Papers of the Continental Congress, compiled 1774 – 1789

This document from the National Archives describes the events of April 19, 1775 at Concord Bridge as testified by men of  Lexington, MA before the Continental Congress.  The men, including Abraham Garfield, testified that it was the British who first fired the “Shot heard around the world” and lead to the fighting that day and to the start of the armed rebellion of the Colonist against Great Britain.

Rediscovery #: 25395 12-A1-251 Mass State PapersRediscovery #: 25395 12-A1-251 Mass State Papers


For more information on the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the start of the American Revolution you can check out the following links:

Wikipedia:  Battles of Lexington and Concord

Minuteman National Park:  A Revolution begins – A Nation is born

Library of Congress:  Today in History – April 19


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New Records

Just a quick update on the site as I have been working on how to best display all the documents for each person.  I have settled on how I would like it, and I am working on figuring out how to make it work better.  For now you can see the progress by clicking here:  Individual Records.

Updates to the Garfields in America section have followed a similar design and you can check out the progress here:  Garfields in America.  If you have bookmarked to any of the old Garfields in America pages please update them to the new ones as I will be deleting the old pages in the future.  I will try to get back to my grandfather’s work of updating them when I can.

If you like what you see, please spread the word by using the share buttons and tell others about the site and our mission to document, research and preserve our history.

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Will of Edward Garfield

The will and inventory of Edward of Garfield of Watertown, MA, who came to America in 1630.  Edward was born in Hillmorton, Warwickshire, England the on the 28th of July, 1583 to Thomas and Agnes Garfield.  He had three brothers, Thomas, William and Henry and three sisters, Margaret, Sara and Elizabeth.

Although no passenger list exists to my knowledge it is widely held that Edward came over in the ship Arebella with Governor Winthrop as he is mentioned in family records of Isaac Stearns.  Edward was granted the rights of a Freeman on the 6th of May, 1635 as well as serving as Selectman and Constable for Watertown.

Edward married three times and had seven children, the first three being born in England and following their father over after his arrival.  He died on the 14th of June, 1672 and his will was probated on the 11th of July, 1672.

For more information on Edward Garfield and his family, you can check the Garfield’s in America section here:  Garfield’s in America.

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Eventually, all the wills and inventories I have will be put up in a PDF format on the website so you can view, zoom, save and print them as you like.  If you are looking for a particular will or inventory, you can email me and I will check to see if I have it in my files at



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United Brethren Church Document

This weeks document highlights a charter for a UB Church to be founded at Marvin in French Creek, NY.  Dated March 20th, 1897 it was found among documents given to my grandmother from her father’s (Albert Bayle) house.  It shows Isaac Garfield as a Trustee and lists four family members as donors:  Isaac Garfield (son of George Garfield), Henry Seldon Garfield (son of Isaac Garfield), Samuel K Bayle and William F. Bayle (son of Samuel K Bayle).  The church at Marvin was never built according to Historians in Clymer and French Creek, NY.  No church structure stands in the location mentioned today.

Charter for building a UB Church at Marvin, NY - Mar 20, 1897

You can view a PDF version of this file which will allow you to zoom in and save a copy here:  UB Church Charter

You can read more about the UB Church History here:  UB Church History

The UB Church Confession of Faith of 1815 as mentioned in the document can be found here:   UB Church Confession of Faith.

The UB Church Constitution of 1841 (revised in 1957) as mentioned in the document above can be found here:  UB Church Constitution

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Site News


I have added a new section in the Message Board for General Site Comments so that visitors can leave comments on what they think of the site, what they think can be improved and any requests for new features, research areas and media.  You can access the Message Boards here:  Garfield Message Boards.

You can sign in to the message board service in a number of ways; Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.  I created the boards as a place for fellow researchers to ask each other questions about their research.  You can use the General Section to introduce yourself and the areas of research you are interested in so others can connect.

In other news, I am working on trying to figure out the best way to display the massive amount of documents for each person in the easiest way possible.  Expect to see some trials coming over the next month in the Records section.  I will be starting with my line (the French Creek Garfields) as I have the most complete information to build the system around.  Next I plan to get the Presidential line and then go where I have the most available and complete information from there.

I am hoping next year to start again on the Garfields in America and integrate a family tree layout along with it.

I am looking for some researchers and family members that would like to send me stories, photos or bits of research to post on the blog.  This is everyones place to share and can be kept going only if I have content to post. If you would like to share please email me at  I will be trying to post a weekly “Document of the Week” on Mondays starting next week to highlight some of the documents I have collected.  A “Picture of the Week” entry could come along if enough people would like to share some family pictures with the Garfield community.

As you may have noticed, I do not limit the information to just the Garfield family, I will add any research I have or receive for related families as well and welcome researchers of those families to join in the discussions and contribute to our shared history.  So far you will find something on the following families: Bayle, Powers, Mahler and Spinks.

As a final note, I would ask anyone with old family photos, documents, stories to send copies along so I can add them to the story and preserve them on the site for future generations.  You can email your files to or if you are not able to digitize them we can discuss ways to get them copied in detail so that they can be properly displayed and preserved.

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