Saturday, November 12, 2016

#30DayFHWChallenge-Day 12: Bill Adamson

Obviously, I have not been able to keep up with the daily challenge of writing for this blog.  I hadn't thought about this being a daily challenge!  The last challenge I did was in 2015, but it was a weekly challenge, so I had more time to work on it.  Anyway, I have decided to just chose a prompt from the daily challenges to write about as I can.  Today I am doing Day 12, which is to craft a poem or love letter from one of you ancestors to his or her future spouse.  I have changed that a bit, in that I am not writing the poem, but sharing one that my Uncle Bill (William Harold Adamson) wrote to his wife on their first anniversary! I have included pictures of the front and the back of the little booklet.

My grandmother wrote in her scrapbook:


"Billy was the first to enlist in the Naval Reserves at Peoria on December 8th-1941.
He left on December 18 for the Great Lakes Training Station.
Left for New York Receiving Ship on January 23. 1942. Called me long distance Friday morning to say good-bye."
"Dropped in on us at 1:00 A.M. Sunday January 18, 1942 for a 36 hr. leave. Gray and Mildred, Ella and Dorothy Cation were here for dinner and we took pictures. Left at midnight."

Bill was engaged to Dorothy Cation at the time of his enlistment.  They married on the 21st of May in 1943 in Boston at the Navy Chapel. Dorothy returned to Peoria to stay with her mother while Bill returned to active duty.  On their first anniversary he sent this to her:


Inside the poem was:

"YOU CALL THIS A MOP, 
TO ME IT'S A SWAB.
TO ME IT'S BRIGHTWORK, NOT BRASS, FOR ANY OLD KNOB.

YOU PUT RUGS ON THE FLOOR, I PUT SAME ON THE DECK.
IF IT'S POTATOES YOU EAT,
I EAT SPUDS BY THE PECK.
YOU CALL IT CATSUP, MY NAME IS RED LEAD. 
I WAIT IN A CHOW LINE,
YOU JUST GET FED.

BUT LONGING FOR SOMEONE, AND MISSING HER SO. 
THERE'S ONLY ONE WORD
FOR THIS FEELING I KNOW."
And with that there is "A picture of me without you" and it is blank. Signed "Love, Bill".


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

#30DayFHWChallenge-Day 8: James H. Murphy

Today is Election Day and the writing challenge for today was to imagine the first time your ancestor got to vote.  My great-great-great grandfather James H. Murphy came to the United States in 1849 and was naturalized in 1858, so his first time voting in an United States election was in 1860 when Abraham Lincoln ran against John C. Breckinridge, John Bell and Stephen A. Douglas. 

Lincoln was the only Republican running and, based on the Murphy family's long history of voting Republican, I would imagine that James H. Murphy also did.  The election was on the 6th of November in 1860. James lived in Kickapoo, Peoria County, Illinois then, so it is likely that he would have needed to come into Peoria to vote. This vote was incredibly important as it was the impetus for the outbreak of the Civil War.

As difficult as this vote may have been, I imagine that James was very proud to vote for the first time in his new country.  It is interesting to compare and consider how difficult and important our vote is today one hundred and fifty-six years later.

#30dayFHWChallenge-Day 6: Eddie Murphy

Today's challenge was to share a favorite family photo and write about the feelings that
must have been felt by the ancestor. Although I have many favorite photos, the one that first came to mind was of my grandfather, Edward Francis Murphy, holding his brand new first-born child (who happened to be my mother)!

Knowing my grandfather, I am sure that he was absolutely terrified to be holding a new baby and that he also felt as close to heaven as he ever had before. I would also guess that as soon as the picture was taken, he immediately handed the baby to my grandmother (pictured in the back)!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

#30DayFHWChallenge-Day 5: Karl Oscar Seg (Seeber)

For Day 5, the writing challenge is to imagine a block party scene for an ancestor.  I am writing about a block party occurring in 1900 where my great-grandfather, Karl Oscar Seg
lived.

July 1900-A block party happened on Charlotte St. in Peoria this past weekend.  There are only 5 families living on Charlotte St., but that includes 6 adults and 5 children.  Oscar Seeber and his new wife of only 4 months attended the party, along with Patrick Powers and his wife Catherine and their 2 young children.  The other family attending was the family of Michael Flesner which included his wife, Annie and their 5 children. The party was a mix of ages and jobs: Oscar is 24 years old and works as a wood turner; Patrick is 32 years old and is employed as a day laborer; Michael is 40 years old and is a railroad car repairman. The men are each from different countries with Oscar being from England [*see note below], Patrick from Illinois and Michael from Germany.

None of these differences were obstacles to the families enjoying the block party.  Oscar played mouth organ for entertainment and his version of "Red Wing" was most enjoyed by the party attenders.  The men imbibed and the women gossiped! Catherine Powers had her 7 month old baby there and the women teased Ida about how soon she would be pregnant.  The women all found Oscar Seeber to be a charming, handsome man, so the speculation was that a baby would soon be coming!

*Note: Karl Oscar Seg/Seeber was born and raised in Sweden, but hid that fact all his life, including from his wife and children.

#30DayFHWChallenge-Day 4: Allen Adamson

Day 4 challenge is to write an obituary about an ancestor.  I chose to write one for my great great grandfather Aaron W. Adamson, of whom, sadly, I know little specifics about:

Aaron W. Adamson was born around 1807 in Tennessee, the oldest of 11 children born to William and Polly Wilson Adamson. He married Martha Jennings Thompson on the 7th of June in 1835 in Albion, Edwards County, Illinois. The family lived there until the late 1840's when they moved to Crittenden County, Kentucky where Mr. Adamson's family lived.

Mr. Adamson died in late 1850 at the age of 43, having been married to his wife for 15 years.  He had not been well through-out the past year.

Surviving him are his parents; 6 brothers: Allen of Crawford County, Missouri, William, Michael and James all of Crittenden County, Kentucky, and John, whereabouts unknown; 2 sisters: Polly (Niles) Price, and Nancy (Henry) Shelby both of Crittenden County. 

Mr. Adamson also leaves behind his wife and 7 young children: Polly, Moses, Rachel, Lucina, Martha, Lavina, and an infant daughter.


#30DayFHWChallenge-Day 3: Pat Murphy Adamson

Day 3 Challenge is to write a journal entry that your ancestor may have written about buying their first home.  I chose to write about my mother, Patricia Murphy Adamson. 


Dick and I have bought our first home!  The house is on Rosalind in Peoria Heights. I am so excited to have a home to move into.  Since we got married last  April we have lived in a cramped basement apartment in Chicago for the last 9 months (and the last month with a newborn baby) and it has been awful (although I loved living in Chicago).  It will be so nice to be back in Peoria near Mom and Dad.  And as excited as I am about having our first home, I am not happy that Dick insisted on buying a home a couple of doors down from his sister and father. But his mother just died, so I think that he needs to be close to his family.  I just don't want it to become a problem.  There is a nice yard for Susie to play in when she gets a little older and other homes being built around us, so I am hoping for some neighbors I can spend time with.  It was awfully lonely being alone in Chicago and not knowing anyone, except for my Uncle Joe.  I'm excited to decorate as we can afford!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

#DayFHWChallenge-Day 2: Alice Murphy Cody

Day 2 challenge is to think of your ancestor as a character in a novel and describe them.  Here is a picture of my great-grandfather's sister, Alice Murphy Cody. Oh, how I wish that I would have known Alice!

Alice was born to William and Elizabeth Smith Murphy in 1870.  She was the only girl born to them; she had six brothers!  Alice had to have been tough to have dealt with that!  I think that Alice would have been rather short, with probably dark hair and blue eyes. Her mother died when she was thirteen.  Her father remarried the following year, and Alice was pretty much on her own after that. When her father died in 1891 Alice was twenty-one years old. Five years later she married Joe Cody and her two youngest brothers came to live with her and Joe.

I think that Alice was a strong, funny, bright woman.  She lost her parents early, but worked to keep the family together.  She had three daughters, but had lost two sons in infancy. Her youngest brother suffered from mental illness all his life and he lived with her for years.

Joe Cody provided a nice living for his family and Alice had very nice things.  She dressed well, and had a beautiful home in the nicest area of town. She and Joe were very active in their church and generous with their wealth.  Joe died in 1927.  Alice continued living in the family home with her daughter, Mary.  Around 1940, Alice began to suffer from dementia and was kept upstairs in her room until she died in 1944 at the age of 74. She was remembered as being wickedly funny and incredibly generous.