Thursday, November 24, 2016


Welcome to the Eighth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge wrap up. There were some very
interesting submissions this year, The subjects range over various subjects  but all the poems have some
connection to our family histories from family events to the symbol of a state where a family has lived
for generations. Follow the links below to read them all,  The posts are:

Dorene Paul's family has deep roots in Ohio, the "Buckeye State" , so it's not surprising that her
entry in this year's challenge is a poem about the tree that gives that state its nickname. You can
read " The Buckeye Tree, a Poem by Karl Laurent " on Dorene's blog Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky
Bay. The next time I visit Ohio I need to see one of these trees.

Over the years Heather Wilkinson Rojo has shared the poetry of her British born grandmother Bertha (Roberts)Wilkinson.  Bertha wrote poems about New England  that make me see the scenes she was describing.  This year Heather shares  "Winter in New England"  in her post "The 8th  Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge" over at Nutfield Genealogy.

Losing a child to death is every parent's nightmare.  John Tew's  great grandmother "Nettie"
(Flagg) Cooke lost three. John thinks writing  poetry was cathartic for his ancestor. John shares one about her son Russell in the post  "A Poem on Little Russell's Passing" (October 17, 2016) at his blog Filiopietism Prism. He's included family pictures and images of the original handwritten poem.

Katherine Schober 's business is translating letters written by her clients' German ancestors. So
it was ironic when she recently found a poem written by her own German ancestor Wilhelm Muller on the subject of old letters. She's translated it into English and posted it into English.
It's entitled "On Old Letters"  and you can read it over on her SK Translations website.

Celia Laighton Thaxter was a popular New England poet who wrote many poems about her native Isles of Shoals in the Gulf of Maine. One  of them, A Woman Of Star Island, describes the toll life  on the Isles took on some women, and Janice Webster Brown of the Cow Hampshire blog wonders how much of that description  would fit her own ancestor Elinor (Urin)Wellcomb. Janice shares the poem and story in her 2016: The 8th Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge.

Barbara Poole has won the Willy Puckerbrush Award for this year's Challenge. The Award is in honor of the late Terry Thornton who would post humorous stories and poems on his genealogy blog under the name of Willy Puckerbrush. Barbara's post at her Life From the Roots blog is Father Abbey's Will: Very Funny and Very Sad. It was written in 1732 Boston by her distant cousin Jonathan Seccombe and it lists the possessions"Father Abbey" leaves to his heir. I have managed to find the probate files for many of my ancestors and have always been fascinated by the items listed in the estate inventories. Reading the poem made me grin because I've seen many of the items in the poem in my own ancestors' wills. Barbara also includes information about her relative and some background on the poem.

Every October I post what I call "Halloween Tales": stories or poems  about some of strange and spooky happenings in New England. This year I found a poem by my distant cousin John Greenleaf Whittier that's based on an actual tragedy, the wreck of the ship "Palantine". Whittier added a supernatural element to the story,  turning the Palantine into a ghost ship. The post is  called HALLOWEEN TALES: "THE PALANTINE" BY JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER and you can read it here on West in New England.

That concludes this year's Challenge. Please take the time to visit and read the contributors' blogs, and leave comments to show your appreciation.

And as always, my thanks to all those who took part in the Challenge. You folks are fantastic!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Thanks for continuing the poetry challenge year after year! I always look forward to it.

John D. Tew said...

Thanks for the mention and for this wonderful annual tradition!