Thursday, August 28, 2008

George Cummings with Heirloom Fiddle

Genealogy and family of George Cummings was born 7 DEC 1899
Spring Cove, Tupper Lake , New York, the 12 child of 14 born to
James Cummings and Margaret Jane LaVallee. Actually he was the
third child born in the United States, his younger siblings were all
born in Ontario, Canada so his name is not found in the immigration
George was married twice, his first wife was Florence Thomas of
Basher Falls,New York, Daughter of William Thomas, they were married 27 Sep 1920, first child was Bessie, born 1924. An oils stove that Florence was using in the kitchen exploded and she was badly burned, this was about April 1929. The family seemed to gather at his brother Charles's home, several newspaper accounts list, George and his wife, Martin Cummings and daughter Shirley, and Mr & Mrs Berlin Olyer as guest 15 Aug 1931, fairly often in the late 30's
After Dorris was born 1933, and before 1943 the family broke up, they were divorced. Doris went with her mother to Massena N.Y. where we find Florence entertaining guest including my grandmother Margaret Cummings Olyer mentioned in Tupper Lake Free Press 16 Sep 1943.
From the newspaper accounts my grandmother was a frequent visitor to Mrs George Cummings, over several years.
George continued to live in Tupper Lake, N.Y. were he met Leola Borgardus , daughter of Weldon Bogardus, born in 1912, Soon they were married at the home of Mr & Mrs Clarence Hurt at Oxbow Lake, New York. 15th of July 1956. Leola had been divorced from Carl Colton, having had one son by her first husband.
George and Leola owned the Parkside Grociery & Gas station on the old road, in 1944, it was completely destroyed by fire, they were unable to salvage anything. including a most valuable family heirloom, a hand made Fiddle, Margaret Jane LaValle, his mother was a well known Fiddle player, she taught George how to play it and gave it to him. We are lucky to have a photo of George with the fiddle.

On 12 Sep 1968 George was driving for the Gold Medal Bakery, when he discovered a fire,
the recently renovated Skyline Inn, was fully engulfed, he notified the Tupper Lake fire dept,
they were able to salvage the building.

George was very active in his church and in the Masonic lodge in fact he held dual membership,
having been appointed Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, by Lloyd Cochran Grand Master of state New York, he was also Grand Lecture ,Amaranth Court 70 Visitation .
After his death Leola Cummings in a open meeting of lodge #687 presented the lodge with a new Alter given by her in memory of George Cummings.
On the 27 jul 1966 a Surprise Anniversary party was held for George and Leola at their home in Oswegatchie, New York, a newspaper account list all the relatives in attendance.It was shortly after this date that the unknown person left a note at my campsite.
I did not know George, but in researching the family I think he and Leola might have been the couple that wrote the short note on the camp site reservation "if you are looking for Cummings check Genereaux" Without that clue, I would never have been able to unravel this family, I knew there was no Cummings ancestry but had no idea what to look for. Have wished many times that it was just to bad things were so busy on week-ends I just did not have time to meet all the guest, this is one person that I would have loved to questioned about the family.

I have a newspaper account of a three week trip they took and mentioned is a son Robert
Cummings living in Ingelwood, Calif. but I have not been able to confirm that they had any children can you help?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mother of Margaret Jane LaVallee

A plea for help
Margaret Jane LaValle first appears in a census record of Hastings Township, Hungerford, Ontario, Canada as a infant age 1, born in CE. in the household of one Michael LaValle farmer age 29 CE Roman Cath. head and Mary , wife fem age 29 living in same houehold is a Martha Ann Murray age 7 servant, Peter Murray, age 4 CW, RC orphan.

This is the quest to find the genealogy and parents of Mary the
mother of Margaret Jane LaValle,Infant.

Since Michel LaVallee was married a second time to Sophia Genereau
9 Aug 1869 in the St Michael the Archangel Catholic church in Bellville, he must have been married to the first wife Mary in a Catholic church someplace, probably Quebec as infant
Margaret Jane was born CE in census. {think this is Quebec}

When the infant Margaret Jane LaVallee (census 1861} was married 13 Jan 1875 to Anthoney Moses Genereau in the same St Michael the Archangel church, her father was given as Michel
Lavel and mother as Maria Travin [crossed out in pencil and written above Heron]. By this time
1875, the father had already married for second time Sophia Genereau, sister to Anthoney Moses Genereau.

In a newspaper file in the Bellville Library, there is several pages covering a trial-it seems Mary LaVallee was 2 months pregnant, taken ill in May, she sent word to Michael a French laboror from the "Grove", who was working in Kingston to return home, he finding her ill, located a "Doctor Waldren" a vendor of quack medicine from London C.W. gave her oils and powders which resulted in her aborting a child. This led to her death a few days later 7 jun 1867. In her deposition, a few days before death, she states she had a miscarriage sometime before, she was the mother of five children, and was her sister Margaret Philips who took care of her while she was ill. There are pages of testimony, Dr Waldren was in jail, but do not know his outcome.

From family records we know that Margaret Jane had 2 sisters and a half brother and sister.

Margaret Jane was born 1859, Mary Agnes born 1860, Louise born 1864. the half brother must have been Peter Murray bn 1852, the half sister Mary Ann Murray 1854, These Murray children must have belonged to Mary Travin. Interesting fact the two sisters married two Kiser brothers, and Peter married a 2nd cousin Samanthia Kiser; Sure makes genealogy simple.

Berlin Olyer-family story teller, claimed that Michael LaVallee's wife had a Indian squaw come to house to visit, she laid baby on the porch and while inside home a farm animal killed the child.
He also claimed Maria, Michaels wife was Indian or part Indian.

So this is all I know about this poor lady , born about 1832 probably married to a Murray had two children, Peter and Mary Ann. Married second Michael abt 1859 and had three more children, died from medical induced abortion in 1867. The name Travin was crossed out on church entry and above "Heron". Who was she, no first marriage or baptism for her first child,
any suggestions??

Her daughter in photo above lived for years in Waverly New York, near the Indian reservation, if you notice she has on moccasins-no one can recall ever seeing her in anything but these. This
Margaret LaValle was musically inclined, she played and passed on to her son George the fiddle or violin which she used to teach him. Unfortunately his home burned and the instrument was destroyed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

William Patrick Murray Killed Store and Home Explosion

Geneolagy and family History, triumphs and disasters of
Louise Genereaux, alias Cummings, was the 7th child of 14, she
was born 10 Jun 1886 in Meadow Bay, Hastings Co. Ontario,
Canada. Her parents were Anthony Moses Genereau and Margaret
Jane LaVallee. Since her father was a Logger his work required
frequent movement, seldom over a couple of years, then on to
another log camp.
As I have posted before her dad left the family in 1890 and did not
return until 1896. During this period her mother was the sole
support for the family and some of the older children were put out to other families in the Martintown, Hastings Co. Ont. area. When the father returned the family came back together and moved to Spring Cove, New York where he worked as blacksmith and mother cooked and ran the dinning hall for the loggers. Would assume she obtained her immigration papers in 1898 when her sister also became a citizen. the family was now going by the name Cummings. When her sister Margaret was married Berlin Olyer, in 1900 and moved to Little Falls, New York-Louise followed her to Little Falls, were she worked in the mills.

About 1917 she met and married William "bill" Patrick Murray, bn 19 Nov 1880 the 4th
child of 5, who's father was Jerry Murray and his wife Margret, lived at East Main St. in Little Falls, New York, were they operated a small grocery and confection store.
Bill Murray signed up for WW1 draft registration in 1917 and gave his nearest relative as Louise Murray, address as 84 Burell St. Little Falls. the next year a daughter May was born, followed
on, 20 Mar 1920, by Jane and then Adelaide in 1923.

As a child I was close to May and Adelaide, I am ashamed to say I have lost tract of them now, I know both of them married and think they live in the Albany, N.Y. area.

Sometime in the 30's Louise and Bill took over his fathers store at east Main st. and continued to operate it, adding the convenience of gasoline for there customers. Those of you from Little Falls will no doubt remember her-about 4ft 8in. , very heavy, never saw her without a smile. As you come into Little Falls,N.Y. on route 5, first street on right had a small Sunoco Gas Station and store. She could not have made much money, she gave her profit away to all the kids, she was always passing a piece of candy to any child that looked like they had no money.

The family lived in the back and upstairs of the store, Bill had a little problem with Irish Ale, which may have led to the accident.

On 12 April 1941, the gasoline supply company filed the underground gas storage tanks, next morning the gasoline had seeped into the cellar, about 9:15, Bill thought he herd water running, and could smell gasoline, but he was a little hung over and probably not thinking, went to cellar door, opened it, turned on the light switch, the explosion blew the building off the foundation and burst into flame. A power company employee got bill out, started CPR worked on him to try and revive him, Louise and a customer Harry Jackson got out the front, the girls had already left for the day. Bill was rushed to Little Falls hospital. but lived only a few hours. How terribly it must have been for his daughter Jane Murray, a Registered Nurse, in charge at the hospital when they brought him in.

This accident is covered in the Utica Observer Dispatch newspaper 13 April 1941

The home, store and contents were a total loss, home was replaced, Louise, with her daughter Jane the Registered Nurse lived there. Louise died July 1973, and Jane Murray died 2 Jun 2006
Photo was taken in 1943, with all that had happened she still was able to smile, always ready
to help anyone. She looks just like her mother see posting Feb. 27/2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Edwin Lord "Heirloom Found" Owner Unknown

Family history and strange heirloom - in the quest of genealogy.
My grandfather Edwin Booth Lord born 4 Dec 1878 in Fort Hunter, New York son of Byington Lord bn 1844 and Josephine Johnson bn 1855- his grand parents Martin Lord bn 1817,Gertrude Van Meter bn 1844 and Elias Johnson 1818, Cathern Leanardson bn 1818.

My grandmother Anna Lee Lasher bn 1877-daughter of John "Jack" Lasher bn 1842 and Mary Sterling 1851- her grandparents George Lasher 1805, Margaret Klock, and Simeon Herrick Sterling 1813, Ada Nancy Bell 1815.

The two children are Edwin Booth Lord bn 11 Jun 1904 and his
sister Lillian Lord 4 jul 1907

Grampa Lord was a master mechanic, working for Baily Knitting
Mills in Fort Plain, N.Y. His Machinist Chest has survived and
ended up with me, I am a little ashamed of its condition so thought
I better clean it up. The drawers are full of stuff that accumulates
over the 75 years since his death.
The drawers are all lined with fabric and most of them are really in good condition except for one that would not lay flat, something was under the cloth made a bump. I carefully loosened the fabric along the sides and lifted it up-and found--

The piece of jewelry is made from solid strip of silver and has the date 1884 with a flower type decoration on each side, excellent engraving. The rings holding the coins are silver. The pin is missing from the back. This was placed in the drawer by my grandfather, he carefully attached the fabric on the sides. But Why. I wonder who it was for, none of the dates match anyone in his family or his wife. The coins definitely do not match places that appear in our genealogy. Its a beautiful pin, cleans up niece but I guess no one will know why it meant so much to him. The coin on right is dated 1746, center coin 1827, on the left 1831. I have photographed it and will place it back in the drawer were he had it, just another of those mysteries.

My mother was a great collector of family "things", sure wish I knew the complete stories of some of them, greatful for the Blog it gives us a chance to present these family items so they will not be lost completely.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Philip Olyer Burned to Death Lumbermill 1920

A tragic story of the Family life, Genealogy and dangers of the lumbering trade at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the 20Th century.

The Olyer family settled in the northern part of the Adirondack mountains of New York state to work in the two most dangerous occupation of the time Lumbering and mining.

Our subject Philip Louise Olyer jr., was no exception. born in 1854, at Moores Fork, N.Y. the 5Th son of Philip Olyer and Lucretia Fanny Leach.

When a teenager he worked on a farm for Rollin Brown. As soon
as he was old enough he went to work for the Chateaugay Iron
and mining co. as a coal burner. A terrible job were wood is
burned to make charcoal, or in later years, coal was burned in a
process to make coke both the charcoal and coke gave off more
heat when used in the smelting furnaces. Every minute that you
were there, the air was full of charcoal dust, you are in constant
danger of explosion and fire.

Philip married Henrietta Battman about 1875, she was born in Canada abt 1858, there first child Wilbur F. born 1876, Henry 1878, Carrie 1879, Caroline 1880, Jerry 1882, Emma 1883, Maud 1884, George 1886, and Matie 1888.

About 1900 the work around the charcoal dust and fumes were just to much for Philip and he went back to farm labor, he was approaching 50, the coal burning had taken it toll.

Henrietta passed away 1912, in Rochester, New York ; Philip now in his 60's had brother John Vernon Olyer, who's wife Charlott Scutt, had brother, Leslie Ulysess Scutt, operating a saw mill in Long Pond, Main. Philip is offered a job.
The saw mill was water powered with a line shaft running on the ceiling full length of mill, from this, pulleys and belts, ran all the saws and conveyors. As a log came in on a dolly it passed by a 48 inch saw and a slab was taken off one side, the log was turned to rest on the flat side and by another dolly passed a Gang saw blade that cut it up, into either 1 inch or 2 inch planks. As these fell off they dropped on a conveyor and went to another saw were the edges were sawed off- then out the door to a yard crew that stacked them to air dry. This operation created a lot of waste material -saw dust and slabs with bark edges. Running below the saws was a series of conveyors that carried these waste items to the main belt this went out the side of the building in a 300 ft long conveyor, two ft wide, to a point about 30 ft above the ground. At the top, as the chain went over a pulley, it dropped the load into a huge pit that was kept burning continually, to get rid of the scrap, several foot deep and about 30 ft around of burning wood. The photo is a
modern conveyor, presently the scrap material is not burned.
Philip's job was to watch the dozen or so small conveyors to be
sure the material was not falling off and was dropping on the main
belt. You can imagine the noise inside this building with a dozen
or more saw blades wining through the logs, plus the noise of the
belts and drive lines.
Some how Philips jacket got caught on the main conveyor. His
cries for help could not be heard, he was carried out the door, up
the ramp incline-just before he reached the top, the fire tender saw him coming-his attempt to shut down the chain driven belt was hopeless and Philip was dropped into the burning pit, with saw dust and slab wood. According to newspaper article, by the time they could get him out all of his clothing was burned off, he probably died within seconds, burning sawdust and slabs would ignite immediately when they hit the burning mass.

There are several family stories about this accident but the end result is the same-this was taken from newspaper account in 1920 Oct issue Chateaugay Record.

Today this would not happen, now the sawdust is contained in pipes, the slab wood is ground into chips and all the material is reused to produce other wood products. see photo

This was a very dangerous occupation, So far in my research, I have not found any of the Olyer family members still working in this field.