Friday, November 29, 2013

Hopeful

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This morning we hooked Jolly and Tana up into the rollemdowntheroad mode.


Man filled the tires on Jolly including the spare, and the tires on Tana, but, could not reach that spare.

The furnace started.

I have been carting stuff out there and doing a bit of organizing.

Hopeful - - -




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Monday, November 25, 2013

Baby It's Cold Out There, An Update

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Yes indeedy, it is cold out there. Guess we did not pay close enough attention to the low temps, and thought we had this situation under control.  Guess not.  Hope there is no damage. SIGH  It was 18 this morning and the wind chill was 5.  Yep, it's cold out there.


So, it is cold, and we are still in SE Michigan at the stickbuilt.  Man's stitches came out about 6 days ago, and at that point he was only 15 % healed.  They tell us that is normal.  He was told then, no lifting and no stretching for at least another week.  He is starting to do just a little lifting now, last week he could not lift much.  This week a bit more.

Needless to say, all this sitting around healing has also had a negative result.  He has no stamina to do much.  So, he has been walking a bit every day for the last week, going a bit further each day, if possible.  He tires kinda quickly, and back in the house he comes, resting more.  It is all part of the process.

We still hope to escape for the winter, but, whew, I think winter came early, and we did not escape it!  Thank goodness for really warm winter coats!

After Thanksgiving we will look at the weather reports, and hopefully start packing Tana.  I will have to do most of the lugging of stuff out there, as he still will not be able to lift much weight.  That will add a day or more to the packing frenzy.  It is what it is.

While he has been healing I have been cleaning and organizing the upstairs office area.  I set a goal for myself earlier in the year, before we ever arrived back here at the stick built, to clean off this desk surface.  Hours of filing there.


What does not show in these photos are the other piles of stuff in and around the office space, and there were plenty of piles with plenty of stuff.  During the process of getting this pile under control, I also cleaned other surfaces, and actually found some real estate!

I added lots of names to the data base. I added a lot of images to the data base.  I scanned several thousand pages from books I wanted in that format.  I scanned lots of other stuff.  I surfed, I hunted, I had a genie overdose.  It has been great! Last week the piles were down to this small, really, it is small, pile.  I almost have this gone too.  I just might get it all filed away before we try to escape for the winter.  I only need a few more hours - - -


During this interlude we have enjoyed several family gatherings, good food, sharing, catching up.  We will enjoy Thanksgiving day with them as well.  Special times.

And, even though I am NOT a morning person, the dogs sometimes wake me just in time to capture a sunrise.  This one, this morning, not half bad.





* No, I have not abandoned the posts covering last year's fantastic tour, THE Trip, THE Encore, I will return to that, right now the office spaces and all that mess, err, good stuff, is high priority.  Hopefully in a week or so, I will leave a clean office space and we will be tooling down the hard road, headed for some place warm(er).

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Robert Emmett Lenahan, A Bio of Sorts, The REALLY Good Stuff Found, Part 3

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

OK, even I will admit that Part 2 of this series was a bit dry.  Timelines don't make the most fascinating reading, but they do tell the story.

Here is the fun part.

I have know about Robert for well over 20 years.  He evaded me at every turn for many of those years.  It was recently that some new data bases became available and new avenues of research were revealed.

The most exciting part of this process was receiving the pension application papers from the National Archives.  I had a professional researcher pull the files.  His knowledge of how the system works was worth the small fee I paid him to pull and mail me the file.

The file contained 18 pages.  Three of those pages contain information that took my breath away.

First of all I got signatures.  Four of them.  Robert's of course, and Lorena's (of course, whispered with a giggle, because, I am pretty sure I do not have hers).  I also found that two of her witnesses on her application were her daughter and daughter's husband.


And, Lorena's signature, and that of her daughter Rena and Rena's husband, Robert Nunnally. Since I knew Rena personally, I recognized her handwriting immediately.  How fun!


Robert's application is dated April 22, 1922.

Robert claims that between the 12th of May 1898 and sometime in September 1898 he served as a Civil Engineer for the Cuban Army 3d Regiment 3d Division 3 Army Corp at Santiago Cuba.  He states he lived in Memphis and Norfolk since his service.

Additionally Robert swears that:

1.)  He was born January 1, 1861 in Memphis Tennessee.  (NEW!!)

2.)  His first wife was one Lizzie Snograss, whom he married on September 13, 1896 and divorced in 1904 at Memphis Tennessee.  (Maiden name NEW, divorce data NEW)

3.)  His second wife, my ancestress, is Lorena Lenahan, maiden name Lorena Eley, whom he married on August 20, 1918 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  (Place of marriage, VERIFIED!)

This pension application then gives information about Lorena and her prior marriages, and this is when my heart stopped.  I have looked for some of this information for over 20 years.  Looked and looked and looked some more.  Many research hours spinning microfilm.  Sometimes spinning the same film time and time again.  Phone calls, personal visits, volunteers helping me time and time again.  And, despite ALL this effort the dates and places I wanted, evaded me.

1.)  Lorena's first husband was Mills Norsworthy, whom she married at Chuckatuck (Virginia).  Mills died, (be still my heart), July 20, 1886.  (NEW!!!!) (I have yet to locate this death date despite years of looking.)

2.)  Lorena's second husband was W. H. Dews (my direct ancestor) whom she married October 27, 1887 and who died on December 31, 1906.  (NEW!!!!) (My heart took another jump, as I have been looking for the actual date of his death for years.  His burial place is family tradition, the church burned in 1943.)

3.)  Lorena's third husband was James Harlow, whom she married April 5, 1910 at Berkley Virginia and divorced in 1915 at Norfolk.  Sadly, Lorena seems to have reported the marriage date wrong, as I have her marriage certificate from the Commonweath of Virginia, it is dated April 4, 1911.  But, the year of divorce matches the divorce data I received from the City of Norfolk.

Lorena applied for a Widow's pension on March 31, 1931.  From that application we learn:

1.) That Robert Emmitt (sic) Lenahan died January 18, 1930 in New Orleans.  (Full date NEW!)

[She restates that she married Robert August 20, 1918 in  Elizabeth City, North Carolina, her previous husband had been James Harlow whom she had divorced.  That Robert had been previously married to Lizzie, whom he divorced in 1910 (note year conflicts with the data that Robert gave in 1922).]

Two legal sized sheets of paper loaded with information I had been searching for since 1991, give or take.

I have not stopped happy dancing!

As I continue to review and study the pension applications, I may discover some more little tidbits of data.  That said, I am ecstatic with the death dates of Lorena's first two husbands, and that of Robert and the signatures!




*  The disclaimer, I have a subscription to Ancestry.com for which I pay the current fees.  They have not asked me to review their services, good or bad.  Please refer to my Disclaimer page.

** Graphic courtesy of danhortonszar.com

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Robert Emmett Lenahan, A Bio of Sorts, The Time Line, Part 2

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

After reading the wonderful letter shared with me by Jonnie, and after reviewing her family tree at Ancestry I set out to dig out what I could find out about Robert Emmett Lenahan.  The following time line was constructed from Jonnie's information, census enumerations, marriage records, city directories and Robert's Pension Application (for the supposed service in the Spanish American War).

First note, a surname with a vowel every other letter will challenge your creative spelling.  Lenahan, Linahan, Linehan, Lanahan, and so forth - -  thank goodness for wild cards.

So, lets see if I can build a time line for Robert, more information on the sources available upon request.

1861, Birth, full date of January 1, 1861 and conflicting information of birthplace of Memphis Tennessee from the Pension Application.

1870 U.S. Census of Range 5, Marshall, Mississippi, Post Office: Byhalia, Robert E. Lenahan, age 10, born Mississippi is found in the household of Henry and Maria Lenahan, both of whom were born in Ireland (noting that the enumerator first indicated that Henry and Maria were both born in North Carolina.)  This information matches that from Jonnie's uncle Benjamin's letter, that they were born in Ireland and that they lived in Byhalia.

1880 U.S. Census - - still hunting for him.

From the data base at Ancestry: U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (all further references to directories came from the same data base.)

1888, Memphis, Tennessee: Robert E Lenahan, 176 Linden, occupation, fireman stmr.  Noting, he was not living with any other Lenahan family members.  Also note, occupation shown as fireman, which matches Jonnie's uncle Benjamin's letter.

September 29, 1896, marriage to one Mrs. Elizabeth Finley in Shelby County, Tennessee.  She will later be identified in Robert's pension application as Lizzie Snodgrass.  (Shelby County has lots of wonderful records online, digitized, ooo, laa laa.)


1897 Memphis, Tennessee, City Directory, Robert E Lenahan, 34 Exchange extd S, occupation: Laborer City Eng Dept.

1898 Memphis, Tennessee, City Directory, Robert E Lenahan, 82 Robeson, occupation: Laborer

1900 United States Federal Census, Memphis Ward 18, Shelby, Tennessee, Robert E Lenahan 39, birthplace, Mississippi and Lizzie 44.  Marital Status:Married, Marriage Year: 1896, Father's Birthplace: Ireland; Mother's Birthplace: Ireland

1902  We find a reference to Robert Emmett in the data base at Ancestry called UK, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960.  The data base comes from the National Archives of London, England.  This reference is to a passenger list from 1902 where a Robert Emmett Lenahan, electrician, aged 39 is aboard the ship Southwark, headed back to New York City.  If you check the dates of the Boer War, which Jonnie's uncle Benjamin mentions in his letter, you will find that the end date is 1902. Here is a short page at Wikipedia.

1910 United States Federal Census, Civil District 6, Shelby, Tennessee, Robert E. Lenahan, age 46, Birth Year: 1864, Birthplace: Mississippi, Single, living in the household  of Madison F. Mathews, occupation, hired man, Father's Birthplace: Ireland; Mother's Birthplace: Ireland.  Note, Lizzie (Elizabeth) is not living in this household.

1904 to 1910 We also learn from Robert's Pension Application that Robert and Lizzie are reportedly divorced, either in 1904 or in 1910.  We find listings for Lizzie, or Elizabeth Lenahan, WIDOW in Memphis Tennessee directories from 1904 through 1933.  In the 1934 directory she is listed as Mrs. Elizabeth Lenahan with no reference to Robert.  Records for a said divorce have not been searched for.

1918 Robert E. Lenahan marries my ancestress, Lorena Estelle Eley Norsworthy Dews Harlow, their marriage has been found on two indexes, one for Norfolk, Virginia and one for Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, North Carolina.  The Pension application papers claim that the marriage took place in North Carolina.  This marriage record will be ordered soon, certified, directly from the county, as soon as I can get a money order procured.

1920 U.S. Census, Washington Magisterial District, Norfolk County, Virginia as follows:  Robert Leenahan, age 59, married, born Tennessee, parents both born in Ireland, laborer, public works; Lorena, wife, age 53, married, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia, running boarding house.

1930 to 1931.  Lorena's Widow Pension Application in 1931 reveals that Robert E. Lenahan died in New Orleans, Louisiana January 18, 1930.  Several searches of indexes covering this area have not revealed any death, various spellings have been checked.  Either the death was not recorded, it was recorded with a spelling I have not hit upon yet or he did not actually die in New Orleans.  But, her application does match the family tradition revealed in Jonnie's uncle Benjamin's letter.

We have yet to discover a burial place for Robert.

For the record, Robert's pension application was denied on grounds that his service could not be proven.  Of course, Lorena's widow's pension application was also denied on the same grounds.




*  The disclaimer, I have a subscription to Ancestry.com for which I pay the current fees.  They have not asked me to review their services, good or bad.  Please refer to my Disclaimer page.

** The research continues, I am sure there will be new findings, and/or findings reported here that may be proven in error.  Such is the nature of research.  One step forward, 1.5 steps sideways.

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Robert Emmett Lenahan, A Bio of Sorts, The Beginning, The Hints, Part 1

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

On November 10, 2013 I wrote, Military Index Cards - - Lorena, I Don't Believe You Fed Him Poisonous Mushrooms, the beginning of the breakdown of a research wall that has been solid brick for over 20 years.

A few more days of research, including hiring some work done in the National Archives and the sharing of a family letter/story with me, and now, I am going to try to paste together a bit of Robert Emmett Lenahan's life story.

First, a correction or note about my previous post.  It seems after receiving and studying Robert's pension file, his application for a pension was denied, as no proof of service could be found.  So officially, he did not serve.

During my research binge on Robert I contacted a lady with a family tree on Ancestry.  And much to my total delight, she responded.  With great stories.  And, those stories had research hints/leads.  Let's start with some of my conversations with Jonnie.  She has given permission for me to share.  Bless her.

"I have a letter written by my uncle, Benjamin Frank Court, that lists his mothers brothers and sisters and there is one on the list, Emmitt, that he called  "Uncle Em".

Uncle Frank, did not know the names of his mother's mother and father, but said they migrated from Ireland and settled in Byhalia, Mississippi and  his grandfather was a shoemaker, but that was all he knew about them.

I find a Robert E. Lenahan marriage to Lizzie Lenahan in 1896 but nothing else about a family. Uncle Frank never mentioned a family, but that doesn't mean there was not one. Uncle Frank was over 90 years old when he wrote the information down for me, and did pretty good remembering as much as he did. Uncle Frank's letter said that "Uncle Em" moved to New Orleans after his mother, Grandmother Rose died and and when Uncle Em died, died, "Uncle Jim" oldest boy, went New Orleans and took [care] of funeral and buried him in New Orleans."

Jonnie actually shared images of two pages/portions of the letter written by her uncle Benjamin.  Here is part of one page.  I cropped this section out of the full page and digitally tweaked it a bit for ease in viewing. Two words from a previous thought/paragraph were removed, again for clarity purposes.  I cannot thank Jonnie enough for sharing and allowing me to use her information and image.


Jonnie also provided transcriptions of parts of her uncle Benjamin's letter, as follows:

"Uncle Emmett, we called him Uncle Em. He joined the fire dept. He was a fireman. He was on a (???) story building. The floor burned our. He fell through, stuck a hot nail in his foot. Was off work for awhile. Was on another building, on the roof. It was on an alley, the wall caved in. He fell and caught the roof on a building across the alley.

When the English went to war with the Boars in South Africa, for the diamond money, he went to England and joined the English army. Went to South Africa, fought the Boars. Was a Captain in the English Army. When the war was over, he came back.

"He was a traveler from place to place. When Christmas came, regardless of where he was, he would send to his sister, my mother, a Christmas card. He would appear sometimes, have dinner with us, go see his brother, Jim, come back, tell his sister good by. We would not see him for a long time. When he got old, he came stayed with us. When mother died, (Aug. 27 1919) he went to New Orleans, later died there. Uncle Jim, oldest boy, went to New Orleans and took care of his funeral. He is buried somewhere there."

As with all letters and family traditions and stories, there are a few small errors, but, a tremendous amount of insight.

Next, a timeline of sorts, some dates/facts from new discoveries, some dates/facts from prior research and information I had on Robert and Lorena.




* The disclaimer, I have a subscription to Ancestry.com for which I pay the current fees.  They have not asked me to review their services, good or bad.  Please refer to my Disclaimer page.

**Note spelling of "Boar" is that of Jonnie's uncle Benjamin.  The actual spelling is "Boer". Thanks John for the heads up on the spellings.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Man's Melanoma Update

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

First thing, the best news, finally this afternoon, we were informed that the surgery removed all the nastiness and that no further surgery will be required on this particular spot.

He has quite the incision, about 18 stitches.  He is still pretty sore.  We will need another few weeks for him to heal before we can consider heading south with Tana.

It's snowing right now here in SE Michigan, no surprise, and I expect we will see a bit more before we are finally south of Indianapolis.

Now we pray for no more spots or delays.

Thank you all for your support.




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In Memory Of, My Second Cousin, Claude Richard Hoggard III, Veterans Day, 2013

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Claude Richard Hoggard III


Born in Portsmouth on September 3, 1941 to Claude R. Hoggard Jr and his wife, Lillian Mae Taylor.

Claude was a graduate of the University of Richmond.

Claude was a Captain in the U. S. Army receiving many awards including:

Distinguished Flying Cross

Bronze Star

Air Medal.

He retired from the Army in 1974.

Died November 10, 2012, Cheasapeake, Virginia

Interred at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk, Virginia

Leaves behind a wife, 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. A son predeceased him.


Find A Grave Memorial here, photo used with permission of Ken Campbell.




*  Photo of "Ricky" taken by this blogger about 1994.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Military Index Cards - - Lorena, I Don't Believe You Fed Him Poisonous Mushrooms

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

My great grandmother, Lorena Estelle/Estella Eley Norsworthy Dews Harlow Lenahan Collins was married FIVE times!  Lorena outlived each and every husband.  All FIVE!  My father used to tell me she must have fed them poisonous mushrooms. He was just kidding - -

Her fourth hubby, Robert E. Lenahan has been a bit of a brick wall (so was hubby number 1, Mills Norsworthy, but, this is about Robert).

Years ago, early in my research, I found a marriage index for what was then, Norfolk County Courthouse at Portsmouth Virginia.  Year, 1918.  I tried to find that marriage license, it was even given a number in that index.  I tried several times, in all courthouses in the Norfolk area.  I also tried from the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The effort was a total fail.  I was always more than befuddled by that failure.

Recently, I found another marriage index, this time over in North Carolina for the same couple and the same date, right to the very day.  For a variety of reasons, that marriage record has not yet been procured, but, that will change soon!

This weekend while cleaning email and working diligently on the family history data base, I wandered in and out of Ancestry, FamilySearch, Fold3 and Find A Grave.  And, I found, this!


Over the last couple of days I have (along with the help of some good genie angel researching friends) discovered some more about ole Robert here.

So, Happy Veteran's Day Robert, thank you for your service (which happened between May 12, 1898 and September 1898) during the Spanish American War era.

I am not sure I have any other Spanish American War vets, you may be my first.

Now, I am off to learn some more about Robert.  And, I have some pension files to try and get copies of.




* The required disclaimers: I am a user of Ancestry, FamilySearch, Fold3 and Find A Grave.  I pay the required memberships to access those that require fees.  I have not been asked to chatter about their services, good or bad.  I refer you to my Disclaimer page.

**  Ohhh, and there is this family tree I discovered on Ancestry, that shows Robert living around Memphis Tennessee for a number of years, with a wife, Lizzie.  Yep!  Am I surprised??  Not much, remember, I have been researching Archibald Norman Lashbrook, aka Arthur Norman Stevens for years!

*** This also pretty much busts up a family tradition/story that Robert just up and disappeared one day and that 7 years later she had him declared dead.

**** By the way, Robert died in Louisiana in 1930 per another index card I found.  Lorena resided in the general Norfolk area all of her adult life.  I may get another surprise or two when and if I get the pension application file, but, somehow Dad, I don't think she fed him any poisonous mushrooms.

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Military"

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence


This blog post  is part of my participation in a weekly writing meme called, "The Book of Me, Written By You"  You too can be part of this experiment/experience, there is more information here, and at this Facebook page.

I may or may not publicly share what I write each week. This week I share.

This week’s prompt (week 11) is Military:
  • Did you join the military?
  • Were you encouraged or discouraged?
  •  Did a family member?
  •  Regular or for a particular incident
  •  Did you or your family serve overseas in the line of Service either during a war or a posting
  •  Any thoughts, photographs, memories relevant
I did not personally join the military, but Man served during the Vietnam Era. It was join the Navy or get drafted.  We were expecting our first child, many of our peers were going off to war in Nam and not coming back.  So, he joined. Here he is:


During his service years he was stationed at Great Lakes for basic training, Washington D.C. for language school, San Angelo Texas for additional training and Morocco for 18 months (I was able to travel and live there with him to Washington D.C., Texas and to Morocco for 16 months.)

Man's years of service were a time of growth and excitement for us.  We had young sons, and opportunities.  We saw some of the United States and traveled and lived overseas for over a year.

While we lived in Washington D.C. we were close to both of my grandmothers and were able to travel to visit with them several times.  Both Man and I have very special memories of those visits.

While based in Texas we fell in love with the state and the people.  We were involved in an auto accident while there, our landlord took care of us as if we were his children.

Traveling back and forth to Washington and Texas all became memory laden events, snow storms, blown tires, car break downs, running out of gas just short of the top of a mountain.  All fond memories now, and many lessons learned, do not purchase re-treaded tires, the tread peels off.  Put gas in before you head UP the mountain even if you think there is enough fuel, cause there probably is not.  Blizzards cause slow rides home, serious headaches and many white knuckles.  We try to avoid driving in blizzards these days.  Be sure to have extra baby food and diapers, cause what you thought would be a 8 hour drive might end up 4 hours in the garage and another 8 hours of driving.

We lived in two different villas while we based in Morocco, they were not centrally heated, we used kerosene heaters.  Hot water on demand was the norm, below Man shows off our hot water heater, (so we could send photos home!)  Gawlly, can you believe those britches??  And, they were in style!  Oh MY!  Yes, he is standing on the side of the tub.


Here I am walking down the street in Kenitra with our two sons.  And, my britches are not much better than Man's.  Matching??


Below:  The second villa we lived in.  The windows had wooden shutters and glass windows, no screens.  Our bedroom was on the far left in the front, behind that was the bathroom (sink and bathtub only), behind that a small room where the children played and behind that, the kitchen.  On the other side of the villa was a front room.  My memory is a bit faded on this, but, believe the boys had a small bedroom behind the front room.  The back of the villa was actually one large long room/space, starting with that small kitchen, a small room that housed the toilet (a real porcelain toilet, not a hole in the floor as was common) and a area where I had my washer.  Clothes were always dried on lines.  In the winter, I sometimes had clothes drying all over the inside, but, mostly our clothes were line dried.

The gate led to the side yard.  The wall/fence had glass shards set in mortar to discourage climbing into the yard.  Glass shards were very common and effective.


This is the side yard, the Opal Cadet, our wheels.  I learned to drive a stick shift, on the floor, with that car, and I still love driving a stick shift, 5 speed on the floor,  The two little boys sitting in what looks like a door frame were sons of the landlord.  The landlord lived behind the walls and the door I am walking in front of.  They had 4 or 5 rooms that were side by side.  There were no doors from room to room, they went out the door into the open air area, and into the next door/room.  The open air area was truly open air, there was no roofing at all. They had a room with a small television, several sleeping rooms, a cooking/kitchen room and a room with the hole in the ground toilet.  Off to the right, out of view in this photo was a fenced in area where the landlord had rabbits.


While we were in Morocco there was one coup attempt.  We spent 7 days under house arrest, living in our villa (the previous one, not the one shown here in photos) with the wooden shutters closed all the time, our car hidden in the garage.  This event deserves a blog post (or two) of it's own, and maybe some day I shall do that.


We partook of local celebrations.  The locals enjoyed showing off for us, frequently bringing us to the front of the crowd to entertain us.  They would honor us with food, hot mint sweet tea at their tables.  We were even invited to a local wedding in the desert one night.  



Our budget was stretched, as we did not live in base housing, so we had little money for sightseeing.  Never got to the Sahara Desert.  We did drive to Casablanca a few times.  One distinct memory was my stepping out of the car when a man approached, flipped open his long coat and flashed me - - - hashish.  All sown into the inside of his coat.  I politely declined his offer.  We spent a fabulous weekend in Fez.  Shopping in the Medina was an experience we shall never forget, and just as a warning, do NOT attempt entrance and a tour of the Medina of Fez on your own, it is truly a maze and you will be lost in no time.

We did a day trip to Volubilis, a Roman city. It was a day to remember, the docent was very knowledgeable, a fascinating day.  To date, the only Roman ruins we have ever been to.


This is downtown Kenitra.  I believe this was during Feast of the Throne, a day held in honor of the king’s ascension to the throne.


Man's time of service to his country was an emotional time for our country.  We felt very blessed to be able to spend most of his time in the Navy together, traveling, and experiencing much.  It was a special time in our lives.

And, that is just a taste of what this military wife's life was like back in the early 1970's.




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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Remembering, Court House Lawn Memorial, Adrian, Lenawee County, Michigan

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This monument (boulder) was originally placed on the lawn of the Lenawee County Courthouse.  This 6 foot tall boulder has been moved to Monument Park, Adrian, Lenawee County, Michigan.


This memorial is a boulder bearing a bronze plate, is inscribed:

Honor Roll
1917-1918
Dedicated to the Memory of Lenawee County Men
Who gave their lives for Liberty and Justice in the World War.

Erected by the Grange of Lenawee County and the Adrian Chamber of Commerce.

List of Men on Bronze Plate:

Claude T. Annis
Harold Bachman
Lloyd C. Bailey
Ward B. Baughey
Oliver M. Biggs
Edward E. Biskupshi
Orvel V. Blakeley
Ross E. Bowerman
Victor Bragg
Frank H. Brieschke
Leigh L. Brown
Maurice Busch
Conrad A. Carlin
George E. Carlton
John S. Carroll
Delancy Colvin
Clell E. Coppine
Melvin Crandall (Or Nelvin)
Clyde Crise
Glenn Daykin
William H. Deshler
Charles F. Deye
Frank P. Drukee
Eugene Ewing
Ernest F. Filler.
Frances B. Ferguson
Glenn F. Fielder
Bryan Foster
Rexford Gaddy
E. LeRoy German
William E. Grieve
Herman Gross
Erle E. Hanham
Dennis F. Hanhan   
Wallace R. Harvey
Verne C. Havens
Milburn H. Hawks
William Horton
James Hurd
Emil Jacobs
Luther F. Jero
Albert M. Kidder
Benjamin C. Knisel
Kenneth LeFevre
Gustave O. Lemke
Carl C. Lenardson
Frank Lumpp
John Lumpp
Arthur A. Marks
Lawrence Marowelli
Robert Meachem
Adelbert P. Mills
Clyde Mitchell
W. J. Mosely
Lewis Murphy
Arthur N. Odell
George W. Oldfield
Paul Omans
Wilfred Orr
William Ost
John A. Pennington
Frederick E. Pieper
Carl Prielip
Earl B, Rector
Everett Reed
John Reilly
Arthur C. Richardson
Walter R. Robinson
Russell R. Rollason
Floyd H. Rose
Henry Rosenberg
Raymond R. Sebring
James A. Snyder
Victor Spangle
Walter F. Spielman
Elwood D. Stanberry
William C. Stark
Alfred G. Sudborough
Harold B. Taylor
Van R. Tolford
Lawrence M. Tubbs
Charles J. Underwood
David H. Underwood

This list of names was originally collected and edited by Harriet Cole Clark Bowen.  Vital Records Collection of the DAR of Adrian, Michigan, Lenawee County, Michigan. Vol 1.  Printed Adrian, 1933.




*This post will be included by Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy in the 2013 Veteran's Day Honor Roll project.

**Photo taken by yours truly about 15 years ago.  It has been almost that many years since I have visited the Memorial Park in Adrian to visit.
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oh, V.C. Or, How I Hate Initials

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I have been cleaning out old emails, VERY old emails.  VERY VERY VERY old emails.

Part of that process involves follow up research at the favorite genie sites.  I was clicking along, then, hit a census enumeration full of initials.  I really despise initials.  My southern roots research is thwarted, and bounced around a lot by initials.

Here is an example, or set of examples, about one lady in my research, Virginia Catherine Eley Niblett Watkins.  She led me on a grand chase, let me tell you:

Found on the 1860 U.S. Census, Eastern District, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Smithfield Post Office:  Graves Niblet, age 36, farmer, value of real estate $3000., value of personal property $2000.; V. C., age 29;  Wm A., age 8; W. G., age 6; Jno R., age 4, A., age 1 (all male children).

From the December 25, 1868 issue of the Petersburg Index, Petersburg, Virginia:
     "Married
     WATKINS-NIBLETT--In Isle of Wight county, on the morning of the 20th instant, by Rev. W. B.Wellons, Col. MERIDETH H. WATKINS and MRS. VIRGINIA C. NIBLETT."

Virginia is found on the 1870 U.S. Census of Zuni Station, Windsor Township, Isle of Wight County, Virginia:  M. H. Watkins, age 65, farmer, value of real estate $5000., value of personal property $950., born Virginia; Virginia C. Watkins, age 38, keeping house, born Virginia.  Three of her sons Walter, Robert and Solomon are shown with the surname Watkins:  Walter, age 15, at school, born Virginia; Robert, age 13, laborer, born Virginia; Solomon, age 11, at home .  Also in the household, and possibly the child of M. H. Watkins, is:  Ellen Watkins, age 17, cook.

Virginia is found on the 1880 U.S. Census of Windsor District, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, in the household of her son John, as follows:  J. R. Niblet, age 23, farmer, born Virginia; M. L. Darden, age 17, wife, married within the census year, keeping house, born Virginia; M. H. Watkins, age 75, step-father, boarder; V. C. Watkins (looks like O.C. and has been found indexed as A.C.), mother, boarder, age 47,; M. I. (?) Watkins, age 6, brother; R.W. Niblet, age 20, sister, boarder.

Virginia is enumerated on the 1900 U.S. Census of Emporia Town, Emporia Township, Greensville County, Virginia, she is found in the home of her son, W. G. Niblett:  V. C. Watkins, mother, born November 1833, age 66, widowed, 5 children, all of whom survive, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia.

Virginia was enumerated on the 1910 U. S. Census of Suffolk, Nansemond County, Virginia, in the home of her son,  M. M. Watkins, as follows: Virginia Watkins, age 76, widowed, 5 children, all of whom survive, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia.

Virginia was found on the 1920 U.S. Census of Suffolk, Nansemond County, Virginia in the home of her son, Milson M. Watkins, as follows: Virginia C., mother, age 87, widow, born Virginia, both parents born Virginia.

Virginia's obituary appeared in the April 10, 1921 issue of the Virginia-Pilot and the Norfolk Landmark, Norfolk, Norfolk County, Virginia, under a column titled, in part, "Suffolk News and ..."
     "MRS. VIRGINIA C. WATKINS
     Suffolk, April 9. - - Mrs. Virginia C. Watkins, widow of the late Meredith M. Watkins, and one of the prominent women of this city, died this morning at 3:30 o'clock at the home of her son, M. M. Watkins, in St. James avenue, in the 89th year of her age.
     Mrs. Watkins, who was a native of Isle of Wight County, is survived by five sons, M. M. Watkins, of Suffolk; S. T. Neblett, of Wakefield; W. G. Neblett, of Boykins; J. R. Neblett, of Edenton; W. E. Neblett, of Laurinburg, N.C.
     The funeral services will be held Sunday afternoon, April 10, at 4 o'clock, at the residence of Mr. Watkins, in St. James avenue, conducted by Rev. H. H. Butler, assisted by Rev. Dr. W. W. Staley.  Interment will be made in Cedar Hill Cemetery.  The pall-bearers will be J. L. Eley, J. G. Marshall, J. M. Eley, J. A. Eley, Harvey Ashburn, J. M. White, N. T. Gray and J. F. Joyner."

(How many J. ?. Eley's do you think we could have????  I count three in the list above.  No wonder I have a dislike for initials.)


Virginia Catherine Eley was born November 14, 1832 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.  Her parents were Exum Eley and Martha "Patsey" Darden Marshall Eley.

Virginia married first Graves Niblett, no marriage record for the couple has been found.  Graves served in the 16th Virginia Infantry during the war between the states, as did two of Virginia's full brothers, Solomon B. Eley and Stephen A. Eley.  Virginia married second Meredith Holland Watkins on December 20, 1868 at Isle of Wight County Virginia. Meredith also served in the 16th Virginia Infantry.

She died April 9, 1921 at Suffolk (Nansemond County) Virginia was was laid to rest in the large cemetery there, Cedar Hill Cemetery.




*Virginia was also spotlighted here on Reflections in November of 2009.

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