About Michelle Tom

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So far Michelle Tom has created 126 blog entries.

Founders’ Series: John Hoskins, Paper Trail vs. DNA

2020-01-17T16:25:50-05:00January 17th, 2020|Tags: , |

When John Hoskins sailed to the New World, he was a middle-aged family man. The paper trail that establishes his English background is shaky, but has recently been fleshed out using advancements in DNA technology. Hoskins’s story is of interest not only to descendants, but also to anyone whose family research might benefit from similar genetic study.

Questions for the Future

2020-01-03T15:34:58-05:00January 3rd, 2020|

2021 marks Windsor Historical Society’s centennial year, an exciting time as we plan how to move the Society forward. The “What is our purpose?” question is as relevant today as it was a century ago.

Chasing Toto: An Attempted Remembering of the “Windsor Indian”

2020-01-07T11:06:16-05:00December 20th, 2019|Tags: |

According to legend, on October 4, 1675, Toto "the Windsor Indian" learned of a surprise attack on the city of Springfield being planned by King Philip’s soldiers. In response to this news, Toto ran 20 miles to sound the alarm, thereby saving the people of Springfield from a massacre. But the legend conjures up several questions for the historical record.

Hannah Hayden’s Work and Family Economy in Frontier New York

2019-11-22T11:03:09-05:00November 22nd, 2019|Tags: , , |

Hannah Hayden and her family moved from Windsor to Hartwick, New York in 1806. Her letters back home reveal a willful woman grappling with her new identity in the frontier. Her textile work and the burdens of caring for her brood of children and employees usually took center stage in her letters, while her focus on and longing for material goods and economic success remained subtle yet sharply detailed motifs.

Sarah Rowland Dudley’s Red Cloak

2019-11-07T14:24:24-05:00November 7th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

Do you ever wonder how objects end up in museum exhibitions? The cloak on view in our museum gallery arrived at the Society in a box. It had ripped seams, frayed trim, insect damage, and layers of dirt. But in its prime in the early 1800s, the bright red color was a fashion statement and a sign of the owner’s wealth.

Volunteer Profile: Elizabeth Parker

2019-11-13T13:23:43-05:00October 22nd, 2019|Tags: |

Last week, we lost one of our amazing volunteers, Libby Parker, who anchored our reception desk each Wednesday afternoon well into her nineties. She loved the Town of Windsor and its history with a passion and was truly an involved citizen. To honor her memory, we’re posting a volunteer profile originally published in our newsletter in 2012.

Founders’ Series: Frances Clark Dewey Phelps

2019-11-01T15:47:47-04:00October 16th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Frances (unknown) (Clark) (Dewey) Phelps is one of the few women included on the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor’s founders list, which only includes heads of household. Women in Frances’s era rarely show up in official records, but their circumstances can be partially deduced from their husband’s and other contemporaneous records.

Remembering the Tornado of 1979

2019-10-04T11:10:39-04:00September 30th, 2019|Tags: , , |

On October 3, 1979, a devastating tornado hit the village of Poquonock in Windsor at 3 PM. Three people were killed, 143 hospitalized and 350 others were treated in emergency rooms. Sue Banks was one of the Poquonock residents at home with her children that afternoon. These are her memories from that day.