Category Archives: History

Mayflower II at Mystic Seaport Museum

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Mayflower II

Mayflower II

I recently was invited to view the Mayflower II, currently under renovation at the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, at Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic Seaport, Connecticut.

I’m grateful for the invitation from fellow Geneablogger, Heather Wilkinson Rojo, of Nutfield Genealogy Blog. She and her husband Vincent, kindly became my guide and chauffeur for the day. I had not seen either the Mayflower or Mystic in decades. The day turn out beautiful in weather [a few showers,] learning opportunities and overall enjoyment of each others company.

Heather has written a wonderful overview of the Mayflower preservation efforts on her blog site, Nutfield Genealogy. I will not duplicate her efforts.

Vincent and Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Vincent and Heather Wilkinson Rojo

After a warm welcome in the Vistor’s Center we met up with the Plimoth Plantation staff, our host for the day, we proceeded to the Shipyard. While listening to the presentation about their preservation work, I turned around and saw the Mayflower II. Feelings of longing came over me. I still need to find the reported direct line ancestor to the Mayflower. I have found many cousin lines, but sadly, not my direct line.

Mayflower II: My first look

Mayflower II: My first look

Mayflower II: another look

Mayflower II: another look

The Mayflower II welcomed us like old friends.

Heather and Vincent boarding the Mayflower

Heather and Vincent boarding the Mayflower

There is a beautiful view from the Mayflower II of Mystic

View from the Mayflower II

View from the Mayflower II

The preservation crew use old and new style tools in the renovations.

Tools

Tools

"Tween" Deck 1

“Tween” Deck 1

"Tween" Deck 2

“Tween” Deck 2

The “tween” deck, also known as the gun deck, offers a view of how the Pilgrims lived. Imagine 102 cooking, all the passengers and crew quarters, their belongings, and animals living and the gun in one small space. [They had more room than those aboard the “Arbella” with 125 passengers, and a smaller vessel. This was one of the ships my ancestors came over on ten years later.]

Cooking aboard ship

Cooking aboard ship

The Cooking area is being used for storage during renovations.

Gun Ports

Gun Ports

The gun ports were numbered.

canon

The gun room is located where you saw the Emblem in the photograph above [Mayflower II another look.]

Whit Perry gave a very informative overview of the Mayflower and the Mayflower II.

Whit Perry

Whit Perry

Whit Perry is the director of maritime preservation and operations. He is giving an overview of his crew on the days restoration and work projects.

Windlass

Windlass

Capstan

Capstan

The Capstan [circular log sharped column in the center of the ship. You can see some of the new live oak boards for needed repairs to the Mayflower II. The haven’t seasoned, yet, to the dark shade you see on the older boards around the ship.

The cargo hold was below the “Tween” Deck via a cargo hold hatch.

Cargo Hold

Cargo Hold

Fore Mast

Fore Mast

To see more views and cut a way views of the Mayflower visit this page “The Mayflower Voyage.” It describes what the ship better than I can is words.

Live Oak from South Carolina 600 years old

Live Oak from South Carolina 600 years old

Live oak history

Live oak history

What is ‘live oak”? Why is it so important in the preservation of the Mayflower II [and even in restoring “Old Ironside.”]?

Richard Pickering, Deputy Executive Director of Plimoth Plantation, tells us that live oak is one of the reasons the restorations take so long to complete. They need to find the Live Oak trees in a size that can accommodate the making of new boards for the Mayflower. This keeps the authenticity of the ship by doing so. It is an ongoing global search to fine them.

Richard Pickering Heather Wilkson Rojo and Vincent Rojo

Richard Pickering Heather Wilkson Rojo and Vincent Rojo

If truly curious:

Please visit:

Heather Wilkson Rojo’s Blog posts about the Mayflower II in dry dock, and her most recent post “The Mayflower II under renovation at the Mystic Seaport shipyard,”

Plimoth Plantation’s website about the Mayflower II,

Watch the Mystic Seaport video of the Mayflower II restoration,

To donate to the Mayflower restoration project go the “The Mayflower II Restoration” web page,

Click on the links embedded in my blog post such as; live oak, the Mayflower cross view and a few others.

I hope the pictorial narrative helps you in better understanding the efforts put into preserving a national monument, The Mayflower II.” It is important that we save our heritage. many building, covered bridges and building have been lost more to decay and neglect, than to any other cause.

Thank you Heather Wilkinson Rojo and Vincent Rojo for you photography, invitation and pleasant company for our day at Mystic Seaport Museum/Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard.

Published under creative common license

June Stearns Butka, “Mayflower II at Mystic Seaport Museum,” Damegussie Genealogy Rants, posted 12 May 2016, https://damegussie.wordpress.com/?p=2220&preview=true: (accessed 12 May 2016.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Honoring Female Ancestors: Martha Copp

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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.

Sources:

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.)

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World War II and M&M Candy?

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Enjoy a trip down memory lane, celebrating 75 years of M&M’s.

This year M&M candies turn 75 years old. You may wander what M&M’s has to do with genealogy. The USA Today news article on 3 March 2016 answers that question.

“M&M”s grew out of necessity when the military requested Mars make chocolate for the troops at the start of World War II. The candy’s hard exterior meant the chocolate didn’t melt and was ideally suited for overseas travel. When the war ended, soliders were still clamoring for the tiny treats, and Mars began selling them to regular customers in 1947.”

The next time you are with your family, see if your grandfather, father, uncle, grandmother, mother or aunt served in WWII. If they did, ask them what they remember about M&M’s as part of the rations.

M_and_M_candies _USA_Today_4_Mar_2016

Happy 75th Birthday M&M’s!

Sources:

Malcolm, Harley. “Big plans for tiny candy as M&M’s turn 75.” USA Today (3 March 2016): Section B 1.

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Bucket List- What I’ve done

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My friend, Tina Hitchock, posted a Bucket List challenge on Facebook. I decided I would take it. I was surprised at what I did over the years. There are many more things I have done than what is on the list. The memories that came flooding back when I read the list were very precious times I spent with my family.

28 radiation

The photos is of me having my radiation treatment in 2006. It is why I needed a tattoo. They tattoo the area that needs radiation for precision targeting.

Bucket List: play along– you would be surprised at the responses! Copy and paste to your status, then place an x by all the things you’ve done, and remove the x from the ones you have not.
X Shot a gun
X Gone on a blind date
Skipped school (not even on Senior Skip Day)
X Watched someone die (more than once for work & my mother)
X Visited Canada
Visited Hawaii
Visited Alaska
Visited Cuba
Visited Europe
Visited South America
X Visited Las Vegas
Visited Central America
Visited Asia
Visited Africa
X Visited Florida
X Seen the Grand Canyon in person
X Flown in a plane
X Served on a jury
X Been lost
X Traveled to the opposite side of. the country
X Visited Washington, DC
X Swam in the Ocean
X Played cops and robbers
X Played cowboys and Indians
X Recently colored with crayons
X Sang karaoke
X Sang a solo or duet in church
X Paid for a meal with coins only
Made prank phone calls.
X Laughed until some beverage came out of your nose
X Caught a snowflake on your tongue
X Had children
X Had a pet
X Been skinny-dipping
X Been fishing
X Been boating
X Been downhill skiing
X Been water skiing
X Been camping in a trailer/RV
X camping in a tent
X Driven a motorcycle
Been bungee jumping
X Gone to a drive-in movie
X Done something that could have killed you
Rode an elephant
X Rode a camel (at a fair)
X Eaten just cookies or cake or ice cream for dinner
X Been on TV
Stolen any traffic signs
X Donated blood
X Gotten a piercing
X Gotten a Tattoo (radiation tattoo)
X Gone off road 4 wheeling
X Ever owned your dream car (68 T-Bird)
X Been married
X Fell in love
X Paid for a stranger’s meal
X Driven over 100 mph
X Been scuba diving
X Written a published book/story/ poem/article
X Eaten snails
X Rode in a Hot Air Balloon
X Rode in a helicopter
X Met a celebrity
These last ones are about the new Facebook Reaction Tabs: I’m sure I will use sad at some point. Not sure I will use angry, I’m a Positive person most of the time.
X Like
X Love
X Haha
X Wow
Sad
Angry
 

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Repository for Flight: Pima Air & Space Museum

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So what do you do when you cable, internet are down all morning?

You go to the photographs you are trying to catalog to the family members in your family tree.

I have been trying to find highlight photographs for each person in my family, present and past, to add a little “fluff” to their stories.

Today I found the photographs of my husband’s, Michael D. Butka from 3 Mar 2013 when he visited our son, Michael Butka.

They visited the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.

Michael D Butka 2013 Mar 3 JFK and Johson Air Force One

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) and Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Air Force One plane.

The other photo is of the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak Fighter 1954-1958. Both are on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Mike at the Air Space Museum

This is a tidbit of the story I’m writing for my husband. I think future generations would like to know that my husband’s favorite president was JFK. How would you feel if you were up close and personal to Air Force One of your favorite president?

If I’m correct, the other plane is one like the “Blue Angels” fly. We went to see the Blue Angels as children and continued the tradition with our children.

Mike will correct me if I’m wrong about it being a “Blue Angel” type plane.

Do you have aviators in your family tree? This is a repository you may not have thought about visiting to find a little tidbit about your ancestor. They even offer live streaming Monday through Sunday 7 am-6 PM MST.

 

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First in the Nation Primary Day: I Voted

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2016 marks the 100th Anniversary of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary  the first primary was held on 14 Mar 1916.

My friend Janice Webster Brown blog about the First in the Nation History. You can read her Cow New Hampshire History blog post here.

Michael Daniel Butka and June Lee Stearns Butka both voted on 9 Feb 2016 in Merrimack, Hillsborough, New Hampshire at 10:15 in the morning. One of the volunteers kindly used my husband’s IPhone to snap a photograph of us. He asked us to stand behind the machines that insert your completed ballot into.

I didn’t notice that we were standing behind th,e “R” for Republican, box. Michael is a registered Democratic. I am a registered Independent, who declared, either Democrat or Republican, in this Primary election. I was able to return to my independent status before leaving the balloting area.

I will not say who I voted for. In our extended family keeping your council is the wisest move to make.

I always encourage my family to vote, weather they agree or disagree with other family members choice. Our ancestors fought for and sometimes, gave the ultimate price, for our right to vote.

Vote your conscience. You are the only one who needs to live with your decision, no one else.

We Voted.

9 Feb 2016

 

Goals for today 9 Feb 2016:

  1. Indexing on Family search
  2. Work on siblings in first 4 generations (this will be an ongoing project)
  3. Review digital files for duplicates and streamline my hard drive. It appears to be running out of space.
  4. Just have fun, relax and enjoy the day.

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Teenagers and Haunted Places

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Teenagers and Haunted Places

THE EERIE MYSTERY OF THE PHELPS MANSION KNOCKINGS

Phelps Mansion

Phelps Mansion

Phelps Mansion, Stratford, Connecticut demolished in 1972

Pre-teens and Teenagers always seem to migrate to scary places. Sometimes it is intentional to scare their friends. Sometimes some “strange” things happens to them.

My inbox greeted me with the article from my husband, Michael D. Butka, who lived in the area of Stratford, Connecticut. I will allow him to tell his story when he is ready.

It reminded me of my youth in Saugus, Massachusetts. Our family was temporally staying with my Aunt Eleanor [Stearns Duncan] and cousins, Lillian May Duncan and Jean Reid Duncan, after our house burned. Cousin being cousin we always shared ghost stories with each to see who could gave the best story. Sometime ones imagination can seem like reality. I was upstairs in the back bedroom I shared with my sisters, Vickie, Marjorie, Eleanor and baby Susan Stearns., look for my shoes under the bed.

I remember seeing a dungaree overall with a red plaid shirt rolled up into a ball. Thinking it was one of my sisters play clothes I reach to grab it. It moved, I felt a cold hand push me away. I pushed back thinking it was one of my sister’s or cousin playing with me. A cold chilly voice said leave him alone, we will leave you alone. I stood up walked downstairs; I confronted my sisters and cousins. I wanted to know who is playing games upstairs with me. I suddenly realized they were all downstairs. So who was upstairs?

I retold the story to my aunt and mother, Shirley Stearns Pease, who suddenly both became very pale. Strange reaction, I thought. My aunt then told me the tale of the house.

It was originally belonged to a mariner and his wife. She was a fouled mouth mean old women, it is told, and that finally had enough of her husband’s antics. She took the kitchen butcher knife and sliced off his ear. He died shortly after. Rumor be told that the house was haunted by the mariner and his wife.

I was not convinced of the truth of this story. I did return to our upstairs back bedroom that night. I was awakened in the middle of the night feeling cold hands around my neck. It was my sister sleep walking. She was trying to strangle me for blaming her for something I did that day. At least that is what my mother told me.

That was the last time I slept in the upstairs bedroom. I slept on the couch in the living room until we moved to our own home. This was in 1969. My aunt and cousin continued to live there. My cousin Lillian still does. The back bedroom is used only as a storage room.

Teenagers, imagination and ghost stories can create for an interesting story. Don’t you agree?

Maybe I should do a Historical house genealogy on that home in Saugus, Massachusetts.

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