Friday, June 29, 2012

Remembering early patriots

Dear Grandmother Hoo Hoo,
       It's very hot today and it reminds me of those hot, lazy August afternoons when, while your younger grandchildren were napping, you would tell me stories of your parents, grandparents and the family who came before us. I loved those stories and they sparked my life-long love of history, especially family history.
       You often mentioned that members of your grandfather Van Eps Hugunin's family had fought in the Revolutionary War. I'm not certain that you knew the entire story but I know you would want to know.
Two of Van Eps grandparents fought in the War.  His paternal grandfather, David Hugunin, served as an enlisted man in the Albany County Militia's 7th Regiment at age 19. I know about his maternal grandfather, Evert Van Epps', service because he had a pension.
        Evert was the 3rd generation of the Van Epps family to be born in Schenectady, New York to a family of early Dutch settlers. He moved west to Montgomery County with his parents in 1750. In Dutch families, I imagine that it was not difficult to find people willing to resist the British as the loss of the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam had occurred barely a century before. Evert joined the Revolutionary cause early.

Receipt for 44 barrels of flour signed by Evert Van Eps, Capt
8 Jul 1776

He first served as Captain of Bateauxman. Evert and a crew of about ten men would move supplies along the Mohawk River and other rivers and lakes. Transportation by road was difficult and many items were shipped by flat-bottom boats along the lakes and tributaries. New York State has an excellent website that explains the logistical importance of the Batteaux (

Evert went on to fight at the battles of Oriskany and Johnstown, but more about that tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Finding Ancestors at Evergreen Cemetery, Camden, NJ

When I realized that my fourth great-grandparents William McCowan and Hannah Lort Viguers were buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Camden, I did some research to locate the cemetery. What I learned was quite disturbing. On-line accounts of visiting the cemetery over the last ten years related shoulder high grass and weeds and a dangerous urban environment. Evergreen Cemetery was bankrupt and in receivership. The recommendation that one only visit in groups of 10 early on winter mornings was particularly disturbing.

It was with quite a sense of trepidation that we decided to visit the cemetery on a sunny spring morning. We were pleasantly surprised to find a crew of mowers tending to the grounds that had obviously been previously mowed within the last few months. They were able to direct us to the nearby Harleigh Cemetery for information. Speaking with Mark Jackson, their Family Service Counselor, we learned though the cemetery is still in receivership Harleigh is trying to keep the grass cut and has some records.

We had some good and some bad luck. Hannah Viguers McCowan was listed in the records at Harleigh.
We were able to locate the Viguers plot with the map we were given. Following the time table of burials in the plot, we expect that the headstone above is Hannah's. Unfortunately, it is completely illegible and had been lying face down until we righted it.

If William McCowan is also buried at Evergreen, his record was not included in this plot.

Evergreen Cemetery is in a rough area in Camden, but we did not have any problems during our visit.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Nanny has been found!

On an earlier trip to Fernwood Cemetery in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Ed and I and Russ and Barb located Ed's and Russ' grandfather's tombstone. Checking with the office, we discovered that the plot also contains the remains of his mother Thusnelda Hoffman Schick and her husband Paul Schick, her parents Elizabeth Von Biel and Fritz Hoffman as well as, Anna Schwenke and Louisa Lemule. Sounds a bit crowded doesn't it. Also challenging, because we don't know how Anna and Louisa fit with the family.

The one person we expected to be in the plot was Maude Stump Haas, John's wife. None of the family could remember where she was. They all had vague memories of attending her funeral but no one could remember why she wasn't with her husband.

Ed's sister, Pat Chamberlain, did some research when she returned home and found the receipt for a burial of Ella Cauler also at Fernwood Cemetery. A quick call to Fernwood, revealed that Maude was in fact buried with her mother. step-father and daughter.

The Cauler Headstone includes Charles Cauler 1861-1939, Ella A Cauler (nee Murray) 1888-1970,
Louise Ella Watson (nee Haas) 1930-1964 and Maude H. Haas (nee Stump) 1906-1985. Charles and Ella were husband and wife. Maude was Ella's daughter by a previous relationship. Louise was Maude's daughter.

So... Nanny has been found, buried with her mother, not far from where her husband is buried with his mother.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Celebrating two anniversaries today!

Chuck and Betty Cone cutting the cake at their Wedding Reception

Two day our family is celebrating two wedding anniversaries. Charles Newton "Chuck" Cone, Jr. and Betty Lorraine Werst were married June 11, 1949 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon. St. Stephens was Chuck's home church where he had been an altar boy as a child and sang in the choir with his father Charles Newton Cone and brother Fred A. Cone. His mother, Hazel Allen Cone, was very active in the Episcopal Women's clubs. Betty was a clothing and textile major at Oregon State College and she designed and made her own dress. The necklace she is wearing comes from her step-father, Kenneth M. Branchflower's family. Many of the brides in our family have also worn the necklace at their weddings including her sister Helen Werst Pearce Caldwell, daughters Cecily Cone Kelly, Leslie Cone Riecken, Trude Cone Schipper and grand-daughters Colby Kelly Propes and Kristen Cone Dominguez.

Also married on June 11th were Edward William Kelly and Cecily Louise Cone in 1971 at the U. S. Naval Academy Chapel, Annapolis, Maryland. Though I don't have wedding photos on my computer, it was a beautiful, sunny day and we posed the requisite photograph under crossed sword on the steps of the chapel. Hard to imagine that its been 41 years.

Since I posted this morning, I spoke with my sister Leslie "Peg" Cone who was nice enough to provide two pictures of our wedding.

Ask and you shall receive.... my sister just sent a photo of the arch of swords and the wedding party.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lessons in Headstone Inscriptions

Many genealogists have experienced the let down of finally tracking down the burial location of an ancestor only to find no headstone or a headstone with just a name. On a recent "dead people tour" (as my children refer to my genealogy treks) with Ed's brother Russ and wife Barbara Reynolds Kelly, we found a genealogist dream headstone at Holy Cross Cemetery in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
right side
left side
We love that there for eternity is Katherine Murphy's ancestral home in Ireland. Of course, it would have been nice if they had included her maiden name but this was enough to trace it to Delahunty.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Charles N. Cone, Jr.

My daughters Amanda and Colby designed this blog for me two years ago as a Mother's Day gift. The first post I made was in commemoration of the 83rd anniversary of my father's birth. It seems proper that two years later I mark his 85th birthday with another post about Charles Newton Cone, Jr.

One of the things Dad loved most, beside his wife and children, was the United States Navy. Born 8 Jun 1927, he would not normally have graduated from high school until 1945. He graduated from Grant High School in Portland, Oregon in May 1944. As he was an erudite and intelligent man, we always figured that he had skipped a grade. During my genealogy research, I discovered that he had actually accelerated his high school and finished in three years so he could join the U. S. Navy. He enlisted on 20 Jun 1944 at age 17 and was sent directly to boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center outside of Chicago.

At Boot Camp, he was selected to be part of the V-12 program at the University of Washington in Seattle. This program was similar to the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) that exists to this day as a partnership between the Navy and universities to train and educate officers for service.
In those days, the naval reserve students wore uniforms to all classes and slept in a barracks barge on Lake Washington.

They could also participate in all student activities including joining a fraternity. Dad pledged and initiated into Alpha Tau Omega.

Charles Cone is eighth from the left in the top row clad in an enlisted seaman's uniform in the 1945 University of Washington yearbook.

Dad did two years at the University of Washington before encountering some difficulties. In the summer of 1946, he is a Seaman 2/C on board USS Graffias. This may have been a training cruise. That fall, he transfers to Oregon State College and joins their NROTC program. A fortuitous event for my siblings and me, as he met our mother there in January 1947. That summer he reports to the USS Iowa.

Charles N. Cone, Jr. was commissioned an Ensign in the U. S. Naval Reserve on 04 Jun 1948. His active and reserve career lasted more than 30 years, retiring as a Captain, Feb. 1988 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

I've always liked the following quote of remarks delivered at Bancroft Hall at the United States Naval Academy in 1962,

"I can imagine a no more rewarding career, and any man
who may be asked in this century what he did to make his
life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of
pride and satisfaction:'I served in the United States Navy'
President John F. Kennedy

Today, we salute Charles Newton Cone, Jr's service and his birthday. We still love and miss you, Dad!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Stephen Hopkins of Jamestown and Plymouth?

Scholars have recently concluded that Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower was the same Stephen Hopkins that was shipwrecked with the 3rd group of settlers bound for Jamestown on Bermuda in 1609.

Visiting Jamestown, looking and boarding the replicas of the ships that brought the Virginia Company settlers to America, made me wonder why someone would make that voyage more than once! His story is really fascinating and involves being shipwrecked on Bermuda, being charged with mutiny and sentenced to death among other adventures. To read more about Mr. Hopkins please click here

We enjoyed our visit made more special by our tour guides and long-time friends Denny and Ellen Bruwelheide. Topped off our visit with a mutual anniversary dinner at Christiana Campbell's Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg.

For family members, our connection to Stephen is as follows: Charles N. Cone, Jr. son of Charles N. Cone, son of Frederick Naaman Cone, son of William Warner Cone, son of Joanna Warner, daughter of Rhoda Hopkins, daughter of Elisha Hopkins, son of Abigail Merrick, daughter of Joshua Merrick, son of Abigail Hopkins, daughter of Giles Hopkins, son of Stephen Hopkins and his first wife Mary. So Stephen Hopkins is my 10th great-grandfather. He certainly lived an eventful life.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Don't Ignore Trade Journals as Genealogy Resources

For the second time, I've been lucky enough to find an obituary in a trade journal. Who knew that the brick making industry in 1900 had a journal called "The Clay Worker" that was international in scope? Theodore Randall began publishing the journal in 1884 and continued for more than 40 years. It was just the place to find information on Ed's ancestor who had a brick making business in Philadelphia for many years.

The December 1900 issue included an obituary for Henry C. Carroll including the information that he had immigrated from Ireland with his parents when he was 15. Of course, I would have preferred to know from where in Ireland they immigrated but the time frame does provide an additional clue. For family members here is the connection; Edward Kelly son of Edward E. Kelly son of William J. Kelly, son of John J. Kelly and his wife Mary Gertrude Carroll, daughter of Michael Carroll and his wife Sarah Riley, son of Henry C. Carroll and his wife Margaret Summers.
Henry was the founder and proprietor of the H. C. Carroll & Sons Brickworks  in Philadelphia. His sons Michael, Eugene and Peter took over the business from their father.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Reconnecting with Family

Yesterday Ed and I had the opportunity to reconnect with one of his first cousins Dan Foley and his wife Judy. Dan provided us with some very special photographs of Ed's father and their mutual Kelly grandparents.

 Above is Grandfather William Joseph Kelly with sons Edward Ebert Kelly on the left and William Joseph Kelly, Junior. The photo is captioned, "May 19th 1929 at 5326 Westminster Ave. Eddie (3), Dad (33), Billy (7). This is the first photograph of his grandfather that Ed had ever seen. William J. Kelly died 17 Sep 1939 under circumstances that have been the subject of debate in the family. We've ordered a copy of his death certificate so hope to have the issue resolved in a few weeks.

This photo is Alice Mae Hanna Kelly, Ed's grandmother and wife of William Joseph Kelly. The only caption on back reads "Mom". The photo was most probably taken at the New Jersey shore in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

Alice and William had six children; three daughters Marie, Alice and Dorothy (Dan's mother) and three sons; William, Edward (Ed's father) and John (called Jack).

When her husband died in 1939, Alice was left with six children, ages 20 to 9 and little means of support. Everyone went to work to support the family and try to keep the younger boys in school. It must have been a difficult time.

Thank you Dan, we feel so lucky to have the photos.