pagerd: (genealogy)
I used up all my good karma yesterday. The morning started out with a thunderstorm and it rained off and on all day. Still hot, too.

I was going to take the local bus into the airport to catch the express, but it passed me. I walked back and caught the hotel shuttle instead. It rained while the bus was driving to Providence, but it was only a few drops by the time we got there. Two blocks before I got to the historical society library, the sky opened up. I was soaked. The library is well-air-conditioned to keep the documents safe so they advise everybody to bring a sweater. Mine got wet so I hung it up to dry while the rest of me was also drying.

I avoided anything paper and looked through newspaper fiche. The early 1900s Providence Journal wasn't gossipy enough to have the kinds of things I was hoping for and the one issue of a Johnston paper they had was of a socialist tract from 1898 called the Beacon. No luck.

After a few hours I was dry enough and cold enough to grab my sweater. I looked through the cemetery database for information the internet-published version doesn't have. There were a few nuggets of data, but none in the direct line.

Then I browsed through the published (both professional and amateur) family genealogies. I didn't find a Fenner match, but I did find a source for Harlan's wife's, Emma Randall, mom's last name. Then I checked in the death index, because it was an online death record that originally got me her first name, and got a different last name for the same person. And then it was closing time. I'm worse off than when I started.

I also looked through the Warwick city directories to find a listing for William, Margaret & family. No luck. (Hm.. maybe check for Margaret's parents, they were living next door in the 1900 census)

I'm going back tomorrow. I found out in the last few minutes that, even though they disallow portable scanners, they now have a camera day-pass for society members and I joined before I came.

I just checked the weather. It's supposed to be dry tomorrow, but check out what's hitting me now:

Goals for tomorrow:
Photograph the pages of the Randall book I'm interested in.
Compare the photo requests for Pocasset Cemetery to the database to find lot numbers so I can take pictures of the stones near our family plot.
The death index for Marcena Randall nee ?(Groton/Goodman) is a tertiary source, try to locate at least the secondary source to hopefully clarify.
See if there are Johnston city directories for Harlan & Simeon.
See if the 1926 paper microfiche has a clearer version of Harlan's obit.
Whatever occurs to me.
pagerd: (genealogy)
This is the house my grandfather's grandfather, Harlan, was born in.

When they built the new grammar school in the seventies, one of the proposed uses for the land that the old school was built on was a park. The park never happened; most of the building was torn down and the remnants are being used for the Gloucester Light Infantry storage. The land was originally donated by Harlan's father.

I met the woman who drew up the poster. Edna Kent is the town historian. She let me stash my stuff at her house while I hiked up the hill to take pictures.

The adults of the family that live in the house weren't home, but I talked to the daughter as she was leaving. She mentioned her grandmother, who was at home in her house next door, used to live there. I knocked, introduced myself, and asked if it was okay to take pictures of all sides of the house. She agreed and I got started. She came out to talk to me after I took one or two pictures. She told me they didn't stop calling it Page Hill until she was a little girl. Harlan's mom sold the land after the death of her husband around 1850. A Page hasn't lived there in one hundred and sixty years. I would have talked to her longer (I wish I had a tape recorder with me), but I had to catch the last bus back to Providence.

It was .61 miles one way from Edna's house on Dorr Drive according to The farm was called "Page Hill" and the house was at the top. I just googled a topographical map. Remember, the closer the lines, the steeper the hill. Page Hill is the second dot to the left of the "S" in Spring.

Edna also looked in her files after meeting me earlier in the day. (I did the trek up the hill after Town Hall closed.) She found a "provenance" of the house the current owners had done in her files. I'm returning to Chepachet (pronounced "Cha-PATCH-it") on Monday to get copies (she doesn't have a scanner, and I didn't have the wand scanner with me, so we're meeting at the library (which was closed today). She doesn't have email or a scanner of her own.

I had a REALLY good day. (Oh, I also found the probate records for Harlan's dad's death; he died intestate, so the heirs went to probate court more than usual. I have 13 pages of 1842 handwriting to decipher.)

December 2015



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