"Let me see generation times, will we hear children singing rhymes? Sweet memories gone by..."

15 May 2015

An Anniversary Story

I'll walk beside you through the world today
While dreams and songs and flowers bless your way
I'll look into your eyes and hold your hand
I'll walk beside you through the golden land
--"I'll Walk Beside You" (Traditional)

An Anniversary Story, told by my mom...

A native of New Jersey, I grew up in Lawrenceville, just south of Princeton.  I went to Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) to study nursing.  On graduating, four of my friends convinced me to move to Maryland with them to work for a year at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  It was to be a good line item on our new résumés.  Fran, Melany, Judy, Jackie and myself all started working at Johns Hopkins in July/August 1974.  I shared an apartment in northeast Baltimore with Judy in the same apartment building with Melany and Fran. Our friend Jackie moved to Glen Burnie.

After about a year, Fran met and started dating her future husband, Ray.  They introduced Will, a friend of Ray's, to his future wife and my roommate, Judy.  John and Will shared an apartment.  Judy and Will introduced John to me in May 1975.  Melany continued to date her New Jersey boyfriend Lenny.  They introduced Lenny's brother Richie to his future wife, Jackie.  It is all quite the tangled web of friends.

Angela & John
Fran & Ray
Jackie & Ritchie

Melanie & Lenny
Judy & Will
Melany moved back to New Jersey and married Lenny in October 1975.  They both retired in 2011 and now live in South Carolina.  Judy and Will married in February 1976 and lived in Harford County before moving to Virginia and eventually settled in Lima, Ohio.  John and I dated for several months.  One evening in October, 10/17/1975, John came over to our apartment and asked if I wanted to go shopping.  Then he surprised me by saying he was thinking of looking for something special, like an engagement ring!  It did not take long to say YES!  We planned for a Spring wedding, and were married the following year, May 15, 1976.  We moved to and still live in Reisterstown.


Fran and Ray married in June 1976 and moved to Severn, Maryland.  Sadly, Ray passed away from a heart problem in 1995. Jackie went to University of Delaware for grad school, and Jackie and Richie were married in September 1977. They now live in northeast Pennsylvania.   The five of us still see each other regularly and have always been close friends.  We were a bunch a friends who married friends.  Two of us, Fran and myself, who went to work at Hopkins for a "year" have now completed 40 years there.  I retired in October 2014.  Fran continues to work there.  You may say it's been a "long and wonderful year!"

John and I have two beautiful daughters.  The girls grew up with the sons of John's close friend Gerry and his wife Linda.  Lesley followed our history.  Gerry and Linda's sons introduced Lesley to their high school friend, Steve. Lesley and Steve were married in 2008 and live in Hanover, Pennsylvania.  They have a daughter, Avalyn, who will soon be three years old. They are expecting a son any day now!

John is one of seven children and I am one of five children.  We are blessed with a wonderful family and extended family, many nieces and nephews, and now many great-nieces and great-nephews.  We thank God every day for all our blessings.

Fran, Melany, Angela & Jackie

03 May 2015

Virginia Oath of Allegiance

Oh I wish I were on yonder hill
It's there I'd sit and cry my fill
'Til every tear would turn a mill
My Johnny has gone for a soldier  
--  "Johnny's Gone For A Soldier" (Traditional) 

Last year my first two supplemental Patriots were officially verified by the Daughters of the American RevolutionHenry Mays and Thomas Hollandsworth.  Henry was born circa 1716, putting him in his sixties at the time of the Revolutionary War.  Thomas, born circa 1745, married Henry's daughter Susannah sometime prior to 1771.

In May of 1777, 238 years ago this month, the Virginia General Assembly passed an act requiring all free men over the age of sixteen to take an Oath of Allegiance, stating, "Allegiance and protection are reciprocal, and those who will not bear the former are not entitled to the benefits of the latter."  Both Henry and Thomas appear on the list of men from Henry County who swore the oath that year.


The text of the oath, outlined by the General Assembly, was:
"I do swear that I renounce and refuse all allegiance to George the Third King of Great Britain his heirs and successors and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Commonwealth of Virginia as a free and independent state and that I will not at any time do or cause to be done any matter or thing that will be prejudicial or injurious to the freedom and independence thereof as declared by Congress, and also that I will discover and make known to some one justice of the peace for the said state all treasons or traitorous conspiracies which I now or hereafter shall know to be formed against this or any of the United States of America."
In addition to taking the oath, Thomas also served as a Private in Captain John Cunningham's Company.  In March of 1781, the militia marched south to North Carolina, where they fought in the Battle of Guilford Court House.  At the time, Thomas was leaving behind his wife Susannah and at least three children, including my 4th-great-grandmother Phoebe, who was then about four years old.


The battle was a victory for the British, but a costly one, losing a quarter of their troops.

12 December 2014

Johann Campen

Ach siùbhlaidh mi uat But I shall go away
Cha ghluais mi tuilleadh nad dhàil Never to return to you
Tha m'aois is mo shnuadh My age and my appearance
Toirt luaidh air giorrad mo là Presage the shortness of my days
An àm dhomh bhith suainnt' When it's time for me to be laid out
Am fuachd 's an cadal a' bhàis In the cold slumber of death
Mo leabaidh dèan suas Make up my bed
Ri fuaim na h-ataireachd àird Where I can hear the surge of the sea
--"An Ataireachd Àrd" by Donald MacIver

For years now, I've been using Chronicling America to research my family in Richmond, Virginia.  The newspapers on the site have been a goldmine of information about my ancestors' day-to-day lives.  But not long ago, Chronicling America added a new collection - issues from Der Deutsche Correspondent in Baltimore, Maryland.  And it was here that I found an obituary for my 3rd-great-grandfather John Campen, much more complete than the brief notice that appeared in the Baltimore Sun.


John Campen died on December 10, 1888, and this obituary appeared in Der Deutsche Correspondent two days later, 126 years ago today.  My German's rather rusty, but here's a rough translation:

Ableben. – Am Montag Abend 1/2 12 Uhr entschlief Hr. Johann Campen für ein besseres Jenseits.  Der Verstorbene, welcher im 67. Lebensjahre stand, war seit 40 Jahren in Baltimore ansässig;  er war zuerst als Maschinist thätig und betrieb seit 1862 eine Blechbüchsenfabrik.  Er wanderte aus Emden, Hannover, hier ein und war zwei Mal verheirathet.  Der Verstorbene, welcher vielen Vereinen angehörte, hinterläßt zwei erwachsene Kinder ans erster Ehe.  Die Beerdigung findet morgen Nachmittag 2 Uhr vom Trauerhause Nr. 812 Lightstraße, aus statt.
Demise. – On Monday evening 1/2 12 o'clock passed away Mr. John Campen for a better afterlife.  The deceased, who was 67 years of age, was a resident for 40 years in Baltimore;  he first worked as a machinist and operated since 1862 a tin can factory.  He emigrated here from Emden, Hanover, and was married twice.  The deceased, who belonged to many clubs, leaves behind two adult children to the first marriage.  The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock from the house of mourning No. 812 Light Street.

John Campen and his second wife, Charlotte

It doesn't help to track down his first wife, but it at least does confirm that she existed!  So, the hunt continues for elusive Caroline Fredrick Campen!