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, March 17, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - LOWREY (3 generations) -- Connecticut

Thomas Lowrey
Born: April 03, 1703, Ireland (my only Irish line)
Died: May 16, 1788, Plainville, Hartford Co., Connecticut
These photos were taken from a book.  Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of his wife's (below), it was unreadable.
Mary Lowrey
Born: 1806, Scotland
Died: December 31, 1790, Plainville, Hartford Co., Connecticut

The above were my 5th great-grandparents.

Above is Anna W. Munson Lowrey wife of Daniel Lowrey
Anna W. Munson - Born: July 21, 1761, Southington, Hartford Co., Connecticut
Died: June 26, 1813, Plainville, Hartford Co., Connecticut

She was my 4th great-grandmother.
Olde East St. Cemetery, Plainville, Hartford Co., Connecticut
(I am unable to locate photo of her husband, although my records indicate I took it.)

Edmund Lowrey (above two photos)
Born: November 15, 1788
Died: October 10, 1857, Plainville, Hartford Co., Connecticut

His and his wife, Harriet Newell were my 3rd great-grandarents, and were buried at West Cemetery, Plainville, Hartford Co., Connecticut

Harriet Newell Lowrey
Born: March 03, 1794, Southington, Hartford Co., Connecticut
Died: June 17, 1878, Plainville, Hartford Co., Connecticut

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Being a Beginner Again

A Bridge To The Past
I have always enjoyed reading the article, "Being a Beginner Again" by Amy Johnson Crow, CG, written in 2003 for the National Genealogical Society's magazine. She has give me permission to use this topic for my blog. In all the beginner classes I gave in genealogy (as a volunteer), I always discussed this topic, and it seemed to make the beginning researchers feel good, because they felt they fit in with the other students in the intermediate and advanced student levels. She wrote, "A Colleague once passed along a very wise observation: 'No matter how long you've been researching, every time that you move your research to a new area, you're a beginner again.'"

After reading this, I would explain that statement to the students. At every new generation we tackle, we are all beginners. I am a beginner now try to trace one of my ggg grandmother's roots, just as another person who is working on their grandfather---we are all in the same boat.

I tell them that on February 18, 2003 had one of their Instant survey's, there was a simple question and a choice of a few answers to choose from. On that day, it was "Do you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate or expert when it comes to family history?" Once I plugged in my answer, I was then able to see the results. For this survey, 79% replied Beginner, 17% replied Intermediate and 4% replied Expert. I think this survey ties into the article, "Being a Beginner Again," it is true, we are all beginners with the line we are working on.

Your new search may continue in the same location as your previous generation. You will already be somewhat familiar with the resources. If the family moved, all the more fun in playing detective. To learn about the new location, read The Red Book to find out basic information, check out Google Maps (to see what towns and cities are nearby), Wikipedia for more background, contact (perhaps by internet) the local library and town hall in that area to see what records they have available. My Bishop line was in Connecticut from the 1650s until 1981 -- no real challenge there. But other lines out of Massachusetts migrated to Illinois, New York or Michigan forced me to learn much more and research harder. I loved it. Don't think of it so much as a hard challenge but as an adventure.

Have confidence that you will be successful either way, whether familiar or unknown locations, the research is basically the same. I have had my eyes opened to many new areas in the United States, can't beat that for an education.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Another Method in trying to Solve your Brick Wall -- Alden and Adams

The discovery that I'm related to President John Adams came about so easily, but the fact that I discovered he was related to John Alden of the Mayflower line was quite a surprise. John Alden is an ancestor of mine, and I did a post of his descendants. An update will be done soon, so I can add in Generation 2 #9, the children of Ruth Alden and John Bass. If any of you have John Alden, you might like to see who his ancestors were.

For many years (15) I have been searching for the parents of a brick wall John Adams of Connecticut and New York. He was included in my Top Ten Brick Walls, the post in which I offered to pay $100 if anybody can solve them. What makes his case more interesting is that four cousins, a first cousin, a 3rd, a 5th cousin, and I have all heard through our families we were related to the President. My above, John Adams was supposedly the black sheep of that family, and nobody, as yet, has discovered his ancestry beyond about 1757.

My 3rd cousin and I were corresponding yesterday, and I decided to try and find the President's ancestors, and more importantly try to find an outstanding source for it. As luck would have it, through a google search, I found the link for the Massachusetts Historical Society. While excited with the older Adams names, I couldn't find anybody who could be the parents of my John Adams. So my search goes on. The President is my 3rd cousin, 8x removed, and is Not an ancestor of mine.

In this case, I felt it was necessary to look beyond the President's ancestors, it could have provided information for my problem. I think most times, we just stop at the name we are looking for, but I believe there could be great clues if you look at their ancestors. They could tie into your line somehow.

On facebook last night, I posted a quick line that I made the discovery about the President and John Alden. Over 35 people liked that or made comments. It was because of the interest I thought maybe somebody could benefit from this information, especially if they already have the President, but no Mayflower ancestor. My brick wall wasn't solved, but going to his ancestors proved to be quite interesting.

Select "Learn About the Family." Below is what shows up, then click on Family Tree.
The page shows the Family tree. Scroll to the left to get the ancestors, and to the right for his descendants. I could not scroll on the iPad, so went to my laptop.

With his descendants on the screen I took photos to show you what it looks like. The minute I saw John Bass and Ruth Alden, I thought maybe there was a connection, and sure enough, you can clearly see the names of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.
Below give you an idea of the partial chart for both his ancestors and descendants.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Why I Wrote This Post...You Just Won't Believe One of The Reasons!

The photo on the left isn't anything special to anybody but me. There are no flowery or ornate designs, no statues or outstanding features on it. So when I received a request to use it for a project, I was a bit surprised. My email came from oversees and began with the following message:

"Hello Barbara, I am in the UK and I am preparing a Register of WW1 serving female casualties for publication at my own expense as a lasting memorial to these oft-forgotten women. The Register will show them in alphabetical order and comprise a short biography together with photographs of them, their graves and their memorials. One of these is Frances Poole who is in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington. You have provided a photograph of her grave marker to Find A Grave and I should be most grateful if you would allow me to use it in my Register. I will, of course, place your name against it, as an acknowledgement. It seems likely that she is an ancester of yours and so if you have a photograph of her that I might use that would be a bonus. I hope that you will give me permission. I look forward to hearing from you, Kind regards, Jim"

Of course he could use the photo, I give everybody permission to use my Find-A-Grave photos (shown above). But I needed to tell him that my Great-Aunt wasn't a ancestor (nor ancester)! So, I dashed off the below message to him, to make sure this was a legitimate request, I mean who doesn't know about ancestors?

"Yes, you may use my cemetery photo, thank you for asking first. Frances was my great-aunt, so unfortunately she wasn't an ancestor, but a sister of my grandfather. No, I don't have a photo of her, only one of her brother and a small photo of her sister, obtained through a passport application I found on

Frances wasn't in the war, she had just become a nurse but went to care for soldiers who had the flu. I wrote about that in my blog, which you may see here, and have permission to use anything in the blog.

"Hello Barbara, Thank you for coming back to me. I am most grateful to you for allowing me to use your photograph of her grave. You have corrected me on one thing. I always thought that an ancestor was anyone, back through the generations, that had the same blood source. A quick look at the meaning on wikipedia I see that it is just going back through parents and parents of parents, etc.

He quoted and answered my question: "I'm curious, how did you happen to find her on FindAGrave?"

My project is 20+ years in the making (so far). I have a listing of all WW1 serving female casualties which is virtually complete. This is for British, Canadian, South African, Indian, Australian, New Zealand and other British overseas territories. In addition, virtually all of the US women who served and died serving their country in wartime or died as to a consequence of the war. Your great aunt was one of these. She did not have to work overseas to be classed as a casualty of the war. Just dying "in harness" was enough. So I have her name and her date of death. With this it was not difficult to search Find A Grave (or Billiongraves) to find out where she was interred. I have a successful hit of about two out of three. I do not have a great deal on your great aunt so far but what I have I have put below. If anything is wrong I should be grateful if you would let me know.   Kind regards, Jim"

Two reasons for posting this, the first is to show that not everybody knows what an ancestor is and second, if you are a blogger, you'll always be surprised by some of the emails you receive. The above link is to one of my more popular posts called Frances and the Flu. The cemetery is in Washington, D.C., and I made a special trip from Massachusetts to see where my great-grandparents were buried, and his sister, the above Frances. The trip was six years after I left my Washington job, and never knew they were there, buried within miles from where I worked!

Note: Jim gave me permission to use what he wrote.