Thursday, November 21, 2013

Where Was I Nov 22, 1963

It is interesting when we think back at the history during our lives, we remember some details better than others. Where were you when Kennedy was shot? I am sure every one of us can remember it as plain as it happened yesterday.

I was sitting in my Spanish class at Henry Clay Junior High School. Sr. Cisneros was our teacher. I can’t remember if we were writing or listening, but I do remember the announcement over the loudspeaker on the front wall of our room. It interrupted our class to let us know that not only had President Kennedy been shot, but he had died. We were kids so I don’t remember what our reaction was nor do I remember what happened at school the next few days. Seems to me, schools may have been closed.

I do remember hearing my dad say, when I got home, that it was such a shame. We were not a politically active family, though my parents always voted. Nor am I even sure my parents voted for Kennedy, but the idea of killing someone for whatever reason was beyond my father’s understanding even though he had served in WWII. Guns were unnecessary in his life.

I also remember my dad watching the TV when Ruby shot Oswald. He called to us to come quickly to watch what happened. Again, he could only shake his head in disbelief.

Where were you on this day?

Monday, April 29, 2013

New Research Doesn’t Answer Old Questions

After three weeks of research in Massachusetts and attendance at the wonderful New England Regional Genealogical Conference, I didn’t come much closer to the answers I was seeking to find. In fact, I guess I could say my mind is now more muddled with information and even more questions.

The goal of this trip was to spend time researching in the courthouses of Pittsfield regarding the arrest of Bridget HEARST McHugh on charges of “illegal keeping of intoxicating beverages”. I was able to find the court case and after pleading “not guilty”, Bridget was let off. On the other hand, David Tierney who was also arrested at the same time, for the same crime, by the same officer was not so lucky. It was found there was probable cause and he was set for trial. I did not pursue his case which I now wish I had, but I had so much more to research, time was an issue. However, I am left with more questions. There were witnesses presumably against Bridget because they were reimbursed by the court. David Tierney had no witnesses to be paid, so why was Bridget found “not guilty” and David was not? What was the probable cause that made him more guilty than Bridget?

I was also there to research the dower rights of Bridget consequent to the death of her husband, Francis. I found none! There was property including a house in Frank McHUGH’s estate. I wanted to know who owned the house and what became of it after the deaths of Francis and Bridget. More questions than answers again: the house was owned by Bridget right from the start; then was sold by Annie F. McHUGH to her cousin, Ellen MULLANEY all the while Hannora MCHUGH Forgea and her family were living in the house! Huh? Why didn’t the FORGEA family buy the house? Why were they allowed to live in it only until the death of Nora?

After her death, her two youngest were consigned to Brightside Orphanage. Six months later, Annie F. MCHUGH petitioned for temporary guardianship of the three daughters of Nora; Catherine and Anna were in the orphanage. Where was Adase? Why the need for guardianship papers when Adase was 20 and the two younger girls were in the orphanage?

And some answers only led to more confusion. Aunt Anna was consigned to Brightside Orphanage until shortly after her 12th birthday, then she was released from Brightside to Beaven Kelly. I thought Beaven Kelly was a person. Instead, it turns out it was a retirement home for elderly gentlemen. What was a 12-year-old doing in a retirement home for elderly gentlemen? Hopefully answers will come as I sift through all the documents I was able to copy. Thank goodness for smart phones.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Our Move to the Tri-Cities

In the spring of 1992, Dad [Bernie Beldin] was made an offer he could not refuse.


He was a major in the United States Air Force, happy with his service but feeling the pressure to retire after 32 years combined enlisted/officer service. Because of his time in service, he felt his chances of making lieutenant colonel were slim in addition to the reduction in forces that President Clinton was proposing at the time.


However, he had always vowed he would not leave the service without a job waiting for him. His wish had just come true; he was offered a position by a contractor and, if accepted, would be working in the Federal Building in downtown Richland. He made an exploratory trip out to the Tri-Cities, flying into Portland, OR, so that he could drive through the Columbia Gorge which a friend had assured him would be a beautiful drive. He was impressed with the beauty of the area; he was interviewed and offered the job.


He moved to Richland in April, not yet retired from the service but taking leave and planning his retirement for the end of May. In August, Kris, [our son] joined him so that he would be able to begin his first year in high school at the school he would be attending for the next four years. Michelle, Ginger and I [our daughter, our dog and mom, Margie Beldin] remained in Lake Ridge, Virginia, awaiting the contract renewal with the firm Dad/Bernie had just joined - no contract, no job, no reason to move us all to the Tri-Cities. Fortunately, in October, their contract was renewed and our family was reunited by the end of October, 1992. We were all finally together in Richland, Washington.2002-03-07--House-winter 2


The housing market was so bad at the time, with only 72 houses on the MLS, we decided to purchase property and build our dream home. Fourteen months later, in December, 1993, we moved into our dream home and have enjoyed living here, in the Tri-Citites, ever since.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dogs

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This week we learned that Kris and his family are getting a puppy. I don’t even know the gender but s/he is a real cutie. We do know that she is a shih tzu.

My family has always has dogs since the day I was born. Mom and Dad had a black w/white Pomeranian when I was born named Tippy. She was never my friend; even dogs can be jealous, but she was my first introduction to canines and I have been awed by them ever since.

When I was pregnant with Kris, Bernie and I got our first dog. Buffy was a buff colored cocker but did not like men. She also wasn’t crazy about Kris who was born just a few months later usurping her place in the family.

2004-10--Ginger-cropped

Ginger was the most precious dog of all. Another cocker, she was small and loving and a joy to our family for the seventeen years we had her. It was so hard saying goodbye to her after all the love and joy she had given us. She was even loved by our vet who kindly met us on a Sunday to give her her final peace. We were lucky that both our cockers were small without much hair. And they had the prettiest faces, not the smashed nose that so many cockers often have.2004-12-04 -- CASEY, Cassie and Bachus

While we still had Ginger, we decided to go with a bigger dog. We had cared for Michelle’s golden, Bacchus, and found having a big dog was kind of fun. I was prepared to find a golden, but Bernie had had an Australian Shepherd as a young adult and he thought he would like that kind of a dog.

Welcome Maggie. Maggie was a rescue who had been living on and off the streets for most of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         her life. She was beautiful but big. She weighed more than 65 pounds and lumbered along as we would walk. She didn’t like being a leash but then why would she. She would just follow us along as we walked. She was a charmer, to say the least. Maggie only lived with us 11 months. We discovered she had a tumor in her brain that made her back legs weaker and weaker. When she could no longer get up on her own, we had to say good-bye to her. She was only 8 years old and eleven months wasn’t enough time to really let her know how much we loved and needed her. She was supposed to be our comfort when we lost Gingie, but Gingie was still going strong.

2008-Portland-weavesOur next dog was the most wonderful one would could ever wish for except for one major flaw, he was petrified of other dogs and would react by attacking if one got near him. He was very respectful, though, and never once got between Gingie and us. By now, she was older and had gone through having Bacchus live with us, then Maggie came into and our of our home and now another dog. She had about had it and actually had absolutely nothing to do with Skye, which was just fine with him. With Skye, we got involved with dog agility. What fun we had and Skye was the perfect “first agility dog.” He was so well behaved and we, together were so attuned. It was such a joy to run with him. There will never be another dog like Skye. We lost him to a very debilitating disease which also affects humans, myasthenia gravis. He was diagnosed in March and six weeks later he was gone. Our world was shattered and it is still hard to think of him without my heart breaking.

After losing Ginger, we adopted Roxie who was born in Spokane, had a family but was given up at 18 months old. She Roxie - faceis a very pretty girl but very reserve, a barker (yuk) and much less willing to do what we want. She is not people or dog unfriendly, but she is the most outgoing dog we have ever had. She does not give kisses and hardly wags her tail but I think she is happy to be in our family. We give her lots of love and lots of opportunities for exercise which she loves. She is turning into a nice agility dog, but will never enjoy agility the way Skye did. After a run, you could tell that he loved what we had just done and was ready to go again. For Roxie, it is the reward. “Where is the food?” is all she cares about at the end of a run.

After losing Skye, we thought Roxie would like a doggy companion. She had tried, unsuccessfully, to get Skye to playIMG_5635 with her. She loved going to Michelle’s and playing with Cassie, Michelle’s female golden. So we were looking for a dog so she would have a companion and we would, hopefully, have another agility dog. Skete was found wandering the streets of Chehalis. He was rescued by a dog-loving lady and her family. They couldn’t keep him because they were already expecting the arrival of two new shelties to add to the one they already had, so she was looking for a good home for “Shep” whom we later named Skete. Skete was only 15 to 18 months when we got him, so he is a baby and very frisky, much to Roxie’s dismay. She is growing to like him more and more and they do play together, but mostly it involves Roxie standing and barking while Sketey runs circles around her. I think they are having fun????

Saturday, March 24, 2012

One Clue – More Questions

Or at least on Randy Seaver’s Blog, it is Surname Saturday, so decided to post what I just learned last night.

It is often said, we should reread documents we have collected on ancestors. Recently, I have been looking for obituaries for my deceased ancestors. Having a subscription to GenealogyBank certainly helps and makes it more fun than tedious to read all that pops up even when it is usually NOT about my family. But that’s another blog, of course.

So, I noticed that although I had the death and burial information for my grandfather, William G. MOSSEY, I did not show in my genealogy program that I had an obit for him. However, I have a folder on my computer filled with downloaded images that I have yet to attach to my RootsMagic database, so checked there before wasting time looking in GenealogyBank. Sure enough, I had a very nice obit. And, voilà! there was some information I had not noticed before. When he died, he left his two daughters, my mom and her sister, and HIS sister, Evelyn C. Good. Oh my gosh! I had not noticed that before and why do I care?

In my grandfather’s birth family, I have two sisters, Cecile Mossey and Evelyn Mossey, both born in 1880. Obviously, this  cannot be unless one was born early in the year and the other late in the year but that does not often happen. And, when I find one sister in a census or other record, I cannot find the other. I have also had trouble finding either of them in many censuses or city directories. But, I have often suspected, that these two sisters are one and the same person, they/she just keep changing their names whenever they feel like it. My father’s mother, Emma JENKINS,  and family did this ALL the time, so I am not surprised to find this. Maybe this was a trend in the early 1900s?

Back to the obit: my grandfather’s sister is listed as Mrs. Louis Good. A quick search of some internet databases does not produce a marriage but looking in the city directories of Springfield in 1953 produces a Llewellyn J. Good and his wife Evelyn C. Since many of the obits I have read have massacred names, or at minimum misspelled them, I can see where Louis and Llewellyn may be the same person and Evelyn C. is certainly a good indication that Evelyn Cecile may be that person. I did do some research looking for her in the 1910 and 1920 census, but could not find her in either of those but did find Evelyn married to Llewellyn in the 1930 census with a 16 year old daughter.

But, of course, there is another conundrum, which might indicate one of them was married more than once. In the column listing age, Llewellyn is listed as 39 years old; Evelyn is listed as 48 making her birth year 1882! And, to further muddy the waters, he first was married at age 20 and she was first married at 23. If this marriage is their first, she would only be three years older than him, hmmmmm.

The 16 year old daughter, is she theirs or his? Question answered, it seems Llewellyn was married when he was 20, as indicated by the 1930 census. His first marriage was 23 Nov 1910 to Marion Gertrude Osborne. I have found no death date as yet for Marion Osborn Good nor have I found the marriage between Llewellyn and Evelyn. So, the mystery remains, is Evelyn Good married to Llewellyn Good Cecile or Evelyn Mossey, my grandfather’s sister?

One piece of information generates many more questions.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

And to the Present

Last week, I had the opportunity to spend the whole week with my daughter and granddaughters who live not too far from here. What a privilege to be able to see your own posterity in action and enjoy children the way we all should. It is unfortunate we don’t often derive the same pleasure from our own children as they are growing up as we do when they are our grandchildren. As grandparents, we get to step back, laugh, play, hug and enjoy these tiny beings probably much more than we enjoyed their parents. The joys of being a grandmother.


Ellie is 2 years and Emma 3 months and both have already very distinct personalities. Emma loves to be held and is 2012-03-09 -- Happy Emmaeasily entertained by what is going on around her. While Ellie, makes her own entertainment. There’s no sitting down and watching, except an occasional Dora or Mickey cartoon. Emma has three stages in her life right now, sleep, eat, awake and the cycle starts again. Ellie, on the other hand, is always busy doing something and eating and sleeping are not high on her list of “activities” although she does go to bed around 8pm and takes a 2-hour nap every day. But while she is awake, there are discoveries to be made. And, Ellie’s favorite words are, “Ellie do it!” She likes us to help get things started, like zipping zippers, putting food on her plate, opening doors, but once we get her started, she helps herself.


I think my favorite time this week was when Ellie and I took our walks. The first morning, the walk was not long but it was cold. We were looking for flowers but obviously in the winter, they are few and far between. Except for one, nearly-dead plant, we only saw some plastic flowers several people had planted in their yards to give them some color, I am sure.
The second walk was way more interesting because the sky was blue and sun was shining. We walked for nearly an hour and I without my camera! The day before I had had Ellie stand quietly so she could hear the birds. I am not much of a birder, but I do know a robin when I see one and there were lots of them. I quieted Ellie with my finger to my mouth, so now Ellie knew how to quiet me, so we could listen to the birdies.

We also came across a boulder that was shaped so that there was a seat and back just big enough for Ellie. She loved sitting there. After that, she had to try every large rock she found. I warned her the pointed rocks were not suitable for sitting, but she found many that were just her size.


We also first heard then saw a waterfall. Someone had a huge tower of basalt in their yard which they had turned into a waterfall complete with pond and goldfish. What a wonderful sound to hear on a brisk, sunny day. Near here, we met Snickers, a little white dog that looked like a mop who was working furiously to get to us to say hello. Ellie was apprehensive which surprised me as she lives with two goldens and loves to visit our two aussies. We also looked at pine cones, which Ellie did not seem to care for, and looked at all the cracks in the sidewalks.


We walked for about an hour and it was only the last 5 minutes as we were heading home that she wanted to be carried so like a good Gramma, she got a piggy back ride.


The day we went to story time was so much fun for Emma. While Ellie and Mommy participated in story time at the library, Gramma got to hold Emma who was mesmerized by all the kids and movement that was going on in the room. She was not interested in sleeping or eating; she just spent the whole time in my lap watching the action. She is certainly a curious little girl.

The most fun, though, was watching and listening to Ellie as she expressed herself. While she is not yet speaking in 2012-03-09 -- Ellie at the parkfull sentences, the one sentence she knows perfectly is “I like birthday parties.” Apparently, Dora had a birthday party in one of her cartoons and Ellie was hooked. She kept repeating that sentence over and over sometimes dancing in a circle as she repeated it. Once, while I was changing her diaper, she threw her head back and shouted, “I LIKE BIRTHDAY PARTIES!” Too bad her birthday isn’t until the end of November.


Going to the park was the culmination of our week; it also made it easier for Gramma to leave as Ellie was way to interested in playing than worrying about Gramma having to go home to Grampa. Hope she wasn’t too disappointed when she realized I had left. I miss her so…

Monday, March 12, 2012

An Artist in the Family

On our long ride to RootsTech, I was telling my friend about my great grandfather, Joseph Mossey (Massé). He was a carriage trimmer. My friend asked what a carriage trimmer was and while I thought I knew, I hesitated. I decided if I am going to get to know my ancestors, I should get to know what it is they did and be able to explain that to others.

Naturally, I began by googling “Carriage Trimmer”. I found a website that categorized professions. My Joseph was an artisan. That was a pleasant surprise. My mother and grandmother were excellent needleworkers in knitting, embroidery and sewing and my grandfather, George Mossey,  was, according to my mom, a great cook. And, now his father was an artisan in his own right.

How did I learn about my great grandfather’s abilities? I was doing some newspaper research. I found a site that has indexed the newspapers of northern New York. This ad I found in The Plattsburgh Sentinel caught my eye and gave me a smile. My great grandfather was “one of the best carriage trimmers”!1 How thrilling that someone would actually print such nice words about one of their employees who also is my ancestor.

Newspaper -- Plattsburgh Sentinel, 1883, MOSSEY, Joseph

In my search, I also found a book that is a reprint of a book that was apparently the carriage trimmer’s Bible back in the 1880s and maybe was one my great grandfather referred to in his business.

The Carriage Trimmer's Manual-greyAccording to the description on the website, “…the book describes the complexity of materials—leathers, silks, laces—and range of skills (upholstering, tufting, stitching and binding, cutting enameled leathers, making leather sockets, welting, fabric selection, etc.) required for this branch of the carriage trade.” The book also contains “recipes for cleaning, oiling and blacking leather, polishing metals and restoring ivory, among others.” It goes on to describe the tools used in the carriage trimmers arsenal, such as stuffing sticks, round knives and shears.2

Looks like I’ll be going back to Google to learn what many of those terms mean which will give me a better idea of what my great grandfather really did for a living.

(Can you hear the buttons popping off my shirt?)

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Sources

1. Unknown author, . "Merritt." Plattsburgh Sentinel [New York] 20 Apr 1883, Vol. 28, No. 47 1. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. http://news2.nnyln.net/plattsburgh-sentinel/serch.html.

2. "The Carriage Trimmers’ Manual Guide Book and Illustrated Technical Dictionary." Astragal Press. Astragal Press, An Imprint of Finney Company, 2012. Web. 12 Mar 2012. <http://astragalpress.com/carriage_trimmers_manual.htm>.