Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Interested In Maine History? July 4, 2017

IMG_3646  Here’s the book for all history enthusiasts.  In a book store in Mystic Connecticut, I found this book about the history of Maine – titled The Lobster Coast, Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier, by Colin Woodard.  As one would expect, there’s quite a bit of detail about fish and the fishing industry, particularly  lobsters.  But there is also a lot to make one think about the rights of Native Americans and the rights and relationships between the original settlers and the subsequent waves of  “newcomers”, right up to the present day transformations of land use and the questions of distribution of wealth.

In my genealogy research I have been able to trace most of my ancestors back many generations.  At present I am trying to concentrate/focus on the immigration experiences of these branches in my family tree.  These would be the 6th-9th great grandparents.  About 90% of these forebears came to New England.  I have one case of an abrupt end of the trail with my 3rd great grandparents Joseph Reed and Sarah Maddox.  They were each born in Maine in the late 1700’s.  Joseph died in Maine in 1850.  Their daughter Abigail was my great great grandmother.  She was born in Gloucester in 1804.  But I do not have any information re Joseph and Sarah’s forebears, my 4th great grandparents etc.  Did they come to Maine as immigrants?  What happened to them in this remote and harsh part of the American frontier.  Did they perish in an encounter with one of the many tribes of Native Americans who raided the settlers villages and isolated dwellings.   I wonder.


My Ancestor Myles Standish March 1, 2017

mum38qar_medium  Yes this is Myles Standish of Mayflower fame.  He is my  8th  Great Grandfather.


Captain Myles Standish was an English military officer hired by the Pilgrims as military advisor for Plymouth Colony.  He was one of the passengers on the Mayflower.

Myles Standish was not a Pilgrim but it was in his capacity as a military man that he was in the Low Countries to help the Dutch in their war against Spain.  And it was in Leyden in Holland that he got to know the Pilgrims there.  It was through his acquaintance with the Pilgrim Pastor John Robinson that he came to be hired as their military captain to command and train their militia.  Thus Myles and his first wife Rose were among the passengers, the original settlers,  on the Mayflower.

After the Mayflower made landfall on the tip of Cape Cod in late October 1620, he led most of the exploratory missions looking for a place to settle.  Many of the settlers who arrived in the Mayflower were weakened and ill after their voyage across the Atlantic.  Sadly, Myles wife Rose was among those who did not survive those early months.  She died in late January 1621.

Myles remarried in 1623.  His 2nd wife, Barbara, arrived on the ship “Anne” in July 1623.  Myles and Barbara had 6 children, 4of whom survived infancy.  The most important of whom from my standpoint was their surviving son Josiah, who became my 7th Great Grandfather.



More History Reading Choices January 26, 2017

Filed under: History,Politics,Reading,U. S. History — Janet @ 7:32 pm


Very appropriate reading at this point in time in our country.




Genealogy Route From John Hollister, Builder of the Oldest House in Glastonbury Connecticut, My 9th Great Grandfather December 16, 2016

The oldest house in Glastonbury Connecticut, built by Lt. John Hollister


My 9th Great Grandfather Lt. John Hollister 1612-1665

My 8th Great Grandmother  Mary Hollister 1650-1713

My 7th Great Grandfather  Capt. John Welles 1676-1735

My 6th Great Grandmother  Phebe Welles  1707-1770

My 5th Great Grandmother  Sarah Ufford 1728-1804

My 4th Great Grandfather Stiles Curtiss 1761-1827

My 3rd Great Grandmother Betsey Curtiss Wooton 1791-1877

My 2nd Great Grandfather Henry W. Warner 1815-1859

My Great Grandmother Lucy Anna Warner 1843-1878

My Grandmother Mary Elizabeth Murdoch 1863-1954

My father Joseph Buckingham Miller 1891-1949

Me Janet Willis Miller 1936-


From Glastonbury September 30, 2016

IMG_0463   This is a photo from 3 months ago, late June, when Ian and I and the other grandparents visited our son David and family in Glastonbury  Connecticut.  The picture was actually taken in Mystic Connecticut after a festive lunch.  Coincidentally we are about to gather again, minus one – Ian will have to participate via Skype or some such device.

I am here visiting before attending my 62nd high school reunion up in the Boston area and the other grandparents are winging their way to Hartford on the Aer Lingus inaugural direct flight from Dublin.

So here I am enjoying a quick few days doing my usual round of our favorite places and some new ones as well.  The weather has been on the cool side and the famous Fall foliage is just beginning.  We had a nice trip down to Mystic and this time we had lunch in a new (to me) restaurant called Red 39 – the number is that of a navigation buoy.  Nice setting right on the river and delicious fish of course.

After a quick stop in the yarn store, lunch, a purchase in Mystic Knotworks, we went to Old Mystic Seaport which was the real objective of the trip that day.  Fascinating.  I just love it. We just ambled around absorbing the atmosphere of that recreated village of yesteryear.  My favorites I think were the big scaled model of the former village and the timeline in the whaling museum building.  (Pictures to show when I get back to Seattle and can sync my camera with my computer – current technology! – the equivalent I suppose of waiting to get a film developed.)

The Museum Store has a large bookshop section – was I in Heaven?  One of my purchases was of course a history cum genealogy book very pertinent to my ongoing reading and research.

…….to be continued


King Phillip’s War July 8, 2016

Filed under: Ancestors,Genealogy,King Phillip's War,U. S. History — Janet @ 7:03 pm

IMG_0536  my holiday reading – The War That Made America, A Short History of the French and Indian War, by Fred Anderson

This war was also known as  King Phillip’s War, 1755-1763.  King Phillip was a Native American – (not an English King)

Years ago, like 70, I had a small piece of wood in my dresser draw – if I recall correctly there was a nickel coin as well – these were relics from the French and Indian War, probably given to me by my father or brother.  I never thought much about them and in the course of time they disappeared.   A little token I wish I had kept.

This war was complicated and it doesn’t get the popular publicity that is given to the Revolutionary War which followed not long after.  I am trying to identify which of my ancestors were veterans of this war.


Following The Pilgrims January 31, 2016

pilgrims image                  pilgrims_film_landing-date  What a marvelous program we saw last night.  One of the best.  It was a PBS DVD from the American Experience series.  Most of the broad outline was familiar but this film portrayed it so well that it is now more firmly fixed in my mind (I hope!)  And I learned a lot as well.  Furthermore it tied in well with my genealogy research.

?Did you know that one of the men on the Mayflower was swept overboard but miraculously was rescued and went on to survive the first harsh winter etc and father 10 children.  He had 88 grandchildren, more than 500 great grandchildren and his subsequent descendants number in the tens of thousands – including Humphrey Bogart, Bob Hope, and both Bush Presidents.  I wonder if I can find myself among the millions of descendants living today.  The search goes on.


Sixteen 2X Great Grandparents September 20, 2015

Tracing the lives of my 16 Great Great Grandparents  – the generation that lived mainly in New England and Ohio in the 19th century

James Warner Miller Sr   1783 Dummerston Vermont – 1844  Knox County Ohio

Sarah Warner   Newfane Vermont – 1788 – 1858 Knox County Ohio

Gilman Bryant  Peacham Vermont 1789  – 1859 Mt. Vernon Ohio

Elizabeth Thrift   Virginia 1792 – 1865 Mount Vernon Ohio

James Murdock   Crown Point New York  1810 – 1893 Crown Point New York

Elizabeth Kellog Trimble   New York 1810 – 1889

Henry W. Warner  Crown Point New York 1815 – 1859 Crown Point New York

Harriet Anna Wilmarth   Addison Vermont  1821 – 1891  Vergennes Vermont


Samuel K. Friend Jr.

Abigail Hinds P. Brown    1804 Gloucester – 1894 Gloucester

William Fell Fitz   1808 Gloucester – 1880  Gloucester

Eunice C. Baker   1812  Gloucester – 1849  Gloucester

Charles Willis Jr.   1753 – 1831

Eliza Eaton  1789 – 1850

Robert Mears Cummings  1802 Hudson New Hampshire – 1882

Mary Ann Osgood  1809 Dunstable Massachusetts – 1880  Boston


Another Book Store April 22, 2011

Filed under: Book stores,History,U. S. History,U.S. Civil War,Weavers,Weaving — Janet @ 10:46 pm

I didn’t get a photo of another book store that we went to in Scottsdale, but in our wandering the streets of Old Scottsdale we spotted a big sign which directed us to Guidon Books, a few blocks away.  They had recently moved  so we emerged from the shade, crossed several very wide streets and walked several blocks.  It was hot.  The heat was just shimmering up off the pavement in mid-afternoon.  But Guidon Books was well worth the trek – for me at least.  I don’t think the rest of the family was quite so interested.  I found some Civil War replica postcards which I quite liked – and I found a book on tapestry weaving.  And a brochure about the Arizona History Convention to be held very soon – too late to attend this year but the list of papers to be given looks very interesting.  Next year, 2012, will be Arizona’s centenary.  It is just amazing to me that Arizona only became a state, the 48th, 100 years ago, the year my mother was born.  I feel a part of living history!

  Guidon Books – they have moved a few blocks to a nicely shaded building, many interconnecting rooms, but we only browsed the Civil War area.  Further afield, I think, were the Western Americana books that I really wanted to see.  Hope there will be a next time.  This was really just a reconnaissance.

   a replica Civil War postcard – a  scene from the Gettysburg Cyclorama.  Hospital Scene.  A surgeon amputates the leg of a wounded man in the shed on the right.

   brochure for the upcoming Arizona History Convention.  I was told that Guidon Books will have a stall.

  my book purchase – a new book about tapestry weaving.


What Were They Reading Then, cont. January 29, 2011

Filed under: Authors,Books,Social history,U. S. History — Janet @ 2:02 am

Still thinking about the books that my grandparents might have read, I have come across an author whose work my grandmothers probably read, and my mother and aunts would have read her novels, and also my sisters and I.  She spanned 3 generations of readers.  Edna Ferber.  That name rang a bell.  Born in 1885, a novelist, short story writer, and  playwright, died in April 1968, 2 months after my marriage in February 1968 (not that that bears any relevance to her achievements – just places her and myself in a certain time frame)

 Edna Ferber, a feminist in her time.  The female characters in her novels are strong protagonists.   A journalist who covered the political conventions of 1920.  Yet another activist from the Middle West.  Born in Michigan, grew up in Wisconsin.  A spokeswoman for social justice.