Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Day5 : When you Have a Historian as Your Tour Guide!

I was never a lover a history in school.  Just ask my high school American History teacher Mr. Newman!  Poor guy! But as as homeschooler, it became not only a necessity to convince my kids to love it, but to fall in love with it myself!

We began research on my husband's family about 5 years ago.  On and off we researched and really got lost in it.  It was amazing the things we discovered, but in case history isn't your thing, I will save you the details.  The problem was, the information available was sparse at best.  We had a lot of holes.

We did learn that his family was the original settlers of Lancaster, MA in the early 1600's.  My husband is a diligent man,  He researches and reads and researches some more. He decided once he had no more information available, he would call the town.  He got in touch with the president of the historical society and set up a day to meet with him on our trip.  Hence, day 5.

We were able to visit the grave sites of his family members that settle there and would never have found them if we didn't have help.  We found some amazing stories that surrounded them at the the time and the people that we met that day were so willing to help connect the missing pieces of our story.  

One such story was Thomas Sawyer.  His father was also Thomas Sawyer and was an original settler.  Thomas II was kidnapped by the Indians since this was at the time of the French and Indian War.  He was brought to Canada and was going to be killed.  He was rescued by a local missionary and in trade for his life, he had to build them a saw mill and get it up and functioning.  While he was there, he fell in love with an Indian maid.  When he was being released from capture, she gave him a plate.  He had promised to come back and marry her.  But his family convinced him to stay. He eventually married and had a family. But when he was dying, he made his children promise to keep the plate safe.  It was eventually turned over to the historical society fully intact.  We saw the plate!  They were so happy to show us since it was a direct descendant.  We felt like royalty because they were so excited for us to see everything.

As we left the cemetery that day, it was a little emotional for all of us.  We could finally lay to rest people in his family that were previously unknown.  In all these years, no one had known they were buried there,  This part of all the research had come to a close.

Needless to say, the trip was overwhelmingly historical.  It was also stock full of emotions.  It was really more than we could have envisioned when we began and just the tip of the iceberg.  

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