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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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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Moment to Remember: Siblings, Charles and Nellie Judson

Something has weighed heavy on my heart these past few days. It stays with me. It crosses my mind everyday. Why is this affecting me? How can something that happened 130 years ago reach out and clutch the raw core of my maternal emotions?

On December 26, 1879 one day after Christmas, Lewis and Helen Judson had to say goodbye to their three year old son, Charles Raymond Judson as angels carried him to heaven. He was buried in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio two days later on 28th of December.

Eight days after they laid their precious child in the ground the unthinkable happened again. On January 5, 1880 Lewis and Helen Judson's 19 month old daughter, Helen "Nellie" Judson also passed away. She was laid to rest next to her brother on the 7th of January in Woodland Cemetery.

Lewis and Helen were left with one child, a four year old daughter, Bertha J Judson. Four years passed before they celebrated another birth. They went on to have three more children: Margaret Louise, Lewis Raymond, and William Levis (my great grandfather).

By 1900 the family had moved away from Dayton to Toledo, Ohio, but upon their passing both Lewis and Helen returned to Dayton to join their beloved children in Woodland Cemetery Section 24 on a rolling hill in Lot 1470 under the shade of century oaks.

I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and sorrow of those days. We all process information in unique ways depending on circumstances in our own lives. We absorb details to which we can relate and struggle with those to which we cannot. At this point in my life I am a mother - a mother of three children. At this time of year when moments with family are held so dear, in the quiet corners of my heart, I hold onto the memory of Helen and her children. May her experience 130 years ago lead me to see my troubles in perspective, to hold my children a little bit longer, and to reach out with a compassionate heart to others who might be in the midst of painful struggles.

Lewis and Helen Judson are my great great grandparents.

Lewis and Helen (Hogue) Judson on Warren Street, Toledo, Ohio, c1910. Photograph in "Grandmother Remembers" scrapebook compiled by Lois Jaqueline (Judson) Wells. Photograph originally from Helen Julia (Hogue) Judson's Family Album, 1903-1910. Privately held by Herstoryan, Houston, Texas. 2009

Charles Raymond Judson, Age 1. Photograph. Taken at Niagara Falls c1877. Privately held by Herstoryan, Houston, Texas. 2009


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Herstoryan's Hearth: The Trinity Christmas Plum-pudding (1847)

Excerpt: Dods, Mistress Margaret . The Cook and Housewife's Manual: A Practical System of Modern Domestic Cookery and Family Management; Containing a Compendium of French Cookery, and of Fashionable Confectionary, Preparations for Invalids and Convalescents, a Selection of Cheap Dishes and Numerous Useful Miscellaneous Receipts in the Various Branches of Domestic Economy. Eighth ed. London: Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh. Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., 1847. p 475

The Trinity Christmas Plum-pudding.
[We have had the felicity, on sundry Merry Christmases, of sitting in the blaze of the " Yule-clog," embowered among evergreens at " a good man's feast," who well understood, and himself looked, to the due concoction and boiling of the pudding of his nation, weighing from some twenty-five to thirty pounds. For it we give his receipt, which we need not say is excellent; proved and approved.]
The Trinity Christmas Pudding. — Three pounds raisins, half Muscatel and half Valentia, three pounds currants, three pounds beef suet chopped very fine, sixty eggs, a pint and a half of milk, three pounds best raw sugar, the rind of six lemons minced very small, four pounds of fine flour, a half-pound treacle, four nutmegs grated, and cinnamon and cloves pounded to taste; one large table-spoonful of salt, two wine-glasses of brandy, two of rum, one of Port; of sliced candied orange and lemon-peel; half-ounce each, citron-peel a half-ounce. The whole must be thoroughly well mixed early on the 24th December, and boiled for ten hours on Christmas Eve, and four hours on Christmas Day, or from leaving chapel till dinner-time, taking care the whole time to keep the boiler filled with boiling water, and the fire strong and constant. Farther, in preparing for the boiler, the cloth, first scalded, afterwards squeezed, is put on the dresser and well dredged with flour, and then placed very evenly over a colander, so that it shall be in the middle of it. The pudding is then put into the cloth, being well stirred up, a person plaiting the cloth so that it shall be evenly taken up that no water shall get into it. It must then be excessively well tied up, allowing some room for the pudding swelling, and boiled. The Christmas Pudding should be served up with a sprig of arbutus stuck in the middle, with one of its red berries, and a sprig of variegated holly with one or two berries on each side of it. This is to keep away the witches.

LOL, I didn't expect that last sentence! I must confess I have never had the pleasure (or punishment) of partaking in the preparation or polishing off of plum pudding. Instead of spending a fortune on all the above ingredients (How did they afford this back then?) and boiling the concoction for 14 hours overnight and on Christmas Day, I'll check my favorite British Market's website and click 'n' ship. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Judson Christmas (c.1910)

Photograph in Helen Julia (Hogue) Judson's Family Album, 1903-1910. 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]

Most likely taken in Toledo, Ohio or Cumberland, Maryland, I am still trying to identify the people in this photo. One possibility is Bertha (Judson) Reid and daughter, Helen (Reid) Hackman. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Nani nani boo boo, you can't find me!

A Graveyard Visit. 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]

How taunting! I can see they are at a cemetery and the headstone is before my eyes, but I have NO idea whose it is! The clues are there. I have been provoked....

People pictured: Lewis Raymond Judson, Ethel Kirk Judson, and Margaret Judson Wilson.

Date: c. 1907

Locations featured in the album: Toledo, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Cumberland, Maryland; Duluth, Minnesota; and Kinney, Minnesota.

Photographer: Could be Helen Julia (Hogue) Judson, owner of the album and mother of Lewis Raymond and Margaret Judson Wilson - or Helen's husband, Lewis James Judson.


Lewis James Judson's parents: Oliver and Susan (Raymond) Judson
Helen Julia (Hogue) Judson's parents: Lindsey and Nancy (Taylor) Hogue
Child of Lewis and Helen: Charles or Helen "Nellie"
Sibling of Lewis or Helen: listed below
Great grandparents: Of Lewis James Judson - unknown; Of Helen (Hogue) Judson - Hogue side unknown,  Margaret (Amyx) Taylor (no match), Mark Taylor (no match). 
Someone from Ethel Kirk Judson's family (wife of Lewis Raymond Judson). I don't think Helen would have put it in her family album if it had been from Ethel's side of the family.
Cousins and great aunts and uncles: that'll be the next step...

My theories: 

  • The headstone does not belong to Susan (Raymond) Judson, Lindsey Hogue, or Nancy (Taylor) Hogue. Oliver is buried in NY and his headstone is posted at Find a Grave. I do not think it is a match; the angle of the curve does not match in my opinion. Though they could have visited his grave on their way to Maryland from Ohio, I do not believe it is a match. 
  • I do not think it is a child of Lewis and Helen. Lewis and Helen are buried next to Charles and Nellie at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton Ohio. It is very hilly and their headstones are all flush with the ground. 
  • Is it a sibling of Lewis James Judson? He had 4 known siblings: Frank Henry Judson, buried at Woodland Cemetery; Mary Elizabeth (Judson) Cox, buried Fairfield Cemetery, Fairborn, OH; Lucy Jane (Judson) Martin, buried Woodland Cemetery; and George A. Judson, buried at Cox Cemetery behind the gates of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
    • It could be the headstone of George A. Judson. He died at the age of 3 from a putrid sore throat. Here is a link to some old photos of the cemetery. I submitted a request at Find a Grave so that should be fun to see what happens. 
  • Is it a sibling of Helen Julia (Hogue) Judson? She had 9 known siblings. Of those 5 siblings were still known to be living in 1907: John Hogue (sheriff); Margaret (Hogue) Mason; Virginia (Hogue) Dunn; Johanna (Hogue) Eden; Henrietta (Hogue) Richards. I do not have any information for the other 4 siblings: Mary A. (Hogue) Wright;  Martha (Hogue) [Dunn?]; William Hogue; James Hogue. Could it be one of their headstones?

So here are our candidates:

1. George A. Judson
2. Mary A. (Hogue) Wright
3. Martha (Hogue) [Dunn?]
4. William Hogue
5. James Hogue
6. Unknown parents of Lindsey Hogue
7. Unknown parents of Oliver Judson
8. Unknown parents of Susan Raymond
    If you land on my blog and know the whereabouts of any of these people please leave a comment. I would love to be able to someday solve this mystery!

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    My Favorite Things: Genealogy Gift Ideas 2009

    Genealogy Gift Ideas

    1. Ancestor Calendar 

    • Calyptic Creations allows you to add up to 150 custom dates. My husband surprised me with one a few years back that includes all my ancestors' birthdays and anniversaries. Calyptic Creations saves your project to your account so it is easy to update photos and order a new calendar each year!

    2. Mug with Genealogy Blog Logo 

      3. Digitally Restored Photo of an Ancestor or other Family Member 

      4. Ancestor Photo Bracelet 

      • I love this simple, chic photo bracelet from Snapfish

      5. Photo Family Tree 

      6. Archival Sleeves and Boxes

      • Is it tacky to say that I drool over the Archival Methods website? Some people dream of building their dream home, I dream of building a room in my dream home filled with archival boxes, binders, and indexes! 

      7. Framed Historic Document 

      • Census image from; Copy of a Land Patent from a State Archive; Page of a City Directory; Passport Application; Marriage Bond; scanned Family Bible. 

      8. Cotton Gloves

      9. Decorative Family Tree 

      • Handpainted and heirloom quality, the artistic interpretations at Grill Your Granny are my absolute favorite! This is the one I have.

      10. Maps, Maps, Maps

      • Did your ancestors live on top of a mountain, or near a river? Find the landmark at the United States Geological Survey. Search for a city, county, or state map close to a specific time period at Historic Map Works. Become a member and you can zoom in on their maps online - great research tool! Don't forget the wonderful map collection at the Library of Congress. Ever wonder how your ancestors got from point A to point B? Check out their Railroad Maps collection from 1828-1900. 

      11. Ancestor Photo Ornament

      • Create your own heirloom ornament with Shutterfly. Pewter ornaments are my #1 choice. Glass ornaments have a tendency to break around my house!

      12. Handwritten Recipe Cards Filled with Family Recipes

      • I have found beautiful recipe cards at local Hallmark, Hobby Lobby, Target, and Walmart stores. There are also Free Printable Recipe Cards on the web. 

      13. Seasonal Flower Service and Maintenance for Ancestor's Graves

      • Gravescape "makes it easy for you to honor the memory of loved ones, even when you’re unable to visit their gravesites."

      14. Photobook 

      • Use MyPublisher to showcase all those scanned family photos. 

      15. Family Tree Necklace

      • Personalize a family tree pendant from Limoges Jewelry. I wear mine almost everyday. I love it!

      ~Happy Holidays

      Thursday, December 10, 2009

      Herstoryan's Hearth: Christmas Gifts: The Making of a Housewife (1906)

      For today's excerpt I return to my most favorite household manuel: Curtis, Isabel Gordon. The Making of a Housewife. New York: Stokes, 1906. pp 156-157. If you ever get a chance to read this book I highly suggest it. The previous excerpt I posted can be found here. Enjoy!

      "All Christmas presents? " asked Mrs. Griswold one evening when she entered the Kerrs' cosey sitting-room.
      Margaret was pinning names upon jaunty sofa-pillows, delicate bits of embroidery, and other odds and ends.
      "Yes, I 've nearly finished Christmas things. My list is full except for a few people who have been kind to us. I cannot spend much money, yet I want to remember Robert's stenographer and Copperfield, the book-keeper."
      "Where do they live?"
      "They board at the Ayres'."
      "That isn't a genial place for Christmas. Take them a nice little plum pudding for dinner, piping hot, with a pitcher of brandy sauce. I have a fine old English recipe."
      "That's a great idea," cried Margaret; " it suggests another. Why not make things to eat for people who would appreciate them, — people who board or do their own work, or live on bakery stuff?"
      "I 'll join with you," said Mrs. Griswold, heartily. " I, too, have unremembered people on my list."
      "What shall we make?"
      "Let us jot down a list of eatables which can be transported picturesquely. Plum puddings with a sprig of holly tied to them, creamfilled ladylocks, candy, a box of pates, ready to be filled with creamed chicken or oysters, a cake, a pie, or a tumbler of mayonnaise."


      Wednesday, December 9, 2009

      Wordless Wednesday: Ida Lois (Elderkin) Warren

      Ida Lois (Elderkin) Warren, Portrait. Tintype Photograph. c. 1877, most likely taken near Spartansburg, Crawford County, PA or near Corry, Erie County, PA. Privately held by Herstoryan, Houston, Texas. 2009

      Daughter of Dyer White and Lois (King) Elderkin, Ida Lois Elderkin was born 18 August 1856 in New York. She married Murray Heller Warren, son of Edward Morgan and Sarah C. (Schriver) Warren,  11 Aug 1877 in PA. She died 25 Apr 1936 at her residence 424 NE 10th Street Oklahoma City, OK. She is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Oklahoma City. 

      She was the mother of three known children: Murray Heller Warren Jr; Laura Blanche Warren wife of O. H. Berryman; Sarah/Sadie Lois Warren wife of William Levis Judson (the one whose bridal portrait was restored) 

      She is my great great grandmother. 

      Wednesday, December 2, 2009

      Wordless Wednesday: Judson-Wells Wedding (1942)

      Lois Jacqueline Judson, Bridal Portrait. Photograph. 21 Mar 1942, St. Mark's Episcopal Church (Reception at the St. Anthony Hotel), San Antonio, Texas. Privately held by Herstoryan, Houston, Texas. 2009

      Lois Jacqueline Judson weds Horace Vaughn Wells. Photograph. 21 Mar 1942, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, San Antonio, Texas. Privately held by Herstoryan, Houston, Texas. 2009

      These are my beloved grandparents. I miss them very much. Especially around the holidays...

      Tuesday, December 1, 2009

      Tombstone Tuesday - Are you my ancestor?

      Headstone: Unknown, Nelson Grove Cemetery (Est. 1875), near Woodbine, Cooke County, Texas. Photograph by Herstoryan. Houston, Texas. 2007

      Nelson Grove cemetery is a rural cemetery about 9 miles east of Gainesville, Texas. The first burial was a 14 year old girl named Mollie Nelson who died in 1875 from pneumonia and the measles. 

      My 3rd great grandparents, Madison D. and Harriet (Miller) Lynch, also died in 1875. Harriet died 08 Mar 1875 and Madison died a few weeks later on 06 May 1875. They left 5 children orphaned. My great great grandmother, Alice Louise (Lynch) Creel, was only four years old at the time. 

      According to the historical marker on site, the cemetery and surrounding land was deeded to the Cooke County judge in 1877 for use as a "school, church, and burying ground." Several members of the Lynch family are buried in this cemetery. It is unknown whether Madison and Harriet are buried here or on their land. The cemetery wasn't donated for public use until 2 years after they died. 

      However, some researchers have said that they are buried at Nelson Grove Cemetery which is entirely likely. Madison owned 80 acres of the J. Banning land grant and 160 acres of the Elizabeth Spencer land grant which bordered the Nelson's land. R. C. Nelson was appointed administrator of the Estate of Madison D. Lynch after he died. It is entirely possible that Madison and Harriet are buried near R. C. Nelson's daughter, Mollie in that shady grove that later became Nelson Grove Cemetery. 

      The stone pictured above is one of several unmarked stones located next to the Lynch family graves. Could one of these stones belong to Madison and Harriet? Mollie Nelson's grave is also "unmarked."

      • Cooke County, Texas. Will Records: Will Boxes 9 & 20, Estate of Madison D. Lynch,  1875-1882; County Clerk Office,  Cooke County Courthouse Annex, 112 South Dixon Suite 116, Gainesville, Texas. 
      • "Texas Historic Sites Atlas," database online, Texas Historical Commission ( accessed 01 Dec 2009), Marker No. 12372 entry for Nelson Grove Cemetery (Gainesville vicinity, Cooke County, Texas), marker location "9 miles east of Gainesville on US 82, then 1.5 miles south on FM 678," erected 2000.
      • "Map of Cooke County, Texas, December 1868." Compiler: Max Stakemann. Archives and Records, Map/Document No. 3439, Texas General Land Office, Stephen F. Austin State Office Building, Austin, Texas