Monday, December 26, 2011

Amanuensis Monday ~ Gorin Family Bible

An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Family bible records are unique items, and following is a bible which contains information that links me to a Revolutionary War ancestor (that I used in my application to the DAR, Daughters of the American Revolution). Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin – some we never met – others we see a time in their life before we knew them.

Inside front cover, left
The bible was published in Philadelphia by J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1856.

Pasted inside the front cover are obituaries of my third great-grandparents, Thomas Jefferson Gorin

Inside front cover, right

and his wife, Mary Ann (Bowman) Gorin.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Family Recipe Friday ~ Hermit Cookies

Hermit Cookies are rich, spicy cookies. My mother found this recipe in a Boston newspaper in the 1970's. My father loved these cookies. When I am asked to bring something to a pot luck supper, or to a cookie swap, I often bring these. Once you try homemade hermit cookies, you won't want to go back to store-bought!

1 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I use Crisco.)
2 cups (white) sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses

4 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 cup raisins

In large bowl, mix shortening and sugar, then mix in the eggs and molasses and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix together. Add raisins. Dough will be very stiff.

Wet hands; roll dough into sausage strips about 1” in diameter, and place on ungreased cookie sheet, leaving plenty of space between strips. Lightly squash with glass which has been dipped in water, then sugar. (If desired; I just gently flatten the strips with the bottom of the glass.)

I happen to have baking stones, but you can use cookie sheets.

Bake at 375 °F for about 9 minutes – just until the top puffs up and cracks, but cracks are still yellow. You want the insides to be soft. Let cool on the cookie sheets, then cut into bars about an inch wide.

Store in an airtight container.

Family Recipe Friday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ My Third Great Grandfather

This is one of my oldest family photographs.

Thomas Jefferson Gorin (January 27, 1808 - January 11, 1883)

This is an ambrotype, a type of photograph that was used mostly from the mid-1850's to the mid-1860's. The Ambrotype is a negative image on glass made positive with a black backing.  Most often it is cased, as you see below, where I took a picture showing the decorative liner.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ My 3rd Great Grandmother

Last week's photograph was taken of the James Hunter home in the city of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Following are additional photographs taken of family members outside this house.

On the back, in my great-grandfather Percy Hunter's handwriting:
Side porch: C.C. Hunter, Front porch: Helen, Chester, Grandmother Hunter,
Lawn: Grandmother Freeland, S.K., Lois, Mrs. Wolf, Aunt Claude, Lottie Wolf, Mother, Dad
C.C. Hunter, Helen, Chester, S.K., and Lois are all siblings of Percy E. Hunter, my great grandfather. Based on birth dates of Percy's siblings, this photo and the two that follow were likely taken in the late-1890's, possibly in 1897, the year of Percy's marriage to Marguerite Lysle. (Curtis Carr Hunter would have been five and a half when his older brother, Percy, got married.)

Based on another photo I have of her, I think that "Grandmother Hunter" is Mary (Freeland) Hunter, Percy's mother. Perhaps Percy's father, James Hunter, is taking the photograph. (Percy's Grandmother Hunter, Catherine (Carr) Hunter, died in 1891.) 

"Grandmother Freeland" is Percy's maternal grandmother Nancy (Rainey) Freeland. Unfortunately, I don't know who Mrs. Wolf and Lottie Wolf are. Update 9/28/2013: In doing research for a Surname Saturday post for the Freeland line, I think I have determined that Mrs. Wolf is sister-in-law to Nancy (Rainey) Freeland; in other words, Mrs. Wolf is Mary (Freeland) Wolf, sister of James Freeland. And Lottie Wolf is a cousin of Mary (Freeland) Hunter. See Mary Freeland Wolfe Family post (12/28/2013) for how I identified Mrs. Wolf and Lottie Wolf.

Aunt Claude is Percy's mother's sister, Claudine Freeland, a longtime schoolteacher in Allegheny.

I think that "Mother" and "Dad" are Marguerite and Percy, based on the many photographs I have of them.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ Hunter Family Home

James and Mary (Freeland) Hunter's house in the city of Allegheny, Pennsylvania.
The James Hunter family moved from Irwin Avenue to Perrysville Avenue in about 1890-1891. I wonder if this photograph was taken of "the new house" when they moved.

Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

Workday Wednesday ~ James Hunter in Construction

Great-great-grandfather James Hunter had more than one occupation during his lifetime, from what I can tell looking at census records and city directories. He ultimately spent most of his life providing foundation materials to builders from what I have gleaned from census records and city directories.

In 1870, 26-year-old James is listed with his widowed mother (and several siblings). He has the occupation of "Clerk" which is found a lot in 19th century census records and I'm sure that title covered a wide variety of duties in a wide variety of industries., database online. Year: 1870; Census Place: Allegheny Ward 2, Allegheny, Pennsylvania;
Roll: M593_1290; Page: 82A
. Record for Catherine Hunter.

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, I found James Hunter, married to Mary, with five children. The youngest (William Edward Hunter) had not yet been named, although he was born in February and the census was taken in June. James is listed as a Stock Dealer at house number 134 Irwin Avenue., database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Allegheny, Allegheny, Pennsylvania;
Roll: T9_1086; Enumeration District: 6; Page: 151.3. Record for James Hunter.
There are seven James Hunters in the 1880 Pittsburgh City Directory.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The children of James and Mary Hunter of Pittsburgh

My great-great-grandparents, James Hunter (1844 - 1902) and Mary (Freeland) Hunter (1850 - 1902), whose pictures can be seen here, had ten children:
  1. Harry Martin Lafferty Hunter (April 19, 1872 - October 1, 1949)
  2. Percy Earle Hunter (October 18, 1873 - May 24, 1937)
  3. James Freeland Hunter (July 3, 1875 - June 24, 1935)
  4. Samuel Knox Hunter (November 7, 1877 - February 19, 1948)
  5. William Edward Hunter (February 13, 1880 - August 12, 1889)
  6. John Robert Hunter (January 24, 1882 - August 28, 1984) - yes, he lived to 102
  7. Chester Audley Hunter (May 5, 1884 - August 24, 1970)
  8. Helen Rainey Hunter (September 8, 1886 - September 24, 1939)
  9. Mary Lois Hunter (August 24, 1888 - April 14, 1911)
  10. Curtis Carr Hunter (January 18, 1892 - September 19, 1936)
These dates come from family notes written by "Uncle Jack" John R. Hunter, in the mid-1970's. These are in my collection with an envelope (postmarked August 11, 1976) addressed to Margaret L. Hunter (my great aunt Margie) from S. Knox Hunter, Jr., her first cousin.

Far left of Uncle Jack's sheet, showing the two oldest children.

These family notes were written sideways on lined note paper and photocopied. This generation is on two pieces of paper taped together.

Unfortunately the notes are not complete. It's possible that one cousin was sending this to another cousin to confirm just her family's details.

Each sheet notes that it is "corrected to 8-9-1976," at which point only Uncle Jack was still living of all ten siblings.

I am able to confirm the birth years and child order by following this family through federal census records, as well as finding some additional information in other databases, but to find the exact birth dates might not be possible, so these notes are a real treasure.

Not all married, and of those who did marry, not all had children. From what I was told, William Edward died of appendicitis at age 9 and his sister, Mary Lois, died of appendicitis at age 22.