Friday, August 31, 2018

Blanche at the Botanic Garden

Photo by K.D. Jones. Blanche O'Brien Jones, 1956.
I am going through a set of slides taken by my grandfather in the mid 1950s. Above is my grandmother, Blanche Allene O'Brien Jones, at the National Botanic Garden in Washington DC. The photo was taken during a family visit there in 1956. The photo below is my great-grandfather Edgar Jones and Blanche at the Botanic Garden.
Photo by K.D. Jones. Edgar and Blanche. 1956.

The End of Summer

Photo by K.D. Jones, Thailand, 1969.
Somehow the days have gotten past me and we have arrived at the 31st of August. Yes, it is still scorching hot on the East Coast and we likely have another month & half of warm weather before cool fronts become a regular occurrence. Yes, the autumn solstice is 22 September. Also, the Tuesday after Labor Day marks a traditional end of summer. There is also the end of calendar summer, which would be today. Tomorrow begins a new month, September.

It will continue to feel like summer on the East Coast for a while. But change of pace is coming.

I had intended to keep up July's blistering pace of posts into August, but clearly that did not happen. I do have several new items to go through. I also have a new slide scanner arriving today, so that I can convert old slides at home rather than pay a photo service too much money to do it for me. My Mom had another 50+ slides taken by my Gumpy in the mid 1950s, around 40 or so taken by my Dad in the late 1960s-mid 1970s. I'm looking forward to getting these converted and saved.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Scenes from Bangkok

Photo by K.D. Jones. Pedicab in Bangkok, 1969.
Photo by K.D. Jones. Monks in Bangkok, 1969.
The photos above are from the set of slides I had converted to jpg that were taken by my Dad while he was stationed in Thailand in 1969. I will have more to share.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Dad at Udorn

K.D. Jones, Thailand, 1969.
This is part of a larger set of 126 slides I had converted into jpg. These belonged to my Dad and were taken in 1969 while he was stationed at Udorn Royal Thai Air Base during the Vietnam War.
K.D. Jones, 1969.
K.D. Jones, 1969.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Recovering history

Photo by K.D. Jones, Bangkok, 1969.
Last month I dropped off three boxes of slides taken by my Dad while he was stationed in Thailand in 1969 to be converted from 126 into jpg format. Today I received the completed conversion set from the photo service so it is the first time I have seen what was on these slides. Many of these places I saw in my April 2016 visit to Thailand. It is a bit funny to see how we captured some of the same places, decades apart. I've looked at this comparison before, through photos not slides.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Bangkok, 22 April 2016.
I will have much more to share on the blog.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

View from the Galaxy game

Last week while I was in LA, I had the chance to see the LA Galaxy play the Colorado Rapids at the StubHub Center. I had pretty great seats along the sideline opposite the team benches. LA tied 2-2 but it was still pretty fun.
Photo by Patrick Jones. StubHub Center, 14 Aug 2018.
Photo by Patrick Jones. After LA's 2nd goal.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Pre-game shot of the stadium.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Turning trash into art

Photo by Patrick Jones. Art by Bordalo II, Long Beach Museum of Art. 16 Aug 2018.

On Thursday afternoon, I had an opportunity to visit the Long Beach Museum of Art to see the Vitality & Verve III exhibition. The work above is by Portuguese artist Bordalo II, who uses plastic trash, turning the items into art.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Seal by Bordalo II. 16 Aug 2018.
I have other photos to bring to the blog. I had planned on sharing a bit more photos while I was on the road last week in LA, but that didn't happen. Before I left for this trip, I received a huge set of material from the Cranbrook Library and Archives in Kent, England, so I will have that information to go through for the Oyler side of the family.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Remembering Dad

Arlington National Cemetery.
This would have been our Dad's birthday. He was taken by cancer almost two years ago. It is nice to see he now has a formal niche cover at Arlington National Cemetery.

In support of her brother

Yesterday's post dug into the Civil War pension application for John N. Newman. Newman claimed that he had a disability from his time as a prisoner of war in 1863-1864. The 1880 US Census entry supports his disability, he marked "sore eyes" in the Health column on the census. Yet he continued to work as a brick mason providing for his family.
Source: Ancestry. 1880 US Census, Jefferson County, Tennessee.
John's sister Mary A. Newman provided an affidavit in support of her brother's condition and character. The document is dated 3 July 1895, and at the time she was 54 years old.
Deposition of Mary Newman. US National Archives.
Signature of Mary Newman.
Mary is interesting for another reason. A few weeks ago, I saw a tree on Ancestry that had Mary listed as a wife of John A. Thornhill. As far as I know, Thornhill never married. This tree showed that Mary had a son, Arthur A. Newman. I wrote to the owner of this tree to ask about the connection and what she knew about Mary Newman.

Mary Ann Cynthia Newman

According to her death certificate, Mary Ann Cynthia Newman was born on 15 January 1842 in Jefferson County, Tennessee. She passed away on 1 January 1925. Her parents were Blair Newman and Margaret Caldwell. Blair Newman was a constable in Jefferson County. In the 1850 US Census, she was living in the house of her parents, with her siblings, including brothers John N. and Henry.
Source: Ancestry. 1850 US Census, Jefferson County, Tennessee.
By 1860, she was still living with her parents and siblings, and she was 18 at the time.
Source: Ancestry. 1860 US Census, Jefferson County, Tennessee.
In response to my query about Mary Ann Newman, the owner of the tree replied that while there is no hard evidence, the story told to her was that her great-grandmother was Arthur Newman's daughter. The story that she told and almost everyone alive at the time had the same consistent story: "Henry Newman, Mary Ann Newman's brother, was friends with John Thornhill and also served in the military with him. He was interviewed during the trial of the murder for Thornhill. The story that has always been told was that John Thornhill came to the Newman family home before he was murdered and well Mary Ann got pregnant. It was said that the Thornhill family was not told of the baby (Arthur) because Mary Ann knew they would take him away from her. So they kept it a secret for a long time. I do not know if the Thornhill family was ever told about Arthur honestly."

Arthur was born on 3 February 1866. It is certainly possible Mary Ann got pregnant during the late Spring/early Summer 1865 while Thornhill and his men were active in Jefferson County.

In the 1870 US Census, Mary Ann was still living in the home of her parents, and Blair Newman was still the constable of the county. Arthur is listed as a four-year old in the household.
Source: Ancestry. 1870 US Census, Jefferson County, Tennessee.
By 1880, Arthur was no longer in the household of Blair and Margaret Newman, but Mary Ann was still there, listed as single.
Source: Ancestry. 1880 US Census, Jefferson County, Tennessee.
Arthur was living in the household of John N. Newman in 1880 (see first image in this post above).

Later in life Mary Ann lived with her son Arthur and his family in Jefferson County. She never married.

Arthur died on 9 October 1848, a retired farmer with a large family.

I believe Arthur was a son of John Thornhill and Mary Ann Newman. It would be really cool to see if any of Newman's descendants match up as AncestryDNA connections to the Thornhill family.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Claimant's Vicious Habits

In yesterday's post, I mentioned the Civil War pension application for John N. Newman. He was a brother of Henry O. Newman, and rode with Captain John Thornhill of Company B, 9th Tennessee during the Civil War. Henry Newman was married to Nancy Ann Murry, a daughter of Catherine Jones Murry (sister of my 3rd-great-grandfather Joseph Jones). John's pension application was rejected, and it had been referred for Special Examination by the Pension Office.
From the Civil War pension application of John N. Newman

Deposition of O.B. Reese.
The file included a deposition of Orlando B. Reese, a doctor previously from Jefferson County, Tennessee, who submitted his letter from Brownsville, Oregon in 1895. Reese also served as a Lieutenant in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, so his opinions about Newman may have been shaped by more than his medical knowledge. Newman's case had been referred to special examination due determine whether his disabilities were caused by his "vicious habits" of "whiskey and women". Reese said Newman had "a very bad reputation and during the war was noted as a horse-thief and not as he alleges - a union scout."

According to the file, John Newman married Narcissa Frances Fielden in Jefferson County on 2 October 1851. The file includes statements that Newman had been captured by the Confederate Army in Jefferson County around 29 August 1864, and was sent to a POW camp in Richmond, Virginia. He said he was paroled at James River, Virginia in February 1865. Newman claimed he got sick while in the POW camps and that damaged his eyes. The pension office rejected his claim in 1896, stating that Newman had no military status.

Newman was to have been the Lieutenant in Company B to Captain Thornhill. When Thornhill had his falling out with Colonel Joseph Parsons in late 1863-early 1864, Newman chose to go with Thornhill. The two were part of a group of family connected soldiers and deserters, often referred as renegades and outlaws, who were active in Jefferson County during this time, stealing from both sides and causing problems for the armies in the area. This decision to join Thornhill cost him a chance at a pension later in life.

There's so much more to write about the Thornhill case, I have a slow-going writing project to document the various cases, news articles and military records involved. I looked up the Newman and Rankin pension files in the hopes of finding some gems mentioning Thornhill or perhaps members of my Jones side of the tree. I was not disappointed by the material.

It is very surprising Newman sought out affidavits of support from men who had earlier been involved in the shooting of Captain Thornhill or had testified on behalf of those who defended themselves in cases that went up to the Supreme Court.

The Newman file included a deposition from his sister Mary Ann Cynthia Newman. I'll save writing about this for another post.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Civil War pension files

As mentioned last Friday, I recently viewed several Civil War pension files at the US National Archives in DC. One, William Oyler, turned out to not be directly connected to my tree. Another, Felix Stidger, lived in the house purchased by my 4th-great-grandfather Enoch Holsclaw. Stidger was the son of Enoch's sister Narcissa Holsclaw Stidger. Felix was in the Secret Service during the Civil War. His file included a document that he signed referencing his then third wife Anna, his first wife and his children. Stidger's file would be of great interest to any direct descendants of his.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Source: US National Archives.
The next two files that I viewed relate to the research I am doing on parties involved in the cases surrounding Captain John Thornhill. I was able to view the Civil War pension file of Samuel E. Rankin and his wife Sarah's widows pension. As a reminder, Rankin was the subject of a court case that went up to the US Supreme Court. Samuel Rankin and Sarah Lyle were married in Jefferson County on 7 February 1867, during the pendency of the court cases.

The last file involved the pension application file for John N. Newman, a known associate of Captain Thornhill. Newman's file deserves its own post, so I will have more on that shortly. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Grant v Thornhill

Another document arrived over the weekend, as I received a copy from the Tennessee State Library and Archives for case of Isaac Grant v Richard Thornhill, filed with the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1848. Richard Thornhill was the brother of my 4th-great-grandmother Elizabeth Thornhill Jones.
Source: TSLA. Grant v. Thornhill, 1848.
The case came out of the Jefferson County Circuit Court. Richard Thornhill was a school commissioner for District 15 in Jefferson County. Grant filed suit against Thornhill and two other commissioners for services rendered as a teacher in the district in 1842. My 5th-great-grandfather Thomas D. Hickey delivered the warrant as constable in 1844 for Thornhill to appear in court. This was a nice surprise to see in the document.
Summons delivered by Thomas D. Hickey, 1844.
The Circuit Court found in favor of Isaac Grant, that Thornhill owed him $26. Of course, Thornhill appealed. The case went to the Supreme Court in September 1848.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Archives Visit

Photo by Patrick Jones. US National Archives, 3 Aug 2018.
I had a chance to pop into the US National Archives today to renew my research card and pull a few Civil War pension files that I've had on my list for a while. More to come on the blog.

Friday Photo - Hollywood Sign

Photo by Patrick Jones. Hollywood Sign. 18 May 2018.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Hollywood Sign from above. 18 May 2018.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Canyon Lake Marina, 1982

Photo by K. D. Jones. Dad & Nana at Canyon Lake Marina, 1982.
The photo above shows my Dad and my Nana at Canyon Lake Marina, Texas in 1982. At time, my grandfather and Nana were living at Canyon Lake, a community between San Antonio & Austin, north of New Braunfels, Texas.

As we move into the month of August, I am continuing to go through old photos passed down from my grandparents to my Dad, and other old photos and slides accumulated through the move of my Mom into our place in March. I have sent three boxes of slides taken in 1969 to a local photography shop to have them converted into digital files. I'll share from this set later in the month when the conversion is complete.