Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Samuel Sewall Greeley: Always Bearded ~ 52 Ancestors #45

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and last week's writing prompt was Bearded.

A quick glance and I can see that I have a few bearded ancestors. Following are the photos I have of my second great-grandfather, Samuel Sewall Greeley. It appears that he had a beard throughout his entire life.

He was born in Boston in 1824. This is a photograph of a photograph. He has quite a few descendants so hopefully the original is with another descendant.


He came to Chicago in 1853 and married his first wife in 1855. After her death in 1864, he returned to Massachusetts to marry a cousin in 1866.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Great-Grandmother was a Golfer ~ 52 Ancestors #41

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Sports.

I have previously written about the athletes in my dad's family at Sports Center Saturday ~ Dad and golf and about his mother at Libby Was a Tennis Player.

One of my brothers mentioned to me that Libby's mother, Mary Bowman (Ashby) Adsit (1863-1956) was a very good golfer as a young woman. I had never heard this story, which goes to show that genealogists should interview everyone, even younger relatives, who might know something about the family.

My great-grandmother is found only as Mrs. Adsit or Mrs. C. C. Adsit in the nine or ten newspaper articles in which she is mentioned as playing in or winning golf tournaments.

According to this September 1898 Chicago Tribune article, the first women's golf tournament "in the west" was held at Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest, Illinois, and Mrs. Adsit placed 19th. At the time, she was about 35 years old and had a six-year-old son and a 15-month-old daughter (my grandmother).


     "Women's Golf Tourney," The Chicago Tribune, 8 September 1898, p. 8, col. 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/image/349853896/ : accessed 11 October 2018).

Mrs. Adsit's home club, the Onwentsia Club, was formally organized at its present location in 1895, hosted the U.S. Amateur in 1899, and hosted the U.S. Open in 1906. (See History - Onwentsia Club.)

Friday, October 5, 2018

My Grandparents' 1931 Wedding ~ 52 Ancestors #40

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Ten.

I have published 446 blog posts since April 2011 and I decided to go back to see what my tenth blog post was.

It turns out that this was one of my favorites, so I am repeating it here, slightly edited:

A Small 1931 Family Wedding


My mother's parents were married on September 5, 1931, in Princeton, New Jersey. I have a few items from this wedding. The announcement:



Helen and Toby (Lowell's nickname) had originally planned to marry in October 1931, but my grandfather's mother was ill and not expected to live long, so they moved the wedding back to September 5. The groom's mother, my great-grandmother Ethel May (Greeley) Copeland, died on October 3, 1931, in Princeton.

Monday, October 1, 2018

A Farm in Queens New York ~ 52 Ancestors #39

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is On the Farm.

Yes we all have plenty of farmers in our family trees. It's kind of fun to think about places where farmers were plentiful in the 19th century, but where I don't think we find farms now, like Jamaica, Queens County, New York.

My third great-grandfather, Thomas Cutler Whitman, was born in Nova Scotia in 1803 and immigrated with several members of his family to New York in 1857.

The 1860 U.S. census shows that he was a farmer. He is on the top line of this census image that includes his wife, Diana, and several children (and future son-in-law, William Bruce at the bottom).

1860 U.S. census, Queens County, New York, population schedule, Jamaica, p. 127, dwelling 873, family 964, Thomas C. Whitman; digital image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 January 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 845.
Value of real estate is blank, but value of personal estate is $1,000.

The fun part comes from finding that farmer on the non-population agricultural census schedule and seeing what he produced.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Deaf Ancestor Mary Emma Rose ~ 52 Ancestors #38

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Unusual Source. In fact, Amy introduced the idea of this source in another blog post from last week: Researching Deaf Ancestors.

I didn't think I had any deaf ancestors; I'm still pretty sure that none of my direct ancestors were deaf. However, I explored the Ancestry database she mentioned, U.S. Special Census on Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives, 1888-1895, and I found a fourth great aunt. All I knew of this 4th great aunt was from her gravestone: Mary Rose Mitchell Totten, 1808-1897, which I photographed when visiting Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan, New Jersey, in 2013.


Mary Emma Rose was the daughter of Joseph Rose and Frances Stanton. From the few records that I previously had on this family, I only knew of six children of Joseph Rose and Frances Stanton and I had complete birth and death dates for only my direct ancestor, Joseph Stanton Rose, whose detailed obituary I transcribed at Joseph Rose (1809-1877). He is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan, New Jersey, and was the reason I visited the cemetery. Finding GGGG Aunt Mary's gravestone was by chance.

This survey of deaf individuals collected a lot of family information and WOW: I now know that Joseph and Frances had ten children with four dying very young. This is a wonderful example of researching collateral relatives to obtain more information. Not only does the survey include all of Mary's siblings, but their full names and birth dates. No specific death dates are listed, but several siblings died young and those are mentioned. Mary Emma signed the last page.