Week of Remembering, Mom and Dad! Day 1


This week is the is the 15th anniversary of my mother, Shirley Beatrice Pease Stearns, death. She succumbed to her battle against cancer 28 April 2001.

Earlier this month, 8 April 2016, was the anniversary of my father, Nelson William Stearns, 86th birthday.

This form of remembrance was triggered recently by Amy Johnson Crow’s Periscope presentation of #31DaysofBetterGenealogy, about recording the artifacts we have in our possession. You don’t want future generations discarding your memories without sharing the importance they meant to you.


I mentioned I still had the Model T Cookie Jar that I purchased, with one of my first real paychecks, for my father. Amy quickly informed me I needed to blog about it, including a recipe of the cookies it contained.

Why do I say my first real paycheck? I worked with my father and cousin throughout the year at my Dad’s service station in Pembroke New Hampshire. In the summer’s I would work along beside my Dad and cousin, Ernest Perkins, Ernest’s junk yard in Sutton, New Hampshire, getting parts for cars. Dad always paid me something , even in bartering or cash for my work.

My first official job was for Leon’s Ice Cream Stand, in Pembroke, New Hampshire [Now Chantilly’s.] I started at the end of May 1968.  [Also working there was, David Paul Levesque, who became my sister, Vickie’s [Vickie Mae Stearns] first husband and father of my niece, Jennifer and nephew David.

So when my first or maybe my second paycheck came in, it was just before Father’s Day. My Mother and I went shopping to pick out something special for my father. When I saw the Model T Ford cookie jar, I know that is what I wanted to get him.

The first type of cookie to go into this jar was my father’s favorite cookie, Molasses. What people call, Hermits. Dad always called them Molasses Cookies because, “they are not Hermits without the raisins.”  I filled the jar with my mothers recipe, made by me. My father was very please with the results, except he said, “There is only one problem with these cookies.” [my face, first time he made this comment, dropped about ten feet.  Wait for the rest of the statement…] Dad always added a long pause before finishing his statement, “It taste like more.”

I had been cooking a long time so I knew what was coming. It still brings a smile to my face and happy tears to my eyes, just remembering his words.


My mother’s Hermit recipe in her own handwriting. It is a much loved and used recipe.


4 1/2 cups Flour

2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon [I use Pumpkin Pie Spice or Apple Pie Spice]

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Allspice

1 cup Shortening [usually Crisco]

2 cups Brown Sugar or Black Strap Molasses 

1 cup Milk

2 Eggs


1 cup Chopped Nuts

1 Cup Raisins

Bake 5-6 minutes at 350 degrees.

[Cream together the shortening, sugar/molasses; add the eggs. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Slowly add, alternating, between Milk and dry ingredients, until well blended. Don’t be to heavy handed or you will have tough cookies.]

Mom usually just dropped them onto the buttered cookie sheet to bake. If she made the Hermits, with the raisins, she would roll the dough out and and cut into squares.

I hope you enjoy my mothers Molasses cookies.

Tomorrow’s recipe may surprise you. It was my father’s favorite recipe to make.



Will The Real Alonzo Chase, Please Stand Up- Part 2


Where do I go now? I need to answer the question/s-

  1. Who are the parents of Alonzo Chase born in Hopkinton, Merrimack, New Hampshire 2 July 1835?
  2. What clues do I already have that provide hints to who his parent are?
  3. Where did Alonzo live during his lifetime (1835-1905) that might help me find his parents?
  4. When did Jacob Chase become guardian of Alonzo Chase?
  5. Why did Alonzo Chase move to Jacob’s household?
  6. What record groups may help me with my search?
  7. Where is his birth record?
  8. What was his name at birth?

These are just a few questions that I need to answer, again, to find out who Alonzo Chase’s parents are. PLEASE join me in the next leg of my research journey.

Let’s start with the letter from Roger and Joyce Chase to the Warner Historical Society.

Alonzo Chase letter snip

CLUE #1 “We want to thank you for all the information and pictures you sent us about Alonzo Chase and his adopted father, Jacob Chase. …”

CLUE #2 “… we will try to find information about Alonzo’s birth and his birth mother, Sarah Straw, who was from Hopkinton, and

CLUE #3 his biological father, who we think was named Kelly. Alonzo was…

CLUE #3… adopted by, Jacob Chase, but we do not know when ore even if there were any records of adoption at that time.”

CLUE #4 Roger and Joyce Chase did not say how they were related to Alonzo or how they knew the information in the letter.

[I sent a letter to the Chase’s after my visit to the historical Society. No answer. I researched the address and phone number provided on the business card attached to the letter. The business was no longer in service. When I Googled the names of the Chases, I found an obituary for Joyce Chase.]

Three clues in this letter that I researched once before. I will look at them from a different angle this time. Starting with why the Chase’s knew the information they had included in the letter.

Is the Obituary a dead end in getting more information, or, does it provide new clues in my search.

That is where I leave off for today. You will need to follow along with me to find out where this journey ends.


Women’s History Month-Women of Strength in My Life.


Women’s History Month-Women of Strength in my life.

Throughout Women’s History month, my blog posts honored my everyday women ancestors. Today’s post is honoring the Women of Strength in my life. I include my mother, my female siblings and their female children.[I have their permission to post.] They are creating history daily with intelligence, love, creativity, passion, grace and sometime sorrow. Please join me in honoring these women. I’m giving you only a glance of why I honor them. There is much more behind each of the stories.

My brother’s daughter is growing into another strong intelligent woman. She has a few years before she becomes a women in her own right.

We come from strong stock. The women in my family descended from immigrant ancestors that arrived during the Great Migration 1630-1640, time frame. The hard adjustment to the unknown is something everyone faces. It doesn’t matter if it is 1630 or 2016, Life loves throwing little curve balls at us to overcome.


Shirley Beatrice Pease Stearns, my mother. Taught us all to be strong, independent, loving, caring women. I honor her for that and the grace, dignity and courage she showed us in her dying days. She never lost her faith during her long struggle with cancer. She allowed us to choose our own path, even if she didn’t agree with us. She was there to pick us up when we fell down. Kiss our bruises and just held us tight for as long as we needed. She is honored and missed daily by all who knew her.


Tyna Butka

Tyna Butka, is my daughter. Tyna’s strength reminds me of my mother’s steel sense of what’s right with love and caring thrown in. They both called a spade a spade. You always know where you stand with her and stood with my mother.

I honor Tyna for the loving support when times are tough. In the spring of her senior year at college, my mother was dying of cancer. Tyna came home on weekends providing respite for me, my mother’s caregiver. In the fall of that same year, I became ill with, at the time, unknown illness. Tyna decided to suspend going to full time law school. She came home to provide care for me, attend law school at night, graduating from Massachusetts School of Law. She provides the same steel strength and caring in her law practice.


My sister, Vickie Stearns Levesque Junkins, her daughters, Jennifer [Jenn] Levesque Williams, Rachel Junkins and Abigail [Abby] Junkins all overcame their own challenges.

Vickie, looks the most like our mother and like our mother would give the shirt off her back if you needed. Vickie, a single parent, provided love, caring, and her strong faith in bringing up her five children. Visually impaired since birth she has not let that stop her creating the most beautiful cake creations. Although she earned her Southern New Hampshire Culinary School certificate, Vickie learned most of her talent at the side of our mother.


Vickie’s daughter Jenn, overcame the death of her first born child, Connor at six weeks old from a Congenital Heart disease called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The loss of a child takes its toll on us at any age. The loss of an infant is a devastation that some never recover from and move on. Jenn remembers and honors Connor’s short stay with us every day with the love, caring strength she provides to her other children, Mackenzie and Liam.


Rachel made a brave decision to move away from her family home in the northeast to Florida. The challenges of learning to take care of yourself, set up a place to live, find a job, the roller coaster ride of dating is something we all can relate to. We all want to run away from home to find ourselves. I honor Rachel’s strength and courage for going so far away, but more than that I honor her for knowing when it is time to return to the loving comfort of her family. It is not a failure to return to your family. It shows growth in the knowledge that everyone needs family and friends when times are rough.


Abby does things her way. Her staying power in completing her high school diploma, even if she was older than the others in her graduating class, is a challenge to be remembered. Abby’s ability to overcome challenges most of us never encounter, is why I honor her. [Her story to tell, not mine] She has a passion for life that is seen in few people. She is learning how to corral that passion, not lose it.


Marjorie [Marge] Stearns Stevenson, is the most like my mother. Her strong sense of faith, family and self-taught business skills. She helped her husband start and build a business from scratch. The birth of her second child, brought challenges of a different kind into her life. Richard required oxygen for the first six years of his life, and special feeding techniques, due to swallowing issues. Marjorie not only learned how to feed him by trial and error, but wrote about her challenges to help others. Marjorie is there for any family or friend in need. She knows the importance of providing support when needed. She also has the strength and courage of tough love if needed. Sometimes the only way a person can learn is to hit rock bottom. Her love, faith and open arms during those times is why she is loved by all who meet her.


Eleanor [Ellie] Stearns Carne nomadic lifestyle, until a few years ago, provided challenges for her and her family. Eleanor’s faith gave her the strength to overcome life’s little bumps in the road. The love of horses she shares with her children helped them create books about horse breeding. Ellie informed me this morning that two mares are in fold on their horse farm. She meets her daily challenges with faith, open arms and support of her family. Her love of crafting [like our mother], photography and poetry gets her though life. I look forward to her creativity.


Eleanor [Ellie] Stearns Carne nomadic lifestyle, until a few years ago, provided challenges for her and her family. Eleanor’s faith gave her the strength to overcome life’s little bumps in the road. The love of horses she shares with her children helped them create books about horse breeding. Ellie informed me this morning that two mares are in fold on their horse farm. She meets her daily challenges with faith, open arms and support of her family. Her love of crafting [like our mother], photography and poetry gets her though life. I look forward to her creativity.


Julia Carne may not ride her motorcycle much these days, yet I remember the excitement the day she received her license. [She is spending her time caring for her son.] It is Julia’s excitement for life that she never lost, which draws me to her. Julia’s nomadic upbringing created some unforeseen circumstances no one ever expected. She overcame them with love, courage, strength and grace, like her grandmother, Shirley. Julia’s education can be included in those challenging moments of her life. Christian schools, home schooling [an aunt called June, that had no skills for home schooling,] and on-line courses. Today she is a Dental Assistant. Julia’s smile brings joy to all around her.


Susan [Sue] Stearns Aeschliman’s courage and strength to go to college at nearly forty years of age, half way across the country, is why I honor her. The first two attempts to go to college were enough to frighten anyone. Sue went from a rural Maine town to a Christian school outside of Chicago. Culture shock for a young, rural New Englander, indeed. The second time, same school, brought health challenges. Third time was a charm, Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa fit Sue like a glove. She grew into herself during her time at college. Most of us do that when we are in our late teens, early twenty’s, not almost forty. The shy, independent woman who left return home a fully confident, independent woman ready to take on the world with gusto and life. Did I mentioned that she was a caregiver for one of her nieces and co-caregiver for our terminally ill mother before she left for college? Our niece stayed with Sue until the final semester, when she came to live with my husband and myself, allowing Sue to concentrate on her studies and graduation. Sue’s faith, love, courage and strength in her daily life gives a safe haven to all who enter her realm.

These Everyday women are the core of my life. They provide love, strength, courage, faith, laughter, hugs and gladly give of themselves daily. Through them we add new family members with each generation via marriage and birth. Those new family members, male and female, are as much of who I am today as the females I honor here.

I honor all everyday women in the past, present and future that are the backbone of this world. Their deeds mostly go unnoticed, yet impact our lives more than we or even they may know.

Women History Month

Women’s History Month Theme and Honorees.

They Were Born Where?


Dear Myrtle Finally Get Organized has us concentrating on our first five generations. She posted a five generation chart from J Paul Hawthrone, who created the Excel spreadsheet. Taking up the challenge, I created my own five generations birth location chart.

5 generation birth locations

My Parents and I were all born in New Hampshire. My father’s lineage for the next three generations were all born in New Hampshire. My mother’s maternal line were all born in Maine. My mother’s paternal line were born in Maine except for one birth in Maryland and one in New Hampshire.

You can see that I am strongly rooted in New England.

Source information:

Richley-Erickson Pat; DearMyrtle.com; Finally Get Organized; http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/p/finally-get-organized.html (accessed 25 Mar 2016), page 31 Jan – 6 Feb 2016.

DearMyrtle; DearMyrtle Facebook Group; https://www.facebook.com/groups/DearMYRTLE/ (accessed 24 Mar 2016 Pat Richley-Erickson shared post 24 Mar 2016 9:00 am EST.

Honoring Female Ancestors: Sarah A. Abbey


Honoring Female Ancestors: Sarah A. Abbey

The month of March is Women History Month. I will be adding some of my female ancestors. in my blogs to honor the hard work that all the achievements small or large to our society. We may not know the full contributions our ancestors provide during their lifetime. We do know that those achievements are not always honored. I honor the achievements in each blog I do, male or female; you are remembered here.

Today’s honoree is: Sarah A. Abbey. Sarah is my 2nd great grandmother. Today’s record is her marriage to Benjamin F Hutchins  at age 20, Benjamin age 21, on 7 Sept 1866 by E. L. Russell, Minister of the Gospel in Wellington, Maine. Intentions were filed 20 Aug 1866. It gives the birthplace for Sarah as St. Albans, Maine. I have not found her birth record to date.

Abbey Sarah A b1846 marriage

Page two of Sarah’s marriage record provides information on her and Benjamin’s parents.

Abbey Sarah A b1846 marriage page2

Sarah’s parents listed as Calvin Abby born Green Maine and Flurentina Abby born Greene Maine. Benjamin’s parents are listed as Perkins Hutchins born New Portland Maine and Nancy Hutchins born Brighton Maine. The marriage information on this record is from Wellington, Piscataquis, Maine  Town Records Volume II. Recorded by Lucy A. Whitehouse. [Note well, that more research is needed to verify names of parents. Other records list Claudens/Cludius Abby as Sarah’s father and Mary Wing as Benjamin’s mother.]

My purpose today is to introduce you to Sarah [Augusta] Abbee, my 2nd great grandmother. To honor her hard work in rural Maine as a mother of at least nine children.


Source Information:

Maine State Archives; Augusta, Maine, USA; Pre 1892 Delayed Returns; Roll #: 56 Maine, Marriage Records, 1713-1937, for Benjamin F Hutchins, Piscataquis-1866 image 9, Ancestry.com (accessed 24 Mar 2016), Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. 2010, Provo, UT, USA, FamilySearch.org

Seeking Surnames: Seaver


Seeking female surnames in honor of Women History month, March 2016.

Seaver Deliverance 1767 birth

Seaver Deliverance 1767 birth Feb 7

I’m behind in my daily posts. It takes time healing from a brain concussion. I can slowly return to the internet for research. I decided to spend fifteen minutes a day looking for my female surnames. I save the records found for later research. I don’t know if they are related or not. They are in the same location, time and possible new surname relatives of other family branches. I can’t call it a one name study because I have several surnames.

Case in point; while researching my Beers ancestors in the Watertown/Newton Massachusetts area I came across a Seaver surname. That is a surname of another of my female ancestors from a different branch of my family. [When I first started my research, eons ago, I didn’t save records of surnames, just the ones that we linked to mine. I found out in future research that many times 19th century ancestor in Maine can be traced back to the 17th century ancestors’ location I never thought to look for them.]

Now I save any “known surname,” record I come across to my possible relatives folder.

Today’s find was, Deliverance Seaver daughter of Shubael and Deliverance _____ Seaver, born 7 Feb 1767. Also, listed is a daughter Mary born 8 Nov 1764. Both born Newton, Massachusetts.

I found this entry while browsing a hint for Bertia Beers Ward, in Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, Newton, Birth, Marriages and Death filmstrip 100 of 4059 Ancestry.com Operations 2011 (accessed 23 mar 2016.)

I wander if she is related to Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing fame?

Source Information:

Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data: Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Provo, UT: Holbrook Research Institute (Jay and Delene Holbrook).


Honoring Female Ancestors: Martha Copp


Honoring Female Ancestors: Martha Copp

Copp William 1635 arrival

The month of March is Women History Month. I will be adding some of my female ancestors. in my blogs to honor the hard work that all the achievements small or large to our society. We may not know the full contributions our ancestors provide during their lifetime. We do now that those achievement are not always honored. I honor the achievements in each blog I do, male or female, you are remembered here.

Today honors my immigrant ancestor, Martha Copp. She was about five years old when she and her family arrived in Boston, 17 June of 1635 on the ship Blessing, commanded by Captain John Leicester that disembarked from London, England. Her family included her father William Copp, her step mother Judith Itchenor, and Sister Ann. I have not found the birth records for Ann or Martha, yet all record found to date, list the same birth year of 1630. Their mother Ann died when they were about three years old (1633,) in Warwickshire, England.

The family settled in Boston, Massachusetts, in the area now known as Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. Named after her father William, a prominent cobbler and early settler of the area. Many of the family members were buried there.

Martha, my 9th great-grandmother, married first William Harvey when she was twenty one years old, 1651. William died in 1658. She had least one child by William, in 1652, named Thomas. I need to do more research on this line to find if any other children were born of the marriage.

She married second, 10 Nov 1659, Henry Tewksbury [my direct line.] Their children were Elizabeth (1660), Hannah (1662), Henry (1664), Naomi (1666) [my direct line]], Ruth (1668), Mary (1670), Martha (1672), and John (1674)

Naomi married John Elliot; their daughter, Elizabeth married Jacob Colby; their son Valentine married Hannah Kimball, my first honoree and 6th great-grandmother. I descended from her son, Hezekiah to his son, Chellis; his son, James M; to his daughter, Kate E [who married Alonzo Chase;] to her daughter. Clara J Chase [who married William F Nelson;] to her daughter, Lillian Mae Nelson [who married Nathan A Stearns;] to her son, Nelson William Stearns-my father.

The image included in this blog post gives an overview of Martha’s family. I’m from hardy stock. Look forward to another honoree, soon.


Boston, MA: Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630-1822 (Thwing Collection). Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630–1800 and The Crooked and Narrow Streets of Boston, 1630–1822. CD-ROM. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001. (Online database.AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014.)