2016: The 8th Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge

Oil Painting: Old woman in apron and shawl, c1876-1909; Otto Henry Bacher; Library of Congress.

Oil Painting: Old woman in apron and shawl, c1876-1909; Otto Henry Bacher; Library of Congress.

Each year for the past seven, genealogist bloggers have been invited to post a bit of poetry about a region, historical event, legend, or a person related to one of their ancestors. If you would like to participate, you can read more about the challenge on Bill West’s blog, “West in New England.”

Although National Poetry MONTH in the United States is in April, today (October 6th) is National Poetry Day in the United Kingdom [per another friend Heather Wilkinson Rojo] I am posting my poetry submission today in honor of poetry and poets everywhere.

Here is the West In New England wrap up post with all the folks who participated in the challenge. Always fun to read them!
Continue reading

A Rare Testimonial: In Praise of an Old Friend — PressHarbor

A screen shot of a July 11, 2006 post of Cow Hampshire blog at BlogHarbor, prior to its evolution to PressHarbor.

Screen shot of a July 11, 2011 post of Cow Hampshire blog at BlogHarbor, just prior to the company’s evolution to PressHarbor.

Regular readers of Cow Hampshire will recognize how rare this testimonial is. We expect our service providers to render the best, so generally we only speak up (or ‘blog up’) when things go awry.

I have a 10 year relationship with PressHarbor. Think about that alone–ten years! In the past ten years I’ve changed banks, internet provider, electric and gas utilities, car repairmen, and lots more. But NOT ONCE was I tempted to part ways with my blog server provider, PressHarbor. Continue reading

A 2016 Military Father’s Day: My Dad’s WW2 Navy in Photographs

Berwin H. Webster in dress blue service uniform circa 1943

Berwin H. Webster in dress blue service uniform circa 1943

Thirty five years ago was the last time I was able to happily celebrate Father’s Day. On November 7th of 1981 my Dad, Berwin “Webby” Webster, passed away, at the age of 68. He left behind no enemies, and a large family to grieve him.

He also left behind mementos of his service in the United States Navy during World War 2. I do not know what happened to his service medals, nor the log book with kanji reportedly taken from a captured Japanese submarine. But I did end up with a few of his personal war items–his gob hat, silken pillows sent home, a rare letter. I formerly wrote a story about some of his assignments and experiences, but there is much more to tell. Continue reading

A New Hampshire Éirinn go Brách: Addie (Ryan) Manning (1879-1968)

1967 Photograph of Addie (Ryan) Manning at the Hillsborough County Nursing Home, with granddaughters, Kathi and Janice Webster.

1967 Photograph of Addie (Ryan) Manning at the Hillsborough County Nursing Home, with granddaughters, Kathi and Janice Webster. She died the following year, three days after her 89th birthday.

She insisted that I wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.  If I forgot, all it took was her gentle look of personal displeasure to make me quickly change.  When this Irish holiday comes around, she is always the first person I think of–my maternal grandmother.  That being stated, it is only natural that she is the focus of this year’s Irish story.

Addie Cornelia Ryan was born on 12 Mar 1879 in Jay, Orleans County, Vermont to Patrick John & Emily (Brown) Ryan.  Her father had been born in Ireland–County Cork or County Limerick, depending on what version of his family history that you choose.  Her mother died when she was 5 years old, so her grandmother, Abigail (Judd) Brown-Bangs-Dean had lived with them to care for the younger children.  During her teenage years, she, along with most of the family moved to Manchester, New Hampshire to find better work opportunities. Continue reading

Cow Hampshire: Celebrating my 10th Year Blogging Birthday

Happy 10th Birthday Cow Hampshire.  My first post on this blog was made on March 16, 2006.

Bright flowers against a Canterbury NH fenceOn that date I posted this photograph, taken by my sister Kathi Webster at Shaker Village in Canterbury, New Hampshire.  She had passed away the month before.

Initially I wasn’t sure about the direction of my blog, but within a few days I was already writing about women in my family, and seeking my creative compass.

Thank you Kathi, for inspiring me to write, to blog, to look at the world from a woman’s perspective, to focus on our collective memories and important stories.  As long as we remember, as long as we share–we will show our children that women were, and are, essential to history. We are forever sisters.

Janice Webster Brown

Editor’s Note: I was a bit conflicted on whether to celebrate my blog “Birthday” vs “Anniversary.”  There has been a great deal written about when to use each of these terms.  Was my first blog post a birth, or an event/occasion.  Deciding that Cow Hampshire is less an event, and more an entity to me, I’ve selected to celebrate the day as a  birthday.