A Drowning in the Saranac River

Saranac River. This is just around the bend from where Herbert fell into the river and very close to where Herbert was found.

Saranac River. This is just around the bend from where Herbert fell into the river and very close to where Herbert was found.

The weather in Plattsburgh, N.Y. had been pleasant for several days in April 1964. Herbert Frederick age 76 decided to take advantage of the weather and do some yard work. It was a pleasant 55 degrees as he was raking the lawn and waved to a neighbor that was driving by at five p.m. This was the last known time anyone would see Herbert alive. The lawn ended in a 15-foot drop into the Saranac River that weaves through the city of Plattsburgh. All that was found was the rake and Herbert’s glasses on the thin lip of land at the river’s edge. Fifty-two years later this tragedy would help break down one of my genealogy brick walls and introduce me to people in my family tree that I had no idea of their existence

However, I will have to go back eighty-one more years from 1964 to the birth of my Grandfather, Willis Deloria. He was born to Joseph and Marceline Deloria. The question that I never could find a satisfactory answer to is who was Marceline before she married Joseph and took the last name of Deloria. I can recall my mother telling me that she was an Indian and as a result I was 12% Indian. There may be some truth to this as my DNA test shows 2% Native American ethnicity. Years of research later has given me no information to confirm this and in fact, my Native American ethnicity may have come through my maternal grandmother’s line. But that is still not a proven fact. Marceline’s maiden name was said to be Shadrick or Shredrick depending if you are looking at my grandfather’s marriage or his death certificate. Other facts about Marceline that were either not clear or unknown were dates of birth, death or marriage. Most records say she was born in Canada, but none show where in Canada. I have found Marceline in only two U.S. census the 1880 and 1900. They have vastly different birth years and different countries of birth. I decided to go for a tie-breaker and ordered my grandfather’s U.S. Social Security application. I felt confident that this would give me the information I needed. I waited six months to get the copy in the mail. After I looked it over I was even more in the dark and if possible even more confused. It gave Marceline maiden name as Frederick.

Soc Sec

 My grandfather’s Social Security Application. I have no idea why his mother’s maiden name is listed as Frederick.

 

I started to review the records I had on my grandfather. That is when the names of the witnesses for his marriage came into sharper focus. They were Herbert Frederick and Lenora Gerow Frederick. Here was the name Frederick, and Lenora was my mother’s middle name. I had to find out more about these people. This was when I discovered about Herbert’s drowning in the old newspaper articles that can be found online through newspaper archive sites. I read how his son Armand called the police and then went into the fast moving river that was at least four feet deep and very muddy. He lost his footing several times and had to come back to shore. Soon hundreds were involved in the search and still Herbert was not found after a full days search.

Marriage Cert 2

 Here Herbert Frederick is listed as a witness to the marriage of my grandparents.

 

Herbert’s grandsons stationed themselves on a bridge down river to keep an all night vigil on the second night that Herbert was missing. At 5:15 a.m. they spotted the body. The search was over. I also learned who Herbert’s parents were, and this was the break in my brick wall. In Herbert’s obituary, I noted his mother’s maiden name was Nancy Shedrick. The name Shedrick was very close to the maiden name I was given for my Grandfather’s Willis Deloria, mother Marceline.

Where Herbert's grandsons kept their all night watch.

Where Herbert’s grandsons kept their all night watch.

I was able to find an obituary for Nancy dated May 24, 1928. Listed in the surviving relatives were a half brother Willis Deloria and a half sister Mary Bushey, my grandfather and great aunt. Once more in my genealogy research I have found close relatives that I never knew of their existence. I was also to discover that Nancy had another sister Martha. I sent away for Nancy’s death certificate to see what additional information I could gather. With the death certificate  I learned that Marceline was married to a Joseph Shedrick and had two daughters Nancy and Martha before she married my Great Grandfather Joseph Deloria and had two more children my Grandfather Willis and Great Aunt Mary. I also learned her maiden name was Obin not Shadrick, Shedrick, or Frederick. I was able to find other records that show that Marceline and her little family came to the United States from Canada in 1878. Nancy was to Wed John Frederick, who became a city police officer in Plattsburgh, N.Y. The online newspaper archives are full of stories of his exploits. They had three sons of which one was Herbert, who witnessed his Uncle Willis’s wedding.

522a0001

Nancy Shedrick Fredrick, death certificate.

 

I was able to find two descendants of Nancy, and they confirmed many facts for me. They also told family stories of Nancy and her police officer husband that had me laughing out loud. They were to try to send me some pictures but almost two months have passed, and nothing has arrived yet. I do hope that I hear from them. I have opened a new door in my genealogy search. By opening this door, I now see many more doors that have yet to be opened and new hidden family history waiting to be discovered.

Here I am with my Grandfather Willis Deloria.

Here I am with my Grandfather Willis Deloria.

Descendants of Marceline Obin

Generation 1

1. MARCELINE1 OBIN was born in 1842 in Canada. She married (1) JOSEPH SHEDRICK. He was born
about 1824 in Canada. She married (2) JOSEPH DELORIA. He was born about 1824 in Canada.

Joseph Shedrick and Marceline Obin had the following children:

i. MARTHA2 SHEDRICK was born about 1866. She died on 18 Sep 1923 in Plattsburgh,
Clinton, New York, USA. She married Joseph W. Frederick.
ii. NANCY SHEDRICK was born in 1870 in Canada. She died on 23 May 1928 in
Plattsburgh, Clinton, New York, USA. She married John J Frederick. He was born in
1864 in Beekmantown, Clinton, New York, USA. He died on 11 May 1943 in
Plattsburgh, Clinton, New York, USA.

Joseph Deloria and Marceline Obin had the following children:

i. MARY2 DELORIA was born about 1878. She married (1) FRANK BUSHEY. She married
(2) ALBERT LAJOY.
ii. WILLIS DELORIA was born on 12 Aug 1883 in West Chazy, New York. He died on 11
May 1954 in Plattsburgh, New York. He married Pauline Mary Bonnett, daughter of
Abner Wallace Bonnett and Bessie E Barney, on 27 Sep 1918 in Plattsburgh, New

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The Magic Of Photographs

My father Charles H Moore and his sister Ethel Moore Hunter. Between 1941 and 1943.

My father Charles H Moore and his sister Ethel Moore Hunter. Between 1941 and 1943.

Photographs of people, places, and events can be an exceptional aid in our enjoyment of working on our family history. I have in the past written about some of my finds in family pictures. I am the first to say I have had some great luck with obtaining these photographs. Distant cousins and genealogist have been very kind in assisting me in my search. I am planning to put them together in a family album book. My hope is that they will not be scattered and lost over the expanse of time.

I am still trying to get pictures of ancestors that seemed to have not stood in front of a camera. Perhaps their pictures were thrown out or lost or may be sitting somewhere in an antique shop for sale. My parents seem to have no early pictures. Most likely this was due to hard times and the families needing to spend what little money they had elsewhere. In this digital age, pictures are quick and economical. However I question how many are being printed, which I believe is the best way to preserve them.

Sister and brother. Elzada Moore and Charles H Moore. Elzada was named after her Mother Elzada Dakin who died in 1920.

Sister and brother. Elzada Moore and Charles H Moore. Elzada was named after her Mother Elzada Dakin who died in 1920.

The two pictures above are the earliest pictures I have of my father, Charles Moore. I know they were taken after March 1941 and before Dec. 1943, as he enlisted in the Army in March of 1941 and shipped out to England in Dec. of 1943. He is pictured with two of his sisters. I would never meet Elzada and would only see Ethel toward the end of my father’s life. These are two of the prized pictures in my collection. My hope is to obtain a few more before I print the family album.

The picture below is a mystery photograph. It was given to me a few years ago when I visited the Potter County Historical Society located in Coudersport, Pennsylvania. It is labeled Sylvania School, Costello, Pennsylvania. Not only is the location right it also appears about the right time frame to show my father’s family or even himself. However, while most of the children are named sadly not any of the Moore family. Going left to right in the first row sitting boy number 2 and 3 just say, Boy Moore. In the second row standing the third child is identified only as Moore. For all I know I could be looking at my father, uncles, or at least cousins. Perhaps someday I will cross paths with the person who has all the names.

In this picture you have three boys with the last name of Moore. However no first names are given for them. Most everyone else has a full name. This is a school class in Costello, Pennsylvania.

In this picture you have three boys with the last name of Moore. However no first names are given for them. Most everyone else has a full name. This is a school class in Costello, Pennsylvania.

I will be very busy looking for old family photographs. I still have on my side and my wife’s side of the family uncles and aunts, grandparents, and cousins to hunt down. I will offer this to all of you who have a vast collection of family photographs you should be very thankful for that treasure. I will also say to share what you have. These photographs do no one any benefit by being stored away. It is when we open and share them that the full value of these pictures become realized.

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Discovering Lost Family History

The parade ground at Fort Ticonderoga.

The parade ground at Fort Ticonderoga.

The first time I can recall the surname Barney, being part of my family’s line was when I read it in my Grandmother’s obituary in 1975. Barney was the maiden name of my grandmother’s mother. One reason was between the deaths of husbands and divorces my great and two times great-grandmothers went through five surnames. They were LeClair, Guyette, Barney, Douglas, and Bonnett. Of course in 1975 I knew little or none of this. Of these surnames, I have a direct lineage from the Guyette, Barney, and Bonnett line. Over the years, I have researched these lines and have added greatly to my family tree.

Here I am trying to look my best for the camera.

Here I am trying to look my best for the camera.

This week I was able to gather much new (to me) information on the Barney line. Thomas Barney, my fourth great grandfather, was a Captain in the Revolutionary War commanding 200 men from Vermont. In fact, his war records show that he was with the Green Mountain Boys when they took over Fort Ticonderoga from the British without firing a shot. Fort Ticonderoga overlooks Lake Champlain just before it empties into Lake George in New York State. Capturing Fort Ticonderoga is considered our first offensive action in the Revolutionary War. This deprived the British of the command of the waterways that could be used to send armies and supplies down from Canada. Also, all the cannons in the fort about 100 of them would be sent to General George Washington just outside of Boston. Thomas Barney was also to take part in the capture of Crown Point, the battle of Bennington and was present at the surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga, New York.

I clearly remember the effort it took to get this picture. For some reason it seemed very important to me. I have a little better understanding now.

I clearly remember the effort it took to get this picture. For some reason it seemed very important to me. I have a little better understanding now.

All this information and much more was not known to me in 1962 when my parents took me and my sister to see the fort. I was eleven at the time and even then loved to read about history. The pictures in this blog were taken on that trip. As I walked the fort, I had no idea what an important role my family had played here. Near the fort, I spotted this historic marker and felt compelled to take a picture of it. I was to learn later that I had ancestors who took part in this battle also. They included a first cousin a Captain Samuel Dakin, who was killed in this battle. He was part of a contingent of troops from Massachusetts who joined Major General James Abercrombie 15,000 man army. Unfortunately, Abercrombie’s leadership was not competent and, as a result, the English suffered a terrible defeat.

Thomas Barney was from my mother’s side of the family. Samuel Dakin from my father’s side. I have thought about that fact a few times. Here we were two hundred years later visiting the place that they fought and bled, completely unaware of this fact. All this family history lost in the preceding generations. When people ask why are you so interested in genealogy I can tell them about Fort Ticonderoga and its’ place in American history and its’ place in my family’s history. In so many ways so many times both are the same.

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Great Loves Live On.

Willis Deloria with Pauline Bonnett Deloria holding Charles Moore.

Willis Deloria with Pauline Bonnett Deloria holding Charles Moore.

Willis Deloria and Pauline Bonnett Deloria were my grandparents. They were married in 1918 when Pauline was just over the age of 15, and Willis was 35. It was the first and the last marriage for each of them. Willis died in 1954 when I was three years old. Pauline was to live for 21 more years. Their marriage like most was a celebration of good times and the enduring of bad times. They had five children starting in the 1920s and ending in the 1930s. Then came the Great Depression.

From all accounts, they had what we would call a good marriage in which great love was in evidence. They never had much money, and I am sure the Depression was a major factor. Willis found work in a foundry, bakery, and was a general laborer. Sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s he had to retire due to health reasons. However, newspapers stories show a family that was active and doing well. I have read about parties attended and given and winning a contest for the best doll at the local playground and family outings.

My Mother Veronica Deloria Moore and me, Charles Moore. 1951.

My Mother Veronica Deloria Moore and me, Charles Moore. 1951.

This picture shows me with my Mother at two weeks of age. She was the second child of my grandparent’s five children. Mom also married an older man. My Dad was 16 years older than my mother. Dad died in 1966, and my mother lived to 2007. She missed him everyday

My wife Sandra Lyon Moore and our first born Charles.

My wife Sandra Lyon Moore and our first born Charles.

The picture above shows my wife with our first born, Charles Henry Moore lll, on his first day at home. We will have two more children. Charles was to be held by his grandmother Pauline the day before she was to suffer a fatal stroke.

One of my favorite pictures. My son Charles and his wife Melissa in a happy moment after the birth of their first child.

One of my favorite pictures. My son Charles and his wife Melissa in a happy moment after the birth of their first child.

Here is Charles with our daughter in law and his wife Melissa celebrating just hours after the birth of their son Charles the Fourth. I now have four grandchildren. Charles and Melissa have two sons, and my daughter Pamela has two daughters.

My grandparents gravestone. At the bottom you can read "Great Loves Live On".

My grandparents gravestone. At the bottom you can read “Great Loves Live On”.

When I was younger, I went many times to visit my grandfather’s grave with my grandmother. I would often wonder about the epitaph “Great Loves Live On”. I can recall thinking that it would die when my grandmother died. I only equated the epitaph with my grandmother’s long widowhood. It would be many years before I took in it’s simple yet profound message. We all are a result of love. We owe our existence and so much more to our ancestors. The intimate feelings that formed their unions vibrate through the years. Even if we do not know who they are. Some of the truth of that epitaph is in evidence in the pictures above.

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The Glue That Binds

Part of our baseball family. Left to right. Me Charles Moore, Nicole, in back with sunglasses Jessica, my son Charles and his son's Charles and Braden. Yes Charles is a popular name in our family. "I feel an invisible bond between our three generations, an anchor of loyalty linking my sons (children) to the grandfather whose face they never saw but whose person they have already come to know through this most timeless of all sports, the game of baseball." Doris Kearns Goodwin

Part of our baseball family. Left to right. Me Charles Moore, Nicole, in back with sunglasses Jessica, my son Charles and his son’s Charles and Braden. Yes Charles is a popular name in our family.
“I feel an invisible bond between our three generations, an anchor of loyalty linking my sons (children) to the grandfather whose face they never saw but whose person they have already come to know through this most timeless of all sports, the game of baseball.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin

Some things run through families generation after generation. Some of them are not pleasant while some are a much-cherished item. Some families have generations of doctors, writers, or certain noses, chins, or even a certain laugh. While I am aware that family traits are not limited to just one thing, I am going to talk about one trait that seems to be shared in my family line. Perhaps by sharing this family attribute it will give you some ideas in how to tell part of your family story. So what is it that threads its way from generation to generation in my family? It is baseball.

We are very lucky to live near a Triple A  baseball team. The Moore family has enjoyed many games here. "I felt what I almost always feel when I am watching a ballgame: just for those two or three hours, there is really no place I would rather be." Roger Angell

We are very lucky to live near a Triple A baseball team. The Moore family has enjoyed many games here.
“I felt what I almost always feel when I am watching a ballgame: just for those two or three hours, there is really no place I would rather be.”
Roger Angell

My father Charles Moore was the first baseball player I know of in my family. In the 1930s in the midst of the Great Depression, he was able to obtain work due to his skills at playing baseball. He was able to land a job at a lumber mill because he had the ability to play second base for the mill’s baseball team. Many large employers would find work for people who could play ball for the company’s baseball team. These teams played very competitive schedules, and it was not unknown for these players to make it to baseball’s Major League. While playing baseball, they still were expected to put in a days work at the employer’s place of business. I wish I had a picture of my father playing ball, but I do not. The earliest picture I have of him is about 1941 in his army uniform. He was playing for a different team then.

My father's great granddaughter Nicole, flips her bat with style after drawing a walk. "It ain't bragging if you can back it up." Dizzy Dean

My father’s great granddaughter Nicole, flips her bat with style after drawing a walk.
“It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.”
Dizzy Dean

I am the weak link in the talent for playing baseball. While I did play some Little League and much sandlot baseball, I was never able to do much else. What I did do was watch hours of baseball on television some of it with my father. It was here that the start of my education on the strategy of the game began. He would point out what the defense was or should be doing. Different pitching approaches and what the batter should be doing. What skills are needed for each position and what is expected from each player. Then we would laugh when Dizzy Dean would start singing the “Wabash Cannon Ball” during his broadcast. So I also learned that baseball had great humor. It was an education that stayed with me to this very day. I was able to put it to very good use as I started coaching baseball at the age of 16. I coached my first youth baseball team before I could drive. Lucky for me the field was not far away. I would continue to coach for many years at all levels from seven-year-olds to town teams with players up to 18 years of age.

My girl friend Sandy. She was my score keeper for my very first team. Also and perhaps better she married me a few years later. "Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too." Yogi Berra

My girl friend Sandy. She was my score keeper for my very first team. Also and perhaps better she married me a few years later.
“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too.”
Yogi Berra

I was able to coach each of my three children. They had the talent to play the game that I lacked. My oldest son Charles was to play all through high school even being named MVP for his team. My other son Jacob was a dominate pitcher in Little League. He was also one of the best contact hitters I have ever coached. He was not able to play in high school due to his Spina Bifida. However not one to be kept down he made the high school swim team. The youngest was my daughter Pam. She played hardball with the boys in Little League. Her last year playing she had the highest batting average on her team. All three of my children have coached or helped coach their baseball teams and have done a good job

My son Jacob at bat. A near hit. "Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly; keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time. You remain forever young." Roger Angel

My son Jacob at bat. A near hit.
“Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly; keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time. You remain forever young.”
Roger Angel

My daughter Pam coaching her team. "If your not having fun in baseball, you miss the point of everything." Chris Chambliss

My daughter Pam coaching her team.
“If your not having fun in baseball, you miss the point of everything.”
Chris Chambliss

I have four grandchildren two boys and two girls, and they all have or are playing baseball. They all seem to have a great talent for the game, so I did not curse them. But what I find even better they enjoy the game. It has to be the family’s genes. .

Grandson Braden. "Don't tell me about the world. Not today. It's springtime and they're knocking baseball around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball." Pete Hamill

Grandson Braden.
“Don’t tell me about the world. Not today. It’s springtime and they’re knocking baseball around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball.”
Pete Hamill

My son Charles and grandson Charles. The old catcher giving advise to the young catcher.  "Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday's success or put its failures behind and start over again. That's the way life is, with a new game every day, and that's the way baseball is." Bob Feller

My son Charles and grandson Charles. The old catcher giving advise to the young catcher.
“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.”
Bob Feller

So what family activity runs through your family? How has it tied the generations together? I am sure that it would be a story worth writing down to be shared with future generations.

Brothers. "The one constant through all the years, Ray has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: It's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us all that was good and could be again" From the movie Field of Dreams. 1989

Brothers.
“The one constant through all the years, Ray has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: It’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us all that was good and could be again”
From the movie Field of Dreams. 1989

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Now, Where Did I Put That……………………?

It use to be much worse than this. I will admit I do have one box on the floor of records that have to be looked into and researched.

It use to be much worse than this. I will admit I do have one box on the floor of records that have to be looked into and researched.

What you see shown above is part of my workspace. It was much worse. In fact over the last few years it has gotten much better. Instead of boxes and file drawers full of papers and records surrounded by hills of paper about to collapse this is all that is left. Well mostly. I would like to try and explain how I have formed my genealogy file system. I would like to say at the start of this explanation that my system is not the best nor is it a bad one. It is a system that works for me and may also work for you in whole or in part. But in any case we all need a system that we can work with so we can get on with discovering our family history.

I keep both a digital and paper record. I know many people use mostly digital and very little paper, but I have decided against that. No one can say how we will be keeping our digital records twenty-five years from now. Look what has come and gone or is on the way out. Microfilm, fiche, floppy disk, recordable disk, and flash drives. Audio and visual recordings have the same history of what has come and gone. Paper, however, has been around for hundreds of years and will last much longer than any digital recording I can think of. Digital records, are neat and take up very little room. Paper can also be organized neatly and the room it takes can be managed. The picture below shows two of my three binders that hold over 500 family records. I will soon start a census binder as I have not done much with filing those records.

Two of my binders I use to store family records. Notice that each record has a number given to it. You can see them in the lower left hand corner. These numbers are used to keep track of the records and who they go to.

Two of my binders I use to store family records. Notice that each record has a number given to it. You can see them in the lower left hand corner. These numbers are used to keep track of the records and who they go to.

I do not keep a paper binder for each family. I simply give each record a number and file it away in numerical order. Since I work on both my family lines and those of my wife, this helps keep the number of binders to a minimum. I use an Excel spreadsheet and enter each number into that file. Next I put in what type of record or Document that goes with the number. Then I enter the family name and or the family members that are named on the document. This makes it very easy to search who goes with each record. For example, if I want to know which records belong to the Moore family, I put Moore into the find option, and it will bring me to each Moore file. I then can go to the binder and look over the record. I also have started to scan the records into a file which will do the same. These are also saved to a cloud by a service that I use.

I use the Family Tree Maker 2014 from ancestry.com. I tell you this not as a recommendation (however I do like it) but to let you know what I use to record my family tree. When I enter a source into the program, the first item is the number given to that record. So once more it relates right back to the paper file and my binders. I find this is also best for me as I work on my family history book. I can find the records I need and can give them the proper citation. I also find this shows where I need to improve my documentation, so I can be as sure as possible I have the correct facts.

This is File number 209. This shows the birth of my Great Uncle Harry, with my Great Grandparents Bessie Barney and Abner Bonnett. The number 209 makes it very easy to look up as it follows this record either on paper or digital.

This is File number 209. This shows the birth of my Great Uncle Harry, with my Great Grandparents Bessie Barney and Abner Bonnett. The number 209 makes it very easy to look up as it follows this record either on paper or digital.

This is a print out of  the Excel spreadsheet that I use. The first column is the record number given to that record. Next what type of record is it. Then I show the names given in the record. All of this can be searched in the program and used very quickly.

This is a print out of the Excel spreadsheet that I use. The first column is the record number given to that record. Next what type of record is it. Then I show the names given in the record. All of this can be searched in the program and used very quickly.

This has been a short explanation of my genealogy filing system. I would like to hear from you on your system and how you keep it all organized. Also, if you have any comments, suggestions or questions please note them. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Family Feuds Or The Spice Of Genealogy

From left to right. Back Row; Pauline Bonnett, Florence Bonnett and Claude Bonnett.  Front Row Harry Bonnett, Bessie Barney Bonnett, Verna Bonnett, and Mary Guyette Barney Douglas. Picture taken about 1913.

From left to right. Back Row; Pauline Bonnett, Florence Bonnett and Claude Bonnett. Front Row Harry Bonnett, Bessie Barney Bonnett, Verna Bonnett, and Mary Guyette Barney Douglas. Picture taken about 1913.

The pictures in this post were an incredible find. I obtained them by contacting a person who had a family tree listed in ancestry.com. While it was not very complete, it held some information that caught my interest. I sent a request to the tree owner asking if we could exchange information. I believe this is something we all should do as it helps us all in our genealogy research. I cannot understand why some of us are so reluctant to share our information. This time however I hit the genealogy jackpot. I was soon put in touch with Julia, who was the keeper of the family records. She was to send me old family letters, pictures, property transfer records, and newspaper articles. What she gave me that was more important than all of those things was a lesson in my family’s history.

The picture above shows my twice great grandmother, my great grandmother, and my grandmother. It also shows my great aunts and uncles. However my Great Aunt Florence, who is standing next to my Grandmother Pauline, was a relative I had never known. It would be her little branch of the family tree that would in time move to Texas. It was from Texas back to New York that the flow of information would come to me.

Feuds are not new to any family. I think I can say this without exception that all families have them. If you think your family might have immunity, I will advise you to dig deeper. In fact, my Great Grandmother Bessie and her mother my twice Great Grandmother Mary had their feud. I learned about this in the family letters that Julia sent to me. Mary was to write how it hurt her when she met her daughter Bessie on the street she would turn her head or cross the street to avoid being on the same side. From what I can tell by the dates of the letters the dispute was never settled as Bessie died in the 1918 flu epidemic just a few months after having a child.

From left to right. Florence Bonnett and Pauline Bonnett Picture taken about 1908

From left to right.
Florence Bonnett and Pauline Bonnett
Picture taken about 1908

What caused the family fight with my Great Aunt Florence and the rest of the family can be summed up in one-word money. From what Julia was able to tell me (Florence was her mother-in-law) Florence borrowed some money from her Grandmother Mary. Mary was a strong-willed person, and I heard many stories about her from My Great Uncle Harry and my Grandmother Pauline. She raised all of Bessie’s children after she died, except for the one born in 1918. Florence was already married (at age 14) at the time of her mother’s death, and was already making her own home. My Grandmother Pauline was married less than a month before her mother’s death, so both sisters were on their own. It seems that Florence was slow in paying back the money to Mary, her mother and I believe not all of it was paid back. Then in the early 1940s Mary signed over her house to Pauline and her husband. This may ( I think it did) have caused some hard feelings within the family, especially between Pauline and her sister Florence. It all came to a finale act in 1946 at the death of Mary. As was the custom then the wake was being held in the home. Florence had driven up from New York City to Plattsburgh, N.Y. a distance of about 300 miles. When she got to the front door of the family home, she was not allowed to enter and pay her respects to her mother. She ended up having to go back home without seeing her mother or anyone for that matter. As far as I know no other contact was ever made.

How far did this go? Let me give you two examples. When Florence died in 1965, she was still living in N.Y. State. I was 14 at the time. My mother, grandmother and all the aunts and uncles that lived near and in Plattsburgh, N.Y. never once spoke about it. At least when I was around. I would have remembered as I would have been learning about a sister I never knew my grandmother had or about my mother’s aunt. My mother died in 2007. By that time, I had had this information for a few years. I never told anyone about it. I wanted to see if it would come out on its own. However the last year of my mother’s life she was very sick and failing. While for many reasons we have not been close we started talking with each other, thanks to the efforts of my sister. My mother had a very clear mind and was able to tell me much family history. However, her Aunt Florence never came up. I did everything I could to get her to talk about her. Leading questions, and asking about grandma’s brothers and sisters. She never admitted to the existence of Florence.

Left to right Warren Tromblee and Florence Bonnett Tromblee Taken about 1942 / 1943

Left to right
Warren Tromblee and Florence Bonnett Tromblee
Taken about 1942 / 1943


The lessons I learned from all of this, are many. Genealogy wise it reinforced in me the importance of looking everywhere for family clues. Then we must follow up on what we find. We all hold information that can be so helpful to someone else doing research on the family. It is not our information to own but is to be shared so we all can learn. I am very thankful to the Tromblee family that they posted on ancestry.com and were so willing to share. They have given me family treasures that I hope are passed down for many generations.

One more lesson could be learned from this. Most family feuds and arguments are pure folly. Everyone involved in this dispute is dead. At the end when you think about it, what did it matter? Family lines lost, scattered, and unknown to each other. That is the legacy of this feud.

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