Category Archives: People

Using Ancestry

Ancestry is one of the many digital resources available through our library. It allows you to search through many types of historical records, including census, military, immigration, and vital records, among others. This makes it a fantastic resource for genealogical research.

 

Portrait of Mary Trow (1871-1947)
Standing portrait of Mary Trow (1871-1947)

 

Take, for example, this panel card (above) featuring Mary Trow. It’s one of a number of images for which we’ve been able to identify the subject(s), despite it not having a caption.

 

Screenshot of Ancestry search fields
Basic search for Mary Trow using Ancestry

 

By simply inputting her name and location in Ancestry’s search fields, I was able to learn a bit about her.

Mary Lewis Trow was born on August 27, 1871 to Charles and Georgianna Trow. She had two younger siblings, Harris (b. October 22, 1876) and Eugenia (b. March 28, 1886). Her father was a printer who was born in Cambridge, MA. They all lived with Georgianna’s father, Daniel Cushman, a ship carpenter.

According to census records, Mary started working as a reporter for the daily paper sometime between 1910 and 1920, an occupation she held for over 20 years. She continued to live with her sister, Eugenia, on Second Brook Street (image below) up until she passed away in 1947.

 

Cushman-Trow House, 55 Second Brook Street, 1939
Cushman-Trow House, 55 Second Brook Street, 1939

 

Just from a name and a location (or more information if you have it), Ancestry can often provide a bounty of information, or at least a starting place for further research.

Full access to Ancestry and American Ancestors, another digital resource, is available at the library. Stop by to learn more and to try them out for yourself.

 

Source: Images from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7).

Emily Fuller Drews models a Pilgrim costume, circa 1920

Emily Fuller Drew: Historian and Photographer

Emily Fuller Drews models a Pilgrim costume, circa 1920
Emily Fuller Drews models a Pilgrim costume, circa 1920

 

In honor of Women’s History Month, March’s local history exhibit will feature materials from Emily Fuller Drew (1881-1950), who we have to thank for much of what we know about Kingston’s history. She put in an enormous of amount of work to help preserve the history of this town. Leaving a collection of more than 700 lantern slides, Emily photographed existing images that were decaying in order to preserve the informational content. She also photographed a variety of houses, buildings, events, and people of Kingston. Local history was a passion for Emily, and she recorded it not only visually, but also in her numerous unpublished essays and notes.

Stop by the library to learn more about Emily and her legacy!

 

Source: Image from the Emily Fuller Drew Collection (MC16).

Looking ahead to spring

Missing the warm weather yet? Now that we’re halfway through winter,  spring is right around the corner.

280 Main Street, around 1900

Take a look at this beautiful bed of asters in front of the house at 280 Main Street, built around 1897. The woman on the left is Martha Maglathlin. On the right you can see the fork of Wapping Road (left) and Pembroke Street (right), with the public watering trough at the point of the intersection.

 

Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7). 

Are you ready for some football?

1933 South Shore Football Champions

First row: (standing, left to right): Malcolm (Mac) Peterson, Alfred Bruneau, Harold (Slim) Alberghini, Chester (Chet) Morrison, Amelio Ruffini, Russell (Prout) Prouty 

Second row (kneeling, left to right): Bob Bailey, Raoul Corazzari, George Candini, Clyde Melli, Eddie Cadwell, Stephen Reed, Bob Davis

 

In 1933, the Kingston High School football team won the South Shore Championship.  Over the course of this season, they won five games, lost two, and tied one. 13 out of the 28 team members can be seen here in their practice jerseys on the field behind the Reed Community House. They were coached by Mr. Gotschall, the Principal, who also supervised the basketball team.

 

 

Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7).

 

Colorized photo of soldiers resting by a road

“Just a word to let you know I am still alive…”: Postcards from World War I

Postcard with image of soldiers and horses, captioned "Greetings from Camp Gordon, Atlanta, Ga."
Postcard sent by Joseph Finney to Mary Fries, postmarked November 21, 1917

 

When the US entered World War I in 1917 and called for a draft, Joseph Finney registered during the first round. He became one of approximately 2 million men who joined the American Expeditionary Forces, armed forces sent overseas to Europe. Throughout his service he exchanged postcards with friends and family, especially his elder sister, Ella Finney, and the woman he went on to marry upon his return, Mary Fries. Looking through this correspondence allows us to piece together a loose timeline of his experiences. Stop by the library to check out this exhibit for yourself!

 

Source: Image from the Joseph Cushman Finney Papers (MC11).

Skiing down Summer Street

Four young men on cross-country skis on Summer Street in Kingston, MA
From left to right: Clinton Keith, Isaac Hathaway Sr., Ralph Drew, and Ralph Holmes, around 1915

 

On a snowy, winter day a hundred years ago, these four young men strapped on their cross-country skis and posed for this picture right in the center of Summer Street, just north of the railroad tracks. The Adams Block is visible on the right, and the laundry building that was previously the freight station for the railroad is visible on the left.

 

Source: Image from the Albion Holmes Collection (MC25). 

Ada Brewster: Civil War Nurse, Traveler, and Artist

Sketch captioned "Cow Boy from Arizona," dated April 19, 1885
Cow Boy from Arizona, April 19, 1885

 

Ada Brewster, born in Kingston on May 25, 1842, lived a fascinating life. She served as a nurse at Lovell General Hopsital in Rhode Island during the Civil War; worked at the U.S. Mint in Carson City, Nevada during the production of the first trade dollar coined by the federal government; studied art at the Lowell Institute in Boston and the California School of Design (now the San Francisco Art Institute); opened her own art studio and became known as a portraitist, illustrator, china-painter, and teacher; and moved all over the country before returning home to Kingston in 1919. Stop by to learn more in this month’s Local History exhibit, featuring a selection of Ada’s sketches from her time out West.

 

Source: This sketch comes from the Ada Brewster Collection (MC24).

 

Major John Bradford

Gravestone of Major John Bradford
Gravestone of Major John Bradford, taken by Emily Fuller Drew circa 1925

Today marks the 281st anniversary of the death of Major John Bradford, as he died December 8, 1736.

The inscription on his gravestone reads:

Here lyes y body
of Mayjear John
Bradford who dec
Decbr y 8th
1736 in
y 84th year
of his age
he lived near 62
years with his wife
Gravestone of Major John Bradford
Gravestone of Major John Bradford, taken by Emily Fuller Drew circa 1925

Major John Bradford, born February 20, 1652, was the grandson of Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony.  He married Mercy Warren in 1674, with whom he had ten children. Major Bradford likely earned his title during  King Philip’s War (1675-76).

Major John Bradford is also remembered as a benefactor of the town, as he gave 14 acres of land to the North or Jones River Precinct of Plymouth (now Kingston) in 1717 for the purposes of a “Burying Place,” a “Training Field,” and a “Meeting House” — now the land on which the Old Burying Ground, Training Green, First Parish Church, and old Town House sit.

Major John Bradford House, in snow
Major John Bradford House, taken by Emily Fuller Drew circa 1925

The Jones River Village Club (now the Jones River Village Historical Society) purchased and restored his homestead at 50 Landing Road in 1921 before opening it to the public in August of the same year. It is now open on select days during the summer.

 

Source: Images from the Emily Fuller Drew Collection (MC16).