Hello my name is James Joseph Martin Jr. Originally from California my family and I moved to Massachusetts in 1969...at the same time Apollo 11 was on the way to the moon. In 1973 I enlisted into the United States Air Force where I spent 20 years of my life. My wife is from Lowell, Massachusetts which brought us back to this area after my military retirement.
In 2002, I became interested in genealogy after my maternal grandmother passed away. A couple of family books that she had ended up in my possession. Previously I had no knowledge of either side of my family lines beyond my great-grandparents some of whom I knew as a child. I knew my maternal Great-grandmother Senia Luella Kitts (Hallett), my paternal great-grandmother Thusnelda Stambuck (Romahn) and great-grandfather Joseph Stambuck, and my paternal great-grandmother Lena May Martin (Huey). My great-grandfather Stambuck was my last surviving great-grandparent who passed when I was 14 years old.
What really got me going into genealogy was learning that many of my earlier ancestors ended up in Massachusetts. I never found any direct ancestors who came over on the Mayflower but did learn that my 10th great-grandmother's brother, Thomas Goff, was the president of the Massachusetts Bay Company. He reportedly paid for the famous first trip of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. I don't know if he paid for the Pilgrims on the Speedwell which had to return to England shortly after leaving port.
I found one direct ancestor, Joshua Whitney of Groton, MA, practically in my own back yard. My wife and I visited Groton and found his gravesite at the Old Burial Ground. I also ran into a distant Longley cousin on one visit to that town. She owns the property that my Longley-Goff ancestors owned in the 1600's.
My grandmother's aunt was a member of the D.A.R. so I had much proved data to start with. The Internet provided a lot more verifiable data and I was able to go pretty far back on both paternal and maternal family lines. I'm not much of a writer so please bear with me. This will be a work in progress.
I have run into many distant cousins who have provided copies of pages from family bibles and other information with resources. Travel to the libraries in local towns also provides history and stories that make many of my ancestors come to life. I wish I could write their stories. I am so thankful to them for many of the things they did to help settle this country. Knowing some of their stories gives me a sense of what they endured; it also makes me wonder how much their lives would have differed if they had even an inkling of today's technology at their disposal and how different our lives would be if we lived back then. Wow!