Tuesday, April 21, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 16, LIVE LONG: Harriet "Hattie" Philena ORMSBEE

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was How Do You Spell That?  This week, the theme is LIVE LONG.   
Please note that photos are copyright to me, and may not be copied.  Contact me if you are a relative and wish me to send you a copy.

In the above photo, taken the summer of 1924, from the left:  great-grandmother, Clara Augusta "Gussie" GRAVES Terwilliger (67 yrs), Harriet "Hattie" Philena ORMSBEE Graves (97 yrs), my mother Mary (2 yrs), and my grandmother, Marguerite TERWILLIGER Kuhn (44 yrs).  All but my mother were long-lived: Clara lived to be 98, Harriet to 102, my mother to 70 (cancer/dementia), and Marguerite to 93 yrs (cancer).  Harriet's three girls all lived over 90 years.

I have a few long-lived ancestors, but the closest one is my maternal great-great-grandmother, Harriet "Hattie" Philena ORMSBEE. 102 years. Her middle name is sometimes seen as Philomena; sometimes she is named as "HP" as a nickname.

Hattie was the second child of Jacob ORMSBEE & Sabra TOWERS, born 28 May 1827, in Manlius, Onondaga, New York.  On 26 Sep 1850, she married a wealthy businessman, Charles Giles GRAVES, in Syracuse, Onondaga, NY. 

She and Charles lived in the village of Jordan, in the area of Syracuse for much of her life, moving to Englewood New Jersey after her husband died in 1902.  Her daughter Clara and husband James Grover "Grove" TERWILLIGER lived in Englewood, and the extended family lived together. I have a typewritten transcribed memoir from my grandmother, describing the beautiful home in Englewood NJ where she grew up. 

Hattie & Charles had 3 girls, born in Jordan, Onondaga, NY, just outside Syracuse:
  1. Lillian Adele, b 25 Nov 1853, d 5 Jan 1949 aged 95; m 11 Jul 1877 to Gabriel W. Wisner; children - Charles Kenneth, Florence "Ethel" Sheridan, John Lawrence, Rae Burton.
  2. Clara Augusta "Gussie" [ancestor], b 5 Nov 1857, d 30 Oct 1955 aged 6 days short of 98; m 2 Oct 1879 to James Grover "Grove" TERWILLIGER; children - Marguerite Josephine [ancestor], [m. Charles Edward KUHN]; George Walter m. Hazel Belle Hubbard; Harold "Hal" Graves m. Carola Bischoff.
  3. Florence Estelle, b 3 Feb 1860, d. 6 Apr 1954 aged 94;  m. 6 Sep 1893 to Ernest F. Tyler; children - Lillian G. [m. Tony Petrucelli]
Hattie lived with her daughter Clara after Charles GRAVES died in 1902; and continued until her own death 20 Aug 1929 in Englewood NJ.  She seems to have had quite a social life, enjoying musical activities, as did her daughters.  My grandmother played the piano, the organ, sang, and enjoyed live theatre (acting as well as in the audience), and it seems the family all enjoyed these activities.  

I do wish I had more photos to share of the ORMSBEE, GRAVES and TERWILLIGER families. Unfortunately at least one or two of their several large family albums had been in the care of an aunt, Dorthea Kuhn, who became demented and needed hospitalization in New York City. Somehow in the chaos of closing down her apartment and Dot going into care, Dot's large albums were... lost... and only a tiny WW2 album was saved.  Perhaps "someone" in the family still has a few photos. Wouldn't it be lovely if a cousin saw this post and contacted me?  I would be thrilled! 

If any of these people are your ancestors as well, please contact me via calewis at telus dot net, or in the Comments below.  I would love to learn more about my ancestors. 

Blogger is still not letting me "reply" to your comments, for some unknown reason. If I don't reply to your Comment, please know that I'm totally thrilled you came to read my post and commented! You make my day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 15: "How Do You Spell That?" SPELLING VARIANTS

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was Favourite Photo, and this week the theme is about spelling: How Do You Spell That?  

Until I married, I constantly had to spell my full name - every time.  Every year at school, every time I gave my name to any individual, teacher, secretary, friend.  I had to spell "Celia Gillespie."  Celia became CeCelia, Cecilia, Cecile, Cisily or variants, I even got 'Silly' from one confused teacher. GILLESPIE became Gilesbey, Glaspy, Glaspie, Glasby, Gilaspy, Gilezpe, and oh-so-many variants. At one point I had 22 of them, mostly from digging through parish registers. 

As a result, when I started to research my family, it felt perfectly natural to EXPECT variants in spelling, particularly with individuals pre-1840 or thereabouts. 

I used to write out as many variants as I could think of for a surname based on the sound, or on the linguistic changes ("lenition") of a change in consonant (b to v, e.g.), or based on sloppy handwriting.  With messy writing, it can have so many additional misspellings. Is that a T or an F or an I -?  an L, an S, a G -?  After the initial letter, is that an e, i, o, or even a u or v -?  m, n, u or w -?  Really, it's definitely an art to learn how to read early handwriting!  

Here are my favourite badly-spelled surnames [direct ancestors], once we get past my own original surname, GILLESPIE:

PETTYGROVE.  - Looks relatively easy to my eyes, but early forms were usually some variant of PETTIGREW.  It can be spelled with variants: two t's or one, 'grow' or 'grew' or 'grove', with an 'i' or a 'y' after pett.  Etc.  Definitely, "etc." 

TERWILLIGER.  - There are so many spellings for this 'made-in-America' surname, made up by a family in New Netherlands [which became New York when the British took over the Dutch colony]. The Dutch used the patronymic pattern of naming, but the British imposed a more formal surname requirement. Early variants of this family were 'Der Villig"  "Ter Vilig"  "van Der Villiger" (hard 'g' by the way). On the RootsWeb Terwilliger Surname Research Center website, there are 17 variants listed for this surname.  A surname which has only been extant for about 300 years.  

MEIGS - or is it MEGGS or MEGS or MEEGS?  - Actually, the first known Meggs in North America was a Vincent Meggs, who was also known as "LOVE", just to confuse the issue. One of his sons in Connecticut, John, started using the spelling MEIGS for some unknown reason.  And here we are now... 

PIERSOL - or is it Pearsall... or, variants.  Again, I've seen it spelled many ways. There's always a P, an R, an S and an L.  That is, all the consonants are included - but with variants of vowels, probably depending on the accent of the speaker or the ears of the listener.

Some interesting FIRST  names:  
TALIAFERRO Craig b. 1704 Virginia to Jane Craig and a man with surname Taliaferro or however it was spelled - which became TOLIVER in the next generation. 

ZERUBBABEL Jerome b. 1715 in Windham CT.  This one took me a little while to figure out how to say it, let alone spell it!  Truly, how could a parent look at a sweet little boy and say, "Let's call him Zerubbabel."  Boggles my mind.  This is my absolutely hands-down favourite first name. But I don't think any of my grandchildren will name any of their own children with this name, do you?

Although I am quite a good speller, I have never had a negative opinion about 'bad' spelling. The purpose of writing any words down is to ensure the purpose of the written communication will continue to be understood by any person looking at it.  Makes me want to go back to pictograms!  Thinking there is only one way to spell is a rather recent issue, and you may well find legal documents in the 1700s and even into the 1800s using a variety of spellings for an individual in only one document.  Perfectly normal, perfectly legal. Here's a link to a quick guide to the history of the English language. Scroll down to look at the various charts further down the page. That should keep anyone busy for a while!  

If any of these surnames are in your family, do let me know, and I'm happy to share what I can with you. And if there are comments or questions, please connect with me via calewis dot net or in the Comments below, and I will do my best to get back to you.  

Blogger is still not letting me "reply" to your comments, for some unknown reason.  If I don't reply to your Comment, please know that I'm totally thrilled you came to read my post and commented!  You make my day.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 13, Different: Sytie JACOBZ van Etten

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was SAME, as in same as me.  This week, of course, it is DIFFERENT!  It took me a while to pick an ancestor... Here she is - Sytie Jacobz van Etten, born before 25 March 1668, in Kingston, New York.

How are we Different?  Well, Sytie had 12 children, 11 of whom were boys. Whew! I don't know how she managed that mob of boys. I had 4 children, 2 of whom were boys! It's a good opportunity for me to write about her, whether we are different or not. In this year-long challenge, I'm enjoying writing about many ancestors, particularly the women. 

Her Dutch name indicates she was a daughter of Jacob, of Etten, The Netherlands. Jacob Jansen apparently arrived before 1658, although I have not found his actual ship passenger list. Jacob Jansen van Etten married Annetje ADRIANSE Tach (who divorced her first husband for abandonment).  The Old Dutch Church of Kingston Baptismal and Marriage Registers contain the record of their marriage: 
"11 Jan 1665, Jacob Jansen of Etten, and Annetje Arians of Amsterdam, deserted wife of Aert Pietersen Tack, both residing here Wiltwyck, [now Kingston].  First publication of Banns, 28 Dec.,1664; second, 4 Jan; third, 11 Jan 1665."

The Old Dutch Church of Kingston followed Calvinist beliefs [Reformed Church]; the image to the right was taken from Wikipedia. The book above may be downloaded; I found baptism dates for all Sytie & Jacob's children, and marriage dates as well.

Sytie was their second child, bap 25 Mar 1668; witnesses: Jan Broers & his wife [p.6, Baptismal Registers, Kingston NY]. 

She married Jan Evertson 23 Apr 1685 in Kingston, New York:
"19 Jan 1685: JAN EVERTZ, j.m. of Vianen, under the jurisdiction of the Stigt Vtregt [Diocese of Utrecht], and SYTIE JACOBZ van ETTEN, j.d., of Kingstouwne, both resid. in Marmur [Marbletown].  First publication of Banns 23 Apl."

Note: This family took the new surname: TERWILLIGER [corruption of phrase 'by the willows'], by the late 1690s.  All those with Terwilliger surnames are related, a 'made-in-America' surname.  There are a myriad ways of spelling this name, seen in several early records as 'der Villig'  'Ter Wilge' 'De Villiger' and so on.  More information may be found on the Terwilliger Surname Research Center, as well as a short history on this site about the Origins of the Terwilliger Name, or The Terwilliger Family Association. The latter is my favourite site!

Sytie and husband Jacob had the following children:
  1.  Evert, bap 23 May 1686; m. Mar 1717 to Sara Freer
  2.  Jacobus, bap 25 Nov 1688; m. 10 Mar 1716/7 to Annetjen Hornback
  3.  Johannes [ancestor], bap 6 Nov 1692; m. 6 Sep 1717 to Katrina Heypse, 5 children
  4.  Jannetje, bap 9 Jun 1695; m. 17 Jan 1716/7 to Cornelius Kool/Cool
  5.  Matheus, bap 18 Apr 1697, died as infant that year
  6.  Matheus, bap 30 Oct 1698; m. 3 May 1732 to Marytjen Oosterhout
  7.  Salomon, bap 1 Sep 1700; m. 8 Jul 1720 to Rachel Ostrander
  8.  Manuel,bap 31 May 1702; m. abt 1725 to Jannetjen Decker
  9.  Pieter or Petrus, bap 3 Sep 1704
10.  Ary, bap 22 Sep 1706;  m. abt 1749 to Grietjen Phoenix
11.  Abraham, bap 18 Sep 1709
12.  Issac, bap 10 Jun 1716;  m. 15 Dec 1741 to Rebecca Phoenix

Only one girl in this big group of boys.  I wonder what it was like for her? Hopefully, Sytie's other relatives and many siblings were able to help her. There is a gap of 7 years between #11 and #12 children, and she may have had one or more children during this time. 

I do not have any death dates or places, although both Sytie and Jacob may have stayed in Kingston, or in Hurley (extension of Kingston), and died there.  Several more items need to be researched, and clarified. 

Sytie - my hat goes off to you for birthing and raising this group of strong healthy boys and one girl. No wonder there are so many TERWILLIGER descendants!

If you have any information or if I have details incorrect here, please do not hesitate to comment or provide corrections.  You may also contact me via calewis at telus dot net, or leave a comment below.  Thanks for stopping by! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES; No. 14, Favourite Photo

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was Different. 

This week's theme, FAVOURITE PHOTO, was a bit of a challenge - I love so many photos - but here it is.

Five day old Pia, my first child, summer 1968. I'm sitting on the front steps of my parents' home, having come directly from the hospital only 5 minutes away. 

New baby with her parents - visiting my parents and my mother's mother who were living here at 3250 Matapan Crescent, in the eastern side of Vancouver BC. I'm not sure whether Mom took the photo or Jack, Pia's father, took it.

She was a lovely baby, easy to feed and care for, as many babies are. And I wasn't particularly nervous since I'd been babysitting babies in our neighbourhood since I was almost 12 years old, I also had a BSc in Nursing, and completed a full year with the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) in Ontario, where I'd taught prenatal classes with follow up in a very small town.  

I notice a great deal here... Clearly I'm in love with her, and I'm enjoying her holding on to my finger, so sweet. I notice the camel-bone carved earrings I'd bought at Persian Arts jewellery store downtown about 3 years previously. I notice the top which I'd sewn myself for a pretty maternity top. I notice that Gillespie nose of mine. And the yellow rose bush on the right by the front steps - Dad and I had bought and put into the garden space about 10 years previously.  

My very first baby. We're on an adventure together.  Definitely my favourite photo. And there are so many other "favourite photos". Genealogy is all about family history, and every photo is another treasure.

If you have any comments, feel free to add them below - I think Blogger is working again, so I'll reply - that is, if it is working.   

UPDATE:  NO, it's not allowing me to "reply" to your comments.  Please know that I am thrilled that you read my post and posted a comment.  You make my day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

GENEALOGY Do-Over, Weeks 11 & 12: Breathing time!

Look how close we are to finishing this group of topics!  I've been finding the last few weeks significantly easier than the first few weeks:
Week 11 - Reviewing Social Media Options; Building a Research Network
Week 12 - Sharing Research; Reviewing Research Travel Options

Here's my brief summary of my SOCIAL MEDIA options, with my own information.  As for who I follow - too many to list.  It's my particular research and educational network - sometimes depending on the particular area and problem.  So I've somewhat skipped over RESEARCH NETWORK here:
  • I have two BLOGS:  Twigs and Trees, my personal genealogy blog, and Terwilliger Souvenir Album, which is a page-by-page inventory of my great-grandfather's Album.
  • I TWEET using TweetDeck:  @celialewis  - on many eclectic topics, #genealogy, #writing, and various science and STEM topics. Whatever catches my eye and fills my buckets. 
  • I am on FACEBOOK as Celia Lewis - but it is focused on family, friends, cousins, other romance writers and writing colleagues, plus some few genealogists I follow. Not strictly genealogy, because I have several other passions (I know, you're cringing aren't you?!).  I also copy my two genealogy blog posts on my Facebook page, to intrigue my cousins and kids!  Looking for someone to pick up the passion, eventually.
  • I'm on GOOGLE PLUS [G+]  as +CeliaLewis, and we'll see what changes may be taking place there later this year. This is a major source of morning wonders for me, as well as a quick check-through on people I love to follow - genealogy, nature, photographs [of birds, insects, various animals], sciences, geology, astronomy, and more.
  • I have a Genealogy Board on PINTEREST  as CeliaWinky - along with other Boards of my special interests. 'Winky' by the way, is my Grandma Winky name.
  • I follow about a dozen YOUTUBE genealogists or companies for genealogy education purposes. Of course, I also follow quite different people for jazz/folk/old-time blues music, spirituality support, and more.
  • I follow half a dozen or so of genealogists' blogs and posts, including BLOG-TALK RADIO and other PODCASTS, particularly those with their unique educational flavour to their genealogy and history.  
You get the picture.  Social Media and I are pretty friendly, even though I'm not on "everything" social, nor am I an expert.  I do feel comfortable digging around on different social media sites, for what I'm learning or struggling with.

In RESEARCH SHARING - I am tagging all my photos correctly, finally.  There are a few which I am going to be marking as my own personal photographs, therefore they are copyright (with explanations).  I have already requested permission to share several photos of my son-in-law's great-grandparents and received permission along with some additional information and a friendly connection.  I've been doing this for some time now, so I am only being more detailed, more thorough, and going back through my older items.

I keep my own family tree on my computer [thoroughly backed up in 3 ways], in either of 3 or 4 different programs. I use Legacy as my primary program, but move the tree back and forth to the others for learning purposes as well as to access different reports, etc.  At least once a year, I teach genealogy for beginners so I try to understand the programs likely used by students.

I have my Ancestry online family tree set as private but searchable by others;  my family & cousins have access (but not edit rights). I have had a number of requests to view my tree, almost all of which I have approved. In a couple of cases, the requester had the wrong person for their family (which I could see very easily when I looked at their family tree online), so I gave him/her some hints on where to be looking instead.

I post on several Message Boards regularly, updating the post yearly or so, in hopes of finding cousins.

Re the online tree: events, places, names - if I am unsure of them, I usually mark as NOT PROVEN, or unsourced. That way, anyone seeing them will be aware of the caution and not simply copy. Truthfully, most people requesting to see my tree are looking for 1600s to late 1700s ancestors, and the research for that era can be challenging. I've received some wonderful old maps and sketches from 'relatives' of my direct ancestors, by asking very nicely if they could let me know how I could find that oh-so-wonderful land map of the late 1600, for example. I received direct links to not only the land map, but half a dozen more great documents directly related to the common ancestor we shared. I love sharing.

As for RESEARCH TRAVEL - that is a big dream of mine.  However, the reality of my situation since retirement in 2008 is that being retired with no pension or assets and therefore with a miniscule budget for "extras" means I tend to spend money on monthly costs I can budget: monthly Ancestry, monthly Evernote, monthly FindMyPast, monthly LegacyWebinars, etc. You get the picture. Saving money per month for anything larger than say, $50 or so, is out of the question.  With no financial buffer, I get wiped out any month there's an unusual expense or a yearly expense, like the genealogy society memberships (4), or medications needed after my recent eye surgery, or the veterinarian cost/meds for my bird the other week. Life. It is what it is.

I do have a dream list of what I'd like to do for genealogy research travel, of course.  Why not dream?  Who knows?  One day "someone" may make me a gift of enough money to travel, maybe $400-$800 should more than do one or two, I think:
1.  5-8 days at Salt Lake City Library - maybe every year or two! September?  March?
2.  Southern California Jamboree - held in June each year
3.  RootsTech - February 2016
4.  A ramble over various places of my Northeastern USA 1600-1700 ancestors: PA, ME, NJ, NY, and CT. April or May would be good months, eh?
5.  A trip across the pond to Barrow In Furness Lancashire, then to the Black Midlands to Dudley/Netherton Worcestershire, with a stop in Islay for a wonderful single-malt scotch tour [big dream], and then to Northern Ireland to County Tyrone as well as Belfast.
6.  Well, if I'm going across the pond, obviously I should hit London once more (I was here for 13 days back in the 1990s), and visit the Society of Genealogists, and the British Library, as well as...

In the meantime, my Do-Over Legacy tree is coming along, slowly and carefully.  And I'm constantly reviewing how to make the original Master Source, then make the correct Citations - I'd done it completely wrong in my old tree.  Basic misunderstanding of how to do what!

I'm using my son-in-law's family tree as a perfect way to START RIGHT!  My documents for my his family tree are correctly labeled and filed, ditto for the photographs and maps. I'm actively using the Research Logs I've made, including the document log  - Excel is my friend indeed. Oh, and isn't it fun to colour-code the tabs? Very cool!

All in all, I'm very pleased I started this Do-Over process. My desk is tidier than ever, as a bonus. Through the year, I'm going to be working my way through my old tree and all my documents, maps, books, and other miscellaneous items for my genealogy. Tune in next year, to see what I've accomplished! A huge Thank You to Thomas MacEntee for suggesting this incredible journey.

You can contact me via calewis at telus dot net or via Comments below, and hopefully Google is letting me reply to comments. There was a problem when I updated, and I'm still trying to figure out which defaults got changed!! So if I don't reply to your Comment, know that I'm totally thrilled that you came to read my post and commented! You make my day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No.12: "Same" - Grove TERWILLIGER

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was "Luck of the Irish,"  and this week, SAME, as in same as me.  This was difficult - no one had my same name, although there were a few "Cecelia" names. No nurses.  No similar experiences... Ah. But there WAS an ancestor who had a very similar passion for family history:  my great-grandfather, James Grover "Grove" TERWILLIGER.  

That's right - THAT Terwilliger, the one who made a huge many-paged Souvenir Album, filling it with obituaries, letters, cards, tickets, and other bits and pieces of his life.  His Album inspired me to continue searching for more information about my ancestors, my 'larger' family. I had started several years before I retired, thinking it would be a way to know how I related to a much broader range of family members. 

On a separate blog I am attempting to inventory the entire Album, page by page, name by name, event by event. Here is my other blog, TERWILLIGER SOUVENIR ALBUM, where you can follow along.  There are about 120 pages, and I'm only up to page 34!  

A dozen years ago, when I opened my deceased grandmother's box, and dug into one package and box after another, I was surprised and disappointed to find nothing of apparent value.  No gorgeous jewellery or beautiful silk dresses or scarves, no lovely hand-sewn or embroidered keepsakes. I put it away after poking in it casually, thinking I'd look more closely when I had more time.

And, when I did have time to be more thorough, I was thrilled to find so many genealogy and family history clues. Here are only a few of the genealogy/family history items:

1.  Several detailed genealogies my grandmother's brother Hal Terwilliger had drafted out for her in order to qualify for membership in either The Holland Society, and/or for Daughters of the American Revolution, and including photocopied pages from several surname history books. Names: TERWILLIGER, GRAVES, GRISWOLD, MERWIN, MORGAN, TREAT.
2.  My grandmother's typed out "Memoirs", dictated to a friend of hers about 5 years or so before she died here in Vancouver.  I must get these many pages into a blog at some point in the future.
3.  Several notes/letters, again from her brother Hal Terwilliger, about how we related to several famous surnames, or important places.
4.  A timeline list of my grandmother's medical events in her handwriting. 
5.  Photographs of my grandmother and her children, with her own mother, and grandparents.
6.  A bag of very cheap costume jewellery (sigh!), quite out of date, not taken care of, and not particularly valuable.  I wanted to find them attractive or valuable for any reason, but - no.
7.  A huge bulky heavy box, which, when unwrapped and all the tape sliced through, showed a huge book, labeled "TERWILLIGER SOUVENIR ALBUM." Very large, it is 17"x14"x6" - large, and heavy, and in fair-medium shape.

This Album is a different kind of treasure chest. It contains so many useful items about my great-grandfather's social and family life, including several pages with family obituaries and newspaper articles about a number of relatives. It was from these pages of history, as well as pages of wedding cards, that I was able to prove various family relationships and add to my family tree. Many clues are in this Album, and I keep finding another one, and another one, as I inventory each page. I'm impatient to get to the end.

Did I do a similar Album?  No. Although one year my mother [his granddaughter] made separate photo albums for all three of us children, when I was about 28, starting with the phrase "In the Beginning...".  And I did something similar for my own 4 children.  

No, it wasn't making such an Album which is the "Same" relationship.  Rather it is the passion to save family history, to remember family members through various means, to pass on knowledge of one's family - that is the "same." 

I'm sure if he were alive at this point in time, he would be thrilled to be doing genealogy research on his/our relationships. Yes, I doubt his eyes would glaze over - he'd probably want to go with me on trips to find more information, and tramp over cemeteries!  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES No.11: Luck of the Irish: DONAGHY & GILLESPIE

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was Stormy Weather, and this week it is "Luck of the Irish."  Here is shown the links of how my daughter's great-great-grandmother and my son-in-law's great-grandmother lived a stone's throw (or two) from each other in Ireland, and their descendants met and married in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - half-way 'round the world.

My greatgrandmother, Catherine ARMSTRONG, bap. 3 May 1853 in Parish Clogher, Augher, County Tyrone, N.Ireland, married George GILLESPIE in 1875 in Augher. I have written a number of times about my GILLESPIE line, and this photo of  Catherine is taken in 1895-1898, from a family photograph. 

The Parish birthplace - Clogher, County Tyrone - was listed on their 1911 Census in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, England. The family had moved from Ireland just before 1881. The village of Augher shows on the birth registration of their first son, my grandfather, Wm John "Jack" GILLESPIE, who was born there.  His birth was attended by the Informant, Margerie Armstrong - who could be Catherine's mother, grandmother, aunt, or sister... I have yet to find any record of Margerie.  As you can see on the extreme right box, it took several months to finally name Grandpa! I wonder why? 

Transcription: Births registered in the District of Clogher, in County of Tyrone:  #439.  Birthdate:Twentythree August 1876; blank box for name of baby, M[ale]. Father: George Gillespie; Dwelling place: Augher;  Mother: Catherine Gillespie formerly Armstrong; Father's Profession:  Labourer;  Informant: Margerie Armstrong "X" her mark, present at Birth, Augher; Date Registered: Twenty Eighth August 1876;  [Frar. Scraggs]; Bapt. Name if added after Registration of Birth:  Wm John, 23rd October 1876. 

Now recently, I was asked to research my son-in-law's family, their British & German roots, and ran across a great-grandmother of his born in Ireland. Another Irish connection. How interesting, I thought.  [Happy St.Patrick's Day!]

Martha Jane DONAGHY, b. abt 1877, in Emyvale, County Monaghan, N.Ireland, married 2 Aug 1898 in Glasgow, Scotland to James PERRY, b. 1875 in Hartshill, Warwickshire, England.  Her parents were Patrick DONAGHY and Martha McGUINESS, both of Ireland. The 1911 Census of England & Wales gave the birthplace for each person, which was my first finding of the village of Emyvale in Monaghan for Martha Jane DONAGHY's birthplace.  

On a map, I saw that the village of Emyvale was very close to the northern edge of County Monaghan... and just for a lark, I looked for where the village of Augher was in the south of County Tyrone.  CLOSE!  Very close: 10.8 miles (17.4 km), in fact.  With a steady walk, it's only a few hours away. Click on the link to see the region on Google Maps.

So I have found that my daughter and her husband, both have direct ancestors - great-grandmothers - who took different routes emigrating from their nearby villages in Northern Ireland. And their descendants ended up across the ocean, across Canada, in Victoria, British Columbia, where they met and married. Amazing. Half way round the world.

I'm sorry I don't have a photo of Martha Jane DONAGHY Perry.  Apparently a box or two of photographs is coming "soon".  I can't wait to see if there are photographs of her in the box. 

If you have further information on any of the people listed here, do contact me directly via calewis at telus dot com.  I would love to continue adding more details and photos to my son-in-law's family records.  

NOTE: My Blogger account is acting up and not allowing me to reply to comments just now. Assume that I am absolutely thrilled you took the time to come by, read the notes, and comment. You make my day!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 10: "Stormy Weather" -

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was Close to Home, and this week it is "Stormy Weather."  

Living on the "wet coast" (BC), we haven't had the stormy weather the eastern states and Canada have had to deal with this winter.  I haven't seen anything in my ancestors' lives to indicate a literal issue of stormy weather, so I'm using a figurative example of stormy weather. 

My father's parents were William John GILLESPIE, known as Jack all his life, and Harriette BUNN (photo on right).  Grandpa was born in Augher, Co.Tyrone, Northern Ireland in 23 Aug 1876; Grandma was born in Netherton, Staffordshire, England in 31 Oct 1879.  Both ended up in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, England where their fathers and other relatives were able to find work in the booming economy in Barrow.  Ship-building, steel-manufacturing, and related industries drew workers from far away.

On the 1881 Census in Barrow, my 5 year old Grandpa Jack, his 3 year old little brother Jim, his parents George & Catherine, his 2 uncles Andrew & Robert and his aunt Margaret , and his grandparents James & Elizabeth, all lived in a cottage termed "#262 Brick Cottages".  There were about 300 of these built for the workers, and every family member of working age, worked. 

The economy went quite well until into the early 1900s; Grandpa grew up and on the 23rd of May 1899, he married Harriet Bunn, whose parents - following a step-brother/uncle -  had moved up to Barrow shortly after the 1881 Census. The photo you see above is a tintype photo taken in Barrow, and is described in the family as their  "engagement photo".  

Around 1905, Grandpa Jack moved his family across Hadrian's Wall and into Scotland, to Cambusnethan (near Wishaw and Newmains), where he worked in the Newmains foundry.  Their 4th child, Beatrice, died of tuberculosis in 1907, aged 3 years. That same year, my father was born, and 3 years later to the day, the youngest Gillespie child, Elizabeth "Lil" was born.   Also in 1907, Grandpa's little brother, Jim (nicknamed "Rusty") decided to go to Canada, and left (with a Bible from Barrow), sailing from Glasgow on 16 Mar 1907, for the port of Halifax, Canada.  Jim eventually settled in Ontario, marrying and raising a family of four children there.

Several years later, England experienced a minor economic depression, and moving to Canada was very attractive for many English (and other Great Britain countries).  Grandpa decided to come to Canada, and left the port of Liverpool on the Empress of Britain on June 2, 1911 with his father-in-law George Bunn Sr., following not only his brother Jim Gillespie, but also his brother-in-law, George Bunn, who was in Vancouver by 1910.  Unfortunately, his father-in-law became sick and returned to Barrow shortly afterwards.  Grandpa travelled on to Vancouver, finding work as a longshoreman.  Although the family story is that his first job in Vancouver was being tagged on the main street (Granville?) for jury duty and being paid for it - his first income!  

All very well, you're thinking... but where's the 'stormy weather'?  Grandpa left Barrow  on June 1911, leaving his wife Harriette, and children aged 12-2 yrs old: Elsie, George, Winnie, John, and Lil. They were separated for several years. Years. Not months or weeks, but years. Tough times, I suspect. 

And finally, after over three years, Grandpa borrowed money from the Salvation Army and was able to get his family out of England on October 22, 1914.  That's right - 1914. Several months after the start of World War 1.  Stormy weather indeed.  The ship they travelled on  across the ocean was the Virginian, which was immediately refitted for war and sent to the Mediterranean after it returned to Great Britain.  

If Grandpa had not been able to pay the fees to bring his wife and 5 children over at that time, they might not have made it across until after the war - another 4 years!   
Between the start of WWI and the 3 years since leaving Barrow, the couple went through difficult times, apart. The formal photo here is of the family in 1917, several years after finally settling in back together, in Vancouver BC.  

I don't recall anyone in the family talking of this over-3-year's separation period.  But I think it must have been somewhat difficult to be apart this long and then back together again.  Over the next number of years, several others of Harriette Bunn's family emigrated to Canada, coming to Vancouver.  

Stormy weather - Marriage can be stormy weather at times, and this period of time must have been challenging for my grandparents, as well as their children.  

If you have questions or information, do contact me via calewis at telus dot net, or in the Comments below.  I appreciate any corrections as well.  

NOTE: My Blogger account is acting up and not allowing me to reply to comments just now. Assume that I am absolutely thrilled you took the time to come by, read the notes, and comment. You make my day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - My great-grandmother & plane, 1927

On the back of this photo is written (in my grandmother's handwriting): Madee ('mother') took this plane in 1927.  She would have been about 70 at the time.

An intrepid traveller, she lived to 97 years, buried on her birthday 5 Nov 1955 in Syracuse, Onondaga, New York. Clara Augusta "Gussie" "Madee" GRAVES m. James "Grove" Grover TERWILLIGER on 2 Oct 1879, Syracuse, Onondaga, NY.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was GOOD DEEDS, which I found a challenge.  This week, the theme is Close to Home.  

The HEALY sisters who married two brothers... not an unusual pairing. I have several similar family pairings.  And they make sense, don't they?  Your families go to the same church, your families live nearby, help each other out, go to school together... There are so many reasons why it is logical to marry into the same families. Here are two sisters who married into my ex-husband's Rice family line.

Originally from Vermont, Calvin HEALY (1801-1881) and Mary OLIN (1809-1872) had 7 known children born in White County, Illinois.   Their near neighbours in the area of Indian Creek, were the RICE family, originally from Vermont and Kentucky states: Abel RICE (1792-1846) and Lydia GHOLSON (1792-1850).  

The RICE family had 11 children, 5 of them boys: Tolliver G. b. 1816, Eliza R. b. 1818, Hulda b. 1819, Martha b. 1820, Sarah M. b. 1821, Allan M. b. 1824, William Emerson b. 1826, Henry C. b 1827, Elizabeth I. b. 1829, Mary Ann b. 1830, Joel b. 1832.  

The HEALY family had 7 children, 3 of them girls: Arletta M. b. 1830, Charlotte L. b. 1835, George Calvin b. 1837, James H. b. 1840, Jerusha Ann b. 1844, Joseph M b. 1847, and Henry Gilbert b. 1849.  

As you can see, the children's ages overlapped.  I can imagine the younger Rice girls Elizabeth & Mary Ann visiting with the Healy girls nearby, maybe after school, and after chores.  Henry and Joel Rice likely hung out with George & James Rice. Picnics together.  Farming chores. Church socials. Their fathers probably did road work together when needed, talking together about their children, the future, standing around together after church. The girls put together their hope chest or dowry chest - a trunk of linens, embroidery and quilts, needed for when they got married. Sitting together in the winter, sewing, planning, dreaming.

Arletta M., the eldest HEALY, married Henry C. Rice on 30 Jan 1850, and had 4 children, 1 boy and 3 girls: Ezra Joel, Ophelia, Marion Janette, and Rutha Roseanna.  

Several years later, the 2nd Healy child, Charlotte L. married the youngest Rice boy, Joel RICE, on 19 Aug 1854.  They had 5 children:  Henry Luther (direct ancestor), Caroline O., Sarah A., Charles, and Mary N.  

Their eldest child, our direct ancestor, Henry Luther RICE, continued to live in Illinois, marrying two wives, with 11 children born.  Eventually he moved to California with his 2nd wife and all the children, where he died in 1934, in Redlands.

If you have any information about the Healy or Rice family, I am happy to hear from you, via calewis at telus dot net, or in the Comments below.

NOTE: My Blogger account is acting up and not allowing me to reply to comments just now. Assume that I am absolutely thrilled you took the time to come by, read the notes, and comment. You make my day!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES: No 8, "Good Deeds?" - Thomas WHITEHOUSE 1829-1909

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was LOVE.  This No. 8 week's theme is GOOD DEEDS.  Well that was a bust - I couldn't think of, or find a story involving good deeds.  Sigh.  I'll just pick someone and move on, writing about my somewhat challenging ancestors!  

I have been digging through the collateral relationships of my BUNN & WHITEHOUSE ancestors, hoping for nuggets. My father's mother was a BUNN, and her mother was a WHITEHOUSE. An English acquaintance snorted on finding they lived in Dudley region: "If you throw a rock in that area you'll hit a Bunn, and if you throw three rocks you'll hit a Whitehouse".  Hmmm.  Sounds challenging to find my particular ancestors, doesn't it?! 

Let's look at Thomas WHITEHOUSE, my 2nd great-grandfather. As far as I can be certain, he was born 10 Jul 1829 in Rowley Regis, Staffordshire, but moved to Dudley (which was very near!) as a young man.  Although we know from his marriage and birth records that he had a father Joseph, and a mother Mary, I am not at all sure of his parents and siblings. Too many similar names in the same parish and region.

Thomas married for the first time in approximately 1851 to a Sarah (unknown). I have not requested this marriage certificate as yet. Unfortunately she appears to have died within 2 years, perhaps by illness or through childbirth complications.  

In Dudley Worcester on 31 Aug 1856, Thomas married a young widow with a daughter, Sarah PRICE, (previously married to Thomas Shutt).  I have the Marriage Certificate for the couple, plus the birth record for their 2nd child, Sarah Elizabeth, my ancestor.  It was rather disconcerting to realize that Thomas married two women named Sarah, and Sarah married two men named Thomas. 

Thomas WHITEHOUSE, b. 10 July 1829, Rowley Regis, Staffordshire, married 31 Aug 1856 to his 2nd wife, Sarah PRICE, (previously married to Thomas Shutt), b. abt 1827. They had the following children (Sarah's daughter Nancy "Ann" used the surname Whitehouse in Censuses):
  1.  Nancy "Ann" (Shutt), b. Jun 1853 Netherton; m. "?Homer" (no records found to date)
  2.  Sarah Elizabeth, [ancestor], b. 7 Nov 1858 Dudley, d. 30 Sep 1928, Barrow; m. 18 Aug 1879 to George BUNN; 9 children
  3.  Thomas jr., b. Dec 1860 Dudley; d. as infant
  4.  Benjamin "Ben", b. Mar 1867; m. 1890 to Margaret "Maggie" (?Milray); 1 son known (William)
  5.  Henry, b. 1869; m. 1889 in Barrow to Martha (unknown); 1 daughter known (Blanche)
  6.  William "Billy", b. 1871; m. 3rd Q 1889, Florence "Florrie" Milray; 4 boys
  7.  Enoch, b. 1875; no other information added as yet.

I've only just realized while typing this list that there are about 6 years between #3 and #4 child, and I'm wondering if there was another child born in that time. Sometimes one needs to look with fresh eyes at the known details to see the unknown details! 

Thomas worked in iron foundries most of his working life as a "Furnace Man," as can be found on Censuses, in the "Black Midlands" - first in Dudley area, then up north in Barrow.  The family moved from Dudley/Netherton area in Worcester up to Barrow-in-Furness, at some point after 1881. Thomas, Sarah, Ben & new wife Margaret, William and Enoch are seen on the 1891 Census living at 39 Byron Street. Nancy and Sarah Elizabeth were out of the home at this, married.

At about the same time, just before 1881, my GILLESPIE family moved to Barrow from Northern Ireland, so clearly there was good work prospects in Barrow at this time. 

I don't have full death dates for either Thomas & Sarah WHITEHOUSE, although I can see Sarah died in Barrow in the 4th Q 1895.  On the 1901 Census in Barrow, Thomas is found, widowed, living with his middle son, Ben & wife Margaret, with their only son William.  

Thomas died in the 3rd Q 1909, aged 80 years.  I'm assuming he's buried in Barrow, but some of the headstones are missing, and I haven't found records of his burial to date.

With more digging in Parish Registers and other records, I may yet get more specific details on Thomas, the Whitehouse children, and also manage to specify Thomas' parents and siblings. 

If you have more information to share please do not hesitate to contact me via calewis at telus dot net, or in the comments below.  NOTE: my blog is not allowing me to do replies to comments at the moment.  Thank you so much for visiting! \

Monday, February 23, 2015

GENEALOGY DO-OVER, Week 8 - How is it going?

Week 8 in the Genealogy Do-Over, and given the challenges I had with my eye surgery and post-surgery recovery time, I'm doing very well indeed!!

Week 8 focuses on two important research tools:
1.  Conducting Collateral Research, and
2.  Researching Offline Education Opportunities.

Tick!  Yes, I have researched collateral relatives family details as much as I have been able to find, for over 10 years.  Sometimes that has been the only way I found where a family originated from, or gained an understanding of the occupations of the family members.  Frequently looking through collateral relatives has helped me decide if a particular family group IS or IS NOT my ancestors - names, occupations, religions, neighbours - these details and more are so helpful. I keep details on my full family tree, and considered them "family" just as much as the direct ancestors.

In general I go up a few generations, and down several generations as well.  For my various Grover Buel(l) ancestors, I had to use collateral relatives' details in order to make sense of the line. And then I followed down the collateral relatives to see if any others kept up using the surname Grover as a forename.  The collateral relatives' research was  necessary also as I struggled to dig through the tangled lives of the several Archibald "Archer" Walters men, their parents and their children.   So this 'new' learning was actually old-hat for me, and all I'm doing is making certain that I have indeed done the research, and clarified the in-laws and out-laws!

Oh Dear:  The second point about researching offline education opportunities - this is significantly more difficult for me.  Retired on no pension, living with my youngest son who is unable to work competitively, means I have such a squeaky budget that my so-called disposable income is tiny.  I have to figure out where to spend it, and sometimes I decide to spend it on a haircut, or on tickets to Bard on the Beach in the summertime in Vancouver.  These are choices, of course, and I could choose to pinch even tighter to see if I could pull enough dollars together for a conference out of province.  Don't hold your breath!  I love conferences, but this is unlikely.

I have my BC Genealogy Society I belong to, attending meetings as well as some of the special events we put on.  The LDS Tri-Stake one-day Conference held here in the Lower Mainland (Surrey, BC) in October is one I attend almost every year.

But I have my list of want-to-attend conferences, with these two at the top of the list:  RootsTech, Jamboree (SCGS).  And wouldn't it be a treat to go to England for their huge Who Do You Think You Are conference?  Then again, there's the pull of visiting Northern Ireland... I would love to travel to my great-grandparents' village of Augher in County Tyrone, to see if I could find "something" about the Armstrong and Gillespie families there.

One day...  In the meantime, doing my second year of #52Ancestors posts on my blog, Twigs and Trees, gives me a weekly opportunity to research one ancestor at a time and save documents, maps, books, photos, "properly" - labelled correctly in a standardized way, as well as use my new habit of adding to my Research Log(s), To Do lists, Document Sources to cite.  I can't believe how easy it is becoming to do this in a methodical organized fashion.  Every time.

Amazing.  Thanks to all the helpful genealogy people on the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook group for their great templates, suggestions, helpful hints and examples. You're a great community.

And a huge THANK YOU to Thomas MacEntee for proposing such a crazy idea of actually "doing over" our genealogy tree and research work. Definitely crazy - definitely worth doing, and not as difficult as I thought it would be!


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis