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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in my tree (39)

Thursday
Oct272011

Thriller Thursday: Mary Bradbury, A Convicted Salem Witch in My Family Tree!

I never thought I would find a convicted witch from the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 in my family tree. I never thought I would go anywhere near my ancestors who were alive in 1692. It sounds ridiculous to say that I've uncovered the story of my 11th great grandmother Mary Perkins Bradbury, who was one of the last to be convicted during the Salem Witch Trials. But it's true! And now I'm intrigued.

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Friday
Oct142011

Friday Love Letters: September 24, 1920

I am so lucky to have a series of letters from my great grandfather Wentworth Middleton to my great grandmother Edith Shaw Middleton. This collection of letters is one of my most treasured family heirlooms. These simple pieces of paper have been passed down and saved for almost 100 years. More on this collection and how to preserve.

Sept. 23. 1920- 91 years ago.

A letter from my great grandfather Wentworth Middleton to his wife Edith. Wentworth is working in a NJ steel mill while Edith and their daughter Marjorie are down the (jersey!) shore with friends. It seems like he planned to go down to meet them on Friday- but because of work he has to delay his trip. I love the nicknames he had for my grandmother, "kiddo". In other letters he refers to her as "chickie".

Dear Edie,

I was going to call you up but did not think about there not being any phone. You certainly are having fine weather and I wish that I could be down there with you, but it does not seem to be possible just now. Am sure that the Kiddo must be much better by now, as she was improving very much (pg.2) last Sunday and Monday.

I called up your Mother and she said that they had sent you a letter to the old place but were sending you a postal to tell you about so you must have that by now. She also said that Anna was feeling very bad again. I said that it would be very nice if she could go down to the shore it would do her good. But she said (pg.3) it would be impossible for her to get down there.

Matt sent some eggs yesterday and I will bring some or all of them when I come down. You better call me up Saturday morning at 9 o’clock. I am afraid it will be impossible for me to come down Friday A.M. I will tell you then what time I will be down (pg.4) on Saturday. I will probably be able to stay Monday and maybe Tuesday.

Tell Mort if you see him that he can play at Deal by paying the greens fee.

Am using a fountain pen and the ink has run out. I hope you are feeling fine and do not worry about things too much. (pg.5) Give lots of love and kisses to Marg and also yourself tell her I will see her soon. Give my love to the Middleton’s and lots more to yourself and the kiddo.

                                                                                    Daddy

When I read these letters I feel like I'm really getting to know them. I can't imagine any other way I could tap into their personal thoughts the way these letters do.

Do you send/save letters and cards? Do we still value the handwritten word? Inspired?

Write your sweetheart or friend a letter today!

Wednesday
Oct122011

Joining the Daughters of the American Revolution: First Steps 

I am in the beginning stages of joining the prestigious Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). A non profit women's organization established in 1890, the organization focuses on the promotion of historic preservation, education, and patriotism.  If you are a male, you can apply for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution.

Membership in these organizations gives you a forum for the exchange of historical information and genealogy research with others with shared interests. Any female 18+ who can provide documentation of their lineal descent* from a Patriot of the American Revolution can apply for DAR membership. There are approx 3,000 local chapters of the DAR, you can search for a chapter near you. *Lineal Descent: Belonging to or being in the direct line of descent from an ancestor. Ex parent, grandparent, great grandparent...

I recently discovered my 7x great grandfather, Samuel Merrill, was a participant of the American Revolution as a Lieutenant in the 30th Regiment of Foot from Buxton, ME. I first learned of his involvement in the American Revolution from my Ancestry.com family tree. When viewing Samuel Merrill there was a leaf indicating a possible historical record match. When I reviewed the hint I was brought to an application to the DAR from 1909 with a Samuel Merrill listed as the Patriot in which the applicant was proving their lineal descent. The applicant was not from my direct line but had similar information so I decided to do a little digging to see if this was in fact the same Samuel Merrill I was researching.

To do this I focused on my direct line from Samuel Merrill to flush through and verify the information and sources I already had for these specific ancestors. I worked my way up the line, starting with myself going up 10 generations in my tree to Samuel. Feeling confident in my lineal descent from Samuel, I filled out a Member Interest form on the DAR website to get the ball rolling. This is simple form to notify DAR of your interest and get you connected to a local chapter to learn more about the application process.

A week or two later I received an email from the Brooklyn DAR Chapter with a genealogy worksheet for me to complete. The genealogy worksheet has blanks to fill in genealogical information about the ancestors in your direct line to connect the generations up to the Patriot. All of the information needs to supplemented with documented sources and you have to indicate what sources you have for the information you provide (vital records, census records, certificates, etc.). I thought I was pretty organized but I quickly found out how scattered my information was! If anything this process so far has really helped me organize, connect loose ends, and encourage me to learn more about these ancestors.

I've completed the worksheet and emailed it back to my contact. Hopefully I'll hear back soon! I hope I entered in the information correctly and thoroughly enough. Fingers crossed.

Monday
Aug222011

* I now have a Centenarian in My Family- Happy 100th Birthday Maw! 

Steve's grandmother, Genevieve "Maw" Louise Woodard Burchett, turned a young 100 years old this past Friday- August 19, 2011. She is a lively, humorous, and inspirational woman. Her life spans time periods we can't even begin to fully comprehend. In her lifetime she has persevered through 2 world wars, the great depression, and unprecedented advances in technology. I am so proud and thankful to know her and be a part of her family. A glimpse into the past 100 years of her beautiful life.

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