Monday, August 31, 2015

Mondays With Margie

If you are paying close attention, you will see that Mondays With Mary took on a twist this week. Mary's daughter, Margie, has a few words to share.

Mary and Margie long, long ago

Once I learned about genealogy blogs and started Cousins, I stumbled upon the blogosphere, a whole big world of genealogy blogs and bloggers. Genealogy and blogging are both very addictive pastimes especially if you have an iPad and a recliner. And I love to read... so hours and days can go by before I know it while researching and reading other blog posts and family stories. Sometimes life interrupts the search for Revolutionary War grandfathers, time to scan fabulous old photos, and decisions about what to do with boxes of  "treasures" which belonged to your grandmother's first cousin and eventually end up in your possession. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
This has been a bittersweet summer of interruptions, but also a time to cherish the time we have left with our oldest family member, my 97 year old mother-in-law. I have mentioned her before. She is a fountain of knowledge and hopefully will continue to be now that she has been moved into an assisted living facility where she can continue her independence but with a careful eye present to keep her safe. Anyone who has had this experience with a parent or other older family member knows the extent of the time that is involved.

With these issues resolved, we have  flown (literally) the coop to our winter location. It is supposed to be 110 degrees here today. Not exactly winter. We are here so I can join up with a travel group for a departure in September to Sicily and Italy. It is not a genealogy trip unless I should discover a family connection to Pompeii..

I was inspired to ramble on today because I just read a post with my new found down time from 2014 in The Family Tapestry. The author is Jacqi Stevens, and I am inspired by her writing. May 8, 2014 she wrote a blog titled "Biographer of Insignificant Lives". I recommend reading it.

So this is why I do this. Not only am I fascinated  by my grandchildren's ancestors, but I am fascinated by the stories I read of other families linage as well.  I would like to quote from Jacqi's post and give her full credit for these great words. She discusses the reason for these genealogical blog posts. "We put our stories out there and invite anyone who wants to join us in remembering to capture the essence and help to preserve it. To pass it along."

She adds,  "'s about the words: words that enable people like you and me to become biographers of the insignificant.  We alone may be the ones who can have that kind of 'exclusive' story."

Friday, August 28, 2015

Esquire Phillips - Friday's Feature

Who is Esquire Phillips, you ask?
From which side of the ancestral  tree is he?
Where did he live?
Did he have children?
Is he a direct line ancestor or a collateral?

Esquire Phillips is my husband's 4x great grandfather.
Esquire/ Elijah/ Celestia/ Minerva Jane/ Ina/ Doris/ Tom

He is Grandma Ina Augustus' great grandfather.
Do you suppose Ina's grandmother, Celestia, ever talked about her own grandfather, Esquire? Did she know him? Remember, Celestia, from Friday's Feature on August 14, 2015? Here is the review. Celestia...Friday's Feature 

Do you see how suddenly these 4x great or more grandparents take on a more personal connection. Let's assume that GGGrandma Celestia knew her grandfather. After all, they lived in the same area of Pennsylvania. She was approximately 19 when he died in 1848. Did he tell her about his Revolutionary War service? I never had many conversations with either of my grandfathers so I doubt Celestia did with hers either in the 1800's. Of course, I could be wrong. 

From a book called Revolutionary Soldiers of Warren County, Pennsylvania by Lucy M. Davis Cowen, I learned a little more about his service. Yes, it is a post to look forward to reading next Friday.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Sale Bill

Wordless Wednesday seems like a good time to post this sale bill from 1959.  I remember this day well. I loved my grandmother's rocking chair because she always sat in it when I was at her house. (Unless she was in the kitchen making pancakes for me)
 I asked my dad to buy it for me, but my great Aunt Ardea said I could have it.  As I said in her post Ardea Agnes Smith Stevens, I believe it was the only item of Grandma's not sold so the profits could be divided among her children.

Mom recovered the chair many years ago, but slight flatness to the bottom of the rockers is one of my favorite features not to mention its comfort.
Turns out my future in laws bought one of the dressers at the sale.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mondays With Mary #13 (Heartfelt Quilters)

from the December 1991 Scranton Journal
I checked out the January 28, 1985 journal entry on Mom's calendar which the newspaper article referenced. It reads:
5* @ 6:45 a.m.  nice day
Went to Meredith Egans for afternoon
to quilt & work on small projects with
Eva Wampler- Micki Terrill-Jan Christian  -Vern
went to town in p.m.

Now we know who the first five members were.
The next week they went to Eva Wampler's followed by going to Micki Terrill's. Feb. 18, they met at Mom's (Mary). This follows with some Mondays at Jan's. I think I might study these entries a little closer soon. Especially since, it looks like they started having lunch now and then. Fun! Fun! Fun!

In the same newspaper from 1991, a Christmas Party was reported.
As the article stated, the membership has grown and changed over the years. The Heartfelt Quilters continue to meet on Monday afternoons and have added a session on Fridays. Eva Wampler, one of the original five, is still quilting with the group in 2015.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wordless Wednesday (Roaring Twenties)

I absolutely love this picture.

Meet my great-aunt Ardea and her husband Clarence Stevens.
I have no idea of the year this picture was taken, but I am guessing high school or shortly after. Ardea was born in 1910 and married about in 1927.

Ardea Agnes Smith Stevens for more of her story.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mondays With Mary #12 Quilts

My mother, Mary, was a quilter. In earlier days, she was a sewer. So that you aren't confused, she worked with thread and material not waste products.  She made many of my clothes through school and even when I was a young teacher. She made my prom dress and my wedding dress.  In her later years, she quilted and quilted and quilted. She gave lessons, made custom products for family and friends, subscribed to all things quilty, lived and breathed quilts. I have dozens of quilts that she left behind, about a zillion wall hangings, and enough material to open my own fabric shop.

I thought about this because I was reading some calendars. I had decided I wanted to look at some new ones so I just reached in the middle of the stack and pulled out 1992. It seemed to be a cold winter with lots of reading and quilting.

January 6, 1992
     34* @ 5:45 a.m. Vern went to hunt. I
     went to quilt- and to Truie Terrill's services
     in a.m.  home at 4:30. Boys didn't
     get any deer - roads are softening up terrible
     to drive on

January 7, 1992
     36@ 7 a.m. foggy- blah- turned to          
     drizzle in p.m. Went to town in a.m. to
      grain  storage- electric repair to MacDonalds
      home at 10:30 a.m. Read and sewed on quilt
      in p.m. Vern slept & cold still bad.     Written in the margin-           Roads getting worse.

These quilts hang over my upstairs bannister where they are easy to photograph. As I said, there are many, many completed quilts. An inventory is in order. Someday. Maybe.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Celestia... Friday's Feature

Sometimes my head begins to spin with dates and places, names and relationships of these ancestors that have contributed to who we are or who our children and grandchildren are. I need to stop and try to spin a possible story to get to know these pioneers and a little about their lives. The family connections of my husband's great great grandmother, Celestia, can be traced back to 1630. It is easy to get lost in that information about the founding of this country. After hours of reading, comparing information, entering data and reflecting on such, I want to think more about the stories. I need to try to make theses ancestors more real.

Celestia Mary Phillips Marsh (1829-1918) is buried in the cemetery in Jefferson, Iowa. ( I became aware of this only a few months ago.) When I can walk to someone's grave, they start to become real to me. She was the daughter of Elijah and Ellen Thompson Phillips and was born in Warren County, Pennsylvania. Here is a quick lineage reminder: Celestia/ Minerva Jane/ Ina/ Doris/ Tom (my husband).

As the oldest child she probably kept busy in their home in little Russell, Pennsylvania (This town has gone by many names according to the town's website. In her obituary it is called Russellburg) This small village is located  in the township of Pine Grove and is just over the state line from New York in the northwest area of  Pennsylvania. Pine Grove is often mentioned as the place of residence in census records. She had seven younger siblings. Her dad, Elijah, was a farmer and her mother, Ellen, was undoubtedly kept busy with the care of this family. Remember, Aunt Fanny, youngest child of Celestia. In 1941 she wrote about life in those early days as had been told to her by her mother. 
Aunt Fanny's Research.

 It appears that Celestia grew up in this area of Pennsylvania. In 1850 when the census was taken, she was 19 years old. Then next year on December 31, 1851 she married Richard Marsh. I wonder if there was any special celebration for the New Year about to break.

In the nine or so years before moving to Illinois in 1860, four children had been born to Celestia and Richard. The third child, Dwight, wrote about this move in papers from 1941.   See Pennsylvania to Iowa 1860. The family lived around Princeton, Illinois for approximately 16 years before moving on to Greene County, Iowa in May of 1876. While in that area they had two more children, Emmett (1870) and Fanny (1873). Prior to Fanny's birth, their daughter, Florence died in 1872) Then in 1876, they lost 6 year old, Emmett. This was the year, they moved to Greene County in May. I do not know if Emmett died before or after their move. Their oldest son, Joseph Merritt, had married the year before the move to Adelia Mudge on March 3, 1875. Our direct line ancestor, Minerva Jane, would have been around 16. Once in Greene County she met Edward M. Reeder. (We all know where that lead.)

When I was reading about the Reeders, I learned they lived south of Jefferson. Guess where Celestia,  Richard, and Marsh children ( including Minerva Jane)  moved to in 1876. Yep, to a farm south of Jefferson. I wonder how long it took them to meet.  Our Minerva Jane Marsh and Edward M. Reeder married December 22, 1880.

Celestia's husband, Richard, died in 1885 about 9 or 10 years after coming to Greene County. This is probably the reason for their move into Jefferson.

Grandma Celestia, also called Celia died just a few weeks before my mother-in-law (her great-granddaughter) was born in 1918.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wordless Wednesday #2

with words.

These two ladies are my dad's two grandmothers. His mother's mother is on the left of the picture and his father's mother is on the right in black with a hat.  I would like you to meet Emma Susan DeHart Borden and Jennie Emily Olmsted Wright.  The best part about these great- grandmother's of mine are that I actually knew them both.

G Grandma Borden used to come to stay with us. She slept with me which I thought was great! She liked to make herself useful by darning my dad's socks. I liked to watch her slide a lightbulb into the toes and stitch away. The thing was my dad didn't like darned socks. Mom didn't have the heart to tell Grandma so she just let her darn away and then disposed of the socks after she left.

What I remember about G Grandma Wright is one time when we went to visit. Mom, Dad, and G Grandpa Charles sat in the living room while G G Jennie puttered in the kitchen.  The thing was she didn't know anyone anymore. I sat on a stool between the kitchen and living room watching both ways.  I was fairly certain she was going to snatch me from my stool and stick me into the oven; the living room folks would not even notice because they were so engrossed in their conversation. I wonder if I had recently read Hansel and Gretel. I was truly frightened.

Later, I learned this was the first time Dad had seen his grandmother when she didn't know who he was. It was a hard day for him.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mondays With Mary ( a picnic )

I love it when I think I have run across a picture that fits with something Mom wrote in her calendar. It seems there was a family picnic coming up in the summer of 1966.

Saturday, July 2, 1966

killed 8 more chickens
hot again     Margie
went to Lake. Mom & I went to
Jeff - Drove over to Neva's
in evening - Plaths & Marilyn
Dorothy & kids there

Remember when I started down the Who is Carrie Plath? trail. Then one day I was able to say The Wait is Over! Now, I think I might have made a match to their attendance at a family picnic.

Sunday, July 3, 1966

Went to Scranton to
picnic in Park    Hot
but wonderful time. All there
but Jean's family. Spent quiet
evening at home. 

Here is the picture I found. I do not know if this picture is actually from that picnic but I think it is. This is my grandmother, Nina Grisso, in the city park in Scranton, Iowa. I think this couple is the illusive Carrie Plath and her husband. What do you think?

This is the photo which I originally found of Grandma Nina and her cousin, Carrie Plath.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

I was keeping ahead with my pre-post drafts and then I started falling a little behind. The slow down was due to life. Amazing how it seems to get in the way sometimes. Although, life is what is important. Remember, enjoy each day - tomorrow may not come your way.

Among other interrupting life events, I have been digging into the Phillips line whose first family immigrant sailed to the New World in 1630 aboard the Arabella. This has involved reviewing my early American history. What fun!  The discovery process is  extremely addicting, but I need to get back to what I already know and want to share with my cousins.

So, you might wonder why this post is labeled Wordless Wednesday when I am going on and on with words. Wordless Wednesday is a blogger prompt which features a picture, drawing, or other visual which could stand alone with no words needed.

I think I will have a few Wordless Wednesday's while building up my pre-draft inventory.  Today's photo should prompt some giggles from a few cousins.

Bill, Thelma (Pat), Jean, John

Monday, August 3, 2015

Mondays With Mary #10 (Walking Beans)

As a  teenager in the early 1960's, I "walked beans". Walking beans was a way of life for farm kids back then.  Today the soybean crops are sprayed with herbicides that keep the weeds at bay.  There is not a more beautiful sight than acres and acres of green soybean rows with not one stock of corn or other invasive weed sticking up above the tops of the leaves. Years ago this sight also reflected hours and hours turned into days and weeks of hot, dirty work. We would start very early in the morning. Sometimes the dew was still on the bean leaves and we would get soaking wet.  We would walk down the rows from one end of the field to the other end; then, turn around and walk back on a different set of rows.  Sometimes the field would be one half mile long.  Each walker was responsible for the two rows to the left and the two rows to the right. We would be looking for cockleburrs, milk weed, and volunteer corn that had seeded itself from the year before when these acres had been planted to corn. If there were too many weeds, we would just take two rows. This would then take us FOREVER to get a field done.

My primary bean walking buddy was my second cousin and dear friend, Kathy. Our first customers were our dads, but eventually we were hired by other neighbors or family friends.  Sometimes, our crew grew to Lynn, Nancy, and maybe Margo. At first we made 75 cents per hour.  We were really excited as the summers went on and we made $1.00 per hour. Kathy and I both have bean walking scars on our legs and arms. Sometimes we pulled by hand, sometimes we used a corn knife which looked a little like a machete, and sometimes we used a bean hook. It was that bean hook that occasionally did the damage.

I wish Mom's journals went back to those days, but they don't. Instead, I found some entries from 1966 that give a little idea of how the beans were walked when I was a college student.
Sunday, July 10, 1966
hot again
rested all day  went to
beanfield for two rounds in evening
Monday, July 11, 1966
canned 9 pts beans
                                     (This would be green beans not soy beans)
cleaned 3 chickens
Vern raked hay       hot
1 round in bean field
drove up to Scranton to cool off
(in the margin it says "bought a fan")
                                      (remember, no air-conditioning)
Tuesday, July 12, 1966
hot-hot-hot  Dorothy A came & picked beans (Again, green beans)
Vern baled 243 bales of hay
watered down hogs all day
Wednesday, July 13, 1966
hot yet
went to bean field
drove over to Carl's & Bert's
in evening   McLaughlin losing cattle from heat
Thursday, July 14, 1966
got well fixed
washed in p.m.
started to cool off
Carl's over in evening
3/10 of rain

Friday, July 15, 1966
cleaned 3 chickens
went to bean field
for a round-stopped at Carl's

Saturday, July 16, 1966
worked in bean
field all day
Jane & Sharon Tolsdorf &
Margie to help
Sunday, July 17, 1966
Vern & Margie did
2 more rounds in beans
Took Margie to Ames in
evening-Stopped in Boone on way back
Here I must interrupt and say that I undoubtedly was thrilled to go back to summer classes in Ames.

These daily entries continue until July 31 when she writes that Imlers finished the beans. I don't know who Imlers were, but my guess is someone who walked beans for pay like Kathy and I used to do.
I wanted to add just a couple more abbreviated entries for a few special readers.
Tuesday, July 19, 1966
Dave and Mary came
went 2 rounds in beanfield
Wednesday, July 20, 1966
Dave to beanfield

Thursday, July 21, 1966
Vickies & Tolsdorf girls
in beans in morning

and on and on and on and on..........

I am hot and tired just from reading about it.