Tuesday, April 21, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 16, LIVE LONG: Harriet "Hattie" Philena ORMSBEE

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was How Do You Spell That?  This week, the theme is LIVE LONG.   
Please note that photos are copyright to me, and may not be copied.  Contact me if you are a relative and wish me to send you a copy.

In the above photo, taken the summer of 1924, from the left:  great-grandmother, Clara Augusta "Gussie" GRAVES Terwilliger (67 yrs), Harriet "Hattie" Philena ORMSBEE Graves (97 yrs), my mother Mary (2 yrs), and my grandmother, Marguerite TERWILLIGER Kuhn (44 yrs).  All but my mother were long-lived: Clara lived to be 98, Harriet to 102, my mother to 70 (cancer/dementia), and Marguerite to 93 yrs (cancer).  Harriet's three girls all lived over 90 years.

I have a few long-lived ancestors, but the closest one is my maternal great-great-grandmother, Harriet "Hattie" Philena ORMSBEE. 102 years. Her middle name is sometimes seen as Philomena; sometimes she is named as "HP" as a nickname.

Hattie was the second child of Jacob ORMSBEE & Sabra TOWERS, born 28 May 1827, in Manlius, Onondaga, New York.  On 26 Sep 1850, she married a wealthy businessman, Charles Giles GRAVES, in Syracuse, Onondaga, NY. 

She and Charles lived in the village of Jordan, in the area of Syracuse for much of her life, moving to Englewood New Jersey after her husband died in 1902.  Her daughter Clara and husband James Grover "Grove" TERWILLIGER lived in Englewood, and the extended family lived together. I have a typewritten transcribed memoir from my grandmother, describing the beautiful home in Englewood NJ where she grew up. 

Hattie & Charles had 3 girls, born in Jordan, Onondaga, NY, just outside Syracuse:
  1. Lillian Adele, b 25 Nov 1853, d 5 Jan 1949 aged 95; m 11 Jul 1877 to Gabriel W. Wisner; children - Charles Kenneth, Florence "Ethel" Sheridan, John Lawrence, Rae Burton.
  2. Clara Augusta "Gussie" [ancestor], b 5 Nov 1857, d 30 Oct 1955 aged 6 days short of 98; m 2 Oct 1879 to James Grover "Grove" TERWILLIGER; children - Marguerite Josephine [ancestor], [m. Charles Edward KUHN]; George Walter m. Hazel Belle Hubbard; Harold "Hal" Graves m. Carola Bischoff.
  3. Florence Estelle, b 3 Feb 1860, d. 6 Apr 1954 aged 94;  m. 6 Sep 1893 to Ernest F. Tyler; children - Lillian G. [m. Tony Petrucelli]
Hattie lived with her daughter Clara after Charles GRAVES died in 1902; and continued until her own death 20 Aug 1929 in Englewood NJ.  She seems to have had quite a social life, enjoying musical activities, as did her daughters.  My grandmother played the piano, the organ, sang, and enjoyed live theatre (acting as well as in the audience), and it seems the family all enjoyed these activities.  

I do wish I had more photos to share of the ORMSBEE, GRAVES and TERWILLIGER families. Unfortunately at least one or two of their several large family albums had been in the care of an aunt, Dorthea Kuhn, who became demented and needed hospitalization in New York City. Somehow in the chaos of closing down her apartment and Dot going into care, Dot's large albums were... lost... and only a tiny WW2 album was saved.  Perhaps "someone" in the family still has a few photos. Wouldn't it be lovely if a cousin saw this post and contacted me?  I would be thrilled! 

If any of these people are your ancestors as well, please contact me via calewis at telus dot net, or in the Comments below.  I would love to learn more about my ancestors. 

Blogger is still not letting me "reply" to your comments, for some unknown reason. If I don't reply to your Comment, please know that I'm totally thrilled you came to read my post and commented! You make my day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 15: "How Do You Spell That?" SPELLING VARIANTS

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was Favourite Photo, and this week the theme is about spelling: How Do You Spell That?  

Until I married, I constantly had to spell my full name - every time.  Every year at school, every time I gave my name to any individual, teacher, secretary, friend.  I had to spell "Celia Gillespie."  Celia became CeCelia, Cecilia, Cecile, Cisily or variants, I even got 'Silly' from one confused teacher. GILLESPIE became Gilesbey, Glaspy, Glaspie, Glasby, Gilaspy, Gilezpe, and oh-so-many variants. At one point I had 22 of them, mostly from digging through parish registers. 

As a result, when I started to research my family, it felt perfectly natural to EXPECT variants in spelling, particularly with individuals pre-1840 or thereabouts. 

I used to write out as many variants as I could think of for a surname based on the sound, or on the linguistic changes ("lenition") of a change in consonant (b to v, e.g.), or based on sloppy handwriting.  With messy writing, it can have so many additional misspellings. Is that a T or an F or an I -?  an L, an S, a G -?  After the initial letter, is that an e, i, o, or even a u or v -?  m, n, u or w -?  Really, it's definitely an art to learn how to read early handwriting!  

Here are my favourite badly-spelled surnames [direct ancestors], once we get past my own original surname, GILLESPIE:

PETTYGROVE.  - Looks relatively easy to my eyes, but early forms were usually some variant of PETTIGREW.  It can be spelled with variants: two t's or one, 'grow' or 'grew' or 'grove', with an 'i' or a 'y' after pett.  Etc.  Definitely, "etc." 

TERWILLIGER.  - There are so many spellings for this 'made-in-America' surname, made up by a family in New Netherlands [which became New York when the British took over the Dutch colony]. The Dutch used the patronymic pattern of naming, but the British imposed a more formal surname requirement. Early variants of this family were 'Der Villig"  "Ter Vilig"  "van Der Villiger" (hard 'g' by the way). On the RootsWeb Terwilliger Surname Research Center website, there are 17 variants listed for this surname.  A surname which has only been extant for about 300 years.  

MEIGS - or is it MEGGS or MEGS or MEEGS?  - Actually, the first known Meggs in North America was a Vincent Meggs, who was also known as "LOVE", just to confuse the issue. One of his sons in Connecticut, John, started using the spelling MEIGS for some unknown reason.  And here we are now... 

PIERSOL - or is it Pearsall... or, variants.  Again, I've seen it spelled many ways. There's always a P, an R, an S and an L.  That is, all the consonants are included - but with variants of vowels, probably depending on the accent of the speaker or the ears of the listener.

Some interesting FIRST  names:  
TALIAFERRO Craig b. 1704 Virginia to Jane Craig and a man with surname Taliaferro or however it was spelled - which became TOLIVER in the next generation. 

ZERUBBABEL Jerome b. 1715 in Windham CT.  This one took me a little while to figure out how to say it, let alone spell it!  Truly, how could a parent look at a sweet little boy and say, "Let's call him Zerubbabel."  Boggles my mind.  This is my absolutely hands-down favourite first name. But I don't think any of my grandchildren will name any of their own children with this name, do you?

Although I am quite a good speller, I have never had a negative opinion about 'bad' spelling. The purpose of writing any words down is to ensure the purpose of the written communication will continue to be understood by any person looking at it.  Makes me want to go back to pictograms!  Thinking there is only one way to spell is a rather recent issue, and you may well find legal documents in the 1700s and even into the 1800s using a variety of spellings for an individual in only one document.  Perfectly normal, perfectly legal. Here's a link to a quick guide to the history of the English language. Scroll down to look at the various charts further down the page. That should keep anyone busy for a while!  

If any of these surnames are in your family, do let me know, and I'm happy to share what I can with you. And if there are comments or questions, please connect with me via calewis dot net or in the Comments below, and I will do my best to get back to you.  

Blogger is still not letting me "reply" to your comments, for some unknown reason.  If I don't reply to your Comment, please know that I'm totally thrilled you came to read my post and commented!  You make my day.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 13, Different: Sytie JACOBZ van Etten

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was SAME, as in same as me.  This week, of course, it is DIFFERENT!  It took me a while to pick an ancestor... Here she is - Sytie Jacobz van Etten, born before 25 March 1668, in Kingston, New York.

How are we Different?  Well, Sytie had 12 children, 11 of whom were boys. Whew! I don't know how she managed that mob of boys. I had 4 children, 2 of whom were boys! It's a good opportunity for me to write about her, whether we are different or not. In this year-long challenge, I'm enjoying writing about many ancestors, particularly the women. 

Her Dutch name indicates she was a daughter of Jacob, of Etten, The Netherlands. Jacob Jansen apparently arrived before 1658, although I have not found his actual ship passenger list. Jacob Jansen van Etten married Annetje ADRIANSE Tach (who divorced her first husband for abandonment).  The Old Dutch Church of Kingston Baptismal and Marriage Registers contain the record of their marriage: 
"11 Jan 1665, Jacob Jansen of Etten, and Annetje Arians of Amsterdam, deserted wife of Aert Pietersen Tack, both residing here Wiltwyck, [now Kingston].  First publication of Banns, 28 Dec.,1664; second, 4 Jan; third, 11 Jan 1665."

The Old Dutch Church of Kingston followed Calvinist beliefs [Reformed Church]; the image to the right was taken from Wikipedia. The book above may be downloaded; I found baptism dates for all Sytie & Jacob's children, and marriage dates as well.

Sytie was their second child, bap 25 Mar 1668; witnesses: Jan Broers & his wife [p.6, Baptismal Registers, Kingston NY]. 

She married Jan Evertson 23 Apr 1685 in Kingston, New York:
"19 Jan 1685: JAN EVERTZ, j.m. of Vianen, under the jurisdiction of the Stigt Vtregt [Diocese of Utrecht], and SYTIE JACOBZ van ETTEN, j.d., of Kingstouwne, both resid. in Marmur [Marbletown].  First publication of Banns 23 Apl."

Note: This family took the new surname: TERWILLIGER [corruption of phrase 'by the willows'], by the late 1690s.  All those with Terwilliger surnames are related, a 'made-in-America' surname.  There are a myriad ways of spelling this name, seen in several early records as 'der Villig'  'Ter Wilge' 'De Villiger' and so on.  More information may be found on the Terwilliger Surname Research Center, as well as a short history on this site about the Origins of the Terwilliger Name, or The Terwilliger Family Association. The latter is my favourite site!

Sytie and husband Jacob had the following children:
  1.  Evert, bap 23 May 1686; m. Mar 1717 to Sara Freer
  2.  Jacobus, bap 25 Nov 1688; m. 10 Mar 1716/7 to Annetjen Hornback
  3.  Johannes [ancestor], bap 6 Nov 1692; m. 6 Sep 1717 to Katrina Heypse, 5 children
  4.  Jannetje, bap 9 Jun 1695; m. 17 Jan 1716/7 to Cornelius Kool/Cool
  5.  Matheus, bap 18 Apr 1697, died as infant that year
  6.  Matheus, bap 30 Oct 1698; m. 3 May 1732 to Marytjen Oosterhout
  7.  Salomon, bap 1 Sep 1700; m. 8 Jul 1720 to Rachel Ostrander
  8.  Manuel,bap 31 May 1702; m. abt 1725 to Jannetjen Decker
  9.  Pieter or Petrus, bap 3 Sep 1704
10.  Ary, bap 22 Sep 1706;  m. abt 1749 to Grietjen Phoenix
11.  Abraham, bap 18 Sep 1709
12.  Issac, bap 10 Jun 1716;  m. 15 Dec 1741 to Rebecca Phoenix

Only one girl in this big group of boys.  I wonder what it was like for her? Hopefully, Sytie's other relatives and many siblings were able to help her. There is a gap of 7 years between #11 and #12 children, and she may have had one or more children during this time. 

I do not have any death dates or places, although both Sytie and Jacob may have stayed in Kingston, or in Hurley (extension of Kingston), and died there.  Several more items need to be researched, and clarified. 

Sytie - my hat goes off to you for birthing and raising this group of strong healthy boys and one girl. No wonder there are so many TERWILLIGER descendants!

If you have any information or if I have details incorrect here, please do not hesitate to comment or provide corrections.  You may also contact me via calewis at telus dot net, or leave a comment below.  Thanks for stopping by! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES; No. 14, Favourite Photo

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was Different. 

This week's theme, FAVOURITE PHOTO, was a bit of a challenge - I love so many photos - but here it is.

Five day old Pia, my first child, summer 1968. I'm sitting on the front steps of my parents' home, having come directly from the hospital only 5 minutes away. 

New baby with her parents - visiting my parents and my mother's mother who were living here at 3250 Matapan Crescent, in the eastern side of Vancouver BC. I'm not sure whether Mom took the photo or Jack, Pia's father, took it.

She was a lovely baby, easy to feed and care for, as many babies are. And I wasn't particularly nervous since I'd been babysitting babies in our neighbourhood since I was almost 12 years old, I also had a BSc in Nursing, and completed a full year with the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) in Ontario, where I'd taught prenatal classes with follow up in a very small town.  

I notice a great deal here... Clearly I'm in love with her, and I'm enjoying her holding on to my finger, so sweet. I notice the camel-bone carved earrings I'd bought at Persian Arts jewellery store downtown about 3 years previously. I notice the top which I'd sewn myself for a pretty maternity top. I notice that Gillespie nose of mine. And the yellow rose bush on the right by the front steps - Dad and I had bought and put into the garden space about 10 years previously.  

My very first baby. We're on an adventure together.  Definitely my favourite photo. And there are so many other "favourite photos". Genealogy is all about family history, and every photo is another treasure.

If you have any comments, feel free to add them below - I think Blogger is working again, so I'll reply - that is, if it is working.   

UPDATE:  NO, it's not allowing me to "reply" to your comments.  Please know that I am thrilled that you read my post and posted a comment.  You make my day!


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis