Friday, April 30, 2010

Tangled Trees celebrates Arbor Day!

A holiday celebrating trees!

Today is National Arbor Day - a celebration that encourages tree planting and care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, it's celebrated on the last Friday in April.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The White Cliffs of Dover

The cliffs, made of white calcium carbonate (chalk), are located along the British coastline at the narrowest part of the English Channel facing the strait of Dover and France.  It's location is a site where invasions have historically threatened. Evidence of it's strategic position though history are seen behind the cliff face in the miles of hidden tunnels that were created during the Middle Ages.  Later these tunnels also played a role in the defence of Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. During WWII the tunnels were enlarged to become the Secret Wartime Tunnels beneath Dover Castle.

Rough seas?  Quick - where's the Dramamine??!
~ ~ ~
A Festival of Postcards (8th Edition) – The Geography Issue

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Taunton State Hospital Pauper Cemetery Markers

These broken markers signify the resting place of former patients/inmates from Taunton State Hospital in Massachusetts. These graves are not on state hospital land but are located in the "pauper cemetery" in the downtown area.  Taunton State Hospital records indicate that women patients sewed burial gowns for patients who died.

In the pauper cemetery in Taunton, the graves of former patients/inmates are marked with only a number.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Asylum Architecture and History

Taunton State Hospital
Kirkbride Buildings is a website that shares the history and architecture of several historic state asylum facilties know as the the Kirkbride buildings and includes some very beautiful and haunting images.  I came across it while researching my previous post. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Taunton Massachusetts State Hospital

Completed in 1854, the Taunton State Hospital was a psychiatric hospital located Taunton, Massachusetts, built to relieve the pressure of a rising patient population. Prior to that there was only one other State asylum.
The State Lunatic Hospital at Taunton, as it was originally known, began housing patients in 1854.  Listed on Mary (Robillard) St. Jean's death certificate, this is where she spent her final days.

This facility was most impressive.  The vision, when the building and grounds were completed, was to "render it a spot fitted to interest and tranquilize the minds of those who need as well the soothing influences of external nature as the healing remedies of art."  The hospital's architecture is of a unique and rare neo-classical style, designed by the architect Elbridge Boyden.  One of its most beautiful features were its breezeways which were added in the 1890s to connect the end of the wards to the hospitals infirmary buildings. Its distinct cupolas, large dome, cast-iron capitals and window bars, also gave this building its own very unique personality. 
The hospital boasted all of the modern conveniences: central heat, running water, sewer and central ventilation, and also included a chapel, kitchen, bakery, laundry, dining rooms, apartments for staff, washrooms, parlors, open-air verandas and "patient" rooms. Some patient rooms were dormitory style and others private. Private rooms were an innovation and reflected the institution's concern for its inhabitants who would now be called "patients" and not "inmates."

The hospital was abandoned in 1975, and in 1999 the large dome which towered over the hospital's administration collapsed. Then on March 19, 2006, a massive fire broke out in the center of the facility leaving only the decaying wings. Finally, during late May 2009, workers began a complete abatement and demolition on all of the disused buildings on the property.

Photographs of the building before the dome collapsed can be seen in the Library of Congress's American Memory Collections.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

WPA - Documenting the home of Reuben Nance

County: Henry
Class:  Home
This write-up is part of the Virginia W. P. A. Historical Inventory Project sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Commission under the direction of its Division of History. Credit to both the Commission and the W. P. A. is requested for publication, in whole or in part. Unless otherwise stated, this information has not been checked for accuracy by the sponsor
Research made by
Kizzie D. Carter
Martinsville, VA 
April 19, 1937

"G. L. Carter Home Place."
Formerly "Ruben Nance Home."
2 miles east of Martinsville, Va. On Route # 58 [map below]; thence north on Route #57 2 miles. House on west side of road.
3. DATE: 
First deed was in 1778. 
Ruben Nance            1778
Ruben Nance's Heirs    1812
Benjamin A. Marshall   1825
Reuben D. Marshall     1850
William D. Stultz      1850
G. L. Carter           1905  present owner.
This house is in the shape of a square, with three rooms down and one up.  It is very attractive, two-story, frame house. There are two fifteen-pane windows in the front and one in the rear.
The ceilings and walls were plastered but recently have been papered. The room upstairs is very small and dark and the only light comes from two half size windows, with four panes each, placed near the chimneys. A new porch has been added in front, and on the side a small stoop over the steps leads into the side of the house. This was built to keep out the rain.
There was an old kitchen in the yard but this has been torn down and a new one built in the house. 
There is an old graveyard in the yard but the markings have entirely faded and some have fallen in.
7. ART: 
In Henry County Clerks Office at Martinsville, Va.
Deed Book  1   Page 194
Deed Book 13   Page 130; 682; 724
Deed Book 33   Page 149
Will Book  2   Page 163
Verna Smith, daughter of the present owner.

Name of Building:  G. L. Carter Home 
Location:  2 mi. E. of Martinsville, Va. On U. S. #58, thence N. on Rt. 57 2 mi., house on west side of route.
County: Henry        Date:   April 19, 1937
1. Building Plan:  Square 
2. No. of Stories:  (2)  Attic classed as 1/2 story 
3. Material:  Frame 
4. If brick, state what bond 
5. Kind of roof:  Gabled 
6. If Church, describe or draw sketch of roof 
7. Roof material:  Was Shingle, now Metal 
8. Chimneys:  2, Brick.  Location: At the sides 
9. Weatherboarding:  Plain 
10. Cornices: Plain or Elaborate:  Plain 
11 Windows:  Number: 3   Size and number of panes:  45 panes  9x12 down 
13. Shutters:  None 
14. Porch: One, small, added in front. 
15.  Type of Entrance:  Low, wide pine doorway, very plain 
16. Columns:  None
17. Rooms:  3  Small.  Approx. ceiling height 8 feet. 
18. Stairway:  Closed string. Plain, enclosed with a closet underneath. 
19. Cellar: None 
20. Doors: Style and type of wood: Low, wide uniform planks of pine. 
21. Walls:  Were plastered but are now papered. 
22. Interior cornices:  Plain 
23. Hardware:  Lock and hinges:  wide locks, common hinges, brass knobs and keys 
24. Floors: Wide uniform planks of pine 
25. Mantels: Plain with wide ledges;  one is paneled.
26. Misc.
27. Present condition, and state if spoiled architecturally by remodeling: No. This house is in wonderful condition, having recently been painted and done over.
28. Does occupant appreciate old architectural features?  Yes.
Your name:  Kizzie D. Carter
 - -
  (number 56)
 - -
Library of Virginia - Virginia Historical Inventory
 - -

Friday, April 9, 2010

Follow Friday for the Transitional Genealogist

This RootsWeb Mailing list is 'for anyone who is on the road to becoming a professional Genealogist'.

'It is a place to share experiences, problems, obstacles, downfalls and triumphs. It is a place to compare notes, and to learn from each other's successes, as well.'


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Franz Family Fun

Photo's recently shared with us from a thoughtful cousin.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ancestor Approved

I would like to think that all of our ancestors look kindly upon us as we remember them in our research and share their history on our blogs.

A special thank you to Leah of The Internet Genealogist and Cheryl of Heritage Happens for sharing this recognition with Tangled Trees. 

Now I am to list 10 things that have surprised, humbled or enlightened me and then pass the award on to 10 other genealogy bloggers who I feel are doing their ancestors proud.

1. How many children can one woman bear?  Sometimes I am quite amazed.

2.  That French-Canadians are so prolific and luckily have some of the best records to research. 

3. How quickly ancestor trees can grow once you make the right connections. The internet certainly helps with plenty of leads but everything must be followed up with valid research.

4. Connecting with 'cousins' as a result of blog postings.

5.  The kindness of strangers  - a gift I am always grateful for

6. How generation after generation of some families lived in the same small village before one ancestor finally decides to venture away

7. That we finally found an Irish ancestor - and she came from our French-Canadian line!

8. The amount of 'cousins' involved in WWI & WWII

9. Reading military records of relatives and ancestors always inspires me.

10.  I am most amazed at how addicting this whole genealogy thing is - after nearly 20 years of researching my drive hasn't waned!

Ten Geneablogs (of many) that do their ancestors proud:


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Follow Friday - Great assistance to Polish researchers

On this Follow Friday I wanted to share a resource, actually a person, that is always very helpful with questions regarding Polish genealogy research:  Al Wierzba of Al's Polish-American Genealogy Research

Most recently he shared a link that I found very helpful :

A Guide for Locating Military Records for the various Regions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

Thank you Al!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Will of Edmund Casteel III

(click image to enlarge)