Thursday, July 30, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday -- My Burden Bear

This is a Burden Teddy Bear that on of my cousins gave to all of us grandkids at Grandma Smedley's funeral in 2002. The blanket that he is clutching is a piece of a quilt that she made several years ago. This guy has came in handy a time or two.

Inside the card is the following poem:

I'm not a very fancy bear,
I'm plain and rather small.
Even so, someone who loves you
Said I should come to call.

Hide me underneath your pillow
or set me on a near by shelf
and when you feel discouraged
I will do my best to help
I brought my favorite blanket,
That I snuggle when I'm sad...
It's a present from "Our" Grandma,
Made for days when things seem bad.
Our Mother always told me,
"Life's like a patchwork quilt...
Just give Jesus all the pieces,
And he'll make a pretty quilt."
Sometimes I don't see the pattern,
Sometimes he seems far away,
Then I clutch my favorite blanket
And I pray...and pray...and pray.

Though I don't have all the answers,
For I'm just a "Burden Bear"
I've been sent here on a mission
From someone who really cares.
When you see me, please remember...
You are in their thoughts and prayers.

I guess you can order something like this at Pixie Dust Gifts.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

1912 Postcards to Mrs. J. L. Hickox

We went to the Jacksonville Beach flea market this last weekend. I found these pretty postcards addressed to Mrs. J. L. Hickox in Straight, Pennsylvania. I am still not sure if J. L. are her initials or her husband's. I haven't been able to find anything about her or the Ella Bensen that was mentioned.

The following is the transcription of the postcard:

Dear friend -

pretty card rec'd
and glad to hear
from you. very
sorry for Ella
Bensen. It's too
bad she had to
lose her little
boy. All well as
usual. We
look for a flood
when it breaks up.
I'm going to West Va
sometime. - H. T. P.

Dear Mrs.
Hickox I got
your letter
and was glad to
hear from
from george

Maybe there is a Hickox family member somewhere that would enjoy this family treasure.

If you are interested in postcards, GONE COUNTRY ANTIQUES and collectibles has quite a few of them with and without post mark and writing.

Wordless Wednesday -- William C. Piggott at Hunting Camp

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mr. & Mrs. A. H. Brooks -- News paper clipping

This last weekend I was at the Ramona Flea Market and found this newspaper clipping inside of a frame.

I was able to find out from the address that they lived in Jacksonville, Florida. I have not been able to find anything else about them except for the year of his death:

Name: A. H. Brooks
Death Date: 1944
County of Death: Duval
State of Death: Florida
Other Death Place Information: Jax
Race: White
Gender: Male

However, I did find an H. A. Brooks in the 1890 Jacksonville, Florida Directory listed as a cigar maker. I don't know if it is the same person or not.

Tombstone Tuesday -- William & Blanche Piggott

Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho Cemetery

This cemetery looks over the beautiful Bear Lake. I always feel at peace when I am there. This is where I want to be buried some day.

This is grandma and grandpa Piggott's headstone.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Madness Monday -- Thomas Cotton Smedley

Great great grandpa Smedley -- you are truly driving me mad!!

My Smedley family has been doing genealogy for over 100 years. In fact my great-grandfather Thomas Joynes Smedley traveled to England to gather family records in 1896. That is how he met my great grandmother.

The following is an article from LATTER-DAY SAINTS' MILLENNIAL STAR, Vol. 58, 1896, page 169:
ARRIVALS. --- The American Line Steamer Pennland arrived in Liverpool on March 5, having on board for the British Mission -- Alvin B. Kempton of Curtis, Arizona; George Humphreys of Paris, Idaho; Christopher Wilcock of Huntington, Utah; Robert Winn, Francis C. Sella, and John H. Brough, of Nephi, Utah. Elder Thomas J. Smedley of Paris, Idaho, also came on the vessel, for th purpose of obtaining genealogical information. The weather was quite stormy during three days of the voyage, but except this there was nothing unpleasant experienced. All are well.
The Smedley Family records and stories for three generations have said that Thomas Cotton Smedley (Thomas Joynes' father) died in 1851 and that is why great grandfather went to live with an uncle after his mother died. In doing my own research I have discovered that is either a blatant lie that has been passed down, or a simple error by someone other than T.J. Smedley that has never been checked out. I have also discovered that he was married before and had two daughters that no one ever mentioned.

In 1841 the oldest daughter Ruth Smedley was living with Thomas C Smedley, while her mother was living with Thomas C's brother Gideon. In 1851 Ruth was living with her mother Martha, and she was listed as married. And according to Martha's death record in 1859 she was married to Thomas Smedley, brick maker at the time. Maybe he went back to his first wife in 1851 and then went back to her after being in the United States for a while -- I just don't know. I am not even certain his middle name is Cotton.

Thomas Smedley along with son and daughter in law, Thomas Joynes and Ann Smedley, came to the US in 1857 on board The George Washington. They sailed from Liverpool, England on March 28, 1857 and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts April 20, 1857.
They were listed as follows:
Thos. Smedley 54 Brick maker
Thos. " 19 Tailor
Ann Smedley 22 unstated (The passenger list can be found on

All passengers on board were mormon converts. Their passages were paid by the Perpetual Emigration Fund. I have not been able to find anything onThomas C. Smedley since he landed in Massachusetts in 1857. There is a diary of Amos Musser that records the passage. He was in charge of booking train tickets for the passengers after they landed in Boston. I need to find these records some how.

Since great grandpa came to the United States with his father, why wouldn't his children know this? It just doesn't make sense to me. I really hate it when important information is kept secret.

Thomas Cotton SMEDLEY was born on 17 Apr 1803 in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, England to John and Mary Smedley. He was christened on 8 May 1803 in Stapleford, Notts, Eng. He died after 1857. Thomas was baptized into the Mormon Church on 31 Mar 1851 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England.

Thomas married, (1) MARTHA MITCHELL 4,5 on 26 Feb 1822 in Kettlethorpe, Lincoln, England. MARTHA was born about 1793 in Nottinghamshire, England. She died on 21 Jul 1859 in Harby, Nottingham, England.
They had the following children:

2 F i. Ruth SMEDLEY was born on 23 Mar 1829 in Kettlethorpe, Lincolnshire, England. Ruth married Unknown .
3 F ii. Matilda SMEDLEY was born about 1832 in Nottinghamshire, England
Thomas married (2) Elizabeth JOYNES daughter of Thomas JOYNES and Ann HOLBROOK about 1836. Elizabeth was born in 1808 in St Peters, Nottingham, Notts, Eng. She was christened on 15 Jun 1808 in St Marys, Nottingham, Notts, Eng. She died on 21 Jul 1854 in Derby, Derbys, Eng.
OCCUPATION: Elizabeth Joynes was a dressmaker.
Thomas and Elizabeth had the following children:
Thomas Joynes SMEDLEY was born on 16 Aug 1837. He died on 23 Feb 1921.
OCCUPATION: Thomas Cotton Smedley was a brick and tile maker.
Smedley and Wilson, brick makers ----- 1829 directory of County Derby, page 79

1. 1851 Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England Census, 30 Mar 1851.
7 Rosemary Lane Thomas Smedley Head mar 47 brick and tile maker Notts Stapleford
Elizabeth " wife mar 42 dress maker " Nottingham
Thomas " son 13 Tile maker Yorksh Wadsley."
2. 1841 Wombwell, Darfield, Yorkshire, England Census.
Thomas Smedley 35 Brick Maker
Elizabeth " 30
Eliza " 15
Ruth " 12
Thomas " 3
James Robertshaw 15 M.S.
Thomas Guest 12 M.S."
The George Washington passenger list.
4. Brent Jensen, Calvin Buck Smedley, page 6.
"The Smedley baptisms into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints were noted in the Mansfield Branch records."
5. 1841 Census-- North Clifton Hundred: Newark (North Division) Harby, Nottinghamshire, England , Folio: 8; Page: 8; Line: 13; GSU roll: 438907. Gideon Smedley 30 Ag Lab
Alfred Smedley 6
Reuben Smedley 4
Martha Smedley 50
Matilda Smedley 9
6. 1851 Harby, Nottinghamshire, England Census, Class: HO107; Piece: 2136; Folio: 106; Page: 17; GSU roll: 87766
Martha Smedley 58 head mar nurse
Ruth Smedley 22 dau
Matilda Smedley 2

Friday, July 24, 2009

1915 Tocoma Postcard from Olive to Edward Ahlskog

Last weekend we actually hit three different flea markets. First we went to Ramona in Jacksonville where I found a cute little tea pot for my sister-in-law; she collects them. Second, we went to the Bargain House of Fleas where I found this wonderful postcard. Third, we went to the Pecan Park flea market, also in Jacksonville, where I found the cutest cow salt and pepper shakers; I collect them.

This gal in a booth at the Bargain House of Fleas had a photo album with post cards, greeting cards, and photos. She was only selling them by the piece so I looked through the album until something reached out and grabbed me. This is what grabbed me:

The pretty picture is what caught my attention, but it turns out that Mr. Ahlskog is an interesting fellow.

It took me a little bit to decipher some of the letters, but I finally did it. Here is a transcript of the correspondence:
Mr. Edw. Ahlskog
Rt. 2 Box 91

Tacoma 15-4-15

Dear Brother!
Svea Band is
gone to give a dance at
Wallawalla Saturday night.
The 19 so if you can come
up there and bring me
my letters please.
Any time you feel like
calling me up
my phone number is Main 7989.
Regards from Olive.

Edward was born 5 Jun 1883 in Mustanssari, Finland and died Aug 1966 probably in Port Angeles, Clallam, Washington. He married Regina Swenn Thorsen 1 Dec 1924 in
Clark County, Washington. According to the World War I Draft Registration Edward was the carpenter at the Barbare Brothers Shipyard. The draft card also mentions his sister Olive, but I have not been able to find anything on her.

As far as I can tell, Edward had only one step son.

Apparently Edward was in this Svea band and I found a picture of him.
Here is Svea Band outside building in Tacoma . Edward is the one on the end.

1. U.S. Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1795-1972 ,
"Name: Edward Ahlskog
Age: 55
Birth Date: 5 Jun 1883
Birth Location: Mustanssari, Finland
Spouse: Regina
Arrival Year: 1903
Issue Date: 4 Oct 1938
State: Washington
Locality, Court: Tacoma, District Court
Title: Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 1890-1957
Description: Declarations of intention, 1938-1941, #11001-11200
Series: M1542."

2. 1930 Milton, Pierce, Washington Census, Roll 2510; Page: 6A.
"Name Age
Edward Ahlskog 46 head
Regina Ahlskog 39 wife
Tauno G Thorsen 16 step son."

Maybe there is an Ahlskog family member out there somewhere who would enjoy this family treasure.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday -- My Special Shoe Box

I want to dedicate Thursdays to sharing some of my own family treasures. I would also like to invite you to do the same. To me, family treasures can include a range of things including photos, old letters and post cards, a family heirloom, or even a special memory. And let's not forget about the things we discover while doing research.

Today I would like to share with you some things I found in a shoe box in my grandma's house.

After grandma passed, dad and the aunts and uncle decided to sell the house because no one could afford to do all the repairs that it needed. This was very heart breaking and took me quite a while to get over it. The house was built by my great grandfather. Grandma was born in the little house in the back yard and he started building the two story house in 1900, but it was 1904 when they were able to move in.

The architectural style of the house is Queen Anne, and it is registered in the National Register of Historic Places.

When my father was about 7 grandpa and grandma Smedley bought this house from her step-mother, so dad grew up in this house as well. I have so many wonderful memories there.

Before the house was sold I had an opportunity to go in and gather a few things that no one else had claims on. I was lucky enough to find a shoe box full of old documents, mostly tax deeds.

The above is a stock certificate dated 1908 belonging to my great grandfather Thomas Joynes Smedley. Too bad the company is no longer in business ;)

This is a Declatory Statement dated 1882.

This is an 1882 Deed belonging to my great- grandfather Thomas Joynes Smedley. Imagine only paying 10 1/2 dollars for 4 acres of land.

This is an 1884 Deed.

Wordless Wednesday -- Grandma Smedley

New York Tour -- Last Stop

The Woolworth Building, completed in 1913, stands at a height of 792 feet, 1 inch.
Frank W. Woolworth intended it to be the tallest building in the world.

Frank Winfield Woolworth opened his first "Woolworth's" store in Utica, New York in 1878.

The Woolworth's Five & Dime in Greensboro, North Carolina, is historically significant in the Civil Rights movement.

The Woolworth Five and Dime closed all their doors in 1997.

Click here for a little history on Radio City Music Hall.

Today the largest library is actually the Library of Congress (This is a great site to look through some old newspapers). However, the New York Library is one of the leading public libraries of the world. They also have a digital collection.

Well that is the end of our time with John, Alice, and May.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New York Tour -- Continued

Taipei 101 Tower n Taipei, Taiwan is currently the world's tallest building - if you count its massive 60-foot spire.

You can learn more about the Statue of Liberty here.

I wonder if May meant that she worked around the corner from the church or the Sub_Treasury Building. I wish there were more clues to find out just who May really was.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bridges -- New York City Tour Continued

The George Washington Bridge crosses the Hudson River between Fort Lee, NJ and Upper Manhattan in New York City, constituting a part of I-95.

Here is a time line for the Brooklyn Bridge.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Churches -- New York Tour Continued

The Church of the Transfiguration, dubbed 'The Little Church around the corner' is one of the most famous parishes of the Episcopal Church in the United States. The Church was founded in 1848 by the Rev. Dr. George Hendric Houghton in New York City.

Actors were considered social outcasts at that time (boy how times have changed). In 1870 Joseph Jefferson, famous for his portrayal of Rip Van Winkle, had requested a funeral at another church for fellow actor George Holland. When the Priest learned that Mr. Holland was an actor he refused. Of course Jefferson was stunned by that answer. After a bit of coaxing, The Priest said,"There is a little church around the corner where it might be done." To this Jefferson responded "Then I say to you, Sir, God bless the little church around the corner."

Newspapers of the day reported the incident, Mark Twain even put his two cents in.
Here is an article about the Church in the New York Times.

Who is buried in Grant's Tomb? The answer to this riddle asked regularly by host Groucho Marx on the game show "You Bet Your Life" as a consolation question is "no one."

You can learn more about the St. Patrick's Cathedral here.

Next time we will look at a couple of bridges.
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