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Our Family Tree: Introduction

Welcome! Our Family Tree is a full-featured, free, and online genealogy collaboration website intended both for people browsing, and a tool for researchers to maintain their trees and collaborate on their research efforts.

When browsing different websites it is inefficient for many people to be researching some of the same ancestors, all stored in separate parallel systems, rather than everyone contributing directly to the same system. This website hopefully encourages people to collaborate and work together on common ancestors, and eliminate duplicates copies of each person. Down the line somewhere we're all in the same family, so why not work in the same tree?

As much as possible the website also seeks to integrate family with history, highlighting biographical details, more about the places they lived, where and with whom they worked, and how they contributed to all who followed them.

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Spotlight: Nathaniel & Armenia White — Concord, Merrimack Co, NH

Nathaniel & Armenia White
 
Abolitionists, Suffragists & Philanthropists
Fifteen-year-old Nathaniel White arrived in Concord, virtually penniless, to work as a clerk in a Main Street hotel. Six years later, in 1832, he had saved sufficiently to become a partner in, and driver for, the Concord-Hanover stage line. He soon added the route between Concord and Lowell, MA. With a partner in 1838, he started an express delivery business to Boston, delivering goods three times a week.

As soon as the Concord Railroad opened in 1842, White and two partners embraced this new transportation opportunity. The men obtained an exclusive contract to operate express cars on passenger trains. Over the years, they created an extensive network to deliver goods throughout northern New England by augmenting rail stage transport. Their United States and Canada Express Company was ultimately consolidated into American Express. White's railroad, banking, real estate and express investments made him one of the wealthiest men in New Hampshire.

Nathaniel White (1811-1880) and Armenia Aldrich White (1817-1916) were devoted to Concord and used their immense wealth to benefit the city and state in multiple ways.  Both Nathaniel and Armenia assumed leadership roles in the abolition, temperance and women's suffrage movements. They counted William Lloyd Garrison among their friends, and with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, launched the struggle for women's rights. Their country house on Clinton Street, the 400-acre White Farm, was a stop for runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. Armenia was the first president of the New Hampshire Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the New Hampshire Woman Suffrage Association.

The Whites' philanthropic activities also encompassed primary roles in founding many local institutions: the State Insane Asylum (now New Hampshire Hospital), Centennial Home for the Aged (now a hotel), White Memorial Universalist Church (Concord's first church to admit women as members; demolished 1980s), State Reform School in Manchester (Sununu Youth Center) and Orphan's Home in Franklin (now Webster Place). They also established White's Opera House, a place to entertain visiting dignitaries and bring cultural activities to local residents.

After her husband's death, Armenia continued their philanthropic work, with particular attention to pursuits that promoted women's roles in non-domestic issues. In 1884 she donated the land and initial endowment for White Park, the first public park in New Hampshire of significant size.