Wednesday, January 31, 2018

#52ancestors - Who would I have liked to invite to dinner

This is the next installment of the #52ancestors challenge.  I'm supposed to decide which of my ancestors I would have loved to have had to dinner.  Since I'm a "gimme data" type of person, it would have been to grill the ancestor who could answer my most pressing brick wall questions, but there are others that I would have loved to invite to just listen to their life's story.

So many things I'd want to know.  So little time at a dinner.

I would have loved to talk with Willard C Town.  He was my first ancestor to move to Kentucky.  He arrived before 1840.  In 1830, in Ohio, his dad, Willard Oliver Town, left home and "headed west", never to be heard from again.  I would like to know about that.  What was his dad's reason for heading west?  Many questions.  I knew nothing about Willard C Town until I started researching my family in 1977.  He was my Second Great Grandfather.  HIS fourth great grandfather was the brother of two women hanged for being witches in Salem MA.  Did Willard C know this?  Were they better at handing down family info than our current generations?  My Willard C was born in Vermont, but moved with his parents and siblings to Ohio before he moved to Kentucky.  The family of witches was in MA and then in VT.  Maybe he knew.  The fifth great grandfather of Willard C Town was our immigrant ancestor from England.  I would love to know what Willard C knew.  I'd love to know what his trip was like from Vermont to Ohio.  Why did he move to Kentucky?  He married in 1840, not long after his arrival.  He did in 1847.  He was about 43 years old.  I don't know how or why he died.  He left a wife and two very small sons.  I want to know everything and I know so little.

I would also have liked to talk with David Bigham, whose father was born in Ireland.  What did he know about the trip by ship to North/South Carolina from Ireland.....

I would love to hear about the life of Beulah Chittenden, my fourth great grandmother.  She was the daughter of  Thomas Chittenden, who was the first governor of Vermont.  She married Elijah Galusha, who died at the age of 23, in a sawmill accident.  He had served in the Revolutionary War.  She then married Mathew Lyon, who became a representative from Kentucky and the first person in this country to ever be charged with sedition.  They moved to Eddyville Kentucky, from Vermont. What was her life like?

I would love another chance to sit down with my own grandparents and ask them the questions I never asked as a child and very young woman. 

Other questions:  A second great grandmother had 15 children, losing the first four as very young children or infants.  What was her life like?

Can't wait for that time machine to be invented.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

#52ancestors - Longevity

My mother-in-law will be 91 this weekend.  I've spent the last couple of weeks scanning in her scrapbook photos from the 1940's.  She was in a group called Navy Sisters, which was a group of women with brothers in the Navy.  They met at the USO once a month.  She visited the USO many more times than once a month, however.  She met and danced with many sailors during that time.  From the pictures, it looks like a good time was had by all.  One of the sailors asked her to marry him but she turned him down because he would be shipping out and she planned to be seeing other guys.  I think he wrote to her once many, many years later, but all she'd tell me was that she "threw the letter away".  She, and he, went on to marry someone else.  There are quite a few pictures of him in the ones I've been scanning.  Her name is Velda Littlepage.  His name is Ray Schmorance (or Schmorans - she wasn't sure at this point), in case any of his descendants find this post and would like copies of the pictures I've scanned.  She didn't remember the names of the other people in the picture.  Velda and Ray are the first couple, in the front, on the left side of this picture.  I think age 91 qualifies as longevity!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

#52ancestors - Favorite Photo

This is week two of the #52ancestors challenge and we're supposed to post our favorite picture.  I've just been loaned two scrapbooks from my mother-in-law, who will be 91 this month.  In the scrapbooks are pictures from the 1940's World War II era.  She obviously visited many clubs in Texas that look to be USO type clubs where she would talk with and dance with sailors.  MANY sailors.  I'm in the process of removing them from the black paper type scrapbooks and attempting to scrape off the remaining paper that is attached to a LOT of glue on the backs of the pictures.  It's going to be a LONG process and it looks like there are very few names on the backs of the pictures.  The glue and black paper have done their bad deed of helping to seep through the pictures, so I'm restoring the pictures (through software) also.  I'll post some of those when I get further along in my processing of the pictures.

I'm posting my favorite photo of MY side of the family today.  I've probably posted it before, but it's still my favorite.  This is a picture of my grandmother, Mary Evelyn Cummins (Gray), on the porch of their farm house, with some of her sisters.  This picture was taken in May 1907 in Lyon County Kentucky.  My grandmother was born in 1888, so would have been 19 years old.

Pictured, from L to R are:  Nina C Cummins 1893-1911, Fannie G Cummins 1876-1948, Iva Cummins, 1880-1957, Willie Moses Cummins 1886-1963, Mary Evelyn Cummins (Gray) 1888-1981, Rebecca Cummins (Gresham).

Not pictured are oldest child John Wesley "Pat" Cummins 1874-1959,  and Nonia Cummins (Oliver) 1883-1963.

The parents of these children were Michael Harvey Cummins 1845-1918 and Sarah Ann Warfield 1855-1893.  My grandmother was only five when her mother died and I've been told that her sister Fannie took over the responsibility of the household and the younger children.  Of all these children, only John Wesley, Nonia and Mary Evelyn had children who survived them.

I've also been told that Iva, Fannie and Willie ran a boarding house in Eddyville.

Monday, January 1, 2018

#52ancestors - Weekly Activities

I'm doing the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks ( #52Ancestors ) activity with

I've been sending my kids more tidbits of interesting (I think it's interesting) stories on their ancestors, recently.  This is a notice to them that they'll be seeing more, hopefully.

Happy New Year.