Thursday, November 22, 2012


Welcome to the Fourth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge!
The rules for the Challenge are simple:

1. Find a poem by a local poet, famous or obscure, from the region
one of your ancestors lived in. It can be about an historical event, a
legend, a person, or even about some place (like a river)or a local
animal. It can even be a poem you or one of your ancestors have written!
Or if you prefer, post the lyrics of a song or a link to a video
of someone performing the song.

While there were no songs or videos submitted this year, there were some
really great poetry submissions. The poets range from famous figures to
a grandmother writing about her granddaughters and a daughter writing 
about her father. There are two that will amuse you and one that will make 
you smile through tears. There might not be as many entries as in previous
years but their quality makes up for the lack of quantity.

So let's begin!

Dorene Paul of  Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay brings us a poem 
written by an unknown poet in which Sandusky Bay itself offers a
Verse in Honor of Sandusky Pioneers  . It reminds me a bit of Walt

Over at TransylvanianDutch John Newmark chose two poets that have
a connection to his ancestors' home in England, and they are both
well-known writers. The first, "The Blacksmith" by Charles Dickens
John chose because some of his ancestors followed that trade. The
second is a satirical poem, "The Bigot", by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Both poems are humorous, but "The Blacksmith" wins the Willy
Puckerbrush Award for Most Humorous Poem. Read them both in    
Fourth Annual Genealogy Poetry Challenge: Portsmouth, Hampshire 

Barbara Poole was researching some names and a location and did a
Google search. What she found was an obituary, and a poem. It's on
Barbara's Life from the Roots blog in the post she entitled
Palmer, Daisy, Lowell and a Poem.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo's submission is Poems by my Grandmother
over on the Nutfield Genealogy blog. Her grandmother wrote many
poems, and what makes the two poems Heather chose  special is that
they are about her and her sister.

My Ellingwood family cousin Pam Carter and I have ancestral roots in
Bethel, Maine. Pam found a poem by Lucy Larcom, a poet from Beverly,
Massachusetts where our Ellingwood ancestors lived. Talk about
synchronicity!  Read On the Ledge by Lucy Larcom at My Maine Ancestry..

When Debbie's father died she couldn't find an appropriate poem for the
back of his funeral card, so she wrote one herself. She did a wonderful job.
This is my favorite submission in this year's Challenge. Go to her post
Funeral Card Friday- Dad at Mascot Manor Genealogy
Boston recently marked the 140th anniversary of a fire in 1872 that 
destroyed nearly a quarter of the city and was especially destructive of 
the business district. Vickie Everhart at her blog
posts a poem about that fire written by a relative, Abner W. Harmon.
Its title is 1872::Great Boston Fire.  

Finally, for my own submission I searched for a poem that would reflect 
on the era of the Salem Witch trials which involved various ancestors, 
two of whom, Mary Towne Estey  and Rebecca Blake Ames, were among
those accused of witchcraft. I found one by the quintessential New England
here on West in New England

And that concludes the Fourth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge.
My thanks to all the participants for some really great posts!


the said...

Enjoyed the poem, "The Blacksmith." The subject of my blog, Stephen Sherwood, was a blacksmith. You inspired me to start searching for a poem written by my great grandmother. It is the only poem I can find written by any of my ancestors. Maybe next year I can submit it. It may not be a classic, but it meant a lot to me.


Barbara Poole said...

Thanks Bill, I enjoyed participating in this challenge, my second time. I already know what I am going to do next year! You provided the inspiration...remember I live in Lowell.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Thanks for the poetry, Bill. I just finished reading these aloud to my husband. Some long ones this year!

Debbie said...

Thank you so much. It means a lot to me. I'm not a poet, but Dad was special. I really am honored to have shared.

Kathleen O'Hara said...

I'm enjoying these poems! Every year, I plan to enter the Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge, and then every year, I wait too long and kick myself when I find it published already! Maybe next year . . .