Monday, August 26, 2013

Mystery Monday: That photo of Joseph Hampton Whetstone in a fireman's uniform

That's him on the right.

There's this old photo Mom has in her file of her mother's father, Joseph Hampton Whetstone (1858 - 1939). There he is in the photo in question, above. I have to confess, for quite a while (too long) I looked at the original of that image not realizing that it was backwards, and trying to figure out what was on their tunics! I swear! When I finally reversed the image it was abundantly obvious that the letters were FFD and stood for Frostburg Fire Department. It's funny how if you've always looked at a thing one way, it's hard to see it any other way... even if it's obviously so very wrong!

The original backwards photo.
Sure, like you would have known;)

Frostburg is the small town in the lovely mountains of Western Maryland, up in Allegany County, where most of my most recent generations of ancestors lived. Some lines in this geographic area go back to before the Revolutionary War. Mom still lives there, and Aunt Betty, too. It's a four-season place and embraced by the beauties of nature. Summer and fall are spectacular. It gets really cold in winter and the Fire Department is still called out on unfortunate nights to fight house and business fires. I remember growing up often hearing of someone having a house fire in winter. Everyone was sympathetic because it could happen to anyone.

There's a Facebook group called "You Know You're From Frostburg When..." and I joined not too long ago. I was pleased to see some people I know there and to read posts exploring the town and its history. It was quite interesting! Finally after just lurking, I posted the photo at the top and this text:

For anyone who is a fan of the Frostburg Fire Department and its history, here's an old photo from my Mom's collection, and Mom is Virginia Kelly. This is her grandfather on the right, Joseph Hampton Whetstone (1858 - 1939.) The family home burned to the ground, am not sure of the year. Perhaps it was after that he joined the Department. Mom's mother was real little when that took place and she was born in 1897. Do not know who the other two gentlemen are as only Joseph H was identified on the back of the picture.

One of the group members actually posts FFD history frequently and he chimed in with even more info about the uniform (red) and the big number 1.

He commented:
We are VERY interested in this or ANYTHING else that is FFD related. We are in the home stretch of completing a "Day Room" at the new Price Station firehouse, which will include a lounge area as well as an area designated to display memorabilia to include old badges, parade caps, helmets, photos, Chief's trumpet, etc. Please keep us in mind if you come across anything.

I quickly asked him more about the uniform, and he replied:
Don't know much about what exactly was "issued" by the department back then, during the first 15-20 years.  I know prior to the turn-of-the-century, they did issue a full uniform to include pants. It's likely that back than they just did the shirt and belt?? The two standing do have matching belts.  Looking at the helmet shield, it's pretty tough to make out what is on them, however when I enlarge the photo, it looks like your GGF's shield on the bottom ends with a "F"?? That could be Chief? I went through our records real fast but I don't see a Whetstone listed as a Chief but there are a few years that we are missing data. No info for Fire Chief in both 1882 & 1885. There is a Peter Whetstone who was our President in 1882. Did your GGF have any relatives named Peter?

Why, yes he did! His brother was Peter Yeast Whetstone (1847 - 1918)!

I took this image into Photoshop and did a little repair on it just to take out scratches and dust and dirt. Then I sent it off for use in the Day Room. Can't wait until the new Price Station firehouse opens and we can all go see it! Mom will love that:)

Joseph Hampton and Catherine Elizabeth House Whetstone (1865 - 1947)
at home with some of their grandchildren.
Mom sports the large hair bow!
About 1920.

Mystery Monday is a blogging prompt from Geneabloggers. That's for this one, guys!

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Surname Saturday: Her name was Lydia Merrill

Look at the clock! It's Saturday all over again, and time for my all-time fav blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers called Surname Saturday. To my way of thinking, his a super good way to post because each week I go one line deeper on the tree. Because I'm a second generation genealogist and Mom has built out a splendid tree, my job is to get the word out, and learn on the job. This is a perfect exercise to learn the tree, as well as the near perfect cousin bait! Calling all cousins:)

This week's exercise is the ancestry of Lydia Merrill. Poor Lydia. I feel bad for her because she yet another woman on the tree about whom we know next to nothing. You'll see as you read on.

1. Diane Kelly Weintraub

2. Francis Patrick " Pat" Kelly
(1916 - 2007)
3. Virginia Williams, living and loving it

4. John Lee "Lee" Kelly (1892 - 1969)
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller Kelly ( 1894 - 1985)

10. Gustav William "Gus" Zeller (1858 - 1927)
11. Moretta Workman Zeller (1859 - 1946)

22. Elijah Workman 1816 - 1864
23. Nancy Ann Troutman 1826 - 1882
Elijah was born and died in Zihlman, Allegany County, MD, which is really hard to find on the map. The Workman Farm, mentioned below, is located near here. Zihlman is located near Mt. Savage and Frostburg, Maryland. You can just about see Zihlman from where Mom now lives, especially when the leaves are off the trees.
Nancy Ann Troutman was born in Wellersburg, Somerset County, PA.
Here are their children:
Amanda Workman 1848 - 1865
Caspar Workman 1849 - 1949. He married Margaret Holtzman Merrill. They both died in Frostburg.
Benjamin Workman 1851 - 1869
John Franklin Workman 1857 - 1930. He married Mary Anne Mealing. They both died in Frostburg.
11. Moretta Workman Zeller 1859 - 1946
Mary Ann Workman 1861 - 1939. She married Peter Pressman. They both died in Frostburg.
Joseph Workman 1863 - 1894. He died in Frostburg.

44. John Workman 1779 - 1859
45. Amelia Combs about 1789 - ????
John was also born in Zihlman but died just up the hill in Frostburg. Presumable, Amelia Combs was born close by Zihlman and also died in Frostburg, but proof remains elusive. Very recently - like yesterday - a Combs family history has come into my possession, so this might get updated real soon:)
John was a farmer and in the 1840 US Census owned one slave. This was the first record of him owning slaves.
They had these children:
Rebecca Workman 1809 - before 1908. She married Solomon Hansel. They both died in Frostburg.
Kate Workman 1810 - ????. She married Noah Trimble from Wellersburg PA.
Joseph Workman 1812 - 1879. He married Louisa Knabenshue from Keyser, Mineral County, WVa.
Isaac Workman 1814 - 1897
22. Elijah Workman 1816 - 1864
Margaret Workman 1819 - 1908. She married James P. Hannah and then Harry Stevens.
John L. Workman 1821 - 11873. He married Druzilla Workman.
Stephen Workman 1823 - ????.
Cuthbert Workman 1825 - 1882. He married Nancy Conkle. He died in Danville, Knox, County, OH.
Nimrod Workman 1828 - 1870.
William Combs Workman 1831 - 1894. He married Clara Sophia Winebrenner and then Rebecca Sheffiff.

88. Isaac Workman (Jr.) 1742 - 1827
First wife unknown, mother of John, above
89. Second wife, Lydia Merrill 1743 - ????
Isaac was born in Somerset County, NJ and after his second wife, Lydia Merrill died, and he moved to Danville, Knox County, OH to be with his sons and daughter. He died there.
It is generally believed that it is this Isaac Workman who on 28 Aug 1776, joined the Revolutionary War in the state of Maryland, Washington County, serving under Andrew Bruce, also from Washington County. Much needs to be done by me to investigate his service further.
And notice how many started moving to Knox County, Ohio! Need to investigate what was so enticing to attract them. Bet it's farming.
Lydia was born in Allegany County in Western Maryland in 1743. It was the frontier and wilderness then. A rough life, to be sure. She first married Alexander Hanna about whom we know nothing. She died in Churubusco, Whitley, Indiana, United States. Presumably, and maybe, she moved on west with her children when they moved to Knox County in Ohio. But how did she get to Indiana... before her second husband Isaac died? Whitley County is almost directly west of Knox County by about 150 miles or so. Curious.
These are their known children:
Stephen Workman 1767 - 1865. Born in Zihlman and died in Union Township, Knox County, OH. He married Jane Graham who was born in Ireland.
William Workman 1769 - ????
Rebecca Workman 1773 - 1835. Born in Zihlman and died in Union Township, Knox County, OH. Married Solomon Robinson.
44. John Workman 1779 - 1859
Lydia Workman 1782 - ????
Joseph C. Workman 1782 - 1852. He was born in Frostburg and died in Danville, Knox County, OH. He married Sarah Conner.

Supposedly Lydia Merrill's father was a Phillip Merrill. But that's pretty sketchy information. Where was he born? Who knows. If Lydia was born in Allegany County in 1743, them presumably he and his unnamed wife were living there at the time. Subtracting 20 years from Lydia's birth means that her father might have been born about 1720-ish. And that's about all we have.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: A movie about Cumberland, Maryland: "Our Town"

Frostburg, Allegany, Maryland. Fall 2012.

There was a local buzz about this project going back quite a while. It seems that video cameras were given out to some of the residents of Cumberland, Allegany, Maryland. Rumor had it that this project was going to result in a film to be aired on Maryland Public Television (MPT) and show the region and especially Cumberland (presumably in a good light). The project and film was to be called "Our Town".

To say it was much anticipated is an understatement. It seemed that everywhere I went while the project was underway, people were talking about it. The little mountain town of Frostburg from whence my peeps come is a scant six miles west of Cumberland and was also to be spotlighted in the movie.

"They're making a movie about us," was the common thread of many conversations, and uttered in a slightly boastful tone. Now you have to understand that these folks are really modest and not at all prone to boasting. (I'm lookin' at you NYC and LA!) I'm starting to think that communities that have been through very difficult times together aren't prone to bragging, lest it make unfortunate neighbors feel their pain all the more. But Cumberland and Frostburg were super proud... and taking baby steps on the road to boastful.

The famed actor William H. Macy Jr. grew up in Cumberland and was the perfect choice to narrate this film. You might remember his work because he's been in 126 movies and TV series! His narration was heart-felt.

OK, now if you are curious you need to know that the film is over an hour long. So visit the bathroom and get a cuppa and a snack before you sit down with it. And if you aren't from there, you might want to fast forward when you feel it's covering something you really have no interest in. But stick with it.

After watching "Our Town" I asked myself why they made it. It's both a love poem to the region and, at least to me, a perfect sales tool for tourism and retiree relocation. If you are a software start-up company and view this film, you'd move there in a New York minute! (Sorry for the jab New York. You know I love you.) You see the small town life every parent wants for their kids. You hear transplants talk about being welcomed into a community. You see artists who moved there to enjoy big lofts right downtown. Culture, music festivals, education K-University. Reasonably priced homes. All good.

But one of the super stars is nature herself and the outdoors. You can't beat the area on this score. But I'll let you see for yourself.

Drum roll, please! Here's the link to the video:


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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: My kind of day

Some weeks have gone by and I really have nothing to post on the GeneaBlogger's blogging prompt called Wisdom Wednesdays. There's just no "wisdom" to be had here under the nut tree. But today, just as time was running out and I had decided to skip the whole thing, I realized that this was my kind of day. This is the sort of day for which I "do" genealogy. What in particular made it good for me today? Just three things, but that's all it took. So let me share them with you very briefly.

Just about an hour ago I got an email from a person who stumbled into this blog and she said: How totally bizarre that you are a distant cousin of mine! To be honest, the number one reason I blog is to attract cousins, both close and distant. I figure that if there are cousins out there doing genealogy, sooner or later, they'll go to Google and plug in our shared ancestor's name. She did just that and found a blog post about Honora O'Flynn and William Logston. Mention of this notorious couple was in a post that also contained a reference to GEDmatch. Short story even shorter, she and I have exchanged GEDmatch kit numbers and are now off looking to see if we share any DNA from this couple. This morning I didn't even know her and this afternoon, we're comparing chromosomes!

Then a lovely email greeted me this morning from Cousin Rich, who I must say is a very good researcher! Mom and I were just wondering last week how he was doing. He's doing great! He still hasn't found the official documentation of a particular law suit we were all looking for, but never mind. What he has done is document the Revolutionary War contribution made by a shared ancestor... and now he's off to fill out DAR forms. He said, and we all support this, that these Patriots should be listed and honored. Go Rich!

I'm sitting here this afternoon listening to Big Band Era music on Jazz 88.3 radio station out of San Diego, working on my uncles on Mom's Big Tree, adding photos of them during the war years. Perfect accompaniment:) I've decided to add more informal and candid photos there. I like the formal, "official" portraits well enough but the candids taken with those Brownie cameras are closer to my heart.

My kind of day!

Uncle Harold Conrad with his new bride, Mom's sister Dorothy Williams Conrad.

Dad in the middle with his two brothers, left is John Delbert Kelly, and right is Bernard Michael Kelly. Delbert, Pat and Bernie, about 1942.

All of the Kelly women, 1942.

Here and below, Bernard Michael Kelly.

Cambria Williams Jr., "Camey", Mom's brother.
Here and below, John Delbert Kelly. That's Mom looking sassy!


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Monday, August 19, 2013

DNA Monday: Mom's results from 23and Me are starting to come in!

It went like this: I gave myself the 23andMe DNA test as a holiday present this past holiday season. I give myself a present every year, and that might sound self-centered or childish but after all the holiday fuss and buying a boat-load of presents for others, somehow the thought of having one for myself (and if it's from me I know it will be perfect) keeps me going. You do what you gotta do to keep it all moving along. I'm not above self-bribery. So when Mom's birthday came along this past July 29th, and it was her special 95th birthday, and I asked her what she wanted and she said "A DNA test", I was right on board!

There are two types of DNA results that can be had from 23andMe. The first is medical in which they estimate your chances of reacting to a number of common drugs, they likelihood of you having a genetically-based inherited condition, and some fun stuff like your eye color or if you have wet or dry ear wax. They send these results out first. Mine came about three days before the genealogy stuff. That gives you some time to delve into the medical information and focus on it before you start chasing down cousins... because, if you're like me, once you start chasing the cousins, the medical stuff is left in the proverbial dust.

When your medical results are ready and you sign in, there's a notice that says:
We need a few more days to finish calculating all of your ancestry results. Each ancestry feature will be made available as soon as it's done being calculated. Check back soon!

Mom's medical results have just come in and we will be checking back real soon for the ancestry results. What's the news on the medical results? Not much new news, really, because at 95 you kinda know what's up with your body... or should. She has some glaucoma and macular degeneration going on but it's under control, and that was there on the results. Only to be expected. And then she did have trouble with gall stones a while back, so it was no surprise to see that it might be a problem for her, or rather was! Arthritis also showed up and we knew that too. As I say, no big surprises.

There were no variants present for any unusual inherited conditions that are genetically based... wacky genes, if you will. None. Not a one. Maybe that's why she's 95 and pretty much just fine:) We should all be so lucky! My ACADM variant isn't there on Mom's DNA so I'd be looking to Dad if he were still with us and able to donate a sample. But he's not, more the pity all around.

I'm so glad Mom decided to jump in and have her DNA done! Now we can go looking for DNA cousins together:)

Mom, on the right, with her parents in the middle, and her sister on the left.
Front row, left to right: Dorothy Williams Conrad (1920 - 2007), Emma Susan (Whetstone) Williams (1897 - 1956), Virginia Williams Kelly (living),
back row: Cambria Williams (1897 - 1960).
Hill Street School in the background, now the Frostburg Museum, Frostburg, Allegany, Maryland.
Mom's eye color: blue, ear wax is wet;)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Surname Saturday: Knauff, how many ways can that be spelled?

Ugh. Knauff. I know that you can anticipate a number of variations on that name that should be searched, thus slowing down the whole parade. But never mind, because here it is Saturday once more and time for my all-time fav blogging blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers called Surname Saturday. On this day we explore another line going back in time on Mom's Big Tree.

We're into the 4th great grandmothers now, with the previous grandmother and their surname lines already covered in earlier posts. If you're curious if we're related, and I do hope you might be, just type a surname into the handy search box there on the right hand column under the surname graphic at the top:)

This line reaches back to the Pennsylvania Palatinates who came over to the New World looking for religious freedom and a better life. Of German roots, this group and their story is fascinating. Here's a link to Wikipedia. And of course as you might know if you have any ancestors from this area, these folks are included in the moniker, Pennsylvania Dutch. Many of them came into the port of Philadelphia throughout the 1700s, but that's a long story for another time. Our bunch mostly came that way and landed around York, PA and on down into Maryland and as far west as Frederick. It was good farm land they were after. They found it in abundance and a new life with religious freedom and economic prosperity.

As I work my way back on branches of Mom's Big Tree, I notice over and over again how important land has been to my ancestors. I've come to see that it's one of the main themes of my heritage.

1. Diane Kelly Weintraub

2. Francis Patrick " Pat" Kelly
(1916 - 2007)
3. Virginia Williams, that's Mom, living and loving it!

4. John Lee "Lee" Kelly (1892 - 1969)
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller (1894 - 1985)

8. Francis Patrick Kelly (1854 - 1923)
9. Christiana Eckhart (1861 - 1932)
18. John Eckhart (1831 - 1917)
19. Mary Myers  (1837 - 1909)

38. Jacob Myers (1789 - 1852)
39. Christiana Newans (1811 - 1865)
They had these children:
Margaret Myers (1835 - ????)
19. Mary Myers Eckhart (1837 - 1909)
Chrissie Myers ( about 1840 - ????)
Thomas F. Myers (1841 - before 1920)
Laura Myers (1845 - ????)
Thomas F. Myers most likely wrote himself and had published a small book, The Ancestral History of Thomas F. Myers, which you can see by clicking on the tab above. (Thomas was the younger brother of Mary Myers Eckhart.)

78. Thomas Newans (1780 - 1825)
79. Mary Knauff (1780 - 1841)
Thomas and Mary died before the juicy censuses were taken. Bummer.
They had the following children:
39. Christiana Newans (1811 - 1865)
John Thomas Newins (1808 - ????)

158. Adam Knauff (1761 - 1794)
159. Eva Christina Keplinger (1760 - 1815)
Adam was born in Littleston, York, Pennsylvania, and was the last of his siblings to be born there, the last two being born in Frederick County, Maryland. Eva Christina was born in Frederick County, Maryland. How and when they met is unknown to me, but it seems likely that they were both of the same faith and proximity.
Mom has it in her deep notes that she saw that Adam Knauff served in the Revolutionary War, 4th Company, Benjamin Ogle, Capt. Now that this sort of thing is more easily researched online, it's time to do so. He would have only been 15 but that's not impossible, especially if he fought in the later years.
They raised these children:
William Kepplinger (1778 - ?) and was the stepson to Adam Kanauff from Eva Christina's previous marriage.
79. Mary Knauff (1780 - 1841)
Jacob Knauff (1787 - 1867). He married Deborah Phillips and fought in the War of 1812.
Adam Kanuff Jr. (1793 - 1798)

316. Johann Heinrich Knauff (about 1713 - about 1777)
317. Maria Margaretha Mittelkauff (about 1727 - 1780)
Johan Heinrich, Mom's notes indicate, immigrated to Philadelphia, PA about 1743 at age 30 with his brother Anthonius. Quite an adventure! He met Maria Margaretha here and they married about 1743. Both were born in Germany, Johann in Machheim,Kinchheim, Boland, Palantinate,  and his lovely wife, Maria Margaretha in Wachenheom, Pfalz, Barvaria.
They had these 11 children:
John Jacob Knauff (about 1744 - 1803). He married Elizabeth Dern.
Susanna Knauff (1746 - ?)
Johannes Knauff (1748 - 1833) He first married Judith Sullivan and then at her demise, he married Maria Ottilla.
Peter Knauff (about 1760 -?) He married Julia Sullivan. Look at that: brothers marrying sisters?
Johan Heinrich Knauff (1751 - after 1830) He married Mary Ann Wile.
Catherine Knauff (1753 - ?)
Elizabeth Knauff (1755 - ?)
158. Adam Knauff (1761 - 1794)
Mary Knauff (1762 - ?)
Ann Knauff (1763 - )

632. Johannes Knauff  (1682 - 1746)
633. Susanne Armknecht (1688 - 1723)
This happy couple were both born in Bavaria, and some day soon I'm going to go look at a map of their townlands and see where they hail from. They had these children:
Lorentz Knauff (1711 - 1777) He married Maria Magdelina Sultzen.
316. Johann Heinrich Knauff (about 1713 - about 1777)
Johann Adam Knauff (1715-?)
Anthonius Knauff (1721 - ?) Where did this brother go once he came to the New World with his brother, Johann? That's a topic to investigate!
Johannes Knauff (1725 - ?)

Well, that's the end of the line for our Knauff ancestors. Some fine day in the future, when I've had some time to learn about researching German records, and these ancestors are German Lutherans to boot, I'll hit this bunch again. Looking forward to it:)

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer Grapes

Went to Trader Joe's yesterday and someone I'm married to put a box of grapes in the cart. They are called "Tomcord" and are a variety of combined ancestry: the seedless Thompson grape and the big purple and delicious Concord. The Tomcord is almost seedless with tiny pips that don't slow down eating very much. That Concord grape flavor is the one we all associate with standard grape jelly that comes to you in chain restaurants in tiny tins. But when I ate those grapes and tasted that Concord dominance, well, back in time I went!

I remember being a kid and visiting all the relatives in the small mountain town of Frostburg in Western Maryland. We lived in a suburb of Cleveland then, in the 1950s, and no one grew grapes in our neighborhood. But in Frostburg everyone had gardens and grew corn, tomatoes, and even grapes. The gardens were abundant with flowers for cut arrangements, but the headliner was the dirt devoted to veggies! That was the pride and joy of every home owner because, as a holdover from an earlier time I suppose, those vegetables fed the family in summer and fall, and were "put up" for winter.

The Great Depression had been hard on all in common, but those who could had big gardens to help feed the family. Then came the war years of WWII, and gardens held their necessity high. By the 1950s many still gardened, as a hold-over from hard times of recent past, and out of habit. Some, by contrast, were more than happy to turn the soil over one last time and plant grass seed to make a grand lawn, as a badge of prosperity and a life of greater ease.

But in the 1950s my cousins and I were able to prowl the alleys and scavenge for produce. Cousin Mike and I got in some very hot water for demolishing my Uncle Bernie's corn patch! Corn was a good prize but perfectly ripe tomatoes were tops, and eaten on the spot! Grapes were almost too much to ask for. And they were always those big Concords: great to eat and good for wine.

Aunt Flo had grapes! She was old and very nice so we were reluctant to trespass. But come on: grapes! Big ripe purple Concord grapes! In the heat of summer. Need I say more.

A life of crime is a hard life for a kid. There could be spankings and for sure a time-out. I've quit my garden raiding ways. I learned to always ask politely before taking garden goods.

Those Trader Joe's Tomcords sure did take me back!

Grape and corn thieves front and center.

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Goodby Uncle Delbert, John Delbert Kelly (1920 - 2013)

Uncle Delbert passed away Friday. He lived a very long and good life and is remembered by many people because he was a real nice guy and also a high school teacher, assistant principal and then principal, so he touched many lives. Facebook has numerous lovely postings in his honor right now. And there's his obituary which you can find right here. But he was my uncle so I want to show you a little about who he was by posting some family photos of him. He was the last of six brothers and sister surviving. It's the end of an era, the last of one family.

First you need to know that all the family called him Delbert but the world called him John. It was one of those idiosyncratic naming things families do sometimes. Because there was more than one Delbert, Bert, or Adelbert, Uncle Delbert got to be Delbert and his uncle got to be Burt.

John Delbert with his uncle Adelbert Zeller (1883 - ?),
Frostburg, Allegany, Maryland, about 1942.
The above photo isn't the earliest picture of Uncle Delbert in our photo file. Here he is, below, with his two brothers, Bernie, Bernard Michael Kelly (1918 - 2007), and my own father, Pat, Francis Patrick Kelly (1916 - 2007). Must be about 1922 or so because Delbert, in front, looks really young. That's Uncle Bernie on the left and Dad on the right. In the larger version of the photo, that's Helen Lee Kelly Natoly (1914 - ?) on the right. She was the oldest. Not pictured are Christiana Kelly Fraley (1922 - ?) and Louise Kelly Chaney (1924 - 2002).

Bernard Michael "Bernie" Kelly (1918 - 2007), Francis Patrick "Pat" Kelly (1916 - 2007) and in front, John Delbert Kelly (1920 - 2013)
And here is the image in its entirety, thanks to Cousin Linda!
We have no idea who that kid is on the far left.
Here's what Uncle Delbert's obit had to say about his service in the armed forces during WWII.
Mr. Kelly was a veteran of World War II and Korea. He was inducted into the Army on May 6, 1942 and graduated from Officer Candidate School (OCS) in 1943. He served as a company officer with the 616th Ord. BN in the European Theatre. He left active duty in July 1946 as a Company Commander with the rank of Captain. In June 1951, he was recalled from the active reserve to serve 16 months during the Korean war. In Korea, he served as BN. Staff Officer with the 32nd Ord. BN. Upon the completion of his Korean tour, he joined the Honorary Reserves.  
In recent times I liked to call Uncle Delbert and chat. He suffered from some memory impairment so I'd have to remind him exactly which niece I was at the start of every conversation, which was no bother at all. Then we were off to the races, me with notebook in hand. I loved hearing about his time in the service. I know his time in the service wasn't fun at the first because of a letter he wrote to Dad, which I blogged about here. Here are some other photos from the times when Bernie and Delbert had signed up but hadn't yet left. Dad was exempt because of physical issues and you can read about that here.
The ladies of the family pose.

Delbert, Dad and Bernie, 1942.
Delbert, 1942.

Mom and Dad took the train south to see Bernie and again to see Delbert before they shipped overseas. Everyone knew it might just be the last time as it was war time and anything could happen. Here's a photo of Mom and Delbert before he left. And below that is a photo booth picture taken of Delbert all decked out in uniform.

The two brothers both made it back home after VE Day. Bernie had had enough but Delbert went on to the Korean War. After the wars, he got an education and eventually taught and was a school administrator. Here's part of the obit about that.
Mr. Kelly was retired from the Board of Education of Allegany County. He served as a member of the Beall High Faculty for nearly 20 years, initially as a math teacher and subsequently a Guidance Counselor and Vice Principal. For 10 years, prior to retiring, he served as a Principal of Flintstone School which was a K-12 school. Mr. Kelly received a BS Degree from Frostburg State College (now Frostburg State University) and a MA Degree from the University of Maryland at College Park. He did extensive post-graduate study at the University of Maryland, Purdue University and Boston University.
Of course I don't remember him as a soldier or an educator. He was simply Uncle Delbert to me. Funny, sharp whited, always smiling. All of us sitting around Grandma Kelly's kitchen, the hub of activity. Mostly he was in a hurry living his busy life so he often kept his coat on, sitting on the bench of the big hat stand near the hallway.
Here's my favorite photo of Uncle Delbert and his brothers. It was Grandma's birthday, and must have been after Grandpop Kelly passed on, so after 1969. I'll have to remember to ask Mom. I wasn't there, so I guess I was off living my own busy life. Too bad.

That's Dad on top n the red sweater,
Bernie on the left in yellow,
and Delbert on the right.
And that's Grandma Kelly smack in the middle of her boys!
Here's Uncle Delbert, cropped out of that photo.
Here are the two photos of him from the obituary, below, of a young and an old Uncle Delbert. Might as well include them here too. I imagine his son, Kevin, supplied them. Thanks to Kevin there are two more family photos in my file.
There's never enough time, is there? Goodbye Uncle Delbert.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Surname Saturday: Rebecca Frost and her Famed Family of Frostburg, Maryland

Here it is Saturday once more and time for my all-time fav blogging blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers called Surname Saturday. It's at the top of my fav list because I get to look at the chart and report and closely examine a particular line, taking much needed time to think about what I'm looking at. It's nice.

This week is sort of connected to last week's post about Mary Ann (?) Eckhart who was mother of John Eckhart. John married Delilah Porter, and now we're talking about her mother's family. Maybe a chart will help, this one as a cropped screen shot from Mom's tree on Find it on Ancestry here.


Delilah's mother was Rebecca Frost. Maybe. Well, most likely. After a big review of the main research tool covering the Porters of Allegany County, Maryland, Mom and I came to the exact same conclusion about Delilah's parentage. She is not listed as a child in any of the usual sources so it all came down to conjecture. You can read about our search for here. And then a Surname Saturday post about the Porters here. So I'll not be re-making my case for Gabriel McKenzie Porter and Rebecca Frost being her parents at this time. Instead, let's just enjoy the time and place and follow the people.

1. Diane Kelly Weintraub

2. Francis Patrick " Pat" Kelly
1916 - 2007
3. Virginia Williams, that's Mom, living and loving it!

4. John Lee "Lee" Kelly 1892 - 1969
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller Kelly 1894 - 1985
8. Francis Patrick Kelly 1854 - 1923
9. Christiana Eckhart 1861 - 1932

18. John Eckhart 1831 - 1917
19. Mary Myers Eckhart 1837 - 1909
John Eckhart was born 5 Nov 1831 in Eckhart, Allegany, Maryland and died 5 Mar 1917 in the same place. He married Mary Myers on 22 Apr 1859 in Allegany County, Maryland.
Mary Myers was born 20 Mar 1837 in Frederick County, Maryland and died 30 Oct 1909 in Eckhart, Allegany, Maryland.
They had the following children:
9. Christiana Eckhart 1861 - 1932
Maggie L. Eckhart 1864 - ????. She married William Rechter.
Rachael Eckhart 1865 - 1940, who married Thomas W. Gracie, and then at his passing in 1909 in a horrible mining accident, she married Robert Strathan.
John Thomas Eckhart 1867 -1917. He married Rachael Pengilly.
Mary Catherine Eckhart 1868 - ????.

36. Jacob Eckhart 1801 - 1835/6
37. Delilah Porter 1812 - 1881
This couple were both born and died in Eckhart, Allegany, Maryland.
They had the following children:
18. John Eckhart 1831 - 1917, who married first Mary Myers, and when she died, married Rebecca O'Brien.
Rachael Eckhart 1829 - 1895. She married Basil Anderson

OK, so at this point we begin the conjecture portion of our journey. No proof, no numbers. But I'll continue on and sketch it out for you.

Gabriel McKenzie Porter 1776 - 1842
Rebecca Frost 1774 - 1813
Gabriel's second wife was Sarah Jane Anderson (1771 - 1863). See there's another Anderson connection right there! It looks like she might have first been married to Samuel Porter, and I'm not sure which Samuel Porter that was but it looks like it was Gabriel's brother.
Gabriel was born in Carrollton, Baltimore, Maryland as were so many other Porters from this era. But then they moved to the western part of the state. Rebecca Frost comes from the family for whom Frostburg is named.
Gabriel and Rebecca had a bunch of kids however Delilah is not named as one of them. So let's skip naming them, shall we?

Josiah Frost 1745 - 1813
Elizabeth Parcell 1745 - 1813

Look, I have to tell you right here that it was just last fall that Mom and I started feeling comfortable with Gabriel McKenzie Porter and Rebecca Frost as parents of Delilah Porter. This Frost line is fascinating with Revolutionary War guys and town founders all over the place. But we're taking our time and not getting ahead of ourselves. Slow and steady. So let me leave it here. Sorry about that.

Long story short, if you live in Frostburg and say you descend from the Frosts, you better be sure. I'll stop now. Mom still lives in Frostburg;)

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Forty-Four Years of the Life of A Hunter, the Incredible Story of Meshack Browning

I'm reading a book and am busting to tell you about it! "Forty-Four Years of the Life of a Hunter" by Meshach Browning (1781 - 1859), written over a number of years as a diary covering events from roughly from 1794 to around 1832, is fascinating! Here's the write up:

This latest printing of Meshach Browning's autobiography is a faithful reproduction of his scarce work, originally penned with turkey quill and first published in 1859. His Reminiscences from 1795 through 1839 describe his remarkable adventure-filled "hunting-fever" years in the forests and hills of the Appalachians.
Mr. Browning presents in vivid detail many life-threatening encounters while stalking white-tailed deer, bears, panthers and wolves in the "western" wilderness, known today as western Maryland and the surrounding region of West Virginia. His "roughly written down" observations about hunting, woodcraft and wild animal behavior reveal early hunting methods helpful to the hunter of today. Meshach's hunting episodes have entertained and endeared many generations of young and old game stalkers, and has established Forty-Four Years of the Life of a Hunter as an important American frontier hunting classic of the 19th century.

Yeah, I'll say! If you want a first-hand story of what life was like on the frontier in the late 1700s, this is the book for you. From details of daily living, courting manners, family life, food ways, and community, it's all there. So this book has general interest well beyond the area of what's now Garrett County, Maryland, the western most county in the state.

My first surprise gleaned for the pages was how plentiful game was then. Take bears for instance. Now, of course, they have been hunted to near extinction. Oh, you hear reports of one wandering on the edge of a farm or crossing a back road now and again, but that's rare and makes the newspapers. Back then, they were a nuisance because they would kill livestock or people. And as reported in the book, bear meat was delicious if prepared well. Much of the bear taken by Meshach was salted and stored for winter when he couldn't hunt from January to about April. Large quarters of bear were also shared with neighbors.

Deer was taken, also in great numbers. Today the deer population has come back strong such that they are now almost a nuisance. They graze on crops and if you hit one while driving, you might be badly hurt. Hunters once again cull the herds. But for Meshach, he hunted for food. Venison, as we now might call it if on the menu, was in second place after bear as a food item.

Wild turkeys were abundant, such that Meshach's wife Mary sometimes requests one for supper. So out he'd go and find a big plump one for their table. Turkeys also will devastate a corn crop. Today, in the same area he hunted, hunters now work to keep numbers in check and the flocks healthy.

My favorite story so far is about the bear hunt in which Meshach crawls into a cave that's a 300 pound bear's den. He takes a candle on a stick to light the way. Once in, he sees the bear sound asleep, and the giant creature will not be aroused. So he shoots him in place. Candle goes out, he's temporarily deaf from the blast, and his hair is on fire from the flash! You could see this one coming a mile away! Meshach is honest in the telling of this and all of his stories.

I'm about half-way through the book at the moment. I'll likely post again when I finish. As I read, I noticed that place names haven't changed. I can find them on a map easily so that made it all the more fun to track his exploits and hunting expeditions.

I also found some familiar names as his acquaintances and neighbors. Ancestors of ours. Then I thought to search him in my Family Tree Maker program and check to see if he's on Mom's tree. There he was, just as Mom said he'd be! He's the father-in-law of the brother-in-law of my 1st cousin 3 times removed. I followed the dots and saw just how he and I are connected through family lines. That was a blast!

Truth be told, now I like this book even more than I did before!


Treasure Chest Thursday is a blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers.

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