Thursday, December 20, 2012

Recent Research

Hello all!  I've been busy filling in some blanks in my family tree that is growing ever larger!

I have tons of new links as I do more research from home, and not at the LDS Family Research Center (where I have been called to work).  I will add more as I get them.  I will also have to redue the family trees I have posted to this blog as I have made corrections and added new information.  I would like to see how far I can go!

Dover, New Hampshire- I have many ancestors from Dover.
I found this painting interesting because very rarely have I scene the Pilgrims hit Plymouth Rock in the winter.  Imagine  being so hungry, cold and tired from a long hard journey and landing in wintertime in northern New England.  There is another painting I came across where the Pilgrims are climbing up on shore from the rock, looking haggard, sick and beaten... one man carrying who I would presume to be his wife in his arms.  The photo above, though very cold looking, looks almost like they just got back from a vacation cruise or something.

I have traced my family (my mother's side) all the way up the coastline of northeastern United States from Massachusetts to Maine.  The early settlers of many towns along the coast were quite often my ancestors!  My mother has a great bloodline with strong northern New England roots that go deep into this granite ridden soil.  I only wish she could have as much pride in this as I do.  

I have often found myself lost in my mind while reading about my ancestors about a world of ship's captains, primitive cabins, horses and buggies, "Indians", and old dirt roads closed in by trees on either side.  I wonder what roads here today that were developed back then as dirt paths and trails.  I wonder what it looked like before they took dynamite and blew the rock up out of the way of a road improvement. I wonder if the old road went up over the rock or around.  I wonder which roads were added later when highways began to cut through towns.  I think of one area where the road twirls around a pond and up a hill that had a name.  I can easily imagine that road as a narrow(er) dirt road.  It can be a treacherous road (legend says it's haunted) and I am sure that flattening that hill improved the safety of travel there.  

Old Wooden Highway, Nequasset, Maine.  Photo url said it was Woolwich, ME.
Anyway, I have found names repeat themselves on either side of my mother's family, and in different areas of the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine states (that used to be just Massachusetts) as they built towns all up the coastline. In my mind I see captains of large ships, schooners with tall masts blowing their way along the coastline, and I see hard working fishermen pulling up their bounty from a boat in stormy cold, chill waters at sea.  I also see women who seem to pop out the children like a sort of popcorn popper, having many babies, but often losing many as well to illnesses that we now are a lot safer from.  Influenza and Small Pox killed whole families and even villages!  We have come a long way.  

Lake George, Liberty, Maine Waldo County-
Trees now block this view, but this is a view of the area some of my ancestors walked.

One woman gave birth as the Mayflower began to make port, but it was a stillborn.  No doubt a stillborn due to the long journey from England and the poor diet upon the ship, and illneses that ran rampant in the confines of the old ship.  There are stories of  Indians and battles against Indians, but also Indians and battles with Indians.  In Camden, Maine the early settlers managed to chase the British back to sea more than once.  Also in Camden, Maine one of my ancestors married a Tarratine Indian woman (I use the term Indian because that is the term they used back then, with full knowledge that the politically correct term is "Native American").  I was thrilled this week when I finally discovered more about this woman and her parents.  The mother's name was left as its Indian name, and the girl was given the name Sarah, still listed as Little Fawn (as it was the English meaning to her Indian name) and her "maiden" name was listed as Tarratine... the name of the tribe she was from (along the Maine- New Hampshire border).  When listing last names for her parents, I listed them also as "Tarratine".  My ancestor, Dodipher and Little Fawn had many children, who went on to have many children.  It was this man, Dodipher, and his wife, Little Fawn that would create the link between my great- grandmother's family (on my mother's father's side, Richards) and my great- grandfather's family (also my mother's father's side- Berry).
This is actually in New York (Yup, I've got family from here), but it is a basic picture of what life was like for my early ancestors of Northern New England.  (Another reason for high child mortality rates... take a look at the size of that fireplace!)

Get excited about family research!  Look for the stories and the history lessons you missed out on in school!

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