U.S history – OUR history

A Patriot and a Red Coat in Concord, Massachusetts

A Patriot and a Red Coat in Concord, Massachusetts

My husband and I spent an awesome week in Boston, and enjoyed visits to Lexington and Concord, Cambridge, and my favorite town, Quincy. The latter included a tour of the homes where John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams, were born, and concluded with a visit to “Piece field,” the enormous home where John and Abigail Adams made their abode after returning from Europe.

Reflecting on our nation’s history and the roles my own ancestors played in it, I’ve come to realize that U.S. history is now MY history. It is personal.

My ancestors were here during those early colonial years, and took an active role in events that shaped our nation. Not only did those events involve the men, but the women and children were dramatically affected as well; when their husbands went off to war, the women were left to carry on with her usual chores as well as maintaining the farm and managing affairs at home.

When I think about the sacrifices my forebears made for our country, I have to wonder – am I made of the same hardy stuff? Could I have endured the eight months my 5th great grandmother Sarah Day spent at home without word about her husband’s safety and well-being while he and the militia marched from Ipswich, Massachusetts to New York in 1776? Or when he was called to duty again in 1779 with his unit reinforcing the army under General Washington?

Yes, our ancestors, both male and female, have made many sacrifices to give us the freedoms and privileges we have in America today. For this I’m grateful and proud. I’m also cognizant that we have reached a crucial juncture in the 2016 election with two political candidates who have quite opposing values and world-views (not to mention political strategies). The outcome of November’s election will have a profound impact on U.S. history that has yet to be written. I’m sure I’m not alone with the sense of unease that often overpowers me when watching the evening news these days, listening to world events and thinking about the role our next President will play in them.    Our ancestors faced similar dilemmas in choosing the nation’s earliest Presidents; and like them, we must prepare for the upcoming election. We must cast our vote for the candidate we think will continue to move our nation forward to ensure our grandchildren and great grandchildren will be proud to be called Americans.


Missed NGS? Get a PlaybackNow package!

playbackAre you an NGS left-behinder?  NGS has partnered with Playback to record the large majority of their sessions, and they offer a variety of packages for purchase.  Of course, you can order a la carte, and purchase only the lectures of interest, or you can buy the whole enchilada!  A 6-month “Fast Pass” allows you to listen to any of the recorded lectures for up to six months, and is the most affordable of the packages at $195 (conference special) or $295 for non-attendees or purchase after the conclusion of the show.  The 12-month Season Pass allows the same streaming as the 6-month package, but has the added advantage of download, so you can save the MP3s on your device to listen later.  More details can be found on the NGS site here and at the NGS Playback page here.


The Future of Family Tree Maker

Family Tree Maker at NGS 2016

Family Tree Maker at NGS 2016

The genealogical community was certainly rattled when Ancestry announced the imminent retirement of Family Tree Maker (FTM) in December 2015.  Many people breathed a sigh of relief two months later when Ancestry shared:

Software MacKiev, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. Software MacKiev has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for more than six years and is thrilled at the opportunity to publish future versions of Family Tree Maker for Mac and Windows.

So then, what exactly IS the future of Family Tree Maker?  I had the opportunity to explore this with Judy Wright, a volunteer and beta tester manning the Family Tree Maker booth at NGS, and asked her how Software MacKiev will ensure that the program remains solid for serious genealogists.  Will they consider the needs of the genealogy community as the add (or, gasp, remove) features?

Software MacKiev, according to Ms. Wright, has taken their acquisition seriously.

    • They are already investing in the future of FTM, and have doubled their design/programming team.
    • Beta-testing for FTM’s Window’s application is underway.  Ms. Wright is one of eight beta-testers, and related that the designers really consider the feedback the beta-testers provide.  She encourages those that wish to participate in future beta-testing to sign up on the FTM site.
    • Visibility is important to them, as well as the ability of getting feedback from users.  Their booth at NGS is part of that visibility.
    • Users of FTM are also encouraged to visit the Family Tree Maker FaceBook page where feedback, questions and comments may be voiced.  Not only will developers see your comments, but the page is also monitored by Software MacKiev’s president, Jack Minsky, who has been at the helm of the company for the last 21 years.

It appears that Sofrtware MacKiev is committing the resources to ensure Family Tree Maker remains a solid genealogy application for current and future genealogists for years to come.


The animals of my ancestors

My great grandfather, Ernest L. Simpson, far right, with his dog.

My great grandfather, Ernest L. Simpson, far right, with his dog.

I sit here typing with two Toy Poodles on my lap.  (I come from a long line of animal lovers!) Where did this love come from?  Until recently, I assumed this passion for animals was nurtured through childhood.  Certainly that is part of it, but I was intrigued by last week’s episode of TLC’s Long Lost Family, in which a woman was introduced to her biological father.  While they had before never met, father and daughter learned they had one huge thing in common – a love for animals.  Both were involved with animal foundations and rescue programs, and considered animals to be a huge part of their lives.  Could this love of animals be partly genetic?  Continue reading


The Chosen Genealogist

FiveGenerations_DescendentsofLavina

A very young me with my maternal ancestors

This Facebook post so eloquently describes the passion…the mission…to know our ancestors!

We are the chosen in each family

There is one who seems called to find the ancestors.

To put flesh on their bones and make them seem alive again.

To tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.

Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but instead breathing life into all who have gone before.

We are the story tellers of the tribe.

~Author unknown

Do you have a favorite poem or quote that explains your passion for genealogy?


17th Century Ipswich: Drama in the Day Family

Thomas Day married Ann Woodward

Thomas Day married Ann Woodward

Thomas Day, the son of Robert Day (immigrant ancestor who settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts) married Ann Woodward. Ann’s family seemed to constantly find themselves in the midst of drama and conflict. Perhaps the most interesting drama involved Ann’s sister, Sarah, who was the topic of discussion in court. Sarah Woodward was apparently unhappy in her marriage to William Rowe, and didn’t hide from others her ongoing attraction to former suitor, John Leigh. William Rowe, Sarah’s husband, finally said enough is enough, and on 28 March 1673, William brought suit against John Leigh “for insinuating dalliance and too much familiarity with his wife, drawing away her affections from her husband, to the great detriment both in his estate and the comfort of his life.” Thomas Day himself was witness to the ordeal, and on 19 June 1673 “Mary Sparke deposed that being at William Rowe’s house, together with Thomas Day and his wife one Sabbath day at night, arose a discourse between us about fishing….” A few days later, Ann (Woodward) Day’s aunt, Grace (Beamsley) Graves and husband Samuel Graves testified as follows:

…we speaking with Thomas Day our Cousin that married her sister about Sarah, He told us that when she was first married Sarah Carried well to her husband till John Lee frequented the House & her Company when her husband was abroad a fishing, & speaking of her husband Wm Roe he spoke of him in a deriding way of the disparagement of his person; & she answered, well why is he not as other men, If you had bene a sea man as long as hee you wold have had wrinkls in your forehead as well as hee excusing John Lee’s disparageing words…”

Not only did Leigh visit Sarah (Woodward) Rowe at her home, but Sarah was found at Leigh’s residence:

Samuel Hunt deposed that after Sarah Row was married he saw her in John Leigh’s house, where he asked her for some oil. Leigh replied that the town had given liberty to a company of ugly fishermen to come into town, but they were not any better for their coming but a hundred pounds worse. Leigh was very angry and walking to and fro, the woman sitting in a chair before the fire, weeping, etc.

Unfortunately, the court records do not mention Ann (Woodward) Day’s thoughts on her sister’s actions, and we only hear from her husband Thomas. However, Ann’s mother’s wisdom and somber advice to her daughter Sarah was revealed by Mary Fullar:

I hard Sarahs owne mother say to her Sarah have a care what you do: be sure you can loue him: if you can loue him tacke him: and do not say that I prswaded you: its you that must liue wth him and not I: therefor be sure you loue him and her mothr was very seariouse wth her.

Source:  Library of Congress

Source: Library of Congress

 

How refreshing to see such words of encouragement from our ancestress, who is ensuring her daughter is marrying for the right reasons. One must ponder why Sarah proceeded with the marriage when she clearly still had feelings for John Leigh. If only she had heeded her mother’s advice, much misery would have been avoided. Without it, however, we would not have been given Samuel and Grace (Beamsley) Grave’s deposition in which they state “Thomas Day our Cousin that married her sister,” a clue that there is likely a relationship between the Grave(s) family that had hailed from Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire, the same place where Thomas’s father Robert had lived.


eBay, an overlooked resource for finding rare books and other stuff

Recently I was chatting with some members of my genealogical society, and I was surprised that not everyone thought of using eBay to locate items of genealogical value.  Not only do I sometimes find books there, but my mom once purchased early 19th century letters written by our Stanwood relatives of yesteryear.

This morning, however, I awoke to an email alerting me to a new item added for a saved or “followed” search.  This is handy when the item you are looking for isn’t on eBay, but you want to receive notification if someone posts it online for sale or for bidding.  Such is the case with this rare book I wanted – The History and Genealogy of Chester, Maine (which I snagged after receiving this email notification this morning!)

Email notification

Email notification

I also used saved searches for geographic areas.  For example, I’m interested in just about anything pertaining to Ipswich, Massachusetts, where John Day resided.  So I do not have to search manually when sellers add items, I have set this as a followed search.  To do this, simply click the “Follow this search” link that is show to the right of your search criteria:

Click the Follow Search to receive notifications when new items that match search criteria are added

Click the Follow Search to receive notifications when new items that match search criteria are added

So what items have YOU found on eBay lately?


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 124 other followers