Sunday, March 31, 2013

ORDER OF AMERICAN TRUE IVORITES: ISABEL WILLIAMS HAMLIN


ince today marks the end of Women’s History month, I decided that I would feature my grand aunt ISABEL WILLIAMS HAMLIN (1894-1966) and, in particular, her membership in the American True Ivorites in Utica, New York. The society’s purpose was to help the poor and needy and to promote the Welsh language. It was not a secret society, but they did use special handshakes and handsigns. (1)

Isabel Williams Hamlin
1894-1966

The book entitled Signs and Grips of the Order is shown here: http://education.gtj.org.uk/en/item1/11751. Be sure to click over on the right where it says "This item has pages."

Here is a picture of a memoriam pin of the True Ivorites, No. 37 in Utica, New York:

In January of 1921, Isabel was appointed chairman of the Social Committee for the Gwenfron Lodge, American Order of True Ivorites. (2) She would have been about 27 years old at the time and married.

In August 1965, the 97th Ivorite convention was held at Hotel Utica in Utica, New York. (3) Isabel was then about 70 years old and a widow.

Apparently, when a member died, the society conducted a ritualistic service in honor of the deceased.  In April of 1966, the Gwenfron Lodge 5, Order of American True Ivorites draped the charter for deceased member Belle Hamlin. (4)



For more information on Isabel, see my prior posts:



For more information on the True Ivorites, see:

The True Ivorites in Radnorshire

Archives Wales

The Ivorites Hall, The Philanthropic Order of True Ivorites, St David's Unity, Friendly Society

Archives NetworkWales



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, American Folk Art Designs, 2006.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Trees & Leaves, 2004.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) See Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Philanthropic_Order_of_True_Ivorites): accessed March 31, 2013), “The Philanthropic Order of True Ivorites,” rev. 21 March 2013.

(2) “Gwenfron Lodge,” Utica New York Herald Dispatch, January 8, 1921, Old Fulton NY Post Cards by Tom Tryniski, digital image 241649 (www.fultonhistory.com).

(3) “Ivorites Conclave to Start Tuesday,” Utica Observer Dispatch, August 8, 1965, Old Fulton NY Post Cards by Tom Tryniski, digital image 215863 (www.fultonhistory.com).

(4) “Ivorites to Meet,” Utica New York Observer, April 11, 1966, Old Fulton NY Post Cards by Tom Tryniski, digital image 177594 (www.fultonhistory.com).


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

FINDING FAMILY USING GOOGLE MAPS: JOHN CUTLER


ne way to have fun with genealogy is to go to Google Maps
(https://www.google.com/maps) and type in a surname (preferably not a common surname).

I typed in “Cutler” and got the following hits in the drop-down menu:

(1)

Down the left side of the page were numerous other hits such as Cutler Real Estate, Cutler Law Firm and Cutler Funeral Home.

Now, the intrigue of this game is to find out why these cities were named after the particular surname you chose.

I decided I would explore Cutlerville, Michigan, because I live in Michigan, and I happen to know that many of my Cutler ancestors eventually settled in Michigan. First I looked at a map to see where Cutlerville is located.  I found that it is south of Grand Rapids on the Western side of the state.

(2)

Then I Googled the words “Cutlerville” and “History” and soon appeared numerous search results.  The very first one was a Wikipedia article entitled “Cutlerville, Michigan” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutlerville,_Michigan). Here I learned that John Cutler and his family came to that area from New York State in 1853 and built a log cabin. John’s son, John, built the Cutler mansion in 1910. (3)

Hmmm. My Cutlers lived in New York State. Could there be a connection?

I then changed my Google search to “Cutlerville” and “John Cutler.” Again, there were numerous hits. One of them was from Google Books Michigan Place Names: The History of the Founding and the Naming of More than Five Thousand Past and Present Michigan Communities by Walter Romig. Here I learned that Cutlerville is in Kent County and that Cutlerville Road goes for six miles north from Cutlerville to Grand Rapids. (4)


My exploration continued.  My next discovery was Men of the 3rd Michigan Infantry (http://thirdmichigan.blogspot.com/2008/06/john-j-cutler.html).  Here I learned that John Cutler (1807-1892) and his wife Christina were married in 1830 in Coxsackie, Greene County, New York. They later moved to Delaware County, New York, and then in 1847 settled in Chenango County, where he was a blacksmith. John and Christina had ten children. (5) My Cutler ancestors also lived in Chenango County.   In 1853, John moved his family to Gaines Township in Kent County, Michigan, and purchased 312 acres of land. John and Christina had a son named John (1836-1911), who was a soldier in the 3rd Michigan Infantry during the Civil War and saw action at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.  The blog entry contains excerpts from John’s diary during the war, and is well worth checking out.  After a number of war injuries, John returned home to Michigan. This web discovery had an enormous amount of information about the family—political affiliations, religion, real estate value, military pension amounts and more. (6)



I next went to Find A Grave and found John Cutler, the founder of Cutlerville (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=cutler&GSfn=john&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=24&GScnty=1267&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=21495021&df=all&). From there I explored the graves of his family. There were 16 Cutler hits at the Blain Cemetery in Cutlerville. (7)

I continued on to find Travelling Through Time: A Guide to Michigan’s Historical Markers on Google Books. Here I learned that the John Isaac Cutler House in Gaines Township was built in 1891 by John Cutler, Jr. The house was renovated in 1979 and renamed the Homestead. (8) The Michigan State Historic Preservation website (http://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/hso/sites/8026.htm) gives more detail on this house and on the Cutler family.

At Flickr, I saw a photograph of the John Isaac Cutler House (http://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/5394792622).

I then went to Ancestry.com and explored the search results for the John Cutler family.  I followed John’s line back and discovered that we share the same ancestor—James Cutler (b. 1605/6, d. 1694). James had a number of wives and John’s connection was through a different wife than my connection. Thus, John Cutler and I are half distant cousins. I now intend to visit Cutlerville; it’s only two hours away.

I learned all of the above by doing a simple search in Google Maps on the Cutler surname. Try it out with one of your surnames and see where it leads you.  



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Civil War Illustrations, 2003.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1565 Spot Illustrations and Motifs, 2007.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) Google Maps (https://maps.google.com: accessed March 24, 2013).

(2) Ibid.

(3) See Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutlerville,_Michigan: accessed March 24, 2013), “Cutlerville, Michigan,” rev. 28 February 2013.

(4) Romig, Walter. Michigan Place Names: The History of the Founding and the Naming of More than Five Thousand Past and Present Michigan Communities. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 1986, http://books.google.com/books?id=Y-FPXEGRo-YC&pg=PA144&lpg=PA144&dq=cutlerville+and+%22john+cutler%22&source=bl&ots=1x0d8PfSa0&sig=j6Y1Aqq0for-DOZ0fA060kmbLN4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1SxOUbv7PIHnyAHbl4G4Cg&ved=0CGkQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=cutlerville%20and%20%22john%20cutler%22&f=false: accessed March 24, 2013.

(5) Soper, Steven. "John J. Cutler." Men of the 3rd Michigan Infantry: The Life Stories of the 1,411 Soldiers who Served in the 3rd Michigan Infantry between April of 1861 and June of 1864 (blog), June 24, 2008. http://thirdmichigan.blogspot.com/2008/06/john-j-cutler.htm: accessed March 24, 2013.

(6) Ibid.

(7) See Blain Cemetery, Cutlerville, Kent County, Michigan, Find A Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GSiman=1&GScid=124&GSfn=&GSln=cutler: accessed March 24, 2013.

(8) Laura Rose Ashlee, Travelling Through Time: A Guide to Michigan's Historical Markers, Revised Edition, (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2008), 222, http://books.google.com/books?id=Xd-mh9r0zEkC&pg=PA222&dq=travelling+through+time+gaines+township+cutler&hl=en&sa=X&ei=USBPUYXUGMjkywGAzYCABw&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=travelling%20through%20time%20gaines%20township%20cutler&f=false: accessed March 24, 2013.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY--CAMEOS

Winifred Williams Boyser
1898-1971
Utica, New York

Do you see the cameo that Winifred is wearing?  Her jewelry was passed down to me, and I now own several cameos. Some are on stickpins, others are dangling from necklaces, and still others are in the form of a brooch. My favorite cameo is one of a woman wearing a cameo, a sort of cameo within a cameo!

After many a magnifying-glass look, I believe that the following cameo is the one my grand aunt is wearing:




Cameos have been fashionable throughout history.  Here are some websites that discuss cameos:
If you type "cameo brooch" into Google Images, you will be dazzled by all the varieties.

Do you have photographs of your ancestors wearing jewelry that you now possess?


Saturday, March 16, 2013

ESTATE SALES AND GENEALOGY


oday I went to a local estate sale that I had heard about through www.EstateSales.net.  I really don’t need any more stuff in my house, but I could not resist.  It felt kind of creepy going through someone’s house, looking at their pictures, touching their belongings. Someone probably died or perhaps they were moving far away and had to liquidate their property. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estate_sale

I tried to envision the people who lived in the house I visited. There were numerous religious books, in particular about the Methodist religion.  There were knickknacks, dishes, books, vintage 78 RPM records, clothes, games, holiday decorations, dolls and more.  They must have liked to read because there were plenty of books—good family, I thought.  They also must have loved lighthouses because there were many miniature lighthouses, some musical.  On one wall in the basement there were high school class pictures from the 1940s. In another room I found a stack of church cookbooks and church directories, good sources of genealogical information.  If I had ancestors from this area, I would have grabbed them.


I came home with the following treasures:

Three Norman Rockwell items:
  1. “Captain” figurine
  2. “Looking out to Sea” plate
  3. “For a Good Boy” mug 

Two tea cups:
  1. Crown Dorset fine bone china cup with pansies
  2. Royal Wedding fine earth ware made in Staffordshire, England

Two miniature collectibles that make me think of England:
  1. “Cornish Tin Mine” by David Winter
  2. “Miller’s Cottage”  - part of the Museum Collection

I love my purchases, and I’m sure their former owners would be glad to know that someone is enjoying and cherishing their items as much as they did.  The thought of people trashing my collectibles after I am gone makes me very sad.  Yes, I’m a pack rat. I keep all my mom’s china tea cups, dolls, jewelry, figurines, pictures and even some of her clothes. I keep my dad’s war records, pictures and letters. I have my maternal grandmother’s and my maternal aunts’ jewelry and photographs.  I have my paternal grandmother’s china and the sock monkey she made me.  I have pocket watches and cuff links from assorted male ancestors. I keep the art my children did when they were young, their baby blankets, pictures, report cards, awards, baby teeth and much more.

Yes, these are just things, but they invoke memories and I love memories.  Isn’t genealogy all about memories of people and their lives?



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Victorian Goods and Merchandise, 2006.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Early American Design Motifs, 2003.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY--DOGS ARE PART OF THE FAMILY

Beloved Dog
owned by Isabelle Williams Hamlin and
her husband William Earl Hamlin
Utica, New York
Isabelle (b. 1894, d. 1966)
Earl (b. 1892, d. 1953)

This was my Aunt Bell's favorite pooch. Unfortunately, I don't know its name. Somehow they got the dog to pose for an artist, whose name I cannot decipher. The date the artist painted this picture appears to be 1925. Isabelle and Earl did not have children.

Isabelle and Earl at one time owned the Littlecote Hobby Shop in Utica, New York. See my prior post at: http://www.theartofgenealogy.com/2012/09/city-directories-littlecote-hobby-shop.html

Sunday, March 10, 2013

SISTER OF THE SWISH


Today I was looking through one of my many drawers of ancestral goodies and found this button from the Canastota, New York Sesquicentennial in 1960:



I was pretty young back then but I remember women in long dresses, wooden nickels and much excitement. Apparently, my mother obtained her Swish button during the festivities.



What, I wondered, is a Sister of the Swish? After a little research, I discovered that Sisters of the Swish are part the sesquicentennial and centennial events in towns across this country. Women wear outfits reminiscent of the time when the town was founded. The male counterpart is the Brothers of the Brush. Men are encouraged to stop shaving.  Fines are given if people fail to get in the spirit. There are parades and awards for best costumes.



To learn more about the Sister of the Swish tradition, see “Historical Pageants as a Genealogical Tool” by Judy Rosella Edwards (http://www.genealogytoday.com/articles/reader.mv?ID=2874).
Also see “Early, Iowa Quasquicentennial 2007, Brothers of the Brush, Sisters of the Swish” (http://www.nemahaweb.com/early125/brothers.htm).

If you go to Google Images and type in “Sister of the Swish” or “Brothers of the Brush,” you will find numerous examples of buttons and memorabilia.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 150 Silhouette Designs, 2006.

SCRAPBOOK MESSAGE


hile browsing through my mother’s scrapbooks today, I found the following note she had written inside one of the covers:


Daydreams are nicer than nite dreams! Sometimes you can dream daydreams at nite. My daydreams were always the same – I wanted to write stories - be famous – have my books in libraries and on best seller lists. My day dreams never got out of the dream stage, but they were fun. It was a world all my own – enchanted – all happiness and good thoughts. Grandma Moses started painting at the age of 70 – so maybe there is time for me yet!! Here are some of my compositions from way – way back. Read them and have fun – such tales I made up. I loved that literary world – if I had my life to live over I’d somehow try to enter it. Words printed last for decades – long after the hands that formed them are still. To all who ever glance through these scrapbooks I say – write your thoughts, cherish them and read, read, read. Learning never ceases. Education is the key to all that is right and good. Study and learn, and those are my words for the day.

Jane C. Taylor
July 31, 1960



Are you writing down your thoughts so your descendants can discover them and remember you when you are gone? Are there dreams you have that are unexpressed or unfulfilled? Did your ancestors leave diaries or messages in scrapbooks? 



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Women Illustrations, 2004.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, American Folk Art Designs, 2006.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

EBENEEZER'S


y mother’s maternal line came from Holyhead, Wales (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holyhead). When my mother was alive, we used to go for lunch at Ebeneezer’s CafĂ© & Creamery in Sherrill, New York (http://www.ebeneezerscafeandcreamery.com/page/page/8260290.htm).  This restaurant is special because it is set up like a Welsh tea room. The walls are covered with floral wallpaper and there are pictures of the Welsh countryside. Images of the Welsh dragon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_Dragon) abound.  At the checkout counter, there are numerous “Welsh” items you can purchase such as books, cups, dolls, teapots, plates, bells and tea towels. That, plus good food and excellent service, makes it a pleasure to visit. My mom is gone now, but I still go to Ebeneezer’s when I visit Central New York and remember the times I sat drinking tea with her.

The last time I visited Ebeneezer’s I bought a tea towel entitled “Welsh Language.”  I brought it home, ironed it and then had it framed. It now hangs on the wall in my genealogy room.  


If you want to decorate your room with tea towels (oh, come on, doesn’t everyone do that?), there are plenty for sale on eBay—just type in “Welsh tea towel” and you’ll have a colorful variety to chose from.  See http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Welsh-Language-Cotton-Tea-Towel-Wales-New-/220824505191.

At Ebeneezer’s, I also purchased Flashbacks: A Collection of True Lifestories  by Olin C. Davis, a local man of Welsh descent.  Interestingly, Mr. Davis states that he is an 8th generation grandson of Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island. His connection is through Roger’s son Daniel. (1) I believe I am descended from Roger’s son Joseph and, if all genealogical connections are valid, Roger Williams would be my 10th great grandfather. Many Rhode Island people relocated to Central New York.

Do you have a special place that elicits memories about an ancestor who is no longer with you?



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, American Folk Art Designs, 2006.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) Olin C. Davis, Flashbacks: A Collection of True Lifestories, (Canastota, New York: Canastota Publishing Company, Inc., 2005), 89.