Monthly Archives: January 2014

Job W. Angus (1856-1936) — Sept. 9, 1877, letter from Dripping Springs, Texas

Hamilton Pool near Dripping Springs; Photo taken by Reid Sullivan during drought conditions 1/2/2006 (Wikimedia - Image in public domain)

Hamilton Pool near Dripping Springs; Photo taken by Reid Sullivan during drought conditions 1/2/2006 (Wikimedia – Image in public domain)

As I sat out by our fire pit last night, looking up at the stars on a rare, cold and crisp South Florida evening, my mind could not help but drift westward towards thoughts of our country’s pioneers, cowboys, explorers, and others who spent plenty of nights roughing it by campfires, trying to stay warm at night, traveling weeks or months without a bed to sleep on. Past posts of Matthias Woodruff and Job W. Angus came to mind, so it seems fitting to publish another letter in that vein.

Regular readers may recall that, last November, I published a post containing a letter from Job Angus to his mother Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus. That letter was written on 24 July 1877. This post contains a letter written by Job to his older sister Wealthy (b. 1850) and her husband William Woodruff (my great grandparents) some six weeks later. He is in Dripping Springs, Texas, and describes his prospects for establishing himself in that area as a rancher.

Job’s handwriting is outstanding, so there is no need for me to transcribe it. (Apparently his Mom worked with the children on their handwriting when they were young*, and it’s apparent her hard work paid off.) Job closes with a mention William and Wealthy’ daughter Jennie Belle Woodruff (then age 4) and “the other one”—obviously he forgot that little one’s name! (He must have been referring to Flora M. Woodruff, born April 1877.)

Enjoy the letter–it sure left me appreciating the bed I sleep on every night (and the food I eat every day!)

angus_sep1877_p1

Letter from Job Angus to William E. Woodruff and Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff (Job’s brother-in-law & sister) – from my family’s private collection

angus_sep1877_p2

Letter from Job Angus to William E. Woodruff and Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff (Job’s brother-in-law & sister) – from my family’s private collection

*One Line of Descendants of James Angus

Categories: Angus, Austin, Dripping Springs, Texas, Woodruff | 14 Comments

A fascinating & inspiring article for family historians

Many Jews converted or pretended to convert to Catholicism in the years leading up to and during the Spanish Inquisition. Last week’s Miami Herald included a genealogy-themed article about a Miami woman, raised Catholic, who discovered the Jewish roots of her maternal line run very deep, indeed. I’m sure her story can serve as inspiration to many people like her whose ancestors’ religious and cultural identities were ‘erased’ or ‘altered’ for the purpose of simple survival.

The article: Miami woman tracks her Jewish roots through 22 generations

Resources:
Jewish Virtual Library – The Inquisition
Jewish Virtual Library – The Spanish Expulsion
Catholic Answers Magazine – Secrets of the Spanish Inquisition Revealed

Categories: Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Trewins, scenes of Cornwall, and ‘Doc Martin’

Remains of Tintagel Castle, legendary birthplace of King Arthur public domain Uploaded by: Archibald Tuttle from Wikimedia Commons (original source)

Cornwall scene: Remains of Tintagel Castle, legendary birthplace of King Arthur; public domain; Ookaboo (uploaded by: Archibald Tuttle from Wikimedia Commons (original source))

Cornwall, 1830 Map; Talland can be seen closer to the northeast corner

Cornwall, 1830 Map; courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

Port Isaac. The Doc's house/office stands on the hill to the left of the big stone house. (Wikimedia Commons: public domain by Sbeech)

Port Isaac. The Doc’s house/office stands on the hill to the left of the big stone house. (Wikimedia Commons: public domain by Sbeech)

Port Isaac; 1989 |Author: Manfred Heyde Wikimedia Commons: Public domain under GNU Free Documentation License)

Port Isaac; 1989 |Author: Manfred Heyde Wikimedia Commons: Public domain under GNU Free Documentation License)

It was two summers ago that I discovered that my Trewin family roots go back to a 16th century Cornish gentleman hailing from the seaside village of St. Gennys. I wrote about it in one of my posts. It was a wonderful discovery to make, especially since I had taken my mother on a tour of Cornwall in the mid-1990s, and we had both found this southwestern-most county of England to be absolutely charming–lovely people, stunning landscapes, breathtaking seaside vistas, and quaint villages.

Minack Theatre, Cornwall (Wikimedia Commons: contribute by Chef)

Boscastle, Cornwall (Wikimedia Commons: contributed by JUweL)

Boscastle, Cornwall (Wikimedia Commons: contributed by JUweL)

All those great memories made us want to go back to experience it all again, something not really possible now that mom is a nonagenarian. The next best thing would be to find a film of some kind that could transport us across the seas. And so I began to peruse Netflix… and that was when I discovered the Doc Martin television series about a cantankerous British surgeon who develops a fear of blood and moves to the seaside Cornwall village in which he’d spent happy days as a child visiting with his aunt. There he becomes the village’s local GP. His lack of bedside manner can be horrifying, but he is such an astoundingly capable physician that the villagers learn to put up with him. Each episode includes some kind of medical mishap or mystery, and part of the fun is watching the Doc sort it all out, alienating some and rescuing others in the process. And then there is the on-again, off-again romance / attraction with the village school’s headmistress Louisa, a relationship that alternately delights, entertains and frustrates the heck out of you. Other characters add to the chaos: the village pharmacist, policeman, radio DJ, plumber-turned-restauranteur, and office receptionist, among others.

The series takes place in a picturesque village called ‘Portwenn’ which in real life is the village of Port Isaac, some 20 miles south of St. Gennys. We ordered series 1, and within a few episodes we were completely hooked. Series 3-4 followed, and we watched episodes practically daily until the source of all our fun dried up.

Eventually, Mom was missing the series so much, I went out and bought it on DVD so she could watch it anytime she wanted to. Then, oh happy day, series 5 came out and we snapped it up on DVD. We devoured those episodes and loved how season 5 ended. Then, sadly, another long drought was upon us. (They don’t film the series annually as is common in the US.)

The local PBS station picked up the first few years of the series, but they weren’t showing episodes in any particular order (or so it seemed to me anyway) so it was not quite as fun. Plus of course we’d seen them all before—at least twice!

doc_martin

Yes, we’ve got them all now!

Thankfully, season 6, which was shown on TV last spring in the UK, just came out on DVD here—it was THE perfect gift for mom this past Christmas. The first two episodes have been thoroughly fun and enjoyable. So if you are looking for something to entertain you this winter season and you have not discovered Doc Martin already, I recommend you give it a try. Those with Cornish roots or who just simply love Cornwall and marvelous multi-layered characters may find it as irresistible as we do!

Categories: St. Gennys, Cornwall, Trewin | 1 Comment

19th-century Carbon County, PA — Lindermans, Packers, & Brodheads

Postcard picture from 1915 of a "bird's eye view" of w:Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, then known as "Mauch Chunk". (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain Image)

Postcard picture from 1915 of a “bird’s eye view” of w:Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, then known as “Mauch Chunk”. (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain Image)

Happy New Year! I hope a wonderful time was had by all this past Christmas. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014!

Just a quick post to draw your attention to an interesting blog: Cultured Carbon County: Capturing the essence of Carbon County Pennsylvania’s history one story at a time.

I came upon one of its posts, Mauch Chunk’s Plague Year and the Linderman Brothers – Love and Peril in Our Time of Cholera, while searching for information on Dr. Garret Brodhead Linderman (grandson of Richard H. Brodhead (1772-1843) and Hannah Drake whose daughter Rachel Brodhead married Dr. John J. Linderman). There is ton of information here, including some photos and newspaper clippings, and when you have time, it is well worth the read.

Dr. Garrett B. Linderman and his brother Dr. Henry B. Linderman (once director of the Philadelphia mint) came to Mauch Chunk’s aid after a cholera epidemic struck the community in the 1850s (allegedly sparked by the huge influx of workers who’d come to the area for Lehigh Valley Railroad construction projects) and killed two of the small town’s three physicians. (Note: Mauch Chunk changed its name to Jim Thorpe in the 1950s.)

Asa Packer Mansion in Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), PA (Wikimedia Commons-Image in public domain)

Asa Packer Mansion in Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), PA (Wikimedia Commons-Image in public domain)

Judge Asa Packer (From Portrait and Biographical Record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon Counties (Chicago: Chapman Publishing Company, 1894))

Judge Asa Packer (From Portrait and Biographical Record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon Counties (Chicago: Chapman Publishing Company, 1894))

Dr. Garrett Brodhead went on to marry Lucy Evelyn Packer, daughter of Judge Asa Packer (millionaire owner of Lehigh Valley Railroad, philanthropist of humble beginnings; founder of Lehigh University; donor of $33 million to Mauch Chunk and the Lehigh Valley) and Sarah Minerva Blakslee. Of the Packer’s seven children, Lucy was the only one to bear children. Garret became a major coal operator in the area and amassed a considerable fortune. Lucy and Garrett had five children. First- and second-born Asa and Harry died as infants. The remaining three were Sallie Linderman, Robert Packer Linderman, and Garret Brodhead Linderman, Jr. Sallie and Robert died quite young (Sallie** in 1898 at 38; Robert in 1903, at 39). (Sadly, the Linderman-Packer fortunes were caught up in a scandal brought on by lone surviving heir Garret B. Linderman Jr.’s fraudulent activities, for which he went to prison in 1908.)

Linderman-Schwab Mansion in Fountain Hill Histori District, Bethlehem (Wikimedia Commons, Author Shuvaev, Taken 22 Jun 2013; Public Domain through Attribute Sharre-Alike 3.0)

Linderman-Schwab Mansion in Fountain Hill Historic District, Bethlehem (Wikimedia Commons, Author Shuvaev, Taken 22 Jun 2013; Public Domain through Attribute Sharre-Alike 3.0)

Lucy died in 1873, and Garrett Sr. remarried in 1880 to Frances Evans and had three daughters with her: Lillian, Ida, and Helen. Garrett Sr. died in 1885. Lucy’s sister Mary Packer Cummings, who had no children, was also very philanthropic. She bequeathed the Packer mansion in Mauch Chunk to the town of Mauch Chunk and the residence is now a museum.

Looking at the family tree of my second great grandparents Andrew Jackson (A. J.) Brodhead (a 1st cousin of Dr. Garrett B. Linderman) and Ophelia Easton Brodhead, who lived for many years in Mauch Chunk, it’s easy to see what the Packer and Linderman names meant to them as residents of that town: A. J. and Ophelia included these surnames in the names of two of their children: Robert Packer Brodhead and Emily Linderman Brodhead Moon.

Biographies of Garrett B. Linderman Sr. and his sons Robert and Garrett Jr. can be found in the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, by James Terry White, published 1894:

Garret B. Linderman Sr.

Garret B. Linderman Sr.

p165_Linderman_RP

Robert P. Linderman

p337_Linderman_GB

Garrett Brodhead Linderman Jr.

The Citizen newspaper, Honesdale, PA, Wednesday, 11 Aug 1909 (www.fultonhistory.com)

The Citizen newspaper, Honesdale, PA, Wednesday, 11 Aug 1909

****************************************************************************************************************************************
**Interesting side note: After Sallie Linderman died, her husband Warren Abbott Wilbur remarried to Kate Ellen Brodhead (daughter of Charles Brodhead and Camilla Mary Shimer / granddaughter of Albert Gallatin Brodhead and Ellen Middaugh / and great granddaughter of Hon. Richard H. Brodhead and Hannah Drake). So 1st wife Sallie and 2nd wife Kate were second cousins. Warren A. Wilbur and Kate Ellen Brodhead’s daughter Blanche married George Randolph Hearst, oldest son of William Randolph Hearst and his wife Millicent Veronica Wilson. UPDATE/CORRECTION FROM “STEVE”, 21 APR 2015: “Although this connection appears in a number of places, including FindAGrave, and several Ancestry.com trees, I’m pretty sure it’s not correct. Warren Willber had two children that I know of with his first wife, Sallie Packer Linderman: Robert Eldredge Wilbur, and Stella Wilbur. I think Stella died as an infant. He remarried in 1901 to Miss Kate Ellen Brodhead. She was 39 at the time, and Warren was 41. In the 1910 census, they are listed without any children, and in that census there is a column for number of children, and number of children living, and it shows 0 in both columns for Kate. By this time, Kate is 48, and Warren is 50. In the 1920 census, they again appear with no children. From this, I don’t see how they could have had a daughter named Blanche. The clincher however, is an article about a local girl, Blanche Wilbur, eloping with George Randolph Hearst. The only problem is, she was local to Idaho Falls, Idaho, her father is listed as O.K. Wilbur. The Blanche Wilbur that married Hearst was born around 1905. This Idaho connection is supported by the FindAGrave entry for Blanch, which is in conflict with the link there to Warren Wilbur.”

Additional Resources:
Find a Grave – Lindermans buried at Nisky Hill Cemetery in Bethlehem
Find a Grave – Brodheads in Nisky Hill Cemetery, Bethlehem, PA
Find a Grave – Packers at Nisky Hill Cemetery in Bethlehem
Find a Grave – Packers in Mauch Chunk Cemetery
Asa Packer Mansion Museum
Lehigh University – Lucy Packer Linderman
Robert Packer Linderman
Fountain Hill, Bethlehem’s Elite
Fountain Hill Historic District

Categories: Bethlehem Northamp Co, Blakslee, Brodhead, Easton, Evergreen Cemetery Jim Thorpe PA, Linderman, Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), Mauch Chunk Cemetery Jim Thorpe PA, Nisky Hill Cemetery Bethlehem, Packer | 2 Comments

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