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, March 31, 2011

Follow Friday -- Research to do Only Once

In the past week, I've been thinking about the lives of my parents before I was born. A blogger, Remembering Those Who Came Before Us and facebook friend, Sara Campbell mentioned Union College. Hum, that is where my father went, and a thinking out loud thought to myself was written to Sara. I was curious to know if I could get a yearbook photo of him and any other information from his file. Sara sent me a link to the college, and the process began. After calling Union College in Schenectady, I called my mother's college, Skidmore in Saratoga Springs, both in New York. Below are some of the things I received.

Three days after my call to Union, I was looking at his yearbook page, and other copied files. I discovered my father was in the Choir, Dramatic, Track and Camera Clubs. Who was this person? He never sang, did any sports, didn't attend plays, and took very few photos. As my father, he collected old maps, old guns, old stamps and was an avid ham operator.  His nickname was "Pud," what kind of name is that, where did it come from, well, I'll never know.

The file contained my birth announcement, printed in two newspapers, and a few other pieces about his service. His obituary was in the file, and date stamped at the college a week after he died. Seems my mother knew what to do, as she sent all these articles to Union. He majored in Science/ Chemistry and became a Chemist, working at several Boston area companies.

My mother's  file was similar, with a yearbook photo and listing of her clubs. Since she majored in Costume and Textiles, she was quoted as saying, "Have to make a sweater to match the socks I knitted for the game tomorrow" Looking at her photos reminded me of the movie, Mona Lisa Smile, since Skidmore was a woman's college. (She was her class agent 15 years up to the time of her death.) Many years later, she attended Northeastern University and received her Masters Degree in Education, and became a teacher.

If your parents went to college, this might be a nice resource. I found out more than what is mentioned above. Neither college asked me for any information, perhaps because obituaries (with my name mentioned) were in their files. The process was so painless, and I got a huge payoff. Photos below are of my mother.
My mother holding the magazine.
My mother on the ladder.


Carol said...

What a lot of fun!!!!!

Apple said...

I'm glad you found some surprises! The club photos are wonderful, so much better than just the little portrait photo that I think of when I think of year book photos.

Sheri said...

Barbara - I did the same thing a couple of years ago. My parents went to K State University in Kansas. The fraternity and sorority my parents each belong to also provided a wealth of information and photos.

Hmmm, Pud. Nope I haven't a clue.

Barbara Poole said...

Thank you for your comments. I've never written abt. my mother, so this was a first. And, I wish I could come up with a better title for this post!

Susan (Nolichucky Roots) said...

What a great idea! I'd have loved to see your face as you reviewed your father's info.

I was just about to wonder if large state schools would have similar resources when I saw Sheri's comment. Great post.

Barbara Poole said...

Susan, I did have a surprised look, esp. seeing stuff about me! Glad you enjoyed the post.

Travis LeMaster said...

What a great post and resource! Thanks for sharing this find with us.

Susan Petersen said...

Barb - really nice that you found this information about your parents. Sometimes it's hard for many of us to imagine that our folks had lives before we came along! I've been fortunate in finding quite a few yearbook photos on Ancestry in recent months.

Barbara Poole said...

Travis and Susan, thank you for posting your comments.