I have made some progress lately, and found just a bit more about the elusive William, but when I think about how many years I’ve been doing this, and how little I’ve accomplished with the Ela/Healey line, it’s sometimes discouraging. I guess that’s an “occupational hazard” with genealogy.
Those of you who have visited this site before, may have noticed that I’ve made some changes to some of the pages, and have also added some actual family photos to the photo page. I would dearly love to add more, so if any of you have photos, family bible pages, or anything of interest to our Ela family, please scan them, and send them along. I promise to post them promptly.
The most significant finding that I’ve made, is that I’m now 99.9% sure that our name was originally “Healey”. It’s almost for sure that William used the name ‘Healey’, and his children, when applying for a pension for his service during the War of 1812, also used the name ‘Healey’. As far as I can tell, the first one to use ‘Ela’ consistently, was John, even though he is identified as John Healey on William’s pension application. The application was made in 1821, and John would have been only around 15 or 16; and his sisters, Sally and Mehitable, would probably have been even younger. Since the application was made by them, and not his widow, it leads me to wonder if Lydia might have passed away prior to 1821. There are no census records for 1820 for Conway, NH, so no way to corroborate this theory.
I’ve yet to find anything solid about Lydia Ordway. The Town Records of Conway, clearly state that she and William were married in 1795, but there is nothing else. There is an entry showing the marriage of Lydia Ordway to a Charles Hackett, prior to the marriage of Lydia and William, but I’m inclined to think that that may have been another Lydia. The birth date that I have for Lydia – 1754 – would make her considerably older than William, which makes me question if that’s the ‘right’ Lydia. ‘Lydia’ was quite a popular name around that time, and the Ordways were a large family, so it’s not impossible that there were several Lydia Ordways living around the same time, in the same general geographical location.
I wish that there were other members of the family who would be interested in doing family research. My cousins on my father’s side don’t seem to have the slightest interest, even in reading about the family history, never mind contributing to the effort.
I know that a lot of descendents of the ‘Haverhill Elas’ have found their way to this site, so I have uploaded a copy of the Israel Ela genealogy, and made a link to it on the “History” page on this site. I hope it will prove useful to you.
My intentions are to provide more frequent updates to the site, and not let such a long period of time pass with no additions. I enjoy hearing from those of you who write, and I try to answer all questions.