In this column, we are featuring one of the invaluable volunteers who supplement and complement the work of our paid staff in so many ways. It is a privilege and honor to work together to preserve and share Windsor’s history.

Elaine Brophy, library volunteer

Elaine joined us in 1990 when she retired from her position as librarian at Bloomfield High School. She put that experience to work right away as library assistant and later as the volunteer librarian, in charge of cataloging and ordering books, keeping the library in order, and coaching the many patrons who visit it.

She became interested in genealogy when she started helping her father with his own research. Elaine thinks of genealogy research as a treasure hunt: when you find another fact or detail, you feel as if you have won a prize!

Her love of genealogy led her to take on the 1890 Windsor census project detailed in this newsletter. The lack of that census left a 20-year hole in Windsor’s history and Elaine has dug deep to help fill it. She says, “Working on this project felt like doing a hundred family histories at one time.”

Elaine enjoys helping library patrons and doing research, and she wants everyone to know what a wonderful resource this library is for the history and people of Windsor. In addition to genealogy, her hobbies include travel, collecting bells, and cross-stitch. If you visit the Strong-Howard House, you will see some of Elaine’s cross-stitch work on display in the keeping room.

cross stitch sampler

Elaine’s cross-stitch work in the Strong-Howard House keeping room. She made it as an example of what 8-year-old Annie Howard would have made just before moving there in 1810. Can you spot the “Easter egg” Elaine Dean Brophy embedded in the sampler? Photos by Michelle Tom.


By Liz Henderson, administrative assistant, and Barbara Goodwin, librarian