Tuesday, June 23, 2015

52 Ancestors: Old Homestead

"Week 25 (June 18-24) – The Old Homestead: Have you visited an ancestral home? Do you have photos of an old family house? Do you have homesteading ancestors?" (No Story Too Small)

I've been able to visit a couple of old ancestral homes. There was the old home in Lough Gur, Ireland, where ancestor Maurice Hickey left for America. Nearby that is an overgrown mound where an even older home once stood. I've been to the ruins of Musbury Castle, home of the Drakes. But for this entry, I'll write about Samuel and Pamelo (Wishaw) Green and their home. When I was living in Orem, their home wasn't far away. I'd go up State Street, headed toward the Mount Timpanogos Temple, and see a restaurant called the Purple Turtle. It's kind of hard to miss--it does sort of look like a purple turtle. The Green home still stands in good condition in the neighborhood behind the restaurant.

The Samuel Green House, Pleasant Grove, Utah
If you see this, you know you're close to the Green house.
Image courtesy Utahvalley360.com

Samuel Comes to Pleasant Grove

Samuel Green was born 28 October 1831 in Claverley, Shropshire, England, the first child of William Henry and Mary (Bennett) Green. Of Claverly, my mother wrote, "The town of Claverley is a beautiful town of half-timbered buildings. The parish church of Claverley is an ancient one, and has an interesting series of wall paintings of five pairs of knights on horseback, which dates back to about 1200. A Saxon font which dates to the late 7th century is found in the church, along with a Norman font. Claverley was owned by Leofric, Earl of Mercia, whose wife, Lady Godiva, is associated with the famous legend."

The church, Claverly
Photo by Alice C. Boyd, 1992

A frieze inside the church
Photo by Alice C. Boyd, 1992
The Saxon font in the church
Photo by Alice C. Boyd, 1992

The Norman font in the church
Photo by Alice C. Boyd, 1992

Samuel's father was a laborer, which meant that the family often had to move from town to town so he could find work. According to Melissa Green Manwill, “The Green family started shifting around to find employment, first in Gloucestershire and Staffordshire. At an early age Samuel and John shifted for themselves, seeking employment. Later they joined their father. William Henry and wife had already heard the missionaries and were anxious to have the two boys home with them so they could all embrace the gospel at the same time. They were all baptized on January 11, 1850.  Mary Bennett was baptized in 1849." (Life of John Green)  

Samuel was nineteen when he was baptized. A couple of years later, in 1852, they attempted to make the trip to gather to Utah. “Arriving at Liverpool, William deposited 6,000 shillings to pay for their transportation to America. After making all arrangements, they were told that the sea was rough and dangerous and that no ships would sail before the middle of January. The only thing William could do was rent a small place and wait. The Green family was assigned to sail on the Ellen Maria, but the Captain informed them that only Samuel would be able to go. Having no desire to sail alone, Samuel sold his ticket to another passenger and he remained to travel with his dear family.” 

The Green family crossed the Atlantic in the Elvira Owen in 1853. Green family members are listed as having been in the Cyrus Wheelock Company, crossing the plains to Utah. Samuel is not listed and it's uncertain how or when he crossed after the ocean voyage, though he may he crossed with his family after all.

John Brown, the Church agent in charge of emigrating Saints gave the family advice which would lead them to their future home: “While journeying, Brother John Brown told the Green family about the beautiful Utah Valley, with its groves of cottonwood trees and sparkling streams of fresh water. "It would be an ideal spot to call home", said Elder Brown.” After a short rest in Salt Lake for a short time, they traveled south to Utah Valley, where they helped settle Pleasant Grove, Utah. 

Pleasant Grove in the foreground, looking west toward Utah Lake and
the Lake Mountains. The Wasatch Range, including Mount Timpanagos
are to the east of town.
Photo by Don LaVange, Wikipedia
Pleasant Grove and Lindon, looking east toward Mount Timpanogos (part of the
Wasatch Range)
Photo by AndrĂ© Bonacin, Panaramio

My mother wrote, "The Fort had just been completed, and the family lived inside the Fort in their covered wagon. Later a one-room house was built inside the Fort Square." They underwent hardships. In 1855, the infamous crickets returned and destroyed the crops. The Green had to survive on sego, thistle, and red-root. (I would later student teach at Sego Lily Elementary in Lehi at the north of the valley, named after the Utah state flower that kept my family and other settlers alive.)

Sego Lily

Pamelo Comes to Pleasant Grove

Meanwhile, Samuel's future wife, Pamelo Wishaw was born April 14, 1841, at Worcester, Worcester, England, the daughter of James Frederick Wishaw and Maryann Merrick. 


Worcester Cathedral

The Wishaws were living in Birmingham were living there by the time Pamelo was two and she was christened 27 January 1845 at St. Martin's Parish in Birmingham. James was a fishmonger who died when Pamelo was six. 

St. Martin's, Birmingham

Pamelo and her mother and siblings moved in with her maternal parents, James and Elizabeth (Bumford) Meyrick, in Ludlow, Shropshire. Here, they met some Mormon elders, and were baptized in the River Teme in 1849. 

The River Teme

At the age of twelve, Pamelo was orphaned when her mother died of dysentery. Her grandparents then raised her and her siblings. At the age of fourteen, the Meyricks and their orphaned grandchildren came to America aboard the ship Sanders Curling

They and the other members of their company received divine help in their voyage: “Elder Peter Reid, who emigrated to America as a passenger in the Samuel Curling, in 1855, and who now resides in Sixteenth Ward, Salt Lake City, told the writer some time ago that the ship encountered several storms in her passage across the Atlantic, but that she passed safely through them all. In the midst of one of these storms the captain got somewhat disheartened, and declared to Brother Barlow, the president of the company of emigrants, that he, in his long experience as a seafaring man, had never encountered a worse one; he then added that the tempest had not reached its highest point yet, but that the next half hour would be worse still. Brother Barlow, in reply, told the captain that the storm was nearly over, and would not increase in violence. This bold remark of Brother Barlow made the captain angry, as he thought he knew more about the weather and the sea than anyone else on board; but on going into his cabin to examine his barometer and other nautical instruments, he found that Brother Barlow was right; the storm abated almost immediately. Elder Barlow afterwards told some of the Saints that while the storm was raging he saw the ship surrounded by scores of angels, who stood in a circle around it with joined hands. This was a testimony to the Saints that the Lord was watching over the ship, and that there was no danger.” (Millennial Star, Vol XVII, pp. 280, 397, 399, 423, 459, 461, 490)

They traveled across the plains with the Captain Milo Andrus Company and the trip was difficult for Pamelo. Her uncle, John Meyrick, recorded upon her arrival in the Salt Lake Valley that, “Pemlow has been very sick of the mountain fever. Most of the hair has come out of her head.” They arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley on October 24, 1855. 

John Meyrick had settled in the Pleasant Grove area and Pamelo and the rest of the family moved into the house he had built. There, in Pleasant Grove, Samuel and Pamelo met.

Samuel and Pamelo Marry

Twenty-six year old Samuel married seventeen Pamelo Wishaw in August 28, 1858 and had sixteen children. Of these children, Samuel James, William Henry, Charles Edward, Mary Ella, Herman, Joseph Erving, Alfred Ray, and Susie Josephine lived to adulthood. 

Inset:Samuel and Pamelo (Wishaw) Green
Back row: William H, Charles, Herman, Joseph Irving, Alfred Ray
Front row: Mary Ella, Samuel, Susie 

The family found themselves in the middle of the Black Hawk War in 1863. This was probably before the house I'm describing was built but this incident took place where Samuel and Pamelo were living, though some sources say this battle took place at the home of John Green, Samuel’s brother. Regarding the battle at Pleasant Grove, Utah, William H. Seegmiller said: "On the evening of April 12, 1863 we camped at Pleasant Grove, Utah County. We had been camped but a short time when a band of Indians, probably fifty, under the leadership of Little Soldier, came to our camp and inquired if we were Americats. We answered no, and he then asked if we knew where the Americats were camped; we told them that we did not know. They then said: "We find them." They passed on down the street towards the center of town. Some of Brigadier General Connor's command from Fort Douglas were in town...Soon we heard a loud report and learned that Connor's men had found out that the Indians were coming for them, and had shot a Howitzer, a small cannon, at them as they were turning south to where the soldiers were located. We were informed that the soldiers went to Samuel Green's house on the east side of the road and asked the people to leave, which they did in a hurry. The soldiers then went into the house, pulled their cannon in with them, pulled up some of the floor and got under it, leaving their wagons in the road and their mules and horses were in a corral on the west side of the street. The Indians dared not follow the troops into the house, but shot into it through the door and window, peppering the back wall with bullets. When the Indians saw they could not successfully rout the soldiers or kill them, they turned their attention to booty. But when the soldiers saw they were going to lose their horses they fired a charge of grape shot from their cannon into the corral at their animals, preferring to kill them to letting the Indians get them. They killed and maimed some; the Indians got those not hurt and loaded them with blankets and supplies, and struck for the mountains very much pleased with their success."

About Samuel

Samuel Green

About Samuel Green, my mother wrote, "Samuel Green was a hard-working man, and became one of the prosperous farmers of Pleasant Grove. Timpanogos Town describes Samuel Green as "a farmer who brought forth some of the biggest crops per acre in fertile Utah Valley". Samuel worked for the Utah Sugar Company as a Utah County field agent for many years. Samuel Green was an elected member of the Pleasant Grove City Council. He was ordained a High Priest and was an active Church member."

The History of William Henry Green records, “Those who remember Samuel Green recall him as a man who stood upright, had square shoulders, was of medium height and of slender appearance. His hair was heavy and ruddy brown. He wore a full beard and mustache. Samuel Green was a quiet man and a thinker, but not a conversationalist; two stories from out of his life describe his personality. At one time the family grocery account at the Pleasant Grove Mercantile was getting rather high in the mind of the proprietor, William L. Hayes. It was the custom for townsfolk to charge the few items they had to buy at the store from one harvest season to another, and then settle the account as cattle "came off" the mountain or the yield of the farms was "in". The Green family followed this practice. William Hayes spoke with Samuel Green about the bill, to which Samuel replied, "I pay my bills."The other incident was a remark by one of Samuel Green's associates: "Sam Green doesn't say much, but he sure keeps up a hell of a thinking." 

“...Samuel Green and Pamelo Wishaw enjoyed their family. They were hospitable and generous with their grandchildren. Grandpa Green is remembered as having favored little girls, probably because he lost so many of his own small daughters.” (History of William Henry Green) 

About Pamelo

Pamelo (Green) Wishaw

The History of the William Henry Green Family describes Pamelo: “Pamelo Wishaw Green was fairly short and had a round face. Her eyes were deep set and her hair was dark. In dress she was neat and clean; but it was the gaiety of her spirit and the generosity of her nature that is remembered. Pamelo was a faithful church member. It was her practice for many years to see to it that flowers from her beautiful garden were taken to the chapel each Sunday morning to help create a spiritual atmosphere.”

Seven Sisters Roses
(Pamelo is said to have grown this rose variety.)
Photo by Vintage Rosery, Needville, TX

Howard R. Driggs (Timpangos Town) recorded: "In a certain town lived a helpful lady whom everyone called Aunt Pamelo. Every Sunday she would bring a beautiful home-grown bouquet to place on the stand at church. Whenever there was a wedding or a funeral, she expressed her heart through flowers. At one time the Superintendent of the Sunday School expressed appreciation for her gift to help cheer the day. He said, "Aunt Pamelo, how can you grow such beautiful flowers all year?" "Oh, I just love flowers," she replied, "And I think they love me."

Pamelo also "provided an organ and an accordian for her musically talented children." ("Utah State Historical Society Structure/Site Information Form: Green, Samuel, House," National Park Service, April 1987.)

She was remembered as a good cook, and made “gooseberry pies which her children remembered into their adulthood. Stewed tomatoes heated with morsels of bread, and diced onions in bread and milk are dishes she made and ones still served on the tables of her descendants.”(The History of the William Henry Green Family)

Here is one of the recipes, as it has been passed down to me:

Pamelo Wishaw Green's Gooseberry Pie
1 pint fresh gooseberries
1 cup sugar

Remove the stems from the berries. Put them in a saucepan with the sugar, and water, if needed. Cook until softened. Cool. Pour into an unbaked pie crust. Cover with the top crust. Slash and bake in a hot oven, about 450 degrees for about 25 minutes, until browned.

Samuel and Pamelo Build Their House

In about 1870, the Greens built a two-story soft-rock house, then near the south and east walls of the Grove Fort, by then abandoned. This home is now located at 264 East 299 South in Pleasant Grove, is well preserved with minor alterations, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes. Pamelo, of course, planted her beautiful flowers around this home.

According to the Utah State Historical Society, "Built c. 1870, the Samuel Green House is a two-story soft-rock vernacular house with a hall-parlor plan and a gable roof. The only clearly visible alteration on the exterior is the two-story front porch that was added in 1985, It is a compatible addition that does not significantly detract from the original integrity of the house. The house has a symmetrical three-bay facade with a central door flanked by six-over-six double-hung windows. There are plain wooden lintels over the door and windows. There is a small cross gable centered over the second story door. A full length porch was added to the main and second floor in 1985, though historically there was never was a porch on the house. The west and east ends are asymmetrically pierced with windows, and there is a 1-story, gabled roof ell extension to the south. The walls of that rear extension, which are also constructed of soft-rock, have been stuccoed and scored to imitate ashlar. A concrete porch with chamfered wooden posts is located on the west side of this ell. On the east side is a lean-to addition (date unknown). Attached to the south side of that lean-to is a small concrete block room with a gable roof. Judging from its appearance, it was probably built in the 1940s or '50s.

"The Green house appears as the original except for the porch; all windows and much of the glass are original, and the interior also maintains its integrity. Some woodwork has been replaced and a fireplace mantle has been inserted in the living room. All the other rooms remain unaltered. A bathroom and kitchen were added c.1955. There is a small frame outbuilding behind the house that does not contribute to the signicance of the property." ("Utah State Historical Society Structure/Site Information Form: Green, Samuel, House," National Park Service, April 1987.

This report goes on to describe the significance of the house: "Built c. 1870, the Samuel Green House is one of the 13 buildings included in the Pleasant Grove Soft-rock Buildings Thematic Resource nomination. Soft-rock buildings are signficant because they help document the distinctive regional diversity found in nineteenth-century building stones in Utah. They also represent a distinct phase of the building construction industry in the Pleasant Grove area. Mormon community building in the Great Basin West rested upon the dual principles of order and permanence, and the grid-iron town plan and the use of stone as an early building material have become important symbols of Mormon settlement values. A great variety of local stones were used throughout the state, and the soft and easily worked tufa stone, popular in Pleasant Grove between about 1865 to 1900, remains one of the most distinctive. About 130 soft-rock buildings were known to have once stood in Pleasant Grove, yet there are only 13 well preserved examples today. Most of the earlier buildings, constructed during the 1850s and '60s, were made of adobe, which was easily made and worked. As fired brick became more available and fashionable during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it replaced soft-rock as the dominant local building material. The remaining soft-rock buildings are important examples of a local architectural tradition and contribute to an understanding of the regional diversity of Utah's early architectural history."

Samuel and Pamelo Pass on into Eternity

Pamelo died January 10, 1907. She had struggled with asthma before pressurized inhalers and anti-infammatory asthma treatments had been developed: “For many years she slept propped up by pillows and was ever seeking relief through the patent medicines the traveling drug salesmen brought to town. She died of the ailment at 9:00 a.m. on January 10, 1907, at 65 years of age.” (The History of the William Henry Green Family)

Their son Joseph and his family then moved in to the house to take care of Samuel. “A family incident occurred when the family of Joseph Green was living at the Samuel Green home to care for the aged Grandfather. Their eldest son, a boy of about seven, became irked at something and announced he was going to run away from home. His absence did not cause his parents concern until nightfall; a neighborhood hunt did not locate the boy. Then Grandpa Green "thought like a boy" and looked under the granary. There he found the sleeping lad.” (History of William Henry Green) 
Samuel died in 1910: “On the day before his death, Susie Josephine Green Robison and her eight year-old son visited Samuel Green. While standing on a chair, the little boy recited "Little Orphan Annie" to his Grandpa, whereat the elderly gentleman tried unsuccessfully to find a nickel in his packet. "Come tomorrow and I'll have a nickel for you," said Grandpa Green, but he was unable to keep his promise. At 7:20 a.m. on January 18, 1910, the 78 year-old man was sitting in a favored kitchen chair playing with his grandchildren when death came.” (History of William Henry Green) 

"They both lay in state, after death, in the large living room of the house they built and shared for almost 40 years." ("Utah State Historical Society Structure/Site Information Form: Green, Samuel, House," National Park Service, April 1987.) Samuel and Pamelo (Wishaw) Green are both buried in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery, less than a mile away from their home, at 500 North Main.

Samuel's inscription on the tombstone

Pamelo's inscription on the tombstone
In the late 1980s, it was reported that, "The house has remained in family ownership and care, but through the years the acreage around it has been sold for building lots. After Samuel, the house was owned and occupied by a daughter, Susie Josephine Green Robinson, until 1941. A granddaughter of Samuel, Leah Millar, owned and occupied the soft-rock house until her death in 1980. Now a great granddaughter, Michele Draper, and her husband, Kevin, have purchased and are occupying the house. In 1985, Michele and Kevin added a two-story porch across the front of the house. The second level was built with a door that would have opened onto an upper porch level, though the porch was never actually built." ("Utah State Historical Society Structure/Site Information Form: Green, Samuel, House," National Park Service, April 1987.)

For more information on Samuel and Pamelo and their home, see:

Next week's challenge from No Story Too Small: "Week 26 (June 25-July 1) – Halfway: This week marks the halfway point in the year — and the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge! What ancestor do you have that you feel like you’ve only researched halfway? What ancestor do you feel like takes up half of your research efforts?" This challenge will take us to the beginnings of Soviet Russia, to my most recent brick wall ancestor.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

52 Ancestors: Heirloom

"Week 24 (June 11-17) – Heirloom: What heirloom do you treasure? Who gave it to you? What heirloom do you wish you had?" (No Story Too Small)

So, this week is the first week of a remodel...yep, fun. It will be worth it in the end, it will be worth it in the end, it will be worth it in the end... But I did want to take time to share my heirloom because it has a nice story.

Here is my heirloom:

Grandpa's bookcase
Nice, huh?

It didn't look so stately and lovely as it does now when it came to me. I had taken a week-long break from grad school in Utah and returned home to California to help my mother. Fortunately, I had finished my coursework and was working on my project and my internship supervisor was very supportive. Grandma's care had become such that she needed to move into an assisted living facility. My task during my break was to help Mom clean Grandma's house and hold a garage sale for Grandma to sell what Grandma couldn't use or couldn't find a home with family. It was tough--I think I'd rather go through more of this remodeling than relive that.

During the garage sale at the end of the week, the bookcase was brought down from the attic and put in the garage to be tagged. No one paid it any attention. No one tried to negotiate for it. No one wanted it. It looked old and tired, covered in scuff marks and likely not worth much.

But Mom recognized it from better days. It was Grandpa's bookcase.

The short bio about him on her website states that James Aloysius Carey "was born February 7, 1920 in San Francisco, California. He was an Eagle Scout. Jim attended U.C. Berkeley on a scholarship, majoring in chemical engineering. He served as an artillery spotter in World War II, and received the Bronze Star for bravery. He married Beulah Green, and had four children: Charles, Alice, Raymond, and William. Jim worked for the Bank of America as a computer research consultant, and played a pioneering role in establishing computer systems for the bank. He died October 22, 1992, in San Francisco."

James A. Carey

Grandpa was a quiet guy, though he did have a sense of humor, which many of his descendants seem to have inherited. And he was very smart. He'd keep a yellow tablet at his place at the head of the table when it wasn't set for dinner, along with a very sharp No. 2 pencil, and work out complex equations there in his free time.

Grandpa at his usual spot at the table
From left to right: Ray, Charlie, Grandma, Grandpa, Bill
Photo by my mother

He had a talent for finding out information. If he needed to build a brick wall, even though he hadn't done so before, he would look up how to in a book (remember, he died before the Internet was broadly used) and make one of the best brick walls any of us had ever seen. Once my mother, then working as a children's librarian, was helping a child find the state fish of Hawaii. She had exhausted the library's resources and had called Grandpa up. Not long after he returned the call and let her know that he had found its name--it was the humuhumunukunukuapua'a.

He would entertain me and my brother with science gadgets (such as a ball clock) and experiments. One time, he showed me how to calculate my average step length, then hooked a pedometer to me and had me bounce on a trampoline for a couple of minutes. We then calculated how many steps I would have to take to equal what the pedometer had registered from all that bouncing. As much as I disliked math in school, I enjoyed that special story problem!

We went with my grandparents on several trips. My first trip to Disneyland was with them. They took us to Carmel-by-the-Sea and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We went to their friends' farm and stayed over and I was able to ride a pony, collect peacock feathers, and feed chickens. Grandpa also introduced me to big band, Victor Borge, and Spike Jones.

And the books! There were books everywhere in my grandparents' house, in every room, except maybe the bathroom (keep a book where it might get dirty and wet! gasp!). There were several bookcases but not enough--there are never enough bookcases for Careys! I recently saw an idea on Pinterest about using stacks of books as decoration on the sides of a staircase. The pinner praised it as a novel idea (argh...now I see the pun...groan) but to me it reminded me of Grandpa. There were books piled up on the steps up to the attic. The majority were non-fiction. There was some fiction, particularly of the James Michener sort. 

Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa's
(note yet another bookcase in the corner)
Left to right: Grandma, Adam, Andrea, me, Mom, Grandpa, Ray, Bill

I remember as a child poring over books when I visited, which was often. My particular favorite was a book that showed wide variety of objects and labeled every part, some of the part names being pretty obscure. He also had a nice, very complete encyclopedia. In the time before the Internet, pulling a random volume and reading on a random subject was an especially effective way to learn widely.

As I said before, there were several bookcases. But the bookcase in question was an especially nice one and it had been Grandpa's boyhood bookcase. Apparently, he also had two beds in his room--one for sleeping, one that held the overflow from the bookcase.

Grandpa as a boy

Well, here it was, in sad condition, at a garage sale. And Mom seemed pretty sad about it. But then she suggested that if I wanted it, maybe we wouldn't have to sell it. I don't know what it was about that old, beat-up bookcase that made me want to take a chance on it. Maybe that it had been Grandpa's. Maybe that it was a bookcase and anything that could hold so many stories and knowledge must be special, even if it was scuffed and worn. Maybe it was the architectural details that hinted of past beauty. But I ended up putting a Sold tag on it.

The garage sale traffic ebbed and flowed throughout the day and in the quieter moments, I began to wipe the bookcase down with lemon furniture oil. The wood was thirsty, sucking in the oil as fast as I could put it down. But then as the wood began to suck in the oil it so desperately needed, something wonderful happened. The wood's beauty began to shine forth. It was solid, no laminates or veneers or plywood in it, made probably of mahogany.  And it had the patina of decades, glowing with its aged dignity from within. The scuffs lessened under my care and many disappeared until it looked antique but not worn. It was beautiful again.

A customer returned and spotted the bookcase, now marked Sold, and lamented that he had not bought it earlier. Others remarked on its beauty. I heard one person offer to buy it "if the other deal fell through." But it was going to stay with the granddaughter who loved books like the grandfather who had once filled it full of books.

Grandpa and my brother
Grandpa loved a good nap and a book, as do many of his descendants.

Right now, the bookcase and I have returned to the family home for the time being, where it's holding some of Mom's special items. But it has traveled with me to Utah and Virginia and has stood in my living room in my Salt Lake and Yorktown apartments. It has held my hardbound illustrated copies of Jane Austen and Tolkien novels, leatherbound works of the Bronte sisters, volumes of the works of latter-day prophets and scriptures and hymns, instuctional design texts, and other beloved books. Whatever it holds, books, statuary, or glass from the Jamestown Glasshouse, I regularly empty its shelves and wipe it down with the oil it needs. And it glows as if from within.

It reminds me of The Touch of the Master's Hand by Myra Brooks Welch:

’Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!” “Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—” But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He’s “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.

President Boyd K. Packer gave a wonderful talk related to this poem. You may want to check it out.

The bookcase reminds me of this poem. It reminds me of Grandpa, a quiet man who had intelligence and humor to spare, particularly if you took the time to know him. And relating it to family history, it makes me think of the relatives of the past, sometimes neglected and passed over by the living and sometimes treasured, their memories preserved and made to live again.

Next week's challenge from No Story Too Small: "Week 25 (June 18-24) – The Old Homestead: Have you visited an ancestral home? Do you have photos of an old family house? Do you have homesteading ancestors?" Yes, and I think it's time to return to Utah--Pleasant Grove to be specific.

Monday, June 8, 2015

52 Ancestors: Wedding

"Week 23 (June 4-10) – Wedding: June is time for weddings. Write about a June bride in your family or highlight a favorite wedding photo. Maybe there’s a serial marry-er in the family — that could be a fun post!" (No Story Too Small)

Mishaps at weddings are all too common. Stephen Hussey and Martha Bunker's wedding back in the 1670s though was packed with multiple mishaps--unusual ones too, at least to modern readers. And it all started with a French privateer looking for a prize.

Boarding of a British East Indiaman by a French corsair

The wedding took place on 8 October 1676. "Stephen Hussey had sailed to Barnstable, Massachusetts on Cape Cod for the wedding, probably in his own ship.  He was described by this time as a wealthy man. On his way home with his bride after the wedding his ship encountered a hostile French privateer laying off Nantucket harbor. The bride was terrified at the sight of the French warship and was fearful that her wedding day might be her last." (Hussey Millennium Manuscript, courtesy of the Gowen Research Foundation, www.llano.net/gowen/hussey_millenium.htm, 2001.)

Lighthouse, Brant Point in Nantucket harbor
Credit: Farnk van Mierlo, Wikipedia

Map showing the location of Cape Cod, Barnstable, and Nantucket

The next mishap seems a bit tame in comparison to nearly being killed by pirates. "The welcoming party on the shore saw the danger, and while watching the drama on the sea, allowed the wedding cake of Martha Bunker Hussey to burn to a char." (Hussey Millennium Manuscript) But I guess those little things add up.

So, imagine you're on your way to your wedding and pirates show up and try to kill you. You survive but are probably pretty rattled. And now the wedding cake's charcoal. Can anything else go wrong? Well... "In all the excitement a drunken Indian lounging near the punchbowl accidently broke his whiskey bottle on the bowl allowing a shower of glass splinters to fall into the punchbowl, rendering the contents unfit for the welcoming party." (Hussey Millennium Manuscript)

Yep, welcome to the 1600s. And how did the couple take it? We don't have much insight into Stephen's reaction but Martha's is part of the family story. "All of these unnerving incidents were too much for the bride, and she cried that 'the very heavens and stars were against us.'"

But the marriage happened and they ended up having eight children, seven of whom lived to have weddings of their own.

A couple of the late 1600s

To learn more about this couple, see my page at my family's site. I have not yet transferred this information to my Olive and Eliza website but will do so in the future.

Next week's challenge from No Story Too Small: "Week 24 (June 11-17) – Heirloom: What heirloom do you treasure? Who gave it to you? What heirloom do you wish you had?" This will take us to more present times to meet my grandfather.

Monday, June 1, 2015

52 Ancestors: Commencement

"Countless schools will be having their commencement ceremonies around this time. Think not only about school, but also about commencement meaning 'a beginning.'" (No Story Too Small)

If you look at my family's history, we don't have a very long history in higher education, which is funny--education is important to my family now. I have worked in higher education as an instructional designer and I have an aunt who teaches college courses.

But so it is. My maternal grandpa attended college but that was interrupted by World War II. He didn't receive a degree, though he went on to become a computing pioneer. I remember him at the dining table writing out math equations on yellow legal pads with very sharp No. 2 pencils for fun and showing us various science experiments. He may not have finished but learning was extremely important to him.

Mom graduated from college, then I graduated from college about a decade later, then I graduated from grad school, then Mom graduated from grad school. So, in my direct line, Mom and I were first generation college grad and grad school student respectively. Now, her brother did graduate before her, then went on to grad school before me, and his wife was in grad school before I applied. This was a good thing, since I was able to get some advice from them about applying to grad programs.

On my Dad's side, my uncle was the known first college grad in a couple of centuries. If you go back to colonial times though, a few of my ancestors were college educated. In England in past centuries, sons of those who could afford it might either inherit property (typically in the case of eldest sons) or be prepared for some suitable occupation. One of these occupations was as a clergy. Preparation for the church involved college, hopefully followed by a "living." In the 1500s and 1600s, some of these college-educated clerics were exposed to Puritan ideas and developed Puritan leanings. In a number of cases, these leanings put their livings in peril. Those who were committed to Puritanism often had to give their parishes up. Their attentions were turned to the more tolerant Netherlands, then America.

Stephen Bachiler, one of these, might have qualified as the subject of the Black Sheep challenge from two weeks ago. According to the Great Migration Project, "Stephen Bachiler led a most interesting life, filled with unusual twists and turns far beyond the norm." But the Roosas and the Quicks won that honor.

Now, it's his second chance. He was among the early college graduates in my family, so he does represent the first kind of commencement mentioned above. He also represents another kind of commencement. While he didn't remain in America, he was the first generation of his family to settle here.

Stephen was born about 1561 and came from South Stoneham, Hampshire, England. He attended Oxford, matriculating at St John’s College on 17 November 1581 and receiving his B.A. about five years later in 1586. In 1587, he became the vicar at Wherwell, Hampshire, England.

Front quad of St. John's College
Photo by Ed Webster, Wikipedia

His first wife's name is not known but according to the Great Migration Project, she "was closely related in some way to Reverend John Bate, Bachiler’s successor as vicar of Wherwell." They had six children, sons Nathaniel, Stephen, and Samuel and daughters Deborah, Ann, and Theodate. Supposed sons Francis and Henry, mentioned by Savage, are not proven. A Mary Bachiler, born in 1651 or 1652, was not his daughter, according to Great Migration, but the issue of an adulterous affair between Stephen's last wife and one George Rogers.

According to Great Migration, "Bachiler began his long career of contrariety as early as 1593, when he was cited in Star Chamber for having 'uttered in a sermon at Newbury very lewd speeches tending seditiously to the derogation of her Majesty’s government' [NEHGR 74:319-20]. Upon the accession of James I as King of England, nearly a hundred ministers were deprived of their benefices between the years 1604 and 1609, and among these, as noted above, was Stephen Bachiler [Kenneth Fincham, Prelate as Pastor: The Episcopate of James I (Oxford 1990), p. 326]." Stephen was ejected from his living at Wherwell in 1605.

Church Street, Wherwell by Chris Talbot.
Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

That the Bachilers associated with Puritans can be seen in 1621 when Adam Winthrop, Gov. John Winthrop's father, stated, “Mr. Bachelour the preacher dined with us” at Groton. The Great Migration adds, "Although this might conceivably be the younger Stephen Bachiler, who had been ordained as a deacon late in 1613, the man referred to in these records is more likely the elder Stephen. Since he is well recorded as a resident of Newton Stacey both before and after this time, he must have made occasional visits to East Anglia."

It continues, "While at Newton Stacey (a village within the parish of Barton Stacey) Bachiler had managed to incite the parishioners of Barton Stacey to acts that came to the attention of the sheriff, who petitioned for redress to the King in Council; the complaint described Bachiler as “a notorious inconformist” [NEHGR 46:62, citing Domestic Calendar of State Papers, 1635]."

It should be noted that Stephen remarried twice in his sixties. Both of his second and third wives were widows--Christian Weare (married 2 March 1623 in Abbots Ann, Hampshire) and Helena, the widow of Rev. Thomas Mason (married 26 March 1627 also in Abbots Ann).

St. Mary's Church, Abbots Ann
Photo by Lee Hargreaves
Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

At a time when other men were settling into the final decades of their lives, Stephen's life took a dramatic turn. He refused to conform and was dismissed. Like a number of other nonconformists at the time, the Bachiler family ended up in Holland for some time, then came to America. Stephen was seventy-one when he sailed from London 9 March 1632 aboard the William and Francis and arrived in Boston 5 June.

Not all of the Bachilers came with him. Of his children, Deborah (Bachiler) Wing and Theodate (Bachiler) Hussey settled in America. Three sons of daughter Ann (Bachiler) Samborne and Nathaniel, son of his son Nathaniel also came to America at some point, as well.

Here, he was admitted a freeman in Saugus (later called Lynn), Essex, Massachusetts 6 May 1635 and organized a church there. Stephen gained attention soon after settling in Saugus. Four months in, there was a complaint about “some irregularities in his conduct.” On 3 October 1632, at the court at Boston, he was ordered to “forbeare exerciseing his giftes as a pastr or teacher publiquely in or Patent, unlesse it be to those he brought with him, for his contempt of authority, and till some scandles be removed.” What these irregularities and scandals were, I'm not sure.

Saugus Iron Works - The town's colonial ironworks, now reconstructed by the National Park Service

On 4 March 1633, he was allowed to preach again. However, about 1635, several members began to leave his congregation and a council of ministers was held on 15 March. The matter was not reconciled and another meeting was scheduled. Stephen told those who had left his congregation to write their grievances, but when they refused, he tried to excommunicate them.

The ministers returned to Lynn and decided that “although the church had not been properly instituted, yet the mutual exercise of their religious duties had supplied the defect.” The strife continued and Stephen requested and was granted a dismissal from the congregation for himself and the members who had come with him from England. Stephen continued to preach to those who had come with him. The people of Lynn complained, the magistrates forbade him to continue his ministry, and, in January 1636, he was brought to court in Boston, where he was ordered to leave Lynn within three months. 

He is said to have gone to Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts. In the winter of 1637, traveled with some friends 100 miles on foot to Mattakeese (now Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts). He had planned to establish a town and church but was unable to do so and went instead to Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts. On 6 July 1638, he and his son-in-law were granted land there.

On 6 September 1638, he was granted permission to start a settlement at Winnacunett (now Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire). Stephen and son-in-law Christopher Hussey sold their land in Newbury and moved to Hampton in 1638. Stephen once more became the minister of his own church. However, there was a division in the town between his supporters and the supporters of Rev. Timothy Dalton. 

Rev. Stephen Bachiler Monument at Hampton
Image from Hampton Historical Society

Plaque from the memorial
Image from Lane Memorial Library

In 1641, Stephen was excommunicated for “irregular conduct” and his house and most of his property was burned down. His communion was restored but not his office. 

By 20 April 1647, he settled at Strawberry Bank (now Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire). Stephen, then about ninety, married a fourth time, Mary, widow of Robert Beedle, in 1650. He was fined for not publishing the marriage according to law. 

The marriage was not a happy one, as later in the year, Stephen and Mary were brought to court regarding their relationship: "that Mr. Bacherler and Mary his wife shall live together, as they publicly agreed to do, and if either desert the other, the marshal to take them to Boston to be kept until next quarter Court of Assistants, to consider a divorce.... In case Mary Bacheller live out of this jurisdiction without mutual consent for a time, notice of her absence to be given the magistrates at Boston" And in 1650, the Piscataqua (now Kittery, York, Maine) court cited, "George Rogers for, & Mary Batcheller the wife of Mr. Steven Bacheller minister for adultery." George received forty strokes and Mary thirty-nine "six weeks after the delivery" of her baby from the affair, plus branding with the letter A.

Soon afterwards, Stephen returned to England. Mary petitioned for divorce 14 October 1656 and accused him of committing bigamy in England. There is no evidence that he actually did marry another woman. 

Stephen's chair (According to Lane Memorial Library, as of 2010, this chair
belongs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City,)

Stephen most likely was the “Steeven Batchiller Minester that dyed att Robert Barbers” who was buried 31 October 1656 at Allhallows Staining Church, London, Middlesex, England.

The remaining tower of Allhallows Staining Church
Photo courtesy of John Armagh

Next week's challenge from No Story Too Small: "Week 23 (June 4-10) – Wedding: June is time for weddings. Write about a June bride in your family or highlight a favorite wedding photo. Maybe there’s a serial marry-er in the family — that could be a fun post!" I have been hoping for this topic! And it has to do with Stephen's grandson and perhaps the wildest wedding I've ever heard of. Hint: The wedding crashers may have had peglegs and eye patches.