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, Wyoming, 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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I learned to Swim at Walden Pond Before Thoreau was Cool

The idea to write about swimming and Walden Pond came about in late winter, when blogger, John Tew of the Filiopietism Prism blog and I had an email conversation that somehow led to the Pond. I said I would go and take photos to incorporate into my blog post and share with him on this site. John, who lives in Virginia, has driven by the area, but never stopped and always wished he had.

The above photo shows where the road was to the parking lot of "Camp Hart," a former day camp, located between Lincoln and Concord. In the late 50s, I attended that camp, right across the road from the Pond, and all the campers had their swimming lessons there. John thought it was interesting that I learned there, and that is how I decided to write about both. Recently, my husband and I drove 45 minutes to my old camp and to check out the area. We don't go often because of the crowds of tourists, so we chose a very overcast day when we knew it would be quiet. There were no original buildings standing on the private land.

An article in the Boston Globe stated, "The reservation will open for swimmers this year starting May 24." It seems there was a possibly of banning open water swimming this year. Often, people have their strong opinions about swimming in the well-known Pond. They also have strong thoughts on water, as in drinking water. A little over a year ago, the town of Concord banned the sale of plastic bottles of water! So, when I went into their gift shop, I wasn't surprised to see water, but it was in a square box. I really should go back and take a photo of it. They don't mind you drinking water, just don't want plastic containers thrown around their town. I don't know their thoughts on Pepsi.
There is so much I don't remember about the camp. Was it co-ed, I don't know. How many weeks did I go, no idea. However, I do remember walking around the left side of the Pond to the railroad tracks and picking up bottles, cigarette butts and other trash. A happier thing was picking berries, perhaps raspberries on the property. Never did we go to Thoreau's now famous hut site.
To preserve the Walden of Emerson and
Thoreau. About eighty acres of land were
given the commonwealth by deeds from
Edith E. Forbes et. al. and C. Fay Heywood et. al.
Other purposes of the gift were to allow
the public to enjoy the woods and nature
including bathing, boating and fishing.
The Middlesex County Commissioners
constitute the reservation Commission
and expenses of care and improvement
are borne by the county.
As we walked down the hill, we saw the same old bathhouse. Now used for staff and lifeguards. Below, there is sand on two sides, however, it wasn't always like that. During the camp, the only beach was in front of the bathhouse.

Yes, it did rain on our parade. Below, you can see how easy it is to get to Thoreau's hut site.
We decided to walk around the Pond, little over a mile. They have made nice improvements to the walkway, as it used to be very hilly, with rocks and tree roots everywhere.
 The Pond from the opposite side of the Bathhouse.
Plenty of students, having a history lesson. Yes, we had Walden to ourselves, except for a large group of students who surprised us at Thoreau's hut.
"I went to the woods  because
I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential
facts of life
and see if I could
not learn what it had to teach
and not, when I came to die,
 discover that I had not lived." Thoreau

(Note: During this time, he walked home, ate there, washed his clothes and met with friends.)

The large stones show the outline of where the hut was, and the smaller ones in the back were where the shed was.
  Raindrops and a few seconds of sunlight, changed the color of the water to this lovely shade.
 Near the parking lot is a reconstructed hut, and his wood shed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Robbins Library / Arlington Library, Arlington, Massachusetts -- History and Genealogy Section

Side view of the Library entrance.
The History and Genealogy collection was on the 4th floor. It is kept locked, so a librarian had to take me up there, I also needed permission from the director to take photos, only stipulation was that I don't take pictures of people.
The room is larger than shown in these few photos, but I wanted to show more of the old sections of the Library. You'll see why.

View of the library from the cemetery across the driveway. Notice the two British flags, in honor of two who died near that spot during the Revolutionary War.

Known to be
Buried in This Cemetery


Erected by
Menotomy Chapter Daughters
of the American Revolution
Old front entrance on Massachusetts Ave. Garden to the right, see below.

A list of all the libraries, with genealogy departments, I've visited in New England and New York is below. All are linked to my posts.




Maine Historical Society and Library, Portland, Maine

Jane (__) Jenison Brooks, Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln, Massachusetts -- Tombstone Tuesday

Below is my 7th great-grandmother's tombstone. She married first to Peter Jenison (see last week's post), and after his death, she married Joseph Brooks. She, her 2nd husband and child were buried together in this cemetery.

I was rather surprised to see a memorial Five British, shown below. Since the cemetery is in Lincoln, the town where Paul Revere was captured by the British soldiers (then released), I shouldn't have been surprised. I've seen markers for several British soldiers in Concord as well.
Here Lies Buried
The Body of
Mrs Jane Brooks
Consort of
Joseph Brooks
Who Decd Novr
The 16 A D
1753 in The 70
Year of Her Age.
Here Lyes Interred
The Body of Mr.
Joseph Brooks of Lincoln
Who Departed This Life
Sept 17 1759 in Ye
78 Years of His Age.
Here Lies Buried
Ye Body of
Joseph Brooks Junr
Only Son of Mr
Joseph and Mrs Jane
Brooks Who Decd
Septmbr Ye 7th
Anno Dom 1749
in ye 24th Year
of His Age.
Brooks plot above.
British Soldiers Slain April 19, 1775
Were Buried Here.

Erected by the
Town of Lincoln
Burial Ground
"This acre given by
Ephraim Flint is Lincoln's
oldest cemetery, established
in 1748 by the second
Precinct of Concord as a
burial ground.
This preceeded the
incorporation of Lincoln
as a separate Town by
6 years."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mabry Mill, Virginia -- Wordless Wednesday

Mabry Mill, Virginia
One of my favorite places, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We owned a summer house just a little over an hour away, so this was a frequent stop during our travels.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Peter Jenison / Jennison buried in Wayland, Massachusetts -- Tombstone Tuesday

Here Lyes the
Body of
Mr. Peter
Jenison; Who
Deced January Ye
17th, 1723 Aged
41 Years & 3 Mo

His foot-stone is the nicest I've seen for any ancestor of mine. Most times, I see just the initials, and never the scroll work.
Peter Jenison is my 7th great-grandfather.

Four Jenisons are buried above. Because of the sun, I couldn't take very good photos. Another trip might be in the works. This cemetery isn't far from where I live, and I recently discovered why I couldn't locate his burial site. It's because I had his named spelled Jennison and not Jenison, but his name was spelled both ways according to the sources I used. His wife is buried in another town, and I'll post that next week.

I called the Wayland Cemetery Department for help on where he might be buried. The photo below, from their webpage gave me an idea where he might not be buried, so I needed help. They didn't know exactly, but gave me two ideas. Once there, we tried the small "Old Section" first, and my husband found him immediately. Peter Jenison is listed in FindAGrave, with a cemetery stone photo, however, no lot number or exact indication of where he was buried.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Memorial Tablets, Revolutionary War and Civil War, Stow, Massachusetts

These Tablets
Are Erected
by the
Town of Stow
on its
Two Hundredth Anniversary May 16, 1883
in Commemoration of the Valor
and Devotion of its citizens who aided
in Achieving American Independence
and Extending the Liberty
and Preserving the Unity of Our Country
and Who Died in Their Country's Service


John Gordon
Died in Camp at Cambridge June 19, 1775

Daniel Gates
Died Jan 20, 1778

Ephraim Gates
Died March 19, 1778

Stephen Hale
Died July 2, 1778

Benjamin Gates
Died July 9, 1778


Winfield H. Benham
May 18, 1863 New Orleans

John Brown
Sept. 5, 1864 Point Lookout VA

John Alpheus Brown
Dec. 8, 1864 Winchester VA

Thomas Cunningham
Oct. 30, 1864 Saulsbury Prison N.C.

Edward Andrew Davidson
Nov. 9, 1864 Baltimore, MD

William Henry Dunlap
Jan. 13, 1863, New York

Samuel Hampton
June 5, 1864 Rebel Prison

Albert Mordough Kinsbury
Aug. 31, 1864 Gaines Mill VA

Daniel Artemas Lovering
June 3, 1864 Cold Harbor VA

Francis William Moore
April 19, 1863 New Orleans

Albion Nutting
Oct. 14, 1864 Washington D.C.

George Whitmarsh Parks
July 2, 1863 Gettysburg Penn

Charles F. Perry
Mar 18, 1863

James Rye
Mar 4, 1864 Vienna VA

Abraham Foster Rogers
Aug. 5, 1862 Baton Rouge LA

Matthew Smith
Dec 2, 1864 Danville VA

Joseph Albert Swift
Oct 12 1864 Winchester VA

Albert Walcott
Apr 15, 1864

George Franklin Whitcomb
Jan 2, 1865 Saulsbury Prison N.C.

Thomas Whitman
June 19, 1862 Fair Oaks VA

Henry Windsor Wilder
Sept 1, 1864 Winchester VA

George Willis
Sept 1, 1862 Chantilly, VA

The tablets are on the left and right walls in the Stow, MA Library shown below. More photos and blog post about Library may be seen HERE.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Civil War Memorial, Lancaster, Massacusetts

That Our Posterity May Also
Know Them
And The Children That Are Yet Unborn.

George Wright Cutler
Willard Raymond Lawrence
James Gardner Warner
Luther Gerry Turner
Franklin Hawkes Farnsworth
James Burke
Robert Roberts Moses
Ebenezer Waters Richards
George Lee Thurston
Henry Maynard Putney
David Wilder Jones
James Dillon
Charles Timothy Fairbanks
Henry Albert Cutler
Oscar Frary
Stephen Adams Keyes
Walter Andrew Brooks
John Patrick Wise
John Chickering Haynes
Stephen Wesley Gray
James Andrew Bridge
Henry Jackson Parker
Sumner Russell Kilburn
Solon Whiting Chaplin
William Dustin Carr
Samuel Mirick Bowman
Caleb Wood Sweet
Edward Richmond Washburn
Horatio Elisha Turner
William Schumacher
Frederic Fordyce Nourse
Geoerge Walton Divoll
John Louis Moeglen
Oren Hodgman
Luke Ollis
Fordyce Horan
Francis Henry Fairbanks
Edward Russell Joslyn
Francis Washburn
This large Civil War Memorial is in the Memorial Building and Town Library in Lancaster, Massachusetts.
(The lady sitting didn't mind having her photo taken.)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Two Disappointments With My Ancestor's Homes in Salem, Massachusetts And Then....

It seems more often than not, I come up with my blog post title first, then write the article and post the photos. With the title, it give me some direction in putting the piece together. Once the below photos were in place and the rough draft was written, I went about trying to see if there was anything new on google about the "Stephen Daniels House" and the "John Pickering House," there was and I almost fell off my chair. First things first, regarding the Two Disappoints With my Ancestor's Homes.
The Stephen Daniels House (now a Bed and Breakfast) was written about in my May 2013 post. I mentioned how I wanted to check into staying at this Bed and Breakfast.

A few months ago, while in Salem, I decided to knock on the door and see if I could see a bit of the parlor and meet the owner and innkeeper. I arrived armed with a few family group sheets as my evidence of interest. A cleaning lady clearly didn't want to deal with me, nor ask me inside. She also said the owner was sleeping (at 2 in the afternoon). I never expected a "no" even with my saying I follow the house on facebook and I have written about the house on my blog. Yes, perhaps I should have called first, but it is a Bed and Breakfast, and I suspect people do drop in on occasion. I was very, very disappointed, plus they lost a potential paying overnight guest.

I liked that it was an overcast day because the outside and inside lights were on, and flags were draped for maybe July 4th.
A few weeks later, I was back in the city to check out the library, and locate the house below since I had just discovered that John Pickering was a distant ancestor, my 8th great-grandfather.
Approaching the John Pickering House, built in 1651, I could see it's unique design and size. I had heard it was the oldest house in Salem MA. The house wasn't open the Saturday we went, but there should be another opportunity to visit it in the future.

The sign should be replaced so that visitors can read what it says. Fortunately, I took a close-up for us to read.
Pickering House
Built by John Pickering 1660

Here Was Born in 1745
Col. Timothy Pickering
In the Revolution He was
Quartermaster General and
President of the Board of War
In Washington's Cabinet He Was
Secretary of State, Secretary of War
and Postmaster General

Senator from Massachusetts
Closer view shows the house needs of a paint job, repair work and landscaping. I had hoped to show better photos of the house, but this is what I saw. Disappointment again.

However, in my google research, the Library of Congress website of Prints and Photographs Online Catalog popped up, and I found my way to The John Pickering Place then the The Stephen Daniels House. I absolutely loved seeing inside Stephen's house, both sites provided more than photos and gave estimated dates they were built. No disappointments any more, I was very pleased and maybe you will be also, if you try the website.