Quilts, Cemeteries, Snowflakes or Genealogy Fun in Pictures

It just does not get better than the Adirondacks.

A quilt show was to take place in Plattsburgh, N.Y. so plans were made to attend. To be honest, I do not need much of a reason to visit my old hometown. This trip would be a perfect way to combine my wife’s love of quilting and my genealogy research. My maternal side of the family has many roots that came from or lived several generations in the state of Vermont. My wife also has family from Vermont, but they will be researched in a future visit. Since Vermont is just across Lake Champlain from Plattsburgh, this would all work out very nicely. We were to spend the first day in Vermont looking up ancestors in Jericho, Vermont.

Jericho Vermont Town Hall. They gave us information on cemetery locations and the phone numbers of the caretakers

Here is a long line of relatives. Pictured here are some of my great grandparents, great uncles and Aunts and of course cousins.

It is sometimes a strange feeling looking at the gravestones of ancestors, knowing if not for them there would be no you.

Some of the cemetery searchings’ were made rather easy like this large monument below to my 5th Great Grandfather Thomas Chittenden the first governor of Vermont. In fact, the photograph above is of my Chittenden ancestors.

This large monument made it easy to find my ancestors graves.

Below is a picture of Thomas and Elizabeth Chittenden’s gravestones. Elizabeth’s maiden name was Meigs. The Meigs family itself has a fascinating history for which I will have to do more research

Gravestones of my 5th Great Grandparents Thomas and Elizabeth Meigs Chittenden.

It was while searching for the gravestones of my Barney family line I made an interesting discovery. The tombstone pictured below is for my third great grandparents Thomas and Hannah Bentley Barney. It was the Bentley name that would open the door to new revelations in my family history.

The gravestone of my 3rd Great Grandparents Truman and Hannah Bentley Barney.

The Bentley family line goes back to the 1600s in this country. They are well documented and a fascinating study. However, it is my 2nd cousin four times removed Wilson Alwyn Bentley that I would like to highlight. Pictured below is the “Old Red Mill” in Jericho, Vermont. The Old Red Mill was declared a National Historic Site in 1972. It is here that they have a display of the lifetime work of Wilson Bentley.

This is the Old Red Mill in Jericho Vermont.

Side and back view of The Old Red Mill.

Wilson Bentley was the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in 1885. Wilson would go on to photograph over 5000 single snow crystals. I will let the pictures and newspaper accounts below tell a little more of his story.


From the Burlington Free Press April 10, 1931.

From The Burlington Free Press December 24, 1931

Our time in Vermont flew by, and soon it was time to take a short ferry ride across Lake Champlain to Plattsburgh.


It was a smooth crossing on the ferry.

Once on the New York side, it was time for family and to enjoy the area. It was easy to find beautiful scenery to enjoy. We also had to visit the farm where much family history is rooted

In New York with Lake Champlain in the background. From left to right Pam Moore, Nicole Moore, Dennis Panagitsas, and Sandra Moore. In front also left to right is Dale and Chip

A Cabot advertisement that featured the Gonya farm.

Dennis checks out the tractor while Willis Gonya looks on.

Outside the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Plattsburgh for the best breakfast in town. That is me on the right.


The last day of our trip was spent at the Plattsburgh Quilt Show, and it did not disappoint. The many quilts were beautiful and gave evidence to the talent that it takes to create these works of art. But perhaps the best part for me was meeting Kerry, a fellow blogger whose blog “Love those Hands at Home” is about her quilting and weaving as she talks about life, events, and whatever happens to be on her mind. I am not sure if she found my blog or if I found her blog first, but I do enjoy reading it and am glad I discovered it. Here is a link to her blog. https://lovethosehandsathome.wordpress.com/

My granddaughter Nicole and wife Sandra just outside the Quilt show.

Pictured are myself and Kerry. Kerry’s blog “Love those hands at home” is well worth reading and following. The quilt in the background is the result of the talent and hard work of Kerry.


So that is the story of my little weekend trip. The point of telling this little story is that as family researchers it is important to get out from in front of the computer and step outside. This was reinforced for me by the Bentley family line discovery, meeting Kerry, and best of all visiting and being with family. This was a simple trip of only a few hundred miles in which new understanding of my family’s history was achieved, and future family memories were made. So my advice is get up and take a little trip.


Go Hornets!

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48 Responses to Quilts, Cemeteries, Snowflakes or Genealogy Fun in Pictures

  1. janetl91 says:

    Lovely photographs

  2. Luanne @ TFK says:

    What a lovely place!

  3. Yes. Genealogy is about so much more than dead ancestors!

  4. KerryCan says:

    You packed a lot into your weekend, Charlie! I love the photos of the cemeteries and the story about the snowflake photographer! It was great to meet you and your family at the quilt show–a real highlight for me, too!

    • chmjr2 says:

      Yes it was a very busy weekend and I hated to see it come to an end. Perhaps next time I am in the area we can meet and have a Michigan or two.

      • KerryCan says:

        So, I hear we have the perfect excuse for getting together when you’re here next–Sandy won the raffle basket! I’ll keep it safe for her and you can let me know when you’ll be in the area. Maybe we can meet at Gus’s!

      • chmjr2 says:

        I think my daughter may be in the area in a week or so. If you could send me contact info via my email: chmjr2@yahoo.com we could work out the details. By the way Sandy is still floating in the air over this. It is a early Christmas for her. 🙂

  5. Quilting and genealogy definitely goes hand and hand in my home….really enjoyed your post. What a fantastic Town Hall Jericho has and I loved the cemetery photo’s. Great post!

  6. Amy says:

    I agree—there is nothing better than getting out, walking where our ancestors walked, seeing where they lived and where they died, and meeting their descendants. I am glad you had such a great time and that you shared it with all of us. And Vermont is lovely!

    • chmjr2 says:

      I am lucky that I have so much family history to explore in the New England area. However we all should get out and explore and learn the history around us. Too many of us spent too much time in front of the computer and not enough time in the field.

      • Amy says:

        I wish my ancestors had lived closer to home, but so far I’ve made it to Santa Fe, Germany, and Poland. And, of course, NYC. In two weeks I am going to Philadelphia to see where my Cohen relatives lived. So I am trying!

      • chmjr2 says:

        Such great places to visit. The blogs you wrote about your German trip were very interesting and very poignant. I found snowflakes on my trip and you found something so much more profound.

      • Amy says:

        What could be more perfect and profound that a natural wonder like a snowflake?

  7. Peter Klopp says:

    It must be nice to be able to travel a relatively short distance to a place where your ancestors used to live. I really like your statement: It is sometimes a strange feeling looking at the gravestones of ancestors, knowing if not for them there would be no you. My father was the 16th child from a remarkable family. Without him where would I and our five sons and grandchildren be? As always when you publish something I read with great interest and look forward to your next post.

    • chmjr2 says:

      Something else I learned that weekend but did not put in my post you may find interesting. I learn that my great grandfather Bentley and great grandfather Bonnett were on the same battlefield during the American Revolutionary War. Double my chances of me not being here. I also thank you for your kind words about my blog. Your blog sets a very high standard of which, as well as some others I try to come close to.

  8. Pierre Lagacé says:

    I love Vermont!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I was intrigued by the new granite marker for the Bentley pair. At least it looks new. Is there a story there? I am interested in the name Chittendon and am now,wondering if that is the correct transcription for a name I have thought was Chatterdon. I will have to explore this possibility. Thanks.

  10. Spyro says:

    To be able to trace your family that far back is terrific! I came across some of those snowflake pictures years ago. Thank you. Spyro

  11. You have a very interesting family heritage! Great post.

  12. Jim McKeever says:

    Great stuff, Charles! Wilson Bentley’s fascination with snowflakes and his scientific contributions are wonderful. Such a great example of self-education and a thirst for knowledge. What a gift your trip was!

  13. Averyl says:

    I love the “Snowflake Crop” article! Also Dale and Chip. 😀

  14. higginsmj says:

    Thanks so much for such an interesting post. It is certainly well worthwhile venturing beyond the computer screen. You just don’t know what you will discover! I look forward to checking out Kerry’s blog.

  15. I love that quilt. I also have roots in Clinton County, NY and Chittenden County, VT. I need to get to Keeseville for some research, but from Ohio it is not so easy.

    • chmjr2 says:

      It is a small world. I have some ancestors that went to Ohio and settled a part of your state. They were part of a Quaker group that move there after the American Revolutionary War. The surname was Dakin. I try to get to the northern region of N.Y. once or twice a year. I would be very interested to know the surnames of this part of N.Y. and Vermont that you have. Who knows what I may trip over in my searchings’.

  16. What a fascinating story concerning Wilson A Bentley and the snowflakes. I totally agree with you – putting ‘flesh on the bones’ of family history is the exciting part.

  17. Pingback: GenTraveling – Friday Finds |

  18. heytoto says:

    Very cool to read about your family connection to Snowflake Bentley! I know him from the wonderful children’s book by the same name, written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.

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