Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Dad's Classics Illustrated

As a young child in the cold and dark times before the internet, I used to love reading my Dad's comic books that he had collected when he was a kid.  He had funny one's like Mad Magazine, but I also loved reading his Classics Illustrated.

Classics Illustrated were exactly what they sound like, short illustrated versions of classic novels in comic book form, so they were very easy to understand for kids.  I really like these and read certain of them over and over again.

I've read the "real" versions of most of them, but I can still see the comic book versions in my mind so easily!  I did a quick search for covers and these immediately jumped out at me and took me back:

And speaking of Wuthering Heights, there have been a ton of film versions of course and I do enjoy watching them.  When I was young I thought Heathcliff was so romantic, now of course I think he's a psychopath (but that's another blog post).  When it comes to his death scene, I don't really see the film's death scene, what overplays the film is what's in my mind's eye, which is the panel from the Classics Illustrated version I grew up reading which is this:

Why look, it's dead Heathcliff.

Dead Heathcliff!


OMG anonymous Classics Illustrated illustrator, did you have any idea what an impact you'd have on a small child seeing this?  It's the stuff of nightmares!!!!

But soul-crushing dead psychopaths who kill themselves to be with their objects of obsession aside, my absolute favorite Classics Illustrated is one that isn't well known today - it's a Mark Twain story:  Pudd'nhead Wilson!

Where has this story been all these years?  It's got drama, murder, baby-switching, blackmail, Italian noblemen, early use of forensics, everything you could ask for!  Much better than Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn lololol.  I'd tell you about it, but I don't want to ruin it for you!

So anyway, thanks for sharing your Classics Illustrated with me Dad, I really really enjoyed them, and NEVER would have heard of Pudd'nhead Wilson without them!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Julius Ensign Rockwell, I wish I could hug you

A long time ago, when the world was young and so was I, being a genealogist meant a lot more time in libraries making photo copies of books.

It's still something that should be done, but back then you didn't have as much of a choice.  So I have quite a library of photocopied pages from books in my files - town histories, published genealogies, etc.

I don't even want to think about all those pages being a dime a piece to copy!!

So in a fit of thinking about things that are not the laundry or cleaning I should have been doing, I thought about all those pages recently and thought, hey, I bet I could find some of them as used books online and then could have the book as my own reference!  I pulled a bunch out and went searching on various used book sites and found a few that seemed worth ordering and did.

One book that I ordered was "The Rockwell Family in America from 1630 to 1873" by Henry Ensign Rockwell, published in 1873.

I have one family line that goes back deep into New England history, and have some Rockwell ancestors, specifically the immigrants John Rockwell (1627-1673) and Sarah Ensign (abt 1630 - 1659).

The author of the book isn't a direct ancestor, but is in fact my 6th cousin 5x removed.

So I order the book and when it comes I'm surprised to open the box and have an envelope along with it - the envelope is full of old newspaper clippings and other handwritten notes on scraps of paper that apparently were all stored in the pages of the book - all on Rockwells!  I look through the book and there are a bunch of pages with handwriting all over them - further notes on the people mentioned on the page, I can't believe what I'm seeing!!! 

I look at the inside cover and it's signed "Julius Ensign Rockwell".

I look him up, and he's the son of the author!  So I have the author's son's notations and newspaper clippings and I spent exactly $24.50 on this book.  What a TREASURE!!

It's a genealogist's dream!!! 

The separate envelope contained things like this:

What I really enjoyed seeing was how similar it all looked to my files with random scraps of paper and notes on things I saw somewhere to look up later.  It's wonderful to have these kinds of reminders of the humanness of our ancestors.  Also, it's really freaking cool to have this book and these notes!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mix Ancestors Home Towns in England

My Mix family research has been able to go back far enough to identify the towns from which people emigrated before coming to the US.  This is my maternal grandfather's line and includes lots of very English names like:


Of course there are a few notable exceptions in calling these English, like the two Welsh surnames (Bourne and Bowen) and the Burnet name which although Thomas Burnet himself came from Braintree in Essex, the Burnet family is actually Scottish and from the Borderlands area of southern Scotland.

As a visual to help me, I went to My Maps in Google and put pins in each town that my Mix line immigrant was born in.  As you can see below, it really helps show the clustering of where this line of ancestors comes from (click to view larger):

So I can see with this that other than Wales and Scotland as mentioned earlier, the Mix ancestors are very clustered in the southern third of England, with a special concentration in East and Southwest England.

After emigrating, this is a very New England-centric line - they came to Massachusetts and Connecticut and those that moved, made their way to Rhode Island, or to Vermont, but then eventually to the Finger Lakes region of New York, which is where my Mix line ends up.

All in all though, a great visual!!