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    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.

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    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.

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    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.


    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!


    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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

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    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?

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    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.


    Day 2 Challenge

    Only the second day of the games and already a challenge - flight delayed til midnight. Patience...

    I will be mobile bloggung with my games progress and research highlights beginning tonight -- note the new look of the blog for the duration of the GB Games. Fresh and bright like the 08 Olympic Games.

    In preparation for the trip I pulled together my notes and goals - find vitals for Henry M. Winsor, wife Fanny and parents James and Mercy Mathewson Winsor. Wish me luck!

    I'll be mobile blogging and posting to Facebook from now on, and hope to keep up with the Genea Bloggers Summer Games.


    Day 1 Report

    10 Sources entered and cited for Henry M in prep for research in the Archives.


    GB Games -

    Participated in the Opening Ceremonies, and WOW were they spectacular. Thank you Miriam for a wonderful show. The parade of participants was especially inspiring . . . now it's time to pull out the keyboard and really get busy.


    Treasure! Look what I found in the cupboard. . .

    Ok, ok, I'm trying to find photos to post on my Profile here on the blog and also on my new Facebook Profile. It's awfully difficult when one is the principal family photographer; we've got everyone and the family dog, but me. I was rummaging in my archive (ie. living room bookcase cupboard) and discovered a cache of old black and white snapshots from childhood days.

    Jumbled in with all the old snaps I found a plastic grocery bag full of yellowed photo envelopes. I didn't realize what they were until I caught the handwritten notations: Mrs. Arline Parker, Olathe, Kansas; C.H. Parker. These are from the years when Arline was married to Charles Parker, about 1921-1929.

    Every envelope is jammed full of old black and white negatives. Some envelopes are newer, from Arline's years in Santa Ana, California after 1931. Some are from photo services in Kansas City, Missouri. There are negatives of photos I have seen, many of formal studio portraits, and I am sure, negatives of photos new to me.

    I know from Arline's letters that the family exchanged photos continually; it looks like Arline wisely had studio copies made so that she didn't lose the originals. Hooray for our original "Family Curator." I will have to do more research on the negatives, even at least one tintype or daguerreotype (don't know which yet), to see what I have here.

    Meanwhile, I would love comments on how to store these negatives. Obviously, they need to be handled with "white gloves" and placed in protective sleeves or folders. I sure would like to have prints made of each of them, as well.


    My Kind of Athletics -- The Genea-Blogger Games

    What excitement! Opening Ceremonies tomorrow at Noon. Competitors from around the globe preparing for their events. Media converging at the playing fields (note Thomas Mac Entee of Destination:Austin to be featured on Angies List®). I'm talking about the Genea-Bloggers Group Games, although former state championship swimmer Katie Libardi Levenick (my daughter-in-law) is really looking forward the the athletic rendition of the Summer Olympics.

    Katie kindly helped me overcome my Facebook angst so that I could join up and participate in the Games. She is certain that my students will find me on Facebook, and might even want to be my Friend.

    I would have loved viewing the proposed (and rejected) Top Ten Genea-Blogger Group Games That Were Cut by the Olympic Committee, but "maybe next year." Looks like the competition will be tough enough in this inaugural year.

    As required by the Games Committee, herein is my Entrance Registration:

    Name: Denise Levenick
    Blog: The Family Curator
    Country of Origin: USA
    Hometown: Los Angeles, California


    1 - Cite Your Sources (intermediate)
    2 - Back Up Your Data (novice level)
    3 - Organize Your Research (Go for the Platinum!)
    4 - Write - (push that pen)
    5 - Reach Out - (all the way)

    It is always exciting to be in on the beginning of something even if you aren't as highly trained as you might like to be for competition. Remember -- it's the spirit, it's the spirit. I plan to compete in all divisions, although I'm travelling for some of the time -- on a little family history trip, no less. I'll be posting about where I'm going and inviting look-up requests (Division 5) soon. I'm aiming to finish all Events in at least one division, and to show in the others. The Committee did a great job selecting the Events -- I think they could be a TTBD (Things To Be Done) for the corkboard.


    Let the Games Begin!


    A Happy Ending -- Act III

    Arline Kinsel as France Lee and Will Tully as Jack Worthinton
    in the 1906 production of "A Noble Outcast," Pueblo, Colorado

    At the close of Act II, Jerry Weston discovers that he is the father of France and goes to prison rather than cause her to marry the evil James Blackburn. France is reunited with her love, Jack Worthington.

    Act III -- In front of the Lee's southern mansion
    Sadie is sweeping the porch when Blackburn arrives with the news that Jerry has escaped prison and his mangled body been found after being run over by a train. He denies Sadie's story that he "arranged" the escape to ensure Weston's death. Blackburn's new plot involves the financial ruin of Colonel Lee and Jack Worthington through the fraudulent Silver Bar Mine, and he is confident that France will marry him rather than see Col. Lee destroyed. He cries with fury and leaves when France refuses to see him. A telegram brings news of the worthless Mine; the Lees learn from Blackburn that all of their funds have been lost. Alas, France finally relents, agreeing to marry Blackburn to keep Colonel Lee from prison. . . and then, Jack arrives, followed by the white-haired Jerry Weston holding the title to the Silver Bar Mine. "I am the original owner," he says, the sale "was a fraud." Jack adds to the story by revealing that Weston's brother confessed his guilt, and Jerry has been pardoned for "a crime he did not commit." With all the other characters now free of Blackburn's clutches, Blackburn himself begs for forgiveness. The men seem resolved to turn him in to the law, but France begs for his freedom. Jerry is content to banish Blackburn, satisfying France, and turns to the men, "Jack, my boy, take her. Colonel, let's have a drink!"


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