Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Sisters 1960s

My sister Lisa and I spending part of our summer at our maternal grandparents. Today, my husband and I own the land and within the family we continue to call it simply "the farm." Our cabin sits beyond the maple tree, near the oak tree you can see in the background.

Copyright 2009 Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Goldrick - Little

To continue the celebration of my Irish/English heritage, this edition of Tombstone Tuesday features my Great Grand Aunt and Uncle, George H. and Elizabeth Little Goldrick. The couple are buried in the Aniwa Cemetery, Aniwa Township, Shawano Co, Wisconsin.

Elizabeth Little was born 20 Aug 1856 in Pickering, Ontario, Canada, the youngest daughter of Andrew and Mary Ann Gallagher Little. Elizabeth married George H. Goldrick on 29 March 1879 in Port Huron, St Clair Co, Michigan. Elizabeth died at her home in Aniwa on 6 March 1927.

George H. Goldrick was born 9 Jun 1851 in Michigan to Edward and Sarah Brunnell Goldrick. Edward's place of birth is listed as Ireland, Sarah's place of birth is listed as England. George died in Aniwa on 13 June 1918.

Prior to 1900, George Goldrick purchased land that had been cleared of timber in Shawano county, Wisconsin. The couple left Michigan and settled in the village of Aniwa along with several of Elizabeth's siblings including her brother and sister-in-law, Cyrus Austin and Frances Dazie Facer Little; Frances' brother Burton Wellington Facer and father W.D. Facer were also included in this migration. Cyrus and Frances Dazie are my paternal great grandparents.
The couple quickly became very successful thanks to shrewd land transactions that afforded the childless couple to spend their money on nieces and nephews, travel as well as building a large home.

Copyright © 2009 by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Carnival of Irish Heritage Irish Portraits: Little/Lytle

Burton Wellington Facer and Mary Ann Little

Of the many "ism's" handed down through my Dad's family was a favorite of his Great Uncle Robert Edward Little uttered in response to a reference to the families Irish roots: Just because you are born in barn doesn't mean you're a horse.

Well! In addition to giving one the impression that Uncle Robert was opinionated it is a reminder to family historians that sometimes there are nuggets of truth hidden in family lore and legend.

My Irish roots are found within my father's family line, descending from his mother's father's line.

Information taken from their death certificates shows the progenitor of my Little family line was Andrew Little born about 1800 in Ireland and his wife Mary Ann Gallagher, born about 1812, also in Ireland. Listed as the parents of Andrew Little are Andrew and Alice. Mary Ann Gallagher Little's parents are not listed.

According to a Civil War Pension Application filed by Mary Ann on the service of son John Little, Andrew and Mary Ann were married 4 Mar 1832 in New York City, shortly after they immigrated. The couple soon after settled in Pickering, Ontario, Canada. Like many Irish immigrants in this community, they traveled to New York on a regular basis, where many of their eleven children were born. The family then removed to Port Huron, St Clair County, MI. It was here that Andrew and Mary Ann died and are buried.

Andrew and Mary Ann's youngest son and my Great Grandfather, Cyrus Austin Little, married Frances Dazie Facer in 1892 in Port Huron. Frances Dazie's mother, Elisabeth Hornby, was born in Ontario, Canada; the eldest daughter of English and possible Irish immigrants, William Hornby and Frances Howard. Frances Dazie's father, W[illiam]. D. Facer, was born in 1827 in Port Huron, MI. His parents were pioneer settlers who immigrated from Zanesville, Ohio.

W.D. married three times; all of his wives fell victim to plagues and epidemics as well as 7 of his 10 children. Cyrus's sister Elizabeth Little married George Goldrick in Port Huron; when the couple decided to relocate to the village of Aniwa, Shawano county in northeastern Wisconsin, they were accompanied by Cyrus and Frances, Frances's brother Burton Wellington Facer, their father W.D. (now a widower), and three of Cyrus's siblings: Robert Edward (1841-1927), Arthur (1851-1939) and Mary Ann (aka Crazy Aunt Mary...) 1852-1926. It is possible the Archibald Little found living in the Wisconsin Veterans Home in Waupaca County, WI, is also a sibling.

It has been interesting, not to mention, challenging, untangling family legend and lore from facts. In particular Elizabeth Little Goldrick remains a personal favorite and while she and George never had children they were close to my grandmother and her sister, Florence Elizabeth, where the girls were often overnight guests. Elizabeth deserves more than just a few lines and so I will save her story for a future post.

Expanding my research to include local histories and migration patterns has led me to the theory that my Irish roots may have originated from Scotland. Could this be a clue? Just because you are born in Ireland does not necessarily make you "Irish"?

The Family of Cyrus Austin Little and Frances Dazie Facer
Cyrus Austin Little (1865-1933) and Frances Dazie Facer (1875-1948)
Mildred Eileen Little (1899-1968) Florence Elizabeth Little (1907-1998)

Surname Saturday: Space and Armstrong Research

As any family historian will tell you, locating our elusive female ancestors presents a number of unique challenges which is why, after much debate, have decided to highlight my 3rd Great Grandmother Katherine Armstrong Space.

According to census records, Katherine/Catherine Armstrong was born circa 1793 in Pennsylvania. It is believed that her father's name was John Armstrong as this name appears in several families in the Space family. Family legend states that John Armstrong was among the early Scottish settlers of the Wyoming Valley, Luzerne County, PA. Legend also goes on to state that John, as a child, was one of the survivors of the Wyoming Valley Massacre that occurred in July 1776. However, I have been unable to locate any documentation to prove this statement. While there was a well-known figure named John Armstrong involved with this incident, his life and family history are well documented and there appears to be no link between this John Armstrong and the father of my Katherine Armstrong.

Katherine Armstrong married Zephaniah Space on 25 May 1811 in Wyoming Valley, Luzerne Co, PA. Zephaniah was born circa 1789 in Sussex Co, NJ to John Space and Abigail Mott. John, who immigrated to New Jersey from Germany, is the progenitor of my Space family line. John Space is the reason I was able to make my application to the Daughters of the American Revolution; he enlisted in Hackensack, NJ, in 1776 serving for the entire duration of the war: spent the cold winter at Valley Forge and was present at Yorktown. I find it more than interesting that John's older brother, Peter Space, who supposedly immigrated with John, did not serve. But that is fodder for a future post.

John received 100 acres of bounty land in the Luzerne area, where he and Abigail raised a family of 9 known children of which Katherine's husband, Zephaniah, was the oldest known son.

In 1818 Zephaniah and Katherine immigrated to Clarion County, PA, settling on land in the New Bethlehem area. They also raised a family of 9 known children; my line descends from their son, Zephaniah Allen born in 1826.

A Space family history published in 1936 was the cause of my first genealogy "ah ha" moment. Citing a visit by the authors (who happened to be first cousins) to Clarion County as well as information found in census records, gave me reason to believe that what was written certainly must be true - right? It was a number of years before I questioned their statements, including the following: "In the Armstrong family there were only two children, Catherine and her brother John. Catherine's father was John Armstrong, and the parents died when John and Catherine were children. Catherine was reared in East Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in a family by the name of Hart."

When I finally asked myself, "How do I know that this is true?" did I discover no documentation or reference of Katherine living in Clarion County prior to 1818, following her marriage to Zephaniah, in Luzerne County. It seems unlikely that Katherine could be 'raised by a family in East Bethlehem', assuming this is Clarion County, in an area that was not yet settled only to return to Luzerne County to be married in 1811. A list of the early settlers of Clarion County area does not list "Hart."

Another Space and Armstrong family researcher has shared information from her ancestor claiming that Katherine Armstrong's mother married twice. The first marriage to John Armstrong with John and my Katherine as issue. The second marriage to Adam Nolf/Nulph with five children born to this union: Jake, John, George, Polly and Barbara. The girls marrying brothers Nicholas and Jake Hetrick. Both Nolf/Nulph and Hetrick are common families in the Clarion County, PA area.

"Finding Grandma Katie" remains at the top of my Top Ten Most Wanted. Maybe 2010 will be the year I discover her family and make yet another connection in her life.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Mr. Saturday Night has issued the latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge, to post our most memorable Halloween memory. I so enjoyed reading the posts (especially Midge's post complete with photo!) it's hard not to join in on the fun.

My favorite memory surrounding Halloween, isn't so much one memory in particular as it is about 'the bunny costume.'

While I never had the pleasure of wearing the costume, complete with a hat that tied under the chin and a set of floppy bunny ears, my three younger sisters did. Reminiscent of Ralphie in Christmas Story, except for the fact they also have fond memories of wearing the costume. I believe my sister Lisa, the first one to wear the costume, is now the custodian of all that is left of the costume - the hat.


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