Events of importance are at Living in Black Mountain NC
My own life and my opinions are shared at When I was 69.

REMEMBER: In North America, the month of September 1752 was exceptionally short, skipping 11 days, when the Gregorian Calendar was adapted from the old Julian one, which didn't have leap year days.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

B & W Photos of yesteryear, and some histories


Mary McCloud Bethune was born on July 10, 1875

She started a school for African-American girls with $1.50. The school bordered the town dump. Make-shift desks and chairs were made from discarded crates and boxes. There were five students at the time, and the students made ink for pens from elderberry juice and pencils from burned wood.
When the the local Ku Klux Klan heard about the school, they threatened to burn it down. There were reports that they waited outside the school, but she stood in the doorway, unwilling to back down or leave her school. Other stories say that she and her students started singing spirituals. The Ku Klux Klan eventually left.
Mary McLeod Bethune was born on July 10, 1875 in a log cabin on a cotton farm in South Carolina, the 15th of 17 children of former slaves. Most of her brothers and sisters were born into slavery; she was the first child born free. She started working in the fields by the age of 5.
This is a post from the Peace Page, with information compiled from historical sources online. The Peace Page encourages readers to learn more of the life of Mary McLeod Bethune online.
One day, she accompanied her mother, delivering “white people’s” wash. When she was given permission to enter the white children's nursery, she saw a book, which fascinated her. A white girl would quickly snatch the book from her hands, telling her she didn't know how to read. That's when Mary realized the only difference between white and black folk was the ability to read and write.
When she got the opportunity, McLeod attended a one-room black schoolhouse, walking five miles to and from the school. When she got home, she would teach her parents and siblings what she learned. She then got an opportunity to attend the Moody Bible Institute in 1895, becoming the first African American student to graduate from the school.
She decided then she would become a missionary, sharing what she learned. But, she would be informed that no one wanted or needed a black missionary.
Rather than give up her dreams, she decided more than ever that she would eventually teach.
Flash forward to 1904, when after moving to Florida, she started the Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls, which initially had five girls aged six to twelve. With limited resources, she was determined to make the school a success, even when the Ku Klux Klan threatened her. But, eventually she received donations and support from the community, and the school grew to 30 girls by the end of the year.
Booker T. Washington would tell her of the importance of white benefactors to fund her school, so she started traveling and fundraising, receiving donations from John D. Rockefeller and establishing contacts with Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Her little school would become even more successful after it merged with a private institute for African-American boys and became known as the Bethune-Cookman School. She was president of the college from 1923 to 1942, and 1946 to 1947, becoming one of the few women in the world to serve as a college president at that time.
After she found that one of her students needing medical care was denied the care she needed and was placed on an outside porch of the local white hospital instead of a room with a bed, she used her funding sources and connections to open the first black hospital in Daytona, Florida.
According to the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association, McLeod became "one of the 20th century’s most powerful and celebrated advocates for civil rights and suffrage", holding "prominent roles, including president, in the National Association of Colored Women (NACW). She also served as president of the Florida Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, where she fought against school segregation and sought healthcare for black children. Under her leadership, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) was founded as a unifying voice for African American women’s organizations."
As chapter president of the Florida chapter of the National Association of Colored Women, she would become so well known for her work registering black voters that once again she received threats from the Ku Klux Klan. And, like before, she did not back down.
With her friendship with the Roosevelts, she would become appointed as a national adviser to president Roosevelt, becoming part of what was known as his Black Cabinet and advising him on concerns of black people and would be called the “First Lady of the Struggle”.
When she passed away on May 18, 1955, she was recognized across the country. One newspaper suggested "the story of her life should be taught to every school child for generations to come" and The New York Times noted she was, "one of the most potent factors in the growth of interracial goodwill in America."
In her own words before she died, she wrote:
"I leave you love. I leave you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you a thirst for education. I leave you a respect for the use of power. I leave you faith. I leave you racial dignity. I leave you a desire to live harmoniously with your fellow men. I leave you a responsibility to our young people."
“If I have a legacy to leave my people, it is my philosophy of living and serving. I think I have spent my life well. I pray now that my philosophy may be helpful to those who share my vision of a world of Peace, Progress, Brotherhood, and Love.”
[Note: This was originally published on the Jon S. Randal Peace Page in 2019. You are welcome to share, but please do so via the Facebook share button which acknowledges the original author. Thank you.]

And as I've looked into my own ancestors' pasts...I found that I've a drop or two of Scottish blood...namely from Dugald and John MacDougall

This carving is the base of the memorial depicted below, out of focus.

In my Ancestry tree, WIlliam McElhany (1766-1815) of Pennsylvania, fought in the War of 1812, on the American side.

His memorial is in the Cheektowaga Historical Cemetery site. I posted about the cemetery before HERE..

Soldiers who died in the military hospital were buried in the cemetery on Aero Dr. which was located in Amherst until the New York State Thruway was built nearly 150 years later, when the cemetery became part of the Town of Cheektowaga.

Graves are not individuality marked, there are small white wooden cross's scattered throughout the cemetery.

Established: 1814 - 1815, aka Old Military Cemetery, aka Garrison Road Cemetery, aka Creek Road Cemetery .

Denomination: Military

Address & Location: Located on the south side of Aero Rd., between Transit Rd. and Wehrle Dr., west of Youngs Rd. (North of Buffalo International Airport). 

William McElhany's wife was Elizabeth Clark McNeal McElhany (1768-1849) and her ancestors included members of the families McNeal, McKorda, McKinney, and many a Scotch-Irish family.

One grandmother was Mary Sarah MacDougall, 1664-1725...who's lineage included MacLaughlin, Livingstone, Gillespie and her father, Alexander MacDougall.  He was the 21st Chief of Dunollie and of Lorn, (1635-1695) of Dunollich, Argyllshire, Scotland. He would be my 9th great grandfather.

I'm not quite sure how the monument connects to him...and will try to figure that out in the next few ventures into Ancestry. I know only that she was my 8 time great grandmother, among the immigrants from Scotland to Ireland.

In the meantime I wanted to share two serious looking ladies, all squeezed up in their fine attire, ready to walk somewhere with beautiful parasols.  I don't think I'm related, and don't even know their names.

Sharing with Sepia Saturday this week!

Today's quote:

“It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more upon a man than he can bear. Worry is the rust upon the blade. It is not the movement that destroys the machinery but the friction.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Tuesday, October 26, 2021


 I love thinking how often things change...often without my knowledge or encouragement. Like my $80 increase in car insurance. And I never saw that coming. My car gets much older, and for some strange reason the insurance company thinks it's going to cost more to repair or replace. Well, the newer ones do cost much more, so I may never be able to replace it anyway. Let's see which one of us wears out first!

The change that I wanted to mention is one of my intentions to learn Gaelic...preferably the Scotts variety. I've got the book. But then someone suggested free Duolingo. So I've been working on that on line, very slowly...and I'm pretty sure it's Irish Gaelic.

I am ok with that. It's hard enough with vocabulary, but at least Duolingo does have sounded out words and sentences.

Whoopee! So every day or so I work on my vocab and the existence of male/female articles of the words that are at least clearly male or female. Like the girl, the boy, the man, and the woman. Then they get to eat, and I have to figure out how those sentences get put together. Over and over! And it's still like starting over again with each lesson.

Other than that, I've got lots of volunteer stuff on my plate so I'd best get to doing that!

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Memory in old age

 We all suffer from some memory loss, and often joke about it. But when I consider, at the end of the day, that I spent about an hour when broken into all the different times then pulled together, when I was trying to remember something, I want to cut back on memory difficulties.

I've heard a good technique is actively learning something. Not repeating words as crossword workers are doing, or adding numbers as Sodoku workers are doing (though I think those are definitely work!) - and certainly not playing "find the..." games. I need to push myself to learn something new.

So I had to drop out of our Spanish Conversation class, thanks to a pandemic. I don't know how, but I want to learn Gaellic.

Then I found out there are 2 major ones, and probably one of those is broken into 3, and the other broken into 2 very different dialects...and they might not be able to understand each other's Celtic brogue.

Now I started to say, Irish would be good. But maybe Scottish would be a better idea.

Flag of Scotland

And I looked on some Irish pronunciation sites with common phrases, and geese, I couldn't remember one of them, even after saying them out loud. 

Well, I admit I seldom remember any names or phrases I had just heard, even by saying them.

This is going to take a lot of effort, and time (of which I have plenty daily, though not so much yearly).

So if anyone should have some good techniques or suggestions, please let me know. I think I'm going to see if any language learning tapes on CDs are available through the library. I need to repeat and repeat after hearing the correct pronunciation. Maybe one phrase a week...or one word!

My Irish ancestor was Francis Beattie, (1715-1791) But come to find out, he was also a Scottish man, with the Ulster Scotts...though the birth of fathers and grandfathers is confusingly either Ireland or Scotland.

But I had other ancestors who were Ulster Scotts...or Scotch Irish as they are now called.

So I think Scottish Gaelic is the way to go after all!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

"The Winthrop Woman"

 I just finished listening to the audio version of this book. When I tried to read it many years ago, I lost myself and lost interest. But this time I was captivated by it.

It was a very long digital audio book, but I was supposed to be sitting with my legs elevated a lot, so it fit right into my life at this time. (A foot injury is still not treated, but I have appointments coming.)

 I really enjoyed getting to know Elizabeth Winthrop, an early colonist to America, whose uncle John Winthrop was a governor of Massachusetts for some years of his life. 

I had many relatives in early Massachusetts and Connecticut, but have no knowledge of all the trials and tribulations they went through until I read The Winthrop Woman.

Elizabeth had many problems in her life, and somehow surmounted them all. She befriended a First Nation Indian woman who appeared several times through the book.  Elizabeth has romances, religious doubts, and a large family.  

Though this is a historical fiction, the actual woman, Elizabeth Winthrop, existed and was cited in many records through her life...records which still exist. I don't know how many things have been inserted to provide links to these records. But she dealt with early Puritans, and politics during King Charles I reign and the revolution of Cromwell. She dealt with the Dutch who had different laws to be followed when she lived in Greenwich CT, which was on the border and eventually became part of the English Connecticut Colony.

I remembered an ancestor of mine had a sister (Ann Brinley Coddington, 1628-1708) who married a Connecticut governor, and just looked up her mention on my blog HERE. The Brinley sister married Gov. William Coddington (1601-1678), while my ancestress was Grissell Brinley Sylvester (1635-1687) who lived on Long Island. I had many ancestors who settled in Boston MA, Andover MA, Newbury MA, Sudbury RI, Hartford CT, and Stratford CT, from both my father's and my mother's ancestry.

I wish on a certain level that I still lived in New England, and had access to all the many documents which still talk of the early colonists.  Of course there are lots of resources on line these days and I find many hints on my Ancestry trees every time I look at them!

Thanks to fellow blogger, Vicki Lane who recommended this book.

Friday, September 10, 2021

More on Alice Harris Farnum Martin

 I don't know why I left Alice Harris Farnum's children out of my last post!

She and her first husband, Ralph Farnum I, had 7 children. His occupation that he had recorded on their passage to America said he was a barber. The first four children came with the Farnums from England, where they had been born. The next were all born in the Colonies. The last was John Farnum, (abt. 1640--17 June 1723.) His line four generations later brought a Sarah Farnum who married Jacob Granger, a line which extended from New England to Texas just before the Civil grandmother's grandmother.

But another of Alice Harris Farnum's children, their oldest by the name of Mary Farnum, married Daniel Poore. And Mary and Daniel's family included a daughter, Martha Poore, who married Capt. John Granger. So it was their grandson Jacob who married Sarah Farnum.  I wonder if they knew they had some kind of cousin relationship. And I don't dare figure it out!

When Alice married a second time to Solomon, the ship's carpenter, Martin, they had 2 children. The first had probably not been Alice's son, having been born in 1645 when she was married to Ralph (I presume). The second was born in 1648, after the date of her marriage to Solomon Martin. But we don't have a date of death for Ralph Farnum, just that it was before Alice married Solomon in 1648. So both of these Martin children could have been hers. Then Solomon died in 1655. Alice herself may have died in1652 as some Ancestry trees say, or may have lived until 8 Jan. 1691. Many of her children lived past that date, so she would have had someone to care for her in her old age.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

More grandparents from England

 These ancestors are actually on my dad's mother's tree, Ada Phillips Swasey Rogers. 

Her New England branch included immigrants Ralph Farnham/Farnum I, and his wife Alice Harris Farnum Martin. She had been born in 1607 in Braunstone England. She died in 1652 (or maybe in 1691) in Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts Colony.

Alice Harris Fanhum and Ralph Farnum had been among the early colonists who had passage to America on the James, landing in Boston June 3, 1635. (There was more than one ship by that name, just to confuse the various stories.) They were my 9 times great grandparents.

Let's go up the Harris lineage for a moment.

Her parents were Sir Thomas Harris of Maldon (5 Dec 1562- 6 Mar 1621) and Eleanore Silverthorn Harris (1520-1565), though one tree on Ancestry calls her mother Joan Wrighte Harris, who we only know died in Oct. 1600.  I'll stay with the majority for Eleanore Silverthorn. But unfortunately there's no more known about her. So let's take a break here, with these, my 10 times great grandparents.

Oh actually, I forgot to post the dates for Alice Harris Farnhum's husband, Ralph I.
It explains how she married Martin after he died.

The following was found in Massachusetts' Find A Grave, which unfortunately posted 1692 as a death date, then quotes below that he died by 1648 when his widow remarried!

Born about 1603 (aged 32 in 1635). Barber from Rochester, Kent who came to Massachusetts Bay in 1635 on the "James" & settled in Ipswich. Died by 1648 (when his widow remarried).
Married by 1628 Alice _____. She married (2) Gloucester 18 June 1648 Solomon Martin ("Solloman Martin, ship carpenter, and Ales Varnam, widow, of Ipswich").
On 13 July 1635, "Ralph Farman," barber, aged 32, "Alice Farman," aged 28, "Mary Farman," aged 7, "Tho[mas] Farman," aged 4, and "Ralph Farman," aged 2, were enrolled at London as passengers for New England on the "James."
Source: Anderson's Great Migration Study Project

As this is a closer to original source, I'm changing my tree to reflect that date (1648) for his death, rather than the 1642 one that is not given any source.

And now we know a good reason that Alice remarried to Solomon Martin. I interpret the quote as giving Solomon the status of widow of Ales Varnam, of Ipwich. Does that make sense? 

Or perhaps it's saying widow, Alice Farnum of Ipswich?

Don't you just love the flexible spelling of early America?

More about Alice Harris Farnum Martin soon.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Adriana Alids de Weden Pratt Rogers

She married a religious and educated man. She was Belgium...whatever the correct term for citizens of Belgium may be. Adriana Alids de Weyden Pratt married Rev. John Rogers in 1537 in Antwerp Belgium.  She was 25 and he was 29, according to my records...where there also is an English marriage dated in 1527 as well. Yes, he was British, or English. They have 2 words to describe their citizenship, while Belgiums just call themselves Belgiums.

Rev. John Rogers (1507-1555) was among those educated clergymen who worked on publishing editions of the Bible in English, or German...or any other languages besides Latin which had been the only available editions prior to their work. Rogers used the name Thomas Matthew as his nom de plume for his work to translate the Latin Bible into English for the first time. However, his work was finished just at the time that Queen Mary came into power, and she used her Catholic faith to go against the new church of England that her father, Henry VIII had instituted. So Rev. John Rogers appeared at the wrong time and preached to Queen Mary and she jailed him, then had him burned at the stake, because he was not willing to recant his "Protestant" views. And yes, the Reformation was also happening then.

Back to his wife, Adriana went with Rev. John Rogers while he studied in Germany, and their family grew by many children. By the time he appeared again in England they had had 13 children. Two had died while young. So when Rev. John was burned at the stake, his wife and 11 children observed the event.

I'm interested at this point in Adriana's parentage. She had been born in 1511. We only know of one sister, Anna, who was born in 1505, and lived until 1536.

Their father was Micheydon van der Weyden (1473-1567) who lived his whole life in Antwerp Belgium,  I don't know what he did there. I've just changed my Ancestry tree to remove the English knight as his father. So I don't know who his father really was.

Bruges Belgium

Adriana's mother was Joan van Meteren (1490-1567) with Antwerp Belgium for her birth and death records. And her parents were from the Netherlands. 

Her father was Cornelius Jonkher Van Meteran (1474-1519) born and died in Deil-Tielerwaard-Betuwe, Geldermalsen, Gelderland, Netherlands. Her mother was Cornelia Sparenburg van Meteran (B. abt. 1470 - 1519) born in Deil, Geldermalsen, Gelderland, Netherlands, and died in Antwerp, Belgium. They were my great times 14 grandparents, and I know no further back on that tree branch.

Friesland landscape in the Netherlands