Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 12, 2010 HCGS meeting - HEIRLOOMS

The June meeting of the Honolulu County Genealogical Society was Saturday, June 12th. The first part of the meeting was a group discussion about various topics inclusind the pilot portion of which is easy to access (click pull down tab "Search Records" --> "Records Search Pilot") and has more and more significant small databases now digitalized and indexed.  Also mentioned was the Family History Library Catalogue for resources available at LDS Family History Centers.  Additionally the DNA research concept of autosomal DNA  testing with FamilyTreeDNA and 23AndMe were discussed.
    The main portion of the meeting was about Heirlooms and their original owners.  Several members brought an heirloom to show the group and tell about the ancestor that originally owned it.
        Suzanne Case  brought a beautiful Wisconsin winter scene painted by her grandmother, Mertie Livermore b. 1871 in 1883.  Her grandmother lived in Beaver Dam, WI at the time.   Her married name was Espenett.  The most unique part of the painting is that it was done on a plate made of paper mache!  It was creatively recessed into an open frame and attached with velcro.    In addition Suzanne showed a book, compiled by her sister, called "The Livermore Family Stories" which includes stories of the family ancestors.
See below:

Lelani Pyle brought a unique necklace owned by her grandmother, Phebe Jane Fouts, mae of tiny metal beeds, seed pearls and a pendant of mother of pearl.  It had two strands and doesn't have any history of it in particular.  However her grandmother was quite unique herself.  Born Phebe Jane Fouts in Benson County, Iowa.  At some point she changed her name to Birdie May Baxter.  About 1874, she taught school in 1882-83 in Lawrence, Kansas.  There she married Adna G. Clark in 1897,  and became an Army Officer's wife.  Her husband had an illustrious Army career and rose to the rank of Colonel.  He was stationed in Hawaii and they moved to Hawaii in 1919.  As Jane Comstock Clark she attended the University of Hawaii, receiving a B.A. in literature, and became a published poet.  One of the poetry books she wrote about Hawaii was brought to the meeting.  It also included poems in the Hawaiian language.
  Photos below are Lailani Pyle holding the necklace which is pictured next.  Then photo of her grandmother, Jane and her Army officer husband, Adna Clark.  Finally the photo of Jane Clark in Hawaii.

Jim Deutch brought a photograph of his father, Charles Nathaniel Deutch, in his Ford Roadster car.  His father was born in 1897 and lived in Buffalo, New York for many years.  But later in life moved to St. Louis Missouri.  the photograph was taken about 1920 and shows his mother(?) and grandparents, Jacob and Fanny Deutch.  He told an intersting story of a chism between the brothers and one how his surnamed changed changed from Dutch to Deutch and even Dietch in the same line.  See the photo of Jim below:

Harriet Hoffman brought a book of a collection of her grandfather, J. J. Goodman's, essays in Yiddish.  Written at the turn of the 20th century, her grandfather, born abt 1863 and originally surname was Chernoff, immigrated from Russia in 1890.  He moved on to Winnepeg, Canada working as an immigration officer for the railroad during its westward expansion in southern Canada, eventually becoming a journalist for a Winnepeg newspaper.  He spoke ten Slavic languages and was undoubtedly influenced by the "Time of Enlightenment" for Jewish / Yiddish authors, and by the Russian socialist environment where he was raised and educated.  One day Harriet's cousin, Leah, while doing genealogical research in the Winnepeg historic newspapers, discovered an ad for a literary meeting to discuss a new book of essays by her grandfather.  This collection of essays, in book form, was then traced to an old copy at the Amherst University Library, in Massachusetts.  It was in Yiddish and had been digitalized at the Yiddish Book Museum through the generosity of movie director, Stephen Speilberg.  Harriet and Leah could not rest until they found a translator and had the essays accurately translated from Yiddish to English... a daunting task.  Through serendipidous circumstances, they found Hannah, in New York, who has done a tremendous work in the translations.  The result is that Harriet has now contracted with an online publisher of books, and at last, the Goodman family is going to be able to read J. J. Goodman's book and gain a unique insight into the perspective of a Russian Jewish immigrant of the time.  And from understanding their progenator's struggles, they can better understand themselves.
Below is a photo of Harriet and the Yiddish book of J. J. Goodman's essays, written in the early 1900's with a notebook of those pages in English translation.


After seeing Suzanne Case's grandmother's painted plate, Susan Ledger Steele Victor was reminded of the China painting her mother, Frances Margaret Speaker, and her mother's four sisters painted many years ago.  The five sisters' plates are online at the speaker Family website.  Susan had a tough time as a child trying to understand why her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage didn't qualify her for being just like her classmates, who were Dutch, from the Netherlands.  And they even only lived 30 miles from Holland, Michigan, to boot!  Susan has done a great deal of research and besides the Speaker line from England, her family is hoping to complete more of their German line before they go on a trip to Germany next year.  Her grandfather was Wiant Speaker.  Below is a picture of Susan Victor with some of her genealogy:


Donna Hague Wendt brought a letter opener that belonged to her father, Alfred Vincent Hague.  She remembers him opening the mail every evening after work in his rocker in the living room.  The letter opener is shaped like a propeller.  Vince Hague, b. 1909 Des Moines, Iowa, was always an airplane buff, from the days he was a wing-walker on biplanes when he was a teenager - and until his father found out!  He also became a private pilot, and was a Captain in the Civil Air Patrol.  One night Donna was watching a TV documentary about Charles Lindberg and the Spirit of St. Louis airplane.  The propeller looked just like the letter opener.  She researched it online and discovered that it was a replica of the propeller made for the Spirit of St Louis's memorable flight across the Atlantic.  No wonder that propeller-letter opener found it's way into the house.  See photo of Donna with the propeller and photos of her father and the original Spirit of St Louis propeller manufacturer.


Claudette Derricotte, Martha Reamy and Jean Neuer brought lots of home cooked food for a morning snack and a wonderful buffet brunch.   It was absolutely delicious and there was so much food that everyone was given food to take home.

1 comment:

theBestArts said...

Please let Lailani Pyle know that I'm her cousin. I have several photos and documents about her ancestors, including a long biography written by her great-grandmother, Ellen Alice Ireland, that I'd be happy to share with her.

I'd love to hear from Lailani. My email address is kevin at irelanddavis dot com.

Thank you,
Kevin Ireland
Atlanta, GA