An Uncommon Cape: Researching the Histories and Mysteries of a Property

Author Talk by Eleanor Phillips Brackbill


July 10

7:30 pm

Monhegan Library 




“In our ‘genealogy-crazed era,’ it’s true that many cannot trace their ancestry for one reason or another. People encounter insurmountable barriers to completing the family tree—adoption, migration, divorce, displacement, illiteracy, enslaved ancestors, the change of a surname, the loss or destruction of documentation, or the lack of time and financial resources to do the necessary research. But everyone can trace the history of the place where they live, and that kind of research has the added advantage of archival information usually being available close to home. People move, the land doesn’t. A genealogy of a piece of land is democratic and offers a heritage available to everyone—everyone lives somewhere.”

–from the author’s website (

Inspired by Ruth Grant Faller’s Monhegan: Her Houses and Her People, 1780-2000, longtime summer visitor Eleanor Phillips Brackbill explores the mysteries and histories of her house, the property, and its former owners back to 1661. 

Brackbill’s book, An Uncommon Cape: Researching the Histories and Mysteries of a Property, was published by the State University of New York Press in 2012.

Signed copies will be available.