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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, November 24, 2015

The Balch House of Beverly, Massachusetts Celebrated Many Thanksgivings

This house was built in 1636 by John Balch and is located in Beverly, Massachusetts and is maintained by the Beverly Historical Society. It is one of the oldest wood-frame houses in the United States. My photos show the various rooms.
The above guest book for visitors has been used since 1969. I first signed it about 16 years ago, and then On July 11th of this year. A facebook and blogger friend, Pam Carter signed it about a week before I did. She also did a more detailed blog post, which is excellent, so if you would like more information, I suggest you visit her site HERE.



1826 Balch water bucket.





Below is a 1640 chest that held a 1814 Bible.

Front of the house.
BALCH HOUSE

BUILT IN 1636 BY JOHN BALCH,
WHO CAME OVER IN 1623 WITH
CAPTAIN ROBERT GORGES. THE
"OLD PLANTERS" RECEIVED THIS
LAND IN EXCHANGE FOR THEIR
SETTLEMENT AT SALEM.
Back view of the house.
Side corner view. Parking in the back.

2 Blanchard Brothers, Tiffany, First Buried, Stone Bridge, Leno, Andover and Medford, MA



When I discovered I had an 8th great-granduncle buried not too far from where I live, I knew I would have to visit the West Parish Cemetery in Andover, Massachusetts. The cemetery is huge and although I knew what the stone looked like, thanks to FindAGrave, I didn't know where it was located. Fortunately, I knew there was a small sign next to the stone, so that made the search easier. Within a short time, my husband found it. Written on the small Corian sign was, "Samuel Blanchard, April 23, 1707 First Burial in West Parish Cemetery and Oldest Stone in Andover."
HERE LYES Ye BODY OF
SAMUEL BLANCHARD
WHO DEPARTED THIS
LIFE ON Ye 22d OF APRIL
1707 IN Ye
78th YEAR OF HIS AGE
Ye MEMORY OF Ye JUST IS BLESSED

A few cemetery stones from this sign is the burial site for Jay Leno's parents. (See below.)

Site where Samuel Blanchard is buried is behind the 3 tall fur trees on the left.
Stone bridge on the property of West Parish Cemetery.
Chapel at West Parish, Andover, Massachusetts
(Photo taken in August.)

The lovely 1909 chapel has 14 Tiffany windows! "This chapel is one of only two churches built in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with all of its windows made by the Louis Comfort Tiffany Studios of New York."
Both of these rose windows are 10' in diameter.

Below are the six side windows (see the link above for the 14 Tiffany windows for an explanation of these pictorial windows).






The brother of Samuel (above) was George Blanchard and the following day, I went out to find out where he was buried.

My 8th great-grandfather was buried in the Salem Street Cemetery in Medford, Massachusetts. This line is new to me, and I was pleased that I could visit both brother's graves. George Blanchard's daughter Rachel married John Smith and they settled in Killingworth, Connecticut. It is town I have the most events for my ancestors, total is over 1,537.

HERE LYES Ye BODY OF
GEORGE BLANCHARD
AGED 84 YEARS DIED 
MARCH 18 1700
There are five ancestors buried in three different plots shown above. George Blanchard, Caleb Brooks, Nathaniel Wade and Mercy Bradstreet, and Samuel Wade. In addition, I have quite a few others buried here.

Unlocked gate to the cemetery.