Most of my ancestors were poorer than dirt . . .and few made it past elementary school.
My sister, who shares my interest in genealogy, and I are trying to find another Revolutionary Patriot. We are obviously in D.A.R. We’ve been researching Margaret Brinkerhoff. She was the daughter of Hendrick Brinkerhoff and Annetje Vreeland. Margaret was born in New Jersey in approximately 1787. She somehow met and ran off with William Wallace and they were married in Trinity Church, an Episcopalian Parish, in 1801. Her family were all members of the Dutch Reformed Church and this may have caused a family rift. If you have visited the site of the World Trade Center Towers or visited the Wall Street area, that is the church they were married in.
This old postcard is not of the original church. The original church was destroyed in a fire, which started in the Fighting Cocks Tavern and destroyed nearly 500 buildings and houses and left thousands of New Yorkers homeless. Six days later, most of the city’s volunteer firemen followed General Washington north.
But back to my relatives. When you hit a brick wall in genealogy, you go back and try researching lesser players, i.e., children of the people you are researching and their relatives. I was searching obituaries today on genealogybank.com to see if I could find out more about Margaret Brinkerhoff and William Wallace.
One of their daughters, Mary Wallace, married Isaac Lewis. Mary Wallace was born in 1810 in New York City and Isaac Lewis was born in 1807 in Stratford, Connecticut. Mary died on 17 Nov 1891. Isaac Lewis died on 2 Feb 1892.
But, wow! When I started reading his obituary and finding newspaper articles about him, I saw that he was an extremely wealthy man. OK. . .OK, I confess, he isn’t exactly a relative, but he was the husband of my third great aunt on the Wallace side. So I actually still have struck out on having any wealthy ancestors and only have inebriates, coal miners and the slightly deranged. Sigh.
Below is what can be found now at 107 East 13th Street, NY, NY. This address was printed in his obituary.
After I found the obituary for Isaac, I found a notice of the sale of his real estate. “The following private sale is reported: Ascher Weinstein has bought nos. 105 and 107 East Fifteenth St. between Union Square and Irving Place. . . .This is part of the estate of Isaac Lewis”
This area is now part of New York University (NYU), and 107 East 15th Street is where the The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute is located. And all of this is near my very favorite book store in the entire world — The Strand, which is located at 828 East 12th Street, NYC. No visit to NYC is complete without a trip to The Strand.
But it gets better. Isaac Lewis was a big investor in the “L”. It isn’t the “L” subway line that we know now, but a road to Brooklyn. My daughter and her husband bought their condo in Brooklyn precisely to be close to the “L” subway. The L subway is a straight shot into Manhattan. It is so much faster and easier than a car or a cab. And, voila!, you can get off right in Union Square (where Isaac Lewis lived) and visit The Strand. And, even better, by living in Brooklyn, they get a tiny bit of outdoor space. Which is a rare commodity in NYC and Brooklyn.
It kind of makes you wonder about DNA and retained genetic knowledge. I have loved The Strand since I first set foot in it. And my daughter loves the L so much that she moved close to a station in Brooklyn. Strange!
I am going to attach three parts of different articles detailing Isaac Lewis’ interest in the L and the bridges to Brooklyn. Please note that another gentleman named was Senator McCarren. He has a park named for him close to where my daughter and her family lives.
This home was built by Aaron Kelley (son of Ezekiel) on the Kelley Homestead south of Hillsboro, Ohio in 1862/3.
Below is the lineage back to Ezekiel —
Ezekiel Kelley, born 1771 Maryland – died 1858 Ohio (father unknown)
son of Ezekiel —
Aaron Kelley, born 1817 Ohio – died 1893 Ohio
son of Aaron —
John Weller Kelley, born 1845 Ohio – died 1931 Nebraska
son of John —
Forrest Aaron Kelley, born 1878 Iowa – died 1945 Kansas
son of Forrest —
Robert Wilson Kelley, born 1912 Kansas – died 1977 Missouri
Below was Copied from The Highland Press, Hillsboro, Ohio
9/10/2012 11:22:00 AM
Southern Ohio Genealogical Society to conduct program on Ezekiel Kelley and Troutwine Cemetery
Thursday, Sept. 20 will be the first fall program of the Southern Ohio Genealogical Society.
The guest speaker will be Howard Kelly of Webertown, a community just west of Lynchburg in Highland County. Howard will be sharing the story of Ezekiel Kelley and the Troutwine Cemetery.
Howard’s ancestor, Ezekiel Kelley, first came to Highland County (circa 1797) as a meat hunter for the survey crew of Nathaniel Massie. Massie was one of the first surveyors in the Northwest Territory.
The hunters led the party, followed by the surveyors, the chainmen, the markers then the pack horses with the baggage. Also, about 200 yards in the rear of the others, a man called the spy made sure the party would not be attacked in the rear.
Ezekiel Kelley was among the party that made the first surveys of the territory that is now Highland County. He received $10.50 for his services.
Ezekiel homesteaded on Ballard Survey No. 2,352 some four miles southeast of Hillsboro, near New Market. A burial plot on the farm was selected when a member of the family died in 1806. Today, the cemetery on the hill overlooking the old home site is enclosed in a cement wall.
Howard Kelley, speaker, has also done extensive work at the Troutwive Cemetery which is located near Webertown just north of Route 50 near the Brown and Clinton county lines.
The land for this cemetery – one acre – was originally deeded March 7, 1847 to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Then again on March 7, 1873, another deed conveyed the “public burying ground” to the Trustees of Dodson Township.
Howard Kelley has been building muzzle-loading rifles since the early 1960s and also builds fiddles, banjos and is a fiddle player himself.
Below is Information on the Kelley Cemetery, copied from ancestry.com
And if you want to see who is buried there, go to http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=41669&CScn=kelly+cemetery&CScntry=4&CSst=37&
Name: Kelley Cemetery Map No. 122Location: Liberty Township Page: 261Remarks: This cemetery was in the KELLEY name for over 150 years. On July 18, 1806 Ezekiel KELLEY, the pioneer from Maryland, bought 100 acres from Henry MASSIE, recorded in Transcribed Book 11, page 20, Highland County Deed Records. His son Aaron KELLEY lived and died on this farm. M.G. and Esie Kelley owned the farm in 1916, and Florence D. KELLEY, their daughter-in-law, owned it until 1967.On June 28, 1841, in Original Book 9, page 83, Highland County, Deed Records, Ezekiel KELLEY and Catherine his wife conveyed to James KELLY, William LONG and Andrew HOTT the following described real estate “for a burying ground anf for no lives”. On July 27, 1882, in Original Book 59, page 423, Aaron KELLY conveyed to James KELLY, William LONG and Andrew HOTT ” for a burial ground 20 feet off of the west side of the grave yard on my farm in Little Rocky Fork in Liberty Township in Highland County, Ohio, the graveyard being described in deed date 1841 of Ezekiel KELLY to same parties…containing 20 ft off the west end thereof. “This cemetery is enclosed by a cement wall and broad cement steps as a stile give easy access into the cemetery. All stones copied. Copied word for word out of the “CEMETERY INSCRIPTIONS OF HIGHLAND COUNTY, OHIO, Complied by David N. McBride, Attorney at Law and Jane N. McBride, Past Regent, Waw-Wil-Way Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution Past President, General Duncan McArthur Chapter, Daughters of 1812, National Society Daughters of the American Colonists.
Joan Rivers says that when she comes across an ugly baby and can’t think of what to say, she comments on how nice the crib is!
Here is some background in case you haven’t read my earlier posts. My older brother and I were both adopted from The Willows Maternity Sanitarium in Kansas City, Missouri. We aren’t related genetically, but grew up together and are close. As close as two complete recluses can be.
My brother is four years older. After my parents adopted him, they immediately set the wheels in motion to adopt another baby. Single child households were not common back in the late 1940’s – early 1950’s as these were the baby boom years after WWII.
In order to adopt another child, my older brother was taken to a child psychologist and interviewed. I’ve copied what the psychologist wrote about him.
And she was dead on about my brother. From an early age, he showed incredible mechanical genius. He was a mad inventor even as a little kid. My brother made rocket fuel in the basement. He created a mechanical witch that popped out of the clothes hamper in the bathroom to scare me when I got up in the middle of the night to pee. And on and on. Mom said that whenever she visited his elementary school unannounced, he was always standing out in the hall being punished for one thing or another. Honestly, he was just bored. A.A. Hyde Elementary School didn’t appreciate his aptitude and also didn’t know how to handle him with the exception of making him stand in the hall.
In 1951, my parents were given the opportunity to adopt a baby girl (me). One month after my birth, they drove to Kansas City to pick me up. As you can see, I was skinny, very red and hairy. My eyes appeared oversized, much too big for my face.
The state of Missouri has finally changed their laws on Sealed Adoption Records. If both biological parents are dead (and you can prove it), you can petition the Court to receive a copy of your adoption file. (I have written more on this subject in earlier posts)
I finally received a very thick manila envelope of paperwork from the Circuit Court of Jackson County. Inside were pychological evaluations of my parents, letters of reference, copies of receipts, etc.
Luckily for me, Mom didn’t see me through other people’s eyes. If she had known what the home visitor had written, that I was not pretty and not precocious, she would have driven to Kansas City and kicked her in the butt! Once they got us, Mom and Dad were the most loyal parents ever.
Below is copied from a letter that Mom wrote to the social worker in Kansas City. (a copy of her letter was in my big manila evelope)
Her hair is very dark for a tiny baby and her head is beautifully shaped. I have seen pretty babies, but none as pretty as Jan. Now, if we can just teach her all the things that must go with her being so beautiful.
I wish our pictures truly could show you how sweet our baby is, but some day we will be in Kansas City and we will bring her to see you.
Thanks Mom and Dad! R.I.P.
We live near an antique mall that has a booth dedicated to old postcards, magazines and snapshots. I enjoy looking though the boxes and picking out a few photos or postcards when the mood strikes me. I only like the photos that have names on them. Some of the other photos are really great, but they aren’t any fun because I can’t find them on ancestry.com or google. The same booth also has a box of carte de visite — but again, just photos and no names. But the carte de visite are so wonderful that I may break down and buy a few. I’ve copied the information below from Wikipedia.
The carte de visite (abbreviated CdV or CDV, and also spelled carte-de-visite or erroneously referred to as carte de ville) was a type of small photograph which was patented in Paris, France by photographer André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri in 1854, although first used by Louis Dodero. It was usually made of an albumen print, which was a thin paper photograph mounted on a thicker paper card. The size of a carte de visite is 54.0 mm (2.125 in) × 89 mm (3.5 in) mounted on a card sized 64 mm (2.5 in) × 100 mm (4 in). In 1854, Disdéri had also patented a method of taking eight separate negatives on a single plate, which reduced production costs. The Carte de Visite was slow to gain widespead use until 1859, when Disdéri published Emperor Napoleon III‘s photos in this format. This made the format an overnight success, and the new invention was so popular it was known as “cardomania” and eventually spread throughout the world.
Each photograph was the size of a visiting card, and such photograph cards became enormously popular and were traded among friends and visitors. The immense popularity of these card photographs led to the publication and collection of photographs of prominent persons. “Cardomania” spread throughout Europe and then quickly to America. Albums for the collection and display of cards became a common fixture in Victorian parlors.
It’s a shame when people throw away photo albums. If you do a search on ebay, you can always find family memorabilia that you would think someone would want to hold onto.
Below is a photo of Bert and Mabel Kimball, taken on their silver wedding anniversary in 1932.
A quick search on ancestry.com places Bert and Mabel in Berwyn, Custer County, Nebraska in the 1940 census. Bert’s occupation is listed as “farmer”. I bet a few are wondering, “how do you know that is really true?” Ha! Because “Berwyn, NE” is written in tiny letters at about the level of Mabel’s hem.
This next photo is fun because the two gentlemen look a little bit like the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. I don’t have enough information to do a quick search for them because the caption only says “Mr. Deweese and Friend”, Franklin, Indiana. The photo was taken around 1912. (over 100 years old!) Please note the resemblance between “Deweese & friend” and “Laurel and Hardy”.
Next is a cute photo of three children. There is a lot of information written on the front. Left to right is Paul Samuel Caton and Harold and Beulah Royce. The photo was taken at Dos Palos, California in 1912.
Paul is dressed in a Little Lord Fauntleroy style outfit. Harold looks full of mischief! (and a little like Alfred E. Newman from “Mad” magazine) A quick search of Paul Samuel Caton shows that he was born 1904 in Oklahoma and in the 1920 census, was living in Dos Palos, CA. And the California death index lists that Paul Samuel Caton, born 1904 in Oklahoma, died 1988 in Alameda, CA. What a lot one photo can tell you about a person.
There isn’t a clue on this photo as to who these people were. This is actually a postcard mailed to Mrs. Mary Nelson of Shenandoah, Iowa. The note is addressed to “Dear Ma” and it mentions that the chickens are hatching. The reason I bought it is because I live in jeans and t-shirts and can’t imagine having to wear such an incredible amount of clothing. And, probably, under the outer layer there is another layer of petticoats and whatever. The stamp on the postcard is a 1 cent green George Washington and a quick google lookup says that stamp was probably issued in 1908. The postmark on the card is too faint to read.
This is an unsigned, unsent photo postcard. I don’t have a clue who this man is, but he reminded me of Lurch from The Addams family. In a lot of these photos, the photographer poses the person next to a piece of furniture. In this case, a table. I have no reason why they did this — but it does show how tall this gentleman was.
Back in January, I wrote about Harry Morris & his disappearance. You can see the earlier post published on January 13, 2013. His grandson Joe & I have spent many hours searching online for Harry & have never found anything. He simply disappeared from Kansas City — leaving his wife, Flora (Blume Kremer) Morris, with six children to care for. Because a person can’t completely vanish in today’s world, I have had a hard time accepting that he just walked out. I understand divorce and separation, but I can’t imagine never coming back to see your children. Thanks to Flora’s other recent immigrant family members from Russia and Lithuania, she somehow managed to keep her family together. And she eventually remarried and lived to be 81 years old, living from 1890 to 1971. Flora (Blume Kremer) was a resourceful and resilient woman.
Now with better communication, computers, DNA tests, etc., it is a rare occurrence that a man (or woman) can go to the corner store for a pack of cigarettes & never return. Harry’s grandson, Joe, has had his DNA tested on familytreedna.com and maybe some day, someone will be a good DNA match and the pieces can be put together.
My interest in Harry Morris started when I began trying to help my daughter’s Russian & Eastern European side of her family create a family tree. Over the last weeks, I have read many articles about the difficulties that these new immigrants had in adjusting to their lives in America. I bought a used book titled “Mid-America’s Promise: A Profile of Kansas City Jewry” that was edited by Joseph D. Schultz & published in 1982.
I bought this book hoping that it might contain some references to my daughter’s family members. Unfortunately, there aren’t any with the one exception of a photo of Robert “Bob” Bernstein who invented the McDonald’s Happy Meal. But, from this wonderful book I have learned how these Russian & Eastern European immigrants, at the turn of the 20th Century, ended up in Kansas City, MO.
I will try to keep this short, but a brilliant man named Jacob Billikopf was instrumental in the Kansas City immigration story. He was a recent immigrant from Lithuania who worked with other Jewish leaders to try and remedy the situation in New York. The wave of immigrants had begun to overwhelm New York’s resources and the city leader’s were quickly becoming desperate. The book explains how Jacob created the “Billikopf Route”. Many representatives of American Jewish charities traveled to Hamburg & Bremerhaven to try and convince the immigrants to land and move further west from NYC. Jacob Billikopf basically created the Galveston, TX route in order to help the immigrants find a “more assured future”. He managed Kansas City’s Jewish social services and found jobs and housing for the people willing to travel further west.
That said, it doesn’t explain what happened to Harry Morris. While many Eastern European immigrants were able to quickly assimilate, some were not. The ones who landed in NYC could hold onto their old ways, Yiddish language, and customs longer than the immigrants who moved further west. There was more pressure on those who took the “Billikopf Route” and some felt very isolated in their new country. There were also social and cultural rifts between the older German Jewish population and the new poorer Eastern European immigrants.
Desertion, the poor man’s “divorce”, happened so often among the Eastern Europeans that a National Desertion Bureau was formed to help locate the wayward Jewish husbands and fathers. Jacob Billikopf became very disturbed by the problems created by desertion and death. He and Judge Edward Porterfield wrote and passed a bill in 1911 that established a “Mothers’ Assistance Fund” in Kansas City. This bill was a forerunner to the Aid to Dependent Children programs across the country.
The problems caused by desertion didn’t occur only in Kansas City. The situation was so bad that the Jewish Daily Forward, the largest-circulation Yiddish daily in the world, began running the “Gallery of Missing Men,” a page full of mug shots of these husbands. It was published to shame them into returning to their families. Or maybe to warn other women about these scoundrels.
I mailed a box of Daddy Ray’s slides off to http://digmypics.com/ They have great recommendations & after the job they did on these 50 plus year old slides, I am very happy with them. If you have any old slides that you would like made into jpeg files, I recommend them.