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Genealogy Road Show
Stu’s eighth great grandfather may have been courageous, but perhaps not very astute. In 1677 Captain Benjamin Swett led a band of 40 English colonists on a mission to Black Point (now Scarborough, Maine; then part of Massachusetts Bay Colony) where they were ambushed. Many of the young, inexperienced colonists fled while Swett, his Lieutenant and another man fought and died.
This was a pointless battle in America’s first Indian war, known as King Philip’s War, and it’s just one genealogical gem we have so-far acquired on this, our second family history journey in about seven months. Our first four days in Providence, RI were filled with the New England Regional Genealogical Conference where we attended 30 or so lectures on everything from DNA testing, to new apps and software for genealogy, to 18th and 19th century migration patterns, and researching military records to, well, King Philip’s War.
Rhode Island Capitol Building. Janet in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn
We had little time to explore Providence, though we enjoyed a fine pizza one evening at Providence Coal Fired Pizza, got an impression of a lively downtown scene, and enjoyed views of Rhode Island’s out-sized capitol crowning a hill overlooking downtown. Our train journey to New York’s Penn Station and accommodations in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood transpired smoothly.
Why stay in Brooklyn? It’s a bit less expensive than Manhattan, but also we wanted to check out Green-Wood Cemetery where Janet’s third great grandmother, Mary Ann (Holden) Duckworth is buried. On a cool but sunny Sunday afternoon we hiked around the huge, hilly expanse of grass and trees filled with marble and granite markers and monuments. We enjoyed fine views of Manhattan and Brooklyn and visited the area where Mary Ann is buried. After a 4 or so-mile slog back to our Sofia Inn and an early dinner, we slept soundly.
Inside NYC's 9-11 Museum.
Our three remaining days in New York were jammed. One day was spent at the New York Public Library where we (unsuccessfully) searched mid-nineteenth century church records. The second day we played tourist, visiting the Empire State Building (including 82nd floor viewing platform), the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum (impressive and moving). Before returning to Brooklyn, we re-visited the Lower East Side to search for the site of James’ and Mary Ann’s residence and James’ machine shop. No buildings are here now beneath the approach to the Williamsburg Bridge.
Our final day in New York was graced by a visit with real, living relatives, Janet’s 2nd cousin, once removed, Richard MacDougall and his family. Janet and Richard have been corresponding about their shared Ehlers/Traugott genealogy for several years and now they got to do it in person. After some tourist time at Teddy Roosevelt's Sagamore Hill, Richard and his wife Anita drove us back into NYC where we met their grown daughter for drinks at the New York Yacht Club. We ogled exquisite models of racing sloops and naval vessels displayed and then enjoyed a convivial dinner nearby. A ride back to our Brooklyn accommodation was way beyond the call of duty and concluded a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable day.
Janet's 3rd great grandparents lived on Mangin St.; Cousin Richard with Janet
Next day it was on to Boston for a day of genealogy research, before heading for a two-week sojourn on Cape Ann. We’ll save that for our next postcard.
Happy Travels, Janet & Stu