Sunday, March 23, 2014

Historic Weekend

Angie and I took advantage of a free Saturday to see some things we'd been wanting to see for a while. Our first stop was Gungywamp in Groton, CT. It is a strange area where there are lots of stone chambers and other interesting stone features that may or may not be prehistoric. (more info)

Our next stop was the Newport Tower in beautiful Newport, RI. Again this is a strange stone feature whose origin is hotly debated. Some say the vikings built it, some say it was a lighthouse, some say it aligns with astronomical features, etc. (more info)

Our final stop was at the tomb of Col. Benjamin Church in Little Compton, Rhode Island. Benjamin (b.1639 - d.1718) was the first "Ranger"and commanded the colonist forces to victory during King Philip's War. Much of the war itself took place right there in that area (more info). It is almost certain that Benjamin Church is my grandmother's (Margaret Church) great, great, great, great, great grandfather. He is also the grandson of Richard Warren (my confirmed ancestor) who came to the new world aboard the Mayflower.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013

Aint we cute?

Friday, October 4, 2013


I've been reading a bit about the Mayflower and the history of Plymouth Colony lately. It inspired me to try to find a genealogical connection somehow to those early pioneers. It didn't take long to realize that no matter which branch of the family I tried to investigate, I found myself back in New England before too long. I was shocked at how nearly all of my ancestors lived in the Boston area at some point in their settlement and propagation. But I just couldn't make that final connection to the Mayflower. I thought I had made the connection once, but upon further review of my sources, I found an error.  After hitting several snags due to missing or bad information, I eventually hit gold! I've confirmed this connection through multiple sources now and am confident that it's legitimate:
b.1580 - Richard Warren - London, UK (Mayflower passenger, 1620)
b.1619 - Abigail Warren - London, UK
b.1651 - Sarah Snow - Marshfield, MA
b.1674 - Sarah Waterman - Marshfield, MA
b.1700 - John Hewett - Marshfield, MA
b.1737 - Ruth Hewett - Norwich, CT
b.1757 - Ruth Griswold - Norwich, CT
b.1785 - Roswell Lyman - Lebanon, NH
b.1813 - Amasa Lyman - Lyman, NH
b.1851 - Caroline Lyman - Salt Lake City, UT
b.1879 - Joseph P. Callister - Burtner, UT
b.1909 - Joseph L. Callister - Oak City, UT
b.1947 - Von Callister - Delta, UT
b.1983 - Daniel Callister - Salt Lake City, UT
Interesting to note: Richard Warren was one of only 50 people who survived the first winter at Plymouth. His wife and daughters (Abigail included) were not on the Mayflower, but joined him later. Another of his daughters, Elizabeth, married Richard Church - there are others in our family who claim that OUR Churches can be traced back to him, but I have not been able to find that connection yet. Also noteworthy: Ruth Griswold's father, Maj. John Griswold Jr. was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and is buried in New Hampshire.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What Love looks like at 10,500 ft

Albion Basin, UT July 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cannon Mtn

Excuse the poorly-stitched-together panoramic photo, but it's the best I'm capable of. I've been a lonely man this last week since coming home from Utah. Angie stayed out west to spend a little more time with family. It was kind of nice at first to have a little alone time, but it's getting old pretty fast. I've got another week before Angie comes home and I wish it could be sooner. I took a beautiful hike Saturday morning to the summit of Cannon Mountain. It was an amazing vista that greeted me there. This marks my seventh of the 48 four thousand-footers of New Hampshire. The cloud-covered peaks across the valley in the photo were my third and fourth.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Adjacent Religious Histories

Angie and I finally took advantage of a nice, open Saturday to drop by the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial in South Royalton, VT. Only 90 minutes away, it's a really beautiful area and the grounds there are spectacularly well-maintained. There is a visitor's center with some interesting info and friendly senior missionaries on hand to do their best to answer whatever questions you might have. We had a good time wandering the trails and seeing the old foundations of Smith/Mack family homes including the one in which Joseph was born which, according to the nice senior missionary from Mesa, AZ, has only been marked since last year.

Afterwards we took a moment to locate an "ancient Celtic temple" stone chamber that was rumored to be near the JSM. Since our little visit to America's Stonehenge in North Salem, NH I have been doing a lot of research on these kinds of sites with growing interest. I had read a lot about this particular stone chamber, but (as is the case with all these sites) nobody ever publishes their exact locations for fear of vandalism, etc. Well, after easily 8 hours of careful searching beforehand, I did find one 20-30 year-old source that provided written directions for finding the chamber in South Royalton. We followed the directions that afternoon and with a little creative interpretation of the author's somewhat lacking instructions, there it was!

Even Angie thought it was pretty darn cool. It looks like a hobbit hole-in-the-ground. You can only access it by crawling nearly prone through the birth-canal of an entryway, but it opens up into a circular room that you can stand up in with stone walls maybe 10 feet apart. There are some grooved markings in the stones that experts claim to have been able to translate as a dedication of the chamber to the sun god, "Bel". It didn't take long before we realized that the chamber contained copious amounts of enormous black, shiny spiders and we got out of there.

Monday, May 27, 2013

America's Stonehenge

I recently learned about the existence of stone-age ruins right here in New Hampshire. Angie and I took the short drive to Salem, NH near the Mass border to check them out. It was really cool! They've dated some of the ruins at 2,000 BC. There were complete chambers to walk through, which was really awesome.

Some archaeologists think they were built by visitors to the New World. I'm not so sure about that, but some of the chambers were slightly reminiscent of burial chambers we explored in Ireland from the same period:

After further research, I learned there are sites like this all over New England. I can't wait to go out and find my own!