Monday, June 29, 2015

New England Searching

In my last post I told about our trip to Alabama. However, I skipped over another genealogy trip. In late April we traveled to New England, specifically Connecticut and Rhode Island.

After a quick stop at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts we arrived at our hotel. Is there something wrong with my car? It seems that it gets this problem every time we go through Sturbridge- it has to veer off and park in their parking lot for a time no matter what! My husband and I actually did well that Sunday afternoon, we did not tour the actual village this time and the purchases at the bookstore were kept to an economical amount. I think that many of us are aware of what the real problem with that car is—it is owned by a librarian/genealogist and another genealogist. A bookstore full of historical books is just too much of an attraction!

The first two days of our trip after travel were dedicated to researching in Connecticut. I had asked my husband if we could do some research in the town of Milford where some of my earliest ancestors had settled. He agreed under one condition, we include the town of Stratford west across the river where some of his ancestors had lived. Well let’s see, I have to joke about those elusive ancestors I was looking for, they jumped around so much that I swear they must have kept a boat at that river so they could leave almost as many records in Stratford… of course I was willing to research there as well! Another of the towns we looked at was Derby.

Did I mention that these ancestors were elusive? I can find many records on them. Edward Wooster was one of the original settlers of Derby moving there from Milford. What can I find of his great-great-grandson’s marriage supposedly in Milford in 1785? “A stranger in town married Miss Munson.” That is it, and it is a year off from when all the unsourced trees have it and the same year as their oldest son (who again I can find no record of) was assumed to be born. They are certainly elusive which is why all the estimated and unsourced information abounds. However, I think I’ve collected enough to write a good case for indirect evidence with Ebenezer Wooster marrying Sarah Munson and having Leverett Lyman Wooster as a son. This on-going puzzle may just become part of my certification portfolio, so no more details will appear about this search for a while.

The last place we researched was a quick trip late on Tuesday afternoon to the Connecticut State Library. It was late by the time we got there and we spent a little less than an hour in the library. However, the trip was worth it. We got an overview of the library and a good idea of their holdings. Next time we have a chance to research here, we will already have some familiarity and be able to make the most of our time. It was a good orientation to this new to us facility. Our one mishap with this trip, and I had been aware of the potential problem, was that we attempted to leave Hartford during rush hour. We got on the interstate all right, but then had to watch our exit go by—across 2 or 3 lanes of very busy traffic. That meant that we had to figure out a new route, and I don’t own a smart phone so we were doing it the old-fashioned way with maps and good guesses. We saw a bit more of the Connecticut landscape and got back to our hotel only a little later than planned.

All in all, we had a great two days of research with lots of information to pour over once we got home- some of which I am still trying to pull together. After a relaxing day of rambling around Rhode Island, we ended up the following afternoon in downtown Providence. Here we made our headquarters for the rest of the trip- about a block from the Rhode Island Convention Center. Why there? For three days the convention center was filled with fellow genealogists converging for the New England Regional Genealogy Conference (NERGC). Held once every two years, NERGC is located around New England and brings together a great bunch of people researching their New England roots. The 2017 conference will be held in Springfield, MA.

We attended many different presentations on regional topic such as one on the Godfrey Library, some on NYS research and western migration, general topics on how to research and writing/publishing. It was a great mixture of regional and national speakers. After three days, one is left with a mixture of exhaustion, disbelief that it is over already, despair over mistakes one has made and above all inspiration and momentum to get in there and do more and better research!

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