Monday, March 19, 2012

Larry's dog,, Strongheart, was a star of early B&W movies

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Raynes Research

Sometimes we wonder how we fit into the Raynes family picture here in the Western Hemisphere. If you have a Raynes name in your ancestry, you can search this document by using the search feature (CTRL-F) on your keyboard:
     Not only can you find your ancestor's name here, you will probably be able to take your research back several generations. I have seen the research that went into this database, and most of it was based on primary sources. Personal letters from family representatives were used as sources to reinforce that research. In our own line, DNA through my brother Joseph Raynes, confirmed our research. And thanks to people like David C. Young, I've found local information when I needed it. Recent online posting of records has made a lot of information available, cutting drastically into the time it takes to construct our family tree. But if you want the original work, the hold-in-your-hand kind of reference, I highly recommend buying this for your bookshelf:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One day the circus came to Yarmouth. Mary's brothers, Larry and Harry had to go see it being set up with all the trained animals. Larry had a gift with animals, and after helping out a little, it wasn't a stretch to offer to help when one of the dogs would not perform. Within minutes, the dog happily role-played with Larry, and Larry got paid--his first job as a trainer.
      Not long afterwards, he went to New York and worked in theatre for awhile. He got married to Marie Louisa Githens,an opera singer, had a child Janet in 1912, and got custody of her when they divorced.* Sometime around 1913 Vitagraph Films moved to California, and Larry moved with them.
     He invited Ronald and Mary to come on out West in 1918 when he was making a film in Canada. And they did.
Larry introduced the first dog to film, but it was his dog Jean who became the "Vitagraph Dog" the darling of American Film. This picture is of Jean and Larry in California.

*Memories by Lawrence Curtis Raynes

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ronald's youth: Elm Street, Yarmouth days

 was raised in the old town of Yarmouth, Maine, the first of three children of Edward and Mary Olive (Curtis) Raynes. His house was rather new at the time, and sat next to the bridge over the Royal River at 170 East Elm Street, with the railroad tracks running behind them. His father worked for the Grand Trunk Railroad, as did his Uncle Joseph Raynes.(RR Station) Born October 6, 1877, Ronald was raised with many cousins around him also. Aunt Josephine (Curtis) and Uncle Warren Pullen lived on the farm in North Yarmouth with 13 children, one of Ronald's favorite places in the world. He also had 3 Raynes and 3 Knight cousins in town, as well as his Curtis grandparents on South Street and Raynes grandparents in New Gloucester.
        A very social person, he had a bright and cheerful disposition and wielded a dry wit. A letter from his Aunt Eliza says that all the town will be happy when he gets back--they will "trip the light fantastic" -dance- into early morning hours. Even in his later years, he made the daily trip to the post office so he could swap yarns, and had his cronies hanging about his boat-building shop on a regular basis.
 But he loved the outdoors like his father. He always lived near the water.  The story goes that one day as a kid he was crossing the bridge into town when he saw a big fish, a pickerel, laying under it.
 "He hurried back home, got his fishing pole, found a frog and baited his hook. Carefully sneaking up to the bank, he dropped his hook with the frog into the river near the big fish, and WOW! he had a battle.
But he won, and they had fish for supper." 
(Memories by L. Curtis Raynes)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wave for me!

Robbinston, Maine sits across the St.Croix River from St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada.  My grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Trimble remembers growing up in Robbinston where she could stand on the shore and wave to her grandmother across the water.  I don’t know whether they really could wave a scarf or something to see each other, but she asked me to wave to Bayside for her when we visited Robbinston in 1968. Her Trimble grandparents had grown up in Bayside and St. Andrews, married there and then moved to Robbinston where John Trimble had worked with his uncles since 1830. Her father, John Charles Fremont Trimble grew up farming near Trimble Mountain in a family of 12 children and 6 cousins whose parents had died.  So Mary grew up with lots of family about her, with women who were good household managers while the men worked at farming, fishing, carpentry and the occasional sojourn to Eastport to work in the canning industry. She was the oldest of three children, Mary, Larry and Harry. One day her mother made an unusual treat for them, and a little neighbor boy came in from play to eat with them.  In his squeaky little voice he commented, “Goodness, Mary, doesn’t your mother make good custard, and how does she get it so cold?” (Taken from Memories by L. Curtis Raynes)
For more USGS maps like this in the New England States, check out this link:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

1 January 1912: Mary and Ronald marry in Yarmouth Maine

Ronald was captain on the steamer "The Relief" which ferried tourists between New York and Yarmouth, Maine. His home base was at Bucknam Point, just next to  Homewood Inn, where his tourists stayed in little cottages adjoining the Inn, and were hosted by John C. F. and Maria R. Trimble. Mary E.Trimble was their school-teacher daughter. The story goes that the girl on the Drinkwater place was also attractive, but as Ronald weighed his options, he chose Mary because she would be the better mother. She told me that one day they had rowed out to a small island and had a picnic. He offered her a large emerald ring, and they became engaged. They married the first of January, 1912 and set up house on Buckman Point. During the winter he built boats and kept a fish weir where to local fisherman would come every morning to get bait. Below is a copy of their record of marriage, something that I found with a basic search of Maine marriage records HERE. Notice that she was born in Robbinston, Maine--more about that next time.