Sunday, December 14, 2014

Khanike Music

Khanike* begins this year on Tuesday night, December 16th.

I thought I'd share some music to help people get in the mood.

And here's a song performed by the cantor and congregants at the synagogue I'm proud to call my own

*"Khanike" is the preferred English spelling by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research for the Yiddish pronunciation of the holiday. There is no consistent English spelling for the Hebrew pronunciation, but I would prefer it to start with 'Kh,' to eliminate any confusion on how to pronounce the first phoneme. Maybe Khanuka.

Surname Poetry

Crestleaf - a genealogical database - is sponsoring a surname challenge to compose a creative post using their surname database. I think they had posts similar to my Friday Fives in mind. However, poetry was on my brain at the time, so that became the theme of my entry.

I've mentioned before that I am descended from Thomas and Katherine Stoughton. According to Gary Boyd Roberts of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, so was Clement Clarke Moore. [Source: The NEHGS recently moved their website, and it appears this is no longer viewable to the public.]

Moore's poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, is fairly well-known. I thought I would attempt to reconstruct it using surnames. As I often do in my genealogy research, I had to be a little flexible with spelling.

Every link goes directly to a person's entry in the Crestleaf database, so by following a few of the links you can get a general idea of the information they provide.

Avist From St. Nicholas
-- Clement Clarke Moore

Twasta Night Before Christmas Whenal Through Thee House
Notte Creature Waz Stirr Inge, Nott Even Amos;
Destocki Ng Zwar Hung Bythe Chimney Withcer,
Ihne Hopes Thatt Saint Nicholas Soon Would Bether;
Thee Children Ware Nestle Dall Snug Intihar Bedez;
While Vision Zove Sugar Plum Dance Intihar Heads;
Anda Mammana KerchiefAndia Inma Kapp,
Hadjes Settle Dour Brain Sforza Long Winters Napp,
Wenot Onda Lawn Theroux Sucha Clatter,
Eye Sprange Fromme Bidtah Seewaldt Waz Demato.
Awai Tothe Window Eye Fleu Lika Flash,
Toro Penta Shutter Zandt Throop Thee Sash.
Thee Moon Onda Breast Oft Henu Fallen Snow,
Gavala Sterr Ohff Midday Tew Objay Below,
Wennwright Tomy Wonderling Eyes Didde Peer,
Buta Miniter Sleigh Andeits Tine Reinders,
Withall ittel Ohl Driver Soli Vly Ahn Quick,
Inoue Ihne Moment Hemus Beeh Sainick.
Moore Rapida Than Eagles Hizcorr Sers Theye Camm,
Ahn Dhew Hissel D,ahn Shoutd, Ahn Called Themm Bye Nam:
"Nahl, Dasher! Nahl, Dancer! Nahl Prance Ahn Vix Ehn!
Onn, Comet! Onn, Cupid! Onn, Donner Ahn Blitz Ehn!
Tohe Topoff Thee Porch! Tothe Topoff Thee Wall!
Nahl Dash Awai! Dash Awai! Dash Awai Awl!"
Ash Leaves That Before Thee Wild Hurry Cane Fly,
Whent Hey Meetz Withan Obsta Cle,ment Tothe Sky;
Souppa Tothe House Topp Thee Courser Sthay Fleu
Withee Sleigh Fullove Toyz,an Saint Nicholas Tew
Anthen, Ihne Twinkley Ng,ai Heard Onn Theroff
Thee Prance Ngan Paal Ingo Veach Little Hoof.
Asid Rew Ihne Meehe Ad,an Dwass Turning Arounds,
Downs Thee Chimney St. Nicholasy Camm Witta Bound.
Hee Waz Dresdale Ihne Furr, From Hisheh Tohid Foot,
Ahn Hesz Clothe Zwar Altar Nishi Dwight Ashes Ahn Soot;
Abunda Oft Oys Hee Haade Flang Ohnhaus Back,
Ahn Helou Kedl Ike Aap Edler Just Oppen Ingis Pack.
Hisey Es—how Theye Twinn Kuld! Hisz Dimple S,howmar Rye!
Hische Eek Zwar Like Roses, Hisz Nosel Ika Cherry!
Hisz Droll Little Mouth Wasz Drawn Upp Like Abow,
Anthe Beard Onn Hisz Chin Wasas White Ash Thee Snow;
Thee Stump Ovah Pipe Hee Held Tight Innis Teeth,
Anthe Smoke, Itten Circle Dizh Head Lika Wreath;
Hee Hada Broadf Ace Anda Little Round Belly
Thatt Shook Wenhe Laughed, Lika Boll Fullove Jelly.
Hee Wasz Chubby Ahn Plump, Arite Jolly Ohlde Elff,
Andey Laughed Weney Sawh Him,inez Piteo Mais Elff;
Awin Koff Hisey Anda Twist Office Head
Soong Avem Eto Knoy Hadnot Hing Tew Dread;
Hee Spoke Nota Word, Butt Whent Straight Tew Hisz Work,
Anfield Ahl Thee Stockings; Then Turnn Dwight Ajer,
Ahn Lay Inge Hisz Finger Asid Eoff Hisz Nose,
Ahn Giving Ano, Upp Thee Chimney Heros;
Hee Sprang Tew Hisz Sleigh, Tew Hist Eem Gaveau Whistle,
Anda Way Thaye Ahl Fleu Like Thee Dounn Ofat Histel.
Buti Heard Hime Exx Claim, Airhea Drof Outa Sight
"Happy Christmas Toal L,and Toala Goodnight!"

This was fun, but next time I do it, I'm going to select a shorter poem!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Poetry

Below are several poems for the holiday

Gratitude - by Edgar A. Guest (©1917)

Be grateful for the kindly friends that walk along your way;
Be grateful for the skies of blue that smile from day to day;
Be grateful for the health you own, the work you find to do,
For round about you there are men less fortunate than you.

Be grateful for the growing trees, the roses soon to bloom,
The tenderness of kindly hearts that shared your days of gloom;
Be grateful for the morning dew, the grass beneath your feet,
The soft caresses of your babes and all their laughter sweet.

Acquire the grateful habit, learn to see how blest you are,
How much there is to gladden life, how little life to mar!
And what if rain shall fall to-day and you with grief are sad;
Be grateful that you can recall the joys that you have had.

Thanksgiving - by Edgar A. Guest (©1917)

Gettin' together to smile an' rejoice,
An' eatin' an' laughin' with folks of your choice;
An' kissin' the girls an' declarin' that they
Are growin' more beautiful day after day;
Chattin' an' braggin' a bit with the men,
Buildin' the old family circle again;
Livin' the wholesome an' old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother's a little bit grayer, that's all.
Father's a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an' to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Tellin' our stories as women an' men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we're grateful an' glad to be there.
Home from the east land an' home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an' best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We've come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves an' be frank,
Forgettin' position an' station an' rank.

Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers.

Looking Back - by Edgar Guest (©1921)

I might have been rich if I'd wanted the gold instead of the friendships I've made.
I might have had fame if I'd sought for renown in the hours when I purposely played.
Now I'm standing to-day on the far edge of life, and I'm just looking backward to see
What I've done with the years and the days that were mine, and all that has happened to me.

I haven't built much of a fortune to leave to those who shall carry my name,
And nothing I've done shall entitle me now to a place on the tablets of fame.
But I've loved the great sky and its spaces of blue; I've lived with the birds and the trees;
I've turned from the splendor of silver and gold to share in such pleasures as these.

I've given my time to the children who came; together we've romped and we've played,
And I wouldn't exchange the glad hours spent with them for the money that I might have made.
I chose to be known and be loved by the few, and was deaf to the plaudits of men;
And I'd make the same choice should the chance come to me to live my life over again.

I've lived with my friends and I've shared in their joys, known sorrow with all of its tears;
I have harvested much from my acres of life, though some say I've squandered my years.
For much that is fine has been mine to enjoy, and I think I have lived to my best,
And I have no regret, as I'm nearing the end, for the gold that I might have possessed.

A Song of Thanks - by Edward Smyth Jones (©1922)

FOR the sun that shone at the dawn of spring,
For the flowers which bloom and the birds that sing,
For the verdant robe of the gray old earth,
For her coffers filled with their countless worth,
For the flocks which feed on a thousand hills,
For the rippling streams which turn the mills,
For the lowing herds in the lovely vale,
For the songs of gladness on the gale,—
From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans’ banks,—
Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!

For the farmer reaping his whitened fields,
For the bounty which the rich soil yields,
For the cooling dews and refreshing rains,
For the sun which ripens the golden grains,
For the bearded wheat and the fattened swine,
For the stalled ox and the fruitful vine,
For the tubers large and cotton white,
For the kid and the lambkin frisk and blithe,
For the swan which floats near the river-banks,—
Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks

For the pumpkin sweet and the yellow yam,
For the corn and beans and the sugared ham,
For the plum and the peach and the apple red,
For the dear old press where the wine is tread,
For the cock which crows at the breaking dawn,
And the proud old “turk” of the farmer’s barn,
For the fish which swim in the babbling brooks,
For the game which hide in the shady nooks,—
From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans’ banks—
Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!

For the sturdy oaks and the stately pines,
For the lead and the coal from the deep,
dark mines, For the silver ores of a thousand fold,
For the diamond bright and the yellow gold,
For the river boat and the flying train,
For the fleecy sail of the rolling main,
For the velvet sponge and the glossy pearl,
For the flag of peace which we now unfurl,—
From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans’ banks,—
Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!

For the lowly cot and the mansion fair,
For the peace and plenty together share,
For the Hand which guides us from above,
For Thy tender mercies, abiding love,
For the blessed home with its children gay,
For returnings of Thanksgiving Day,
For the bearing toils and the sharing cares,
We lift up our hearts in our songs and our prayers,—
From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans’ banks,—
Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Two DNA Circles or a Venn Diagram?

Ancestry updated their DNA interface by eliminating a large number of false positive matches, and adding a new feature called DNA Circles.

You can read more here and here on Ancestry’s Blog

With some initial reviews at
What are DNA circles? According to Ancestry:

Ancestry told me that I am part of two DNA Circles
One has 8 descendants of Israel Swayze, Jr
One has 5 descendants of Abigail (Coleman) Swayze

Ancestry calculates the likelihood of the members in the circle sharing the same shared ancestor: Strong, Good, Some, Emerging or Weak. In all of my cases, they're 'Emerging.' This suggests to me that we're all in these circles based mostly on our Family Trees, and less on our DNA, or else it would probably be stronger. However, their description of DNA circles above states all members must share some DNA with at least one other member of the circle. 

Israel and Abigail were husband and wife, and I am unaware of any other spouse for either of them.
All five matches in Abigail's circle are in Israel's circle.
According to our Online Trees, my most recent common ancestor for the three in Israel's Circle that aren't in Abigail's is actually Israel and Abigail's daughter, Johanna Swayze.

I have no clue why these two circles aren't identical - or how Ancestry would be able to distinguish whether particular DNA for anyone in these two circles was from Israel or Abigail, since we all, if the research that went into our online trees is accurate for all of us, are descendants of both of them -- unless Ancestry had information about DNA circles involving other Swayzes or Colemans. If this is the case, I would like to know this information.

Another conundrum is that a known second cousin, a descendant of Melvin Elijah Van Every through a different daughter, isn't in either of these circles, even though her tree is public. I wonder if this implies she doesn't share any of the Swayze-Coleman DNA. Perhaps she does have DNA from Israel and Abigail, but it's not the same DNA that the eight in these circles inherited.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Poetry Friday: Careers

Robert Graves is well-known for his poetry, close to 50 collections were published during his lifetime, and his novels, including, I Claudius and Claudius the God. 

The below poem appeared in his second collection of poetry, Fairies and Fusiliers. It's clear he had already realized it was okay to go into a career his father was good at. However, the poem illustrates quite well the desire in some families to excel at different pursuits.

Careers - Robert Graves
(from Fairies and Fusiliers, 1918.)

FATHER is quite the greatest poet
   That ever lived anywhere.
You say you’re going to write great music—
   I chose that first: it’s unfair.
Besides, now I can’t be the greatest painter and
      do Christ and angels, or lovely pears
      and apples and grapes on a green dish,
      or storms at sea, or anything lovely,
Because that’s been taken by Claire.

It’s stupid to be an engine-driver,
   And soldiers are horrible men.
I won’t be a tailor, I won’t be a sailor,
   And gardener’s taken by Ben.
It’s unfair if you say that you’ll write great
      music, you horrid, you unkind (I sim-
      ply loathe you, though you are my
      sister), you beast, cad, coward, cheat,
      bully, liar!
Well? Say what’s left for me then!

But we won’t go to your ugly music.
   (Listen!) Ben will garden and dig,
And Claire will finish her wondrous pictures
   All flaming and splendid and big.
And I’ll be a perfectly marvellous carpenter,
      and I’ll make cupboards and benches
      and tables and … and baths, and
      nice wooden boxes for studs and
And you’ll be jealous, you pig!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Finding Your Roots: Jewish DNA

In Ashkenazi Jewish DNA and the Potential to Piece Together Shattered Family Branches Cece Moore, the Genetic Genealogy consultant for the television series, Finding Your Roots, discusses the DNA results they left out of the episode on Dershowitz, King and Kushner.
The episode that aired last week with Carole King, Alan Dershowitz and Tony Kushner did not include any DNA research, but that doesn’t mean that I hesitated to delve into their genetic genealogy. In fact, a short segment featuring Alan is included in the special DNA-themed last episode scheduled to air on November 25.
The article shares the results for all three, and further discusses the difficulties in using Jewish DNA to find cousins. However, Moore indicates she was able to use the results to find cousins for at least two of the three. She also shares a heartwarming story of a family reunification.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Finding Your Roots: Sting, Deepak Chopra and Sally Fields

Last night I watched the latest episode of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "The British Invasion."

Once again, several of the stories had similarities to my own family. Some of my British Denyer cousins migrated to Australia. I don't know their motivations. I have Loyalists in my tree who settled in Ontario, and while I don't believe any of my ancestors were on the Mayflower in 1620, I do have several who immigrated prior to 1650. (Betts, Chamberlain, Horton, Langton, Hallock, Swayze, Kinge, and possibly Van Every.) Unfortunately, I didn't find the Native American ancestry in my DNA that I expected to be there.

I was disappointed in Sally Field's lack of recognition when she heard her ancestor's name. It's been long enough since American History class for me, that I couldn't have provided too many details, but I instantly recognized the name, and the portrait shown was also familiar. I was worried for much of the episode that they wouldn't be able to provide Deepak Chopra with any ancestors he didn't know already. (Of course, if that were true, he wouldn't have been selected for an episode.) I was very impressed by Sting throughout his portions of the episode.

View the episode below. You can read the transcript here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day, 2014

Caption for photo to left: Human Statue of Liberty. 18,000 Officers and Men at Camp Dodge, Des Moines, Iowa. Colonel William Newman, Commanding. Colonel Rush S. Wells, Directing. Mole & Thomas, 09/1918. (source)

November 11 is Veterans Day in the US, and Remembrance Day in the UK, Canada, Australia, France and Belgium. In Poland it is celebrated as National Independence Day.

Below are the names of ancestors, and their siblings, who I know served their nation's military, either in a time of war, or in a time of peace. I am including my Loyalist ancestors; their nation was Great Britain. Canada became their country after the war. I am including my Confederate ancestors too, despite their desire to form a separate nation.

Fifth Great Grandfathers
McGregory Van Every (1723-1786) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers
Michael Showers (1733-1796) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers

Fourth Great Grandfather
David Van Every (1757-1820) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers (served briefly as a Patriot in the NY militia)

Fifth Great Uncle
Benjamin Van Every (1759-1795) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers (served briefly as a Patriot in the NY militia)
William Van Every (1765-1832) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers
Peter Van Every (1771-bef 1816) Loyalist/Fifth Lincoln and Second York regiments (War of 1812)

Fourth Great Uncles
David Van Every Jr. (1782-1847) Loyalist/Second York regiment (War of 1812)
Michael Van Every (1790-?) Loyalist/Fifth Lincoln and Second York regiments (War of 1812)

Second Great Grandfather
Ebenezer Denyer (1828-1872) (Mexican-American War) (Confederate Army)

Third Great Uncles
Samuel Jennings Denyer (1822-1861) (Gonzales County Minute Men - Republic of Texas -1841)
Samuel T Hartley (1830-1920) (Confederate Army)

Great Grandfather
Samuel Deutsch (1861-1938) (Franz Josef's Austro-Hungarian Army)

Melvin L Newmark (1912-1992), WWII
Martin J Deutsch (1907-1991), WWII

Great Uncles
Jerry Deutsch (1909-1950), WWII
Allen Deutsch (1914-1988), WWII
Harold Newmark (1915-2003), WWII
Mandell Newmark (1923-1945), WWII (DOI)
Bernard Feinstin (1913-1968), WWII
Seymour Feinstein (1917-1999), WWII

Stevan J Newmark (1942-1997) Army Reserves

Photographs of those who served in World War II

My grandfathers Melvin Newmark (1912-1992) and Martin Deutsch (1907-1991)

Allen Deutsch (1914-1988) and Maurice "Jerry" Deutsch (1909-1950).

Harold Newmark (1915-2003) and Mandell Newmark (1923-1945).

Bernard "Benny" Feinstein (1913-1968) and Seymour "Babe" Feinstein (1917-1999)