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.


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

QUERY: Martha A Worthington (1870- ?) Kansas

January 12, 2016

A Query from Sharon Culver-Rease

I am struggling to find the parents of my great grandmother, Martha A Worthington who was born March 15, 1870 in Kansas. She had a brother Edward born in October 1876. The information I have is from census and marriage records. She moved to Missouri at 18 and got married. I would welcome any suggestions.

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.



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.


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.

QUERY: Sarah Worthington b: 1741

December 26, 2015

Good Morning! I have a Worthington ancestor who is a mystery. She is known as Sarah Worthington. She was supposedly born 1741 in Connecticut. She was the wife of Cornelius Drake (1741-1818). Sarah Worthington Drake died in Christian County Kentucky. The Drake family line is well researched and fleshed out but no one seems to know anything about Sarah Worthington. Any info you may have would be much appreciated. I really enjoyed your site!



Look what I received in the mail

December 22, 2015

Snail Mail ??? Yes indeed.

The long awaited mail came today. Well, long awaited for me, after all it’s not been a week.


My DNA match cousin, Juana, sent me a package today. It was one of those DAH moments. For years, I have been looking for Letters from and/or to my grandfather. As many of us do, at those with brick walls, I was looking in the wrong place. It’s been said that I don’t have any brick walls, but my response has been, and now confirmed, I was looking in the wrong place.

The content of that envelop has been catalogued and I have a plan.

  • 2 Announcements
  • 3 Essays
  • 3 Newspaper Clippings
  • 2 Telegrams
  • 1 Poem
  • 4 Report Cards
  • 27 Letters, 25 of which were written by my grandfather

The DAH moment came when I realized I was not looking to people who he had written letters TO. I know there are another set of letters with my Texas cousins, but I’ll take these Colorado Cousins for now..

The time period if from 1903 to 1940 from my grandfather, with a couple of later letters following his death.

My plan is to digitize these copies, transcribe and archive them. I know they aren’t the original letters but the black and white copies are what I have. They, for the most part, with a quick glance are readable. It will certainly give me a better idea as to who he was. Yes, I knew him as I was 13 when he died, but I do remember him. I know now say for sure, what I have always thought, HE wrote letters.

My “new” cousin says she has more and I am working on a plan to visit her in the very near future.

Sorry, I have some transcribing to do.

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 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 DNA.

Here is my Ethnicity estimate chart


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.


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.




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

%d bloggers like this: