Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Family Tree Song by Venice

One of my favorite genealogy related songs is by the group Venice.  It's sad but it also speaks to me about why I do family history - remembering all who came before and honoring their memories, while anticipating the growth of the family tree.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Hannan Cousins

Hannan Cousins
Palermo, Maine - early 1940s
(l-r) Marilyn Hannan, Edwina Hannan, Amy McKenney, Faylene Hannan, Gloria Hannan, Gordon Hannan, George "Junior" McKenney, Dolly Jago, Irving Hannan

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Old German Lutheran Church in Waldoboro, Maine

Old German Lutheran Church
Waldoboro, Maine
Built 1772

Between 1740 and 1753, some 150 families and individuals, mainly from the Rhineland area of Germany, emigrated to the New World and ultimately landed in Broad Bay, Massachusetts - now Waldoboro, Lincoln County, Maine.  Although I couldn't locate any of my Waltz or Eugley relatives in this cemetery, I know that they were part of the community of Germans that settled the area and built this church.

For more information on this community, see the website:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

TombstoneTuesday - Richard and Newell Hannan

From The Hannan Cemetery in Palermo, Waldo, Maine

My great-great grandfather Richard S. Hannan
b. 4 May 1824 Liberty, Waldo, Maine
d. 4 May 1901 Liberty, Waldo, Maine


My great-grandfather Newell M. Hannan
b. 9 Sept 1853 Liberty, Waldo, Maine
d. 21 June 1942 East Palermo, Waldo, Maine

          Rest in Peace

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Surname Saturday - Hannan/Hannon

My mother's family name is Hannan.  Well, most of the family spells it that way, but some, including my grandfather spelled it Hannon.  There doesn't seem to be any real reason for this.  When I ask my Mom she says that her father just liked it Hannon.  My mother always uses Hannan and when I picked my daughter's middle name I used Hannan.

The Hannan Family that I come from originated in Maine and many members of the family still live there.  The beginnings of the family of this name come from John O'Dell Hannan.  The family story goes that he was born in Ireland about 1794 and was impressed as a sailor on a British war ship during the war of 1812.  The ship was sunk by the Americans in  the Penobscot River between Bucksport and Bangor, Maine.  John O'Dell and his friend Jacob Lehman, not caring for the life, escaped inland to Liberty, Maine.  He added Hannan to his name, becoming John O.D. Hannan and settled "on the upper county road".  According to a 1927 "Brief History of Liberty Maine", John and Jacob "fled overland through Belfast until arriving in Liberty, then called Davistown. They probably then believed that they were far enough away from the coast."

Here is the piece of the 1850 census for John and his family.

He is listed here as John O.D. Hannan, 53 years old, born in Ireland.

John married Sarah "Sally" Cram of Montville Plantation, Waldo, Maine on 3 Sept 1818 in Montville.  They had 6 children, John Colby Hannan, Richard S. Hannan, Mary E. Hannan, Joseph H. Hannan, David Hannan and Sarah Hannan.

My line continues with Richard who was born 4 May 1824 in Liberty.  Richard was a farmer all his life, as was his father John.  Richard married Lucy Maria Turner on 18 Feb 1849 in Liberty, Maine.  In the transcription of the Vital Records of Liberty, Maine that I was able to access at the Maine Historical Society, it says:  "I hereby certify that Mr. Richard Hannan and Miss Mariah Turner both of Liberty were joined in marriage at Liberty on Feb 18th, 1849 by me, James W. Young, Justice of the Peace".

I want to say here that Isabel Maresh Morse, who transcribed the records of Liberty, has been a great force in the recording of the Hannan family as well as in preserving the historical records of the area. Thanks Isabel!! 

Richard and Maria had 7 children, Daniel Turner Hannan, George Norwood Hannan, Newell Murch Hannan, Charles Emery Hannan, Bertha M. Hannan, Rozilla Marie Hannan and Ulmer G. Hannan.  Richard died 4 May 1901 and is buried in the Hannan Cemetery in Palermo, Maine.

Newell was a farmer most of his life.  He does seem to have tried his hand as a cooper as seen in this snippet from the 1850 Census of Knox, Washington, Maine.

Newell married Alice Flavilla Parsons on 22 Mar 1885.  Grammie Flavie, as my mother calls her, and Newell had 7 children , Ernest Lyzene Hannon, Charles E. Hannon, Guy Melvin Hannan, Irving Cecil Hannon, Rose Helen Hannon, Ross Newell Hannon and Doris Evelyn Hannan.

The picture is of some of the Hannan children.  My grandfather Ross is the one on the right (looking at the picture).

Ross, my grandfather, was a farmer, a hunter and a lumberman.  He was a selectman for the town of Palermo for 25 years.  He married Beatrice Natalie Hall on 3 Jan 1927 in Searsmont, Washington, Maine. They settled in Palermo, Maine where they raised three daughters, my mother among them.  Ross died on 7 July 1922 in Augusta, Maine and is buried in the Hannan Cemetery in Palermo, Maine.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - McKiel Family

Thanksgiving  1968

Descendants of Harry & Elsie McKiel of Albion, Maine
who married
29 October 1924
St. John's, New Brunswick, Canada

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Henry & Esther Hall

Henry P. Hall
b. 2 Feb 1850 Orneville, Piscataquis, Maine
d. Jul 1926 Bradford, Penobscot, Maine

Esther P. (Gowen) Hall
b.  15 Jan 1848 Bradford, Penobscot, Maine
d.  6 Aug 1924 Bradford, Penobscot, Maine

Henry and Esther are my great-great grandparents.  They married on 27 Sep 1874 in Bradford, Maine.  Henry was a farmer.  I am descended through their son Allen S. Hall and his 2nd wife Leilia Dow.  When Leilia died during childbirth, Henry and Esther took care of my grandmother Beatrice until Allen was more able to care for her.

I need to find out Henry's exact death date, all I know is that it was in July of 1926.  Then I need to get it engraved on his stone!  Henry and Esther are buried in William's Cemetery in Bradford, Maine.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Holding History in My Hands

Not too many years ago, September 2006 to be precise, I decided to look for the actual birth record of my husband's 5th great-grandfather, Thomas Potter. I had found a memorial to him in the Col. Thomas Potter Lot, a local cemetery.  This memorial stated that he was the son of Ichabod Potter (son of Robert and Elizabeth (Cole) Potter),  and his first wife Deborah Reynolds Potter.  

However, I was finding more evidence that he was actually the son of Ichabod's second wife Margaret Potter (daughter of Ichabod and Margaret (Helme) Potter).   

 I had been to the Town Hall before to look up other births or deaths.  The pre-1960 or so records are all listed on index cards,  stored alphabetically in file cabinets.  On the card you find the book and page number of the record you would like to see.  I had researched some events from the late 1800s or early 1900s.  The clerk would bring the correct vital record book to a counter where you could look at the record with the clerk looking on.  This day I asked for the record book that contained records from the 1730s.  It took a while for the clerk to locate the book.  First, she brought me one from the 1830s and we couldn't locate the correct page and entry.  When she/we realized it was the wrong book she had to do a bit of hunting to find the correct one.  It turned out that during this time period, the town meetings were recorded in this book and events such as births, deaths and marriages were recorded in the same book.  She gave me the book and told me I could look at it at the table in the vault room.  I was left alone with this book that was the original book for the town.  

As I started (carefully) turning pages it began to dawn on me what I was holding.  I had the book that the originators of my town recorded its history in.  The very book!  The writing was elegant.  The pages were crisp.  It was history in my very own hands.  It was an intense experience.  

I couldn't really believe that I was allowed to handle this book.  When I found the entry I was looking for, I quietly took out my digital camera and snapped a couple of pictures.  After a bit more time of just looking and feeling the moment I had to leave.  On my way out I mentioned to one of the clerks that I was amazed that I was allowed to handle the book, especially with no oversight.  I was a little worried about what could happen to that book.  

For my personal research, I was right that Thomas Potter was born to Ichabod and Margaret.  Here is the entry as I captured it with my camera.

When I had time to reflect I was even more amazed and a little bothered about the experience at the town hall.  I didn't do anything about it  ...  but I thought about it quite a bit.  A few months later, I went back.  You couldn't look at the original anymore.  I was both disappointed and relieved.  I had held history in my hands and I had felt that history!!  But I know that that same history is better protected now,  for me and for future generations. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless, And Priceless, Wednesday

Toys?  Who needs toys?

My Brother and I.  1961. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Azubah Smith

The joy of finding a family member's tombstone from 1792 that is still standing and is still readable!!  (Even if it is your husband's family :-))

Old Stone Church Burial Ground, East Lyme, Connecticut

Azubah Tinker Smith
born 6 September 1746
died 15 January 1792

Daughter of Amos and Hannah (Minor) Tinker.  Wife of Elisha Smith.  Mother of Phebe, Elisha and Lucinda.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Best 2009 Genealogy Moment

What was my best genealogy moment in 2009?  

I think it has to be yet another photograph (see previous post) sent by a cousin.  I have been participating on for almost 8 years now.  I have created memorials for many of my relatives and have added records and/or pictures of headstones for some of the cemeteries near where I live.  Like many of my fellow genealogists, I am somewhat of a graveyard nut.  

This year,  a cousin saw my memorial for Isaiah Lincoln Dow, my great-great grandfather on my mother's side.  She had added a memorial for Isaiah's mother and father,  Elizabeth Milburn Dow and Oliver Buffum Dow.  She emailed me and told me that she had added Isaiah's parents (my 3rd-great-grandparents) including pictures of their headstones and a picture of Elizabeth herself!  She graciously sent me a copy of the photo.  

On the left is my Elizabeth Milburn Dow and the right is her sister Mary Milburn.  I wonderful photo that I could only have dreamed of having.  And what makes it extra special for me is that I think my mom looks alot like Elizabeth.  I'm not sure she agrees but there you go.    What do you think?

I can't thank Lisa enough.  She created Elizabeth's memorial, added a picture of the headstone, added a picture of Elizabeth and then had the kind and generous idea to email me because she could tell I was a relative.  Aren't cousins great!

To see Elizabeth's memorial,