Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
In 2010-2018 Iserved in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Settling Stratford, Connecticut in 1639

Judy's ancestor Robert Seabrook is listed as one of the 17 families who founded the town of Stratford, Connecticut in 1639. Among the other founders were his sons-in-law Thomas Sherwood and Thomas Fairchild.

Thomas Sherwood was the husband of Sarah Seabrook and they were Judy's ancestors. Thomas Fairchild was the husband of Emma Seabrook.

During the week I came across this map showing Stratford as it was in 1639. I found it very interesting.

The village site was along a river, which was frequently the case, as it provided a source of abundant fresh water for settlers and livestock, and easy transportation in an era before roads were built. And along the left edge of the map we find "Indian Wigwams", an indication of friendly natives. Often the knowledge and experience of natives made the difference between survival and death to the European immigrants trying to survive winters on the new continent.

Near the center was a meetinghouse or church, and across the street from the meetinghouse was the home of Rev. Adam Blakeman. I wondered whether the group of settlers had been led to this spot by the minister, another common settlement practice. The meeting house would often serve as a school and a community center.

Reading the article in Wikipedia, I found that the Stratford settlers were part of the same Puritan movement as the Mayflower settlers 19 years earlier.,_Connecticut

The article begins by saying "Stratford is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It is situated on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Housatonic River. Stratford is in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was founded by Puritans in 1639." The article discusses Rev. Blakeman's leadership and the history of Stratford in some length. I found it an interesting 5 minute read.

Dorothy's 97th birthday

Recently, we had a birthday party for my amazing mother, which also served as an informal Ing family reunion. (We used to hold these every year at Breton, but the health of the older generation no longer permits this. Three of the six children are still living, and all are in their 90s.)

Here is a photo I took on this occasion. They are left to right, by age: Myrtle 92, Violet 95, Dorothy 97 (ages as of the end of this month).

Mom (Dorothy) was able to have good conversations with various members of the family, but by the time this photo was taken, she was noticeably tired. 

The weather was in the low 20s C and there were no bugs yet, so the dining patio was ideal for a large group. I didn’t take a count at the time, but I remember the following people being there:

Mom, Vi and Myrtle

Of Marion’s family: Ernie, Donna; Ted; Sherry

Of Mom’s family: Me and Judy, Laurel and Cadence, Evelyn and 2 children, Andrew and Nicole and 5 children; Lloyd; Justin, Kim and 4 children (arrived late, because of another commitment); Ed;
Judy and Bernie; Jason; Brandon, Tiffany, and William; Nikki, Taryn and her friend John

Of Vi’s family: Gary; Stan and Brenda; Diane

Of Myrtle’s family: Shirley

So I count over 40 people. James and Karin’s family would have come if her brother's wedding had been on a different day.

It was a beautiful time, full of expressions of love and gratitude.

Happy birthday Dorothy, Vi and Myrtle! All three have birthdays in May.