Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why I Also Owe Thanks to Sheila, Milton, Laurie, Joey, Carmen, and Claude!

Family history research can be a mind-numbing search through records and more records, online and in various libraries and other facilities, but every once in a while, there is a great breakthrough. Sometimes that breakthrough comes through the kindness of strangers. Patricia Pickard (see the previous post), though no longer a stranger, is one such person who came into my life and helped me to understand so much more about my family. 

Would you believe that there are other people who have contacted me right out of the blue with information I would never have found otherwise?  That is what I would like to tell you about today. 

Several months back, I received a message from a librarian named Sheila Lafferty, who had seen my Crabtree family tree on WikiTree
My family came from Aroostook Pentecostal roots and knew the Crabtrees very well. Some are in ministry and still have close ties with the family. Flewelling/Bartley/Lawrence/Goodine etc. I knew Alma as a young person and she taught me how to quilt in my early teens. I was also a classmate of a Anna's granddaughter. [from] Sheila Antworth Lafferty (a librarian at UConn)
In later correspondence, Sheila told me a bit about her family. 
Harvey Flewelling was a brother to my grandfather Milton Flewelling. Another brother, Charles S Flewelling, became a missionary to South Africa from 1927-1969. He was on leave at home when he died so he is buried in Easton Maine. His wife went back to Africa and died there. Another sister, Mabel Flewelling Wright and her husband Moody Wright also were missionaries in South Africa. Two of their children stayed there and married Afrikaners.  
Sheila also sent me links to her two blogs:

Diary of an Aroostook Farmer; The farm journals of Milton Lloyd Flewelling (1901-1996), a farmer from Easton, Aroostook County, Maine. (Milton was Sheila's grandfather).

Diaries of Robert Murphy Fulton; Transcription of the Diaries of Robert M Fulton (1816-1897), resident of Mars Hill, Aroostook County, Maine. (Robert was Sheila's great great grandfather).

A view of the Crabtree homesite from the Bartley farm in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick, Canada
Photo from Sheila Lafferty

The first blog was especially interesting to me, as Milton's diary frequently mentioned his neighbor, "Dave," my grandfather, David Jewett Crabtree; and my Uncle Clifford Crabtree was featured as a part of the entry on the Washburn Pentecostal Church's 50th anniversary convention.

Sheila also sent me information and a newspaper clipping about my Aunt Alma and her family, which I used in the post, Aunt Alma: Memories

More recently, Sheila sent me a link to some of her historical photos on flickr. Among them are photos taken around Easton, Maine, the town where my grandparents were married in 1899. 

I don't know if Sheila realizes this, but she helped me find a whole branch of "missing" Connecticut cousins I had lost track of. She accomplished this by putting me in touch with her former classmate, Laurie MacDonald Pickard, daughter of my first cousin, Brenda Middleton, and granddaughter of my Aunt Anna. Laurie, in turn, put me in touch with other cousins and sent me my Aunt Sadie's memoirs, which had been typed up by another cousin, Joey Cichon III. 

In another email, Sheila said:
My mom, Carmen, daughter of Milton Flewelling, has been reading your blog. I will share it with her cousin Claude Bartley too as he may be of help too.  The Crabtrees lived next to the Bartleys in Beaconsfield. In fact Alice Bartley (sister to Milton, mother to Claude) was the witness on the birth certificate of one of the Crabtree children.
When Claude Bartley got in touch with me by email and offered to share his memories of growing up next door to my grandparent's farm in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick, I was overjoyed. I will share those memories with you, starting with the next post.


  1. You are so lucky! What a gift! I to have had blessings from strangers via the Internet.Don't know what we would do without it!

  2. I've had some contact with distant family over the years and they seem more willing to share than close relation.

  3. I love that photo. I always had the impression that Mother's childhood home was in a flat area. This gives a whole new perspective. They were on a hillside!


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