The Maiden Aunts – Susan Ella and Minnie Eva Sears #52Ancestors Week 14 By Pam Sears Cooper, Ray Sears and Marilyn Sears Lindsey April 2, 2018

The Maiden Aunts – Susan Ella and Minnie Eva Sears

#52Ancestors Week 14       April 2, 2018

By Pam Sears Cooper, Ray Sears, and Marilyn Sears Lindsey

SEARSRussellAb1869familypixcirca1908
Susan and Minnie had 2 nephews: Russell Adams Sears (1869-1932) and Judah Perry Sears (1871- circa 1940).  Russell and his wife Jennie Crocker had 7 kids and 4 of them had children.  What joys they were! 
The 1908 photo is of Russell & Jennie and 6 of their 7 children.  There are many abbreviations used in genealogy; one of them is ae which means age.  From Left to Right: Samuel (ae 12), Barbara (ae 5), Constance (ae 7) looking over mother’s shoulder, Jennie (Crocker) Sears mother (ae 38), Winslow (ae 14), Percival (ae 17) looking over father’s shoulder, Russell Adams Sears (ae 39) and baby Eleanor (ae 2) seated.  Unfortunately, Joan is not pictured; she wasn’t born until 1912.

A glorious spring day dawned and yet sorrow engulfed the Searses’ house.  Ella (Davis) Sears had lost her husband.  Judah Howes Sears passed away on 11 APR 1870 in the prime of his life in East Dennis, Barnstable County, Massachusetts (MA).  He had been a farmer, carpenter, and businessman.  He was only 47 years old but he died from a wasting disease – consumption, or as we call it today – tuberculosis.

1871SEARSstrawworksposs1871
Anonymous woman in a fashionable straw hat

Samuel, Judah and Ella’s oldest child at 23, was a mariner and then started Sears & Potter in the straw goods manufacturing industry in Newark, New Jersey around 1867.  We find him in the City Directory with quite a few members of his family.  Samuel, his uncle Nathan Norris Sears and his wife Julia Potter were living at 30 Fulton Street along with Nathan’s mother Susanna (Howes) Sears (1803-1867).   Judah was living at 49 Bleecker Street.

SEARSJudahb1823newarknjdir1867
This is a page from the 1867 Newark, NJ City Directory where Judah H. Sears lived and the Sears & Potter Company was.

They were entrepreneurs at Sears & Potter at 188 Broad Street.  Nathan Norris had married Julia Potter in 1863 supplying the complete name for this business.

1874SEARSstrawworksposs1871
Examples of straw hats circa 1860s
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Enter a caption

We imagine we would have found Ella, Susan and Warren back on the farm in East Dennis potentially growing wheat, oats or barley for crops.  Then the by-product – straw – would be used for their manufacturing company.

Straw is for hats – think yellow or golden; hay is for horses.  Straw is the by-product of a wheat, oat or barley harvest.  Hay is legumes and green such as alfalfa and clover or grasses such as timothy or oats.  from http://www.homegrownfun.com/difference-between-straw-and-hay/

The Panama Hat fad had started in the 1800s and by the time of the Forty-niners on the West Coast (1849) it was even more popular.

TOMMY BAHAMA – THE ROOTS OF A CLASSIC

Panama hats are a vital part of an island gentleman’s wardrobe. They’re versatile, iconic, stylish and functional. But one thing they’re not? They’re not from Panama.

LET US WEAVE YOU A TALE…

Authentic Panama hats, like the ones we sell today, originate from Ecuador. But they’re not called “Ecuador hats” because Panama is where many of them were either originally sold or worn. Gold prospectors of the 1800s passing through on their way to California would purchase them there. So did the U.S. Government: they bought 50,000 of them for troops during the Spanish-American War. And workers who helped construct the Panama Canal wore them as they toiled in the tropical sun.

It starts with toquilla, a tall, palm-type plant native to Ecuador. The leaves are harvested during a specific period every lunar cycle that coincides with the plant’s fibers being drier than they are the rest of the month. The drier the straw, the better the hat. From there, the straw is hand-woven and formed into the hat’s unmistakable shape.

When judging the quality of a Panama hat, the rule of thumb goes:  the more weaves per square inch, the more luxurious (and expensive) the hat. Pay close attention to the rows in its crown. The texture should be thin and smooth; if possible, use a loupe or magnifying glass to see the intricate details.

THE REST IS HISTORY

Despite their origins in labor-intensive occupations, Panama hats have come to represent relaxed refinement the world over. In the United States, they surged in popularity after President Teddy Roosevelt was photographed wearing one in 1906. Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Winston Churchill all famously wore them.” From http://www.tommybahama.com/live-the-life/tb-style/fashions-and-passions/a-brief-history-of-the-panama-hat.html

There had been so many joyous occasions during Judah’s lifetime – most of which happened on Cape Cod, Massachusetts (MA).  Ella and Judah had had 5 children – 3 sons and 2 daughters.  Samuel and his twin brother Judah Willis were born in 1847.  Their third son Warren arrived in 1849.  Susan Ella was delivered in 1863 during the Civil War and finally, Minnie Eva Sears was born on 24 MAR 1869.

SEARSJudahHowesb1823mass1855census13SEP1855.jpg
(Above) Judah Howes Sears and his family are shown in the Massachusetts State Census which was taken on 13 SEP 1855.  Judah is on Line #5 on the left page.

Soon afterwards, the next generation had its first member; Samuel and his wife Ella “Eva” (Hayden) Sears had a baby named Russell Adams Sears (1869-1932) and hopefully, Judah had had a chance to meet Russell before he passed on.  Samuel was the only one in Minnie’s generation to have children.  Otherwise, the Sears name would have died out in that branch.

1898SEARSRussellAdamsb1869mayorquincy01JAN1898
(Above) Russell Adams Sears in 1898; (Below) Samuel D. Sears – his father’s signature

SEARSSamuelDavisb1847signature14APR1878

Minnie and Susan’s nephew Russell was born a few months after Minnie on 13 OCT 1869 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York.  Then Russell’s brother Judah Perry Sears was born on 26 Nov 1871 back on the Cape.

Judah’s death (1823-1870) was in April – just months before the US Census.   How could there be 5 adults living in one house and no one was employed?  They must have all been entrepreneurs.  Or they raised everything they needed on the farm.  Or Samuel’s job in New York was supporting them all.  Maybe even all of the above.

It must have been quite a responsibility to support his wife and baby, his mother-in-law, his mother, brother, and 2 sisters and his auntie.

Samuel had already felt the loss of Judah Willis Sears (1847-1848) his twin brother.  Now he had lost his father.

Minnie was so young.  What would she grow up to be without her father?  Her sister Susan was just 6 years old.  What did they know of death?  How would they survive?

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Examples of straw hats circa 1870s

It seems that Judah’s family was well-trained and ready to provide for their growing family.  Sears, Ledwitch and Company ran the East Dennis Straw Works in 1871.  Samuel and Warren Sears were partners along with William Ledwitch, who was a stranger in East Dennis, in the making and selling of straw hats. From Dennis, Cape Cod by Nancy Thacher Reid

Leslie Ray Sears III writes: Samuel’s first child was born in Brooklyn in 1869 and they are back running the straw works by the time the second boy was born in 1871.  from Sears Genealogical Catalog

 

Stetson Hats

John Batterson Stetson, known as the inventor of Stetson hats, was born in Orange, New Jersey, in 1830. John B. Stetson’s father, Stephen Stetson, taught him how to make hats and of the hat trade. After his father’s death, John B. Stetson decided to open his own business, but befell ill with tuberculosis. So before he could open his business, he had moved out to St. Joseph, MO landing a job in moulding bricks. Stetson soon became a partner in the brickyard. Soon, nature struck with heavy rain and flooding before Stetson could secure a future at the brickyard. It destroyed nearly all the non-baked bricks. This caused Stetson to lose his job. Afterwards, Stetson in need of financial stability, set out on foot, with some companions, to the Rocky Mountains (Pike’s Peak), in search of gold. In the summer of 1862, during a gold trek, Stetson demonstrated the process of felting to his companions. He shaved off the fur from the hides they had taken to use during the trek and began pounding the fur together. Occasionally adding water and dipping in into boiling water, he turned the fur into a felt hat. After reaching Pike’s Peak, a horseman saw Stetson’s hat and purchased it from him for a five-dollar gold piece. Thus, began the all-encompassing image of the western cattleman and the cowboy hat.

By the mid-1880s, Stetson had employed nearly 4,000 employees and was operating the world’s largest hat manufacturing company in Philadelphia. Stetson, an industrialist and philanthropist, saw a need to offer internal and external benefits to his employees. He set up a free health care system and began offering shares of his company to his employees. Stetson also set up a hospital in Philadelphia and was a founding trustee of the Stetson University in Deland, Florida. John B. Stetson not only turned his hat making skill into a multimillion dollar company, but into a legend.” From http://www.cowboyhatinfo.org/stetson_hats.html

Dennis was a thriving village in the 1870s.  There were social activities: sewing circles, lyceums, church socials, and berry picking expeditions.

blueberries

Blueberries

By Robert Frost (1874-1963)

“You ought to have seen what I saw on my way

To the village, through Mortenson’s pasture to-day:

Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,

Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum

In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!

And all ripe together, not some of them green

And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!”

FROSTRobert1874-1963
Robert Frost circa 1904

PattsBlueberries81DQAkJVUrL__SX355_

Temperance groups were common and Dennis voted to be a “dry” town.  They were pushing to adopt the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would make it illegal to produce and sell alcohol.  While their efforts were successful in 1920, the 21st Amendment repealed it in 1933.

Minnie and her siblings attended the East Dennis school which was located on School Street.  How appropriate!  The students took field trips to neighboring schools for outings.  ” Other options were private tutors, usually the local minister, or to be sent away to grammar school.   From Dennis, Cape Cod by Nancy Thacher Reid P 313-426

Warren finished school around 1867 and later married Lura Caroline Woods on 16 FEB 1874 in Milford, MA.  It was a first marriage for both.  They didn’t have any children.  He was living in New York then and working as a Straw Goods Manufacturer according to the marriage license.

Minnie was 9 when her oldest brother Samuel died of consumption in 1878.  Coughing, chills, fatigue, fever, weight loss, night sweats and loss of appetite were the common signs of the disease; it was a very difficult death.

Now let’s take a jump back in time to understand the beginnings of this family in America.  Minnie and her family descend from Richard Sears (1590-1676) who is often called “Richard the Pilgrim.”  My family descends from the same man.  Our family trees are identical for the first 4 generations.  There were Richard and his wife who had Paul Senior, Paul Senior and his wife who had Paul Junior and Paul Junior and his wife who had Edmund.

But our lines diverged with the next generation. Edmund (1712-1796) had 10 children – Edmund Junior the oldest child and Elkanah Senior the seventh child were born 14 years apart.  Minnie’s line descends from Edmund and mine from Elkanah Senior.

Minnie is 9th generation from Richard the Pilgrim; my dad Leslie (Les) Ray Sears Jr. is also 9th generation.  They were fourth cousins because 4 generations lay between them and Richard.

Minnie didn’t have any children so there are no kids from her line to complement mine.  I am in the 10th Generation of this puzzle and Angelica my older daughter is in the 11th.  Can you fill out the puzzle below for Angelica?   

 And that’s also how we get the phrase “Fourth Cousins once removed.”  It means there is an unequal number of generations on Minnie’s side of the family tree and on Marilyn’s side.

 

1 Edmund

B 1712

2 Edmund

B 1743

3 Jacob

B 1771

4 Nathan

B 1800

5 Judah

B 1823

6 Minnie

B 1869

2 Elkanah Brothers Uncle/Nephew Great Uncle/

Great Nephew

Gr-Gr Uncle/Nephew Gr-Gr-Gr Aunt/Nephew
3 William Uncle/Nephew First Cousin First Cousin

Once Removed

First Cousin

Twice Removed

First Cousin

3 x Removed

4 Elkanah Great Uncle/

Great Nephew

First Cousin

1 x Removed

Second Cousin Second Cousin

Once Removed

Second Cousin

2 x Removed

5 Leslie

B 1892

Gr-Gr Uncle/

Gr-Gr Nephew

First Cousin

2 x Removed

Second Cousin/

Once Removed

Third Cousin Third Cousin

1 x Removed

6 Les

B 1928

Gr-Gr-Gr Uncle/

Gr-Gr-Gr Nephew

First Cousin/

3 X Removed

Second Cousin Twice Removed Third Cousin

Once Removed

Fourth Cousin
7 Marilyn

B 1954

Gr-Gr-Gr-Gr Uncle/GGGG Niece First Cousin/

4 x Removed

Second Cousin

3x Removed

Third Cousin

Twice Removed

Fourth Cousin

Once removed

8 Angelica

B 1977

GGGGG Uncle/

GGGGG Niece

       

The reason that I know all of these facts is that the sisters were my cousins.  We know this from all the genealogy records that my family has developed or found from our ancestors’ records.  Thank you, Ancestors!

It is so exciting for me to read these accounts and find out about their lives.  I wish History class in school had been hands-on this way.

Ella and her family were lucky to be living in East Dennis where there were hundreds of family members.  There were so many that East Dennis was often called “Searsville.”  This provided them with a rich social life and plenty of relatives to call on in times of need.

One of these relatives was Jacob Sears (1823-1871), “he attended the East Dennis public school.  Jacob married the girl next door – Olive Kelley, the daughter of Stillman Kelley, partner in a large fleet of fishing vessels that operated from a dock on Sesuit Harbor’s eastern side.” From http://www.jacobsearslibrary.org/history.html

Jacob was a “successful farmer and cranberry grower.  He had developed a competitive advantage for his business through the invention of a method to ship cranberries in casks filled with water, which allowed his crop to arrive perfectly fresh in distant ports. He ultimately broadened his business interest into shipping and railroads.” From JacobSearsLibrary.org

In the 1850 U.S. Census of Barnstable County MA, Judah and Ella and their 2 oldest surviving children, Samuel and Warren, were shown living next door to Paulina Sears, Judah’s aunt.  Stillman and Olive Kelly lived next door to Paulina.  The Kellys had 8 children and one of them was Olive F. Kelly (1840-1893).

Olive Kelly married Jacob Sears of cranberry fame on 29 APR 1860.  By the time of Olive and Jacob’s wedding, Barnstable County had 36,000 people and Dennis had around 3,400 residents.

There had been rumblings of secession and war for years now and everyone dreaded the start of a war that would divide the country.  “There were four military drafts between 1863 and 1865, which included 3.175 million records. Historically, the 1863 draft was one of the most tenuous moments in the Union outside of the battles fought on Northern soil. Most of the concern was due to the draft riots that took place in New York in 1863.” From Ancestry.com

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List of all persons of Class II, subject to military duty in the First Congressional District of Massachusetts on June 30, 1863.  Judah Sears is listed on Line 18.

This was when Judah Howes Sears registered for the Draft.  He was classified Class II which meant he was married.  So he wasn’t called to serve.  His boys were too young to serve; Samuel was only 18 by the time the war ended.

“In 1864 during the Civil War, the City of Dennis was cited for breaking the law which required a public high school.  In 1868 the town met that deficiency halfway by adding a high school department to the Dennis School for the summer term and to the Dennis Port School for the winter term.  The practice of holding high school classes alternately on the north and south sides of town one term at a time was continued until 1889.  The five two-story graded school buildings which had been built in each of the villages between 1859 and 1867 now housed all of the school children of whatever age. In some years a school might have three departments, Primary, Intermediate, and Grammar.  At other times there were only two departments, Primary and Grammar.  The difference may have been the number of children in each age group, but another consideration seems to have been the availability of teachers.  In school reports from the 1850s onward, the school committee was constantly reminding the voters that they needed to pay teachers more.  It is surprising to find the same teacher employed for more than a year unless that teacher was a resident of the town.  The Grammar Department teachers were usually students from Dartmouth College and two winter terms were the maximum amount of time they would teach here.

“Teachers were interviewed to determine their ability (to keep order) not their educational quality.  They made $30 a month if they were female and $50 a month if they weren’t.”  (Dennis, Cape Cod P 418-426 by REID)

“In the 1850s, the East Dennis public school was consolidated into the Dennis village school system, and a new school was built next to Worden Hall on the Old King’s Highway, also known now as Route 6A. Jacob Sears was concerned that the integrated school system might not provide a comprehensive course of instruction, and he decided to use his fortune to do something about it.”

1601 Massachusetts Highway US 6
Route 6A runs right near the red line on the map above

“The Nineteenth Century saw the rise of small, local centers of learning, culture, and entertainment across rural America. From the Lyceum Movement founded in Concord, MA, in 1826, to the diverse educational, cultural, and social phenomenon of Chatauqua in the latter part of the century, America moved increasingly toward the democratic notion of education and cultural enrichment for everyone.

 

“Reflecting both his personal concerns and the spirit of his time, Jacob Sears stipulated in his will that, following the death of his wife Olive, the entirety of his estate should be used ‘for the benefit of the inhabitants of East Dennis and vicinity for educational purposes.’ This bequest led to the creation of the Jacob Sears Memorial Library.”
from JacobSearsLibrary.org

uncrop 1896SEARSJacobb1823memoriallibrary2006
Jacob Sears circa 10 JUL 1896

“…in its heyday in the 19th century, Chautauqua was one of the most important cultural institutions of its time, with an incalculable effect on the dissemination of education and culture in the United States, particularly for women, who had little access to higher education. Today, after exhausting its original mission, Chautauqua, almost incredibly, has carried on, averting financial crises, and prospering.”  From http://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/17/arts/utopia-awakens-shakes-itself-chautauqua-once-cultural-haven-for-religion.html

Now we are caught up with our history and can learn about life after Judah’s death.  As adults, Susan took the time to travel and continue her social life and Minnie was discovered to have a fine voice and there were many announcements in the newspaper about her talents and travels.  She was requested to perform in many of the town functions.

Minnie’s Life

17 APR 1877 “Dennis – The spring term of the Public Schools will commence Monday the 16th inst. The following list of teachers have been assigned positions, viz:

East Dennis—Miss Ida M. Sears, Grammar department (Susan’s teacher), Miss Mary  J. Kay, Primary department (Minnie’s teacher.)

So. Dennis—Mr. Win. S. Barnum, Grammar department, Miss Grace F. Whelden, Primary department.

West Dennis—Mr. E. D. Howes, Grammar department, Miss Nellie A. Howes, Intermediate department, Miss Eldora Matthews, Primary department, Miss Mary H. Kelley, Sub Primary department.

Dennis Port—Mr. Everett Harris, Grammar department, Miss Mary C. Perkins, Intermediate department, Miss Emily S. Howes, Sub Primary department.

Dennis—Mr. Chas. Sears, Grammar department, Miss Susan E. Hall, Primary department.”

Then again in the 1880 U.S. Census Ella was continuing to keep house at ae 52 and both daughters were in school at ae 17 and ae 11.

Susan’s News

12 JUN 1883 “Warren Sears is at home for a short vacation. Miss Susan E. Sears came home from Boston Saturday to stop a -while.

There have been seventy-five cases of measles in town the past five weeks.”

Minnie’s Life

26 JUN 1883 Barnstable Patriot Page 3 “Last Sunday was observed as the Children’s Day. The church was very prettily decorated with cut flowers. Rev. A. H. Shaw preached to the children in the morning, and in the evening the children gave a very pleasing concert to a full house. The following is the (shortened) programme for the evening:

Singing by the School, Children’s Day.

Devotional Exercises.

Declamation by Master Isa Sears, The Wasp and the Bee.

Recitation by Miss Minnie Elland, Forget me Not.

Recitation by Miss Carrie Lord. Mother ‘ s Way.

Declamation by Master Sammy Sears, The Bird ‘ s Sermon.

Song by Miss Belle Howes and others, The Children’s Thanks.

Recitation, by Miss Minnie E. Sears, Make Home Happy.

Declamation by Harry E. Sears, The Two Dimes.

Song by Misses Marion, Josie and Agnes, Sweet Little Stars.

Recitation by Carrie Lord, Little Rogers’ Prayer.

Singing by the school, Speed The Gospel Armv.”

 

28 JUL 1885 Barnstable Patriot Page 3 “The ladies of the Union Circle gave an entertainment and dance in Worden Hall, Thursday evening, 16th. The nursery maids ‘ drill and Japanese wedding were very amusing. The select reading, “Sweet Briar Rose” by Miss Sarah Howes and a solo by Miss Minnie E. Sears were both well appreciated by the audience.”

15 MAR 1887 Barnstable Patriot Page 3 “Lyceum met Wednesday week, at the usual hour. First of the evening was devoted to exercises, viz:

Singing—White Wings; Carrie L. Howes

Speaking—Grandfather’s Storv; Arthur Ellis.

Singing—Freeman G. Hill.

Reading—The Shadow of the Blind; Helen M. Chase.

Singing—The Letter that never came; Mrs. Paul F. Sears, of East Dennis.

Reading—Deathbed of Benedict Arnold; F. Burnbam Hall.

Singing~ Miss Minnie E. Sears of East Dennis.

Reading—Entertaining Her Big Sister’s Beau; Blanche Howes.

Singing—The Green Mountain Yankee, Freeman G. Hall. —Register.”

 

12 JUL 1887 Page 3 Barnstable Patriot “The concert, given by Miss Minnie 13. Sears on Wednesday, seemed to be a success in every way. The programme of the evening is given below :

Overture—Miss Snow and Mr. Foster.

Solo—(Selected), Mr. Burnham Hall.

Solo—”Wood Nymph’s Call,” Mrs. Paul F. Sears. 

Reading—”Curfew,” Blanche K. Hall.

Solo—”Cuckoo,” Minnie E. Sears. 

Violin Solo—(Selected), Mr. Freil. Foster.

Solo—”O’er the Dancing Sea,” Susie T. Howes.

Piano Solo—”Titania,” Blanche E. Hall.

Reading—”Witch’s Daughter,” T. Bell Howes. 

Piano Solo—(Selected), Miss Lottie Snow.

Solo—”Le Reveli” Minnie E. Sears. 

Quartett—”Good Night, Farewell,” Misses Howes and Messrs. Hall.—Register”

 

In 1872 Dr. Susan Dimock had a nursing school at the New England Hospital for Women and Children.  Susan soon graduated from Grammar School and received training to be a nurse.  She possibly attended Dr. Dimock’s program.

Minnie’s Life

22 MAY 1888 Barnstable Patriot Page 5   “Miss Minnie E. Sears has returned from Somerville where she has been spending most of the winter having her voice trained.”

 

14 AUG 1888 B.P. Page 3 “Quite a party of our young people enjoyed a picnic on Tuesday last, and a social In Worden Hall in the evening….The concert on Wednesday evening, given by Miss Minnie E. Sears and others, was much enjoyed by the large number present. All parts were so well rendered that it was hard to say which was the most pleasing. The following is the program rendered:  Violin Solo—Sonata, Mr. Fred Foster.

Reading—The Dandy Fifth, Miss Minnie M. Nickerson.

Reading—Money Musk, Miss Nickerson.

Solo—Who’s at My Window, Miss Sears.

Violin Solo—Finale Concerto, Mr, Foster. —Register.”

 

20 NOV 1888 Barnstable Patriot Page 3 “Miss Susie Hall returned from Brighton Tuesday. She accompanied her aunt, Mrs. Warren Sears, who drove their team to Brighton the week previous. Miss Minnie E. Sears has found a position in Boston and gone to accept the same. The schools commenced last Monday with the same teachers as last term.—Register.” 

 

13 AUG 1889 Barnstable Patriot Page 2 “Don’t Miss the Grand Concert. Lovers of music will not miss the great concert in Exchange Hall, Harwich, next Thursday evening, the 15th. Remember the eminent talent—Prof. Charles Adams, the great tenor; Mrs. Richardson, the beautiful soprano; Mrs. Sawyer, a contralto of wide reputation; Mr. Dow, the noted pianist; the famous Tripp sisters, violinist and elocutionist, all of Boston. They will appear in quartettes, trios and solos. Some of these artists participated in a concert at West Harwich last week with flattering success, a crowded house greeting them. The above talent is unusual for Cape Cod. The artists are summering at West Harwich, and volunteer their services for the benefit of Miss Minnie E. Sears of East Dennis. An excursion train will run from Chatham, returning after the concert. Don’t miss it. »

The 1890 Census results were mostly destroyed by fire so those records are not available.  What a shame that we have a huge hole in our family stories.

Minnie’s Life

01 SEP 1891 Barnstable Patriot “East Dennis. On Saturday evening, a very pleasing concert was given by our talented young vocalist, Miss Minnie E. Sears. Those taking part were Master Ralph Gorham of Boston, violinist; Miss Grace Ryder of Boston, pianist; Miss Jessie Howes, East Dennis reader; Miss Minnie E. Sears, East Dennis soprano soloist; Miss Blanche E. Hall, East Dennis, pianist; Miss Etta L. Chapman, East Dennis, reader; Miss Lottie Snow Brewster, accompanist. The selections were all exceedingly well rendered. We congratulate Miss Sears on the marked improvement she has made. Her voice shows the result of its excellent training under Prof. Charles R. Adams, her teacher and of much hard work. Especially notable was her rendering of “Annie Laurie” displaying the taste and touch of the artist.—Register.”

 Did Susan move to Boston to study nursing?  Maybe Minnie studied at the Boston School of Oratory and that’s why they had a townhouse there.

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Susan and Minnie’s home at 81 Brook Street in Brookline MA

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10 NOV 1891 B.P. Page 3 “Concert Saturday evening, 31st ult., in Town Hall by Mr. Fred N. Foster, Violinist; Miss Lottie A. Snow, pianist and accompanist; Miss Minnie E. Sears, soprano.”

29 AUG 1893 Barnstable Patriot Page 3 “The Christian Endeavor gave an excellent entertainment last Friday evening. Mr. H. J. Jernegan of Fall River, gave some fine singing; also Miss Minnie E. Sears of East Dennis. Miss Berglen, graduate of the Boston school of oratory showed much talent and proficiency in her recitations and selections and all present agreed it was a great treat.”

Warren died of consumption when Minnie was 24.  He left his personal property to his wife Susan.  In his will dated 4 FEB 1893, he gave his house and 3 acres to his sister Susan Ella and his mother.  All of this is subject to the rights of his sisters Susan and Minnie according to their father’s will. (from MA Wills & Probate 1635-1991 P 806)   This may be how Ella, Susan, and Minnie were able to afford a house in East Dennis and in Brookline MA.

SEARSSamuelDavisb1847headstone14APR1878
Samuel D. Sears’ headstone (above) and Warren Sears’ headstone (below)

SEARSWarrenb1849stone14JUN1893

All 3 men in Minnie’s family died of consumption and all were involved in the straw manufacturing industry.  Was there a connection?  Had she helped in the Sears, Ledwitch & Company manufacturing? Was she next?

 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics had been reviewing the situation in 1919 in factories regarding what health conditions a factory was responsible for and concluded “…it is only when the disease is caused by a poison whose symptoms are unmistakable or by acute infection with a germ that can be identified, or when it is caused by some physical agent, such as excessive heat or the pressure of air in a caisson, that we can actually prove the occupation to be responsible.

“Nobody has any difficulty in deciding that lead colic or lead convulsions in a white-lead worker should be charged up to his occupation, but it is a very different thing to prove that a general hardening of the arteries, with Bright’s disease and perhaps softening of the brain, in a lead caster who has never had lead colic, is caused by his occupation…But for every case of that kind there are probably 20 or more of slow, chronic poisoning with benzol in rubber works, in canneries, in straw hat manufacture, when rosin in benzol is used for sealing cans, and in cleaning and drying… So, also, a case of anthrax in a tannery worker, which develops into fatal blood poisoning, is recognized as occupational, but tuberculosis developing slowly in a sand-blaster of sanitary ware in not so recognized…The commonest form of injury caused by dust is a slowly developing fibrous change in the lungs, which may become the seat of tuberculosis if anything happens to lower the worker’s vitality, or which may prevent his recovery if he contracts pneumonia.” Page 179 From U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, Volume 9 Issue 1  July 1919 https://books.google.com/books?id=U8ce1AaupFIC&pg=PA179&dq=straw+hat+manufacturing+tuberculosis&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjO2oGHyr3dAhVHON8KHX9HC6kQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=straw%20hat%20manufacturing%20tuberculosis&f=false

 

Therefore, it is no coincidence that Judah, Samuel, and Warren all died from consumption.

Susan’s News

22 JUL 1895 Hyannis Patriot – “Miss Susan E. Sears returned home from abroad on the steamer, “Lucania,” which sailed from Liverpool, England, June 29th arriving in New York July 5th. Miss Sears has spent several months visiting different parts of Europe.—Register. “

LucaniaSteamer
The Lucania Steamer took her maiden voyage in 1898.  She could hold 600 first class, 400 second class and 1,000 third class passengers.  She was gutted by fire at her Liverpool dock and was broken up at Swansea in 1910.

Marked by 2 small brooks at the north and south borders, Brookline MA is a suburb of Boston that was first settled in 1638 and was incorporated in 1705.  It is the hometown of President John F. Kennedy (JFK) who was born in 1917.  So the Sears girls and JFK were contemporaries.

1900 Ella, Susan and Minnie's address 81 Brook St., Brookline MA_0001.jpg
(Above) Map of present-day Brookline MA where the Sears sisters lived at 81 Brook Street.  The John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site is north of their home.  Boston University is on the Charles River.

Life for the Sears women continued in East Dennis and Brookline, MA.  In the summer of 1896, the Jacob Sears Memorial Hall at 23 Center Street was completed on the south side of the street in the village of East Dennis.  A dedication was planned for 10 JUL.   Jacob, a longtime East Dennis resident who bequeathed funding for the construction of the meeting hall to be used for a wide variety of civic and social functions, was Minnie’s 1st cousin once removed.

There was a 12-piece orchestra and at age 27 Minnie sang a solo at the dedication and the large audience was suitably impressed with the building and the program.

1896SEARSJacobb1823memoriallibrary2006

It is now called the “Jacob Sears Memorial Library and has been far more than a special place for housing and lending literary material. It has served as a community gathering place, a voting hall, and a venue for plays, lectures, musical performances, classes in art and music, and special exhibitions, as well as neighborhood meetings and events.” FROM https://www.jacobsearslibrary.org/history.html

Susan’s News

10 OCT 1898 “Miss Susan E. Sears is in Brookline caring for the sick in the family of Mr. Jackson.”

Minnie’s Life

05 DEC 1898 Barnstable Patriot Mrs. Ella Sears and daughter, Miss Minnie E. Sears, have closed their house in this vicinity and returned to their winter home in Brookline. 

 

In the 1900 Census Report Ella, Susan and Minnie were still living together and had 2 boarders – Annie Roberts and Maria Foster a nurse.

 

Susan’s News

16 JUL 1900 Barnstable Patriot – “Miss Susan E. Sears is entertaining Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Jackson and son, Master Leonard, of West Newton. »

 

17 SEP 1900 “Miss Susan E. Sears recently spent a day or two in Boston and vicinity.

 

Another famine is said to be due in Ireland, a famine as far reaching in its results as that of 1846-7.”

 

1900 Ella, Susan and Minnie's address 81 Brook St., Brookline MA_0002.jpg
The Brookline City Directory in 1900

Both sisters

08 OCT 1900 Barnstable Patriot Page 3 “Mrs. S. H. Winkley, Mrs. Annie M. Roberts and the Misses Susan E. and Minnie E. Sears,  who have been spending the summer at Mrs. Ella Sears’s, have returned to their home in Brookline.”

 

The 1900 Brookline MA City Directory lists Ella & Susan at 81 Brook St., Brookline MA is in the Harvard Avenue neighborhood south of the Charles River.

Susan’s News

26 DEC 1904 “Miss Susan E. Sears went to Boston to attend the wedding of Miss Gladys Hughes Appleton.”

 

Susan was still a nurse at a retail clothing business and Minnie was a music teacher in 1910.  They had 7 people living in their house at this time; 3 were related – Ella, Susan, and Minnie.  The other 4 appeared to be boarders or servants.  Annie M. Roberts was still there but she was a patient.  Honoria Massette from Italy was also a nurse.  Sarah Tucker was a cook and Niles Lewis a hired boy.

 

Ella died of pulmonary edema in 1913 when Minnie was 44.  Weak lungs worsened by harsh factory conditions seemed to be involved in the deaths in this family.

So for almost half of her life, there was just her sister Susan – a bright spot in so much sorrow.  And Susan was a nurse.  Would that help the 2 of them live to advanced age?

 

Susan and Minnie had the right to vote in 1920.  Did they exercise it?  I would assume they did.  They were professional women who each had been educated and had a career.

 

Warren G. Harding, Republican from Ohio with Calvin Coolidge as his running mate campaigned against James M. Cox, Democrat from Ohio with Franklin Roosevelt as his running mate.  Massachusetts voted overwhelmingly for Harding; he won 84% in Barnstable County which was 6,383 votes compared to Cox’s 1,125 votes.

SusanB_AnthonyandElizabethCadyStanton_LOC_159001v
Susan B. Anthony and
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1899

“The woman suffrage movement actually began in 1848, when a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. The Seneca Falls meeting was not the first in support of women’s rights, but suffragists later viewed it as the meeting that launched the suffrage movement. For the next 50 years, woman suffrage supporters worked to educate the public about the validity of woman suffrage. Under the leadership of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other women’s rights pioneers, suffragists circulated petitions and lobbied Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to enfranchise women.

College_day_in_the_picket_line_LOC_3a32338v

At the turn of the century, women reformers in the club movement and in the settlement house movement wanted to pass reform legislation. However, many politicians were unwilling to listen to a disenfranchised group. Thus, over time women began to realize that in order to achieve reform, they needed to win the right to vote. For these reasons, at the turn of the century, the woman suffrage movement became a mass movement.”

In the 20th century leadership of the suffrage movement passed to two organizations. The first, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), under the leadership of Carrie Chapman Catt, was a moderate organization. The NAWSA undertook campaigns to enfranchise women in individual states, and simultaneously lobbied President Wilson and Congress to pass a woman suffrage Constitutional Amendment. In the 1910s, NAWSA’s membership numbered in the millions.

The second group, the National Woman’s Party (NWP), under the leadership of Alice Paul, was a more militant organization. The NWP undertook radical actions, including picketing the White House, in order to convince Wilson and Congress to pass a woman suffrage amendment.

In 1920, due to the combined efforts of the NAWSA and the NWP, the 19th Amendment, enfranchising women, was finally ratified. This victory is considered

the most significant achievement of women in the Progressive Era. It was the single largest extension of democratic voting rights in our nation’s history, and it was achieved peacefully, through democratic processes.” From https://www.womenshistory.org/resources/general/woman-suffrage-movement

 

23 MAY 1929

“Miss Susan E. Sears

motored from Brookline

down to Bass River,

with her friend,

Mrs. James E. Patton,

for the week end.”

Hyannis Patriot Page 2

 

23 MAY 1929

 “Miss Minnie E. Sears

left a week ago last

Sunday to visit her friend,

Miss Sarah A. Williams,

of Beacon Street, Brookline.”

 Hyannis Patriot Page 2

 

 

Thurs. 27 NOV 1930

“Miss Eleanor Moulton,

after several weeks

spent with Miss Minnie

 Sears, East Dennis,

returned Monday to

her home in Tonset.”

Hyannis Patriot Page 6

 

 

Susan Ella and Minnie Eva Sears are nowhere to be found in the 1930 and 1940 U.S. Census Reports.  Minnie died in 1945 and Susan didn’t die until 1951.  Where could they have gone?  Another gaping hole in the stories of their lives is unavoidable here.

On 30 JUL 1932 their nephew Russell died suddenly at his summer house in East Dennis.  The aunties were not mentioned in his obituary.

”Yarmouth Register, 30 Jul 1932,   Page 1

Russell A. Sears, for thirty years general attorney of the Boston Elevated Railway, who served formerly as mayor, city solicitor and member of the city council of Quincy, died suddenly Friday afternoon at his summer home in East Dennis.


Mr. Sears was sixty-two years of age, having been born in Brooklyn, NY on Oct 13, 1869. His father was Samuel Davis Sears and his mother Ella Evelyn Hayden. He was educated in the Boston public schools and entered the law office of Samuel L. Powers at the age of sixteen. Mr. Powers gave him careful legal training and in 1890 Mr. Sears was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. At the same time he was admitted to Mr. Powers’s law firm.


Mr. Sears was a member also of the bar of the United States Supreme Court. His other activities included his vice chairmanship of the Governor’s Committee on Street and Highway Safety and the presidency of the Transit Mutual Insurance Company. He was a director of the Massachusetts Employees Insurance Association, Granite Trust Company and the Citizens Gas & Light Company.

 He was a member of the Republican Club and the Exchange Club, the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Bar Association of the City of Boston, and he belonged to the Neighborhood Club of Quincy and the Engineer’s Club of Boston.

 He was mayor of Quincy in 1898 and two years later became city solicitor. He had been identified with affairs in Quincy since he went to live there in 1891 and for many years he had made his home on Glendale road.

Mr. Sears leaves his wife, the former Miss Jane Crocker of Hyannis, whom he married in 1888. Also surviving are three sons Percival A. Sears of Liverpool, Eng.; Winslow Sears of Chestnut Hill and Samuel P. Sears of Boston. Four daughters who survive him are Mrs. Oliver M. Read of Shanghai, China; Mrs. Randolph P. Rice of Wayland; Mrs. George Phillips of Hollywood, Calif, and Miss Joan Sears of Quincy.

Funeral services were conducted at the First Unitarian Church, Quincy, Monday by Rev. Dr. A. L. Hudson of Dorchester, former minister of the church.

Quincy City Hall was closed during the hour of the funeral service. Mayor Thomas J McGrath led a delegation of city officials who attended. Officers of the Boston Elevated and representatives of George F. Bryan Post, VFW were present. Burial was in East Dennis.”

from Yarmouth Register Newspaper

 Russell may be the first male in the family to die of something other than tuberculosis (TB).  Thankfully he was spared that.

SEARSRussellAb1869stone22JUL1932

Before the mid-1850s, surgery, which was sometimes considered in the treatment of TB, had to be done without anesthesia.  As a result, the patient was conscious and felt each move the doctor made.

” A history of TB drugs often starts with the development of streptomycin. Following on from this, isoniazid will be mentioned, but very often para-amino salicylic (PAS) is left out completely.   Around 1940 aspirin was found to “play a vital role in the life cycle of the TB germ.  It was ten times more potent than any previously tested drug and it appeared to be non-toxic. In addition, it had been described in a published report by chemists many years earlier. This meant that isoniazid could not be patented. So anyone could make it and sell it, and it was not difficult or expensive to produce.  From https://www.tbfacts.org/history-of-tb-drugs/

Streptomycin was first given to a patient on 24 NOV 1944.  More cures were developed and now TB is not as big a problem as it was in the 19th & 20th centuries.

SEARSMEBritannicvoyageP10408SEP1934

Miss M.E. Sears and Mr. R. Sears sailed on the Britannic on 08 SEP 1934 to Liverpool.

This could be Minnie Eva Sears and her great nephew Russell Adams Sears II on a trip to visit Russell’s father, Percival in Liverpool.

We may never know because the shipping companies didn’t always include the passengers’ full names.

It is strange that Minnie lived her whole life in East Dennis and Brookline but died in Braintree, Massachusetts.  At the corner of Washington and South Streets in Braintree, Norfolk County, MA, there was a hospital specializing in tuberculosis.  Could there be a connection?  We may never know.

Susan was not found in the 1950 Census either.  Had she gone to live with a relative?  She died on 13 SEP 1951 and possibly wrote the story of what happened between 1930 and 1951 but we haven’t found any diaries or records she kept.

SEARSSusanEllab1863stones13SEP1951
Minnie E. Sears and Susan E. Sears gravestones

 

Then our branch of the family took over the storyline and lived on Cape Cod and vacationed there often.  But that’s another story…

 

 

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The Old William Sears Homestead in East Dennis, Massachusetts #52Ancestors – Week 13 – March 26, 2018

The Old William Sears Homestead in East Dennis, Massachusetts

#52Ancestors – Week 13 – March 26, 2018

by Lelia Brownscombe 9 NOV 1992 and Ray Sears, Pam Sears Cooper and Marilyn Sears Lindsey 2018

(borrowed and enhanced from SearsR.com)

There are many old homesteads in Dennis Mass.  I don’t know how many are still in the Sears family.

This one was owned by James & Mary Emma Smalley and our Aunt Sabra grew up here.  Our Dad summered in this house, The Cedars, and brought us here for family vacations from the 1950s through the 1970s. So this is our favorite of all the homesteads.  This painting is by our cousin Harriet Corliss.

1954 The Cedars

But this is the story of a different house from another branch of our family – William Sears – although it is not owned by a Sears now.

1858 Sears Genealogical Catalog Map Page F4

Map of Dennis and East Dennis in 1858 by L. Ray Sears

East Dennis is in the middle of the Cape.

(Look under the B in the word Bay – near the seagull.)

1914 Q&P Map of Cape Cod

This story below was written by Lelia Josephine Dorr (1915-2001) who was the granddaughter of Elkanah “Kanah” Howes Sears and Lelia Tabitha Eldredge.  Lelia Josephine was our Dad’s first cousin.

Her first cousins-once removed Marilyn, Pam and Ray (see left -standing next to Claire at Isaac Sears’ house) added some enhancements from recent research.  March 5, 2011 in front of Isaac Berry Sears’ house which was built in 1887.

Lelia Josephine wrote:  “My grandfather Elkanah “Kanah” Howes Sears (1849-1914) was born in a house built in 1805 by his grandfather, Elkanah Sears (1758-1836), whose home on the Southwest corner of South and School Streets, East Dennis, had burned.  This beautiful Cape Cod house, located at 51 School Street replaced the destroyed one.”

Left: Elkanah “Kanah” Howes Sears (1849 – 1914)

Center: Lelia Tabitha Eldredge (1850-1940)

Right: Their Marriage Certificate from 22 Dec 1881 with even a photo of their minister

1805 William Sears House
1805 William Sears House

The William Sears House at 51 School Street (built in 1805 by Elkanah Sears)

We toured it on March 5, 2011.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves…we need to understand Cape Cod life from before 1758 when Elkanah Sears was born.  Cape Cod is the orange section on the upper map and the Town of Dennis is the red part on the lower map. {For some reason Martha’s Vineyard is included but Nantucket is omitted.}

1639 Town of Dennis in incorporated in Barnstable County MA
1639 Town of Dennis in incorporated in Barnstable County MA

The online Encyclopedia Britannica tells us that in southeast Massachusetts, Cape Cod juts out into the ocean, forming Cape Cod Bay.  This 65-mile-long appendage is rectangular in shape except at its easternmost point, where it hooks northward. Its offshore waters are among the most treacherous in the country, thus the numerous lighthouses on the shores.

22 Cape Cod Lighthouses
22 Cape Cod Lighthouses
15 Cape Cod Lighthouses
15 Cape Cod Lighthouses

The Paleo-Indian hunter gatherers became Algonquian-speaking people (later called the Wampanoag) who farmed and hunted to create their great societies.

ColonialLife
Colonial Life

At the beginning of the 17th century, European merchant vessels and fishing boats trolled the waters off the coast of New England and unfortunately made contact with the Wampanoag tribe.  They brought disease – probably smallpox – before 1615.  “Researchers say that the losses from the epidemic were so large that English colonists were more easily able to found their settlements in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in later years.”

The Sachems (both female and male) of the matrilineal society of Native Americans allowed the Pilgrims to hunt on their grounds without much interference.  Years later, after the settlers won their wars, most of the male Wampanoags were sold into slavery and many of the women and children were taken as slaves by the colonists.

Tribal practices were such that women owned land and inheritance passed down through the female lines regardless of their marital status.  Women and men also selected the chiefs.  So we see that the Native American tribes were democratic and women had more freedom and rights than their European counterparts.

1602 Gosnold at Cuttyhunk by Albert Bierstadt

1602 Gosnold at Cuttyhunk by Albert Bierstadt

Bartholomew Gosnold (1571 – 22 Aug 1607) who was an attorney, explorer and privateer and sailed with Walter Raleigh named the peninsula Cape Cod on 15 May 1602 because codfish were so plentiful in those waters.  He had been given a ship to attempt a colony in southern New England.  He died in Jamestown, Virginia when he was only 35 years old.

1620 Massasoit Meets Europeans Print small
1620 Massasoit Meets Europeans

Chief Massasoit from the Wampanoag Tribe meets the Europeans

The Wampanoag people were farmers and also lived off their catch from the sea.  With Massasoit as their chief, they helped the Pilgrims, who arrived in the fall of 1620, survive at their new Plymouth Colony.  The Wampanoag lost their lands through continued purchase and expropriation by the English colonists.

THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT

MayflowerCompact

“The Mayflower Compact was a set of rules for self-governance established by the English settlers who traveled to the New World on the Mayflower. When Pilgrims and other settlers set out on the ship for America in 1620, they intended to lay anchor in northern Virginia. But after treacherous shoals and storms drove their ship off course, the settlers landed in Massachusetts instead, near Cape Cod, outside of Virginia’s jurisdiction. Knowing life without laws could prove catastrophic, colonist leaders created the Mayflower Compact to ensure a functioning social structure would prevail.”

English explorer and colonist John Smith named the state for the Massachuset tribe, whose name meant “near the great hill”—believed to refer to Blue Hill, which rises south of Boston in an otherwise flat area.

The Town of Dennis (established in 1639) was a very isolated part of Massachusetts in the 1700s and 1800s.  It is out in the middle of Cape Cod which is all included in one county – Barnstable.

06.02.1685 Q&P Barnstable County, Mass
06.02.1685  Barnstable County, Mass

The Sears Genealogical Catalogue edited by Ray Sears tells us that “the Sears family arrived in Massachusetts around 1637 when Richard the Pilgrim Sares (GEN 1) settled in Marblehead, MA.”

“GEN 2 Richard’s son Captain Paul Sears (1635-1707) was in the militia and made claim for a horse lost in the Narragansett War and was the first to adopt the current spelling of Sears.”

“GEN 3 Paul Sears (1669-1739) was the 5th of 10 children. He and his wife Mercy Freeman had 12 children.  He owned and sailed whaling vessels.  He was a member of the church in East Dennis and one of his jobs was to keep the boys in order on the Sabbath Day.”

“GEN 4 Captain Edmund Sears (1712-1796) was a sea captain of a vessel engaged in trading.  He was involved in the Boston Tea Party and his 4 sons served in the Revolutionary Army.”

Boston Tea Party December 16, 1773

“GEN 5 Elkanah Sears (1758-1836) was a soldier and marched on the alarm at Dartmouth and Falmouth in 1778.  He and his son William were also the pioneers of a large and profitable cranberry business.  Elkanah’s relative, Sleepy John Sears (1744-1817) built the first salt works using solar evaporation of sea water.  This is the salt works that Elkanah “Kanah” Howes mentioned in his story of covering the salt bed during a storm.  He built the homestead in this story.”

CRANBERRY BOGS

“GEN 6 Captain William Sears (1808-1896) was the 7th of 7 children.  He was a farmer.”

“GEN 7 Elkanah “Kanah” Howes Sears whose wife Lelia also traced her family heritage back to Richard the Pilgrim was a carpenter and cooper and built windmills and the house on Sea Street in the village of East Dennis.  He built cranberry barrels and worked on the Methodist Church in the village. Lelia and her husband were 6th cousins once removed.”  It was common for distant cousins to marry especially in a village nicknamed “Searsville.”

For those of you who like charts (like me), here is the above information in abbreviated form.  As you can see, the myth that people died young back in the 17th and 18th centuries is not true for our family.

 

GEN 1 Richard (the Pilgrim) Sears (1590-1676) + Dorothy Jones (1607-1678)

86 yo                                                             70 yo

GEN 2 Captain Paul Sears (1635-1707)  + Deborah Willard (1640-1721)

72 yo                                                             81 yo

GEN 3 Paul Sears (1669-1739) + Mercy Freeman (1674-1747)

69 yo                                                             72 yo

GEN 4 Captain Edmund Sears (1712-1796)  + Hannah Crowell (1725-1802)

84 yo                                                             76 yo

GEN 5  Elkanah Sears (1758-1836) + Mercy Bray (1763-1846)

78 yo                                                             83 yo

GEN 6 Captain William Sears (1808-1896) + Ruth Berry (1807-1876)

88 yo                                                             68 yo

GEN  7 Elkanah “Kanah” Howes Sears(1849-1914) + Lelia Eldredge (1850-1940)

65 yo                                                             89 yo

GEN  8 Harvey Dorr + Lelia Estelle “Stella” Sears (1887-1970)

83 yo                                                             83 yo

GEN  9 Ralph Brownscombe + Lelia Josephine (1915-2001)

Abt 94 yo                                                     86 yo

And [Leslie Jr. and Lelia Josephine are cousins.]

GEN  8 Leslie Ray Sears (1892-1954) + Harriet Thurston (1901-1978)

62 yo                                                             77 yo

GEN  9 Leslie “Les” Ray Sears Jr (1928-1985)  + Claire Lavina Sanders (1927 – )

57 yo

GEN 10 =      1st cousins once removed = Leslie Ray “Ray” Sears III (1952- )

Marilyn Jean Sears (1954- )

Pamela Marie Sears (1958- )

1876 William Sears & Ruth Berry Sears
1876 William Sears & Ruth Berry Sears
1896WilliamSears
1896WilliamSears

So Lelia Josephine’s story continues with reminiscences of GEN 7:

“Elkanah Howes ‘ father, William, was also born in the 1805 house.  His mother was Ruth Berry (1807-1876).”

On 21 Jan 1836 Ruth married William Sears and had 3 sons: William Gray, Isaac Berry and Elkanah Howes Sears.  Ruth had been named after her mother Ruth Gray (1773-1868) and Isaac’s daughter, Ruth Berry Sears (1878-1965), was named after her grandmother.  It seemed to be very common to use last names for middle names in my family and for women to name their daughters after themselves.

Ray has fond memories of Cousin Ruth.  He wrote: I always remember Cousin Ruth because she showed us one of the best times on our summer visits to Cape Cod.  Her small white house on School Street in East Dennis across from Cousin Edmund’s was always tidy and fun to explore.  We wished she was our teacher because of all the attention she paid to us.

1805 William Sears House
1805 William Sears House

The William Sears House at 51 School Street (above & below)

1805 William Sears
1805 William Sears

1805 William Sears

1805 William Sears

Lelia wrote:

“I have an old silver tablespoon with the initials WR engraved on the handle. This was unusual because they stand for William and Ruth. The usual way was to use the first initial of the last name of the married couple.

GEN 7 Elkanah ‘Kanah’ Howes had two brothers, Isaac Berry who collected the autographs in the Sears Genealogical Catalogue and William Gray.

Isaac had his house built right across the street from William’s 1805 house on School Street.

House where Ruthie B. Sears lived
House where Ruthie B. Sears lived

Lelia wrote:

As a boy, Grandfather Elkanah “Kanah” Howes said if it rained, he had to get up in the middle of the night to help pull up the canvas which protected the salt beds from getting wet.

He also had a pet skunk and a turtle in his closet.

 

1776 Sleepy John Sears & 1st Saltworks - Brewster Ladies' Library, Brewster, MA
1776 Sleepy John Sears & 1st Saltworks – Brewster Ladies’ Library, Brewster, MA

The Saltworks that Kanah described were started by his ancestor “Sleepy” John Sears in 1776 and provided an income for many on the Cape.

Esther&JamesEldridgeHouse
Esther&JamesEldridgeHouse

Lelia continued writing:

On 22 Dec 1881, Elkanah married Lelia Eldridge (No 6984b. i). (I was
surprised that my grandmother’s line through her mother was back to Richard
Sears) She lived at 2666 Route 28, S Chatham. (The house is still there) She had been a teacher in Chatham before her marriage.

Lelia was born 7 Aug 1850 in Chatham MA. She died Jun 1940 in Santa Cruz CA and was buried in E Dennis MA.

She had a daughter who she named Lelia Estelle  (1887-1970) and everyone called her Stella.  Stella also had a daughter that she named Lelia Josephine (1915-2001) who wrote this story.

1914 Q&P Elkanah & Lelia Sears
1914 Q&P Elkanah & Lelia Sears

Kanah and Lelia Sears circa 1914

1922 Clambake at Cold Storage Beach with 3 Lelias

1922 Clambake at Cold Storage Beach with 3 Lelias

All 3 Lelias at the Clambake on Cold Storage Beach, Circa 1922

Left bench (Back to front): Katherine Louise Stegmaier, “Uncle” Edmund Hamblin Sears and Lelia Estelle #2; Right bench (Back to front) Samuel Thacher Sears – brother of Edmund H. Sears, Lelia T Eldredge #1, Mabel Williams and James “Uncle Jim” or “Billy” William Sears; child is Lelia Josephine Dorr (1915-2001) abt 6 years old

Lelia Josephine continued writing:  “Grandfather Kanah was a carpenter and had a beautiful workshop in the carriage room of the large barn on Center St. across the street from the church. He also called himself a mechanic probably because he installed and repaired windmills.  He built a church in Wellfleet, repaired the steeple on the East Dennis Church when it was struck by lightning, and repaired the Brewster Mill according to brother, Isaac’s notebook. He built many houses on Cape Cod.
When he was first married, Kanah, as his wife called him, worked in the Shiverick Shipyard on Quivet Neck according to Lelia Tabitha Eldredge’s diary written in 1882.

Ray learned that according to Dean Stanley Sears, Quivet rhymes with quiet.

1815 East Dennis Landmarks & Shiverick Shipyard
1815 East Dennis Landmarks & Shiverick Shipyard

 

The Shiverick Shipyard was located at the Compass Rose next to #11 on Cape Cod Bay.

Kanah and Lelia lived in a duplex at 26 or 28 South Street near School Street. It is still standing. All four of their children were born in this house, James William, Lewis Elkanah, Lelia Estelle and Leslie Ray. Kanah added dormer windows, a bathroom, a screen porch, pump house and water system to the 1805 house after 1905.  Kanah is buried in the South Street Cemetery.

1730 Q&P Page 01 Sears Coat Of Arms Historiography
1730 Q&P Page 01 Sears Coat Of Arms Historiography

Lelia Josephine wrote:

Here is a letter that Aunt Mabel Sears (Uncle Jim’s wife) sent to me.

[Uncle Jim’s name was James William Sears and was known as Uncle Billy on our dad’s side of the family.]

1930 Leslie Senior, his brother Jim and Jim's wife, Mabel
1930 Leslie Senior, his brother Jim and Jim’s wife, Mabel

1 Feb 1931

15 Grace Road,

W Medford, Mass.


Dear Lelia,
I have been going into the genealogical rooms in Boston lately. Having
great fun looking into my Williams ancestry- and incidentally I found one or two things I think nice for you to know about your Sears ancestors.

 You know probably the first Sears ancestor was Richard who was supposed to have come here in 1630 and your line from him is …

 Well your great great-great grandfather Edmund was a sea captain, and was unloading his ship in Boston Harbor when the Boston Tea Party occurred. He left his ship- boarded the vessel which had the tea on board and assisted in throwing it overboard. It was the Paul Revere Lodge of Masons who planned the affair.

 When Edmund Sears returned home he went to the “Bowfat” (a circle around the fireplace)and took the teapot and caddy and threw them out of doors telling his wife there was to be no more tea ever in his house, and also forbid the wearing of any article of British make.

 He had 4 sons in the Revolution and when there was a threatened invasion of the Cape, he rode horseback and offered his services altho then an old man.

You see you are a good D.A.R. candidate as well as a special bar for being a direct descendant of a member of the Boston Tea Party. Of course your mother is too. I am a member of Boston Tea Party Chapter and we have scarcely ½ dozen- who can claim descent from real Boston Tea Partiers and aren’t they proud of it? All I can claim is that I married one.

Also I find Wm Sears your great grandfather, your mother’s grandfather, and his father Elkanah set out the first cranberries ever cultivated on Cape Cod on what is now flax pond- owned now by Cousin Edmund.

These two things are a matter of record and I thought maybe you’d enjoy knowing them. The remark Edmund’s wife made when he threw out the

tea is also in record, she turned to the children who had gathered to “welcome” father home and said-“your poor father has lost his mind.”

The Sears Coat of Arms is beautiful and the motto is “Exaltat Humiles” If … you can translate that.

 Hope this will interest you. It did your Uncle Billy and he wanted me to write it to you. This is taken from published records and is supposed to be as authentic as any records can ever be.

Deep snow here 8 in & it is now snowing on top of that.

Love to all,
Aunt Mabel (nee Williams) Sears

1982 Q&P Sears Family Crest
1982 Q&P Sears Family Crest

A Painting by Joshua Mayo Sears (1888-1982) from

the crest in the genealogy by Rev. Edmund Hamilton Sears.

Stella and Harvey Dorr and Les Sears Jr                                   Harvey & Stella Dorr (Lelia Circa 1947                                                                                          Josephine’s parents)                                                                                                                                   Circa 1950

1960 Stella, Lelia J & Harvey Dorr
1960 Stella, Lelia J & Harvey Dorr

Stella, Lelia Josephine (the author of this story) and Harvey

Circa 1960

We are so thankful that our ancestors wrote down the family stories and made sure that others knew them.  Now we can faithfully and humbly continue to add to our collection in the vein of our family crest:  “Exaltat Humiles” which means “He exalteth the lowly” and “Honor et Fides” which means Honor and Fidelity.  But that’s another story…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ignore this table below.  I couldn’t figure how to delete it.

Sears Coat of Arms – The Historiography tells us that Sears means “one coming from the sea.”

 

Lelia Josephine wrote:

Here is a letter that Aunt Mabel Sears (Uncle Jim’s wife) sent to me.

[Uncle Jim’s name was James William Sears and was known as Uncle Billy on our dad’s side of the family.]

 

 

Leslie Sr, Uncle Jim (his brother) and

Mabel Williams (Jim’s wife) Circa 1930

1 Feb 1931

15 grace Road,

W Medford, Mass.


Dear Lelia,
I have been going into the genealogical rooms in Boston lately. Having
great fun looking into my Williams ancestry- and incidentally I found one or two things I think nice for you to know about your Sears ancestors.

 

You know probably the first Sears ancestor was Richard who was supposed to have come here in 1630 and your line from him is …

 

Well your great great-great grandfather Edmund was a sea captain, and was unloading his ship in Boston Harbor when the Boston Tea Party occurred. He left his ship- boarded the vessel which had the tea on board and assisted in throwing it overboard. It was the Paul Revere Lodge of Masons who planned the affair.

 

When Edmund Sears returned home he went to the “Bowfat” (a circle around the fireplace)and took the teapot and caddy and threw them out of doors telling his wife there was to be no more tea ever in his house, and also forbid the wearing of any article of British make.

 

He had 4 sons in the Revolution and when there was a threatened invasion of the Cape, he rode horseback and offered his services altho then an old man.


You see you are a good D.A.R. candidate as well as a special bar for being a direct descendant of a member of the Boston Tea Party. Of course your mother is too. I am a member of Boston Tea Party Chapter and we have scarcely ½ dozen- who can claim descent from real Boston Tea Partiers and aren’t they proud of it? All I can claim is that I married one.


Also I find Wm Sears your great grandfather, your mother’s grandfather, and his father Elkanah set out the first cranberries ever cultivated on Cape Cod on what is now flax pond- owned now by Cousin Edmund.

 

These two things are a matter of record and I thought maybe you’d enjoy knowing them. The remark Edmund’s wife made when he threw out the tea is also in record, she turned to the children who had gathered to “welcome” father home and said-“your poor father has lost his mind.”


The Sears Coat of Arms is beautiful and the motto is “Exaltat Humiles” If … you can translate that.

 

Hope this will interest you. It did your Uncle Billy and he wanted me to write it to you. This is taken from published records and is supposed to be as authentic as any records can ever be.


Deep snow here 8 in & it is now snowing on top of that.


Love to all,
Aunt Mabel (nee Williams) Sears

 

A Painting by Joshua Mayo Sears (1888-1982) from

the crest in the genealogy by Rev. Edmund Hamilton Sears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stella and Harvey Dorr and Les Sears Jr                                   Harvey & Stella Dorr (Lelia Circa 1947                                                                                          Josephine’s parents)

Circa 1950

 

 

 

 

Stella, Lelia Josephine (the author of this story) and Harvey

Circa 1960

 

We are so thankful that our ancestors wrote down the family stories and made sure that others knew them.  Now we can faithfully and humbly continue to add to our collection in the vein of our family crest:  “Exaltat Humiles” which means “He exalteth the lowly” and “Honor et Fides” which means Honor and Fidelity.  But that’s another story…

 

 

 

 

Hymn of Promise: Forging Connections during Misfortune #52 Ancestors Week 12 March 19, 2018

Hymn of Promise: Forging Connections during Misfortune

#52Ancestors Week 12 – March 19, 2018

By Marilyn Sears Lindsey with help from Claire Lavina Sears, Pam Sears Cooper and Ray Sears

When we look at the hymnal used at the First United Methodist Church of Seminole, Oklahoma, where the Lindseys live now, we see the date 1986 listed for #707 Hymn of Promise.  But I know the story behind this hymn.

It Really Began…

in 1985 in St. Petersburg, Florida where my Dad and Mom had retired after their being in the military for 25 years.  Angelica and I joined them in attending Pasadena Community Church which was part of the United Methodist Church.  Rev. Edward Norman was our head minister and Rev. C. Frederick Harrison was the Music Director.

Angelica's Baptism at Pasadena Community Church
Rev. Mackey, Marilyn, Vickie Sears, Angelica Leal, Pam, Les and Claire Sears November 1977

Angelica had been baptized in this church by Rev. Mackey in November, 1977 and now it was 7 years later.

Pasadena Community Church, St. Pete, FL
Pasadena Community Church established 1925

During the planning for the 32nd annual spring concert, Fred expressed a hope to Natalie Allyn Sleeth (nee Wakeley) that she might write an anthem to be premiered at our church’s Starlight Musicale, which was a music festival weekend of her work that year.

Natalie Sleeth was a gifted poet and creative composer whose work Fred admired.  She was married to Rev. Ronald E. Sleeth, a professor of Homiletics and the president of West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1977.  After their marriage, they moved to Nashville first and then to Dallas, Texas where Ronald was a professor at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University (SMU).

2018 Highland Park United Methodist Church at SMU
 Highland Park United Methodist Church, Dallas Texas

In 1965, Ms. Sleeth became the director of the children’s choirs at Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC). Encouraged by Lloyd Pfautsch, under whom she studied at SMU and Jane Marshall, Natalie began arranging music in 1968. As a musician and a poet, Natalie wrote both the words and music for all her songs.

Natalie A. Sleeth
Natalie Sleeth (1930-1992)

And now we have a connection to HPUMC with Alissa attending Perkins School of Theology at SMU and having her graduation ceremony at this church in May, 2018.  Dad would have been 90 then.  How much we have missed having him part of our lives!

1986 Hymn of Promise

In 1985 Natalie and Ronald arrived in St. Petersburg prepared to teach the choirs at Pasadena the new anthem she’d written: Hymn of Promise.  My mother Claire and father Les Sears were in that choir.  And would you believe that the festival fell on their 34th wedding anniversary?

Dad and Mom
Les and Claire Sears – March, 1985

 

Mom and Dad's 34th Anniversary
Claire and Les on their 34th wedding anniversary – March 17, 1985

 

Angelica's Baptism
Les at the Treasure Island house – November, 1977
03.17.1985 Q&P Bob Duke at the Treasure Island House
Bob Duke came for a visit to celebrate their anniversary on March 17, 1985.
02.1983 Q&P Jerry Butler and Les in Treasure Island house
Jerry Butler, Dad and Angelica February 1983

The choir learned the anthem and performed it for its premiere at the music festival.  The result was a simple, yet profound and beautiful anthem that was theologically soundIt was immediately a new favorite for everyone involved; especially me.

37480 StPeteFL PasadenaUMC 59Mo nave
Sanctuary of the Pasadena Community Church, St. Pete Florida

A few weeks after Starlight, Dad fell while playing tennis with his 3 buddies from the neighborhood and had a huge bruise on his chest.

04.1984 Q&P Dad playing tennis with his 3 partners
Dad April 1984

Not much could ever stop my Dad!  So he kept on with his usual activities.

Brig Gen Leslie R Sears Jr & Col. Jerry Butler at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, IND
Dad and Col. Jerry Butler at Ft. Ben Harrison, Indiana in 1973 – his good friend since the 1950s

Then it was Holy Week and the choirs at Pasadena were preparing for Easter Sunday service.  At their usual rehearsal on Thursday nights – Maundy Thursday in this case – Dad helped move the huge wooden altar pieces and was surprised that the “young guys” always seemed to disappear when there was heavy lifting to be done.

The next morning was Good Friday.  Mom was helping him move a bookcase full of real estate books so he could paint the wall behind it when she saw him wince in pain.  She thinks a blood clot broke away from the black-and-blue bruise he had on his chest.

06.14.1977 Treasure Island Backyard
Mom and Dad’s backyard in Treasure Isle, Florida  June 14, 1977

He continued the painting project and when he took a break to look out on fascinating Boca Ciega Bay from the back porch, he took his last breath.  It was April 5, 1985.

Family and friends were called…a wake was planned.  Rev. Norman and Fred Harrison visited; Jerry Butler, one of Dad’s long-time Army friends and tennis buddies advised on information to include in the obituary.

Bob Duke, who had just come for a visit, returned.  He was Dad’s oldest friend and the best man at Mom and Dad’s wedding on March 17, 1951.

Russ Chapin arrived from Virginia.  He is shown here in Arlington, Virginia in August, 1973 with Pam.  He also joined us on the Cape for the second funeral.

08.1973 Q&P Pam Sears & Russ Chapin
Pam Sears and Russ Chapin in Arlington, VA – August 1973

 

4.8.1985 Russ Chapen at Dad's Funeral in St. Pete FL
Russ Chapin, Aunt Mabel Adams, a friend, Donna Adams

We were all in such a state of shock that the details are foggy but the reassuring words from Hymn of Promise gave us just that – PROMISE.  How could a man who enjoyed life so much and who was only 57 years old be gone?  We didn’t know but were sure that God would explain it all to us one day.

 

Obituary from The Washington Post – DEATHS

SEARS, LESLIE R.      RET. MAJ. GEN. USA

On Friday, April 5, 1985, in Treasure Island Fla., formerly of Arlington, Va., husband of Claire Sears; father of Leslie Ray Sears, III, of Duncan, OK., Marilyn of St. Petersburg, FL and Pamela Cooper, of Kittery, ME; brother of Sabra Martin, S. Yarmouth, MA; grandfather of Angelica Leal, of St. Petersburg, FL.

Funeral services will be conducted Monday at 1 p.m. at the Pasadena Community Church with Dr. Edward Norman officiating.  Interment Bourne National Cemetery, Bourne, MA.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Cottage Children of Pinellas Association of Retarded Children, 3100 75th St. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710.  Arrangements by Mohn Funeral Home, Seminole, FL.

Gen. Sears was born in S. Weymouth, MA.  He came to Treasure Island in 1977 from Arlington, Va.

Gen. Sears was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Artillery Reserve after graduating from Boston University in June 1950 with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration.  He entered active military service in 1951 as a Lieutenant, having previously served in the Navy during WWII.

During his military career he held many finance and budget positions in Europe and the Far East and served on the Department of Army General Staff.

He graduated from Harvard Business School in 1960, obtaining an MBA degree and was designated a Baker Scholar for his academic achievements.  He was promoted to Major General in July 1972 and served as Comptroller of the Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command, Washington, D.C. until his retirement in 1976.

Gen. Sears worked professionally as a realtor and an appraiser consultant with several realty firms in St. Petersburg.  He was past President of Isle of Palms Civic Association and Past Commodore of the Bath Club Yacht Club.  He was a member of the Pasadena Community Church and also an active member of its chancel choir.

 

 

 

Pasadena Community Church, St. Pete, FL
Pasadena Community Church circa 1950

Believe it or not, Pasadena Community Church is one of the only drive-in churches in the U.S.  So on Easter morning we drove to church but never got out of the car.  We heard the service from the huge loudspeakers mounted in the numerous grassy areas that served as parking lots.  That was the best we could manage under the circumstances.  And even though we were struggling to admit it, we knew in our hearts that God had called Dad home for his eternal rest.

The first funeral for Dad was on Easter Monday at our home church.  Our new favorite hymn was sung that day by Rev. C. Fred Harrison.  I remember we sat in the front row which was so unusual.  No one ever sat in the front row except for Starlight performances.  I remember being handed the prayer card listing information on Dad’s life and I remember Rev. Norman reading…

1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version)

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

I don’t remember much else.

 

Our family’s roots are on Cape Cod…

Massachusetts.  I am 10th generation in America – descended from Richard Sears who arrived here about 1630.  We’d spent some years living on the Cape and many years vacationing there.  So that’s where Mom decided Dad would be buried.

After the first funeral, Uncle Bob Sanders picked Angelica and me up in his new T-bird at the Logan Airport in Boston and drove us to the cabin on Cape Cod where we stayed for a few days.

Pam’s friend Grover Tasker met the plane Dad’s body was on and drove him to the cemetery in his hearse.  He later told her that he was honored to do that and wouldn’t take anything for his time or expenses.

On the day of the funeral, Mom’s cousin John Quirk volunteered to drive Angelica and me to the Bourne Cemetery and he got lost on the way there.  We drove around and around, up and down and in the days before cell phones, we couldn’t call anyone.  Everyone we knew was at the funeral.  It was so frustrating.  God must have helped us because we were really lost.  We were so late for the funeral but they held up all the cars for the processional until we arrived.  Thank you, God.

So that’s where we buried my Dad on a freezing, cloudy April morning in the Bourne National Cemetery in Barnstable, Cape Cod, Massachusetts which is just west of Camp Edwards.

Reverend William (Bill) Baran conducted the funeral service.  He is from Vermont and was a farmer.  One day he was out on his tractor and he was “called.”  He got down, went into the house and said: Betty, we need to move to Bangor, Maine so that I can go to seminary.  So they did.

04.10.1985 Maybe #13 Les Sears' Funeral on Cape Cod
Jean Sanders, Howard Libbey, John Quirk, Rev. William “Bill” Baran and 2 soldiers

Rev. Baran was the pastor at the Second Christian Church when Pam first started going there.  As a matter of fact, her first Sunday was his last.

Then he went to the Congregational Church on Cape Cod that we visited in 2011 when we traveled up for Aunt Sabra’s memorial service.

He’s Pastor Emeritus now back in Kittery and attends the Second Christian Church.  He continues to ask after Mom whenever Pam sees him.

One day the postmaster of Andover, New Hampshire told Pam that a man and his grandson had been looking for her.  She imagines it was Rev. Baran.  Connections are everywhere when we look for them.

04.10.1985 Maybe #02  Les Sears' Funeral on Cape Cod

04.10.1985 Maybe #03 Les Sears' Funeral on Cape Cod

04.10.1985 Maybe #06 Les Sears' Funeral on Cape Cod

This was the second funeral.  I will forever remember the metal chairs we sat on and how they made us shiver with cold because it was below freezing.  Whenever I hear Taps played now, I am immediately transported back to Dad’s funeral on that sad day.

04.10.1985 Maybe #07 21 Gun Salute at Les Sears' Funeral on Cape Cod

There was an honor guard just on the other side of a small rise which gave Dad a 21-gun salute, which is 7 guns being fired simultaneously three times.  Mom remembers thinking that we’d better warn Angelica so she wouldn’t be afraid of the gunfire.  Angelica wasn’t a General’s General like Mom was and hadn’t attended military funerals before.

To this day, I can’t listen to Taps without tearing up.  “While originally the tune had meant that the soldiers’ day of work was finished, it had little to none of the connotation or overtone of death, with which it so often is associated today.  During our Civil War, Union General Daniel Adams Butterfield decided that the “lights out” music was too formal to signal the day’s end.  One day in July 1862 he recalled the tattoo music and hummed a version of it to an aide, who wrote it down in music format.  Butterfield then asked the brigade bugler, Oliver W. Norton, to play the notes and, after listening, lengthened and shortened them while keeping his original melody.”

This music was made the official Army bugle call after the war, but not given the name Taps until 1874.  The first time taps was played at a military funeral may also have been in Virginia soon after Butterfield composed it.  Union Capt. John Tidball, head of an artillery battery, ordered it played for the burial of a cannoneer killed in action.   Winston Churchill had Taps played at his funeral, followed by “Reveille.”  When we think about it, that’s how a Christian’s life is.  As we say goodbye to this world with Taps, we say hello to our new world in heaven with Reveille.  The tune is also sometimes known as Butterfield’s Lullaby.

04.10.1985 Maybe #08 Bugler at Les Sears' Funeral on Cape Cod

I like to think of Dad hearing Butterfield’s Lullaby and how we have another connection in our lives between a Civil War funeral and Dad.  Dad entered the Army in 1951 and was assigned as a radar officer, 685th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun Battalion.

The official military version is played by a single bugle or trumpet.  An alternative explanation, however, is that the terms Taps carried over from a term already in use before the American Civil War. Three single, slow drum beats were struck after the sounding of the Tattoo or Extinguish Lights. This signal was known as the Drum Taps, The Taps, or simply as Taps in soldier’s slang.

Taps is a bugle call – a signal, not a song. As such, there is no associated lyric. Many bugle calls had words associated with them as a mnemonic device but these are not lyrics.

A Horace Lorenzo Trim wrote a set of words intended to accompany the music:

Taps

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Fading light, dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar, drawing nigh, falls the night.

Thanks and praise, for our days,
‘Neath the sun, ‘neath the stars, neath the sky;
As we go, this we know, God is nigh.

Sun has set, shadows come,
Time has fled, Scouts must go to their beds
Always true to the promise that they made.

While the light fades from sight,
And the stars gleaming rays softly send,
To thy hands we our souls, Lord, commend.

Pam remembered that the troops didn’t fold the flag that draped Dad’s coffin very well.  In fact, it was the worst she’d ever seen; they didn’t seem to know what they were doing and were so slow.  Ray explained that troops don’t get much time to practice that and even now there aren’t enough soldiers to do salutes and play Taps.  Mom was presented with the flag and we filed out to commiserate with our family and friends.  Ron alone followed the coffin to the gravesite.

04.10.1985 Maybe #05 Les Sears' Funeral on Cape Cod

04.10.1985 Maybe #14 Les Sears' Funeral on Cape Cod
Uncle Bob Sanders, a soldier, Marilyn, Claire, Vickie Sears, Pam Cooper and Seth Martin

Dad’s sister Sabra and her husband Allen held the collation at their home in South Yarmouth, Cape Cod.  My memory is only of these photos that I saw later that Dolly Sears and Pam Cooper took and nothing of the event itself – except Angelica playing with her Cabbage Patch Doll.  She was the one bright spot in this whole sad affair.  She was only 7 at the time and while she could certainly comprehend that all the adults were so sad, she stayed in character and tried hard to cheer everyone up by being her usual cute self.

04.10.1985 Maybe #22 Angelica, Marilyn with doll & Howard Libbey (Ethel's Husban

There were so many family and friends there: Aunt Mabel Thurston, Dick and Deb with Baby Kyle, Steven, Seth and Debbie, Carl and Evelyn Frazer.  It was so good to see them yet at the same time, it wasn’t a party.

04.10.1985 Collation at Sabra's after Dad's Funeral

04.10.1985 Collation at Sabra's after Dad's Funeral

04.10.1985 Ray and Carl FRazer at Collation at Sabra's after Dad's Funeral

We returned to the cottage that John Quirk had arranged for us and Mom remembered with such joy the Hymn of Promise that she and Dad had been practicing just a few short weeks ago.  She taught the song to my brother Ray and they both kept singing the hymn over and over.  What a comforting video plays over and over in my head as I remember those days!

Mom remembered that on an extended walk with Angelica they saw the weeping willows were beginning to put out new growth and that seemed appropriate somehow.

“Strange the things one remembers and equally strange the things we forget.  I used to wonder how anybody could talk about losing a loved one but they also say you never get over it, you just get used to it and it takes as long as it takes.”~ Claire Sears

We forge connections as long as we live and if we pay attention, we begin to notice God’s hand in our lives as a constant.

On Natalie and Ronald’s return home from St. Petersburg, Natalie’s husband was diagnosed with cancer and died 25 days later on April 16, 1985.  They planned his funeral service together and he only requested 1 song – Hymn of Promise.

I was so caught up in my own grief, I didn’t even know that Natalie had lost her husband.  Grief has a way of enveloping me in a dark cloud where I am impervious to the outside world.

Several years later…

on my 37th birthday in 1991, I had asked my guests to bring a poem as their gift to me.  I told them it could be an original one or one they loved.  My sister-in-law Rosanne pulled a book off my shelf entitled Adventures for the Soul by Natalie Sleeth and God helped her open the page to Hymn of Promise.  As Rosanne read the lyrics to me, tears ran down my face.  How wonderful to feel the presence of my Dad at my birthday party again.  I had been missing him.

 

On March 21, 1992…

Natalie Sleeth died – almost exactly on the anniversary of the premiere of her famous hymn.  She was only 61 – another person taken from us too soon – Natalie Allyn Wakeley Sleeth (Oct 29, 1930 – March 21, 1992).  Or does God see it a different way?  I can just hear the choir singing this anthem to her even now.

Spring 2018…

We are approaching Good Friday and Easter Sunday again and this hymn comes to mind – as it does every year.  When I asked Mom, Ray and Pam about their memories of Dad’s death, Ray said:  When I unfolded Dad’s flag about two years ago to fly it on his birthday, three of the shell casings from the salute fell out.  I didn’t know they were in there.  I folded it back and put them back inside.  My little flagpole could barely handle that big old flag. Fortunately it wasn’t too windy.

Branson Family Reunion.jpg
  The most recent time with all 7 granddaughters together – Marilyn, Vickie, Claire, Charlie, Valorie, Rachel, Alissa, Ray, Katie, Hannah, Becca, Angelica and Pam in Branson MO – August 2002

The biggest misfortune of this life is that Dad’s 6 other granddaughters and 3 great-grandchildren never got the chance to meet him.

12.08.2017 Gram with her 3 Great Grands and 1 Grand on Florida Family Reunion.jpg
Ryan Johnson, Aria and Valorie Mantle, Cooper Brown and Claire in Treasure Isle FL – December 8, 2017

But the promise in this hymn is that they will meet in heaven.

I am working on illustrating my Dad’s personal life history with family photos and while assembling all the facts, photos and stories, I came across this video online of the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Hymn of Promise being sung by the choir at Pasadena Community Church again.  We’ve come full circle – as life always does.  But that’s another story…

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&p=hymn+of+promise#id=3&vid=abffd8935e5fbf0410d435426dbf2f42&action=click

In this video, Fred talks about the church being around for 85 years.

SMU Connection:

https://www.lorenz.com/more-information/meet-our-composers/composers?itemId=Composer:2360

#52Ancestors Week 11 March 12, 2018 Lucky

Lucky

By Marilyn Sears Lindsey

Claire Lavina Sanders (b. 1927) and Leslie Ray Sears, Jr. (1928-1985) were certainly lucky to meet on a blind date in college and then hit it off so well that they were married just a few years later on Saturday, March 17, 1951 at the Upton Methodist Church in front of God and all their family and friends.  I know because they are my beloved parents.

02.1951 Harriet, Claire & Mabel at Mom's Wedding Shower with my grandmothers.jpg
February, 1951 Harriet Sears, Claire Sanders and Mabel Sanders at Claire’s Bridal Shower
03.17.1951 44 C 44 Claire & Les Wedding.jpg
March 17, 1951 Les and Claire

DEF V1P01 03.17.1951 R Leslie & Claire's Wedding Day

03.17.1951 Mabel Sanders, Harriet Sears on Leslie & Claire’s Wedding Day

Dad had started college in 1945, served in the Navy for 3 years and came back to finish college in 1950.

1947 Q&P Dad & Jack David Stanley & Friends
Circa 1947 Les, Jack David Stanley & Friends who served on the aircraft carrier the USS Boxer CV-21.

The luck of the Irish was evident during the years of their courtship as they partied with friends, went on picnics and joined Dad’s fraternity brothers and their dates at dances.

1945 Q&P Claire
Circa 1945 Claire Lavina Sanders

1948 Q&P Claire & Les

Circa 1948 on the Esplanade by the Charles River

06.1945 Q&P Leslie Ray Sears, Jr.
06.1945 Leslie Ray Sears, Jr.
04.23.1949 Q&P Scabbard and Blade Spring Dance.jpg
April 23, 1949
1949 Q&P LambdaChi
Circa 1949

DEF V1P01 1948 Les & Claire.jpg

They were lucky again to have 3 healthy children in 6 years and have the blessings of everything that a close family brings to life.

Living in Germany.jpg
Circa 1953 Leslie Ray Sears III and Leslie Ray Sears, Jr. in West Germany
Marilyn, Claire, Pam and Ray
Circa 1958 Marilyn, Claire, Pam and Ray at Springfield Armory

Dad’s career in the U.S. Army was another blessing.  We got the chance to move around the country, enjoy the splendor of this great land while getting to visit relatives as we went.  Dad was able to serve his country with more than a quarter century of service – something that was so important to him.

1952 Q&P Dad with the 91st AntiAircraft Artillery in Grafenwohr, Germany (umlaut
1952 Les and another soldier with the 91st AntiAircraft Artillery in Grafenwohr, Germany
07.18.1960 Les receives Army Commendation Medal from Gen. Mayo
7.18.1960 Les received the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service on the mechanization of military pay project from Major Gen. Mayo
Brig Gen Leslie R Sears Jr & Col. Jerry Butler at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, IND
2.27.1973 Brig Gen Leslie R Sears Jr and Col. Jerry Butler at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, IND

Les and Claire were also lucky in the lifelong friends they made.  Bob Duke was Les’ Best Man.  Les met Jerry Butler in Germany and even lived nearby when they retired to Treasure Island, FL.  Russ Chapin and Les bought a boat together – the Taipan – and worked weekends to restore it.

02.1983 Q&P Jerry Butler and Les in Treasure Island house
02.1983 Jerry Butler and Les help Angelica read the mail.
08.1973 Q&P Pam Sears & Russ Chapin
08.1973 Pam Sears and Russ Chapin at a party
03.17.1985 Bob Duke at the Treasure Island House
03.17.1985 Bob Duke at the Treasure Island House for Les & Claire’s last anniversary (34 years of marriage)

Buying and selling so many house (more than 15) was also a financial blessing as we continued to be able to afford more spacious homes for our growing family.

1968 Q&P Harriet's House - The Cedars
1951 Les and Claire lived at the Cedars on Cape Cod after they were married.
JB Springfield Armory Building#5 - building is sole example of Second Empire Sty
1958 Springfield Armory Building #5 Duplex
07.09.2009 Q&P Marilyn & Alissa at Ft. Leavenworth
1963-1964 We lived at #26 Artillery Road (a quad-plex) at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. This photo is from 2009 when Alissa and I re-visited Ft. Leavenworth.
John Marshall Drive
1967 2611 John Marshall Drive, Arlington VA
Beautification Award at Treasure Island House
1986 Claire won this Beautification Award for all the work she and Les had done on the Treasure Island house.

Since our parents had graduated from college, they knew the importance to us kids about following in their footsteps.  We all 3 graduated from college with degrees in our chosen fields that we were able to build careers from.

Dad was lucky again when he retired from the Army in 1976 and transitioned to retired life. How lucky can one family be!

Les retires from the Army
1976 Les retires from the Army

 

Mabel Arilla Payne Sanders: A Strong Woman Whose Courage Has Been Passed Down in Our Family (In honor of Women’s History Month) #52Ancestors

Mabel Arilla Payne

By Marilyn Sears Lindsey

March 5, 2018 – Week 10

One of the strongest women I know is my maternal grandmother, Mabel Arilla Payne.  When she was young in the early 20th century, she told her mother that she wanted to become a nurse.  Her mother replied: Become a mother and you’ll be an excellent nurse.  So she followed in the footsteps of mothers everywhere and became the extraordinary matriarch of our family.

11.25.1950 Mabel & Paul's Wedding
Mabel and her 5 daughters on November 25, 1950 at Mabel & Paul’s Wedding; Back row: Jean, Phoebe, Flo; Front row: Claire, Mabel Arilla and Mabel Eunice.

 

Mabel Sanders, Mabel Adams, Claire Sears, Phoebe Glaze and Flo Hightower and pos
Mabel Arilla, great-grandson and 4 of her 5 daughters – Mabel Eunice, Claire, Phoebe and Florence circa 1995
1953 Lee, Bob & Jim Life and Times Disc 3 Contents
Leland, Bob and Jim circa 1953

All 3 of Mabel’s sons served in the military – Lee joined the US Navy in 1944; Jim was in the US Army in 1948 in the Korean War; and Bob joined the US Navy.

Mabel Arilla Payne lived from 1904 – 2005.  The extraordinary women mentioned here were her contemporaries.

MABEL’S CONTEMPORARY: Lillian Gilbreth (1878-1972) was a mother and Industrial Engineer who had 12 children.

1904 at 1 day old

Elizabeth (1901-1991) was 3 years old when her sister Mabel was born.  Mabel was one of the strongest women I know because she only weighed one pound when she was born prematurely.  Her parents had her sleep on a pillow in an open dresser drawer so they could keep an eye on her.

Mabel & Lizzie
Mabel & Lizzie circa 1905

Then her father died in a sawmill accident when she was only 1 month old.  She had to be strong to survive.  Mabel was the 4th oldest of 8 kids (her 2 older brothers Alfred and Albert died before they were 1 year old).  When Mabel was 3, her brother Arthur (1907-1962) was born and when she was 4 her brother Austin (1908-1909) was born but only lived one year.  She had one more sister Ethel (1917-2005) and one more brother James (1921-1995).  Five of the 8 siblings lived to adulthood.

Circa 1915 at 11 years old

Mabel was an animal lover and enjoyed having dogs…just like Claire’s 3 kids – Ray, Marilyn and Pam and all 7 of Claire’s granddaughters.

1915 Lizzie, George Nelson Trask, Lizzie, Arthur and Mabel
Minnie Greene, Dog, George Nelson Trask, Lizzie Payne, Arthur Ballou and Mabel Payne (age 11) Circa 1915
Charlie O'Connell, who, Mabel Payne, Dennis O'Connell and Alice Delmonico
Charlie O’Connell, Baby, Mabel, Dennis O’Connell and Alice Delmonico & Dog c 1922

MABEL’S CONTEMPORARY: Dixy Lee Ray (1914-1994) who was a zoologist and the first female governor of Washington State.

Mabel Arilla Payne was not only strong; she was lucky.  She survived a car crash, a broken leg and some surgeries.  She could spot a four-leaf clover the minute she walked out the door.  She gave so many away to family and friends.  Her grands and great-grands remember her for that.

5.5.2018 Jill's Bowlful of Four-Leaf Clovers
Jill collected a bowlful of four-leaf clovers while I was writing this tribute to Mabel Arilla 5.5.2018

1916 at 12 years old

She was christened on August 20, 1916 at the First Baptist Church in Mendon, Massachusetts and supported the Salesian Missions.

Mabel Aurilla Payne Baptism Certificate.jpg

03.17.1951 62 C&L 62 Claire & Les Wedding
She also attended the Upton Methodist Church where Claire and Les were married on March 17, 1951.
Alissa at Genesis Internship
Alissa Marie Lindsey at a Genesis Fundraiser on November 10, 2017

Alissa followed in Mabel‘s footsteps and has made the church her passion.  She will graduate from Perkins School of Theology with a Master of Arts in Ministry in May 2018.

MABEL’S CONTEMPORARY: Mary Slessor (1848-1915) was similar to Mabel in 2 ways.  Mary was a mill girl in Scotland where she spent her leisure time volunteering to teach the children at church.

1918 at 14 years old

She was an artist as she wove cloth in the 1920s at a cotton mill, did needlework – mostly crochet- in her spare time and made afghans for as many children and grandchildren as asked for one.  Her entire apartment was decorated with crocheted toaster covers, pillows, afghans, slippers and vests. She even made her own coat.

Mabel Sanders
Mabel Sanders Day at the Sylmar Branch of the LA Public Library 12.11.1974;
Mabel'sAfghan
Afghan Donation 2003

Every week at the mill Mabel had to give her wages to her stepfather Javan Everett Ballou, a florist.  After that she learned how to be a financier and business manager as she raised her children with Roy’s paycheck from his brother‘s auto shop and her wages from the hat shop.

Alice Lynn Sanders, Katie Sears, Valorie Sears Mantle, Pam Sears Cooper and Marilyn Sears Lindsey love to draw, design and do needlework.  Pam, Angelica Leal Johnson, Ray Sears and Neil Adams followed in her financier footsteps.

Mabel’s Contemporaries: Aline Bernstein (1881-1955) Costume designer

Muriel Siebert (1928-2013) was the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.  During World War 2 she said: American business will find that women executives can be a strong competitive weapon against Japan and Germany and other countries that still limit their executive talent pool to the male 50 percent of their population.

1925 at 20 years old

Mabel married Clarence Leroy Sanders on the 20th of October 1925.  She said they didn’t have a wedding cake.  They had an apple pie.

JB Mabel and Clarence
Mabel married Clarence Leroy (Roy) Sanders.

 

JB Mabel Payne Marriage Cert.jpg

JB Mabel and Roy's Wedding Certificate.jpg

JB Mabel & Roy in Wagon
Two kids, Mabel and Roy circa 1926

1926 at 22 years old

Mabel had 8 children in 15 years and breastfed all of them.

Sanders Minus Bob
L to R: Jim,  Phoebe, Claire, Mabel, Jean, Flo and Lee Circa 1940
Bob, Dog & Jean
Bob, puppy and Jean Circa 1948

 

Babies were her passion.  She even wrote a poem about them.

Starring the Baby

By  Mabel Arilla Payne (Spitfire)

Baby eyes and baby face

They are such a treasure

Just to look and watch them smile

Gives me such a pleasure

Dimpled cheeks and dimpled hands

And the sweetest little voice

Of all the nice things in this world

I know I’ve got my choice.

Little fingers softly twine,

As you rock them to and fro

Their little eyes almost speak

And say, “I love you so,”

At night when they go to sleep

All tucked in nice and warm

They know that you will guard them

From all danger and all harm.

1930 at 26 years old

My Grandpa Roy was a cracker jack mechanic before World War I and a Private in the US Army Ambulance Company 304 301 Sanitary Train Unit where he was an ambulance driver in France.

JB Private Clarence Leroy Roy Sanders
Private Roy Sanders circa 1917

He suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), what used to be called Shell Shock.  He was treated for this disorder in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital for over 2 decades and he passed away there at the age of 71.

One of the early signs of this disorder was probably when he took the family for a Sunday drive around 1930 and kept right on driving from Massachusetts to Upper Jay, New York.  They lived there near his family for 3 years during “The Potato Years” which was what Mabel called them.  They ate only potatoes.

Lee, Minnie and Claire
Lee, Minnie and Claire   circa 1928

 

Minnie Levinia Greene Payne, died when she was only 44 years old from myocarditis.  Minnie was Mabel’s mother.  Mabel was only 26 and had to learn how to be a mother on her own; without the help of her own mother.

1926 Lee and Mabel
Lee and Mabel circa 1926

 

MABEL’S CONTEMPORARIES: The Founders of La Leche League (LLL) – a breastfeeding support group- remind me of Mabel.  Marian Tompson, born in 1929 and Mary Ann Kerwin, born in 1931 are two of the Founders of LLL.  Claire, Pam and I had the pleasure of meeting them in 2015 on an LLL Alumnae Trip to Charleston, SC.  What inspirations they are!

11.07.2015 DAY 4 Founders on 1st LLL Alum Trip to Charleston
Marilyn, Marian Tompson, Claire, Mary Ann Kerwin , Pam 11.7.2015

 

Mabel did become like a nurse as she raised her children.  She had 1 sheet of paper with all their names and the dates they contracted childhood diseases like measles, mumps, chicken pox and diptheria.

Five of her seven great granddaughters on Claire’s side have careers in the medical field.  I wonder if this is where they get the inspiration from.

MABEL’S CONTEMPORARY: Mabel Keaton Staupers (1890-1989) of Barbados, West Indies who was a nurse during World War II.

DEF V1P01 07.26.1963 Leslie R. Sears, Jr. receives the Army Commendation Medal
Les received the Army Commendation Medal July 1963

Luckily Ray, Marilyn and Pam had lifelong examples from Claire and Les on how to be parents; we didn’t have to do it by ourselves.

Neither did Angelica, Valorie or Hannah; they had their parents examples too.

Day 9 Angel's Camera
Ryan, Angelica and Marilyn February 27, 2012

 

12.05.2017 Val, Aria, Ray and Vickie Arrive on Florida Family Reunion.jpg
Valorie, Aria, Ray and Vickie in Treasure Island FL Dec 2017
uncrop 04.07.2018 Pam, Hannah & Cooper
Pam, Cooper and Hannah March 2018

1933 at 29 years old

Mabel was an author/poet just like Ayn Rand (b. Russia) 1905- 1982 and even had one of her poems printed in the Boston Globe in 1933…

Mothers

By Mabel Arilla Payne Sanders 

They say we are tied

We never can go

To a ball or a dance

Or a good movie show.

 

We have few pleasures

Much work and worry.

Every day it’s just

Hustle and hurry.

 

There’s always a little

Shoe to tie

Another to love

So they won’t cry.

 

The baby needs to

Be picked up

One just broke

Another cup.

 

That’s what we mothers

Get every day

Mixed in with work

It is our play.

 

But I wouldn’t

Change a thing,

Would you?

Instead of a show

I’d rather tie a wee shoe.

Her daughter Claire and her great granddaughter, Alissa Marie Lindsey, are following in her footsteps; they are writers too.

 Mabel didn’t graduate from high school herself but she made sure her 8 children did and they all made their way in the world using their education.

Her daughter Jean and her granddaughter Marilyn are teachers.

MABEL’S CONTEMPORARY: Grace Abbott (1878-1939) was a teacher who ensured that child labor was limited in contracts with the US government.

1942 at 46 years old

She was a volunteer – a philanthropist as president of the Mission Belles of the World War 2 Women’s Auxiliary #2285 for 2 years.

Mabel and the Mission Belles WWII
Mabel and the Mission Belles circa 1942 during World War 2

Alissa is a philantropist like her great grandmother as she is interning at a women’s shelter in Dallas and wants to make that her career – social justice.

MABEL’S CONTEMPORARY:  Mabel may have gotten philanthropic ideas from Olave Baden-Powell from England who started the Girl Guides there as her role model.

1976 at 72 years old

Mabel was a traveler and an adventurer. When she got bored with one house, she re-positioned the staircase while the children were in school for the day.  She moved almost 30 times in her life and vacationed in Hawaii when she was 72 years old.  She was a romantic – her favorite movie was Dr. Zhivago (1965) with Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. I wonder if she had notions of even more international traveling than just Hawaii.

Mabel Sanders visits Hawaii from  Life and Times Disc 3 Contents.jpg
Mabel in Hawaii 1976
Mabel and Bird_0001.jpg
               Mabel 1979

She traveled from New York to Florida in a pickup truck to be nearby on my wedding day in 1993 when she was 89 years old. We felt so honored.

Life and Times Disc 3 Contents.jpg

All 7 great granddaughters in Claire’s line love to travel.

Mabel’s Contemporary: Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-1993) who surveyed the Orient by way of the Arctic Circle and wrote Gift from the Sea, her most enduring work.

2003 at 99 years old

Mabel A. Sanders' 99th Bday.jpg

2005 at 100 years old

She was a historian when she told the stories of her 7 siblings, her 8 children, her 21 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, 22 great-great grandchildren and 1 great-great-great granddaughter (for a GRAND total of 88 descendants).

Many of her descendants have been named for Mabel and Roy’s ancestors, for example, her daughter Claire was named after Jasper Sanders and Phoebe Ann Kinney’s daughter Elizabeth Claire (1886-1941) and Mabel’s daughter Florence was named after Jasper and Phoebe’s daughter Florence Ellen (1889-1976).  Mabel’s daughter Phoebe Anne was named after Henry Kinney and Vienna Horton’s daughter Phoebe Ann (1855-1927).

Mabel Sanders is 100_0001.jpg

Ray at Shawnee during Pam & Gram's Visit for Alissa's OU Graduation.jpg
Marilyn, Ray and Pam in Shawnee OK on 5.9.2016

Her 3 grandchildren on Claire’s side are Family Historians doing genealogy and making family photo albums.

Mabel’s Contemporary: Mary Ritter Beard (1876-1958) who was a historian and whose major work was Women as a Force in History.

Mabel meets Violet Morris – her most recent great-grandchild circa March 4, 2005

Gramma & Violet Order 4xd & 3x5 (Last known picture of Gramma)

With a role model like Mabel, we were all bound to succeed.   But that’s another story…

 

#52Ancestors – Week 12 March 19, 2018 – A Great Misfortune

Personal Connections in a Story: Hymn of Promise (2017)
By Marilyn Sears Lindsey
When we look at the hymnal used at the First United Methodist Church of Seminole, Oklahoma, we see the date 1986 listed for Hymn of Promise. But I know the story behind this hymn.
It really began in 1985 in St. Petersburg, Florida where my family and I attended church at the Pasadena Community Church which was part of the United Methodist Church. It’s where my dad and mom retired after his being in the military for 28 years.
Rev. Edward Norman was our head minister and Rev. C. Frederick Harrison was the Music Director. We had an annual spring concert and during the planning for the 1985 extravaganza, Fred expressed a hope that Natalie Sleeth might write an anthem to be premiered at our church’s music festival weekend of her work.
Natalie arrived prepared to teach the choirs at Pasadena the new hymn she’d written: Hymn of Promise. My mother,

Dad and Mom.jpg
Les and Claire in March, 1985 

Claire and father Les Sears were in that choir. And would you believe that the festival fell on their 34th wedding anniversary? They learned the anthem and performed it for its premiere at the music festival in March, 1985. It was immediately a new favorite hymn for everyone involved; especially me.
A few weeks after that, Dad fell while playing tennis with his 3 buddies from the neighborhood and had a huge bruise on his chest. Not much could ever stop my Dad! So he kept on with his usual activities.
Then it was Holy Week and the choirs at Pasadena were preparing for Easter Sunday service. At their usual rehearsal on Thursday nights (Maundy Thursday in this case), Dad helped move the huge wooden altar pieces and was surprised that the “young guys” always seemed to disappear when there was heavy lifting to be done.
At home that night, he and Mom moved a bookcase so he could continue painting the living room the next day. She noticed him wince in pain as he lifted.
The next morning, which was Good Friday, he continued his painting and when he took a break to look out on Boca Ciega Bay from the back porch, he took his last breath. It was April 5, 1985.
Family and friends were called…a wake was planned and then the funeral was on Easter Monday. We were all in such a state of shock that the details are foggy but the reassuring words from Hymn of Promise gave us just that – PROMISE. So we requested it again during Dad’s funeral. How could a man who enjoyed life so much and who was only 57 years old be gone? We didn’t know but were sure that God would explain it all to us one day.
Believe it or not, Pasadena Community Church is one of the only drive-in churches in the U.S. So on Easter morning we drove to church but never got out of the car. We heard the service from the huge loudspeakers mounted in the grassy areas that served as parking lots. That was the best we could manage under the circumstances. And we knew in our hearts that God had called Dad home for his eternal rest.
Our family roots are on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I am 10th generation in America – descended from Richard Sears who arrived here about 1630. We’d spent some years living on the Cape and many years vacationing there. So that’s where we buried my Dad on a cold, cloudy morning in the Bourne National Cemetery in Barnstable, Cape Cod, Massachusetts which is just west of Camp Edwards. There was an honor guard and a 21-gun salute and my Mom was presented with the flag that had draped Dad’s coffin.
We returned to the cottage where we were staying and my Mom remembered with such joy the Hymn of Promise that she and Dad had been practicing just a few short weeks ago. She taught the song to my brother and they both kept singing the hymn over and over.
On my 37th birthday in 1991, I had asked my guests to bring a poem as their gift to me. I told them it could be an original one or one they loved. My sister-in-law Rosanne pulled a book off my shelf entitled Adventures for the Soul by Natalie Sleeth and God helped her open the page to Hymn of Promise. As Rosanne read the lyrics to me, tears ran down my face. How wonderful to feel the presence of my Dad at my birthday party again. I had been missing him.
On March 21, 1992, Natalie Sleeth died – almost exactly on the anniversary of the premiere of her famous hymn. She was only 61 – another person taken from us too soon. I can just hear the choir singing this anthem to her.
We are approaching Good Friday and Easter Sunday again and this hymn comes to mind – as it does every year.
I am writing my Dad’s personal life history and while assembling all the facts and stories, I came across this video online of the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Hymn of Promise being sung by the choir at Pasadena Community Church again. We’ve come full circle – as life always does.
https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&p=hymn+of+promise#id=3&vid=abffd8935e5fbf0410d435426dbf2f42&action=click

 

#52Ancestors Week 11 March 12, 2018 “Lucky”

Claire Lavina Sanders (b. 1927) and Leslie Ray Sears, Jr. (1928-1985) were certainly lucky to meet on a blind date in college and then hit it off so well that they were married just a few years later on Saturday, March 17, 1951 at the Upton Methodist Church in front of God and all their family and friends. I know because they are my beloved parents.

03.17.1951 55 WP 55 Claire & Les Wedding
Upton Methodist Church, Upton MA – March 17, 1951
DEF V1P01 03.17.1951 R Leslie & Claire's Wedding Day.jpg
Mabel Sanders, Harriet Sears, Claire and Les Sears

Dad had started college in 1945, served in the Navy for 3 years and came back to graduate from Boston University in 1950 – just one year ahead of Mom.

dup 1946 Les Sears in Navy Uniform Service No. 752-03-83
Les circa 1946

The luck of the Irish was evident during the years of their courtship as they partied with friends, went on picnics and joined Dad’s fraternity brothers and their dates at dances.

06.1945 Q&P Leslie Ray Sears, Jr..jpg
Les Circa 1945
1945 Q&P Claire.jpg
Claire Circa 1945

 

They were lucky again to have 3 healthy children in 6 years and have the blessings of everything that a close family brings to life.

 

Claire and Ray
Claire and Ray 1953

 

 

 

 

1957 Ray, Claire & Marilyn
Ray, Claire & Marilyn Circa 1957

 

Marilyn, Claire, Pam and Ray
Marilyn, Claire, Pam and Ray 1958

Since our parents had graduated from college, they knew the importance to us kids about following in their footsteps. We all 3 graduated from college with degrees in our chosen fields that we were able to build careers from.

 

Dad’s career in the U.S. Army was another blessing. We got the chance to move around the country, enjoy the splendor of this great land while getting to visit relatives as we went and Dad was able to serve his country with more than a quarter century of service – something that was so important to him.

 

1952 Q&P Dad with the 91st AntiAircraft Artillery in Grafenwohr, Germany (umlaut
Les in Germany 1952

 

1953 Q&P Isabelle and Jerry Butler, Claire and Les Sears
Isabel and Jerry Butler with Claire and Les Sears in Germany 1953.  They became lifelong friends.

 

 

 

 

 

02.03.1956 First Lieutenant Leslie R Sears Jr.jpg
First Lieutenant Les at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indiana 1957

 

DEF V1P01 07.26.1963 Leslie R. Sears, Jr. receives the Army Commendation Medal
Les receives the Army Commendation Medal 1963

 

1964 Dad in Vietnam.jpg
Les in Vietnam 1964

 

Brig Gen Leslie R Sears Jr & Col. Jerry Butler at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, IND
Brigadier General Les Sears with Col. Jerry Butler in Indiana 1973

 

Les retires from the Army.jpg
Major General Les Sears retiring from the Army in 1976.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dad was lucky again when he retired from the Army in 1976 and he and Mom transitioned to a more leisurely life. How lucky can one family be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Heirloom: Harriet’s Cedar Chest #52Ancestors Week 8

#52Ancestors Week 8
February 19, 2018
An Heirloom

The Gift that Starts the Home: Harriet’s Cedar Chest
By Marilyn Sears Lindsey

Over the course of human history many possessions that were used every day are now only found in museums, antique shops or landfills. Wash tubs, straight razors and fancy hats are rarely found in American homes today.

For centuries, young women learned to do needlework and cook as part of their everyday education. They didn’t always learn to read, write and cipher (that was often left for the young men) but they learned how to keep a house and family in good health and warm clothes.

Harriet Ruth Thurston, Harriet’s “Avona” Model Hope Chest
My Dad’s mother from Jordan Marsh Store,
June 16, 1923 Boston MA

For the working girl, a hope chest was the equivalent of planning and saving for marriage. “The bridal ‘trousseau’ (meaning ‘small bundle’) contained all the bride’s dowry items, including the clothes and property she took to her new home and new life. It is not clear exactly when the tradition of the wedding, or “Hope Chest” started, or where, but it is certainly one that has survived the centuries.” From HistoryOfTheCedarChest.com
Handmade chests were given to young women as a symbol of good luck in preparation for their new lives. Many of the items placed in a hope chest were made by these women to show their skillfulness in sewing. This was a practical way to prepare for marriage and their new homes.

I’m so glad that Harriet Ruth Thurston, my paternal grandmother, had a hope chest and that it was handed down in the family to me. I wonder if the chest was purchased when Harriet was young and if she was allowed to choose the items that accumulated in her trousseau. Or maybe it arrived already full of heirlooms that had been handed down from her parents and grandparents.

On her father’s side, her grandparents were Charles Pleamon Thurston (1844-1920) and Harriet M. Downs (1849-1890). John Archibald Leaman (1815 – 1900) and Charlotte Berry (1824-1895) were her mother’s parents.

Her parents were Charles Henry Thurston (1874-1921) and Lucinda Catherine Leaman (1866-1942) and her siblings were Elizabeth “Bessie” Beaman (1893-1968) and Roy Earl Thurston (1903-1966); she was the middle child – just like me.

Harriet was born in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts on 2 Jan 1901 and grew up in Auburndale, Newton and Waltham, Middlesex County, MA. After my grandfather, Leslie Ray Sears died, she lived out her years in East Dennis, Barnstable County, Massachusetts where she worked at the Cape Cod Cooperative Bank.

Even her name may have been an heirloom. There were 2 Harriets among her ancestors: Harriet Downs (1849-1890), her paternal grandmother and Harriet Emma Thurston (1862-1941), her first cousin once removed, both from New Hampshire.

When she married my grandfather, Leslie, on 16 Jun 1923, the ceremony was held at her mother’s house in Auburndale. Her grandparents had all passed away and so had her father by this time. Her father died from tuberculosis when she was 20 years old. There were many other relatives present, among them Uncle Fred Thurston and an uncle from Quebec according to the newspaper article.

Lucinda was a domestic after her first husband died and Charles, her second husband, was very ill for years with tuberculosis until his death at the young age of 47.

“Wealthy families, on the other hand, saw other reasons to educate their daughters and this translated into forms of home education as well as the development of elite boarding schools mainly within urban areas. Access to learning was not just contingent on access to schools, however. In general, the growth of girls’ education depended a great deal on contemporary attitudes about the relationship of the sexes and on women’s place within society. Initiatives that favored girls’ education were always buttressed by arguments about how this education would serve to create better, more pious families. Rarely, if ever, was girls’ education seen as a liberal right contributing to the development of the individual in the 1800s.” From WorldHistory.biz

The Victorian Era was all about what was right and proper. So the “Dear Abby” of the time received requests regarding:

“What shall I put in my hope chest?” asks the girl in a letter. “We had an argument about it last night, my sweetheart and I. He says house linens, towels and things — and I say personal affairs for my trousseau. Which is correct? There are four of us girls all filling hope chests and we want to know what is the proper thing to put into them.”
“Put in linen, my dear, and muslin and soft embroideries. Put lace in and lingerie and pretty filmy materials. Put the art of needlework in, fine stitches carefully taken, gay colors, gaily embroidered, bright ribbons.

Left: Lemon Verbena Center: Camphor Rose Right: Lavender
Geranium
And day by day your chest will fill and fill, and hour by hour your heart will warm and warm, and by the time you have finished with your hope chest, anyone who would try to persuade you to live in a hotel or to board in somebody else’s house, even in that of your own parents, would be no friend of yours.
With every stitch you take, write “Home” upon your heart.
“H-o-m-e” spells home, and it doesn’t spell another thing on earth.
Home for tired hearts , home for weary brains, home for restless nerves — peace, comfort, the joy of living, the delight of little pleasures, the bright fire on the hearth, the plant in the pot in the corner. The books on the shelf and on the table — your chair on one side and his not too far away on the other. Moonlight or starlight, sunshine or rain — foggy or windy, old or young — careless or careful — beautiful or plain — H-O-M-E. And put, too, in your hope chest, first of all — love. True, honest, faithful, trusting love.

from What You Should Put In A Hope Chest 1920
Families have many influences from different parts of the world just like hope chests do. According to my DNA Results, I have ancestors from:
• Great Britain (58%)
• Ireland (18%)
• Western Europe (15%)
• Eastern Europe (7%) and West Asia (2%).
As far back as the ninth century, in the Middle East, these chests were called “dower chests” because dower means: to give a dowry to. Cedar chest is the name often used in Europe and “glory box” is used by women in Australia. Isn’t it interesting that the concept of women taking items to start their new homes is common worldwide? Maybe a ninth century Greek woman took her dower chest with her when she got married and this started the tradition in my family.
This custom changed over the centuries because when the Colonists made the great oceanic crossing to the Americas, they put all their possession in one piece of luggage for the entire family. Mahogany, cherry or walnut was used in the US if cedar wasn’t available but a cedar lining was used because of its natural protective qualities; it can repel insects and fungus. The Ancient Egyptians also used cedar to protect their golden treasures and papyrus documents.
This design shows a Portuguese influence. This particular motif suggests fertility and good luck – from Europe into East Asia – and it is particularly appropriate for weddings. These trunks were usually secured with a hasp and padlock. While locks and keys were a Portuguese and Dutch innovation, another locking device, one that uses 3 rings and a padlock, came from China.
The hope chest dates back centuries, revealing a rich and fascinating history. It originated at a time when marriage included the exchange of property between families. The idea of the hope chest was brought to America in the 18th century by waves of European immigrants, including the German settlers that would come to be called Pennsylvania Dutch. Amish settlers had a long tradition of simply crafted chests with ornately painted decorations.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, cedar chests were also used as pieces of furniture to sit on because chairs were so scarce. With no space for closets or wardrobes, cedar chests helped colonists use space wisely and efficiently. Traveling light was essential, and entire lives were crammed into a single cedar chest. The contents represented hope and the foundation of a new beginning.
Nowadays we could purchase a hope chest on EBay.com like Harriet’s for anywhere from $90-$545 depending on the condition. It doesn’t have to be for women only or brides only. It could be filled with graduation gifts or inspirational books or family photos.
Long gone, for most in the western world, are the day when a woman was expected to go from her parents’ house to her husband’s home with nary a five minute pause in between. These day many women go onto post-secondary education and/or join the workplace, often living on their own, with friends or a partner before settling down (if they so choose).
I like to imagine Harriet’s 1920s photo album, Dad’s school paper, photos and certificates, her recipe box, their Army Air Force Aircraft Warning Service Reserve certificates, the Brag Book of photos of her 6 grandchildren, her music box that has seen better days and her Seth Thomas Grandmother Clock gracing the insides of her hope chest.
In preparation for this blog post, I contacted my siblings and cousins for any tidbits they may have known about Harriet’s cedar chest which got my cousin, Steve thinking about the olden days. He remembered a ring full of keys that Ray had sent him. After seeing this photo of her hope chest, he went to find them. One in particular had him curious. Lo and behold, he found it, mailed it to me in Oklahoma and it fit!
The key went from the store in Boston to all these Massachusetts addresses from Needham, to 19 Central Southwest in Weymouth, to 39 Hilldale Road in Weymouth, to 42 Belvoir Road in Milton, to the Cedars and the “Little House” in East Dennis, to Oklahoma, to Delaware and now finally back to Oklahoma. That’s a lot of mileage for just a key.

What else would Harriet’s Hope Chest have in it nowadays than blank albums that are waiting for the Family Photo Historian (me) to fill with stories and photos of new heirlooms and family traditions? But that’s another story…

 

 

Where There’s a Will – #52Ancestors

Where There’s A Will From 1707, It’s Complicated

#52Ancestors – Week 9

By  Marilyn Sears Lindsey on March 19, 2018

provmass.jpg

Richard Sears (b abt 1590- d 1676 at 86 years old), also known as Richard the Pilgrim, came from England in 1630 and became one of the founders of Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony (present day Massachusetts) in 1639.  We have searched the ship manifests but don’t know where he came from in England or who his parents were.

His property is marked #4 on the photo below.

1630 Richard & Dorothy Sears' Property.jpg

Dorothy Jones (b 1607- d 1678 at 70 years old) was born in Queen Camel, Somerset, England.  When she was about 25 years old, she lived in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony and married Richard Sears.  They had 3 children.  Paul Senior (b abt 1635- d 1707 at 72 years old) was the first.  Silas (b 1637 – d 1697 at 59 years old) in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony, was the middle child and Deborah (b 1639-d 1732 at 92 years old) was the youngest.

Paul Senior and Deborah Willard (b 1640 – d 1721 at 81 years old) had 10 children: Mercy, Bethia (63), Samuel (78), Lydia (82), Paul Jr (69), Mary, Ann (70), John (61), Richard (38) and Daniel (74).  We don’t have a death certificate for Mercy or Mary.

Paul was the first to adopt the present spelling of Sears.  Some of the previous variations were:  Cyr, Sayer, Sayers, Sayre, Sayres, Sear, Seare, Seears, Seere, Seir, Sias, Sier, Siers, Soares, Syar, Syars, Syas, Syer, Syers, Zaher, Zier.

My line is Richard>Captain Paul>Paul>Edmund>Elkanah>William>Elkanah>Leslie Sr>Leslie Jr>Marilyn, Angelica, Ryan.  So I am 10th generation in this country.

colonies.jpg

 

Paul’s younger brother, Silas and Anna Bursell (b 1642- d 1726 at 84 years old) married in 1661 in Eastham, Plymouth Colony and they had 8 children: Silas (71), Richard, Richard (54), Hannah, Josiah (52), Joseph (75), Elizabeth and Dorrity.  We don’t have a record of Richard’s, Hannah’s, Elizabeth’s or Dorrity’s deaths.

The baby of the family was Deborah, who was the 1st female, European child born on Cape Cod.  In 1659, she married Zachary Paddock and they had 8 children: Ichabod, Zachariah (53), Elizabeth (24 ), John (48), Robert (64), Joseph (58), Nathaniel (78), Judah (88).  Ichabod’s life remains a mystery.

So there were 26 children in the 3rd generation of my family and most lived to adulthood.  It is easy to see how my family tree grew to more than 10,000 descendants in over 350 years by 1992.

CapeCodTowns

My brother, Leslie Ray Sears III (Ray) wrote: “Paul Senior took the oath of “Fidellyte” in 1657, held a commission as captain in the militia, and made claim for a horse lost in the Narragansett War.  On 30 Oct 1667, he was one of the grand jury in an inquest held on the child of Nicholas Nickerson.  He was also one of the original proprietors of lands in Harwich, Plymouth Colony, between Bound and Stony Brooks, known as ‘Wing’s Purchase.’ As appears by deed of John Wing et als., to Paul sears et als., dated 16 Apr 1677, recorded at Plymouth.”

“He left property valued at 467 pounds 03 shillings and 03 pence to his ‘loving wife Deborah’ and to his sons, Samuel, Paul Jr and John.”

“In the ancient cemetery in Yarmouth lies a stone slab, removed from its place to make room for the granite monument to the Searses, which bears the following inscription, surmounted by a cherub’s head and scroll work:

Here lyes the

Body of Paul

Sears, who

Departed this

Life February ye

20th 1707, in ye 70th year of his age.”

“It is the oldest dated memorial in the cemetery.  His wife was doubtless laid by his side, but there is no stone to her memory.” Page 2.1 Sears Genealogical Catalogue

In the first paragraph of Captain Paul’s will, he wrote: “First, and principally, I comitt my soul to God, most humbly depending upon the gracious Death and merits of Jesus Christ my only Lord and Saviour for Salvation, and to the free pardon of all my sins.  And my Body to the Earth to be buryed in such Decent Christian manner as to my Executors hereafter named shall be thought fitt.” (I used Paul’s original spelling and capitalization here.)  Indeed how fitting that he should commit his soul to God, his creator, who gave him this remarkable life.

After Paul Senior had passed away, his property was inventoried exactly 310 years ago today on March 19, 1708.

plymasscol

Final Will and Testament of Paul Sears 1637-1707 

  • BIRTH: 20 FEB 1637/1638, Marblehead,,Plymouth Colony
  • DEATH: 20 FEB 1707/1708, Yarmouth, Barnstable, Province of Massachusetts Bay

I, Paul Sears, Senr. of yarmouth, in ye County of Barnstable, in New England, being at this time ill and weak in body but of Disposing mind and memory, Praised be God, Do make, Constitute, ordain and Declare this my Last Will and Testament, in manner and form following: First, and principally. I Comitt my soul to God, most humbly depending upon the gracious Death and merits of Jesus Christ my only Lord and Saviour for Salvation, and to the free pardon of all my sins. And my Body to the Earth to be buryed in such Decent Christian manner as to my Executors hereafter named shall be thought fitt. And as for my outward Estate, as Lands, Chattels and Goods, I do order Give and Dispose in manner and form following;

First, – I will that all those Debts and Duties that I owe in Right or Conscience To any perosn whatsoever shall be truly paid in convenient time, after my Decease by my Executors hereafter named, out of my movable Estate. Item,- I do give and bequeeath to my eldest son Samuel Sears, all that my land and meadow in the township of Harwich upon part whereof his house now stands as is comprehended within and between the boundaries now following: (that is to say ,) bounded on the east by Kenelm Winslows Land at ye known and accustomed bounds and on the west side beginning at a remarkable rock, (lying about four Rods eastward from Yarmouth bound Rock at bound brook,) and from the sd Remarkable Rock the line runs Southerly over the Swamp and up ye hill to a great Pine tree marked in sd Yarmouth line: and thence up ye same straight line Southerly to the highway: and thence eastward as the way runs to ye said Winslows Land, (the sd highway being the bounds on ye south side) And the beginning again att ye sd Remarkable Rock the line runs norhterly to a stone sett in ye ground: and thence easterly to the edge of ye marsh by a straight line to another stone sett in to the ground, and so bounded by the marsh to another stone sett in the ground northerly on a straight line to a bend of ye main Creek at a stone sett in the Maresh, and on the north side tis bounded by tyhe known and accustomed bounds and of my interest in the undivided lands in sd Harwich, viz.: that is my sd son Saml. shall sixteen acres to himself in ye next Division(ye proprietors make of the undivided Lands) and the one half of all the rest of my interest there. All which sd Lands and Meadows shall be to my sd son Samuel Sears, and to his heirs and assigns forever, he yielding to his mother, my wife, one third part of ye proffits thereof during her natural life, and also paying to his two brothers Richard and Daniel, forty and two pounds in money towards the paying their purchase at Manamoy. I do give him my Try pott and Kettle. It.- I do give and bequeath to my son Paul Sears and to his heirs and assigns forever, one piece of fresh meadow called the Green Meadow which lyeth on the north side of my old house and is bounded eastward at ye Well or Spring, then westward taking in all ye Marsh or ground to ye old cartway (which leads into ye neck) on Joseph Sears fence: thence northeastward as the old sd cartway and fence runs to Zachariah Paddocks fence or line which is ye bounds on ye north side to bound brook, the sd bound brook and well or spring being the bounds on the east side, and also one quarter part of my interest of the undivided Lands in sd Harwich (besides the above sd Sixteen acres given to my son Samuel,) and for the rest of my son Pauls land is in ye neck where he now dwells, and by me confirmed by Deed of Gift formerly, and my Will is that he shall yield to his mother, my wife, one third of the proffits or income of all I have given him, during her natural life, and that he shall pay to his two brothers Richard and Daniel, forty and four pounds in money towards the paying their purchases att Manamoy. My will further is that the Ditch which hath been the accustomed bounds in the in the marsh betwixt my son Paul, and my kinsman Josiah Sears shall remain for- ever; beginning southerly att ye upland and running straight northerly to the Creek which did run on ye north side of ye island, which creek shall be the north bounds: And my Will is, and I do give all that slip of meadow on the West side of ye sd ditch unto the said Josiah Sears, his heirs and assigns forever. It.- I do give and bequeath unto my son John Sears, and to his heirs and as- signs forever, all the rest of my Homestead, both housings, lands and meadows, also one quarter part of all my interest in the undivided lands in ye sd Harwich, excepting the sixteen acres before given to my son Saml.-he my sd son John allowing and yielding to his mother, my wife, the one third part of my Housing, and the third of the proffits of ye lands during her natural life, and he paying to his two brothers Richard and Daniel, forty and four pounds in mon- ey towards their purchase att Manamoy. It.- I do give and bequeath all my movable Estate as Cattle, sheep, horses, swine and household stuff &c, unto my loving wife Deborah, (my Debts and Funerall charges being first paid.) She shall have the rest for her comfort while she lives: and what she leaves at her death to be equally divided amongst my daughters to whom I have each of them given such parts or portions as I was able or thought fitt. Lastly,- I do nominate and appoint my sd son Saml Sears and my Loving Wife Deborah executors to this my last will and testament. In witness whereof, I have hereunto sett my hand and seal ye day and year in ye other side forst above written.

Signed, sealed & declared in The mark and seal of presence of Paul (=) Sears, Senr. (seal) John Thacher Zachariah Paddock Samuel Howes

Barnstable, ss. April 14, 1883. A true copy of the record, Attest, Freeman H. Lothrop, Register of Probate Court

A true inventory of all and Singular ye Goods, Chattels, Housing, Lands and Credits of Paul Sears, yeoman, deceased, prised at Yarmouth, ye 19th day of March 1708: By Peter Thacher & Kenelm Winslow, as followeth: L s d Impr. –

[Money was written in this order: pounds, shillings and pence.  So these first 3 numbers mean he had 1 pound note, 17 shillings and 6 pence in cash.  In shorthand, it’s written L1, 17s & 6d.  The 2017 value of this money would have been 200.59 British pounds or USD 281.31]

his money L1 17 6
his apparel of all sorts 11 18 6
It.- Two feather beds, two other beds, bedstead, curtains and valence with bolsters, pillows, and all ye coverlids and sheets 21 13 6
It.- Table and chairs 1 4 0 andirons, trammels iron potts & pot hooks …………………………………………. 03 08 06
Tongs, & fire flue, iron kettles, skillets, frying pans …….. 03 02 06
It.- Brass kettle, warming pan, hitchell, stillyards, chest & boxes 02 06 00
It.- Spinning wheels 10s pewter platter, plates cups & potts … 01 17 00
It.- Koolers, pails, trays, trenches & spoons, table linen & towels ………………………………………. 01 02 00
It.- his saddle, bridle, pilyon, & cloth, flax & linen yarn …. 02 00 00
It.- Cash, candlestick, lamp, draving knife axes, sickle & hoes 00 17 00
A sifting trough, wool, five washing tubs knife, scissors, looking glass …………………………………………. 00 09 00
It.- Salt & feathers, and iron wedge, ye iron belonging to ye cart, and plows and spade a staple and cap ring, & caps & ring 02 19 00
It.- 4 bushels Rye, 24 of Indian, 3 of Wheat and 1/2 his books 05 00 00
Tobacco, 10s
pitchforks, powder horn, bullets, and sword ….. 00 17 00
Grindstone, and tin ware, 2 oxen, 5 cows, 2 steers ……….. 23 05 00
It.- 2 yearlings, a bull and one horse, 3 swine, 25 sheep …. 11 05 00
It.- his housing, lands, and meadows at 350 ……………… 350 00 00
more about 3 acres of English corn upon ye ground not prised.______________
The total ………………. 445 07 09

[So L445, 7s & 9 p would be L47,649.02 in 2017 British pounds or USD 66,829 which is a sizeable estate.]
now due to ye Estate about …………………………… 21 15 06

This took some studying on my part before I could understand such an old will with so many unfamiliar terms.  I’d never heard of trammels, stillyards or bushels of Indian.  So it was off to Bing.com to find photos and meanings for these inventory items.

 

Trammel from 1700s-antique-fireplace-trammel-hand_1_aa3641548e25dfe8e2b53689430f
A trammel is a sawtooth metal device to hang a cooking pot on.  This one is obviously handmade because the teeth are all slightly different sizes.

 

Vintage-and-antique-decorator-steelyard-balance-scale
When a colonist wanted to weigh the turkey or butchered animal, a stillyard (steelyard) was used.  This one could weigh up to 150 pounds of meat.

 

indancorn
A quarter of Indian was simply a bushel of multi-colored corn.

Captain Paul made sure his debts would be paid first.  Then his eldest son, Samuel, inherited his land and the meadow in Harwich where Samuel’s house was and then gives very specific landmarks to make sure everyone knew what Samuel had inherited.

Paul made sure to take care of his wife, Deborah, by instructing Samuel to give her one-third of the profits from his farm.  Samuel also had to pay his younger brothers, Richard and Daniel 42 English pounds (cash) which would equal 4,493.30 British pounds in 2017 figures.

Totals:

Deborah = 1/3 of Samuel’s profits + 1/3 of Paul Jr’s profits + 1/3 of John’s profits

= all moveable estate (cattle, sheep, horses, swine and household stuff

(When Deborah died, her daughters inherited her property.)

Samuel =   Current residence and land in Harwich (16 acres)        An acre of land in Harwich in 2017 equals approximately $100,000.

=  1 Try pott and kettle

Paul Jr = Green Meadow property

John = ¼ interest in undivided lands in Harwich

Richard & Daniel = 42 pounds*                                                 4,493.30 British pounds (2017)

44 pounds**                                             4,707.27 British pounds (2017)

44 pounds**                                              4,707.27 British pounds (2017)

*4,493.30 pounds could have bought 7 horses, 10 cows, 70 stones of wool, 21 quarters of wheat and 466 days’ wages in the 1700s.

** 4,707.27 pounds could have bought 8 horses, 10 cows, 73 stones of wool, 22 quarters of wheat and 488 days’ wages x 2 (From Paul and John) =

16 horses, 20 cows, 146 stones of wool, 44 quarters of wheat and 976 days’ wages.

For a grand total of 23 horses, 30 cows, 216 stones (3,024 pounds) of wool, 65 quarters (520 bushels) of wheat and 1442 days’ wages (almost 4 years’ wages).

Captain Paul Sears was a wealthy man indeed to be able to leave all of the above to his family.

Ray traced the headstones in the Ancient Sears Cemetery and charted each one.  Paul Junior is #10 on the list.  His grave is at the bottom of the photo on the next page.02.17.1940 Paul Sears died 1739 or 1740.jpg

1724 Ancient Sears Cemetery, Brewster, Mass.jpg
I wonder how much Richard and Dorothy’s grandchildren’s estates were worth by the time the next generation had had a chance to work the land.  But that’s another story…

#52Ancestors – Week 6 A Favorite Name By Marilyn Sears Lindsey

#52Ancestors – Week 6

A Favorite Name

By Marilyn Sears Lindsey

Miranda Freelove Trask (1869-1893)

What a name!  So different…so special…the name of one of my ancestors who, unfortunately, lived a very short life.  She was my Great-great grandmother on my mother’s side.

“This year, more than 120 million babies will be born on earth. Those who survive will sooner or later undergo the initiation process of receiving a name. Names are a part of every culture and they are of enormous importance both to the people who receive names and to the societies that given them.

Despite their universality, there is a great deal of difference from one culture to another in how names are given. Among most preliterate peoples, names are determined according to very definite and specific rules. Generally, in cultures with a keen sense of ancestry, children get their names from the totems and family trees of their parents. In some cultures, names are taken from events which happen during the pregnancy of the mother or shortly after the birth of the child, and in others, names are divined through magic and incantation. In some cases, the name given at birth is only the first of several names a person will bear throughout life.”  ~ H. Edward Deluzain at BehindTheName.com

Miranda Freelove’s parents’ names are George and Susan – very common names around the time of Miranda’s birth in 1869.  By then our Civil War was over and our country was pulling itself back together from the atrocities of bombings and illnesses.  What was the situation in Uxbridge, Worcester County, Massachusetts where Miranda was born?  The north hadn’t been ravaged as much as the south had but still… “During the American Civil War, Union and Confederate commanders made the capture and destruction of enemy cities a central feature of their military campaigns. They did so for two reasons.  First, most mid-19th-century cities had factories, foundries, and warehouses within their borders, churning out and storing war materiel; military officials believed that if they interrupted or incapacitated the enemy’s ability to arm or clothe themselves, the war would end. Second, it was believed that the widespread destruction of property—especially in major or capital cities—would also damage civilians’ morale, undermining their political convictions and decreasing their support for the war effort.” ~ Megan Kate Nelson from AmericanHistory.Oxfordre.com  There must have been a lot of building and re-building in Uxbridge.

Miranda’s father, George Nelson Trask, was born in 1846 in Cumberland, Providence County, Rhode Island.  Cumberland was peaceful from its founding when settlers purchased land from Indigenous Americans and then continuing with William Blackstone (Blaxton) who preached a brand of tolerant Christianity.  George was only 18 years old at the end of the Civil War and on a later US Census he stated that he hadn’t served in the military.

Susan Hardy, his wife, had 4 children from her first marriage when she married George on 24 Nov 1868.  Miranda Freelove Trask was born on 6 Nov 1869 and was only 7 months old at the time of the 1870 US Census.  She was one of 63 babies registered in Uxbridge that year and the records were haphazardly placed in the register.  It seems people registered a child’s birth as they were able to get to the town office.

1869MirandaTraskBirthRecord.jpg

(Miranda’s record is #3 in this register.)

Miranda means Miraculous… Freelove means Peace and Trask is a form of Thirsk which comes from a place in Yorkshire, England called Thirsk.  Was it possible that these names gave her the feeling that she was a miracle and gave her the peaceful strength to:

  1. help raise three younger siblings (2 brothers and a sister)?

 

  1. take on a job as a servant as a young woman?
  2. get married at 15 years old on 25 Dec 1884 to Embert Reuben Greene?
  3. give birth to 3 daughters, Minnie, Bertha and Freelove, by the time she was 19?
  4. become a seamstress and then?
  5. watch her youngest die of meningitis at the age of 5 months?

1884Embert&MirandaMarriage.jpg

(Embert and Miranda’s Marriage is the last one on this page.)

Miranda had Bright’s which is a kidney disease that was described as having symptoms of high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney failure and convulsions and was often found in patients with diabetes.  It often is a response to an infection such as strep throat or an abscessed tooth.

She was 23 years 3 months and 27 days old when she passed away on 5 March 1893 – just 4 years after her youngest. Her daughter, Minnie, was only 7 and her younger daughter, Bertha, was only 5 when Miranda died.  Their father Embert married Annie Arthur in 1896 and 4 more children.

1893MirandasDeath.jpg

(Miranda’s death is listed on Line 14 in this register.)

Maybe Miranda Freelove’s strength was passed down to me through DNA and I have them to thank for being alive today and all the blessings that I’ve been given.  It’s so strange to realize my life depended on so many people before me but as I study genealogy, I’m beginning to realize it’s true.

There were lots of other Trasks – certainly more than a beginning genealogist can count.

There were other Freeloves in Miranda’s family tree too.  Freelove Weatherhead her great grandmother, Merribie Freelove Weatherhead her other great grandmother, Freelove Amanda Greene, her daughter, and Ethel Freelove Ballou who was her granddaughter.

There was another Miranda in her family – her Aunt Miranda who was her father’s sister.  But that’s another story…