Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Doodles From The Past (November 24, 2014)


In the most recent Saturday Serendipity post here at The Prism, I recommended two items of interest. One involved watercolor paintings done by a New England whaler of the 1840s and the other involved a study of some 800-year-old doodles found in the margins of medieval books. I asked in the post if readers knew of or had old doodles from some of their ancestors or relatives and I mentioned that I would post a doodle from my family artifact collection. The promised doodle is present above.

As can be seen, the doodle is on a scarp of aged paper. The precise date of the drawing is unknown and the meaning, if any, of the doodle is equally mysterious. But there is the signature in the center of the scrap of paper -- "Asquire Miller."

Backside of the paper scrap containing the doodle above. 

Asquire Miller (1775 - 1825) is my 4th great grandfather on my mother's side. Asquire was born in Cumberland, Rhode Island and was one of the early residents and owners of the Miller/Carpenter homestead formerly located at 551 High Street in Cumberland. Asquire and his wife, Amey Bishop, had four sons: Namon, Aurin, Eber (1805 - 1877) and Asquire Jr. (1813 - 1841).

It is unknown if the doodle and writing on the depicted scrap of paper is by either Asquire Miller, Sr. or his son, Asquire Miller, Jr., but the clear signature -- "Asquire Miller" -- leads to the supposition that the doodle is by one or the other of the Asquire Millers.  My guess is Asquire Miller, Jr. because the uniform on the soldier looks like a uniform of the War of 1812. Asquire Jr. was born in 1813 and that war would have been one of stories during his pre-teen youth.  Just a guess but I'm going with it.

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Scan of the original scrap with doodle and now in the collection of the author. 
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (November 22, 2014)



The following are a few recommendations for inclusion on your reading list this weekend.

1.  If you have any New England whalers in your genealogy, you might like to see the collection of watercolor paintings done by seaman James Moore Ritchie during a whaling voyage circa 1842-1845. The Vault presents some of the watercolors here, but if you are in Providence for NERGC next April, you might be able to see the originals in an exhibition at the Providence Public Library.   

2.  Have you seen this remarkable story in the news this past week? Surprisingly, there are perhaps 35 children of Civil War Veterans still alive today, but they are among us. Thanks to a link in the NEHGS Weekly Genealogist newsletter, you can read here about the sons and daughters who are the last people with actual memories of direct contact with men who served during the Civil War. And one of the highlighted children has a particularly amazing (and documented) event that he can tell about his Civil War veteran father. Go to the link to read about the amazing true story -- and DO watch the video interview with two of the children.    

3.  "Family History Bingo??" Upfront With NGS blog provided a link to a wonderful blog post at Ancestry.com blog titled "Creative Ways To Get Your Kids Excited About Family History Month -- Part One."  You can read the Ancestry post here and see here the family history bingo game that Diane Richard of NGS created after reading the Ancestry post.        

4.  Also courtesy of Upfront With NGS, if you liked the 170-year-old whaling watercolors in recommendation #1 above, how about 800-year-old doodles in books from the medieval period? Have a look here. Do you have any old doodles among your family artifacts? [Watch The Prism over the next several days when I will post a doodle from my family artifact collection that dates back to the early 1800s.]

5.  Now here is a different kind of "Turkey Shoot!" Call it the family friendly, pacifist, no-firearms-allowed Turkey Shoot -- a wonderful idea brought to us by Denise Levenick of The Family Curator blog. Read the rules here and maybe get ready to play next week.       

6.  For those who have used AncestryDNA, the post by Judy Russell on November 20th explains "the good, the bad and the ugly" about the rollout of the recent changes in matching systems. You AncestryDNA users can and should read Judy's post "Changes at AncestryDNA" here.  

7.  What should one do with information found in unsourced family trees? Anyone who has done modern genealogy research with the plethora of published family trees now on the web has come across the conundrum of what to do with information from undocumented, unsourced trees. Harold Henderson has a brief post well worth reading about how to approach such trees and the information they contain. One should not simply scoff at such trees nor accept them on blind faith . . . well read here Harold's brief, well-reasoned (and illustrated) take on how such trees should be handled.

8.  Does your family have any connections to North Andover, Massachusetts? If so, you should really take a few minutes to visit Barbara Poole's blog Life From The Roots. This week Barbara posted about the North Andover Historical Society (with her usual excellent photographic illustrations). But for those of you who know or suspect you have family connections to North Andover, Barbara provides the service of listing for you the surnames of the first European settlers to the area and the 146 surnames of all the area families up to the present day!  Have a look here.

9.  And finally, in a mix of the serious and the whimsical, Nancy at My Ancestors and Me blog, muses on the need to be prepared for retirement, the changing nature of jobs and job titles, and what our ancestors would think of today's employment opportunities. Read Nancy's brief post "Work, Lice, My Ancestors, and Me" here.       

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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Fotos (November 21, 2014) -- Sarah Etta [Freeman] Carpenter

Sarah Etta {Freeman] Carpenter (1858 - 1945)

My Great Grandmother, Sarah Carpenter, was born March 27, 1858 in East Douglas, Massachusetts. Her family later moved to Lincoln, Rhode Island and it was while living there that she met her future husband, Samuel Eber Carpenter of Cumberland, Rhode Island. They were married on June 15, 1887, less than three months after Sarah turned 29. Sarah lived the rest of her life in Cumberland, Rhode Island residing at 551 High Street, the Carpenter/Miller family home.  Sarah died on July 24, 1945 and is buried in Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.

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Scan of the original portrait in the collection of the author.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday (November 20, 2014) -- The Samuel and Sarah Carpenter Family

L to R: Ruth, Samuel, Everett and Sarah Carpenter 

The above snapshot was taken in the front room of the Carpenter family home at 551 High Street in Cumberland, Rhode Island in approximately 1900. Samuel and Sarah are my maternal great grandparents and the boy, Everett, is my maternal grandfather. Everett's sister Ruth, my grand aunt, is also pictured.

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Scan from the original snapshot in the collection of the author.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (November 15, 2014)



The following are a few recommendations for inclusion on your reading list this weekend.

1.   This week the National Genealogical Society officially announced the full program for the 2015 Family History Conference to be held in St. Charles, Missouri May 13 - 16.  Read about it here at Upfront With NGS blog.  

2.  Heather Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy blog posted an interesting piece about "Runaway Bride" legal notices in newspapers. She provides an example from an 1832 issue of the New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette.  Read the post here.     

3.  Here is an interesting research tip from Researching Relatives blog. Don't limit your searches in directories and newspapers to just surnames -- try searching on house or building addresses too.           

4.  Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings blog posted about  new releases off activity books designed to engage youth in discovery their family history. The books are part of the Zap The Grandma Gap "My Ancestors" book series. Read more at Randy's post here.     

5.  Another cautionary tale on the importance of backing up your genealogy files and data can be found this week at Genealogy's Star blog. Read The Dreaded Event by James Tanner, then go forth and back-up!     

6.  Upfront Mini Bytes provided a useful research resource for locating burial sites for Civil War veterans. The resource includes information for both Union and Confederate soldiers. Check out the search tool here.

7.  Is an ancestor or relative of yours perhaps one of the 90,000 who volunteered for work with the British Red Cross during World War I? Upfront Mini Bytes also provided a link to this search tool to answer the question for you. Check out the site and search tool here.   

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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Fotos (November 14, 2014) -- Ruth and Everett Carpenter, Part 4





This is the fourth and final installment in a series of portrait photographs of my maternal grandfather and his older sister as youths. The portraits were recently discovered among some family boxes in storage. These two portraits were obviously taken at the same sitting because Everett and Ruth are dressed in the exact same clothes in both photographs. 

The portraits were done at the Ye Rose Studio located in the Conrad Building in Providence, Rhode Island. It is believed that the portraits were done in about 1900 - 1901.  My grandfather looks to be about 8 to 10 years old and he was born in February 1891.  His sister Ruth was two years older than he.

The Ye Rose Studio opened in the Conrad Building on Westminster Street in Providence, Rhode Island in 1886. At first it was known as Rose & Sands specializing in "High Class Portraits from Cabinet to Life Size."  Later the studio went by the name Ye Rose and was well known for "cabinet card" portraits such as the ones shown here. 

Conrad Building, Providence, RI

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Scans from original portraits in the family collection.

For more information about Ye Rose Studio and cabinet cards, see https://cabinetcardgallery.wordpress.com/category/photographer-ye-rose/ 

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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday (November 13, 2014) -- My Sister's First Day of School



This recently discovered snapshot was taken in September 1958 when our family was living in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The photograph is a special treasure because it captures the morning my younger sister and I were about to leave for school on what was her very first day in Kindergarten. We were both attending Streiber Memorial Elementary School in Chicopee at the time.  [Our younger brother -- at the left in the snapshot -- was three years old and not yet in school.]

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Scan of original snapshot in the family collection.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nearly Wordless Wednesday (November 12, 2014) -- Guarding The Shovels In Salem Depot, NH


There is a well-known story in our family about the time my father came home from work one evening when we lived in Salem Depot, NH. He was the Assistant Manager at the Sears store in Lawrence, Massachusetts just across the state line from Salem. It had been snowing all day and he anticipated that he was going to have to shovel snow from the steps, walks and driveway when he got home. When he went to shovel after grabbing some supper, he found that the shovels were nowhere to be found.  Apparently, there was telltale evidence that some shoveling had taken place earlier in the day in the back yard where we often made snow forts or cleared an area to spray with water and create a rink -- but the snow had gone on all day and the shovels could not be seen. My father rousted the three kids and we had to don our snow gear and trudge around the backyard feeling for the shovels that were buried in the late-accumulated snow.

For years I have teased my siblings (particularly my brother Peter), by insisting that he/they were to blame and that I was innocent in the Great Disappearing Shovels caper. 

Recently a trove of lost snapshots was discovered and amongst the treasures is the proof of my innocence!

As can easily be seen in the photograph above (taken in January 1960), all three shovels were in the front yard of our home on Joseph Road in Salem Depot. My maternal grandfather's Packard is at the head of the driveway and the family Scotsman station wagon is sitting behind it. I am leaning against the lamp post holding one shovel and guarding the other two that can be seen leaning against the Packard and the Scotsman respectively. The depth of the snow can be gauged by the untouched accumulation on top of the Packard.

I take this snapshot as belated proof positive that not only was I not involved in the loss of the shovels in the back yard under late arriving snowfall -- I was actually trying to make the shovels easily available and noticeable for my father!  

Case closed.            

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January 1960 snapshot from the family collection.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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