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Mulberry Resident’s Genealogy Book Captures 375 Years of Family History

June 08, 2021

Candide Daigle Sedlik sat in the sunroom at Mulberry Gardens of Southington, pointing out photos in 3-inch-thick tome she braced in her lap. As she turned a page to a photo of a woman holding a pitchfork on top of a hay wagon, she started to laugh. “That’s me, wearing a dress. I was pretty good at stacking hay,” she said. “I don’t know why my mother didn’t have us wear some of my brothers’ hand-me-downs.” [caption id="attachment_33823" align="alignleft" width="248"] Candide Sedlik[/caption] There were dozens of images that evoke memories of her childhood growing up in the small community of Madawaska, Maine, near the Canada border. Browsing the 666-page book seemed to bring her rback to the family farm – she became animated when she saw a black-and-white snapshot of her grandparents’ house where she was born. “It was shakes with a yellow door and a teakettle on the stove,” she said. One of seven children, she left the homestead when she moved to Connecticut to pursue higher education. She was a secretary in the advertising department of Pratt and Whitney (not the aircraft company, she pointed out) and her husband, Harold, was a machine tool engineer. Together, they ran Sedlik Realty. They liked to travel and she pursued more traditional crafts such as braiding rugs and quilting. In the summer they would return to the Daigle family farm. The husband and wife wrote many articles centered on history, particularly about Aroostook County and northern Maine. When she found some old letters written by her grandmother, she knew she had to write a book. Her research recaps her family lineage back to 1643 beginning with Olivier Daigre from Poitou, France. After 25 years of writing, researching at libraries and interviewing family members (while she was working full-time), the result was “Memories and Genealogy of a Daigle Family,” published in 2004. “When you come from a big family, there are always a lot of things to talk about,” she said. Though she typed it herself, the stories were easy to write: “I had lived it.” After her husband died in 2014 and as she grew older, it was getting more challenging to live in their West Hartford home. In 2019, she moved to Mulberry Gardens, the independent and assisted living community at 58 Mulberry St. in Southington She joined in activities and enjoyed participating in that year’s Miss Mulberry Gardens Senior Pageant and being named first runner-up. “I love living at Mulberry Gardens,” she said. “I wouldn’t change a thing.” Mulberry Gardens of Southington, a member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services, is a not-for-profit assisted living, adult day and memory care community located at 58 Mulberry St. in the Plantsville section of Southington. For more information about Mulberry Gardens of Southington, click here.