Category Archives: Research Trips

A morning with the Bradstreets

Jabez Howland Home in Plymouth

Yesterday was quite an adventure! We took the subway to Braintree, MA, only to find that the trains to Plymouth had been canceled about 3 month ago. So, we decided to rent a car (had planned to do so that evening anyway) and drove to Plymouth. Had hoped to see the home of Jabez Howland, son of John Howland, my pilgrim ancestor. (I’m quite proud of the fact that MY ancestor fell out of the Mayflower and was pulled back in – what a goof ball!) Would have been nice if the tours of the house were still going, but they’d already stopped for the day by the time we arrived.

This morning we set off for Ipswich and Rowley, Massachusetts, neighboring towns where my colonial ancestor Humphrey Bradstreet resided. Continue reading


Today’s Adventure – NEHGS


The above video only hints at the massive crowds that flooded Boston in preparation for the Bruin’s parade today. Why did they have to choose THIS month to take back the Stanley cup?? We left our hotel at 8:30 a.m., giving us plenty of time to get to New England Historic and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) by 9 a.m. It’s one of my favorite libraries with six floors filled with books, microfilm, microfiche and periodicals on New England families. It’s a genealogists dream!

I digress. Continue reading


Gloucester, Ancient Seaport and Stanwood Home!

Lobster Cove in Gloucester Massachusetts

Lobster Cove in Gloucester, MA – Home of Philip Stanwood and Benjamin Bradstreet

Gloucester, Massachusetts is a charming seaport village, and was the home to my oldest colonial ancestors, including Philip Stainwood (selectman of the town and resident as early as 1654), and Rev. Benjamin Bradstreet, who was the first pastor of the Third Parish Church, now known as Annisquam Village Church. Continue reading


New England 2011! Here we are!

After tons of planning and preparing for visits to multiple libraries and other repositories of ancient genealogical (and other!) records, WE’RE HERE IN NEW ENGLAND!!! :-) I absolutely LOVE the East coast, and would love to spend time here even if it wasn’t the region that my colonial ancestors lived!

Our trip has been rather interesting, starting with take off. Due to weather in Chicago where we had a layover, our flight out of San Diego was delayed. By the time we touched down in Boston, it was 2:30 a.m. We made it to our hotel about 4 a.m. on Thursday the 16th. Needless to say, we didn’t get the early start we’d wanted that day. I had quite a list of items to search for at the Massachusetts Archives and unfortunately didn’t quite get to them all. First on the list were items I’d promised to my wonderful cousin Clarke. However, the War of 1812 and Revolutionary Muster records were not to be found for Lemuel and Benjamin Bursley.

Moving on to my Stanwoods and Bradstreets, I had a little more luck.

Dr. Humphrey Bradstreet treats Capt. Greenleaf

Dr. Humphrey Bradstreet treats Capt. Greenleaf – 1695

Dr. Humphrey Bradstreet was my 8th great grandfather, very prominent in the Newbury, Massachusetts area. I was thrilled to find several records of his care and treatment of patients. Continue reading


Pennsylvania research – oh the value of research trips!

My husband and I just returned from a five-day research trip in Pennsylvania.  It was a whirlwind trip, and as I had limited time, I had to focus my priorities and not allow myself to get distracted.  What wonderful results!  I could easily have spent the entire time at the wonderful Somerset County Historical Society!  What an awesome place!

What made this trip especially thrilling was being able to verify theories, positively identifying my third-great grandfather’s gravestone, clarifying misinformation found online, and getting to actually touch and handle 170 year old documents listing my family in 1840.  What exhilaration!  What joy!  For all these reasons, whenever possible, an on-site research trip is really the best way to work on a family history.

Gravestone for Henry Uphouse, Barron Cemetery, Middlecreek, Somerset, PA

Worn and degraded headstone of Henry Uphouse

One of my first objectives was to solve the mystery of Henry Uphouse, my third great grandfather, whom I believed to be buried at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Cemetery, also known as Barron Cemetery, in Middlecreek, PA.  Having done extensive research in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, I knew he was the only Henry Uphouse listed in the 1840 and 1850 censuses in the entire county.  I had viewed his probate records, scanned decades worth of microfilmed tax records for the county, and was confident my assumption was correct – Henry Uphouse died in sometime in April, 1857.  My dilemma?  Pennsylvania’s tombstone project listed his date of death as April 14, 1852.  Recognizing the possibility of a transcription error, I was anxious to visit the cemetery myself to visualize the gravestone.  My husband and I searched the entire site, and could not locate the headstone.  A second search through and I began scrutinizing dates, looking for one that stated 1852 or 1857, and finally found the stone shown the right.  Since the stone was so worn, the name was simply unreadable.  However, the year was clearly 1857, not 1852.  I took several photos of it, sat that evening, wishing the name to somehow magically appear.  Then I remembered an old trick I’d read about to obtain information from worn headstones, and knew I couldn’t rest until I’d tried everything to positively identify this as Henry’s headstone.

The next morning we set off to Walmart for the requisite supplies – charcoal, large paper, and at my husband’s suggestion, tissue paper.  Continue reading


Hello world!

Ernest and Susan (Stanwood) Simpson

My great grandparents, Ernest and Susan (Stanwood) Simpson

Growing up, my grandmother, Goldie (Simpson) Edwards, played a pivotal role in my life. Living next door to her, I spent much of my time at her home. Later, when she moved across town, Mom would drop me off at “Grammer’s” house before school, and the bus would take me there after school. Grammer was the kind of grandmother most kids would want – prepared with cookies and milk when I’d get off the school bus, and always ready to help with home work. At Christmas time she could never keep a secret from me. I don’t recall a year she didn’t tell me what gift she’d have for me under the tree (and sometimes she’d even let me see it!), but always warned me to “pretend to be really surprised!” As a grew up, I began paying closer attention to when she’d tell stories about how family. She always spoke with great pride when she’d talk about her mother being a Stanwood. She’d saved old letters and photographs that would later provide my first clues when I began researching our family history.

Like most genealogists, my first efforts began at the National Archives. I’d spend hours scanning the censuses, and would come home and look for more clues, searching for something I’d missed. Eventually I was able to locate cousins who were also tracing our heritage, and through them obtained more hints to solve family puzzles. After my grandmother died, my mother took a keen interest in genealogy; one of my best memories of my mother was our 2004 research trip to Bar Harbor, Maine, where we visited home of many Maine Stanwoods, descendants of our ancestor Job Stanwood. My mom passed away just two years later, and I will forever be grateful for the hobby we shared together in her last years.

With the passage of time genealogy has certainly evolved; so much information is now available online. Even without a subscription to genealogy databases, one can find clues by “Googling” their surname. While I’ve had many web sites through the years, this is my first effort at posting my family history online. Extending it through a blog to reach out to other cousins is also new – time to catch up with the 21st century!


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