Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Here We Go A Blog Caroling

How would you complete this sentence:

It's not Christmas until ........

Did you say when the Christmas tree has been set up and decorated? Or is it when that first magical snow fall? For my friends in southern California and other warmer climes, it might be when your favorite holiday movie has been added to the 24 days of Christmas on "Oxygen."

Well I know it's Christmas when footnoteMaven shares Blog Caroling.

Last year I took a little bit of chiding for my holiday selection ... so this year's selection is a familiar favorite with a decided different flavor: Enya singing Silent Night

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Town of Peck Sewing Circle

"Town of Peck Sewing Circle." Digital image. Undated. Original photograph privately
held by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. Copyright (c) Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski 2011.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Wedding at the Cabin, Song in the Meadow

                                  "Wedding at the Cabin, Song in the Meadow." Digital Image. September 7, 2002.
Original photograph privately held by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Ahnentafel Roulette

Hey there, genea-lovers, it's Saturday Night - time for more Genealogy Fun!!
Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is to (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) How old is your great-grandfather now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel (ancestor name list). Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook or Google Plus note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick a grandparent, a  parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

Using Randy's formula of dividing the age of my great-grandfather, Allen Zephaniah Space, by 4 resulted in my roulette number 37. The corresponding ancestor on my ahnentafel report is Franziska Roetelmeier, wife of Casper Reinwand but not enough information to share three facts. Fortunately I didn't have to forgo tonight's Saturday Night Fun ... Instead I used a favorite uncle, Earle Clare Bergeron. Born in 1922 Earle would have celebrated his 89th birthday on June 25th. Divide by 4 and my lucky roulette wheel is 22.25, rounded down to 22. The corresponding ancestor is William D. Facer.

1. William D. Facer was born August 1827 in Port Huron, St Clair County, Michigan; the fourth known child of Lewis Facer Sr and Susan Baker. Lewis and Susan were among the earliest settlers in Michigan, coming to the area from Zanesville, Ohio; leaving me to believe that Lewis 's father performed some sort of service during the Revolutionary War. William D. Facer was deaf, and died tragically on 10 July 1907 when he was struck and killed by a passenger train as he walked along the railroad tracks along the Wisconsin River in Rhinelander, Oneida county, WI. 

2. William D. was married three times: (i) Elizabeth Calkins (ii) Lucy Jerow (iii) Elisabeth Hornby, outliving all three of his wives. William and Elizabeth Calkins had three children: Louisa, Ezra and Adelia. Only Ezra lived to adulthood. William's marriage to Lucy was a brief duration before she succumbed to one of the many epidemics that swept through the area. William and Elisabeth Hornby were married in 1871; the union produced 7 children but only two survived to adulthood: my great-grandmother Frances Dazie Facer, wife of Cyrus Austin Little, and her brother Burton Wellington Facer. William D and Elisabeth Hornby were married for 23 years before she died in 1894 at the age of 40.

3. William D's family was living on the north bank of the Black River in Port Huron when returning troops infected with cholera began returning to the area. Lewis decided it was time for the family to leave the area; he boarded up the windows and barred the doors, admonishing his wife and son not to let anyone in and headed to St Clair with plans to get a boat and take his family to safety in Lakeport. As recorded in "That Noble Country" authored by Dorothy Marie Mitts, Susan Baker Facer, moved by the soldiers plea handed out cups of tea through the boards on the windows to the soldiers. In return, they tossed coins through the slats resulting in a monetary windfall for the family. (Attributed to "W.D. Facer reminiscences, Miscellaneous Papers, Jenks Collection, Port Huron Public Library.")

Happiness and Loss: Lessons My Dog Has Taught Me

Life's like that sometimes... Now and then for no good reason a man can figure out, life will just haul off and knock him flat ...  But it's not all like that.  A lot of it's mighty fine, and you can't afford to waste the good part frettin' about the bad.  That makes it all bad.... Sure, I know - sayin' it's one thing and feelin' it's another.  But I'll tell you a trick that's sometimes a big help.  When you start lookin' around for something good to take the place of the bad, as a general rule you can find it.  ~From the movie Old Yeller

It's fitting to begin this post with the quote from the movie Old Yeller which is without a doubt, hands down, the saddest book and movie to have ever graced the silver screen.

Ever since man invited the first canine to share his dwelling, dogs have been an integral part of our lives - some more than others. Not everyone is a 'dog person' - I've even met a few and they remained an acquaintance. My friends are those you might call 'dog people' who understand the special relationship that exists between my dogs and I.

Over 20 years ago I became acquainted with my first field bred English cocker spaniel. A client who was the owner of a direct mail veterinary supply company came to review a catalog proof when Al and I owned our advertising agency and brought along Ivy, an 8-week old black and white English cocker spaniel. To say it was love at first sight is an understatement. I had never seen an English cocker, or rather, never really paid attention to them and certainly never was aware there was such a thing as a field bred cocker. My opinion of cocker spaniels was they were nervous little dogs with a lot of hair, prone to ear and skin infections - and they barked a lot. I could not quite believe that this bright, wiggly, adorable little dog was a cocker spaniel. 

It didn't take long before I knew that I had to have one and as fate would have it, there was a litter mate to Ivy, now 4 months old, still available. The only obstacle that stood in the way was Al but since he was outnumbered four to one (all three of our boys had come over the side of the English cocker spaniel) it was only a matter of time before he reluctantly gave in.

Chris and I headed off to the kennel to pick up Casey as soon as we could make arrangements. Intrigued with the thought of upland bird hunting I began reading about bird training and seeking out the kennel owner for advice. Before long Chris and I were attending training seminars with Casey, building a working relationship resulting in many wonderful adventures out in the field with her. 

When Casey was a couple of years old we received a call from our trainer/breeder friend informing us that he had a litter of puppies and would we be interested. I was reluctant but Al jumped at the chance to have another cocker to our family. Just like children, Emma's personality was entirely different from Casey: she had all the traits you look for in a good upland bird dog including being too smart for her own good. The adage that every dog should have a job was our mantra for Emma. In spite of her trainer, Emma was the ultimate bird dog. Emma never failed to find and return a bird that no one else, man or dog, could locate.

Our relationship with our trainer/breeder and his wife evolved into a friendship, at the heart of which was our love of the Anahar line of English cocker spaniels. Emma was bred with one of the kennel males giving the family four beautiful dogs: Bear, Spencer, Lucy and Angus. Eight years ago Lucy had two puppies: Riley and our Jinny.

A few weeks ago Jinny was delivered of her own litter, two females and a male, via C-section, avoiding a repeat of the heartache we experienced last year when Jinny was unable to deliver her two puppy litter and we lost both puppies.

Having had to say good-bye to our beloved Angus in early July, the puppies helped ease the sorrow. But as Agnes Turnbull said, "Dogs' lives are too short - their only fault..." we lost one of the female puppies to an unknown defect when she was 10-days old. I would have never guessed that another loss was yet to come - and that being the end of our friendship with the kennel owners.

You hear it all the time - especially if you have ever tuned into Judge Judy or The People's Court: always get it in writing. We had assumed that the gentleman's agreement from the time of our first litter with Emma would stand with this litter. When asked what my plans were for the litter I expressed that I had hoped for three puppies: one for our son and daughter, one for the kennel as stud fee and one for Al and I. I was told not to worry about him as "any dog (he) would take would only be another kennel dog." Of course we were always happy to allow our dogs to be part of the kennel breeding program to further the Anahar line. It was a joy to have Jinny deliver the two puppies seen on the x-ray but then to find a bonus puppy. That joy was cut short when we had to put to sleep the little girl that had Emma's markings and was the first to do everything, so like Emma.

The first inkling of trouble came with the email indicating that the kennel would be taking the female puppy and would co-own the remaining male puppy. There had never been any earlier mention or discussion about co-owning any dogs prior to the breeding. If there had, we would have certainly discussed sharing of the medical expenses; once there were puppies on the ground it was too late to discuss the$2,400 in veterinary bills we incurred with this litter. Rather than give the kennel a dog that we had $1,200 invested in and owning only half of the remaining dog, we offered to pay twice the normal stud fee for an unproven dog which was rejected. During a telephone conversation we were told the kennel would not be sending the AKC information on the sire so we could register the litter nor would they accept our offer to have the kennel register the litter and provide us with a Limited Registration of the puppies. "You have two beautiful dogs ...." 

There is no doubt that this is a result of an effort to correct a situation that they felt could result in a risk to their business if they continued to offer us Full Registration of the dogs. A number of years ago they changed their policy of offering only Limited Registration to anyone purchasing a dog from their kennel leaving us as the only customers who had Full Registration which apparently left them feeling vulnerable. I would have understood and agreed had I known that is what they wanted and would have been happy with Limited.  Apparently this feeling that their business was open to exposure led to anger and feelings of resentment, all of which came out during a telephone conversation. In the end, no amount of talking could bridge the gap.

As a self-proclaimed writer I find it soothing to my injured feelings to write the story where I am the innocent victim and have the story end where it all comes out in my favor. However, to retreat to that place would deny me the chance to come away a better, if not wiser, person. Taking time to allow the heat of hurt and anger to subside would have allowed for cooler conversation. The second lesson: to get it in writing.  But the best lesson I have come away from this loss has to do with the responsibility of friendship: we owe it to our friends to speak even when it means telling them a harsh truth. When you know better, you do better.

And last but certainly not least ....Charles Schulz was right: Happiness is a warm puppy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Russian Dill Pickles

Whenever I think of my mother-in-law, I picture her in the kitchen: stirring something in a pot or sitting at the kitchen table slicing vegetables or fruit. As the second oldest of 12 children, she was well prepared to raise her own family of 6 children. Growing up in Agenda Township in Ashland county, Wisconsin, she and her sister Agnes not only helped out at home but served as cooks at their father's lumber camp. Later, they worked in Grandpa John's restaurant in Butternut, WI.

I recall Ida telling how disappointed she and Agnes were when they couldn't continue their schooling as their father needed their help at the lumber camps. Ida was always self-conscious about her perceived lack of education and penmanship.

Ida's father, Johannes Hoefferle was born in Austria and her mother, born in Grundy county, Illinois, was a first generation American. John Hoefferle immigrated to northern Wisconsin with his siblings and married Rose Schaper in 1907. 

Ida's family Prussian heritage and that of her German husband insured that many of their children's comfort foods would lean towards pork, sauerkraut, pickles and fruit desserts. 

Late summer traditionally was a busy time for Ida; "putting" up jars of pickles, including pickled beets; jars of fruit to be used for pies during the winter months and choke cherry syrup. Of all the comfort foods that Al recalls from his childhood, the one he has missed the most are his mother's homemade pickles. It has been a number of years since I have done any preserving but the sight of pickling cucumbers and fresh picked dill at the local Farmers Market found me returning home with ingredients for a batch of Ida's Russian Dill pickles.

While I didn't realize it at the time, I have a family treasure of having Ida's handwritten instructions for her pickles. I don't recall how it came to be that we were given the recipes but they have laid in my recipe box for years until recently. I know that they were written during "pickle season" as I recall her saying that she would measure out the ingredients and write them down since she rarely measure anything on the dishes that were her family favorites. When I pulled the recipes out of the box I was dismayed to read the instructions "...with dill and a little alum and pickling spice in each jar." Ida was not known for her portion size - her idea of  a little was always generous to say the least. After searching other pickle recipes, I settled on a 1/2 tsp of pickling spice and an 1/8 tsp of alum. 

It seems that alum has gone out of favor with many pickle recipes and I debated on whether or not to use it but in the end decided Ida used it for a reason and was true to her recipe.

I made a small batch of the Russian Dills, in the event I needed to adjust the ingredients. It was a very long week's wait before we opened the first jar: Ida must have been guiding my hands as the sweet dill taste with the crisp crunch was exactly as he remembered.

We now have a number of jars of Russian Dills along with garlic dill and pickled green and yellow beans in our downstairs to carry us through the winter and I understand Ida's satisfaction of seeing the jars filled with the green and white spears resting on a head of dill with spices working their magic. Bread & Butter Refrigerator Pickles with red peppers are being enjoyed as well.

Another recipe handed down from Ida are Cherry Dill pickles; for the past two weeks chunks of cucumbers, dill and choke cherry leaves have been marinating in a brine of salt water. Later this week I'll follow her instructions for making the brine and pack the pickles in jars with additional dill and leaves. Let's hope they are as successful as the Russian Dills.

Copyright (c) 2011 Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: If I Kept That Puppy I'd Name Him Angus

"Angus at 8 weeks." Digital Image. November 1997. Original privately held by
Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. Copyright (c) 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Welcoming the Newest Additions to the Anahar ECS Family Tree

"Anahar's Flower of Scotland; Call name Jinny and her puppies." Digital Image.
Copyright (c) 2011 Al Scherwinski.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Birthday Michelle

Happy Birthday Michelle. I love the woman you've become but recall so many fond memories of a time when we were both a lot younger.

"Mike & Michelle Cutting Wedding Cake." Digital Image. Date: July 30, 1994. Original photograph
in possession of Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski (c) 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A Tribute To A Loving Military Dog - Oscar

Al's faithful companion during his tour of duty in Vietnam 1971-1972.

"Oscar." Digital Image. Undated. Photographer: Al Scherwinski. Original photograph
privately held. Copyright (c) 2011.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Stormy Weather, Rattlesden, East Anglia, England

My uncle, Leland Keith Bergeron (fourth from the left, front row). WWII veteran serving in the 8th Air Force, 440th BG based out of Rattlesden Field in East Anglia. This B17 crew came together at Moses Lake, WA, for training. They then flew to England and went on to complete their required number of missions with everyone continuing to serve in the position that they were assigned with the same unit of men. Something that rarely  happened during WWII and a source of pride of all the crew members. This crew was regularly assigned to aircraft known as Stormy Weather and American Maid. Lee served as the crew's engineer (top turret gunner). Proudly remembering Uncle Lee and his crew this coming Memorial Day.

"Stormy Weather." Digital Image. Undated. Original photograph privately held by
Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski (c) 2011.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Treasure Thursday: Charles Polar's Magnifying Glass

On Monday's post I shared a memory of my grandfather Harley Space at the writing desk which housed my great-grandfather's magnifying glass. While I had planned a different subject all together for today's blog post, it seemed appropriate to share Charles Finley Polar's glass instead.

I'm reminded of how blessed I have been to have had time spent with great-aunt Leona Polar Belott to help fill in the empty spaces of our Polar family history. So much of our family history would have been lost had it not been for Aunt Leona. Losing my grandmother to Alzheimer's long before her death in 1987 would have meant the loss of so many stories had it not been for Aunt Leona. 

During one of our visits, she reminisced about her childhood, sharing their family had "The History of the World," a large set of books that her father read several times over. Aunt Leona mentioned the magnifying glass used by her father and her thought that possibly  it had been in the possession of my grandmother; I was able to confirm that it had been at "the farm" and was now in my possession. She was glad to know that it was one of the things I requested and after that, it took on new meaning.

Up until then my memories of the magnifying glass were associated with my grandparents: my grandfather using it to augment his glasses when reading the newspaper, on occasion my grandmother using it in the reference books she had on hand when working crossword puzzles. I also recall taking it outside to get a closer look at the ants marching on Gram's peony bushes or the inside of the Morning Glories after they had opened.

Now I think about the childhood memories it brought back for my grandmother and what she thought about and felt whenever she picked up the magnifying glass or saw it in the hand of her husband. 

"Charles Polar's Glass." Digital image. Dated: 19 May 2011. Magnifying glass and Bible
privately held by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. Image and text copyright (c) 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Letter From Grandpa Harley 1984

Written and mailed on the morning August 15, 1984, this letter is one of several letters received from my maternal grandfather Harley Space.

While it as been almost 24 years since his death, I can picture him sitting at the desk, deep in thought, writing a reply but keeping a watchful eye on my grandmother. By the time this letter was written, my grandmother's memory failure had not quite become the debilitating descent into Alzheimer's that was yet to come, release coming with her death 11 months after this letter was written.

I find it comforting to read Grandpa Harley's letters despite the fact this period of his life was heartbreaking and yet, I have many wonderful memories of time spent "at the farm." I remember when you walked into the dining room from the kitchen, the floor made a cracking sound where the linoleum had a permanent buckle. The windows faced south and in August the sun would have not quite reached the back wall; Grandpa would be anxious to get the letter written and out to the mail box before the arrival of the mail lady.

The desk was situated in the dining area facing the north wall; after all these years, it's only now that I wonder who owned the desk before Gram and Grandpa. There were three drawers down the left-hand side, several of which were difficult to open but always a source of curiosity to granddaughters at any age. Stamps and the "glass" could always we found in the long top "draw." The glass being a magnifying glass that belonged to Grandma's father, Charles Finley Polar. Today "the glass" resides in a "draw" on my desk, one of the many family treasures in my life.

Wed A.M.

Dear Cindy & All!

We got your nice long letter and enjoyed it very much.

We are going to town this P.M. and get some things & get Grandma out for her ride. She expects a ride every day and I try to do it for her if I can.

We had or I did some company last Sat. & Sun. One person was a son of his father that was borned on this place here, and he & I had a real visit as he wanted to know of things that happened before he was born and I could tell him of what he wanted to know, as he was the same age as Bud, born in 1922.

I'm real lucky that my mind is sure good and I feel so sorry for Grandma that can't remember but I have to remember for her & I hope I can keep it up.

Tell Al we got bear hunters around setting out bait for them when the season opens. The two Sykora boys I gave them permission to set baits in the woods out here so maybe I will get some bear tracks to eat. Ha.

Did I tell you, we saw an old mother bear on Monday going up to Summit Lake, and also a big timber wolf west of our place.

We were at a birthday party last Sat. at Millie Somers son-in-law, Hank Holy. His Dad and I was real good friends when he was alive & I remember Hank was born in 1917 as I was logging for his grandfather and they use to bring him up there to visit but he's a grandfather also now. Time marches on and if you live long enough you can see the changes and it all makes memories to think about.

It was nice Mother & Dad could get away for a few day, as that is nice to relax for awhile.

About a year ago we were in Montana for the James [family] reunion which I sure glad we went. Guess it is over with by now and they wrote wanted to know if we would be able to come but I said it was too far for us old people but I sure would have like to go if we were younger. I guess I could stand it but Grandma would want to come home soon after we would get there. I know she can't help that but she can walk around better than I can.

The boys will be going to school soon, so will Lori also the summer sure is going fast. I hate to think of the winter. I saw a woodchuck out here on the well platform the other morning, I guess he is the only one around.

Mother called us when they got back last Sat.

It sounds like Las Vegas got another bad rain storm which is the second one, as Sis wrote and said that they were O.K. from the other one.

Well Cindy, thanks for such a nice letter & write when you get time.

Love from Grandma & Grandpa

"Letter From Grandpa Harley." Digital image. Dated: August 15, 1984. Original
document held by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski (c) 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Mother's Day

"Happy Mother's Day." Digital Image. Undated. Original photograph privately
held by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. (c) 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: I've Been To London To Visit The Queen

"I've Been To London To Visit The Queen." Digital Image. June 1992. Original photograph
privately held by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. Copyright (c) 1992.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Karoline

One of the many disappearing grave stones in the Merrill Cemetery (Lincoln county, WI)

"Karoline." Digital Image. Undated. Copyright (c) Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Easter Sunday 1965

"Easter Sunday 1965." Digital Image. Undated. Original photograph privately held
 by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. Copyright (c) 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Sandhill Crane Minuet

"Sandhill Crane Minuet." Copyright (c) 2011 Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Alonzo B. Polar

Alonzo B. Polar is my reminder that when researching, one should never ever assume that an unfamiliar name in vital record index is not related to your family line. That statement bears repeating as I have fallen into this trap on more than one occasion but I'll spare you the repetition. (I've come to the conclusion that the definition of the word assume is where the term "taking a wild a$$ guess" is derived, both resulting in the same conclusion.)

A number of years ago, I discovered that my great-great grandfather, Rancellor Polar, for a period of time, lived in neighboring Waupaca County, which is a lovely place to research. Waupaca is the heart of the Chain Of Lakes, the perfect setting for a day spent searching for records with a break for lunch at a favorite lakeside restaurant.

My Polar family research would be incomplete if it weren't for the efforts of a second cousin who began his research long before Ancestry and Footnote; writing letters, filling out family sheets in longhand, keeping copious and meticulous notes. Additionally I consider it a blessing for my family history that my mother paid attention when her mother and Aunt Leona talked about their Polar family history.

Going through the records at the Waupaca County court house, Mom and I were aware of the children of Rancellor Polar and Mary Jane Carson: Charles Finley Polar, father of Alma & Leona; their Uncle Giles and Aunt Adelia; Uncle Clarence who was deaf; Uncle Warren and sister Aunt Alice who married siblings of the Jones side of the family; Aunt Emma who married a brother of the Clarke relation; Aunt Phebe affectionately known as Aunt Pheb. Land records yielded an array of additional Polar's giving us several clues to possible siblings of Rancellor.

Alonzo Polar. "Mom, do you recall Gram or Aunt Leona mentioning an Alonzo Polar?"

Nope ... can't be our Polar. Alonzo is defiantly not one of our family names.

Fast forward a few years and a wiser family researcher who resists the temptation to assume. Suffice it to say that, yes, Alonzo belongs in the Rancellor Polar family. While he is not in my direct family line, as an avid and enthusiastic believer in Cluster or Whole Family Genealogy, every now and then, Alonzo gets my undivided attention.

Alonzo B. Polar as born 1812, in the state of New York. The oldest child of Simeon Polar and Charlotte Pooler/Poler? eight known children. The name Benjamin appears in several of the family lines leading me to surmise that the B stands for Benjamin.

In October 1843 Simeon and Charlotte Poler of Royalton, Niagara, New York purchased 320 acres of land from Joseph and Betsy Compton. In October 1844 Simeon and Charlotte sold 40 acres to their son Alonzo Poler; the remaining 280 acres was sold to their son George W. Poler in December 1844. The addresses of all parties is recorded as Leslie, Ingram, Michigan. This is the last recorded land record found listing Simeon and Charlotte.

Records indicate that at the time of Alonzo's death, he was a resident at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in the town of King, Waupaca county, WI. A request of these records provided very little family information as I had hoped, but they indicated that when he became a resident of  the veterans home he brought with him his wife Cordelia.

Alonzo served the state of Wisconsin during the Civil War and is found listed in Ancestry's database including American Civil War Soldiers which indicates Alonzo was a residence of Wautoma, Waushara County, WI. He enlisted as a private on January 20, 1862, in 8th Light Artillery Brigade and received a disability discharge on January 21, 1863.

Also found on Ancestry is a listing for Alonz[o] B. Polar in Headstones Provided for Deceased Civil War Veterans, 1879-1903, confirming that he is buried  at the Wisconsin Veterans Cemetery. 

A lovely afternoon spent strolling the cemetery grounds yielded the grave of Alonzo Polar with wife Cordelia's grave located in the vicinity.

On their application to the WI Veterans Home, they indicate that Cordelia was born March 21, 1828, in Ohio. She does not list her maiden name, they have no children and were married in October 1873 in Kilbourneville, Racine County, WI. Cordelia's death certificate does not list her parents names, probably due to the fact that they are not listed on her entry application. Cordelia died on March 14, 1908.

Cordelia was not Alonzo's first marriage, thanks to cousin Harold, we know that Alonzo's first marriage was to Mary Ellen Palmer on May 6, 1840 in Rochester, Monroe County, NY. Mary Ellen was born September 29, 1823, in Rochester. They had one child, Mary Helen Palmer, born July 7, 1841, in Rochester. Harold indicated that Mary Helen married Nicholas Scharding on September 20, 1858, in Yolo County, CA, but I have not been able to document this fact. 

Alonzo and Mary Ellen parted ways sometime between 1841 and 1850. Mary Ellen married George W. Brown and is found living with Mary Ellen Polar in Somerset Township, Hillsdale County, Michigan in the 1850 Federal Census.

But was there another Mrs. Alonzo Polar in addition to Mary Ellen and Cordelia?

Listed in Wisconsin Marriages, Pre-1907 is Alonso B. Polar,  married on February 23, 1894, in Columbia County. This record indicates a marriage 21-years after the date given by Alonzo and Cordelia as their marriage date and comes only three years prior to Alonzo's death in 1897.

What about the family of A. B. Polar found living in Dakota Township, Waushara , WI?

Or is there another Alonzo B. Polar?

Well I'm sure that he can't be related to my line of Polars.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Don't I Look Cross?

"Don't I Look Cross?" Digital Image. Undated. Original photograph privately held
Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. Copyright (c) 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Matilda Besoni

Matilda Besoni, second wife of my great-grand uncle Alvin Stone. The marriage record of Alvin and Matilda states she and Alvin were married June 19, 1905 in Lac du Flambeau, Vilas, WI. Her death certificate states she was born in March 1894 in Peroza (?) Italy.

While she and Alvin had no children, someone cared enough to create a marker for her grave in the Lac du Flambeau cemetery.

"Tombstone Tuesday: Matilda Besoni." Digital Image. Undated.
Copyright (c) Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

Imagine my surprise when I sat down this morning to (finally!) spend quality time "In My Life" to discover that fellow bloggers Karen at Genealogy Frame of Mind and Leslie Ann at Lost Family Treasures left comments that they were nominating my blog for the One Lovely Blog Award. 

Now how great is that? Personally I think it is a really big deal and am feeling more than a little pleased. After all, who doesn't enjoy applause and a pat on the back from people whose work you admire and want to encourage other bloggers? Reason enough for a happy dance.

Now comes the fun part .... I get to make 15 other bloggers just as happy but I guess I am getting ahead of myself.

Before I can display my gorgeous pink and white award In My Life, I need to:

1. Acknowledge the award by posting to (your) my blog.
2. Nominate 15 other blogs that I think are lovely (gosh .. only 15??)
3. Contact each person to let them know that they have been nominated.

There are so many wonderfully talented and creative people who inhabit the blogisphere, selecting 15 lovely blogs really is going to be difficult but  I'll abide by the rules and list my 15 nominees:

1.  Blind Pig & the Acorn

2.  Blue Ridge Blog

3.  Cher's Shots

4.  Dar's Stuffings

5.  DearMyrtle's Genealogy Blog

6.  Finding Eliza

7.  Genealogy & Me

8.  Moultrie Creek Gazette

9.  Preserving  Heritage

10.  Random Relatives

11. Reflections From The Fence

12. Roots and Stones

13. Small-Leaved Shamrock

14. Tour Scotland Photographs

15. Twig Talk

I hope you will visit my 15 One Lovely Blog Award selections and, like I have, become inspired by their creativity. After all ... aren't we all just children at heart who refuse to put down our digital crayons? 

Wordless Wednesday: Alice

"Alice." Digital Image. Undated. Original photograph
privately held by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski (c) 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Willard Ackley

There is saying attributed to Lois Wyse that says in part, "A good friend is a connection to life, a tie to the past, a road to the future ..." As I've researched my ancestors and widened the research net to include the siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts, I am reminded every now and then that there are others who shared their lives - those we call friends. My selection for today's Tombstone Tuesday, Willard Ackley, falls into that category.

Willard Ackley was among the first white settlers in what is now Langlade County, Wisconsin, and appears in concert on several documents (including land and marriage records) with my maternal great-great-grandfather Isaac Stone. Rounding out the third of my family's version of the Three Amigos is John Hogarty, another early settler in this part of the state.

According to his death certificate Willard was born William in 1818 in England. His family immigrated and settled in Chenango County, New York, his last known place of residence prior to his arrival in northeast central Wisconsin. 

Oral history and legend states that the original spelling of the surname was ACLY, but a feud with his family, who remained in the east, caused Willard to adopt the spelling ACKLEY.  As the story goes, this separation of the Acly/Ackley family was said to be due to Willard's marriage to Ma-Dwa-Ji-Was-No-Quay of the Ojibwe band of Native Americans. A common theory but unsubstantiated.

Ackley, Hogarty and Stone all appear to have been actively logging in this area around 1850 and all three worked at one time or another for Charles Hazeltine in Kelly in Marathon County.

Ackley built a cabin and homesteaded on what is now part of the Riverview Golf Club outside of Antigo, WI. Ackley also had a logging camp along with the cabin site on the 1851 government survey map. The camp was listed as Ackley and "Hoyaroy" farms which I believe is a misspelling of Hogarty. Hogarty, Ackley and Stone, as stated earlier, were close friends and at one time or another, business partners. All three men had trading posts and had supplies brought in from Stevens Point at the same time.

During the time that Ackley, Hogarty and Stone were engaged in logging, the venture wasn't very profitable as the price for pine was so low it barely paid for the supplies. When the men first arrived, the logs were hauled to the Eau Claire River on a travois pulled by oxen; a distance of about a half mile. Later, horses were used and the logs were hauled two or three miles in winter to streams. Logs were floated down the river to Kelly, then Schofield at the mouth of the Wisconsin River.

Each camp had their own logs marked so when they reached their destination, they could be sorted out. Records indicate that Ackley preferred to release his logs ahead of the other loggers to avoid mixing them with those sent down the river by Isaac Stone and Jesse Boyington, another early settler.

Willard Ackley and John Hogarty shared more than business ventures: they also shared wedding anniversary. A family history told by a granddaughter of Ackley recounts that Ackley and Hogarty married women from the Sokaogan Chippewa tribe near Post Lake. The men first walked to Post Lake to the home of their brides and then the two couples walked to Wausau where they were married by a Justice of the Peace. Witness to the marriages? None other than Isaac Stone.

Willard Ackley's wife was the daughter of the chief of the Sokaogan tribe of the Chippewa, Me-gee-see, known as Great Eagle. He lived a very interesting life which must have been evident to everyone he met: he lost his nose and one eye during of the many battles he had taken part in between the Ojibwe and the Sioux. A treaty signed in 1825 bears his signature.

By all accounts, the Ackley's were very kind to the early pioneers of Langlade County. Many of the early settlers lived with the Ackley's until their homes could be built and much has been written of Willard's generosity and willingness to help his neighbors. One settler wrote of Willard "[he] was a prince among men." 

Willard's wife, who took the name Mary following her marriage, was also generous to her neighbors. It is noted she never turned down a call for help in case of illness, using her knowledge of medicinal herbs and acted as mid-wife, helping to bring many of the pioneer children into the world.

Willard was small in stature, weighing approximately 130 pounds but he is said to have had a booming voice. Hearing him speak, people expected to see a man "... who weighed 400 pounds."  The Chippewa called Ackley "the little man with the big voice."

On the tax rolls, Willard paid the highest in the area. He owned more horses and buggies than his neighbors and kept two or three canoes on the Eau Claire River but never went farther than one and a half miles from Hogarty in Shawano County. 

Willard Ackley's death is recorded in the Langlade County Death Records, Volume 1, Page 44: Wm. L. Ackley; white male; page 76; farmer; born in England; date of death Nov. 25, 6:00 a.m. 1894.

His obituary in the Antigo News reads, "The first of the week, Willard L. Ackley, undoubtedly the oldest settler in Langlade County, died at his home, about four miles west of Antigo, at the age of 77 years. Very little is known of the early life of the deceased, but the memory of man in this section runneth not to the time when he was not located on the bank of the Eau Claire River. As near as we can learn, he lived there fifty years, most of the time with no other companions than the Indians. He lived with them and was one of those erratic individuals, who for some unknown reason, preferred their company to that of the whites. He was a familiar figure among old residents and those who lumbered on the Eau Claire."

Mary Ackley died on March 8, 1899. Her death certificate states she was 97-years old at the time of her death placing her year of birth 1802. Her maiden name is listed as Mary White Eagle; father Great Eagle and mother Roaring Water.

Willard, Mary and a granddaughter, Lillian McDonald, are buried in the Antigo Cemetery in Lot 1, Block 9; just south of the main gate.

The name of Willard Ackley isn't found listed in my family tree but I've discovered he was someone my great-great-grandfather called a friend, earning him a place of importance in my family history.

Digital Images. Undated. Copyright (c) Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski. 2011


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