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.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Putting My Lives Together

A little update. I have not posted a blog since December 2019, but I feel like I've been blogging the entire 2020 year posting to my journal in a private blog. The working title is called Putting My Lives Together and I thought it was an appropriate title because I was constantly getting my life's facts wrong. This isn't like a genealogy post or research, but I was dealing with my own documents and memory. The thing that started me on this trail was I discovered I had seen the Gateway Arch in St. Louis three times instead of one time, and since I didn't remember that, I decided to do something about it.

So, my 2020 New Year's Resolution was to do a journal about my life. I knew I had lived in 18 different locations covering four states (California, Connecticut, Virginia, Massachusetts, and a few months in Texas when I was in the service).  I also remember the four different fourth grades (in three different states), and the two high schools in different towns in Massachusetts, the last year was my senior year.

I've never used scrapbooks or journals, but I did have a 5-year diary for years 1963/4-68, and a lot of loose papers, some with a date of what I did. However, I was a huge collector of mementos, playbills, tickets to concerts, theaters, various events, a lot of letters because I was always moving, flyers, newspaper clippings, photos, and other items. These were always stored in a big Rubbermaid container. Nothing organized (just like genealogy sometimes). When I began going through my paper treasurers, I found my baptism certificate and had no idea I had been baptized in Illinois! That along with finding photos of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis got me thinking about my life. I also couldn't remember the chronological order of some of my jobs and dates to many of my moves. And, the letters from my grandparents, aunt, and mother (hidden away for 25 to almost 50 years) provided a wealth of information. I had everything saved that mattered.

In January 2020 I made eight piles of what I wanted to cover. Where I lived, various friends in each location, jobs, plays, my family, trips all over the United States. Doing this helped me immensely. I always knew I saw the St. Louis Gateway Arch in 1979 with my sister on a west-to-east coast road trip. but I had completely forgotten a 1988 trip from Virginia to the midwest with my husband, and a 1976 road trip from Virginia to St. Antonio. Thank goodness I had photos of all three and they were dated on the back. New York City trips were pretty much jumbled, I just knew I visited about 25 times, but with whom, where did we stay, and what we did was driving my mind crazy.

Fortunately, after a week or so, I got the piles done but wasn't sure how to begin putting them together. So, I began with Journal #1 sharing all I knew about my birth in New Britain, CT, and that my grandmother was the attending nurse. My grandfather was an architect of the house, and I only lived there for about 9 months before moving to California...that location was covered in Journal #2.

When I began this journal I told my husband that I would allow myself one year. So, my friends, this is why I didn't write any genealogy blogs last year. The project was very therapeutic because my husband died on April 14th. Throughout the 2020 year, many of my memories with past boyfriends and former husband, my DAR and VA jobs in Virginia cheered me up. My husband and I began our lives together about 52 years ago, so there was a lot of coverage regarding him, both in Massachusetts and Virginia.
We loved genealogy, cemeteries, and libraries. This is my favorite photo of him. Thank you Bill for the memories.

I put this information into a new Blogger file, printed it out in color, and copied it to Dropbox. I went through so much ink and paper of course, but the 350-page pile was worth it.

If I had children, I believe this would be something they could be interested in, rather than reading about the old people in my genealogy reports.

So, I have spent the last few days working on some posts, one is recent, the others were done in a draft in 2019. You will see a few new posts down the road very soon.