Sunday, June 23, 2013

Joseph Bartlett Maynard and family, 1860

I just love these old photos.  This one was probably an ambrotype taken about 1860,  which was copied and reprinted as a tintype.  I love that the tintype was put back in the casing for the ambrotype.  This is the Joseph Bartlett Maynard family of Leverett, Franklin, Massachusetts.  Joseph and his wife, Mary Glazier Maynard eventually had 10 children.  I can date the photo by the children as well as the clothes and hair styles.  The 3 boys were born in 1844, 1845 and 1848.  Then they had girls born in 1850, 1852, 1855 and 1858.  The youngest is about 2  and she was born in May, 1858.  The 8th child, a boy, was born in Oct. 1860.   The young girl in the back behind her father and baby sister is my great grandmother.  She doesn't look like she was very happy at having to stay still for the photographer.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Willis E. Learned 1852-1943

Checking for your ancestors on Genealogy Bank can turn up some very unusual items.  My paternal great grandfather, Willis Learned, was born in Watertown, MA in 1852, married to Mary Louise Decker in NYC in 1873 and they lived in Westfield, NJ.  Mary died in 1924 and Willis lived with his son and daughter-in-law - also in Westfield.  I knew that at some point they moved to Florida and were there for the 1930 census.  I had vaguely heard that Willis had been involved in some shady land deals in Florida but I don't know the details about that.  Now to my surprise, I found an article in the Tampa Tribune in April, 1927 citing NEW YORK, March 31 that stated:

 "The alleged sale of Epsom Salts, chewing gum and soap as fat reducing remedies has resulted in the indictment of Willis E. Learned of Westfield, N.J. and Earl F. Callan, on charges of using the mails to defraud.
    The "Learned Enterprises" Assistant United States Attorney Webster told the federal grand jury, made an annual profit of $500,000 through the national sale of spurious patent medicines supposed to possess almost magical reducing powers.  The chewing gum was described the the United States attorney as "only something to chew on" and the soap as "just a good soap."

I guess he was just a hustler at heart.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Diary of Alson J. Dugan of Brattleboro, Vermont from 1913 to 1918

I found this on GoogleBooks today.
The Diary of Alson J. Dugan of Brattleboro, Vermont from 1913 to 1918
Front Cover
Alson J. Dugan, Dorothy J. Dill
0 Reviews
D.J. Dill, 1999 - Brattleboro (Vt.) - 58 pages

I now have my 15 minutes of fame - no, more like 30 seconds.  This diary of my maternal grandfather would be quite interesting to anyone who had lived in Brattleboro, VT during the years 1913 to 1918.  In his daily musings, he mentions all sorts of things,  the weather, the people he played pool with, where he performed, family events, sports scores, newspaper articles about the beginnings of WWI, his toothaches-----all done in a lined notebook, one or two lines of text per day.  I copied and published it in 1999 and gave copies to Brattleboro Library and New England Historic Genealogical Society.

He was a musician and a voicer for the Estey Organ Company.  He played violin, trumpet and piano.  He played at dance halls, churches and as the pianist at the silent movies.  He was an amateur magician, a devoted husband and a wonderful father to his 6 children.
Alson in 1895
Alson in 1930

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Azubah Nye Glazier, 1756 - 1840

 My DNA result from 23&Me has probably solved an old family story.  Azubah Nye Glazier is my 4th great grandmother.  She is a descendant of John Howland of the Mayflower through her mother Hannah Botfish who married Caleb Nye.  Caleb's father was Nathan Nye, son of the immigrant Benjamin and Katherine (Tupper) Nye.  Nathan married a "Mercy" and no one has ever found a marriage or any other information for this woman.

Family lore has always said Azabuh was an "Indian lady".  Looking at my mother's genealogy, the only possible Native American is Mercy, wife of Nathan.  Mercy is the only brick wall I have in the lineage of my mother except for the Irish branch which immigrated in 1849.  A grandson of Azabah and Jonathan Glazier and cousin to my great grandmother, Sarah, Lyle Glazier, wrote a book poem about Azubah and he quoted from a memo he found written by his Uncle Forrest which stated ""Jonathan Glazier came to Brushy Mountain in 1790.  He married Azubah Nye, an indian girl."

In those days, if it was known you had even a small bit of "colored" blood, you were considered that race.   In the 1790 census Worcester Co., Caleb Nye from Hardwick (where Azuba had lived with her parents) is listed as a "person of color, African or Native American".  Her father Caleb died in 1787 so this could be her brother.  In any case, Azuba and Caleb would have only been 1/4 Native American but would have passed down the gene.  My DNA results say I am .1% Eastern European or Native American and I believe this is Azabuh's DNA.  Azubah Nye, daughter of Caleb and Hannah Nye was born in 1756, married Jonathan Glazier 23 June 1774 and died in 1840  They lived in Leverett, Massachusetts on Brushy Mountain.  Their 5th child was Ebenezer Nye Glazier who married Mary Spaulding and their daughter Mary,  my great great grandmother, married Joseph Bartlett Maynard in 1843.  They also lived on Brushy Mt. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Privatizing Libraries

Our genealogy organization has been under the umbrella of the local library since 1989.  Things changed a bit in 2000 when our private library became part of the county system but we still had a space in the library and used our money to enhance the genealogy collection of books.  We have a room in which we have help sessions, classes and a computer users class for free to anyone who wants to learn or needs help with genealogical research.  The new wrinkle is that our County commissioners are considering privatizing the library. (They call it out-sourcing to make it sound less awful.)  If they do this, we are literally out the door.  As a non-profit we can't support a for profit company (LSSI) and we will lose the whole collection of books that we have donated to the library over the last 25 years.  We are trying very hard to convince our commissioners that the take-over company is not the answer to this temporary shortfall in revenue.  It's just one of those David vs Goliath situations at the moment.  Anyone have a good sling shot for sale?

Saturday, June 01, 2013

DNA and Epigenetics

We all know that genes play a part in who we are.  However, there is still the nagging controversy about nature vs nurture.  Now there is more information about why we behave in certain ways - like why is my handwriting exactly like my mothers, or why do I  constantly jiggle my feet when I am nervous?  These traits are not the result of DNA.  I just read a great article in the May Discovery Magazine about Epigenetics 101.

It seems that our DNA has remora-like structures that do not harm or change the DNA  attach to the DNA during fetal development that passes down these traits from the parents.  Unlike DNA these structures can change over time or remain the same.  I will not go into everything in the article but I urge you to read Trait vs Fate on page 48-55 by Dan Hurley.  Lots of food for thought.
I finally received the results from 23&Me.  It takes time to get through all that information but it is fascinating.  I am also reading DNA and Social Networking by Debbie Kennett.  I need to keep abreast of all the technologies although I don't have the technical savvy of the younger generation.  I feel like I need to hire a 10 year old to help me navigate through creating blogs(although I managed to do this one), wikis, and all the newest media offerings. Genealogical research has come a long way on the computer.  I have used a PC since 1993 (remember Prodigy?) but have recently bought a Samsung Note android for toting about.  For me, this is not intuitive, I have to practice everything.  My cell phone is only a phone - and I only turn it on when I go out.  Yes, I still have a land line.  On the plus side, I am 79 and I am challenging my brain.