Mystery Solved! by Steve Gosselin


Recently on a snowy December day when there wasn’t much going on, I went through my box of tool projects. It’s a box of incomplete, unloved, and sometime interesting tools. Some of the tools end up there on Sunday evening after a meeting because I don’t have time mess with them .That day I pulled out a wooden ship builders bevel ,user made , out of Mahogany I think. What interested me in the first place was the tool was signed in two places with the name, Alpheus H. Brooks Elliot. It was in ink done with a neat cursive writing. Who was so proud of this tool he had to sign it twice?

I typed the name into the computer and pressed enter. I was greeted with several Brooks Elliot’s as well as the” Elliot “Scottish web site. Elliot is a big clan I guess. No mention of an Alpheus though. I tried Alpheus by its self, no luck. Finally after many combinations I tried ‘Alpheus H. Brooks’ and was rewarded for my efforts. I was able to find an ’Alpheus H. Brooks’, born in 1810, and he was listed in the 1850 census as a carpenter living in Eliot, Maine, married with two children. I contacted the Eliot historic society and found out that in the early years many people spelled the town name Elliot as well as Eliot (the correct spelling).   I also learned the in 1860 census listed Alpheus as a ships carpenter. Eliot is across the river from Portsmouth, New Hampshire and at that time was a busy ship building center.   By the 1870 census, Alpheus had remarried, having lost his first wife, and he and his son, Alpheus B. Brooks were both listed as ships carpenters.

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