I am the sum total of what I know and what I do and whom I know.   My world
is a joyful place, inhabited by memories and laughter and plans.

When I took early retirement from IBM Research in 1993, I had no doubt that life would be rich and full. I just never imagined how much so. Hummingbird I feel like a hummingbird darting from flower to flower. There is so much to taste and delight in that I barely know which flower to sample next. But following mother's good advice from childhood, I'll just keep flapping and hoping to someday taste them all. After all, so much of the joy comes from the journey rather than the destination.

So pass the bowl of nectar, and settle down with me for some mental meanderings. Trips, even mental ones, are so much more fun when shared with friends.


xmas books title
nbc book
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Soft Cover
Sample Pages
henry book
Amazon Kindle
Sample Pages
poetry book
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Soft Cover
Sample Pages
Mac's book
Mac's Book
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Soft Cover

What's new?
9 January 2023

Music Videos About My Family
How to tell the younger generation of my family about their ancestors. That's always been a problem for me. So I'm in the midst of an experiment in trying different types of music videos about close family and about branches of our family tree. Fun!
    YouTube Family/Familytree Playlist

    Grandfather Jack Bell - gold miner, lawman, newspaperman, naturalist
    Grandmother Catharine - newspaper publisher
    Great Grandfather Brig. Gen. Henry L. Burnett - Lincoln Assassination

I'm hoping to put up a lot of my menu collection.
For decades, I always asked for a menu when I visited a restaurant. Since so many have closed in those years, the menus have become memories for me. My hope is to scan most of the menus and put them up to share the memories with others who might have gone to these wonderful places. For example, Jonathan, an incredible French restaurant in New Orleans. Long ago and far away, I used to run a number of conferences on computer languages. When I had the opportunity, I chose to put one of the conferences into New Orleans. Why? Because I wanted to take the executive committee to dinner at Jonathan. And I did!
    Jonathan Menu Cover
    Jonathan Menu 1
    Jonathan Menu 2

I've discovered Asian dramas and we're binging like crazy!
We're healthy and well and still locked down. Paul is vaccinated; I'll wait for the oral vaccine. Healthiest year we've spent. And with Paul's wondrous computer system, lockdown is never boring. We're both binging on Chinese and Korean dramas, and I've made a bunch of music videos to entice you all to join me in my newest hobby.
    My YouTube Channel Playlists
    Asian Drama Music Videos

My 1995 Forever Knight TV Script is Now Online
"Goodnight, Sweet Prince" was a spec script I wrote for the Forever Knight TV show. One of the agents I turned down became a good friend. Brian contacted my agent and got permission to submit a TV spec script to Parriott, the producer of the show. Two days after Brian mailed it, Parriott called him about it. Unfortunately, they were looking for a Canadian writer. But, oh, it was so exciting! Brian and my agent are both gone now, as is Parriott. So I'm finally putting the script up for public reading after almost twenty years. So many memories.

My music videos are now on YouTube
We have a channel and a group of playlists that sort the videos into reasonable categories.
    Mary Van Deusen FanVid Channel
    Mary Van Deusen Playlist Categories
    Mary's Favorite FanVids Playlist

Mac's book and 3 of mine are out!
Mac is an Emeritus Professor of English from the University of Auckland [New Zealand]. He's mostly known for his work in Shakespeare. His research covered over two solid years of statistical analysis to determine that Clement Moore DID NOT write Night Before Christmas. Henry Livingston did!

Grapes and Wine
I've transcribed an 80 or so page article written by my 7th great grandfather, Edward Antill, in 1769, just before he died. He had won an award for creating the first good American wine. It's wonderfully written and illustrated with more of my postcard collection.

Father's Poetry
I've found two new sources of poems of father's - Leatherneck Magazine and the University of Illinois newspaper column, Campus Scout. A new ring of father's poetry collects everything together in one place.

Night Before Christmas       Other Passions       Myself       Family       Genealogy
Night Before Christmas       Henry Livingston

Margaret Evans Price

It was a blessing that I had taken early retirement from IBM Research in 1993 and was free to devote myself to the quest to prove Henry Livingston the author of the Christmas poem, "Night Before Christmas." In 1999, I worked with Don Foster, a specialist in attribution of anonymous texts and a Vassar Professor. I'm currently working with Mac Jackson, another attributionist and an Emeritus Professor of the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Mac specializes in statistical analysis, and I've loved every minute of building data for Mac to examine. Research turns out to be research, whether you're examining computer languages or the syntax of late 17th/early 18th century poetry. Talk about joyous fun!

From Phoneme Analysis

Vintage Postcard Poetry,   1823 Illustrated Poem,   Illustrations to Recitation of Poem

First Publication
Henry Livingston's Poetry,   Clement Clark Moore's Poetry

Arguments,   Historical Articles
The Quest,   Witnesses,   Smoking Gun?,   Reindeer Names
Footnoted Book,   Slideshow

Antique Illustrated Books of NBC,   Antique Santa Postcards
Fictional Account of Henry's Authorship

Night Before Christmas       Henry Livingston

Music Manuscript Book



God is Love

Henry Livingston, my 5th great grandfather, has come to life for me, and I've grown to love the man. His kindness, his love of life and family, his sense of humor, his insatiable curiosity. I have no doubt from whom I inherited my passion and joy.

Henry will stun you with his imagination. He writes poetry from the point of view of a lump of gold, "discovers" the journal of Alexander the Great, and offers his observations on life on other planets seen through the large telescope crafted from the ice of the River Volga. That's in 1789, people!

Henry's smart, though he didn't enter Yale at 12 and graduate at 16 as his brother John Henry did. Henry wanted to be a farmer, but he never stopped learning and he never stopped asking questions.

In studying Henry, I've learned so much, and everything I've learned, I've pushed out onto the Internet for you. Besides all of his writing, you'll find the late 18th/early 19th century music from Henry's music manuscript,

Believe me, dear patrons, I have wand'red too far,
Without any compass, or planet or star;
My dear native village I scarcely can see
So I'll hie to my hive like the tempest-tost bee.
Hail home! sacred home! to my soul ever dear;
Abroad may be wonders but rapture is here.
My future ambition will never soar higher
Than the clean brushed hearth and convivial fire;
Here I lounge at my pleasure, and bask at my ease,
Full readily sooth'd, and desirous to please,
As happy myself as I happy can be,
I wish all the circle as happy as me.

But hark what a clatter! the Jolly bells ringing,
The lads and the lasses so jovially singing,
Tis New-Years they shout and then haul me along
In the midst of their merry-make Juvenile throng;
But I burst from their grasp: unforgetful of duty
To first pay obeisence to wisdom and Beauty,
My conscience and int'rest unite to command it,
And you, my kind PATRONS, deserve & demand it.
On your patience to trespass no longer I dare,
So bowing, I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
        1819 Poughkeepsie Journal

Farewell to Lochaber     Read      Listen
Sweet Passion of Love     Read      Listen
Dans Votre Lit     Read      Listen

Music Manuscript
Writing,   Poetry,   Prose,   Letters
Art,   Maps,   Engravings,   Watercolors
The Man,   His Home,   Work

Grandparents:   Livingston,   Welles
Great grandparents:   Livingston,   Woolsey,   Beekman
Great2 grandparents:   Livingston,   Schuyler,   Beekman
Aunts/Uncles:   Van Cortlandt,   Beekman,   Stuyvesant,   Woolsey,   Livingston
Siblings:   John Henry,   Gilbert,   Jonas Platt
Children:   Catharine Breese,   Elizabeth Thompson Ray,   Jane's Children
Descendants:   Judge Breese,   Adniral Breese,   Bank Cashier Lansing
General H.L. Lansing,   General H.S. Lansing
Famous Connections

Night Before Christmas       Other Passions       Myself       Family       Genealogy
Friends       Pets       Song Videos       Writing       Recipes
Lyn and Mary

As for friends, I can only say that I am tremendously grateful for the lives that have intersected mine. They've brought fun, and laughter, and comfort and thoughtful discussion. And even when we can't be together, they still stay close in my heart. This webpage brought me a very special gift a few years ago. Dennis Majerski, the boy I loved when I was 6 and he was 3, found my page of friends and got back in touch. And with him he brought Rene, his mother and my second mother. Now that's how I like to go fishing! You bait your hook with love, and reel in real love.

Aquinas High School Class of '62     Warren School Class of '58     Lost Friends
Friends       Pets       Song Videos       Writing       Recipes
Mary and pups


donkey cubs
kitten and duckling whale blows bubbles
roo and wombat elephant

Mary and pups
Waverly and Henry

transparent butterfly dolphin tank
flying squirrel whale blows bubbles
artificial fin jellyfish



All of my children have four feet and fur, and my only sadness is that their lives are so very short.

We lost Illya at midnight on February 3, 2008. He was lying on my chest as we watched Man from Uncle and he went quickly and was never in any pain. For almost 18 years he was a good and loyal friend, and he's much missed. Every black object on the floor hits us for a moment as being Illya.

Since that time, we've also lost the two pictured on my lap - Waverly and Henry. Waverly was timid but loving. Henry was a brilliant escape artist with no fear whatsoever. We finally found a lock sufficient to trap him on the stairs, so his new form of escape was to leap over the gate, sure that I would catch him. I always did, but with shaking hands and terror in my heart.

We lost Toby in late 2014. He was a rescue puppy and I had no idea what a lock he had on my heart until his cancer took him down so quickly we didn't have time for a breath. I always thought that he was the one with separation anxiety. I never realized it was actually me.


Paul noted that, with the loss of Toby, we were suddenly without at least one dog, something that had not happened in 40 years. So two and a half days later, we brought Rory home. He's Paul's dog, a Havenese with the look of the Bichons but the personality of the Cairn. As I write this, he's 8 months old and terror on the paw.

We feed the birds on a platform almost against the window. It might not be ideal from their point of view, but it makes for good photography. I spent the first year of my retirement from IBM standing in front of that window, behind a video camera. Think about logging almost 50 videotapes by trying to note the second when 3 birds appear versus 4, so that you can directly find the footage later for video production!

Favorites? The oriole trying to bash its way through the kitchen window. The small bird making its way around the sleeping large bird to eat out of a greenhouse feeder in the winter. The first baby emerging from the birdhouse, fluttering up to the roof of the house. (Then the battery went dead!)

Lots of Links,   More Dog Links,   More Wild Animal Links
Henry,   Skunk,   Red Squirrel,   Wavy

Friends       Pets       Song Videos       Writing       Recipes
Star Trek

Due South


Due South



star wars


List of all videos

Alias   Blake's 7   Boston Legal   Buffy   Cadfael   Christmas
Due South   Forever Knight   Get Smart   Harry Potter   House
Lord of the Rings   Man from Uncle   Miami Vice   Professionals
Quantum Leap   Sherlock Holmes   Smallville   Star Trek   Star Wars

Characters on TV Shows or Movies:

Star Trek   Alias   Blake's 7   Cadfael   Forever Knight   Get Smart
Gettysburg   Hiram Holliday   Lord of the Rings   Sandbaggers

Since 1985 I've made literary music videos. These strange beasts use the lyrics of a song as poetry to be interpreted in the context of TV or movie video. Listen to Frank Sinatra's I Did It My Way in your head. Now see Captain James Tiberius Kirk. That's a literary music video! Paul and I have made 591 of them because I love the emotional power they give to ideas, and the fun of working within a tight box.

Interested? You can read more about how I got started and the equipment I've used, or read excerpts from Henry Jenkins' book, Textual Poachers.

Alias     Here She Comes
Blake's 7     Comedy Tonight
Boston Legal     Gunslinger
Cadfael     Love is a Rose
Dr Who     These Boots
Due South     Hot Rod Lincoln
Farscape     New Math
Forever Knight     Badlands
Get Smart     Secret Agent Man
Harry Potter     Joy to the World
Lord of the Rings     Into the West
Miami Vice     Battle of New Orleans
NCIS     He's a Rebel
Professionals     Gravel on the Ground
Sherlock Holmes     As It Seems
Starsky and Hutch     Vatican Rag
Star Trek     Love's Been Hard
Star Wars     Rest Stop

Friends       Pets       Song Videos       Writing       Recipes
Santa with Book

Hollywood After Dark

Dunder and Blixen

Santa with Book

Mother raised me with the idea that I could write because it was in my genes. She had the same explanation on why I should be able to create art. I fought long and hard against the idea, with a physics major at University of Chicago for the first 3 1/2 years of college, and a career in computer language design.

     Technical Writing:
But, as should have been expected, mother won in the end. I switched my college major to the history of art (near eastern, ancient), and everywhere I went in computers, I ended up writing the books, or creating the publications.

     Video Scripts:
As for the art, I had switched my computer career at IBM Research from language design to multimedia, and I learned about graphics from the artists illustrating my videos.

     Fan Book and Short Stories:
I became deeply involved in TV show fandom after the death of my mother, and wrote extensively in fan publications, my novel winning a fan award.

That mix of fiction and art came to its inevitable conclusion when, on early retirement from IBM Research, I took a class in screenplay writing in Maine. Screenplays were the most perfect art form I'd ever imagined. They had all the "box" aspects of a music video, while requiring incredible control to write just enough to excite a group of collaborators, but not enough to trespass on their own contributions to a movie. I went "by the book," and the book came through. My first screenplay was read by 16 agents, and 6 offered to represent it. A second agented screenplay followed, as well as an agented hour TV episode for Forever Knight was read by the producer which I've now put online. They were exciting days.

     Books on Henry:
For now, I'm just writing about Henry Livingston. Locust Grove, the home of both Samuel Finley Breese Morse, and of Henry, put out an illustrated Night Before Christmas book of mine that includes Henry's writing, as well as the classic poem. I also wrote a footnoted book on Henry.

And then there's the poetry. Mother was right. Again. Writers litter my family tree. But the deepest emotional impact on me has come from finding my father's poetry, and the poetry column in which he and my 17 year old mother courted. Those pages foresee the tragedy that was still in their future, and it breaks my heart.

Fan Writing,   Poetry,   Publications,   Father's Poetry,   Mother's Poetry
Friends       Pets       Song Videos       Writing       Recipes
Mary Grilling

Vicky Risotta

I've always loved food, but I came late to cooking. I can still see grandmother standing in the kitchen doorway laughing and bending the rubber cake back and forth. At least we all learned to laugh. First thing I put into my new kitchen was an attic fan to empty out the smoke when I burnt something. Did you know that you can wash charcoal off potroast? And mother was no help. My idea of comfort food is her refried spaghetti. You cook the pasta, cook the hamburger, then put them back together in a frying pan with catsup and fry them dry.

But food became another of my passions, and for many years a wondrous group of friends contributed to my downfall with group meals, where we tried to find the perfect recipe for pralines or key lime pie or Creme Brulee. Our dinners frequently had themes, such as a dinner emphasizing cherries - black cherry jello and a thin-sliced ham with cherry sauce or pasta with dried cherries. Or glorious pears blended into sweet potatoes, or glazing a cheesecake.

Food! Besides tasting good, it brings back such memories!

Night Before Christmas       Other Passions       Myself       Family       Genealogy
Still a Child       When I Was Seventeen       Young Married Lady       Over Forty Years

I simply refuse to grow up! I love being a child and having a sense of wonder at the world around me.

And I love to surround myself with friends who never really grow up either. With Tricia I marvel over William Shatner, and with Lyn I analyze Starsky and Hutch's police procedures. With Paul, of course, I still play house after 41 years.

Life is good.

Joseph Warren, class of '58     My Autobiography at age 13
Still a Child       When I Was Seventeen       Young Married Lady       Over Forty Years

Being a packrat, I've kept an amazing amount of my childhood and adolescence, and a chance inquiry brought memories back of that long-ago, 17 year old me. So I thought I'd bring her back to life - high school, family and, of course, Richard, to whom I was engaged when I was 17. His love letters bring that whole time flooding back. And the 1961 Yearbook of the St. Thomas Aquinas Dominican High School, in Chicago, brings back memories of uniforms and saddle shoes and funny little hats.

The Aquinas Class of 1962,   Richard's Love Letters
Still a Child       When I Was Seventeen       Young Married Lady       Over Forty Years

I was only 19 when I married Bruce Nelson, my physics lab assistant at U of Chicago. Bruce was, and is, a good man to whom I'm grateful for five years of marriage at a very early age. He came from a wonderful family, and is gifted with interests that range from high-energy physics to art to sports cars to photography to a love of nature. I couldn't have been luckier.

When we married, I was in my sophomore year of college in physics. In the last half of my 4th year, I was done in by Schroedinger Equations and switched into the History of Art, Near Eastern Ancient, taking an extra year to graduate. It was a wonderful year of fine art classes in the same studio where my mother had studied in the early 1930's. And it was in that last year of college that I finally fulfilled my dream of working at the Adler Planetarium. That is, until they caught me. I was a Republican election judge in a Democratic patronage job. Sigh.

Still a Child       When I Was Seventeen       Young Married Lady       Over Forty Years






Paul and I have been married over 40 years now, and I'm grateful for those years. He's a good man. My mother adored him, which is a staggering thing to say as I believe he was the first she ever even liked. Everything I've ever done he's supported. Completely. He believes in me. Which is simply amazing.

I got into fan writing and he edited my stories! He attended fan conventions with me, even ones that were 99% female. He got a special badge for that bravery. When I wanted to take up music video making, he bought machines, taught himself how to use them and then taught me. He started making videos himself. In the middle of the night he'd awaken me to see what he'd just accomplished. I'd edit him, go back to bed, and be awakened again a few hours later to see all the problems fixed and more ready for editing. Eventually his videos were as good as, if not sometimes better, than mine. At fan showings a murmur would run through the room when his videos were announced. He'd make very gentle fun of us, and everyone loved it because they knew it was with caring. At one convention he took pictures of fans and turned them into morphed aliens.

When I switched from computer languages into video and multimedia at IBM Research, Paul switched with me, and built a half million dollar video studio around my multimedia magazine. Sometimes, I'll admit, we worked together at the top of our lungs, but nana always taught me to be comfortable with emotion. When we left IBM on early retirement and I got into screenplay writing, he created a script editor for me. When I started making industrial videos, Paul was always there to help with graphics or with audio, and I used his hand-written edit controller to control the video equipment.

When we built the addition to the house, I was mostly the designer and wood preparer, but Paul would come in for wiring and such. He designed a tile pattern on the computer for our new bathroom floor, which the installer had to lay with a map. You know the floors in which you search for the pattern? Ours doesn't have any. Then our friend Lyn used Paul's pattern to build a quilt hanging that won an award.

When I got into genealogy, Paul was right there to walk the cemeteries and find graves that eluded me. He took pictures, scanned documents, drove endlessly to the most remote archives. I've offered him half of all the ancestors of mine that we find since his Polish ancestors have been too elusive. And when Locust Grove let us put on a computer exhibit, Paul designed and built a robust computer display with the most marvelous attract screen! (patience in waiting for it to load)

We used to commute once a week to New York to work at IBM Research. That's 180 miles EACH WAY! And I used to travel cross country 2-3 times a year by Amtrak for executive meetings. So when we retired, I was extremely reluctant to go anywhere again. Paul agreed, as a compromise, that we would buy a motor home, and he let me design the interior to make it so homelike that I wouldn't feel we were traveling. The dealer was magnificent. I'd go motor home to motor home and pick out any feature I loved, and he would order it and put it into ours. Paul designed the interior wiring to give us SEVEN different locations where we could plug in a computer, and arranged to have an Internet dish on the roof. Much more complicated than one for TV shows. We traveled to the midwest in that wonderful RV for three months. Paul couldn't stand driving it, though, so now it's just a house addition in the driveway.

Vidding,   Vidding near Cove,   Night Blooming Cereus,     Favorite Art
The Most Exquisite Bathroom!
Night Before Christmas       Other Passions       Myself       Family       Genealogy
Father       Father's Parents       Mother       Mother's Parents

Music Manuscript Book

older Father

       Bradley T. Van Deusen

I never knew father. Mother left him when I was 6 weeks old. I was 11 when he died. For eight years, he had tried to bring her back with the most heartbreaking love letters. But she wouldn't return.

As an adult I wanted to know father, and I was sure his poetry was the best way to do that. But it wasn't until I'd learned more about poetry research while studying Henry Livingston that I finally discovered father's poetry column in the University of Chicago Maroon. My parents had met over a typewriter conflict in the same building in which I later learned Humanities. Father had taught ROTC for the cavalry of the University of Chicago, while mother had been a student.

Father was a denizon of Greenwich Village, and hobnobbed with the beat poets. Last year I discovered one of father's poetry books, Old Soldiers' Drums. The editor of one of the magazines in which he published said in the Forward: "Corporal Van D[e]usen is an outstanding military poet. Perhaps in time he may become a great poet." I loved it.

I've found more sources of father's poetry - Leatherneck Magazine, and the Campus Scout column of the U of Illinois - most of his military career was spent teaching young men.

Old Soldiers' Drums     Incident    
For Jean     Taps    
Convent of the Guns     Outcasts    

We hid ourselves in the Island world
Where the flashing coils of the "Snake" are curled
We sought the depths to hide our shame.
The "thing" we had made of an honored name.
We swam the Bay in the early dawn
But the Shark came not, and we lived on.
We sought the end in the bolo's steel
But hearts wounds live, while flesh wounds heal.

  The Man,   Courting Mother in Poetry  
  U of Illinois,   U of Chicago,   Letters  ;
Father       Father's Parents       Mother       Mother's Parents
younger father

older Father

older Father

Music Manuscript Book

       Jack Bell and Catharine Burnett

Father's parents ran a newspaper in Canon City CO, his mother Catharine having most of the responsibility while her second husband, Jack Bell, wandered the west searching for rare metals. And, in fact, Jack won and lost fortunes from Alaska to Central America. They divorced and Catharine went on to marry Robert Van Deusen, whose name was given to Jack Bell's son.

Jack was well known within the west, and his newspaper career continued, his articles often trumpeted on the front page of newspapers. He wrote on the early mail pilots, and the birds and animals of the west. By the end of his life Jack had become a recognized naturalist.

Arthur Chapman on Jack     Raine on Jack    
Visits Denver     Invents Stove    
King of the Grizzlies     Gunfight    
Burros     Nevada's Birds    

JACK BELL belongs to the West. He would not fit into any other background. As a prospector and miner he has roamed the hills and the desert, and has pitched his tent in the deep snows above timberline and in the shadeless sands below sea-level. He has mushed over the far Northern tundra and has tramped the sterile plateaus of the Southwest. He has known the solitude of the wilds and the greater solitude of the mine depths. He has been in at the christening of mining camps, big and little. Some of them have been his own discoveries.
      Arthur Chapman, the Cowboy Poet

The Man,   Timeline of Life and Articles,   Catharine,   More Favorite Articles  
Obituary 1,   Obituary 2,   Multimedia Family Form  
Father       Father's Parents       Mother       Mother's Parents


art book

art book

art book

       Jean B. Van Deusen

Where father was fire, mother was cool water. If she had watched Star Trek, her hero would have been Spock, of no emotion. The fire was there, but her goal was to keep it under tight control. The phrase she used in her attempt to teach this to me was "Wrap yourself in cellophane." It was a lost cause. My passions blazed as hot as father's.

Father had put mother on a pedestal she had never wanted to ascend. But all that he saw in her was there. She was as beautiful, as brilliant and as talented as the dream woman he pursued. Her hands were cool, her fingers long and gentle as she drew pictures on my back for me to guess. She smoothed the dark Chicago soil smooth in our backyard and drew art deco lines to teach me to see what could be there, and not just what was. I can put out my hand and still feel hers in it. And the voice I hear is always filled with her undertones of laughter.

Mother's poem, Chicago Sketches, impressed a publishing house enough to write to ask her if she had more like that. If so, they would be willing to bring out a book of her poetry. She never followed through. The art work she had from her collage days was hidden away in notebooks and never displayed. Her only mention of her writing and art were in her frequent encouragements for me to believe I had those talents, too.

But it was that mind of hers that broke my heart. She had almost complete recall. As a social worker, she was the 'go-to guy' because she knew the huge book of regulations. But mostly she used that mind to play mental games. For a while she memorized the license plates of passing cars. Another time she would memorize the serial numbers of money. And when she was dying, she asked me how everything she knew could just disappear. I had no answer, but it changed my life. Everything I know goes out to you.

The hikes that we took, when I was a child,
Wound through canyons and prairies and sweet sylvan nooks
Filled with wildflower storefronts and auto-clogged creeks.
I walked with my mother and saw with her eyes
Carrying all of her years with a ten year old's pride.
She didn't have money, we'd only have tea,
But she stuffed me with cupcakes of sweet memory.

She talked as we walked of her past college days,
Of dating young boys wrapped in old raccoon coats.
Of college professors, she knew each one's name.
Of ways that they spoke and of jokes that they made.
She remembered the girls in green chiffon gowns
Who danced on the Midway near Ida Noyes lawn.
She remembered the statue that stood in the park
Bearing centuries stone upon flat hair-crowned hat.

And each of these facts and small tales she would tell
As a gift to a daughter too young to know well
How the timeless progression of time in its day
Could forget in an instant a moment of play.
She tried to present me these gifts, but in vain,
For my attic-stuffed drawers had a hole
  That the names and the places were soon falling through
    Till the drawer and the attic and cupboard was bare.
                  Thoughts While I Can Still Remember

The Woman,   Mother's Courtship in Poetry,   Her Poetry
A Poem for Mother
Art,   Art 2,   Art 3,   Academic Nudes
Father       Father's Parents       Mother       Mother's Parents
James H.Butridge

Nana and Mary
Nana and Me

younger Jennie

Lucille Mulhall
Lucille Mulhall

older Jennie

Zack Mulhall
Zack Mulhall

       James Homer Butridge and Jennie

Because mother went out to work after she returned home to her parents, I was raised by my grandmother. Mother consciously gave her control so that I wouldn't be confused by authority figures. But everyone in the household taught me. I truly believed that they were fascinated to hear the multiplication tables and to quiz me in spelling. To this day I admit it wasn't likely, but inside I believe it true. There was not a day in my life as I grew up that I didn't know I was loved intensely. I was never a bad child. I was a child that occasionally did bad things and whose behavior could change. These were good people, and I love them to this day.

Grandfather was 'Daddy,' He was without question a Texan and a gentleman. He was also brilliant, though I didn't understand that until I was an adult. I was raised on his lap, listening to the funnies and hearing him sing about the Turkey in the Straw. By profession he was a railroad signals engineer. By the time I knew him, he was already retired and working as a consultant - something that meant long trips from home as he designed signals in Edinburgh and Toronto and places I couldn't pronounce. As a young man he worked for Thomas Edison, and was once brought to New Jersey by Edison to teach him about train signals. Daddy slept on a cot and Edison would awake him at night to ask more questions. By the end of the week, Daddy was exhausted and Edison knew everything about signals. I remember when Daddy was called to Boston to travel in a rowboat through a flooded subway system to point out where his signals were beneath the water.


Grandmother, Jennie Audrey, and I spent hours sitting on the front porch while she made me flyswatters and fans out of newspaper, and reminded me that two wrongs don't make a right. Before she met grandfather, she had been a bookkeeper. It was after she came to Chicago to study at the Art Institute that she and Daddy met and married. She became a practical nurse after her marriage, and there was never an injury in the neighborhood that she wasn't called to tend, or a problem that wouldn't bring her out with a collection can to encourage the neighbors to help. Nana sang, too, but usually sad, old songs which made her cry as she ironed.

Nana was illegitimate. It affected her deeply, though it bothered me not at all. All that I learned about it came from mother and her brother. From nana I heard stories of the ranch in Butte MO on which she was raised, and the little pony cart she would drive to visit an Indian friend. I cared too little about nana's parentage, because I never kept notes of any of mother's stories, so that it wasn't until my uncle grew elderly and wanted to know who his grandparents were, that I realized that we had no one to ask. Uncle Jack had some stories that were helpful. He knew that she had always said Lucille Mulhall was her half-sister, and had seen correspondence from Lucille and had met her when the family was sent tickets for a ringside box for Lucille's father's Wild West Show. I tracked down descendants of Zack Mulhall and learned that he had been fairly open about a 2nd illegitimate family. And the facial resemblance between nana and the Mulhalls was astonishing. The relationship is something I'm still trying to track down.

  Butridge Genealogy  
  A Song She Sang,   Nana's Sayings,   In Memorium  
  Mulhall Timeline,   Photographs,   Stories  
  Multimedia Family Form  
Night Before Christmas       Other Passions       Myself       Family       Genealogy
History       Books       Genealogy
East Jersey
Near 6th ggf's estate, now a zoo

As might be expected from my passion for genealogy, and my bent toward research, I've developed a rather late interest in history. Because of my undergraduate studies at University of Chicago, my interest tends to be in original sources - books and papers. Owning them, whenever possible! Enjoying copies from research centers when originals aren't possible. The collection we're building mostly centers in New York. Of course, I do tend to see history in terms of my ancestors. But, whatever works.

  7th great grandfather, colonial governor of NJ,
  6th great grandfather's work in wine production,
  5th great grandfather in the Revolutionary War,
  5th great grandfather's letters to and from Washington,
  5th and 4th great grandfathers entertain Lafayette,
  4th great grandfather at Valley Forge,
  3rd great grandfather's first, second, and third railroads,
  2th great grandfather and his brother help start the Military Association of NY,
  great grandfather, a special judge advocate at the Lincoln Assassination Trial

  An 1802 book on Medical Electricity - it's all online

History       Books       Genealogy
Psalms and Hymns

Psalms and Hymns

Psalms and Hymns

Since I don't like traveling, I prefer to buy research materials. And, where possible, I make some available. I'm a speed typist, which is a blessing.

  Theory and Practice of Medical Electricity, 1802
  Psalms and Hymns, 1814, Rev. J.H. Livingston
  Memoirs of Rev. John Henry Livingston, 1829
  Manuscript Book of Poetry, 1784-1790, Henry Livingston
  Manuscript Book of Music, 1783-, Henry Livingston
  Manuscript Book of Poetry, Daughter Jane Livingston's
  Poems, 1844, Clement Moore
  Manuscript Book of Poetry, 1844-1852, Clement Moore
  Master Paintings of the World, 1902, Dupont Vicars
  Old Soldiers' Drums, 1933, Ten Eyck Van Deusen
  Sugar and Spice Song Book, 1959
  Aquinas Yearbook, 1959
  Aquinas Yearbook, 1960
  Aquinas Yearbook, 1961
  Aquinas Yearbook, 1962
  RED Computer Language Reference Guide, 1979
  RED Computer Language Design Rationale, 1979
  Dunder and Blitzen, It's Henry Livingston!, 2002, Mary Van Deusen

  Poetic Introduction, 1762, Rev. Noah Welles
  Patriotism, 1764, Rev. Noah Welles
  Funeral Sermon, 1764, Rev. Noah Welles
  Revolutionary War Journal, 1775, Henry Livingston
  Orderly Book of 2nd PA - Valley Forge, 1788, Col. Henry Bicker
  Sermons, 1799, Rev. J.H. Livingston
  Sermons, 1804, Rev. J.H. Livingston
  Incestuous Marriage, 1816, Rev. J.H. Livingston
  Eulogy of Rev. J.H. Livingston, 1825
  Commodore Melancthon T. Woolsey, 1846, James Fennimore Cooper
  Military Association of NY, 1854
  American Society in the days of Washington, 1856, Rufus W. Griswold
  Incidents in Trial of Lincoln's Assassins, 1888, Gen. Burnett
  Robert Fulton, 1891, Robert H. Thurston
  12 Separate Books of Night Before Christmas
  Articles on Night Before Christmas Authorship, 1899-
  Articles By and About Jack Bell
  Articles About Zack and Lucille Mulhall
  Famous American Jury Speeches, 1925, Frederick C. Hicks
  Auburn and Rochester Railroad, 1926, Frank W. Stevens
  Rochester and Syracuse Railroad, 1926, Frank W. Stevens
  New York Central Railroad, 1926, Frank W. Stevens
  The Royal Society, The Grape and NJ, 1962, R.P. McCormick
  Strawman, etc. Requirements Document, 1975
  Transcript of John Cocke Retrospective Video, 1994

History       Books       Genealogy
Henry B. Gibson

Brig. Gen. Henry L. Lansing

Brig. Gen. Henry L. Burnett


It seemed that the best way to discover father as a person was to read his poetry. The problem was finding it! Being rather goal-directed, I got into genealogy with the purpose of finding some relative who might have received a book of my father's poetry. I had little to go on - an obituary of his mother, some old pictures, letters begging mother to come back. The obituary mentioned that grandmother was the daughter of Henry Burnett, and was descended from Henry B. Gibson of Canandaigua NY. That and the fact that her pallbearers included two generals and the governor of Colorado! So off we went to Canandaigua. As we drove down Gibson Street, we started to wonder. It was. After that it was just one shock after another. General Henry Burnett turned out to be one of the special judge advocates at the Lincoln Assassination Trial. His father had had one of the stops on the Underground Railroad. Henry B. Gibson was one of the richest men in western NY (no, it didn't go down our line), and his 2nd railroad was merged with others to form the NY Central.It just got more outrageous from there.

The study of genealogy has explained, though, how my risk-adverse family could have produced a risk-taker like me. Which means I don't feel like quite the cuckoo I did. I so much wish I could have told mother. She would have laughed.

General Henry L. Lansing
Two of General Lansing's homes still exist, and we've had a chance to wander through them. One is in Canandaigua, where Henry and Catherine Gibson first lived. The Buffalo house no longer exists, but we found a book in the Buffalo Historical Society that describes the estates on the main drag. General Lansing isn't mentioned in the book but, when I check his address in the census against the map in the book, the large estate is his!!

We did find his summer home in Niagara-on-the-Lake, to which he eventually moved. The trick turns out to be a familiar one - the name of the house has been changed from the name he gave it to the name given by a subsequent owner. The house is on a large piece of property across from the military parade ground. It's huge and beautiful and for sale at a price we choked at. But at least we got a tour!

General Henry L. Burnett
Newest News! The General is now being played at the Ford Theater by one of the Park Rangers!

The General is being adopted! Thanks to Michael Bennett, and the Ellis Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the General's grave in Goshen NY is now being maintained. And thanks to my cousin, Blaine Kimball, we now know what was written on the General's stolen plaque, and may be able to get a new one made!

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