WE ARE THE CHOSEN...
We are the chosen. In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.
Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the storytellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us, "Tell our story!" So, we do.
In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors, "You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us." How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.
It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who I am and why do I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying, "I can't let this happen." The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were
able to accomplish, how they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.
It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us. It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth. Without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach.
That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do. With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of who we are. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long
line of family storytellers.
That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore the memory or greet those whom we had never known before.
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Genealogy is for everyone, and it’s FUN!
Would you like to have fun and do something interesting while helping yourself, or your family or friends? Would you believe you could help strengthen this Nation and World by taking a few easy steps by recording or gathering information or data for yourself and your family?
Many people are familiar with the word, “genealogy”, and many countless others have spent vast amounts of time and money in doing genealogical research that took the dedication of a Saint to accomplish.
Nowadays, thanks to better access to public records, and thanks to Internet, and people who are sharing entire family histories online, almost anyone can type in their name and click on a search icon, and obtain information about their family and ancestors.
Many people do not yet understand the importance and value of such information, and others do not yet understand how this can benefit them or their children or friends.
I can testify to you that my life would have been much different if I had been aware of my family tree of relatives and ancestors. Everyone can benefit just as I have from learning more about their “roots”.
It doesn’t matter if your ancestors were on the Mayflower, or came in through Ellis Island, or were Native Americans or made the passage on a slave ship. There is probably enough accessible data available nowadays that all people can find an interesting story, or ancestor, or pedigree chart which will be a cherished possession to the degree that it should be either willed to beneficiaries, or shared with all the family right away.
What better gift to your children or brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, or even your friends, to present them with a gift of whatever level of research you choose or are able to do? (ANY is better than nothing)
Have you ever found an old family photograph and wondered who it was or where it was taken, and flipped the picture over only to find no information whatsoever?
Something so seemingly minor as omitting information on a picture is a tragic mistake to make.
Have you recorded in an easy to find, and clearly understandable record, your date of birth, your wedding date, any unusual medical conditions you might have? Did you ever imagine that one hundred years from now this information might make a difference in someone’s life?
If we can begin to better understand where we have been, we will surely better understand where we are going.
The key to stopping the insanity in this nation is not so much, “gun control”, but instilling values and self esteem in our youth, and in our adults when we begin to think about the past and the future in a much more personal way.
Genealogy is for everyone!
Jensen Beach, Fl
William Alfred Babcock and Lida Ring Doan were married in Hampden in 1884 and eleven months later my grandfather, Alfred Bennett Babcock was born there. It was the day that Ulysses S. Grant died and the proud father wrote the following:
Hampden, July 24 1885 An heir is born! A good, sound little fellow came to light at 10:45 last night, and we had the best of luck throughout. Eight pounds and a prettier boy, of course, never existed. With a round face, dark hair (which is banged), has Lida's nose and ears and my chin dimple and teeth. (?!) Everybody wanted a girl, but we all seem satisfied at the disappointment. Lida kept up about the house until eight last night, when Dr. Cates and Nurse Reed came, and inside of three hours all was over. She had a comparatively easy time, and the little fellow gave us a half minute concert last night and one this morning, otherwise he as been rather silent. Lida is doing splendidly and is in good spirits, which she has kept up through it all. General Grant died yesterday and I wonder if Fred came to take his place. Come and see the baby. Nurse says it is like a baby a year old.
Ezra and Saberah Stillman Babcock seem to have been the first of my Babcock line to break the large family habit. There are only three children recorded for them in the Babcock Genealogy, Alfred Bennett, Lucy Almeda and William Henry. Lucy and William married more Burdicks...of course. But my gr, gr grandfather Alfred Bennett (someday, I need to find out where the name Bennett came from) had a spirit that is common to the oldest born. He didn't marry into the family and he moved out of state....to the next state, NJ, and he only had two children. That made him a striver back in the day. This is what his son, William Alfred Babcock, wrote about him several years before he, himself died in 1945:
Alfred B. Babcock was born in Scott, NY, December 17, 1819. At about 1842 he decided to go to New York and get employment, Scott not offering anything for a young man. He got from there to Syracuse in some way, a distance of about 35 miles, and from there to Troy, NY by packet boat, as canal boats wre called in those days, being fitted out entirely for passengers. There were no railroads in those days. Then he took a boat from Troy to New York, but I never heard if he stayed in New York for any length of time. Father was a Seventh-Day Baptist and Plainfield (NJ) and New Market (NJ) both had such churches, so he went to New Market. There John Giles had quite a large carriage factory. Only a few years ago I know that there were still carriages in New Market bearing the plate of John Giles. My grandfather (John Giles) gave my father a job. Later in 1848, my father married my grandfather's daughter, Amie Ann Giles. My brother Albert and I were born in New Market. In 1864 my father and mother, Albert and I moved to Newark, NJ. About 1870 father had the house built at 47 Parkhurst St. where he died in 1879. In 1881 the house was sold and I went to Boston. My father was always a very nice man, rather quiet and modest,and did not have much to say, but if anyone asked him anything he usually had the answer. He was a fine mechanic but did not branch out very much, possibly being what you mgiht call feeble having contracted measles about the time he became of age. This left him with a very bad lung trouble from which he never recovered, but he lived until nearly sixty and managed to work at his trade as a wagon trimmer. For many of his last years he was superintendent of a rather large baby carriage and sleigh factory. In spite of his weakness, he managed to walk two miles to the factory and back every day.
Call 908-464-6998 or email email@example.com for details.
It is of this sixth generation in America, that a grandson, William Alfred Babcock wrote for his own two sons, my grandfather Alfred Bennett and his brother Leslie.
This is what he had to say about Ezra:
Ezra Babcock, Jr. lived in Scott, NY. He was a millwright but did all kinds of wagon work. He would be sent for from some distance away to come and see about a mill. He would get behind a horse and go and might be gone for a few weeks. He was the one to decide what water wheel was best for the place, whether overshot, breast or undershot. He would then build the wheel and return home.
He was very religious and a Seventh-Day Baptist. I rather think that sect has gone out. The church in Scott where he lived was quite an edifice. The last time that I was there it had just about decided to quit. I just wish that I might take you two boys to Scott to point out the various places and show you the graveyard where many of the relatives are. Scott is about as large as New Market (NJ) but nicely situated in a valley that is about all small stones, but they do raise about everything in it.
Scott certainly had some fine mechanics. My grandfather patented a stone picker which would do some work but it was forever getting clogged up.
Scott is several miles back of Homer that lies between Syracuse and Binghamton on the D.L. and W. Railroad. I don't think that my grandmother, Lucinda Babcock, was ever on a railroad train. She was a very fine woman beloved by everybody.
Life in Earlier Times
Not quite two years after his own birth, a brother, Albert Leslie was born to my grandfather, Alfred Bennett Babcock. However, within a few weeks, and before his second birthday, their mother died of Bright's disease. William, the young boy's father, who had just turned 29 in February, was now a widower with two babies, one a newborn.
This was a frequent occurrence in these earlier times. People often died leaving young families behind.
The boys would have to be split up. The newest baby went to New Market in NJ to live with Amy Ann Giles Babcock who had remarried after the death of her husband, John Giles. Amy Ann was now about 59 years old and taking in her newborn grandson. The older child, Alfred, went to live with his mother's sister, Ella, up in Hampden, Maine.
It was 1888 and while our country was well out of it's colonial period, life as lived in rural Maine, had not much changed from those earlier times. There was neither indoor plumbing nor electricity. Water came from a well. The passage of time was a casual thing. There were not yet any phones. Transportation was by horse and buggy or sleigh, depending on the season. This was life for my grandfather's first eleven years. And this is how he tells his story:
As far back as I can remember, I lived with Auntie at Hampden. The other members of the family were Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Will. Grandpa was fairly well to do, being the owner of a grocery store at what was called The Corner. Hampden had the Upper Corner, where the academy and a couple of stores were located, and the Lower Corner, where most of the stores were including Grandpa Doan's grocery store. The Corner was the crossing of the two roads, the one we lived on and the one that ran from Winterport, which was south of Hampden, then through Hampden and up to Bangor. In the center of this intersection at the Lower Corner was the town pump with a watering trough for horses and a tin cup for people.
Our house, one of the best on the road, was located high above the Penobscot with a fine view of the river. Grandpa owned considerable land, ten acres or more, and I roamed his fields as far back as the little brook which I enjoyed so much and where I placed little water wheels which would spin for days by the force of the swift current. The gurgle of the water was beautiful music to me.
I remember almost perfectly the plan of the house. One entered the centrally located front door into a fairly large front hall with a flight of stairs leading to the second floor and a second flight below leading to the cellar. On the right was the parlor which was seldom used. It contained two horsehair covered sofas, a table with a bunch of everlasting flowers in a vase and several rocking chairs. On the left of the hall was the living room with the upright stove for heat in the winter, a sofa, a foot operated organ which Auntie played occasionally, a table for the oil burning lamp, a foot operated sewing machine and several chairs, mostly rockers. Back of this room was the combination dining room and kitchen. There was a large range, dining table, work table and sink. The sink had an old fashioned pump which had to be primed to draw water from the cistern in the cellar. Rain water from the roof kept the cistern filled. On the left back of the kitchen was the bedroom for Grandma and Grandpa. There was also a large pantry on the right with a single window. In winter the frost on this window would be half an inch thick.
Most all of our windows would be heavily frosted in winter when the temperature often went to thirty below. I remember sitting close to the window in the living room and scratching the frost off with my fingernails and warming the glass with my hand so that I could see out and then watching the crystals grow as the frost formed again.
Back of the kitchen was a small hall with a door leading out of doors and another door leading to the shed. This long shed connected the barn to the house. It contained the wood bin and a stove for heat on which we often roasted corn on the cob. I enjoyed riding my velocipede up and down this long room both winter and summer. The barn had a dark center hall with the carriage room on the right and a store room on the left. Back of this store room was the toilet, a pretentious four-holer. It is hard to imagine how it could have been used in the winter with no heat . On the top floor of the barn was the hayloft. All the windows in the hayloft and the carriage room were covered with spider webs housing many fat spiders that I fed flies to. At the back of the barn was the stable with the stalls for our horse and cow. I looked upon the latter as a sort of companion. I used to watch her chew her cud and wonder what the idea was.
For fuel for all the stoves we used cord wood which we bought and which Uncle Will sawed and split. It was stored in a pile in the yard and in the bin in the shed. A well in the spacious yard was the source of our drinking water. We also had a vegetable garden cared for by Uncle Will. Close to the back porch was a flower garden planted and cared for by me. I was so in love with flowers that it was predicted that I would be a florist when I grew up.
The family never seemed to do much in the way of pleasure. Uncle Will assisted at the grocery store and took care of the horse and cow. He frequently worked as a weigher in one of the icehouses across the river, and often came home in the winter with a big crop of icicles on his mustache. Grandpa, when home from the store in the winter, usually sat close to the stove in the shed. He never seemed to have much to say. He made his money in the store and invested it in coasting schooners. He was part owner in twelve, all going to the bottom sooner or later. Before I was born, Auntie was on one being rescued before it went down. I remember Grandma, but not so much as the others as she died when I was about five and a half years old.
Grandma had done the cooking; after she died Auntie did it. We saved all the fats and Auntie, by the aid of lye, made what we called soft soap, used for all washing except personal. Our cow supplied all our milk. Auntie skimmed the cream off and from it made our butter using an old fashioned churn operating a plunger. Auntie did the sewing using the foot operated sewing machine in the living room. I remember that she once ran the needle through her finger.
We had a medium size breakfast. The big meal, dinner, was in the middle of the day. Grandpa closed the store and came home for an hour for that. The evening meal, supper, was rather light except Saturday when we had brown bread and beans. The brown bread was steamed in a big lard pail. The beans were baked in a large beanpot at low heat for nearly twelve hours using plenty of salt pork. Sunday morning we also had brown bread and beans. Sunday noon we usually ate very little, often crackers and milk. Sunday night was a normal supper. Auntie and I always sat at the end of the table and Uncle Will at the other. Grandpa and Grandma sat at the opposite sides, Grandma with her back to the stove. I had milk every meal which I drank from a silver mug given to me on my first birthday. One characteristic of Maine at that time was pie for breakfast and I still like the custom.
The winters were pretty tough but I don't remember that we ever suffered very much from the cold even when the temperature went to thirty below. It was extremely icy and the snow drifts were enormous, often reaching to the second story windows, but it didn't seem that we had much trouble getting about. Perhaps we didn't try. The horses had spiked horseshoes and the men wore creepers fastened to their shoes, toe and heel. We got about generally in sleighs. I remember the odor of the buffalo robes that kept us warm. Pungs were used for transporting goods. These were box like arrangements equipped with runners. Groups of young people would slide down the hill in pungs steering with the shafts. I enjoyed sliding down hill on my sled which I took to school with me and on which I would coast all the way home. It was fun sliding on the crusts on the deep snow on the hilly pastures.
The three wood burning stoves kept the lower part of the house and the shed warm, particularly the kitchen-dining room. Those rooms on the second floor got only what hear filtered up from below. Early in the evening, bricks were put into the back part of the stove in the living room to heat and were then wrapped in flannel and taken to bed to keep our feet warm. I always slept with Auntie in all the years in Hampden, Somerville and Dorchester. I don't remember that we ever had any of the windows open in the winter, day or night, in any of the rooms of the house.
The summers were delightful with no steaming hot days. That was when we really got out of doors and had the most fun. I was always out except for meals and when time to go to bed. I remember those summers more than anything else.
No one ever did much visiting. We had friends from Boston that came on rare occasions and stayed for a few days but I never remember that we ever called on any of the neighbors or they on us. The Whitneys lived next door towards The Corner. Mr. Whitney was a pilot on one of the Boston boats. There was a daughter about my age named Lizzie but I didn't like her very much. There was also a son named Harry who was older than I and a genius at making things. Next to them were the Deans, a common name in our family. Inez, the daughter, was my age and was my particular and first girl friend. There was also Jessie Hopkins who lived next to the school. I didn't see her very often but I liked her. She was a distant cousin and was descended from Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower as mother was, but I didn't know it at the time. Ancestry didn't mean anything to me then.
On the other side towards the river lived Uncle George, Grandpa's brother, and Aunt Liza. I went there quite often for I liked them a lot, particularly Uncle George. At one time Aunt Liza had a big carbuncle on the back of her neck.
We always went to church on Sunday morning. I remember that during the summer, after Auntie had me dressed to go with them, I would swing in the hammock in the front yard and look out across the river. I shall always remember the sparkle of the early morning sun on the water which made a particular appeal to me. Uncle Will always cut the grass on the front lawn with a scythe. One day the scythe went through the hammock and I didn't sit there any more.
There were two little steam launches about forty feet long, the Buttercup and the Goldenrod, that plied back and forth between Hampden and Bangor carrying passengers. Auntie and I made several trips in them, a distance of about six miles. They made several stops along the way. It was most interesting watching the working of the steam engine and the feeding of the large boiler with wood.
I never had a dog. In fact, I only remember one dog ever being in the neighborhood and I was afraid of him. He was so big and he would stand on his hind legs and lap my face. Our cat was my only pet. It was a Tom which we named Boxy after Uncle Boxy (Uncle Will Coggin). After that cat died we got another which we also named Boxy. This one lived until long after I went to Somerville.
About the only public occasion that we had was the Sunday school picnic. Auntie and I always went. It was said that on one of these picnics I ate a dozen hard boiled eggs after which I was sick. Then there were the camp meetings at Northport on Penobscot Bay just below Belfast. The whole family would go and spend a week during which time the store would be closed.
The great event of the day was when the Boston boat arrived and landed passengers and freight at the wharf just below the house. I always remember one occasion when the boat was being warped in to the wharf and one of the dock lines broke with a loud report which I plainly heard from the top of the hill. The boat stopped in the morning on the way to Bangor and again in the afternoon on its way back to Boston. There were two steamers, the Katahdin and the Penobscot, each with accommodations for about 250 passengers and each one made the round trip between Boston and Bangor every two days.
The only clock in the house was in the kitchen-dining room. It had a round wooden case and was on the wall close to the pantry door. Maine time was twenty minutes earlier than Boston time. I never knew how the clock was regulated to the correct time for there was no noon whistle, there being no factories of any kind, and I don't think that there was a telegraph office in town. Time didn't matter much. A half hour one way or the other made little difference. The afternoon arrival of the boat for Boston was probably as good a check as any.
I remember the post office at The Corner with all the little letter boxes. Everyone had to go to the post office for the mail as there was no delivery. Some of the boxes just had glass in the fronts and a person had to have his mail handed out to him by the postmaster if he were on duty. Some boxes had doors with locks which were more convenient. For some reason I always remembered the number of our box. It was designated as lock box 43.
The boats did not run to Bangor in the winter, going only as far as Rockland, because the river was frozen solid from October until May. About that time the ice started breaking up and great chunks would go floating down the river. Skating and sleighing were sports on the river all during the winter and the harvesting of ice was a major industry, the ice being stored in several ice houses along the banks of the river to be shipped out in schooners during the summer to Boston and other large cities.
I remember the long tows of schooners going to and coming from Bangor all summer long. One little tugboat, puffing away as best it could, would usually handle from six to eight schooners tied two abreast. When towing against the swift current of the river they seemed hardly to move. They usually arrived empty and then started down stream loaded to the gunnels with a cargo of lumber or ice. The lumber industry was quite extensive. Schooners seldom used sail on the river because of the fluky winds and the swift and uncertain currents.
I remember the little schooners that landed coal at the end of the long coal wharf below our house. Coal was hoisted up to the walkway on top of the coal shed and then dumped into a small hand wagon which a man would push along the walk and dump into the proper bin. Delivery of coal from the bins was made by a man with a one horse cart. I always remembered his name, Bah Hah Booker. He got the name Bah Hah from the way he tried to talk; he was deaf and dumb.
The earliest thing I can remember was wearing a white dress and Auntie jouncing me on her foot. I was about three and a half. I wore dresses until I was about four and a half when I got my first pair of short pants. It wasn't long after that that I went out into the stable, slipped on the slimy floor and fell. My pants were a mess and Auntie had to wash them putting me back into dresses until they dried. I wouldn't go out of doors until I got them back again for fear that someone would see me. In those days boys wore short pants until they were about seventeen years old. I didn't get long pants until just before I graduated from high school.
I remember my fifth birthday. I was sick in bed from some slight disorder and a cart was wheeled in to me as a birthday present. I had eaten crackers in bed and I remember how the crumbs felt. The cart with four wheels was something that I enjoyed for many years, it being used for all sorts of things. I coasted down hill in it and rode the cat around.
Before I started going to school, Auntie had started my education with reading, writing and simple arithmetic. I remember the difficulty I had writing Auntie's name and getting the two 'ls' of Ella the same height. I didn't go to school until the fall of 1890. The schoolhouse had two stories and there were two classes. I entered the primary, there being no kindergarten.
Shortly after I started going to school I remember my first scientific observation. I was in the little summer house on top of the hill near our house from which I had a good view of the river. On the opposite shore was a horse and cart and a man was shoveling gravel into the cart. I noted that when the gravel fell onto the floor of the cart there was quite an interval before I heard the sound. It indicated to me that sound had velocity and it made quite an impression on me.
Grandma died in February , 1891. I remember the day she died and Aunt Annie coming on from Boston to be with us. Early in 1893, Grandpa became interested in Addie Jones, a widow who lived a few doors up the street. It was soon announced that they were to be married. That was not good news to Auntie so she left with me on May 5th of that year and we went to live with Uncle Boxy, Aunt Annie and my three year old cousin Beatrice in an apartment house called the Cumberland at 42 Highland Avenue, Winter Hill, Somerville, Mass. I hated to leave Hampden and thought that some day I would go back there to live when I was grown up.
My grandfather never did get to go live in Maine again, although he did go to summer camp there each year. After he was married and had a son of his own he sent that son, my father to camp in Maine. It was this son who, eventually, moved back to Maine to live, although in Palermo about an hour south of Hampden. Although life has changed drastically through the years, this branch of the Babcocks find themselves not far from Rhode Island and Connecticut where we began our story on these shores many centuries ago. ~~Barbara Babcock barbabcock@comcast
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Darius is the Great grandson of
Margaret (Wheeler) and Samuel Frink:
Darius Frink, son of Isaac was born Feb. 26, 1778 in Stonington, New London county. In his early life he followed sailing, and while thus engaged made several trips around the globe. After his marriage he settled down on a farm in that part of the town of Franklin known as Portipaug, then owned and occupied by his wife's parents, and there he successfully carried on farming for many years until after the death of his wife. From that time he retired from active work, making his home with a daughter who lived near by, and he reached an advanced age. Mr. Frink was a man of comfortable means, acquired in a life of honorable industry, intelligently directed, and he was one of prominent citizens of the town in his day, representing his district in the State Legislature in 1843. In religion he was identified with the Methodist Church. He is buried in the Portipaug cemetery, which adjoined his farm.