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 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!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Treasure Thursday- John Robinson letter to the Pilgrims

Was so amazed by  the History Channel's broadcast of the Mayflower history, called Desparate Journey, taken mostly from Bradford's "Of Plymouth Plantation" on Thanksgiving,  that I decided to read it... In it I found a transcription of the Farewell letter written by my ancestor, Rev John Robinson to the Pilgrims. He was torn about whether to go or not, but it was decided that if the majority of the congregation were to remain in Holland, that at least for a while, he would also stay. I have visited Leiden, and walked where he walked, and was deeply affected. I debated whether this should be on Treasure Thursday, or Faithful Friday, but it is a treasure....
So here it is!

Loving and Christian Friends,
I do heartily and in the Lord salute you all as being they with whom I am present in my best affection, and most earnest longings after you. Though I be constrained for a while to be bodily absent from you. I say constrained, God knowing how willingly and much rather than otherwise, I would have borne my part with you in this first brunt, were I not by strong necessity held back for the present. Make account of me in the meanwhile as of a man divided in myself with great pain, and as (natural bonds set aside) having my better part with you. And though I doubt not but in your godly wisdoms you both foresee and resolve upon that which concerneth your present state and condition, both severally and jointly, yet have I thought it but my duty to add some further spur of provocation unto them who run already; if not because you need it, yet because I owe it in love and duty. And first, as we are daily to renew our repentance with our God, especially for our sins known, and generally for our unknown trespasses; so doth the Lord call us in a singular manner upon occasions of such difficulty and danger as lieth upon you, to a both more narrow search and careful reformation of your ways in His sight; lest He, calling to remembrance our sins forgotten by us or unrepented of, take advantage against us, and in judgment leave us for the same to be swallowed up in one danger or other. Whereas, on the contrary, sin being taken away by earnest repentance and the pardon thereof from the Lord, sealed up unto a man's conscience by His Spirit, great shall be his security and peace in all dangers, sweet his comforts in all distresses, with happy deliverance from all evil, whether in life or in death.
Now, next after this heavenly peace with God and our own consciences, we are carefully to provide for peace with all men what in us lieth, especially with our associates. And for that, watchfulness must be had that we neither at all in ourselves do give, no, nor easily take offense being given by others. Woe be unto the world for offenses, for though it be necessary (considering the malice of Satan and man's corruption) that offenses come, yet woe unto the man, or woman either, by whom the offense cometh, saith Christ, Matthew 18:7. And if offenses in the unseasonable use of things, in themselves indifferent, be more to the feared than death itself (as the Apostle teacheth, 1 Corinthians 9:15) how much more in things simply evil, in which neither honor of God nor love of man is thought worthy to be regarded. Neither yet is it sufficient that we keep ourselves by the grace of God from giving offense, except withal we be armed against the taking of them when they be given by others. For how unperfect and lame is the work of grace in that person who wants charity to cover a multitude of offenses, as the Scriptures speak!
Neither are you to be exhorted to this grace only upon the common grounds of Christianity, which are, that persons ready to take offense either want charity to cover offenses, or wisdom duly to weigh human frailty; or lastly, are gross, though close hypocrites as Christ our Lord teacheth (Matthew 7:1,2,3), as indeed in my own experience few or none have been found which sooner give offense than such as easily take it. Neither have they ever proved sound and profitable members in societies, which have nourished this touchy humor.
But besides these, there are divers motives provoking you above others to great care and conscience this way: As first, you are many of you strangers, as to the persons so to the infirmities one of another, and so stand in need of more watchfulness this way, lest when such things fall out in men and women as you suspected not, you be inordinately affected with them; which doth require at your hands much wisdom and charity for the covering and preventing of incident offenses that way. And, lastly, your intended course of civil community will minister continual occasion of offense, and will be as fuel for that fire, except you diligently quench it with brotherly forbearance. And if taking of offense causelessly or easily at men's doings be so carefully to be avoided, how much more heed is to be taken that we take not offense at God Himself, which yet we certainly do so oft as we do murmur at His providence in our crosses, or bear impatiently such afflictions as wherewith He pleaseth to visit us. Store up, therefore, patience against that evil day, without which we take offense at the Lord Himself in His holy and just works.
A fourth thing there is carefully to be provided for, to wit, that with your common employments you join common affections truly bent upon the general good, avoiding deadly plague of your both common and special comfort all retiredness of mind for proper advantage, and all singularly affected any manner of way. Let ever man repress in himself and the whole body in each person, as so many rebels against the common good, all private respects of men's selves, not sorting with the general conveniency. And as men are careful not to have a new house shaken with any violence before it be well settled and the parts firmly knit, so be you, I beseech you, brethren, much more careful that the house of God, which you are and are to be, be not shaken with unnecessary novelties or other oppositions at the first settling thereof.
Lastly, whereas you are become a body politic, using amongst yourselves civil government, and are not furnished with any persons of special eminency above the rest, to be chosen by you into office of government; let your wisdom and godliness appear, not only in choosing such persons as do entirely love and will promote the common good, but also in yielding unto them all due honor and obedience in their lawful administrations, not beholding in them the ordinariness of their persons, but God's ordinance for your good; not being like the foolish multitude who more honor the gay coat than either the virtuous mind of the man, or glorious ordinance of the Lord. But you know better things, and that the image of the Lord's power and authority which the magistrate beareth, is honorable, in how means persons soever. And this duty you both may the more willingly and ought the more conscionably to perform, because you are at least for the present to have only them for your ordinary governors, which yourselves shall make choice of for that work.
Sundry other things of importance I could put you in mind of, and of those before mentioned in more words, but I will not so far wrong your godly minds as to think you heedless of these things, there being also divers among you so well able to admonish both themselves and others of what concerneth them. These few things therefore, and the same in few words I do earnestly commend unto your care and conscience, joining therewith my daily incessant prayers unto the Lord, that He who hath made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all rivers of water, and whose providence is over all His works, especially over all His dear children for good, would so guide and guard you in your ways, as inwardly by His Spirit, so outwardly by the hand of His power, as that both you and we also, for and with you, may have after matter of praising His name all the days of your and our lives. Fare you well in Him in whom you trust, and in whom I rest.
An unfeigned wellwiller of your happy success in this hopeful voyage,
John Robinson

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving and blogversary

Happy Thanksgiving! 
As hard as I have searched, I cannot yet find any pictures of my family at Thanksgiving dinner.... but I'll keep looking!  Really missed having my daughter at the table this year, so called her.... and miss having Mom as well, hard to believe this is the second Thanksgiving without her....

Spent the evening watching a terrific History Channel documentary called Desperate Journey: The untold story of the Mayflower.... Fabulous!  I recorded it to watch again.... It started with the separatist movement in Scrooby, the move to Holland, and went through the end of the first year and the "Harvest Feast"....
It was based primarily on Bradford's journals...The only part of the story not told was the anecdote about my ancestor John Howland, who supposedly was washed overboard, but hung onto a halyard rope, and was dragged back on board.  I'm not sure that I could have lasted with the 100+ passengers below decks for 9 weeks through the storms, or survived the first winter, but am very thankful that John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley did, or I might not be here!!!

Just realized that this is the third anniversary of beginning this blog!!! My resolution (not waiting to New Year's) is to be more regular in writing my posts and sharing the history and documents of the various branches of the family, and the adventure in discovering them.....

now to retire to my bed with a very full stomach! Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and Thank You God for all your many blessings to me and my family.