Mayflower Remembered

This Thanksgiving I’m thinking more about our Ancestors who arrive in 1620. I have several, yet to be accept Mayflower lines. Richard Warren, John Howland, Elizabeth Tilley, Joan Hurst Tilley are just a few that I have a paper trail to. Next year the celebration of the arrival of the Mayflowers 400 years ago.

Here is my entry for Bill West’s 11th Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Contest. Here is the link.

I dedicate this Poem to all who struggled with the decision to leave their homeland and traverse to an unknown wilderness.










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


Fishing Tales and Your Ancestors

We all have family fishing tales of whose fish is the biggest. Town histories even get into telling fishing tales. That is a good thing for those of us looking for our ancestors. It gives a residence, a year and sometimes an occupation for them. Here is one page from “A History of the Town of Industry, Franklin County, Maine …” page 21

Industry Maine 1892 History

The 1892 history of Industry, Maine tells the tale of Isaac Webster, a shoemaker by trade “who died, at an advanced age, a few years since, in Taunton, Massachusetts.” Isaac moved to Industry from Stark and settled in the village of Allen’s Mill for several years.

The largest trout caught by Isaac weighed 17 ¾ pounds.

Others listed for catching large fish are:

John Daggett

John Wesley Norton

Samuel Rackliff

James C. Luce

Luther Luce, Sr.

Rueben Hatch, Sr.

Nelson W. Fish

John Atwell Daggett

John F. Daggett

William R. Daggett

Fred F. Backus

Truman Luce (1833)

Daniel Sanders Collins (1857)

Harry Pierce of Farmington (July 1890)

John Richards of Boston (July 1890)

Chas. E. Oliver of West Mill’s (1885)

John L. Sterry of Stark (1891)

George W. Dobbins of Boston (1889)

Herbert B. Luce of Allen’s Mills (1883)

Henry O. Stanley of Dixfield (1883) State Fish Commissioner

Chas. Augustus Allen of Farmington

A history of the town of Industry, Franklin County, Maine, from the earliest settlement in 1787 down to the present time, embracing the cessions of New Sharon, New Vineyard, Anson, and Stark. In two parts, including the history and genealogy of many of the leading families of the town

by Hatch, William Collins

Publication date 1893

Topics Industry, Maine, Industry, Maine, genealogy

Publisher Farmington, Me., Press of Knowlton, McLeary & Co.

Collection allen_county; americana

Digitizing sponsor Internet Archive

Contributor Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

Language English

Volume Pt. 1


Digital image of a photocopied book. Irregular pagination. No copyright page found.

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Call number 31833011871297

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Identifier-ark ark:/13960/t3hx4ct0d

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Pages 894

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Full catalog record MARCXML


Immigrants remembered

Pictures In Verse Poetry Contest entry 2017

Bill West recently reminded us of his annual Genealogy Poetry Challenge. I decided that this poem honors our nation’s early immigrant’s culture from whence they came and their descendants. It gives a sense of where we came from.

I believe the sentiment expressed in this poem could be applied to immigrants to our nation today. Life is uncertain, filled with the unknown. It’s how we deal with Life that determines who we are.

Today I honor my 8th great-grandfather, John MacBean/Bean.

While researching my John MacBean/Bean lineage, for an Ancestry DNA hint, I came across this poem written by Mrs. Alice Bean Lodge of Gilmanton, New Hampshire (31 Aug 1899); read by Mrs. E. W. Johnson of East Wilton, Maine, for the Fourth Annual Reunion of John Bean (1660) Association at Portland, Maine 31 Aug 1899.

Picture In Verse

Good morrow, friends and kinsmen,

I greet you one and all,

Who’ve seen the fiery Cross go forth

And heard the bugle call.

Ours be a peaceful meeting,

We need no cross or flame,

No plaid or Scottish bonnet

To tell from whence we came.

With pride of ancient ancestry

And love of Highland lore,

Our hearts may be as leal and true

As those who lived of yore.

Warriors were they, and artizans,

Our coat of arms doth show

An arm and hand, with dagger raised

To strike an avenging blow.

The motto of ye olden time

Sounds strange to us to-day,

But in the seventh century,

When Douglas Bayne held sway,

They challenged every man they met,

They made him stand and show

What might his name and station be

And whether friend or foe.

“Touch not the cat without a glove,”

Or you may rue the day

You made him lift the velvet paw,

Or stroked him the wrong way.

Clan Chattan’s foes may well beware,

Her sons are strong and fleet,

And a mountain wildcat might not be

A pleasant thing to meet.

Let us go back to those old days

And see the life they led,

Their home a mountain cavern,

Their dress, the Highland plaid;

Their bed of flinty rock was strewn

With heather and wild fern,

And they drank the sparkling water

From out of the nearest burn.

With trusty bow and arrow

They chased they flying roe,

And watched the mountain passes

To guard against the foe.

While from the castle on the cliff

The watchman, old and grey,

Gave warning to the warder

To keep the foe away.

Within the castle all looked bright,

The knights were brave and true,

The ladies taught their maids

To spin, tow weave and sew.

The laird was father of his clan,

The lady, sweet and fair,

Made all the poor and stricken ones

Their own especial care.

Their peaceful days were brimming o’er

With happiness, I ween,

When all the lads and lassies met

To dance upon the green.

With hearts as light as thistle-down,

With laughter, song and jest,

Each Lassie laced her bodice blue,

Each laddie donned his best;

The lairds looked on approvingly,

My lady with a smile,

The older folks sat round in groups

To chat and rest awhile.

And e’en the poor were not forgot,

Who through the twilight stole,

With bag in hand from door to door

To gather up the dole.

What visions danced before their eyes

As they white sails unfurled,

To seek for home and fortune

In a strange, far off new world.

What anxious days were those at sea,

When parted from the land,

They steered their bark to westward

Till they reached a rocky strand.

Tho’ few indeed their numbers were,

Their hearts were stout and bold;

The dangers met, the toils they shared

Have oftentimes been told.

The German sighs for Fatherland,

The Switzer mourns his mountains

With many a silent tear;

And tho’ Columbia beckons

And the future may beguile,

The bells of Shandon still sound sweet

To the sons of Erin’s Isle.

We talk of Merry England,

The vine-clad hills of France,

Of Spain and her Alhambra,

Of Moorish song and dance;

Italia’s charms and chanted oft

By light of the silver moon,

And we sing of bonny Scotland,

“Ye banks and braes of Doon.”

And why from lands so fair and fine

Is it so many come?

In the fair land—America__

A man can own his home;

Freedom of thought and action,

A chance to see and know,

The land is board, and fair, and free

Wherever he may go.

Her flag is known in every port,

Her ships sail every sea,

She stretches out her strong right arm

To help the oppressed go free.

The morning sun shines brightly

When he leaves his ocean bed

Upon a busy commerce

And crowded marts of trade—

Upon a restless people

Who hurry to and fro,

As here and there with eager steps

Throughout the land they go.

‘Tis true the world is very wide,

And some are sure to find

In leaving home that they have left

Their “Fortunate Isles” behind.

And tho’ like Esmeralda,

We “sing in every bower,”

Or like the bee who all day long

Sips honey from each flower,

When twilight closes round us

Wherever we may be,

We hear our Mother singing

Aneath the “Rowen tree;”

And with the Germans “Wanderer,”

Our hearts cry out, “Where art thou.

O my beloved home>’

And you whose lives are shadowed

By grief, or pain, or loss,

From whom the sky is darkened,

And gold is naught but dross,

Worn out with tears and watching,

Caught by the undertow

And carried outward by the tide

Wherever it may go;

Helpless to bear life’s burdens,

Yet hoping while you call,

That haven may prove a refuge

And a resting place for all.

Look up for strength and courage,

Take note of little things,

You may see angels’ faces

And hear the sound of wings.

Old Allan Bayne, that harp of thine

Has mute remained for many a year,

The chords that thrilled the soul are hushed,

The hand that touched them is not here.

How often in the olden days

Unseen it welcomed many a guest;

It cheered his sorrows, soothed his fears,

And gently lulled to rest.

But when the clansmen filled the hall

To talk of deed by field and foray,

How loud and clear the notes that rang,

While sand the bard of fame and glory.

And when the exile wandered forth

To shadowy cave and forest near,

The ancient harper followed on

To charm and make his life less drear.

O, ancient harper, may my strain

Allure, and comfort as thine own;

Let joybells ring, and Hope’s bright ray

Illume a future all unknown,

For life may yet hold much of good,

Tho’ often mixed with grief and care,

And flowers still loom and birds yet sing

As in old Scotland vales so fair.


Written by Mrs. Alice Bean Lodge



  1. Proceedings of the John Bean (1660)


  1. Bill West 9th Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge



  1. John Bean Association Proceedings of the John Bean (1660) Association, at its annual reunion, accessed 7 September 2017, from; publisher S I-The Association, 1899, collection Allen County Americana digitalized, Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, published 1899, call number 31833012005747, image pg100-104


  1. West, Bill (2017) West In New England 30 Aug 2017 Bill West 9th Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge, accessed 7 September 2017


My lineage:

John MacBean/Bean 1634-1718 & Margaret Edwards 1640-1714

James Bean 1672-1753 & Sarah Bradley 1673-1738

Samuel Bean 1710-1786 &Mary Buzzell 1714-1812

Judith Bean 1732-1817 &Moses Quimby 1713-1826

Hannah Quimby 1759-1831 & Philip Nelson 1756-1841

William Nelson 1795-1869 & Patty Teel 1795-1891

Benjamin P. Nelson 1824-1862 & Elinor M. Babb 1830-1906

William F. Nelson 1855-1932 & Clara J. Chase 1875-1955, my great-grandparents

Lillian M. Nelson 1895-1934 & Nathan A. Stearns 1887-1851, my grandparents

Nelson W. Stearns 1930-1988 & Shirley B. Pease 1935-2001, my parents


Judith Bean 1732-1817 &Moses Quimby 1713-1826 are founding families of Sutton, Merrimack, New Hampshire the home of my heart.


  1. Proceedings of the John Bean (1660)


  1. Bill West 9th Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge



  1. John Bean Association Proceedings of the John Bean (1660) Association, at its annual reunion, accessed 7 September 2017, from; publisher S I-The Association, 1899, collection Allen County Americana digitalized, Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, published 1899, call number 31833012005747, image pg100-104


  1. West, Bill (2017) West In New England 30 Aug 2017 Bill West 9th Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge, accessed 7 September 2017

Italian Anyone? A Different Type of Family tree


Today is a little different type of blog post. I’m going to write about a new Family Restaurant that opened today, 16 Feb 2016 in Merrimack, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.

Portofino Italian Restaurant

It opened in the old “Florence’s Italian Restaurant” location next to Domino’s and CVS on Daniel Webster Highway. the name of the new Italian restaurant my husband has been anxiously waiting to open is called…

Portofino  Italian Restaurant Just click on the link to see the amazing menu choices offered.

My husband, Michael D. Butka and I, June Stearns Butka, decided to visit if they were open. The opening was delayed until all permits were in order, like all new starting business. When we entered the doors we were greeted with a familiar face, Janet. Janet was a waitress at Florence’s Restaurant for 26 years. Her friendly, welcoming smile was a pleasant sight to see. She informed us we were their first customers. Right then and there I knew I would be blogging about this restaurant. Janet offered us any seat in the house, took our photo with Mike’s IPhone and gave us a brief overview of the menu.

I looked around the restaurant to see what changes were made. I think the achieved a nice balance of the old and new personalities of the restaurant. Yes, there is one cork bottle wall, proudly presenting the outline of Itlay, boot and all. Come in and see the blending of the restaurants.

We asked her recommendations, she introduced us to one of the new owners, Maria Mastantuono. Maria gave a delightful history of their food experience and a synopsis of the menu. Maria and her husband, Giuliano (the chef) are familiar faces to some of us in the Merrimack/Amherst area. They owned until last week, PastaAmore. I love the idea of supporting local businesses, families and giving them a shut out for the new adventure they are starting. Check out their website or their Facebook Page for menu and history.

1st customers of Portofino Italian Rest_ Merrimack NH 2 Feb 2016

Mike posted our picture to the Merrimack Forum Facebook Page, within an hour there was 78 likes and multiple post. Several asking for a review of the restaurant. Here is my review as promised.

I must state up front that my husband is the one who likes Italian food. I’m more of the local diner or Thai food person. Maria explained each of the main entree’s to us, including the fact that they have both fresh and dry pasta options. If you are not a meat eater, I found several choices to choose from.

We decided that we would order appetizers to go; Meatball sausage side dish for Mike and Crab-Spinach Carciofi for me. Late night snack time.

Mike choose to order the “Parm Lunch”- you had a choice of Eggplant or chicken smothered in Marina sauce and mozzarella cheese. Mike choose chicken over Penne Pasta. The chicken was tender and the Penne al-dente, just the way Mike likes it.

Pharm Lunch_Chicken


I choose Pasta Firenze with Angel Hair pasta with mushrooms, spinach, garlic, onions and broccoli in a white wine sauce.

Pasta Firenze at portofino's

After ordering we were surprised with fresh made bread with a homemade spiced olive oil. Not too spicy, just enough to give a tingle.

Fresh baked bread_Portofino

Did we do dessert? Oh, yes, we did. The two side menu provides a delicate and not so delicate palate choices for you. It was a very difficult decision. We started out thinking we would share one, just to sample something. We ended up both ordering.

Mike- a Chocolate filled Cream Puff

Cream Puff_Portifina

I decided to go with the Guava mango Flute

Guava Mango Flute_ Portofino


I can’t wait to go back and try the Lemoncello Flute or one of the sorbet offerings.

I don’t think I need to tell you that Mike and I will be returning to Portofino’s again to sample more of their menu.

Please remember the menu is new to Janet. Have patience, as with any new business, kinks need to be worked out. The friendly atmosphere, people and food are all worth the time and patience. Our food was served in a timely manner, hot or cold as it should be served with a smile and helping answers to all our questions.

It is nice to have another lunch choice in Merrimack, New Hampshire to go to. I still have my favorite places to eat, but one can’t live on the same type of food all the time. After-all variety is the spice of life.

Bon Appetite!



Data Clean-Places: Finally Getting Organized


Data Cleaning your family tree program is a must to keep yourself organized. If you do a monthly data clean on your tree, it will help reduce duplication as you proceed. It will also pace your clean up of your older tree, as you work forward. I know that my, FTM2014 and Legacy, still have clean up needs from when I first started putting information into them. I was overwhelmed with the repairs that were needed. Pacing myself makes it manageable. Choosing one type of Data clean at a time.

Doing the first five generations with last years Genealogy Challenge from DearMyrtle’s and Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over/Go-Over, helped me learn the importance of starting from my root person, me, and working with my known family members first, moving on to lesser known families members gave me the confidence to pace myself. I will always find new information on my ancestors. I will add that information, to the best of my abilities, into my research excel to-do list with proper citation, links and notes, so that when the time comes to add them to my family tree program of choice, it will be the most accurate. Doing the monthly Data Clean, reminds me of the importance of recording correctly in my To-Do list. It will also limit the number of tree in my database. I should not be adding people to my database until I know their family relationship. I will have the information at my fingertips when needed.

Dear Myrtle may not have mentioned this in her getting organized blog, YET, I’m sure she will for whatever family tree program you have. I have down it for my other two programs; FTM2014 and Legacy. I just uploaded my “My Heritage” family tree GEDCOM to my Roots Magic tree. I have been working on this tree, so I felt confident it was fairly accurate in its files.  When I did the Data Clean overview, as per the webinar instructions, I found my Place names were not that bad. A good place to start.

However, missing information Data clean will be a challenge that will take several days, if not weeks or years to resolve.  Many are unknown surnames for the wife, date of birth, date of death and/or marriage/divorce. I knew my distant generations were missing information, but 23 pages of missing information surprised me. What also surprised me was that I have 46 trees in my database. I thought I only had one tree. When I saw 46 I was in shock. Then I thought about it. I have several people I found that I believe are related but was not sure how. Each person is not linked in my tree, but are in my database. It make sense why I have 43 trees, most with 1 – 5 people (a family.)

Data Clean-Places: Finally Getting Organized

Places Data Clean
Places Data Clean

I decided while waiting for RootsTech 2016 to restart the afternoon Live streaming I would check my RootsMagic program place names for errors.

I watch the Cleaning Your Family Tree in RootsMagic webinar #7 previously. I started with the Data Clean drop down menu under tools. I had 53 Place problems. [Sorry no photo.] I corrected the places; mostly were missing United States, had an extra punctuation marks, and the Street Address was not in the description.  I did have a few with duplicate county entries (Hillsborough and Merrimack Counties for the same location.) I noted the time period for that record added the current county it is listed by and placed the Historical/Parent County in the description box. I pressed clean places, closed out when it was done and finally re-did the Data Clean search for places. I did a, Happy Dance, when the screen popped up without problems.

Source citations:

Richley-Erickson, Pat “Finally Get Organized,” Dear Myrtle, DearMyrtle’s Genealogy Your Friend In Genealogy since 1995 Blog, 31 Jan 2016. Access 2 Feb 2016, checklists.

First Day of the Month = Backup time


1 Feb 2016

First Day of the Month = Backup time

Special Day Calendar
Special Day Calendar

You will most likely see another posting about the importance of backing up you work. I plan my backs the first day of each month. It is a SCHEDULED day that is easy to remember.

What do I back up? Everything!!!

  1. to the cloud product of choice. icloud, Evernote, Dropbox, OneNote, I’m sure there are other cloud that you may use, like, Backblaze,  My back up of choice has been a mixture of all listed above and Google Drive.  This past year was a learning curve of what works best for me. I learned I need to K.I.S.S. , Keep It Simple and Straightforward, [you can read more about it here.]
  2. My Microsoft Word Documents, photos, and backup FTM2014 are all backed up on 2 external drives, on-line Google Docs and a Flash drive sent to my sister offsite. If I find that I have added a large amount of work I will do a weekly backup as needed.
  3. I have on-line Trees with [most up-to-date],, and [soon to be up-to-date.] I have tried many other online trees; I will be keeping these three trees the most current.
  4. I’m using FTM2014 as my primary program[using FTM since 2002]. Legacy and RootsMagic are still in the learning stages. All three have pluses and minuses to each. [The three trees have a difference of 100 people between each of them. As I clean up and merge duplicates that number is shrinking. To date my FTM2014 is the most accurate numbers and ancestors.

    I’m in the process of transcribing my paper files and Microsoft Word files to my FTM2014 program including media. I will maintain original, certified documents and discard that is easily found on line.

My goal is to continue to stream line and organize my research so that both, my genealogist friends and family members with have a copy that makes sense to them. Citations with improve for my genealogy friends. Stories will entice my family to read about their ancestor’s.

My surname Binders are available for everyone to pick up and read in house. I also have created several family books and calendars for those who are not into my passion.

Family Tree Interviews
Family Tree Interviews