Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Three Years of Blogging!

I started this blog three years ago with lots of ideas of what I wanted to share. This is blog post number 231, and I know I have slowed down recently, though I still have plenty to share.

Last year, I started posting Surname Saturday posts, where I shared my ancestry from a particular immigrant ancestor down through time to me. However, I get bogged down in the details of these posts, which take a lot of time to prepare.

I feel that I need to organize my genealogical treasures and get inspired to blog, even if it's a short post. I certainly have enough photographs to have a Wordless Wednesday post every week...

Instead of sharing the top posts viewed in the last year, I would like to share some of my favorite posts from this past year:

Kentucky ~ Looking for a Crack in the Brick Wall about my Kentucky ancestors.

Greeley Plot Card at Graceland Cemetery about the information I found by paying five dollars to Graceland Cemetery in Chicago for a cemetery plot card.

Samuel Greele's Fourth Wife ~ Solving a Mystery (which followed Samuel Greele's Wives) about finding the death date and burial location for the last of my third great-grandfather's wives.

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Joseph Rose with photographs of a Matawan, New Jersey, cemetery we visited during our summer vacation and Sunday's Obituary ~ Joseph Rose, with a wonderfully descriptive 1877 obituary of another of my third great-grandfathers.

Wordless Wednesday ~ Hunter Sisters Circa 1909 which is a wonderful photo I received from a second cousin of mine. Be sure to note the update provided by my mother and click on the link to read the story behind the photo.

Tuesday's Tip ~ Scotland, Births, Baptisms, and Marriages about what I found at FamilySearch.org that helped me go back a couple of generations in several of my Scottish lines.

Looking back at what I did this year (even though it hasn't been much in the past two months), is pretty inspiring. I plan to continue sharing my family history a few blog posts at a time.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, April 14, 2014

172 Beacon Street, Boston

My paternal grandmother, Elizabeth (Adsit) (Pyle) Rust, lived in an apartment on Beacon Street in Boston for several decades before she died in 1983. (See her death notice here.)

I wasn't sure exactly when Libby and Pop (my step-grandfather, Edgar Rust) moved from their house in Chestnut Hill to Boston, so I explored the City Directories at Ancestry.com. The 1954 and 1955 Boston City Directories don't have alphabetical listings that get to Rust (their images may be of volume 1 and not volume 2), but they do have the street listing that includes Beacon Street, which is more fun because in one place, a researcher can see who else is living in the same building.

The 1954 Directory shows that the apartment at the 8th floor was not occupied:

1954 Boston City Directory
p. 1506: 172 Beacon Street

In 1955, Edgar Rust is now residing in the apartment on the 8th floor:

1955 Boston City Directory
p. 1406: 172 Beacon Street
So it looks like they moved in 1954. They had previously lived at 22 Reservoir Road in Chestnut Hill, where they were enumerated with many errors in the 1940 U.S. Census.)

172 Beacon (2013),
courtesy of Backbayhouses.org
I was prompted to write this post after reading a recent post at the New England Historic Genealogical Society's blog, Vita Brevis, called A Genealogical Jigsaw Puzzle, which mentions a website called Back Bay Houses. This is a great and well-organized website that has information about the "genealogical history" of homes in Boston's Back Bay. I could click on Beacon Street at the top of the page, and scroll down to the numbers between Berkeley and Clarendon to find number 172. Visit Back Bay Houses/172 Beacon for more information about the history of this lot and the building that was on the site before this one was built in 1928.

Libby lived on the 8th floor of 172 Beacon Street (the floor with the railings outside some of the windows) and we visited her apartment a few times a year, usually at Thanksgiving, Easter, and one day during our December school vacation. (She came to our house in Dedham on Christmas Day.)

Just looking at this picture of the front of 172 Beacon Street reminds me of going to visit Libby and going up the old fashioned elevator (with a doorman to work the sliding metal cage-style door) which opened directly into her front hall.

According to Back Bay Houses, the building was converted into condominiums in 1977, so she went from renting the 8th floor to owning it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday ~ Pair of Ambrotypes

I previously posted the image of an identified ambrotype in my collection, of my third great-grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Gorin.

I also have the following ambrotypes in my collection, which came to me with the T. J. Gorin ambrotype, but they are unidentified. I would guess that they are of Gorin or Ashby family members, but really don't know for sure.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Military Monday ~ Charles McAlpin Pyle, 1916

Back in May 2011, I shared the WWI Draft Card and WWII Draft Card for my grandfather. I also shared the following photograph I have of him.

His WWI Draft Card (June 5, 1917) asked what previous military service he had, and he reported that he had served for three years as a private in the Calvary in New York. I recently learned about his service!

This image is from a newly posted database at Ancestry.com: New York Mexican Punitive Campaign Muster Rolls for National Guard, 1916-1917.

Below I have done my best to transcribe the document, with the handwritten entries in blue. If anyone has thoughts on some of the handwriting under remarks, please let me know.

Pyle, Charles McAlpin
Age: 22
Date of Commission or Enlistment in State Service: 27 April 1914
Home Station or Company Rendezvous: Van Cortlandt Park
Mustered: 30 June 1916, Grade: Pvt; Company: C; Regiment: Sq A. Cav.
Left the Organization:
How: M.O. [Mustered Out?] When: 28 Dec 1916; Grade: 1C Pvt.; Explanation: With Troops at N.Y. City
Remarks: dropped for removal 5/29/16. S.O. 64 Sq. A.: taken up 6/23/16. S.O.I 08. Sqr. A.
Sick in qrs. in ll[?] Oct 4/16. A.W.O.L. July 9-12/16
Aptd 1 Class pvt from pvt. Aug 1/16 O-12

Age: 22 years; height 5 feet 9 inches; complexion light; eyes hazel; hair brown;
born Morristown N.J.; occupation business; residence Morristown N.J.;
married or single; name and address of wife or (if single) of parent or guardian James McA. Pyle
68 William St., N.Y. City; relationship brother.

Although the title of this database references the Mexican Punitive Campaign, I believe my grandfather remained in New York. Two reasons: one is that the explanation in the above document indicates: "With Troops at N.Y. City," and two, there is no family story about my grandfather going to Texas to patrol the Mexican border.

The National Archives has two articles about the Mexican Punitive Campaign Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Military Monday ~ John Gorin, Revolutionary War

As I noted in my Surname Saturday post for my Gorin line, I found John Gorin's Revolutionary War Pension file at Fold3.com, a subscription website which focuses on military records, and has a wealth of information on John Gorin. In fact, there are 95 pages associated with his name in the Revolutionary War pension file!

Deciphering the handwritten pension application is on my list of things to do, but one of the pages, in response to a query, is a typewritten summary of John Gorin's Revolutionary War service.

Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (Fold3.com)
for John Gorin, of Virginia, Pension Number W 25643.

     In reply to your request for a statement of the military
history of John Gorin, a soldier of the Revolutionary War, you
will find below the desired information as contained in his
(and his widow's) application for pension on file in this Bureau:"
For ten weeks in 1777, he served ten weeks under Captain Thomas Pollard and Colonels Ramsay & Gilpin in Virginia. He then spend three weeks as a "Private To guard Gen. Washington's house."

In 1781 for four weeks, John Gorin served as "Pressmaster to raise a company of horse." He then spent four weeks as "Ordly.Segt." under Hugh Douglass and Summers & Merriweather. He also served four weeks as "Wagon Master Conveying Cornwallis's Baggage to Baltimore."
"Battles engaged in: Germantown and Yorktown.
Residence of soldier at Enlistment: Fairfax County, Virginia.
Date of application for pension: September 28, 1832.
Residence at date of application: Barren County, Kentucky.
Age at date of application: Born May 15, 1763, Fairfax Co. Va.
Remarks: His claim was allowed.
He married Elizabeth Duvall, May 26, 1825, in Barren Co., Ky. and
August 5, 1837 She was pensioned as his widow.
Had son Thomas J. (F) Gorin."
The NSDAR (National Society Daughters of the American Revolution) Genealogical Research System Ancestor Search summarizes John Gorin's service as:
1) Capt Hugh Douglas, Cols Summers, Meriweather
2) Also Cpl, Capt Thomas Pollard, Cols Rumsey, Gilpin, also Wagon Master