So, I get this phone call Monday …..

July 2, 2010

So, I get this phone call on Monday.

Don’t answer a lot of them, after all, that’s what voice mail is for. Lots of calls, looking for money, trying to see you something you really, really need.

This call had a name that I didn’t know, BUT, I knew the area code and the next three numbers. Didn’t know the last 4. Since it was from the town where I was born, lived in for 14 years, and still have relatives there, I answered it.

Hello, this is (name) Cheyney. I know that name ….. but wait ……

Let me back up a couple of weeks. I have been working on a major presentation on the use of the Genealogy program that I use. For the presentation I created a new file (database) on my mother’s father’s family. I have done the research on that family, but wanted to create a real database for this presentation. Last Thursday, I finished the first draft of the presentation. Wanted it to sit for a couple of days, before I fine to it.

I really liked the results of how the file looked in that various outputs (Charts and Reports) that I decided that it was time to return to cleaning up my master file.

Since the 4th anniversary of my Dad’s death was the 30th, I was working around cleaning up my Source-Citations that I have collected over the years. Everything was sourced, but I wanted to get the format of the source-citations into a Template Format that the program introduced a while ago. I have spend a lot of time cleaning up that information, but thought it was time to take another crack at it.

End of the rewind.

So, I answered the call and Ms. Cheyney. That surname was my Dad’s mother’s surname. As Gibbs, of NCIS would say, don’t believe in coinsidences. Because I was later for an appointment, I took some notes on what she was talking about.

She called me because someone had asked her a question about a property in West Chester, and did she know anything about a certain Cheyney. She through out a bunch of Cheyney names, some I vaguely remembered, a couple that I didn’t.

Having received a couple of calls like this before, I asked how she got my phone number. The reply was a 10 year old email message that I had sent to another cousin. Also a Cheyney descendant. Another “Gibbs Slap” (NCIS again). I asked her to email me some information to help confirm what she had just told me.

OK – Sorry but I gotta run, I’ll call you back. (I was already late for my appointment)

Did ‘my thing’ walked in the door and looked at file genealogy file. Yup, I had most of the names, checked my email, yup, we’re good, but couldn’t find her in my file. Not a biggy because I hadn’t done much down the siblings of my Grandmother, except the cousin who sent the caller the email.

Sent a couple of emails, one with Pictures of the “Cheyney House”. Not the property she was looking for, but what I knew of the “Cheyney House”.

Well, that started the ball rolling, and a real ‘need’ to jump in the car to get more information and to share what I already had.

The rest of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) just had too many other “things” going on, it seemed. But once she told me who she was a descendant of, I actually had her name in my file. I even had a husband’s name. Not the Caller ID surname, but another. But, I had her.

Data entries to clean up my act a little and already knew that was a multiple trip adventure. My July calendar was already too crowded, so wanted to visit soon. I knew the “other” cousin schedule is always very full, but it would be nice if the three of us, and my wife, could meet soon, then get back together later. Friday was looking like THE DAY for the visit.

All of the data I had was in my database, so Thursday night was “gather my material, books that I have created, generated some Family Group Sheets” night. Took some time looking at some old material I had, including an old journal that my grandfather had kept for years. But that’s another story.

Besides leaving some home work (blank Family Group Sheets) I want to leave the new cousin, and the cousin who I have kept in touch with, a gift. A Descendant Family Chart, from our common Great Grandparents was the gift along with a Genealogy Report from the same Great Grandparents.

The driving force causing the urgency was the word Family Bibles (more than one). Good Digital Camera, battery charged, spare battery charged, no time for scanners, and off we go.

What a day …. the three of shared lots of information, but had limited time for detailed information, but we had two missions we wanted to accomplish. One was to visit a Cheyney Cemetery, and the second to find the Cheyney House.

The four of us pile into the car and off we went. Found the cemetery, tooks pictures of most of the headstones with my cemetery camera, then off to find “the house”. The second cousin and I had been to this out 10 or 11 years ago, and we both knew about where it was, but haven’t been there, nor in the area, since that first trip to that house. A couple of ‘wrong’ turns later, we went down this street and we knew were were really close. Both of use said it close about the time we spotted the corner of the house so we KNEW and found “the house”.

We saw the owner walking into the house, so we knocked on the door. Sorry folk, this isn’t a short story. A brief introduction with the reason we were there, and we were very warmly welcomed into ‘the house’.

Another Gibbs slap … if you know the NCIS program, you’ll know what I am talking about.

As it turns out, the lady of the house has been doing research on previous owners of the house. AND here she is looking at 3 strangers (and my wife) who were related to the former owners of that house. She was looking for us and there we were.

What a wonderful, warm, welcome we had. There are other connections that we had with the current owners, but that will have to be another story. There is more.

The final touch for me, in that house, was to go into the upstairs bedroom where my father was born in August, 1916. Who would have thought that a simple answered phone call, would put me into the house where my Dad was born.

We’ll visit that house again soon to help fill out some of the “rest of the story” or connection with the current owners of that house.

(not done yet)

After 10 or so years, I returned a book to my cousin that was jammed pack full of genealogy information. She was having a family gather and invited us over for dinner.

OK, I can put in another pitch for completed Family Group Sheets.

While dinner was being prepared, I was shown two more Family Bibles, (had taken a number of photos at the other (the original caller) cousin’s house. Then a small safe deposit type of box was presented. It wasn’t a big box, but jammed back with deeds, wills, and letters. My new portable scanner, that is good Digital Camera, now has a couple of hundred pictures of many of the items in that book.

One of the gems was a letter “home” from my Great Aunt. I remembered this great aunt because we would visit many times while growing up. The interesting thing about this letter, was it was dated 6 weeks after my Dad was born, from where my Grandparents moved to after they were married. So, very shortly after my Dad was born, my grandmother (guessing here) returned to where my grandfather was working on a farm in Brewster. My Great Aunt, guessing a little, must have gone up to Brewster to help here older sister take care of the new baby.

The food was awesome, the reconnecting with family was awesome, and a 2 hour drive home.

Sorry folk, you can’t make this stuff up.

There is no doubt that some many blanks in the Family Group Sheets will be filled in so that I can re-run the Genealogy Reports and another Chart can be generated.

As the four of use were talking we kept reminding ourselves that we need to capture our stories for those who follow. It’s more than names, that those of us who do family research collect, but their stories.

Just a warning, for visitors to this blog, it’s going to become very active for a while. The stories about the people that the three of are directly connected to, will be shared here.

The Cheyney House taken in 1999

Fearless Females Blog Post: March 6 – Favorite Female Ancestor – Prompts for Women’s History Month

March 6, 2010

want to point out a series of daily blogging prompts entitled Fearless Females created by Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog in honor of Women’s History Month which starts today, 1 March 2010.

http://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com/

Here are the prompts – consider honoring your female ancestors by posting at your genealogy or family history blog!

* March 6 — Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor (wedding ring or other jewelry, china, clothing, etc.) If you don’t have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother, or aunt (a scarf, a hat, cooking utensil, furniture, etc.)

Since I started to Family Research, this picture has been on my wall, just above the computer monitor.

Hand stitched picture by Lydia Mercer, a cousin of my Grandmother Strode (mothers, mother).

As on the cross our Savior Hung
He bled He wept He died
He poured Salvation on The wretch
That Languished by his side

What is very interesting by the stitching, Languished has an error in it. It may be difficult to see, but it had the L and A, then an N above an ^ followed by “GUISHED”. Trying to insert the “n” between the A and the G.

Another item for my ToDo List. Find the note about this picture and apply it to the back safely, then document it with a picture with the details.


Fearless Females Blog Post: March 5 – Favorite Female Ancestor – Prompts for Women’s History Month

March 5, 2010

I want to point out a series of daily blogging prompts entitled Fearless Females created by Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog in honor of Women’s History Month which starts today, 1 March 2010.
* March 5

How did they meet?

You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit.

Do you know the story of how your parents met?

Your grandparents?

Another for my ToDo list, but I am not sure where I am going to find this one since only one of their children is still with us.

There may have been a connection through a Quaker Meeting or the Westtown (Quaker) School. My Grandfather started at Westtown in 9/1900 according to Westtown Through the Years, Catalog 1799 – 1945. My grandmother, his wife, entered Westtown 9/1903. The Catalog references their marriage.

Not far from Westtown is the Birmingham Friends Meeting where they were married.

The home where Mariella Cheyney is also in the area.

Oh to have started Family Research much earlier. Oh to have recorded the stories around the table in the kitchen at my grandparents home. Or while working on the Orchard.

Was listening to a Genealogy Gems Podcast, Lisa Louise Cook was talking to the “Photo Detective” where they were talking about hair styles. Check this out:

As far as I remember, she always had her hair in this way. Only once do I remember her hair “let down”. It was very long.

Mariella Cheyney

Born: September 19, 1887

Died: November 30, 1970

Married June 17, 1915 to Henry Russell Worthington

My To Do list includes talking to my Aunt, asking the questions that have been asked, then checking the Quaker Records for Birmingham Friends Meeting to locate their marriage records.


Fearless Females Blog Post: March 4th – Favorite Female Ancestor for Women’s History Month

March 4, 2010

* March 4

Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents?

Write a post about where they were married and when.

Any family stories about the wedding day?

Post a photo too if you have one.

This picture was taken in 1955 at my Grandparents 50th Wedding Anniversary.

These challenges for Genea-Bloggers are very helpful. They are good reminders to go back and look at what you have recorded and don’t have recorded in your database.

Here is what I have in my computer file. I know that I have much more that needs to be added. I have put the reminder on my ToDo list.

What I have on my paternal grandparents:

Mariella Cheyney, daughter of Wilmer and Ellen Harrison (James) Cheyney, was born in Thornbury Twp., Delaware Co., Pa on 9 mo. 19.1887. She was married at Birmingham Friends Mtg. on 6 mo. 17, 1915 to Henry Russell Worthington, son of Samuel Whitall and Katherine (Reeves) Worthington. He was born in Morton Co., Kan. on 7 mo. 27, 1887 and died 1 mo. 7, 1956, buried in the cemetery adjoining Birmingham Friends Mtg., Birmingham Twp. He was educated at Westtown Friends School in Chester Co., Pa. and Pennsylvania State College, graduating from the latter in 1913. After managing a dairy in New York for some years, Mr. Worthington moved to Westtown Twp. where he managed a fruit orchard for seven years at which time he purchased a large orchard at Lionville.

He is a member of the Patrons of Husbandry, Chester-Delaware County Fruit Growers Co-operative Ass’n., Chester-Delaware County Farm Bureau Co-operative Ass’n., the Berks-Lehigh Co-operative Fruit Growers Ass’n, State Horticultural Ass’n., the Downingtown and Uwchlan Twp. Civic Ass’n., and other bodies. He was a director of Woodland Products, Inc. and had received the Master Farmer award of Pennsylvania in 1934. He was a member of Birmingham Mo. Mtg.

I do have the newspaper article that talks about their wedding, but not in my database. However, when I did find that newspaper article, I mentioned that my grandparents went to New York state after their wedding. I don’t remember hearing about that.

I asked my dad about it, and he said “oh, yeah”. There were a couple of stories that he shared, but I’ll post two of them.

First, they returned to Chester County on Armistice Day, THE Armistice Day. Oh to have a digital recording of that story.

The second was my Dad helping my grandfather cutting block ice in the lake, just down the road to take up to the ice house on the farm.

After hearing the story, I found where the dairy farm was, the Lake, and where my wife’s grandparents are buried. The “lake” my Dad talked about, was the same lake where my wife’s grandparents wanted to be buried near. You can look from their burial plot down to THAT lake.

It is possible that my Grandparents and my wife’s Grandparents knew one another.

This is a picture of the Birmingham Friends Meeting House in West Chester, PA, where they were married. They are buried in the Burial Ground behind this Meeting House.

Birmingham Meeting (ca 1915)

Birmingham Meeting – 1999


Fearless Females Blog Post: Prompts for Women’s History Month – Day 3

March 3, 2010

This is part of  a series of daily blogging prompts entitled Fearless Females created by Lisa Alzo of  The Accidental Genealogist blog in honor of Women’s History Month which starts today, 1 March 2010.

Here are the prompts – consider honoring your female ancestors by posting at your genealogy or family history blog!

* March 3

Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors?

Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

We pause for the discussion on Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, to be able to answer the question of the day. However, it does “honor’ a female ancestor. This time, my Great-Grandmother

As with many Quaker families, naming patterns exist down through the generations. I am one of them.

For those that know me, may know that I go by my middle name, not my first name. AND I have “III” or 3rd at the end of my name. Because my family lived on the same property as my paternal grandparents, I guess, I was to be called by my middle name, like my grandfather. My dad, was called by his first name.

Looking back, my Grandfather’s Grandfather was named Henry Wilson Worthington. So, we know where my grandfather, my father, and I got our first name from. BUT, where did our middle name come from? Oh, this will take a minute, but will get at the question of the day.

My grandfather’s parents died in Kansas in the 1890′s and he, and his next younger brother and sister were put on a train from Kansas to Philadelphia, where they were met (but there is a long story here) and were taken to New Jersey, to live with their Grandmother, Elizabeth Willits Worthington.

In doing some research in the 1900 Census, I knew where I should have found my Grandfather. I knew that he graduated from the Moorestown Friends School in 1907. So, he should have been in NJ 1900 Census. Didn’t find him. (At the time I did the search, not all names were indexed).

A little frustrated in not being able to find him nor his grandmother, I checked my notes on her to find that she had been married a second time. Searching for Elizabeth with a different surname, I found her.

Elizabeth Willits was married to Henry Wilson Worthington. They had Samuel, Sarah, Jeremiah Willits, Henry Wilson, Jr., Elizabeth Farnum, and Nathan B. Leads as children. Still no hint about where Russell fit in. The other names or parts of names can be explained looking at the family structure.

Looking at these families, Grandfather Samuel’s second sister married a Henry C. Russell, whose father was Henry Russell, of Ireland.

Most of the Russell’s are buried in the Friends South-Western Burial Ground in Philadelphia.

So, to answer the question, my name was handed down from the marriage of Elizabeth Farnum Worthington.

So, the mystery of how we (three) got our names was answered in a family letter, not in my possession, after a “dear friend”.


Worthington Descendants – Vol 1, No 2, Page 6 – Worthington, Sarah

July 21, 2009

SKETCH OF SARAH WORTHINGTON:  1719-1745 born in Delaware Co., Pa. died in Frederick Co., Va. mar Robert Hayes. Issue: Joseph Hayes


Worthington Descendants – Vol 1, No 2, Page 6 – Worthington, Robert

July 21, 2009

SKETCH OF ROBERT WORTHINGTON: 1740-1778 born in Frederick Co. Va. died in. Va. mar. Rachel D/O Thomas and Elizabeth Mason. Robert’s will was proved in Wesmoreland Co. Pa. in 1778, where he resided in Mount Pleasant Twp. His name appears on a list of Colonial soldiers from Augusta Co., at Virginia State Library. Issue: Joseph 1774 q.v.: Elizabeth Worthington mar. Lucas Smith Gibbs of Philadelphia.


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