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We all have a story to tell. Some speak louder than others. Listen closely to hear the stories of our ancestors echoing under our footsteps. They are the authors. We are the keepers.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Herstoryan's Hearth: Poultry For Invalids (1880)

Soyer, Alexis. The Modern Housewife, or Menagere Comprising nearly One Thousand Receipts for the Economic and Judicious Preparation of Every Meal of the Day, and those for the Nursery and Sick Room; with Minute Directions for Family Management in all its Branches. Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., London. 1880. pp 59-60


129. ROAST CHICKEN. - Procure a nice plump chicken, which draw and truss, and cut the sinews; pass the spit through under the skewer as usual, and set it down before a clear fire: after being there five minutes, have ready a pat of butter, in the bowl of a wooden spoon, with which rub the chicken all over; if the fire is too fierce, put it back a short distance, that it may roast of a yellowish-brown colour; when a light smoke arises from the chicken, which will be in about twenty minutes from the time it is put down, it is done; but to be quite sure whether a bird is done, the better way is to press it lightly with your finger and thumb; should it feel quite set, it is sufficiently cooked.

130. BOILED CHICKEN. - Put a quart of water to boil in a saucepan, with a saltspoonful of salt, and two ounces of butter; when boiling lay in the chicken, which keep gently simmering for twenty minutes, when it will be done.
By adding a few vegetables of each description to the water, and straining it when you take out the chicken, you have a very excellent broth either for the sick or healthy, especially if, after skimming off the fat, you add a little vermicelli, which must be boiled in it five minutes.
As it is very improbable that a sick person would eat the whole chicken at once, I have annexed a few receipts, by which a chicken would suffice for four meals.
First, put a tablespoonful of rice in a stewpan, with half a pint of light broth; let it boil gently until the rice is in pulp, then put in the wing or leg of the previously-cooked chicken, which let remain to warm about five minutes; should the rice be too dry, add a little more broth; serve the fowl and rice together upon a hot plate. Secondly, if wanted plain, set it in a stewpan, with a few spoonfuls of stock, and let it warm, gently. Thirdly, it may be folded in a sheet of paper lightly oiled and warmed very gently upon a gridiron; and, Fourthly, plain broiled upon a gridiron, and served with a little light gravy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: 1898 Warren Family

Mr. Warren Sr (Edward Morgan Warren); Mrs. Warren Sr; Mrs. I L Warren (Ida Lois Elderkin Warren); Mr. M H Warren (Murray Heller Warren), Murray (Murray Heller Warren "Jr"); Blanch (Laura Blanch Warren Berryman); Sadie (Sadie Lois Warren Judson); Mrs. J F Rulon; N E Rulon

Warren Family. Photograph. 20 Aug 1898. Privately held by Herstoryan, Houston, Texas. 2009.

Tombstone Tuesday - Lewis & Helen Judson

Headstone: Lewis James Judson, 1924. Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio. Photograph by Herstoryan. Houston, Texas. 2007

Headstone: Helen Julia (Hogue) Judson, 1937. Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio. Photograph by Herstoryan. Houston, Texas. 2007

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Herstoryan's Hearth: The Nursery Dinner (1880)

Soyer, Alexis. The Modern Housewife, or Menagere Comprising nearly One Thousand Receipts for the Economic and Judicious Preparation of Every Meal of the Day, and those for the Nursery and Sick Room; with Minute Directions for Family Management in all its Branches. London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., 1880. p 32
"53. CHILDREN'S DIET FOR THE DAY. - Bread and milk for breakfast at eight; the dinner at one, which was composed as follows throughout the week: roast mutton and apple pudding, roast beef and currant pudding, baked apples; boiled mutton with turnips, after which rice or vermicelli pudding; occasionally a little salt beef, with suet dumplings, plain and with currants in them, or pease pudding; or if unwell, a little veal or chicken-broth, or beef-tea ( the receipts for which will be found in the series Comforts for Invalids)."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Mother and Infant: On the Threshold of a Dream

Mother and Infant: On the Threshold of a Dream, taken near farm in Duluth, Minnesota, c.1907. Photograph in Helen Julia (Hogue) Judson's Family Album, 1903-1907. Privately held by Herstoryan, Houston, Texas. 2009 [inherited from Lois Jacqueline (Judson) Wells, through her father William Levis Judson son of Helen Julia (Hogue) Judson of Dayton, Ohio]

Unidentified mother and child from an old Judson family album. Using the captions from the surrounding photos this was taken near the M. E. Richards Cabins near Kinney, MN. 

*I believe this might be Grace E. (Richards) Davis and son William R. Davis. Grace was the daughter of   J. William and Henrietta (Hogue) Richards. She married Ralph J. Davis. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Facebook: A 21st Century Diary - Click to Print

Many of us dream of one day finding a trunk in a far away attic filled with photos (all labeled of course), keepsakes, a family Bible, and the crown jewel - a dairy. Before the age of technology, the best record of an ancestor's life was a diary. I've never been one to keep a journal. I do often think how wonderful it would be to have a record of my daily life not only to lock away in a neat trunk but to look back on myself and enjoy. Details have a tendency to fade and mine seem to fade faster than normal. Sure it's easy to remember milestones but as time goes on it becomes harder and harder to recall the little things that have added so much along the way. But finding the time to sit down, pen and paper, and pound out a beautifully edited timeless keepsake remains on my endless to-do list.

There is something, though, I do include in my 21st century routine. I update my Facebook status almost daily. I joined in January and have since fallen into the pit of addiction along with so many of my friends. What started out as a snapshot of my day has become a great record of my life these past 9 months! Scanning the older posts I laugh at quotes from my children, smile at the daily distractions, and pause at the prayers offered to friends who needed it. This is my life, my record, and I didn't even know I was writing it.

Now if I could only find a way to save it...

Well, today I did!

  • Go to your profile page. 
  • Scroll to the bottom. 
  • Click on Older Posts. 
  • Repeat until you find the date at which you want to stop. 
  • Now you can print the entire webpage or if your computer allows, you can Print to *.PDF format (mine was 47 pages). 
At the end of the year I'll upload my *.pdf files to and have them printed, bound, and ready to pick up at the nearest location. Voila, a keepsake diary for a 21st century girl. Now all I need is an archival box and a climate controlled attic!   :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Madness Monday: Oliver Judson & Susan Raymond

To the point:

  • Oliver Judson b. 18 Apr 1820 CT Occupation: Shoemaker
    • Sources: 1850, 1860, 1870 Federal Census; unproven rec'ds of ggrandson Levis Judson 2004; City Directory Osborn, OH
  • Susan Raymond m. 14 Apr 1841  (b. 26 Aug 1822 NY d. 07 Jul 1872 Fairfield Cem. Fairborn OH)
    • Sources: 1850, 1860, 1870 Federal Census; unproven records of ggradson Levis Judson 2004; Headstone
  • Children: Francis "Frank" Judson, Mary Elizabeth Judson, Lucy Judson (twin), Lewis James Judson (twin), George Judson
  • Residences: Barre, Orleans, New York; Osborn, Greene, Ohio; Bath, Greene, Ohio.
  1. Some researchers say he was born in Danbury, Fairfield, CT. What document/source did they get this from?
    1. If people have found his birth town why haven't his parents been found? They Judson's of CT are very well researched. 
  2. Is the Oliver Judson who died 8 Apr 1889 and buried in the South Salem Presbyterian Cemetery, Lewisboro, Westchester, New York the same Oliver Judson? 
    1. Buried next to him is Abigail. Some sources say this is Abigail Benedict aka Mrs. Linus Hoyt.
    2. Where did they marry?
    3. Is there a Will? 
Oliver Judson has been my brick wall for years! Let's brainstorm resources to help break through the wall:
  • Search Marriage Records of Osborn, OH after 1872.
  • Search for residences of children after 1872. Search Marrige Records of these locations. 
  • Search Marriage Records of Westchester County, NY
  • Search for a Will or Obituary in Westchester County, NY
  • Search Birth and Church Records for Danbury, Fairfield, CT
  • Identify Judson Families living in Danbury when Oliver was born (1820) search Wills of Head of Household as well as possible male siblings of Oliver.
  • Are there any Judson's that migrated west to NY and OH living near Oliver in the 1850, 1860, 1870 Census? Check Wills for these individuals. 
What other documents would list parents of Oliver Judson besides Birth, Church, Will, and Obit?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Civil War Letter of a Dying Soldier: G. H. Stephens, 12 June 1864.

To the point:

  • People Mentioned - G.H. Stephens, Clarcy Ann Stephens, James A. Stephens, John Stephens, Preston Stephens, Sammy Stephens, Synthia Stephens, Joshua H. Stephens, W. L. Langley
  • Places Mentioned - Natchitoches, LA; Sernchyville, Carthage, Panola County, TX.
  • I am not a direct descendant of this line. I would love to find someone who is.
  • Blogging Prompt #36: Military Battles and Your Ancestors, hosted by Genea-bloggers on Facebook, inspired by We Tree

Let us remember that not all battles were fought on the battlefields...

Upon the passing of my grandfather, Horace Vaughn Wells, in 1992 I inherited an antique Oshkosh suitcase stuffed with old papers. The suitcase belonged to Ed. J. Hogan, husband of my great grandmother Ola Mae (Perkins) Hogan. 

Stuffed in a corner pocket of the musty suitcase was the following letter:

Citation: Civil War Letter of a Dying Soldier: G.H. Stephens, 12 June 1864. Photograph by Herstoryan. Houston, Texas. 2009
[This is a transcription. The document appears to have been typed on a typewriter. The xxxxx were typed over words in order to correct misspellings or otherwise omit the word. Original errors and format are preserved to the best of my ability.]

G. H. Stephens Dying Request . 
Natchitoches, La. June 12, 1864.
To My Dear Clarcy Ann Stephens:
My Dear Wife:
I this morning through the hand of a friend attempt to write you a few 
lines perhaps for the last time. I am in the hospital and am very low
with Typhoid Fever, been sick ever since the 25th of April, was sick
at Sernchyville until about a week ago and was moved here, I was
as I thought better at that time, but have relapsed and am very low
but I am still in hopes that I may recover, but if I should not I want 
you not to take xxx my death hard.  but submit to the will of God, who
xxxxxxxxx doeth all things well.  My prayer is that you may raise all our
children honest and to live in the fear of allmighty God.    My dear wife I
feel that this will be the last words, that you may have from me.  Some of x
my prayers is that you may meet me in heaven for I feel that my way is xxx
clear and that my faith is well founded in the lamb of God that taketh
way the sins of the world. 
My dear wife,  it would afford me great pleasure to see you and the child-
ren this morning to bid you all farewell and to collectively and indivduall
ly ask the blessings upon you if it is the will of God, but thank God that
I am able to say and feel they will be done not mine.   I feel that my time
is short a word Son James A. remember your father and his dying request is
that you may love and abey your mother and so live as to meet me in heaven
My dear boy you are now 12 years old and left with out a father to advise
youx through this world.   But you must live soberly, honestly and take the
bestcare of your brothers and sister that you can.    Remember that a great
deal depends on you for your own happness.  and there's to James A. Farewell
To John my dear boy, my advice to you is the same as to James.  Be a good
boy honor and obey thy mother and obey her and so live as to meet me in
heanve.   Preston dear son,  I must take you one at a time but to you will
say you must reamin as xxxxx   ever a good boy so live as to make your
self and those around you cheerful and happly,  May God Bless you to help
your brothers and sister through life.  To My dear Sammy take the advice
given to the other brothers and love your brothers and sister and live for
God and heaven.    Synthia my dear daughter I have but few words to say to
you,  but you are very dear to me I wish that I could impress upon you
the importance of looking to your mother and go to her for advice and com-
fort do the best you can love your brothers and sister if one you may have
May God Bless you.
To Joshua H.  My dear child you are too young to remember what I say but
God bless you and protect you through life and save you in heaven. 
                                         Your  dying  husband  and  Father .
G.H.  Stephens . 

Citation: Stephens, G. H. Letter to Clarcy Ann Stephens. 12 June 1864. Privately held by Herstoryan. Houston, Texas. 2009.

A second letter accompanies the letter above and is as follows:

Citation: Civil War Letter to Mrs. C. R. Stephens: W.L. Langley, 15 June 1864. Photograph by Herstoryan. Houston, Texas. 2009


June 15,1864.
To Mrs  C.R.Stephens:
It has been my lot to be with your husband for the last
few days.  He came very low with Typhoid Fever,  I could see but
little change in him until about dark last night,    he called me  to
him and told me that he was dying,and wanted me to finish this letter
or note to you,  he said that he had said all that he could say.  He
took your type and looked at it and kissed you and Synthia  calling
you both by name asking God to bless you. He gave way for a few
moments to his feelings and said aloud: Oh Clarisy,  Clarisy,   those
were the last words he spoke audible,  He died about 9:30 oclock the
night of June 14th.   He told me that he was of the Methodist belief
 but there is neither Methodist or Baptist in this town, and He was
so anxious to be baptised that he sent for a catholic Priest and re-
ceived baptism at his hands.  He read the 3rd chapter of St. John
and felt that there was hope in that for him, the 16th verse was his
favorite,  His great desire was that you meet him in heaven and to
bear up under your loss the best you could.  He died very easy, was
not more than 1½ hours dying.  Sensible as long as he could speak.
Mrs Stephens I am apprised of the fact that your loss is heavy, but
bear them the best you can.   He had $27.00 in money his clothes was
not much account, as he had left all of his clothes perhaps with the
train.   I cant say more at present.
                                                      Remaining Yours and C
                                                      W.L. Langley
N.B.  I live in Panola County, Texas, 10 miles north of Carthage, 
belong to the 14th Texas     %  (9)  Walker Division.
Citation: Langley, W. L. Letter to Mrs. C. R. Stephens. 15 June 1864. Privately held by Herstoryan. Houston, Texas. 2009.

My chest is tight. Tears overtake my eyes. As genealogists we collect names and dates, sources and artifacts to piece together stories of our past. These two letters reach beyond the facts and grab ahold of our hearts. We listen so that his life is honored. We record so that his life is remembered. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Herstoryan's Hearth: Apple Pie (1833)

Excerpt from:

Dods, Mistress Margaret (Christina Jane Johnstone). THE COOK AND HOUSEWIFE'S MANUAL: A Practical System of Modern Domestic Cookery and Family Management (Fifth edition). London: Edinburgh, Oliver & Boyd / Simpkin Marshall & Co, 1833. pp 433-434

"Fruit-Pies require a light and rich crust. Fruits that have been preserved are generally  baked in an open crust, and are ornamented with paste-bars, basket-work, stars, etc. Preserved fruits need not be put in till the crust is baked, as the oven often injuries their colour. - See Flans. 
804. Apple-Pie. - Wipe, pare, and slice the apples; core with the instruments. Lay a strip of puff-paste round the edge of the dish. Put in a layer of the sliced fruit, then sugar and whatever seasonings you use. A small mixture of quince greatly improves the flavour. Proceed in this manner till the dish is heaped, keeping the fruit highest in the middle. Cover it with puff-paste, ornament the border and the top with leaves, flowers, etc. -Obs. A variety of apples besides codlins are used for baking, though russetings, Ribstone pippins, golden pippins, and such as melt equally, and are a little acid, are esteemed the best. Apple-pie used to be seasoned with pounded cinnamon and cloves; now lemon-grate, quince, marmalade, candied citron, or orange-peel, are preferred. If the apples have become dry and insipid, the parings and cores may be boiled with a stick of cinnamon and sugar, and the strained liquor added to the pie. Apple-pie is often liked hot. It is eaten with plain cream, made cream, or Creme Patissiere, No. 711. It was wont to be buttered; and this is still the practice in some provincial situations in England, though buttered pease, and buttered apple-pie, for reasons which we do not comprehend, have latterly come to be considered ungenteel, if not absolutely vulgar. Buttering is performed by putting a piece of fresh butter into the hot pie when it is cut open. Apples must be thrown into plenty of water as they are pared, or they will become discoloured."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Shenango Furnace Company

Iron Ore Mining - Shenango Furnace Company
near Kinney, Minnesota c. 1910


Engine 22. Photograph. c. 1910. Privately held by Herstoryan, Houston, Texas. 2009

The Blue Goose. Photograph. c. 1910. Privately held by Herstoryan, Houston, Texas. 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Sarah C. Warren (1835-1871)

Headstone: Sarah C. Warren, 1871. Photograph by Herstoryan. Houston, Texas. 2007


Birth: 1835, Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania
Death: 1871, Spartansburg, Crawford County, Pennsylvania

Sarah was the daughter of Benjamin and Maria Schriver of Adams County, PA. Her grandfather, John Schriver, and her uncle, Jacob C. Schriver, were German weavers of Adams County whose woven coverlets can still be found today. She married Edward Morgan Warren in May of 1853 in Gettysburg, PA. Her first child, Murray Heller Warren, was born in Gettysburg in 1854 when she was 19. Shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War the family moved to Knoxville, Illinois. At the age of 25 she watched as her husband joined the Union forces enlisting as a Corporal in Company A 59th Infantry on 17 Jul 1861. Around the end of 1862 or shortly after the start of 1863 she welcomed home her broken husband after he was discharged for wounds he received at the battle of Perryville, KY. That same year she also welcomed another child named Earnest into the world. In total she was the mother of seven known children. She suffered through the deaths of three of them (Clayton, Emma, and Frankie). She died at the age of 36 when her oldest son was only 17. A statue of a woman holding an anchor stands atop her headstone, no doubt to symbolize the strength and tenderness with which this woman anchored her family in life.

ROSE HILL CEMETERY (aka Spartansburg Village Cemetery)
Spartansburg, Crawford County, PA
Find A Grave Memorial  Sarah is my 3rd great grandmother.

Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, database ( : accessed 8 September 2009); Record, Sarah C. Warren (1835-1871), Memorial No. 20994396, Records of the Rose Hill Cemetery, Spartansburg, Crawford, Pennsylvania;” record copyright Herstoryan. 

Monday, September 7, 2009

Poem: Listen to the Whispers

As I lay me down to sleep, 
I close my eyes, but thoughts do creep, 
Of lists to do and plans to make, 
All lining up to seal my fate. 

And just before my mind shuts down, 
My heart leans in, to whisper the sound, 
Of my mother's words, again to say, 
"Don't loose yourself in your busy day."

The details that seem so important now,
Will fade into a blur somehow, 
"There will always be one more thing to do, 
But have you tended the gifts given unto you?"

It's true, I have neglected a part, 
That God has placed upon my heart, 
Stuffed in boxes beneath my bed, 
"Someday," is what I've always said. 

The time has come to tempt and tame, 
The sleeping beast of a thousand names, 
From its den so very dark and deep, 
Atop limbs and legacies, it sleeps. 

To heed the call from my soul within, 
A keeper, a teacher, a family historian, 
Building the future connecting the past, 
To give our children roots that will last. 

Remember your passions, as the days seem to fly, 
And on your dreams, be sure to keep your eye, 
For when it is, the time to wake, 
It is for you to choose the path to take. 


[A genealogy poem]

Sunday, September 6, 2009

From the Shoebox: Life of a Pioneer Oilman

Murray Heller Warren (1854-1925)

I found the clipping of this article in a file folder passed down to me after my grandparents passed away. The original source of the article is unknown published c. 1910.
Perhaps the best index to M. H. Warren's experience in following the shifting fortunes of petroleum is the fact that from "Church Run south, to Mexcio," he has followed the game, and now, turning north, he leaves Mexico for Oklahoma. Mr. Warren was born in Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, before Drake drilled the famous well. His grandfather was Thaddeus Stevens' Ironmaster. In 1867 Mr. Warren became enamored with the possibilities of oil at Titusville. In 1875 he commenced producing for his own account. In 1877, at Summit City, Bradford District, he formed a partnership, the firm being known as Clark & Warren, and later the C & W brand of lubricants became favorably known. In the winter of 1877, Mr. Warren drilled and harnessed the first gasser ever controlled in that region, and he laid a local gas line selling gas for fuel to the drilling rigs at Summit City; later he sold this well and line to J. N. Pew, and it was the nucleus of a famous gas line. Two years later, in Sawyer City, he built the first refinery to be erected there, manufacturing lubricating oil and filtered cylinder stocks. In 1881 he built a refinery at Corry, PA, this plant having a charging capacity of 800 barrels, and in it were manufactured all classes of lubricants.
Mr. Warren went to the Mid-Continent when the Cudahys were drilling at Muskogee, and did his best to influence Pittsburgh capital at that time to go into that field. "When I told them that production there could be piped to the gulf they told me I was crazy," he says. "Eight years later it was done." When Spindletop broke he built the big Port Arthur refinery for the Mellon interests, and in March, 1907 he arrived in Mexico for the then Waters-Pierce Oil Co. At that time the only proven field of commercial worth was Ebano (Doheny-Canfield), and Ebano crude was and is the heaviest gravity crude produced in Mexico, being something under 12 degrees on the Beaume scale. Waters-Pierce had a small refinery at Vera Cruz at the time, while its present big plant in Tampico had been in operation since 1896, but was running on crude imported in tank steamers from the United States, the oil being refined at Tampico and Vera Cruz for Mexican consumption. Mr. Warren made alterations and experimented with Ebano crude until he was securing 27 per cent of refined oils (inclusive of gasoline) from it. The closing months of 1910 saw the development of the lighter gravity pools in what is now commonly referred to as the Southern Fields in Mexico (Juan Casiano, Potrero del Llano, etc.), and refiners' attention was naturally turned to this production, which is rich in lighter products and in high-grade lubricants.
He leaves Mexico now to return to Oklahoma as general manager of the North American Oil & Refining Corporation, producers and refiners, with headquarters in Oklahoma City.