Once in a great while, the avid genealogist and his or her family will link to bask in a warm feeling of family heritage. Trips to Marblehead were frequent as a child, but on 14 Feb 2009 my mom and I drove up to Marblehead, Massachusetts so she could talk about some points of interest for our family. It was a real memory jogger for me just to see the place because I lived the first 5 years of my life in Salem, so I have spent a lot of time there before. Along the way, I took many photographs.
I will begin with the house I where I begin life’s journey, 53 Highland Street in Salem, Massachusetts. Technically I was born at Salem State Hospital.
fig 1. my first house
My dad was offered a job in California and from 1996-1998, we lived in the Golden State. After moving back to Shirley, Massachusetts, I remember driving to Marblehead to visit my grandparents, Helen O’Neill and Dexter James Anderson. The last house they ever lived in together was 62 Kenneth Road. I remember it’s idyllic nature and the way it was delicately arranged to exemplify their affluence.
fig 2a-b. 62 Kenneth Road, the last home my grandparents Helen and Dexter Anderson ever owned.
For my mother, Marblehead is home. She was born to Helen and Dexter in 1953. The first house they lived in was 300 Ocean Ave, out on the neck, which in some parts resembles something of a residential spectacle but 300 Ocean Ave was a modest property. Down the street, Dexter’s sister, Freda Marie Anderson, lived with her husband Jack Whitmore. Both families were very close
Fig 3. 300 Ocean Ave
Fig 4. Ocean Ave, House of Freda and Jack
Much of Helen and Dexter’s social time was spent with the Eastern Yacht Club. They were well known members and after both of my grandparents passed away, receptions were held here. After my mother and her two sisters left home, Helen and Dexter built a house at 97 Nanepashment Street.
Fig 5. Ocean View of Eastern Yacht Club, Marblehead
Fig 6. 97 Nanepashemet Road
The Anderson story begins one generation prior to Dexter in his first house, 23 Wyman Road. Dexter’s parents, Henry and Signe, were immigrants from Sweden. Genealogical evidence points Henry arriving in around 1900, Signe respectively in 1910. Henry would remain close to his sister Asserina (Rena), the first of the Anderson family to immigrate in 1889. She married James Watts, whose exact origins remain unknown minus a few genealogical clues and relics.
Fig 7. 23 Wyman Road
Fig 8. 22 Wyman Road
Across the street at 22 Wyman Road was the house my great-grandfather Henry built since he was a carpenter. My mom told me it was originally one floor and had no idea another floor had been added.
Fig 9. 7 Commercial Street
James and Rena Watts lived here at 7 Commercial Street in Marblehead when they got married in late 1899. They lived here for the next 20 + years, before moving to Bubier Road.
Fig 10. James and Rena Watts’s house at 25 Bubier Rd in Marblehead.
To conclude this genealogical journey, the tone is sorrowful. The plot for my mother’s family rests in one of Marblehead’s more contemporary cemeteries called Waterside. My mother will visit here several times a year. My great-grandparents, grandparents, and aunt are buried there. Rest In Peace To All of Them.
Fig 11. Anderson Family Tombstone, Waterside Cemetery.
Fig 12. The Ocean, The final resting place of my grandparents who loved the sea.
Copyright (c) 2015 by Jake Fletcher