Saturday, April 23, 2016

A stately chestnut tree reminds of family gatherings

Lucy Thomas, Montezuma Historical Society member and wife of Bill who is one of the many cousins Thomas Moore visited during childhood trips to the area, writes "Author, Thomas Moore, family roots remain here in Montezuma" on 11 April 2016 to commemorate Moore's appearance at Willard Memorial Chapel in Auburn, New York on 15 April, 2016.

In her piece, Lucy Thomas includes, "Thomas’ great-grandfather, William Nugent and wife, Catherine, emigrated to America in the mid 1850’s and settled in Auburn, NY, with four sons and one daughter. Their son, William married Mary O’Brien and built a farm on land they purchased on Fuller Road in Montezuma. They raised eight children: five sons and three daughters. Daughter, Agnes Nugent-Owens, is Thomas’ grandmother. The farm is where Thomas spent many of his childhood summers, arriving with his parents Mary and Ben, brother Jim, his grandparents, aunts and uncles from Detroit, Michigan. The rest of the family would return to Detroit, but Thomas chose to stay on the farm the rest of the summer spending time with his three great-uncles, Joseph, Thomas and John. His Uncle Tom became his mentor while working in the fields, caring for a team of horses and other daily farm chores."

Echoing Moore's own focus on natural, soulful locations, Thomas writes, "Thomas returned each summer until his entry to the Seminary and studying in Ireland. Today, the farm house and barns are long gone with only one majestic Chestnut tree remaining as the sacred marker of special family times."