Barking Up the Family Tree Again: How Pets Humanize Our Genealogy

1920s unknown with dog aunt mertiesIt is easy to view our more recent ancestors, our parents and grandparents, in a humanistic light. Many times we knew them personally, we remember them from a first-person experience. We know how they looked, sounded, felt, reacted. Based on what we see (or remember) we mentally categorize them–as kind or grumpy, loving or vile, and all sorts of descriptive terms in between.

For the family genealogist, once we research beyond known ancestors, there is the tendency to feel dis-attached from them. It is natural for this to happen. Unless someone spoke frequently about them, shared stories or photographs, and helped us to emotionally connect with them, they feel unreal to us. Frequently these relatives are “just a name” that evokes no strong sentiment. Continue reading

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The Depressing End to the Life of W. Lebanon New Hampshire’s Express Clerk, Edward Payson Craft (1848-1882)

Edward Payson Craft

Edward Payson Craft

Edward Payson Craft’s story is a convoluted one. I purchased his photograph on one of the popular online auction websites. The seller’s ad stated:

Here’s a great gem tintype (about the size of a postage stamp) of a young man named Edward P. Craft who resembled actor Johnny Depp. Online databases indicate he was born about 1848 and was a son of Samuel and Joanna E. Craft. He died in St. Albans, Vermont on April 27, 1882 and is buried in the West Lebanon Cemetery in West Lebanon, Grafton County, New Hampshire. The photo probably dates to the early 1870’s and the image is very clear. See scan.

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The Lost Faces of World War One — Part Ten

This is the continuation of a series of stories about men who died in World War 1, and whose photographs appeared in a publication called “Our Nation’s Roll of Honor.” The original post and explanation can be found at this link.  There will also be a complete listing of all the names researched at that same blog post.

LOST FACES OF WORLD WAR ONE: Our Nation’s Roll of Honor — Part Ten


HINCKLEY Henry Peckville PAPrivate Henry O. Hinckley
Peckville,  PA
Killed in Action

Henry O. Hinckley was born abt 1892 in Dickson City PA, son of William & Celia (Higgins) Hinckley.   He had a sister, Viola H. (Hinckley) Randall [Mrs. Burt L.] who applied for his tombstone in 1928. Continue reading

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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

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New Hampshire Glossary: Gundalow

Silhouette of Merrimack Gundalow; From "Shipping & craft in silhouette; drawing and text by Charles G. Davis, 1929, page 57, Hathi Trust

Silhouette of a Merrimack Gundalow; From “Shipping & craft in silhouette; drawing and text,” by Charles G. Davis, 1929, page 57; located at Hathi Trust.

A Gundalow is a small boat, “a shallow drafted type of cargo barge,” built to be used on rivers and estuaries in the early days of New Hampshire and Maine history.  There are records showing they were also used on the Merrimack River.   A gundalow can be found on the town seals of both Durham and Newington, New Hampshire.

Built to be rowed up the Merrimack River, sometimes with cotton or other supplies for the mills, but generally loaded with salt hay, these shallow gundalows were later fitted with a short mast, low enough to go under Plum Island river bridge, and rigged with a single lateen sail, whose yard was weighted with iron at the lower end to counterbalance the sail and make it easy to hoist. 1866.–“When favoring breezes deigned to blow the square sail of the gundelow.” — Whittier, Snow-bound  [From: From “Shipping & craft in silhouette; drawing and text by Charles G. Davis, 1929, page 57, Hathi Trust]

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