Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Before you start....

Keep in mind that this family history is a work in progress. The objective of this blog is to highlight particularly interesting things I find during the course of my research of the Glass and Raysor families. I continue to add data, as well as sources to data I've already collected. It is hoped that this blog format will make it easier for you to find some of the more interesting family history information while still providing you a means of going back to the tree on to view all of the info on the individuals mentioned. The information presented on this blog is truly only the tip of the iceberg.

You can click any of the links in the left sidebar to go directly to the family tree for further info on any individual. (If you've forgotten your login for, contact Duff or Karen.)
You're also invited and heartily encouraged to add photos, stories and comments on the site.

Also, if you're receiving daily updates from on stuff that's added to the tree each day and you can't figure out how to opt out, you can go here for instructions on how to turn that feature off. (Or click the button near the bottom of the left sidebar.) I heartily encourage you to turn the alert feature off, and instead, sign up for blogarithm updates by filling out the ban RSS feed (see box at the top of the left sidebar.) That way, you won't miss any of the really interesting stuff I uncover, but you won't get a million alerts regarding updates to my side of the tree.

Note that when I describe someone as being "your" great-parent, the relationship is described in relation to Duff, Chris, Tim or David. Chris' kids: add a generation to that stated relationship.

Monday, January 10, 2011

John and Charles Glass

John Glass has long been a mystery to me. His wife died young, and it's been nearly impossible to find anything about his life prior to moving to Santa Cruz County.

A few months ago, after a swim meet in Santa Cruz, we visited the IOOF cemetery where some members of the Glass and Ball families are buried. We found the plots easily enough, but most of the decedents lacked headstones. John Glass had a headstone, but it had been broken in half, with only the top remaining. I took photos (disappointedly), and after visiting the bare Ball plot, we left.

After I got home, a lightbulb went on when I took another look at John's headstone. It had the design of a civil war vet's headstone. I looked him up in the Civil War pensions database, and surely enough, I found him. I also uncovered an article in the Santa Cruz public library describing his reunion with his brother, Charles:

A Long Lost Brother
After Twenty-three Years They Meet in Helena-
Each Supposed the Other was Dead

From a letter received by Mr. C.S. Hohmann, Commander of W.H.L. Wallace Post, G.A.R., the following news of comrade John Glass is received:

The Helena (M.T.) Independent of the 27th inst. says: Two brothers, who had not seen each other for twenty three years, shook hands in the Grand Central hotel Saturday night. They were Charles Glass, of the Alhambra Flume company, and John Glass, of Santa Cruz county Cal. When the war broke out the brothers, who were born in Ireland, lived with their parents on Long Island, N.Y. Each of them, although only 16 and 18 years old respectively, wanted to take part in the fight. Charles joined the army and went with a New York regiment. He was in the army of the Potomac. John went to the navy and tread the deck of a man of war for five years. Charles and John lost track of each other on Island no. 10, just before the surrender of Lee's army. They had bravely fought in the most terrific battles during the war, and though wounded several times, Charles Glass says "he is as sound today as ever." Mr. Glass and his brother have the advantage of many, as a glass is always handled with care.

John left the service and went to California, settling down in Santa Cruz County. Charles went to Iowa where the regiment was mustered out and moved around in Iowa, Minnesota and Dakota, finally coming to Montana. The brothers parted in 1865, had not heard from each other in twenty-three years, and each one supposed that the other was dead. A few weeks ago H.S. McKinnon went from Montana to California in search of an old sweet heart whom he had not heard of for eight years. Charles Glass asked McKinnon to make inquiries about his brother and try and ascertain something about him. McKinnon found the brother and the latter concluded to come to Helena. When he arrived Saturday night the two met in the hotel, but the one from the coast did not know Charles, and the latter would not have remembered the former except by seeing him place his name on the register. Finally the two of them met, and each shook the hand of "the long lost brother." The gentlemen look something alike, and a peculiar thing about them was that both alike should be wearing a mustache and chin whiskers. They went to Alhambra yesterday where John Glass will remain until they have talked over the ups and downs of the last twenty three years.

Mr. John Glass and his son will remain at Alhambra Springs, Jefferson County, Montana, as he has started in the flume business with his brother.
No word on what happened with the flume business, but both brothers ended up back in Santa Cruz county.

The library entry also included a description of his civil war service. Click here to read more.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Photos of Your Gr-gr-gr-grandparents

I was extremely fortunate this week to have been contacted by Clifford Laureno, a McKoy family member and researcher, who is likely to be invaluable in fleshing out McKoy family lore. The following photos are from a pair of lovely memorials he created for yr gr-gr-gr-grandparents, Hubbard and Betsey McCoy:

Hubbard Wilson McKoy
He was the youngest son of Robert and Anna (Wilson) McKoy of Scotland and Wales. He married Betsey Ann Newhall July 25, 1841 in Kirby, Caledonia Co., Vt. and had 5 children. Gaudencio Hubbard McKoy, Lillian Betsey McKoy, Sierra Nevada McKoy, Annie Lettice McKoy, and Norma Cecelia McKoy.

After Hubbard and Betsey were married, they lived in Kirby, Vermont for a few years and then moved to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where he prepared to go to California in April of 1850. Leaving his wife and two children behind.

He arrived in Placerville, (then called Hangtown) California on Sunday, August 4, 1850. The next day he headed for Georgetown where he set up his first business adventure of Blacksmithing. He was involved in many business adventures over the years in and around Georgetown, Lumbering, Mining, Road building, owned a Boarding House, Bakery and a Hotel called The Nevada House. He rented the Old Sutter Mill at Pilot Creek in the spring of 1853 and ran it for three months. "That was the last it was ever run." (He said)

In June of 1852 Betsey Ann and her two children, Gaudencio and Lillian, arrived in California, via the Panama Canal to join him. They lived at Mt. Gregory, Eldorado Co., Calif. and had three more children, Sierra Nevada, Annie Lettice, and Norma Cecelia, before moving to Felton, Santa Cruz Co., Calif. in 1868, which was just being "laid out" by Edward Stanley on the west side of the San Lorenzo River.

Felton was the first Valley town and the McKoy's were among the first settlers. They owned lot No. 1 on the corner of Highway 9 and Bonniedune Rd., built the Central Hotel which burned down in Oct. of 1888. He replaced it with the "Grand Central Hotel," opening May 25, 1889. Over the years "Mac" as he was sometimes called, was very involved in community projects and owned and operated a Steam Mill, Shingle Mill, and was part owner and president of the Union Mill and Lumber Company in Santa Cruz and San Jose. He was the Postmaster of Felton in 1870 thru 1878. He ran an Express business hauling the mail for free to and from Felton and Santa Cruz. He "sawed" all the lumber for the narrow gauge Railroad which opened Oct. 9, 1875 and ran from Felton to Santa Cruz. He was in the general merchandise and Lumber business with his then son-in-law, Thomas Benton Hubbard, plus many more "adventures."

The McKoy's celebrated their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary in Felton on Saturday the 25th of July 1891 at their Hotel in Felton with all their family and friends in attendance. The Santa Cruz Surf Newspaper of July 27, 1891 gives a "grand" account of this party.

Betsey Ann Newhall
She was the daughter of Merritt and Lettice (Newton) Newhall, of Leominster and Northborough, Worcester Co., Mass. The 3rd oldest of 9 children. She married Hubbard Wilson McKoy 25, 1841 in Kirby, Caledonia Co., Vt. and had 5 children. Gaudencio Hubbard McKoy, Lillian Betsey McKoy, Sierra Nevada McKoy, Annie Lettice McKoy, and Norma Cecelia McKoy.

She was very active and involved in her community through out her life. She was a member of the "Ladies Aid Society" in Felton. Was elected President in Aug. of 1891, and her daughter Norma was elected Treasurer and daughter Lillian a member of the Aid Committee.

Obituary from the Santa Cruz Evening News, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 1910 - McKoy - In this city, September 26, 1910, Betsy Newhall McKoy, beloved mother of G. H. McKoy of Sacramento, Lillian B. Hayes of Felton, "Sarah" (Sierra) N. Hubbard of San Jose and "Norman" (Norma) C. West of Oakland, a native of Vermont, aged 88 years.

The funeral of deceased will take place from Wessendorf & Staffler's undertaking parlors tomorrow (Wednesday), at 12:00 P. M., thence to Felton, where services will be held at the First Presbyterian church at 2:30 o'clock. Friends and acquaintances are invited to attend.

[Actually, after her husband's death, Betsey Ann made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Sierra Nevada Hubbard in San Jose, until her death and while on a visit to her sister Laura (Newhall) Works home at 56 Plymouth St., in Santa Cruz. Betsey is said to have been "active, hale and hearty till the last." A "wonderful woman, possessed of a remarkable memory, her narrations of early events of pioneer days in California were very interesting." She died just three days short of her eighty-eighth birthday. The cause of death was listed simply as "Sudden death due to old age." She was buried with her husband in the "Old" Felton Cemetery on Sept. 28, 1910.]

"About her picture: I was told back in January of 1982, when I was given her picture by a great-granddaughter that "Betsey Newhall McKoy was not as stern and forbidding looking as she appears. Rather she was very kind and affectionate of all of her grandchildren and each thought she liked them best."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How the McKoys Came to California

Hubbard Wilson McKoy and Betsey Ann Newhall are listed in the index of early California pioneers -- those who moved to California prior to 1850. Descendants are eligible for membership in the Native Daughters of the Golden West and the Society of California Pioneers.

I ran across the following account in "White Family Quarterly," a genealogical magazine. It is not sourced. And I am not making up the name of the journal.

BETSEY Newhall 8 (50), b. in Kerby, Vt., Sept. 29, 1822; m.
July 25, 1841, Hubbard Wilson McKoy, b. in Lunenburg, Vt.,
Feb. 24, 1819. They lived for a time in Kirby, then moved to
Wisconsin, settling in Oconomowoc, Wis., where they remained
until April 4th, 1850, when Mr. McKoy, with five of his towns-
men, started with four horses and a wagon, on each side of which
was the name of their destination, "California".

They drove to Galena, went down the Mississippi river to Hannibal, Mo.,
then across the state to Council Bluffs. There fitted out for the
long trip over rivers, plains, mountains and deserts, arriving in
"Hangtown" (now Placerville), Cal., Aug. 4th. 1850, with two
horses, having left the wagon on the Humbolt Desert in Nevada.
The men reaching there in safety, having no trouble from Indians,
or wild animals, but we will leave the present and coming gene-
rations to imagine the hardships they had endured, and were still
to endure, being as they were among the very earliest arrivals in
that new, unbroken country.

Two years later, May 11, 1852, Mrs. McKoy, with her son ten years old
and a daughter less than four, left Milwaukee, Wis., going from there to Chicago,
where she took a steamer to St. Joseph, Mich., from there by the
Michigan Central Railroad to Detroit, Mich., thence by steamer
to Dunkirk, N. Y., taking train there for New York City, leaving
New York on the "America," May 1 5th, and arriving at Aspin-
wall (now Colon), on the 23d, where they took boats up the river
Chagres to Cruces, the natives as propellers, with poles pushing
the two boats, tied up one night at Cruces, then took mules for
Panama, her son riding one, and she on another carrying her lit-
tle girl.

Leaving Cruces at ten in the morning and reaching
Panama at nine in the evening, they left Panama on the evening
of May 29th on the steamer "Winfield Scott," stopping at Aca-
pulco, Mexico, for one day, reached San Francisco, Cal., on June
15th, she then went to Sacramento, where her husband met her
and they went on to their home in Georgetown, El Dorado County,
where they lived, or near there, for sixteen years. Mr. McKoy
was engaged in hotel and lumber business until late in life, then
a dealer in merchandise.

Having lived in Eldorado county until 1868, they moved to
Santa Cruz county, where he died in Felton, Aug. 22, 1895.
Mrs. McKoy is living with her children in San Jose, Cal. Children:
  • Gaudencio Hubbard McKoy
  • Lillian Betsey McKoy
  • Sierra Nevada McKoy
  • Annie Lettice McKoy (your gr-gr-grandmother)
  • Norma Cecilia McKoy

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Photos of Dominick Malatesta

Arden has unearthed some Malatesta photos, including these of Dominick and George.

This photo was taken in Alameda, November 1915:

This is a photo of Dominick in his fireman's uniform. He became a fireman in 1872, so this photo may have been taken around that time.
Helen claimed to have dearly loved Dominick.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Daniel Newhall - Lettice Johnson Headstone

Direct from the South Kirby Cemetery in Kirby, VT, the headstone for Daniel Newhall and Lettice (Johnson) Newhall.

Daniel and Lettice were the parents of Merritt Newhall, father of Lettice Newton, who married Hubbard McKoy and came out to California during the gold rush.

Daniel and Lettice are your gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-grandparents.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oakland's Orne Family Vortex

I'm in touch with an Orne family relative who shed considerable light on Eben/Edward T Orne (your gr-great grandfather) and his family. Early on, I was intrigued by Eben/Edward T Orne (hereafter referred to as Edward T). I couldn't figure out why he wasn't showing up on any Dubuque-area censuses after 1870, but it didn't seem that he'd left the family, since he and his wife Ellen were buried together. Turns out (with the help of a Higgins family relative) I was able to prove that he lived in Chicago, where he ran various businesses with his sons Freeman and Warren. He probably had the business in Chicago and went back to the Dubuque area when possible (on weekends?); it's only 160 mi. away. Most of his children were born in Chicago.

Anyway, through this new Orne family relative, I learned that in 1849, Edward T Orne left home at the age of 17 to make his fortune in California. His mother Elizabeth (that's her in the photo above) begged him not to go, but he went anyway. I have no documentation of where he was between 1849 and 1860 (one presumes California, but I have no proof). For many many years afterward, his mother asked every person she knew going to California to look for her son. Edward's younger half-sister, Eliza, helped in mother in trying to locate Edward. The following was passed down through family history:

"It was a sad day in 1849 when Eliza's half-brother, 17 year old, Edward decided to leave home and make his way in the world. Anna was 6, Eliza was 3, and Mary was 6 months at the time. Edward planned to go to California to mine for gold. Their mother, Elizabeth feared for his welfare and wondered when she would see him again. There were tearful goodbyes and no doubt the two little sisters were also crying. Three year old, Eliza never forgot that day and recalled the details of that day many years later. That was the last they ever heard of Edward but his mother remained hopeful, and asked any stray traveler who happened into town if they knew of her son Edward Orne who may have gone to California.

"The years went by and Eliza and her sisters were getting big. Sometimes they would go out on the hillside and gather strawberries and blueberries for their mothers delicious berry pies. Their father was a house painter and the family owned considerable property. When the girls were young ladies, their father sold their holdings and moved the family to Chicago, IL. Anna found the young man of her choice and became Mrs. Jewell. Eliza and Mary still lived at home. Eliza clerked in a bookstore and in their spare-time, both girls embroidered lamp-mats, throws, etc.

"One day her mother came in with some exciting news! She had met a man from California who had not only seen Mr. Orne, but could also give her his address. Eliza wrote a letter at once and they waited expectantly for Edward's answer, but when it arrived, it was not from their Edward but from a stranger, Ebenezer Orne who they knew nothing about. It would be only right, however that Eliza acknowledge Mr. Orne's kindness in answering her letter - and he in turn to assure her he would try and locate her brother. So began a correspondence, which resulted in the course of a year in Eliza's accepting Ebenezer's proposal that she come to California and be his wife. His next letter contained money for her traveling expenses and she, in spite of her father's objections, left off, making lamp-mats to concoct a lovely little bonnet and wedding outfit. She was 26 years old at this time. Her father raged, he would never have anything more to do with her if she left and married a man who she had never seen. Some of their neighbors were going to California soon and Eliza was to go with them. So on the starting day she had her little outfit ready - said her good-byes - and climbed into one of the waiting prairie-schooners for the trip out west.

"There were only 3 schooners starting at that time, but they made it safely across the plains and through the mountain passes. The trail sometimes became tedious and dusty but the novelty of entering new landscape each day compensated for that. Eventually, the schooners neared their destination."
Ebenezer and Eliza were married and lived the rest of their lives in California. One of their daughters lived to the age of 102.

In 1910, after Eliza was widowed, she lived about two blocks from where Dave and Pam now live... and about a block from where Mayme Ware -- Edward's daughter --- lived in 1929. I've now dubbed this Oakland neighborhood the Orne vortex (click to biggify):

Did Edward's mother ever find Edward? Apparently so. I'm ordering her death certficate, on which, supposedly, Edward is an informant, and one of his half-sisters is listed as a survivor in his obit.

Edward/Eben T Orne:

Still a mystery: why/when did Edward go by the name of Eben? I suspect he may have been going by Eben when he left for California, thus leading to Eliza being put in touch with Ebenezer H Orne.

And as a footnote, it turned out that Ebenezer H Orne and Edward T Orne were first cousins. Their fathers, Joseph Orne III and Ebenezer M Orne were brothers. Eliza was not an Orne, however. Her mother's first husband was Joseph Orne IV; Eliza's father was Henry Bates.

While we're on the topic of Edward T Orne, here's a letter he wrote requesting his great-grandfather's Revolutionary War service records... click the thumbnails to enlarge:

Page 1:
Page 2:

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Raysors in Sacramento

Jeff and I took a field trip to Sacramento today to get photos of the Raysors buried in the IOOF Cemetery on Riverside Dr in Sacramento. (The cemetery and Carl's house were both conveniently within 3 miles of both the church we go to in Sacto and Jimboy's Tacos.)

The three interred in this cemetery are Carl's first wife, Alice (who died of tuberculosis in 1925), and their two children, Frances and Carl Jr. (both of whom died of tubercular meningitis). It's a nice cemetery, well-maintained, with mature trees throughout. Alice is buried beneath a pine tree. The children are in an infants section. The headstones are made of cast cement, similar to many of the headstones we saw here. I'm not sure why these three are all buried in the IOOF cemetery. Frances, who was the first to die, is laid in a plot owned by a "Mrs Johnson." I have no information on who that is; none of Alice's sisters married a Johnson, so she is likely a family friend (Alice's family were long-time Sacramento residents). The IOOF did traditionally provide burial services for the indigent. Carl was not indigent, but perhaps money was tight, and a family friend offered a plot. (Or maybe he was an IOOF member at that time.) Carl is listed as the owner of the plots for Carl Jr and Alice. Another possibility for the choice of cemetery may be simply the proximity to Carl's home on W. St.

Carl's son, Carl Jr:
His wife, Alice:

His daughter, Frances Harriet Raysor:Frances' headstone is worn -- I'll take a rubbing the next time I visit.

Here's the home at 905 W St., where Carl and his family lived in Sacramento:

This is his listed address at least as early as 1916, up until Alice's death in 1925.

The house on W street is only a couple of blocks from the cemetery, and it parallels the freeway. It was probably a fairly nice house in its day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Helen Apartments

Arden recently unearthed this photo of the "Helen Apartments," which I'm reasonably convinced are located in Spokane (and Helen's age in this photo is consistent with the timeline). I googled "Helen Apartments" and found quite a bit of info on a Helen Apartments building in Spokane which was the site of an infamous and gruesome serial murder. Outside of Greece it's the only instance of Helen Apartments that I could find. (Using google maps' street view, I located the building in Spokane, which doesn't look exactly like this, but could have undergone "renovations" in the last hundred years. It's in what is currently Spokane's skid row area. )

I'm still working on identifying all of the individuals in the photo.

The tall gentleman on the far right is George Maltesta. It's possible that the young lady standing between Ella and George is Myrtle Kalas. She bears a resemblance to a newspaper photo I have of Myrtle at that time. If so, the young boys could be Quisty and Bud Kalas. The gentleman on the far left is probably Raymond Lavery ("Uncle Ray"), although William Lavery looked a lot like Ray, so it could be him instead.

Yesterday, Lorraine provided more information about the "Spokane Connection." Arden knew that her mother and grandparents had lived in Spokane for a short time, but didn't know when or why. Lorraine provided a few more puzzle pieces:

One of the essays I have that Helen wrote is titled "California, Here We Come!", and in it she states that in 1916 she and her Mother left Alameda for Chicago (for economic reasons) because her Father had lost his job and there being a recession at the time the chances of him getting another soon were slim. They sold all their household furnishings, and were in Chicago (probably with Aunt Mae) for four months.

She states that at that time he finally got located in Spokane, Washington, and they returned to California. She says she returned to the same school she had attended
before they left.

She says they had moved to California 9 years earlier (1907). That was about the time that gr grandmother Ellen died, which is in a letter I have that she wrote to my Mother stating that Ella had just arrived in California, and that she (Ellen) was sick. I think there was one other sister living in California at that time (probably Carrie?) (kmn's note: Carrie didn't move to the Bay Area until 1927; Lucy was the one living in California at this time.)

One last thing: notice Helen's long blonde curls? You can see them in person! Among the stuff Arden found in the garage was a bag of hair --- Helen's curls when she had them lopped off.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lavery Family Photos

Recently, I was able to get in touch with Lorraine D, a Lavery descendant, from whom we have a letter written to Helen Raysor in 1981. She's 82 years old; she and Arden are second cousins. She is descended from Ida Raysor (Eleanor's sister), the oldest of the Raysor children. She had several family photos that she shared with me, and quite a bit of information on the Laverys and Daleys that I would not likely to have been able to track down on my own.

Anyway, here are a few of the photos she shared (CLICK to BIGGIFY):

The photo above is of the four Daily (Daley/Daly) sisters. The large photo is labeled. The top photo is Ellen, Alice, Catherine and Annie. Ellen (far left at top; far right on bottom) is your great great grandmother.

The Dailys were raised in an orphanage, likely orphaned by a catastrophic cholera epidemic in Chicago. Ellen was living on her own in 1860, at the age of 16. She married William Lavery in 1864... he had been in the hospital recovering from grievous wounds he suffered at the second battle of Bull Run (a mini ball hit him in one leg near the groin and traveled down his leg to a point a couple of inches above the knee; the ankle on the other leg was broken), and they married almost immediately after he left the hospital. (It is not known, but would seem that perhaps she was volunteering at the hospital and met him there).

This is Ellen's daughter Ida, with her grand-daughter Evelyn. Evelyn was Helen Raysor's first cousin (and Lorrain's mother). There's also a note from Aunt Lucy Lavery Kalas.

This photo shows Evelyn, Lucy and Ida. This is the youngest photo I have of Lucy. Arden and Lorraine both remember Aunt Lucy as being a lot of fun. When Arden traveled from Potter Valley down to Oakland to visit the orthodontist, they stayed with Aunt Lucy, and she remembers them stayed up late into the night -- they would make toast and tea and sit around the table playing cards and laughing... a lot.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Maltesta Family is from Genoa

I was lucky to get two good death certificates yesterday. One, for Dominick Malatesta (Helen Maltesta Raysor's grandfather; your great grandfather), and the other for Walter Joseph Malatesta, who was Helen's great uncle (George's brother).

From these two docs, I was able to get a more accurate description of Dominick's parents (John B and Mary), his wife Ann (Gerrity) and a specific location of his hometown in Italy: Genoa. I've been unable to conduct further research on the Maltesta line without knowing where they were from in Italy, so this may be a big help.

You can click the following to enlarge:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Carl Raysor: When was the top photo taken?

This is the photo with the mystery date:In the photo above (you can click to enlarge and view details), Carl is on the far right. His collar suggests that the photo was taken before 1915, I think. Arden thinks it was taken in the mid-to-late 1920s. However, compare it to the following photo taken in the summer of 1930:

Although Arden thinks the top photo was taken between 1926 and 1930, it seems to me that, fashion aside, Carl looks significantly older in the bottom photo. His face has filled out, and seems to reflect the tragedies he's experienced in the previous 15 years. In the top photo he looks young, fresh-faced, full of promise.

I'm doing more fashion research to more accurately place the top photo, but my initial guess is that it was taken between 1910 and 1915. I'd love your input!

Friday, July 25, 2008

More Garage Goodies

The excavation of the garage continues, and a box unearthed yesterday (from a pile beneath the dryer vent) yielded unexpected treasures. The first was a letter from Aunt Mae (Lavery) Madden to Helen Raysor on the occasion of Eleanor's death (Click to biggify):

The second letter (from "Lorraine" to your grandmother) below is a puzzler. The topic of the letter is Lavery genealogy, with margin annotations which at first glance, appear to have been made by Helen. There are two distinct handwriting types on the letter. Maybe notes on the family that Helen is leaving behind for Arden? One in particular stands out: "My mother's father Wm D Lavery a brute my mother hated him". (Helen was beginning her descent into dementia at this point, and was not always remembering things clearly -- it could well be an erroneous memory. Lorraine says that her mother had fond memories of "Old Bill," but acknowledges that Ella and Helen did not share those fond memories.) This letter is mined with clues; I just hope we can make sense of them. Click to biggify:

At the bottom, Lorraine is musing on Wm Lavery's whereabouts between Nov 1862 and Mar 1863. Click here for more info on the 44th NY Infantry's involvement in the Civil War. UPDATE: I just received Wm. Lavery's entire Civil War Pension File, which described that he was gravely injured in the second battle of Bull Run at the end of August, 1962. His leg was eventually amputated (when he was about 50 y.o.) due to that injury. Subsequent to finding this letter, I was extremely lucky to be able to make contact with Lorraine through She had a ton of information on the Lavery family, including photos!

Also in this stash was a postcard album, with postcards dated from 1905 - 1912. It provided addresses for your grandmother and great grandparents in Chicago and Alameda for that time period. A couple of the postcards were incredibly politically incorrect, but typical of the time. I'll try to scan them this weekend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A C Raysor

Here is your great-great grandfather, Abraham C Raysor and the photo was taken in the 1870s. He was a preacher at the Barkeyville Church of God, and instrumental in establishing the BCoG.

I was trying to get cemetery records from the Barkeyville Cemetery (where all the Barkeyville Raysors are buried), and ended up sending a request to the pastor at the Barkeyville Church of God, hoping he would know the sexton and forward my request for cemetery records to him. I hit pay dirt. Turns out, he is not only the pastor of the Barkeyville Church of God, but he's also a member of the Barkeyville Cemetery Board, a member of the Churches of God Historical Society Board AND the resident Barkeyville Historian. He responded enthusiastically that he had a lot of Raysor info, and as a teaser, sent along this photo. I can't wait to see what he has for me: he has promised some "cool surprises." He also promised to "say hello" to the interred Raysors when he went to the cemetery this afternoon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dominick Malatesta: Fireman

Your great great grandfather, Dominick Malatesta, was a Chicago fireman. I found this article in the Chicago Tribune dated 8 NOV 1872, announcing his transition from a probationary member of the Fire Dept. to a regular member. This occurred a year and a month after the Great Chicago Fire.

Monday, June 16, 2008

District Meet Programs

Here are downloadable programs from District Meets of yesteryear. We have the series from 1965 through 1975, excluding 1973, which may yet turn up in my diggings.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where the Bodies are Buried

I received a death certificate for your grandmother, Kathleen Ware Glass, in addition to death certs for her mother (Mayme Orne Ware), her aunts (Emily Orne Hitchcock and Nellie Ware), and her uncle Freeman Orne. All died in the Los Angeles area. When I got the certs back, I was surprised to see that Nellie was listed as being buried in the Sunset View Cemetery* in Berkeley (now El Cerrito). So I requested her cemetery record, hoping to see if her husband Thomas Ware and/or your great grandfather, Charles Bennett Ware (Thomas' brother) were buried there as well. Per Arden, Kathleen and her mother had lived in Berkeley for a while, and Kathleen had attended Cal prior to marrying Joseph Glass.

I was surprised to find that the whole bunch of them (except Thomas Ware and Emily Hitchcock) were buried in Berkeley. The best new information was pinpointing Charles Bennett Ware's burial date (2 FEB 1929) --- up till now, I only knew that he died between 1920 and 1930. I imagined that he'd probably died in Illinois (they lived in Oak Park in 1920), and after his death Kathleen and her mother moved west to make a new start. Now it seems most likely that they all moved to Berkeley around the time Kathleen entered Cal, and Charles died a few years later.

Here is their headstone:

UPDATE: The two plots are side-by-side, but there is no marker for Kathleen's plot, even though the cemetery records indicate there is a monument there. At some point we may need to buy her a headstone. There is also no marker indicating that the remains of Nellie and Freeman are interred/inurned here. I need to follow up on that.
* Financial Services mogul Dean Witter is buried here

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hubbard Wilson McKoy's OBIT

I was thrilled to find an obit for Hubbard Wilson McKoy (your great3 grandfather) in the Mountain Democrat Newspaper which served El Dorado County, CA. H W McKoy died in 1895. This article reprints an obit from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and comments upon it. It was an especially "meaty" obit, since it detailed his life in El Dorado county (in the area above Placerville.)

(Click to biggify the image)

McKoy also contributed to the growth and development of Felton:
Other major components of the industry in Felton at this time were the lime kilns; by 1878 Felton was putting out $200,000 worth of lime annually. Limestone powder is a necessary part of concrete and mortar. The lime was shipped to Santa Cruz via the new railway. Many prosperous companies had their start in this ear; the Henry Cowell Ranch kilns just south of town; the IXL Kilns and the Holmes Lime Kiln quarries to the west of town.

From this industry in the 1870's the town developed the usual suspects; in short order there came a general store, a hotel and a saloon (built by Walter Cooper and JM Merrill); a man named Hubbard McKoy, Vermonter, opened a private post office and hauled mail; the same McKoy later opened a blacksmith's with master blacksmith Potter Paschall in charge; James F Cunningham and McKoy opened another general store in 1871, in anticipation of the settlement's growth. A constable and a justice of the peace set up shop there in 1878. Even the school district, which had been founded in 1863 at Ashley's on the San Lorenzo River, changed its name to the Felton School District and moved into town in 1875 to reflect the facts of population density in the valley. For by 1880 the majority of people in the San Lorenzo Valley lived Felton."


Thursday, May 22, 2008

An Orne Family Photo & Nellie's Passport

I was extraordinarily fortunate this last month to have been put in touch with M. Dale, a wonderful contact who has encyclopedic knowledge of the Higgins and Orne families. She was extremely generous with her time, and provided photos and information I'd never have had access to otherwise.

One of the best items was this photo of the Orne family. Ellen Higgins Orne is in the center, surrounded by her children. The date of this photo is likely the period between 1904 and 1913 - the time after Eben died, but while Ellen was still living.

Your great-grandmother, Mayme Orne Ware is in the lower right (you can see a resemblance to Tim). Years later, she, Freeman ("Uncle Free"), Nellie and Emily were all living in the Los Angeles area --- and they were all L.A.-area residents at the time of their deaths. Mayme and Nellie married the Ware brothers. Charles Ware (Mayme's husband) died between 1920 and 1930. Thomas was still alive in 1930, the last public census (until the 1940 census is released in 2012).

I also found Nellie Orne Ware's passport application (Click image to biggify):

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Carl Raysor's Family Who Came Before

Carl Raysor was married with a family prior to meeting and marrying Helen Maltesta. The only thing we knew about this was from what Helen told Arden after Carl's death: Carl was married before and had a family, but they all died. Arden thought they'd died in a fire, but couldn't recall clearly, and she said she was so shocked by the news that she never asked her mother another thing about it.

Last Fall I was able to locate what I thought were the records of his first wife and two children. I've finally received the documentation supporting those findings, in the form of death certficates and cemetery records.

Carl's first wife was Alice Frances Clifford of Sacramento. They married in 1913. In 1916, their first child, Frances Harriet Raysor, was born. She died in 1917 of tubercular meningitis. In 1921, a son, Carl Raymond Raysor, was born. He died in 1922 when he was about 9 months old, also of tubercular meningitis. In 1925, Alice died of pulmonary tuberculosis. She'd had it for seven years. All three are buried in Sacramento's IOOF Cemetery.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Meet your great great great Grandparents

Meet Joseph Higgins and Mary Greer Higgins, your great-great-great grandparents. I was really lucky this week to be put in touch with a woman who has comprehensively documented the Higgins line, and she has a lot of photos in addition to family lore - these are two of the photos from her collection. She's been extremely generous in sharing information about the Higgins and Orne families.

Around 1861, Joseph and Mary moved to the Dubuque, Iowa area from Morrill, Maine. Mary died in Iowa in 1862 at the age of 54. Mary's father, James Greer, fought in the Revolutionary War (his Revolutionary War pension file is 99 pages long, much of it hand-written, and I'm still parsing that data).

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A TR connection?

Today, I received a book -- a History of the San Lorenzo Valley, and inside, a cursory look revealed both a story about Bessie Glass helping to catch a diamond thief, and a photo of the Grand Central Hotel (of which Joseph was half-owner starting in 1905, and eventually ran in 1909.)

Taking another look at a photo (Felton Townspeople) that Sarah had provided, I was able to ID the building in the "Felton Townspeople" photo as also being the Grand Central Hotel. (The lady with the bicycle is Lucy Ball.) It also figures in several other Felton photographs from Sarah.

So what's the deal with Teddy Roosevelt? Well, biggify the top photo, and check out the 4th guy from the left. I mentioned off-handedly to Jeff, "Hey, look: Teddy Roosevelt!" At first, we were like, yeah, right, everybody looked like TR in those days. But then, looking at the facts, it didn't sound so crazy...

Why it might be TR:

  • Teddy Roosevelt visited Felton in May 1903 to dedicate Big Basin State Park (he was instrumental in saving the redwoods here) - the photo is consistent with the time frame;
  • Joseph Ball was county Supervisor at the time of Roosevelt's visit; he likely would have been part of the welcoming committee (I suspect that Joseph Ball is in this photo, but there's no way to identify him);
  • Clothing is consistent with May weather. Some of the men are wearing straw boaters; Lucy is in white cotton.
  • The Felton TR lookalike is holding up the kid that looks like Charlie McCarthy. That seems like something TR would do during a photo opp.
Why it probably isn't TR:

  • Felton guy is a little frayed around the edges. TR was a dandy.
  • When TR visited the San Lorenzo Valley, 12,000 people showed up. It would appear that if this were TR, there would be a crowd.
The probability is very low, but it's been a fun ponderable..... we need Archie from C.S.I. to do a biometric analysis.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Annie McCoy Ball's Obit

Last weekend we took a field trip to the Boulder Creek Library where we spent the day scrolling through microfilm looking at old issues of the "Mountain Echo," a newspaper published for the San Lorenzo Valley (Felton, Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, etc.) around the turn of the century (about 1895 - 1915).

After wrestling with ancient microfilm technology (and reading through 167 ads for remedies for piles and catarrh), we came away with a ream of info on family members from the Felton area. The best find was a good obituary for your great-great grandmother (Annie McCoy Ball) who died suddenly at the age of 45. Here's the transcription:


Mrs Annie Letitia Ball, wife of Supervisor Joseph Ball, died suddenly and unexpectedly at the family apartments in the Hotel Ben Lomond last Sunday night at 10:30 o'clock. Mrs Ball had been subject to attacks of heart trouble during the past year and it was one of these that caused her sudden taking off as stated above, the immediate cause of death being diagnosed as paralysis of the heart.

Mrs Ball had been about her duties as usual the day before her death and seemed to be as well as usual and in good spirits. There was nothing to indicate her being called so suddenly. Like a thunderbolt from a clear sky the shaft of the destroyer came and in a few minutes after it struck the wife and mother had passed from the earth.

The funeral took place Tuesday afternoon and was largely attended. The home services were held at the Hotel Ben Lomond at one o'clock. Rev Wm Hicks, of the Presbyterian church of this place, officiating. The remains were then taken by the afternoon train to Santa Cruz, accompanied by many other friends and a long procession of carriages
wended its way to the Odd Fellow's cemetery, where the impressive burial services were conducted by Isabella Rebekah Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Santa Cruz, of which Mrs Ball was a member in good standing. Court adjourned and all of the county officials attended. Many beautiful floral pieces testified to the sympathy and good will of friends and the esteem in which deceased (sic) was held. Interment was in the family plot in the Odd Fellow's cemetery.

Mrs Annie L. Ball was a sister of Mrs L N Hayes, Mrs T B Hubbard and Mrs G C West, all of San Jose, and was the second daughter of Mr and Mrs H. W. McKoy, old residents of Felton, where her life from girlhood, until recently, has been passed. She was united in marriage to Mr Jos. Ball in the early seventies. Three children blessed the union, one deceased, and the two daughters, Lucy and Bessie, now grown to womanhood, and left to mourn the loss of a faithful, devoted mother. Mrs. Ball was a native of El Dorado county, this state, and was aged 45 years at the time of her death. Her bereaved family have the sincere sympathy of a wide circle of friends in their great and unexpected affliction.

DATE: 16 MAR 1901

Also found an obituary for your great-great grandfather, John Glass. He had no funeral ceremony other than the I.O.O.F. rites:
The funeral of John Glass took place in Santa Cruz last Sunday at 11 AM from Odd Fellow's Hall and the interment was in the Odd Fellow's cemetery. There was no ceremony other than the burial service of the order, which was used both in the hall and at the grave. The pall bearers were: A M Fraser, Dan Hartman, G P Lane and Thos Maddock of Boulder Creek; Jas. H Curtis of Felton and Prof W T Forsyth of Santa Cruz.

Date: 28 JUN 1902

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Mystery of the Uniform

Of all the photos Sarah has shared with us, this is one of my favorites. It's your great grandfather, Charles Bennett Ware (Kathleen Ware's father), in full uniform. I asked Sarah about the uniform, but she didn't have any info on his military service.

I once did a drawing of Teddy Roosevelt which featured a pin identical to the one on Ware's hat, and because it seemed he would have been of age to fight in the Spanish American War, I started by researching uniforms from that war. I got a match. Next, I looked up Spanish American War service records and got a hit on Charles Ware. Turns out, he served as a corporal in the Spanish American War, in Company E of the Illinois Infantry.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Recent coverage of Latin Mass at St Margaret Mary Church

KTVU coverage of the Traditional Latin Mass at St Margaret Mary Church in Oakland, CA on Easter (23 March) 2008.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Click the image to biggify it. It's an item your Dad sent in to a Herb Caen wannabe:

Arden and the Junior Women's Club

Click image to biggify:

You'll note that her beehive is woefully nonexistent. She should have consulted with Miss Pat or Miss Helen about getting bigger hair:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Passenger List for the Andrew Foster

You'll need to click the image below to enlarge it...

This is from the passenger manifest for the ship the Andrew Foster, from Liverpool to New York which arrived 9 JAN 1854. The entire manifest is here. I'm not sure, but there's a good chance this is your great-great-grandfather, John Glass (1841-1902), the father of Will Glass who went to the Yukon. The emigration date matches up to what he stated for the census, and he has a brother named Charles (a name which appears throughout the Glass family tree); so far, nothing to suggest this is not the same John Glass.

But the thing I want to call to your attention is the story behind the manifest. The mother (age 40) is travelling with the five children; the father is not on the manifest --- I'd guess that he may have come over during the famine years to earn money, then sent for them later, but that's purely speculation. (I did find a John Glass who arrived in NY in 1852.) So, the mother, Isabella, is travelling with John, age 12; [illegible] son, age 9; Charles, age 6; James, age 4; and Margaret, age 2. Now, scroll over to the far right column, in which it is noted the the mother, Isabella, died on December 15th (in transit), James and Margaret died on December 13th. My eyes well up just typing this. I just hope a father was waiting at the docks to meet them --- I can't imagine what it would have been like to be a 12-year old boy with his 9- and 6-year-old brothers in tow, alone in the streets of New York (they would have ended up on orphan trains were that the case.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Walter J Maltesta and the 1920 GOP Convention

This article appeared in newspapers across the midwest. Walter J Malatesta (1887 - ?) was George Maltesta's (1878-1957) younger brother. I have about a 80% degree of confidence that the Walter in the article is the same Walter that was George's brother. I don't have much info on Walter. He was born in 1887. In 1910 he was a "Private Secy"; in 1917 he was a "Retail Sales Manager"; in 1920 he was manager at an ice company; in 1930, he was an investment banker. He was married to "Marian C.". He was the youngest in the family and his mother died when he was a toddler.

L.W. Henley and Walter J. Malatesta are the most popular persons in Chicago. The former is secretary of the arrangements committee and the latter is secretary of the Chicago convention committee.

They were nearly mobbed when ticket distribution took place. Malatesta had the worst time trying to divide 2,658 tickets --- Chicago's allotment for those who contributed the money for staging the big show --- among 150,000 applicants.

"I got 73,000 checks from people who wanted to buy tickets," said Malatesta. "It hurt like the dickens to return all that cash."

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Helen Maltesta a Hit in Theatre Performance

This is from the 17 SEP 1926 San Mateo Times. Text:

"Helen Maltesta gave an impersonation of Pat Rooney in a dance number that scored a big hit. Cleverly costumed and excellent in her performance, the little lady was an instant success."

Not certain if this is the performing troupe that Helen joined that caused the rift with her father.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Arden's Departure for Hawaii + Carl's Obit

Here is the whole newspaper page (Oak Tribune, Thursday 26 Mar 1953), announcing Arden's Hawaii trip.

I also found Carl's Obit:

... and lastly, Arden and Bill's Wedding Announcement (click to enlarge):

Monday, March 3, 2008

Myrtle Kalas

Many members of the Kalas family are buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, so having seen their headstones (and given the Star Trek connection), this family held special interest for me.

I've been fortunate in being able to find several items in the Oakland Tribune's archives on various family members, including several colorful ones involving Myrtle Kalas. The first was her "coming out" party, which featured a dramatic reading by Helen Maltesta (who was then about 12 years old):

(Click to enlarge)

When I showed this article to your Mom, she laughed. She was familiar with all the names of the attendees, and far from being a High Society Deb party, this was pretty much a family birthday party with classmates and young relatives in attendance.

The second article "Local Cupid Snubbed by 15-yr-old Neighbor" describes how Myrtle, when working in the Alameda County Recorder's office (next door to the marriage bureau), opted to apply for a marriage license in San Jose rather than have the snoopy marriage bureau employees find out about her impending nuptials. It was a whirlwind romance: Myrtle and Benjamin were engaged after knowing each other just three weeks:

When your great grandfather, George Maltesta moved alone to San Francisco, Eleanor and Helen moved in with the Kalas family (Anthony Kalas and his wife, Lucy, who was Eleanor's sister. The kids included Myrtle, Anthony, Charles "Quisty", Dolly and Bud.) Helen married Carl Raysor soon thereafter. William Lavery (Eleanor and Lucy's brother) also lived with the Kalases.