Aberman/Melheim Family Webpage

Aberman/Melheim Family Webpage

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Contact: melheimom@hotmail.com

Last Updated July 27, 2017

IN MEMORY OF OUR MOTHER, ELIZABETH C. ABERMAN, February 12, 1925 to July 30, 2013

Young Liz Aberman

Our mother was born Elizabeth Jean Chidester on February 12, 1925 in Manistee, Michigan. She was the eldest daughter of Rev.William Keith Chidester and Helen Deborah Bates, and is survived by her sister, two daughters and four grandchildren.

Mom preferred to go by the nickname "Liz," which kind of exemplified her philosophy of informality. Raised in a very strict Episcopal household partly during the Depression years, she chose to break from tradition and go her own way in the choices she made in life. One of Mom's favorite sayings (there were many) included this (and I am paraphrasing): "My father was an Episcopal minister. We moved around a lot, as my father couldn't stand to be under the control of his rich parishioners. We were poor and I can remember being hungry during the Depression. But we were expected to tolerate our circumstances." Her family moved from Michigan to Winter Park, Florida, which Mom just loved. For one thing, it was warm, sunny and beautiful! She did occasionally miss the snowy winters of Michigan, though.

As a child and teenager, Mom was a bit of a rebel. The household was too confining, stern and regimented to suit Mom, and she said she "used to escape by playing with the neighborhood boys" in Winter Park. When older, she regretted what she considered to be her "abandonment" of her younger sister to the confines of the house. She loved her sister very much.

After she graduated from high school, Mom attended Rollins College in Winter Park, until her family relocated to NYC. She completed her bachelor's degree at Barnard College in Manhattan, graduating "cum laude" in 1947. I think she majored in music. Mom played the piano, violin and viola proficiently. She was working on a master's degree in psychology when she met Sidney "Sid" Aberman while doing an internship at a mental hospital in upstate NY. They fell in love and married in 1949. Sid was Jewish, which may have been part of the attraction! He was also a social activist and pacifist, and influenced Mom greatly to become involved. They had two children, and divorced in 1960. They made the effort to keep their relationship as amicable as possible after their divorce for the benefit of their daughters.

Mom began work as a secretary for Liberation magazine in the 1960's, then went to work as a secretary for the War Resister's League in lower Manhattan. She actively demonstrated against the Vietnam War, and was very interested in political and social issues. She was extremely intelligent and read profusely, including books on philosophy, Marxism and Capitalism. I used to proudly say that "my Mom is a revolutionary!" (Much to the consternation of some of my teachers.)

She was friends with a group of other musicians that would get together frequently to play “quartets.” I remember her practicing her violin; and when we were younger, she played songs on the violin for us at bedtime. I particularly remember her playing “Old King Cole” (was a merry old soul…)

Mom suffered from bipolar disorder. She had a "manic episode" shortly after I was born and was hospitalized for two weeks. She also suffered several major depressions during my childhood. It was very difficult for her being a single mom, working part time, and trying to have a social life of her own. Several years after the divorce, she was introduced to the I Ching by a good friend, and shown how to "use" it and get the most from it. For those who are not familiar with it, the I Ching is an ancient book of Chinese wisdom and philosophy; it's also an oracle. For her, it was a lifesaver and life changer.

I believe Mom was on a spiritual journey throughout her life. One of her favorite places to go on vacation was to Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine. She loved to just sit on the rocks and watch the ocean waves.

On Halloween night, October 1984, Mom was hit by someone riding downhill on a bicycle, while crossing Broadway on her way home from work. She was knocked to the street and suffered a head injury; the nerve to her right eye was severed, leaving her blind in that eye. I remember receiving the phone call from the police that night, and rushing in the car to St. Luke's hospital in NYC where she was being cared for, with my husband (who had recently broken his hip) and two year old son in the passenger seats. It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life. Mom, being the person she was, told me she was alright during the whole procedure I could barely stand to watch. And she later joked about the date "Halloween, 1984!" She used to say that if it weren't for that, she would have been depressed about it. True to form, she also didn’t blame the cyclist; she couldn’t quite remember who had the right-of-way, and said that she may have been crossing against the light. And, she added, he was hurt in the accident too.

But she was a fighter, and had the strength to recover and continue on with her life as best she could. She continued working for another eight years until retiring in 1992, and even after that she continued to volunteer for many years for the WRL. She made many good friends there over the years, including the late Ralph DiGia.On June 9th, 1992 her friends and co-workers at the WRL threw a “Hooray for Liz” party at the apartment of the late Karl Bissinger in Manhattan. They presented her with a beautifully hand printed plaque that I still have. It reads: “HOORAY FOR LIZ ! Others have traveled to exotic places, written pompously, spoken wisely, made weighty decisions in hours of meetings. In thirty years others have come and gone as comrades donned suit and tie for flashier occupations. But behind the scenes in all this time typing letters, changing addresses, adding up checks WRL has had Liz who has done the essential work that keeps us going with good humor, dedication, and good will HOORAY FOR LIZ ! and thanks."

Probably due to the head trauma, Mom began losing her memory skills, until later she was diagnosed with dementia and probable Alzheimer's. Stubborn to the end, she didn't want to leave her co-op apartment in the upper west side of Manhattan she had lived in for over 50 years, until events spurred us to move her first to MA and then to WA state. She lived with my family for six years until we had to move her to an adult family home where she lived the remaining two years of her life being well cared for and comfortable. After gradually declining in health, she had a sudden episode that left her breathing with great difficulty. Hanging on until both her daughters could be with her, she then passed away rather peacefully.

She was much loved.

How We Got Started

We first got involved in family genealogy several years ago when our daughter did a school project on her Abercrombie family, entitled "Another Oregon Trail". Starting with info from research done by relatives, we looked online for information and found there were numerous genealogy websites. We located the Abercrombie message board on the GenForum website, and posted a message with what details we had, asking for more info from anyone who knew about this family. Shortly afterwards, a cousin from a part of the family we didn't know existed responded-- and it turned out she had been doing genealogy research for years! Roxie was a wealth of information and an inspiration, and we've been enjoying genealogy research ever since.

Which Families Are We Researching?

Abercrombie, Aberman, Batalden, Bates, Bristlin, Burbank, Butolph, Chidester, Cook, Fellman, Keith, Lehnert, Mason, McCloskey, Melheim, Morey, Nord, Offerdal, Powell, Roberts, Robinson, Sturtevant,Weaver

Some of these families we have a lot of information about, and some we have very little about. Living children have been listed as "Living daughter" or "Living son" to protect their privacy.


The information on this web page comes from several sources, including:


Some of the graphics on this page were done by our youngest son; others were downloaded from other websites and formatted by our two sons, or by myself under their expert supervision. Most of the information about the Abercrombie family is adapted from the school report by our daughter, based largely on the research of Roxie Stevens. Alice Needham also contributed significant records on Robert Abercrombie. Carl Robinson, a descendant of Surrilda Abercrombie Godfrey, contributed new info on Harrison Abercrombie. Milly Duncan, Kathy Shetler, Beth Alexander and Russ Mattox provided the info on Robert Frederick Abercrombie (Robert, Jr.) {NOTE: May 3, 2010: Previous visitors to this page may notice I have changed some of the information about Robert Abercrombie to reflect some new information that I received that has discounted the possibility that our Robert was the son of Robert Abercrombie of Maryland.] The info on the Melheim and Offerdal families mostly comes from Norwegian researchers Lars Oyane, Oddvar Natvik, and Aase Saether. Jim Urness contributed info for the children of Severt Melheim, and the Batalden and Nord families, as well as the photo of Christine Serine Batalden. Jan Moen sent me the photo of Severt and Ella Melheim, and gave me info about their daughter Gladys as well as info on the Bataldens. Lois James provided info on the siblings of Alfred Nord, including a photo of Alfred's brother Olaf. Nathan White, husband of a descendant of Helen Hewitt, and Elinor Hewitt Denton both contributed much info on the Bristlin and Lehnert families, allowing me to update this webpage on these families. The info on the Chidester family comes from many sources including (but not limited to) Harriet Chidester, Terry Campbell, Paul E. Volpp, Reynolds Cordes, Stewart J.A.Woolever Jr. [see his website, including Chidester family info, at http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/w/o/o/Stewart-J-Woolever-jr/], Judy Baker, and websites such as GENUKI, and a website on Cayuga County by Bill Hecht. Thanks to Judy Baker's translation of the will of Daniel Chidester, I am updating the section on this part of the Chidester family (Sept. 2007). Bates family info comes from many sources including Andrea Crowell, Steve Lawson, Connie Bates Thacker, Harriet Chidester, Nancy Peer, and Carroll Lund Bates. Michele Klein contributed much important information on the Aberman family, including the names of Abraham Aberman's parents and siblings and many interesting stories about them, and some family photos. Richard Stone has also shared valuable info on the Aberman family including the link to the ship's manifest of Abraham Aberman's first voyage to America (August 2010.) This has been a team effort! And special thanks to Roxie Stevens for helping me edit the Abercrombie section of this web page; and to Paul Volpp for helping me edit the Chidester section! NOTE: I noticed today (June 8, 2012) that the punctuation html coding for the Aberman section of this webpage had become corrupted; I redid it to the best of my ability, and apologize for any mistakes.

Our Favorite Genealogy Websites

These are some of the genealogy websites we have found to be the most helpful and interesting:

The Aberman Family

Abraham Aberman: from Russia to America

Abraham AbermanMy grandfather Abraham Aberman was born about June 1883/July 1884 in Kishinev, Russia, the eldest of six children of parents Meyer Lazar Averman and Clara (aka Chavel; maiden name “Shrage” or “Sheraja”). Meyer was a soldier, and Clara was a merchant who probably ran a dress shop. They had three sons and three daughters:

  1. Abraham Aberman, born June 1883 [or July 1884] in Kishinev, Russia; married Fannie [Fanny] Felman in Manhattan, NYC on 17 Jan 1911; died [supposedly of a heart attack] on 25 June 1942, age 57. He was buried on 28 June 1942 at Beth El Cemetery in New Jersey
  2. Luba Aberman [Abbey], born 1889 in Kishinev, Russia; married Morris Wolfe; died in 1962; they had three children. Morris died in 1924, leaving Luba to care for her young children alone (the youngest being only a year old.) Luba had a dress shop while she was raising her children. [See photo bottom left.]
  3. David Aberman, born 1891 in Odessa, Russia [may have been born in Kishinev; see WWI draft registration info below]; married Bessie [?] who was three years younger; she was born in NY of parents who were born in Russia. He died in 1941. They had a daughter. He emigrated to the US in 1909, was naturalized about 1918. He worked as a salesman [dry goods] in 1920. They lived in Manhattan. [info from 1920 Census.]
  4. Marie Antoinette Aberman [Abbey], born 1894 in Odessa, Russia; married Armand Tokatyan; died in 1990. Armand was a famous tenor for the Metropolitan Opera in NYC; Marie was a voice teacher. Their son, Leon Tokatyan, was a screenwriter and creator of the Lou Grant Show.
  5. Harold Aberman [Abbey], born 1896 in Odessa, Russia. Harold Aberman changed his name to Harold Abbey, which is the name he used in his career as an actor and singer. He performed in numerous play productions on Broadway in Manhattan, NYC between 1920 and the 1940�s. He starred in Lassie [musical comedy] at the Nora Bayes Theatre on 44th street, then in the Casino Theatre on Broadway, in 1920; June Love [musical comedy] at the Knickerbocker Theatre on Broadway, in 1921; The Hotel Mouse [musical comedy] at the Shubert Theater on 44th Street in 1922; Bitter Sweet [operetta] at the 44th Street Theatre in 1934; and Strip for Action [original play] at the National Theatre on Broadway [later known as the Billy Rose Theater], in 1942 through 1943. A photo of Harold Abbey can be seen in the Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the New York Public Library website (http://digitalgallery.nypl.org).
  6. Laura Aberman [Abbey], born 1899 in Odessa, Russia; married Nathan Schwartz [See her photo bottom right.]

Luba Abbey WolfeLaura Abbey Schwartz

According to the online transcription of the Jewish Encyclopedia, a 12-volume work that was published between 1901 to 1906, Kishinev [Kishinef] was the capital of Bessarabia [see Map of the Pale, below]. It was a prominent trading center starting in the 18th century. "Jewish merchants [were] intimately connected with the local and export trade in grain, wine, tobacco, lard, wool, hides, fruit, etc. and the trade with Odessa and Austria [was] largely controlled by Jews." By 1904 there was a population of about 50,000 Jews in Kishinev, of which about 7,000 were "artisans" (tailors, seamstresses, shoemakers, cabinet-makers, etc.), hundreds were "day-laborers" (porters, drivers, etc.), farm-workers and farm owners. There were several Jewish-owned factories and shops. "The number of Jewish poor in Kishinef in proportion to the entire Jewish population [was] considerable, and increase[d] from year to year." [See Kishinef (Kishinev) by Herman and Max Rosenthal, JewishEncyclopedia.com.]

There was much anti-Semitic feeling in Kishinev. Apparently the family fled from Kishinev (on the western side of the Dniester River-- see map below) to Odessa (on the eastern side of the river) in present-day Ukraine by 1891 [or 1894?], when the third [or fourth?] child was born. Kishinev was the site of one of the most infamous pogroms ["an organized and often officially encouraged massacre or persecution conducted against the Jews;" from the Russian word meaning "like thunder," devastation. American Heritage Dictionary] in Russia, occurring in spring of 1903, that led to an outcry of world criticism of the Russian government's policies towards the Jews. Even Odessa had an early history of pogroms. "The first pogrom, government approved, took place in Odessa in 1871. Ten years later, when Alexander III (1881-96) succeeded to the throne of his father who had been assassinated, the battlecry of the anti-Semites rang out again, but this time more insistently and sharper. The new Tsar, frightened by the fate his father had met, began his rule with a calculated campaign of terror. Immediately after Alexander III's coronation, during Easter week of 1881, a pogrom broke out in Elizabethgrad. From there it spread fanwise to Kiev and Odessa." [From Pictorial History of the Jewish People by Nathan Ausubel, pg. 234.] By the time the Abermans went there to live, however, Odessa was more progressive in the treatment of Jews; there were more economic and educational opportunities there. [See Kishinef (Kishinev) by Herman and Max Rosenthal, JewishEncyclopedia.com; and Odessa by Herman Rosenthal and S. Penn, JewishEncyclopedia.com]

"In the 1880s, the Jewish community of Odessa became the largest in Russia, growing from 17,000 (22 percent of the total population) in 1855 to 140,000 (35 percent) in 1897. Jewish companies assumed important positions in grain exports, banking and industry." [From Beyond the Pale: The History of the Jews in Russia; http://www.friends-partners.org/partners/beyond-the-pale/index.html] By 1892, according to the census [see Odessa by Herman Rosenthal and S. Penn, JewishEncyclopedia.com], there were about 112,000 Jews in Odessa, just about a third of the total population. In this article the authors wrote: "The gravitation to Odessa of a considerable number of educated Jews is largely ascribed to the fact that the higher local authorities have been favorably disposed toward the Jewish population; the Jewish community of Odessa enjoyed on the whole a better civic position than Jews of other places, having, for instance, always taken an active part in the municipal administration." They added, "The Jews of Odessa have been extremely active in literature" including historians and legal analysts as well as renowned fiction writers. The city of Odessa was an important exporter of grain, which contributed "very largely to the employment of Jewish capital and labor." Despite all these advantages, approximately one-third of the Jewish population, or about 50,000 of the 150,000 Jews in Odessa between 1901-1906, were poor. As for education, "There are fourteen public and private schools, which give free instruction in elementary subjects to not less than 2,000 children of the poor. Almost every school is aided by a committee which provides the children with clothing, foot-wear, and hot meals." Although life in Odessa was an improvement over what they must have experienced in Kishinev, the Aberman children were looking to America for a better life.

According to the stories my father told me, Abraham's last name, originally Averman, was changed to Aberman when he arrived at Ellis Island in New York Harbor. Abraham immigrated to America in August 1905. He probably began his trip from the port of Odessa (on the Black Sea); he sailed to Rotterdam, Holland. ("The port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe; Rotterdam is on the banks of the river Nieuwe Maas, one of the channels in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse rivers."; from Wikipedia.org.) From there he departed on August 10, 1905 and sailed on the S.S.Ryndam to the port of New York, arriving on August 22, 1905. He is found on the ship's manifest on line #29 under the name "Awram Avermann" and is described as a single male, age 23, Russian Hebrew, laborer, and place of residence "Kisschenew." He paid his own passage, was in possession of $10; his final destination was NY and he was to join "Aunt R. Goldfarb" residing at 100 [Hamlin?] Street, NY. [Thanks to Richard Stone for the link to the ship's manifest.]

In 1909 he returned to Russia to escort his younger brother to the USA. Abraham and his brother David are found on the Ellis Island database on a passenger list for the ship S.S. Cleveland that sailed from Cuxhaven, Germany ("a town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located on the shore of the North Sea at the mouth of the Elbe River." From Wikipedia.org) to NY in May 1909. They are listed as "Abram Abermann" age 29 and "brother David Abermann" age 18, both "Russian Hebrews" and sons of father Meyer Abermann of Odessa. "Abram's" occupation was "painter" and David's occupation was "barber", both had brown hair and brown eyes, and were able to read and write; "Abram" was 5'7" and David was 5'3". All the siblings eventually immigrated.

David is also found in a manifest on the Ellis Island database for the year 1914, under the name Davis Oberman, age 22. He was returning from a trip to London, England to visit a family called the Bradmans who lived at 92 Pelham Street, London E1, friends and possibly relatives of our Aberman family. He sailed on the SS New York, from Southampton (a major seaport on the South Coast of England, about 80 miles from London, where the big international cruise liners dock, according to researcher Richard Stone.) He arrived back in the port of New York on 14 June 1914. The manifest states that the person who paid for this trip was David and Abraham's mother, "Mrs. Ch Aberman" who resided at 537 E 148th St, NYC, possibly in Bronx. Therefore, we know that their mother was living in NYC by 1914, possibly after her husband Meyer had died in Russia.

There is another Ellis Island record of the eldest Bradman daughter, Sarah (born in Russia in 1893/4) visiting New York in April 1915 as Sadie Bradman. She was visiting her "aunt Chacka" Aberman at 537 E 148th Street. The ships manifest entry also mentions David Aberman at the same address. (Info from Richard Stone.)

Abraham Meyer Aberman registered for the draft during World War I; his birth date is listed as 5 June 1883, birth place Russia, residence the Bronx, NY, district #3. There is also an entry for David Aberman, born February 1891 in "Kishineff", Russia, and living in Manhattan district #141. This is presumably our David. WWI draft registration took place in 1917 and 1918; "approximately 24-million civilian men born between 1872 and 1900 provided information for draft registration cards. More than 80% of these civilians received exemptions or deferrals, and they were thus never called for military service." [From Rootsweb.com WWI draft registration database.] There is also a WWII draft registration card (seen on familysearch.org) for Abraham Meyer Aberman, age 59, born June 5, 1883 in Odessa, Russia, residing at 204 West 80th St., NYC, NY. This is also the address listed on his death certificate dated June 25, 1942.

Fannie Aberman 1974My father Sidney ("Sid") Aberman told me that his father Abraham was a house painter (and a very artistic one), and he may have worked as one in Odessa as well as when he worked to support his family in NYC. Abraham met my grandmother Fannie Felman in New York City. Fannie was born on 15 Sept. 1890, the daughter of Solomon Felman and Dora Greenberg; her family were Jewish immigrants who came from Romania and sailed to America for the same reasons (supposedly in 1904). Abraham and Fannie married in Manhattan, NYC on 17 Jan 1911 and had three children: Lillian, Sidney, and Miriam ("Mimi"). They lived in the Bronx, NY, at 571 East 141st Street when Sidney was born (according to his birth certificate) and when the 1920 Census was taken five years later. The family is found in the 1940 Census for the State of New York, Bronx County, living on Southern Boulevard, house number 1531. Abraham is listed as age 55, occupation painter of apartment houses; in the household were wife Fannie, age 48, homemaker; son Sidney, age 24, having completed his fourth year of college, looking for work; and daughter Miriam, age 15, in her second year of High School. Abraham died of a heart attack some time after 1940; it's unclear if he and Fannie were divorced or separated at that point. When I was young, my father gave me a photo of Abraham, looking dapper in a suit and a bit of a character, as there is a skull on the knot of his tie.

modern map of the Ukraine

A Brief History of the Jews in Russia

To get some idea of what life was like for Abraham and Fannie and their families and ancestors in Russia, I've been researching the geography and history of Russia and the Ukraine, especially as it relates to the Jews. Rachel Rosen [The Virtual Jewish History Tour Ukraine, at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org] wrote: "The Ukraine is a republic in Eastern Europe, which borders the Black Sea to the south, the Russian Federation to the east, Belarus to the north, Poland and Slovakia to the West, Hungary to the south and Romania and Moldova to the west and south. The current territory of what is today the nation of the Ukraine was once the southern part of the first Eastern Slavic state, Kievan Rus [i.e., part of Russia.] Its capital was Kiev, the capital of modern Ukraine. The location of the Ukraine has influenced the historical and present development of the state. Jewish life can be traced back to the 6th century, when the Khazars ruled the region, through today as the Ukraine stands as an independent state. In between these time periods, the Ukraine has been ruled by various powers and its boundaries have shifted depending on the ruler at the time."

Abraham and Fannie's ancestors could have come to be living in Russia and Romania via many different paths. A history of the Jews on the LDS website states: "After the fall of Jerusalem in 66 c.e., Jews were scattered [beyond the Mediterranean]. This scattering of the Jews is called the Diaspora, which means dispersion in Greek." During the seventh century, many Jews migrated up to the southern part of Russia "from Greece, Babylonia, Persia, and the Middle East and Mediterranean area" to the Caucasus [just below the southern portion of Russia] and beyond. Jewish merchants (known in Hebrew as holkhei Rusyah or Russian travelers) traveled through the Slavic and Khazar lands on their way to India and China. [Avi Hein, The Virtual Jewish History Tour Russia, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org].

Other Jews migrated and settled in Spain and "came to be called the Sephardim or Sephardic Jews. They lived among the Islamic Moors and the Catholic Spanish. This influenced their language and culture. These Jews came to speak a language related to Spanish called Ladino;[those] Jews [who] migrated north from Italy and by medieval times were settled among the Germanic peoples of central Europe came to [be] known as the Ashkenazim or Ashkenazic (Ashkenaz means German in Hebrew) Jews." [From LDS website.] During the Middle Ages [1300's to 1500's] the Jews in Germany "spoke German, even if they wrote it with Hebrew characters and employed Hebrew phonetics instead of German. By adding Hebrew words and expressions to German, in time they created a distinctive language--'Yiddish.'" [from Nathan Ausubel, Pictorial History of the Jewish People, Crown Pub., NY, 1953; pg. 122.]

In 1492, "Jews [were] either forcibly converted [to Christianity] or expelled from Sardinia, Sicily, and Spain. They [settled] in the Netherlands, France, Italy, the Balkans, and North Africa. In the late 1490's, many European Jews [fled] to Poland, which [had] become far more tolerant of religious diversity than other nations. After the expulsion of Spanish Jewry and the continued persecution of Jews in western Europe, Poland and Lithuania (united into one kingdom in 1569) [became] the new cultural center of Jewish life in Europe. The Jewish population [grew] and [flourished] in Poland. In some cities Jews [constituted] over 50% of the population." [LDS website, "Jewish History".] According to Nathan Ausubel, during the Middle Ages the kings of the Polish Empire, which included part of the Ukraine, who were "troubled by the breakdown of their economy and the devastation of their domains by the constant and savage wars they were fighting with the Tartars," recruited immigrant "German and Jewish traders and money lenders" to bolster their economy. He continues, "With the mass arrival of Jews from Germany and Bohemia after the middle of the fourteenth century, the hitherto Slavonic character of Polish-Jewish culture was rapidly transformed into a Yiddish-speaking one. Polish Jews adopted the Ashkenazic rites, liturgy and religious customs of the German Jews." By the sixteenth century "a homogeneous Jewish culture had crystallized. 'Yiddish' became a sort of lingua franca, practically an international language that bound together the Jews of eastern and central Europe." [Pictorial History of the Jewish People, Crown Pub., NY, 1953; pg. 133.]

"Sometime during the early decades of the sixteenth century, Poland annexed much of what is today the Ukraine. The word Ukraine means borderlands; in this case, the forests and fertile meadowlands to the east of Poland." [Chaim Potok, Wanderings, pub. by Fawcett Crest, NY, 1978; pg. 444.] Some Jews in Poland "managed estates worked by Ukranian peasants for Polish landowners [and therefore] became the immediate objects of peasant resentment of landowners. When peasants rose against the often-absentee landowners, Jews were massacred, as in 1648-1649, when perhaps 100,000 were killed... [this rebellion] set a pattern to be repeated over the course of the following centuries." Other Jews were "heavily involved in producing and selling alcoholic beverages, small-scale manufacturing, the sugar-beet industry, crafts and commerce." [Miriam Weiner, Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova, pub. by YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, NY, 1999; pg. 23.] Parts of Poland where large numbers of Jews lived were later annexed by Russia.

Persecution of the Jews in Tsarist Russia [1480's to 1917] had a long history. As early as 1471, there was a "relatively small population of Jews living in what was then Moscovite Russia, the Russian state that existed from the 14th century to the late 17th century. The Great Princedom of Moscow, as the state is known in Russian records, was the predecessor of the Russian Empire" While there were laws discriminating against the Jews, the persecution didn't reach a major level until later. In the 1480s "the principality of Muscovy became the religious equivalent of the Caliphate or Holy Roman Empire. Jews were zealously regarded as 'enemies of the faith' and therefore subject to 'ultimate measures.'" Under Ivan The Terrible (1533-84), the Jews were treated more harshly; some were slaughtered when refusing to convert to Christianity. By 1721, "the official doctrine of Imperial Russia was openly anti-Semitic. Even if Jews were tolerated for some modest time, eventually they were expelled, as when the captured part of Ukraine was cleared of Jews in the year 1727. These policies made Muscovite Russia a very hostile environment for Jewish people." During the later 1700's, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was partitioned by Russia (as well as Prussia and Hasburg Austria); there were three such partitions, in 1772, 1793 and 1795. "During the second and the third partitions, large populations of Jews [who had settled in friendly Poland] were taken over by Russia."[Above info from Wikipedia.com: History of the Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union.] This dramatic increase in the Jewish population in intolerant Russia presented a problem to the government. "Autocratic czars and czarinas saw the Jews as a problem to be solved only by assimilation or expulsion." [Chaim Potok, Wanderings, pub. by Fawcett Crest, NY, 1978; pg. 494.]

"A forbidding though invisible wall began to rise all around the Jewish communities of Russia, the Ukraine and Poland, beginning with 1772. Jews were forbidden residence in any place outside of the communities they were already living in. This geographic restriction became known as the Jewish Pale of Settlement and was more precisely delimited by statute in 1804. It was, in a manner of speaking, a gigantic ghetto. Those Jews who dared venture beyond its confines were arrested and punished unless protected by special travel and residence permits." [From Nathan Ausubel, Pictorial History of the Jewish People, Crown Pub. Inc., NY, 1953; pg. 230-231.] "At its heyday, the Pale, which included the new Polish territories, had a Jewish population of over 5 million, which represented the largest concentration (40 percent) of world Jewry at that time." [From Wikipedia.com: History of the Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union.] "The Pale consisted of 25 provinces that included Ukraine, Lithuania, Belorussia, Crimea, and part of Poland (which had been partitioned between Russia, Prussia, and Austria in 1772). Jews were specifically expelled from Moscow and St. Petersburg and forced into the Pale." [From "Crash Course in Jewish History Part 56 - Pale of Settlement," by Rabbi Ken Spiro, http://www.aish.com/literacy/jewishhistory]

map of the Pale of Settlement

Inside the Pale, "Jews were discriminated against; they paid double taxes, were forbidden to lease land, run taverns or receive higher education. A liberalization period in the 1860s, which granted Jews some privileges was reversed under the May Laws of 1882. These laws restricted Jews in the Pale to urban areas, which were often overcrowded and offered limited economic opportunities.")[From "The Pale of Settlement," by Alden Oreck, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org] The different areas within the Pale were given different names, depending on the size of the village or urban area. "A shtetl (Yiddish: diminutive form of Yiddish shtot, 'town') was typically a small town with a large Jewish population in pre-Holocaust Central and Eastern Europe. Shtetls (Yiddish plural: shtetlekh) were mainly found in the areas which constituted the 19th century Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire, the Congress Kingdom of Poland, Galicia, and Romania. A larger city, like Lemberg or Czernowitz, was called a shtot... a smaller village was called a dorf." [From "Shtetl", Wikipedia.com; according to this article, Kishinev was a "shtot."] Life in the Pale was very harsh. [See The Promised Land, by Mary Antin for a horrifying description of life in the Pale, including the practice of forced conscription of Jews into the army of the tsar, the pogroms, etc.] Along with poverty, "strict quotas were placed on the number of Jews allowed into secondary and higher education and many professions." [Wikipedia.com] "In addition thousands of Jews fell victim to devastating pogroms in the 1870s and 1880s. The pogroms, boycotts and other anti-Semitic depredations Jews faced in the Pale led to mass immigration to the United States (two million between 1881 and 1914)..."[From The Pale of Settlement, by Alden Oreck, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org]

To cope with the harsh conditions in the Pale, "A sophisticated system of volunteer Jewish social welfare organizations developed to meet the needs of the population, following the time-honored Jewish tradition of tzedakah. Various organizations supplied clothes to poor students, provided kosher food to Jewish soldiers conscripted into the Czar's army, dispensed free medical treatment for the poor, offered dowries and household gifts to destitute brides, and arranged for technical education for orphans. According to historian Martin Gilbert's Atlas of Jewish History, no province in the Pale had less than 14% of Jews on relief; Lithuanian and Ukrainian Jews supported as much as 22% of their poor populations." [From Widipedia.com.]

Perhaps the final straw for Abraham's and Fannie's families came with the advent of more pogroms, "from 1903-1906, targeting hundreds of communities, killing thousands of Jews, and causing tens of thousands of rubles in property damage." [Wikipedia.com] No wonder they decided they had had enough, and joined the thousands of other Jews who left in the early 1900's.

Sidney Aberman (1915 - 1994)

My father Sidney "Sid" Aberman was born in the Bronx, NYC on 17 May 1915, the middle child and only son of Russian Jewish immigrants Abraham Aberman and Fannie Fellman. His older sister was Lillian Aberman, born about 1913 (m. first husband ?, second husband Mitchell -?-; had two daughters); his younger sister was Miriam ("Mimi") Aberman, born about 1925; she is probably the Miriam Aberman who is listed in the social security death index (b.16 Mar 1925, d. 27 Mar 2008 at age 83.) The family lived at 571 East 141st Street when Sidney was born and when the 1920 Census was taken five years later. The family is also found in the 1940 Census, with Lillian no longer in the household; their address by then was 1531 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY. In this census record, Abraham was listed as age 55, working as a painter of apartment houses; wife Fannie was age 48 and a homemaker; Sidney was age 24, had 4 years of college and was looking for work; and sister Miriam was age 15 and in her second year of High School. Sid went to public schools in the Bronx and then attended City College (CCNY) in upper Manhattan (Harlem), where he majored in art (having inherited his father's artistic ability). He completed his college education by 1940. His father died of a heart attack after 1940.

Sid was a deeply moral and ethical person; as a young man, he became involved in Pacifism and social causes. Upon researching the history of City College, I found clues as to how my father became a social activist. During the Great Depression (1929-1939), which included Sid's years of attendance, City College of New York was such a hotbed of radical thought and activism it was labeled "The Little Red Schoolhouse" by the mainstream media. Cohen, author of "When the Old Left Was Young" (1993) writes, "CCNY bred student radicalism because of the explosive interaction between the Depression, the working class culture of the student body, the larger radical milieu of New York, and the repressive policies of an intolerant campus administration." On a website about the history of City College titled The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY, 1931-42, the authors write: "The students at CCNY in the 1930s [were] among the poorest in the country. By 1938, 80% percent of student body [was] Jewish, predominantly from Eastern European immigrant families. These families, like many other working-class New Yorkers, [were] devastated by the Depression; students [could] scarcely afford books, school lunches, or subway fare. Within their communities, there [was] a vibrant tradition of socialist ideas and trade union activism. As Jewish students, they [were] particularly concerned about the growing threat of fascism and anti-Semitism abroad." [See http://www.virtualny.cuny.edu/gutter/panels/panel5.html;] This certainly describes Sid's social and family background. This article continues, "Student and faculty political activism at City College during the Great Depression was widespread. CCNY students throughout the 1930s participated in protests against militarism, social and economic injustice at home and the threat of fascism abroad. They also fought to defend free speech on their campus."

Perhaps my father was among those students who between 1933 to 1938 took the Oxford Pledge--which originated at Oxford College in England--promising not to participate in foreign wars. [See CCNY article above.] Another great influence on Sid was the philosophy of Mohandas Ghandi. Ghandi inspired the Pacifist movement in the U.S. with his successful tactics of using non-violent civil disobedience in bringing an end to British rule in India during the 1930's and 1940's.

I don't know what jobs Sid found when he graduated from college, but they were probably related to commercial art, which was how he supported his family later in life. Then, when World War II came and he was drafted, he applied for conscientious objector status, which Congress then recognized as "a legitimate moral stand. CO's were given the choice, under law, of either serving in the military but in the medical corps or other non-combat duties, or if they objected to being in the military on any basis they were required to do 'alternative service' here at home that was 'work of national importance.'" [From NebraskaStudies.Org ] Along with about 37,000 other draftees (according to PBS), Sid chose the latter. They "fought forest fires, built conservation projects in rural areas, or took care of the mentally ill in hospitals." They worked under the supervision of the Civilian Public Service (CPS) program. [From livinghistoryfarm.org]

This must have been a very difficult decision, especially for a Jew. "WWII was the bloodiest conflict in human history. Thirty-five to 60 million people lost their lives on three continents. Conscientious objectors were outcasts in a world convinced of the necessity, the inevitability and the glory of war. Taking a stand against the popular war could mean being ostracized by society, by family, friends, in the workplace and often in the small towns near Civilian Public Service (CPS) camps." [From PBS.org article entitled 'The Good War.' See http://www.pbs.org/itvs/thegoodwar/ww2pacifists.html] My father never discussed the reaction of his family and relatives to his CO status.

Sid spent some time working for the forestry service as a lookout for forest fires, and then working as an attendant at a mental hospital in upstate NY. He told me stories of how awful the conditions were in the hospitals and how the CO's documented the treatment, even secretly taking photographs. They were responsible for helping to bring about changes in the mental health system. "All across the country, COs were appalled at the conditions of the mental institutions and began getting the word out locally; LIFE magazine published an expose, calling the worst mental health hospitals 'snake pits.' The article documented mentally ill patients living in their own feces. Others were bound in straight jackets for days. A reform movement sprang up to improve the hospitals and develop community-based alternatives." [From livinghistoryfarm.org]

While working there he met my mother Elizabeth Chidester (b. Feb. 12, 1925; d. July 30, 2013), a psychology student. They married in 1949, after the war. They had two (living) daughters, one born in 1952 and the other in 1956. According to an obituary in The Nonviolent Activist, "Sid served as Executive Secretary of War Resisters League from October, 1950 until 1953." The WRL was founded in 1923 by opponents of WWI; it remains an active anti-war organization to this day. The obituary continues, "After he left the WRL staff in 1953, he worked as a commercial artist, and at times worked closely with Common Cause and SANE." He also became active in local Democratic Party politics, particularly when he moved to Florida after he retired, in 1983. Throughout my childhood, Sid wrote letters to the editors of various newspapers concerning his political views.

Sid and my mother were divorced by 1960. He remarried, to Lillian "Lillie" Brodsky (born 18 Apr 1916) about 1961. Sid and Lillie had similar backgrounds. Lillie was the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Poland; her father became a farmer in New Jersey. Her brother Dave worked as a lawyer in Manhattan, and she went there to work for him. She later went to work for other lawyers as a secretary. Lillie and Sid were introduced by mutual friends. They had a civil wedding at NYC City Hall. Lillie was equally active in their local Democratic Party in Florida; she was a warm, loving and intelligent person who loved reading books and was also talented in sewing and crafts.She once told me that if she had it to do over again, she would have liked to be a librarian. In addition to his career as a commercial artist, and a lifetime activist, Sid enjoyed drawing and painting; he developed a technique he called "drip painting" where he would let colors drip down the paper to produce beautiful designs. After his divorce, he remained a devoted father, a devoted uncle to Lillie's nieces and his own, and a devoted grandfather to his four grandchildren. Sid and Lillie remained together until her death on 23 Dec 1989 in West Palm Beach, FL, at age 73. Sid died on 25 Feb 1994 in Worcester, MA. He was 78 years old.

Sid and Lillie Aberman 1983

The Abercrombie Family

Abercrombie Origins

the Abercrombie Tartan Abercrombie originates from a district in Scotland, where Aber means beyond and Crombie means a bend in a river. Thus Abercrombie equals "beyond a bend in a river." The Abercrombies have been definitely traced to Pictish origin (the original inhabitants of Scotland.) Some time ago the Scotch-Irish Abercrombies migrated to America. Our earliest known ancestor was Robert Abercrombie.

Robert Abercrombie Family in Virginia

"...that portion of the Colony of Virginia which lay west of the Blue Ridge Mountains" and which was named Augusta County in 1745, "prior to that time...had become the refuge and abiding place of a strong body of Scotch-Irish immigrants." (from "The Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia: 1745 to 1800," by Lyman Chalkley; Volume I, Foreword.)

In 1772, Fort Morgan was established near the Monongahela River in what is now West Virginia, in the northernmost part of the state bordering Pennsylvania. The same year, Morgantown was settled on the site where Fort Morgan was, by Zaquill Morgan. The head of the Morgan family was, in fact, named Morgan Morgan! By 1776, Morgantown resided in newly-created Monongalia County (named for the Monongahela River, and one of the first three counties formed within the state, created from Augusta County.) In 1778, Virginia became the tenth state in the Union (West Virginia did not become a separate state until 1861.) Morgantown became the county seat for Monongalia Co. in 1782."When the first national census was taken [in 1790] Monongalia County had the sixth largest population (4,768) of the nine counties that were then in existence and fell within the current boundaries of West Virginia" (from "Early History of Monongalia County, West Virginia" and "Morgantown History," http://www.shgresources.com/wv/counties/monongalia/.)

In 1790, Robert Abercrombie was "located near Ice's Ferry" in Monongalia Co. and was working as a "carpenter and cabinmaker" (from "The Monongalia Story: A Bicentennial Story: Vol. II, The Pioneers," by Earl L. Core, pg. 185; pub. 1976). Robert also apparently owned land in Frederick Co., VA in 1790: 355 acres on Sam's Run (referenced in "Virginia Northern Neck: Land Grants, vol. III, 1775-1800," by Gertrude E. Gray, pub. by Baltimore Gen. Pub. Co., 1993; pg.133-134.) Robert married Elizabeth Phillips on 14 March 1793, in Frederick Co., Virginia ("Frederick County, Virginia Marriages: 1771-1825," compiled and edited by Eliza Timberlake Davis, 1941; pg. 16).

map showing
 Abercrombie/Crammey's Run and Ice's FerryRobert and Elizabeth are listed as having had a total of eight children, all born in Morgantown (from ancestral files on LDS website):

  1. daughter, born abt. 1765/1784 [my note: if this is their child, presumably she was born after 1793]
  2. Mary, born abt. 1784/1794 [my note: probably the later year is correct]; married Levi Jenkins on 13 Dec. 1812
  3. daughter, born abt. 1784/1794 [my note: same as above]
  4. daughter, born abt. 1794/1800
  5. Robert Frederick, born 11 Sep. 1797; married first wife, Eliza Morgan; married second wife, Sarah "Sally" Boone on 30 Aug. 1821
  6. Alexander, born 13 Sep. 1799; married Anna Weaver on 10 Aug. 1823
  7. daughter, born abt. 1800/1810
  8. daughter, born abt. 1800/1810

In 1796, Robert owned "one small tract" of land in Monongalia County (from "Monongalia Co., West Va. Records of the District, Superior and County Courts"; vol. I, 1776-1799, pg. 186), which he most likely used for farming. Robert and Elizabeth's eldest son, Robert Frederick Abercrombie, was born the next year, in 1797. Robert, Sr. purchased additional land in 1799 (from James Jenkins) and in 1805 (from Charles Magill), that became known as Abercrombie's or Crammeys Run (see map, from historical.maptech.com) This land was located just across the Cheat River from the town of Ice's Ferry, and about five miles NE of Morgantown. Robert and Elizabeth's son Alexander Abercrombie was born in 1799. In 1800, there were 78,000 people living in the western part of Virginia. In 1812, Robert was made "Overseerer of the Poor," and on 13 June, 1814 he was made "Justice of the Peace" (also from "The Monongalia Story,", pgs. 394 & 413.)

Robert Frederick Abercrombie, Jr., married twice, first to Eliza Morgan [presumably of the Morgans who founded Morgantown?]; then to Sarah (Sally) Boone (a grand niece of Daniel Boone) on 30 August 1821 in Orange Co., Indiana. Sarah was the daughter of Solomon Boone and Lavinia Wells; she was born 30 November 1799 in Carter Co., TN.

Robert Frederick Abercrombie and Sally Boone had nine children:

  1. Eliza, born 24 Oct. 1824 in Monongalia Co., WV; m. John Perkins Templeton; died 2 May 1896 in Neoga, Cumberland Co., IL
  2. Alexander, born abt. 1825 in Monongalia Co., WV; m. Nancy Martin on 7 Oct. 1846 in Orange Co., IN
  3. Robert, born abt. 1826; disappeared in the gold fields of California
  4. John, born 16 May 1827 in Monongalia Co., WV; m. Jane Sexson on 18 Mar. 1850 in Shelbyville, IL.; died 23 June 1888 in Gladstone, Rawlings Co., KS [They had seven children, including Robert Free Abercrombie and Olive Eleanor Abercrombie. Robert Free was born 26 March 1852 in Ash Grove Township, Shelby Co., IL. He married Lucinda Virginia Ferguson on 25 Sept. 1873 in Fayetteville, Arkansas; they had six children. He died on 10 March 1931 in Shelbyville, IL. Olive Eleanor was born 18 Oct. 1855 in Ash Grove, Shelby Co., IL; she married Charles N. Mattox on 13 Mar. 1879; they had 8 children. Olive died 2 Feb. 1929 in Gays, Moultrie Co., IL. ]
  5. Solomon, born 8 Jan. 1830; died 8 Sep. 1846 in Shelby Co., IL at age 16
  6. Elizabeth, born 10 Nov. 1834 in Boutetourt, VA; m. Daniel Kinneson; d. in Peru, Nemaha Co., NE
  7. Mary Malanda, born 4 June 1838 in Sullivan Co., IN; m. Patrick McAndrew (born 1824 in Mayo Co., Ireland) on 26 July, 1858 in Shelby Co., IL; died 8 March 1899 in Shelby Co., IL [They had six children.]
  8. Perry C., born 9 Aug. 1841 in Sullivan Co., IN; m. Sara Lindley, first wife; m. Mandy ?, second wife; m. Emily Eliza Wells, third wife, on 14 Dec. 1867 in Orange Co., IN; m. Sara Jones, fourth wife, on 3 Aug. 1884 in Orange Co., IN; died 13 Dec. 1926 in Moultrie Co., IL. [Perry and Emily had 4 children.]
  9. Boone, born 8 Feb. 1844; died 26 Feb. 1847 in Shelby Co., IL at age 3
  10. According to the Monongalia Co. land records mentioned above, Robert Frederick Abercrombie, Jr. apparently owned 48 acres of land called Pierpoints Run which he sold to his father, Robert, Sr. in 1827. In 1831 Robert, Jr. bought another 48 acres of Pierpoints Run land from his brother Alexander. In 1832 he bought an additional 48 acres of Pierpoints Run. [This writer thinks this land was located near or adjacent to Abercrombie Run.] It seems he was living in Sullivan Co., IL by 1838 when his daughter Mary Malanda was born. Robert Frederick Abercrombie died in Shelby Co., IL on March 11, 1856 and is buried in Cochran Cemetery there.

    Robert, Sr.'s son Alexander Abercrombie "was educated in the common schools; when young he learned the cooper's trade [a person "who makes wooden tubs and casks," American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language] , and followed the same until twenty-four years of age..." (from a biography in The History of Boone County Iowa, Containing A History of the County, its Cities, Towns, &c.; Union Historical Company, Birdsall, Williams & Co., Des Moines, Iowa, 1880; can see online on US GenWeb, Boone Co., Iowa website.) At age 24, he married Anna Weaver on 10 August 1823 in Monongalia County; Alexander and Anna had 12 or 13 children, all born in Morgantown (see list below). Anna was the daughter of Joseph Weaver and Rebecca Foster. "Joseph Weaver...[was] a native of Central Pennsylvania, [who] settled on a farm near Morgantown about 1785."(From "Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia," pub. 1884.) In 1831, Alexander "learned the forger's trade and continued the same until 1841..." (also from The History of Boone County Iowa.) In 1834 Alexander and Anna's son Charles Abercrombie was born. By 1840, Robert, Sr. no longer showed up in the census records and had presumably died and was buried in Morgantown. Alexander "worked as carpenter for ten years" (also from The History of Boone County Iowa), between 1841 and 1851. Alexander owned land by 1831, part of which he sold to his brother Robert; in 1850, Alexander sold his remaining land to William Jarrett in preparation for his move to Iowa.

    List of Alexander and Anna Abercrombie's children, from Roxie Stevens based on census records and The History of Boone County Iowa:

    1. Ephraim, born abt. 1820/1825; deceased by 1880
    2. Surrilda, born abt. 1825/1830; married Abel Godfrey on 26 Feb. 1852 in Wapello Co., Iowa; died after 1880
    3. Rebecca Ann, born abt. 1825/1830; married Francis Pierpont; died after 1880
    4. Elizabeth, born abt. 1833; died after 1880
    5. Charles, born 24 Dec. 1833/34; married Naomi Hildreth Powell on 1 June 1862; died 10 July 1914
    6. Alexander [Roxie's note: this may actually be Charles], born 1835
    7. Joseph, born 1837; married Thidila M. Buffington on 31 Mar. 1863 in Boone Co., Iowa; died by 1880
    8. Harrison, born 1839; married Julia Souder on 8 Oct. 1869 in Boone Co., Iowa; died by 1880
    9. Gila [Gilla] S., born 1842, deceased by 1880
    10. Guillian, born 1843 [Roxie's note: this might actually be the same person listed as Gila.]
    11. Caroline, born 1846; married Franklin Lovell in Boone Co., Iowa; died after 1880
    12. Julia, born 1848; married George Hull on 18 Feb. 1872
    13. Jackson, born 1848, deceased by 1880

    Alexander Abercrombie Family Migration to Iowa

    Iowa became a state in 1846. In 1851 Alexander, now 52 years old, his wife Anna and an unknown number of their children, including a 17 year old Charles, migrated to Iowa like thousands of other people who were attracted by ads for large plots of good, inexpensive farming land. They probably traveled in a covered wagon because railroads hadn't reached that far west yet. By 1852, the family settled in a very small town called Pilot Mound, set in a beautiful valley a few miles northwest of the city of Boone, in Boone County. Boone was named after Nathan Boone, who was Daniel Boone's son. By 1860, Alexander had bought land and was a farmer in Pilot Mound; by 1880, he owned "a fine farm of 140 acres of well improved land..." (also from The History of Boone County Iowa)

    The Civil War came in 1861, and Alexander's son Harrison Abercrombie fought for Iowa in the name of the Union; he was a member of the 32nd Iowa Infantry organized in Boone. He survived the war and later married. In 1862, Charles, now 28 years old, married Naomi Hildreth Powell. Charles settled down near the city of Ottumwa, in Wapello County, Iowa. Charles and Naomi had about nine children [list from Roxie Stevens based on census records]:

    1. Elizabeth Ann, born 11 Mar 1862/63 in Ottumwa, Wapello Co., Iowa; married Leslie A. Butolph on 25 Aug. 1878; died 3 Oct 1942 in Monmouth, Polk Co., OR
    2. William J., born 27 Jan 1865; married Flora Handy; died 9 May 1912 in Corvallis, Benton Co., OR
    3. Louise, born circa 1867 in Dahlonega, Wapello Co., Iowa; died circa 1880
    4. Isaac "Ike", born 1872 in Iowa; married 29 Mar 1896 to Ellen "Ella" Hartley in Chillicothe, Wapello Co., Iowa
    5. Emma Rebecca, born 1 May 1876 in Boone Co., Iowa; married on 5 Aug. 1896 to James Elmer Hartley; died on 30 Sep 1914 in Chillicothe
    6. Inez V., born 1880 in Iowa; married Alverdo Butolph
    7. Herman Norton, born 15 Jan 1883 in Ottumwa, Wapello Co., Iowa; married to Elizabeth Alice Lehnert on 23 Aug 1910 in Corvallis, Benton Co., OR; died 22 Jan 1954 in Corvallis
    8. Jane, born abt. 1880 in Iowa; died about 1910
    9. Inac, born Nov 1879 in Boone Co., Iowa; died circa 1895
    10. James, born 1867 in Wapello Co., Iowa [note: likely the same person as William J.]

    Ottumwa had its own brief history before the Abercrombies came to Iowa. It was first opened to settlement by white pioneers in 1843, and gradually flourished. After the railroad came to town in 1859, it became a railroad and manufacturing center. By 1870, the city's population was over 5,000 people.

    Charles' son Herman Abercrombie was born in 1883. In 1890, Alexander died and was buried in Pilot Mound. By 1903, Charles, now about sixty years old, was working at Morrell's meat packing plant in Ottumwa. After 1904, Charles, Naomi, some of their children (including Herman, now 21 years old), a grandchild nicknamed "Landy" who was living with them, and possibly Naomi's mother Catherine Powell, all migrated to Corvallis, Oregon. Charles and Naomi's son, Ike Abercrombie, had recently lost his wife, and was left with three young children; he moved to Corvallis with the others.

    Elizabeth Abercrombie Butolph Burbank, Pioneer

    The first Abercrombie pioneer from this family to migrate to Oregon was Elizabeth Ann Abercrombie Butolph Burbank (oldest child of Charles and Naomi Abercrombie), with her husband Leslie Butolph and their four (out of six) surviving children. According to Elizabeth's death certificate written in 1942, she had been living in Oregon since 1903, about one to two years before the rest of the Charles Abercrombie family migrated there from Iowa.

    Elizabeth was born 11 March 1862 in Ottumwa, Wapello Co., Iowa. She married Leslie Albert Butolph on 25 August 1878, at age 16. Leslie was the son of Alfred Montilla Butolph of Ohio [this Butolph family has been traced back to Thomas Biddulfe, born 1252, of Biddulfe, Staff., Eng.] and Hester Gephart of Iowa. Leslie was born 13 April 1856 in Iowa. Elizabeth and Leslie must have lived in Missouri for a time where two of their six children were born; the other four were born in Iowa. Two died young. After migrating to Oregon, the family lived in Portland by 1910. Leslie died in 1913. By 1920, Elizabeth was living in her son William Butolph's household in Wren, Benton Co., OR. She remarried, to Albert Asa Burbank, by 1930. This was Albert's third marriage. [Note from Jim Reynolds: Albert's father, Asa Burbank, was born at Chimney Rock, Wyoming on the Oregon Trail.] Elizabeth died in 1942 and is buried at Oaklawn Memorial Cemetery in Corvallis, OR.

    The Migration to Oregon/Charles and Herman Abercrombie Families

    In her report, our daughter wrote: Why did this group of Abercrombies decide to move to Oregon? We can only surmise. However, there is a reasonable hypothesis my family has been entertaining that seems the most likely explanation of all. The coincidence that facilitates an answer to the puzzle is the Lewis and Clark Exposition of 1905.

    The exposition was like a world's fair; it took place in Portland, Oregon. This was supposed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lewis and Clark's Expedition into Oregon territory. It included exhibits from around the world. It also showed off the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and the achievements (in industry, commerce, and agriculture) of the peoples of the area. The event was considered so huge that it was promoted in newspapers all over the country, and anyone that could afford to go was encouraged to. The Tacoma Ledger proclaimed the Pacific Northwest as "the most promising and highly favored portion of our entire domain." The Vice President of the U.S. even attended the opening ceremony, and the President started up the machinery in the Expo by pressing a telegraph key from the White House! The fairgrounds occupied 406 acres, while costing a total of $7,500,000. Portland itself contributed $400,000, the State $450,000, and the U.S. Government $475,000. Everyone predicted thousands of people from all over the U.S. would attend, but instead there were millions! Many of the visitors wanted to stay afterwards and settle down in the Northwest, they were so impressed! It is possible that the Abercrombies were among them.

    (A more practical but less delightfully fanciful reason why the rest of the family moved there after 1904/1905 is they already had relatives living there.) To view images of the music programs for this exhibition, see this site: http://www.multcolib.org/guides/ormusic/portlandday.html

    As far as we know, only one child of Charles and Naomi was left behind in Iowa, when the family migrated to Oregon: Herman's sister Emma. Emma Abercrombie married James Elmer Hartley in 1896; they had nine children. Emma died in 1914 at the age of 38. Many of their descendents continue to live in the Iowa area, as well as Nebraska, Washington State and California.

    Charles and Naomi bought a farm near Corvallis. Their son Herman married Elizabeth Alice Lehnert (daughter of German immigrants Carl and Catherine Lehnert) in Corvallis, Oregon, on 23 Aug 1910. Charles passed away in 1914. Herman and Elizabeth Alice had nine children [list from Patty Deaton and Frances Weible]:

    1. Otto Carl, born 7 Jul 1911 in Corvallis, Benton Co., OR; married 6 Aug 1937 to Gladys Margaret Barton; died 1 Jan 1977 in Alsea, OR.
    2. Earl Earnest, born 24 May 1914 in Corvallis, Benton Co., OR; died 21 Jun 1952 in Portland, OR
    3. Arthur Leonard, born 30 Aug 1916; married to Ruth Danniells; died 30 Oct 1938 in Little Rock, AK
    4. Lola Catherine, born 27 Oct 1919 in Corvallis, OR; married Harvey D. Anderson (1907-1991) on 7 Dec 1937 in Dallas, OR; died 28 Jun 1985 in Alsea, OR
    5. Living daughter
    6. Richard, born 20 Sep 1925 in Jacksonville, OR; married to Helen Irvin (deceased); died 2004
    7. Living daughter
    8. Living daughter
    9. Living son

    Herman and Elizabeth Abercrombie with sons Earl, Carl and Richard

    Elizabeth AliceHerman standing in front of the stump of a huge felled treeLogging was a huge industry in Oregon, as the forests in the eastern part of the country had become depleted. Herman, Sr. worked all his life in Oregon as a logger in the woods. His sons worked as loggers and for the sawmills. Daughter Anna recalls: "My family lived in logging camps. In fourth grade I remember we didn't have running water; we had to go down to the spring and dip out water from a hole in the ground, to do the laundry. My mother didn't get a washing machine until I was in eighth grade. It was a gas-powered machine; you had to start it like a lawnmower or a motorcycle--it had a kick start. You'd tire your leg out trying to kick start it. When I was in seventh grade my father built a house for us on someone else's property. It didn't have any electricity; we used gas lanterns. You put in white gas...you know what a mantle is? It covers the neck of the lantern. It's like a bell-shaped thing. You pump up pressure into it with a handle, then light it. They put out a lot of light." Herman's eldest son Carl quit school in the third grade to drive a horse/mule and wagon for a logging company, to haul the logs. He used a peavey to hook onto the logs, "a stout lever from 5 to 7 feet long, fitted at the larger end with a metal socket and spike and a curved steel hook which works on a bolt" (from "A Logger's Lexicon: The first fully-illustrated, comprehensive and uncensored 'dictionary' of North American logging terms, slang, and technology. By John T. Labbe and Lynwood Carranco.")

    Elizabeth Alice died on 16 Nov 1952 in Corvallis. Herman, Sr. died on 22 Jan 1954 also in Corvallis, and is buried next to his wife in Oaklawn Memorial Cemetery. As of the year 2000, his descendants numbered five children, 37 grandchildren, 100 great-grandchildren, and 31 great-great-grandchildren.

    The Lehnert and Bristlin Families

    National Arms of Germany

    Charles "Carl" George Lehnert was born on March 25, 1861 in Kissel [Kisselbach?] Germany. Carl immigrated to the USA on April 14, 1883 at the age of 22. Catherine Elizabeth Bristlin was born on November 6, 1862 in Nimberg, Germany, the daughter of George Bristlin and Catherine Bealer. George Bristlin was born in 1837; Catherine Bealer was born on Oct. 16, 1837 in Reichenbach, Germany. The Bristlins had six known children: [not in birth order]

    1. George Bristlin, Jr.
    2. Matt [Mathew?] Bristlin; born about 1870?
    3. Andrew Bristlin, born abt. 1864
    4. Catherine Elizabeth Bristlin, born Nov. 6, 1862; married Carl Lehnert
    5. Anna Bristlin; married ? Harms
    6. Daughter Bristlin; married Alexander Hardwick

      photo of Catherine Bristlin Lehnert and her mother Catherine Bealer Bristlin, circa 1890's

    George Bristlin, Sr. died in 1878, presumably in Germany. 22/23 year old Catherine Elizabeth Bristlin immigrated in 1884/1885 to Monticello, IL, probably with her brother Andrew (who was two years younger.) Carl Lehnert and Catherine Elizabeth Bristlin married on January 29, 1887 in Monticello, Piatt Co., IL. After they married, they moved to Minnesota. Also in 1887, Catherine Lehnert's mother, Catherine Bealer Bristlin, emigrated from Germany to Clarissa, Todd Co., Minnesota where the Lehnerts were probably residing. It isn't yet known by this writer if all of Catherine Bealer's other children immigrated to the US, but there is a "Mat" Bristlin in the 1920 Census for Staples Township, Todd Co., MN and his year of immigration from Germany is stated as 1887 (the same as Catherine's). He is stated as being 50 years old, so his year of birth would have been about 1870, making him the right age to have been Catherine's son. Catherine Bealer Bristlin remained in MN until her death in 1905 of an illness, at age 67; her last residence was in the town of Staples. She died in the home of her daughter, "Mrs. A. Hardwick," according to her obituary, so obviously this daughter had immigrated.

    Carl Lehnert and Catherine Bristlin Lehnert with children Carl, Jr. and Elizabeth Alice, circa 1890's

    Children of Carl Lehnert and Catherine Elizabeth Bristlin:

    1. Carl George Lehnert, Jr.; born about 1887 in Minnesota; m. Selma M. Fullerton, 12 Jun 1926 in Benton Co., OR
    2. Elizabeth Alice Lehnert; born 19 Oct. 1889 in Clarissa, Todd Co., Minn.; m. Herman Norton Abercrombie on 23 Aug 1910 in Corvallis, Benton Co., OR; died 16 Nov 1952 in Corvallis, OR.
    3. Henry M. Lehnert; born about 1893 in Minnesota; m. Pansy Nona Peters, 20 May 1914 in Benton Co., OR; died in 1967
    4. Christine Lehnert; born about 1895 in North Dakota; m.Harold Waggoner
    5. Fred Lehnert, born about 1898 in North Dakota
    6. Helen Lehnert; born on August 8, 1900 in Minto, North Dakota; m. Elmer Evert Hewitt [son of James Hewitt and Mary Rose] on April 3, 1920 in Newberg, OR; she died on April 9, 1990 in Albany, OR
    7. Elsie Caroline Lehnert; born about 1905 in North Dakota; m. Herman A. Shope on 23 Apr 1923 in Benton Co., OR

    The Lehnerts moved to Minto, Ward Co., North Dakota by about 1895. [Note: Minto is not to be confused with Minot, ND, a larger and better-known town. Minto is located "just south of Grafton" along the eastern border.] Carl was naturalized in 1896 in Walsh Co., ND. He died on January 25, 1908, in Minto, ND, of a blood clot in his brain; he was not quite 47 years old. In 1910, Catherine and all her children moved to Corvallis, Benton Co., Oregon. Her brother Andrew is listed as a member of her household in the 1910 census for Benton County, OR; he was working as a house carpenter. Catherine is listed as the head of the household, having her own income (widow's pension?). According to this census, her son Carl, Jr. was working as a street laborer, at age 23; son Henry was working as a newspaper printer, at age 17. Daughter Elizabeth Alice married Herman Abercrombie this same year, at age 21 [mistakenly listed as age 19 in the census.] Christine was now 15, Fred was 12, Helen was 9 and Elsie was 5.

    Carl, Jr. married Selma Fullerton in 1926, at about age 29. Carl worked as a postman in Portland, Oregon. Carl really liked children, although he and Selma never had any of their own. Elizabeth Alice went by her middle name Alice part of the time, but was also known as "Aunt Lizzie." She was good at sewing. [See the Abercrombie history above for the children and descendants of Elizabeth Alice and Herman Abercrombie.] Elizabeth Alice passed away in 1952 at age 63. Henry married Pansy Nona Peters in 1914, at age 21. In 1930 (at about age 37), Henry established and operated a printing business called Lehnert Printing Co. in Corvallis. He was 74 years old at the time of his death, in 1967. Christine married Harold Waggoner; they lived in Eugene, OR. Christine had red hair. Fred was called Freddy; the family story goes that "when Freddy was little he crawled into the corral and a horse kicked him in the head." He became disabled and "lived some of his years in the Oregon State mental system;" he also lived for a time with Carl and Selma, who looked out for his needs until Carl died (after which Helen looked out for Freddy's needs). Helen married Elmer Hewitt in 1920, when she was 19 years old. Elmer was born March 16, 1893 in Unionvale, Oregon; he worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad from 1935 to 1967. Helen and Elmer had four daughters. Helen also worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad, from 1942 to 1972. The Hewitts lived in Albany, OR. Helen was good at sewing like her sister Elizabeth Alice; she also "loved to crochet and tat." When she and Elmer retired from the SPR, they spent many enjoyable years "fishing on the Alsea River and living in their camper first at the Santiam Fish and Game property, Taylors Landing and finally at 'The Fishing Hole' just a few miles in-land from Waldport." Helen died in 1990 at age 89. Elsie married Herman Shope on April 23, 1923, at about age 18. Two days later, Catherine Lehnert died in Corvallis, OR at the age of 60. Elsie later went by her middle name, Caroline; she became a single mother of a daughter who sometimes stayed with her Aunt Christine. Caroline and her daughter lived in Seattle, WA, where Caroline worked "in one of the major department stores."

    The Melheim Family

    Norway Flag

    The Story of Severt Melheim and Ole Offerdal: Their Journeys from Norway

    Severt Melheim was born Sjur Olsen, son of Ole Johannesen Offerdal and Bolette Margrethe Wilhelmsdatter Walaker. Severt/Sjur was born on July 18, 1891 in Hafslo parish, Luster Co., Sogn og Fjordane, Norway, and was baptized on August 18, 1891. His patronymic (or father- name) last name Olsen means "son of Ole." Sjur's father, Ole Johannesen ["son of Johannes"] Offerdal was born in Ardal Co., Sogn og Fjordane, Norway on August 27, 1872, the youngest of five children of Johannes Sjurson ["son of Sjur"] from Offerdal and his wife Anna Eriksdotter ["daughter of Erik"]. Ole was from Kintserdal farm. Twenty-year-old Ole emigrated to America in 1892, a year after Sjur was born, apparently following earlier emigrants from his family, some of whom had migrated as early as 1856 and were living in the Wisconsin area. He may have emigrated with a brother, Erik. Ole eventually married, moved to Minnesota and raised three daughters on his own farm. He died of a heart attack at age 65.

    Sjur's mother Bolette was born in Kinn, Sogn og Fjordane, on May 17, 1858, the daughter of Wilhelm Olai Corneliusson ["son of Cornelius"] from Hamarset in Kinn (1828-1862) and his wife Synneva Christensdotter ["daughter of Christen"] from Valaker in Hafslo (1829-1888). Bolette worked as a nanny in 1865 at Wallestad in Kinn, and was in Hafslo by 1867 with her mother. Synneva died in 1888. Bolette was living on the Valaker farm, an unmarried pauper, when she died of tuberculosis at age 42, on October 29, 1900. Presumably Sjur had been living with her until her death; then nine-year-old Sjur most likely became a foster son on one of the Melheim farms in Hafslo, where he lived and worked until he became a young man. There is a Sjur Olsen listed in the 1900 census [online version in the Digitalarkivet; click on "English"] on a Melheim farm in Hafslo, but his birth year is listed as 1880 (rather than 1890/91) which could be a mistake, as he is also referred to as a "boy." This is probably our Severt.

    Severt/Sjur emigrated to America in 1910 on the Advertisement for the Lusitania, from norwayheritage.com Lusitania, at age 19, intending to visit or find his father. Sjur, listed as a farmhand, left from the port of Bergen, Norway on about April 5th or 6th; his destination was given as "Twin Vally" Minnesota. Immigrants were sold a "package" including "the steamship ticket to Hull [England], a train ticket to Liverpool and then the steamship ticket to their final destination- mainly America"-- (quote from norwayheritage.com). He probably sailed to the port of Hull in England first, via the Wilson Line, a trip of about three days from Bergen. Conditions on board the Wilson Line ships, once considered "poor and unacceptable" to the Hull Board of Health, had improved somewhat by 1910. Next would be a train trip of seven hours from Hull to Liverpool. There he may have had to wait several days, staying at a hotel or boarding house owned by the shipping line, before boarding the Lusitania, one of the newer steamer ships of the Cunard Line. Improvements had been made during the 1890's to passenger conditions on board these ships; "the majority of emigrants that earlier had traveled as steerage passengers [literally using the same unsanitary facilities that were used for transporting cattle], were now placed in third class. The large rooms in the steerage where passengers had previously eaten their meals, slept, and spent much of their time on board, were replaced by cabins, dining rooms and lounges. Passengers who traveled on third class could choose between cabins for two, four, or six persons. The ships were bigger, faster, and (relatively) more comfortable for the passengers." [From norwayheritage.com]

    Sjur arrived in New York Harbor on April 15, 1910. According to the ship's passenger manifest, he used the name "Severin" [a formal written version of Sjur or Severt] Olsen on his voyage to America. Once here, he took the last name of Melheim, probably from the farm he lived and worked on in Norway. "Melheim" means "the farm in the middle." He eventually took the first name of Severt, another form of Sjur; maybe he figured it was easier for Americans to pronounce.

    From NY he first traveled to Norman County, Minnesota to his father's home. Severt worked as a laborer on his father's farm [where he is found in the 1910 federal census]. He later went to North Dakota, to the Mayville, Traill Co., area where he had relatives on his mother's side (Bataldens.) He married Ella Josephine Nord on Nov. 7, 1915; she was 21 and he was 24. Severt and Ella were second cousins: Severt's mother's mother was a sister of Ella's mother's father! By 1920, Severt and Ella were living in Mayville, Traill Co., N.D. and had three young children; Severt was a farmer on a rented farm. Severt declared his intention to become a U.S. citizen on May 8, 1925 by filing a petition for naturalization. He listed his occupation as farmer and was by then residing in York, ND; on May 22, 1929 his petition was granted. Severt and Ella were grain farmers in York Township, Benson Co., North Dakota by 1930 [according to the 1930 census for ND]; they owned their own farm.

    Severt and Ella had a total of eight children, all born in ND:

    1. Mathilda C. Melheim, born April 25, 1916 (probably in Mayville); she married Stanley Tassin on July 6, 1946 in Seattle, King Co., WA (the marriage certificate states he was "of Lake Charles, La."� And she was "of King County.") They later divorced; they had no children. Mathilda was a lawyer; she also worked as a college professor in Portland, OR. She died on April 30, 1996 in Portland, Multnomah Co.,OR.
    2. Arnold Curtis Melheim, born Sept. 18, 1917 (probably in Mayville.) He enlisted in the army in WWII. The family story goes he was in a POW camp and because he became disfigured, he didn't want to return home after his release. The family assumed he had died in the war; when he actually died they learned he had been living in Washington D.C. and working at the Library of Congress. He died on August 18, 1970.
    3. Gladys Irene Melheim, born Nov. 20, 1918 in Mayville; married Clair Vincent Nelson in 1942 in Leeds, ND.; they had two daughters. Clair was drafted into the army in 1941. After he died on April 18, 1948, Gladys and her girls went to Oregon to live with her parents on the farm. Gladys died on April 27, 2003.
    4. Edith S. Melheim, born Nov. 26, 1921; she married Orval J. Bratvold (before July 1946 when they were listed as witnesses to Mathilda and Stanley's wedding on the latter's marriage certificate.) They had three children. Edith and family lived in Tacoma, Pierce Co., WA by 1962. Edith died in November 1973 at age 52/53. Orval died in November 1986 in Puyallup, Pierce Co., WA.
    5. Sigurd J. Melheim, born Jan. 12, 1923 in York (or Hurricane Lake); he married Joan Barbara Baglien (10/25/1927 - 4/5/2011) on 3 June 1945 in Sydney, Montana. In 1946 they went to Albany, OR to live on his parents' farm where he worked. Sigurd worked at many different jobs in Oregon and Washington state, including in plywood mills, steel construction, helping to build the McNary Dam, and operating his own bus depot and charter bus service. Sigurd died on October 12, 2001 at the McKenzie-Willamette Hospital in Springfield, OR at age 78. He was survived by 20 children.
    6. Clifford A. Melheim, born May 2, 1924 (probably in York); he died in a car accident in 1952 in Josephine Co., OR.
    7. Chester Earl Melheim, born Dec. 4, 1925. Chester married first wife Helen Bartley on Sep. 20, 1954 in Stevenson, Skamania Co., WA (their marriage certificate states they were both residents of Linn Co., OR); married second wife Beverly Marie [?] (9/30/1931-8/1/1996; last known to reside in Albany, Linn Co., OR). Chester was a mill worker. He died on Sep. 20, 2007, last known residence was in Albany, Linn Co., OR.
    8. Elmer Melheim, born in 1932 (probably in York); he died as a child.

    Ella Nord's Story: A First Generation American

    Ella Josephine Nord was born on May 22, 1894, in North Dakota, the daughter of Alfred Swenson Nord and Christine Serine Batalden. Alfred Nord was born April 4, 1859 in Trollhattan, Sweden. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1882, landing at the Port of Boston in May (according to his naturalization papers.) It isn't yet known which route Alfred took to get to Boston, or which shipping line he used. He may have gone from Sweden to Norway, taken a ship from one of the ports like Bergen or Trondheim to Hull, England, and then would either have taken a train to Liverpool and left from there to Boston, or he could have gone from Hull to Glasgow [Scotland] to Boston. In those days this was a trip across the Atlantic of about 14 days, as a steerage passenger under fairly harsh conditions.

    photo of Olaf Nord, brother of Alfred NordAccording to Lois James, descendant of Johanna, Alfred had two known sisters, Johanna Maria Svensdotter and Augusta [Svensdotter], and a brother named Olaf ["Ole" or "Oly"] who also took the last name of Nord. Johanna [and the rest of the family?] was from Nord (which means north), Hjartum County, Sweden-- presumably located in the northern part of the county. "Hjartum County is just a few miles west of Trollhattan." Alfred may have listed his birthplace as Trollhattan as it was the nearest large town or was better known than Nord. Augusta later resided in Oslo, Norway. Johanna "was born July 1, 1853 and died February 20, 1938 in Hjartum County Sweden near Trollhattan... [she] married Gustaf Frykman in the 1870's." Their oldest child was Lydia Maria Frykman, born March 25, 1878. Olaf was born in 1865; he emigrated to the US in 1890, eight years after Alfred emigrated. The photo (to the right) of Olaf was taken in Worcester, MA, so we may assume Olaf also arrived at the Port of Boston. Olaf never married. He worked hauling things with a horse-drawn cart. By 1910, Olaf was residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his niece Lydia Frykman Olson Peterson. He died in 1929 and was buried "in the family plot (no marker) in Hillside Cemetery in Minneapolis."

    From Boston, Alfred made his way west. Many Norwegians and Swedes settled in North Dakota when they came to America. Alfred was one of the young pioneer farmers who homesteaded just north of the town of Leeds [info. from Jan Moen]. Alfred applied for U.S. citizenship on May 26, 1886; he was granted citizenship on Nov. 3, 1900.

    photo of Christine Serine BataldenChristine was born Feb. 19, 1870 in Kinns, Norway, the daughter of Christen Christenson (Valager) Batalden and Inger Oline Lovise Aleksandersdotter Batalden. She came here in 1886, at age 16, with her parents and six siblings, who also settled on a homestead north of Leeds. Alfred and Christine married on Sep. 21, 1889 in ND. Alfred owned his own homestead by 1892 of 160 acres [granted through the Homestead Act? From National Park Service website: "The Homestead Act of 1862 was one of the most significant and enduring events in the westward expansion of the United States. By granting 160 acres of free land to claimants, it allowed nearly any man or woman a chance to live the American dream." From AOL: "Heads of household, widows, and singles over 21 years who were citizens or had declared their intention to become citizens were granted the right to settle on 160 acres of unoccupied public land, which, provided that he cultivated it, he would own after living on it for five continuous years"], and owned an additional 160 acres by 1901.

    photo of Severt and Ella
on their 50th anniversary Alfred and Christine Nord had six children, all born in ND:

    1. Oscar S. Nord, born Aug. 1891
    2. Ida M. Nord, born Dec. 1892
    3. Ella Josephine Nord, born 22 May, 1894
    4. Clarence Nord, born July 1896
    5. Emma Nord, born Dec. 1897
    6. Edna A. Nord, born abt. 1903

    The Melheim Family in Oregon

    Most of the Severt Melheim family moved to Oregon after WWII, in 1945 or 1946. Severt and Ella bought a small farm outside of Albany, raised a few cows and grew a few crops. Their son Sigurd, newly married, settled on the farm to help with the work. Sig went back to North Dakota to bring his sister Gladys and her daughters out to Oregon to live on the farm with Severt and Ella, after Gladys' husband died in 1948.

    Severt also worked in a sawmill, as the farm didn't provide enough income for the family. At some point, he developed a pinched nerve in his neck that would hurt so much he could hardly walk. He called it his "roving pain" as it would hurt sometimes in his arm, sometimes in his leg. At times he had to crawl out to the tractor and climb up it so he could go plow the fields. His doctor couldn't find anything wrong. Someone told him to go see a chiropractor, who used some sort of machine on him and cured the pain.

    Severt and Ella celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1965 [see photo]. After Ella died in 1972, Severt sold the farm and lived on his own for a while. An injury and the onset of dementia sent him first to the hospital, then to live for a short time in a nursing home, after which he went to live with relatives. Severt died in December, 1975 in Amity, Oregon at the age of 84. He was survived by four of his children, and numerous grandchildren.

    The Chidester Family

    Chidester Origins

    map of Devon

    There is a lot of debate over the origins of the Chidester family. One theory is mentioned in this report by Paul E. Volpp, researcher and husband of a Chidester descendant: "This family seems anciently to have borne the name Cirencester, and was one of the most eminent in the county of Devon for its antiquity estate employments and alliances, having flourished for several generations at South Poole, not far from King's Bridge, where their most ancient habitation was."

    The county of Devon is located on the southwestern tip of England, bordered by Cornwall to the west, Somerset and Dorset to the East, the Bristol Channel to the North and the English Channel to the Southeast. Kingsbridge and South Poole are at the southern tip of Devon. South Pool[e] is "a small village at the head of a navigable creek, five miles S.S.E. of Kingsbridge;" Kingsbridge is "situated on rising ground, at the head of the estuary which runs up from the English Channel, between Salcombe and East Portlemouth, about six miles below, and has several creeks projecting from either side." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850).]

    According to Paul Volpp, "the first [ancestor] on record is Walleran de Cirencester (thought to be delineated from Cirencester of Gloucestershire) said to be descended from a brother of Robert of Cierncester, alias Chichester, dean of Salisbury and consecrated in 1128 Bishop of Exeter." Thus, the family name evolved from Cirencester to Chichester, and later to Chidester. The first ancestors we can definitely trace our line back to are John Chichester and Thomasia Ralegh, who married about 1385. Thomasia was the daughter of John de Ralegh. John and Thomasia's son Sir John Chichester, born about 1385, married Alice Wotton; "By this marriage the Manor of Widworthy...accrued to the Chichester family."

    James Chichester of Devon

    Our immigrant ancestor, James Chichester, descendant of Sir John Chichester and son of William Chichester and Susanna--?--, was born in Widworthy, Devon, England before 18 February 1619/20 (when he was baptized.)"Widworthy [is] a small village on a bold acclivity, 3 miles E. by S. of Honiton. The manor of Widworthy was held by a family of its own name, till the reign of Edward I.[1272-1307], when their heiress carried it in marriage to the Dinhams. It was purchased of the Chichesters by the Marwoods." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850).]

    James emigrated to New England, North America, by 1643. He probably started out in Connecticut as he had a cousin there (Margaret Wyatt, daughter of Frances Chichester and John Wyatt, who came to New England in 1632 with husband Matthew Allyn and settled in Windsor, CT.) By 1643, James was in Taunton, MA where he married Eunice Porter (daughter of Jonathon and Eunice Porter of Salem, Essex Co., MA.) In 1643, James was on the Plymouth Co., MA "list of men able to bear arms." James and Eunice moved to Salem in 1650 and in 1654 James bought land from his father-in-law. By 1662, they moved to Huntington, Suffolk Co., Long Island, NY, following Eunice's father Jonathon Porter who had moved there earlier. Eunice inherited part of her father's estate by 1670. By then she and James had four children: James, Jr., Jonathon, David and Elizabeth. In 1668, James was elected Constable of Huntington. By 1676, James was beginning to be known as James, Sr. and his sons were beginning to be land owners. James was deeding land to his sons by 1681. James, Sr. died on 29 January 1695/6 in Huntington, LI, NY. His son David was named his executor on September 8, 1696.

    From David to Daniel

    David Chichester was born in 1658 in Huntington, Suffolk Co., LI, NY [according to a gedcom on longislandgenealogy.com]; he married Alice Bayley on December 22, 1698, in Huntington. They had three children: David ,Jr., Samuel, and William. In 1705 David "removed" his family to Wallingford, CT from Huntington, L.I., NY where they had been living. David died about 1712, in Wallingford, New Haven Co., CT.

    David's son Samuel Chichester married Mahabel Tuller on December 17, 1719 in Simsbury, Hartford Co, CT; at the time of his marriage to Mahabel (Mable), he was listed as of Wallingford. Mahabel was born February 22, 1698/99 in Simsbury, Hartford Co, CT. They had a son, Andrew, born 18 Oct. 1720. In 1722 Samuel moved his family to Waterbury, Hartford Co, CT, living in Judds Meadow. In 1726, September 30, he and his brother William jointly sold land, signing their last names as "Chidester." On 1731/33, January 31, Samuel bought land from John Hough, signing this deed also as "Chidester". He died before 1761; Mahabel died on March 27, 1761 in Roxbury, Morris Co, NJ.

    Andrew Chidester was the first born of Samuel Chidester and Mahabel Tuller. He was baptized on 18 Oct. 1720 in Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT. Andrew married Susannah ---?--- about 1742; she was born in 1721. They had several children, including a son, Daniel Chidester. In 1746, Andrew "was a weaver for a store in East Jersey", in the area now known as Boundbrook, Somerset Co., New Jersey. In 1771, Andrew was imprisoned for debt "in the Goal of the county of Morris." He died on 15 Feb. 1791. [Quoted from Chidester report by Paul E. Volpp.]

    Daniel Chidester married Catherine Waring, daughter of John Waring and Katherine Tuttle. Daniel and Catherine had five children: Benjamin, Nathan, Catherine, Daniel, Jr., and David. At some point in time Catherine was widowed, and moved her family from NY to Darian, CT.

    Daniel Chidester, Jr. was born 6 Mar. 1764 [according to the James E. Hazard Index, New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College; see their website at http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/friends/hazard/index.html], in Milton, Saratoga Co, NY. Saratoga Co. is "located in the east-central part of New York State." [Note: Saratoga County wasn't formed until 1791 from part of Albany County ("one of the original counties, formed in 1683"); therefore, Daniel was actually born in Albany Co.; quotes are from NYGenWeb.] "Daniel Chidester" and "Nathan Chidester" are listed as members of the Militia for Albany County, Thirteenth Regiment during the Revolutionary War ["New York in the Revolution as Colony and State," Volume I, A Compilation of Documents and Records from the Office of the State Comptroller, Albany, NY, 1904; pg. 123.] These may have been Daniel, Sr. and son Nathan (Daniel, Jr. would have been only 12 at the beginning of the war; no records have been found so far that indicate he served in the war.)

    Daniel married Hannah Gardner (born 10 Mar. 1760, according to the Hazard Index.) Daniel and Hannah moved to Scipio, Cayuga Co., NY, which is located in the Finger Lakes region. "Cayuga Co. was formed from Onondaga County, March 8, 1799;Cayuga County, NY is part of an area known as 'The Military Tract'. The Military Tract was a vast area of about 1.75 million acres located in the heartland of Central NY. Lands purchased by the State from the Onondaga Indian Nation in 1788 and from the Cayuga Nation in 1789 were surveyed into 28 Military Tract Townships to satisfy the claims of veterans of the Revolutionary War, who had been promised farms as an inducement to enlist in the New York regiments." [from NYGenWeb.] Scipio was one of the 28 military tract townships [from "A Summary History of The Military Tract Of Central NY For The Cayuga County NYGenWeb Project" at https://sites.rootsweb.com/~nycayuga/land/mtracths.html] There is no record of Daniel having applied for land as a war veteran, however.

    Children of Daniel and Hannah were (in birth order as suggested by Daniel's will transcribed by Gifford researcher Judy Baker):

    1. Dorcas, b. 4 July 1782 in NY; m. Josiah Thompson (1780 to 1849) in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY, abt. 1804; they had at least 9 children [mentioned in Josiah's will; see transcription by Karolyn Campbell at http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec?htx=message&r=rw&p=localities.northam.usa.states.newyork.counties.cayuga&m=3139]. Dorcas died on 9 Mar. 1857 in Ledyard, NY [from family group record on LDS familysearch.org].
    2. Mary, b. 1784; m. Simeon Richards before 1811; had a Daughter [Richards] born about 1811 in Cayuga Co., NY, who m. Andrew Laird [1814-1879]; this daughter died in Dec. 1848 at age 37 [from "1894 Biographical Review: This Volume Contains Biographical Sketches of the Leading Citizens of Cayuga County New York," pg. 159; pub. in Boston, 1894, from http://freepages.books.rootsweb.com/~cayuga/1894/]
    3. Gardner, b. 10 April 1785 in [Greenfield, Saratoga Co.?], NY; d. 19 May, 1860 in Muir, MI. Married (first wife) Andria Vorie (b. 1 Jan. 1790; d. 28 Feb. 1819) in Greenfield, NY on 20 Feb. 1806; married (second wife) Sarah "Sally" Hinman [Hayden?] on 20 May 1819. Sally died 13 Mar. 1863 in MI.
    4. Katharine; m. [--?--] McCumber [Katharine is mentioned in her father's will; Judy Baker thinks Katharine may have been a widow by 1833 when her father died, as he left her some land in his will.]
    5. Lydia, b. 17 April 1793 in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Co., NY; d. 9 June 1877; married Caleb Manchester (b. abt. 1788) on 1 Oct. 1812 in Scipio Twp., Cayuga Co., NY [Caleb is listed as a farmer in NY in the 1850 Census for Scipio Twp., Cayuga Co., NY]; Lydia died 9 June 1877 in Battle Creek, MI. "Caleb Manchester married his wife Lydia [Chidester], of Greenfield, Saratoga county, October 1st, 1812, and removed with her the following spring to a farm one and one-half miles south-east of Scipioville, where they lived forty-eight years and raised a family of four sons and seven daughters, only two of whom, Elias C. [Manchester], of Battle Creek, Michigan, and Rev. Wm. S. [Manchester], survive them. In 1861, they sold their home and lived with their daughter, Eliza P. Battey, near Scipioville, who died in March, 1870. Caleb died October 5th, 1868; and his wife at Battle Creek, Michigan, while visiting with her son, June 9th, 1877, aged 84 years." [from The History of Cayuga County, 1789-1879, pg. 423, by Elliot Storke]
    6. Benjamin, b. 29 Nov. 1795 in NY [according to Hazard Index]; d. before 1860; m. Clara --?--; he was a farmer [1850 Census, Scipio Twp., Cayuga, NY]
    7. Nathan, b. 15 Nov. 1797 in NY; m. Huldah Price (from PA); he was a farmer; he died on 2 April 1873 in Calhoun Co., MI; Huldah died on 1 May 1871
    8. Phebe, b. 12 July 1799 in NY; m. John Sherman Gifford on 15 June 1824 at Scipio, son of Abraham Gifford and Lucy Sherman of Collins, Erie Co., NY, formerly of Mass. John S. Gifford was born 19 Nov. 1801 in NY, and died 22 Feb. 1883 in Calhoun Co., Mich. They had one child, Gardner C. Gifford, born 17 Oct. 1825 in Scipio, Cayuga, NY. John was a Quaker. Phebe died before 8 Jan.1829, when John S. Gifford remarried to her niece, Hannah Thompson Howland (dau. Of Dorcas Chidester and Josiah Thompson.) [Note: info on Phebe and John from Gifford researcher, Judy Baker, enjardinatfrontiernet.net.]

    The family appears to have settled in the Scipio Township area by about 1813. Scipio was "a Post-Township of Cayuga County, 11 miles S. of Auburn, and 180 W. of Albany; bounded N. by Aurelius, E. by Sempronius, S. by Genoa, W. by Cayuga Lake or the County of Seneca... It is about 10 miles square the Township of Scipio, in the Military Tract, and it includes also a part of the Cayuga Reservation." [from a description in the 1813 Gazetteer of New York. Page 294-295; found on Bill Hecht's website: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~springport/stuff.html].

    1812 map of part of Cayuga County showing Scipio and Levanna

    There was a large Quaker settlement in Scipio, NY (according to Judy Baker). Daniel and Hannah belonged to the Society of Friends, or Quakers, while still living in Saratoga County. They were "received on certificate from" the Galway Meeting (in Saratoga Co.) into the Scipio Meeting of Friends on 17 June 1813, along with children Benjamin, Nathan and Phebe, ages 18, 16 and 14 respectively [according to the Hazard Index.] Daniel and Hannah made their homestead farm on lot no.20 in the township of Scipio, "lying on the east side of the Poplar Ridge road" (according to Daniel's will.) The five older children were presumably all married and living on their own by 1813.

    There is no record found (as yet) for Gardner in the Hazard Index; he may have no longer been a member of the Friends. Dorcas and husband Josiah Thompson were received on certificate from Galway into the Scipio Meeting on 19 July 1815, along with six of their children. Benjamin was "disowned" from membership in 1816 for having married outside the faith. Phebe was disowned from membership in 1825; although she married a Friend (John Gifford), they married "contrary to the order of Friends;" in other words, did not follow the established order of obtaining "approval from the meeting and then marrying within the meeting." Daniel and Hannah were later "disowned at the time of the schism between Orthodox and Hisksite Friends [circa] 1828, as were Josiah and Dorcas Thompson and their family." [Info supplied by Judy Baker, from minutes of the Scipio meetings, and quotes from her emails.]

    According to Daniel's will, by 1833 he owned "seventeen acres of land, lying East of Fitch's corner, on lot no. 28 in the township of Scipio, Cayuga county and state of New York, and commonly known by the name of the Gale lot" in addition to "about nineteen acres of land on lot number 20 in said township of Scipio aforesaid, being a part of the homestead farm, lying on the east side of the Poplar Ridge road." He left these properties to his sons Gardner, Benjamin and Nathan, and to his daughter Katharine. His will was recorded on Sept. 3, 1833; Daniel died on July 15, 1833, in Scipio [or, on June 28, 1833 as stated in the Hazard Index], at age 69. Hannah died on June 17, 1855, at the age of 95.

    Gardner Chidester in Levanna

    Gardner Chidester, named for his mother's maiden name, was born 10 Apr 1785 [in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY?] He married Andria Vorie in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY on 20 Feb 1806. Gardner and Andria were in Levanna, Cayuga Co., NY by 1812 when their second child was born. Andria died in February of 1819. Gardner remarried to Sarah "Sally" Hinman [Hayden?], on 20 May of the same year (as was the custom for widowers left with young children to care for). Gardner had a total of seven children. Andria was the mother of Gardner's first two children, and Sally the mother of the other five who were born after 1819.

    Children of Gardner Chidester:

    1. Sarah, b. 26 Dec. 1810 in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY; d. in Levanna, NY
    2. Elizabeth, b. 12 Sept. 1812 in Levanna, NY
    3. Daniel, b. 4 Dec. 1820 in Levanna, NY; d. 17 Jan. 1823
    4. Hannah, b. 25 Dec. 1822 in Levanna, NY
    5. Benjamin Franklin, b. 7 Dec. 1824 in Levanna, NY; d. 13 Oct. 1894 in Harbor Springs, MI
    6. Phoebe, b. 6 Feb. 1827 in Levanna, NY; d. 31 Dec. 1877 in Orchard Park, NY
    7. William Shepherd, b. 22 Sep 1828 in Levanna, NY; d. 17 June 1908 in Muir, Ionia Co., MI

    By 1836, Gardner was a prominent merchant and the principal partner in a company in Levanna, NY that built a "steam grist mill." He sold the mill in 1838. Gardner was also the first postmaster for the Levanna post office, "established in the winter of 1834; he held the office until 1838." Levanna was "a post village" located on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake. "The chief business of the village [consisted of] its lake commerce." [Quotes are from "History of Cayuga County, New York, 1789 - 1879," by Elliot G. Storke, pub. In Syracuse, NY 1879.]

    Gardner Chidester and Nathan Chidester, Pioneers

    packet boat on the Erie Canal

    Gardner, Sally, and sons William Shepherd Chidester and Benjamin F. Chidester migrated to Michigan by 1839, probably following Gardner's brother Nathan who had migrated to MI in 1835. [In 1839, Gardner was 54 yrs. old; William S. was 11, and Benjamin was 15.] The Michigan Territory had been created by Congress in 1805; between 1818 and 1832, settlement was encouraged by the government and improved transportation methods had developed. The Erie Canal was completed in 1825, connecting the Hudson River to Lake Erie. [from "Ionia County Early Days and Timelines," MIGenWeb.] Michigan became an official state in 1837. "A U.S. Land Office was established in Ionia County Seat" the same year. [from MIGenWeb.] Gardner Chidester and his family may have traveled via boat through the Erie Canal and over the Great Lakes from Buffalo, NY to Detroit, MI like many other pioneers before them.

    "When finally completed on October 26, 1825, [the Erie Canal] was the engineering marvel of its day. It included 18 aqueducts to carry the canal over ravines and rivers, and 83 locks, with a rise of 568 feet from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. It was 4 feet deep and 40 feet wide, and floated boats carrying 30 tons of freight. A ten foot wide towpath was built along the bank of the canal for horses, mules, and oxen led by a boy boat driver or 'hoggee'...In order to keep pace with the growing demands of traffic, the Erie Canal was enlarged between 1836 and 1862. The 'Enlarged Erie' was 70 feet wide and 7 feet deep, and could handle boats carrying 240 tons. The number of locks was reduced to 72. Most of the remaining traces of the Old Erie Canal are from the Enlarged Erie era." [from http://www.eriecanal.org/] "The Erie Canal was the transportation marvel of its day. It reduced the travel time from the Hudson River to the Great Lakes by one half and provided travelers a welcome alternative to the rutted, muddy road of the stage coach. Passengers traveled on packet boats pulled by a team of horses or mules at a leisurely pace equivalent to that of a fast walk... The canal's opening ignited the first great western migration. Thousands of settlers skirted the natural barrier of the Allegheny Mountains and moved to the fertile lands of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and beyond." [from http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/eriecanal.htm.]

    Gardner's brother Nathan had migrated from NY to Calhoun Co., MI in 1835, "located land, and in a short time brought his family hither. He established them in a log house on section 31, Convis Township, and busied himself in developing the property until 1840, when he sold it and bought elsewhere. Letting his purchase lie idle, he removed to Ionia County, where he became the owner of about five hundred acres and where he remained until 1848." [From "Portrait and biographical album of Calhoun County, Michigan," pg. 245-246, printed by Chicago: Chapman bros., 1891; published on the Michigan County Histories at http://www.hti.umich.edu/m/micounty/] There was a patent filed at the Kalamazoo Michigan Land Office on May 1, 1839 by "Garner" Chidester for 160 acres of land in Calhoun Co.; on this same day, Nathan Chidester filed 12 patents for various lands located in Calhoun, Ionia, Eaton and Kent counties. It makes sense that Gardner would have first gone to Calhoun Co. where his brother Nathan was living. There is also a reference in the "History of Allegan and Barry Counties, Michigan," book [pub. in Philadelphia, 1880] to Gardner Chidester having settled in Ionia Co. in 1839. In a history book for Ionia county ("History of Ionia County, Michigan: her people, industries and institutions, with biographical sketches of representative citizens, and genealogical records of many of the old families," by Rev. E.E. Branch, printed Indianapolis: B.F. Bowen & Co., 1916, page 114; published on the Michigan County Histories website), it says "in the northeast quarter of the township [of Ionia] there were but few settlements as early as 1846... On section 1, in the extreme northeastern corner of the township, Gardner Chidester was keeping tavern on the township line road between Ionia and Lyons [so apparently Gardner was still an entrepreneur as well as a farmer!]. He had a hundred acres of cleared land and, what was something out of the common, a framed house and two framed barns. [as opposed to a log house?]" The article continues, "moving northward again, we find that Nathan Chidester was on section 1 in 1846 [same section as Gardner, then?] In 1848 he sold out to L.F. Burdick and moved away." Nathan returned to Calhoun Co. in 1848, "took possession of his farm here, and added to it three hundred and ten acres. He was extensively engaged in general farming until his death, April 2, 1873." Nathan also "held various township offices, among them that of Justice of the Peace. Politically, he was a Whig, a Free Soiler and a Republican." [from "Portrait and biographical album of Calhoun County, Michigan," cited above.] By 1850, Gardner (62 yrs. old) and son William Shepherd (now age 20) had established themselves as farmers in the area [according to the 1850 Ionia Co. Census.] Son Benjamin (25 yrs.) was now a "Carpenter Joiner."

    Benjamin married Helen G. Lovell on 11 Nov. 1851. On 15 March 1860, William Shepherd married Nancy Nettleton (born about 1842.) William S. and Nancy lived in Muir, Ionia Co., and had two sons: Gardner Freeman Chidester, born 6 Dec. 1863, and William Nettleton Chidester, born abt. 1864. Gardner, Sr. and Sally remained in Muir, where they were buried. Gardner, Sr. died on 19 May 1860; Sally died on 13 March 1863. By 1870, both William Shepherd and brother Benjamin were living in Barry Co., MI where they show up in the census in the town of Rutland, near Hastings. When William Nettleton was a boy, he, his brother Gardner F. and parents William Shepherd and Nancy moved to Hastings, Barry Co. MI.

    The Chidester Family in Hastings

    The first white settlements in Barry Co. began in 1835 with a few families; the Native Americans in the area were "mostly of the Pottawatamie and Ottawa tribes... Barry county then constituted a part of that immense area, the backwoods of Michigan. The growth of timber then encumbering its broad acres was simply enormous. None but the brave and courageous pioneer dared encounter the formidable task of hewing out a home in its wild and forbidding fastnesses." Hastings' growth quickened after 1850; it received a city charter in 1871. "Hastings has many good, and even fine residences, brick blocks of stores, ward-school houses... Most of the trades, and various branches of industry and capital are represented here. The city is beautifully located within three miles of the geographical center of the county, at the junction of Thornapple River and Fall Creek, two splendid streams, capable of furnishing power to run a vast quantity of machinery." [from "Business Directory of Barry County Michigan. Containing a History of Hastings and Nashville," compiled by E. Darwin Porter, pub. 1872; pg. 7&8.]

    William Nettleton Chidester William Nettleton Chidester was a farmer for a few years; at age 23 (abt. 1887) he worked as a clerk in a shoe store. He was later assistant postmaster in Hastings for two and a half years, and in Aug. 1893 was appointed to the position of agent of the American Express Co. [from a promotional periodical published in Feb. 1896 by the Michigan Central Railroad, courtesy of Reynolds Cordes.] Brother Gardner Freeman Chidester also worked as a clerk. He eventually went into business and became a partner of Chidester & Burton, Men's Clothing [also from the promotional periodical.]; he married Isabel "Belle" Hotchkiss (born 1868, daughter of John Hotchkiss and Lucy Stafford) on 16 Oct. 1889. William N. married Clara Roberts, born about 1870 and daughter of pioneers James P. Roberts and Anna M. Robinson (daughter of David G. Robinson and Sarah B. Keith. Sarah was a descendent of the Rev. James Keith of Scotland who settled in Bridgewater, MA) on 3 Sept. 1889. She and William N. remained in Hastings. They were married for over fifty years.

    On 27 April 1898, WNC and Clara had a son, William Keith Chidester, born in Hastings (their only child). They named him "Keith" for the surname, and he went by that name. Keith graduated from Hastings High School in 1916, and from the University of Michigan in 1920; he was in residence at the General Theological Seminary on Chelsea Square, NYC by 1921 [from a 1921 Hastings HS Year Book, also courtesy of Reynolds Cordes.] He graduated from there in 1923. "In June 1923 he was ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church. He was ordained priest the following December." [from an obituary in the Stamford Advocate, Nov. 28, 1970.] He met Helen Deborah Bates (born 20 Oct. 1893 in Wilkinsburg, PA, daughter of Rev. Carroll Lund Bates and Lorena McCloskey) in Hastings, MI where her father was rector of the Episcopal Church. Helen Bates is listed as a boarder in the home of William N. Chidester, Clara and Keith in the 1920 Census for Barry Co., MI. Helen and Keith married on 16 June 1923 in Hastings. They had two daughters, Elizabeth "Liz" Jean Chidester (b. 12 Feb. 1925; d. 30 July 2013) and ("living daughter".) The family moved around to several different parishes in MI, including Manistee (where Liz was born in 1925), Niles (where second daughter was born in 1927) and St. John's (where they lived from about 1930-1935, during the Depression.) In Dec. 1935, the family moved to Winter Park, Orange County, Florida where they lived between 1935 and 1945. In 1945, they moved to New York City, NY where Keith was assistant rector at the Church of the Ascension.

    Clara Roberts Chidester and son Keith William Keith Chidester as a young man

    The Roberts Family in Hastings

    JP Roberts and grandson William Keith ChidesterJames P. Roberts was born on 23 June 1825 in Buck's Co., PA, of Welsh-Quaker parentage. In 1844 he made his first trip to Hastings "to visit his brother, Dr. J.B. Roberts, one of its pioneer physicians." Returning in 1849, he opened "the first drug store in Barry County, and followed this occupation for many years... He had considerable dealings with the Indians and was much revered by them." On 6 July 1854, he married Anna M. Robinson, "who was born in Vassalboro, Maine, October 7, 1834, and came to Hastings with her parents, Judge and Mrs. David G. Robinson, in 1848." Anna's mother, Sarah Bassett Keith was a descendant of the Rev. James Keith of Scotland who settled in Bridgewater, MA as the first Congregational minister. Anna "was a student at Albion College in the early '50's and taught in the old Hastings schoolhouse before her marriage. She joined the Presbyterian church by letter in 1852." J.P. "was a Republican in politics and a member of the Masonic order. He was a life long Presbyterian, serving as elder in the Hastings church for over fifty years." J.P. and Anna Roberts had four children, probably all born in Hastings: Mary, who died in early childhood [at 8 yrs. old, in 187?, according to Riverside Cemetery record] ; Mrs. Anna D. Mason, Mrs. [Clara] William A. [N.] Chidester, and Mrs. [Sarah] William R. Cook. "Mr. and Mrs. Roberts' married life lacked but a few months of fifty years, she dying February 26, 1904, he December 17, 1907." [Quotes from "History of Barry County" by Hon. W.W. Potter, pg. 195-196; pub. 1912 by The Reed-Tandler Co., Grand Rapids, MI.]

    Anna Dana Roberts was born on 25 August, 1856, the second daughter of J.P. and Anna Roberts. According to an obituary in the Hastings Banner dated Dec. 24, 1936, when she was four years old the family moved across the street "into the house built by her father on the corner of Broadway and West Center, the white clapboard house with green blinds" where she lived most of her life. "She attended school in the wooden building on the hill and went to high school in the old red brick building under the late Prof. Samuel Dickie. Afterward for a short time with a few other Hastings girls she attended the Friends' school at Bethlehem, Pa. She was married Jan. 24th, 1877 to Charles Calvin Mason of Kalamazoo, and for a few years they lived in Middleville. He passed away in 1888 [d. Jan 25 1888, age: 32yrs; from Riverside Cemetery record.] Following her husband's death, Mrs. Mason became a member of the local post office force serving there twenty-nine years..." Anna died on 16 Dec. 1936. She was survived by her son, James R. Mason [b. Dec 16 1877, d. Jul 3, 1951; from Riverside Cemetery record.]

    Jim Mason in his studioThe Roberts house

    James "Jim" Mason had an interesting life. According to an article recently published in the Hastings Banner newspaper, "James Mason was born in Hastings in 1878 at his grandparents, J.P. Roberts', home which is located on the southeast corner of Broadway and Center Street. This well maintained home still stands and is a fine example of the Greek Revival style popular at the time.

    "'Jim' was the only child of Charles C. Mason and Anna Roberts Mason. Jim's father died when he was 9 years old. He received his education in Hastings public schools and at Howe Hall, Lima, Ind.

    "When 21, he enlisted the U.S. Infantry and fought in the Spanish-American War. His regiment was one of the first to reach Cuba. He took part in the battle of San Juan Hill, which became famous because of Theodore Roosevelt's involvement. The Americans won the day under heavy fire with heavy loss of life. Jim Mason contracted yellow fever in Cuba and was critically ill for many weeks. He received an honorable discharge from the Army and was awarded a citation for excellence from his commanding officer.

    "After leaving the service he worked in Boston, Mass., ranched in Colorado and worked as a staff photographer for one of the well known studios in Hollywood, Calif. Most of his life however, was spent in Hastings, living in his ancestral home on Broadway Avenue where he maintained a photographic studio [see photo above left.] He was an original member of the Hastings Country Club, was a Rotarian and a member of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

    "James Mason died in Hastings on July 3, 1951, at the age of 73. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery. His obituary published in the Hastings Banner said that he was survived by his wife, Marjorie Gage Mason, his aunt Sarah Rogers [Roberts] Cook, wife of William R. Cook..." [From TIME to TIME: A look down memory lane; Broadway bridges, Hastings: A brief history; James Mason, Hastings photographer, by Esther Walton; an article in the Hastings Banner newspaper]

    Clara Roberts was born about 1870, the third daughter of J.P. and Anna Roberts. She married William N. Chidester on 3 Sept. 1889. They were married for over fifty years, and had one child, William Keith Chidester (see above.) Clara and her sister-in-law Belle were members of the Michigan DAR [from Historical Record of the Michigan Daughters of the American Revolution, 1893-1930, Vol. I, pg. 252.] Clara died on 24 April 1940 at the age of 70; William N. died 24 May 1955 [Riverside Cemetery records.]

    Sarah "Sadie" Elizabeth Roberts was born 29 Sept. 1873, the fourth daughter of J.P. and Anna Roberts. She graduated from Hastings High School in 1890, and married William R. Cook on 1 Sept. 1891. W.R. Cook "for many years was the publisher of The Hastings Banner with his brother, Marshall L. Cook... Mr. Cook died in 1946 [May 4.] [Sarah] was a member of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, the Daughters of the American Revolution, was a past president of Emmanuel Guild and a charter member of the Hastings Women's club." They had "one son, Richard M. Cook [b. Oct 23 1901, d. Dec 2 1989], publisher of The Banner [and] a daughter, Mrs. Dorothy [Cook] French [b. Jan 6 1898, d. Oct 6 1982]." [From an obituary, probably published in the Hastings Banner.] Sarah also wrote for the Banner; in a tribute after her death, her daughter-in-law Mrs. Richard M. Cook, wrote "Mother Cook loved Hastings and Barry county, including everyone who lived in its boundaries. Because of this fact, her loyalty to 'The Banner' was equally great because it was the chronicle of the home folks. With Mother Cook, this was a way of life... [she] had an insatiable appetite for information. Never having had the opportunity for a 'formal' [beyond HS?] education, reading and travel were her avenues of knowledge. For her, travel was not only a pleasure but also one of the most exciting adventures of learning. She wrote of all she did and all she saw, for 'Banner' readers. With her it was a way of sharing the marvels of life with those she loved." Sarah died in Hastings on 6 Sept. 1963 after a long illness, and was buried in Riverside Cemetery, as were her husband and children.

    The photo below on the left is of Sarah Roberts Cook. In the right-hand photo below, from the left: William Cook, "cousin Marge," Belle Cook, Richard Cook, Stella ?, Anna Roberts Mason, Sarah Roberts Cook, and Marshall Cook.Cook brothers in HastingsSarah Roberts Cook

    The Bates Family

    Edward Bate[s]: from England to Massachusetts

    map of Buckinghamshire 1662

    Our immigrant ancestor was Edward Bate[s], who was born about 1606 and "baptized on November 23rd, 1606" in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, England [from "The Bates Family Home Page" at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~lsfeist/bateshome.htm]; he was "the son of William and Margery (Phillips) Bate and the grandson of William and Alice (Oslington) Bate, all of Aston Clinton." [From The American Genealogist, Jan. 1990; pg. 36]

    Buckinghamshire is "an inland county of England, bounded on the North by Northhamptonshire, East by Bedfordshire, Herts, and Middlesex, South by Surrey... and Berks, and West by Oxfordshire." [From Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887; published on GenUki.] Aston Clinton is "a large parish, very long and narrow in shape, lying on the northern slopes of the Chiltern Hills." [From The Victoria Histories of the Counties of England, 1927; pub. on GenUki.] It is located "in the hundred of Aylesbury...[and] lies 4 miles east of [the town of] Aylesbury, on the road to London through Tring." [From the Magna Britannia, 1806; pub. On GenUki.] Edward married Susanna Putnam, "daughter of Richard and Susan (Brown) Putnam," on 26 January 1631/32 in the parish of Drayton Beauchamp, Buckinghamshire; Susanna was born in Tring, Hertfordshire, across the border from Drayton Beauchamp. [From The American Genealogist, Jan. 1990; pgs. 35 & 43.]

    Edward and Susanna had about nine children, of whom the first three were born in England: "daughter Bates (stillborn), Susanna, John, Prudence, Increase, Mary, Jehoshabeth, Anna, and Edward, Jr.." [from "The Bates Family Home Page"]. By about 1638 Edward, Susanna and family were in Massachusetts Bay, where Edward was "made a freeman" on 13 May 1638/39. [From The American Genealogist, Jan. 1990; pg. 37.] They settled in Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts and thus Edward is known as "the ancestor of the Weymouth line." [From The Bates Bulletin.]

    Weymouth logo

    Weymouth "is the second oldest town in the Commonwealth, dating from 1622 when it was founded as 'Wessagusset'. Renamed Weymouth in 1635, the Town was boosted in that year by the arrival of 100 settlers [from] its namesake in England. The early settlement was incorporated into the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and slowly grew as a fishing and agricultural community." [From "History of Weymouth, MA" at http://www.weymouth.ma.us/history/index.asp?id=1104]. "The early settlers in Weymouth devoted themselves to farming, and the part of the town in which they located was called 'Old Spain.' ...In this region of 'Old Spain' we find in the early days the names of many settlers [including] Edward Bates." [From "History of Weymouth Massachusetts," In Four Volumes, Vol. 1 Historical; pub. by the Weymouth Historical Society, 1923; pg. 128-129.]

    Edward "was Elder of the Weymouth church [thus he became known as 'Edward the Elder'] for more than 30 years, representing his town in the General Court and held positions of trust [see The Bates Family Homepage for more details]...he was a large landholder, his residence being near the Hingham line, and at his death he was the owner of a half-interest in the Corn mill and one-fourth of the Sawmill. He died March 25, 1686, and his grave-stone now stands on the top of Burying Hill at Weymouth Heights." [From The Bates Bulletin, Oct. 1922.]

    Edward's sons Increase and Edward, Jr. inherited his lands: "Increase...held the southern portion of the estate, and most of his descendants remained in town... Edward [Jr.] inherited the northern part of the lands and remained in Weymouth, but most of his descendants removed during the third generation and were settled in Albington, Middleboro, Cummington, Vermont, etc. Of the line which remained in Weymouth, the most noted was, perhaps, Joshua Bates, the patron of Boston Public Library." [From The Bates Bulletin, Oct. 1922.]

    From Edward, Jr. to Joseph, Jr.

    Edward Bates, Jr. was born on 10 December 1655 in Weymouth, MA. He married Elizabeth Shaw (born 26 Feb. 1656, daughter of Deacon John Shaw; Elizabeth died on 6 July, 1748 at Hingham, MA.) Edward, Jr. and Elizabeth had eleven children: Susanna, Edward, John, Ebenezer, Joseph, Samuel, Eleazer, Mary, Benjamin [died in infancy], Benjamin, and Elizabeth. As mentioned above, Edward, Jr. remained in Weymouth and presumably farmed the land in the northern part of his father's estate that he inherited. Edward, Jr. died on 21 Aug. 1725. [From "Descendants of Edward Bates of Weymouth," The Bates Bulletin, April 1931.]

    Joseph Bates, son of Edward, Jr., was born about 1692 in Weymouth, Mass. From his father's will it can be inferred that at some point he received his share of his father's estate. On 10 Aug. 1718, he joined the church at Middleboro, Plymouth Co., MA. He married twice, first to Joanna Tinkham [dau. of Peter Tinkham and Mercy Mendall] on 16 April 1716. Joanna was born about 1696. They had six children: Joanna, Mercy, Joseph, Jr., Elizabeth, Thomas and Priscilla. Joanna the mother died 28 July 1733. Joseph married a second time to Mary Blossom of Barnstable, about 1743. They had four children (Mary, Hannah, Thomas and Mehitable.) Joseph died 31 Aug. 1778 at age 86, in Middleboro. [From "Joseph Bates of Middleborough, Mass., and some of his descendants," by Frank A. Bates; The Bates Bulletin]

    Joseph Bates, Jr. was born in Middleboro, Mass., on 18 March 1721/2. On 24 Jan. 1742, he was admitted to the church in Middleboro. He married Eunice Tinkham [born 6 July 1730, the daughter of Peter Tinkham and Eunice Thomas,; so it looks like Joseph Sr. and Joseph Jr. both married women who were daughters of Peter Tinkham, but had different mothers] on 16 Nov. 1749. They had fourteen children [some of whom died in childhood], all born in Middleboro: Peter [died of smallpox while serving in the Revolutionary War], Joanna, Elizabeth, Sarah, Joseph, Samuel, Samuel 2, Joseph 2, Jacob, Zilpha, Eliphalet, Thomas, Mary and Sylvanus. Presumably, Joseph Jr. farmed the land he inherited from his father, consisting of "one-half his homestead, farm, and land adjacent, out-meadow and cedar swamp in Middleboro and Plympton or elsewhere..." Joseph Jr. became "a soldier in the Revolution, serving on the expedition to Rhode Island in 1776." After the Revolutionary War, the family removed to Hartland, Windsor Co., VT, and he was "dismissed to the church at Hartland, Vt., in 1787." Eunice died on 13 Oct. 1785; Joseph Jr. died in Hartland on 27 Aug. 1796 at the age of about 75 years. [Info from "Joseph Bates of Middleborough, Mass., and some of his descendants," by Frank A. Bates; The Bates Bulletin.]

    Hartland was "originally named Hertford; a confirming Patent was issued by New York in 1766 under the same name. It wasn't until 1782 that the Vermont Legislature changed the named to Hartland, because, as it was noted, Hertford and Hartford being adjoining, it was 'difficult for strangers to distinguish which of said towns might be meant . . . and many other inconveniences do attend the having two towns so near of one name in the state.'" [From virtualvermont.com.] "Hartland is a rural town located in Windsor County, just west of the Connecticut River and the New Hampshire border in Vermont's south central region." [from http://www.hartland.govoffice.com.] The Connecticut is the longest river in New England, separating New Hampshire from Vermont. "Until the building of the turnpikes in the early 1800s and the railroads in the mid 1800s, the river provided the chief transportation route for goods, settlers and ideas... Navigation was not an easy task, particularly along the upper reaches of the river. Canals were built as a result. In 1802, the canal at Bellows Falls was opened, followed by others at Hartland and Wilder." [From "Connecticut River Historic Sites Database & Connecticut River Heritage Trails," Robert B. Stephenson, Project Director, http://members.valley.net/~connriver/index.html] The Bates family first settled in Hartland before the advent of the turnpikes, canals, and railroads.

    The Bates Family in Vermont

    Eliphalet Bates was born on 5 March 1769 in Middleboro, MA, the son of Joseph Jr. and Eunice Tinkham Bates. After the Revolutionary War, in which Eliphalet's father Joseph served, the family migrated to Hartland, Vermont and located on a farm, by about 1787, when Eliphalet was 18.

    Elias, son of Eliphalet, wrote in a letter to his nephew James dated 22 April 1864 [excerpts from a transcription published in The Bates Bulletin]: "Eliphalet Bates my father left Hartland about the year 1790 [at age 21] for Randolph [Orange Co., VT] made a pitch or location in the woods on the east hill About a half mile from the west branch [referring to the third branch of the White River running on the western side of the town] so called in said Randolph. Here he cleared a small farm and built him a log cabin and courted his wife in the meantime. He married Polly Story in 1791 [at age 22] since [then] she had been called Mary. Her father sprang from one of the high blood Storey families." Eliphalet and Mary had 15 children: Elias S. [died as an infant], Elias [author of the letter], Jacob, Asa, James, George [died of scalding at age 4], Benjamin [died of dysentery at age 3],George 2, Thomas, Benjamin 2, Ezekial [died at age 1 year], Ezekial 2 [died as an infant], Sylvanus, Mary Abiah, and Eliphalet S.

    In describing his parents and the harsh life of their family, Elias wrote: "My Father was a quick passionate man. It would be a word and then a blow and sometimes the blow would come first. He had tender affections for his family and friends. I recollect when I was a boy about six years old he mounted me on the gray mare to do some harrowing [breaking up soil and level it using a harrow-- a farm instrument consisting of a heavy frame with teeth or upright disks, used to break up and even plowed ground] in the spring; well I rode the horse until I finished the piece he told me to ride down a small bank on a patch of ground he had been sowing; going down the bank the harrow slid And struck the mares heels that started her upon a full run and I stuck to her some time at last threw myself or fell off and on she went till she cleared herself from the harrow. No one knows how my father felt.

    "In the fall after this I think it was father had news from Hartland that one of his friends was sick; he started right off on horse back late in the afternoon. It happened to be a very clear night had a good moon; he was riding along slowly And all at once a colt or young horse overtook him; he had arrived at a bridge made with logs over a swamp hole; he turned in his saddle to strike the colt and all at once his horse fell off the bridge and he struck his head on a rotten log. How long he lay there no body knows but he came up and went to the first house and tried to raise them from their sleep but failed; he made for the barn and there encamped till morning. He visited his friends in Hartland and then returned. He took a violent cold and never was sound in his mind after that.

    "He was wild distracted and crazy through the winter. He was for killing the gray mare, the cat and the devel [devil]. I was at the barn one night doing some fodering [feeding animals with fodder, or feed for livestock]. He came along to help me; he caught the pitchfork, went at the gray mare and turned all at once and came at me as I supposed but went right by me into the baran [barn] and there being a hogshead standing in one conner [corner], he went to it, tipped it over and gave it An awful punching with the fork; after a while he stopped. There says he I have killed devel [the devil]...a great many such freaks I well rember [remember] and could write but time could not allow.

    "No one knows but our heavenly Father how much mental suffering there was exercised in that poor family during that long winter. Oh the tears the anguish expressed by my poor Mother was enough to melt a heart of stone. My own suffering I remember well. My Father didn't offer any violence on me or mother. There my poor mother had the care of three or four little ones and all the outdoor chores no one to help her but myself crying and taking on day and night. It broke her all down.

    "My Father sold the farm where he first located himself and bought a large tract of wild land about two miles north from where he located himself first./ cleared a pack of land and built a log cabbin. Here we lived until the spring I was four years old. Father swaped lands with a Mr. Parker and moved down on the branch lived in a poor old log cabin. Had a good rich piece of land...Here on this beautiful spot of earth was the first place where the dark cloud hung over this remarkable family. Where I came very nigh having my brains dashed out. Where we suffered everything through a long cold winter on account of father's sickness. Brother George a bright intelligent little boy four years old sit down or fell in a kittle [kettle] of scolding [scalding] water by walking backwards. After this Father swaped farms with a Mr. Lee of Waitsfield [located in Orange Co., VT which became Washington Co. in 1810], moved there in the spring of 1804 I think. Here we glided along very smoothly for a few years and another dark cloud hung over us.

    "Our dear Mother's health had been failing for some time. She grew melancholy, became very nervous and showed signs of derangement. My Grand Father Storey came to see her. She lay her complaints before him she said Father had abused her and the boys wouldn't mind her, which was perhaps too true. Grandfather says to her well if you can't live here in peace you will go home with me. So he carried her home. Now my father broke out in sorrow and grief. He left us boys to take care of ourselves your uncle Jacob and myself did the cooking and took care of the younger children as best we could. We got Mrs. Campbell to take George [2] who was then a babe. Mother went to he[r] Father's and remained for a long time. Father called there but did not meet with a very kind reception. Many things took place which was very trying and affecting...I haven't time to write them. However, after a while Mother returned to her family a poor dejected woman.

    "Soon after this Father swoped [swapped] farms with John English and moved back to Randolph a little ways south of the west branch depo. There Father and Mother lived in full view of those three places where they first settled and there died and are buried in the burying ground near by; and the family are scattered far and wide through the land... Eliphalet Bates family is a wonderful, admirable, strange, astonishing family!"

    Eliphalet's wife Mary Story Bates [daughter of Deacon Asa Story and Abiah Giddings] died in April 1836. Eliphalet Bates died on 30 May 1840 in Waitsfield, VT. [From "Descendants of Edward Bates of Weymouth," The Bates Bulletin, April, 1931.]

    Jacob Bates, son of Eliphalet and Mary (Story) Bates, was born on 11 Jan. 1795 in Vermont. He married Betsey Fox (dau. of Jacob Fox and Hannah Smith Fox; born on 30 March 1800) on 7 June 1827. They resided at Randolph and Hartland, Vermont; they had three children: Frederick "Fred" Bates, Elizabeth Hannah Bates, and Jacob Fox Bates [Info from The Bates Bulletin, April 1931; pg. 50.] Jacob apparently inherited his grandfather Joseph Bates' farm, according to his brother Elias's letter quoted above: "After the [Revolutionary] war closed he [grandfather Joseph Bates] and his family emigrated to Hartland and located himself on the farm now occupied by your uncle Jacob." Jacob is also listed as a farmer in Hartland in the "Gazetteer and Business Directory of Windsor County, VT, for 1883-84," pub. by Hamilton Child, Jan. 1884; pg. 380. Jacob died after 1884.

    By 1880, Hartland "had a population of 1,604." The town was described in the 1883-84 Directory as "a post village, [containing] two churches...one hotel, two stores, a tin shop, harness shop, blacksmith shop, tailor shop, etc. and about thirty dwellings. It is located on Lull brook, nearly a mile from Connecticut river and about the same distance from the south line of the town." Next to the brook were several mills and factories, including a blanket factory that was "formerly the Sturtevant woolen mills."

    Sturtevant mill

    "Cullen Friend Sturtevant began the business of wool manufacture in 1822. In 1826 the two brothers Cullen and Foster in partnership bought the Aaron Willard mill where they made sheep's gray cassimers in the old factory in the Mill Gorge. In 1840 they built the new mill. Cullen became full owner in 1850. They manufactured woolen cloth until 1865. The factory burned in 1889." [From "Hartland: The Way It Was, 1761-1976," the Family History Library.]

    map of Hartland

    Frederick "Fred" Bates: from Hartland, VT to Titusville, PA

    Frederick Bates, Sr.Frederick Bates, son of Jacob Bates and Betsey Fox, was born in Hartland, VT on 26 Nov. 1830. On 18 Aug. 1859 he married Caroline Sturtevant (born 23 Mar. 1837 also in Hartland, VT), dau. of Cullen Friend Sturtevant and Harriet Morey. Frederick and Caroline's son Carroll Lund Bates [CLB] wrote a charming story in 1922 of how his parents met and courted in an account that he entitled "How I Came Out of the South." CLB wrote that Frederick "was a farmer's son who had 'taken a bent for learning'. He made his way through a neighboring Academy and now was an undergraduate in Dartmouth College. His parents lived on a farm just out of [Hartland]...He wanted to earn some money, and the [Hartland] school trustees decided that they wanted him, during his 'long vacation', to teach in the village school. She [Caroline] was a girl of [Hartland.] Her father owned the red factory [where Cullen Friend Sturtevant "manufactured woolen cloth until 1865;" from "Hartland: The Way It Was, 1761-1976," from the Family History Library.]" Fred asked Caroline to say after school one evening. "So Caroline [Sturtevant] stayed...The hard sums gone over carefully, he, the school teacher, took her slate, saying with some difficulty, 'Caroline, there is one other short sum in addition I would like to have you do.' He wrote it slowly and put the slate back in her hand, and she looked and read, 'U+I=?.' 'Please write the answer, Caroline,' his voice said over her shoulder. She bent over the slate; she toyed with her pencil warily; she began, but made many erasures. At last she wrote it: 'H A P P I N E S S'." The narrative continues: "So, at last, he and she were wed, the teacher and the [Hartland] girl. There were the usual fe[s]tivities in the house of the factory man; but they were a trifle subdued, for it was 1859 and clouds of the coming national conflict [the Civil War] were gathering."

    CLB's account states that the married couple went by train to Macon, Bibbs Co., GA following a job offer Fred received from an uncle who was living there, for a position as Principal of the Bibbs County Georgia Academy; and subsequently Fred left that position for a better-paying job as a clerk in a Macon bank. However, according to the following record of their marriage, Fred Bates had already obtained employment as a clerk in Macon, GA by the time they were married:

    "04th, Frederic Bates of Macon Ga. Clerk and Miss Caroline Sturtevant of Hartland Vt. were legally united in Marriage by me this 18th day of August, A.D. 1859. C. G. Woodburg [?] Minister of the Gospel." [Transcription of Town Record, Hartland, Windsor Co., Vermont, pg. 193; film 0028346, Salt Lake City LDS Library]

    Caroline Sturtevant BatesIn any event, shortly after their marriage, Fred and Caroline Bates were living in Georgia. Fred and Caroline are found in the 1860 Federal Census for Macon, Bibb Co.: he is listed as age 29, occupation Bookkeeper; Caroline is listed as age 23. Fred was soon elected Secretary of the Macon Military Corps. CLB wrote, Fred did not believe that things would come to war; however, "December Twentieth, 1860, and newsboys on the streets of Macon calling, 'Macon Gazette. Extra. South Carolina had seceded!'" While there was much celebration in the town, Fred and Caroline Bates were devastated. Fred "resigned his secretary-ship and left the Military Company." On 18 Feb. 1861, the day of Jefferson Davis' inauguration, Carroll Lund Bates was born in Macon, GA, the firstborn child of Fred and Caroline Bates.

    Fred managed to keep his job at the bank until Civil War was in full swing, by 1861. Rather than enlist in the confederate army, Fred took "advantage of the Confederate Government's offer of exemption to all manufacturers of salt," and was sent to the Gulf of Mexico to drill salt wells. Caroline stayed behind in Macon with her newborn baby who had taken ill. Fred returned to Macon when "the salt works had been sold." The rest of the story describes how the couple and their baby made a harrowing journey to escape the South and get back to Vermont. They took a circuitous route so as not to arouse undue suspicion, over to Alabama by means of a horse and wagon, then on to Tennessee, traveling mostly at night and staying at wayside inns. Occasionally they encountered sentinels who they had to bribe or otherwise convince to allow them to go on their way [CLB wrote that his father used the "Masonic symbol of distress" he had learned as a Mason in the South, with one "guerilla" sentinel, with happy results.] Once over the "northern line," they sold their horse and wagon, and rode a train up the rest of the way to Vermont and back to their relieved families.

    By 1866, Fred and Caroline had settled in Titusville, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. Titusville was the birthplace of the oil industry. "In August [of] 1859, the region - and the world - was changed forever by Colonel Edwin Drake's drilling of the first commercially successful oil well in Titusville. Wells sprang up throughout the region, spawning "boom towns". The oil boom brought great wealth to the area, and one can still see remnants of past magnificence in the region's Victorian architecture." [From http://www.oilregiontourist.com/.] The boom in the area must have attracted a lot of new people, including Fred Bates.

    Fred and Caroline's children were:

    1. Carroll Lund Bates, born 18 Feb. 1861 in Macon, GA; m. Lorena May McCloskey (1865-1900; dau. of William T. McCloskey and Sallie A. Logan) on 18 Sept. 1890 in Emporium, Cameron Co., PA [first]; maried Charlotte Grandy (?-1903) in 1901 [second]; married Sarah Abel Beers on 7 April 1904 in Rome, NY [third]; Carroll died on 17 June 1939 in Daytona Beach, FL; buried in Rome, NY
    2. Frederick Sturtevant Bates, born 17 Sept. 1866 in Titusville, PA; married Mary Elizabeth Ottman on 12 Aug.1891; died 30 Dec 1942 in Haines City, FL; buried Richmond, IN
    3. Harriet Elizabeth Bates, born 23 Oct. 1868 in Titusville, PA; died September 10, 1936 in Battle Creek MI. Never married.
    4. Crayton Holden Bates, born 27 Feb. 1877 in Titusville, PA; died 19 Dec. 1951 in Independence, Montgomery Co., Kansas. Never married.

    Caroll 'Rollie' Lund Bates

    Fred may have been living in Titusville as early as 1863, according to an ad in the Titusville directory 1897-98, for "Bates & Wheeler, General Insurance Agents" that states it was established in 1863. Fred worked as an insurance agent located on North Franklin [street?] in 1866/1867 ["Titusville Directory for 1866-7, Containing the Names of the Inhabitants, a Business Directory, together with an Appendix of Much Useful Information," by J.H. Lant; Titusville, 1866.] Apparently Fred, Sr. was a prominent citizen in the city by 1869. In an article appearing in the Titusville Morning Herald on Nov. 30, 1869, "some of the leading men of the community" including Fred Bates [Sr.] "issued [a] call for a public meeting to consider relief measures" for Colonel Drake, "the pioneer in oil development" for the community of Titusville ["Pennsylvania Petroleum 1750 to 1872 A Documentary History," by Paul H. Giddens, pub. Titusville, 1947, pg. 190.] In the 1870 Census for Titusville, Crawford Co., PA, Fred is listed as age 39, occupation Mayor of City. He is still listed as the Mayor as well as an insurance agent in the "Directory of Crawford County, Pa. For 1871-72." He had his own company, "F. Bates & Co." along with Simon E. Tifft, "General Fire and Life Insurance Agents," located on 9 Franklin St. By 1880, Fred shows up in the census as strictly an insurance agent. He was now 49 yrs. old; wife Caroline was 43; sons Carroll, Fred S. and "Craton H." were ages 19, 13 and 3 respectively, and daughter Hattie was age 11.

    Frederick Sturtevant Bates, Jr.

    Fred and Caroline's eldest son Carroll Lund Bates was married in 1890 to Lorena McCloskey, in Emporium, PA. Presumably they moved into their own household. Their first child Wilbur Bates was born in 1891. In the 1890-91 Titusville Directory, Fred Sturtevant Bates, Jr. and sister Harriet "Hattie" Bates were sharing a home at 59 E. Walnut St.; Hattie was about 21 years old and working as a teacher, and Fred, Jr. was about 23. Fred, Jr. married in 1891 to Mary Elizabeth Ottman. By 1893, Fred, Jr. was living in a "house [on] 702 W First" in nearby Oil City, Venango Co., PA [from an 1893 Titusville Directory; this is apparently a suburb of Titusville]. Carroll and wife were living in Wilkinsburg, PA [near Pittsburgh] by 1893 when their second child Helen was born. By 1893, Fred, Sr. was partner in the insurance agency Bates & Wheeler, still located on North Franklin in Titusville [from "Titusville Directory 1893, Containing a General Directory of the Inhabitants. A Classified Business Directory, Street Directory, Miscellany, etc.," by J.H. Lant; pg. 13.] In this same directory he is listed as "Bates, Frederick ([of] Bates &W)" living in a "house [on] 149 N Perry" in Titusville. Fred, Sr. is still listed as an insurance agent for Bates & Wheeler in 1897/1898; son "Creighton" Bates is listed as a bookkeeper, and daughter "Hattie" as a teacher. They were all residing in a home on N. Perry, corner of Elm, in Titusville ["Titusville and Meadville Cities and Crawford County Directory. 1897-98," pub. by W.H. Armitage, 1897 in Meadville, PA.] In this same directory there is a listing for Frederick Bates in Spartansburg, Sparta Township; this is probably Fred, Jr. By 1900, Fred, Jr. was still living in Oil City, working as a bookkeeper, and was now the father of a 2 yr. old daughter Elizabeth Caroline Bates.

    Harriet 'Hattie' Bates

    In the 1900 Census for Titusville, Fred is still listed as an insurance agent, age 69. Daughter Hattie, age 31, teacher and son Crayton, age 23, [can't make out occupation] are still living with Fred and Caroline. Fred died in Titusville apparently after the census was taken [on 16 August 1900, according to the 1901/1902 Titusville City Directory, pub. 1901; pg. 20] and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. The directory shows "Bates, Mrs. Caroline, widow [of] Frederick" living in a home on "165 E. Walnut" in Titusville; daughter "Hattie, teacher" also resided at that address. In 1903, another daughter was born to Fred, Jr., Mary Louise Bates.

    Fred's sons Crayton Holden Bates and Fred S. Bates eventually became involved in the oil industry. By 1910, Crayton was living and working as a purchasing agent for the Ohio Oil Co., in Findlay, Hancock Co., Ohio. Sister Hattie was a member of his household in 1910, as was mother Caroline shortly before her death. Caroline died 10 Sep. 1910 at age 73, supposedly in the home of son Fred S., who became treasurer of the Ohio Oil Company in Findlay by 1910 where he lived with his wife and children. By 1920, Crayton and Hattie were sharing a household in Independence, Montgomery Co., Kansas along with a widowed Aunt. Fred S., age 52, and family were living in Wayne, Indiana by 1920; his occupation was "producer" in the oil industry. By 1930 Fred S. had moved to Sparr, Polk County, Florida; he was age 63, a widower, and his daughter Elizabeth age 32 was still in his household. In 1940 Frederick S. was living on a farm in Polk Co.; in his household were his now married daughter Elizabeth, her husband Willard A. Nicholson, and their two young children ages 8 and 6. Willard A. Nicholson's occupation was manager of a citrus packing house. Fred S. died 30 Dec 1942 in Haines City, FL and was buried in Richmond, IN. (presumably where his wife Mary was buried.) Crayton had numerous investments in several different oil companies; his estate became worth almost [one quarter?] of a million dollars, at the time of his death in 1951. He never married.

    Reverend Carroll Lund Bates

    Rev. Carroll Lund Bates

    Carroll Lund Bates [CLB] was born in Macon, GA on 18 Feb 1861 the day of Jefferson Davis' inaugural address in Montgomery, Alabama, as President of the Confederacy during the Civil War. At about age two, his parents and he fled the south and returned to their native Vermont. Despite his young age, Hartland, Vermont made a big impression on Carroll, who later wrote:

    "There is a little village in the heart of old Vermont which I remember as one of the fairest coins from the mint of Nature. When one speaks of a real Vermont village he does not think of it as a mere clump of houses or as anything made by men. Nature is the major architect of every village that has the right to be preceded by the adjective Vermont.

    "This village lies comfortably away from the railroad station; between which and the town itself, plied, in the olden days, a stage drawn by a single horse...

    "Hart[land] has 'three corners', where the store is and the village green; and a few miles farther on lies Hart[land] Four Corners. Near the three corners, and just as you are entering town by the depot stage, stood, and still stands, the school-house."

    Of his grandfather Sturtevant's factory, he wrote: "I suppose that carpenters sawed and planed the boards, and that human beings afterwards really painted that factory red; but, as I see it, men could never have made it at all. For, just as I have said that Nature is at least the major architect of the Vermont village, so that red factory as I see it in my mind's eye, and all aglow with the memories of boyhood, was almost all the handiwork of Nature. First, as you came near to it, was the bridge and a quiet brook below [Lull brook?]; then your ear was delighted and astonished with a swirl and rush and roar of foaming water, and the factory was before you, resting in the bottom of a gorge, with moss-covered and fern-festooned rock rising up on the far side of it higher than its tiny bell-tower."

    Lorena McCloskey Bates

    Some time between 1863 and 1866 the family moved to Titusville, PA; Carroll would have been between 4 and 7 years old. He was in the graduating class of 1888 at Hamilton College in Clinton, Oneida Co., NY. Carroll became an Episcopal minister. On 18 September 1890 he married Lorena May McCloskey in Emporium, Cameron Co., PA at Emanuel Church. They lived in Wilkinsburg, PA, near Pittsburgh, by the time their second child was born. Altogether Carroll ["Roll"] and Lorena ["Rena"] had three children, all born in PA:

    1. Wilbur Bates, born 1891; died 1909 at Yellowstone Park at age 17 or 18
    2. Helen Deborah Bates, born 20 October 1893 in Wilkinsburg, PA; married William Keith Chidester on 26 June 1923 in Hastings. MI; Helen died on 3 or 6 Sept. 1973 in Stamford, CT
    3. Carroll McCloskey Bates, born 4 June 1900

      Carroll wrote a letter to his mother the day Helen was born: [transcription]: "Dear Folks, Our little girl is about 1 1/2 hours old. She came at 7:45 this morning, is hearty and sound- a decided brunette. Rena dear soul got thru' it nobly- It was not nearly so hard as when Wilbur was born. She is resting quietly now. I am sure she will have no complications as she had before if we take right care of her. At 1 o'clock last night I went for Dr. Stephens and Mrs. Douglass. She is here now and is so good and attentive. Helen Deborah is our girl's name after cousin Helen Jewett and Aunt and Sister Deb [Lorena's sister]- Wilbur got a peek at 'sister'... He wants to give her his playthings right away. - Roll"

      CLB worked as pastor of St. Stephen's Protestant Episcopal Church in Wilkinsburg by 1900. Lorena died on 22 June 1900 in Wilkinsburg PA at age 31, shortly after the birth of her third child. Cause of death was heart disease. From an obituary in the ?Herald, Titusville PA, 20 June 1900: "Speaking of deceased, the Pittsburg Dispatch says: 'She was greatly esteemed and possessed a wide acquaintance in church and social circles of Wilkinsburg. She was a woman of marked literary attainments and musical culture, a graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music and for a number of years was organist in her husband's church. Besides her husband she is survived by three children, the youngest being but two weeks old.'"

      Just a few months after Lorena's death, Carroll's father Frederick died [August 1900.]Carroll was devastated by Lorena's death; but, as was the custom of the time for a widower left with young children to raise, he remarried by 1901 to Charlotte Grandy. By January 1902 the family was living in Benson, Swift Co., Minnesota where CLB worked as pastor of Christ Church. Then another tragedy: Charlotte died of pneumonia on 8 March 1903.

      From an obituary in the Benson, Minnesota Monitor, 13 March 1903: "Charlotte Grandy Bates was born in Paris, Central New York, going from there to Clinton, New York where she attended Houghton Seminary. From this seminary she was graduated with honors in the year 1889. [Perhaps Charlotte and Carroll became acquainted in Clinton, NY where both were attending college?] Her life from that time until her marriage was spent in teaching. For a short time she taught at Clinton, and then, having thus early in her career shown her remarkable fitness for missionary work, was asked to assist the Rev. J.B. Wicks of Paris, N.Y., in his missionary labors in Indian Territory. She did most excellent work among the Indians and her tireless energy and kindly tact were greatly missed when she left there and went to teach in the public schools at Faribault [Minnesota?]. Here she remained until 1901, when she was united in marriage with the Rev. Carroll Lund Bates of Wilkesbarre, Penn. Rev. Bates came to Benson in January, 1902, to take charge of the Christ church of this place and since that time, Mrs. Bates has won many friends. Hers was a grand Christian character, and all who have been touched by her life in the smallest way have been benefited. Her life seemed to have prepared her for a clergyman's wife and very close indeed has she been to her husband in all church work. Possessing great energy, gentle tact, strong executive ability and loyal love for her Master, her influence in the parish has been more than mere words can express. She was particularly successful with young people and from them all came to her during her severe illness, expressions of love and sympathy. Not only in the church work will she be greatly missed, but in the quiet social life as well, for hers was bright, sunny disposition, seeing good in all things and God's love over all. Who can say what her loss will be to her sorrowing husband, whose helpmeet she has ever been, and to the three little ones confided to her care and over whom she watched so tenderly and lovingly?"

      Wilbur Bates CLB remarried a third time to Sarah Beers (born about 1865) in 1904 [according to the 1910 and 1920 federal census.] The family remained in Benson Co., Minnesota through 1907, as son Wilbur was in the HS graduating class there; but the family moved to Lake City, Wabasha Co., MN where Wilbur finished out his HS course. Wibur attended the University of Minnesota in 1908. In August 1909, the CLB family was hit with yet another devastating tragedy: Wilbur, who had taken a summer job at Yellowstone National Park, contracted tonsilitis that became so severe a tracheotomy was performed; he died. The family continued to live in Lake City thru 1910, where they are found in the census; CLB was working as "pastor at St. Mary's Episcopal Church." By 1920 they were living in Rome, Oneida Co., NY; CLB was working as "clergyman" in the "Episcopal Church"; he also taught at the Rome Free Academy. Still in the household were daughter Helen, age 25, and son Carroll M., age 19. Helen was working as a school teacher. By 1923, CLB and wife and daughter Helen were in Hastings, Barry Co., MI; CLB was working as rector of the Episcopal Church. Helen married William Keith Chidester on June 16, 1923 in Hastings; she was 29 years old. In the 1930 U.S. Census, Carroll L. Bates and his wife Sara are found living in Live Oak, Suwannee, Florida. Carroll is age 69 and Sara age 64. They are also found in the 1935 Florida State Census living in Winter Park, Orange County. In 1935 CLB's daughter Helen, now married to the Reverend Keith Chidester, moved to Winter Park with their two young daughters. CLB died in 1939.

      Helen Deborah BatesCarroll McCloskey Bates