Monday, November 30, 2009

A late Thanksgiving Day Present

I received my email today announcing the December 2009 PastPorts (.pdf) - the newsletter for the Special Collections Department of the St. Louis County Library.

On page one is the announcement:
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1874-1922) electronic database is now available for use in any St. Louis County Library location. It is also accessible at home by patrons with a valid St. Louis County Library card who live in the metropolitan St. Louis statistical area. The database is searchable, making it easy to find newspaper articles about specific persons or events.
It's an 8 page newsletter, but I've gotten no further than that paragraph, and it's been 2 hours! I made the simple mistake of following the link before I was done.

I count 31 news articles I've downloaded, ranging from basic marriage license announcements, to arrests for gambling, reports of car accidents (no serious injuries), and some partial answers to questions I've raised in prior posts.

I think my next step is to finish reading the newsletter, and then start sorting out the information I've obtained.

Amanuensis Monday: Mandell Newmark - New Year's Eve 1943

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

This week I continue transcribing the war journal of my great uncle, Mandell Newmark. While last week he complained about his Christmas, he says his New Year's Eve was a great one. (Possibly a bit of sarcasm.)


Dec 29. It has really been raining here in fact I have never seen so much rain in one time even Calif. When it rains here it really comes down and last night we had a small river running through our tent and my bed had its share of the water.

We went on the LCI for the first time today. The sea was rough and we had to march to the beat like always and we were really wet. Because of the bad weather they did not keep us out very long and was back by 6 pm.

It was not bad except that I’m still plenty wet and have no dry clothes.

Jan 1st 1944 – This is the new year and I sure hope it a better one than the last. My New Year’s Eve was a great one. We fell out a little after 12:00 for breakfast and then we were off for another problem. We boarded LCT which holds over 100 men and we made a landing at [?], it was much like the one the week before but we did not have to march across the island which makes things a lot better. We were back in our tents by 10:30 PM and that was my New Years Eve. We were supposed to have this landing Fri. but there was too big a storm and it really rained. We fell out at 1 am just the same but then they called it off. When the army calls anything off things must really be bad and this storm was. I understand three sailors lost their life on the transport we were on last week during this storm.

I sure felt sad this day and hope we can be home by next year.


In transcribing this week's section I figured out what a few of the words I couldn't decipher last week were. I also researched some army slang.

LCI = Landing Craft, Infantry
LCT = Landing Craft Tank

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Orphans

The theme for the 85th issue of the Carnival of Genealogy: Orphans and Orphans
The first type of orphan refers to those ancestors or relatives who lost their parents when they were young. The second type of orphan would be those siblings or cousins of our ancestors whom we think of as “reverse orphans.” They are the relatives who, for whatever reason – death at a young age, never having married or had children, or having children who did not survive to provide descendants – have no direct descendants of their own, so it falls to us, their collateral relatives, to learn and write their story.
Orphans

When I think of orphans in my family tree, I think mainly about some Feinstein and some Denyer cousins.

1)

My great grandfather, Herman Feinstein, had a brother named Harry. Harry's wife, Dora (Servinsky) Feinstein, died in 1920, and Harry died in 1933. In 1933 their five children were ages 18, 22, 23, 25 and 27. Perhaps too old to be really considered orphans.

However, according to the 1930 census, three years earlier all five children were not living with their father, even though Harry was still alive. The three older siblings (Sidney, Adeline, and Alvin) were living in their Uncle Herman's home. With my grandmother and her two brothers there as well, the house may have been a bit crowded. Harry's youngest (Seymour) was in an orphanage. I haven't yet figured out where their fifth child, Willard, was residing in 1930.

Harry had four siblings with families of their own in 1930, besides my great grandfather (Ben, Pearl, Morris and Rose). Why none of them were able to take Seymour in, I'm not sure. Rose's children were age 1 and 3, and I can understand perhaps not being ready for a teenager. But the other three had children of the same or approximate age as Seymour.

A larger question is why all the children weren't living with their father. He had married a second wife, Grace, in 1928. I can make some assumptions from that, but I'd rather not. I realize we are talking about 1 year after the Crash of 1929, and the economy could explain why he was no longer able to care for his own children. It also could help explain why only one of his siblings felt able to help out.

2)

My great great grandfather, Ebenezer Denyer, had a brother named Samuel. Samuel Denyer died in 1861. His wife, Zarelda (Singleton) Denyer, died in 1867. In the 1870 census, four of their children (Amanda, Robert, Albert and Ida), ranging in age from 11 to 17, are living with their uncle Ebenezer. Ebenezer died in 1872, and while his wife, Sarah Ann (Hartley) Denyer, remarried in 1874, I'm not sure what happened to Samuel Denyer's children. The youngest child, Ida, wrote a poem about her mother.

Reverse Orphans

Here as well there are two instances which come immediately to mind. There are certainly many childless individuals in my family tree, however there are two for whom their life stories hold a greater interest. Both are great uncles -- siblings of grandparents.

1) Mandell Newmark

I've written several posts about the youngest brother of my grandfather, Melvin Newmark, and have recently posted some transcriptions from his war journal. I've long known he was killed in action during WWII, though I learned just this Thanksgiving that he died from friendly fire, or more accurately 'accidental discharge' from a war buddy's firearm. The second story of accidental discharge in my family tree -- though instead of children who discovered a gun when their father was away, this time we have a trained soldier.

2) Samuel (and Everett) Van Every

I've also written several posts about Uncle Sam, the brother of my maternal grandmother, Myrtle (Van Every) Deutsch. He had one son, Everett, who drowned at age 17.

Samuel was the only male child of my great grandfather, Melvin Van Every, to live past infancy. Though to say the family name died out is a stretch, as Melvin had 21 siblings, several of whom were male. And the Van Everys arrived in North America in the 1600s. There's a baseball player for the Boston Red Sox who I am certain I am related to in some fashion, as well as many others.

But there are no known descendants of my Uncle Sam and his son, Everett. I've recently learned some information from some relatives of Everett on his mother's side, which I will share in a future post.

The image in the upper left is from Eugene Delacroix's Young Orphan in the Cemetery (1824)

Weekly Picks

Weekly Picks - November 21 - 28

Bill West of West In New England shares the submissions for his Great American Local Poem Genealogy Challenge.

Attorney, James Tanner of Genealogy's Star reminds us that Indexes are Hearsay

For Thanksgiving, Schelly Talalay Dardashti of Tracing the Tribe shares a humorous family story she calls the Tehran Turkey Story

Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family asks his readers whether, in researching for a client, he should include the source where he found a relative's birth date, when the location was a sex offender registry.

Cynthia at ChicagoGenealogy discusses what she calls the Chicago Burial Permit Index

Thomas Fiske has a thought-provoking entry on GenealogyBlog - The End to File Cabinet Genealogy. The world is running out of room to store information - so we're storing it on CDs or DVDs. What happens when the new storage medium comes along?

Miriam Robbins Midkiff at AnceStories continues her series on Getting More Traffic to your Blog with advice on which I wholeheartedly concur: Proofread.

Liz Haigney Lynch at The Ancestral Archaeologist shares some advice on Cemetery Trips: What Not to Do.

Since many genealogists will someday likely put together a family history book, and then turn to self-publishing to distribute it to families, I thought I would share this advice from science fiction author, John Scalzi of Whatever - Don't Pay for It!

News Stories

Jim Fallon, a neuro-scientist and descendant of a convicted murderer, Thomas Cornell, and distant cousin to Lizzie Borden, analyzed the DNA of himself and several members of his family to look for "the warrior gene." (hat/tip: The Genealogue)

Former UK Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, discovered on a Wales BBC genealogy program that his great grandfather was probably the son of his second great grandmother and his third great grandfather. (BBC link has video of the program)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Last year at this time, I posted the poem "Gratitude" by Edgar Guest.
In 2007 I posted Guest's poem, "Thanksgiving" (along with a poem I wrote, Harold's Habit)

Here I am posting another poem by Edgar Guest. His poetry seems perfect for the holiday. This poem is narrated by someone older than me. However, it appears in a collection of poetry "When Day is Done" Guest published in 1921, when he was the same age as I am now.

Looking Back - by Edgar Guest

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.


Below is a photograph taken the year I was born (1969). Can you spot the turkey?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nellie and Barney Newmark - 1900s - The London Dining Rooms

Sign: The London Dining Rooms - Good Breakfasts & Teas

On the right is my great grandfather, Barney Newmark. On the left is his sister, Nellie. They are standing in front of The London Dining Rooms. This is the only photograph I have seen of anyone from the Newmark family before they arrived in America.

I'm not certain when the photograph was taken. Judging from the apparent ages, and looking for a 'special event' to explain the photo - I might guess May of 1907, or October of 1908.

In May of 1907, Barney and his father, Samuel, left England to explore America. Barney would have been 21, and Nellie 18.

Barney and his father returned to England in June of 1908. In October, Samuel, Barney, and another son, Sol, left again. The rest of the family followed in March of 1909.

After this photo, the next photo I have of Barney is from his wedding on August 27, 1911.

The photograph came this past weekend from a grandson of Nellie, who in his email says he is scanning in several family photographs, so maybe there will be more.

London Dining Rooms
Another institution was the London Dining Rooms, opposite New Road in Church Street. One could obtain an individual meat pudding for one penny. Many other small independent premises served the working man around the town. Sadly, few if any of the type described survive, for they were an institution in themselves. At some of the shops you stirred your tea with a spoon chained to the counter - fancy not trusting us! -- Tim Wren - Flying Sparks, ©1998.
Tim Wren above writes about The London Dining Rooms in Brighton, UK, about 50 miles south of London. I've found references to a London Dining Rooms in Dunedin, New Zealand. There may have been multiple locations in London itself, but in The multum in parvo guide to London and its environs, 1872, p. 21 - there is a reference to one at the corner of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street. This would have been about a mile from 56 Wells Street, where the Newmark family lived in 1901.

Another Angle

The corner of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street was somewhat famous for a time, though erroneously, as where Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler, lived.

According to Walter George Bell, in Fleet Street in Seven Centuries, 1912, p. 374:

None of Old London's buildings is more familiar by illustration than the glorious old timber house at the Chancery Lane corner erected in King Henry the Eighth's reign, or earlier, and not destroyed until 1799, when the Corporation widened that thoroughfare. It was constructed entirely of oak, the heavy frames filled in with lath and plaster, and with overhanging storeys, gable roof, and elaborate carving covering the front, made a most picturesque pile. This is said to have been the famous King's Head Tavern, though in its last years the sign borne was The Harrow. It is best known as " Izaak Walton's house," which certainly it was not.

Many books upon London repeat this misdescription ; its persistence is doubtless due to the fact that an engraving of this delightful corner house appears in every edition of The Compleat Angler. Walton's shop was at the more modest building adjoining, two doors west from Chancery Lane.
In a footnote, Bell wrote: "The site is definitely fixed by a deed bearing date 1624, cited by Sir John Hawkins in his Life of Walton. Ed. 1792, pp. viii, ix, as next door to the old timber-built corner house. I note that the misdescription is repeated in the London Museum."

Tombstone Tuesday: Anna (Blatt) Feinstein (1889-1965)

Anna (Blatt) Feinstein, my great grandmother, was born in Poland, most likely in Łosice, about 120 years ago - in November of either 1888 or 1889. It is estimated the Blatts immigrated to America in 1890. Anna's parents - Morris and Belle - divorced prior to the immigration, with Belle remaining in Poland -- making it rather certain logistically that Anna was born there.

Anna married Herman Feinstein on May 26, 1912. She is buried next to her husband at United Hebrew Cemetery in St. Louis, in the Newmark/Feinstein plot.

Find A Grave memorial

Monday, November 23, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: Mandell Newmark - Xmas 1943

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

This week I continue transcribing the war journal of my great uncle, Mandell Newmark. I cringe at a few of the things he wrote, but I remind myself he was 20 years old, and I would have probably written similar things at that age.

December 24, 1943

We got back from our two days on the sea with the navy, and while we were on the ship it was real living. The navy really lives and the food was the best GI stuff I have had since I have been in the army. The PX has everything that a fellow would want and ice cream all the time. After living in the infantry that was really the life until this morning at 2 am we left the ship with a full field pack and all hand carried equipment and boarded a LCI. At 4am we made a landing and moved inland. I was with KC and was in the second wave. We moved inland and every time we would advance it meant digging in again.

We marched across the island and it was around 8 miles in all and it was hell. I don’t think I will ever forget that problem and I hope the real one, which I guess won’t be long, is more successful.

In the evening back at our camp we had a little beer and of course I had to get into that Christmas mood. During the course of the evening we sang Christmas carols with the girls they brought in from a small town near here. They were really hags, but the singing was fun. All I can say is it was not the Christmas eve that I want to spend again. My first Xmas in the army and I hope my last.

December 25, 1943

This is Christmas but one would never know it because it is so hot and the old spirit is just not here. We were supposed to get the day off but not while your in the army. They called us out a few times during the day to do different things around the aid station. We were all really P.O.

The dinner was pretty good. Turkey, black olives, dressing, potatoes, greens, tomatoes, and other things to go with these.

In the evening we had Green Death again, and I was feeling pretty good. Had a pretty good picture show.

All I can say is I never want to spend another Xmas in the army. I hate the army more each day.




Green Death may have been a reference to beer. Particularly, it is a nickname that has been given to Rainier ale, and at least one of his buddies was from Washington. I've read that 'Green Death" was also slang for dehydrated vegetable soup, but in this context it had to be something Mandell enjoyed, and he mentions drinking beer on the evening of the 24th.


If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Indexing Error in Ancestry's Texas Birth Index

In Ancestry's database: Texas Birth Index 1903-1997, there is a major indexing error worth noting, even though Ancestry does warn users about it.

In some years, a lot of children were simply recorded as Infant of X. X usually being the father's name, though occasionally it was the mother's. It appears Ancestry indexed all the names as the mother's name. (I am assuming all the Johns, Jims, and Williams are fathers.)

For example, in 1906, out of slightly over 23,500 records, approximately 17,700 were recorded in this fashion. (Roughly 75%)

In its description of the database, Ancestry does admit:
In some cases, where the names of the parents are provided, the parents' names were recorded incorrectly. Occassionally (sic) the mother's name was recorded in the father's place and the father's name was recorded in the mother's place. Therefore, you may need to switch which fields you put the parents' names in, in order to produce results.
I might argue with the 'occasionally' and the 'some cases.' Taken overall from 1903-1997, it's probably a small portion of the database. But if you are researching the earlier years, it appears to be the majority of records.

Weekly Picks

Weekly Picks for November 15 - 21

Tracing the Tribe writes about the Historical Jewish Press database (database). Currently eleven newspapers, from France, Morocco, Egypt, Poland/Austria/Prussia, and Palestine/Israel. Mostly the newspapers are in French or Hebrew, and can only be searched in those languages. There is one English newspaper.

Olive Tree Genealogy discusses how Naturalization Records can help you find the ship your ancestor came over on.

Granite in my Blood displays both the front and back of William Bradford's obelisk. He was the governor of Plymouth Colony from 1621-1657. His tombstone contains the only Hebrew inscription I have seen that includes vowels (or niqqud).

Dear Myrtle provided a Docu-Challenge where readers had to write in how they would describe, and further research a document she shared. She then shared the feedback she received.

Genea-Musings has a post on how to use the DAR's new Genealogical Research System. I confirmed I have Van Every, Swayze, and Horton cousins in their databases, but no direct ancestors. My ancestors weren't about to commit treason, or perform terrorist acts. Nosirree.

GenealogyBlog reports the news that a New Zealand antiques dealer is claiming he's the rightful heir to the British castle used in the Harry Potter films. The antiques dealer is asking that two graves be dug up to prove this claim using DNA from the remains.

Relatively Curious about Genealogy has an entry on Finding family stories in online digitized books. She provides links to several digital libraries. I have found several items of note in a similar fashion.

The Missouri State Genealogical Association is conducting an interview project of WWII veterans.

Shades of the Departed discusses the advertisement for a horrific device photographers once used.

Digitization 101 has an article on Authority and Trust with respect to bloggers.

Kick-Ass Genealogy provides tips on how to interview relatives through email.

Bayside Blog provides the useful reminder that obituaries often contain mistakes.

Google has released Google Image Swirl, which provides a technique within Google Images to find similar images.

In Frederick, Maryland, a plaque is being added to a statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, who wrote the Dred Scott decision, a catalyst for the civil war.

In Joplin, Missouri, an abandoned pet cemetery is being restored, and a memorial is being created at a civil war battle site.

And getting into the holiday spirit, here's a list of 116 Chanukah videos on YouTube. (hat/tip: Tracing the Tribe) I'm kind of surprised the list doesn't yet contain a version of Peter, Paul and Mary's "Light One Candle." Here's a video of Peter Yarrow performing it with the 'help' of a crowd back in 2007, in St. Louis.



Thursday, November 19, 2009

The CoG has been posted

The 84th Carnival of Genealogy has been posted, with 23 participants describing what the CoG means to them.
The topic for the next edition of the COG is: “Orphans and Orphans.” The first type of orphan refers to those ancestors or relatives who lost their parents when they were young. The second type of orphan would be those siblings or cousins of our ancestors whom we think of as “reverse orphans.” They are the relatives who, for whatever reason – death at a young age, never having married or had children, or having children who did not survive to provide descendants – have no direct descendants of their own, so it falls to us, their collateral relatives, to learn and write their story. Greta will be the host this time around (thank you Greta!). The deadline for submissions is December 1st.
More information here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Bertha (Cruvant) Newmark 1886-1978

Bertha Cruvant was born on either Sept 29, 1886, or Sept 19, 1887. (Those are the dates Rosh HaShana fell on both years, and because she was born on the Jewish holiday, that is what was remembered.) It is believed she was born in Missouri, but exact dates for immigration from Lithuania to America, and whether or not the family settled immediately in the St. Louis area, isn't certain.

Bertha married Barney Newmark on August 27, 1911.

I remember my great grandmother well, as I was 9 when she passed away. Though the years I remember her from, she was living at a retirement home confined to a wheelchair. (I would spend some time confined to the same wheelchair in 1986, my Junior year in high school, when I contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome. I contracted the disease after a normal flu virus.)

Bertha is buried at United Hebrew Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Monday, November 16, 2009

18th Edition of Smile for the Camera is Posted

The 18th Edition of Smile for the Camera is Posted.

This was the edition on the theme of Travel where I collected images of several ships my ancestors traveled on to arrive in America. There were 23 submissions, all worth reading.
The word prompt for the 19th Edition of Smile For The Camera is "Gift." It is the holiday season and a time for giving. So give Smile readers the gift of sharing, sharing a family photograph. It can be a gift given or received, it can be the gift of talent, it can be the gift of having the photograph itself. The interpretation of gift is yours. Admission is free with every photograph!

More information here
I already have the photograph selected, but I'm going to wait a bit to publish the post.

Amanuensis Monday: Good Intentions

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

This week I am transcribing three Declarations of Intentions. They are for my great great grandfather, Samuel Newmark; great grandfather, Barney Newmark; and a great great uncle, Israel David Newmark. (There are actually five Newmark declarations in my collection. However, the other two are somewhat repetitive.)

Bold indicates where blanks on the forms were filled in.


The Declaration of Intention for my great great grandfather, Samuel Newmark

United States of America
Department of Commerce and Labor
Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization
Division of Naturalization
Declaration of Intention
(Invalid for all purposes seven years after the date hereof)

United States of America In the Circuit Court
Eastern District of Missouri

I, Samuel Newmark, aged 47 years, occupation tailor, do declare on oath that my personal description is: Color white, complexion dark, height 5 feet 8 inches, weight 130 pounds, color of hair Black, color of eyes Brown other visible distinctive marks none; I was born in Warka, Poland, Russia, on the 7th day of October, anno Domini 1863; I now reside at 1603 Wash St. St. Louis, Mo. I emigrated to the United States of America from Southampton, England on the vessel Oceanic; my last foreign residence was London, England. It is my bona fide intention to renounce forever all allegiance to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to Nicholas II Emperor of all the Russias, of which I am now a subject; I arrived at the port of New York, in the State of New York on or about the 23rd day of October, anno Domini 1908; I am not an anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy; and it is my intention in good faith to become a citizen of the United States of America and to permanently reside therein: SO HELP ME GOD.

Signature (*)

Subscribed and sworn to before me on this 13th day of October, anno Domini, 1910.

Signature
Clerk of the said Court.

The Declaration of Intention for my great grandfather, Barnet Newmark

United States of America
Department of Commerce and Labor
Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization
Division of Naturalization
Declaration of Intention
(Invalid for all purposes seven years after the date hereof)

United States of America In the Circuit Court
Eastern District of Missouri

I, Barnet Newmark, aged 23 years, occupation tailor, do declare on oath that my personal description is: Color white, complexion dark, height 5 feet 9 inches, weight 135 pounds, color of hair Black, color of eyes dark brown other visible distinctive marks none; I was born in Warsaw, Russia, on the 25th day of March, anno Domini 1886; I now reside at 3152 Shenandoah Ave. St. Louis, Mo. I emigrated to the United States of America from London, England on the vessel Oceanic; my last foreign residence was London, England. It is my bona fide intention to renounce forever all allegiance to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to Nicholas II Emperor of all the Russias, of which I am now a subject; I arrived at the port of New York, in the State of New York on or about the 15th day of October, anno Domini 1908; I am not an anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy; and it is my intention in good faith to become a citizen of the United States of America and to permanently reside therein: SO HELP ME GOD.

Signature

Subscribed and sworn to before me on this 4th day of October, anno Domini, 1910.
Signature
Clerk of the said Court.

The Declaration of Intention for my great great uncle, Israel David Newmark

US Department of Labor
Naturalization Service
United States of America
Declaration of Intention
(Invalid for all purposes seven years after the date hereof)

United States of America
Eastern District of Missouri

In the District Court of the United States in and for the Eastern Division of the Eastern Judicial District of Missouri

I, Israel David Newmark, aged 19 years, occupation tailor, do declare on oath that my personal description is: Color white, complexion fair, height 5 feet 8 inches, weight 152 pounds, color of hair dark brown, color of eyes brown other visible distinctive marks no marks; I was born in London, England on the 8th day of February, anno Domini 1903; I now reside at 2803 N. 10th St. St. Louis, MO. I emigrated to the United States of America from Liverpool, England on the vessel Campania; my last foreign residence was birthplace; I am not married; the name of my wife is ___; she was born at ___ and now resides at ____. It is my bona fide intention to renounce forever all allegiance to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to George V, King of Great Britain and Ireland, of whom I am now a subject; I arrived at the port of New York, in the State of New York on or about the 6th day of March, anno Domini 1909; I am not an anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy; and it is my intention in good faith to become a citizen of the United States of America and to permanently reside therein: SO HELP ME GOD.

Signature

Subscribed and sworn to before me in the office of the Clerk of said Court at St. Louis, MO., this 23rd day of September, anno Domini, 1922.

Signature, Clerk

It is my understanding that minor children are (and were) naturalized with their parents. I'm not sure why Israel David had to (or thought he had to) go through the process in 1922.

If the passenger lists weren't indexed online, these declarations, which I found on microfilm at the local library, would have been enough to lead me to the correct passenger lists as they had the ship name and approximate dates correct.

(*) Samuel didn't sign his name. Instead he left a 'mark.' The mark was witnessed by his son Myer "Max" Newmark.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekly Picks

Weekly Picks for November 8-14

Dick Eastman of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter dispels the Myth of Family Coats of Arms. "Lots of gullible people purchase various trinkets that display the 'family coat of arms' without realizing there is no such thing. Coats of arms? Yes. But 'family?' No. There is no such thing as a family coat of arms." (with a couple of limited exceptions, which he does point out.) Diana Lynn Tibert also writes an article on this topic for the Times & Transcript.

Chris Dunham at The Genealogue discovers that the tombstone for a man's first wife may have been reused for the second. (I think his decision to leave his theory unproven was sound.)

Leland Meitzler at GenealogyBlog reviews TheClicker, a "television" guide to what's available online, some of interest to genealogists. It's not difficult to imagine those of us who don't care about the size of the screen will ultimately gravitate away from the television set to the computer.

Julie Cahill Tarr at GenBlog gives a detailed explanation of how to search the City Directories at Footnote, and how to compensate for some problems with the indexing and search capabilities.

Michael Neill at RootDig reminds us of the Old Man's Draft from World War II. Don't assume you won't find military records for someone just because they were out of the 'usual age range.'

Dear Myrtle details what's available at Footnote's collection of Holocaust records, which are available for free until the end of the year. I've searched for records on some Lichtmann relatives without success. The surname comes up, but I don't recognize the individuals. I have a few more surnames to search for, though.

Jasia at CreativeGene and Donna Pointkouski at What's Past is Prologue both discuss Expressivo, which converts text-to-speech. It can be tested out here. You can choose between a Polish, Romanian, or English voice. (With more languages and voices promised.)

T.K. of Before my Time shares a poem written about a 200 year old pear tree planted at the time of her Plymouth ancestors. (A poem referenced by Henry David Thoreau in his writings.)

NARAtions discusses Motion Picture File Formats.

An 8-minute video about the Midwest Genealogy Center. (hat/tip MoSGA Messenger)



On the local front:

A dutch filmmaker is investigating why Pruitt-Igoe failed.

Jefferson Barracks Cemetery is running out of land.

From the Mayor's Desk is the blog of the mayor of St. Louis City. On Friday he visited Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where an uncle had been a resident priest, and he took some photographs. (Maybe he'll become a geneablogger, later, when he's less busy.)

And while it isn't genealogically related...

GovGab discusses H1N1 and your Pet. While experts say you can't catch H1N1 from your pet, they think your pet can catch it from you. So far a cat and some ferrets have become infected.

Google has announced the capability of locking (by password) Google's SafeSearch. Up until now it was fairly easy for children to change the settings.

#1 in Newsweek's list of 10 "Unknown in '99, indispensable now" - Wikipedia. Any relationship beyond our surnames between the author of the description and myself are unproven. He refers to the site as "The first draft of history" and "an exemplar and test platform for large-scale, global collaboration."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reflections on Being a Wheel in the CoG; or, The Wheel on the CoG goes Round and Round

I couldn’t decide which pun to use for my title, so I used both.

The theme for the 84th Carnival of Genealogy is: “What The CoG Means To Me”

Appearing twice a month, the 84th carnival marks 42 months, or 3.5 years. I first participated on June 29, 2007, for the 27th edition, What Independence Day Means to Me, with my post Independent Thinking. While I’d been blogging since 2002, I'd only been blogging for a few months on the topic of genealogy, and I was still using my all-purpose blog (which has experienced a sharp decline in usage over the past couple years.)

Since then, I have participated in 41 editions of the carnival. This will be my 42nd, so I will have participated in exactly half of them. Like many, I first started participating in the carnival so others would get to 'meet' me, and my blog. Along the way I have found that the assigned topics often lead me to discoveries I may not have otherwise made.

For example, for the 33rd Carnival theme of Weddings, I analyzed the marriage record I had received from the UK's General Register Office for my second great uncle Solomon Newmark and his wife Sarah Nathan - August 31, 1902. I researched every name I found on the record for the entry, though I suspect otherwise I may not have researched the witnesses to the same degree. I doubt I would have found the sheet music for the wedding liturgies created by the cantor, Marcus Hast, and likely sung at the time.

For the 52nd carnival, the theme was Age, and I was inspired for the first time to use my genealogy software to test a hunch -- that one branch of my family tree has had a lower life expectancy than the others. Age is Relative.

The 53rd carnival was a 'carousel' edition, where we could choose any topic. I went back to the theme of the 47th carnival, which I had missed, A Place Called Home. This was my first post researching St. Louis City in 1908. I started with some Sanborn maps I had discovered a few months earlier online. The maps showed my Newmark ancestors lived nearby Carr Sqaure Park. I searched for information on the park, and this led me to a disturbing report entitled, Housing Conditions in St. Louis, conducted by the Civic League of St. Louis in 1908. I revisited that report in October of 2008 for Blog Action Day.

I look forward to each issue of the Carnival. I don't participate each time; occasionally due to time considerations, occasionally the theme doesn't spark an idea. As I've mentioned before, I have the writer's curse. I will always write. I don't need the regular carnivals or the daily blogging themes to prod me. (They do encourage me to write about genealogy and family history, though.) Still, I always enjoy crafting my submissions to the carnival, and I enjoy reading the submissions of others.

I haven't yet hosted the carnival, but the next time Jasia at CreativeGene requests guest hosts, I believe I will volunteer, as I think it would be fun.

Links to all 41 of my previous CoG entries:
83 81 78 77 75 74 73 72 71 70 68 66 65 64 62 59 57 55 54 53 52 51 50 49 46 45 44 43 42 41 39 38 36 35 34 33 31 30 29 28 27

The ferris wheel used for the image is the original one designed by George Washington Gale Ferris for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Source: The Field Museum Library.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Poetry: Keepsake Mill - Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Born on November 13, 1850, Robert Louis Stevenson would be 159 years old today. Perhaps known best for his novels Treasure Island, Kidnapped and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, he also wrote poetry, including A Child's Garden of Verses (1885), from which the below poem comes.

Keepsake Mill

OVER the borders, a sin without pardon,
Breaking the branches and crawling below,
Out through the breach in the wall of the garden,
Down by the banks of the river, we go.

Here is the mill with the humming of thunder,
Here is the weir with the wonder of foam,
Here is the sluice with the race running under—
Marvellous places, though handy to home!

Sounds of the village grow stiller and stiller,
Stiller the note of the birds on the hill;
Dusty and dim are the eyes of the miller,
Deaf are his ears with the moil of the mill.

Years may go by, and the wheel in the river
Wheel as it wheels for us, children, to-day,
Wheel and keep roaring and foaming for ever
Long after all of the boys are away.

Home from the Indies and home from the ocean,
Heroes and soldiers we all shall come home;
Still we shall find the old mill wheel in motion,
Turning and churning that river to foam.

You with the bean that I gave when we quarrelled,
I with your marble of Saturday last,
Honoured and old and all gaily apparelled,
Here we shall meet and remember the past.

Image: National Galleries of Scotland

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Honoring Family Veterans

Below are names of ancestors, and their siblings, who I know served in the armed forces of their nation. I am including my Loyalist ancestors; their nation was Great Britain. The United States didn't exist yet. I am including my Confederate ancestors too, despite their desire to form a separate nation. I would include Revolutionary ancestors if I found some. I also include my great uncle, Mandell Newmark, who was killed in action, as today is also Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom and a few other nations.

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

Fifth Great Uncle
Benjamin Van Every (1759 - 1795) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers

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

Third Great Uncles
Samuel T Hartley (1830-1920) (Confederate Army)

Great Grandfather

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

Grandfathers
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
Bernard Feinstin (1913-1968), WWII
Seymour Feinstein (1917-1999), WWII

Uncle
Stevan J Newmark (1942-1997) Army Reserves

Wordless Wednesday: A Soldier's Goodbye - and Bobbie the Cat

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nine Ways to Read this Blog

Below are nine ways for you to read this blog on a regular basis. Some are easier than others. I am not going to go into technical detail on how -- but I do link to explanations for those who wish to familiarize themselves with the various methods.

1)
You can return to this website on a regular basis and see if there is an update. Typing the address into the address bar each time, or conducting a search for the blog name in your favorite search engine.

2) You can create a bookmark. (Check the menus at the top of your web browser, there is probably one that says Bookmarks or Favorites). And then click on the bookmark whenever you want to return.

3) In the upper left corner of the blog, below the masthead, you should see something that says "Email Subscriptions." Enter your email address, click on "Get Email Updates", and follow the instructions.

(If you don't see this in the upper left, you aren't on my blog. You're probably already using one of the methods described below. Follow this link)

You will receive a daily email with the latest updates. Or you can select a different delivery schedule - some more often, some less. These email subscriptions are powered by FeedBlitz.

4) Immediately below "Email Subscriptions" you see "Subscribe to my Podcast".

[If you don't see it, you skipped over #3, go back.]

Audio versions of all of my posts can be directly downloaded to iTunes, Zune, or other podcast players. These aren't me reading the posts, but a computer voice reading it. This can generate some humorous mistakes, but in general, it's pretty good. You will also miss out on the images, so Wordless Wednesday posts, for example, are a little less interesting. These audio versions are powered by Odiogo.

5) Moving down the lefthand column you see "Subscribe via RSS" and links for both my posts, and my comments. Here's some more information about RSS for those unfamiliar. And I recommend Google's Reader for those new to RSS.

6) If you are a friend on Facebook, my posts are automatically syndicated via their Notes feature. (I've noticed that I often get as many comments on my posts through Facebook as through the blog itself).

Facebook Notes does remove complicated scripts, such as embedded YouTube videos, and embedded Google Book frames. I've also noticed the spacing between paragraphs can get messed up. But text and images remain mostly the same.

My Facebook Profile

7) My posts are also syndicated on my GenealogyWise profie

8) Links to all my posts are automatically fed to my Twitter account. You can follow these links directly to my blog.

9) At AllTop's list of Genealogy Sites you can mouseover the links to my last five posts and read the beginnings of each. And then follow the link if interested in reading more.

If anyone knows any other common forms/places of syndication they wish they were able to access my blog from...let me know.

Happy Holidays from Google

Google announces they will be providing free Wi-Fi at 47 airports across the country from today through January 15th. (And on Virgin America flights)

From their website:

When you’re traveling this holiday season, you can enjoy free WiFi at 47 participating airports and on every Virgin America flight. Just bring a WiFi-enabled laptop or mobile device and stay connected to family and friends for free while you travel now through January 15, 2010.

Photo Contest - Win cool prizes

Starting Monday, November 16, 2009, you'll be able to win prizes by submitting a photo of yourself using the WiFi in any participating airport or on a Virgin America flight. In addition to being able to win great stuff, we'll feature winning photos on this website.

Tombstone Tuesday: Samuel Tillman Hartley 1830-1920

Samuel Tillman Hartley was the brother of my second great grandmother, Sarah Ann (Hartley) Denyer.

His tombstone says he was born in 1825, however in 1900 and 1902 he testified in front of the Dawes Commission that he was born on March 14, 1830.

He died on October 19, 1920, at the age of 90, and is buried in the Confederate Section of the Texas State Cemetery, having served in Company C of the Trans-Mississippi Army.

While the tombstone (and his death certificate) only provide his initials, with no information about parents or children, his second wife, Nannie Virginia, is buried next to him.

Samuel and Margaret (RAWLS) Hartley had eight children: Robert, Sophronia, Virginia, Caroline, Georgia, Amie, Samuel and Edward. All eight are mentioned in his 1900 Dawes Commission testimony, with the five eldest giving additional testimony of their own.

(photograph by Joel H. Hutto. Used with permission. Find A Grave memorial)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tech Tip: Viewing your Blogger Images

If your blog is created by Blogger, you may have wished there was a way to easily browse through the images you have uploaded for your posts. Or perhaps you wished for an easy way to display the images elsewhere.

You may not have realized that if you use Blogger (whether using blogspot, or a custom domain) all the images you have uploaded are available for your private viewing via Google's Picasa. If you have multiple blogs, each blog will have a separate album folder. And these folders will also be separate from any additional albums you create through Picasa's interface.

You sign into Picasa in the same way you sign into Blogger, as both are connected to your Google account.

In Picasa you can make the album public, if you wish, add captions, email the images to friends or relatives, or even order prints. (Though the prints aren't likely to be of great quality unless you've uploaded the images at a high enough resolution.)

When viewing an individual photo they provide on the right hand side the html code for linking to or embedding the image elsewhere.

If you delete images from your blog's Picasa album, they will disappear from your blog (and vice versa.) By default they aren't viewable by anyone who isn't signed into your Google account, so if you have no interest in using the Picasa website, you don't have to worry about anyone else viewing the images in this fashion.

Schicksalstag

Schicksalstag is a German word meaning, “Day of Fate.” It is used by Germans to describe November 9. Apparently it was first used by some German historians after WWII, but it picked up in popularity after 1989. There are several major events in German history that occurred on this date, with conflicting emotional baggage. However, when you look at list of events for November 9, you realize this Day of Fate doesn’t stop at Germany’s borders.

Here’s a partial list:
694 – Egica, a king of the Visigoths of Hispania, accuses Jews of aiding Muslims, sentencing all Jews to slavery.
1494 - Medicis assume rule of Florence, Italy
1799 - Napoleon overthrew the French government in the coup d’etat of 18 Brumaire
1918 - Kaiser Wilhelm steps down, and Germany’s Republic begins
1923 - Hitler’s failed Beer Hall Putsch
1938 - Kristallnacht/Pogromnacht - German pogrom viewed as the start of the Holocaust
1953 - Cambodia declares its independence
1989 - Berlin wall comes down

The International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism is a European campaign, but it has a worldwide message.

Amanuensis Monday: Two Views of War

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, and audiotapes. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Since Wednesday is November 11, or Veterans Day/Remembrance Day, I thought I would share the transcription of a letter my maternal grandfather, Martin Deutsch (1907-1991), wrote on Thanksgiving Day, 1942, and a few entries from the war diary of my great uncle Mandell Newmark (1923-1945) .

From Martin Deutsch:

APO 625 [Accra, Ghana]
Nov 26, 1942

Dear Mom:

Myrtle writes me that Al is going to be stationed near St. Louis in a short while. I’m very much surprised to learn that he is still in the United States.

How about Ed? Has he joined up yet? I’m waiting to see him after he comes to Africa.

There are a few pictures, which were sent to me from St. Louis. Myrtle made several copies and sent them for me to see. I don’t know whether you have any, but in any case you can hold them.

Say hello for me to everyone. It’s very quiet here – no danger at all. The weather is hot except at night when it’s fairly cool. Everything is getting on fine. We had turkey tonight for dinner, this being Thanksgiving Day. Hope the war will be over soon.

Martin

Myrtle is Martin's wife, and Al(len) and Ed are his brothers.

***
From Mandell Newmark's War Diary:

Dec 13, 1943 – Starting my diary today, as we are getting ready to move out to Lorpal (?) Point for Amphibious training. It is very hot now but have hope that it will be cooler as we move south. We are now stationed near Rockhampton.

Dec 15. – Today is the day we move out for Lorpal Point. Moving out means closing every thing up and every thing that we don’t take with us we had to put in the mess hall. It meant a lot of work as nothing could be left out. Now all we hope is we don’t come back to this hot hell hole of a camp.

We will go by train and train rides in this country are no fun. I often wonder how they run and it takes so damn long to go a short distance besides being so hot.

Dec 20.
Today was our first day of Amphibious training and I will say it wasn’t much fun. We went out this morning on LCV and made a few different landings. It was raining per usual and with all the waves and rain we were really wet. This was just the first day so I guess the going will get tough. And I feel as if I have had enough already.

The weather here has been the same everyday since we arrived. Rain and more rain and the first night we were about flooded out. There couldn’t be a better name for this place, and tonight like always I’m really P.O.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weekly Picks

Weekly Picks for November 1 - November 7

In his weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Randy Seaver at Geneamusings suggests a way to find out the worldwide distribution of a surname. PublicProfiler.org. From their FAQ, "All [their] names and location data are derived from publicly available telephone directories or national electoral registers, sourced for the period 2000-2005." Their data covers 26 nations across the world.

Schelly Talalay Dardashti at TracingTheTribe discusses a new study regarding the social interaction habits of those who use the internet and other digital technologies frequently. The results may not be what you expect.

NARAtions (the National Archives blog) provides information to help prepare genealogists for the 1940 census, to be released in 2012.

NARAtions also asks for suggestions on transcribing their billions of documents, and then discusses some of those suggestions.

Taneya at Taneya's Genealogy Blog discusses RSS Feeds for Rootsweb message boards.

The Ancestry Insider discusses a Genealogical Maturity Model categorizing researchers into five levels: Entry, Emerging, Practicing, Proficient, and Stellar -- and then discusses in detail the differences between each level. I think I would classify myself as Practicing.


In the News

Ancestry.com had their Initial Public Offering this week.

The governor of Massachusetts is threatening closure of the State Library. (hat tip Archives Found)

WalMart has begun selling burial caskets online.

Fun

From Derangement and Description, an archives related webcomic, So I herd you liek haikuz.

Did You Know 4.0 (hat tip Apple's Tree) [One of the early frames answers a question I was asked yesterday morning by my father - how quickly can a Google scanner scan a book? - 1000 pages an hour.]

Friday, November 6, 2009

Missouri's Blue Books go Online

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Missouri's Secretary of State has begun adding Missouri's Blue Books to Missouri Digital Heritage.

The "Blue Books" are Missouri's Official State Manual, which since 1878 has been printed every other year. 1889-1972 are currently online, and searchable, with the rest to come.
It lists government officials, election results and various other facts and figures about the state.
My first thought was that I don't have any Missouri government officials in my family tree, so I likely wouldn't find anything, but still...I knew well enough to at least plug in a few surnames and see what turned up.

However, while my mind was thinking about major government officials, they appear to list many elective and appointive positions by municipality in each edition. I do have one cousin who was either an Assistant City Attorney, or City Attorney in Maplewood, Missouri from 1961-1966, so his name appeared in three different editions. This didn't surprise me much.

I have another cousin who was employed by the St. Louis State Hospital as a Pyscho-Analyst/Lecturer 1959-1960, 1963-1964 and by the Missouri Dept of Public Health and Welfare in the same position 1961-1962. This also wasn't a surprise.

However, I learned a third cousin ran for State Representative from the 4th District in 1932. (They didn't win, but they did get over 5,000 votes.) [Third name down in image below. It only identifies initials, but if the initials are correct, I believe I know who they are. If the initials are incorrect, there are a few more options. The provision of the address should help me confirm my suspicions in a city directory.]


***

In addition to the complete Blue Books, Missouri Digital Heritage also now has a separate Historic "Blue Book" Photograph Collection
The Historic "Blue Book" Photograph Collection is a compilation of images considered for, or published in, the Official Manual of the State of Missouri. Just as the Manual is an important source of information about Missouri’s state government, history, and culture, these pictures capture the many facets of Missouri institutions, landscapes, and places. The images in this collection cover a wide range of subjects, including historic buildings and sites, college and university buildings, parks, bridges, and state government buildings.
Here's one of the photographs:

It's Brookings Hall at Washington University in St. Louis. I, and several relatives graduated from the university, and I grew up only a few blocks away, so it's not an unfamiliar sight to me. However, the photograph was taken in 1948.

Poetry: Julian Ursin Niemcewicz - America and General Washington

My third and final entry for the Great American Local Poem Genealogy Challenge

The challenge is to:
Find a poem by a local poet, famous or obscure, from the region one of your ancestors lived in. It can be about an historical event, a legend, a person, or even about some place (like a river) or a local animal. [follow link for complete rules]
To recap:
Half of my maternal ancestry is Hungarian. My goal was to find a final poem for this challenge to represent my Polish ancestors - 75% of my paternal ancestry. But I found a Polish poet who was born in Lithuania, capturing the remaining 25%. Furthermore, he spent some time in Germany, where a few of my maternal ancestors originated. And he spent some time in America as well.

JULIAN URSIN NIEMCEWICZ (1758-1841), Polish scholar, poet and statesman, was born in 1757 in Lithuania. In the earlier part of his life he acted as adjutant to Kosciusko, was taken prisoner with him at the fatal battle of Maciejowice (1794), and shared his captivity at St Petersburg. On his release he travelled for some time in America, where he married. After the Congress of Vienna he was secretary of state and president of the constitutional committee in Poland, but in 1830—1831 he was again driven into exile. He died in Paris on the 21st of April 1841. [Source: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition]

Niemcewicz, scion of a moderately well-to-do Polish noble family, graduated from the Warsaw Corps of Cadets.

He subsequently served as aide to Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski and visited France, England and Italy.

During the Great Sejm of 1788–92, Niemcewicz was a deputy and an active member of the Patriotic Party that pushed through the historic Constitution of May 3, 1791. He subsequently was a founder of the Zgromadzenie Przyjaciół Konstytucji Rządowej (Assembly of Friends of the Government Constitution), formed to help support and implement that progressive document.

After the victory of the Targowica Confederation in 1792 and the consequent overthrow of the May 3 Constitution, Niemcewicz, along with other Patriotic Party members, emigrated to Germany. [Wikipedia entry]

And here's the poem. (Despite the title, it's as much about Poland and the events that led to Niemcewicz's exile. His life reminds me of the poet, Victor Hugo, for whom I created a website back in 2000.)

AMERICA AND GENERAL WASHINGTON

With my wounded commander* compelled to depart
From thee, oppressed Poland, the pride of my heart;
An asylum I sought o'er the dark rolling sea,
In the land of the noble, the brave and the free;
But e'en there the sad thought of my country would rise,
And the tears of deep anguish would roll from my eyes.

In boundless savannas, where man never strayed,
Amid woods that ne'er echoed the axe's keen blade:
In the foaming abyss, where the clouds of bright steam
Round the falls of the roaring Niagara gleam;
And on the deep sea, when the white sails are spread,
Lo! the shade of my country, all gory and dead.

Full of bliss to my heart is the thought of that day
When to Washington's mansion I wended my way;
To visit the warrior, the hero and sage,
Whose name is the day-star to each coming age;
By his valor the new world rose happy and free,
And her glory his endless memento shall be.

His features are still on my memory defined,
With the fadeless and delicate colors of mind.
Full, noble, majestic, with a crown of swan-hair.
And a brow deeply writ with the finger of care:
Old Roman simplicity marked his fine face,
Expressive of dignity, grandeur and grace.

How oft on his accents with rapture I hung,
While wisdom and kindness distill'd from his tongue;
And whene'er the sad tale of our fall I'd relate —
How brilliant our struggle, yet awful our fate —
A sweet tear-drop of sympathy stole down his cheek —
Better pledge of affection than language could speak.

Precious tear! a rich proof of his sorrow for thee,
Loved home of my fathers! once peaceful and free.
And oh, could I that gem which so peerlessly grows,
In some costly and beautiful crystal enclose,
So priceless a treasure a witness I'd keep,
That o'er Poland's sad ruin a great man could weep.

* General Kosciuszko

Source for poem: Poets and Poetry of Poland: a Collection of Polish Verse, 1881, p. 165. [It's not clear if the translation was done by the editor of the collection, Paul Soboleski, or someone else.]




Note: Further research on this author indicates he wrote some rather polemical works including "The Year 3333" and "Levi and Sara, or, the Jewish lovers" - which lead me to compare him to my distant cousin, Chief Magistrate William Stoughton, who presided over the Salem Witch Trials. While he represents a region where some ancestors originated, he doesn't represent those ancestors. (Except in foreshadowing what would happen a century after his death.) But while I am less fond of the man, I can attempt to separate the poem from its author. The patriotic imagery in the poem above is still very moving.