Monthly Archives: June 2016

“Most cordially welcomed”

[Author’s note: This series began here and continues here.]

PP231.236 Regina Shober Gray. Not dated.
Regina Shober Gray by [Edward L.] Allen, ca. 1860. Courtesy of the Maryland Historical Society, Item PP231.236
In June 1871, Regina Shober Gray[1] was in Pennsylvania, and her omnibus diary entry for 9 June covers the first ten days of her visit. Her account of the journey is interesting in that, year by year, it became easier to travel from Boston to Philadelphia; in 1871, it was still an overnight trip.

Mt. Carbon, Friday, 9 June 1871: We left Boston, Morris,[2] Stephen Bullard[3] and I, by Hartford & Erie line & Norwich steamer, City of New York, in which I shall in future avoid the communicating staterooms [as] they are all over the boiler & furnaces; ours was 53 & 55, shut in by wheel houses & noisy with incessant shovelling of coal, which effectually banished sleep.

Took the 8½ train to Philad. after a breakfast at Taylor’s; reached Aunt Catharine’s[4] at about 10’c & were most cordially welcomed. A heavy rain with thunder cooled us off p.m. We spent a quiet evg. with the dear old lady, and all retired early. We left Boston Tuesday p.m. May 30th. Continue reading “Most cordially welcomed”

Grassroots genealogy

Errol map
Map showing the area around Errol. Courtesy of the University of Texas Library

When most people learn that I grew up in a town of three hundred people, they’re amazed. Some aren’t aware such small places still exist. Others want to know if we have electricity or modern appliances. (The answer to both questions is yes.) Inevitably, the same criticism arises: “I bet everyone knows everyone, and everything that they’re doing, too.”

I won’t deny that I knew everyone in the town when I lived there. In fact, I still know the majority of the population. Small towns have positive and negative aspects, as do cities. Everyone may know you by sight, and they may know more than you’d like them to about you and your family, whereas cities give you a sense of anonymity. I don’t recognize everyone I meet on the streets of Boston. The same can’t be said of Errol, New Hampshire. Continue reading Grassroots genealogy