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

18 December 2012

Siegel's Shoes for Christmas

Green is in the mistletoe and red is in the holly
Silver in the stars above that shine on everybody
Gold is in the candlelight and crimson in the embers
White is in the winter night that everyone remembers 

-- "White Is In The Winter Night" by Enya 

Still got some last-minute Christmas shopping to do?  Here's a few suggestions from my 3rd-great-grandfather Charles L. Siegel.

The notice below appeared in the Richmond Daily Dispatch 132 years ago today.  It makes for entertaining reading:

C. L. SIEGEL, 241 Broad street, has holiday presents for everybody, and he admonishes the public not to throw their money away on trifles, when they can gain such a good understanding of the situation by calling at his establishment.   Now, we believe what Siegel says, for he is a man who never talks idly, makes manifest what he says, and always carries through what he undertakes.  He is pretty generally known as a musical director and a successful manager of musical ventures, while his shoe establishment has probably much greater fame;  yet the recent enterprise by which he is enabled to offer a large stock of Christmas shoes, boots, and the like, at prices that defy competition, deserves to be widespread.  His embroidered slippers for ladies and gentlemen are said to be the cheapest in the city.   Ah! the number of happy ones who will glide about the house in these pretty slippers on Christmas morning will be truly wonderful.   We know several who will be thus fitted out, yet it is a state-secret, which to divulge would be to incur the displeasure of Santa Claus.   But, dear reader, just you call upon Charley Siegel and he will tell you about them.

And another notice from the following year, 131 years ago today:

CHARLES L. SIEGEL. - The thoughts of all Richmond people who read the cognomen of this respected citizen will recur rather to Siegel with baton in hand leading some gigantic chorus (such as the Yorktown Centennial one, for instance) than to the Siegel of No. 421 Broad street, the modest dispenser of unlimited boot- and shoe-leather, done up in most seductive guise by the cordwainer's noble art.  And yet the musical Siegel and the boot-and-shoe Siegel are one and the same - a soleful man in either case.  As a man of melody, Siegel firmly believes that -
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, strategems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus;
Let no such man be trusted.
This is Siegel when disporting himself before the pleased eyes of admiring fellow-citizens at Mozart Hall, or mayhap Yorktown.  At No. 421 Broad street he wields not the potent baton, but the equally potent and quite often more useful boot and shoe. Here it is in his home life, surrounded by the implements of his calling, that you will find Siegel -
Two soles with but a single thought.
Two hearts that beat as one.
He says that if in these festive, jolly Christmas times you do not feel like getting entranced with his superior exhibit of boots and shoes, you must succumb to the potent influence of his incomparable slippers, suited to either sex, and constituting a first-class present, or you will yield to the fascinations of the many other pretty and useful things he has congregated for your delectation.   In any event, Siegel will be on hand to serve you, pleased if you buy, and not mad if you do not.

Also, here are two ads that Charles Siegel put in the paper each of those years:

Merry Christmas everyone!

07 December 2012

Ancestry through DNA

"Listen, my child," you say to me
"I am the voice of your history
Be not afraid, come follow me
Answer my call, and I'll set you free"
-- "The Voice" by Brendan Graham

Growing up, if you'd asked me what nationality my family was, I'd probably have told you that I was Italian on my mom's side, and English (or American) on my dad's side.  I remember doing a family tree for some middle school project, going back only to my grandparents - though I had lots and lots of cousins to squeeze in :)

As I've researched, though, I've discovered a number of German ancestors in the family tree on my Dad's mother's side of the family, mixed with other lines that trace back to Revolutionary War times.  On his paternal side, the names seemed mostly English-sounding.

I can't trace my mom's side back as far, but all the names I knew were consistently Italian.  I asked my mom, and she said:
"Regarding my ancestry, I remember my parents telling us that all our family was Italian.  My father was born in this country but his parents were both from the Naples region of Italy.  My mother was born in Bari, Italy and came to this country as an infant with her mother and older sister."
This past summer, I took one of ancestry.com's new DNA tests. They sent me a small test tube to collect a saliva sample, and then I mailed it back and waited a few weeks for the results. This is the description from ancestry.com:
"The new test looks at a massive amount of your DNA, over 700,000 locations, and compares it to other DNA samples from around the world.  By detecting similarities, we can trace back generations to connect you to the lands your ancestors once called home.  AncestryDNA uses recent advances in DNA technology to look into your past to the people and places that matter to you most. Your test results will reach back hundreds—maybe even a thousand years—to tell you things that aren't always in historical records, but are recent enough to be important parts of your family story."
In August, I got my test results:

Nearly half was central European - this probably would be mostly German for me, but it was much higher that I'd thought.  The Italian side (southern European) was only 16%, lower than I'd have guessed.  And where had the 11% Persian/Turkish/Caucasus come from?  That was a complete surprise.

I showed the results to my parents, and Mom said that it'd be interesting to test her and Dad separately to see what the results would show.  So, about a month ago, when ancestry.com offered a "sale" price on the DNA test, Mom got one, too. 

Her results just came back:

Even more surprises!  Mom was almost half eastern European, and only about one-quarter Italian (southern European).  It seems likely the Persian/Turkish/Caucasus part came from her, and not from Dad.  Plus, she had a little bit of Middle Eastern heritage that apparently hadn't been passed onto me.

As part of the test, ancestry.com also compares your DNA to other samples they receive.  You're able to view matches and compare your family tree to your "new" cousins' trees to try to identify common ancestors.

Happily, when it came to matching with other members, ancestry.com predicted with 99% certainty that we were parent and child.  So that's a relief :)

We both have cousin matches with varying degrees of certainty.  Since Mom's just came in, I haven't yet begun to compare her matches.  I have gone through mine over the past few months as new matches appear, and most of them are far too distantly related for me to trace on the family tree.  Only on six matches have I been able to determine who our common ancestor is, but even then, they're mostly 5th- or 6th-cousins.

As a weird coincidence, though, one of my very distant cousin matches is a woman that I "met" a few years ago though the Find-a-Grave website.  We worked together to document a family cemetery in Gloucester County, Virginia.  Small world!

12 November 2012

Noah & Gloria Dotson

We met, I really don't know where, I guess it's all the same 
Love grows in a village green as well as in a lane
I gently took her by the hand, and a glance at me she shot
She dropped a flower, I picked it up, it was a sweet forget-me-not
-- "Graceful & Charming" (Traditional)

Sixty-five years ago today, my grandparents Noah & Gloria Dotson were married in the Pastor's Study of the Eutaw Place Baptist Church by Reverend William Clyde Atkins.

Construction of the Eutaw Place Baptist Church was completed in 1871, located on the corner of Dolphin Street and North Eutaw Street.  In 1969, its name was changed to Woodbrook Baptist Church and moved to Stevenson Lane.  The building itself was purchased by the City Temple of Baltimore, and today is on the list of Baltimore landmarks.

But here's a little known fact:  Pop Pop and Mom Mom were married twice!  After Pop Pop was baptized in the Catholic Church, they remarried on January 15, 1950 at Saint Rose of Lima Church in Brooklyn, Maryland.

I posted these photos on Facebook last year, but thought I would share again.  They're from Pop Pop & Mom Mom's 35th anniversary party in 1982 at Captain Harvey's in Owings Mills.

11 November 2012

Veterans Day

Wae be tae the orders that marched my love awa'
And wae be tae the cruel cause that gars my tears doon fa'
Wae be tae the bluidy wars in High Germany
For they hae ta'en my love and left a broken heart tae me

-- "The Wars O' Germany" (Traditional)
Today, November 11th, is Veterans Day, though tomorrow is the observed federal holiday.  Originally proclaimed as Armistice Day by Woodrow Wilson to commemorate the end of World War I, it became a federal holiday with an act of Congress in 1938.

Because of a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973, many records relating to World War I soldiers were lost, making it hard to research.  I do know of at least three men in the family tree who served during World War I - all connected to my great-grandmother, Grace Siegel Campen:  her husband, Clarence Campen, and two of her cousins, Lawrence Meyns and Baker Sears.


My great-grandfather Clarence Campen has just passed his 26th birthday when he enlisted in the Army on July 20, 1918.  As this was near the end of the war, he served for just a few months, and was discharged on December 10, 1918.  Clarence hadn't yet met my great-grandmother;  at the time, he had just married his first wife, Mary Dallam.  The only record that I have of his service is a copy of his discharge papers, passed down to my father:

In early 1919, the Governor of Virginia created the War History Commission to document Virginia's participation in World War I.  Among their records are questionnaires completed by returning soldiers and their families, including those of Grace's cousins, Baker Sears and Lawrence Meyns.

While Grace and Baker probably knew each other quite well growing up (they're mentioned together in newspaper accounts, and their mothers were close), I'm not sure how well Grace and Lawrence knew one another.  He was born in Colorado and raised in Virginia, but then moved around a lot afterwards, following a career in the military.

Lawrence Meyns' questionnaire was filled out by his father, Charles.  Charles was born in Germany and had immigrated to the U.S. in his late teens.  His pro-German sentiments during the war got him into some trouble;  he was investigated by the FBI, and fired from his job at the British-American Tobacco Company.  He was proud of his son's service in the military, according to one of his coworkers, "not from the fact that he was serving his country, but that he was making good money."  On the War History questionnaire, however, Charles left several questions blank, saying that Lawrence "would undoubtedly prefer to reply to them himself."  Whatever his father's opinions, Lawrence, who was 22 years old when he enlisted in 1917, continued his career in the Army through World War II, rising to the rank of Colonel.

Baker Sears, on the other hand, filled out the questionnaire himself.  He enlisted on July 11, 1917 at the age of 21, and was discharged shortly after the end of the war on January 10, 1919.  His answers clearly show his pride in his military experience, saying that he "would'nt take a million for it" and that it had made him "broader in my ideas in every way."

Clarence Campen is buried with his wife Grace at Meadowridge Memorial Park in Elkridge, Maryland.  Lawrence Meyns and his wife Victoria were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  Baker & Margaret Sears' graves
are at Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia.

(Photo courtesy of Star Kline) (Photo courtesy of Anonymous)

23 October 2012

Baseball in the Family

Well, this year the Orioles made the playoffs for the first time in fifteen years, and tomorrow starts the World Series... so I thought I'd post a blog about baseball in the family history.

I meant to write this up last week, but ran out of time.  This past Sunday, October 21, marked the anniversary of the death of Henry Boschen, the brother of my great-great-great-grandmother.  Henry was known as the grand-daddy of baseball in Richmond, Virginia.

Henry C. Boschen was born on August 15, 1845, the second child of German immigrants John H. & Christina Johanna Boschen.  He followed in his father's footsteps and went into the shoe business in Richmond.  On March 19, 1868, Henry married Margaret Frischkorn, and together they had twelve children.  He opened his own shoe factory in 1872.

According to legend, Henry was told by his doctor that he needed to exercise more, so he took up a bat and ball.  He soon grew tired of hitting the ball around on his own, so in 1875, he organized his own team with men from his shoe factory.  Spectators paid for game tickets, but it seems most of the money to pay for the team came from Henry himself.

A number of the players he discovered went on to play in the major leagues, among them Billy Nash of the Boston Beaneaters, Charlie Ferguson of the Philadelphia Quakers, and Edward "Pop" Tate of the Beaneaters and the Baltimore Orioles.

In June of 1883, a group of investors formed the Virginia Base-Ball Association, luring away several of Henry Boschen's players.  Henry wrote a public notice in the Richmond newspaper, promising to do "the best in my power to secure a good club" as he rebuilt his team.

Below is a recap of game from May of 1884 when Henry's Richmond team lost to Baltimore:  "Mr. Boschen pitched a well-speeded ball, and with the exception of one wild pitch, pitched a splendid game."  Also of note from this article was that Henry's nephew, my great-great-grandfather Charles Siegel, was in charge of keeping score, though he was "young and inexperienced."

Henry Boschen continued to remain active in Virginia baseball, managing a team at least through 1886, but after that fades from newspaper accounts.  His obituary in 1898 briefly mentions his baseball team, and describes him as "a man of good qualities."

Henry was buried at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, alongside his parents and two brothers.

17 September 2012

Typhoid Epidemic

A Mhagaidh na bi tùrsach Maggie, don't be sad
A rùin, ged gheibhinn bàs My love, if I should die
Cò am fear am measg an t-sluaigh Who among men
A mhaireas buan gu bràth? Endures eternally?
Chan eil sinn uile ach air chuairt We are all only on a journey
Mar dhìthein buaile fàs Like flowers in the deserted cattle fold
Bheir siantannan na blianna sios That the year's wind and rain will bring down
'S nach tog a' ghrian an àird And that the sun cannot raise

-- "An Eala Bhàn" by Donald MacDonald

One hundred and twelve years ago today - September 17, 1900 - my third-great-grandfather John Wesley Swindall passed away from typhoid fever at the age of 74.  I wrote a post for Memorial Day about his service during the Civil War.

Sadly, his death was the just the first in the family from the epidemic.  Eighteen days later, on October 5th, his eldest son James, age 48, was the second to pass away.

James Swindall was born on February 28, 1852 in North Carolina.  As mentioned in the article above, he was married four times.  When James was 20 years old, he married Ruth Vanover, with whom he had four children.  Ruth died of lung fever not long after the couple's tenth anniversary.  Their youngest son, Tenny, was only six months old, and was adopted and raised by his Swindall grandparents.  James then married Amanda Stanley, and they had a daughter.  They were only married three years when Amanda died of consumption.  A year later, James married Amanda's sister Sarah, who had come to help care of Amanda while she was ill.  This third marriage lasted almost four months, when Sarah died from consumption.  Around 1891, James married Nancy Hibbitts, with whom he had one daughter.  He was for many years a farmer like his father, and in May of 1899, he was elected sheriff, a position he held for just over a year, until his death.

On October 21st, George Monroe Swindall, John's eleventh son, was the next to succumb to the illness.  He was just 25 years old.

George was born on September 27, 1874.  In 1898, he married Lucina Grizzle, and they had a daughter, Ianthe, who was only eight months old when her father died.

And lastly, Joseph P. Swindall, the family's third-eldest son, passed away on October 30th at the age of 44.

Born on December 5, 1855, Joseph was the last child born to the Swindalls before they moved from North Carolina to Virginia.  He married Adeline Vanover, who was the sister of Ruth, his brother James' first wife.  Joseph and "Addie" had seven children together.

John Wesley and his three sons were all buried in the Swindall family cemetery in Dickenson County.  John received a military marker for his service in the Civil War, while James, George and Joseph each have matching markers with the inscription "In God we trust."

(Grave photos courtesy of Howard Burough)

30 August 2012

The Other Campen Family

Now all you young fellas, when for marriage you go
Examine your true love from the top to the toe
And if you don't do that, like me you'll be sold
To a damsel not nineteen, but a ninety-year-old
-- "Only Nineteen Years Old" (Traditional)

Not long ago, while browsing through the 1940 Census for family members, I came across the record for the family of Henry Campen.  Henry was the older brother of my great-great-grandfather, Louis Campen.  Henry died in 1927, but his widow Louise and two daughters were still living in Baltimore City in 1940.  At first glance, the record is somewhat unremarkable.

The circled X next to Louise's name indicates that she was the one who gave the family's info to the census taker.  She reported that she was 68 years old, and her daughters Teresa and Laura were 35 and 33 years old... except that they weren't.  Not even close!

Now, I've come across many, many census records where ages weren't right, but normally, they're still in the ballpark.  And Louise and her daughters have a history of distorting their ages in every census record going back to 1900.  But in 1940, Louise just outright lied:  she was born in 1856, so she would have been 84... not 68!  And not only that, Louise lied about her daughters' ages as well.  Teresa should have been 61 (not 35), and Laura was 57 (not 33).  This time she was off by more than 20 years!

Dating back to brothers Henry and Louis, there was a split in the Campen family.  According to family lore, they jointly inherited their father's canning business after his death, but Henry tricked Louis out of his share.  Louis died in 1901, aged only 44 years, leaving behind his wife Mary and six children.

Aunt Jean once wrote to me about the Campens:  "Henry's family were well to do.  They had a chauffeur and went to Florida in the Winter.  The story is that one of Louis' grown daughters talked with one of Henry's daughters on a street car and suggested that they get together and Henry's daughter indicated that they were not interested.  After all they were first cousins."

Ancestry.com has several travel records for Teresa and Laura from the 1950s.  They went on a few cruises, and visited England twice.

The divide in the family can also be seen in where Henry and Louis were buried.  Louis and his wife are buried at the old Baltimore Cemetery in unmarked graves, but Henry's family were buried at the better-known Green Mount Cemetery, in a plot just down the hill from Johns Hopkins' family.

On the other hand, though, neither of Henry's daughters ever married (whatever their ages were!), so his family line died out, while Louis has dozens of descendants alive today.

28 August 2012

Vital Statistics

In the morning we built the city
In the afternoon walked through its streets
Evening saw us leaving
We wandered through our days as if they would never end
All of us imagined we had endless time to spend
We hardly saw the crossroads and small attention gave
To the landmarks on the journey from the cradle to the grave
-- "Ballad Of Accounting" by Ewan McColl

Today marks the 144th birthday of my great-great-grandfather, Dr. Charles Lawrence Siegel, though he himself only lived to be 34 years old.  Earlier this year, on the anniversary of his death, I posted a video about him on Facebook.  For those who missed it, here it is again:

His short life started me thinking about lifespans and such in my family tree.

When Pop Pop & Mom Mom were married, they were ages 24 and 16, respectively.  Mom Mom died at age 53, but Pop Pop lived to be 85 years old.  Among their children and children-in-law (my uncles and aunts), the average age when they got married is 22.5 years;  for the men it's 22.9, and the women it's 22.1.  Among the grandchildren (my cousins) who've married so far, the average age is 27.4 years old.

But I wondered, going back in time through my ancestors, how things might have changed.  So I put together a spreadsheet to work out the math.

Of my four great-grandparents, their average age when they first got married was 23.5 years.  Of my eight great-great-grandparents, their average age was 20.9.  And of the fifteen great-great-great-grandparents for whom I have dates, the average age was, surprisingly, 23.  It went back up!

Now, looking at my 3rd-great-grandparents closer, it was the men who skewed the average higher.  For them, their average age was 26.1 years, versus 19.4 for the women.  One of my 3rd-great-grandfathers, Bryan Thomas, didn't get married until 1849, when he was about 35 years old - the oldest of my ancestors.  And that was just his first marriage;  his wife died young, and Bryan married a second time five years later, to my ancestor Leonora Silence.

The youngest to get married was Mary Ann Hammon, my 2nd-great-grandmother, who was just 15 years old when she married John Edwards in 1884.

Now on to average lifespans... of my four great-grandparents, their average age 75.1 years;  three of them lived to be at least 80 years old, but Walter Dotson died fairly young at the age of 42.

Of my eight great-great-grandparents, their average age was 62.8 years.  And, as happened with the marriage age, the average for my great-great-great-grandparents rose, this time to 68.7 years.

Of all of these, Dr. Charles Siegel (from the video above) was the youngest at age 34 in 1903.  My longest-lived ancestor was Lucy Jane Swindall Dotson, my 2nd-great-grandmother, who passed away at the age of 92 in 1949.

The overall average of everyone together was 67.5 years old;  65.3 years for the men, and 69.9 years for the women.  About half died of "old age" (my mother the nurse rolls her eyes whenever that actual phrase is written on a death certificate).

I can't reliably go back to my 4th-great-grandparents for statistics, as I'm missing a few names and many dates for this generation.  Plus, one particular ancestor, Elizabeth Swindle, never married at all.  Of the thirty-two individuals, I have estimated or confirmed birth and death dates for half of them, and accurate wedding dates for only six couples.  But, for whatever it's worth, their average marriage age was 21.8 years, and average age when they died was 73.9.

In conclusion... there is no real conclusion, since it certainly doesn't prove anything.  But I thought it might be interesting.  Food for thought, I guess.  So there ya go!

05 August 2012

1940 Census, part 2

A miner's life is like a sailor on board a ship to cross the waves
Every day his life's in danger, many ventures being brave
Watch the rocks, they're falling daily, careless miners always fail
Keep your hand upon your wages and your eye upon the scale
-- "A Miner's Life" (Traditional)

In my first blog post back in May, I wrote about trying to find ancestors in the newly-released 1940 U.S. Census.  At the time, the only relatives I'd found were those whose addresses I already knew.  Four months later, Ancestry.com has just completed its index of every single state, with 134 million names.  So with this new search tool, I've found a few more...

I quickly found my great-great-grandparents John and Louise Gallo, living at 570 Roosevelt Street in Trenton, New Jersey.  At the age of 75, John was still working, listed simply as a "laborer" - ten years prior in 1930, his occupation was "farm laborer". 

(Full-size image here)

Next on the list was Clarence Campen, whom I discovered staying at the veterans' hospital at Perry Point in Cecil County, Maryland.  An interesting tidbit on this record:  instead of giving a person's 1935 residence, the hospital provided the patient's date of admission.  For Clarence, he was admitted on June 28, 1933.

(Full-size image here)

With a bit of hunting, I was able to find my great-great-grandmother Lucy Jane Dotson.  She was living with her daughter Sophronia's family in Letcher County, Kentucky.

(Full-size image here)

Which now brings me to the most difficult person to find - Pop Pop!  The prior year, in 1939, Pop Pop's father had died from his injuries after being struck by a car.  My great-grandmother Savannah was left with five children to raise on her own.  From what I've found, it looks like the family was split up.  First I found Pop Pop's older sister, Aunt Fay, with husband Willie Freeman, their daughter Sheila, and Aunt Jackie, living in Pike County, Kentucky.

(Full-size image here)

Next I found Pop Pop's brothers Otis and Walter Jr. living with Savannah's brother Arthur, also in Pike County, Kentucky.  Like Willie Freeman, Uncle Otis and Arthur were working as coal miners.

(Full-size image here)

Alas, Pop Pop, his mother Savannah, and Savannah's then-future husband, Beecher Ramey, are all still playing hide-and-seek.  I'm hoping their names are just indexed some weird way - I've seen many creative renderings of Datson, Dotsin, etc.  At least I now have Pike County to focus on, fingers crossed!

03 August 2012

Wedding Anniversary

Smaointe, ar an lá I think of the day
Raibh sibh ar mo thaobh That you were both at my side
Ag inse scéil Telling stories
Ar an doigh a bhí Of how things were
Is cuimhin liom an lá I remember the day
Gan gha's gan ghruaim Without want and without gloom
Bígí liomsa i gconaí Be with me always
Lá's oích Day and night

-- "Smaointe..." by Enya
(Read by my mother at Grandpop's funeral)

Seventy-one years ago today my grandparents were married.  In their memory, my mom wrote this blog post about them (with some help from her siblings!)...

Mom and Dad, Rose Paparella and Angelo Picarello, were introduced via mutual friends and family.  Uncle Don, Mom's brother was going out with Aunt Nina and she is a cousin to Dad.  They were married 8/3/1941 at St. Joaquim's Church in Trenton and honeymooned in Atlantic City (on the way, the car broke down!).  For a while they lived with the Paparella's in Chambersburg.   MaryAnne was born the next year.  They later moved to "the country" - Lawrenceville, New Jersey - really just a few miles away.

Not long after they were married, Pearl Harbor was bombed on 12/7/1941.  Mom talked about this, saying they were on their way to the shore at the time, then heard about the Pearl Harbor bombing by radio reports and turned around to go home.  Angelo was drafted into the service in 1944 and chose to serve in the Navy.  He never left the country, but spent time in San Diego, and St. Louis, where Rose and MaryAnne joined him with the Beewig family.  He was discharged in 1946.

They bought a piece of property across the street from Grandmom and Grandpop Picarello at 41 Altamawr Avenue and Dad started to build a house in 1947, pouring the foundation on the day that Joe was born.  Dad always said that the rear foundation was a little crooked because he had to leave while they were pouring to go to the hospital.  They moved into their new Cape Cod and eventually added to their growing family.  Angela arrived in 1952, Rosalie in 1958, and Annette in 1964.

The block was really a family block as Uncle Frank (Dad's older brother) and Aunt Bert lived right next door to Grandmom and Grandpop, Aunt Helen (Dad's older sister) and Uncle Francis lived 2 houses away just up the street.  Aunt Jo (Mom's older sister) and Uncle Rudy built a house right next door to Mom and Dad.  Aunt Sue (Dad's younger sister) and Uncle Vince lived about a half mile back up the street, but eventually moved to a new house 3 doors away.

Rose was always busy with us kids.  She liked to crochet and sew and made a lot of her own clothes.  Before they were married, she worked in a dress factory and a doll factory.  Angelo liked to fish.  We spent many weekends at the Jersey shore, usually Island Beach State Park.   He would fish while Rose and the kids would all relax and play on the beach.   Angelo also liked to bowl and he was in a league that included other family members, Uncle Don, Uncle Frank, Uncle Mike and a friend Joe DiOrio.  They also occasionally got together for card games.  Angelo made his own wine, most often plum and raisin wine.  He worked at General Motors after the war until he retired at the age of 58.

Rose passed away at the age of 77 in 1998 and Angelo passed away at age 90 in 2009.

28 July 2012

Mom Mom

The road now leads onward and I know not where
I feel in my heart that you will be there
Whenever a storm comes, whatever our fears
The journey goes on as your love ever nears
-- "Never-Ending Road" by Loreena McKennitt

Were Mom Mom still living, today would have been her 81st birthday.  To remember her best, this post was written by my Dad...

My Mom was born in Baltimore, July 1931.  Not sure of their exact address.  She grew up an only child of Milton & Grace Campen during the Depression years of the thirties.  A picture of Mom at around 1939 or 1940 with her Grandmother, Grace Siegle seems to show Grace Siegle's love of her only grandchild.

Mom went to school at Immaculate Conception then later at the school located at the corner of Charles & 28th streets in Baltimore.

Before finishing school, she met Dad a few years after WWII.  They married and started their family in 1948.  At this time they moved in with Bob Cole, Grace and mom's parents at 4905 Brookwood Road in Brooklyn, south Baltimore.

In 1956, Dad & Mom built a house in Arden on the Severn, right on the Severn River.  In June 1963, they decided to buy a dairy farm in Carroll County.

The boys did the farm work and of course milked the 26 cows.  Mom kept track of all the cows' records, as to when they were ready for artificial insemination.  Besides keeping the boys from killing each other, she kept the farm life humming as Dad still worked full time at Bethlehem Steel.  Most of us boys got all of our sense of humor from Mom, her best gift to us.  Dad didn't have one.  Mom's love for her seven children grew immensely when we got older and had kids of our own.  Her grandkids were a source of great appreciation of life.

Cancer caught up with Mom at age 48 and she passed away too early at age 53.