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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Family, Genealogy and High School gatherings are similar

Family gatherings and genealogy conferences are similar to high school reunions. At least I think so. I haven’t been to a family gathering in many years, due to my small family and distance, and I've gone to genealogy conferences, but I just attended my first high school reunion. Hold on….my 50th.

There is only reason I went, my girl-friend wanted to go, and really wanted me to attend. I was hesitate, because I hardly knew anybody, first 50 years ago was a very long time, who would remember me, and why should they? I was only a student there for my senior year, a total of 9 months. All their friendships had been formed, many since first grade, and since I moved around afterwards, including living in Virginia for 20 years, I only had one good friend. Anyway, we went.

Chelmsford. MA is only a few miles away, and we were at the Country Club within minutes. With a pit in my stomach, and scared to death, I thought of  Gini Webb’s (genealogy friend) personal message to me regarding her recent reunion. I can only think, this is what it is like for all those people attending a genealogy conference, seminar/lecture or a family reunion, when you don’t know anybody. It is awful.

When we walked in, I saw some men, none looked familiar, nor their names. Fortunately, the women came over to great us, all knew who I was! I knew all their names, but could only place a few of the faces. They were so friendly, and very surprised to learn that I had only attended that one year. Later, I couldn't believe the nice time I had; it would have been my loss if I had stayed home. So, don’t stay home. Just go to whatever event you want to go to. People won’t bite.

The saddest thing was the reading of names of classmates who have passed away, quite a few recently. It was a real wake-up call. The best thing was, Judi, at my table mentioned her daughter-in-law was into genealogy. Within seconds, I whipped out my genealogy business card and gave it to her. Then, when I got home, I discovered one of my class-mates wrote on her information sheet that her hobby is genealogy…yes, I will be writing her.

I recently read my yearbook information again, this being the page where the staff wrote something about me. It said, "Barb--neat, tidy and well-groomed --  manner reserved and well poised -- Lexington's loss and Chelmsford's gain” The Class Will said, “leaves her friendly manner to” ___(withheld), one of the popular girls of the Jr. class. I think after 7-8 months of knowing me, they had me down pat. So when I saw a few of the ladies and told them how much that meant to me, then thanked them. Again, please go to your reunion, your old friends or family members may not be around the next time there is one, enjoy them now.

Lowell, MA Sunday Sights -- James McNeil Whistler House and Park