Category: Uncategorized

Wilson “Reunion”

June 5, 2015 NOTE: A great time was had by all that came. Hopefully, we’ll do this again next year! Contact me if you are interested!

Reunion is in quotes because in actuality most of us will be meeting for the first time in the flesh. We’re interested in getting to know our new cousins and I’m really (always) interested in adding more information and people to this family tree. The focus of the weekend will be genealogy but you don’t have to interested in that to enjoy meeting new people from other lands (me from Virginia and I know of one other coming from Nevada) as well your neighbors and friends that you didn’t know you were related to!

The weekend of May 20 is the when and we are still working on the details (see below). It’s going to be informal and is open to any Wilson descendant or folks wanting to find out if they are a Wilson descendant.

If you’ll give us an email address, I’ll be glad to send you information as it is developed about meeting in Maine. Use the sign up form here: (note: this has changed as of 13 Oct 2017)

After signing up for the email list, take this survey as well:  That will tell us what you may be interested in doing.

Saturday, May 21

Breakfast: Fairground Cafe, Topsham Fairground Mall, 9:00 a.m.

After breakfast – we’ll not be bound by a schedule here but by 10 or 11 we’ll be out and about in Topsham. The Hugh Wilson houses are on the agenda as well as cemeteries. It will depend on the interest as to how much we do. My direct ancestors are in the cemetery right down from the Hugh Wilson houses so that’s a definite plan. There are two other cemeteries that have Wilson descendants – the oldest, First Parish of Topsham and the best known, Riverside. We may just ride past so that you can see where they are.

Lunch: The Grange, Harpswell: 1:00 p.m.

Bring your own lunch and join us at this old institution in Harpswell. We’re going to eat and talk and eat and talk! Get to know one another and look at genealogies.

Supper: Depending on whose interested, we may lay plans for a nice meal. Keep in touch so we can tell you where we end up.

Sunday, May 22

Afternoon – Dave Hackett (Harpswell Historical Society) is going to lead a tour around Harpswell. No other details yet so stay tuned.

We’ll have plenty of time for more activities if we get together and decide to go other places. Like I said this will be informal!




New England Here I Come

I'm heading to Boston and Maine in by the end of this month to do on-the-ground research for my Wilson book. Trying to prepare for this trip is turning out to be a race against time – unexpected for sure!

Though I'll be there for weeks, I will need to spend my time doing research and not writing it all up. In order to know what to research, however, I have to have done research and writing to find out what to research. Of course, it turns out that I have less time now to devote to that than I have had in the past. My web business is booming and I'm staying busier than I thought possible right now. Timing is everything and as usual life forces driving that timing just aren't cooperating!

So making lists and doing what I can before I leave. I spent a wonderful afternoon with a very distant cousin recently. Now when I talk about distant cousins, I'm really talking distant!  He's my 7th cousin once removed, a descendant of Edward Paul Dyer of Maine and Virginia. We met up in the mountains at Graves Mountain Lodge, visited a local cemetery and his old "homeplace", a cabin still standing next to a noisy babbling brook up next to the Shenandoah Park boundary. 

anderson_cabinWhat I found was that it was easy to get captivated by simply the "ambience" of the location. It's gorgeous up there but not only that, I fell under the spell of history, imagining what it would be like to be living in that cabin without electricity or plumbing back in the 1860s like Edward Dyer or the 1940s/1950s like when Roy lived there. It's hard to describe how I felt and as I pulled out my phone to take a picture, I said, "I've got to capture this." 

Thus the pics you see here. The closeup of the cabin combined with the long view with the mountain backdrop may help you see what I mean. It certainly helps to remind me that the human story behind a family genealogy has so much more to it than just dates and family facts. 


This is why I'm heading to New England  – to put myself in that same place these people walked and lived, to get a feel for what it's really like. So I'm going to be looking for cemeteries, photographing graves, digging through old records, talking to cousins and soaking up that which is New England.

 Genealogists aren't required to do that. Writers doing genealogy are. 

I also must remember to not get caught up in all of that and not get that research done. Hmm, gee, well, I guess I won't mind having to go back again later!