Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
My Wonderful Parents....
All of my Family and Friends...
But most of all?
An absolutely fantastic dinner with my parents at my brother's home. My Dad had a great day today, not too much pain or discomfort, and a ride away from the nursing center to enjoy dinner surrounded by his children and grandchildren. He even enjoyed a bit of football with my brother and husband after our dinner... what a fantastic Thanksgiving! I couldn't ask for more. I wish everyone the same blessing I was given today.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I am still spending time with my Dad during his illness and will remain at his side as much as I can. His family is the reason I started researching and I've enjoyed it every step of the way, as has he. But, the hobby and the blogging obviously have to be put aside right now, during this difficult time that needs to be spent with my family.
I especially want to thank everyone who's given well wishes in comments on my last post about my Dad. It means a lot to me and strengthens me that you're praying for us and sending thoughts our way. We moved him locally only three weeks ago and it's been wonderful to be able to see him everyday and spend time talking with him. It's a very difficult time to go through with a whirlwind of emotions - words cannot even describe it.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I never really thought about how this would impact me when the time came. My Dad has always been someone I looked up to, someone with strength and a very big heart. Someone who worked hard for his family and gave us values and honesty and all the things we needed - even if we didn't realize it. I'm not ready to say goodbye and it's more difficult than I ever could of imagined. I will spend every available moment with him, it's the least I can do after all he's done for me.
I wish everyone well. Thanks for reading.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
this is for the love of my family.... ALL of them!
You enter each name one time and it spreads them out in the shape you choose.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
This is a question that I asked my Grandmother yesterday. "Why didn't you have Granddad buried at Arlington National Cemetery?"
Grandma is from another time, she was raised not to question "authority"
When my Grandfather died suddenly in 1975, the day after Christmas, Grandma probably didn't have any idea what to do. Sure, there were others around her to help make the arrangements, but she was the spouse. When she asked the funeral director the question about Arlington she was told "He doesn't qualify." She didn't pursue it, but tells me now that for many years she often thought of the wrong this must have been. Granddad was a decorated war hero, receiving many medals in WWII, shown in a post that I did this summer, including the Purple Heart. So, my question is "What are the qualifications, and have they changed?"
According to the Arlington National Cemetery website, the following is a portion of information on the general eligibility requirements for ground burial:
Eligibility for Interment (Ground Burial)
The persons specified below are eligible for ground burial in Arlington National Cemetery. The last period of active duty of former members of the Armed Forces must have ended honorably. Interment may be casketed or cremated remains.
a) Any active duty member of the Armed Forces (except those members serving on active duty for training only).
b) Any veteran who is retired from active military service with the Armed Forces.
c) Any veteran who is retired from the Reserves is eligible upon reaching age 60 and drawing retired pay; and who served a period of active duty (other than for training).
d) Any former member of the Armed Forces separated honorably prior to October 1, 1949 for medical reasons and who was rated at 30% or greater disabled effective on the day of discharge.
e) Any former member of the Armed Forces who has been awarded one of the following decorations:
Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross (Navy Cross or Air Force Cross)
Distinguished Service Medal
Now the question is, why on earth did the funeral director tell her he wasn't eligible? Of course, back in 1975 you couldn't run home and get on the Internet to find out more information, or get it on your cell phone as you can today. It is the funeral director's responsibility, even today, to contact Arlington and make necessary arrangements. It is clear to me that some questions either weren't asked, or necessary information was not provided. All Grandma can say to these questions is "I just don't know why that happened."
Now I'd like to know - has any "regular guy", who served in the military and was clearly due a burial at Arlington ever been removed from his burial of more than 30 years and then interred at Arlington? Sure, we've all heard stories of personnel buried overseas and moved, but what about someone who was buried by his family because they were told he wasn't eligible? Not only should he have been buried there, but my Grandmother as his widow who has never re-married all these years should also be eligible according to what I've read.
My last Tombstone Tuesday post was of my Grandfather's headstone. He's buried in a cemetery in the town where we lived at the time in Montgomery County Maryland. None of the family lives there any longer and there isn't any room in this cemetery for my Grandmother's burial. She will be buried elsewhere. Which isn't what she would prefer of course. Grandma will be 92 years old next month and I fear that time is of the essence at this point. Should I pursue moving him? My family agrees, but is it something that's done?
I've not yet contacted the cemetery to get information from them, but we plan to do that this week. Expect more about this story!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Not having my family from this specific area of the state, there was little to hold my interest but as we all know, it's the coming together of genealogists that lures us to these gatherings. Someone, ANYONE with a common interest is fun to talk and share with. After visiting with half a dozen people for about an hour, I left feeling good, it was nice to chat with others who share our hobby.
Because there isn't a Genealogical Society, Club or otherwise in my area, I decided to contact our local Historical Society to see if there was any interest - they put me in touch with someone who writes a genealogy column for their newsletter. She and I talked via email a few times and quickly determined with my schedule and her commitments to other things, neither of us were up for the task of trying to pull something together right now. We both had a lot of ideas, Lots and Lots of ideas - but we also realized that neither of us really had an understanding of what these groups do. What goes on at their meetings? Do they usually have someone who, for lack of a better term, "runs the show" or do they just get together much like a book club and discuss their research and help each other with specific areas/problems that they're knowledgable with? I think this type of gathering would quickly lose focus - or would it? I imagine beginners who would need much guidance and there would be the seasoned genealogists who would probably quickly tire of helping out the newbies all the time and then there are the "old school" genealogists who would never think to do any kind of research on the Internet (yes, I met one of these at the little fair). I've never been to this type of gathering - so what do you do at a meeting with such a varying level of understanding and a melting pot of people who all have the same interests? ... I have no earthly idea.
I then thought about others in the area who may be interested and I had to find out a way to reach out to them. GenealogyWise was a place to start. I searched the members for all the towns nearby and friended a few of them. One gentleman said that yes he'd be interested in something like this but we ran into the same problem - lots of ideas and no clue where to begin. There were about 12 other users in our local area registered on GenealogyWise - easy enough to contact them all, but then what?
So, there's still no club or society in my county but at least I know there is just a bit of interest out there. I envision a coming together of friends with common interests, sharing knowledge, helping others and I'm a firm believer that a club or society should also give back to our home county - transcribing records, documenting cemeteries or the like - whatever we can come up with that would help researchers who are no longer local.
Please, all you society or club members out there who belong to the smallish type of groups - share a typical meeting agenda with me. Anyone join a society as it was just starting up? Anyone help with the actual starting of one? How did it evolve over time? What were the first meetings like?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
and this one is after she worked to trim away the grass and sweep off the stone.
THANK YOU SO MUCH JANE!!!!
It really pays to get known burials entered into Find-A-Grave. There are many volunteers registered who are willing to go out and photograph headstones in their areas. I myself have taken many photos in local cemeteries and uploaded them to the site for others. It's a great way to help out other researchers and give back to the genealogical community.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Richard Cleveland Anderson was born on October 24, 1933 in Washington DC. He was the son of May Kidwell and Leonard Cleveland Anderson. After his birth his mother became very ill with an infection and died on November 9th. Richard's father was left with 8 children to care for. While I'm sure it was a very difficult decision, Richard would need to be cared for elsewhere. From what I understand, Richard went to live with his Grandmother Bertie Kidwell. I was told this by May's brother when I met him a several years ago. Bertie and one of her other daughters Marie would raise him.
We have no photographs of Richard, nor are we aware if he ever kept in touch with his siblings. One thing we have found is a book from his funeral, which my Grandmother (his half sister) had in her possessions. She would have been 9 when he was born. Grandma apparently made arrangements for Richard to be buried in the Anderson family plot at the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church in McLean, Virginia. Richard has no headstone. He died on September 8, 1975 at the age of 41.
I am aware of one marriage, to a woman named Elsie Belle - her maiden name is not known, nor their date of marriage. It is not known if the couple had any children.
Friday, October 16, 2009
My Great Grandmother Margaret McCann Bellew left England in the mid 1920s. I have done many posts about her story in the past, you can read them by viewing the posts labeled Margaret's Envelope. But that wasn't the whole story, as Margaret had left England to join her husband, and many of her sisters and other extended family members remained there.
Today I write about two of Margaret's sisters, Elizabeth, my cousin's grandmother; and Alice Ann. Elizabeth McCann was born 9 Feb 1888 at 5, Newsham Street, Preston. Her parents were Hugh McCann and Alice Ann Smith. Elizabeth McCann married John Mee on 14 August 1911 at the Church of the Sacred heart, Preston and they had five children, two of whom died young. Her husband died in 1926 and Elizabeth married George Fowler in 1928 and they had one child. Elizabeth died in 1943. Alice Ann McCann was born in 1894 and never married. She remained in Preston until her death - dear cousin do you have her death record? Writing about some of the extended family also allows me to note gaps in my information :-)
My cousin's parents, John Mee (son of Elizabeth and John Mee) and Eleanor Maud Nicholson married on 26 July 1947 at St. Edmund's Roman Catholic Church in Northumberland. She was wonderful to share the photo below of their wedding day, showing many of the family members I thought I'd never lay eyes on.
This is a photo of John Mee's wedding - the son of Elizabeth McCann Mee. Imagine my excitement to see a photo of my great grandmother's sister Alice, who is second from the left. Also pictured are George Fowler (far left), John Mee (center with his bride) and Eleanor Maud Nicholson. The fourth from the right is Mary Mee, the groom's sister (born 19 May 1917) standing next to her new sister-in-law. What a beautiful occasion.
It's very rewarding to receive and share family information with extended family members you may not have known existed, yet they're so close in relation to you. I am very glad to have found my new cousin and with the help of message boards, blogging and our continuing research, we'll find even more family members to share with.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This is the headstone of Grace Ellen Horsman Souder. She was the topic of my past Spotlight Sunday and my 2nd Great-Grand Aunt.
She is buried here with other members of the Souder family - Her husband Alpheus, her mother-in-law Fannie, and a nephew Albert Wesley Kidwell.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Today, it's Grace Emma Horsman Souder, a second great aunt on my father's side.
Much of information I have on Grace has been passed to me from a cousin who is a descendant of hers. The photo posted here is the only one I have of her.
Grace Ellen Horsman was born Oct 20 1887 in Fairfax County Virginia; she was the daughter of James Thomas Horsman and Emma Katherine Dawson. She lived in Fairfax for all of her young life and married Alpheus Dorsey Souder on December 15, 1908 in the "Old Church" in Vienna, Fairfax County Virginia. The couple had two children, Alpheus Wesley Souder born in 1921 and Everett William Souder born in 1925. They spent some time living in Washington DC and in Prince George's County Maryland. Grace's husband died in 1950 at the age of 68 in Prince George's County; Grace died May 7, 1966 at the age of 78. I am unaware of where she died, she is buried in the Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington DC with other Souder family members.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
The chain is odd, it's very short, meaning not necklace length, almost too short to go around a neck - it's more like the length of a watch chain, and the 'locket' thing is about 2" tall - a bit large. What would someone have done with this? Anyone know?
There is a small area on the front that appears to be for putting someone's initials or other small inscription.
There are two photos inside, they're not marked in any manner and they're not recognized by anyone we've shown them to. I may never know who these people are or if they're even related to me.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I really wish this photo was in better shape, unfortunately I'm not familiar with photo restoration. This was taken in Rockville Maryland, 1947. At first I thought they must be playing street hockey of some kind... but isn't that a golf club? I guess it's all they had.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Although I didn't have a lot in common with any of these folks, I must say that it was really nice to be around some others who share my interest (oh and actually being able to talk with other adults in person was nice :-) Ever notice how people outside of your little circle get that blank stare on their face when you mention genealogy? I didn't see any of those stares on Saturday! It was quite refreshing. For this reason alone (and the random cemetery stop on the way home) it was well worth the trip.
Dick Eastman did a post on Sept 25 titled Grass Roots Organizing at it's Best about a meeting he attended for a possible new genealogy organization and I'm now inspired to contact my local historical society or library to find out if there might be some interest in my own area for this type of organization or club. While the meeting he attended seemed to be comprised of people researching many areas and from all levels of skill, the organizations in my area are very area specific, having their membership comprised of people who are only researching in that area, whose families have been there for generations. I think it would be lots more fun to have beginners, seasoned genealogists and people researching from all over the world in attendance so we can learn from each other and help each other.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
John W. Bellew was born on 27 Sept 1889 in Preston, Lancashire England. He was the son of Patrick Bellew and Elizabeth Hall. John had six siblings; James (died at childbirth), William, James, Frances, Mary and Isabella.
John served in the British Army Royal Field Artillery from 1909 to 1913. He married Margaret McCann in the St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Preston on 1 July, 1915. John was a cotton weaver at a local mill prior to entering the British Army and later he was a hotel barman.
John and Margaret lived in Preston and had three children there - Hugh born 1916, William Patrick born 26 Nov 1917, and John born in 1919. Margaret's sister Catherine came to the US with her husband James Aspin in late 1919 or early 1920. John and Margaret later decided to join them in the US.
In 1923 John came to the US, joining his McCann sister-in-law and her husband in Rhode Island, where he worked in the mills in Central Falls. Margaret did not join him until almost a full 3 years later in 1926. Unfortunately she was forced to leave one of their children behind in England, their son John was too ill to travel at the time and never joined them in the US.
John and his family later relocated to the small town of Adams, Massachusetts, again to find work in the textile mills that had attracted them to Rhode Island. The family remained in Adams until the 1950s when they relocated to Maryland after John suffered a stroke.
John died in Bethesda Maryland on 15 Dec 1958. He was buried at the Gate of Heaven cemetery. The photo below is the only known existing photo of him. This is a picture taken at my Grandparents' wedding, the bride with her father, Joe Leeming (right) and John Bellew, the new father-in-law (left).
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Finding my Hott family and the Anderson family in Fauquier County in 1900 led me to search for children that were born to my Great Grandmother who didn't live. She told stories of two children lost, one as a newborn and another as a small child. It's possible that this is one of her children, but sadly I may never know.....
This stone bears a striking resemblance to the one posted for S.W. Hott , in the same cemetery on a previous Tombstone Tuesday post.
Friday, September 11, 2009
My original information was very little, I knew that his wife was M.M. "Holt" and I knew that he died "around the turn of the century in Romney WV" (information obtained from one of my QUICK cousins). Very little to go on, and I had my work cut out for me. Beginning with the wrong surname and the incorrect area I began my search with no luck whatsoever.
Then it happened, I found a birth record for Sarah Elizabeth Virginia HOTT in Hampshire County WV, parents listed as Samuel W. Hott and Mary Matilda Henderson. My Great Grandmother went by Sallie, a nickname for Sarah. But the last name threw me off, but the area and the birth date were correct. I then searched for a marriage for this couple and found it on Nov 17, 1870 in Hampshire County WV. The marriage record reflected Samuel's full name of Samuel William Hott. I had no luck finding a death record for him. Turning to the census records for the Quick family, I found Mary Hott, widow, aged 70 living in Washington DC in 1920. Not finding her in 1910, I looked at 1900 and found her in Fauquier County Virginia, also listed as a widow, living with three of her 7 children. Now I knew that Samuel had died prior to the 1900 census but still I didn't know where and had no idea what would have taken Mary to Fauquier County.
Further looks at the census records for 1860-1880 found Samuel William in the home of his parents John and Caroline Hott in Hampshire County WV. I was sure this was the correct Samuel, the age matched his marriage record and the records of his children's births.
Then it happened, I posted messages on Ancestry and my attention was brought to a book published on the Hott family - One Man's Family: George Hott Sr. & his Descendants, by Mary Catherine Hott Kuykendall. The researcher gave me a few details of Samuel's information listed, but corrected me about his parentage stating that he was actually Samuel Walker Hott, the son of James and Harriett Hott. Because this information was in "the book" it must be true right? Not in my mind! I quickly began doing some research on Samuel Walker and there was very little information available. My Samuel was still at his parents home in 1870 (married late in the year) whereas Walker was not. My Samuel used this name all his life, whereas Walker used his middle name on most records. Walker was born about 2 years earlier than my Samuel. I couldn't find any records of Walker's marriage, death or any other pertinent data. Then I reached out to Sylvia Hott Sonneborn, who is a fellow blogger and a wonderful researcher. She helped me search further for Samuel and we found records at Footnote that reflected Walker's path in life. He apparently fought in the civil war and then ended up in Fairfax County Virginia (according to his pension records), where he died in 1913. This could not be my Samuel!
Turing back to the marriage records in Hampshire County WV, and searching for the other children of the couple, I found their oldest daughter had married a man from Fauquier County and in 1910 was living in the area near her parents. With more family in the area, it made sense that Mary would be there. I then searched for headstones on Find-A-Grave, hoping to find something on the Hott family in Fauquier. BINGO! I found S.W. Hott, buried in July of 1899 in Prince William County Virginia. The researcher of the Hott book apparently realized that there was something amiss with his headstone, she mentioned the date on the headstone being 1847 and that the family was aware of the error... only it wasn't an error - Samuel William Hott WAS born in 1847 according to most all records. Because the family (and I still do not know who helped out on the research on Samuel's descendants for the book) always assumed that he was Samuel Walker Hott, they had his birth date listed in 1845. Now, if I could just figure out which of the hundreds of people this might be, I may be able to help set the record straight. Unfortunately, death records in the state of Virginia are not available from 1897-June of 1912, so I cannot obtain a copy of his death certificate.
I obviously wanted a copy of this book, not only because it was about one of my lines, but because much of the very early Hott family settled in a county not far from my home. The book wasn't available for months it seemed. Finally, I received word from Amazon that they had a limited number of copies available and I quickly placed my order. I couldn't wait for that book to arrive and I'm still flipping through its pages and enjoying the wonderful photographs submitted by various family members for publishing. The book was published in 1991 and is an incredible compilation of information and photographs. The wonderful lady who put it together has since passed away, but it's quite a work and one that I will treasure having for years to come!
I am confident and comfortable that the correct Samuel Hott has been found, but will of course welcome communication from any researchers or family members that can provide further proof or disprove the theory.