Sunday, July 21, 2013
Tomorrow we leave for Boston, NH and Maine and we are so excited! I am particularly excited about the geneology part, even though it is my husband's family I am researching. When I was in high school, I hated history. It was so boring and when I went to college, could barely keep awake in history classes. Who wants to know about Machiovelli?
I've been researching my husband's family for about 20 years and with the internet and ancestry.com, it has become easier to find out about things that happened 400 years ago. His ancestor, wife and several children came over from England to Massachusetts in 1630 on the Arbella. They settled in Watertown, Massachusetts and the rest is history. We are going to Watertown on this trip and I've been talking with someone from the historical society there.
His ancestor is one of the founding fathers of Watertown and there is a monument there honoring them. There is also an old cemetery and one of his ancestors is buried there. At least one headstone that is readable. It is likely there are more. We also know that the brother of his direct ancestor was a member of the original Boston Tea Party.
In Maine, we are visiting family. His mother's 98 year old sister lives there and we are taking an album of pictures to her. For one day, we venture off to Bethel, Maine to visit the historical society there. Three brothers from the original clan settled in Bethel after the Revolution when Maine became a state. We were put in touch with a volunteer from the Bethel historical society and he shares the last name of my husband. His ancestor was one of the brothers that migrated to Bethel! Distant cousins I guess! It will be so interesting to meet and talk with him as I'm sure he knows more than we do!
My husband hasn't shared much interest in this geneology stuff even though it is his family. Why I am so avid about it I don't know except I have two sons and 3 grandsons to carry on the name. And a beautiful granddaughter who might one day be interested!
We have even encountered a woman at the church my husband attended when he was a boy who has relatives with the same last name. She has done some digging since talking with us and there is a connection there as well. I need to dig up my camera and maybe try and figure out how to use it. Cell phone pics are nice but gee, I do have a camera!
These people were prolific back on those days with little or no birth control. One relative's wife had 15 children in 20 years! FIFTEEN! Can you imagine what hell she went through bearing and taking care of 15 children. I think only one died and she died at the 20 year point and then he married again! There is ample documentation on this stuf from 400 years ago.
Its hard to wrap your mind around 400 years! There is another chapter to this story as well. This family emigrated from Suffolk in England. We lived in Suffolk with the USAF in the 70's, not far from the area where they lived. Who knew. Wish we had known when we lived there but that is another trip and another day. And more history to research.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Yesterday, my husband and I booked our trip to New Hampshire to inter his mother's Cremains. We are going the third week of July and so looking forward to it. He hasn't been on a trip in 2 years while I have gone to two conferences and a trip with my sister last year to Delaware. There are so many things he wants to do while there, having grown up in New Hampshire.
Of course we will have to visit his mother's sister who is 98 and the remaining sibling. And her family. She might come to the interment but she lives in Maine and it is a distance for her to travel.
We got free airline tickets with points from a credit card that I use in my business. We got 3 free nights in a hotel in Concord through our timeshare. And we found a rental car for the week for $275. It would be nice if his cousin in Maine would offer to house us for a couple of days but we'll see.
His Dad was a railroad man for 30 years and we have to visit the Narrow Gauge Railroad museum in Portland Maine where a caboose that he once owned is housed. My husband has a whole album of pictures of narrow gauge trains that his Dad kept and he is taking it with him and meeting with the archivist., They are so excited to see it. In fact, we have about 8 albums of train pics that he took over the years, some of trains that don't exist anymore. I think they must be worth something but who knows how to find that out.
And of course we are doing some geneology. I've been keeping up with his family on Ancestry.com and we have traced his family back to a couple who came over from England on The Arabella in 1630. A group of folks then settled in Watertown, Mass. He was one of the founding fathers of Watertown and there is a monument dedicated to them in Watertown. And one of his ancestors is buried in the old cemetery there. Don't know where the rest of them are . I've even found 2 revolutionary war soldiers that were brothers of his direct ancestor and I'll have to figure out how to sign him up for the Sons of the American REvolution. They say it has to be a direct ancestor but does an uncle count? Or brother? Some of his family then ventured up to Bethel, Maine in the early 1800's. I wonder why? If we get a chance we might try and get up to Bethel as well. There is a lot of documentation out there and now with the internet, a lot on the web. Both Watertown and Bethel have Historical Societies so that would be a visit.
Hubby isnt' as excited about geneology as I am but he goes along with it. We have two sons who are interested and I'm doing this for them as well. And 3 grandsons. I found out within the last year that this family lived in Nayland, Suffolk, England and emigrated from there nearly 400 years ago. When we lived in England with the Air Force in the 70's, my husband would drive past Nayland everyday when he went to work! There was even a little town near us named Sternfield and the last name of this family was Sternes. Connection maybe? Wish we had known more then but with two little kids and no internet it was impossible to spend time on geneology anyway.
At any rate, we are looking forward to this trip. We wanted to go last year while his mother was still alive but it didn't happen. We are more free now and I'm so grateful. On another note, my son started his new job this week and I am extremely grateful for that!
Saturday, June 08, 2013
People keep asking me how we are dealing with my MIL's passing. How is your husband doing? He's fine. We haven't been devastated or tearful, just relieved. Last night we were at dinner with friends commenting on it and we realized that we had the opportunity to say goodbye to her and make amends for several months. We read to her, sang to her, shared memories, took care of her, talked about heaven, brought the kids in to see her, took her out, etc. My friends parents died suddenly within a week of each other and she didn't get that opportunity. WE are very grateful.
My husband spent time this week planning our trip to New Hampshire to inter her Cremains. She will share space with her husband and older son. My husband is so excited. We will spend a week there, visiting her old haunts, family, doing some geneology, etc. We are looking forward to it. Just he and I. Won't that be nice?
Friday, May 24, 2013
Today is the day that we gather as a family to honor my MIL. Our sons and the great grandkids will be there and my MIL's niece and her husband who are both in their 80"s. My sister and her husband had another trip planned so cannot be here which is sad. Her son and family will be there.
My husband has planned such a beautiful send off for her. He sings barbershop and we have an amazing gospel quartet coming to sing and many of his other friends will be there as well. Our church is small but we expect a crowd.
I've been wondering what to wear and I decided to wear black pants and top and a hot pink silk jacket. Pink was Marjorie's favorite color and this will honor her. This is a celebration of her life, not a morbid and sad experience.
Thank you all for spending time with me these last few months. Now the healing begins.
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