Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Headstone Before It's Time - Tombstone Tuesday

This has been a very tough year for me both physically and emotionally. Mom was hospitalized for a week and then spent several weeks in rehab. She was able to return to her home. Ended up in the hospital again, thankfully for a very short stay that time. These events were wake up calls for my siblings and I. We realized that if Mom was going to be able to stay in her home, as is her wish, that we'd need help.

We found a wonderful program and now have the support we need. The process of getting her into the program was emotionally painful. There were many, many things that we had to do get Mom's home and finances in order. Because my recovery from surgery was so long and drawn out, most of the tasks fell to my sister. I felt that I could handle preplanning Mom's funeral and purchasing her headstone. It was much harder than I thought it would be, after all Mom is still with us.

Before I could do anything else we had to choose a cemetery. We talked with Mom about what she wanted. She did not want her remains returned to the family plot in Michigan. She had always assumed that she would be interred in Valley Cemetery as my paternal grandparents are there. That was our first thought too, however none of us visit the cemetery very often because it is so far away. We asked her how she felt about Ellisburg Cemetery, which is not far from my sister's home and after thinking about it a bit she thought that was a good idea. The cemetery is two counties away from where Mom has spent the majority of her life but it is convenient for both me sister and I. I wonder if this will cause confusion for descendants 100 years from now?

The location of the cemetery helped me decide on a monument company. I looked into three different companies and made my choice. I was under the mistaken impression that all businesses were handicap accessible and that was not the case but we were able to work it out. The sales rep was a very young pleasant woman and she told me what the options were and gave me some basic pricing. The cemetery didn't have any restrictions so I narrowed out choices down to an upright or a slant. After talking to my brother and sister we decided to go with an upright. Now the sales rep was a little less helpful than I would have liked. I was shown pictures of a few monuments of the type and size we would be purchasing and also shown some pages of clip art that I could pick from. Nothing she showed me was what I was looking for but honestly, I wasn't sure what I wanted.

I tried my hand at sketching some of my ideas. While there have been many very talented artists in the family I am not one of them. Because we would be getting our stone from Rock of Ages, I starting searching the web for ideas. There were so many choices but I started a file with ones that had an element or two that I liked. I started also looking up what various symbols meant. I also wanted something uniquely Mom.

I chose Dogwood because it is pretty and represents Mom's belief in the Resurrection.

I chose song birds because Mom spends her days watching the birds that visit her feeder. However when the design came in for approval it had doves instead. My initial thought was to send it back for redesign but as I looked at it I actually liked the way it looked better than what I had come up with. So the doves represent both Mom's love of birds and peace.

The doves and more dogwood were placed in a circle representing eternity.

The last symbol is one that should puzzle anyone outside of the family as it is an inside joke. When Mom was in the Navy she worked on some secret project. While she is happy to tell us she worked on the project, what the project was is information she plans to take to her grave with her. In the family we jokingly refer to this as "the paper clip project." I wanted something to symbolize her time in the Navy but she was adamant that she did not want a military symbol. So I had to settle for having a paper clip rather than a dash between the dates.

I also wanted some type of saying included. I found one that I loved and shared it with my sister and we realized we had a major difference in theology which almost led to a major argument. It took me several days but finally I stepped back and thought how unhappy I'd be if she included something that I wasn't comfortable with. We settled on "loving memories last forever," which we both liked.

The entire process took several months. I did send the design back for minor changes so there were several trips aback and forth to see the design changes as they came in. The stone was set back in October and I drove up to have a look. I am very pleased with how it turned out. I snapped a couple of pictures but they will stay hidden on my hard drive for now because it just seems like it would be testing fate to share them now.

I have been working to document the older part of the cemetery and plan to return in the spring to work on taking new pictures but I think I will avoid the side of the cemetery where Mom's stone is because it still feels wrong for it to be there waiting.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wheeler - Surname Saturday

I have written nothing about my Wheeler ancestors. I'll have to work on that!

>>Daniel Michael Carlisle, 1885-1960; Buchanan, MI
>>>Isaac Ashley Carlisle, 1842-1929; Edwardsburg, MI - Buchanan, MI
>>>>Daniel Carlisle, 1797-1872; Westmoreland, NH - Buchanan, MI
>>>>>Zipporah WHEELER, 1772-1841; Shrewsbury, MA - Western NY
>>>>>>Solomon WHEELER, 1747-1822; Shrewsbury, MA - Westmoreland, NH
>>>>>>>Cyrus WHEELER, 1717-1782; Marlborough, MA - Shrewsbury, MA
>>>>>>>>John WHEELER, 1695-1747; Marlborough, MA - Bolton, MA
>>>>>>>>>John WHEELER, 1661-1721; Concord, MA - Marlborough, MA
>>>>>>>>>>Thomas WHEELER, 1633-1686; England - Concord, MA
>>>>>>>>>>>George WHEELER, 1605-1687; England - Concord, MA

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Most Memorable Year

In every family, perhaps every few generations, there is a year that stands out. For my Carlisle ancestors certainly 1862 was their year. Two sons and their step-mother off to war, their house burned down and most of their possession lost. A daughter forced to take a job she did not want and that set her on a very interesting course for the rest of her life.

Years such as these, though they have a deep impact of the family, are not necessarily talked about and future generations may have no idea how greatly they impacted the family.

For my family the year was 1984. The year started out well. Plans were being made for my wedding. We had decided that after the wedding I would leave my job and become a full time mother. On the day that I gave my notice the company announced layoffs that would have included my position so we considered ourselves lucky that it worked into our plans.

The wedding was a small affair and went well despite despite the winter weather. We had decided to postpone our honeymoon and we quietly began our life as a blended family.

Less than a week later we received the shocking news that my uncle had died while working away from home. His date of death was also my brother and sister's birthday. Not the 18th birthday every girl looks forward to. My husband's introduction to my father was at the calling hours. Not the introduction any of us had envisioned. My grandfather was battling cancer and unable to attend. I feel that the loss of his youngest son sped his decline.

My first husband did not take the news of my remarriage well and started a custody battle that would drag on for years and profoundly affect all of us. The next few months were spent with lawyers. We also were dealing with combining two families and very different parenting styles. My grandfather and his wife needed my help and I often found myself torn between helping them and preparing for court. My daughter became a favorite of the residents of the nursing home but was terrified every time we visited.

There was more good news on the horizon however. My sister graduated from high school and was making plans for college. My brother and his fiance were planning their wedding. It would be a traditional wedding with many attendants and a large reception. I feel I let them down with my legal problem taking up my time.

Just three days before the wedding my grandfather lost his battle with cancer. We held a hurried funeral, followed by the rehearsal dinner. While his death did overshadow the wedding somewhat, it was a beautiful ceremony and we did have a good time at the reception. My brother and new sister left on their honeymoon.

Tragedy would quickly strike again. A week to the day after my grandfather's death, his wife and caretaker died. She had not been obviously ill and I believe that she died of a broken heart. I missed the funeral because I was in court, my brother was on his honeymoon, and my father had returned to Texas so the only one left to represent the family was my sister.

The rest of the year was, thankfully, uneventful.

1984 was was both the best of years and the worst of years.

This was written for the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: There's One in Every Family, to be hosted at Creative Gene. Jasia is looking for 100 posts for this edition - let's no let her down!

Thanks for the poster fM!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Surname Saturday - Badgley

I have written relatively little about my Badgley ancestors but I have spent untold hours researching them. If I can ever get my DAR membership application back on track, I hope to use my ancestor, Anthony Badgley, as no one has gained membership through his line.

>>Pearl Vivian Camfield (1886-1972) South Bend, IN - Berrien County, MI
>>>Joseph Harrison Camfield (1847-1927) Syracuse, NY - South Bend, IN
>>>>Sarah Ann Wisner (1817-1912) Onondaga County, NY - Branch County, MI
>>>>>Elizabeth "Betsey" BADGLEY (1791-1877) Albany, NY - Avon, IL
>>>>>>Anthony BADGLEY (1750-1829) Clinton, NY - Dewitt, NY
>>>>>>>Anthony BADGLEY (1721-1810) Flushing, NY - Clinton, NY
>>>>>>>>Anthony BADGLEY (c. 1695-1732) Flushing, NY
>>>>>>>>>Anthony BADGLEY (c. 1660-aft.1715) ??? - Flushing, NY

Some previous posts about the Badgley family:

Badgley and Wisner Deed Extracts, Onondaga, NY

Sarah Ann Wisner, The Early Years

Henry Bogardus, Shirt-tail Cousin

A Bad Run of Luck for the Badgley's

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Plant Orchards - 1853

When I saw that Bill West would be hosting the Second Great Local Poem and Song Genealogy Challenge I admit that I groaned just a bit. Poetry has never really interested me and often I simply don't understand it.

Bill recommended that I search for poets or poems from an area that my ancestors lived. Easier said than done! I found several but could not see how they might have related to my ancestors in any way. I finally just searched for 'Michigan poem' and ended up finding myself reading from the 1853 volume of the Michigan Farmer at Google Books. The poem was not what I was looking for but I did find myself skimming through the articles. I would think that if they could afford to buy a copy that my family would have been interested in reading the magazine themselves. Further along I ran across the poem below. I know nothing about the author, Samuel Arnold, but Gilead is not far from where Mike and Sarah Ann Camfield settled. Apples were a staple for my family so even though I don't believe the following to be great poetry I do feel it connects to my ancestors.

Michigan Farmer, Volume XI, Detroit, June 1853, No. 6, page 175

Plant Orchards
For the Michigan Farmer.

An opinion too long in this country's prevailed,
As though on the people 'twere fully entailed,
That the climate of Michigan never could suit
Good peaches, or apples, or any such fruit.

For the buds of such trees would expand premature,
This being the case it must follow for sure,
That the frost with his cruel and sharp biting sting
Would wither the fruit in the blossoming spring.

The "old settlers" were sure that the buds would all freeze,
Than where was the use to be planting young trees,
If the trouble and pains would not warrant such cost,
When fruit would not grow the labor was lost.

To my shame must I own that I too was deceived,
This do-nothing story I partly believed;
In this manner I lived something more than eight years,
Neglecting my duty in doubt and in fears.

Of my friends, some had tried, and their fruit, who could beat?
Of which they did cordially press me to eat,
And whilst I of the same sis most freely partake,
I thought of my duty, and then was awake.

I soon planted some trees, and to all gave them stations,
Inserting choice scions and inoculations,
And e'en now my young orchard I highly do prize,
For we've apples in plenty for sauce and for pies.

There are those who stick to this miserable pies,
Refusing to plant e'en the first apple-tree.
O How lazy the man, how ungrateful the heart,
That never performeth his duty or part.

And what if though our orchards do fail in some years,
To yield us good fruit in spite of our cares?
We should know our Creator most surely has said,
In wisdom He's numbered the hairs of our head.

That He shows in abundance His fatherly care,
O'er beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air.
In His promise of faith all who hope may confide,
That also for man He will surely provide.

My do-nothing friends, you can do as you please,
But I shall advise you so plant fine young trees,
And no longer to make such a flimsy pretense,
But trust the event to a kind Providence.

Gilead, Branch Co., March 1853 SAM'L ARNOLD

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Spanish American War Pension Index

Military records are free at Ancestry this weekend so I thought I'd pass on a discovery I made this morning. Included in the Civil War Pension Index are records for Spanish American War veterans also. The description of the index gives no indication that Spanish American War veterans are included.

Below is the card for Francis Ashley Carlisle, 1878-1926. He served in the Second Illinois Infantry, Co M. He initially applied for a pension in 1903 while still living in Michigan. His widow applied for benefits on behalf of his young children in 1927. (His wife was Mary Frances Carlisle. Now I have to figure out why she was listed as Mary F. C. Schive on the pension card. On the 1930 census she is listed as Mary Carlisle.)