Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day ~ Charles M. Pyle, Jr. in WWII

My dad, Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr., briefly served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force towards the end of World War II. He was a navigator in a B-24 and would have seen a great deal more action had the war not ended in August 1945.

Here are some photos of him, likely taken in June 1944. He turned 20 years old that month.

Austin Studios, California

During his training, he was in Hawaii and sent the following to his mother and step-father:

[From:] Lt. Charles M Pyle, Jr.
C.C.R.C., Crew 44315
A.P.O 966, ℅ Post
San Francisco, Cal.

[To:] Mr. and Mrs. Edgar C. Rust
The White Elephant
Nantucket, Mass.

I think this was postmarked July 10, 1945 and the stamp toward the bottom looks like it was approved by the censor. Inside he innocuously wrote:

                      Greetings from HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
Hi -
It's a beautiful spot, and perhaps someday
we'll all be able to see it together. Saw some
of the sights on the way in.
                                           Love, Chas.

This first image is "Sunset on Diamond Head, Honolulu." It unfolds to show more than a dozen images of various sights in Hawaii.

If Dad spoke much about his service, unfortunately, I didn't pay much attention because I wasn't interested at the time. He died on April 12, 1993.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hallowell Grant ~ Guysborough County, Nova Scotia

In my recent Surname Saturday post about my Hull ancestral line, I mentioned that Moses Hull arrived in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, from Connecticut, with the Hallowell Grant settlers.

Guysborough County, Nova Scotia
Wikipedia Commons

As I have mentioned before, my favorite "go-to" book for Guysborough County is Guysborough Sketches and Essays, by A.C. Jost (originally published in 1950 by Kentville Publishing Company, revised edition published Trafford Publishing Co., in 2009). There is a chapter titled "The Hallowell Grant Settlers" which is my source for most of this information.

The Hallowell Grant was a grant of land to one Benjamin Hallowell, a Customs Commissioner from Boston. On October 22, 1765, he officially acquired 20,000 acres of land, located on the north side of Chedabucto Bay, which in the image above is the area of water with the arrow going through it noting roughly where the community of Boylston is. (Manchester is just next to Boylston.)

In 1765, this was barren land with few inhabitants. In fact, this wasn't even known as Guysborough County yet.

As a Customs Officer in the city of Boston at the start of the Revolution, Hallowell was not a popular man. By April 1776, he fled Boston, ultimately returning to London. In 1785, Hallowell wrote to a colleague that he wanted to return to Nova Scotia to "look after his property," but it is not known if he ever did. Hallowell did recognize the value of the land and looked to somehow develop it, in order to improve his financial situation, which needless to say, had declined during the war. Ownership passed to his two sons, Benjamin Hallowell, Jr., a successful British naval officer, and Ward Nicholas Boylston, who had taken the name of a maternal uncle with the promise that he would inherit lands in Boston. (See Ward Nicholas Boylston's FindAGrave memorial here.)

A town plot, named Boylston, in honor of his son, was developed, providing for sixty town lots, with a town common, and farm lots of varying sizes, averaging about 150 acres. The surveying was completed by the summer off 1786, when the settlers arrived. The brothers mentioned above, recruited settlers from the New England states, especially Connecticut. They were referred to as "The New England Colonists" and were more adaptable to the conditions in the area than some of the previous settlers who had come from the Carolinas and New York. (Stephen Pyle came from New York, and George Whitman came from South Carolina.)

For those of you with colonial Connecticut ancestors, you might be interested in the names of the men who settled on the land known as the Hallowell Grant, in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia:
Mansfield Munson          David Smith
Andrew Leet                   Ira Atwater
Gideon Bryant                Samuel Hull [son of Moses, and brother of Elizabeth]
Willis Stillman                William Atwater
Aaron Andrews              Theophilus Yale
Isaac Andrews               Josiah Hart
David Scranton              William Atwater, Jr.
Matthew Hawley             Moses Hull [father of Samuel above]
Walter Munson               Ebenezer Merriman

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ Hull of Connecticut

My immigrant Hull ancestor (my paternal line) is the father of John Hull, of New Haven, Connecticut. Several sources suggest that John Hull's father was Richard Hull, but Robert Charles Anderson's sketch for Richard Hull in The Great Migration Begins states: "Savage and others make him the same as a Richard Hull of New Haven in 1640 and later, but there is no particular reason to believe this. Likewise there is no obvious connection to the "Richard Hull, carpenter" who was in Boston in 1637."

So technically, I'm not sure of the origin of this Hull line, but it is likely somewhere in England. So the first generation of this Hull line that I am sure of is John Hull, who was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in May 1640.

New Haven County, Connecticut
Wikipedia Commons
Generation 2:
John Hull (1640-1711) spent his life in what was known as New Haven Colony until 1666, and then became New Haven County, Connecticut. He was baptized on May 24, 1640, and he married Mary Beach.

John was a doctor and was enticed to move to Wallingford to be that town's first physician.

John and Mary had nine children: John (b. 1662), Samuel (b. 1664), Mary (b. 1666), Joseph (b. 1669), Benjamin (b. 1672), Richard (b. 1674), Ebenezer (b. 1678), Jeremiah (b. 1679) and Andrew (b. 1685). Based on what is recorded in Families of Ancient New Haven [note 2], he lived in different towns in Connecticut during his life: Stratford, Derby, and Wallingford, where he died on December 6, 1711.

FindAGrave.com has a memorial for him with a photo of his gravestone. The stone reads:
John Hull
The first Physician Who
Settled in Wallingford
Dec. 6, 1711
AE. 80 Years.
To induce Dr. Hull to
come here the inhabitants
at a Town meeting voted
him a tract of land over
one mile square.

I descend from his second to youngest son, Jeremiah.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Today is Home Movie Day

According to a blog post from Dick Eastman, today is Home Movie Day. According to Dick, "Home Movie Day is an internationally organized event that began in 2003, when a small group of film archivists decided to try and save the countless reels of home movies shot on film during the 20th century." Read his post for a lot more about Home Movie Day.

Years ago, I collected the 8 mm home movies from my childhood (roughly 1969-1981) and had them put on a VHS video cassette. (Silly me, I didn't think I needed to keep the 8 mm films, so they no longer exist.)

Last spring, I had the VHS video digitized (at Play It Again Video in Newton, Mass.). It wasn't cheap, but in a way, you can't put a price tag on digitizing your childhood movies so I felt it was worth it!

The video is almost two hours long and is comprised of many, many three minute clips, which I believe was the length of each 8 mm reel. Luckily my dad marked each one with the date and sometimes the subject, and I did have the sense to put them in chronological order before they were combined on the VHS video. I now have an almost two hour video that I can edit in iMovie.

Following is a brief snippet of a 1971 home movie of me and my three younger brothers all sledding on a toboggan with my mother.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Grandfather Out West ~ Photos #3

Here are more photographs my my Grandfather Lowell Townsend Copeland's 1917 trip to Wyoming and Montana. See the first group of photos here and group #2 here.

Wyoming 1917
"Bear-Tooth" Mountain and Lake

You can search the Internet for images of Beartooth Mountain and see recent photographs of this same mountain.

Wyoming Montana 1917
Mrs. Sidley and me/I [Lowell Townsend Copeland] at "Bear-Tooth" Lake.

Montana 1917
Mr. Sidley and Bill.

I wonder what they're doing hanging over the water?

Montana 1917
Bill and his horse "Bluebell" on our way to Red Lodge, Montana

And for the last photo: Can you figure out what is going on here before reading the caption?

Montana 1917
Bill + Mrs. Sidley.
Bill is having his hair washed at the last camp.