With a little help from our friends

March 16, 2016

The  other night, I was finishing getting caught up on Facebook when I cam across of post card image. it was posted by Genea-Blogger Becky Jamison.  Her Blog Grace and Glory is one to follow. I have the honor and pleasure of meeting Becky and her husband Larry at Roots Tech.

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Her Facebook post was about images from Kansas towns. The one that was posted was an old one. Since my Grandfather and his family were from there in the mid to late 1800’s I had to look.

Images of Kansas Towns and Cities

I just had to look. I have been focusing my research on a 5 generation file that I am working and blogging about for DearMYRLTE’s FINALLY Get Organized! project.

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I had just found my Great Uncle in a census record in Manhattan, Kansas. The address was right near the Kansas State College, now University. I knew he went to school there so I followed that Bright Shiny Object (BSO) and looked around the campus, specifically the Veterinary Medicine part of the campus, because that is where he went to school.

A long night,  long story short, I sent an email to the email address on their website, asking for any information they might have on my Great Uncle.

Four hours later I received an email with a 7 page article that had been written about his life and his story. What I received was a marked up copy of the article, so I don’t have any way to cite the article, but I want to thank Colonel Dr. Howard H. Erickson, PhD for that wonderful telling of my Great Uncle’s life.

Most of the information in the article is known to me, but there were details that I didn’t know about.

I have written about Colonel Josiah Wistar Worthington before, and have tried to share what I know of his story. I have found his World War I and World War II Draft Registration cards.

As the article clearly states, my Great Uncle was not assigned to where the “War” was happening, as he joined the Army at the beginning of the war but had a comment that there must be more to come for him, and his military service. And there was.

The article also put into perspective the cost for the education at that time and place. One item, of many, said that it cost “$5.00 for a commencement fee”

There was an answer to one of those BSO questions that I have had, but didn’t have it on my ToDo list, was to understand WHY I found a Bureau of Land Management record for him when I visited the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) a couple of years ago. This article put him in the right place at the right time for my Great Uncle to go after land in 1912.

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Thank you Becky for sharing that BSO.


And my “Current Thinking Is …”

February 26, 2016

There were two very important things about this photo:

  • The Photo is in archival sheets
  • The Photo is documented

This may make no sense to you, but I have been working on a mystery. That is how did my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother meet.

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I knew about the Cottonwood Friends Church and that my Great Grandparents were married there 27 Feb 1872. But, that note is the hint I was looking for.

Reeves & Garland families went to church here. Elizabeth W. Leeds met the Reeves & Garland families here. Samuel & Catharine Reeves Worthington were married here.

The Reeve and Garland families moved to Kansas, from Tennessee between 1859 and 1861. Why, is still up in the air. I hadn’t gotten far enough to realize that the Garlands were there as well.

Job Whitall Reeve and Hannah Lucinda Garland are my 2nd great grandparents. Their youngest child was born in 1859, and Job died in Kansas in 1861. That is how I know the time frame.

Elizabeth Willits Worthington Leeds was my Great Grandfather Samuel Worthington’s mother. Lots more about her, but that’s another story.

So, “my current thinking is” that my great grandparents met “at church”, or more appropriately “at meeting”.


Unwrapping of a Photo CD from my cousin

February 26, 2016

Will share my first viewing of some photos I just received from my cousin. There are over 500 photos on this CD. Just going to share what I am seeing for the first time

 


What did I learn ?

January 21, 2016

In this blog post Is re-organizing your files helpful ? what did I learn ?

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The first think that I learned is that my Dads brothers were involved it putting together information that they knew or learned from “some body”. My Uncle Bob was the author of the letter, but typed my his brother’s wife, my aunt. So, it was a “family response” from the Pennsylvania cousins.

A couple of the Pennsylvania Cousins are missing here. There were 5 siblings, my two aunts and my Dad was not part of this letter. Now, my parents had moved to New Jersey about 20 years earlier, so they may not have been aware of what was going to in response to a letter they are responding to. But, why the two aunts not mentioned?

What IS very interesting is that then names throughout the letter were written in such a way that you can tell to the players are, which person referred to. In this part of the letter, names were spelled out. Someone knew how to communicate to a genealogist. Cousin Frances was the genealogist, having picked that up from her mother. For me, knowing the players, it was very clear who they were talking about.

Clearly, the writer and the reader were Quaker. Growing up Thee, Thy, were very common terms used in the faith but also in the family. Every once in a while I hear those words from the remaining sibling.

Another Quaker tradition was how some of the dates were recorded. “2nd Mo. 15-1872”. Not quite the traditional format, but the 1978 way of recording a Quaker date.

What I didn’t know, nor have I seen before was a hint where he, my Uncle Bob, wrote

“The children were not a11 together at all times with Samuel and Sarah C. prior to their deaths. This is understandable as both Samuel and Sarah died of tuberculosis and were in failing health for several years. Several letters from Sarah C. Worthington disclose these facts:”

What caught my attention was “the children were not all together at all times”. How sat and the parents both died of tuberculosis. There are several new bits and pieces in the “several letters” that I will share later.

Comments like “in my father’s handwriting” is awesome, with “fall of 1896”.

Got a kick out of this question:

Does thee remember hearing about H. Russell and J. Wistar and the other children going out on the prairie to gather “Buffalo chips” to use as fuel in the stove?

The quote points out how the names were very clear as to who they were, but it also reflect the living experience of the 1880’s living in Kansas. Buffalo Chips ???

Here’s a good one.

Does thee have a picture of the log cabin in which our fathers were born?

House_Worthington-Kansas-House

I believe that is the picture he was talking about. My cousin would have drawn, in charcoal, a picture of this picture.

The published book, was really cousin’s collaborating using the tools of the day. Oh wait, that wasn’t that long ago.

I am reminded that “not everything is online”. In this case, some things are nicely filed away in your organized filing system, just waiting to be (re) looked at.


Was it Reorganizing or part of a Genealogy Do-Over

January 20, 2016

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Yesterday, I did a blog post Is re-organizing your files helpful? and there were many, many questions about the content of what I posted. Understand that I only posted maybe one page of the 23 pages in this file. I thought I would take a few minutes to reflect on what I learned.

  • Review the information you have in your file(s)

This is not the first time that I have gone back and found information in my database or in my files that I missed the first time around. This example is almost part of the Genealogy Do-Over project that continues among the genealogy community.

  • Share your research

If I received this package around 1997, I was in the early stage of my research so may not have recognized what I should or should not keep track of. Having moved from those early days to now doing some presentations “in public”, either in person or online, I have learned lots. For that past year or so, now teaching. Those students really keep me on my toes.

  • Use Cousin Bait

Blogs are known as being a way to catch those cousins, especially the ones you don’t know. Having an Online Tree, I think falls into this same category. I have shared some information I received from a DNA Match, using an online tree. The recent visit to the Monocacy National Battlefield with “new” cousins.

One of the Queries posted on this blog appears to have made another cousin connection. I knew I wanted to be able to deal with Queries, figured out a way to do that, and a couple of days ago, cone of the comments appears to be a solid cousin connection between two people. How awesome is that.

  • Put your information into context

I read those 23 pages from start to finish. As I read, there were moments of “oh, I knew that” or “OH, I did NOT know that”! I will probably do more blog posts on that later, especially what I posted yesterday. Some eye opening pieces of information, just on that one page.

To wrap this blog post up, there was a comment about a book that the family was working on, “Hell and Beyond”. The letter was written in 1978 and was asking questions about THE BOOK. The family has always talked about it, knew about it and I have the book that was published in 2006. I received my copy with an enclosed letter dated December 7, 2006, Pearl Harbor Day. It was on that day, that the authors father began his “Diary of War and Captivity”. Won’t go into that her, BUT just hours before I found this folder, I have mailed an extra copy of the book to my DNA Cousin. (she doesn’t know it’s coming, so don’t tell her). We had talked about “the book” on the phone earlier in the week.

  • How do we communicate

As many ways as possible. Blogs, Email, Snail Mail, even the telephone. You know those things that hang on the wall in the kitchen?

If I hadn’t posted my tree Online, done a DNA test, posted a private message to my newly found DNA Cousin, who asked me to call her, the letters I have talked about recently, wouldn’t be sitting on my desk waiting to be transcribed, giving me some insight into the lives of my grandparents. You never know when that one person will make contact with you that has the key or small piece of information you have been looking for, will be looking for something you have.

I am guessing that the reaction to the book will be much the same as me finding this folder that I have had for years.


Is re-organizing your files helpful ?

January 19, 2016

While taking a break from “business as usual” I finally am taking some time to make sure that my files are organized.

Having moved a couple of years ago from an apartment to a house, I finally have a Genea-Cave, an almost real office. I had a pretty good record of my files, but haven’t done an inventory of what I had as I knew I had some folders that were not labeled, thus not in the right place.

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One of those folders had a very long letter from my Uncle to the “real” Genealogist in the family, one of my Texas Cousins. She was in the process of writing a book “Hell and Beyond”. I have talked about this book before, but while she was doing the research for the book, apparently she sent letters to the Pennsylvania Cousins for information.

I am posting the 1st page and the last several pages of this 24 page document. Will post some of the letters that were transcribed dating from 1888 to 1932 over time. I’ll start with the opening and closing of the document.

 

Box 205
Lionville, Pa. 19353
August 28, 1978

Dear Cousin Frances,

Betty made copies of thy letter and distributed them to the five of us children of H. Russell Worthington. I have read my copy with intense interest and hope that I can contribute in some small way with information which I have gleaned from two old tin boxes of papers, letters, etc., some of which came into my father’s possession following the death of Aunt Lizzie (Elizabeth Farnum Worthington Russell) in 1924.

Coincidentally, did thee realize that thy letter was dated July 27th, my father’s birthday? Or was it coincidental–maybe providential?

I am thrilled to hear that thee is working toward the publication of Uncle Wistar’s writings and am looking forward with great anticipation to reading “Hell and Beyond” upon its completion. Please reserve four copies for us and our three children.

I, too, have been faced with many gaps in time and information. There are so many missing pieces, like in a jig-saw puzzle. An old birthday book of Aunt Lizzie’s has been very helpful–she had recorded in the back of the book some dates of marriages and deaths.

Samuel Worthington and Sarah Catherine Reeve (sometimes called Kate) were married 2nd Ho. 15-1872 at Cottonwood Meeting House, Lason (.sp.?) County, Kansas.

Sarah Catharine Worthington died (then, in my father’s handwriting) “fall of 1896”

Samuel Worthington died at Richfield, Morton County, Kansas, 5th No. 30 (the year is blurred, but in my father’s writing) “1897”. This conflicts with 1896 as the year of death on the family tree which I am enclosing with this letter. More about the family tree later.

The children were not a11 together at all times with Samuel and Sarah C. prior to their deaths. This is understandable as both Samuel and Sarah died of tuberculosis and were in failing health for several years. Several letters from Sarah C. Worthington disclose these facts:

[ 19 pages of letters follows ]

Frances, I must wind this yarn up and get it sent off to thee. After all, thee is the one who is writing a book, not I.

The first thing I question about the content of thy draft of “About the Author of ‘Hell and Beyond” is J. Wistar Worthington’s birthdate. From what I have found in several places it was 12-29-1888. H. Russell Worthington was born 7-27-1887 and the two boys were only seventeen months apart.

Based on information which I have at hand, I have concluded that Sarah C. died in February ? 1894 and Samuel died 5-30-1897. If this is wrong,’ I hope that someone will provide me with exact dates. If 1897 is the correct year of Samuel’s death, H. Russell W. was not quite 10 years old and J. Wistar W. was 8 years and 5 months old at the time. I have already covered the rest of what I have learned about the early schooling of H. Russell W. and J. Wistar W. Wistar W. and about their being sent to Aunt Lizzie’s, the Moorestown Academy and Westtown Boarding School.

Does thee remember hearing about H. Russell and J. Wistar and the other children going out on the prairie to gather “Buffalo chips” to use as fuel in the stove?

May I ask- who was the relative thee refers to who asked for the use of the “College Fund” and died before it could be repaid?

Does thee have a picture of the log cabin in which our fathers were born?

Samuel W. attended Westtown Boarding School for one year, 1852-1853, entering at nine years of age. Aunt Lizzie, Aunt Sallie and Uncle Henry also attended there.

Best of luck to thee, Frances, in thy endeavor. I know what a monumental task it will be.

My sincere appreciation is extended to Betty for typing all of these pages. She and Harvey have done this as their contribution toward thy project.

Affectionately, thy cousin
Robert M. Worthington


Another Snail Mail Package

January 9, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I did this blog post

Look what I received in the mail

It was a package that contained some letters between my paternal grandmother and out “Texas cousins’”. I go to pick up the mail today and there was another envelop with another 10 or so letters AND something I have not seen before. A poem written by my Grandfather.

A couple amazing things about this Snail Mail package. First that I received another set of letter, and the poem, but the letter was written December 29, 1949 to his younger brother for his 60th birthday. He was born 12/29/1888.

I have written about him before

Josiah Wistar Worthington, Col. V.C., U.S.A. – 09496

Now, Josiah, we called “Uncle Wistar” was a P.O.W. twice but HE wrote him while using poems as his way of telling the family how he was doing.

So, I was not surprised at my Grandfather’s 8 pages, typed written poem about my grandparents visit to Uncle Wistar’s home. The title of the poem.

TO BROWNSVILLE AND BACK (11-28-‘49 TO 12-13-‘49)”

I don’t know for sure who typed it up, as it might have been my mother, but the 8 page poem told the story of the trip my grandparents made to Texas. He told of how their children took them to the train station, how they were greeted in Texas and their return home. He mentioned many of the towns that they traveled through, what they could see from the train, it was just like we were there.

No I don’t remember that they took that trip, but I would have been in school, but I do remember Wistar and his family visiting us, but now I heard of the visit to the Texas cousins.

He wrote about the Thanksgiving dinner and their ventures while in Texas.

On the 4th page, were two paragraphs that I will share here. I do so, because the 2nd link, Josiah Wistar Worthington, col. V.C., U.S.A. – 09496 talked about his military service, and in this poem, for Wistar’s birthday, my grandfather wrote:

The Colonel is retired from the Army
After serving in two World Wars;
He’s been then thru the smoke and battle
And seen men die at his side.

Near four years he was starved and tortured
After his capture at Bataan by the Japs
But miracles worked in his favor,
He was saved from a horrible death.

My Grandfather and his “little” brother, The Colonel.

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One other “little” item in the envelop was something that I had forgotten about, but I’ll share it here. A Card that was used for the farm we lived on. More on that in another blog post.

Worthington_Orchard_Card

The trees on both sides of the drive way, we called “the lane”, the house on the right, and it’s still standing, and the “packing house” in the back. The “packing house” is where we took care of all of the fruit from the orchards, and also had a store in the front. That isn’t there anymore, it’s all housing.

Better get back to my scanning and transcribing of these letters.


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