A Stationary Odyssey

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Woodman's of Essex.
While out taking pictures of old houses, I stopped for lunch at Woodman's of Essex. We used to live less than 10 miles away, and would head over once in a while when we felt like splurging. Now, this picture is about as close as Laurie should come to eating there until her allergy to mussels is better understood and we know for certain it doesn't extend to relatives like clams.
This is the clam dinner, complete with both french fries and onion rings. The clams are whole, with the bellies, not just the clam strips you get outside New England. I've had fried clams on Cape Cod, and these are simply better. I suspect it has something to do with what they eat.
But its been a beautiful day, and I have the power cord to the laptop so I can post again. Thanks for sending it along, Dad. Now I just need to organize my photos so I can use them.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Laurie and I are in Boston this week. The power cable for my laptop didn't make it into the bag, so this may be a rare posting. My dad is looking after the house, but he had a pipe break and the water made the hallway ceiling collapse. Its all still getting sorted out, but when I talked to Steve it was in the process of getting fixed.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

President Bush and Geoffrey Chaucer.

Ancestry.com has a feature called "find a famous relative." I did that, and discovered that President George Bush is my 8th cousin. My 8x great grandmother was Grace Heaton, which is through the Stull-Sullivan-Ing line, and that was his 8x great grandmother, too. That same line also goes back, much further, to Sir Isaac Newton, but also includes Rutherford B. Hayes and a few other folks. A different branch, Stull-Sullivan-Smothers, shows that Geoffrey Chaucer was my 17x great grandfather.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Major.

With more genealogy research, I was looking into Laurie's family. This is Major Augustus D. Blanchet of the 27th New Jersey Volunteers. I found this photo on the New Jersey Archives site. He was Laurie's great-great-grandfather, on her mother's side. He lived in Morrisville, New Jersey. Going beyond the Major has been tricky, since family names change quite regularly, but it appears the family descends from French colonists on Guadeloupe and a collection of knights and similar nobility from Normandy and Brittany, and probably more than that. I'll try to get it all sorted out.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fulk the Rude.

I've been doing some geneological research, and I have found a remarkable line going back to the 11th century (and more). Through my grandmother's family, we are related to the 11th century Count of Anjou, Fulk the Rude. Now, the link is pretty small - my grandmother's great grandmother was Jane McDonald. Today, I found some more information about Jane McDonald. Her mother was Elizabeth Brownlee, and the Brownlee's go back far six generations and their name was Browne, specifically Thomas Browne, born in 1575. His great-great-grandmother was Margaret Warren, born about 1374. Her great-grandfather was John De Warenne, born 1286. His great-grandfather was William Plantagenet, born 1166. William Plantagenet's great great grandfather was Fulk the Rude, Count of Anjou, born 1042 and died in 1109. Fulk was a contemporary of William the Conqueror, and he is also one of William Plantagenet's great-great-grandfather's, so I'm also descended from William the Conqueror. He's my great x25 grandfather or thereabouts. But so is Fulk the Rude, which is much funnier. I'm going to see what I can find out, but my first foray didn't say how he got the name.