Wednesday, July 4, 2007

For Independence Day: our Revolutionary Ancestors

I have already outlined how Joseph Henry Ludwig fought in the Revolutionary war. That's on my mother's side.

But there may be Revolutionary roots on my father's side as well.

What We Know:

I can firmly establish our line back to James McDermond (b 1818) of Chester County, PA. He first appears on the 1840 Census for West Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania. I can follow him to the 1880 census, and show that Ulysses Simpson Grant McDermond is listed as his son in the 1870 and 1880 census. James was born in Pennsylvania to parents born in Pennsylvania. His wife was Hannah Thomas, of West Narntreal, Chester County, PA.

What I believe:
The 1850 census ALSO shows another James McDermond living in Chester County. This older James was born in 1798 in Pennsylvania, to parents born in Pennsylvania. This James lived in West Narntreal; the same place the younger' James' wife is from.

To recap:
  • We have two James McDermonds living in Chester County.
  • We have an older James McDermond living in West Narntreal.
  • We have a younger James McDermond living in West Vincent.
  • James McDermond of West Vincent is married to a woman from West Narntreal.
While this isn't conclusive evidence, the circumstantial evidence is pretty convincing.

Pushing Back Further:
In the 1800 census of Chester County, there were two McDermond households: only John McDermond had children; the other, Joel, may have been the eldest son (male was born between 1775 and 1785).

John McDermond was born sometime before 1756, his household had four boys born between 1790 and 1800, four boys born between 1785 and 1790, one male born between 1775 and 1785. There were two women born between 1775 and 1785, and another born between 1756 and 1774.

  • John is the oldest male, his wife the oldest female.
  • The second oldest male is his son or SIL, one of the secondary women is his DIL and the other his daughter.
  • The youngest boys may be his grandsons, the slightly older boys may be a combination of grandson and sons.

  • We have a McDermond household in Chester County, there is a boy in that household who was born in the right frame of time; there is a high probability that one of those four boys is the elder James.
  • We have a McDermond old enough to have fought in the Revolution; if John was born in 1756, he'd have been 20 years old when the Revolutionary War started.
That just leaves the question, "Was there a McDermond who fought in the Revolution?"

And the answer is "yes."

There is a pension for John McDermond of PA for fighting in the Revolution. His pension started 4 September 1791, per a law enacted 7 June, 1785. He died 25 April, 1809.

Not enough to file a DAR claim, but it leaves some solid avenues to explore.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Father's Day: a look back on my Father's fathers.

In honor of Father's Day, here's pictures of fathers along my father's line.

Dad with me and Jennifer, just about 40 years ago.

Louis Albert Jahn (with Benji) 1996.

Louis Albert Jahn, about 1947. I like the fact that he's standing in more or less the same place in both photographs, and he's with a dog in each of them.

Frederick John Jahn, abt 1952.
This picture was a big deal because he didn't swim much once the kids came along. He had just finished installing the "mercury tank" (a water tank painted black placed on the roof) for the outdoor shower. This wasn't a luxury: it was to get the kids to rinse off the salt and sand BEFORE coming into the house.

Albert Maxwilliam Jahn, around 1923. This isn't a very good picture of him because I had to crop it out of a group shot. Most of the photos I have of him are from a distance. But it gives you an idea of what he looked like in his prime.

Here he is 30 years later:

Albert M. Jahn, abt 1951

Frederick Henry Jahn, about 1900

A closer shot of Frederick Henry, taken around the same time.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day: a look back on my mother's mothers

It's mother's day, and here are shots of mothers along my mother's line:

Mom with Tim, 1967. This shot says 'motherhood', and I think it's one of the best pictures my father ever took.

Mom's mother, Virginia Tibbit Joslin. Standing next to, well, Mom.

Virginia's mother, Elsie, pictured with my mother (Nancy) and William H. Tibbitt.

Elsie Felten Tibbitt's mother, Marian Hinchman Felten, holding Virginia Tibbitt.

I don't have a picture Marian's mother, Malvina Prickett Hinchman, but I DO have a picture of Marian's grandmother, Mary Ann Hudson Prickett.

If somebody has pictures of the Hinchman clan, please let me know.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Susan O'Brien Grant

As you may know, Susan lost her battle with cancer on April 30th. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to her memorial service. She has been in my thoughts, as have Bobby and Bob, and my aunt and uncle. I am regretful that this life I have chosen so often keeps me far from family, and that I cannot always be there to stand with family during times of trial or tribulation. But family is never far from my heart, however many miles stand between us.

Bobby married Susan about a year before I moved to Florida, so I never really had a chance to spend a lot of time with her. My trips home have been infrequent, and brief. On at least one occasion, her illness kept her in bed while I was in town.

I remember the wedding, on a hot August day. I remember Bobby quietly saying "I do" in a gentle and reserved manner. And I remember Susan's "I DO!" ringing through the church all the way to the back row; she knew how to play to the back row. I remember her dancing at the reception, all flaming red hair and flashing smile as she whirled around the dance floor. I don't believe I have ever seen a more joyful bride. I can't swear that I have seen a person as joyful, period.

There was at least one Thanksgiving, and possibly a Christmas dinner or maybe two. There was my sister's wedding, and then my dad's wedding reception celebrating his marraige to Jocelyne. I remember an easy smile, and eyes ready for laughter.

I wish I had had the chance to see her onstage, and I wish that there more family dinners. But like all of us, I just wish there were more times with Susan. But she brought joy with her, and we must not let that joy fade away; I will remember the laughter in her eyes, and I will find that easy smile in my heart.

Bless you, Susan, and thank you for being a part of our family.

Pop-pop and Mom-mom

I was digging around for a picture of Susan Grant (which I failed to find) but found these and realized I haven't posted anything to this blog in awhile.