My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

His Little Green Book Was So Organized, Why Can't I Be?

Since 1981 this little green book has been looked at many times, because it contained a wealth of information about my Grandfather's many trips. At the time of his death, this was one of several things I decided to keep. It was in good condition, but I looked at it so many times that page holes have torn and the binding had to be taped.

When my grandfather married in 1953 to his secretary three months after his wife passed away, I believe they decided to make their time together (he was 61, she 52) travelling around the world. There is no date on this book, but the fact that they went to Cuba is an indication it was before 1962, and Cuba is #1 in the index and first page, shown below. I believe their honeymoon was in Cuba and Mexico.

Many years later, I received over 2,500 slides that corresponded to the pages in this book. I had seen many of the slides when they shared them with my family during our infrequent visits to Connecticut. They not only traveled the world, but spent winters in Florida, and summers in England. Some of you might remember the hand-made Christmas cards he made when I posted them to my blog.

I believe I inherited my love of travel, genealogy and photography through him, but not the ability to be organized. He was a NYC architect, so that accounts for his neatness and organizational skills, I believe. Many years later, when the widow was moving, she wanted to get rid of the slides, all in trays, in about 10 xerox paper boxes. Nobody wanted them, but I did express an interest. Ultimately, I got them, and they remained in my basement for about 15 years...never looked at them, so they collected mold.

I know, that's sad and I should have known better. My grandfather would be horrified with me, especially if he knew I had to toss after I went through each slide. I kept maybe 10. To clarify a bit, all slides with family members had been kept by the widow, and I have no idea why this index book wasn't with the slides. I assume she knew about it.

Regretting isn't going to help me now. I can hear my genealogy friends voices now, and believe me I don't know what I was thinking. But a lesson to those who have old photos and slides, don't keep them in the basement.

Since this is the beginning of a new year, I'm going to try very hard to be more organized in my life. Not just with genealogy, but with personal papers as well. Actually, I am going to put the personal before the genealogy as we move into February. He'll be watching me, and telling me to go quicker so I can get back to genealogy!
The index (top and bottom) consisted of two pages. You can see for Cuba and Mexico there are two pages,  some countries had many pages.


 There are 5 pages on the ships list.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Big Storm of 2015

Right now, on January 27, 2015 the storm is still blowing, and I've decided to use this post to share photos, once I am able to get outside to take pictures.

In the meantime, HERE is a link to the Live Storm Cam from the Lowell Sun newspaper located on Dutton Street. As of 9:20, you can't even see across Dutton Street to the parking lot area of the National Park Service. NOTE: The webcam is now turned off. I believe it will be turned on again, for the next major storm, as it was last year.

We have received 33" as of 9:30 pm, and it is still snowing.

These photos were taken Wednesday morning, January 28th. The parking ban was still in effect for the city, so I stayed in the car.





Both Central and Merrimack Streets are two-way, and as you can see, there are no cars and no places to park.






Wednesday, January 21, 2015

There Is A Lot to Like About Lowell -- Series #21

"There Is A Lot to Like About Lowell" is the city slogan.



LOWELL NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK



Visitor Center
On June 5th of this year, the Lowell National Historical Park (LNHP) will be 37 years old. I wasn't living here at the time it was established (having left 4 years earlier, when the unemployment rate was at 12%) and unfortunately didn't get to see the many changes until I returned to the city in 1994. Every day there are still old buildings being renovated and huge plans are in the works for improved changes for the city. The city of Lowell, individuals who bought dilapidated mills and the LNHP are all doing their part to make Lowell a better city for the future.

This Visitors Center isn't something I like, it's something I love. I am there frequently either asking questions, looking at updated programs, or chatting with people I know, who are there as well. This is where you learn about all the places the Park Service maintains, such as the Mill Girls and Immigrants Exhibit (my post), the canal boat tours and trolley tours, the many miles of walkway along the canals, the Boott Cotton Mills Museum and more.
Map shows our two rivers, the Merrimack and the Concord, and many man-made canals.



Children love this trolley and have their
own area to play and learn.




Theater (above) where you can view a film about the history of Lowell.

"On June 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation dedicating $40 million to the creation of Lowell National Historical Park. It was a move that saved the city’s historic downtown."Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Representative Paul E. Tsongas are also shown. Paul Tsongas was from Lowell.

Typical of a genealogist, I tried to find more information. One of the more interesting things I found was a daily log of all of President Carter's activities for the above day. When he met for the signing Wednesday morning between 7:55 - 7:59, there was just enough time for a photo and the signing. The actual page may be seen HERE.

*More information about the LNHP may be seen HERE.
Entrance to the LNHP.
Books about Lowell, including the most recent (Oct. 2014) called, Mill Power. I purchased it the day after it's release. My husband read it, and I've looked at the many photos.




There are two entrances. Above is on Market Street and below is on Dutton Street (where you can park, see photo at bottom of parking area).



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

There Is A Lot to Like About Lowell -- Series #20

"There Is A Lot to Like About Lowell" is the city slogan.



THE COBBLESTONES OF LOWELL
The thing I love the most about cobblestones is how they look in pictures.







Cobblestones above were repaired and below they will be repaired or paved over again.



Some cross walks have a nice design.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ancestors of my "Brick Wall" Elizabeth Johnson of Massachusetts - Surname Saturday

Yesterday, my post was about hiring a professional researcher to help me solve my brick wall. Not only did I explain how he found me, but I also gave some useful information for New England researchers. See post HERE.

The post was rather long, so I decided to split the narrative part from the descendant report of Richard Nichols and ancestor report for Elizabeth Johnson (shown in red, everything above her name was new information). I wasn't surprised to see that I was related to myself, as shown in Generation 2, but was delighted to find that out. More research needs to be done on other members of the family.

A few months later, when the snow melted and the weather turned warmer, I went to Reading, Massachusetts and found the cemetery stone for James and many other Nichols in the same family line. Original post was written in April, may be seen HERE.


Cemetery Stone of my 8th grandfather


Descendant Register, Generation No. 1

1.RICHARD NICHOLS died 22 NOV 1674 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. He married ANNAS  BEF 1651 in Ipswich/Reading, Massachusetts. She died 24 AUG 1692 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
Children of RICHARD NICHOLS and ANNAS are:
+2  i.JAMES NICHOLS was born 25 JUL 1658 in Ipswich (Chebacco), Essex Co., Massachusetts, and died 12 JAN 1744/45 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
3  ii.Joanna NICHOLS was born 26 NOV 1660 in Ipswich (Chebacco), Essex Co., Massachusetts.
4  iii.Mary NICHOLS. She married Samuel LAMSON.
5  iv.Thomas NICHOLS.
6  v.John NICHOLS.
7  vi.Richard NICHOLS.
8  vii.Hannah NICHOLS.



Descendant Register, Generation No. 2

2.JAMES NICHOLS (RICHARD NICHOLS1) was born 25 JUL 1658 in Ipswich (Chebacco), Essex Co., Massachusetts, and died 12 JAN 1744?45 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. He was buried in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. He married MARY POOLE 9 OCT 1682 in Cambridge, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, daughter of JONATHAN POOLE and JUDITH. She was born 14 NOV 1662 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, and died 18 JUL 1711 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. She was buried in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
Children of JAMES NICHOLS and MARY POOLE are:
9  i.James NICHOLS was born 2 JUL 1683 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. He married Joanna LAMSON 20 MAY 1707.
+10  ii.MARY NICHOLS was born 12 NOV 1685 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, and died 12 FEB 1778 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
+11  iii.Jonathan NICHOLS was born 23 FEB 1690/1 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
+12  iv.William NICHOLS was born 14 FEB 1695/6 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
13  v.Sarah NICHOLS was born 30 MAR 1699 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. She married Joseph BURNAP20 DEC 1722.
14  vi.Ebenezer NICHOLS was born 29 MAR 1703 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.



Descendant Register, Generation No. 3

10.MARY NICHOLS (JAMES NICHOLS2, RICHARD NICHOLS1) was born 12 NOV 1685 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, and died 12 FEB 1778 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. She married BENJAMIN WILEY 4 DEC 1707 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, son of JOHN WILEY and ELIZABETH w\o JOHN WILEY.
Children of MARY NICHOLS and BENJAMIN WILEY are:
+15  i.ELIZABETH WILEY was born ABT 6 JUL 1712 in Wakefield, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, and died 3 DEC 1798 in Woburn, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
16  ii.Benjamin WILEY.
17  iii.James WILEY was born ABT 27 JUL 1718.
11.Jonathan NICHOLS (JAMES NICHOLS2, RICHARD NICHOLS1) was born 23 FEB 1690/1 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. He married Phebe EATON. She was born ABT 1690.
Child of Jonathan NICHOLS and Phebe EATON is:
+18  i.Benjamin NICHOLS was born 1723.
12.William NICHOLS (JAMES NICHOLS2, RICHARD NICHOLS1) was born 14 FEB 1695/6 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. He married Abigail KENDALL 14 JAN 1719 in Woburn, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. She was born 31 MAR 1697 in Woburn, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, and died 19 NOV 1728 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
Child of William NICHOLS and Abigail KENDALL is:
19  i.Samuel NICHOLS was born 15 FEB 1728 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, and died 13 SEP 1777 in Guilford, Windham Co., Vermont. He married Anna STEVENS. She was born 17 MAR 1732 in Rutland, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, and died 24 MAR 1811 in Guilford, Windham Co., Vermont.



Descendant Register, Generation No. 4

15.ELIZABETH WILEY (MARY NICHOLS3, JAMES NICHOLS2, RICHARD NICHOLS1) was born ABT 6 JUL 1712 in Wakefield, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, and died 3 DEC 1798 in Woburn, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. She married WILLIAM JOHNSON 23 DEC 1733 in Lynn, Essex Co., Massachusetts, son of Unknown JOHNSON.
Children of ELIZABETH WILEY and WILLIAM JOHNSON are:
20  i.William JOHNSON was born 1 DEC 1734 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
+21  ii.James JOHNSON was born ABT 3 OCT 1736.
22  iii.Timothy JOHNSON was born 13 NOV 1743 in Wakefield, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
+23  iv.ELIZABETH JOHNSON was born 7 NOV 1750 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, and died 19 MAR 1799 in Dublin, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire.
24  v.Joseph JOHNSON was born ABT 1 APR 1753.
18.Benjamin NICHOLS (Jonathan NICHOLS3, JAMES NICHOLS2, RICHARD NICHOLS1) was born 1723. He married Mary TROW. She was born 1728.
Child of Benjamin NICHOLS and Mary TROW is:
+25  i.Benjamin NICHOLS was born 1754.



Descendant Register, Generation No. 5

21.James JOHNSON (ELIZABETH WILEY4, MARY NICHOLS3, JAMES NICHOLS2, RICHARD NICHOLS1) was born ABT 3 OCT 1736. He married.
Children of James JOHNSON and Wife are:
26  i.Molly JOHNSON was born ABT 20 SEP 1767 in Wakefield, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
+27  ii.William JOHNSON was born 28 JUN 1772 in Wakefield, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
23.ELIZABETH JOHNSON (ELIZABETH WILEY4, MARY NICHOLS3, JAMES NICHOLS2, RICHARD NICHOLS1) was born 7 NOV 1750 in Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, and died 19 MAR 1799 in Dublin, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. She was buried in Dublin, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. She married DAVID MEAD 21 OCT 1773 in Lynn, Essex Co., Massachusetts, son of BENJAMIN MEAD and HEPHZIBAH. He was born 19 NOV 1749 in Lynn, Essex Co., Massachusetts, and died BEF 1784 in New Ipswich, Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire. She married Abner SANGER 1 APR 1784, son of Eleazer SANGER and Mary JACKSON. He was born 12 MAR 1739 in Hardwick, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, and died 1 OCT 1822 in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. He was buried in Old Cemetery, (Known as Washington St. Cemetery) Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire.
Children of ELIZABETH JOHNSON and DAVID MEAD are:
+28  i.Elizabeth MEAD was born 11 OCT 1774 in Lynn, Essex Co., Massachusetts, and died 15 APR 1868 in Glover, Orleans Co., Vermont.
+29  ii.MARY MEAD was born 1777 in Lynn, Essex Co., Massachusetts, and died 19 JUL 1813 in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire.
+30  iii.David MEAD was born 1779 in New Ipswich, Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire, and died BET 1850 AND 1860 in of Danvers, Essex Co., Massachusetts.
Children of ELIZABETH JOHNSON and Abner SANGER are:
31  i.Hepzibah SANGER was born 16 MAR 1785 in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, and died 25 APR 1785 in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire.
+32  ii.Abner SANGER was born 19 APR 1786 in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, and died 15 APR 1867 in So. Danvers, Essex Co., Massachusetts.
+33  iii.Hepzibah Meed SANGER was born 24 JUL 1788 in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, and died NOV 1861 in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada.
34  iv.Abigail SANGER was born 1 AUG 1790 in Dublin, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, and died 1 APR 1791 in Dublin, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire.
+35  v.Abigail Willey SANGER was born 27 MAY 1792 in Dublin, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, and died 23 NOV 1878 in Swanzey, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire.
+36  vi.Rhoda Jackson SANGER was born 12 AUG 1794 in Dublin, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, and died 7 APR 1871 in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire.
37  vii.Sally SANGER was born 8 OCT 1796 in Dublin, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, and died 21 AUG 1883 in Peabody, Essex Co., Massachusetts.
25.Benjamin NICHOLS (Benjamin NICHOLS4, Jonathan NICHOLS3, JAMES NICHOLS2, RICHARD NICHOLS1) was born 1754. He married Rebecca BANCROFT. She was born 1761.
Child of Benjamin NICHOLS and Rebecca BANCROFT is:
+38  i.Rebeckah NICHOLS was born ABT 1791.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Somebody Answered my Plea to Help Solve A Brick Wall, and I Gladly Paid Him!

One nice thing about asking for help, even if you have to pay for it, is it sure saves a lot of time. And, in my case, I got more than I bargained for when John, a professional genealogist and historian responded to my request to help solve one of my top ten brick walls, see HERE. His first email to me stated, "I have found additional records for her (Elizabeth) (birth and baptism) and her parents, including her mother's identity," I knew instantly I wanted to learn more. He went over and above what I asked for by finding an additional three generations of ancestors. I believe he sent me seven deeds and so much more information! Not bad for a cold March weekend in 2014.

When I asked if he felt he had the right parents, his reply, "Yes, I feel I have the parents. To start, I am attaching a deed from Essex County Registry of Deeds, Vol. 98, p. 133. It is for 30 acres being sold in March 1748. No buildings were mentioned on the lot, but William was listed as a yeoman. Note that the land is on the Saugus River; it would have been in current Lynnfield (then part of Lynn), near current Wakefield line (then part of Reading). Noter also references to the lot bordering lands of Benjamin Wiley and land of a widow Wiley. Finally, William Johnson's wife, Elizabeth Johnson, also signs, acknowledging that she was giving up any right of dower in the land (this was standard practice), signing with her mark, suggesting that she could not write."

Among things I learned, I want to share with you. He wrote about a single woman using Mrs. before she married, and the usefulness of finding deeds.

"As Elizabeth was listed as "Mrs." when she was married, it was of course quite possible that she was a widow, but we now know that Johnson was her maiden name, and there is no evidence that she married a man named Johnson prior to the Mead marriage. I have seen "Mrs." used in many marriage records of the period, even though the person had not been married prior to the entry, so this was actually not unusual."

"Deeds are not as yet used that much by people doing genealogy, but they are a valuable source that professionals will more often consult. If nothing else, the one I sent yesterday documents that William Johnson's occupation was a yeoman (farmer) and that Elizabeth signed with an "X" (her mark), so she likely could not write. The description places their land on the Saugus River, near a saw mill and adjoining land of Benjamin Wiley. I will be sending some more deeds and add some comments. You may also find them difficult to relate to, but the deeds serve as key evidence for being able to attribute who Elizabeth's parents were [Benjamin and Mary (Nichols) Wiley]."

I highly recommend this professional, and if you would like his name, please write me. I believe he took a personal interest in this case, and just based on the following information I'm sharing I think you'll agree. Obviously, he didn't just find me the parents of Elizabeth.

"I wondered if the Pooles of Reading were connected to you. Fun when different lines end up connecting.

Books I consulted regarding John Wiley and family in Reading included:

Loea Parker Howard. Ancient Redding in Massachusetts Bay Colony [1944], pp. 44-45.
“JOHN WILEY
“Sergt. John Wiley was an early settler on land in
the Woodville district of Wakefield. The men of this [44]
family took a deep interest in military affairs and were
officers in all of the early companies. His descendants
settled in Stoneham and Lynnfield, also.”

Lilley Eaton. Genealogical History of the Town of Reading, Mass.(1874), pp. 125-26.
Wiley, John, one of the earliest settlers; lived in "Little World," now
called Woodville. He died probably in 1672. His wife, whose [125]
name was Elizabeth, d. 1662. Chil. : John (perhaps);
Benjamin (perhaps), who m. 1707, Mary Nichols; Elizabeth, b. 1649;
Timothy, b. 1653; Susanna, b. 1655, and m. 1678, John Damon;
Sarah, b. 1658.”

Savage vol. 4, p. 550 only says of John Wiley “Reading 1640, or at least an early sett.”

Curious, I thought I read in Howard that he likely had been from Ipswich. I guess my memory is slipping—I saw something and quickly checked Ipswich VR (finding nothing), but I failed to make a notation. Eaton certainly did more study of the Reading families than I, so he may have had a reason for thinking the most likely candidate for Benjamin’s father was immigrant John. My own instinct would be to look for possibility of Benjamin being a grandson of John.

Deeds are on microfilm at NEHGS, where I used to look them up. Copies are now uploaded in FamilySearch, but they are not as yet searchable. Originals are now at the Massachusetts Archives in Boston. I downloaded a few others if you are interested in some more."

Since this post is longer than I expected, I just posted the descendant, and it may be seen HERE.
Cemetery Stone of my 8th grandfather