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The Daily Genealogist: Great Enthusiasm for the Old Connecticut Path

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link

Lynn Betlock

Last week we featured an article by Jason Newton, an NEHGS member, on his Old Connecticut Path project. Jason reported great interest in the topic from Weekly Genealogist readers. In the past week, his Old Connecticut Path website was visited by over 4,000 first time visitors and the project’s YouTube videos were viewed by visitors from 47 U.S. states and the District of Columbia!

Here are excerpts from just a few of the many comments sent to Jason Newton:

Jan Welch of Clifton, Virginia:
Just yesterday my husband and I drove from Westborough, Mass., through Hartford on our way to Virginia, where we live, and as we were driving I wondered if anyone had been or was able to trace the path. My family connections are many, and include Stephen Hart, Anthony Howkins, John Lee, Nathaniel Foote, William Buell, Josiah Churchill, and dozens of others. Thank you for tracing the path. Now I will make it a priority to follow as much of the path as much as possible from the material you have provided. Perhaps next summer.

Martin Marix Evans of Towcester, Northamptonshire, England:
I was very interested to see your announcement in the NEHGS enewsletter, as I live five miles from Towcester where Thomas Hooker met up with Samuel Stone, then a resident of the town, before setting off for Boston in 1633. I admire your enterprise in rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path. People are very interested in buildings but, here in the UK, find it harder to engage with landscapes. The tracing of ancient pathways reveals so much in history.

Donna Brock of Wayland, Mass.:
I saw the information about your Old Connecticut Path project on the NEHGS Weekly Genealogist newsletter and felt compelled to write. I live on the Old Connecticut Path in Wayland, Massachusetts. At the end of our street, on a small island right before the road intersects with Boston Post Road, is a rock with a plaque to mark the significance of the road and Rev. Hooker. [Readers might find a 2010 New York Times article on the Boston Post Road (between Boston and New York) to be of interest. — LB]

Ric Skinner, GISP, of Sturbridge, Mass.:
Your research into the Old Connecticut Path is fascinating! I completed a project in 2009 with a small grant from The Last Green Valley to map the route of the Indian Bay Path through Sturbridge. The report is available online. My primary source document was Levi Badger Chase’s field map, used when he walked the route across Massachusetts, and his book, The Bay Path and Along the Way.

David W. Chester of Sherborn, Mass.: I had always wondered about the Old Connecticut Path but then dismissed it as undoubtedly long lost to interstates, state highways, malls, developments, and suburban blight. Now you have rekindled my interest in the path, the famous trek, and perhaps, as you suggest, catching a glimpse into our distant past. The Rev. Thomas Hooker was the brother of my ancestor, Dorothy (Hooker) Chester. 

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