Adventures in Carmel, CA – A Cousin’s 70th Wedding Anniversary

This blog has emphasized the Goss, Spracklin, Keller and Delano side of my father’s ancestry.  No sooner had I returned from D.C. then I was off again to Carmel, California.  I went to visit with and celebrate my dad’s McDonald/MacDonald side.

Actually the name of MacDonald can be spelled several ways: McDonald, McDonell, MacDonell, Macdonell or McDonnell, Macdonnell…My father spelled it “MacDonald.”  His siblings and father spelled it McDonald. 

My cousin Ruth and her husband John were celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.  Can you believe it?They are both over 90 years old.  Ruth is a descendant of Duncan McDonell brother to my Mary McDonell mother of Ronald and grandmother of my father Keith.  I refer you to another blog of mine:

The Man Who Lived Airplanes at: http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/  I have not discussed Duncan’s family yet, but will be doing so soon in future posts.

I learned of Ruth through my cousin Mary McDonell Louiseau who died a few years back.  She was niece to my grandfather Ronald.  I had the good fortune to visit Mary twice before she passed.  She was 87 when I first met her, tiny in stature, a little bent over but big in personality.  She told me about Ruth:  “I think Ruth is a cousin?” was her comment one day on the phone.  This was a year after I had visited her.  Keep asking questions and letting family know, you never know when they will remember or tell you something about family. 

So I immediately contacted Ruth and we have visited several times since.  They came to my home once years ago and about two years ago my husband and I visited them in Carmel.  http://www.carmelcalifornia.com/

The other part of this story is their daughter.  She went into the Carmelite Monastery 50 years ago and she was celebrating as well!!  She recently stepped down from being the Reverend Mother.  Ruth and John have two sons in addition.  She is known as Sister Teresita.  I had an opportunity to visit her that same trip.  http://www.carmelitesistersbythesea.net/homepage.htm  Under the section Community Life there is a photograph of the sisters and my cousin is the one with the glasses.

So this was a big celebration!  I left on Friday, June 10th and was at the Monterey Airport by 2:30 p.m.  I rented a car and headed out to the monastery to visit with Sister Teresita and scope out the place to see where to set up my video camera and make a movie. Much to my surprise Sister Teresita was out and about preparing for the next days events.  This is a cloistered monastery so having her physically in front of me where I could touch and look her in the eye was a treat.  We made plans for the video.  I was so proud that I remembered how to get there.  It is an amazing place and the gardens are lovely.

Carmelite Monastery, Carmel, California – Mass is held regularly in the chapel to the right!

The Pacific Ocean is right across Hwy 1.
The celebration on Saturday morning was beautiful.  There was beautiful music by a young violinist that Sister Teresita knew and had come from New York and his classes to just be there for her.  The bishop was also there with 11 other priests. The nuns are in the cloistered area to the right of the altar but you can hear their beautiful singing voices.  The Chapel was filled to the brim and it is not small.  There were people up in the balcony.  There were others outside who could not get in for the Chapel was full. 

The service continued with prayers and what is called the Homily followed by the Jubilee Blessing and Renewal of Religious Vows and the Renewal of John and Ruth’s marriage vows. 

After the ceremony there would be cake and a buffet.  Now this is a monastery and not really set up for a large number of people but somehow they managed to arrange things so that everyone was served.  Fortunately it did not rain but it was not sunny either and they had tables outside on the lawn.  The food was delicious and everyone seemed to be in good spirits and enjoying themselves. 

The whole weekend was filled with food, fun and sharing.  On Friday, the night before, we all gathered at a Bahama Billy’s restaurant to get to know each other.  After the celebration on Saturday about 5 pm family and out of town guests arrived at the Mission off Rio Drive to partake of more food and everyone taking turns to share.  It was a great day.

Sunday, I waited impatiently to visit with Sister Teresita my 3rd cousin and finally 2:30 pm came and I spent a lovely time chatting with her in the first Speak Room at the monastery where she is behind the bars. She reintroduced me to her dogs. You can touch and see her but she is separate.  She was wearing her garland of flowers.  She said that in the olden days back when she joined the order you were even more restricted so things have changed.  Her parents arrived as well as her brother John Jr. with his wife and we chatted till we headed out for dinner. 

On Monday I got another chance to visit with Sister Teresita and her parents when Ruth invited me to come to the monastery that morning.  I had said goodbye to them the day before but I didn’t hesitate to go.

It was a beautiful weekend and I was happy I went for I was the only McDonald to be there.  Most of the people attending were Flynn’s or friends of the family.  Of course, I listened to every word and as much as I could understand about John’s family history.  I did get his mother’s name: Hannah. 

My gift to Ruth was a booklet of her family history down from Duncan McDonell with pictures of my family so she could see how we all fit in.  Now her eye sight is not good so I hope she does take time to look a little bit at the booklet.  I am very glad I went to share this time with my cousin Ruth and her family.  She is a tiny person.  I figure she is probably the size of my Aunt Vivian, my father’s older sister who was 4 ft. 11 inches.  John is the sweetest man I have ever met.  His face just lighted up when people greeted him.  John and Ruth received a Papal blessing from the Pope as presented to them by the bishop.

Getting back home was a challenge.  San Francisco was socked in with fog and my plane was delayed till 4:41 from the 2:35 time.  I had to re ticket and get a later flight from San Francisco to Seattle.  Good thing I had my Nook Color fully charged and could read to my hearts content. 

I pondered the events of the weekend.  Two people in their 90’s still vibrant and as a healthy as possible and still loving each other and together at that advanced age. Wow!

My father didn’t know Ruth and John.  He did know Mary who was a daughter of Jack McDonald his uncle.  He was nine years older than Ruth and three years older than Mary.  He would be 101 years old so in reality he would not be alive now but if the heart attack had not taken back in 1970 he could have known them.  John and Ruth married the same year as my parents!  We traveled on vacation to California in the middle 1950’s and we could have visited if we had known them.  I wonder what my dad would have thought of all this??

June 4, 2011: The National Archives – Rotunda and Exhibits

While planning our trip to D.C., I struggled with whether to do research at the National Archives or not.  I  decided that I was content.  However, I had not toured the Rotunda in a long time and that was very cool.  The Nation’s Charters of Freedom documents are on display there. 

Here is a Wikipedia short blip about them:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charters_of_Freedom 

Since I could not take pictures inside Wikipedia has a nice one showing what the Rotunda looks like, however, the Rotunda is now darkened so it is not quite as bright as their photo implies. 

The Charters of Freedom are:  The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Three of our Nation’s most important documents. 

There is so much to do at the National Archives I was surprised.  I don’t remember all this from 1999?  I think things have changed a lot and restoration has been done for there was evidence that the Rotunda area was quite different than memory serves.

You stand in the line to the left and enter into the National Archives in what might be the lower floor.  Once through security you can pretty much wander around to different areas and exhibits on your own following the signs. 

The National Archives building on the outside is very ornate as you see from the photos.

To do research you go into the Archives on the North side of the building.  I just remember the security checkpoint but there might be more to see there according to a reliable source?  There are actually two buildings one in D.C. and the other in College Park.  You will have to determine which works for you.  When I went years ago I was so green I didn’t know how to use a microfilm reader.  I was so intimidated by it all. I suggest that you prepare by visiting the website and studying the rules and regulations.  Also do a search of the NARA catalog and pin down as much as possible what you want to research like Civil War pensions or Revolutionary war pensions and more.  I know that they have changed things greatly since then and have hours for pulling the documents, so you do need to study up and plan. 

The other option is to hire someone to help you via the APG (Association of Professional Genealogist).  There is a chapter in D.C. called the National Capital Area Chapter of APG.  The cost of a Civil War Pension file has gone up greatly and this is an alternative.  A professional will be working for you and knows what they are doing and will make sure copies of the whole pension or service file are made for you.  Yes, they will charge you but they can get the documents for less, I believe.  My friend and colleague Lisa Petersen knows the D.C. area archives very well.  She is a member of this chapter check out their membership listing by clicking the link. 

My great grandfather George A. Barclay’s Civil War pension file was not at NARA!  I waited so patiently for it but they said they didn’t have it. AUGGH!!!  It was at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs! They, the VA, copied the whole thing and didn’t charge me anything.  It was at least 2 inches thick.  Yes, I was very fortunate.  I obtained other documents as well before they raised the rates.

My first stop was the Archives Shop.  Now I did see the movie “National Treasure.”  The gift store that is in the Archives did not look a bit like the one in the movie…giggle!  I studied the gift shop carefully and pondered how I wish I could do more reading.  I am amazed at all the books that are written about many topics of history. So little time!

Now they have restrooms near the Archives shop and a Cafe?  I don’t remember all that from before? I did not go to the Cafe for I was not hungry.  I headed to the Rotunda and was immediately stopped with the crowd of people waiting to get in. 

The line wandered around with cording to guide you and there were these reading boards and a video being displayed but I had to keep moving so I didn’t get to read all of that part.  As you enter you first find a display about the Magna Carta.  They had one of seven copies of this document.  It is being prepared for a new exhibit so it was a temporary one.  There is actually a hereditary organization you can join: 
http://www.magnacharta.org/  It would take a lot of work to prepare for membership.  I counted 10 generations for a client to just get to crossing the Atlantic Ocean and that didn’t include England and those generations. 

As I waited to get into the Rotunda area, I observed the murals on the wall showing our founding fathers looking very much like a Renaissance painting which was a little odd to me????  I tried to count the eagles but could only find six and not the nine they said were in the area. It was very dark and cool in there. 

At a certain point they let in a group of people, lining you up shoulder to shoulder four lines deep by the gates and steps.  I think they wait ten minutes and let you into the Rotunda area as a big group.  I headed for the left which was backed up with a line but you can move about if you want.

They have display boards with glass and they have prepared materials to lead you to the viewing of the main document.  First was the Declaration of Independence and I was amazed that they have copies with corrections on them. 

The sad part was the Declaration of Independence is so faded.  They say it was in light for many years at another location and the ink and parchment do not do well in those conditions.  This time the containment area they had it in did not keep dimming and coming back.  So it seems they have learned to preserve documents of this type in a different manner.  It did make me nervous when the people would lean on the glass but apparently it is okay to do that.  There are guards standing there watching. 

It was difficult to read all that they had prepared and keep the line moving but I noticed that the crowd had diminished.  It was about 5:20 pm and they are open till 7 pm for summer.  Hmmm…maybe it is in the timing?

The next document was the Constitution and the displays led up to how it was created after the Articles of Confederation did not work.  They had George Washington’s copy with his corrections.  The last was the Bill of Rights and more explanation about its origins. 

I wish my dad was here to see these documents.  He was the true Patriot in my family!

June 4, 2011: Spracklins – Meeting a Half-Cousin

The Spracklin family married into the Goss family. Spracklins are from Somerset in England.  John Andrews Spracklin immigrated in 1817 with the Wine and Anne Rood family (his aunt) and settled in Washington Co., Ohio.  There John A. Spracklin met and married Lydia Goss, daughter of Solomon and Olive Scott Goss. John and Lydia had a son named Daniel D. Spracklin and he married Elizabeth Keller in Morrow Co., Ohio.  They had four children: Henry, Oliver, Mary and Amarilla.  Only Amarilla and Henry survived to adulthood.

Elizabeth Keller Spracklin, my great great grandmother, died in 1859 several months after the birth of Amarilla Spracklin (later Barclay) my great grandmother.  Daniel remarried to Sarah Blacketer Allgood in 1863 in Iowa where he had migrated to from Knox County, Ohio.  He and Sarah had 7 more children:  Lydia, Virda, Reed, Daniel, Peter George, Charles Edward, Alfred Marion.  Alfred died young.

On Saturday June 4, 2011 while still in the D.C. area I met with a descendant of Peter George Spracklin.  She is a perfect Half 3rd cousin.  Peter George is a 1/2 brother to my Amarilla.  I now know three cousins from this side of the family. 

So about 10 am on Saturday, I got into a taxi at the Gaylord National Hotel south of D.C. and headed into D.C.  We were scheduled to meet at 11 am. 

Well…everything went really well and I was looking forward to being dropped at the American History Museum on Constitution Avenue but….Guess what?  The National Mall was overwhelmed in PINK!!!

It was the RUN FOR THE CURE and streets were blocked off.  My taxi driver let me out at L’Enfant Metro and I had to walk.  Fortunately, it was not too hot or muggy…yet!

It was fun to walk along and observe ladies and men in different combinations of T-shirts in white with pink, pink with white and more.  Some had numbers on them.  Here I was in total black!!!  Hmmm…??? It was truly showing the power of women.  I was humbled.  My mother died of colon cancer that had decided to take over her liver back in 1984. She was 74 years old and had a good life but still! I now how terrible this disease can be. 

There were huge billboards with the map showing the route and water stations.  This photograph shows the participants heading for the finish line.

I walked quickly heading for the American History Museum entering into the cool foyer a pleasant place to wait for my cousin to arrive.  Would I recognize her?  Well, she beat me to it and saw me at once!

We sat on the soft bench and immediately started chatting about the family.  I showed her the family history reports that I had brought for her to study.  She is interested in genealogy but has not taken the plunge. It was too confusing for her and I understand that.  Having a database is vital because each generation explodes the family tree to even more great grandparents to try to learn about.  I use Legacy’s deluxe version. It is free for the standard version:  http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/

I gave her a descendants chart of our common ancestor Daniel D. Spracklin and a family group report of her great great grandfather Peter George.  We happily chatted away about genealogy. 

She had decided that it would be fun to go to Chinatown and I was willing.  So we figured out how to get a taxi on 7th and headed to the Ming Restaurant. It was very nice restaurant and we took a table by the window. 

I told her about my life and family first.  A lot of girl talk!  She told me about her family and of course I wrote it down.  Lunch was fun!  I am always blow away by the stories of another’s life and the similarities of experience but yet the different choices.  My cousin was being born when I was a silly teenager having Hawaiian luau parties in the 1960’s. 

After lunch we wandered past the Chinatown arch and found a Starbucks on the corner.  Just like home! We decided to get some coffees and I staked out some stools.  We spent the time lingering and talking some more about life and experiences.  We did some people watching as well for it was a busy street corner and a busy Starbucks. 

Now you are probably wondering if I had a list of questions to ask her and had prepared oral interview.  I had some ideas but I decided I wanted to just let the conversation flow. I think I made the correct decision.  Now I am not a big talker so these kinds of conversations are a bit challenging for me and take concentration.  Apparently my cousin was trying to absorb as well so it was good that the conversation just flowed for our first time together. 

It was about 4 pm and I had an idea that I could visit, at the very least, the Rotunda of the National Archives and view the Charters of Freedom before heading back to Gaylord National Hotel south of D.C. So we walked along 7th Avenue noticing the shops and architecture.  We parted at the line waiting to get into the National Archives with several hugs.

I told my cousin about a curious thing that happens when you get involved with the genealogy of your family.  It is the fact that you build new friendships when you reach out to your cousins. You rekindle relationships that are lost. I had not seen a McDonald cousin in 25 years but reconnecting with her has been priceless.  I had the good fortune to visit my 87 year old cousin and get to know her before she past.  You grieve with them when the loose someone dear to them.  You rejoice when you surprise a cousin who doesn’t know you yet by acknowledging their contribution and they didn’t even know they had touched your life. HA!

It was a lovely day.  I have the best cousins!!!

On the Move Again! Washington DC

If you ever have a chance to travel to our nation’s capital…GO!  It is an amazing place with many many adventures.  There are monuments like Abraham Lincoln’s pavilion or Jefferson’s Memorial.  Both have small displays in the basement and of course a gift shop!  You can even go up into the Washington Monument – the Obelisk and look out on the city.  Memorials to visit to pay your respects! There are museums to examine and dally in. Just hop on the trolley, pay your fee and take the tour or the loop to all the sites.  You can hop on and hop off and get various passes for a day or several.  Walking can be a bit daunting…!

The Smithsonian is a group of museums and you could be exploring for days….

http://www.si.edu/Museums

There is the nation’s Capitol to visit or the U.S. Supreme Court. The White House has a tour which you make your plans with your local Senator office months in advance and give a little information about yourself for security reasons.  I am planning to go this time. 

Here is an example of what your local Senator might have on their website and other links to other tours.
http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=VisitingWashingtonDC

Then there are the other amazing places to go like the DAR Library, the Library of Congress and the main National Archives.  As genealogists we can’t go to DC without at least doing some research in one of these locations.  Don’t forget that Washington DC has their own vital records and town hall.  Washington DC is bigger than just the District of Columbia in terms of genealogy.  So if you do research specific to D.C. you will need to consider the counties that touch it!



Me at the DAR a couple of years ago!

If you have anyone in your ancestry who could have been involved in the American Revolution than you have to go and visit the DAR library.  I have been their 2 times and it is wonderful.  They have placed a lot of their holdings online and are going digital now. 

Then there are plays to attend like at the Warner Theatre or art to see like the Philip’s Collection.  The Kennedy Center has something going on all the time.  http://www.kennedy-center.org/index.cfm

http://www.warnertheatre.com/ We saw Terri Hatcher there in Cabaret before Desperate Housewives.  She is tall, thin and she did a good job stepping into the Liza Minnelli role. 

http://www.phillipscollection.org/homepage.aspx  I wonder if they still have the Boating Party by Renoir? It is wonderful and much larger than you think!  I will let you know.

This will be my fifth visit to Washington D.C.  My hubby has a SIIM conference to attend.  So I am tagging along.  Washington D.C. hotels are expensive so you do have to do some serious strategizing to get a good deal.  You also want to book a hotel in the area you would like to be closest too and watch the Metro lines so you can use it.  http://reservations.washington.org/3903_hotel-list_m812_r825161.html

SIIM http://www.siimweb.org/index.cfm?id=6934  This is pretty technical stuff to understand.  I preferred the original name of SCAR. 

We will be there soon at Gaylord National http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-national/  This could be interesting.  The reviews are either they love it or hate it!

Life on the Road – Taking Photographs of Yourself!

When I travel I love to take photographs of everything, then I get home and there are no photos of me or my hubby. Oops! Well, I am learning to plan taking them. 

One of my followers asked how I took the photos of myself by the tombstones? I did have help from a couple of people but mostly I was on my own. If someone helps you check their work or you end up with eyes closed or something happens. 

I practiced before I went on this trip to Massachusetts with my camera.  I can use the remote or the timer on my Sony Cyber-shot digital camera. 

Sony Cyber-Shot

If you look closely in some of the photos you see me holding something in my hand and instead of smiling for the camera I am concentrating on what the camera is doing.  I thought it was distracting and took away from the subject of the photo.  The remote did make the shutter noise but if I was far away I could not hear it or any flashes that I could see.  So that was not working out.

So I decided to use the timer and it was set for 10 secs.  This means I have to move quickly and be careful I don’t fall or trip on a tombstone. I remove my glasses, adjust my clothing, set up the timer and push the shutter release and move quickly positioning myself and smile nicely for the camera. I can see the flash from the front of the camera and when it flashes very fast several times I know it is taking the photo.

Of course, I have to put the camera on a tripod.  How do you carry a big huge tripod on the airplane? Well I don’t. I have these lightweight ones and I put them into my checked baggage.  I look for ones that have a removable camera attachment part. I put that on the base of the camera and screw it in tightly using a quarter and check it frequently for they do loosen.  This means I can put the camera on the tripod quickly and secure it and then remove it when I need to use it alone. 

Tripod camera base removed from tripod

You need a screw hole in the bottom to attach the piece above.

Piece attached to the bottom of the camera using a quarter



The piece sits in the top area of the tripod and a lever is used to secure it!



Camera slipped onto the tripod and the latch on the base piece secured.

Please note that this tripod is not fully extended.  I usually extend the legs and get the tripod ready and because it is so lightweight it doesn’t cause a problem carrying it.  Once at the site I set up the tripod, make sure it is stable.  Add the camera with the base piece and secure it.

I always check my photos after I take a picture of myself because it is very easy to cut your head off and that looks a little silly.  It is easy to get lost in studying the camera and not preparing my facial expression for the photo.

I really wanted more photos of myself like at Rowlandson’s Rock but it was raining so hard that even my plastic bag was not working to keep the camera dry.  The problem is the rain runs here and there and everything gets wet.  My rain slicker’s pockets has 1/2 inch of rain in them and I couldn’t use them because the rain just rain off the slicker and into the pocket.  There was no way I could set up the tripod and walk away leaving the camera exposed to the rain.  Not a good idea!  So I will need to figure something else out for bad weather situations.  You don’t always have the opportunity to return to the location and redo the photo.  This has possibilities and doesn’t look too expensive.  http://www.warmcards.com/SJ1.html

Sunday April 24, 2011: Going Home!

My time in New England was up.  So I made my way to Hwy 20 and pulled into the Granby Center.  Yup! the McDonald’s were there in the corner and everything else was closed.

The last time I stopped at this McDonald’s it was odd. This time it was very pleasant.  They even had cakes and cupcakes out on a table for the patrons.  It was Easter and they were celebrating. 

I purchased lunch and cup of coffee and took a rest break.  Sort of listening to the activity and talk in the restaurant.  Time to head out.

I had taken this route before so I was not to concerned.  It was flat an easy highway.  I west east on Hwy 20 or rather Turkey Hills Rd.  I turned right onto East Granby Rd. to Rainbow Rd. and over to High St. and up to Poquonock Ave or Turnpike Rd.  I got to see houses and had less traffic. Hwy 20 is 4 lanes so it was not that bad. 

Poquonock or Turnpike Rd. is east of Bradley Airport and filled with gas stations, restaurants, hotels galore.  I stopped and filled up the Aveo with gasoline and watched the gas gauge impatiently move to the filled up position. I turned it off and tried again.  Much Better!  A little more organizing and putting things away. 

Nostalgia took over and I stopped the Days Inn and positioned my little Aveo in the driveway area next to the breakfast area and took this photo.  You must realize that when I was there the last time on my trip I stayed her for one night before flying out.  I was up at the crack of dawn and ate my breakfast watching the sun come up over the airport.  Now granted I am facing west but it still was fun to watch the day come up. 

Bradley Airport in the distance!

Pretty flat?  Yeah it is. 

My goal was the Thrifty parking lot and turning my rental car in.  I had done 888 miles on this trip.  I was going to miss my little Aveo.  She had been a good car. 

My goal back to the Thrifty lot was 2 pm and it was just about 1:45 pm.  The Thrifty lot is on Spring St. and that soon came up and I turn right and then left.  Checking out was easy but I was sad to leave the Aveo there!

The shuttle was waiting so I climbed in and we were soon off.  Oh dear, vertigo.  This thing leaned and I had to close my eyes. I had done real well on the trip with my “car anxiety.” This was the first time it hit me in 3 weeks. 

We dropped a man off at the Double Tree and headed back.  I was United the other nice lady was Delta.  She had this great bracelets on her both arms.  Reminded me of Wonder Woman! I know I am silly.

I had no memory of Bradley International Airport. They had done some remodeling and it was very pleasant with the big windows letting in a lot of light.  The United ticket agent was pushy.  I didn’t have my ticket printed out yet and she had my bags done before it so then she just took over and punched things in. Most of them leave you alone to do it yourself?  Good thing no one was around. Security was a bit confusing.  I didn’t get all the change out of my pocket so she had to double check me.  Security done I was soon at the gate but not a sole was around.  So I called my hubbie and we chatted for awhile.  I had plenty of time to dally.

You can use Google Images to see photos of the airport and of course anything you like. Its fun.

I started reading Breaking Dawn again. Time to see what Bella, Edward and Jacob were up to.

The flight out of Bradley was on time and since I was busy reading the time flew by and we were in good old Chicago again.  The Departure board was really odd but finally I found my gate and headed there.  It took a time to a walk which required doing down an escalator and on several of the flat escalators.  Basically I had to under the airport to get to B wing.

I munched on my snack of crackers and cheese.  I decided to wait for the plane to get some juice or water. Oh Dear….the plane was delayed.  We were suppose to leave at 8:58 pm from Chicago.  Well it was now 11:15 pm.  Blame it on New York weather or technical difficulties. 

It was a work day the next day for my hubbie but he persevered and waited for me.  I think he was desperate for me to come home after 3 weeks. HA!  I tried to sleep on the plane but the man next to me was restless and was constantly moving.  I finished my book in Chicago.  Now I am ready for the movie which will be out in the next months?  The inflight movie looked odd!

Finally in at 1:30 am on Monday morning April 25, 2011.  Hmmm…can I rethink the time of this? 

My hubbie greeted me with a hug and headed out for a Mocha so he could drive me home.  It was good to see the van, feel the air of Seattle and home.  My bags both came, hurrah!  All my trip research and stuff was in them!!!

The cats looked at me with a little confusion when I entered our home but soon Sneakers was at my side.  A little snack and a little TV to calm me down and I was soon in bed.  Home safe and sound.

The actual physical trip was over but catching up the remaining posts, links and more was still to come. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011: Granby and Salmon Brook

It was my last day on this trip and in New England.  Sigh!  I had really enjoyed myself.  I had a good trip with very few problems except for the holidays and a little blip at Bristol.  On the whole I had a good time!

The chore today was packing my suitcases.  Having several breakfasts and lots of coffee.  The packing went remarkably well.  I was done in no time.  The biggest chore was taking it all downstairs.  Fortunately I was now down to two suitcase, my computer case, and my photo bag.  A lot better than when I came in.  Checkout was easy and quick. 

It was sunny outside.  Can you believe it.  After all that rain the day before it was actually nice weather. So that means I can be outside without a problem.  Therefore, I will revisit the cemetery and the historical society.

I started taking my possessions down the stairs and the lady who I believe was the head host offered to help with the big suitcase.  She grabbed on end and walked it down.  They really don’t have valet service so you may have to ask for help?  No elevator.  She helped me check out.  I gave her a brochure of my trip.  My stay at the Simsbury 1820 House was very pleasant. 

There is a brochure:  Hopmeadow Walk.  Mine is from the last time I visited so you might have to check out the Town of Simsbury website and the Farmington Valley Tourism for additional information.

Off I went in my Aveo first to the historical society to revisit it.  I parked in the circular drive and studied the help center.  The tree had been removed.  I walked up and peered into the windows and it was certainly filled with boxes and things scattered everywhere and not ready for any visitors.  Definitely closed.  I could see damage on the gutter area and probably more inside on the roof. 

Simsbury Historical Society Center

So I decided to walk the historical building area.  I had not done that before.  There were quite a few buildings with signs on them explaining what they were.  I peered in a few windows and noticed carriages and other displays.  They are at the end of Railroad St. but watch out some of the streets are one way so you need to look for others to access this area. I turned onto Wilcox and drove a block.  That seemed to work. You do pass Plan B.  They have all their hardware stores in this area.

Historical Society buildings to the left of the center and up on the small hill

Off to the cemetery to see if this time with the weather being much nicer find the Viets individuals I was seeking. 

This cemetery photo was from Phelps St?  This is the Simsbury Cemetery.  Someone at Find A Grave had it under the title Hopmeadow Cemetery.

I entered again at the left side were the road was and parked the car.  I headed over to section B and started looking again.  I found them right there in about the 3-4 the row.  Silly me!

Dedication plaque

Another plaque



John Viets on the right and Catherine his wife on the left.

John Viets b. 1675 Germany, d. Nov. 18, 1723 Simsbury, CT. on the right, Dr. John Viets
Catherine Meyers Viets b. 1679 New York, d. Mar. 6, 1734 Simsbury, CT. Tombstone says Catron Vets.

Paul H. Goss and Edith Blake Bartlett Sumner got in a big controversy over the marriage of Philip Goss IV (1724 to 1778).  There was a Mary Viets who married a Goffe in the records.  The website I give as a highlight of John Viet’s name has for one of this couples children a Mary Viets.  If you click on it you see that this Mary Viets married an Ephraim Goff and the whole genealogy of this Mary goes in a totally different direction. Another source is the Genealogy of the Viets Family at Internet Archive and on page 20 it shows that Mary Viets married a Goff.  I found this absolutely fascinating!  Ms. Sumner apparently was reaching.

I drove up the hill at the cemetery and over to the street and low and behold I discovered another cemetery on the top of the hill.  The sign said Simsbury Cemetery.  So what was the name of the one near the main road?  

Simsbury Cemetery, top of the hill off Plank Hill Road

My next goal was to find Wolcott Street which was in the north area of Simsbury.  I did get curious when I saw a catholic church with people gathered.  It was Easter Day.

Sites of Simsbury, CT

Is this the town hall??

This building looks like a castle.  I could not tell if it was the town hall there was a sign for a school on it. There was a sign out front about governmental buildings.  According to Google Images it is!
Off I went on highway 202/10 north passed the Iron Horse Inn which was very modern looking. I passed the Tariffville road and came to Wolcott Rd. 

Was Simon Wolcott’s land nearby???

I traveled down the road a ways and pulled into an area called Wolcott Woods.  It was either apartments or condos.  I was trying to figure things out when a car came up behind so I took off to get out of the way.  I came to Hopmeadow and stopped and was carefully checking the road an not paying attention to the light.  I got honked at.  So I turned onto Hopmeadow and pulled over to let him buy.  He flipped the bird at me and honked.  I admit was in the wrong but this is stupid.  He was down the road in a second a good distance from me.  Scarry drivers!

If you keep going on Hwy 202/10 you eventually come into Granby and the road’s name changes to Salmon Brook St.  The Salmon Brook Historical Society is just past Elmwood Ct. and at the next turn called Meadow Gate Road.  You can’t miss it for there is an historical sign out front.  If you pass the entrance to Salmon Brook Park you have gone to far. 

Now I have visited the Salmon Brook Historical Society on my first trip to this area.  I had made an appointment with Carol Laun the curator.  When I arrived they were gathering volunteers to do clean up or other chores, so frankly I think she was diverted.  I did get some leads from her on church records which are at the Family History Library and she had missed other information in the film?  I did get idea from the deeds I had for Philip Goss where his land might be. There was another man there who was knowledgeable about the area.  He helped a lot with the deeds.  This was a situation in which you need to be really clear and specific about what you need.  I know there are more treasures in this archive.

I did purchase the new history book: Tempest in a Small Town and found the first part of the book interesting. 



Granby Sign!



Entrance to the research area unless it is now in the new red building?

This is their new archive building to house their treasures.

This time I was just going to enjoy the buildings and take some photographs.  I peered in the window of this one but didn’t see anything except for a meeting room.  Darn!  On their website they do have a list of genealogies. 

Now my next destination was North Granby.  I found this online Self Guided Tour done by the Salmon Brook Historical Society that is really cool.  It has a map and then it gives descriptions of the numbers on the map of historical sites in Granby, North Granby and West Granby plus other areas.  Doesn’t do East Granby. Don’t forget to get the map by clicking at the top.

As I was heading up Hwy 202/10 I came to the familiar intersection of 189/202/10 and 20.  I turned to the left and headed up Hwy 189 and immediately spotted the Granby Cemetery.  I just had to take a quick trip through.  It is out on the flat and open area.  There is a lovely chapel in the back.  The roads are gravel like but easy to drive on.  This cemetery is at Find A Grave and also in published book form through the Salmon Brook Historical Society.  No Goss are buried here!

I continued up Hwy 189 and began to realize that I had used this highway before.  I had driven down it from Granville, MA when I visited the area before.  The road becomes N. Granby Road.  Side streets read Mechanicsville Rd., Creamery Rd.

North Granby is an intersection at Mountain Road, Hwy 189 which is still the N. Granby Rd. but once it crosses Mountain Road is becomes the Granville Rd. On the other side of Mountain Rd is East St. If you drive it you come to Cooley Rd. on the left.  The highway sign reads Granville 6 miles. HA!

So if Philip Goss’s land was in this area west of Cragg Mount which is on the east of Hwy 189 and north of East St.  This is according to the descriptions in the Simsbury deeds that Paul H. Goss discusses in his manuscripts.  Now I need to get more specific but I wanted to get a general idea of the land in this area. 

The land next to Hwy 189 on the east side after Mountain/East Rd. is a ravine with a creek running through it.  I drove up to Silver St. and tried to get off the road and away for this truck but he turned right with me.  Darn!  There was a bridge and all of a sudden there was another car taking this road. 

These photos won’t mean much but I tried to get a little bit of what North Granby looks like. 

Frederick H. Cossitte Library, North Granby, recently remodeled on the southeast corner

A Farm on the northwest corner. I was parked in the post office parkign lot on the southwest corner

Looking north on Hwy 189 the Granville Road

Looking south on N. Granby Road

The intersection of Mt Rd, East, Hwy 189

The stream and the gorge along Cragg Mt.

In order to understand the area better I think we need to study Google Earth.  Give me a little time to do that. 

Now I can’t let this go but go to a map and study the location of Barkhamsted, North Granby, Granville and Becket and then you see that the Goss family was not that far from each other.  Add Otis and Peru and the geography gets interesting.  Now granted it took them longer to get to each other than a modern road and car?  Ponder, ponder! 

Time to head to the airport!

Saturday, April 23, 2011: Simsbury

The Simsbury 1820 House is very elegant.  Reminds me of the Inn at Biltmore in Asheville, NC but on a smaller scale.  Breakfast was delicious but more Continental style with cereal, bagels, pastries, some fruit, and coffee!!! It was from 7 to 10 am.  They do provided coffee on the first floor throughout the day and wine at the front desk.  These are small bottles of wine about 2 glasses.  They were not bad.

You descend the stairs and turn the corner and go down a hallway (there are signs) and down more stairs into the lower area of the Simsbury House.  There are tables with white table cloths and soft chairs.  Food is arranged on a bar area and table area.  Easy to pick and choose what you like.  The walls are brick and their is a fireplace.  Very intimidate area. 

It was pouring rain.  I could see the rain bouncing off the railing outside my window as I worked on my computer.  It was not letting up.  One of the hostess said it didn’t look good for the whole day!  Hmmm….?

So, I stayed in my room organizing my papers and getting my stuff ready to repack for my flight out the next day.  It took most of the morning.  Still it was raining.  So I had several breakfasts and lots of coffee. 

The Simsbury Genealogical and Historical Research Library was just north of the hotel on the corner.  So I grabbed an umbrella that was complimentary in the lobby area and headed out.  I had tried to call them but I was not getting an answers.  I was happy to see that a car was parked in the parking lot.  The door opened and I was inside the familiar rooms.

There website has since improved from the last time I was there.  It has lots of great links and information so go explore and have fund.  They are also known as the Simsbury Free Library as opposed to the public library which is south of them in Simsbury.  I was impressed with the links which included the Simsbury Public Library http://www.simsburylibrary.info/ancestors.htm  You might be interested in the Simsbury Vital Records and Genealogy database.

Allison the director was sitting in her seat and I approached and chatted.  I reintroduced myself and she said she remembered me.  I was glad to see Allison.  Things had been a little uncertain and she was brand new the last time I had visited. 

I wandered around studying the titles of books, and remembering the layout which had not changed.  They have their book stacks and it is a nice collection. This is small library but they had a good mix of books, periodicals and even pamphlets of interest for the area.  They have titles for of course Simsbury, Granby and other towns in the area.  They have Connecticut titles, Massachusetts titles and other books even Ohio.  There is microfilm of the New York newspaper and Hartford papers.  They also have connection to the Internet and Allison can get you on to access various things that you have to be a library member in Connecticut to do so.  It was difficult not to dally on some of the book titles.

Simsbury Genealogical and Historical Research Library

The interior is beautiful as you enter first a sort of museum area.  The library is in the back area.  Lovely building.  The other important fact is that it is right next door to the Simsbury Cemetery.  Go to there website that I gave above and take a look at the photos of the interior. 

They have a booklet about the Simsbury Cemetery Vol. I but it lists the interments and more.  So I studied that compilation very thoroughly.  I was looking for the Viets family. 

They have a very nice brochure that you can pick up “Simsbury Free Library.”  I found my copy at the CHS.

I found several interesting items:
First Church Records of Simsbury 1682-1930?, A Sense of Place, Thomas D. Ayres, Simsbury Historical Society, 2009.  I did not find any Haskell’s, Gibbons, Sewards or Goss listed. 

Connecticut Cemeteries Vols. 1-4 and 5-9, New York, 1914.  Mostly the eastern part of Connecticut. Some man in New York had done this burial listing of cemeteries. 

Back in my room, I did more organizing of my papers and decided that I needed to ship some books and brochures home.  Just no way I could stuff all this into my luggage without it weighing tons.  So I found a UPS store in south Simsbury and went off in search of it.  I always try to figure out the closest shipping source like Office Depot or something like that or UPS or a mailing center. 

I found the UPS at 542 Hopmeadow St. and it was open.  The nice man inside was chatty and we discussed the weather and cats!  He took my money and when I said that was a good price because it usually is not cheap, he jokingly said he had tried to charge me more but just couldn’t.  Books weigh a lot!  I could expect my treasures on Monday May 2, 2011.  Wow, May is almost here?

Next stop was the Simsbury Cemetery.  You can enter it from the Main St. in Simsbury for there is a paved road to the far left.  The big gate is in the middle and you might be able to drive through but it is soft grassy and it was very wet.  It is a big cemetery. 

Simsbury Cemetery, Simsbury, CT.

There are some awesome tombstones in this cemetery on the hill toward the back.  I drove around studying them.  There are at least 4-5 Crypts up at the back top of the hill. 

Usually you see one or two but 4-5 or more?

These two are amazing.  Like the spire!

I was looking for John Viets and Catherine Viets.  I had my page of information and walked Section B.  The book I looked at had maps of the cemetery.  No luck.  I had the row number, no luck.  It was raining and cold so I gave up for now.

Time for lunch/dinner.  I thought of Meto Bis sounded delicious.  However, I decided on Plan B Burger Bar on Railroad Street.  Now you are probably thinking it means an alternative plan for a restaurant but no it means Burgers, Beef and Beer! 

Plan B Burger Bar, Simsbury, CT

This place was hoping.  You enter and there is the bar ahead of you.  Downstairs is another restaurant but I was seated at a tall table and chair – I mean I climbed up.  There are booths and tables but I was on my own and it was very busy.  The bar is to the left and there were these big handle bars of different beers.  I liked my seat because I could see what was going on and do some serious people watching. 

The young man ahead of me at a similar table had a Tony the Tiger on his sweat shirt.  I noticed Tony was separating.  Now this is a major treasure this Tony emblem.  When he left I stopped him an inquired if he knew he had a problem and he did.  He told me he had been too busy to fix it.  A friend had made it for him years ago.  He assured me he would take care of it.  Touched my shoulder and thanked me for my concern.  He was probably late 20’s early 30’s. 

Now I was studying the decor and was puzzling over the lights which were hanging from a track.  I asked one of the waiters about them and he said they were ice hooks.  I had observed that they had twisted wires around them and these bare light bulbs were hanging from them in two pair or four pair.  Very clever! They were wonderful no glare. 

My hamburger was delicious and served on a rectangular white plate like a gourmet dinner? Sort of like Red Robin but actually better.  My waitress was friendly and pleasant.  They were playing old Beattle’s music.  So I felt right at home.  As I ate my dinner the place filled up even more.  Two men at the bar were playing with their fancy phones.  I am beginning to get jealous of these types of phones that you just take your finger and push the items along.  Being a visual person it is very enticing. 

A recent arrival came over to the bar and was intent on choosing the perfect beer to go with his dinner.  This was a fun place!  The food was very good. 

My goal this time was to go to the Simsbury Historical Society but a tree fell on them. There website has a picture of the tree on the center. Ouch!

Plan B was right next door so I just drove a little ways into the historical societies parking lot.  I had been here before but they had just moved into their visitor center and had not opened the archives yet.  So once again I was not going to be able to access this archive.  I am not really sure they have anything for me.  Still I am curious. 

Simsbury Historical Society Center. The tree is gone now!

It had stopped raining but it was cold and wet. When you enter the Simsbury House you come into the foyer and there is a real area like a old hotel were the receptionist sits behind working on their computer.  Makes you feel like an old hotel.  There is an entrance from the Main St. and a long drive through a grassy area up a incline to the parking lot.  This is the photo that you see on their website.  The Simsbury 1820 House is part of a group of hotels in the area.  There are other rooms on the main floor that you can explore a little. All lovely.

You enter through the area of the two columns up the steps through the porch into the foyer.  I had asked that the maid not clean my room because I had made a mess and put all my papers on the bed.  So I also told the main desk so she would not get into trouble.  She had not cleaned my room so I was pleased.

I was enjoying my room and I just relaxed for the night.

Friday, April 22, 2011: Treasures in Hartford and on to Simsbury

It is Good Friday and some things are CLOSED and also on Saturday! Boy how did I miss this as a holiday.  That is two holidays that I was not prepared for actually three days worth, major glitch!  Easter weekend and Patriot’s Day.  Wikipedia has listings for each country including the USA so it is a start: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_holidays_by_country#United_States_of_America

I do check Town Hall websites, County Government websites but State Websites might be a good idea too.  Some holidays are regional or by state so this is important.  If I had done a better search I would have moved my travel up a few days in the beginning and left New England earlier than the 24th of April…??? I was able to work around it and that was good.  This was a big trip to prepare for!

Time to leave the Chester Bulkley B&B in Wethersfield.  It is very quiet here.  As I work on my computer I watch the sun set over the spires of the building across from the house.  I like my little sitting room They have white wicker furniture in it and it is light and sweet with nicknacks here and there and litle foot stools.  The house was beautifully decorated.  My bedroom was roomy and the bed was inlayed wood with a rounded head on both the foot and headboard.  It was very lovely.  Very comfortable. 

I like the lavendor doors.  His garden was just about ready to burst.

I watched night fall through this window, lovely spires to look at!

My host was a young man who purchased the house and runs it on his own.  He said he had decorated some of the house.  This host was quieter but he was a good cook.  I ate the omelette he made the day before and it was good. I usually don’t eat omelettes but I ate the whole thing! My breakfast was waffles with these peaches on it and it was good too.  He did answer my questions and I did get a couple of laughs out of him but he was definitely quieter than the other hosts.  He seems to think that gas will be $4 to $6 dollars in the summer and with the bad snowy cold winter tourism is down.  I wish him and the other B&B owners luck and good fortune and I have excellent experiences in each place I have stayed this trip. 

Today I am going to see the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford.  The librarian at CSL told me that I would probably have to park on the street or in a lot and walk to it.  There is a church next to it. 

The individual that I am visiting is a 10th great grandfathr Andrew Warner.  No one really knows where he is buried but he founded Hartford along with many others.  He is a forbear of the Scott family? I have been so focused on the Goss family marrying into the Cooley’s, Wolcotts, Bliss and others that I have not investigated these other lines of my family which are old and founding immigrants to America.  I am getting mixed information on this man’s descendants and a lot of confusion.  There is a book about the descendants of Andrew Warner compiled by Lucien C. Warner and Mrs. Josephine G. Nichols, 1919 at Ancestry.  Lots of good information in this book. I need to do more digging. 

I made my way back to Hartford and down Main St. stopping for gas and there were 5 police cars on the other side of the street.  Awh city life!  I past Capitol Ave and and spotted the church and the cemetery on the left.  The cemetery and church are on Jewell or Atheneum St.  I don’t remember if the streets were named differntly on each side?  I turned left on Asylum two blocks north and parked in the lot on the corner.  It was cold but partly sunny.  There was wind. A Burger King was on the corner across from the Old State House.  I wanted to also view the library and city hall but it was so cold even though it was sunny.  Brrr…!!!

I made my way down a couple of blocks to the church and started taking my photos. There is a gate on the right side of the church were the cemetery is located. Several layers of iron fence surrounds it.

The Church notice the tall building behind



First Church of Christ



Hartford name after Hertford in 1637

Entrance gates to the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford

This statue greets you!

Dedication plaque
There is a very large monument and large rectangular stone in honor of the African Americans buried in this cemetery with no stones.  They have tried to identify who is here. 

African American memorial

Daffodils are blooming along the edge.

You enter the cemetery through the gate.  Considering its age it is in very good shape.  My ultimate goal was the big giant obelisk in the center. 

The names are alphabetized on each side. You just have to find the side of it that has the name you are looking for.

An ancient cemetery in the heart of Hartford



I am pointing to Andrew Warner’s name. So the “A’s” start on the side to the right. You walk counter clockwise around it. I am afraid I don’t know a lot about this man and frankly I could be wrong!  So I need to do some research on him.  The point is that the names on this obelisk are founding father’s and it is important for all of us to at least take a look at the information. It was pretty awesome to visit this cemetery in the middle of this huge city surrounded by all these tall modern buildings. 
There is a website and about this cemetery.  http://www.theancientburyingground.org/  This website has all kinds of information.  It has a burial list and map.  I also purchased a book about this cemetery.  I shipped it home so I don’t have the information at this time.  There is also a pamphlet with a map and some of the inscriptions:  “A Walking Tour of the Ancient Burying Ground of Hartford, Connecticut.”
I was getting so cold I couldn’t stay any longer even though I had lingered and walked some of the cemetery reading names out loud. So I walked back to the Burger King as fast as I could.  I bought a hamburger and some hot coffee and enjoyed it thoroughly.  I also watched Hartford come and go. I had been to Hartford but only to the state library, the historical society and the fancy convention center.  So just sitting and spending time in the center of the city was a fun experience. Now it was the Good Friday so it was probably a quieter Hartford in the downtown area.  Several men were napping in the corner of the restaurant.  A man sat across from me.  He had a huge amount of keys on his belt.  He seemed tired and he was in uniform for he had a label on his shirt.  
Once I was warmed up I returned to the parking lot.  There was a vendor with their wares set out on the sidewalk.  I paid my fee and turned right onto Asylum.  I pointed the car west and off I went to the Connecticut Historical Society which is open 12 to 5 pm.  Once you get on Asylum just make sure you stay right because the lanes do disappear and head west on this street till you get to Elizabeth Ave. then turn left and the entrance is right there on the left.  You can’t miss the building for it is big.
I had such a wonderful time there the last visit that I returned a second time.  This was going to be my third visit.
Connecticut Historical Society

Entrance to the Connecticut Historical Society
This society is located at 1 Elizabeth Ave. in Hartford.  The photo above shows the entrance off of Elizabeth Ave.  There is  parking on the west side.   

I had looked at the website and studied the catalog and other finding aids but was not real sure what I was going to do.  Since it was open even on a holiday, I decided to go there and see what trouble I could get into. 

I was greeted by the nice young lady that I had sat next to at the Friday night banquet a the New England Regional conference.  She was very nice and helpful.  Another lady was at the reference desk and she too had been at the conference.  I am afraid that their names have escaped me.  She was busy with moving microfilm and books and rearranging things so they could bring in more materials. Just know that all the librarians are very helpful and pleasant. 

You can access many items in the research room but a lot of items have to be retrieved so you make your orders on the one order card and if you have any trouble filling it out you just ask the librarian and they help you.

I revisited the Goss file in the manuscript card catalog and I didn’t find anything in it that I had not already studied and obtained copies of.  Sure wish Donald Lines Jacobus would have signed his letters it would make it more special. 

They have WiFi so you can access that and it works wonderful.  Ask at the desk for the code.

I ordered some old maps and studied Simsbury trying to see if I could find Simon Wolcott’s land in Simsbury. Do you think his treasure is still buried there?  I wandered the stacks and pulled some books.  This library is amazing so little time! 
It closed a 5 pm.  So about 4:45 pm I packed up and said good bye and thanked the librarians and headed out.

Stacks at CSH

Research center

Entrance to the research center CHS

It is time to head north Simsbury.  Philip Goss of Brookfield and Mary Kendall Goss were in Simsbury before they headed up to Granby, Granville and then Becket.  Actually Philip’s land was in North Granby.  He had the births of some of his children recorded in Simsbury. 

I had a reservation at Abigail’s south of Simsbury.  It used to be Pettibone’s.  They took me right into the dining room even though I was really early.  I made good time and exited Hartford without too much trouble.

My dinner was tasty and Abigail’s was very fancy.  The area I was in seemed new so I was a little surprised and had expected something older!  A family (mother, son, father, her mother) sat down across from me and was very intent on planning their meals.  Apparently they had been there before.  The husband was very handsome but very serious.  It was clear the mother was the focal point of this family. 



I was sitting on the right for my dinner

I headed for the Simsbury House 1820 in the heart of Simsbury.  I missed the sign and got honked at by acar on my bumper. Grrrr….!  I found the Simsbury House by turning on Library St. and coming in from the side area. 

The Simsbury house turned out to be more of a hotel than a Bed and Breakfast.  There is a big porch and the entry way into the foyer.  The stairs are to the right and up to the second floor.  My room was down the hall to the right and looked out over the parking lot. 

My plan was to empty the car and gather all my belongings to repack for the flight home on Sunday.  That was two days away so I had some time to get things reorganized.  It took 4 trips maybe 5.  Once that was done I settled into the room.  The room was a good size and had a wonderful desk with a view through the window.  A bathroom was off the side wall.  The walls were papered with toile in a light powdery blue and the curtains were a little darker hue but still in toile.  I am providing a link for those who do not know their toile!

I climbed into the big soft bed. A little TV, a little wine! Good night!

Thursday, April 21, 2011: The Connecticut State Library

A delicious breakfast was served at the Chester Bulkley Bed and Breakfast in a lovely dining room with large rose and pink background wallpaper.  A large grandfather clock was across the room between two windows and it chimed the quarter hour and then the top of the hour.  It was very nice.

Most B&B’s will give you a TV tray if you ask and you can put your computer on it and work much easier especially if they don’t have a desk in the room.  I asked and sure enough the host found me one to use.

Today I was off to the Connecticut State Library.  Before leaving for the trip I took a look at their holdings and catalog and pulled some titles review when I arrived.  The trip so far might reveal some other interesting things to review.  So I was prepared for the day.

This was my second trip to Hartford and the Connecticut State Library.  So I was pretty familiar with this archive from before and had studied their website thoroughly.  They have a lot of great information on their website and I highly recommend that you review it before you go if you are not familiar with CSL. 

The CSL is not to hard to find.  It is right across from the capital building with the beautiful gold gleaming dome.  It is south of there. You can park on Hungerford if you can find a space and it does not cost anything.  There is a left turn lane from Capitol Ave. onto Hungerford with a light so that is nice for you do have to cross Capitol Ave. coming from the east to the west.  I came up Hartford Ave. in Wethersfield to Wethersfield Ave. to Main and then I turned at Capitol and went east.  Smooth sailing the whole way.  It didn’t take too long either.

Another thing I did was to wait till about 8:45 am before I left so I didn’t have as much traffic.  I did get to the Connecticut State Library (CSL) about 9:30 am.

When you park on Hungerford just make sure you read the signs carefully and park on the correct side. I had been on the left the last time but this time I was on the right side of the street facing south.  It is one way I believe.  Lock your valuables in the trunk.  Make sure the car is locked up tight. 

The walk from Hungerford is along Russ Ave. then you turn north onto Oak and the entrance to the CSL is a little odd, like in the back of the big building which is the Connecticut Museum and more.  The research room is in the lower floor.  You enter walking up the walkway and there is a sign and into a small court yard with a Public entrance.  You skirt the parking lot and think you are going into a receiving area but it is the entrance. 

The Dome of the Capital, The State Library from across Oak St.

Entrance to the State Library, be prepared for a security check

You are greeted by security and have to give up everything in your pockets etc. and go through a scanner. You don’t have to remove you shoes however.  Then you walk this long hallway and there are signs pointing the way.  You pass through a door area and then turn right into a small room with lockers and then left into the Main Reading Room.  The first things you see are card catalogs, filing cabinets and then the librarians desk and the main Reading Room.  To the left is the special collections and archive area.  You go into it only if you order documents that require special handling. 

I found things pretty much the same in the room and headed for the table area next to the wall by the windows on the left and took over the left side of the table. I used this area before. I set up my computer and got organized and ready to dig in. 

First I needed to figure out if there was a probate for James Barclay sibling to Mary J. Barclay Ford and my great grandfather George A. Barclay.  I had reviewed the films the last time I was there but various indexes were missing.  The librarian was a nice young woman with dark long hair.  She studied what I had and talked with the other librarian (he seemed familiar) and they decided I should just order the probates for those missing indexes.  She figured out what I needed and had me sign up for an Archive’s pass.  I filled out the paperwork and returned just about a couple minutes before 10 am.  This was their first run to storage and they have them periodically throughout the day.  I think the next was 12 noon?  Check with them for their hours.  They do hand you a flyer on the rules and times.  So read that.  Fill in the form and they issue you a card.  You sign that and then other order forms are filled in and you are ready to put your order in.  She was very helpful.  It was going to take about an hour to get the information. 

What this means is if you can’t find an index listing on the films then the CSL might have the actual books or probate/estate packets that you can look at. 

I was very impressed with this librarian she knew what she was doing and I like that!!! The other librarian was also equally helpful and pleasant.  Unfortunately I didn’t get their names. 

They were cute calling me Miss Bonnie Jean.  Made me feel young!!

They told me the former director or head of the research room had retired.  He had given a lecture at the last NERGC in Hartford that I had attended.  Things change. 

The other good news was the woman who had given me a hard time when I had visited before was not there.  It was an unfortunate situation and I had to complain to the librarian. 
This time my visit to the Connecticut State Library (CSL) was a happy one and productive. 

The next problem was figuring out a source that Paul H. Goss had given listing the volumes of the Founder and Patriots.  There is hope.  There are lineage books in volumes but unfortunately the CSL does not have Vol. 25.  They also have the applications of the members.  I decided that since I would be at the DAR Library again in a month and I could go to the Library of Congress, one of those archives should have Vol. 25.  Why am I so interested in these sources?

Well I have been going through all of Paul’s work on the Goss family looking for these old sources.  First of all it is fun to investigate them.  I have had some challenges in the old sources because some been republished.  Once I get all the sources identified I can evaluate their value, add more updates and then publish my findings for future Goss researchers.  There are primary sources and secondary sources. Paul used a log of secondary and I have been trying to figure out if they are reliable and then add more of the primary sources like births, deaths, marriages, deeds, land records, probate/estate.  One thing you do have to remember is that Paul was not wealthy like most of us and he had to decide where to put his money.  He did hire Donald Lines Jacobus the father of modern genealogy to help him so he did hire professional genealogists when he needed to. This was the 1930’s and 1940’s.  It was the depression and he was raising his family.  Like most of us he had to do genealogy as best he could.  I think he did very well. 

I was having a little problem figuring out their coding on the various books I had pulled to research.  Most were in the stacks as they call them.  This is a really interesting experience.  You go into the hallway where all the card catalogs are and through a door that looks like a bomb shelter door.  It is metal and I think “Green?”  you then go down a couple steps into a cool room with rows and rows of bookshelves and books.  It must me heaven!!!!  No it is the stacks silly girl!!  Now this room is big but then there is another room with more books and over sized books.

Be careful…you will be tempted to pull more than you came for!!!  Once you start figuring out the number system you catch on and go in the direction you need to as the numbers get larger or smaller.  The first one or two books or pamphlets or periodicals you are looking for might be a little slow going but then you are on your way. 

The Court Cafe was still operating across Oak St. in the tan building so I head there and ordered a chicken salad sandwich and coffee.  I didn’t check the hours but I was concerned they would be closed by 2 pm.  It is very convenient to the library. 

Back at the library Reading Room and have to say that the drawback of the stacks is that you can’t load up on books like you do at the Family History Library.  It is too far and then there is the door.  You are asked to take them back to the Reading room and work on them there rather than sit on the floor next to the stacks.  It really isn’t pleasant.  I found that I could handled 2 – 3 books at a time but then it started to get too much.  You might be able to do more.  If my hubbie was there I could have really smoked!!!  He is very good at finding things. 

My order had come so I went into the Special Archives area and I showed my card. You sign this register. You initial another form that states I was in possession of one book of probate to look at  a time.  The attendant a nice young man put it on the table and I was allowed to look without gloves in the indexes for James Barclay.  The book was a big book just like any court clerk’s book.  No Barclays at all.  The second book also did not reveal any Barclays.  So I was in the area a short time and had to initial this and that and sign out.  I am glad the young man assisting me was so patient and kind. 

Bummer, James Barclay was just not showing up in the indexes for Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1906.  He died during the probate of his brother Alexander Barclay’s estate.  I pondered an obituary notice but I did not have a specific death date so slogging through a couple of months of a newspaper or longer was not my idea of fun and frankly I didn’t have the time.  So I set that aside.  I would work on what I had found from his sister Mary J. Barclay Ford in Bristol and expand that information.  Technically I was after my great grandmother Margaret Barclay – where she was buried, her last name and more.  James could wait.  I do like to study the whole family and the sibs to a point.   

Now when you are in the book stacks at CSL you need to keep focused…don’t start reading all the titles around your target or you will end up carrying back more books.  I am just kidding go have fun!  I succumbed to pulling other titles too. 

I worked on other things like some Kendall family histories, checked the Church and Bible indexes, and found a copy of the thesis by Brady on the John Franklin.  I have work to do when I get home. 

The time flew and it was 4 pm and I was getting very tired.  I was also pretty much done and ready to head out.  This had been a good experience and I was pleased.  The librarians were helpful, friendly and the whole day and been a good day.  So I am not a fan of the CSL. 

I left the building and headed to my car.  The day was sunny but the wind was sharp and strong.  Ouch!

My care was still on Hungerford and I had not parked incorrectly. Whew!  I was soon off and on my way back to Wethersfield.  This time I found my way back just fine.  I turned right after the big church with the square towers onto Wethersfield Ave and then I found Hartford Ave which took me back into Wethersfield’s historic district and back into time.

This time I was going to have dinner at Lucy Lou’s.  I ordered a Caesar salad and Crab Cake appetizers.  Little did I know that they would both be big dishes of food.  There was no way I could have had more dinner.  It was good food, a nice class of Cabernet.  They have the tall tables and chairs so I had to climb up and in and when I got down that was interesting. Loud music and big screen TV with sports on. It was fun to sit and look out the window and watch the activity on the Main Street of Wethersfield.  It is a mix of old, new and very old.  It works.

I am pleased that I chose the Wethersfield area to stay.  It is not hard to get to Hartford just takes about 15 minutes.  You step back in time there and it is quieter and lovely.  Food is easy to find. I believe there are others B&B’s in the area beside the Chester Bulkley. 

Soon I was in my room tending to chores. 

Note:  Blogspot is giving me trouble and I am sorry if things are mixed up.  My post on the Old Settlers Burial Field in Lancaster for April 12 was wrong and I tried to fix it and it is giving me grief.  It should be April 13th.  I may have to wait till I get home to see what I can do to fix the situation. I might have lost some comments as a result. I was trying to edit a post and it wouldn’t accept the changes.  Grrrr…..!!!