Winters in New England’s Past

The Road, Winter, N. Currier, 1843

I’d like to invite you to join me at Author Memories where I’m sharing some vignettes from winters past in my guest post:  Romancing the Snow. Some of the family names I discuss   are Currier, Greenleaf,  Adams, and Peirce. Come see how some of our ancestors endured the snow in times gone by.

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Announcing the book release of Colonial Courtships!

Colonial Courtships, featuring Carving a Future by Carla Olson Gade.

As a genealogy enthusiast, history aficionado, and fiction author I’m thrilled to share that my second book has been published. Colonial Courtships takes place in the charming 18th century Glassenbury, Connecticut.  Drawing from my interest in my own New England ancestors, and featuring a surname from my family tree, unexpected adventure has the four Ingersoll brothers rethinking their futures. But will it thwart their plans for good or bring about four colonial courtships? 

I invite you to visit me at Writing to Distraction to see where you can Meet the Authors of Colonial Courtships. You can also see my list of appearances  around the web where you’ll find interviews, guest posts,  reviews, with lots of chances to win a copy of the book. I’m also hosting a colonial gift basket giveaway from now until Oct. 21st.

Colonial Courtships is a novella collection, that features 4 short novels in one. Each story is connected by the family relationship of the Ingersoll brothers and centers around the family hostelry, The Red Griffin Inn. Here’s a sneak peak at my novella, Carving a Future:
Carving a Future – Connecticut, 1753:  Ship figurehead carver Nathaniel Ingersoll has apprenticed for many years under his Uncle Phineas and hopes to become a master ship carver in his own right. Constance Starling was spirited away from England to the Connecticut coast as an indentured servant, arriving too ill for anyone to accept her. When Nathaniel takes pity on her, he purchases her contract. Has he jeopardized the future he has worked so hard to achieve for the welfare of a weakly servant?

READ Carving a Future Chapter One

To win a free copy of Colonial Courtships, please leave a comment and tell me about an interesting trade in your family history.

Order your copy of Colonial Courtships today! Available in print and ebook.

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S. S. Arabic – Grandparent’s immigration ship in 1912

My grandparents set sail from Liverpool to Boston as Swedish immigrants in 1912 on the S. S. Arabic (II) of the White Star line, the same line as the famed Titanic. I would have been very frightful to make a passage within months of such a tragedy, but alas, my grandparents were brave souls. This ship did have an interesting fate, however, as the first ship down in WW1, torpedoed by a German submarine, known as The Arabic Case.


The  R.M.S. Arabic Twin-Screw, 15,800 Tons was hailed the largest and fastest steamer in the Boston trade.

A carpenter by trade, my grandfather, Fritz Olsson, turned 18 years old while on the voyage which left on September 10, 1912 and arrived two days after his birthday (16th) on September 18, 1912. My grandmother Carla Edberg, a nurse/governess, set sail on October 8th, 1912, also on the S. S. Arabic, and arrived in Boston on October 17, 1912. Both remained in Boston, MA, they married two years later on October 6, 1914.


S. S. Arabic

Boston service 1907 - first class 

Boston service 1907 – third class (most likely their accommodations)

Fritz Olson immigration

Carla Edberg Olson immigration


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Veteran’s Day: Kenneth R. Olson, U.S. Navy

My Dad with his parents, Carla & Fritz Olson before when he first enlisted at age 18.

Today, on Veteran’s Day, I’d like to honor my father, Kenneth Roland Olson who served his country in the U. S. Navy. He enlisted after graduating from high school in 1954 and began his term of 4 years, plus 2 in reserve .

A significant part of his time was spent upon  the U.S.S. John Paul Jones DD-932. This destroyer was commissioned from Boston, Massachusetts on April 5, 1956. He was deployed as a seaman and I believe he served as a secretary.

John Paul Jones (DD-932) was laid down 18 January 1954 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; launched 7 May 1955; sponsored by Mrs. Robert B. Carney, wife of Admiral Carney; and commissioned at Boston 5 April 1956, Comdr. R. W. Hayler, Jr., in command. DD-932 was the first U. S. Navy warship named after the famed naval hero, John Paul Jones.

John Paul Jones, second of the initial class destroyers of post-war design, conducted exhaustive shakedown training out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after which she departed for a cruise to Northern Europe and the British Isles. During this voyage Commander Hayler and members of the crew visited the birthplace of John Paul and presented the ship’s emblem to the people of Kirkcudbright. She returned to her home port, Newport, 8 October 1956.

The new destroyer departed for her first cruise with Sixth Fleet 25 March 1957. In May she took part in a graphic illustration of the power of that naval force, swiftly projected where needed, as leftist attempts to overthrow King Hussein of Jordan were foiled by American warships offshore. After helping to avert this crisis, John Paul Jones sailed for Newport once more, arriving 6 June 1957. NATO maneuvers in the North Atlantic followed in October. After another brief cruise to the Mediterranean, she arrived Fall River 27 November, and in January 1958 she took part in fleet exercises in the Caribbean.

In the spring of 1958 John Paul Jones operated with Canadian ships on training maneuvers in the Atlantic. After further training off the East Coast and in the Caribbean, she sailed again for the Mediterranean 17 March 1959. This tour with the vital 6th Fleet on its peace-keeping mission ended 24 July when the ship arrived Boston.

USS John Paul Jones (DD-932)—"Give Me a Fast Ship for I Intend To Go In Harms Way."

John Paul Jones

USS John Paul Jones Association

Naval History of USS John Paul Jones DD-932

Tin Can Sailors – History of USS John Paul Jones DD-932

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December 2010 / Christmas Welcome Page (ARCHIVE)

Gathering Christmas Holly by Currier & Ives

I’m so glad you dropped by as I’m decking the halls for a joyous Christmas! Check on the links below for some special Christmas pages that will hopefully brighten your holidays. May you be blessed as you celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Advent Calendar of Memories
Honoring the Deceased
Frost Christmas Wedding

  • Cherished Memories – I’m sharing a special Christmas page remembering my Stepdad, whom I recently lost.
  • Be sure to read A Christmas in the Northland, a special chapter that tells about the customs of Christmas from the book Sweden & the Swedes by W. W. Thomas, 1891. God Yule!

As always, more posts can be read below and by navigating the menu on top and on the sidebar.  Enjoy your visit!

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Marriage record reveals grandparents names

Fritz Olson & Carla Edberg married in Boston, MA, October 6, 1914 by William H. Bowers, clergy

It’s always exciting to get new information, especially from a primary source, after hitting a brick wall for so long.  I just received a scanned image of my paternal grandparent’s marriage record in Boston, MA from October 6, 1914 that I received from my research request from the Massachusetts State Archives.  This record revealed the unknown names of my father’s parent’s parents whose names he did not know, except for one.  This is truly very exciting for me as now the door will be open for me to learn since I have access to their names.  The parents of Fritz Olson: father-Svente Olson, mother-Anna Freman. The parents of Carla Edberg: father-Carl Edberg, mother-Freda Olson. I had heard that my grandparents may have been cousins, but the exact relationship is uncertain.  (Note: It is legal for first cousins to marry in Massachusetts, although in Puritan Massachusetts it was frowned upon. The Swedes must have thought it OK.)

This postcard of the Baker Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church - 1914

I found in a Google Books search that Rev. William W. Bowers was at the Baker Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church , Upham’s Corner, South Boston.  I am speculating that this is the church where Carla and Fritz were married. This postcard was postmarked July 31, 1914 so it is how the church appeared at the time of the marriage. A parking lot now occupies the spot where the church once existed and beside that spot is the Strand Theater which opened in 1918, a popular stop on the vaudeville circuit.

Columbia Road, Upham's Corner, Dorchester. Baker Memorial Church on right.

The marriage record also reveals the places where they lived at the time of their marriage. Thanks to Google Earth I was able to zoom right in on the address and found the exact houses, where I imagine Fritz rented a room and perhaps Carla boarded.

Fritz lived at 244 Lexington Street, Boston, MA in the Boston Harbor area in the vacinity of what now is Logan International Airport. (Click map to enlarge.) The record states that Fritz’s occupation is a “pitman” for BERy.  With a little research I found that acronym to stand for the Boston Elevated Railway Company,
a precursor first to the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

244 Lexington Street, Boston, MA

Lexington Street neighborhood

Carla lived at 54 Sudan Street, Dorchester, MA in South Boston. (Click map to enlarge.) The occupation of Carla at the time of marriage is listed as “domestic”.  She had been a nurse (governess) in London, England, in the employ of a physician, before she emigrated.  So perhaps she had a similar position or was even a household maid.

54 Sudan Street, Dorchester, MA

Sudan Street neighborhood

I’m sure these neighborhoods were quiet different 100 years ago, when my grandparents immigrated in 1912.  But it must have been a wonderful time of adventure for them, though uncertain, as world War I began in the summer of 1914. I can almost imagine Gramma getting off the trolley and walking down the street to her temporary dwelling where she was greeted by the beautiful wooden front door with the great oval window and then entered her home and retired to her room where she may have thought of her Fritz and their forthcoming marriage.

More on Fritz and Carla Olson >>

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Advent Calendar: Frost Christmas Weddings

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar  of Christmas Memories
prompt for December 23 asks about Christmas Sweetheart Memories
asking if there were any Christmas engagements or weddings among your ancestors?


Christmas nuptials seem appropriate for a Frost ancestor, and thus we find that Charles Frost married Jane Elliot Pepperrell, widow of Andrew Pepperrell, on Saturday, December 25, 1717.  A celebratory season for the family, the date of the marriage also happened to be the Christmas birthday of  his aunt, Catherine Frost (Leighton), his father’s sister. His parents, my 10th great-grandparents, Maj. Charles Frost I( 1631-1697) and Mary Bolles (1641-1704), had married on Saturday, December 27, 1673.

Continue reading

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