Monday, February 16, 2015

George L. Wyman ~ “A Hard Character”

The Manchester Weekly Times, Manchester, New Hampshire, October 1, 1881

--- George L. Wyman, who stole a quantity of steam fire engine castings from the Amoskeag Company about six years ago, and who was tracked by David Perkins after his appointment as detective for the company, was sentenced Thursday forenoon in the Supreme Court at Nashua to a fine of $50 and costs, and to six month in jail.  Wyman has been a hard character, and has led a life of crime.

I saw this newsclipping and I was intrigued by several things.  First of all, it was fun to imagine a detective in the 1880s tracking down this thief, before the technology we have today.  Also, the name WYMAN, which is in my family tree, is what made me stop and read this story.  Most New England Wymans are all descended from Francis Wyman (1621 - 1684) of Woburn, Massachusetts.  I wondered if this George was a cousin to me through Francis Wyman?  Also, The Amoskeag Company was famous for their fire engines in the 1800s and early 1900s.  I just saw a fine example in Exeter at the Fire Museum, and another on display at the Manchester Historic Association’s Millyard Museum.  I knew I wanted to investigate this Black Sheep Wyman, just like the detective mentioned in the news clipping. 

I didn't know what a tangled knot I was going to find! 

I turned to Google to see what I could find on George L. Wyman.  The first thing that popped up  at Google books was a list of paupers from the city of Manchester, New Hampshire in this book:  Thirty-Fourth Annual Report of the Receipts and Expenditures of the City of Manchester for the Fiscal Year ending December 31,1879, Manchester, NH: Printed by John B. Clarke, 1880.  In the year 1874 George L. Wyman was given $2.46 in poor relief.  In 1875 he received $3.22, in 1876 he received $2.62.  Also in this book a Peter Gaines was paid $1 to furnish wood to Sarah Wyman (page 223), and Hardy & Putnam were paid $89.43 to furnish groceries to Sarah Wyman (page 220).   Who was Sarah Wyman?

In the NH Death records I found a George L. Wyman, d. 23 Feb 1912 at 752 Elm Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, age 70 years, 3 months, born in Goffstown, New Hampshire in November 1841, divorced, cause of death- natural causes, alcoholism probable, father Edward Wyman and mother Mary Loomis.  From here I was able to look for more information on George in the vital records, and filled out the genealogy you can find below.  I found his wife (the Sarah Wyman from the poor records), daughters, marriages and lots of other New Hampshire vital records pertaining to this family at

1870 US Federal Census, Manchester, New Hampshire, George L  (age 29) and Sarah J. Wyman (age 28) are living in the household of Edward and Mary Wyman.  George is listed as a teamster. His brother Edward A. (age 26), working in a print shop, is listed there as well.  Remember this fact – see below!

In the 1880 census, Sarah J. Wyman is listed at 31 Granite Street in Manchester,  as the head of the household, no husband, age 37, with five daughters, and a boarder named Charles Loomis, age 22 (a possible cousin?).   I couldn’t find George L. Wyman in the 1880 census, but in 1900 he was listed in the census as living in Goffstown,  age 60,  as a prisoner at the state prison.  Jailed again for some unknown offense!   In the 1910 census he was listed as a boarder at 788 Elm Street in Manchester, working as an engineer doing “contract-work”.  He was dead two years later.

Since I was having good luck with online resources, I also tried Fold3  whereI found George L. Wyman listed as a private in the Civil War, from Nashua, New Hampshire, enlisted on 9 August 1861, age 21, in Company F of the 4th New Hampshire Infantry.  He was discharged on 23 August 1864.  On 29 March 1894 he applied for an invalid pension.   

Last I checked Genealogy Bank and I found a divorce granted in Nashua, New Hampshire to Sarah J. Wyman from George L. Wyman listed in the New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette (Concord, NH), Thursday, October 14, 1880, page 3.   Unfortunately, I didn’t find any more news stories on the theft or the arrest and sentencing of George L. Wyman, for either offense (1881 or whatever put him in prison in the 1900 census).

As a Wyman descendant, and a member of the Wyman Family Association I had the rest of George L. Wyman's lineage back to the 1500s in my data base.  The family database, newsletters and books helped me to piece this lineage together many years ago, and the search I had done on George L. Wyman fit right in!  This Wyman family originated when Francis Wyman (1621 - 1684) came to America and settled in Woburn, Massachusetts.  His house, built in 1666, still stands and is the site of an annual Wyman family reunion every autumn.  

The Wyman Genealogy:

Generation 1:   Francis Wyman, was born 1594 in Westmill, Hertfordshire, England, died about 15 September 1658 in Westmill; married on 1 May 1617 in Westmill to Elizabeth Richardson, daughter of Thomas Richardson and Katherine Duxford.  These are my 10th great grandparents.

Generation 2: John Wyman, son of Francis Wyman and Elizabeth Richardson, was born 1621 in Westmill, Hertfordshire, England, died 9 May 1684 in Woburn; married on 5 November 1644 in Woburn to Sarah Nutt, daughter of Miles Nutt and Sarah Bronson.  She was born about 1624 in Barking, Suffolk, England and died 24 May 1688 in Woburn.  Ten children.   John Wyman was my 9th great uncle, and I descend from his brother, Francis Wyman (1617 – 1699), who also immigrated to Woburn, Massachusetts from Westmill in England.

Generation 3: Seth Wyman, son of John Wyman and Sarah Nutt, was born 3 August 1663 in Woburn, died 26 October 1715 in Woburn; married on 17 December 1685 in Woburn to Esther Johnson, daughter of William Johnson and Esther Wiswall.  She was born 13 April 1662 in Woburn, and died 31 March 1742 in Woburn.

Generation 4: Seth Wyman, son of Seth Wyman and Esther Johnson, was born 13 September 1686 in Woburn, died 5 September 1725 in Woburn; married on 26 January 1715 in Billerica to Sarah Ross.  She was born 7 October 1694 and died 26 November 1727.

Generation 5: Seth Wyman, son of Seth Wyman and Sarah Ross, was born in 1719, died 19 November 1749 in Arlington, Massachusetts; married on 4 July 1744 in Woburn to Ruth Wright.

Generation 6: Seth Wyman, son of Seth Wyman and Ruth Wright, was born 17 February 1750 in Woburn, Massachusetts, died 11 April 1825 in Goffstown; married three times to Sarah Atwood,  Sarah Wright and Ruth Belknap.

Generation 7: Seth Wyman, son of Seth Wyman and Sarah Atwood, born 4 March 1784 in Goffstown, died 2 April 1843; married on 16 December 1808 in Skowhegan, Maine to Wealthy Loomis, Daughter of Dyer Loomis and Esther Johnson. 

Generation 8: Edward Wyman married on 6 January 1840 in Manchester, New Hampshire to Mary Loomis, daughter of George Loomis and Martha French.  She was born 16 January 1819 in Skowhegan, Maine, and was Edward’s first cousin (George Loomis was the son of Dyer Loomis and Esther Johnson).   Seven children.   Just by coincidence, Mary Loomis is my 6th cousin 5 generations removed because we are both descendants of the immigrants Joseph Loomis (about 1590 – 1658) and Mary White (1590 – 1652) who settled in Windsor, Connecticut.

Generation 9: George Lewis Wyman, born November 1840 in Goffstown, New Hampshire, died 23 February 1912 in Manchester, New Hampshire, married to Sarah Jane Lyman, five children born in Manchester.   According to the NH Vital Records, on 19 April 1885 she remarried to Edward A. WYMAN , printer, (George’s brother) in Manchester!   She died 31 October 1926 in New Hampshire.  This makes the two Wyman brothers, both husbands of Sarah Jane Lyman,  my 7th cousins 4 generations removed. 

Children of George Lewis Wyman and Sarah Jane Lyman:

1. Ida Wealthy Wyman, born 15 March 1861; married first to Wardner Jefferson Jones; married second 21 April 1908 to Jason Albert Phillips
2. Mary Pattee Wyman died 19 October 1947; married first on 23 March 1888 to Herbert Danford; married second on 25 April 1893 in Manchester to John Thomas. Interestingly, this marriage record did not list George L. Wyman as the father, the father was left blank (note below how another sister spurned George and named Edwin as her father on her marriage record).
3. Caroline E. Wyman, born 1868, died 12 June 1945 and buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Manchester; married Arthur Leroy Holt on 3 July 1888.  
4. Sarah Aurilla Wyman, born 1871, married on 15 August 1892 to  Joseph Frank George; married second on 28 August 1926 in Francestown, New Hampshire to Frank Edson Chandler.
5. Anna Lillice Wyman born 1 September 1875 married on 2 September 1893 in Manchester to Emile G. Dirtsch.  Edwin A. Wyman is listed as the father on the marriage.
6. Nellie Wyman,  born after 1876, no further information.

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Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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