Sunday, July 26, 2009

Back Home Again in Indiana

After a whirlwind trip of 2,190 miles to Georgia and back, it's good to be home again, if only for a little while. The younger niece and her daughters were as happy to see us as we were to see them. Three days spent together, making a little bit of family history, went by much too quickly.

I did learn a couple of things along the way. . .
  • A 15-year old boy can put down the chow. However, he doesn't eat food, he inhales it!
  • I can survive without my laptop and internet access for a week, but the boy REALLY needs to have his gameboy.
  • When traveling with a 15-year old and an 81-year old, ya better just plan on stopping at most rest areas along the Interstates.
  • No one says they are hungry until after you've passed the exit with all the good restaurants.
  • When you finally decide to stop for the night, the next motel is at least 40 miles down the road.
  • The Interstates are great for going from point A to point B. But not much good for anything else. Tree lined highways aren't conducive to 'getting a feel' for the countryside as you fly by at 70 miles per hour (or more).
  • It is nearly impossible to maintain a healthy diet regimen while traveling with others who aren't concerned with doing so. Temptation won after the second day.
  • My niece, the boy's mother, has amazingly similar tastes in music as I have, except for the country music. No offense intended, but I can only take so much of it.
  • Neither my niece nor I can carry a tune, but that didn't stop us from singing. You have to stay awake somehow while driving the Interstates.
  • Even after being on the road for 8 hours, when you're only 3 hours from home it doesn't seem all that far. Trust me though, it is much farther than it seems. It makes for a long day though still not worth stopping and spending another night in a motel.
  • I've been home 36 hours, slept 20, and am still tired. 650 miles in one day is just too much.
  • Geneabloggers are a prolific group. It will take some time to catch up on those 900+ unread blog posts waiting in my feed reader...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Georgia On My Mind...

Among the gems found last week while going through this box was a birthday card that was made by my niece Carrie when she was 9 or 10 years old (about 25 years ago).

Notice that she wouldn't give me all of her gold, just 3/4 of it. LOL.

No, it's not my birthday. So why am I posting this now and what does it have to do with Georgia, you ask?

Well, it just so happens that Carrie has lived in Georgia for nearly 21 years now. And in a few hours I'll be heading south along with my mother, Carrie's sister Tami, and Tami's son Zach for a few days. It's been a little more than five years since we last saw Carrie and her three daughters. The youngest was 2 ½ years old at the time and wouldn't have anything to do with me. The only time I got a decent picture of her smiling was when she was sitting on Mom's lap! Well, it should be a fun and interesting trip, if we survive the traffic, and each other ;-)

The classic Georgia On My Mind as performed by Willie Nelson and Ray Charles. The song was written in 1930 (or 1931) by Native Hoosiers Hoagy Carmichael (music) and Stuart Gorrell (lyrics).

Monday, July 13, 2009

'Twas the Summer of '59

The first and last time that I attended summer camp was in June 1959. I was eleven years old and it was also the first time that I had been away from home for any length of time. The camp was affiliated with the Girl Scouts. Two of my friends, classmates and troop mates, Susan and Joanne, were there too, so it wasn't like I didn't know anyone. It sounds like I had lots of fun. Too bad I don't really remember specific events, though I do remember attending. Hopefully, my spelling and grammar have improved somewhat over the years...

Dear Mom,

I am fine, How are you, Jack, Doug, and Terry. Do you know that you have to pay 15¢ a car, 15¢ for parents, 15¢ for children under 12 years of age.

My consulers are Micky, & Watona. I am having a good time, I'm just a little home sick, not very much.

Do you know what a hopper is it is a person or more that helps set tables and get food on the tables. a hopper doesn't have to do his own dishes but she has to do the tables dishes.

I have written a letter to grandma to.

sincerely yours
Beckie W.

Dear Mom,

I told you about a hopper. I'm a hopper Sat. Lunch.

Can you guess who my cabin mates are? They are Susan Howell and Joann, Suzanne, Pamella, and Diane.

Monday night we had a lot of trouble Susan was crying for her dog, and Dianne triped and hurt her eye, and we made a clothsline and I forgot where we put it and ran thurgh it and got a rope burn, Suzanne was home sick.

I got your letter and was a little home sick. I am going to save $1.00, 5¢ a day for the Mermaid-Festival. Don't tell anybody else.

I lost grandmas address will you send me the address.

Sunday we had hotdogs, potatoe chips, milk, water, Bread & butter.

I am having loads of fun I will write to you & the family almost every day.

There is one letter that Mom sent me. I'm sure she wrote more but this is the only one that got kept...

June 15, 1959

Dear Becky -

Well how is the weather. It's raining here and I've got the furnace turned on - this is always the kind of weather you get when you go to camp. What time did you get to Pottawatamie. I'll bet you were hungry when supper time came - What did you have that was good to eat. Who have you got for a cabin mate. Even if it is raining I'll bet you have fun - We are watching T. V. It's the first its been on in the morning for 2 weeks. I've got some more strawberries that have to be picked. I was over at Pat's yesterday and we are going to have to start picking peas.

Ruth and Gene Stutzman are on vacation this week too - I hope you can read this - I'm trying to get done before the mail man gets here - Terry was looking for you last night & wanted to know when we were going to get you - Bill & Sue were here yesterday and Doug started yelling for you to come & play - He stopped as soon as he got "Bec" out.

= = =

There was one more page in her letter that listed the addresses of people that I was supposed to write to. She signed the letter "Mommy".

Pat is Mom's sister. Pat and her family lived on a farm and always planted a large garden. Bill and Sue are Mom's brother and his wife. Jack, Doug, and Terry were my brothers and sister. It's nice to know that my siblings missed me ;-)

I'm pretty sure that Camp Pottawatamie was located on or near the Tippecanoe River, which was the same river that flowed through the fields less than a mile from our house. I also think the camp is now part of the Tippecanoe River State Park. The town of Winamac is located on State Road 14, in Pulaski County, about a two hour drive from where we lived at the time. Not that far, but I'm sure it seemed further.

This post was written for and contributed to the 76th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy :: How I spent my summer vacation…

Friday, July 10, 2009

She was the chief cook, I was the dish washer.

About 1958, probably influenced somewhat by her brother, William Hale Brubaker, and her uncle, Maurice James Wise, who both owned restaurants, my grandmother became manager of Miller's Ice Cream Store located at Five Points on Goshen Road in Fort Wayne. A few years later she moved to North Webster and opened "The Dairy Bar" which provided jobs for several family members, myself included.

My grandmother in the kitchen of the Dairy Bar.

Caption written by grandma for the picture below.

A small horseshoe shaped bar surrounded by 10 stools was positioned just outside the door to the kitchen, far right. It was the most popular spot in the Dairy Bar. Shown above were customers Helen Ravely and her daughter Jane, then Grandma and my mother, I'm not sure who the girl next to mom is, could be Wanda Wysong, but the one on the right is Beverly Penrod.

Grandma opened the restaurant every morning at 5 a.m. in the summer and 6 o'clock in the winter. While breakfast was being served she made the pies (some of the best!) and preparations were underway for the daily lunch special. Swiss steak, fried chicken, liver and onions, beef heart, ham and beans - just a few of her specialties. Sunday was the really busy day with the after-church crowd starting about 11 a.m. and continuing through until about 2 o'clock.

Closing time during the winter was 9 p.m. while in the summer the restaurant stayed open until 11 o'clock. It usually took another hour to get the place cleaned before we could go home. I did not enjoy working the late shift, or the morning shift for that matter! For the first few years (before I legally became old enough to work) I cleared tables and washed dishes, eventually moving up to waitress and finally grill cook. I peeled a lot of potatoes and did prep work, but grandma and mom were the ones that cooked up the daily specials. It was by no means an easy job.

Notice the prices for breakfast items:
Ham or Bacon & Eggs, toast, coffee 75¢
2 Eggs, toast, coffee 40¢
a glass of fruit juice was 15¢
Contributed to the "they worked hard for the family" edition of Smile for the Camera.

Check out my Blog Banner!

Deez at Cemetery Explorers has been a busy fellow lately creating banners for several blogs, notably Flipside and Heritage Happens (and probably others). And now I have a "real" banner too and am very pleased with it. What d'ya think?

(Though it is a little long right now, it will soon be resized to fit properly.)

Thank you, Deez!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday :: William and maybe John and Susanna Phend

According to early family papers, John Phend (aka Johannes B'hend) passed away on December 22, 1859 and his wife Susanna (Kübli) Phend died on September 9, 1856. They were both reportedly buried in Hepton Union Cemetery, Kosciusko County, Indiana. However, I have not found any record of their deaths (way too early for "official" state death records) or even a record that they lived in northern Indiana. And the cemetery caretaker does not have record of their burial. Their son, Jacob Phend, moved from Greene County, in southern Indiana, to eastern Marshall County, in northern Indiana, in 1852 and it is possible that his parents were with him at that time. Hepton Union Cemetery is only about two miles from where Jacob's farm in Marshall County was located. In 1856, Jacob purchased a farm in Hepton while maintaining his farm in Marshall County.

The marker with the broken top on the left is that of William Phend, son of Jacob and Louisa. I suspect that the clump of flowers to the right marks the final resting place of John and Susanna Phend. This picture was taken on April 4, 2000 and you can see part of a broken marker on the left side of the clump of flowers. I've been to the cemetery several since the first time in 1986, in winter and in spring, but found only bits and pieces of a marker, none with any legible writing on them.

We'll probably never know for sure whether John and Susanna are really buried there or not, but it's comforting to some degree to think that they rest in peace beside their grandson.

William's gravemarker in Hepton Cemetery is broken off at the top so the first name is missing, but the remainder reads:
Apr. 5, 1875
AGED 19 Y. 7 M. 29 D.

William also died before Indiana began keeping death records and I haven't found an obituary for him either so I don't know what caused his death.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Coming Soon :: Phend Family Reunion

It's July, already! Wow, where does the time go? And, just around the corner, August will be making its way into our lives. And when August comes, that means it's time for the Phend Family Reunion!

That's right folks! It is closing in on us rather quickly - Saturday, August 1st is the date this year.

All descendants of Johannes B'hend (John Phend) are cordially invited to attend the reunion. For those of you on facebook, or interested in joining facebook, a Phend Family Group has been created. It is currently a closed group, meaning that you will need to be approved before you can join, but the process is painless (or nearly so - just click on the link to "Request to Join Group" that displays beneath the photograph in the upper right corner of the Phend Family group page). There is also a Phend Family Reunion event that is open to anyone. (You have to be a facebook member to access the Group and Reunion event.) Of course, you can always contact me via email at kinexxions "at" gmail "dot" com or leave a comment on this post.

Johannes B'hend, aka John Phend, was born in Switzerland in 1782 and came to the United States in 1832 with his second wife and four children. The children of his first marriage to Barbara Wys were Barbara Phend Feutz, Margaret Phend Weiss, and John Phend Jr. Several years after the death of Barbara, Johannes married Susanna Kübli. They had one child who survived to adulthood - Jacob Phend.

Jacob Phend married Louisa Fisher and they had seven children: John, Christian, Samuel, William, Jacob J, Sophia, and Henry. It is highly likely that anyone living in the United States with the surname "Phend" is a descendant of Jacob and Louisa. Jacob's half-brother, John, did not have any children. While doing the research for my book on the family, published in 1991, every single person I found with the surname Phend was related in some way!

There are quite a few posts here at Kinexxins on the Phend Family and the Fisher Family and about past reunions too - just in case you're interested...

Saturday ~ August 1, 2009

Family Life Center
Troy Presbyterian Church
6465 W Lincoln Way

north of Larwill, Indiana
a mile east of State Road 5, on Lincoln Way (Old US 30)

Carry-in Potluck Dinner at Noon

Bring beverages and table service for your immediate family
and a "covered dish" for the potluck dinner

I will be at the Family Life Center by 10 a.m. The facility is available until about 7 p.m. There are swings outside for the kids as well as an indoor basketball court. The only activity "planned" at this time, is visiting and getting re-acquainted. In the past I've tried planning activities and games but the vast majority of people don't participate in them. They mostly prefer to sit and talk with each other so I've "given up" trying to entertain them! They seem to do a pretty good job of entertaining themselves telling tales and just visiting with each other ;-)

Of course, descendant charts and past reunion photo albums will be available for your perusal. Feel free to bring along your family pictures and memorabilia for others to see. Also, there are still a few of the family history books available for purchase too if you don't already have one.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Wish I Knew...Are you really who I think you are?

The names "Alla" and "Flora" that are written on the face of this photograph appear to be in the handwriting of my 2nd great-grandmother, Malissa Joslin Brubaker Bower. I'm not positive, but I think the woman standing between the two seated ladies is Malissa. It sort of looks like her, but then again, it doesn't. (Click on the image for a larger version.)

This picture below, of Malissa, was taken about 1930. Am I imagining it, or is there really no resemblance?

Back to the two seated ladies in the first picture. When I first saw this picture several years ago, I had no idea who Alla and Flora might be. But I've done some research since then ;-) and the only people in my genealogy database that "fit" in any way whatsoever (assuming the people in the picture are related) are Alice and Flora Joslin, daughters of Malissa's uncle Edwin Joslin, and thus, her first cousins. Of course, I don't know for sure, but that's who I think they are.

Malissa was born in June 1849 while Alice was born about 1858 and Flora between 1852-1855. I don't think the lady standing looks old enough to be the mother of Alice and Flora (their mother was born in February 1839). There were two other sisters in their family, Pauline born in 1859 and Nellie in 1862. But the lady in the middle seems to me to be a bit older than the other two ladies.

Here is what I know about Alice and Flora Joslin, daughters of Edwin Mattoon and Sarah (Fellows) Joslin:

Sadly, I haven't been able to find out anything more about Alice. She appears with her parents and siblings in the 1860 and 1870 census records (Henry County, Illinois and LaPorte County, Indiana, respectively) but that's it. I'm guessing she married prior to 1880 and I haven't looked for her in marriage records yet.

Flora also appears with her parents in the 1860 and 1870 census records. I haven't found her in the 1880 census but in 1900 she is living with her husband, William Clark and son Clifford Clark in Sangamon County, Illinois. Her parents, Edwin and Sarah were also living with them. In 1910, Flora and her husband were still living in Sangamon County. Their 22 year old son, Clifford was living with them as was 27 year old Edward M. Cole who was listed as William's stepson. This seems to indicate that Flora was married first to Mr. Cole, first name unknown. Flora hasn't been found in the 1930 census; in 1920 she was a widow and still living in Sangamon County.

The Illinois death index has an entry for Flora Clark, aged 97 years, who died May 4, 1949 in Sangamon County. Her obituary, obtained by another researcher (thank you Lorene), was found in the Illinois State Journal of May 5, 1949:

"Mrs. Flora Clark, 97, of Berlin, died yesterday afternoon in a Springfield nursing home. She was born Aug. 22, 1851, in Columbia City, Ind., a daughter of E. M. and Sarah Fellows Joslin. She came to Illinois 51 years ago.

She is survived by two sons, Ed M. Cole, of New Berlin, and Clifford Clark, of Springfield; a daughter, Mrs. W. E. Knarr, of DuBois, Pa.; one stepson, Frank Clark, of Springfield. Two sisters and a brother preceded her in death. The body was removed to the McCullogh funeral home in New Berlin."
Census records indicate that Flora was born in 1855 or 1857 (in 1860 she was 5 years old, in 1870 age 15, in 1900 she was 42 (born Aug 1857), in 1910 she was 55 and in 1920 she was aged 63) so she apparently aged a few extra years after 1920. The obituary also shows a daughter that did not appear in the census records, opening an avenue for additional research.

Perhaps a relative or someone "out there" in cyberspace will find this and know for sure who these people are. If so, please contact me at kinexxions "at" gmail "dot" com - you would make me so happy!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Revolutionary Ancestors

Several of my ancestors were wounded while in service during the Revolutionary War and one was killed in battle. These men, and their families, were dedicated to the concepts of freedom and willing to give up everything to attain it. We are indebted to them and to all who have served this country!

William Alexander (4th great grandfather). Lived in the area of Cecil County, Maryland and Chester County, Pennsylvania. Enlisted July 24, 1776. By March of 1777, he was a 1st Lieutenant of the 7th Battalion of the Maryland Regulars Regiment. He served in the 5th Company. He was killed on Aug 27, 1777 on the 2nd day of battle at "Landing Head of Elk" Maryland. His son, William Washington Alexander was only six months old when his father was killed. [This information came from another researcher.]

James Ball (4th great grandfather). In his Pension claim W8336, James stated "That he, the said James Ball enlisted in 1776 in the state of Virginia. Hampshire Cty in the company commanded by Captain William Voss of the 12th Virginia Regt commanded by Col James Woods; that he continued in the service of the United States until 1779 for three years, when he was discharged from service in Frederick Town state of Maryland; that he was in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Stoney Point - and recd two wounds at the battle of Brandywine…" When he enlisted on August 20, 1776 James Ball was 27 years old. James was married to Margaret "Peggy" Bray in 1771 and they had 11 children. They would move to what would become Owen County, Kentucky after the revolution.

Henry Bray (5th great grandfather). Henry signed the "Patriot's Oaths of Fidelity and Support" on March 16, 1778 in Washington County, Maryland. He has been accepted as a DAR patriot. File number 3185877. After the Revolution, Henry, along with many of his grown children, moved to what would become Nelson County, Kentucky.

John Bray (4th great grandfather, son of Henry Bray). At age 16, John enlisted in September 1777 at Romney, Hampshire County, Virginia. He served as a Private in Captain William Voss' Company, 12th Virginia Regiment serving alongside his brother-in-law James Ball. John was wounded during the battle of Brandywine (Delaware) and fought at Monmouth and Stoney Point. He was discharged in 1780 in Yorktown, Pennsylvania. Pension claim W4145.

Johann Heinrich "Henry" Coy/Kau/Cow/Cowe (5th great grandfather). Henry served from Washington County, Maryland and Franklin County, Pennsylvania along with his brothers Jacob and Frederick. [This information came from another researcher.]

John Goodrich (6th great grandfather). John marched for the relief of Boston in the Lexington Alarm on April 19, 1775. He also served as a Private in Capt. Hezekiah Wells' Company, Colonel Erastus Wollcotts' Regiment January-March 1776. DAR No. 592151 through Juanita (Mrs. Eugene) Beard.

Joseph Joslin (6th great grandfather). On page 125 of the "The Jocelyn-Joslin-Joslyn-Josselyn Family" (1961), Edith Wessler says that Joseph was a Lieutenant in the Revolution. On page 106 in "Blackman and Allied Families" author Alfred L. Holman says that Joseph was a Sergeant in the Revolution. Joseph's tombstone says "In memory of Lieut. Joseph Joslin..." I have not done any further research to prove or disprove these claims so if he served during the revolution, I don't know where or when or in what capacity.

Thomas Sprague (4th great grandfather). Resided at Union, Tolland County, Connecticut. Thomas served for 21 days on an expedition to Stillwater and Saratoga as a private in Capt. Christopher Banister's Company, Col. Ezra May's Regiment. He enlisted September 20, 1777 and was discharged October 5, 1777. Thomas and his family moved to Mount Vernon in what would become Knox County, Ohio. [This information came from another researcher.]

Jacob Van Keuren (6th great grandfather). Though only 15 years old at the start of the Revolution, he served in the Fourth Regiment from Ulster County, New York. A brother, Hendricus Jr, was killed in 1777 while serving in the same regiment. [This information came from another researcher.]