Thursday, December 8, 2011

Uncle Frank Samsel, WWII Veteran

Well, I should have posted this yesterday, but I was a bit preoccupied.  So, better late than never. 

In honor of Pearl Harbor Day (yesterday), this is a picture of one of my relatives who served in WWII. 
This picture was labeled "Corsica, March 3, 1944, Frank Samsel, 3rd from left".  Francis I. Samsel was my Granny's brother, My mom's uncle.  I don't know a whole lot about him, but that he was the son of immigrant parents.  His mother and father came to the United States from Poland at the turn of the century.  Frank was the 2nd youngest of 9 children.  Although, if memory serves me correctly, my Granny mentioned that she had several siblings that died at a very young age.  The WWII record that I found for him states that he was Enlisted in the Army on 27 August 1942 in Philadelphia to the Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA.  It also states that he was only educated to grammar school.  He was single without dependants.  For occuption it just states:  "Unskilled public service occupations, n.e.c.".  He was 5' 5" and 117 pounds.  I'm unsure how long he was enlisted, but I'm proud of him, nonetheless!

Thanks to Uncle Frank and to all those who served and continue to serve our country.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Is that you, Jonas?

The Hunt for Jonas Robinson (My 3rd Great Grandfather)

Me and Pop (and Jake and Emma and Ivan) made our rounds of the cemeteries today, with my new addition, Greenwood Cemetery.  I got a pretty detailed map from a member of the organization that volunteers to help maintain the grounds.  With that, I felt pretty confidant that we could find him (and the other 5 people buried with him).  We drove in past the newly remodeled main building and drove up to a "Receiving Vault"...that's something I've never seen before.  But it was clear that they are making changes to that.  We thought we drove up to about the right spot and got out to start wandering.  However, none of the section markers matched the all!  So, I assume they are reassigning the sections, somehow.  We tried to work out roughly where his section should be and started hunting.  From afar, the cemetery looked well kept, but as we walked, we came across toppled over head stones, others so sunken into the ground that all that was visible was the very top. 

Robinson, Robinson, where is Robinson?  There it was.  And that's all that is says, "Robinson". 

No names, no dates.  A bit of a letdown.  I did wander around a bit more, but no other Robinsons to be found.  I guess I'll have to wait to confirm.  There are plans to reset all of the stones in the future.  You can see the top of at least one headstone in this picture.  I wonder if this is just the top the stone?  Maybe they will reopen the office soon and someone can help me locate it for sure.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Hunt for Jonas Robinson

He should be easy to find.  He can't go anywhere.  He's been dead for 106 years!

Jonas Robinson was my 3rd Great Grandfather.  Jonas was the father of John Raynor Robinson. John was the father of Thomas Crossley Robinson.  Thomas was the father of Samuel Raynor Robinson.  Sam was the father of Raynor Elmer Robinson.  And Raynor is my dad.  Jonas was born in England and died in Philadelphia.  He moved his family to the US in 1868. 

So, anyway...I wanted to find his grave back at Easter time when I went to the cemeteries with my Dad.  We were going to Oakland Cemetery, which is right across the street from Greenwood.  So, I thought I'd look him up and go find his grave while we were out that way.  I searched for the cemetery and found that it was under renovations.  This is something I've never heard of, but it sounds like a great thing.  The downside is that:   a. There was no office to contact to find out where he is and b. They were not allowing visitations.  So, we made the rounds and I could see the work being done on the cemetery.  They were remodeling the main house on the property.  And I could see that the property really needed some cleaning up. 

Here's a photo of what it looked like:

Well, me and Dad are getting ready to make the rounds again.  Hopefully, this Christmas he doesn't just go do it without me.  We don't call him Quick Carl for nothing!  Based on what I read on the cemetery's website, it seems they are allowing visits, but there is still no office on the premises.  I did, however, find an email address for lookups.  I'm hopeful that they will get back to me and tell me where he is so that we can go find him. 

Maybe my next post will be a picture of his grave.  Wish me luck!

Friday, October 21, 2011

John H Dingler's Obituary

Dingler – Suddenly, on Aug. 29, 1914, JOHN H., husband of Mathilda Dingler, nee Ferguson.  Relatives and friends of the family, also police of the Tenth, Fifth and Twenty-sixth districts are invited to attend funeral services, at 2:30 P.M. Wednesday, at his late residence, 2643 Janney Street, interment at North Cedar Hill Cemetery.
John H. Dingler was my 2nd Great Grandfather.  He was the father of my Dad's Grandmother, Lettie Mae Dingler, AKA Mom Black, mother of Lettie Mae Black Robinson, my Dad's Mom.  This obituary halped me find Matilda(Tillie)'s family.  I didn't have her maiden name before I found this.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Connie, we miss you!

Well, today is the second anniversary of my Mom's passing.  I still have a hard time believing that she's gone.  But, she is.  So, I thought that it would be nice and therapeutic for me to share some pictures and memories.

So, here's a picture of my Mom as close to a baby as I have...isn't she cute?

This is her a little older, in her Kielbasa curls, as she called them.  She reminds me of my niece, Paige, here.

More Kielbasa Curls!  This was taken in 1948, I think she was in a wedding.

This is her high school graduation picture.  She graduated from Nazareth Academy in 1957 with High Honors.  This was often pointed out when my report card came home!!

This one is a favorite picture of mine.  She is getting ready for her wedding, at my Granny's house and the lovely ladies assisting her are her Mother (my Granny) and my Dad's Mom (Grandmom Robinson).  This was a little over a year after her graduation, November 1st, 1958.

My cute Daddy with my Mom after the wedding!

This one was quite a few years later!  We traveled out west.  That's my Mom holding me up and my brother, Scott standing on the wagon. 

And a few years later, here she is cracking up at Julia!  Jul had a great time smashing up her first birthday cake and my Mom truly enjoyed her grandchildren!!

This is a great one of her and my brother, Scott!!  This was taken at a Mother's Day celebration at my Sister's house!

I'm so glad to have so many pictures to share!  This is me and my Mom at my bridal shower.  We are both cracking up at my wedding cake topper!!

Here she was dancing at my wedding, you can't quite tell, but fingers pointed up was her signature move!  She really had a great time!

Granny and her grandchildren (up until that point...Emma wasn't born yet!)  This was her Birthday celebration.

Here she is with her best friend, Carol.  This was taken at my Dad's 70th Birthday Party.

This is a great one of her swinging on the swings with Ivan.  This was in Ocean City.

Another fav!  Here she's picking crabs apart with Jake.  He just wanted to play with the claws and she was OK with that ;)  This was also in Ocean City.

Emma's First Birthday!  I love this...check out Jake sneaking the icing off the cake!

This one was shot by Jake!  Another Ocean City pic!  Mom and Donna Rae.

Donna Rae, Mom and Me at my Mom and Dad's 50th anniversary party.  She was actually quite angry with us for having it.  She did not like to be the center of attention!  TOO BAD!!!

On the beach in that damned wig!  I am amazed at what she still managed to do while having those chemo treatments!  She was a hell of a roll model!

This one is my Dad's favorite picture.  It was taken at my wedding.  They both had a great time!

And here's the whole crew from our Disney Trip in 2008!  Thank you Mom and Dad!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Funeral Card Friday: Samuel Raynor Robinson, 1899-1980

Samuel Raynor Robinson,
December 29th, 1899 - October 2nd, 1980
Front of Funeral Card
Back of Funeral Card

This is the funeral card for my Grandpop Robinson.  I was 7 when he died, and didn't attend the funeral.  I remember him fondly.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Edward Aubrey Lee, Jr, 1904 - 1981

This is the Delaware Birth Record for Edward Aubrey Lee, Jr.  He is the Grandfather of my brother-in-law, Rick Lee.  I was recently adding some information to the tree from his uncle's obituary and it led me to this record on 

It has a great deal of good information on it.  Edward was born on March 30, 1904 at 1212 Dupont in Delaware.  His father was Edward Augustus Lee, who was 33 years and a Master Carpenter born in New Jersey.  His mother was Jeannette (not sure of the middle name) Wallace, who was 28 years and born in New Jersey as well.

Finding James B Robinson

James Benjamin Robinson.  I grew up calling him Uncle Pete.  He was my Dad's Paternal Uncle.  I got to thinking about him the other day, while Jake was playing his harmonica at my Dad's house.  My Dad grabbed it and played a song for them.  I thought of Uncle Pete.  He always had his harmonica.  I can picture him sitting on the couch in my parents living room at Christmas time, jamming on the harmonica (if that's possible).  He was really into it!
The mystery that I'm trying to resolve is:  Who did Uncle Pete live with after his father passed away?
I've been told for years that he was raised by Ida's sister, Mabel.  My dad and mom had told me years ago that Uncle Pete was raised by an Aunt.  Never any mention of the father having passed away.  My Dad didn't know how young the brothers were when their father passed, so he just thought they didn't have the money to keep him.  Which is likely true, except that it was due to the fact that Thomas died.

The family consisted of Ida Alice Mason, AKA Mom Kuster (she later remarried), Thomas Crossley Robinson were the parents.  They had my grandfather, Samuel Raynor Robinson in 1898 and his brother James Benjamin Robinson in 1901.  They lived in the Kensington section of Philadelphia on G Street.  Hopefully it was a better place to be back then!  Thomas passed away in 1911, the death certificate says it was from Epilepsy with mental derangement as a contributing factor, when Samuel was 14 and James was 10.  I've been told that at this point James had to live with Ida's sister, Mabel.  Ida couldn't afford to keep both children.  It is my guess that Samuel was probably working already at the age of 14, so he was contributing some income.  I can't find any evidence of the split of the brothers, however, due to the time frame.  It all falls right smack in the middle of 2 censuses.  In 1910, They all lived with Thomas' mother, Mary,  at 3439 G Street (I suspect Thomas was sick at the time).  In February of 1911, based on the Death Certificate they lived at 807 Schiller Street.  By 1920, the next census year, Ida was remarried to Henry Benhart (unsure of spelling) Kuster, AKA Ben Kuster and both children were living with them at 3546 G Street.

So, this leaves me with my mystery...did Uncle Jim live with his Aunt Mabel?  My Dad and his brother Sam both recall this, however, Aunt Grace does not.  She tends to have the best memory about all of the Robinson family stories.  So, my Dad asked me to see if I could figure out if this is true or not!  So far, I cannot come up with a way to verify this.

Uncle Jim never married.  He was sent to Denver, Colorado by General Electric or Westinghouse to do electrical work there.  As far as we know, he worked for them until he retired.  While living out west, he developed a love of the rodeo.  I am unsure whether he just liked to watch or if he participated.

I wonder where I'll find him in the 1940 census when it's released next year.  It will likely take a while to find him, since it will not be indexed right away!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mystery Monday: I know who...wish I knew where!

Helen Josephine Samsel
This is a great picture of my Granny Smyczynski, taken well before she was my granny and even before she was a Smyczynski.  Her name is written on the back, looks like her writing to me.  "Helen Samsel".  This dates it before 1932, which is when she married my grandfather.  I with I knew where it was taken, such a cool spot!  I would assume it was taken in Philadelphia, somewhere...but of that I can't be sure.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Angelo Rex, Samuel and Rex Patrick Riccardi

Angelo Rex Riccardi (1901-1953)
Samuel Riccardi (1893-1973)
Rex Patrick Riccardi (1939-2003)
Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, PA

A Rex Riccardi is my husband's maternal grandfather.
Samuel Riccardi is A Rex's older brother.
Rex Patrick is A Rex's son, my Mother-in-law's Brother.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Motivation Monday: Spring Cleaning

Talk about Spring Cleaning!  This is my Grandmom, Lettie Mae (Black) Robinson, washing her beautiful marble steps at their house on Cedar Street in Port Richmond, Philadelphia, PA!  She was a wonderful woman and I miss her.  For some reason I thought about this picture today and thought I'd share it.  Not sure if it will motivate me, but it made me smile!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I am so jealous!  My brother-in-law, Rick Lee, has this great family wheel.  It traces his family back to the 1500's in England.  His 12th great grandfather, Sir James Prescott, was a Knight in Standish, England.  He lived from about 1510 to 1583.  It's pretty well detailed, some are mising dates, but the mother's maiden names are there, it's pretty complete.  He had it copied a few months back so that I could add his family to our tree, but I just got around to really looking at it.

This is the crest that is drawn on the wheel, I found a digital version online...looks a lot like this, a little less detailed.

Sir James' Great Grandson, John Prescott (who was a founder of New England) of Massachusetts had "one son was Jonas P (b 1648) whose son was Benj P who was the father of Col. Wm Prescott (b Feb 20 1726 - d 1795) who commanded at the battle of Bunker Hill in the American Revolution of 1776   Wm H Prescott  His Historian was his grandson"

And so, even though it's not my direct family, I will share some other information that I have found in future posts.  It's fascinating!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fearless Females: Day 8: Diary or Journal

Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt.

I don't have a diary, but I do have scrapbooks from both of my grandmothers.  They just collected some special newspaper clippings and things like that.  My Granny Smyczynski had a lot of cards and cute little notes from Grandpop.  Also some clippings from my mom's school papers and her brother, Lenny's military and work achievements.  Then later stuff from and about my siblings and I.  Grandmom Robinson had a lot of girl scout items, some work papers and military papers for my Grandfather and my Uncles.

This is from Granny's Book:

This is a clipping from the newsletter for my mother's high school, Nazareth Academy.  They were very proud of her achievements.

This is from Grandmom Robinson's Book:
This is a War Service Certificate for my Grandfather, Samuel Raynor Robinson.  He served in WWI, from 1917 - 1919 in the Navy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fearless Females: Day 7: The Best Potato Salad you've ever had!

Share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.

This is a tough one to share, but I'll do it.  My mother made, by far, THE BEST Potato Salad...EVER!  My mother taught me how to make it.  There are no precise measurements.  There is a lot of "feeling" and taste to it.  But it's worth the work!  It was originally my Grandmom Robinson's recipe and my Mom learned how to make it from her. 

5 lbs Red Potatoes (try to get them all about the same size)
A dozen eggs
1 onion
3-4 Stalks of celery
a little more than half a jar of regular Hellmans Mayonaise
Salt and Pepper to taste.
a little Milk (can use 2%)
  1. Boil the potatoes until a fork easily pierces them, but doesn't break them apart.  Usually at least 20 minutes.  Remove them from the pot one at a time as they are done.
  2. Hard boil the eggs.
  3. Peel the potatoes and cut them into slightly larger then bite size pieces about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Use an egg slicer in 2 directions on 10 of the eggs, select 2 pretty ones to set aside.
  5. Add half a jar of mayo and a little milk.
  6. Chop the onion and celery (I use the cuisinart like my mom did, she didn't like large pieces in there).  Add them to the pot.
  7. Mix gently, trying to keep the mixing to a minumum so that the potatoes don't mash.
  8. Add salt and pepper.  I usually do a couple palm fulls of salt and 1ish of pepper.
  9. Add extra mayo if needed, or just milk if it seems too thick.
  10. If you make it the day before, which I recommend, since it takes a couple hours to complete, you can add a little mayo and milk to loosen it up when you are ready to serve.
  11. Sprinkle it with paprika, slice the remained eggs with the slicer and lay them decoratively on top!
  12. YUM!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fearless Females: Day 6: Heirloom, Granny's Ring

Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor (wedding ring or other jewelry, china, clothing, etc.) If you don’t have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother, or aunt (a scarf, a hat, cooking utensil, furniture, etc.)

I have inherited many beautiful things from my mother.  When she and my father moved, right after I got married, she passed along quite a few pieces of her furniture.  I have her very old china cabinet and buffet in my dining room.  I believe she acquired them when they had their vacation home in Ventnor, NJ.  I also have a lovely set of Amber Patrician Depression glass that she collected over the years.  I have enough to serve about 20 people!

However, when I first read this prompt, I immediately thought of my Granny's beautiful sapphire and diamond ring that my mother gave to me on my wedding day.  I knew that it was going to be mine.  My sister got Granny's engagement ring on her wedding day and my mom told me I would get the anniversary ring.  I absolutely love it.  I was 30 when I was married and I remember having asked her, years before, "What if I never get married, then when do I get the ring?"  It's a good thing Chris wanted to marry me, because the answer was that I wouldn't get it! 

The photo doesn't do it justice, but that's it.  My grandfather, Zigmunt, gave it to my Granny, Helen, on their first anniversary.  I get the impression that he was a very sweet and sentimental man.  My Mother had a framed hanky in her bedroom that on which he had written a cute poem for my Granny.  Plus, I've come across many other sweet little notes and cards from him.  So, this ring was purchased in about 1933.  I really need to take it to the jewelers to have the shank strengthened, it's very thin. So, I don't wear it a whole lot, just on special occasions.  But, I absolutely adore it!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fearless Females: Day 5: Meeting

How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?

Raynor Elmer Robinson meets Constance Helena Smyczynska

I will never forget a conversation that I had with my father shortly after my mother passed away.  We were going through old photo albums as I was putting together a slideshow to play at the viewing.  He and my mother met in the mid 50s.  He said he walked into my grandparents (mom's parents) candy store. There was a girl playing pinball.  She was pretty and she could play pinball better than most guys.  He said "She was the girl for me."  That girl was my mother.

Raynor Robinson and Constance Smyczynski

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fearless Females: Day 4: Marriage

Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

For the marriage installment, I'll be featuring my Great Grandmother, Antonina Nowak Smyczynski, 1878 - 1965.  In the pictures that I've seen of her, she seems like a happy woman.  My dad would have known her, I'll have to ask him about her. 
This is the Marriage Certificate of Peter (Piotr) Smyczynski and Anna (Antonina or Antoinette) Nowak.  These were my mother's grandparents on her father's side.  They were married in Philadelphia, PA on August 4th, 1895.  She had only been in this country for 5 years when she married Peter.  They went on to have 6 children, one of whom was my grandfather, Zigmunt, or James, or Sigmund, or Sonny Boy.  These people went by many names.  I had always been under the impression that my Polish family would be easy to research, since their names were pretty unique as compared to the Robinsons.  Boy was I wrong, their names got butchered over and over.  In the end, the Smyczynskis used the name Smith to fit in and get work.  I am lucky that my Mom had saved a lot of this stuff.  The original is falling apart, since it's been folded for about 115 years.

Anna and Peter's Wedding Picture, 1895

Peter and Anna in 1932 with my Grandfather, James (or Sigmund or Zigmunt).

Anna, circa 1958, at my Mom's bridal shower.
She is about 80 years old here.

Anna, circa 1959, at my Mom's baby shower.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fearless Females: Day 3: What's in a name?

Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

I was not named for any of my ancestors.  I was named after Rebecca in Vanity Fair.  Yes, Becky Sharp, the slightly evil one!  My mom was reading it while she was pregnant and just decided she liked it.  My siblings didn't make fun of it, so it worked.  Her first pick was Priscilla, but my brother began referring to me as Prissy.  Then she liked Melissa, but he morphed Prissy into Pissy Missy, so Rebecca it was!  The worst that I ever got from my brother was Reba Reba, ondole...and I was OK with that!  So that's the story with my name.

As far as interesting female names, there are a few.  Our family has a little tradition of female naming.  It's the Maes and Raes.  My sister is Donna Rae, that is her first name, Rae is not her middle name.  My nieces are Samantha Rae and Julia Mae.  My grandmother was Lettie Mae as was her mother.  One of my favorite names is Julianna, she was my Mom's grandmom.  And on my husband's side there are some beautiful Italian names, like Splendora, Angelina, Maria Christina and Michelina.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fearless Females: Day 2: Photo

This is "Mom Kuster" along with my Aunt Norma and Uncle Sam.  Her name was Ida Alice Mason Robinson Kuster.  She was my Great Grandmother.  My Father's Father's Mother.  This was taken at the house that my Grandfather, Samuel Raynor Robinson built in Fox Chase. She is one of my favorites!  PS - The names were written on by my late Mommy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fearless Females: Day 1: Favorite Female Ancestor

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor?

I think it's safe to say that I have several favorites.  But, for today, I'll mention the one I've been researching this week.  (She's actually my husband's ancestor.) 

Angelina Marrone Parlante was my hubby's Great Grandmother.  She was his Mom's Mom's Mom!  I am actually working on a mini-bio for her already. 
From what I've been told, she was a lovely woman.  Here are a few quick facts:
  • She was the daughter of Italian immigrant parents. 
  • She lived in South Philadelphia. 
  • She was the oldest of 7 siblings. 
  • She married Rocco Parlante, who was born in Italy. 
  • They had six children. 
  • She lived from about 1888 until July 27th, 1961
For more on Angie, look for her bio later this month!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Can't you smell that smell?

Sounds - Describe any sounds that take you back to your childhood.  These could be familiar songs, jingles, children playing, or something entirely different.

I tend to be a pretty music oriented person, so I'm going to go with a song (or a couple).  As I was deciding what to write about, I got to thinking about my childhood.  I am the youngest of 4 children.  My closest sibling, Scott, is 7 years older.  Then, my sister, Donna Rae, is 13 years older and my other brother, no, not Darrell, Raynor, is 14 years older.  I grew up in a couple hundred year old farmhouse in Trevose, PA and my siblings all took their turn living on the third floor (the converted attic).  While, I, AKA Pretty Pretty Princess, lived in the one real bedroom, other than my parents.  When it was my turn to get the attic room, Pretty Pretty Princess got an air conditioner installed!

Anywho, what popped into my mind was the sound of my brother Raynor's stereo coming down the 3rd floor stairs...specifically, Lynyrd Skynyrd!  I have a love of classic rock, that stems from hearing all 3 of my siblings' music.  But, I can clearly hear That Smell, in my mind, playing!  I was under the age of 12.  He then married, so I know it was before then. 

This then made me recall another fond memory of a Lynyrd Skynyrd song, Gimme Three Steps.  I am pretty sure that is my brother, Scott's favorite song.  This memory is from when I was a bit older, but still, everytime I hear that song I think of him singing it karaoke or even dancing when we were both out at the bars together. 

I thank all three of them for leaving their vinyl home when they left.  I added it to my collection, part of which is decorating our music room and bar!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Follow Friday: Have You Seen My Roots?

Have You Seen My Roots? is my favorite blog!  (Besides my own, of course!)  The author, Cherie, and I attended College together at Millersville University and knew each other through a mutual friend.  I always enjoyed her company.  That was quite a few years ago, I won't mention how many.  Cherie and I have reconnected, thanks to fabulous Facebook.  She is the reason that I started my blog recently.

I had seen her great posts, like this one, Wordless Wednesday - Hellooooooooooo Nurse!, and they are always great!  So, I would chat with her about her posts and she encouraged me to start my blog when she saw some of my family discoveries that I had posted on Facebook.  So, thank you to Cherie!

Now go read her blog!  It's fun and informative!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Piotr and Antonina Smyczynski

Piotr Smyczynski 1872 - 1948 (AKA Peter Smith)
Antonina Smyczynski 1878 - 1965 (nee Nowak, AKA Anna, Antoinette)

This is the grave for my Great Grandparents, Peter and Anna.  They were both from Poland.  They were my Mom's Paternal Grandparents.  I first saw this tombstone last year.  My Dad, Emma and I went on a little tour of all the graves that he and my Mom would hit on their Christmas and Easter rounds.  He wanted to make sure that one of us knew where everyone was to continue the tradition.  It was very important to my Mother that each grave be visitied and have a grave blanket for Christmas and some flowers for Easter and Mother's Day.

This was our first stop.  This is Holy Redeemer Cemetery in the Bridesburg section of Philly.  It's a very cool cemetery, if you are into that sort of thing.  It has a big fancy entrance and it spans several city blocks, but the streeets continue through it.  So to get to this grave, we drove into the entrance off of Richmond Street, then through a portion on the cemetery and then crossed a street, drove through another section of cemetery and then crossed a street.  I think it's pretty neat.  We went there first because it is right near the Betsy Ross Bridge, quickest for me to get to!  My Dad had to remember how he could tell where the grave was and told me that years ago my Mom couldn't remember where it was.  Her parents took her when she was young, but she couldn't place the plot.  She found out that she had a cousin that worked for an affiliated cemetery and she looked it up for her.  Peter and Anna have been on the rounds ever since.  Peter died in 1948, my Mom sort of remembered him.  Anna passed away in 1965, so she knew my 2 eldest siblings.  I've seen her in pictures, she looked like a happy gal!

Speaking of Happy Gals, here's a pic of Emma enjoying a ride down the boulevard on our tour:
I now have all of the usual stops saved in my GPS, I think I had better write down the coordinates in case said GPS dies on me!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Rueblinger Letter

My husband and his family had told me about this letter that they had received years back, but I had forgotten about it until recently.  Well, Chris was able to dig it up today when I asked him and here it is.  It's a shame no one replied to him, however, I plan to respond and see if we can work some connection out.
Now, just because it might be hard to read, I transcribed it(note that I transcribed it as-is, no grammar corrections):
Dear Mr. Rueblinger,
My name is Rueblinger too, and this also the reason why I am writing.  I obtained your address from an American name register.  Altogether there are 15 to 18 American families carrying this name.  In Germany there are 18 holders of this name, mainly resident in Rhineland – Palatinate.
After World War II, I found, after thorough research, the name Rueblinger twice in Southern Germany:  There is a town called Rublingen in Baden – Wurttemberg (ca. 5,000 to 6,000 inhabitants), and near Heidenheim – Gerstetten there is a Rublinger Farm, consisting of two farms that run the Rueblingen area.
Our name Rueblinger originates traceably as a proper name from an Allamanic (West-Germanic) group of people.  This group established itself, during the European Migration of Nations, mainly in Southern Germany by breaking through the Roman fortification mound Limes and settling south of this line down to the Alpes area.
The name Rueblinger consists of two parts:  First of the Allamanic proper name Ribol or Riebell, and, second, of the clan marking –inga =Ribolinga, in the spoken language Rueblinger.  The above mentioned names of towns are pronounced Rueblinger/Rueblinga.
I know from family deliveries that members of my family emigrated during the time after the plague and also after the Thirty Years’ War (around 1648), because a lot of misery had been caused by these influences, plundering and seizures of estates.  However, I have not been able to find closer details through deeds or written documents, because church books had been lost through the disorders of war, fires, or wrong storage.
I would be interested in what you know about your family from family deliveries.  Maybe we could find out early common family history.  Everything will, of course, be treated confidentially.
I would be very pleased to hear from you and I am also willing to provide further information.
Hermann Rueblinger
I assume by family deliveries he means births, but I could be wrong.  I am unsure when Chris received this letter, but I would say more than 10 years ago, since it was before we met!  Hopefully, I can find Hermann's current address.  We'll see how I make out!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Photo Correction Skills

So, today I am working on my photo correction skills.  I have so many old photos, I can't continue to ask my friend to correct them all for me!  So here it goes.  I just downloaded a free photo editing program, called gimp.  It's produced by a company called GNU.  In my previous life as a software engineer, my workplace used several products from this company. 

My Dad (Raynor E Robinson)
at my Mom's Bridal Shower in 1958 (isn't he cute?)

First, I must select a photo.  This one just needs a little bit of help.  There's a little bit of a crease on the trim of the doorway behind him.  I also see a mark of some sort near his left eye.  It also looks a bit washed out, but I'm not sure if I will be able to fix that, I've never been terribly good at that!  I guess we shall see!

Dad's Picture, corrected.

Well, here it is.  I think it looks better.  A very subtle change, but it's a start.  At least I didn't mangle it!  When I zoomed in really closely, I saw a, for lack of a better word, bubble in his hair that I removed.  I think I'm happy with this, I have some really old ones that need much more help! (Baby Steps)