Wednesday, September 30, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 39, Unusual: Ammiruhamah Spencer

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog based on Themes. Last week's theme was Favourite Place, and this week is "UNUSUAL".  I ran across a most unusual name last week, and here he is:  Ammiruhama Spencer.  I've also seen his first name spelled as Ammi Ruhama, but that likely shows he might have been called "Ammi" from Ammiruhama.

Ammiruhamah Spencer is the 7th great-granduncle of my children. I have not been able to find many details for him at all, despite his unusual name.  He was the youngest of 5 children as follows.

Michael SPENCER (1648-1723) and Rebecca SWEETMAN (1649-1723?) married 7 Dec 1671 in Salem, Massachusetts, the couple moving first to Cambridge MA, then to Rhode Island where they died.  Their children were apparently born in Cambridge MA:
   1.  Rebecca, b. 4 Nov 1673
   2.  Susanna [direct ancestor], b. 6 Apr 1680; m. in East Greenwich R.I. on 4 Oct 1708 to John OLIN (leading to the RICE family); 4 children
   3.  Michael (jr.), b. 16 Apr 1682
   4.  Thomas, b. 3 Feb 1687/88
   5.  Ammiruhamah, b. 11 Jul 1690, d. 28 Aug 1725; m. 3 Oct 1717 in East Greenwich R.I. to Rachel Lawrence; 2 known children.

Children of Ammiruhamah and Rachel, born in East Greenwich R.I.:
   1.  Elizabeth, b. 23 Sep 1718
   2.  Michael, b. 2 Feb 1719/20

Some of the above information came from a book found on Family Search: "The Four Spencer Brothers - Their Ancestors and Descendants" by Rowena Spencer; with the first 9 chapters researched and written by Donald Lines Jacobus. Rhode Island Vital Records, and Massachusetts Vital Records, filled in several gaps.

All I "know" about Ammiruhamah are the details of his parents, siblings, birth place and date, marriage place and date, spouse, and his death place and date.  His death may have been sudden - he was aged only 35 years. It is not clear if Rachel, his spouse, also died young, or if she married once again.  I have not found any further marrige records for a Rachel Spencer.

And I also have not found records for the two little children; Elizabeth and Michael are quite common names, and there are several distinct lines of Spencers in New England.  So far I have not teased out any details, nor found any guardian records; they would have been 7 and 5 years of age respectively.

If you know anything about Ammiruhamah and his family, I would be so pleased for more details. Contact me at my address at the bottom of the page, or in the Comments section.

Lately, my Blogger account seems not to allow me to "reply" to your comments, most of the time. Do know that I value your comments immensely. You make my day! Thanks for stopping by to read my weekly post.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No.38, Favourite Place: The Front Porch

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog based on Themes. Last week's theme was Large Family, and this week is "Favourite Place."  I've chosen photos taken on our front porch - several places, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The front porch - however small - was where we had many photos taken.  We always lived in rather small places, which we rented.  One black & white photo is at "KilKare" - my dad's parents' home in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, BC.  The other black & white photos are from 2033 Victoria Drive, at the corner of Victoria and McSpadden.  The Interurban trolleys used to run just down the block, between Victoria Drive and Commercial Drive. The house (and block) are now McSpadden Park, and our house would have been roughly where the sign sits.  The colour photos are from our house at 3250 Matapan Crescent, where we moved in January 1954.

Here's Mom in late August 1946, with 3rd child, Jake, and I can hardly stand not touching my baby brother!  Dad took the photo.

And the following summer, 1947, two big sisters carefully holding onto Jake, as baby brother wants to head down the stairs - now!

I'm on the left, grinning at Dad, who is taking the photo.

On Victoria Drive again, here's a photo of four cousins:  big sister on top left, cousin Derek on top right, I'm on the right (surprise) holding out a partly eaten apple to whoever is taking the photo, and cousin Wendy is on bottom left watching to see where that apple is going!

Either Mom or my Aunt Barbara took this photo. And I see all the girls have (new?) stuffed dollies to cuddle. It looks as if this might have been taken around late 1945.  Could it have been around Christmas time?

On the right is a photo taken out in Deep Cove, in North Vancouver, BC, roughly early spring 1947. Taken at my grandparents' retirement home, "KilKare" on the steps, I can't think what was the reason for us being there. Perhaps "just visiting." This is another porch which features in many  family photos - all the many Gillespie and Bunn cousins have photos of themselves, family members and other relatives on these steps!

Grandpa Jack Gillespie is sitting on the right behind Mom who is holding baby brother Jake - who was born only 2 days after Grandpa Jack's birthday. I didn't realize this until I started my genealogy work on our Gillespie family. My older sister is sitting between Grandma and Mom, and I'm on Grandma's lap - watching baby brother yet again!

On the left, here's big sister down the stairs, and heading for the car to go to the church for her wedding to Val, her high-school sweetheart.  May 17, 1963.  I'm on the right, Mom and Dad are just behind the group of us.

Wonderful sunshine, and a beautiful day. Very exciting! I'm sorry the photo isn't sharper, it's a little fuzzy, and would need some editing work to bring out the pretty bouquets and details.

The small tag at the bottom was done by Mom, who made all three of us a personal photo album one year for Christmas. And she typed small labels for every photograph in our three albums.

On the left is our home on Matapan Crescent.  Taken in May 1965, this is 3 years after big sister married Val, the good looking guy in the middle!  Mom and Dad are behind us, and baby brother is on the right behind big sister.

Looking at the date, I suspect this was taken at the 'mutual' birthday dinner Val and I often had.  Our birthdays were only 2 days apart, so we would have dinner and cake etc. on whichever days were convenient.

And the birthday cakes - we loved to cut them up in non-traditional ways. Circles, weird shapes, diamonds, whatever we could manage to cut. No tidy conventional squares for us!! Nice memories.
Just for that, here's a photo to give you the idea of how much fun we had cutting!

I'm on the left, Val on the right. Dad is watching us and wondering what on earth we're going to do now, and my mom's mother, whom we called GrandPete, is watching Mom taking the photo.

Mom didn't date this photo but I think it must be around 1970.

On the right in this July 1968 photo of Four Generations, we're on the Matapan steps again. Notice the new screen door with a big "G" on it?  G for Gillespie. That screen door is still on the house - my brother took a photo of it a few years ago when he was in the area.

Mom is on the left, with GrandPete in the middle, holding my eldest daughter, I'm on the right, just out of hospital, on our way home. Baby's father is taking the photo, I think, although it could have been my Dad. I don't remember who was behind the camera, now. GrandPete is 88 years old in this photo by the way. She died in late 1973.

Front steps. The front porch. They saw many milestones, many children. We gathered there for photos of birthdays, visitors, holidays, celebrations of all sorts.

Blogger - or my computer - 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 truly make my day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 37, Large Family: Mary KING - 13 children, 87 grandchildren

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog based on Themes. Last week's theme was Working For A Living, and this week's is LARGE FAMILY.  Hmmm, time to go trolling through my tree to see who has a very large family...

Oh my, there are so many couples with 10 or more, born by the same parents. And of course, there were some families which had larger numbers of children, but with several different mothers, or different fathers. I decided to look for a direct ancestor, a WOMAN who birthed the largest number of children:  Mary KING, wife of Thomas RICE.  Mary is my ex-husband's 6th great-grandmother, and she had 13 children, 87 grandchildren!

Mary KING, b. abt 1630 was the 5th of the 6 children of Thomas KING and Anne COLLINS, whose family arrived in early Massachusetts about 1638, from an unknown town in Dorset, England, possibly Shaftsbury (Shaston). She had 1 brother, and 3 older and 1 younger sisters.

Thomas RICE, b. 1625/26, the 4th of 13 children (father, Edmund RICE, mother Thomasina/Tamasin FROST), and his family came from Stanstead, Suffolk, England, arriving in early Massachusetts in 1638. Stanstead/Stansted is a small village about 40 miles north of London, England.

The Edmund RICE (1638) Association keeps detailed genealogies [with sources quoted/listed], and may be searched for more information. This is where I found my first details for this early immigrant family.

Mary KING married Thomas RICE in about 1651, although this has not yet been confirmed with documents.  They settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts, where they had 13 children:
  1. Grace, b. 1652, d. 3 Jan 1653/54
  2. Thomas (jr), b. 30 Jun 1654, d. after 1747; m. 10 Jan 1681/2 to his 1st cousin, Anna Rice; 14 children
  3. Mary, b. 4 Sep 1656, d. 22 Aug 1733; m. (1st) 28 Nov 1678 to Josiah White; 7 children; (2nd) 15 Jul 1718 to Thomas Sawyer
  4. [Capt.] Peter, b. 24 Oct 1658, d. 28 Nov 1753; m. abt 1688 to Rebecca How(e); 9 children
  5. Nathaniel, b. 3 Jan 1660/61, d. 13 Nov 1726; m. (1st) Sarah Stone (d. 1704); (2nd) Dec 1704 to Patience Brown; 3 children
  6. Sarah, b. 15 Jan 1661/62, d. abt 1742; m. bef 1706 to John Adams; 1 son
  7. Ephraim, b. 15 Apr 1665, d. 25 Oct 1732; m. (1st) 21 Feb 1687/88 to Hannah Livermore, 10 children (Hannah d. 25 May? 1724);  m. (2nd) Mary Noyes
  8. Gershom, b. 9 May 1667, d. 19 Dec 1768! ; m. abt 1694 to Elizabeth Balcom(me); 6 children
  9. James, b. 31 Mar 1669, d. 14 Oct 1730; m. abt 1695 to Sarah Stone (not related to #5 or #11's wives); 10 children
  10. Frances, b. 3 Feb 1669/70, d. abt 1767; m. abt 1689 to Benjamin Allen; 6 children
  11. Jonas, b. 6 Mar 1672/73, d. 22 Sep 1753; m. 10 Feb 1701/02 to Mary Stone (sister to #5's wife, Sarah), 5 children
  12. Grace, b. 15 Jan 1674/75, d. after 19 Dec 1768; m. 10 Feb 1701/02 to [Deacon] Nathaniel Moore [cousin?]; 9 children
  13. Elisha,  [direct ancestor] b. 4 Dec 1679, d. bef 19 Oct 1761; m. 10 Feb 1705/06 to Elizabeth WHEELER, granddaughter of Resolved WHITE (Mayflower - see ship below); 7 children.
    Our family line goes down from their 6th child, Elijah RICE.  
A few family trees and articles note a 14th child, named "Remnant Rice" (b. 1681).  However this is quite unlikely for many reasons: the name itself is a big clue that this is a hoax, and in addition, it would be unlikely that Mary was still having children in 1681 or so. The Edmund Rice Association lists this name, but only to explain there is no evidence whatsoever that there has ever been such a child.  

Mary's 13 children (one died young) produced a grand total of 87 grandchildren! My hat tips to her in awe. I'm certain there would have been extended family members available to help, and I note there were several RICE families in the region, including her sister Elizabeth King who married Samuel Rice, Mary's brother-in-law. It does indeed take a village to raise families which were so large. I'm daunted by the laundry, sewing, cooking, gardening, and other tasks which would take so much of Mary's time each day, each season. 

Wish I could find a diary of this time, in order to find any details of how the women handled their daily tasks, and managed to find time with their many children. Generally, such a large group would break into several 'groups', e.g., the older few, the middle ones, the younger few. And the older children would have responsibility for the younger children, as soon as they became old enough to help out in that way.  

If you have information and corrections on Thomas RICE & Mary KING, and their children, I would be very pleased to receive any details. I may be contacted through the email at the bottom of the page, or in the Comments section below.

Blogger - or my computer - 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 truly make my day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 36, Working For A Living: Thomas Hepard ATHERTON, Coachman

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog based on Themes. Last week's theme was School Days, and this week's is WORKING FOR A LIVING.   Here is Thomas Hepard ATHERTON, who worked for a time as a Coachman.  He is the only person found in any of our family lines with this occupation.

Above, Thomas is seen on the 1861 Census of Crowton, Cheshire, England, with his wife Ellen ("Helen" sic), and their two first children: Anne 3 yrs old, and Thomas (jr) 1 yr old.

His occupation on this Census is stated as "Coachman, DomServ", i.e., he is working for a family as a Coachman, in an outside servant role.  It is unclear where he was working, as that is not noted on the Census form.

Thomas Hepard ATHERTON, bap. 10 Feb 1822, was the illegitimate son of Martha ATHERTON. Martha was the middle child of Rodger ATHERTON & Ann [Nancy] LEWIS.  She was 24 when her son was born.

As he is the only person on many pages of the Parish Register with a middle name, and there are several Hepard families in the village, one could make a reasonable assumption that a Hepard man was the father. Martha was likely indicating to the parish priest (and community) who the father was of her son, by baptizing him with this name.  All "Atherton" surname lines from Thomas are not Atherton, but most likely to be Hepard, genetically.  The surname Hepard may be spelled variant ways: Heppard, Hepperd, Hepard, Hepherd, and so on.

I have not yet found a subsequent marriage for his mother, Martha, nor for her death/burial.

Thomas was born and grew up in the small town of Crowton, Cheshire, England, where his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins lived.   His grandfather Rodger was a farmer according to an early census, as were several uncles.

According to this article on Victorian Occupations, in 1861 there were 11,897 Coachmen listed as such in all of England and Wales (scroll down on page).  This was a significant increase over 1851 numbers.

A coachman's duties would include overseeing the appropriate care of the horses and condition of the equipment (e.g., harness), plus cleaning the carriage and equipment if there were not any second-coachmen or grooms.  You might find it interesting to read the duties of a Coachman in a fairly wealthy home, by clicking on this link.

On the very next Census, 1871, Thomas is listed with his wife and five of their children, and his occupation is listed as a "Farmer 53 acres", which implies he owns the 53 acre farm.  I could be making an incorrect assumption here, of course.  Either he earned enough in earlier times to purchase this size farm, or perhaps he received land from one of his relatives (uncles?).  I haven't done enough research on all members of this Atherton group, as yet, to be certain.

I have much more information on Thomas Hepard ATHERTON, his mother, and grandparents as well as his children, and will do a full genealogy post on him at some point in the future.

If you have information and corrections for Thomas, I would be very pleased to receive any details.  I may be contacted through the email at the bottom of the page, or in the Comments section below.

Blogger - or my computer - 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 truly make my day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES, No. 35, SCHOOL DAYS: Gussie GRAVES' report card, 1878

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog based on Themes. Last week's theme was NON-POPULATION SCHEDULES or censuses - but instead, I wrote about my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary McCURDY.

This week's theme is SCHOOL DAYS  and I have a very brief glimpse into the school days of my maternal great-grandmother, Clara Augusta "Gussie" "Madee" GRAVES (1857-1955).

Found in the TERWILLIGER SOUVENIR ALBUM - see my other blog for more details - the report card from the Rockland Institute, is one of the few known details about my great-grandmother's interests and abilities.

The Rockland Female Institute was a fashionable finishing school, with room for a maximum of about 100 boarding students (women).  From Syracuse, where her family lived, it would be approximately 235 miles distant.  A brief history and description may be read from a newspaper article found on  Old Fulton Postcards/Newspapers, 1940.

The Rockland Female Institute was built in Nyack, New York, near the Hudson River.  The photograph seen here (Copyright The Hudson River Valley Heritage website)  is dated 1856, not long after the Institute had opened.  

My great-grandmother was always known to me as "Madee" - a corruption of the Spanish word for Mother - Madre.  She seems to have been called "Gussie" by her family, and certainly by her husband, James "Grove" Grover TERWILLIGER.

She died when I was 12 years old, although I don't remember the family talking about her at that time.  Mind you, that age and stage is so narcissistic, any discussion of Madee likely flew right over my head!  At one time I had a small pencil box of hers, but somewhere along the line, it disappeared... likely thrown out as "not being useful".  I think I stopped using pencil boxes at high school (Grades 7-12).  Now, of course, I'm mourning the loss of that small piece of treasure from her life.

Her Report, dated Feb 1, 1878, is for a half-academic year, and shows almost perfect attendance (95%). And her scholastic achievement was quite exceptional! Bright young woman - 21 years of age at this point.

   Composition  100
   German        100
   French           99
   Drawing       100
   Recitation     100
   Music           100

Yes, this young woman was very bright, artistic and creative in several different ways.  Somewhere in the Album may be another piece of her schoolwork... a Science project for which she also received very high marks.  That will have to keep for another day, or for when I finally find it and post the page from the TERWILLIGER SOUVENIR ALBUM!

Obviously if you have any information or corrections about the Rockland Institute or any of her classmates, I would be very pleased to receive this.  You may send details through my email at bottom of page, or in the Comments section below.

Blogger - or my computer - 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 truly 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