Showing posts with label Follow Friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Follow Friday. Show all posts

Friday, February 7, 2014

Follow Friday: Arnold Genealogy

 I love recommending family genealogy blogs - no matter how basic - just because they may offer you that needed clue.  The blog Arnold Genealogy fits squarely into this category. Right now it is very basic. The main page summarizes the family line, while "Colonial New England" lists the family's famous ancestors. However, it looks like it might turn out as a fantastic read. I love the fact that they've included an anecdote section!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Follow Friday: Connectiuct Yankees at Antietam

  I've been lucky enough to have John Banks, blogger at John Banks' Civil War Blog,  as a guest blogger. Reading John's writing is a treat. He intertwines historical documents to make a compelling narrative. You really feel that you have delved into the experience of a Civil War soldier.
  That sense travels into John's  book, Connecticut Yankees at Antietam. The book is written as a series of profiles. Short snapshots of soldiers in the 8th, 11th, 14th and 16th Connecticut bring the varying experiences of Civil War soldiers to life. Some endings are tragic; others simply sad. In any case, you are left with a deep understanding and respect for these men. If you have an ancestor in these regiments, it's worth a look.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Follow Friday: Ancestories

  Like so many new genealogy blogs, AnceStories follows the author's personal genealogist research. Given that most of research all over the country, this can make it hard to recommend a blog for its value to a specific area. I mean, why would you want to read about Alaska while researching a Connecticut family... But these blogs often have fantastic write-ups on an individual family's history. For example, AnceStories just featured a great post on the Higby family. So, it's always worth a look. Enjoy reading!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Follow Friday: Hastings Genealogy and the Phelps faily

  Run by blogger Roscoe Hastings, Hastings Genealogy is a classic cousin bait blog. It lists the blogger's ancestors, their basic vital statistics, and their children. It's a bare bones format - and one I would normally not recommend - unless you're descended from the Phelps family of Windsor. There are great citations to this bare-bones format and opportunities for new research.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Follow Friday: Riverfront Middletown Connecticut

  Guess what? Middletown's trying to redevelop its riverfont! Why should you care? Because the effort is producing some great historical research. The redevelopment committee has posted a wide variety of historical documents on Facebook, including histories from the 1900s - and much earlier. If you have ancestors from Middletown, this Facebook group is a must-join.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Twilight at Morningside: Follow Friday

I'll admit it - I'm a fan of Connecticut travel blogs. Why? Because even though I live here, I've probably never been to half the state. Twilight at Morningside falls straight into the genre. It's intended for foodies - about 90% of the posts are restaurant related- but if your family is from Milford, you might get some fun information. Hey, it's worth a look, right?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Follow Friday: Barkhamsted Historical Society

   It's basic - but they're there. The small town of Barkhamsted (population of 3500, according to their website) actually has a historical society blog. The blog's main page covers recent events at the Society, while "community" would be of interest to someone living elsewhere, as it is where most of the history articles are posted. "Squire's Tavern" features the Society's property.  "History" concerns - guess what - history...,and "Contact Us" will help with requests for research.
   The site is barebones but has everything you need to get started...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Follow Friday: Revive, Restore, Renew

  Next in the series of old house blogs I found listed on - Revive, Restore, Renew. The blog focuses on the restoration of the Wilcox home in East Berlin. Revive, Restore, Renew is divided into five parts: "Home," "Who Lived Here?," "About Us," "About the House," and "Paint Colors." "Who Lived There?" contains exactly what you'd expect: a history of the house divided by period. "About the House" offers a style history of the house; "About Us" talks about the owners. "Paint Colors" contains... guess what?... paint color choices.
   If you're interested in house renovation, start with "Home." It's a pretty regular update (up to last January) of events in their house, complete with photos. You'll love the before and after. Otherwise, enjoy the "Who Lived Here?"

Friday, June 14, 2013

Follow Friday: Bringing Back Holleywood

   I was blog surfing again... (For those of you who wonder how I find new blogs, my keyword combination has changed a few times - but here's the current model. Find a map of Connecticut and start searching using the a)name of the town b)words genealogy and blog and c) Connecticut. Why do I add Connecticut? Because it turns out that Massachusetts has a lot of the same town names.)... and found a great new site. provides a place for old home restorers to share stories, look for help, and even list their house. I'm falling in love with its story listing, as it turns out, it's a great place to find house history blogs. I'll be sharing a few over the next few weeks, starting with one from Lakeville, CT.
    Bringing Back Holleywood tells the story of two New Yorkers who purchased the 19th century home. The "Welcome" page charts their interest in the property. "House Before" is a photo montage. "Restoration Diary" is a photo journal of the project, day by day, ending in August 2012. Of most interest to genealogists will be the "History" and "Heritage" sections. "History" provides a quick overview of the home, and its connection to the Holley and Rudd families. "Heritage" provides snapshots of the family's life.
   Is the blog fine literature? No. Entries tend to be short, and mostly photos. However, if you love old houses and DYI projects, this is a great read. Please take a look - and share your thoughts.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Follow Friday: Sprague Family Research

   So guess what? There's a Sprague Connecticut and a Sprague family. The two may or may not be related... (If someone knows, please tell me. The town's website focuses more on its villages than the town history.)... but as it turns out, some of these Spragues were from CT.
   Sprague Family Research is a surname study blog. How does a surname study blog work? The blogger highlights family members with the same surname. In this case, the surname is Sprague.  Posts cover the background of one branch of the family. Sometimes branches are related. Sometimes not.
   Sprague Family Research hasn't been updated since 2012 but showed a solid foundation. Posts do more than just detail findings. They provide the author's research path. Sometimes they include a critique of previous research; sometimes they make it clear that he started from scratch. It's an interesting view into the Sprague family - and how a surname blog can work.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Follow Friday: Parkman Genealogy

   Some of the best blogs seem to peter out quickly. I suspect it's because the author pours huge amounts of time and work to each post. Once life gets in the way, continuing may no longer seem worthwhile. I suspect that's what happened with Parkman Genealogy.
   Designed to trace the American version of the Parkman family, the blog ran for only a few posts. But what is there offers great  material for new researchers. You can study the Parkman Coat of Arms, review the history of the first Parkman immigrant, even enjoy pictures of their shoes. Have fun!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Follow Friday: Holmes Genealogy

  It's time for another surname blog... Holmes Genealogy traces a family that began in Massachusetts, in the Plymouth Colony, and eventually moved to Montville. Posts reflect the author's unusual tastes - one post consists entirely of references to the Smith family in the land records, another reveals his struggles with family relationships - and require tolerating ads. But if you're related to the family, he does offer some solid hints.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Follow Friday: Avon Historical Society

   I'm sure I've looked at the blog for the Avon Historical Society in the past. It just looks too familiar with anything else to be possible. But honestly, I'm glad I took a second look. There are some nice features for Avon historians.
    First among these is the "History of Avon" section. The section has several sub-parts, including barns, local homes, and history rooms. Photos and descriptions are solid. If you happen to be related to the family mentioned in the section, you will have found a gem.
   Sites to visit allows you a virtual visit to the Avon Historical Society's homes. Schoolhouse #3 - now the living history museum - had a fascinating past as part of the town's rural community and life.  Pine Grove Schoolhouse played the same role, 30 years later.

   And there's even more there... My only complaint - the site needs to be updated. I see 2011 and worry!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Follow Friday: The Distracted Wanderer

  I love a good travel blog. Even when you've been there -once or many times - you can always take something from a writer that knows what they're doing. From one writer, it may be a good piece of history. From another, it's a new photo. And if you've never been there, the experience is that much better.
   Linda Orlomoski's The Distracted Wanderer meets my qualifications of a good travel blog. The blog is a bit eclectic, since it covers her trips throughout the U.S. Her "Wander List"  allows you to follow her visits to California, Vermont and more. Want to narrow it to one state? Simply click on the posts underneath that state's name. I found the Connecticut posts detailed, informative, and a fun read. Her voice shines through... And the photos aren't bad either. A nice way to "visit" CT!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Follow Friday: Trees for Wethersfield

    Did you know village improvement associations still exist? Yes, it was news to me, too... My sense of the village improvement society came straight out of the Anne of Green Gables series. At least until I stumbled across the blog for Wethersfield's Village Improvement Association.
    According to the blog, the mission of the Association is to "enhancing the local streetscape." In 2009, they launched a movement they called "Trees for Wethersfield." The goal of the movement was to replace trees that had been removed from the surrounding streets. Straightforward, right? Unfortunately, the website for the group is defunct, so I can't tell you the results of the effort.
  So, why am I sharing Trees for Wethersfield? Because the blog has a nice Wethersfield history section. It even has historic photos - my favorite. Some of the content was copied from other sources; some of it is unique to the site. If you have Wethersfield ancestors, it is definitely worth the look!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Follow Friday: Windham Connecticut Cemeteries

   Like it or not, cemeteries are a big part of genealogy. They're the way we learn when our ancestors died, who they were related to, and in a sense, they're the way we honor our ancestors. That's why I find it helpful when someone synthesizes cemetery history into a useful summary.
    Cheryl LeBeau has done just that. Her Windham Connecticut Cemeteries provides a short history of Connecticut cemeteries, a history of Willimantic, and descriptions of the old Willimantic Cemetery. The site functions as a short textbook for anyone who might be interested in Windham County cemeteries. Unfortunately, it's a bit outdated - it was started as the author's 2011 thesis project and doesn't appear to have been added to - and hasn't reached it's full potential.
   What would I like to see? Could LeBeau's site be expanded to contain all of Windham County?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Follow Friday: llewellynbarkerdiaries - a snapshot of life in 19th century Branford

  This time I almost gave up from frustration. Searches for new blogs about Waterbury, Torrington, and Danbury left me empty handed. (Each search takes anywhere between twenty minutes and two hours.) Thank goodness a search - on a whim - for Branford turned up a gem of a blog.
   Ted Braun (with the help of the Branford Historical Society) runs llewellynbarkerdiaries, a blog made up of excerpts and selections from the diaries of Llewellyn Barker. A native of Branford, Barker kept diaries documenting life in Branford during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Entries depict everything from school disputes to the Civil War. The style of blog posts varies widely - early entries are essentially summaries, while later entries are more narrative - but each imparts enough information to be helpful and useful. If you have an ancestor from Branford, this is a must read.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Follow Friday: Waterbury Thoughts (Waterbury, CT)

    I finally had to admit defeat on my original  strategy for finding new "Follow Friday" blogs. Turns out you can exhaust the Google search term "Connecticut + history + blog."  I was checking out blogs I'd already seen, reading occasional news articles, and not finding anything new. So I started over... I'm now searching by town name.
   End result - I found a great new blog about Waterbury. Waterbury Thoughts is written by a local artist and touches on her opinions about all aspects of life in Waterbury. Wondering about restaurants, bird watching, and more? Here's your place. And for the historians among us, click on "History." You'll be treated to histories on local scandals, a female attorney, woman's suffrage, and more. It's primarily intended for city residents - or people who want to live there - but it's a great way to learn about your (resident) ancestors.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Follow Friday:The News Blog

 I'll admit it flat out. It needs work. The News Blog has only posted once since November 2012. The posts have to be more frequent to convince me to read the blog on a regular basis. But that's the bad side.
   Fortunately, there's a lot more good than bad. The blog covers history related news in Hartford. Some of it is only of use if you're local, such as the tour referenced in an August 17, 2012 post. A bit of it has national interest, such as the campaign to have the Harriet Beecher Stowe house listed on the National Historic Register. If nothing else, the topics should give you a quick introduction to Hartford's history: Constitution Plaza, anyone?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Follow Friday: North Haven Historical Society

   A big shout out to the North Haven Historical Society for their efforts in developing a new website. Set up as a blog, the website features membership information and a lot more. "Alternatives to Demolition" encourages owners to save their historic homes. "Available Publications" lists several books that can be purchased from the Society, as well as a few that can be accessed online. "Past Programs" allows you to preview slideshows from recent events - even if you missed the event. "What's New in Preservation" chronicles the Society's efforts to save town buildings. "Life in Early North Haven" provides a nice overview of lighting.
    The site is evolving to cover three separate topics - the Society, historic preservation, and history - and honestly, I'd love to see them separated a little more clearly. I takes me a second to jump back and forth. Also, consider adding the word "Connecticut" to your title so that it shows up a little more easily in websearches. Beyond that, I'm impressed. Content is detailed and well written. A regular effort is being made to update the site. It's accessible.  Great job!