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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Capt. Hiram and Nancy Staples Eaton and daughter Nancy Elizabeth "Lizzie" Eaton (Mrs. Nathaniel Dow)

When Nancy Elizabeth "Lizzie" Eaton was born on August 16, 1849, in Searsport, Maine, her father, Capt. Hiram Eaton was 34, and her mother, Nancy Staples Eaton was 30. She married Wilson Nathaniel Dow in 1872. They had seven children in 20 years. She died on March 1, 1920, in her hometown at the age of 70.
THOUGHTS: As I have started an in-depth look at the family of Hiram and Nancy Eaton and their children, I have been gripped by the tragic side of their lives.
Their first two children, Mabel and David, died in 1880 at just 7 and 2 years old. What happened that year?...I don't yet know. Their son Lester died at 38 and their daughter Ellen died a 28.
Hiram and Nancy's son Capt William Eaton was off of Tampico, Mexico and died when eaten by sharks! And son James Eaton married Nellie Wise and had a daughter. When daughter Lillian at age 30 and Nellie were at their home, Nellie fell and accidentally knocked over an oil lamp destroying their home with both women dying in the fire!
Hiram's daughter Lizzie Eaton married Wilson Nathaniel Dow and soon began to build their family. My Grandmother always told me there was a Dow surname in the family but she was unable to share the kinship. Found the Dows!
To me the most tragic loss was that of Lizzie's daughter Nellie who married Daniel Robertson. Nellie became pregnant with twins Gina and Nina, but found herself suffering from Eclampsia which is evidently a complication of blood pressure and even organ issues which results in mal grand seizures and even coma and death. Nellie died. Nina died. Gina suffered heart defect issues and died within 6 months. This young family was no more.
Lizzie Eaton Dow, daughter of Hiram and Nancy, was one of several siblings. Her brother Lester Clarence Eaton was my Great Grandfather. In her later years, as a widow, Lizzie lived with my Great Grandparents, Lester and Pru, at our family farm on Turnpike Road in Searsport in 1920. I finally have the Dow link and know someone else associated with my dearly loved family farm where I visited as a child, not often enough, to see my Grandmother, Esther Eaton.
There were other tragedies. And, there were many celebrations of love, life and living, I am sure; as there are in my generation. When researching genealogy, it is more common to find the losses and less common to find the celebrations.
I celebrate my ancestry.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Grandson of Don L. Wolf, Sr. Gets His First Haircut

Getting your first haircut can be a big decision for your parents.  They have waited for your newborn hair to grow and now they are considering cutting some of it.  When that momentous moment does occur...snip, snip, snip and save a lock of hair!

That is exactly what happened when Don Sr. was asked to cut his toddler grandson Joseph's sweet hair.  Mom and Dad took Joe over to his grandparents.  Wee Joe stood up against the table next to his 6'5" grandfather (who sat down, of course), enjoyed a bottle of milk held by Mom, and Granddad helped this young man to be even cuter!

                                                                                   Thanks Granddad Wolf!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

An Almost Famous Person (AFP) Barbara Bernert Keyser

Barbara Keyser was a special person.  Unfortunately I never got to meet her husband (that I recall) but know they led interesting lives.

I know little about Jack, but I see in his son  his father's love for tinkering and making reuse of many things.  Being a farmer, Jack no doubt found it advantageous to repair machines that had hiccuped.  He also was a builder, of their home and other structures that met their needs.

A member of the family had a Hillman Minx -- a rare car.   Hillmans were manufactured in Britain and imported to the US in a "foreign invasion" of our GM, Ford and Chrysler dominated market.

Barbara's father, Christian (or Crist) Bernert, came to America in 1906 from Hungary with his wife Julia Roff Bernert and their children Elizabeth and Peter.  Three years later in 1909 the family returned to Hungary.  While in Panscova, Austria-Hungary, their daughter was born...Barbara (Barbala) Rose Bernert (later Keyser) on July 26, 1909, a Leo astrologically.  When she was almost 4, Barbara emigrated with her family to New York, America, on the Ship Ivernia.  This must have been quite an experience for a young girl.

Barbara's father ultimately worked as a Tool and Die Maker for Ford Motor Company and joined the Teamsters.  He also worked for Hercules Tool and Die in Warren, MI when they made and sold generators to the U. S. Army.  At one point the Teamsters, who were communist leaning, had Christian signed up to go to Russia with the Teamsters group; they were to be paid in Rubles.  Crist decided he did not want to go; five of those who did "disappeared" in Russia.  Christian was friendly with Walter Reuther (President of the UAW from 1946-1970).  Many Teamsters attended the funeral of Barbara's father, Christian.


Barbara loved orchids.  A hobby and fascination that has been passed down to her son and daughter-in-law who both have many lovely orchids hanging from the limbs of their trees.

Barbara Keyser died October 22, 2003 following a good day and following enjoying ice cream for dinner.  Her heart simply stopped even though she wore a pacemaker for several years.  She was cremated and buried alongside her husband Jack at Evergreen Cemetery in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Barbara died in Melbourne, FL, near the home of her son, daughter-in-law and grandson.  Barbara also received many visits from my dad until he passed away before her.  She missed his visits very much.  Barbara was SO much like my own grandmother Alice Southworth Healey that it was amusing to see the similarities.  If they were not of the same generation, I would have wondered if one was a reincarnation of the other!  Nice.

Barbara is an "AFP" (Almost Famous Person).   Barbara worked for a period of time for a corporate lawyer, who became a good friend of the family. In 1945 she had Roger and stayed home about one year. Grant and Johnny, her stepsons, were living with her and Jack. Their lawyer friend visited with Jack and Barbara regarding land in Vermont which was very inexpensive. Jack loved it and moved the family to Vermont in one week - a sizable feat! Their first Vermont home had a little gas station on the land in Colchester Vermont, Jack built the garage. This was a 4 bedroom house. They were able to have boarders and Barbara used to bake pies for restaurants (and for boarders). Then she got a job with an insurance company in Essex. Her boss was a State Senator. Barbara, having lived in Colchester for a mere 3 years was elected as the Town Clerk, a position she held for 17 years. She was the first woman in Vermont to be a Town Clerk - an Almost Famous Person!

At one point she and Jack bought a farm and traded all the farm machinery to buy a grocery store (Keyser's IGA) in Colchester.

Jack and four others started a volunteer fire department in Colchester and donated a piece of land for the fire station. This fire station is now fully staffed with paid firemen.

After Jack had a heart attack in Vermont, they moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Notes: After they had been married about 3 years, Jack built a home at 17 Collington Avenue, East Detroit, MI. He actually dug the basement by hand and then eventually sold the home.  And, did you know she was  the ENTIRE complaint department for FTD florists during the war?

A Brownie Recipe of Barbara Keyser's

1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla
1 can of Hershey's syrup (about 10 oz?)
and add lastly: 2 c. self-rising flour

Bake at 350 degrees F. in an oblong pan.

Add chocolate icing!

I loved her so much.  Donna Fuller Cator

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Marian Loretta Ridgeway and her descendants

Marian is my husband's Great Aunt Marian Loretta Ridgeway who married Robert H. Beach.  Marian's sister was Ruth Alice Ridgeway, our ancestor.    Marian passed away in the 1980's and her obit tells quite a tale about large families and their descendants.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Saving the passengers and the pets on the Ship Susan Gilmore in 1884

My 4th Great Grandparents are Capt. Phineas Pendleton (1780-1873) and his wife Nancy Gilmore Pendleton, daughter of Lt. Peleg and Ann Park Pendleton. Phineas and Nancy had a daughter Mary who married Capt. Woodburn Carver.  Woodburn and Mary had Nancy Pendleton Carver who married Capt. Andrew Sherburne Pendleton and they had daughter Marietta Park Pendleton, who never married.

Andrew and Nancy's daughter Marietta Pendleton was born on July 4th, 1868 on the Bark Thomas Fletcher in the Bristol Channel off Cardiff Wales.  Her father Andrew was the bark's captain.

Interestingly, Nancy Pendleton Carver Pendleton's brother, William McGilvery Carver, was captain of the Ship Susan Gilmore in 1884 when it was shipwrecked.  Capt. Carver swam to shore through the surf and carried a rope which he then tied to a tree.  With this small rope he pulled a larger line to shore, fastened it to a tree, and a breeches buoy was set up and hauled to and from until every person was saved, and then he went back and saved all the pets.  Our kind of man!

Note: Winslow Homer painting of a Breeches Buoy in 1884. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

My Great Great Grandmother's Recipe for a Very Good Sponge Cake

·        Three eggs
·        One and One-half cups sugar
·        Two cups flour
·        Two cups cold water
·        One teaspoonful cream tartar
·        One-half teaspoon Bird's soda
·        Salt
·        Flavor to taste

·        Take one cup of flour and sift the cream tartar well into it
·        Beat the eggs lightly and stir in sugar
·        Add flour and cream tartar mixture
·        Dissolve the soda into the water
·        Add water/soda, and salt and flavoring
·        Add the other one cup of flour
·        Bake slowly
·        Sprinkle sugar over the top when the cake has been in the over a minute or two
·        When done, the cake will have a light color and a sugary crust

This 1913 recipe is thanks to:
Emily Jane Pendleton Beach, my great great grandmother whose husband was Orin Utley Beach, Jr..   Emily was Esther Beach Eaton Bennett Homer's grandmother!


This is my great great grandmother's recipe.  It was published in the Knyvetta Cookbook in 1913, four years before she passed away in 1917 in Searsport. 

My mother used to talk about Emily' Jane's son, Capt. James Hervey Beach who worked for Standard Oil Company as a Captain and later a pilot on the rivers in China.  When Jim was 27, he married Eugenie Ella Staples who was born in Havre, France in 1875 and died in 1914 in Shanghai, China.  Their children were well liked by my mom. The three daughters were Ella, Doris and Helen, all of whom never married! My mom, Marjorie Emma Bennett, was named after Doris “Marjorie” Beach!

This photo is of my grandmother, Esther (Nana) being held by her mom, Emily Prudence, sister of Capt. Jim.  Looks like Capt. Jim's photo on the wall may be the one on the left.  This picture was taken on the family farm on Turnpike Road in Searsport.  Interesting.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mom's Budget-Friendly and Easy Goulash

q     In 1 tblsp oil, cook (about 10 minutes) and drain:
q         1 1/2 pounds of hamburger
q         1 small onion chopped
q         1 green pepper chopped

q     Add: 
q         2 cans of Franco- American spaghetti
q         1 can spaghetti can of water
q         Season with Salt/Pepper

q      Simmer ingredients in the large fry pan for about 10 minutes
·                                  Serves about 4                                                 
This family recipe is thanks to:

My mom, Marjorie Emma Fuller, who never liked to cook really. 

Mom did easy stuff...often bland stuff like we tend to think of New England
boiled dinners  - not spicy!

This is her very easy, and I loved it always, goulash made with Franco-American 
spaghetti.  I never knew this; thought it was from thin spaghetti pasta. 

My sister knew her secret though!

Not sure Franco American Spaghetti in cans is still available, 
but anything similar would do - maybe even Spaghetti-Os!