Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday: Mystery Ladies

A mystery girl revealed?
So, we have this old family picture that's been hanging in my parents house as long as I can remember.

This is the picture.  The first time I remember talking to my Mom about it was back in the 90s...this was about when I started getting interested in genealogy.  I remember her telling me that many of the male Robinsons in this picture used to travel back to England when there was no work in Philadelphia.

The youngest child in this picture is a baby and was born in 1907, so I'd date it 1907-1908.  The couple in the middle are Mary Robinson (nee Crossley) and John Raynor Robinson.  They are my 2nd Great Grandparents and they moved to Philadelphia from England in 1868.  The rest are their children, the children's spouses and their children.  My mom had most of the people labeled (she and I had changed some as we learned more).  The exception being the 2 ladies on either side in the back row, they have always been unknown.  They are clearly dressed differently than the other women.  We had speculated that maybe they were servents, then chuckled about that idea!

So, the back row is: Unknown Girl, Thomas, Jonas, James, Mary Elizabeth and Unknown Girl
Middle Row:  Ida (wife of Thomas), Mary (wife of Jonas) with little Rayner on her lap, Mary and John Raynor, Lillian (wife of James) with Baby Howard on her lap, George Smith (husband of Mary Elizabeth).  Seated in front of Ida and Mary is James B Robinson (my grandfather's brother), on the stool next to him is Jonas and Mary's daughter, Rebecca, on the stool in the middle is Samuel Raynor (my grandfather), on the floor next to him is Lillian Smith, next to her is Mae(or Mary), they are Mary Elizabeth's children.

Well, I came across another picture while cleaning out my email.  And this one has an additional sibling in it.
Mary Lizzie, ?, Thomas, Lillie, Jonas, James, ?
Mary Elizabeth Robinson, ?, Thomas C Robinson (my great grandfather), Lilly Mae Robinson, Jonas Robinson, James H Robinson and John Raynor Robinson.  Lilly was born in 1889.  I'll guess she's about 3 or 4 here and say this photo was taken in about 1903.  I think this is the house they lived in on G Street in Kensington.  So, now I'm wondering if one of the gals on either end in the more formal picture is Lilly?  And is the other one another unknown sibling.  Everyone in that back row seems to be a child of John Raynor and Mary Robinson. So it makes sense to me that the 2 unknowns are also children of Mary and John Raynor and that perhaps they are dressed differently since they are unmarried.  Now, the question is...can I find a name for the other Robinson Girl.  The 1890 census would be so helpful here!  It's a shame it was mostly destroyed!  This picture also has an unknown woman, which could be Thomas wife, Ida, but it really doesn't look like her. I think Ida is very distinctive looking.  Maybe she's the other missing girl?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: The Riccardi Grave

I've posted a picture of this grave before.  It's the grave of my Mother-in-law's father, uncle and brother.  The picture above is the original that I took a couple of years ago, when I visited with my Mom-in-law.  She told me that her brother, Rex Patrick's birth year was incorrect and they had been meaning to have it corrected.  Well, earlier this year, we lost a wonderful woman, Rose Edith Riccardi, AKA Nana.  Nana was buried with the other Riccardis in this same grave.  This was a great opportunuty to have the year for Uncle Rick corrected.  The engravers added Nana and changed 1939 to 1935.  They did a great job, too.  Thanks to my brother-in-law, Glen, for sharing this picture with me.

Friday, June 29, 2012

2 Generations of Gold Card holders

No, not credit cards!!! 

My Dad is a member of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, as was his father.  A few years back, he received his gold card.  This means he's been in the union for 50 years and is now considered a Lifetime Member.  He also had the card that his father received when he reached that milestone.  A little while back he handed both cards to my sister and asked her to hold onto them...he was afraid they would be misplaced.  So she had a great idea.  She took them to Michaels Craft Store and had them framed together and we gave it to him as a birthday gift last night.  It turned out great! 

I find it interesting that my grandfather's from 1968 looks better than my Dad's from 2002.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Angelo Rex Riccardi, His First concert

I came across this photo while digging through photos this past week.  It's a great picture.  This is my husband, Chris' Grandfather, Angelo Rex Riccardi.  He was a musician and went on to be the Assistant Vice President of the American Federation of Musicians.  On the back of the picture is written "Rex Riccardi - taken at Va - First concert - age 14"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday: Cedar Hill Cemetery

I had a lovely adventure with my father today.  I met him at his favorite (breakfast) restaurant, M & M Restaurant at Emery Street and Allegheny Avenue in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia.  I had a fantastic Kielbasa and Cheese omelet with a side of potatoes.  It was fantastic and I won't need to eat until dinner time!   After we finished up, we pulled out the maps and other info that the lovely people from Cedar Hill Cemeteries sent me and headed on over the Frankford and Cheltenham Avenues.  This is an interesting spot in Philly where there's a cemetery on each corner.  3 of which are part of Cedar Hill.  There's North Cedar Hill, The Cedar Hill and East Cedar Hill (which was unmarked) and the 4th is Mount Carmel.  We have family buried in North and East Cedar Hills (that I know of).  So, first stop was North Cedar Hill.  My Dad's Uncle Elmer and Aunt Bert (whom I wrote about before: Wedding Wednesday: Elmer J Black and Alberta M Franks).  We easily located this grave in the back of the cemetery.  The maps provided were great.

John H Dingler was the first to be buried here.  He died in 1914, and while there are no dates on the stone for him or Matilda, the cemetery provided a copy of all the records that they had.  John was a police officer and committed suicide at the age of 57.  I wonder if I'd be able to find more details about that!?  Next, is Alberta M Black, she was the child of Uncle Elmer and Aunt Bert and was 6 months old when she passed and was buried in 1934.  Next up is William "Billy" Murphy, he was Matilda's (John's Wife) second husband.  He passed in 1938 at the age of 67.  Note that his name was not added to the headstone.  Tillie was next, she was 94 when she passed away in 1954.  My Dad knew Tillie.  He's told me several times that she was very old and if he remembers correctly she was blind.  He said to me, "I thought you said Tillie was here!"  He didn't know that Tillie is short for Matilda and he knew her as Tillie Murphy, so he didn't realize right away that it was her in there when he saw the names!  Then I have, in 1982, "Infant Girt Lyons SB", "2ft Casket".  Another baby, how sad!  I spoke with my Aunt Joan and we think this would have been Aunt Bert and Uncle Elmer's grandchild by their daughter, Joan.  Her name is not on the headstone, either.  Uncle Elmer passed away in 1989.  And last one in was Aunt Bert, 1999!

We paid our respects and moved the wrong cemetery (woops, I should have printed the big map with the full intersection), we ended up in The Cedar Hill cemetery.  But Pop straightened me out and over to East Cedar Hills we went!

Again, very nicely detailed maps were provided and we located the target grave quickly. I was surprised to find somewhat of a monument. When we spotted it, my Dad said "Wow, they must have had money!"  This is Pop Black's family. He's my Dad's maternal grandfather.  This grave also holds 7 people, however, only 2 are listed on the monument.  This is the first family grave that I've seen with a limestone monument.  This is why the letters are corroding off.  Limestone just doesn't last like marble. 

I was able to transcribe what it says: 

In Memory Of
Isabella wife of
Augustus Black
Born Sep 22 1852
Died Nov 8 1894
Augustus Black
Died Feb 1 1928
Aged 76 years

So, Isabella was buried first.  And the headstone lists her birthdate, which I didn't have before, just the year!  Jackpot!  Then Robert Black and Anna Black both buried on the same day in 1900, he was only 15 months and she was just 13 months.  I did some digging and these are 2 children of Isabella and Augustus.  He actually died in 1875 and she died in 1886.  Their death certificates say they were buried in North Cedar Hill, but they must have been moved to be with their mother.  William Black was then buried here in 1907 at age 28.  He died of pneumonia.  This was another child of Isabella and Augustus.    Pop's father, Augustus Black was buried here in 1928, No birthday for him, though!  The records indicate that he died of Nephritis, which is a disease of the kidneys.  And while the record indicates that he was 75, the tombstone says 76.  Pop Black, Mervyn Black Sr., was buried here in 1958 at age 82.  The record says that he died of senility.  The last person listed in the record is no longer a mystery.  Her name is "Sallie (aka Sarah) Price".  She died in 1969 and was 87 years old.  I just figured out who she is.  She is the last child of Augustus and Isabella, born Sarah M Black.

I took a few pictures of the rest of the monument, since it's fairly ornate, compared to what I'm used to finding.

This is a close-up of the lower front part of the monument.  You can see that the different parts are twisted a bit.  Of course, my Dad tried to twist them back, but couldn't budge em!  I wonder if there was more decoration on the part just above the "BLACK" name?

In this picture, I tried to capture the design that I saw in the upper part of the monument.  It looks like it was a line of daisy-like flowers all the way around the monument.

This is another stone at the foot of the grave.  The material matches the monument and I suspect that it's partially buried and may have something written on it, like the family name again.  My Dad says he will bring a shovel next time!
So, while the weather was not great, me and my Dad had a nice morning.  The best part is, he tells stories about the people that he remembers.  He is hoping I can locate his cousin, Jimmy Black, Uncle Elmer's son.  He thinks he lives down the shore somewhere.  Plus, now, we have a few more people to take flowers to at Easter!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Or lack there of?

Back at Christmastime, I posted about my 3rd Great Grandfather, Jonas Robinson, and what I thought was his grave:  Is That You, Jonas?  I have come to learn that the grave I took a picture of is not where Jonas is buried.  Not only that, but there's no gravestone at all!  I sent a donation to the organization that is maintaining the records for the cemetery (which is in serious disrepair) and in return they did some extra research for me, including taking a picture of the actual grave.
Jonas Robinson's Grave at Greenwood Cemetery
I suppose the item buried just above the plot could turn out to be his gravestone once it's unearthed.  I wonder how long it will take for the to start uprighting the gravestones?  I also have a list of about 100 other Robinsons buried in this cemetery to go through to figure out if they are family.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Talented Tuesday: The House that Grandpop Robinson Built

I come from a family full of tradesman.  My father started as a bricklayer, later added roofing to his repertoire and now operates as a general contractor.  His father, Samuel Raynor Robinson, was a bricklayer and builder, as well.  My brothers, uncles, cousins and great-grandfathers also work(ed) in the building trades.  Today, I have an example of my Grandpop's work to share.  He grew up in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.  After he married my grandmother, Lettie Mae, he bought some property out in the Fox Chase area and built a house for his family.

The house that Grandpop built in Fox Chase, about 1930
This is a picture of the house from my Grandmom's scrapbook.  It was taken around 1930ish.  Unfortunately, something "funny" happened with the bank and my Grandparents lost this house and ended up moving back to the Kensington/Port Richmond area before my father was born, but my aunts and uncles all lived in this house.

In the 1930 census, I found my grandaparents and my eldest uncle, Sam, living in this home.  It was the only house on the street.  There was an address in the census, so, my Dad and I decided to take a drive to try to locate it.  The problem was that when I mapped the address, 257 Roslyn St in Abington Township, there wasn't an exact match.  After staring at a map for a while and chatting with my Dad (He'd been by the house a few times over the years), we figured out that the road was now called Roseland Avenue in Rockledge and made a plan to go check it out.  We drove around a bit and successfully located the house, not only had the street changed names, but the number was different, as well!
The House that Grandpop Built, 2010
I tried to get a picture from roughly the same angle as the old picture.  It was really nice to see how well the house was cared for and that it's no longer the lonely house on the street!
The House that Grandpop built, 2010, looking loved.
Roughly 80 years old, this house is a job well done by Sam Robinson.