Friday, July 11, 2014
Do you have any information about my relative who lived here before Vermont was even a state?
This was so exciting! I am not kidding when I say it was a bit like meeting a celebrity. He even wore a t-shirt advertising the 1990 Enos Family Reunion! He and his family asked for books where his forebearer might be mentioned, although they didn't have time to really pore through them, and then asked for advice on where else they might go in town to see some local history.
This happens a lot: people come in, or call, wanting to hunt down ancestors. We're fortunate to have a good Vermont section (although it may border on a Vermont hoard), and in particular a lot of books about local towns and villages. People are often disappointed that we don't have birth and death records - there was a fire at some point, from what I understand - but we give them what we can, and it usually catches their interest.
I've found, however, that I'm really at a disadvantage, only having lived here three years. If you say "Oh yeah, he lived in the old Benoit house," I don't know which house that is. If you want to know which of Enosburg's six or seven small cemeteries your ancestor is most likely to be buried in, I can't help you. I can't tell you whether the falls I'm thinking of are the Enosburg Falls.
I really need to do a better job of educating myself about the town. Some of it will come with time, I guess, but I could be working harder about it, too. In the meantime, I have the Historical Society's information constantly accessible, know the names of all the town's churches, and can give directions to just about anywhere you want to go. It works pretty well, for now.