Sunday, February 4, 2018

Your Invited – RSVP To Your Great Granddaughter
One of the prompts for the 52 Ancestors (2018) was “Which one of your ancestors would you like to invite to dinner?” Who would it be? Perhaps an ancestor I was privileged to know but failed to ask all the questions that I now want answers for. Perhaps it would be an ancestor that’s a brick wall. Maybe the dinner should be a reunion with them all. But a reunion could not be long enough get all the answers. Maybe just a small dinner party with just the brick wall ancestors but that would just push the wall back a few generations.
Charles McMechen would have to come clean about the tall tales he told about his brick wall parents. And what about changing your name several times. Did you leave a wife in Baltimore before coming to Philadelphia and marrying there? Why did you separate from that wife? And in what political riot did your dad die. 
Mary Hayes Mackin (McMechen) why did you sometimes us the name Bridget? Where in Ireland were your parents born?
John Moore, where were you born? Tell me about your parents and when did your ancestors come to America.
Ann Moore, was your maiden name Shoemaker and if not, where did it come from? You lost so many children who died before you. How did you cope?
Andrew Moore, you saw so much of the country before most people traveled very far from there home. You met Gen. Phil Sheridan and Buffalo Bill Cody. You served under George Custer. What were they like? What were you feeling during those two days in June 1876 at Little Big Horn? I want to thank you for serving your country and the sacrifice of your life.
Fanny Elizabeth (Reed) Moore, you died too young. I’m sorry you lost Charles after just a few years of marriage. To have to put your children in a home and later your oldest son in the home of your second husband’s parents because you couldn’t care for them had to be so hard. Then to lose your baby daughter. Is the unidentified picture of a young woman with a baby in her arms you? I think it is.
Edward Corsett, I want to know about your family. Did you meet Matilda in Michigan? How did your families get to Michigan?
For my ancestors that I actually knew, forgive me for not asking more questions about you. What was it like the first time you voted, rode in a car, what did you like to do, and so many more questions? I want to know all about you but then there may be some things that I may be sorry I found out.

I exist because of you. I stand on your shoulders. Thank you
#52 Ancestors Invitation to Dinner, #52 Ancestors 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018

Sarah Angeline Corsett

Sarah Angeline Corsett was born on 20 June 1868 (although the 1900 census lists her birth year as 1867) to Edmond or Edward and Matilda or Mathilda (Norton) Corsett in Pembroke, NY. According to the 1880 census she was attending school. She worked as a hired girl for Samuel and Harriet Walworth. When Harriet died it wasn’t considered proper for an unmarried woman to live in the same house with a man to whom she wasn’t married. One month after Samuel’s wife died on 23 June 1892, Sarah married Samuel who was 77 at that time. It was always said that it was a marriage in name only but Sarah would be the only one who knew that. Samuel died on 11 February 1895. He left Sarah 188 acres in Indian Falls, NY. Sarah eventually deeded a piece of that land to the Tonawanda Creek Indian Reservation, home of the Tonawanda Seneca Indians. Part of their burial ground was on that piece of land. The family was friendly with that tribe and wanted to give them the land to preserve that sacred land for them. She married John Wiedrich on 8 March 1896 in Alabama, NY. She was 27 and John was 38. It was said in the family that he was a bit of a drinker and proceeded to drink away her inheritance from Samuel Walworth. By 1910 she was living in Pembroke, Genesee County, NY. Her children were Edward (McKinley?) b.27 Sep 1896, Lydia Ursula b. 07 Aug 1898, Helen Matilda b. 18 Aug 1900, Chester John b. 17 Jul 1902, Bertha May b. 11 Sep 1905, James Alfred b. 23 Feb 1908, John Henry b. 26 Apr 1913. By 1918 she was living at 1 Pearl St., Batavia, NY. Her husband, John died on 23 Jun 1942 in their home on Pearl St. By this time, she was 74 years-old. Her house eventually was up for sheriff’s sale for being behind on taxes. Her daughter Lydia’s husband, Neal Smock bought the house. Sarah continued to live there but now had as her bedroom a small room off of the entryway and under the stairs. All of her worldly possessions had to fit in that room. Neal took everything else that didn’t fit to the dump including paintings of her family in gilt frames. Years later he regretted this saying he could have got money for those frames (no regrets about the paintings). After Sarah died Lydia’s daughter, Dorothy trashed letters from Sarah’s mother, Matilda (Mathilda). She didn’t know who her great grandmother was and didn’t care. Everyone said Sarah had a great sense of humor and enjoyed life. She liked being with her son, Edward and daughter-in-law, Hazel and would visit them even after
they moved to NJ and then to Tampa, Fla. Edward’s birth had never been registered so when he applied for Social Security around 1965, Sarah went with him to swear to his birth and to register for Social Security herself. She also loved to visit with her son, Chuck (Chester) and his wife Ernestine. She was a little woman and was referred to as Little Grandma. She always had a large garden in the back yard on Pearl St. with lots of vegetables and flowers. Later she would garden with Lydia and Neal in that same yard. She was an avid reader, especially the newspaper which she read from cover to cover. She also was up on current events and ideas. She was not embarrassed to talk about abortion in her 90s. Amazing for someone born just after the Civil War. I remember her sitting in her chair out of the way in the entry way turned living room on Pearl St. It was behind the front door, next to the window and hemmed in by the couch. In her 90s she was still drying the dishes and ironing flat items like tea towels. She had cataracts taken off at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia in her 80s. She had never been more than 30 miles from home until her 70s. She also never saw Niagara Falls (about 50 miles from her home) until her 80s when she went there with us (Midge, Earl and Arlene). When she went to Florida in her 80s she wore a 2 piece bathing suit (again amazing for a woman born just after the Civil War). I remember her talking about her little pony and cart. She said that every time she passed a certain spot the pony would get skiterich and be
difficult to handle. She also told me about the fact she didn’t wear a bra or as she would say a brassiere thing. Not surprising since she would have been in her 50s when they were invented. She wore an undershirt. She called my dad, Earl (her grandson-in-law) my big boy. She gave him her plate that had a dog on it. She said it came from Germany with her husband’s family. We visited her for a week every summer.

            Sarah died on 24 July 1968 at 8am in her home at 1 Pearl St., Batavia, NY. She was buried two days later in Maple Lawn Cemetery in Elba, NY. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

#52 Ancestors Challenge Week 2 Favorite Photo

Picking a favorite photo was a difficult choice to make. There are so many photos that I like. This photo was my mom’s favorite so since she has passed away feel a connection. That’s me on the left, my mom, Millicent (Wiedrich) Moore with the shovel and my grandmother, Hazel (Bristol) Wiedrich with the crutches. They spent all day burying car batteries upside down to make a walkway to their home. Environmentalists are gasping today but this was about 1953 in DeSoto Park Trailer Park in Tampa, Florida. Hazel lost her leg as a teenager, but she never thought of herself as handicapped and could do just about everything.

This picture is my favorite. It’s my mom and me on the front steps of our house in Gloucester City, NJ.  The picture below is my grandfather, Edward Wiedrich, my mom and her sisters about 1931 in Genesee County, NY. They were so poor it reminds me to be thankful for the many blessing I have.  

Monday, January 1, 2018

Thanks Mr. McQuillan

Thanks Mr. Bob McQuillan
The first time I thought about starting my family tree was in 8th grade history. My teacher, Bob McQuillan gave us the assignment to chart our family tree. My parents had always talked about family and ancestors, but nothing was written down. So, with my mom we worked on the assignment. It’s not that we knew a lot, just a few generations. Better than names were family stories. Both my parents knew their grandparents and some great-grandparents, where they lived and if they were born in the US. So, the chart was done.
Years later mom and I started to be more serious and do some research on her line instead of relying on word of mouth. Not that we discovered a lot of new things but now we had some documentation. My dad’s side was a different story. My dad was orphaned at 6 and his dad at about the same age. Although they still had family connections all the stories didn’t passed down. My dad would have been delighted with the information I discovered about his paternal line after he died. But his maternal line was a mess. Both of his maternal grandparents passed down fictionalized accounts of their ancestors.
So, Mr. McQuillan, thank you for starting me on the path to genealogy. My family tree differs a great deal from that assignment you gave in 8th grade. Since that time, I’ve been able to spend many hours with ancestors I’ve never met but have come to cherish. And I’ve come to feel that the most important history is my own personal family history

#52Ancestors,  #52Ancestors 2018, #Bob Mcquillan, #52Ancestors 2018 Start

Monday, January 18, 2016

Edward Wiedrich

Edward McKinley Wiedrich
On September 27, 1896 Edward McKinley Wiedrich was born to John and Sarah in Pembroke, Genesee County, New York.[i] His middle name of McKinley is not verified. He would grow to 5’7” with blue eyes and brown hair. He was their first born child. Although his children claimed he had little formal education the 1910 Federal Census lists him as attending school. Since his father was a farmer it could be he missed school often to help on the farm. But he was an avid life-long reader and received much of his knowledge from what he read. By 1915 he had left school and worked in a mill.[ii]
Always one who wished to wander the world, he left home and became a merchant sailor. In October of 1918 he received his seaman’s certificate at the Port of Boston that lists him as 5’7” and 165lbs – probably the heaviest in his life. Later he would probably weigh 120lbs soaking wet. Two of the ships he worked on were the Elizabeth and the Margaret.
The Margaret was a steam cargo ship built in 1916 by the Maryland Steel Co. It was 3352 gross tons. 99.7 x 14.1m. He served as an oiler. His ships went to various ports including those in Delaware, Baltimore, Boston and Puerto Rico. He went through the Panama Canal during those early years and wrote home about the sights he saw and the primitive conditions in that area. Sometime in 1920 he returned home from sailing.[iii]

Wiard Plow 1921
Once home and went back to work at the Wiard Plow factory where he
Wiard Plow
worked as a fireman.[iv] The family moved to 1 Pearl St, Batavia, Genesee County, New York. Also around this time he also worked delivering ice whether as a side job or during a layoff from the plow factory.[v] This is how he met Hazel Bristol when he delivered ice to her house.
Hazel Bristol and Edward Wiedrich married on March 17, 1921. They were married by Rev. Johnson in the Baptist parsonage in Batavia. After the wedding they lived with
Hazel’s mother, Mattie at 559 E. Main St. in Batavia.[vi] This arrangement while financially beneficial was a problem as Hazel’s mother was difficult and domineering. This is especially evident when Hazel became pregnant with their first child. Hazel had her leg amputated to the hip as a teenager. Her mother did not want her to have children so when she became pregnant Mattie went to the police station
and demanded her son-in-law be arrested. This caused quite a lot of laughter by police officers as later attested by Ed’s future brother-in-law who was on the police force at that time.
Their first daughter, Yvonne was born on January 27, 1922, followed one year later by Bonalyn on January 13, 1923. By 1925 Ed was a woodworker probably still at the Wiard Plow. They continued to live with Mattie until 1933 when they lived at 12 Swan St. in Batavia. This was just up the street from the Wiard Plow. Hazel was operating a Doll Hospital out of their house. This was where she repaired china dolls.
[vii] They had now added two more daughters, Millicent born May 15, 1928 and Constance. 
In 1935 they moved to the outskirts of town to a farm on Creek Rd. [viii] While he continued to work at the Wiard Plow he also did some farming at their house. Sometime in the 1930’s he also swept up at a bean factory. His daughter Millicent related how he would bring home the sweepings and the kids would pick out any beans that were in the dirt. Things were tough at this time and the beans helped put food on the table. It also developed a lifelong love of beans in Millicent. In the 1937 city directory Ed’s occupation is trucking. By the 1940 Census he had lost the farm on Creek Rd. and was back living with Mattie. He was now a laborer in a farm implement factory (probably the
Wiard Plow).[ix] Ed was again in the house of someone he couldn’t get along with.
Within the year he moved his family to Gloucester City in a trailer camp in Gloucester Heights. Someone had promised him a good job but when he got here there was no job. He ended up cleaning out septic tanks and was soon covered with boils. Around this time he signed on to a merchant ship leaving his family to get by on their own. Yvonne who had graduated from high school in Batavia took a job as a waitress. Millicent who was 12-yrs-old and in school took a job bussing dishes at the diner. Ed never sent any money home and when he returned a year later brought no money back with him. Meanwhile they lived in a truck converted into a trailer home in Thorpe’s trailer park on Marlboro Ave. Millicent told of sleeping in a tight dark space over the cab that left her claustrophobic. Bonalyn graduated from Gloucester High went into the Navy as soon as she turned 20-yrs-old, the minimum age to sign up for women. Yvonne had a baby girl and continued to hone her skill as a waitress. She was joined by Millicent in the waitress ranks. Millicent and Constance continued attending Gloucester High where Constance played athletics.
Then in 1945 Ed decided to pack up the family and move to Florida. Bonnie was still in the Navy and Midge (Millicent) who had just graduated from high school decided to stay in Gloucester and board with a friend’s family. Ed, Hazel, Yvonne, Connie and Patsy moved to Tampa, Florida. They left just before Christmas and had a journey like the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath. The truck and Yvonne’s ancient car made the trip. Vehicles broke down and took a lot of tinkering to get going again. Bald tires went flat and needed sewing (a desperate technique when tires are unavailable and expensive) and less pressure to avoid more flats. At night they would stop by the side of the road or in a parking lot. They spent Christmas in the truck. I can imagine a sad atmosphere - Connie who would have to transfer schools and Hazel who endured so much in her life. They eventually reached Jacksonville where they stayed with friends for a few days until after the New Year. Then it was on to St. Petersburg.
Eventually they settled in De Soto Park in Tampa on the bay. The park had its roots in the 20’s when Tampa set aside the park to accommodate people migrating to Florida or just wintering and later in the 30’s during the Great Depression permanent residents. These former “Tin Can Trailer Camps” became the trailer parks of the post war era. Florida encouraged them to support the tourist industry. At De Soto there were various trailers and cabins and some circus people. There were circus acts practicing in the park green.  Tampa had great resources for the children around the city. Recreation directors were in all parts of the city including De Soto Park all day during the summer and after school during the school year. In De Soto Park it was Mochine Fernandez who worked there from just after WWII until 1969.[x] I met her in 1969 when we rode over to see where my family lived during their early years in Florida. One of Midge’s favorite pictures was of Hazel, Midge and me (Arlene) making a walkway of upside down batteries in front of the cabin in De Soto Park.
Ed found work on a farm and later in a Dawson fish camp where he did carpentry work. He loved working on boats. Both he and Hazel were active with the local Power Squadron. Anything about the sea found a place in Ed’s heart.
The Wiedrich clan finally found a home on Interbay Blvd. in Port Tampa. It was a large old Florida house built in the late 1800s. It was large enough that they made apartments on the first and second floors for some extra income. There was a wrap-around porch and a large side yard. In 1964 a few years before Ed died he suffered a heart attack and gave the family a scare. He recovered but on August 2, 1966 he died of complications from pulmonary thrombosis, myocardial infarction and a ruptured peptic ulcer.[xi]

[i] Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security D),, Number: 140-12-8288; Issue State: New Jersey; Issue Date: Before 1951. Birth date:  27 Sep 1896; United States, Selective Service System.
World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National rchives and Records Admini),, Registration Location: Genesee County, New York; Roll: 1753735; Draft Board: 0. Birth date:  27 Sep 1896 Birth place:  New York;United States of America; United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards,
World War II: Fourth Registration. National Archives and Records Administration Branch l),, Roll: ; Local board: Camden , New Jersey. Birth date:  27 Sep 1896 Birth place:  Pembroke, New York
[ii] State population census schedules, 1915. Albany, New York: New York State Archives.Original data: State population census schedules, 1915. Albany, New York: New York S.
[iii] Edward Wiedrich Citizen Seaman Identification record; New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2010),, Year: 1920.
[iv] 1920; Census Place: Batavia Ward 4, Genesee, New York; Roll: T625_1114; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 10; Image
[v] Story told by Hazel Wiedrich about how she met Edward. Also a picture of him driving the ice truck.
[vi], U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Provo, UT, USA, 1933 Batavia, NY
[vii], U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Beta) (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: 1933 Batavia, NY
[viii], U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Provo, UT, USA: 1935 Batavia. NY
[ix], Year: 1940; Census Place: Batavia, Genesee, New York; Roll: T627_2538; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 19-5.
[xi] Death Certificate
#Edward Wiedrich
#Genesee County NY
#Batavia NY

Monday, September 1, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #32 Mary Edwards

Mary Edwards

Mary Edwards was born in 1615 in Postslade, Sussex, England, as the first child of John Edwards and Elizabeth Whitfield. She had six siblings, namely: Martha, Francis E, Jane, Elizebeth, John, and Rice. She died on 07 Dec 1693 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States. When she was 21, she married Francis Brown,son of Francis Brown and Elizabeth Brewster, in 1636 in England. When she was 53, she married William Payne,son of William Payne and Anna North, in 1668 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.

Mary Edwards arrived in Came to Boston in 1637 (Came on the "Hector"). She arrived in New Haven, Connecticut in 1639.

Francis Brown and Mary Edwards had the following children:

1.  Lydia Brown was born on 29 Jan 1636 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States. She died in 1719 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States. She married Henry Bristol on 29 Jan 1656 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.
2.  Samuel Brown was born on 07 Aug 1645 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States. He died on 06 Nov 1691 in Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States. He married Mercy Tuttle on 02 May 1667 in New Haven, New Haven, CT.
3.  Eleazer Brown was born on 10 Oct 1642 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States. He died on 23 Oct 1714 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States (Age: 72). He married Sarah Bulkeley in 1663 in New Haven, CT.
4.  John Brown was born on 07 Apr 1640 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States. He died on 06 Nov 1690 in Newark, Essex, New Jersey, United States.
5.  Ebenezer Brown was born on 21 Jun 1646 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States. He died on 03 Mar 1739 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States (Age: 92). He married Hannah Vincent on 28 Mar 1667 in New Haven, New Haven, CT.
6.  Francis BROWN was born in 1630 in Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut, United States. He died in 1686 in Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut, United States.
 7.  Rebecca Brown was born in 1627 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States. She died in 1655 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.

William Payne and Mary Edwards had the following children:

      1.  John  was born in 1649 in New Haven, CT. He died on 04 Jun 1729 in New Haven, CT.
      2   Elizabeth Payne was born on 06 Mar 1648 in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.             She died on 19 Sep 1718 in Dedham, Norfolk, MA (Age: 70). She married Thomas Sanford on 11 Oct 1666 in United States. She married Obadiah Allen on 21 Oct 1669 in United States.
Haven, CT.

#52Ancestors 2014
#Mary Edwards

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #31 Stella M Van Dorn

Stella M Van Doren

Stella M Van Doren was born about 1873 in Tamaqua, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania as the first child of Theodore Van Doren and Rachael M. Lindner. She had nine siblings, namely: Miles Calvin, Emma, Eliza, Olive B, Adolph Benjamin, Abigail, Louisa, Mary Melinde, and John. She died in camden,nj. When she was 20, she married John Grossmick,son of Frederick Grossmick and Maria Sophia Klehm, on 27 Sep 1893 in Camden,Camden County, New Jersey, German Evang .Luth. Trinity Church.
Stella M Van Doren lived in Tamaqua, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, United States in 1880 (Age: 7; Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head of House: Daughter). She lived in Camden, New Jersey, USA in 1897. She lived in Camden Ward 11, Camden, New Jersey in 1900. She lived in Camden Ward 11, Camden, New Jersey in 1910 (Age: 39; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Wife). She lived in Camden, New Jersey, USA in 1911. She lived in Camden, New Jersey, USA in 1912. She lived in Camden, New Jersey, USA in 1913. She lived in Camden, New Jersey, USA in 1914. She lived in Camden, New Jersey, USA in 1915. She lived in Camden, New Jersey, USA in 1916. She lived in Camden, New Jersey, USA in 1917. She lived in Camden Ward 11, Camden, New Jersey in 1920 (Age: 43; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Wife). She lived in Camden Ward 11, Camden, New Jersey in 1920 (1032 N. 25th St.). She lived in Camden, New Jersey, USA in 1923. She lived in Camden, New Jersey, USA in 1926. She lived in Camden, New Jersey, USA in 1928 (Listed as Widow of John, 1032 N. 25th Street, Cramer Hill section of Camden, New Jersey.). She lived in Camden, Camden, New Jersey in 1930 (Age: 56; Marital Status: Widowed; Relation to Head of House: Head). She lived in 25th Street, Camden, Camden, New Jersey in 1930 (Widowed, lives next door to Erickson's).

John Grossmick and Stella M Van Doren had the following children:

Florence May Grossmick was born in Dec 1897 in Stockton, Camden, New Jersey. She died in Camden NJ. She married William James Deerr on 23 Jul 1917 in Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland.
Clara May Grossmick was born on 06 Apr 1894 in N.Cramer Hill, Camden Twsp, New Jersey. She married Arthur Hummell on 23 Aug 1915 in Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland.
Lester John Grossmick was born on 25 Apr 1896 in Camden, New Jersey, USA,. He died in May 1964 in Camden, Camden, New Jersey, United States.
Troy Grossmick was born in Dec 1897 in New Jersey.