Living in small towns

I grew up in the small town of Goshen, NH, which is about a 5 minute drive from downtown Newport and a 15 minute drive from the town of Sunapee. I had no idea growing up how long both sides of my family have lived in the area. Until I started doing my genealogy research a few years ago, I assumed that most of my ancestors moved to the area relatively recently. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

A few examples:

  • On the Gonyea (father) side, there has been a presence in Newport and/or a surrounding town for over 120 years, with my 3rd great-grandparents moving their family into town around 1891.
  • On the Collins (mother) side, there have been relatives that grew up in surrounding towns as far back as the early 1800s and a sustained presence in Sunapee since about 1910.
  • On the Currier (grandmother) side, evidence suggests a continued presence in Newport and surrounding towns since about 1900.
  • On the Cutting (great-grandmother) side, there is evidence of a presence in Sullivan County since amazingly the mid 1700s!
  • On the Parker (great-grandmother) side, evidence says a presence in Sullivan County since the late 1700s.

It is clear that many of my ancestors, once they moved into Sullivan County, clearly thought they had found a great spot. Very few members of my family and ancestors have moved away from the area since then and if so, only a few hours away at most.

The big benefit of this? Much easier for me to do research given that so many of the records are located in just a couple of towns all close to each other. For example, I could spend all day at the Richards Free Library in Newport given how many ties I have to Newport.