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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Photos and Autographs, Country Singers -- Wordless Wednesdy

A blogger friend wrote something yesterday on facebook, and it reminded me that I had the autograph and photo of the person referenced to. I told Lori Hellmund about the items, and I would scan and share today, but it wasn't until I realized all the other singers I had that I decided to make it a post for Wordless Wednesday. Below is her autograph. Any guesses? The answer will be at the bottom. I thought I would share these photos and autographs from the 70s. You should know most of them.
Crystal Gayle.

 Tom T. Hall in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.

(Photo taken same evening I saw Sonny James, Sept. 19, 1976. in Virginia. She wasn't a "star" then, but I knew of her because I followed all country singers. I got her autograph after I returned from my car during a short break. As I walked along the school hallway, she came out to get a drink of water from the fountain. We were all alone, and I asked for her autograph!)
(A friend went to him and got 4 autographs. I was chicken.) He sang at Hillbilly Haven, a club owned by former actress Donna Dixon's father in Lorton, VA.
Ricky Nelson aka Rick Nelson
I was at Paul's Mall  in Boston one evening on Nov. 17, 1970, with my date. A small room, with lots of tables and chairs, and a small stage. I was there for the second show, maybe began at 11. There were so few people there, but I was determined to get his autograph. At that time, he wasn't as popular as previously, so there weren't any groupies, only me. When he took a break, I knew he had to walk past me, so when he did, I asked if I could have his autograph. He said, "yes, follow me." Off I went to his little room. I blabbered something about liking Boston, and probably something else. I don't think he asked me anything. Anyway, I got the autograph! He wore a skin tight neck to toe white leather outfit with leather fringe from the shoulder to the wrist. I remember the important things. And yes, he sang, "Garden  Party."

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Manning of Cambridge, Massachusetts

It was a dark overcast day this past July 4th in the Boston area, but I was quite confident my husband and I could locate three cemetery stones in the Old Burying Ground at Harvard Square, Cambridge. Even with an image from the 1902 book "The Manning Families of New England." and FindAGrave photos, it took us over 30 minutes to locate the two stones. Based on the 1902 photo, you could see a church, but there are two churches adjacent to the cemetery and all the trees were full with new leaves. We couldn't figure out which church to use as a guide. Many stones were hard to read, and the book photo didn't show the walkway, as shown below. At last, the two stones were found, shown below, are in the center, and other Manning stones on both sides of the walkway, at the foreground. Since it was so dark, I had to lighten the individual photos quite a bit.

I just found out about William and Dorothy Manning, my 9th great-grandparents, in late June. Below, you'll see the difference between the old cemetery photo and my current one, both taken near the same spot.


Monday, September 28, 2015

The Book and the Old House, What A Find!

In April, I discovered two new lines, that of Stearns and Manning. While at the Chelmsford Library in Massachusetts, a big orange book looked down on me. It was called, "The Manning Families of New England." Was it worth a look, you bet. The book is like a family Bible with all kinds of sources and photos, including a ca 1901 picture of where several were buried, cemetery inscriptions, a full genealogy, plus family photos.

When I realized the family once lived just a few miles away, I drove over to check it out, although now a pub and restaurant (it isn't on a road I would normally travel). Several employees were outside, waiting for it to open to the public, told me that the Manning family was just there for their annual reunion. Goodness, I had to check into that bit of information, so I used Google quite a  bit that afternoon. That night, I took my husband to show him the house/restaurant, and I was thrilled to see the area lit up in lights. Below, are some photos taken that evening and a copy from the 1902 book.

Above photo (page 63) taken ca 1902 of the Billerica, Massachusetts homestead, (originally built in ca 1696) just miles from where I live.

In the past, this house and addition were used for restaurants. One being the long standing, The Manning Manse. Other restaurants came and went. The current restaurant is Jon Ryan's Pub (and Restaurant). The Manning Association owns this property, see below about the Association. Samuel Manning, my 8th great granduncle was the owner and builder of the original house. The president of the Association helped me in finding somebody who could tell me exactly where Samuel was buried, and yes, I found the tombstone. Photos of his parents will be posted tomorrow.

This information was exciting to me because, although not directly related to Samuel, I can claim his father, William, as a direct ancestor. I first ate in this house/building many years ago, so  approximately 50 years later I am here again. My husband and I ate in the restaurant section recently (both pub and restaurant had been updated). The waitress was a delight, and I told her of my relationship to the family. I couldn't tell if this  20 yr. old knew what I was talking about, because, after all, it was genealogy chatter. Minutes later she asked if I wanted to see the old rooms! What old rooms, I had no idea. Of course I did, silly question. Below is a combination of those taken at night, and the ones that I took a week later in the daylight. The owner's son brought me in and let me roam, and ask questions...I had a good 10 minutes there. There are four rooms, but I'm just showing three, because the 4th was set up for a future buffet. They rent out these rooms, I was informed. Three lovely period rooms.

Above shows half of the table.

Above and two photos below show the three fireplaces.

The stairs to the second floor, closed I wanted to go up.

Link to the Manning Association, for information, history and photos.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

In Westminster, Massachusetts -- The Forbush Library for Genealogy, Crackers and The Old Mill

The Forbush Memorial Library / aka Westminster Public Library
Above is the old original front entrance, and below is the back newer entrance. History of the Library may be seen HERE.
The newer book area is the first room you see entering from the above back door.
Below are four photos showing the beauty of the original part of the library. You feel as though you're visiting a museum. Every old area makes up for the ugliness of a new room.

The three photos below show the genealogy / local history in the locked, very small room. I didn't notice a table to work on!

The photos above and below are on the top floor, in the original building. During this day, the room was filled with many round tables topped with books for their book sale.

Looking out the front door to Main Street, Westminster, Massachusetts.
The Westminster Cracker Co. manufactures crackers and their famous oyster crackers, are made from the original 1828 recipe. The company had its beginnings in 1824, and is now headquartered in Vermont. (If you click on their link, you'll see an old photo of this building.) While researching this company, I discovered their facebook page. Apparently, the company still has ties to the town, and they are sponsoring The Westminster Cracker Festival in a few weeks.

No trip to Westminster would be complete without a meal from The Old Mill. Shown above is the old restaurant (enlarged so you can see it through woods), reached by a small covered bridge. Below is the scenic pond and falls.