Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dr. John Edward Clark - The Early Years (1850-1877)

Dr. John Edward Clark, my Grandma Jayne's maternal Grandfather, was the focus of my first genealogical report (a 5th grade book report) and still to this day one of my favorite ancestors to research. He had an outstanding medical career in Detroit that spanned 58 years.

John was born to Frederick John & Ellen (Petley) Clark on January 13, 1850 in Worlington, Suffolk, England. He was baptized February 10, 1850 in the Terrington St. Clement Church.

The Clark family (Frederick, Ellen, John, Mary, Robert, & Ellen) immigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada on the SS City of New York in August 1856 and settled in Norwich, Ontario before May 1857. 

At the age of 15, John joined the Canadian Rebellion and received the Queen’s Medal for Veterans of Fenian Raids in 1866 for active service. Shortly after serving, he continued his education in New York before enrolling at Victoria College in Toronto, Canada. 

After successfully completing the preliminary examination in 1874, John left Ontario for Ann Arbor, Michigan to study medicine at the University of Michigan. In July 1877, John graduated as president of his class and started his medical practice in Detroit, Michigan.

To be continued...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cheers To My Maternal 2nd Great Grandfathers

I would consider myself fortunate to have the four maternal 2nd Great Grandfathers that I have. They were all extremely successful, not just with their careers (a physician/county chemist, a pharmacist/ink & mucilage manufacturer, a cooper/inventor/factory supervisor, and a lumber baron) but also in their communities. They all were devoted to their families and perhaps that is why, throughout the decades, they have always been held in the highest regard when spoken of.This certainly made it a lot easier to find information on them even without the internet, a drivers license,  and a "street light" curfew in the early 90's.

Birth: 13 Jan 1850
Worlington, Suffolk, England

Death: 19 Sept 1934
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

Birth: 29 Jul 1860  
Hondingen, Villingen, Baden, Germany

Death: 09 Jun 1932  
Riverside, Essex, Ontario, Canada 

Birth: 20 Jun 1848
Victor, Ontario, New York

Death: 25 Jun 1912  
Gaylord, Otsego, Michigan

Birth: 17 Nov 1853  
Allumette Island, Quebec, Canada

Death: 24 April 1924  
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

May they rest in peace. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mrs. Elizabeth (Epperson) Hodson - Death overtakes woman while she sings at work

While working on my paternal side today, I noticed a bunch of wiggling leaves when I was adding a few items to the profile of my 2nd Great Grandmother, Elizabeth (Epperson) Hodson. I was pleasantly surprised that a fellow Hodson family researcher had uploaded a copy of her obituary on the front page of the Joplin Daily Globe, which was published 4 Sep 1910.

Elizabeth was born 5 Apr 1858 to James Hamilton and Nancy Jane (Pyle) Epperson in Cedar County, Missouri. Elizabeth married John Benjamin Franklin Hodson on 15 Aug 1886 in Joplin, Jasper, Missouri. She was divorced from her first husband, James Cobb, with whom she had four children with. John and Elizabeth would add another four children to their family during their marriage of 24 years.

Since it was a bit hard to read, I have transcribed the obituary the best I could. I believe a word or two had been omitted in the 7th paragraph when it was printed. My Great Grandmother, Arulia Hodson (who I refer to as my doppleganger) is listed as "Ruhler" in the article.

   Gaily singing a popular song while
doing the family washing in the kitchen
of her home on Smelter Hill yesterday
morning at 8:30 o’ clock, Mrs. Elizabeth
Hodson was suddenly attacked by a
deadly hemorrhage of the lungs and
bled to death in less than five minutes.
  She had not been sick since childhood
and had never before had hemorrhages.
At the coroner’s inquest held yesterday
afternoon at 3 o’clock a verdict of death
from pulmonary apoplexy was rendered.

           Had Never Been Ill
  Mrs. Hodson, who was 52 years old,
weighed almost 200 pounds and has al-
ways been exceptionally healthy for a
woman of her age.
  Yesterday morning at about 7:20
O’clock she arose and after cooking
the breakfast began doing the family
washing in a large tub in the little
kitchen of their home on Smelter Hill,
just west of the Ino Mine.
  Her little children were playing in
the backyard and no one was in the
room with her. Suddenly she was
seized with a violent fit of coughing
and before many second elapsed she
began to cough up blood.
  Frightened by this, she called to her
children in the back yard and ran out
on the back porch screaming that she
had a hemorrhage. The children were
frightened at the sight of the blood,
which was now gushing in a large
stream from their mother’s mouth, and
ran to tell the neighbors.
  Mrs. Hodson finally became exhausted
from the lost of blood and ran into the
sat down on the floor and slowly bled
to death.

          Help Is Too Late
  Three or four minutes before her
Death Mrs. N. Pickett and Mrs. Simpson
Arrived at the house, having been told
Of their mother’s injury by the chil-
dren. The dying woman, who was
unable to talk, motioned in Mrs. Pick-
ett to come around behind her and hold
her head up to stop the flow of blood.
This she did and propped up in the wo-
man’s arms Mrs. Hodson died.
  Her husband, who was working in the mines,
was notified of his wife’s death and
hurried to the house.
  The body was removed to the morgue
of the Huribut Undertaking Company.
Mrs. Hodson was born in Jasper coun-
ty and had lived here practically all her
life, being the oldest settled of Smel-
ter Hill. She is survived by her hus-
band, Frank Hodson, three daughters,
Mrs. Effie Crowapian, No 202 Virginia
Avenue, Ruhler, aged 10 years and Ha-
zel, 9 years old, and one boy, Hodson,
who is 13 years old.
  The funeral services will be held
Monday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock from
the residence on Smelter Hill.  Inter-
ment will be in Fairview cemetery.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Unfortunate End Of Lyman Thorp

Over the years, there have been quite a few collateral relatives, for one reason or another, I've semi adopted. One in particular, Lyman Thorp, has always been one of my favorites. Born in Watertown, New York in 1827, Lyman was the third son of Ebenezer Hudson and Lucinda (Gray) Thorp. He led a pretty decent life for being a deaf mute in the 1800’s. He attended school, always seemed to have a job at census time, and even married and had three children. After I found Lyman’s Missouri death record (struck by locomotive in Knob Noster, Missouri), I always wondered why my 3rd great-granduncle was so far from his Tecumseh, Michigan home at the time of his death. Earlier this year, I finally found out.

I came across this newspaper article containing a letter written by an upstanding Knob Noster citizen, John Carr, to Lyman's wife, Pluma, who was also a deaf mute. Mr. Carr was kind enough to report the unfortunate last few hours of Lyman's life.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Never thought I'd be a blogger but I go where genealogy takes me

Welcome to Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches Genealogy. I'm Deidre Erin, one of the twisted twigs.

I've began researching my family tree at the inquisitive age of 12 after discovering an error on my Grandma Jayne's framed Mayflower family tree. While researching my 10th Great-Grandfather, Edward Winslow, it turned out that Edward  was actually a Great-Granduncle. His brother, Kenelm, was my 10th Great-Grandfather. That's where a mild interest in my family tree became the full on obsession it is today.

I've been asked quite a few times why I chose the name "Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches". Maybe because I thought I was half Sicilian until I was 13 (Grandma Jayne remarried when my Mom was 12 and had a few more kids). Perhaps it was the four fun filled months I spent creating a Kennedy/McDonell family tree just using St. Alphonse Roman Catholic Church records from Chapeau, Quebec. No, I didn't go off the genealogical deep end. That project (5-6 hrs a day, 7 days a week) was just to figure out which Kennedy family my orphaned 2nd Great Grandma (Kennedy) Fitzpatrick belonged to. The pay off was huge and I'm currently working on my application for United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada (UELAC) membership. The twists and turns can be a bit overwhelming at times so there will be an accompanying clip from my tree when possible. 

I am blessed to have had ancestors that held government positions, founded towns, came to America on well researched ships, fought in wars and applied for pensions (or their widows did). They also attended churches that protected their vital records and enjoyed being in the newspaper. Of course, there are a few that I swear were in the witness protection program even before such a program existed and quite a few black sheep that 
always found themselves in some sort of trouble. After 20 years of research, I am pretty pleased with my progress.    

Anyways, lets see what becomes of this. I'm dedicating this blog to my Mom, who drove me batty with her trips down memory lane during vacations at the family cottage. Her "when I was <insert age here>" stories were full of viable family history (dates, names, locations, etc) and all I could focus on was fishing the summer away. As I entered my teenage years, the trips to the cottage with Mom became less frequent and the stories were lost forever when Mom developed Alzheimer's in 2005. What I wouldn't give to go back to those vacations and "pay attention" as my Grandma Jayne would say.