Sunday, August 20, 2017

Another Account of Grandmother's Wedding


Morning Wedding at Westerly
This week, I spent some quality time researching the Connecticut Newspaper Holdings of the Norwich Bulletin to add some interesting events and date to the stories of my ancestors. I was surprised to find ANOTHER account of my maternal grandparent's wedding in Westerly, Rhode Island. This makes three accounts of the same event. None are exactly the same. (Link to the other two)

This one reports that there was a wedding breakfast at the home of the bride's parents (My great grandparents) and that they left on the 11:50 east bound (instead of noon) train for a short wedding trip.

There were no photographs of the event but I do have her portrait photo taken when she graduated from high school two years before.

"...Bride is one of the most attractive and lovable young ladies in Westerly..."

Portrait of Hannah Josephine Barber, 1912
Taken the year she graduated from Westerly High School

Friday, August 18, 2017

Crossing the Pawcatuck River

Present Day Clip from Google Maps of the area between Rhode Island and Connecticut, 2017

Crossing the Pawcatuck River
When your family lives in a small geographic area that encompasses two states, you learn very quickly the value of knowing your geography. The states of Rhode Island and Connecticut come together in the middle of a river (the dotted line on this map) and that fact makes for interesting and complicated searching. That's why I needed two very smart ladies to help me with finding out what this area holds for me in my research. 

Knowing cranky New England folks as I do, I think that no one wanted to give up valuable land near this waterway and so it was decided that they'd put the state line in the water.

My great grandparents and second great grandparents lived and worked on West Broad Street, High St. and Main St. as shown on this map. It gives me a headache. Fortunately, they put the Westerly Library nearby. I decided this week to investigate the newspaper holdings of the Library of Congress to see if any newspapers covered this area better than the ones I know about. I also have a few obituaries that I can't find out the source of. I am getting cranky about that.

I was fortunate to find that the historical issues of the Norwich Bulletin in Norwich, CT could help. I like that this site gives you a URL for the citation and it will share findings to Facebook and other social media sites. I am saving articles in PDF format to work with. The first one I looked for, found my relative mentioned in a Facebook friend's ancestor's obituary. At least I can say that I am getting my money's worth from the government.

To solve a family "story" mystery, I still need my friend and cousin, Barbara Fallon, to find out more about my great aunt's somewhat complicated life. I could have an out-of-wedlock birth that could complicate my DNA investigations. 

I became very angry at my mother when she tried to keep this from me. (I was thirty-eight) This problem wasn't even in her own generation. Time will tell if I can find out more than what I was told. Just to give you an idea of how mad she was that she told me, she purposefully destroyed some photos from an album. 

Genealogy can really get your panties in a wedge.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Plumber, Engineer, Fireman and Tinsmith

Norwich Bulletin 12 March 1917, from Chronicling America


Joseph A. Schofield (1843-1917) 

My 2nd Great Grandfather

When I used the Web Hints and TreeShare Option from RootsMagic last month, I discovered a Web Hint that looked promising for my 2nd great grandfather, Joseph Schofield. He was a veteran of the Civil War.

However, it was from My Heritage, a subscription site that I do not have a subscription for. Right away, I noticed that the reference indicated was from Chronicling America newspaper collection which is held at the Library of Congress and free to use.  It took a few minutes to find it (and the death notice too) but when I did, I was thrilled to find information that I did not have. 

My family talked a lot about this man. My mother was only a few months old when he died but my mother adored his wife Sarah who didn't die until 1944.  Let's focus on what I didn't know.

He died of pneumonia.
He was a plumber.
He was a volunteer fireman of the Rhode Island Ones. (I don't know what that is...)
He died at home in a house on the corner of Beach and Elm St. (perhaps 83 Elm St.)
He was an engineer of the steam fire engine.
He was a GAR member of Hancock Post in Connecticut.
His Connecticut Regiment was called the Fighting Fifth.
Two of his family members lived in Massachusetts but they are buried in Rhode Island.

I gained information on his siblings that were still living. There were two brothers named William (one a teenage boy who died and one whose gravestone I found and I had them right. Hooray!)

I wish it had mentioned his bicycle business. He ran it with his son-in-law. His death notice was simple and to the point and was printed the next day.