Valentine’s Day with My Grandparents

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I share this story every year.  It’s one I will probably continue to share every year.  The picture makes me smile, and I think it is just a good reminder of “what used to be.”  Of a time that may have been simpler, but the work was harder, and the days were longer.  But it’s a sweet love story – at least it is to me.

The above photo is of my grandparents, Paul & Bessie (Thrasher) Parrish, and it was taken the spring after they were married.  The house they’re standing in front of is the house that my great-grandfather, Charles Parrish, built in 1913, and yes, the newlyweds lived at home with his parents for a short time after they were married.

But what I personally think is the greatest part of this photo, is that the horse in the picture with them was their wedding gift from his parents.  No silverware, new linens or stemware…but a horse.

My how times have changed

They were married on February 14, 1935 – Valentine’s Day.  The story told to me was that they met at a square dance that grandpa was calling when he saw her from across the room.

…and the rest is history.  They spent 57 years together before grandpa passed away in 1992.

~C.

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An Open Letter To My Cousin

Dearest Cousin,
I have only just recently learned that we were related, but nevertheless, I felt that I needed to write this letter to you. You see there is a group of individuals – no, more like acquaintances – okay, actually we’re quickly becoming friends who have been writing letters to their ancestors. I’ve been wanting to, I just didn’t know how to pick ONE ancestor…or at least the ONE who would have the honor of being the first. When I did finally decide that it was to be you who was to be the lucky recipient, it was not only because you are my newest family discovery, but let’s face it – I’m a history nerd. Common sense screamed that this letter had to be written to you.

I sit here and I wonder what you would think of the state of our country today. There is so much happening…well, first of all – it’s not just 13 Colonies or even the 16 States that were a part of the Union while you were alive, but there are now 50 States! (And also Washington D.C. which admittedly, is another lesson for another day on how the whole “Federal District” idea works) There was a point in time when the unity that you fought so hard to establish for our country was most certainly in peril when states in the North and states in the South fought against one another. But there were also many moments in history where we have united strong and fought against foreign enemies to protect the freedoms that you helped to establish so long ago.

Upon the discovery that we were kin, I was told that your revolutionary spirit passed through those 9 generations on to me. I don’t know about that. Did you know that we refer to you as the father of our country? Certainly I’m passionate about our public education system and seeing that the problems we have are fixed, but what I do easily pales in comparison to how you led us into our independence! Oh cousin (may I call you “cousin” or would you prefer Mr. President?), it certainly would be a lot easier to contact and speak with all of these legislators, the Governor, and all of “the others”, if I had you here with me! But is it wrong to giggle with delight at the idea of these men and women who very well might stumble over themselves to listen to me, merely because my cousin – the President – told them to?

Well, Cousin George, since we can’t tackle these politicians together, and I don’t foresee that I will ever cross the Potomac River in a surprise attack, I will indeed keep your revolutionary spirit tucked away inside of me. Perhaps just the knowing is enough inspiration to keep me moving forward. If, however, you ever feel the need to make a Presidential pronouncement and whisper into their ears “Listen to her, she just might be on to something here!” – well, that would certainly be appreciated.

With much admiration,
Your 2nd Cousin

All In The Family

The other day, I was scouring the internet looking for information on a cemetery in a nearby town.  (It’s what I do, I look up dead people, okay?  Don’t judge me.)  Today I can’t even tell you what cemetery I was looking for.  I got a little sidetracked.

In the course of looking for this now unknown to me cemetery, I came across the information that this town’s library carried my family’s name with it.  The Hulbert Library.

It made my eyebrow raise.

It made me bite my lip.

It brought to the surface feelings inside of me that I hadn’t felt in a long time.  Feelings of “I need to research…NOW!”

This town is only about 20 minutes down the road from me, and a library with the same name as my own family last name? Well there certainly had to be a connection.  Right?  The only problem is that the ancestors that I had researched in the state of New York, had never settled here in Erie County (before me) and certainly not in the town of Springville.  But it was only about an hour from where my ancestors DID live, so I was instantly curious to see if I could find the missing link that might connect me to the name on this library.

I was certain there had to be a connection, because although my family name is not entirely common as “Smith” or “Thomas”, I do know where my Hulbert ancestors resided within the state of New York, and this wasn’t that far off (you know, in the grand scheme of things).  Another idea that I carry in my head is that the farther back you can research your family, the easier the connections are to make…because let’s face it, there weren’t nearly as many people in the United States 200 years ago, and if you’re able to carry that surname back far enough, there’s a good chance that just because you haven’t found your one particular ancestor, you may find someone else with the same surname, and odds are pretty good that you’re close to finding the one you’re looking for.  It’s just a matter of looking at the aunts, uncles, and cousins.

And that’s what I went with as I pulled up my Ancestry subscription, my internet genealogy databases, and scoured my “favorites” file for every website I could use to look up information.   Everything I knew how to do…beginning with emailing the library.  If a library has been named after someone, there’s a reason why – most likely a good reason.  And most likely it was recorded in history somewhere within that library.

I was right.  Within 24 hours I had received a reply letting me know that this library, built in 1994, was named after Dr. Lynden Hulbert and his wife, Vena, whose estate provided quite the healthy sum of money towards the building project.

Yes…I was very excited to receive this tidbit of information, but with it came a certain amount of  frustration.  This was a newer library, and not a treasured older one that had been established for some time.  That meant I’d have to search an extra generation or two most likely.  (Have I mentioned how impatient I am?)  Oh…and Lynden Hulbert?  yeah…never heard of him in my long line of Hulbert family research.  But he was a Hulbert in the state of New York, and let’s face it, there aren’t many of us here.

I kept digging.

After three generations, I still hadn’t run into a Hulbert name that I recognized from any previous research, which led me to believe that this was a Hulbert cousin from “the other brother”.  And I was right.

As it turns out, Lynden Hulbert, benefactor to the library in Springville, is my 9th cousin twice removed.

Oh now, it’s not that confusing…stay with me while I explain, and get that glazed-over look out of your eyes. It means that one of us (in this case, cousin Lynden) is the 8X Great Grand child of the common ancestor (who is Richard Hulbert who never even made his way here from England) and the other (this would be ME!)  is 2 generations later (e.g. a 10X Great Grand child of the common ancestor).

Briefly, Richard Hulbert had a son William (born in 1612), who my own ancestral line runs through.  But he also had another son named Thomas Hulbert.  And many, MANY years later, his descendant, Lynden would be born.  That’s what makes Lynden and I 9th cousins.  Twice Removed.

(And that’s kinda cool for my bookworm / nerd brain to be able to wrap itself around!)  But I don’t think they’ll forgive my current overdue library charges that I have.

It’s good to know I don’t just have a cemetery with the family name on it…but also a library!

A Good Name

What qualifies as a good name?  

As parents, Mr. D. and I put a lot of thought into what we would name each of our children, making sure that they were named after someone incredibly important in our lives or that the very meaning of their name would be a testament to their lives.  But let’s face it, naming the kids isn’t always an easy task.  It took us until after our 3rd child was born before we agreed on a name for him (and even then I totally pulled the “I gave birth to this child, I’m naming this child” card). Sometimes, the names are trendy, and sometimes they’re just plain weird.  So…in honor of the oddball names that every family has at least one of, here are a few from my heritage.  Starting with the most obvious…my own.

Candy – Really mom? You had to do it? What were you thinking? Okay, granted my given name is Candace. But to be honest, nobody calls me that except for the IRS. So here I am, 42 years old with a name that is best known as the only name given to strippers, prostitutes, and air-head cheerleaders in the movies. The story that I’ve always been told is that I was going to be named “Heidi” until the morning I was born.   As my parents were reading the newspaper, they came across a wedding announcement where the bride’s name was…yes, Candace. My mom said she was such a beautiful bride that she decided then and there I would be Candace and not Heidi. (Almost makes me want to dig that newspaper up in the library archives and find out who the woman is that was ultimately responsible.)

Moving on…some of my favorites from within the branches of my family tree ~

Nettie & Zettie – twin sisters

Experience – I actually have a few of these

Goldie – Hmmm…retriever or great-grandmother?

Florida & Mississippi – Not a single relative in either of these states, but they got named after them?

Loizy – Not Lois, not Lizzy…but Loizy

Lucretia – I have no idea.

Mehitable, Honor, Temperance, Beriah, Bethyah – Quite a few of all of these, not surprisingly from colonial era.

Feronia – I have no idea, but momma loved it so much she named 2 of her daughters with this one. (Ferona & Feronia)

and last but certainly not least… Lioka, Kailani, Kaiu – Thanks to my Hawaiian ancestors (which just begs the question of how a white girl from the midwest ended up with ancestors on the Islands? Well that’s another story for another day!)

C.

(This post originally appeared Party of Five in its original form.  I have updated it and included it here as part of my family history.)

Lawrence and Cassandra (Burnell) Southwick

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If you’ve ever seen the musical The Sound of Music, one particular tune begins with the lyric:

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…”

I suppose if I wanted to go CLEAR back to the beginning, that would mean Adam in the Garden.  But since I’ve drawn an invisible line in the sand with my research that happens to coincide with where the ocean begins/ends, I look at the ancestor that I have thus far been able to trace the furthest back before hitting that wall of water.

Lawrence Southwick and Cassandra Burnell were both immigrants from England, both born within a few years of one another right around 1600.  According to parish records, they were married on 25 Jan 1623 in St. Mary’s Church – Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England.  Although there is a record of them arriving here on the Mayflower, don’t be too quick to mistake it for THE Mayflower.  It was a similar time frame, yet they’re not listed on the passenger list for the original ship in 1620.  The possibility and belief is that there was a 2nd Mayflower ship that arrived sometime later with Lawrence who came first and then returned for his bride bringing Cassandra and their children with him on a separate voyage.

Everytime I locate an ancestor who has made a move, especially one away from home to start a new life, I have to ask myself questions.  Why would they leave?  What would make them walk away from the life as they knew it?  What were they looking for?

History lesson 101 boys and girls, it was all about (well, mostly about) religion.

The first permanent settlers here were Puritans – English Separatists who broke away from the Church of England and were committed to a life lived based on the Bible.  They weren’t satisfied that the Reformation had gone as far as it should have, and they wanted to pull away from practices they felt were too similar to those in the Catholic Church.

In 1656, however, when the first Quaker missionaries arrived in the colonies, there were conversions to this new way of religious thinking and the Puritans began to persecute those who came here to convert as well as those who converted.  Sadly among those persecuted were my 10th great-grandparents, Lawrence and Cassandra.

They, and their children, at some point chose to worship away and separate from the legalistic church that had been established by the colonists.  Regularly.  In fact, there are multiple records of the couple, as well as their son, Josiah, being fined for their absence from the regular services on Sundays.  The Southwicks, being an aged couple, would remain imprisoned for weeks at a time, were released, and then upon their “usual absence” or being found to have met with or hosting other Quaker Friends in their home, they would once again be taken into custody, fined, and sometimes even whipped.

In the fall of 1658, the couple and their oldest son were imprisoned and Cassandra was whipped again.  While they were detained, a son and daughter who were left at home, continued on with the religious practice of their parents.  In doing so, these two – Daniel and Provided Southwick, were fined accordingly.  However, the family had been reduced to poverty by the number of excessive fines and punishments and they had no way to pay, so it was decreed that the two children would be sold as bond-slaves.  (Thankfully, this never came to pass.) Lawrence and Cassandra, meanwhile, after many attempts to convince and be reformed, were ordered to leave – to “depart out of this jurisdiction…or be banished under the pain of death.”  The Governor believed they should have been hanged for being blasphemers and heretics.  But upon their release, they returned instead to their family and their home, rather than leaving as they were told to.

Six months passed and they appeared before the Governor again, being questioned for the disobedience to his order.  Simply put, the “condemned” stated they had done nothing to warrant such treatment, fines, or the threat of banishment.  The reply was that these people stood against the authority of the country in not submitting to its laws; and that “they and the church people are not able well to live together…” The sentence of banishment was then pronounced upon them, and only two weeks’ time was allowed in which to settle their affairs and bid “good-bye” forever to their families and their friends.

The fight was over.  With no means to support the family after extravagant and excessive fines, their farm and livelihood forever ruined, Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick made their way to Shelter Island on Long Island to escape once and for all the persecution they had suffered as Quakers.  There they found refuge with Nathan Sylvestor and his family – who although may or may not have been a Quaker himself, it is known that he detested the religious intolerance of that time and was happy to provide a place of relief.

It was on Shelter Island that Lawrence Southwick passed away on 10 May 1660 and Cassandra only 3 days later.  There are no headstones marking their final resting place, but a memorial stands at Sylvestor Manor for all of those who sought asylum with the family there.

http://image1.findagrave.com/photos/2009/145/6783049_124335122237.jpg
http://image1.findagrave.com/photos/2009/145/6783049_124335122237.jpg Southwick Memorial at Sylvester Manor Cemetery on Shelter Island, Long Island, New York (Image located at Findagrave.com)

Their son, Josiah, who had also been banished, made his way to Rhode Island, the only other known place where those persecuted as Quakers could find safety.  He and his wife, Mary (Boyce), had a daughter; Deborah Southwick…my 8th great-grandmother.

William Hulbert, the Immigrant

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My paternal ancestor, William Hulbert, is believed to have been born in England in the early 17th century, possibly being the son of Richard and Ann (Bower) Hulbert, of County Wiltshire, England. Some sources have given his date of birth as being May 2, 1612, but a more probable year would be by 1606 (William was shown as being above the age of 60 on 13 March 1666/67.)

“On the twentieth of March, 1630, a group of men and women, one hundred and forty in number, set sail from Plymouth, England, in the good ship, the “Mary and John.” The company had been selected and assembled largely through the efforts of the Reverend John White, of Dorchester, England’ with whom they spent the day before sailing, “fasting, preaching, and praying.” These people had come from the western counties of England, mostly from Devonshire, Dorsetshire, and Somerset. They had chosen two ministers to accompany them: “men who were interested in the idea of bringing the Indians to the knowledge of the gospel.” The Reverend John maverick was an elderly man from Devon, a minister of the Established church. Reverend John Warham was also an ordained minister of the church of England, in Exeter, eminent as a preacher. There is some evidence that both of these men were in some difficulties with the church on account of their sympathies with the Puritans….” (The “Mary and John”: A Story of the Founding of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1630, Kuhns, Maude Pinney, Tuttle Pub. Co., 1943, p. 1)

Being a young man at a time of political and religious turmoil in England, there are any number of reasons why William may have decided to leave his home and travel across the ocean, the most plausible being the group of Puritans who came from England with The Winthrop Fleet. The Puritans had a desire to change the Church of England (unlike the Pilgrims who wanted nothing to do with it.), in a sense making it more pure. Although there is no sufficient evidence of William being part of the Puritan segment, it is the most certain explanation. Certainly, he also could have been the adventurous son, the one who had set out to make it on his own in the New World, or as a traveller who had heard the tales of the Jamestown settlement that had come several years before him. Whatever the reason for his journey, he was the only member of the Hulbert family that arrived that day – he was not married, and no other extended family members came with him on this ship.

Unfortunately there is not an existing passenger list available for the ship, Mary and John, although attempts at an accurate list of the individuals that would have been able to sail on the ship have been made.  In 1930, Charles Banks created the first synthetic list in his work Planters of the Commonwealth, followed by Maude Pinney Kuhns, Mary and John, in 1943. The problem is that the first work listed 138 names, and the second only 136. Between the two of them there were 195 different passenger listed as being aboard a ship that would have only held 140 at the most. Using these two resources, as well as the History of the Town of Dorchester, and additional knowledge of the individuals, a more complete list was made available from Burton Spears with his Mary and John Clearing House. It is in this resource that we find our William Hulbert (showing as Hulbird) as being a “probable” passenger aboard the ship.

According to the Mary and John Clearing House, the ship left Plymouth, England on 20 March 1630, with 140 passengers. “These families and passengers were recruited by the Reverend John White of Dorchester, Dorset. Nearly all of the Mary and John 1630 passengers came from the West Country counties of Somerset, Dorset, and Devon and the West Country towns of Dorchester, Bridport, Crewkerne, and Exeter.” (http://www.maryandjohn1630.com/clearinghouse.html, accessed April 2, 2013) Seventy days later, the ship landed at what is now known as Dorchester, Massachusetts on the 30th of May – two weeks before the arrival of the Winthrop Fleet.

Earliest records tell us that our ancestor, William, was one of the first settlers in Dorchester about 1630, was a freeman, and therefore a landowner as of 3 April 1632 (when he was admitted into the Dorchester Church). He was granted 16 acres of land on 16 January 1632/33, an eight acre lot in 1634, and six acres in the meadows beyond the Naponset River.

Few other details of William’s life show that he left Dorchester, and made his way to Connecticut, where he is considered to be one of the founders of Windsor.  He lived on “Backer Row”, until the Pequot War of 1637, when he, for consideration of his safety, moved into the “public palisado”, and land was apportioned to him in 1640.

Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 shows William Hurlbut and Ann Allen (the widow of Samuel Allen) being married after 28 April 1648, and William also shows up in the Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society:

May 1648 – Land in Harttford vp on the Riuer of Coneckticott belonging to william Hullberd & to his hayers for euer.  viz One pfell on which his dwelling houfe Now Standeth & another Tenymentt & yerdes thare in being & was Sumtyme pfell of the Meetting houfe yerd Contain by Eftma Two Roodes be it More or Les Abutting on the hyway Leding fro the Mill to the Meeting houfe on the weft & on Mr Clementt Chaplins Land on the South & on the Meeting houfe yerd on the Eaft & on the North.

Sometime later, William and family made their way to Northampton, and in 1662, he is listed among the names of inhabitants, eight years after the settlement.  He remained there for the remainder of his life until 17 April 1694 when he died.

Susannah (North) Martin

Susannah North, although not directly an ancestor, has me completely intrigued – Not only with her life, but also with a period in history when emotions ran high, superstitions ran wild, and accusations ran rampant.  She is not directly an ancestor, as she was the second wife of my 9th great-grandfather, George Martin, however, through many 2nd marriages in my family, I have come to accept these alternate ancestors as my own.  Susannah was my 9th great-grandmother, who lost her life during the insanity of the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts.

I stumbled upon this knowledge purely out of curiosity one day.  Like many other family historians, I would often ponder the possibility of what “famous” ancestors might be hiding in my family tree.  Knowing that I have a deep history in early Massachusetts, I immediately considered Salem and it’s surrounding area, and it didn’t take long to locate in my local library a copy of the “Associated Daughters of Early American Witches Roll of Ancestors”.

**note:  Being raised with an ultra-conservative religious upbringing, I must admit to having a moment in the library when I just sat at the table and stared at the cover of the book in front of me, wondering if I might be unleashing some completely new realm of crazy upon opening the cover to this book…

And then the moment passed and the need for knowledge took over.

Once I had convinced myself that demons were not going to fly off of the inside pages of the book, and that this was a book of those who were ACCUSED of witchcraft, I proceeded on to the list of names.  To be fair, I actually located a total of five ancestors that had been accused of witchcraft.  Susannah was the only one of “my” five to actually hang for the accusations against her, as the other four individuals eventually had the charges against them dropped.

She was born in England, the daughter of Richard and Joan North, and baptized in 1621 in Buckinghamshire, England.  When she was just a young girl, her mother died, and her father, his 2nd wife, and Susannah came to the Massachusetts colony in 1639, settling in Salisbury. She married widower, George Martin, in 1646, and together they had eight children.

Fellow great-granddaughter and blogger, Verena Elizabeth, shared the following about Susannah in her own words:

For years, rumors had swirled around Susannah, implying that she was a witch. It seemed like whenever a neighbor took sick or livestock died, there were whispers that Susannah was to blame. She, herself, did little to squelch the rumors. On some occasions she even seemed to encourage them, by muttering curses under her breath, or unapologetically voicing her opinions for anyone to hear.

Susannah had even been charged with witchcraft, more than twenty years before, but the courts had ruled in her favor. Later, her husband, George, had sued her accuser for slander. The courts had found in George’s favor, but had awarded him less than a penny in damages. Apparently, they didn’t think the accusations could have done much damage to Susannah’s already difficult reputation.

But now, George was gone and her children were grown. Darkness and fear had overtaken the community. Indian attacks were on the rise and danger was in the air. There was fear that God was displeased, and that the Devil walked among them. It was in this atmosphere that Susannah was taken into custody, and escorted to the courts in Salem.

It appears that throughout her life, Susannah’s main trouble was that she was an intelligent and outspoken woman who did not like to be taken advantage of. She spoke her mind when she felt she had been cheated or abused. She did not suffer fools lightly, and would make a joke or sarcastic remark if she thought those around her were being silly. She had been in court numerous times, as a defendant and as a plaintiff. In addition to fighting charges that had been made against her, she had spent years fighting to prove that her father’s will had been falsified. Despite five appeals, she had lost, and her step-mother had succeeded in stealing her inheritance. So the Susannah who was dragged to the courthouse in Salem was not a woman who was easily intimidated.

Despite a lack of evidence against her, Susannah was found guilty and she was hanged with four other women in July, 1692.  Their bodies were buried in what used to be an unmarked and until recently, an unknown area.

In 2016, an area known as “Proctor’s Ledge” was confirmed to be the site of the hangings of these 5 women, and the area is now marked by a semi-circle of stones dedicated with the names of the women who were hanged in that location – including that of Susannah Martin.

Amen.  Amen.  A false tongue will never make a guilty person. – Susannah Martin 

~C.

Actual Site of Salem Witch Hangings Discovered

New Memorial for Salem Witch Trial Hangings

Charles O. Bingle

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There is a sadness that comes with the story of my great-grandfather, Charles Bingle.   A sadness from not knowing enough about him, and also from the realization that the short time he was alive ended so tragically.

Charles Bingle was born 10 September 1899 in Cleves, Ohio, a small village that is located in southwestern Ohio.  His father, Harrison Bingle, had spent his entire life on the banks of the Ohio River, being born in North Bend.  His mother, Mary Ann (Abdon), was also familiar with the area, born just across the state line in Indiana in a portion of the state known as “Indiana’s Gore” (another tale for another time), a tri-state area where many people spent their lifetimes going back and forth across state lines.  When Harrison and Mary Ann Bingle married and settled down, however, it was the village of Cleves that they settled in and where they would raise their 7 children.

Charles Bingle married a young girl, Zettie Peak, who was also from Cleves, on 24 September 1921 in Lawrenceburgh, Indiana.  Their first child, a son, was born 11 months into their marriage, and two daughters would come along by 1927. This young family of five was living in Xenia, Ohio at that time, where Charles was working as a linesman for the Dayton Power & Light Company.

1929Linesman

A 1929 Linesman – similar to what Charles Bingle would have been doing. (Photo courtesy of Shorpy)

A few years later, the family had moved south to Hamilton, Ohio – possibly to be closer to both of their extended families.  Charles was able to continue his work as a linesman in his new hometown, although now he was employed by the Hamilton Service Company.

The final days during the month of July in 1929 in southwestern Ohio were the epitome of summer heat.  Temperatures ranged from 84 all the way up to 90 degrees that final week in July.  Still, Charles Bingle would not find himself relaxing on the banks of the Ohio River on that hot summer’s day.  On Tuesday, July 30th he was doing repair work on a utility pole on the corner of Second and High Streets in Hamilton.

From the front page of the Hamilton Evening Journal – Wednesday, July 31, 1929:

Bingle, Charles O. article zoom2“Man Killed In Fall” – Lineman, Believed Overcome By Heat, Falls From Pole On Second St.
Charles Bingle, 29, 266 Hancock Avenue, Hamilton Service company lineman, was killed at 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon when he fell 30 feet from a pole to the sidewalk in front of the Second street entrance to the W. C. Frechtling store, Second and High streets.
Linemen told authorities that Bingle had released his safety belt and was descending when his “spurs”, used to get a foothold in the pole, failed to hold.
Belief of police is that Bingle was overcome by the heat.
No hopes were held for the lineman’s life when he was taken to Mercy hospital by police. His legs and left arm were broken and his skull was fractured.
Bingle was married and was the father of three small children.
Funeral services will be held Thursday from the home of Bingle’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Bingle, Cleves, Ohio. Interment will be in the Greenwood cemetery, Cleves.

More than anything, I wish I had a picture of my great-grandfather.  I have been told this story since I was a young girl (minus the graphic details, of course), but I have no idea what Charles looked like.  The only thing I’ve ever known of him is the story of how he died.  If my grandmother had a photograph of her father, I know I would have found it by now in the family trunk.  It’s not there.

His bride would remarry, and his children all grew to live long full lives.  The building he fell in front of is no longer there – in its place is a small green space in an area that is being revived in the center of Hamilton.  His stone that was placed in the cemetery in Cleves is simple.  Life has a way of carrying on – and we’re left with only the stories of those who were here long before us.

Bingle, Charles O.-grave

~C.

Ancestor Birth Pedigree Chart

This fun little project – well it’s popped up multiple times on my Facebook page, Twitter feed, blog reader….you name it, I’m seeing it!!  So I decided, why not – it would be fun, and it just might be interesting to see it in living color!

So for your enjoyment, I present to you my Ancestor Birth Pedigree Chart…showing where mi familia all came from – at least the last 5 generations of us.

Seriously, as if we didn’t already know this Buckeye girl was going to be surrounded in Scarlet??

Birth Family Tree

Heritage, Inheritance, and A Legacy

“To know who you are, you have to know where your story began.”

I heard this phrase the other day, and it rang in my ears like the deep rich tones of a large windchime. Clear. Resolute. It really is a true statement. Although I certainly do have my own personality and quirks that are mine alone, there is definitely something to be said for knowing where you have come from. Not just knowing who your relatives are and were in name only, but also in the understanding of the struggles they endured and the successes they enjoyed. This knowledge can give us a deeper sense of our heritage that in turn can be passed on to the next generation. Upon learning of their struggles we may catch the tiniest glimpse of ourselves in them, and understand just a little bit better that we are stronger than we thought. I have discovered for myself many fascinating things about my family members and their history, but now it can be passed down to my children, and their children, and those family members who will hopefully one day read this and discover for themselves the history of where they also came from.

There were many families who in one way or another eventually made their way together and became the foundation upon which my mother’s strength of character was forged – Parrish, Medley, Blaine, Thrasher, Southwick, Carnahan, Stanley, and Linnaberry (just to name a few). These groups were strong farmers, some were patriots, some rebelled against what was expected and held onto their convictions, and yes, there were even a few black sheep. Men and women whom I have heard stories of throughout the years – I have admiration for some, and I cringe with disdain towards the actions of others. But whatever good OR BAD their choices may have been, they were real people, and they were a part of my family. They are all a part of who I am, and I am proud to take ownership and call them mine.

This is why I research and this is why I write about them, because they all have a story to be told.

C.