Saturday, December 28, 2013

William and Cornelia Mix in 1925

My last post from yesterday saw my maternal Great-Grandparents William and Cornelia Mix in 1915 via the New York State Census.  I also found the 1925 state census so we can take a look at them 10 years on.

Two more children have been born in the last 10 years - a boy, Leslie, and a girl, Anna (who is my maternal grandmother).  The eldest boy, Floyd, is not listed here, he's now 18 and has likely moved out.

William and Cornelia also have a boarder living with them: Clifford Hyna who is a Teamster.

The census lists them as living in Dryden, Tompkins County, New York.  But when I looked at the map, the "Brookton" road that they are on is actually a road very near the Caroline Depot Road they lived on in 1915.  So the official town is Dryden for the records, but in reality there are just a couple miles from where they lived before.

William is listed as being a Carpenter on this census - usually he is a farmer working the land the belongs to others.  They moved very frequently to wherever the work was and my Great-Grandmother Cornelia kept lists of where they lived.  For this time of June 1, 1925, she says they were living at the Miller's.  They had moved there just 2 months before and would stay through the next year when Cornelia was surprised with another baby.  I'm sure she thought my grandmother would be the last but oh no!

The oldest living at home, Spencer, was working as a Building Laborer.  Laurance, Masie, Daisy and William E. were all at school.  So only 7 year old Leslie and 5 year old Anna were at home with Cornelia.

I always think about Cornelia with all those kids because my grandmother Anna told me of a strong memory she had at the dinner table where her Dad, out of patience with the kids, said to his wife: "Nelia, can't you control these kids?".

Of course, all that might explain why they ended up getting divorced in 1935!

Below is a photo from 1923 of the twins, Masie and Daisy, and my grandmother Anna, so in this census, they are all now 2 years older.

What's really interesting is that today when I looked at that building, I realized I saw it yesterday when searching on Caroline Depot Road for yesterday's post.  It is in fact, the Caroline Depot train station!  It's now gone, but here it is in 1923.

There's another photo from 1923 that shows it as well (it also shows my cutie-pie Grandma!):

And here's a link to what I looked at yesterday:

The link is from the Town of Caroline page which is part of the Tompkins County NYGenWeb site.

So now I know where these 2 photos were taken!

And finally, here is a photo of the oldest boy still living at home in this 1925 census, Spencer, taken the next year in 1926:

1933 is the year Spencer left the family and never returned.  His whereabouts were a mystery to his parents and siblings until I started doing genealogy and found him in census records.  He had passed away long before I started my research though.  No one knew why he left the way he did.

So that's the state of William and Cornelia in 1925!

Friday, December 27, 2013

William and Cornelia Mix in 1915

What a treat for me - spending some time on genealogy research during my Christmas break!  It was a busy year - what time I did have I spent on my Domelle line and got a lot of breakthroughs - so now I want to turn my attention back to my Mix line to see what has popped up in the interim.

I did a search on Ancestry on my maternal great-grandmother Cornelia Elizabeth (Akins) Mix and the first thing I noticed was a New York State census from 1915 that I hadn't seen before.  Yay for New York!  On pg 4 of the NY State Census for Election District 03, Assembly District 01, City of Caroline, in Tompkins County they were listed.

So without a doubt, there's my family - my maternal grandmother is not yet born in 1915 but her old siblings and parents are listed:

They are listed as living on the crossroad between Caroline Depot Road and State Road 1004.  I found Caroline Depot road right away on a current map, but State Road 1004 must be an old name for something because I searched and was unable to locate it.  But they were on one of those crossroads.  Caroline Depot was named this because there was once a railroad line from Ithaca to Owego.  This little road and the depot was about 8 miles southeast of Ithaca.  The depot station and the railroad are both long gone but the name remains.

So in the house at the crossroads, we've got my 38 year old Great-Grandfather William H. Mix and his 28 year old wife Cornelia E. (Akins).  They were married Christmas Day in 1904 - this is a photo I have of Cornelia that says it's from 1904 - maybe it was taken during her engagement?

And now, 10 1/2 years later, they have 6 children (which includes one set of twins). 4 boys - Floyd (age 8), Spencer (age 7), Laurance (age 4) and William (age 56 days).  The twins were 2 year old girls Mazie and Daisy (listed in this census by her birth name Mable).

That must have been a boisterous household!!  At least the 3 oldest boys went off to school during the day!

I found a photo of Cornelia with the twins were they were just babies in 1913:

So in 1915 those little girls are now in their terrible two's and there's also a 2 month old baby to care for - YIKES!

William's occupation is listed as "Farmer" which is what he did all his life - I don't know that he ever owned his own land, as far as I know he always farmed for others, or worked as an itinerant farm laborer once the economy got bad in the 1930s.  The family moved A LOT - following the work.  I have a list that my Great-Grandmother kept of all the places they lived and at which houses the kids were born in.  Cornelia was wonderful for keeping lists of all kinds of things - birth/death dates, addresses, etc.

For when this census was taken - June of 1915 - this corresponds to when Cornelia's list says they were living at the "Bates Pl." which means the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bates.  So it was Mr. Bates land that they were farming.  She also lists her son William as being born at that house.

They lived at this house listed in the census from 01 March 1915 through 01 April 1916 when they moved on to another farm.

And so that completes my analysis of the state census I found!  Maybe I'll come across an old map that shows the State Road 1004 or the name of Bates on farm land.  We'll see!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"My Mother's Poem"

My long-living maternal Great-Grandmother Cornelia Elizabeth Akins Mix Simpson (1886-1987) was very anti-smoking. 

Her youngest son Donald Thomas Mix (1927-2009) told my mom about a little poem he said she would always repeat to her boys (she had 10 children - 7 of them were boys!).

He quoted it in an email to my mom back in 2008:

hi debbie





Sounds just like something a Mom would repeat to her boys back in the 1930s to get them to stop smoking.

I researched the little poem and found it is a variation of lines that are attributed to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, (1754-1846) the Harvard Medical School founder and doctor who was the first to test the vaccine for smallpox.

His version is:

"Tobacco is a filthy weed,
That from the devil does proceed,
It drains your purse,
It burns your clothes
And makes a chimney of your nose."

It's interesting how both versions are english and get the same point across, even have the same cadence and yet use different words.  It reminds me of the little childhood songs you learn that vary across regions but mean the same thing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dinner at Victoria & Albert's in Walt Disney World

Just last week we had a family vacation at the most magical place on earth - Walt Disney World! 

And just to make things even more wonderful, we spend an evening in Queen Victoria's Room in the Victoria & Albert's restaurant in the Grand Floridian hotel.  In fact, we were halfway through our 4+ hour dining experience exactly one week ago!

The Queen Victoria's Room is a small room set off from the main dining room - there are only 4 tables in it and you get a 10 course meal.  We also selected the suggested wine pairings because if you are going to go, you might as well go big!

Our 2 servers for the evening, Rado and Amy were just fantastic.  This dinner is a foodie paradise.  It's small portions of amazing foods paired with outstanding wines.  I was on cloud 9!!!

For those of you interested, I've got a list of our course below, along with photographs. 

Course 1 was the Amuse-Bouche.

It's a Maine Lobster "Jar" with Siberian Osetra Caviar.  This was my first time with this type of caviar - and I loved it!  It was paired with champagne of course!  Piper Heidsieck Cuvee 1785 NV Brut.

Then they brought us little personal baguettes.  The good news was that my gluten-free sister was fully accomodated - she had her own gluten-free breads brought to her as well!  In fact, let me take a moment to state how FANTASTIC Walt Disney World in general was in accomodating her gluten allergy, all the way down to fast food restaurants.  They are truly the gold standard in restaurants dealing with allergies.  Kudos to them.  I will talk them up to anyone who will listen!

Course 2 was Octopus "A La Plancha" with Black Garlic Aioli.  It was paired with a delicious Spanish wine: Granbazan "Etiqueta Ambar" Albarino, Rias Baixas 2011.  I'm not a big white wine person but I would sit and drink this down all by itself!  I'm also not a big octopus person but I had no troubles eating this.  The red triangle was paprika, the line at the top was balsamic vinegar, mustard down at the bottom - the flavors were just wonderful with the wine.

Course 3 was a big production number!  4 waiters swooped in, each with this little covered dish.  They set one down in front of each of us and....

 Voila!!  It was Applewood smoke inside that wafted around the table!  The dish is Hot "Smoked" Niman Ranch Lamb with Fuji Apple and Curry Dressing.  They paired it with a German Riesling - Reichgraf von Kesselstatt, Piesporter Goldtropfchen Kabinett Riesling, Mosel 2011.  Again, this is why I love going to restaurants like this - this Riesling was outstanding - on the dry end of Rieslings and just amazing with the apple-y lamb.  The curry in the lamb was just right - not too hot, just flavorful.

Course 4 was a Fennel Pollen Crusted Diver Scallop in a Salt Bowl.  It was paired with "Old Vines" Ernesto Wickendon Vineyard Chenin Blanc, Santa Maria Valley 2011.  Again, just fantastic.  We were exclaiming over the fennel with the scallop.

Course 5 was our "breakfast" course as our server Amy called it.  :-)  It was Poached Chicken Egg and Sausage, paired with our first (and outstanding) red of the evening: Hartford Court Land's Edge Vineyards Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2010.

It's been a while since bread, so they brought us more!  I wish I could tell you what kind of bread it is, but it's now been 5 glasses of wine/champagne and you are all lucky I was still able to work the camera.  I can tell you that the butter for this bread was white truffel butter - they had a huge, like foot-high mold of it that they shaved pieces off of for us.  They then gave us little bits of white truffel to put on the bread as well.

Course 6!  It was Colorado Bison with Caraway Seed Vinaigrette, paired with a fantastic Spanish red, Palacios Remondo Propiedad, Rioja 2008.  Again, it was a flavor that normally I don't enjoy (Caraway) that here I fully and completely enjoyed!  Yay for Chef Scott Hunnel!!!!

Onto Course 7!  Australian Kobe-Style Beef Tenderloin with Tamarind Jus.  It was paired with Chateau Lassegue Bordeaux Blend, Saint-Emilion 2004.  Delicious!!!!

Our last bread course!  Some sort of crusty wonderfulness.  :-)

Once my sister moved her arm OUT OF THE WAY...

I was able to get a photo of the Course 8's Cheese Trolley!

Again, I'm on 7 glasses of wine at this point, so my memory is a bit murky - for cheese they gave us some sort of tripe creme (on the left), something soft and gooey with olive oil (in the middle), and real honeycombs.

The rest of the cheese sampling was a smoked gouda, a parmesan and a bleu - accompanied by almonds, fruit gelee and sugared walnuts.  It was paired with our last wine - a smooth port: Quinta do Crasto Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2007.

Thank goodness coffee made an appearance at this point, even though all we had to do was stumble upstairs to our rooms, it was nice to have.  :-)  And magical!  These contraptions are amazing!

And onto our first dessert course and overall Course 9!  Apple Quark Panna Cotta!  Even the sugar (colored green on the left) tasted like apple!

Last course - second dessert course and overall Course 10 - Peruvian Chocolate Timbale with Roasted White Chocolate Gelato.  I actually wasn't able to finish it - I finally hit my wall!  But it was outstanding!

Then, just to be mean, they brought out Friandises - but they were kind enough to box them up and send them with us.  :-)

Yes, it's expensive, but if you are any kind of foodie into trying unusual pairings of flavors then I earnestly recomend this - it's a splurge but so well worth it!  We talk about it for years afterwards!!! 

Chef Hunnel even came out and said hello to us while we gushed all over him.  :-)  It was a super magical evening during a super magical week at Walt Disney World.  Oh and our reservation was at 5:30pm and we walked out of there at 9:50 that evening!  A leisurely and enjoyable meal!!

Finally, a scan of the souvenir menu they gave each of us.  Thank goodness for that - it's the only reason I have any clue what some of the later courses are!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Limerick for the United States Post Office

The United States Post Office has inspired me to create this limerick in their honor:

 I ordered some eyeliner online
They wrapped it and packed it up fine

The Post Office dropped it
They punched it and popped it

It must be they think I am blind!

True Story!  :-)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Matches in the Box

It's not exactly a genealogy treasure, but a little treasure nonetheless - I re-discovered my collection of match books the other day.

I was in Washington DC in July and in one of the restaurants we went to there was an actual bowl of matchbooks by the front door so of course I grabbed one of those retro little gems:

Once I finally got around to locating my container of matchbooks I realized that it had been years since I had added any - these are real treasures! 


I then realized that some of them actually came from visits to Walt Disney World - imagine WDW enabling people to smoke 'em if they had 'em!!!   The world can change a lot in a couple decades!

Not only that - but here's a photo of the baby version of me passed out on my Mom's shoulder in line for one of the Fantasyland rides at Walt Disney World and see that in the upper right corner?  There's a man SMOKING right there in the line for the ride!  As my grandfather would say: "Horrors!".  :-D

One other little treasure in the matchbook box was this little remnant left over from my angsty over-wrought teenage years:

Sorry again for those years Mom and Dad!  lololol

One other pin in there was this one from Walt Disney World in 1990 when my family was there for July 4th:

And finally, my keycard I guess from the year 2000 - it has my dad's name on the front but my signature on the back.  Thanks for buying everything Dad!!!!

I do miss the matchbooks - they were always a tiny free souvenir that was fun to look at.  :-)

Plus really valuable now right?  LOL, I did intensive research on ebay and discovered that any one of these matchbooks could be worth up to 200-300 pennies!  For real!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - 31 July 2013

Not really wordless!  In honor of my cousin Mike and his wife Misi welcoming a bouncing baby boy to their family this past week, here is Mike as a baby.  :-)  A genealogist always loves adding new members to the family tree!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Surname Saturday - Lots of German Names

So prior to what I like to call "The Great Brick Wall Collapse of 2012", when I researched my maternal Grandfather's line I only had 3 surnames:


I still have zilch on Obendorfer - that was my great-grandmother and I'm pretty sure she must have been an Austrian spy because she kept her secrets close and never let them go.

That left me with Domelle and Reiser.  These 2 German names came from a region in what is in modern day Romania but for nearly two hundred years was settled by lots of Germans.

Thanks to my research on my ancestral towns of Triebswetter (a.k.a Tomnatic, a.k.a Nagy-Õsz) and Glogowatz (a.k.a Vladimirescu, a.k.a. Glogovác) I now have lots of new German surnames in my direct line.

My newly discovered surnames are:


I'm still working on filling in the dots for these new surnames (as they relate to my direct line) but in the meantime I did a little word cloud to show a relative snapshot of the number of relatives I have for each surname so far.  It will be interesting to do this over time and see how they change.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My mtDNA and Matrilinear Line

So I sent off my DNA to the same place I sent my maternal Grandfathers (  With bated breath I awaited my results because I thought here's a great test, let's see if they figure out I'm related for sure to this other sample.  You don't expect me to just trust all this DNA voodoo-hoodoo stuff, right? 

Well, luckily for science, sure enough they came back and said I had some sort of relationship with my Grandfather's results, and they suggested a few, one of which was grandparent/grandchild! 

Chalk one up for Science, yay!!

I also found out what my mtDNA haplogroup is - I am a "W1".  From what I can tell in my 50 seconds of online research, this haplogroup occurs with a low frequency, so my status as a unique snowflake is confirmed.

Now that I know I am a W1, I took a look back at my matrilinear line to see how far back I go - here it is (only birth surnames, not married names, are listed):

Leah's Matrilinear Line

1. Me, the unique snowflake

2. My Mom, Deborah

3. Anna MIX, b. 1920 in New York

4. Cornelia Elizabeth AKINS, b. 23 Apr 1887 in Lockwood, Tioga County, New York.


5. Hattie Elizabeth KIRBY, b. 19 Mar 1866 in Bennettsburg, Schuyler County, New York


6. Laura Lunett KIRBY, b. 21 Mar 1849 in probably Waterloo, Seneca County, New York

7. Elucinda GIBBS, b. 23 Dec 1820 in New York

Two notes - yes, there are two "Kirby" names in a row - Laura had Hattie out of wedlock and died soon after.  Secondly, in the 1900 census, Elucinda (no. 7) stated her mother was born in New York.

I haven't tried to find more on the Gibbs family in a long time but now of course this has piqued my interest!