Uncle Dave's book

Friday, July 15, 2016

For Love of a Car Addition: My Father's Jeep

     I had wanted to include my Dad's WW II jeep in the essay about family cars but I didn't have the photos. Recently I found the photos and feel that the jeep shouldn't be left out,

     My Dad, John M. Peterson, was a Lt. in the Quartermaster Corps in Europe in WW II. After the war while he was still in Europe he had the opportunity to buy a jeep ("Army surplus" so to speak). In his autobiography he says, "I was able to buy an almost-new jeep which I could ship home under the new peacetime rules for officers transferring to and from Europe." Upon return home he and my mother moved to Boston where he attended Harvard University.  The jeep was their main mode of transportation. In the autobiography he tells this story, "One icy day there was a traffic jam when cars were unable to climb the hump of a bridge over the Charles River.  I ducked down a side street, and them drove my jeep on the sidewalk of stately Beacon Street, turned a sharp corner and got onto the bridge to help push two wheel-spinning cars ahead of me. This showed the advantages of small size and four-wheel drive!"

     They drove it from Boston to Chicago ("in below zero weather") when he went to the University of Chicago to get his PhD. In Chicago they sold it at four times what he paid for it! It had been a very good investment. I remember my mother telling me that she hadn't been that fond of the jeep, though, because it was so open and cold in winter. Hopefully she never told him that!
My Dad, Mar 1946, waiting to be sent home after the war
My mother on the hood of the jeep, August 1946
My mother and friends in the jeep, August 1946
Another view of my mother and friends in the jeep, August 1946
My mother on the hood of the jeep, August 1946, you can tell that my Dad was proud of that jeep!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lucy Gifford or How I Lost 1000 Ancestors With One Click

     Several years ago I was looking for the parents of Daniel Cookson's wife, Lucy Gifford. I had found a marriage record for Daniel and Lucy which didn't note parents but gave the location of Whitefield, Lincoln, Maine. It said 1801 but I thought it was likely 1810 as their first son was born in 1811. I looked at the 1800 and 1810 Censuses for every Gifford family and only found one with a female the right age who wasn't likely the wife. This was Paul Gifford. I found data on his family and he had a daughter named Lucy of the right age. No data was known as to her marriage or when and where she died. So based on all available data it seemed that this was my Lucy.

     But yesterday I found a marriage record between that Lucy Gifford and a man named Wall. And her death record in the same town in Maine where they were married. So, it looked like I had Lucy in the wrong family. It's a shame because Paul Gifford's ancestry has been well researched as has his wife's, going well back into English history. I deleted them and lost about 1000 ancestors in two clicks! but they aren't mine so there you go.

     I now have narrowed down a possible family for Lucy, there is a Lucy Gifford born about 1780 to William Gifford and Priscilla Lawton in Freetown, Mssachusetts. I haven't been able to find out anything else about her yet.

     Another "good guess" that I am making about Lucy is that she married David Corless in Linneus about 1846. In the 1850 Census a Lucy Corless is listed in the family of Daniel Cookson, age 72. Me and every other researcher that I've seen has taken this to be Lucy Cookson, mother of Daniel. But one day I noticed that the name is Corless, not Cookson. Carefuly reading the Census record we find David Corless living in another house with James and Lizabet Lilley. One would assume that she is his daughter, but there is no Lizabet, Elizabeth or even a daughter with the middle initial "E" noted in his family. He was living in New Limerick, Aroostook in the 1830 Census. Daniel Cookson was living in New Limerick in the 1840 Census and this town and Linneus share a border. David is listed as in Linneus in 1840. David's wife, Polly, died in 1845 and I believe that Lucy's husband, Daniel Noyes Cookson, died around 1839. Thus they were neighbors and may well have married. Why they weren't living together in 1850 I don't know.  It could well have been too hard for them to live on their own but their children couldn't take care of both together. So far I haven't been able to find any marriage or death records to confirm this.

     So I am left with some good guesses and a lot of ground to cover to get at the real story.  I have looked at all the probate indexes and records for Aroostook from 1837 to 1860 (online at Family Search) and found nothing but a couple of references to Daniel Cookson  having claims against the estate of William Webster and buying 4 tin plates for .26 and 1 sugar bowl for .05 at his estate sale!

Linneus, Maine

Cookson purchases at Estate Sale ca 1847

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mustaches in the family history

     A recent post by the Photo Detective about men's mustaches in the past led me to look over the photo evidence of these in my family tree. The great great grandfathers I have photos of all have at least a mustache and two have full beards. The one exception I thought I saw was Giovanni Tinetti who lived from 1825-1904 in Northern Italy. But looking at the only photo I have of him it does appear that, indeed!, he has a thin mustache.
Giovanni Tinetti 1897 Torino, Italy

Stephen Avery Kells ca 1877, Minnesota, USA
Johannes Peterson ca 1895, Minnesota, USA
John Marshall Cookson, 1867, Vienna, Ontario, Canada

Benjamin Lester Hudson, about 1915, Saginaw, Michigan, USA

These men all lived from about 1825-1917, except for John Cookson who was younger living from 1848-1936. In Dennis' family the only photos of a great grandfather I have are of his mother's grandfathers, Carl Gustaf Knock and John Mallgren. Both from Sweden and born in the 1840's they still follow this rule.
Carl Gustaf Knock, 1875, Chicago, Illinois, USA
John Mallgren, ca 1911, St. Peter, Minnesota, USA.

Now the next generation, the great grandfathers. They also sport facial hair in their early photos.  But by 1930 or so they have lost it. 
Frank Stefani, 1891 Hurley, Wisconsin, USA
Frank Stefani, ca 1912, Issaquah, Washington, USA
Adolph Peterson, 1885, Dassel, Minnesota, USA
Adolph Peterson, ca 1925 Minneapolis, Minnesota (okay, he never lost his mustache!)
Benjamin M. Hudson 1888, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA
Benjamin M. Hudson, ca 1912, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

By my grandparents generation, though, mustaches and beards were no longer in fashion. It wasn't until the last years of his life in the 1980's that my grandfather sported a beard!
Walter Peterson, ca 1928, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Walter Peterson, ca 1978, New Mexico, USA
Lucas C. Kells, ca 1920, Seattle, Washington, USA

Neither of Dennis' grandfathers had facial hair either.
James C. Negley, 1948, Los Angeles, California, USA
Carl John Knock, ca 1905, Saint Peter, Minnesota, USA

In my father's generation men were clean shaven. Like his father, my father grew a goatee when he was older.  His brother, however, grew one, almost de rigeur for a psychologist! He went full hippie in his old age!
John Peterson, 1944, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Walter H. Peterson, ca 1959, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Walter H. Peterson, 1988, Lodi, Wisconsin, USA
Jim Negley, ca 1943, Los Angeles, California, USA

But, in the 60's and. especially
the 70's, facial hair for men returned. Dennis Negley, 1974, San Francisco, California, USA
My cousin, Eric Peterson, 1988, Lodi, Wisconsin, USA

My cousin, Ray Dellinger, ca 1988, Berkeley, California, USA
My cousin, Danny Dellinger, 1982, New York, New York, USA

My cousin, Larry Kells, 1982,  Palo Alto, California, USA

And now men can go any way they want as shown by my son in law, John Weber
John Weber, 2015, Beaverton, Oregon, USA