52 week's of Marie's Life

52 weeks captured through photos

16. History (Week 18)

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“Speak for yourself, John.” ~ Priscilla Mullins ~  A love triangle in colonial times,  John Alden professes the feelings of his friend Miles Standish as they vie for the affections of the beautiful Priscilla Mullins. The independent-minded woman utters one of the most famous retorts ever: “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?”  The rest, as they say, is history.

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My mother, Helen Brackett,  is the historian of our family.  For decades she made it her hobby to research our family tree.  She wrote many letters to distant family members to gather birth certificates, death certificates, photographs, and family stories.  It’s amazing what she pieced together to fill in our family tree with no help from the internet.

The tree started with my children’s generation as generation 1 and goes back to 12 generations on one branch (Anthony Brackett, the immigrant), 15 on another branch (Governor William Bradford), and 16 on another branch (William Mullins).

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History can be more interesting if you discover your link to it.

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My father was so excited when the link from Standish to Bradford was confirmed.

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A friend of mine,  Pat, moved from Sarasota to North Carolina a half a dozen years ago and somehow found out that her mother could trace her family back to a Brackett in Maine.  Pat remembered that my family had come from Maine to Florida.  I traced the tree back that my parents had put together and found that our link started back with two brothers.  Anthony and Thomas Brackett were our great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfathers.  That made us  9th cousins!  Too bad Pat had moved away, but with the internet, we can still stay in touch!

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My children aren’t very interested in the family tree at this point, but thankfully someone in the family cared enough to put it all together for our next interested generation before all the information is lost with those that have passed on before us.

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11 thoughts on “16. History (Week 18)

  1. Wow! What a small world.

  2. What a lot of work went into that! Impressive.

    • You should see my Mom’s hall closet – she’s filled albums and albums with all of her notes, letters, and pictures. It’s nice to have at least one member in the family to take on the task. I felt this theme was fitting for Thanksgiving week.

  3. It is – but the Mayflower only held so many – it’s amazing how the family tree can branch out! Researching Priscilla Mullins I found she was the only one in her family that survived that first winter.

  4. Being the genealogist for my family and my husband’s family, I can easily imagine the number of hours your Mother put into her research, and the number of boxes and folders stored in her closet. Sometimes I look at mine, shake my head and quickly close the door before everything falls onto the floor. Family history is so important and my hat is off to your Mother for all her efforts. It is a tremendous amount of work. Now, because of her, you know your family history.

  5. That’s really cool Marie. Mary Nell has recently got me to start researching my family history. It’s addicting! Where in Maine are you from?

    • My father grew up in Bingham. As a ham radio operator, my grandfather penned the phrase that he was half way between the equator and the North Pole. They now have a billboard there that boasts that phrase. I was born in Norfolk, but lived in Bangor when my father got out of the Navy and finished college in Bangor on the GI Bill. Good luck on your research!

  6. Very interesting. Such history.

  7. Anthony Brackett was my 9th great grandfather by why of Zipporah and her marriage into Towle family. How’s it going cuz?

  8. We are lucky if we have someone in our family who has the patience to do this research…and before the internet no less. Wow.

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