Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday - The Bean Family Plot in Waterville, Quebec

My mother and I visited Greenwood Cemetery in Waterville, Quebec in September. We had been here four years ago, but that was after six inches of snow fell the night before we drove up from Long Island. This time it was a chilly but crisp and sunny morning and I was ready to get to work.

Although the stone was wet and therefore darker the last time we were here, I'm sure that this stone has been cleaned. I have a distant cousin in the area and I have heard that she and her husband clean stones.

The footstones did not appear to have been cleaned, and in fact, had quite a bit of moss that had to be removed from the letters (with just my gardening glove-covered hands) before I could take photos. Thank goodness for the plastic tarp-covered pillow that I made part of my cemetery kit last year, it really saved my knees!

Denison Bean was my 2nd great-grandfather. He and Jane Louisa Emery were married in 1872 and had five children, two of whom are buried in this plot.

Next to Denison and Jane is their youngest son, Harold Bean, his wife Lena Hill and their daughter Jessie Eva Bean. Their footstone is a completely different style than the rest of those in this plot and is so overgrown it is almost illegible.

Frederick William Bean was Denison and Jane's eldest son.

He married Amelia Hannah Hodgson in 1901 and together they had seven children.

Two of their children are buried here.

It must have been readily apparent when Amelia Irene Bean was born that she would not survive, according to church records, she was baptized the same day she was born and buried the following day.

Verna Kathleen Bean was Amelia and Frederick's second child and eldest daughter.

Dennison and Jane had three other children; Frank Denison Bean who died just before his 5th birthday and is buried in a cemetery a couple of miles away, Sylvia Emilia Bean who married Samuel Smith and moved to Vermont, and my great-grandmother Eva Maude Bean who married in 1901 and is buried with her husband in next door North Hatley.

Frederick and Amelia's eldest child, Hubert Bean, moved to California and is buried there. I haven't yet researched their other children; Marion Bean, Percival Bean, Gordon Bean, and Frederick Bean.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Baldwin Veterans Memorial Plaza - Long Island, NY Part I

Baldwin is a village or hamlet on the south shore of Nassau County on Long Island, NY and is next to the village where I live. It also has a lovely veterans memorial, part of a larger park with a pond that is especially pretty in the fall. I had been meaning for months to get over there and take photos for an Honor Roll post. If I had any idea of the number of names on the WWII veterans memorial, I would have made a better effort!

If you would like a close-up photo of a name on any of these monuments, please let me know, I live very close.

The two men mentioned on this sign also have memorial plaques.

To the Memory of Lt. Bernard James Ray, C.M.H.

In Honor and Memory of Sp. 5 John J. Kedenburg, C.M.H.

Behind these stones are the memorials to those from Baldwin who were killed in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

Robert T. Hansen
Donald W. Gallagher
Joseph Levison

Donald R. Baxter
Raymond A. Becker
Stanley Bedell
W. Cartwright Celler
Edward A. Clark, Jr.
William I. Deacon
Melford Elderd
Milton L. Emery
Carman J. Fasanella
Frank Fasanella
Raymond T. Foley
Alfred S. Forsyth
Arthur C. Forsyth
Joseph D. Harper
John R. Hale
Alfred W. Hale, Jr.
John F. Harbrecht
Edward N. Harrison
Joseph L. Heim
Leonard D. Hosford
Robert C. Kunz
William J. Lang
Frederick W. Lobenstein
John w. MacLachlan
Robert C. Marius
Theophile P. Masterson
Caswell A. Mayo III
Harold T. McDermott
Thomas F. McKeon
Alexander McKinley
Bernard F. McSorley
William N. Mitchell
George C. Mohr
Ernest A. Naumann
David H. Newbery
John Nierengarden
Daniel J. O'Leary
Samuel Olsen
John Pobeschein
George W. Pratt
Bernard J. Ray
Charles T. Reed
Willard E. Rozelle
John E. Russell
Lawrence Russell, Jr.
Philip K. Scott
Timothy J. Shea
David A. Teale
Otto Viegelmann
Walter G. Vogel
Charles J. Weigand
Clifford F. Wick
Robert F. Winberg

Charles Garity
Anthony A. Giretti
Arthur Gliden
Richard W. Harper
James S. Hay
Peter H. Heissenbuttel
John J. Ludecker
George W. Mainardi
Charles M. Reed
Kenneth M. Roraback

Just to the right of these monuments is a plaque dedicated to "those from Baldwin who served in the Armed Forces in the Persian Gulf" ; there are no names on this plaque.

All the way to the right is a monument to those who lost their lives in WWI.

Oliver M. Bedell
Louise E. Byrne
Omar Lawrence
Harvey Miller
Charles J. Smith
Walter R. Stenzel

Then in the middle is the largest monument in the park; another larger WWII monument recognizing all the men and women from Baldwin who served in WWII, in addition to those killed. The list is quite long, over 2,200 names by my estimation. I'll be publishing those names in another post.

I am transcribing these names as part of Heather Wilkinson Rojo's Honor Roll Project. Please consider transcribing the names from memorials in your town or from a memorial where one of your ancestors is listed. It's a great way to help your fellow genealogists and a great way to honor the service of your ancestors and all veterans, by helping their descendants find them.

In 2016 I transcribed the names on the monuments in Rockville Centre, NY, where I live. On Veterans Day of 2017, a woman found her grandfather's name in my post through a Google search and let me know. She and her mother were very excited and were planning a trip to RVC to visit the memorial. It's that easy to make a difference.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday - Then and Now

Elizabeth Dean was the sister of my great-grandfather, James Louden Dean, and her headstone was one of those I photographed on our recent trip to Quebec.

Chas. J. Morrissette
Born Aug. 3, 1873
passed away
June 17, 1907
He giveth his beloved rest.

As you can barely see, this is another headstone with an epitaph like those of her uncle, aunt, and cousins that I shared in my previous Tombstone Tuesday post, it reads, "He giveth his beloved rest."

I photographed this headstone once before in November of 2000. Amazingly, to me anyway, that was seven years before I started researching my family. I was anxious to photograph this stone again because my 2000 photo was taken with a disposable camera and the colors had faded.

But it turns out that the old photo was really not that bad and it shows that the stone itself was in much better shape 18 years ago.  Between this and the missing headstone from another earlier post, I am really sorry that we skipped one of the cemeteries that we did on this visit. I know it would have been too much on my back but it is a pioneer cemetery, very old and surrounded by a huge Christmas tree farm, I need to get there soon.

I know there are only so many hours in a day and there are so many important projects out there, but something like this really motivates me to get out there with my camera whenever I can.

Elizabeth Dean married Charles J. Morrissette in January of 1895 and had twins, Gordon and Ella, that October. Elizabeth died in 1907. Gordon Morrisette, his wife Marjorie Reed and Ella are buried together near Elizabeth. I have not yet been able to trace Charles after the 1911 census.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday - Robert Dean and Family

Robert Dean was the brother of my 2nd great-grandfather, John Dean.

Robert's father-in-law owned a farm that was adjacent to John's in North Hatley, Quebec which Robert eventually purchased. Robert, his wife Elizabeth Fish, and their young adult daughters are buried in the same cemetery as John and his wife and mother-in-law and I photographed their headstones when I was there in September.

One thing I noticed as I photographed these headstones, aside from their unfortunate condition, is that each one had an epitaph.

Robert's says, "Because I live, ye shall live also. John XIV, 19."

Elizabeth's reads, "For her to live for Christ to die was gain."

Alice Maude, Robert and Elizabeth's daughter, died at age 18 in 1895. Her epitaph reads, "God knows the way He holds the key He guides us with unerring hand. Somewhere with tearless eyes we'll see and there, up there, we'll understand."

Bernice Elizabeth died at age 20 just seven years later. Her epitaph was the most difficult to read, I believe it says, "God gave He took He will restore. He doeth all things well."

This plot tells such a sad story, but it is nice that they are all together here and these epitaphs, which I haven't seen on a lot of my family's stones, are one more thing that links them together.

Robert and Elizabeth had a son, Noble Elliot, who lived to age 54 and another daughter, Mary Louise, who lived to 94.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Remembering some of my Veteran Ancestors

Herbert Austin Smith, older brother of my maternal grandfather, went overseas with the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles on 24 October 1915.

He was taken prisoner at Ypres on 2 June 1916 and was held in Germany for the duration of the War.

Lt. Col. George W. Smith, OBE, ED, CD, my paternal grandfather, served in both world wars, though his WWI service was brief and he never saw combat. His battalion arrived in France on 4 November 1918.

He was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his service and leadership in World War II. He was commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Engineers, having been active in the local militia between the wars.

His youngest brother, William John White Smith and two nephews, George Robert and Walter Herbert Smith, also served in the second world war.

George Robert Smith is in the kilt, George W Smith is two over to the right, and William John White is next to George W, with the broad smile.

L/Cpl. Lawrence Nimmo Dean was my maternal grandmother's baby brother. He was killed in action by shell fire in Nijmegen, Holland, 2 June 1945, five weeks before V.E. Day after surviving a motor cycle accident in England and the Italian campaign where he was shot twice.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Research and Analysis - A Lesson Learned

Back in February, I wrote a post about my maternal great-grandmother Eva Maude Bean and the conflicting evidence of her year of birth. To review:

  • Her headstone gives the year as 1876 (Pretty sure I had that in my Ancestry tree for years).
  • There was no civil registration of births in Quebec in the 19th century.
  • Eva's baptismal record gives her date of birth of 23 April 1874 but she was baptized at age 17.
  • The 1881 census enumerated in early April states Eva's age as 6, giving us a birth year of 1874.
  • The 1891 census enumerated in mid-April states Eva's age as 17, giving us a birth year of 1875.
  • The 1901 census gives Eva's date of birth as 23 April 1874.
  • The 1911 census gives Eva's month and year of birth as April of 1874.
  • Eva died in 1916 and her father was alive.
  • I have not yet found cemetery records or any records regarding the purchase and engraving of her headstone.
As part of my research into the Beans, I began working on a timeline for her nuclear family. At the time I was mostly trying to work out their ever-changing religious affiliation, but I could have used the timeline for this date of birth issue as well - if I hadn't let my preconceived notions get in the way.

As I was writing my last post about Eva's brother's headstone I realized that HE was born in 1876, making it even less likely that Eva's headstone is correct. Yes, there are issues with the documentation of Frank's year of birth also, but they are very minor. And yes, it is possible that Jane could have had two babies in the same calendar year and even eight months apart, but it is improbable.

But what really ticked me off as I had this realization last night, was that I hadn't had it in February when I was writing the post about Eva or in March when I was putting that timeline together.

1. No one lives in a vacuum. Members of the same family and same household should always be considered and investigated, especially when trying to calculate ages or discover a date of birth.

2. If I am not willing to state that I have come to a conclusion about any fact of an ancestors life, but I do have theories, they should both be in that timeline, not just the theory I am leaning towards. That could prejudice my eventual conclusion. And if I had put Eva's alternate birth year in the timeline, I would have seen that it was the same year as Frank's birth and had this epiphany months ago.

Of course, this is not the end of the world, we're not talking about a fact that would alter the rest of my tree or even this branch or send an unwitting cousin down a rabbit hole for the wrong family or anything drastic, but it did make me give myself a little head smack.

Mistakes are how we learn things for ourselves in a way that no webinar or conference, no matter how great the speaker, can teach us. So, as I work on my research and analysis skills, I will be analyzing my data a little differently from now on and asking myself new questions. This is one mistake I intend to learn from.