Saturday, December 31, 2011

Surname Saturday – MOREHEAD

Recorded as Morshead, Moorhead, Morehead, and possibly others, this is a name chiefly to be found in Ulster, Northern Ireland. It is a dialectal of the Scottish locational surname 'Muirhead', which derives from the word "muir", a variant of "moor", and "heid", the head or end (of the moor).

Surnameweb.org states “that the name is from one of the sons of Muireadoch of the Kings of Ireland known to have come over to Scotland in the 6th century and known to be a Clan very ancient.”  The Surname data base website adds that the first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir William Muirhead, which was dated circa 1399 - in the "Records of Lachope", Scotland, during the reign of King Robert III of Scotland, 1390 - 1406.

Our family records begin much later in Virginia with Burrel MOREHEAD.  Burrel MOREHEAD, son of Thomas MOREHEAD, was born abt. 1822 in Virginia.  He married Sarah FLINN (O’FLYNN) abt. 1845 in Virginia.  By 1850, their family relocated to Monmouth, Jackson, Iowa.  In 1870 they were living in Farmer's Creek, Jackson, Iowa.

Burrel and Sarah MOREHEAD had 12 children.  My husband’s family line is traced through Burrel and Sarah’s daughter, Sara Jane MOREHEAD.  Sara Jane married Samuel Davidson DAVIS.

One of our family heirlooms is a Seth Thomas wall clock (ca. 1870) that belonged to Sarah O’Flynn MOREHEAD.  A couple of note cards are tucked inside the clock and are inscribed with Sarah’s family history.

Sarah Morehead's Clock

Family Notes in Sarah Morehead's Clock
These family note cards state that Sarah O’FLYNN married and became Mrs. Sarah O’Flynn MOREHEAD and lived in Virginia.  She gave birth and raised 12 children in her first marriage.  She married again and became Mrs. Sarah ADAMS and raised his five children.
At the time of the 1880 census, Sarah was listed as married, but Burrel was no longer present. 

Research has shown that Sarah’s second marriage was to Abel ADAMS.  Abel was the son of Amasa and Polly ADAMS, who was born in 1821 in East Aurora, Erie, New York. This was a second marriage for both of them.  He was first married to Mary Louisa TEMPLE.  Abel and Mary ADAMS had eight children.

Sarah FLINN (O’FYLNN) MOREHEAD and Abel ADAMS were married on 5 March 1885 in Iowa.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – The Fruitcake

This is a continuing post for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories which is hosted by GeneaBloggers as a means to encourage family historians to write about their holiday traditions. Today’s prompt is Fruitcake– Friend or Foe? 

It's sad that the fruitcake has such a reputation that it would be a blogging prompt on the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.  It's sad, but true that a lot can be said about the holiday fruitcake.

As a kid, I really didn't care much for it.  I would pick out and discard the candied fruit (the cherries and those green things) and eat what was left of the remaining cake and nuts.  As an adult, my tastes matured so that I now enjoy the blend of textures and flavors and consume every bit of the dense confection.

The Old Fashion Claxton Fruit Cake

Every Christmas growing up we would receive a care package from our Virginia relatives that would include a 2‑lb. box of the Old Fashion Claxton Fruitcake along with other goodies like jars of Smithfield ham spread, Christmas Ribbon candy, tins of homemade cookies, and gifts for us kids.  The edibles (cookies and candy) would be gobbled up promptly by our little tribe and then eventually we'd get around to the fruitcake.  Did you know that a fruitcake can last a very, very long time without going bad?

Many years later I thought I would try making my own fruitcake.  Making a fruitcake gives you a different perspective and different options.  Since there are many, many different recipes for making a fruitcake, I chose one that did not include the red cherries or the green things.  I used dried apricots, white raisins, and lots of nuts.  After baking, I wrapped the loaves in cheesecloth drenched in apricot-brandy (the best part) and stored them in the back of my refrigerator for about a month.   The result was delicious!

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – Holiday Parties: Family, Food, and Photos

This is a continuing post for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories which is hosted by GeneaBloggers as a means to encourage family historians to write about their holiday traditions. Today’s prompt is HolidayParties. 

Most of the Christmas holiday parties I experienced as a kid were part of our family gatherings.  There would always be an abundance of food, egg nog (spiked for the adults) or hot chocolate if you didn’t like egg nog, and lots and lots of cookies.  Cheerful holiday music set the tone at the gatherings and provided a festive background while conversations flowed.   

Dressing up was common for these gatherings.  The men usually wore nice slacks, maybe a blazer or perhaps a festive vest or sweater, while the ladies donned skirts and dresses in seasonal greens, reds, or possibly a Scottish plaid.  

Family Gathering + Food/Drink + Cheerful Music + Holiday Dress = Kodak moments.

(Left to right) Elma, Eva, Mary, Alice*, and Fred (sitting in chair).
December 26, 1969 in Richmond, Virginia
Here is a Christmas photo of the EMMERSON siblings
seizing that Kodak (photo) moment. 
*Alice is my maternal grandmother.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – Santa Claus and the Evidence of Believing

This is a continuing post for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories which is hosted by GeneaBloggers as a means to encourage family historians to write about their holiday traditions. Today’s prompt is Santa Claus. 

I checked the word 'believe' in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary today.  It said that to believe is "to accept something as true, genuine, or real."  Furthermore, it means "to accept the evidence of."  Then it struck me, as a genealogist, I am always searching for evidence!

So, instead of "sugarplums dancing in my head," the phrase "There is no truth without proof" resounds.  What I need is evidence.

I do not have any recollection of writing or visiting the magical Santa Claus so I looked though my old photos to help trigger any long forgotten memory.  I found this photo, (no memory triggered here), but it's documented proof that I actually visited Santa.

Frank's Daughter and Santa Claus
ca. 1959
I then looked at my own life and recall receiving many gifts signed, "Santa Claus."  All my siblings and other family members received gifts signed by Santa as well.  Those gift tags have long since been lost (by fire, trash compactor, etc.)

As for his magical qualities, I have to surmise that they exist because how else could I be standing right next to the jolly old elf in Virginia while my husband and his brothers are posed next to him in a similar photo, at the same time, but across the continent in California.

But again, as the family genealogist, the more records I gather, the more confidence I gain to the truthfulness of his existence.  One usually leaves some kind of paper trail; therefore, I turn to historical records.

With the help of FamilySearch, I found Santa Claus on the 1930 U.S. Census living in Marshall, Missouri with other family members but it lists him born in 1888.  I'm not sure, but I believe Santa Claus should be older than this guy (b. abt. 220 A.D.), so perhaps this guy is a cousin or was just named after the famous Claus. There were a couple of other similar occurrences on the U.S. Social Security Death Index - those weren't promising.

This was tough work so I decided to seek guidance on how to determine what kind of proof should suffice.  I typed in a couple of search parameters in Google and found the Genealogical Proof Standard.  I read though its required elements and decided that this is my hobby not my profession!  It's too much work for this article and way too much work to find solid evidence of Santa Claus who is not even in my family tree.  Furthermore, as Thomas MacEntee mentions in the How it Works section of theAdvent Calendar, this is meant to be fun not a burden.

Therefore, I will just take the easy route and just 'believe' with the few facts I have on hand, the historical evidence of my own Christmas past, and let the professional genealogist or the Claus family historian hunt for the proof of this mythical, magical man called Santa Claus.


©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 5, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – Our Outdoor Tree

This is a continuing post for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories which is hosted by GeneaBloggers as a means to encourage family historians to write about their holiday traditions. Today’s prompt is Outdoor Decorations.

I'd say that our old neighborhood had a nice distribution of holiday decorations.  Some eaves were lined with colorful lights, an occasional lighted star, or windows frosted with canned snow.  A good portion of our neighbors got into the spirit of outdoor Christmas d├ęcor, but it would actually be our house that would become a beacon in our neighborhood.

I don't know if the trees were originally on the property or whether they were planted when the house was built in 1947, but when Mom and Dad purchased our California home in the early 1960's, the driveway wrapped around two very tall trees: one pine and one eucalyptus.  The house was positioned on top of a small hill and Dad thought it would be great to string Christmas lights on the pine tree to give a festive touch to our house and our neighborhood.

My Kids Playing with the Old Outdoor Lights

Dad commandeered help from my brothers since they were light and agile and could easily climb up the tall metal ladder that was braced against the tree. The strands had the large orange, red, green and blue painted glass type bulbs; the kind that got very hot within a couple of minutes.  I’m not sure how many strands were used but it was quite a sight once lite and could be seen a couple of neighborhoods away.

Dad installed the lights so that they could be controlled by a switch in the garage.  After New Year's he would disconnect the cord but leave the string of lights up in the branches of the tree.  Each year following, my brothers were sent up to secure the strings and replace any burnt out blubs and any that had lost their colorful paint. 

 
This ritual went on for several years until eventually the follow-up bulb replacement activity ceased and Dad decided to switch the tree lights on during other times...middle of summer, Super Bowl evening, or whenever the festive mood struck him.  As a teenager this became kind of awkward…but, on the brightside (pun intended) we could always find our way home.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – The Ward's First Card

This is a continuing post for the AdventCalendar of Christmas Memories which is hosted by GeneaBloggers as a means to encourage family historians to write about their holiday traditions. Today’s prompt is Christmas Cards.

In October of 1933, my husband’s parents eloped and were married in Mexicali, Mexico.  This is the Christmas card they sent out to friends and family the following year.



Christmas 1934


©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – The Ornaments of New Orleans Christmas Tree

Continuing my post for the GeneaBlogger's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories,today’s writing prompt for the Advent Calendar is Christmas Tree Ornaments:  Did your family have heirloom or cherished ornaments? Did you ever string popcorn and cranberries? Did your family or ancestors make Christmas ornaments?

We have many special ornaments collected through the years:  my daughter’s laminated handprint, a tiny cruise ship from our 25th anniversary, the polymer likeness of my son on a boogie board, my first-born’s photo surrounded by 20-year old candies glued to a paper plate, and many, many others.  Each ornament has a story, and each story is brought to mind every year when they are unpacked and hung on our tree.

But there is another story that has no ornaments, yet those ornaments were very special.
In 1965 my dad received orders for Viet Nam while our family was living on base in Quantico.  After we said goodbye to our relatives we loaded up our station wagon and left Virginia at the start of the Christmas holiday season in route for California.  Our travel plan included a Christmas Eve stop-over at a Holiday Inn in New Orleans.

Room at the Holiday Inn, ca. late 1960's
We set up a small Christmas tree on a side table in our hotel room and we all worked together to decorated it with tiny trinkets, paper snowflakes, gum wrapper chains and foil ornaments.  It was a beautiful little tree that brought the spirit of Christmas to our motel room.  Even though the ornaments were cheap and temporary, I will always remember that wonderful little tree and those very special ornaments.


It was a memorable Christmas and was the last time our family traveled across the country because Dad would retire after his tour in Viet Nam and we would settle in California for good.
 
©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - The Virginia Ham

Continuing my posts for the GeneaBlogger's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, today’s writing prompt is Holiday FoodsDid your family or ancestors serve traditional dishes for the holidays?  Was there one dish that was unusual?

Our Christmas celebration has usually included the holiday ham.

We lived in Falls Church and Quantico, Virginia during our early family years.  So because Mom's family lived in Virginia, it was only natural that we would spend the holidays with them.

Thinking back on those years and prompted by "Holiday Foods," I can't help but be reminded of the distinctive salty taste of the Smithfield Ham which graced many of our holiday tables.

The Genuine Smithfield Ham
As its website states, it's "the ham that made "ham" famous."  The Smithfield Ham is aged for up to a year and dry cured with salt, lots of salt, which gives it a unique flavor unlike anything I've ever tasted.  It's a flavor that you either love or hate; I love it!

The meat is best if sliced paper thin and served on buttered rolls or biscuits to complement its smoky flavor and balance the saltiness.  It also makes great leftovers which can be fried up with eggs for breakfast.

 After our family moved to California, we received Christmas care packages from Virginia which occasionally included a ham, but more often we would receive a couple jars of Smithfield ham spread.  This was just as good to me.  The spread was one of my favorite treats.  Mixed with a little Miracle Whip, the spread would transform any cracker or finger sandwich into a culinary delight.

Nowadays, perhaps not as distinctive as the Southern Smithfield Ham, our family ham tradition continues with a spiral-cut honey glazed ham for our Christmas dinner.  But better than that, a new tradition we share is the Cinnamon-Raisin Monkey Bread served on Christmas morning!  Yum!


©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - The Tinseled Christmas Tree

Like so many, this is my favorite time of year (Thanksgiving through Christmas).  Rich with tradition, surrounded by faith, in the company of family, and saturated with the colors and smells of the season.  Because of all this, I have decided to participate in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.  I will be posting about specific holiday-related topics as prompted by this theme within GeneaBloggers.

Today’s writing prompt for the Advent Calendar is the Christmas Tree:  Did you have a real tree or was it artificial?  How big was the tree?  Who decorated the tree?  What types of Christmas trees did your ancestors have?

One constant in our traditions of Christmas-time growing up, was the tree.  Sometimes it had been table-top size, while other times it towered so high that it looked like it pushed through the ceiling, but it was always a fresh, cut tree purchased from a lot.

Most years, it was Dad who would pick out the tree, tied it on the racks of the station wagon, and hauled it home.   After unwrapped from its tight netted cocoon, he’d set the tree in its stand and let it rest outside over night to allow the branches to relax.  If we were hasty and skipped this step, we’d find the ornamented branches resting on the floor by morning.

Frank's Daugter and Two Brothers
ca. 1961
 The tree always took main stage in the living room but a nice fire in the fireplace complimented the festive theme and added a homey bouquet of smoky pine.    Mom must have thought a fresh tree was a lot of trouble as she filled her vacuum bag with dried up the pine needles, but even she had to admit the fragrance was lovely.

We had a colorful selection of plastic and glass ornaments that we kids would race to hang on the tree.  Then, the icing on the cake or rather the tinsel (icicles) on the tree was the final touch.  The thin statically charged silver strands were pulled from their box and carefully draped over the branches.  It was taboo to drape more than a few strands in one spot and clumps were just not tolerated.  When the tree dried up and was disassembled, the icicles were carefully removed and laid to rest in their box and tucked away for another year.  

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - Our Cosby Men

My two great uncles, my grandfather2 and
my great-grandfather1 in Richmond, Virginia

(Left to Right) Frank, John, Grayson2, and Andrew1 Cosby
©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 28, 2011

Amanuensis Monday – Bob Seeks Employment in America

“An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.”

This could include the following: transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some we never met - others we see a time in their life before we knew them.

Here is a letter from Bob (Ward), living in England, to his Uncle William Ward in America. Bob is seeking employment and relocation advice from his uncle.


  [Letter Transcription]
c/o 3 Cumberland Villas
Milton Road
Gravesend,
Feb. 16 - 1913
Dear Uncle William.
   I am writing you to this address with the hope that should you have moved from it the letter will find its way to you.
   I have it in my mind that you are coming over to England this year, am I correct? because if you do, I want to return with you for the States;  please let me know either way.
   Now I’ve made two changes since you were last over  the first was I got a job in London with a firm of Floating Dock Specialists and from them I came to this place which is opposite Tilbury Docks on the Thames I am now an assistant Mechanical Engineer with a Large Cement Combine £7.000.000 Capital   where I’ve been 18 months and I am fed up with the English system of Engineering.  we are too conservative and ____.  I should be glad if you would give me some advice upon the following.
   What district is most suitable _ to make for,?  I mean where is your Mechanical Engineering quarter?
   What salary ought I to expect as say an Engineer’s Designer, I am getting here 55/- per week?
   Would 50£ carry me over and keep me say 3 months in America  supposing I was that time looking for a berth?
   What time of the year is considered best for arriving in the States?
   I shall be extreemly glad if you can give me any guide of help with regard to the numerous questions and I should also be glad if you would indecate on a paper map the district referred to.
   I have no startling news but I believe you are aware of my Fathers condition and position he does not alter much and keeps on in the same poor style from monthe to month.
   Mother seems to me getting older but manages to keep herself occupied but at times naturally gets a little low spirited    the remainder of the family are all in good health and I hope to hear you and all are in best health   our company by the way has several monopolies in the Cement Industry.  recently have erected on Vancouver Island a cement factory which is to commence output this August and they are now contemplating putting a plant in South Africa and they have plenty of Directors sons and nephews ready to do the tripping.
      Wishing you good health and awaiting news.
      Yours Sincerely
      Bob

[Envelope]
Addressed to:
Return to:
Mr. Wm. Ward
   Azusa
      Los Angeles Co
        Cal
U.S.A
Stamped REGISTERED Gravesend  No. 69


©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Surname Saturday - BREWSTER

BREWSTER is an occupational surname for a brewer of beer or ale - something my husband can appreciate as he crafts his home brew.  Of Anglo-Saxon origin, the name was derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century verb 'breowan', meaning to brew, and was in Middle English 'brewere', meaning a brewer.  Until the 13th Century, the name 'Brewster' was the feminine equivalent of 'Brewer', but after that date the term was used equally for male and female brewers.

Our personal name bearer was William BREWSTER of the Mayflower who founded New Plymouth, (New England).

It’s a famous yet humbling family story.  They were outcast pilgrims who made a treacherous journey toward religious freedom, a freedom worthy of sacrifice, then landed on an icy Plymouth beach in December, with no shelter, no provisions, nor promises to greet them. My paternal American family is descended from William BREWSTER, the leader of that band of outcasts.

Elder William BREWSTER, my 11th great-grandfather, came from Scrooby, in north Nottinghamshire on the Mayflower in 1620 and reached what became the Plymouth Colony. He was accompanied by his wife, Mary Brewster, and his sons, Love and Wrestling.  My family line follows his daughter, Patience, who came to America later on the ship Anne in July 1623.  She married Thomas PRENCE on 5 August 1624 in Plymouth.

Memorial Photo from Findagrave

IN MEMORIAM
ELDER WILLIAM BREWSTER
PATRIACH OF THE PILGRIMS
AND THEIR RULING ELDER 1609 – 1644
OUTSTANDING LEADER OF PILGRIM MOVEMENT.
THE FOUNDING OF PLIMOTH PLANTATION
AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CIVIL AND
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN THE WORLD.
 
B. AT SCROOBY, ENGLAND, CA 1566 7
D. AT PLYMOUTH, N.E. CA APRIL 10, 1644.
A RESIDENT OF PLYMOUTH AND DUXBURY
M. CA 1589 MARY WENTWORTH OF SCROOBY:
B. CA. 1568 9; D. AT PLYMOUTH CA. APRIL 17, 1627
BOTH (MAYFLOWER PASSENGERS) REST
IN UNKNOWN GRAVES IN PLYMOUTH.
POSSIBLY IN OR NEAR BURIAL HILL.
 
ERECTED 1967
THE ELDER WILLIAM BREWSTER SOCIETY

According to the THE ELDERWILLIAM BREWSTER SOCIETY, it is estimated that today there may be as many as 25 million descendants of this little band of Pilgrims that came aboard the Mayflower to the North American shores.


©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 21, 2011

Military Monday - Toys for Tots - Chicago 1956

In 1956, my father was stationed in Chicago with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and was part of the Toys for Tots campaign.  Here in the photo, my father and mother and the mayor and his wife are among the individuals looking on as the young “Tot” joyously receives her gift from Santa.

Toys for Tots - Chicago, IL
(Left) Capt. Frank and Betty Andersen, (Center) "Tot" and Santa, (Right) Mayor Richard J. Daley, and his wife Eleanor
Christmas 1956
Toys for Tots began in 1947 when Diane Hendricks asked her husband, Bill, a major with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in Los Angeles, to deliver a doll she had made to an agency that gave toys to needy children at Christmas.  But, when he discovered that no such agency existed, Diane encouraged him to start one.  That Christmas, Bill and a group of other Marine Reservists delivered 5,000 toys to needy children.

Their project was so successful that, in 1948, the Marine Corps adopted the Toys for Tots program and expanded it nationwide. 

Bill Hendricks, a Marine Reservist on weekends, was in civilian life, the Director of Public Relations for Warner Brothers Studio.  This enabled him to convince a vast array of celebrities to support Toys for Tots.  In 1948, Walt Disney designed the Toys for Tots logo, which we use today.  

In 1956, Nat "King" Cole, Peggy Lee, and Vic Damone recorded a Toys for Tots theme song written by Sammy Fain and Paul Webster.

In 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved Toys for Tots as an official activity of the U. S. Marine Corps and an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve. 

Since 1947, Marines have distributed more than 400 million toys to more than 188 million needy children in approximately 500 communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.  The initial objective that remains the hallmark of the Toys for Tots program today is to “bring the joy of Christmas to America’s needy children.”  Without a doubt, the U.S. Marines have held true to that objective.

For more information on this great program, click on Toys for Tots Foundation.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Church Record Sunday - Peletiah WATSON & Betsy FLETCHER

Here is the record of marriage for Peletiah WATSON and Betsy FLETCHER, my husband’s 3rd great grandparents.  Their union took place on 4 February 1806 in Waterford, Vermont.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Playtime in the Kitchen

Betty Lee's Kitchen in the Kitchen
Hanes Avenue, Richmond, Va, abt. 1933

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Nathan and Nancy DAVIS, Welton, Iowa

DAVIS Tombstone
Seventh Day Baptist Cemetary, Welton, Iowa

Nathan DAVIS was born 19 December 1822 in Warren County, Ohio.  He married Nancy DOTY, who was born 29 June 1823 in Clark, Indiana.   Nathan died in Welton, Iowa, 9 April 1904 and his wife, Nancy died the following year, 15 December 1905.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 14, 2011

Amanuensis - A Letter from Hannah, March 21, 1904

“An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.”

This could include the following:   transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some we never met - others we see a time in their life before we knew them.

A Letter from Hannah in Lee Summit, Mo.
March 21, 1904

Lee Summit
Mo
Monday, March 21/04

Dear Daughter
            I received your letter Saterday I would have written sooner here only once a day when the mailman brings the mail today he will take this letter along as we put the the letters in the box by the roadside as we do not always see him.  Well now I must tell you that we are expecting Earnest here today or tomorrow as they sent him a dispatch to come right away as soon as he could they sent the dispatch Saterday evening this work will be through by the middle of next month they have 2 shovels in running night and day  Effie Dad wants you to ask your Papa if he will Pack that Lubricator Pump in that box with the straw in that is in the trunk room and send it by express as soon as he can and send it by the express co that uses the Rock Island Rd send it to Little Blue in Dads name care of Stubs Flick and Johnson const co.
            Well we called in a Dr and he would not undertake the case as he could not do anythink for me  he said he might as well tell me at first as last he said he could run up a doctors bill but that would be all he could do for me  so Dad is going up to see him and he is going up to see the Dr and he is going to tell him what Dr to take me to in KC and then if I have to go to a specialist he will tell him where to take me to so I do not know what they will do with me that Dr that came here wanted to know if they had used the X ray on me he said he thought it would be a good Idea  I asked him about painting that lump in my neck and he said not to do it well I am tired love to all kisses for Irene from your loving Mother
                                    H Ward
            I hope your Mamma is better
                        Kind regards to the neighbours


I was not sure about the statement, “painting that lump in my neck” until I did a little research.  I believe what Hannah meant was to apply iodine to the lump on her neck. 

Studies had shown that the area around the Great Lakes region had high incident of goiter (swelling of the thyroid in lower neck area).  In the early 1900’s the United States and Canada recognized this problem and had iodine added to the salt supply called “iodized salt.”  Consumption of iodized salt successfully reduced goiter but was not enough to prevent other thyroid problems.

I do not know precisely what happened to Hannah; she may have had a goiter, or it may have been cancer, or something else.  In 1900, Hannah, was in Bohemia Township, Ontonagon, Michigan where her husband and son were employed as stationary engineers.  At the date of this letter, 1904, they were in Lee Summit, Missouri, and the men were operating steam shovels and excavating rock and grading for Stubbs, Flick & Johnson Construction Company of Kansas City.  By the 1910 census, her husband, William was a widow in California.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved