Tuesday, March 31, 2015

#NameCollecting - A Wedding Name Indeed

This week's unbelievable (to modern ears) name:

Freelove Gates

This is a wonderful name I turned up while researching some "shirttail" relations from the Callin Family History. Namipedia describes it as "A name/surname of Old English origin ("peace-survivor"), seen as a given name most frequently in 17th-19th-century New England."

Born in Ohio in 1846, Freelove married a Robert Pollock in 1866. I imagine I will discover that her parents had some connection to one of the many uniquely American revival movements of that era, some of which embraced different forms of free-love philosophy as part of their interpretation of scriptures.

Ironically, since those movements tended to preach against marriage as an authoritarian and anti-feminist institution, she is actually the mother of the groom (Mrs. F. Pollock) in this wedding announcement I found - which I'm including in its entirety because there are several wonderful names to collect within:

Wednesday evening at 7:30 o'clock a beautiful home wedding was solemnized at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson C. Urich, when their eldest daughter, Miss Vera B., was joined in the holy bonds of wedlock to Edwin E. Pollock, of Ashland. The home was artistically decorated for the occasion; the color scheme, pink and white, being carried out in every detail. The bride's table was trimmed in pink and white carnations and smilax. Nearly seventy-five people assembled to witness the ceremony. A piano recital was rendered by Mrs. Dodd of Shelby, after which Miss Elfa Fike sang "O Promise Me," accompanied by Mrs Dodd while the ribbon bearers, Misses Nina Lybarger and Isabelle Gray, of Ashland, marched to the altar taking their places. Next came the groom and the pastor, followed by the brides-maid, Miss Alma Urich, and Hugh Urich as groomsman. The next following was little Christina Urich, sister of the bride, bearing the ring in a rose, while the bride entered on the arm of her father, dressed in white and carrying a white prayer book. The beautiful ring service was used. After the ceremony was performed congratulations were extended, after which all repaired to the dining room, where a four-course dinner was served.
Seated at the bride's table were: Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Pollock, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Urich and daughter Miss Christina, Mr. and Mrs. Dodd, Mrs. F. Pollock, Miss Alina Urich and Hugh Cline.
The bride was the recipient of many useful and costly presents among which were cut glass and silverware.
Those present from a distance were: Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Mohn of Shiloh, Mr. and Mrs. William Hess of Shelby, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Pollock, Jay Pollock, Mrs. F. Pollock, Miss Leafy Robinalt, Mr. and Mrs. William Fellenbaum, Mr. and Mrs. Thad Smith, Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Gerber and Miss Isabelle Gray of Ashland, Miss Sadie Clawson of near Ganges, Miss Anna Stoner and Mr. Henry of Savannah. These worthy young people have the best wishes for a long and happy journey through life from their many friends.

I will also point out that immediately beneath that lovely description of the gathering, the paper included a two-line aphorism -

"It's too bad that a scolding woman never has a scolding husband."

Really, just WTF, 1900s?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Pull of the West

Benjamin Franklin - yes, that Benjamin Franklin - was living in London in 1771, representing the American colonies to the ministers at court and to Parliament as the growing rift between Britain and her colonies widened. He had been in London for several years, and had developed a strong affection for life in England, but London's poor air quality and the government's seasonal ebb in activity during the summer months had also led him to a habit of traveling and touring around Europe at that time of year.

In 1771, he visited Ireland and Scotland, where he observed that, "Ireland itself is a fine country, and Dublin a magnificent city." But he also noted, "The appearances of general extreme poverty among the lower people are amazing. They live in wretched hovels of mud and straw, are clothed in rags, and subsist chiefly on potatoes. Our New England farmers of the poorest sort, in regard to the enjoyment of all the comforts of life, are princes when compared to them."

Being born in Boston in 1706, and having famously earned himself worldwide fame and a modestly comfortable living as a printer, public servant, and (though he didn't have this word at the time) scientist, the 65-year-old Franklin formed a ready opinion of why conditions were so much better in New England:

"I thought often of the happiness of New England, where every man is a freeholder, has a vote in public affairs, lives in a tidy warm house, has plenty of good food and fuel, with whole clothes from head to foot, the manufactory perhaps of his own family. Long may they continue in this situation!
"But if they should ever envy the trade of these countries [Ireland, Scotland, and England], I can put them in a way to obtain a share of it. Let them with three-fourths of the people of Ireland live the year round on potatoes and butter milk, without shirts, then may their merchants export beef, butter and linen. Let them with the generality of the common people of Scotland go barefoot, then may they make large exports in shoes and stockings. And if they will be content to wear rags like the spinners and weavers of England, they may make cloths and stuffs for all parts of the world.
"Farther, if my countrymen should ever wish for the honour of having among them a gentry enormously wealthy, let them sell their farms and pay racked rents; the scale of the landlords will rise as that of the tenants is depressed, who will soon become poor, tattered, dirty, and abject in spirit."
(from The First American: the Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, H.W. Brands)

If our Callin Family History is correct, then my ancestor, James Callin, might have been among those people of Ireland, Scotland, or England when Franklin observed those conditions. If James had not already emigrated to the American colonies, a life like that of the New Englander Franklin described as compared to life in Britain would have most certainly been an alluring draw - alluring enough for a young man with no station or prospects to risk the ocean voyage, and enlist in the Continental Army a few short years later.

However, like most rosy comparisons, the Americas were already beginning to suffer from some of the conditions that Franklin observed in his travels. There were already so many land-hungry speculators on the continent that even an industrious investor like Franklin - whose connections in the Court had helped make his son the Governor of New Jersey - had trouble acquiring land to develop. There was growing pressure, even before the Revolution, to open up the land of the Ohio River valley for settlement, but the wars between England and France and the presence of displaced indigenous people in the area kept that land relatively free of settlers.

After the Revolutionary War, that began to change. James Callin appears to have claimed land grants which were made available to Continental soldiers by the new United States government, and his sons, James "2nd" and John, arrived in Richland county, Ohio, around 1810. It's hard for modern Americans to grasp the concept that this area was the "wild west" - but it really was, at the time. It was only about 200 miles west of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and about 500 miles west of Virginia, where James presumably arrived. His sons would have seen Ohio as the land of opportunity, adventure, and danger that James had seen in Virginia and Pennsylvania from his vantage point in Britain.

We don't know a lot for certain. George Callin's family history says this about James 2nd:

"James 2nd, with his family moved from Penn. to Ashland Co. and located on a farm about the year 1810. He was killed in an altercation with a man named Fowler who struck him over the head with a rifle, this occurred about the year 1820. He was buried in Oliversburg Cemetery."

(I should point out that Ashland county did not exist until after 1840; Milton township was located in the part of Richland county that was carved out to create Ashland county, though, and a lot of sources refer to the counties interchangeably.)

James and his brother John show up on the same page of the 1820 U.S. Census (with the spelling "Calan" or "Culan") in Milton township, Richland county. Directly below James, a "Sutton Fowler" (or possibly "Towler") is also listed. Mary Callin, James's likely widow, is listed in 1830 and 1840 Census records, as is Thomas Callin, presumably James 2nd's son. John settled on James 2nd's land with what George describes as a "life lease" of it, and he stayed until he died of tuberculosis in 1835.

In the 30 years between James and John's migration west and the 1840 census, the frontier moved considerably. Land negotiations with Native American tribes continued, and during the 1830s, territory in Iowa began to open up, with the first official settlers arriving in 1833 and the Territory of Iowa being established by Congress in 1838.

Like his father and grandfather, Alec Callin (James 2nd's middle son), felt the pull to move west. George Callin says that he "[m]arried and moved with his family and mother to Iowa about the year of 1840. The mother referred to was 'Aunt Mary', wife of James 2nd who was killed with a gun. She sold the farm and went with Alec to Iowa where she died some years later. Nothing has been heard from that branch of the family since 1845."

There are several records of land grants to an Alexander Callin, one identifying him as a resident of Muscatine, Iowa in July 1854, and showing that he purchased a plots of land in the young state. There is also a Mary Callin buried in a Muscatine county cemetery, having died in 1846. If we can assume this is the same family, we might yet learn more about this branch with more research.

Following behind Alec by a year or two, his younger brother, James (3rd), also moved to Iowa. Per George, again:

"James Callin with his wife and baby moved to Iowa where he died in 1844. William Callin, brother of Margret, went to Iowa and brought her and the two above named children home to Ashland Co. after her husband's death." 

(Yes, if you're paying attention, you are correct that James 3rd and Margret were 1st cousins. Her brother William mentioned here is my 3rd-great grandfather, and the father of the George Callin I keep citing.)

If we assume that James and Margret settled near Alec in Muscatine county, William would have made a 500 mile journey from Ohio to Iowa, to bring Margret and her two boys, Warren and William, 500 miles back to Milton. At an estimated 12 miles a day, over wagon trails and wilderness, this was easily a three month round trip for William. I don't doubt that such a sad and difficult errand had an impact on William, who had three small children of his own at the time. He had more than a month on his way west to compare the romance of the frontier with the reality of it, and to contemplate the contrasting draw of opportunity with the pressures of the swiftly crowding landscape of Ohio. And he had the month or more on his way back east with his sister and small nephews to think about the comforts of living in a more settled place with close neighbors and family.

We still don't know how well or how badly things went for the Callins who stayed in Iowa, but regardless of their fate, I don't doubt that this trip - just a few words in our family history, sketching out the barest details - played a huge part in how William decided to raise his family. After returning to Ohio, he poured his efforts into clearing farmland and educating his sons. He, along with his brother and certainly other neighbors, helped escaped slaves flee the south, and instilled in his sons the desire to fight for the Union cause. He became known as the strongest man in the county.

And I don't doubt that if Benjamin Franklin had traveled 100 years into the future from his 1771 vantage point, he might have marveled that someone from the "wretched hovels of mud and straw" could have arrived in his colonies, and in a mere two generations helped to create a whole new country. Franklin would have been thrilled, I think, to see his theories borne out and to see how much could be accomplished - just by following the pull of the west.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

#NameCollecting - Research Odysseys

This week, I hope you'll indulge me as I speculate about:

Leo Homer Callin

As I may have mentioned, I'm trying to prepare our revision of the Callin Family History for publication. Pushing my way through the editorial process, Leo's whole family has presented some difficulty for me. I'm trying to focus on tying up the kinds of loose ends that his parents and siblings have left dangling for me on their branch of the family tree - while information about them seems to melt away.

Here are some of the challenges:

Leo's mother, Katie Imhoff, seems to have been born in Ashland county, Ohio, but she doesn't seem to belong to any of the Imhoff folks I can find living in or near Ashland county; the only record I found that might be her is a 2 year old Catherine Imhoff in a household with a Catherine Reckard (20) and Charles Reckard (1). Just two households above them is another Catherine Imhoff, age 56, and two daughters (Mary A, 26 & Theodosia, 19), but being 1870, there is no information about how they might be related to each other. The next record that is definitely her is the 1900 Census, when she is already married to Leo's father, George.

Leo's older brother, Thomas Jefferson Callin, was immortal. No, not really - but he shows up in each successive Census and Mansfield, Ohio, town directory, usually listed as an unmarried truck driver living in his parents' household, until 1934... when he simply stops appearing at all. Catherine is in the 1940...but despite searching Newspapers.com, Ancestry.com, and extensive Googling, I haven't discovered Tom's (or "Jefferson's") fate after 1934.

Middle brother Trell was a little easier to trace. Sadly, this seems to be the case because he and his wife, Myrtle, had one daughter and died a year apart in 1935 and 1936. Youngest of all, there was a sister, Ruth, who seems to have been a school teacher, and lived in Ohio until she passed away in 1987.

But Leo... he leaves a few mysteries.

Based on newspaper accounts, he married a Mildred (Apger) in 1915; they had a daughter, Evelyn, that same year. According to marriage records, he married a different Mildred (Hartman) in 1925. In 1937, Mansfield papers carried a legal notice to Mildred, who was believed to be in New York, announcing Leo's suit for divorce - presumably this was intended for the second Mildred. In 1939, Leo was admitted to the hospital, and in 1940 he appeared in the "pauper's infirmary" on the census. In 1958, he died in the Central Ohio Psychiatric Hospital.

The mysteries are between the records; the absent evidence of what really happened to Leo and Tom suggests less than happy endings for them. But there is a chance that Leo's grandchildren may know more - and we can at least say for certain, rather than merely watching these brothers vanish into the background shrubbery of history.

This is not what Leo looked like.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Seeking Shirt-tales

Someone used the expression "shirttail relatives" a couple of weeks ago and it keeps popping into my head. Here's a definition for those who may not have heard it before:


1  :  very young :  immature <shirttail boys fishing in the creek>

:  distantly and indefinitely related <a shirttail cousin on her father's side>

As I work through the process of revising the Callin Family History, I'm spending a lot of time looking for missing branches of the family tree and following direct descendants through multiple surnames. There are a lot of folks - and I mean hundreds of them - I would have thought of as "distantly and indefinitely related" before I started on this project. They're the kinds of relatives that you kind of ignore when you're trying to wrap your head around your genealogical past and limit the amount of work you plan to do.

I have almost used it to describe some of the families I've been working on this month, but I'm still somewhat on the fence over whether I like this term or not. It seems vaguely dismissive, though I'm sure it's not intended that way. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. As I work down through history, tracing generations of people who share a common ancestor with me, I can't help feeling sad when I get to the end of the trail, and find that their line of the family has petered out.

For one example, I started with a couple - James and Margaret Callin - who were cousins (I know, let's move past that for now) that married and moved to Iowa from Ohio around 1840. It isn't clear what happened to them, but both James and Margaret died around 1845. My 3x-great grandfather, William, drove a wagon out from Ohio and brought back their two little sons, William and Warren. It isn't certain who raised the boys - the Callin Family History says William was raised by the Day family in Huron county - but we know they grew up and enlisted in the Union Army. Warren was a musician who died during the Civil War, and William's unit was captured, and spent several years at Andersonville prison.

After the war, William married Theodocia Johnson, and they had one daughter, Edith. Edith married Oley Hanley, and their son, Lyle, died in 1935, leaving a widow, but no children.

The term "shirttail" seems apt, here, just because of that visual - a loose end; a leaf at the tip of a branch. But I'm uncomfortable thinking of people that way. It's not as if Lyle wasn't important, just because he didn't pass his genes along! And it's not 100% clear that I didn't simply get that fact wrong - there could well be a clan of Hanleys out there yet to be discovered!

(If you happen to be one of them, let me know - as the title suggests, I'm looking for you!)

There is another sense of the word that may only be in may head; I tend to associate it with relatives who don't share my surname. Obviously, Lyle Hanley is every bit as direct a descendant of James 1st as I am - but our cultural tradition of having women take their husband's name can quickly obscure that direct relationship. Ann Callin, Frances Campbell, Agnes Hoot, Rea Barrick - and who knows who Rea might have married? Whatever surname her children had, they have every bit as much reason to be interested in their many-greats-grandfather as I do!

So, if you see or hear me using that term to describe people in my family tree, it's probably best to assume that I'm using it with a kind of melancholy affection. Affection for family, melancholy for the inevitable distance, and in the case of folks like Lyle, for the early end to their story. Sometimes it's hard to put the effort into tracing their line, but their stories are worth remembering.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I was 22 years old, and I thought I had already hit bottom and rebounded.

The Air Force was my way back up, and despite (or because of) the harrowing time I had in basic training, I had decided to make an honest effort to establish myself. No more romantic dreams - I would work hard, and do my best to make the Air Force work for me. Career first. I would focus on what was in front of me.

But then one of the first sights I focused on was the girl in front of me in our first Monday morning formation. They had mispronounced her name, and she was making wisecracks about it to everyone around her - including me. ("There's no 'F' in my name, but I heard them say an 'F'. Do you see an 'F' on my name tape?")

Later, when a mutual friend introduced us, I tried to be cool. I wasn't looking for a relationship. I wasn't looking for my soul mate - there would be time for that later. "Later" turned out to be about six weeks, give or take. First she asked me out, and then a short time later, I asked her to marry me. When your dreams come looking for you, you damn sure don't tell them to come back later.

I was 30 years old, and I was pretty sure I had hit bottom - it felt harder this time, because it wasn't just me.

The Air Force and I hadn't worked out so well. It was an amicable parting, and I got to keep the kids - and the wife. But being unemployed with a wife and kids just as the economy tanks isn't a very clever career path, either. She had to step up in ways that no equal partner should ever be asked to do, while I seemed to fail at everything I touched.

But there were opportunities, and we had to make some hard moves to grab them. 2,000 mile moves, into small, over-priced apartments. Long commutes, longer overtime hours; nothing ideal except for her and the kids. That was a long, hard uphill climb, and I got a little cocky about it before actually reaching the top of the hill.

I was 37 years old, and when the world lurched to the side, I could see all the way to the bottom.

We were better off after years of hard work, but there was a cost. We had put too much on her shoulders, and neither of us thought about her limits until it was almost too late. She made some choices, and I had to make some of my own. I chose her, and I had to convince her to choose me again. It wasn't a sure thing.

The next few years were a challenge for each of us - there were things that we had to face down and help each other through that don't belong in a blog, or a family history; things that you don't want to remember, but you have to. Things that you wouldn't choose or ask for, but that you deal with - and after you've survived intact, you see what your strengths really are.

I am 42 years old, and I know that I have never really "hit bottom."

There is always another sub-level, until there is nothing at all - and no one comes back from that. The fact that we're still here means we still have something to lose. And I have no interest in losing any time soon.

I've learned what I'm good at. I've learned that as bad as I am at making Grand Plans, I'm pretty good at sticking to the simple ones. I can be a rock, or an anchor; I can iron and clean the turtle tank. (Reminder - I need to clean the turtle tank.) I can share a laugh, and lift a burden; and I can follow orders and hustle - just don't ask me to sketch the blueprints or do any math.

And she is my General. There is still no 'F' in her name, but I share mine with her, anyway. I have to be on guard in these happy times, not to let my boring inner demons mess things up, but things are good. Our kids are good, and we're figuring out how to get the best of our surroundings.

While I don't take anything for granted, I look forward to the next twenty years. We don't have everything we want, yet, and that gives us something to shoot for. As far as I'm concerned, I have what I dreamed about - and she has me, for as long as she wants me.

Happy Anniversary, Kate. I love you.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Book Is Out!

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you know about the book that got me started on my genealogy hobby back in the day. A lot of folks have asked for copies, and I've tried to make an electronic version widely available. But I've got a surprise for those of you who like to hold things!

You can now purchase a hard copy edition of The Callin Family History of your very own. I've edited a reproduction that is for sale at Lulu.com - you can still download the free PDF version (also see the "FAQs & Links" page), but now you have the option to collect a copy for yourself, or send a gift to a family member. Proceeds from any sales go toward supporting this blog.

I did this for two reasons. The main reason is that this book was important to me, and I want cousins close and distant to be able to keep a copy of their own. I think I have one of the last original copies, and it's in pretty bad shape. This way, family members and (hopefully) the occasional library can preserve new copies.

(If you aren't a fan of Lulu.com, you can find it on Amazon, too, but to be honest, they'll charge you more and I get less out of it.)

The second reason is because I'm working on revising and updating cousin George's book, with help from cousins John and Joan, and I wanted to try out Lulu's service before committing our magnum opus to their services. I'm pretty happy with their product, so I really can't wait to see our revised, update in print! Hopefully this replica edition will whet your appetite for our revision, too.

If you're a descendant of James Callin, consider getting a copy of your own, and please check out the "Are We Cousins?" page to see how you can help us complete the 2015 revision!

And thank you!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

#NameCollecting - Straight From a Novel

You may recall an earlier Photo Feature about Peter Stout Ruth - one of the true Great Beards of History! - but I didn't get to tell you about his daughter. She was a very special lady with a very special name:

Fondelia Ruth.

Here in these #NameCollecting posts, I can't stress enough that I don't intend to make fun; but at the same time, some of the names I run across make my children laugh. But it's not the name "Fondelia" alone that got a guffaw from my eldest (a child named after a lovely artist's hamlet on the Pacific Coast).

You see, Fondelia got married in 1861. And her husband also had a unique name - the kind that I always associated with novels about wealthy people who run hotel chains and railroads. I occasionally run down the list of names reading them aloud to savor them like caramels or individually flavored jelly beans, and my kid often sits there giggling while I do so.



"Leo Homer Callin...

"Fondelia and Worthington Griswold."

I share her amusement, of course; I love the array of names in our family, but I get how humorous some of these older, less common names can seem to young ears. I only hope the amusement fuels her curiosity and that she comes to appreciate these people as people.

Who knows - maybe she'll pick up the torch and get into this little hobby herself one day!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

LaFayette on the Brandywine

Marquis de Lafayette
According to the Callin Family History (and yes, if you're interested in that book, you want to click that link), there were two brothers named James and John who emigrated from Ireland around the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Our fathers tell us that these two brothers enlisted in the Continental Army and fought under Lafayette at the battle of Brandywine and remained in this army till the close of the war.

I have maintained a healthy skepticism for the early sections of George's book, because there are a number of small errors in it, and he included none of his sources. I have gone looking for proof - one way or the other - that this claim is either reliable or false, but when faced with a source with as many small errors as this one has, it's hard to tell which facts to count on as clues, and which errors are severe enough to cast doubt on the claims.

For years, I've kept an eye out for resources that would give me more information I could use to track these brothers down with no solid leads. I tried the National Archives, since I had such great luck with some of my Civil War folks, but came up empty - they need a state to search in, and the only one I knew for sure a) existed during the Revolutionary War and b) Callins lived in was Pennsylvania. When I subscribed to Fold3, I found some index records for Callin people, but without more detail, there was nothing to investigate.

Then cousin Joan told me she had seen records for brothers James and Edward Callin in a Virginia regiment - that had fought at the Battle of Brandywine. And lo, I found a tranch of them by digging deeply into Ancestry's military records - 39 exhaustive film strips with hits on the name James Callin.

It's important to stress that what I have found is not conclusive proof that I have the right James Callin, but I've looked for others that fit the points that George's statement implies: served throughout the war; served with a brother; fought at Brandywine, in particular, and under Lafayette. This James fits those parameters, assuming that the Edward Callin who spent six months in his unit was his brother.

The red circle is next to "Jas. Callin" - private in
Capt. Lucas's Company of the 4th VA Regt of Foot
I've attached a copy of the muster roll for 1 September through October 1777, and added a subtle red circle to show you where James's name appears. This unit is Captain James Lucas's Company of the 4th Virginia Regiment of Foot, under the command of Colonel Robert Lawson.  The Battle of Brandywine took place on September 11, 1777.

The famous General Lafayette's involvement is interesting. Brandywine was his first battle, so he wasn't yet commanding troops. He was sent with the Third Pennsylvania Brigade under Brigadier Thomas Conway and not even in the same Division as James Callin's 4th Virginia, but both units were under the command of Major General John Sullivan ("Sullivan's Wing").

Lafayette wounded at the battle of Brandywine
Lafayette was shot in the leg, and despite his injury, he helped organize an ordered retreat before allowing his wound to be treated, which saved many soldiers and impressed General Washington. Washington wrote to Congress and asked them to give him command of a division.

When Lafayette returned to the battlefield in November, after two months of recuperation from his injury, he took over the Division previously commanded by Major General Adam Stephen - which included two Virginia Brigades - by extension, the 4th Virginia Regiment.

The Battle of Brandywine was not an American victory. To borrow from Wikipedia on the subject: "Washington had committed a serious error in leaving his right flank wide open and nearly brought about his army's annihilation had it not been for Sullivan, Stirling and Stephen's divisions, which fought for time... In his report to the Continental Congress detailing the battle, Washington stated: 'despite the day's misfortune, I am pleased to announce that most of my men are in good spirits and still have the courage to fight the enemy another day'."

If this is our James 1st - and I'm willing to assert that he is, until we turn up evidence otherwise - then my 5th-great grandfather was one of Stephen's troops who made that possible. His (maybe) brother, Edward, shows up on the 4th Regiment's muster rolls with James from November 1777 through February 1778, and James remains in the same unit through at least November 1779.

James's unit would have been involved in the October 4, 1777, Battle of Germantown. Sadly, his unit was the one that veered off course and collided with another American brigade and mistook them for the redcoats, engaging in heavy friendly fire. That winter, he would have been at Valley Forge experiencing the horrible cold, disease, and starvation that we read about in school. After six months, though, the army's effectiveness greatly improved under constant drilling lead by Generals von Steuben and Lafayette, and they were more successful at the Battle of Monmouth in the summer of 1778.

I'll certainly keep digging - there are many mysteries left to solve here. But it's exciting to have some proof in hand that, to quote George again:

...drawing conclusions from what came under our own observation and we know to be true, we may assume that that part of the family history which our fathers told is true also.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

#NameCollecting - It's a Glyde Day

There is another name that pleases me to no end for its uniqueness, and I've had a surprisingly hard time figuring out where it came from.

Thor's Battle Against the Jötnar(1872)
Mårten Eskil Winge
(Wikipedia Art Project)
Elliott Glyde Day (1834-1907) was born in Vermont and died in Ohio; his family was described as "a true pioneer family" as many of that era were. When he was born, Ohio was as far west as most Americans could imagine - it had only been a State for 30 years. I have reason to believe that his family had a very close relationship to my own. Not only did he marry a Mary Ann Callin (born 1838, to James Callin and Susanna Stout), but I suspect that his family took in an orphaned William Callin who was born in 1845 to a different James Callin.

With so many details to build on, one might think it would be easier to prove that hunch. Unfortunately, I haven't found the clues, yet, despite having such a unique name.

I've looked through the Census, of course, and through the database of books available from Heritage Quest through my library. I've dug through Newspapers.com, and Googled extensively... and only found what I already knew. I haven't even managed to prove who Elliott's parents were!

But even if it can't be a clue, at least the Day family gave me an interesting name to collect.  And it gets better - Elliott and Mary Ann named their son "Thor Glyde Day"!

And that is certainly a rare treat!