Monday, April 30, 2018

Richard Wayman Kinney and Cora Lee Smith

Note: Many thanks to my fellow family history researchers at, who are so generous about sharing photos and information. We all benefit.

My great-great uncle, Richard Wayman Kinney, was born in 1856 to John Shepherd Kinney and his wife, Sarah Crabtree, in Greenfield, New Brunswick. Richard's wife-to-be, Cora Lee Smith, was born in New Brunswick in 1864. 

As many other members of the Kinney family had moved from New Brunswick to Iron River, Michigan, the young couple must have journeyed out there for their wedding. At least that's what I thought. However, I heard from J. Wayne Kinney, Richard's great grandson: 

Richard left for Michigan before he was married. He promised to come back to New Brunswick once he was established. Cora got tired of waiting, and headed for Michigan in 1885.Two of the children, Pearl and John Beverly, were born in Michigan. They moved to Presque Isle, and then to Easton, in the early 1890s. My grandfather, Wilbur, was born in Easton in 1899. In 1906, they moved to Atkinson.

Marriage Record from Iron River, Michigan
(the recording clerk must have been a little hard of hearing!)

Here is a beautiful family portrait of the young couple in 1889 with their first two children, both born in Michigan. Later they moved to Maine, where all the rest of their children were born (see Wayne's note, above). 

Originally shared on Ancestry by Jason Edward Cornelius. We share some DNA.

Cora Lee


Their children were: 
Pearl Eva, born 1886 in Iron River, Michigan
Beverly William, born 1888 in Iron River, Michigan
Ella May 1891, Easton, Maine
Amy Elizabeth 1894, Easton
Paul Richard 1897, Easton
Wilbur Aaron 1899, Easton
Lottie Marguerite 1905, Easton

I love this family photo, taken on the farm in Easton, Maine. They seemed to be so proud of their young horses. 

Easton, Maine


Cora Lee

Cora and Richard in later years
Originally shared by Jason Edward Cornelius

Richard died April 22, 1932

Cora's obituary November 18, 1958
Note that my Uncle, the Rev. Clifford Crabtree, officiated. Cora was his great-aunt.

My connection to Richard Kinney:

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Maine Place Names

When I found that a Maine relative had married a woman from "Vienna"  I thought for a moment that I had found an exotic European relative. Further research showed, however, that this Vienna was located in Kennebec County, Maine!

From the Sarasota [Florida] Herald-Tribune, July 7, 1979, You Can See Exotic Places All Within the State of Maine, by Jerry Harkavy explains:

This Maine Travelogue (origin unknown) shows up on Facebook every now and again:

My own Maine relatives have lived in Rome, Sidney, Belgrade, Lisbon, Stockholm, Mexico, Norway, Paris, and Lebanon--all without ever leaving the northeasternmost state!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Our House on Langford Road

This little bit of family history will be of interest only to our immediate family. This is the first house we bought in New Hampshire, and it was the place where we first lived our New England dream.

The photos shown here were taken of the house well after we lived there. The people who bought it from us painted it yellow--it was red with white trim during our time. We loved the wide-board pine floor in the dining room; the new owners took up the carpets all over the rest of the house, exposing all the rest of the beautiful pine floors. The lovely antique furniture shown in the pictures belonged to the owners after us.

For some reason, no one has stayed in this house for long. Several other families have taken ownership since these photos were taken.

When we moved in there was a huge maple tree on the front lawn, underplanted with violets and lily of the valley.  There was a very large magnolia tree growing in the sheltered "ell" formed by the house. A late spring snow storm took out half of it. I guess it didn't survive long after that.

This little area used to have a mountain laurel growing up the side of the house. Now there are irises. 

The paneling in the kitchen was added by the next owners.

This was the coziest kitchen with windows looking both east and west.

That door in the corner leads to "the secret pantry." In our day, there were bookshelves on the kitchen side of the door and you pulled the door open to reveal the hidden pantry. Our kitchen table was up against the windows. We used to listen to episodes of "A Prairie Home Companion" on the radio while eating our baked bean and brown bread Saturday suppers. 

The dining room looks much the same as we knew it. It was in this room that I made a big discovery one cold November day not long after we had moved in. I had always thought that storm windows were kept in a barn and fastened on when winter came. There was no barn and there were no storm windows to be found in the garage. I longed for the day when we might be able to afford some new ones and be warm at last. Little did I realize that the whole house was outfitted with perfectly fine storm windows that slid up and out of the way during the summer. I well remember the aha! moment when I discovered ours! Within minutes, I had rushed around the whole house, sliding the storm windows down and sealing out the cold winter wind. It was a little bit embarrassing, but still a very satisfying day for me. We were so much warmer from then on!

The small front room. We bought a beautiful white Vermont Castings woodstove for it but, alas, moved out before we got a chance to hook it up. 

The downstairs bedroom and laundry room, just off the dining room. 

Behind these doors, the washer and dryer and, perhaps, something else lived. Whenever the doors were open our dogs and cats would sit in front of them and yowl at something unseen. Was this perhaps a little clue as to why no one lived in the house for very long?

Because this was a house built in the 1800s, we were lucky to have a single bathroom, I guess. However, it was downstairs and the bedrooms were upstairs. On the plus side, there was a fragrant mock orange bush outside the bathroom window where a mockingbird had a nest. Good smells and built-in birdsong!

Upstairs bedroom

This was one of my favorite rooms in the house. It was above the dining room, and what looks like a closet door leads to an attic over the kitchen ell--a secret room where I kept a rocking chair, a lamp, and some books next to the window. I love the red wallpaper in this room--it is printed with tiny flowers and I have looked through many a wallpaper sample book trying to find something like it. I'm grateful to have this photo to remember it by. 

The new owners put in these outdoor areas.

A new little barn

The outdoor improvements were all things we might have eventually done but, alas! Bill found that an antique 1770 colonial house on the other side of town was for sale and lost his heart to it. We left our sweet little Langford Road house and committed ourselves to years and years of home renovations, snakes in the bathroom, and yes, ghosts in the attic. You can read about it here: The House on High Street.