Click Here to Receive New Posts
in Your Inbox

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    SEARCH

    10% Off Family Tree University 20% off 125x125

     

     

    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

    Now Available

    Follow Me
    Thursday
    Aug212008

    Story Hour at the Drive-Thru Window


    Once upon a time. . . two confused Californians were whizzing through a little town in the far northern reaches of Vermont looking for a blacksmith. . .

    Why did they want a blacksmith?" you might ask, for their trusty rental automobile surely did not need new shoes. But that's another story.
    Anyway, as the visitors drove through Hardwick they spotted an old brick building on the street corner. It was clearly a noble Bank at one time, offering financial accommodations to the funds of local businessmen and farmers. The Bank must have moved on to new virtual space or loftier headquarters, and the brick building became a bookstore offering literary enlightenment to the townspeople. A drive ran along the structure's side, right to a window declaring
    "The Story Teller Drive-Up Window"
    In the way of most good stories, it took a while to get back to the treasure; that is, the visitors still had to find that blacksmith. . . but, later in the day. . . before leaving the little town, they made a special point to visit the Drive-Up Story Teller.

    By that time of day, the weather had changed from humid and sticky to humid and wet. The rain was falling in big drops as their car pulled up to the window and they asked the sweet lady for a story. She laughed, trilled really, and leaned in to the metal box to speak.

    "I can't tell you a story," she said. "But, I can sell you a book."
    Cruel words for the fantasy-starved.
    "What?" the travellers cried, incredulously. "No story?"
    "No," she replied.
    "But it says right there," they added, pointing to the sign over the window, "Drive Up Story Teller."
    "No, no," the lady corrected. "This is The Story-Teller's Drive-Up Window. Bank Teller, Story Teller. Would you like to buy a book?"
    Perhaps the residents of Hardwick, Vermont are actually lucky to have The Story Teller offering a Drive-Up Window. Instead of a quick story, they can buy a good weekend read without having to get their pajamas wet in the rain and snow. Maybe that's the Vermont version of living "Happily Ever After."

    Wednesday
    Aug202008

    About that Maine Lobster


    Sometimes a family historian has to step into the present day and pause for a look at events that may be history tomorrow. While most people are tuned in to the what's happening in the water in Beijing at the Summer Olympic Games, lobstermen in Maine are watching the Atlantic water and probably shaking their heads.

    No, this isn't a foodie blog, but readers who have been following along on my New England rambles, may have noted a running lobster commentary. Before leaving Los Angeles on August 10, I noted a small newspaper article reporting on the drop in fresh lobster prices. It seems that the high fuel costs were contributing to higher trapping expenses for lobstermen and less tourists to purchase live lobster when dining out. The result was an expected price drop for retail live lobster.

    If you enjoy these delicious crustaceans, you probably know that restaurants rarely quote a price on the menu. Typically, fresh lobster is sold at "Market" price, cost plus the restaurant's markup and preparation expense. We paid the not-too-high Maine restaurant price of $14-$16 for a fresh lobster roll, and $20-$25 for a steamed 1-1/2 lb. lobster. Probably on the low side of restaurant market price.

    Local home cooks, however, must be enjoying the dramatic price drop in lobster available at dockside markets. This sign on Commercial Street along the Portland harbor says it all: Lobster $5.49/lb. Lobstermen and their families must be having a rough time of it these days.

    Only one year ago, a lobster shortage pushed retail prices to over $15/lb, estimated to be at an all-time high by The Sun Journal Maine newspaper.

    Harsh winter weather, abnormally cold water temperatures and the timing of fishing seasons are blamed for the shortage. "Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong," said Peter McAleney, owner of New Meadows Lobster. . .
    "When it falls, it's going to fall hard," he said.
    And it sure has fallen. Hopefully, lobstermen will weather the times and be around for next season, but this may be the stuff that goes down in the record books as the lean summer of 2008. Spread the word, support the lobster industry and EAT MORE LOBSTER!

    Sunday
    Aug172008

    Maine-ly More Lobster

    Ok, ok, maybe it's cruel, but have you ever seen anything more yummy than fresh Maine lobster with farm-ripened corn on the cob? Especially when it's enjoyed dockside with your favorite people?

    Saturday
    Aug162008

    Maine-ly Lobster

    When in Maine -- eat lobster. Drove out to Two Lights to view the lighthouses and, most importantly, try the Lobster Shack lobster rolls. A split bun bursting with fresh picked meat. Serious competition for yesterday's lunch washed down with a splash of bubbly.



    Too bad I don't know about any Maine ancestors... yet.

    Friday
    Aug152008

    Lobster Roll in Maine

    Just had to share... Lunch for the common man.

    Friday
    Aug152008

    GB Games Progress

    The GB Games must be going strong, but I think I am falling behind in the medal count... Unless onsite research and mobile blogging fit in somewhere. Hmmm... Maybe, organizing? I've been careful to collect the source information I will need to document my "finds" so that should be easy when I get home.



    I'm doing this entire trip without my laptop, only a mobile phone. It's working well except for the difficulty of reading the genea blogs on a micro-screen. I will have some catch up to do.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed

    Thursday
    Aug142008

    A Mis-marked Marker?

    The quest for family tombstones led to the grave of "Abigail, wife of Josiah French, died May 10, 1790 [5], aged 23 years." The slate marker stands about 3-1/2 or 4 feet tall and features a carved mourning urn across the tympanum. While the numerals are sharp and clear, the number "5" appears to have been carved next to the "0" of 1790. A correction?



    It is also curious that to the left of Abigail's grave stands a small slate marker for "Mary, dau. of Josiah and Rebecca French, died May 14, 1795, aged 3 years." Little Mary was born to Josiah's second wife, but buried next to Abigail, his first wife. Perhaps they didn't want her to be alone in her final slumber. Somehow I like that.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed

    Thursday
    Aug142008

    Tombstone hunting in Cavendish VT

    "It's just right off the road" has to be what every ancestor-hunter wants to hear from their spouse. Mine insisted we drive out Hwy 2 to see what we could find in Cavendish, home to James Winsor.



    Drove past the great old brick building home to the Cavendish Historical Society (open Sundays only 2-4 pm). Drove on and came to Procterville where the Cavendish Library was open and staffed by a delightful and helpful young woman. Found "Cemeteries of Cavendish" listing several members of the French family and where they were buried.



    After a quick stop for sandwiches, we made our way to the Cavendish town cemetery. Had our tailgate picnic at the top of the hill overlooking regiments of marble, slate, and granite.



    Mr. Curator found Josiah French and second wife Rebecca. My ancestor was his third wife, who died elsewhere. Also found a bit of a mystery in the first wife's stone, will post that pic next. A most fruitful little side trip.

    Thursday
    Aug142008

    The Family Curator Meets the Next Generation

    Made it to Norwich in time to meet our new great-niece, Bridget Bernice. Now we're collecting collateral descendents too!

    Wednesday
    Aug132008

    Treasure at thr Town Clerk's Office

    We were driving south to meet our nephew and new grand-niece for dinner when I saw the sign for Sharon. Ohmygosh, gggmother Fanny Brown Childs was from Sharon. Screech, turn, see the Town Clerk's Office, veer right, snap photo of church, reverse to Clerk's Office -- time is 4:25 pm



    Leave understanding, sleepy spouse in car, and dash through rain to the Clerk's Office. No appointment? No problem. Takes me to room adjacent to her office fitted with floor to ceiling shelves. Year? 1823? Here are the books; we close at 5.



    Find marriage of David Childs, Fanny's father, but no birth records. Slightly distracted by entries of recorded ear croppings -- square notch, penny size, on ear lobe.



    No mention of Fanny, but not unusual for the time. I am thrilled to read the fading brown handwriting from 1796 and handle the old books. It is just exciting to BE here.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed

    Wednesday
    Aug132008

    Gov Portraits

    Most state governors select a stately portrait, not so Howard Dean, or L.L. Dean (as the guard told us). He chose a more casual setting with boat and paddle.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed

    Wednesday
    Aug132008

    joes-pond.jpg

    Stopped for lunch en route to the Vermont state capitol, Montpelier. Lobster Rolls at Joe's Pond were pretty darn good.

    P.S. Couldn't remember if it was "capitol" or "capital"... Our inn host sent us to the house library where we found the 1890 Funk and Wagnals.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed

    Wednesday
    Aug132008

    vermonts-northeast-kingdom

    It doesn't get much more beautiful than this. No wonder they call it The Northeast Kingdom.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed

    Tuesday
    Aug122008

    VT_Hist_Soc.jpg

    Success! Today I was able to find Vital Records for James Winsor and Henry M Winsor. Also found info on Mercy Mathewson (wife of James). Sad to realize that our family only had two generations in the Green Mtn State. I wonder...if Mercy and James had not both died leaving Henry an orphan, would the family have stayed and prospered in Vermont?

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed

    Monday
    Aug112008

    Day Progress

    Boston has never looked so good for a birthday celebration. Landed 7 hrs behind schedule due to 1) weather, then 2) mechanical, then 3) onboard med emerg with a stop in Chicago for EMTs -- of course I'm glad the airline can do that so quickly -- then 4) crew over time limit, had to wait for new crew, finally 5) broken lavatories. Considering everything, maybe a 7 hour delay isn't too bad.

    Now off ancestor chasing. Rec'd an email just this morning confirming family burials in Clarendon, VT.