Augusta Jean & Jon Stephen

Augusta Jean Chomiak (1913-1986)
Jon Stephen Chomiak (1909-1919)
c. 1914

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you may remember a picture of my Ukrainian grandmother and three of her eight children. (Katherine’s Children)

This picture is special because it is the only picture I have of Jon, who came to America with his mother when he was only 5 months old. He was born in Ukraine on 19 September 1909 and arrived on the SS Finland at Ellis Island in New York City on 4 March 1910. Sadly, he died at home of appendicitis when he was only 9 years old. His family was living in Buffalo, New York at the time.

At the time this picture was taken his older sister Mary was still living in Ukraine with their grandparents. The youngest four children (Lillian, Olga, Theodore, Ludmila) had not been born yet. There is a mystery child mostly unaccounted for, a boy named August or Augustine. No one seems to know anything about him except that he died as a toddler after ingesting something stored under the kitchen sink. I can find no birth or death records for this child, but it seems he was younger than Jon and older than Augusta Jean. It seems likely to me that Augusta was named after her brother who had probably died shortly before she was born.

Oddly enough, when one of my aunts filled out a family group sheet for me she gave August’s birth date as the same date as Augusta’s, leading me to consider that perhaps they were twins, however no one else in the family thinks this is likely. But it does seem likely that August was born in 1911 because Jon was born in 1909 and Augusta was born in 1913 and at that time most siblings were born about two years apart. And Lillian was born in 1915.

Anyhow, my Aunt Lil remembered that Jon was buried in “Father Baker’s Cemetery” in Lackawanna, New York. On a 2002 summer trip to western New York, we found the cemetery, which is now known as Holy Cross Cemetery, but we were disappointed to find no record of his burial in the office and no death certificate in the city hall. (Years later I discovered the family was actually living in nearby Buffalo, according to 1920 census records.) The kind people at the cemetery said that there were many graves not yet recorded in their database.

Aunt Lil remembered Jon fondly as a very loving big brother who bought his little sisters Jean (she went by her middle name) and Lil candy whenever he could. He was an altar boy at the church, and helped the family out by collecting coal from the railroad tracks, which we also located. We discovered quite a bit about Father Baker (1842-1936), and learned that the church where Jon must have served was replaced by the Basilica of Our Lady of Victory (consecrated 26 May 1926), which we toured.

Aunt Lil was four years old when her beloved big brother died and she spoke of him often through the years. Aunt Jean was six years old when Jon died. The middle name given to her only son is Jon. Lil and Jean were seven and nine years old when their baby brother, my father, came along. According to him they teased him relentlessly. 🙂

Today is Jon’s birthday and also the 7th anniversary of my father’s death. A bit of synchronicity that I would stumble across this picture today when I was looking for something else.

Thomas Freeman & Roxanna Cash

My 4th-great-grandfather, Thomas Freeman, son of John and Abigail (Hopkins) Freeman, was born 6 April 1787 in Eastham (Barnstable) Massachusetts, and died 17 January 1864 in Harwich (Barnstable) Massachusetts. He married in Harwich, December 1810, Roxanna Cash, who was born there 30 November 1789, and died there 28 January 1863, daughter of Samuel and Patience (Phillips) Cash.

Thomas was a carpenter and Roxanna was a homemaker. The 1850 census shows them living with their 39-year-old daughter, Rosilla, and 10-year-old grandson, Gideon H. Freeman, and Joshua and Hannah Cahoon, both age 40. The 1860 census shows Thomas & Roxanna living with their 19-year-old grandson, Gideon. Thomas & Roxanna lie buried together in the First Congregational Church Cemetery in Harwich.

First Congregational
Church Cemetery,
Harwich

THOMAS FREEMAN
Died
Jan. 17, 1864,
Aged 77 years.
He was of the sixth generation from
Stephen Hopkin, one of the Pilgrims who
came over in the May Flower to Ply-
mouth A.D. 1620

ROXANNA
His wife
Died Jan. 28, 1863,
Aged 73 yr’s. 2 mo’s.
Peaceful be thy rest, dear Mother
All thy trials here are o’er
Weary days and nights of anguish
Never shall afflict thee more.

Roxanna & Thomas were the parents of four children:

i. Rosilla Hopkins Freeman, born 21 November 1811 in Harwich, and died there 10 February 1855. Rosilla is buried in the First Congregational Church Cemetery near her parents.

Miss
ROSILLA FREEMAN
DIED
Feb. 10, 1855,
Æ 43 Years.
Dearest sister, thou hast left us.
Here thy loss we deeply feel.
But ’tis God that hath (illegible) us.
He can all our sorrows heal.

~

ii. Warren Freeman (my 3rd-great-grandfather), born 25 July 1814 in Harwich, and died there 16 September 1894. He married (as his first wife) in December 1836, his double fourth cousin, Priscilla E. Long, who was born 22 October 1817 and died 7 December 1846 in Harwich, daughter of Isaac and Esther (Ellis) Long. Warren & Priscilla were the parents of two children. Warren married (as his second wife) 12 June 1848 in Harwich, another double fourth cousin, Elisabeth Weekes, who was born 6 November 1822 in Harwich, and died there 18 September 1908, daughter of Isaac and Elisabeth (Allen) Weekes. Warren & Elisabeth were the parents of five children.

iii. Sanford Freeman, born 8 October 1818 in Harwich, died there 6 October 1907. He married (as his first wife) 3 May 1840 in Harwich, Mehitable S. Baker, who was born 13 August 1823 in Harwich, and died there 14 December 1842, daughter of Joseph and Catherine (—) Baker. Sanford & Mehitable were the parents of two sons. Sanford married (as his second wife) 21 October 1847 in Harwich, Sarah Small, who was born 21 January 1827 in Harwich, and died there in 1921, daughter of Thomas Crowell and Sally (Allen) Small.

iv. Zeruiah Cash Freeman, born 14 June 1825 in Harwich, died there 11 September 1833, age 8. Zeruiah is buried in the First Congregational Church Cemetery. I see a picture of her gravestone on the Find A Grave website, but I haven’t located it myself yet.

Superintendent of the New York State School for the Blind

seated: Charles Amos Hamilton & Gertrude Mabel Hubbard
standing: Karl Freeman Rodgers, Sr. & Allegra Estelle Hamilton
children: Karl Freeman Rodgers, Jr. and Delorma Hamilton Rodgers

Tim’s great-grandfather, Charles Amos Hamilton, the second son of Charles Munson and Eliza Ann (Devoe) Hamilton, was born 19 March 1866 in Hinsdale (Cattaraugus) New York, and died 28 October 1943 in Batavia (Genesee) New York. He married on 30 June 1897 at Albion (Orleans) New York, Gertrude Mabel Hubbard, who was born 9 December 1874 in Albion and died 31 May 1965 in Marlboro (Monmouth) New Jersey, the second daughter of Delorma Brown and Emma (Pridmore) Hubbard.

Charles’ mother was 47 years old when she gave birth to him, and so he was born into a family with an 18-year-old sister and a 26-year-old brother. He was named after his father, Charles Munson Hamilton and his uncle, Amos Gardner Hamilton. Sadly, his mother died when he was only three weeks old and his father remarried two years later. His stepmother died when he was 9 years old. However, Charles adored his older sister Addie, who was like a mother to him. In 1885 Charles graduated from Cuba [NY] High School, and from the University of Rochester first on 19 June 1889, and again in 1892 with a Master of Arts.

From 1889-1907 he worked as a teacher and then a principal at the Albion High School, where he may have met his future fiancée, Mamie Estelle Hubbard. Mamie was a grammar school teacher who died tragically of a serious illness at age 23 on 22 May 1892. Charles spent much time grieving with Mamie’s mother, Emma (Pridmore) Hubbard, and eventually fell in love with Mamie’s younger sister, Gertrude.

Charles & Gertrude’s marriage was performed by Charles’ old college friend, Rev. Christian A. Clausen, in the presence of a few friends and nearest relatives. Charles was baptized, at the age of 37, on 26 April 1903 at the Newark Baptist Church. In 1923 he joined the Sons of the American Revolution through his ancestor, William Hamilton. In 1924 he sold the family farm in Hinsdale to Guy W. King for $9000. And in December of 1936, Charles retired and bought a house at 26 Richmond Ave. in Batavia, New York.

He was honored on 28 October 1939, when Hamilton Hall was opened and dedicated at the New York State School for the Blind, where he had served as superintendent for many years.

October 1911
Emma Pridmore,
Gertrude Mabel Hubbard,
Allegra Estelle Hamilton

Gertrude graduated from Albion High School and Elmira College, where she had been a special music student. On 17 August 1900 she gave birth to her daughter, and only child, Allegra. It was a very difficult delivery, the baby weighed 11 lbs., and two subsequent perineal operations were required. Gertrude loved family history and gave her research notes to her daughter, Allegra, who passed them on to me, happy and relieved to find someone who cared about genealogy as much as her mother did. Gertrude & Charles did go to England and visited the graves of her Pridmore ancestors in Leicestershire. Gertrude was a member of the Deo-on-go-wa Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the First Baptist Church in Batavia. Charles & Gertrude are buried together, along with some of Gertrude’s Hubbard ancestors in Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion, New York. She was named after her great-grandmother, Mabel (Sutleif) Hubbard.

The following is from: Charles Amos Hamilton, An Autobiography, “The Memory of the Just is Blessed”, (Batavia, New York: Privately printed, 1941):

After a month’s honeymoon trip through Albany, New York, Boston, White Mountains and Canada, we returned to Albion and completed preparations for our new, more responsible and fuller life. I am going to add right here, that, after nearly half a century of wedded life, I can truthfully say that I have never regretted either the step or my choice. As soon as we began housekeeping, we adopted a tentative budget. I left to Gertrude the running of the house, purchase of supplies, etc. For this, we set aside a certain amount, which usually proved sufficient. In addition, I gave Gertrude every month one sixth of my salary for her own personal use. This plan and this ratio I continued until my retirement from active work. I never called this her allowance, but called it her share. I could never have been elected to the Newark position had I not been married, and I considered her services as wife and helpmate worthy of some compensation beyond mere support. This as a business proposition, entirely outside of considerations of sentiment or duty. The plan has worked out very satisfactorily with us, and we recommend it to other married couples. It must be rather humiliating for a wife to beg a few dollars, or even a dollar, from her husband every time she needs it.

The following is from Buffalo Courier Express, Sunday, July 31, 1932:

Men You Ought to Know by H. Katherine Smith: Charles A. Hamilton, superintendent of the New York State School for the Blind at Batavia, was elected in June to the presidency of the American Association of Instructors of the Blind. This honor was conferred upon him in recognition of his work in preparing young people without sight to cope with the problems of daily life and, in many cases, of earning a living.

For 25 years Mr. Hamilton has served in his present position; and during the entire period his aim for the school has been to achieve the mental, physical, social and spiritual development of its pupils, and to fit them to become useful and contented men and women.

Native of Cattaraugus County: Mr. Hamilton was born at Hinsdale, Cattaraugus County, in 1866. Following his graduation from the high school of Cuba, NY, where his boyhood was passed, he entered the University of Rochester. He earned all of the expenses of his college education, turning his hand to whatever job came his way. For a time he lighted and extinguished street lamps in Rochester, rising every morning at 4:30 o’clock to turn out the gas before the sun was up. Later he found work more congenial to his tastes on the college newspaper. He worked on farms of the vicinity during his summer vacations with one exception. That was the summer he toured the Middle West as a book agent, deciding, once for all, that salesmanship was not his forte.

After his graduation from the University in 1889, Mr. Hamilton became identified with the Albion High School. During the eight years of that connection, the subjects he taught ranged from classic Greek to bookkeeping, and included Latin, physical geography, geometry, ancient history and civics.

At Albion he met Gertrude M Hubbard, who became Mrs. Hamilton. Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton are the parents of a daughter, Mrs. Karl Rodgers of New York City, a graduate of Vassar College. Her two-year-old son is the chief delight of his proud grandfather, who finds the number of miles between Batavia and New York no small trial. In 1897, Mr. Hamilton became principal of the high school of Newark, NY, in which capacity he continued for ten years. Twenty-five years ago, he assumed the superintendency of the State School for the Blind at Batavia. Two of his most prized possessions are the portable typewriter and loving cup presented to him in June by graduates of the school in gratitude for his years of service to the blind.

“I thoroughly enjoy the work because I realize the great benefit of a school of this kind to its pupils,” Mr. Hamilton declared. “Our educational standards are identical with those of high schools throughout the state; for our pupils are required to pass regents examinations. Physical exercise, so essential to growing children, is included in our curriculum. Some form of it is obligatory twice daily, and our students attend gymnasium classes nearly every day. Every boy above the third grade is taught to swim, and the girls most of whom swim and dive, clamor for their turn at the pool. There are weekly dances and parties at the school, for the faculty and I deem the social development of the blind an important factor in their education. Nor is their religious training neglected: Every Sunday, they receive instruction in accordance with their respective religious denominations, and the Christian Endeavor Society, which they themselves conduct, is well attended.”

On Obtaining Positions: Mr. Hamilton’s answer to the present difficult situation regarding the obtaining of positions for his graduates is, “Teach them to be useful in their own homes.” For this purpose, greater attention has been given recently to the girls’ instruction in home economics. They become proficient in such domestic arts as cooking, sewing, and cleaning. At Mr. Hamilton’s suggestion, a suite of rooms has been fitted up as a housekeeping apartment, in which two blind girls live alone for as long as two weeks. Although a teacher is always within calling distance, she is rarely summoned; and the students take pride in the fact that they can prepare their meals and keep their apartment in order entirely unassisted.

With regret, Mr. Hamilton mentioned that the scope of economic activities for his boys is not broadening rapidly. At present, an effort is being made to introduce poultry-raising into his school. Chair caning and mattress making are, in Mr. Hamilton’s opinion, the industrial occupations best adapted to the boys without sight.

Besides speaking on his work with the blind before many organizations of Western New York, Mr. Hamilton has written on it for magazines of national circulation. A born teacher, he never misses an opportunity to conduct a class. He readily assumes the duties of any absent teacher, whether of a primary or high school grade, and through the contact of the classroom gains an insight into the thoughts and hopes of his pupils.

Mr. Hamilton has traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast and has made two trips abroad. His knowledge of the French and German language is sufficient to make him understood in any foreign city. He reads the periodicals and newspapers that keep him abreast of current issues and problems and the numerous modern discoveries and inventions, and is familiar with the best of contemporary fiction.

Mr. Hamilton, who has been active in the Batavia Rotary for thirteen years, was the third president of the organization. He is also affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Holland Club of Batavia. He is a past chairman of the Batavia Boy Scout organization, and a former chairman of the board of trustees of the Baptist Church of that city.

Helen Keller

On 21 June 2008, this undated, signed photograph of Helen Keller was found in the Webster house at 180 Bradford St. in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It was originally given to Gertrude & Charles. Their daughter Allegra must have brought it to the Provincetown house where a lot of family treasures were found. The inscription reads: “To Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton, With happy thoughts of their kindness and helpfulness in my work for the blind of America. Very sincerely, Helen Keller”

Charles & Gertrude were the parents of a daughter:

i. Allegra Estelle Hamilton (Tim’s grandmother), born 17 August 1900 in Newark (Wayne) New York, died 16 January 1992 in Keene (Cheshire) New Hampshire. She married (as her first husband) 18 September 1928 in Batavia (Genesee) New York, Karl Freeman Rodgers, who was born 22 October 1895 in Provincetown (Barnstable) Massachusetts, and died 27 March 1971 in Boston (Suffolk) Massachusetts, son of George Lincoln and Mary Jane (Rodgers) Rodgers. Allegra & Karl were the parents of two children. Allegra married (as her second husband and as his second wife) 26 July 1975 in San Antonio (Bexar) Texas, Lester Dean Lloyd, who was born 5 October 1903 in Red Oak (Montgomery) Iowa, and died 23 September 1988 in Schertz (Guadalupe) Texas, son of Noah R. and Mary Alma (McGimpsey) Lloyd.

William White, Englishman

This sketch of Salisbury is perforce an epitome; a catacomb of facts, tedious in the extreme, unless viewed sympathetically. The statistician’s only hope lies in the imagination of the reader. Then be a lithe hunter in the trackless wilds, a shrewd and cautious Hollander, a spare, twang-tongued New Englander, a Whig, a Tory, what you will, for there is no limit to your fictitious past. Leave for an hour the world of 1900 and these dry bones will be re-animated and invested with the charm of life in other days. The scene is set; you must be the player.
~ Malcolm Day Rudd
(An Historical Sketch of Salisbury, Connecticut, July 18, 1899)

The above note “to the reader” made me smile. While I find family history endlessly engrossing, most people I know find it “tedious in the extreme,” or at least, not viewed very “sympathetically.” It would seem to be the same for this writer 120 years ago!

But I have found an ancestral line I’ve been researching forever. My poor mother spent the last couple years of her life searching, too, mostly in person, traveling to town halls, county courthouses and historical societies with my father’s devoted assistance. I recently found some notes he took for her and added them to Ancestry.com. It didn’t take too long for “hints” to start popping up. Some didn’t fit, but some did.

My grandfather, John Everett White, had been told he descended from William White, the Mayflower passenger. They say most family legends have a grain of truth in them. As it turns out, his 5th-great-grandfather was a William White, but not that William White!

The line I had went back only 4 generations…

John Everett White 1905-2001 (my grandfather)
Samuel Minor White 1873-1949
William Martin White 1836-1925
Austin White 1806-1882
Oliver White 1764-1822

William Martin, Austin and Oliver all lived here in southeastern Connecticut and lie buried in Elm Grove Cemetery in Mystic. But where Oliver came from remained a stubborn mystery. My parents spent a lot of time trying to connect him to the Whites living in Rhode Island, many of them descendants of the Mayflower‘s William White. (I was interested, but very busy raising children.) Apparently not long before my mother died in 1991, they had set their sights on Salisbury, way up in the opposite (northwestern) corner of Connecticut. There a Lawrence White had a son named Oliver who was born the same year as our Oliver.

My father’s handwritten notes state this information was found in the Historical Collections of the Salisbury Association, Inc., Vol. II, p. 119. Whether they actually traveled to Salisbury or not is unclear to me. They might have found the book on one of their visits to the Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library in Hartford.

After adding this information to Ancestry and piecing together the resulting hints, the line now goes back 3 more generations to an English ancestor, who arrived in America 59 years after the Mayflower!

Oliver White 1764-1822
Lawrence White 1732-1812
George White 1694-1776
William White 1664-1750 (my 7th-great-grandfather)

I found the following paragraph about William in An Historical Sketch of Salisbury, Connecticut (1899) by Malcolm Day Rudd. When this pandemic is over I see a day trip to Salisbury in the works, health permitting.

William White, an Englishman, who died Jan. 5, 1750-51, in his 85th year, had long been a resident of the Dutch settlements, married a Dutch wife and was a sergeant in the Manor Company of 1715.

William was born about 1664 in Brading (Isle of Wight) England and died in Salisbury (Litchfield) Connecticut. He arrived in America in 1679, when he was about 15 years old. He apparently married Mary (Meales) Hayes, a young widow, about 1690. They were the parents of eight children.

Williams’s sons, George (my 6th-great-grandfather), Joshua and Benjamin are on the list of original proprietors of Salisbury, when the new township was publicly auctioned at Hartford in May 1738. The town was incorporated in October of 1741.

Lots of work left to do…

Ship’s Carpenter, Father of Five Seafaring Sons

image credit: Wikipedia ~ Brevik, Norway

My 5th-great-grandfather, Tønnes Ingebretsen, son of Engelbret Olsen and Anna Dorothea Torbiornsdatter, was born 31 October 1753 in Arendal (Aust Ager) Norway, and died 30 October 1808 in Brevik (Telemark) Norway. He married 8 June 1778 in Arendal, Christiane Christensdatter, who was born in 1750 in Brevik, and died there 28 January 1831, daughter of Christen Pedersen and Stine Jeppsdatter.

We visited Brevik, Norway, briefly, in May 2015.

Brevik is regarded as one of the best preserved towns from the sailing ship era. The town is located on the far end of Eidanger peninsula (Eidangerhalvøya), and was a former export centre for ice and timber.
~ Wikipedia

Tønnes was working as a ship’s carpenter in 1801 and owned his own house in Brevik. The 1801 Census for Ejdanger, Brevig County, Brevig Parish, LAdestædet Brevig Sokn (subparish); Farm/house 216 records that Christiane & Tønnes were the parents of five seafaring sons:

i. Ingebrecth Tønnesen, born about 1779 in Brevik.

ii. Ole Tønnesen, born about 1781 in Brevik.

iii. Nicolaj Tønnesen, born about 1783 in Brevik.

iv. Hans Mathias Tønnesen (my 4th-great-grandfather), born in Brevik before 2 April 1786, the date he was baptized, died 4 December 1850 in Flekkefjord (Vest-Agder) Norway. He married 5 July 1810 in Brevik, Dorothea Larsdatter, who was born before 20 April 1786 in Stokkesund, Brunlanes (Vestfold) Norway, and died 7 November 1879 in Brevik, daughter of Lars Christensen and Maria Olsdatter. Hans & Dorothea were the parents of eight children.

v. Jørgen Tønnesen, born about 1789 in Brevik.

Sailed the Great Lakes

Tim’s 3rd-great-grandfather, Capt. Hermon Roberts Case, son of Aaron Newton and Laura Amanda (Roberts) Case, was born 10 April 1818 in Simsbury (Hartford) Connecticut, and died 17 February 1890 in (Lenawee) Michigan. He married (as his second wife), 5 March 1848, Paulina Elizabeth Minor, who was born 2 April 1822 in Mendon (Monroe) New York, and died 9 March 1898 in Cambridge Township (Lenawee) Michigan, daughter of William and Naomi (Reniff) Minor.

Paulina came to Ohio with her parents in 1831, settling near Cleveland. She and Herman lie buried in Cambridge Junction Cemetery in Cambridge.

Herman married (as his first wife) 28 December 1841, Mary Doty, who was born about 1820 in Euclid (Cuyahoga) Ohio, and died 16 March 1845 in East Cleveland (Cuyahoga) Ohio, daughter of Asa Doty. Mary lies buried in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.

The following is from History & Biographical Record of Lenawee County, Michigan, Vol. I, by WA Whitney & RI Bonner, 1879:

Capt. Hermon R. Case was born in Simsbury (now Broomfield), Hartford county, Connecticut, April 10th, 1818. His father, Aaron N. Case, was born in the same place, in 1785, where he lived, and owned a farm, until 1832. He then moved to Windsor, Ashtabula county, Ohio, and purchased a new farm. He lived there on his farm until 1867, when he came to Cambridge, this county, where he died, in February, 1869. About 1813 he married Miss Laura Roberts, daughter of Lemuel and Roxey Roberts, of Windsor (now Broomfield), Hartford county, Connecticut, by whom he had five children, Hermon R. being the third child and second son. Mrs. Laura Case was born in Broomfield, Connecticut, in 1793, and died there in 1829. Her mother’s name was Roxey Goodwin, and her ancestors were English.

Capt. Hermon R. Case lived with his father until he was fourteen years old, and received but very little education. In 1833 he, with his brother Galusha, started from Broomfield, Connecticut, with packs on their backs, and walked to Ashtabula, Ohio. Hermon had seventeen dollars, and Galusha had about twenty-five dollars, which they had saved from their work the previous year. Hermon worked by the month until the spring of 1834, when he engaged as a sailor, on the schooner Morning Star, and sailed the great lakes until 1849. In 1838 he was promoted to captain, and commanded the schooner Hiram during that season. In 1841 he was mate of the steamer Eagle, on the Mississippi and confluent rivers. In 1835, while lying in the port of Milwaukee, unloading a cargo of provisions for the settlers, he, with his shipmates, assisted in raising the first frame building erected in Milwaukee. The last vessel he commanded was the schooner General Houston, which sailed between Toledo and Oswego for about three years.

In 1848 he purchased a new farm, in Cambridge, this county, on section nine, and moved his family upon it. He followed the lakes until the fall of 1849, since which time he has resided in Cambridge, on his farm. He now owns three hundred and twenty acres, on sections eight, nine, sixteen and seventeen and one hundred and sixty acres, on section twenty-five. He has erected two good frame houses, and five large barns, and has four hundred and thirty acres under cultivation. Where his present fine residence stands, was formerly a Shawnee Indian camping ground, it being between two beautiful little lakes, on an elevated spot. It was afterwards used as a camping ground by the pioneers, who traveled over the La Plaisance Bay turnpike, en route for their new homes. It was also used as a camping place by the men who constructed the turnpike.

December 28th, 1841, he married Miss Mary Doty, daughter of Asa Doty, of Euclid, (now East Cleveland,) Ohio, by whom he had one child, Laura, born in East Cleveland, Ohio, January 17th, 1845, now the wife of Frank Gray, of Franklin. Mrs. Mary Case died in East Cleveland, March 16th, 1845. March 5th, 1848, he married Miss Paulina Minor, daughter of William and Naomi Minor, of Cleveland, Ohio, by whom he has had four children, as follows: Marion, born in Cambridge, June 10th, 1851, a farmer, of Cambridge; Elona N., born in Cambridge, July 7th, 1853, now the wife of William Raven, a farmer, of Cambridge; two children died in infancy.

Mrs. Paulina Case was born in Mendon, Monroe county, New York, April 2d, 1822. She came to Ohio with her parents in 1831, and settled near Cleveland. Her father was born in New London, Connecticut, May, 25th, 1788. He died in 1856. His ancestors were English. His father commanded a vessel in the American navy, and took part in the seven naval conflicts, during the Revolutionary war. Her mother, Naomi Reniff, was born in Massachusetts, December 6th, 1790, and died in August, 1871. Her parents were natives of Massachusetts, and, in 1811, settled in Western New York, in what was then known as the Genesee Valley.

Hermon & Mary were the parents of a daughter:

i. Laura Josephine Case, born 17 January 1845 in East Cleveland, died 6 December 1924 in Clinton (Lenawee) Michigan. She married 28 August 1878 in Adrian (Lenawee) Michigan, Franklin Gray, who was born 21 October 1849 in Franklin Township (Lenawee) Michigan, and died 28 April 1916 in Clinton, son of John and Catherine (Ferris) Gray.

Hermon & Paulina were the parents of four children:

i. Doremus A. Case, born about 1849, died 18 April 1852.

ii. Marion Case, born 10 June in Cambridge, died there 18 November 1893. He married (as her first husband) 10 June 1874, in Tecumseh (Lenawee) Michigan, Mary Sterling Ladd, who was born in June 1854 in Cambridge, and died 20 March 1929, daughter of Ira and Ann (Bigham) Ladd. Marion & Mary were the parents of two children.

iii. Elona Naomi Case (Tim’s 2nd-great-grandmother), born 7 July 1853 in Cambridge, died 22 January 1929 in Badaxe (Huron) Michigan. She married 5 March 1878, in Cambridge, William Franklin Raven, who was born 12 July 1852 in Macomb (St. Lawrence) New York, and died 14 September 1917 in Escanaba (Delta) Michigan, son of Henry Charles and Clarinda (Sweet) Raven. Elona & William were the parents of seven children.

iv. Anna Case, born about 1864, died 17 October 1866.

William Hamblin & Amanda Bearse

My 3rd-great-grandfather, Capt. William Hamblin, son of Timothy and Rebecca (Bacon) Hamblin, was born 13 June 1813 in Hyannis (Barnstable) Massachusetts, and died there 26 May 1893. He married Amanda Bearse, who was born 27 September 1810 in Barnstable (Barnstable) Massachusetts, and died there 13 May 1890, daughter of Ebenezer Parker and Susanna (Baxter) Bearse.

William was a master mariner, who died of heart disease. He and Amanda are buried in the Baptist Church Cemetery, on Main St. in Hyannis. William’s will was written in 1890, and a copy of his signature is on a document from his estate, in possession of his 3rd-great-grandson, Richard Kelley. Probate was not settled until 35 years after his death, on 12 June 1928.

Amanda & William were the parents of at least six children:

i. Capt. Timothy Francis Hamblin, mariner, born 16 July 1839 in Hyannis, died there 27 September 1912. He married 12 June 1862 in Barnstable, Sarah C. Cannon, who was born in April 1840 and died about 1930, daughter of John and Ruth (Crowell) Cannon. The following is from the Hyannis Patriot, Hyannis, Massachusetts, 21 September 1908, page 2:

Capt. Timothy Hamblin
Timothy Hamblin came from old English stock. His great-grandfather came to Hyannis from Plymouth in 1745 and his grandfather, Timothy Hamblin, was born in Hyannis in 1775, and married Rebecca Bacon, sister of the late Owen Bacon, who had eight children–Simeon, William, Hiram and Joel, Betsy, wife of James Snow, Dorinda, wife of Nehemiah Baker, Sarah, wife of Capt. Philip Burgess, and Rebecca, wife of Joseph P. Bearse, all now deceased.

Timothy Hamblin, the subject of this sketch, was born in Hyannis on Ocean street in the 1839, son of William. He commenced going to sea with his father, who was skipper of many vessels in the fishing business. Later Timothy went on coasting vessels and was in the schooner Elizabeth B., previous to her going to the gold regions of California in 1849.

The EB., on her voyage to the gold fields, was commanded by Capt. Almoran Bacon, who owned an interest in her and was sailing master. Several of our smartest captains, who were masters of the famous clipper ships at that time, Capt. Frank Bearse, master whip Winged Arrow, Allen H. Bearse, of the Radiant, Orlando Bassett, John H. Frost, James H. Lothrop and Daniel B. Hallett were passengers. The vessel stayed there some two years, then the party disbanded, and Capt. Bacon brought the schooner home, the voyage being not a very successful one.

Later Mr. Hamblin was in the government employ carrying supplies to soldiers, to Wilmington, N.C., from New York, so he has seen something of the world. The Hamblins were always noted for their shrewdness and knew how to save money. Later Capt. Simeon was master of many fine vessels and made big money. At the time Mr. F.C. Tobey failed, he, like many others, deposited money in his hands supposing it better than any bank. We believe he paid 50 cents on the dollar, but Capt. Hamblin waited a short time and got the whole. Capt. Simeon Hamblin always lived on Ocean street, also Hiram and William. Mr. Roscoe Hamblin, his son, who was in Taunton many years in business, has a nice new house near the old homestead. The Hamblin’s were all branch pilots and knew every inch of water in Lewis Bay. “They say” that Tim can hold flaxseed in his hand and not let it slip through his fingers and hold on to a quarter of a dollar and make the eagle squeal.

ii. Capt. William Nelson Hamblin (my 2nd-great-grandfather), born about 1844, died 19 May 1883 in West Dennis (Barnstable) Massachusetts. He married 16 January 1868 in Dennis, Anna Eliza Baker, who was born 2 October 1845 in Dennis, and died 2 December 1927, daughter of Benjamin and Eliza R. (Eldridge) Baker. Anna & William were the parents of four children.

iii. Simeon Albert Hamblin, born 20 January 1847 in Hyannis, died 14 March 1927 in Barnstable.

iv. Ebenezer Porter Hamblin, born about 1849.

v. Eliza Anna Hamblin, born 8 September 1853 in Hyannis, died 28 January 1935 in Quincy (Norfolk) Massachusetts. She married (as her first husband) 12 November 1873 in Taunton (Bristol) Massachusetts, Francis P. Kelley, who was born 28 July 1848 in West Dennis, and died 12 September 1874 in Dennis (Barnstable) Massachusetts, four days after the birth of his son. He was the son of Francis and Paulina (Sears) Kelley. Eliza married (as her second husband) 21 January 1879 in Dennis, Marcus Bradley Baker, who was born 10 November 1843 in Dennis and died 21 October 1927 in Hyannis, widower of Emily (Crowell) Baker and son of Sylvester and Charlotte (Eldridge) Baker. Eliza & Marcus were the parents of four children.

vi. Harriet Amanda Hamblin, born 20 January 1856, died 18 April 1902. She married 2 September 1880 in Barnstable, Isaac W. Chase, who was born in November 1851, and died 30 May 1921, son of William and Amanda (—) Chase. Harriet & Isaac were the parents of a daughter.

Last Revised: 13 July 2020

persuaded to live with trees

5.14.20 ~ The Merritt Family Forest, Groton, Connecticut
a colonial stone slab bridge crosses Eccleston Brook
This property was acquired by the Groton Open Space Association
in May of 2008
5.14.20 ~ robin in the Merritt Family Forest
I loved the way this tree was growing on a flat stone “stage”

The tempered light of the woods is like a perpetual morning, and is stimulating and heroic. The anciently reported spells of these places creep on us. The stems of pines, hemlocks, and oaks, almost gleam like iron on the excited eye. The incommunicable trees begin to persuade us to live with them, and quit our life of solemn trifles. Here no history, or church, or state, is interpolated on the divine sky and the immortal year. How easily we might walk onward into opening the landscape, absorbed by new pictures, and by thoughts fast succeeding each other, until by degrees the recollection of home was crowded out of the mind, all memory obliterated by the tyranny of the present, and we were led in triumph by nature.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
(The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson)

living with trees

The Merritt Family Forest is part of a large block of forested open space. The upper portion includes a steep, rocky, wooded upland with a mature hardwood forest. Descendants claim the forest remained uncut since the family acquired the property in 1848. The lower portion includes a meadow, and hosts a Tier 1 vernal pool and two Class A streams – Eccleston Brook and an intermittent tributary. Eccleston Brook flows into Palmer Cove, Fisher’s Island Sound and Long Island Sound.
~ Groton Open Space Association website

glacial erratic
moss
ferns
5.14.20 ~ Jack-in-the-pulpit, side view
5.14.20 ~ Jack-in-the-pulpit, front view

I had an especially good time enjoying the paths through the trees on that lovely, warm spring day. And I had an enjoyable afternoon creating this post today, a month later. A pleasant memory to savor. It’s been rough the past few weeks, battling the poison ivy. Tomorrow will be my last dose of prednisone and it will be nice to say goodbye to its side-effects, for me, anxiety and a headache. It’s no fun being up half the night with a panic attack! I’m ready to start living again. 🙂

visit from a mourning dove

4.19.20 ~ mourning dove on my balcony

Mourning doves have been visiting me off and on since my mother died twenty-eight years ago. They seem to arrive when I could use a little encouragement. When I used to garden one would often sit near me and watch me as I worked. Once one walked with me all the way from my garden to the swimming pool in our complex. Lately one comes to sit on the balcony almost daily and coos for as long as an hour at a time. I find her company very comforting.

Sunday morning I decided to try to photograph her through the sliding glass doors and was thrilled with the results. She didn’t seem to mind posing. I know they are plain birds, but that’s exactly why I find them so beautiful! I love them the same way I love my gulls.

In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it.
~ Abraham Lincoln
(Letter to Fanny McCullough, December 23, 1862)

When I first read the Lincoln quote six years ago, after my father died, I remember thinking how true it was. When my mother died I was so young it came as a terrible blow and I needed therapy to work through the grief. By the time my father died it was no longer such a shocking experience. I deeply felt the pain of loss, but it wasn’t unexpected.

We now have 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our town. There are moments I feel terribly anxious about this. It’s starting to sink in that it may be be many months or even more than a year before it will be safe to visit our grandchildren again. As it stands now, I don’t think I will feel free from danger before there is a vaccine. But we are trying to make the best of it and even find a sense of humor at times.

I find myself wondering how my parents would respond to the coronavirus pandemic. I imagine they would probably be just as blindsided as the rest of humanity. But since Mother Nature sees fit to send me such a sweet comforter as this lovely mourning dove I will stay grateful.

It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another — it’s one damn thing over and over.
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
(Letter to Arthur Davison Ficke, October 24, 1930)

4.19.20 ~ this might be my favorite pose

The Millay quote has been one of my favorites for a long time. It amuses me and helps me to laugh at the ironic situations I think I find myself in. The coronavirus pandemic feels unprecedented, and perhaps it is in my lifetime, but not at all in the history of the world.

In the trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset, the protagonist, Kristin, dies from the Black Death at the end. It’s one thing to read about plague statistics in history books, quite another to experience what it must have been like while reading the words of an excellent storyteller. It comforts me to know others have felt the same fear.

Being a highly sensitive child, whenever I would lament about the sad things happening in the world my father would sigh and advise me, “‘Twas ever thus.” When my mother was dying of cancer and my heart ached for her suffering he would gently remind me that “every creature struggles for life.” He was a naturalist and scientist who taught us compassion for animals and people, but also prepared us for loss. Whenever one of our pets died he would tell us to “remember the good times.” I am so grateful for the lessons he taught me.

4.19.20 ~ showing off her feathers

‘Twas ever thus — from childhood’s hour I’ve seen my fondest hopes decay, I never loved a tree or flower but ’twas the first to fade away.
~ Charles Dickens
(The Old Curiosity Shop)