Monthly Archives: August 2018

‘A source of pleasure and profit’

Regina Shober Gray by [Edward L.] Allen, ca. 1860. Courtesy of the Maryland Historical Society, Item PP231.236
In this entry, Regina Shober Gray[1] touches on some of the constraints she felt as a poor relation in a family with richer members. Her economies with seamstresses had repercussions for her health and relationship with her children; both of these worries weave like durable threads through many of her diary entries over the years. In the first paragraph of the following entry Mrs. Gray refers to her four sons: Frank, Sam, Regie, and Morris Gray.[2]

61 Bowdoin Street, Boston, Sunday, 12 November 1865: Frank & Sam are both ailing and both studying too hard. We try to hold them back and they declare they are not hurting themselves – both look poorly though. Regie keeps pretty well – and is improving in Latin & French wonderfully but is behind hand in Arithmetic. Morris too improves in every way – especially in Writing. They are all bright enough, if only their health hold out. Continue reading ‘A source of pleasure and profit’

The Air Zoo

My sons (Oliver and Charlie) and nieces (Claudia and Nola) at the Air Zoo in Portage, Michigan.

While the interests of my young sons and nieces brought me to the Air Zoo: Aerospace and Science Experience in Portage, Michigan, those with ties to aviation in their family history might also be drawn to this museum. Founded in the late seventies by Suzanne (a former member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots) and Pete Parish (a former United States Marine), the Air Zoo boasts more than 50 fixed and rotary wing aircraft on display as well as aviation-themed rides and exhibits. The Air Zoo is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and has a mission to preserve the legacy of flight for present and future generations. Continue reading The Air Zoo

Using “squnch” in a sentence

Santa Claus arrived in July with a portable hard drive full of the newly-digitized images from the microfilm of Clarence Almon Torrey’s twelve-volume manuscript, New England Marriages Prior to 1700. It has been forty years since I last had quality time with Clarence. Hard to remember the months and months spent in the stacks going through every book in the library to match his “short” citations and create a bibliography.

For readers who haven’t been introduced, Clarence Almon Torrey spent decades in the library at NEHGS extracting every mention of a seventeenth-century New England marriage from nearly every book, pamphlet, and manuscript in the collection up until about 1960. Continue reading Using “squnch” in a sentence

Revisiting the Princess of Wales

More than a decade ago I had the opportunity to edit Richard Evans’s account of the ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales. Looking now at the finished product gives me great pleasure: it seems to me both intrinsically interesting as an expansive view of one person’s (fascinating) ancestry and connections, as well as a useful model for managing large amounts of genealogical information.

Of course, in looking at the book now my eye is drawn to some entries that (at least in part) defeated the author and defeated me – in our efforts to use the best sources available, there were some people in the more recent generations who could not be fully documented. Now, with some distance – and noting that more genealogical resources come online daily – I have taken a fresh look at some of the “problem children” to see what I could find. Continue reading Revisiting the Princess of Wales