Wednesday, July 11, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Travel

Many of my ancestors did a lot of traveling across the United States but today I will talk about travel close to home.

Ruth Moore with her father John N. Moore Sr.

There is a road nearby called the Long Island Motor Parkway or Vanderbilt Motor Parkway. It was built and used from 1908 to 1910, for auto races by William K. Vanderbilt II. It was a 48-mile race track and it drew international attention. The two-lane concrete speedway stretched from Queens County, NY to Vanderbilt's Petit Trianon Hotel on the Islip County side of Ronkonkoma Lake. The hotel was fashioned after an 18th-Century building at the Palace of Versailles in France. It was the site of swank parties enjoyed by Long Island's elite after their drive through the countryside. Some of roadway is still in use today but many parts have been built on.

Petit Trianon Hotel

My Mother, Ruth Moore (1919-1956), travelled many times with her parents during the 1920’s. The Moore family lived in Brooklyn, New York and went from there to Ronkonkoma Lake to spend the day swimming, diving and relaxing.

Lake Ronkonkoma

 My grandfather would always tell us what a good time they had. I have some beach pictures with the family in them, but am not sure if they were taken at the Lake.

When I was little our family moved to Levittown, New York. It was a brand new community and the roads were still not paved. At one end of my road was half of an overpass that was part of the Long Island Motorway. My grandfather would say he passed by our land many times when it was just a potato farm. After looking at old maps indicating the complete 48 miles of the road I can see he did actually go passed our house when it was just farm land.

Map of Long Island with Vanderbilt Motor Parkway Indicated

In today’s travel time it would take about an hour. I can image how long it would have taken them on mostly back roads and no highways to get from Brooklyn to Ronkonkoma Lake in the 1920’s. I am wondering now if they stayed at one of the swanky hotels that lined the Lake at that time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 14 Maiden Aunt

I don’t have any maiden aunts, but a maiden cousin who was like an aunt to me.  Her name was Irene (Bunny) Morris.  She was born September 5, 1914 to Patrick Morris and Catherine Mathews in New York City.

This woman was a wonderful person and fun to be with.  She worked most of her life in a school cafeteria as a cashier.  I am sure the students just loved her sunny disposition and ability to listen without giving unwanted advice.

She and my Aunt Kay were very close and lived a block apart most of their lives.

Bunny was very special to me because she had the genealogy of the Mathews family all in her head.  I finally told her she had to write it down.  She knew everyone’s birthday from great grandpa to his great great grandchildren.  Bunny not only knew all the dates she knew how everyone was related to each other.

She finally retired and moved upstate to live with another cousin who she was very close to, Grace Mulrain.  They had many happy times together and had family up to visit all the time.
Bunny was a younger sister to Frances who died when Bunny was 4 years old.  Her female cousins were treated like sisters. Bunny Morris died 25 February 1998 in Harrison, New York

Bunny Morris and Me

Blogger Amy Johnson Crowe started this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks because family history is better when it’s shared.  This is a series of prompts to help share discoveries I’ve made in my genealogy.

Friday, March 30, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 13 Homestead

I have talked about the home in Ireland where my Grandmother, Mary Mc Guigan, was born in my blog before.  I was in contact with my grandmother’s niece over the years and she sent me a picture of the home. I do love that I have a picture from Ireland, so I can imagine what my Grandmother’s life was like in the 1870’s and 1880’s when she lived in the house.

This house and property was in the family from 1865 to 1929 according to the land records at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).  The first record available that I was able to see was from 1865.  It is from the County Armagh, Parish of Tynan, Election District Middletown and Townland Crossdall.  The reference number for the property recorded on the map for the district is #43.  I can follow the progression through the years showing who owns the property and who is renting.  Starting in 1865, Patrick Mc Guigan, my 2nd great grandfather, is renting the property from Edward Johnstone.  The property is 14 acres.  The property is rented to Patrick Mc Guigan until 1884 when his name is crossed out and his son, Thomas (my great grandfather), is written in.  The last column on the page indicates that Patrick died.  Thomas Mc Guigan rents the property from Edward Johnstone until the last record that I was able to get online, in 1929.

This is a section of the map for Crossdall indicating the property lot #43 where the Mc Guigan’s have lived at least since 1865.  They were probably there before that time because Patrick Mc Guigan’s name was not added in 1865 over someone else.

Mc Guigan House and Property Lot #43
I do know that a great Nephew of my Grandmother now owns the property and has modernized the house and barns.

Blogger Amy Johnson Crowe started this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks because family history is better when it’s shared.  This is a series of prompts to help share discoveries I’ve made in my genealogy.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 10 Strong Woman

This week’s theme is Strong Woman.  I am sure there are many strong women in my family, those leaving their countries to immigrate to America and those crossing the country before trains and airplanes.

I want to acknowledge my Aunt Kay, Catherine Mathews Hurley.  She was my godmother and my father’s only sister.  In fact Sister was her nickname.

She was the only girl with 3 brothers in a small apartment in the New York City.  She did have many women cousins living nearby who were very close in age and she stayed close to them all her life.

Aunt Kay was a very shy person, very nice, very sweet and a happy person.  She married Bartholomew Hurley when she was 29 years old.  She had her first child in 1941 just as America became involved with World War Two.  She had to learn to live without many things because they were rationed.  I am sure she had trouble getting milk for her son. She did have two more sons during the war which was both a  blessing and a hardship.
By the time her husband died in 1957, she had had 2 more children a boy and girl.  During this time she also had her mother and brother living with her.  Aunt Kay worked a full time job and took care of the house.  The oldest son had mental problems since he was born and it was a worry to Aunt Kay.  She always worried who would take care of him when she died.

Aunt Kay had a great support system of cousins and brothers.  She also loved to play cards and had her friends over all the time to play. She had a nice social life.  Aunt Kay’s happiest times were when she was home with family and friends.  Her daughter lived all over the world and asked her to travel to her but Aunt Kay never left her neighborhood.

She raised wonderful children.  Two of her sons took over the care of their brother and his problems after Aunt Kay died and did so until he died at the age of 66.  I am sure she would be so proud of them.

I think Aunt Kay was a very strong person but I am sure she didn’t think so, she just thought this is her life and she would do her best.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 9 Where There’s a Will

I have not found many Wills among our ancestors.  The one that is most loved is the one from William Moor.  He was the first of the Moor/Moore family to arrive from Ireland in 1718.

William Moor was my 5th Great Grandfather.   I have not been able to find any church records confirming his birth or marriage to his wife Martha.  I have surmised from his will that Martha’s maiden name was Anderson but have no proof.  He died January 15, 1740 in Derry, New Hampshire.

This Will is the only Will I have found of all my Moor ancestors.  The Will was in the Records of Rockingham County, New Hampshire and I am taking it from the book “A Memorial of Loyalist Families of William Moore, Josiah Hitchings and Robert Livingstone” by John Elliott Moore, published in 1898.  William Moore was born in Ireland in the valley of the river Bann, the dividing line between the counties of Derry and Antrim about 1680.

This Will indicates his place of residence, putting him in a particular place and time, where I can further research for records.  He names his wife, Martha.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t give her maiden name, but his executors are Allen and Samuel Anderson, which gives me the idea her maiden might be Anderson.  You would usually have people very close to you or relatives be your executors.

The will also names all his children, George, Thomas, Allen, William, Jane, Betty and Mary.  As you can see one son is Allen, that would also indicate that Allen Anderson might be a relative.

I was just amazed that a copy of this document from 1740 was important enough to be printed in a book about the family back in 1898.  One other thing that is wonderful about this Will is his actual signature.  Most people during that era couldn’t read or write.

The Will of William Moor 1739

In the name of God Amen the sixth day of November in the year of our Lord God 1739, I William Moor of Londonderry in the Province of New Hampshire, being very sick and weak in body, but in perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God therefore, calling unto mind the mortality of my body and Knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, That is to say principally and first of all.  I give and recommend my Soul unto the hands of God that gave it, and for my body I recommend it to the Earth to be burried in a Christian Like and decent Manner, at the discrition of My Executors Nothing Doubting but at the General Reserection I shall Recive the same again by the mighty Power of God and as touching Such Worldly Estate wherewith it hath Pleased God to bless me in the life I Give Bequath and dispose of the same in the following Manner and form Imprimis I Give and Bequath to Martha my dear Beloved wife my Lands Goods and Chattles by her to be Possessed and Kept Together for the use Benefit and Maintainance of her and my Beloved Children, which Lands they are to Labor and be obedient to her and She as in Duty bound to Learn and Instruct them as God Shall Enable her Enduring her life but and if it Should please God to Call her hence then the boys that are under age to be bound out to Trade.   Item the Lands goods and Chattles which shall or may be at her Decease to be sold and made into money I do Leave and Bequeath unto by beloved Sons George Moor, Thomas Moor, Allen Moor and William Moor, in Equal parts and Portions one hundred and Twenty Pound being Exampted and Given to my well Beloved Daughters.  Item to my Beloved Daughter Jane Christy, I Leave and Bequeath Twenty Pounds and to my Beloved Daughter Betty Moor I Leave and Bequeath fifty Pounds and to  my Beloved Daughter Mary Moor I Leave and Bequeath Fifty Pounds and if Either Betty or Mary Should die Without Issue her part to be Given to the other and Likewise my Beloved sons if any of them Should die without Issue their part to come to their Brethren, I likewise Constitute make and ordain Allen Anderson and Samuel Anderson my only and sole Executors of this my Last will and Testament, and do Ratify and Confirm this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand Seal the Day and year above Written

Signed Sealed Published                                              Signed William Moor



Pronounced & Declared by

the said William Moor

as his Last Will & Testament

               In Presence of us the Subscribers Viz

               Archibald Miller, Thomas

               Dunshe, Thomas Bacon,

               Proved Augst 26, 1741

Blogger Amy Johnson Crowe started this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks because family history is better when it’s shared.  This is a series of prompts to help share discoveries I’ve made in my genealogy. The prompt this week is “Where There’s a Will”


Thursday, February 22, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 8 - Heirloom


noun heir·loom \ ˈer-ˌlüm \

something of special value handed down from one generation to another

We do not have many heirlooms in our family.  Mostly we have photographs.  One of our heirlooms is a desk that was originally my husband’s oldest cousin, Florence aka Honey.  She used it when she was about 3 years old until 5 when she became too tall to use it. The desk stayed in her house until about 1946 when it was passed onto my husband. After we married and had children it was used by all three children, it resides at the top of our stairs to this day.  It is still in very good condition.  It is made of wood, it has two drawers and cubby holes and a roll top.  It also has the accompanying chair.

Roll Top Childs Desk

Honey using desk about 1938

Blogger Amy Johnson Crowe started this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks because family history is better when it’s shared.  This is a series of prompts to help share discoveries I’ve made in my genealogy.

Monday, February 12, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 7 – Valentine

This week the theme is Valentine, most likely Valentines Day, or a Valentine Card.  I will tell you about my husband’s aunt, Valentine Glessoff.

When I first met my husband’s aunt, she was introduced as Aunt Dee Dee or Aunt Val.  It was several years later that I found out that her real name was Valentine.  I always wondered maybe she was born on Valentines day and that was why she was named Valentine, but no she was born in June of 1907. She was born to Ivan Glessoff/Glassoff and Alexandria Konacova/Conacova both born in Russia and came to the United States in 1897.  The first daughter was given a Russian name at birth, Glafira (changed to Florence) and Valentine was the second daughter and Valentine in Russian is Валентина. This name was popular in Russia and was used by both men and women.  The first Russian women astronaut was named Valentine.

Aunt Val (Valentine) was a wonderful woman.  She loved fashion, music and dancing.  She used to go to the Roseland Ballroom in New York City before and after she married, dancing all the 1920’s and 1930’s dances.  One dance I always loved watching her dance was the Peabody. Valentine married Alfred (Freddy) Zito in December of 1929.  

Freddy Zito and Valentine Glessoff
Wedding Day December 29, 1929

They were great together, when I met them they had a 14-year-old daughter and loved to have family over all the time.  It was the noisiest house with a lot of laughter and good Italian cooking. 
Valentine worked in the Oyster Bay, New York town office for many years and was very involved with the Republican party.  Her husband died while dancing at a wedding in September of 1969.  Everyone said that was the way he would have wanted it, they just loved to dance together.  She continued to work until her late 60’s.  Her daughter married and had 2 sons and Valentine was the best grandmother ever to those boys.