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.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

What Did Louisa May Alcott's Father Think About Genealogy?

The Granary Burying Ground, Boston, MA

A visit to an art exhibit displaying the works of N. C. Wyeth called the Men of Concord, in the Concord Museum, Concord, Massachusetts put me on another research trail, like many others I've blogged about. This one led me to two cemeteries (Concord and Boston), a library for a book and the internet for information. I could have written about each of them (the art exhibit, the two cemeteries, the book and internet), but I wanted to write one piece tying in all the elements.

So how did my inspiration come about for writing this post?

After Seeing the painting, Mr. Alcott in the Granary Burying Ground in Boston, in the museum, my first thought was, "this is an idea for a post", because I love that cemetery.
I knew immediately I had find the cemetery stone behind Mr. Alcott. The internet helped, because I found all I needed to know about the stone and painting from an article in the Boston Athenæum which stated, "The location that Wyeth chose for his painting, however, can be pinpointed because he had included in the foreground the gravestone of one Ruth Carter, which has survived and is very well preserved. The stone is, in fact, a masterwork of American gravestone carving and one can understand why Wyeth gave it a place of prominence in his composition. Here, elegantly posed and carved skeletons, obvious allegories engaged in the dance of death, flank the incised inscription that summarizes Mrs. Carter's brief life."

I checked on FindAGrave and saw a very clear photo taken rather recently. So, I knew I had to see that tombstone in person.

I then decided to get the book, Men of Concord out of the library, after all that is the name of the art exhibit I attended.

None of the above was worthy of a singular blog post, until I read the chapter on A. Bronson Alcott. Then I knew I had to write a post, not about the fabulous cemetery stone or the painting, but what Henry David Thoreau wrote about Bronson's love of genealogy.

But, sometimes I change my mind, and I did several times with this post because of so many elements. Sharing my steps that lead up to this finalized post. First, the art exhibit.

In the room were 12 paintings done by N. C. Wyeth were displayed, some owned by the Concord Museum, some by the Concord Library and the Boston Athenæum owns the one I was interested in. We were not allowed to take photographs.

After seeing the above exhibit, I had to find the stone behind Mr. Alcott, for two reasons. First to see if that person was related to me, and second, it was a fabulous stone, with a full-length skeletons on each side. I located it and determined that Ruth Carter was not a relative, and the stone needs to be cleaned! (I made this black and white, and it's the last photo shown.)

Another cemetery trip took us to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts. I had been there many times, but I hadn't taken a photo of Bronson Alcott's stone. Shown below is a listing of all family members on the back side of the tall marker. You'll note, that Louisa May Alcott's middle name is after her mother's surname. Henry David Thoreau's stone is a few steps away.

1799      ---     1888
1800     ---     1877
1831     ---     1893
1832     ---     1888
1835     ---     1858
1840     ---     1879

Each person has a small stone with initials and dates.
Soon, I received the library book, "The Men in Concord," and read only what was written about A. Bronson Alcott. When you read what is written, you'll understand why I chose the title for this blog.

Pages 79-80
August 11, 1852.

A. Bronson Alcott
Alcott here the 9th and 10th.

...he has been for some months, devoted to the study of his own genealogy...

has faithfully perused the records of some fifteen towns, has read the epitaphs in as many churchyards, and, whenever he found the name Alcock, excerpted it and all connected with it... reading the wills and the epitaphs of the Alcocks with the zeal of a professed antiquarian and genealogist!

Nevertheless the similarity of name is enough, and he pursues the least trace of it.

He visited the tomb of Dr. John Alcock in the Granary Burying Ground, read, and copied it.

Has visited also the only bearer of the name in Boston, a sail-maker perchance,--though there is no evidence of the slightest connection except through Adam,--and communicated with him.

He says I should survey Concord and put down every house exactly as it stands with the name.

Admires the manuscript of the old records; more pleasing than print.

He copied the epitaph of my grandmother-in-law which he came across in some graveyard (in Charlestown?), thinking 'it would interest me!' 

Alcott Family Home in Concord, Massachusetts
Open for tours.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Did You Hear About the Great New Features From

Photo from pinterest.
This painting of A. Bronson Alcott, father of Louisa May Alcott and has nothing to do with, other than I wanted to read his obituary and the best place to go for that is GenealogyBank. I was fortunate to be informed that some major changes were coming to this program, and when two recently appeared, I wanted to write about them. Bronson Alcott is my example, since I saved three obituaries about him in the My Folder box.

If you don't know about the new feature, My Folder, it's quite easy to understand, because it's simply a folder where you save your findings. The tab shows on your home page when you sign on to GenealogyBank, if you have already saved something. If you want to see what is in there, click on it. If nothing is displayed, that shows that you haven't saved anything. To begin with GenealogyBank (provided you are a subscriber),  go ahead and write in your Ancestor's Last name and First Name, find something to save (instructions below), and it will be saved in your My Folder.

When I clicked on My Folder, I see my three saved obituaries for A. Bronson Alcott.

To look at the last obituary, click on it then it opens to the screen below. My red arrows show a new option, Email, and the recently discussed option, Saved in My Folder.
If you want to Email this obituary to somebody, click on that option, shown above, and it opens to Share This Image. I love both new features, and look forward to the other new changes, especially one that I've complained about. Keep tuned.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Appleton Building -- 166 Central Street, Lowell, Massachusetts

Photo by Barbara Poole
When I took this photo on October 5, 2014, I had no idea what the renovation of a small room, next to an alley, was all about. We then walked around the front of this huge building and took more pictures. I decided to follow this building project for a future blog post like I did for three years covering Counting House Lofts, of Jackson Street.

I have an attachment to this building, The Appleton Building, built in 1879, because in the 1960's I used to deposit checks daily for the company I worked for in this building, then the Middlesex County National Bank. This was two blocks from where I worked, so I also had several doctors in here. Below are two after photos, taken in July 2016.
Taken from Central Street, with Warren St. on the left.

Hurd Street is on the right. Former bank entrance is in front corner, now a large window. Public entrance to building is on the right, in smaller building near the alley.
Photos taken at night, through the windows, different dates.
Above and Below taken Oct. 5, 2014.

Above and below were taken December 13, 2014.

Alley photo, during the day. October 8, 2014.
Work was done on the outside as well.
Facing Hurd Street. The building extends to the white bank. The door on the corner was replaced by a large window.

An article in The Sun (newspaper) of May 3, 2015, had an piece about this new renovation, "New Life for a long-faded gem." From this article, I learned, 1.5 million pounds of debris had to be removed, 200 windows were replaced, removal of the door to one of 3 vaults which weighed six tons and was 18 inches thick (part of the interior vault is the wall for a ladies room).

I believe the above article was written at that time because Lowell was going to have it's annual Doors-OPEN-Lowell (see 2016 schedule), for two days the following week. Many new buildings are often open to the public for them to see what was is new or a showcase an old favorite building. This building was open on a Saturday morning, however, when I went, I was informed that the project was taking longer than expected. We all understood, and were assured that the following year, they would show it to the public. We were, however, shown the main seating area on the first floor. The old corner front door and Central St. front windows are shown below.

In May 2016, the Appleton Building was shown to mostly local interested residents during the open house. I felt lucky to learn that my tour guide was given by the architect. As usual, I asked quite a few questions that I knew he could answer. Before I show you the new building, I'll show what the building looked like when it was built.

Access Genealogy A Free Genealogy Resource
Drawing of the Appleton Block obtained from Access Genealogy A Free Genealogy Resource.

Main floor seating area.
Main floor, looking out on Central Street (this used to be the corner door).

I loved how they incorporated original parts of the building, including the bricks and stairs. As shown from the sign below, they even kept part of one of the bank vaults, that is now used as part of a wall in a restroom.

Element Care is the company that occupies the entire building.

We were shown 3-4 floors, and went via up one of the most modern of elevators, the fastest made. I especially liked taking city view photographs.

This is the alley where I first saw the work being done in October 2014. The Sun Building may be seen in the distance.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Early Family in Lowell, Massachusetts

Property of Barbara Poole
This is a photo of my husband's family. His mother is the little girl in the front, with her siblings. His grandmother, born 1892, is the lady in the middle. Since the children were born in Lowell, undoubtedly, this is where the photo was taken, circa 1917. The husband was an electrical engineer in a silk factory, the wife didn't work, the oldest daughter was a bookkeeper in a yarn mill. The other children were not working in 1930, per the census. In later years, my husband's mother worked in a mill, and later at Prince Spaghetti as a bookkeeper.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lowell, MA Roll of Honor --- 2,100 Names

The Lowell (MA) City Directory of 1918 "containing a General Directory of the citizens, house directory, business directory, street directory and record of the city government, institutions, etc." And, I recently discovered there is a listing of 2,100 "Lowell men  in the service of the United Stated and her Allies in the Great World War." Although I don't have any ancestors from Lowell, I thought this list provided useful information. There are 18 scanned pages, and the first one describes how the information was obtained. The names are in alphabetical order and I made the pages extra large for easier reading (however, some won't enlarge). In 1918 there was a population of approximately 115,000 people.

This 1918 city directory is my personal copy, and if anybody needs a look-up please contact me.

Page 99

Page 100

Page 101
Page 102

Page 103

Page 104

Page 105

Page 106

Page 107

Page 108

Page 109

Page 110

Page 111

Page 112
Page 113
Page 114
Pages 115-119

Page 120