Monday, November 30, 2015

Introducing Viola’s Family

Yesterday I added a new tool to Barb’s Family Storiesmy Rootsmagic Family Tree named Viola’s Family.  A link to Viola’s Family is just under the ‘Contact Me’ box. (The official URL is

When I prepare a blog post, I include a “My Ancestry” section detailing my line of descent to the featured ancestor. I’ve also published pedigree charts for each of my grandparents. BUT what if my ancestral line and yours differ at some point? Cousins tell me confusion can set in quickly so I decided to share my genealogy database. My research includes my direct line ancestors and collateral lines.

Let me show you around. Once you’re at Viola’s Family, you’ll see this screen.

I’ll search for my 3rd Great Grandmother Esther (Penny) Bennett. After I locate Esther in the Index of Names, I find 2 choices.

Next I select Esther Penny (1814-1884) and land on the Individual Details page.

I can easily view a Family Group Sheet for Esther with her husband and children by clicking on the small family icon beside her name.

I could have chosen to see Esther in a family group sheet with her parents.

You can also look at Esther’s ancestry using the pedigree icon.

Readers this database is a work in progress. I apologize now for any mistakes you find. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, comments and questions.

Cousins, I hope this helps. Try it out, have fun. There’s lots of hypertext to explore!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

4th Great Grandmother Keziah Kimber writes to Sarah from Minisink, NY, Kimber Letter 8

On Christmas Eve Day 1854 Keziah (Bennett) Kimber wrote to her daughter and son-in-law, Sarah (Kimber) and William Mackney, in Troy, Pennsylvania.

Keziah began her letter thankful to the Lord that she was well with so many sick and dying around her. As I read it, I sensed Great Grandmother’s worries and fears.

3rd Great Grandaunt Julie Ann’s failing health was weighing on her mind. I must warn you—Great Grandmother Keziah vividly described her daughter’s symptoms. Aunt Julie Ann was 34 years old and the wife of Erastus Elston at this date. She was a mother to five children ranging in age from 11 years to 10 months

Kimber maiden Grandaunt Abigail cared for her sister Julie Ann. Great Grandmother tells Sarah that Abby had a very bad spell earlier in the month. This must have prompted Keziah to go to Julie Ann’s home and found Abigail’s health improved.

Grandmother Keziah was pleased to get a letter from her daughter Catherine (married to John T. Welda). Catherine told her mother that she had just visited with her sister Mary (Kimber) Congleton. (Mark Congleton was Mary’s husband.) The Welda’s and Congleton’s lived in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania at this time.

Keziah grieved for her grandson William Emet who died Dec. 1, 1854. Willie Emet was Jane (Kimber) and Moses Seely’s baby boy just 10 months old. The baby’s 3-year-old sister, Bell, thought Willie Emet was sleeping and he would wake up to play with her. Poor Bell.

While it’s true Keziah’s words showed her sorrow, they also showed the love she felt for her family.

Letter 8

Sunday morning, December the 24th, 1854

To William and Sarah

My children the Lord heath given me helth once
more to wright a few lines to you to let you
know how we ar a gitting a long and blessed be
his name    while so menney sicken and dying a
round us i feal thanful to him for his goodness
towards us    in the first place i wil tell you
that i was up to july anns last Lords day and i
found her very ill    O i tell you i dont now as
she is anny better but she is stil going down as
fast as she can    but the doctor sade her simims
is better    but O Sarah you dont now how poor
her arms are theay    theat are just noyhin
theay are so poor and her face looks like death
   the rest of them are wel but Abbe she is a
going down fast    she has had a verry bad spell
the 5 day of this month    theay thought she
could not liv no time    that scart July ann and
that made her worse    so the doctor did not kow
how to switch her then she sade she felt a good
ead better    when i was up thear abbe was better
so she took care of the baby and july ann a gane
   but she is verry week    when she goes up them
steps she has to set rite down or lay down    but
she wont leve july ann for she sed july a could
not due with out  theay could get somboddy else
to take care of for to fix her somthing to eat
thear was one weak that she could not keap
nothen down    nether vittles or drink    as soon
as she wood take it down it wood tearn rite up a
gane    the doctor sade he never saw such an
ulcer in anny ones throt as july hed in hern
the doctor was a triing to make her mouth  score
and she complaned of her throut    he thought it
was in the stuf he had given her to make her
mouth sore   it run on a day or three and she
wanted him to look in her throut and he was
scared    he sed he had never seen such throut
it was jest as black and a grate hole in it    he
took his proge and thar was no feeling in  it a
toll    he took his silver hook and pulled out
grate chunks of ded flest after chunk ol ded and
black    but when i was up thear it was a good
eal better    begun to have feeling in it    she
hed to wean her babe for she had no milk for it
   o how Charley grone sence she wened him and he
is a good chile now    o Sarah i have hed a
letter from Cathern    I started one the same day
 i started yours   i started them the 20 of
november and i receved hers the ___of december
and i receved yours the 19 of decernber and was
much plesed to git one for i begun to git
quitoneasey a bout you for i thought you was
sick so that you could not rite to me but was
glad to hear that you was as well as you was (end
of first page)
Cathern sade theay was oll well there    Markes
folks and them so far and mary was thear the day
before she got mi letter and theay sade  theay
was a coming out hear as soon as theay could get
started    i have looked for them but theay hant
com yet    o Sarah you sed i did not right how
Lucretia was   she was well when i was thear
she had jest took the plaster of the week before
i went thear    she sade it was sowm now    o Sarah
i suppose you have heard that little william
emet is ded and burred    he dide the first day
of december and was burred the 3 day on Lords
day  but o how it did storm that day    thay sent
for me the 2 day    i did not come hom un till
wednesday    poor Jane her heart was almost borke
   he looks as if he was asleep poor bell
thought, he was a slep    she sade Bubbe would
wake up and play with her a gane on the floor
they told her that he was ded    she sed no he is
a slep    they had the fuenerl to the meeting
hous in senter vill and i took her a long to the
burring ground to let her se whear he was lade
but o how she did cry and holler    you shant put
bubby thar    we told her that was her Bubby hoom
now and when she and her paw dide that would be
lade thear two and she must not cry so no more
Jane asked her a tusday morning whear bubbe was
   she sade he was gon home you no whear he is
he dide with dropsey in the hed  poor little
felow    he suffered but he looked natcherl yet
he looked as if he was a sleping    he was burred
by the side of your baby they lay side by side

January the 4
Sarah i begun this letter the day before
christmas and i had got it part don when caleb
came over for your father and me to go over and
take dinner with them co we went    then i
thought i would finish it that weak but every
time i got it some one wood come in and stop me
and so it has lade un till now    i will try to
finish it    yesterday the new babtist meeting
hous was dedicated    Caleb and lucinda and i
went over to hear it, and Mr Selotes grinnell
preeched from psalms the 90-6 and thes ar the
words    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary
   what a serrnon we had i wish you could hed it
   elder grinnell preched thear a gane last night
   i would like to stade and heard it but we
could not stay mrs grimley told me that she
had a letter form you las weak and you was oll
well    then the meeting hous was crowed so full
that thay could not git seats    theay had to
stand for it was crowded from one end to the

Not signed--but written by Kezia Bennet Kimber
to her daughter Sarah.

NOTE: Caleb and Lucinda mentioned above are Caleb and Lucinda Jones. Caleb’s deceased 1st wife was a Susan, the eldest Kimber daughter.

Vincent van Goph's Weeping Woman
Vincent van Goph’s Weeping Woman
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

SOURCE: Edna Raymond, a past Town of Minisink historian, gave me typed transcripts of the letters exchanged between the Kimber sisters and their parents. This letter is 8 of 31.

It was many years ago when I visited Edna and learned of the letters. Edna has since passed away. I believe Edna told me a couple from Illinois visited the Minisink Town Hall and brought the original Kimber letters. The Kimber descendant allowed Edna to photocopy the letters in his/her presence. Edna worked quickly. In those days copy machines were slow and the quality left much to be desired. Edna spent many hours studying and transcribing the letters as the ‘old time’ handwriting was especially difficult to read.

To read earlier Kimber Letters click on the label 'Kimber Letters' at the bottom of this post.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mrs. Sarah Jane Clemmer Passed April 14, 1917 Staunton, VA

Today I’m sharing 2nd Great Grandmother Sarah Jane Clemmer’s death certificate issued in Augusta County, Virginia April 15, 1917.

Mrs. Sarah Jane Clemmer's death certificate, Staunton, VA

Mrs. Sarah Jane Clemmer’s Death Certificate
Obtained from

Grandmother was born Sarah Jane Snyder July 17, 1847 to Adam Snyder and Hannah Hull in Augusta County. Her parents are named in the death certificate. Earlier this year I published 2 posts about 3rd Great Grandfather Adam Snyder’s life. You can read them by clicking here and here.

William Stover, a son-in-law, supplied the Registrar with the information in the document. Grandmother died in Addie M. (Clemmer) and Wm. Stover’s home at 914 Nelson St. in Staunton April 14, 1917.

Dr. Fred E. Hamlin began treating Sarah Jane December 1916 for heart problems. He saw her the day before she died. Dr. Hamlin determined the cause of Grandmother’s death to be chronic valvular disease of the heart.

Thirty-one years earlier Sarah Jane married Joseph Henry Clemmer March 24, 1870 at Arbor Hill, Virginia. They had five children:

   Katherine Hannah Clemmer born Feb. 6, 1871, married Robert Lee Trimble about 1893, died Sept. 13, 1955. They had a large family—Howard, Charles, Homer, Elmer, Robert, Elwood, Fred, Harry and Helen Katherine.

   Addie M. Clemmer born August 29, 1872, married William J. Stover circa 1899, died Jan. 26, 1928. A son named for his grandfather, Joseph H. Clemmer Stover, born about 1907 and died as an infant.

   James Clyde Clemmer (my great grandfather) born July 18, 1875, married Ella Virginia White June 7, 1905, died Dec. 7, 1928. Ten children were born—Janie Agnes in 1906, my Grandmother Lucy Leora 1907, Lynwood 1909, Helen Katherine 1911, Elsie Virginia 1912, Alice Cornelia 1915, Lewis Clyde 1916, William Joseph 1919, Eugene Brown 1921 and Ray Stuart 1924.

   Emmet Joseph Clemmer  born May 23, 1883, married 1908 Anna Grace Clemmer (daughter of Samuel Taylor Clemmer and Annie Runkle), died 1958. Jackie D. Clemmer was their only child born 1926.

   William Spiegel Clemmer born June 14, 1886, married Jan. 15, 1924 Eleanor Herring, died 1949. No children.

2nd Great Grandfather Joseph H. Clemmer died in 1901 leaving Grandmother a widow for 16 years. They’re buried at Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church Cemetery, Middlebrook, Virginia. has photographs of Joseph and Sarah’s tombstones. You can see them at

My ancestry
2nd Great Grandmother Sarah Jane Snyder and husband Joseph Henry Clemmer
Great Grandfather James Clyde Clemmer and wife Ella Virginia White
Grandmother Lucy Leora Clemmer and husband James McFall Joseph
My Father