Family Wedding – Day 5 of #30DayFHWChallenge

Grandpa Glenn Archer "Archie" Stewart and grandchildren, Taylor and Noah Garnes. 30 April 2005

Grandpa Glenn Archer “Archie” Stewart and grandchildren, Taylor and Noah. 30 April 2005

The prompt for day 5 of the #30DayFHWChallenge is to select your favorite family photo, and write about the moments just before and/or after the photo was taken. Why was it taken? Was your ancestor happy to be in it?

This is a weird/hard one for me because as I’m not close with my mom’s side of the family, I don’t have very many pictures of them.  As children though, we did most of our family type events with that side of the family so while there are many, many pictures of us at family events, I don’t have access to them. But before I became estranged from that side, I was lucky enough that my mother gave me a few pictures so I do have “some” from my childhood remaining. Maybe someday she’ll pass them on but who knows? I have what I have and I cherish them.

New Obituary for Clara Lou – Day 4 Family History Writing Challenge

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My grandparents, Archie and Clara Lou (Peters) Stewart, circa 1995-1996.

Day 4 of the #30DayFHWChallenge is to write an obituary for an ancestor. Be sure to include information about any surviving ancestors, the deceased’s occupation, and his age at death.

My grandma, Clara Lou Peters Stewart, died in September of 2002.  While my aunt, who is the gossip columnist for our local paper, wrote a fitting tribute to her and said thank you for those who helped with her battle against polycystic kidney disease,  I always felt my grandmother’s original obituary was quite lacking.  I know it’s hard to pack all the details of one’s life into a few short paragraphs and surely things do get omitted.  This would be my obituary from a grandchild’s perspective.

The Home of Captain Woodhull – Day 3 Family History Writing Challenge

This is the Woodhull Dairy Farm, which I believe is the mansion that Jesse built. His grandsons had a prominent dairy farm in the mid 1850's.

This is a stereoscopic card of the Woodhull Dairy Farm in Orange County I purchased some time ago. His grandsons owned and operated a prominent dairy farm in the mid 1850’s and even laid fame to the first butter factory. (Click to enlarge.)

Day 3’s prompt for the #30DayFHWChallenge is:  Imagine your ancestor getting the keys to his first house or car. Write a journal entry from his point of view that describes the car/place and his feelings about it. 

Because I love my Woodhull connections and have learned so much about the Orange County Woodhulls that lived here near me, I wanted to write about Captain Ebenezer Woodhull (again) and what his home must have been like compared to that of his brother Colonel Jesse Woodhull.  Jesse’s home was vividly described in a 1920 article as being a “mansion”, which would match his prominence in the county post-Revolutionary War. From my research, Ebenezer seemed to be the opposite of his outspoken and more politically active brother.  He was likely religious – his will is a testament to God giving him everything and blessing him throughout his life. A traveling preacher even recorded a brief stay  there on the captain’s farm during his travels through the county. While he did have some fortune when he died, it paled in comparison to his brother’s wealth. He seems most content with being just a simple farmer and raising his nine children with his wife in the countryside of Blooming Grove/Oxford.  Ebenezer, his wife and many of their children are buried on the same land they lived on in a small family cemetery plot on a back country road.

Journal Entry for May 1766

I have built a small comfortable house in the countryside of Oxford where I will bring my bride soon and I hope Abigail will be happy here.  It’s quite meager, unlike Jesse’s large estate nearby or even that of my ancestral home on Long Island… what need does a farmer have of such an extravagant home?  I think it will be a fine place to raise our children in the future. The house is surrounded by ample pastures for the horses and cattle to roam and there are trees as far as the eye can see, extending all the way to the mountains in the distance.  Farming will be good here in the rich, fertile flat lands and I’m quite sure Abigail will tend a vegetable garden near the house. Murderer’s Creek is nearby where I can fish or even hunt the deer who come from the forest to drink there.  It’s practically perfect here in this part of the country and I pray to the Almighty that we might reside here in peace forever.

~Eben. Woodhull

 

Dear Esther – Family History Writing Challenge Day 1

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The Cincinati Equirer, 24 Jan 1914, Page 3

As part of the #30DayFHWChallenge, I am writing this letter to my second great-grandmother who was murdered in 1914 by her husband, William, before he shot himself as well.  I’ve written about Esther and William’s sad story before and the tragic ending of their two orphaned boys who would go on to kill themselves when they were adults as well.

In my quest to understand what happened that horrible day, I’ve gobbled up every bit of information I can find regarding William and Esther looking for clues and signs to explain why this had to happen. Most people would probably just shake their head at the tragedy and move on, but as a victim of abuse myself in the past, I wonder if she knew it was escalating to that point of no return.  This is my letter to her….