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John Reynolds & Sarah (___), Watertown, MA, Wethersfield & Stamford, CT

The Watertown, MA and Greenwich, CT Family

BOOK REVIEW
by Susan E. Clement
RFA Reynolds Recollections, 1991
© 1991 Reynolds Family Associaton

For those of us who want our family tree to be more than a listing of names and dates, we are always on the look-out for information that will bring our generations of grandparents to life, to make them become real people. We search through musty archives and dusty library stacks; finding a photograph makes the emotions run wild. It's a lot of work and hard work, often with too little satisfying result.

If you are a descendant of John and Sarah Reynolds who lived in Watertown, MA and Greenwich, CT, you've just struck gold. A new book, Loyal to the Land, the history of a Greenwich, Connecticut family, is now available, written by Deborah Wing Ray and Gloria P. Stewart, two recognized Conn. historians. This is both a history of Greenwich and its neighboring towns, and a history of Reynolds individuals and families who are an integral part of the patterns and events that shaped these towns.

The book is very thoroughly researched and well-documented. It begins, as many Reynolds family histories do, with the story of Christopher Reynolds of Kent Co., England as the forefather of American Reynoldses, which serious researchers will recognize for the legend it has become.

Once the history reaches America, however, fact is separated from tradition, and though both are used to develop the individual characters, identification of fact from anecdote is clear. The reader is brought, in this manner, through several generations of Reynoldses up to the twentieth century.

Loyal to the Land is a beautiful book, well presented with numerous photographs and sketches. It is well written and easily read. It is not a genealogy, per se, and you won't make any ancestral connections that haven't already been documented in other books on this line. However, it does provide a portrait of Reynolds individuals and families that would take the average researcher years to piece together. More importantly, it makes them real people with lives more readily understood in the context of the geography and history in which they lived.

I would recommend that descendants of John and Sarah Reynolds would find this a welcome addition to their own family history collection, or at least fascinating reading, particularly for those families who remained in the Greenwich area. New England history buffs will also find interesting reading in this history of a town from its early beginnings to modern times. Or, if like many of us, you are just addicted to Reynolds family history, Loyal to the Land belongs on your bookshelf.

[If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Loyal to the Land, contact Leon Gauthier, Directorship Inc, 8 Sound Shore Drive, Greenwich CT 06830.]


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