Of Ancestors, and Picnics, and Graves

Last Saturday, Colette and I had a little excursion down into Massachusetts to do some ancestry searches.  We had a list of properties, houses, and graves to find, and only managed to accomplish some of our list, but we had a fabulous time!  

The most exciting find of the day was our visit to Cogswell's Grant.  John Cogswell was my 10th great-grandfather, and he was given a grant by the King of England to 300 acres of land in, what is now, Essex, Massachusetts.

He built a home on the property.  Over the years, it was added on to, until the original house was torn down. What remains now is the house built by his grandson (not in my blood line).  But the land, though diminished in size and no longer in the family, is still a working farm.

The older barn on the property, which I believe dates to 1728.

The house, c. 1732, is open for tours during the warmer months of the year.  But being quiet and having the place to ourselves, it provided a lovely spot for our picnic!

Springtime arrives, and each year I am just so eager to go on a picnic!  This year, I could hardly wait to get outside for one.  I've spent some time researching the history of picnics, and hope to share that with you someday soon.

- Menu -

Crackers and Quark
Sliced Strawberries & Tangerines
Croissant Sandwiches with Black Forest Ham, Lettuce, Sliced Brie,
and Sliced Strawberries (super yummy!)
Sparkling Cider

The front yard of the property is terraced into three levels, with the house and a large maple tree sitting at the top.  The yard, a little wider than the house is encompassed by an old, stone wall.  And at the bottom of the yard was a simply gorgeous patch of blue springtime flowers.  Ahhh...we felt positively transported to England!

It was all so pretty, it was difficult to leave.  But we had more exploring to do, so off we went to nearby Ipswich.  Here we studied hundreds of gravestones in one of their old graveyards, in an attempt to find the graves of about six different relations.

All of our searching resulted in just one find, but we were thrilled to find that!  John Tuttle was my 8th great-grandfather.  We laid flowers on his grave and left, determined to return another day and renew our search at another graveyard.


  1. What a lovely time for you and your daughter...such a "wonderful" picnic basket!

  2. Thank you. I love picnic baskets and have a number of them. That one, I gave to Colette, and she pulled it out and made good use of it that day!

  3. Your picnic looks lovely. My son likes picnics and you have inspired me! I never remember to do this and I better hurry as here in FL it is already heating up. It is great fun for you to trace your family tree. I have a ton of older family photos I want to label before we forget who they are! I can't remember if you said earlier but did you use ancestry.com?

    1. Oh, do hurry! You'll have such memories!

      Yes, we've been using ancestry.com, but also searching out other sources for the people we discover who are more well-known.


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