Saturday, August 29, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 - #35 Unforgettable Family: Kindness, Goodness and Love - the Chester Tyson family

“...people forget the words you speak to them, but remember how you have made them feel...” - Frank A. Patterson Jr. 1

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”  attributed to Mark Twain

An Unforgettable Family

What makes a family unforgettable? What makes a family unforgettable? An outsized story? And adventurous spirit full of pioneers, wildernesses and hardships? Or one of contrasts? Of great gain and loss? Or, the characters who make it up? An convict, and a detective? Or, a clergyman, a political leader, or a warrior? A research scientist or a fantastically creative artist? 

Or just a family which was full "kindness, goodness, and love"

My great grandfather Chester Tyson and his wife Bertha Hawxhurst filled a house full of children (house is pictured at the top of this blog). They had to have household help to keep things running in the house. Bertha usually had more than one person helping her and when my grandmother was old enough, she was drafted to help out as well. 

Daisy Orner was a "regular" who worked for many years at the Tyson homestead or "Hill House" as some people referred to it. Near the end of my grandmother's life, she moved back to her home (which was owned then by her daughter). Apparently Daisy heard Elizabeth, child of Chester and Bertha, was in town and wrote her a letter. I don't know what prompted it. 
Daisy must have been very old at the time as my grandmother was likely in her late 80s. She describes the household as one "filled with kindness, goodness, and love" ( and who would know better than someone who was there everyday?)  
In my estimation, that would make the Tyson-Hawxhurst family unforgettable.

page 1 from Daisy Orner to Elizabeth Tyson [Tilton]

Transcription of page 1:
Dear Elizabeth
I am the one that walked the path through the apple orchard to the beautiful Bertha and Chester Tyson Estate and there [sic] adorable family to help care for them.
A family of children that was always full of kindness, goodness, and love. 
Never did I hear an unkind word - that leaves precious memories.
The first day I came to work was taken in to the library to do some cleaning were [where] I first seen 

page 2 from Daisy Orner to Elizabeth Tyson [Tilton]
two small girls playing—Margaret and Elizabeth.
I remember the long dining room table where I made roast beef gravy and mashed potatoes for you to eat. The old oven by the kitchen door ..I made home made bread. The day the family of us would all husk sweet corn, cut it off and fill four trays to dry for to store for winter time
I am sending ? of your wedding
 Daisy Orner

Mrs Lloyd Orner
Bendersville, Pennsylvania

1 1990 November 14, Gettysburg Times, Chamber to host ‘relating’ course (Frank Patterson communications course), Quote Page 12B, Column 1, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. (NewspaperArchive)
2 Letter from Margaret B Walmer Archives

Saturday, August 22, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 #34 - I'm Always Choosing Family

Choosing Family
The "prompt" for this was about a choosing a family (as in adoption, etc). But I was flummoxed. I could have written about Hank Monahan who was a family friend of the Higgins family a bachelor who pitched in with babysitting for my grandparents, and was always around on Sundays and holidays. But there's not much else to say. My grandfather Victor Higgins had half-brothers he treated as brothers (the Devaneys). Adoptions? I've already written about a couple adoptions (Fletcher Astels) and a DNA surprise.
I was thinking about choice, when it came to me that when you self-select to join a lineage society,  you're choosing to focus on one line of  your family. Yes, we genealogists/family historians tend to "choose" the family we wish to focus on.
With good reason: Some lines provide a wealth of saved material, and others are interesting, in either a good way or a bad way (any pirates in your family?). I have a convicted criminal in mine and my husband's ancestor was brother to no less than 3 alleged witches (all three were sisters) in the Salem Witch trials.

So I was thinking about the families I’ve chosen to overlook and why. I came up with a short list & grouped them into categories. 

I - Great-great grandparents. The ones I know little about:
1 John Joseph Lawrence's parents, the Irish immigrants:
Lawrence Barnwell B 1848 Ireland D 9 Nov 1892 Brooklyn, Kings, NY, USA
and his wife and  JJL Barnwell's mother,
Mary Reynolds wife of Lawrence Barnwell, B 1 JUNE 1860 Ireland D 6 Dec 1943 Brooklyn, Kings, NY, USA
2 Catherine Higgins's parents in Ireland.
I presume her parents were wed, and she was not adopted.
I'm led to believe she was born in County Sligo. I have worked at finding her parents but there are too many good leads. So she’s dormant for now.
3 My husband’s paternal great grandfather - too many assumptions about him.
This was (allegedly) John Johnson from Sweden, but perhaps he was not his ancestor? Was his biological father someone else and John Johnson an adopted father (who died shortly after his death)? DNA hasn't offered us much help.

And then there are thorny issues I’ve “chosen” to ignore for the moment. For example:
II Secrets and DNA surprises
I did a post about my father's uncle who was (till then) "childless." My dad did his DNA in 2013 but only last year (2019) did a child of said childless uncle pop up in Ancestry as my dad's first cousin. Since we made contact, she's verified that she was adopted & she has a child of her own (as mentioned in the first paragraph)
More Secrets:
There a some secrets I'm privy to that I found out by accident. A few years ago I was scanning photos & asking my mother about the names. 
She told me one of my father's uncles had an entire family which I don't have in my tree. 
But I haven’t touched it. Here’s why:
One of my grandmother's other brothers (this is the sibling of the one who gave us the DNA cousin) was married and had a large family, then took a mistress, and had a large family with her. He worked to keep both families afloat financially.
And of course, now his offspring's DNA is surfacing. 
Now of course these are not ancestors but living relatives. But  we share the same ancestors.  
So, what should I do?
And how  do I record them? And do they wish to be recorded? I chose not to think about that, for the moment.

III And Firsthand Knowledge of Family Secrets
There are a lot of family “situations” I haven’t blogged about because I haven’t made up my mind whether or not I should. People make mistakes. And not everything is blog-worthy (is that a word?). 
There is general knowledge in a family which should be passed on, as in a genetic disease, for example. But where do we draw the line? Specifically when it comes to the facts of family traits. 
For example: My mother-in-law's brother died from alcoholism, as did their father. 
She always warned my husband against excessive drinking when he was a boy.
Late in life she sketched out a family tree by hand, and (at the request of a daughter) identified on it every man who was an alcoholic in the family tree. 
Her father was an alcoholic. 
And there on the family tree, Andrew Antilla has, written in bold letters:  “ALCOHOLIC”   

But what about his wife, Marion Lottie Cook? 
My mother-in-law passed away over 10 years ago. A few years ago, based on her stories, it came to me that not was her father an “alcoholic,” but her mother was an alcoholic, too. This would have been decades before it was acknowledged that women could suffer from excessive drinking.
And I wonder did their alcoholism shape their daughter, my mother-in-law? It must have been so very hard for my mother-in-law, as the eldest of 5, to not have a sober parent. So, yah, till now, I'd chosen not to write about that.  

Andrew Antilla Marion Lottie Cook May 1934, New Hampshire

IV The Old World
The Old World remains at an arms length but mostly because of my shortage of time and $. I have only dabbled in it. Mostly because I lack time, and they are (except for one) several generations distant. 

There's only so much time and attention we can give to our family tree. We're always choosing family. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 #33 - Trouble Making

Two Stories of Trouble Making
Genealogy is boring. Walking through a field of broken headstones, or looking through old books, or at stained, black & white photos of old people is boring. Unless you knew the people, or know the stories. Personal history can be everything that a movie or play is: funny, tragic, mundane, sweet, horrific and etc. If you're lucky enough, you can find the stories behind the bare facts that make genealogy fascinating.
This is the case here: In 1987 my mother's sister Mardy (Margaret Tilton) recorded her mother's (double) cousin's reminisces in 1987.  Corrine was the best candidate to interview at the time as she was 10 years older than cousin (Elizabeth, Mardy's mother). Also, Corrine's father (Edwin C Tyson) was nearly 10 years older than Elizabeth's father. Not only that, he (Corrine's father) had been keeper of the family genealogy
I came across a transcription of the 1987 interview.
I excerpted two short stories told by Corrine (Tyson Lambert), so you'll read just a gist of the story, and neither is in perfect, fluid sentences.
The first story is of her newly-wed grandmother (Maria Edith Griest, w of Charles John Tyson) and her great uncles. 
The second is of her Maria's parents Cyrus Griest and Mary Ann Cook (Griest) who were Quaker participants in the local Underground Railroad in Adams County, PA (see map below to see how close their area was to Gettysburg).

Story #1 When Trouble Came To Gettysburg 
Little Brothers Run Off to “Rescue” Their Big Sister from the Battle of Gettysburg
As told by Corrine Tyson Lambert: [Charles J Tyson’s granddaughter]:
“Grandpa [Chas J Tyson] had a hand for money… He was always doing something else. He had started with a photographic studio in Gettysburg, he was there until year after the battle.
Charles John Tyson 
And they stayed, Grandpa and Grandma, stayed living and working in Gettysburg until 1869.
Then the photographic business [called Tyson Brothers] went to his apprentice William Tipton.
Around that time, he had moved from Gettysburg up to the [Quaker] Valley. And he bought…he worked for his Father-in-law [Cyrus Griest].”
Corrine: “You see when she [Maria Griest, wife of Charles Tyson] was married (1863) her two little brothers [Griest brothers] Amos [age 15] and next boy both used to play with her--well, they were worried, because she was married, and she was in Gettysburg. 
And now part of the war was between them and her [they lived north of Gettysburg].
Maria E Griest 1861 bef marrying Chas Tyson
One day they heard somebody say, “I wish we knew whether Maria was safe,” because she had just been married [and living in Gettysburg].
And so these two little boys got up early and started on foot, without telling anybody. 
They went missing. 
They got halfway [to Gettysburg] and there was a barn there (for years I saw this barn). 
It was the one where they had gone, and they slept in the hay mow, and in the morning the farmer found them and sent them home.”
S: “They were headed for the battle of Gettysburg?”
Corrine: “They were headed for the Battle of Gettysburg. They were going to find Grandma, their sister, those two little boys. One of them was Uncle Amos. He was the youngest. And the next, must have been Uncle Cyrus.”
[Their journey would have been well over 10 miles]

Story #2 Quakers Running an Underground Railway Station in north of Gettysburg
As told by descendant Corrine
“Cyrus [Griest], whose wife was Mary Ann Cook...
Cyrus Griest h Mary Ann Cook

Mary Ann Cook w Cyrus Griest
My grandma [Maria Griest] was their oldest daughter.
Before Grandma was married, when she was 18--that was when the slaves hid in the caves up on Yellow Hill
Yesterday we went up there, and drove in back of that house and up in there.
And I could see where the path is still there that they took to go up there…I knew just about where it was and I could see where the path went up. 
The slaves would hide in the caves and come down at night.”
S: “And you can remember your grandparents talking about that?”
Red = area of Griest's & Wrights' Underground RR Stations Blue=Battle of Gettysburg
Corrine: “I remember my Grandmother [Maria Griest Tyson] told me all about that. And she taught in the schoolhouse which is the second floor of the springhouse and that is still there.”

For more information see this:

Stories Recorded & transcribed:

Participants: Corrinne Tyson Lambert (D of Edwin Tyson & Mary Hauxhurst) Margaret B. Walmer (M) (granddaughter of Chester Tyson & Bertha Hauxhurst, d Elizabeth Tyson & Chas Tilton), her son Sam Walmer (son of Margaret Tilton Walmer)
Conversation with Corinne Lambert, granddaughter of Charles Tyson & Maria Griest recorded conversation at Hill House (Flora Dale, PA); at the Tyson Family Reunion at Mapleton, near Aspers, Adams  County, PA, May, 1987

Sunday, August 9, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 - #32 Small Man

John Joseph Lawrence Barnwell, Long Name, Small Man

When my father spoke of his grandfather, his mother's father, he _always_ said he was a small man "with bandy legs" (I don't know why the legs were mentioned). My dad was born in 1929 and by the time his grandparents were in his conscious life, they still had a brood of children at home in a cramped apartment in New York City or one of its boroughs.

I never saw a good photo of John JL Barnwell (see post on John Jos Lawrence Barnwell) for this was the era when the the poor, and lower classes had precious few photos, and those they had were well-handled and often didn't survive for long. 
The photo I finally saw of him over 10 years ago was after his work accident which rendered him essentially crippled for life. He had to sit home while his wife was the superintendent and cleaner of the building. 
When I saw this photo below he looked (to me) that he was of average height.
John Jos Lawrence Barnwell; wife Agnes McCune abt 1940

John Jos Lawrence Barnwell, Agnes McCune @ relative's house in CT (early 1930s)


But then I found this photo, jumped on My Heritage, uploaded it, colorized it and then enhanced it with their nifty tool.
John Joseph Lawrence Barnwell (L) & friend c 1920
In this photo, I know the man he's with is 5 feet, 4 inches, which puts them about the same height. And, thanks to camera capturing his feet, I now know what my father meant by "bandy legs." 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

52 Ancestors 2020 - #31: Large Losses

Nothing is worse than losing a child. In the not-so-distant past, my husband's gr-grandmother suffered the pain of her children's death.
Ida Paavola's Losses
Ida Maria Paavola, my husband’s mother’s paternal grandmother was a Finnish immigrant who married another Finnish. Several of her children died--and like many immigrants, she had no support other than her husband and her immigrant community. She didn't learn the language right away for she got married "off the boat." Only 4 children survived survived to adulthood.

Ida Maria Paavola was born in 1875 in Reisjärvi, Oulun Laani, Finland to Veino Maria Wilhelmina, age 20, and Andrew Paavola, age 25.
She was christened 19 Jul 1875
She took either her communion or communion or confirmation in 1880 in the parish of Sippolo, Viipurin (county: lääni), Finland
I found no school records.
She lived there until her departure for the USA about 1893.

Ida Paavola arrives Boston May 1893

** A UK Departure record has her leaving Liverpool for Boston on 5 May 1893**
I also found her arrival in Boston for later that month--as well as an arrival for Antilla.
Not surprisingly, shortly after arriving in Boston, she got married.  [That's a story for another post]
On 22 May 1893 when she was 17  years old (though she says she was 18), she married Heikki (Henry) Anttila in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Their Children:
1 Her son Johan was born on August 23, 1895 and passed away that same day. Fitchburg, MA
2 Son Vaino Ilmair was born on October 3, 1896, in Fitchburg, MA (1896–1969)
3 Daughter Jennie was born in December 1898 in Massachusetts
4 Her daughter Veino - (later she went by "Vienna") was born on March 15, 1900 (1900–1973) in Minnesota.

In Minnesota they lived in Eveleth & Sparta Villages, St. Louis County.

5 - 1903 Her 5th recorded birth, was Andrew Robert was born on July 11, 1903, in Sparta, Minnesota. (1903–1949)  Sparta, Chippewa, Minnesota, United States

In 1905 they are in St. Louis, Minnesota, in June.

But by 1908, she had her 6th child back east:
6 - Roy Benjamin was born on November 24, 1908, in Troy, NH (1908-1975)

Then, at some point their child, Jennie. who was 1 in Minnesota in 1900, (born 1898 in Mass) died before the 1910 Census.

Here is data from the 1910 Census:
They live in Troy, Cheshire Co, New Hampshire
By 1910 Ida was speaking English (the 1900 census said she did not, but Henry could).
In 1910, Ida was 34 and he was 51.
Their children in the 1910 Census:
Vaini was 13. in Mass.(boy)
Veino or Vaino was 9 she was born in Minnesota.
Andrew was 6 yrs, born in Minnesota.
Roy was 1 year old, born in New Hampshire.

7 - In 1911 Ida was 35 when she had her 7th child.
Etheli Mirjami was born on December 16, 1911. She died on March 1, 1912, when she was less than a year old. (1911–1912)

8 - 1913 Her 8th child, son Tauno, was born on August 11, 1913, in Troy, New Hampshire. (1913–1990)
After 1910 it doesn't appear that they moved back to Minnesota. But lived either in Keene or in Troy New Hampshire.
1919 Keene, New Hampshire
1920 Troy, New Hampshire

Henry (Heikki's) Death: Her husband Heikki died in Troy, New Hampshire on October 5, 1926, at the age of 70. She was 51 years old and they had been married 33 years.

She stayed in Troy until we find her again in Keene, New Hampshire, in 1935. 
(She always stayed with her children on West Hill Rd in Keene).
In the 1940 census, she was living in Troy in April.

Ida Paavola (Antilla) died 2 June 1940, in Troy, New Hampshire, when she was 64 years old.