Author Archives: Lauren Mahieu

The homestead of John Day in Manchester, Maine

For the genealogist, little can compare to finding the homestead of your ancestor.  And with the help of Dale Potter-Clark of the Readfield Historical Society in Maine that is exactly what we did!

This house is believed to be the homestead of John Day

This house is believed to be the homestead of John Day

First, some background:

On 24 October, 1796, John Day purchased from Benjamin Allen a portion of Lot 41, then described as Winthrop, in the County of Lincoln, Maine. Continue reading


Cynthia Sears Day, daughter of Aaron Day and Martha Tibbetts

Five years ago I took a DNA test with one goal in mind: to solve the mystery of Cynthia (Day) Bursley’s parentage.  If you’ve been following this blog, you know that the last couple of years I’ve been just a *tad* bit focused on researching Cynthia’s parents, and published a proof argument linking her to parents Aaron Day and Martha Tibbetts.  You can find posts about Cynthia’s parentage here, and the discovery of her mother’s maiden name here.

However, besides my own proof argument that demonstrated there was no other plausible set of parents for Cynthia, there was no paper that directly linked to her to this branch of the Days.   Until yesterday.  Well, it existed before, but I didn’t know about it!  🙂 Continue reading


Will the real wife of Aaron Day please step forward???

Call the genealogy police!  An impostor has posed for the wife of my 4th great grandfather, Aaron Day!    Who the heck is Marion Harris?  How on earth did she make it into SO MANY family trees???

46 Ancestry trees erroneously include Marion Harris as wife of Aaron Day

46 Ancestry trees erroneously include Marion Harris as wife of Aaron Day

Marion Harris was sneaky.  She saw an opportunity and she joyfully GRABBED it!  Continue reading


“In Search of Our Ancestors” – two thumbs up!

InSearchI’ve often wondered what really drives me in my passionate search for my ancestors?  Certainly the enjoyment of solving endless puzzles and the adrenaline-rushes with the thrill of the find make genealogy exceedingly fun.  But is there another reason so many of us are obsessed – and may I add, COMPELLED – to learn our ancestors’ stories???

Megan Smolenyak’s book, In Search of Our Ancestors, features stories of genealogy sleuths whose experiences of serendipity have led them to incredible finds.  I can certainly relate and have story after story of things that certainly shouldn’t have been.  Like the time my husband and I decided to get off the highway at a small town in Minnesota.  He was hungry and didn’t want to wait until we reached our destination to eat, so while he went into McDonalds, I visited a neighboring, old cemetery – and found the gravestone of a family member I had no idea was buried there!

One has to wonder if it is simply serendipity or random coincidences that result in such finds, or if there is another reason that we are so often successful in unlikely discoveries such as this?  Like a little help from beyond?  🙂  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which was both heartwarming and inspiring, and think you will too!


Spinsters and single-women in the 1700s and beyond

picture

Sarah.  Abigail.  “Aunt Nabby.”  Lucy.  Mary.  Hannah.  Elizabeth.  These are the names of just a few of the Day family women residing as “single women” in Ipswich, Massachusetts in the 18th and early 19th centuries.  They clearly did not espouse the joys of marriage as depicted in the c. 1790 picture above.  What on earth would cause so many women of the Day family to remain single in an era where women could not easily support themselves, and opportunities for the unmarried female were scarce?

The obvious explanations could certainly justify a spinster or two in the family tree, but TEN? Continue reading


Jeremiah Day’s “Highboy Chest of Drawers”

Helen (Freeman) Grant wrote to her cousin, Elsie (Day) Hansen about Jeremiah Day's Highboy Chest of Drawers

Helen (Freeman) Grant wrote to her cousin, Elsie (Day) Hansen about Jeremiah Day’s Highboy Chest of Drawers

Jeremiah Day.  Yeoman.  And, apparently, cabinetmaker.

Featured on the Yale University web site is a photo of a Highboy Chest of Drawers which was attributed to Jeremiah and which stayed in the Day family for at least two hundred years. (Since the image is copyrighted, you will have to visit the Yale web site for the picture.

Yale University sent the documentation for the Highboy to Winterthur Library in Wilmington, Delaware, where it has been safely preserved.  Included was a letter penned by Helen F. (Freeman) Grant, from which we learn the provenance of the Highboy.  Continue reading


Bradstreets and Days: From Massachusetts to Minnesota, descendants wed

Descendants of Ipswich settlers Humphrey Bradstreet and Robert Day met in Minnesota and married in 1781

Descendants of Ipswich settlers Humphrey Bradstreet and Robert Day met in Minnesota and married in 1781

Lavina S. Bursley’s fifth great grandfather, Robert Day, was made a freeman in Ipswich in 1641.  In Robert’s will, he wrote:

“I give to my son John Day after my decease…ye parcell of land lying near the common fence gate w[hi]ch was part of Mr. Bradstreets his lot…”

Continue reading