Tuesday, January 7, 2020

52 Ancestors Week 2: Favorite Family Photos

What's the story behind one of your favorite family photos?

It is nearly impossible for me to choose just one favorite family photo out of the many that I have; however, among my favorites are those of family reunions. They even provided me with the inspiration I needed for coordinating a family reunion in 2013.

The first photo was taken at the 50th anniversary party of my 2nd great grandparents, William and Olive (LaGrange) Beard (seated in the center of the photo) in 1949. The couple married on 11 March 1899 and together had nine children. My great grandmother, Elizabeth, who is standing between William & Olive's heads, once wrote a poem about eight of the children (the 9th was either a still birth or died very shortly after birth). Click here to read her poem.


The next reunion photo I have was taken at the 40th anniversary party for my great grandparents, George and Elizabeth (Beard) Baker in 1972. You may recognize Elizabeth from the previous photo. In this photo, the happy couple is surrounded by their 11 children. The eldest 5 children were from my great grandfather's first marriage to Ruth Miller (1903-1931). Following Ruth's death, George married Elizabeth and she cared for Ruth's children as if they were her own.


The final photo was taken at the Baker/Beard family reunion I coordinated in 2013 on the grounds of the Lamoille County Field Days in Johnson, Vermont (I am standing to the far left in the brown shirt). You can read about the reunion by clicking here.



Monday, December 30, 2019

52 Ancestors Week 1: The Batchelder Family's Fresh Start in Plainfield, Vermont

Which ancestor had to make a fresh start after a loss or setback?

My 7th great grandfather, Lieutenant Joseph Batchelder, was born on 28 December 1750 in Hampton, New Hampshire. He was the son of Nathaniel Batchelder Anna Butler. By 1790, Joseph was residing in Lyndeborough, New Hampshire where he likely married his wife, Sarah Ferrin. He fought in the American Revolution as part of the New Hampshire Militia where he received his title.
In 1793, Joseph made a pitch for 650 acres of land in an area called St. Andrews Gore, which would later be known as Plainfield, Vermont.  Joseph, along with his two brothers, Moulton and Nathaniel, were among the first four families to settle in Plainfield. The brothers abided by the charter granted to the town, which required that each grantee to “plant five acres of land, erect one house at least eighty feet square on the ground floor, and have one family on each share of land” (Grimaldi, n.d.). All of the houses of this early settlement were log cabins.

Joseph’s land was located at the southwest corner of Plainfield, near to Barre. He likely grew corn on his land and may have produced up to 40 bushels per acre (Grimaldi, n.d.). The land in Plainfield was known for being especially fertile. It was at his home where the town’s Congregational Church was formed (Representative Men 1908).

Joseph and Sarah had the following children:
  1. Joseph Batchelder b. 22 Feb 1770
  2. Nathaniel Batchelder b. 10 Jan 1772
  3. Isaac Batchelder b. 08 Oct 1774; d. 11 Jan 1775
  4. Anna Batchelder b. 30 Sep 1775; d. 22 Jan 1777
  5. Isaac Batchelder b. 01 Mar 1779
  6. Alpheus Batchelder b. 07 Aug 1781
  7. Abigail Batchelder b. 03 Nov 1783; m. Joseph Glidden; d. 27 Aug 1859
  8. Sarah Batchelder b. 09 Feb 1785
  9. William Batchelder b. 15 Jul 1788
  10. Polly Batchelder (see below)
  11. Alice Batchelder b. 23 Jun 1797
  12. Josiah Batchelder

Joseph’s daughter and my 6th great grandmother, Polly, was the first girl and second child born in Plainfield. She is only referred to as Polly on her birth records. Other records list her as Mary. She was born on 26 July 1795. She married Henry C. Parker (1797-1887). She died in Elmore, Vermont on 22 Jun 1877 and is buried at the Lake Elmore Cemetery along Route 12.

Mary (Polly) and Henry had the following children:
  1. Sarah F. Parker b. 05 Sep 1824 in Barre, Vermont; m. Samuel Childs on 14 Aug 1845; d. 27 Oct 1863 in Barre, Vermont. Sarah is my 5th great grandmother.
  2. Robert Parker b. Abt 1831 in Vermont
  3. Alpheus Parker b. Abt 1832 in Vermont
  4. Mary Parker b. Abt 1835 in Vermont
Joseph died on 25 March 1827 in Plainfield and is buried at the Bisson Barre Cemetery on Lower Road in Plainfield.

References:
Grimaldi, S. (n.d.). The early history of Plainfield, Vermont from the beginnings to 1880. Retrieved from http://plainfieldvthistory.org/history.html

Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island. (1908). Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=sNo4AQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Genealogist's Guide to Boston, Massachusetts



So, guess what? I wrote a book! No, for real... I did!

A Genealogist's guide to Boston, Massachusetts is now on sale through AmazonCreatspace, and The In-Depth Genealogist.

"A Genealogist's Guide to Boston, Massachusetts" is a great resource for genealogists who plan on researching in this geographic area. Approximately 12 million people from all over the world visit Boston every year to take in its beautiful harbor, amazing history, museums, sporting events, and more. With its mixture of old buildings (some dating back to the 1600s), new skyscrapers, and everything in between, Boston truly is a meeting of past, present and future. 

Whether you are traveling alone, with an adult companion or with your children, you will find plenty to keep you entertained during your stay. Boston is home to well-known attractions such as the Museum of Science, New England Aquarium, Fenway Park and the Boston Duck Tours. History lovers and genealogists will want to visit Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, Paul Revere's House, the Old Granary Burying Ground and other historical landmarks along the famed Freedom Trail. Of course, Boston is also home to the New England Historic Genealogical Society and other excellent research institutions. 

This guide will provide you with what you will need to know when planning a genealogy trip to Boston. We will look at repositories, libraries, historical societies, cemeteries, attractions, accommodations, and more in and around Boston.

While it includes a lot of information it does not include information on traveling to the city or on places to stay while there. Those decisions vary too much based on a person's budget and travel times to be able to include adequate information. (Description credited to The In-Depth Genealogist).


Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Visit with my Dad

I had am amazing visit with my dad yesterday. I purchased some KFC (his fave) and headed to his house to interview him about his time spent in the Army. The entire visit lasted about 3 hours, but left me with some wonderful stories and memories to pass down to my descendants.

At first dad wasn't too keen on being interviewed, and was adamant that he could not remember much about his Army days. However, when I got there he pulled out a binder filled with old Army records (a binder I didn't even know he had). In it were dates of his enlistment, discharge, and time spent on active duty both Hawaii and Guam. Of course, this binder is a real genealogy goldmine. He offered to let me borrow it so I can scan the documents into my computer.

Next we pulled out two photo albums filled with photos he took from his time in basic training at Fort Dix, NJ, AIT at Fort Polk, LA, and duty Hawaii and Guam. I have looked through the albums many times since I was a kid, but I had never had my father tell me the stories behind the photos. He told me about his friends, who they were, where they lived, fun times they had, etc. He had photos of a '67 Ford Galaxy he purchased in Hawaii that he later crashed while driving to Honolulu one night. There were photos of concerts he saw (including Merle Haggard, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dolly Parton), the Tent City he stayed in while helping Vietnamese refugees in Guam in 1975, and this photo of his entire platoon that he asked me to blow up into an 8x10 (my dad is in the back at the far left, holding his helmet under his arm).

Army Platoon in Hawaii
Next my father pulled out a few old letters he has that some of his Army friends wrote him soon after he returned home. They weren't long, but shared a few stories of trouble the caused together, dreams they had for when they were all out of the Army, and some more insight into what life was like for my dad in those dads.

When we were done talking about his Army days, dad continued by telling me stories of his childhood. He told me about his pet raccoons (hie brothers also had a pet fox and skunk), childhood friends and trouble they got into together, and other random things as he remembered them.

It was a wonderful time with my dad, and I am so glad we did this! I highly recommend everyone does this with their relatives while they still can.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Phineas Holcomb: Man of Mystery

I know very little of my 6th great grandfather, Phineas Holcomb. He was born in Simsbury, Hartford, Connecticut on 04 Feb 1726 to Ensign Joshua Holcomb and Mary Hoskins. At some point, Phineas moved from Connecticut to Dutchess County, New York. I'm not sure why, when or who with. I do have information that suggests he married Sarah Tuller in 1745 in Litchfield County, CT. It is possible he had some of his children while still in Connecticut, as well. He and his "large family" left Dutchess County, NY for Panton, Addison, Vermont during the spring of 1774. In 1778, Phineas Holcomb and his sons Joseph, Joshua, Samuel and Elisha were captured by Indians and brought to Quebec. Phineas died during his imprisonment in Quebec on 11 September 1781.

Phineas Holcomb and Sarah Tuller had at least 8 children:

  1. Joshua Holcomb was born in 1746 and died in 1781 in Quebec (during imprisonment)
  2. Samuel Holcomb was born in 1748 and died in 1781 in Quebec (during imprisonment)
  3. Sarah Holcomb was born in 1751
  4. John Holcomb was born in 1753 and died sometime before 1785
  5. Darius Holcomb was born in 1754
  6. Ruth Holcomb was born in 1757
  7. Elisha Holcomb was born in 1760 
  8. Joseph Holcomb was born about 1726, probably in Dutchess County, NY. He died on 20 January 1833 in Panton, Vermont.
For more information on the Holcomb family's capture by Indians, please see my blog post entitled Carleton's Raid and the Capture of the Holcomb Family.




Surname Saturday: Revisiting an Old Post about the Cotes

About a year ago I posted a call out for help about one of my most elusive lines: the Cote's. In hopes of rekindling this post and getting some help, I am re-blogging it. Please read the original post at http://genealogyvt.blogspot.com/2014/01/hunting-elusive-cote.html. Thank you!


Friday, December 19, 2014

New Genealogy Facebook Groups for Vermont Counties

There are five brand new Vermont genealogy groups on Facebook. If you have genealogy research in one or more of the following counties, please consider joining! (I created all but the Caledonia County page - that one was started by a fellow genealogist and was the inspiration for the rest).


  1. Caledonia County: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CaledoniaVTGenealogy/
  2. Franklin Countyhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/397467180422548/
  3. Lamoille Countyhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/894509917235570/
  4. Orleans Countyhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/726093737487501/
  5. Washington Countyhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/1524916261100589/