Favorite Places

Far up in the woods, far away from here,
there is a trail, that wasn’t always there.
Grandfather would bring us, long long ago,
walking the trail, that wasn’t then there.
“Enter one way,” he said, “And leave by another –
and leave no trail to tred.”

Bright trout lived there, we’d catch a creel full
and bake them in the white ash of the fire,
long long ago

Seven lakes like seven jewels,
strung either side of a ridge;
a ridge filled with white cedars
and bronze colored cliffs.

A wonderous magic place
known only to a few
Enter … Read more…


ORIGIN: London
MIGRATION: 1634 on the Griffin (on 18 Sep 1634 John Winthrop reported “the Griffin and another ship now arriving with 200 passengers and 100 cattle (Mr. Lothrop and Mr Simmes, two godley ministers, coming on the same ship).”
REMOVES: Barnstable 1639
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: On 8 Jan 1634/5, John Lothrop was the eleventh among thirteen founding members admitted to Scituate church (entered in the record as “Myself”). When the Scituate church moved ot Barnstable in late 1639, John Lothrop remained as member and pastor, until his death in 1653.
FREEMAN: Admitted to Plymouth Colony … Read more…


JAMES MATTHEWS from “NEW ENGLAND: The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins”

ORIGIN: London
REMOVE: Yarmouth 1639

FREEMAN: In 1639 Yarmouth list of those who took the oath of fidelity. Propounded for freemanship 7 Sep 1642 and admitted 7 Mar 1643, and in consequence appended to 1639 Plymouth Colony list of freeman. In Yarmouth sections of 1658, 29 May 1670 and 1684 Plymouth Colony list of freeman.
EDUCATION: Signed his deed.
OFFICES: Deputy for Yarmouth to Plymouth General Court 20 Aug 1644 (absent). 8 Jun 1664 Plymouth Grand Jury, 1 Mar 1642, … Read more…

Diana The Huntress

This is the story of the only cat I ever liked.

As children, my siblings and I had many pets, dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, snakes, ducks, racoons, three deer (my parents put their foot down when we wanted to haul home a bear cub).

As an adult, I began to see why my parents weren’t that keen about pets. My kids had a few (including a ferret – smelliest, nastiest animal ever!).

Having pets requires a lot of work – and a large part of it falls on the parents. In spite of my children’s promises – my wife and … Read more…


In 1919, John Wesley Morris Sr, was 50 years old, when he got into a fight with some Alger Smith men on the train between Two Harbors and Knife River. He was thrown off the train. As John was a huge man, and very strong, it must have taken quite a few of them to throw him off. No doubt John Morris Sr felt some animus toward the railroad after the way they’d dealt with him.

Journal News: In 1920 the state railroad and warehouse commission authorized the Duluth & Northern Minnesota Railroad (Alger Smith) to close down its line. … Read more…



In 1869, Wesley Morris was born in Outagamie County, Wisconsin. By the 1890 census, his older brother, Johnathan Morris, had died, and he was given, or took, the name John Wesley Morris. From a young age, he worked the Wisconsin rivers as a “river pig,” jumping from log to log during log drives on the rivers and living in a floating wannigan (shack on a raft).

In the late 1880s or early 1890s John Wesley Morris met Dorthea, an orphan whose family had died in an epidemic. She was ethnically Dutch and worked at … Read more…

Twists and Turns of History

History has many strange twists and turns. Looking into my wife’s family tree – I came across the odd tale of Joan Dingley. I’d never heard of her before, and she may just be a young lady who got involved with a tailor – without benefit of marriage – or the tale might be a bit different.

It seems Joan was a laundress – a royal laundress – for King Henry VIII. Joan had a child out of wedlock. The King’s tailor, a man named Malte, claimed the child – which was followed by gifts of land and money from … Read more…



Winter can get long in the north country. Sometimes we go down to the cities to take a break. This time we went north for a little physical and spiritual renewal.

It’s not too far north of us, about a hundred miles. It is an area familiar through family connections and ancestry – the north shore of Lake Superior, between Duluth, and the Canadian border.

Over one hunderd years ago, my mother’s family removed from northern Wisconsin to northern Minnesota, following the white pine forests. They were loggers. My great grandfather did well at first, having a camp with … Read more…

Of Parks

I enjoy doing family trees. The history involved can be very interesting. As one of my nephews has recently married, I decided to do her family tree. This young lady, we’ll call her “Faith (not her name, but close!),” grew up on a very large ranch in eastern Oklahoma. As it was a rural area, and her last hame was Parker, I looked for Parkers in the area. As I only had her parent’s names, making the connection to great-grandparents is always the toughest part.

A couple of hours research, and I had the only Parker family in the area … Read more…


I never thought I would be taking a look at Jamestown. Almost all of my ancestors are from the north and would more likely be on the Mayflower than the Susan Constant.

I especially didn’t think I would be looking at Jamestown while looking up the family tree of my nephew’s wife. She and my nephew got married last year – she’s a lovely Irish-American lass, kind of a sparkler, and very proud of her Irish heritage.


I’m sorry to say that, at one time, I had a somewhat poor opinion of the Irish – … Read more…