Sunday, April 7, 2019

Schooling and Quakers - Scholarships and College

Higher education (a BA or BS degree and above) for most of the history of the United States has been reachable to only a few: the determined, qualified and monied (or, more recently, those who qualify for student loans).

US colleges initially begun for training ministers in denominations set up the seminary for this purpose, and then they became more broadly defined.

My earliest ancestors were either Quakers or of a denomination which did not have a seminary. The Quakers taught their children (of their community) the basics: reading, writing and ciphering (basic arithmetic). Their incentive was to keep careful records of their "Meetings" (worship centers as they called their churches) as well as committee meetings and monthly and yearly meetings for business (which included aspects of approval and disapproval).

For this reason as well as their belief that men and women are equal, they instructed both girls and boys in the basics.

Generational generosity is so valuable. That's one reason I'm motivated to write personal history: it's generational (me) generosity.

My mother's father Charles B Tilton went to Penn State (State College, PA) on an academic scholarship. He wanted to do horticulture but the scholarship was for dairy farm management. He took it.

He met his wife (my grandmother) there. Her father had close connections with the college through his efforts in setting up all sorts of special programs dealing with fruit growing and transportation.

My grandmother Elizabeth C Tyson was attending college because Quakers believed in schooling for women (this was in the early 1920s) and her father got a break, or a scholarship, I cannot figure out which.

Their daughter, my mother, went to Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island on a scholarship. She loved the fine arts, but was offered a scholarship in textile design. She took it.

My mother met my father in Providence on a blind date. His parents had gone only through grammar school (about 8th grade, but probably more like a 6th grade education because the schools were poor inner city schools).

My father was able to go to college because he qualified for a US Navy scholarship. When they provided the list of colleges he could chose from, he selected the one at the top of the list, not thinking they were alphabetized. So, he chose Brown in Providence. He had a full scholarship.

My husband's parents were not college-educated. His father had a learning disability and never finished high school.

My husband visited a friend who went to college (he was in his final year in high school). He stopped by the admissions office and talked to the people there. When the interviewer asked if he was going to apply my husband told him his parents didn't have enough money for him to go to school. The interviewer told him about the World of Scholarships.

He applied and got a 99% ride, enough money for him to attend college where I met him.

Our two children both applied for scholarships--one had a small loan because he went to a college with a small endowment, the other son had  75% of his college costs covered.

My grandfather worked in WW2 Intelligence and then in the Reconstruction of Europe,
my father got his PhD in Economics, my mother got a masters in Fine Arts and works in fine arts,
my husband got two masters and a PhD in political science. One son has a Masters in Latin American Studies and the other did a double major in college and does stand up and IT.

And I'm a writer.

If you have a dime--give it to a good college's endowment fund--the generational generosity might make a huge difference!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

52 Ancestors #5/2019 DNA, DNA, DNA and more DNA

DNA - the Craze that is Sweeping the Genealogical World

If you're just browsing genealogy, it's hard not to notice the DNA craze.
What you shouldn't expect from DNA is _too_ much. DNA is like buying a lottery ticket with greater chance of a pay out: sometimes  you get nothing for your money, and sometimes you get a lot more than expected.

In my case I took the DNA test and asked my father to do so for a very specific reason. I could only go so far with genealogical records: his paternal grandfather was missing from his father's birth record. 
I thought I might find a collateral descendant (if this fellow had other children).

My father who most of the DNA hullabaloo was nonsense (except for medical research) but consented to do his DNA for this particular reason. He had received not his paternal name, but his father's mother's name (Higgins) DNA could help us crack the case.

Five months rolled by and I received a message from AncestryDNA. "You might be my cousin." It turns out that the woman who contacted me had had her own father do his DNA. 

She was able to fill in the stories and give me some leads which I can pursue in research:

She told me three of her father's great uncles immigrated from Ireland to New York City at the turn of the century. They lost contact with the family in the old country. 

According to family stories, one moved to California and died in San Francisco, and the other two brothers remained in the greater New York area.

The brothers owned a liquor store in lower Manhattan, not far from where my great grandmother worked. 

In our case the DNA test confirmed that my father and her father had the same grandparents in County Cavan,Ireland. I now know my great grandfather's name, and his parents, and so on.

We also found out that my father's last name, had they wed, would have been Cassidy and not Higgins.

My husband's sisters wanted to find out their ethncity from their brother's (my husband's) DNA. 

But DNA doesn't work that way, as some children will have a greater % of one ethnicity than the other. 
And, current DNA ethnicities are built around living data profiles of DNA, so the DNA of  a long distant ancestor is likely very different from your grandparents' of the same area. 

My all four of my husband's sisters contributed their DNA. With the DNA of 4 children (1 is deceased) of the same parents, we got about an 80% degree level of accuracy with regard to their ethnic makeup.

But, it was somewhat redundant. None of their ethnic background surprised us because we had a family tree that was filled out fairly accurately.

What's the use of DNA? 
1 Linking a family tree to a DNA test is probably the best thing you can do (unless you are looking for a missing parent).

2 Tie up "loose ends" - Take care of loose ends and brick walls. 

My grandfather's paternity was a loose end. DNA helped us find his family. 

But, my husband has a similar situation:
there is a family story that attributes a gr grandfather who died suddenly. 

He left no other children, no mark, no wedding license with his Canadian wife, and to make things worse for a researcher, his name was John Johnson of Boston. 
 That doesn't narrow the field at all. 

My husband has done a DNA test, linked his tree to it, and he has also done a Y-DNA test. 

We're still waiting for a 'tug" on the line.
And many days I wonder if his gr grandfather was John Johnson of Sweden in Boston, after all.

Monday, April 1, 2019

52 Ancestors #4/2019 Loyalists or Turncoats? Pioneers in Canada - John Savage and Ann Pratt

                             Loyalists or Turncoats?                                                         Pioneers in Canada: John Savage & Ann Pratt

John Johnson Jr at his 5th gr-grandparents' gravestones, Bromont, Quebec
 John Savage – Tory, Land Developer, Militia Officer, and JP; Canada’s Paul Bunyan

B 1740 in Ireland; 
M. Ann Pratt, probably in Spencertown, N.Y. Children: 
seven children;                  
D 27 Sept. 1826 in West Shefford (Bromont), Lower Canada, and was buried there two days later.
Ann Pratt, daughter of Elisha Pratt and Ann Porter, B 1740 New London, CT, USA and D Jun 1822 in  Shefford, Quebec, Canada  

CHILDREN: John Savage Jr 1770–1858, Abraham Savage 1770–?, Lydia Savage 1772–1852, Anna Savage 1774–1841, Rhoda Savage 1776–1845, Mary Savage ?, Olive Savage 1786–1820,Joseph Plumer Savage 1794–1868
Portion of article below by Marie-Paule R. LaBrèque

"Before the American revolution the Savages owned land at Spencertown, where they had become quite influential.In 1775 John Savage refused command of the local company of the Continental Army, despite pressure from fellow citizens and two of his brothers-in-law. 
As a result, he was considered to be an enemy, was ordered to put up a guarantee, and then was imprisoned.
Being daring and resourceful, he succeeded in escaping after several attempts and reached New York, where in 1776 he obtained a commission as a lieutenant in the Loyal Rangers. 

He was captured again, narrowly missed being hanged, and was incarcerated for several months. After being freed, he served in the British army as a spy during the summer of 1782. 
His zeal in the missions he carried out in the states of New York and Vermont earned him the highest praise.
However, republican hostility forced him to secure his family’s safety. Bearing a safe conduct, Savage and his family, with his brother James, left Crown Point, N.Y., and sought refuge in the province of Quebec in October 1783. Savage applied for lands east of Lake Champlain.

The Allen brothers, who commanded the Green Mountain Boys, were then trying to attract loyalists to Vermont, claiming that in so doing they were promoting the annexation of Vermont to Quebec.
Savage had served as an intermediary between the Allens and the military authorities in Quebec, and he supported this plan with the assent of some senior officers, despite the opposition of Governor Frederick Haldimand, who did not favour settlement near the American border. 

In 1784 and for some years thereafter, Savage was living at Alburgh, south of the border, on what had been the seigneury of Foucault. The Allens, however, became supporters of Congress, and tried to make him take the oath of allegiance in 1791. Along with a number of other loyalists, he was forced to move to Caldwell’s Manor, a property in Lower Canada belonging to Henry Caldwell.

On 16 July 1792 Savage petitioned for the grant of Shefford Township. Like most of those signing petitions, he completed the many formalities at great expense: securing permission for a survey, drawing up a list of associates, taking various steps with the commissioners, as well as making several trips to Quebec, Chambly, and Missisquoi Bay. 

Once he had taken the oath of allegiance in 1792, he busied himself opening up roads and completing the survey of the township, always at his own expense and even though he had no title to the land.
His family had to make do with a log cabin, and in the first winter he lost nearly all his livestock. 

Quarrels between Governor Robert Prescott and the Executive Council were to paralyse land granting for some years. Tired of parading his service record and demanding fair compensation for his losses during the American revolution, he joined other dissatisfied people, among them Samuel Willard, in sending an agent to London to plead their cause. 

In February 1800 Samuel Gale presented a report on their behalf, which caused some commotion in high places at Quebec. On 10 Feb. 1801 the letters patent for Shefford Township were formally granted; Savage and his 38 associates, a group including his son John and three of his sons-in-law, were then able to divide up about 34,000 acres. 

To ensure financing for his undertaking Savage had engaged in real estate transactions even before the official grant was made, and he continued to make deals afterwards.

In 1805 Savage received a captain’s commission in the 2nd battalion of the Eastern Townships Militia.
The following year he obtained a commission as justice of the peace for the district of Montreal, which was renewed in 1810 and 1821. His home was long the scene of the principal events in the township; even religious services were held there. Anglican minister Charles James Stewart came to Shefford in 1808 and met Savage and his family. 
Later he never failed to visit him when making pastoral rounds, and he held Savage in high esteem.

Despite his 72 years Savage wanted to play a part in the War of 1812. When on 10 Jan. 1813 Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Johnson created the Frontier Light Infantry, Savage obtained a captain’s commission in the regiment.
On 13 August the Frontier Light Infantry was attached to the Voltigeurs Canadiens, under Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry; it formed the 9th and 10th companies in that regiment at the end of the war.

By then, Shefford Township had a population of about 500. There were still no roads, despite efforts by Savage, who had cleared the first path from Missisquoi Bay in 1792. 

In 1799 he turned his attention to the construction of a road to Montreal through Dorchester (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu) or the seigneury of Saint-Hyacinthe. Government grants would allow the construction of real roads, which Savage supervised, around 1816.

The establishing of regular religious services and the building of a church meant a great deal to Savage. 

Early in 1818 he told Stewart of his plan, and on 14 Oct. 1819 he gave him four acres near his home for a church, as well as 800 acres worth £200. 
Savage, who by then was 80, supervised the construction of the church in the summer of 1820, and he supplemented with his own money the small grant from the Anglican diocese. Perhaps he was too generous, since on 20 March 1824 he was taken to court by Saint-Hyacinthe merchant Joseph Cartier, who as his supplier since 1801 was claiming £42 from him. Savage could only give him two heifers in payment, and on 4 July 1825 two of his lots were seized by the sheriff and sold.

Like a true patriarch John Savage passed away in the midst of his family, a son and five daughters, their spouses, and 47 grandchildren all born in Shefford Township.

Savage had identified himself with this corner of the country which he had made his own by enterprise and perseverance. He had never swerved from his path, and his name remains associated with a lasting work."

 FROM:  -Marie-Paule R. LaBrèque - © 1987–2019 University of Toronto/Université Laval
Marie-Paule R. LaBrèque, “SAVAGE, JOHN,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 6, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed March 22, 2019, Permalink:
Author:Marie-Paule R. LaBrèque
Publication:Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 6
Publisher:University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:1987
Access Date:March 22, 2019
Location of Concord in Columbia Co, NY, USA
1790 John Savage Claim (front)
1790 John Savage Claim (back)
Home of John Savage in Bromont, Quebec, Canada

Death Record, John Savage

Thursday, March 21, 2019

52 Ancestors #3/2019 Big Family - Gilpin/ Glover

Gilpin-Glover: Big Family & Rough Times

The prompt this week was Big Family. I had a lot to choose from. I considered my maternal grandmother's grandparents--Cyrus Griest (Sr) and his wife Mary Ann Cook. But they had only 8 children. 

That stirred a memory: Mary Ann Cook is descended from the Gilpin family.
Here is my post on the Gilipin family

The short story is that Joseph  Gilpin and his wife Hannah Glover (of England) had 15 children. I don't know the details of their life but I can tell you with 15 children, in the colonial era, and as immigrants, they likely had a rough go of it.  You needn't have much of an imagination to know that.

Their children and where they were born.
Children born in England:
1Hannah Gilpin  1693 -1746 – born in England
2 Samuel Gilpin  1694-1767 – born in England
Born in the cave (in what was then Pennsylvania, now Delaware) before they built a structure:
3 Rachel Gilpin   1696- 1776 – born in the cave
4 Ruth Gilpin    1697- 1758- born in the cave
5 Lydia Gilpin  1699- 1750
6 Thomas Gilpin  1700-1766
7 Ann Gilpin  1702-1759
8 Joseph Gilpin, Jr.  1704-1792
9 * Sarah Gilpin  1706-1783 –my ancestor
10 George Gilpin 1708-1773
11 Isaac Gilpin  1710-1745
12 Moses Gilpin  1711- ?
13 Alice Gilpin   1714-?
14 Mary Gilpin  1716-1806
15 Esther Gilpin 1717-1795

Here is the family line from the Gilpin/Glovers to my grandmother (Elizabeth Tyson)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

52 Ancestors #2/2019 - Uncle! (They're usually referred to as crazy...not this one)

UNCLE- #2/52 - 2019

Which one?  I'm writing about my grandmother (Elizabeth Tyson)'s uncle, one of her father's two brothers.
Uncle Edwin C (Ned) Tyson, husband of Mary (Hawxhurst) and father of two girls. 
He was born Edwin Comly Tyson in 1864 and died in 1945 in Adams County PA, four years after his wife died. He was the eldest child of Charles J Tyson & Maria (Griest). He had one sister Mary Anna Tyson, and two brothers Chester Julian and William Cyrus.
One of the many things Uncle Ned did was to keep the books for the Tyson family's orchard business when his brother Chester was alive (he died in the 1930s). While Ned kept all the affairs on the home front neat, brother Chester moved about juggling projects (the soon-to-be USDA, PA Fruit Growers Association, and at Penn State) and conducting business requiring travel.
Edwin C Tyson

I did not know him for he died before my parents were wed.
But here's why I know about him: he was a family genealogist.
Moreover he was a Quaker genealogist. I chose him because when I conduct my own research, I'm always reminded of the old saw "We stand on the shoulders of giants." For that is certainly true in genealogy. We owe a debt of gratitude to the many preservationists, recorders and researchers who went before us. Ironically most of those people are unknown, lost to the ages.  And so I'm paying tribute to one of those people in this post: Uncle Ned Tyson was a genealogist.

I've access to some of the letters he received, and I'm amazed by the requests. He lived close to the Quaker Meeting House, and  Clerk of the Meeting. But more than that, it's clear that he was careful and deliberate in his responses to questions.
He received requests from all over for records from that area of Pennsylvania. Apparently the York County  (PA) Genealogical Society relied heavily on him for births, deaths and marriages from the Quaker meeting records he had access to.
His research was restricted to Quaker records in Southeast Pennsylvania. It seems that the rate of requests snowballed both in quantity and in complexity.

I was looking through the Margaret B Walmer Collection* of records, I discovered some interesting correspondence.
In the field of US Quaker genealogy William Wade Hinshaw is the "granddaddy" of Quaker Records. In the 1940s Hinshaw was in the process of completing his multi-volume collection of Quaker records. In 1944 Hinshaw sent great great Uncle Ned a series of letters.  The first one I found began with a congratulations (From the Margaret B (Tilton) Walmer Collection)
WilliamW Hinshaw to Edwin Tyson (MBW Coll)

This was not the last letter he received from William Wade Hinshaw.

Hinshaw subsequently suggested that they have overlapping fields of research. He further suggested that he, Hinshaw, be the center of the endeavor.

I cannot read the scanned copies of the carbons which Uncle Ned used when he responded to letters.

But judging from Hinshaw's followup letter, I gather that Uncle Ned played coy: claiming that he wasn't at all sure that he had all the facts and that they were exact. (Boy, does that sound familiar!)

To his credit Hinshaw coaxed and cajoled Uncle Ned. As you can see their correspondence started in 1944, and Uncle Ned died in 1945.

William Wade Hinshaw worked hard at to get Uncle Ned involved in his massive Quaker records project. In one letter Hinshaw mentioned collaborating with Albert Cook Myers. I wonder he mentioned Myers just to stir up Uncle Ned’s interest because Myers was someone familiar to Uncle Ned: he was a distant relative & fellow birthright Friend. (See here:Albert Cook Myers  )

In the end, I can't tell if Uncle Ned sent Hinshaw data.

Uncle Ned died November 1945, and Hinshaw's letter dated the end of February wasn't answered by Uncle Ned until August. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Uncle Ned took his time gathering, checking and rechecking his data. He seemed to be that kind of man.

Here is page 1 and 2 from Hinshaw's final letter to Uncle Ned, dated Feb 1945:

William Wade Hinshaw to Edwin Tyson page 1 (MBW Coll)

And here is page 2
William Wade Hinshaw to Edwin Tyson, page 2 (MBW Coll)

~Margaret B Walmer Collection and Uncle Ned's Legacy~

Uncle Ned's great niece (Chester's granddaughter) Margaret B (Tilton) Walmer inherited his papers (sorted them, labeled them and scanned them). She also inherited his interest in genealogy. She continued his research, as she lived conveniently close to the locations being researched.

Before she passed away Margaret Walmer published two books completing much of the information that was Hinshaw was searching for.

The two books she published are still available: 

Menallen [Pennsylvania] Minutes, Marriages and Miscellany: Quaker Records, 1780-1890, Margaret B. Walmer (Heritage Books) ISBN: 1556136560
100 Years at Warrington: York County, Pennsylvania, Quaker Marriages, Removals, Births and Deaths, Margaret B Walmer (Heritage Books, 1989, 2007)  ISBN: 978-1-55613-269-8
*Margaret B Walmer Collection - papers and photographs of the Tyson, Hawxhurst, Tilton and affiliated families.  Scanned copies made available to family members.