quesada was awaiting her death certificate.
A wait lasting exactly four months ensued, at the end of which Miguel Quesada reported on 18 October 2010 that he had confirmed Méndez as having died on 21 July 2009, thus finishing her life at the age of 110 years, 49 days.
She is the only Spanish person so far to, at one point, satisfy the "limbo" criteria, "Known dead, but death date unknown".
She is the 38th oldest Spanish ever; there have been 42 validated Spanish supercentenarians to date.

Germaine Degueldre

Germaine Degueldre, seen above with Belgian GRG correspondents Bart Versieck and Peter Vermaelen at her 110th birthday party, in 2010, is a supercentenarian who is currently the third-oldest person in Belgium, behind Adrienne Ledent of Luxembourg, Belgium, born 13 December 1899, and Aimée Rensonnet of Hainaut, born 18 January 1900. Degueldre was born on 26 September 1900 and is currently one of four living Belgian supercentenarians – the highest on record to date, tying with the previous record of four at another point. The last Belgian supercentenarian not mentioned is Mr. Jan Goossenaerts, born 30 October 1900. She is the 13th oldest Belgian on record.
She was also featured on regional television for her 110th birthday.
Degueldre is the only non-American involved in Stephen Coles' DNA sequencing of long-lived people; her blood was extracted in October 2010 and is under analysis. Among others involved in the sequencing was the son of supercentenarian Marion Higgins, who died in 2006.
On 27 July 2010, it was reported by Belgian GRG correspondent Anthony Croes-Lacroix that he had secured all the documents for Degueldre's validation. She was 109 years and 304 days old at the time. She was added to Louis Epstein's "Oldest Human Beings" list when he updated it on 1 October 2010. She was 110 years, 5 days old at the time.
A short while later, on 7 October 2010, Epstein's list was published, and she was added to Wikipedia's list of living supercentenarians, along with Maria Radicati di Primeglio, born 28 July 1900. She waas 110 years and 11 days old at the time.
A week later, when Degueldre was 110 years, 19 days old, Stephen Coles finally added her to the GRG's Table E of Validated Living Supercentenarians.
As of 26 November 2010, Degueldre is the 85th oldest validated living person, out of a total of 87 validated living supercentenarians.
21 December 2010 - Germaine Degueldre is now Belgium's second-oldest person following the death of  Aimée Rensonnet on 15 December 2010.

Update (27 May 2012): It is now known that Germaine Degueldre passed away on 11 May 2012, aged 111 years, 228 days. She was the second oldest Belgian on record, and her death leaves Fanny Godin (born 27 May 1902) as Belgium's oldest resident.

Chiyono Hasegawa

Chiyono Hasegawa, a resident of Saga Prefecture, Japan, who was born on 20 November 1896, is a woman who is presently the oldest living Japanese upon the death of Kama Chinen, of Okinawa, Japan, on 2 May 2010, when the latter was 114 years, 357 days old. Chinen was also the world's oldest person at the time of her death.
Since the death of Frenchwoman and world's oldest person Eugénie Blanchard on 4 November 2010, Hasegawa is the world's fourth-oldest living person as well as the world's oldest non-American, as Americans Eunice Sanborn (born 20 July 1896), Besse Cooper (born 26 August 1896), and Walter Breuning (born 21 September 1896) all surpass her age by several months each.
Hasegawa was anonymously noted by the Japanese authorities at age 109 and later publicly identified. She earned a visit from the Saga prefecture governor in September 2008, aged 111.
She is currently the 82nd oldest person on record as well as the 15th-oldest Japanese on record. Coincidentally, Hasegawa had been next to another Japanese woman called Chiyono in terms of rank until earlier this year. Chiyono Ohta, born 1 November 1896, had passed away on 25 January 2010 at 113 years, 85 days. She was the 10th-oldest living person at the time, a record she had gained just three days prior to her death. The title of 10th-oldest living person at that time then passed to Hasegawa.
On 2 May 2010, after she succeeded Kama Chinen, a ceremony was held in her honour at her nursing home that announced her as the new oldest living Japanese.
Hasegawa receiving her Respect for the Aged Day visit, September 2010.
In September 2010, Hasegawa was visited by the same governor who had visited her in 2008, and presented with porcelain wares and a basket of grapes, among other items.
It was reported that prior to her 114th birthday in 2010, Hasegawa had caught a cold, but was recovering at the time of her birthday and regaining her appetite. As she had a weakness for candy, the nursing home staff there had planned to serve her Bavarian cream as a special birthday dessert for her.

2 December 2011 - Chiyono Hasegawa died today as the 26th-oldest person on record, two weeks after her 115th birthday, at age 115 years, 12 days.

Venere Pizzinato

Venere Ires Pizzinato-Papo was born in Ala, a part of Austria-Hungary when she was born, on 23 November 1896. Ala is now part of Italy, and Pizzinato herself is ethnically Italian.
Pizzinato celebrated her 114th birthday two days ago as only the second Italian ever to reach the age of 114. In three days' time, on 28 November 2010, she will become the oldest validated Italian in world history, when she surpasses Virginia Dighero-Zolezzi, who died in 2005 at 114 years, 4 days.
After living in Milan for over 60 years, Pizzinato moved to Verona, Italy, around 1959 and still continues to live there today in a retirement home.
According to her validator, Giovanni Alunni, Pizzinato was on her 111th birthday reported to be in a wheelchair but otherwise in good condition.
Following the death of Ida Frabboni one month after her 113th birthday on 2 November 2009, Pizzinato, then aged 112 years, 344 days, became the oldest living Italian. A year and two days later, on 4 November 2010, Pizzinato became the fifth-oldest living person in the world upon the death of Eugénie Blanchard of Saint Barthélemy, France.
30 November 2010. As of 28 November, at 114 years 5 days, Pizzinato is now the oldest Italian ever in history.

26 November 2011 - Venere Pizzinato passed away on 2 August 2011 at the age of 114 years, 252 days, thus defining the Italian longevity record. She is succeeded by Stella Nardari, born 23 December 1898, as the oldest living Italian.

A Letter to Uncle Skip about Adventures on Boston Harbor and Near Lake Ponchartrain: Capt. E.G. Martin, Jr. (1843-1902) / Capt. E.G. Martin, Sr. (1815-1873)

Hi Uncle Skip and Aunt Nancy-
As you may know I was in Marblehead a few years ago and I went to Old Burial Hill, where several of our ancestors are buried.  Its a beautiful graveyard overlooking Marblehead Harbor.  I was able to find the gravestones of a few relatives, but my family tree research was not nearly as extensive as it is today, and many of the gravestones are difficult to read.  Interestingly, the older gravemarkers, which were made of granite have held up well, but the stone-workers used very fine lettering so it's often hard to decipher.  The newer headstones are made of marble, and acid rain and other factors have taken a heavy toll.
I just found a picture of Elbridge Gerry, Sr.'s, your great great grandfather, gravestone online.  As you can see, it has been badly damaged by the elements.  I wanted to let you know where your namesake's gravestone was.  If you are ever near Marblehead Old Burial Hill is a beautiful place to explore.  Several of the gravestones have had restorative or protective work done on them, and maybe it could be arranged to have this marker preserved as well.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving,  Adam

Hi Adam,
Thanks for the note and picture. Interesting research, but I am a bit confused. The man I am named after is my great grandfather, your great, great grandfather. You mention the man on the tomb stone to be Elbridge Gerry Martin Sr. Was my great grandfather Elbridge Gerry Martin Jr.? That would be right considering the dates (1815 -1873). I don't know my great grandfather's date of birth, but am pretty sure he died in 1902. Can you clarify? And if I am correct, was EG Sr. a pilot also?
A Happy Thanksgiving to you as well,

Uncle Skip-

Thanks for your email.  Your great grandfather, your namesake, Elbridge Gerry Martin, Jr., (he rarely went by Junior) is the son of harbor pilot Capt. Elbridge Gerry, Sr. (who never went by, Sr.) and Rebecca Homan (Dixey) Martin, who were married in Salem on October 10, 1838.  He was born in August of 1843 in East Boston and died of a stroke while on duty as a harbor pilot in Boston Harbor on April 5, 1902, at the age of 58.

Elbridge, Jr., had three sisters:  Henrietta (b. 1842), Jane L.  (b. 1846 – would become the only female lighthouse keeper of her time), Annie (b. 1849), and two brothers: Ambrose A. (b. 1852) and Gilman (b.  1855).  In his teenage years Elbridge was a sail-maker in Boston.

Elbridge, Jr., served at least two tours of duty during the Civil War.  In 1863 he was stationed with the 42nd Massachusetts Volunteers at Camp Parapet, near New Orleans.  The camp was threatened by secessionist saboteurs and thieves, who would steal ammunition and attempt, unsuccessfully, to break the levees that surrounded Lake Ponchartrain.  Companies C and H were brought in to guard the fortifications and to watch over the refugee camps that were full of recently freed slaves.  The men of the 42nd were very fortunate in that their camp was situated in a way so that they avoided many of the diseases suffered by the New York regiments that were stationed nearby.

Companies C and H contained a strange mix of men that often made them difficult to command.  No other companies in the regiment were like them in the make up of their personnel.  There were good men, with excellent reputations at home and from families of high standing.  There were many men whose reputations were known to be bad, taken from the rough element of cities and towns, whose faces and behavior were bad enough to mark them what they were.   There were also excellent fellows who did their duties manfully, though they did not come from the ordinary ranks of society.  The tough characters, even though they fought hard and often amongst themselves, if one of their comrades were threatened they would come to his aid and they would stand by each other until the last.

The duties performed by these companies were not arduous.  One of Private Elbridge Martin’s duties was, as part of a squad made up of himself and six other men, tour the plantations that were now behind Federal lines and escort the recently freed slaves back to the refugee camps.  The camps were divided into five different “colonies”.   Men were kept separate from the women and children.   Initially there were no restrictions on the refugees, and they were free to come and go as they pleased.  During the day the able-bodied men would work with the Army engineers who were shoring up Camp Parapet’s fortifications, and at night they would visit their wives and families in the other camps.   Sometimes they would go carousing or go to the religious meetings that occurred in the swamps.

The colonies enjoyed high morale until orders came down from General Sumner, of the Engineering Department, that any refugee leaving the camp without authorization be shot.  This order caused a great deal of dissatisfaction amongst both the refugees and the troops stationed at the camp.  The situation climaxed on the night of April 17, 1863, when one the refugees attempted to leave his colony.  A sentry from Company H called out “Who goes there?”  The refugee did not respond and was shot in the back.  He died the next day from his wound and Camp Parapet’s officers feared that they might be faced with a full-blown riot by the refugees and a revolt from their own enlisted men.  The tension escalated when the Company H sentry was arrested for his role in the shooting.  Eleven days later Private Elbridge Martin, who was the sentry on duty, sensed that trouble was brewing in the colonies and sounded the alarm.  Guard reliefs and other troops responded immediately, some armed and others not.  The freed slaves were building a large bonfire and singing.  The men of the 42nd either joined in building the fire and singing, or looked on approvingly.  From that point on, there was no more trouble in any of the colonies.

On July 14, 1864, Elbridge re-enlisted in Company C, of the Massachusetts 42nd Infantry Regiment, this time as a sergeant.  The 42nd  Regiment had been reorganized and mustered into service for 100 days.  It was used for guard and garrison duty during the late summer and fall, in order that the older and more experienced troops that had been performing this duty might be relieved and sent to the front.  The companies that were to constitute the 42nd Regiment began to assemble at Camp Meigs in Readville in early July, and on July 24 the command set out for Washington under Lieut. Col. Joseph Stedman.  About this time Col. Burrell was released from captivity, returned and rejoined his regiment at Alexandria, and resumed his command.  The regiment did guard and patrol duty, one detachment being sent to Great Falls, Maryland, while others were employed in guarding supply trains moving to and from the Shenandoah Valley.  Sgt. Martin mustered out, with the rest of his regiment, on November 11, 1864.

Your great grandmother was Maria (sometimes spelled Mariah) Theresa Marden.  (I remember that Grandpa and Grandma had a “Marden” family crest hanging just inside the front doorway.)  Their children were your grandfather Frank and his sister Bertha V., who were born in 1875 and 1878, respectively, and three other children who died in infancy.  Your great grandmother was from Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, and a history of that town described her husband as “. . .an efficient pilot . . .(and a) very worthy man”.

Grandpa and Grandma had the following newspaper clip.  I do not have the date, or even the name of the paper that the article is from:

Pilot Died at His Post:  Capt. Martin Stricken on His Craft Yesterday
Stricken at his post of duty, Captain Elbridge G. Martin passed away on the pilot boat Liberty No. 3, Saturday night.
As the result evidently of a sudden attack of apoplexy. He was found dead in the after-cabin of his craft by some of his comrades.
Along Massachusetts’ rock-bound coast no man was better known than Capt. Martin.   A thousand storms he has weathered and many thousand ships he has brought safely by treacherous rocks and shifting reefs. In snow and sleet, in raging surf or shimmering calm, Captain Martin was always at his post until his charge was safely moored within the inner harbor.
It was in 1863 that he received his license as a pilot, after serving an apprenticeship of five years.  It was just after the close of the War for the Union, in which Captain Martin served as a member of the First Massachusetts Regiment (Note (Adam):  My records show him as serving  in the 42nd Regiment.  It is more than possible that he served in the First on a different tour of duty.  Of course, 1863 was not the close of the Civil War.) He was a young man then – he was but 58 when he died – and the sea called him as it had done to his father before him.
(Note (Adam):  In the following paragraph the newspaper writer becomes confused about the identity of Elbridge, Jr.’s father.  The article actually says that Samuel Clemmons Martin, Elbridge, Sr.’s, brother is Elbridge, Jr.’s father.  All three men were well-respected pilots in Boston Harbor.  Elbridge, Sr., died in 1873, and Samuel Martin continued to act as a mentor and father figure to his nephew.)
For years father and son were comrades in the pilots’ shore home jutting over the harbor, and comrades in the danger of the black night cruises along the Cape Cod shore when the wild wind whistled down from the north and a hurricane buried the pilot boat beneath the falling billows.  It was at times like these that the other pilots came to know and appreciate the sterling courage of the younger Martin.
It mattered not how the severe the storm, he was ever ready to put off in his pilot’s cockle shell to aid, and oft times to save, the ship beating about on an unknown coast.
As the pilot boat Liberty put out from dock Saturday morning Martin seemed in the best of spirits, and with light-hearted chaff helped his fellows to while away the time until the lightship was reached.  The Liberty was to have remained at this, the middle station, for a week cruising about.
As night came on the sea grew rough, and the small craft tumbled about in the chasm between watery walls of foam. About 10 o’clock The Nordpol, a Norwegian coal steamer was sighted, and Pilot Nelson put off to her.
Captain Martin did not come on deck as Nelson went over the side, and no one missed him for awhile, so busy were they all in watching the bobbing boat of the pilot slowly making its way towards the black hull of the steamer.  When they went below Captain Martin, whom they had seen seemingly well a half hour before, was found lying upon the floor dead.
Towed by a government tug, the Liberty came to Boston.  Captain Martin’s body was taken to his late home at 212 Webster Street. He is survived by a widow, a daughter and one son, Frank Martin, clerk of the Leyland line.  Samuel Martin, the East Boston ship builder, is an uncle of the dead pilot. (Note (Adam):  I am reasonably certain that the Samuel Martin referred to in the previous sentence is Samuel Clemmons Martin, Jr., who is Elbridge’s cousin, and not his uncle.)
Captain Martin became especially well known to his fellows throughout the country from the fact that he was secretary and treasurer of both the National Pilots’ Association and of the Boston Pilots’ Relief Society.”
The Liberty #3, the boat on which Elbridge died was a schooner-rigged pilot boat that was built in 1896 in Gloucester.  In 1917 she was acquired by the U.S. Navy from the Boston Pilot’s Relief Society and commissioned as USS Liberty #3 (SP-1229).  For the duration of the war she patrolled the entrance to Boston Harbor.  She was decommissioned in 1919 and returned to the BPRS.  There was also a New York Times article, dated January 30, 1897, which said The Liberty #3 was feared lost in an unexpected blizzard that hit Boston Harbor.  The article does not mention Capt. Martin by name, but it is likely that he was acting as pilot aboard The Liberty #3 during this incident.

Capt. Elbridge Martin, Sr., who was also a famous harbor pilot, was the son of sea captain and then lighthouse keeper on Baker’s Island, Capt. Ambrose Bowen Martin and his wife Elizabeth (Clemmons) Martin.  (Note (Adam):  “Clemmons” is spelled in a wide variety of ways.)  As a boy, the elder Elbridge made the local papers at least twice.  In one incident, in 1833, the 18-year -old Elbridge and one of his brothers, probably Ambrose, Jr., investigated one of the numerous “giant sea serpent” sightings that had been claimed that season.  The young men reported that the “serpent” was actually an optical illusion caused by a pod of surfacing pilot whales.  The New Bedford Mercury hoped that this explanation would put its readers’ minds at rest.  Five years earlier Elbridge had also made local news when, as a 13 year old, he shot and successfully downed an eagle with a seven foot wing span on Baker’s Island.  The eagle was presented to the East India Museum in Salem.

The elder Elbridge was not only a harbor pilot, but a professional racing skipper as well.  Some of his greatest victories came aboard The Coquette, one of the most admired of the early American yachts.  She was low and graceful in the water, with a clipper bow much like the later famous racing yacht America.  In the 1840s yacht racing was in its infancy in the United States.  In 1844 the New York Yacht Club was formed by nine yacht-owners, and in 1846 the first official yacht race in America was sailed, twenty-five miles windward and back from the Sandy Hook lightship.  In this race The Coquette, skippered by Capt. Martin and owned by James H. Perkins, was matched against the centerboard sloop Maria.  The Maria was over twice as large and heavy as her competition, and heavily favored to win.   The Maria led The Coquette to the leeward mark, but coming up the beat the smaller ship found her stride.  The Coquette ended up beating her competition so badly that The Maria’s centerboard broke, and she was forced to limp home.  The Coquette’s victorious crew hoisted a broom to their ship’s masthead.  The Coquette would later beat both The Brenda and The Belle, and become an icon of early American yachting.

Perkins eventually sold The Coquette to Capt. Martin and fellow pilot Capt. Samuel Colby.  The pilots raised her bulwarks and made some adjustments to her deck plan, and she went onto serve as a pilot boat.  She gave over eighteen years of service in this capacity before being sold as a ‘Blackbirder’ on the African coast.

Shortly before the famous race between The Maria and The Coquette, Capt. Martin was the plaintiff/appellant in a case heard before the Supreme Court of Massachusetts.  The uncontested facts of the case were that as the brig Zephyr approached Boston Harbor, pilot E.G. Martin hailed the ship and requested permission to board.    The captain of the Zephyr replied that he would grant permission if the pilot would take the ship to Weymouth.  Martin countered that he would take the ship through Boston Harbor and then turn her over to a riverboat pilot.  The Zephyr’s captain offered to make a bargain, to which Capt. Martin replied “No.  I shall charge the Boston Harbor pilotage, whether you take me on board or not.”  The Zephyr’s captain said “We shall see about that.”

Capt. Martin sued for the fees that he had been denied.  The trial court found in favor of the defendant, reasoning that Boston Harbor pilots were only entitled to fees for ships bound for Boston.  On appeal, the Massachusetts Supreme Court rejected the trial court’s overly narrow interpretation of “Boston Harbor”.  The justices relied on over forty years of Boston Harbor custom.  They ruled that the statutes governing the harbor were written to increase safety.  It was impossible for a ship to get to Weymouth without passing through the harbor, and it was unsafe for a ship to pass through the harbor without a qualified pilot.  Capt. Martin was granted a new trial.

Elbridge G. Martin, Sr., died in September, 1873, at the age of 58 years old, the same age that his son, Elbridge G. Martin would die in 1902.  He is buried on The Old Burial Hill Cemetery in Marblehead, Massachusetts, which overlooks Marblehead Habor.

Thank you again for your email.  I hope that my response makes things a little clearer.  I think these stories are fascinating.  Have a great Thanksgiving and say “Hi” to everyone for me.

All the best, Adam

Thanksgiving (last)

Thanksgiving Day will be celebrated on Thursday 25th. Imagine you celebrated this day at home,
1)How would you decorate the table?

2)What would you prepare for dinner?

3)Whom would you invite?

4)What would you wear?

5)Would you do anything else for you guests?

One Man's Perspective: Captain Edward Bowen, Sr. (1720-1796)

I had the wind taken out of my sails this week.  I got a text from my brother Luke late Tuesday afternoon: “Text me quickly if you can.  Who is the most interesting person from the Revolutionary War era? (seeking book report topic)”.  Since Luke is long past the age of writing book reports I assumed, and rightly so, that he was making the request on behalf of his ten-year-old daughter.  The most interesting person from the revolutionary war era?  That is certainly a question for a far more esteemed historian than myself, or for a countdown show on The History Channel.  I knew I could come up with an interesting person from that era.  After all, I write a weekly blog on interesting people, some of who are from the era in question.  I had just finished reading the story of Moll Pitcher, the much-maligned fortune-teller of Lynn, Massachusetts.  I do not think that I am related to ol’ Moll, but I would much rather hear that story than the well worn tales of how the Father of Our Country had wooden teeth, or trying to remember whether if it was “One if by land, Two if by sea”, or the other way around.  I immediately texted back that I would be happy to put together a list of compelling figures that my niece, Lily, could choose from.

Before I could put this list down on paper I got another text from Luke.  Lily had chosen  (drum-roll, please) .  .  . Betsy Ross.  Betsy Ross!  I apologize to all of you Betsy Ross fans out there, but I cannot think of a less interesting Revolutionary War era figure.  But then again, the Betsy Ross story is a very easy one to tell.  George Washington asked her to sew a flag.  She sewed a flag.  The end.   It’s a feel good story without a hint of controversy or complication.  And about as intriguing as watching paint dry.  I hope that those of you who are taking the time to read this post find the following account at least slightly more entertaining.

Captain Edward Bowen, a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, was fifty-six years old at the start of the Revolution, and for the seventeen years from 1779 until his death in 1796, he kept a journal of his life in that coastal town.  One of his earliest journal entries is from January 23, 1779, which marked the birth of his ninth child.  My wife delivered a son whose name is to be Edward, who, if he should live, may remember that his father had no hand in the destraction (sic.) of his country, which was once the best for a poor man in the known world, but now the worst.”  I don’t know if  by destraction he meant “destruction” or “distraction”, but, either way, his frustration with the Revolution is clear.  The next week he writes of the source of much of this frustration.  After giving a list of prices of provisions.  Fine Liberty!  O, fine Liberty!  May they be punished.  The fishermen and sailors of Marblehead had suffered more than anyone under the tax regime of George III, but the war was economically devastating,  The formerly fertile fishing areas off the harbor had become the scene of pitched naval battles and the import-export trade had ground to halt.   By the spring of 1781 the local economy was in free-fall, and it took 100 of the newly issued American dollars to equal one Spanish mill dollar.  There was no meat available in the town, grain was scarce, and the heating fuel had barely lasted the winter.

Marblehead paid not only a heavy financial price, but a heavy price in terms in terms of young men seriously wounded or killed in battle.  On July 24, 1781, Capt. Bowen’s son William joined the army, much to elder Bowen’s consternation.  Many of Capt. Bowen’s diary entries deal with those who died during the war, including his son Benjamin who died in Barbados in 1779.  Capt. Bowen did not receive word of his son’s death until nearly two years after the event.  Closer to home the Marblehead privateers were able to significantly harass the British navy, but this did little to relieve the hardships suffered by the community.

Capt. Bowen wrote that the winter of 1779 and 1780 was the coldest of the century to that point.   That winter Salem and Marblehead harbors froze over with ice more than eight inches deep.  Two-thirds of the families in Marblehead were without meat or firewood.  Almost the entire Massachusetts fleet had been destroyed in a failed attack on the British in Penobscot Bay the previous summer and the rebellious Massachusetts colony was on the brink of financial ruin.  Capt. Bowen wrote often of his doubts about the revolutionary cause and his frustrations were many.  In the summer of 1881, Capt. Bowen’s brother Ashley was aboard a privateering ship that was captured by the British.

On April 13, 1783, news that peace had been declared reached Marblehead.  Within a few years the fishing and the international trade began to pick up, and Capt. Bowen wrote in his journal about ships and sailors setting out to and returning from ports including Bilboa Spain, Russia, the West Indies, the Carolinas, and Isle of Sables.  Capt. Bowen reported that the Christmas of 1787 was the most pleasant that anyone could remember.  The fishing that season had gone extremely well, but the market was extremely slow, perhaps on account of fears that the newly independent nation would be dragged into a war between Great Britain and France.  As 1787 became 1788 Capt. Bowen wrote:  Political conversation now seems to be most about the form of government.  Our State Convention meets at Boston the 8th of this month for the acceptance or refusal of the Constitution.  God grant they may be directed from above: may they have the good of the publick at heart.  As we have now begun a new year may we begin it to the Lord.  I have reason to fear there will be something uncommon come upon us this year.  May it not be our destruction.  On October 29, 1789, George Washington visited Salem and Marblehead and Capt. Bowen reported that there was “much ado.”

I know that Edward Bowen did not design or even sew the first flag of our nation, but I find the personal accounts of those who lived through the turbulent days that led to the new republic’s independence far more intriguing than the white-washed, plain vanilla propaganda that often passes as History.  I also know that I should not let the wind be taken out of my sails by a fifth grader's choice for a book report topic.

Captain Edward Bowen was my 5th great grand uncle

Adam Lowe Martin (son of) - Allen Lowe Martin - Allen Littlefield Martin - Frank L. Martin - Elbridge Gerry Martin, Jr. - Elbridge Gerry Martin, Sr. - Ambrose Bowen Martin - Elizabeth Bowen (daughter of) - Nathan Bowen, Sr. (father of) - Edward Bowen, Sr.

Thanksgiving II

Why are always there images of Indians, pilgrims and a turkey when representing Thanksgiving?

"The Champion of the Seas" : Samuel Clemmons Martin, Sr. (1817-after 1900)

 "The Champion of the Seas"

Samuel had been shipwrecked many times before, and had always been able to find aid, and often friendship, with the Islanders.  This group of natives, however, was clearly offended by the presence of Americans on their islands.  Samuel and his friends sprinted back to the small boats that had brought them to shore.  The natives were at their heels.  The Americans rigged the spirit sails as quickly as they could and set off.  There was a strong breeze blowing inland and the islanders, in their felucca-rigged crafts, were rapidly gaining on them.  Samuel turned to one of his companions and told him that he was going to try something that he had read in the Bible, and if that did not save them, nothing would.  Samuel lashed a six-gallon can of oil that the crew had on-board to the fore-rigging and then stuck a marlin spike in the bottom of the can. The oil began to slowly leak onto the sea.  The dories stiffened up and began to glide across the surface of the water, as though they were powered by steam, and the Americans made their escape.

For nearly five decades of the 19th Century, Samuel Clemmons Martin was either at sea or guiding ships into or out of Boston Harbor.  He was born in 1817 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and was destined to carry on his family’s nearly 200-year-old New England maritime legacy.

Samuel’s father, Captain Ambrose Martin, was a famous sea captain who would later man the lighthouse at Baker’s Island for over twenty-five years.  Samuel was literally brought up on the sea, and could manage a boat before he was in his teens.  At 17-years-old he signed onto a ship bound for Fiji.  This first voyage was a memorable one.  The ship that he was on was wrecked and he and several of his companions were cast ashore.  They lived amongst the Polynesian islanders for several months before they were taken aboard an English ship that touched there.  It took him nearly four years to return to Massachusetts, by which time all of his family and friends had given him up for dead.

Samuel stayed in Boston for a few months before returning to the sea.  Over his career he visited all of the major ports, and many of the smaller ports, of the world.  He was shipwrecked several times, and would lead a Robinson Crusoe-like existence while he waited to be rescued.  In the Ascension Islands he served as counselor to a native chieftain, and became a favorite of the chief and his courtiers.  Through his influence, Samuel was able to save the lives of several of his American companions.  The chief gave Samuel and his companions clothes made of leaves and straw, and appropriated their clothes to be used as official robes of state, and wore them on all occasions.  The chief gave the Americans a special honor guard and supplied them with servants from his own household.  When an English ship lighted on this island’s shores, and agreed to give the Americans transport, Captain Martin and his compatriots had to steal away.  Captain Martin would often say that he regretted that he had ever left the island.  When he returned, several years later, the chief held a great celebration in Captain Martin’s honor, offering him many gifts, including a nicely browned cut of human thigh.

In the late 1840’s Samuel Martin settled in Salem, Massachusetts and became a pilot in Salem Harbor, the same harbor in which he had learned to sail decades before.  This was not the end of his adventures, however.  Shipbuilding and seafaring traffic in Massachusetts’s harbors were at their height during this era, and the pilot ships were still powered by sail.  There were no tow-boats and the dredging and the survey of the harbor were by no means complete.  Tides were irregular and sand bars would form without warning.  Despite these challenges, Captain Martin’s record as a pilot remained one the cleanest in the history of the harbor.

A story is told of one trip up the harbor that Captain Martin made in the ship “Champion of the Seas.”  She was regarded by many as the finest vessel afloat and was launched in East Boston. She plied on the East Indies trade and toward the end of her career carried lumber. One night she arrived in the outer harbor, water logged, and Captain Martin was put aboard to bring her in.  She was in a dangerous condition, and he had an all-night fight to bring her to her dock.  His comrade who put him on the vessel said of the occurrence:  “When Martin climbed over the rail I did not think he would ever get her in: she was leaking badly and her hold was filled with water. But with his dogged persistence he beat her up, and worked all night with her, but finally tied her up and saved the ship.”

Samuel Clemmons Martin, Sr. was my 3rd Great Grand Uncle
Adam Lowe Martin (son of) – Allen Lowe Martin – Allen Littlefield Martin – Frank L. Martin – Elbridge Gerry Martin, Jr. – Elbridge Gerry Martin, Sr. – Capt. Ambrose Martin (father of) – Samuel Clemmons Martin, Sr.

Thanksgiving I

Let´s begin to prepare for Thanksgiving, this is the first set of questions you will have to answer, but please don´t just say "yes" or "no", explain yourself and use your imagination :)

1.What would the world be like if no one ever said "Thank you"?

2.Why is it important for people to give thanks?

3.Tell about a time when someone thanked you for something. How did you help them? How did you feel when they thanked you? How would you have felt if they hadn't said thank you?

4.Do you think it's important to express appreciation? Why or why not?

5.Brainstorm a list of things you are grateful for.

Eunice Sanborn, 114, Named World's Oldest Person

Eunice Sanborn, born 20 July 1896, has been named the world's oldest living person at age 114 years, 107 days as of 4 November 2010, upon the death of her predecessor Eugénie Blanchard, born 16 February 1896, and whose death finishes her life at 114 years, 261 days. There is an issue with her age, in which Sanborn claimed to have been born in 1895, which would make her 115; the Gerontology Research Group has, however, debunked her birth year as being 1896 based on census data and other records. Sanborn is, as of 6 November 2010, the 58th oldest person overall.
Click for a story from TylerPaper.com naming her as the world's oldest person.
Biography written on 21 July 2010:
Eunice Sanborn celebrated her 114th birthday yesterday, as the world's second-oldest person, with news coverage. Born in Louisiana on 20 July 1896, Sanborn became the second-oldest living person on 8 May 2010, following the death of 114-year, 38-day-old Florrie Baldwin. She also became the oldest living American on 6 April 2010, following the death of Neva Morris.
Sanborn, who currently lives at home with round-the-clock care in Jacksonville, Texas, became the 100th oldest person ever on 7 April 2010, currently sits at 77th place, and can expect to rise to 76th place in three days' time, when she passes Italian Virginia Dighero-Zolezzi, who died in 2005 aged 114 years, 4 days.
Sanborn, whose parents were Augustus and Varina Lyons, married in 1913, at the age of 17. Her husband at that time was killed in an accident. She remarried, and in 1937 moved to Texas and became the part-founder of Love's Lookout (now closed), also becoming the first to build a concrete-bottomed pond in Cherokee County at the time, along with her husband.

Eugénie Blanchard, World's Oldest, Dies at 114

Regrettably, Eugénie Blanchard, born 16 February 1896 and declared the world's oldest person on 2 May 2010 following the death of Japanese Kama Chinen one week before her 115th birthday, died early this morning on the French island of Saint Barthélemy today, 4 November 2010, at the age of 114 years, 261 days. She was the 33rd oldest person on record at the time of her death. The end of her 186-day reign as the world's oldest person leaves Eunice Sanborn, of Texas, US, as her successor, at age 114 years, 107 days.
Click for a report from BBC News. 
Here is a biography of her made on this blog several months before her death.
Eugénie Blanchard, shown above in a photo taken in 2010, is currently the world's oldest person since the death of Kama Chinen of Japan, on 2 May 2010.

A former nun, Blanchard was born in St. Barths of Merlet, France, on 16 February 1896. She is currently the oldest person ever from the island of Saint Barthélemy, which was legally a part of Guadeloupe, France, from 1878 to 2007, and is now part of an overseas collectivity of France.

Blanchard moved to Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles in 1929 at age 33, and became a nun there. Blanchard went back to St. Barths in 1956, when she was 60.She later moved to a retirement home in 1980, where she has been living since then.

Blanchard has been reported to enjoy the occasional glass of champagne now and then, especially after becoming the world's oldest person.

During her earlier life, Blanchard was nicknamed "Douchy" by the local children in her neighbourhood, as she used to give out sweets to the children and "douchy" means sweets or candy in Curaçao.

Blanchard has been almost blind and very, very weak since the age of 107, though for the rest, she is in physically good health.

Blanchard became the oldest person in France on 25 May 2008 at age 112, upon the death of Clémentine Solignac, who was aged 113 years, 261 days. Blanchard currently ranks as the 63rd oldest person ever and the 6th oldest French person ever.

On 2 May 2010, Kama Chinen died, at the age of 114 years, 357 days, and in the intervening period immediately after her death, Blanchard essentially became the new oldest living person. This was confirmed on 3 May, when she was found alive in her retirement centre. She was 114 years, 75 days old at the time of her succession, which is considered an extremely young age to be the World's Oldest Person. The last time this happened was in January 2007, when Yone Minagawa of Japan took the title at a mere 114 years, 25 days. (She later died in August 2007 at age 114 years, 221 days.)

Maker of The World's Most Expensive Whiskey: Henry Stratford Persse (1769-1833)

I saw Johnny Drama this past weekend.  He said that he enjoyed the blog post on The Leviathan of Parsonstown, but wondered why I haven’t written about what my forefathers, and foremothers, drank.  “I mean, was it beer? Was it wine?  What was it?”

Well, Johnny, I’m sure that their tastes varied, just as yours do.  But a few months back I did read an article about the most expensive bottle of whiskey ever put up for sale.  Arkwrights Whisky and Wines, a distributor based in Wiltshire, England, was offering a bottle of Persse’s 25 year Old Pure Pot Still Whiskey, (which is now actually over 100 years old) for a cool £100,000, or a little over $160,000, depending on the exchange rate.  Because of the toll that the current recession has taken on my personal finances I reluctantly had to forego buying the bottle and settle for $1 Natural Lights at Vinnie’s Raw Bar.  With the money that I have saved I can order an appetizer and desert.

This very expensive, and unsold, bottle of whiskey was one of the last produced by Persse’s Galway Whiskey, a distillery that was started by Henry Stratford Persse in 1815.  (This Henry Stratford Persse was the great-grandfather of the American Henry Stratford Persse whom I wrote about in September. ) The distillery operated throughout almost the entire 19th century and was the largest producer of Irish whiskey outside of Dublin.  For many decades it was Galway’s largest employer and it’s output was exported to England and throughout the British Empire.

Henry Stratford Persse’s first distillery was located in Newcastle, Galway, and was later moved to Nun’s Island, near the banks of the Corrib, between O’Brien’s bridge and the Salmon Weir bridge.  In the years before The Great Famine of the 1840s, the market towns of Galway, Loughrea and Tuam were well supplied with grain.  The local economy hummed along as the Nun’s Island distillery grew, and farmers and traders earned top commodity prices.

The distillery continued to expand and be the largest employer in Galway throughout The Famine, despite the ever-increasing competition from moon-shine producers and the hugely successful temperance campaign of Father Theobald Matthew.  In 1838 there 213,000 taverns in Ireland.  By 1860 there were only 22 taverns in the entire country. The 1860s, however, would be a period of huge expansion for Persse’s Whiskey.  The distillery, now run by Henry Straford Persse’s grandson Henry Sadlier Persse had long supplemented its income with beer production.  Henry Sadlier streamlined the physical plant’s operations and, in a marketing coup, hired Patrick McDermott, M.P. for Kilkenny, to act as a sales representative in England.  The Galway Whiskey was introduced into the House of Commons bar and Persse’s adopted the slogan “Favourite in the House Commons”, which it emblazoned on posters, jugs, mirrors and a West of Ireland travel guide.

The turn of the century, however, marked the end of production of Persse’s Galway Whiskey.  The three largest Dublin distillers had combined their efforts and improved rail networks meant the end of Persse’s virtual monopoly in the west of Ireland.  By this time Scotland had surpassed Ireland as the spirit of choice for overseas drinkers.  Whiskey consumption in Ireland continued to decline and knock-off brands continued to spring up.  In 1908 the Nun’s Island distillery closed its doors for the last time.  By 1921, and the creation of The Irish Free State, all of the Persses had left Galway.   The old Nun’s Island building still stands and The King’s Head Bar displays Persse Galway Whiskey mirror.  And if you are willing to pay over $5,000 for a shot, an English spirits merchant can arrange for you to taste some of the best 100 year old whiskey around.

Henry Stratford Persse was my 4x Great Grandfather

Adam Lowe Martin (son of) - Allen Lowe Martin - Margaret Persse (daughter of) - Edwin Theophilus Persse (son of) -  Dudley Persse - Theophilus Blakeney Persse - Henry Stratford Persse