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, January 29, 2015

His Little Green Book Was So Organized, Why Can't I Be?

Since 1981 this little green book has been looked at many times, because it contained a wealth of information about my Grandfather's many trips. At the time of his death, this was one of several things I decided to keep. It was in good condition, but I looked at it so many times that page holes have torn and the binding had to be taped.

When my grandfather married in 1953 to his secretary three months after his wife passed away, I believe they decided to make their time together (he was 61, she 52) travelling around the world. There is no date on this book, but the fact that they went to Cuba is an indication it was before 1962, and Cuba is #1 in the index and first page, shown below. I believe their honeymoon was in Cuba and Mexico.

Many years later, I received over 2,500 slides that corresponded to the pages in this book. I had seen many of the slides when they shared them with my family during our infrequent visits to Connecticut. They not only traveled the world, but spent winters in Florida, and summers in England. Some of you might remember the hand-made Christmas cards he made when I posted them to my blog.

I believe I inherited my love of travel, genealogy and photography through him, but not the ability to be organized. He was a NYC architect, so that accounts for his neatness and organizational skills, I believe. Many years later, when the widow was moving, she wanted to get rid of the slides, all in trays, in about 10 xerox paper boxes. Nobody wanted them, but I did express an interest. Ultimately, I got them, and they remained in my basement for about 15 years...never looked at them, so they collected mold.

I know, that's sad and I should have known better. My grandfather would be horrified with me, especially if he knew I had to toss after I went through each slide. I kept maybe 10. To clarify a bit, all slides with family members had been kept by the widow, and I have no idea why this index book wasn't with the slides. I assume she knew about it.

Regretting isn't going to help me now. I can hear my genealogy friends voices now, and believe me I don't know what I was thinking. But a lesson to those who have old photos and slides, don't keep them in the basement.

Since this is the beginning of a new year, I'm going to try very hard to be more organized in my life. Not just with genealogy, but with personal papers as well. Actually, I am going to put the personal before the genealogy as we move into February. He'll be watching me, and telling me to go quicker so I can get back to genealogy!
The index (top and bottom) consisted of two pages. You can see for Cuba and Mexico there are two pages,  some countries had many pages.

 There are 5 pages on the ships list.


TK said...

Three things:

1) Wow. I'm awed, especially since I'm manually indexing a 200-page book right now. Labor-intensive!

2) Basements should be illegal!

3) I should take a page from your grandfather's book, so to speak, and index that shoebox full of slides that's around here somewhere...

Barbara Poole said...

TK, congratulations on your book. Have you written about it, gosh, I hope I didn't miss it. Do tell.
This basement has 3 small windows and heat, but we use it just for storage.
I think his filing system could be understood by anybody, it lasts. No need to use a computer, and you can erase all you want.

Jana Last said...

Wow! He really was organized. Very cool book Barbara!

Barbara Poole said...

Thank you, Jana. I've always wished I could have tagged along. They did take me to NYC for a week, we stayed at their apt. there and I got shown all the sites, back in late 50s.

TK said...

I'm with you, Barbara, sometimes the paper way seems better in a lot of respects. I've even been thinking a rolodex would be nice. Never had one before, but I think it would be a great solution for websites with passwords.

The book project? Blurb, as usual. Mentioned in a few of the recent posts at Before My Time. Fun stuff!

Jana Last said...


I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a great weekend!

Barbara Poole said...

Wow, Jana, thank you. I think you should start putting your own blog on that list!
Here is Jana's excellent blog:

Miriam J. Robbins said...

Hi, Barbara,

Just wanted to let you know this post was highlighted in my Friday Finds and Follows: 30 January 2015 post on my genealogy blog, AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors.



Barbara Poole said...

Miriam, you are too kind. As you know, I'm not a writer, so I use photos a lot to help me write. I'm glad you liked this post.
Here is Miriam's wonderful 9 year old blog, AnceStories at

John D. Tew said...

A very nice post Barbara. He was neat and organized -- and VERY well traveled. You may not have the slides, but I think you have something even more valuable . . . the painstakingly careful and neat record of his travels in his own hand. When you hold the book, you hold his work in your hands. Something he sat and worked on and constructed himself. The slides he were pictures he chose to take, but they were probably processed by someone else. His book is the real treasure so I would not feel too bad about the loss of most of the slides. Hold his book and you hold part of him. :-)