Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ancient Pear Tree in Eastham

My ninth great-grandfather, Richard Higgins, is mentioned in a poem by Heman Doane. The poem caught the attention of Henry David Thoreau. In Cape Cod, he quoted from the poem and made some comments about it. That subject begins at the bottom of p. 49 if you're in a hurry, but I've opened on the title page because, hey, it's Thoreau. You might want to read your way there.

Thoreau, Henry David. Cape Cod. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co, 1893.

Enoch Pratt included the whole poem in his book, which I've opened to p. 15. Don't take that to mean the rest of the book is not worth reading. It is. Don't miss the last chapter (p. 177) about customs and daily life of our ancestors. Also, searching for "higgins," "cook," and "hopkins" will turn up over fifty references to explore, but be advised: there are two Hopkins branches in my family tree, and both of them have a Stephen, neither of which was Governor Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island. (I mention it here in passing; it's a subject for another day.)

Pratt, Enoch. A Comprehensive History, Ecclesiastical and Civil, of Eastham, Wellfleet and Orleans, County of Barnstable, Mass., from 1644 to 1844. Yarmouth [Mass.]: Published by W.S. Fisher and Co, 1844.

That old pear tree had quite a reputation!

Barber, John Warner. Historical Collections Being a General Collection of Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, &C., Relating to the History and Antiquities of Every Town in Massachusetts : with Geographical Descriptions. Worcester: Warren Lazell, 1844.

All three of these books are worth browsing through.

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