Friday, January 18, 2013


I've been mulling over the usual "Best Blogposts of the Year" post for this
blog in 2012. Last year was my least productive year for West in New
with the fewest blogposts since I began writing here, and much
of what I posted reposts from earlier years.(I hope to do less of that this
year.) I also gladly participated in the 1940 Federal Census Indexing
project which cut a bit into both my blogging and researching time (but I'd
do it again!).

Looking back, though, I found blogposts that reminded me just how great
a genealogy year I had in 2012.  When you see my list, I think you'll agree:   

1. Meeting My White Family Cousins.
In December I was contacted by a cousin who's related to me through my
maternal grandfather Edward F White Sr.  My grandparents divorced when my
Mom was four years old and there had been no contact between her and her
father since before I was born. My cousin found me through this blog and sent
me a picture of my great grandmother. I've since met his father and hope to
someday meet him  as well.
2, "Devil in The Shape of a Horse" 
My ancestress Rebecca Eames/Ames was accused of witchcraft at Salem in
1692. I found her confession and posted this transcript.

3."Exsedingly Tormented"...Benjamin Abbott vs Martha Carrier  
I also had an ancestor, Benjamin Abbott who testified against his neighbor
Martha Carrier This was the transcription I did of his testimony.

4 The War of 1812 Pension File of Nathaniel Barker- 
Last fall Fold3 started posting images of the pension files of War of 1812
veterans. That's how I found out for the first time that my 3x great grandfather
Nathaniel Barker was one of them. This was the first post in a series about
his file.

5 Down Mexico(Maine) Way- 
In September I found a newspaper clipping online that told about a trip my
aging 2x great granduncles Asa A West and Hiram F West took on horseback
across Maine, sort of a "Last Hurrah" I think.

6. Visiting the  Harlow Old Fort House -
In June I visited the Plymouth, Ma. home of my 8x great grandparents
William Harlow and Mary Faunce. I took some pictures.

The Second New England Geneablogger Bash -
In May I attended a get together of New England geneabloggers and enjoyed
meeting people I'd only known online. Thanks again Erica Voolich for the
ride! Again, I took pictures!

8 The Question of Lizzie Ellingwood Blanchard -
Also in June I received an email from a lady who'd found some hidden letters
while remodeling a house in New Hampshire. They were written by the
children and relatives of one of my distant Ellingwood family cousins, and
this was the first post in the series I did about them.

9 My First Genealogy Conference-
 In March I attended  the 2012 New England Family History Conference
where I met among others Lucie LeBlanc Consentino,  Marian
Pierre-Louis, and Alice Kane. I took pictures! 

10. In Sunshine or in Shadow -
The other big revelation about my Mom's side of the family last year also
came from having a McFarland cousin find my blog. Information he shared
led to the discovery of two great granduncles I never knew about, one of
whom died in a horrible accident.

11 Thomas, a Slave -
I knew as a historian that there had been African American slaves in colonial
Massachusetts but never suspected any of my ancestors had owned slaves.
In my research last January I found that that had been the case in two of my
family lines, the Uptons and the Mavericks.

Finally, along with all these, there were the three Challenges I hosted , the
Genealogist's Time Capsule, the Second American Civil War, and the
Fourth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenges.

So I had some firsts, made some new family connections and found out
things I hadn't known before. It was one HECK of a year!

It's going to be hard to have a better year than I did last year!


Unknown said...

And you inspired me to start blogging!

Julie said...

You sure have had "one heck of a year," Bill! Hope 2013 is even better!!

Elizabeth Handler said...

Bill, you've had a great year and I was glad to have met you at the second New England Geneabloggers Bash. Here's to continued blogging!

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Yes, you have had a great year, Bill. You have really made some huge discoveries. Enjoy the rest of the year!