The Life From The Roots blog topics have changed several times since I began this blog. In 2009, with my first posts, I wrote only about the family history I had been working on for 20 years. Many ancestors lived in New England so it was easy to visit gravesites and towns where they lived. I shared many photo. Years later, I was into visiting gardens, historical homes, churches, libraries that had genealogical collections, historical societies, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history. I enjoy posting autographs and photos of famous people I met or saw.

My New England roots are in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire). Other areas include New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.

Please check out the labels on the right side for topics. Below the labels and pageviews is a listing of my top nine posts, according to Google. Four of them pertain to Lowell, MA, three are memorials, one about a surname and one about a discovery I made. These posts change often because they are based on what people are reading.

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 Blizzard 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 January 28th and January 31st. 

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 -- Lowell National Historical Park

"There is A Lot to Like About Lowell" is the city slogan.
(See tab on right side called "Lowell Series" for many more articles about Lowell.)


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 -- The Cobblestones of Lowell

"There is A Lot to Like About Lowell" is the city slogan.
(See tab on right side called "Lowell Series" for many more articles about Lowell.)

The thing I love the most about cobblestones is how they look in pictures. Intersection of Shattuck and Middle Streets, above.
Intersection of Palmer and Middle Streets.

Center of Lowell, Merrimack Street, Central Street to the left.
Note: Unfortunately, the above stones were removed in November 2017, and the area was paved over. See news article, with photos.

Cobblestones on Palmer Street, above were repaired. Streets below need some repair.

Jackson Street at Market Street.
Some cross walks have a nice designs.