Wednesday, April 20, 2022

My 1956 and 2021 Connection to a Distant Vermont Cousin

Last summer my husband and I made our first trip to Vermont to accompany our son as he relocated from Colorado. As we were visiting Springfield, Vermont, my son’s mother-in-law told me of the Hartness House Inn. 
You can read about it here:  
"The Hartness House Inn, 30 Orchard St, Springfield, VT, is small enough for an intimate Bed & Breakfast vacation, yet large enough to host weddings and other events. The Inn is located in Springfield, Vermont just minutes away from I-91.
    The Hartness House was built in the early 1900’s for James and Lena Hartness. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. James Hartness was a man of many interests and accomplishments. He was a successful businessman, engineer, inventor with over 100 patents, amateur astronomer, aviator and the 58th Governor of Vermont.
    The Hartness family, James and Lena with their daughters, Helen
and Anna, hosted many guests in their years at their home. The 35-acre property includes lawns, gardens and woodlands."
Since my "obsession" is Genealogy, as I learned of the Hartness House, I researched it online and discovered that Helen Hartness, daughter of the founders James and Lena Hartness, married Ralph Flanders! My mother's maiden name was FLANDERS! So I had to dig deeper and see how I might be related to Helen. This chart shows my connection:
Ralph Flanders, husband of Helen Hartness, was the 5th cousin of my great grandfather, Lewis Flanders. So the son of Ralph and Helen Hartness Flanders, James Hartness Flanders, is my 6th cousin 2 generations removed. 
I was recently showing my sister-in-law my small collection of school books from my childhood and years as a student at E. E. Morrison School, Great Bend, Kansas, among which I found "New Music Horizons" for Grade 4 in the State of Kansas.  I casually opened it to show her the songs, but first read the list of Contributors on the first page. To my complete surprise, I noticed that Helen Hartness Flanders and Arthur Wallace Peach were the contributors of the song "Jolly Old Roger" (shown below), from A Garland of Green Mountain Song, copyright by the Committee of Traditions and Ideals of the Vermont Commission of County Life." This is the same Helen Hartness Flanders who's married to my Cousin!
    I'm always "blown away" when I discover family connections! I know many people, even members of my own family, who would react "So what!" But I'm so easily amazed and impressed that I look at discoveries like this as blessings. I never imagined that someone who contributed a song to my 4th-grade music book was married to a cousin of mine, and then to learn that she's noteworthy in the town to which my son recently moved. I just had to share this story with my genealogy friends!

1 comment:

Miss Merry said...

I totally understand your glee! I know the looks I get from my family when I can't wait to share a tidbit that I learned. They don't know what they are missing.