04 December 2012

Over the river and through the woods...

I've been reading a number of blogs recounting personal Christmas traditions recently, and naturally started to ponder about my own family traditions and how they have evolved over the years. There is natural evolution tweaked by the progression of time; there are changes through the addition of new family members, and the passing of others. None of our traditions have been carved in stone though.

When we were young children, after dinner, we would leave milk and cookies out and a note for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve.  I don't actually remember making the cookies - I should check with my sister who seems to have a photographic memory of the past; I'm sure she remembers making them. When we were ready for bed, our father – the storyteller at night-time rituals – would read T'was The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore.  I can remember the excitement I felt thinking about Santa landing on our roof. Wait! Do I hear bells jingling? OOOOh! 

I wonder whose idea the bells were – I'm guessing Mom's.

                            Product Details
                          photo courtesy of amazon.com

As we got older, we would join our neighbors to make ornaments for the trees at Church on the Saturday before Christmas. The parish meeting house would be full of balsam, red ribbon, paper and glue. It was a pretty jolly time. We would go to the Christmas service at on Christmas Eve, in the late afternoon, participating as little angels attending the group at the manger when we got old enough. Then, after eating a quick dinner we bundled up to join the caroling group that consisted of our extended family with a number of lovely neighbors thrown in for good measure. We went house to house singing the songs we knew the best as loudly as we could, hopefully to brighten the holiday for our older neighbors who were staying in for the evening. Then we returned back home for some hot chocolate and cookies and to get ready for bed, leave the cookies out for Santa & reindeer, and experience The Reading of TTTNBC and finally wait for Santa's visit.

Christmas morning ca. 1956

Christmas morning, according to the photographs, was probably pretty average for the 50's and 60's. A morning full of opening presents, followed by visiting with neighbors to see what they got, followed by a big family dinner with, in our case, a roast beast with all the trimmings. Our family favorite happened to be beef rib roast with Yorkshire pudding. Every. Year.  

Christmas dinner ca. 1967

After that – sledding if there was enough snow. Followed by more hot chocolate.

sledding party c. 1954

As we all aged, so did the traditions. Eventually, I became the big angel ushering the little angels around the stable and watching over the the holy family. After the service, dinner and caroling, the hot chocolate and cookies gave way to going to a neighbors' house for a rousing Christmas Eve party. The party lasted pretty late but broke up before midnight, so the younger ones could get to sleep before Santa came. My brother at this point was designated reader. It was pretty hilarious. I'm also fairly sure that the eggnog – surely the best recipe ever* – had a hand in it.

As we children started leaving home for school and work, the traditions changed. We didn't all get together for one thing. My brother had left for England, but later came back with his new bride. We got to embellish our Christmas traditions with treasure hunts and new dishes to amplify the dinner table – our newest member of the family happened to be a wonderful cook and lots of fun.

Leaving home, and starting our own families and traditions, I hope that we left trails of Christmas crumbs that our children are still following. When they were young, my kids experienced the late-night reading of TTNBC, when we returned from faithfully tromping off to grandmother's house for roast beast – on Christmas Eve, to accommodate having two families to share Christmas with. 

We are all spread out over the globe now, and Christmas traditions change from year to year. I know my kids still put up a real Christmas tree, when they can. And then they go out to a movie. No roast beast for them – unless they have a vegan version that I don't know about.

Christmas 2007

A few years ago, when I was caring for my mother before she moved into an assisted living apartment, I was making gingerbread cookie buildings on her kitchen counter in preparation to host the annual Christmas party for my husband's office. I needed to really dress up the house and make it look pretty, and chose to make Martha Stewart's gingerbread village. It was a fairly ambitious project; Mom and I were repeating an old family custom, but with the roles reversed. When Mom reached out and snitched a bit of dough and promptly put it in her mouth, time stood still for a moment. I recognized the gleam in her eye and the smile on her face. We didn't have a lot of coherent communication at that point, but her message was loud and clear.

Christmases have been different now that our parents are gone. Released from the family rituals, we can, and have, traveled to Italy for Christmas with my husband's extended family. We have hosted Christmas at home with our kids who have gone off on their own; and now that the grandchildren are older, we travel to where they are on a rotating basis now. 

This year it is Christmas at home and the new twist is that a new grandchild is coming to celebrate his first Christmas. We will have our traditional Italian-Polish-Finnish-American-English-Indian Christmas this year. What about you?

Enjoy your holidays!

* The best eggnog ever recipe: I know it had melted plain vanilla ice cream as its base, and I'm pretty sure bourbon was involved. When I was old enough, I got to try it out (officially).  Yep, it was good. These days I'm thinking amaretto might be a good choice.

13 November 2012

Inspired again ...

It's pretty depressing to search fruitlessly for new gems week after week, month after month. Those brickwalls loom over the entire horizon like a threatening storm. Surely there is something out there that I haven't explored! I spend wakeful periods in the wee hours trying to come up with a strategy that will break me out of the norm. - and I think I may have found a new direction.

When I was attending the Connecticut Genealogical Society conference a few weeks ago, Laura Prescott presented a talk on creating timelines to document genealogical data. Her talk was fast-paced and full of information and - fortunately - came with a really good handout with all the sources and websites she was referring to. I was intrigued because I had started timelines for a couple of the families that included world history facts. I was having difficulty staying on track; I kept getting involved in the quest for more historical knowledge, rather than on my family members.

 In fact, that was one of the key points Laura had to offer. Know what you want the timeline focused on. Set the parameters before you start so there can be a logical progression of your chart, and an end to your project.

So, armed with that one hint, I started a new timeline of the Mack family. I just wanted to see who was around at the same time. I started with John Mack - the oldest known Mack in the US - he was born in 1653 in Scotland  - rumor has it. I listed all the children born to him and his wife, Sarah Bagley, then followed the direct line family members and added their children down to 2012. It's a very long spreadsheet, and very colorful too.

Looking at the chart it is easy to see who was alive in any given year. This prompted so many new questions -  Did Samuel know his grandparents? How many children were at home when his father died?

Not content to leave the chart alone and because it is so easy to copy and paste or delete in Excel, I added in my Stoddard side starting with Solomon Stoddard in 1643 for comparison. This time I added in the wives, but only the couples - no children other than the direct line ancestor. There were a lot of "huh" moments, but it will take more studying to get the most out this chart.

I want to make a separate timeline based on the Mack timeline comparison and add the people I know were around at the time that Samuel lived in East Haddam, going by names of men who sold property to Samuel, or who his neighbors were. I have so many more questions! If Samuel was indentured as a young boy, who took him in? Who would he have relied on when his wife died leaving two very young girls twenty years later? What were other members of Samuel's family doing when Samuel was thinking about moving away? What was the reason that made him move to Nova Scotia? Maybe there is a clue in someone else's family that I haven't found in my own?

It is interesting to work with one family - to become intimate with the family members, see how close their relatives were, who their neighbors were. To see the interaction of different families. Oh, yes, I've been digging into the neighbor's family trees. I am intrigued to see how intermarried families became over the years. I don't think that happens much anymore.

My next endeavor will be looking for all I can about Haddam/ East Haddam Connecticut to get a feel for what it was like back in the time before and leading up to the revolutionary war. I have a good start in the "Abstracts from the New London Gazette Covering Southeastern Connecticut 1763- 1769"  by Richard B. Marrin.

And when I am done with that.... the Mehlmans will get their own chart!

19 October 2012

It pays to read everything, no matter how...


More than just about anything, I enjoy searching through Google Books to see if I can find anything relevant to any of my ancestors. Names and dates are fine for pinpointing people in place and time, but I want to know more about these folks. These three books have given me a sense of what it was like back in the days that my ancestors lived, and what it may have looked like (I have a good imagination - that helps too).

Abstracts from the New London Gazette by Richard B. Marrin, published by Heritage Books Inc. 2007.

Samuel Mack has mail waiting at the post office ca. 1765. But more than that, it is a wonderful glimpse into life during the period that my ancestors were living in East Haddam, CT. An enjoyable read.


Collections of the New Haven Colony Historical Society, New Haven, Connecticut Published by the Society in 1907.

These entries are family related:

37 SAMPLES of the first friction matches made in this county. They were first made by Thomas Sanford in that part of town of Bethany now called Beacon Falls (Conn.). Soon after, Mr. Sanford moved to Woodbridge, where he manufactured them until 1860, the time of his decease. After manufacturing them for several years a Boston firm attempted to procure a patent on them, and served an injunction preventing him from making them; he and his brother (who assisted him in their production) were summoned to New York at the hearing; it was proved that Thomas Sanford made the first friction match, but neglecting to obtain a patent, he and others were debarred from procuring one under the statue of limitation. Presented by Mrs. Laura A. (Sanford) Smith, daughter of Thomas Sanford.

38 OLD-FASHIONED TINDER-BOX. Presented by Mr. W. S. Sanford, September 12, 1882


Statistical Account of Middlesex County of Connecticut, David Dudley Field, 1819 Published by the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. Printed in Middletown CT by Clark &Lyman, April 1819. This copy was reprinted for J.D. Kelsey of Haddam, CT. It is currently available as a pdf download to read through www.godfrey.org.

Everything mineral, vegetable, geographical, medical and genealogical from the first settlers until 1819. A good read if your family lived in Middlesex County in Connecticut. 

I'm off to the Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. 2012 Family History Seminar, Enhancing Genealogical Paths this weekend. I will be listening attentively, absorbing information like a sponge and enjoying the company of my nearest and dearest cousin.

10 October 2012

The Champion Boys

Stephen and John Champion
cousins of Mildred Dikeman Stoddard

Thanks to Diana Gill who commented on the posting of the photos of Elizabeth Sanford that were added last year, I now know how these little charmers fit into the family.  I am so pleased to know who these boys are!

You really made my day!

07 September 2012

Getting the point across ... The End.

It's was hard to tell who sent this initially. 

There is only one photograph of the sender, and comparing this photograph with others in my collection, I couldn't positively identify him. However, since the recipient of the message is Grace Stoddard (my grand aunt), and her most ardent admirer was Ossian Ray, who lived in New Hampshire - and therefore makes sense of the NH reference - he is my best bet. 

Besides, they eventually married in 1905 and had one daughter, Betty Ray, two years later. 

It's fun to think about earlier eras when folks didn't have all our instruments of high speed communication and they took the time to make elaborate letters like this one. 

Thank you to all the sentimental relatives for saving it!

My translation:

(1) My dear Grace I hope it will not boar you to puzzle this out if it does stop at once and forgive  (me).
(2) I envy (picture) being able to travel in fact I am more jealous of him than that Dann boy though he is interested
(3) in flying. If you will come to the mountains I will let you take your bird book on our outings.
(4) The Waumbek will be steamed this summer. I can't bear to trot over. Why not take me with you? Don't let
(5) Sue become engaged to any Englishman with a beak and don't you get infatuated with I.
(6) I wonder if you will meet many men on the ship it is a
(7) great place to see what is in them. I am frightened of moon on a ship
(8) they say it leads to wedding do be careful about sparking at (jousting) speed?
(9) Do write me many times this fan and console me. I shall fill the mailbox with letters for you.
(10) I am so glad Rob can rest and is 'Two to one er'. I must apologize for lack of wit and (gem)cy
studying is the reason?
(11) I hope you will think this is a happy thought and not that it's (?)
(12) Give Sue my love and keep some for yourself  June 1, 1902 (photo with head removed) 

The End

Honk! Honk!

(I wrote this posting last summer, and neglected to actually press the button to, well, post it.)

I'm just back from a wild goose chase in Maine.

The kind that starts with a rumor... and ends with lots of nothing. Okay, that's not entirely true... I did find scads of relatives in Brunswick and Thomaston; just not the ones I was searching for. It was nice to have a mission on our trip to Maine while Alex was learning how to plank a boat. I spent the last week making short forays to various libraries and historical societies in Knox County - Bath, Thomaston and Rockland all have wonderful resources for the genealogically bent traveller.

The story goes like this: Thomas Deane, son of Jonas Deane of Taunton and Eunice Turner, was born in 1691 in Scituate, MA. He married Lydia Cole of Swansea, MA, daughter of Hugh Cole of Plymouth, MA and Deborah Bucklin of Rehoboth, MA. Already the story gets a little sticky; depending on the sources, Lydia's parents could also have been John and his first wife Mary (Lewis) Cole. Fred E. Crowell says in his New Englanders in Nova Scotia column, that "Thomas Deane and family removed to Scarborough, ME before Feb. 17, 1740." and that "Mr. Deane is said to have later removed to New Meadows, now Bath, ME, where he died."

And there is where I started looking: Bath, ME. If Thomas Deane - or Dean - had died in Bath, no one seems to know about it. In fact there are no Thomas Deane records of death/burial (with the correct dates) in Maine that I have found. And it is from a want of searching either. I have since found a place not unreasonably far from Bath that is called Dean Hill. I wonder if it would be a stretch to go climb it and see what is there, maybe a gravestone conveniently marked with Thomas Deane on it?

Well, the next time I'm in Maine...

03 August 2012

Where are you?

John and Ellen Young.

Somewhere in Nova Scotia.

Your daughter Emma Georgina, born in July of 1860, is my great-grandmother. She immigrated to the US in 1881 and on 23 July of the same year, she married my great-grandfather James Brinton (Brenton) Johnstone in Boston, Massachusetts. They lived in Winthrop, where my grandaunt Maud Sherlock Johnstone (1886-1917) and my grandmother Blanche Evelyn Johnstone (1888-1994) were born. There was another child, according to the 1900 US Federal Census, but I haven't found any record of that birth.

James B. Johnstone was born in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. I checked the 1871 census - you were not there. You were also not in Sherbrooke where my father said you may have come from; or Guysborough a town that I have in mind, but probably only because I found a census with George Young who had a daughter Emma way back before I knew that you and Ellen were Emma's parents.

So where are you?

02 April 2012

One way to get the point across...

While I was rummaging in a closet that doesn't see much daylight, I rediscovered the Dikeman family bible that I received from my mother years and years ago. Either I never bothered to look at it (not likely as I am a very curious sort of person), or I completely forgot the treasures inside (sigh, the most likely scenario).

This collection of pictograms were among some treasures kept within the covers of the bible. I haven't gotten it all worked out yet, and I'm not sure who sent it, or to whom for that matter. But I will. Someday. These are the first four pages out of the 12 that make up the message. Click on any photo to see a larger image.

Does anybody know what a Waumbek is? 

I do, because I googled it. It is a mountain in the Pliny Range located in Coos County, New Hampshire. That is a very helpful clue, I think. Certain family members lived in NH. Some, who lived in CT, traveled often to NH for holidays. I hope there are more clues embedded in this letter!

Stay tuned for part two...

22 March 2012

A source I hadn't thought of before

Jessie Mack's Wedding Guest Book
photo courtesy of Nancy L. Hall

Listed on the page above (the ones I know, and in relation to me) are: Harold Dean Mack (grandfather), Burton A. Mack (great-grandfather), Blanche E. Mack (grandmother), Ethel S. Mack (wife of Aubrey B. Mack, (grand uncle), Minnie D. Mack (great grand aunt), Ethel M. Sparks (grand aunt) Willard Sparks (husband of Ethel), Robert Sparks (1st cousin 1x removed). 

For reasons known only to my inner self, I grew up as a virtual hermit. I know I had a family, a mother and a father, an older brother and a younger sister. I grew up surrounded by my mother's family. I have a handful of memories - happy ones mostly - of all of them. That is what it feels like - I hopefully have a lot more locked up inside somewhere). If I wrote a book today about my life growing up it would indeed be a short one, composed mostly of vignettes.

(Skipping over a lot of stuff) 

I don't have memories of people I never met, but I do have knowledge of them. Take my father's family for instance. I "know" them by names and dates. I have met some of them, but I think I can count the times on just my hands, and most of them on one hand. Who knows why? Does it even matter now?

The important part of this is that I am so very grateful to the people who have entered my life at this stage, who know and share my greater family. Some very good and generous people. While some are pretty distantly related, others are pretty closely related. Others are not related at all, but whose family members knew my family members.

All it takes is a little thread that meets at a certain connecting point with another little thread. Whether by design, or by chance, we have connected.

One of my favorite connections is my grandfather's sister's grand-daughter. She is a veritable fountain of family information and I cannot wait to meet her in person! I got inspired one day to ask if she had any family photos. Did she ever! I now have photo's of my great-grandfather Burton Augustus Mack (wish I had known him!) and some of my grandfather's siblings and their families. (I don't know who has my father's family photos. Wish I did. Do you?) So, Nancy - hurry up and get on Skype!

The new source of family information: the Wedding Guest book. I am fortunate to have my mother's mother's Wedding book. Sadly, no pictures, but I do have a clipping or two, a piece of the veil, the names of the some of the attending guests. Last summer, while visiting my cousin in Connecticut, I found out she had the wedding dress! Why do I never think to ask these things???

Thank you Nancy! Thank you Susie!


15 March 2012

Success at NEHGS - the Mehlman Family at last

Mehlman, Johann Carl
Gale 1752, Farmer. Age 25, from Palatinate. 1.1.-.1. Indebted for 2 freights, [fl] 151,4.0.
Signed his name on Indebtedness List as "Meelman", but "Mehlman" (as in ship's list and
sometimes in lists in Nova Scotia) is much more likely to have been the proper German form.

Halifax – Vict. List. Sept. – Oct. 1752 (list No. 8) – John Carl & Dorothea Melman
                    "       "     Feb. – April 1753                           same two names

Lunenburg – Return of Arms, Dec.  1753 - Carl Meilman – Rudolf's Div.
 Return of Divisions, July 1754 – Carl Meelman – Rudolf's Div, G-3, with a "house"
30-Acre Farm Lots – 1753-4 Allotment List – John Carl Meilman – La Have, A-4
Live Stock Distribution, 1754 – {Carl Mehlman}  - Lot No. 129 – 6 sheep, 1 sow, 1 goat
                                                       {Nicolas Berghaus}             
Baptism, 17 July 1854 – Charles, of Charles & Dorothea Mealman                       (Roll II)
Vict. List June 1755 – John Carl, & Dorotha Melman (nos. 1072/73), Chalres Melman (no. 1377)
    "     "   Feb.- May 1756 – Chal. Doroy, & Jno Mehlman (nos. 103/-4/-5)
Baptism, 1 Sept. 1756 – Caspar, of Carll & Dorothea Mielman                                (Roll II)
Vict. List. Jan. – May 1757 – Carl, Dorothea & John Mehlman & later, toward end of list,
                 Caspar Mehlman
Cattle Expedition, 1756 – Carl Melman (name horizontal)
Baptism, 23 April 1758 – {John Michael and Sybilla} twins, of Charles & Dorothea Muilman    (Roll II)
      "       , 4 May 1760 – Ann Catherine, of Jno Charles & Dorothea Mailman                 (    "    )  
Registry of Town Lots, 1760 – Jno. Carl Mehlman – Rudolf's Div., G-3
   "            30- Acre Lots, 1760 – Jno. Carl Mehlman – LaHave river, A-9; as "Carl Meelman"
Lutheran church – Johann Carl Mehlman, signed  Membership Roll of 1775 but does
   not seem to have paid his dues, as his name does not appear in church account book

Mr. Money's Burial Register, 26 June 1791, buried "Jas. Mailman" aged 79 [Source of a
  "James" Mailman, aged 79, is an enigma; & his being buried by Mr. Money, if the
 Mehlmans were Lutherans. To be sure, there was obviously a good deal of dissention 
 among the Lutherans, & some splitting, but so far as we have records of it, 
 almost all, I think, later than this].    

Source: The "Foreign Protestants" and the Settlement of Nova Scotia The History of a 
Piece of Arrested British Colonial Policy in the Eighteenth Century. Winthrop Pickard Bell. 
University of Toronto Press, 1961. Co-published by Centre for Canadian Studies, 
Mount Allison University 1990.


Oh, my!

Yesterday I received an interesting email from a gentleman who is related to me via our 4x great-grandfather- in-common. We have been corresponding for a couple of years now, trading information back and forth: photos, stories, mysteries - but this is the most exciting bit of news to date!

As you walk in from parking

The Samuel Mack & Desire Cohoon Mack Doran house in Mill Village is for sale. Of course I am dreaming of buying it! Imagine being able to live in your great-great-great-great grandparent's house! It would mean moving to NS, but I could live with that...


17 January 2012

One just never knows until one tries

I have a new genealogical practice.

I Google.

A lot.

And I get really interesting results. It's hard, but I try to focus my searches on one person. Just Googling a name is not very effective though, so I add a date and a place. For instance, "Samuel Mack, 1770 Liverpool, Nova Scotia" was a fairly productive search;  as was "Samuel Mack, 1736 East Haddam CT".

I ended up with close to 30+ pages of results. I stopped looking at each result at page 26 though, since the actual information in the links after that started to regress to some pretty bizarre non-family-related information.

Among the "good" results: I connected to a new cousin in Florida and found a hand-written genealogy chart with Ephraim Dean listed on it in Disbray Museum, Bridgewater, NS (waiting to hear if they still have the document); I found some pictures of "Mack homestead" in Port Medway NS and some photographs of Mack gravestones in Mill Village, NS (that I didn't have!!!); and I found some photographs of Macks from the Robert Phalen Collection at the Thomas Raddall Research Centre in Liverpool, NS, but I'm not certain which relatives they are yet.

My two favorite search results have to be these though:

A Rare Pair of Silver Salt Cellars, Spoons, and a Pair of Pepper Casters
The salt cellars and spoons mark of Stephen Emery, Boston, circa 1790          
Lot 195/Sale 1617
Price Realized  $16,800.

Lot Description
The salt cellars of double-bellied baluster form, on circular foot with gadrooned border, the bowls with shaped gadrooned rims, marked under bases; the salt spoons with shaped bowls and beaded stems, each marked on reverse; the casters of vase form, on circular beaded foot, the body engraved with paterae and swags, and centering an oval cartouche engraved with a monogram, the detachable cover with piercing within oval cartouches and engraved with paterae and swags, with flame finial, apparently unmarked; the salt cellars, salt spoons and casters engraved with monogram PD. The salt cellars 2-1/2 in. diameter; the spoons 4 in. long; the casters 6-7 /8 in. high; 19 oz. 10 dwt. (6).


Patrick Doran (1757 -1818) m . Desiah Cahoon (b. Barnstable, MA 1747, d. 1809 Liverpool, Nova Scotia)
Daughter, Eleanor Doran (1791-1831) m . Samuel John Davison (1791-1825) 
Son, Edward Doran Davison I (1819-1894) m. Desiah Mack (1821-1886)
Son, Edward Doran Davison II (1845-1902) m . secondly Margaret A. Robertson (1867-1895)
Son, Harold Doran Davison (1890-1965) m . first Helen Hastings
Daughter, Margaret Helen Davison (b.c.1918) m. Daniel Whiting Lathrop (b.c. 1916)
Son, Harold Doran Lathrop (b. 1944)

Lot Notes

Patrick Doran was born in Waterford, Ireland in 1757 and emigrated to Nova Scotia where he conducted an active business with New England. In 1785 he married the widow Desiah (or Desire) Cahoon Mack. Desiah was the daughter of Massachusetts-born William Cahoon, and the family had settled in Port Medway, near Bridgewater, as one of the original proprietors of Liverpool Township. Desiah's first husband, Connecticut-born Samuel Mack was an operator of two sawmills in Nova Scotia. Upon her first husband's death, Desiah bought 200 acres of land and received the rights to two sawmills from her father. Her second marriage to Patrick Doran in 1785 brought the mills under his control.

Under Patrick Doran, the mill business flourished with lumber shipments to New England and the West Indies. He was a prominent member of the community, serving as a Captain in the militia and long-time Magistrate of Mill Village. The family resided in Mill Village, in the house illustrated below, which still stands.
Upon Patrick's death, his personal possessions were divided between his three surviving children, and his will stipulated that his lands could not be sold for a period of 99 years. In turn, these descended to his grandson, Edward Davison I, who was raised by his spinster aunt, Catherine Doran, after the early death of his parents. At the age of majority Davison inherited 580 acres, a sawmill, fishing rights and the residence at Mill Village. An astute businessman, he increased the family's holdings to 200,000 acres by the 1880s, running five mills, of which three had an output of 250,000 feet daily. The family became known as the "Lumber Kings of Nova Scotia."

With such strong familial and commercial ties to New England, Patrick Doran would easily have acquired the suite of silver salt cellars and pepper casters in Boston. Engraved with his monogram, the suite has been passed carefully to successive generations of the Doran-Davison family to the present owner.

(See: The Canadian Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self Made Men, 1881; The Dictionary of Canadian Biography; The Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, South Shore: Seasoned Timbers, Volume 2: Some Historic Buildings from Nova Scotia's South Shore, 1974; Will Books of Queen's County , Nova Scotia; T. B. Smith Collection of Queen's County Families). Special thanks to Queen's County Museum and the DesBrisay Museum, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, for their assistance."

There's a lot of genealogy related information packed into this one webpage. Most of it I knew, but I did pick up a few more references to check for further information.

The second is this:

From the website http://antiquesandthearts.com, this rather lovely collection from the annual ADA/Historic Deerfield Antique Show in Deerfield Mass. The write-up of the antique show was crafted by R. Scudder Smith and the description reads:

"For those who turned to the left upon entering the building, Peter H. Eaton Antiques, Inc, and Joan R. Brownstein, Newbury, Mass., were there in the first booth with a collection of furniture and paintings. A country Queen Anne chest on frame from the Mack family of East Haddam, Conn., circa 1785, measuring 57 inches high and 36¼ inches wide, was offered, along with a Queen Anne two-drawer blanket chest, dovetailed, cutout skirt with center drop, in the original Spanish brown paint. This Connecticut River Valley piece, of strong tiger maple, dates circa 1750–1760. A pair of portraits, attributed to Milton W. Hopkins, descended in the family of Frederick Baker whose ancestors were among the early settlers of Pompey Hill, N.Y. Both subjects are seated with a fringed, red swaged drapery in the background."

I am still happily amazed at what can be found on the internet.

But more than that; finding an ancestor's actual possession makes the individual more multi-dimensional, which is incredibly bonding for me, in a way that mere words on a page often don't do.