into the past

In Digital, Inspiration, Travel
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The past calls to me. Not my own recent past, but the past of my family, my ancestors. Whilst I’ve dabbled in genealogy, it’s not the dates on the family tree that interest me but the stories of the people who came before me and helped to shape who I am now. When I read about my family history, and look at photographs of my great-grandparents and their parents, I want to transport myself back into the time and space that they inhabited, breathe the same air, see the same world. I’ve seen many people looking at their family history recently. If you’re thinking of learning more about your ancestors, it might be worth using a website like Genealogy Bank to see if that helps anyone out. My friend used their 1930 census records to find out more about her family. She learnt a lot more about her family than she thought she would ever be able to. Perhaps that would be a good way to better understand your family narrative.

Every so often I take a road trip to follow in the footsteps of my ancestors in towns and cities in New England and New York. My travels have taken me to St. Johnsbury, Hardwick and Greensboro Vermont and Washington, Connecticut.

Last week I drove from Cape Cod out to Syracuse and Cicero New York, on the trail of my great-great-great grandfather and grandmother, their children, and my namesake Lucy Elizabeth (Hicks Ostrander) Loomis, wife of my great-great grandfather Chauncey Chester Loomis.

The Loomis men were business people, manufacturers, lawyers and judges, living mostly rural or suburban lives. The roads leading to their hometowns are dotted with both stately and humble homes from the past.

house1

Oldest house is Cirero, home of Chester Loomis.

I visited cemeteries for clues to their past, and found family gravestones as well as other family’s memorials — touching and beautiful.

loomis

our baby

mother

hey

On this trip I was able to visit with the Town historian in Cicero, who lives in a Loomis house and has artifacts and photographs related to my family and their businesses.

loomis allen

ostrander loomis

family

I always come back from these journeys into the past with more pieces of my family puzzle. I long to go back and step into the photograph and pose in my Sunday best with these people, who I feel like I’m beginning to know and love .

Does your family call to you from the past? Share your images on Instagram and tag them with #viewfindersio for a chance to be featured on the Viewfinders Instagram feed.

See you soon.

lucy

PS: All of the images in this post were edited with PicMonkey’s new Silver Screen preset. It is available only to Premium users (a bargain at less than $35 a year), but they have lots of other free presets and dozens of free tools available for you to play with.

3 Comments

  1. So absolutely fascinating! I love the tin with your surname on it. Looking forward to hearing more about these adventures.

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