Category Archives: Genealogy

For posts about genealogical pursuits.

Constant Bliss Ambush

Gray, rainy, spring morning. Woodstove idle. Cool indoors. Still writing in my comfy winter kitchen nook. I’m thinking about colonial New England soldier Constant Bliss, who, by chance, popped into view during recent local-history meanderings. What a name, huh? Constant Bliss. Something to stive for. Perpetual joy. Very un-Puritanical. Born to Reverend John and Anna […]

G.W. Mark Rests in Secret Peace

Friday morning, raw and rainy, January fading away, and I’m pondering George Washington Mark… again. You may recall that I wrote about this famous Greenfield folk artist in recent weeks after finding his painting of a storied hound that was once the sporting pet of blacksmith and tavernkeeper Henry A. Ewers (1806-1867), a previous owner […]

George Washington Mark Treasure Surfaces

Greenfield tradesman and folk artist George Washington Mark was well-known about town and in surrounding communities as an eccentric house, sign, furniture, carriage, and sleigh painter, not to mention a flamboyant downtown character, between 1817 and 1879, when he died in his 84th year. Born in 1795 in Charlestown, New Hampshire, Mark was said to […]

Lake George Oozes WMass Links

Midweek, early evening, front-yard burning bushes displaying a light, peaceful autumn crimson that’s brightening by the day. My wife Joey is watching local news in the west parlor when she hears the familiar audible alert for an incoming text. It’s longtime friend Debbie, from Cohasset. Debbie wonders if we’d like to join her for the […]

Fourth-Grade Photo Stirs Childhood Memories

A 60-year-old photo posted recently on Facebook by a former classmate really got my wheels spinning. Shot on the final day of school in June 1963, the black-and-white image appeared on Deerfield Now. It showed my fourth-grade class standing on the front granite stairs leading into the two-story, brick South Deerfield Elementary School that then […]

Kids’ Stuff: South Deerfield Memories

Looking for a hook to hang my hat on, so to speak, spun me into reminiscence leading up to my May 7 “Deerfield 350th Founders’ Day” talk. The topic was the earliest settlement of Bloody Brook, or Muddy Brook – names that were interchangeable between the 1750s and 1840s for a village now called South […]

Hawks Tavern at North Mill River

I have in recent years often wondered: Why is so little known about the old Hawks Tavern in South Deerfield’s North Mill River District? Now, after finding two previously unidentified shots of the building among a collection of digitized Howes Brothers photos in friend Peter Thomas’ Deerfield’s 350th archive, the question looms even larger. The […]

Hinsdale Houses Tell a Story

Seeking brief respite from a tangled maze of early South Deerfield deeds, I scheduled a short trip to the Granite State last week. There, on a summerlike spring morning, we found warm, welcoming guide Sharron Holmes Smith awaiting our visit at the historic Col. Ebenezer Hinsdale House in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Friend and neighbor Richard […]

The Monument Church Question Lingers

I finally bought and read a biography of John Brown (1800-1859) which has been on my radar for a few years. Why the delay? Not due to a shortage of biographies about the radical Connecticut-born abolitionist who attacked the Harpers Ferry, Virginia armory and was hanged for insurrection leading up to the Civil War. In […]

A Friend’s Passing

The day before Valentine’s Day was funeral day for old friend Michael Pasiecnik. The evening service was held in my native town, hosted by a mortician I have known for years. Michael grew up a couple of miles down the road in East Whately, where his family farmed rich river meadows first tilled by Indigenous […]

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