Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sweet Sixteen (Generations)

After researching my ancestry for the majority of my life, I started to think that I was doing a great job. Then I decided to print a sixteen generation pedigree chart using OnePage Genealogy at BYU.

I’d better live a LONG time yet if I’m going to populate the entire chart. There is a LOT of missing ancestral information in my records.

My mother spent the second half of her life researching her ancestry and also made great headway on my fathers lineage. I helped her in the quest as a young man and knew how thick her old genealogy books were. It seemed like she had found it all. The charts in the books never seemed to end.

New resources emerged after I started the quest in earnest that helped me add significantly more information to the family tree than Mom had found in the limited resources available to her.

Ten years ago, I was feeling pretty good about my work and created a twelve generation circle chart. The darned thing looked like it was a blank chart! I had over 250,000 family records in my direct line database. Why didn’t all those names completely populate the chart, so I could take pride in my work?

Well, just like most of you, the relatively few brick walls in my ancestral quest occur relatively close to us in time and that precipitates much of the white space on the chart.

Each generation doubles the number of ancestors in your tree. Block your knowledge of their names early on and the white space wedge on your chart rapidly widens with each succeeding generation.

Flash forward one decade. My research has been rewarded with substantial finds. The new printing of the circle chart had a lot less white space, but truth is, I’m still just starting in my personal ancestral quest. The majority of my father’s paternal lines tie to royal lines in the late 1500’s, so most of them are known and fairly well documented back in time. His maternal lines don’t fare as well as you can see in green in the image.

Unfortunately, all of the research by my mother and myself on her lineage has been less rewarding. Rather than descending from royalty like my father did, her ancestors were all common folks: farmers, sheepmen, butchers and tailors. (red and yellow in the image) Their lineage is hard to trace once I cross the 1650 C.E. year boundary.

One of my maternal lines ties to famous Dutch painters and to the Dukes of Pomerania, so they have been easier to trace, but the other lines have hit that magic ‘edge of paper’ (records) boundary and I probably won’t find much if any more of their lineage. I won’t give up, but don’t expect to have a lot of success.

I like the charts from OnePage Genealogy and opted to print the largest chart size available. It stretches six feet in length and three and a half feet in width. The Mary Hill coloring system is used to delineate the main lineal branches on the chart. Unfortunately, the bright colors used for maternal lineages in the system are not well represented on my chart. White space is still white space. You don’t print colored empty boxes just for balance.

I’ll continue to look for my lineage and as success comes will print another large chart. If nothing else, the gaping inadequacy associated with my maternal lineages will goad me to never stop looking for them. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saw Dust and Dark Holes

When our side-by-side refrigerator failed a while ago, we were inconvenienced to the point we had to hurriedly eat as much ice cream as we could stomach and hurriedly cook the meat and other frozen goods in the freezer lest it all go to waste.

During our marriage, other refrigerators have also failed to function, immediately throwing us into action to find a repairman or to purchase a replacement unit. 

We’re a bunch of softies.  Probably about as tough as marshmallows. 

Of course, here at the manor, we have addressed that issue with other means of surviving without a functioning ice box, but they are so inconvenient.   They don’t even provide ice and cold water on tap.

icesaw Looking at the locations where my ancestors lived using Google Earth, I can still make out the outlines of the pond on the old homesteaded farm.  The water in the pond was used by my great grandfather to water his stock, as a flood control tool and to supplement his income in the hot summer months.

No, folks in the 1800’s didn’t pay him to swim in the pond, but they did pay him for the water. --  Frozen water in July.

Every fall, he and his sons would clean the pond of any debris and fill it to the top of the banks.  Within a few weeks, the pond became an ice skating rink for the enjoyment of his family, at least for a little while.

When the ice was sufficiently thick, he and the boys would venture onto the pond, drill or break a hole and proceed to saw the ice into blocks. 

The ice was stored in what was in essence, a tunnel (a generous description of the hole) carved into the several hundred foot tall hill to the east.  Grandpa and his brother dug it not long after they homesteaded the 400 acres of prime mountain land.  

The earthen ‘refrigerator’ was well supplied with saw dust that had been collected from cutting wood to burn in the stoves and in clearing the oak brush from the land. 

In the ice harvest, a layer of ice was laid on the floor, fitted together much like a rock wall.  The different sized blocks were meshed together on a deep bed of sawdust.  They were covered with another layer of saw dust and the process was repeated, layer after layer, harvest after harvest.

By spring, the cache was full of ice and since the entry door was well shaded by cottonwood trees along the creek and the natural ground temperature of the tunnel hovered around 60 F, the added cooling of the slowly melting ice was sufficient to prolong its frozen life into warm weather.

When late May and June rolled around, the stores in town had a need for a cooling resource that now commanded a premium price.  By July 4th, the price topped out and the last of the dwindling resource was sold off as the last frozen ‘cash crop’ asset to meet hard currency income needs until the fruit, produce and hay was ready for market.

Fort Canyon ice was always in high demand because of the purity of the water.  While growing up below the old farm, a drink from the tap in the kitchen sink still seemed like you were drinking liquid ice well in to July.  But ‘cool’ wasn’t the cold required to keep the meat lockers in the store or ice boxes in the homes cold enough to extend the life of last years beef, pork and chicken harvest.

My uncles used to stop by our house at O’Dark Thirty on Saturday mornings, just to taste that cold Alpine water.  Back in the day, to enjoy the same soothing draught, they’d have to drink directly from the mountain runoff stream above town to get their cold ‘fix’.  Back then, if you wanted a clean, clear block of ice, you’d talk to great grandpa .  Cash or barter would change hands and soon a wagon loaded with lumpy dripping sawdust would arrive at your door with your order.

The ice crop cycle continued for several generations on the farm but it seemed like ice produced more heat than cooling.

icetongs You got hot in the summer sun while burning energy cutting wood.  Hot gathering the saw dust and putting it in the hillside refrigerator.  Hot cutting ice with long saws.  Hot hauling it to the cave, and finally, hot while delivering it.  Fortunately, this time, you at least had a side benefit from your labors, because you had something cool to lay on for a minute and something cool to drip down the front of your overalls as a welcome relief from all of the heat you’d generated.

I don’t work that hard to enjoy a little cool today.  Not for our whole house air conditioning, our ice cream, cold milk or even for a cold soda in the summer months.  The hard won energy temporarily captured in ice isn’t as difficult to capture and enjoy today as it was back in the day. 

Soft like a marshmallow.  I guess that the failure of our side-by-side wasn’t that big of a thing, was it?


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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Life of Rosa Clara Friedlander Logie

Rosa Clara Friedlander LogieRosa Clara Friedlander Logie was born on the Isle of Guernsey, in the English Channel on 16 June 1837 of English, French and German descent. Her father, Henry Friedlander, died when she was a small child. Her mother, Eliza Sampson Friedlander, remarried a Mr. Watson in London, England. When Rosa was 12 years old, they went to Australia.

Her mother and stepfather were called on a church misisons, so Rosa was left with the family of the church mission president, Silas Farnham, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and the parents went on to Melbourne, Australia to live.

She joined the L.D.S. church and Rosa and a young married woman of the same faith, Mary Ann Evans, would walk 12 miles every Sunday to attend the meetings. Sister Evans was the chorister and Rosa was a member of the choir. Sister Evans testified to the faithfulness of that young maid to the principles of the gospel.

One day, when she was about 15 years old, she was standing on the porch of the 2nd story of a hotel in Sydney. A group of young sailors came down the street. One looked up an said, "Look fellows, there stands my wife. I'm going to marry that girl." Another one said, "Not if I get there first." They made a dash for the hotel door, but sailor number one climbed the porch post and landed first beside the girl. Thus Charles Joseph Gordon Logie claimed sweet Rosa Clara Friedlander for his bride at Sydney, Australia on 24 may 1853. He was 24 and she was 16 years of age.

The following year they were blessed with a darling baby girl, on the 27th of June 1854. They named her Annie Augusta.

Charles, having joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a month before marrying Rosa, had the desire to gather with the Saints in Zion. When baby Ann was one year old, they left Australia on 7 Sept. 1855 for California, taking passage on the ship the "Julia Ann." Disaster came upon them. During a terrific storm, the "Julia Ann" was blown off course and plunged head on (in the middle of the night) into a coral reef. Capt. B. V. Pond soon realized the ship was going to pieces. Fifty-six people were aboard. Something had to be done and quick, so Capt. Pond, a perfect gentleman, let himself down over the side of the ship into the dark water to try to swim for shore. He soon landed on the coral reef. Swimming back, he fastened a strong thick rope to the ship and tied the other end around his waist and then returned to the reef where he secured the rope firmly. He then swam back to the ship. He made a sling or sort of a basket of rope to sit in, slipping it over the tightened rope. He then asked the women to come to him one at a time. One glance at the dark terrifying water and they were too frightened to go over the side of the ship. Finally, Rosa said she would go first and climbed down the rope latter and sat on Capt. Ponds lap. Hand over hand, he pulled them to the reef. He left Rosa standing chest deep in the water and returned bringing seven women back that way. Two women and three small children were lost being swept over board by the waves, but the rest spent the remainder of the night sitting or standing waist deep in water until the next morning, not daring to go on the island until they could see what was there.

When morning came, they went upon the island. It was barren, no trees or fresh water. Everyone was so exhausted, they sank down on the sandy beach and wept and prayed.

sea turtle Large turtles came out of the ocean and crawled over them. They were too tired to get out of the way and every little while you could hear a thud or splash as someone flung off a troublesome turtle. There were also a few crabs around.

As soon as possible, the captain and men went back to the much-battered ship. All they could save before it broke completely up was one barrel of sea biscuits, one chest of carpenter tools, one chest of tea and one trunk of women’s clothes. A few boards drifted ashore from which they built a small raft.

They dug holes near the ocean and the salty water filtered through the sand and made it more palatable. Some of the men rowed 3 miles on the raft to another island where they obtained some coconuts. They were allowed just so many a day. They saved the shells and set them out to catch rain water to drink. (Laura Logie Timpson and a granddaughter in American Fork still have one of the shells.) Large turtles would crawl upon the shore to lay eggs. The men would catch them and turn them on their backs and kill them. Turtle meat and eggs and a few coconuts were their only food. We cannot picture the dreary, terrifying life they had to live for months on this barren island, apparently doomed to death by starvation and exposure.

Rosa became very ill. Her husband obtained a large silk skirt from the trunk that had been saved and made sort of a tent to shield her and baby Ann from the sun and rain. One day, Elder John Eldridge asked, "Where is Rosa, Charles?" He told him she was very sick. John made a cup of tea and took it to her tent. His feet were bleeding from walking on the sharp coral of the reef. Rosa never forgot this little act of kindness. Except for boils, probably caused from their diet, their health was fairly good.

Baby Ann had an enjoyable time crawling around in the sand. They were finally taken off the Island on 3 Dec. 1855 by a fruiting vessel the "Emma Packer." They were conveyed to Tahiti, which was in the main course of vessels to the Sandwich Islands. Latham Master was Captain of the vessel. They arrived in the spring of 1856 in San Francisco. News of the shipwreck had preceded them and they were met at the dock by a goodly number of people. A young newspaper editor inquired for the young woman who first went to the reef. Rosa stepped forward and was presented with a pewter teapot in token of her bravery. The young editor was George Q. Cannon. He with Elder Joseph Bull edited and published the Western Standard paper in interest of the L.D.S. Church in San Francisco.

The Logie Family was directed to the ranch of John C. Nails, a Mormon, in Carson City, Nevada where they stayed until Brigham Young called the Mormons to Salt Lake City. Their second child, Charles Joseph Logie was born in Carson City on 18 Nov. 1856.

Upon their arrival in Salt Lake, the Logie, Nails and Gerr families were sent to Lehi, Utah County. The next year, 1858, the Logie family moved to American Fork. After a few months, they made their home in Wallsburg. On 14 March 1859, their third child, Silas, was born in Wallsburg. He was named after President Silas S. Smith of Colorado, who met the Logie’s in Honolulu, after they were rescued for their shipwreck. He became a very good friend to the family.

Charles returned to Provo to work during the winter of 1860, leaving Rosa alone with 3 small children in Wallsburg. Indians often came in to get warm and would burn up all their wood. She was just tired of living up there alone, and one day she bundled up the children and started down Provo Canyon through deep snow. She met her husband coming up. They returned to their home, but planned to move to American Fork, which they did the following spring, living there the remainder of their lives.

When one of the younger babies came, Rosa lay in bed with pans all over the bed to catch the rain water that leaked through the dirt roof. This gave her rheumatism. She suffered months of pain and had to learn to walk all over again.

Their home was always open to the wayfarer and many partook of their hospitality. Rosa was a wonderful cook and home maker and she could always make room for one more.

Though they had many hardships to endure, to discourage and dishearten them, faith hope and courage predominated. Such lives are fruitful lessons to those who remain, giving strength to the weak and encouragement to all.

Charles and Rosa were parents of 12 children following the above mentioned three. The remainder were all born in American Fork. They were: Rosa Clara, 8 Sept. 1861; Eliza Sampson, 21 Dec. 1863; Elizabeth, 17 Jun 1866; Walter, 6 Jan. 1869; Eleanor, 5 Apr. 1871; Georgina, 25 Apr. 1873; Emilie, 18 Nov. 1875 and Beatrice, 5 Feb. 1880.

Silas was a midget and rode a trained pony in a circus. He had beautiful golden hair and blue eyes and was about 3 ft. tall. He received much attention and one of the van drivers became very envious. During one of their moves from town to town, Silas was riding his pony along side the van. When they came to a narrow place in the road, the driver crowded the pony off and it fell on Silas, killing him.

A few months after their 50th wedding anniversary, Charles died of cancer on 12 July 1903. Rosa continued to live in the "Logie Place" with her daughter Georgina, where they served tasty home cooked meals to the travelers.

Rosa was very economical in money matters, but loved to spend for improvements around the place, especially if she could do it on the sly, to get the best of Georgina.

She was active up until about a week before her death. She passed away on 15 June 1913 and was buried in the American Fork Cemetery.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

History of James and Emily Blacknell Hoggard

James Hoggard was born 4 August 1823, at Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, England. He was the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Radford Hoggard and was the tenth child in the family. His mother passed away when he was three years old. His father married again to Elizabeth Elvidge. There were eight children born of this union, making a family of eighteen children. His father was a professional butcher and was gored to death as he was in the act of killing an animal. At this time James was taken by a wealthy landlord with whom he lived and worked many years. While there he gained much valuable experience. (James was probably living in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, England, with his father and family as a youth.)

Emily Blacknall was the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Spencer Blacknall. She was born 14 February 1825, at Calverton, Nottinghamshire, England. Emily was short and slim with very dark hair and eyes. She was the sixth child in the family. Her people were all very industrious and thrifty. Her father and brothers were tailors by trade and her mother was a lace maker. Emily was an embroiderer and finisher of fancy gloves and all her sisters were experts with the needle. One time when she was helping her mother sew gloves for a glove factory, she dropped one of the gloves on the hearth and it was slightly burned. She was frightened for fear she would lose the work, but when the man come to see about the gloves she told him what had happened. He was very kind and showed her how to mend it so it could be sold as a second.

James and Emily were married 26 February 1842, when he was nineteen and she was seventeen. They made their home in Calverton, near Emily’s family. Thirteen children were born of this union, six in England and the others in America.

One day in the year 1852, the elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, came to their home and taught them the Gospel. Being of the blood of Joseph and the lineage of Ephraim, they recognized the true Gospel of Christ and readily accepted it. They were baptized into the church and soon began to dream of coming to Zion. They were comfortably situated in England, but they were willing to leave behind their worldly possessions and their many friends and relatives to come to Utah to join the Saints.

After careful planning and arranging, James Hoggard left his wife and family behind and came to America to make a place for them. Emily was left behind with four small children: Mary, Elizabeth, George and James. One son, Samuel, had died at the age of five. Not long after James left for America, another little girl, Dorothy, was born.

James was thirty years old when he set sail from England on the ship Germanacus, under Captain Falls, on 4 April 1854. One of the passengers who crossed the Atlantic in this company wrote the following statement: "They left Liverpool bound for the United States with about five hundred passengers on board the ship, which was a sailing vessel. About one half of the people on board were Latter Day Saints. They became lost and tried to find the trade winds but failed. When near the West Indies, some of the sailors went on shore to get water as the ships supply was running low. The food supply was also low, so it was necessary to go on rations. Here they were in a dead calm for twenty days, with the thermometer reading 120 degrees in the shade. They took on board a few casks of water near Cuba. Here again the ship struck bottom and was compelled to stand still until the next day when the tide came in. The sailors then tied ropes to the ship and pulled it off the bottom in a row boat." (Record book of the D.U.P. Richard Cook was the Captain left the same date 4 April 1854 with 220 LDS on board the ship Germanacus.)

The ship arrived in New Orleans on 12 June 1854, having spent sixty seven days in the voyage from Liverpool. From this point they shipped on the steamboat Uncle Sam, destined for St. Louis, Missouri. They landed there on 24 July 1854. The price of the ticket was $3.50. Fourteen days were spent in quarantine on an island below St. Louis where many of the company died. Elder Richard Cook was in charge of this group of saints.

History of the voyage is recorded as follows: "SEVENTY-FIFTH COMPANY -- Germanicus, 220 souls. The ship Germanicus, Captain Fales, with two hundred and twenty Saints on board, in charge of Elder Richard Cook, sailed from Liverpool, April 4th 1854. The vessel had a rather lengthy voyage, in consequence of which she had to put in at St. George's on the Grand Caicos (an island north of Dominica) where she stayed two days and took in eight days' supply of water. We also had to stop at Tortugas (near Key West, off Florida) for a further supply on the thirtieth of May. Continuing the voyage from Tortugas June 4th, the company had a pleasant voyage to New Orleans, where they arrived the twelfth of that month. One birth and two deaths occurred during the passage. Within two hours after landing at New Orleans, President Cook had made an engagement with the captain of the steamboat Uncle Sam to take the company to St. Louis for three dollars and fifty-cents each, luggage free; those under fourteen years of age half price. The next day, (the thirteenth) the Saints continued the journey from New Orleans to St. Louis where some of them remained until the next season. The rest soon afterwards reached the general place of encampment for the emigrants near Kansas City. (Millennial Star, Vol. XVI, pp.240, 270, 297, 440, 462.)"

Aboard ship with James, were two other LDS converts traveling to America, Thomas and Emma Smith Featherstone.  Little did they then know that James son, Hyrum and the Featherstone’s daughter, Mary Ann, would marry years later.

James worked and saved for a year and then sent for his wife and family, and on 26 April 1855, Emily and her five children set sail on the ship William Stetson for New York. There were two hundred twenty nine saints on board and Elder Aaron Smithwist was in charge of them. Emily was ill most of the way and Mary, who was only ten years old, was pressed into service to cook, nurse and babysit. The trip was hard on all of them. Their cup of sorrow ran over when baby Dorothy died from a sudden illness and had to be buried at sea.

James was waiting for them, when they arrived in New York. He was eager to welcome them to their new land and anxious to take the baby he had never seen in his arms. His sorrow and disappointment was great when he learned of her death, and he realized what Emily had endured alone. He was very thankful for the safe arrival of the rest of his family and they were all happy to be together again.

The family stayed at Burlington, Iowa, and they began to work and save for the trip to Utah. Emily went out to sew for people and James worked on a boat on the Mississippi River. It was dangerous work but paid a good wage. In a years time they had the means to continue their journey. Their son Hyrum was born 22 March 1856. Just three weeks later they left for Utah. They traveled with Captain Merrill’s Ox Team Company. Emily had to ride most of the way in the wagon since she wasn't very strong. Along the way, she had to give up the third of her children, James, who was just four years old, died and was buried along the way. It is hard to imagine the hardships and heart ache they endured, but it makes me realize how much the gospel meant to them and the strength of their testimonies.

Mormon_Trail.jpg After a five month journey, they arrived in Salt Lake City on 11 September 1856. They were met by Heber C. Kimball and after a few days rest traveled on to American Fork with other saints. They arrived in American Fork on 15 September 1856 and camped by the creek that ran along the north wall of the fort. James went to work cutting hay and grain, and often waded in water up to his knees. He worked with brother Joshia Nicholes and they took squash and potatoes for their pay. Emily took her little family and went to glean the fields for dropped grain to eat. Brother Teltcher took the grain to Springville and brought back flour and this saw them through the long, hard winter. Thus began their life in the land of Zion, the place to which they came, because of their faith and love of the gospel.

They worked long and hard and through they had many trying times they never gave up. James was always up and going before three a.m. each morning. Emily learned to braid straw hats, which James or young George would take to Camp Floyd and sell to the soldiers in Johnstons Army. They made the trip with an ox team and also sold the butter and eggs they could spare. The soldiers were happy to buy the things and this was the first money they had since arriving in Utah.

They began building their long dreamed for home in the next spring. They hauled logs with an ox team and built a house on a lot of their own. (The current address of the home is 32 East 100 South, American Fork, Utah).

In this humble home were born seven more children: Heber, Hannah, Alfred, Emily, Annie, and Martha and another baby that died at birth.

As the older children grew up, they married and left the home nest. Three of them were married before Martha was born. James and Emily lived in that same place the rest of their lives.

James was a very broad minded man, his motto in all his dealings was to give but never take. He was honest and generous to a fault. At no time in his life was he too busy or tired to go help a neighbor. He seemed to have the gift of healing, and people often came to him for help to set a broken bone or to be treated for cuts or wounds. He tended to sick animals as well as people and thought nothing of spending hours Elwood Drewwith a sick horse or cow. He felt it was his duty to do all he could for anyone who needed his help.

He was the first head water master in American Fork, which position he held for twenty one years. He had charge of all bridges and roads in the community and it was he who divided the water that came from American Fork Canyon. The water was shared with Lehi and Pleasant Grove, or Battle Creek as it was called then. He was very progressive and believed in home industry. He held stock in every cooperative project that would help the community in any way. As the years passed, due to hard work and thrift, the Hoggard's were as comfortable and prosperous as most of the people in the town. They were very generous and hospitable and no one ever went away hungry from their home. Strangers were made as welcome as friends and neighbors, and they opened their home to people just arriving to make a home in this land, and helped them to find work and get settled for themselves.

They loved music and dancing and on New Years day, everyone was invited to come and partake of their hospitality. Emily cooked for days ahead and friends and neighbors gathered to enjoy the food and fun that was always to be had there. The brass band never failed to come and play on New Years night. The song they loved best was Auld Lang Syne.

James and Emily now had everything to make them comfortable and happy. All was well with them until one day in the spring of 1883. James and Martha, the youngest daughter, were working in the field when James was stricken with a sunstroke and became very ill. He went and lay down under a tree on the ditch back to see if the sickness would pass. He finally sent Martha home, but he didn't get here until late in the afternoon. That was the last day he ever went to the field. He was ill all summer and on Sunday morning, 26 August 1883, his noble spirit went back to the God who gave it. At his funeral services, each speaker mentioned his outstanding honesty in all his dealings.

James death was a blow from which Emily never fully recovered. She had never been very strong and James had always been the main stay of the home. Emily was always patient and never complained but she wasn't well. On 10 April 1891, she had to have her big toe amputated because of an infection from an ingrown toe nail. On 1 September 1896, she passed away. She left a living posterity of nine children, fifty six grandchildren and twenty six great grandchildren. She left them a heritage of which they can well be proud.

James and Emily are buried in the American Fork City Cemetery, Utah.

The Santa of Gold Hill – A Find-a-grave HERO

Recently, a television program showing current day scenes of the famous towns and locations from the “Old West” caught my eye.  A couple of scenes featuring the cemetery in Gold Hill, Nevada reminded me of my visit there.  We were in a hurry to reach our destination in California, so my desire to stop and patrol the cemetery was shelved. 

I love stopping at cemeteries that I spot when driving and reading the tombstone inscriptions.  They frequently educate me far more completely than reading a history of the area.

Of course, I always take photos of tombstones in these locations.  How can you miss an opportunity like that?

Gold Hill Cemetery.  Has someone stopped and taken photos of the tombstones already and posted them on Find-a-grave?  Yes, indeed and in this case, the Santa’s name is Herbert Rickards.   I call him ‘Santa’ because of the masterful work he has done in capturing not only photos of the tombstones, but his superhuman efforts in finding their respective 100+ year-old portrait photos.

Descendants of anyone buried in Gold Hill will certainly call Herbert “Santa” as well when they find his postings.  Check them out for yourself.

Singing praises of Herbert is easy when you see his work …. but wait … there’s more!  

Look at his postings and you’ll also see that he has also researched the life history of each person and posted it on their memorial.

Above and beyond?  Way beyond! Find-a-grave_logo

There needs to be a “Find-a-grave Hero” award created for folks like Herbert. I don’t have artistic skills, so my contribution to his award can only be in words.  Perhaps some of you can add your talents and create a graphic award for folks like Herbert.  If so, let the folks at Find-a-grave know.  Who knows?  Maybe they’ll think it is a feature worthy of adding to their site.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Didn’t Have To Travel Far

While spending a day taking tombstone photos recently, I stopped to take photos of the general setting while standing beside the grave my great grandparents.  Pondering the scene, I realized that I could see the tombstones of three sets of 2nd great grandparents, one set of great grandparents and one set of my grandparents with just a slight movement of my eyes.  Other ancestors are buried close by.  In a ten minute drive, I could visit the graves four generations of my ancestors except for one set in California and one in Massachusetts.

Over the years, I’ve encouraged members of my family history classes to visit the burial locations of their ancestors and associated family.  They’ve reported back on the sometimes lengthy trips they’ve made to visit the associated cemeteries.  We’ve enjoyed talking about the discoveries they’ve made in the towns and locations where their ancestors lived. 

Frequently, while standing at the headstones of their ancestors, they’ve experienced a shift in their personal affection for them.   The ties  that bind them to their ancestors are strengthened, even inextricably enhanced.

My ancestors gathered to the same general area to live their lives because of religious beliefs and economic opportunity.  Many generations of their descendants still live and have been buried within a thirty mile radius of the original settlements.  Naturally, they have also been buried in the cemeteries in those towns, hence my good fortune in being able to see so many of their graves from one vantage point.

Other ancestral lines were similarly buried in close proximity to each other.  My ancestral families in Plymouth, Massachusetts lived there for over three hundred years.  My ancestral families from Bornholm, Denmark lived, died and buried in close proximity to each other for dozens of generations. 

My ancestors that moved for economic necessity or due to their adventurous spirit have left long trails dotted with  wayside stops where they briefly lived, gave birth, married, died and buried some family members.  Vacations over the years have taken us to most of their burial sites, but there are still some graves that haven’t been visited.

What is so important about visiting the grave of an ancestor?  In many cases, their headstone is the only physical item that exists from their day.  I can see their names on birth, marriage and death records as well as in census, wills and property records, but they are usually  digital images, not a tangible object. 

Touching their headstone creates a tie between us.  The tactile memory from my fingertips hasn’t dimmed with time.  The feeling of being part of a great discovery was sweet at the time and is still satisfying in the years and decades since the first encounters.

How about you?  Do you have similar groupings of ancestral burials in close proximity of each other or do you have to make a determined  effort to find and visit their graves? 

Either way, the effort to visit their graves is worth your time and expense.  Remember to take photos of their tombstones and of the setting. 

If you have handheld GPS, record the exact location of their graves in your notes and transfer the information  to your genealogy database.  Add the digitized images to their records to enhance their life stories.

Remember to take a photo of yourself standing beside their graves to help you remember the trip and your tie to them and as time goes by, to give your descendants something tangible to view as they look back at their own ancestors.



Monday, November 16, 2009

Genealogy Research Live in Palm of Your Hand

I know that a number of you have iPhones.  You probably aren't aware that you can purchase an application to let you access new FamilySearch on your phone!  Check out the mobileTree application. 

mobileTree iPhone app I keep much of my genealogy and research on my website (some public, some password protected).  Combine online data with mobileTree and the available GPS application and you have a Killer tool for doing genealogy research!

Imagine.....  The billions of records of nFS, your own data, photos, and ability to interface with all of them using a device that fits in the palm of your hand.   Visit a cemetery, get the GPS coordinates of ancestors graves, take a photo of their headstones and post it all to your site and blog(s) on the spot.  No wasted motion or memory loss!  Wow!

If you have an iPhone, I'll bet Santa would be happy to give you this application if you ask for it.

Continuing on this theme .....

You may not know that you can post your cemetery, research and other photos directly to your blogs via email.   Both Posterous and allow postings this way.  All of the posts to my posterous blog are made that way.  

Suppose you are working with family and friends on genealogy and you are on a research trip.  You can share your finds with them in real-time using this method.  I usually have to find a WiFi hot spot or do a little juggling on a public computer at a library or at the FHL to make on-the-spot posts.  

When you have a active research team but haven't worked together in real-time, you can't imagine how the synergy in the groups builds momentum and success in your research.   They help guide your on-the-site search with information they have in their far-flung locations.

I've frequently experienced this synergy in real-time and guarantee it happens.   Add Skype to the mix for live video, voice and peer-to-peer file transfers and you too can make it 'Happen' -- Real Time!

Wow #2!  I may have lived long enough to see some of my dreams become reality!  

The tools are here.  Make it happen.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Abiel Chandler - Revolutionary War Veteran

Abiel Chandler was born on 20 October 1765 in Andover, New Hampshire to Timothy and Ellizabeth Copp Chandler. Too young to fight in the Revolutionary War at its start, he worked on the family farm in support of his family.

Chandler Abiel headstone large At the age of fifteen, in late 1780, he joined in the battle for freedom as a volunteer from New Hampshire joining Benjamin Whitcomb's Independent Rangers in the place of J. Rosebrooks.  The Rangers primarily functioned as scouts and spies.

By the end of 1783, his military service was completed and he was discharged.  During the war, Abiel was at the battles of White Plains, West Point and Saratoga.

He married Abigail Thomas on 25 Dec 1788 in New Hampshire and they had eleven children. One of the sons was named George Washington Chandler in honor of the great leader of the Revolution.  For the remainder of his life, continued to serve in the New Hampshire militia, eventually rising to the rank of Captain.

Both the Chandler and Thomas families had lived in New Hampshire since the late 1600’s.  Their ancestors were known for their strong character and homesteading spirit. They often chaffed under the reign of Mother England over the American Colony.  The spirit of freedom was exhibited in his father-in-law, Sergeant Jonathan Thomas, who also a Revolutionary War veteran.

The Chandler men were known for their physical strength.  Abiel’s great grandfather, John Chandler(2) actually threw several English soldiers into the deep foundation of a home when they tried to impress him into British military service.

Their desire for personal freedom prompted them to serve in local military groups in protection of their villages and towns. Three of his Chandler ancestors were also Captains in the local militia in New Hampshire. 

John was the second son and child of Captain Thomas and Hannah (Brewer) Chandler. He was born 14 March 1655 and died in Andover, on 19 September 1721 age sixty seven. He was a blacksmith and landholder. His homestead was on the west side of the Shawshin River in Andover. He was elected selectman on 6 March 1710, to which office he was several times re-elected. He was first selectman in 1715, and subsequently highway surveyor. He married Hannah Abbott, third child of George and Hannah (Chandler) Abbot, of Andover. She was born 9 June 1650 and died 2 March 1741 aged ninety. John was also made a Captain in the militia.
John was the second son and child of Captain John and Hannah (Abbott) Chandler. He was born 14 March 1680 and died on 3 May 1741 in Andover. He was a farmer in West Parish, on "the Chandler Homestead." He was surveyor 1716-1720; selectman 1720, chosen as selectman to oversee the poor 1725-26-28. He was chosen a trustee of the town, to take out of the Province Treasury "their aforesaid part of 60,000 pounds."  At one time in his life, as he went to Newburyport, he was impressed by three of the kings officials, saying to him, as they laid their hands on his shoulder, "the King needs your services; you will go with us."  Apparently yielding, he walked quietly along until they reached a spot where a house had been burned and where there was a deep cellar with ashes and half consumed timbers still burning, then turning round quickly, he seized them, one by one, and threw them all into the cellar, where he left them and went his way. 

He married Hannah Frye on  4 June 1701. She was born 12 April 1683 and died 1 August 1727 aged forty-four years. She was the daughter of Samuel Fry and his wife Mary, daughter of Robert Frye and his wife Ann. Ann Frye died in Andover on 23 October 1680 and was the great granddaughter of John Frye, of Basing Hants, England.

John was the eldest son of Captain John and Hannah (Frye) Chandler, born in 1702 in Andover, Massachusetts.  He died in Concord, New Hampshire on 26 July 1775 aged seventy-two.  He has one of the original proprietors of Concord, New Hampshire and a man of much influence.  In 1733, he was tithingman and treasurer of Pennycook, New Hampshire. In 1746, he was captain of the garrison round the house of Rev. Timothy Walker.  Captain Chandler was a man of great muscular power and a great wrestler.  It is related "that being informed that Rev. Mr. Wise, of Ipswich, excelled in the art of wrestling, and had not been thrown, he made a journey on purpose to try his strength and skill.  Mr. Wise on being requested, declined, having relinquished the practice as unsuitable to his profession.  But being earnestly solicited by Mr. Chandler, they went into a door-yard which was fenced by a wall set in the bank, took hold, and began to play; when Mr. Wise suddenly, with a trip and a twitch, threw him over the wall upon his back. Chandler arose and requested another trial, but Mr. Wise refused.  So the Captain returned home sadly disappointed."  He married Tabitha Abbott, daughter of Nathaniel and Dorcas (Hibbert) Abbott.
Thomas was the second child of William and Annis Chandler and was born in 1628. He died "15 day 1703".  He was one of the early pioneers in the settlement of Andover, and was employed with George Abbot Sr. and others to lay out lands granted individuals by the general court.  Lorings "History of Andover" says: "Thomas Chandler was a blacksmith, ultimately a rich man, carrying on a considerable iron works."  Thomas married Hannah Brewer of Andover.  She died in Andover, 25 October 1717, aged eighty-seven.  Thomas was made a Captain in the militia and served as representative to the general court in 1678 and 1679 from Andover.
William and his wife, Annis, emigrated to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1637.  Annis is supposed to have been a sister of Deacon George Alcock, of Roxbury.  He took the freemans oath in 1640, and was at that time stricken with disease which caused his demise on 26 November 1641.  He was among the proprietors of Andover, with his son Thomas, and tradition says he was the owner of the tannery at the corner of Bartlett street and Shawmut avenue, Roxbury.  He had consumption for a year before he died.  A chronicler of his time says he "lay near a yeare sick, in all which time his faith, patience and Godliness and Contentation so shined that Christ was much glorified in him -- He was a man of weake parts but excellent faith and holiness; he was a very thankful man, and much magnified Gods goodness.  He was poor, but God prepared the hearts of his people to him that he never wanted that which was (at least in his esteem) very plentiful and comfortable to him -- he died in the year 1641 and left a sweet memory and savor behind him."

The young couple settled in Sanbornton, moved to Bridgewater, now Bristol, in about 1796, where he filled his service as Captain of the militia.  They had a farm on the hills in the northeast part of the town.  Eventually, they moved to Stewartstown, New Hampshire, living on North Hill and then on the David Kent place.  While in Stewartstown, he was chorister.

After their family was raised and Abigail had passed away, he moved back to Bristol to live with his son, Timothy.  He died at his son’s home on 5 March 1854, in his 89th year even though his tombstone states that he was 92.

Abiel’s Revolutionary War pension application has provided the majority of our knowledge about his life.  His descendants are fortunate to have a document of such antiquity that details the names and ages of his family members, occupational difficulties and struggles in his hand or as transcribed by his solicitor.  He and Abigail successfully raised a family of eleven children, of which two died as babies. 

Chandler Abial Revolutionary War Pension - genealogy

Unfortunately, arthritis or rheumatism crippled Abiel when he was in his mid-40’s.  The debility severely impacted his ability to provide for his family.  His children helped on the farm and in various jobs in their community to help support the family.

The extremely protracted process of obtaining a military service pension is detailed in his application.  His experience was typical for Revolutionary War veterans.  Many of them died long before their pension was approved.  The meager pension payments were frequently obtained by their widows after yet another extended application process.

Of interest to his descendants, his pension application includes a discharge of service certificate signed by General George Washington.

Chandler Abial Rev War pension application pg 22


Sources for his story are located on my FamHist website. 

Grandpa – You Are So Funny

Talking to your grandchildren is often a shock to your reality.  I tell them stories and they often reply, “Grandpa, you are so funny!” 

Telling Stories I tilt my head to the side and thoughtfully consider what I have said that could elicit such a response.  I quickly realize that my verbal language is full of symbolic phrases that often express full paragraphs and concepts to others of my generation, yet are often meaningless to the Disney Channel generation.

Conversely, some of their phases are equally meaningless to me.

I don’t think I’ll ever abandon the phrases that have been part of my life since my youth.  Most spanned more than my generation.  My parents used them.  As often as not, my grandparents used them.

Today, technology and the rapidly expanding world knowledgebase has lit the afterburners on language mutation.  Most of the current phrases are based on technological concepts that will be obsolete in ever decreasing cycle lengths.

So, for me, I’ll continue to hang on to the phrases that I’ve known and that have exhibited the most longevity in the last two hundred years.  I suppose that means that I’ll continue to be ‘funny’.

In May 1996, a third cousin sent his favorite phrases and their meanings as a punctuation mark to make his point in our discussion.  In honor of his memory, they are listed below:


The name of a prison which was on Clink Street in the Southwark area of London.


After the Patten shoe which the young women wore in the buttery. When the cream spilled on their shoes, the fat would tend to make the leather shiny.


Meat was roasted until cooked on an upright spit which had to be turned by hand.


Solicitors kept their clients papers in a file folder tied with red ribbon to prevent the papers from falling out. Of course, when they wanted to get at the papers, they would have to cut through the red tape.


Ps & Qs Ale was served at local taverns out of a "tankard" ... you were charged by the angle of your elbow ... half-way up... you drank a pint, all the way up... you drank a quart. Since the Quart cost so much more than the Pint, you were warned to "Mind your Ps & Qs"


When you drank too much out of the above "tankard" you were said to be "tanked" ... if you got so "tanked" that you passed out, there was a chance that somebody might think you had actually died. Since back then they didn't have experience with taking pulses, they often buried people alive who were actually in a drunken stupor or otherwise comatose.


A leather jug treated with tar pitch to help it hold its shape.


A bombard is a leather jug which holds 8 pints or 4 quarts. A full bombard of ale would make you drunk.


Glasses were hand blown, thus flat bottomed glasses were difficult to produce. Those with curved bottoms would tend to tumble over when placed on the table, and too many tumblers of whiskey would make you a little bit tipsy.


When our ancestors realized that they were burying a great deal of people before their time had actually come, they came up with a solution. They tied a string onto the "dead" person's hand, buried them, and tied the other end of the string to a bell and then tied it to nearby tree branch. If the person revived enough to ring the bell, their survivors would rush out and dig them up. Hence... "saved by the bell"


The raised door entrance held back the straw (called thresh) on the floor.


A host would offer his guests a piece of bacon, which was stored above the fireplace in the parlor, so they could chew the fat during their visit.


Candles were expensive to make, so often reeds were dipped in tallow and burned instead. When visitors came, it was the custom for guests to make their exit by the time the lights went out. Therefore, if your host didn't want you to stay very long, he would give you a "short stick."


If they REALLY didn't want you to stay very long, they would light "both ends" at the same time!


A short rush, which would burn for a short time, would be used when company came over rather late; when it burnt out, you would want to see the hind end of your guests out the door.


When a guests would over stay their welcome as house guests, the hosts would (instead of feeding them good, warm meals) give their too-long staying guests the worst part of the animal, not warmed, but the COLD SHOULDER.


Your dinner plate was a square piece of wood with a "bowl" carved out to hold your serving of the perpetual stew that was always cooking over the fire. The kettle was never actually emptied and cleaned out. New ingredients were simply added to the muck. You always took your "square" with you when you went traveling.


Visitors to the Anne Hathaway's cottage (near Stratford upon Avon) are given this explanation while looking at the bread oven beside the fireplace in the kitchen: "The bread was put, as a raw lump of dough, straight into the bread oven. No bread tin, it just sits on the floor of the oven. The oven is heated by the fire and is very hot at the bottom. When the bed is done baking and taken out to cool, the base of the loaf is overcooked black and also dirty. The top of the loaf is done just right, and still clean. The bottom of the loaf is for the servants to eat, while the upper crust is for the master of the house.


The square plate (above) was never washed either. After your daily dose of stew, you wiped your plate clean with a piece of bread. Then you flipped it over which provided a flat surface for your dessert portion (if there was any, that is)

Loose lips sink ships ROOM & BOARD.

An apprentice would journey to another village to learn more about his craft (journeyman). There he would pay someone for his room, and food for his board.


An old English law declared that a man could not beat his wife with a stick any larger than the diameter of his thumb.


This apparently refers to an old English (Welsh?) belief that keeping a goat in the barn would have a calming effect on the cows, hence producing more milk. When one wanted to antagonize/terrorize one's enemy, you would abscond with their goat rendering their milk cows less- to non-productive.


Slate floors were often cold enough during the winter months that any bare skin coming in contact with them would "stick". The slate floors were covered with a layer of hay to provide some warmth. The kitchen was the only room kept heated during the winter. All of the family spent the day cooped up in this one room (often 10 kids or more)... also the family cats and dogs who served important functions of "mousing," "garbage disposal," and etc.


High chair with holes in the seat (a.k.a. "drainage chair"). During the winter months, young babies were strapped into their chairs and were never allowed to crawl around in the hay on the stone-cold floor. They didn't wear any diapers of any sort. They sat in that chair all day... and you know why there were holes in their chair!


The layer of hay in the kitchen, was finally hauled out of the house when the weather turned warm in the Spring.


The discarded "bones" from winter meals were piled outside and a bonefire would be set to get rid of them.


The bed frames were strung with ropes on which straw mattresses were placed. After some time the ropes would loosen and one of the young men would pull them tight.


Tying the knot of the ropes in the marriage bed.


Most English homes of old had "thatched" roofs. Canopies were placed over the beds to keep bugs, mice, dirt, rain, etc. from disturbing your sleep! Of course, I think I would want to stay awake because I'd be so afraid of having to be "saved by the bell"!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Possessions of Mayflower Passengers

Many of my ancestors were passengers on the Mayflower.  After “visiting” their homes and “talking” to them in the Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, it was readily apparent that they owned very little “stuff”. 

EAA022DOver the years, I’ve read their wills with interest and although they are often lengthy, outside of their land and building properties, the individual items were typically small, minor "stuff".  Today, we probably have more on our garage shelves than they ever owned.

The list below was found in an old family newsletter:

“Here is a shortened sample of some clothing, tools and books in the possession of various Pilgrims at their time of death and taken from their probate inventories. All probate inventories relating to the Pilgrims have been reprinted in various editions of the Mayflower Descendant Magazine.

Peter Browne (d. 1633)

felling axe, handsaw, awgers and chisel, suit and cloake, Irish stockings, coate, 12 oz of shott, and spade.

Francis Eaton (d. 1633)

coate, cloake, black suit, white hat, black hat, cheese press, tool box, handsaw, great hammer, fishing lead, shovel, gun and pistol, awgers, boots, curtains and rods.

William Brewster (d. 1644)

black coat, green drawers, black gown, black hat, gloves, red cap, black silk stockings, pistol, green cushion, "sizzers", dagger, white rug, tobacco and pipes, sword, stool, desk, white cap, violet coat, corslet; BOOKS: Moral Discourse, Discover of Spanish Inquisition, Description of New England, Remains of Britian, Ainsworth's Psalms, Mr Hernes works, Babingtons works, Mr Rogers on Judges, Knights Concord, Bodens Commonwealth, Surveyor, Willet on Genesis, Messelina, Barlow on 2 Timothy, Parr on Romans, Robinsons Observations, Right Way to go to Work, Atterson's Badges of Christianity, Treasury of Similes, Downfall of Popery, Bolton on True Happyness, Plea for Infants, Discovery by Barrow, Hackhill History of Indies, Perkins on Jude, Sweeds Intelligencer, Politike Diseases, Standish for woods, History of Mary Glover, The Morality of Law, plus about 300 other books, plus another 65 books written in Latin.

Stephen Hopkins (d. 1644)

yellow rug, green rug, flanell sheets, white cap, gray cloak, breeches, frying pan, funnels, fireshovel and tongs, feathers, butter churn, two wheels, cheese rack, four skins, scale and weights, two pails.

Edward Doty (d. 1655)

land at Clarke's Island, yoke of oxen, plow irons, draught chain, axes, spades, hoes, pitchforks, tongs, copper and brass kettles, matchlock musket, hammer and pinchers, chairs, cradle, table, pewter dishes and candlesticks, earthen and iron pots.

Myles Standish (d. 1656)

sword and cutlass, one fowling gun, three musketts, two small guns, featherbed, sheets, napkins, pillows, mault mill, two saddles, beer caske, brass kettle, warming and frying pan; BOOKS: Homer's Illiad, Wilson's Dictionary, History of the World, Turkish History, Chronicle of England, Country Farmer, History of Queen Elizabeth, Calvin's Institutions, Roger's Seven Treaties, The French Academy, Caesar's Commentaries Bariffes artillery, Preston's Sermons, Burrough's Christian Contentment, German History, the Sweede Intelligencer, and A Reply to Dr. Cotton.

WMG029K William Bradford (d. 1657)

white blankets, green rug, snaphance and matchlock muskets, Holland sheets, hemp sheets, Holland tablecloths; one great beer bowl, wine cup; CLOTHES: suit with silver buttons, black briches and red wastecoat, lead colored suit with silver buttons, black coat, green gown, violet cloak, one black and one colored hat, light-colored cloak, six pairs of shoes; BOOKS: French Acadamy; History of the Church; History of the Netherlands; Peter Martire on the Romans; Bodin's Commonwealth; Mayers works on the New Testament; Luther on the Gallations; Speed's General Description of the World; Calvin's Commentary on the Acts; Downhams 2nd part on Christian warfare; Taylers Liberty of Prophesy; Gouges' Domestical Duties; Mr Ainsworth on Genesis and Exodus; Calvin on Genesis; Gifford Refuted; Physics book; and two Bibles.


Isaac Allerton (d. 1658/9)

Sea chest, morter and pestel, spectacles, old hat and cap, eight jars and a case of bottles, six stools and three old chairs.

Francis Cooke (d. 1663)

Morter and pestel, earthen pots and pans, pewter and iron pots, hammer, saw, three pairs of sheep sheers, featherbed and bolster, hoes, cushens, two hats, ten pair of stockings, old coat, gloves, twenty pounds of wool and twenty-one sheep.

John Howland (d. 1672/3)

musket, long gun, cutlass and belt, cow bells, chain, padlock, sauce pan, brass skillet, two red waistcoats, Holland shirt, two silk neckties, three hats, sheets, towels, blankets, featherbed, candlesticks.

George Soule (d. 1679)

gun, books, chest and chair, sheers, tramel and wedge, bed and wearing clothes, books.

Mary (Chilton) Winslow (d. 1679)

Silver beer bowl, silk gown, stockings, six petticoats, brass kettle, six white aprons, seven neck handkerchiefs, seventeen linen caps, fourteen headbands, Fustian waistcoats, and an old trunk.

Henry Samson (d. 1685)

one cow, table and benches, harness and plow irons, three wheels, lumber, corn, "Armes wearing Clothes" and Library.

John Alden (d. 1687)

chairs, bedstead, chests, boxes, tongs, kettle, saw, augars and chisel, carpenter joyners, dripping pan, pewter wear, two old guns, table linen, horse bridle and saddle, library, wearing clothes, and old lumber.”