Friday, May 22, 2009

Joined in Marriage

Katherine Kolbush (b.19 Oct 1897 New Jersey)
& Stanley Krukowski (b. abt 1895 Poland)
Married c. 1918

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Festival of Postcards - Wheels

The theme for this postcard carnival is "Wheels". I thought I might be alittle off center with this image - a Stern Paddle-Wheel Riverboat restaurant.

This image should bring back memories to any Southern California native. The Reuben E. Lee was prominately located off of Pacific Coast Hwy in Newport Beach, CA.
(Image courtesy of

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Deerfield MA Grave Marker

Monument marking the mass grave of the 56 settlers killed on 29 February 1704 by the French and Indian soldiers during Queen Anne's War.
One hundred twelve of the Deerfield villagers were taken captive and forced on an unforgiving, 300-mile winter-march to Canada during which 21 of the captives died. One of the children taken was our ancestor, Martha Marguerite French, who remained in Canada and married Jacques Roy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Favorite Records Repository

Geneabloggers - Week #19 Prompt: Describe your favorite records repository

The Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland provides
up to date access to all verified land record instruments in Maryland. This service is easy to use and is currently being provided free.
I was able to find many records pertaining to our Casteel ancestors in Prince Georges County, MD. Other forms of property are included in these records – such as claiming stray horses. I was also able to identify or verify the first name of spouses as they were sometimes officially included in the sale of land.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Inspiration x 2

Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Inspiration!
"What event or person inspired you to start your genealogy research?"

- my neighbor, Beatrice Dever, that I used to babysit for when I was young, was my initial inspiration. She had a wonderful family tree that used to amaze me; and when I was a teenager, my Great Aunt Theresa Stosz Hack. Please read what I wrote about my G-Aunt at:

When I returned to California from my visit with my Aunt in NJ, & shared what I learned with Bea, she gave a very nice Family History Book as a graduation gift to record my family tree and very first family group sheets.

Now I continue to be inspired by my fellow genealogists both on-line and locally at the Fairfax Genealogical Society -
Thank you!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The 1704 Deerfield Massacre

The raid on Deerfield occurred during Queen Ann's War on February 29, 1704, when joint French and Native American forces attacked the English settlement at Deerfield, Massachusetts, just before dawn, razing the town and killing fifty-six colonists. Of the colonists killed, twenty-two were men, nine were women, and twenty-five were children. A total of 109 residents, including the women and children who had survived the attack, were taken captive and forced on a months-long, 300-mile trek to Quebec in harsh winter conditions; twenty-one of them died along the way. More than sixty of those who reached Quebec were eventually ransomed or otherwise managed to make their way back to New England, but a number of others chose to remain in the French Canadian and/or Native American communities for the rest of their lives.

Our Ancestor -
Mary Baldwin Catlin
Born: Abt 1638
Father: Joseph Baldwin
b: 1610 in Cholesbury, Buckinghamshire, England
Mother: Hannah Whitlocke b: 1613 or 1617

Marriage: John Catlin ( b: 1643) on 23 SEP 1662 in Wethersfield, Hartford, CT

Event: 29 FEB 1704 Deerfield, Massachusetts
Tradition states: The captives were taken to a house...and a Frenchman was brought in [wounded] and laid on the floor; He was in great distress and called for water; Mrs. Catlin fed him with water. Some one said to her, "How can you do that for your enemy?" she replied, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him water to drink." The Frenchman was taken and carried away, and the captives marched off. Some thought the kindness shown to the Frenchman was the reason of Mrs. Catlin's being left...

From New England Captives' Stories:"...With the tender sympathy of a Christian woman, she had held the cup of cold water to the parched lips of the wounded French lieutenant, craving it with piteous appeal. In the hurry of departure, either by design or by accident, none had claimed her as his captive....

Death: 04 APR 1704 in , Deerfield, Franklin, MA
"...mourning for her children, and would not be comforted, she lingered a few weeks, and died from the shock of that day's horror...."

Friday, May 15, 2009

15 May 1756 - The Seven Years War Begins

The Seven Years War officially begins when England declares war on France on 15 May 1756. It was a worldwide series of conflicts fought from 1756 to 1763 for the control of Germany and for supremacy in colonial North America and India, and involved most of the major powers of Europe. The North American segment of the conflict, known as the French and Indian War, was fought between Great Britain and its American colonies against the French and their Algonquian allies. The Indian phase, known as the Third Carnatic War, established British domination in India.

The Seven Years War ended with the signing of the treaties of Hubertusburg and Paris in February 1763. In the Treaty of Paris, France lost all claims to Canada and gave Louisiana to Spain, while Britain received Spanish Florida, Upper Canada, and various French holdings overseas. The treaty ensured the colonial and maritime supremacy of Britain and strengthened the 13 American colonies by removing their European rivals to the north and the south. Fifteen years later, French bitterness over the loss of most of their colonial empire contributed to their intervention in the American Revolution on the side of the Patriots.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cause of Death: Creeping Paralysis

James Polk Casteel b. 9 Aug 1854 in Knox Co. TN; son of James Monroe Casteel and Susannah Underwood; married Arra A. Bacon in April 1876 at her mother’s residence in Barr, Macoupin Co. IL, and had several children. James P. Casteel died 7 April 1929 and is buried at Gilead Baptist Cemetery in Hettick, Macoupin, IL Cause of death recorded as: creeping paralysis

Creeping Paralysis
The term creeping paralysis brings to mind a kind of paralysis that slow develops. There are a couple of types of paralysis that have been called creeping paralysis.

Multiple Sclerosis used to be called creeping paralysis. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a non-contagious chronic autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system which can present with a variety of neurological symptoms occurring in attacks or slowly progressing over time.

Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) is a type of developing paralysis. This paralysis is often described as a creeping paralysis. Lou Gehrig's is a thickening of tissue in parts of the spinal cord resulting in progressive muscle atrophy that starts in the limbs. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is where motor neurons in the spinal cord and central nervous system die off for unknown reasons, causing creeping paralysis and, eventually, death.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - Creed & Lillian Casteel

Creed Casteel b. 1893 in Hettick, Macoupin, Illinois

(son of James Polk Casteel & Arra Amanda Bacon)

Married Lillian Rehor (b.1894- d.1916) on 17 Oct 1914

Saturday, May 9, 2009

All Creatures Great & Small - Smile for the Camara

Pauline (Gobur) Kolbush (born c.1865 Austria/Poland) with her turkey. Although most likely not a pet, I am sure she was still quite proud of her bird.
Photo taken in 1936 on the farm of George & Pauline Kolbush in Jamesburg, Middlesex, New Jersey.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cause of Death: Phthisis

Harriet Dean, born 12 July 1806 in Appledore, England;
daughter of James Dean & Sarah Hinty.
Married Odian Cassingham on 25 April 1839 in Tenterden, Kent, England.
Died 7 July 1860 in Ashford, Kent, England.
Cause of death: phthisis.
Phthisis: Greek word meaning "a dwindling or wasting away"
(Pronounced TIE-sis): A wasting or consumption of the tissues.

The term was formerly applied to many wasting diseases, but is now usually restricted to pulmonary phthisis or consumption. In 460 BC Hippocrates identified phthisis as the most widespread disease of his day and observed that it was almost always fatal.

Phthisis and consumption are archaic names for tuberculosis (TB). A person afflicted with tuberculosis in the old days was destined to dwindle and waste away like the heroine of Puccini's 1896 opera "La Boheme." In other words, the afflicted appeared to be consumed by the disease.
Other old TB terms include the King's evil or scrofula (TB of the lymph nodes in the neck) and Pott's disease (TB of the spine).

First isolated in 1882 by the German physician, Robert Koch, TB is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Still present in today’s society, tuberculosis can usually be treated successfully with antibiotics.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Do You Research in the State of Pennsylvania?

From the The Historical Society of Pennsylvania:

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill that would eliminate all funding for arts and culture grants in the 2009-2010 state budget. If the Senate version prevails, there will be no arts and culture grants in the state of Pennsylvania starting on July 1 of this year (which includes $14 million for Grants to the Arts).

In addition, Governor Rendell proposes to completely cut the funding of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's Museum Assistance Grant. The elimination of this funding will cause HSP and many of our peer institutions in the history and heritage community to cut programs and services or even shut down completely!

And finally, we have learned that the Department of Education's Multicultural Heritage/Ethnic Studies program may be cut from this year's budget. This program contracts HSP as a provider of curricular support to the state's K-12 educators on the subject of Pennsylvania's immigrant/ethnic history. The elimination of this funding would be a huge blow to HSP's interpretation and outreach for the coming years. Here are a few ways you can protest these funding cuts: 1. Click on the following link to send an electronic letter to your state legislators. You can personalize the letter by adding a story about a personal experience with an arts and culture organization or you can send it in its current form.

2. Write a personal letter or make a phone call to your local representative stressing the importance of the arts and culture community to the state of Pennsylvania. The addresses of your local representatives can be found by using the Legislator Lookup at The arts and culture sector is vital driver of the state's economy and education. To cut this funding entirely sends a message that our state law makers do not care about Pennsylvania's history and heritage and place no importance on passing-on the lessons of the past to our children and future citizens. This is not in keeping with the wishes of the people. According to a recent Penn State-Harrisburg survey, 91% of respondents surveyed said that they would support public funding for historical sites and museums.
Please take the time to support Pennsylvania's non-profit arts and culture organizations.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

DNA to Help Identify Remains of WWI Soldiers

On 19 July 1916, more than 5,500 Australian and at least 1,500 British troops were massacred at a battle at Fromelles in Northern France as they attacked heavily fortified German positions in broad daylight. More casualties were suffered there in a 24-hour period than at any other time in their history, even more than at the Battle of Gallipoli a year earlier. Although the German commander offered a truce so that the bodies of the fallen soldiers could be recovered, the Allied commanders had refused. The Germans from the Bavarian regiment hastily dug mass graves and buried the bodies near the village where the assault was launched. At the end of the war hundreds were exhumed but could not be identified.
Now the discovery of unmarked mass graves in a field near the village of Fromelles where the bloody battle was fought has prompted an operation to recover and identify the remains of about 400 British and Australian soldiers buried there in WWI.
The British and Australian authorities have a list of names of the soldiers they expect to find and have asked relatives for DNA to help identify the soldiers, who will be re-buried in a new military cemetery.

(source: BBCA News)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This Day in History - Cinco de Mayo

This holiday, celebrated in parts of Mexico, commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The outnumbered Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army that had known no defeat for almost 50 years.

In theUnited States and other parts of the world is more of a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Importing A Husband

My G-Aunts, Maria (9yrs old) and Barbara Kollain(6yrs) immigrated to the United States with their Uncle Martin Kollain from Brod, Austria, arriving in New York at Ellis Island on 24 October 1910 aboard the Vaderland.

I had a few minutes of free time before I needed to chop, dice and cook dinner so I thought I would try out a suggestion I read about recently on . The idea is to search the New York Times Article Archives for information pertaining to our ancestors passage to the U.S.
After trying different search terms, I found the best results by just typing in the ship's name. Doing this I had over 300 hits. I tried including the "&" sign and the year but that did not work.
I proceeded to scan through the articles searching for ones that were dated Oct or Nov 1910.
Doing this I found 4 articles pertaining to their specific voyage. Three discussed notable passengers arriving on this ship.

The fourth was an entertaining article titled "Importing A Husband" about a woman who wrote Ellis Island to notify them of a man arriving on this ship. She had paid for his ticket in exchange for him marrying her. She asked the Ellis Island officials to hold him for her " detaining him on his arrival and telegraph to me, and I will come, and you gentlemen shall unite us in the bonds of marriage at the island."

The names of the two people involved were not disclosed. Too bad - I think it is a great little piece of family history for some lucky descendants.

Link to archives search:

Hint - use the advanced search feature to narrow down the time frame - I did not discover this until after I perused the 300+ articles. ;-)

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day - A Celebration of Spring

May Day History
May 1 was an important holiday for the Druids of the British Isles. It was thought that the day divides the year into half. It was celebrated by the setting of a new fire, an ancient New Year rite performed throughout the world. This fire was thought to lend life to the welcomed springtime sun.

Enter the Romans - The beginning of May was a popular Roman feast time devoted primarily to Flora, the goddess of fertility, flowers, and spring.

By the Middle Ages every English village had its Maypole. Trees were considered a symbol of the great vitality and fertility of nature and were often used in spring festivals; so the bringing in of the Maypole from the woods was done with much merrymaking.
Over time May Day became more of a day of joy and merriment for children, rather than a day of observing the ancient rights.

Because the Puritans of the New World frowned on May Day, it has never been celebrated with as much enthusiasm in the U.S. as in Great Britain. Yet today children still celebrate May Day by following the old European traditions of dancing back and forth around a pole with colorful streamers, choosing a May queen, and hanging May baskets on doorknobs.
Happy May Day!