What Did I Do – A Pictorial Response

Book of Me Written By You, February Prompt, What Did I do?

I decided I would make this post a Pictorial Response.

A Society Member 1970
Family Historian 1970-Present 2018
A Nursing Student-Left for a Family Emergency 1975
   A Nursing Student-again 1977


A Wife 1978
A Mother-photograph 1984
A Girl Scout 1986-1999 and Camp Nurse 1993
Avon Breast Cancer 3 Day 60 Miles Walker
An Advocate 1999
American Red Cross Instructor 1986-2006 & Photography Ribbons 2006-2007


An Author 2007
Cog Railway
2010 U-Local Photography Winner- Currier Museum
An 11 year Breast Cancer Survivor; Radiation March 2007


Mastering Genealogy Proof Standard Study Group Participant – Dear Myrtle 2014


Today I’m a total of all of what I did. Sharing those memories for future generations.


Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest.

Julie Goucher, Book of Me Written By You, web edition, WordPress, Anglers Rest, nhttps://anglersrestblog.wordpress.com/book-of-me/: (accessed February 2, 2018), Book of Me February Prompts, 2018


All Photographs

June Stearns Butka photographer, 1970-2010 digital image Feb 2018, privately held by June Stearns Butka], [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Merrimack, New Hampshire, 2 February 2018


Inspirations Reviewed Means Love and Support

I’m hoping people will join me in Julie Goucher’s “The Book of Me” prompts. Julie Goucher of the Anglers Rest blog will be posting monthly prompts, during 2018, encouraging our creative thought process. Join some or all her prompts, privately or on social media. Your choice. #BookofMe2018

Family Reunion Trip 2012

Who or what inspires me?

My off the head response was, the love and support of my family. That is true, but not the whole story.

I think who or what inspires you is more about what you are doing at the time.

In childhood, during the 1960’s, I wanted to be like Olympic Ice skaters Carol Heiss and Peggy Fleming. That was until a severe injury caused during practice on the frozen marshes of Saugus, Massachusetts ended that dream. I turned my attentions baseball and Rico Petrocelli. It didn’t matter to me that I was a girl. I never saw myself as a gender, but a person. I paid for many broken windows in my Saugus neighborhood, chasing that dream.  By the time I entered high school in Pembroke, New Hampshire, I came up against my first true sense that being a girl mattered (at least in the schools mind.) I was told no girls allowed in baseball or golf. Softball was for girls, but not for me, I was too small and fragile. I may have looked fragile at 4 feet 9 inches and if I was lucky 90 pounds, trust me I wasn’t. I spent my summers working on my uncle and aunt’s farm and junk yard. My interested were being pulled in two directions, to be like Florence Nightingale or teach English like my favorite English teacher, Frank Jewett. Mr. Jewett knew how to capture your attention by using music to teach Iambic Pentameter. Music to William Shakespeare, who knew.

Throughout this whole time my love of family stories and history never left me. I loved the time with my Great Aunt Carrie [Lulu Carrie Stearns Perkins,] listening to her stories about her rural life in Sutton; about who we were related to, like Queen Victoria. [I haven’t found that lineage, yet.] I was able to trace the Stearns lineage to the Winthrop Fleet 1630 arrival.

Aunt Carrie would say, “We have deep roots in this county, girl. You are from founding families of this town. Be proud of where you came from. We are the salt of the earth. Farmers from way back. That may not mean much to some, that doesn’t matter, girl. We lived, had a family and made do with what we have. If you do nothing else but love and have a family, you have achieved something. You keep the family going.” I was able to trace the Nelson lineage to the early years of Perrystown, now known as Sutton, New Hampshire, and even back to my ancestor, Thomas Nelson’s, arrival in the colonies about 1640 to Rowley, Massachusetts.

That love of family and family history continues to this day. Aunt Carrie, my parents, Nelson Stearns and Shirley Pease Stearns, and my Aunt Eleanor Stearns Duncan, are no longer living to assist me through our history. Their stories, love and support still support me with their strong sense of FAMILY that that gave me.

My family history deep roots of family inspiration, is guided by others now-a-days, like DearMyrtle, Cousin Russ, weekly Legacy Family Tree Webinars, television shows like Finding Your Roots, Who Do You Think you Are, DNA gurus, like Blaine Bettinger, and many other people in my genealogy circle of friends and family.

All keep me inspired to continue the journey of my family story.

Now, back to my original thought. My true inspirations is the love and support of my family. I would not still be here today without my husband, Michael D. Butka; daughter, Tyna M. Butka; son Michael J. Butka and the my siblings; Vickie M. Stearns Levesque Junkins, Marjorie R. Stearns Stevenson, Eleanor A. Stearns, Susan R. Stearns Aeschliman, Nelson N. Stearns and their families. their love, support, strength and constant reminder that I AM LOVED. It is that love and inspiration that carries me through each day of  life’s challenges.

Sources for this are my personal thoughts. Links to genealogy and DNA links are connected to those named.


Augustus Stearns, eldest child of Nathan Jr & Polly (Martin) Stearns, b. 26 July 1832 in Goffstown, New Hampshire; d. 4 Feb 1882 in West Derry, New Hampshire buried in Goffstown, New Hampshire

m. 4 Aug 1852 Sarah H. Emerson of Weare, New Hampshire, b. 12 Sep 1832, d. 1907; daughter of Obadiah & Eunice (Marshall) Emerson; Her ancestor, Stephen Emerson, was an early settler of Weare, New Hampshire.

Alternate surname spellings: Sturns 1850 Census Goffstown, New Hampshire index,

Rowell: Wilmont Rowell household 27 Dwelling 30, 1880 US Census Derry, New Hampshire list Augustus as, Augustin Rowell and his wife Sarah H., daughter Carrie E. and son Frank L. as Rowell in index, visual of page list Stearns,

Stevens: New Hampshire, Marriage and Divorce Records, 1659-1947;

 Children of Augustus & Sarah H. (Emerson) Stearns:

1. Ellen Stearns, b.1851 in Goffstown, New Hampshire

2. Mason William Stearns, b. 11 March 1856; m. Rachel Emma Fletcher of New London, daughter of William and Susannah J. (Hastings) Fletcher

3. Lyman Marshall Stearns, b. 4 March 1858; d. 28 Dec 1918 in Manchester, New Hampshire, m. 5 June 1878 Alnora Maria Chase of Londonderry NH, b. 11 May 1854, daughtet of Trueworthy and Nancy (Pettingill) Chase. They settled in Derry, New Hampshire. He was editor and publisher of checker books, and a professional player, having the rare gift of being able to play checkers blindfolded.  Published author and Checker Champion. No children

4. Carrie Elilsworth Stearns, b. 24 March 1863 in Lynn, Massachusetts m 10 Nov 1863 Herman Foster Nutt of West Derry, New Hampshire. Known Children Herman Elwyn and Bernice Irene.

 5. Frank Leslie Stearns, b. 7 Dec 1866 in Salem, Massachusetts, m. Abbie L Farr of Methuen, Massachusetts. Children: Harry (Henry) L, John H, Blanche E, Ralph M, and Frances May.

Augustus was most likely the male 5-under 10 in the Nathan Stearns Household residing in Goffstown, New Hampshire in 1840. Also living in the household was a male under age 5 [Lucien E. born 19 May 1840,] male 30-40 [Nathan Stearns,]  2 females under 5 [Elvira 26 Jan 1836 and Mary Ann 27 Apr 1838,] and 1 female 30-40 [Polly Martin 27 Aug 1810.]

 He was a shoemaker. He and his family resided in Goffstown, New Hampshire 1850;  Middleton, Massachusetts in 1855, returning to the old homestead in Goffstown, New Hampshire sometime between the 1855-1860 US Census. moved to Lynn, Massachusetts sometime before 1863 when daughter, Carrie E. was born; returning to Goffstown, New Hampshire before the 1870 US Census for. He worked in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1869, where he followed the trade of a finished custom shoe maker until 1878. One of his eyes was injured by chestnut burr, and from this injury gradually became totally blind. He moved to West Derry about two years before his death. Middleton, Massachusetts, Lynn, Massachusetts, Derry New Hampshire and Manchester, New Hampshire all were known for shoe manufacturing. Augustus was following the work of his trade.

Military enlistment 13 June 1863 5th District Lynn, Massachusetts: U.S. Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 for Augustus Stearns on Ancestry.  1 July 1863 was 31 years old, residing in the 5th district of Lynn, Massachusetts, trade a shoemaker, married, born New Hampshire, no list of regiment or date of former service noted in this enlistment record.


A Tidbit about Shoe Making

 Inventors had managed to create machines to cut out the different parts of the shoe and to sew together the leather that made up the top, but the last and hardest part still had to be done by hand. Skilled shoemakers would shape the leather upper part of the shoe over a foot-shaped wooden mold called a last and then sew it onto the sole, or bottom, of the shoe. An expert shoe laster could make about fifty pairs of shoes a day.


For more information on shoemaking read:

“The Shoemakers of Lynn, Massachusetts, 1850-1880: The Family during the Transition from Hand to Machine Labor”, by Milligan Jr., William H


The “History of the town of Dunbarton”, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, from the Grant by Mason’s Assign in 1751 to the year 1860, by Caleb Stark, published Concord, NH, 1860 had information on Elijah Stearns (pg 27), and Dr Isaac Stearns (pge 150 & 154,) but none for Nathan Jr.

History of the town ofGoffstown1733-1920 Narrative by George Plummer Hadley in two volumes: Link to read online


Genealogical and Family History of the State ofNew Hampshirecompiled by Erza Stearns 1901 Volume 1 pg 385-394

History of Goffstown, New Hampshire1733 -1920, A Narrative by George Plummer Hardly

1840 Census Goffstown, New Hampshire for Nathan Stearns:  Year: 1840; Census Place: Goffstown, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; Roll: 238; Page: 135; Family  History Library Film: 0014932; accessed 5 Jan 2017, image 25 of 31; Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.



The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ancestral File (R), Copyright (c) 1987,  June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998.

1855 Census Middleton, Essex, Massachusetts: Augustus 23 y, wife of A Stearns 23 y, Ellen L 4y

1860 Census Goffstown, Hillisborough, New Hampshire: Augustus 27, Sarah H 27,Ellen L 9, Mason W 4, Lyman M 2

1870 Census Goffstown, Hillsborough, New Hampshire: Augustus 38, Sarah H 38, Mason W 14, Lyman N 12, Carrie E 7, Frank L 4 (Carrie & Frank born Massachusetts)

Ancestry.com. U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registrations, 1863-1865. NM-65, entry 172, 620 volumes. NAI: 4213514. Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War), Record Group 110. National Archives at Washington D.C. image 176 of 244 vol 2 of 4

DYI Photography set up

I scan or take photographs of older, non-digital pictures to catalog into my digital files. I also take photographs when I visit family. Carrying around a photograph box set, tri-pod and camera are not always convenient.

Here is a simple set up that most of us have supplies to make on the spot.

Cell phone

File folder

Paper Clips

photograph or memorabilia of the moment.

DYI Photo Set up

Bend the paper clip as shown; bend the single part of the clip toward the back and the double part of the clip in the front.

Unfold the file folder. Lean it against something, like books for support.

Place the phone in the clips. I found using two clip holders were more stable than a single clip to hold the phone. Remember not to place the phones buttons on the clip. You’ll end up with unexpected photos.

Place your photo or object centered in the view finder. Adjust phone zoom as needed and AE/AF Lock (hold finger on object until AE/AF lock appears.) This allows for multiple photographs with resetting.

Take your photo.

Harding Ave House-Zoom
Harding Ave House
Pig Pull Toy


I hope my simple suggestion is useful to you.


Treasured Memories of my Parents

Treasured Memories: A glimpse into the past of Nelson and Shirley Stearns

By their daughter, June Stearns Butka

The Stearns Family 1972 Photo by June Stearns Butka

In reflection of the new year approaching, I find it important to remember our loved ones. Those with us and those who have gone before. Today’s post is in loving memory of my parents. My father, Nelson William Stearns, died 12 Aug 1988 and my mother, Shirley Beatrice Pease-Stearns, 28 Apr 2001 are deceased. In Christian beliefs they are in heaven at the side of their Lord. In Native American beliefs they moved on to the spirit world. Others believe they are buried in the ground for eternity. I believe they are in my heart guiding me through the journey of life. I feel their  spirit, their energy and even occasionally smell their essence. My Dad always smelled of car grease and Mom like Lilly of the Valley’s.

Nelson and Shirley Stearns always spoke about the fact they would have had a “Bakers Dozen” of children if she didn’t miscarried four time trying for a boy to keep the family name going.

Nelson was an Auto Mechanic and by his own words “A Jack of all trade, a master of none.” Shirley was a Nurse’s Aide as well as helping Nelson with his service station in Pembroke, Merrimack, New Hampshire in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Nelson and Shirley were baptized 29 July 1984 by Rev. Stephen Brewer, St. Saviour Pond Limerick, Maine. That same year they both passed their GED Exam becoming High School Graduates.

He died of heart attack after a long battle with Colon Cancer and Alzheimer’s. Thankfully he was dealing with Alzheimer’s, which helped him not remember the pain. She died from complications of Lymphatic Cancer after a long fight, both medically and spiritually. She spent her final months cutting out quilts squares for each of her grandchildren to be given on their wedding day. She also crocheted granny squares and attached a Bible verse to each one to be given out to those who attend her funeral.  She dealt with her pain by working on her projects, planning her funeral arrangements and listening to her gospel music CD’s.  She taught her family how to be “heaven found” with grace and composure.

Shirley playing the Ukulele


Nelson and Shirley were avid country music fans. You could find them singing with Shirley playing the guitar; Nelson played the spoons. The girls and Nelson Neal would join in on the singing and dancing. On occasion Nelson and Shirley would go to the Circle Nine Ranch Epsom, New Hampshire for yodeling contest. Maybe they would travel a little further to the Merrimack, New Hampshire to sing and dance at The Lone Star Ranch. A family friend, Gene Maltais of Rock -A- Billy fame, would join in the sing along.


Shirley made quilts by hand with lots of love and care. She made them for her children when they were married and for her church to raffle off. Shirley carried that tradition on by teaching her daughters and her granddaughters. Julia, a granddaughter, helped Shirley to make a Wedding Ring quilt that was given to June and Michael on their tenth anniversary. That same quilt was then passed on to June’s sister Susan when she married Christopher. Shirley was “heaven found” by that time. Both Julia and June felt Susan should have a wedding ring quilt made by her mom, Shirley. Tears of love were shared that day.

Model T Cookie Jar


Nelson and Shirley had moved twenty one times between 1953-1969 and only four times from 1969 to 1988 when Nelson was “heaven found.” They had lived in five of the six New England states. Rhode Island did not become their home. Sometimes the moves were work related other times it was family related. Family and community support was a strong sense of duty and passion that Nelson and Shirley passed on to the next generation.

Popular School House-Aunt Carrie’s home


Another past time for Nelson and Shirley was playing Cards. Nelson and his family would camp at Carrie Lulu (Stearns) Perkins home in Sutton, Merrimack, New Hampshire, every summer. When fishing was done and night time had settled in, you could find them playing Canasta until the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes even the girls would join in. Those camping trips bring back the memories of baking in wood burning stoves, putting clothes through the ringer washer, chopping wood and outhouse duty. The only modern convenience Aunt Carrie had was electricity for lights only. You even had to pump from the well to get water for cooking. We would usually sneak to the brook for spring water to drink.

Reflections by June Stearns Butka


How I use my “We’re Related” Application

How I use my “We’re Related App.

Russ Worthington posted a question in his “We’re Related” Facebook Closed Group, asking how we use our We’re Related app. I posted a quick answer.

Then I decided since I was working with a new hint from my app, I would record each step in a blog. It showed that the quick answer I gave Russ left a few steps out of how I use the application.

This is MY Own Way of Researching. You probably have your way.

My goal is to show one way to research those hints from the We’re Related app.  The same principles can be used for any hints you find.

My second goal is in honor of Women’s History Month, I plan to find one new female ancestor each week in March 2017.


  1. I add the people hints first to my Excel Spreadsheet Data, using Russ Worthington’s format.
    We're Related App
    We’re Related App

    2. I check my Main Ancestry Tree, to see if the people are there.

    Ancestry Fowler Search
    Ancestry Fowler Search

    3. I continue searching until I find the generation in my tree. No “Ring” Surname, then checked Colby. I do have a Judith Colby the mother of John Collins in my Ancestry Family Tree.
    4. Using the information from the We’re Related Application on Ancestry’s search

    Ancestry Search Bar
    Ancestry Search Bar
    Ancestry Search page
    Ancestry Search page
    Judith Colby results
    Judith Colby results

    5. I NOW have 153 hints to research

    6. I do the same filter search in Family Serach

    Judith Colby Family Search Results
    7. It yielded only a Family Tree, no records. I do not search Family trees, unless I hit a brick wall. Thia prevents ME from becoming lazy in my OWN research.


    8. I compare my person, Judith Colby, with my Ancestry Tree information I already researched. I also check my shoebox for any save records that may be for Judith Colby. I did have one for birth for a Judith born of Judith and Er Colby on 7 Oct 1764. I also had save to Judith a Find A Grave Record with the same birth date.

9. I DO NOT add this birth record to my tree. The other hints from my Ancestry search need to be evaluated for location, and possible parentage of Judith.

10. I will go to the next generation, Judith Ring and do the same research I did for Judith Colby.

11. I will research, town histories, deeds, [no censuses for this time frame will give me names of the household members,] marriage records and death records. This is just a few of the records I research and compare, before adding Judith Colby’s parents.

Source information:

  1. Ancestry We’re Related App, http://www.ancestry.com/wererelated/share/ (accessed 3 Mar 2017) via IPhone
  2. Ancestry, https://www.ancestry.com/ Stearns Butka Family Tree (accessed 3 Mar 2017)
  3. FamilySearch Rights and Use Information (Updated 2/3/2015) | Privacy Policy (Updated 3/18/2014) © 2017 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. A service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  4. com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.



January 2017 Recap Week 1

I may not be posting here in my blog post as much as I should. I am posting on Facebook. Below is a recap for the first week of January 1-7, 2017.

My goal is to at least post a monthly review of my Facebook posting here. February will follow in a day or two.

I did something unusual for the New Year, No resolutions other than to take each day as it comes with a smile and enjoy the moment.

1 Jan 2017 post on June Stearns Butka’s Facebook Page:

We each have our crosses to bear. It is how we deal with them that makes us who we are.

It is difficult sometimes to accept the changes, that some perceive as weaknesses.

Naomi King reminded me that, although I can’t do what I once was capable of, I still have a lot to offer.

I may not be able to bake, cook or make crafts, due to the muscle weakness; I can still offer support, love and give my family a sense of where we came from.

We are made of strong stuff, we stay positive and we adjust to what life has given us.

Live life to the fullest, no matter what challenges you meet. You will be happy with yourself. Maybe even at peace with yourself.

Happy New Year. 🎆

This is my wish for all of you: love yourself, accept what challenges life gives you, and maybe life will be brighter, happier and healing of spirit for the New Year.

4 Jan 2017 post on June Stearns Butka’s Facebook Page:

I quick challenge to my family and friends.

Name one thing about yourself that most people don’t know about.

I’ll start.

Did you know that I helped my Dad, build and race Dune Buggies?

Friend Responses included:

  1. Friend I learned how to take a car engine apart and put back together with my dad. June Stearns Butka I didn’t know that we had progressive Dad’s. Friend Yes I guess we did that’s why we are so close. 😀😀😀❤❤❤
  1. Friendt Did you know that my first language was French? June Stearns Butka Yes, You mentioned it once.
  2. Friend first language was Polish; I studied concert piano for years. On my 16th birthday my Dad bought a Steinway Grand Piano which is no in my sister’s house.


January 4th also carried the sad news of Carrie Fisher’s death. I great loss for the world entertainment community, her family and friends. She was taken ill on her flight home after completing the filming of a Star Wars movie.

A Productive day: Dear Myrtle at noon Genealogy Proof Standard Study Group,” Book Club In the Blood,’ Webinar Wednesday DNA, Joe Hill Live (on Facebook) newest book discussion and top the night off with Dear Myrtle Wacky Wednesday Pinterest and Public Television Castles of King Ludwig ll.

5 Jan 2017 post on June Stearns Butka’s Facebook Page:

Genealogy Tip for today:

One that bears repeating- Review the whole page for family, including notes and side bars.

Lines 25 & 26, 31, 32, 33, 34 & 35 are one family. You will notice that the Derosby Family divides them. The Ancestry index list lines 31-35 as child for John C. Derosby. Where in fact they are the children of Edna. Edna is the mother of all the children on line 31-35. Walter is the father of Walter line 31

Check the house number and the sidebar for more hints of corrections when reviewing any documents.

1930 US Census Waterville Maine
1930 US Census Waterville Maine

7 Jan 2017 post on June Stearns Butka’s Facebook Page:

Today’s Genealogy tip:

Take time to review for duplicate entries on your Ancestry People list. Check any Family Tree for duplicates.

Sometimes, especially in the early days of my tree, I forget to check that the person is already in my tree linked to another person, before adding them to my tree.

You save yourself a lot of work when verifying and merging your duplicates.

I’m still cleaning up my tree I began with on Ancestry. It is a slow process but one that is needed to be done.

I try each month to review for duplicates. Even through I leave off at a certain letter, if I worked on my tree in the interim, I go back to the letter “A” and review from the beginning.

I was slack in reviewing when working on a project as a Christmas gift. So, I started at the beginning. I made to the “C’s” before I decided I should write the Genealogy Tip for today.

It looks like I need to verify if my Samuel Chase’s are different people.

Bonus Tip: Even if they have a DOB within 3 years of each other and not DOD, on at least one, I verify that they are not the same person. Same in the reverse, if I have a DOD and not DOB for at least one, I check it.

Happy Reviewing.

Partial Ancestry People List
Partial Ancestry People List


Most of the first week of January was down time to recuperate from holiday gatherings. We all need to remember the importance of Heal thyself.