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.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day -- Seeing President Carter, Princess Diana and an Old Army Photo of Me

I have celebrated Veterans Day in some pretty unusual and exciting ways. I got to see President Carter at the annual ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., and in another year, I got to see Princess Diana (and Charles).

Click on my blog posts about President Carter and Princess Diana.

Those were fun Veterans days, described above. But for the more serious side, I offer this. I worked at the Veterans Administration (VA) in Washington, D.C. for about six years. Later, I was at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) a few blocks away from the VA and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I remember walking by the construction for the memorial, but once the names were inscribed, it took a good year before I could go back over there and see it. I just didn't want to see the names, especially the name of somebody I knew. The picture was taken in October, probably 1990. Below, is a picture of me. Please remember this day and what it means to you.

Me at Fort Belvoir, Virginia
(A little follow-up, I still have my fatigue pants, jacket and great leather boots.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Please Remove my Tree so Readers Can't Use My Wrong Information

The program RootsWeb / Family Trees also known as WorldConnect has not worked for almost a year! About 11 months to be exact, because last December 17th, there was a major malfunction, and my tree is frozen in time, because there is no way to edit or remove it, and Ancestry is still working on the problem.

So what does that mean to me? To you? To those of you who find my information through Google searches, you could be receiving incorrect information, because as I already mentioned, I can't update or make corrections to that tree, so why would you want to use it?

If I had a relatively small tree and everything was perfectly sourced and correct, I wouldn't worry. But, I've got over 45,000 names, and the tree was begun 29 years ago. I usually updated it every other week. Updating was easy, I made a new GEDCOM and used the update features on RootsWeb to get the information to the web via Ancestry.

Normally, I love to share my information, however, for all these 11 months, I've made probably 400 or more additions or corrections in my genealogy software. But, you won't see the corrected files. The minute fixes the problem, I can repost an updated GEDCOM for you to receive the correct information online or through a Google search. I've deleted my tree from several DNA related sites, such as GedMatch and Ancestry's DNA site, for the reasons mentioned.

If you are curious about RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project, go to, and you will get the page shown below.

RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project

Click on the second tab that says Family Trees, it opens to the diagram below. Normally, currently, you have two search options. 1. Put in a name. 2. Type the database you want to look at. In the past there were other options like, edit or submit your tree.
See the section above called About WorldConnect? You should click on RootsWeb's Accetable Use Policy. It opens to the page, "Something isn't right here." See what you get from Ancestry. The last line states:
RootsWeb is funded and supported by and our loyal RootsWeb community. Learn more. 

About Us | Contact Us | RootsWeb Blog | Copyright 
© 1997-2018 Ancestry  | Corporate Information | Privacy | Terms and Conditions

 Remember, be careful using trees that haven't been updated since December 17, 2017 because owners may have made corrections. There are a huge number of people who haven't updated in years, so be alert to that.

While going through old files, I came across early printout of what an early (2003)  RootsWeb page. I used it and the other examples below in several of the genealogy classes I taught.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Cogswell's Grant, Essex, Massachusetts, A Historic house that Holds a 60 yr. old Collection

Cogswell's Grant
60 Spring Street
Essex, Essex Co., Massachusetts 01929

What a strange name and what does it mean? From what I learned, is the name of the property that includes a house built in 1728 and a farm comprising of 165 acres, and for 60 years it became the summer home of American folk art collectors, Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little. They purchased the property in 1937, for $13,000. "Once Mrs. Little was able to trace the history of the farm, she discovered the 1636 land grant to John Cogswell in the manuscript archives for the Town of Ipswich, and she named the property “Cogswell’s Grant.” Originally, there were 300 acres, but previous owners sold some of their property. The land was leased to tenants then, and is still being used by local farmers. The couple made changes, as did previous families, to suit themselves. There are no period rooms, it is more like a museum.

Visitors Center, in the cow stable of the barn. Behind the chairs, you can walk along and see on the wall a genealogy of the Cogswell family and history of the property. (Photos at the end.)
The property passed through several Cogswell generations. The third generation daughter, Elizabeth Cogswell married Thomas Wade in 1670 in Ipswich. Her husband is my 7th great grand-uncle.
To begin our August tour, we walked to the front of the house; below was our view of the town of Essex.
Photo taken in October 2018.
These two photos were taken in the first room we entered, the Green Sitting Room. So much to see, old and new. Note the semi-old tv!

Room to the left is Mrs. Little's study, shown below.
Love the typewriter and old black phone.

Collection of redware pottery.
The dining room, however, I forgot to take pictures, other than the redware and fireplace. What was I thinking? But, I got the kitchen.

Very small kitchen and table is next to the dining room, and is where lunch was eaten every day.

Front parlor.

Up to the second floor.

My favorite bedroom.

Rugs and paintings everywhere in the next three photos.

Treasurers everywhere.
A view looking up to the attic, unfortunately we didn't go up.
Above is a guest bedroom.
Of course, every item in all the rooms had a story because Mrs. Little researched each item and documented them.
Bedroom of Mr. and Mrs. Little. I'm surprised the beds and coverlets didn't match.

Child's bed seen above and below.

I believe the rug and throw had much brighter color.

First floor guest bedroom, right near the front door. The room was filled with things to look at, beginning with the ceiling (see pg. 6 of website.) The bed was covered with a bed rug.

I've never been into folk art, but after this tour, I was hooked. Perhaps because so many items came from the area or other parts of New England. It seemed they all came with history, as a matter of fact, Mrs. Little shared her expertise by writing 10 books on decorative arts and related topics (some with her husband). The house was jammed with things to look at. During the other months, the couple used their English china and silverware in their home in Brookline, Massachusetts.
View from first floor window.

Property outside is lovely, you are free to roam and go into the barn.

Looking up at the barn and visitors center.

We returned in the middle of October because we thought the maple trees would be in full color, but unfortunately, they weren't.

Photo from their website. The majority of their land is rented out to farmers.

I have decided not to use the Comment feature for my blog. If you would like to leave a comment for me or ask a question, please write me at my email: Thank you.

My reason is because since November 2017 to May 2018, I received no comments, but upon investigating I found that I had indeed received 167 legitimate ones and 1,000 were in the spam folder. Google Blogger had made some changes that I was unaware of. Please be aware that I do not know who reads my blog, I may know who subscribes, but that is all.