Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Passing of the Grand Dame

Our little Christmas Kitten aka Christie.....born on Halloween, or near it, back in 1990 passed today at the age of 20. A holiday gift to my youngest son, he went with me to the Cleveland Animal Shelter to pick out his own kitten.

Truth be told, Christie was not the one that caught my eye....but after all, it was my son's choice and the small little black and white puff ball came home. I have to laugh when I think that her ears were almost larger than her head. Thankfully, she grew into them.

We will miss you Miss have brought us 20 years of joy, smiles and love.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Happy Halloween


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday--Smith Farm Lease 1927

At the end of the summer, my sister-in-law finished the final cleaning out of Helena's condo and on her way back to Mississippi, stopped here in North Olmsted for a visit. I became the proud new owner of additional pieces of family glassware and tucked inside the box were several envelopes. One contained this document dated April 1, 1927.

Grover Cleveland Smith was Helena's father. John A. (Andrew) Smith, her paternal grandfather. The family owned and farmed land in Clinton Township, Seneca County, Ohio. This document is a lease from John Andrew Smith to his son, Grover Cleveland Smith.

Grover Cleveland Smith agreed to pay his father the annual sum of $300.00 for the land outlined in the contract. Some of his duties were to repair all fences, to sow clover and timothy seed to keep the soil from deteriorating, to plant one half acre of strawberries and to keep the weeds cut.

When the lease was drawn up, Grover Cleveland Smith was married to Mildred Claudine Tate Smith and they had four children and one on the way.

Witness to the signing were:
Jesse C. Heebsh
Peter C. Welter

Relationship to my two sons
John Andrew Smith--paternal great great grandfather
Grover Cleveland Smith--paternal great grandfather

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Michelangelo

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

6 March 6, 1475 – February 18, 1564

Michelangelo's final resting place is located in the Church of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy. He chose this spot, " that on Judgment Day, when the dead are raised, the first thing he would see through the opened doors of Santa Croce would be Brunelleschi's dome."1 The dome is the focal point of Florence's gothic cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo).


1. Vipond, Anne," Mediterranean By Cruise Ship", Fourth Edition, Ocean Cruise Guides, Vancouver, Canada, 1957, page 209.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Family of George Henry Hughes and Mary Ann Storey Hughes of Hartlepool, England

     Today I am tearing myself away from cruise photos and concentrating on my Hartlepool, England family. A recent e-mail from a direct cousin has pulled me back to genealogy after a long absence. In previous UK Hughes blogs I have mentioned that back in 2003, my two brothers and I, had the good fortune to make a trip across the pond to reconnect with our Hughes roots in Hartlepool. During those few brief days, I was able to hear old stories, collect numerous precious photographs and finally get the family group chart in order. 

     Over the years I have been able to network with other cousins who have seen my genealogy home page. Slowly the George Henry and Mary Ann Storey Hughes chart has come to life with photographs, additional names, documents and dates plus remembered stories. This family group chart of my paternal great great grandparents, has a photo of each individual (if I have one). My hope is that the blog will continue to help me connect with family--worldwide--and we can all continue to add additional information and photographs. 

     I would like to add that in reviewing my blogs, I have NOT given my paternal great great Hughes grandparents the attention that is due. This will now be corrected. Thank you cousin for waking me from my genealogy lethargy.
Mary Ann Storey Hughes in front of the family store
This is the only photograph I have of either of my Hughes great grandparents

Brief Background

     George Henry Hughes, son of Samuel Hughes and Ann Hill was born in 1851, Wordsley, Kingswinford Parish, Staffordshire County, England. He married Mary Ann Storey, daughter of John Story and Ann Robinson on Christmas Day, December 25, 1870, at All Saints Church, Stranton, West Hartlepool, England. 

     George and Mary Ann had ten children. Included are two sets of twins! Only one child died--one of the last set of twins. George Henry Hughes died on May 8, 1930, at home in West Hartlepool England from cardio vascular degeneration and chronic bronchitis. Mary Ann Storey Hughes died on March 14, 1935, at home in West Hartlepool, England from acute heart failure. 

     Both are buried at Stranton Grange Cemetery, Hartlepool, England. There is no tombstone to mark their final resting place. Additional information regarding George Henry and Mary Ann Storey Hughes can be found on my genealogy home page.

The Family Group Chart of

1. Ann Maria Hughes born 1871 in West Hartlepool, England, died in October, 1945 in Billingham, England. Married Thomas Alfred Williams in West Hartlepool, England in 1899.   The Williams had nine children the seven who lived are:  Bertha A., George Henry, Hilda, Mary Alice, Edith Ferdinanda, John Thomas, Herbert.  Ann Maria Hughes Williams is buried at Stranton Grange Cemetery, Hartlepool, England. 

John George Hughes

  2.  John George Hughes (my paternal great grandfather) born on June 16, 1873 in West Hartlepool, Durham County, England, died on May 20, 1921 in Woodlawn (now Aliquippa), Beaver County, Pennsylvania from what appears to be throat cancer. He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Aliquippa, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. 

     On June 7, 1897 at St. Aidan's Church, West Hartlepool, England, he married Elizabeth Ferdinande Olesen. Additional information regarding my paternal great grandparents, John George and Elizabeth Olesen Hughes can be found on my genealogy home page.3.  Eliza Jane Hughes was born in January 1879 in the family home, 61 Hill Street, Longhill, West Hartlepool, England.  She died at one year nine months on October 4, 1880.  She is buried in North Cemetery, Hartlepool, England.

3. Samuel Hughes was born in 1876 in West Hartlepool, Durham County, England, died 1936 in West Hartlepool, Durham County, England. Married on May 1, 1901 at St. Hilda's Church, Hartlepool, England, Sarah Jane Adamson. Thanks to Irene Hughes O'Shea I have networked with numerous cousins who descend from this branch. There are photos and family stories.

4.  Eliza Jane Hughes was born January 1879 in West Hartlepool, Durham County, England, died October 4, 1880, West Hartlepool, Durham County, England.

5. Mary Alice Hughes was born on May 28, 1881, West Hartlepool, Durham County, England and died on February 6, 1949 in West Hartlepool, Durham County, England. 

     On September 3, 1910 she married Eli Marsh at St. Aidan's Church, West Hartlepool, Durham County, England. Mary Alice died on February 6, 1949 in West Hartlepool, England. I do not know where she and Eli are buried. 

     When I visited Hartlepool in 2003, I had the extreme pleasure to meet John George Marsh, Mary Alice's son. John identified the photo of his grandmother, Mary Ann Storey Hughes (above) and had countless family stories to share. Following John George Marsh's death, his son shared photos and Marsh documents with me.

6. Joseph Hill Hughes was born in 1883 in West Hartlepool, Durham County, England. I do know he lived his life in West Hartlepool; however, have no idea of the date of his death or where he is buried. In 1905 he married Sarah Jane Lester. When I visited Hartlepool, I was able to meet another Linda Hughes....Linda Hughes Wilson, a direct descendant of Joseph and Sarah Lester Hill. She was able to share several old photos from the early 1900's. 

7. Thomas H. Hughes, a twin, was born in 1886 in West Hartlepool, Durham County, England and died after 1965. I believe he married Gertrude Hunter. Apparently when my paternal grandparents (George Henry and Sarah VanGilder Hughes) visited Hartlepool in 1965, the only Hughes in the telephone directory was Thomas. George talked with his Uncle Thomas by phone and Thomas neglected to tell the other Hughes family members still in Hartlepool that their American relation was in town. 

 8. Elizabeth Hughes, a twin, was born in 1886 in West Hartlepool, Durham County, England. She married Robert Dawson at St. Aidan's Church, West Hartlepool, England on May 5, 1906. The Dawson's had to daughters, Elsie and Mildred Dawson.  Elizabeth died in March 1941, West Hartlepool and Robert in June 1969.

9. William Alfred Hughes was born in 1888 in West Hartlepool, Durham County, England. I have no further information on William. One story that was passed down mentioned that William was deaf. 

10. Aidan Hughes, a twin, was born on March 26, 1895, West Hartlepool, Durham County, England and died in 1943 at home in West Hartlepool, England. In 1918 he married Florence Lester. I do not know where Aidan and Florence are buried. I spent much time with this branch of the family when I was in Hartlepool. They shared numerous family stories, documents and photographs with me.

11. Twin Boy Hughes was born on March 26, 1895, West Hartlepool, Durham County, England. Died at birth or very young. 

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Updated February, 2024

Friday, October 22, 2010

Travel and Snaps with Flipside--Monaco

The colors of Monaco--red and white

What did it want to see in Monaco......anything Princess Grace. There were various excursions available at this port; however, my main goal was Princess Grace. Call it a childhood thing....a Hollywood thing....whatever...she was my goal.

The Grand Casino in Monte Carlo

I have never had a penchant for gambling....truth be told, I am not very lucky. I can count on one hand the times in my life that I have won Monte Carlo was not even on my radar.

Port de Monaco

Monte Carlo side of the port with the Alps behind

After breakfast, I took my camera out on the Promenade Deck (remember Love and was literally bowled over at the beauty of the picture before me. Monaco to the right and Monte Carlo to my left and the Alps behind, slowly descending into the sea. Whew!

Taken from the ship's deck--Palais Princier and the old wall

Multimillion dollar (euro) private boats....primarily Saudi....anchored in the harbor......the ancient wall of Monticoville and the Palace on the hill.

The plan was a short excursion day....up to Monaco-Ville with the primary destinations--the Chapel where Princess Grace married Prince Rainier and their burial place plus the Royal Palace.

We also saw the Royal Gardens (Jardin Exotique). Unfortunately, the tour briskly moved forward and I was only able to snap a few photos :-(

Monaco's Cathedral--Monaco-Ville

And now the Chapel. In a word.....BREATHTAKING. The alter and area where Grace Kelly became Princess Grace and behind and to the left, her final resting place beside her husband Prince Ranier. In fact, many of the royal Grimaldi family are buried behind the arc behind.

Palais Princier

Place du Palais opposite the Palais Princier

Our next stop was the Royal Palace. NO PHOTOS ALLOWED INSIDE!!! The Palace was VERY GRAND....yes," palace-like".

Now there's a camera I would love to

By the time I emerged from the Palace, it was time for the "changing of the guard". I was late and way too short (in stature)....I didn't see or snap any much of, I did hear the band and the gunfire.

We were told that Princess Caroline calls
the yellow apartment with green shutters home

On the walk returning to our tour bus, we did pass the house where Princess Caroline resides when she returns home.....also, numerous shops, museums cafes and lovely flats.

Lunch time stop

The bus drove us down from Monaco-Ville and we decided to jump off in the business area called La Condamine. The walk back to the ship from this point looked to be relatively short.The time wandering the streets of La Condamine was probably the most rewarding time in this small municipality. There are numerous quaint shops and small cafe's and restaurants. Lunch was in one....delectible French cuisine was served.

Unique metal sculptures along the Quai Antoine

Our floating hotel

My take away......Monaco=Money. It is everywhere....the private boats, the homes, the prices in the shops. Limitless money. Fun to visit, but I wouldn't or couldn't live there.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Travel and Snaps with Flipside--Barcelona

In the scheme of things, I probably would never have opted for a trip to Barcelona, Spain. There seemed to be numerous vacation destinations that I would have placed much higher on the list.

This October, I had the great fortune to cruise the Mediterranean. The port of departure was Barcelona. The more I googled and learned about this Spanish/Catalan city, my excitement to experience Barcelona grew by leaps and bounds.

La Rambla at night

Side of the Bruno Quadras Building a former umbrella factory

The Joker

Beautiful flower stalls all along La Rambla

I was not disappointed. We spent two full days wandering up and down La Rambla enjoying the crowds of people, the street performers and the artists. We sought out as many Antoni Gaudi buildings as time would allow and tried to lose ourselves in the Barri Gotic section.

Street in the Barri Gotic

For a photographer who loves architecture, this city did not disappoint. It was a slow walk on La Rambla and in the Barri Gotic as I had to snap a building, an unusual focal point or a piece of antiquity.

Signs and advertisements are also fair game for "Miss Snap Happy".

The corner of Burger King and Micky D

No knowledge of the native language while in problem. Many of the restaurants, pubs and tapas spots offer menus in numerous foreign languages. Food problem. It was all delectable. For those faint at heart and stomach, they even have good old American fast food.

Mercat de La Boqueria


The market on La Rambla was an exciting experience. Colorful produce, artfully displayed, beckoned any and all visitors to sample and ultimately purchase. A vivid memory was the melon display.....packaged to take and eat while milling about the market or as a snack on La Rambla.



Following our cruise, we spent a final day back in Barcelona. We ventured north on La Ramblas to a tapas restaurant and more Gaudi architecture.

Grill work featured on Gaudi's Palau Guell

My favorite Gaudi....Casa Batilo

Dragon roof on Casa Batilo

Crucifixion of Christ
Centerpiece above the door of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia

I have to chuckle when I was first introduced to the works of Antonio Gaudi by watching a PBS documentary. His work seemed so strange that I was not even sure that I wanted to take the time to seek it out while in town. So much for first impressions......once seen, I became obsessed with anything Gaudi. We walked and walked looking for every piece of Gaudi architecture we could find. My one sorrow is that we did not have time to see his park--Parc Guell. My mantra when traveling is to always have some reason to go back.....I guess that would be to see the park.

Barcelona never sleeps. There is always a constant stream of folks strolling around...almost 27/7....enjoying the sights, museums, history, food and beverages. The perfect way to utilize a city.

I highly recommend visiting this fascinating city…staying as close to La Rambla as your finances will permit….put on your walking shoes…and go have fun.

P.S. If you need a travel book.....I highly recommend
DK Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Barcelona. A nice pocket size guide complete with maps of the city, the subway system and guides to everything you would want to see and do.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser