Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Clearing

Chapter One

After a car ride adventure, we arrived at Grandma's gate. We knew that freshly baked cherry, peach and apple pies were waiting for us.  Dad stopped the car at the end of the lane by the rural farm delivery mail box, and got out of the car.  He walked over to the big wooden gate, and unhooked a metal latch that caused the gate to lurch to one side.  He pulled at the latch again, and the gate started to swing open.  He pushed it to the side of the lane, and came back to the car.  He put the car in drive and drove forward over a wooden bridge that crossed a brook.  The brook emptied into a small pond that was near the front gate.  Dad put the car back in park, and opened the car door and got out.  He went back across the bridge to the wooden gate.  He swung the wooden gate back and forth until a metal bar on the end fit in the latch.  He refastened and locked the gate.  Mother, Barbara and I sat quietly and watched.  We could hear the water in the brook moving over the rocks below.
We weren't there yet, we still had to travel the sandy gravel lane around the corner, and up the hill to the white farm house on the hill.  It was dark and Dad drove the car slowly and carefully keeping it in the two deep groves in the lane. As we drove around the bend I could just make out Grandma's fenced in garden in the darkness below us.  The garden had tall corn stalks, tomato plants heavy with fruit, and pink flowers and white daisies.
As we got closer I could see the twinkling lights of white farm house on grassy hill. We knew from past visits that there was a barn down another lane at the bottom of the hill.  Dad parked the car in the grass in front of the house.  We could see Grandma behind the lace curtains looking out the window.  A big collie dog came running and barking up to the car.  We waited until the barking stopped, and then we could see by the slow waving of his tail that he was happy to have us as his company.  Grandma came out the front door and she and Mama hugged.
"Get your bags and come on inside."  Grandma said. "How was the drive?"
"Not bad, but we had some traffic around Indianapolis."  Said Mama.
"I am so glad to see you! It's been awhile."  Said Grandma.
We didn't get there very often.  Mama used to say, "I went away to Michigan one summer to get away, and after I graduated from high school I moved away."

"What can I get you? Cherry? or Peach?" Grandmother whispered not to wake, Grandpa, who was sleeping on the couch in the other room.
"I want peach," I said, "Do you have ice cream?"
"No, now you don't need ice cream," Mama said, "You had peppermint sherbet at Howard Johnson's, and you shouldn't have pie this late."
"I'll cut them little pieces," Grandmother said reassuringly.
"Don't spoil the girls, or they'll not want to come back home," Mama giggled.
Mama finally gave in, and Grandma dished my up peach pie with vanilla ice cream.  I took the plate along with a glass of sweet tea and headed toward the front porch swing.  Tiptoeing past Grandpa, who was on the couch sleeping, a tin bowl of apples cores and peels resting on the floor by his feet.  I pulled the latch on the screen door gently trying not to make any noise as to wake him as he snored.
The screen door pushed away, the hinges made a creaking noise that seemed in tune with the katydids singing in the yard.  Grandma's broom was leaned up in the corner away from the door beside the dust pan, just as she had left it when she swept the porch earlier in the day.  The porch swing was wide enough for three people, but usually only two sat down together, side by side if you wanted to cuddle up, and wide enough if you wanted to swing.  Red, white and deep blue flowers bloomed in clay pots, a red humming bird feeder hung from a hook, and musical wind chimes tinkled in the breeze.  After the long car ride down the two lane highway, the front porch and pie were our welcome reward.

The sun started to set behind the pink clouds in the western sky.  We sat on the porch swing, eating pie and drinking tea.  Grandma and Mama must have finished their pie in the kitchen.  Mama opened the screen porch.
"Come on in, Grandma wants to get your bed ready.  I am tired."
"Put your plates in the kitchen by the sink, get your suitcases, and don't wake Grandpa."
"When did you all get here?" said Grandpa.
"Not too long ago." said Mama.
"You were really sound asleep. The dog barking didn't wake you up?" asked Grandma.
"Well, I'll be, you girls have really grown!  Come here." said Grandpa as he kicked the apple bowl back under the couch where it belonged.
Barbara ran to him, jumped up and threw her arms around him causing his wire frame glasses to fly off his face.
"Hi, Gramps." she said.  "What have you been up to?" he asked, glancing over at me as he straightened the glasses on his face.
"They are getting ready for bed now, you'll have to talk to them in the morning."
Mama said as she rushed out of the room, looking back to see if we were doing what we were told to do, and following along.

Grandma was headed down the dark wooden hallway toward the end bedroom that contained a twin size oak bed and a roll-away.  Barbara ran into the room and jumped on the oak bed.
"I get this one!" she shouted.
"But Mom," I whined, "I'm older than her."
"Oh, be quiet, maybe you can take turns, and one sleep in one bed one night and the other the next." said Mama.
Grandma just shrugged her shoulders as she struggled to unlatch the side bars of the roll-away bed.
"Isn't this bed comfortable?" asked Grandma.
"It's o.k." I said, not wanting to hurt Grandma feelings, but still miffed that Barbara would stake her claim to the best bed in the room.
"She's so spoiled, I hope 'that' bed has bed bugs." I whispered to myself.
"What did you say?" asked Mama.
"I didn't say anything." I said innocently.
"You can put your suitcases on the sewing cabinet, and hang your clothes in the closet." said Grandma. She opened a door in the room that had a mirror on it. The room had three doors, baskets of clothes, an ironing board with an iron on it, and an old treadle sewing machine.
"Let me open a window for some air, these windows have screens to keep the bugs out."  A big horse fly was buzzing around the room, and bumping the ceiling light.
"Now I'll keep a light on for you girls in the hallway, in case you need to get up during the night." Grandma shouted back as she left the room.
"Where are you going to sleep?" I asked Mama.
"On the pull out couch in the living room." Mama said,  "Now go to the bathroom and get ready for bed, before Grandpa gets in the bathroom."
"Why do I always have to sleep on the roll away?" I asked.
"Oh, be quiet, and go to sleep.  It won't hurt you to sleep there one night." She said.

Grandma didn't need to come in the room in the morning to wake us up, the roosters did. The big red one started to crow first. I looked up to see a brown cow with big brown eyes looking at me through the window.
"Oh!" I shouted.  Barbara screamed, "You woke me up!"  "What are you girls doing in there?" Mama shouted from the kitchen.
"Nothing!" I shouted back.
 "What's wrong?" Mama said as she came running into the room through the door.
"Now what is going on in here?"
"Cows."  I said.  "A cow was looking in the window."
"So what.  Things like that happen in the country."  Mama said.  "It sounded like arguing."
"We weren't arguing."  I said.
"She yelled at me." Barbara said.  "Did not."  I said.  "Did too." "Did not."  "Yes you did." "Not."  "Now girls!" Mama said, "I don't want to hear about you fighting this week when you are here."
"Well how come she got to sleep in the real bed?" I asked. "Get dressed and come on out for breakfast." Mama said as she slipped back through the door.  The room suddenly started to smell like fried bacon and eggs, and my stomach that was full the night before suddenly started to feel empty. I was hungry for some of Grandma's bacon and eggs.

"Good morning!"  Grandma sang at us as we went into the kitchen.  "What do you girls want for breakfast? How do you like your bacon and eggs?" We soon forgot the night before and our disagreement about the beds.  Grandma's smile and attitude could brighten any one's day.  Grandma was a cuddly little lady, with cheeks that looked chubby when she smiled. She smiled a lot too.  Her laugh was contagious, and you could hear it start in her belly and grow from a small gurgle into a big hoot that would rock the room from the floor to the ceiling.  When it was time for quiet, Grandma knew how to entertain the little ones with soft pink and white peppermint candies she kept in her big black pocketbook purse.    
Mama said, Grandma "knew hard work," being the oldest of ten children she was expected to help out with her younger brothers and sisters.  Mama said, "They were expected to work on the farm.  When other families drove by to go to picnics or the parade on the 4th of July. Her family would be in the field, and grandpa would say, 'Shake your hoes at them, and keep on working.'  Grandma said, "I'll never let a holiday go by when my own family can't take time to enjoy themselves."  

Breakfast over, we were soon out grandma's kitchen door down the stone steps, and running the wooden plank boards, and on out to the bubbling brook behind the house.  In the creek there were tiny tadpoles, and pretty stones. We took our sandals off, and waded in the cold clear water. Playing and laughing, we sat down on the slippery stones that lined the brook.  Mama had told us about the gypsies that came and camped in the clearing on the hill nearby. They would get water, and wash their dusty feet in the stream. Then they would wash their soiled clothes and lay them on the sandstone rocks in the sun to dry. Later they gathered twigs and sticks for a campfire. They would eat, sing and dance late into the night.
"Do you believe in gypsies?" Barbara whispered. Silence followed, and then faraway across the prairie we heard a bell ringing.
"Girls! Time to come in!"  Grandma shouted from the house.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Hermitage Andrew Jackson's home & tomb

Tombstone Tuesday

The Tomb of Andrew Jackson at "The Hermitage." Image from Our Own Country, by James Cox, published 1894, pages 292 & 293. 

"The Hermitage," home of Andrew Jackson near Nashville.

'This grand old Southern home was occupied for years, by the seventh President of the United States, who died within it on June 8, 1845. Andrew Jackson was born in a log cabin so close on the boundary line between North and South Carolina that both states claimed him as "favorite son."  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Remembering Mary

"He who received seed on good ground is he who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit." Matthew 13:23.

Smells of incense wake me, I gently turn over and slip first one, then other leg off the mattress and roll out of the covers and tumble my feet onto the rug.  The sweet smell enters my body and brings me to a place of comfort.  The priest waves the brass incense container, tinging out a tune in the quiet of the cold church.  Dark, and still, a chorus of snores comes from the bedrooms as I tiptoe my bare feet down the hall.  The smell is pleasant and I savor it as long as it lasts. 

"Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen." I whisper.

"Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen." I repeat again.

"Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom." I softly sing trying to remember the rest of the song.  "And in the hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me."  "Let it be, let it be."  

"How's your mom and dad?" A warm friendly voice asks.

Many years ago Mary gave me a tiny white beaded purse, that had a silver and pearl chain, a Catholic rosary along with a booklet. How to pray the rosary it said.  

Mary heard God's Word, and understood it.  

Mary was not famous, but she was loved by her family and friends.  She was a woman of faith and who often looked to her namesake Mary when she was troubled.  She knew that in times of weakness, it is our faith that makes us strong.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Question of Paternity?

Grandma Ocie (Hallock) Sheets would be turning over in her grave if she knew that someone on line was questioning the paternity of her grandfather George W. Hallock, and posting it where others could see. She was quiet and reserved, strong of faith, and never spoke evil of anyone. She was proud of her parents and often spoke of her mother Ethel (Card) Hallock. She told us of the farming accident that killed her father Claude C. Hallock, and she kept newspaper clipping about it in her Bible.
Her Bible was worn and tattered, and held favorite verses, notes, and important Hallock family records. I realized the importance of her family records while working on our family genealogy, and that is why I published her Bible records last year.
So what is the problem? Well, someone posted misinformation on line, and went to the US Census records on Ancestry and posted comments that there was a question about our Great Grandfathers paternity.
Why did this happen? Because there was a misprint in a Hallock family genealogy book. I had seen the misprint, before it lists George as being born before his father. Well, who is going to believe a book that prints such information, and then doesn’t correct it in the next book? Genealogy mistakes like this are why NSDAR and other linage societies are so careful about what proofs can be used for verification.
Was it really necessary to soil the good name of Hallock? This problem or question was not something new to me; I have been trying to solve this puzzle for years. I have studied and researched records and books at the ACPL, and sent for birth and death records.
Here is what I know to be truthful facts: George W. Hallock is a Hallock from Mattituck, Long Island, New York, and he moved to Fowler, Ohio when he was 18 years old to be a teacher. He did not return to Long Island, but decided to stay and raise his family in Ohio. By newspaper accounts in Long Island, the family farm was later sold to a circus. About the time that the newspaper printed one Mrs. Hallock ran away from her husband to New York City with Burt Popper. Now that is a family scandal, I will share sometime.
 Notes regarding George W. Hallock and James B. Hallock.

11. PHEBE3 BORDEN (PHEBE2 BUSHNELL, ALEXANDER1, WILLIAMA, WILLIAMB, JOHNC, JOHND, FRANCISE, FRANCISF)14 was born 06 Feb 1809, and died 18 Apr 1870. She married GEORGE W. HALLOCK14 10 Jun 1829, son of JAMES HALLOCK and ? (ELIZABETH TOWNSEND?). He was born 23 Nov 1798 in Mattituck, Long Island, New York, and died 18 Apr 1870 in Fowler, Trumbull, Ohio.

From A Hallock Genealogy, by Lucius H.Hallock, 1928, page 323-324.
George W. Hallock. T.8. George 7. James Esq. 6. d.7.
Was son of George, of Fowler, O. Was born Nov. 23, 1798. Married Phebe Borden June 10, 1829. She was born Feb. 6, 1809. Children: 1. Asahel, born May 7, 1830. Killed by a horse, Aug. 31, 1849. 2. James B., born 1833. 3. Charles F., born 1838. Twin. 4. Amelia-Kellog, born 1838. Twin. Mr. Hallock was a farmer of Youngstown, O.

i. ASAHEL B.4 HALLOCK14, b. 07 May 1830; d. 31 Aug 1849, Hartford Township, Ohio.
15. ii. JAMES B. HALLOCK, b. 22 Feb 1833, Mattituck, Long Island, NY; d. 17 Oct 1908, Fowler, Trumbull, Ohio.
16. iii. CHARLES F. HALLOCK, b. 19 Mar 1838, Ohio; d. 1910, Hartford Twp, Trumbull Co, OH.
17. iv. AMELIA HALLOCK, b. 19 Mar 1838, Ohio.

15. JAMES B.4 HALLOCK (PHEBE3 BORDEN, PHEBE2 BUSHNELL, ALEXANDER1, WILLIAMA, WILLIAMB, JOHNC, JOHND, FRANCISE, FRANCISF)16 was born 22 Feb 1833 in Mattituck, Long Island, NY, and died 17 Oct 1908 in Fowler, Trumbull, Ohio. He married HARRIET KELLOGG17 1855, daughter of ENOCH KELLOGG and LUCY LOOMIS. She was born 28 Nov 1833 in Fowler, Trumbull Co, Ohio, and died 08 Jun 1915 in Fowler, Trumbull, Ohio.

From A Hallock Genealogy, by Lucius H. Hallock, 1928, page 388.
James B. Hallock. T.9. Gorge (should be George) W. 8. George 7. d.7.
Was son of George W. and Phebe-Hallock. Was born Feb. 22, 1833, and died Oct. 17, 1908. Married Harriet Kellogg about 1855. She died June 8, 1915. Children:1. Mabel Estelle, born about 1857. Died at 24 of typhoid. 2. Claude, born about 1860. 3. George Goldsmith, born 1868. James Hallock was a farmer of Mattituck, L.I.

i. MABEL ESTELLE5 HALLOCK, b. 1868, Fowler, Trumbull, Ohio; d. 28 Sep 1892, Fowler, Trumbull, Ohio Died at age 24 of typhoid..
ii. GEORGE GOLDSMITH HALLOCK, b. 1868, Fowler, Trumbull, Ohio; d. Aft. 1906, Ashtabula, Ohio.
iii. CLAUDE C. HALLOCK, b. 15 Aug 1873, Fowler, Trumbull, Ohio; d. 20 Oct 1906, Fowler, Trumbull, Ohio18; m. ETHEL CARD, 25 Sep 1898, Fowler, Trumbull County, Ohio19; b. 31 Oct 1879, Fowler, Trumbull, Ohio; d. 05 May 1944, Sisseton, Roberts County, South Dakota.

17. The Kelloggs in the Old World and the New, by Timothy Hopkins, Vol. 1-3, Sunset Press, San Francisco, CA 1903., 415.
18. Trumbull County Probate Court-Death Record, Recorded Vol. 3, 1894-1908 Page 111, Claude C. Hallock.
20. Bushnell Family Genealogy, Ancestry and Posterity of Francis Bushnell (1580-1646) of Horsham, Eng & Guilford, Conn, by George Bushnell, Nashville, TN, 1945, 210.

 Mattituck, Long Island, NY. Benjamin Goldsmith Hallock son of James Esq., and brother to George W. Hallock had his biography written in the 1882 edition of the History of Suffolk County, New York, with Illustrations, Portraits, & Sketches of Prominent Families and Individuals, published in New York, by J.W. Munsell & Co, 36 Vesey Street, 1882, pages 55 & 56.

 From the book: The Hallock-Holyoke Pedigree And Collateral Branches In the United States Being a Revision of the Hallock Ancestry of 1866, Prepared by Rev. Wm. A. Hallock, D.D., With additions and tracings of family genealogies to the present date and generation, By Charles Hallock, M. A. , Amherst, Mass: Press of Carpenter & Morehouse, 1906.
Pages 14 & 15.
2. James, died Mattituck 1775, aged 44, wills to five sons: James, Jeremiah, Benjamin, William, Thomas. James, Esq., died March 5, 1852, aged 90, had three sons: Benjamin Goldsmith; Charles, merchant in New York, father of James; and George, in Fowler, Ohio. Dea. Jeremiah, Cayuga, N.Y., died June 10, 1854, aged 83; had sons William J. and George B., father of William R. and George F. Benjamin died 1794, aged 21. William settled at Washtenau, Mich., father of Franklin of Cazenovia, Nelson, and James. Thomas, Smithtown Branch, born July 11, 1768, died Jan. 7, 1854, father of James.
**James, died Mattituck 1775, aged 44, (his son) James, Esq., died March 5, 1852, age 90, James 2nd had three sons: Benjamin Goldsmith; Charles, merchant in New York, and George, in Fowler, Ohio.

 The Trumbull County, Ohio death record of G.W. Hallock 1870, 72 years old, place of birth Long Island, N.Y. His grandson’s death record, my great grandfather Claude C. Hallock 1906, 33 years, 2 mos. And 5 days.

 US Census Trumbull Co, OH George Hallock 51, Phebe Hallock his wife 42, James Hallock (my great grandfather) 17, Amelia Hallock 12, and Charles Hallock 12.

 Trumbull County Ohio Cemetery Inscriptions 1800-1930, compiled by Members of the Trumbull County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.
Page 110 Cemetery record for George Hallock died 4/18/1870.

 Trumbull County Ohio Cemetery Inscriptions 1800-1930, compiled by Members of the Trumbull County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.
Page 112
Cemetery records for James Hallock born 1833, died 1908, Harriett h/wf born 1833, died 1913, Mabel E. born 1868, died 1892, and Claude C. (my great grandfather) born 1873, died 1906.

 Trumbull County Ohio Newspaper Obituary Abstracts 1812 – 1870, by Michael Clegg, Ohio Newspaper Abstracts Series, Volume I – 1981, page 95.
Western Reserve Chronicle newspaper, 4 May 1870, George Hallock, res Fowler, 18 Apr, inflammation of kidneys, 72y, b. Long Island, came to Trumbull Co, when a young man, his wife a dau of Asahel Borden of Hartford.

 Early Marriages of Trumbull County, Ohio, 1800 – 1865, as Compiled by Mrs. Roscoe Winnagle, 1973, page 25. George Hallock and Phebe Bordon, Marriage date 6-10-1829, and James K. Hallock and Harriet Kellogg marriage date 4-17-1861.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Memorial to Grandpa Crites

This week I was given a gift from my Aunt Oneta Noel, who died four years ago. This gift came to me by way of a tattered, yellowed newspaper article that was tucked away in an old letter that my mother had.
Mother said, "I have something that I was supposed to give you from Aunt Oneta." "She wanted you to have this. She wrote your name on it." "I found it today as I was going through some old letters." "I am sorry that I didn't give it to you before." "She must have wanted you to have it because she knew that you were interested in genealogy and family history."
I looked it over and read:
The Evening World, Bloomfield, Indiana
October 27, 1976, page 3, columns 1-6.
In Memoriam
Charles Bernice Crites
Today would have been our Dad’s eighty-first birthday. “Bucky” Baker would have baked him a birthday cake and the group from the Owensburg Baptist Church would have helped him to celebrate, along with all the other residents of the Bloomfield Nursing Center, who have birthdays in the month of October. Each one of his four children and their families would have helped him to have a happy day as best we could, but God in His perfect omniscience changed our plans and on September 8, Dad suffered a heart attack and we took him from the Nursing Center to the Greene County Hospital where at about five in the afternoon of September 14, he went Home where time is not counted by years and no one ever grows old.
If it had been possible for Dad to have chosen to spent this eighty-first birthday with whomever he chose, he’d have selected to have spent it with his wife, who left this earth on January 12, 1975, for they had been married over fifty-six years and no matter how hard we tried we never could fill the loneliness he felt for our Mother.
Charles Bernice Crites, the oldest child of William Armstead Crites and Della Luiza Calvert Crites, was born in Greene County and except for the time her served as a soldier in World War I was never away from Greene County. He was a farmer and often left his fields to assist a neighbor in doctoring a sick animal for he had a real love for veterinary work, which he continued doing until he was no longer physically able to make his calls. This was the reason for his familiar title and for his being remembered by many as “Doc” Crites.
He had also served as Highland Township road superintendent, had worked at Crane Ammunition Depot, and was trustee of the Calvertville General Baptist Church where as a youth he was converted, baptized, and remained a member until his death.
Death separates us but it does not erase so many, many dear memories Bernice will be remembered as a good neighbor. He had a genuine love for people and especially for children. This rewarded him the last months of his life when so many, many neighbors and acquaintances stopped at Room 16 to greet him. The family thanks each one of you.
His sister, Lorene Noel, and brothers, Tilman and Harold, will ever remember their times growing up together, how he played the Big-Brother Role well; how he loved and cared for the teams.
We children will remember Dads a strict disciplinarian who taught us, and practiced before us, to: owe no man a cent, make your word your bond, and vote a straight ticket. Dad loved music and at different times sang in quartets. He often entertained his nieces, nephews and grandchildren by playing the fiddle and French harp. He had a special knack for writing poetry and for impersonating, and each one close to him had been given a nickname all his own. It is not our intent to imply that our Dad was perfect, for we know he wasn’t, but we would write an ode to him as a good dad and to remind all who read this to take advantage of the precious time you have your parents with you, for just two years ago, today, all our family met on Main Street to celebrate a birthday, not once realizing it would be our last family gathering.
Besides the four children, one sister and two brothers, Bernice is survived by his daughter-in-law, Wilda Crites, and his two sons-in-law, Don Sheets and Marion Noel; by eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by an infant son, Rex Reid; a brother, Russell; a grandson, Brad; and his wife, Ona Hunter Crites.
We want to thank all the Special People of the Nursing Center who made his life as easy as possible for the last twenty-one months. How we wish some of you could have known him as he was before his health failed him. A special note of gratitude goes out to dear Charley Thomas who was an understanding neighbor to the resident in Room 16 when he needed him so much; to Wayne Sparks who used patience beyond duty to comply with wishes that were sometimes impossible; to two Phyllises and to two Marys that were especially kind; to Myrtle and Anna who knew him before and understand with a different insight; and to Wanda Johnson, who actually shed tears as she assured him she’d take care of things for him. You are all a rare breed!
Thanks also to each one who sent flowers and cards. We appreciate everything; especially the Calvertville Missionary and the Union Valley Church for the food and coming and helping out.
Harwood, Oneta, Mable and Mary.