Telling a Bangor Daily News reporter last week about swimming to safety after his lobster boat sank off Harpswell, 90-year-old Philip Tuttle recalled thinking, “I’ve gotta get to that next rock.”

Another thought that came to him, wrote reporter Beth Brogan, was “It’s not my time. I’ve got to get ashore, and they’ll find me.”

He did, and they did, and it warmed my heart to see Philip Tuttle’s photograph by Troy Bennett on page 1 of the June 12 edition of the BDN.

Surprised that the 90-year-old made it to safety? Not me, and not BDN reader Mike Gleason, either.

Above the picture of Tuttle, the BDN ran a photo taken by his son, Stewart, of the lobster boat Queen Tut, by then sitting tipped over in the shallows in Harpswell.

Those of us with Tuttle ancestry thought right away of a little ship that none of us has actually seen — the Angel Gabriel, which survived a huge storm on Aug. 15, 1635.

Mike Gleason emails me every year to remind me of the anniversary of the storm and the passengers who arrived on the Angel Gabriel.

He wrote a few years ago, “It was on this date in 1635 that the vessel Angel Gabriel was taken by a severe storm and shipwrecked on the coast of Maine at Pemaquid, shortly after our ancestor (my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather), John Tuttle, (born in Sulgrave, Banburyshire, England, circa 1610) disembarked with the other passengers and went ashore.

Other passengers on the ship included 10 Cogswells, two Burnhams, three Blaesdells, three Baileys, a Haines, a Furber and a Mather (the ancestor of Rev. Cotton Mather).”

In 1642, according to the “Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire” by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby and Walter Goodwin Davis, John Tuttle was living on 20 acres of land on Dover Neck in Dover, New Hampshire.

This is just a guess, but I’m thinking Philip Tuttle is not descended from another Angel Gabriel passenger, John Bailey, (who also is one of my ancestors). Bailey was so traumatized by the storm and the shipwreck that when he wrote his wife back in England about it, she decided to stay on her side of the ocean.

Having been a reporter and editor for a total of 24 years, I don’t put signs on my lawn or bumper stickers on my car, nor do I sign petitions. I did attend a recent Bangor City Council budget workshop to urge councilors to reconsider a possible deep cut to funds allocated to Bangor Public Library. (They took an unofficial vote to put back about 88 percent of the cut that evening. The official vote on the budget is expected to take place on June 24.)

For many years, I have passed on to the library some of the review copies of genealogy and local history books that have been sent or given to Family Ties, knowing that Bangor Public Library’s high use by genealogists would put such volumes where they would be available to all who are interested. As I figure out which of my own books will be kept by my children and grandchildren, there will certainly be more which will be offered first to Bangor Public Library.

Penobscot County Genealogical Society, which meets monthly at the library, purchases several genealogy books each year for the facility in consultation with Special Collections librarian Bill Cook in the Bangor Room, which houses largely New England resources.

On Tuesday, Bangor voters will see on their ballots a referendum question to approve a bond to fund a new roof for this facility, which is a priceless resource for all ages. Bangor Public Library has countless resources which are irreplaceable. The new roof will help protect them.

Speaking of resources and local history librarians, Betsy Paradis is both. Paradis will speak on “Researching Genealogy on the Internet” at the next meeting of Penobscot County Genealogical Society at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, in the Lecture Hall on the third floor of Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St.

I first met Betsy Paradis at Belfast Free Library, where she works with a wonderful collection of local history books. Her talk here in Bangor will be a tremendous opportunity for those of us who want to know more about researching on the Internet.

Corinth Historical Society Museum is open 2-7 p.m. Wednesdays at 306 Main St. in Corinth until fall. There are many genealogical resources available to visitors and researchers at the museum. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

Mark Saturday, Sept. 21, on your calendar to attend the fall meeting of the Maine Genealogical Society at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer. The keynote speaker will be Laura Prescott, a professional genealogist who worked for several years at New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. More about this event next week.

For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email

Roxanne Moore Saucier

Family Ties columnist