Update about blog

Summertime in Black Mountain

My other blogs: Alchemy of Clay
Three Family Trees...the Swasey, Booth and Rogers families, now being published every other day or so...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Full Circle

This full length movie directed and edited by Donna Read is one I've enjoyed for years.  I was thrilled to see it available on YouTube, as originally aired by the National Film Board of Canada (NFBC) and am sharing it with you here.  Women's Spirituality, The Rainbow Family, goddesses, changes that honor the earth.

Full Circle


Some more mothers of mothers

I have so many other branches of my family to explore, looking for the earliest matriarchs that are listed in Ancestry on my trees.
I continue to chase the ones from my father's mother's (5)Ada Swasey Rogers) family first.  Then there are my father's father's - oh my.  They go back a LOT further!

We left the various branches of the Swasey's and Bowers, ending up with 9) Joseph Swasey who married 9) Mary Bowers. in 1744  Their son was 8) Jerathmel Bowers Swasey; b. 10 May 1752 in Somerset, Bristol, Massachusetts; d. 4 Feb 1826 in Somerset, Bristol, Massachusetts.

8) Jerathmel Swasey married 8) Sarah Hellon Swasey; b. 23 February 1757, D. 25 December 1836 in Somerset, Bristol County, Massachusetts.  I have no information on her parents.  Last year I posted information about 8) Jerathmel HERE.

There are no tree branches for the rest of the Swasey's wives until I get to my grandmother's own grandfather, 7) George T. Granger (1806 - ?).  His grandfather 9) Samuel Granger (1701-1739) married 9) Martha Marston (b, 23 Jan 1694 in Andover, Essex, Massachusetts, d. 19 Mar 1753 in Andover, Essex, Massachusetts).  

Taking 9) Samuel Granger's line first, his father, 10) John Granger (1654-1723) has a birth listed, but no mother.  His father is quite possibly 11) Lancelott Granger who lived in Andover MA when his son was born, and nothing else is recorded about him that Ancestry has found (yet.)

But 10) John Granger's wife 10) Martha Poor Granger (1654-1723) has another long branch or two to follow.

Her father 11) Daniel Poor Jr. (1623-1689)  was a barber who has a biography including when he immigrated to the American colonies of Massachusetts from Marborough, England.  And 10) Martha Poor Granger's mother was 11) Mary Farnham Poor (1628-1713) who had been born in Rochester, England.

Her mother was 12) Alice Farnham Martin 


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Erin go Braugh

an Anglization of the Irish language phrase...
Éirinn go Brách.
 - to express allegiance to Ireland. It is most often translated as "Ireland Forever."

I often thought I should wear orange on St. Patrick's day, since I wasn't Catholic.
But then, the people who parade down the street would be busy pinching me.  So I go for the green.

happy st patricks day images

And I have probably always been on the Orange side of Irish things, since I'm pretty sure my ancestors were among those shipped to Ireland by the English, often being Scottish in the first place.

I found more about my Irish roots, as best I had found them HERE.

Last year I shared about my joys on this holiday HERE.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Two more matriarchs from 16th Century

Yesterday I shared information about the Thomas Sylvesters of Shelter Island.

But to get back to my matriarchal persuits...

11) Gissell Brinley Sylvester's parents were 12) Thomas Reeves Brinley, (born 1591 in Exeter, Devon, England died 15 Oct 1661 in Datchett, Buckinghamshire, England) and 12) Anna Wase (b. 1606 in Petworth, Sussex, England, d. 13 Jun 1687 in Datchet, Buckinghamshire, England).  

12) Thomas Reeves Brinley is well documented as the "Auditor General of the Revenues of King Charles I and II."  He left England during the English Civil War by Cromwell, and returned to his post for King Charles II but died a year later.

12) Anna Wase had 8 children, and also went with her husband when the revolution of Cromwell made Royalists unpopular, and lived into her 80s probably back in her home of Datchet.

Her parents were 13) William Wase (b. May 1580 in Petworth, Sussex, England, d. 19 September 1642 in Datchet, Buckinghamshire, England) and 13) Ann Cole (b. 1582 as recorded in St. Leonard, Heston, London, Middlesex, England, death unknown.)  Apparently she married 13) William Wase when she was 16 in Petworth, Sussex, England.  There is no other information on her at Ancestry at this time.  But she is one of  the earliest matriarchs that I'll be mentioning today.

12) Thomas Reeves Brinley's mother was 13) Joanne Reeves (his middle name from her) (b. 1567 in Exeter, Devon, England, Death in (?) Exeter, Devon, England.)
An illustration of Exeter in 1563, entitled Civitas Exoniae (vulgo Excester) urbs primaria in comitatu Devoniae

Exeter has a wonderful history, dating from Roman times and before...and I can't begin to explore all that is in this town.  The map above would have been how it looked during Joanne Reeves lifetime.   
Image result for Exeter, Devon, Eng
Exeter Cathedral, completed 1400
Looking back to the Sylvesters of Shelter Island, I just want to show their connection to my family.  Their daughter 10) Ann Sylvester married 10) Capt. Jonathan Bowers in 1695. 

Ancestry has lots of confusing listings for poor 10) Ann Sylvester Bowers, with different birth places, dates, different marriage places and dates, and different death places and dates.  Wherever she may be buried, may she rest in peace. 

 Their daughter, 9) Mary Bowers married 9) Joseph Swasey, my grandmother's great great something grandparent. (Grandmother was Ada Swasey Rogers.)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Sylvesters of Shelter Island

 I may have many ancestors of whom I'm totally oblivious.  And these are some of them. 

I'll post more about their decendents and ancestors tomorrow.  They are part of my family tree of my gandmother, Ada Swasey Rogers.

First, what is Shelter Island?  Where? New York State. (I have done enough research that I'll leave the details at the end of the post rather than interrupt the flow of Matriarchal commenting.)  There was also a movie by this name, which I know nothing about.    If you wish to read all about the Sylvesters settling of Shelter Island, I'll copy from Wikipedia at the end of this post.*

Shelter Island at eastern end of Long Island

On Ancestry 11) Capt. Nathaniel Sylvester is listed as being born in 1610 in London City, Middlesex, England and dying on 13 Jun 1680 in Sylvester Manor, Shelter Island, Suffolk County, New York.  In the Wikipedia quotation below, his birth was in Rotterdam, where he later did business in shipping.

Since my focus for Women's History Month is my ancestresses, let's look at his wife, who was 11) Grisell Brinley Sylvester (born 16 Jan 1635 in Datchet, Buckinghamshire, England and died 13 Jun 1687 at Sylvester Island, Suffolk, New York) 

Signature of Grissell Brinley Sylvester 1635-1687
signature of Grissell Brinley Sylvester
St Mary the Virgin, Datchet

Datchet Mead and Datchet Ferry in 1686 with Windsor Castle in the background
Where Grissell Brinley Sylvester was born: 
Datchet (Buckinghamshire, England) is a village on the River Thames, England. which developed because of its close proximity to Windsor and the ferry service which connected it to the main London road across the River Thames.
Datchet Village centre - geograph.org.uk - 25730.jpg
Dachet Village center
When Grissell was 17, she married Captain Sylvester, in 1652 on Shelter Island, NY.

Tomorrow I'll follow my matriarchal path back to see who Grissell's parents and grandparents were.

* Quote from Wikipedia on Shelter Island
In 1651 the island [was sold] to a group of Barbados sugar merchants for 1,600 pounds of sugar. Nathaniel Sylvester (1610–1680), one of the merchants, was the island’s first white settler. He was among a number of English merchants who had lived and worked in Rotterdam (where he was born) before going to Barbados. His connections there and with the Netherlands helped him establish a far-flung trading enterprise. On March 23, 1652, he made the purchase official by agreement with Youghco (called Pogatticut), the sachem of the Manhanset tribe. The other owners, Sylvester’s brother Constant, and Thomas Middleton, never came to Long Island. In 1673 Nathaniel Sylvester claimed ownership of Shelter Island, Fishers Island, and other parts of Long Island.[3] By that time the Manhansett had declined in number and power.[4]
In 1652 Sylvester constructed a house on the island for his 17-year-old bride, Grissel (also spelled Grizzel)[4] Brinley from London. Her mother was Anna (Wase) Brinley and her father Thomas Brinley had been an auditor in the court of King Charles I. With the Revolution he had lost his position; Grissel had gone to the colony with her older sister Anne, who had married William Coddington, the governor of the Rhode Island colony.[4] Archeological research in the 21st century has revealed there may have been two early house complexes. The Sylvesters had eleven surviving children. The more elaborate manor house, which survives today, was built in 1733 by a Sylvester grandson [see  photos above.]
The Sylvester estate was developed as a large provisioning plantation. It raised food crops, as well as livestock for slaughter, sending casks of preserved meats and other supplies to Barbados. Labor was provided by a multicultural force of American Indians, enslaved Africans and English indentured servants. Sylvester and his associates were part of the Triangle Trade between the American colonies (including the Caribbean), Africa and England. His descendants continued to use slaves on the plantation into the 19th century. An estimated 200 blacks are buried at the Negro Burying Ground on the North Peninsula.[4]
The Sylvesters gave shelter to many persecuted Quakers. Sylvester Manor stands today, just off New York State Route 114, and is controlled by Sylvester descendants. All but about 24 acres of the original thousands of acres have gone into other hands.[4]
Following the death in 1680 of Nathaniel Sylvester, Shelter Island was divided between his two sons, Giles and Nathaniel II. In 1695, William Nicoll, a resident of Islip, bought from Giles the area now called Mashomack Nature Preserve. Three years later, in 1698, another newcomer, George Havens, bought 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) from Nathaniel II. This parcel comprises what today is the Center; it stretched south to South Ferry and west to West Neck Creek. Over time these estates and parcels were split and divided by marriage and purchase, so that by the early 18th century, 20 families lived on Shelter Island. By order of the Provincial Government, the Town of Shelter Island was established in 1730.
Note: Most of the photos are from public domain Ancestry collections, or Wikipedia.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

More Matriarchs in England

 File:Bury Parish Church.jpg

She lived her whole life in England, but her children came to America.

13) Jony Scholes was born in 1558 in Bury, Lancashire, England, and died on 21 Nov 1624 in Bury, Lancashire, England. 
Knowing such a concise date of death, it can be assumed that record was kept in the local parish church.

Knowing next to nothing about England, I use my trusty source, Wikipedia.
Church of St. Mary the Virgin: Church records suggest that the first church was built on the site in 971 A.D. when parishes were first formed by King Edgar of England, although this is likely to have been a wood and thatch structure. Churches of this type of construction are thought to have been used until a church in the gothic style was completed in 1585. Between 1773 and 1780 the main body of this church was demolished and rebuilt leaving only the spire from the original church. The spire was replaced in 1842 but by 1870 the wood in the rest of the church had rotted and a new building was needed. The new church designed by the architect J. S. Crowther, leaving the 1842 spire in place, was officially opened on the Feast of the Annunciation on 2 February 1876. 
This is where my ancestor is buried, in Bury, England.
Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin
The Bury Castle is situated on the top of a slope overlooking the River Irwell in a strong defensive position. Excavations have revealed there were six main construction phases on the site.
In 1540, antiquary John Leland described Bury Castle as "a ruin of a castle by the Parish Church in the town" In 1753, Thomas Percival drew plans of the visible foundations of the walls of Bury Castle, measuring 600 feet (180 m) by 270 feet (82 m). The ruins were looted to provide building material for the town of Bury.
So there was evidence of a castle when Jony lived there in 1558-1624, but the newly completed (1585) gothic church would have been much more imposing an as architecture than the ruins of the castle in the town. 

Bury is also known for "Bury's 'World Famous' Market, which has been on the same site for nearly 600 years; the original licence for a market was granted in 1444...It consists of a large market hall, with extensive stalls outside, selling fruit, flowers, clothing, hardware and groceries....It is famed for its black pudding stalls."

OK, dear Brit friends, what exactly is black pudding?
"It is generally made from pork blood and a relatively high proportion of oatmeal...  In the United Kingdom, black pudding is considered a delicacy in... the North West, especially in Lancashire, and sometimes in Greater Manchester (towns such as Bury), where it is traditionally boiled and served with malt vinegar out of paper wrapping.
Black puddings are also served sliced and fried or grilled as part of a traditional full breakfast in much of the UK and Ireland, a tradition that followed British and Irish emigrants around the world.

A single battered deep-fried chip shop black pudding (approx. 20 cm (7.9 in) long), sliced open

Well, I sure have gone far afield from my matriarchal ancestor, again, haven't I?

OK, back to dear 13) Jony Scholes.  Her father was 14) William Scholes (1530 – ?)
She married 13) Robert Dunster (1555 – 1599) in 1580 or 1582.  They had at least 3 children, including 12) Henry Dunster, Sr. (1580 – 1646).

12) Henry Dunster, Sr. married 12) Isabel Kaye, (b. 22 Dec 1595 in Bury, Lancashire, England, d. 10 Dec 1638). She's one of the women who is given credit for having children born starting when she would have been 10, 11 and 14.  I have discounted the first two, if indeed the birthdates are correct.

But the third child listed, 11) Henry Dunster, Jr (b. 26 November 1609 in Bury, Lancashire, England, d. 27 February 1659 in MA) is one who went on to become quite famous after immigrating to the Americas.  He was the first president of Harvard University, and I've spoken about him before HERE while discussing his sister, 11) Elizabeth Dunster Bowers, who is my ancestor.

I go down these branches in order to go back up another one, to find another matriarch possibly.

12) Isabel Kaye (who was the amazing woman supposedly giving early births) had her own mother, 13) Anne Speght, also from Bury, England.  Born in 1568 and died in 1598.  Anne married 13) Richard Kaye (1564 – 1598) in 1589 when she was 21 years old. But here's one of those annomolies that only happen in Ancestry, and it will end my posting for today.

Poor 13) Anne Speght Kaye who died in 1598 was supposed to have given birth to two more children in 1600 and 1605.  I throw my hands up, but not before deleting them from my tree.  They may have been real people and maybe born to Anne, and the death date is incorrect.  But I'm just going to pay attention to the numbers that most records have agreed to.

Tomorrow we'll explore the ancestors (especially the matriarchs) of Capt. Nathaniel Sylvester, "first settler of Shelter Island."


Friday, March 13, 2015

Digging into Ancestry for more matriarchs

I'm glad to not be an archeologist, who would literally get dirt under her fingernails. At least my digging is all digital and I'm glad to spend hours doing it.  The actual records are often available and very interesting, showing much more than the Ancestry highlight often.

We've been looking at my grandmother's line Ada Swasey Rogers, with a lot of her ancestors from New England. Are there any more that go back 12 or 13 generations?

Remember 10)Ammi Ayers and her husband 10) Samuel Swasey?  Their son, 9) Joseph Swasey married 9) Mary Bowers.  Let's go up to the top the branches of her family tree today.

At the top there's 13) Iwerner Minster, (b. 1570 in First (Manby), Lincolnshire, England, d. 1659 in Manby Lincoln, Yorkshire, England.)  Iwerner is my eldest matriarch for today.

She married 13) Thomas Bowers in 1590 in First, Lincoln, England.  The name of a town may have been First, or that could have come through the Ancestry records somehow.  Since both Thomas and Iwerner have First before the towns, in different counties in England, I'm thinking it's how someone noted that these are our first ancestors. I'm sorry, I can't figure everything out today.

So I could look for Manby, Lincolnshire.  And then Manby Lincoln, Yorkshire.  These are not the same county again, and I can't persue it unfortunately.  I'm glad someone left records of their births and marriage and deaths.

13) Iwerner and Thomas Bowers had a son, 12) George Bowers, in 1590 in Manly, Lincolnshire, Eng.  And Iwerner died in 1659 in Manby Lincoln, Yorkshire, England as well. She is the first of my matriarchs that I've shared in this series who didn't even come to America.

12) George Bowers first married 12) Barbarie (Barbara) Smyth  (b.1596 in Braithwell, Yorkshire, England, d. 25 Mar 1644 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts)  They married in Braithwell, Eng. in 1614.  I did try to find information about Braithwell...
  • Braithwell Village taken from St James Church Tower Open Day June 11th 1994.
  • St James, Braithwell South Yorkshire
  • Braithwell Village taken from St James Church Tower Open Day June 11th 1994.
  • Braithwell Village taken from St James Church Tower Open Day June 11th 1994.

"Braithwell Facts

Interesting and historical facts about Braithwell.

Sorry, there are no facts about Braithwell."

 Well, apparently all the fun people moved away from Braithwell.  There must have been some good farming at any rate.

The  Bowers had one or two children in England, then their next children were born in Connecticut or Massachusetts.  Their son 11) Benanuell Bowers was born in 1627 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, and died on 28 May 1698 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

11) Benanuell Bowers married 11) Elizabeth Marie Dunster (1632-1692) and we'll follow her ancestors tomorrow. 

Their son 10) Jonathan Bowers (1673- 1750) was born in the American colonies, and he and his wife 10) Ann Sylvester (1669-1745) had a daughter, (9) Mary Bowers (1719-) who married 9) Joseph Swasey, (1714-1801) as mentioned above.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

My days of flight

I did have a few months of my 21st year flying professionally.  I quit college over a failed romance, and took a job as a Flight Attendant for Pan American World Airways (aka Pan Am).  The jets had recently started flying passengers, and that's where I worked.

We had to carry our flat shoes in our purses while walking to the planes, where we removed our high heels which could perhaps punch holes in the lightweight floors as we trod up and down the aisles serving as waitresses for almost a hundred people.

 I was flying the Latin American routes instead of learning, while my sister and her boyfriend here are seeing me off, after I was hired in April 1963.  I flew the 2 jets shown below, learning all the emergency procedures, as well as food service.  I also flew in DC-6 and DC-7's, prop planes that flew shorter flights in the Caribbean.  I'll never forget the live chickens in a straw shopping bag which was included along with several children piled with mom into one seat.

DC- 8
Boeing 707
Wikipedia shares:
"Pan Am was the launch customer of the Boeing 707, placing an order for 20 in October 1955. It also ordered 25 of Douglas's DC-8, which could seat six across.  
The 320 "Intercontinental" series 707 in 1959-60, and the Douglas DC-8 in March 1960, enabled non-stop transatlantic crossings with a viable payload in both directions.
Popular Culture loved Pan Am:
Pan Am held a lofty position in the popular culture of the Cold War era. One of the most famous images in which a Pan Am plane formed a backdrop was The Beatles' 1964 arrival at John F. Kennedy Airport aboard a Pan Am Boeing 707–321, Clipper Defiance.[136]
From 1964 to 1968 con artist Frank Abagnale, Jr. masqueraded as a Pan Am pilot, dead-heading to many destinations in the cockpit jump seat. He also used Pan Am's preferred hotels, paid the bills with bogus checks, and later cashed fake payroll checks in Pan Am's name. He documented this era in the memoir Catch Me if You Can, which became a distantly related movie in 2002. Abagnale called Pan Am the "Ritz-Carlton of airlines" and noted that the days of luxury in airline travel are over.
Then almost 50 years later... ABC had the TV show, Pan Am.  And it only ran for one season.
Pan Am is an American period drama television series created by writer Jack Orman. Named for the iconic Pan American World Airways, the series features the pilots and stewardesses of the airline as it operated in the early 1960s at the beginning of the commercial Jet Age.
Actresses in the TV Show Pan Am

Pan Am premiered on ABC on September 25, 2011 and ended on February 19, 2012.
The Pilot Show: April 1963. Dean pilots the Clipper Majestic '​s first New York to London flight—his first as a captain—and searches for his girlfriend, Bridget, about whom Dean learns some shocking news. Maggie, a stewardess suspended for not wearing her girdle to work, is unexpectedly reinstated when the scheduled purser, Bridget, does not arrive. Veteran stewardess Kate is revealed to be a CIA courier who was recruited during a layover in Rome three months prior, and she takes her first U.S. intelligence assignment to switch a passenger's passport. Meanwhile, Laura must deal with people asking her if she is the stewardess on the cover of Life magazine, and trying to do her best while not bothering her sister, Kate, who resents Laura's sudden fame. Colette sees a former lover on the flight, only to discover he is accompanied by his wife and son.
Pan Am won the "Best Series" at the Rose d'Or TV awards, Europe's equivalent of the Emmys.
This TV series took place at exactly the time I was flying; same uniforms, same issues (well without the CIA at least) and different routes.

I only flew to Latin countries, then back to the states.  Portugal was the only European country I visited, but there were lots of trips to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and the east coast of South America as far south as Sao Paolo, Brasil.  I flew over Cuba a few times on the way to Puerto Rico.

I stayed in various hotels on layovers where Pan Am made contracts, in many Latin cities, and San Francisco once.  In Curacus, Venezuela there were various political upheavals including armed conflicts, so we stayed out of town at a posh resort.
Not where we stayed, but this is a park near Caracus

 I loved Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and that I had 3 days layover there to see the sights.  The flight which I had just worked from New York was a non-stop overnight flight of 12 hours, carrying the Brazilian soccer team.  We really had a strain on the little bathrooms when all those men woke up in the morning wanting to shave before landing and meeting their fans.

You can barely see the serpentine walkway on the left, on which I remember walking.

 I would often be away from my home in Miami Springs FL (near the airport) for a week to 10 days.  There might be a trip every day, and sleeping in a different bed each night.  Or there might be one trip of 12 hours, then a layover for 3 days.  I had no seniority, so I got the flight schedules that were least desirable.

Pan Am - Betty Riegel
Not mine, but a typical Pan Am Crew of Flight Attendants (aka Stewardesses) ready to go to work

And the traveling waitress life had a toll on me.  I may have been recovering from my broken romance, but I was also away from home for the first time with no friends to speak of.  I was immersed in a culture of mostly Hispanic women and men, and I felt pretty lonely.

 I made some pretty bad decisions in my personal life during my six months as a Pan Am stewardess.  And as a stewardess I stretched myself too thin with days and nights of work, then partying much of the time I wasn't working.
Pan Am - Betty Riegel in LA welcoming first class passengers
British Stewardess, Betty Riegel welcoming passengers in the same style uniform which I wore.
Our uniforms were tailored, but with all the good food I was eating, I already was stretched to the limit in mine.  The blue cloth was not as bright a blue as shown in the TV series, either. Soon I was so glad to leave the supposedly romantic traveling life of a waitress in a plane to settle down with an old friend who wanted to get married.  At that time stewardesses weren't allowed to get married or have children.  And suddenly that was exactly what I wanted.

Incidentally, my little sister also quit college in her third year and became an Eastern Airlines stewardess.  I don't remember if she flew longer than I did, but she traded the high life in to live on a farm in Tennessee as a "back-to-the-land" hippy.  We Rogers girls weren't meant to stay in the air that long, I guess.

I may still enjoy a flight now and then...squeezed usually against some giant person or another...but I really enjoy a take off which feels so grand to the bottom of my shoes.  Glad I never really had a lot of "G's" like an astronaut, or this might be chicken feed.

I'm sharing this post with Sepia Saturday, where this week everyone will be sharing something to do with stewardesses, or puppies.  Come over to see the postings by lots of folks on Saturday HERE.
The Sepia Saturday theme image this week comes from the collection of the Preus Museum which is the National Museum of Photography in Norway. It is a photograph by Elisabeth Meyer entitled "Stewardess Hugging A Puppy" and forms part of the Preus Museum stream on Flickr Commons .  It appears that the photograph was taken in Alaska and it dates from sometime in the 1950s

Read Betty Riegel's story I Lived the High Life as A Pan Am Stewardess HERE.

Wikipedia is my source for most quoted materials and photos.

Images of the two advertisements are from PanAmAir.org.

Information about Pan Am the TV Show comes also from Wikipedia HERE.

Matriarchs abounding

Well, not much bounding about, but the women from whom I'm descended, who gave me some mitochondrial DNA, are many and wonderful.

Yesterday I included generation 10) Ammi Ayers, who married 10)Samuel Swasey.  Ammi Ayers mother was the branch we followed yesterday.  Her father was 11) Nathaniel Ayers and his father was 12) Capt. John Ayres who died in 1675.

I've found those little hint "leaves" have me stumped at a male ancestor, who may have married one woman, or another.  So I'm off to see which one has documentation to support her being my ancestor.
CAPTAIN JOHN AYRES (ca 1627-1675) of Quaboag (portion of West Brookfield, MA); Memorial of 1675 in West Brookfield, Massachusett
The man in question is John Ayres, Captain, who was killed in King Phillips war, by Indians.  Also he was part of colonial settlers who started a town of Brooksfield, MA, with someone having purchased it (formerly Quaboag) from the Indians.  However there were some Indians who disagreed and attacked the settlers, killing 7 men who barricaded themselves in Ayres Tavern.

But on one sheet of paper, the marriage records of New England prior to 1700, there are 10 John Ayers, or Ayres, or Ayer listed.  Only one has a death date of 1675, and he is listed as John Ayer (-1675) married to Susanna Symonds (1617-1653) c. 1644 or ca. 1642.

I am interested in this colorful ancestor, but wonder if he's really connected to me.  So again I look at his children, so I can determine that he's my ancestor for sure!

Several family trees show John Ayers dying in 1694, and looking at this list, there are 2 marriages listed for that "John Ayers, (-1694+) 1/wf Sarah Williams (-1662) on 5 May 1646, Haverhill MA."  And 4 lines down is the same "John (-1694+) 2/wf Mary Woodham in 1663 also Haverhill."  But though there are ancestry trees by other members that have the John Ayers who died in 1675 at the Tavern, killed by Indians, they are having him marry Sarah, but not Mary Woodham, and they all have him dying in yet another town.

So I'm leaning toward the original information.

OK, on October 28th, 1717.
"A Petition of Thomas Ayres, Joseph Ayres, Mark Ayres, Natt'll Ayers, & Edward Ayres, Sons & Heirs of John Ayres heretofore of Quaboag alias Brookfield, Dec'd Intestate, Shewing that in or about the Year 1669, the Petitioners Father with others bought & purchased of the Indian..."

I don't have the original, and the copy I read is cut off there.
(I'm inserting my own generational numbering, as described in yesterday's blog post)

So this 12) John Ayres, killed in Brookfield did have a son 11) Nathaniel, who was also named as a blacksmith from the source I'm reading.

See how this Ancestry stuff takes you off on tangents...
Now back to the matriarchs.

12) John Ayers' (b. 1623 or 25, d. 1675) wife was finally determined to be 12) Susanna Symonds (b. either 1617 or 1623, d.1682 or 83). The different dates do get confusing, and Ancestry usually lists only one set, but with alternates available.

12) Susanna Symonds Ayers was the source of a document about her husband and her children.
It is mentioned in an earlier genealogical document from 2003.  I'll include it because it does seem to quote an original source.  Talking about her husband 12) John Ayers, she is mentioned only as "his widow."
His widow presented an inventory of his estate, now recorded at Salem, on which she wrote, "I have seven sons and one daughter." Although the births of these children are not all recorded, I have been able to recover all their names without doubt, and I think to arrange them chronologically.
  i John2
 ii Samuel2
iii Thomas2
 iv Joseph2
v Edward2 b. 12 Feb. 1658.     
 vi Mark2 b. 14 Dec. 1661.       
       (all recorded at Ipswich)
 vii Nathaniel 2 b. 6 July, 1664.  
 viii Susanna 2 b.? ; m. (???) Day."

I don't know what the numeral "2" represents after son vii Nathaniel, b 6 July 1664. as well as his younger sister Susanna.  Since the older siblings were recorded at Ipswich, perhaps they hadn't been.

12) Susanna Symonds' parents were 13) Mark Symonds (1584-1659) and 13) Joanna (maybe Edgar) (1588-1666).  Joanna was born in Essex County, England, probably in the town called Birch.

Here's a nice replica of old town architecture from another Essex town, Wedens Ambo.  This name means there were two nearby towns called Wedens, and they combined into this new name.
Wendens Ambo Village, Essex, England, (not Birch, Essex, Eng)
Wedens Ambo, Essex, England

13) Joanna (Edgar?) Symonds (1588-1666) is the earliest matriarch I've found after all these hours beating around bushes at Ancestry.

Her death is listed in Ipswich MA in 1666, on April 29...in the following record.  The scribe for this entry has wonderfully legible handwriting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Fore-mothers from England

In honor of March being Women's History Month, I am going to find the first women ancestors in each of my lines that I have any knowledge of...though one only goes back as far as great-grandparents. The other grandparents have given me a lot of ancestors to consider.

But who were the eldest grandmothers?

The Swasey line came down to my father's mother, Ada Swasey Rogers, from New England, and here I will share some of the Fore-mothers who immigrated to the American colonies.

In order to keep track of generations, I'll just review that I consider myself generation 3 (with children and grandchildren being the 2nd and 1st generations)
So my parents are 4), my grandmother Ada Swasey Rogers is 5), her parent 6 etc.  Let's go back to the first settlers.

12) Mary Jiggles (or Jeggles) married 12) Joseph (Immigrant) Swasey (the eldest of the family who came to the American colonies)

12) Mary Jiggles Swasey was born in 1631 in Suffolk, England and died in 1709 in Salem, Essex County, Massacusetts.

Is she the Swasey family matriarch?

12) Mary Jiggles and 12) Joseph Swasey's son, (11) Joseph II, married a woman named 11) Elizabeth Lambert.  Her mother was 12) Preserved Gaskoyne, who was born in 1638-9, in Salem MA, and married in Salem, MA to 12) John Lambert.

12) Preserved Gaskoyne Lambert had a mother named 13) Sarah Parker Gaskoyne (Gaskill) who lived from 1605-1691.  However I highly doubt that she was born in Salem, MA, because it wasn't setttled until 1626 by English.
Sarah Parker married Edward Gaskill
Sarah Parker 1605-1691

So now the earliest fore-mother is 13) Sarah Parker Gaskoyne (Gaskill)...who did live until 1691 in Salem, MA.

So still on my Swasey tree branches, go down a few generations, to the son of  11) Joseph II Swasey and 11) Elizabeth Lambert.  This would be 10) Samuel Swasey who married 10) Ammi Ayers, 1687-1783.  Her line goes back now, with her mother 11) Amy Cowell Sherburn Faber Ayers (1655-1736) who married 3 times before giving birth to 10) Ammi Ayers.  And they lived in Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire.  Of course it was before these were official counties or states.

11) Amy Cowell's mother was 12) Agnes Harvey Cowell,  born in 1620 in New Hampton, England, and died in Dec, 1681 in Cambridge, Suffolk, Massachusetts, according to several Ancestry Family trees.  But her will is available, written also in the year of her death in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where her children were born.  

Harvey, Agnes
So today I've explored some of the elder women of the Swasey family who first came to America.  

13) Sarah Parker Gaskoyne (Gaskill) 1605-1691, or 13 generations before my grandchildren.

12) Agnes Harvey Cowell, 1620-1681, 12 generations ago.

I'm pretty certain that both these women came to America from England.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Not for the guys...

...unless you want to learn more about women's lives.
I've recently re-read a beautiful book that was written in 1997, kind of the second, or third-wave of women's rights movement.
Actually we probably need a continuous one.

But the book is The Red Tent.
There's a movie somewhere or another.
And there are groups of women that meet calling themselves Red Tent groups.

This is a novel about a woman.  Dinah was a Bibical woman, daughter of Jacob and Leah.  Her story is parallel to those from the Bible, only it's her life story, and that of the women around her.  And it also has meaning for everyone in how lives of a tribal culture intertwined, on an individual basis.  Then it takes us into the times and how one culture, the nomadic tribes who raised sheep clashed with those who lived in a town.  And then there are completely different nations with different languages.

So it's not so different from today.

Of course the stories of birth and mid-wives are such that continued throughout all times.  Use of herbs and techniques and how women helped each other.  And what is the Red Tent itself?  The place where women put aside their work and gathered to share stories, jokes and their histories for three days each month as they bled. 

When women live by natural light of sun and moon, they usually share their menstrual cycles.  So this was a time when they could go away from the daily chores of feeding and carrying water for a tent community.  They would have prepared meals for the men ahead of time, that would last for these three days.  And when did this monthly Red Tent happen?  I'll leave it to reading the book for you.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Clean aquariums

Started yesterday with the battle of the green algae, which had overtaken both my tanks.  The 30 gallon came first, with my trusty siphon hose and bucket (which is a bit over 3 gallons I think) and walking back and forth to kitchen sink to first remove all the fluorescent green water.

Gourami at top, Neon Tetras to bottom
Oh, I put the 5 big fish into one side of the 10 gallon tank and put a divider so the big guys couldn't eat all the little guppies on the other side.  They stayed in green water overnight, while the new set-up became aclimated for them.

It's so pristine now I'm so proud of my muscles and my arms working so well.  Thanks to Cliff Schulman and the Black Mountain Physical Therapists...I've got arms that work without pain again.

Adult guppies (maybe 14, if they'd only stand still!)

Gourami at top, Tiger Barb at bottom, Neon Tetras mid range

Angel fish is shy, and maybe blind in the eye on this side

The guppy tank got cleaned today, and they didn't get 24 hours either after I'd bleached all their plastic plants and rocks, then rinsed them and declorinated the fresh water for them.  They sat in a big stainless bowl in clean water for a few hours, then I noticed it was getting colder than the new water in their tank.  So I transferred them by net and had a major accident.

One of the guppies landed on the floor, about 2 feet down onto carpet.  The main problem was that I was sitting enjoying all the beautiful views for about 10 minutes before I noticed her limp form.  I picked her up, put her in the stainless bowl and she started breathing, and swimming kind of erratically.  I thought she wouldn't make it, but threw some flakes of food in with her, just in case she needed incentive.  But 5 minutes later she looked healthy.  So I netted her and added her to the tank.  Now I can't tell which one she is.

Again I've set up the tank so I can have baby guppies on one side safe from the appetites of their parents.  There were 2 that I found in the green water and managed to rescue.  We shall see if this setup works like it has in the past, where newborn babies just escape right under the screen onto the "nursery" side. Yes they give live birth, which is why I enjoy them.  I'll let you know.  I probably won't be able to take photos, as you see, these are pretty lame already.  But I'm thrilled to be able to see the sparkle on everything today!

Now if we just have sun continuing to move further north (as equinox is in a couple of weeks) and less comes into the living room windows to strike the aquariums and create that algae again.  Now I'm going to run around setting all my clocks to daylight savings time, ugh.  What would I have done with that extra hour that I'll lose tonight?  Probably invented the greatest thing imaginable, or made the most beautiful pot.  I will be dreaming about it, but have just an hour less than can bring it to fruition.  I don't know a soul who likes DST.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

George Washington Rogers, soldier

George Washington Rogers
George Washington Rogers

A polka, sheet music, and a dancer are the prompts for this week's Sepia Saturday.  Come on over to see what others have posted there.

I'm a former pianist.  I also used to love to swing around the floor dancing a polka.  But do I have any photos of these pursuits?  Indeed, do I have any old photos of anything like it?

Nope, no luck.

So I'll just continue with my family information which I save here as a personal archive.
This is about my grandfather's grandfather, George Washington Rogers.  He was injured in the Mexican American War of 1846.  I usually avoid talk about war, being a "peace-nik" myself.  But when an ancestor had a name like George Washington Rogers, he had to be a hero, right?

My Ancestry.Com information says:
G.W. Rogers served in the War in Mexico - under Captain Gillespie; Col. John C. Hays: 1st Regiment Texas Rangers, Gen. Zachary Taylor. He was wounded on assault on Bishop's Palace, Monterrey, Mexico. His name is on the Gillespie Monument in Huntsville, Texas. After the battle (from war department 1846) Col. George Washington Rogers lay wounded on battle field all night, during icy storm. He contracted tuberculosis. After recuperating, he returned to his home in Gibbsland, LA.

In Wikipedia the information about the Battle of Monterrey (not to be confused with Monterey, CA) says:
In the Battle of Monterrey (September 21–24, 1846) during the Mexican–American War, General Pedro de Ampudia and the Mexican Army of the North was defeated by the Army of Occupation, a force of United States Regulars, Volunteers and Texas Rangers under the command of General Zachary Taylor.
Go to this site to read the entire battle information.  I'll just give you a picture or two, from that site.

Battle of Monterrey - Americans fighting within the city

Monterrey from Independence Hill, in the rear of the bishop´s palace. On stone by F. Swington. Colored by G. & W. Edicott, New York. The image depicts the Saddle Hill and the bishop´s house in Monterrey Mexico after the Battle of Monterrey in 1846.

The Battle of Monterrey
Storming of Palace Hill at the Battle of Monterrey

George W. Rogers married Lucinda Benson Gibbs after he recuperated in 1848.  They then moved to Huntsville, Texas, where they were among the elite and owned a large plantation style home.

North Portico of the house George Washington Rogers and Lucinda Benson Gibbs built on the 200 acres they purchased from Pleasant Gray in 1844.

Thus they had planned to move to Huntsville before GWR went to Mexico in 1846, and then got sick...thus delaying their marriage and move to their own home.  It's likely the home had wood steps which no longer are part of the portico.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Marching Forth

I did go marching forth for March fourth...if you count being out and about today in the 70's...yes, that's not a typo.

First I had a really good session with my physical therapist, who said I'm making good progress with the frozen shoulder.  He helped me do some new exercises, then measured my range of motion with my right arm.  I keep thinking it will probably be able to move more freely than my left, so I sneak some exercises (at home) with my left as well.

Then I came home, and noticed the laundry room (unheated) was much colder than right outside the door.

So I opened said door, and window, then took most of the clothes (except the unmentionables, which still get dried in private) and hung them out in the sun on a clothesline.  Yes, I strung one outside last year, and seldom use it.  I want to do so more often, especially when I see my electric bill.

Panther enjoying fresh air and sunshine
Then I opened the windows in the living room, and the 2 cats argued over who was going to sit where.  It was sunny and warm and breezy.

Muffin preferred the softness of an afgan
Next I pulled a rake out and got some of the matted oak leaves off the flower bed where I knew some crocus and daffodils used to be.  There were a few little green things maybe going to become flowers.  But I also pulled a lot of the viney stems that were dead mint plants off that area.  Some of them were too permanent and woody to remove.

Maybe spring plants, maybe not.

So by then I decided to invite my friend to have coffee and brownies while sitting outside watching whatever was happening...and I brought out my 2 nice patio chairs which have cushions...and a straight chair to pretend to be our little table.  All the tables are too busy with other things.
We enjoyed sitting and talking, while a stiff breeze kept us nicely aerated.  All this while the sun brightly shown on one neighbor who decided to take his shirt off to "catch some rays."
But at dinner time my friend left, and I packed up the furniture to bring inside, because rain was forecast, and then by tomorrow night, a freeze again.  I even remembered to bring the clothes in off the line.
The large bunch of daffodils

This renegade daffodil bunch is now potted inside.

I even tucked the oak leaves back around the baby plants.  But I did dig one clump of daffodils up and put it into a planter which came inside with me.

I'd say I definitely marched forth for the fourth of March, wouldn't you?  Did you too?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Eugenia Witty Booth's youngest sister

Susan E. Witty Moore was born Dec 28, 1856, in Texas.  I'm not sure of the actual location.  I believe by 1857 her father had started the Subdivision in Hill County that was to be named Woodbury, and in the cemetery many of the Witty family are buried, including Susan.  But I'm not sure they moved there (from Marshall, TX) as a family until 1860.

By the 1860 census of the Witty family, she is listed (as of July 30 when the census was taken) as being four years old. There was one source (another census) which gave her age such that she would have been born in 1857, but I'm going with 1856 and have changed the Ancestry listing on my tree.

It is nice that the youngest of 9 children was named after her mother, Susan Hoke Witty.  

In the 1870 census her family says she is 13 (in agreement with having been born in 1856, because her birthday isn't until Dec. and the census was in July again...thus the question was answered, how old will she be in this year?

The wonderful census of 1900 tells how long people had been married, as well as listing their names and birthdates and states in which they were born.

In 1877, Susan had married a farmer, James J. Moore, and they lived in Justice Precinct 2, Hill County, Texas with their 14 year old daughter, Edna.  James is listed as having been born in Alabama, as her parents were, though later records suggest he was born in Texas. 

Susan Witty Moore died Sept 10, 1902, in Woodbury, Hill County, Texas, and has a nice big grave marker in the Old Woodbury Cemetery, where many other of the Witty family are buried. 

Susan E Witty Moore headstone
The "Texas Find A Grave" information gives this information about her:
Children: Edna Mae Moore (1885 - 1916)
Siblings: Martha E Witty Barnes (1846 - 1914) Mary Witty Hughes (1848 - 1876), Laura Dove Witty Patty (1854 - 1935)

Her daughter, Edna, died of tuberculosis in 1916, and her death certificate information was given by her father, J. J. Moore. So I know he lived until that year in June.  Unfortunately I am unable to find much information about James J. Moore.

She may have been only 46 when Susan E. Witty Moore died, but she outlived her sister, my great great grandmother who died at 23 in 1877.