A genealogy rabbit trail that was fun to go down. After dinner tonight (lobster roll, mmmm good) we took a quick trip up to Bradford, Maine where my genealogy records had some history of the Blake family. Our plan was to just get a picture of the sign for the city (which was hard to find as there is really not a city to speak of) and as we drove past the one intersection in the town we came to the “Corner Cemetery”. So we stopped to look at the headstones to see what we could see.
We did not find any Blakes, but we did find one headstone with the inscription of “Mary wife of James Speed”. Those names definitely rang a bell, so I took a few pictures and I checked out what I had on those names. It turns out that this Mary is my 4th great grandmother. First, the headstone.
The death date matches exactly with the death date in my records. I also had her birth date as November 19th, 1799 which agrees exactly with the information on the headstone with her age as 81 yrs. 11 mos. & 8 ds. This headstone is probably the source of the information as I did not have a good source for this date, just information from some other persons tree.
Her headstone was way in the back of the cemetery with none others nearby.
From Ancestry I was also able to get pictures of Mary and her husband James Speed, which I show below.
The family connection is as follows:
James Speed (b. 1803, d. 1892) and Mary Elizabeth Reeves (b. 1799, d. 1881) (married 6 Feb. 1823 in Bradford, Penobscot County, Maine, USA) Parents of: 3rd Gr. Grandmother – Harriet (Hattie) Speed (b. 1828, d. 1897) Hattie married Alonzo Blake (b. 1835, d. 1902) in 1855 in Bradford. Parents of: 2nd Gr. Grandfather – Wesley A. Blake (b. 1856, d. 1885) Wesley married Kate (Catherine) Jean O’Melia (b. 1859, d. 1911) Parents of: Gr. Grandmother – Nora O’Melia Blake (b. 1883, d. 1979) Nora married Hudson Dexter Mead (b. 1868, d. 1950) Parents of Hudson Dexter Mead II (m. Mary Esther Magill) Parents of Gloria Jane Mead (m. Frank Davenport II)
And voila, the parents of me. Do you see the resemblance?
Day 3 we spent driving through the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.
We stopped at a lot of sites and even did about a mile or so stretch of the Appalachian Trail near Hanover. The pictures below are from the trail. Another couple thousand miles and we could have done the whole thing.
Spent the night in North Conway, New Hampshire. On day 4 we went to Mount Washington (the highest peak on the east coast) and rode the Cog Railway train to the top.
The view at the top was spectacular. The Appalachian Trail actually goes to the top of the mountain on it’s way to Maine.
After the trip to Mount Washington we made our way to Maine where we will spend day 5,6 and 7. But before Maine I present a sample of our selfie’s along the way.
Our first anniversary celebration trip is underway. We will be checking off six more states on our quest to stay in all 50 states. The first two days was a lot of driving to get to Vermont via New York. We did stop at Niagara Falls for a bit and stayed overnight in Rochester New York.
Day two was still mainly in New York traveling through the Adirondack Mountains, eventually staying overnight in White River Junction in Vermont. Finally took a good selfie by the Sacandaga River along highway 8 in New York.
A little before getting to Vermont we needed a quick stop to attend to the call of nature. Mary decided to take a picture of my meditation time.
I think I just discovered that my great grandfather Louis Thomas and great grandmother May (Fultz) Thomas were the inspiration for the painting “American Gothic”. The painting was done in 1930 and the picture shown below of my great grandparents was taken in 1942. I guess I will let you be the judge. Now I know that the painting was done in Iowa, and supposedly the woman is the daughter in the picture even though we normally assume she is his wife. But maybe the artist took a vacation to Halifax Nova Scotia and was inspired there, took a picture of my grandparents, and then did the painting back in Iowa.
Spent a day visiting a couple places in Michigan’s thumb that I had never visited before. We spent a few hours at the Octagon Barn (https://www.thumboctagonbarn.org/) just outside of Gagetown. Did not take any pictures there but the website can fill you in.
Then we traveled about another ten miles and spent some time at the Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park. Just a small place with about a 2 mile hiking trail and the site of Michigan’s only known native American Indian rock carvings. You can visit the DNR website here for information on this state park: http://www.michigandnr.com/ParksandTrails/Details.aspx?id=490&type=SPRK
The website has the better pictures, but here are a few I took along our walk: