That cradle was more sturdy than spectacular in design and held the many Towne babies thru the years including the three Towne sisters who would be accused on witchcraft six decades later in Salem, Massachusettes.
The film the Crucible is about their story and my 8th great Aunt Rebecca Nurse dramatically throws herself upon the floor of the courthouse to plead mercy to the Judge, who would condemn her to death.
Click here for more on Rebecca.
I would like to go to Salem next year to look through the original books of family history on both the Towne and Wentworth families, two of my lines that became one when they married and produced my great grandmother Minnie Eliza Wentworth. George W. Wentworth married Eliza Jane Towne and had numerous offspring, their youngest was Minnie, who I knew as the dollmaker when was a child, she was ancient then and only lasted til I was a pre-teen. I do have one of her precious baby dolls that she would repair and renovate and give to the children at the Sacramento Children’s Home in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
I consider these artifacts to be real links in a chain of love that reache back over millenia to connect me to the past, to where I come from and who I am, in relations to … my relations. Genealogy is the study and research of ones family history and insists upon ‘proof’ of what one is purporting. Its critically important to document research with a paper trail if possible and with the oral tradition which enriches the stories of our families. Oral tradition however is not pure proof, and can often be lacking in truth, for instance in my family the information was that “our ancestor came ‘around the horn'” and is even written up that way in one newspaper account, and in another the details of their overland journey is well-documented. Digging for the truth is what genealogy is all about really.
So start with the oldest folks in your family and ask them thought provoking questions, not simple Yes of No questions, so ask….. “tell me what the holidays were like in Canada?” Or “how did you survive the cold winters without electricity?” Ask the who, where and when questions also so you can actually find your ancestors. Interview every family member and try to get them to give some emotional details to broaden the scope and to give the story more human intrigue. And hurry up before they all die.
Ask what if any the family secrets are!
Hint: there are always family secrets.
One important thing about genealogy once you get into it, you may find out information that is upsetting. Take it with a grain of salt, all info is valuable and can lead to more and always remember this one important truth:
Momma’s baby, Daddy’s maybe.