Friday, September 30, 2011


The Genealogists in Second Life have started a Just Genealogy Book Club  and
we're working through  Val D. Greenwood's  The Researcher's Guide to
American Gednealogy, 3rd Edition (Genealogical Publishing Co. 2000) and I'm
finding it very informative. This past week we covered the chapters on
"Analyzing Pedigree and the Place" and "Evaluation of Evidence"(chapters
4 & 5). In the section on Pedigree Analysis Mr Greenwood suggested using
what he calls a "Tchart". Basically you draw a line down the center of the
piece of paper and one side label "What do I already know" and "What does
this suggest?"  I decided I'd like to try that out.

I chose 5x greatgrandfather Caleb Coburn as my guinea pig.(Forgive me,
Grandpa Caleb!). Then I wasted an hour or so hunting around for a two column
template I could use on one of my word processor programs. When that
failed, I tried making one from scratch which wasted more time. Finally I gave
up and went back to basics, pen and paper. So be warned: this isn't the
prettiest graphic you'll ever see:

I chose Caleb because I hadn't found a death date for him nor have I ever found
the name of his wife. I printed his name at the top of the page and included all
the various spellings I've encountered for Coburn, and then started listing on the
left side of the page what I already knew : his birth in Dracut, Ma on 12 Dec 1738,
the birth of his son Moses in Tyngsborough,  Ma in 1765  and where he was
enumerated on the 1790, 1800, and 1810 Federal Census. There was also a
Caleb Coburn enumerated on the 1820 Fishersfield Nh Federal Census but I
had questions about that one.(which may account for my mangling the name of the
town in my list)

And of course, he died,  (Unless Caleb was an immortal vampire or alien)  but
I'd found no date or place for that as of yet.

So, what did that all this suggest? As you can see, initally, not a heck of lot. But
we'll get to that next post,

Monday, September 26, 2011


I received a series of emails from my West cousin Yvonne out in Washington
state tonight. She's my 3rd cousin once removed, descended from my 3x
greatgranduncle Leonidas West who decided to take his last name literally
and moved west. Anyway, Yvonne has been going through some of her
grandmother's things, among which was a pocketbook which contained
handwritten records of family births, deaths, and marriages. These are
going to be very helpful in filling in some information on my tree, but one
sheet in particular, the first, held a surprise.

 Yvonne's grandmother was Ethel Alvina Hope. Up until now I hadn't done
an research on her because I've been wrapped up in my own direct and
collateral lines. But according to this list, her grandparents were Orville
Clapp and Lydia Colburn. Now I have Colburns/Coburns on my Dad's
maternal line; one of his great grandmothers had been Elizabeth Coburn
who'd married Nathaniel S. Barker in Oxford County Me. and who was
descended from Edward Colborne and Hannah Rolfe of Ipswich, Ma.
I noticed on Yvonne's image that this Lydia Colburn was born in Vermont
so she came from the right neck of the woods, as they say. So was she also
descended from Edward Colborne?

Long story short: yes, she was. My line is from Edward Colborne's son Joseph.
Lydia Colburn(and cousin Yvonne) are descendants of another son, Robert, or
so a preliminary search indicates. By now I'm used to finding connections from
one family line to another in my Dad's family tree. New England is a small place
and there was a small population in Western Maine for many years so it is to be
expected that there would be a lot of instances of marriage between families.

What makes this one fun to discover is that this link between the two sides of
my Dad's family happened not in Maine but out in Spencer Brook, Minnesota.
Orville Clapp was from Canada, and Lydia Colburn from Vermont. But many
New Englanders, like Leonidas West, had migrated out to Minnesota to work
either as farmers or as lumbermen.

 I'm wonder where Ethel Alvinia Hope got her information. Judging by the headings
on the other pages(Register of Births, Register of Deaths, Register of Marriages) I'm
guessing she copied it from family bibles. I'm certainly glad that Yvonne discovered
these papers, because now we know we  have a double cousin connection!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Earlier this year my brother in law Pete asked me if I wanted to come along
to a meeting of the Abington (Ma.) High School Class of 1966 45th Reunion

Now, I hadn't been to any of our previous reunions. I'd been a sophomore
when my family moved out of Boston down here to the suburbs so I was the
new kid in school that year.  And our house was on the southern edge of
town so there weren't many of my classmates nearby to socialize with. In
fact, part of our backyard was actually over the town line in Whitman so
I hung out with kids from there. I really didn't have time to develop more
than a few friends  in the three year span before graduation, (and one,
Pete, eventually married my sister Cheryl.) So I hadn't gone to any of the
previous class reunions.

I'm glad Pete asked me if I wanted to go to the meeting and that I said yes.
There were a dozen of us who met once a month to go over the class list
to see which  addresses we had, which ones had changed or which classmates
had passed on, and to discuss the specifics of where, when, and how much.
We set up a production line to stuff envelopes with newsletters and stick
address labels on them. And before, during, and after that process there
was a lot of enjoyable  conversations.

The Reunion was held a week ago Saturday and it was a very good time. I had
a lot of fun seeing old classmates and judging from the laughter  and animated
conversations going on all around that function room at the Town House every
one else had a great time, too.  When we are kids we tend to have groups and
cliques but there was none of that division there that night. We all enjoyed
each other's company.

There was a Reunion breakfast at Jeff and Mary Lou's house the next day which
was fun and delicious and a great way to cap off the weekend.

I want to thank the members of the Reunion Committee for all the laughs, and
the good food, and  the chance to hang out with you all,and a special thanks to
Pete for bringing me along to that first meeting.

To my fellow classmates, I hope to see you all again in five years, and to those
who didn't attend this time, please joins us for our 50th Reunion in 2016!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Since it seems that I'm in the mood for memes(hmm...sounds like a good
title for a song..."I'm in the moood for memes, simply because I'm
blogging....fummy how when I'm blogging...I'm in the mooood for memes!")
I thought I'd do the "99 genealogy Things Meme" that Becky over at the
Kinnexions blog created.

Here are the rules:
The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (color optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

   1. Belong to a genealogical society.
   2. Researched records onsite at a court house.
   3. Transcribed records.
   4. Uploaded tombstone pictures to Find-A-Grave.
   5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents).
   6. Joined Facebook.

   7. Helped to clean up a run-down cemetery.
   8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group on Facebook.
   9. Attended a genealogy conference.
  10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
  11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society.
  12. Been the editor of a genealogy society newsletter.
  13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
  14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
  15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery.
  16. Talked to dead ancestors.
(well, in my head I have..)
  17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
  18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants.
  19. Cold called a distant relative.
  20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
  21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.

  22. Googled my name.
  23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
  24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.

  25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
  26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
  27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
  28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
  29. Responded to messages on a message board or forum.

  30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
  31. Participated in a genealogy meme.
  32. Created family history gift items (calendars, cookbooks, etc.).
  33. Performed a record lookup for someone else.
  34. Went on a genealogy seminar cruise.
  35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
  36. Found a disturbing family secret.
  37. Told others about a disturbing family secret.

  38. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
  39. Think genealogy is a passion not a hobby.
  40. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person (Unclaimed Persons).
  41. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
  42. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure.
  43. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
  44. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.

  45. Disproved a family myth through research.
  46. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
  47. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records.
  48. Translated a record from a foreign language.
  49. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
  50. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
  51. Used microfiche.

  52. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (May/June 2011).
  53. Visited more than one LDS Family History Center.
  54. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
  55. Taught a class in genealogy.
  56. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
  57. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
  58. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century.

  59. Can n ame all of your great-great-grandparents.
  60. Found an ancestor’s Social Security application.
  61. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
  62. Used Steve Morse’s One-Step searches.
  63. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
  64. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
  65. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC.
  66. Visited the Library of Congress.
  67. Have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower.
  68. Have an ancestor who fought in the Civil War.
  69. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
  70. Became a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.
  71. Can read a church record in Latin.

  72. Have an ancestor who changed their name.
  73. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
  74. Created a family website.
  75. Have more than one "genealogy" blog.
  76. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
  77. Have broken through at least one brick wall
  78. Visited the DAR Library in Washington D.C.
  79. Borrowed a microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Center.
  80. Have done indexing for Family Search Indexing or another genealogy project.
  81. Visited the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  82. Had an amazing serendipitous find of the "Psychic Roots" variety.
  83. Have an ancestor who was a Patriot in the American Revolutionary War.

  84. Have an ancestor who was a Loyalist in the American Revolutionary War.
  85. Have both Patriot & Loyalist ancestors.
  86. Have used Border Crossing records to locate an ancestor.
  87. Use maps in my genealogy research.
  88. Have a convict ancestor who was transported from the UK.
  89. Found a bigamist amongst the ancestors.
  90. Visited the National Archives in Kew.
  91. Visited St. Catherine's House in London to find family records.
  92. Found a cousin in Australia (or other foreign country).
  93. Consistently cite my sources.
  94. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don't live in) in search of ancestors.
  95. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes.
  96. Have an ancestor who was married four times (or more).
  97. Made a rubbing of an ancestors gravestone.
  98. Organized a family reunion.
  99. Published a family history book (on one of my families).
 100. Learned of the death of a fairly close relative through research.
 101. Have done the genealogy happy dance.

 102. Sustained an injury doing the genealogy happy dance.
 103. Offended a family member with my research.
 104. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.

Monday, September 19, 2011


A new meme was recently started by Australian geneablogger Geniaus
to show just how tech savvy a genealogist you might be. Originally there
were 50 items on the list but geneablogger John Newmark added 30
more. I hadn't taken part yet because frankly I'm not all that techsavvy
(as you'll see) but I decided to finally try it and see just what I do know
how to do.

One of the things I do know how to do is cut & paste.Which is what I
did from Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings, including the explanation for
the asterisks:

John's additions were intermingled so the numbering has changed, 
though they are denoted by an asterisk  (*) below

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

1. Own an Android or Windows tablet or an iPad
2. Use a tablet or iPad for genealogy related purposes
*3. Use a Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader for genealogy related purposes
4. Have used Skype or Google Video Chat to for genealogy purposes

5. Have used a camera to capture images in a library/archives/ancestor's home
6. Use a genealogy software program on your computer to manage your family tree
*7. Use multiple genealogy software programs because they each have different functionalities.
8. Have a Twitter account
9. Tweet daily
10. Have a genealogy blog
11. Have more than one genealogy blog

12. Have lectured/presented to a genealogy group on a technology topic
13. Currently an active member of Genealogy Wise
14. Have a Facebook Account
15. Have connected with genealogists via Facebook
16. Maintain a genealogy related Facebook Page

17. Maintain a blog or website for a genealogy society
18. Have submitted text corrections online to Ancestry, Trove or a similar site
*19. Have added content to a Person Page on Fold3 (formerly Footnote)
20. Have registered a domain name
21. Post regularly to Google+
*22. Have participated in a genealogy-related Google+ hangout
23. Have a blog listed on Geneabloggers

*24. Have a blog listed on Cyndi's List
25. Have transcribed/indexed records for FamilySearch or a similar project
*26. Have converted a family audiotape to digital
*27. Have converted a family videotape to digital
*28. Have converted family movies pre-dating videotape to digital.
29. Own a Flip-Pal or hand-held scanner30. Can code a webpage in .html
*31. Can code a webpage in .html using Notepad (or any other text-only software)
*32. Can write scripts for your webpage in at least one programming language
*33. Can write scripts for your webpage in multiple programming languages
34. Own a smartphone
35. Have a personal subscription to one or more paid genealogy databases*36. Have a local library card that offers you home access to online databases, and you use that access.
37. Use a digital voice recorder to record genealogy lectures
38. Have contributed to a genealogy blog carnival
*39. Have hosted a genealogy blog carnival
40. Use an Internet Browser that didn’t come installed on your computer
41. Have participated in a genealogy webinar

42. Have taken a DNA test for genealogy purposes
43. Have a personal genealogy website
44. Have found mention of an ancestor in an online newspaper archive
45. Have tweeted during a genealogy lecture
*46. Have tweeted during a family reunion
47. Have scanned your hardcopy genealogy files
48. Use an RSS Reader to follow genealogy news and blogs
49. Have uploaded a gedcom file to a site like Geni, MyHeritage or Ancestry

50. Own a netbook
51. Use a computer/tablet/smartphone to take genealogy lecture notes
52. Have a profile on LinkedIn that mentions your genealogy habit
53. Have developed a genealogy software program, app or widget
54. Have listened to a genealogy podcast online
55. Have downloaded genealogy podcasts for later listening
56. Backup your files to a portable hard drive
57. Have a copy of your genealogy files stored offsite
58. Know about RootsTech
59. Have listened to a BlogTalk radio session about genealogy
60. Use Dropbox, SugarSync or other service to save documents in the cloud

61. Schedule regular email backups
62. Have contributed to the FamilySearch Wiki
63. Have scanned and tagged your genealogy photographs

64. Have published a genealogy book in an online/digital format
*65. Brought a USB device to a microfilm repository so you could download instead of print.
*66. Have a wearable USB device containing important files. (Watch, keychain necklace, etc)
*67. Created a map on Google Maps plotting ancestral homes or businesses.
*68. Recorded the GPS coordinates for a tombstone, or ancestral home
*69. Edited the Wikipedia entry for an ancestor, or their kin
*70. Created an entry at FindAGrave for a person
*71. Created an entry at FindAGrave for a cemetery

*72. Uploaded the MediaWiki software (or TikiWiki, or PhpWiki) to your family website.
*73. Have downloaded a video (for genealogical purposes) from YouTube or other streaming video site using, or in some other fashion
*74. Have transferred a video from a DVR to your computer for genealogical purposes
*75. Have participated in a ScanFest
*76. Have started a Genealogy-related meme at least one other geneablogger participated in.

*77. Have started a Genealogy-related weekly blogging theme other geneabloggers participated in.
*78. Have used Photoshop (or other editing software) to ‘clean up’ an old family photo
*79. Done digital scrapbooking
*80. Printed out a satellite photo from Google Maps of a cemetery, and marked where a tombstone was located on it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


As part of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War I've occasionally
posted poetry here dealing with that conflict.  On this day in 1862
the bloodiest single battle in American history took place in Maryland
near Antietam Creek. 23,000 men died. Herman Melville wrote a
poem about that battle, or more perhaps more properly, about the
Union Army commander, General George McClellan.

Those of us who read Moby Dick might not be aware that after his
career as a novelist met with little success, he turned for a time to writing
poetry. He wrote many about the Civil War which were published in
1866 in the collection Battle Pieces and Aspects of War including this
one,  "The Victor of Antietam"

Some background: 
One of Melville's cousins served under the command of General McClellan
and Melville's family were supporters of the Democrat Party. After
McClellan failed to follow up his bloody victory at Antietam he left the
Union Army and ran for president against Lincoln in 1864. This is why
the poem seems a commentary by Melville on what he sees as the
unfair treatment of a great man:

When tempest winnowed grain from bran;
And men were looking for a man,
Authority called you to the van,
Along the line the plaudit ran,
As later when Antietam's cheers began.

Through storm-cloud and eclipse must move
Each Cause and Man, dear to the stars and Jove;
Nor always can the wisest tell
Deferred fulfillment from the hopeless knell--
The struggler from the floundering ne'er-do-well.
A pall-cloth on the Seven Days fell,
Unprosperously heroical!
Who could Antietam's wreath foretell?

Authority called you; then, in mist
And loom of jeopardy--dismissed.
But staring peril soon appalled;
You, the Discarded, she recalled--
Recalled you, nor endured delay;
And forth you rode upon a blasted way,
Arrayed Pope's rout, and routed Lee's array,
Your tent was choked with captured flags that day,
Antietam was a telling fray.

Recalled you; and she heard your drum
Advancing through the glastly gloom.
You manned the wall, you propped the Dome,
You stormed the powerful stormer home,
Antietam's cannon long shall boom.

At Alexandria, left alone,
Your veterans sent from you, and thrown
To fields and fortunes all unknown--
What thoughts were yours, revealed to none,
While faithful still you labored on--
Hearing the far Manassas gun!
Only Antietam could atone.

You fought in the front (an evil day,
The fore-front of the first assay;
The Cause went sounding, groped its way;
The leadsmen quarrelled in the bay;
Quills thwarted swords; divided sway;
The rebel flushed in his lusty May:
You did your best, as in you lay,
Antietam's sun-burst sheds a ray.

Your medalled soldiers love you well,
Name your name, their true hearts swell;
With you they shook dread Stonewall's spell,[A]
With you they braved the blended yell
Of rebel and maligner fell;
With you in shame or fame they dwell,
Antietam-braves a brave can tell.

And when your comrades (now so few,
Such ravage in deep files they rue)
Meet round the board, and sadly view
The empty places; tribute due
They render to the dead--and you!
Absent and silent o'er the blue;
The one-armed lift the wine to _you_,
And great Antietam's cheers renew.

Whatever just military criticism, favorable or otherwise, has at any time 
been made upon General McClellan's campaigns, will stand. But if, 
during the excitement of the conflict, aught was spread abroad tending
the unmerited disparagement of the man, it must necessarily die out, 
though not perhaps without leaving some traces, which may or may 
not prove enduring. Some there are whose votes aided in the re-election 
of Abraham Lincoln, who yet believed, and retain the belief, that General 
McClellan, to say the least, always proved himself a patriotic and honorable 
soldier. The feeling which surviving comrades entertain for their late 
commander is one which, from its passion, is susceptible of versified 
representation, and such it receives.


More treasures from the cds cousin Lewis Wuori sent me last month: images of
vital records from the town of Norridgewock Maine where my Laughton and
Greenleaf ancestors lived, The two John Laughtons were the fourth and fifth of
that name in the line. It's through the first John Laughton's marriage to Sarah
Swain that I am related to Jeremiah Swain.

John Laughton Jr married Amata Greenleaf (which is how our family is related to
the  the New England poet John Greenleaf Whittier) and the maiden name of his
mother is believed to have been McGraugh but I've yet to find a record of it.
My 2x greatgrandmother Louisa Richardson was given the middle name Amata
in honor of her grandmother. 
The Marriage Intentions for my 4x greatgrandparents John Laughton Jr and Amata Greenleaf.

The family record of 5x greatgrandparents Joshua Greenleaf and Hannah Williamson 

The Family of 5x greatgrandparents John Laughton and Lydia (Mcgraugh?)

Birth records of Norridgewock including the Laughton Family

Norridgewock Death Records for 1842 with John Laughton Sr's Death

Friday, September 16, 2011


The following is a transcription of another letter from my 1st cousin 2x
removed Vera Olive West, written to her future husband, my 2nd
cousin 2x removed Stevens Morse Abbott. A few explanatory notes:
Berlin is Berlin, N.H. "Aunt Emlie" is Emily Enman, whose sister
Josephine Enman was Vera's mother.(The Enman sisters married the
West brothers, John C. and Paul L.West. Paul was Vera's father.)
Finally, Pearl was Vera's cousin Pearl Louisa West. 

Upton, Me.
July, 16, 1913
Dear Steve;-
You must think I am a great one for not ans. yout letter for such a long time.
I have no excuse only I was lazy, and you knew that long ago so did not send

All of Aunt Emilie's familie are here from Berlin.

There is going to be a dance to morrow to end up the contest another over
to Errol Fri and another up the4 lake later and I am not going to any of them.
Other girls have fellows to take them and I have none to go withme so shall
stay at home.

Now Dear I am going to give you a growl arnt you frightened. You know
you didn;t want me to more than half dress myself while you were here
well I didn't do much better after you went home and now can't hardly
get one of my dresses around my waist and when I do it makes me red
in the face they are so tight. I am going to begin dieting and see if I can't
get thin. Hope so.

I think I shall go down to Berlin when Aunt Ems girls go back and stay a
week or two. I haven't been out to visit Helen yet.

We girls of the West familie and Erna are going to Cambridge to morrow
put our horses up and hire a rowboat and go up to the sand beach go in
bathing have a picnic we will all of us girls alone because we shal take
no old folks or boys.

I wish Bert had not gone home so soon we six might have been to-geather

Pearl and I are in bed she is reading  The Rejected Bride she seems quite
interested only when I get in her light.

Now Dearest I think I have written quite a plenty
So will close, with lots of love

P.S. The Forget-me-not  seeds are nearly ready to geather.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


While I'm researching and adding collateral lines on my Ancestry tree I'm
also rechecking each ancestral generation. Right now I'm concentrating on my
Houghton line and in doing that I discovered a problem the other night.
Back when I first started, I'd found what I thought was the mother of my 5x
greatgrandmother Meriah (Peirce) Houghton.   Somewhere I found information
that Meriah was the daughter of John Peirce(Pirce/Pierce/Pairs) and his wife
Hannah. Where I found it, I don't know, because at time I was not keeping
a record of sources. I suspect it was the old FamilySearch because that was
my "go-to" spot back then.

So I set out to find the maiden name of Hannah Peirce and again, I found the
information that John Pirce had married Hannah Stone in Harvard, Worcester Co.,
Ma on  Nov. 22, 1744. From that I was able to extend the line back through Simon
Stone and discovered some interesting  stories about the Stone family's part in
the colonial Indian wars.

I bet some of you can already see where this is going, can't you?

The other night I was, as I said, working on that Houghton line. I was checking
the birth, marriage and death dates I had against the Early Massachusetts Vital 
Record site. One of my collateral Houghton cousins was Hannah Houghton
and while I couldn't find a record of her birth I did find one of her marriage John Pirce. Hmm. Could it be the same John Pirce who was
Meriah Perce's father?

Next I searched the various spellings of Peirce/Pirce/Pierce/Pairs and found the
    John and Hannah Stone, Nov. 22, 1744.
    John and Hannah Houghton, int. Mar. 10, 1747.

So I'm now left with the question which Hannah was the mother of Meriah Peirce?
Meriah was reported to be born on  Oct 19, 1748. So if Hannah (Stone) Peirce died
sometime before Marh of 1747, it's quite possible that John then  married Hannah
Houghton who then gave birth to Meriah.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


The subject for tonight on the Genealogists in Second Life group the
topic is "What I did for Summer Vacation". While I wouldn't call it
a "vacation" I did have a lot of time on my hands this summer and
luckily genealogy helped keep me engaged and entertained.This is
what I did:

Visited & took photographs at  eighteen local cemeteries and one cemetery
up in  Maine.  I've posted some of the pictures to my Old  Colony Graveyard
Rabbit blog.

Discovered more distant Dunham & Ellingwood cousins buried in Mt Vernon
Cemetery here in Abington and blogged about it here

Uploaded ninety eight photos to Find-A-Grave with several hundred more yet
to be uploaded. Fifty six  uploads were volunteer photos for requests.

Visited the NEHGS and met fellow geneablogger Barbara Poole.

Attended the Ellingwood Family Reunion and gave a short report on some
of my recent Ellingwood family research.

Continued transcribing the Asa F Ellingwood Civil War Pension File and
posting it to this blog.

Received two cds of family pictures and other material from West family
cousin Lewis Wuori which included pictures of 2xgreat grandmother Louisa A
(Richardson) West, 3xgreat grandmother Arvilla (Ames) West, and 3xgreat
grandfather Philip Richardson. I've been sharing these with other cousins and
blogging about them hereas well.

Joined the Upton (Maine) Historical Society group page on Facebook discovered
several new West and Richardson family distant cousins there who are members
of the Society. We've been exchanging photos and information.

Continued researching and adding to my Ancestry and WikiTree family trees.

So it was an interesting and rewarding Summer.Even better, there's plenty to
keep my busy this Winter when the snow starts flying.

And that's how I spent my Genealogy Summer!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

SEPTEMBER 11, 2011

((The majority of this post was first published on 11Sep 2008. I've
changed the ending to reflect that bin Laden was found.))

Sept 11th 2001 I was on my way to work at the bookstore which opens
at 9:00. As usual I was listening to WBZ AM, the Boston news radio
station, and was somewhere on Rte 37 in Braintree when the news
bulletin came about the first plane hitting the South Tower of the
World Trade Center in New York. At first I thought it was some
terrible accident as I listened to the report. I remember at one traffic
stop the light turned green and the first car in line didn't move right
away. Nobody honked their horn at the driver. They were all listening
to the news.

I was running a few minutes late already and so I was just pulling into
a parking space when news came at 9:02 of the second crash. Now I
and the rest of America knew the first crash had not been a mistake.
We were under attack. I went into the store and punched in, then
knocked on the Cash Office door, where Linda, the office manager
at the time, was listening to the radio. Given that there had been a
previous attack on the Twin Towers by terrorists we realized this must
be another by the same group or another like it and talked about it for
a few minutes but the store was about to open and I needed to be out
on the sales floor.

It was a surreal day. Linda would relay the news to the staff about the
collapse of the Towers and the other two planes crashing into the
Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania. We heard that the planes had
come from our own Logan Airport and had many New Englanders
aboard them, which made it even harder to hear. But work went on
as it did for so many other Americans that day even though our
minds and hearts weren't into doing our jobs.

That night when I got home the networks kept showing the same
images over and over of the planes crashing, the Towers falling and
of the people running ahead of the looming cloud. I was angry at
whoever had done this to so many innocent people, and I wanted
them caught and punished for it.

Today, it's a different world. September 11th changed it forever.

And I no longer wait for Osama bin Laden to be caught and punished.
Justice has been done.

But we still mourn, and we will never forget.

Friday, September 09, 2011


One of the items on the two cds cousin Lewis Wuori recently sent me
is a letter written by Vera Olive Morse in July of 1913. Steve is Stevens
Morse Abbott. Steve and Vera were second cousins,both great
grandchildren of Philip Richardson and Esther Laughton. The letter is
written book style on a folded piece of paper, so Image 1 has the last
and first page of the letter while Image 2 is pages two and three from the

Vera would have been 16 years old at the time and even though it's nearly
a century since she wrote it, it sounds very much like something a teen
of today might write to her boyfriend.:


Upton Maine
July 11,1913
Dear Steve,

I guess you think I am never going to answear your letter.
It is half past ten but am going to write so I can take it before breakfast 

to mail it.

I went to a dance last Tue. night, went to Andover Wen. and got home
about ten minutes ago. She is going to be a dance Sat. I think I will go.
I don't think I will give up dancing while you are gone.It is to lonesome
and there is and there is nothing else to go too you don't mind do you

Mamma says she sends me your regards or I mean sends you hers. I
nearly killed myself laughing at Mamma and Aunt Johanna fighting
over you to night I wish you had of been around to hear the fun.
Papa carried Berty home last Monday and he went from there to Lisbon.
Mamma asked me tonight if we were engaged and I said no.

She had no right to ask me when she knows I wouldn't be guilty of such
a crime.

Did you have a good time on the forth.

You said for me to think of you when you had time,. I find time to most
of the time I am awake.

When are you coming up again. I shall expect you to come up and celebrate
my Birthday won't you? Please say you will.

Well I must close or I will be writing letters to you in my dreams.
Your loving Cousin

P.S. Mamma has read this hope she is happy
Excuse this pencil you know how I write with a pen  and you are not
here to dictate it to me.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


I have a set routine when I work on my Ancestry family trees. As I add
each name I check for records of them on Ancestry and if they match
I add them to the person's profile. I also look over at
(I STILL liked Record Search better) and then cite any relevant images
 from there as sources back on Ancestry. I then download the images
to my computer as well as those from Ancestry.

We live in a wonderful age for genealogists. All sorts of document
images are appearing online and I've been happily partaking of the
feast. But late last night(alright, actually, earlier this morning) I was
working my way down a line of collateral families from my Houghton
ancestry when I stopped in mid process and asked myself a question:

Did I really want to download that marriage record for my 4th cousin
4x removed?

There was no question at all that I should make sure to record the information
and cite it as a source, but did I really need the image? It's not that I'm running
out of space on my hard drive; there's still plenty of that. But I'm now reaching
a point where I'll see an image's name on my computer and I have to think a
bit before I remember the connection because it's to one of a multitude of
collateral lines.

To be honest, it's not the first time I've asked myself that question and on more
than one occasion I've answered myself with a "No!". Then I worry that at
some future time I'll be contacted by a collateral branch relative looking for
help and I won't have that image at my fingertips ready to pass on to them.

I think I've discovered a new geneaddiction. Remember "name grabbing?"
Could there be an "image grabbing" equivalent?

So when do I "say when", that I don't need that image,.

When do you?