Friday, November 15, 2013

Just a test

My Last post didn't show up in Feedly or Newsify

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Finding The Connection To ‘The Grady's”.

The Grady Farm
I’ve been going to Maine since my first summer here on Earth. My earliest recollections are my families summers at the Grady farm. Long after we stopped going there and my parents had past, I had asked several cousins what our connection to them was and all they knew was that Harold was a cousin of some sort. Finding out was important not only for my own fond memories but when I look at the old photos you could see a close friendship  my dad and my grandmother had with Harold and his mother Alvenia.
Lillian and AlveniaMom Alvenia Dad GladysThe Gradys with us
For a little boy like my self, there couldn’t have been a better place to visit. Where should I start but at that big old farm kitchen with the wood stove that heated your hot water, warmed the kitchen and produced the best biscuits and baked beans. The kitchen had a sink with a hand pump for water and a sluice out the back for the drain. It also contained the cream separator and the butter churn which I would operate and then help to make the butter into one pound cakes for sale at the kitchen table. Dinner was always an  interest as I watched Chester the very old “hired hand” eat his peas with a knife. Before nursing homes people took care of each other, besides Chester there was another at the table. Her name was “Nellie Whitehead” and was probably another cousin  with no other family. I was also fascinated with the crank telephone that hung on the parlor wall, perhaps that’s what lead me to a “telephone man”
Out the back door and you entered into a world that eventually ended in the barn. First was the wood supply for the wood stove, then “the facilities” contained indoors. OK it was an Outhouse or was it an Inhouse, and it had 3 or 4 different size seats for daddy,mommy and baby bears.
Out at the barn my sister and I could climb up to get hay for the horses and send it down a chute to their stall. One was named Pete and the other a name that  escapes at the moment. They were still used to pull the hay and manure wagons.   Then there were the dozen cows who would come in from the fields to be milked and fed by Chester and Harold. Haying was always a part of our vacation as my dad would help get it in. When I was a little bigger I would ride on the hay rake that the tractor pulled. I would have to pull the handle at the right time to get the hay in the rows for pickup.
The Black Smith Shop was across the dirt road and I’ve found records that Harold’s father was a blacksmith and Harold did some also as well as farming. It was a dark and dusty place with the big bellows and fire pit but ready to fall down by the early fifties. My dad hitched up the tractor one summer and down it came. What stories might that place could tell?
Besides the fun on the farm we all went down to the sea for a clam bake down on the coast or go to the ice house and come back with a large block to break up to churn home made ice cream. We would always bring two of Harold's favorites a box or two of salted cod fish and large loaves of Italian bread from the Westerly Bakery. and we can't forget the Fiddle Heads Gladys had put up would always part of the meal.  
This summer I followed my dream to find the old place. I had scoured maps and located it with only memories of the turnoff off the main road, it being close to Albion Me. and the fact  their neighbors the “Tylers” down the road were in Albion. We were visiting friends in a nearby town and my friend knew the road and off we went on an adventure. We found the house, traveled thru Unity and Thorndike as I point out places of my past. Oh we also stopped at an Amish Store in Unity, it seems they are moving into Maine and buying the old farms. That is a good thing!
Here’s what I found, the house has been kept up, no longer clapboard, but looks very neat. The facial detail beneath the roof is the same, but the barn is long gone as too many in Maine are.
The other neat thing that happened was that our friends have breakfast most mornings with friends of theirs and told them about our trip. It's turns out the women grew up on that road and knew all about the Gradys and remembered them well. It really is a small world when you talk and share yourselves with each other!
So what is the family connection! I had found some info on census forms but sill could not  link to the Larrabee line. I found a family tree on, made by a second cousin of mine who I do not know personally, and it had what I lacked. My Great grandfather Truman’s sister Phebe Jane married Steven McKenney. Their child Alvenia was first cousin to my grandfather. She married William H. Grady and their son Harold was my father's second cousin. There you have it a family connection that lasted 4 generations, not to bad if you ask me.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday- Elanathen Ives & Abigail Frisbe

On this past Sunday I attended a walking tour of the Downs St Cemetery here in Bristol Ct.. It's was  also known in the past as Bridge st and South Cemetery. The cemetery Assoc. showed off the new entrance gate, fence and a restored tombstone which for some reason I didn't photograph. 
It wasn't until I got home that I realized that I had taken a photo of my wife's 6th great grandfather and mother.After researching a little it seems the name I had (Elusthan Ives) may have been a typo some where along the way. The title of Deacon on the stone was also new to me. Will have to see where that leads us.
This cemetery had 37 Revolutionary War soldiers buried here and is the second oldest in the city.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gideon Barnes Came Home to Die

First a little background to this post and how things evolved with my discoveries. Last fall I discovered the picture of Gideon in our basement in a long forgotten treasure box of  Barnes family papers and photos. He is one of two GG Granduncles  of my wife, to die of wounds suffered in the Civil War.  The photo intrigued me since he looked like such a pleasant young man. He is descended from Thomas Barnes of New Haven1 and many of his forbearers served in conflicts since the very beginning of this country.
Gideon  S. Barnes
His immediate family consisted of his mother Luianna Smith, his father Sherman , 3 sisters and 4 brothers. He also had been married 6 years to Lydia Ann Hall of Wallingford and they had no children2
His father and brothers were quite industrious being mechanically inclined and involved in the clock making industry in Bristol 3  and silverware in Meriden.4

When we had returned from Florida this spring , I found Gideon’s grave in DSCN7642the Forestville Cemetery in the Forestville section of Bristol. It was located adjacent to the very large family plot of his brother Rodney Barnes.  Not knowing any other details of Gideon's life I thought it was great he was next to family. In the previously mentioned Barnes box there were extensive notes , narratives and correspondence of my wife’s grandfather C.H.Barnes, there was no other information on Gideon. Given the amount of information he had gathered (mostly early 1900’s) I thought it strange
This is why today we are fortunate to have the internet and bloggers to help us to find clues and information. I had read a guest post on Bryna O’Sullivans  blog Explorations in Connecticut Genealogy by John Banks. I went to John Banks’ Civil War Blog and found he had written information on Gideon. I contacted him and offered the above picture and some background  on the family.  John  then did some further research  and shared it with me. This is how I found out about Gideon's wife and where she was buried. John then wrote a wonderful post about Gideon with this information. I can’t say enough about his kindness and his wonderful project.   John will be including a poster of Gideon at the 150 th  anniversary reenactment  of the Antietam battle to be held Sept 29-30 in Wickham Park, Manchester Ct
Barnes House and Shop area Bradley St Burlington 011hse aThis is the home site of Sherman and his son Monroe, who had returned home from Meriden to help his father run the farm and machine shop4.
  Gideon returns home in early October. John Banks documents in the above mentioned post the following report : "Wounds and injuries received in the battle of Antietam by rifle ball through the thick portion of the thigh causing explosive separation with sloughing," Dr. T.W. Camp noted. "This in connection with an uncontrollable camp diarrhea accompanied with delirium and typhoid fever were more than sufficient to cause death." 
One can only imagine what life was like in that small home, for now it contained, Sherman with a less than pleasant temperament, Lieuanna credited as having a pleasant demeanor. 4 and of course  Gideon  and his wife Lydia. Gideon died Nov.17 1862 exactly two months after the battle. The family also lost the 5 year old son of Rodney a few weeks earlier on Nov, 3 1862.
Again thanks to John Banks I found Gideon wife Lydia had remarried and Gideon Barnes Grave Sitewas buried in the same cemetery as Gideon 5. I returned to the cemetery and expected a long search,  I got out of the car next to Gideon's marker and low and behold Lydia’s marker was right in front of me. It turns out Gideon lies next to her second husband  and she is next in line.  It seems Gideon was never forgotten by his wife. I wonder if  he knew the  new husband as they were about the same age , a clock maker and also a veteran.
I’m so very glad that his story has been told. 

1 The Barnes Family Year Book, Trescott C. Barnes, Riverton Ct.

3 Bristol,Connecticut: “in Olden Time New Cambridge” which includes Forestville  -By Eddy N. Smith, George Benton Smith, Allena J. Dates, Garret W. F. Blanchfield. Google Books copy

4 Family notes of C.H.Barnes



Monday, January 16, 2012

1st post attempt in 9 Months & I Panic

I hadn't posted but a few times in the last two years and I thought I would attempt share some of my recent discoveries. First I discover the Blogger Dashboard has changed ! Not sure where I landed first but didn't see the new post button. I recently scanned about 100 photos and copied several hundred pages as PDFs.
Poor planning  as Adobe version I have wouldn't allow coping the text or convert to text. I had visions of having to type them out or rescan as JPG's . The idea for the PDF's  was to be able to share via e-mail to various relatives, which I am doing.
I had uploaded a few to Google Docs so I headed over there to see what I could do. No luck at first but I found references to an OCR feature. I finally found that I needed to re-upload the PDF and use the convert option that appears in order to save as a Google text format. It worked well on the first sample which was small in size which I will paste below, so all was not for naught.
The documents I scanned were written and typed by my wife's grandfather probably between 1915 and 1930.
They included hand written research notes, correspondence, reflections on his fathers life as well as his own.
He answered questions I had wondered about, such as where did his gg grandfather disappear to and where were his grandfather and mother were buried.
I'll have to use another post to explained why these documents sat in boxes in my basement while I scoured the internet and local history repositories.

Here is the first converted scan, it came out great  :

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

4 th Year of Blogging

It doesn’t seem like it but today marks the 4th year of this blog. It also gives me a reference point of when I began my families genealogy two months prior.   I haven’t  posted much lately, it seems I’ve been a bit lazy.
I do enjoy reading the blogs I follow on Google Reader, whether it’s an old photo, a family story or a tip on computing.  I say to myself that I need to get back into the swing of things and post a few photos or stories. Before we left for  Florida for the winter (really a good move as CT had over 6 ft of snow), I scanned a bunch of photo’s but haven’t done a darn thing with them. I also spent time cleaning out the attic of old papers. When both you and your spouse are the oldest of the siblings it seems you get to keep all of your parents paper work most of which needs to go. I kept a few old checks of how the money was spent back in the 50’s. It sure was not much compared to today. My best find was my mom’s naturalization papers which revealed some interesting facts. I had often wondered what happened to it because she was very proud to have become a US  citizen.
So any way here’s a picture I scanned last Dec.  Since Easter’s coming this looks like it’s from 1947 or1948. My mom and dad with me and my sister.
Easter late 1940s                                      

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sleigh Bells Of East Hampton: A Family Factory Survives -

A favorite sound of Christmas for me is the sound of sleigh bells. It was nice to see they are still being made in E. Hampton, Ct. In the early fifties we lived next door to E. Hampton and attended church there.
I can remember when my Dad came home with a porch bell made there. I still have it, along with a piece of harness with sleigh bells attached and an old cow bell on the leather collar. I'll ring those sleigh bells every so often just to hear the sound.
I loved the ending of "The Polar Express" when the boy rings the sleigh bell. Can you hear the sound?
I can!   

Sleigh Bells Of East Hampton: A Family Factory Survives -