Merry Celtic Christmas

4th Sunday of Advent. We’re getting there…

4th Sunday of Advent.  We're getting there...
Celtic Christmas

Celtic Winter – Magical Christmas. Thanks to Derek and Brandon Fiechter who composed the Celtic songs in this video.

(Neo-) Classical Sunday: Clamavi De Profundis’ Song of Durin

J.R.R. Tolkien intended his sub-creation to be inspiring for other artists. And so it is!

Song of Durin – Clamavi De Profundis

Clamavi De Profundis have a rather interesting selection of uploaded videos, among them a good many Middle-Earth-themed ones. On their About page on YouTube, they say: “We are a family that loves to sing together and record inspiring and uplifting music. Our music is influenced by classical and fantasy literature as well as cinematic, traditional, religious, and classical music.”

Lyrics:

The world was young, the mountains green,
No stain yet on the Moon was seen,
No words were laid on stream or stone
When Durin woke and walked alone.
He named the nameless hills and dells;
He drank from yet untasted wells;
He stooped and looked in Mirrormere,
And saw a crown of stars appear,
As gems upon a silver thread,
Above the shadows of his head.

The world was fair, the mountains tall,
In Elder Days before the fall
Of mighty kings in Nargothrond
And Gondolin, who now beyond
The Western Seas have passed away:
The world was fair in Durin’s Day.

A king he was on carven throne
In many-pillared halls of stone
With golden roof and silver floor,
And runes of power upon the door.
The light of sun and star and moon
In shining lamps of crystal hewn
Undimmed by cloud or shade of night
There shone for ever fair and bright.

There hammer on the anvil smote,
There chisel clove, and graver wrote;
There forged was blade, and bound was hilt;
The delver mined, the mason built.
There beryl, pearl, and opal pale,
And metal wrought like fishes’ mail,
Buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
And shining spears were laid in hoard.

Unwearied then were Durin’s folk;
Beneath the mountains music woke:
The harpers harped, the minstrels sang,
And at the gates the trumpets rang.

The world is grey, the mountains old,
The forge’s fire is ashen-cold;
No harp is wrung, no hammer falls:
The darkness dwells in Durin’s halls;
The shadow lies upon his tomb
In Moria, in Khazad-dûm.
But still the sunken stars appear
In dark and windless Mirrormere;
There lies his crown in water deep,
Till Durin wakes again from sleep.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Remembering Our Ancestors: William Andrews

William came with the company of Rev. Thomas Hooker to the colonies in 1624 and started the Andrews family of (what was to become) Hartford, CT.

1595 and London, England:  That should bring at least two things to mind, Shakespeare and the Black Death.  I guess some people think London was plagued by both – not I!

Regardless, our ancestors where there, in and around London during Shakespeare’s time, and surely they were bothered by the plague, among them our 12th and 13th great-grandfather William Andrews who was born in that year, 1595.  19 years later, however, we find our dear William quite far away from London, in the company of Thomas Hooker (as depicted in Frederic Edwin Church’s painting that you see featured, slightly cropped) in the colonies far west of England, and on their way to what would become Hartford, Connecticut.  William Andrews was one of the founders of that town.

founders monument
Founder’s Monument Ancient Cemetery Hartford, Ct

William married in the New World, as far as we know, and sources differ whether he was married once or twice.  It is pretty sure that he married Abigail Graves in 1632, the year our 11th and 12th great-grandfather John Andrews was born also.  Some sources say William also married Mary Savage (which would have been in the old world) and there is conflicting information because they, too, had a son called John, albeit born a good bit before ‘our’ John.  Chances are more than one William Andrews lived in London at the time, and possibly even made it to the colonies before 1700.

Our William and Abigail had eight children together, if we are correctly informed, firmly establishing the Andrews clan in the Hartford area where they stayed for many generations, until the early 19th century.  We have already portrayed several members of this branch of the family; they must have been an interesting and rather hardy bunch.  Eventually, the Andrews branch of our family tree joins the Christman branch with our (2nd) great-grandparents Dallas Christman and Alice Andrews.

William Andrews passed on at the age of 64, on 3 August 1659, this past week 361 years ago.  His wife Abigail lived on for 22 more years, and as far as we know, she married again, one Nathaniel Bearding.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandpa Andrews.  We do not know where exactly they have laid you to rest, but it is believed than you lie in the Ancient Cemetery in Hartford where the above monument bears your name along with those of other founders.

founders bridge plaque
THE FOUNDERS BRIDGE: This plaque and a second one commemorate the men and women who traveled there in 1636 with the Rev. Thomas Hooker to found the City of Hartford.

Remembering Our Ancestors: John Chris(t)man

Our 4th and 5th great-grandfather John was a real Christman: He was born on 25 December 1763.

The Christman’s, who for a few generations spelled their name “Chrisman” but have the “t” added back in again by now, at least in our branch of the tree, are of German origin.  The “Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chester County” (Chester Co, PA, that is) says the following about them:

The family is of German origin, tracing its ancestry back to the Fatherland, from whence came Daniel Christman in the good ship Alexander, William Clymer, master, ” from Rotterdam, last from Cowes,” as the vessel’s report shows. He landed in America September 5, 1730, and settled in Worcester township, then part of Philadelphia county, but now comprised in the county of Montgomery. He afterward removed to Frederick township, Montgomery county, where he died. He was a fanner by occupation, a member of the Lutheran church, and his remains lie entombed at Leedy’s burying-ground in Frederick township.

His children were : Anna E., married Johannes Grobb in December, 1749, and lived in East Coventry township, this county ; Felix, born in 1733, and removed to Vin- cent township; Elizabeth, born in 1734; Jacob, born in 1737, and died February 27, 1804; George, born in 1739, was a farmer, and lived in Frederick township, Montgomery county; and Henry , who was born in Frederick township, that county, in 1744.

Daniel Chris(t)man’s son Felix was our 5th (and 6th) great-grandfather, and today, we are remembering Felix’s son John, our 4th (and 5th) great-grandfather.  Before the Chris(t)man’s immigrated, they lived in southern Germany, in the Kaiserslautern area in Rhineland-Palate and in north-western Bavaria.

John Chris(t)man’s parents Felix and Rebecca had seven children altogether, as we have found out recently, and John was their third child and second son, the first son having been named after his father.  John was born on Christmas Day in 1763 in Chester County, PA – how very fitting, given his last name!

When John was 13, the colonies his grandparents had immigrated to turned into a nation, and his father Felix helped to bring it about, luckily surviving the Revolutionary War.

When John was 17, his mother Rebecca died, and when he was 31, his father passed on as well.  Until then, John had not found a wife, but in 1797, he married Jane Baer (or Blair), and the two still lived in the far south-eastern corner of Pennsylvania, in Chester County.

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John and Jane had six children, and they consistently spelled their name “Chrisman”, it seems.  Would be interesting to research how many branches of the Chris(t)man family spell their name without the “t” until this day, much like the Denney’s with and without the second “e”, but we’ll leave it to another day.  Our direct ancestor in the Chris(t)man line is John’s first son Daniel, named (apparently) after his grandfather.

We do not know what John did for a living, but he stayed in the area with his family, for he died on 1 August 1830, tomorrow 190 years ago, in Vincent Twp. (not sure if East or West), Montgomery, PA, and he lies buried in Vincent Baptist Churchyard in Pikeland, Chester Co., PA.  From what I can see, that’s all rather close together.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandfather John.  It’s good to know that at least one member of the Christman family was born on Christmas Day.

waldgang insta

 

Remembering Our Ancestors: John Case

John Case, our 10th and 11th great-grandfather in the Snyder line, immigrated to the New World in the first half of the 17th century.

John Case was born on 25 Jul 1616 Aylesham in the Dover District in England, that’s tomorrow 404 years ago.  We don’t know much about his childhood, but the Case family, father, mother and four sons, left Gravesend, England, bound for Boston on the ship Dorset, of the Winthrop fleet, in 1635, when John was 19 years old.  The father William (properly John William Richard) died en route in September of that year, but the rest of the family settled largely in what today is the area of Hartford, CT.

John married Sarah Spencer, whose family had been living in the colonies since the 1630s as well, around 1655, and in 1656 their first daughter Elisabeth was born.  Nine more children were to follow.  In the early years of their marriage, John, Sarah and their children lived in the settlement of Massacoe which had 13 permanent residents in 1669. People appeared to be have been hesitant to settle there in the first years.  John was appointed to the position of constable of the ‘plantation’, this being the first recorded civil office held by residents of the area.  John also appears to have been instrumental in the process of turning the settlement into a town of Connecticut, which happened on 12 May 1670 when the plantation was ordered to be called “Simmsbury“.  The boundaries at that time were Farmington on the south side and Windsor on the east side, with the extent of Simsbury running 10 miles north of Farmington and 10 miles west of Windsor.

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One can surely say the family were American pioneers, and it appears that for most of his life, John played an active role in the community life of his plantation / village / town.

Following Sarah’s death on 3 November 1691, John married Elizabeth Moore, the widow of Nathaniel Loomis, but they had no children together, Elizabeth already having had 14 children by her first husband.

John in turn died on 21 February 1704 in Simsbury and it is believed that he was buried next to Sarah in an unmarked grave on Simsbury Cemetery.

once edible mushroom - Edited

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandpa John.  It’s hard to imagine what life must have been like for your family, setting out into the New World and losing the father before you even got there, and then going on to build a community where there had been uninhabitable wilderness before.  On your shoulders we stand, and we hope to live in such a way that you do not have to be ashamed of us.

Classical Sunday: Elgar’s Enigma Variations

A performance highly praised by the commentators on YouTube.

Edward Elgar – Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma), Op. 36 (1898)

Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, 11 November 2017
00:35 Theme (Enigma: Andante)
02:18 Variation I (L’istesso tempo) “C.A.E.”
04:12 Variation II (Allegro) “H.D.S-P.”
05:04 Variation III (Allegretto) “R.B.T.”
06:30 Variation IV (Allegro di molto) “W.M.B.”
07:14 Variation V (Moderato) “R.P.A.”
09:55 Variation VI (Andantino) “Ysobel”
11:24 Variation VII (Presto) “Troyte”
12:37 Variation VIII (Allegretto) “W.N.”
14:46 Variation IX (Adagio) “Nimrod”
19:36 Variation X (Intermezzo: Allegretto) “Dorabella”
22:02 Variation XI (Allegro di molto) “G.R.S.”
23:09 Variation XII (Andante) “B.G.N.”
26:47 Variation XIII (Romanza: Moderato) ” * * * ”
30:19 Variation XIV (Finale: Allegro) “E.D.U.”

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Jacek Kaspszyk – conductor

Elgar’s Enigma Variations are an interesting piece of music since it is a musical cryptogram, that is, each variation is a musical sketch of one of Elgar’s circle of close acquaintances.

From the Wiki entry on Elgar’s Enigma Variations:

In a programme note for a performance in 1911 Elgar wrote:

This work, commenced in a spirit of humour & continued in deep seriousness, contains sketches of the composer’s friends. It may be understood that these personages comment or reflect on the original theme & each one attempts a solution of the Enigma, for so the theme is called. The sketches are not ‘portraits’ but each variation contains a distinct idea founded on some particular personality or perhaps on some incident known only to two people. This is the basis of the composition, but the work may be listened to as a ‘piece of music’ apart from any extraneous consideration.

Remembering Our Ancestors: Paul Heinrich Bücker

Last Sunday 37 years ago, (Great-) Grandpa Paul passed away in Gütersloh, Germany.

When Paul Heinrich Bücker was born on 26 January 1911 in Balve in the German Sauerland, both his father Josef Bücker and his mother Anna Hotmaker were 35 years old.  He had many brothers but only one sister, Auguste, or Gustchen for short, and she died fairly young.  They all missed her terribly; Paul named his first daughter after her.  From the quiet and beautiful Sauerland, the family moved into the Ruhrgebiet during the 1920s, most likely because Paul’s father had to find work in the city to feed his big family.  Times were hard in the Weimar Republic.

There, in the city of Dorsten, Paul grew into a man and married Anna von Hinten on 23 January 1939.  Paul moved his family out of the Ruhrgebiet to the more quiet Gütersloh close to the Teutoburg Forest – yes, the same area where the Cherusci Arminius (or rather, Hermann) beat the Romans in 9 AD -, where he worked for a private rehab clinic as a physiotherapist.  They had two daughters, one at the onset of WWII and the other when the war was over.  During the war Paul served in a medical unit in Danzig.

Paul with 2 grandchildren

In the late 1940s, Paul’s mother Anna, then widowed, lived with them for a few years in Gütersloh before she died in 1950.  His older daughter remembers well her ‘Strickoma’, and the time spent together.  Paul worked at the same place until he retired when he was 70 years old, so that would have been in 1981.

paul-und-anni-1975
Paul with his wife Anni on a visit to Bremen, Germany, around 1975

Paul died of a heart attack only roughly two years later, on 12 July 1983, in Gütersloh, and lies buried there, see picture below.  His wife Anny followed him fourteen years later.

buecker hain grave 7-12-2020
Here, Paul and his wife Anny lie buried, together with their son-in-law Ingo Hain, whose 51st birthday it would have been on the day this picture was taken, 12 July 2020.

Rest in Peace, dear Opi.  You had a big heart, and from you, I first learned about Goethe’s Faust, the music of Richard Wagner, and why it is a good idea to eat smoked ham sandwiches with knife and fork.  You also were the most cunning Easter-egg-hider in the family!

We love you, and we miss you.

paul-buecker-1982
Paul liked to visit the harbor in Bremen. Here he is watching the ships being loaded and unloaded, in 1982.

 

Remembering Our Ancestors: Donald Eugene Denney

Time is an odd thing: Some things feel close and remote at the same time.

This week, we remember Donald Eugene Denney, our father and grandfather, who passed away 24 years ago, on 11 July 1996.  That sounds like a long time ago, just under a quarter of a century, and a lot has happened since then, but at the same time, it feels like it was only recently.

Donald Eugene Denney was born on 22 February 1934 in Fairfield County, OH, third child of Lorain and Irene Denney, and their first and only son.   He grew up on his father’s farm.  Below is a pictures of him in his 20s at National Guard Camp during the Korean War in the 1950s.  The photo was in the local newspaper in August of 1956; Donald E. can be seen on the right:

national guard newspaper clipping

Another somewhat public photo from the 1970 you can see below.  It was published by the Sixth Ave. United Methodist Church, one of the clients for whom he did janitorial work at the time.

Donald E Denney 1975
Donald E. Denney in 1975

Life didn’t always hand Donald Eugene lemons, but he surely didn’t have it easy either.  When the economy tanked in the 1980s, he lost his long-time job at Alten’s Foundary and never found a job that would last again.  Mind you, he never had a shortage of odd jobs, but the economic situation in the 1980s wasn’t a whole lot better than it is now and there were many like him who basically had to retire when they were in their 50s.

Donald E. died on 11 July 1996 at the age of 62, he was laid to rest in Saint Paul Lutheran Cemetery in North Berne, Ohio.  He was the first of his immediate family (not counting in-laws) to pass away, after a short and rare illness.  His father followed him about half a year later, his mother lived for another twelve years, and his three sisters are all still alive, as well as his wife Karen and their two sons.

Requiescat in Pace, Dad.  We think of you every day.

Donald E Denney 1990
Donald E. Denney all dressed up in 1990

 

Remembering Our Ancestors: Litha Jane Lehew

If the ancestor with the most spelling variations in their first and last name won a prize, our 3rd and 4th Great-Grandma Fouts would be a good candidate.

Litha/ Leitha/ Letha Jane Lehew/  LeHew/ Layhew was born on 15 June 1829 in Bloom Township, Ohio.  Her birth date is actually inferred from her grave marker which notes how old, or rather, how young she was when she passed on: 25 years and 16 days.

leitha fouts grave marker

Online records list Moses Lehew from Front Royal, Frederick County in Virginia as her father and Isabella Clark as her mother, but in other records, we do not find Litha among their children, so we are not sure about the connection.

As far as we know, Litha lived her life in various counties in southern Ohio.  If Moses and Isabella were her parents, she lost them both within two weeks in May of 1839 when she was 9 years old, and she would have had four siblings to share her lot, two older and two younger than she was.

At the age of 21, we find Litha marrying William J. Fouts on 25 March 1851 in Morgan County, Ohio.  They had two sons during their marriage, Edward and Jedidiah, the latter being her death, it would seem:  Litha died on 1 July 1854, a month after giving birth to her second son, while Baby Jedidiah lived for another month before he, too, passed away, leaving William Fouts and two-year-old Edward behind.

William does not seem to have married again and passed away 23 years later, while Edward went on to become our 3rd and 4th great-grandfather.  Litha, William and Jedediah all rest in McConnelsville, Ohio, in the Wesley Chapel Cemetery.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandma Fouts.  You are not forgotten, neither are your husband and sons.

neighbors

 

 

Remembering Our Ancestors: Mrs. William Hall

This was one of the little genealogical surprises that you stumble upon every now and then in your researches.

susannah hall 86th birthdayMrs. William Hall – this is how she was called in a newspaper article about her 86th birthday which she celebrated on 12 September 1959.  Under the same name, we find her obituary:  On 11 June 1966, this week 54 years ago, Mrs. William Hall died at the age of 95.  Obviously, Mrs. William Hall’s birth date is not quite settled, at least not for the Lancaster Eagle Gazette where both articles appeared:  If Mrs. William Hall turned 86 in September of 1959, she was born in 1873.  In that case, however, she would only have been 93 by the time she passed away in June of 1966.

On her grave stone, the year 1870 for her birth has been chiseled.  According to some census data we have gathered, she was supposed to be 22 in 1900 (and already married for 11 years, so someone mistook a 7 for a 2 here, it seems), 37 in 1910, 47 in 1920, 57 in 1930, and 68 in 1940.  If her birthday was indeed in 1870, she was 18 when she married her first husband on 29 Mar 1889 in Clearport, Ohio, and not just 15.  Hence we will assume that her “86th” birthday was, in fact, her 89th!

So, who was Mrs. William Hall to us?  No other than (2nd) Great-Grandpa Harvey Hamilton Lindsey‘s wife Susannah Long!  Harvey Hamilton passed away 23 years before Susannah, so after having been a widow for 10 years, Susannah married again, this time William Hall who had himself been widowed twice by that time.

As you can see if you look at the names of the birthday guests, the last name Lindseyobit susannah long abounds, including of course our dear (Great-) Grandma Irene Denney.  But the second marriage lasted only for 6 years after which William died.  By the time Susannah celebrated her 86th birthday that was actually her 89th, she was already widowed a second time.

This week, we remember Susannah Long.  Her obituary also mentions her as Mrs. William Hall, but she lies buried with Harvey Hamilton, and they grave stone says Lindsey.  We assume her second husband was buried with his first or second wife.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandma Lindsey.

 

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