A Florida Friday: New Year’s Day at Silver Glen Springs

Happy New Year to you all; I am resurfacing after a pesky December health-wise, and a New Year’s Florida ‘staycation’ spent in and around the beautiful Ocala National Forest, north of Orlando. Today, I’m sharing a few scenes from the forest’s Silver Glen Springs at the south end of Lake George—its trails strewn with palmettos, its trees festooned with Spanish moss, and its crystal clear springs a steady 72 degrees F. year-round. Spectacular! I hope to gather steam as the month progresses and get back on track with some family history posts. Meanwhile, to all my many cousins (no matter how distant) among this blog’s readership, please feel free to write a guest post or submit information that can help me develop a post for you. Let’s get those stories ‘out there’!

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Rome Daily Sentinel, 7 March 1916 – The river being referred to is the St. John’s which starts down south near Melbourne and runs north through Lake George, eventually meeting the ocean at Jacksonville. (Credit: Fulton History dot com)

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Categories: Florida, Nature, Ocala National Forest | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

Of mice, men, and me…well, actually, it’s all about the cat

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Tiger Lily

Well, my friends, spending the first half of December in the grips of a never-ending cold was definitely not on my radar. I’d planned to get at least 3-4 posts off the ground before the end of the year, and now it looks like I will be lucky to eke out 1-2. And, of course, there’s always so much else to do at Christmas time: cookies to bake, shopping to do, gifts to wrap, carols to sing, etc. But so far, I’m not getting to any of that! Instead, I’ve turned into little more than our adolescent cat’s playmate… Little Miss Tiger Lily loves to play a never-ending game of fetch; to ensure that she always has at least one mouse that can be found at any given time, we invested $2 in a 12-pack of faux Mus musculus. She brings one to me no matter where I am, and plunks it down beside me. Yes, you can play fetch with a cat from a supine, bed-ridden position. As long as your wrist can move, they’re happy. I’m starting to think Tiger Lily may have engineered all this—holding me captive in bed just so I can play endless games of fetch with her. But if she did, she is keeping it to herself. 😉

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Let the games begin!

Categories: Cats, Miscellaneous, Pets | 12 Comments

A Florida Friday: Enjoying our painted buntings’ return and treasuring Mom’s childhood Christmas decorations

Well, I have been laid low with a nasty cold this past week and haven’t had the energy to do much of anything. So this will be a quick post. First, I’m happy to say that “our” painted buntings have returned from the Carolinas to winter with us. They are elusive little critters, but I catch them pretty regularly coming to the feeder. They always wait for all the other birds to disappear before making their dash to the seeds. Sometimes they try to compete with the cardinals but the latter usually swat them away.  Below is a little video of one of the males. And, second, I’m posting some photos of Mom’s surviving childhood Christmas decorations. They must be from the 1920s and 1930s. Her father used to build a little village out of them every Christmas that went up a ‘mountainside’ to the family Christmas tree in the house’s big bay window. Too bad no photos exist of that scene, but at lease some of the decorations have survived. Mom is enjoying seeing them on display again all these years later. Have a great weekend, all!

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Categories: Christmas, Miscellaneous, Nature | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Regarding the possible Mayflower connection & “Marcia Toocker Cushman Keney”

Anyone with an ongoing interest in things discussed in my last post (Wealthy Ann Cushman Jaques and the possible Mayflower Connection) should check out page 102 of The Ancestry of Jane Maria Greenleaf: Wife of William Francis Joseph Boardman, Hartford, Connecticut by William F. J. Boardman, a book that was privately printed in Hartford, in 1906. Scroll down to see my red arrow below indicating a Marcia Toocker (daughter of Joseph and Hannah Toocker) who was married to 1) Cushman and 2) Timothy Keney.

I believe this ‘Marcia Toocker’ is the ‘Mary?  Zooker/s?’ (married to ‘Eleazer Cushman’ and then ‘? Keeney’) mentioned in the last post and that this ‘Marcia’ and ‘Cushman’ are the same people mentioned on page 206 of Families of Early Hartford: “Eleasur Cushman died Aug 9, 1795 ae 27 bur Center Church. Widow Mercy Cushman.”

The Cushman family website links this Eleasur/Eleazer buried in the Center Church Ancient Burying Ground to Seth Cushman (1734-1771) whose ancestry is documented back to Mayflower passenger Mary Allerton. The entry for Eleasur/Eleazer contains a bit of possibly conflicting info (e.g. place of death MA, not CT—states close together so the body could have been transported for burial in Hartford; and a wife named Sarah—she would have to have preceded Marcia/’Mercy’, spouse at time of death).

Referring back to the Toocker ancestry, we can see that Marcia was born between 1770 (birth of older sister Rhoda) and 1779 (birth of younger brother Joseph). Sibling Mary (aka Polly) preceded Marcia (‘Mercy’).  Marcia’s year of birth probably lies between  1775-1777/8, perhaps closer to the latter if this is the ‘Mercy Keeney’ found in “Connecticut Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934” on FamilySearch:
Name:     Mercy Keeney
Birth Date:     abt 1779
Age at Death:     70
Death Date:     7 Jul 1849
Death Place:     Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut
Gender:     Female
FHL Film Number:     1313828

So it appears highly possible that timeline-wise, my third great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Cushman (m. Isaac Jaques), born 11 November 1793, in Hartford, CT, is the daughter of Eleasur (Eleazer) and Marcia (Mercy). Now to prove it!  Anyone with thoughts, ideas, please feel free to share. And if/when I make any headway on this, I will let you know.

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Jane Greenleaf Boardman, niece of ‘Marcia Toocker Cushman Keney’ and subject of this genealogical book

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Electa Toocker, Marcia’s younger sister and the mother of the subject of this genealogical book

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Categories: Angus, Connecticut, Cushman, Hartford, Mayflower 1620, Toocker | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Wealthy Ann Cushman Jaques and the possible Mayflower connection

View of Plymouth Harbor fall or spring of 1973

Happy Thanksgiving to all this blog’s readers! Thank you for your support and encouragement this past year, and thanks to all of you who have shared information, supplied material for guest posts, or written guest posts yourself.  I have seen this blog continue to help people connect with family members near and far, and for that I am also very grateful.

Today’s post may be of interest to descendants of Isaac Jaques and Wealthy Ann Cushman and it concerns the possible familial link between Wealthy and the youngest of the Mayflower’s 102 passengers—Mary Allerton. (Anyone out there with information on that link, please do get in touch via the comment box below or my email address which appears on the ‘About’ page.)

I had absolutely no idea when I visited Plimoth Plantation at age 12 that I may be related Mary Allerton. I recall wandering that open-air museum on a very cold and raw day, thinking about what it must have been like to get through just one day of life in the 1620s, let alone entire months and years. Brrr—just thinking about it makes me cold. (Ever see the episode of Colonial House where Oprah and her friend Gayle “go back in time” 400 years to experience life in a Maine settlement? See https://vimeo.com/2811969. Again, all I can say is Brrrrrrrrrrr….) Our foreparents were made of extremely tough stuff! (Four hundred years from now, they may be saying that about us, which is hard to imagine given how comfortable life is today, compared to 400 years ago.)

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Elizabeth Daily Journal obit for Job Winans Angus Jr.

Forward to 2016. You may recall that I was somewhat flabbergasted this past summer to come across an obit for Job Winans Angus Jr. in which it was stated that Job had an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower. A little hand-written note I found from Job’s nephew Thomas Russum seemed to confirm that this was indeed something worth exploring even if it was, perhaps, wishful thinking on their part. The ancestor on whom all this hinged was Wealthy Ann Cushman: wife of Isaac Jaques, mother of Wealthy (Jaques) Angus, and my third-great-grandmother. Thomas’s note mentioned a father Eleazer and a mother Mary Zooker/s with a question mark next to her first and last names. The year of death for Eleazer was given as 1792, again with a question mark. The mother “Mary? Zooker/s?” was noted as having remarried someone named Keeney and having had two children with him: Aaron and Jane. I did find a death record for a Mercy Keeney who was presumably born around 1779. If the circa 1779 birth date is accurate, she would have given birth at age 14/15, so this may be a red herring; if the date is off and she was older when Wealthy was born, this could be the correct Mercy.

I subsequently found, on page 206 of Families of Early Hartford, an Eleasur Cushman listed as having been buried in the Center Church Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford, Connecticut: “Eleasur Cushman died Aug 9, 1795 ae 27 bur Center Church. Widow Mercy Cushman.”  I believe this Eleasur may very well be the father of Wealthy Ann Cushman, who was born in Hartford, CT, on November 11, 1793, and that “Mary? Zooker/s?” was Mercy Cushman, but proving that is an entirely different thing. (Wealthy Ann Cushman married Isaac Jaques on Feb 4, 1812, and they named their second son Eleazer (b. 1820), which may be more than coincidence).

Another thing to prove is the link back from Eleasur Cushman of Hartford to his parents—possibly Seth Cushman (1734-1771) and Abiah Allen. They had a son named Eleazer, born July 17, 1768 in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. If you add 27 years to 1768, you come up with 1795, the year of death of Hartford’s Eleasur Cushman.

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Life Magazine 1904

The links between Seth Cushman and Mary Allerton (1616-1699; wife of Thomas Cushman, 1608-1691) have all been proven and are all documented.

So the challenge is to definitively connect Wealthy Ann Cushman with Eleasur Cushman and Eleasur Cushman to Seth Cushman. If those connections don’t exist, it will be back to square one. I contacted the Connecticut State Archives hoping for some clues about the Cushman family of Hartford, but they had nothing new to tell me. I also contacted the Mayflower Society (MS), but they had no information on anyone using Seth and Abiah Cushman’s son Eleazer to prove Mayflower ancestry. It is up to us descendants to do it. The MS was very helpful and supportive, so as time goes on, maybe they will help steer me in some fruitful directions.

I know from reading some letters that Wealthy’s daughter Wealthy (Jaques) Angus of Elizabeth, NJ, stayed in contact with Hartford relatives and visited them periodically, but I have found no new clues that would better ID them. Perhaps, someone out there has a box of old letters that contains some answers?

Anyway, we are standing before a brick wall of sorts and hopefully, we’ll figure it all out. Perhaps, in time for next Thanksgiving – 2017? It would be fun to be able to pass this info on to the little ones in the family. We shall see!

Again, best wishes to you all for a very blessed Thanksgiving 2016.

Categories: Angus, Connecticut, Cushman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Hartford, Jaques, Mayflower 1620, New Jersey | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

A Florida Friday: Mangrove tunnels

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Cropped from Colton’s United States of America. Published in 1865 by J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York. Credit: http://www.davidrumsey.com

We recently took a canoe ride along a portion of the Blackwater River which starts at the 7,271-acre Collier Seminole State Park on the western edge of the Everglades and takes you out several miles through a vast mangrove swamp until you reach the Ten Thousand Islands. Were it not for the fact that the mangroves produce tannin, the water would be crystal clear (which would be much more comforting for the purpose of alligator spotting!). It’s an incredibly peaceful experience; just remember your bug spray and sunscreen and to stay in your canoe so you don’t bring home any physical souvenirs (or lose a limb!). We’ve done this trip several times, and the mangrove tunnels where the river narrows are (for me) the most special part of the journey. The water is like glass and the reflection of the mangroves on the water makes for some heavenly scenes. In winter there’s the added benefit of seeing lots of birds.

When you go through such uninhabitable terrain, it is easy to see why the Seminole Indians were never defeated, and also easy to see why the author of the below small article on the Ten Thousand Islands, published in 1886, found this part of Florida “desolate” and “gloomy” in comparison with the northern part of the state, which was fairly well inhabited and offered comforts that clearly would have been absent in south Florida at that time. Coming here in the hot and humid months of the year especially, one can be eaten alive by no-see-ums and mosquitoes and burnt to a crisp by a relentless and unforgiving sun. The article was printed in November, so hopefully the author escaped the worst of the bugs and weather—in any case, he lived to tell his tale!

Thankfully, we 21st-century South Floridians are able to enjoy these wild  environments by day and return to the comforts of our homes at night.

Have a tranquil weekend, all.

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Blackwater River mangrove tunnel, November 2016

Starting point for the Blackwater River with canoe/kayak launch area in distance

Starting point for the Blackwater River with canoe/kayak launch area in distance

ten_thousand_islands1Daily Alta California, Friday, November 12, 1886 (Credit: California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside - . All newspapers published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain and therefore have no restrictions on use.)

Daily Alta California, Friday, November 12, 1886 (Credit: California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside – . All newspapers published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain and therefore have no restrictions on use.)

Mango [sic] trees on the jungle trail, Palm Beach, Fla. - Detroit Publishing Company, 1910-1920 Credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

Mango [sic] trees on the jungle trail, Palm Beach, Fla. – Detroit Publishing Company, 1910-1920 Credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

Categories: Florida, Ten Thousand Islands | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Garret Brodhead’s Wheat Plains Farm in Pike Co., PA, needs your support

"Wheat Plains," the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

Circa 1900: “Wheat Plains,” the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

The sad state of the Wheat Plains house

2016: The sad state of the Wheat Plains house – victim of the Tocks Island Dam project

Hello, Brodhead descendants & anyone with an interest in Pennsylvania history! You may not be aware of an important project that could greatly use your support: the restoration of Wheat Plains Farm in Pike County, Pennsylvania, the old Garret Brodhead (1730-1804) family homestead that Brodhead family members were forced to abandon in the 1970s due to the Tocks Island Dam project. Below is a letter just received from James and Barbara Brodhead who are spearheading the DePuy-Brodhead Family Association’s efforts to restore the home (now managed by the National Park Service). So please take a few moments to read the below letter and see if you can lend your support. PS: Next summer’s DePuy-Brodhead Family Association annual reunion is likely to be held there; it would be extremely positive if as many Brodhead descendants as possible made the effort to be there to show the NPS that the home’s fate is of concern to many, not just a few. I hope to be there—a great opportunity to support a great cause and meet cousins of all kinds.

 

Dear Family,

As many of you know, some members of the DePuy/Brodhead Family Association have been working with the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to preserve the Wheat Plains house. Wheat Plains is the farm started by Garret Brodhead on the land he received as partial payment for his service in the Revolutionary War. From 1790 the farm was owned by the Brodhead family until it was sold to Cornelius Swartout in 1871. Robert Packer Brodhead purchased back the farm in 1896 and his descendants remained there until the 1970’s when the land was acquired by eminent domain as part of the Tocks Island Dam Project. The Army Corp of Engineers headed the project. Later the Army Corp of Engineers determined that the river bed would not support the dam. The land then was transferred to the National Parks Service (NPS) who now manages the property. There are currently about 700 buildings remaining in the park on both sides of the Delaware River. Some have historical significance and most have sentimental value. Many buildings are in poor condition. Wheat Plains is structurally sound and it sits in a prominent place on highway 209.

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA) is developing a long range plan to identify which buildings should be restored, maintained, or removed. The NPS has limited funds to do this work. Included in their consideration is the cost of maintenance and what the long term usage of the structure will be. Without a defined usage the preservation efforts will be limited.

Now to get to the purpose of this letter. We have been encouraged to send letters to the Superintendent of the DWGNRA and express our interest and support of preserving Wheat Plains or other structures. Please write a politely worded letter expressing your personal interest in preserving Wheat Plains farmhouse and property. Please include personal memories and historical facts that you have. If you have ideas for the usage for the house, (i.e. museum, vacation rental, etc.) please include that also. These letters need to be sent by the end of the year in order to be included in the evaluation process. The sooner the letters arrive the better. The Association created a good impression when we helped clean the house in 2015. It showed the NPS how much we care and your letter will add to that.

When writing your letter please remember that the NPS had nothing to do with taking the land; they were given the task of maintaining it. Please keep your letter kind and considerate.

Please address your letter to:
John J. Donahue, Superintendent
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area &
Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River
1978 River Road
Bushkill, PA 18324

Please also send copies of your letter to the following at the address above or email a copy to the addresses
given below:
Judson Kratzer – Judson_Kratzer@NPS.gov
Jennifer Kavanaugh – Jennifer_Kavanaugh@NPS.gov

We are in the initial stages of organizing a “Friends of Wheat Plains” non-profit org. to collect donations to help support the preservation of Wheat Plains. More information coming.

We sincerely thank you,
James and Barbara Brodhead
425-418-4742

Categories: Brodhead, Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, Pike Co. | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Florida Friday: Coquina ‘flashback’

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January 1966 visit to St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos (that’s little moi in the white glasses with mom & big sis)

Below are some shells seen and collected during a recent outing to Sanibel Island… among them, the tiny, colorful coquina. Millions line the shore, and at low tide, you can watch them jiggle and maneuver as they wait, and hope, for the tides to shift back in their favor.

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Coquina shells

Whenever I see coquina shells, St. Augustine always comes to mind. If you’ve been to that beautiful, historic city on Florida’s NE coast, you know that the Spanish quarried coquina rock (a limestone composed of sand and mollusk shells found in NE Florida) to build their Castillo de San Marcos (known for some time as Fort Marion) from 1672 to 1695.

I first saw the fortress at age 5, and it, and the coquina rock, made a huge impression on me. The old ‘downtown’ as well, of course, which was supplemented by Henry Flagler’s amazing architectural creations in the 1880s. What kid would not be awestruck by all that?! And, goodness, let’s not forget Ponce de Leon’s ‘Fountain of Youth‘ up the street from the fort. (I think I am way more interested in that fountain now than I was even back then!!! 😉 )

Of course, I’m not alone—for generations, St. Augustine has been casting a spell on travelers. I found one visitor’s account from 1890 (below; scroll down); much of what they wrote about then could easily be experienced today.

Well, have a good weekend all; we’ve ‘cooled down’ here to a chilly 82! I think we’ll go fishing.
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St. Augustine, Florida, 1898

Fort Marion, St. Augustine and harbor, Detroit Publishing Company, 1898 (Library of Congress image LCCN2008678231 - No known restrictions on publication)

Fort Marion, St. Augustine and harbor, Detroit Publishing Company, 1898 (Library of Congress image LCCN2008678231 – No known restrictions on publication)

A visitor’s perspective – Duluth Evening Herald, Saturday, March 15, 1890
(courtesy of http://www.fultonhistory.com)

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Categories: Florida, Sanibel Island, St. Augustine | 6 Comments

Photograph of Isaac Jaques (1791-1880) of Elizabeth, NJ

Courtesy of San Benito County Historical Society

Isaac Jaques (1791-1880) –  Courtesy of San Benito County Historical Society

An amazing discovery: the existence of an image of Isaac Jaques of Elizabeth, New Jersey, father of my second-great-grandmother Wealthy Jaques (wife of James W. Angus).

I have written rather extensively about Isaac and some of his family members, as you know. First wife Wealthy Cushman of Hartford, CT, died in 1856; and he and Wealthy had nine children: Jane (1814-1843), Wealthy (1815-1892), Isaac (1817-bef. 1880), Eleazer (1820-?), John (1822-1895), Samuel (1824-1858), Walter (1826-1850), Christopher (1831-1851), and Charles (1834-1866).

Isaac’s second wife was Rebecca Ann Gold Robinson (widow of William J. Robinson); and, at some point, descendants of one of Rebecca’s sisters donated an album containing old Gold family photos to the San Benito County [California] Historical Society. In the album was this image of “Uncle Isaac,” as well as one of Rebecca.  I am indebted to an Ancestry dot come member for telling me about the image. She is a descendant of one of Rebecca’s sisters.

The photo of Isaac is not dated, but it must have been taken not too long before he passed away, in August 1880 at the age of 89.

Note: I had to pay a small fee to acquire this low-resolution image and get permission to publish it on this blog. If you want a high-resolution copy for your personal use (no sharing via email, no posting on Ancestry, social media, etc.), you can contact the San Benito Historical Society directly and officially request one (for a fee). You can also request an image of Rebecca Robinson Jaques. I paid for the high-res image of her but did not pay the extra fee to be able to post a low-res image here.

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

Guest Post: “Grave Marker Dedication of Revolutionary War Soldier Benjamin Woodruff on May 14, 2016”

This post was contributed by Sue Woodruff Noland. Her previous post on the topic of the Woodruff family can be found here.

Benjamin Woodruff Grave Marker - PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Benjamin Woodruff Grave Marker – PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Benjamin Woodruff, born 26 November 1744 to James Woodruff* (1722-1759) and Joanna ? (1722-1812), attended the Morristown Presbyterian Church.  He served during the Revolution with the New Jersey militia, leaving behind his wife and 3 children; his wife, Phoebe Pierson Woodruff, died 21 January 1777, aged 36, and one can only hope that Benjamin was able to be there with her and the children.  Benjamin married again 8 July 1778, to Patience Lum, daughter of Obadiah Lum, with whom he had more children he left behind as he served our country.  It has been certified that Benjamin served one monthly tour in 1776 as a drummer; three monthly tours as a sergeant in 1776, including an engagement near Elizabeth, NJ, on 17 December 1776.  He served under various captains to the close of the war.  [information from the genealogical history provided by Charles Marius Woodruff]

Grave marker - Note the misspelling of Freelove Sanford's first name - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Grave marker – Note the misspelling of Freelove Sanford’s first name – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Those of you who are familiar with Michigan and the Great Lakes, which is where I live, know how variable the weather can be; mid-May average temperature is mid-60s.  On May 14, 2016, the day of the Grave Marker Dedication Ceremony for Benjamin Woodruff, son Andrew and I, both descendants of Benjamin, encountered temperatures in the low 40s and brisk breezes that carried sleety-snowy-rain as we gathered at Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor, Michigan!

As was common in 1837, when Benjamin died, he was buried the following day and therefore was not accorded a military funeral.  The DAR and SAR strive to provide a service for our forgotten patriots; on this day another Revolutionary War soldier, Josiah Cutler, was honored with our ancestor, Benjamin.

Benjamin Woodruff Grave Market Dedication Ceremony – At podium: Phil Jackson, Huron Valley Chapter SAR – PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

The ceremony began with a welcome from Phil Jackson, Huron Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).  Following Phil’s remarks, we watched the posting of colors and standards with bearers dressed in Revolutionary War period uniforms.  Thomas Pleuss, Chaplain of the Huron Valley Chapter SAR, gave the invocation, and then Kate Kirkpatrick, from the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter made some remarks, followed by remarks from a representative from each patriot’s family.  Thomas Woodruff and Frank Ticknor (Josiah’s family) each presented a brief history of our respective ancestor.  This portion of the ceremony was conducted about mid-way between the two patriot’s graves.  After family remarks, the ceremony was conducted separately at each grave site.

Thomas Woodruff receiving flag - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL - USED WITH PERMISSION

Descendant Thomas Woodruff receiving flag – Sue Woodruff Noland in purple shawl looking on; her son Andrew is on the left in a plaid jacket – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL – USED WITH PERMISSION

Benjamin’s grave site is a family memorial with several of his family interred there.  Tom and his son, Michael, generously purchased a marker for Benjamin indicating his service as a Revolutionary War patriot.  (The US government ‘declined’ to provide a marker.)  Our grateful thanks to Tom and Michael’s families for researching Revolutionary War markers and commissioning the marker to be made.  The marker was unveiled before our nation’s tribute, the folding of the flag.  Since there was no flag pole, the ceremony actually involved unfolding a flag brought by the SAR/DAR for the occasion, and then refolding it as a story was told about the meaning of the folds, the last fold being a representation of a mother tucking in her child for the night—a story made up sometime in the past, but a touching story nonetheless.  Once folded, the flag was presented to Tom.  We were then cautioned that the next part of the ceremony would be the military tribute, a 21-gun (and 2 muskets) salute—startlingly loud!

Twenty-one gun salute - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL - USED WITH PERMISSION

Twenty-one gun salute – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL – USED WITH PERMISSION

The veterans Honor Guard of Washtenaw County (Michigan), the Indiana Society Color Guard, and the Ohio Society Color Guard performed the tribute of three volleys.  The 21 spent shells were given to Tom, who offered one to each of the family as a memento of the day.

Sword Ceremony - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL - USED WITH PERMISSION

Sword Ceremony – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL – USED WITH PERMISSION

The Sword Salute was by far the most touching part of the ceremony for me.  Three of the Color Guard detached from the group.  The leader explained that, on command, the three of them would tip their tri-corn hats to honor our patriot and then bow, touching the ground with their swords, to show humility for Benjamin’s service to us and our country.  To conclude the ceremony there was a sounding of taps by two buglers.

Both families (Woodruff and Cutler) came together once again after Josiah’s ceremony, for floral tributes from several SAR, DAR, and CAR groups (Children of the American Revolution).  These organizations developed at various times with the objective of keeping alive their ancestors’ stories of patriotism and courage “in the belief that it is a universal one of man’s struggle against tyranny….” [from SAR website]  The conclusion of the entire ceremony was a bagpipe tribute to both soldiers, by Herm Steinman.

Bagpiper who performed at the ceremony - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Bagpiper who performed at the ceremony – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Chilled to the bone, but eager to meet cousins we didn’t even know existed a few short weeks before, we gathered with Benjamin’s other descendants at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Ann Arbor, as guests of Tom and his wife, Jane, and Mike and his wife and tiny daughter.  We met ‘new’ cousins, including Tom and Mike’s families, as well as Pam Olander from the Chicago area and reacquainted ourselves with cousins who had attended one of the Woodruff family reunions we organized during the mid-2000s.  The room was quite abuzz with everyone sharing history and asking questions.  Tom told us the motto on our Woodruff Coat of Arms, “Sit Dux Sapientia,” translates as “Let wisdom be your guide;” we had not known the motto, only the shield design.

The day before the ceremony, Andrew and I had met Pam at the Bentley Historical Library on the U of M campus in Ann Arbor.  We spent over two hours poring through Woodruff documents stored at the Library and were finally able to answer a question:  Why would John Woodruff leave England in 1640?  The answer: he seems to have decided that King Charles I was taking too much of the family income via taxes.  Later, it seems our Benjamin, living in the colonies, may not quite have agreed with King George III’s Stamp Act of 1765 (and a few others: sugar tax, currency, etc.), thus leading to his participation in the Revolutionary War a few years later.

If any of you should travel to Michigan in the future, for research at the Library or simply to visit Benjamin’s final resting place (he was moved to Forest Hill from another site), we would love to meet any ‘new’ cousins.

 

*James Woodruff (b. 1722, Elizabethtown, NJ) was the son of Benjamin Woodruff (1684-1726) and Susanna (1686-1727), both of whom were born and died in Elizabethtown, NJ.

Categories: Ann Arbor, CAR, DAR, Lineage Societies, Michigan, New Jersey, Revolutionary War, SAR, Woodruff | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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"El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-

Spared & Shared 2

-- rescuing history from old letters one page at a time

Parrotfish Journey

I travel , YOU should too...

TOWER AND FLIGHTS

In The Beginning Man Tried Ascending To Heaven via The Tower Of Babel. Now He Tries To Elevate His Existence Using Hallucinogenic Drugs. And, Since The 20th Century, He Continually Voyages Into Outer Space Using Spacecrafts. Prayer Thru Christ Is The Only Way To Reach Heaven.

London, Hollywood

I'm Dominic Wells, an ex-Time Out Editor. I used to write about films. Now I write them.

Uma Familia Portuguesa

A história da nossa família

Trkingmomoe's Blog

Low Budget Meals for the New Normal

The Good, the Bad and the Italian

food/films/families and more

dvn ms kmz time travel

This is all about my travels to the past... my reflections and musings about yesteryear, as I find the stories of a people passed away and learn how to tell them.

newarkpoems

350 years of Newark in verse 1666-2016

Russian Universe

Understanding Russia with a Russian

Bulldog Travels

Everything and Nothing Plus Some Pretty Photos

Dances with Wools

knitting, spinning, dyeing, and related fiber arts

Life After Caregiving

On caregivers, faith, family, and writing...

Why'd You Eat That?

Food Folklore for the everyday scholar. These are the stories behind the foods we eat.

Cooking without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Circulating Now

from the historical collections of the world's largest biomedical library

The Pioneer Woman

Plowing through Life in the Country...One Calf Nut at a Time

Almost Home

Genealogy Research and Consulting

Old Bones Genealogy of New England

Genealogy and Family History Research

ferrebeekeeper

Reflections Concerning Art, Nature, and the Affairs of Humankind (also some gardening anecdotes)

Map of Time | A Trip Into the Past

Navigating Through Someplace Called History

Out Here Studying Stones

Cemeteries & Genealogy

WeGoBack

family research ... discover your ancestry

the Victorian era

Did I misplace my pince-nez again? Light reading on the 19th century.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

This is the story of an ordinary family, trying to live an ordinary life during an extraordinary time frame, and the lessons they learn through experience.

The Civil War Gazette

Keeping the stories alive from the American Civil War

Moore Genealogy

Fun With Genealogy

Meeting my family

RESEARCHING MY FAMILY TREE

Shaking the tree

musings on the journey towards knowing and sharing my family's stories

Among My Branches

Exploring My Kernan, Lapham, Hamilton, & Sebok Ancestries One Branch at a Time

A Hundred Years Ago

Food and More

Scots Roots

Helping you dig up your Scots roots.

Root To Tip

Not just a list of names and dates

Food Perestroika

Adventures in Eastern Bloc Cuisine

My Aunt the WAC

Marian Solomon's midlife transition from the farm to the Women's Army Corps (WACs)

Being Em | From Busan to America

this journey is my own, but i'm happy to share.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

The Daily Online Genealogy Newsletter

Irish in the American Civil War

Exploring Irish Emigration & Irish Involvement in the American Civil War

TWISTED LIMBS & CROOKED BRANCHES

Genealogy: Looking For "Dead People"!

Cemeteries of Brunswick, Maine

To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die. ~ Thomas Campbell

Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

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