Fourth Blogiversary: Dedicated to my parents Peg and Norm

Sepia Saturday 416: Today is the Fourth Blogiversary of Molly’s Canopy, which I am dedicating to my late parents Norman J. and Peg (Laurence) Charboneau.

Reviewing the last four years of Molly’s Canopy, I can hardly believe what an incredible family history journey it’s been — filled with new research, ancestral discoveries, friends, cousins, and blogging experiences (like the A to Z Challenge and Sepia Saturday).

And I owe a debt of gratitude to my parents for accompanying me on my fledgling steps down this road.

Mom and Dad: The start of it all

My genealogy journey began in 1950 with my first road trip with Mom and Dad. That’s me in the cat overalls with my parents Peg (Laurence) and Norm Charboneau. Back row, from left, my maternal grandmother Elizabeth (Stoutner) Laurence, paternal grandfather W. Ray Charboneau and maternal grandfather Tony W. Laurence. At the far left, with just her elbow showing, is my paternal grandmother Mary (Owen) Charboneau. Photo by Rita Mary Laurence

Because in truth, my genealogy journey began long ago — with my first road trip with Mom and Dad, when I was six months old,  to move in with my maternal grandparents.

My early childhood in our shared farmhouse near Albany, New York, chronicled in Whispering Chimneys: My childhood home, planted seeds that grew into an abiding interest in my family’s history.

And decades later, when I was ready to start looking back, so were my recently-retired Mom and Dad.

They were happy to join me on family history road trips to their upstate New York hometowns — where they showed me around, introduced me to relatives, helped with oral history interviews, and shared the joy of discovering unknown family stories and documents.

They also enthusiastically embraced my subsequent genealogical finds about our common ancestors — whose stories have unfolded on Molly’s Canopy these last four years. So I regret that my parents are not around to read the stories their love and support engendered.

Dad, Mom and me in the 1990s on a Cape Cod family vacation. When I was ready to look back at our family history, so were my recently-retired parents — and they enthusiastically accompanied me on my fledgling steps down this road. Photo by Jeffrey A. Charboneau

Wish they were here

My dad — who was a blogger before mepassed in 2012 before Molly’s Canopy was launched. But our shared discovery that we had a  Union Army ancestor, Arthur T. Bull, was what led me to start this blog in 2014 during the U.S. Civil War Sesquicentennial. And Dad has appeared or been quoted in many blog posts since then.

Sadly, my mom passed last month — a loss I am still mourning. But I have also written about Mom and her family in numerous posts, which I read aloud to her over the last couple of years. And my most popular post continues to be A Valentine’s Day love story: My grandmother elopes about her parents’ clandestine marriage — which includes a story Mom prompted her Aunt Margaret to tell me.

Creating a legacy

So today, I am thinking of my parents as I head into year five of Molly’s Canopy — remembering what fun we had exploring our common heritage, recalling all the stories they told me about each of their extended families, and grateful for the many photos they lovingly preserved and passed on.

There is still plenty of ancestral history to explore on each side of my family. And although Mom and Dad are no longer physically present, they are definitely along for the ride in spirit — as memories of their enthusiasm, good humor and curiosity inspire me to continue researching and writing about our family’s history, and creating a legacy that would make them both proud.

Up next: A Spring Break for Molly’s Canopy. May will be a busy month, so I am taking a much-needed blogging break to refresh and recharge. Please stop back when regular blogging resumes in June — and in the meantime, visit my fellow Sepia Saturday bloggers here.

© 2018 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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16 thoughts on “Fourth Blogiversary: Dedicated to my parents Peg and Norm”

  1. Again, very sorry for your loss. Your parents would be so very proud of your success. Just think of all those trips! Your father must have been something. You were so fortunate. Sorry we never connected our cousin-ship until so many years later. Yet, it was all possible from your Molly’s Canopy blog. Happy blogiversary!
    Thanks Molly~
    Geezer Cousin Dave

    1. Thanks, Dave. Sometimes cousin-ship, especially of the shared-genealogy-interest variety, doesn’t come until later in life when you decide to take a look back at your ancestry. Thank goodness for the Internet where connections can be made more quickly and easily when the time comes!

  2. Very sorry about your mom. Your dad looks like he could be one of my brothers. Talked before my name is Don Buell. Jeremiah bull was my great grandfather. Always enjoy your blogs. Enjoy your time off. Best regards, don buell.

    1. Thanks so much, Don. Always great to hear from a cousin! And interesting to learn there is a family resemblance on our shared Bull/Buell line.

  3. I loved the story of your grandmother Lizbeth and Tony’s elopement. A story of true love prevailing is always the best! 🙂 And my sincere condolences on your mother’s recent passing. My Mom passed away exactly one year ago and I still miss her so much, but often finding myself, when I see something or read something I know she’d like or get a kick out of, smiling or laughing as though she was right there smiling or laughing with me. I still do that with my Dad who passed away 33 years ago. They may leave this earth, but they never leave your heart! 🙂

  4. Congratulations on your blogiversary! Glad I’ve discovered it now through Sepia Saturday. So sorry for the recent loss of your mother.

  5. My sympathy for your loss , Molly. I’m sure your parents would be proud that you’ve produced such a creative and entertaining blog. I think Sepia Saturday seems to attract more family genealogy bloggers because they are the keepers of shoe boxes of countless old family photos and the story tellers of wonderful family folk tales. After a while we get to know their families as well (if not better) than our own.

  6. So glad that you’ve been here all these years, though I didn’t find your blogs till SS posts, and they are always most enjoyable. Have a great May, see you back in June!

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