Too much of my time is spent attempting to find more information online about Daniel S. Barber and the man I think is his father, Nathan Barber.
Afton, New York is 2,700 miles away from my base of research. Until I can physically step on the land of my ancestors, look in the local archives and talk to locals, this is futile.
Yet, here I am again, virtually walking the rolling green hillsides of New York from California, blissfully exploring the former property of Eli, Levi, and my 3rd great aunt Alice Barber (oldest daughter of the above Daniel S. Barber) Johnston. In the 1800s, Eli purchased the house where Mormon founder Joseph Smith married Emma Hale. Is the house still there? I zoom in to take a closer look at the buildings on the former Johnston farm on the Susquehanna River.
THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER!!!
Smack … a flashback to my childhood.
On a sunny summer day, three children much too young to be exploring river banks, set off through the woods to skip stones much closer to home than I remember now. Surely, it was at least a mile hike? The mature trees formed a canopy that blocked most of the sun leaving us in daylight darkness adding an audible heart thump to our portentous expedition. We were fairly accomplished flingers of flat shale from our practice at Grandma’s house on Seneca Lake. The banks of the Susquehanna, however, are covered in pebbles, rocks, and boulders. Separately, on the dank and dim brink of rushing water, we hunted for ones flat enough to skip
Alerted by the most seasoned river rat among us, we hear… COPPERHEAD! The group became fifteen bumbling bodies, arms and legs stumbling on the stone spheres to light and safety. Surely, it took at least an hour to get to back home?
Most of the kids in Rome, New York where I grew up spent time scouting the Mohawk River’s edge or floating in tubes down the current. Not me, although I do have a bridge story.