Congratulations to Bessie M. Coe (married name Nelson) of New Bedford, MA, who is our 200th Howland-Tilley face thanks to her Nantucket Macy ancestors. Bessie is our 1,213th individual profiled on this website. The image comes with an asterisk because it was from a newspaper reprinting of a 1908 class reunion photo and it relies on the accuracy of the paper to match the right name with the right face. If you are a descendant of Bessie (Coe) and John Nelson and are sure that is NOT your great grandmother Nelson, please let me know. In the meantime, congratulations to the Howland-Tilleys.
This just out today. It's a single stamp, with colorful new artwork depicting the "desolate beauty" of the ship's arrival in 1620. Click here to see the official picture and statement. Thank you to everyone who wrote to the U.S. Postal Service, requesting they issue a commemorative stamp.
The Millyard Museum in Manchester, NH holds a good reminder of why it pays to investigate your ancestor's life outside of being born, marrying, dying, and giving birth. On display is a large poster with photographs of 13 members of the Amoskeag Textile Club who took part in an amateur dramatic production. Each person's full name is given (the "Miss" indicating single marital status for the 5 females) and the role he or she played in the club's production of "Ermine." None are depicted in costume and makeup. All were in ordinary clothing with their faces unhidden by a mask, prop, or other character. If you are interviewing elderly relatives about their memories of parents, grandparents, great aunts or uncles, ask them about hobbies. There may be an old handbill or advertisement featuring the star of YOUR show.
photo © Maura Mackowski, 2019.
Or is it "My Lady"? I've never been royalty before. Thanks to Highland Titles, wholly owned by Highland Titles Charitable Trust for Scotland, however, I am now officially Lady Maura of Glencoe. Actually, one of my sisters is also now a Lady of Glencoe and one of my brothers is a Lord of Glencoe, and according to the Highland Titles web site, we have "over 200,000" companions in lady/lord/lairdshipness. It is all for a good cause; the preservation of highland wilderness, flora, and fauna, including my favorite, the endangered Scottish wildcat. (This is a real animal, honest, we saw one stuffed at the museum in Glencoe.) For about $45 you can be a laird, lord, or lady or give titled status to the Scotland enthusiast in your life. This is especially meaningful if you have ancestors from the areas where the organization has a nature reserve or to which you have traveled personally. Highland Titles currently sells plots of land in the Glencoe Wood Nature Reserve (a beautiful area) and the Mountain View Nature Reserve (where they help the Scottish wildcat and bumblebees. Title holders there are Lords/Lairds/Ladies of Lochaber.) You can buy plots ranging from one square foot to 1,000 square feet. The finer points of all this, like having a tartan (see the Glencoe tartan below), how royal you really are (not), and bequeathing your land to an heir (yes, you can do that) are explained on the web site.
photos © Maura Mackowski, 2019
These two stone markers, one commemorating Capt. John Gallup and the other 40 men buried in a single grave, are at Smith's Castle in North Kingstown, RI, toured with a group of New England genealogical societies yesterday. Three soldiers in my family died during King Philip's War but not in the December 1675 Great Swamp Fight, which the two markers commemorate. Smith's Castle was rebuilt in 1678, the first structure (a house + trading post) having been destroyed in the war. The tour is definitely worth your time, as the docents share a lot of detail, plus the most recent restoration (the home was lived in by private families until the mid-1900s) left some of the 17th century construction techniques visible. If you just like pastoral scenery, the view out front is beautiful as well.
Your tour of the Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark in Pawtucket, RI begins at this floor map, which is gigantic. Just beneath the word "Cumberland" at the top, to the right of the Blackstone River, you will see the word "Ashton," next to a picture representing a mill in that Rhode Island town. On the Doty, Cooke, Alden-Mullins, Brewster, and Warren pages you can see two Mayflower Faces that worked at a cotton spinning mill there in 1880, the two L. Giffords. One of them was also a Rogers descendant. Check this site out in person next time you are in Rhode Island. It is not part of the National Park Service so relies on visitors like me and you. (This was a tour organized by The Order of the First Families of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. If you are over 18 and had an ancestor in Rhode Island by 1 January 1647/48 you are invited to apply.)
Pardon the glare in my photo, but while researching at the New Bedford Whaling Museum Library last week I spotted this bicentennial birthday tribute to the city's adopted son, Frederick Douglass. The text inside the cabinet (which you can read by clicking on the second link in the previous sentence) mentioned how closely he worked with abolitionist publisher William Lloyd Garrison of The Liberator, but did not mention that Douglass started his own newspaper, The North Star. The Portland, Maine abolitionist publisher ancestor in my October 2, 2019 post, below, D. C. Colesworthy, corresponded regularly with Garrison but I do not know if he knew Douglass, who moved to Rochester, NY. The exhibit also did not mention that after the death of his first wife, Anna (Murray) Douglass, Frederick married Helen Pitts, an Alden-Mullins, Rogers, and Warren descendant. You can see Helen's picture, and that of her sister Eva Pitts, right here on MayflowerFaces.com, in the sections for descendants of those pilgrims. (Frederick and Helen had no children together.) Happy birthday, Frederick, and thank you for everything you did for America.
Photo © Maura Mackowski, 2019
photo © Maura Mackowski 2019
An African American genealogist colleague pointed out a few years back that people researching non-Black ancestors should consider joining an African American family history society or using their resources. As he said, they do "FAMILY history," not just "black families' histories." Above is a photo of a building I found a while back on the Portland Freedom Trail Self-Guided Walking Tour Map. One of my colonial Boston DAR families moved to Maine in the early 1800s and had 3 children. Two sons became printers and publishers. One, D.C. Colesworthy, was also a writer, poet, active abolitionist, and in old age my great-grandmother's pen pal. To the far right you can see the basement entrance to his print shop, where in 1836 D.C. (then age 25-26) printed Light and Truth from Ancient and Sacred History, by Robert Benjamin Lewis, said to be "the first Afro-centric history of the world." Per his wikipedia page, Lewis was half Native American but on his mother's side the grandson of a man kidnapped as a boy (c. 1740) from Africa and still angry decades later, perhaps providing some of the stories for his grandson's book or at least the motivation to write it. The book was updated and reprinted several times over the next 140 years. Visiting the Mariners' Church - where the basement print shop had long since become a pub - didn't contain Colesworthy genealogical data, but it was satisfying to walk around that part of town where he and his siblings, parents, grandmother, uncle, etc. lived and worked and to know that he made a meaningful contribution to a cause that mattered greatly.
Dr. Maura Mackowski is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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