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Patj's Stories & Genealogy

Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Life Is Beautiful, Life Is Full Of Heroes

Just like you, I have many heros.  I have historical heroes, like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, etc.  I have military heroes like George Rogers Clark and my twenty nine American Revolutionary ancestors.  I have sports heroes like Joe Dimaggio, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson, I have family heroes like my mother, my husband, and my daughters.  What I want to share though, are what I call ordinary heroes.  These are many times the greatest heroes of all.  To become an ordinary hero to me, it requires a person to stand toe to toe with LIFE and overcome the obstacles that are thrown at people, through nature, politics, or health.  They are people that face things bravely without taking the easy way out and giving up.   Let me share what I mean by describing three ordinary heroes.

The first one is a young Chinese man, probably in his early twenties.  I will never forget the images that I saw on June 4, 1989.  Television aids us in expanding our experience, and on this day I watched in awe as this brave, seemingly small, very young man, defied huge military tanks, and he would not move out of their threatening path.  The world was witness that day of him waving his arms, and refusing to move.  The event was the Tiennaman Square Massacre in Beijing, China.  A group of young students were protesting the government’s human rights policies, or the lack thereof.  It was also an open defiance of the People’s Liberation Army Troops.  And finally,the protest of the Chinese Communist Government.  Finally, some men, or soldiers charged in and dragged him out of the way of the tanks.  No one knows what happened to him, or even what his name is.  It is supposed that he was incarcerated in a prison or jail as a political dissenter.  Did he survive his ordeal?  No one has ever answered that question.  Hundreds of others did not survive that day as they were massacred in the streets of Beijing.  The young man will probably always be anonymous, but in my eyes he is not forgotten.  I can recall that scene just as vividly today, as I saw it in 1989.  It was the start of slow changes in China, and this young man sacrificed so much for what he believed in.  He is one of my favorite heroes.

My second hero is a woman John and I met in Cheyenne.  It was a Sunday afternoon, and we had traveled to Cheyenne on our Harleys.  It was a nice fall day and we just wanted to get out for ride.  We parked our bikes in front of Hardee’s and went in for a break.  There was a couple sitting there enjoying the afternoon and we got to visiting with them.  She was the same age as I, and she was in a wheelchair.  You could tell she had had some hard knocks in life.  One of her legs had been amputated due to diabetes.  She was very outgoing and jolly and pleasant to visit with.  The man was her ex-husband and he still looked after her and took her out occasionally for an ice cream cone.  She told us about the wheelchair ramp he built for her, and how she had to be careful going down it because it was so steep.  She chuckled as she described her technique for doing that.  It was sort of like hanging on for dear life to the sides of the ramp.   He said, “Well, there IS a fence at the bottom and that would stop you if you got to going too fast.”  She came back with, “Yes, but I don’t really want to look like a WAFFLE.”  We all laughed at her good humor.  She could find something humorous to share with everyone, and she was a fast thinker, too.  I never saw her again, but I will always remember her brave way of facing what life had dealt her.  As I climbed on my Harley to leave, I thanked God for the blessings he has given me, especially my good health.

My third hero is an older lady that John and I observed in Fort Laramie, Wyoming.  We had recently bought our Toyota Chinook and had taken it out on a camping trip to test it out.  We pulled into the little campground in Fort Laramie and set up our camp.  Across the campground we noticed an older couple camping in their tent.  It was in the fall, and the weather was pretty cool.  This didn’t seem to bother this couple though, they slept on the ground in their sleeping bags.  He must have been in his late 80's and she was not far behind him.  We chatted with the owner of the campground and she said the couple had been camped there for about a week.  They were from back east and had decided to make one last trip across the country.  They had collected coins for years and this was how they financed their trip.  They sold coins as they went.  She said that they were the toughest people she had seen in a long while.   

The next day as we were preparing our breakfast in the Chinook, we watched as the lady brought out her camp stove and pots and pans and set them up on the picnic table.  She was very methodical in her meal preparation.  She had apparently done this many times before.  I was impressed with how she had everything in order and moved so efficiently as she cooked.  I will never forget the sight of that lady, carrying on her cooking in rather inconvenient conditions.  She had a nice countenance and seemed to be perfectly happy with her lot in life.  I am sure she had handled many challenges in life — and she had survived.
These are the kind of people I like to remember.  I don’t know their names, or where they live, but they made an impression on me and in a way became a lesson for me.  They were brave, met the challenges life dealt them, and kept on trying.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Who Would Have Thought It, A World Without -----------

As a person that has lived a long time, I can’t help thinking of the things that are gone now.  It is interesting how we lose things that were so familiar in another time and don’t even realize they are going away.  It is like a real live magic show, now you see it and now you don’t.  It is called life.  However, I would like to document some things that are no more, and that I miss.

I could not have imagined a time when there was no Texaco station on every corner.  In the 1950’s I was a partner in owning a Texaco filling station.  I don't hear that term much today, a filling station. The big Texaco sign was a welcome beacon to those that needed their automobile filled with gas, oil checked, washed, or serviced.  And of course at 33ȼ a gallon, folks didn’t often fill up completely because $2.00 bought six gallons and you could go a long way on six gallons.  Especially young folks didn’t fill up very often.

It was standard procedure to pull up to the pumps and someone would come out, greet you, ask what was needed, they would do it, and you never had to get out of your car. And windows were always washed and kept spick and span with the regular attention.

I don’t mind filling my own gas but it sure was a nice thing in the old days.  I can’t remember when they went completely away, but I am grateful I can remember so well those "full service" days.

Woolworth stores, oh my, they were a standard item in almost every American town I ever lived in. You didn't have to look far in a new town to see where the Woolworth store was.  They were in the center of any town.  The wonders of taking a 50 cent allowance to Woolworth's and shop for the longest time deciding what to buy.  Coloring books, paper dolls, puzzles, jacks, games, crayons, paints, toy cars and trucks for David. I didn't notice any adults watching us with suspicious eagle eyes.  Maybe they were there, but they didn't make it obvious at all.  We could handle things and try them out and take our time deciding how to spend our allowance. The one thing my mom always tried to do is give us an allowance every week. Sometimes she missed but not too often.
And then there was the lunch counter in every Woolworth store.  It was a good way to start feeling grown up, to sit up there at the counter and order a Coke or other soft drink.  What neat memories, and I am sad to say they are gone now.  For awhile there was an offshoot of Woolworth called Woolco Stores but those rode off into the sunset as well.  Woolworth Stores were an important and subtle piece of our childhood memories.  I love the memory.
Oh the wonderful world of drive in theaters.  It was THE place to be in the 1950's.  It was the first step to being independent, out of the house, not under the scrutiny of parents.  Of course, the idea was to watch the movie, but somtimes it was also a place to meet up with friends and see what was new with them.  Who went to work where, and who was going with who, important things like that.  And of course, who had been called up to go to Korea.
Or sometimes it was a place to get very well acquainted with the opposite sex.  Many a teenage romance started in a drive in theater. It was the perfect place to cuddle up and feel all grown up with no adults watching.  One big danger was to fall asleep and not wake up until after your curfew.  There were a few other things as well, but we won't spell those out right now.  Just use your imagination.

Falling asleep was the theme of the Everly Brothers hit song "Wake Up A Little Susie".  I can personally relate to that song, along with the whole generation that were teenagers in the 50's.  It seems a tame event compared to the ways of teenagers today, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

What were record stores? Saturday night was a special night when I was a kid.  It was the only night, other than Wednesdays, that stores were open until 9pm.  Drug stores and grocery stores were usually open late, but the regular stores weren=t.  I spent many a Saturday night at Zoellner=s Music Store.  I would save up my babysitting money and my allowance and buy 78 rpm records for my little record player.  When you went in the music store, there were big deep bins that held records.  They were sorted by the type of music, Popular, Western, Classical, Jazz, Easy Listening, etc.  I would thumb through the records and if I found one I thought I would like, I would take it to one of the little listening rooms along the wall of the store.  They were a cubicle, about big enough for two people.  There was a shelf with a record player on it and two chairs.  That is where I listened to the record to decide if I wanted to buy it.  If I didn=t like it I would put it back in the wrapper and put it back in the record bin. Try doing that today at WalMart.

              It seems like an image from another world to me, now.  It seemed perfectly normal then.

Last in my reverie today, the days of the phone booth. It was a symbol of getting help if you needed it. It was the beginning of a phenonemon that we have advanced to a much higher level today.  The idea that you would need to talk to someone while you were out and about your errands, to or from work, in case of car trouble etc, etc.  But you had to physically get to it by walking!  For quite some time it was a reliable way to call someone.  In the last years it was not so reliable, mainly because it wasn't needed as much, so no maintenance was done on them. They finally went the way of other old technologies. But in their heyday they were the latest and greatest.  Not exactly a safe thing, especially in the very unsafe world we live in today.  Especially at night, when you were sort of trapped inside, and everyone could see you in that situation.  And of course, there was the last minute fumbling for coins, and the anxiety of "is it working?"  Maybe this is the least of my things I sort of miss.

As a matter of fact, this is a good way to end the story for today.  Change is not bad.  Some things, and most things, needed to be changed.  It is what makes life interesting.  The constant change, and we need to embrace it, but without forgetting how it was before. I relish my lifetime and memories, but certainly enjoy the new and exciting things to come. Thanks for reading and listening.  Patj

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Anna Kuhlman Meier Martin -- 5 Mar 1914 -100 Years Ago

One hundred year's ago, on March 5, 2014, Anna was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  She was the third child of Frederick Kuhlman and Anna Weber. Following is a story I wrote about her for one of her birthdays.

                                          Memories Of Anna Kuhlman Meier Martin
                       by Patricia A. Johnson
The year was 1951 and I had just turned sixteen.  You were a young wife and mother, age thirty seven.  You had a teenage son 18, and three small children ages 2, 6, and 7.  The first time I met you was in your home on AK@ Street in Gering, Nebraska.  Your home was small, but so neat, clean, and homey.  Family pictures on display in the livingroom, plants at the windows, and fancy doilies on the end tables and couch and chairs.  I remember the feeling of welcome that was in the air in your home. 

Of course, the kitchen was a special place in your home. This is where I first tasted AButterballs and Noodles@ ADina Kuga@(forgive my phonetic spelling), AKraut Bidouck@ and many other German dishes that I came to love, and still fix to this day.

Little did the two of us realize, in the beginning, the many miles, trials and joys we would travel together in the next twenty plus years.  There are so many memories it is hard to isolate just a few. 

One of my fondest memories is of your father, Fred Kuhlman.  I would pick him up on Saturday nights and bring him to our house to watch TV.  Our regulars were Saturday Night Wrestling and Lawrence Welk.  When Grandpa Kuhlman discovered I smoked he was delighted, I thought he would think I was terrible C but he was happy to have a smoking partner, and we would sit and smoke and watch TV together on Saturday nights.  Sometimes we would just sit and he would tell me stories of his youth, and when he migrated to Canada in 1912 from Russia.  I wish I had asked him more questions, but I treasure the things he did tell me. 

I remember when you and I lived together in Weiser, Idaho in 1959-1960.   How a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law could live a whole winter in close quarters, and not have a spat or two is amazing. We never did, even though I am sure there were times that I got on your nerves.   Neither one of us ever said any words that hurt the other, and I cherish that memory. 

We were partners in 1960 when we both worked at Ore-Ida in Ontario, Oregon. You would leave in the afternoon for the 2nd shift, and I would be home with Roger, Carol, Charles, Steve and Cindy when school was out.  Then I would leave for 3rd shift after the kids were in bed and you would be home soon after, from your shift.   We both needed the money, and this worked out for both of us.

It was during this time, also that I grew to appreciate how you could make a meal for a large family out of so little.  I still marvel at how you can take a few potatoes, eggs, and flour and make a satisfying meal.  Of course, you always had plenty of home canned fruit that you put up in the fall.

Remember when you and Steve and I would go into Weiser, Idaho and stop at the Bus Station for a cup of coffee?  Steve was about three years old and loved to drink the cream out of those little glass cream jars.  We would laugh as he smiled at us with a great big white mustache.

I do have a momento and reminder of you to this very day.  Its not a glamorous item, but I am reminded of you every time I use it.  It is the ironing board you gave me when you moved to Idaho. Yes, I still have it, after all the years of moving.  And I think of you each time I use it.

I used to love to hear you and Grandpa visit and talk about the many families you knew, and who married who, who died, who was related to who.  I always wondered how you two kept them all straight.  

I appreciate so much the times you took care of Cindy when I worked as a solderer at JEK Manufacturing.  I knew she was in the best hands in the world. 

You have been the best mom, grandmother, great grandmother and friend to so many people.  I hope you know how much you are loved and how much I cherish the many memories of our times together.  I had a wonderful mother of my own, but I always had room for another mom. 

We have each seen many births, deaths, marriages, divorces, trials, tribulations, and joys. 
Through it all we have remained good friends.  I will end by saying,
AYou did a great job, and thank you.@

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Gerald Vuhr Craig 1915-1999 --- Birthday #99

My dad, Gerald Vuhr Craig would have been 99 years old on February 26, 2014.  Many people experienced knowing him. He was definitely an experience.  I hope someday someone will say that about me.  Dad was of the generation that really did do it their way.

How I would love to challenge him to a game of cribbage this evening. It was a standard thing when we were together for a visit.  As a matter of fact I don’t believe I have played cribbage since our last game, so many years ago.  I rarely won, but when I did it was a sweet success, for sure.  His mind was so quick, and he planned his moves so well, he was hard to beat.  This is why it was also hard to beat him at a game of pool.  Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit those particular skills from him.  Fortunately, I DID inherit many other skills from him.

In the picture above you see a little boy and his mother. This is my dad and anyone that ever knew him would recognize him because of his “Craig eyes”.  Even if you met him late in his life, you would recognize those eyes. They were steely blue and able to pierce like a laser if angered or if he was challenged.  They were mysterious because you couldn’t ever read what was behind them. This was another skill he had developed in his life.  Keeping things and feelings deep inside was his survival technique.

To say he was my girlhood hero would be a true statement. He was so handsome, and he was so able to talk to, and enjoy any person he met that you felt his charisma instantly. Nonetheless, I always knew there was a volatile side to his nature, so it was good to have a few survival skills of your own.  Maybe this is why I say knowing him was an experience.

I do know I am proud to be his oldest child, the one that remembers him as a very young man, struggling to find his place in the world.  And find it he did, as he was quite successful in his career at Peter Kiewit & Sons Construction Company in Omaha, Nebraska.  He was sent all over the world to complete difficult projects, and he never failed.

So I say, “Happy Birthday Dad”.  Please know I am proud of you and I am glad to be your daughter.  Patj 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dorothy Olive Cary --- Age Thirteen

On January 29, 2014 this young lady would have been age ninety six. Here she is as a typical teenager in Ottumwa, Iowa.  I suspect she may have wanted to be somewhere else that day, perhaps with her girl friends or maybe a boy.

When she looked at that picture as an older woman she said, "I wasn't interested in family that was there that day, I was more interested in boys."  The family that was there that day was her immediate family of parents and younger brother and sister, her aunts and uncles, cousins, maternal grandmother, and maternal great grandparents.  How I wish I could have been there to hear the conversations and the noise that many children cause.

This was about 1931 and great grandparents, Jencene and Eugene Casey were on their last trip and were visiting all of their progeny.  Later, I learned that Eugene Casey had checked himself and his wife, Jencene, out of the Old Soldiers Home in Hot Springs, South Dakota.  The records show that he disgregarded the warning that they may not get back in -- and he did it anyway.  A strong minded man that wasn't easy to push around.  They were able to get back in at the end of the trip and both died at the Old Soldiers Home.  His wife looks perfectly at ease in the pictures of them, a wife that had all the confidence in the world in her husband.  The trip was very important to them. Their daughter, Lizzie Irene Casey Windle, lived in Ottumwa, Iowa and the family gathering was in her yard.  The younger folks were the families of Lizzie's children, Hazel Belle Windle Cary, Frances Windle McKelvey and her deceased son Harry Windle.  It was quite a group of people of all ages.

I am so thankful someone was a photo enthusiast.  There are pictures of the whole group, the young cousins, and individual families.  The picture on the right is my mom's immediate family.

The picture on the left is the entire group.  What a grand day that must have been.  It is a treasure to me and I suspect my grandmother, Hazel Windle Cary was the one that saw that the photos were taken, and preserved.  Thank you mom for giving me these pictures.  And thank you for giving me and David life, and therefore life for all that follow us.  I will love you forever.  Patj

Friday, January 3, 2014

The John Storms and Hannah Collard Story Published

As a followup to the story about the Kentucky Ancestors Online offer to publish my story, here is the link that takes you there.

It turned out nice. Thanks to the Kentucky folks for publishing it.

A Few Favorite Ancestors Of Joanna T. Baker Sanford

                                                JOANNA T. BAKER=S ANCESTORS
Most of the month of January 2002 was spent entering in PAF the recently discovered ancestors of my 3rd great grandmother, Joanna T. BAKER SANFORD.  I guess only a Agenealogy nut@ would consider this fun B but it was really fun to me.  I had so much information it took me almost the whole month to organize it so I knew Awho was where.@  Last year I told of two of my favorites, Samuel HUBBARD and his outspoken wife Tacy COOPER.        

Another favorite is the WHALEY family.  The immigrant ancestor was Theophilus WHALEY.  He came to Virginia from England after some involvement in the execution of King Charles I.  He is a bit of a mystery, his name may have actually been Robert, but changed to Theophilus to be less conspicuous to the English authorities as he escaped to America.  He was born in 1616 to a wealthy family and died in 1720.  He married Elizabeth MILLS in Virginia and then the family moved to Rhode Island.   He had only one son, Samuel, and Samuel had a daughter Ann.  Ann married Moses  BLANCHARD and became the 2nd great grandmother to Joanna T. BAKER.  Theophilus was an eccentric, and when he moved to Rhode Island he lived by fishing, weaving and teaching.  He was conversant in Hebrew and Greek.  He was secretive about his early history and this adds to his mystery.

The MAXSON family is especially interesting.  The first MAXSON was Richard MAXSON, and he and his oldest son, Richard, Jr. were massacred  by the Indians in Rhode Island in 1637.  This is before the land had been purchased from the Indians, so the MAXSONs were truly interlopers.  Richard MAXSON=s pregnant wife escaped the Indians and in the spring of 1638 her son, John, was born.  Unfortunately, Mrs. MAXSON=s name has been lost to history, but her son became the progenitor of the family in America.   He is the 4th great grandfather of Joanna T. BAKER.  He was born in 1638 and died 17 December 1720.  He married Mary MOSHER in 1665.

Giles GIBBS is another interesting progenitor.  He came from England and settled first in Dorchester, Massachusetts later removing to Windsor, Connecticut.  He was one of the founders of Windsor.  He had a Alively@ family.  He had one son, Gregory, with his first wife and four children with his second wife, Katherine Carwithe.  Our ancestor is his son Jacob, who married Elizabeth Androus.  The family of Giles was often in trouble with the authorities.  In one day in Court on 07 March 1650/1 Jacob GIBBS was fined 40 shillings for a misdemeanor, Samuel GIBBS was to ordered to be Acorrected by his master@ for misbehaving and Sarah GIBBS was found guilty of Acarrying herself in a disorderly manner@ and ordered to do appropriate service in the house of her mother or else she would be sent to the Ahouse of correction.@  Sarah was still in trouble in 1660, so she didn=t learn her lessons very well.  I guess you can say that these folks were definitely Anon-conformists.@  Giles was born in England about 1600 and buried in Windsor, Connecticut on 21 May 1694.  He is the 5th great grandfather of Joanna T. BAKER.  These are just a few of my favorites of Joanna=s ancestors.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

September 2001 (A Month Like No Other)

The second in my reports from 2001. This cannot compare with the dramatic reports of 9/11/2001, but it is a real life report.  Reading this puts me back in that very spot on that very day. 

The month started with me able to have a wonderful three day visit to Gering to see my parents, Dorothy and Lee JOHNSTON in Gering, Nebraska.  We went to Eastern Star the evening of the 6th and it was so nice to see the folks that belong to my OES Chapter.  I have only been to one Eastern Star meeting since I moved from Gering in 1971.  After the meeting there was a birthday cake for Shirley Smith and ME.  It was a fun evening and we enjoyed it very much.  The rest of the visit was doing fun things like, shopping, and a ride to Torrington to see Paul Reed=s operation up there.  We ran into Ron, a friend of Lee, and he invited us to see the apartment he and his wife rented in Torrington.  It was a very pleasant visit to Gering.  Little did we know that this would be the last week of life as we had known it.  

On the following Tuesday morning, September 11, John and I arrived home from town after having breakfast out.  Our neighbor, Mary, was walking by and crying.  We asked what was wrong and she said AHave you seen TV? The World Trade Center has been attacked!@  

We hurried inside just in time to see the second plane fly into the corner of the South Trade Tower.  We sat transfixed to the TV screen.  It seemed like a horrible movie scene.  I will never forget those first moments as we kept hearing more and more bad news and wondered when it would all end and what would happen to our country.  Next came the images of the third plane flying into a section of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.   A fourth plane went down in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  This plane was diverted from its intended target, which I am sure was NOT a field in Western Pennsylvania.  Thank God for cell phones, as many passengers on those ill fated planes got messages out of what was happening and to tell their loved ones goodbye.  

Ironically, Somerset County, Pennsylvania is where my Revolutionary Ancestor, Ezra Cary, served in the militia in 1777.  Hopefully we will not have to resort to a militia again in this country, but if we do, I am confident that we will arise to the occasion, just as Ezra Cary did.  

Tuesday is our normal lawn mowing day and after an hour or so of horror, I couldn=t watch anymore, so I decided to go out and start mowing.  Not that I was dismissing what was happening, I just couldn=t watch anymore.

When we finished our chores, we sat quietly at the picnic table in the backyard and listened to the quiet of the World around us.  The sky was painfully quiet.  The Interstate was painfully quiet.  The neighborhood was quite.  I will never forget the feeling of that morning when our World changed before our very eyes.  Laurie called and the first thing she said was, AI love you Mom.@ We seem to need to say that in difficult times.

Samuel Hubbard And Tacy Cooper A 1630's Power Couple

The world of Samuel and Tacy Cooper Hubbard

One of my projects for 2014 is to review my genealogical reports that I used to write for each year.  I believe that there is enough good information found in these reports,1993 thru 2007, to warrant sending the work to the FamilyHistory Library for preservation. It has been a fun project because as I read the names and events of those years I am reminded of details I have forgortten.  I felt the need to share two of those reports from the year 2001.  The first is of the couple in this story.  I am so glad I read it this evening, and became acquainted again with Samuel Hubbard and Tacy Cooper.  Let me introduce you to them. As I read the story again I can only imagine the challenge they faced in standing firm in their religious convictions.  I am proud to be their 10th great granddaughter.  


Samuel HUBBARD came to Massachusetts about 1635 as a young lad.  Being adventurous, he wanted to see what was west of Boston.  I guess our AManifest Destiny@ mentality was with us from the very start.  On his way west he met up with a young lady named Tacy COOPER.  Tacy was a forerunner to all of the strong minded feminists to come.  She was definitely no shrinking violet when it came to her beliefs.  

The Congregational Church was the ONLY Church in Massachusetts in those early years and the leaders wanted to keep everyone under control, thinking, and worshiping the same.  Miss COOPER refused to go to Church on Sunday.  She believed that Saturday was the Sabbath and that was when she intended to go to Church.  Samuel and Tacy were married and, of course, he adopted her strong beliefs.  

They migrated to western Massachusetts to escape the authorities and their daughter Ruth HUBBARD was the first white child born there in 1640.  Springfield, Massachusetts was still not quite far enough away from the long reach of the Church.  They were given the ultimatum C go to Church on Sunday like everyone else, or face prison.  The only alternative was to leave the Commonwealth of Massachusetts forever.  

That is exactly what they did as they moved to Rhode Island, which was founded by Roger WILLIAMS to create a place of religious freedom.  Samuel and Tacy COOPER HUBBARD were among six Charter Members of the Seventh Day Baptist Church in Newport, Rhode Island.  They spent the remainder of their long lives there and were active in Church work until the end. 

Samuel and Tacy COOPER HUBBARD had four daughters and one son.  I am descended from Ruth HUBBARD, their first child, who married Robert BURDICK. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

No -- This Can NOT Be Happening Again One Year Later

On December 14, 2012 I wrote this very same story. 

How can it be that in one year later, history repeats itself so precisely.  The only saving grace is that December 13, 2013 did not take as many lives as were wasted at Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, Connecticut.  Oh how I yearn for the days when you sent your kids to school and you were reasonably sure they would come home at the end of the day.  I can not imagine having to live with the thought that I might not ever see them alive again.  How can we be proud as a species when this is the outcome of so many social and materialistic errors.

Social because some young people have grown up without developing empathy for others. Materialistic because possessions have become the main focus of many people.  I believe it goes hand in hand. Things trump people, and that is a terrible thing. Things like electronic gadgets, huge houses, luxurious living, expensive clothes.

I remember listening to Joseph Campbell saying that when society does not have heroes it is destined for bad things.  When the word "Thou" is replaced with "You" it relegates people to a lesser role. And then one step further, when people become an "It" rather than a "You" we are apt to see some terrible actions.  Childen that torture animals is a good example.  There is no feeling for another living creature in that sort of act.  A fetus in the womb is easier to kill if it is called an "It" rather than a "You".

I pray that our civilization finds a REAL hero, REAL soon.  I look around and don't see any on the horizon, but may the Lord send us one.  I am nearing the end of my mortal life, and I have memories of a different time.  Not an easier time, but a more honest time.  I am one of the lucky ones and I am so grateful for that.  I can't change society, no one person can.  But I can enjoy my memories and pray that the young people now will find something to remember other than things like December 13, 2013 at Arapahoe High School in Littleton, Colorado.

We are in deep trouble and I pray to God (or whatever higher power you pray to) to help us and save us from ourselves.   Patj

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 22, 2013 -- Not A Good Day -- No Way

It started out to be a nice, normal, regular, Friday.  A trip to the Post Office to get my mail, back home, and a quick bite before a meeting with my friend Mary Z at 1:30.  I had just about cleared the intersection of South College and Olive Street when a tremendous impact hit my car on the passenger side.  My first thought was, "What did I do now."  I looked in  my rearview mirror and I could see I still had the green light, so I wasn't at fault there.  The driver that was traveling north on College came running over to me.  He said, "Are you okay?"  I spit out a few choice words that in essensce said, "No, I am not okay you ran a red light!"  Imagine the Toyota in the picture completely bashed in on the passenger side -- enough that it is a total loss!!

I want to tell you about the two young men came running over and talked to me immediately.  They were nice enough to stay until the Police arrived and give a statement of what happened. I was so lucky to have two eye witnesses that were willing to stick around for me. There really are some nice people out there.  I wish I had gotten their names so I could thank them.

The rest of the afternoon was spent talking to the Police, the EMT Personnel, calling and cancelling appointments, and sitting in the Urgent Care at Riverside and Lemay Avenues.  I got home from all that about 5pm, and dropped everything on the table, and got ready for bed.  I have not been so exhausted since the trauma of my husband dying in 2009.  "Black and Blue" does not even begin to cover it. I couldn't get in to the regular Dr until next Wednesday, November 27.  What ever happened to having a Dr when you need one?  Long ago days I guess.  And of course, Thanksgiving this week doesn't help in anything either.

The insurance company (S.... F...) that is so famous does not impress me.  Not in my books, but I am grateful the perpetrator HAD insurance at all.  They furnished me a rental car and the Enterprise manager said it was good for 30 days. Lies, all lies.  I have it for 10 Days!!  Now it is close to that date and I don't have a car and I spent Thanksgiving Day driving around the car lots and looking when others were eating turkey (g).  I spent today, Friday November 29 looking at cars as well.  I almost did something really dumb by buying a Subaru on impulse.  Knowing my compulsiveness, I only put a deposit in it, and I will go and try to get that back tomorrow.  I expect to be successful.

I sort of lost it when I realized I should NOT buy that Subaru.  My instinct (or my Heavenly Father) set in and told me loud and clear -- DO NOT DO IT.  I didn't know what I WAS going to do, but I knew what I was NOT going to do.

I have been car shopping online, which is a fun thing to do I must say.  When I settled down I decided to check Pedersen Toyota.  I saw a car I liked so I called.  The nicest young man answered and his voice immediately calmed me down.  To make a long story short, I will meet him tomorrow to test drive two vehicles.  I thanked him for sounding so nice when I was in a desperate situation.  It was not a big thing to him I am sure, but it sure was to me.

Wish me luck tomorrow.  Stay tuned for the next chapter in my sad, sad story. Patj

Sunday, November 17, 2013

From Kentucky Ancestors November 15, 2013 -- Am I Interested?

It was a pleasant surprise to come home Friday afternoon and find an email message in the inbox from The Kentucky Ancestors magazine.  I have had many stories published there, but with the transition to an online magazine, I figured the others I have sent would go by the wayside in the shuffle.  Asking an author if they are interested in publishing their work is like asking a fish if they are interested in water. I can hardly wait to see how my stories will look in the new format.  I have to admit I will miss the real magazine that I could read in bed, but, just like old ladies, apparently its time has come.  This fits perfectly my new mantra, "Stay Flexible".  Of course, you will be the first to know how it looks when published online.  Stay tuned --- Patj  

"According to his files, I have four articles from you….and we are contacting you in the hopes of publishing a couple of them in our new format. We are seeking new Feature Articles and two of your articles seem very well suited to our readers.

The first one we would like to publish is: John Storms and Hannah Collard: My Mystery Ancestors

The second article we would like to publish is: Benjamin Campbell and Cloe Farris, and Those Wonderful Kentucky Tax Lists

Due to the number of articles we have in the queue at the moment, we can only take these two at this time. The first article would be published almost immediately if you permit. The second would be more in the summer months of 2014 as we like to spread out the various submissions.

Let me know if you would be interested in letting us publish these articles.
Thanks! "

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Farewell To 2013 - It's Been Nice To Know You

I end my "blog year" in November each year.  I usually get a discount from Blog2Print in November that acts as a reminder to get it closed up for the year.  Also, this way I have the book printed and in my hands in December.  It is fun to open it up and sit and review the year as soon as I receive it.  I have Blog Books starting in 2007.  They are nicely done and someday some of my descendants may enjoy reading them.  They are a bit too expensive to make one for each person though.

So with that intro, I say farewell to 2013.  Yes, I would like to slow down time, but alas, it is not possible.  So the next best thing is to think back on the year and relive some of the events.

I had a busy year of public speaking engagements.  Not many genealogy societies, but various groups and of course, the Inservice Lessons at my Church. These are done quarterly for the staff members at the Family History Center in Fort Collins.  This year started out with a new online way to record family genealogy, Family Tree, and to reserve Temple Ordinances.  I had to learn it to help a patron in the Family History Center, and slowly became a big fan.  So the second lesson of 2013 was how to use it.  Within a week of my lesson --- it was changed!  So I had to write an update and send it out to the staff.  Little did I know this was to be a trend for the year.  Later, I planned to do a lesson on PERSI at the request of the staff members.  Would you believe it?  The VERY next day it was announced that PERSI was bought by an English genealogy company and would be completely revamped!  That plan was scrapped because why take the time to do a lesson in something that is changing?  This trend continued as I designed other lessons and classes about features on FamilySearch and those were changing before my eyes as I prepared the lessons.  But, I will say it taught me to expect change, and that is a good tool to have as we age.  Change doesn't come with a welcome mat for most older people, however, I believe we have to stay flexible to survive.  I spoke at a Women's Association, Civil War Roundtable, Larimer County Genealogical Society, several Church groups, Pioneer Women's group. Of course this meant creating and updating Power Point presentations, and that is something I love to do. This made 2013 a really fun year for me.

Probably the most momentous event was the birth of my first great granddaughter. She is Stella Evelyn Lewis and she was born August 5, 2013.  She was welcomed by a large family of adults, an older brother, Oliver, and two older cousins, Jack and Grant.  It is hard to describe the feeling that your progeny will continue on and on into the future.  Long after I am no longer in this world, Stella will be out there living, learning and growing and accomplishing all sorts of things.  I made a "Foremothers Chart" for her. Five generations of her female ancestresses.  I can imagine her, as a young girl and a young woman, looking at those names and wondering about them.  If only my great grandmother had been able to do that for me, what a gift that would have been.

I made a "Foremothers Chart" for my granddaughter, Logan.  It seems only yesterday that she was the new baby girl in the family and she is age twenty eight now.  I am so proud of Logan, she takes care of herself, is independent, is lovable, and is beautiful.  She lives on her own, in Hawaii, and is a wonderful sweet young woman.  

I didn't do any traveling this year -- but I DID buy a car.  My old Chevy S-10 may have made it another few years but it was acting tired, so I traded up one year and now have a Toyota Corolla.  I am not so sure this Toyota Corolla is related to my old Toyota Corolla, Orange Bird.  I haven't even named it yet. So that tells you our relationship is not close -- not yet anyway. IT reminds me of Herbie, the VW Bug that had a mind of its own.  To say I am a savvy car dealer is far from the truth, so we will see what happens to IT.  Maybe that is the new car's name "IT".

My friend, Kitty Girl, has gone downhill significantly this year.  So I am facing some hard to do things in the near future.  I will survive her passing, but it will be sad.  She is a sweet and gentle spirit and she is my constant companion.

I sort of got hooked on Bingo this year.  My friend, Sharon, and I have been going to the Knights of Columbus Family Bingo once a month.  It is fun, but it IS gambling, so I have to watch not to get addicted to it.  An addiction to genealogy is about all I can handle.

Laurie visited me twice this year.  Both as she was coming and going to and from Hawaii.  I love to have her come and I am sad to see her leave.  It is such an empty feeling to see her off.  It takes me a few days to get over the feeling of being alone. Then I get used to it again.  It makes me think about how our immigrant ancestors must have felt as they left all that they knew and loved to try something new.

Cindy came to see me on Mother's day and on my birthday.  Another goodbye when they left.  I am getting more and more "anti goodbye" as I get older.

One of the most memorable things for me was when I finally learned about the parents of my 2nd great grandfather, Dennis Meech.  For years I thought I would never find Katherine, I didn’t even know her first name. Her two sons were evidently not that interested in family history and left no records that I had ever found about their mother.  It seemed impossible.  And yet I have always known that when a person in the next world wants to be found – you will be led to them.   To make a long story short, I discovered that Katherine’s maiden name was Huffman and she married second to Henry Huffman, so she died with the same last name she was born with. Once I figured that out I found her first marriage to John Meech in Ohio in 1825.  This was through posting Ohio Marriages on their website, and now there was a loud rumble in heaven, as I am sure there was some rejoicing going on. Katherine was born in 1810 and died in 1857. She was the mother of two Meech sons and five Huffman children.  She died at age 47.  Hers was a relatively short life, but a very important life.  She survived trials, tragedies, and enjoyed the joys of her mortal life and was so pivotal to the many descendants that are living now.  I am so happy I finally got to meet her. Oh yes, I am now on the hunt for the parents of my 4th great grandmother, Caroline French.  I love to solve the female mysteries in my family. And of course it meant writing another book. This one is entitled Katherine's Children, The Meech and Huffman Familes of Franklin County Ohio.

It was fun to write this book, and as I did that I connected with the people I was writing about.  In searching for  Katherine, I studied all of her children hoping to find a clue to her full identity.  I needed to share the vast amount of information I had gathered on these collateral lines. 
It is hard to list all of the people that I met this year. I am so blessed to live in a good community, with good and friendly people.  I am blessed to have reasonably good health, and a curious mind.  So I say farewell to 2013.  It has been a very good year and I am thankful for it.  Stay tuned for 2014!   Patj

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

John Holman and Ann Bishop and Family Dynamics In 1652

I have many ancestors that came to New England in the early 1600's.  One of my favorites is John Holman.  He is my 9th great-grandfather.  He was baptized in Swyre, Dorset, England on 27 January 1602.  His parents were Morgan Holman and Alice Odbeere.  As a young man, on 25 March 1622, age 20, John Holman became an apprentice to William Jolliffe as a "wollendraper."  I believe that this occupation was being a dealer in woolen cloth.  Probably as a middle man between the growers of wool and the manufacturers of wool cloth.  He served in this position until he left for New England.

In 1630 John Holman came alone to New England on the ship "Mary and John."  There were no other Holmans listed with him, but there were probably plenty of neighbors and friends on board from Dorset, England.  These trips were usually undertaken by groups of people from the same area.

John Holman married a lady named Anna about 1635.  They had two children, John Holman, Jr. and Mary.  When Mary was an infant, Anna died.  John then married my ancestress, Ann Bishop in about 1640.  Ann was the daughter of Thomas Bishop and Avis Abbott.  Ann was baptised at Bridport, Dorset, England on 22 October 1616.  She came to New England as a maidservant to her brother-in-law, Henry Crogan and they sailed from Weymouth, Dorset, England in April 1637, on board the ship "Speedwell."  Henry Crogan had married her sister, Abigail one month before the family group sailed from England.

When Ann Bishop married John Holman, his oldest son was age 3 and little Mary was "newly taken from the breast."  Ann fell immediately into motherhood, and then had six children of her own.  Her oldest son is my ancestor, Thomas Holman.  The household of John and Ann was not always peaceful. John Holman, Jr. was very disrespectful to his father and his stepmother.  John, Sr. was away on business a great deal of the time and it invited disobedience and stubbornness in the oldest son.

When John Holman died about 1652 in Dorchester, Massachusetts his will stated that "despite the law of the court to grant a double portion to eldest sons, he granted his eldest son, John Jr., only 50 pounds, to be paid when he became 20.  John Holman's estate was large and amounted to over 700 pounds.  In 1656, when John Jr.  became age 20 he brought a suit against his father's will.  He claimed in court that he was the eldest son and had been deprived of his inheritance due to his stepmother's influence on his father.  He claimed to have been an obedient son, "excepting what by reason of folly and vanity among us children did now and then fall out as is incident unto such families where children of several mothers are as the condition of the Godly Jacob's family and of his grandfather, Abraham."  The court agreed to look further into the matter of John Holman's will.

By this time, Ann had remarried, but she testified before the court about the family dynamics in the Holman household.  After several descriptions of John, Jr.'s insolent behavior, the court ruled to let the will stand as written.  This meant that my ancestor, Thomas Holman, received one-quarter of his father's estate and John, Jr. received 50 pounds.

I find this family story interesting because it illustrates that problems between children and parents is nothing new.  It could happen in those Puritan days just as well as today.  I am sure John Holman died a sad man with the knowledge that his son was not being dutiful and living up to his expectations.

Ann Bishop Holman married Reverend Henry Butler 9 March 1654 and returned to England with her husband.  She died before 4 August 1674 in England.

John Holman and Ann Bishop were pioneers of the bravest sort.  To leave family and home and sail off to another continent took a special courage, determination, and spirit of adventure.  Three generations later a great granddaughter, Mary Holman married Ephraim Cary and this joined two of my early American lines.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

William Belknap, Martha Carscadden, and the Society of the Cincinnati

            William Belknap was born 24 February 1751 in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  He went to Newburgh, Orange Co., New York when he was age 16.  His mother, Hannah Flagg Belknap had died when he was a lad of about 11 or 12.  His father, William Belknap, Sr. died when he was age 16.  William, the younger, had an uncle in Newburgh named Isaac, and he apparently came to live with Isaac.  I have no doubt that William Belknap was an adventurous young man.  The period of time that he lived was an adventurous time, and it sounds like he took full advantage of that time in history.  He came near death shortly after joining his uncle in Newburgh, New York.  After sailing with uncle Isaac on a sloop, he contracted Abloody flux@ and nearly died from it.  He survived that sickness.  The American Revolution was the perfect event for William Belknap to follow his adventurous spirit.

On 20 January 1785,  34-year-old William Belknap married 23-year-old Martha Carscadden at Newburgh, New York.  They had eight children, and the 7th one was my 4th great-grandmother, Nancy Belknap McNeil.  Martha Carscadden was born 27 June 1762 at Newburgh, New York.  She was the daughter of Robert Carscadden and Diana Gifford.  Her father was also an American Revolution Patriot.  I would imagine that Martha was totally enthralled with her older suitor. William was ten years older and had been to war and survived some harrowing experiences, and was quite the Aman of the World.@  Martha died 7 March 1821 in Newburgh, New York.  I have yet to find her burial place, but it is probably in the Old Town Cemetery where her husband is buried.  Like most of my ancestresses, Martha=s identity was through her husband and her father.  But I am grateful that I know about her and I am proud of her.

William Belknap was a charter member of the Society of Cincinnati.  This society was open only to officers in the American Revolution.  William Belknap's original membership form was still in existence in 1858, and owned by a grandson, Edmund Sanxay Belknap.  The document is quoted as follows: AReceived in Manor Courtland, the 8th day of October 1783 of Lieut. William Belknap, the sum of twenty-six dollars and 2/3, in a note numbered 623, signed John Pierce, Commissioner.  The said Belknap being a member of the Honorable Society of Cincinnati and the above being a deposit of one month=s pay in consequence of his being a member.  Signed P. Courtland, Treasurer.@

William Belknap=s service in the American Revolution began in 1775 and ended when he was honorably discharged on 1 January 1781.  He was in the attack of Quebec on 31 December 1775.  He saw battle at Stillwater, Saratoga, Whitemarsh and Monmouth.  He was captured near New York and sent on board a prison ship in New York Harbor.  He escaped the prison ship by jumping overboard at night.  The mortality rate on the British prison ships was almost 100%, so he probably figured a long, cold, and hard swim to shore was worth the risk.  I am thankful that he made that decision C he would have probably perished had he not escaped.

Finding the information about William Belknap opened up all sorts of doors for me.  Especially, his ancestry to the founders of our country that came to New England.  His progenitor and great great-grandfather, was Abraham Belknap who came in 1630.

William Belknap died 18 July 1831 in Newburgh, New York.  He is buried in Old Town Cemetery there.  When I visited his grave in 1997, I was sad.  The old cemetery (dating from 1717) is in a ghetto and the surroundings are not very pleasant.  We had the good fortune to have Reverend Carlos Lantos as our guide to the grave of William Belknap.  Reverend Lantis serves the Church that is in the same block as the cemetery.  It took just a little imagination to see General George Washington riding down Liberty Street that borders the cemetery.  This was the route he  rode  to tell the troops that they could go home.  The American Revolution was over, after eight long years!  I am positive that William Belknap was in the throng of cheering people that lined the street.  A much different scene than we saw in 1997.  William Belknap rests with several other Belknaps in Section 5, including his uncle Isaac Belknap. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Key Ancestors That Opened The Door To English Royalty And The Jamestown Settlement

             William Tyng and Elizabeth Coytemore

I consider this couple to be one of my Akey@ sets of ancestors.  They are all Akey@ of course, simply because they were here and had children!  However, this couple is very special to me.  They are in a unique position of my family history.  Not only are they of that tough New England stock that were brave enough to face a New World, Elizabeth Coytemore is my link to Royalty, Jamestown, and other interesting events.

William Tyng was born about 1605 in England.  He came to the New World in the ship, Nicholas and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts on 03 July 1638.  He apparently didn=t bring his wife and baby daughter at that time, but they followed soon after because his daughter was baptised in March 1639.  He was admitted as a Freeman 10 days after his arrival.  This was undoubtedly due to the influence of his brother, Edward who had been here since 1636 and who was quite successful.  William was married three times.  First to Ann Brown by whom he had two children that died young.  His second wife was Elizabeth Coytemore by whom he had four daughters and his third wife was Jane, widow of Enoch Hunt.  When William died, 18 January 1653, he left an estate that was Alarger than any other in the country of that day.@   He was a successful merchant and served in the Braintree Militia and as a representative for many years.

Elizabeth Coytemore was born about 1615/1617 in England.  She was the daughter of Rowland Coytemore and Catherine Myles.  Her father, Rowland Coytemore was a stockholder in AThe Second Virginia Charter@ of 23 May 1609.  His name is listed among many other gentlemen that invested money to support this new Aventure@ in Virginia.  Rowland did not come to the New World, but through his children that did come to this country, his progeny in America is great and numerous.

Rowland Coytemore=s mother, Jane Williams is my link to Royalty.  Seventeen generations back from Jane is William The Conqueror and from that all sorts of doors open on that fascinating time period.  The Coytemores and Williams= were from Wales and that tells us that, perhaps, they were from a line of illegitimate children of the Royals.  It seems Wales was used as a place to placate their claims and allow them to Arule something.@   It is a fun thing to research, but I have to keep my mind on more current people C and the more current folks are more of a challenge, but the Royals are fun and can be delved into when I have Aeverything else done.@

Elizabeth Coytemore=s mother Catherine Myles left a will that named the grandchildren of her four Coytemore daughters, as well as, the grandchildren from her daughters of  previous marriages to Increase Nowell and Thomas Graves.  One thing I have learned in studying the people of this time is that they usually remarried after losing their spouse.  I presume it was the only way to survive for both the women and the men.  It was such a harsh environment that it was virtually impossible to handle alone.

Elizabeth Coytemore died between 1643-1649.  Her children would have been quite young when she died .  Her second daughter, Anna Tyng married Thomas Shepard. He was the son of the famous Minister, Thomas Shepard that had to be spirited out of England under the noses of the British authorities.  Anna=s husband was the little six month old baby that accompanied his parents on the ship Defence.  

Yes, I consider William Tyng and Elizabeth Coytemore to be Akey@ ancestors.  They are like a bridge that spans two Worlds and a time that was new and wondrous and full of hope.  I am very proud to be their 10th great granddaughter.