Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Changing Views....Tombstone Tuesday

I apologize to anyone reading my earlier post for its odd display. Apparently how a post displays in the edit, preview, and then the actual post can vary a bit. I have corrected it now so you'll find it is actually readable in the blog.

Tombstone Tuesday - Full Disclosure

It is always nice to see the wife's maiden name included on a tombstone.
James Polk Casteel and Arra Amanda Bacon were married 13 Apr 1876 in Barr Township Macoupin Co., IL, where they resided and raised 10 children.

They are buried in Gilead Baptist Cemetery, Hettick, Macoupin Co., IL.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Madness Monday - More than one Maiden Name?

Researching my Great Grandmother, Maria, has been very frustrating. Depending on who you talk with and what record I find she has two maiden names. Her youngest daughters all believed her surname was Pergel. This can be found on some records where her 3 youngest daughters were the source. Her older sons recorded their mother's maiden name as Bergner. I have one record where Mary, herself, is the source where, on her husband's death certificate, she states her maiden name as Bergner. Oral family history may shed some light on this discrepancy. As the story goes - Maria's mother died when she was still young. She was thought to be the youngest of several children and her father gave her to a Jewish family to be raised as a servant. Perhaps one is her real name and the other belongs to the family that she was raised with.

She was born 12 Jan 1869 in Budapest, Hungary. Hungary was also cited as the place of birth of her parents in the 1930 census. She married Ignatz J. Kollain abt 1887 in Austria-Hungary and they immigrated to the U.S. in 1909. They were residing in NYC in 1912; and moved to Jamesburg, NJ prior to 1920. Maria Kollain died 12 Oct. 1957 in Jamesburg, Middlesex, NJ. Parents were listed as 'unknown' on her death cert. Her date and place of birth came from Ignatz's naturalization papers. That is all we have for Maria. Nothing further is known about her family or the family who raised her. Thoughts?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Speaking of Highwaymen

Kolbush (also spelled Kolbusz - depending one which brother I am researching) is not a very common surname. It has proven a difficult task, and all we really know is that they immigrated from Galicia, originally part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, then after WW1 it became part of Poland.

In researching the area of Galicia we have come across a town name, Kolbuszowa, of which the history imparts a colorful origin. According to one legend the town is named after a robber highwayman named Kolbuch or Kolbush or perhaps Kolbas, who ran wild in this vicinity and did a great deal of mischief. When he was finally caught and the danger was past, the incident was immortalized by naming the place after him. Archeological finds indicate the area was originally inhabited by shepherds and farmers of Slavic origin. Artisans of that area were known for their master carpentry skills and stories of their accomplishments were passed down through the generations including the those of the famous "Kolbuszowa violins" and furniture.

Okay - so back to the highwayman theme - if my ancestral blood originates from there: then the highwayman blood mixed with my gypsy blood combined with my spouse's pirate blood means our children are apparently doomed to have a raucously good time - at least that's what I tell them! Let us hope that my mother-in-law's puritan blood will keep them in check.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Notes on a Legendary Hero

A 23 word manuscript written in Latin by a Medieval monk around 1460 casts Robin Hood as a persistent thief and is considered to be a rare criticism of Britain's legendary outlaw.
Translated into English the note read: "Around this time, according to popular opinion, a certain outlaw named Robin Hood, with his accomplices, infested Sherwood and other law-abiding areas of England with continuous robberies"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Occupation: Wheelwright

(image source: History of Work)
One of our French-Canadian Ancestors: 
1900 census: Peter (Pierre) Robillard of Norwich, New London, Connecticut; Age: 63; b. Aug 1831 Canada; wife: Philomene Ducharme b. Nov. 1836 Canada; Occupation: wheelwright

A wheelwright is a tradesman who builds or repairs wheels for carts or wagons. The wheels were traditionally made from wood and were banded by iron tires. Sometimes bone or horn were used for decorative purposes. The iron hoop or 'tire' was supplied by the blacksmith. Wheelwrights were sometimes also referred to as a wainwright. The word, wainwright, is the combination of the root words 'wain' (a large wagon for farm use) and 'wright' (a worker or maker). In modern times, wheelwrights continue to make and repair a wide variety of wheels for horse-drawn vehicles used in farming, equine competitions, and historical events. One such wheelwright shop is located in Colonial Williamsburg creating the wheels for the carriages used in the historic district.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Theresa Stosz of Segenthau, Romania

This is a photo of my Great-Aunt Theresa Stosz with her godchild (not identified). This photo was taken in her native town of Segenthau, located in what is now Romania. Her native language was German. Theresa was born 17 Feb. 1914 , daughter of Maria Rauner and Anton Stosz. She immigrated to the United States in 1930 and in 1938, married Istvan "Steve" Hack. Theresa Stosz Hack passed away Oct 2000 in Whiting, New Jersey.

She is the person who showed me the importance of remembering our past. I had visited her one summer when I was still in high school & she handed me some paper and a pencil and told me to write everything down that she shared with me about her family. Stories about her sister and parents, their lives in Segenthau, and immigrating to the U.S. When she was finished telling me her story she had me read it back to her. I had left out some of the negative things she had said and she wasn't happy about that. "No, no, you must remember everything - the good and the bad." There was no glossing over allowed. When she was done I had my first diagram of a family tree. If only all of our grandparents would be that insistent. I think of her often. She was my inspiration, and I loved her dearly.

This post was created for the 17th edition of Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy: Women in Central and Eastern European Genealogy

Places of our Ancestors: Trowbridge, Wiltshire, UK

Trowbridge Trinity Church located in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, part of the Diocese of Salisbury.
This is where our ancestors, Elizabeth Milgrove and John H. Warburton, were married on 1 Apr. 1844.
This church's christenings registers from 1838 and marriage & burial registers from 1839 (except for those in current use) are held by the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Susan Sharp King - Needs Love

Time has taken it's toll on this ancestor's tombstone.
Susan Sharp was born Mar. 1756, daughter of John Sharp & Jane Hamilton.
She married Thomas King.
Susan Sharp King died 3 April 1822, in Tennessee
and is buried at New Bethel Presbyterian Church in Sullivan Co., TN

Monday, March 23, 2009

Madness Monday - My Most Sturdy Brick Wall

When I received the email from the geneabloggers facebook group to join in on a new meme called Madness Monday which invites us to discuss any of our maddening ancestors including 'your ancestors that are a triple layer brick wall'. I thought, "shoot, I just posted my most persistant brick wall". Okay, I know we all have more than one, but I thought I'd skimp just a bit on this post and insert a reference to last Monday's post (was I psychic?!). So for the first official Madness Monday event:
Help me identify the parents of Susannah Underwood (b. 1816 TN; d. 1903 IL). If you are researching the Underwood surname or can help with Knox, Co. TN or Macoupin Co, IL research please check my post and see if you can give me any fresh leads to follow. Thank you!! http://tangledtrees.blogspot.com/2009/03/whos-your-daddy.html

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fort Monroe - A Call to Preserve History

I belong to an email group interested in the preservation of Fort Monroe. http://www.cfmnp.org/
I recently received this email which I thought I'd share with other genealogists as we all should be interested in preserving our historic sites.

"Yesterday at the National Press Club near the White House, the Civil War Preservation trust affirmed for the third time that Fort Monroe is a threatened national treasure.
The CWPT's press release says that its annual "most endangered" report for 2009 "presents the 10 most endangered battlefields in the nation ... [and] briefly describes the 15 additional 'at risk' sites that round out the top 25 endangered Civil War battlefields in the United States.
"Fort Monroe is in the "at-risk" tier among those "top 25 endangered" sites.Unfortunately, the Associated Press misreported the news about the 15 "at risk" sites.
For the best coverage, please see Clint Schemmer's article in the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star:http://www.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2009/032009/03192009/453325
(Fort Monroe is specifically cited at the end of the listings sidebar.)
Thanks very much.
Steve Corneliussen - Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park (CFMNP.org)"

History of Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe was built between 1819 and 1834, but as early as 1608, Captain John Smith recognized the importance of building a fort at Point Comfort, as the English colonists called this land. In 1609 they built Fort Algernourne here, with the mission of protecting the approaches to the colony at Jamestown. Throughout the colonial period, there were other fortifications at this site, but none lasted very long.
When the United States entered the War of 1812 against Great Britain, the young nation soon found that its old systems of defense were inadequate to protect its coasts and port cities. The capture and burning of Washington, D.C. in 1814 was a hard lesson. But from that experience grew a new system of coastal defenses, of which the first and largest was Fort Monroe.
Fort Monroe's original mission was to protect the entrance to Hampton Roads and the several port cities that had access to its waters. The fort accomplished this mission by mounting an impressive complement of the most powerful artillery of the time, 32-pounder guns with a range of over one mile. This was just enough range to cover the main shipping channel into the area. In 1824, the fort received another important mission when it was chosen as the site for the Army's new Artillery School of Practice.
During the Civil War, Fort Monroe was quickly reinforced so that it would not fall to Confederate forces. In cooperation with the Navy, troops from Fort Monroe extended Union control along the coasts of the Carolinas. Several land operations against Confederate forces also were mounted from the fort, notably the battle of Big Bethel in June 1861, Major General George McClellan's Peninsula Campaign of 1862 and the siege of Suffolk in 1863. In 1864 the Army of the James was formed at Fort Monroe. Fort Monroe is also the place at which Major General Benjamin Butler made his famous "contraband" decision, by which escaping slaves reaching Union lines would not be returned to bondage. Former Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, was a prisoner here for two years.
Over time the armament at the fort was improved, taking advantage of new technologies. In addition, the fort controlled several subinstallations around Hampton Roads, making the area one of the most heavily defended in the United States. By World War II Fort Monroe served as headquarters for an impressive array of coast artillery guns ranging from 3-inch rapid fire guns to 16-inch guns capable of firing a 2,000 pound projectile 25 miles. In addition, the Army controlled submarine barriers and underwater mine fields. But this vast array of armaments was all made obsolete by the development of the long-range bomber and the aircraft carrier.
After the operational armament was removed, Fort Monroe received a mission that it still maintains to this day. Since World War II the major headquarters that have been stationed here have all been responsible for training soldiers for war. Since 1973 Fort Monroe has been home to the Training And Doctrine Command.

source: www.monroe.army.mil

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Sea Captain's Wife

Are you a reader? Even if you are not an avid bookworm I believe any genealogist or family historian would truly enjoy this book. Looking at it just from a research perspective The Sea Captain's Wife is a wonderful compilation facts gathered, organized, and presented in a very readable book. The author, Martha Hodes, by utilizing a collection of letters, census records, current event articles of the period and specific localities, plus other historical documents, has created this very real life story of Eunice Connolly. A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting book that I highly recommend.

From the website http://seacaptainswife.com/ :
"Award-winning historian Martha Hodes brings us into the extraordinary world of Eunice Connolly. Born white and poor in New England, Eunice followed her first husband to the Deep South and soon found her relatives fighting on opposite sides of the Civil War. Back in New England, Eunice and her children struggled to get by -- until Eunice fell in love with a well-to-do black sea captain, married him, and moved to his home in the British Caribbean. Tracking every lead in the family letters, Hodes retraced Eunice’s footsteps and met descendants along the way. The Sea Captain’s Wife takes up grand themes of American history -- war, racism, freedom -- and illuminates the lives of ordinary people in the past."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Where They Worked - Helme Snuff Mill

Located in the Borough of Helmetta, New Jersey, is the Helme snuff mill.
In 1880 George W. Helme, bought land between Jamesburg and Spotswood for a mill to produce snuff (powdered tobacco ingested by snorting) and related products like chewing tobacco. Helme named the area after his daughter Antoinette who was known as Etta. Helmetta was a classic company town. The mill employed most of the residents; they lived in company-owned housing, and they shopped with company-issued scrip at the company-run store.

Several of my ancestors worked at this mill including two of my great-grandparents (George I. Kolbusz & Ignatz Kollain). My grandfather, Alexander Kolbush, was born in one of the company houses in July 1905. Son of Polish immigrants George Ignatz Kolbush (Kolbusz) and Pauline Gobura, Alexander was also employed by the snuff mill between 1930-1936.

A special thank you to the Jamesburg Historical Association and www.jamesburg.net

Thursday, March 19, 2009

King's Daughters - Settler's of New France

One of our ancestors, our lovely Catherine, was a "fille du roi". These young women, the King's Daughters, known in French as the "fille du roi", agreed to travel to the new settlements in North America (Nouvelle-France) and marry a settler there in exchange for a dowry of 50 livres from the French King, Louis XIV. The program was instituted because there was a severe imbalance between single men and women at the new French outpost. Most female immigrants had to pay their own passage, and there were few single women who voluntarily came to settle in the harsh climate and conditions of New France.
The title "King's Daughters" was meant to imply state patronage (not royal or noble birth). Most of these women were commoners of humble birth. In addition to the monetary support from the King they also had the costs of their transportation covered. Many Daughters were poor and were considered "orphans" by virtue of having lost at least one parent, though not necessarily both. Some still had both parents living. In the new settlement the girls were expected to marry and start families in an attempt to further populate New France.

Our ancestor, Catherine Ducharme of Ile-de-France, arrived in New France in 1671 and married Pierre Roy dit St-Lambert, who had arrived in Quebec in 1666 with the Regiment du Carignan.
Married on 12 JAN 1672 in Montreal, Ile-De-Montreal, Quebec, they raised their family at Laprairie on the south shore of Montreal.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday - Jamesburg, NJ

***Bring more life to your ancestor's past - Locate pictures of the places important in their lives. Look on-line at local historical associations or find old post cards on e-bay or in shops and antique markets like the two I found here showing the old church in my father's hometown ***

The original St. James Roman Catholic Church located in Jamesburg, New Jersey. Constructed in 1879 and later demolished in 1958 when a new church

A special thank you to the Jamesburg Historical Association and www.jamesburg.net

  the original interior

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - James M. Casteel

James Monroe Casteel
Born 24 Feb. 1812 in Tennessee
Son of Abednego Casteel & Agnes Hensley
Married Susannah Underwood on 8 Aug 1833 in Knoxville, TN
They had 11 children.
James M. died 19 May 1886 in Macoupin Co. IL and is buried at Charity Baptist Cemetery in Bird Township.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Who's Your Daddy?

I have been seeking the parents of Susannah E. Underwood (b. May 1816 TN) since Feb 1998.
I am hoping someone might give me a fresh insight or lead to our Susannah.
Census records indicate her parents were born in the Carolinas.
She married James M. Casteel on 8 Aug 1833 in Knox Co. TN (featured on 3/17/09 Tombstone Tuesday).
Although she died 07 July 1903 the Macoupin Co. IL records office could not locate a death certificate for her. Her obituary referred to her only as Mrs. James M. Casteel aged 87 yrs of Bird Township and made no reference to her parentage or sibs.
In July 1903 - Just before her death there was a note in the local newspaper where she resided:
"E.H.Nix & mother are called to Susan Casteel's bedside. "
I have no idea who EH Nix is (or even if EH is male or female...).
I believe this person is related to Susan though. I am guessing they would be connected through her Underwood line because EH doesn't fit any of our Casteel connections...

Over time I have come to suspect Benjamin Underwood to be her father.
I have located the following records referring to a Benjamin Underwood. Perhaps someone is familiar with any of them:

1830 Knox Co. Tennessee census
Underwood, Benjamin
males: 3 - 5-10yrs; 1 - 10-15yrs; 1 30-40yrs
females: 1 - 0-5yrs; 1 - 10-15yrs; 1 - 20-30yrs
Yes - she fits in there....

Also in Blount Co. TN:
Deeds 1819-1833 - abstracted by Jane Kizer Thomas
pg 161; 870. (3:194) Benjamin UNDERWOOD to Samual Henery and son:
30 Jun 1836, $75, 3 head of horse, 1 bay mare, 1 clay bank mare,
1 sorrell horse, 4 head of cattle, 35 head of hogs, 1 loom, 1 cart, 1
spinning wheel. Underwood shall pay Henry and sons the sum of
$75 within 12 months for redemption of the property. Sig:
Benjamin (X) Underwood. Wit: P. Nelson Morony, James Casteel
2 Jul 1836
well, there's a definite link

And in Hamilton Co. TN
1850 census
hh918 Underwood, Benjamin 62, M farmer NC; Mary 50 NC; Richard 29 M
farmer; Martha 17 F
I like their place of birth... but I do not know if these all refer to the same man.

To be honest I have let this pursuit of Susannah's parents lie low for quite awhile as I climbed other branches of our tree. Maybe something new is out there that I haven't connected to yet.
Thank you for any help/suggestions.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Our Family Heirloom

This quilt square comes from a quilt made by my husband's G-Grandmother, Arra Amanda Bacon Casteel. She made the quilt prior to 1900 and passed it on to her youngest son, Myron Craig Casteel. The quilt was well used and falling apart in many places. The current owner of the quilt knew I was involved in genealogy and contacted me. She told me of her idea of salvaging chosen squares to frame and give to her children. She wanted to know if I was interested in the remainder of this quilt so that I could to the same. "Heck Yeah!" The picture you see is the one we have displayed in our home. I also framed other squares and created Christmas presents for all of my husband's siblings. In the frame I included brief narrative on their Great-Grandmother and the quilt.

Arra Amanda Bacon b.Feb 1860 in Scottsville, Macoupin Co. Illinois; Daughter of Jeremiah Bacon (1824-1868) & Susan Sharp King (1825-1904) and married James Polk Casteel on Apr 1876 in Barr Township, Macoupin Co. IL.
Arra A. Casteel passed away on 10 June 1833 in Illinois.

(This blog entry was created to be shared in the "Cabinet of Curiosities" blog Carnival through GeneaBloggers.)

This Day in History

I never had much interest in History when in school but working on Genealogy has changed this significantly. Every place and every person has a story and now I look for it. Hopefully the history bug has bitten other genealogists like it has me and they might enjoy this little tidbit for today:

On this day, March 15, 44B.C. (the Ides of March), Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of plotting Roman senators. The location of Caesar when he was stabbed by the senators is under debate. Some believe he was outside the Senate, others have him inside, and, lately, a third argument has the stabbing occur before he arrived at the Senate. The death blow came after friction grew between the senators and Caesar over perceived indignities propagated by Caesar. Some historians believe that the final straw came when a group of senators met with Caesar and he did not rise to greet them.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fact meets Fiction

In the category of current events - I read this short piece in our local newspaper this morning and smiled knowing that my mother would get a kick out of reading this article. Our ancestry on her maternal side comes from the historic region of Transylvania located in Romania. She loves to point this out whenever our nocturnal activities come to her attention. Needless to say, my mother enjoys old-fashioned horror flicks, and Friday the 13th is a holiday for her.

'Vampire Unearthed in Italy' was the eye-catching title of the short article. Taken from "News Services" reports : An archaeological dig near Venice has unearthed the 16th-century remains of a woman with a brick between her jaws - evidence that she was believed to be a vampire. This unusual burial suggests the legend of bloodsucking creatures was tied to medieval ignorance of how diseases were spread and what happens to bodies after death. Considered to be a "shroud-eater" the brick was forced into the corpse's mouth causing the so called vampire to starve to death and thus preventing the vampire from increasing it's numbers - such superstitions were a way of explaining the waves of plague epidemics that killed millions during the Middle Ages.

".....That ought to do the trick....."
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