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Category Archives: US genealogy

adding Connecticut ancestors — New England roots of a Nova Scotia loyalist

OK, so Julie has had them for years now: Connecticut ancestors. And it seems like every other New Englander with whom I perform the parlor trick of finding common ancestors has them too. But until now, I have not had any — my New England ancestors all lived north of Boston. My single solitary Connecticut […]

a new old map of Barrington

Here’s something that seems to have flown under the radar. A 1993 book, Historical and Architectural Resources of Barrington, Rhode Island, reproduced two fine old maps, from 1851 and 1870, demonstrating the growth of this town, especially since a railway station was put in at West Barrington in 1868 and development of farmland into bayside […]

visiting the Prudence Island Allins

Prudence Island: our Allins came to Barrington from there before 1680; and the story goes that in the winter of 1682, Narragansett Bay froze solid enough for William1 Allin to haul his house over it (presumably minus the stone-end chimney), a few miles up the bay from Prudence to Annawomscutt in West Barrington. Now it’s […]


One update after last Wednesday’s talk. The night before, fleshing out a slide show, I went back up to the attic to look at the 1798 Federal direct property tax valuation page pasted on the partition wall under the eaves, and took a closeup of what I realize is Thomas Allin’s signature, since it is […]


A clinched nail, tip curled like a snail, caught in the low afternoon sunlight coming through the 18th-century window at the west end of the attic, last November. I’ve hardly blogged at all since we moved in January. I’m finally going through and organizing hundreds of photos taken during the course of our renovations, while […]

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 […]

out of the depths

Part of the long process of settling into any house seems to be the endless shifting of stuff in basements, attics and garages. This sunny weekend I extracted from the basement an enormous pile of old storm windows — full height wooden sashes, mostly two over two, the style of the ‘modern’ replacement windows which […]

ceiling cat is watching me (in the Allin House)

As of Monday, two households of stuff have now been moved into the Allin House, leaving two tides of debris in the basement — — the second tide so large that our troglodyte feline has actually become ceiling cat. Sure enough, she was watching me, last night, as I tried to make some sense of […]

welcome home

Well, we finally moved in — in a break between blizzards, and almost a year after first concocting the idea. Happy Candlemas, from the Allin House!

snow on the seat

Christmas Eve I heaved a toilet into the dumpster, reducing our backyard ‘pottio’ from two holes to one. Yesterday’s blizzard put a hat on our hardy remainder: Happy New Year, from the Allin House!