My daughter the writer…

Cait

I used to sit on the edge of your bed and watch you sleep. Tiny cherub face, strawberry blond curls falling loosely on your pillow. Your tiny nose kissed by the sun awash with freckles. I would wonder what life had in store for you. Where would this journey take you, and most importantly where did you want to go.

Today, a decade later, I find myself doing the same thing. The physical composition has changed, You have grown, matured and your journey has begun.I am so proud and privileged to be viewing your life unfolding before my eyes like the petals of a beautiful rose.

Most people go through life afraid, You Caitlin do not. I hope this is something that you embrace for the rest of you life. You have goals, aspirations and dreams. But most importantly you have the courage and the DNA to succeed.

Today I awoke, and realized that a piece of life’s puzzle has been placed. You, my daughter, are a writer. It was meant to be. You started writing in elementary school and mesmerized us with you tales and poetry. Truman Capote said “To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that the words make.”

Like all great writers your words have the power to take people on a journey. Virginia Woolf took us into a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway; Jane Austen’s words so real made us feel the pain of the Dashwood sisters life and loves and Louisa May Alcott who took a coming of age story about sisters’ turned the character “Jo March” into a witty, independent, real person.

I am excited about your journey and look forward to seeing the other pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

Keep writing, keep believing, never stop dreaming. You are my Jo March. It is only fitting that I conclude with the words of Mark Twain…”Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

Love,
Mom

Madness Monday – Delzell Family from Maryland

1850 Census Rockville, MD

How does an entire family disappear?  There is literally no trace of this family after the 1850 census taken in Rockville, Maryland. 

Sarah Ann Robinson Worthing Clarke  married Robert Delzell on February 15, 1848 in Frederick, MD.  Delzell has several spelling variants and I have tried them all!

In August of 1850 the family in residing in Rockville, Maryland:

Robert Delzell (b. ca 1825) – head of house

Sarah Delzell (b. ca 1830) wife

James Delzell (b. ca 1848) son

Elizabeth Clarke (b. ca. 1794) mother-in-law

1850 Census Rockville, MD

 From a family bible I know that they had several other children

James W. N. Delzell (twin) b. 17 Dec 1848

Frances W. R. Delzell  (twin) b. December 17 Dec 1848 – she does not appear on the census perhaps she was decesed by 1850

Mary Ellen Delzell b. 23 Nov 1849 – d. 12 Dec1849

Charles Ridgely Delzell b. 13 Feb 1851 – d. 18 Jul 1851

Amanda Milvina Fitzellen Delzell b. 16 May 1852

Robert Basil Delzell b. 12 Jan 1854

Did all of the children pass away?  Looks like they suffered several deaths of infants. Since the mother Sarah got married again I assume that her husband also passed away sometime bet. 1850 and 1855.

On 18 Oct 1855,  Sarah Ann Robinson Worthington Clarke Delzell would marry John F. Carder in Allegany, Maryland.

After that I cannot find them anywhere.  Can anyone offer any clues?

Tombstone Inscription Explained

In a previous post http://tracemyorigin.com/2012/03/tombstone-tuesday-im-ready-now/ I shared the heart breaking story of the death of  little Horace Miller Clarke, 5 year old. The chilling inscription on his tombstone simply stated “I’m ready now.”  Intrigued by the three simple words I continued researching and found this telltale article regarding his death:

THE FORKED DEER BLADE JACKSON,TENNESSEE SATURDAY   JUNE 11,1887

LITTLE MILLER..five year old son of Mr.& Mrs.HORACE N.CLARK, died in Milan Monday and was buried Tuesday. Rev.Dr.WEAVER conducting the services, Before the little sufferer died he called his mother and father, grandfather and grandmother (Mr.& Mrs.MILLER) to his bedside, and after kissing each one good bye, said,”now I’m ready to go.” “Angels were waitiing to receive him and his pure soul took its flight.”  A special train went up from Jackson carrying a large number of friends of Mr.& Mrs.CLARK, who wished to attend the funeral. Mr.W.D.ROBINSON, the undertaker,went up Monday afternoon and embalmed the body, and was as expected, its appearance was not charged up to the time of the funeral. The little child looked as lifelike as if he had only fallen asleep. Mr.ROBINSON had charge of the funeral and cars were provided on which he carried his horses, carriages and elegant white hearse, and after the funeral, they were returned to Jackson the same way.

A special thank you to http://files.usgwarchives.net/tn/madison/newspapers/forked1885.txt for posting the newspaper article.

 

Tombstone Tuesday – “I’m ready now”

Miller Clarke

 

While combing through the Frederick County Historical Society’s collection I stumbled across an entry in the Margaret Myers Collection.  ”Married Horace W. Clarke & Katie Miller – October 1st 1881 – Milan, Tennessee.  There aren’t that many Horace Clarke’s in the area so I knew it was my family line.

But what I didn’t know was that he had been married to a Miss Kate Miller.  Horace Clarke was a famous railroader who descended from one of the most illustrious railroad men of all time his father – James C. Clarke.

Horace’s railroad career would relocate him from Frederick to the Tennessee area.  He married Kate Miller, daughter of Hezekiah and Julia Miller.  Her father, also know as H.P. Miller, was proprietor of the Southern Pacific Hotel.

I was so excited to see he had produced an offspring as this was the end of the Clarke line.  But my excitement was short lived when I found the obituary for his one and only son.  Horace Miller Clarke (1883-1887).

Little “Miller Clarke”, died at the age of five at the home of his grandfather.

The exquisitely carved stone denotes a cherubic boy with a writing instrument in his hand tracing over the words, “I’m Ready Now.’

I can only imagine the pain of losing a child at such an early age.  The love for the child is evident by the stunning stone they erected in memoriam of this sweet little angel.  Little Miller Clarke, as he is identified, lies in eternal peace beside his maternal grandparents, H.P. and Julia Miller.  I do not know what become of his mother, Kate Miller Clarke.

His father Horace would go on to marry again in  1903 to Miss Virginia Alice Shriner from Frederick, Md.  Horace passed away in 1912 and interred in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Frederick, MD ,in the prestigious family plot adorned by a large obelisk monument.

May you rest in peace and now that you are not forgotten..

Special thanks and credit for all of the photo’s is kindly extended to Toni Kee.  Toni is a contributor and volunteer for www.findagrave.com who took the photo’s and sent them to me.  It is with permission from Toni that I share the enclosed photographs.  Click the link to see the listing on findagrave.com.

 

Monocacy Battlefield – There’s an App for That!

monocacy

The Monocacy National Battlefield  is a local treasure for students, historians and civil war buffs.  The battlefield is located in Frederick, Md and where  “The Battle that saved Washington” took place on July9, 1864.  Managed by the National Park Service it  is a fee-free park , open seven days a week from 8:30am – 5:00pm.  During summer months the park rangers and volunteers offer walking tours and special programs.  The visitor center is a state of the art facility and offers an eight – minute fiberoptic map presentation,  several interactive exihibits and numerous artifacts currently on display. 

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a ranger from the park who shared that there is an iPhone/iPad app for the battlefield.  The Monocacy National Battlfied app is loaded with facts and interesting features ranging  from the civilians who lived there to the soldiers who faught there.  For a list of all the features check out their website.  Kudo’s on a job well done and for making history fun.

 

 

Fearless Females – Amanda Malvina Fitzalan Delzell

 

March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you  were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

Amanda Malvina Fitzalan Delzell

Reading glasses resting on an open book

Looking at this interesting name the goal was to discover additional genealogical information on the Delzell family.

Amanda Malvina Fitzhallen Delzell was born 16 May 1852, daughter of Sarah Ann Robinson Worthington Clarke and Robert Delzell.

In researching the name I found that is was not a family naming pattern nor a clue to ancestors.

 It turns out that Amanda Milvena Fitzallen was a heroine in The Children of the Abbey - an eighteenth  century novel by the Irish romantic novelist Regina Maria Roche.  The book remained a best seller until the end of the nineteeth century. It was filled with adventure and misfortunes and is set in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England.  Jane Austen mentioned the work in her novel, Emma. I interpret the mention as a positive recommendation of the novel.

While it does not provide surname clues it does tell me that her mother was well-read, modern and perhaps a hopeless romantic.

 

 

 

 

 

Fearless Females-What’s in a name?

Sarah Ann Robinson Worthington Clarke

March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

Sarah Ann Robinson Worthington Clarke Delzell Carder. 

How is that for a name?  It would never fit on our standardized forms of today.

The long name has genealogical significance and offers a clue to ancestors.  A name to preserve and pass down through the generations. The name is so important that they named their first daughter the EXACT same name. Sadly the first Sarah died as an infant in 1826.

Sarah Ann Robinson Worthington Clarke was born June 22, 1830 in Frederick County, Maryland. The child of Elizabeth Simpson & William Clarke. Her father William, was born in Newtownards, County Down, Ireland on March 25, 1799.  Elizabeth Simpson descends from some of the first and finest families in Maryland.

In dissecting I turned first to the Irish naming pattern from her father’s native land. The pattern states that the first daughter is named after the mother’s mother.

So we have a match!

Sarah-maternal grandmothers name (SARAH WORTHINGTON)

Ann – maternal great grandmother was (ANN RIDGELY)

Robinson -(?) A clue that needs researching! I can’t find anywhere in the maternal line so I am assuming it is from the paternal line.

Worthington – Grandmother’s last name – (SARAH WORTHINGTON)

Delzell – She married Robert Delzell in Frederick County, MD 15 Feb 1848.

Carder – She married John F. Carder 18 Oct 1855

A long name indeed and a very interesting naming pattern filled with genealogical significance.

 

Life is a box of chocolates

094.jpg

On Valentine’s Day I read a tweet from my youngest daugther that was so deep rooted in pure, raw emotion it moved my soul and touched my heart. I have found Twitter to be a place to express feelings -feelings otherwise we might not bother to share. In 140 characters or less she expressed a heart felt sentiment, “Never knew how much a box of chocolates and a hug could mean to someone until it’s gone, rest in peace Pop I love you.” Sometimes it is the smallest gestures, a modest gift, that create our most treasured memories. For you see each Valentine’s Day my father would deliver a small red box filled with a few chocolates and a lifetime of love. Yes Valentine’s Day will never be the same without you and that box of chocolates. We love you Pop (Bernie Gardiner) and you will forever be in our hearts. For your girls – life is a box of chocolates.

 

 

Who do you think you are? My research revealed a Vaudeville Star!

Capture
Charles Cartmell & Laura Harris

I love nothing better than rising early on Sunday’s and delving into my genealogical research with a hot cup of coffee in hand.  I often find myself jumping from one familiar line to another.  I wrote out my research objectives for the day and began searching for information on my GREENE lineage.

I had no idea the delightful surprise I would unveil! The Greene/Green lineage is typically stuffy people with lofty accomplishment.  One of the most noted  is  Thomas Greene  (the second proprietary Governor of Maryland. But today the discovery of an entire family of performers has shed some liveliness on the family line.

The research focus of the day was my 2nd great grand Aunt – EMMA GREEN (1858-1910?). EMMA was the daughter of ELIZABETH CLARK (1825-?) and GILES THOME GREEN (1803-1863).  Elizabeth being much younger than her husband found herself a young widower and left to the rearing of EMMA and her brother ANDREW.

EMMA lived and worked in her mother’s hotel in Uniontown, MD  and on February 19, 1880, EMMA married THOMAS HARRIS (1855-1934)  in Carroll County, MD.

EMMA and THOMAS are listed twice in the 1880 census. One listing their residence and place of work at their mother’s hotel in Uniontown. The second entry was in Baltimore, MD but when I looked at the occupation it listed them both as ACTORS!  A husband and wife team well…well…well.  Finally a little bit of fun in the Green family!  woohoo.  This discovery inspired me to dig a little deeper, after all these are the first actors in the family.

By the 1900′s EMMA and THOMAS were still residing in the Baltimore area and their family had been blessed by the addition of four children.  The 1900 census also revealed that two of the children THOMAS, JR. and LAURA are also actors!  So now I am really excited a family of actors!  What a fun Sunday this was turning out to be!  Errands and household chores could wait.  Due to the excitement I abandoned my typical research protocol and turned to the universe for answers…translated that means to google. So my chubby little fingers deftly typed  LAURA HARRIS + THOMAS HARRIS +ACTOR and Bingo.  The very first result returned was a bio from Will Rogers book – “The Papers of Will Rogers from Vaudeville to Broadway.” Here is the excerpt:

 

So now we can add ANOTHER actor to the family, CHARLES CARTMELL, husband of LAURA HARRIS. If you have lost count we are up to five actors in the same family.

The trio appeared on Broadway together in 1903  All three where on stage for the opening night of the musical comedy “Mrs. Delaney of Newport.”

In 1908 CHARLES & LAURA found themselves on Broadway again in GEORGE M. COHAN’s “Fifty Miles to Boston.” One of Cohan’s featured song’s written in the musical was “Harrigan” Click  here to listen to a great recording of the song I found on YouTube.

Words and Lyrics by GEORGE M. COHAN:

H-A- Double R-I
G-A-N spells Harrigan!
Proud of all the Irish that’s in me.
Divil a man can say a word agin me!
Oh, H-A-Double R-I
G-A-N you see!
It’s the name,
That no shame has ever been connected with
It’s a name that a shame never has been connected with
Harrigan, that’s me!

By 1910 the three actors  – THOMAS, CHARLES and LAURA were  residing in Manhattan, NY .  The census confirmed again that all three were still performing.

In 1912 CHARLES would go on New York’s Broadway theatre solo in the musical comedy, “The Sun Dodgers.” He is listed as performing a dance specialty.

The newspaper archives are filled with rich stories and complimentary reviews of “CARTMELL & HARRIS Vaudeville performances. They travelled all of America and Europe delighting audiences with their talents. One of their most famous numbers that all three performed in was a dancing, comedy skit titled “Golfing with Cupid.”

Below is a picture and excert from the review of their skit:

Cartmell & Harris in "Golfing with Cupid"

Click on the link below for the full article.

<a href=”http://www.newspaperarchive.com/FreePdfViewer.aspx?img=71080054&firstvisit=true&terms=Review” >Review of “Golfing with Cupid”</a>

In 1918 they performed opening night in Raymond Hitchcock’s Hitchy-Koo a musical revue with two acts and 14 scenes on Broadway.

The 1930′s found the three actors residing in an actor’s colony in Freeport, Long Island, NY.  Vaudeville actors established the community around 1910 and lived there while not on the road performing.

Another point  of interest is THOMAS HARRIS is now listed in the census as “THOMAS MCSWIGGAN”  Perhaps his birth name was McSwiggan, and his alias of Harris was a stage name. Personally I like it, sounds like a bartender on Grey’s Anatomy.

I love finding obituaries, and I was hoping that the obit of THOMAS HARRIS would answer all of my questions.  However it only created more!  Now I find out that his wife, EMMA GREEN was also an actress and prior her death they also performed together. So if you are still counting we are now up to six actors in the same family.

In addition to that fact the obit lists her name as EMMA MURRAY – who the heck is that?  Her maiden name was GREEN.  Ok – I will just chalk this up to another stage name.  This story is now is now frustrating me. Two steps forward and one step back.

From the best that I can tell with my preliminary research THOMAS MCGUIGAN was born on February 3, 1855 in Philadelphia, PA the son of a saloon-keeper.  At the age of seven he joined a minstrel troupe as a young boy he tap-danced for Abraham Lincoln. In 1875 he made his first appearance at Fox’s Theatre in Philadelphia. In 1876 he formed a team with JACK  MCNEIL.

In 1879 both Harris & McNeil joined “The Three Arnold Brothers”,  while performing with the minstrel troupe the two would dissolve their partnership.  At that point THOMAS began performing with his wife EMMA.  The playbills listed them as “The Harrises.” They performed together until 1889 when Thomas took a stock engagement at the Odeon Theatre in Baltimore.  He remained there 10 years performing one season with his son Tommy and daughter Laura calling themselves “The Three Harrrises.”  He then worked for four years with his daughter and son-in law under the bill of “Harris and Cartmell.” He had an illustrious career and continued performing almost to the end of his days.  He was also lovingly called the “Colonel” and the Mark Twain of Vaudeville.   Thomas Harris aka McSwiggan aka McGuigan passed away in Freeport, Long Island New York in 1934.

Below is the obituary for Thomas Harris:

Charles Cartmell, husband to Laura Harris passed away a few year later.

Below is the obituary of Charles Cartmell:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I don’t have all of the pieces of the puzzle in place.  I have discovered something about my family that I never knew.  It certainly brightened my day and I hope it brightened yours as well.  You just never know what you discover.

 

Frederick County Land Records

Are you looking for ancestors in Frederick County, do you want to know where they lived.  The state of Maryland has digitized land records online to help you in your search.  Just visit Maryland land records by clicking the link.