Thursday, January 20, 2011

Henrietta Won an Award! I don't want to brag, but...

I have a couple of stories I am working on that I really want to take extra time to write before I share them with you. In the meantime, I will brag just a little bit.

I recently received two ANCESTOR APPROVED awards from two fellow bloggers for Henrietta last month and didn't even know it until now! The genealogy blogging community is a group of dedicated and passionate folks who love to share what they find and how they find it. There are so many blogs out there so this one gal, Leslie Ann from Ancestors Live Here, created an award for these bloggers.  She wrote this when she first awarded it:

As a recipient of this award I ask that you list ten things you have learned about any of your ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlightened you and pass it along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud.

So, this award comes with some responsibility attached to it. First I have to find the ten things that I have learned that surprised, humbled or enlightened me in some way. That will be easy because it happens every day and with almost every ancestor I have come across. Whittling it down to ten will be the challenge. I tried to choose a few examples that I hope to use in future blogs. I don't think I revealed too much about them, so please do keep logging in each week. So, those ten choices were more or less random and pretty easily made, considering the amount of material and numbers of ancestors I have to choose from.

But, then, I had to start really reading the other blogs.  I thought that would be very tough, but as it turns out, although there were so many to choose from, it wasn't easy, but reading them and getting to know them was quite a lot of fun.

Part I  Ten things that I have learned that surprised, humbled or enlightened me about my ancestors

    Samuel Atkinson Budd
  1. My most recent surprise was that I just this week learned that there are copious letters and sketches by my gggrandfather Samuel Budd, civil war veteran of the 1st NY Mounted Rifles, at the New York Historical Society's library! I am eager to get my hands on them all this summer!
  2. The first surprise I remember as a neophyte to the genealogy game was discovering that my gggggrandparents, Fisher and Loruhama Ames, are buried in my home town cemetery, just on the other side of the worn pathway that runs by my grandparents resting place. A place I visited often as a child and as an adult, and there they had been for one hundred and fifty years when I discovered them. I never even knew their names until I began this journey.
  3. I was humbled to learn the story of my gggrand uncle Salem Judson Tiffany, who died in Andersonville Prison during the Civil War and that there is a generous fellow out there in the genealogy community who has located his grave and invited us on a golf cart tour of the whole area. 
  4. I was humbled and enlightened when I learned that my gggrandfather Daniel Waters, son of a lighthouse keeper from Scotland, immigrated here and then served in our Civil War.
  5. I was enlightened to learn that my great grandfather, James Paige, was a whizkid in his day who, even in his short life accomplished so much and was such a respected and successful young man with American Optical Company in Southbridge, MA.
  6. When I learned of the love story between young great grandfather James Paige and my great grandmother Ethel Tiffany, I was not only humbled but deeply touched. A love letter written by him to his young wife is a treasure I have. Although one of the first stories I wanted to tell you here, I want to be careful before I share it that I have written it in a way deserving of its uncommon tenderness and  devotion.    
  7. I was enlightened by my great grandmother Josephine Patten Willett who raised such remarkable daughters during a time when women were not valued as much as in the generations that followed. She raised strong, independent women in a turn of the century Manhatten, for the most part as a widow.
  8. I was humbled by the heroism of Ed's fifth great grandfather, Abner Crowell, who was captured and held prisoner aboard a British Prison ship in Newport Harbor during the American Revolution. Abner, a Cape Cod seaman whose ship was probably taken by the enemy and used as a floating dungeon, perished when the British deliberately sank these prison ships hoping to stop French ships from entering the harbor after the France-American alliance was struck in 1778. The unspeakable conditions I have read about will make this a difficult piece for me to write about, but one I hope to complete in the near future.
  9. On the other hand, I was surprised to learn that some of my Davis and Hall ancestors who were living in Vermont on the Quebec border during the revolution, may well have been loyalists or at the very least wafflers, who probably moved back and forth from Derby Line to Bolton,Quebec depending on where they could make a living to feed their families.
  10. And finally, I remain enlightened every day when I find a small remnant or a complete tapestry of the lives of all of our ancestors, left behind long after they have left us, in documents, personal recollections told to me by generations above me or by a photograph or a curl of hair of a child who died young. I can see my great grandmother sadly and lovingly, closing her eyes as she brings to her lips and places a kiss on the soft blonde curl. Holding it in her hand, she runs her thumb over it once more before wrapping it carefully in tissue paper, then slipping it into the now yellowing envelope, placing it inside the old scrapbook that I now have, filled with newspaper clippings kept by three generations of women; a volume full of life's celebrations and tragedies.
These glimpses of their lives that we get each time we find another hint of what our ancestors were like as individuals and what they overcame and how they persevered, all culminating in our existence today continues to enlighten me. That's what feeds the passion I have to find out more about them and to write about them.


Thanks for the award, fellow bloggers! I eagerly pass it on to the following bloggers, their links provided here for you. Please take a moment to take a look at them if they pique your interest:

Scottish Genes (GE-nes News and EventS)
Dear Myrtle's Genealogy Blog
over thy dead bodies
Life From The Roots
West in New England
The New England House Historian
The Symbolic Past
Forgotten Old Photos
GenealogyBlog I took a couple of courses from this blogger, Leland,  at the GA conference. Great Guy-very knowledgeable!
Find Your Folks-I met Drusilla at the GA conference. She inspired me to start Henrietta! She's VERY tech savvy, as well as being a great writer and a fun person.


Barbara Poole said...

Thank you so much for the award. I had no idea, and now 2 months later reading your posts. It was very kind of you (I'll make mention of it in my Mar. 31st, Looking Back post.
Good luck with your blogging.

Marian Pierre-Louis said...

Thanks for mentioning both the New England House Historian and The Symbolic Past in your post. I'm glad you are enjoying the blogs. I hope your readers will too. Thank you!

Unknown said...

I too am a Tiffany. I came up on the James Tiffany side, from his son John and wife, Deliverence. So, I guess we are shirt-tail relation! I live in Iowa and am about 15 miles from one of the Tiffany's homesteads in Illinois, which is also where a couple of my ancestors are buried.