Archive for February, 2010

March is Genealogy Month at Memorial Hall Library

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

The Memorial Hall Library in Andover is holding  a lock in and a series of speakers on different topics related to genealogy.

Friday night, March 5, 2010     Lock-in, this is when you and the Librarians are locked in the Library and you have full use of the Library and the Librarians time.  A light dinner will be served.  Call 978-623-8401, ext 49 to register.  $10.00 fee.  Space is limited.

Tuesday, March 9, 7 PM       Researching Civil War Genealogy

Learn how to research Civil War soldiers in resources in MA, online, and the National Archives.  The speaker is Dennis Ahern, a history and genealogy lecturer and trustee of the Acton Memorial Library.

Tuesday, March 16, 7 PM       Preserving your Family Records, Documents, and Photographs

“Stuart Walker, Boston Public Library’s Book Conservator, will discuss storage, repair, and preservation issues for books, papers, scrapbooks, and photos.  He will demonstrate some dos and don’ts for preservation and repair for family records and keepsakes.”

Tuesday, March 30, 7 PM       Diaries and Journals

Learn how to find and use letters, journals and diaries for your genealogy research.  Laura Prescott will share how observation written by our ancestors can add personal dimension to the names, dates, and places in your research.

This should be a good month of interesting topics.  I will see you there.


The day in the Life of a Teenager #11

Friday, February 26th, 2010

March 1866 – Abby Locke’s Diary continues

The first entry is for March  13

Tues.     Went up in the afternoon to see the Gymnastics.  They were very good.  Mr. Bates came up with Mother and afterwards we went to ride.  Took in Mattie Whitmarsh, Wallie Tucker, Mary Morton and Lizzie Tarleton.  Had a splendid time.   In the evening, Louise, Clara and I went downtown to Mrs. Marland’s.   Mr. Sands was there and Mr. Frye.  We played signals and had a very pleasant evening.  Mr. Frye came home with us. 

One flag carried by the Fenians in 1866

Sat.    Uncle Joseph came and stayed over one train.  Mrs. Kimball called this morning.  St. Patrick’s Day.  Very cold.  Went to Lawrence to get our aprons braided.  Saw the Lawrence and Lowell Fenians and the Fenian Sisterhood.  They looked very pretty with green cloaks and white hats trimmed with green and ribbons of the same color.  There was one in the center with a wreath of flowers on her head holding a harp trimmed with flowers.  She looked almost frozen.  The men had red, white and blue bows on their green scarves.  The streets were lined with people, mostly mill hands.  I suppose for blarney they think we will help them if they fight with England.   

  The Fenian Brotherhood was a society of Irish immigrants and Irish-Americans having for their aim the violent overthrow of English rule in Ireland.  Their numbers swelled in the years immediately following the Civil War, as thousands of Irish veterans returned, armed and trained in military tactics, to homes in the Northern mill cities.  A local branch of the organization, called a “circle” was organized in Ballardvale,  but it was dwarfed by the Lawrence contingent, which publicly paraded 375 members on several occasions in 1865, and owned a “Fenian Hall” in Lawrence’s  predominantly Irish neighborhood called “the Plains.”  The national group had begun to break into several distinct factions by March 1866, and the Fenians in Lawrence were supporters of a plan to attack Canada and gain control of strategic locations along inland waterways in order to wrest concessions from the British government .  The Fenians of Lawrence raised $7000 between St. Patrick’s Day  and Easter Monday of 1866 to support this plan, and cheered volunteers who boarded a train in Lawrence to join the 800 troops massing in Buffalo, NY.  The attack was launched on June 1, 1866 and had some initial success – driving back Canadian militia men at the Battle of Ridgeway —  but was ultimately a failure as the British regulars came quickly in reinforcement.  

a (not-completely accurate) illustration of the Battle of Ridgeway, June 2, 1866

The St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1866 was organized by the Lawrence Irish Benevolent Society , a considerably less controversial group, although there was a great deal of overlap in their membership and most people (like Abby) tended to lump them all together.  The girls Abby describes as the “sisterhood,” were thirty two young ladies seated on the rostrum “with green dresses, black sacks, green ribbons, round straw hats trimmed with green and green veils”, representing the thirty-two counties of Ireland.  Queening over them was Miss B.J. O’Connor, representing “The Maid of Erin,” attired also in green with a “harp beautifully decorated with flowers and evergreens.”  Abby further notes the red, white and blue trimmings worn by the marchers, a detail that would have pleased the Fenian leadership who took pains to demonstrate that their devotion to Irish independence would not conflict with loyalty to the United States.  Irish and American flags were always carried together in their demonstrations.  Edward Devlin, the Benevolent Society’s president, remarked as part of his address to the crowd “the warm hearted and generous people of this country and the framers of their institutions and laws are entitled to the everlasting gratitude of the Irish people, who will yet fulfill their destiny and become more American than the Americans themselves.”


AVIS Annual Meeting – March 10

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
AVIS Annual Dinner Guests to hear about the abundance of Deer in Eastern Massachusetts
March 10, 2010
North Andover Country Club
6:00 Social Hour
7:00 Dinner
8:15 Business meeting with speaker
The Andover Village Improvement Society (AVIS) will hold its Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at the North Andover Country Club, 500 Great Pond Road, North Andover, MA. In addition to socializing and hearing about AVIS activities over the past year attendees will have an opportunity to hear about the issues relating to an over abundance of deer in Eastern Massachusetts, particularly in suburban areas.
AVIS has heard from many residents of Andover who are concerned about the increased number of deer in town. Residents are concerned that too many deer are eating plants in backyards; that there are more car-to-deer accidents on roadways; and that more cases of Lyme Disease could result from the increasing number of ticks that come with the deer. Guests at the AVIS meeting will be able to hear from Sonja Christensen, Deer/Moose Project Leader for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. A social hour at 6:00 pm will be followed by dinner at 7:00 pm. A short business meeting and the speaker’s presentation will start at approximately 8:15 pm. Tickets for the dinner can be obtained by contacting Libby Poland at (978) 475-6159. Guests may attend the meeting and presentation for free. (more…)

Tickets now available for 2010 Appraisal Event

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The Historical Society is now accepting ticket orders for the March 19th appraisal event: What’s It Worth?” The event will begin at 7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6 Locke Street, Andover. Attendees will be treated to an entertaining evening with appraiser Stuart Whitehurst of Skinner’s, who is also well known from the PBS hit show, Antiques Roadshow. The open format appraisal event has become increasingly popular, as appraisers have found that guests are just as curious about their neighbor’s objects as they are about their own.

Reservation Options

Ticket prices are $15 for Society members and $20 for non-members. To reserve your tickets, order online or call the Society office at 978.475.2236

Please note: Coins, stamps, jewelry and musical instruments will not be appraised at this event.


The day in the life of a teenager #10

Friday, February 19th, 2010

March 1866 – Abby Locke’s Diary continues

The first entry is for  March 1

Stereoscopic photo of the Lawrence County Jail, courtesy of the Lawrence Public Library

Wed.  Went to Lawrence in the afternoon to get Louise a dress and called on Mrs. Paine and Lucy at the Jail.  Had a very pleasant call.  

Thurs.   No school today for it is “Prayer for colleges and schools.”  I have not been out all day. 

Sun.       Went to church in the morning.  Bates came up in the afternoon and stayed to tea.

Mon.     usual routine

Tues.     went to school all day and Louise and I went down to see Hattie Baker and Phebe.  Hattie Baker has become a Christian and she is so happy.  She is in hopes of doing good at home in her family for there is not a Christian in it.  Came home about nine having spent a very pleasant evening

Mon.     went to school.  This is our examination day.  I was examined in Arithmetic and Mythology. 



Genealogy on TV-Channel 7 Friday Nights

Saturday, February 13th, 2010 and NBC have joined forces and will present a television show called Who Do You Think You Are?  It will air on Friday night, March 5th at 8 PM. for 7 shows.

“Share a heart warming journey through family history with Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmitt Smith, Lisa Kudrow, Mathew Broderick, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon and Spike Lee as they uncover the stories of their ancestors.  Who Do You Think You Are? also shares ideas and research strategies that can help you make new breakthrough–and help people everywhere understand what they discover about their own family stories.”

It sounds like an interesting show.  It will be especially interesting to see what each of the celebrates discover about their ancestors.   Enjoy.


Memorial Hall Library, Andover, Genealogy Month

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

The Memorial Hall Library, Andover, genealogy month is March.  They have a lock-in on Friday, March 5th at 5:30 PM.  A lock-in is were the only people in the locked Library are the genealogists and Librarians.  You have the use of the computers, micro film, books and  help from the Librarians.   Supper is served.  This is a great time to look up information that you have not had time or need help in doing so.  Do take advantage of this.   Memorial Hall Library is one of the better libraries equipped to work with Genealogist and Family Historians.  

You will need to make reservations for space is limited.  There is a fee which covers supper and Librarian’s time.   Call Emily Classon to make reservations and for further information.

On Tuesday, March 9th, 16th, and 30th, there will be speakers.  You will need to log into the Library’s web site next month to see who the speakers are. The speakers are generally well known in the field.  The web site is and click on calendar of events.

See you there.


The day in the life of a teenager in 1866 – #9

Friday, February 12th, 2010

February 1866 – Abby Locke’s Diary continues

The first entry is for February 21. 


illustration from Rev. George Trask's "Thoughts and Stories on Tobacco for American Lads, 1852

Wed.   Frye came up in the evening and he and Father both agree “to commence to leave off smoking the first of March and the one that smoked first has to give me five dollars.” 

Fri.      Did not go to school in the afternoon.  We had Saturday exercises today and they will call tomorrow Friday

Sun.    Went to church in the morning.  Text  Jer  48:11-12 Mr. Frye and Bates came up in the afternoon.  Frye stayed to tea. 

Fri.      warm but cloudy.  Stayed at noon without any dinner.  Miss McKeen told us that many had been converted over to the house the day before and he has hopes that all the school will be Christian before the end of the term. 

Sat.     School.  Went over Phillips Academy with Edie and J. Grant, was not introduced to him.  He is a silly goose.  I think they have some very fine statues, engravings and etc.  W. Frye came up in the evening.  Father has smoked and refused now to give me the V.  Perhaps he will do so some other time. 



The day in the life of a teenager in 1866

Friday, February 5th, 2010

February 1866 – Abby Locke’s Diary Continues

The first entry is for February 16

Mon. Very disagreeable wet day.  Went to school all day and came home at night with a very bad headache.  Went to bed.  Found Florence sick with headache and Mother too.  Louise made some molasses candy.

Tues. Very bright and beautiful.  Such a contrast to yesterday and the roads are dry and nice.  It rained very hard in the night.  Mother is no better.  Went to dancing school in the afternoon.  Danced twice with Oliver Perry “Ole Splendid”  After that on the spur of the moment went to Lawrence with Edith.  Had a real nice time.

Sat. Quite rainy.  Mother is a little better.  Sat up a little while.  Bought a box of figs for Mother and found that she had a bag and so took them for my room.

Tues. Snowy almost always this winter.  It snows and spoils the skating almost as soon as we have any.  School all day and to a little prayer meeting after school

German composer Felix Mendelsson (1809-1847) was very popular in the post-Civil War United States

Fri. Warm and cloudy.  I went to the second Mendelsohn  (sic) Concert with Louise.  Sat on the seat with Tartletons, Mary Morton, Smith and the seat behind was full of boys!  I had a splendid time.  Chamberlain sat next to me.  Gave me his program.  I went up with Edith after school and ate an apple.  After that she came up in my room and ate figs then vinegar candy.  Made ourselves nearly sick.