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.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Williamson in the Revolutionary War, Army and Navy.

The Uniform of a Virginia Naval Marine (Revolutionary War)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

I'm raising a tall glass of ice cold lemonade to salute our family members living in the Eastern United States. They've suffered a record heat wave over the last few weeks. Yet another reason why I enjoy living in the dry desert like climate found here in the Great Basin of Utah. I barely handle our dry heat (the Fortress is air conditioned) but I'd be in a right foul mood if I had to deal with the humidity, and considering I work with approximately 500 kids a week, I can't afford to be any fouler than I already am :)

Today I return to the enigma of the Williamson family line. I still haven't discovered with absolute certainty who Matthew Williamson's father was (Matthew Williamson to George Matthew Williamson to William Jonathan Williamson and then down to us) but after spending weeks studying, pacing back and forth (creating a noticeable path in the living room's carpet) and calling out for supernatural assistance (online Psychics) I found enough evidence to convince me that we descend from the following individuals

Cuthbert had 17 children between his two wives. I believe our Matthew descends from Susannah, with whom he had 14 of his 17 children. I believe Matthew was either the son of this Cuthbert (and he did have a son named Matthew) or this Cuthbert was his grandfather or great uncle. The reasoning was outlined in a previous post from months ago (I refer you to the Blog's directory down the right side bar). This branch of the Williamson family settled and farmed in the same area (Charlotte Co.,VA) as our 3rd Great Grandparents Matthew and Selina Williamson.

If my reasoning is proven correct (and again I believe this is our line), then this Cuthbert is the first Williamson along our line who fought in the Revolutionary War.

This Cuthbert was a soldier and later an Ensign in the Revolutionary War. He fought in the battles of Guilford Courthouse, Camden, and the Siege of Yorktown. His widow, Susanna White Williamson, received a pension after his death. Her residence at the time was Charlotte Co.,VA. He was born in 1741 and died in Nov. 1812. I believe his parent were Cuthbert and Elizabeth Allen Williamson but I have no concrete proof. His son Cuthbert Williamson, Jr. moved to Franklin Co.,MO.. His daughter Mary Ann M. Williamson married his sisters (Susanna Price Williamson) son, Samuel Williamson Jeffries.

I draw your attention to Samuel's last name "Jeffries". Remember, our 3rd Great Grandmother's maiden name was Selina Dandridge Jeffries. The Jeffries and Williamson families were well known to each other in Charlotte Co. Virginia as proven by this marriage.

I think there were several Cuthbert Williamson's in Virginia in the 1700's. I believe we are descended from the Cuthbert Williamson b1710-d1751, who married Elizabeth Allen. They had 3 children, Cuthbert (b1741-d1812), Mary Price (b1737) and Susanna (bAug. 28, 1735) Williamson.

This Cuthbert Williamson (b1741) had 17 children by 2 wives including another Cuthbert Williamson (born in 1780's who married Obedience Green Baily). I have many names of all these children and their descendants, but it is of course not complete. The first Cuthbert Williamson b.1710 was the son of John Williamson born in 1687 in Kent, England and who emigrated to Virginia near Jamestown. This Cuthbert (b1710) had a brother Thomas Williamson born in 1708. Thomas who married Judith Fleming, and they had a son named Robert who married his first cousin Susanna Williamson (daughter of Robert's uncle Cuthbert Williamson b1710 and Elizabeth Allen).

Our Cuthbert Williamson was a soldier early on then an Ensign in the Navy. This was discovered by another Williamson researcher who found this through the Daughters of the American Revolution. Cuthberts daughter Susanna Price Williamson married Achilles Jeffries.

Again we discover our family's deep involvement in America's history. Many of our ancestors left of their native lands because of religious persecution. Our ancestors fought to free themselves from the English Crown. Our ancestors fought and died in the War of 1812 (Bennett Willis). Many of our ancestors found and died in the Civil War, World Wars I and II. Today we have family members proudly serving in our armed forces. Our history is rich and our love of country runs deep.

In closing I find it interesting that this Cuthbert Williamson served time in the early American navy. I'd like to add a few paragraphs I found on the history of the American navy during the Revolutionary War to get a flavor of our what it was like to serve.

A Virginia Naval ship during the Revolutionary War

The Navy: The Continental Period, 1775-1890

by Michael A. Palmer

The record of the Continental navy was mixed during the revolutionary war. Its cruisers ranged far and wide and demonstrated that British commerce was nowhere safe, not even in British home waters. Few of the navy's larger ships ever put to sea, however, because most of the frigates Congress authorized to be built were either destroyed by British forces or burned by the Americans to prevent capture. There were occasional triumphs in single-ship engagements--for example, the capture by Captain John Paul Jones's Ranger of the British sloop of war Drake in April 1778. Jones gained international notoriety for his operations against the British in the North Sea and raided the coast of Great Britain itself. The navy was somewhat less successful in small-squadron actions. Its successes included the 1776 amphibious raid against New Providence in the Bahamas, but there were even more failures, most notably the ill-fated Penobscot expedition of 1779. While the Continental navy had its share of tactical triumphs, not once did its efforts cause the British an operational or strategic check.

Many of the failures of the Continental navy were directly attributable to the uneven and uncertain quality of the highly politicized officer corps. Mediocre officers vied for rank and privilege. Many commanders lacked drive, and others, while perhaps excellent seamen, were simply incompetent warriors. Even highly successful officers, such as Jones, labored under marked character deficiencies. Nevertheless, whatever the shortcomings of the Continental navy, the course of the war demonstrated to Americans the importance of sea power. The control of the Atlantic by the Royal Navy allowed Great Britain to transport a large army to North America and to sustain it there. French sea power, allied with the American cause after 1778, enabled General George Washington to isolate and destroy the British army of Lord Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781. One of the decisive battles of the war, it ended Great Britain's hope of crushing the rebellion.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More on our 5th Great Grandparents and the Revolutionary War (Williamson Line)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,

The annual Williamson Family Picnic is underway at Spearfish Park in South Dakota. I was unable to attend. A conflagration of events spewed from Fate's imagination kept me here in Pleasant Grove. My parents Charles and Luella, my sister Jilane (and two of her daughters) my brother Jon (and his son) and my sister Lisa (with her husband and two of her children) are attending along with other Williamsons from far and wide.

The last large family gathering was held three or four years ago. Perhaps it is time for another 'official' reunion. I suggest this one be an entire weekend affair with various events scheduled around the Spearfish / Deadwood area so family members can get to know each other. There is also the suggestion of having a large family gathering here in Utah. There are two branches of the Williamson families living one hour apart in northern Utah; Daniel and Lisa in Park City and several of us living in Utah County. Salt Lake City is a rather inexpensive airport to fly into and of course Utah is at the crossroads of the west - about a one day's drive for anyone in the multi-state region. Regardless of the location, perhaps it is time for another gathering.

Today I have more information on our 5th Great Grandparents John and Catherine Nosseman.
They immigrated to the American Colonies from Germany, thus filling out more of our German ancestral tree. John fought in the Revolutionary War, and according to the information found today may have deserted because he was taking the place of someone else.

We begin with the Relationship Chart: (remember, the full family tree can be found by clicking on the family tree near the top of the blog's right side bar).

5th Great Grandparents
John Conrad Nosseman
Catherine Nosseman
Married Bennett Willis


Jonathan Willis
Married Anabella Phlegar
Margaret Ann Willis.
Married George Matthew Williamson
William J. Williamson
Married Effie Helen Victor
Vennie, Ima Della, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie, Emmett, Walt, Charles, Maurice.

John Conrad Nossaman was born about 1750 in Hesse, Cassel , Germany and settled in Pennsylvania. He came from the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands on the ship Sally and took the Oath of Abjuration (an oath asserting the right of the present royal family to the crown of England, and expressly abjuring allegiance to the descendants of Charles Edward Stuart, the Jacobite Pretender).

He ( Johan Conrad Nasemann ) is listed as arriving at the Port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania August 23, 1773. On September 15, 1773 he was indentured as a servant for a period of 6 years to Job Cose and his assign for the amount of L 32.6.6. Job Cose is reported to live in Waterford Township, Glocester, West Jersey . If he served his full term of this indenture he became a free man on or about August 23, 1779. Indenturing was a way of paying for passage.

John Conrad Nossaman (Yon Conrad Noseman) was enlisted as a substitute in Captain Charles Wilson Peale's company o f the Fourth class, Philadelphia Militia in the service of the United States commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Will to fight in the Revolutionary War. It is likely that he was forced to take the place of his owner or one of his owner 's friends. Of the 55 privates who were enrolled in Capt. Peale's Company at this time, no fewer than 30 were listed as having "deserted" or being "absent without leave. " Johan Conrad Nossaman was listed as having deserted. Approximately 1 in 5 of the enrolled privates on the muster roll were "substitutes" for others.

There is a listing for the birth of Catherine born August 1 9, 1779 as a child of J. Conr. Naseman and Cathrina in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. Cathrina (Catherina) married Bennett H. Willis November 13, 1800 in Monroe County, Virginia. She married Peter Sickman April 5, 1819 in Franklin County, Virginia.

In 1780? John Nousman was listed on the return of Capt. Noah "Keasy," as a member of the 7th Class of the 5th Company of the 7th Battalion of the Lancaster County Militia. The Muster rolls show on October 28, 1781, "John Naseman" commenced a "touer of Duty" at Lancaster as a private on the Muster Roll of Capt. Robert McKey.

There is a recording of a birth of Elizabeth Nasemann born March 10, 1 782 to Conrad and Cathar. Elizabeth Naseman was christened April 1, 1782 at the Manheim, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lancaster Pennsylvania. Father was Conrad Nasemann and mother was Cather. She married David Pane April 6, 1801 in Monroe County, Virginia (now West Virginia).

On April 15, 1782 "John Nousman" was listed as a white male inhabitant between the ages of 18 and 53 residing in the district of Capt. Noah "Ceasey". This return was divided into eight classes and "John Nousman" was a member of the seventh class, together with sixteen other men. "John Nousman" was listed in the 1783 and 1784 returns for the fifth company of the seventh class of the Seventh Battalion of the Lancaster County Militia. The vast majority of the names appear to be German.

John Nossaman (Nosman) purchased 216 acres from Francis McNutt in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now Monroe County, West Virginia) in 1789 at a price of 5 shillings.

John Noseman, Sr. sold land to John Noseman, Jr. on July 1 , 1806 in Monroe County for a consideration of the sum of fifty pounds current money of Virginia. John Noseman, Sr. signed this deed whereas John Noseman, Jr. signed with an X with his signature witnessed. This would indicatt hat John Noseman, Jr. could not write which may have an impact of census records in the future.

In the 1810 Census of Monroe County, Virginia, John Nosseman is listed as the head of a household with three individuals a male aged 45 years and upwards and a female aged 45 years and upwards and a female age d 26 years but under 45 years. Several of the individuals believed to be children of John and Katrina Nossaman are in close proximity to them in the 1810 census.

It is suggested that John Conrad died in Giles County, Virginia ( now West Virginia) abt. 1820 but after the 1820 census period. This assumption will need confirmation at a later date.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer..... How did they Ever Do It?

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
It's days like this that bring fond memories of the dark, cold days of winter. It's hot in Utah Valley. So hot in fact the fortress walls are moist with sweat. I'm here in the great room waiting from my brother Jon and his son to arrive from Las Vegas. He is coming through on his way to South Dakota. Jon is doing what many other residents of Las Vegas are doing, looking for work elsewhere. Vegas and employment are antonyms. He's heard the grass is greener in South Dakota and Wyoming. While in S.D. he plans on attending the Williamson family picnic at Spearfish Park on the 24th.

I finished another camp Saturday evening and spending today licking my wounds and remembering what sleep feels like. I start another four day camp on Monday.

This is what I look like at the end of every week long camp. I start the week fresh, relaxed, and free of vices. I end the week wearing 20 extra years, chain smoking and addicted to anything bottled and unavailable to minors! (Don't look so shocked - I'm kidding. I'm still a good - non smoking and tea totalling chap but feel exactly how this picture looks).

I'm hoping to make the drive to the Williamson Reunion after camp on Thursday if the kids haven't savaged me too badly.

You'll have to excuse me for the following, but considering the copious amounts of British blood in our veins from many family lines I thought this might appeal to the naughtier in our clans.

Forgive me? Come on, its that English sense of humor emerging. What a bloody nuisance it is suppressing it all the time in this conservative valley where even showing a bit of leg will brand you a heretic, forcing you to wear the scarlet letter, as our sister Lisa can testify when she's out shopping at our neighborhood WalMart. Lisa is from California and is known to show a bit of leg. Of course Lisa being Lisa, she doesn't leave it at that. She takes enormous joy in shocking the residents of happy Utah Valley by committing the ultimate sin - sporting tops which far exceed the Valley's strict dress standards of women's tops tightly laced around the neck and wrists. California dressed in her terminology; a Jazebel in Mormon terms and Nude according to the Muslims.

A quick up date from the home front. I took Luella grocery shopping to Wynco last week. She is on her roller coaster diet and likes to search the shelves for the holy grail - delicious food sporting zero calories. I chuckle as I watch her scan the shelves. She talks to herself, then the food, then to herself.

"What do we have here. I've not seen you before. Can I eat you in abundance?"

She spins the bottle around to examine the nutritional label, shakes her head back and forth, says something her grandchildren would be shocked to hear come from the mouth of their beloved granny and, out of spite, replaces the item on a different shelve.

"Serves 'em right for tempting me like that," she says to justify her mischief.

"Who are you talking to?" I ask in passing. She changes the subject knowing I'm looking for every excuse to bring my long term plan forward a few years. "The Nearly There Home for the Elderly and Confused is holding a room for you." I smile.

"Shut up," she says while ramming my cart to get it out of the way.

I can tell where she is on the roller coaster by the food she ends up with in her cart at the check out. Then, when I'm not looking, she picks up a bag of M and M's and hides them in the palm of her hand. I've got to hand it to her. She's as good as any magician when it comes to slight of hand - only I'm on to her game and she knows it.

"Can we stop for a drink?" she always asks as we drive home. While I'm in the Convenience Store pouring two 32 ounce Diet Mt. Dews with one squirt of cherry for extra flavoring, I can see her enjoying her forbidden chocolate treat in private.

"What's that around your mouth?" I ask when I get back to the car. Luella has an eating disorder like many of us in this family and tends to wear her latest meal around her mouth and on the front of her shirt.

"Shut up," she answers while using her hand as a moist towelette.

Luella noticed something red coming toward us on the road as we were driving up the hill toward the Fortress.

"Look! It's your dad!" she coughs, struggling to get the words out in between gulps of cherry laced Dew.

I looked up the hill. Indeed there was something red coming down the hill. It was a Red Dodge minivan. Charles drives a large Ford pick up truck.

"That's a mini van." I wipe her spittle from my dash board and arm.

"Oh, so it is. I could of sworn it was your Dad."

"Can't you see that was a mini van?"

Then a classic Luella answer that endears her to us all.

"Well, it was red and that confused me."

I laughed. She laughed and we once again enjoyed a bit of time together. Bless her heart......

Here's hoping you all have a great week!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Life of Grandma Violet Pierce Mattson, In Her Words

Grandma Violet at age 6

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Everyone!
Dark clouds are building over the mountains to the west and a storm threatens the Valley below.
Monsoonal moisture hangs in the air making everything sticky and sweaty. Northern Utah has a desert climate so this moisture has made things uncomfortable. I'm sure there is a run on anti-perspirant in the town's shops. Regardless, we are are hearty lot and will soldier on until our climate returns and the air is bone dry, just the way we like it.

Today in our digital family reunion I'd like to show you the start of Grandma Violet's autobiography. Sadly she only wrote a few pages. I wish I would have taken the time when she was alive to convince her to record her memories. I know she would have balked at the suggestion, thinking not a soul on the planet would be interested in her boring and uneventful life. Most people do when asked to write their life history.

Convincing Grandma Violet to cooperate would have required a bit of bargaining. Ten years of history for movie or two. Fifteen years would have cost the movie or two plus a dinner out (to an all you can eat for sure). Twenty years would have been everything previously agreed to plus several hours of helping around the trailer. And her full history would have required the ultimate price - everything already agreed to plus a few shopping trips with me as the driver, the pusher of her wheelchair and carrier of her bags.

No matter what her price, it would have been worth it because what you see below is all there is.
Please read and enjoy. Afterwords, take the time to start your own personal history so your descendants will never have to write a post like this about you!

And now, the short and incomplete history of one of our family's matriarchs.

The pictures will enlarge if you click on them.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Look How Far We've Come. The First to Marry and the Next.

Chandler, The Next in our Family to Marry 2011

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Yesterday I received an invitation to attend my niece's wedding. Chandler will marry an Idaho boy named Randall. Their invitation reminded me of another wedding invitation recently found in Grandma Elda's things.

Kim, the First in our Family to Marry (1973)

After some searching I found the invitation tucked away in a book of Grandma's corespondents. I opened the envelope and removed its contents. I reread the invitation, written on a piece of fairly generic stationary purchased at Kmart in Rapid City. Then I looked again at Chandler's wedding invitation and a thought struck me;

"Look how far our family has come over the years."

I'm continuously amazed at what our parents accomplished as we were growing up. We were a family of ten living in a small lower middle class home in Rapid City, South Dakota. We lived on Dad's small State highway salary and what Mom was able to earn doing various jobs. Our parents found a way to make what we had stretch. There were times the stretching nearly broke the bank, but we made it and are the better for it.

The eight of us have all gone our separate ways and accomplished much. Let's remember those humble beginnings as illustrated in Kim's hand written wedding invitation and celebrate where we are today, as illustrated in Chandler's.

It causes me to pause and be grateful for what God has given and lessons I've learned along life's road.


Our 11th Great Grandparents. Persecuted Religious Reformers

French Huguenots Lovers Painted in the Time of our Great Grandparents

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Happy Independence Day!
So far a quiet day at the Fortress. I woke early and drove to Timp Cave to hike the cave trail. Its a great 3 mile walk up the mountain and back again. This afternoon I'm working on family history. This evening we have friends and family over to watch Pleasant Grove's fireworks from the decks. The view is fantastic considering the fireworks are launched from the junior high school at the bottom of the hill.

Regular visitors to our digital family reunions here at the Fortress have heard me say over and over again how surprised I am when I uncover more facts describing how fiercely independent our ancestors were on both sides of the family. Today I wanted to post something more about, considering the holiday.

I learned something new today about a group of people called Walloons.
The Walloons, who live in Belgium's southern provinces, are the country's French-speaking inhabitants. Their culture contrasts with that of the Flemings, who inhabit the northern part of the country and speak Flemish, a language similar to Dutch. The Walloons' closest cultural ties are to France and other countries in which Romance languages are spoken.

In the fifth century AD the Franks, a Germanic people, invaded the region that includes modern Belgium. They gained the most power in the northern area, where early forms of the Dutch language took hold. In the south, the Roman culture and Latin-based dialects continued to flourish. During the feudal period between the ninth and twelfth centuries AD , the Flemish and Walloon cultures continued developing along separate lines.

John Calvin

Our 11th Great Grandparents were French speaking Walloons. They turned their backs on the dominant Catholic religion of Belgium and France and became Huguenots (members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France / French Calvinists). Protestants in France were inspired by the writings of John Calvin in the 1530s and the name Huguenots was already in use by the 1560s. By the end of the 17th century, roughly 200,000 Huguenots had been driven from France during a series of religious persecutions. They relocated primarily in protestant nations: England, Switzerland, the Dutch Republic, the German Electorate of Prussia, the German Palatinate, and elsewhere in Northern Europe, as well as to what is now South Africa and to North America.

Huguenots became known for their harsh criticisms of doctrine and worship in the Catholic Church from which they had broken away, in particular the sacramental rituals of the Church and what they viewed as an obsession with death and the dead. They believed that the ritual, images, saints, pilgrimages, prayers, and hierarchy of the Catholic Church did not help anyone toward redemption. They saw Christian life as something to be expressed as a life of simple faith in God, relying upon God for salvation, and not upon the Church's sacraments or rituals, while obeying Biblical law.

Like other religious reformers of the time, they felt that the Catholic Church needed radical cleansing of its impurities, and that the Pope ruled the Church as if it was a worldly kingdom, which sat in mocking tyranny over the things of God, and was ultimately doomed. Rhetoric like this became fiercer as events unfolded, and eventually stirred up a reaction in the Catholic establishment.

The Catholic Church in France opposed the Huguenots, and there were incidents of attacks on Huguenot preachers and congregants as they attempted to meet for worship. The height of this persecution was the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre when 5,000 to 30,000 were killed. The Huguenots, retaliating against the French Catholics, frequently took up arms, even forcibly taking a few Catholic cities. Many Catholic monuments and shrines were destroyed in this action, a result of the Huguenots' iconoclasm.

The Huguenots took part in anti-Catholic movements in England during the reign of Henry VIII. They were hired by Henry VIII to suppress various Catholic orders in England. They were responsible for confiscation of many of the Catholic Church's possessions at the time on behalf of the king.

St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre

In what became known as the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 24 August – 3 October 1572, Catholics killed thousands of Huguenots in Paris. Similar massacres took place in other towns in the weeks following. The main provincial towns and cities experiencing the Massacre were Aix, Bordeaux, Bourges, Lyon, Meaux, Orleans, Rouen, Toulouse, and Troyes. Nearly 3,000 Protestants were slaughtered in Toulouse alone.The exact number of fatalities throughout the country is not known. On the 23–24 August, between about 2,000 and 3,000 Protestants were killed in Paris and between 3,000 and 7,000 more in the French provinces. By 17 September, almost 25,000 Protestants had been massacred in Paris alone. Outside of Paris, the killings continued until the 3 October. An amnesty granted in 1573 pardoned the perpetrators.

Over time most French Huguenots were forced to convert to Catholicism, because they did not want to emigrate or they could not. More than three-quarters of the Protestant population finally converted to Catholicism; the others (more than 200,000) moved to different countries.

An estimated 50,000 Protestant Walloons and Huguenots fled to England, about 10,000 of whom moved on to Ireland around the 1690's. In relative terms, this could be the largest wave of immigration of a single community into Britain ever.

Of the refugees who arrived on the Kent coast, many gravitated towards Canterbury, then the county's Calvinist hub, where many Walloon and Huguenot families were granted asylum. Edward VI granted them the whole of the Western crypt of Canterbury Cathedral for worship. This privilege in 1825 was reduced to the south aisle and in 1895 to the former chantry chapel of the Black Prince. Services are still held there in French according to the Reformed tradition every Sunday at 3pm.

Huguenot District of Canterbury England as it looks today

Other evidence of the Walloons and Huguenots in Canterbury includes a block of houses in Turnagain Lane where weavers' windows survive on the top floor, and 'the Weavers', a half-timbered house by the river (now a restaurant - see illustration above). The house derives its name from a weaving school which was moved there in the last years of the 19th century, resurrecting the use to which it had been put between the 16th century and about 1830. Many of the refugee community were weavers. Others practised the variety of occupations necessary to sustain the community distinct from the indigenous population, as such separation was the condition of the refugees' initial acceptance in the City. They also settled elsewhere in Kent, particularly Sandwich, Faversham and Maidstone - towns in which there used to be refugee churches.

Our 11th Great Grandparents Jacques Le Mahieu and Jenne Laman were among those who fled to Canterbury England. They spent their time between England and Holland. Is it any wonder that Henry VIII used these Protestants to help him confiscate the Catholic religious houses in England?

Their daughter Hester married our 10th Great Grandfather and Mayflower passenger Francis Cooke. Hester and Francis emigrated to North America and died in Plymouth MA.

Relationship Chart

11th Great Grandparents
Jacques Le Mahieu born 1559 in Leyland Holland. Died before 1611. and
Jenne Laman born 1553 in Lille, Walloon, Flanders.
Francis Cooke and Hester Mayhieu
LT. John Tomson and Mary Cooke
William Swift and Elizabeth Tomson
Ebenezer Swift and Abigail Gibbs
Ebenezer Swift and Jedidah Benson
Judah Swift and ?
Phineas Swift and Deborah Dearborn
Elmira Swift and Joseph McCrillis
Isabel McCrillis and John Mayberry Dennis
Vesta Dennis and Walter Pierce
Violet Pierce and Walter Mattson
Luella Mattson and Charles Williamson

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Family Culture. Music of the Tudors

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Tonight from the Fortress I share a piece of music well know to our ancestors who lived in England during the reign of the Tudors (Henry VIII, Edward, Mary and finally Elizabeth I). This piece of music was heard and loved by our ancestors, many of whom lived and worked in the Tudor Court as we've learned from previous posts.

Today, music plays an important part of in our lives. How many of us have hundreds, if not thousands, of soundtracks on our iPods and other electronic devices? We can't imagine living without this music written to excite and calm, written to carry us away to some other place far from the here and now.

Music was just as important, if not more so, to our ancestors. Imagine their delight in learning that traveling minstrels would be visiting their village performing songs they knew so well and introducing them to the latest compositions. Visualize them crowded around a stage, anxiously waiting to hear the popular music of their time, such as A Robyn, Gentyl Robyn by William Cornysh.

Our Great Uncle Ray Vercellino's Retirement and Career

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
I found this newspaper clipping in a book of cards and letters kept by Dad's mother, Grandma Leissman (Elda Vercellino).

It tells the story of Great Uncle Ray Vercellino (Elda's eldest brother). It's a fascinating read about a man who spent 48 years working for Western Union, starting as a telegraph operator and rising through the ranks to become a national manager. The clipping is too small to read in its fully scanned state so I broke it up and posted it below. It's a bit choppy but don't let that stop you from reading about his interesting life.

The Vercellino's in Lead South Dakota. Grandma Elda is seated, her mother then
Great Uncles Ed and Ray.

Ray Vercellino as a young man working for Western Union.