Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day--Honoring My Ancestors Who Fought Bravely

This is a repost from Memorial Day 2009 written for a Carnival of Graveyard Rabbits.


My Father’s Branch

John Ferguson—6th Great Grandfather
Private, 7th Maryland Regiment under Col. John Gunby

Sampson Smith Frum—4th Great Grandfather
WAR OF 1812

William Frum/From—5th Great Grandfather
Volunteer from Frederick County, Maryland under Captain Valentine Creager’s Company

Joseph Davidson Hill—3rd Great Grandfather
WAR OF 1812
Private, Captain Samuel G. Wilson’s Company, Virginia Militia

Robert Hill—4th Great Grandfather
Private, Captain Benjamin Casey’s Company, 12th Virginia Regiment

Robert H. Houston—5th Great Grandfather
Patriotic Service in Sussex County, Delaware

Purnell Houston—4th Great Grandfather
Private and Saddler, Delaware and Pennsylvania Troops
Fought in the Battle of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton

George Henry Hughes--Grandfather
Sergeant, Canadian Expeditionary Force
Served in Canada and Sibera

George VanGilder Hughes—My Dad
Captain, United States Army Medical Corps
Battalion Surgeon with the 2nd Infantry Division at Pork Chop Hill
Also stationed at the 121 Evacuation Hospital, Seoul, Korea
Awarded--Combat Medical Badge and Bronze Star

William Lanham—5th Great Grandfather
Private, Maryland Militia

Thomas McElroy—4th Great Grandfather
Wagonner, Maryland Militia

Sampson Frum Pool—2nd Great Grandfather
Private, Captain L.S. Hayes B Company, 14th West Virginia Militia

William Lanham Pool—3rd Great Grandfather
Corporal, Company I, 14th West Virginia Infantry

Jacob VanGilder—4th Great Grandfather
Pennsylvania Line and Maryland Line

John Oliphant VanGilder—2nd Great Grandfather
Captain, Company 4, 76th Regiment Virginia Militia later West Virginia Militia

My Mother’s Branch

Urban Betz—4th Great Grandfather
Private in Captain Samuel Patton's Cumberland County militia, Col. Culbertson's 4th Battalion, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Militia

William Fife—5th Great Grandfather
Captain, 4th Company, 2nd Battalion, Washington County, Pennsylvania Militia

John Fife—5th Great Grandfather
Private, Captain William Fife's Company, 4th Co 2nd Battalion, Washington County, Pennsylvania Militia
Private, Captain Robert Johnston's Company, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

Nicholas Frederick—4th Great Grandfather
Private, Captain John Hamilton's Company, 5th Company, 4th Battalion, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Militia

Lindsey Cannon—3rd Great Grandfather
WAR OF 1812
Lieutenant, Captain John Ramsey’s Company from Columbiana County, Ohio

Charles Stark—Great Grandfather
Private, Company H 6th Regiment West Virginia Calvary

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday--Rhein:Preussen bottle

This bottle is part of my husband's treasure chest. It was given to us decades ago by his mother, Helena Smith Hiser, with the story that it came to America with her German ancestors. Now the question....all of her ancestors are German, which surname brought this bottle to Tiffin, Ohio?

The candidates and relation to my husband:

Maternal 4th great grandparents--
-George Ludwig Henry Lang and Catherine Scheutz

Maternal 3rd great grandparents--
-Peter and Katarine Schmidt, parents of John Schmitt
-Valentine and Christine Trumpler, parents of Christina Trumpler
-Phillip Seewald and his wife Louisa Lang, parents of Katherine Seewald

Maternal 2nd great grandparents--
-John Schmitt and his wife Christina Trumpler
-Jacob W. Oster and his wife Katherine Seewald

According to the book, History of Seneca County, Ohio, the family of George Ludwig Henry Lang and the Phillip Seewald family arrived in Tiffin, Ohio in 1833. The families of Valentine Trumpler and Peter Schmidt were also early settlers; however, the actual date of arrival in the town of Tiffin is unknown. They were in Seneca County by 1846 as there is a marrige record for their children, John Schmitt and Christina Trumpler dated 1846. Jacob W. Oster, another early resident, was living in Tiffin by 1848, the year he married Katherine Seewald.

The bottle could have belonged to any of them and also gives a good suggestion as to its age--between 1833 and 1848.

Close up view of name and maker's mark

View of chip showing ceramic like coating
and stone like interior

I was not able to locate much information regarding the bottle on the net. One site Antique Bottles shows the bottle and seems to indicate it was a gin bottle. And here I always thought it carried a vintage German wine across the pond.

William Lang. History of Seneca County, From the Close of the Revoutionary War to July, 1880, Transcript Printing Company, Springfield, Ohio, 1880, pages 251-253 and 255-257.

Seneca County Marriage Records, Probate Court, Seneca County, Ohio, Volume 3, Page 1. Marriage of John Smith and Christina Trumpler, September 10, 1846.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday--Diary of George W. Lewis 1864

Reading another Treasure Chest Thursday about an old diary jogged my memory about this page from the Diary of George W. Lewis. George was my husband's paternal first cousin four times removed. The common ancestors are Joseph Fuller and Mary Story Fuller. George is their paternal grandson and my husband is their paternal fourth great grandson.

The page is of great historical interest to me since it mentions my husband's paternal great great grandparents, Henry Hiser and Calista Elizabeth Calkins Hiser and a members of the Calkins and Eisenhour families....both relations of my husband. Eisenhour was the maiden name of Henry Hiser's mother, thus my husband's great great great grandmother's family. All lived in Pemberville, Wood County, Ohio at the time the diary was written.

Transcription of the page follows:

Grandson of Joseph and Molly Story Fuller
Pemberville, Ohio

Freedom, Wood Co., Ohio
February, Saturday, 27 1864

We Took Breakfast at S. Calkins and Dinner and Supper at H. Hisers. We then all Went to Wm Eisenhour and had some Warm Wax and sugar it is Candy and Warm.

Sunday, 28

We took Breakfast at Eishenours and Dinner at Uncle ( ). It rained all Night Last Night ( ) My Self ( ) to henry hisers to Night.

Haris township
Monday, 29
Henry Hiser and Calasta Went With me to ( ) to Day and We Went to Elmore Got Oister and Went Back home and had A Supper Later had warm sugar this morning at Eisenhour.

Elmore, Ohio
March, Tuesday 1, 1864
Hisers folks went home this morning---------

Wednesday, 2
Clark Calkins and his wife and his brother came down and brought ( ) and Frank. We had a ( ) at the ( ) and then escorted a lady by the name of Samantha ( ).

Thursday, 3
Three of us went to Fremont this a.m. Came back and had an oister supper. Us three started for Mich this P M at 7 o’clock. Stopped at Toledo and took tea and stayed until ½ past 12 at Night.


The page was shared with me by Craig Lewis, great great grandson of George W. Lewis, in 2002.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Charles Pell

This is a response to a comment on last week's Tombstone Tuesday. Charles Pell is my paternal great grand uncle. He was married to Bettie Levada VanGilder.

I have no photos of Charles and his story is what I have been able to piece together from census reports, his obituary and death certificate. My link to the Pell family is through Charles' wife, Bettie VanGilder.

Charles, son of Hunter Pell and Anne E. McMillen, was born on May 3, 1866 in Preston County, West Virginia. He married Bettie VanGilder, daughter of John Oliphant VanGilder and Mary Louise Hill, on November 7, 1903 in Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia.

The Pells made their home in Morgantown where Charles was a merchant. From census reports it appears that he was a salesman in the clothing business. Somewhere I found a note that he and my paternal great grandfather, George Ethelbert VanGilder, had a store in Morgantown. This is one of those pieces of information that I don't have the research, which translates to--no source!!!

The Pells had one child, a son, Robert H. Pell.

Charles had an untimely death. He was working on a car when gasoline exploded on July 31, 1931. On August 6, 1931 he was rushed to the local hospital and had both feet amputated. He died several days later.

Charles and Bettie are buried in Beverly Hills Memorial Park, Morgantown, West Virginia.

Bettie Levada VanGilder Pell Tombstone Tuesday

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sweeping out the cobwebs--Hiser/Smith Finds

Last Thursday was moving day for my husband's mother. Helena is off to an assisted living residence in Mississippi to "give it a try" for two months. Supposedly, if this does not work out, she will move back home to Tiffin, Ohio and will move into a comparable living situation.

She is not my Mom...I had no decision with the plans. I'm not certain why Tiffin to Mississippi and then perhaps back to Tiffin. Why not just Tiffin. She has lived her entire life in this small Ohio town located in Seneca County. Members of her line were founders in the 1800's. She has history there

I have had to deal with this situation with my Dad and step mother and frankly was just as happy to be an observer with Helena.

While packing and going through an enormous amount of "stuff,"Ted's sister handed me a large leather suitcase. This is for you the family historian. The case was opened and I saw it was jam packed with memorabilia. A genealogists dream. I curbed my enthusiasm and did not begin immediately leafing through the items. I waited until I could open it on my living room floor to begin the sorting.

There is alot of World War II information on Ted's father, Clarence. I think I have enough to do a listing for him for the Veterans History Project for the Library of Congress. I'm excited to be able to honor his service on that website. There are tons of saved greeting cards for various occasions, obits, newspaper wedding announcements and even some WWII ration stamps. I don't think I have ever seen a real one before.

It is a treasure trove of Hiser history and I can't wait to sink my teeth into it. Now, I wonder what else might be hidden in that condo.....

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Friday, May 14, 2010

Growing Up Hughes--The Swimming Gene

     Swimming was just something that I was able to do. As a child, I never had any real swimming lessons and as a teen, I found that I could swim pretty fast. There was always a comfort zone with water. In the summer our two week vacation was at Stone Harbor, New Jersey swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. When I was in seventh grade, my family joined a swim club and we had the opportunity to swim almost daily.

     In 1961, we moved from my childhood home to a new house and a new school system. At the bottom of the hill from our street there was a summer swim club which the family joined in 1962. It was a terrific opportunity to make new friends and there was a swim team. I had never tried to swim fast. The coach said, "Just dive in and swim as fast as you can." I did. Surprisingly, it was the fastest any girl in the 15-16 age group had done.

     This lead to four years of swim competition for me....two at that local club and two swimming for the Allegheny Y, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in AAU local, regional and state competitions.

      My brothers were both on the local swim team, too. We spent the day down at the pool all summer long....lazy hazy crazy days of summer. What a life!!!

     Certainly back then it never occurred to me that my natural gift of swimming might have come from somewhere. Over my years of genealogy research, I have heard the stories of my paternal grandfather, George Henry Hughes, and his love of swimming. Suddenly the light bulb blinked on. Perhaps this swimming thing is genetic.

     My paternal grandfather, George Henry Hughes, called Pop Pop by the grandchildren, was born and spent about seven years in Hartlepool, England. The North Sea was his swimming pool as a youngster. When my brothers and I visited Hartlepool back in 2003, we saw folks swimming in the sea near the Hartlepool Gate on the Headland.

     I found a postcard showing a "bathing pool" which was an area near the old Town Wall that was designated as the town's swimming area. The water supply is the North Sea. The card is from the late 1800's and early 1900's, which was when my grandfather lived in town.

     One of the favorite Hughes Family stories is of Pop Pop swimming from the bank at the bottom of Birmingham Street in Avalon, across the Ohio River, over to Neville Island and back. Imagine swimming in the Ohio River in the 1920's and 30's near Pittsburgh.

Red line shows the route of the swim

     My Dad recalled how they would dodge all sorts of strange objects while trying the cross that stretch of the river. Think of all the pollution from the steel mills upstream....YISH!!! Talk about a love of swimming to deal with that water.

     Another fond memory is of Pop Pop, when he retired to St. Petersburg, Florida, floating in the Gulf, reading a newspaper. I actually saw it.

     When we visited St. Pete we swam in the Gulf and Grams and Pop Pop had a dandy of a pool behind their apartment complex. We Hughes kids pretty much dominated that pool when we were in town and we could always count on Pop Pop joining in on the fun.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday--Stark Haviland China

For my entire life, the holiday or special event table was set with the Haviland china and the Towle Cascade sterling silverware. These two exquisite examples of china and silverware belonged to my maternal grandmother and were passed along to her only child and daughter, my mother. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to guess who has them today ;-)

Perhaps pieces and parts of the two sets were wedding gifts given to my maternal grandparents when they married in 1914. I don't think that they belonged to my maternal great grandparents. When my mother received the Haviland, the set was pretty much as it was sold. Eight place settings and numerous serving pieces.

Over the years plates were chipped and entire serving pieces were destroyed. I seem to remember my Mom telling me that one Christmas my brother's ex was helping with the dishes and one or two covered bowls were dropped on the floor.

That's one hardship with fine china.....easily broken and it all has to be hand washed!

I will confess that this would not be a pattern that I would choose if I was going to plunk down hundreds of dollars on china; however, for free, I love it. The added bonus is that I am the third generation to have it grace my holiday table.

I have added additional serving pieces, many which would not have been part of the original set and also built the place settings up from eight to twelve. Ebay and Replacements, Ltd., both on line sources, have been my shopping stops.

The china was marketed under the name Theodore Haviland Limoges, France. Originally this pattern was called La France; however, sometime in the 1930's the name was changed to Richmond. The ones marked La France are extremely difficult to find, so most of the pieces that I have purchased are Richmond.

The memories that the table settings brings back to the three Hughes kids (my brothers and I) is worth the effort of hand washing and drying them and now new memories are being built in the generation of my adult children. I only hope that there will be another generation to pass them along to in the future.

History of Haviland China

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Emma Leona VanGilder Williams

Emma Leona VanGilder Williams is my paternal great grandaunt. She was the daughter of John Oliphant VanGilder and Mary Louise Hill VanGilder. The dates on the grave plate are accurate. Emma was born in Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia and died in Huntington, Cabell County, West Virginia.

On August 29, 1903 Emma married Harvey S. Williams, son of Foster Williams and Nancy Jacobs Williams, in Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia.

The Williams were the parents of two daughters, Edith E. Williams and Ruth J. Williams and raised them in Morgantown, West Virginia. Early in the marriage they made their home on Front Street however by 1930 they were living on VanGilder Avenue in a house that had been built on land that originally belonged to Emma's parents.

As a young woman, Emma was a school teacher at the Union School in Easton, West Virginia, north of Morgantown.

Both Emma and Harvey are buried in Beverly Hills Memorial Park, outside Morgantown, West Virginia. Emma is buried near her sister, Mary Frances VanGilder and her married sister and brother in law, Betty VanGilder Pell and Charles Pell.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser