Tag Archives: Ralph E. Handy

my Revolutionary War ancestor


The following is the text of an email of mine to a friend today.

— Roger W. Smith, April 18, 2017



Scott —

My mother’s ancestral link to the Revolutionary War did not go back far.

Her great-great grandfather William Handy was a Revolutionary War soldier.

The line of descent:

Elinor Handy Smith, my mother (1918-1973)

her father Ralph E. Handy (1893-1947)

her grandfather Henry T. Handy (whaler; 1845-1916)

her great-grandfather Joshua Handy (1813-1887)

her great-great grandfather William Handy (1762-1852); the Revolutionary War soldier

All of the above named Handy males, with the exception of my mother’s father, were mariners. They all lived on Cape Cod.

William Handy joined the Continental Army in June 1780, when he was just shy of age 18. He enlisted in Massachusetts. Records indicate that during his service he was in New York state and New Jersey.

Roger W. Smith, “The Importance of Memory”


I am beginning, as I grow older, to be more aware of mortality.

I feel a compulsion to record and share things like memories that come to me all of a sudden, that often pop into my head through association when I am writing, or which occur to me when I am out walking.

This brings to mind an observation which my mother, Elinor Handy Smith, once made to me.

It was something that her father, Ralph E. Handy, said to her — that, as regards the question of immortality, maybe it’s hard to believe in it from a religious point of view, but we can say with certainty that people do live on in our memories.

In recording things about my family and friends, I am doing so, not only in the hope that it will prove of general interest, but that it will be preserved for posterity. After all, all we have left of departed ones is our memories.

If my father once made to me a comment about Beethoven or Mozart (which he did), told me he read all of War and Peace one summer (which he did), when my mother told me about her favorite novel and favorite symphony and about the books she loved as a child, I regard these as priceless memories.

It seems so often that this is true of the details, especially — that preserving memories in as much detail as we can is of great value.

Because I remember such things, because they reveal something about and are part of my personal history, I am hoping that, maybe if I write them down and share them with others — such as my children or other survivors — they will be enabled to read, learn, and remember.

And perhaps they just might enjoy it.


— Roger W. Smith

      January 2016



Edward Marshall Hart (1853-1907) and Elizabeth Frances (Hewins) Hart (1859-1925)


Below is a downloadable Word document comprising a genealogical report about Edward Marshall Hart (1853-1907), his wife Elizabeth Frances (Hewins) Hart (1859-1925), and their family. They were my mother’s maternal grandparents.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   November 2015



Henry Thomas Handy (1845-1916) of Cataumet, MA





Posted below as a downloadable Word document is an article about my mother’s paternal grandfather Henry Thomas Handy (1845-1916).


— posted  by Roger W. Smith

   November 2015



Ancestral connection between spouses: Ralph Ellis Handy (1893-1947) and Annie Congdon (Hart) Handy (1894-1972)




Posted above as a downloadable Word document is a brief article discussing the fact that my maternal grandparents  Ralph Ellis Handy (1893-1947) and Annie Congdon (Hart) Handy (1894-1972) had a common ancestor.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   November 2015