Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Endicott-Johnson Shoe Factory

Workers at Endicott-Johnson Shoe Factory, circa 1920
First Row, third from left: my grandfather, Francis Allyn Newton
Probably his first job after serving in WWI. 

©2011, Newton Family Collection

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Winter of 1864--an Amanuensis Monday follow-up

In a past post, Amanuensis Monday -- The Civil War Pension File of Isaac Carter, Part 2, Albert W.  Elliot had given sworn testimony that Isaac Carter had become ill during Guard and Fatigue Duty in Carolina City, NC in the Winter of 1864. 

As I started researching this element of the story, I started looking for Civil War engagements during that time period, and almost immediately was drawn to the Confederate triple-prong plan of attack to retake New Berne. This occured in the Winter of 1864 (February 1-3, 1864). 

When I checked the Civil War Chronology in Eastern North Carolina, however, three lines stood out among the entries:
Jan. 30, 1864 - 3rd NC Colored Infantry organized at Norfolk, VA.
Feb. 8, 1864 - Designation of NC Colored Regiments changed to US Colored Troops.
Mar. 17, 1864 - 14th US Colored Heavy Artillery organized at New Bern & Morehead City, NC.
The attack on New Bern took place February 1-3, 1864 . . . the 14th Heavy Artillery USCT hadn't been organized until March of that year . . . in the Spring of 1864.

Checking Isaac Carter's service dates once again, I found that he was mustered in on March 12, 1864 and discharged at muster, December 11, 1865.

There was no way that this illness was in any way connected to an assault against New Bern, which took place during the Winter of 1863-64. The time period referred to in the Pension File, however, was actually the Winter of 1864-65.

I remembered an email correspondence with Paul Branch, Fort Macon's historian and author of the book, Fort Macon: a history, back in 2007. The following is an email sent to me Tuesday, October 2, 2007, where he delineates the sources I need to research:
RG 393 is in the main Archives in downtown DC.  It is not in any of the outlying regional archives.  Yes, I had to go there to access them.  It is a huge record group of Army records with minimal organization from post-War of 1812 to post-WWI, but mainly Civil War.  Somewhere I have an index of Fort Macon post records I got there, which was very helpful.  In the past I was able to use that and had some of the Fort Macon stuff microfilmed for the park, but I really need to go back and pay through the nose to have the entire collection of Fort Macon post records microfilmed so that we will have a copy of everything at the park. 
If you live within easy driving distance to the park, you are welcome to come to the park to look through what I did get (mostly letterbooks of letters sent).  That way you could get through at least part of the collection and get an idea of what it is like.  I do not recall there was a whole lot on the 14th USCHA itself but there are some letters from its commander while he was in command there.
If you do go to the Archives, be sure to check Adjutant Generals Office records (RG 94).  It should have some records of the 14th USCHA itself, including muster rolls.  On the muster roll forms is a space on the back entitled "Record of Events".  If the officers bothered to fill this out (and they frequently did not) they will include all important things that happened to the regiment or company during the two-month period covered by each muster roll.  This includes battles, orders received, movements, etc.  They are very useful--when anyone bothered to fill them out!
Let me know if you would like to visit the fort and perhaps we can map out how and where you can get the records you need.
While the prospects of going to NARA anytime soon is highly unlikely, I will have to write around this point for the time being.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Amanuensis Monday -- The Civil War Pension File of Isaac Carter, Part 3

Document #3
Soldier, Isaac Carter
P.O., New Berne
State, N.C.
Rank, Private, Corp., & Serg't
Company, "B" Transferred "G"
Regiment, 14 U.S.C. Vol. Hy. Arty, 14 U.S.C. Vol. Hy. Arty.
Rates, $ [left blank] per month, commencing July 5, 1888.
Pensioned for [left blank]

Name, Frederick Douglas,
P.O., New Berne, N.C.
Fee, $25, Agent [left blank] to pay.
Articles filed July 5, 1888.

Approved for rheumatism, disease of lungs, and diarrhea & results.
Submitted for act: May 6th, 1892. N.M.M. Laugh[hi], Examiner.
Enlisted March 12th, 1864.
Discharged Dec. 11th, 1865.
Declaration filed July 5, 1888.
Not in service since Dec. 11th, 1865.

Alleges in declaration that near Morehead
City, N.C., winter of 1864, he contracted diarrhea
& piles, rheumatism, swelling of feet & legs, pains in
joints, asthma, lung disease, and "shortness of

Doesn't write.                                  No. M.C.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday -- Beginning an inventory, Part 4

©The Estate of R.A. Newton, 2011
This morning I again looked through the first box of items from my Dad's legacy. I found a faded envelope, measuring 7 1/2" x 5 1/2". Inside, to my surprise, was a group of black and white photos, 2 3/4" square. There, before my eyes, were the prints of the Pumpelly Mansion...the main house. In Tuesday's post, I shared the painting Dad did of the shutters of the stone out house in the woods on the mansion grounds...part of the Underground Railroad.

©The Estate of R.A. Newton2011
This wasn't the first time I have seen these prints since Dad's death in 2004. The first time, shortly after returning home from Massachusetts, I queried the Tioga County Historical Society about the Pumpelly family.

--- On Fri, 11/14/08, <> wrote:
From: <>
Subject: Pumpelly family/Underground Railroad/Owego
Date: Friday, November 14, 2008, 5:08 PM
Hi, Ed.

I received your voicemail this afternoon. Thank you for calling!

I grew up in Vestal, and my dad was the Art teacher at Apalachin Middle School
from 1966-1979. As a child, I remember going with him to the ruins of the
Pumpelly mansion, where he did some sketches for a painting, which I recently

The painting is of the shutters of a stone house in the woods, off to the left
behind the mansion ruins. This was most likely not the Gurgon Pumpelly house
built in 1879 along a stream, but I assume, his father's house (Frederick H.
Pumpelly). It was off the highway, not on a street.

The stone building was used as the hiding place for runaway slaves on the
Underground Railroad.

I have traced the Pumpelly lineage, but I am interested in finding out anything
I can about the Underground Railroad in the area, esp. related to Pumpelly.

What sources do you advise using?

Thanks for any help you might be able to offer.

Debra Newton-Carter
Asheville, NC
©The Estate of R.A. Newton2011

        Nice to contact you.  I have looked at the ruins of the home, but didn't see the stone house.  There is also a cabin nearby that looks like the genuine item from the early 1800's.  It has been modernized.  What information do you have showing a connection between the Pumpelly's and the UGRR?  I came across a reference to the Pumpelly's owning slaves.  This doesn't mean that they couldn't have become abolitionists at a later date. 

        I'll pass your email on to the county historical society.  They may know something that I don't.  I have an article online about the UGRR and abolition.  Did you see this?


©The Estate of R.A. Newton2011

Now that I have found the photos, perhaps I will attempt to contact Mr. Nizalowski with a link to these photos . . .

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Talented Tuesday -- Paintings by Richard Allen Newton

Path Along the Susquehanna
Vestal, New York
Painted by Richard Newton,
©The Estate of R.A. Newton1970
Underground Railroad Stop,
Pumpelly Mansion
Apalachin, New York
painted by Richard Newton,
©The Estate of R.A. Newton, 1975
Every artist's life can be divided into periods... 

My father was a perfectionist. His artistic career began as a boy when his mother sent him for art lessons. After his discharge from the Air Force, he attended Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. I don't remember seeing any of his work when I was a young child. My mother said he had taken a large number of canvases to the plumber's next door to our home in Stroudsburg, PA and had them incinerated because he didn't feel they were good enough to be shown.

As I grew up, I noticed he would sometimes spend hours  in one spot, waiting for sunlight and shadow to cast just right for photographs of an area he would later paint. Among his favorite artists was Claude Monet, and I remember his coffee table book of prints of his Water Garden and Japanese Footbridge at Giverny.

I loved my Dad's French Impressionist period best of all . . . most likely because of the nostalgia of the scenes. These three paintings hang in my home . . . three places I shared with Dad.
Adirondack Mountains, New York
Painted by Richard Newton,
©The Estate of R.A. Newton, 1981

I think my favorite period in Dad's career was his final period, of which I have none. With the exception of a few which were sold, and two which hang in their church, my Mom holds this final collection.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Amanuensis Monday -- The Civil War Pension File of Isaac Carter, Part 2

General Affidavit, document #2

The next document in Isaac Carter's Pension File was a General Affidavit, dated June 12, 1888 . . . filed twenty-two and a half years after his discharge from service at Fort Macon in Beaufort, Carteret, NC.

[left blank]
[left blank]
Filed by
[left blank]

Printed and for sale by J. H. SOULE, Washington, D.C.

State of North Carolina, County of Craven, SS:
In the matter of Invalid Claim of Isaac Carter
Sergeant of Co. G 14 Regt U.S.C.T.H. Arty.
ON THIS 12th day of June, A.D. 1888; personally appeared before me
Clerk of Superior Court in and for the aforesaid County duly authorized to administer oaths,
Albert W. Elliott aged 45 years, a resident of James City
in the County of Craven and State of N.C.
whose Post Office address is James City - NC
Sharper Williams aged 62 years, a resident of Newbern
in the County of Craven and State of N.C.
whose Post Office address is New Berne, N.C.
well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who being duly sworn, declared in relation to aforesaid case
as follows:
"I was Sergeant of Co. B 14 Regt. U.S.C. H. Arty
I enlisted in April 1864 and was Discharge
December 11, 1865. I was well acquainted with Sergeant
Isaac Carter of Co. G 14 Regt U.S.C. H Arty
and was transferred to Co. G. 14 Regt U.S.C. H Arty
I Remember well in the winter of 1864 the claimant
was taken Down Sick with heavy cold and had
Diarrhea and Pile, and his feet and Legs all
swollen up. I saw then he was Bad of
under the Treatment of the Doctor, and he
had the Asthma & short Breath and pains
in did I saw him at Moorhead City
N.C. He taken heavy cold by Exposure Standing
on guard and During Fatigue Duty in the
Snow & Ice. he Look like he would D[   ]t
prior to that he was well harty Soldier from
all appearance and Did his Duty. after he
was taken Down Sick, He always appeared
weak and Sickly after that and he continued to
have Havey tacks of Diarrhea & Piles, and Shortness
of the X Vreath which we coll the asthma and he
was over Two THirds Disabled from Duty when he
was Discharge, and I have Seen him Pretty much
Every Month since Discharge up to present and
he has continued to complain and Suffers from
the afor Said Diseases and not able to work one
third of his time."
I further declare that I have no interest in said case and am not concerned win
its prosecution.

E.W. Carpenter                                                        Albert W. Elliott
J.B. Wallis                                                                Sharper    X    Williams


STATE OF No Carolina, COUNTY OF Craven, SS:
Sworn to and subscribed before me this day by the above-named affiant, and I certify that I read said affidavit to said
affiant, including the words [left blank] erased, and the words
[left blank] added
and acquainted item with its contents before [unreadable] executed the same. I further certify that i am in
nowise interested in said case, nor am I concerned in its prosecution: and that said affiants are personally known
to me and that they are credible person.
                                                        E. W. Carpenter
                                                        Clerk Sup Court
I, [left blank] Clerk of the County Court in and for aforesaid County
and State, do certify that [left blank], Esq., who has signed his name to the
foregoing declaration and affidavit was at the time of so doing [left blank] in and
for said County and State, duly commissioned and sworn; that all his official acts are entitled to full faith and credit, and
that his signature thereunto is genuine.
                         Witness my hand and seal of office, this [left blank] day of [left blank], 188[left blank].
[left blank]
[L.S.]                                                                        Clerk of the [left blank]

If before a JUSTICE or NOTARY, then CLERK OF COUNTY COURT must add his certificate of character hereon, and not on a separate slip of paper. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday -- Beginning an inventory, Part 4

What's in a Wallet? What's in a name?

Debra Ann Newton
I once heard that a wallet tells a story about the person who carries it. Mine is a small, black, zippered wallet which came with my purse, containing only a few coins, some "plastic", a library card, a Barnes and Nobel Membership card, and various other  member services cards, some business cards and the phone numbers of my employees, several scripture cards, and my State ID (I don't drive). It serves as an illustration of a Christian manager with an affinity for books and discounts.

Within the file box of my Dad's belongings from his dresser drawers was his wallet. When I showed it to my husband, he said, "Yeah. It's a wallet." He had little interest in what was inside the wallet. Perhaps he felt it was too personal to look through it . . . or perhaps it was just too mundane. But with my underlying belief that by the contents of a person's wallet a story can be told, I began to examine it thoughtfully.
Doris (Silverman) & Richard Newton
(my parents)

Measuring 4 1/4" x 7 1/4" folded, the brown leather Prince Gardner bi-fold opens to a place on the left side where a driver's license would be placed. No driver's license . . . just a folded, yellow card: 
Visit our website on the Internet at at (sic)

On the right side of the wallet are empty pockets for "MEMOS" and bills.

Inside there are larger pockets on each side, containing thick piles of cards on the left side, and a tattered and yellowed envelope with my mother's handwriting:
Dick's Cards
David Francis Newton
(my paternal uncle)
The first item in the pile on the left side was my Dad's Social Security card. What interested me was not only how the cards have changed over the years, but that this card had my Dad's name as: Richard Allyn Newton. There is an interesting controversy over the spelling of his middle name in our family. It seems that the middle name derived from Deacon Allen Newton, the son of Nahum Jr. and Damaris (Brigham) Newton, born in Paxton, Worcester, MA on April 3, 1791. My Aunt Helen (Newton) Beers' typewritten notes state:
. . . . The mother of Damaris Brigham was Miriam Allen and this could have been the origin of the name Allen in connection with the Newton family. (Have been told Grandmother Newton used the spelling ALLYN because she liked it but that was not the spelling used by the namesake who was known and (sic) Deacon Allen Newton and Grandmother hoped he might become as good a man as the namesake." [in reference to my grandfather, Francis Allyn Newton; p. 4]
Harriet (Jones) Newton
(my paternal grandmother)
Farther down the page, my aunt writes:
Clippings from Dr. Gore's grandmother's Bible:
one reads:
"In Greene, N. Y., Feb. 27--Deacon Allen Newton, aged 79 years.
Feb. 28--His wife, Marcia Newton--77 yrs."
It speaks of their being very devout and faithful members of the Baptist church in Greene, and adds they were "buried in one grave."
I remember as a child, my mother telling me that my Grandma Newton [Harriet (Jones) Newton] had changed the spelling back to Allen when my Dad was born; but there seemed to be some confusion in my Dad's mind as to whether she had maintained the spelling of my grandfather's name [Francis Allyn Newton], or had changed it back. Every other document, including my Dad's military service records, list his middle name as Allen.

Doris & Abby (King) Silverman
(my Mom & maternal grandmother)
Just as every wallet contains the story of a man's life, so does his Social Security card.
  1. Underneath lie a duplicate of his Selective Service System Registration Certificate with his Johnson City, NY address where he grew up;
  2. his VA (Veteran's Administration) identification card, recording his address in Washington, D.C.;
  3. library cards to three Western MA city libraries; 
  4. a photo of our daughter, Vanessa, at age 2 years 7 months; 
  5. some medical insurance cards; 
  6. a  business card holder containing his professional cards, one with his handwritten note across the back: "Handy Man" with phone number; 
  7. a Lenten Prayer card;
  8. and his Commonwealth of Massachusetts Transportation Access Pass, tucked inside a burgundy, vinyl holder. . . and his appointment card for FRANKLIN - HAMPSHIRE EYE CARE. "Next scheduled appointment: 8-98." Note: my Dad died of metastatic optic melanoma on August 30, 2004.
David Allen Silverman
(my maternal uncle)
Inside the envelope on the right side of the wallet was:
  1.  his library card for UMASS/Amherst;
  2. Amherst Council on Aging Official Identification Card;
  3. his card for NYSUT 1885-1997 (New York State United Teachers);
  4. and, an assortment of photos, some shown throughout.
So, what does this say about my Dad's life?
To me it illustrates a man with close family ties, whose in-laws were as close to him as his own . . . a man who served his country and his God . . . who passed on his love of books and libraries to his daughter . . . and who strove to develop his craft as well as his profession . . . a man who aged, became ill and died . . . a man who lived a good life.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Amanuensis Monday -- The Civil War Pension File of Isaac Carter, Part 1

Over the past few weeks, I have realized that I am at a point in my writing that it is imperative that I transcribe and abstract my great grandfather-in-law's Civil War Pension file. I had first mentioned the file in my post, Where Do I Go From Here?. I ordered the file on April 7, 2011, and the first one hundred pages were prepared on May 8, 2011 and received on May 13th. Upon receipt via USPS, I immediately went online to request the remaining seventy-five pages, which had already been prepared on May 9, 2011. The cost of the file was $75 for the first 100 pages, and $48.75 for the remaining 80 pages, totaling $123.75. As much as I like to keep costs to a minimum, this was an investment well worth the money spent.

One night I sat down on my sofa and read the whole file from start to finish. The most interesting information was contained in the affidavits, giving testimony to the relationship and witness of Isaac Carter's friends and family in regards to the claim of disability received in the line of duty. Each witness corroborated the claim, adding some nuance of their particular relationship which made them privy to specific piece of information not apparent to all.

I could see through the pages how disheartened the family must have been in the years following the war as Isaac's ability to provide for his family gradually disintegrated, as made apparent on the occupation section of his Census record in the years between 1870-1910.

The pages were not assembled in chronological order, so to gain a better understanding of the process of his claim and the continued affects of military service on his everyday life, I assembled the documents in this fashion, creating a consecutive record, stretching from June 12, 1888 (the date the claim was filed) to August 23, 1921 (when the claim was officially closed...three months after the death of his widow, Martha Ann (George) Carter).

My next goal is to purchase a legal-sized binder and archival sheet protectors to facilitate my navigation through the pages. What follows is a transcription of the first document in the file...the original claim application.

[the blanks for Applicant,
Co., and Reg't are left blank.]
MSC Vols.
U JUL-51888 S
Filed by [left blank]

Declaration for an Original Invalid Pension.
This must be Executed before a Court of Record or some Officer thereof having Custody of the Seal

State of North Carolina, County of Craven, ss:
ON THIS 12th day of June A.D. one thousand eight hundred and eighty8
personally appeared before me Clerk of the Superior Court a Court of Record with in and for the County and State aforesaid Isaac Carter
aged 48 years, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical Sergeant
Isaac Carter who was ENROLLED as a Sergeant on the 12 day of
March, 1864, in Company G of the 14th regiment of USCHArty
commanded by Col. [R] oc and was honorably DISCHARGED at
Fort Macon N.C. on the 11 day of December, 1865: That his
personal description is as follows: Age 24 years; height 5 feet 11 inches; complexion Dark
hair Black; eyes Black. That while a member of the organization aforesaid, in the
service and in the line of duty at near Morehead City in the state of N.C.
on or about the day of winter, 1864, he "contracted the diarrhea
and Piles, and asthma and Lung trouble, and
Shortness of Breath, pains in the Right Side
and Swelling in feet and Legs, pains in
[unreadable] joints and contracted the Rheumatism
by heavy exposure Standing on guard in the Ice
and Snow in the winter of 1864 and 5 and
was treated in the Hospital he was Trouble
with the aforesaid Diseases all through Summer
1865 and Suffering with the afore said Disease
on Date of Discharge and has been Suffering
Each and Every year Since up to the Present
with Diarrhea & Piles & Rheumatism & Lung Disease."
That he was treated in hospitals as follows: "at Moohead City and Fort
Macon, N.C."
That he has "not" been employed in the military or naval service otherwise than as stated abovbe.
That he has not bee"N.C.", and that his occupation was been that of a "Farmer."
That prior to his entry into the service above-named he was a man of good, sound, physical health, being when enrolled a
"Farmer". That he is now "Two Thirds" disabled
from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor by reason of his injuries, above described, received in the service of
the United States; and he therefore makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the invalid
pension roll of the United States. He hereby appoints with full power of substitution and revocation,
"Frederick Douglas" of "New Bern N.C."
his true and lawful attorney to prosecute his claim. That he has "not" received "or" applied for
a pension [unreadable insertion]; that his residence is "Near Harlow Craven" street "County
N. Carolina" and that his post office address is
No. Box 590 New Berne N.C."                                                                his
"E. W. Carpenter"                                                                            Isaac   Carter
J. B. Willis (Two witnesses who can write sign here.)                          

Also personally appeared "Albert W. Elliott" residing at "near New Bern
N.C." and "Sharper Williams" residing at
"New Bern N.C." persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and
who being by me duly sworn, say that they were present and saw "Isaac Carter",
the claimant to the forgoing
declaration; that they have every reason to believe from the appearance of said claimant and their acquaintances with him
that he is the identical person he represents himself to be; and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.
"E. W. Carpenter"                                "Albert W. Elliott"
"J. B. Willis"                                               his
                                                        Sharper Williams
Sworn to and subscribed that the contents of the above declaration, &c., were fully made known and explained to the applicant and witnesses before swearing, including the words [blank]
[blank] erased, and the words [blank]
[blank] added; and that I have no interest, direct of indirect in the
prosecution of this claim.
                                                                             "E. W. Carpenter"
                                                             Clerk of the "Superior Court"

Friday, August 5, 2011

Follow Friday -- Connections come when you least expect it

Thanks to my husband's distant cousin, Yvette Porter Moore of Digging Roots: My Family History, I now have a new NEWTON connection!!! She sent me a Facebook post with a link to a Newton tombstone. I've seen so many Newtons...the name is fairly common and finds points of origin from various countries, including Germany, and spelled Neuton. I have learned not to get too hopeful. But when I followed the link to Midge Frazel's blog, Granite in My Blood, I noticed that the labels included: Newton, Southborough Rural Cemetery, Tombstone Tuesday. SOUTHBOROUGH!?!?!? Could it be??? So I left a comment: it Southborough, MA? We had Newtons in Paxton, Worcester County, MA; Marlborough, Middlesex County, MA; Leicester, Worcester County, MA; and some I have not located yet. If so, it is very possible. My line goes back to the immigrant Richard Newton of Bures St. Mary's Church, Essex, England; his father was Robert Newton of Woolthorpe, Essex, England.

What happened next was truly wonderful!!! YES! There IS a connection. . . to Midge's husband. Collaboration soon to follow. . . .

The following two blogs are written by the same woman, Jane Friedman: Jane and Writer Unboxed appeal to the creative writer in me. Her post, Draft Your Platform Action Plan: 5 Worksheets hooked me for good. . . and it led me to her link: It's hard to make progress if you're working alone. She asks a critical question: 

Do you need to build relationships and share knowledge with successful or authoritative people (or organizations/businesses) in your community? YES! 

This question led me to think about a former professor, an established, award-winning author who had liked my work in college, and with whom I had recently re-connected. A Google search provided the link to The Blog of Jay Neugeboren. My hope is that this link will hold me accountable for producing and publishing my family history stories.

So, this week proved fruitful in expanding my blog connections in the areas of:

  1. a personal research connection,
  2. a critical analysis connection,
  3. and a renewed link to accountability.
You never know what you'll find in the Blogosphere until you go on a digital expedition!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday -- Beginning an inventory, Part 3

Not everything in my Dad's dresser drawers belonged to him, personally. I was amazed to find two very special certificates originally belonging to my maternal grandmother, Abby Simmons (King) Silverman.

[Item 3]
Certificate of Baptism
This Certifies That
Abby Simmons King
Child of Mr. Andrew T. King
And Geneva E. Mosher (King)
Born at Jamestown, R.I.
July 17, 1908
was by me
in St. Paul's Luth Ch on the
Twenty-fourth day of March
in The Year of Our Lord One Thousand
Nine Hundred and Eighteen
W.A. Dickson

G.E. (King) Behringer, Sponsor
G. Harold Kinard, Pastor
[Item 4]
OF THE SON, AND            
MATT. 28:19

The second item was my grandmother's confirmation certificate.
of the Day of
Memorial Verse.
The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call
upon him.                              Rom. 10, 12

O Thou from whom all goodness flows,
I lift my heart to thee; 
In all my sorrows, conflicts, woes,
Dear Lord remember me.

Abby Simmons King
born July 17, 1908, Jamestown, R.I.
confirmed Palm Sunday, April 5, 1925,
in St. Paul's Ev Lutheran Church,
South Side, Easton, Pa.
Rev. William Paul Reumann, Pastor

Abby Simmons King, sister Almy
and father, Capt. Andrew Thomas King

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wisdom Wednesday -- the wisdom of my grandfather

Doris Shirley Silverman (my Mom)
Mark Silverman (1905 - 1966)

My grandfather, Mark Silverman, whom I affectionately called Pop Pop, was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants who came to this country during the Pogroms of Czar Nicholas. He was a dedicated son and hard worker who left school following the death of his father to get a job and help support his family.

He died of cancer when I was just four years old, but I have fond memories of him playing Tiddlywinks, taking me to the park, pushing me on the swings, going for walks and getting ice cream.

My mother always told me throughout my childhood of the advice he gave her while growing up...

Ecclesiastes 9:10a
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might

And with it, the advice of Polonius to his son, Laertes...

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, iii, 78-80

Mom reminded me of a third thing just the other day . . .

Be honest unto pain of death.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday -- James Rudolph Culley

 In an attempt to locate one more Culley grave marker, I returned to the CD my brother-in-law had sent following the 2005 George Family Reunion. I came across this photo of James Thomas Dove and Martha Dove Carter's grave markers . . . but low and behold . . . in the background was one more Culley stone.

James Rudolph Culley. Not all of the grave marker is visible; but from what is showing, it appears that he served in the Navy during a World War. No dates can be seen. Unfortunately, an attempt to enlarge the date plate at the base of the grave marker provided no more clues as it was too out of focus to decipher.

My next step was to go to the Craven County Register of Deeds website to see if records could be found there. I located only two records.

James Rudolph Cully was born in 1925 to Martha Ann Carter and Joseph Bing Cully [Book 1925/Page 1264]. He died in 1956 [Book 1856/Page 512].

I then went to to see if any other information might be available.

When I pulled up the 1930 Census report, I discovered that this was our cousin Dorothy Culley Lee's older brother. I had worked on some other related grave markers found in the Piney Grove Cemetery in previous posts. [See also: Martha Carter Culley, and Lucinda F. Culley Carter]

According to his death certificate, James Randolph Culley was born in North Harlowe, NC on November 24, 1925 to Joseph B. and Martha (Carter) Culley. His wife's name was Florine; and as the informant, she was recorded as living at 120 Woodworth Avenue, Yonkers, NY. James had been a machinist in the Cable Industry, a veteran of World War II. He died on July 15, 1956 at Highway 101 3 miles East of Cherry Point. His residence, however, was Yonkers, Westchester, NY. He died instantly in an auto accident of multiple internal injuries. A note states: "Passenger car ran off roadway." Time of death was 1:30am.  He was buried at Piney Grove Cemetery on July 29, 1956.

One can only imagine the heartache that such a tragedy precipitated. 
He was just two years older than our cousin Dorothy: 
he was the second child born, and she was the third. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Amanuensis Monday -- creating databases for statistical analysis

When I first began the research for developing a social history of the locale where my husband's ancestors had settled, I worked extensively with Census data. Looking at raw Census schedules, however, is not a practical way to quickly identify patterns within the pages. I wanted to look at specific pieces of information on one page that would eliminate the extraneous. So I created a database which presents only the information I cared to examine. 

Below is a cross-section of my database of the 1910 Census for Township 5, Craven County, NC. The first column records the location: next is a listing of only those persons involved in work of some kind: the third and fourth columns record the type of work engaged: then I made columns for occupation. The first occupation column is farming. . . the second was timber. . . etc.

For this study, I wanted to determine if there was a location where farmers and timber workers were more densely concentrated. This is an area where my husband's ancestors lived. William H. Carter was my husband's grandfather's brother, or my husband's grand uncle. The Georges were my husband's g-grandmother's first cousins, or my husband's first cousins twice removed.

By mapping these statistics on a GIS map from the county tax assessor's office, I am able to reconstruct the beginnings of the social data I need for understanding the workings of a community.