Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Julius Ensign Rockwell, I wish I could hug you

A long time ago, when the world was young and so was I, being a genealogist meant a lot more time in libraries making photo copies of books.

It's still something that should be done, but back then you didn't have as much of a choice.  So I have quite a library of photocopied pages from books in my files - town histories, published genealogies, etc.

I don't even want to think about all those pages being a dime a piece to copy!!

So in a fit of thinking about things that are not the laundry or cleaning I should have been doing, I thought about all those pages recently and thought, hey, I bet I could find some of them as used books online and then could have the book as my own reference!  I pulled a bunch out and went searching on various used book sites and found a few that seemed worth ordering and did.

One book that I ordered was "The Rockwell Family in America from 1630 to 1873" by Henry Ensign Rockwell, published in 1873.

I have one family line that goes back deep into New England history, and have some Rockwell ancestors, specifically the immigrants John Rockwell (1627-1673) and Sarah Ensign (abt 1630 - 1659).

The author of the book isn't a direct ancestor, but is in fact my 6th cousin 5x removed.

So I order the book and when it comes I'm surprised to open the box and have an envelope along with it - the envelope is full of old newspaper clippings and other handwritten notes on scraps of paper that apparently were all stored in the pages of the book - all on Rockwells!  I look through the book and there are a bunch of pages with handwriting all over them - further notes on the people mentioned on the page, I can't believe what I'm seeing!!! 

 
I look at the inside cover and it's signed "Julius Ensign Rockwell".


I look him up, and he's the son of the author!  So I have the author's son's notations and newspaper clippings and I spent exactly $24.50 on this book.  What a TREASURE!!

It's a genealogist's dream!!! 


The separate envelope contained things like this:








What I really enjoyed seeing was how similar it all looked to my files with random scraps of paper and notes on things I saw somewhere to look up later.  It's wonderful to have these kinds of reminders of the humanness of our ancestors.  Also, it's really freaking cool to have this book and these notes!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mix Ancestors Home Towns in England

My Mix family research has been able to go back far enough to identify the towns from which people emigrated before coming to the US.  This is my maternal grandfather's line and includes lots of very English names like:

Bishop
Bliss
Bosworth/Bozworth
Bourne
Bowen
Brotherton
Brown
Burnet
Capen
Chickering
Churchill
Clark
Collins
Cooper
Daggett/Doggett
Deming
Elson
Ensign
Fiske
Foote
Foys
George
Howland
Ide
Kent
Kingbury
Manross
Marshall
Mix
Palmer
Peck
Rockwell
Rowning
Royce
Rutherford
Sims
Smith
Sutton
Tilley
Trowbridge
Turner
Wheatlie

Of course there are a few notable exceptions in calling these English, like the two Welsh surnames (Bourne and Bowen) and the Burnet name which although Thomas Burnet himself came from Braintree in Essex, the Burnet family is actually Scottish and from the Borderlands area of southern Scotland.

As a visual to help me, I went to My Maps in Google and put pins in each town that my Mix line immigrant was born in.  As you can see below, it really helps show the clustering of where this line of ancestors comes from (click to view larger):


So I can see with this that other than Wales and Scotland as mentioned earlier, the Mix ancestors are very clustered in the southern third of England, with a special concentration in East and Southwest England.


After emigrating, this is a very New England-centric line - they came to Massachusetts and Connecticut and those that moved, made their way to Rhode Island, or to Vermont, but then eventually to the Finger Lakes region of New York, which is where my Mix line ends up.

All in all though, a great visual!!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's in My Family

In honor of Veteran's Day this year, I thought I would pull together in one spot all the veterans in my family that I'm currently aware of!


First off, here are Direct Ancestors that I am aware of being in the US Armed Forces:

1. My Dad!  Richard Kleylein was a Boatswain's Mate in the Navy in 1968.  His ship was the destroyer USS Eugene A. Greene.


2. My maternal 2nd Great-Grandfather John C. MIX was a veteran of the Civil War.

He enlisted in the Union Army in New York in 1864.  He started in the 16th Regiment, New York Heavy Artillery (Unassigned Company), and was later transferred to Company I, 6th Regiment, New York Heavy Artillery.


3. My paternal 3rd Great-Grandfather Kinsey HARRISON, Sr was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.

He was a private in the Maryland line from 1776-1779.

4. My maternal 5th Great-Grandfather Thomas MIX was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.

He enlisted into the 4th Connecticut Regiment of the Continental Army.  He wintered at Valley Forge, PA (the famous cold winter where Washington crossed the Delaware).

5. My maternal 5th Great-Grandfather Squire IDE was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.  He enlisted at Rehobeth, MA into the 22nd Regiment and completed several tours of duty.


6. My paternal 6th Great Grandfather Jeremiah J. LEWIS was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.  He was a private in 2nd Company of Maryland Militia.


After seeing these, I went and searched in my database for any other veterans and there are a LOT!  Only one female was listed (to date that I know of) - and that was my Great Aunt Mary Domelle who was in the Women's Army Corp during World War II.  I also have to give a special shout-out to my Great Uncle Peter Domelle, who attempted to enlist for World War II, but was told his work at the Calumet Steel Castings company was too important and they needed him there.

So, here are other relatives that I know of that were veterans as well:



Revolutionary War

My maternal 5th Great Grand Uncle Enos MIX.

My maternal 5th Great Grand Uncle Oliver COLLINS was in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

My maternal 1st cousin 7x removed Nehemiah MANROSS. 

My maternal 3rd cousin 7x removed Timothy MIX.

My maternal 3rd cousin 7x removed Jonathan MIX.

My maternal 3rd cousin 8x removed Asa SMITH.

My maternal 3rd cousin 8x removed Ebenezer SMITH.

My paternal 4th Great Grand Uncle Charles SAFFELL.

My paternal 4th Great Grand Uncle James SAFFELL.

My paternal 4th Great Grand Uncle Joshua SAFFELL.

My paternal 4th Great Grand Uncle William SAFFELL.

My paternal 1st cousin 1x removed Benjamin Franklin BECRAFT Jr.

My paternal 1st cousin 7x removed Gassaway WATKINS.

My paternal 1st cousin 7x removed Nicholas WATKINS.

My paternal 1st cousin 7x removed Thomas WATKINS, Jr.

My paternal 2nd cousin 7x removed Leonard WATKINS.




War of 1812

My maternal 5th Great Grand Uncle Oliver COLLINS was in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

My paternal 5th Great Grand Uncle John W. WATKINS.

My paternal 1st cousin 5x removed Zephaniah HARRISON.

My paternal 2nd cousin 6x removed Gassaway WATKINS.

My paternal 2nd cousin 6x removed Nathan GAITHER was a surgeon in the Army.

My paternal 2nd cousin 6x removed Thomas Jones WATKINS.

My paternal 3rd cousin 5x removed Thomas WATKINS.




Civil War

My maternal 2nd Great Grand Uncle Henry MIX was in the Union Army.  He died during the war in Tennessee in 1864.

My maternal 3rd Great Grand Uncle Benjamin S. JONES was in the Union Army.

My maternal 3rd Great Grand Uncle Gabriel JONES was in the Union Army.

My maternal 3rd Great Grand Uncle George JONES was in the Union Army.

My maternal 4th Great Grand Uncle Isaac JONES was in the Union Army.

My maternal 1st cousin 4x removed Alonzo F. MIX was in the Union Army.

My maternal 1st cousin 4x removed Eugene Philip MIX was in the Union Army.

My maternal 1st cousin 4x removed Franklin M. BURTON was in the Union Army.

My maternal 1st cousin 4x removed Jasper Eugene MIX was in the Union Army.

My maternal 1st cousin 4x removed Squire Collins MIX was in the Union Army.

My maternal 2nd cousin 5x removed Henry MIX was in the Union Army.

My maternal 3rd cousin 3x removed Orange Steadman PINE was in the Union Army.

My maternal 3rd cousin 4x removed Isaac SMITH was in the Union Army.

My maternal 3rd cousin 5x removed Amasa Hotchkiss MIX was in the Union Army.

My maternal 9th cousin 6x removed Calvert Stuart WEBSTER was in the Union Army.

My paternal 3rd cousin 5x removed Gassaway Watkins WARFIELD was in the Confederate Army.  He died in a Union prison camp.



World War I

My maternal 1st Cousin 4x removed Edward John KIRBY was in the Army.

My maternal 2nd cousin 3x removed Hiram N. MADIGAN was in the Army.

My maternal 3rd cousin 2x removed Clarence Vernon MIX was in the Army.

My maternal 3rd cousin 2x removed Paul Irven MIX was in the Army.

My paternal Great Grand Uncle Anton Roman POKORNOSKI was in the Army.

My paternal Great Grand Uncle Michael N. PAWLAK was in the Army.

My paternal 1st cousin 2x removed Bernard C. HARRISON was in the Army.

My paternal 1st cousin 3x removed Joseph LEWANDOSKI was in the Army.  He died in France of Influenza.

My paternal 1st cousin 3x removed Thomas C. PAWLAK was in the Navy.

My paternal 2nd cousin 2x removed Ellis Reuben HARRISON was in the Army.

My paternal 2nd cousin 2x removed Freddie Eugene HARRISON was in the Army.

My paternal 2nd cousin 2x removed John William BURDETTE was in the Army.




World War II

My maternal Great Aunt Mary DOMELLE was in the Women's Army Corps.

My maternal Great Uncle Leslie Homer MIX was in the Army.  He received a Purple Heart.

My maternal Great Uncle William Erwin MIX was in the Army.

My maternal 1st cousin 2x removed Alvin Robert BOZUNG was in the Army.

My maternal 2nd cousin 2x removed Charles HOOSE was in the Army.

My maternal 3rd cousin 2x removed Harold Emerson MIX was in the Army.

My paternal 1st cousin 2x removed , Preston L. ATKINSON was in the Army.




Everyone Else:

My maternal Great Uncle John Francis MIX enlisted in the Army in 1945.

My maternal 1st cousin 1x removed Robert Theodore MIX was in the Army from 1962-1963.

My maternal 1st cousin 2x removed Eugene BOZUNG was in the Army 1958-1962 for the Korean War.

My maternal 2nd cousin 3x removed Richard Freeman KIRBY enlisted in the Army in 1940.

My maternal 3rd cousin 1x removed Charles Raymond DOMELE was in the Army from 1952-1954.

My maternal 3rd cousin 3x removed Charles Gillett SWIFT, born 1867, was in the Navy.

My paternal Uncle David Allen KLEYLEIN, Sr, was in the US Army Reserves.

My paternal 2nd cousin 1x removed John Felix SAKRY was in the Air Force in 1964, he was killed in a B47 takeoff.

My paternal 2nd cousin 1x removed John Frederick KLAVERKAMP, born in 1941, was in the Navy.

My paternal 2nd cousin 2x removed Sylvester Dominic POKORNOWSKI, born 1930, was in the Army.

My paternal 3rd cousin Jonathan T. WALDOCH, born in 1974, was in the Marines.

My paternal 3rd cousin Keith JOHNSON, born 1961, was in the Navy.

My paternal 4th cousin 3x removed Robert Malcolm WATKINS Jr, born in 1932, was in the Marines.

My paternal 5th cousin 3x removed Millard Fillmore WATKINS , born in 1856, was in the Navy for 8 years.



Sunday, April 10, 2016

Those Family Stories Are Probably True

When I first started doing genealogy back in the last century and started hearing the oral history of happenings, sometimes I didn't really take them seriously.  I was trying to be objective and would record everything down, but thought to myself, well, sometimes things morph over time, or people put their own take onto things and it's just not what actually happened.  After all, we all have played Whisper Down the Lane (which by the way, we just played at dinner this past Christmas and it was so funny!!!  Probably the wine helped!).

So anyway back to the topic.  The thing is, as the years have passed by and I've made discoveries, what they've done is back up the "stories" I heard.  Turns out oral family history can be much more accurate than I was giving it credit for.  Now I will admit, there are still a few I'm holding out on, they are just a little too fantastic, but here's the latest I think I can now believe in:

My maternal grandmother Ann Mix Domelle told me the story of the circumstances around her maternal grandmother's birth.  Her grandmother was born Hattie Elizabeth Kirby.  She was the daughter of unmarried Laura Kirby.  That would be scandal enough back in mid-1800s rural New York, but the real scandal is that Laura had slept with her older sister's husband.  Hattie was the result of that liaison.

A few months after Hattie's birth, Laura died.  Laura was only 17 yrs old.  Hattie was raised by Laura's parents, Samuel and Lucinda (Gibbs) Kirby.  My grandmother told me that young Laura died from a broken heart.

The sister's name was Sarah Jane Kirby - she married Alonzo B. Chesley (the only time I've ever heard the name Alonzo was when watching Little House on the Prairie as a young girl, so that's how I picture him!).  She didn't leave Alonzo after the affair, they had 12 children, 8 of which were born after Hattie was born.

Sarah was the eldest of her siblings, Laura was 9 years younger than her.  Alonzo was 3 years older than Sarah - so he was 30 years old when his illegitimate daughter was born.

There must have been a lot of forgiveness in Sarah's heart, at least I imagine so, because Sarah and Alonzo's 6th daughter, born in 1868, was named Laura.  Her sister Laura had only been dead 2 years.

So after hearing this story, I never really spent too much time researching the paternal line "Chesley" that came from my 3rd great grandmother Laura Kirby, because after all, how can it be proved that she really did sleep with Alonzo her brother-in-law?

Fast forward to today when all this DNA testing is all over the place and guess what?  I have a 5th-8th cousin who came up as a DNA match in Ancestry.com and the line that leads to our common ancestor for me is Alonzo's line.
 
Certainly it's not enough to stand up in a court of law or anything, but it shows me that the oral history passed down to me about Sarah and Alonzo and Laura is more than likely true.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The house that burnt - the Domelle house in East Liverpool Ohio

So this is my grandparents' house burning down - on the front page of the local newspaper, the East Liverpool Review.  It happened the morning of Thursday, December 17, 1953, during a particularly cold morning.  It's amazing that these photos exist!!





I have never had to experience loss like this, I can't imagine.  They lost everything, but they all made it out safely.  As a genealogist, I try not to think of all the family photos and letters lost.  My grandfather told me he had sheets of music that his father had written.  My mom, who was just a little thing, remembers with fondness a little iron stove she had that looked just like one of those old fashioned stoves you see in farmhouses.  All gone just like that!  It was bitterly cold, and the pipes in the pump house had frozen.  My Grandpa said he was trying to unfreeze the pipes, using a blowtorch.  But something caught fire.

My grandparents had built the house themselves, bit by bit, and not unexpectedly, they rebuilt the whole thing right in the same spot!  I find it amazing - my grandfather was born and raised on a farm in Indiana, my grandmother was one of 10 children of an itinerant farm laborer in upstate New York.  Where exactly along the way did they learn how to build their own house with electricity and plumbing and all that!  But that didn't stop them, they just did it!  And when they lost it, they just did it again.  What tenacity!  I raise my glass to both of you, William and Ann (Mix) Domelle!

They sold the house in 1957, that's when these photos are from, I don't have any photos of the 1st house that burnt, they clearly went up in the flames.  So this is the rebuilt house the summer before they sold it.








And my grandparents in front of the house (1957:


 
And my Uncle Steve in front of the house (1957):


Annnnd, my Mom, my Aunt Becky, a neighbor girl and a neighbor boy on the porch of the house (1957):




Then, 17 years later in 1974, the family traveled from where they now lived in Pennsylvania to Ohio for the marriage of my Uncle Steve and Aunt Linda - and while on the trip, my parents and grandparents (and I) stopped off to take a look at the house.  It was a very good shape!

The first photo below is me, my Grandma, my Mom, my Mom's dog Poochie indicating her feelings on the matter, and my Grandpa.  My Dad took the photos.












And finally, our last trip out to Ohio in 2003 to see the house, again it was my parents, grandparents and me.  The house was still there, and the lady that lived there graciously let us roam the grounds and take photos.  Remnants of the swing my mom, my Uncle Steve and my Aunt Becky used were still embedded in the tree!!  :-)









This is me and my Mom pretending to hold the swings she played on :-)



Doesn't look like the pole that held the swings is going anywhere as long as the tree is standing!







Below is a transcript of the newspaper article for those that want to read it:


Family of Five Homeless after Cannons Mill Blaze

House Razed As Oil Supply Feeds Fire

Parents, 3 Children Flee As Dwelling Is Consumed Swiftly

A family of five was left homeless today when fire destroyed their brick and frame home on the Youngstown Rd. in the Cannons Mill district about 4 1/2 miles from East Liverpool.

Mr. and Mrs. William A. Domelle and their three small children fled from the flames, which apparently started in the pumphouse and spread rapidly through the structure.

The flames were fed by a tank of oil in the basement, firemen said.

City firemen, who received the alarm at 7:25 a.m., said the fire started in an undetermined manner while Domelle was thawing a water line in the pumphouse.

Mrs. Domelle reported the pumphouse fire and then called back in less than 10 minutes to tell the department the flames had spread to the home.

Firemen used a booster line from the pumper to battle the flames but they had spread beyond control.  The Glenmoor volunteer department was called by Chief Charles Bryan to secure more water, but it was a futile attempt.

The family lost all the contents of the home and their clothing.  Mrs. Domelle was attired only in a short-sleeved house dress while the children - Stephen, 6, Deborah, 5, and Becky, 2 - still were in their pajamas.

A pet dog apparently was lost in the blaze, but the family cat managed to escape.

Neighbors said the family moved into the new home about a year ago and still was working to complete it.

The family had lived in a trailer, they said, while Mr. and Mrs. Domelle worked at night to complete the house.  A light was rigged so they could lay bricks at night, the neighbors added.

Neighbors said they understand there is a slight amount of insurance on the home, but none on the contents.

Two neighbors pitched in to help the stricken family.  Mrs. Howard Bomberger clothed and fed the children this morning while Mrs. Robert Boyd provided Mrs. Domelle with a winter coat.

The family is now staying with the Charles Foster family in Gaston Pl.

While one truck from Central Station was on the Domelle fire, East End firemen were called to the trailer home of Joseph Johnston, located at the rear of the fire station, when flaming oil from a heater spilled on the floor..  Slight damage was caused, they added.

The department was called to the home of John Moninger, 710 McKinnon Ave., at 12:13 a. m. today when a motor became overheated.