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, August 18, 2016

Would Jump of Happiness if We Could Find a Photo of Him -- The Words from a Swedish Researcher

A few weeks ago, I received a message from Christer, a gentlemen from Sweden who was researching Mr. Paulson, a family member, in Lowell, MA, where I live. The writer found me by seeing my post, Doing Genealogy in Lowell, Massachusetts? Here is Help. I don't have ancestors or family from this city, but since I had just written the post about Lowell research, I wanted to be put to the test with my knowledge. We corresponded several times, and he told me all that he knew about Mr. Paulson, proving to me, he is an accomplished researcher.

Below are a few things he wrote:
"I've found .... - him in the census' 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940. - his lodge membership card. (mason lodge) - his social security number: 004-07-3168 - out he died in Feb 1978, in Lowell - his WW1 and WW2 registration cards - I have also found him in several city directories. I would really love to find out if he had any children! And of course if you can find an obituary, maybe that will give me some more information!? Somewhere, I don't remember where and can't find my notes about it, I saw he were politically active. Maybe that's could be a way to go.... And most of all I would jump of happiness if I could find a photo of him or his relatives. I guess it is to ask for too much but as we say here in Sweden - Frågan är fri! (The question is free of charge!)"

Christer sounds just like all of us, it doesn't matter where a researcher lives, we get excited, and know we too "would jump of happiness if we could find a photo of him". Actually, he now knows more then he ever expected to. All it takes is locating somebody in the same town/city as the person you are researching and is willing to help out. 

During several days, I took photos of where his Famagust Paulson lived in 1940, found the exact death date from the Social Security Death Index (he had just the month and year), got a certified death certificate an obituary and went to the cemetery for tombstone photos. In other words, almost a complete package.

Getting a vital record from a city or town hall, is always easier for you and the clerk if you provide the correct date. Your wait won't be too long, and the clerk isn't frustrated by not being able to find it. Lowell record books are huge and heavy, and I'm quite sure they don't want to carry one back to the safe to get the "correct" one. At the city hall I quickly got a copy of his death certificate with all lines filled in, including the father's name, which was unknown to Christer.

I have gotten many certified copies of records for various people, including my husband and his family. I'd wait and wait, and listen to the old typewriter make it's noise, and once in a while, a report would have to be retyped. But not today! I noticed immediately, that the clerk was typing on a computer! I asked a few questions and discovered that no longer will a record have to be typed twice or more times, for once the original is saved it will be used for anybody looking for that particular individual. If you need 10 death certificates for a person, you won't have to wait for each be typed. Lowell had entered the modern age for researchers needing these records. I doubt if they will be online though. (If you look at the death record below, you'll see it has a Date of Record of February 21, 1978, a few days after the death.)

The city library is next door, and that is where the newspapers are kept. The four seats for the microfilm readers were empty, and I found the roll I needed. Famagust's death was February 17th, but the obituary was printed the following day and, it's far larger than I expected, plus there was a photo, very good news for Christer!

In addition, I went to the Lowell Cemetery and found the burial site for Famagust and his wife. Photo shown below.

Obituary was transcribed, see below.

Obituary taken from The Sun, Lowell, MA
February 18, 178

Famagust, S. Paulson
dies at 93

"Famagust S.Paulson, of 117 High Street, died Friday morning, at a local nursing home, after a brief illness, aged 93 years.

He was born in Denmark, the son of the late Franz and Bernhardina (Bengston) Poilsen but had come to this country at the age of eight years, having lived in Provincetown and Springfield, before establishing his residence in Lowell, 40 years ago. For a period of twenty years, he had been a salesman for the former Brockelman's Market, having retired in 1950. Prior to that, he had been a chauffeur in the Washington, D. C. area, for many years, having left there in 1930. Very active in local politics, he was a member of the Republican party and was widely known for his work on various campaigns. He had been a delegate to the conventions of both Senator Brooke and former President Nixon.

He is survived by his wife, the former Evelyn Hill; his step-son, William Carter of Naples, Florida; his sister, Mrs. Florence Larson, of Fairhaven; two brothers, Bernard Paulson, of Fairhaven and Frederick Poulsen, of Chino, California.

He was a member of the First United Baptist Church of Lowell. Active in Masonry, he held membership in William North Lodge, A.F. and A.M. of Lowell; as well as Mt. Horeb, Royal Arch Chapter and Aleppo Temple, Order of the Mystic Shrine, of Boston. He was also a member of the Father Norton Friendship Club."

Lowell Cemetery, Lowell, Massachusetts
Catalpa Avenue in the Range ER1


Famagust S.
1884   ---   1978

Pray For Us

Evelyn L.
His Wife
1894   ---   1982
(His wife's dates are August 12, 1894, she died July 20, 1982 in Tewksbury.)

This area, called the Range, is the prettiest section in the
Lowell Cemetery.

Monday, August 1, 2016

I am Really Going Nuts with Russia

During the past month, there has been a large increase in my stats, and I'm not happy about it. I only wrote five posts in July and am happy with the response I received. The problem is with the Russians! They seem to be reading my posts or doing something else with my data. Let me explain. I haven't written a post in a week, yet my stats show 2180 hits came from Russia this week, vs. 700 from the United States. I can't figure out why, nor do I know what they are looking at. It makes me nervous and nuts.
Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States

The listing below is for the past 24 hours or so. The links are active, so you could read these articles, if you want to. The numbers reflect the hits. Now, I ask, why would 19 people be reading about my two-year old blog, or 14 people interested in seeing my 2nd great-grandfather age through photographs and pictures?

I'm still trying to decide what to do, but until then, I'll share what somebody out there is  interested in.

Oct 15, 2011, 26 comments
Nov 24, 2010, 7 comments
May 18, 2016, 2 comments
Aug 26, 2013, 20 comments

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! It also needs to be retaken on a sunny day, without dark shadows from all the trees. (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.