Wednesday, April 29, 2015

View From the Swamp

Today is supposed to be a 52 Ancestor Challenge post, and perhaps before the day is over I'll be able to put one together.  I found a couple pictures I haven't posted from my first trek to the swamp.  I was hoping for Warblers but instead I found more common local residents.  The photos are not great, I apologize.
Eastern Blue Bird

Tree Swallows

Tufted Titmouse singing like mad!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

52 Ancestors Challenge ~ Week 16

The optional theme for this week was "Live Long."   That leaves me no choice but Mary Estella Whittemore McDonough.  Mary was born in March of 1863 in Londonderry, NH.  She was the first born of Henry Joshua Whittemore and his wife, Esther M. Goodwin.  She had four brothers and one sister.  At some point the family moved to Hyde Park, Massachusetts, where her father was a music teacher.

 Mary married Charles McDonough, a lawyer, in 1896.  She was 33 and a teacher, he was 24 and a lawyer. She and Charles lived most of their married life in Brookline, Massachusetts.  I found a public family tree on with pictures of Charles and Mary and a death date listed for Charles as November 1960.  I found Mary still living in a city directory in 1963 but I cannot find her after that.  I have not been able to locate any record of her death nor a cemetery where Charles is buried....hoping that I would find a picture of a headstone perhaps with her information on it as well.  It seems as though she lived to be 100, at least.  I found someone else on Ancestry who had also attached these pictures to their tree.  This individual's father-in-law was Mary's nephew and he lived to be 101!!  I am guessing these genes for longevity must be from Mary's mother's side of the family.  Amazingly, her picture is below on the right.  She and Charles' mother are seen visiting Plymouth Rock.  Mary's mother, Esther, was widowed in 1903 and from family records I believe she died in 1927 living with Mary and Charles for those remaining 24 years.

Mary and Charles had no children of their own but Mary had a heart for children and a desire to see them come to know their Heavenly Father and be saved for eternity.  She wrote child evangelistic material for the Christian Missionary Alliance church.  My great grandmother was a camp director for inner city youth during the 1920's and 30's.  She would go in to Cousin Mary's for Bible Study and preparations for the camp program.  My mother remembers riding the train from Wilmington, Massachusetts in to Boston to visit Cousin Mary.   I still have many questions unanswered for Mary but I feel incredibly fortunate to have stumbled upon these pictures of her, her spouse, and her mother and mother-in-law.  I wish I had a picture of Mary with my great grandmother.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

52 Ancestors Challenge ~ Week #15

This week's "How Do You Spell That?" theme is a bit tricky for me.  For the most part, my ancestors have fairly straightforward names.  There are a few that have sent me creatively searching, switching first and middle names.  My 3rd great grandmother's name is Sylvania Amanda (Jenness) Whittemore, or perhaps it is Amanda Sylvania.  She married Charles Foster Whittemore in 1868 and died in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1906.  Her son, James Lyman, married my great grandmother, Mabel Scott Whittemore.  (Her father, Alfred, was a younger brother to James' grandfather, Jesse)

In looking through census records, I found my great grandmother Mabel listed in the 1910 census as Maybelle.  I chalked that up to the whim of the census taker.  A few weeks ago I came across my grandmother's wedding book and was so very surprised to see this
Under Witnesses, the bride's mother has written her name as Maybelle!  So, perhaps for a time in her 30's and early 40's, she fancied a different spelling of her name!  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Finally Spring

It has been a long, cold, buried in snow winter!  The swamp has been slow to thaw, with just channels of open water visible last week.  That all changed this weekend, with temperatures in the upper 60's reaching 70's on Monday.  I finally ventured down the hill Monday morning and was a bit dismayed at the number of fallen and broken trees.  The swamp is severely lacking in trees now, with only one heron nest remaining at the far end.  It looks to be an active nest so that at least is a good thing.

I saw several Wood Ducks but was disappointed not to see any Hooded Mergansers.  
One pair of Canada Geese.
Red-winged Black Birds and Grackles were plentiful.  Swallows were also swooping madly, not in great numbers as I've seen before but a good number for early spring.  It seems as if my free time to visit the swamp is the wrong time of day for the angle of the sun!!  Washes out all the pictures, but it sure felt good.  Some drastic  damage to my viewing area.  The log I stand on has begun to rot and is slowly falling into the water.  The tree I lean against must have looked tasty to the local residents. 
 The tree I used to attach my wildlife camera to is currently on the menu or the engineers plan, I'm not sure which.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Another Anniversary

Charlie boy, it is unfathomable to think that a year ago today we were waiting to formally celebrate your life and say goodbye.  It was a gorgeous day, so unlike your sister's farewell, and so very warm.  Today is starting out in the 30's, but supposed to become almost as warm as that day.  It has been a long, cold winter.  How I wish you could be here to enjoy your baby sister and now TWO dogs!!  Petey is enormous.  I wish I could have watched the two of you together.   I miss you more than I can ever express and not a day goes by that I don't have a moment of suffocating breathlessness....I see a school van, or walk over to your house, or see a toy here.  I know you are enjoying joy unspeakable and I cannot wait for the day that I am there.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

52 Ancestors Challenge ~ Week 14

Thinking of Alfred Whittemore this week.  He was born April 9, 1830 and died April 12, 1903.  He was the youngest of 6 brothers and a few sisters.  This is a picture of the 6 brothers, Alfred is back row on the left.

 He buried 3 wives.  The first died shortly after childbirth with their son.  I believe he had one daughter from his second marriage who lived to marry and have at least one child of her own.  He had 6 or 7 children with his 3rd wife.  Two of the girls lived into their 20's, and one daughter and son lived full lives.  He moved from Foxboro, Massachusetts into Charlestown and Malden Massachusetts.  He was a candy salesman for Schraffts and ran a bakery.  He was also a deacon in Maplewood Baptist Church when it was established in the late 1800's.
This is a picture in front of his bakery in Malden.  His daughter, Mabel, is beside him with Carl, the baker, beside her.  I think Mabel is about 15 in this picture.  She is my Great Grandmother!   She will be the topic for another post.  Her dad, I am told, had auburn red hair.  Mabel had two daughters, one having his color red hair.  She was my grandmother.  Alfred died when my grandmother was 5 years old, but my mother always tells the tale that Alfred was tickled that she had his color hair.Alfred is buried in Foxboro, with his parents and sisters and some of his brothers.  There was a stone with Alfred and his wives and children all listed on it, but I am not sure it is still standing.   I wish there were more pictures of him but I am grateful for these two.