Thursday, July 29, 2010

COG August--Scrapbooking Your Family History


Thank you to Jasia over at Creative Gene for challenging us with a scrapbooking Carnival.

After I read Michelle's wonderful blog over at The Turning of Generations I decided to take the challenge. I love to put together photo albums and have done my share of scrapbooking; however, trying to use the computer photo programs would be a new adventure. I have been somewhat busy with family health issues this month, so I decided to take the easy road and took apart a collage that I had made for my father's 80th birthday back in 2001 and reworked it for this COG.


Coming to America: West Hartlepool, England
to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JOHN GEORGE and ELIZABETH OLESEN HUGHES
and son, GEORGE HENRY HUGHES


My paternal great grandparents, John George and Elizabeth Olesen Hughes, must have become dissatisfied with life in West Hartlepool in the early 1900's and made the decison to move to America. Apparently they were the only Hughes family members to leave West Hartlepool. When I visited Hughes family members in Hartlepool in 2003, none had any idea what prompted this decision and why they were the only ones to make the trip.

Books on West Hartlepool do not paint a very inviting picture of the area where the Hughes family lived and all the Hughes brothers, of which John George was one, were coal dealers....a dirty job. They went daily to the coal depot, loaded their horse drawn wagons and road up and down the streets of West Hartlepool delivering coal. Like most immigrants, a better life for themselves and their small boy was at the top of the list for John and Elizabeth Hughes.

John, Elizabeth and my paternal grandfather, George Henry, packed up their wordly belongings and took a train to Liverpool, where they boarded the S.S. Caronia on May 8, 1906 for New York City and Ellis Island. The ship manifest lists them as steerage passengers and their names are at the top of the page.

It took ten days to cross the pond and the Caronia arrived at the port of New York on May 18, 1906. My grandfather was only eight. The Hughes family took a train across Pennsylvania arriving in Pittsburgh at the home of a family friend M. Mathews. To date I have not been able to find this person on census records. I have no idea who he is.

My great grandparents lived in the greater Pittsburgh area all their lives. The first stop was the South Side of Pittsburgh, where John worked for J & L Steel. When a new plant opened up in 1913 in Woodlawn, Pennsylvania, Beaver County, on the Ohio River, the Hughes family relocated.

John George Hughes signed his Declaration of Intention on June 13, 1906, his Petition For Naturalization on June 30, 1918 and became a citizen of the United States on December 12, 1918.

Elizabeth and little George crossed the ocean to visit family in West Hartlepool in 1907. Elizabeth made a trip back with her brother, Bill Olesen, in 1910 and John and Elizabeth returned in 1920 just a year before John died on May 20, 1921.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

What's Not To Like--Garrett's first kayak


Ken has found one of the BEST places to put our kayaks in.....The Michael J. Kirwan Dam and Reservoir which is located in The West Branch State Park outside the town of Ravenna, Ohio.

I have made two treks to this delightful spot with Ken and yesterday we took my son, Garrett, for his first ever kayaking experience.


Garrett took the "getting situated and steady in a kayak" learning curve in stride and off he went. It was exciting to watch a newbie get his water wings, take off and show such enjoyment in the experience.

And what an experience he had!!! We had three separate sightings of great blue heron and a doe down by the water having a drink. I have to tell ya that being up close and personal with a great blue taking flight yards away just takes my breath away!



Our paddle was primarily up the West Branch of the Mahoning River....very calm and serene water. Hopefully next time, we will explore it more.

This tree reminded me of a tall lady with a green hat & skirt!

Garrett spotted this great blue heron

Heading out into the reservoir...down the middle....NO FEAR!

Back to the cars


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Treasure Chest Thursday--Charles Edward Stark Bible


I found this palm size New Testament Psalms Bible among the estate pieces of my maternal grandmother. It belonged to my maternal grandfather, Charles Edward Stark.

Dated September 22, 1899 I am guessing it was a birthday gift as he would be celebrating his 19th birthday the next day, September 23.

My mother, Martha Jean Stark Hughes, repeatedly told me stories of her father's dedication to the church and that he "held close to his Bible". In the estate I only found two....this small Psalms and a larger complete Bible which was my grandmothers.

Of interest and found tucked inside were several items:


A handwritten piece of paper, probably in Grandpa Stark's hand, of verses that speak of "Unpardonable Sin"......YIKES!!!


And a little note written to him by a friend and teacher (probably church school), Marion A. Paden dated September 22, 1897.

My question is this....was the New Testament of Psalms given to Charles Stark as a birthday gift from Marion A. Paden and the wrong year was written on the inside cover. The handwriting looks to be that of the gift giver, Marion Paden.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--The Beemans


Thomas Howard Beeman and his brother, Claude Earl Beeman, Jr. are maternal first cousins twice removed of my husband. I came across several Beeman tombstones last week while going through hundreds of photos at my mother-in-laws condo. These were probably taken by her sister, Betty. The date of the photograph is 1980

My husband relates to the Beeman's through the Hess side of his family tree. His maternal great grandmother was Ida Mae Hess who married Charles Henry Christian Tate. Ida's sister Susanna Rebecca Hess married Henry R. Beeman. One of Rebecca and Henry's sons, Claude Earl Beeman and his wife E. Edna Frey were the parents of these two boys.





The Beeman family was not on my genealogical radar until I found the photos and several more in an old album. It has taken me some time using ancestry to build the family profile and once done, was able to check it out with the genealogist in my husband's family....Aunt Betty.

Thomas Howard and Claude Earl, Jr. along with numerous members of the Beeman family are buried in Highland Cemetery, Covington, Miami County, Ohio. They are all listed out on FindAGrave.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Write Like......who?

Michelle Goodrum's blog I Write Like caught my attention this evening and I HAD to give it a try. I plugged in one paragraph of a blog and that one was like James Joyce.


I write like
James Joyce

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!



I had to give it a test....two James Joyce's or someone else. I plugged in the first paragraph of another blog and presto.....the answer was Stephen King. Sorry, I didn't think to copy the graphic.

Whoa, I certainly have some different writing styles....but both seem to be money makers....LOL
Thanks Michelle.


This was fun.

Treasure Chest Thursday--Antique Napkin Rings


These napkin rings are not family heirlooms, although perhaps they might become one since I purchased them back in the early 1970's. When I was first married, I was an antique fanatic. Granted we didn't have much additional cash to spend on items as frivolous as antiques, but to be fair, before there was an antique collecting craze in the states, many nice items were selling back then for amounts that would be considered relatively cheap on today's market.

Photos borrowed from e-bay

At that time, I didn't even know what a napkin ring was. I was introduced to them by my then, brother-in-law, who had the most extraordinary sterling and silver plate napkin rings collection I had ever seen.....including to date! He had the regular, ordinary round bands that would hold an individuals table napkin securely by their plate at the table. And then there were the remarkable ones.....3 dimensional sterling silver horses rearing up off the table with the ring portion down near the hoves.....wagons and ox carts with the rings down near the wheels.....various wild animals with the rings near their legs or feet.

Whenever I saw his collection, I was full of envy.....how I wished to have one of those spectacular rings! Now, I did mention that many antiques back then were were not as expensive as today; however, the extravagant ones, if you could find them, were WAY out of my price range.

I didn't purchase too many as I quickly tired of napkin rings and moved on to another collectible. The ones above are probably the best of my collection. First, because it is a pair and second, because they actually have marks on the inside of the ring.


My rings have somewhat simple ornamentation engraved around the entire outside. They are two toned--gold and silver. The marks inside are still a mystery to me, although I have tried to identify them. I have always thought that they were sterling since there is the capital "S"; however, I now wonder if that is the maker's mark instead.


The marks inside are--

Stamped inside:
S
308A


Then scratched inside:
220 750


Perhaps a reader might direct me to the answer.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Robert Ross VanGilder


Robert Ross VanGilder is my paternal great granduncle. Son of John Oliphant VanGilder and Mary Louise Hill, he was born on March 19, 1865 in Monongalia County, West Virginia--probably in Morgantown and died at the age of twenty five on September 26, 1890 in Monongalia County, West Virginia. He is buried at Mt. Union Cemetery, Union District, Monongalia County, West Virginia.

To date, I have not found much biographical information on Robert other than his employment--a house painter.

One of my goals last week while in Morgantown was to drive out to Mt. Union Cemetery to get a better photograph of Robert's tombstone. The last time I photographed several of the family grave markers at Mt. Union Cemetery was over a decade ago when I was a newbie. For some reason I only photographed the stone and not the inscription. A beginners mistake ;-)


Robert's marker is beside the drive about half way back in the middle section, the right hand driveway. Surrounding him are his mother and father, various siblings and his great grandparents--the Purnell and Mary Mary Tumlinson or Tomlinson Houston and Robert and Rebecca Caldwell Hill and his Aunt Sophia Hill.

For years I have been unable to locate the burial place of the VanGilder's oldest daughter, Anna Bell VanGilder. Born on November 11, 1854 and died at age twenty eight on August 04, 1883, she was the first of John and Mary's children to die.

Feeling the back surface of Robert's tombstone, I think eroded by decades of weather, is the inscription for Anna Bell.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Anna Jarvis Museum, Webster, Taylor County, West Virginia


This was one of our surprise finds during the Morgantown, West Virginia trip last week. Following Garmin down to Tygart Lake, south of Grafton, West Virginia, we happened upon the charming Anna Marie Jarvis childhood historical home in Webster, Taylor County. On this trip we stopped only to photograph the sign and house, but returned for an actual visit inside two days later.


Anna Marie was the daughter of Granville E. and Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. The house was built in 1854 and was occupied by the family for the next eleven years. Granville built and ran a mercantile across the street from the house and following the Civil War moved his family and operation into the town of Grafton.

Mrs. Ann Maria Jarvis, mother of Anna Marie, lost eight of her eleven children before they reached the age of seven due to poor health conditions in the area during the 1850's. She organized "Mother's Friendship Clubs" and with the help of her brother, Dr. James E. Reeves, taught thousands of women nursing and proper sanitation which improved the health of those living in this rural county.

Troops outside the Jarvis Home during the Civil War

During the Civil War this noble woman, through her Mother's Friendship Clubs, nursed and cared for soldiers on both sides of the conflict and then, following the end of the war, called upon her club members to help mend the wounds of the war by reuniting families who fought on opposing sides.


Anna Marie Jarvis was a personal friend of President Woodrow Wilson and through him, on May 8, 1914, was able to have the second Sunday in May declared an international Mother's Day in honor of her own mother's wish that there be a day set aside to honor all mothers.

As Mother's Day became increasingly more commercial, Anna Jarvis fought against the commercialization, spending the money from her parent's estate, dying in poverty in a mental institution.

Both Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis and Anna Marie Jarvis are buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Also in the same cemetery are Elsinore L. Jarvis and Claude S. Jarvis, two of Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis' adult children.

I found the Jarvis house to be spacious for the time period it was built. The childrens rooms upstairs were divided by age groups, with several children sharing the space. The master bedroom was comfortable. Downstairs there is a living and dining area separate from the kitchen.
Whistle Porch with summer kitchen on the right

Whistle Porch with main house kitchen to the left

My "how cool is this" moment was the porch called the "whistle porch" that connects to a summer kitchen. Servants had to whistle while carrying the food between the summer kitchen and the house kitchen to prove that they were not walking while eating the owners food.

The current owners, who also manage the museum, have been able to locate many original family items, which are displayed throughout. Of interest is the large quanity of Anna Marie Jarvis' personal possessions--letters, clothing, original photographs found in one bedroom on the second floor.


Official Site of the Anna Jarvis House Museum. A few inside photos of the rooms.

1908-2008 Mother’s Day Centennial. History of Ann Maria Jarvis and her work to make Mother's Day a holiday.

Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis biography.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday--Hiser Creamer


This little white ceramic creamer (milk glass?) was a gift to my husband's mother, Helena Smith Hiser from her aunt, Leta Alolla Burkett Tate. Leta married Charles Ray Tate, Helena's maternal uncle, brother of her mother, Mildred Claudine Tate Smith.




Thankfully, Helena took the time to give a little family history on the bottom of the creamer. There are no maker's marks on the bottom. It may have been bought at a 5 & 10 store; however it is a treasure nonetheless.

Other Flipside Blogs regarding Charles Ray and Leta Burkett Tate:

Charles Ray and Leta Burkett Tate--Tombstone Tuesday

Aunt Leta's Clown--Treasure Chest Thursday

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What's Not To Like--Tygart Lake State Park, West Virginia


Sitting around Tuesday a.m. I am toying with the idea of a new lake to explore. Ken looks at me like I'm nuts and exclaims, "What! One time out and you are already tired of the Cheat"!!! Hummm.....Next I'm out on the net to see what else is in the area when Ken mentions, "I seem to remember seeing a sign about a Tygart Lake where's that?" And a plan is born.

Heck we've been near or by Tygart Lake in the past. Down south of Grafton, West Virginia in Taylor County, I have dragged Ken down there to do a little genealogy work. This will be a no brainer!!!

All geared up and ready to go, Ken pops the info into Garmin and we are off down Route 119 heading south.

Not my photos

Grafton, the downtown area, now somewhat depressed, must have been, in it's hay day a spectacular town. The original buildings (now advertised as the Historic Area) are beautiful...although in need of a face lift. Grand old structures line the street. Refurbished and with shops and eateries, Grafton would be a destination for travelers looking for food and shopping housed in turn of the century buildings. Unfortunately, we did not stop to walk the streets, so no Miss Snap Happy photos....maybe next time.

We chose to ignore the sign in Grafton pointing the way to Tygart Lake and followed Garmin's voice....out of town. As we left Grafton and the blue lake that was showing on Garmin's screen, there was the question that begged to be asked....how come the lake isn't on the screen anymore? No matter, Garmin will get us there.


Along the road, we saw a coal train that had just derailed. Looks like Mr. Peabody's coal train was traveling little too fast.


Here's a little trivia you can pull out next May....Did you know that Grafton West Virginia is the home of Mother's Day? Although the biography on Wiki of Anna Jarvis and the sign in front of her childhood home differ, Grafton advertises that it is the home of Mother's Day because Anna Jarvis was born there. From what I have found so far, Grafton is the home of Mother's Day because Anna first celebrated her mother at a church in Grafton. Anna's mother, Ann Jarvis, was also a social activist. This needs to be explored by Flipside at a later date.

Traveling on, following Garmin, we began to see that blue come back into the screen. Are we there yet???? Then Garmin said, "You have arrived at your destination." Really???? Where??? Surrounding us was swampland and forest. GRRRRRRR

Now, what! Ken continued on down the road until he could turn to the left. Recalculating....don't ya just love it when Garmin says that!!! Ken's rule of thumb on this....no dirt roads, Garmin. She lead us off....up and over.....hills, ridges, into sparsely populated areas and finally onto what can only be described as a highly rutted, gravel, one lane path. Ken is humming "Dueling Banjos as" we were bumped around....I wonder how the kayaks are faring on top...;-)

NOT my photo
Take this road, make it one lane,
curving around hairpin turns with forests
on either side and an occasional house on a ridge


On these roads we saw a house with the Cleveland Indians mascot, Chief Wahoo, in the front yard and a rowboat with an Ohio license....what's with that???? Frankly, there were some extraordinarily nice homes on this road(?) and there were other cars traveling it....we were not alone. The silliness of it all, by this time, had gotten the best of me....I was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my face.

This little error on Garmin's part actually had allowed us to see another slice of Americana along with some history in the Anna Jarvis house.

Once back on paved surfaces, we headed back to Grafton. Did I mention without Garmin's assistance. In Grafton, we did it the old fashioned way.....followed the signs to Tygart Lake State Park.


This is a beautifully maintained West Virginia state park. Once we entered, there was a sign for the dam. The lake was formed back in 1938 by damming up the Tygart River. Looking down from the "lookout" area we questioned our sanity (once again) big lake.....big dam.


We followed the roadway down to the marina area. There were two boat ramps and we chose the one that was near a beach area. Although there were posted "no swimming" signs, the beach was populated with water and sun worshippers.


Once in there was only one place to paddle.....up to that dam. Miss Snap Happy had a NEED to get photos of us up close and personal with that cement structure.


Tygart Lake is a good place for kayaking. It was not overly busy with motor vehicles and it did have many places along the shore to put in if tired or in need of some snacks....although Ken and I just have a "bite" while in the kayaks. After yesterday on the Cheat, I came armed with cheese crackers.....no low blood sugar for me today.


All in all....a delightful day and a BIG bonus.....when finished with the kayaking, we spent about an hour swimming around in the lake.

WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE!

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser