Monday, June 19, 2017

Amanuensis Monday: Harold Newmark and the 101st Airborne - 1950

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, newspaper articles, 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.

Harold Newmark (1918-2003) was the brother of my grandfather. When I transcribed his obituary, it mentioned he was in the 101st Airborne division during WWII. However, at that time, I didn't know what that may have meant.

The St. Louis Star and Times – Jan 18, 1950 p. 29
Vets of Bulge Reminisce At Area Reunion
By Bob Schulman – Star-Times Staff Writer

BOB CAWEIN, who has only two fingers on his right hand and a jagged scar along his right temple, smiled wryly.

“Five years ago last month, most of us wouldn’t have bet a plugged nickel this meeting would ever be held.”

Cawein’s delight at being present was keenly shared by the 20 other St. Louisans who showed up with him the other evening, in the Armory on Market st.

***

FIVE YEARS AGO they were still members of the 101st Airborne Division, thrown into the snow-covered Belgian town of Bastogne to bleed, freeze, or both, as eight crack Nazi divisions surrounded them in one of the most dramatic episodes of World War II.

The Armory meeting was their first formal reunion since the war. It was called by onetime Pfc. Harold Newmark of University City, vice-president of American Textile Products, Inc., to create a St. Louis chapter of the 101st Airborne Division Association.

The current movie, “Battleground,” is a graphic portrayal of what happened at Bastogne. But until the reminiscences started rolling it was difficult to fit the men at the meeting into the roles.

At Bastogne, the Germans had dubbed them “the big-pocketed butchers.” But now they were just another collection of civilians and an airman.

“We’re not the commando type,” Cawein, a truck lines salesman, conceded with a grin. “I used to wear a size 34 suit. Now I wear a 46.”

Newmark was up from a size 30 to a size 36. George W. (Pops) Hendrix of Webster Groves was down to 119 pounds when they froze him in at Bastogne. Now he’s back to his 168 – quite proper for a man of 45.

Notes:

1) More on the Siege of Bastogne.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Frederick Fulkerson (1759-1824) and Elizabeth Pottinger

Frederick Fulkerson (1759-1824) is one of my wife's fifth great grandfathers.

The phrase "Frederick married to Elizabeth POTTINGER (in 1799) and several others" appears in a handful of places on the internet. And countless other people have copied the facts of a 1799 marriage, and additional unnamed wives. Inevitably, with a few exceptions, five children are attributed to Frederick and Elizabeth, all with dates of birth prior to 1799.

I have a difficult time imagining the logical processes of a family historian who notes Frederick had multiple wives, married one of these wives in 1799, and then assumes that this wife is the mother of Frederick's five children, all born prior to their marriage.

It's certainly possible the 1799 date for the marriage is wrong. If it were wrong by 10 years, that is if the correct marriage year was 1789, that would help with two of the five (three if we allow for a January marriage while Elizabeth was in her final month of pregnancy. That type of thing did happen.) My wife's ancestor, Richard Fulkerson, was the one born January 29, 1789.

Allegedly. I haven't seen the records from which any of the dates involved are taken.
I have not recorded Elizabeth Pottinger as my wife's fifth great grandmother.

I suggest anyone reading this who have Frederick and Elizabeth in their database as ancestors should put a huge question mark beside Elizabeth's name in their notes. Unless they have records to back it up. In which case, please contact me.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Amanuensis Monday: Anton Schrock on Grape Culture in Bollinger County Missouri in 1880

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, newspaper articles, 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.

My wife's 3rd great Grandfather, Anton Schrock (1819-1900) was quoted in a Special Report of the US Department of Agriculture. Special Report #36, "Report Upon Statistics of Grape Culture and Wine Production in the United States for 1880," p. 73.

ANTON Schrock, Marble Hill, Bollinger County:

Bollinger County has a considerable area which seems well adapted to grapes that are excellent for table use and the production of wine. Those now engaged in grape culture in this vicinity are only amateurs, and cultivate by small patches of one-half acre to three acres, apart from their regular business of farming. Some sell their grapes in our towns or send them to Saint Louis. I make wine in a small way because it has dull sale here. We need immigration of Germans from the wine provinces who perfectly understand grape culture and the manufacture of wine. The Ives and Hartford do well, but the Norton's Virginia does the best. Concord bore abundantly last year.

Notes:

1) Norton wines still do well in Missouri.
2) There is an "Abram Fulkerson" who is quoted directly above Schrock in the report. He is possibly related in some fashion to my wife's Fulkerson ancestors.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The ancestor who moved the farthest

Randy Seaver at Geneamusings asks: Which of your ancestors moved the farthest from home?

Of course, I first think about my ancestors who immigrated from Eastern Europe

  • My second great grandparents, Moshe Leyb and Minnie Cruvant, and their family moved 4,872 miles from Cekiske, Lithuania to St. Louis, Missouri
  • My second great grandfather, Morris Blatt, and his daughters moved 4,980 miles from Losice, Poland to St. Louis
  • My maternal grandfather, Martin Deutsch moved 5,236 mies from Varalmas, Hungary (now Almasu, Romania) to Chicago, Illinois, and then to St. Louis. (He accompanied his parents and siblings on the first, and longest leg of the journey.)
  • My second great grandparents, Selig and Annie Feinstein, and their family either moved 5,260 miles from Zhitomir, Ukraine to St. Louis, or 5,477 miles from Oleksandriya, Ukraine to St. Louis. (Those are the two most likely origin points for his family.)
So the Feinsteins win for distance, right?

Well, there is more than one way to define "move."  My paternal grandfather, Melvin Newmark, while serving during World War II, was stationed in Australia, easily beating them all. My maternal grandfather was stationed in Africa and the Middle East. Thankfully, both returned to their homes in St. Louis.



Friday, June 2, 2017

Tech Tip: Making your Blog/Website more Accessible

How accessible is your blog/website? Is the color/size/font of your text readable to everyone?
Can someone click a button and have the text read to them?

Sure, those with difficulties often have apps of their own to do this for any website, but maybe they’re away from their computer and at a library computer that doesn’t have them.

ATBar (Assistive Technologies) provides a free app, easy to install, that creates a toolbar increasing the accessibility of your blog or website. Download and install instructions can be found on the AtBar website.

You can insert the code anywhere on your blog/website. I have placed it in my left-column. Once you click the ATbar button, a toolbar similar to the one pictured below should appear on your screen.

“ATbar has been created as an open-source, cross-browser toolbar to help users customise the way they view and interact with web pages. The concept behind ATbar is simple: One toolbar to provide all of the functionality you would usually achieve through the use of different settings or products.” 
“It is designed for those who may not have their assistive technologies to hand and need a quick way of accessing text on the screen with magnification and/or text to speech etc. It can help those with low vision, dyslexia and other reading difficulties, as well as those who may wish to just reduce the glare of black text on bright white backgrounds. It is not designed for regular screen reader users who need their assistive technology to access the computer as well as their browser.”
Added functions include:
1) Increase
2) Decrease font size
3) Change font typeface/line spacing
4) Spellcheck
5) Dictionary
6) Text to Speech
7) Word Prediction
8) Change text, link, and background colors
9) Create an overlay color for the site