Monday, February 25, 2013

Palatine Family Roots

I have had my battles with common surnames.  I have Johnson, Smith, Jones and a few Allens.  Needless to say, research on these families can be a bit daunting.  There is an Allen line on my Mom’s side of the family that stretches back to New England…however, the Allen line on my father’s side of the family is a window into the German side of my great grandfather’s family.

Phoebe Allen Gage with grandchildren - around 1910.
Phoebe Ann Allen was born 7 Jan 1830 in Knox, Albany Co., NY.  She married Gilbert Gage in 1849, most likely in Knox, Albany Co., NY as well.  They were the parents of five children:  Orlando, Elizabeth, Juliette, Frank, and Gilbert Gage.  Phoebe was daughter of Elizabeth Zeh and John P. Allen.  It seems somehow unfortunate that I’ve never been able to taker Phoebe’s paternal line back any further than her father.  John P. Allen is much too common a name to differentiate him from other John Allen’s in the vicinity.  Perhaps someday when I have the chance to go to New York to research, I may find something interesting.  Here is what I know about John P. Allen.  He was born in NY on 24 Sep 1783 and died on 2 Apr 1868 in Knox, Albany Co., NY.  He was married to Anna Eva Weidman (daughter of William Weidman and Maria Chambers) sometime in 1807. (The Weidman family shows up often amongst these German families around Albany Co., NY).  She probably died in childbirth or shortly after childbirth in 1821 probably in Berne, Albany Co., NY (which was called Beaverdam at the time) They were the parents of seven children:  Asa, Hannah Maria, William, John P. Jr., James Ira, Sylvester, and Susanna Allen.  In about 1825, John P. Allen married Elizabeth Zeh.  She was born 24 Sep 1793 in Berne, Albany Co., NY and died on 14 Oct 1851 in Knox, Albany Co., NY.  They were the parents of Ann Eliza, Emma Elizabeth, Phoebe Ann (my 3rd great grandmother), Peter Zeh, and Elizabeth.  Elizabeth was the daughter of Peter Jost Zeh and Annatje Truax. 

The Zeh family was a whole new kettle of fish for me.  I had had no idea that there had been such a strong German contingent in my great grandfather’s family.  When I initially learned of the line, I did what I normally did.  I posted queries on the appropriate news lists early and often.  Through email, I was educated on a bit of the history of the Zeh family in NY.  I may never make much progress on the Allen line – but there was a wealth of information on the Zeh family and they had been amongst some of the earliest settlers in the Schoharie river valley.    Johannes Zeh was born in Oppenheim, Germany in 1667.  He was married to Anna Magdalena in 1692 and they were the parents of Johann George, Johannes Gerhardt, Ignatius, and Johannes Petrus.  You can label the Zehs among many other families as Palatine Germans.  Germany at this point was essentially a bunch of small countries and one of these areas was Palatine.  It was a land that was battled over by the French, Dutch, Germans, and later the English.  There were numerous battles –but Queen Anne’s War which was between 1701 to 1713 was probably the biggest impetus for many to leaving the Palatine region along the Rhine.  In a short amount of time over 13,000 Germans left and headed to America.  Many arrived around 1710, but the Zeh family were first recorded in the Schoharie Valley in 1709.  Of the four children that traveled with Johannes and his wife in 1709 died within a few years after their arrival.  My ancestor, Johannes Zeh, Jr was born about 1710 near Germantown, NY.    Johannes married Maria Bellinger and Anna Catherine Bellinger – sisters who were the daughters of Marcus Bellinger and Anna Catherine Deckmann.  (Also German immigrants)  I’m not really sure which sister he married first, but it is Anna Catherine who he marries in 3 Mar 1738 and they have nine children.  Their third son, Jost Bellinger Zeh and Anna Barbara Wanner were the parents of Peter Jost Zeh and grandparents of Elizabeth Zeh…my 4th great grandmother.
I considered myself to be fairly well educated in United States history, however, I had never heard of the Palatine Immigration to America.  While living in their homeland along the Rhine River, these people had to live with repeated military invasions by French for numerous years.  They left their homes and headed towards England to escape the Palatine with the promise of land in the American colonies.  The British found out that very quickly couldn’t take care of this large group of people and started to find ways of sending these refugees to the American colonies and many of these families ended up in New York.   They were unlike the Huguenots of an earlier generation because they were not as well educated or skilled of laborers.  They were laborers who knew how to raise livestock, farm land or make cheese and wine.  Queen Anne’s government decided to provide a way for these German Protestants to make their way to the colonies.  They were booked passage on a ship and had to work in trade for passage. 
Many of these families were originally brought to New York but within the next five years they moved to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the Carolinas but about 40 families went to the Schoharie area of New York and settled there.  I would estimate that just about all of Phoebe Ann Allen’s ancestry came from the Palatine families including names like: Zeh, Zeybel, Bellinger, Folmar, Wanner, and Deckman which are all direct ancestors of Phoebe’s and mine!  Here are some of the ancestors I've discovered along the way!

  • Phoebe Ann Allen m. Gilbert Gage
  • John P. Allen m. Elizabeth Zeh
  • Peter Jost Zeh m. Annatje Truax (See line below)
  • Jost Bellinger Zeh m. Anna Barbara Wanner (See line below)
  • Johannes Zeh Jr. m. Anna Catherine Bellinger
  • Johannes Zeh m. Anna Magdalena - Marcus Bellinger m. Anna Catherine Deckman
  • Nicholas Bellinger m. Anna Maria Margaretha Kuhn - Johan Conrad Deckmann m. Juliana Stroh
  • Willem Truax m. Anna Elizabeth Zeybel
  • George Seibel m. Anna Maria Reyin
  • Jacob Zeybel m. Anna Getha
  • Michael Wanner m. Elizabeth Folmar (daughter of Christian Fulmar)
  • Ludwig Wanner m. Anna Barbara Beisels
  • Hans Wanner m. ?, Hans Andres Beisels m. ?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Look At The Cute Little Snakey!

I can remember being chided as a child for using the word “hate!”  As children do…I would exclaim that I hated something or someone and my mother would correct me.  She told me that you can dislike or strongly dislike something…but you should never hate anything.  This lesson has stood me well in life, because she was right when she told me that hating something or someone only hurts the person doing the hating.  I believe this was true for all things for Mom except one thing…she hated snakes!

One of Mom’s first memories regarding snakes was probably when she was about five years old.  She was with her father and he was checking his fields.  She was enjoying herself, because he carried her on his shoulders because the wheat was high enough that she couldn't see over it.  All of a sudden, he stopped and set her down.  Mom noticed that a large snake lay just a few feet away.  Her father took out his gun and shot the snake and then proceeded to shoot the babies that came out of its mouth.  It was a rattlesnake and her father didn't want it around to hurt anyone…especially him.    Her mother encouraged a healthy “hate” for snakes as well.  She would tell stories of always carrying a gun when going hunting with her husband.  She used to tell stories about when she was a child up on Grouse Flats and the dog would bring in a frozen rattlesnake that it had found curled up somewhere outside.  Evidently the dog thought it would be a fun toy to play with…until my great grandfather found the snake near the stove, just beginning to thaw out. 

So, Mom had a good healthy “hate” for snakes… didn't matter if it was poisonous or harmless, live or stuffed, she wanted nothing to do with them.  So when our family was walking down into Fish Lake when I was a child and I proclaimed “Look, at the cute little snakey!”  Mom believed it was time to brainwash me.  A few years later when I saw a garter snake coming out of the rocks and started wailing in fear, she knew she had done her job well.  I can remember my older brother being quite disgusted when he picked up and took it away.  (Her brainwashing didn't work on him)  She loved children but when one of the little boys would run up to her carrying a snake, she would back away in terror…the child would pay for his torment later.  As Mom got older…her “hatred” never abated.  Mom and Dad’s bedroom wasn't a large one and she used to say that it was almost wall to wall bed.  They had some furniture in there as well.  So, when Mom dreamed one night of a snake coiling up to strike her, she swung her foot away and hit the dresser.  Needless to say she woke up…she had broken her toe.  Dad probably had a hard time showing the appropriate sympathy because he was laughing at her.  Mom actually had to even laugh about that one.

I don’t think Mom ever saw a snake she liked.  If there was one slithering across the TV screen, the channel was immediately changed.  Going into the reptile room at the zoo with her granddaughter was not an option either.  As much as she loved watching “Raiders of the Lost Ark,”  the scenes with all the snakes was hard for her.  She probably had her head turned away the whole time.  I remember Mom warning me about the scenes so I would be prepared.

I still don’t like snakes…Mom trained me well in that respect.  However, I don’t think I ever “hated snakes” like Mom did.  Dad and I still smile when we see a snake slithering across the TV screen and say “Mom wouldn't like that!”  I took Mom’s lesson to heart and have never really used the word “hate!”  She was right – the word was hurtful to the person doing the hating.   The one thing that she truly “hated” in her life were snakes and they caused her many a nightmare…as well as a broken toe!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Founding Families of Nicholas Co., WV

We have had a list for many years that was written by my great grandmother on her family line stretching back to her immigrant ancestors.  Grandma Gage’s grandparents were William Pitsenbarger and Mary “Polly” Amick.  We knew that William Pitsenbarger’s parents names were Elizabeth Amick and Peter Pitsenbarger.  Whenever I looked at this line – I had to wonder – was Mary “Polly” Amick and Elizabeth Amick related?

While Pitsenbarger and Amick might be unusual last names, the first names of Mary and William are all too common.  One of the first things that I did was to see if I could find a Mary or Polly Amick in the 1850 census.  I located a Polly Amick in 1850 in the Western District, Nicholas Co., VA, on page 49, Line #321.  She was listed as 17 years old and as Polly Amick and the daughter of Jacob Amick born abt 1788 in Pennsylvania and a Rachel born abt 1794 in Virginia.  Something to remember when looking at West Virginia families prior to the Civil War is that their birth place will be listed as Virginia even if where they would have lived is now West Virginia.  West Virginia was parceled off and added to the Union as a state.  At this point, I could locate no other Polly Amick who was the same age and in Nicholas Co., VA.  So, I went forward with the theory that Mary or Polly Amick’s parents were Jacob Amick and Rachael. 

At this point, I started researching newslists, websites and anything else about a Jacob Amick who married a Rachel.  It didn’t take very long to find out that Jacob Amick had married Rachel Shroyer.  I was actually sent information by someone who had a copy of the history book that had been published by the Nicholas County Historical society.  There was an article titled “Jacob Amick and Rachel Shroyer, A Pioneer Family.”  The article explains that Jacob Amick was one of the first Amicks to move to Nicholas Co., VA and that the move was made possible by land grants that had been made.  The government was trying to encourage families to move into the “wilderness” that was this area of Nicholas Co., VA at the time.  Jacob was one of the first to appear on the tax rolls for Nicholas Co., VA at the time.  The article later went on to spell out the complete family of Jacob Amick and Rachel Shroyer including my great great great grandmother, Mary “Polly” Amick.  It shows her as being married to William Pitsenbarger which confirmed what I already knew.  I could see that I had the right Mary/Polly Amick.

Just below that wonderful bit of information was another tantalizing tidbit.  The article mentioned that three of Jacob’s sisters moved to the area after being married in Pendleton County, VA.  It mentioned Mary who married a Christian Propst, Barbara who married Henry Eye, and Elizabeth who married Peter Pitsenbarger.  This one article had explained many things in a few short sentences.

William Pitsenbarger was the son of Peter Pitsenbarger and Elizabeth Amick.  He was born Nov 1827 in Pendleton Co., VA and died Oct 1901 in Runa, Nicholas Co., WV.  His mother, Elizabeth Amick was born about 1801 in Dahmer, Pendleton Co., VA and died 28 Sep 1857 in Nicholas Co., VA.  Elizabeth was married to Peter Pitsenbarger on 7 Mar 1820 and they were the parents of nine children.  Peter Pitsenbarger lived to about June 1864.  After the death of Elizabeth, he married a Sarah Ann Southard and had another son, Jacob, born abt 1859.  I had always suspected that Elizabeth Amick and Mary/Polly Amick were related, but I was never sure of the exact relationship.  There are far too many Elizabeth’s and Mary/Polly to make an assumption.  I knew from what my great grandmother had written – that her grandparents were William Pitsenbarger and Polly Amick and that her great grandparents were Peter Pitsenbarger and Elizabeth Amick.  Everything fit together – perhaps a little more closely than I would have liked.  Elizabeth was Polly Amick’s aunt and she and William Pitsenbarger were first cousins.

I remember telling my grandmother about this discovery.  Her first reaction was that she was going to “need to study this!”  After she had accepted the information, she informed me that it was quite common for first cousins to marry.  If I recall at the time, I was entrenched in my West Virginia relatives and had to agree with her somewhat.  These family lines were incredibly tangled and several names seemed to show up way too often.  I have had some fun teasing some of my younger relations about this set of first cousins who married.  They don’t really like to think that their family tree didn't really fork into a different direction.
Mary Amick Pitsenbarger's death record.

It is interesting to note that Mary Amick’s father lived to be a grand old age for the time of 80 years old.  However, her mother lived to be 101 – which I find very surprising.  Eventually, I was able to get a copy of Mary Amicks’s death record with only mentioned Amick as the father and Sowyour as the mother. Mary Amick Pitsenbarger died at the age of 93 years old.  William Pitsenbarger died at the age of 74.  I was told by one of my cousins that he was crushed between the wall of a barn and a horse.  Both William and Mary are buried at Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery, Runa, Nicholas Co., WV.  Elizabeth and Jacob were the children of Henry Amick, Jr. and Elizabeth Barbara Niemand who began their lives in Bucks Co., PA and moved to Pendleton Co., VA sometime around 1790.  The Amicks and Pitsenbargers both left for Nicholas county with the promise of land…and so both families are counted as the two of the founding families of Nicholas County, West Virginia today!

Descendants of Jacob AMICK

Generation No. 1

1.  JACOB4 AMICK  (HENRY3, JOHAN HEINRICH2 EMICH, JOHAN GEORG1 EMIG) was born 1789 in Buck Co., PA, and died 06 Sep 1869 in Anglings Creek, Nicholas Co., VA (WV).  He married RACHEL SHROYER 15 Jan 1814 in Pendleton Co., VA (WV), daughter of SHROYER.  She was born Abt. 1793 in Nicholas Co., VA (WV), and died 1894 in Nicholas Co., WV.
               i.   JOHN5 AMICK, b. 18 Apr 1815, Pendleton Co., VA (WV); d. Abt. 1890; m. LENA WALKER, 22 Dec 1836, Fayette Co.,  VA; b. Abt. 1819, VA.
              ii.   HENRY AMICK, b. 01 Nov 1817, Pendleton Co., VA (WV); m. JANE, 01 Jun 1848; b. Abt. 1831, VA.
             iii.   SAMUEL H. AMICK, b. 02 Dec 1818, Pendleton Co., VA (WV); d. 1906; m. MARY COPENHAVER, 25 Mar 1841, Nicholas Co., VA (WV; b. 1820, Greenbrier Co., VA (WV); d. 02 May 1874, Russellville, Fayette Co., WV.
             iv.   CATHERINE AMICK, b. Jan 1820, Nicholas Co., VA (WV); d. 1917, Nicholas Co., WV; m. JOHN FIELDING BAYS, JR., 03 Feb 1843, Nicholas Co., VA (WV; b. Jan 1816, VA; d. Aft. 1900, Runa, Nicholas Co., WV.
              v.   RACHEL AMICK, b. Abt. 1824, Nicholas Co., VA (WV).
             vi.   BETSEY AMICK, b. Abt. 1825, Nicholas Co., VA (WV).
            vii.   JACOB AMICK, JR., b. Dec 1826, Pendleton Co., (VA) WV; d. 11 Aug 1909, Nicholas Co., WV; m. HENRIETTA BOLEY; b. Apr 1838, Monroe Co., (VA) WV; d. 1928, Nicholas Co., WV.
            viii.   MARY AMICK, b. 11 Apr 1832, Nicholas Co., VA (WV); d. 05 Jan 1926, Pool, Nicholas Co., WV; m. WILLIAM PITSENBARGER, 02 Nov 1854, Nicholas Co., VA (WV; b. Nov 1827, Pendleton Co., VA; d. Oct 1901, Runa, Nicholas Co., WV.
             ix.   ARTHUR AMICK, b. 03 Mar 1833, Nicholas Co., VA (WV); m. SARAH JANE LLOYD.

Descendants of Elizabeth AMICK

Generation No. 1

1.  ELIZABETH4 AMICK  (HENRY3, JOHAN HEINRICH2 EMICH, JOHAN GEORG1 EMIG) was born Abt. 1801 in Dahmer, Pendleton Co., VA (WV), and died 28 Sep 1857 in Nicholas Co., WV.  She married PETER PITSENBARGER 07 Mar 1820 in Pendleton Co., VA (WV), son of ABRAHAM PITSENBARGER and MARY COWGER.  He was born 1798 in Pendleton Co., VA (WV), and died Abt. 14 Jun 1864 in Runa, Nicholas Co., VA (WV).
               i.   CHRISTINA5 PITSENBARGER, b. 04 Aug 1820, Greenbrier Co., VA (WV); d. 26 May 1902, Nicholas Co., WV; m. GRANDISON MCCUTCHEON NUTTER, Abt. 1840, Nicholas Co., WV; b. 31 Jul 1815, Poe, Nicholas Co., WV; d. 17 Nov 1904, Nicholas Co., WV.
              ii.   MARY ANN PITSENBARGER, b. 18 Feb 1822, Pendleton Co., VA (WV); d. 28 Oct 1906, Nicholas Co., WV; m. (1) BURDETTE; m. (2) RICHARD BLOFELD, SR., 04 May 1858, Greenbrier Co., WV; b. 08 Jan 1796, England; d. 29 Aug 1886, Nicholas Co., WV.
             iii.   WILLIAM PITSENBARGER, b. Nov 1827, Pendleton Co., VA; d. Oct 1901, Runa, Nicholas Co., WV; m. (1) MARY AMICK, 02 Nov 1854, Nicholas Co., VA (WV; b. 11 Apr 1832, Nicholas Co., VA (WV); d. 05 Jan 1926, Pool, Nicholas Co., WV; m. (2) FRANCES ALVIRA BENNETT, Bef. 1869; b. 1846, Pool, WV.
             iv.   ELIZABETH PITSENBARGER, b. 1830, Nicholas Co., VA; d. 1894, Nicholas Co., WV; m. JOHN B. NUTTER, Oct 1847, Nicholas Co., VA; b. 02 Aug 1826, Poe, Nicholas Co., WV; d. 18 Jun 1896, Nicholas Co., WV.
              v.   JOHN PITSENBARGER, b. 1832, Nicholas Co., VA; m. EVELINE JANE MCCLUNG, 02 Dec 1852, Nicholas Co., WV; b. 1834.
             vi.   RACHEL PITSENBARGER, b. 1834, Nicholas Co., VA; d. Aft. 1910; m. CORNELIUS C. DORSEY, 11 Jan 1855, Nicholas Co., VA; b. 1830, Nicholas Co., VA; d. Aft. 1912.
            vii.   JAMES JACOB PITSENBARGER, b. 1836, Nicholas Co., VA; m. REBECCA A. PERKINS, 29 Jul 1858, Nicholas Co., VA; b. Abt. 1842, WV.
            viii.   MARTHA J. PITSENBARGER, b. 1838, Nicholas Co., VA (WV); d. Abt. 1889, Greenbrier Co., WV; m. WILLIAM ALEXANDER NUTTER, 21 Mar 1857; b. 1830, Virginia; d. Feb 1889, Greenbrier Co., WV.
             ix.   MINERVA PITSENBARGER, b. 1847, Nicholas Co., VA.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Penningtons & Robbins

When someone first starts to research a family…you usually start with your direct ancestors, and while that is important, some of the peripheral lines can offer an increased understanding the family.  When I joined the PRA (Pennington Research Association), I became the group leader for Group 7 fairly soon after I had joined.  Group 7 is labeled as the “Descendants of Micajah Pennington!”  When first joined…I thought I was one of those descendants and it turns out that I am not.  I am instead descended from Ephraim Pennington b. 1769 who was either a nephew or cousin.  However, one of the first things that I did was to try and find everything I could about the children of Micajah Pennington and Rachel Jones…soon after, I moved to the grandchildren and great grandchildren.  The great grandchildren of Micajah Pennington taught me a valuable lesson – don’t forget to check out the in laws!

Charles Pennington is an important figure for anyone researching the line of Micajah, Jr b. 1763 – the second oldest son of Micajah Pennington and Rachel Jones.  He is the one son that everyone has always agreed was a son of Micajah Pennington, Jr – mostly because Micajah, Jr is recorded as living with him in the 1850 census.  Charles was born on 26 Nov 1804 in Lee Co., VA and d. on 11 Nov 1876 also in Lee Co., VA.  He married Diana Parsons sometime before 1824.  Diana was the daughter of Samuel Parsons and was b. 10 Jun 1808 and d. 16 Feb 1895.  Her older brother, Joseph was also married to Charles Pennington’s sister, Margaret Pennington.  Charles and Diana had at least seven children and perhaps eight children.  They are:

  • Fanny Pennington b. ?
  • Greenberry Pennington b. 2 May 1826 d. aft 1900
  • Mary Ann Pennington b. 28 Nov 1827 d. 10 Feb 1904
  • Rebecca Pennington b. 18 Oct 1830 d. 30 Jan 1907
  • Martha Jane Pennington b. 14 May 1838 d. 26 Sep 1912
  • John C. Pennington b. 20 Aug 1840 d. 21 Jul 1915
  • Lavinia W. Pennington b. 4 Jan 1845 d. 5 Jul 1919
  • David B. Pennington b. abt 1847
I don’t have proof of Fanny’s existence…nor do I have proof that she didn’t exist – so for now she stays on the list.  I know David is alive and living in the 1850 census but suspect that he probably died young.  I’ve written about Greenberry (Greenberry’s Complications) and he definitely is an interesting character.  Here is what is interesting.  The Charles Pennington family and the Charles Robbins family are forever linked together by multiple marriages.

It all starts with Mary Ann Pennington who marries Ananias Davidson Robbins sometime around 1848.  Ananias is the oldest child of the eleven children of Charles Robbins and Sarah Jane McGraw.  Mary Ann and Ananias had eleven children, eight of whom lived to adulthood. They spent the entirety of their lives in Jonesville, Lee Co., VA.  Next in the Robbins family is James Austin Robbins and he married the next oldest daughter of Charles Pennington and Diana Parsons, Rebecca Pennington.  They had ten children and left Virginia probably after the Civil War and are in Monona Co., IA in 1870 and 1880 and both end up in living their lives out in Garvin, OK.
Next is Martha Jane Pennington and she marries Rev. Zion Robbins.  They also have a multitude of children (about 10) and spend their lifetime in Lee Co., VA.  Next is the youngest daughter, Lavinia and she marries the youngest of the Robbins family, Anderson.    They too have a large family (about 9 children) and also left Lee Co., VA, sometime after 1882 and both die in Oklahoma.

So Charles Pennington and Diana Parsons had at least six children who lived to adulthood and of those six children, four Pennington siblings married four Robbins siblings.  The Robbins family seemed to be in Lee Co., VA for most of the time, while the Charles Pennington family traveled back and forth between Harlan Co., KY and Lee Co., VA.  I don’t know of too many families who have that many sibling marriages between two families.  When you look further into these Pennington’s from Lee Co., VA it becomes even more complicated with Parsons, Smyth & Baileys…but that is another story!

Friday, February 8, 2013

February 8th

I've often wondered what my mother's childhood would have been like if her father had lived.  I don't know if it would have better or about the same.  It was tragic for her to lose her father at six years old.  She loved her step father and cared for him deeply, but it was never an easy relationship.  I'm not sure it was an easy relationship with her mother either...but I'm not sure any  mother/daughter relationship is all that easy.  To all who knew her - my mother was a remarkable person.  As much as I know she was shaped by her mother, father and step father - I think she might have impacted just as much by her grandparents.

Mom grew up next door to her grandparents.  When they moved to the Lewiston Orchards in the late 1920's, they bought a large acreage on the corner of Thain and Stewart.  When their children married, they gave each one of them a land parcel.  So, when Mom was growing up, her grandparents were so close that they were part of her everyday life.  Mom could remember when she was upset, the place she wanted to be was in her Pop Friddle's arms being comforted.  He would patiently answer her questions as she followed him around the yard.  When he died, it was Mom who was sitting by his bedside holding his hand.

Mom's grandmother "Mom" Friddle probably grew more important as Mom got older.  Mom Friddle was a sounding board.  When Mom needed a confidante or advice, it was Mom Friddle that she talked to daily.  They talked about the babies, husbands, friends or anything else that was important.  Mom Friddle loved hearing what mischief that my brothers had gotten into...and I suspect that if she lived as close to us as my mother had lived by her...then she would have been helping them getting into even more trouble.  Mom used to talk about her grandmother sending her to the store to pick up a few groceries.  When she got home, Mom Friddle would always give her some money and told her to keep that safe.  She said that every woman needed some "jingle money!"   That lesson served Mom well her entire life.  She always kept money stashed away for some emergency and after she died, Dad and I found her secret stash and we knew what it was for and who taught her to do that!

About a year before she died, Mom Friddle had to stay with us for about a week because of some work that was being done at her house.  Mom Friddle was probably about 4'10 by that point and I doubt she weighed 90 pounds.  She was never a good cook and so food wasn't that big of a deal to her.  However, my mother was a wonderful cook...and at every meal, Mom Friddle ate second or third helpings of everything.  I know that my mother wondered where all that food went...because she never ate that much normally.  It was fun having her with us.  I don't remember a lot of specific things - but I remember sitting next to her on the couch and listening to her tell stories.  It didn't matter that she had a crutch or that her head shook constantly from what was probably something like Parkinson's Disease.  I'm not sure I ever really saw her eyes because she was always wearing dark glasses.  None of that bothered any of us...because she was just Grandma!

I suppose that I have always felt specially connected to her because she died the day before my 12th birthday (See 33 Years Ago Today ) but there is something else that I've realized as I've gotten older.  My mother left a huge imprint on the person I am today.  Her  influence has affected my job, how I think, and my attitude about life in general.  My great grandmother left a similar imprint on my mother.  So, as she helped shape the woman that my mother became as an adult, she also helped shape the person that I am.  She is a part of me in so many today, I remember her...partly because it is the anniversary of her death, but also because it is my birthday the following day.  Mom Friddle might have only been alive for about 12 years of my life...but I have felt her impact during my entire life.   

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Last year I came across a cache of slides in our storage room.  I grabbed a slide viewer that was probably over 40 years old because I remember using at my grandparents’ house up in Elk City.  I started to look at some of these old slides and to my surprise, I saw some pictures of my mother while she was still in her Last year I came across a cache of slides in our storage room.  I grabbed a slide viewer that was probably over 40 years old because I remember using at my grandparents’ house up in Elk City.  I started to look at some of these old slides and to my surprise, I saw some pictures of my mother while she was still in her teens.  Some of the best pictures were of the house that my parents moved in when I was born.  That alone is a great story.

My parents were living in a 600 sq. ft. house just around the corner from where we currently live.  There is a story to that little house.  My grandmother had been married to Richard Tannahill and after he died in a hunting accident, she decided move the little house that was on the property to a property in the Orchards.  This property was located across the street from Orchard’s Elementary School on Airway.  She accomplished most of this without any input from her husband.  It was, in fact, a complete surprise.  He arrived home one day and found her checkbook on the counter.  Grandpa Gwen glanced at it and noticed entries for plumbers and electricians and was very curious as to what was going on.  My grandmother wasn't available at the time, so he did the next best thing.  He took my mother to the bar and bought her a root beer and proceeded to pump her for information. Mom was about eight at the time and remembered that she definitely enjoyed that excursion into her first bar!

Fast forward to about 12 years later and my parents had bought that original little house that had been moved up from Richard Tannahill’s land.  It was definitely “little”…it was about 600 square feet and while it might have been an improvement from the trailer they were living in…three children later, it was definitely cramped.  Mom and Dad started looking for another house when they were expecting me and about a month before I was born, they got the ok for financing.  A few days before I was born, they made an offer on a house just around the corner from where they were currently living.   Dad found out that when he got home there was a message for him…they had got the house.  Dad went to the florist and ordered roses for my mother.  He placed a card in the envelope that listed the address of the new house with a key in it.  When the roses arrived, the doctor had just left the room after checking Mom over and as he was walking down the hallway, he heard a yell from her room.  He rushed back to her room to see Mom almost jumping for joy…even though she was in hospital bed.  Needless to say, it was a happy yell.

A few weeks later, my grandmother made another visit to town from Elk City.  (She had been there to take care of my siblings while Mom was in the hospital with me.)    She wanted to see the new house and Mom certainly wanted to show it to her.   I don’t know if they drove the short distance or walked…but after Grandma and Mom started looking around the house, Grandma commented that it wouldn't hurt to go ahead and pack a few things and bring over to the new house.  So they went back to the little house around the corner and started packing.  Mom told my brothers to go in their room and to start packing their things for the new house.  Mom said that my brother went in the room, put all of his toys in the toy-box and said “All done, Momma!” 

Mom & Dad during a spring visit with my Grandparents
The house as it appeared - soon after they moved in!

The field behind our house - Mom  (Betty) Gwen & Capitola Shearer (Grandparents) with Cream Puff
By the time my father arrived home from work, he found out that his plans of moving during his time off wasn't going to work…because between my Mom and Grandmother, they had moved almost the entire house.  All that was left was the heavy items.  As he relates it, Mom made fried chicken for that first night in their new home.  Dad took the chicken bones, threw them into the garbage disposal and turned it on…not realizing that he needed to turn the water on as well.  We had plugged drains and he was up until 2 am trying to fix the problem…and he had to be up at 5 am to go to work!

It must have been exciting for my parents to move into a new house that had over twice the space of their old house.  They had outgrown that little house.  Dad likes to tell the story that when they brought me home from the hospital and sat the baby carrier down, their cat who liked to sit up on a shelf took one look at me and promptly left, never to be seen again.    

So…in a few days it will be my birthday and in a few weeks we’ll have been at this address for 46 years.  It looks nothing like the house Mom and Dad moved into all those years ago.  Everything has been remodeled and changed and my Dad has done a lot of the work.  So, when I came across those slides I saw not only the house I remembered as a child but pictures of the way my parents looked when I was born.  They are quite special to me!

My Mom - Betty.  She was 25 when I was born. and she looks so happy here with  her signature red lipstick on!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Maternal Lines - Gallup

When I first started researching my family history seriously…one of the families that really interested me was the Gallup family.  My great grandfather was the son of Edith Gallup and Orlando Gage.  Edith herself was a bit of an enigma herself.  When she married Orlando Gage, she was 28 years old – probably considered by most as an old maid schoolteacher.  By the time she married Orlando, she was pretty much alone in NY as most of her family had traveled west to Nebraska.  The story I always heard was that she was afraid of the Indians.  I think that marrying a widower with four children might have been a little scarier than the Indians in Nebraska.

I knew that Edith was the daughter of Silas Gallup and Phebe Montanye – but I didn’t know much about the family beyond that.  As my research began before the internet was a popular source of material, my only real place to research was my local library.  I have to admit that the research pickings are pretty slim here in Lewiston, ID and I had no access to a large genealogy library anywhere in the immediate vicinity.  So, I started looking through the books available and found some Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) books that had numerous entries about the Gallup family.  Since I really didn’t know much beyond Edith’s parents – it was a lot of information with little connection to what I currently knew.  I remember that it wasn’t too long after that when I had the chance to talk with my great uncle about the family.  He simply looked at me and asked me why I hadn’t looked at the Gallup Genealogy.  He got me his copy of the Gallup genealogy and a whole new world opened up.
This particular copy of the Gallup Genealogy was published in 1966 and I must say that this was the first professionally printed genealogy that I had seen.  My great grandfather had a copy of a Gage genealogy that I had poured over and it was likely a self-published genealogy judging by the paper and typestyle.  At the time – I was terribly na├»ve and inexperienced.  I had no idea that there had been researched, documented and published genealogies about several different families that had been professional published since before the start of the 20th century.  The Gallup Association had published its first genealogy in 1896.  The one that I had in my hand had been published in 1966 and I was later to learn that another Gallup genealogy had been published in 1987.  So, I had in my hands a genealogy that answered my questions about my Gallup family ancestry.  I must say that I was glad to have a computer program to record the generations back…because there were a few too many cousins who married each other. 

So…here is my family line:

  • John Gallop m. Christobel Bruschett
  • John Gallup m. Hannah Lake
  • John Gallup (III) m. Elizabeth Harris & Benadam Gallup m. Esther Prentice
  • Nathaniel Gallup m. Margaret Gallup  & Benadam Gallup Jr m. Eunice Cobb
  • Nathaniel Gallup m. Hannah Gore & Nathan Gallup m. Sarah Giddings
  • Silas Gallup m. Sarah Gallup
  • Ebenezer Gallup m. Susan Harden
  • Silas Gallup m. Phoebe Montanye
  • Edith Gallup m. Orlando Gage
  • Ora Silas Gage m. Florence Christine Shawver
  • Helen Marian Gage m. Frank Stewart Johnson

 I have been fascinated with the maternal lines in my family.  You are fortunate while doing genealogy to be able to find information on these lines.  Under many circumstances, the women’s maiden names are not recorded.  Sometimes you can make a guess on the surname because many times a son will have the first or middle name of the mother’s family.  The Gallup family was the first maternal family line that I researched…and I learned a great deal genealogy by exploring that book.  During the next six weeks, I spent hours upon hours every day entering the data into my genealogy program.  At the time, I was unemployed so I had lots of time.  By the time I had finished – I had entered 13,000 names into my database.  I learned several things of importance in genealogical research.

  • Families tend to intermarry – there will be multiple families that you will have to pay attention to get the full picture.
  • Pay attention to the siblings of your ancestor and their families – they are likely to pop up again in your research.
  • There is always more to learn and there is always more to the story.
  • Sometimes multiple children will have the same names in a family.  If a young child dies, very often the next child will have the same name. 
  • Pay attention to the female lineages – you never know when one of them might lead you to a Mayflower ancestor (Eunice Cobb)
Not everyone is going to be as fortunate to find a family genealogy.  Even if you do, it is important to try to find the supporting information to see if you as a researcher come to the same conclusion.  When I first started trying to find out something about Edith Gallup – I never imagined that her family would be so complicated and so interesting.  I am always finding new stuff to look at and marvel at in this large and impressive family.