Tuesday, December 25, 2012

They Want To Be Found

"They want to be found." This is an axiom that genealogists repeat over and over as they relate the stories of the most unlikely places and occasions that have led to ancestral finds. This is one of those stories.

In thinking back over my recent post about Christmas during the depression and my Grandmother's steamed pudding, I continued to puzzle over why I did not have the recipe for her Hard Sauce or Lemon Sauce. Yesterday, I decided to take one more look at her two recipe boxes that I had carefully preserved. I quick search proved unsuccessful and then upon being summoned back to the kitchen, I knocked over the bigger box and noticed that there were a couple of recipe cards stuck in the lid blank side showing. I pulled the card out and "Eureka!" The card had two recipes, "Hard Sauce" and "Cottage Lemon Sauce". They are as follows:

Hard Sauce
1/3 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 t lemon juice or 2/3 t vanilla
Melt butter and stir in other ingredients.

Cottage Pudding Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 T cornstarch
1 t vanilla or 1 T lemon juice
1/3 c butter

Mix together sugar and cornstarch add watter. Bring to a boil add flavoring.

Serve either sauce over steamed pudding.

See, they want to be found! We'll be trying one or the other with our steamed pudding.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

1920's Vintage Hand painted Coffee Set

Dear Aunt Edythe,
I'm your niece Betty Werst's daughter. Tonight while doing some research on the computer (our modern method of finding anything and everything), I happened upon an advertisement for a "1920's Vintage Rosenthal Resenthale Donatello Coffee creamer, sugar set hand painted by "Edythe C. Keckley - the American artist who carefully executed this work." It goes on to state that she was "perhaps a Kansas girl born in 1888, who died in 1963 in Agra, Phillips County, Kansas. Her lifetime certainly matches the period; her husband, Elvin L. Keckley, (originally from an Iowa family who emigrated to Kansas) was one of the first men drafted in Phillips County for World War I, serving as a corporal in the 353rd Infantry Regiment, part of the American Expeditionary Force."

It's great to have other people recognize your talent. Our family has carefully preserved the pieces of your hand-painted china that we inherited. We have always imagined that there is more out there. Each time my sisters and I visited and antique store we search for some of your pieces. This provides more encouragement to keep looking.

1920s Vintage Rosenthal Rosenthale Donatello
Coffee Set
Hand-painted by Edythe Colby Keckley
as advertised at www.worthpoint.com

We're all proud of you and your talent.


Christmas Traditions

Dear Grandmother Hoo Hoo,
As we get ready for Christmas, I am remembering the packages of holly and pine cones and fir boughs that you sent to our home in California. As kids, we were completely happy with 70 degree weather for Christmas, but I know my Mom really missed Newberg, Oregon, the farm and the Christmases of her youth. She always looked forward to your package and decorated our home with the greens. For her it was the scent of home, for us it became the scent of Christmas. I don't remember if I ever included gratitude for the greens in my Christmas thank you notes, but the packages were much appreciated.

Wish I knew more about the origin of your Christmas traditions. I know that you opened presents on Christmas Eve. My Mom always talked about how special it was to get her stocking Christmas morning because it would always have an orange in the bottom. She said that your sister Edythe Colby Keckley would send them from her store in Agra, Kansas. Aunt Helen says because there was no fireplace, she and Mom would hang their longest Lisle cotton socks on two nails on the back of the solid front door. My siblings and cousins remember a new front door with a window.

Aunt Helen remembers that they used to go with Kenneth down to the "back end of the place" to cut a fresh Christmas tree, always a Douglas Fir. If the weather had been bad and you couldn't get across the creek, then friends who lived up on Chehalem Mountain would let them come and cut a tree there. They would also collect mistletoe that Kenneth shot out of its host tree with a shot gun.

The Christmas tree was placed next to the twin front windows so it could be seen from the street.
Aunt Helen remembers years when snow had drifted up against the window and how pretty the reflection of the tree light shone in the snow. The girls strung pop corn and cranberry garlands, and placed clip-on birds as well as a glass "green and pink ornament shaped like a cabbage" on the tree. The last touch was the tinsel, in Oregon it was called rain, which made the tree shimmer with silver.

I'm sure that as a widow, raising two children during the Great Depression, it was difficult to put a lot of presents under the Christmas tree. Aunt Helen remembered 'Big Little Book' with Dick Tracy stories that they often traded with Marian and Bobby Nelson, the kids across the street. She also remembered one year Aunt Madge (Madge Colby Massey) sent two "Jolly Joanne Dolls" each complete with a trunk filled with clothing and accessories.

I understand that Christmas dinner was ham with scalloped potatoes and your special fruit salad with a whipped cream dressing (really wish I could find that recipe) and carrot steamed pudding with lemon sauce for dessert. I want you to know that your carrot pudding will be one of the desserts we'll be enjoying with our Christmas dinner. Ed and I will be joined by daughters Amanda, Colby and Colby's husband Chris and their 18 mo. old son Cooper. Next year there will be another baby at our table.  I wish you could be here to share the day with us.

Merry Christmas and lots of love,

Carrot Pudding
1 cup grated peeled white potato
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup currants (I substitute golden raisins if I can't find currants).
1/2 cup ground suet (I substitute butter if I can't find suet).
1 cup all purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Mix all together, adding the flour a little at a time until mixture is stiff.
Pour into well greased pudding tins. Steam for 3 hours. Cool and turn out on to serving plate.
 Serve with lemon or hard sauce.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Remembering World War II

Dear Grandmother,
A shaking leaf on my www.ancestry.com account this morning led me to the 1940 census record for your sister Martha Marinda Allen Long. She was enumerated on 17 April 1940 in Tallahassee, Florida in the household of her husband Phelps W Long, with son Phelps Junior age 16, daughter Shirley V age 12, and cousin Lindsey Pappy. Her husband is the President of P. W. Wilson, Company which I believe was a department store in Tallahassee. Martha is working as a buyer for the store. Everything seems to be very comfortable for them.

Tallahassee, Florida via www.floridamemories.com


Yesterday, we marked the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. I remember you explaining how your family had learned of the attack while celebrating Granddaddy's birthday at the Multnomah Club. I wonder how Martha's family learned of the attack.

Phelps enlisted in the Marine Corps, and went through Basic Training at New River, in North Carolina. I don't know if he finished high school or enlisted immediately. His enlistment date shows as 25 Aug 1942, so perhaps his mother was able to delay his enlistment until after he graduated. He was assigned to Company "I", Third Battalion, 21st MAR, 3rd Marine Division.

There are reports that say PFC Phelps W. Long, received a Silver Star for his actions during the Battle at Bouganville. I have not yet been able to verify that information. I do know that he was killed in action.

I'm sure you must have been terrified when your 16 year old son and recent graduate of Grant High School announced that he was enlisting in the U. S. Navy in June of 1944.

It seems your sister was never able to get over the death of her son. She died of pneumonia while visiting family in Memphis 21 April 1948 at the young age of 47. I imagine that no one could have anticipated the turn of events in eight years when they were answering the Census Enumerator's questions just eight years before.

His sacrifice is not forgotten,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Birthday, Rusty

As we vote and await the results of election day, my thoughts turn to an earlier election. On November 6th, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected to a second term. Voting on the way to the hospital, for the delivery of their fourth child, were my parents Chuck and Betty Cone. I've always thought it was extremely brave and dedicated of my mother, already in labor for the 4th time, to make certain that they stopped enroute to cast their ballots.

Things at home must have been very hectic, I had to be ready to walk to Hacienda Elementary School where I was in Mrs. Eastman's first grade class with my neighborhood friends. Peggy and Trude were watched by our across the street neighbor Kay Saylor and her black standard poodle Nellie who seemed as big as a horse. Dad called and broke the news that the baby was a boy and another red-head!!

I don't have a photograph of the day Mom and Dad brought our new little brother home from the hospital, but I clearly remember that we were playing in the Abshears front yard next door to our house. We all ran to see the new baby, then quickly realized that he would not be able to join in our games and went back to playing.

Cone family from left Leslie, Chuck holding Rusty, Cecily behind, Betty and Trude
Photo circa 1958 La Habra, California

There was never any doubt in the family as to what a male off-spring would be named. I expect Dad had planned to name any son that arrived Charles Newton Cone, III after himself, his father and his father's grandfather the original Charles Shepard Newton. My mother was not a great supporter of naming sons for fathers, but she had agreed with the proviso that the baby would be called by his nickname. Finding a nickname was easy, when the son arrived and was red headed... he would be known as Rusty.

Happy Birthday Rusty! Fun that this birthday is also on a presidential election.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Can it really be 20 years?

Dear Dad,
It's been 20 years since Rusty and I watched you breathe your last. Not a day goes by that we don't miss you. Ed took your great-grandson Cooper Charles Propes to get a big boy haircut today. I know you would be excited that Charles is his middle name. You would have a great time with him and with your other great-grandson Kermit Alexander Dominguez. What fun you would have visiting him in Japan, especially because you did not get to make that trip when Ed and I lived there.

All in all, I think you must be very proud of the careers and progress your children have made since you left. We are still spread out, from Japan, to Colorado, to Texas, to Maryland, to Amsterdam but try to get together as often as we can. Next weekend, Rusty, Trude and I will travel to Golden to spend time with Mom and Peg. You will certainly be in our thoughts and we will toast you more than once.
Charles Newton Cone, Jr.
08 Jun 1927 - 21 Oct 1992

Chuck Cone with Grace Colby Branchflower
 and the first Patches
at Pine Lawn Farm circa 1970


Had to include one of my favorite photos of you and Grace on the farm as today is her birthday. Oh, how much we would love to hear your wonderful, deep voice again.

Lots of love,
from all of us.

Happy Birthday Ada Grace Colby

Happy Birthday Hoo Hoo!

You would be 110 years old today. I imagine what a joy you brought to your four older sisters. I expect you were all born at home on the farm outside Kirwin, Kansas and next door to the farm where your maternal grandparents had settled about 1879.  As your sisters were 15, 14, 12 and 11,
they were very involved in your care and doted on you. I remember that you told me that they called you "Ticky" because you were always so busy!!

From left, Mamie Hugunin Colby, Madge Colby, Grace Colby and Pansy Colby
at Pine Lawn Farm outside Newberg, Yamhill County, Oregon

Your family moved to Pine Lawn Farm, just outside Newberg, Oregon when you were nine, leaving behind in Kansas your two oldest sisters. Ethyl had married Ira King in 1908 and Edythe was teaching school.

Grace Colby circa 1922

Besides time spent in Corvallis while a student at Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State), in Pendleton living with sister Madge, in Spokane with husband Cecil O. Werst, and Seattle after Cecil's death, Pine Lawn Farm became your home for the rest of your life. We all know how much the farm meant to you and your daughters and grandchildren. You would be pleased to know that the property remains in family hands more than 100 years after your father purchased it.
Grace Colby by her favorite Rose Bush
 at Pine Lawn Farm about 1966

This is one of my favorite photographs of you and how I remember you.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Property owned in New Netherlands

Genealogists expect to find illiterate farmers in their family trees, after all the majority of the population well into the 19th century were illiterate. So it is fun when one finds evidence of early literacy and property ownership.

Looking at "Fort Orange Records 1654 - 1679, I find several interesting transactions involving my 7th Great Grandfather Jan Dirkse Van Eps ( for family members: Betty daughter for Grace Colby, daughter of Mamie Hugunin, daughter of Van Eps Hugunin, son of Jannetje Van Eps, daughter of Evert Van Eps, son of Johannes Evertse Van Eps, son of Evert Van Eps, son of Jan Dirkse Van Eps 1636-1690).
472 Conditions and terms upon which the administrators of the estate of Philip Hendericksen intend to sell at public auction to the highest bidder the farm, house, lot and garden of the aforesaid Philip Hendericksz brouwer, at Schaenhechtade, consisting of a lot of about 25 morgens, or as much as shall be allotted to the other inhabitant of each lot.
First, the aforesaid farm or lot shall be delivered to the buyer at once, and that in such magnitude as told above, all plowed land, of which a portion was seeded with 9-1/2 schepels of winter wheat, 2-1/2 schepels of summer wheat; further, the house and lot, 200 feet square in size with the garden as it lies within its fence, together with a barn, long 30 feet and wide 24 feet, except for the side aisle, two hay barracks, the on a 4 and the other a 5 - post hay barrack, a passable wagon and a span of ropes with a rear plow.
Payment shall occur in good whole merchantable beaver skins, and this in three installments. The first installment on the 15th of July of this year anno 1664, the second on the 15th of July anno 1665, and the third or final installment the 15th of July anno 1666. The buyer shall be obliged to furnish two sufficient sureties at once, one for all and each as principals, to the satisfaction of the sellers. If the buyer cannot furnish the aforesaid sureties in the aforesaid time, then the aforesaid shall be reauctioned at his cost and charge, and whatever less it comes to be worth, he shall be obliged to make good, and whatever more it becomes worth, he shall derive no profit from it. The auction fees shall come to the buyer in payment as before.
(473) After auctioning Cornelis van Nes remained the final bidders for the farm for the sum of one thousand two hundred and eight-seven guilders according to the above condition; for which said sum Volckert Vanssen and Jan Dircksen van Eps stand as sureties and principals according to the aforesaid condition. Done in the village of Beverwijck the 29th of April anno 1664.
Cornelis van Nes
Volckart Jansz
Jan Diercksz van Eps
Acknowledged by me, (unsigned) perhaps Johannes Provoost, clerk who signed the previous entry.

Note: Cornelis van Nes was the third husband of Jan van Eps' mother Maritie Damen.

Conditions and terms upon which the administrators of the estate of Anderies Herbertsen, together with Cornelis van New, husband and guardian of Marritje Damen, each participating for one half, intend to sell at public auction to the highest bidder a house and lot located in the village of Beverwijck; adjoins to the north of David Schuijler and to the...
I, the undersigned Jan Dircksz van Eps, remain the buyer and bidder of 3 horses, a cow with a calf, and a 2 year old heifer, and 5 hogs, amounting to the sum of seven hundred and thirty-four (guilders) for which we, Cornelis van Nes and Pieter van Alen, stand sureties and principals in order to pay and satisfy the buyer, the aforesaid some. Done in Beverwijck the 29th f April anno 1664.
Jan Diercksz van Eps
Cornelis van Nes
Pieter van Alen
Appeared before me, Johannes Porvoost, clerk of the court of Fort Orange and the village of Beverwijck, Cornelis Teunissen Bos, who in the presence of the afternamed witnesses declares to convey, as he hereby does, to Jan Dircksz van Eps, the horse mill which he has bought at public auction from the administrators of the estate of Philip Hendericksz; which the grantee accepts, and this for the same price as he has bought the same, amounting to one hundred and twelve guilders, to be paid in beavers, according to the conditions. Renouncing, moreover, all claims and demands he has therein. Thus done in Fort Orange, the first of May anno 1664.
Cornelus Teunissen Bos
Jan Diercksz van Eps
Acknowledged by me
J. Provoost, clerk.
Jan Dierkse van Eps came to New Netherlands with his Mother Maritie Damen and step-father
Hendrick Andriese van Doesburgh and sister Lysbet van Eps. settling in Beverwijck or beaver town (now Albany) about 1650. He married in 1666 Elisabeth Janse Douw and settled in Schenectady where they raised six children. He was a Lieutenant in the militia that was suppose to protect the settlement. He was killed by the French and Indians in a massacre at Schenectady 08 Feb 1690.
The English took over the New Netherlands Colony from the Dutch in 1664, but Dutch was still the primary language for many years. It is clear in these entries that the Dutch are using the common middle name patronymics to indicate their fathers. Jan Diekse van Eps is the son of Dirck van Eps.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Famine in Ireland

I have not been posting much for awhile. I've recently returned from a family vacation and research trip to Ireland and am in Salt Lake City taking a wonderful Advanced Irish Research Methodology class from David Rencher through the British Institute. The course is terrific and there is so much to learn.

Most of my husband's father's line, solidly Irish with one renegade German, were famine era immigrants. Kellys, Hannas, Coyles, Rileys all came to Philadelphia in this time period. Only their Carroll line was here before.

Today I've been reading "The Destitution Survey: Reflections on the Famine in the Diocese of Elphin" edited by Rev. Raymond Browne published in 1997. The reports recounted are more than chilling. From 1845 to 1850, Ireland lost 20% of its people to death and immigration. In some areas, the totals were closer to 40%.

One of the most poignant parts of the book is a song by John Mannion written for the 150th anniversary of the Famine.

"One Hundred Fifty Candles"

Did you stay in Ireland?
Couldn't you leave your native ground?
Did you shelter in the hedge row
When they burned your cottage down?
Did they take you to the Workhouse
for to work and wait and die?
And in some unmarked graveyard
did they pile your bodies high?


We'll light 150 candles
for 150 years,
In every town and city
united in your tears.
We'll light 150 candles
for your suffering and pain,
with 150 candles
we'll light one Eternal Flame.

Or is it by the roadside
that your weary bones remain?
Did you try so hard to make it
but you efforts were in vain?
And as you lay there in the ditches
did your people pass you by;
they had not the strength to help you
or they would surely try.

Did you make it to the harbour,
get out on the sea,
live in filth and squalor
in the hope of being free:
And when you'd almost won your battle
with the ocean, foam and wave,
did the fever come and take you
to a watery grave?

Or were you one that made it
to the other side,
and spent your life-time mourning
for the ones you left behind:
And did the four wind take you
to the corners of the Earth,
with nothing left but memories
of the county of your birth?

I've found the immigration record for the Kelly family who arrived in Philadelphia on June 6, 1846 Lawrence and Susan with sons Samuel and Michael and daughters Susan, Margaret and Mary plus three boxes of belongings. I can't help but wonder how many people were in the family before the famine hit in 1845 or how many they left behind.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Finally a touch of Fall

I know many of you have been enjoying cooler weather and watching the leaves turn for several weeks. Here in the piney woods of Texas, it has still been hot, humid and summery, until today. Now we have a breath of cool air, might even have to put a blanket on the bed!

Fall always puts me in the mood to cook.... I love the aroma of good things baking in the oven. One of my favorite fall treats is my grandmother's spice cake.  Grace Colby Werst Branchflower loved to cook and to entertain. She was absolutely fearless in terms of the recipes she would try. After her death in 1973, I saved many of the recipe boxes and books we found in her kitchen. Recipes run the gamut from lobster to fig wine (I'm not sure the latter even sounds like a good idea).

Grace in her kitchen at Pine Lawn Farm. The galvanized pail probably contains produce from her garden.
Circa 1963
Here is her recipe for spice cake. You can be sure that I'll be making it for my family this fall.

Spice Cake
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup butter

1/2 cup molasses
1 cup sour milk (add 1 T vinegar to milk)
2 eggs well beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
2-1/2 cups fours
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dates

Preheat oven to 350'.

Cream butter and sugar, add molasses, stir in eggs, sour milk and soda. Combine remaining dry ingredients. Coat dates and nuts with flour, then stir in. Pour into greased and floured tube or bundt pan. Bake 35 to 40 min or until cake tester comes out clean.

Cool then turn out. Frost with Maple syrup frosting*

*now, here's the problem. I did not find the recipe for the Maple Syrup Frosting. I usually just dust with powdered sugar. Of course, I'll bet that Maple Syrup Frosting is out there on the Internet somewhere.

Thanks, Hoo Hoo for the memories of all the wonderful meals you made for us. Now if I could only replicate your fried chicken!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Could it be more than 5 generations....

When I wrote my earlier post on five generations of family members having visited USS Constitution, I addressed my letter to Grampa Colby, my great-grandfather William Wallace Colby. On further reflection, I have to wonder if the tradition might stretch back further generations.

Grampa Colby's mother, Fanny Hutchison Hunnewell (1838 - 1920) was the daughter of Samuel Bradley Hunnewell and his third wife Martha Lord.  They were married in Boston 01 Feb 1832 by Rev. William Jenks, D.D. In the marriage record, they are both described as being "of Boston".
Martha's parents Jonathan Lord and Martha "Patty" Sawyer were both lived in Boston and were married there 15 Nov 1803.
1810 Census for Boston Ward 12, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Jonathan Lord listed on Bennet Street.
Image from www.ancestry.com
It could well be that any and/or all of them were familiar with the USS Constitution. Jonathan and Patty Lord may well have been on hand to celebrate the ships triumphant return to Boston following her defeat of HMS Guerriere August 19, 1812.

Always more to research.

Visting "Old Ironsides" in Portland 1933

Dear Grampa Colby,
     Yesterday the news featured video footage (moving pictures) of the USS Constitution under sail in Boston Harbor. It was the first time that the ship had been underway since the sail commemorating its 200th birthday in 1997. By the way, those planes above her, which must look strange to you, are the U. S. Navy's Blue Angels Flight Team.

I was reminded of the photographs we have of you, Mr. and Mrs. George Snow and your granddaughters Betty and Helen Werst onboard "Old Ironsides" during the ship's visit to Portland, Oregon in 1933. I expect your daughter Grace Colby Werst was with you taking the photographs.
Helen, age 5 on left and Betty, age 7on right onboard USS Constitution,
Notice sailor in the background.

There is no date on the photograph, but from the brochure I found on the Internet (a new fangled research tool, as a former teacher you would love it). The information in the brochure states that ship was in Portland from August 2 to 22nd as part of her west coast tour.

The USS Constitution Museum http://www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org reminds us that the ship set sail on July 2, 1931 for a three year, three-coast tour around the United States. The cruise was a "public thank you to the men, women, and children who, from 1925-1930, helped raise over $985,000 to completely restore the ailing ship." I'd like to think that you were among the people who raised the funds for the ship's restoration.

Oh, I hope your granddaughters were well behaved on this outing. The trip made a lasting impression on them and they have related the story of seeing "Old Ironsides" to their children and grandchildren.

This summer, my husband, daughter Amanda (your great-great-granddaughter) and I were able to visit the USS Constitution in Charleston harbor. That makes five generations of our family that have visited "Old Ironsides" a tradition we hope lasts several more generations.

Great-great-granddaughter Amanda Kelly onboard USS Constitution July 2012


Monday, August 13, 2012

Civil War Draft Registrations - John Champion Clarkee

Dear Great Grandfather Clarke,
I found what we would call your Civil War Draft registration today at www.ancestry.com.

This is a photograph of Schedule II, -Consolidated List of all persons of Class II, subject to military duty in the 5th Congressional District of Michigan. You are listed as residing in White Lake, number 14 on the list; Clark, John. C. age in July 1863 is 43, a merchant born in Conn. The date on the document is July 1, 1863.

I expect that your registration was matter-of-fact for you. After all, your were rated as Class II. Class I comprised all persons subject to do military duty between the ages of twenty and thirty-five years, and all unmarried persons subject to do military duty above the age of thirty-five and under the age of forty-five. It was probably seemed unlikely that you, as a married man with a daughter, and already 43 would be called to serve.

Still I imagine just the requirement that you register sent chills through the minds and hearts of your wife Lydia Hornell Clarke and your daughter Mary Elizabeth. They were still in deep mourning for your step-son Theodore W. Clarke, aka, Theodore W. Ford who had died in the Camp of the First Nebraska Regiment just six months before.

Wish I talk with you to discover your feelings about the War and the Union cause.  From Theodore's letters home, I know he felt that he was taking part in the great fight against slavery. Did his death shake the family's determination? It was such an defining event in Molly's life that she made certain that her brother's letters were saved. Most of them have been passed on to me, your 3rd great-granddaughter.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

43rd Georgia at Vicksburg

Dear Mr. Propes,

We're off to visit the Battle Field at Vicksburg tomorrow. My grandson and your 4th Great-Grandson will want to learn about how you fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War or as you would say, the War for Southern Independence.

My research shows that you, John Alexander Propes, were born in Gainesville, Georgia 29 March 1840, the 2nd of 8 sons and one daughter born to Nicholas and Mary Wilson Propes. March 10, 1862, you and brothers Rufus, Richard and Dallas enlisted in Company F, of the 43rd Georgia Volunteer Infantry. You were to serve for 3 years or the duration of the war. I wonder how long you thought the war would last when you enlisted.

The 43rd took part in both the battle and siege of Vicksburg, where you were captured July 4th, 1863 and later paroled.

This is from John A. Propes Service Record
from http://www.fold3.com/
We'll be looking to see if we can find the area where the 43rd stood. I wish we could talk to you about your experiences at Vicksburg and the other campaigns.

Parole signed by John. A. Propes swearing not to bear arms against the United States.
Did you really intend to just go home to Georgia when you signed the parole or did you plan all along to take a month's leave at home and then rejoin your unit? There are so many unanswered questions.

I will try my best to make sure that Cooper Charles Propes knows the story of his 4th great grandfather.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Grand Army of the Republic - Kirwin, Kansas

Dear Grandfather Hugunin,
My cousin Ron Pearce, one of your great-great-grandsons, sent me a photograph yesterday that I believe shows you and your wife at a G.A.R. encampment and I have been looking for more information on the G.A.R. since.

G.A.R. badge worn by veterans of the Army of the Tennessee
While we are marking the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, it is helpful to not only look at what our ancestors did during the war, but also afterwards. Each time the men and women of the United States have answered the nation's call to arms, they have returned to find their home communities altered in their absence as they had been altered by their experiences. They have naturally sought the companionship of others who have shared their experience. After the Civil War, Union veterans formed a number of organizations, the most prominent was the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.). The organization's principles were "Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty."

In 1896, the G.A.R. Commander-in-Chief, General Lucius Fairchild, described the G.A.R. as a "Fraternity so wide-spread as to embrace all who honored themselves by enlisting in the Union Army; a Charity so broad as to have included within its benefactions sufferers of every class, and of all sections of our county."

Membership eligibility; "Soldiers and sailors of the United States Army, Navy or Marine Corps, and of such State regiments as were called into active service and subject to the orders of U. S. General Officers, who served between April 12th, 1861 and April 9th, 1865, in the war for the suppression of the rebellion, and those having been honorably discharged therefrom after such service, shall be eligible to membership in the Grand Army of the Republic.
No person shall be eligible to membership who has at any time borne arms against the United States."

I've found papers stating "Van Epps Hugunin enlisted in the 13th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, September 16, 1861 at Janesville in Rock County and served for three years to the end of his term of service November 19, 1864." I'm sure that your experiences during the War remained an integral part of your life and know you became a member of the Phillipsburg and then Kirwin, Kansas Chapters of the G.A.R.

G.A.R. Encampment probably near Kirwin, Kansas
Oct. 10-12, 1889
Couple sanding to the left are Van Epps and Amanda Gibson Hugunin
This photograph is the one sent to me by Ron Pearce. (Ron, thanks for sharing it!)

The date is estimated from a reunion souvenir in the possession of your great-grand-daughter Betty Werst Cone.

The "History of the Grand Army of the Republic" by Robert B. Beath published by Bryan, Taylor and Company in New York, 1889 is available on-line at http://www.archive.org/stream/historyofgrandar00beat#page/n9/mode/2up
It is a treasure trove of portraits and biographies of the men integrally involved in the G.A.R. movement to that date. As the Union veterans aged, the leadership of the organization evolved from those who were senior officers during the war to those younger men who enlisted as privates but rose to leadership roles during peacetime.

I'll try to write more about your experience during the war soon.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Grandpa Kelly?

Dear Grandpa Kelly,
I hope you don't mind my calling you Grandpa. My husband is your grandson Edward William Kelly born in Philadelphia ten years to the day after you died. You were only 42, that's way too young to die, and left behind a wife and six children. My husband's parents divorced when he was about 10, and he did not have much contact with his father, your son Edward Ebert, after the split. We had never seen a photo of you until your daughter Dot's son Dan Foley gave us one this summer.

From your World War I draft card, we know you were born on 15 Oct 1896. We also have a physical description. The registrar described you as brown haired, brown eyed, of medium height and slender. You had no physical disqualifications.
Page 1 of World War I Draft Card

Page 2 of World War I Draft Card

We know you were working as a shipbuilder at Hog Island in Philadelphia and you were already married to Alice Mae Hanna. You were also living on N. Conestoga Street in Philadelphia, the same street where you were living at the time of your death. In the 1920 and 1930 census, your occupation is listed as tapestry weaver.

You were the fourth child of John Joseph Kelly and his wife Mary Gertrude Carroll and you grew up in what today is called the "Carroll Park" neighborhood of west Philadelphia, a predominantly Irish enclave. Yes, Carroll Park is named for your grandfather, but that is a story for another time. Your father worked as a bartender at the family saloon at 5535 Haverford Avenue started by your grandfather Samuel Lawrence Kelly.

We were hoping that your death certificate would clear up some of the family stories about how you met your demise. Some have said that you were the victim of an automobile "hit and run", others that you were involved in a bar-room brawl (perhaps at the family saloon) which spilled out into the street. Unfortunately, the death certificate did not provide the answers we were hoping for. They held an inquest as to the cause of your death and declared "injury to head received in unknown manner. Found lying in the street in front of 610 N. 55th Street on 17 Sep 1939." You were no more that six blocks from home and less than three blocks from the saloon. What a shock it must have been for your wife and children. We don't have any information about how they were notified. Alice provided the information for your death certificate.

Your grandson had a career in the U. S. Navy, which took us all over the country and the world. We've moved more than 20 times. I'm certain that seems as foreign to you as living your entire life in a 10 square block area of Philadelphia seems to us. We will continue to search for information about your life and share findings with the clan you left behind.

Today you rest at Holy Cross Cemetery in Delaware County, Pennsylvania with your daughter Marie, her husband John J. Beaumont, and your sons William and Edward.

We wish you peace.

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 (http://dmna.ny.gov/historic/articles/bateau.htm).

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 www.pilgrimhall.org/hopkinsstephen.htm.

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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

150th Anniversary of the Homestead Act

On May 20, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act that allowed any American citizen or intended citizen to lay claim to 160 acres of surveyed Government land. The applicant was required to live on the land and improve it by building at least a 12' by 14' dwelling and raising crops. At the end of 5 years, the homesteader could apply for his patent (also known as a deed or a title). This was the avenue for thousands of Americans to become landowners.

This is the land patent my 2nd Great-Grandfather Charles S. Newton received in 1881 for land outside of Worthington, Nobles County, Minnesota.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On the hunt

Dear Amos and Marinda ,
     May I be so familiar as to address you as such? I don't always have the opportunity to be hunting for records of you, my 2nd great-grand parents in the community where you lived. Today, I discovered that though you were living in Huntington, WV when the 1880 census was taken most of their other records (newspaper, burial, etc.) do not start until 1895. I did have the address of the home where you were living with children Herbert and Ida Mae, 388 8th Street in 1880. Unfortunately, today the location is a parking lot.
     I looked for you in church records sadly, they are sketchy. The deed information was missing for 1880.
So I had to content myself with a photo of the Cabell County Court House. It looks as if it has been expanded since you, Amos, may have tried cases there.
      I believe strongly that my ancestors want to be found. I have been unable to locate where you are buried Marinda. Tomorrow I will check out the Dye and McCowan cemeteries. If you're listening, your great-great granddaughter could use another clue.

Until later,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Laying Telegraph lines across Nebraska in 1860

After the United States Congress passed a bill authorizing the funding of a transcontinental telegraph line on June 30, 1860, my 2nd great-grand uncle Theodore W. Clarke was ready willing and able to help. He left his comfortable home in Oakland County, Michigan the year before and was working for the railroad in the Nebraska Territory until March 1860 when illness forced him to quit. Recovered by summer, he writes home to his sister Mollie on July 15th, 1860...
        "as soon as I was able to work I went into the employ of the Western Union
         Telegraph Company. We are engaged in the construction of the Pacific
         Telegraph running from St. Louis to San Francisco in California. I have been
         engaged in building a line from Springfield Mo. to Fort Smith in Arks [Arkansas]
         and then came up to St. Joseph and went to work on this line. We're going along
         the MO [Missouri] River as far as Omaha City and then across to Fort Kearney
         which last place is as far as we shall get before cold weather sets in."

Most accounts of the construction of the telegraph line, have it being built after the Civil War. I was lucky enough to receive from my grandfather, Charles Newton Cone, a series of 43 letters that he had received from his Grandmother Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Clarke, the sister Mollie to whom Theodore was writing.

Theodore W. Clarke was about 21 when he began his adventures in the Nebraska Territory. His sister Mollie was 9 years his junior. He writes of his travels, encounters with Indians and Buffalo and of visiting a Mormon family at Wood River, Nebraska. I expect the family in Michigan had not made the acquaintance of a Mormon family and Theodore writes home to assure Mom and Sister that they are much like themselves one-hundred and fiftyone years ago, May 19, 1861,
       "When I wrote you last time it was in something of a hurry and I now proceed to
       make amends for former brevity. I am out here now making preparation to extend
       line further west. It has been raining here nearly all the time for two weeks and I
       am laying over for a dry time at my friend Mr. Johnson's and I must say that it
       seems almost like our own dear home of any place I ever have been in it is indeed
       a happy family during my acquaintance with them of nearly a year, I have never
       heard a harsh or unkind word spoken in the family. Mr. Johnson is a much valued
       friend of mine and I consider him a very estimable man all though he and I don't
      agree on politics. His daughter Mary is also a dear good friend of mine, perhaps
      you might start an acquaintance with her by writing to her but if you do so be
      very careful and not wound her feelings by using my name in connection with
      hers as we are not engaged nor likely to be that I know of. She sends lots of love
      to you and says she knows you are such a good sister by the letters you write to
     me. Mr. J wants you to send along your article and he will be proud to give it a
     place in his columns.
     Did you see the article in the Echo signed Gingery that was a production of my
     Giant mind.
     If you wish to write to Miss Mary direct to Mary J. Johnson, Wood River Center,
     Buffalo County, Nebraska. Direct my mail to Omaha care H. M. Porter Tel Lind.
     Big, lots of love to everybody and write soon to


     For family members here is the relationship; Cecily daughter of Charles Cone,
    son of Charles Cone, son of Helen Newton, daughter of Charles Newton and
    Mary E. Clarke sister of Theodore W. Clarke.