Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving poetry

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.

The poems I posted last year

Conflicting Emotions

I want to talk about a holiday filled with conflicting emotions.

This is a holiday that remembers our ancestors’ religious persecution.

This is a holiday that commemorates freedom and hope.

Celebration of this holiday involves food, prayer, games, and family gathered.

This holiday requires us to close our eyes, temporarily, to the facts.

This holiday requires us to forget, for the moment, what happened afterward, in the following generations.

We focus on the freedom, the hope, the opportunity, with the albatross of that same opportunity squandered hanging over our heads, but not welcome at the holiday table filled with food, family, and festivities.

I probably should wait to talk about this holiday, since it doesn’t begin for another 3.5 weeks.

Hanuka begins on December 21 this year.

However, in the year 164 BCE, when Mattathias, his sons, and their followers fought back against religious persecution, the month on the Roman calendar was November.

As Rabbi Joseph Telushkin in Jewish Literacy, writes, “One of the sadder ironies of Jewish history is that the Maccabees led a successful revolt against King Antiochus’ anti-semitic oppressors only to turn into oppressors of the Jews themselves. (p. 112)”

On Hanuka we will focus on the freedom, the hope, and the opportunity, just as we as Americans do on Thanksgiving. We need to teach our children what happened next, so they aren’t blind to the forces of history, but that can be done on a different day. It doesn’t need to weigh us down on a holiday meant for celebration.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Take'er Easy There, Pilgrim

I subscribe to the Oxford English Dictionary's Word of the Day email. The OED is best known for their 'genealogy (etymology) of words.'

On holidays their word choice is often related to the holiday. For example, here is a selection from today's word: Pilgrim

4. a. U.S. Hist. Usu. in plural and with capital initial. Any of the English Puritans who founded the colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620; (gen.) any of the other early English colonists. See also Pilgrim Fathers n. at Compounds 2.

In quot. 1630, William Bradford (the second governor of Plymouth) uses pilgrim of the settlers figuratively, alluding to Hebrews 11:13 (cf. sense 3). The same phraseology was repeated by Cotton Mather and others, and became familiar in New England. By the late 18th cent. commemorative toasts were often given to the Pilgrims or the Sons of the Pilgrims, and through such celebration Pilgrim and Pilgrim Father eventually passed into use as historical designations.

1630 W. BRADFORD Hist. Plymouth Plantation 36 They knew they were but pilgrimes, & looked not much on those things; but lift vp their eyes to ye heauens, their dearest cuntrie. 1654 E. JOHNSON Hist. New-Eng. 216 Yet were these pilgrim people minded of the suddain forgetfulness of those worthies that died not long before. 1660 in Publ. Colonial Soc. Mass. (1914) 17 366 [New Haven colony] bounds extended neare unto Cold Spring, beyond Pilgrims Harbour. 1702 C. MATHER Magnalia Christi II. i. 3/1 They found..a new which they found that they must live like Strangers and Pilgrims. 1794 in Publ. Colonial Soc. Mass. (1914) 17 366 Toasts on the occasion, viz..The Pilgrims in Concord. 1841 A. YOUNG Chron. Pilgrim Fathers 88 The term Pilgrims belongs exclusively to the Plymouth colonists. 1892 Nation (N.Y.) 21 Apr., What shall we say to the descendants of the Pilgrims, and the Signers,..who are happy and content under his sway? 1957 Encycl. Brit. XIV. 101/2 The Betty lamp of the Pilgrims (1620)..was equipped for hanging from mantelpieces or shelves. 1987 N. BLEI Neighborhood xxii. 146 Thanksgiving was as gray as the clothes the Pilgrims wore.

Note: The link at the top of this post will take you to the page with the complete entry for the current date. It changes every day, though. There is a link in the upper-left though for those who wish to subscribe via email or RSS feed.

Canadian Ancestry

I missed the first edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival back in September. My entry for the second edtion will actually be appropriate for both topics.

First Edition: Introduce us to your Canadian ancestors.
Second Edition: Tell us about famous Canadians in your family.

"The first Loyalist settler in Upper Canada may have been Michael Showers. On May 30, 1781, Captain Walter Butler reported from Niagara that 'an old man in the Rangers named Michael Showers' had been permitted, although still fit for service, to build himself a house, and had begun planting and 'Commencing Farmer'" -- From "Loyalist Narratives from Upper Canada", by James J. Talman, 1946, p. xl

Michael Showers' daughter, Sarah, married David Van Every, the son of McGregor Van Every, another early Loyalist settler of Niagara. David and Sarah Van Every were my 4th great grandparents. Their son, Andrew Van Every, lived and died in Canada. Andrew's son, Samuel, returned to America in the mid-19th century, though he had siblings and cousins who remained in Canada.

Does First Loyalist Settler of Upper Canada qualify as a 'famous ancestor?' Some might accept it. Others might ask for some broader name recognition. In that case I need to move away from direct ancestors, and toward the Stoughton Descendants I've blogged about before. If I need a famous cousin, that will always be a good place to start. Through my Stoughton ancestry I am related to the Marquesses of Dufferin. While this is an Irish peerage, it began with Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Earl of Dufferin, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, who served as Governor General of Canada.

Lord Dufferin served as Governor General of Canada during a period of rapid change in Canadian history. During his term, Prince Edward Island was admitted to Confederation, and several well-known Canadian institutions, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Royal Military College of Canada, and the Intercolonial Railway, were established.

I will assume that satisfies any definition.

I am as proud as any American can be of their United Empire Loyalist heritage. As I like to point out, there is nothing wrong with loyalty. It is usually the loyal who are considered patriotic. The Revolutionaries were the ones who committed treason. Of course, when the treasonous are successful, they get to write the history and instantly they become the patriots.

I also have some Newmark ancestors who were in Canada for 3 months in 1907.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

During This Week

Birth, marriage and death anniversaries for my ancestors and their kin during the upcoming week:

Gregorian Calendar: November 23-29
Nov 25, 1956 – Barnet Newmark died (great grandfather)
Nov 26, 1848 - George Van Every born (2nd great uncle)
Nov 26, 1999 – Belle (Hoffman) Feinstein died (great aunt and godmother)
Nov 29, 1825 – Elizabeth Ann Sliver Denyer born (3rd great aunt)

Hebrew Calendar: Heshvan 25 – Kislev 2
Heshvan 26, 5765 – William Venable Campbell died (1st cousin once removed)
Heshvan 27, 5691 – Alice Van Every died (2nd great aunt)
Heshvan 27, 5650 – Anna (Blatt) Feinstein born (great grandmother)
Heshvan 28, 5682 – Charles Van Every died (2nd great uncle)
Heshvan 29, 5555 – William Denyer born (3rd great grandfather)
Kislev 1, 5609 – George Van Every born (2nd great uncle)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LIFE images 1850s-today

LIFE magazine has released millions of their photographs on Google Images.

Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.


It should be noted that while they say they will continue to add more photographs, the earliest decade currently in the archive is 1860s. The first successful photograph supposedly was produced in 1827. Therefore, I think the above contains an obvious typo.

The question might arise -- are any of these photographs in the public domain? Let's take a look at this chart by the Cornell University Copyright Information Center. My assumption is that all the photographs fall under the category of Works for Hire - the company of hire being LIFE. According to the description, most of them were unpublished. So prior to their publication this week on Google, they had a copyright of 120 years from creation. Therefore, on January 1, 2008 any of the photographs dated prior to 1888 were in the public domain. I am fairly certain once a work enters the public domain, that isn't retracted.

However, all the post 1888 photographs are now published. And published works for hire have a copyright of 95 years after publication.

So it is quite understandable why LIFE went along with Google's idea of publishing all these unpublished works. If I am correct, it extends their copyright significantly. But the currently 100-200 pre-1888 photographs are in the public domain.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rate of Exchange

A year ago I wrote a summary of what I had spent retrieving documents.

One section was devoted to the UK General Register Office, from whom I had obtained several birth certificates and a marriage certificate. Each certificate cost 7 pounds, and last year the rate of exchange was 2 dollars = 1 pound, so that was $14 apiece.

The rate of exchange is back down to $1.50 per pound. Most of this drop has occurred within the past 90 days.

So now could be a good time to make purchases from the GRO and UK National Archives.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

During This Week

Birth, marriage and death anniversaries for my ancestors and their kin during the upcoming week:

Gregorian Calendar: November 17 - November 23

Nov 18, 1930 – Alice Van Every died (2nd great aunt)
Nov 20, 1948 – Ada Bell (Reeves) Vann died (1st cousin twice removed)
Nov 20, 1972 – Sol Cruvant died (2nd great uncle)
Nov 21, 1889 – Anna (Blatt) Feinstein born (great grandmother)
Nov 21, 1918 – Samuel C Van Every died (2nd great uncle)
Nov 22, 1794 – William Denyer born (3rd great grandfather)

Hebrew Calendar: Heshvan 19 - Heshvan 25

Heshvan 21, 5610 – Elizabeth (Fretz) Geil died (5th great aunt)
Heshvan 21, 5717 – Melvin Edwin Denyer died (1st cousin twice removed)

A desire for legible handwriting

For the past year I believed my Great Grandfather, Barney Newmark, and his father Samuel Newmark, traveled from England to Canada in May of 1904, spent three years in Canada, and then crossed the Canadian border into the US in July of 1907, returning to England in 1908, delivered good news, and the family permanently immigrated to the US in two trips in 1909 and 1910.

Part of that was based on this image

It comes from the Canadian border crossing document from July of 1907. The month/year for their arrival in Canada is pretty legible, I think. I realize that 4s and 7s can look alike, but we have a 7 in the same hand two boxes over, so I was pretty confident Samuel and Barney spent three years in Canada, though I knew I wouldn't know for certain until I found the documentation. I also wondered if I would ever find any footprints of where they went and what they did in Canada during those three years.

Today I found their Canadian manifest in the Canadian Passenger Lists database (1865-1935) on Ancestry. They arrived in Quebec on May 11, 1907. The ship was the Tunisian. They only spent two months in Canada. They probably left very few Canadian tracks.

I now have all the manifests documenting all their ocean travels and border crossings except for how they got from Poland to England in approximately 1893.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day, 2008

My grandfathers and several great uncles who served in WWII:

Mandell (1923-1945) and Melvin (1912-1992) Newmark; Martin Deutsch (1907-1991); Allen Deutsch (1914-1988); Jerry Deutsch (1909-1950).

This isn't a complete set of great uncles who served, as there are others for whom I haven't found appropriate photographs yet. My grandfather wasn't stationed with his brother, Mandell, but they had a couple chances to be together on leave during the war.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

During This Week

Birth, marriage and death anniversaries for my ancestors and their kin during the (past week and) upcoming week:

Gregorian Calendar: November 2-November 16
Nov 7, 1908 – Shirley Ruth Benold born (1st cousin once removed)
Nov 8, 1905 – August Benold and Minnie Ray Van Every married (great uncle and great aunt)
Nov 10, 2004 – William Venable Campbell died (1st cousin once removed)
Nov 15, 1852 – Alice Van Every born (2nd great aunt)

Hebrew Calendar: Heshvan 4 – Heshvan 18
Heshvan 4, 5669 – Aaron Cruvant Stern born (1st cousin twice removed)
Heshvan 4, 5703 – Stevan J Newmark born (uncle)
Heshvan 4, 5703 – August Benold died (great uncle)
Heshvan 4, 5751 – Clara (Rubin) Newmark died (2nd great aunt)
Heshvan 5, 5763 – Belle (Feinstein) Newmark died (grandmother)
Heshvan 6, 5748 - Selig Seymour Oxenhandler died (1st cousin twice removed)
Heshvan 6, 5681 – Samuel Tillman Hartley died (3rd great uncle)
Heshvan 10, 5666 – August Benold and Minnie Ray Van Every married (great uncle and great aunt)
Heshvan 10, 5657 – Ida (Waldman) Cruvant born (2nd great aunt)
Heshvan 11, 5649 – Abraham Altman born (2nd great uncle)
Heshvan 11, 5648 – Louis Stern born (2nd great uncle)
Heshvan 13, 5669 – Shirley Ruth Benold born (1st cousin once removed)
Heshvan 16, 5697 – Bernard Feinstein and Belle Hoffman married (great uncle and great aunt)
Heshvan 17, 5730 – Minnie Ray Van Every died (great aunt)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Smile for the Camera: Oh Baby!

The word prompt for the 7th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Oh, Baby! Show us those wonderful family photographs of babies, or those you've collected. Share the ones that are too cute for words, or those only a mother could love. Your favorite of grandma or grandmas' favorite. Grandpa on a bear skin rug or grandpas' little love. Everyone has a baby photo, so let's see it!

Above are baby photographs of three of my four grandparents. My maternal grandfather was born in rural Transylvania, and I suspect they didn't have a camera. The top two photos of my paternal grandparents were taken in St. Louis. (Most likely Missouri, though my grandfather's maternal grandparents were living in East St. Louis, Illinois at the time.) My maternal grandmother's baby picture was most likely taken near San Marcos, Texas, which is between Austin and San Antonio.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery - Hanley & Olive

Chesed Shel Emeth means "Kindness of Truth." Celebrating their 120th year, the Chesed Shel Emeth Society was founded on November 3, 1888. A Chevra Kadisha, it was a burial society originally unattached to any particular synagogue.

After successfully opening the cemetery, a process that took about five years, the Chesed Shel Emeth Society later built a hospital, a senior center, and an orphanage. From 1919-1996 they had their own synagogue.

In 1967 a second cemetery was opened in Chesterfield, MO, and that is where the main offices are now located.

If all you want to do is visit the grave of an ancestor, the indexes and map below should be sufficient to guide you. However, keep in mind that their main offices are at the newer of the two cemeteries. You may not find someone to answer questions you might have if you just show up at the original cemetery.

When you enter the main entrance off of Olive Blvd you will pass a small chapel. There is a map of the cemetery in front of the chapel (photograph of the map below). It is best to park on the side of the road, just beyond the chapel.

Click to Enlarge

The St Louis Genealogical Society has indexed Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery by section. You can also search a database of seven Jewish cemeteries in the area, including Chesed Shel Emeth. Either index or database will provide you with the section number, and the map is fairly straight forward.

It is traditional to leave a stone on the marker of a loved one. Some will light a candle and say a prayer. There are stones available at the front entrance for those who forget to bring some.

Below is a satellite map of the cemetery.

View Larger Map

Addresses and Phone numbers:

Chesed Shel Emeth Society Cemetery
7570 Olive Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63130

[newer cemetery & main offices]
650 White Rd.
Chesterfield, MO 63017

[Both cemeteries are closed on Saturday for the Sabbath.]