Coombs changes

I had to make a small change to the Coombs page and remove the wife of Richard Coombs, Jr. I had read on a private family tree website that her name was Lavinia Smith. This seemed plausible to me because my grandmother had mentioned the name Lavinia but she wasn’t completely sure of how it fit in. So given my years of fruitless searching for Richard Jr’s wife, I went with it.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, depending on your outlook, people on Ancestry.com have been showing the same Lavinia Smith married to a Henry Badcock in Spaniards Bay. I no longer have access to the private website where I got her name, so I can’t check back there. I searched a ton of parish records on NF Gen Web and found supporting evidence for the Badcock marriage, so I am deleting her from my tree. (Yes, I considered whether they could have been the same woman with two husbands but the dates don’t work.)

And wouldn’t it have been great if the people on Ancestry.com had included a mention of those parish records? But of course not.

The Coombs page is the most popular page on this site, so if anyone was relying on it, take note of the change.

That’ll teach me to believe undocumented trees on the internet!

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: #4 Home

I missed a few weeks of these due to the start of the new semester.

The house I grew up in was a third-floor apartment in a typical Boston style triple-decker. It was a long hallway with the parlor at one end and the kitchen and dining room at the other, with bedrooms off both sides of the long hallway. It was very noisy because you could hear what everyone else was doing, and it was near the airport so jets roared overhead all day long. I got pretty good at tuning things out.

It was too crowded. When I was small we had a parlor and a dining room and a playroom for all our toys, but as we got older and there were more of us, all the rooms were turned into bedrooms and we just had a kitchen and a dining room/living room as shared space. There was only one bathroom, so it was a challenge for everyone to get ready and get out to work in the morning. Things were always interfering or in the way: someone’s music was drowning out your TV, or someone’s project on the dining room table was interfering with dinner. At one point I was sharing a bedroom with both of my sisters. We each had a single bed and a couple of bureau drawers and a tall industrial-type metal shelf (spraypainted bright colors). All our stuff had to fit in that space if we wanted to keep it.

It was an old building with a neglectful landlord and things were always leaking or breaking. But it was affordable so we stayed and stayed and stayed. I even moved back in there for awhile when I ran out of money during grad school. I love living alone now because it feels so luxurious to have all my space to myself without interference. That probably sounds more antisocial than I really am — I do enjoy having houseguests and visiting other people! But I really love living alone.

tiny update

Made a small change to the early Coombs generations based on what I feel is right given the information that I currently have. Also added a tiny shred of immigration information to the Murphy page.

I joined Footnote.com and so far have found it useful for nailing down elusive military details for my Murphy branch, as well as for having some (but not all!) of the naturalization petitions I need. I find the search process a little cumbersome.

New page: James Deasy’s ledger (10¢ Church, 40¢ beer)

I added a new page to hold the transcription of my great-grand-uncle’s ledger, which contains a Deasy family history and 3 months worth of a combined budget and diary kept in Cambridge in 1892. I can’t vouch for how reliable he is or isn’t, but it’s an interesting snapshot of an immigrant laborer’s days. Mostly work!

A few notes:

theatre poster for The Ivy Leaf

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: #1: New Year’s Memories

I am going to try to keep up with the weekly prompts from Geneabloggers this year. I’ve added the theme badge to the sidebar.

This week’s prompt asks about family New Year’s traditions. I have to say that I don’t really remember any. Christmas was so family intensive that by New Year’s Eve we were more willing to go our own way, out with friends or to parties or whatever. Boston’s First Night was a big draw for some, though I never saw the charm of shivering my way through a freezing city all night. Those of us who stayed home would usually send out for Chinese food and watch movies on TV. We would only switch on the countdown clock in the last few minutes, and then we’d toast one another and either go to bed or finish the movie. It was really not a big deal for us.

I believe that some of my family still practice the ritual of sending out for Chinese food on New Year’s. I am at an age where takeout Chinese food does not agree with me, so I have dropped that tradition.

My grandparents were married on New Year’s Eve, which I think is terribly romantic. But apart from that I have no strong family associations with the holiday. It was always a very makeshift thing with us.

Of course, I hope that my readers had a great First Night however they went about it, and that a wonderful 2011 awaits us all!