Sunday, October 12, 2008
Posted by Linda in Lancaster under Family Stories
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Our new home was built on a trail that took wagons west through Pennsylvania. We know that at one point, somebody who died along that trail was buried on the site we picked for our new home.
After we moved in, he welcomed us. . . . in his own way. We would turn the lights on; he would turn them off. He would turn lights on and we would turn them off. It was a game he played.
He loved anything electrical, and became a member of our family. We called him Joseph and he responded to his name. We never saw him, but we felt his presence and knew his pattern. Unexplained electrical happenings. . . . . well, it was only Joseph.
When he wanted to play, he let us know. He didn’t care what time it was as much as we cared! Case in point is the night he turned on the TV and the radio in the basement. It was 1:30 AM and we were asleep. Not funny, Joseph! Hubby got out of bed and yelled down the stairs, “KNOCK IT OFF JOSEPH!!” and Joseph, being the obedient ghost, turned them both off, simultaneously.
. . . . and then there was the Christmas, years ago, when he took all the lights off of the tree. He did this three nights in a row. Each morning we would wake up, walk down stairs and there were the lights, on the floor, surrounding the tree stand. Each day, we would restring the lights, and finally the third night when we went to bed we told him, from the top of the stairs, we did not want to come down to lights on the floor again! We didn’t.
Shep, our dog knew him. On several ocassions, we would be watching TV and Shep would awaken, sit up and look in one particular spot. He would stand, his tail would start wagging and he acted like he wanted to play. Then all of a sudden, he would sit down and look at us. We knew Joseph had left the room.
We actually looked forward to his visits because we didn’t know exactly what he’d do next. The last time we “heard from him” was the day we were sitting at the kitchen table. We were having a cup of coffee when all of a sudden we heard a garage door open. Now, we each had a garage door opener and my garage door opened. Since I was sitting at the table and my opener was in my purse, how on earth did it open? Joseph! I went and shut the door. Next thing we knew the other door opened! Same thing, shut the door. He kept going between the garage doors until we got tired of it and told him that we had quite enough of it. He listened and he went.
We waited for our ghost to return and Shep waited, to no avail.
Joseph had moved on. Perhaps he joined his family, or perhaps he found another family. We’ll never know, because we’ve moved on as well.
You don’t believe in ghosts? Well, I do. I’ve experienced Joseph!
*This blog was written for COG’s “Halloween Hauntings.” Fact or Fiction? A little of both? I’ll let you know after the deadline of 15 October passess. . . . . .
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Posted by Linda in Lancaster under Family Stories
| Tags: 20-inch IMac
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Well, actually, it’s Linda’s Baby, not Jim’s and Linda is pleased to announce it’s arrival. After many months of anticipating, researching and many agonizing decisions, it’s arrived! and in it’s place of prominence!
Linda's New Baby
My new baby weighed in at 25.4 pounds, is 18.5 inches in height, 19.1 inches in width and 8.1 inches in depth.
This the first blog I’ve typed on my new Baby!
Now, I’ve not worked on a Mac for over 15 years (and maybe even longer) and a lot has changed since I last touched one of these! Thankfully, an Apple Store just opened less than five miles from my home, so I’ve enrolled in my first class on Saturday! I have a whole lot to learn!
I’ve kept my Dell XPS laptop with all my pix and genealogy database on it, and it sits right next to my new Baby. I’ve got I-Life installed on the IMac and Reunion on order. I’ll be having a lot of questions!
Thanks, Mike, Dan and Paige! You cost me a lot of money!
I finally listened to my family. . . . .
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Jeremiah Mark Carvell, my great-great grandfather! He was born near McKees Half Falls, Pennsylvania. Ever heard of it? Didn’t think so! Heading north up the Susquehanna River on the way to Williamsport, you’ll find it. . . . but only if you don’t blink!
2 - number of sisters he had. Joseph Britton Carvell and his first wife, Rebecca Mark, had a total of five children. The first child, a baby girl, died in infancy, as did a brother, Josiah, born after Jeremiah. Two sisters, Lydian and Mary Ann were also younger than Jeremiah.
4 – age he was when his mother died. Rebecca died in November of 1847, months after the birth of Mary Ann. She is probably buried in Grubbs Graveyard in the Port Trevorton area, Snyder County, Pennsylvania.
9 – number of months it took his father to remarry. In September of 1848, Joseph married Mary Hyle. He was 29, she was 27.
12 – number of step-brothers and sisters he had. Joseph and Mary, were the parents of, in birth order, Richard, Robert, William, Cyrus, Jerome, Thomas, Benjamin, Joseph, Phoebe, Hannah, Elmer and Charles. The family lived in Thompsontown, Juniata County.
1843 – year Jeremiah Mark Carvell was born. His middle name was his mother’s maiden name. He was born, the first son of Joseph and Rebecca Carvell, on March 3, 1843. Out of five children born to this marriage, he was the oldest and only son to live to maturity.
1862 – year he enlisted in the Pennsylvania Infantry. He enlisted at Harrisburg as a private, 6 August 1862, in Capt. A.B. Demaree’s Company I, 133d Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry. He saw action at the second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and mustered out of service, at the expiration of the term of enlistment on 20 August 1863.
Civil War Picture of Jeremiah Mark Carvell, Ph.D
1864 – year he re-enlisted in Civil War Service. He enlisted in Carlisle, this time, on 31 August 1864, in Co. A, 9th Pennsylvania Veteran Cavalry. He was discharged in Lexington, NC on 29 May 1865 at the close of the war. He had seen action in as he marched to the sea in Georgia with Wm T. Sherman and rec’d wounds severe enough to be hospitalized in Hilton Head, SC.
1866 - year he made the decision to enter the ministry. He started his ministry as an “Itinerant” Preacher, for the Church of God, starting in Perry County, and continuing down to Cumberland County, to Franklin County and east to Philadelphia. He eventually ended up in Harrisburg, Middletown, and back to Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.
1866 – year when he married Mary Jane Ziegler Gantt, a widow, in Dauphin, Pennsylvania. She had been widowed since 1863 and brought a young daughter, Rosa Viola, to the marriage.
Marriage Certificate for Jeremiah M. and Mary Jane Z. Carvell
1867 - year he became a father for the first time. His first child, Minnie May was born in Pleasant Grove, Lancaster County and died shortly after birth.
1868 – year he became a father for the second time. Carrie Virginia was born in Newville, Cumberland County, on May 2nd of this year. She was my great-grandmother, and the only one of Jeremiah and Mary Jane’s children to survive infancy.
1869- year he became a father for the third time. Annie Lenora lived 8 short months, leaving the family to grieve for yet another child. She was born in Bainbridge, Lancaster County and died in Palmyra, Lebanon County.
1874 - year his first son was born. James Edgar Augustine was born in April 30th in York County, and died in September 1875 in Altoona, Blair County. Mary Jane never fully recovered from the loss of her son.
1879- year he became a widower. In February of this year Mary Jane died in Philadelphia. Jeremiah had just become the Minister of the Philadelphia Germantown Church the year before. Mary’s body was put on a train to Newport, Perry County, accompanied by Jeremiah and his daughters. Her funeral was held in the Presbyterian Church in Newport, and her body laid to rest next to her first husband, Joseph Don Lobaugh Gantt. Jeremiah never remarried.
Mary Jane Ziegler Gantt Carvell, probably taken about the time of their marriage
1885 – year when he received an A.M. from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. According to a letter in file from the college, they bestowed an honorary degree on Jeremiah M. “Carvill.” Throughout his life, his passion was learning. His common school education was at the Millerstown Academy and after service in the Civil War continued in Markleysville. He had tutors to continue studying philosophy, science, religion and classical studies. According to his obituary, he began post-graduate work in philosophy at Wooster University in Ohio, “which he successfully completed in 1887, receiving his degree of Doctor of Philosophy.” His passion for education is evidenced by his being one of the incorporators of Findlay College, in Findlay, Ohio. Mention of this is made in “The History of Hancock County, Ohio.”
1894 – year he joined his wife and young children in glory. His was a long, drawn out illness. According to his veteran’s file, he died of cancer. He did not leave his bedroom at the home of his step-daughter, the last month or two of his life. His obituary was a column and a half, full of accolades and details of his many accomplishments in life.
Springhill Cemetery, Shippensburg, PA
In addition to everything chronicled above, he served for many years on various boards and committees of the East Pennsylvania Eldership of the Church of God. He was actively involved in the organization of the Chatauqua at Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania, of which his great-great-grandaughter (me!) takes advantage of today! He was also a member of the Dauphin County Bible Society, was Chaplain of the Grand Lodge Royal Arch Masons of Pennsylvania, a member of I.O.O.F. and the Valley Encampment and Grand Army Post of Shippensburg; past master of Big Spring Lodge of Masons at Newville, P.H.P. of No. 71 Royal Arch Chapter at Carlisle and P.E.C. of St. John’s Commandery at Carlisle. Whew!
This picture was taken during his tenure in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
I probably know more about this man than any of my other ancestors. His life is very well documented in newspaper archives, and books, letters, pictures and documents saved by the family. This man, my great-great grandfather, truly walked his talk!
I wish I had known him in person.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I’ve done a timeline and I’ve eliminated a lot of “could be’s.” But what about the rest that fit no where, but are baptized, married and buried from THE Kleiss Church in Lancaster? How do they fit in?
The Kleiss family were of the Reformed faith. First born, daughter Phillipina, married a Lutheran against her father’s wishes and was disinherited. The rest of the family learned the lesson well; they remained Reformed.
Patriarch, Johan Philip Kleiss, immigrated on The Snow Good Intent on 23 October 1754. He was a brewer and his Tavern was located on the corner of Queen and Vine Streets, in the heart of the city. Interestingly enough, the Tavern still stands and is being incorporated into the new Convention Center in Lancaster. He was successful in life as indicated by the eleven page inventory of his estate upon his death. Future generations of Kleiss’ also followed the brewing trade. Those that didn’t follow the trade, supported it! OK, that’s a joke, could be a bad joke, but I thought it was funny! A sense of humor seems to help when the situation seems bleak and unsolvable! . . .and probably supporting an establishment like my ancestor’s tavern might help, too! (wink, wink!)
When Philip the senior, died, every son and grandson born after his death was either named John or Philip or a combination of John and Philip. Isn’t that fun? . . . . and it doesn’t help that all of these boys were born within 10 years of the patriarch’s death! or that they all named their sons they same thing!
What I’d like to know is this:
- John P. married to Christiana. He was born 12 June 1815, died 2 Oct 1887, and is buried in Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster. His son must have been John P., born about 1853, died 28 Aug 1909. Which John P. is this? Who’s his daddy?
- John P. Kleiss, married to Amanda Stark. He was born 19 June 1834 and he was a grocer on James Street in Lancaster. They had two children, Jacob Henry and Maggie Elizabeth. Which John P. is this? Who’s his daddy?
- Philip Kleiss married in 1831 to Maria Haag in Harrisburg, PA. Which Philip is this? Who’s his daddy?
- John P. Kleiss, married to Lena, lived in Los Angeles in 1910. I figure he was born in 1874. Which John P. is this? and just who’s his daddy?
- John P. Kleiss, age 17 in 1873, a Weaver, in prison for fornication and bastardy. Which John P. is this? Who’s his daddy? Who’s his grandpa?
- and my personal favorite, John Kleiss who found $900 rolled up in a pair of old window blinds he bought at a public sale in Landisville in 1871. When he returned the money to it’s rightful owner he got a 50 cent reward! Honesty pays? Which John Kleiss was this? and the same question, who’s his daddy?
I have a lot of information on these Kleiss guys, but nothing that fits exactly into a particular family. This family seemed to have no imagination when it came to naming their sons!
If I’m not writing any blogs in the next week or two and you need to find me, check the Kleiss Tavern ~
this group of Kleiss guys is probably driving me to drink!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I love Newspaper archives. Not only do I search for ancestors in them, I read them issue by issue, just to get a feel for the time. And what wonderful results that can yield!
With newspapers now readily available online I can read newspapers anytime day or night. Sites like Genealogy Bank, Ancestry.com, ProQuest, Footnote, Libraries, Historical Societies, Colleges and Archives; all are to be commended for putting these invaluable resources out there for researchers around the world.
It was while I was just going through old newspapers online, that I finally jumped over the brickwall that was my great-greatgrandfather, John Niess.
One evening I was putting in variants of my grandmother’s maiden name and came across a familiar name, and then the date jumped out at me! According to my great-great-grandmother’s obituary, her husband had “preceded her in death nineteen years before.” Since she died in 1905 and the date of the newspaper I was looking at was July of 1886, it was a strong probability, that my John Niess, was the person mentioned in this little blurb.
This deserved to be looked into a little further, so the next morning, I walked on down to the library for a look at the local newspaper’s microfilm. I almost jumped up from the viewer and did a “grateful dance” around the microfilm viewer! (Key word in that sentence is “almost!”) I had finally found his death date! That little blurb from a Philadelphia newspaper led me to this article in a Lancaster newspaper:
DEATH ON THE RAIL
An Old Man struck By a Locomotive and Killed at Mountville
John Neiss, a man aged seventy-seven, was struck and killed by extra engine west, No. 374, of the Pennsylvania railroad, at the east end of the village of Mountville, this forenoon. The property on which the deceased lived is situated along and extended back to the deep cut through which the railroad passes. Between 10 and 11 o’clock a. m. his wife sent him out to empty some potato parlings down the railroad embankment. The bucket containing them fell out of his hand and rolled down upon the track. He went after the vessel, and while standing on the track was struck by the engine. He was not mangled, but died in less than a half hour after he was struck. Coroner Honaman was notified, and he left this city at 2 o’clock for Mountville to hold an inquest.
The deceased had resided in Mountville for some years, and besides a wife leaves several grown children. One of them, a daughter, lives at home. Neiss was crippled in one of his arms and was a laborer.
The more expanded version helped to verify that this was indeed, my great-greatgrandfather. It was just one more fact I learned about his life, thanks to the newspapers online and on microfilm.
Had it not been for those wonderful sites that post newspapers, I would have never found this! I had been searching for his death date for years.
John Niess, you should have let that bucket lay!
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