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That place that is home

I grew up in a small town in western New Hampshire, with just a blinking stop light, one store, and not even a school within its borders. Growing up, all I really knew was the small circle of towns that surrounded where I lived. It was a simple life, no excitement, and no chance of progress. Everyone I knew wanted to leave this town.

Then I laid my eyes on the Internet when my father went back to college in the early 90s. Combined with my mother bringing a Mac LC II home thanks to being one of the early PC Connection employees. It completely opened a new world and brought me on a long journey that resulted in me working for one of the most critical Internet infrastructure companies in the world. This has made me who I am today.

My family eventually moved away from the town I grew up in, just down the road to the town I went to high school in. A town that has deep family roots for over a hundred years. A town that just seems perfect and fitting of small town New England, with a perfect lake, a mountain that watches over you, and history around every corner. A town where my family and friends are always there for me.

Whenever I visit my hometown of Sunapee, life slows down and I am reminded that someday, I will live here again.

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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.