Search Hints

Searches
When you enter a keyword the database is searched for that exact word and will provide you with a list of every record containing that exact word.  One letter different will make a huge difference in your results.  For example: Postcard vs. Postcards.  About two dozen records contain the word “postcards.”  About 700 records contain the word “postcard.”

Broader Searches
To broaden your search add an * to the end of the word and your results will contain words that are similar to your keyword.  For example:  farm* – will give you results for farm, farms, farmer, etc.

Narrowing Searches
Place quotation marks around a phrase to search for that exact phrase in the database.  For example:  “Little Compton Chair”

Spelling Issues
Several keywords related to Little Compton have various spellings.

The Wilbor Name
The Wilbor name comes from the English Spelling of “Wildbore.”  The first Wilbor emigrant to America was Samuel, who settled in Boston.  His signature appears on a 1638 document as “Samuel Wilbore.”  Samuel’s sons also used this spelling but succeeding generations have modified the spelling for unknown reasons.  Some of spellings currently in use are: Wilbar, Wilbor, Wilbore, Willbur, Wilbour, and, most frequently, Wilbur and Wilber.

The spelling seems to depend on the location of the family’s ancestors.  For example, Rhode Island branches uses Wilbour or Wilbor while the Massachusetts branch tends to use Wilbur. Regardless of the spelling, all are descendents of Samuel Wildbore and his sons.

How do you spell Sakonnet?
Native Americans did not have a written language or alphabet and made limited use of symbols.  English settlers used Indian names for locations or gave the place an entirely unrelated English name. The sounds of their language echo through Little Compton place names: Quoquonset, Nonquit, Nanaquaket, Tunipus, Acoaxit, and, not least, Sakonnet, their word for the area, from which they took their own name.  Soken-et translates from the Algonquin tongue set down in Roger Williams’ famous dictionary as “place where the water pours forth.”  It’s an apt description for the wavy, wind-blown mouth of the Sakonnet Passage, where a powerful thrust of ocean tides control shores as far inland as Mount Hope Bay, and beyond.

In the 19th century, when the meanings of Indian languages were lost, writers and historians associated Sakonnet with wet swampy areas where wild geese were hunted.  This became the romantic description “Haunt of the Wild Goose.”

The spelling “Sakonnet” is the standardized version today but many spellings continue to be used. The following are spellings received on letters to George R. Drowne from 1880 to 1900:

Sakonnet Saconnet Seaconnet Seaconnet
Seaconnett Seconnett Sacconnet Sakonet
Saykonnet Sackonnett Sackonnet Seaconnet
Sogkonate Sakonett Sakownet Seakonet
Sakonnot Sakonett Sekonet Saughokonet
Seakonnett Saconnett Saconnett Sekonnett
Sakonnett Seakonnit Sackonett Seakonnit
Sackonnett Sakonnit Sekonnet Seaconnet
Ceaconnet Seaonette Skonit Pint
Siaconnet Seaonette

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