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Day 164: Beachcombing on a Distant Shore

Monday, June 13, 2011

Doncha know I've waited till the last minute - and now somebody's server wants to act up. I won't pretend to understand these things, but since Himself and I are on a household LAN and we're both having trouble... it's our router (possible) or something farther down the line (equally possible).

I was in the middle of more Ancestry stuff and I don't like leaving in the middle, as I'll forget where I left off. I seem to be bookmarking pages left and right, but I'm finding a treasure trove of stuff.

A distant relation* has sent me some newspaper links that go to archives-online from the 1800s and into the early 1900s. I don't suppose most of it has anything to do with me and mine, but it makes for absorbing reading.

*We have to go back about four generations to find that his great x 3 or 4 grandmother and my great x 3 or 4 grandmother were sisters. I guess that means our great x 4 or 5 grandparents are our 'link.' Ain't the internet amazing?

A few things that caught my eye:

Mrs. Betsey Cross, the subject of this sketch, was born in Cape Vincent May 4, 1826. She was the fifth daughter of M. H. and Jane Cross; she was converted in early life and joined the M. E. church at that place, and was always a faithful member. She was married to Nelson Sheldon at Three Mile Bay at the age of 16 years. As the fruits of this marriage five children were born to them, and all but one are living now. Mr. S. and one son were drowned near Sacketts Harbor. In 1861 she was married to Mr. Conklin and moved to Michigan in 1864; she was again left a widow in 1882; in 1884 she was again married to Levi West, with whom she lived until the time of her death, which occurred Nov. 8, 1889, at her home in Hartford, Mich. The funeral was held the 21st inst, when a very impressive sermon was preached. She died with that dreaded disease, consumption, at the ripe old age of 68 years, 6 months, 14 days. She was a faithful member of the Hartford W. F. M. society, of which she was president a number of years. She leaves a husband and four children to mourn her loss, together with a large circle of relatives and friends, for she was beloved by all who knew her.

* * *

Miss Leona Clemons, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Clemons, was taken Wednesday morning to the Oswego Hospital for an operation for appendicitis. She stood the operation well and is recovering nicely. Mrs. Clemons remained in Oswego to care for her.

* * *

The following little ditty was published on 9 October, 1930:

There was a young lady so swell,
That had money in plenty one day,
She drove a Ford car so well,
To get her licence was easy they say.

There was a little dog by the way,
That ran in the road as she passed.
She put on the brakes, but alas,
He rolled to one side in the grass.

"Well, you killed my dog, young lady",
And the poor girl crying as hard as she might
Went home feeling quite shaky,
To mourn for the dog's sad plight..

As tears could not bring him back,
This young lady said "Well alas,
I suppose I can stop here after,
And let each little dog pass."

Not perhaps of the highest literary caliber, but the 'young lady' was my grandmother. She was talking to me about this incident, oh, long years after the event. She had a used Model-T Ford and she and her sister would 'run the roads,' gallivanting around. She was by herself the day the dog ran into the road. She braked, but it was too late. She stopped the car to check on it and, finding it was dead, sat down on the running board and cried. The dog's owner, an old man, seemed more concerned about the girl who was crying than he was about his pet. At any rate, he told the story to someone, who told it to someone else, who... well, you get the idea. Small towns and all that, so some bright young spark at the local weekly made up this little poem, but - to protect the guilty - omitted the names. Everyone knew who it was, tho, and even into the '70s I would occasionally have someone ask me 'Isn't your grandmother the one who--?'

In the midst of all this, I have found several things that give me solid information on birth dates, death dates, marriage dates; maiden names, parents' names; residences, occupations, and even occasional trips are all dutifully reported. The stuff of life...

I'm not sure how interested you might be in the ephemera of that time and place, but I think I'll blog a few things. It's a genuine window into another world. Most of the juicy, colorful things tend to be about people who aren't related to me. I guess my family was a fairly quiet bunch who kept their skeletons far back in the closet.

Back tomorrow. Deo volente.

Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    very nice blog!
    3552 days ago
    Love it Kasey! Isn't it amazing what we can find in our history?
    It is something that one can get caught up in. emoticon
    3553 days ago
    Clemons in upstate New York... that's almost Clemens, Samuel from Elmira (OK, in those days Oswego would be considered quite a ways from Elmira)... I'm getting one of those "almost" missed 6 degrees of separation things to...

    Mark Twain!

    Don't mind me... you both write well! Want to start a rumor that you're related?

    - Barb emoticon
    3553 days ago
    Your blogs are fabulous...love them.....
    3553 days ago
    I really enjoyed reading your blog. I have been thinking about checking out Ancestry.com. I guess I need to try it one of these days. I have an ancestry type book that details all the families historical information from the county in Missouri where my parents are from. The local historical society published it and I really enjoyed reading it. It has photos of my mom and dad and various relatives.

    3553 days ago
    Love the story of Betsey Cross, busy lady, eh? It is fascinating more so because I love history! Have a blast!
    3553 days ago
    Fun to visit these people of the past---Doncha wish we could meet them?-----Interesting blog____Lynda emoticon
    3554 days ago
    Cute---sounds like you are enjoying your little trip into history.
    3554 days ago
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