I have written previously of the ethnic diversity of my friends during my growing up years in Belmont Massachusetts, a close suburb of Boston. We lived about 7 miles from downtown Boston. From my home it was only a trolley ride to Harvard Square and then a subway ride to Tremont Street in downtown Boston.
Belmont residents represented a map of Europe. In many cases it was the parents or grandparents who had emigrated to the United States in the 1880’s or early 1900’s. Some residents could trace their ancestors back to the earliest settlers. (My family for example.)
I wrote recently of the passing of one particular classmate in junior and senior high school. He was Marvin Zonis. I wasn’t aware of his religion but I now read that he was Jewish and his parents had immigrated from Russia in the 1920’s. A fascinating background compared with my white Anglo-Saxon heritage going back to England and the Mayflower.
I remember that he and another Belmont High School student, Ella Swartz, were very keen on each other. After graduating from Belmont High in 1954, Marvin went off to Yale and Ella to Wellesley. In the February 9 1957 edition of the Boston Globe their engagement was announced. I now read that they did marry but subsequently divorced.
If my genealogy research is correct, my maternal grandmother and my husband Ian’s maternal grandmother were born in the same year – 1863. My maternal grandmother was born in Crown Point New York. Ian’s maternal grandmother was born in Coleraine Northern Ireland. Ian and I married in 1968 in Nairobi Kenya.
This is a snippet of a memory – I wonder if it’s true. My sister Ruth once told me that when our brother Bob was 12 years old, our father put him on a train going to Chicago and asked the porter to look after him and be sure he returned. I’m not clear whether this was in Boston or New York. I wonder………. July 20 would have been Bob’s 96th birthday, sadly he died at age 67 in June 1992. He is buried in the grounds of the Episcopal Church in Rutland Vermont, where he and his wife Lillian were married in 1953. Lillian is buried there also along with her sister Dottie and her parents. Rest in Peace Bob, Lil, Dottie, John and Cecilia
Alfred William Friend born July 4, 1874 died August 4, 1957
The baby pictured above is my mother, born April 7, 1912. holding her is her father Alfred William Friend. He was age 38 and already the father of twin daughters born 1907, a year after he married May Belle Willis They married twice in October 1906, a marriage in Boston and a marriage in Minneapolis. Red tape when you move and get married at the same time.
In searching for more information about my ancestors,I find that one of them, a female, was burned at the stake. She, Lady Margaret Oswald, was my 13th Great Grandmother. She followed the Lollard faith, which was considered heretical in the 15th century. She was born in 1448, died on December 12th 1476 in Cambridge England. Death at the stake was not a new form of execution. But it was persistently used in the 15th and 16th centuries. Many many men and women suffered and were executed for their faith in this horrific manner in earlier times
I found this photo recently in my mother’s archive, My grandfather is with his 3 daughters in 1923, At that time the family was living in Omaha Nebraska. My mother is the 11 year o;d on the right.
I have titled this to indicate my grandfather was young but that’s a relative term. Actually he was almost 50 in 1923, But my image of him has always been of him as an older man in his 70’s and early 80’s – when I knew him,
a bit blurred but this is a photo of my grandfather in 1912 when he was in his mid-30’s.
This is the first of a planned series of blog posts about specific ancestors. The first ancestor I have chosen is Sir Henry Norris, c. 1482-17 May 1536. The cause of death was Decapitation – he was beheaded on Tower Hill, London. He was among those accused of treason and adultery with Anne Boleyn. Most historical authorities argue that the accusations were untrue and part of a plot to get rid of Anne. Henry Norris’ occupation was listed as Groom of the Stool to Henry VIII. He lived and died in turbulent times. He was my 12th Great Grandfather.