Posts Tagged ‘family

21
May
17

Part Two – Ancestor Appreciation Day

Two posts ago, I wrote about one of my ancestors who completed a great feat, at the time. He was the first to take a wheeled vehicle from the Kennebec River to the Penobscot River (Skowhegan to Bangor).

I do not know if this was a 2 wheeled or 4 wheeled vehicle, but it did cause a stir among settlers as he passed by small settlements in the 1800’s, according to reports. It certainly must have been horse or oxen drawn.

I wish there was more documentation – was he alone? what was he transporting? how long did it take (about 50 miles)? what time of year did this take place?

So, today, I had the opportunity to drive this route myself (in my 4 wheeled car! and in the opposite direction). I just wanted to drive the drive and imagine what it must have been like in the early 1800’s.

20170521_104325-e1495410840150.jpg

Most of the area is now farm country so it is nice open fields, but at the time it would have been all wooded (as above), and as I mentioned in my original post, must have certainly needed some trailblazing!

I passed by a few lakes, bridged several rivers and went up and down countless hills! All I could think of was the poor horse(s) or ox(en) that had to work so hard. The modern road is a nice, wide 2 lane highway in very good shape and was a pleasure to drive.

Caleb Shaw must have had good reason to go to all that trouble, or maybe he was just up to a challenge! Some of my Shaw ancestors certainly have been the type to make their own way.

History is wonderful, haunted or not, but always leaves us wishing for more…

09
Oct
16

A Recent Ghost Story

An interesting story I heard a few weeks ago from a friend —
My friend has a little 3 year old granddaughter who often talks about a woman we’ll call Emily. The little granddaughter’s aunt is named Emily, so that’s who the family thought she was talking about…. until one day she also started talking about Emily’s dog, Nikki.
Her Aunt Emily does not have a dog, but her deceased great grandmother, also named Emily, did have a dog named Nikki! The family started questioning her – she had never known her great grandmother and they weren’t even sure that she’d heard anyone ever talk about her by her first name.
She described both Emily and Nikki in a way which left no doubt that she was talking about her great grandmother and her terrier! My friend also noticed that every time her granddaughter visited her home, she was drawn to things that had belonged to her great grandmother, Emily, without any knowledge that they had belonged to her or that she’d made them – such as a favorite quilt, jewelry, crafts.
Once at dinner, she commented that they needed to be sure to save a place for Emily! Also, she cautioned her grandfather that he was about to kick Nikki off the bed – he had to watch where he put his feet!
The real telling incident was when the little girl was reciting a poem, “I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me.” My friend told her son how nice it was that he had taught her that since his grandmother (Emily) had always recited it to him when he was little.
He replied that he had never told his daughter that poem and didn’t know where she had learned it!
I asked my friend if she ever asked her granddaughter to give a message to Emily and she said yes. Once she had told the little girl to tell Emily that she loved her and missed her – – the little girl quickly and easily responded, “Oh, she knows.”!
Do you have a similar story to share?
27
Sep
16

Ancestor Appreciation Day

Today is Ancestor Appreciation Day – I’d like to appreciate my 4th great grandfather, Caleb Shaw.

During our Haunted History tours people often ask if I’m from Maine – I have to answer no, but I often can elaborate. I do have roots here in Maine, though I was not born here. To many, that means I’m “from away.”

On my father’s side, both his paternal and maternal ancestors were from Maine. He did not know this until just a few years before he passed and unfortunately was never able to visit any ancestral properties or gravesites. I know he would have loved to be able to do this, but I have been able to at least show some of his family members a home, a home town and a gravesite.

 Caleb Shaw is the ancestor who I’ve chosen to write about today. He was from New Hampshire originally, but came to Maine in 1801. He died in 1849 at age 80!

 He, with his wife Betsy, is buried in Newport, Maine, though they lived in nearby Palmyra. His gravestone says “Who first traveled with a wheeled vehicle from the Kennebec River to the Penobscot River.”

 caleb-shaw-headstone

 

I have not been able to find out a lot about this effort, though it is noted in several publications, one mentioning that “it was a great curiosity, upon which the people along the route looked with wonder.”

I do know that there were not many roads in those days. Most people traveled by river and/or Native American trails. These trails were certainly not wide enough for a wheeled vehicle, so some “trail blazing” certainly had to take place! I can only guess that it might be about where Route 2 is now, from Skowhegan to Bangor, over 50 miles.

I’m proud that one of my ancestors played an important part in the settlement of Maine. Caleb and Betsy had 13 children, many of whom have played their own parts in Maine’s history, as well as their descendants.

The other half of the family is one that I have not had luck with – the Locke’s from Maine who migrated to Kentucky in 1801. I will persevere, though, in my research!

Genealogy can be challenging, but it can also be very exciting and fulfilling!