Friday, November 28, 2014

My Connection to the Rockefellers

My great grandmother, Frances Adelaide McAlpin, was the only daughter of the ten children of David Hunter McAlpin (1816-1901) and his first wife Frances Adelaide Rose (1829-1870). Several of her brothers died young; the ones who survived did well for themselves.

Her next younger brother was named David Hunter McAlpin, Jr. (after his father, and an older brother who died as a toddler in 1853). He was born June 2, 1862, in New York City.

On December 12, 1895, David Hunter McAlpin, Jr. married Emma Rockefeller, daughter of William Rockefeller and niece of John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil. (The links bring you to their Wikipedia pages.)

Searching for Emma Rockefeller in December 1895 in any newspaper database will bring up dozens of reports from all around the U.S. of this grand wedding.

To give you just a taste of the wedding description, I share just a few paragraphs of a very long wedding announcement found on page 2 of the December 13, 1895, Boston Daily Advertiser (from

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.