Friday, June 28, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Sermons in Stone

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday photo of the Wombeyan Caves in New South Wales suggests caverns, caves, and grottos. 
Fred Slade 1948 Cullman, Alabama
Fred Slade 1948
St. Bernard's College, Cullman, Alabama

My dad’s first college experience was in 1948 at St. Bernard, a small Catholic college in Cullman, Alabama.  Daddy threw himself into his studies.  He often reflected on how much he enjoyed discussions of philosophy, literature, and religion with the Benedictine brothers who taught there. 

Fred Slade 1949 St. Bernard College, Cullman, Alabama
Fred Slade catching some rays while studying

Somewhere between studying, playing intramural basketball, and serving as a class officer, Daddy made time to visit the world-renown Ave Maria Grotto there on campus.  It was one of his favorite places.

Postcard of Ave Maria Grotto Cullman, Alabama
My dad's postcard of Ave Maria Grotto
produced by W. M. Cline Co, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Fred Slade and friends at Ave Maria Grotto, Cullman, Alabama 1948 or 1949
My dad is first on the left.  They are standing next to the main grotto,
a miniature cave featuring marble stalactites and statues
honoring the Virgin Mary.  It is the same gated feature
on the right of the postcard above.

This landscaped 4-acre park is in an old quarry located on the grounds of St. Bernard Abbey.  It contains 125 miniature reproductions of the world’s most famous religious buildings.  

Most of them are Roman Catholic cathedrals and monasteries like St. Peter’s Basilica, Montserrat Abbey, Carmel Mission in California, and Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.  Also there are scenes of ancient Jerusalem, Noah’s Ark, and Tower of Babel.

The Ave Maria Grotto has been called "a sermon in stone."

Postcard of Ave Maria Grotto Cullman, AL
Basilica of St. Paul
postcard produced by W. M. Cline Co, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Postcard of Ave Maria Grotto Cullman, AL
Temple of Jerusalem and Some Buildings of the Palestinian Miniatures

But there are secular tributes, too, including the Alamo, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Hansel & Gretel’s Temple of the Fairies, and German Castles.  There is even a miniature of the St. Bernard Abbey power station.

Maybe Daddy took Granny to see the Ave Maria Grotto when she visited him in October 1948.  She sent this colorful postcard of the Grotto home to Granddaddy.

Postcard of Ave Maria Grotto sent by Julia Slade to Fred Slade 1948
Temple of Jerusalem and Some Buildings of the Palestinian Miniatures
On the back: Genuine Curteich-Chicago "C.T. Art-Colortone" Post Card

Postcard of Ave Maria Grotto sent by Julia Slade to Fred Slade Oct 1948

Hello Dear
Having a wonderful time.  Sure wish you were here.  Leaving tomorrow AM.  Hope to see you Tuesday.

Collage of Ave Maria Grotto scanned from The Bernardian 1949
Collage of Ave Maria Grotto
scanned from The Bernardian 1949
Click to enlarge

The Grotto was the result of a 50-year hobby by Brother Joseph Zoettl, one of the brothers at St. Bernard.  It opened to the public in 1934 and Brother Joe added his last building in 1959. 

Brother Joe’s art was a model of recycling practices before recycling was cool.  He began the grotto with some marble that had been crushed when a train derailed in 1933 not far from Cullman.  The buildings were adorned with marbles, glass, broken tile, toothpaste caps, seashells, costume jewelry, and even toilet bowl floats.  Needless to say, the miniatures are quite detailed, albeit not always accurate or to scale. 

The work of Brother Joseph Zoettl is the subject of a documentary that will air sometime in the fall of this year.  He has been compared to St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Francis of Assisi, both of whom led small and quiet lives that have inspired others with their emphasis on simplicity.

It is quite possible that Daddy might have met Brother Joe since he lived at St. Bernard from 1892 until his death in 1961.

Here is one of many tours of the Ave Maria Grotto available on YouTube. (Do yourself a favor and turn the sound OFF.) 

Grab a flashlight and visit more caves, caverns, and maybe some grottos at Sepia Saturday.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Cute Kid

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.

Unidentified child in photo album of Mary Frances Jollett Davis

This cabinet card in the photo album belonging to my great grandmother Mary Frances Jollett Davis is yet another puzzle.  He’s a cute little boy, but I don’t know who it is.

The composition is what really puzzles me.  It seems sloppy to have left a coat hanging on the chair.  Is that the backdrop rolled up on the floor?  Are those curtains on the sides?  What is going on?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mystery Monday: Searching for Mary Ann, part 5

Mystery Monday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers encouraging bloggers to share mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything which is currently unsolved.  With any luck fellow genealogy bloggers will lend their eyes to what has been found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.

Records for John Ermentraudt, son of Johan Friederich, have not been found, likely destroyed during the Civil War when Union soldiers overtook the wagon carrying Rockingham County’s deeds, wills, and records of marriage, birth, and death to safety. 

My next effort to find a mother and siblings for my 3G grandmother Mary Ann Armentrout Jollett is to look at Friederich’s other children.  Perhaps Mary Ann’s uncle or cousins bought and sold land or left wills that might offer a clue to solve this mystery.  Maybe Mary Ann and Fielding Jollett sponsored a niece or nephew at baptism.  But first I need to identify the possible candidates.

Friederich and Maria Catrina Hedrick Ermentraudt had seven children besides John. 

1. Anna Magdalena was born in 1747 in Berks County, Pennsylvania, but since there are no further records for her, it is believed she might have died as a child.

2. George was born in 1750 in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  He was 54 when he married Elizabeth Michael in Rockingham County, Virginia.  Given George’s advanced age at marriage, it is possible he had been married before making it also possible that there are more children unaccounted for.  Alas, no record.  He and Elizabeth had three children: Barbara (1806), Michael (1807), and Magdalena (1809) who would have been roughly Mary Ann’s age.  Surely they would have known each other and played together as children.  Unless I can find marriage records, the two girls will be difficult to trace.  Michael married and moved his family to Ohio and then to Iowa.  My one hope is that he purchased and then sold land in Rockingham County before he moved.

                Next step:  Look for deeds and will for George first and then Michael.

3. Christopher was born 1761 in Augusta (now Rockingham County), Virginia.  He married Mary Catherine Pence in 1792.  The two lived in Rockingham County at least until he died in 1812.  They had 5 children: Ann Mary (1793-1825), Barbara (1794 - ), Mary C (1796 - ), Christopher (1798 - ), and Margaret (1800 - ).  This line will likely lead to a dead end as to date nothing is known about the three middle children.  Ann Mary married Alexander Trout but died early.  Thirteen days later he married her sister Margaret. 

                Next step:  Check Christopher’s will

4. Charles was born May 8, 1763 in what is now Rockingham County, Virginia and died two days before his birthday in 1836 in Ohio.  He married Christina Gray of Ohio, but they had no children.  It is not likely he left any bread crumbs in Virginia because as soon as he came of age, he was drafted into the Militia and served throughout the Revolutionary War.  He moved to Ohio right afterwards. 

                Next step:  Skip him

5. Augustine was born in Rockingham County January 22, 1765 and died before 1850, still in Rockingham.  This is good news.  He and wife Margaret Schneider had seven children, all of whom remained in Rockingham:  Magdalena (1791 - ), John George (1793 - ), Emanuel (1801 – 1890), Charles (1805 – 1863), Frederick (1808 – 1882), Amanda (1815 – 1890), and Anna Rebecca (1816 – 1880).

                Next step:  Concentrate first on Augustine, his land dealings and will.

6. Frederick was born about 1767 in Rockingham County and died in 1837 in Allegheny County.  I am not too hopeful that Frederick will lead me to the answer to my question:  Who was Mary Ann’s mother?  He married Elizabeth Wolfe in Botetourt County.  For a time they owned land in Monroe County (now West Virginia) and may have lived there as well, but for most of his adult life he was in Allegheny.  And that’s where all nine children were too:  Jacob (1800 – 1879), Mary (1802 - ), George (1804 - ), Catherine (1806 - ), John (1808 - ), Abraham (1810 - ), Joseph (1814 - ), Elizabeth (1820 - ), Sarah (1824 - ).

                Next step:  Eh, go back to Augustine.

7. Catherine Barbara was born in 1769 in Rockingham County.  She married Fredrick Geiger/Kyger.  Kyger is still a BIG name in Rockingham County, so it’s a safe bet they stayed put even if the children moved around.  They had 9 known children:  Anna Elizabeth (1794 – 1841), Barbara (1797 – 1875), George (1799 – 1837), Catherine (1800 – 1883), Anna Maria (1802 - ), Rebecca (1805 - ), Christina (1806 - ), Lucy (1810 – 1860), and Charles (1811 - ).

                Next step:  Look for land dealings of Fredrick Geiger/Kyger. 

CONCLUSIONS:  The cold, hard facts about the siblings of John Ermentraudt offer no clues to Mary Ann’s mother, on the surface at least.  At this point I need to stop this series until I can get to the Library of Virginia to learn whether any wills and deeds are available.  My gut feeling is to start with Augustine.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Ride 'em

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt is a man on horseback.  Some of my oldest photos are of some boys on horseback.

Unidentified boys in Page County, Virginia

This photo was in a box of pictures that came to me through either my grandmother, Lucille Rucker Davis, or my great-aunt Violetta Davis Ryan.  While I don’t know the boys, the one on the right looks much like my maternal grandfather Orvin Owen Davis.  If the boy looks to be 11 or 12, that dates the photo about 1912 or 13. 

Unidentified boy on a horse from Slade collection

Unidentified boy on a horse from Slade collection

These next two photos came to me through the Slade side of the family, so possibly one of the boys is my paternal grandfather Fred Slade; then the other might be one of his brothers.  If these are Slade boys, the date of the photos is around 1910.

My great grandfather Stephen Slade farmed in Princess Anne County, today around Kempsville in Virginia Beach.  If I’m correct, then the photo gives me my first glimpse at parts of the buildings on the old farm.

Saddle up for a wild ride on Sepia Saturday.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Two Boys

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.

Unidentified boys in photo album of Mary Frances Jollett Davis

This cabinet card is one of several in a photo album belonging to my great grandmother Mary Frances Jollett Davis.  Like the others, the subjects are unknown to me.  However, this one is especially charming because the boys are so well-dressed.  

The photography studio was Star Studio in Shenandoah, Virginia.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mystery Monday: Searching for Mary Ann, part 4

Mystery Monday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers encouraging bloggers to share mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything which is currently unsolved.  With any luck fellow genealogy bloggers will lend their eyes to what has been found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.

In my effort to find the family of my 3G-grandmother Mary Ann Armentrout Jollett, I concluded it would be useful to eliminate the various candidates.  However, traditional German naming patterns makes finding her father more complicated.  At baptism, the child’s first name was a spiritual name, and usually all children of the same gender in the family had the same first name.  In this family’s case, all the boys’ spiritual name was John, or “Johan.”  

But that didn’t mean the boys went by “John.”  They went by the middle name, their secular name.  The one exception was “Johannes.”  That spelling indicated he was intended to be called “John” and there was no separate secular name. 

Let me introduce the candidates:

Sons of Johannes
Johannes Emerich (1747 – 1831) is a NO.  The spelling of his name indicates he was known as John, but his daughter Anna Maria (easily Anglicized to become Mary Ann) was 20 years older than my 3G-grandmother.  Furthermore, Anna Maria was married to Jacob Hostetter. 

Johan Heinrich (1749 – 1827) is a NO.  Before 1800, he moved his family to Rockbridge County and then later to Botetourt County.  He had a daughter Mary, but she married Andrew Hayslett. 

Grandsons of Johannes
Johannes Emerich Jr. (1778 – 1825) is a NO.  He married twice and had a total of nine children, none of whom were named Mary Ann, a fact supported by his will.

John (1772 - ), son of Johan Heinrich, looks like a likely candidate because he had a daughter Mary Ann born in 1798, the same year that I believe MY Mary Ann was born.  However, he too is a NO.  He was a resident of Rockbridge County, but land left to Mary Ann and Fielding Jollett was in Rockingham.  However, the strongest argument against this John is that this Mary Ann married Andrew Miller and died in 1831, almost 40 years before the death of my 3G-grandmother.

Grandson of Johan Phillip
Johan Peter (1783 - ), son of Peter Ermentraudt, is a NO.  He and his wife Catherine Leonard married young.  In 1817, they left Virginia and moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, where he likely died although no record has been found.  His wife made her home with her daughter in Illinois. 

Son of Johan Friederich
John (1751 - ) is a mystery man, and therefore a likely candidate since there is nothing to eliminate him as the possible father for Mary Ann.  There was a son baptized at St. John’s Reformed Church in Pennsylvania in 1751, the same church where the other children of Friederich and Maria Catrina Hedrick Ermentraudt were baptized.  The child was unnamed in the record, but the sponsor was John Peter Lamm.  In some other record, Friederich listed his children in order, and John was second.  No other record has been found for this John. 

Son of Christopher
Johannes (1770 – 1810) is a NO.  He lived his entire short life in Hardy County, Virginia (now West Virginia), never in Rockingham.  He married, but none of his daughters were named Mary Ann. 

Grandson of Christopher
Johannes (1777 – 1851), son of the first Christopher born to the elder Christopher and his first wife Elizabeth Schmehl, is a NO (the elder Christopher had a second son named Christopher by his second wife).  This is an easy NO because the first son Christopher returned to Pennsylvania where he married and lived out his years.  Therefore, this Johannes (John) was a Pennsylvania resident all his life.  And even if I grant it’s possible he could have inherited land in Virginia without ever living there, the fact remains that his daughter Anna Marie lived less than a year (1801-1802).  To top it all off, this John died in 1851, but according to the burnt deed, Mary Ann’s father John was already dead by 1837.

Son of Johan Georg
Johannes Frederick (1764 – 1855) is an obvious NO, again because of the date of death being almost 20 years after the sale of land that Mary Ann inherited from her deceased father. 

So it appears there is only one good choice for Mary Ann’s father:  the son of Friederich.  However, now I am second-guessing everything.  The burnt deed that indicates Mary Ann’s father was “John” makes me wonder if he really was known as “John” or if the person drawing up the deed simply neglected to record both a spiritual and secular name.  I could easily spend time going back through the six Ermentraudt boys and assume each of their sons and grandsons was Johan Somebody.  But I’m going to just go with this son of Friederich for now because there is no conflicting information. 

Next time, I will start examining Friederich’s other children.  Surely a collateral search will offer some clues to help me find Mary Ann’s mother. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Dressed to Impress

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt depicts a lovely young woman adorned with some elegant jewelry.  While many of the women in my family tree appreciated jewelry, their tastes were decidedly more modest than that of the woman in the prompt. 

Mary Susan Sudie Eppard Rucker
Mary Susan "Sudie" Eppard Rucker
my great-grandmother
(maternal grandmother's mother)

According to my aunt, my great-grandmother Mary Susan “Sudie” Eppard Rucker was considered a well-dressed woman.  Her husband was a railroad conductor in the days when railroads were booming.  I suppose she had to dress the part.  

Jet jewelry from Mary Sudie Rucker
Jet jewelry that belonged to Mary Sudie Rucker

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of her wearing her jet beads that now are mine.  The triple strand was originally a long single strand which was popular among 1920s flappers who liked wearing a necklace that reached at least to their waist.  Since Sudie would have been too old to be a flapper, maybe her jet beads were actually mourning beads.  The somber color and simple design made them appropriate jewelry for women in mourning. 

Mary Susan Sudie Eppard Rucker
Mary Sudie Rucker

My sister is now the caretaker of Sudie’s ornamental hair comb.  It is black, probably celluloid.

Turn of the century “big hair” required a little help.  Enter the hair receiver.

Celluloid dresser set including the hair receiver

A Victorian dresser set would have included a tray, a powder jar, and a hair receiver like the celluloid one I display on my dresser.  The hole in the lid allowed a lady to fill the pot easily with hair removed from her brush and comb.  When she gathered enough hair, she would stuff it into a cloth bag called a “ratt” that could then be tucked under her own hair to add volume and height. 

I wish I could say this was Sudie’s dresser set and her hair receiver.  However, supposedly this celluloid dresser set was my mother’s.  She was a teen in the 40s, so it’s unlikely the set is turn of the century.  Plus it’s in terrible condition, speckled with paint that probably resulted from being left out while a ceiling was being painted.  And there is nail polish, of all things, on the lid of the hair receiver.  Had this dresser set been valuable, Momma would have taken better care of it. 

So why am I including it in a post about jewelry?  Because of something weird we found in Sudie’s attic.

I was quite young but I remember visiting Grandma Rucker’s house one last time after she died. 

In the attic we found a bag full of hair. 

She must’ve been planning some big ratt!

Please visit my friends at Sepia Saturday.  You can bet their posts are real gems.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Two Girls

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.

Unknown girls in album of Mary Frances Jollett Davis

This woefully faded photo is in the photo album belonging to my great-grandmother Mary Frances Jollett Davis.  I don’t know who they are.  I don’t know how to date the picture.  If it’s around 1890, then maybe the girl on the right is Mary Frances herself (1870-1950) and the other might be a sister. 

Then again, there are more “unknowns” than “knowns” in the album suggesting maybe these are from the Davis side of the family, Walter Davis’s sisters perhaps. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mystery Monday: Searching for Mary Ann, part 3

Mystery Monday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers encouraging bloggers to share mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything which is currently unsolved.  With any luck fellow genealogy bloggers will lend their eyes to what has been found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.

Armentrout researchers have identified seven main branches, representing each of the children who arrived in Pennsylvania aboard the Samuel in 1739 along with their widowed mother Anna Elizabeth Ermentraudt. 

Potential fathers for Mary Ann are in bold

Johannes Ermentraudt
Johannes was apparently the oldest of the seven Ermentraudt children.  He was born about 1717 in Palatinate (south-western region of Germany along the Rhine) and died about 1753 in what is now Rockingham County, Virginia.  While in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he married Anna Elizabeth Hedderich in 1742.  The couple lived with her father Adam Hedderich and raised three children:  Anna Marharet (1745 - ), Johannes Emerich (1747 – 1831), and Johan Heinrich (1749 – 1827).  It was Johannes and his father-in-law who first decided to investigate the rumors of good land in Virginia and who convinced others in the family to sell their Pennsylvania farms and move south. 

Anna Elizabeth Ermentraudt
Anna Elizabeth was the only daughter of the widow Anna Elizabeth Ermentraudt.  She was born in Palatinate about 1718. She married her cousin Johan Frederick Hain, son of George and Veronica Hain with whom the Ermentraudts lived upon arrival in Pennsylvania.  They moved to Rockingham County, Virginia where they raised two sons, Johannes (1747 - ) and Johan Frederick (1749-1811). 

Johan Phillip Ermentraudt
Johan Phillip was born about 1720 in Palatinate and died about 1790 in Rockingham County, Virginia.  He was married to Elizabeth Reith (Reisch, Rish, Rush) of Pennsylvania.  He purchased around 700 acres of land in Virginia over the years, and probably lived near his brothers Georg and Friederich who purchased land from the same tract on the same day.  Phillip and his brother Stophel (Christopher) participated in the French and Indian War.  He and Elizabeth raised three children:  Phillip Jr. (1747 – 1836), Peter (1751 – 1824), and Heinrich (1755 – 1806). His mother lived with him after the Ermentraudts settled in Virginia, and he served as executor of her estate.  Apparently Phillip did quite well financially as he gave each of his sons a farm.

Peaked Mountain Church, McGaheysville,  Virginia
The Peaked Mountain Church in McGaheysville, Virginia
where the Armentrouts were active and devoted members.
This building has been torn down and replaced.
Photo scanned from Armentrout Family History
by Russell S. Armentrout
For a clearer photo, click HERE.
Johan Friederich Ermentraudt
Johan Friederich was born around 1722 or 23 in Palatinate, arrived in Pennsylvania with his mother and siblings about 1739, joined the Ermentraudt migration to Virginia around 1754 (based on a deed), and died in Rockingham County in 1789 or 90.  He married Maria Catrina Hedrick in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  The two raised at least eight children:  Anna (1747 - ), George (1750 - ), John (1751 - ), Christopher (1761 - ), Charles (1763 – 1836), Augustine (1765 - ), Frederick (1767 – 1837), and Catherine (1769 - ).  Although no record exists, it is assumed Friederich served in the French and Indian War because all able-bodied men were required to do so.  He was over-age to be drafted during the Revolution, but he was nevertheless a patriot who provided supplies and services to the Continental Army. 

Christopher (Stophel) Ermentraudt
Christopher was born about 1724 in Palatinate.  He married Elizabeth Schmel in Pennsylvania.  They had two children:  Barbara and Christopher Jr. (1754 – 1825).  Apparently Elizabeth died shortly after the birth of the second child because Christopher then joined his family that had already migrated to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  It is possible that Elizabeth’s parents raised the two children, but there is also some indication that they lived with Christopher’s sister Anna Elizabeth Hain in Virginia.  Soon after arriving in Virginia, Christopher joined the Militia and fought in the French and Indian Wars.  In 1760 he married a second time, to Susannah Gallet Power (or Bower), a widow.  He was captured by Indians in 1762 and spent six years in captivity before escaping and returning home.  Shortly afterwards he sold his land in Rockingham County and in 1771 moved his family to Hardy County, which today is in West Virginia, where he purchased 226 acres.  While Christopher was too old for service in the Revolution, he paid for supplies for the Continental Army.  He and Susannah raised six children: Elizabeth (1761 – 1800), Anna Maria (1762 – 1850), Henry (1763 – 1833), Johannes (1770 – 1810), Susanna (1772 – 1842), Christopher (1775 – 1857).  He remained in Hardy County the rest of his life and died in 1805.
Heinrich Ermentraudt
Heinrich was born about 1726 in Palatinate.  He married Mary Magdalena Bauer in Augusta County, Virginia (Rockingham County after 1778) in 1759.  Like his brothers, he served in the Militia during the French and Indian Wars and provided supplies to the Continental Army during the American Revolution.  He was a large land owner with roughly 1000 acres.  He must have died rather suddenly at age 56 in 1782 because he left no will.  He and Mary Magdalena had eight children:  George (1760 – 1805), Elizabeth (1763 - ), Mary Magdalena (1767 – 1858), Mary (1769 – 1861), Margaret (1772 - ), Philip (1776 – 1859), Henry (1779 – 1846), and Barbara (1781 - ).

Johan Georg Ermentraudt
Georg was the youngest of the Ermantraudts, born about 1729 in Palatinate.  He married Barbara Friedtel in 1759 in Augusta County, now Rockingham County, Virginia.  He amassed a large amount of land, roughly 850 acres.  As did his brothers, he joined the Militia and fought in the French and Indian Wars, which earned him a military warrant of 50 acres.  He also served in the Militia during the American Revolution and was present with his company at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781. He and Barbara had at least four children but possibly six:  George (1761 – 1787), Mary M (1763 - ), Johan Frederick (1764 – 1855), and Catherine B (1769 - ).  Georg died after 1805.

Next time I will eliminate the ones who could not be Mary Ann’s father.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Hospitalman 3rd Class

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt features the kitchen of a hospital train.  Hospital train?  That’s a foreign concept to me, but I do have a TRAINed nurse.  (HA HA HA HA -- I kill me! Yeah, I'm here through the weekend.)

Janet Louise Basham Meines
Janet Basham Meines
1929 - 1997

Janet Louise Basham was my mother’s cousin.  She was the older daughter of my grandmother’s sister Rosalind Mae Rucker and Larry Dalton Basham.  Janet was born July 10, 1929, in Roanoke, Virginia, and graduated from William Fleming High School in 1947.  

Janet Louise Basham 1947
scanned from William Fleming HS yearbook
The Colonel
available on

As many yearbook staffs tend to do, quotes were selected for each senior.  Next to Janet’s photo was this gem:  “Thou shalt not wash dishes.”   In the Class Last Will & Testament, Janet left her bubblegum to another student, Jack Baldwin. 

Typical teenager!

Janet Louise Basham Meines
Janet Louise Basham Meines
photo courtesy of her daughter
(name withheld for privacy)

Sometime between graduation and marriage, Janet joined the Navy as a WAVE and became a nurse, specifically Hospitalman 3rd class.  

That is probably where she met her husband, Clarence “Clix” Meines.

Newly-Wed Pair Expected for Stay at Bride’s Home

A former Roanoker, Miss Janet Louise Basham, Hospitalman 3rd Class, WAVE, was married July 24 [1950] to Clarence Haines Meines, Jr., Hospital Corpsman, USN, in the chapel of the US Naval Hospital, St. Alban’s, Long Island, New York.

Both will be discharged from the Navy this week and will arrive in Roanoke Saturday to visit Mrs. Meines’ parents, Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Basham.

Mr. Meines of Paterson, NJ, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Haines Meines.

The ceremony was performed at 4 p.m. and Chaplain J. T. Embry officiated.

Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a ballerina length dress of white organdy and lace over taffeta with a fingertip veil and lace headband.  Her bouquet was of white carnations.

The maid of honor and only attendant was Miss Ellen Farmer of Ohio.  She wore a ballerina length gown of pink organdy and carried pink carnations.

Michael Rooney of New Jersey served as best man.  Ushers were Willard Barnes and Horace Latouir.

Following the ceremony, a reception was held at the WAVEs’ quarters, US Naval Hospital.

For a wedding trip, the couple went to Culver’s Lake, NJ.  Following their visit in Roanoke, Mr. and Mrs. Meines will live in Paterson, NJ.

Janet and Clix raised 4 children, 2 girls and 2 boys.  She died in April 1997. 

I don’t remember ever meeting the Meines children when I was a child.  It’s possible.  My grandmother’s sister visited usually every year, and Janet sent Christmas cards, so there was some level of closeness.  Several months ago after scanning a Meines Christmas card into my family files, on a whim I searched on Facebook for the “kids.”  Not too surprisingly, they are there.  The oldest is a new grandmother and now my Facebook friend.  Wonders of the Internet!

I got slightly off-track with this post, but climb aboard the Sepia Saturday train and see what else is cooking.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Boy on a Trike

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.

Unknown boy from collection of Helen Killeen Parker

This photo was in a box of pictures belonging to my great-aunt Helen Killeen Parker.  I don’t know who the boy is, but it isn’t likely someone in my direct line.  The photographer was located in Norfolk, Virginia, but the Killeens were New Yorkers until 1905 when the newly widowed Mary Theresa Sheehan Killeen moved to Portsmouth, Virginia to be closer to her in-laws.  Helen’s only brother Matthew would have been 10 in 1905, but this boy looks younger than that.  He could be Helen’s husband Herbert Parker.  

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mystery Monday: Searching for Mary Ann, part 2

Mystery Monday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers encouraging bloggers to share mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything which is currently unsolved.  With any luck fellow genealogy bloggers will lend their eyes to what has been found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.
The Armentrout name is still very common in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, stretching back before the Revolutionary War.  But the Armentrouts had been in North America at least since 1739.

For many years the small German States along the Rhine suffered from war and religious persecution.  Queen Anne of England took pity and invited Germans to come live there.  However, when the resulting growing population, poverty, and disease became unbearable for the citizens, the monarchy began shipping the foreign guests off to Ireland and the New World.  However, a fresh start came with a price: several years of service to the Queen in exchange for passage and land.

Then William Penn came along offering Germans inexpensive land and freedom from religious persecution.  In 1739, 340 passengers aboard the Samuel arrived in the new colony, Pennsylvania.  Only males age 16 and older were listed on the manifest.  Among them were Johannes Ermantraud (22), Philipus Ermantraud (18), and Johan Friederich Ermantraud (16).

“Armentrout” is one of several Anglicized versions of the German spelling “Ermentraudt.”  In much of the family research, the German spelling is generally used for those born prior to 1800. 

The Ermentraudt family that arrived on the Samuel included the widow Anna Elizabeth Hain Ermentraudt and her seven children:  Johannes, Anna Elizabeth, Johan Philip, Johan Friederich, Christopher (Christople), Johan Heinrich, and Johan Georg.  With them was Anna Elizabeth’s brother Philip Hain and his family.

The Ermentraudts bought land in what today is Berks County, Pennsylvania.  Apparently they did quite well as the widowed mother and her sons together owned over 500 acres of farm land.  They were active members of the Hain Church.

Meanwhile, in the 1730s-50s, the Virginia colony was dedicated to westward expansion.  A campaign to entice settlers promised good land at lower prices than what was available in Pennsylvania.  The Ermentraudts sent a family member to investigate, and he was impressed, mainly because the Shenandoah Valley with its limestone outcroppings reminded him of home in Germany.  In 1752 the matriarch and five of her seven grown children packed up and moved to Virginia.  They bought land and settled around the western and southern ends of the Massanutten Mountain, in what today are the towns of Keezletown and McGaheysville.  

A view of the Massanutten Mountain
overlooking the Shenandoah Valley

As they had done in Pennsylvania, the Ermentraudts became active and influential members of the church, helping to establish the Peaked Mountain Church.  Most of the Armentrout children were baptized there, so not surprisingly the children of Mary Ann Armentrout and Fielding Jollett were as well. 

The church cemetery is one of the saddest losses to Armentrout research.  Many tombstones were little more than field stones, long ago lost, moved by cattle, or even vandalized.  Therefore, while most of the early settlers are likely buried there, the graves cannot be located.  So if Mary Ann is among them, there is no way to know.  A successor to the old Peaked Mountain Church, Brown Memorial Reformed Church, stands to the west, and a monument honoring the dead has been erected on the old location. 

Brown Memorial Community Church
McGaheysville, VA
photo courtesy of BMCC website

Next time I will present a brief overview of the Ermentraudt children who represent the seven main lines of Armentrouts in the United States. 

Armentrout, Russell S.  Armentrout Family History 1739-1978. Harrisonburg: Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, 1980. Print.

"Record of the Peaked Mountain Church." Ed. William J. Hinke and Charles E. Kemper. US GenWeb, n.d. Web. 21 May 2013.