Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Return of the McIntires

Thanks to a message from Lorrie Graham in Ancestry on the background of the McIntires I took another look at the mess.  Nine years ago I wrote we had to bid goodbye to them because of a newspaper article saying that Elizabeth Smith was the sister of Capt. William Smith when she married Joseph Rippey.  This, added to her DOB of 1798, meant that she could not be the daughter of William and Isabella McIntire.

But since 2007 Find-a-Grave has done great work.  Their entry for the tombstone of Elizabeth McIntire Smith reads: 42 years, dau of William and Isabella McIntire.  The "42 years" means she was born in 1777.  That fits nicely with the new evidence on the marriage of the McIntires--August 4, 1774. 

So the bottom line now is, assuming the accuracy of the Find-a-Grave data, we must assume either the newspaper article was in error in referring to "brother" rather than "father" William Smith, or that she had a brother William who hasn't shown up in other records.  Either way we can return the McIntires to the ancestry of the Rippeys.  More to follow.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Typing Love Letters

"After their invention in the 1860s, typewriters quickly became indispensable tools for practically all writing other than personal correspondence."  That's from wikipedia.

Shows how much they know.  Among the family heirlooms my sister had were some love letters from my grandfather to my grandmother Ada, typed in 1884.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rev. John Rippey, Entrepreneur?

From a Google search, a link to the 1884 report by the state geologist, which includes a report on the results of a well near Cuylverville, apparently testing the availability of a strata of rock salt. The geologist credits Rev. John as the President of the Cuylerville Salt and Mining Company as the source of the information.

I find this current news item on Livingston county salt mining:
American Rock Salt Co., which owns the largest salt mine in the country, will invest $4 million into its Livingston County facility to extend its current rail siding and relocate its ice melting packaging company,  [The company is shown on Google maps about 4 miles north (near Retsof) and south of Cuylerville.
And I find a wikipedia item on Retsof, NY, site of the largest salt mine in the US until a big collapse in 1994.  Retsof is 4.5 miles north of Cuylerville.

From the American Rock Salt website:

By the late 1800’s, many companies were drilling for salt throughout the world. Between 1878 and 1895, over 35 mining companies were formed in New York’s Wyoming and Livingston Counties alone. In 1884, the first shaft salt mine was constructed in Livingston County at a cost of $600,000. Previously, all other facilities in the area were wells that extracted brine, which was then evaporated to obtain the salt. The shaft salt mine increased production capacity and efficiency.
The extraction of salt in Western New York covers a vast geographic region. Mine shafts that were formerly operating in the hamlets of Retsof, Greigsville, and Cuylerville were eventually all connected underground, comprising an area even larger than the island of Manhattan. In 1994, due to a flooding of this network, the Retsof mine was closed and salt mining was no longer an industry in the region.
That changed in 1997, when the American Rock Salt Company was established with the vision of creating a new mine and tapping into the underground salt reserves that had been left undisturbed. After securing the required permits and purchasing 10,000 acres of mineral rights and 200 acres of surface property, American Rock Salt broke ground in 1998 for a new mine, ten miles away from all previous mining sites. Construction of the mine at Hampton Corners took more than three years. American Rock Salt built the mine using traditional techniques that have proven over time to be the best approach for safety and success.

Also through a Google search, in 1990 Rev. John is on the board of the Allegheny Theological Seminary.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Captain John's Father--Interpreting the Evidence

I'm using my blog to lay out my logic for naming Mathew Rippey as John Rippey's father (though really I think I can credit my sister Jean for most of the material).

When one searches Ancestry family trees for Captain John Rippey, born 1749, most of the trees name Samuel Rippey and Rachel Armstrong as his parents.  Some of the trees use Mathew as the father, and there's a mixture of other theories, or possibly errors. I'll consider only the Samuel theory as an alternative to Mathew.

What do I know for sure:
  1. There's no primary source giving John's father
  2. There's are secondary sources giving John's father as Samuel, but I'm not aware of that linkage being based on a primary source. 
What do I think I know:

Geography: Two censuses are relevant, the Federal census of 1790 and the Pennslyvania septennial censuses of 1786 and 1793. The 1786 census shows Hugh and Mathew in Dromore, Lancaster county; John in Chaunceford, York county, and William and Samuel in Southampton, Franklin County. The 1790 Federal census shows William, Samuel and Mathew in the same places, no John, a Richard Rippey in "Mixed township", York county (not seen since), and an Elijah in Franklin, plus a couple new Rippeys in Philadelphia.

We know John and Mary were in Chaunceford township before moving to Ontario county, NY.  Geographically it makes more sense for John to be the son of Mathew than of William or Samuel.  Why? Because the Scots-Irish tended to move to the west and south for land.  It's less likely that John would move east from his fathers farm than west.

Lack of Support for Samuel

The Biographical Annals of Franklin County is provided as one source for the Samuel/Rachel parentage.  Here's a link to the relevant entry for them.
According to this, they had 8 children, with child no. 6 a son John. But all it says for him is "6. John C became a physician."  That doesn't fit with our Captain John.

This is another early genealogical history .It lists only four children for Samuel and Rachel, none of them John.  (Samuel Rippey Jr had a son, John, known as "Col. John" according to this, but no dates given and they'd be too late for our Captain John.

 Support for Mathew/Hugh

The best support for Mathew as John's father goes back to Jean's researches, which I got into Google documents years ago but haven't managed to get them public. (Sheer inertia.)  To save redoing previous work, I'll provide these links:
The bottom line for the documents is that a John Rippey appears twice in the documents and the ages fit.  That's not conclusive evidence but it seems the most probable conclusion based on the evidence I know of.

Naming Pattern
As cousin Marjorie first observed,the naming pattern of Capt. John's sons fits with Mathew being his father, not Samuel.  John named his oldest son Mathew (his father), his second son George Orson (wife's father) . He never named a son "Samuel".

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Marjorie's New Blog

At this blog Marjorie is posting stories on ancestors of the Robie (her husband) and Harshaw families.  The first one was published this morning.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Short Tale of Turkeys

Thanksgiving is over, but it's not too late to dredge up a memory of my uncle Mac.  Or rather, it's not a memory of my uncle, whom I only saw a handful of times, but rather one of the few times I remember his older brother, my father, talking about him.

As described in other posts, Mac had gotten his PhD in animal nutrition.  He taught for a year in Tennessee, then moved east in 1930 to take a job with the Agricultural Research Service, at the Beltsville MD research center.  He stayed there for 13 or so years, before moving to Massachusetts to become director of research for the Webster feed company.  I remember Dad had some small items, pencils, pocket calendar, that sort of stuff, all with the Webster name on them.

Anyhow, Dad said that Mac had worked on the Beltsville turkey.  Finally got around to researching that and here's what the ARS site says (pdf).  The gist is in the wikipedia site:
The Beltsville Small White was developed beginning in 1934 in response to market research that said consumers wanted a turkey of small to medium size with no dark pinfeathers. In a breeding program at the Beltsville Center that lasted from 1934 to 1941, the USDA used White Holland, White Austrian, Narragansett, Bronze, and Wild Turkey genetics. The breed was used commercially in the 1940s, and was recognized officially by the American Poultry Association in 1951.[2]
As a result of being developed specifically for smaller, urban households, the breed never had the size to satisfy the demands of restaurants. By the 1970s, it had nearly disappeared, and the Broad Breasted White had come into prominence. It is still extremely rare today, and is listed as Critical by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.[2] It retains interest primarily among breed enthusiasts and those interested in a heritage turkey breed.
To be honest, I've not seen a document linking Mac to the turkey, but then I've not specifically searched for one.  He's certainly there at the right time and might well have focused on the nutrition of the new breed, among his other duties.  But since Mac and John almost never wrote, dad would not have not detailed knowledge of his work.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ministers in Hague, NY for Summer

This piece from the Ticonderoga paper of Aug 18, 1898, reports that William and Ada were in Hague and W.R. preached a sermon at the W.M Church.  The writer expressed the hope they'd build a cottage there before another year. Hague is a town on Lake George.  From the other notes, it looks as if it was a popular summer resort for ministers.

The Harshaws were visiting "Capt. Mrs. Robinson".  Whether she was a relative, friend, or just the hostess of the summer resort I don't know.

Dr. Harshaw on the Minimum Wage

The Geneva newspaper picked up something from (presumably) W.R.Harshaw on the subject of fair wages for working women.  (He was for, or at least didn't think women should engage in prostitution on the side to make up for low wages.)  Can't copy the text, so you'll have to look at the link.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

W.R.Harshaw on Libraries

William R. Harshaw wrote an article for Outlook Magazine in June 1901 on the West Pittston library.  The article was reprinted in the Pittston Gazette on July 9, 1901.  He's very concerned about getting people to read only the "best" and rather snobbishly dismissive of Pittston, which was more immigrant coal miners while West Pittston was more professional and managerial.  But for all his dated attitudes, he apparently was a driving force behind rejuvenating the library.

Theodore Roosevelt wrote for the magazine, which was not one of the muckraking mags.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Galum Postmaster: Michael Harshaw

Michael Harshaw was appointed postmaster at Galum, IL on Jan 21, 1862.  Abraham Lincoln had been postmaster some 30 years earlier and got paid about $20 a quarter.  I don't know the basis--whether it was a flat salary or based on the money the postmaster collected.

Ancestry has a some explanation . As noted, the appointment was political (remember the movie "Lincoln") which links up with grandfather's bio of Michael.

But why "Galum"?  Cutler, IL was only developed when the railroad came through, which was after 1862.  My only clue is a "Galum Church Road" which currently runs west from the Pinckneyville area towards Cutler. Today it ends in an area which was mined, but assuming it was a continuous route in 1862 it would be route 15 which runs just north of Cutler, near the original location of Michael's church.

So was Michael's church the original "Galum Church?  No, it seems there was a Galum church  founded in 1854 near Pinckneyville which burned down in 2005,but the cemetery still remains.  So where was the postoffice, near the Galum church or the Cutler church.  Not clear.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The West Pittston Library and W.R.Harshaw I

Ms Anne Barr, director of the West Pittston Library, made connections with me through this blog.  We talked on the phone today.  Briefly it seems that grandfather, William R. Harshaw, was quite involved with the library's affairs, as reflected in the minutes of the library association. She will be sharing information on his involvement with me and I will pass it on (hence the "I").

The library website also provides access to digitized copies of some issues of the Pittston Gazette.  The first mention of W.R.Harshaw is on the occasion of the first use of the new church building, February 26, 1892. He preached twice.  A mystery though--why is he described as of Columbus, Ohio?  Perhaps a correspondent's mistake, because he was of New York City then.