I Remember Mama

mamaThis is the title of a movie that inspired a popular spin-off TV show back in the day and I’m missing my mom tonight. What else can I say? Happens from time to time or maybe happens in an under-current sort of way always.

Truth is, in Mom’s and my antiquated 1950’s-speak, we  didn’t always hit it off. “Seeing eye to eye” was a challenge. During that decade, Mom was busy cleaning or cooking. She poured oatmeal into a clunky, iron saucepan from a cylindrical box with a Quaker image plastered on its side, then added water, weird. And lumpy. Who does that now? Actually, my sister and oldest daughter do, so I must be missing something? Oh well, to be sure, my mom took excellent care of my younger sister who was seriously ill at birth and tended to my older brother who was a handful. She also sewed our clothes except for underwear she ordered from the Montgomery Wards catalog. Boo-hoo for ignored, poor little (spoiled) me, right? Then, in a wink of her eye, I developed into a snarly teen-ager with prickly quills I’ve still not managed to totally retract. My bad.

Skipping several decades ahead to when I became a grandmother and Mom moved into the status of truly great, if not venerated, I initiated an adoption search for Maurine Virginia Sharpe’s biological parents, with Maurine Crandall’s permission. At first, she didn’t think infant Maurinemuch of the alternative birth name we found her, “Barbara Mendenhall,” and was leery about accepting strangers as family. AWKward, as my daughters, her grands, said at the time but over the years, I’ve grown to treasure Mom’s birth relatives, all pieces of her DNA walking around au naturel, so to speak. Surely these family connections would have taken on greater significance for Mom had they entered at an earlier stage in her life.

To backtrack, Mom’s biological parents eventually got married and my maternal grandparents produced four more off-spring before they divorced. Theirs was an ill-fated union from the start. Mom was born miles distant in a state far-enough away to keep a secret while her father graduated high school but my grandmother never finished. Sigh, those were not the good old days but thankfully an adoptive set of parents scooped up my mom as an infant into their loving arms and she thrived. In her own high school class, Mom was Valedictorian. college boundFrom there, she glided along into a small, Midwestern liberal arts college where her awards were multitude ranging from Homecoming Queen to Phi Beta Kappa scholar. Before senior year, she married my dad, a stellar debater with a list of sterling accomplishments worthy of competing with hers but, no worries. The two were bound at the hip, played on the same team, and were always very much in love. Now sharing the Crandall moniker, they earned public notoriety for being published side by side in a volume of Who’s Who in American Colleges. A year after their graduations, my brother was born in the month of June. With World War II underway, Dad was already stationed in the South Pacific although he returned to the States on furlough to visit his father before he unfortunately died. Dad’s leave from the US Navy ended too soon but not before he had a first-time glimpse of his son and a family member snapped this photo.3 in fam

Long story short, I was a Post War boomer, born in 1947 and my sister Margaret Clare, in 1948. My mom never had the pleasure of knowing her younger sister’s daughter Kate (see card) who is loads of fun and has a terrific sense of humor. shopped cardI found Kate several years after completing the birth family adoption search for Mom. I, for one, embrace my tribe, including Kate’s and my shared first cousin once removed who lives in NOLA. Her name is Mina Lea Simske Crais. What’s not to like about a retired Tulane University librarian in her mid 90’s heralding from Wisconsin who once owned a music shop on Bourbon Street with her husband? He was a trumpet player hobbyist and an attorney by trade, interesting folk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I hope to visit Mina this winter, my fourth trip to her part of the world. Each time we meet, Mina passes onto me another box of files. Sweet surprise of surprises, Ruth Mendenhall Huebner Kornitz, my biological maternal grandmother, was a genealogist and a prolific one at that! While on the topic of  laurels, please permit me to add that two more of her  children earned recognition as valedictorians of their respective high school classes just like their sib Barbara. Not too shabby but moving on…

So what if my parents raised us their own three childrendownload to grow up with less renown and no acclaim. We’ve all done our thing which is okay and the world hasn’t stopped. The fact my name Laurine Virginia, once a matchy-match to Mom’s Maurine Virginia doesn’t rhyme with Barbara is  symbolic of our incongruity and maybe a healthy sign of our individualism. After all, the name Barbara stands alone, like the cheese in a Farmer in the Dell. Oh dear, and Mom’s family hails from Wisconsin, land of cheese…

movieYikes, suffice to say, life used to be easier and less complicated. Today, mothers and their teen-aged daughters have a tough row to hoe as portrayed in the current movie Lady Bird. Still, I recognize threads in the fierce, emotional exchanges on  screen between daughter and mom and can identify. Whew! Although hardly like scenes depicted in episodes of I Remember Mama, just maybe mine were the good ole days. Or maybe that’s looking back in nostalgia with love…love for all of us and all our former, future, might-have-happened selves?

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Today is AJ’s B’day!

Early this fall, I posted a partial family tree on Wiki hoping to attract interest leading to clues for finding both Capt. John and Phebe Freeman Crandall’s parents. Today via email, I received the notice copied below. What a jolt when I got to the birthday blurb at the bottom! Do I really need a personal reminder to acknowledge the birthday of a long-departed family member? Especially one I’ve never known when even relatives I know and have known haven’t had the pleasure of knowing her? Cree-eepy!

Maybe what’s more to the point but especially weird and bothersome is that I’ve lately been thinking/writing a lot about this particular Great-Grand Aunt Ann Jennet about whom Wiki sent notification. Please let me say now, in the event she is somehow tuned in and listening, no two people including me are capable of spelling her name the same way twice, let alone correctly. Trust me and I apologize for this but moving on…

Last night upon Ann Jeanette’s birthday eve, my recently discovered first cousin once removed on my dad’s side named Frank, emailed me two introductory pages attached to Ann Janett’s mother’s will which I’d never seen before. Thank you, Frank! I deciphered the tiny script this morning but decided to save the task of writing out a proper transcription for another day because I’m lazy (!) and because I need to dig through my files for the rest of the story, i.e., the third page of the will itemizing a short but tenderly rendered list of valuables. On this page, my 3rd great grandmother cites the names of her children including that of Ann Jenet. OK, organizing information is what efficient family historians do, right? Not happening on my end. I have too many emails to write.

Frank and I also exchanged messages last night about Annejeanette Crandall, as she is listed in a Federal Census, age 12. This A.J., however, is the daughter of Patrick Crandall and grew up to marry William McCord. Not our family? I would have thought so had I not been matched with a cousin through Ancestry’s DNA site who is her descendant. Wow, someone with whom I share DNA also has a grand aunt named A.J. (spelled differently) Crandall? Were these two individuals separately named in honor of a same shared ancestor? Or, are their similar names just a coincidence? No matter, if my DNA-cousin match descends from ancestral Crandalls whom I don’t recognize, we might still share one mutual grand who resides further up the tree whom we just haven’t found yet.

Back to today being the birthday of my grand aunt two generations removed who isn’t out of sight nor out of mind with or without Wiki intervention. After emailing Frank late yesterday, I also sent a note off to my DNA-cousin match referencing our two family trees where we each have a John Crandall through the grandparents of our AJ’s. Although his ancestor is native to England and mine to Rhode Island, perhaps we may one day agree on someone who came before from a mutually acceptable middle ground. Perhaps Massachusetts or better yet, an exotic island in route to the New World from the Old? Of course, verifying this ancestor we could share might require extraordinary effort.

Presto, miracle of miracles! This morning, I receive a reply from my DNA-match cousin saying he is contacting and enlisting relatives in Iowa. With my match’s fleet of Iowan connections as well as with the assistance of my two known first cousins once removed, along with my nephew James, and several other family tree members who have promised to test their DNA and post on Ancestry in 2018, we might make some headway. Yay! Do I see the helping hand of an expert possessing supernatural powers at work? Hmmm, perhaps Ann Jeanette enters on cue waving her fairy godmother birthday baton?

All I can say for sure is, watch out for birthdays of the long departed. I’ve decided to consult my new family anniversaries calendar so I know whom, if not what, to expect next. I’m either naively hopeful or crazy. You choose.

———- Original Message ———-

From: WikiTree <info@wikitree.com>
To: LCC
Date: January 3, 2018 at 12:52 PM
Subject: WikiTree Family News

WikiTree News

  New This Week

Birthdays

4 Jan 1823: Ann Jannette Crandal [share tree on facebook]

See your family anniversaries calendar for more.

To unsubscribe from these updates, change your e-mail settings. To reduce the volume, trim your Watchlist. If a family member added you, you may wish to contact them for help.

To close your account, e-mail us at info@wikitree.com with “Please Close Account Crandall-1789” in the subject line.

For more help, see our help pages or ask a question in our community’s friendly Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum.

First DNA Cousin-Match

I’ve been gathering information about my single DNA cousin-match to date. I gotta get to know and love him since he’s my one and only! CuriouslyGeorge doesn’t descend from any of my heretofore identifiable ancestors. In other words, I cannot attach him to the family tree my brother, first cousin once-removed, and great-aunt painstakingly researched and recorded. An ancestor named John belonging to CuriouslyGeorge now hangs precariously above a branch on my tree where Capt. John is located, my eldest proven paternal Crandall ancestor.

Our Capt. John Crandall is reportedly born in Massachusetts in 1778. My match’s Patrick Crandall’s father John is said to be born in 1763 in England. Since I descend from Phebe and Capt. John Crandall, my Capt. John is possibly a cousin of Patrick’s father John. Through a little research of my own, I see his Ann Jeanette Crandall connects to Patrick and joins the McCord family. Although her name resembles names of my distant aunt and their daughters, she isn’t one of them. After studying my match’s line, Capt. John’s parents remain a mystery although I suppose England could be my ancestral grandfather’s land of birth. This idea makes me think Capt. John Crandall doesn’t descend from the John/Jonathan Crandall born in 1732 to Col. John and Mary/Esther Crandall of Rhode Island, a theory I hope DNA will validate, dern.

Attempting to attach CuriouslyGeorge to Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island’s line, I decide for an upper New York State minute that Patrick’s grandparents might be Joshua and Abigail Crandall, Joshua being a son of Elder John’s son Rev. Joseph Crandall. Alas, his dates don’t compute. Or, at least, they don’t yet, so back to the drawing board….

In case you haven’t guessed, CuriouslyGeorge is the code name my cousin-match selected for himself. He doesn’t descend from my great grandfather Frank Richmond Crandall’s family which is the one I grew up hearing stories about and/or sharing homemade, hand-cranked ice cream with. As a child, I listened to lots of stories on the Fourth of July, waiting for ice cream to set before adding Michigan peaches although truthfully, I preferred my peaches kept separate. Mmmm, juicy, sweet memories.

In 2018, additional Crandall family members from my line will post their DNA test results on Ancestry. That’s the plan. Very likely, another descendant of Frank Richmond Crandall will connect to future Crandall “monkeys” on the tree inclusive of and in addition to CuriouslyGeorge. Let’s hope!

Below is the paper trail for my only “stranger” DNA cousin match. Please note the first two generations of direct ancestors on the right side of the chart are unverified. We can prove Capt. John is who he is, but not his parents or grandparents. On the left side, Patrick and his father John Crandall are verified. The first generational John Crandall who is a 5th Great Grandfather for all of us is only a name and unproven. We need to get this gentleman some teeth!

5th Great Grandfather John Crandall    shared     just a name with no verification

4th Great Grand Uncle John Crandall                    4th Great GFather John Crandall ?

1st cousin 5 X removed Patrick Crandall               3rd Great GF (Capt) John Crandall

2nd cousin 4x removed no name CRANDALL       2nd Great GFather D.F. Crandall

3rd cousin 3x removed Ann Jeanette Crandall     Great GF Frank Richmond Crandall

4th cousin 2x removed William McCord                GFather Merle Simmons Crandall

5th cousin 1x removed Cecil Murl McCord            Father Louis Merle Crandall

6th cousin Gloria McCord                                          Self/LCC

6th cousin 1x removed CuriouslyGeorge

I found the following McCord genealogy to be easily accessible on Ancestry and a group I’m happy to be a part of if in the cards!

John Crandall

Born in England on 1763. John married Elizabeth. John married Magdalene Wood and had 11 children. He passed away on 1850 in Appanose, Iowa, USA.

Parents Unavailable

Spouse(s) 1. Elizabeth 2. Magdalene Wood

Children

Phebe Crandall 1794-Unknown

Catherine Wood Crandall 1796-Unknown

Simeon Crandall 1788-1872

Thomas Crandall 1803-1852

Jacob James Crandall 1800-1907

John Crandall 1802-1853

Benjamin Crandall 1806-1871

Daniel Crandall 1808-1883

Patrick Crandall 1810-1894

Hannah Crandall 1814-Unknown

Margaret Crandall 1816-1856

 

Patrick Crandall

Born in New Platz, Ulster, New York, USA on 1810 to John Crandall and Magdalene Wood. Patrick married Delilah Smith and had 4 children. He passed away on 1894 in Iowa, USA.

Delilah Smith
1811-1902

Children

Albert Crandall
1834-1902

Ozonder Crandall
1837-1908

Marriett Crandall
1846-1878

Annejeanette Crandall
1844-1930

 

Name:

Ann J Crandall
Gender: Female
Birth Date: Apr 1845
Birth Place: Buena Vista County, Iowa
2nd Marriage Date: 6 Jan 1861
Death Date: Jan 1930
Burial Place: near Dunlap, Harrison, Iowa
Spouse: Mr Handbury
Spouse: William McCord
Father: Pat Crandall

 

Name: Ann J Crandall
Age: 12
Birth Year: abt 1844
Birth Place: Iowa
Residence Date: 1856
Residence Place: Gallands Grove, Shelby, Iowa, USA
Gender: Female
Household Members:  
Name Age
Patrick Crandall 45
Delilah Crandall 44
Ann J Crandall 12
Maryette Crandall 9
Magdelena Crandall 88

 

Wending through Westerly

Spooky Saga  (click the title Spooky Saga to see slide show)

Spooky Saga is a short photographic essay. Think Andrew Wyeth and Christina’s World in Cushing near Rockland, Maine.  Although my photos are of Westerly, Rhode Island, similarities abound beyond the physical challenges of both my dad’s distant Crandall relation and my husband’s mother’s neighbor Christina Olson. The raw beauty of both properties (my photos don’t do justice, over-focus on things), the salt air and remoteness plus eery loneliness linger at both sites.

See more by venturing onto youtube.  According to instructions provided in The Crandall Corner, the Crandall Family Association’s newsletter Volume 27, Issue 3, October, 2014, (at the top of the page), type in vewee99 which will bring up a list (with photo and description): Click on the one for EldJohnCrandall.

Thank you to David Crandall, Jr. CFA #079, of Rhode Island who put together this video that does do justice to breath-taking scenery!

Questing “a Cranny”

I purchased online, Elder John Crandall of RI and His Descendants, over ten years ago for my brother as a gift.  Recently from Denise, who is someone I hope to one day count as a Crandall cousin, I learned the book has more than doubled in price.  Fortunately, Denise is able to work from a digitized version of this manuscript obtained from one of her own “new” Crandall cousins.  I, too, am lucky because frustrated with failed attempts to attach our family’s John to Elder John, my brother returned my/his gift (to me!)

You might recall from a previous post that I seek clues as to the origin of my gggg-grandfather who was named John. I’ve managed to locate 4 possible “crannies” in Elder John’s family tree where my John Crandall who married Elisabeth Pratt in 1772 might fit but I need verification.  Perhaps you can be of assistance.

First, on page 10, I find #18 Col. John Crandall who married Mary (Crandall).  They had a son Jonathan born in 1732. H-mmm, a Jonathan Crandall is listed in Dighton’s 1790 census. My gggg-grandmother Elizabeth Pratt was christened there in 1737.  Also in Dighton, she married a John Crandall in 1772.  Both events were duly recorded in town record.  Might Jonathan son of #18 Col. John be my John who married Elisabeth? Is he also Jonathan Crandall of the 1790 Dighton census?  Might they all be one in the same person?  If so, we have a match!

Preferring to always maintain a backup, I read on to page 27 and encounter #87 John Crandall, son of Samuel and Mary Wilbur, born in 1713 and married to Millicent Chase before 1737. Although Samuel was John and Millicent’s only recorded child and was born in 1735, the author notes there were “probably others.”  Perhaps this cranny is a more secure “fit” for my John?

If not, flipping back to page 23, I find a third possibility.  Listed below #63 John Crandall who is John of Hopkinton RI born in 1705, I discover the following children were born:

1. #198 Eber, 1731

2. #199 Nathan, 1732

3. John

4. Annie who married in 1772 (same year as my John and Elisabeth Pratt).

5. #200 Asahel

6. #201 Samuel

Focusing upon John, the third child, I wonder if perhaps he is my gggg-grandfather who may have relocated to Dighton by 1772 to be with Elisabeth Pratt who was living in her hometown.  Maybe they married and enjoyed a brief season of domestic bliss before John entered military service.  Why is this?  Consulting a different source, I find on page 77 of Soldiers and Sailors, both John Crandel and John Crandol from Dighton served in the War of the Revolution.  If by chance one of these patriots were my gggg-grandfather and if he prematurely died before his father or for some other reason went unmentioned in his father’s will of 1793/5, more is the pity.  Not only did he, Nathan, Annie, and the two youngest sons belonging to #63 John Crandall apparently miss out on a bit of inheritance, I, in turn, missed out on learning more about my gggg-grandfather.  Drat!

The final opportunity I have to cling to Elder John’s tree is Samuel Crandall’s son #136 John on page 17 and page 37. Here I read that #136 John Crandall might have married “Betty/Betsey Fields?”  Since the author indicates in his choice of punctuation his own lack of certainty regarding the spouse’s name, perhaps #136 John Crandall married, in truth, Elisabeth Pratt!

I can only hope to prove one of these facts or situations outlined above.  I will deeply appreciate any and all assistance from any and every one who has a clue as to the origin of my gggg-grandfather whose son, incidentally, John Crandall in 1801 married Phebe Freeman.  And guess where this couple, my ggg-grandparents, were married?  In Dighton, Bristol County, Massachusetts?  Bingo!