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Category Archives: Uncategorized

my ancestor, my neighbor: Benjamin Allen of Rehoboth

In the previous post I figured out that my ancestor, Benjamin Allen of Salisbury and Rehoboth, was actually my neighbor for ten years when I lived by the Newman Cemetery in Rehoboth (now Rumford, RI)—and his gravestone may be extant, though misidentified in the RI Cemetery Database. On a sunny day last month I was […]

Faces of the Civil War — the Liljenquist portraits

I have been completely ground to a halt by the Liljenquist collection of Civil War portraits at the Library of Congress. Seven hundred cased photographic portraits of Civil War soldiers and sailors and their families — most of them anonymous — were donated last fall by the Liljenquist family, specifically the two boys, Jason and […]

‘An Habitation Enforced’ — genealogy, manners, and a (Georgian fixer-upper) manor

I just found this story, “An habitation enforced,” in an odd volume of Kipling in the East Washington barn. A young Gilded-Age Baltimore businessman, convalescing after nervous exhaustion, lands with his Connecticut wife for a rest-holiday on a farm in the English countryside. He regains his health as they fall in love with the place, […]

passages — Bruno

Bruno, a cat, departed this life 31st December 2009, early in the morning, aged 14 years. He had struggled in recent years with obesity, and all his life with a certain simple-mindedness and avoidance of people. Back in 2005 he spent six days inside a wall. He leaves a twin sister, Oda, and a human […]

a genealogist’s Hallowe’en

Just an odd bit culled from the website of the Times —  Robertson Davies, writing in 1990, reminded us that Hallowe’en should be a good time to “revive the custom of giving some respectful heed to our forbears:” [O]ur forbears are deserving of tribute for one indisputable reason, if for no other: without them we […]

Natalie’s people

I’ve finally made some progress on the family of my great-aunt Natalie, wife of my great uncle George A. Smith (born Schmitt) of Louisville and New York City. Smith, an actor on stage and screen, married Natalie, a New York socialite when they were both in their late 40s, during the war in 1944; they […]

more unidentified militaria of mixed provenance

OK, I’ve come to the bottom of my family militaria barrel but hope to identify things. This is a batch of things, of obviously mixed provenance, kept by my mother. A few messages to rec.heraldry helped narrow down the cardinals: likely something from WWII and hence from cousin Wilbur (army air forces) rather than from […]

Mourning the Shad (East Washington Village)

The pond in the heart of East Washington Village is stillness and motion as we walk (dog and I) over the dam. The dam and pond lie at the junction of Purling Beck and Woodward Brook, below Mount Lovewell. Below it is Beard’s Brook, a tributary of the Contocook, a tributary (I think, for here […]