Uncle Dave's book

Monday, July 28, 2014

52 Ancestors # 29: Nils Johan Almquist: Coming to America

     Nils Johan Almquist (or Almqvist) was born on 1 April 1825 at Hylte, Almesakra, Jonkoping, Sweden. His father, Anders Niklasson Almquist, was a "hemmansgare" or a free farmer who owned his own farm, called Hylte. His mother was Ingrid Danielsdotter. Nils was the youngest of eight children. On 22 Sep 1850, at the age of 25, he married Anna Charlotta Johansdotter. She was from the nearby village of Sodra Ving.

     Nils and Anna Charlotta had a farm called Hallen in Brunn, another village not far from either Hylte or Sodra Ving. They had the following children: Johan August born 1851, Anders Wilhelm Ludwick born 1852, Hulda Josefina born 1857 and Emelie Maria born 1859.  He is listed simply as a farmer.  The 1860's in Sweden were a period of famine and apparently all did not go well for Nils.  The family story is that he wanted to emigrate to America but Anna Charlotta did not want to go. He was determined to go, though, so one day he left with the children and without his wife.  She sent the police after him and they caught up with him in Goteborg as he was about to get on the boat.  The police told him that he could go but the children had to stay. So he left for America while his children went back to their mother.  the Swedish Emigration records give his date of departure as 14 Jun 1864, sailing from Hamburg, Germany. They give his occupation as "Landtmann" which I believe means farmer (land meaning land or farm). I found him on the New York Passenger lists arriving on 15 Aug 1864 on the ship Nord. The family story goes on to say that he met and married another woman on the ship to America. He did marry again but I find no evidence that he met or married her on the ship.

     In 1865 he is recorded in the Minnesota State Census in Dahlgren, Carter Co., Minnesota, with a family next door to one that his brother, Anders, was boarding with. In  1869 he married Anna Elisabet Finstad in Ramsay Co, Minnesota. In the 1870 Census he and Anna (called Sahra in the Census) and their son, Claes, as living in Swan Lake, Meeker Co. his son Johan had already come to America but left for Texas by 1870. His second son came before 1880 when he married Julia Kneeland and lived in Cokato, Wright Co., Minnesota.  His daughter, Hulda, arrived in 1881. Emelie stayed in Sweden. By the 1880 Census Nils and Anna were living in Dassel (the new name for Swan Lake) with their three sons, Claes Alvin, Gustaf Emil and Nils E. I have not been able to determine if he ever actually divorced Anna Charlotta. Her Swedish records name her as divorced but I am not sure if that is from him or a later marriage. I'm sure he felt he was divorced whether he had the official papers or not.

     I don't have his exact death date, family records say it was about 1893.  He died at his home in Dassel.  His sons from his second marriage continued to farm the land for the rest of their lives. He had quite a number of descendants and his decision to move to America proved to be a good one for most of the family! It must have been quite a wrenching change for him to come as he did leaving his family behind. I'm sure he was happy to have 3 of his children join him as well as to start a new family in his new country.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

52 Ancestors #28: Monica Remondini, almost an ancestor

     Monica Remondini was my great grandfather, Frank Stefani's, fiancee when he left Sporminore, Austria then, for America. Here is her story as far as I know it plus quite a bit of speculation on my part!

     She was born Cunegonda Monica Remondini on 2 Feb 1869 in Sporminore, then Sudtirol, Austria. I never heard of the name Cunegonda and she didn't seem to use it but it appears in her baptismal record. Her parents were Giovanni Remondini and Teresa Gabrielli.

      According to the family story she and Francesco Stefani (Frank Stefani) were engaged to be married before he left for America.  Frank came to America in May of 1885 or 1886. After arriving in America he wrote to Monica and told her that he was releasing her from the engagement because he had been so sick the entire boat trip to America that he couldn't face doing it two more times(once to go back and get her and once to bring her back to America). Her picture was found in the drawer of the night stand next to his bed after he died. He also had a handkerchief embroidered with her initials.

     This is rather romantic so, naturally, I researched her. I found that she married Frank's cousin, Guilio Wegher, on 14 Apr 1888. Guilio was the son of Frank's mother's brother. Monica and Guilio had 8 children, none of whom were named either Francesco or Giovanni. Recently, when my sister and I visited Sporminore,

 we found Monica's gravestone which said that she died in 1931. These are the facts.

     Here is my speculation.  Monica was quite beautiful as seen in her photos. Perhaps the prettiest girl in town of her age.  Guilio and Francesco may have been rivals for her hand. Or simply Guilio was in love with her himself and took the opportunity to snap her up when Francesco bowed out and may well have already been romancing her while Francesco was gone.  To me Monica could simply have said, "no problem, Frank, I'll come to you!" The fact that she didn't suggests that Guilio was already on the scene. So, that is my speculation on it. I don't suppose we'll ever know!

52 Ancestors #27: Walter Leonard Peterson, Presbyterian Minister

     Walter Leonard Peterson was my grandfather, very dear to me, so I hope that I can do him justice here!
He was born Alvin Walter Leonard Peterson but the Alvin was not used to my knowledge and he was always known as Walter. He was born on 8 October 1890 at Dassel, Meeker, Minnesota, the son of Adolph Peterson and Hulda Almquist. His parents were born in Sweden and immigrated to America with their parents, Adolph in 1869 and Hulda in 1881. Hulda came to America to live with her father who lived on the farm next door to the one Adolph lived on with his parents. They had five children of whom Walter was the fourth. Throughout their lives the brothers and sisters were always very close.

     Walter spoke only Swedish until the age of 6 when he first went to school. The teacher didn't like Swedes and boxed his ears when he spoke Swedish. He was told that only English was spoken in school so he learned English rapidly! He spoke Swedish as well for the rest of his life. His mother would often tell the story (and later Walter would tell it) of how the pastor came to visit one time and laid his hand on Walter's head (Walter being a little boy) and said, "This one is going to be a Minister." This proved prophetic. In his autobiography, "Celebration of a Life", Walter says, "Later, in his High School years, came another milepost in his life. A disappointment in love made him question whether life was worth living. After brooding over the problem for a time, he came up with the resolution: 'I will live my life to prove to the world the reality and practicalness of Christ and His way of life!'". This was quite a goal to have set for one's self!

     The family moved to Boyceville, Wisconsin when Walter was 10. He went to High School in Menominie, Wisconsin and finished it at Central High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He went to College for a Year at the University of Colorado in Boulder, which is where I found him in the 1910 U.S. Census with his profession given as "Salesman Furniture Store". He homesteaded with his brother, John, in Montana, living on the land and working it for three years to gain ownership.  He then turned it over to a neighbor for share cropping and went to American College in Chicago.  Here he majored in Physical Education.

     It was at American College that he met the love of his life, Elizabeth "Bessie" Hudson.  She also was majoring in Physical Education. He told my sister and I that he saw her in her Physical Education outfit and was bowled over, he knew he wanted her to be his wife. The only problem was that he was engaged to a girl back home.  He liked the girl but wasn't really in love with her, it was more her idea than his.  And it was very much her mother's idea that they should marry. Walter broke up the engagement but then he heard that the girl was very upset.  So he went to see her mother and told her that he would do what was right and marry her daughter if the mother felt he should.  However, he told her they would have to live in the city. The mother didn't want her daughter to live far away in the city and asked if Walter was in love with someone else.  He said, yes.  So she agreed that he shouldn't marry her daughter. Walter left with the ring he had given the girl which he took to Tiffany's and applied it toward a ring for Bessie. Walter and Bessie were married on 17 Aug 1917 at her parents' church in Fort Worth, Texas.

     Walter and Bessie were married almost 65 years. Here is what Walter writes about her in his autobiography: "Central in the richness and fullness of life for Walter was his life mate, Elizabeth.  Ever since he met his 'dream girl' at College sixty years ago, their life has been an unbroken romance.  Her constant love, understanding, readiness to adjust to his ever new situations, and tireless, efficient care for him through every hardship and illness, has been phenomenal."  In 1977, I attended their 60th Anniversary.  Walter toasted his wife saying how glad he was that he had been able to spend the last 60 years "with his sweetheart". I asked them what they attributed their long marriage to and they said, "Communication, they could always communicate and sort out any difficulties between them."

     After they married they first lived in Troy, New York where Walter worked for the YMCA. It was WW I, Walter deplored the war and didn't want to fight on moral and religious grounds.  Bessie was afraid for him as there was tremendous social pressure to go to war.  So, she made him wear his YMCA uniform when out on the streets and he soon joined the Army YMCA.  They were stationed in San Antonio, Texas where Walter was born. From there they went to Fort Worth where Elizabeth, "Betty", and John, "Jack", were born. They moved to Detroit continuing to work for the YMCA until in the early days of the Depression he was let go with most of the employees. At this point, Walter decided to go to seminary and become a Minister. He went to McCormick Seminary, the University of Chicago and Chicago Theological Seminary. He worked part time and Bessie worked as well to back him up in this quest. I asked my grandfather once why , having been raised as a Lutheran, he became a Presbyterian Minister. He replied, "Because Bessie was a Presbyterian". Of course, why did I ask? To me this shows how much she meant to him.

     Walter had a long career as a Minister having churches in Bessemer, Michigan, Seattle, Washington and Tacoma, Washington.  He was the Executive of the Greater Spokane Council of Churches for ten years.  While there he sponsored a program for Bible Classes at 33 elementary schools and successfully fought in the courts to keep them going. During WW II, he defended the Japanese people who were uprooted from their homes in Washington and refused to fire his Japanese Secretary when threatened with violence if he refused.  After the war he accepted a project under the Council of Churches to host nine German Executives to come and study industry in America when the Spokane Chamber of Commerce was afraid to do so. During the turbulent race struggle of the sixties he marched with the blacks of Tacoma from the Baptist Church to City Hall to plead their cause before the City Council. I remember a photo of him leading the march in the Seattle Times on p.1. He lived his convictions as he decided to do when he was in High School. The people of his parishes loved him, as a child I attended at least two different dinners in his honor. I also remember going to one of his Church Services once, he gave a sermon on love which I thought was quite wonderful.  No "hellfire and brimstone" in his sermons.  In his last years he wrote me that he thought that when you died you were reincarnated "either here or on another planet." I thought this was a remarkable comment from a Presbyterian Minister.

     Walter always loved to visit family.  Wherever he went he would try to visit any relatives in the area.  He would embarrass Bessie quite a bit by just showing up without calling first.  When she suggested that they should call he'd say, "Why?They'll be happy to see me." I remember being on some of those visits, and, yes, they were happy to see him! He was proud of his Swedish heritage and told us stories of his family.  When, in the 8th Grade, I had to do a family history project he happily told me about my Swedish ancestors.  In 1957, he was able to go to Scotland on a Ministerial Exchange Program. This enabled him to visit Sweden where he met relatives and found the house his mother had been born in.  Recently, my sister and I followed his footsteps, visiting Sweden and meeting the daughters of the cousins he visited. I remember that he told us the "Swedish way to drink coffee" was to put a sugar cube in your mouth and then drink the coffee through it. I asked a Swedish cousin if this is true and he said that it is an old way, his grandmother used to drink it like that! When I was in High School and my own father lived far away after my parents were divorced. We had a Father-Daughter dinner. My grandfather escorted me to this. I was very proud to be seen with him and happy to have someone to bring to the dinner. In 1967 my sister and I drove with our grandparents to Chicago, Illinois for their 50th Wedding Anniversary. My grandfather drove 75 mph through the Rockies with Bessie saying "Slow down Walter!" the whole way! It was a wonderful trip!

     Walter and Bessie eventually went to a retirement home in Duarte, California, outside of L.A. It was a home for retired Presbyterian Ministers and Missionaries, so I found it much less depressing than retirement homes I have visited. The people there had lived their lives helping people and were vital interesting people. Eventually when they were growing infirm they put Walter and Bessie in different rooms.  This was because that way Walter would have incentive to get out of bed, get dressed and walk over to see Bessie and she would have incentive to get out of bed and get dressed and see him.  They would have lunch together every day.  Bessie died 12 May 1982 and he followed 7 months later on 14 Dec 1982. Two of the best people I ever knew, they were a real love story!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

52 Ancestors # 26 Alexander Negley, Revolutionary Soldier

     Alexander Negley was one of the founders of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  In that city there is a Negley Avenue named for him. He was born about 1734, probably in Frankfort am Main, Germany. His parents immigrated to America in 1739 but his father, Jacob Negley, died on the way over.  His mother, Margaretha, and her three children (Alexander, Caspar, and Elizabeth) settled in Bucks Co., Pennsylvania.  Margaretha married Felix Leh, a blacksmith there. Alexander learned this trade from Felix Leh.

     In 1758, as a young man of 22, he fought in the French and Indian Wars. He served with General Forbes' forces at Ft. Duquesne. This was a fort built by the French at the point where the Monongehala and Allegheny Rivers join and form the Ohio River. The British defeated the French and built a new fort at the spot, called Fort Pitt. Alexander was much taken with the country in this area.  He returned to Bucks Co. and married Mary Ann Berkstrasser in 1762.  Their first 6 children were born there but in 1777 he moved his family west. They first settled in Westmoreland Co., near Ft Ligonier. Here they had to fight Indians and run for shelter in the fort. The story is told of Alexander and his oldest son, Felix, holding the Indians off with gun fire as they ran for the fort while Mary Ann (pregnant with her seventh child) drove the wagon, with the other children in it, ahead of them. They all made it and their son, John, was born in the fort.

     In 1778, Alexander joined Capt. Samuel Moorehead's Independent Company, 8th Pennsylvania Regiment  in the Revolutionary War.  This was a frontier militia and they are described at the time as wearing buckskin breeches. Here he fought to take Fort Pitt from the British which they did and it became the western headquarters during the war. He was then stationed at Fort Ligonier and the above incident with the Indians may've taken place at that time. At any rate in 1778 he moved his family to the area of Fort Pitt. He settled in what is now East Liberty but then was called "Negleytown". It is also simply "Pitt" in the 1790 Census. He had a farm of 300 acres on what is now Highland Park in Pittsburgh which he named "Fertile Bottom". He first built a log house but eventually built a red brick house with "look" holes for rifles for protection from the Indians.  It was said to be the finest house west of the Alleghenies at the time. There were orchards and groves, he was quite a prosperous farmer. They were supposed to be the first white settlers in the area. At first they had few neighbors but eventually other pioneers joined them. He and his sons established a grist  mill and a fulling mill.  He was instrumental in founding the first church in Pittsburgh, the First German Evangelical Protestant Congregation. He was a smart businessman judging by the fact that he was able to purchase a farm for each of his children.

     He died Nov 3, 1809, aged 75. His wife died in 1829.  He left 8 surviving children. He and Mary Ann were buried on the farm in what is now Highland Park along with about 50 other pioneers.  It is now marked with a monument and referred as "Negley circle".

Friday, July 4, 2014

52 Ancestors #25: John (Johannes) Delamater, Revolutionary Soldier

     John Delamater was born 26 Feb 1758 and baptized 14 May 1758.  In the Dutch ReformedChurch of Rhinebeck records he is called Johannes but this is the Latin version of the name, he called himself John in his pension application. He was born in "the Oblong" in Dutchess County and baptized in Rhinebeck, New York.  His parents were Isaac Delameter and Eva Kip.

     In 1776, John fought in the Revolutionary War.  I obtained his records from the National Archives in 1979.  Here is his description of his experiences in the War from his pension application:

     "I resided in the town of nine Partners in the County of Dutchess and State of New York and enlisted at that place in May 1776...I volunteered with a part of our company to go to White Plains under Capt. William Chamberlain from Sharon, Conn. and I marched with that Company as Orderly Sergeant to White Plains and I was engaged  in the battle at that place.  I was in the thickest of the fight. Several of my countrymen fell ...I recall the names of Elias Bailey Jacob Crapser and Isaac Baldwin who were killed by my side. I had a ball pop through my hat within half a n inch of my head.  It struck the fore part of my hat. The battle was about the first day of October 1776. (Note: this is the Battle of White Plains, 28 Oct 1776." Later he describes , "During the aforesaid eleven months I ranged through Hopewell, Dover, Nine Partners, Rhinebeck and Poughkeepsie for the purpose of taking up Tories and horse thieves and I succeeded in capturing as many as thirty enemies of my country in the shape of Horse Thieves and Tories and [they} were afterward sent to Nova Scotia." "If I an incorrect in the details I am positive and clear in this that I served twenty four months of actual service during the Revolutionary War."

     On 17 Jun 1778 he married Maria De Graff, probably at Poughkeepsie.  They had a son, Jacobus(James) born 6 Feb 1779.  They may have had two daughters as well as in the 1790 Census he is listed in Fishkill, New York, with 1 male under 16, 1 male over 16 and three females. Appaently, Maria died as on 17 Jul 1791 he married Betsy (Elizabeth) Lester and moved to Coeymans, Albany Co., New York.  In 1793 the Delamaters moved to Odeltown, Lower Canada. I had rouble finding this place but it turned out to be a rather loose settlement started by a man named Odel in Quebec, Canada near the border of New York. According to the pension claim, on 24 Sep 1811 their house burned down , destroying the family Bible and his discharge papers. Not long after this they moved to Champlain, Clinton, New York, near the borders of Quebec and Vermont. the part of Champlain where he lived was formed into the town of Mooers and in the 1820 Census we find him on pg. 420 listed as Delamater, John, 1 male 10 and under 16, 1 male 16 and under 26, 1 male over 45, 1 female 16 and under 26, and 1 female over 45, occupation agriculture." In 1830, we find his household as " 1 male under 5, 1 male 40 under 50, 1 male 70 under 80, 1 female 20 under 30 and 1 female 60 under 70."

     On 13 Nov 1833, John Delamater submitted his petition for a pension.  He is called a resident of Mooers, Clinton Co., NY and is listed as age 73.  He is described as "very infirm and just barely able to hobble about with a cane." It looks like he spelled his name "Delammeter", the clerk spelled it "Delamarter".
John died on 1 Jan 1834 as stated by his wife, Elizabeth. He didn't get his pension as the government felt there wasn't enough proof of service.  But it certainly was a thrill for me to read his description of his Revolutionary War service!

52 Ancestors #24: Johannes Kells, Revolutionary Soldier

     Johannes (John) Kells was born on 24 Feb 1741 in Claverack, Columbia, New York and baptized in the Dutch Reformed Church of Linlithgo. He was the son of Hendryk or Henry Kells and Anna Margaretha Eswein. Her family were German Palatines from Pfalz, Germany. His antecedents we are not sure of currently. On 20 Dec 1763, Johannes' marriage to Maria Elizabeth Ennes Anderson is recorded in the same Linlithgo Church.  They had eight children, two girls and six boys.

     In the Revolutionary War, Johannes was a private in Capt. Andrew Finck, Jr.'s Company in the First Battalion of New York Forces. He enlisted on 12 Mar 1776 for a period of three years.  In Oct of 1777 he was Fort Schuyler in the Mohawk Valley of New York. This fort played a key role in helping the Americans defeat the British in Western New York.

     Johannes Kells is enumerated in the 1790 Census as the Head of a Household in Claverack, Columbia, New York. An interesting part of the Census record is that it says that he owned 5 slaves. I hadn't realized that people in New York owned slaves at this time but it was very common. New York passed a law in 1799 for gradual freeing of the slaves and in 1827 slavery was abolished fully. I don't know if I mentioned this to my mother who would have been shocked that any of her ancestors had ever owned slaves! Johannes died between 1798 and 1800 in Claverack.

52 Ancestors # 23: John Hudson, Revolutionary Soldier

     John Hudson was born about 1713 in Massachusetts. According to Charles Hudson, his descendant, he is presumed to be the son of Nathaniel Hudson and Rebecca Rugg.  this is because he arrived in Marlborough, Massachusetts with Seth and Nathaniel Hudson who are known to be sons of Nathaniel and Rebecca. Charles Hudson makes this speculation in his History of the Town of Lexington, published 1868.  As far as I know this has been accepted by everyone researching this family yet no actual evidence has ever been found. I think this is the weak link in the Hudson line but I have not been able to find better evidence so far.  I did find a John Hudson born to a Moses Hudson about the same time. John had a son named Moses, this name is not found in any other Hudson family that I've seen.  But I haven't fully investigated this. I just want to mention it here.

     John settled in Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts. In 1739 he married Elizabeth McAllister of Northboro, Mass. They had eleven children: Elijah, Elizabeth, Elisha, Miriam, Moses, Aaron, Hannah, Ebenezer, John, and Stephen.  All seven of their sons fought in the Revolutionary War on the American side, two of them, Ebenezer and Charles, dying during it.

     Charles Hudson in the book mentioned above says this," There is one peculiarity in the whole family.  They seem to have a taste for a military life. Few families of the same number have furnished as many soldiers for the old French and Indian Wars, and the Revolutionary War, as the Hudsons..." John and his sons Elijah and Elisha fought in the French and Indian Wars between 1755 and 1760.  John served under Captain Samuel Howe in the expedition to Crown Point in 1755 and was one of the "alarm men" in Col. Abraham Williams' company in March 1757.

     In the Revolutionary War John enlisted on May 29, 1775 and was in service for 2 months and 8 days.  He later also is noted on muster sheets on 1 Aug 1775 and 7 Oct 1775. He was in Capt, Samuel Wood's Company in Col. Jonathan Ward's regiment. At this time he was 62 years old! In 1790 he received a Bounty Land Warrant as a Corporal for his service.  This was good for 100 acres "in the West", usually New York or Ohio. This land was set aside by individual states for their veterans. I have a copy of this land warrant that I got from the National Archives in about 1979. There is very little data on it, though as the files were burned in the War of 1812. His sons Elisha and Aaron both ended up in Western New York State so one of them may've used it.

     Elizabeth died on 16 May 1786 and John remarried Bethia Wood on 28 Mar 1787. He and Bethia moved to Berlin, Worcester, Mass. shortly before 1790. In the first u.S. Census of 1790 he is listed as the head of a household consisting of "1 free white male and 1 free white female" in Berlin. John Hudson died at Berlin on 6 Aug 1799, aged 83 years. Bethia survived him by quite a few years.  She died in East Bridgewater, Mass., on 23 Feb 1825m aged 78 of a "great cold" and was buried in the Hudson tomb off Plymouth St.

     I am writing this on the Fourth of July 2014 in honor of an ancestor who fought for his country at the age of 62 and sent seven sons into battle as well! He enlisted in May 1775 which was only a month after Concord and Lexington.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

52 Ancestors # 22: Giovanni Luigi Stefani

     Giovanni Luigi Stefani was my Great Grandfather Frank Stefani's father.  Frank hated him. Frank was named after his father, Giovanni Francesco Stefani is what his birth record says. But his school final report card and all records after say, "Francesco Giovanni Stefani" so I think he switched the order and called himself Francesco and Frank so that he would NOT be called Giovanni like his father. Frank told his children that his father was a drunk who used to beat Frank.  His father was a peddlar who made Frank push the cart and go with him to the various surrounding villages. Giovanni would spend the money he made on booze so Frank used to hide as much of it as he could.  He would then give this to his mother in secret so that she could buy food.  I have memories of Frank from three of his children and they all say pretty much the same about his father.

    So, I am researching the family tree and I looked up his father as part of it, naturally.  Here's what I found.  Giovanni Luigi Stefani was born on 23 Mar 1821 in Sporminore, Tyrol, Austria. His father was Ferdinando Stefani, born in Sporminore, and his mother was Maria Domenica Maddalena Conci, born in the nearby town of Torra. Reading on we find that his father died on 19 Oct 1822, age 29, of a malignant fever ("febre maligna"). Giovanni was only 19 months old when his father died! His mother remarried Giuseppe Weber on 10 Feb 1824 and they went to live in Mezzolombardo, not far south of Sporminore. So we have a boy whose father died when he was very young, whose mother remarried and then is raised by a stepfather. Chances are that Giuseppe preferred his own sons to Giovanni, quite possibly they did not get along. I don't know this, however, Giovanni did not stay in Mezzolombardo but returned to Sporminore as a young man.

     In Sporminore he married on 20 Oct 1849, Elisabetta Maria Cattarina Wegher.  She came from a prosperous family of blacksmiths and owned the house they lived in. So quite possibly he felt embarrassed that she had more assets than he did. His mother was already dead when he married Maria, although Giovanni was only 28. He and Maria had 7 children.  The oldest son died at the age of 11. Three of his daughters died very young and his second son died at the age of 12. Only one daughter and his youngest son, Francesco, lived to adulthood. Imagine the loss of these children! I think by the time Francesco came along Giovanni probably didn't want to care for him as he likely felt he would just die like the others. I think he must have felt that life had treated him very badly and drink was his only consolation. It is a common enough story.

     Giovanni died on 1 Jun 1881, age 60. It says "marasma" or decline but I can't read the second word. Perhaps if he had lived longer and Frank had stayed in Sporminore they may have been able to reconcile. Since that didn't happen he is forever known as the drunkard, no good father. I think having the facts of his life I can find room in my heart, anyway, for understanding and a more compassionate view.