Monthly Archives: March 2016

Sargent / Wills – quick update

In a recent post, I provided this update:

Sargent / Wills: I have located the final resting places of William Sargent and his first wife (my second great-grandmother Mary Wills Sargent) and his second wife (Mary Bowley Pitt). Their surname was Slaymaker until they changed it to Sargent when moving to the US after the Civil War. I was correct to think that they were in or around Hudson County, New Jersey—they are in what is known today as Bayview-New York Bay Cemetery. I have requested photos on Find a Grave, but that can take time. (For a past post on the family: click here)

Well, I may have been partly wrong about that. Mary Wills Sargent is indeed buried there in Grave no. 953, Row 6, Section O North, in a plot purchased for her by her husband William Sargent upon her death on 6 December 1877, but she is all by herself. The whereabouts of William and his second wife Mary Bowley Pitt are unclear. I suspect they are in that cemetery somewhere, but unfortunately I do not have death dates for either of them, and according to the pleasant lady I spoke with at the cemetery, the only way for them to do look-ups is with a death date. Apparently, a fire destroyed many of the older records, and a name is not enough. So (sigh) I am placing William and Mary II back on my “brick wall.”

I know it may sound strange, but I am a bit bothered by the fact that Mary Wills Sargent is alone in that plot. I’m very curious to learn whether there is a marker, and if so, what it says. If only Google Earth could zoom to that level. Fingers crossed a Find a Grave volunteer checks for me when they have time.

1919 map showing partial view of eastern side of Greenville Section of Jersey City along the Upper New York Bay, CM Hopkins & Co. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

1919 map showing partial view of eastern side of Greenville Section of Jersey City along the Upper New York Bay, CM Hopkins & Co. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Categories: Jersey City, Hudson Co., Sargent, Wills | Tags: , | 3 Comments

1920: Centenarian husband and nonagenarian wife reveal their longevity secrets

PopovAA

Demyan’s Fish Soup by Andrei Andreevich Popov, 1865 (published before 1923 and public domain in the US)

I’m always interested in stories of longevity, so when I came upon this one right after preparing a big old pot of borscht, my favorite soup, I could not help but feel validated about my cooking choice.

It was about a South Dakotan who’d made it to 100 (in 1920) and was living with his 96-year-old wife. They were originally from a place once known as Kulm, Bessarabia, South Russia. Today this location is known as Pidhirne, Odessa Region, Ukraine. The couple emigrated to the US in 1880, and of their 11 children, only one was still living in 1920.

Their lifestyle and her cooking seemed to be what kept the two of them going all those years, and apparently she was still doing the cooking at age 96. Perhaps, almost a century later there is something we can learn from them, or at least reinforce what we already know is key to a healthy, long life. Their “secrets”:

  • Low stress – they never spent time worrying about anything (although their life was not without heartache);
  • Physical activity – they performed manual labor on their farm every day;
  • They never worked too hard;
  • They never ate in excess;
  • She never baked him pies, cakes, cookies, etc., and they never ate any of those things;
  • They never ate candy—ever;
  • They never ate fried meat, except bacon on rare occasions;
  • They only ate Russian black / whole wheat / rye bread;
  • They drank milk in unlimited quantities;
  • Meat, eaten rarely, was roasted or boiled;
  • Soup – lots of it, every day; borscht was their favorite 😉 ;
  • Never used tobacco products;
  • Alcohol abstinence for last 20 years; just occasional wine before that.

************************************************************

borshcht1

My latest go at Moscow-style borscht topped with sour cream & fresh dill

Any surprises in the list? Just one for me: that they avoided cakes, pies, cookies, and candy altogether. I think I’d find it challenging to go even a week without at least one cookie. But reading their story does make me want to cut out processed sugar…. and eat more borscht!

Now, I know that there are many different styles of borscht, a dish that got its start in Ukraine. The one I am used to is Moscow-style borscht, and it is so delicious, I could eat it every day. I’ll leave you with the recipe. It’s very simple, and can be adjusted—you can easily make a vegetarian version.

Stay healthy and well, everyone, and have a good day.

borshcht3

A La Russe: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality p. 159 – an easy & delicious Moscow-style borscht recipe (Beef or vegetable bouillon works fine if you have no beef on hand.)

Categories: Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Health Matters, Russia | Tags: | 5 Comments

The grave situation

Well, time marches on and I don’t always remember to do updates on previous posts and my ‘brick walls,’ so I will take the time to do this today, at least with regards to ‘grave’ news—no not bad news, just cemetery news!

Sargent / Wills: I have located the final resting places of William Sargent and his first wife (my second great-grandmother Mary Wills Sargent) and his second wife (Mary Bowley Pitt). Their surname was Slaymaker until they changed it to Sargent when moving to the US after the Civil War. I was correct to think that they were in or around Hudson County, New Jersey—they are in what is known today as Bayview-New York Bay Cemetery. I have requested photos on Find a Grave, but that can take time. (For a past post on the family: click here)

Trewin: Also located (no thanks to me) was the grave location for William Clarence Trewin (my grandmother’s step-brother): Locustwood Memorial Park, Cherry Hill, Camden County, New Jersey. According to the descendants who discovered it, the grave is unmarked. (For a past post mentioning William Clarence, click here.)

De La Flechelle: I was delighted that a volunteer found the time to photograph the De La Flechelle graves in the churchyard of the First Presbyterian Church in Woodbridge, NJ. I spent a lot of time researching this family (past post is here), so it’s nice to see them all together and permanently memorialized on Find a Grave.

Still looking for:

  • John Romeyn Brodhead and wife – final resting place – this is the son of Andrew Jackson Brodhead and Ophelia Easton (not the historian John Romeyn Brodhead) – graves are possibly in Buffalo, NY area.
  • Final resting place of Juebb (Jacob) Lewis — husband of Margaret Wait Lewis; father of Sarah Augusta Lewis who married Moses Martin.
Categories: Cemeteries, de la Flechelle, Sargent, Trewin, Wills | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Hillside, New Jersey, 1922: Woodruff golden wedding anniversary

Woodruff_Wm_anniversary_1922

From our family archives: News clipping from the Elizabeth Daily Journal, Monday 19 June 1922

Here’s a clipping about my great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration (William Earl Woodruff & Wealthy Ann Angus), which took place on Saturday, 17 June 1922, at their home in Hillside, Union Co., NJ. The clipping, saved by my grandmother, is from the June 19, 1922, issue of the Elizabeth Daily Journal.

Woodruff_Wm_and_Wealthy_anniv_1922

A photo from our family archives: Wealthy Ann Angus & William Earl Woodruff, 17 June 1922

The accompanying photograph, one of our family history treasures, brings to life the article’s description of my great-grandmother’s outfit and all the various flowers on display. Lots of roses, of course!

Conant Street farmhouse

Conant Street farmhouse

Such articles usually offer new little clues and facts, and this one does not disappoint. For example, the Who’s Who of who was present, the name of the minister who married them, and the celebratory trip to Niagara Falls were news to me.  According to the article, they left for the Falls the next day, Sunday, 18 June. Since their actual anniversary was June 20, Tuesday, they marked the date there.

I visited Niagara Falls for the first time about 10 years ago, but had no idea that this connection with the Falls existed in my family tree. I suppose if I’d known about it at the time, it would have impacted my experience in some small way. I definitely would have paid attention to historical images from that period.

Dorothy Perkins roses (Credit: Wikipedia)

‘Dorothy Perkins’ rose, introduced in 1901 (Credit: Wikipedia)

"The Conard Star Roses," 1924 (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons - uploaded to Flickr by Biodiversity Heritage Library)

No. 2 – Ophelia in “The Conard Star Roses,” 1924 (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons – uploaded to Flickr by Biodiversity Heritage Library)

William and Wealthy made the trip at ages 73 and 71, respectively. It must have been a tremendously exciting and memorable moment for them, one that they could look back on happily during their remaining five years together.

Coreopsis_grandiflora_002

Coreopsis (Credit: Wikipedia)

Niagara Falls stamp, 1922 (Credit: Wikipedia - By U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing; Designed by Clair Aubrey Houston - U.S. Post Office Smithsonian National Postal Museum; Photo image obtained/rendered by Gwillhickers, Public Domain)

Niagara Falls stamp, 1922 (Credit: Wikipedia – By U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing; Designed by Clair Aubrey Houston – U.S. Post Office Smithsonian National Postal Museum; Photo image obtained/rendered by Gwillhickers, Public Domain)

Wealthy passed away on 27 May 1927. My dad, who was six at the time, distinctly remembered the emotional tumult the family experienced upon losing Wealthy and the sadness that accompanied William’s passing the following year (18 October 1928). My dad’s parents, who lived in neighboring Elizabeth, took in William and Wealthy’s dog, but the dog kept running away back to the house in Hillside, and eventually got hit my a car. My dad was heartbroken; as he described it, the last link with his Woodruff grandparents was gone.

(Sorry to end the post on such a down note, but I think all these pieces help convey how beloved William and Wealthy were to their children and grandchildren.)

Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff_Wm_engagement_photo_w_tag

Categories: Angus, Anniversaries, Elizabeth, Union Co., Hillside Union, New Jersey, Woodruff | Tags: | 3 Comments

Job W. Angus obit reveals Mayflower connection

Angus_Job_W_obit 002

Elizabeth Daily Journal clipping from my family’s archives

Some of you may recall my Job Angus “Letters from Texas” posts. There were four of them altogether. Well, my grandmother saved Job’s Elizabeth Daily Journal obituary, offering me a bit of biography—and a photo to boot. The obit was published on 3 April 1936. This Job Angus was my grandmother’s uncle. He was the cousin of Nettie Angus Moulden from my last post, and was named after Nettie’s dad, Job Angus—the one with the connection to Lincoln’s White House and Washington, DC, building projects.

I suppose the biggest surprise in the obit was the reference to the Mayflower. I’d NEVER heard that before. Needless to say I was excited but skeptical. However, it seems like the connection may well be valid as I found some handwritten notes left behind by other relatives who were also interested in establishing the exact links. So, I just need (in my spare time, ha ha) to find them. [If anyone out there has made this connection already, by all means please let me—and this blog’s readers—know.]

The connection is purported to be with Mary Allerton, one of the 106 Mayflower passengers. She was four at the time and traveling with her parents Isaac and Mary Allerton. Little Mary grew up to marry Thomas Cushman whose father Robert Cushman was one of the organizers of the Mayflower expedition.

I need to connect Mary and Thomas Cushman with the known Cushman in my family tree: Wealthy Cushman of Hartford, Connecticut, who married Isaac Jaques. Apparently Wealthy’s father’s name was Eleazer Cushman and her mother’s name was Mary. After Eleazer died (circa 1795), Mary remarried and had two more children.

I’m afraid that is all I know at this point, but thought I would pass it along.

Links:
Job Winans Angus on Find a Grave
Jeanette “Nettie” Tillou Angus on Find a Grave
Son – Samuel Kendall Angus

Categories: Angus, Cushman, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Mayflower 1620, Obituaries | Tags: , | 10 Comments

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