Something I particularly enjoy is going back through the minutes of Society meetings of long ago. When I took over the position of editor in 2007 (from the wonderful Robert L. Bartlett, who served as editor for 8 years), I understood that it would not be incredibly time-consuming, but that it would require a great deal of creativity.
After all, amazing new discoveries about our Bartlett ancestors are not made every day, and sometimes you have to find another perspective to keep things interesting.
Since I was voted in as editor at the 100th reunion - and what a lovely time we had a Plimoth Plantation during that weekend in 2008! - I decided that it was appropriate to include a little "100 Years Ago in Bartlett Society History..." column in the back of each newsletter.
It was very exciting for me to receive the History of the Society of Descendants of Robert Bartlet of Plymouth, Massachusetts, compiled and some portions written by Marian Longfellow, Historian of the Society, when I took on the position of editor. Spanning the Society's history of meetings, officers and more from 1908 to 1913, I realized that these minutes and reports probably are not common knowledge.
A great example is this month's "100 Years Ago in Bartlett Society History..." column. Many of the Society's members are probably aware of the 1660 fire-back that Joseph Bartlett (son of Robert Bartlett, who came over on the Ann) imported to Manomet, Massachusetts from England. They probably know that it can be found in the Pilgrim Hall Museum. However, the little tidbit I found tells us how it left Bartlett hands:
At the third annual reunion of the Society of the Descendants of Robert Bartlett on June 16, 1910, “The President called attention to an interesting relic exhibited by Mr. Ephraim D. Bartlett. It was an iron fire-back, bearing the date 1660. A little history concerning it may be of interest.
This fire-back was imported from England by Joseph Bartlett (2) son of Robert Bartlett (1) who came to Plymouth in the ship Ann in 1623. Joseph (2) married about 1660 and went to Manomet Ponds (now, 1880, South Plymouth) and there built a house and settled. In 1680 Joseph (2) built another house at Manomet, and years later the original house came into possession of Charles Dana Bartlett (8) and Hosea C. Bartlett (8) sons of Charles Bartlett (7) who lived in the house about fifty years. Years later Hosea C. Bartlett (8) tore down his half of the house and Charles Dana Bartlett (8) moved his half farther up the road, where it is still standing today (June 16, 1910). In taking down the chimney, this fire-back was discovered and was sold in 1880 by Charles Dana Bartlett to A. M. Harrison, United States Coast Survey, and left by him to Miss Sarah Acsah Bartlett, of Plymouth, Mass.”
The fire-back is now in the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, Mass. This was a very interesting tidbit to read out of the Society minutes, as Charles Dana Bartlett is my (the editor’s) 4th great-grandfather.
I had no idea that my 4th great-grandfather had lived in the original 1660 home so, in the course of my volunteerism for the Society, I also learned something of personal ancestral interest.
Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan