Today, on this glorious spring day, April 12, 2014, Saturday, I hiked around Atsion Lake (which is open again) with my friends, Barb Solem, Barb Spector and Trixie. It couldn't have been prettier and I fancied I could smell the fragrance of newly awakened earth, green growing things and sweet flowers.
When I returned home, after opening the windows, putting in the screens and making 6 washcloth and soap Easter bunnies (I will gladly tell you how to do it if you let me know you are interested - it is my all time favorite Easter craft - firstname.lastname@example.org) I finished a book I have been reading and began a new one.
The book I finished was the 2nd of 3 recommended at the Ancestry Day convention in Philadelphia. It is THE LOST GERMAN SLAVE GIRL, by John Bailey and I strongly recommend it not only for those interested in family history and American history, but also to any interested in the pre-Civil War years or American Law, Indentured Servitude, German immigrants, or issues of Slavery. The shortest possible description of the text is that it deals with the struggles of a woman alleged to have been a German indentured servant, orphaned and forced into slavery in New Orleans. You'll have to read it to find out what happened!
The one I just began already shows itself to be highly entertaining in the first chapter. It is MAN OF WAR, by Charlie Schroeder; one man's adventures in re-enactment. Needless to say this would appeal to anyone interested in re-enactment, history, or humor.
Now, I am in the process of scanning and printing a dozen precious family photographs loaned to me for one week by my Uncle Joseph Lyons in Philadelphia. It gives me the greatest pleasure to finally come face to face with the elusive great grandfather I have tracked for a few years, William C. Garwood of Turnersville, who went to Philadelphia to join the Merchant Marines and fell in love with a young woman whose grandfather owned a prosperous hostelry and cartng business on the waterfront, Hiram McQuiston. The young woman was Mary Lavinia McQuiston, one of a long line of Lavinias coming into the present in my daughter, Lavinia Jones-Wright, and travelling back throough at least two generations behind Mary Lavinia McQuiston (known as Mame). Her mother was Lavinia Johnston, whose parents came from Ireland, and one of whom was named Lavinia also, though I have not as yet tracked down her maiden name. To anyone working in family history it is no news to say that family history is a long and detailed process that never ends until you do.
William C. Garwood served on the U.S.S. Yorktowne among other ships. I have felt all along as though he had reached out to me through time to remember him and bring him into my world. I believe it is true that you can love family members you have never met. My mother loved William C. Garwood, her grandfather, very much and talked of him often.
Well, I haven't been traveling to many historic places recently but I'm off to Pottsgrove Manor next week. However history lives with me every day in a number of ways and I'm always happy to share in my history experiences with those of you who have been showing up in my statistics as daily visitors! Don't be strangers, write my e-mail sometime and say hello! I'm always happy to hear from you as well. I've heard from people in regard to Slimm's Ranch (and by the way, I met a member of the Slimm family yesterday at the Timber Creek Dog Park), and the Whitall House, and other topics.
Happy Trails, wagging tails! Jo Ann (and Trixie)