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.

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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


DNA Update

December 13, 2015

I haven’t blogged about my DNA testing for a while, so I thought I would share what happened on Friday.

I created an Online Tree at Ancestry.com that was linked to my recent DNA test there. It is an AncestryDNA autosomal test. There is a lot of information about Autosomal Testing at Ancestry.com DNA.

Here is my Ethnicity estimate chart

DNA_2

It was a little surprising when I first looked at the results, but thinking about it, this is taking ALL of my DNA, not just the Y-DNA that I may have talked about before.

A couple of days ago, I was reviewing my results and saw that I had a New 2nd cousin.

DNA_1

Now, I know the first “2nd Cousin”. He is really my 2nd cousin once removed. We have chatted about the results a number of times. But this new one was of interest.

I opened up my genealogy database and THERE SHE WAS !!! I immediately sent her a private, (DNA) Message from the website, letting her know who I was and that I know how we are related. The three of us share a common, Great Grandfather (for me), and Grandfather for the gentleman at the top of the list. Two brothers and now a Sister connection. My new cousin and I are in the same generation, while the first person is a generation before us. We are, however, not that far apart in age.

Friday, of last week, I got a reply to my “hi how are you” message, asking me to call her. What a long morning waiting for me to make that call. It was like 6 am for me, and I knew where she lived, so I wasn’t going to call at Oh Dark Thirty.

What a phone call this was. We shared the excitement of talking to another about OUR RESEARCH. You don’t always get to talk to family where the other person is interested in the details of our research.

The long and the short of this conversation is that she has Letters from our common Great Grandfather and his wife, along with letters from MY Grandfather. I knew he had letters, but somewhere along the line his letters have been lost. Not only letters but pictures AND she is willing to share them with me.

She told me that she had already shared, over the years, letters that she has with the brother of the gentleman also on the DNA list. A lot of the data that I have collected was from my Texas (and Arizona) cousins. So the Texas, Colorado, and New Jersey (formerly Pennsylvania) cousins have re-connected, with DNA to prove it.

I see a “road trip” in the near future. Can’t wait for mail from her. To be able to, finally, be able to read my grandfathers letters, with the bonus to see Samuel Worthington and Sarah Catherine Reeve’s letters. I do hope she throws in a couple of pictures.

Can’t wait to get them and to be able to share them with my Aunt, who has her 96th birthday in a couple of days.


Letter addressed to Cousin Russ

March 18, 2015

Backing up a couple of days ago, but in the order in which I read this stack of letters, I finally opened this envelope.

 

Worthington_Mary-2015_03_09-Envelope

 

It may be difficult to read, but it is addressed to “Cousin Russ”.

Two things about that, 1) If you are on Google+, I am sometimes called that, but 2) that is how some of these letters are addressed, that is to “Cousin ….” Mary, Jody and family, to me, have always been known as our Texas Cousins.

Jody, Mary, and Frances do live in Texas, but the other brother, Will, lives in Arizona. Texas Cousins, none the less.

In the letter / note, Mary said “After Jody’s mother Bernice died in September 1966, I became Aunt Polly’s penpal in her place”, that important, as the letter from Anna to Mary and Jody talked about their Aunt Polly, my Grandmother may not be able to write any more letters and that Anna, my Aunt Anna, would write as she could.

My start in genealogy, now for me Family Research, started from my Texas Cousins, for which I am most grateful. Mary mentioned “There are also 2 letters from Anna and one from Eleanor. I just couldn’t bear to thrown them away.” Thank you Mary.

Now to have time to start to read the letters from Aunt Polly to Mary and Jody


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