Saturday, July 15, 2017

Winchell Family Reunion!

I have almost achieved another goal of my family research, attending a family reunion, and I didn't even have to put it together.

My Aunt Kate has told me more than once that her father always wondered what happened to everyone else in the family.  I won't say that's what compelled me to research my family, but it was probably a contributing factor.

It wasn't until I was fully adult that I met someone outside my immediate family with the same last name.  I started researching my family in earnest in 1994, finding out where the family came from and what happened to its members. It was only a few years ago, after 2009, that I came into contact with someone from another branch of the family.  That led to my invitation to the family reunion.

It also led to the awareness of old family photos being held by some family member.  I am hoping somehow that the family reunion leads to my viewing of the photos.  I guess those have been my Holy Grail.

I'm hoping to put together a display for the reunion.  It hasn't seemed to me that the family knew much about its history.  It's going to be something of a challenge.  My elderly mother has to go into a rehab center to rehabilitate from the neglect she suffered from the awful rehab center that she was originally sent to March 10th.  While I am pretty sure that the new center will be a good place for her, it's also an hour's drive from home.  My personal life has suffered greatly in my efforts to support her, rescue her from the original center's grip, and find a better place for her. Normally I would greatly enjoy preparing from this.  I hope I can tap into that joy.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Musings on the Buckalews

I'm in the habit of working on my genealogy on Saturday mornings while listening to my favorite radio programs Car Talk and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. A while ago I determined that my ancestress Sarah Livingston was probably descended from Rev. John Livingston and a relative of the New York Patroon Robert Livingston that gave her husband George Winchell's family such grief in western Massachusetts. From the reading I've done, it seems like all the early Livingstons were descendants of Rev. Livingston.  Until I have the time and patience to visit the history room of the Troy Public Library to see if I can find the records that show just how Sarah is descended from him, I've been slowly adding ancestors to Rev. Livingston's tree from information on-line. 

I found some very good information on Electric Scotland and thought I'd look to see what the site had on the Scotts.  The Buckalews are descendants of Clan Scott, and my great-grandmother Margaret Gatton's ancestors.  The current chief, the Duke of Buccleuch, paid for genealogical research that proved the Buckalews were descendants of the Scotts. I just wish he'd publish the research. 

Here's another case where I need to build the path back to Scotland. One family story is that the ancestor was a soldier in the Netherlands. I believe I just found the origin of the story on Electric ScotlandWalter, second Lord Scott of Buccleuch, was created Earl of Buccleuch in 1619. 
"and entered the service of the States-General, as he did, at the head of a detachment of Scotsmen, though, strange to say, only half-a-dozen of them belonged to his own clan and bore his name. He was present at the sieges of Bergen-op-Zoom and Maestricht. As Sir Walter Scott says of him, ‘A braver ne’er to battle rode.’ He was recalled from the Netherlands, in 1631, by Charles I., who desired his presence in London, as his Majesty had occasion for his services, but he subsequently returned to his command in the Netherlands, and was in active service there six weeks before his death."
 Earl Walter enjoyed having people around him and entertaining. Novelist Sir Walter Scott wrote this verse about our social kinsman:

‘Nine-and-twenty knights of fame,
Hung their shields in Branksome Hall;
Nine-and-twenty squires of name,
Brought them their steeds to bower from stall;
Nine-and-twenty yeomen tall
Waited, duteous, on them all:
They were all knights of metal true,
Kinsmen to the bold Buccleuch.
‘Ten of them were sheathed in steel,
With hiked sword, and spur on heel:
They quitted not their harness bright,
Neither by day, nor yet by night:
They lay down to rest
With corslet laced,
Pillow’d on buckler cold and hard;
They carved at the meal
With gloves of steel,
And they drank the red wine through the helmet barr’d.
‘Ten squires, ten yeomen, mail-clad men,
Waited the beck of the warders ten;
Thirty steeds, both fleet and wight.
Stood saddled in stable day and night,
Barbed with frontlet of steel, I trow,
And with Jedwood-axe at saddlebow;
A hundred more fed free in stall:-
Such was the custom of Branksome Hall.’


Branxholme Castle
Major reasons Scottish people came to the British colonies of North America were because they were banished as border rievers (which the Scotts were at one time), they were Protestant Covenanters who opposed Catholic King James II or they were dispossessed by the Highland clearances. During the life of Earl Walter's successor, Francis, Second Earl of Buccleuch, the family's story changed from that of riever to Covenanter.  The page states that Francis also had a brother and six illegitimate half-siblings, but their histories aren't given. I'm not certain which family line Frederick Buckalew came from.

Did you know that castles were originally built by the Norman conquerors of Britain to maintain control of their new subjects?  They were square, stone structures of French origin. The Normans built at least 420 castles after conquering England. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Maple Sugaring

I felt compelled to change the blog background to what was the normal seasonal activity in my area, maple sugaring.  It was a food-gathering activity that Europeans learned from the resident Native Americans.  Before the Europeans came, this was the primary source for a sweetener for the Native people.  It was an activity that anyone could do.  It has become a big business in New York and New England, an important one in rocky areas. 

This past winter is about the mildest I remember. I've lived through 57.  There was only a week or two of bitter cold before the winter solstice.  After that the temperature didn't go below zero Fahrenheit.  The temperatures bounced back and forth from the twenties and the thirties.  We didn't have a snowstorm until February.  Maple trees need the normal cold winter night to produce the amount of sap we're used to.  I love the lovely, shady maple trees and the maple syrup we produce from their sap. I'm very worried for them. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pardee Connection Made

I have connected with a descendant of Rev. Ira N. Pardee and Mary Lucinda Winchell.  Unfortunately she doesn't have much knowledge of the pioneer generation to the Mid-West.  She was able to tell me that their daughter Eva had red hair.

Eva W. Pardee married Harold Chester Peters 11 October 1893 in Cortland, NY.  Their sons were Harold Pardee Peters and Chester Lewis Peters, both born in Sioux City, IA.  Harold passed away in that city 2 July 1950.  

Eva lived to be 103 years old, passing away 18 Jan 1974. Is it my imagination or does she look to be a high-spirited woman?  

Her great-great-great-granddaughter was tickled to finally have information on her family.

The Motivation Behind My Research

I recently found this quote when I was investigating a potential purchase of a book:
"[James Joseph] Buss persuasively argues that the removal of the .American Indians from the landscape of the lower Great Lakes region was intertwined with and reinforced by a much longer process of writing those same Indians out of the historical narrative of America western expansion and the growth of the United States."  (The American Historical Review, Vol. 118, Issue 1, p. 182.
I realized that I and many others have been trying to correct this and trying to put Native Americans back into the historical perspective.  My efforts have been to show that Native people have always been part of American society, albeit in different ways in different regions.  My Mohican ancestors did not move west like their relatives.  They stayed in the homeland for a long time.  They became farmers, carpenters, mill workers, railway men, businessmen, Methodist ministers, musicians, postmasters, medical practitioners and one banker. There are many military veterans.  Whose lives didn't they affect?

Life was more fun when I had more time to write.  Real life interferes too much.  I am hoping to get back to the practice.  I may reach that point when I finally go to the Troy Public library to research James Livingston in Rensselaer County.

I've been researching part of an unrelated family for a cousin from a different branch.  This is not information I feel I can share here.  It was fun to do, though, and I get a thrill anyway from the interesting discoveries.