Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Boston Roots

The past several months I've had this urging to get back to my family history. Right after Christmas I finally made the time and chose to work on my Grandmother Dorothy Evelyn Bullards family lines.

I hadn't researched any of her family since 2003 and it was time.

I dove into the Bullard line tracing them back to the early 1800's in Kentucky. Then dead end.
In the meantime my grandaughter Evelyn was born in Cambridge,Massachusetts so we went to meet her in the middle of January.

I stayed an extra week to help out with her sister who is two and adorable.

When Ellie was napping I looked up to see how far the New England Genealogical Society was, turns out it was 10 minutes (an hour and 15 minutes during rush hour coming home - if you know Boston traffic, you know what I'm talking about) Really? - MIT, Harvard,Boston College nor any of the other 23 colleges in Boston can figure out better street planning?

Anyway on with my story. Off to Boston's Back Bay Town we went and I must say I want to go again. Not only the Genealogy junk but all the fun shopping on Newbury street and I'm not even a shopper. It was hopping in the dead of winter, snow everywhere, didn't matter.
(sorry I didn't take a pic and obviously this is copied from Wikipedia)

Upon entering the building I had to pay a $15.00 fee or I could pay 79 bucks and become a member of the New England Genealogical Society. Thanks for mentioning this on your website. NOT. I'm so used to libraries being FREE that I was surprised. Then I remember that I had to pay 30 Euros to walk into the Scotland Library in Edinburgh so about half the price in my own country.
Well worth it though, it was just that nothing was mentioned on their website that ticked me off. Ok so I just looked again and it is mentioned at the bottom on their site "Visit the library". Just so you know.

I headed to the sixth floor where most of the books on Families in the New England area were.
NEHGS has been collecting information for 165 years. Their library has more than 200,000 titles and 28 million items.
I actually went looking for my Welton, Baldwin, Scott and Delamater lines since I knew they were in Connecticut back in the day.

I walked into the room full of books and there above the copier was 2 brand new books with BULLARD written on it. I snagged them and headed back to a table to peruse and to my amazement I think I found the connection from my Kentucky Bullards to Robert Bullard who came from England in 1636 and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. I copied and copied.
I asked my son where Watertown was. He answered, "It's where the mall is. It's the town right next to us."
That night as I was looking over my treasure I realized that my family has made a complete circle of the United States from 1636 till present, from the east coast to the west coast and back again.
My grandaughter who was just born in the same area as her ancestors from 375 years ago. Then to top it off her name is the middle name of her great great grandma who carried that line. I didn't even realize that at the time til I started this post.

The next afternoon I went back and to my astonishment, the books were not there.
It then dawned on me that the shelf I had found them on the previous day was a restocking shelf for patrons to use when done copying.
I would never,ever,ever have gone looking for that Bullard line.
I had no idea they were in the New England area let alone Boston.
Someone within the hour I had arrived the previous day had put those books there. I firmly believe this statement from an apostle back in the early 1900's said,

"The spirit and influence of your dead will guide those who are interested in finding those records. If there is anywhere on the earth anything concerning them, you will find it."
-- Elder Melvin J. Ballard (Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin Joseph Ballard, p. 230)

Not realizing that I was being guided at the time but that's how it turned out and what a wonderful experience it is in finding my roots, not only for me but for my children and grandchildren. This fifth generation Californian girl has Boston Roots


  1. That's so awesome! What a crazy way to discover your roots! My Emma is really into family history, and it can be very addicting. I'm anxious to see where these names lead her as she goes along.

  2. What a great story. I love those serendipity occasions. I'm not ready to do genealogy but I know that if I once got started, I would love it. That snow out your door is amazing. So beautiful. I'm cold here at 64 so I would have a very hard time being that cold.

  3. i've recently had a few epiphanies like that myself. You know how you read these cool stories about how people connect mundane activities with spiritual awesomeness? (Like your story here.) I've been trying to do that more... and WOW! it is so amazing how often it happens. I've really felt a boost in the testimony department b/c of it. That's all. Thanks for sharing you're awesome "aha" moment too. :-)

    Ps... i am delegating my RS duties. My job was just the first one. Now that i'm done i get to sit back and make sure the other ladies pull their weight.