Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day 2010 - Brothers in Service, World War II

This memorial day I would like to remember my husband's uncles and his father who all served in World War II.

Antonio, Vincenzo "Jack" and Sylvio Faella

Antonio is my husband's dad.  He was in the Navy, serving in the pacific aboard the submarine the USS Spearfish. He served from about May 1942 through December 1945.

The middle son is Jack, my husband's uncle.  He was the youngest of the three and as of this picture was not yet old enough to serve.  He served with the Navy on the destroyer the USS Tillman.  He was born April 9, 1926 and died March 3, 2003 and is buried at the Rhode Island Veteran's Cemetery.

Sylvio was the oldest Faella brother.  He served as a Chief Commissary Steward aboard the USS Wasp.  He was killed in action on March 19, 1945,  when at about 7:10 am, the aircraft carrier was hit by a bomb.  He was buried at sea.  He was awarded the Purple Heart for his service.  He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.  (His service records all have his last name as Faela)

On this memorial day, I want to thank not only the Faella men who served but also all who have defended our country through the years.  Special thanks go to those currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

God Bless them one and all!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fearless Family Friday - Zip Lining

Warning:  Not genealogy related.

Today my husband, son, mother and I had a grand adventure.  We went zip lining in New Hampshire. There were 5 zip lines, including a 1500' long, 200' high ride about the ground, with gorgeous views of the mountains of New Hampshire.  It was a great time.  A little scary, a bit out of our comfort zone and just wonderful!

Here is my son coming in for a landing.

And my mother.

And my husband crossing one of the gorges.

Quite a day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Farmer and Hunter

My grandfather Ross Hannon was a farmer and a hunter. He and Jigs, the dog, hunted raccoon at night.  The dog would drive the raccoons up into a tree where they were easily shot.  My mother remembers that he got about 50 cents per hide.  The deer was butchered for the family to eat.  The picture is from 1952, when my grandfather supported his family of five with many different trades.  They were a poor farming family in Palermo, Maine doing what they could to get by.  Ross was a very friendly, helpful and well-liked man.  He and his neighbors helped each other when ever they could.  It was a tough life but family, friends and neighbors made it all bearable. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Agriculture Schedules - John and Richard Hannan

As quite a few bloggers have mentioned, now has some Non-Population Schedules from 1850-1880.  They include schedules for agriculture, industry and manufacturing.  Since many of my ancestors were life-long farmers, it seemed time to for me to check them out.

I started with the 1850 schedules for my Hannan relatives in Maine.  I found my ggg-grandfather John Hannan and his son, my gg-grandfather Richard Hannan listed in the Liberty, Waldo, Maine Agriculture schedule, conveniently on the same page.

Each individual begins on the right hand-side page of a two-page spread, and continues on the next page.  Here are the full pages for my Hannan ancestors.

So what do they say?  John's farm is listed as being 100 acres, 20 of them improved (in use) with a cash value of $400.  He lists 3 milch cows (milking), 4 working oxen, 2 other cattle, 12 sheep, and 1 swine (pig).  The total value of the lifestock is reported as $200.  He reports 30 bushels of indian corn, 15 bushels of oats, 25 pounds of wool, 4 bushels of peas and beans 15 bushels of barley, 150 pounds of butter and 15 tons of hay.  Lastly, he reports $50 of home-made manufacture.  The value of his slaughtered animals is $240.  At this time in his life, John had been in the US about 38 years.  He had 2 sons helping him with his farm.  

Richard Hannan, John's son, is listed on the same page.  He reports his farm as being 250 acres, 30 of which are improved.  The cash value is $800.  He lists 1 horse, 2 milch cows, 2 oxen, 2 other cattle, 9 sheep with  a livestock value of $160.  He also has 15 bushels of indian corn, 30 bushels of oats,  28 pounds of wool, 4 bushels of peas and beans, 20 bushels of barley, 50 pounds of butter, 12 tons of hay, $40 worth of home-made manufacture and $100 value of slaughtered animals.  Richard was about 26 years old in 1850.  He had married in 1849.  

Both John's and Richard's farms seem about average in size and content compared to those in the same area.  They are not the largest or most prosperous, neither are significantly poorer than those around them. 

Next up, how did the farms appear in subsequent years.  I also would like to locate the actual location of their farms.  Interesting stuff!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (a bit late)

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun has been presented over at Randy's Genea-Musings.  This week he asks:

1) List your matrilineal line - your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!

Although it is now Sunday afternoon, I thought I would list mine ...

Beatrice Natalie Hall  (June 17, 1906 - June 9, 1976)
Leilia Elva Dow (January 11, 1881 - April 24, 1912)
Emily Judson Maxell (May 20, 1853 - September 11, 1916)
Elizabeth (Betsey) Jane Colson (June 20, 1819 - October 16, 1907)
Anna Moffat (abt 1777 Ireland - August 10, 1849)

Doing this made me see that I have very few details and sources for my grandmothers, especially after Leilia.  I will need to work on this!

I have never had a mitochondrial DNA test (or any DNA test) done.  I haven't followed the DNA testing work - not sure what one can really find out.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - The Children of Stephen & Eliza Gardner

Old Fernwood Cemetery
South Kingstown, Rhode Island

Elisha H. Gardner
April 9, 1843 - October 7, 1843
Abby T. Gardner
March 4, 1845 - August 1, 1845
Elisha H. Gardner
January 14, 1847 - July 9, 1847

Children of Stephen & Eliza J. Gardner

This family is not from my family tree and I don't know any information about them.  It just seemed like a very sad tale was told on this stone.  Three children who all died within a few months of being born.

Rest in Peace,
Elisha, Abby, Elisha and your parents Stephen and Eliza.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - Home to Maine

For most of my childhood years we lived here in Rhode Island.  My parents, however, were both born in Maine.  At least once a month, on Friday night, we headed "home" to Maine for the weekend.  In the early days the drive was about 6 hours long.  We piled into the station wagon, argued over who got the "way back" (with the mattress) and settled in for the drive.  There were no VCR screens, no hand-held games, no electronic entertainment.  We just had each other and maybe a book or two. Back then many of the highways were made from concrete sections, and I can still sleep very nicely to the "thump, thump, thump" our car made as we travelled along. 

We were always ready to go, after all, many of our cousins lived at the end of the ride.  We usually stayed at the McKiel farm in Albion, Maine.  It was the farm my grandparents owned for almost all of their married lives.  Milking cows were the primary business and although my grandfather died when I was quite young, and the barns belonged to others, the smell of cows and their output are still a fond one for me.

The Albion Home of Harry & Elsie McKiel

On our trips "home" we also spent time at my mother's parents house.  They too had a farm and raised milking cows, as well as growing hay.  Their home had no cow smells nearby when I visited and I think my strongest memory is of my grandfathers rocker that had a swivel base and could spin around and around and around ... till some one told us to stop "for the ninth time!" 

Here is my Mom in front the the Hannan Home in Palermo

The following is a picture of my grandfather Harry McKiel's cows the night before they were auctioned off when his health wouldn't allow him to continue farming (in about 1957).  They are holsteins, known for their good dairy production.  

We enjoyed our frequent trips to Maine for a long time.  Till those dreaded teen years when all the other activities of our lives became so very important.  I don't know what age it happened, but I distinctly remember feeling that my parents saying we were "going home" to Maine was incorrect.  Home was Rhode Island and I didn't really like it that they thought otherwise.  Thankfully, we all do grow up and I certainly understand how they felt about "home" now that I am an adult.  My parents have told me some stories about their growing up adventures on a farm in Maine.  I think I need to get more and document them better!!

Thanks for listening.