Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

12 Aug 2019: Genealogy Bits and Bobs of Randomness August 12, 2019

I’m clearing off some random papers from my desk today, items which caught my attention and I thought I’d share. First is a little tidbit from Yankee Magazine with some fun Rhode Island Trivia.

This item comes from Reader’s Digest, an article on silly state laws. Yes, it’s about Maine, but it’s about tombstones and the town of Wells (no known relation to our Wells family) and really, it’s very humorous.

Seriously, what would you advertise? Common sense dictates this law was passed because someone posted advertisement on tombstones there.

-Jennifer

 

3 July 2019: Genealogy Odds and Ends July 3, 2019

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here on a regular basis. I’ve been in computer transitions from one laptop to a new one. Always a bother.  In the meantime, here are a few bits and bobs I’ve come across.

ITEM ONE: I found this vintage stereoscopic photo of, of all things, a headstone in Buffalo, NY. From Forest Lawn Cemetery of the “Campbell Monument.” In all my gleanings through antique shops, I’ve never come across such a photo. Might be an interesting thing to collect if I happen upon another one. Has anyone out there ever seen a headstone photo like this before?

ITEM TWO: I enjoyed this article from Yankee magazine with funny pilgrim stories. I mean, how often do you come across funny pilgrims?

ITEM THREE:  While reading an old edition of Yankee magazine, I couldn’t help but notice the amount of advertisers with familiar family names.  Kenyon (Grills), Hubbard (Shoes) and Burdick (Restaurant). Nice to see we’re still kicking around.

-Jennifer

Genealogy addict extraordinaire

 

30 June 2019: Yumm …. Johnny Cakes June 30, 2019

Filed under: Cooking,Johnny Cakes,Rhode Island — jgeoghan @ 6:45 pm

I came across another Johnny Cake recipe in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of Yankee Magazine. Since I’ve been collecting them in order to find the perfect recipe, I thought I’d share it.  This one is forJohnny Cakes with Cranberry-Maple Syrup.  I find it interesting that they spell Johnny Cakes as one work (Johnnycakes.)  What do you think? One word or two?

-Jennifer

Johnny Cake (two words) Lover

 

30 Sep 2018: An old copy of The New Okinawan October 1, 2018

It never ceases to amaze me the odd items that my father collected.  My mother came across this newspaper called The New Okinawan. It’s Vol. 1 No. 81, dated Sunday, 8 July 1945 and published by Island Command and calls itself “Most widely read daily in the Ryukyus.”  Wikipedia says “The Ryukyu Islands, also known as the Nansei Islands or the Ryukyu Arc, are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan.” It seems to me a military newspaper from WWII with some interesting articles of news. I like the world news and the information on the formation of the United Nations and, as a native New Yorker, I was happy to see that the Yankees beat Boston 5 to 4. Anyway, since other historical items I’ve shared seem to be a hit with my blog readers, I thought I’d take a detour from my personal family genealogy to share this item with you. Enjoy.

The New Okinawan 8 July 1945 Page 1

The New Okinawan 8 July 1945 Page 2

The New Okinawan 8 July 1945 Page 3

The New Okinawan 8 July 1945 Page 4

 

9 Sept 2018: Genealogy and the search for truth September 9, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 5:43 pm
Tags: , , ,

There’s always been this mystery as to why my great grandparents were separated. I mean, it had to have been something pretty bad for a woman to kick her husband out of the house back in the early 1900’s.  But for all my digging, I could never find anything that gave me a clue as to what the circumstances were in their marriage that such drastic measures were needed to be taken.

Then last week my cousin sent me a box containing an old purse (old enough that it might have belonged to my great-grandmother Amalia.) Inside the purse were a bunch of old newspaper clippings in German. Amalia, my great-grandmother, was born in Slovakia, but she married John Kranz who was born in Germany.  The article I found in the purse was probably from a German newspaper published in Brooklyn, NY circa 1915.

Here is what my translation produced.  Thank you Google Translate 🙂

Wife Beater

Huge blacksmith abused a feeble frail woman

Tolerated the children

An extremely sad girl from married life yesterday appeared before Judge Kelln in the Supreme Court, when Mrs. Amelia Kranz brought a lawsuit to break up her marital union with the blacksmith John Kranz of No. 355 Stagg Str. The man is a dog of over 200 pounds bodyweight, the complainant, who weighs about 90-100 pounds, looks sickly and weak. The contrast was particularly acute when the poor mistress said in a thin voice that this brutal giant had terrorized and maltreated her for years. For weeks her face and lips would have been swollen by the constant blows of his fist. Often he would issue death threats against them, and those mitigations and threats would only have had the effect of extracting from the woman a few hundred dollars that she had saved during her marriage.

For the sake of her four children, aged from three to fourteen, Mrs. Kranz went on, she would have endured that torment for years, but now she could undermine her health and she had reached the end of her strength. In his defense, Kranz also condemns his wife for cruelty, claiming among other things that she had not given him sufficient food which stood in the sharpest contrast to his blooming, well-groomed appearance. The judge stated that he could not admit, under the circumstances, that the woman should take the legal costs of her small savings, and awarded her $30 lawyer’s fees. As Alimentation payment, Kranz has the option between $40 per month or home rental payment and $6 (The last few words were cut off.)

This is John and Amalia Kranz. He looks like a large guy, but I’m not sure I’d call him a giant. I don’t suppose we’ll ever really know the truth, but this certainly sheds an interesting light on what their home life may have been like. When I sent this translation to my cousin I told her that genealogy is, in many ways, the search for truth, and often times that truth isn’t as pretty as we might like it to be. But I’d rather know the truth of my ancestors. I’d rather know that my great-grandmother had the courage to stand up for herself and her children. She was obviously a very brave woman.

-Jennifer

 

23 July 2018: Funerals in early Connecticut and other interesting stuff July 23, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 6:49 pm
Tags: ,

Today’s topic is a little bit off beat, but I came across this interesting passage in Frances Manwaring Caulkins’ History of New London, Connecticut this past weekend. It was so interesting I thought I’d share it with you.

History of New London, Connecticut, Pages 267-268:

Obituaries of the Early Settlers.

Taking our position on the high ground at the beginning of a new century, let us pause and review the band of early settlers, who sitting down among these barren rocks, erected these buildings, planted these gardens, manned these decks, and from Sabbath to Sabbath led their children up these winding paths to worship God in that single church — that decent and comely building, plain in appearance, but beautified by praise, which sate on the hill-top, side by side with the lowly mansions of the dead. From those silent chambers let us evoke the shades of the fathers, and record some few fragments of their history, not irrecoverably buried with them in the darkness of oblivion.

There is an interest lingering about these early dead which belongs to no later race. The minutest details seem vivid and important. A death in that small community was a great event. The magistrate, the minister, and the fathers of the town, came to the bed of the dying to witness his testament and gather up his last words. It was soon known to every individual of the plantation that one of their number had been cut down. All were eager once more to gaze upon the face they had known so well ; they flocked to the funeral ; the near neighbors and coevals of the dead bore him on their shoulders to the grave ; the whole community with solemn step and downcast eyes, followed him to his long home.

Riding at funerals was not then in vogue; and a hearse was unknown. A horse litter may in some cases have been used; but the usual mode of carrying the dead was on a shoulder bier. In this way persons were sometimes brought into town for interment even from a distance of five or six miles. Frequent rests or halts were made, and the bearers often changed. These funeral customs continued down to the period of the Revolution.

Our ancestors do not often appear to us in all the homeliness of their true portraiture. Imagination colors the truth, and we overlook the simplicity of their attire and the poverty of their accommodations. Estates before 1700 were small; conveniences few, and the stock of furniture and garments extremely limited. Many of the large estates of modern times have been built up from very small beginnings.

Each man was in a great measure his own mechanic and artisan, and he wrought with imperfect tools. Most of these tools were made of Taunton iron; a coarse bog ore, which could produce only a dull edge, and was easily broken. The value of iron may be inferred from the fact that old iron was of sufficient importance to be estimated among movables. In the early inventories very few chain are mentioned. Stools, benches and forms, took their place; jointstools came next, and still later, many families were provided with the high-backed settle, a cumbersome piece of furniture, but of great comfort in a farmer’s kitchen. A broad box-like cupboard, with shelves above, where the pewter was arranged, and called the dresser, was another appendage of the kitchen. The houses were cheaply, rudely built, with many apertures for the entrance of wind and frost; the outside door frequently opening directly into the family room, where the fire-place was wide enough to admit an eight feet log, and had a draught almost equal to a constant bellows. The most finished timbers in the house, # even those that protruded as sills and cross-beams in the best rooms, were hatchet-hacked, and the wainscoting unplaned.

One of the first objects with every thrifty householder, was to get apple-trees in growth. Most of the homesteads consisted of a house, garden and orchard. Cider was the most common beverage of the country. Some beer was drank. They had no tea nor coffee, and at first very little sugar or molasses. When the trade with Barbadoes commenced, which was about 1660, sugar and molasses became common. The latter was often distilled after importation. Broth, porridge, hasty-pudding, johnny-cake and samp, were articles of daily consumption. They had no potatoes, but beans and pumpkins in great abundance.

*****

If you’d like to see more, you can find this book at http://www.archives.org

-Jennifer

 

3 July 2018: Let’s be Social! July 3, 2018

Filed under: Wells Family — jgeoghan @ 7:34 am
Tags: , , , ,

Hello friends and family members,

As an offshoot of this blog, I decided to start a facebook group for members of the Wells family of Hopkinton, Rhode Island. Why? Well, I get to post lots of great info on my blog, but I’d love to also have a forum where we can be more social and share information back and forth more freely. I will still continue to keep up my blog as usual, but will also be posting tidbits on the facebook group as well.  I encourage you to join the group and get to know the other members of our family!

Here is a link to the group on Facebook. The name of the group is “The Wells Family of Hopkinton, Rhode Island.” You can also type that in the search box in Facebook to find us.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2107003152906080/

-Jennifer