My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wyoming, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Inside Henry David Thoreau's House

There is a nice difference between a winter photo and a June photo. Please see my previous post, Some of Henry David Thoreau's Houses, written in January. I had mentioned 7 months ago, that I would be returning, and I did twice, most recently was today. This post will show part of the interior, and the location where he was really born.
Wonderful docent walking by the organic garden to greet us. She gave us a 90 minute tour. Most of the house is used for office space, but two rooms are shown to the public. The first floor room is usually used for lectures, and there is no original furniture in the house. The second room upstairs was where Henry David Thoreau was born. There were a few period pieces, and photos of the family.

Because the vegetable garden was growing like weeds, we were offered free rhubarb, lettuce and onions...we took a head of yummy lettuce.
Great wall hanging, showing photos of the parents, and four siblings. Henry is the third from the left.

 Original floors in the bedroom.
Looking out the window of the bedroom where he was born. However, this isn't the view they would have seen, since the house was originally down the street and was moved later to this site. The house had several additions through the years, but the upper right side room is original, and that is where he was born.
Facebook page site for
Thoreau Farm - Birthplace of Henry David Thoreau

Additional Photos taken July 22, 2014, and a real surprise. See last photo.

Side garden, and of course nasturtiums (among my favorite flowers).

I was aware that the house was moved to the above location, so I went looking for the original site, and I found this marker below. I'll be going back again, just to show my husband.
was born on this site,
his maternal grandmother's farm,
July 12, 1817.

Bigelow Free Public Library, Clinton, Massachusetts -- Genealogy Collection

I loved the original reference desk. Actually, I think everything in the Bigelow Free Public Library was original, some features charming, others quite dated. They are lacking in space, and as a result, there is no genealogy room. The only things available to genealogists are the microfilm reader (below) and some very old rolls of film. They also offer on their computers subscriber databases such as Ancestry and Heritage Quest. There are some genealogy / local history books in their closed stack area, but I wasn't allowed to go there (that area is behind the reference desk, shown above).
Microfilm reader, printer and file cabinet with newspaper film. This is in the main reading room.

Children's room, on an upper floor.
Library on a busy corner, hidden by the huge tree. I was told that the old Clinton Historical Society was next door, so I walked over...what a beautiful building. Unfortunately, they weren't open, but I'll be back.

A list of all the libraries, with genealogy departments, I've visited in New England and New York is below. All are linked to my posts.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Bedford Free Public Library, Bedford, Massachusetts -- Genealogy and Local History Section

Even though Bedford is close to where I live, I've never been in their library, the Bedford Free Public Library, nor do I have ancestors from the town. The library is huge, and I was pleasantly surprised with it. Loved the open spaces, use of light, and the room holding the Bedford Collection.

Two views of the Bedford Collection room.
An example of some of their holdings.

A list of all the libraries, with genealogy departments, I've visited in New England and New York is below. All are linked to my posts.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Alameda, California house -- Before and After -- Wordless Wednesday

We moved to Alameda, California, from Connecticut, sometime in 1944. The two photos show the before and after in our living room. Since my mother majored in textiles in college, I'm positive she did the upholstery work. This room really needed an update, and I think the furniture was second hand, or maybe was even left in the house by the previous owners.
In my blog post of November 25, 2009 called, "Alameda House  --  Before and After" I wrote, "My mother and Steve Danko (genealogy blogger and friend) both took pictures of the same house." There was probably a 50 year difference between the two.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Requests July 8, 2014

In less than a month, I've received three requests from individuals wanting to use a photo of mine for whatever purpose, usually business related. Of course, I gave permission, but what is unusual is the number. In the past, requests were from one or two genealogists. Below are the three letters to me, followed by the photo. Possible future requests will be posted to this site.

"Dear Barbara,
I’m an archaeologist working on some large scale excavations in Philadelphia and we have a public information session coming up for the residents of the neighborhood where we are doing the excavations.  I was looking for pictures of open hearth and brick oven cooking to use on a poster that will explain how red earthenware pans and dishes were used in 19th century cooking and I came across this image on your blog.  I was wondering if you would give us permission to copy the image for our poster?  The public session is very informal—sort of a meet and greet for archaeologists and people in the neighborhood—but your photo is ideal for showing both a hearth and a brick oven. You would of course be credited as the author of the image."

The photo is shown, but some of you might not be able to see it. Please see my "Seeing New England" post here, and scroll down to see the two ladies in the kitchen. HERE.

"Hi Barbara,
I've just come across your blog and I really enjoy it.
Thank you so much.
I am the author of The Old Money Book, which is currently available on Amazon and Nook. The book details how anyone from any background can adopt the values, priorities, and habits of America's upper class in order to live a richer life.
I have a blog as well.
I was wondering if I may use your photograph of the Concord Free Library Main Reading Room. It's beautiful, and perfectly captures the tone of my book and blog."

My third request this month was from Maine.
"I wanted to write you personally to let you know we recently featured your post about Kennebunkport Historic District on Hopper! Click here to view it or to sign up to reach new readers. 

Hopper wants to reward awesome bloggers like yourself with more and better exposure, so if you have any feedback or questions please reply directly to this email."

On July 16, 2014, I received: "Barbara,
AAA Southern New England will be featuring Westford in the October issue of our club publication Horizons. We have print, the online version and a Facebook page, too.
The member submitted column, which is called My Town, will mention The Westford Knight.  I'd like your permission to possibly use one of your attached photos. We will be happy to give you a photo credit if we use it. 
Thanks for your help." 

DUMAS, Lowell, Massachusetts -- Tombstone Tuesday

Lowell Cemetery
Lowell, Massachusetts

1830  LEVI DUMAS  1908
No question about it, flowers near a cemetery stone will always draw me to it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

1975 DC from Washington Monument -- Wordless Wednesday

My original 1975 photos taken from the Washington Monument are in color, but faded, so I decided to make them black and white for this post. A few years later, I was working in the building right behind the White House (1st row, to the right, behind Lafayette Square). Years later, I was working to the left of where I was standing, taking this photo).

Friday, June 13, 2014

Scary Tombstones for Friday the 13th

My collection of rather unusual and scary tombstones are below. They are located in the Granary Burial Ground in Boston, established 1660. To see other photos, see my post from yesterday about this graveyard HERE. So enjoy, and happy Friday the 13th.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Paul Revere and Other Notables in the Granary Burial Ground, Boston, 1660

It's no secret that I love cemeteries. Because of this blog, I decided to visit the Granary Burial Ground in Boston to share photos of what I saw in this 1660 cemetery.
Paul Revere
Born in Boston.
January 1734
May 1818
The above is the monument erected many years after his tombstone marker was. Below is a closeup photo of Paul Revere's tomb.

Tour guide talking to students and tourists at the Paul Revere markers.
Here Lies Buried
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
Governor of this Commonwealth
A Leader of Men and an Ardent Patriot
Born 1722    Died 1803

Here Lyes the Body of
Mary Goose Wife to
Isaac Goose Aged 42
Years Decd October
Ye 19th 1690
This memorial is for John Hancock.

Old tombstones are along the edge of the cemetery, right up against various buildings, the one above is a restaurant!