I accomplished a little in January, mostly organizational.  I continued to work away at organizing my Evernote notebooks, making it through 8 of the surname notebooks, and having 5 more to do.  I start the month of February working in the Salt notebook, which had been the repository for all other family names that were related.  Since I have decided to orgainze by the major lines that are related I am ending up needing to move a fair number of the notes to other notebooks, but I am renaming the notes as I go.  I’m also trying out Trello on my desktop to see if it helps me with my to-do lists, etc.

I did order and receive 2 DNA test kits from familytreedna while they were on sale in December, and I now have a Y DNA kit in the works for a Boothby cousin.  The other is an autosomal kit and I am working to pursuade a Salt cousin to take it.  I haven’t decided who else I might try to use it for if she decides not to do it.  On the Denman DNA front I need to make a list of all the Denman males in my line who are still alive.  This will give me options for my on-going quest to discover what our relationship is to the two Denman cousins I have discovered.

In February I will acquire the William Boorman will from England (the National Archives), and any other Denman wills I can find there.

At the very end of December I was contacted by the new owner of the old Salt house in Clermont county, Ohio.  I had known that it was up for sale again but didn’t know it had been purchased.  The man who found me is interested in local history and we have been corresponding via email.  This has distracted me, and focused some of my research attention onto the Salt family as I search for deeds and wills and pictures.  This is very likely to continue into February and encourages me to organize the Salt files so I know where everything is.  It is an unfortunate failing of mine that I have various papers and pictures that I have gotten at earlier periods of my life and I know I have them but cannot easily find them when I want to.  So that is a related organizational goal for 2016.

25 x 25 calendarFor October, I want to report that I tried and really liked the 25 x 25 challenge I set for myself at the beginning of the month.  I found the tracking calendar that is at Don’t Break the Chain (you can see what mine looks like today – when I’ve done today’s 25 minutes I will have completed 21 days in a a row!) and between the reward of checking date boxes off and using my 25 minute timer on the computer I was able to get almost all of both wills transcribed.  I successfully completed the transcription of the William Denman will and have given a copy to the Suffolk Family History Group.  This local society keeps a will store of such documents and makes them available to members.  I have almost finished the Michael Marten will as well, having only a few places left where I am having trouble deciphering the handwriting (or don’t know the term being used).  I may elicit the aid of the volunteer at the Suffolk Family History Group who maintains the will store presently for these last bits.

I haven’t done as well on adding the information from my Salt Lake City trip to Evernote.  I have several pages of names and microfilms I looked at that I still need to add to Evernote so I have a research log of sorts to tell what I looked at and whether I found anything.  I realize that negative findings (looking and not finding) are important, so I need to do this.  I plan to do another 25 x 25 challenge in November to work on this specific project.

The other project I have started and hope to finish in November (maybe in time for Veterans Day) is tracking down any Salt relatives who might have served in World War I.  I am in the middle of locating all the registration cards as my first step, and looking for both WWI and WWII for each person.  In creating the list for this I learned how to use RootsMagic to limit a report to give me just people born in the right time period and with the Salt last name.

My father, like some others with the Salt surname, wanted to believe that he was related to Sir Titus Salt.  In my father’s case I think he was attracted not merely to the title of this Englishman, but to his history as a businessman and builder of a relatively enlightened community for his employees.  My father, educated at Antioch College, was very interested in co-operative and other innovative work settings.

He got more interested in the family name as he got older – as is true for many people.  He had been raised on family stories, but mostly not stories about his Salt family.  However, that was the name of his father, and the name he carried, and the name he was passing to his sons (not to mention his daughters), and so he was interested.


By Illustration from Harper’s Monthly, vol. 44, 1872. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Titus Salt (1803-1876) was an industrialist, a manufacturer of textiles in Yorkshire, England.  He eventually built a mill and then a model village, named Saltaire, in Yorkshire near Shipley.  He was also an MP and held a variety of civic offices.  He was created a Baronet in 1869.

Unfortunately, it is not at all certain that Titus was related to our Salt family, and he was certainly not a direct ancestor.  Our Salt progenitor, Edward, was in Virginia before the American Revolution and likely born sometime between about 1750 and 1760.  While the family myth does include the possibility that he was from someplace in Yorkshire, there is no evidence of his birth or his parentage as of yet.  By these tokens (and by his birth date of 1803) Titus could only be a collateral relative and the common ancestor would have been probably 2 generations back at least.  I wish I knew.

Despite there being a number of books, pamphlets, and other resources that give information about Titus Salt, there is only a little to be found (at least at a distance) about his family origins.  His father was Daniel Salt and his mother Grace Smythies.  Titus was born in 1803 in Morley, Yorkshire, England.1  Daniel and Grace (both born about 1781) were married in July 1802 so Titus was their first child.2  Daniel and Grace went on to have at least five other children, only one of whom was another son.  They seem to have gone back and forth between Church of England and non-conformist or independent churches, with the children showing christenings in several different places.

Daniel was probably born in 1780 or 1781, to a Titus Salt.  There is a christening in Leeds, Yorkshire, in 1781 that is likely to be him.3  His father, Titus, is harder to follow but seems to have married more than once and to have died in 1804 in Hunslet and to have been buried at St. Peter’s in Leeds, Yorkshire, England.   This Titus, reported variously by family trees online to have been born between 1724 and 1750, would be about the right generation to have been a sibling or cousin of my ancestor Edward.  However, so far there is no sighting of any siblings or parents for this Titus.  There is a will for this Titus, which is held at the National Archives at Kew that I have not yet seen.

The later-Sir Titus and his father worked together in textile manufacturing for a brief time, and then Titus moved out on his own.  He was reportedly a very private man about his personal life and most of what has been written about him is related to his development of textile manufacturing and his creation of the model village of Saltaire between 1850-1871.  Saltaire was designed by architects and laid out to include the basic necessities of life.  It was “on the River Aire about three miles from Bradford, on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, and below the traditional recreational area for Bradford people, Shipley Glen.” 4

The village of Saltaire in Yorkshire has been thought to be the namesake of Saltair in Clermont county, Ohio where our Salt family line settled and built a large house.  This is another family myth I think.  I don’t know when Saltair in Ohio was named but the house was finished in about 1825 or so, long before Titus Salt had built his village.


  1. “England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FWLR-YH3 : accessed 15 May 2015), Tittus Salt, 09 Nov 1803, Baptism; citing p. 138, Morley, Yorkshire, record group RG4, Public Record Office, London.
  2. “England Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NXZF-24S : accessed 15 May 2015), Daniel Salt and Grace Smithies, 02 Jul 1802; citing , reference ; FHL microfilm 1,470,313.
  3. “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” index,  FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N562-8X6 : accessed 15 May 2015), Daniel Salt, 26 Jul 1781; citing SAINT PETER,LEEDS,YORK,ENGLAND, reference ; FHL microfilm 918,375.
  4. Reynolds, Jack.  1976.  Saltaire. An Introduction to the Village of Sir Titus Salt.  City of Bradford Metropolitan Council Art Galleries and Museums.

snow Jan 2015Lots of snow here in Massachusetts, keeping me indoors even more than the cold does, and therefore I am more likely to be doing something genealogical.  I have been working on one of my small projects and started another which is bigger than I had originally thought (isn’t it always the way?).

I have been filling in a spreadsheet of my direct Salt ancestors with their vital information (dates for birth, death, etc.) and marking those which I have good sources for.  I continue to be surprised at the close-to-me ancestors (like my maternal grandfather for example) for whom I have no good source for birth.  Since he was born in 1896 in Ohio, I would expect that there should be a birth registry for the county but so far I have had no luck finding it.  Come on, familysearch.org!!  As part of the spreadsheet I am also tracking what records have been entered in Clooz which is where I want to track documents and sourcesalt vitals sheets.  Green in a cell shows I have documentation (or it is a “yes”) and red shows I still have work to do.  I already see too many red cells, but it makes it easier to see what work I have to do.  As soon as I finish filling in the spreadsheet I will go back and start entering the rest in Clooz and work on creating a list or spreadsheet of what I need to look for and where.

I also have started on a new family tree for a wedding in the spring.  One of our nephews is marrying and I want to create a family tree for the newly created family as a wedding present.  I did something like this last summer for another nephew and had a lot of fun.  Likewise, this time around is being fun and I am both learning more about the two families but also about an unsuspected connection between the bride and one of my mother’s family lines.  In addition, one of the delightful benefits to doing this sort of project is meeting and interacting with the bride’s mother (so far in cyberspace) and discovering that she too is the family historian.  Small world sometimes.  I will be working more on this project in February and looking forward to many more exciting discoveries.

My last goals for February include finalizing the transcript I have drafted of the will of William Denman made in 1738 originally, which I found at The Keep in September.  I will also start work, and hopefully finish, transcribing the other will I found.  This one is for Michael Marten and connects him to a William Denman and a Samuel Denman both of whom are described as sons in law.  If I can find the direct link, this William would be the father of my migrant ancestor William Denman.  So I’m excited to get this will transcribed.

It has been a long time since I looked at or wrote anything about my Salt emigrant ancestor, so I thought it was about time to put it out there again.  In the hopes that somebody who reads this might have new information to provide, I am listing my brick wall ancestor Edward Salt and what I think I know, or want to know, about him.

What I Think I Know about Edward Salt(s):

Grant to Edward Salts, Berkeley County, Virginia, 1781

* in 1781 he was granted land in Berkeley county, Virginia by Thomas, Lord Fairfax, and was named as being “of Berkeley County”.

* in 1790 for the first federal census there was an Edward Salts enumerated in western Pennsylvania (Georges Township, Fayette, Pennsylvania).  I have always assumed (and yes, I should know better!) that this is my ancestor.  Even though the list of individuals in the household is missing one of the females who should have been there, I did not question that this was my guy.  And of course, this first census only counted males by two age groups and all females in one group.   Now, there may be explanations for a missing female in the count, but it is also possible as I have been told since I first wrote my original posting about him, that this is the Other Edward Salts who later moved to southern Ohio but a couple of counties away from my family’s location.

* he was given a certificate acknowledging his having provided goods/services in the American Revolution in Virginia.

*1793-95 – Edward Salt was on tax lists in Bourbon county, Kentucky

* Innocent Salt, one of the daughters, listed her father Edward when she married William Frazier in Bourbon county, Kentucky in 1794. [Was she a minor at that point, and so needed permission to marry?]

* in 1797 daughter Nellie married John Wharton in Mason county, Kentucky

* in 1798 Edward Salt had 4 land transactions listed in Bracken county, Kentucky

* he was listed (as Edward Salts) on a tax list for Bracken county, Kentucky, dated 22 Nov 1799. [Does this mean he owned land in Bracken county on that date?]

* in the July 1813 term of the Clermont county Common Pleas Court Edward Salts was granted a license to keep a ferry for one year

* in 1813 his estate was administered in Clermont county, Ohio. [He died intestate and John and Edward Salt were listed as administrators.  He owned land in Nicholas county, Kentucky which passed to his 5 children.]

* John and Edward Salt were listed on the estate papers of Edward Salt.

What I Still Want To Know:

* who were Edward Salt’s parents and siblings?

* when and where was he born?

* who did he marry, and when and where?  [Was his wife really Irish and that was a problem because he was English?]

* when (and from where) did he migrate to the Colonies (and was he first in Virginia or someplace else)?

* was he related to the Thomas Salts who was in the same part of Virginia about the same time? [Edward’s name has been listed in various places as Edward Salts as has one of his sons, John. One of our cousins called the family Salts. Another cousin’s line took to spelling the name Sault. It seems that most of the family lines have settled on Salt since at least the time of my great grandfather.]

* who were his children and when were they born? [I have a list of 5 children – 2 sons and 3 daughters – with approximated birthdates, and each of them at some point listed Virginia as place of birth on a census. These names were in a manuscript compiled by relatives, probably first in the early 1900s. I am not sure where these names came from originally but they are listed in a number of places now as the children of Edward and Mary Salt(s).]

Family Myths:

* he was born in Birmingham, Yorkshire, England [which cannot be, because Birmingham is in the West Midlands] or in Berkshire, England

* he married an Irish woman and that unappreciated marriage led to his needing to migrate to the Colonies (he was disowned)

* he served in the American Revolution and was awarded land in the Virginia Military District in Ohio as a result [he did, apparently, provide goods/services, and son John bought the rights to land from a soldier]

* he migrated from Suffolk County, Virginia to Crab Orchard or Paris, Kentucky in 1790

* he built the first cabin in Franklin Township [Clermont County, Ohio] about 1796