Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Wedding Anniversary December 28, 2015

Filed under: Family history,Family Photos,Grandparents — Janet @ 2:33 pm

I’m thinking of my parents today.  They were married 80 years ago today on December 28 1935.  My sisters and brother were in attendance.  It was a home wedding in my grandmother and grandfather’s home in Winchester Massachusetts.  They went to the nearby Oakley Country Club to spend their wedding night.  I must ask my sisters who looked after them while my parents were away. They tell me that during the wedding festivities my grandmother made sure they were well looked after.  She was a very loving woman.  My mother was the middle daughter, the youngest daughter had had a big church wedding not long before, and the oldest daughter married not long after in 1936.  My sisters were flower girls for that wedding.

I don’t have any photos of my parents’ wedding but this photo would have been taken near the time.


and this photo one year laterIMG_0002

my grandmother and grandfather and auntie, my grandfather’s sister


our home in Belmont MassachusettsIMG_0004

A bit about Oakley Country Club where my mother and father met.

In November of 1898, the one hundred fifty members of the Cambridge Golf and Country Club changed its name to Oakley Country Club. Oakley was founded upon two principles: First, to provide an opportunity for outdoor sports and second, to provide a congenial meeting place for friends. Although many changes have occurred during the past century, the principal purposes remain the foundation of Oakley’s reputation and success.

Our original Charles Bulfinch-designed clubhouse was built as a residence in 1808 and as Oakley’s clubhouse became the focal point for all activities for 65 years. Shortly after the club was founded, a young golfer arrived from Scotland to redesign Oakley’s golf course and to compete professionally in America. Donald Ross would grow from his initial employment at Oakley as a golf pro, to greenkeeper and club maker, to become one of the legendary golf course architects of the twentieth century.

While any “Donald Ross” course is distinctive and distinguished, the uniqueness of Oakley Country Club’s Golf Course is that it represents the very first Ross golf course design in America.

banner_AM oakley



Genealogy – Blog 3A – Reflections on the Life of Grandma Miller July 10, 2015

Filed under: Grandmothers,Grandparents,Mary Elizabeth Murdock — Janet @ 1:23 am

Grandma Miller – Mary Elizabeth Murdock, 1863-1954      Her life spanned nearly a century.  Born a farm girl in Crown Point, New York, on the shores of Lake Champlain – not far from where I went to college in Middlebury Vermont.   Born shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation in the middle of the Civil War.  She grew up in Crown Point and after finishing high school, she went away to Albany New York to attend the Normal School/College there, a distance of a little over 100 miles, an estimated 2 hour drive in 2015.  In the l870’s how would Mary have travelled?  Was there train service?  She pursued a 2 year course of studies so she was probably only 16 or 17 when she graduated with her teaching qualification.

Back in Crown Point, Mary Elizabeth’s mother, Lucy Anna Warner, died on March 2, 1878.  She was only 35 years old.

Mary had a younger sister, Isabella born in 1869.  Isabella had a short life – sadly she died at age 11 0r 12 some time after the U.S. Census in June 1880.

Mary was trained to be a teacher, about the only occupation for educated women, at that time.  Family rumour has it that Mary responded to an advertisement for a woman to look after the 2 children of Charles Dana Miller, a widower in Newark Ohio.  The children were in their early teens.  Presumably the advertisement was for a tutor and the teaching duties could be combined with housekeeping.  The father in question had been a widower for some time since 1867 or 1868.  The 2 infant children were subsequently looked after by one of his sisters.

IMG_0014     Mary Elizabeth Murdock, 1880?

to be continued


Not Neglecting The Knitting July 9, 2015

Cat on Lofoten    Before I write about knitting, I can’t resist the latest photo from the Lofoten Islands in Norway.  My daughter-in-law Susan is nearing the end of her trip to Norway.  In the Lofoten Islands she found this cat enjoying some fish cake scraps.

Below are 2 photos of my latest scarf.

latest scarf 001         latest scarf 003

I’m trying to concentrate on my genealogy project but just to show you other things are going on also.

Here is my part of my attempt to keep the generations straight.  The yellow tags are my grandparents, reading from the left: Charles Dana Miller, Mary Elizabeth Murdock, Alfred William Friend, May Belle Willis

latest scarf 002     latest scarf 006


Genealogy – The Grandparents continued – Genealogy Blog 2 July 8, 2015

Filed under: Ageing,Family photographs,Genealogy,Grandparents — Janet @ 8:38 pm

In my previous blog, Genealogy Blog 1, I wrote about my mother’s parents, Grandpa and Grandma Friend.  Now I’ll turn to my father’s parents, Grandma Miller and my father’s father, Charles Dana Miller.  Technically Charles D. Miller was  my Grandfather but he was unknown to me and to my father. My father was born in 1891.  His father was in his mid 50’s and died at age 61 in 1898.  My father was only 7 years old when his father died.

There was a large age difference between my paternal grandparents.  Grandma Miller was born in 1863 and lived into my lifetime.  When she was age 32, in 1898, she became a widow with 5 young children, ranging in age from 14 down to 5.  The family lived in Newark Ohio.She went to work in a county office and raised the children, on her own I presume.   In her later years she lived in Florida during the winter months and with her daughter Myrtle and family in Raleigh North Carolina.  This was far away from Boston and New York where we were centered.  However I did visit her and Aunt Myrtle in Raleigh when I was 11 years old – Grandma Miller was in her mid 80’s.  My older sisters knew her quite well and they and my father could tell me about her when she was younger.  My sisters are now aged 88 and 89 and they can still share their memories of her.

ruth and me  On the left, my sister Ruth, age 88, and me age 78, Oct. 2014

IMG  me age 11 with Grandma Miller age 89 in Raleigh North Carolina,1948

Ruth and Finn feb 2015    my sister age 89

  my father age 52, and his mother Grandma Miller, age 83, Raleigh North Carolina, 1943


Focusing On My Grandparents – Genealogy Blog 1

Filed under: Genealogy,Grandparents — Janet @ 12:31 am

In charting my genealogy, I’ll start with my grandparents, only one of whom I knew well, my mother’s father, Grandpa Friend.  I was very young, only 3 1/2 years old in the summer of 1940, when Grandma Friend died, very unexpectedly. However, I can remember where I was and my mother’s tears as she absorbed the news.  We, my mother and my 3 siblings and I, were at a family summer cabin on a small lake in New Hampshire.   My mother was preparing supper, peeling carrots.  This is one of my earliest memories.  My earliest memory is possibly from the previous summer   The same location but I was in my crib, just waking up from a nap, and crying, hoping someone would come to lift me out of the crib.

My Paternal Grandparents:        Charles Dana Miller, 1836-1898            

Mary Murdock Miller, 1863-1954          

My Maternal Grandparents:         Alfred William Friend, 1874-1957         and on the right,May Belle Willis Friend  1872-1940   on the left, Grandpa Friend’s sister, Auntie, Eunice Augusta Friend, 1873-1952

grandparents 030