Thursday, April 09, 2009

Collamore Family Tree

As I am thinking to the near future when I might want to take client work as a professional genealogist, I spent a little time this week thinking about how I might want to organize my time in order to keep working on my own ancestors, take gravestone photographs, write blogs and be a grandmother. That seems like a lot to do but then I remembered that I was teaching, writing a book and magazine articles, going to graduate school and doing my own family research. [I suppose that's why I'm so tired!]

A long time ago, when I was young, my husband and I bought a small house here in Bridgewater in an area that was once farmland and woods. An elderly lady and her unmarried son lived across the street in a small house built for them because the old farmhouse was too much for them to manage. They maintained a huge vegetable garden and I was supplied with more vegetables than I could cook or eat. She was a delightful person and insisted that I call her "Granny". She was a great watchdog and when we went on vacation, she guarded my house and called the police if even a leaf moved.

Granny was so delighted when I told her that I was going to have a baby and I was glad to have her around until my daughter was just over a year old. I learned a lot about Bridgewater from this family.

Her youngest child, an adult man older than I am, lives there now and he showed me a family tree that hung on the wall in the house. I knew from Granny's obituary that her maiden name was Collamore. It turns out that the tree was a school project of one of the grandchildren and I photographed it so he could give it back to that niece. I printed a few copies of it for him to pass around this next Easter Sunday. [Sneaky, huh, a genealogist trick?]

That's when he told me that there was a "Collamore" book. I figured it was a compiled genealogy. The niece photocopied pages from it and glued them to that tree.

It only took a few minutes to locate two copies of the Collamore genealogy online. The photographs were the same, so I knew I had the right one. One copy was available as a public domain download in Acrobat format and the other was in the "family histories" section of

After about two hours, I was drowning in data, but I figured out why the niece had trouble with surnames. It is a double Collamore family. Granny's parents were BOTH Collamores! (Welcome to New England!) Now, I was really hooked.

I have started a tree at in memory of Granny. I think this will be an interesting and good first attempt at client work. After all, I must owe Granny at least a million dollars in payment for the free vegetables, right?

Hatch, Charles. (1915). Genealogy of the Descendants of Anthony Collamer (Collamore) of Scituate, Massachusetts. Salem, Massachusetts: Newcomb & Gauss.


Family Curator said...

Midge - Great project to keep your genealogy cogs running smoothly. You live in an "historical" neighborhood, for sure.

CB said...

How much of this "Collamer" book (by Charles Hatch, right?) did you get input into your ancestry tree? I'm starting at the cover of it, and wonder if there is a Gedcom download already complete. I'm lazy. :-)

Midge Frazel said...

I put none of it into my tree. I did some of it for my neighbor and gave it to them.