St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Chief Who, You Say?

It's another one of those mailman moments. Over the weekend, another envelope appeared out of his truck and into my eager hands. Now this one was a surprise.

The letter was from a grandson of one of the cousins who had dropped by to see us about six years ago. This grandson was on the visit with his grandfather as we sat and talked genealogy. We had been trying to decipher some old floppies that reportedly had information going back to Charlemagne. I've yet to find anyone who can break into these floppies. (The author has since passed.)

This young man, who is a now a grown up man, was kind enough to send some updated information on the family. He has linked his bloodline to that of Chief Wampage II of the Siwanoy Indians of Westchester County, New York.

I've not heard of this Chief, so I was eager to learn the significance of this. In my quick (and admittedly, not thorough) research, I find Chief Wampage signed a treaty under the "Treaty Oak" with Thomas Pell for something like 50,000 acres of land extending from the Bronx area to the Hutchinson River.

Of interest in my readings was the name Anne Hutchinson. Wampage is said to have murdered her himself when a group of Indians came calling on the settlers. Hutchinson has quite a story, and it is one worth reading. She was the daughter of Francis Marbury, and she reportedly had a brilliant mind. She was a devout Believer and went as far as to hold Bible studies in her Massachusetts home for both men and women. She stood trial for being a "strumpet" and later moved down to the New York area with her husband, William Hutchinson.

She's a fascinating woman. At her trial, it is reported she said, "You have no power over my body, neither can you do me any harm. I fear none but the great Jehovah, which hath foretold me of these things, and I do verily believe that He will deliver me out of your hands…."

I urge you to find a book or just look online for her story. What a woman. What a time she lived in. What a fate she suffered.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Readng the Newspaper

Google recently announced indexing of OLD newspapers has begun. If you are lucky, you can google the name of the newspaper of interest, along with a date and name, and find it!

I've been looking at this new option over the past couple of weeks. There is a learning curve involved as well as some glitches in the system. There are also opportunities to purchase some of the newspaper articles.

Never mind those small inconveniences. If you hit upon more family history, you will be excited. One word of warning-- be prepared to stay tuned closely to your computer. It takes a lot of time to do this.

I hope the process will become easier and faster. In the meantime, .


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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Patriot's Hymn on September 11

The Patriot's Hymn
Penned by Rev. Thomas Garland
1915 Philadelphia, PA

Remember. Reflect. Pray.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Crossing the Political Line in History

The mailman delivered more fun to my mailbox today. I was thrilled to see the pages arrive from the History of Harrison County Missouri which was published in 1921. I was surprised to see a cousin had crossed the line.

In all my research to date, I have yet to find even a hint of anyone leaving the Republican party. All history books I've seen seem to indicate my ancestors were all dyed in the wool Republicans. I wasn't sure anyone alive today disagreed with the family of old. Today, I stand corrected.

Let me backup and fill you in on some of my recent quests. Recently, I was looking more indepth at Barnet VANDERVORT and his wife Elizabeth HENRY, daughter of John HENRY (1750-1838) of Allegheny Co, PA. One of their sons, Dr. Robert Henry VANDIVERT (1817-1887) left Muskingum County, Ohio, sometime around 1856. End of trail.

I had to know more. So, online I went and checked the census records. The spelling of the name seems to change quite often during this time frame. I contacted the library in St Louis, Missouri, to see if they could help me out. They located information on the family and popped in the snail box.

Here we are now:

The information in the book tells us he was the presiding officer at the first Republican Convention held in Harrison County, Missouri. He was quite respected and served two terms in the Missouri State Senate. From family notes, he also served in the Missouri Militia as a surgeon and organized a company for the Mexican War.

His brother, Samuel Smith VANDIVERT, also left Ohio at or about the same time as Robert. Samuel appears to have "crossed the line" as he is mentioned in the book as a Douglas Democrat and the presiding officer at the Democratic Convention in Harrison County held the same year.

I bet those dinner conversations were exciting. I have to wonder how much they debated or if they put aside their personal politics for dinner.

I wonder what each of them would have to say about the election this year. I wonder if they could have comprehended a time with the ticket of Obama-Biden or McCain-Palin. I wonder....

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