Friday, August 31, 2012

H is for HELEN

When my Great Aunt Angie gave me a copy of this tintype photo of my great grandmother, Helen Florence Scott,  I felt like she had given me a gold mine!!!   Helen was born November 5, 1860.  I am sure this is the oldest photo of an ancestor that I have acquired.   Helen taught her love and knowledge of genealogy to her daughters and without a doubt, I credit her with passing that interest on to me through them. 

Helen Florence Scott was the daughter of Hosea Philip Scott and his wife  Sarah Angeline Chauncey of Armenia Mountain, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.  This is the branch of the family that descends from the pilgrims of Mayflower fame.  My father, Dick Hughes, told me that Helen was a quiet person who always had her Bible nearby.  People said she had enough religion for the whole family.   That must have been a  lot since she was the mother of 10 children!

On December 3, 1883,  twenty- three year old Helen married 18 year old Charles Shafer Estep,  son of James and Elizabeth Estep,  recent immigrants from Wales.   Charlie got busy begetting children, mining coal and  doing carpentry work.  Soon George their first born arrived in 1885 , then Angeline in 1886.  Baby George died  in 1888 and Florence Helen was born in 1889.  Francis came along in 1890  and then little Chauncey in 1892  who only lived a couple of months.   Helen was  birthing babies every two years!!!  Esther was born in 1895, Clarence "BenZet" in 1896,  and  Laura in 1898.  Trumpeting in the 20th century  was Wilma Jane in 1900 and the baby of the family, my grandmother,  Zilpha Marie joined them in 1902.  Helen was busy  with her large family and reading the Bible!

The photo above was taken about 1924. Laura, Esther, Clarence, Francis, Helen, Charles, Florence,  Zilpha, Wilma, Angeline.


In this picture all the grandchildren and spouses have been invited to take their places.   Top row: Fannie and Clarence Estep, Maude and Francis Estep, Frank and Esther Stiles, Frank Yeomans, Helen, Florence Yeomans, Charles, Merle Yeomans, Lucille Loomis, Wilma Ferris, Laura Estep, Zilpha Hughes, Angie Loomis.  The two seated men are Clem Loomis and Dick Hughes.  The children are unknown girl, Robert Estep, unknown girl,Cady Ferris, Junior Loomis, Dickie Hughes, Loreen Hughes, Eldon Estep, Gerald Estep, Bill Yeomans and little Helen Yeomans.

This is a sweet picture of my father,Richard Hughes, in the arms of his grandmother Helen Estep.  Charlie is holding Curzon Cady Ferris, son of Wilma Jane.  Dickie and Cady were  born four days apart. Helen provided  a nurturing influence  in my father's life as his parents separated when he was young.  He lived with his grandparents for several years when he was growing up.

Helen Florence Scott Estep  was 69 years old when she died  on August 13, 1930.   She and Charlie had been married 47 years.  During their married life they had made their home in a number of different places. First on Armenia Mountain, later in East Troy, Pennsylvania.  Then the family moved to Elmira (South Port) where Charlie built homes.  When Charlie retired from the building trade he moved the family to Savanna,  Pennsylvania where Helen died.   Charles died in 1943.  They are buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Bradford County,  Troy, Pennsylvania.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

G is for Gram Good

OK...  she was not born Gram Good...  that is no name to give a baby girl!   But if you lived in the Richmond, Pennsylvania area in the 1950's, 60's or 70's  you knew her as  Gram Good.  She is remembered in the community of Richmond as "Gram Good", by everyone who knew her.  Her given name was Edna May Frey, daughter of Isaac and Mary Alice Fangboner Frey and she was the beloved grandmother of my husband Ron.

Everyday she could be found behind the counter of the Richmond General Store where she had a cheery greeting for all who entered.  She loved to keep up with the news of the community and could be counted on to know the latest gossip.  Every kid who came through that door knew  she would give them a piece of candy from the candy counter.

Gram was a short, stout woman who almost disappeared behind the wheel of her green, 1965 Chevy.  We still laugh when we think of Gram tooting her horn as she drove by and all you could see was the top of her hat!  She drove to Easton regularly to pick up merchandise for the store and spend the day shopping.  Gram Good loved to shop and always came home with a little something for her  kids and grandkids.  Every evening Gram enjoyed stopping by someone’s house for a visit or having someone stop by to visit her.  She probably was the first Good to earn the nickname "Go Go Good"; she liked to be going somewhere all the time.  She just may have been the first lady in her family to learn to drive a car!

Edna Frey  married Earl Sanford Good, son of George and Lillie May Deats Good on  December 18, 1921,  at the age of seventeen.   They became the parents of five children.  Their first, Dorothy Alice, was born in 1925,  followed by Miriam Mae in 1927 and Edna Marie in 1929.  Alfred Earl arrived in  1933 and when Edna was 37 years old her last child,  George Arthur was born in 1942.  Edna began her married life on a small farm on the Belvedere - Martins Creek Road in an area known to the locals as Frytown.  Earl had a small dairy,  but spent a lot of time dealing and trading in horses.  Edna was busy raising the kids.

Here is a photo of Edna and Earl with their five kids about 1944.   Earl sold the farm about 1945  and bought the Richmond General Store in Richmond,  Pennsylvania.  From that time forward  Edna operated and managed the store  while Earl  worked for the Portland Cement Mill and the Lehigh Cement Mill at Martins Creek, Pennsylvania.

Edna May Frey  was born March 20, 1905.    Growing  up in the vicinity of both sets of grandparents, little Edna  enjoyed  the spoils of both her parents and grandparents.  Being the only child of an only child,  Edna was the only grandchild on the Frey side and  the youngest of 4 grandchildren on the Fangboner side,  so she soon became  everyone's darling.  Just maybe that is why she took such delight in spoiling her own grandkids!

Edna with her father Isaac
Baby Edna with her mother Mary "Alice"

Edna and Earl were married 49 years when he passed away on March 17, 1971.  Gram Good  lived to be  74 years old.  She died on December 8, 1979. They are buried at the Three Church Hill Cemetery in Lower Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

F is for Fannie

My great grandmother,   Fannie Belle Westlake was 26 years old  when she married the much older Simeon Hughes.  He was 14 years her senior.    I remember finding a letter that she had sent to  Sim, tucked away  in the bottom drawer of my father's dresser.  As a teenager,  I loved to take this lovely Victorian letter  out and read it.  Pictured here is the  leap year letter  that was her  marriage proposal to Sim!  The letter  contains a number of verses, to which a colored bow of thread is tied.   The last verse said, "If you want me for your wife, send me back my bow of white."  The white bow is missing;  he must have sent it back! 

Simeon  Hughes, son of Frederick and Harriet Van Wey Hughes of Tioga, Pennsylvania  married Fannie Belle Westlake, daughter of George and Jane Hayton Westlake  on January 11, 1898.
Fannie and Sim soon became the parents of three boys.   Jeptha  was born April 27, 1899,  Richard, born June 23, 1900 and  Roy  born  July 13, 1901.  Yes they are all boys... curly hair,  ruffled shirt collars, dresses and all!

Fannie had her hands full raising these three boys born so close together.  They were kept busy on the  tobacco farm  their father Sim operated, one of Tioga's most prominent farms.  Here is the Hughes family all dressed in their Sunday best!  The boys look happy about that, don't you think!

After Simeon died  in 1929  Fannie became a business woman.  Way to go Fannie Belle!  She opened a bed and breakfast type tourist establishment in the farm house to provide herself with an income.  Fannie called her business The  Maples. 
She was a  good cook,  who taught her culinary skills to her son Richard  who  later  established the  Hughes Dairy Bar and milk processing plant on the property.    Dad told me that for a number of years when he was in his teens he lived upstairs at the farmhouse with his parents, Richard and Zilpha.   He remembered that his  Grandmother Fannie provided  a nurturing home for her grandchildren during these years. 

Fannie and Simeon were married 31 years before he died on June 3, 1929.  Fannie survived him another 17 years.  She was 74 years old when she passed away on May 14, 1946.  They are buried in Evergreen Cemetery Tioga, Pennsylvania.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

E is for Eliza

My grandmother, Sarah Eliza Long was always known as Eliza.   She was born in Spring City, Pennsylvania on March 24, 1899 where her father,  Rev. Howard H. Long was the pastor at the Reformed Church.  In 1901 the family moved to Stone Church, Pennsylvania where  he was assigned to minister at Christ Reformed, now Trinity UCC  Church.   Eliza grew up in Stone Church and attended the two room school house there.  In 1919   Eliza graduated from  "Normal" School at what is now East Stroudsburg University where she studied to become a teacher.  By age 20, she had completed her education and accepted a teaching position in York, Pennsylvania.



               Eliza was the daughter of  Howard Herbert Long and Ella May Heffner.
                             Here is the marriage license of my great grandparents.

Eliza married Wm. Homer McEwen on August 5, 1920 in Red Lion, Pennsylvania.  After a honey moon  to Portland, Maine, Niagara Falls,  and Chicago  they returned to Richmond, Pennsylvania to the  McEwen family farm where Homer worked along side of his father.  Eliza decided that their  homestead needed a name and  dubbed the farm,  Maple Hedge Farm.  "Liza"  McEwen  loved music and played the piano and organ for the Richmond Methodist church for many years where she was also a Sunday School teacher.   She was an excellent cook who served dinner at noon and supper for the evening meal, both meals being hardy fare for her farm family and anyone else who stopped in.  Gram's  pie tins were full of the best pie fillings and her cake plate was never empty.   She could always be found in her kitchen where there was plenty of room at her table for unexpected guests.

50th Wedding Anniversary, 1970

Gram, just like her mother before her,  was short and plump.  The best seat  in the house was found in her lap where ample  doses of loving hugs were given to all her grandchildren.   Eliza and Homer were the parents of  three children;   my mother  Lois,  Homer Jr.,  and  Howard.

Left to right: Homer,Jr.,  Eliza, Howard, Ella May, Lois.

McEwen Reunion 1984.

Gram and Pap were married 57 years before he passed away October 21, 1977.  Before Gram died on May 9. 1987 she had become the great grandmother  of 13,  pictured above.  We made a great looking family!

Thank you Gram McEwen for being the best Grammie a little girl ever wanted!  If I am half the Grammie you were, I will have filled very big shoes indeed!   Oh yeah, and thanks for passing on the gene for body build and that confounded  Heffner foot!
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Monday, August 13, 2012

D is for Dot

Dot was a farm wife extraordinaire!  When Dorothy Alice Good married Clarence Smith, son of Russell and Beatrice Graver Smith on the first day of February in 1948, she knew from that day on she would work along side Clarence to make their dairy farm on Gravelhill Road  in Lower Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania  prosper.  Dot could be found in the barn at milking time, or in the old summer kitchen when it was time to butcher the pigs they raised.  And before her children, Ronald and Melody  were born and her time was needed in the house, it was not uncommon to see her driving the tractor at hay making time. 
The farmhouse on Gravelhill Road.
She was a wonderful cook, well known for her bountiful table.  Preparing meals of fried chicken, roast beef, roast pork, stuffing, homemade sauerkraut, and fresh vegetables from her garden was second nature to Mom.  Dinner wasn't complete without homemade ice cream, cake, or pie.   Dot spent the summer months canning and freezing garden produce.  She also made several kinds of pickles and relishes, which were always served at family dinners along with her homemade jams and jellies.

Born January 23, 1925, Dorothy Alice Good was the daughter of Earl and Edna Frey Good of Richmond, Pennsylvania.   Dot was the oldest child in a family of five, which included Miriam, Marie, Alfred and Arthur.

She accepted her role as big sister throughout her life, often hostessing family get togethers.  Dorothy was a faithful member of the Trinity UCC Church.  She belonged to the Adult Sunday School Class and the Women's Guild. She could always be counted on to lend a helping hand at church suppers.  She is remembered for her caring concern for others.  It was her habit to send cards to the sick and to visit those who  were home bound.


She was a good wife, mother, sister and auntie.  Isn’t this the sweetest picture of Dot and Clarence?   There was always laughter in their home!

Dot and Clarence were married 35 years when he passed away on January 3, 1983.  Dot  died  four years later on June 2, 1987.  They are buried  in the Saint Peters UCC Church Cemetery at Seemsville, Pennsylvania. 
      Thanks Mom for raising such a fine son as Ronnie, my  hubby!

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Friday, August 10, 2012

C is for Clara

My great grandmother, Clara Matilda Illick was 19 years old when she  married Henry McEwen, son of William and Sarah Rasley McEwen  of Richmond,  Pennsylvania on December 25, 1878; a Christmas gift they celebrated for the next  64 years!   The newly weds  made their home  with Henry's parents,  adding an addition onto the farmhouse  that had been the home of Henry's  grandparents, Henry and Jane Ayers Rasley.

Clara was born on September 15, 1859 and grew up in a large family of ten children, being the eighth child  of  Samuel and Henrietta Kressler Illick.  Her given name at birth was Clarrissa Matilda Illick, but she was always known as "Clara".  When I was searching in the attic at the McEwen family farm for research data, I found the Illick family Bible which had belonged to her parents and contained entries for all of the children of Sam and Henrietta Illick.  The place where Great grandmother's name should have been recorded was neatly torn out of the Bible and penciled in its place was the notation "Clara".  Later, in the personal Bible of Clara McEwen, I found that little torn out corner  and was able to make a perfect match to the place of the missing corner in the Illick family Bible. Evidently she did not like her given name and took it upon herself to remove the entry from her father's Bible.  However, she could not throw that special piece of paper away, for she had placed it in her own Bible.

Wm. Homer McEwen and his mother, Clara

Clara Illick McEwen was the mother of two children; the first, born in 1882 only lived a few weeks.  Thirteen years later her second son, William Homer, was born on October 10, 1895.  Clara was 36 years old and Henry was 39 when they finally became parents after 17 years of marriage.  Homer's  birth must have been a joyous occasion indeed for this extended family!

Thank you Mom for giving me the ring Great Grandmother Clara is wearing in this picture of her with baby Homer.  I have always loved it.

She was a devout Methodist, played  the piano and like all the ladies of her time, did piece work quilting.   I remember  the old quilts, well used  and showing their wear,  that  we took to the shore every summer.  In her day quilts were made from  scrapes to be used until they were no more.  And that is just what her family did!

Clara and Henry  on the front porch of the farmhouse with  their son Homer and family.
Here is a 3 generation picture of the McEwen family taken about 1936. In this picture are Henry and Clara, the grandparents; Homer and Eliza, the parents and their children; Lois, seated in front; Homer Jr., seated in front of his father and Howard on his mother's lap.

Clara and Henry were married 64 years when she died on February 20, 1942 at the age of 82.  Henry died August 19, 1946 at the age of 90.  They are buried in the cemetery at the Richmond Methodist Church in Richmond, Pennsylvania. 

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                                             Cynthia H. Smith

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Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. It is with pleasure that I am able to present this information here for you to enjoy. If you discover a relationship here, I would very much enjoy hearing from you.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

B is for Beatrice


Beatrice Elizabeth Graver was the daughter of Wilson Graver and  Jennie Lauer of Bowmanstown, Pennsylvania.  Her birth on January 16, 1900  heralded in the 20st century, and she never lost the delightful lilt in her voice that reflected her Pennsylvania Dutch background.

      Mammy, as she was know to her grandchildren,  loved to quilt  and if you were to visit her home in the wintertime  you would see her large quilting frame set up in the living room.  She made numerous quilt tops designing her own appliqué patterns.  Often finishing quilts others had begun, there were years that she completed the hand quilting of as many as twenty quilts.  It was with pride that she produced a baby quilt for each of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Her goal was to give each grandchild a full size quilt as a wedding gift.

  This is the quilt Mammy Smith made for her grandson, Ronald B. Smith.  We have always cherished  and displayed this work of art in our home.                                                

Beatrice married Russell V. Smith, the son of  Arthur  and Estella Kunkle Smith  in April of 1919.   They  raised their  three children, Clarence, Arlene and Margaret, first in Bath, PA  and later moved to their home on a 30 acre property outside of town on Rt. 248 where they raised a few chickens and pigs and rented out the fields.  Mammy and Pappy Smith  were married 67 years before she passed away June 12, 1986.  This tattered photo from their 60th anniversary was carried  by their grandson, Ron  for years in his wallet. Thank you,  for inspiring a love of quilting in me, a tradition that I will carry on  making quilts for my grandchildren. 

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Monday, August 6, 2012

A is for ANNA

       Today I will introduce you to ANNA HOUCK McEWEN my Great, Great, Great Grandmother. 
  Anna McEwen  wife of John McEwen       

All that is left of her on this Earth of ours is the remnants of her gravestone where she  is buried in  the Reformed Cemetery at Stone Church in Upper Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania.  But she left a much  larger footprint of her life here.   Born on January 12, 1807 and baptized on   Febuary 10, 1807, Anna was the daughter of John Houck and  his wife Elizabeth Mullar (Miller) of Lower Mount Bethel Pennsylvania.   At the age of 21,  on November 6, 1828,  she was married to John McEwen, a pioneering young man whose family had left  the Mount Bethel area in 1823 to  live in the newly open territory of Seneca County, Ohio.  

Anna and John  soon began their family with the birth of daughter Sally Ann.  And then a son John came along.  But before the birth of their third child William,  John McEwen  died on  April 23, 1832 leaving Anna a widow before she  reached her 25th birthday.   Wow...  life was hard  for young families in 1832! 

Anna lived to be  in her 60's, a good age for ladies of her time.  She buried her husband  and two of her children, but her son William  grew up to become a fine man whose obituary noted,  "his home was a stopping place for Methodist ministers, where they always received a royal welcome and were bountifully cared for."  The McEwen  family of Richmond, PA owe their existence to Anna!

Please read more about the steadfast life of Grandmother Anna Houck McEwen at  my web page, Dedication To the Memory of ANNA MCEWEN

Thank you Grandmother Anna!

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

In the Beginning

I am calling this Blog "Who's Your Grammie". Please see this Dedication to all my works. Each entry will introduce you to a grandmother from our family tree.   The stories of our grandmothers are fascinating!  Without our grandmothers none of us would be here.  They all lived incredible  lives and it is my hope that by telling their stories here you  will  learn a little about them too.

I found  the  Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge  and thought it would be a fun way to share some of my  family history research with others.  So, the idea is that I will post  a genealogy story for each letter of the alphabet.  I began with A is for ANNA,   B is for Beatrice,    C is for Clara,    D is for Dot,    E is for Eliza,    F is for Fannie,    G is for Gram Good,    H is for HELEN.

Writing stories about my  Grandmother's lives had me hooked, so I continued with      V is for Harriet C. Van  Wey,   W is for Wilma Jane,   X is for XXI - 21 children of Sar... ,      Y is for Camelia Engler ... WHY?   and   Z is for Zilpha Estep. 

WOW.  That was fun and a great way to share so much family history research with family.

                                           My Revolutionary War Ancestors

I wanted to continue the Blog and decided a good way to tell personal stories would be to write about the lives of our ancestors who had given service in the War for Independence.  

Thus began my personal challenge to research and write about each of the men I had so far identified as having taken some part  in the Revolutionary War.  Their stories begin on My Revolutionary War Ancestors
  where you will find  links to each of these men.

Here is a little something about me and my interests in family history research.

                                    Cynthia's Family Lines

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