Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sentimental -- or Sorting -- Sunday

Sunday afternoons are the most wonderful time of the week. When the kids were young, we would either go for an outing  ( one year, we had annual passes to Disneyland, and went at least once a month on Sunday afternoons!), or picnicked at the Arboretum, or I'd bake while everyone watched the games on TV,  or if I was very lucky, I could disappear into the office to read or do some genealogy.

Now that the kids are grown and away from home, and Bob and I have moved to our new retirement home, every day is pretty much available to do those wonderful Sunday afternoon activities, so you'd think that the Sunday activities would be common......but retirement finds us busier than ever, and now outings with extended family, volunteering, group meetings, setting up house, and taking online genealogy courses  have made the days and weeks fuller than they used to be.

Rather than late night or rare Sunday afternoons, it's harder to find any spare moment to do any genealogy.  So a Sentimental Sunday of blogging and remembering past  outings with the kids would be nice. But a major complication is that I have now gotten more stuff.  I have now not only my boxed up genealogy from the move, I inherited  boxes of family pictures, letters, memorabilia, and I guess "Junk", that have been in storage for years!!!!

So I have now allotted Sunday afternoons while everyone else is resting and relaxing as the only unscheduled time to spend in my office.   I plan to sort, scan and organize all theses boxes....

I figured that it would be simple....  One box a ta a time,  Open box,  sort info inside, scan, and file.......
but I opened the first box to find newspapers from 1954 from Buffalo, NY and Olean, NY, and NY City  with articles about the explosion on the  USS Bennington in May 1954. My father, Robert Fairchild,  was aboard the ship, and the explosion occurred the day after my brother Jeff was born. Dad, a dentist, received a commendation for his triage medical care of sailors on the deck that day. The USS Bennington was an aircraft carrier, and on that day, the hydraulic fluids for launching the planes got into the ventilation system and when it reached the mess ( cooking galley) with an open gas flame, there was a huge explosion.  He never talked much about that day to me, and I was astonished at the tale of death and heroism that occurred. 113 men died, 201 were injured, and over 118 received commendations or service medals...  My brother Chuck said that the only comment Dad made to him about it was that if you didn't know any first aid before then, you knew it all by the end of that day.... I remember that Mom said no one told her anything about it, and kept all newspapers from her for two days, because it took time before they knew who was killed or injured... She kept asking why Dad hadn't sent word on whether the name she picked for Jeff was OK, but they told her that there were some temporary communications problems on the ship. Years later, some of the sailors that were at another base kidded my Dad about handing out exploding cigars that worked too well when Jeff was born......

By the time I finished reading all the newspaper accounts, and remembering all the comments I had heard about it over the years,  the whole afternoon is now gone, and I haven't scanned a single article.... so this turned into a sentimental Sunday rather than a sorting Sunday after all! And I'll scan them all next Sunday afternoon,  I hope!

But I did at least blog about it!!! 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Surname Saturday --- my Rhodes of Yorkshire England, Canada, and the US

My Rhodes Surname

My Rhodes relations come from Yorkshire England. They seem to have large families, use mostly common names (Thank God for the occasional Craven and Armitage!!!)  and worked at any jobs they could find.  Some came to the U.S. some to Canada, then the U.S., some went to Australia.....

They also seemed to have lost track of each other, until the death of a relative with property in England spurred letters back and forth across the Atlantic. These formed the beginnings of my search for the elusive relatives, and I have placed the transcribed letters on a separate page within this blog (see tabs at top ).  It would help if  "Rhodes" in Yorkshire wasn't so much like Smith or Jones here in the USA!

In the 1871 England census alone, there are 11,956 Rhodes indexed in Bradford, West riding, Yorkshire .... That doesn't count Manningham, Shipley or Otley, all places listed in various letters and  records....


 The letters  were written (we think, but they are all addressed "Dear cousin") to Elizabeth Sparks married to John Edwards .  Elizabeth's mother was Sarah Rhodes, the first of the surname found in my pedigree.

generations to the Rhodes surname
1. Moi
2. My Robert Edwards Fairchild
3. My grandmother Jennie 'Jane' Gertrude Edwards
4. My great grandfather Lemuel Edwards
5. My great great grandmother Elizabeth Sparks
6. my great great great grandmother Sarah Rhodes


Sarah Rhodes was born about 1807 in Yorkshire England.  On 29 Aug 1835, in St. Peter's Parish Church, Bradford, Yorkshire, England, at the age of  28 she married John Gill Sparks, a cordwainer [Originally term used for one who worked with Cordovan (a special leather from Spain) but later term used for shoemaker]. They had two daughters born in  Bradford, Yorkshire: Elizabeth ( 8 Apr 1837)  and Ruth (12 Feb 1839). They then left for the Americas, leaving  Liverpool, England  on the ship "Napolean" arriving in New York on the  28 October 1839.



Year: 1839; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 040; Line: 34; List Number: 814.
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010











The family is not found in records again until in Gosfield, Essex, Ontario Canada in the 1861 Canadian census. Sarah is found with her daughter Elizabeth's family in 1870 in Warren, Macomb Co., MI, and in 1871 she is back in Gosfield, Essex, Ontario Canada, living with her daughter Ruth's family. She is listed there as a widow, and the 1870 US census didn't ask marital status, so John Sparks must have died prior to 1870/71.  No further record of Sarah has been found.

Gen 7.  John Rhodes, father of Sarah was born in Yorkshire, and was married  to Mary Jowitt,  Unfortunately, that's where the trail ends at this point. 

Based on the letters I have transcribed,  John and Mary Jowitt  Rhodes had a large family:
Josh or Joshua  died about 1878
Matthew
Frank
Ruth -- apparently married to a Chadwick probably in the US
John -- father to Walter and Sam  was alive in 1885, but had had a stroke, and was dead four years by 1891
Jane  ? either wife of one of the sons or a daughter, unsure in letters
           she had a son Oliver who was also dead
William who had gone to Australia
Charlie

One of the letters was written by a Charles Butterworth, and the asumption is that his wife was a Rhodes.  I searched on Ancestry, and came up with a  tree with Theophilus Butterworth married to a Margaret Rhodes that  could be the right one. They live in Yorkshire, and according to the marriage certificate, his wife's father is Joshua Rhodes which also fits well.
I contacted the member, and pointed her to the letter.... She assures me that this is her great grandfather, and that the address is correct for him that year.... and they had no idea that they had American relatives!!! maybe I should have saved this for Surprise Sunday!!!!   Now I have another branch project to tackle!!!






Thursday, April 19, 2012

Treasure Thursday---Patriot's Day 2012 -- my Patriots

Well, the theme is Treasure today, and since it falls on Patriot's Day, it seems fitting to acknowledge the treasure of my Patriot ancestors.

Started in 1969, this day ( known as Patriots' Day in Massachusetts) was formed as a civic holiday in Massachusetts and Maine (it's a school holiday in Wisconsin), celebrated on the third Monday in April.  It commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord ( April 19, 1775), the acknowledged first battles of the Revolutionary War.  So this year the holiday didn't fall on the actual day.... but I believe in celebrating the actual day, which is the 237th anniversary!

It is always a reminder and great wonder, that although three of my four grandparents were 20th century (1905, 1913) immigrants, I have one lone American grandparent, through whom I have managed to find 2 Civil War heroes, at least 6 Revolutionary War heroes (including a Minuteman!), and Mayflower ancestry.

I will list all the known ( in alphabetical order) and the possible Revolutionary War heroes and patriots, especially the one ancestor who actually responded to the alarms of Lexington and Concord. If you are descended from any of them please contact me!!!

Isaiah Burton
The only mention of Isaiah Burton's service is found in the Cattaraugus County NY History biography of his son, where it states "...his father, Isaiah, a native of Hopkington, R.I. was a Revolutionary soldier."  I have been trying to find the proof for almost 30 years, but since he named the son Varnum after a revolutionary war general, and was living with the son in 1850 as a 89 year old RI native, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this day.

 Jonathan Haynes
Jonathan Haynes appears on a notice for Captain Robinson's Company of Vermont Militia to appear on Nov 1, 1775.   No pension or other data found so far. 

Squire/Squier Ide
Squire Ide from Rehoboth, Massachusetts enlisted April 28th 1775 in Capt. Samuel Bliss' company, Col. Timothy Walker's (22d) regiment. service 3 months, 11 days, appears on a muster roll dated Aug 1 1775, reported discharged Sept 25, 1775, also received an order for a bounty coat or its equivalent in money dated Roxbury, Oct 26, 1775. He served 2 days at Tiverton, R.I. in Capt. Sylvanus Martin's co., Col Williams regiment from Oct 7, 1777 to Oct 9, 1777. He then served in Capt. Ichabod Wade's (light Infantry) Col. George Williams regiment immediately thereafter for 21 days.  Later he served 12 days as a private in Capt. Jonathan Woodbury's co., Col. Jacob Davis' regiment enlisting July 30, 1780, discharged 7 Aug 1780 at Rhode Island at an alarm including 4 days travel home.


Daniel Robinson 
Daniel did not fight. Instead, he manufactured saltpeter for a powder mill in Windham, CT.  His son Jonathan served( see below).  Maybe they used his ammo at the battles of Lexington and Concord ?
 
Jonathan Robinson  pension S18182
Jonathan Robinson, Daniel's son,  served 2 months as draftee in Capt Hezekiah Bissel's and Lt. Nehemiah Tinker's Company in Nov 1776 (at age 16), marched to R.I.  On the 10 Apr 1777 he spent 2 months service as draftee under Cap. Nehemiah Tinker in Col Tyler's regiment Connecticut Militia, and was at Fort Griswold, Groton, CT.  In April 1778 he enlisted for term of 1 year in Capt Abner Robinson's Co, Col. Samuel McLellan's Regiment, Connecticut State troops, to be available as minuteman. He marched to White Plains in June of 1778, then marched to West Point 40 rods from Fort Clinton, remaining there until mid September. A few days after returning to Windham, they were called to New London,  and remained near Fort Trumbull until the end of January 1779.

Jabez Rouse
enlisted /appointed Sergeant in Capt. Vine Elderkin, later Thomas Converse's Company, Col. Heman Swift's Battalion  7th CT troops, on Feb 17, 1777 for a term of three years, discharged Feb 17, 1780.  During those three years, the 7th Ct fought in the Battle of Brandywine, the Battle of Germantown, and the Battle of Monmouth.  The 7th Ct is listed as one of the regiments at Valley Forge!


Thomas Mix Sr.  or Thomas Mix Jr.
There were three Thomas Mixes in Wallingford CT at the time of the Revolution... One, known as Thomas Mix 2nd drew a pension, and is a cousin to my Thomas Mix Jr.  Either Sr. Or Jr. signed an Oath of Fidelity, and perhaps the younger fought if the service is not all Thomas Mix the 2nd.  I haven't looked into this line well at all....


James Wadsworth
James was a true Patriot Day Minuteman. He served in Capt. Abraham Sedgwick's company for the Lexington and Concord alarms!


and now the possibles, namely any male in my tree alive past  April 1775... (and unfortunately at this point I'm only considering male ancestors, until I have a lot more info on the wives).... These were alive during the Revolutionary War:

Whiting Backus 1747-1775:  He dies in 1775 at age 27 in Windham, CT  but no date or reason ... still searching for answers.
Henry Brace 2nd  1713-1787. The service is given to his son, Henry (3rd?) b. 1844. Still haven't found if the father fought or provided other services.
Samuel Flint1712-1802: He seems to be the lone possible Tory of the group, but still looking for an Oath of Fidelity or other service.
Israel Robinson 1696-Jan 1776:  was old, but perhaps gave money? His son & grandson were definitely patriots.
John Rouse 1717-1779: Generally a wanderlust guy, was divorced by wife citing abandonment.... haven't found much on him at all.
Elisha Wadsworth is most probably a Tory. He appears to have come to the aid of a convicted Tory....
Ichabod Wadsworth, father of Elisha and grandfather of James was  old, but alive until 1778... not much research time has been spent on him....

So there they all are... except maybe the next time, I'll show all the women of my pedigree, who ran the homes and farms while these guys went off to war... Happy Patriot's Day!


 


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Random Research Items

Well, rather than creating a Surname Saturday regular post, I spent this evening doing some random research into several branches.  I then of course became entangled with one of my biggest genealogical pet peeves, the unsubstantiated public trees on ancestry.com....( followed closely by the peeve of finding the place names of say "Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States of America"  for a date in the 1600s!... sigh)

The furthest back I have gotten in the Mix line is Daniel Meekes and his wife, always listed as "Mrs. Daniel Meekes"  so I backed up one generation to Thomas Mix married to Rebecca Turner, and decided to look for her parents.  Her father is Nathaniel Turner. so I started to look.  The first source was of course NEHGS "Great Migration" database... where I found him, with of course Origin: unknown... and wife as _____ ______ .  For curiosity, I decided to look at ancestry, just to see what trees people have listed....
and there I find several with a wife listed as Margaret Leachland, but no sourcing.  Then of course there are those trees  (a lot of them!!!)  who wrongly list Nathaniel as the son of Humphrey Turner and Julia Gamer.... but the son Nathaniel of Humphrey was born in about 1624 which makes it impossible for Nathaniel to have a daughter Rebecca born in about 1629 married in 1649...   and of course those are the "hints" that I should merge with my tree! Not likely!    I keep my tree private on ancestry to keep that from happening!
Anyway, the only interesting fact I gathered was that from all the data in NEHGS was that Nathaniel Turner died at sea in 1645/6  and that Rebecca and Thomas Meekes (later Mix) were in court in July 1649 "to answer to their sinful miscarriage in  matter of fornication, with sundry lies added thereto by them both in a gross and heinous manner" and were married by September 4th of that year!  And that from all the offices in the colonies that Nathaniel held, and all the property, he must have been highly educated, was a great military talent, and could accrue wealth in the early colonial period! So I have a great ancestor!
Perhaps I'll find more data later...

On to the next blank on the pedigree, and perhaps a better find!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Resolutions

I hate New Year's Resolutions... it seems that growing up, they were always thrust upon me by parents or teachers.... and what should they be but ... do better in school ( I was already doing very well Thank you!) , or to pick up my room more often, obey parents better,  and later, lose weight, etc. And I always failed because I was making resolutions to do things I hated in the first place, and not of my own volition, and many that would be impossible to meet.  Because I am a perfectionist, and because I can't be perfect, I procrastinate at anything I didn't like, or couldn't do perfectly! So left on my own, I wouldn't make any. But there is ALWAYS room for improvement, so I  now make smaller goals that can be achieved as a subset of a large single goal!
Even in the one thing I love, Genealogy, I hate to make the resolutions, but recognize that I need to state some goals, or I'll never accomplish much... I started doing genealogy in 1974, before the age of computers and internet, and so accumulated a lot of paper, along with tons of very interesting information.  And as most of my friends know, I am a great researcher, and can find any information you need fairly quickly!!!

I switched to computers very early on, as they were necessary in my work field, and  changed programs to get the best way to prepare pedigrees and family group sheets, rather than rewriting them.... But then the problem entered...... Given the limited time available for genealogy, did I want to spend a couple of hours entering (or now, scanning),  or doing research.... Guess what!  New research always wins!!!!!  And there are always ne lines and new cousins to locate! But now I have accumulated so much data that even with my somewhat properly organized filing, I can't always find quickly what I want.... and the amount of stuff needing to be entered is overwhelming!!!

Retiring this year, I jumped at what we all wish for, the time to do more genealogy. So guess what, the hours spent flitting form one line to the other is now amounting to perhaps an entire day of uninterrupted research,  and tons more info... some of which I know I must have already found........ sigh!

So rather than state the obvious and totally unreachable goal such as: I will scan in all the old family pictures, or that I will make sure that I file all of the accumulated paper that has recently piled up.... I will attack this the way I did any project for work, setting smaller goals that fit well within the scope of the larger project, which is of course to convert all the paper and information to electronic an then published format....  so here goes
In 2012 I resolve to:
1. Spend the first hour of the day entering data from a notebook or file  into a program, WITHOUT Opening E-mail, or surfing the web
2. Spend the next half hour scanning in  pictures, then allow myself free rein to  research....

Even if I don't fully meet them, any time I spend is getting rid of the paper and pile, and with my looking at the data as I enter it, new insights may occur!  I will keep a pad to jot that idea down, but I will not open my Internet window until that  1 1/2 hours has passed!!!

Who knows, maybe I'll actually achieve the largest old goal of all the pictures scanned this year!
Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Calendar Dec 1 Christmas Tree

OK, I know I am a day late, but have been out helping friends with no power, so I'll do 2 posts today!
We always got and decorated our tree on Christmas eve.  I thought it was an old family tradition, until one year when I was a teen, I learned that my folks did that because they could get a tree cheaper on Christmas eve, and budget in a large family in the military was always important.
Since I got married, the trees have varied over the years... from tabletop small trees with cloth and wood ornaments impervious to pets and small children, to very large and elaborate.... but one thing has always remained the same... it's always a REAL tree.... no artificial trees in our house!!! I love the smell and the sight of the tree and the beautiful sight...
We have set up a tree every year, even when going to Texas to in-laws... with a siphon watering system, and not lit, they last! And we set them up early, not on Christmas eve. I want to smell the noble fir for the whole month!
We moved into this home 17 years ago, and it has a 10& 1/2 foot ceiling.  The first year we put our normal 6 footer, and it looked very sorry, so our son asked if we could buy a larger tree, now our big extravagance each year is the 9 1/2 foot real tree.  here's what last year's looked like!

Each year, our children get to pick out a new ornament, and then when they leave the nest (perhaps in the next year or so), they will have a whole collection of ornaments to take with them! There are Bambi & Thumper, Garfield & Odie, Santa on a trike, penguins, etc.... It will be hard to part with them, as memories flow as we decorate the tree each year.  Dad & James do the lights , then Katie (when she's home) & I put up the ornaments...


Advent Calendar Dec 2 Christmas foods

In our house growing up, food has always been associated with the holidays, especially Christmas! Unfortunately, I haven't found old pictures of any of the Christmas feasts....
The Christmas tree decorating on Christmas eve was always accompanied by Hot Cocoa (not from a mix!!!), along with cookies and popcorn.  Christmas dinner has always been turkey and all the side dishes, and I can still remember the turkey roaster on the counter, so the regular oven could be stuffed with all the side dishes. As we moved all our lives due to Dad's military career, I never got to taste my grandfather August Fessia's Christmas polenta, but heard about it from my Mom. She never made it, so I assumed she hadn't watched or asked about how to make it....  One of my cousins who owns a restaurant does make it and has promised to send me the recipe.... Think I'll call and remind him!
Mom did made a bûche de Noël that was similar to one made in her household. The area in Italy where my grandfather came from borders on France, so the mixing of cultures was very apparent especially in foods! I got to help make the meringue mushrooms, and mine were always the weirdest looking ones!
With my children, we have always made "Jesus' Birthday Cake" on Christmas eve day... and left it on the coffee table overnight right beside the Nativity.  It's simpler than a Yule Log cake, and the design and decorations have changed over the years as they have grown up.  And it's one of the desserts on Christmas day at Jesus' birthday party aka Christmas Dinner.
Even when we spent Christmases in Texas at my mother-in-law's home, we always made the cake, but I don't know if the tradition has transferred into the aunts' and uncles' families yet!
Mom tended to make goodies as Christmas gifts for neighbors and friends, as that was an inexpensive way to give gifts.  The gifts changed depending on the year, and where we were stationed.... I remember rum balls, cheese straws, and several different types of cookies, all placed in tins or boxes with pretty ribbons!
I have continued the tradition, at first making a pumpkin bread, and now making a Date-Walnut cookie from a recipe given to me by a friend in the DAR of german ancestry.... the neighbors all know to return the tins if they want cookies the next year! 
Well my mouth is watering at the thought, so time to go dig out the bowls and mixer!