Saturday, April 4, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 #14 Waters: The Merrimack and Contoocook Rivers and the Trials of Hannah Emerson Duston

My husband's 8th great grandmother, Hannah Emerson was born 37 years after the Mayflower’s passengers came ashore, on December 23, 1657, in Haverhill, Massachusetts. 
When she was born, her father, Michael Emerson was 30 and her mother, Hannah (Webster), was 22. Hannah Emerson married Thomas Duston (also spelled Dustin, Dustan, or Durstan). 
They were living in Haverhill, Massachusetts on the Merrimack River, when a horrible event occurred.
She was taken captive by Abenaki people from Québec during King William's War, with her newborn daughter, during the Raid on Haverhill in 1697, in which 27 colonists were killed.
While detained on an island in the Merrimack River in present-day Boscawen, New Hampshire, she killed and scalped ten of the Native Americans, with the assistance of two other captives.

She is believed to be the first American woman honored with a statue [Western Hemisphere?]. Here is the popular account of her trials--and the outcome:

On the 15 of March, 1697, an Indian party descended on the western part of the town of Haverhill, Massachusetts, and approached the house of Thomas Dustin. They came in war dress with their muskets charged for the contest, their tomahawks drawn for the slaughter, and their scalping knives unsheathed. Thomas Dustin was engaged in his daily labor. When the terrific shouts first fell on his ear, he seized his gun, mounted his horse, and hastened to his house, with the hope of escorting to a place of safety his family, which consisted of his wife Hannah, who had been confined only seven days in child bed [her 12th of 13], her nurse, Mrs. Mary Neff (and relative), and 8 young children. Upon his arrival, he rushed towards his house, but found it a scene of confusion. He ordered seven of his children to fly in an opposite direction from that in which the danger was approaching. Indians were already in the house. Seeing there was no hope of saving his wife from the Indians, Thomas flew from the house, mounted his horse, and rode full speed after his children. A small party of the Indians pursued him, and soon overtook him and his children. But they did not come very near, but fired upon him. Thomas retreated for more than a mile, until he lodged the children safely in a forsaken house. This group of Indians returned to their companions.                                The Indian party which entered the house when Thomas Dustin left it, found Hannah (Emerson) Dustin in bed as she had just had a baby. The woman tending her, a relative attempted to flee, but she was stopped. They ordered Hannah to rise. They marched the women out of the house, and one of captors took the infant. As they were marched across the field, the captor with the baby dashed out its brains against an apple tree. The house was plundered and then set on fire. 
The Indian party and their two captors began their retreat to Canada. Hannah was not fully dressed, and was lost one of her shoes. The weather was very cold, the wind of March was keen and piercing, and the earth was alternately covered with snow and deep mud. 
On the Trail North 
The group, with the two women, traveled 12 miles the 1st day, and continued on every day, following a circuitous route. Eventually they reached the home of the Indian who claimed them as his property, which was on a small island, now called Dustin's Island, at the mouth of the Contoocook River, about 6 miles above the statehouse in Concord, New Hampshire. Despite her anguish over the killing of her child, her anxiety over those left behind (sure they had been killed), the suffering from cold and hunger, as well as from sleeping on the damp earth, with nothing but a sky as a covering. They were in terror for themselves, that they too would soon be killed.  
A Temporary? Stop 
Once arriving, they found a group of 12 more Indians as well as a young colonial boy, Samuel, who had been taken captive the previous year. The group moved on and they were left with the 12 Indians. The women were were informed that this was not the final destination, but a stopping point, on the way to a more distant Indian settlement. At the eventual destination they would be treated as all prisoners were customarily treated: they would be stripped, scourged, and made to run the gauntlet nude. (The gauntlet was two lines of their captors, of both sexes and of all ages. The prisoner was made to run between them, as they did, they were beaten, and sometimes became the target for hatchets.) When the women learned of this, they decided to escape as soon as possible. 
Hannah planned the escape, and persuaded her companion as well as the captive boy Samuel to join her. 
By now the Indians had relaxed their watch, because Samuel had lived with them so long, he had become as one of their own children. And, they certainly did not expect that the women, would or could attempt escape unaided, especially when the odds of success were so slim. 
The Plan 
The day before the attempt, Hannah asked Samuel to find out for her how the Indians were able to so quickly kill their victims when hit, and also how to scalp them. She asked Samuel to ask the Indians for instructions on both of those, which he did. Samuel asked one of them where he would strike a man if he would kill him right away. He also asked how to take a scalp. The man laid his finger on his temple "Strike them there." and then instructed him how to scalp. Samuel conveyed the information to the other two. They could not escape unless they killed their captors, they were sure. 
The Event 
That night, once the Indians were asleep, Hannah arose, woke the other two captors. They armed themselves with tomahawks and killed 10 of them. One boy they spared (a favorite). One of the squaws, presumed dead, jumped up, and ran with the spared child into the woods. 
But the captors were anxious to leave before dawn. They retrieved some provisions, then made sure to scuttle all the canoes but one (so as not to be followed). 
Hannah carried with her a gun and a tomahawk from the camp. But, before they’d gotten very far, Hannah recalled they had forgotten the Indian scalps. She insisted on turning back. (If you return from captivity such as theirs without scalps, you might not be believed). They returned to the camp, and scalped the Indians, and placed them in a bag to carry back as proof. 
Hannah (Emerson) Duston Statue

Return 
They started back, still they were surrounded with dangers. They were thinly clad, the March sky was threatening, and they were liable to be re-captured by roving bands of Indians, or by those who would undoubtedly pursue them so soon as the squaw and the boy had reported their escape. They continued to drop silently down the river. At night only two of them slept, while the third managed the canoe. They eventually arrived safely at their homes, completely unexpected by their mourning friends and relatives. Hannah, too, had believed that those she loved were dead, so it was a joyful reunion.
Why Scalps? 
On April 21st, Thomas Duston brought Hannah, Samuel and Mary to Boston, along with the scalps, the hatchet and the musket that they had taken from the Indians. 
And although New Hampshire had become a colony in its own right in 1680, the Merrimack River and its adjacent territories were considered part of Massachusetts, therefore Hannah and the other former captives applied to the Massachusetts Government for the scalp bounty. 
 The state of Massachusetts had posted a bounty of 50 pounds per scalp in September 1694, which was reduced to 25 pounds in June 1695, and then entirely repealed in December 1696. 
 As wives had no legal status in those days, so her husband petitioned the Legislature on behalf of Hannah Duston, requesting that the bounties for the scalps be paid, even though the law providing for them had been repealed: 
“The Humble Petition of Thomas Durstan of Haverhill Sheweth That the wife of ye petitioner (with one Mary Neff) hath in her Late captivity among the Barbarous Indians, been disposed & assisted by heaven to do an extraordinary action, in the just slaughter of so many of the Barbarians, as would by the law of the Province which [only] a few months ago, have entitled the actors unto considerable recompense from the Publick. That tho the [want] of that good Law [warrants] no claims to any such consideration from the publick, yet your petitioner humbly [asserts] that the merit of the action still remains the same; & it seems a matter of universal desire thro the whole Province that it should not pass unrecompensed... Your Petitioner, Thomas Durstun” 

On June 16, 1697 the Massachusetts General Court voted to give them a reward for killing their captors; Hannah (Emerson) Duston received 25 pounds, and the nurse and the boy (Neff and Samuel) split another 25 pounds. 
A grandson at her statue 

After returning from Boston, Hannah gave birth to a daughter, Lydia, in October, 1698. Hannah (Emerson) Duston is believed to have died in Haverhill between 1736 and 1738. 

Sources: 
1 Ancestry.com
2 The Story Of Hannah Emerson Dustin [or Duston, born Haverhill, Massachusetts, 23 December 1657] From "Historical Collections, Being a General Collection of Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, &c., Relating to the History and Antiquities of Every Town in Massachusetts, with Geographical Descriptions" by John Warner Barber, published 1839 by Dorr, Howland & Co.
3 Wikipedia Hannah Duston 
4 Britannica.com https://www.britannica.com/biography/Hannah-Emerson-Duston 
5 Article, written 1940

Friday, March 27, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 #13: Always nearly Forgotten: the women. And I find a Suprising Connection

A Surprising Connection 

Who do you always forget when you do genealogy? the women, generally. 
Partly because I spend my time in the productive and record-heavy areas. For that reason, we often forget about the women’s lineage. Bad-bad-bad. Sometimes I research it because if someone else has done the heavy lifting, I can move on to the record-heavy lines (her father, or father’s father).

This week, I dug deeper into my MOTHER’s father’s grandfather’s line. The family name I was looking at was Louisa A Copes. Copes, not Cope.  In my research, stayed to the Copes line and found precious few (though there were many a Cope!) 
Louisa Copes’ father, John Henry Copes died 18 January 1860. His wife was Isabella Sarah Catherine Egbert (B. Staten Island, 14 Mar 1822 Died, 1862). 
JH Copes’ Copes’ birthplace was a mystery for years. Then I found his obituary and some old advertisements which helped. I began to suspect that “Captain” John Henry Copes was not local to New York, and that he was a “captain” and a “mariner”  At the time of his death he was captain of a dayliner (daytime excursions around the NYC area). Could it be he grew up somewhere else, along the coast?
Surprise:
I found a John Henry Copes in Virginia. Not where I expected him to be from! There was a Copes family  on the Eastern Shore of Accomack County of Virginia, and were seaman.
~John Custis Copes had a son John Henry Copes, both mariners, small enterprises on the Eastern shore (of the Chesapeake Bay). 

(If you don’t already know, the Chesapeake Bay is huge. The Chemung and Delaware Rivers in New York are the upper reaches of the bay, and they both contribute to it. The bay is so big, the “Eastern Shore” of the bay was carved up by 3 states (Delaware, Maryland, Viriginia or “DelMarVA”). The bay starts up in PA, but doesn’t open into the ocean till you are in the southernmost part of VA, near Newport News & Williamsburg.
I believe John Henry Copes made his way (I’m guessing by ship naturally) northward and then remained on Staten Island. Note in the ad pictured, it was a Philadelphia area ship.
There is evidence that his father’s land (John Custis Copes) was on a tiny island in the middle of the bay which is almost all covered over by water now.
Custis?
I was piqued by his father (John Custis Copes’) lineage, as genealogists know middle names such as “Bancroft” were likely once surnames. Any “Custis” coming out of Virginia reminded me of Martha Washington’s first husband: he was a Custis.
Indeed, John Curtis Copes was the son of Hancock Copes and Elizabeth Custis. So, I followed Elizabeth Custis’ line. Yes it seems that my lineage, and that of Daniel Parke Custis (Martha Dandridge Washington’s 1st husband) had a common ancestor named Custis. I'll leave it at that, it's  close enough to answer the question.


John Custis Copes' father, Hancock Copes (b 1765), was the son of Thomas Copes (3rd) b. 1735 born in Accomack County, VA and Susanna. 
Thomas was the son of Thomas Copes (2nd) (B. bef 1706-1742) and Comfort Dix. 
And Thomas (2nd) was the son of Thomas Copes (1st) of Northampton County, VA (b 1661 d 1721) and Mary Parker (1680-1713).
Thomas (1st) was the son of Giles Copes (the first, as there was more than one) B abt 1630 and Margaret. Giles married Ruth after Margaret, but it looks like Margaret was the mother to his children.
At this point here is a thumbnail summary of  my connection to:

Old Virginia Families (mostly Accomack and Northampton County)
Giles Copes & Margaret →Thomas Copes (1st) & Mary Parker→Thomas Copes (2nd) & Comfort Dix →Thomas Copes (3rd) & Susanna→ Hancock Copes & Elizabeth Curtis→ John Curtis Copes & Ann Outten → John Henry Copes


* Captain John Henry Copes moves to Staten Island, New York.
* John Henry Copes M Isabella Sarah Catherine Egbert (of Staten Island, NY) →Louisa Copes.
* Louisa Copes M. Henry A Tilton →William H Tilton (of Brooklyn) M Flora Bancroft (of PA) 

Wm Tilton & Flora Bancroft are maternal great grandparents.↲
 ____________
Before I forget:
Never forget the volunteers who diligently work on your records! I am thankful. This post was greatly helped by the Eastern Shore Public Library.
Without their helpful online information, I could not have done nearly as much research on the family in that part of the country. And, especially now that libraries are closed until the virus is weakened.
I thank tireless efforts of volunteers and librarians. One of whom, Mary Frances Carey, was paid tribute on their website. We owe a debt of gratitude for this important work. Volunteers who record this information, are people who should never be forgotten. An example of what is available here:
http://espl-genealogy.org/MilesFiles/site/p326.htm#i32522

Saturday, March 21, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 #12 - Popular DNA, A Famly Tree & Finding a Missing Father

DNA & a Family Tree solve another Mystery
The popularity of DNA testing has risen and fallen off  (despite the fact that there is still an awful lot to learn, as well as more to unearth scientifically.)  But here's the thing. It's pretty useless without a way to connect you to other people. Which is why I always BEG people to build a family tree then to link their DNA results to that.
Like most people, when I tied together my family tree along with my DNA results, I get a lot of 4th cousins Also a hefty number of 2nd cousins. 
 And Then Came the Day It Was All Worth It
Then there was that day: the day I went on my DNA and found a new relation. I went over to my father's test results. The new relation was at the "1st cousin" level to him, that is quite close! 
In the past, I was the lucky recipient of DNA & a tree helping to break my brick wall, but in this one case my tree combined with DNA and some old school hacks helped another person thousands of miles away.
Solving the Mystery of the DNA Match
Let me jump back in time: 
In 1960 my parents scraped together some cash and we made a traditional American Trip. That is,  a cross country summer vacation.
Our route took us from upstate New York, through Ohio, the "i" states, Nebraska, KS, New Mexico,
Dad fixes a flat tire in New Mexico
and into Texas. Because we were so far west we stopped in at the only relative of my father's who had left the Northeast:
my paternal grandmother's brother (my father's uncle) & his wife. From there to the Air Force base in Wichita Falls, TX where my grandparents were briefly.
Denver yielded the glories of the mountains, a great trip up Pike's Peak. And we camped out at my father's uncle & his wife's house. We ate duck for dinner.
I remember Uncle Dick (not surprisingly) smoked and looked and sounded like my great uncles in New York City. Aunt Mae served us roast goose. Mmmm... That was it. (Could it have been my first genealogical trip before I studied genealogy?)
~58 YEARS LATER~
Oh, did I mention above, that it was 5 years ago that I had stumbled across my father's 1st cousin's DNA online? 
At the time, I sent a message to the owner of the DNA mentioning that he/she was a cousin of my father. Not knowing what else to say, I asked what state he/she was in.
The woman got back to me saying that her father was from the Midwest, and her mother was Mexican. She had no links to the East.
~Leaving it be
I let it drop there because I sensed either she was either busy, or not interested in learning more. 
~4 Years Later:
I got on Ancestry and found a message from the woman asking when were we in Colorado. (The DNA relationship verified that my dad was not her father).
However, my Uncle Dick had lived there for decades. He and his wife had had no children.
~A Month Passed
She told me that she found out she was adopted; I asked about the adoption records, were they unsealed?
Yes, she told me she knew her mother’s name. But, frustratingly, the father’s name was illegible
~DNA isn't Sufficient--You need Action
I got into Ancestry's database and pulled up the City Directory. I wrote down my Uncle Dicks occupation.
I pulled up a scanned photo of Dick & put it in a folder on my desktop (I scan all the photos I can--beginning with the oldest)
* Don't Throw Away That Address Book!
Next, before I emailed her back,  called my 92 year old mother. 
“Mom, can you give me Uncle Dick's  address from your Christmas card address book?” 
After a bit of rummaging around, she found it, read it off as I copied it down. 
 Circling Back
When I responded to the woman's message I had 3 valuable things to fill out the story:
1- a photo of Uncle Dick as a young man 
2 -Uncle Dick's occupation: He was a parole officer
Her bio father
3 -His exact address in 1960. 
 ~Shock and Reassurance
The adoptee wrote back both shocked and reassured.
1 - Shocked at the resemblance between her son and her bio dad (my great uncle).
2 - She had grown up right around the corner from my great uncle (her dad). To go anywhere by car, he had to pass the house she grew up in. She felt reassured that she grew up with two fathers to keep an eye on her.
3- Once she saw her biological father was a parole officer, she understood how it was that her birth certificate had been tampered with. You see, her adoptive father was the chief of police...



Thursday, March 12, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 #11- I'm the Lucky One

I'm the Lucky One

You cannot pick your children or any of your family, nor can you pick your parents. I consider myself lucky because my parents (though very different people from very different families/backgrounds) were loving to one another. And,that set a pattern in my life. This is post is how my parents "found" one another. From my mother's perspective, but had my father written it, I know he'd echo her sentiments.
----
Her Early interest directs path

I have to reach back for this memory to the time when I discovered I liked to draw. We were visiting Gram Tyson (my maternal grandmother) for a few weeks in the summer. I was on the front lawn in front of the Colonial period stone farmhouse where they lived. I told my mother that I’d dreamed about a white bear and she suggested that I draw a picture of it. That had never occurred to me, but I did. I have no idea what it was like or what happened to it, but I can thank my mother for getting me started. One of the things I enjoyed was making books of pictures. I remember I did one of a girl standing on a boat with a spyglass at her eye. Her legs were both straight, but one was shorter than the other, so I solved that visual problem by drawing a block under the shorter leg. My mother saved a watercolor I did in grade school of a house in which I added an attached shed. The teacher seemed delighted, but I was embarrassed because I heard her chuckle and tell another adult that I must have eaten butter with lunch because of the grease spot in the corner of the sky. (Note to teachers: Be careful what you say.)
Jenkintown, a Philadelphia suburb, had an excellent school system and I was able to have art all the way to 10th grade when we moved to the country. My father was in the Air Corps (as it was called at first) so I went to Biglerville High School, starting in the 10th grade.
There was an art teacher, but no art classes for the high school. Our teachers were either women or older men. I’m reminded of the popular song during the World War 2: it was a young woman’s complaint about the man shortage:
“The pickin’s is poor and the crop is lean. What’s good is in the army, what’s left will never harm me. I’ve looked the field over, and lo and behold, they’re either too young or too old.”
I couldn’t take art there, so I took first year Latin in my senior year. It was easy. I was in with freshman and spent many classes of kids reciting, sketching on the lined yellow tablets they gave us. I mostly drew young women.

College: Finding the Right Fit and Financing It
When we realized that I really wanted to study art, we looked at options. Moore Institute in Philadelphia had a good reputation as an art school, but it wasn’t co-ed and neither my mother nor I thought that was what I wanted. And I wanted some academic subjects, too. 
(At this point it looked as if I wasn’t going to follow the Tyson tradition of going to Penn State!)

We realized that the Rhode Island School of Design was the perfect fit. It was co-ed, it offered academic subjects, so I’d graduate with a bachelor’s degree. And it was a fair distance from home in what seemed like a rather exotic place, Rhode Island. It lived up to my expectations in every way. Plus, I met my future husband in my second year there.

Friends Introduce the Spouse-to-Be
My mother somehow got RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) to allow her to pay my tuition and room and board in installments, but that meant there was no extra money for me at all. Her sister who was childless, Aunt Margaret, sent me a dollar bill about twice a month, but that was it!

I got the names of my two roommates. One, Bette Jean (“Beej” to us pretty soon) Dukes whose divorced mother was well-off and owned homes in both Maryland and Delaware, not far from each other. The other was Shirley Thomson from Montclair, NJ so I took the train to her home and stayed overnight, and we went on to Rhode Island by train the next day. I thought they lived a rather elegant life, but knowing Shirley, I’m sure her mother was very good at keeping things in good shape. [For example, in school, every Saturday after we 3 cleaned our dorm room (imagine!).
Shirley would take out all her clothes, examine them for repairs, clean and press them! So, her modest wardrobe always looked great.] It was at their house the night before we left that I first tasted alcohol--wine. I didn’t care much for it then.

At college, we had a fairly large room with a skinny bathroom attached to it. (the only room with a bathroom. It was a charming very old building. A typical New England colonial building.)
>Rhode Island School of Design & Brown University Share Providence, RI<
Shirley was a beautiful blond with a gorgeous figure and had many more dates than Beej and I. We had some blind dates that were pretty awful. The dining hall was in another dorm (an elegant house dating from Edwardian times, I guess, which was my dorm for my other 3 years). The dining room was in that building (called Waterman house, it was on Waterman St.) and we walked about a block, through an alley between houses to get to the dining hall for all our meals. There was a fraternity house (for Brown University) across the street from Waterman house and the boys there sometimes dated RISD girls and invited us to their parties, sometimes.
Brown, and its female division shared the hill above the downtown part of Providence with RISD and several other colleges, I forget which, exactly.

As Luck Would Have It: One Man’s Loss Is Another’s Gain
In my junior year, a friend, but not very close, Nancy Dale, lived in one of the other dorms halfway down the hill [It’s still there, but no longer a dorm. They’ve torn down Waterman house (sinful!) and built a big, boring modern dorm].

One day Nancy asked if I wanted to go on a blind date with her and her friend Ed Muldoon’s classmate and friend. Of course, I said yes.
I don’t remember what we did...probably just walked downtown to Joe Bonana’s where you could get 5 cent beer in a big room with no décor, just low-backed booths. And then we ended up in Ed’s basement room on the hill.
Ed had been in the army and was older than all of us. Overweight and not very good looking but intelligent, witty and very funny. (He and Nancy married, lived in Connecticut, she free-lanced her typographical design work to NYC, and they finally retired to Florida. Nan is very athletic, owns a very small sailboat. Ed was not at all athletic, but a great talker). 
My BlindDate
My date was a super handsome, well-built guy, who was as intelligent as Ed and witty and funny…John Higgins. It turned out he wasn’t supposed to be on this date. They’d set it up for their buddy (whose name I forget. I never met him) who was very depressed because he was flunking out. He backed out and so John Higgins was called in at the last minute! I remember how handsome and funny and smart I thought he was.

It was the end of the school year. John walked me back to my dorm, but I don’t remember how many other dates we had that year. 
John Higgins Sr-poss Freshman year
I knew I would be in a different dorm next year, but for some reason, didn’t tell John. I didn’t hear from him. Finally, the following fall he had to get Ed to find out from Nancy where I was.

John's Schooling:
John could have attended Fordham for free because a local priest had gotten a scholarship for him and took him to visit Fordham. The iron gate clanging shut just turned him off and he didn’t accept it. How did he select Brown University? He had a list of colleges on offer with the Navy and choose the first on the list…Brown.. but it was alphabetical. 
It was our lucky day, though we didn’t know it.

John and Ed Muldoon were among the men on the GI bill who were getting their education from Uncle Sam, but with no frills!
I felt, even then, sorry for the young boys right out of high school, competing with these battle-hardened men, experienced, serious about their education and a few years older. John was at Brown because he joined the Navy ROTC. He got his education and $50 a month which had to cover everything else. These GIs didn’t live in Fraternity houses or dorms, but in rooms around Providence. RISD didn’t have dorm rooms for men, any of them, either. And we had men on the GI bill who were a good example of seriousness.
We did have some extra-curricular stuff including a chorus, which I joined.
A lack of $ was his problem all the way through. At one point he went to the authority at Brown to see if he could arrange a loan of some sort and was told to ask his father to send more money to him and they couldn’t seem to understand why that wasn’t possible.

Dating and Marriage
So, none of the 4 of us had any money. But it didn’t matter, we all loved talking and could make a glass of beer and a walk through the streets of Providence into a perfect evening out. John and I did lots of walking on our own.

We’d walk up the hill through the rest of the city all the way to the river (which one, I’m not sure). I think it was the Seekonk. We’d stop at a diner and have apple pie and coffee sometimes.
And sometimes he’d take me to Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet which was a dance hall and we’d dance the Polka all Sat. eve. It was a largely Polish population there and could they Polka! Lots of fun.

Marriage
John and I were married the year I graduated but he still had a year to go. I’m not very proud of our behavior then. Yet both of our families were so patient with us although they knew we were being foolish. So, he worked that summer, or what was left of it. Brown did not know he was married (against the rules for the Navy). 

J Higgins Freshman ROTC uniform
We lived in a large room on the 4th floor near the Brown campus. I was pregnant.  One of our good friends then was John Kinghorn (JK) who was the son of a well-off dr. from NY state. JK was the son of his old age, I think, and although intelligent, a little absent minded. He had made a foolish bet with some guy that he could gain a certain number of pounds by a certain time. John had brought his weights (for weight lifting) with him in our second hand car and we had them in our room.
JK would do the exercises my husband had scheduled for him in our one room.
Neither of them graduated that year! John missed graduating because somehow, he missed taking a music or art class in the required distribution list.

The friends from our double date Ed and Nancy got married, and our friend John Kinghorn stayed in Providence and did another year at Brown.
Luck Runs out?
But John had to resign from the Navy, of course, and we moved back to his home in Woodbourne, NY and lived with his folks (imagine!? They were so good to me!).
John worked at 2 jobs that summer and our first baby was born June 5. 
Our first years were difficult financially and probably a waste of our talents and his brain, but, we neither of us wanted to live in a city so we never moved far from that area.
Turning Hard Work into “Luck”
As it turned out, we lived where we wanted to.
John went on to earn a bachelors, Masters and, eventually a PhD in Economics, all while working full time and travelling and raising 4 children and becoming active in local government (the Town Planning Board Chairman for many years).
I knew he wrote scholarly articles but had no idea how many until after he died, and I found a folder of them in a desk.
I always thought he was the most handsome, intelligent man I ever knew.
Mr and Mrs Higgins about 1955

Sunday, March 8, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 - #10 Strong Woman

STRONG WOMAN - Catherine Barnwell 1911-1992

Showcasing a single woman who I find in my family tree as “strong” is a tough choice: Not because there are so few, but because there are so many. Perhaps they did not cross the prairie to build a farm, but their life was full of problems.
The woman I knew, and who, in retrospect, must have grown stronger with time as she went through their troubles would be my father's mother.

Catherine came from impoverished circumstances and never finished high school (which wasn't uncommon). She went through a plenty of belt-tightening and a lot of heartache. But there was a lot of love in her life.

HER FAMILY
Catherine Florence Barnwell was born 2 September 1911 in New York, New York in Harlem (Washington Heights)  (died 4 Jun 1992, Sullivan County, NY).
Her father, John Joseph Lawrence Barnwell (1881-1948) was born in Brooklyn, her mother was Agnes McCune (1886-1948 of NYC).
All of her grandparents were of Irish heritage, apart from one who was Scottish (her mother's father).
Her parents had 11 children (that I have record of).

MARRIAGE & CHILDREN
Teen-age years: nonexistent. Catherine never had teen age years--she cut it short by getting married young. She married my grandfather Victor “Jack” Higgins (born in 1905) who was 6 years her senior. She was born in 1911 and married in 1927.
She was 16 when she wed, and her husband was an “old man” at 22 years old. Prior to turning 17 she had her first child, Alice, who died within a day. As it turned out, two of her children died within the first month of life, Alice and Edward.

By the time she turned 21 she had had 4 children, but only two were still alive: my father John, and his brother Thomas.

In the 1930s the family moved out of New York City for a job. This was good for the family (as they had money to live on), but it must have been difficult for her as she was no longer close to her family. In that era, driving the 100 miles from New York to the mountains Upstate was a long trip, not done in the winter. I imagine that being a Big City girl who's now living in the country, where you know almost no one, and are cooped up in the house most of year because you have to watch your children, etc.,  would have been a huge change as well as very boring and lonely.

LIFE

In 1943, before she turned 32, they were a family with 8 children.
That year, another son Thomas died (cause unknown), leaving a 5 year gap between my father (1929) and the next child, Joseph (1934).
After Tommy died she had 3 more children. In all, she had 14 children, 10 of them lived to adulthood.  

SUDDEN TURN OF EVENTS

Burned House


My father entered college in the 1940s. His parents had no money to call him (and likely no free time, either.) They surprised one day with a phone call in 1948.
They called to tell him that when he returned home on his next break, that "home" wasn't there anymore. They'd been burned out.
A kerosene heater had been knocked over and causing a fire that raced through the house.
My uncle Joe and my grandfather raced back inside to make sure  all the kids out.
As a consequence both of them had to be treated in the hospital for their burns.
At the time the (rented) house burned my grandmother was only 37 years old.
Uncle Joe awarded for heroism
After the fire, the helpful community generously gave them blankets and such to help get the family restarted. Note that it was deep winter--the fire had occurred on February 14. That huge family needed to live somewhere--and it needed to be a large place. Someone offered them a house which was empty as their temporary shelter.
The problem was the house. It was in New York in the winter and the house had no insulation, it also lacked plumbing.  As the house had been vacant, I imagine it was in bad repair.  But they had no other option.
Catherine takes a break

I learned through family interviews that they had lost most of their photos. (Poor people usually had few because you had to pay for development of the film). Members of her extended family gave my grandmother the photos she had given to them. What photos we have now are those which were given back to the family.
I was going through my aunt's box of photos and dug into the paper scraps at the bottom. One often finds interesting pieces of a story in written documents, and this day I found a bit of information. There was a letter from a lawyer to my grandfather in 1948. The bank had engaged the law firm to make sure my grandfather was good for a mortgage to build a new house.
But apparently my grandfather had borrowed about $800 and had not yet paid it back. Why or when he borrowed the money wasn't stated. But, of course, before he could get a mortgage, the letter informed him he had to deal with the lien. Somehow they figured out how to build the house. 
They stayed in the old "loaner" of a house until their house was built, probably finished 1949/1950.
It was a modest affair, built by a local carpenter. They could not afford the finest.  But it suited their needs. My grandmother had a washing machine in the kitchen, next to the refrigerator.
There was a half bath downstairs. and one full upstairs. Upstairs were 4 bedrooms (mostly filled with beds), and one downstairs. The driveway was unpaved, I think, until I left for college in 1973.

But they did move in to the new house. And by then my grandfather had had steady work for over 10 years. I think they must have felt they were living like royalty by then.

MORE FAMILY
Catherine's family lived in the greater New York City area, 100 miles away. But my grandfather had moved his own mother (who had married after he was grown) and his 2 half-brothers near them so he could look after his mother as she was often unwell, and couldn't work. She too lived on very little.
And for a short time his mother and half-brothers lived with Catherine & "Jack" but it was short-lived, as it "didn't work out."
Now that her mother-in-law and her husband's half brothers were settled nearby, there were more people to watch out for, to assist, to feed (if need be).
Of course, holidays huge with 12 in the family, plus the Higgins/Devaney (her in-laws), bringing the total to 15 people. Their new house was big but it wasn't huge.
Normally the family ate in shifts and they all learned how to be efficient.

HANK HELPS OUT
One day "Hank" Monahan came into their lives-probably in the 1940s.  With all those people, the work and school hours, there was a lot of work to be done, and it seemed Hank was almost always around to help out. There was always movement in that household.
Hank would babysit the kids when needed, help with some of the tasks at the house, and peel potatoes to name a few. Hank remained a single man (I assume he never married) and worked, and babysat, and was a "part" of the Higgins family.
Hank holding 2 of the children
Always ready to lend a helping hand in exchange for a meal, a cup of tea, and a place to sit. He always had a place at the table, or a seat in the living room. I have a photo of him helping out when they went back to the burned house. Hank's gravestone is near my grandparents in Woodbourne. (So the Find-A-Grave people now know he was no blood relative.)

LIFE BEGINS AT 40?
One by one the children moved away, went to college, got married.
It seemed each married child gave their parents several grandchildren (from 3 to 7 children a piece).

But then “Kitty”  Richard’s twin sister, wife and mother of four small boys died suddenly of diabetic shock. Her littlest boy found her still body. This was 1965, and Kitty was 29 years old.

My grandparents became substitute parents for the children, and my 54 year old grandmother was now the “mother” of these four boys. Their father could not give them the attention they needed.

In February 1969, one day my grandfather had been at work at the Correctional Facility where he was employed in Woodbourne. And the next day he was admitted to the hospital.
Within a week he was better and preparing to go home. The day he was to leave the hospital, he died, a complication brought on by his diabetes.

He had just celebrated his 64th birthday at the end of December. Her husband’s sudden death was 3 ½ years after her daughter’s death. When she became a widow, Catherine was 56, not yet 57 years old, she had survived two World Wars, the Great Depression, lost four children.

LIFE GOES ON

She lived for another 23 years after my grandfather died.


Catherine Barnwell & Victor “Jack” Higgins’ children. (highlighted children predeceased her)
1 Alice 1927-1927
2 John Victor 1929-2015
3 Thomas Patrick 1931–1943
4 Edward 1932–1932

5 Joseph Lawrence 1934–2000
6 Catherine F 1936–1965
7 Richard Michael 1936–2013
8   Girl 1 – B 1937
9   Girl 2 – B 1940
10 Girl 3 - B 1941
12 Girl 4 - B 1944
13 Girl 5 - B 1945
14 Girl 6 - B 1947

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

52 Ancestors -2020 # 6: Same Name, Part 2. Same Name in Same Place: a House of Worship for Quakers, Westbury, NY

II Same Name - Houses of Worship in Westbury, NY: Hicksite & Orthodox Friends

For a long period of time there were simultaneous Quaker Meetings in Westbury, not far from one another. So, yes, there would  be TWO Friends Meetings in Westbury, NY

In the Beginning


A Friends Meeting House was Built in Westbury:
When the "Friends" (Quakers) finally decided to build a meeting near Westbury (it was not the oldest one on the Island), it was 1701. That was built at Post Avenue and Jericho Turnpike in Westbury. The cost of the 3 1/4 acres of land was 4 British pounds.  (The current building is not the original, several have replaced it.)
"Hicksite" Meeting Westbury NY 1869 as it was
The Orthodox - Hicksite Split
- What could be more painful than a split in the same community?
In the early 1800s forces drove the Quaker community in the East into two main groups. It was not the only split, but it was a major schism for that time.

It was so deep that the Orthodox Quakers in Westbury (who continued the tradition preaching and recognized ministers within the meetings, as well as a structured Sunday School) decided they needed their own building.

So it was that that arm of the Society of Friends had an Orthodox Meeting House near Post Avenue in 1830. Most of the members were former members of the older meeting, which was right near them.

The other (original) branch (called "Hicksite") remained in the original building which was so aged they  had to replace. 
So though the Hicksite building site is older, and has had continuous worship for longer, the Orthodox Meeting House (which is close to the Hicksite building) has become the oldest building for religious purposes in Westbury.
"Orthodox" Friends Meeting Westbury, NY

Many years ago, the two branches of Friends in Nassau County came back together.
No doubt there were problems after the split, but how did these two peace-loving communities cope with being separate yet so close?  Unavoidably, families would be split between the two houses in close proximity if only because Quakers often married close cousins.

I have preserved letters which made mention of an ancestor who, when she was at her grandmother's house, naturally attended the other meeting. Of course, this hardly bears mentioning, except that they were physically and relationally close.

In another case, my great grandmother's maternal grandmother, Sarah Rushmore (Hicks) lived through the schism to see her collateral relatives attend the other Meeting.
(Sarah Rushmore married John Doughty Hicks).
This is a bit of bitter irony because Sarah's father-in-law, Isaac Hicks (1767-1820) had helped to fund Elias Hicks' travel and ministry--it is Elias who is most often associated with the split.
But, Sarah Rushmore Hicks lived through the split, and had family members in both parts of the Society of Friends in Westbury.
For example, her granddaughter Marianna Hicks and her husband, William Hawxhurst were Hicksite Quakers.
But her son-in-law's (William) sister, Margaret Hawxhurst, was an Orthodox Friend, as were many other friends, relatives and neighbors.

Now, you already know this story has a happy ending, but I found the letters and photos;
When my great grandmother Bertha (Hawxhurst) Tyson was young in the 1880s, the Orthodox Meeting was used by both Meetings for Sunday School.
Bldg Used for Sunday School in Westbury c. 1890

Apparently the worshipers at the Orthodox Meeting offered to give all the children of the Society of Friends in the area Sunday School. They held it in a little building near both Meetings (see photos).
So, while my gr, gr grandparents were Hicksite Quakers (William Hawxhurst & Marianna (Hicks) )  they sent my great grandmother to Sunday School taught by the Orthodox Quakers.

From her notes (I have digitized copies of Bertha's diaries and some letters), she enjoyed her time there enormously.
So much so, that she saved and labeled this photo of some of the women in the Orthodox Meeting in Westbury who were attached to the Sunday School. Her aunt is the 2nd from left, below.
Henrietta Titus, Marg Hawxhurst,Mary Post, Sarah Titus, Sarah Bunyan "Orthod Friends who conducted our Sunday School"

I know *Margaret Hawxhurst is the sister of William Ephraim Hawxhurst, my great great grandfather. The other women's names may or may not be married names, any information regading that would be welcome.
------
1 Hawxhurst has been spelled: Hauxhurst (and less often Hawkshurst)
2 The digitized photos, except for the second (of the Orthodox Meeting), are from the Margaret B Walmer collection or AC Johnson collection.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 #9 - Disaster - Or, the Dangers of Being Honored

Disaster, Or, The Dangers of Receiving an Honor

If I can't  use this space to tell the story handed down to me, I don't know where I can.
This isn't a particularly newsworthy post--most of the facts are in a previous post about 
(This post would be longer but I was trying to gather information online the same weekend the big "RootsTech" Conference is being held. I kept encountering technical difficulties, and as a result, I am skipping that route and will tell a story instead).
However his sole son, Charles B Tilton, told it to his children, my mother and siblings. Each of them remembered to tell it to me, and I was just reminded of it recently.
P S BANCROFT - A Snapshot Biography (Most of this portion is in previously mentioned post)
PS Bancroft was born in Connecticut. At the ripe old age of 8, he and his family migrated to the land grants in the Northwestern Territory (NW Pennsylvania and part of Ohio). They settled in Meadville and tried to farm.
PS was clever enough to finish school, finish college, and taught the "classics" (Latin and Greek) at college.
Then the Civil War broke out and he was made an officer in the Civil War (that's in the other post). He was injured (lost the use of one arm) and mustered out. He reentered immediately in the "Invalid Corps" and worked for the army until after the war.
In April, 1865, he was in his 35th year PS married 19 year old Bella S. Brinker. She was the  youngest daughter of Col. Jacob Brinker (a former sheriff of Butler County). 
They were farming the Meadville farm when Belle (Brinker) Bancroft died less than 10 years later in 1874, leaving 3 small children:
Children of Peter Sanford Bancroft and Isabella Brinker:
1 Flora Gertrude Bancroft (1867- 1949) my great grandmother
2 Earl D Bancroft (1868-1927)
3 Grove Graham Bancroft (1869-1899)
--
After this, PS Bancroft realized he needed more money, especially as a father with 3 children. He moved from the farm to “town” (Butler). 
He must have realized as an educated man and as a professor, he could reorganize a previously used religious school which had closed during the war.
And he set about re-opening the school but as an ecumenical school, not a denominational school. The freshly opened Witherspoon Institute threw open its doors soon after he began work on it, and it thrived.
PS Bancroft still had the war on his mind, though. The sentiments which bring about the war didn't just die out right after the war was over. They had lingered on. So, though the South had lost the war, the wounds as well as the former opinions stuck around.
For some reason, once the Witherspoon Institute was viable, it was  a local paper, the Butler Eagle (February 1870), that  caught the attention of PS Bancroft.
The newspaper described itself as "a Republican journal, the viewpoints were forthrightly Republican" In its historical context, it was supportive of the Union and of Abraham Lincoln's presidency. And so PS Bancroft worked at the paper from March, 1888 to October, 1889.
---
The paper moved and changed its name to the Butler County Record and commenced on June 6, 1888. On October 1, 1889, Bancroft moved to being its associate editor.
A snapshot description of the paper in 1895 said it was  “a neatly printed journal of thirty-six columns, politically independent and carefully edited. The certified circulation is 1,700.” (Source: History of Butler County Pennsylvania, R. C. Brown Co., Publishers, 1895)

The Danger of Being Honored:
PS Bancroft went from being a fellow on a farm out in the country, to being a professor, an educator, and journalist and an editor.
One day the little city of Butler sought to honor its Civil War veterans. I am told he was asked to be the guest of honor in Butler at a Civil War Dedication. As it is with most stories I hear, I wasn't paying attention to the date, but to the story.  To be honest, I don't know if it was the unveiling of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Butler, (which was as late as 1902) or an earlier commemorative event. It doesn't matter for the telling of the story, though.
PS Bancroft, by now a widower and respected townsman, was gussied up nicely and dressed in his finest clothes that day. He was on the dais, but they wished to place him near the cannon. He obediently moved to it. But he did not realize their intention was to shoot off the cannon.
Of course, I don't know if he jumped or what his immediate reaction was, but the consequence of being "honored" by having a cannon shot at his side, was he was totally deaf in his one ear for the rest of his life.
So, while the war cost him his arm, being honored for being a soldier & an officer in the war cost him his hearing.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 #8 Prosperity - How Charles J Tyson Made Money

Prosperity: Charles Tyson Pursued It

(This is not autobiographical). Only one direct ancestor really saw prosperity, that would be my mother's great grandfather on her maternal side, Charles John Tyson.
A newspaper said this of my gr-great grandfather:
"the architect of his own fortune...on his arrival in Gettysburg his ready cash consisted of $10 and was $150 in debt."
He was born in 1838.  For now let's jump ahead to 1901 when he's 62 and traveling throughout California. He is still in business though he's slowed his pace (he claims). In 1901 2 still things that engaged his interest from his early life: photography (he owns a Kodak camera--and takes photos), and the growing fruit, its sale and its distribution  How do I know? He wrote about both in a letter to a friend and which I have at the end of this post--so keep reading.
Charles J Tyson was born as far as I can tell in New Jersey, not far from Philadelphia but grew up in Philadelphia. Born  5 Sep 1838, to  Edwin Comly Tyson and Susannah Griffith. His father was of modest means.
Charles' Early Employment:
A newspaper article claims that when he was 11 Charles went to work for himself in a "house-furnishing company" in Philadelphia. Following that, he worked for six years in a grocery store.
Joins with brother Isaac in Photography and moves to Gettysburg:
Somehow he learned daguerreotyping. He and his brother Isaac Griffith Tyson were able to buy enough equipment to open their own business. But they decided to move to a small city (Gettysburg) to start the business. They moved to Gettysburg and opened their own "Photography Gallery"  in 16 Aug 1859. It went under a variety of names: Tyson & Bro; Tyson Brothers; etc.


1859 Tysons aggressively advertising in Gettysburg
The "Tyson Brothers Studio" made the first photographs ever finished in Adams County, Pennsylvania.
Charles J Tyson

The Civil War was raging at this time. (If you're not familiar with Adams County, it is a county on the south-east border of Pennsylvania, bordering Maryland. Though north of the Mason-Dixon Line, and in the "Union," this area and much of Maryland was still much-contested. Gettysburg is only a few miles away from the Maryland border.)
Charles Tyson joined the "Wide Awakes" of Gettysburg in 1860; a group who supported Abraham Lincoln and was against slavery.

In the middle of the war, Charles married his wife Maria E Griest, a local gal, on 30 Apr 1863 (b. 7 Mar 1840). She was the daughter of Mary Ann Cook and Cyrus Griest.
They had begun setting up house just 3 weeks before the  Battle at Gettysburg in July. They were still involved in the process when the battle began.
An officer came by to warn the citizens to evacuate ahead of the coming battle. When they returned a few days later, they had quite a mess to clean up, but most of their belongings were there (apart from some food and clothes).
The photography studio was in surprisingly good shape, apart from the soldiers' hunt for alcohol in some form.
Shell in wall of Tyson Bros Studios York St Gettysburg
With men still encamped in town, the brothers busied themselves taking photos of soldiers in the gallery in town. They also cobbled together a mobile photography studio to go on the trail, taking photos of the landscape after the battle, helped by their able young assistant, William Tipton, who was a teen.
William Tipton in Tyson Bros Photo "Mobile"  Gettysburg, PA 1863

The Springdale Nurseries and others:
1860 Springdale Nursery Brochure Cyrus Griest & Sons
Within a year  Charles was persuaded by the Cyrus Griest family that this was a good place to farm. So, in 1864 (while the war was still on), he bought a 1/3 interest in the Spring Dale nurseries of Cyrus Griest & Sons, (his wife's family). But he retained his interest in the photograph business. [See front of Griests' Catalog from 1860, found by my cousin]
In 1865 he sold the photography business. By then his brother Isaac had married another Griest, a cousin of Charles' wife Maria. Isaac and his wife moved away to set up a photographic studio in Philadelphia.

Then again in 1866 Charles bought back the photography gallery, but presumably was still involved in the nursery business.
In 1867 Charles bought the entire interest in Springdale Nurseries.
A Big House
In 1869 he bought a 167 acre farm in Menallen Township and moved into a house called “Mapleton” in Flora Dale, PA, very close to the Menallen Friends Meeting House. He lived in that house for some years.
"Mapleton" as it looked abt 1890
He still loved photography. So yet again, in 1874 he bought the 1/2 interest in the same photograph gallery. 
In 1875 he sold out his nursery business, only to buy, in 1878, a 1/2 interest in Chambersburg (PA) nurseries. (Don't worry, there won't be a test at the end of this!)
The 1860s and 1870s shows him working hard in learning the nursery business, buying and selling, as well as popping in and out of the Gettysburg photography. He and the young assistant from the earliest years had bonded (so much so that William Tipton named a son "Charles Tyson Tipton.")

Then came 1880:
Charles eventually disposed of the photography (as a business, but not a hobby) all together to Tipton in 1880. In doing so, he exchanged his half interest in the photography business for a house in Gettysburg.
About the Changing Nature of Farming in the US:
In his lifetime, many farms had changed from small family meant to feed oneself to larger farms which could provide for more than one family. Many farms had grown to the point they had to hire local hands for the farming, as it was too much work for the family members.
Between mechanized machinery to do the work, and the railroads, large farms could now sell produce to cities, where immigrants had greatly swelled the population, and where there was also established factories and men and women working there. Large cities required food and meat from from the countryside.
Tyson's Experience - Charles was born and raised in the city, but moved to the country. His parents still lived in Philadelphia. By 1880, I would guess he had made a good number of business friends, and by now, some decades into running nurseries, he grasped the value of fertilizer to farmers.
So in 1881 Charles was a charter member of the Susquehanna Fertilizer Company.
The Fertilizer Company built a factory near Perryville, Maryland with capital stock of $15,000. It increased in 1882, to $35,000.
Of course there was a Fire!
On 29 Sept 1883, the plant burned. Charles retrenched and moved on.

A Move and a Reorganization:
The company was reorganized in Baltimore with a paid up capital stock of $100,000. The new plant cost about $50,000.  It was renamed "The Susquehanna Fertilizer Company of Baltimore City"
Its officers:
1 - President: Charles J Tyson
2 - Treasurer: George B Passmore
3 - Superintendent: S. P. Broomell
How did the new company fare? In 1881 they sold 1,200 tons of fertilizer. 4 years later in 1885, they sold 11,000 tons.

Back to City Living
The retrenchment meant the Tysons had to take drastic measures. Charles and Maria moved into a much smaller home in Baltimore so he could oversee the company business. Maria was no longer near her family, she was no longer taking in fresh country air. And Charles was no longer a young man. 
But the factory disaster in Perryville could be viewed as a blessing because, once freed from the location in Perryville, Charles could focus his time and energy in Baltimore: living close to the plant allowed him to monitor the activity closely.

So, How did Prosperity Find Him?
It did not: he pursued prosperity with vigor. He worked most of his life, and he moved between very different jobs. He seems to be visionary, resilient, connected, and energetic. What finally made the most money? The fertilizer business. But he stayed interested in his first 2 areas, as mentioned.
Did he retire?
I'm not sure--in 1901, he was still working. They eventually did return to Adams County.
Charles had retained Mapleton (the house already pictured above).
He had built another house across the road. I don't believe he ever lived there, or if he did it was not for long. Son Chester and his wife and their large family lived there. And remains in the family today.
You may recognize it as the photo from the front of the blog:
Flora Dale, Menallen. Hill House where Chester & Bertha lived.
Charles Tyson eventually "settled down" at a house he dubbed "Loma Linda” in Guernsey, not far from the Menallen Meeting House. (This book calls it Loma Vista, but family records of Margaret B Walmer's "Loma Linda"). See 2 photos of the house below (the second one shows how large it is, from front to back). Also a photo of the barn at Loma Linda.

Loma Linda - Chas and Maria Tyson's final Residence; Guernsey MBW Collection

Barn at Loma Linda, Guernsey - Chas J Tyson

A Vacation! Yes, Charles and Maria Tyson took a well-earned trip West (quite a journey if you read his letter). They marveled at the flora of Southern California.

They stayed at the hotel pictured below.

Charles and Maria on vacation in California:

Charles Tyson Maria (Griest) Tyson in California 1901

 A letter he wrote to a friend in 1901 Letter from Charles (and Maria Griest) Tyson to friend in PA on their trip to the West Coast
Santa Barbara, California, April 1901 
Seneca P. Bromell
My Dear friend,
I received thy very welcome and interesting letter of the 24th and on the 4th inst we left Pasadena for this quaint old place of seven thousand population and a hundred years old. I am really and honestly ashamed of not writing thee long ago. [He adds the other letters he’s had to respond to in the meantime]
I find Sight seeing as hard work as I have tackled for many a day and occasional rest ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. On the 1st inst I had a wire on the death of Wm Wood. [Continues about the man’s illness and his widow]
We had a very pleasant and comfortable passage from Balt to N.O (New Orleans?) and four days there—one of rain and three of sight seeing. Of all places visited thus far, we found extremes meeting us there more decidedly than any other. The old part is old and quaint in the extreme and not over clean indeed, quite the reverse—while the new is very  beautiful. We find that a carriage and good driver enables us to do up a place in less time and more satisfactorily than any other way. We left N. O. on the 14th of 2nd mo and arrived in Pasadena seventh day eve the 16th. Found Clark at the Station to welcome us and take us to rooms he had engaged for us just across the street from the “Whittier” where he takes his meals and where he had made arrangements for us also. Next day he had a carriage come for us and we all took a ride. The most delightful one of the trip I think for all was so new. And surprises met us at every turn. Snow on the mountains in full view, and the most beautiful flowers in the greatest profusion on all sides, magnificent date Palms, pepper trees, live oaks and many other varieties comparatively new to us. Since then we have gone around a good deal—have explored several of the Canyons noted for their beauty and well deserving of all that is said about them. Have also tempted Providence by going to the top of Mt Lowe 6000 Feet above sea level on the backs of burros. When the path was not over two feet wide in some places and almost straight down for hundreds of feet on the one side and a corresponding slope upwards on the other, and we still Live! We have visited the noted “Catalina Island” and the wonderful “Avalon Bay” exploring its crystal depths through a glass bottom boat, the most beautiful sight I ever beheld. Rocks, ferns, fishes of many kinds large and small.  Many of them new to us and very pretty as they moved about so gracefully in and out among the rocks and plants nearly a hundred feet below us. We only remained there over one night. Catalina Island is 30 miles from the Main land which we leave at "San Pedro.”
We have visited Redlands and Riverside; the great orange growing center of the “Citrus Belt” When 40,000 acres are planted in oranges within a radius of 20 miles, and the finest fruit in the state grown–of this there is not a doubt. The variety in the greatest form is the “Washington Navel” sweet, juicy and tender when through with one, there is nothing left but the skin . Twenty thousand car loads of oranges will go from Southern California this year, and each car will carry three hundred and sixty two boxes. It is estimated that fully three thousand boxes will rot on the ground for want of cars to ship them After returning to Pasadena for a few days we went to “San Diego” stopping for a few hours at Capistrano and visited the Old Mission where I found much of interest to photograph. We took dinner with an Old German and his wife who keep store and accommodate travelers. The old gentleman informed us that the English walnuts on the table were grown on his place and that he had shipped his last crop—forty thousand pounds, to the east and realize 9 cents per pound for them—a great many are grown in that section and the quality is Extra Good. From San Diego we visited the Old and Diego Mission, the oldest in the state. Also took a forty mile ride into Old Mexico. Took lunch at Tia Juana, a queer little town consisting of a saloon, two stores, and half a dozen small houses, nearly all one story. Several Cowboys rode into town while we were there, full rigged and ready for the chase. I understand that San Diego is supplied with beef from that quarter. On our return we drove along the shore of the Pacific for nearly six miles which was very delightful. Our drive took us by the famous “Hotel Del Coronado” where we had spent the first day before. This hotel is owned by Spreckels the Sugar King of San Francisco and is one of the finest I ever saw, inside and out.
I have a 3 1/3 x 4 ¼ Kodak along and am taking “snap shots” as we go so as to illustrate our trip for future reference. I have developed and printed over a hundred but from now on I shall be obliged to store my undeveloped films until I get home. I find it adds much to the interest of the trip to feel that we are taking some of it along with us as we go. While at San Diego we also visited La Jolla, a very interesting spot on the Pacific about fifteen miles away.  Also, Chula Vista, Paradise alley, Sweet Water Valley, Otay Valley and a pretty drive through Mission Valley. A great many lemons are grown in that section, but it is not as well watered as some other places we have been and a California Ranch without plenty of water is valueless— 
On our return to Pasadena we stopped off at Ocean Side and took a nine mile drive to San Louise Rey Mission and the old Ranch house said to be Ramonas Home, Clark says there is some doubt about this and that the old Spanish house at Camulos is the genuine. So we called there on our way here and spent about six hours there, ate our lunch in the Old Chapel and had a very interesting talk with the daughter of the Old Senora, photographed the South Porch the Old chapel the watering plan, the Willows, the court Yard, the fountain in the garden, etc. I have just stopped to eat a couple of oranges bought from Pasadena. They are fine. I tell thee. We get none such in Baltimore. Wish I could send you a box but the expenses on the box would cost 15 cents per pound, almost as much by mail. And after all, would not be as good as they are here fresh from tree.
There is another old Spanish Mission here, but it is in a better state of preservation than any we have visited, and regular services are held. They are just now building a new and handsome Stone College and have it nearly completed. “Father Peter” who has charge of it informed us that he had been sent here four and half years ago by the Holy Father at Rome to take charge of and restore the mission of Santa Barbara and that since that time he has raised and expended $650,000 on the buildings.
This morning we took a twenty mile drive over the Boulevard which runs along over the foot hills of the mountains which overlook the town and for part of the way the Grand Old Ocean. Truly a very pretty drive. On third day next we move on to Pacific Grove and from there we will visit the noted Hotel Del Monte at Monterey and then go on to Santa Cruz and San Jose reaching San Francisco about the 18th or 19th and remain until 4 Pm of the 22nd when we take train for Berenda and Raymond, the entrance to the Yosemite.
On the same day Clark Vrooman and his friend Homer Hoopes from Media, PA who has spent the winter in Pasadena will leave Los Angeles and join us at either Berend or Raymond where we are due at 5:30 am on the 23rd stop for breakfast and at 6:30 start on a sixty nine mile stage ride into the valley. More anon?
We do not know how long it will require to do the valley. It will be Clark’s first visit and he will go prepared to carry away a lot of negatives. Homer is also very enthusiastic photographer and is very expert. From Yosemite we will return to San Francisco where we will remain for about a week, say, until the 5th of May or thereabouts during which time our address will be Grand Hotel, San Francisco, Calfor. From there we will go to Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago and home. Where we expected to turn up about June 1st. I am not sure I will get to the Cattle Ranch though have written to Jos. Pyle asking best way to go there after leaving San Francisco. 
I have kept very well all the time, though do get pretty tired and find it necessary to take a day off now and then for rest and recuperation. Maria and Elizabeth have had several days of not feeling up to par but both are better now and ready to move on. We are surely having a wonderfully good time full of interest at every turn and a trip we can live over and over again to the end of our lives. Thee and Rebecca must surely make it—you cannot afford not to do so. The time to do it will be next winter after thee gets through with the A.A. and before thee settles down to anything else. Everybody says we will be back again then but I see no prospect of it now. 
I was much interested in thy mention of the situation of things at the Canton factories and as I understand it concentration goes quietly on with the one end in view that of dispensing with every last man that can be spared and why not? That was the intention from the start and I have no doubt will be carried right along to the end, without fear or favor. I am glad to know that Arthur is likely to become a fixture and hope that a plan will be found for Charles and Len where they may earn satisfactory salaries. I would also like to see Frank comfortably fixed. Like thyself my concern for the boys has been greater than for myself.  I was surprised to learn that Will Ashly had gone to Hanover. The AA have parted with an exceptionally good man and one with more to them than he will get at Hanover. I am not surprised that Baugh and Sons are going to build. I wonder they did not do so long ago. The one great surprise to me is that the AA allowed them to get possession of that property. But smart people make mistakes sometimes, as well as green horns from the country. No doubt they know what they are about. Regarding the Veneer CO. I received a notice from Sec. Williams asking for a return of notes and 15% of my stock. I have not replied and do not intend to. All of that can wait I return.
Of course, it is to his interest to get some money into the treasury to pay his expenses. I have not the least particle of confidence in that man and believe the more we run after him, the more trouble we will run into. His last proposition is coming towards mine was he and Peck give back their notes and all the last issue of stock. Then we take of that stock for our notes. The other Stockholders who have done nothing ought to put up some of their stock or something to help put the Co on some sort of footing for business. We ought not to be asked to do anything more. We have already done more than our share, through gross misrepresentation. That’s the way I feel about it. But as thee says we cannot write very intelligently or satisfactorily on this subject. And it will have to wait as far as I am concerned until I get home. 
I have written right along, against time as I want to get this into the next mail. So, thee must make allowance for any mistakes that I have made. Would be glad to hear from thee at San Francisco if thee finds time to write. I have had several hitches at this letter, and it is now time to start to Pacific Grove. The 9th inst.. and the girls have their bonnets on and are saying hurry up. They say give our love to all. So I close with love and best wishes to everyone.
Afect. Thy Friend,              CJ Tyson



Page 1 of letter, Chas J Tyson from California

Final page of Chas J Tyson's letter from California
After Charles' death (22 Dec 1906) Maria moved into this house (where her daughter lived). She died 11 Mar 1927. See below: