Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father and Grandfather

A few years ago I was lamenting the fact that I didn't have any photos of my father and his father together.  Recently, however, as I was doing more unpacking after my move, I discovered two old photo albums with the "magnetic" sticky paper.  I decided I really should take all those photos out as soon as possible, and in doing that, lo and behold!, I found what may be the only photograph of my father and grandfather together.  So here it is, in honor of Father's Day.


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Did Your Father Love to Do?

Tomorrow is Father's Day, so I expected Randy Seaver to make the theme of this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun related to that, and he did not disappoint.

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music, please!):

(1) It's Father's Day in the USA on Sunday, so let's talk about our fathers.  


(2) What did your father really like to do in his work or spare time?  Did he have hobbies, or a workshop, or did he like sports, or reading, or watching TV?

(3) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.


The two things my father has always loved are cars and music.  He did things with cars both for work and his free time, and he played music in a lot of his spare time.

I don't know how young Daddy was when he first got hooked on cars, but I know he started racing when he was just a teenager.  He told me a story once about how he broke an arm when he was racing but was supposed to be doing something else, and he tried to hide it from his mother (my grandmother).  Years later he discovered that she had known all along that he was racing that day.

Daddy raced in Florida, California, Australia, and Texas, that I know of.  I think he mostly raced stock cars.  I don't know if he raced in New Jersey before moving to Florida.  He has lots and lots of trophies, which he has been threatening to get rid of, although I've told him he better not and that he should send them to me instead.  Somewhere (I have no idea where!) I have a photograph of him working on a car engine and my mother's brother hanging over the engine compartment on the other side.

When my family lived in Southern California, we would sometimes go with Daddy to racetracks, such as Pomona Raceway.  Years ago, while I was still living in Southern California, I was driving east on I-10 and drove through Ontario.  To the north side of the freeway was this massive empty lot with a huge pile of dirt in the middle.  There was nothing identifying the place, but it looked familiar to me.  I kept looking at it as I was driving past, and it suddenly dawned on me that it was the location of the former Ontario Raceway.  I couldn't have been there many times, but I somehow recognized it, even in its stripped-down state.

And Daddy's profession was being a mechanic.  He had shops of his own, and he worked for other people.  When we lived in Australia, he was photographed using a piece of expensive equipment for an ad that ran in the newspaper.  (A friend of mine told me that not any mechanic could use that equipment properly, so my father had to have been a damned good mechanic, which I knew already.)  When we moved back to the States and ended up in Niceville, the garage he had there became our place of refuge during Hurricane Eloise in 1975.  So I grew up around garages and racetracks, and the smell of engine grease is still oddly comforting to me.

My father's other great love is music.  He played guitar for my siblings and me when we were little, and we learned songs such as "Sixteen Tons", "Abba Dabba Honeymoon", and "Mairzy Doats" by heart.  Before he was married, he competed on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour with a swing band (The Court Jesters) that came in second to a very young Gladys Knight.  And he played piano and organ also; he always had a piano or organ in the house.  He recently decided to sell the organ he had, because can't play anymore due to arthritis in his hands.  That was a sad day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Events in My Family Tree: June 4

I'm pretty sure this is the first time that the number of births has been less than either that for marriages or deaths.

Births

Ezra Thackeray, son of James Thackeray and Jane Gaunt, was born June 4, 1796 in New Jersey.  He is my 2nd cousin 5x removed via the Gaunts.

Catherine Andrews was born June 4, 1942 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.  She was married to Richard Bruce Sellers, Sr., son of George Moore Sellers and Bertha Poinsett Eckman, who is my 1st cousin once removed.


Marriages

John A. Gaunt, son of Hananiah Selah Gaunt and Abigail Atkinson, and Hannah B. Smith were married on June 4, 1872 in Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey.  John is my great-great-granduncle.

Raymond Albert Largess and Dorothy Adelle Allen, daughter of Charles Louis Allen and Marion M. Lauinger, were married on June 4, 1944, possibly in New Jersey.  Dorothy is my 5th cousin on my Gauntt line through the Allens.

Charles Robert Clark, son of Oren Wilson Clark and Anna G. Gaunt, and Dorthea Virginia Lynch were married on June 4, 1944 in Wabash County, Indiana.  Charles is my 4th cousin 2x removed via the Gaunts.

Sheldon Cohen and Joyce Rene Render, daughter of Bertram Ruthledge Render and Ruth Schumeister, were married on June 4, 1967, possibly in Nebraska.  Joyce is my 4th cousin on my Nowicki line through the Schumeisters.

David M. Stein and Ruth Schumeister (Joyce's mother, above), daughter of Henry Schumeister and Celia Perlmutter, were married on June 4, 1978, probably in Nebraska.  Ruth is my 3rd cousin once removed on my Nowicki line through the Perlmutters.

Timothy Thomas Turner and Stephanie Carol Baker were married June 4, 2005 in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio.  Stephanie is my 2nd cousin once removed on my Gauntt line.


Deaths

James T. Sutton died June 4, 1874 at the age of about 65 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.  He was married to Margaret Fox, daughter of John Fox and Catherine Fisher, who is my 3x-great-grandaunt.

Rosanna Mack, daughter of John A. Mack and Catherine Layman Aufrance, died June 4, 1940 at the age of 83, probably in Stark County, Ohio.  She is my 4th cousin 4x removed.

Merrill B. Kirk Cann died June 4, 1963 at the age of 67 in West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania.  He was married to Abbie Walton Sellers, daughter of Elmer Ferguson Sellers and Minnie B. Frey, who is my 5th cousin 2x removed.

Loving Day



Floyd Richard Williams and Elizabeth Jean McStroul were married on October 5, 1968 in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio.

Today, June 12, is Loving Day, and time to celebrate and remember the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia that struck down antimiscegenation laws in the sixteen (Southern) states that still had refused to let them go.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Events in My Family Tree: June 3

I was so close to being caught up, and then the hard drive failed on the computer on which I have my primary family databases.  I'm glad I had a back-up file on another computer!

Births

Harriet Lippincott, daughter of Abel A. Lippincott and Rachel Stackhouse, was born June 3, 1853 in Westhampton Township, Burlington County, New Jersey.  She is my great-great-grandaunt.

Allen Severs Easlick, son of Jonathan Easlick and Susannah Sever, was born June 3, 1868 in Chesterfield or Tansborough, Burlington County, New Jersey.  He is my 2nd cousin 2x removed on my Gauntt line through the Easlicks.

Anna G. Tonkin, daughter of George C. Tonkin and Mary B. Gaunt, was born June 3, 1882 in South Harrison Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey.  She is my 5th cousin 2x removed via the Gaunts.

Mary Naomi Vaughn, daughter of John E. Vaughn and Bertha Florence Gaunt, was born June 3, 1914 in Kings County, California.  She is my 4th cousin 2x removed via the Gaunts.

Esther Cohen was born June 3, 1924 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  She was married to Moshe Kardish, son of Dovid Kardish and Etta Gorodetsky, who is my 1st cousin 2x removed via the Gorodetskys.

Carol Lynn Vaughn, daughter of Melville Everett Vaughn and Evelyn Virginia Ballenger, was born June 3, 1941 in Hanford, Kings County, California.  She is my 5th cousin once removed on my Gauntt line through the Vaughns.

David Alan Gaunt was born June 3, 1961 in Oakland, Alameda County, California.  He is also my 5th cousin once removed.

Hila Loraine Egyud was born June 3, 1963.  She is another 5th cousin once removed on my Gauntt line.

Zachary Aaron Moss was born June 3, 1999 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  He is my 4th cousin once removed on my Meckler line.

Ella Leven Rivlin was born June 3, 2008 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  She is also my 4th cousin once removed on my Meckler line.


Marriages

George Howard Stirling and Mary Sellers, daughter of David Wampole Sellers and Anna Frances Jaquett, were married on June 3, 1895 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.  Mary is my 4th cousin 3x removed.

Peter J. McGovern and Mary F. Gaynor, daughter of James P. Gaynor and Mary Guynan, were married on June 3, 1915 in Manhattan, New York County, New York.  Mary is the great-grandaunt of my half-sister Laurie Sellers.

Albert O. Moody and Jane Gaynor, another daughter of James P. Gaynor and Mary Guynan, were married on June 3, 1921 in Manhattan, New York County, New York, on Jane's sister's 6th wedding anniversary (above).  Jane, of course, is also the great-grandaunt of my half-sister Laurie Sellers.


Deaths

Joseph Freeman Rowland, son of Samuel Rowland and Elizabeth Ann Gaunt, died June 3, 1921 at the age of about 69 in Penn, Jay County, Indiana.  He is my 3rd cousin 3x removed via the Gaunts.

Harvey Clarence Gauntt, son of Robert Elwood Gauntt and Elsie May West, died June 3, 1925 at the age of 2 years 9 months.  He is my 4th cousin once removed.

Allen Severs Easlick, son of Jonathan Easlick and Susannah Sever, died June 3, 1931, on his birthday (above), at the age of 63 in Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey.  He is still my 2nd cousin 2x removed on my Gauntt line through the Easlicks.

Kathleen Loretta Gaunt, daughter of Claude Wesley Gaunt and Florence Manila Brooks, died June 3, 1931 at the age of 30 in Los Angeles County, California.  She is my 5th cousin once removed.

Yetta Braunstein died June 3, 1964 at the age of 65 in Bronx, Bronx County, New York.  She was married to Benjamin Brainin, son of Morris Brainin and Rose Dorothy Jaffe, who is my great-granduncle.

Esther Jane Ellis, daughter of Levi Ellis and Carrie Florence Gauntt, died June 3, 2005 at the age of 90 in Greenville, Greenville County, South Carolina.  She is my 1st cousin once removed via the Gauntts.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Best Genealogy Research Find in May 2018

Randy Seaver appears to have taken last weekend off for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, probably because he was so busy with everything going on at Jamboree.  We do have a new challenge this week, however:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music), is:

(1) 
What was your best genealogy "research find" in May 2018?  It could be a record, it could be a photograph, etc.  Whatever you judge to be your "best."

(2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.


To explain why this is a great research find, I have to provide a little bit of background information.

Three of my Jewish family lines go back to an area that was formerly called Grodno gubernia in the Russian Empire, which is now the Hrodna region of Belarus.  During World War II, this was an area where the Nazis and their collaborators were incredibly thorough in destroying almost all archival records relating to the Jews of the area.  There's practically nothing left.  It's entirely possible that the earliest record I may find relating to my great-great-grandfather, who was born about 1858, is a voter list from the early 1900's.

Given that situation, I latch on to any records from this area with glee, just on the off-chance that I might find something about a family member.

While I was on a recent trip to the Washignton, D.C. area to give talks to two genealogical societies, I visited the library at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and asked the librarian (hi, Megan!) about records from Grodno.  She told me about a collection of records from 1940–1944 that had been microfilmed by the museum and which were available to look at digitally there in the library.  I could even download the files if I wanted to.  I was practically jumping with joy!

Of course, I didn't have a flash drive with me that day, but I came back a couple of days later and downloaded as many as could fit on my drive (I ran out of room), along with the detailed finding aid for the collection.  And a friend has volunteered to go to the library and download more of the digitized files for me.  So even though I don't know yet what I might find, I'm thrilled to even have these kinds of records available to search.  I'm hoping that I find something about some, even one, of the family members who, as far as we know, perished in this area during the Holocaust.  And just that possibility makes this a great research find.