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.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Old Fort Westesrn is Not in the West But in Maine

When I saw a small write-up about Old Fort Western, located in Augusta, Maine, I knew I wanted to see it. Not sure why, because I've got no western in me, but since it was in Maine, and I'm often in that state, I thought, yes, something new to see. I did some research, and noticed that Wikipedia had a lot of information, and refers to this fort as Fort Western, not Old Fort Western. Augusta, the state capital, isn't new to me, since I've been to the state library, as a tag-along to my husband who was doing his genealogy. I've no ancestors from the state.
We got lost in Augusta and stopped at Lisa's Restaurant at 15 Bangor St. for directions to our destination. So glad we did, because we ate one of the best meals ever, and hope to go back again. We were fortunate to learn that Old Fort Western was within walking distance, but our luck ran out when we got there, they were closed!

Even though the online information stated they were open that day. On our September weekday visit, we learned they had just given their last tour to some elementary students, and were preparing to leave. Upon hearing we were from Massachusetts, one guide, out of the goodness of her heart, took us on a quick tour. We were very lucky.
I took a lot of exterior photos before we were allowed to go inside.
"Old Fort Western, built in 1754, is America's oldest surviving wooden fort." Per webpage of City of Augusta, Fort History.

Looking toward Kennebec River.

This is an original room, later used as a store.

According to the guide, the old fort had been enlarged several times. I love this color, and interesting stair design. She did give us some facts and figures, but after four months, I don't trust my memory to write about the rooms.

From the webpage of City of Augusta, Fort History, see below.

"Old Fort Western, built in 1754 and a National Historic Landmark, is America's oldest surviving wooden fort - a reminder of the great contest between cultures that dominated New England life 250 years ago. The Fort was built by the Kennebec Proprietors, a Boston-based company seeking to settle the lands along the Kennebec River that had been granted to the Pilgrims more than a century earlier. The company and the Province of Massachusetts both were interested in expanding their influence in the area as part of an effort by Britain and her colonies to take final political control of North America and to sever what they saw as the ties between the Abenaki (Maine's Indians) and the French in Canada.

Built at the head of navigation on the river, Fort Western served as a fortified storehouse in support of Fort Halifax, located 17 miles north. Supplies were shipped via sloop and schooner from Boston as many as four times a year, unloaded at Fort Western, then taken by flat-bottomed boat, often against a strong river current, to Fort Halifax.

James Howard's Company garrisoned the Fort and guarded the head of navigation on the Kennebec from 1754 to 1767. A Massachusetts provincial unit, the original garrison was made up of Captain Howard, his sons, and 15 other men, mostly of Scotch-Irish descent, who had first been stationed at Fort Richmond, also on the Kennebec River about 15 miles below Fort Western, then transferred to the storehouse when construction was completed in October.

Fort Western was never attacked directly. Private Edward Whalen, however, was captured in May, 1755, as he attempted to deliver dispatches to Fort Halifax. He spent four years in captivity, first among the Indians, then as a prisoner in France. He was exchanged in 1760. Other garrison members were fired upon as they returned a boat to Fort Halifax in 1757.

Protected behind its four-pound cannon, the garrison spent most of its time doing routine duty, including boat repair, cooking, baking, brewing, and getting wood, in addition to helping re-supply Fort Halifax.

Hostilities on the Kennebec came to a virtual end in 1760 following Wolfe's capture of Quebec but the garrison at Fort Western, though reduced in strength, stayed on station until late in 1767 to help maintain an English presence on the river. Finally, when the last of the garrison was discharged, Captain Howard made arrangements to acquire the Fort's buildings and surrounding lands.

Benedict Arnold used Fort Western as a staging point for his assault on Quebec in 1775 during the American Revolution He stayed in the area for a week or more as his bateaux were completed and supplies loaded. Some of Arnold's officers, including Daniel Morgan, Aaron Burr, and Henry Dearborn, lodged in the Fort's main house. But never again after 1767 would soldiers be stationed at Fort Western. Its future instead played out not in military terms but as civilian store and private residence."

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Pomp Lovejoy, Died in Andover, MA, How Can you Find his Burial Site?

I've been wanting to post this since May 2016, because I "discovered" a grave marker for a 101 year old slave who died in Andover. However, because of the sun, my photo didn't come out. I went back several times, but always had the same problem. Even the person who took the FindAGrave photo had difficulty and had to lighten it considerably. So this post was put aside for many months.

Then, on August 31, 2017, Bill West of the West in New England blog, wrote in his post that he had Pomp Lovejoy named as "'Negroe servant' to my 7x great granduncle Captain William Lovejoy". That was my solution, and I told him I had a photo and would post it on my blog. But, I never thought it would take five months to write and share this, because, I still needed something else to go with this post.

Today, I remembered a former post in which I gave exact directions to find some relatives buried in the same South Church Cemetery where Pomp was buried, and I was able to find them immediately. I'm resharing the instructions, so if Bill West or anybody else wants to find a cemetery stone there, all they have to do is follow the below instructions.

Pomp Lovejoy, different visits (note flag missing.)
See the FindAGrave photo and compare to mine.
Lightened, but can't read. His wife, Rose was buried beside him.

Pomp and Rose Lovejoy are to the left on this row, the Coburns to the right, and below.
Same location, different years, the flag is missing.

South Church / South Parish Cemetery
Central Street, Andover, Massachusetts

How to find burial sites of those buried in the South Church Cemetery in Andover, Massachusetts.

Step 1
After I found Pomp Lovejoy on the FindAGrave site, I clicked on the link for the cemetery listed on Pomp's page. The link for South Church Cemetery was listed and I clicked on that. Then clicked on the tab Get to Know Us, and brings you to Cemetery Information, so easy. You are ready to search the Cemetery Database.

Step 2
The following steps are easy from here on out, just type in your surname, as I did below for Lovejoy, Pomp. You'll get the Lot number and Detail. Click on Detail, and you'll get a detailed report ... see my yellow reports below on Pomp Lovejoy. I've never seen anything like this in all the 150 or so different cemetery visits I've made.

I made a quick call to the church to see if they had maps, they did! The following morning, after printing out my names and writing their Lot numbers with Grid number (very important), I showed up at 9:30. Once you have the Grid, it is easy to find who you are looking for. Copy of map is below (reduced in size many times).

To recap, if you believe your individual is buried in this cemetery, you'll need to insert the surname, note the Lot number and Grid number (from the Detail information), then use the map. Example for Pomp Lovejoy are below.

Click on Show, under Detail, and you will find a complete report, like Pomp Lovejoy's below. The grid number in the report tells you where he was buried. Then go to the cemetery map and find that grid. With the grid and lot number, you should have an easier time finding the stone than if you didn't have this information.

Cemetery Map
The Church and Cemetery from Google Earth.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Jack Kerouac Was a Man Who Loved Cats. See the Proof.

Lowell, Massachusetts was home to Jack Kerouac, a famous novelist, poet, and "beatnik" for part of his life. Although he has been deceased for almost 96 years, the city still enjoys celebrating his life, especially during his birth month of October. Throughout one week, the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival is held (2017 program on link). An update: To celebrate his birthday, I just read about an On the Road Marathon to be held March 10th and 11th in Lowell.


He was born in Lowell, lived here and many other places throughout the United States, and was buried here. We have a park named after him, and tourists come to the city to see where he lived.

Over three years ago, I posted a blog post, "There Is A Lot to Like About Lowell -- Jack Kerouac, Life and Times, Birth and Death," which included photos of a place he lived, his cemetery stone, and showed an exhibit of his personal items.  This past year, I had the opportunity to see another exhibit, held during the Doors Open Lowell weekend (selected buildings open to the public). The exhibit is now a permanent fixture at the Allen House (above), built in 1854, which has the office of the current Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML), overlooking the Merrimack River (below), not far from my house.

The exhibit is small, although enjoyable, especially if you love cats and Jack. Below, is what you see first, as you enter into the main room of the house.

Above from Jack Kerouac Center for the Public Humanities.
Below is the brochure I received, showcasing the exhibit.