It was many years ago when my husband and I stopped off in Freeport to see cousin Paul Bennett and his wife, Emma.
Paul and I were first cousins, twice removed, but the distance that implies was only on paper.
We shared the Greenville-Guilford connection to Mary Alice (Cummings) and Prosper Alvarus Bennett. Paul’s grandparents were my great-great-grandparents.
Paul’s dad, Silas Bennett, was the only sibling of my great-grandmother Rena.
Paul and my grandmother Ione (Bennett) Moore were first cousins.
My dad, Gayland Moore Jr., was one generation removed from that relationship — Paul’s first cousin, once removed.
I’m two generations down, so I’m a first cousin, twice removed. But that’s not really my point.
What Paul shared with us that fine summer day was the information that Bennett Rock was still in Gloucester, Mass. — and moreover, not covered up by the reservoir that now conceals many of the boulders marking homes of early pioneers in the Dogtown section of Gloucester.
My husband and I visited Bennett Rock the next day, and a year or so later so did my parents.
Thirty-odd years later, I couldn’t tell you how we got there, but I treasure our pilgrimage to the place where Anthony and Abigail Bennett lived.
That brings us to my desk drawer at work, where years of stuff resides, including a couple of postcards that had belonged to Mary (Cummings) Bennett Lord. Born before the Civil War, she lived until I was 3.
One was a picture postcard of Wilson Pond in Greenville, sent to Mary and Will Lord when they lived in Auburn. Paul Bennett mailed it to them from Greenville on Aug. 21, I don’t know what year. But the stamp on it was a red 2-cent stamp with George Washington’s profile on it.
The second postcard was a valentine with a tree and blossoms and butterflies and these words:
My thoughts of you
are like the flowers
That bloom and smile
through golden hours.
It was signed by Paul Bennett’s brother Gerald, who died young.
Mindful of the little family treasures that people have passed on to me, I called up Paul’s son Bill Bennett, and told him I would mail the postcards right away, and I did.
My dad and Bill were second cousins, so Bill and I are second cousins once removed — but you know that the distance that implies is only on paper.
Yes, there are third cousins in this group, including me and Bill’s son Will Bennett.
As he was giving me his parents’ phone number the other day, Will mentioned that he wasn’t into genealogy at this point.
I can wait.
“Census Records” will be the topic when the Wassebec chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society meets at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at the Mayo Regional Hospital conference room in Dover-Foxcroft. The hospital is on Main Street.
The public is welcome to attend. For information or directions, call the Bennetts, 876-3073; or Jane Macomber, 876-4125.
Last week’s column was so long, I didn’t get to wish Happy Mother’s Day.
The first wish, of course, goes to Mama, Sangerville native Joyce (Steeves) Moore.
Happy wishes also go to my daughters-in-law and their moms and maternal grandmothers: Heather (Taylor) Saucier, Julie (Powell) Mackenzie and Lee (Wilcox) Barthel in Minnesota; and to Amanda (Wilcox) Saucier, Vicki (Phillips) Wilcox and Elaine (Francis) Phillips in Maine.
I love you all.
Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.