Today, December 1, 2013, is the First Sunday of Advent. That also makes it the first day of the new Church Year. This day is always four Sundays before Christmas Day and the 12 Days of Christmas so its date varies from year to year.
In today’s United States culture, the weeks leading up to Christmas often have a lot more to do with commercialism and keeping our capitalist system working, seemingly to equate the joy of the season with buying and receiving gifts. As I ponder how our ancestors treated the season of Advent and Christmas I know it was quite a different experience.
The season of Advent in the Church was much like the Lenten season–a time of quiet and somber preparation. Churches and homes alike were not decorated until Christmas Eve and only then was the joy of the birth of the Christ Child into the world and into our souls celebrated. There are delightful traditions connected with Christmas from centuries back but they were not very “commercial” and limited to the 12 Days of Christmas (Dec 25 – Jan 5).
Now I, like so many of us, begin my Christmas preparation and celebration with Thanksgiving weekend–which is often also the First Sunday in Advent. I rather like it. Our church is decorated for Christmas and we are finding ways to prepare for the remembrance of Jesus’ birth with joyful anticipation. At home, I have my outdoor lights up, the Christmas decorations in their places, and Christmas music playing. It, too, seems like a lovely way to prepare for the annual celebration of the birth of our Christ. I am thinking that as long as we keep our focus on the love of God being manifested in the world, how we celebrate from generation to generation is of little consequence.
Merriman Munson, my maternal 6th great grand uncle was born on November 30, 1710. He was the son of Samuel Munson (1668 – 1741) and Mary Preston Merriman Munson. Mary was the daughter of Deacon Eliasaph Preston, the widow of Caleb Merriman who died in 1703, and the second wife of Samuel Munson, whose wife Martha Farnes Munson had died in 1707. Samuel and Mary married in March of 1708, about 14 months after Martha’s death.
Interestingly, Martha named her infant son, Merriman, after the surname of her first husband. When her son grew up, he married Esther Johnson on January 24, 1733. After her death in 1757, he married the widow Thankful Peck on January 23, 1758. Merriman distinguished himself by being one of the 18 male founders of the church at Northford, Connecticut on June 13, 1750 and was chosen to be their first deacon.
At Dr. Trumbull’s ordination in North Haven Dec 23, 1760, among the “Messengers” present was “Deacon Merriman Munson from Northford Church.” His wife Esther was received from another church 1 July 1750, and Thankful was received from the church in Wallingford. Merriman was chosen grand-juror, highway surveyor, etc. . . . From his father’s estate, he had not only lands, but (by Will) “my cloathing & my augers & chissels handsaw & turning tools & what is needful in that affare &c I give to my son merriman Munson” [sic].*
Merriman’s father, Samuel, also had given him land to help him get started in life. Merriman and his wife Esther had five children: Sarah, Esther, Samuel (known as Junior), Mamre, and Lent. He was buried in the church cemetery in Northford, where he had been a deacon for 30 years.
The tombstone inscription reads:**
In memory of Mr. Merriman Munson who departed this life Sep 9, 1782 in the 72 year of his age. He was one of the first Deacons of the Church of Christ in this Place and sustained that office for thirty years before his death.
Pro. 10.7 The memory of the just is blessed
* from The Munson Record, Vol I, page 92.
**from Find A Grave.
In the 1850 edition of Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt (Recipe) Book, she offered a recipe for cooking a turkey and for baking a pumpkin pie. With Thanksgiving just a day away, here are two old recipes for Thanksgiving.
To Boil a Turkey
Make a stuffing for the craw, of chopped bread and butter, cream, oysters, and the yolks of eggs. Sew it in and dredge flour over the turkey and put it to boil in cold water, with a spoonful of salt in it, and enough water to cover it well. Let it simmer for two hours and a half, or if small, less time. Skim it while boiling. It looks nicer if wrapped in a cloth dredged with flour.
Serve it with drawn butter, in which are put some oysters.
Mrs. O’s Pumpkin Pie
One quart of strained pumpkin, or squash.
Two quarts of milk, and a pint of cream.
One teaspoonful of salt, and four of ginger.
Two teaspoonfuls of pounded cinnamon.
Two teaspoonfuls of nutmeg, and two of mace.
Ten well-beaten eggs, and sugar to your taste.
Bake with a bottom crust and rim, till it is solid in the centre.
This recipe needs a cook with a bit of experience. I suspect it was cooked in a wood stove. Most women in the kitchen had a favorite pie crust recipe and knew the temperature at which to cook a pie in their stove. Miss Beecher certainly assumed a fair amount of skill in her readers.
Earlier this fall I was working on the Munson family, gathering data and writing some stories. I encountered a conundrum. Samuel Munson, my 7th great grandfather (1668 – 1741) married Martha Farnes. Martha died on January 7, 1707. Samuel then married Mary Preston on March 10, 1708. The conundrum was created by the birth of Tamar Munson on December 5, 1707.
January 7, 1707 Martha Farnes died
December 5, 1707 Tamar Munson was born
March 10, 1708 Mary Preston marries Samuel Munson
Who was the mother of Tamar? These are my Puritan ancestors. They were leaders in the community and respected among the members of the congregation. It is reasonable to exclude an out-of-wedlock conception and birth. After stewing on the matter for awhile, I recalled there was a change of calendars a few hundred years ago. The Connecticut State Library held the answer.
The full explanation is worth a read but the short version is that there had been two calendars in use in Europe and in the American colonies. In 1752, an act of the Parliament mandated that England and the its colonies all shift to using only the Gregorian calendar and that the New Year begin on January 1 instead of March 25.
Oh! The New Year at the time of Tamar Munson’s birth was March 25. Now my chart above has to be written:
March 25, 1707 New Years Day, 1707
December 5, 1707 Tamar Munson was born.
January 7, 1707 Martha Farnes died, just a month after the birth of her daughter.
March 24, 1707 The last day of the year (New Years Eve), 1707
March 25, 1708 New Years Day, 1708
March 10, 1708 Mary Preston marries Samuel Munson just two weeks before the start of the next New Year, 1709.
Based on the calendar, Martha was Tamar’s mother. Rather than dying 11 months before Tamar was born, she died just a month afterwards. It leaves me wondering if she died from complications from childbirth or maybe a difficult winter and the burden of caring for nine children in the new land.
Michael Hope, my 3rd great grandfather and the son of Thomas Hope, was baptized on this day, November 11, in 1787. According to his tombstone, Michael was born in 1782 but according to the ship’s manifest when he immigrated to the USA, his birth was more likely circa 1787. Given that infants were typically baptized soon after birth, I am inclined to trust the 1787 date. His mother and father are both listed on the baptismal record, but her name is listed only as “Hope.” The sacrament was performed at St. Helen Church in the town of Auckland which is in Durham County.*
Michael married Margaret “Mary” Errington (1783 – 1860) in the Tynemouth Christ Church in the town of Tynemouth, Northumberland County, England, on July 10, 1815.* A year later, on July 18, 1816, she gave birth to their only known child, Michael Hope, Jr. Michael Jr. married Elizabeth “Bessie” Foster in 1838. In 1846, when he was 58 years old, Michael Sr. and his wife Margaret, their son Michael Jr. and his family boarded the ship “Hope of Dunbury” in Liverpool, England and sailed to New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.** They traveled north, presumably via the Mississippi River, to Grant County, Wisconsin.
Michael, Sr. died seven years later, on April 27, 1853 and is buried in Providence Cemetery, Bloomington, Grant County, Wisconsin.
* Source: findmypast.co.uk
**Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1820-1902; National Archives Microfilm Publication: M259; Roll #: 25.
The Boerner family in Gaulsheim, Germany were members of the Roman Catholic Church. When Martin Boerner, Sr. immigrated to Wisconsin, he continued in the family faith tradition. He raised his children in St. Anthony Catholic Church in Niagara, WI. The family is not remembered as weekly attenders at mass, but supported the ministry of the Catholic Church.
When Ann married Oscar Dearl Aderman, who was a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the young couple decided they would both attend the Lutheran congregation and raise their children there. They had married June 9, 1930 and Ann took her classes to be a confirmed member of the Lutheran congregation. Five months later, on November 2, 1930, when she was 20 years old, Rev. Henry Hopp of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Daggett, MI confirmed Ann. Later, they transferred their membership closer to their home in Niagara, WI and became strong members of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Iron Mountain, MI.
My father remembers hearing that Ann’s brothers and sisters chastised her for leaving the Roman Catholic Church and joining the Lutherans. This, of course, was a different era and Catholics and Lutherans were still at odds with each other. It ended when their father, Martin Boerner, Sr., sided with her and reminded the rest of his children–her siblings–that she was quite active in her congregation and surpassed their own involvement. Fortunately, he understood that faithful participation was more valuable than simple membership.
Annae Mariae Janz Boerner, my 2nd great grandmother, was born on this day, October 31, in 1827 in Ockenheim, Rheinhessen, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. She was the daughter of Johannis Janz and Anna Mariae Faeser. (Anna Mariae Faeser was also named after her mother, Anna Mariae Reckertin, who married Philipi Faeser.)
On August 17, 1850, when Anna Mariae Janz was still 22 years old, she married Adam Boerner in the Roemisch Katholische Kirche in Gaulsheim, Germany*. The date of her death is unknown.
Among her children was my great grandfather Martin Boerner. Martin’s maternal great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, as well as his younger sister were all named Annae Mariae. He continued that family name with his youngest daughter, my grandmother, Anna Maria Boerner Aderman. Since Anna Maria Boerner Aderman had only sons, the name missed a generation, but the legacy has continued for two more generations when each of her four sons used “Ann” as the middle name of their first-born daughters and three of the granddaughters have Anna or Ann in their names.
*Source: Family Search.
My grand uncle, Jacob William Boerner, died 41 years ago today, October 27, 1972, in Niagara, Marinette County, WI. Jacob was born in Gaulsheim, Germany on 27 January 1891 to Martin and Catharina (Storch) Boerner. Martin immigrated to the United States in 1897 and Catharina sailed to the states with her three sons, John, Jacob, and Karl, two years later. The family moved to Marinette County and Jacob grew up there after arriving in the United States.
He married Rose (maiden name unknown) sometime before 1920 (the U.S. Census has them married at that point; their oldest son was born in 1918) and they had seven children: Martin, John, Hildegard, Bernice, Joseph, Rosalie, and Jacob. Jacob supported his family by working at the Kimberly-Clark paper mill.
Jacob lived a long life and died at the age of 81.
My 2nd great grandmother, Barbara Clara Barton, was born on this day, October 22, in 1830. She was the fifth known child (and first daughter) of Joannes Joeis Barthen and Susanna Hower of Lieser, Rheinland, Prussia. Barbara was baptized the same day at the Roemisch-Katholische Kirche in Lieser.* Joanne and Susanna had nine known children, only two of them being daughters.
More has been written about Barbara in an earlier post but today is a day to remember her birth, her youth growing up in Prussia, her courage in immigrating at the age of 21 to Illinois, and then living most of her adult life in Grant County, Wisconsin.
*Source: Family Search
I have previously written about Thomas Munson and his son, Samuel Munson. Samuel married Martha Bradley and they had ten children: one daughter and nine sons. In our family lineage, Samuel’s oldest son, also named Samuel, is our ancestor. He married Martha Farnes and they had nine children. He then married the widow Mary (Preston) Merriman and they had two more children (Mary also had five children from her first marriage).
Samuel and Martha’s fourth child, William, was born on this day in 1695. William is my 6th great grandfather and is the head of “Clan William” in the Munson Family Genealogy.
William married Rebecca Curtiss (1697 – 1742) and they had eight children. Their seventh child, Samuel (1739 – 1827) was my 5th great grandfather. William was a life-long resident of Wallingford (now Cheshire), Connecticut. According to The Munson Record: Volume I:
William at the age of twenty-three (the deed calls him a “young man’) purchased, 28 Jan 1718, i.e., 1719*, sixteen acres “aboue the town upon missory brook.” Misery Brook is in the southeast quarter of Southington, flowing into the Quinnipiac, say, about an eighth of a mile north of Cheshire line. John Munson of New Haven sold his nephew William 13 acres bounded “east by a brook called honey pot brook”; this was 1 Feb 1726, i.e., 1727*, (when the settlement was about thirty years old,) and the consideration was 20 pounds. Three years later, 14 June 1729, Samuel of Wallingford, for the love and good-will which he bore unto his beloved son William, transferred to him, just after the birth of his first child, 38 acres lying “in Cheshire in the bound of Wallingford upon Walnut Hill by Tunssus valley.” There is little doubt that William had previously received land from his father, as it is recorded that Samuel and William made a joint sale of 90 acres 28 Jan 1726, and in his Will (1740) Samuel observed that he had given William “so much land as I think is my duty to give.” . . .
William’s home was a mile and three-quarters north of Cheshire Green. The stream running northward through the farm a quarter of a mile east of the house is still known as Honey-Pot Brook. On that place William’s son Peter was born and died; there Peter’s son Levi was born and died; and there Levi’s son Levi, our aged contemporary, was born and spent the earlier portion of his life.
(Written by Myron Munson in 1896)
*Note: in 1750, the calendar in the Colonies changed so that what was recorded accurately by our ancestors as, e.g., 1718, was actually 1719 using our current calendar system.
Today, October 7, is the birthday of my 5th great grandfather, Samuel Munson. Samuel is the son of William and Rebecca (Curtis) Munson and lived from 1739 to April 2, 1827. In 1764, when he was 25 years old, Samuel married Susannah Tyler in his home town of Wallingford (now Cheshire) Connecticut.
In 1777, at the age of 38, Samuel enlisted in the Connecticut Militia and fought in the Revolutionary War. He was a private in the 10th Regiment commanded by Isaac Benham; Ward’s Regiment. At this point in his life, his military service meant he left his wife and five children at home as he went to war.
Sometime after the war, Samuel and Susannah and most of their children moved from Connecticut to Ohio, likely in 1804 or 1805 according to Munson Family research. His occupation was farming so presumably he moved westward to make a living from the good soil in Ohio. I have not found evidence of a land bounty (the new nation’s government was tight on cash but had an abundance of land so often paid Revolutionary War soldiers in land) so I do not know if he bought the land or was granted it for his service to the nation.
A last note: one of the challenges of reading histories with “Samuel Munson” in them is defining which “Samuel Munson” is being written about. This particular Samuel Munson is the grandson of Samuel Munson (1668 – 1741) and the great-grandson of Samuel Munson (1643 – 1693). In the generation of the man about whom this article is written, there were several men, all cousins, named Samuel Munson, living in the community. As Myron Munson wrote about it in The Munson Record: Volume 1, page 249:
Samuel [the Samuel of this article] is called in the record of his marriage “Samuel Munson 2nd,” and he is generally so designated in the public records of Wallingford. His father and three brothers, living in Wallingford, each named a son Samuel; one, the son of Solomon, was removed to New Jersey, but the other three were on the stage in Wallingford together; the son of Waitstill was usually entitled Sen., the son of Deacon Merriman, Junior, and the son of William, 2nd. These four cousins had in New Haven two second-cousins (of the same generation) bearing the name of Samuel.
Situations like these call for the family historian to be meticulous in her research because it leaves lots of room for error. As I ponder it, I bet having six “Samuel Munson” in town at the same time also created plenty of confusion for the community! It is fun to wonder at how many miscommunications were made at the expense of the cousins.
Today is the birthday of my 3rd great grandmother, Elizabeth Ann “Betsy” Blue.She was born on October 3, 1834 in Sangamon County, IL to Robert and Martha (Blue) Blue. Her parents were double first cousins: Robert was the son Robert Blue and Ann McNary; Martha was the daughter of John Blue and Elizabeth McNary. The Blue brothers married McNary sisters, then their children, Robert Blue and Martha Blue, married. Elizabeth was the oldest of their six children.
When she was just 17 years old, Betsy married Seymore Bates, age 28. Seymore was born in St. Lawrence County, NY* but had moved west to Menard County, IL. They married in Menard County on July 8, 1852.**
At the time of the 1860 U.S. Census, Betsy and Seymore were living in Menard County, IL; in the 1870 census Seymore was farming in Atlanta, Logan County, IL and Betsy was keeping house with seven of their children: Robert (my 2nd great grandfather), Polly, William, Charles, Mary, Evaline, and baby Martha.(Their youngest two daughters, Alta and Dora, were born in 1873 and 1874.)
Betsy gave birth to Dora on April 7, 1874. Eleven weeks later, on June 23, 1874, Betsy died at the age of 39. The cause of death is unknown because a fire in the Logan County Courthouse burned all the records prior to 1878. Betsy is buried in the Bluegrass Cemetery in Atlanta, Logan County, IL.
*Source Information: Find A Grave
Jordan Dodd and Liahona Research, comp.. Illinois, Marriages, 1851-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Index compiled from county marriage records on microfilm located at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah by Jordan Dodd of Liahona Research (P.O. Box 740, Orem, Utah 84059). Specific source information is listed with each entry.
Today is the birthday of Fredrich Carl August Heiden, my paternal 3rd great grandfather. He was born on September 15, 1832 in Mecklenburg, Nordwestmecklenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. He married Marianna “Mina” Allwardt while they still lived in Germany. Sometime in 1857, the young couple and their firstborn son, Theodore Frederick, immigrated to the United States via the port in Hamburg. On the 20th of June, 1857, the young family arrived in New York on the Charles C. Fowler passenger ship.*
Fredrich and his family lived in Bergholtz, NY when they first arrived in the USA, but at some point they moved west to Effingham County, Illinois. He and Mina had ten children, but three died in infancy. He supported his family through farming.
Fredrich died on the 21st of January, 1905 from Cirrhosis of the Liver, from which he had suffered for eight years.**
*Source Citation: Year: 1857; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 175; Line: 36; List Number: 691.
**Effingham County, IL Death Certificate
On September 13, 1879, my 4th great grandfather, Josiah David Bates, died of Consumption* (Tuberculosis). Josiah was born about 1801 to his mother, Tabitha, and a father whose name is yet unknown. He was born in Pittsfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts and, except for possibly a short time in Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts as a young man, he lived out his life in Pittsfield.
Josiah married Elizabeth Freeman and on New Year’s Day, 1824, she gave birth to their first son, Seymore (my 3rd great grandfather). Their second son, Ezekiel, was born about 1834. In 1860, Josiah was listed in the U.S. Census as a carpenter.
*Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Non-population Census Schedules for Massachusetts, 1850-1880 (T1204); Archive Collection: T1204; Archive Roll Number: 37; Census Year: 1880; Census Location: Pittsfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts; Line: 15.
Today in our family history, we remember Carl Aderman registering for the draft during World War I. There were three Selective Service “drafts” of young and older men for World War I. The first was on June 5, 1917 for men between 21 and 31 years old (this is the one when Rolland Woodington registered), the second a year later on June 5, 1918, and the last one was just two months before the end of the war. This third draft was held on September 12, 1918 (95 years ago today) and was the one Carl Martin Aderman signed up for when he was 34 years old. This draft was for all eligible men between the ages of 18 and 45. At this point in his life, Carl was living in Daggett, Michigan, was married to Floy (Bates) Aderman, and had four children between the ages of 4 and 11. Presumably he would have been classified as a “Class IV” prospect, defined as “Exempted due to extreme hardship. Married registrants with dependent spouse and/or children with insufficient family income if drafted, . . . “
Here is a look at his hand-written draft card: