26 January 2014

Scrapbook Sunday - Sharing Memories - The Worst School Year Ever - Kindergarten

A Shy Little Girl
Imagine a shy little girl, eldest child, five years old. She lived in two countries and five homes before the age of three. Although shy she had successfully attended preschool for two years and had gradually gained some confidence in making friends and participating in groups. She was excited to start Kindergarten.

Scrapping with Liz ~ K Template
Brave Collection by Bella Gypsy Designs
First Day
Kindergarten visiting day arrived. The little girl wore her favorite dress. She entered to find a beautiful classroom with a large piano. The teacher instructed the students to find a seat. She saw a seat next to a girl she knew and went to sit down. That was the beginning of the end.

Doing Everything Wrong
Apparently the little girl did something wrong by trying to sit near her friend. She was loudly told by the teacher that she could not sit there and to move to another table. With this simple admonishment began a year of trying to please a teacher, who found fault everywhere. It was far too easy to do something wrong. Afraid to talk, the little girl received needs improvement grades and was referred for speech therapy. Who fails Kindergarten?

Finding the Good
Although the teacher was difficult, there were a lot of good memories from that year. The little girl loved to play with the blocks and the trucks and to color in the letter and number pictures. Snack and story time were always enjoyable as was recess, but music and piano time were not.

Blueberry Hill School
The little girl who was is me. I attended Kindergarten at Blueberry Hill School in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Subsequent years were better. My Kindergarten teacher was older and probably old schooled. She decided to retire at the end of that year. Writing this I feel sad for her, even though it was the worst school year ever for me. 

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My First Best Friend
According to Google Maps, it was less than a half mile walk to school from my home. I thought it was much farther! My mother and sister walked over to pick me up after my first day of Kindergarten. On the way home, we met a mother and two daughters, who lived across the street from us. That was the day my sister and I met our first best friends. I remember shyly asking the girl how old she was and without saying a word she put up her hand with five fingers displayed. I was so happy she was my age. We became inseparable until the day I moved away in 1976. Meeting her was the best thing to happen in my Kindergarten year!

Happy Sunday!
Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

The weekly genealogy writing challenge, Sharing Memories, is provided by Lorine McGinnis Schulze of The Olive Tree Genealogy. Thank you Lorine! My special twist on Sundays here at The Scrappy Genealogist will include a heritage scrapbook page for each post.

24 January 2014

Fishing Friday - 52 Ancestors - Charles Alvin Burrell

My great grandfather, Charles Alvin Burrell, was born in Medway, Massachusetts, on Christmas Day in 1887 to Everett Augustus Burrell, a boot maker, and his wife Mabel Estella (Burr).¹ It was a either a short pregnancy or a quick marriage as his parents had married seven months earlier on the 29th of May.² They had a small family for the times, producing one more child, a girl, Addie May in 1889.³

Early Childhood
Sometime after Charles’ birth, his father changed careers and became a motorman for the Boston & Lynn Railroad Company. The family moved from West Medway to Revere in 1889.4 In 1899 they were living at 13 Bellingham Avenue in the Beachmont area of Revere5 and in 1900, when Charles was a student in school, they had relocated to 35 Dedham Street.6

In 1905 at the age of 18, Charles began his career as a clerk for the paper firm, Stone & Forsyth Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts.7 In 1910, while living with his parents and sister in a rented apartment or rooms at 243 Parker Avenue in Revere, he worked as a paper salesman.8 He continued to work in the paper manufacturing business through 1913 as a clerk,9 1920 as a traveling salesman,10 1921 as a buyer 1930 salesman of wholesale paper,11 and 1940 as a traffic manager.12 Charles gives Stone & Forsyth Co. as his employer on his World War II draft card in 1942.13 Charles continued to work in the paper business for Stone & Forsyth until his retirement. An active man, Charles did not retire for long, quickly becoming the Foxboro Town Tax Collector, a job he held until his death.14

Charles married Mabelle Manderson Hill on 23 September 1911 in Revere, Massachusetts. Walter S. Eaton, Minister of the Gospel, Wenham, Massachusetts performed the marriage.15 After their two week honeymoon, Charles and Mabelle settled at 95 Reservoir Avenue in Revere with Mabelle’s parents, William M. and Annie Hammond (Connor) Hill.16 They were still living at 95 Reservoir when their first daughter and my grandmother, Barbara Manderson, was born in 1913.17 Their second child, Thelma, was born in 1914 in Belmont, Massachusetts where they were living.18 Their third child, Charles Alvin Jr., was born in 1918 in Watertown, Massachusetts.19 The last born was Constance in 1921.20

In 1921 Charles became a member of the Masons joining the Pequossette Lodge in Watertown.21 He went on to become a master of St. Albans Lodge and Keystone Chapter of Foxboro as well as a patron in the Order of the Eastern Star. At his death in 1969 he was deacon emeritus of Bethany Congregational Church in Foxboro. He was also a member of the Massachusetts Tax Association.22

Charles Alvin Burrell passed away on the 28th of July in 1969. He led a full and active life and was well regarded by those who knew him.23

1-23 Sources available upon request.

Scrappy Gen
Let’s Remember!

This challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is provided by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small  (Don't you just love that title?). I am jumping in on week three, which will be my week one, but I am ommitting the number count in my title so as not to confuse anyone...or me. Thank you, Amy, for this challenge. Weekly recaps by Amy can be read here

As a bonus, because I am the Scrappy Genealogist, each of my posts will include a heritage page featuring my ancestor. Hope you enjoy them! Wondering about the
Fishing Friday title? That's fishing for family Friday.

20 January 2014

Scrapbook Sunday - Sharing Memories - Was the car on two wheels?

The weekly genealogy writing challenge, Sharing Memories, is provided by Lorine McGinnis Schulze of The Olive Tree Genealogy. Thank you Lorine! My special twist on Sundays here at The Scrappy Genealogist will include a heritage scrapbook page for each post.

Getting My Driver's License: Was the car on two wheels?

Surprisingly my parents survived the six month period of teaching me to drive. There were a couple of events that we still laugh about today. The first was the story my Dad tells of being a passenger while I was driving down Elmgrove Avenue on the East Side of Providence. He told me to turn and I did. Immediately. Without slowing down. In my defense, he didn't tell me to slow down, he told me to turn. He says we were up on two wheels. I'm not so sure about that, but there was definitely a screeching of said tires. 

What Embankment?

Then there was the time I was exiting the highway onto Admiral Street in Providence with the whole family at my mercy; Mom, Dad and sister. I came off the exit just fine, but instead of turning left onto Admiral, I kept going straight. At a slightly elevated speed. Over a large embankment, into the air and landing in the parking lot of Union Paper Company. At this point I would like to remind my family that we all survived, unhurt, and it has given us years of laughs.

Parallel Parking

One benefit of learning to drive in a city is that you become an expert at parallel parking. I learned in a Datsun 210 hatchback. The tiny spaces on Thayer Street, where we hung out, shopped and ate, did not present a challenge. There were even smaller spots into which to squeeze downtown at the Providence Public Library. Alas, when I went to take my driver test, they didn't ask me to parallel park.

Happy Sunday on Monday!
Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

17 January 2014

Fishing Friday - 52 Ancestors - Where WAS she born?

This challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is provided by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small  (Don't you just love that title?). I am jumping in on week three, which will be my week one, but I am ommitting the number count in my title so as not to confuse anyone...or me. Thank you, Amy, for this challenge. Weekly recaps by Amy can be read here

As a bonus, because I am the Scrappy Genealogist, each of my posts will include a heritage page featuring my ancestor. Hope you enjoy them! Wondering about the Fishing Friday title? That's fishing for family Friday.

Where WAS she born?
Mabelle Georgianna Manderson (Hill) Burrell

My great grandmother, Mabelle, was said to have been born in England. Her birth record for 27 March 1885 from Somerville, Massachusetts provides a different picture.1

She is registered as having been born in Somerville, however, the earliest passenger record I have found to date shows that her father, William McPhearson Hill, arrived at Boston on the Ship Cephalonia on 25 May 1885. Ports of departure were Queenstown, Ireland and Liverpool. Ireland is reported as his native country.2

Mabelle arrives three months later at Boston on 29 August 1885 with her mother, Anna Hammond (Connor) Hill, and her sister, Ethel Florence Wilhelmina. If the Somerville birth record is correct, she should be about five months old, but she is reported to be two years old. Additionally she is reported as a native of the U.S.A. as is her sister. Her mother is reported to be of England. Ethel is reported to be 5 years old. Her sister's date of birth is accurate according to the certified entry of birth I received showing Ethel was born 20 October 1879 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.3

I have not found an arrival yet for Anna before Mabelle's birth record dated 1885 in Somerville. I have also not found a birth record for her in Northern Ireland. I did find a record of her parents' marriage in Ballinderrry, Antrim, Northern Ireland.4 At least part of the information contained in the females' 1885 passenger record is known to be false. Ethel was not born in the U.S.A. and William’s naturalization did not become final until 20 Feb 1899.5 Was Mabelle's age falsely reported as well? Was she born in Sommerville or England or Northern Ireland? I will continue to search for more evidence before I make a final determination. Wherever she was born, Mabelle stuck to the birth date of 27 March 1885 throughout her life and we celebrated her 100th birth on that date in 1985.6

Mabelle grew up in Revere living at 162 Harrington Street7 and later at 95 Reservoir Avenue.8 She graduated from Revere High School in 1905. In 1907 she graduated from Wheelock College and began working as a teacher.9

On 24 September 1911 she married Charles Alvin Burrell. She was working at the Shurtleff School in Revere. They were married at her home on Reservoir Avenue. The officiate was Rev Walter S Eaton, who had been the pastor of the First Congregational Church in Revere.10

After their marriage Mabelle and Charles lived with her parents on Reservoir Avenue.11 They later moved to Watertown12 and finally settled in Foxborough, Massachusetts.13  Together they raised four children; Barbara (my grandmother), Thelma, Charles and Constance.14

Mabelle kept very busy throughout her life. She had a wonderful sense of humor. After her children were grown she returned to teaching and substitute teaching and worked into her eighties. She served as both teacher (my father was one of her students) and principal of the Pratt School in East Foxborough. After her retirement an elementary school in Foxborough was named for her and is today called the Mabelle M. Burrell Elementary School. Her picture hangs proudly in the front foyer.15

At the time of her death on 27 Nov 1987, Mabelle had lived over 102 years. She lived at home until almost the age of 100. She had many friends and hobbies and belonged to many organizations including the Order of the Eastern Star and the Bethany Congregational Church.16 She loved playing cards and scrapbooking old greeting cards into books which she donated to various organizations. I particularly loved that she always had a jar of candy on her coffee table. She had a great laugh and I can still hear her deep chuckle.

This is Week #1 of 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks.

For details on sources used, email me at jshoer [at] reconnectingrelatives [dot] com. 

Happy Friday!
Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

12 January 2014

Sharing Memories - First Grade - Scrapbook Sunday

The weekly genealogy writing challenge, Sharing Memories, is provided by Lorine McGinnis Schulze of The Olive Tree Genealogy. Thank you Lorine! My special twist on Sundays here at The Scrappy Genealogist will include a heritage scrapbook page for each post.

First Grade would have to be a better year than the Kindergarten year. I was looking forward to a new and hopefully nicer teacher. We would get to learn to read and we would be staying for the full day.

My teacher was Mrs. (or Ms. or Miss, my memory does not specify) Connor and she was an angel. She was young and did teach us to read. I loved the little readers that we used.

Every day I walked to school with my best friend, Allyson. Yes, dear readers, we walked...in the snow and in the rain. We wore rubber boots that fastened and we had neat bubble umbrellas. For the first part of the year we walked home and back again at lunchtime. After the lunchroom addition was built, we ate lunch at school. 

The one thing I remember not liking about first grade was a boy in my class. His name was H--- [name ommitted to avoid hurting anyone's feelings :)] and he was I am sure just a silly boy with a lot of energy, but he was the bane of my existence. He tortured me. He wrote W's on wheels all over my desk. He chased me home and threatened to kiss me. He talked to me a lot. I was shy and I remember getting into trouble for talking with him. Can you understand the torture my six year old Virgo self endured? Maybe torture is overstating the facts a bit, but as I write I am right there back at the metal desk trying to erase the W's. 

I don't remember this boy in any of my other years at Blueberry Hill School in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Maybe he moved, or maybe he moved on to another girl. Despite this relationship, I do remember first grade fondly. 

Happy Sunday!
Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

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