Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday-Margaret Hamman (Hammond) Shove

Shove Hammon Margaret gravestone
Mt Hope Cemetery San Diego
Until about 6 months ago I really knew nothing about my Great Aunt Margaret (Maggie) Hamman Shove.  I’m not even sure I knew my grandfather James Jacob Hammond had a sister named Maggie.
In April I found out that my grandfather (James Jacob) had 2 sisters-Margaret and Mary and 3 brothers- Arthur (John), Michael and Joseph Hamman all  born in Remsen, Iowa to Henry Hamman and Suzie Bentz Hamman.  Their mother Suza died in 1908 when the oldest Mary was 10 and the youngest Michael was barely a year old.
1905 Iowa Census highlight
I can find most of the siblings except for Margaret in an orphanage in Dubuque, Iowa in 1910.
In 1915 I find Aunt Maggie living in Meadow, Plymouth, Iowa.
I believe Frank Shove and Margaret Hammond were married about 1920.
In 1930 I find Margaret and Frank Shove in Cherokee, Iowa with daughters Betty June and Delores.
In 1934, when my grandparents, James Jacob Hammond and Edna Mae Cornell were married in Spencer, NY,  I know that Mrs. Frank Shove of Cherokee, Iowa attended and signed the Guest Book.
In 1966 Margaret passed away in San Diego, CA.  She was buried in Mt. Hope, San Diego and was 65 years old.
Shove Margaret death notice 1966
I find it interesting that whoever gave the above information for the Death Notice did not mention or possibly know of my Grandfather who was still alive and living in Van Etten, NY.
I have not been able to locate the children of Frank and Margaret’s daughters yet.  I know that Betty June Shove Goodburn passed away in 2015 leaving 2 children and 8 grandchildren.  Delores Reiter passed away before 2015.
If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Train Depot Robbery-Carrie’s Letters

I am very fortunate to have over 100 letters that my Great-Grandmother Carrie Terry Warner wrote from 1880-1910 mainly about rural life in Baiting Hollow and nearby Riverhead, N.Y.  I have enjoyed reading her letters and researching about events and people she has talked about in the letters.  I grew up a few miles from where my grandfather, Olin F. Warner, Sr. was born and grew up.  In one of Carrie’s letters she talks about a robbery at the train depot in Riverhead.  I am always amazed at how close her account is compared to the local newspaper account especially in a time of person to person communication and not even a telephone.
Riverhead Train Depot
Carrie’s account:
September 1893-“It seems Saturday night someone broke into the depot at Riverhead, ate watermelon, apparently had a good time, and being unable to open the safe took it on one of the hand trucks up north in the swamp and with an ax tried to break it open, but failed after all to get inside of it.  These two men were arrested on suspicion.  The wagon was not much injured, broke the shafts all to pieces and took out one stud staff.  In my opinion the shafts are no loss for they were too short and I was always afraid something would happen with them.”
Newpaper account-The Long Island Traveler reporting on October 6, 1893:
Stole the Safe
     At some hour between 12 and 5 Sunday morning burglars broke into the station of the Long Island Railroad Company at Riverhead and carried off the safe containing about $200 in cash and express matter valued at $300.  The safe was about three feet high and nineteen inches wide.
     The burglars broke a pane of glass and turning an ordinary window fastening, raised the sash and stepped in.  On gaining entrance they removed the locks from the doors and brought in several watermelons.  These were eaten and the seeds and the rinds  thrown about the waiting room.  After completing their repast a baggage truck was secured.  Placing the safe upon this the burglars started east, going nearly a mile, then turned north, going towards the swamps.  Reaching the swamps they dumped the safe in to a ditch and made an attempt to open it.  From the appearance of the door the men used an ordinary axe.  The handle and combination lock were broken off and the door battered from the effects of the blows.  The men gave up the job, and after covering the safe with brush left it without getting its contents.
     Early Sunday morning a party passing the station noticed the broken window and the open door and notified the agent, Otis G. Pike.  Prints of bare feet were discovered around the building, also the trail of the truck.  Deputy Sheriff Robert Nugent started in Pursuit.  He found the safe shortly before noon.
I was able to find the newspaper account online at Suffolk Historical Newspapers.
You can check out some of the following additional posts about Carrie’s Letters:
If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Presentation “Carrie’s Letters: Bringing Ancestral Letters to Life”

(you can click on an image to enlarge it)

Yesterday, I had the amazing privilege of being the presenter for the San Diego Genealogical Society at their monthly meeting.  It was a great honor to present Carrie’s Letters: Brining Ancestral Letters to Life for the Society I also belong to. 

I began with how my father was given a box of letters, which I realized he had about 8 years ago, that were written by my paternal great-grandmother Carrie Terry Warner.  My presentation was about how a box of letters can become so much more interesting when you transcribe them and investigate the events the author of the letters is referring to. 

While I worked at transcribing the letters I felt at times like a little girl sitting at Carrie’s feet while she told me ‘stories’ about herself and those around her.  In addition to learning information about Carrie and John and their family I was also able to learn so much about the happenings in Baiting Hollow, N.Y. from 1885-1910.  After I transcribed the letters I set out to find out more about the family members and events mentioned in the letters.  I was frequently able to find newspaper articles about events she told her sister Ella Terry Billard about.  I was surprised to see that without telephones and computers the account Carrie relayed about an event like ‘the train depot robbery’ in nearby Riverhead, N.Y. was so accurate.

These are some things that were mentioned in the letters that I was able to find:
  • copies of the books Carrie had read on Google Books (Lena Rivers and Marvels of the New West)
  • copies of magazines on line that Carrie referred to and being able to purchase them to see what Carrie read               (The Delineator and Mayflower Seed Catalog)
  • information on my paternal Great-Grandfather’s service as ‘Postmaster’ in Baiting Hollow, N.Y.
  • the actual land deed for my great-grandfather John B. Warner’s first land purchase


I was able to share about my paternal grandfather’s birth and learned that it was his older brother Terry Warner who was actually the one who named him.

I was pleased with the interaction of members who shared information and or experiences they have had with letters as well.  Some members when I explained a dilemma I’d had in understanding something in the letters like the term ‘fools cap’ knew exactly what is was.  This reinforced what Paula Stuart-Warren discussed in her workshop at Southern California Genealogy Jamboree about researchers working together and not by yourself.

A special THANK-YOU to The San Diego Genealogical Society for the opportunity to be a presenter and share my passion for Carrie’s Letters.  See the following blog posts for additional information on Carrie’s Letters;
I also want to thank fellow blogger, member of SDGS and friend Diane Gould Hall for the photos!

I tried videotaping the presentation. If I am successful in downloading the presentation and the quality is good I will let you know how to access it if you are interested in viewing it.

Enjoy the journey,