CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

March 15, 2012

My Tinge of Irish Heritage: The Googins Family

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

MY TINGE OF IRISH HERITAGE: THE GOOGINS FAMILY

     What do the names Bonython, Foxwell, Rogers, Welch, and Googins have in common? What Irish heritage is found in these Maine location names: Pepperrellborough, Saco, Biddeford, Old Orchard Beach, Kittery, Trenton, and Lamoine?

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     While sitting in my brother-in-law’s hospital room at the end of February I shared information from my files about my ancestor Patrick Googins, which I was reviewing to write a St. Patrick’s Day post. We discussed the United States region he emigrated to as a young man in the first quarter of the 1700s: Saco and Biddeford, Maine, then Pepperrellborough, Massachusetts (between 1762 and 1805). I read from my files that the Saco River emptied into the seacoast at Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

     Not long after that, Monte entered the room after taking a walk in the hospital corridor. He seemed excited, saying he had something to show me. On the wall in the corridor, among a number of paintings, was a picture of the Saco River flowing in New Hampshire, speeding to its destination, the Atlantic Ocean at Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

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     Today is the day the Chicago River turns green.

     It’s St. Patrick’s Day.

     My Irish ancestry is so washed out as to be nonexistent. However slight it is, I still claim it, especially on March 17th each year.

     It began about ten generations ago in lower Maine. Patrick Googins, a woolen weaver by trade, emigrated from Ireland and entered the service of William Pepperrell, a native of Kittery.

     Pepperrell studied surveying and navigation before joining his father (a shipbuilder and fishing boat owner) in business. Young William Pepperrell expanded their enterprise to become one of the most prosperous mercantile houses in New England with ships carrying lumber, fish and other products to the West Indies and Europe. The Pepperrells sunk their profits into land, and soon they controlled immense tracts.* Thus, Patrick must have abandoned his wool weaving training to enter the mercantile business.

     Through the influence of William Pepperrell Patrick obtained (more…)

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August 7, 2010

Googins Island, Maine: An Osprey Sanctuary

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

GOOGINS ISLAND, MAINE: AN OSPREY SANCTUARY

     OPREY SANCTUARY.

PLEASE KEEP OFF

Sign on Googins Island, Maine

     The sign was on tiny Googins Island just fifty feet offshore in Wolfe Neck Park, Freeport, Maine. My husband Monte and I were there for two reasons. First, I was walking all the mainland beaches between Lamoine Beach, Maine and Wallis Sands Beach, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. And second, this island was named after the Googins family, one of my ancestral branches (see THE GOOGINS GENEALOGICAL LINE section at the end of this post).

I could walk on the sand, but not on Googins Island

     At low tide, the area separating Googins Island from the mainland was almost like quicksand. Perhaps we would sink if we stepped onto it, I thought, as I stepped gingerly on rocks, avoiding the wet sand.

     I was disappointed that we couldn’t walk around this tiny island. I also wondered: What is an osprey? Why does it need “sanctuary?”

     As usual, I surfed the Internet. I discovered that one of the biggest natural attractions at Wolf Neck State Park is the osprey nest on adjacent Googin’s Island, viewable from the mainland.** Not knowing what to look for, I didn’t spot the nest.

     The osprey became rare as nesting bird, especially in the northern and eastern parts of United States where unsuccessful reproduction believed result of chemical pollution of waters and fishes on which Osprey preys.*

     It is considered a raptor—a bird of prey—and is listed in the biological order Falconiformes. It hunts for its food with its extremely sharp claws, excellent eyes, and powerful wings.

     The osprey, almost eagle size, measures (more…)

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