Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FamilySearch Server Problem

Has anyone else been having trouble using FamilySearch's pilot site lately?  I went on yesterday to check out all the new databases but haven't been able to get past the home page - I keep getting a server error message.

UPDATE: Nevermind, it seems to have been fixed.

Wordless Wednesday: Basil


Photo privately held by the author, [address for private use], California - April 2010
(c) http://www.shbwgen.blogspot.com/

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Surname Saturday: Riccia

This Surname Saturday is going to be a little different because I know so little about this person.  She is my great-grandmother, (Maria) Nicoletta Riccia or Daccia who is number 11 in my ahnentafel.  What I do know about her:

She was born in Foggia, Apulia, Italy on 25 Feb 1891/2, probably in Vieste.  She married Giuseppe Lapiccirella on 13 Aug 1913 probably in Vieste.  They arrived at Ellis Island on 4 Sep 1920.  They lived in Warren, Trumbull, Ohio for the remainder of their lives.  Giuseppe became Joseph and he died on 8 Aug 1973.  Nicoletta died on 10 Feb 1987.  She is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Warren, Trumbull, Ohio.

I don't believe Nicoletta or Giuseppe or any of their children born in Italy became US citizens (except through marriage), though Giuseppe and one daughter did at least begin the process of naturalizing. 

My grandmother always said her mother's (Nicoletta) maiden name was "Dutchi."  But the nearest I could find to that is Dacci(a).  However, upon closer examination of Nicoletta's arrival record, she lists her name as Riccia.  I don't know who is right, but since it was Nicoletta's last name I'll have to side with her for now and say Riccia.

So that's it, everything I know about my Riccias is summed up above.  I recently order some microfilm and when it comes in I'm hopeful that it will tell me a little more about this mysterious family, until then I wait...

As always, sources available upon request.  If connected PLEASE contact me! 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Transcription: Mott Memoir, Part 12

1 March 1848, the Honolulu Friend announcing recent passenger arrivals.  The Samoset is mentioned at the bottom.

"The American Consul at that time was Mr. Turrill.  His wife was a pleasant lady and his daughter Lizzie a bright interesting girl.  She was about my age and we soon became intimate friends.

Dr. Judd's seemed to be in an intermediate place between the Missionaries and the other set.  Dr. Jud had come to Honolulu as a Missionary but being a man of great ability and force of character had become Prime Minister and was really the head of the government.   He had a handsome house in Nuuana Valley.  His three daughters, Libbie, Nellie and Laura, girls about our ages though not allowed to dance, visited among the society people.  They called on us and were very friendly.  When they heard that Evy and I had never been on horse back, declared we must learn as that was one of the principal amusements in Honolulu.  Accordingly one morning they came back bringing an extra horse and took first Evy and then myself for a ride.  Fanny had been accustomed to riding in Mexico.  The horse was gentle and I was not afraid but enjoyed the ride very much.  We made riding habits and rode out frequently. 

Mr. Baker had a pretty little black horse and as he seldom rode himself he said whenever I wished to ride, I could have his horse.  I soon became very fond of little Dick.  He was both gentle and spirited, he seemed to know me after awhile, and was just the right size for me.  I felt as safe on his back as in a chair.  He was so small when he was in the yard I could put my arms around his neck and hug him.  "Dear little Dick" I wish I could be fourteen again and have a ride on him.

The Missionaries had established a boarding school for the young chiefs, where they were not only educated but taught to dress and behave like civilized people.  Prince Alexander, the heir to the crown, his brother David and Princess Berenice were the most important of these young chiefs at that time.  They were friends of John Dominis and the Judds so we soon became acquainted.  David, afterwards King Kaluakua, was about ten years old then.  I saw him once or twice but did not pay much attention to him.  Princess Berenice was a very pretty girl about sixteen, no darker than some brunettes, with black curls and good features.  Some years afterwards she married a young man named Bishop, and American in business in Honolulu.  I remember meeting him when we were there.  He was quite handsome and generally liked.  Prince Alexander was not quite fifteen, but looked older.  He was tall and well proportioned, not darker than a Mexican, and bright and intelligent.  They all spoke English perfectly and were well mannered.

When some of the young people arranged a picnic in one of the valleys, the Princes' and Princess Berenice were generally of the party.  We all went on horseback and as Prince Alexander had a kind of boyish fancy for me we usually rode together.  The Hawaiians were fearless riders and the chiefs had fine horses.  Once Prince Alexander invited me to go out for a ride with him and brought one of his own horses for me.  It was a beautiful creature, a light bay, glossy as satin and very easy in its gait.  Prince Alexander was betrothed to the little Princess Emma but she was a child about ten years old and he paid no attention to her then.  When he became King they were married.  Queen Emma was a beautiful woman and very popular.

The picnics in the valley were very pleasant.  There were always the same young people with whom we were most friendly.  Miss Kate Pratt, who though unmarried was much older always went with us as a chaperon.  She was a fine rider and very lively and good natured.

Honolulu then was merely a pretty little country town, the houses scattered and surrounded with trees and flowers.  The valleys outside the town were beautiful.  We always started early and by the time the sun was too hot we were in the shade of the trees and we had lunch under the trees.  Once the men cooked a little pig native fashion.  They made a little pit  in the ground, lit a fire and when it had burned down to embers they wrapped the pig in plantain leaves, laid it on a flat stone that had been placed on the embers and covered it with earth.  When taken out it was very tender and nice.  After we had eaten it the boys declared it was a dog, but we would not believe them.  I have never known whether it was a pig or a dog.  However it was so good I suppose it does not matter.

Once when we were having beautiful moonlight nights we thought it would be lovely to ride by moonlight so the next evening we (Evy, Fanny and I) with our escorts, one of whom was Captain Spencer an old sea Captain, stated out early in the evening.  We rode up Nuuanu Valley to the Pali expecting to have the full moonlight light us home, but it grew dark and the moon seemed to have disappeared.  It was so dark we were obliged to ride very slowly as we could hardly see our way.  The air grew quite cool and I felt cold as I wore a linen habit.  Old Captain Spencer took off his coat and in spite of remonstrances insisted on my putting it on.  When we reached the house John came out to help me off the horse and laughed at the funny appearance I made in the coat.  There was a strange gentleman in the parlor.  John held my arm and dragged me in much against my will and introduced me in that absurd costume.  The next day we heard there had been an eclipse of the moon and everybody laughed at us.  Even the Honolulu paper had an article about "A Moonlight Ride."

The King held a reception in the Palace one evening where all the respectable people of Honolulu could assemble and pay their respects to his Majesty and the Queen.  The Palace was a large frame building with a garden and a tall flag post from which fluttered the flag of Hawaii.  We attended the reception and were presented to the royal couple.  I do not remember much about the interior of the Palace except that there was a large room with a slightly raised platform.  I suppose I should say dais, at one end, on which were two handsome arm chairs the King and Queen were seated.  The King wore a gorgeous uniform and the Queen a handsome silk dress, but they looked like dressed up dolls, they seemed so still and uncomfortable.  All our young friends were there and when the Royal couple with some of the older people went to refreshments we remained in the reception room.  Prince Alexander took my hand and leading me up the dais placed me in the Queen's chair.  The other girls laughed and came to salute me as Queen, but I heard a sound as if their Majesties were returning and sprang up in a hurry, so my reign was a short one.  Still I can boat of the great honor of having been placed in a Queen's throne by the Prince Royal."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

104 Years Later

On this day in 1906 a major event happened that not only changed my ancestors lives but also brought a major city to its knees: the San Francisco Earthquake.

"The night of the earthquake, we had spent the night at Grandma Nielsen's [in Alameda, across the Bay from San Francisco]. It took two weeks before we had word of my father. He had sent messages through the Red Cross but we never got them. Father had to live at Golden Gate Park. From Alameda, you could look over to San Francisco and see all the flames. We lived in Alameda a long time [after the earthquake], 3 months at least." - My Great-Grandmother, Gladys V. Healey

She and her parents (Lauren Everett and Katherine) lost everything in the earthquake and subsequent fire.  All that her father was able to save was one of Gladys' dolls. 

In addition to Gladys' family, her grandparents and countless cousins, aunts and uncles lived in San Francisco at the time.  Comfort G. Healey and his wife Mary G. S. Mott (Gladys' grandparents) were there as was Mary's sister, Essie (whose memoir I've been transcribing).  I will write more on Essie's later years once I finish transcribing but suffice to say, this event was just one of many setbacks and tragedies she experienced in later life.  Across the Bay my Bergers in Oakland and Nielsens in Alameda were witness to everything that happened.

Comfort was living at 608 Shotwell (2nd Floor) on the 1905 directory.  Lauren is listed in the directory as living at 103 Welsh (2nd Floor).  A year after the quake in the 1907 directory, Comfort is at 3322 Twentieth (just up the street from where he used to live), while Lauren is at 142 Townsend (which is roughly two blocks from PacBell ATT Park).

I wish I knew more about what happened to my ancestors during and after the quake.  As far as I know no lives were lost in my family, though Lauren and his family had to start over from scratch.  I am glad that they stayed in the city after the quake while so many others left for good and many doubted whether San Francisco could be rebuilt.  In their own small way, I think they (and countless others) helped rebuild the city by staying and going on with their lives. 

Head over to The Research Journal whose author has written two great articles concerning the 1906 earthquake.  Hacienda Circle also has an article up on the quake.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Surname Saturday: Healey

1. Me
2. and 3. My parents
6. and 7. My maternal grandparents

12. Elmer John Shinn
B. 5 Sep 1877, San Joaquin Co., CA; D. 9 Jul 1946, San Joaquin Co., CA
13. Gladys Viola Healey
B. 3 Oct 1898, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; D. 21 Dec 1998, Lodi, San Joaquin, CA

26. Lauren Everett Healey
B. 27 Aug 1873, Newark, Alameda, CA; D. 11 Feb 1959, San Jose, Santa Clara, CA
27. Katherine Nielsen
B. 25 Nov 1875, Mt. Eden, Alameda, CA; D. 12 March 1918, Alameda, Alameda, CA

52. Comfort G. Healey
B. 28 June 1838, Chebogue, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; D. 20 April 1910, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
53. Mary Gertrude Smith Mott
B. 8 Sep 1852, Benicia, Solano, CA; D. 27 July 1927, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

104. Ebenezer Haley
B. 11 Mar 1801, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; D. 7 Dec 1897, Newark, Alameda, CA
105. Mary Lee Scott
B. Feb 1809, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; D. 25 Jan 1893, Newark, Alameda, CA

208. Comfort Haley
B. 1754, Brimfield, Hampden, MA; D. 13 May 1821, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
209. Hannah Ellis (widow Tinkham)
B. 4 Feb 1765, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; D. 17 Jan 1862, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

416. Ebenezer Haley
B. 21 Jan 1709, Rehoboth, Bristol, MA; D. 14 Feb 1777 at sea (residing at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia)
417. Grace Bullen
B. 13 Oct 1727, Brimfield, Hampden, MA; D. ca. 1790

I cut off at Ebenezer Haley, though there is information out there on Ebenezer's father Paul and grandfather, William out there.  The book the Haley and Healey Family Ancestry of Ebenezer Haley, California Pioneer of 1850 by Col. James B. Haley is the one of the best books on the family because of how detailed it is (my mother is even listed in the book!).  For more information on the family, the first place to consult would be this book. 

This Haley/Healey family is the same one fellow genea-bloggers Heather at Nutfield Genealogy and Carol at Reflections From the Fence are connected to. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Transcription: Mott Memoir, Part 11

For previous entries click here.

"Honolulu 1848

Mr. Dominis' house stood a considerable distance back from the street having a carriage way and garden in front.  It was a square frame building with broad piazzas around both the upper and lower stories.  Inside a wide hall ran from the front door to the back, on one side were the parlor and dining room and on the other side two rooms that were sometimes used as bedrooms but were then unoccupied.  Upstairs was another wide hall going across the house with bedrooms opening on it.  All the floors were covered with white matting.  All the long French windows had green outside blinds and everything looked so spotless and cool it was very refreshing in the warm climate.  We were taken to a pretty bedroom and found it extremely pleasant to have so much space to move about and dress in after the little stateroom we had occupied so long.

At dinner we were introduced to Mr. Baker and Mr. Williams, two gentlemen who took their meals with Mrs. Dominis, but did not sleep in the house.  Mr. Baker was a good looking, lively young man and we soon became friendly.  Mr. Williams, though a young man who was so deaf it was difficult to converse with him.  Evy had learned the finger alphabet for the deaf and dumb and could talk to him in that way.  John was only sixteen and he and I were very good friends in a short time.  Mrs. Dominis was so kind and pleasant we soon felt quite at home.  Mr. Brewer's house was quite near and Uncle Charlie came to see us most every day.  The house, the garden, and the climate were all charming, but we were anxious about out mother.  It was two weeks after our arrival when John came back from the office one morning and said the ship was coming in.  We became very excited.  I ran upstairs and out on the piazza from which we had a glimpse of the harbor, hoping to see the ship but I could not distinguish it at that distance.  I ran down again to ask John more questions.  He said it would be some hours before she anchored and her passengers could come ashore.  John went to the wharf to meet my mother and bring her and the children to the house.  At last we saw the buggy (which John had procured somewhere, there were only a few in Honolulu at that time) coming through the gate.  Our mother and little Matilda were in the buggy while Fanny and the Mexican nurse girl with the baby were in one of the native carts.  As I ran down the steps to meet them I heard Fanny exclaim "Is that Essie?" in the most astonished way.  If she was surprised at my appearance, I was equally so at hers, though only eleven years old her dress came to her feet, the waist low in the neck with the waist line almost under her arms.  She wore a large old-fashioned bonnet of red silk and her hair was rolled up on her head.  I still had short skirts with the pantelettes that all young girls wore at that time.  My hair was braided and tied with ribbons.  I still looked like a child.  I suppose Fanny expected me to be a young lady.  I was delighted to see my mother again, but she did not look exactly as I remember her.  She had lost her bright complexion and was quite pale and her hair, which she had worn in short curls on her forehead was now plain and smooth.  But after a few days I became used to her appearance.  I suppose she must have been anxious about us and wondering how we would appear after our long separation.  Four years at my age had changed me from a little child to a girl, almost grown.  I was pleased to hear her say I was much prettier than she had expected me to be.  I had not thought before of my own looks.  I had never imagined myself pretty.  I was used to hearing people speak of me as a sweet child and supposed they only said that because I was not pretty and they wanted to say something nice.  I must have improved in appearance during the voyage for I was surprised when people in Honolulu seemed to think me pretty.

My little sister Matilda (she was not called Tilly until she went to school) was a beautiful child, she was about three years old, her hair of golden brown, curled in soft rings around her head.  Her eyes were deep blue and her features almost perfect.  I was charmed, but found it difficult to talk to her as she could not speak English and I only a few words of Spanish.  She had named herself "Maniche."  No one knew why and she was called by that name for some time. 

When mother saw how odd Fanny looked compared with other girls she made her some dresses like mine and braided her hair in a girlish way.  She was quite pretty then but not nearly as handsome as she was at sixteen.  Our mothers dresses were of handsome material but little out of style.  She had a big old-fashioned bonnet but fortunately we had brought some with us for mother and Fanny.  Aunt Clara had foreseen they might be useful.

The people in Honolulu at that time were divided in two sets.  The Missionaries who disapproved of dancing and of course never went to parties.  The other set were composed of Consuls of different countries and the business men, with their families.  There were few young ladies in the town then so we were quite an acquisition.  Evy being seventeen was really entitled to be considered as such but, Fanny and I though so young were invited to all the parties and had as many partners as if we were quite grown up.

___________________________________
The Dominis family mentioned in Essie's memoir is the same Heather over at Nutfield Genealogy has written about extensively.  Heather is related to the Dominis family through her aunt who is the very same Mrs. Dominis mentioned in Essie's memoir!  Small world isn't it?!

Heather and I are also related in another way:  Essie's sister Mary Gertrude Smith Mott was married to Comfort Gordon Healey (they were my 3rd great-grandparents), a cousin of Joseph Edwin Healy (Heather's 4th great-grandfather).  Our shared Haley ancestor being Comfort Haley (1754-1821) of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  Comfort was married twice, first to Abigail Allen (1753-1795) who is Heather's ancestor, and second to Mrs. Hannah Ellis Tinkham (1765-1862) who is my ancestor.

My Aunt shared Essie's story with Heather not long ago and since then Heather has been making our ancestors proud by sharing it with fellow Dominis descendants and the people of Hawaii.  I'm jealous that Heather will be going to Hawaii soon and will get to see all the places mentioned in Essie's memoir, including Washington Place where the Dominis family lived and welcomed Essie and Evy in 1848.   Be sure to check out Heather's wonderful posts on the Dominis family and Hawaii over at her blog Nutfield Genealogy.  This collaboration of posts was Heather's idea and I would like to thank her for coming up with it and for being so patient with me as I slowly transcribed and got  my act together.  This has been so much fun that I hope we'll be able to do some sort of collaboration again some day.

Transcription: Mott Memoir, Part 10

For previous entries, click here.

"As there were three Ministers on board we had service every Sunday morning, each minister taking his turn.  When the day was clear Mr. Foote had an awning put up over the quarter deck and seats arranged.  The capstan covered with a flag was the pulpit.  As the Ministers were Presbyterian the service was very simple and no prayer books were required.  Mr. Atkinson had a good voice and led the singing and most of the others could join him pretty well.  The crew attended these services and most of the passengers, so there was quite a small congregation.  Evy and I were used to going to Church regularly, so it seemed only right and proper to spend Sunday in that way.

The weather was fine most of the time and there were no exciting adventures.  One day the crew caught a porpoise which was an object of much interest to the passengers.  I felt sorry for the great fish as it flopped about on the deck but when we had some cooked for dinner it was a welcome change from our usual flare.  The men caught a shark also but none of the passengers would eat that, though I believe the crew was not so fastidious.

One evening about twilight when I came on deck there was no one in sight but Mr. Foote who approached in a mysterious manner saying "Hush" with his finger on his lip.  He took my arm and led me along the deck without speaking.  I was much surprised but went quietly until we came to the cook's galley where, sitting on the deck leaning against the side of the galley, were a row of men asleep.  "Look at those sleeping beauties" he whispered, then pointing to a rope twisted around a belaying pin he told me to unfasten it, as I did so a sail came down with a rush on top of the men who sprang up astonished.  It was very funny to see their bewildered faces and the look of consternation with which they regarded Mr. Foote.  I do not know what he said as I retired to the quarter deck, but I knew he was not angry, though it was a crime to go to sleep when on watch.  It was a clear quiet night.  The ship was sailing steadily and there was nothing for them to do.  It was a queer notion to have me wake them in that way but he was a queer man, perhaps that was one reason why I liked him.

As we came near the Equator the weather became so warm it was often too hot to stay long on deck in the daytime but the nights were lovely.  I wish I could describe the beauty of these evenings when the moon seemed to make a path of silver across the sea that moved so quietly.  The waves were only ripples or when the phosphorous sparkled in the water like specks of fire.  We often remained on deck till very late, it was too beautiful to leave.  After a while the weather turned cooler and as we approached Cape Horn, became quite cold and we had to wear thick coats and hoods but unless it was raining I still wished to be on deck.  I remember coming out one afternoon when Mr. Foote said it was too cold for me.  I begged him to let me stay out as I was very tired of the cabin, so saying "I'll fix you" he brought out one of his own coats and buttoned me up in it.  It came down to my knees and was so tight over my skirts I must have looked very funny.  Every one laughed when they saw me, but I not care.  If I had been older I suppose I would not have worn it.

One night I was awakened by the ship rolling so violently I almost fell out of the berth.  The rolling continued for several minutes so I had to hold onto the side of the berth to keep in.  There was a splash of water and I heard Mrs. Kinney scream.  Her stateroom was near the companionway and a wave had rushed down and into the doorway of her room.  Some of the sailors came down to wipe it up and as they laughed I knew we could not be in any danger so I was not frightened.  That was the only storm we had and that did not last long.  It must have been a sudden squall.  We reached Cape Horn about Christmas and by New Year's came around with all sails set.  The weather was clear there, no snow nor any sign of icebergs.  We were very fortunate as Cape Horn is such as dangerous place many ships have been wrecked there and other detained for weeks by contrary winds.

It was now 1848 and we were on the Pacific instead of the Atlantic.  As we came up the weather became warmer and we could remain on deck longer.  We amused ourselves sometimes when the deck was even enough by playing shuffle board.  Squares were marked on the deck with chalk, a number in each square.  The carpenter made some smooth round pieces of wood, like large checkers.  We were divided into two parties and all sat on deck and took turns in sliding the boards into the squares.  The numbers were added and the side that counted highest won.  Even the Ministers played and seemed to enjoy it as well as anybody.

As the days went by we began to feel that we were drawing nearer and nearer to Honolulu.  While on the other side it seemed to far off to even think of, but now when we realized it might be only a few weeks more, we became interested and excited.  One effect of these was an exchange of verses written in each others albums.  Evy had one but I did not have mine then.  Kate wanted me to write in hers and as I did not remember anything suitable I resolved to compose some verses myself and succeeded in producing that lines that are in the album her daughter sent me after her death.  Kate was pleased and said they were good for a little girl.  Even Mr. Foote caught the poetical fever and presented me with some original verses with a lead pencil on a piece of paper.  They were so odd I kept them for many years but now cannot find them.  I am going to write them here they are so unique.  Poor little man.  I believe these lines were more sincere than others I have much more elegant.  (Mr. Foote was killed a few years afterwards, he was mixed up in the Chinese war in some way.)
Now Dear Essie I impart
These few lines from my heart
You are bound to a foreign isle
On your parents for to smile
You have left friends far behind
But not such friends as you will find
Your father and mother on you will smile
When they behold their darling child.

The barque Samoset bears you on
By the help of one who loves you long
And when it comes that we must part
The tears will come from his fond heart
Now Dear Essie I must conclude
If these few lines do you amuse
Just put them in a book for me
That when I'm gone you'll think of me.
J. Foote
The weather had become quite warm, there was so little wind we scarcely moved, when a ship came in sight and signaled she wanted to speak to us.  As we lay to a boat came along side and a man came on deck.  He told our Captain they were short of water and asked if he could let them have some but Captain Hollis refused, saying he had only enough to last us to Honolulu.  The man was much disappointed, but Captain Hollis was firm and the boat went back without water.  Mr. Foote was highly indignant (in an aside to me he called the Captain cruel and heartless.) For some reason that I did not understand he disliked the Captain.  I was sorry for the men.  I hope they obtained water somewhere.  I suppose our Captain was right for as the calm continued he kept us on an allowance.  We could drink what we needed during the day but could only have a small amount in our staterooms.  It seems odd we could have had such a small supply of water.  We made an unusually quick voyage.  If we had been out five months as was often the case we might have suffered for want of it.

One day not long after this incident the look-out reported land in sight and we soon came to a beautiful green island, which the Captain thought at first to be Juan Fernandez, but on consulting his chart decided was Masafuera, a small island.  There was little wind so the sea was smooth.  We went as near as was safe and lay-to while the Captain sent a boat ashore to look for water.  After a short stay they returned not finding any water nor signs of inhabitants, so we went our way.  This was the first land we had seen since leaving Boston, except the top of a barren rock near Cape Horn which we thought quite interesting.  It was clear, fine day when we passed it but if there had been a storm it might have been a dangerous neighbor. 

We were now so near Honolulu I began to think of mother and long to see her.  We expected to find her there when we arrived and as we were becalmed again I became very impatient and to relieve my feelings wrote some astonishing verses dedicated to my mother.  I read them over when I was older and laughed, they were so tragic, a childish imitation of Byron.  I had been reading some of his poetry.

The calm continued for two or three days.  We hardly moved.  One day the current took us a mile backwards but at last a breeze sprang up and the Captain said if it lasted during the night we might arrive the next day.  We gathered together all our possessions and everything we did not actually need and took out some of our shore clothes that had been laid away during the voyage.  The blue chests were packed again and we were ready to go when the time came.  We made good progress during the night and some time the next day land was sighted.

How beautiful it looked as we drew near.  First the green hills appeared, then the houses and the vessels in the harbor.  We were all assembled on deck, glad and excited and yet half sorry.  Our voyage had been an extremely pleasant one.  There had been no storms, no sickness nor accidents of any kind.  If I could be a child again and have the same companions I would enjoy having it over again.  No where in my long life have I met kinder people and nicer women than those Missionaries.  In fact everyone had been pleasant and nice to us, except Bartlett and he was only a foolish boy.  As our anchor went down a boat came out from the shore and among those who came on deck was a young man who was introduced to us as John Dominis, son of the lady we were to stay with while in Honolulu.

We were much disappointed when we heard the vessel with our mother had not arrived yet.  The Samoset had made such a short voyage we had reached the Islands first.  However she would probably come in a few days so there was no use fretting about her.  We were to go with John to Mrs. Dominis house where she was expecting us.

Captain Brewer's nephew who lived in Honolulu came on board also to welcome his Uncle and Miss Pratt who was his wife's sister.


The Samoset was so high above the water now, all the women were lowered into the boat in a chair attached to ropes.  This was the first time I had seen this done as when we came on board at Boston she was close to the docks and we went up the steps on the side.  It seemed funny to me to be hoisted up over the bulwarks and let down like a bale of goods.

When we reached the landing our little ships company dispersed, some of the resident Missionaries took our friends to their homes.  Uncle Charlie and Kate accompanied Mr. Brewer to his home and John took charge of us.  Mrs. Dominis received us in such a friendly manner we soon felt quite at home with her.  She was a short stout woman, not pretty but with a pleasant expression.  Her husband Captain Dominis, an Italian by descent, was master of a sailing vessel which left Honolulu almost two years before and had not been heard of since.  It was generally supposed that ship and crew were lost, but Mrs. Dominis would not believe it.  She said they might have been wrecked on some island out of the usual track of ships and be waiting for a chance to get away.  Nothing was ever heard of them that I know of.

Now having arrived safely at our destination we bid good-bye to the good barque Samoset."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Surname Saturday: Berger

1. Me

2. and 3. My parents

6. and 7. My maternal grandparents

14. Gideon Gottlieb Berger
B. 11 Oct 1885, Wabash Co., IN; D. 29 Nov 1965, Lodi, San Joaquin, CA
15. Georgiana Wellons
B. 29 Apr 1891, the CA/OR border; D. 26 Sep 1985, Lodi, San Joaquin, CA

28. John W. Berger/Barger
B. 17 Aug 1841, German Twp., Marshall, IN; D. 12 Dec 1891, Oakland, Alameda, CA
29. Susanna vonAllmen
B. 9 Feb 1849, Olney, Richland, IL; D. 11 June 1932, Stockton, San Joaquin, CA

56. Michael Henry Barger
B. 2 July 1788, Rinnthal, Rhenish Palatinate, Bavaria; D. 2 Sep 1871, Bremen, Marshall, IN
57. Fredricka/Fredrica Matz
B. 26 Dec 1793, Rinnthal, Rhenish Palatinate, Bavaria; D. 4 April 1868, Bremen, Marshall, IN

I've wondered for years if John was adopted or really Michael and Fredricka's biological child.  The reason I have suspicions is because if he were their biological child, Fredricka would have been 47 when she had him.  Now, I know that isn't out of the realm of possibility but usually there is a little help from science when you see that sort of thing.  I've been told, however, by people who have seen the family documents, that there isn't so much as a hint of adoption (though it is possible that they kept it a secret).  Another odd thing is that Michael and Fredricka list their birth years as being around 1800 and 1802 respectively in the 1850 census. 

Sources available upon request except for living people.  If you have any information on or think you might be related to any of the people above, please contact me.

Transcription: Mott Memoir, Part 9

For previous entries, click here.

The previous entry ends the "School" section of the memoir, this post begins "The Samoset" section.

"We left Boston on the 23rd of October 1847.  I had just passed my thirteenth birthday.  It was a clear bright day and we all remained on deck for awhile watching the sailors raise the anchor and hoist the sails.  Evy and I had never been on a ship before and everything was new and interesting, but when we came to the gulf stream the sea became became rough and the ship rolled so much most of the passengers were glad to seek the seclusion that a cabin grants.  The deck looked to me like the side of a house.  I remember clinging desperately to somebody who helped me down the companionway to our little stateroom.  Anne had made up the berths and laid out our night clothes and toilet articles and had done all she could to make us comfortable.  We undressed and crawled into our berths where we remained for several days.

While the passengers are groaning in their cabin it will be a good time to introduce the ship's company.  The Barque Samoset was a new vessel, this being her first trip, consequently she was very clean and there were no rats nor insects to trouble us.  She was commanded by Captain Hollis, a tall good looking man of gentlemanly appearance.  The Captains of the merchant sailing ships of that date were a very different class of men from those of the present time.  They were well educated and well mannered.  As there were few steamers, the sailing vessels often carried passengers and a brutal swearing, drunken Captain as they are portrayed in books and papers now could not have kept his position.

There were ten passengers besides ourselves, but all, even Captain Brewster were Strangers to us, but we were used to meeting different people on our vacations and were disposed to be friendly to everyone.  As we had always met with kindness, we naturally expected it now and we were not disappointed for our father could not have found a pleasanter, more kindly natured man than Uncle Charles as he told us to call him and we soon became so attached to him it seemed as if he were really our Uncle.  He was about fifty years old and lame from an accident that had injured his foot when a young man at sea.  He was part owner of the Samoset and had charge of the cargo.  His niece Miss Kate Pratt who accompanied him was a pleasant young lady of twenty-five of six.

There were five Missionaries, Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson, Mr. and Mrs. Kinney and Mr. Samuel Dwight.  Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson seemed rather superior to the others.  Mr. Atkinson was a tall handsome man with a well bred agreeable manner.  He was a graduate of an Eastern College and was going to Oregon.  He spent most of his time studying the Indian dialect.  His wife was a delicate interesting woman, not pretty, though she had beautiful black eyes, but with something so gentle and refined in her appearance I thought her charming.  Mrs. Kinney was a pretty young woman about twenty-five, very lively and good natured.  She and I became very good friends.  Mr. Kinney was so slow and dull I wondered how she came to marry him.

Mr. Dwight was a man between thirty-five and forty, rather small and delicate in appearance, he seemed some what interested in me and wanted me to read French History with him and sometimes when it was too wet to stay on deck I would sit with him and hear about the Revolution.  I was interested in that, but I could not understand French politics.

There were three young men, Mr. Stone who had been ill with rheumatic fever and was sent to sea to benefit his health and Mr. Bartlett a handsome boy about seventeen.  He was the only one of the passengers I did not like.  He used to tease me dreadfully at first, throwing cushions at me, pulling off my hair ribbons and in many other ways.  Uncle Charlie told me to keep away from him as much as I could and after awhile he left me alone.  The other young man, George Wood was half Hawaiian, with the dark skin and jet black hair of his mother's race, but his features were good and he was well dressed and well mannered.  He had been educated at an Eastern Boarding School and was returning to his native home.  One of my greatest friends was the first mate, Mr. Foote.  I wish I could draw a picture of this man, he was so homely he was almost grotesque he was not much taller than I was, his legs were very short but his shoulders and arms might have belonged to a good sized man.  He seemed to be made with steel springs for he could jump up to the bulwarks like a cat, his features were very plain and his black hair looked like bristles.  It seems strange that with my love of beauty I should have been so friendly with this man but somehow I did not mind his ugliness, he was very kind to me and I liked to be with him when it was his watch on deck.  He taught me the names of the sails and some of the ropes and to tell the time by the ship's bell.  Rough and common looking as he was, more like and ordinary sailor than an officer, he must have had the instincts of a gentleman for never when I was with him did he use profane language or say anything unfit for a girl to hear.

There was one member of the crew who looked so different from the other that he attracted the attention of the passengers.  He was extremely handsome with the appearance of a gentleman, quite young, about eighteen.  The Captain said his name was Benjamin F. Butler, he was the son of a well known Boston lawyer and having gotten into trouble at College his father had sent him to sea.  When there was so much said about General Benjamin F. Butler at the time of the Civil War I suppose that he was General Butler's son but I was told recently that General Butler had no son so I suppose this young man probably was his nephew, anyway he had the same name.

I think we have been in our berths long enough and it is time we came on deck.  I don't know how long it was, I was too sick to think of anything.  The ship rolled and pitched, the beams creaked, I felt like the girl in the song, "Oh' Mr. Captain stop the ship I want to get out and walk."

At last the rolling was not so bad, Uncle Charlie came to the door and said it was a fine day and if we came on deck the air would do us good.  With a great effort we dressed and crawled up the companionway to the Captain's cabin which opened on the deck and was a comfortable place with cushioned seats down each side below the windows, a table stood in the middle screwed to the floor as most of the furniture was.  Everything was spotless and shining.  Soon most of the invalids joined us.  We were a pale woe-begone set, but after we had eaten something we felt better and in a few days were quite recovered.  We soon became used to the motion of the ship so it no longer troubled us and could walk the deck even when it was like the side of a hill.  Sometimes when on the same tack for several days we would become used to that slope so when it was changed and the slant was the other way it was hard to balance at first.  When I heard the call "All hands 'bout ship," I liked to watch them though I had to keep out of the ways.  There was much running about, flapping of sails, pulling of ropes and shouting of orders until the change was made and everything ship shape again.  We had fine weather as we drew near the Tropics and I spent most of my time on deck.  Evy and Uncle Charlie became much attached to each other.  At times his lame foot was painful and he was obliged to lay down.  Evy would sit by him and read to him.  I think she loved him as if he were her father, she had never known her own and no father could have been kinder.  As he was one of the owners of the Samoset his state room was on the deck, opening off the cabin like the Captain's.  He also had his meals with the Captain.  The passengers berths and dining table were on the deck below where temporary accommodations had been arranged for the voyage to Honolulu were most of the passengers would leave the ship which would go on to China.  There eight little estate rooms, four in a row, back to back down the middle of the deck, near the stern.  Each one with two berths, a wash stand fastened to the floor.  A long bench with a cushioned top that opened like a trunk and seat combined.  There were no doors but heavy curtains across the door way.  A wide passage way went down each side with a large open space at the end where a long table was fastened to the floor.  When the colored steward, who waited on the passengers set the table for meals a wooden frame was put on, divided  into squares just large enough to hold a plate or dish.  A necessary precaution to prevent them from sliding about the table.  Our accommodations were not luxurious but they were clean and comfortable.  There was plenty of light from the port holes down the side and windows in the stern.  We used the Captain's cabin whenever we wished as a sitting room.  After we had been at sea for some time the Captain said we might meet homeward bound ships and we had letters ready so they could be sent.  We all began writing and not long after our letters were finished and made into a packet, a ship was sighted.  The weather was clear and the sea calm, the vessels approached each other as near as they could with safety and lay to.  The two Captains stood on the bulwarks and conversed with trumpets.  The stranger was an American ship bound for Boston.  Her Captain agreed to take charge of the letters which were sent on board and we went our separate ways."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Follow Friday: Names

I subscribe to the weekly NEHGS e-newsletter (the e-newsletter is free to everyone and I recommend it) and mentioned in this week's issue was a name equivalency site from the USGenWeb.  The site offers the foreign equivalent of English names in the following languages: Czechoslovakian, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovakian, Russian (inc. Georgian and Ukrainian) and Yiddish (Hebrew and Jewish).  I wish Scandinavian languages were included but as it is it is still a real genealogical treasure I had previously not known about. 

For example, I looked up my grandmother's name.  She was born in the US but her parents primarily just spoke Italian so I find it hard to believe they called her by the Anglicanized version of her name.  Italian forms listed include Gia, Giovanna, Nina and Gianvannetta.

Another site I really like that has to do with names is Behind the Name because of how thorough and detailed all the names are. 

I know Follow Friday is about spreading the blog love, but I'm expanding it to included favorite online resources (at least for this week).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Mistake, You're Nothing Alike

I'm sorry, but if you invite me into your house I'm going to make a bee-line for the old family photos, that's just a fact of life and if you were to come to my house I'd understand perfectly if you were to do the same.  And what's more, if the resemblance between the descendant next to me and the ancestor in the picture is striking, I'll point it out.  I'm always proud whenever someone tells me I have grandma's eyes or my mother's smile so I always just assume the same with others and nine times out of ten I'm right.

Then the conversion segways into genealogy and a good time is had by all.  Unless, that is, you're that one person out of ten.  A few months ago I was having dinner with a friend who was showing me some pictures on her phone of her recent visit with her 90+ year old mother.  The resemblance was striking, so I pointed it out.  Boy was that a mistake.  I don't really know how telling someone they look like their mother is insulting but to that friend it was.  "So you're telling me I look like a ninty-something year old woman?! Gee, thanks a ton!" was the response I got.  Then a few weeks ago I was in a neighbor's home and noticed a beautiful black and white portrait from around the turn of the Century.  It was a great-grandparent and the resemblance between her and the neighbor was eerie it was so similar.  I casually mentioned how closely the neighbor resembled the beautiful lady in the portrait and was met with a cold stare and "so you think I look like a dead person?!" for a response.

I don't understand, if all you see is a "dead person" in the portrait then why are you displaying it (and so prominently at that)?  Is it just meant to be a decoration piece (that was the impression I was left with)?  Because using ancestors to add finish to a room is a new one to me.  And going back to my friend, how vain do you have to be to be insulted by a physical likeness between yourself and your parent?  In her defense, she and her mother didn't have the warmest relationship.  But still, for her to deduce that I thought she looked old (which was the furthest thing from what I meant) by noting her resemblance to her mother was shocking to me. 

My point is this, these are also the people that don't "get it." They hear genealogy and always say things along the lines of "why would you want to learn about a bunch of dead people?" and "what is the point of looking into all that old stuff?"  I recently read a wonderful article over at Tracing the Tribe in which Schelly offers a great response to someone who clearly doesn't "get it" and what is more, goes so far as to claim genealogists are narcissists and ego-maniacal.  Sorry, but I think non-genealogists are WAY more egotistical, self-involved and narcissistic.  How else do you explain people who can't see past their own generation, who use pictures of their ancestors purely for their decorative value and who feel insulted when you note a resemblance between them and an aged parent?

UPDATE: Be sure and check out Chris' wonderful (and hilarious) response to the same article. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Just The Perfect Blendship

Have you ever known someone who was really nice and enjoyable to be around but drives you crazy?  I have and its name is NARA.  First of all, let me just say that whenever I've had to correspond with anyone at NARA (and that has been quite a bit over the last few months) I've been met with nothing but friendly, helpful people and they always get back to me with lighting fast promptness.  They are also offering a wonderful service to genealogists (especially those who live on the other side of the country from DC, like me) and I try to keep sight of that.  But...

I am so done with this never ending saga and if I never hear or see the letters "NARA" again I can die happy.  Don't even get me started with the whole pension mess, the months of waiting, the lost order, their eServices site which always seems to be down, the Cherokee Enumeration record that bizarrely just showed up in my shopping cart one day and refused to go away, the fact that they never update my order status, that week last month where I couldn't order anything because they kept saying my address was wrong (sorry, but I think I would know better than you do where I live), all the times I've submitted an order and been given an error message only to find out that it was submitted just fine, the wrong record that was mailed to me which I now have to mail back, the fact that they still list canceled and negative orders as outstanding and in their queue, the...

Sorry, that fade out was my head exploding.  In short, imagine everything that could possibly go wrong and it has probably happened to me.  I think it has literally gotten to the point where they go "not her again!" whenever they get an e-mail from me.  And if I had to venture a guess, they are probably as sick of me and that pesky John Berger I keep harassing them about as I am of them.  And you know what?  That is just fine with me, but I want the ancestors and the beach front condo in the divorce settlement.

By the way, if you don't get the title of this post (I think it summarizes things well):

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ancestor Approved Award

I just found out Carol from the great Reflections from the Fence has been kind enough to pass this award on to me.   Thank you, Carol! 

The rules say I am to list 10 things I have learned about my ancestors that have surprised, humbled or enlightened me and then pass the award on to 10 other genealogy bloggers who I feel are doing their ancestors proud.

What Has Surprised Me:
1. That my paternal and maternal family trees couldn't be more opposite.  My father's family has only been in the US for a short time for the most part and the one branch that was here before the Revolutionary War were Loyalists who went to Canada for over a hundred years before coming back.  While in my mother's family you'll find Mayflower passengers and families that came to this country, for the most part, in the 1600s.

2. That my California roots run so deep.  All of my maternal lines were in California well before 1900, some even before the Gold Rush.  Perhaps that's why I love this crazy, messed up place so much (except in the summer, this place is a real arm-pit from May to September!).

3. That I've got Quakers coming out the wazoo.  I've mentioned my frustration over the lack of Revolutionary War Patriots in my family tree before and those pesky Friends are a big reason why! 

4. That not ONE family legend has turned out true.  There have been quite a few and I wasn't expecting many of them to have much truth in them, but I am surprised that not a one in any branch of my family has turned out to have more than a shred (if that) of truth to it. 

What Has Humbled Me:
5. The courage, strength and perseverance my immigrant ancestors had.  I was especially touched when I found out about my great-grandmother who came to this country from Italy with her husband and three small children.  They knew absolutely no English (in fact, until the day she died, her grasp of the language was tenuous at best), coming to a strange land, enduring a long uncomfortable voyage and uncertain about their future here and all while she was roughly seven months pregnant.

6. The sacrifices my ancestors made for this country and for future generations.  From the war veterans to the farmers who toiled in their fields to the blue-collar everymen just trying to make a living, thank you.

7. The generosity of my relatives who were kind enough to encourage and share their genealogical treasures, knowledge and insights with me.  Words cannot even begin to express my appreciation for all they have done and shared with me.

8.  In addition to the generosity of my relatives, I am humbled by the generosity of all the librarians, government officials, record keepers, bloggers, volunteers and all-around nice people I've come across who have provided resources, support, information, and records.  They aren't in my family tree but I would count myself blessed if they were.

What Has Enlightened Me:
9. Trial and error.  And believe me, in all the time I've been doing genealogy, that has been A LOT of trial and error.  I think it has made me a more patient person and someone who knows the value in looking at the details.

10. The internet.  While only about 50% (at best) of the genealogy records I have I've gotten online, the internet has connected me to repositories, people, societies, archives, and many other off-line resources I would not have otherwise known about.

I'm not very good about passing on awards.  For one, by the time I get around to passing them on everyone already has it and for another, I always feel like a horrible person whenever I play favorites.  But I also realize what a cop-out it is to not pass it along.  Plus, I know how nice it feels to get an award (or really any kind of recognition) and all these blogs are very deserving:

1. Nutfield Genealogy (in addition to being a great blogger, she's also a cousin of mine!)
2. Tangled Trees
3. Highway 99 (a fellow Central Valley native!)
4. Granny's Genealogy (we share a lot of research interests and I've been loving her recent posts on Michigan land records)
5. It's All Relative
6. Mikkel's Hus
7. Hacienda Circle
8. GreatGreats
9. A Rootdigger
10. me and my ancestors

I tried not to pass on this award to blogs that had already gotten it, but there are a few who I think will be getting it for a second because of me.  I am a fan of each of these blogs, some are new to me while others are long-time favorites.  If you don't follow these blogs than you are missing out!  Be sure to visit them and add them to your blog reader or hit the "follow" button.  If you are the author of one of the blogs above, be sure to grab your award (the graphic) above.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

SNGF: George Washington and I

A little bit of genealogy fun just went up over at Staats Place and I wanted to try my hand at it.  Here are my degrees of separation from George Washington.

1.  I knew my great-grandmother (Gladys Viola Healey Shinn) until her death in 1998 just before my eleventh birthday.
2.  Gladys Viola Healey Shinn knew her grandmother, Mary Gertrude Smith Mott Healey until Mary's death in 1927 when Gladys was 28.
3.  Mary Gertrude Smith Mott Healey knew her father, Isaac Thomas Mott until his death in 1860 when she was 7.
4.  Isaac Thomas Mott knew his grandmother's (Anne Coles Mott) brother, Jesse Coles until Isaac moved to Mexico around the time Jesse died.
5.  Jesse Coles served directly under George Washington and was a close confident and spy for him for the duration of the war.

UPDATE: Just found out this is also this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Surname Saturday: Lapiccirella

1. Me

2. and 3. My parents

4. and 5. My paternal grandparents

10. Giuseppe Lapiccirella*
B. 2 Aug 1888, Vieste, Foggia, Apulia, Italy; D. 8 Aug 1973, Warren, Trumbull, OH
11. Nicoletta Unknown**
B. 25 Feb 1892, Foggia, Apulia, Italy; D. 10 Feb 1987, Warren, Trumbull, OH

20. Matteo Lapiccirella
B. Unk., Italy; D. Unk. (prob. before 1920), Italy
21. Carmella Scarnia[?]
B. Unk., Italy; D. Unk., Italy

*There are multiple alternate spellings for Lapiccirella, including, Lapicirella, Lapicirela, Lapicerella, Lapicceralla, etc. 

** I originally thought her maiden name was Dacci or Daccia because it is a fairly common last name in Foggia and because it is close to "Dutchi," the name my grandmother told me was her mother's maiden name.  In looking closely at their passenger manifest, however, it appears her maiden name was Riccia (also a common name in Foggia).  Since there is conflicting information on her maiden name, I am leaving it as 'unknown' right now.

New finds are marked in red.  I got these names from their son Nicola's obituary just recently.  The lack of Scarnias in Foggia and minor typos in the obituary make me wonder as to the spelling of Carmella's last name which is why it is marked with a question mark after it.

Sources available upon request except for living people.  If you have information on or think you might be connected to any of the people mentioned above, please contact me.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Follow Friday: Ask Olive Tree

While Olive Tree Genealogy is a great website, this shout-out goes to the blog Ask Olive Tree a Genealogy Question, also run by Lorine McGinnis Schulze.  Where do I begin when it comes to that blog?  I could start by mentioning the fact that every time I read one of her posts I learn something valuable.  I could start by mentioning the fact that she always addresses questions that most any regular researcher would ask.  I could start by mentioning that through her posts, I've gotten obituaries, vital records, and about a hundred other things that have helped my research immeasurably.  I could start by pointing out the fact that Lorine always answers my questions even before I've had a chance to ask them (in fact, I've never submitted a question to her because by the time I've thought of one I discover she has already addressed it or something similar).

I know where I'll start, I'll start by stating the obvious: when a new post goes up on her blog, it pretty much makes my day.  It also, more often than not, ends up dictating where and how I'll be spending my research time that day.

I've broken down long standing brick walls thanks to Lorine's blog and I've made significant head-way on other, still standing brick walls to the point where I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.  I can't say that about any other blog I follow (though I love them all) and it is because of that that I want Ask Olive Tree Genealogy A Question to be my first Follow Friday post.  If you don't follow this blog, you are really missing out (and so is your genealogy research). 

Here is a perfect case in point, from the most recent blog post on the "Meaning of Markings on Ships' Passenger Lists."   I'd been looking at my great-grandparents passenger list for years.  I'd even noticed the little scribbles all over them.  But, I'd always written them off as nothing but bureaucratic this and that.  I never gave them much mind until someone wrote in asking as to their meaning.  An hour later, I had both my great-grandfather's and his daughter's (my grandmother's sister) naturalization information.  Turns out that is EXACTLY what those little scribbles were.  I haven't been able to find their naturalization papers anywhere, but thanks to that little post I now have their application numbers, an idea as to where they applied and the dates when they applied.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What Would You Do?

So, I'm officially batting 0-2 when it comes to ordering from NARA.  After the whole pension debacle, I decided to order a compiled military service file from NARA for my John Berger.  Now, my John Berger/Barger served in Company K in the 29th Indiana Infantry.  I was VERY careful to include this fact when I ordered his military file because there was also a John A. Berger who served in Company A in the 29th Indiana Infantry.  Can you guess which one they sent me and charged me $25 for?  Go ahead, guess.  Yup, the wrong one.  The one for the John A. Berger who served in Co. A.  Thanks, NARA - you shouldn't have... really.

Now my problem is that I want to contact NARA and tell them of their mistake and request a new search (which I think I'm entitled to considering I SPECIFICALLY STATED the Company he was in and they, um, ignored that) BUT, I'm a little worried because my John Berger/Barger only shows up in the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (and in the pension index).  Since he doesn't seem to be listed in any other databases for Civil War soldiers, should I just swallow my RAGE disappointment and accept that they might not have his compiled military service file (though there isn't any reason why they shouldn't) or should I call them and rip them a new one explain their error in the hopes of getting a new search?  What would you do?