Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Come Celebrate Kevin's First Birthday!

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

In today's virtual family reunion we take the Way Back Machine to Kevin Williamson's 1st Birthday Party, June 1962. We lived at 39 East Signal Drive in Rapid City South Dakota.
Kevin is the third child of Charles and Luella Willamson. He currently lives in Los Angeles and has celebrated 47 birthday's since these pictures were taken.

In this picture you see me (Victor, 4 years old) on the left, then mom (Luella 23 years old) with Kevin (1 year old) on her lab. Kim (5 years old) is at the end. Kevin's angel food cake is there on the blanket with one candle ready for lighting.

You'll see Kevin's play pin in the background. Lovely things those old play pins. I think they've been banned in all nations today except China. I guess there were problems with kiddies getting their heads stuck between the bars. They didn't seem to worry about things like that in the early 1960's. Come to think of it, its a miracle any of us survived childhood at all!

I remember that TV very well. In those days you used to turn on the set and wait for the vacuum tubes to warm up before you'd get a picture. If you were late getting up, or took a bit too long walking home from school (yes I said walking home from school - something many of you younglings don't know anything about today) you'd miss the first part of your cartoon while you waited for the stupid tubes to warm up and the picture to evolve onto the screen. I remember sanding there jumping up and down many a time trying to get the set to warm up with my own enthusiasm. I'm sure mom mistook my jumps and running in circles as needing to go to the bathroom. That set had this gigantic channel knob on the front. It went from 1 to 13. We only needed three of them. Not that much to watch in those days.

That old set was a pain sometimes. The picture would get fuzzy at the worst time, you know, just when the show was getting interesting. You'd have to stand up, walk over to the set and adjust the rabbit ear antenna on the top in an attempt to get better reception. It was either that or the channel knob would slip a bit so you'd have to fiddle with it until the picture came in clear again.

Yes, there's dad (Charles, age 26) tormenting me by holding two of the old style camera flash bulbs to my face. Kevin is looking to see if he'll be next. Kim is sweltering in the the July South Dakota heat. Of course we didn't have air conditioning. This was 1964! We may have had a fan but even that was doubtful. We toughed it out in those days. You just let the kids run around half naked.

Here we are with Grandma and Grandpa Liessman (Dad's mom and step father). Notice I'm not smiling in any of these pictures. Maybe I'm upset my third birthday (which would have been held a week earlier) wasn't celebrated with such a gathering. Perhaps I was disgruntled because I wasn't the center of attention. Actually, Kim was always the Center of Attention. I was her Charlie Brown side kick and of course Kevin, being the baby and all, was the spoiled one; at least until the twins were born.

Notice that mom has Kim and I dressed the same in the unisex fashion of the nearly poor except my shorts are shorter. I guess you could say for awhile Kim and I could wear the same clothes!

As always, more to come tomorrow.


A Revolutionary War Soldier on the Williamson Line

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

This Sunday I decided to search out the Williamson line for a grandparent that served in the Revolutionary War. It took some time but I managed to find someone. This gives us a Revolutionary War tie on the Mattson and Williamson lines! I guess you’d call us the proud descendants of good Revolutionary Stock.

John Conrad Nossaman is my 5th Great Grandfather. He was born about 1750 in Kassel, Hessen Lande, Germany. He died around 1820 in Giles, Virginia. His wife’s name is Cathrina.

He had left Europe from the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands on the ship Snow Sally in 1773. The ship made a stop at Portsmouth, England, and arrived at the Port of Philadelphia in the Colony of Pennsylvania on August 23, 1773. Johan Conrad Nossaman took the oath of abjuration on that date. By taking the Oath of Abjuration, John renounced his German citizenship and swore allegiance to the King of England. Less than one month later, John Conrad Nossaman was indentured to Jacob Cose of West New Jersey for a period of six years.

An indentured servant was a laborer under contract to an employer for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for their transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities. Unlike slaves, an indentured servant was required to work only for a limited term specified in a signed contract.

If John served the full term of this indenture he would have become a free man on or about August 23, 1779.

This is interesting. This is the actual text of the advertisement from the ship Snow Sally offering indentured servants in the Philadelphia area. This would have been the sale our Great Grandfather was in. Notice the ad says there were Palatine (Germans) in the sale.
Just imported, on board the Snow Sally, Captain Stephen Jones, Master, from England, A number of healthy, stout English and Welsh Servants and Redemptioners, and a few Palatines [Germans], amongst whom are the following tradesmen, viz. Blacksmiths, watch-makers, coppersmiths, taylors, shoemakers, ship-carpenters and caulkers, weavers, cabinet-makers, ship-joiners, nailers, engravers, copperplate printers, plasterers, bricklayers, sawyers and painters. Also schoolmasters, clerks and book-keepers, farmers and labourers, and some lively smart boys, fit for various other employments, whose times are to be disposed of. Enquire of the Captain on board the vessel, off Walnut-street wharff, or of MEASE and CALDWELL.
When a buyer was found, the sale would be recorded at the city court.


It is known that John served in the 7th Class of the 5th Company of the 7th Battalion of the Lancaster County Militia" for several years during the Revolution.(Curt Sytsma, March 2003)

The next record of John is the 1789 purchase of land. The transaction is listed below:
1789 PURCHASE OF LAND. John 'Nosman' purchased 216 acres from Francis McNutt in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now Monroe County, West Virginia). The land was adjacent to Thomas Wright, and the price was 5 shillings. SOURCE: Oren F. Morton, A History of Monroe County, West Virginia (The McLure Company: Staunton, Virginia 1916) at page 98." (Curt Sytsma, March 2003)
This is the family line to John Conrad Nooseman

John Conrad Nossaman (5th Great Grandfather)
Catherine Nossenman (4th Grandparent)
Jonathan Willis (3rd Grandparent)
Margaret Ann Willis (2nd Grandparent)
William J Williamson (Great Grandfather)
Charles Williamson (My Grandfather)
Charles Williamson (Dad)



Today's Weather, from the Fortress in the English Style

Sunday's Weather as seen from the Fortress overlooking the valley of the Pleasant Grove.
The sky hangs dark in gray and white, undecided on moisture yet the possibility is real. Umbrellas would be a wise choice for the church goer. Winds will remain restrained but at times gusting. The sun, hidden in the A.M. will emerge in the afternoon after tea, leaving a late afternoon walk quite enjoyable.
Side Note.... When I was in England as a missionary I enjoyed listening to the English weather reports on the BBC. They were quiet different from the forecasts I heard in Rapid City on KOTA television. The English had a way with words, making hearing the weather a more enjoyable experience.

I wrote the above weather report this morning after stepping out onto my deck, licking my forefinger and holding it up into the air. I wanted to give you a taste of reading my take on Pleasant Grove's weather written in the English style - and you all know if its English I'm all over it.