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A retiree and volunteer at the area historic center frequently relates tales of his cemetery adventures seeking genealogical information.

More recently, after consultation with the community resident master gardener, he shared his delight finding a shovel that wouldn’t damage fallen or half buried headstones.

Digging up grave markers is not my cup of tea, but it prompted me to reconnect after a number of years with Alice Click of Mason County. Is she is still hiking the hills in search of cemeteries and their secrets, I asked. Additionally, what is the status of her family history library, a structure built adjacent to the Mt. Alto home she and her husband share.

She gave an emphatic “yes” to both.

“Researching the cemeteries was something we could do during Covid,” she told me in an email. “We totally filled the little library.”

Genealogy also is a hobby for my daughter, who created the loose leaf family histories for both my husband and I as a Christmas gift a number of years ago. She frequently updates them, as well as her own.

But a discovery recently amused us all.

She found a source that listed births in the rural area of Montana where she was born. There in the list was her correct name, town and county of the 26-bed hospital where she arrived and a birth date ... February 25, 1867.

The latter, obviously, was a century off.

Perhaps it is a family thing.

When my husband graduated from college in Idaho, students were told to check their transcript carefully for it could not later be changed or corrected.

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His birthday date was in May 1834. Again, a mere century incorrect.

He never sought a correction and it has never been a problem.

Currently in the history group that meets monthly in this senior community, members discussed early immigration in this country. Some of the members are eager to relate the stories their parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents tell of coming to the United States.

There were never such stories in my family.

That family history my daughter compiled takes all my family back to the 1400s in northern Europe. It seems that all my ancestors were here before the revolution.

Yes, there are two John Adams, an Abigail Adams, and even a Sam Houston, all in the same time period as those we studied in history classes, but none were the ones we read about.

And as far as a story of their arrival on the shores of North America, my daughter found only one tale.

It involves the first John Adams, listed as my sixth great-grandfather, who was born in 1688 in Devonshire, England.

At some point he was seized as a cabin boy by a “press gang,” according to a source titled “The Genealogy of John Adams and His Descendants.”

“When the ship came into port, the crew was given a brief furlough and he escaped.”

It relates nothing more about his escape, but records show he married in Massachusetts, fathered nine children and died in Wrentham, Norfolk, Massachusetts.

Contact writer Evadna Bartlett at

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