Friday, June 20, 2014

The Lengths I'll Go To/In Which I Ruin My Manicure

     Yesterday was the day!  Off to Newark Cemetery to find Uncle Milo.  The village of Newark sent me directions along with a list of nearby graves, so I counted the twelve rows from the fence and found...not much.  Most of the people in row twelve had no markers!  Then I spotted the stone of the woman the list said was buried right next to Milo, and there next to hers was a barely visible stone lying mostly underground.  You can see in the picture-- the whiter part was all that could be seen.  The two stones standing on the other side, supposedly Milo's children, were completely unreadable I'm sorry to say.

    The photo of the Galloway graves I recently came across at the Palmyra library showed a large upright stone and two smaller ones, but who knows how long ago that photo was taken?  This was when I got down on all fours and began tearing at the decades long build up of turf that obscured the tombstone.  After a few minutes the letters "GALLO" became visible, I had found him!  I don't know why, but it never occurred to me the stone might need to be excavated so I was unprepared.

      I continued ripping at the tangled mat of grass and roots lying over the grave, and inch by inch, the stone was revealed.  At one point my husband went back to the car to look for something to cut the grass with but all he could find was my old windshield scraper, it's now in three pieces.  Then he helpfully began taking pictures of me digging at the grave with my bare hands, like one of my terriers.  Most likely so he would have photographic proof in case no one believed him.  But ya know what?  I didn't go all the way to Newark to be defeated by some grass, I was going to see that stone.

     It took about half an hour with no tools, but I got it uncovered.  It's pretty well preserved, much more so than his children's stones, probably because most of it was underground.  You can see next to me in the picture the sizable mound of debris I created, and I felt bad about that but there were no receptacles handy and I couldn't very well throw it in my car.  I did pile it neatly in one spot for ease of removal by the groundskeepers.

     So am I satisfied?  I can't really imagine how I could be; I can't read the other two stones. I must return with a few gallons of water and a very soft toothbrush to remove the lichen, then I'll be satisfied...probably.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I Asked--I Received


      Milo Galloway, the brother of my 3rd great grandfather Russell, was buried in 1857 in the Willow Avenue Cemetery in Newark, New York now known as the North Main Street Cemetery.  His wife Ann is there too along with several children, but I couldn't find any of their resting places.  None of the online inventories of this cemetery or the book of it's burials found at listed Milo or his family members among the denizens.  This led me to believe he didn't have a tombstone or that it had long ago deteriorated to the point it was illegible.

     I didn't expect to find a stone for Ann since she passed away years after Milo's financial empire had crumbled and she had begun to appear in the lists of the overseer of the poor.  Even back in 1886 when Ann died, tombstones were not cheap.

     When I was at the Palmyra Library, the memorable day that I found the picture of Anna Hazel, I also looked at the family file for Galloway.  As I expected it was all about the Palmyra Galloways, not my Arcadia Galloways.  I almost put it back in the filing cabinet, but figured I might as well thumb through to the end since Arcadia is right next door to Palmyra and you never know...  It's a good thing I persevered, the last item in the file was about Milo and his family.  It confirmed my belief that his wife was the former Ann Rowley, and there on the second page was a photo, (a bad one but still a photo), of his tombstone and those of his son Milo Jr. and daughter Emily.  I didn't know about this daughter before!  I went to the cemetery again, but had no luck this time either.

     It occurred to me there had to be a true listing of burials somewhere or else the embarrassing disinterment of a coffin could result during a new burial.  I looked online for a cemetery office and learned it was owned and maintained by the village of Newark.  I sent them an e-mail asking about the Galloways, and within one day I had my answer, old front section, 12 rows back from the fence.  I also received a listing of the surrounding graves so I could locate the Galloways more easily.

     I'm sure you know what's coming next, I must return to Newark and find those graves!  I don't even know why?  I know they're there, I even have the details from the cemetery records concerning dates and ages. Those stones are most likely unreadable and I will learn nothing more about this family or the circumstances of their deaths.  And yet, I must go.  Perhaps because he was my uncle, and after delving (snooping) so much into his past I should at least go and pay my respects, say hello to this branch of my family only recently discovered.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Time Runs On


     When I was a wee girl, my favorite book was "Alice In Wonderland" and it's sister story, "Through The Looking Glass".  I never tired of hearing about Alice, her kitten Dinah and the White Rabbit, though that Cheshire Cat freaked me out a little.  I pulled my old copies out yesterday and was thumbing through them when I noticed that parts of the prologue to "Through The Looking Glass" could easily be applied to family history.  Being of Irish descent, I love verse, and wanted to share this:

A tale begun in other days;
When summer suns were glowing--
A simple chime, that served in time
The rhythm of our rowing--
Whose echoes live in memory yet,
Though envious years would say "forget".

And though the shadow of a sigh
May tremble through the story,
For "happy summer days" gone by,
And vanish'd summer glory--
It shall not touch with breath of bale,
The pleasance of our fairy family tale.

     Apologies to Lewis Carroll for liberties in the last sentence, and W. B. Yeats for using his line for a title .

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Friday's Photo/ Mary A. Lathbury, Manchester, NY


      I scored this little hand colored tin type on Ebay about 7 years ago.  I was looking through the hits that came up for my search of, "Manchester, NY", and came across this picture of  Mary "Sathbury".  I have read every census for Manchester line by line, (it's that small a place), and I knew there was never any family named Sathbury in residence there.  Looking at the back of the image, I found the seller had misread the old handwriting and turned the L in Lathbury to S.  

Miss M.A. Lathbury Manchester, NY

     I knew there was indeed a fairly well known, (in Methodist circles), family by the name of Lathbury who once lived in Manchester, and the price was right so I purchased it.  The photo was in perfect shape when I bought it, but one of the crazy Yorkies bit it.  Luckily the image itself was unscathed, only the paper surrounding it shows tooth marks.

     Mary Artemisia Lathbury was born in Manchester in 1841, the daughter of a preacher, whose sons were also ordained ministers.  A religious person herself, she wrote hymns, was active in the Chautauqua movement, where she became known as the poet laureate of Chautauqua, and later lived in New York City where she wrote and illustrated books.  The girl got around for a single woman in the Victorian age.  

     Mary never married, she passed away in 1913 in New Jersey.  She is buried at Rosedale Cemetery in Orange, New Jersey.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Another Unexpected Find, My Cousin!

      This is Anna Hazel Bushnell, who was born June 27, 1888 in Palmyra, NY, sandwiched between one older brother and two younger ones.  Anna, or the more modern sounding Hazel as she preferred to be called, lost her mother, Alice White Bushnell, when she was just 5 years old.  As it happens, Anna Hazel's maternal grandmother Anna Ryan White, from South Tipperary, was my 2nd great grandmother.  Using the relationship chart here I determined Anna Hazel and I are 1st cousins twice removed.

     A short time after her mother's death Anna Hazel went to live with her father Patrick's sister, Bridget Coates.  Like Patrick, Aunt Bridget lived in the village of Palmyra, so Anna Hazel was able to see her father and brothers frequently.  She seemed to flourish in the home of her aunt and uncle whose only child was a son two years older than her, but a few weeks before Christmas of 1903 Anna Hazel fell ill.  She was diagnosed with brain fever, meningitis perhaps?  She lingered about two weeks, then passed away on December 22, ten years after her mother.  The headline in the Palmyra Courier read, "Death of a Popular Young Girl", followed by her obituary:

     On Tuesday evening about half past six o'clock occurred the death of Hazel Bushnell, the young daughter of Mr. P.H. Bushnell  and the niece of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Coates.   The little girl was taken ill about two weeks ago with brain fever, and for the past week she had been very low; but still hopes were entertained for her recovery.  Everything possible in the way of medical assistance was done for her, but she grew gradually weaker until the end came on Tuesday evening.  She was a very popular young girl, being a great favorite with her school mates and her death will be a great shock not only to all the scholars, but the faculty of the Union School, where she was a regular attendant.  For several years she had made her home with her aunt, Mrs. J.C. Coates.  She was 15 years of age and is survived by her father and three brothers.

     That I have a copy of this photograph at all, is one of those amazing strokes of luck.  Friday I found myself in Palmyra, NY, a few miles from my home, and decided to stop at the library to check out the new local history room.  OK, not brand new, but since the library moved I hadn't been in to see the new digs so I stopped.  I wound up staying three hours until closing time, and could easily have stayed three more.

     At the old library, the local history books, family files and microfilm along with an ancient microfilm reader were crammed in a corner of the reference area.  The new library has an entire room devoted to local history and it's filled with all sorts of ephemera.  I don't know where this stuff was hidden at the old library, but I'm so glad it's now seeing the light of day.

     I checked some old history and family files, then some books, and was getting ready to leave when I spotted a bookcase filled with antique photo albums.  What family historian could bring themselves to leave without looking through those? Several were clearly family albums, but the third one I picked up didn't seem to be.  Rather, it appeared the library had chosen to preserve and display their collection of old photographs in a photograph album. Brilliant!  Someone had written names under many of the pictures and as I turned the pages my heart skipped a beat to see the name Anna Hazel Bushnell; I knew that name!

     While I was excited to find this photo, it made me a bit wistful.  In it we see a lovely girl of 14, on the brink of young womanhood.  Sliding the photo out of the album and turning it over I saw this heartbreaking inscription:

"From Anna Hazel Bushnell, 
Christmas 1902".   
Below that was written:
"Went away Dec 22nd 1903, 
a loving little heart".  

     Whoever authored those last lines couldn't even bring themselves to write the word "died", instead it was the euphemism, "went away".  Unfortunately, I have no idea who may have written it, a friend or relative it would seem.  I plan to return to the library soon and re-examine the album, hopefully there will be a clue.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Trip To Hydesville

This building surrounds the foundation of the Fox sister's home

     You may recall my blog about my 4th great-grandmother Armina Galloway and the haunted house.  If not you can check here if you are so inclined.  To recap, in 1825 Armina was given a home to live in for the sum of, "one kernel of grain", per annum.  All she had to do in return was to care for the widower Henry Hyde and his children at their residence in Lyons.  

     I did lots of searching on the net for information about Hydesville, since that's where it's founder Henry Hyde really lived.  Early records placing Armina Galloway and Henry Hyde in Lyons are deceiving since back then the whole area I'm interested in was called Lyons, borders shifted over the years, and small hamlets like Hydesville were formed.  I also looked at maps and found that Hydesville isn't far from East Palmyra where another family of the name Galloway lived in the early 1800's.  Like Armina's sons Milo and Russell, this Galloway family owned mills.  I've long wondered if the group in E. Palmyra were somehow related to my Galloway family and I believe they probably were, though I'm not yet sure how.  It's so important in early research to check maps and histories of the area being studied.  I initially had no idea just how very close the two Galloway families actually lived to each other, equating "Lyons" with the village of that name which is quite a bit further away.

     Of course the best way of all to get the lay of the land is to go there oneself.  There are many histories of Hydesville online, and most of them mention Hydesville's most famous residents, the Fox sisters, who I mention in more detail in the above referenced blog. It was easy to find directions to the site of their former home, which they rented from the Hyde family.  I live about sixteen miles from that place, so one day last week we set out, taking the route through East Palmyra naturally.

     This is still a very rural area...VERY rural.  We followed North Creek Road for a few miles and it was easy to imagine what it must have looked like to those early residents, minus the nice road of course.  There are still very few houses, and a lovely creek does run along it... you feel far from modern civilization on that road I can tell you.  I know some people like that feeling, but as a woman who grew up in a village with things like sidewalks, neighbors and police service, I find it slightly unsettling; but then I admit I've never looked at the wilderness in quite the same way after viewing the movie Deliverance.

     Finally we came to Hydesville Road and after a short distance, the monument to the Fox sisters and spiritualism, the movement they spawned.  We got out at the small gravel parking lot and peered into the windows of the building that now surrounds the remains of the Hyde/Fox home.  There wasn't much to see except the old stone foundation but it was interesting.  There was a photo of the house and you could compare the still clearly visible interior layout of rooms with it.  There were several old buildings nearby whose histories I haven't been able to find as yet, but I imagine Hydesville looks pretty much the same today as it did back when.  So was this Grandma's house?  I don't know, but if not hers was close by,  and in my opinion that makes it worth the trip to see.