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.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year for 2014!

Happy New Year to my readers, face book friends from me and my friends below (the birds, bear and critters).

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Great-grandparents married on Christmas Day, 1888

Special Christmas greetings to my readers. May your day be magical with those you chose to spend this day with.

 (Photo used with permission from Thomas MacEntee.)
I love this tree, and think it goes well on this post for the Victorian Wedding of my great-grandparents on Christmas Day. 

Marriage Announcement of their Christmas Wedding, Dec. 25, 1888.
Marriage Certificate for my great-grandparents.

Note: This is a re-post from December 2009.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Old Handmade Christmas Cards made by my Grandfather

The Christmas card shows a picture of my mother, born 1919.  I like the garland spelling the word MOM with my mother's photo inside.

There are now two children in the family, see in upper window.  I would have loved to have seen 1923, 1924 and 1925, but they weren't in the collection.

This card is also a birth announcement for another child.  The sisters are shown with their brother.  My grandfather probably had the cards completed before the birth, and wrote in the name and date.

My grandfather absolutely loved England, and went many times.

I found an article which appeared in The Hartford Courant, Dec. 14, 1976. "The Peck Memorial Library (Berlin, CT) announced Monday the opening of a new exhibit of more than 40 Christmas cards. The exhibit, titled 'Christmas From the Bishops,' will feature cards sent by the Earle K. Bishops of Kensington section from 1921 to 1976." This month, I will be posting several of my grandfather's cards.

This was made in 1921, three years after they married.

Note: I have about 30 in his collection. Each card was posted to my blog in December 2009.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Smoke Stack Christmas Tree

"The smokestack tree contains 5,440 light bulbs over 32 cables anchored to a 102-foot diameter angle ring at the base. The tree is topped with a 19-foot star." Information from The Lowell Sun newspaper, December 2011 (I had it linked, but the article has been removed.)
The tree is located in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Reflection in a nearby mill.

From Wikipedia, "The Wannalancit Mills are an example of adaptive re-use as they contain offices. Part of the mills are owned by the University of Massachusetts Lowell. In 2000, the owners of the mill utilized their smokestack for the city's largest Christmas tree, reaching two hundred and fifty six feet in height."

Originally posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011.

Daniel Chester French Led Me on a Trail

Sculptor Daniel Chester French's world known statue of the Concord Minute Man stands in front of Diane MacLean Boumenot, a fellow blogger and friend. We were there in October, and the following month I went to the Concord Museum to see the exhibit, "From the Minute Man to the Lincoln Memorial,  The Timeless Sculpture of Daniel Chester French."

General Joseph Hooker, an enormous statue in front of the Boston State House. I saw it less than a week ago, but it too dark to take a photo.
At the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, D. C., putting his pieces together.
Plaque states this was his drawing of his first studio in Concord, Massachusetts. This needs to be corrected (9/18/16) to read this painting was done by William Merchant Richard French, 1879. The exterior of the Concord Studio, built in 1879 was built next to his family's home on Sudbury Road in Concord. The artist was Daniel's brother.

The Museum exhibit was large, but I'm cutting back my photos, because of the things I discovered on my own, and new photos I want to share. Yes, another adventure trying to find out where Mr. French lived and where he died. Neither of which was easily obtained via the internet, except for wonderful FindAGrave.

When I saw his painting stating he had a studio in town, I asked a multitude of questions, like is it still standing, and where. I was given a map with two locations marked, on the same street, for the house and the studio. It was too dark to look for them, so we came home. Then with a lot of luck, I discovered the studio (now as a house) had just been sold...with photo of the outside, and about 20 interior photos! Thanks to Zillow it made my future visit all the more easier (I removed the address, because of privacy for the new family).

Back to Concord a few days later and I found the house, the former studio. (see below.)

Daniel Chester French Studio 1879

However, I couldn't locate the small house (original studio), so I called the Museum and spoke with two people, and both gave different answers as to where it was. In all, three people tried to help (and one wrote on the map), but I still couldn't find both buildings even after a 2nd trip. It's amazing, I didn't get stopped by the police and questioned as to why I was slowing down, turning around in quite a few driveways and going back and forth.

Regarding his death, all sources I read stated he died in Stockbridge, Massachusetts at his summer home called Chesterwood. The minute I discovered he was buried in Concord, I returned to the town a fourth time in two weeks. FindAGrave was a big help as was a map from the Concord Library online site. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is quite large, but although it was a warm day, and I was the only one there, I didn't mind, because I was on a mission. The photos below show where he was buried.

Within a short distance of the cemetery is the Concord Free Library, and that meant another stop. Through my reading, I discovered Mr. French had made a sculpture of Ralph Waldo Emerson (after his death) and it was in the reading room of the library. I had been in this library many times (it was where I hung out two days after 9/11), but never looked at the many pieces of sculpture, including two of Louisa May Alcott.

Below is the detail on Mr. Emerson's coat collar.

My photo of the Concord Minute Man was taken several years ago.

I then discovered he summered for 30 years in Stockbridge, Massachusetts at his estate and studio, called Chesterwood, with 120 acres. The good news is, these buildings are open to the public for the price of admission. Please see my post with lots of photos of the studio and estate at:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Finally, What Was the Good Stuff in The Probate?

Etching of W. F. Poole
New York Times Obituary
A Bill of Appraisement of the Estate of William F. Poole, late of the County of Cook and State of Illinois, deceased was finally signed on 25 March 1895, a year after his death. The Will and Probate as well as the "The Longest Obituary I've Ever Seen" were discussed in previous posts, but I just have to share this with all the librarians who may have learned about him. Yes, he had assets, quite a lot in my opinion, but that isn't what interested me. I wanted to know if the Librarian of the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois had any books.

He sure did, 2,600 books, all valued at $1. That portion of his estate was worth $2,600. Why did he have so many books, did they belong to the library or were they actually his? And if they were his, was he going to give them away or donate to the Library. If they were his own, I wonder why didn't he just use the ones at the library and save his money.

Below are copies of the Bill of Appraisement, Agreement with Houghton, Mifflin and Co., and Appraisers' Estimate of the Value of Property Allowed to the Widow.


of the Estate of William F. Poole, late of the County of Cook and State of Illinois, deceased.
                   One lot of Books (2600 in number) at $1.00 per volume.
                                                                                      Total-         $2,600

             "Agreement between W. F. Poole and Houghton, Mifflin and Co. of Boston, Mass., dated September 30th, 1890, whereby Houghton/, Mifflin and Co. agree to pay royalty on all sales of 'Poole's Index to Periodical Literature.' The value of said contract is impossible to determine, but Houghten [sic], Mifflin and Company have paid to W. F. Poole from the time of the date of said contract, an average of $350.00 a year thereon."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Displays in Concord, Massachusetts

Wreath on the Colonial Inn door.

The Patriot and the Sculpturer, Both are Well-known. One Didn't Come Back

Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial
During the fall, I took a detour from my own research of ancestors to that of finding out about some important people I've learned about through my New England travels. Three individuals were highlighted in a museum or a National Historic site. The first of these was Augustus Saint-Gaudens, of whom I blogged about his fabulous summer home and studio in New Hampshire. Because of his sculpture of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial also known as the Shaw Memorial (see left and below) in Boston, a piece of work that I had seen, now suddenly interested me enough to learn about Robert Gould Shaw (the officer on the horse). The trail of Mr. Shaw took me from New Hampshire to several places in Massachusetts, a nice hands-on method of learning.

I soon learned the history of the 54th, through reading and getting out the movie, "Glory" to watch. Eventually, I discovered that, "When Shaw was five the family moved to a large estate in West Roxbury, adjacent to Brook Farm." That in its self was enough to excite me, because two months prior I wrote about my 2nd great-grandfather surveying Brook Farm. I wonder if my ancestor ever saw young Robert Gould Shaw.

Apart from his young life, I was curious as to where Robert Gould Shaw was buried. A discovery thanks to Find A Grave led me to Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts brought a huge smile and I knew within a few days, I would find his tombstone. Photos are below. 

The names of his parents, wife and other family members are engraved on the back of the stone.
On the grounds of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' property is a near replica of his memorial in Boston.

While preparing this post, I realized I didn't have a photo of the original, in Boston. I have been by it many times, but there were always too many buses and tourists around. So on a very cold December day, my husband and I went to the city just so I could take the above picture. It was quite overcast, and this is definitely not my best shot. I'll try for another one, maybe when the trees are green.
The above photo of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial may be seen out this window. Behind it is the Boston Common. This was taken from inside the State House. No, I couldn't believe my luck when I looked out the window.

Links to Robert Gould Shaw's life and the Massachusetts 54th regiment are below.

Thanks to Pam Seavey Schaffner for posting on facebook a video done by the American History channel called American Artifacts Preview: Shaw Memorial.