United States

James Morris and Mattie Thomas – Battin HS graduates, 1898

James Arthur Morris – Battin HS graduate – 1898

Regular readers of this blog may remember that my grandmother’s 1898 Battin High School (Elizabeth, NJ) graduating class had two African-Americans among its ranks. Battin High School was recognized at that time as the best high school in the state.

I wrote at length about the class photo I found that included them and went to great lengths to label everyone as best I could; I also posted newspaper articles on the graduation event itself. Click here for that post. I did not, however, look beyond that event to see what was happening at that time in the field of education for members of the African-American community. So I thought I would try to see if I could find out what happened to these two students and also look at newspapers of that period using the Library of Congress’s digital newspaper archives.

Mattie Kenyon Thomas – Battin HS graduate – 1898

As for trying to learn more about the students:

I found a James Morris (b. June 1878, VA) in the 1900 census who was 22 at the time and living with his wife Nannie and two small children, Margaret and Harold, at 10 1/2 Center Street in Elizabeth. His occupation was listed as ‘coachman’; this census asked all citizens whether they could read and write. Both this James and his wife checked ‘yes’. Whether this was the same James, I don’t know. If it was, perhaps he was working as a coachman while going to college. He has such a scholarly look about him, I am inclined to think that he went on to pursue a profession requiring a degree or two.

I found a Mattie Thomas (b. Jan 1879, VA) in the 1900 census who was living and working in the home of a physician and his wife, Harry and Daisy Washington, in Middletown, Monmouth Co., NJ, which is 30 miles south of Elizabeth. I found the same Mattie in the 1880 census as a 1 year old living in Samuel Miller, Virginia, with her parents Alexander (laborer) and Lucinda (homemaker) Thomas and 4 older siblings. At some point she probably got married and changed her last name so finding her in records further down the road may be difficult.

My quick newspaper search resulted in a variety of articles, many from African-American newspapers. Did you know there were 400 in existence across the country by the end of the 1800s?

Some interesting stats from the Wisconsin Weekly Advocate, August 10, 1899, are bulleted below. Note: dollar amounts have NOT been converted to today’s dollar; but bear in mind that in 1898, $1,000 would be $30,072 in today’s currency; also, I have substituted ‘black’ for ‘n—-‘:

  • Blacks had reduced their illiteracy rate by 45% in just 35 years
  • 1.5 million black children were enrolled in the common schools
  • 40,000 blacks were enrolled in higher educational institutions
  • 30,000 black teachers were at work in schools
  • 20,000 blacks were learning trades
  • 1,200 blacks pursuing classical courses
  • 1,200 were pursuing scientific courses
  • 1,000 blacks were pursuing business courses
  • Black libraries held 250,000 volumes
  • There were 156 black higher educational institutions
  • 500 black doctors
  • 300 books written by blacks
  • 250 black lawyers
  • 3 black banks
  • 3 black magazines
  • 400 black newspapers
  • Value of black libraries: $500,000
  • Value of black church property: $37 million
  • Value of black-owned farms: $400 million
  • Value of black-owned homes (besides farms): $325 million
  • Value of personal property: $165 million
  • As of this date in 1899, blacks had raised $10 million towards their own education.
  • Blacks “are more eager for their education than whites. The whites enrolled 14 percent of their population in 1870, and only 22 percent in 1890”; blacks enrolled “3 percent in 1870 and 19 percent in 1890.”
  • Whites “have .61 of 1 percent divorces; blacks .67 of 1 percent…”
  • “In the whole country, there are 25 blacks to 75 whites who own their own homes. The proportion should be 1 black to 6 whites.”
  • “Of the black homes, 87 percent are freeholds; of the white homes but 71 percent.”
  • “Of farms owned by blacks, 89 percent are unencumbered; of those owned by whites but 71 percent.”
  • “Forty-one percent of blacks are engaged in gainful pursuits, while only 36 percent of whites are thus engaged.”
  • “Government reports show that the [black man] is the best soldier in the regular army.”

Surely this is history worth exploring and celebrating. I never knew James or Mattie or any of the American people behind all these factoids, but boy am I proud of them! I encourage anyone wanting to get a true picture of what was happening at any given time in our history to go to the newspapers of that day. Here is one more gifted lady I discovered in an article published in Montana’s Republican newspaper, The Philipsburg Mail, dated October 7, 1898:

The Philipsburg Mail (Montana) – October 7, 1898

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey | Tags: , | 2 Comments

A Florida Friday: Bok Tower Gardens

Edward W. Bok’s beloved Singing Tower; his grave is at its base.

On rolling hills south of Orlando not far from Lake Wales and amid abundant orange groves—perhaps, the last place you’d expect—stands a majestic “singing tower” surrounded by lush botanical gardens, the handiwork of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.

First glimpse of the tower after you come up the hill from the entrance

This is Bok Tower Gardens—yet another Florida gem that is off the beaten path but more than well worth a visit. It was envisioned and founded by editor, author, and philanthropist Edward W. Bok (1863-1930), who emigrated from Holland to the US as a child and wanted to leave behind a place of beauty for Americans to enjoy as a way of thanking them for his success.

The base of the tower

Less than a year after the official opening to the public in 1929, Bok died of a heart attack within view of his beloved singing tower. He was buried at its base.

Since then over 23 million people have visited this place. Even today, it remains an oasis of calm in an oft-times troubled world. I’ve been here several times, always in the “off season” when the number of visitors declines to a trickle. I finally got my husband here last year, and he immediately understood why I was so keen for him to experience this place.

Garden scenes

Wandering up the hillside toward the tower to the sound of chirping birds, we passed underneath massive old oaks laden with ferns and dripping with Spanish moss. When we finally reached the top and arrived at the end of the reflection pool, the view of the tower was mesmerizing. Once we explored the areas around the base of the tower, we strolled to the edges of the gardens for a view of the surrounding lands; we were, after all, standing on one of Florida’s highest elevations—some 295 feet (LOL).

In short: Go visit if you are ever in this part of Florida. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. The 60-ton carillon still plays daily. Also on the grounds is Pinewood Estate—a Mediterranean-style mansion built in the 1930s for a steel magnate. And, there’s a wonderful museum and gift shop. If you have a botanical garden or museum membership elsewhere, check to see if you can take advantage of reciprocal agreements. You may be able to get into Bok Tower Gardens for free or at reduced cost.

The view from the hilltop on a steamy summer day with limited visibility 😦

That’s today’s “Florida Friday.” Thank you, Edward Bok, for leaving us all such a wonderful legacy.

P.S. Below are an article on the official 1929 opening with President Calvin Coolidge presiding (the original name was “Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower) and a January 1930 obituary.

February 2, 1929 – Jamestown Evening Journal (Credit: FultonHistory.com)

January 10, 1930 – The Schenectady Gazette (Credit: FultonHistory.com)

Categories: Bok Edward W, Coolidge Calvin, Florida, Lake Wales, Olmsted Jr Frederick W | Tags: , | Leave a comment

1812 marriage certificate for Isaac and Wealthy (Cushman) Jaques

Today I am posting a copy of the original 1812 marriage certificate that belonged to my third-great-grandparents, Isaac Jaques and Wealthy Cushman. It was among the numerous papers and clippings saved by my grandmother. I wish it contained details that would be helpful with connecting the Mayflower dots—e.g., the names of Wealthy’s parents. I assume the marriage took place in either New York City, where Isaac was making a career as a tailor, or Hartford, Wealthy’s birthplace. The couple and their children did not relocate to Elizabethtown, NJ, until 1843.

The pastor’s name was “N. Bangs”. This may very well have been Nathan Bangs, the self-taught itinerant theologian who was very well known at that time. He kept a diary of his travels and eventually wrote a history of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada and the US.

Categories: Bangs Nathan, Cushman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Jaques, Methodist Episcopal, New Jersey, Weddings | Tags: , | 2 Comments

A glimpse of Madame Jule De Ryther

The Hamilton (Ohio) Evening Journal, 6 December 1913, page 12 (Used with permission of Newspapers.com, ‘erichardson’ 5-20-20)

An image of Madame De Ryther has at last surfaced.

It’s not the best image, but I’ll take it. I have to thank Bill Simpson of Charlotte, NC, for pointing out this image’s existence to me (quite a long time ago, actually). Because he found it on newspapers.com, he did not feel he could share it for me to post, and of course I agreed with him on that. While the copyright has expired, sites like Newspapers.com and Genealogy Bank have user agreements that prohibit users from sharing their finds willy-nilly. Some get around this problem by finding articles on those sites and then looking for those same articles on free digital archive sites. But this particular Ohio newspaper—The Hamilton Evening Journal (published between 1908-1933)—was only available on newspapers.com.

So I had put this image out of mind—until recently, when I decided to take a closer look at the user agreement and discovered that “public domain content” can sometimes be used in very small quantities publicly if proper permission is obtained. So I sent off an email to ask newspapers.com for permission to publish on a non-commercial family history blog.

As you can see, fortunately for me, they said “yes.” Timing-wise it’s kind of spooky since Jule is discussing cleanliness and germs (albeit bacterial); on the other hand it’s good to see such discussions were in the news at that time. Forewarned is forearmed. We all know what happened in 1918/19.

Jule, who was born in Little Falls, NY, died in NYC of pneumonia on March 14, 1915, at age 69, so this article’s publication came towards the end of her career. She was living in a hotel at the time. Bill told me that he had discovered information indicating that she had been evicted from her home of 30 years prior to her death. A very sad end for a woman of such tremendous talent.

This may well be the only image ever published of her. I hope I am wrong about that.  If anyone ever comes across another one, please let me know.

Past posts on Madame De Ryther:

Categories: Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Health Matters, Little Falls, New York, New York City | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Monday miscellany: “Oatmeal as Human Food”

Augusta, Georgia, Chronicle and Sentinel, 10 July 1845 (Credit: Digital Library of Georgia – newspaper archives)

This 1845 article appeared in The American Agriculturist* before making its way into the newspapers. The Augusta (GA) Chronicle and Sentinel** is where it caught my eye while I was looking for articles on a different topic.

I’d forgotten that here in the US, oatmeal hasn’t always been considered an acceptable and even desirable food for humans. Back in 1845, oats were for horses and other animals, and farmers were focused on wheat and rye for human consumption. Today, many Americans appreciate its nutritious value, but it is still nowhere near to enjoying the popularity it experiences in a place like Scotland where it has been a staple for hundreds of years. The US is not among the world’s top oat producers, which include Russia, Canada, Australia, Poland, China, and Finland. Soybeans and corn are more profitable.

Perhaps, this article, which pulls on material published in Blackwood’s Magazine (Edinburgh and London), got some Americans talking about this subject especially since a challenge of sorts was laid down. Whether anyone took them up on that, I don’t know. Of course today, somebody would—you’d see Americans of Scottish descent loading up on “oatcakes, porridge, bannocks, and brose” and those of English descent getting their fill of “wheaten abominations” before fighting it out on YouTube or Instagram.

As superior and tasty as oatmeal may be, I did enjoy reading through the rather vast list of “wheaten abominations”, most of which sound delicious ;-):

Baking bread by Helen Allingham, English artist (1848-1926) – (Public domain due to expired copyright)

  • home made bread
  • baker’s bread
  • household bread
  • leaven bread
  • brown Georgies
  • fancy bread
  • raisin bread
  • baps
  • scones
  • rolls
  • muffins
  • crumpets
  • cookies
  • bricks
  • biscuits
  • bakes
  • rusks
  • Bath buns
  • Sally luns
  • tea cakes
  • saffron cakes
  • slim cakes
  • plank cakes
  • The Highland Shepherd by Rosa Bonheir, 1859 (Public domain image on Wikimedia Commons uploaded by “botautus”)

  • soda cakes
  • current cakes
  • sponge cakes
  • seed cakes
  • girdle cakes
  • singing hinnies
  • short bread
  • currant buns

**************************************************
Having lived in England a number of years, I recognized the baps, Bath buns and Sally Lunns. But some, like “brown Georgies” and “singing hinnies,” left me stumped. Turns out that singing hinnies are a kind of scone-like griddle cake that is popular in Northern England. Girdle cakes are thin scone-like griddle cakes cooked atop a stove rather than in the oven. I guess rusks are something you dip in your tea—like biscotti? No idea about plank cakes or brown Georgies. Please illuminate me, if you can.

Well, strangely enough, while I did enjoy oatmeal for breakfast this morning, I am suddenly feeling the need for a “wheaten abomination.” Best wishes to everyone for a safe and productive week. 🙂

*Volume 4, page 163.
**Published 10 July 1845.

Update 5/21/20: Meanwhile, another curious article from a test undertaken across the pond in 1852:

The Mountain Sentinel – Ebensburg, PA, 10 July 1852 (Credit: Library of Congress Digital Newspaper Archives)

Resources:
The Food of London by George Dodd (London: Longmans, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1856) – click here
“Is Oatmeal Healthy? Hear What the Experts Say” by Markham Heid, TIME online, published August 15, 2018 – click here

Categories: England, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Scotland, United States | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

A Florida Friday: Solomon’s Castle

The entrance gates at Solomon’s Castle

Solomon’s Castle is on my must-see list of Florida’s quirkiest places.  Like many others on that list, it’s off the beaten path and getting there requires a bit of effort.  We were staying in Sarasota a couple of years back when the brochure caught our eye. Shall we go? Why not? Early the next morning we headed east and eventually found ourselves in Florida’s rural heartland in search of the “town” of Ona. It was a hot sunny day during the off-season. Few travelers on the road. GPS was patchy at times; we worried a bit about getting lost, but fortunately, we found our way there.

Hardee County, in which Ona and the “castle” are located, probably hasn’t changed much in the last century. Its 1930 population of 10,000 has almost tripled; but that’s nothing compared to Lee County , which is where we live. Here the population has gone from roughly 15,000 to 620,000 during that same time span. Few contrasts could better reflect the great divide between the pace of life in Gulf coast towns and cities and inland areas such as this.

Solomon’s Castle was the brainchild of Howard Solomon, who died in 2016 of heart troubles. He was 81. Howard spent many decades commuting from his 55-acre property to his St. Petersburg cabinet-making and boat-building business to earn the money that fueled his creative passions. Why base himself in a place like Ona? The land was cheap, and there was plenty of it.

Photography is not permitted within the “castle,” but YouTube has footage of tours Howard used to give to visitors (see link below).  You’ll quickly see why the folks behind the Weird US publication called him the “Da Vinci of Debris”.  For a great article on Howard, click here.

Resources:
YouTube video – 1 of 4 – Start here.
Google Images
Haven Magazine article: “Solomon’s Castle: A Visionary’s Legacy”

From here on down, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Have a great weekend, everyone.

The approach to the Castle whose walls are covered with aluminum printing plates from a newspaper business 

You can gaze at the turrets, towers, and stained glass windows as you await your turn for a guided tour. I kept expecting to see King Friday even though Mr. Rogers’ castle looks much different.

Pitchfork and quirky garden decor in the foreground

Fun idea for flower bed or small vegetable garden

Lots of massive staghorn ferns hang from the trees here

Yes, there’s a boat with a moat—complete with the occasional alligator. Howard built it all. Climb aboard, for here and beyond are the restaurant and gift shop.

Veranda seating overlooking the restaurant boat — it was still quite early so no diners yet.

More seating and a gift shop on the left. Note the fabulous live oak festooned with moss and ferns—a signature element in much of old Florida

Categories: Florida, Miscellaneous, Ona | Tags: | 7 Comments

George Wills’ descendants in the US — another update

George Wills, 1793-1856, Image from our private family archives. George Wills’ original portrait was inherited by his daughter Martha according to his will.

Quite a long time ago, I did a number of posts on Wills family descendants in the US, specifically George and Mary Wills’ daughter and son-in-law Mary and William Sargent (original surname = Slaymaker) and their children: my great grandmother Elizabeth Sargent and her siblings Samuel, Sarah (Sadie) and William.  Of all the children, I knew the least about Sadie. From George Wills’ Descendants in America — An Update:

I discovered some census records that revealed that Sarah went by the name Sadie, and that she was married to Richard O. Hemion, a machinist, who was born in 1857 in Rockland County, NY,  to John and Catharine Hemion. In 1880, he was working as a cigar maker in Jersey City, NJ, and living with an older sister, Amelia Curyansen, and her family.  [I saw some message boards stating the surname was actually Auryansen, and was misspelled in that record. Auryansen is a Dutch surname, and evidently the history of the family in America goes way back.] It is in Jersey City that he must have become acquainted with Sadie. According to the 1900 census, they were married in roughly 1882. The pair settled in East Rutherford, NJ, and had four children: Cora, Mabel, Everett, and Edith (see below for dates). By 1920, Sadie is listed as a widow and living with children Cora and Everett, by then in their thirties.

Several months ago I spotted a public tree for the Hemion family on Ancestry. It had the wrong Sarah Sargent, a mistake that was logical given the family changed their name from Slaymaker before emigrating to the US after the Civil War. I was able to reach the tree’s owner to notify them of the error, and then we started sharing information. Turns out he and his brother are great-grandsons of Sadie and Richard, and they’d had scant information passed down to them about Sadie’s roots. I was able to share all the information in this blog with them.

At some point the brothers hope to locate the photo they have of Sadie; a recent move has temporarily displaced it. They did say that their mother Ruth Ramp remembered her grandmother as having very long waist-length snow-white hair and that she had worked as a pastry chef but had never had enough patience at home to teach her children the craft.

We also managed to find a date of death for Sadie and her husband and find their burial places as well as those of some other family members. Most are in Hillside Cemetery, Lyndhurst, New Jersey.

Below is an updated tree:

1-Sarah (Sadie) Sargent b. Jul 1860, St. Sepulchre, Northampton, 
  Northamptonshire, England, d. 12 Jul 1935, East Rutherford, Bergen, New 
  Jersey, Bur. 15 Jul 1935, Hillside Cemetery, Lyndhurst, Bergen Co., NJ
 + Richard Osborn Hemion b. Feb 1857, Rockland Co., New York, d. 15 Jun 1911, 
  Bur. 18 Jun 1911, Hillside Cemetery, Lyndhurst, Bergen Co., NJ
|-----2-Cora S. Hemion b. May 1883, Middletown, New York, d. 4 Feb 1959, Bergen 
|       Pines Hospital, East Rutherford, Bergen, New Jersey, Bur. Hillside 
|       Cemetery, Lyndhurst, Bergen Co., NJ
|-----2-Mabel Hemion b. 1 Aug 1885, New York, d. Dec 1974, New Jersey
|      + Edward N. De Blayker b. 4 May 1878, Passaic, NJ, d. After 1942
|     |-----3-Edward Harold De Blayker b. 25 Dec 1914, New Jersey, d. 23 Jun 
|     |       1980, East Rutherford, Bergen, New Jersey
|     |-----3-Gladys C. De Blayker b. Abt 1917, New Jersey, d. 5 Nov 1974
|     |      + Vincent H. Krieger 
|     |-----3-Sadie De Blayker b. Cir 1920, New Jersey, d. After 5 Nov 1974
|            + Dietrich 
|-----2-Everett Osborn Hemion b. 9 Nov 1887, East Rutherford, New Jersey, d. 7 
|       Nov 1940, Bur. Hillside Cemetery, Rutherford, Bergen Co., NJ
|-----2-Edith Amelia Hemion b. Aug 1889, New Jersey, d. 15 Apr 1948, 
|       Rutherford, Bergen, New Jersey, Bur. 19 Apr 1948, Hillside Cemetery, 
|       Lyndhurst, Bergen Co., NJ
       + Frederick Sampson Ramp b. 30 Jan 1895, New York, d. 9 Apr 1967, East 
        Rutherford, Bergen, New Jersey, USA, Bur. 11 Apr 1967, Hillside 
        Cemetery, Lyndhurst, Bergen Co., NJ
      |-----3-Edith A. Ramp b. 1919, d. 16 Oct 1924, Bur. Hillside Cemetery, 
      |       Lyndhurst, Bergen Co., NJ
      |-----3-Ramp b. 1922, d. 13 Apr 1922, Bur. 20 Apr 1922, Hillside 
      |       Cemetery, Lyndhurst, Bergen Co., NJ
      |-----3-Frederick Ramp III 
      |-----3-Ruth Hemion Ramp b. 4 Sep 1927, East Rutherford, New Jersey, d. 7 
      |       Jul 2017, Low Moor, VA
             + William David Jeffery b. 13 Jul 1922, White Plains, NY, d. 4 Jan 
              1967, Wingdale, Dutchess, NY
             + Rev. Robert Wanstall
Categories: Hemion, Hillside Cemetery Lyndhurst NJ, Lyndhurst, New Jersey, Sargent, Slaymaker, Trewin, Wills | Leave a comment

Rev. Harry Baremore Angus (1883-1919)

Harry B. Angus, Rutgers College Class of 1905

I just came across the service of ordination bulletin from June 16, 1909, for  the late Rev. Harry Baremore Angus (1883-1919). Once again, I must thank my grandmother for being one to never toss anything out and my parents for holding onto it all these years.

I’d forgotten that Harry, son of Job Winans Angus (1856-1936) and Jeannette Tillou (1860-1932), died of the Spanish influenza—on April 30, 1919. Certainly that period in history is much more relatable now that we are in the midst of our own pandemic. Fortunately we are blessed with many more scientific advancements, although that is of little comfort to those who’ve lost a loved one. My sympathies to any of you who have found yourself impacted on a very personal level through the loss of a friend or family member.

Harry was in his mid-thirties and had been married to Miss Grace M. Kendall for less than four years. At the time of his death, his children were just 4 months old (Samuel Kendall Angus, later killed in Italy during WWII) and 2 years 9 months old (Elizabeth Dorothea Angus). Harry was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in the Angus plot. Grace survived to age 100.

A small bio of Harry appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on October 11, 1916, prior to his installation as pastor of McDowell Presbyterian Church in that city. Philadelphia. So much left undone at the end of the day. So much talent lost. But he’s not forgotten. Hopefully someday someone closely related to Harry will find this bulletin if perchance they don’t already have one in their family history files.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 October 1916 – Credit: Fulton History dot com

McDowell Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia; public domain image on Wikipedia

Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Presbyterian | 6 Comments

112-year-old Brodhead family guestbook — post X

We are nearing the end of the guestbook. Here are two of the last four pages.

On the first page shown below, only the name Anna Dickenson Lorentz stands out to me. This was my grandmother’s first cousin on the Woodruff side of the family. Mary Emma Woodruff (1846-1923) was my great-grandfather William Earl Woodruff’s older sister. She married John W. Dickinson (b. 1843), a dentist, in 1874. They had four children: John (b. 1875), Mary (b. 1877), Madel (b. 1880) and Anna (b. 1886). Anna, who was four years younger than my grandmother, married Douglas C. Lorentz sometime after my grandmother’s own wedding on June 8, 1908, as she appears in my grandmother’s list of wedding gifts under her maiden name.

  • Florence A. Thompson – March 7, 1909 – Goshen, NY
  • Mrs. Isabelle S. Van Riper – March 8, 1909 – 210 Park Ave., Paterson, NJ – “Just Jamie and I for a call”
  • Anna Dickenson Lorentz – March 10, 1909 – 60 Ward St., Orange, ?
  • Hazel M. Knott – March 13, 1909 – 256 South Clinton St, East Orange, NJ
  • Harriet N. Ackerman – March 13, 1909 – 154 Rahway Ave., Elizabeth, NJ
  • Nellie E. Baldwin – 931 South St., Elizabeth, NJ

Elizabeth Daily Journal, Dec. 23, 1898

Mrs. Thomas B. Russum was my grandmother’s aunt Cecelia Bensley (Angus) Russum. Both she and Thomas Bayley Russum have been mentioned in this blog before.

As for Marietta B. Earl, I learned that she was a granddaughter of Marietta (Crane) Earl and Edward B. Earl, who were married on 19 Jan 1859 and subsequently had a large number of children: The 1880 census registered Elizabeth (20), Annie (15), Marietta (10), Grace (1), and Florence (6 mo.), Edward Jr. (16), William (12), Fannie (7), and Alice (4). Daughter Marietta died of consumption in Tucson, Arizona, on 21 December 1898 (see clipping); she’d have been about 28.  The 1900 census, in addition to the above and minus Marietta, showed a brother George (18) and a granddaughter Marietta B. (6). So, evidently one of the siblings named a daughter after Marietta.

The Hillside Times, January 11, 1945

The 1920 census recorded Edward (then 83) and Marietta (then 82) residing with never-married daughters Elizabeth (age 52), Annie (50, dressmaker), Grace (40, nurse), and Florence (39, teacher).

So going back to the guestbook, Florence A. Earl was Marietta B. Earl’s aunt, and Marietta B. was about 15 when she paid my grandparents a visit. As I’ve said before regarding the Earls, there may have been some familial connection (my great-grandfather was William Earl Woodruff, after all), but how far back it goes, I have no idea. Meanwhile I do know that all of these folks went to First Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, so that may explain the close friendships.

For this family’s Evergreen Cemetery plot, visit their Find a Grave entry. It includes:  Elizabeth Littell Earl,18601944 /// Anna May Earl,18651938 /// William Alexander Earl,18671925 /// Marietta Benton Earl,1870–1898  /// Fannie Crane Earl,18731882 /// Alice Maxwell Earl Crane,18761951 /// Sarah Margaret Earl,18771879 /// Grace Earl,1878–1936  /// Florence Adelaide Earl,18801972 /// George M Earl, 18821963

Categories: Dickinson, Earl, Elizabeth, Union Co., Heirlooms, New Jersey, Russum, Woodruff | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Remarkable centenarian who knew the Brodheads of Pennsylvania’s Minisink Valley

I recently came upon this article (on http://www.fultonhistory.com) about Mrs. Sarah (Mathews) Benjamin, a thrice married Revolutionary War heroine who was born in 1743 in Goshen, New York, and died in 1858 at the eye-popping age of 114. Apparently she was blessed with remarkable stamina and mental acuity to the end.

Among Sarah’s life experiences mentioned in a May 1858 obituary in the Peterson, NJ, Daily Guardian, was the Daniel Brodhead family‘s 1755 fight for survival while under attack in their Minisink Valley (PA) fortification.  She served in the Colonial Army and twice encountered and spoke with General Washington. She is an official Patriot from whom her subsequent descendants have been able to claim membership in lineage societies like DAR and SAR.

A genealogy book on Internet Archive refers to a daughter Christina Benjamin Mapes as being one of Sarah’s youngest children. Christina was 77 when her mother died. It also says that “According to family tradition, Mrs. Mapes’ mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all lived to be over 100 years of age.” Now that, if true, is pretty amazing. Note: the book gives Sarah’s death date as April 6, 1861, but that could not be the case given the obituary was published three years prior to that.

Sarah’s fearlessness is certainly inspirational—one of thousands of examples throughout history of Americans doing what’s needed, often under extremely dangerous conditions, to ensure a better tomorrow for all.

Categories: Brodhead, Lineage Societies, Longevity centenarians, New York | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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Story_Trails

Family history in stories recalled by Edie and Leo. Edith GAYLORD Allen, Leo ALLEN, Jr

Princes, Paupers, Pilgrims & Pioneers

“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.” Teaching children values and giving them the opportunity to excel is essential to good parenting. However, I feel I must also provide my children (and myself) insight into the ones who came before us: our ancestors whose lives and stories have shaped us into who we are. This is my journey; these are their stories…

Myricopia

Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

Buddha Walks Into A Wine Bar ....

Sits down with The Two Doctors and .....

MarileeWein.com

DOUBLE GENEALOGY: the ADOPTION WITNESS

Applegate Genealogy

Helping others discover their roots

allenrizzi

Sempre in Movimento! Published Every Monday and Friday at 12 PM EST

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Smart Veg Recipes

Welcome to home made, vegeterian, healthy & kids friendly recipes

ICI & LA NATURE PICTURES

Walk and Bike in France and Europe www.walk-bike-camino.com

The Lives of my Ancestors

Lives, Biographies and Sketches of my Family History

Down the Rabbit Hole with Sir LeprechaunRabbit

Serious about Genealogy? Let this Olde Grey hare show you about

Diggin' Up Graves

Genealogy and family history, dirt and all.

Momoe's Cupboard

Low Budget Meals and Ideas

Generations of Nomads

On the Trail of Family Faces, Places, and Stories Around the World

Your daily Civil War newspaper [est. 1995]

All the Civil War news fit to re-print

Author Adrienne Morris

The Writing Life at Middlemay Farm

Travels with Janet

Just another WordPress.com weblog

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