Saturday, February 24, 2007

"A Slave's Story": BBC Documentary about Venture Smith of East Haddam and Haddam Neck, CT

By Paul Murphy and Joe Bilton. World Premier Screening.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

This year's program is part of the Beecher House Center for the Study of Equal Rights, the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, in hull England, and the University of Connecticut’s ongoing Project – Documenting Venture Smith. A Slave’s Story was filmed in Connecticut in 2006 during the Project’s excavation of Venture’s family gravesite in East Haddam and the development of an extraordinary DNA map of the family.

Venture Smith was born in West Africa (as Broteer Furro) c. 1727-29 and sold into slavery in 1739. After being transshipped to New England and after years of terrible struggle, Venture purchased freedom for himself his family and several other enslaved people. He then developed a far-flung trading enterprise and became a major landholder in Haddam Neck where he died a free man in 1805.

As he outlined in his 1798 Narrative, Venture’s was an epic saga of emancipation and achievement spanning two centuries and affirming the power of the human spirit.

Program and Buffet Brunch-Luncheon at the Torrington Country Club in Goshen, CT
$45. Checks payable to Beecher House Society, Inc.

Information or reservations: 860-489-1774 or
Beecher House Society, PO Box 124 Torrington, CT 06790

Related Links about Venture Smith:
Story and photos:
Click of Listen:
Town Library:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Schooling the Heart: Emotion at the Litchfield Female Academy

Join Martha Tomhave Blauvelt, Professor of History and Director of the Gender and Women's Studies Program at the College of St. Benedict / St. John's University for Schooling the Heart: Emotion at the Litchfield Female Academy. The lecture, based on her new book The Work of the Heart: Young Women and Emotion, 1780-1830, will take place on March 9th at 5:30 p.m. at the Litchfield History Museum. A book signing reception will immediately follow. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the museum shop for $39.50.

Blauvelt will present her case that, while the Litchfield Female Academyis considered notable for its contributions to women's intellectual development, it also taught women how to feel. She claims that its lessons in emotion were at odds with its intellectual purpose. Blauvelt examined journals, diaries, and museum objects created by the students of Sarah Pierce's Litchfield Female Academy for the publication, and used a number of images from the Historical Society's collection as illustrations.

In addition to this book, Blauvelt has published in scholarly journals such as Journal of Women's History, New York History, and Journal of Social History, and also in books of scholarly essays such as volumes 1 and 2 of Women and Religion in America (edited by Rosemary Radford Ruether, Harper and Row), and in Anxious Power: Reading, Writing, and Ambivalence in Narrative by Women, which was part of the SUNY Series in Feminist Criticism and Theory. Blauvelt earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University. She has been a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow and a Fellow for the National Historical Publication Records Commission Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents. In addition to St. John's, she has taught in the history departments of the University of California, Berkeley, and Northwestern University. She is currently starting a project on single women between 1780 and 1880, which will center on the sixty two year diary of Susan Heath of Brookline, Mass., and the diaries of her mother and foursisters.

Please call 860-567-4501 or e-mail to reserve a seat for the lecture. If you have any questions about the event, please call or visit our Web site,

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sawyer or Lawyer? Using the 1841-1901 British Census

Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 10:00 -12:00 PM
Speaker: Kathryn Black, Professional reseacher and CPGC Member-at-Large.

All are invited! Connecticut Professional Genealogist Council, Inc. meetings are usually held on the first Thursday of the month at 10 AM unless otherwise stated. Lecture is usually 45 minutes to an hour in length. The second hour is reserved for CPGC business.

Meet at the Emanuel Lutheran Church, 311 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT. Some parking in church lot and on street. Tel: 860-525-0894 (Very near the CT State Library)

Questions about meetings or joining CPGC?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

African American & Native American Genealogy Program

A lecture and presentation by Dr. James M. Rose will take place on Saturday, February 17, from 10 am to 3 pm at the library, outlining the general research process followed by individual advice and consultation on a first come basis.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of Cragin and is free and open to all.

Cragin Memorial Library

8 Linwood Avenue - Route 16 Colchester, CT 06415

Phone: 860-537-5752

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Forgotten Money – Found!

Have you ever been a Connecticut resident (college counts too), did business in Connecticut, have clients with Connecticut connections, or have relatives from Connecticut?

Check-out this database for “unclaimed funds" at Connecticut State Treasury Unclaimed Property Owners List:”

While I tried to find forgotten money for my immediate family, I could not. However, I did find forgotten money for other relatives! Although there are many types of unclaimed funds, most of my relatives had funds coming to them from past jobs. As you would expect some funds were from jobs of long ago, yet some jobs were fairly recent. It appears that the owners had moved without forwarding addresses. One forgotten fund was nearly $700 while another was as a mere $45.

What was my reward for passing along this discovery to family? I received one big Thank You by email. No one offered to pass along a 10% finder’s fee. Well, what is family for anyway if not to help one another out with the skills we enjoy. All were surprised about the money. You or your relatives may be surprised too.

Other tips: try alternate spellings, search only surname, use surname and first initial of given name, use the % key as a wild-card.

Don’t forget to tell them … Deborah Tajmajer sent you!

Not a Connecticut resident? Check your state for similar database.