The Maine Central Railroad's history is even on wikipedia.
We've all heard the family story of the three brothers. They immigrated together; they moved west together, whatever it was it was three brothers. These stories are seldom true. Here's my version from a letter from a cousin in 1979:
The NEHGS newsletter conducted an unscientific poll last week:
Last week we brought back our popular question feature with a survey on journal readership. Many of you responded, with some interesting results. As expected, almost everyone (98%) receives the Register. In addition, 25% receive NGSQ and 17% get TAG. About 20-25% of TAG and NGSQ readers fully read the journal. 70% of respondents read only select articles from the Register, with 20% doing so for TAG and NGSQ. The percentage of individuals not reading the journal, but only searching it as an electronic database, are as follows: Register, 54%; TAG, 45%; Record 20%.
This is not surprising news based on my own unscientific work of last fall on scholarly articles penetrating the web. Of those that responded it seems only l7% get TAG. And that's just the membership of NEHGS who responded. So, counting the rest of the so-called genealogists out there, probably only 1-2% know of this excellent source. So, it's no surprise that people are not finding the best and most current information on their own ancestry.
From the great people at the Westbrook Historical Society. This page in the 1906 yearbook shows my great-grandmother, Lila Mae Quigley. The statistic isn't available for 1906 but in 1909 only 8.8% of 17 year olds graduated high school in this country. I'm guessing the stat for women is even lower, making this quite special for its time.
This is another statistic showing 1910 and please note that no separate stats were kept for women until the late 1940s. You've come a long way baby.
I was reflecting on this blog posting. It's amazing to me that some genealogists are lucky enough to have letters from 1848 (or earlier). My oldest family letter in my possession is from 1920 and is in Slovak, so I can't even read it. Then it occurred to me that although I didn't inherit any old letters, I possessed dozens of letters from my older relatives in my files. I may not be the recipient of old letters, but I could be the one who compiled such letters, many of which describe events that happened in the 19th century, for future generations.
So I have my three-ring binder and mylar sheet protectors ready. I'm slowly but surely preserving all letters from family members to me regarding genealogy. For better or worse, I'm also tossing out letters from strangers requesting genealogical help for families not related to me. I don't want others to get confused.
This seems to be the first of many preservation projects I will start doing. I need to preserve all my original documents including newspaper obituaries, vital records, and miscellanea. I'll probably keep it all in three-ring binders in sheet protectors (archival quality, of course), in alphabetical order by the person's name. I'm sure there are thousands of ways to preserve this stuff. I could do family by family, but that seems so overwhelming. Who needs to trade in file cabinets for 500 binders? or more? However, if you have any useful suggestions, I'm all ears.
The next two documents are identical affidavits written by Abiah's two living Hurd daughters: Sarah Hurd Grant (1853-1925) and Olive Hurd Pinkham (1851-1934). Abiah third Hurd daughter Mary had died in 1907.
In the matter of claim for Abiah Sargent, Remar. Widow of Benjamin W. Hurd a 6th Kansas Cav. W.O. 1,157,421, personally came before me, a notary public in and for [Sullivan Co., N.H.], Sarah Hurd Grant, aged 69 years residing at Charlestown, county of Sullivan, state of New Hampshire who being duly sworn, declare in relation to the aforesaid case as follows: That she is the daughter of Abiah Sargent, former widow of Benjamin W. Hurd and knows that after her father, Benjamin W. Hurd disappeared that her mother did not keep company or did not remarry until her marriage to Samuel Sargent August 8, 1869. The affiant, her mother and her sister, Olive all believe that Benjamin W. Hurd was dead when their mother married Mr. Sargent and as he has never been heard from she is satisfied that he died before her mother remarried.
She further states that she knows that Samuel Sargent and her mother, Abiah Sargent were never separated nor divorced from each other but lived together continuously to the death of Samuel Sargent August 8, 1 913. The affiant further states that to the best of her knowledge and belief Samuel Sargent was never in the Army or Navy in any capacity and had he been she is sure she should have known it. She further declares that she has no interest in said case and is not concerned in it prosecution.
Dated: 9 February 1923
There are two types of researching deja vu's. The first literally is, have I done this before? Have I already looked at this book, this microfilm? The other type is, have I forgotten something? Did I not look in that book?
Part of being a genealogical researcher that is nice, is the ADD nature of the work. After researching one branch for a while you drop it and start on another branch. If you've been working for a while you are probably working on several branches at the same time. If you're me, you've got all of the branches memorized so that you can research any branch at the drop of the hat. [Middle age has dulled my sharp edge a bit--so now I need my Iphone with a genealogical app on it for backup--but as of today, just backup]. Part of working on the Wallace family has brought these feelings up since this is probably the third "real" round I've gone with this family. I was panicked the other day to think that I hadn't looked up Isaac Wallis's death record in the statewide New Hampshire VRs, and only in a book. He was not in the statewide VRs.
In 1990 I started keeping a research notebook. This was an effort to cut down on the deja vu possibilities. Part of that first notebook is transcriptions of materials. I hated paying for copies and the digital era had yet to dawn. The problem is, I kept the notebook in chronological order of my own research. So it jumps around, family to family and geographic area to area. I still need to flip through it (usually from beginning to end) to find something or confirm something. For instance in 1993, I have the transcription of my Holic great-grandparents' passenger list from 1900. Under that I have the death record of Charles Luther Pinkham. Next comes the fax number of the town hall in Alma, New Brunswick, Canada. And so it goes through two large research notebooks.
Much of notebook #1 got entered in to my genealogy database. It was painstaking and tedious, but necessary. The most recent notebook starts in December 2004 so, it is just a listing of research items and whether or not they were completed. Still and all, for someone who tries to be very organized, I'm amazed at how unorganized my research always seems (to me). Thus, I'm always in the throes of deja vu.
In January 2009, I noted how many articles had been written in 2008 for ancestors of mine in three national journals. There were five articles that had "free research" in them. A quick update:
1. The American Genealogist: This journal which had been behind in their publication schedule has somewhat caught up, so for the years 2008 and 2009, there were no articles on my direct ancestors, other than the two I contributed myself. There were, however, four on ancestral uncles or aunts, which I found interesting.
2. The Genealogist: For 2009, also none, except for the ongoing ancestry of Charles II. However, for those not in the know of this journal, the English origins of Cuthbert Phelps of North Carolina, Michael Towsley of Massachusetts, the Parmiter Family of Pennsylvania and Edward Riggs of Roxbury, Mass. were all given last year.
3. The New England Historical & Genealogical Register: For 2009, also none, but one ancestral uncle.
In addition to these national (and yes, I consider the Register national, because it is the oldest such journal in the U.S.), I subscribe to two state journals which have been doing a great job as well:
4. The New Hampshire Genealogical Record: In 2009, the English origins of two of my ancestors (who were siblings) was given: the Alcocks of Maine (which also included Katherine Alcock, wife of Gregory Belcher of Massachusetts). I also contributed one article last year.
5. The Maine Genealogist: In 2009, nothing, however, the ongoing series of Portland, Maine marriage intentions is invaluable as are the articles by Priscilla Eaton on early York Co. families, all of which are interrelated to my own.
Of course, in addition to providing new and exciting ancestors, I read all the articles to see how other genealogists prove relationships and read the footnotes to see what sources they use in their citations. [Yes I know the difference] I hope all people will subscribe to some of these journals. If not, insist that your local library do so!
Probably the best Memorial Day speech was given by Abraham Lincoln at the battlefield at Gettysburg in 1863. It is an irony that Memorial Day would not be an official holiday until three years after Lincoln’s death, but the words he spoke on that gray November day are still unmatched. We cannot consecrate this day. Those heroes and heroines who gave their lives for this country have already consecrated this day. Our duty is to remember them and their sacrifice.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.
Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.