Happy 76th Anniversary Mom and Dad

Love and miss you Mom and Dad!

Voices of Ancestors

My mother and father, Louise Adele Johnson and James “Gene” Rier, married on February 15th, 1943 at the Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Portland, Maine. Their special day was chosen because it was the day that my grandmother Harriet wed Ezekiel Johnson (and eloped) in 1908, and it was birthday of my great grandmother, Nellie Getchell Means, born February 15th, 1857.

Mom lived and worked in Portland at the time. Dad, now Lieutenant Rier, traveled there from Newburgh, NY where he was an engineer and pilot instructor at West Point, Stewart Field Air Force Base. There was a snow storm. Their families from Downeast Maine, Lubec and Machias, had a time making it to the wedding although Dad’s brother, Babe, and Mom’s mother Harriet, did. It was a long rough drive. Dad’s brother Paul, also stationed at West Point as PFC, was his best man. Mom’s maid of…

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Mom Keeps Men at Stewart Field Air Force Base on High Alert. 1944.

My mother was born 99 years ago today. She was an adventurer!

Voices of Ancestors

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The newspaper did not report that Dad took Mom up in the plane that day. But I know he did at least once. Dad said he knew she was a keeper when he turned the plane upside down and she laughed. Mom was always cool as a cucumber in the face of unexpected events.

Interestingly, Dad planned to take Mom up in the plane for a rollover for some time. I present the evidence. He wrote on the back of his picture.

“A snap of me. Do you think I’m getting fat? 177 lbs. I did go 152 lbs. I guess the instrument formation day and night and cross country do me good. The planes will do over 200 and sometime if I ever get the chance I’ll really show you how a stomach can roll.”

Mom never lost the trait of staying calm during an adventure. One day in the…

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My Updated Ancestry DNA Results Arrived!

According to the Ancestry DNA website, my ethnicity estimate is based on the data that Ancestry collects and the methods used to compare my results to that data. Because Ancestry DNA is always collecting more data and their methods are constantly improving, my estimate may change over time. Read more here.

My ethnicity profile changed. The one surprise in the original results, received just eight months ago, was 6% Iberian Peninsula. That disappeared in the updated version. I can genuinely say that nothing is a surprise in my new results and reflects what I know from my genealogy research. My maternal ancestors (Means, Getchell, Berry, and Johnson families) descended from the Scots-Irish and the English. My Scottish ancestors, the Clan Menzies, were originally from Mesnieres in Normandy. My mother’s blond hair and blue eyes (and two of my sons) hinted at Swedish descent, although the percentage dropped from 35% Scandinavian to 10% Swedish. Vikings raided and settled in Scotland and Ireland in the 9th century so that makes sense. My paternal ancestors, the Rier and Keegan families, originated in Germany and Ireland, respectively.

I knew ancestors from both sides of my family immigrated to America in the early 1700s to late 1800s and settled in Downeast Maine (Machias, Machiasport, Trescott and Lubec).

It’s nice to see that my DNA results match the family tree I have been researching!

This is my original DNA results for comparison.

AncestryDNAStory-Sherry-220118

 

 

 

Dad and Mom sailing on Indian Lake. 1970s.

Dad (James “Gene” Rier) and Mom (Louise Johnson Rier) loved to sail on the Sailfish. When I was small, Dad built a sailboat they both enjoyed on Indian Lake.

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Dad sailing with my brother David in the Bucks Harbor Race, 1981. This is one of my favorite photos of Dad. Now that’s a happy face!

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As kids, my brothers and I spent many hours on the Sailfish, and we continued to sail as adults.

Me sailing on Indian Lake about 2006.

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My son, Jason, sailing on the Sunfish, summer 2018.

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This year, as in other years, the Passamaquoddy Yacht Club taught children ages 10 to 17 the basics of sailing. Wonderful to see!

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Me completing the boat captain course in Rockland, Maine. 2012. Now that’s a happy face!

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Related post:

Growing Up in the 50s and 60s, We Knew How To Have Fun!

 

Mom’s Record of Trout Caught in Indian Lake, Whiting, ME. 1976 – 1979

Indian Lake Trout Record “Birch Point” USA. 

The record begins in September, 1976.

Mom wrote: “1976 was a great summer for trout.” She decided to keep a record of all the fish caught from the Rier wharf, their size, and time of day.

• Rare “sock” fish (15″ trout) caught at 9:30 AM on September 11.

• 13 1/2″ trout caught at 3:00 PM on September 12th.

1977

May Total Catch: 21 trout, including one 7″ trout caught by my daughter Monica on May 24th. She was 7 years old.

June Total Catch:  6 trout, including four 8 1/2 – 9 1/2′ caught by my nephews, Matt and Bob, ages nine and eight.

July Total Catch: 60 trout, including one 9 1/2″ trout caught by my nephew Matt.

August Total Catch: 31 trout, including six (9 1/2″ to 10 1/4″) caught by me.

September Total Catch: 13 trout

1977 Total Catch: 131 trout.

1978

May Total Catch: 7 trout

June Total Catch: 12 trout, including two 9″ trout caught by me on June 18. On June 29th, two 8″ trout were caught by me and my daughter Monica, and one 9″ trout was caught by my son Jacob, age two!

July Total Catch: 13 trout

August Total Catch: 22 trout, including a 10 1/2′ trout caught by my niece Jessica, age seven. Monica caught 3 trout (8/12′ – 10 1/2″). My son Eric (age six) caught one 8″ trout.

September Total Catch: 19 trout

1978 Total Catch: 73 trout. Mom wrote 71. She’s usually right 🙂

1979

May Total Catch: 3 trout

June Total Catch: 6 trout, including 10 1/2″ trout caught by Jessica, and a 9 1/2″ trout caught by Eric.

July Total Catch: 27 trout, including a 10 3/4″ trout caught by Eric.

August Total Catch: 19 trout, including a 10 1/2″ trout caught by Eric. On the 25th, Mom caught a 17 1/2″ trout after 5:30PM Mass. She writes: “Wow! Wow! Wow!”

September Total Catch: 23 trout. On the 17th, Ray McWaters visited, caught a 11 1/4″ trout and left with his fish and rolls. Three fish (11 1/4″ to 12″) were deemed “fat” in the August catch.

1979 Total Catch: 78 trout

“All in all a good season “

The record book for 1976 through 1979 can be viewed here.

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To Be Continued. Mom recorded all fish caught from the Rier wharf through 1992.

Long journey home: 170 years later an American family reconnects with their Irish island roots

170 years after their ancestor departed from the Ballygill area of Rathlin Island, all 18 members of the Black family journeyed from America to Ireland to reconnect with their Irish roots. From a 4th of July Céilí to meeting living relatives – like singer Frances Black – it was the trip of a lifetime.

Source: Long journey home: 170 years later an American family reconnects with their Irish island roots

My Dad James Eugene Rier

Thinking of my Dad this Father’s Day week-end. Love and miss you Dad!

Voices of Ancestors

The Early Years: 1914 – 1942

Dad was born September 9th, 1914 in Lubec, Maine, the second child and first son of Frank and Elizabeth Keegan Rier. He had an elder sister Marion. As the years went by, Dad had four brothers: Francis (“Babe”), Julian (“Barney”), Paul, Raymond and three more sisters: Evelyn, Patrica and Carolee. In all, Grammy had 10 children. A younger brother, Louis, was born premature and did not survive long. Dad remembered burying the baby in a shoebox in a cemetery in Leominster, MA where they lived when he was young.

Grammy Rier told me that she never intended to have children and was surprised when she was pregnant with Marion soon after her marriage to Frank. “The doctor told me to nurse the baby so I wouldn’t get pregnant right away. It didn’t work. Your father was born little more than a year later.” Grammy…

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