Showing posts with label Needham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Needham. Show all posts

16 July 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Needham and Mills Clans in Oregon

My grand-aunt's family on my father's maternal side, proud of their farm.  Immigrants from Nebraska.  Circa 1910.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

03 July 2014

Genealogical Serendipity?

In the year 1661 there were five selectmen (members of the local government board) in Dedham, Massachusetts.  One was Richard Everett and a second was Ralph Day. Sr.  Little did they know.........

Two hundred and fifty-six years later in 1917, Richard Everett's 7xg-grandson Keith G. Walker (1894-1980) would marry Ralph Day's 6xg-granddaughter Mattie Mae Needham (1884-1938) in Custer County, Nebraska.  Little did they know.

And their sixth child would be my father. :-)

Now you know.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

09 June 2014

Amanuensis Monday: Newspaper Announces John Needham's 90th Birthday

I don't know which Cuyahoga County, Ohio newspaper this is originally from.  It was reprinted without citation in The Ancestors and Descendants of Horatio Edmund Needham and Lucina Bagley, who Married 25 November 1852 in Royalton, Cuyahoga County, Ohio by Melva Kinch Breffeilh and Shirley Kinch Morrison (self-published:1995) --

Mr. John Needham, Who Has Lived in the County Since 1834, Celebrates His Ninetieth Birthday.
     Mr. John Needham celebrated his ninetieth birthday on Wednesday at the residence of his youngest son, Mr. Z. Taylor Needham, in Brooklyn Village.  Four of his children and four of his grandchildren were present, and the day passed most pleasantly for the venerable and honored pioneer and those of the family in attendance.  Mr, Needham was born July 31, 1799, in the town of Fort Ann, N.Y.  At the age of fourteen years he went to Vermont and was then married when twenty-seven years old.  He then moved to St. Lawrence, N.Y., and came to Ohio in the year of 1834.  Since that time he has lived in Cuyahoga county, mostly in Brecksville.  Mrs. Needham died in March, 1876.  The couple had nine children, seven boys and two girls.  Two of them are living in Cleveland, one at Medina, one in Paulding county, one in Nebraska, one in Missouri, and one in New York.  The other two died a few years ago.  Mr. Needham has always had good health and he bids fair to remain at the head of his thriving family for some time to come.  His mother lived to be ninety-seven years old.  Mr. Needham was a staunch Whig in the olden days and is now a thorough Republican.  He enjoys the distinction of having voted for Henry Clay.  His many friends wish him continued return of Wednesday's happy celebration.
Articles like these are a treasure to the family historian and genealogist.  We can easily date the article as being published in 1889.  But we also know that since the subject was born on the last day in July, the issue was published in August. The son spoken of "in Nebraska" is my great-grandfather Arthur Herrick Needham.

John Needham, was my 2xg-grandfather.  He lived four more years, dying August 24, 1893 at the age of 94.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

11 May 2014

Obituary Sunday: Mattie May Walker (nee. Needham, 1884-1938)

More of a death announcement really, but this was as much obituary as she got. From the Arnold Sentinel (Arnold, NE) September 29, 1938 --

Mrs. Keith Walker of Dix, Nebr., formerly Mattie Needham of Arnold, passed away Tuesday at a hospital in Omaha where she had undergone an operation several weeks ago.  Mrs. Walker is survived by her husband and several children and her sister-in-law, Mrs. Hattie Needham, of Arnold. 
Funeral services and interment are t be at Dix, Friday afternoon, according to word received this morning by local relatives.
Mattie May (Needham) Walker was my grandmother, dying twenty-two years before I was born.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

24 April 2014

Death Announcement for Martha Porter (nee. Scott, 1824-1909)

From The Leavenworth Echo, Leavenworth, Washington (9/10/1909) --
Death of Mrs. Porter 
Mrs. Martha Porter died Sunday, September 5, at the home of her grandson, Nelson Forsythe, in Leavenworth, aged 85 years. 
The funeral was held Tuesday, under the auspices of Rev. W. V. Davis, Mrs. A. J. Martin, director. Mrs. Porter had lived in Leavenworth for several years. She was of a kindly, gentle disposition, and leaves many friends to mourn her death, as well as three daughters a grandson and granddaughter.
Martha (Scott) Porter was my 2xg-grandmother behind my Dad's maternal (Needham) line.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

07 April 2014

Amanuensis Monday: Resignation Letter of Judge Alexander Wright (1746-1838)

Mahoning Creek Mercer Coun May 13, 1829. 
Dear Sir, 
I have served as associate judge for the county of Mercer ever since it was first organized.  I now feel the debilitating influence of old age: and as you are the organ of the Commonwealth to make or unmake her offices I pray your Excellency to accept my Resignation of the office of Judge for the County of Mercer. and you will confer a favour on your humble servant.

Alex Wright 
His Excellency J.A. Shulze
Governor of Pennsylvania

Alexander Wright was my 5xg-grandfather. (Alexander Wright -> Elizabeth Wright -> Alexander Porter -> Samuel Porter -> Camilla Porter -> Mattie Needham -> living father -> Kevin).

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

09 March 2011

Rev. Samuel Porter (1760-1825)

From the Stewart Family History, a personal family history written by William Flennikan Stewart, circa 1900 --
Samuel Porter b. 1760 Ireland. He came to the U.S. Samuel was a minister of the Gospel and did a good deal of pioneer work in Washington Co. Pa. His studies were under the direction of Mr. Smith & Dr. McMillen, the latter making no charge for board or tuition, while a friend provided for his family in the meantime. He was licenced Nov 12, 1789. In the following year he became pastor of the congregation of Poke Run & congruity. Of the former he was pastor until 1789, of the latter until his death Sept 23, 1825 in the 66th year of his age. He was a very able man. The above churches were in Washington Co. Pa.
 From History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania by John Boucher (Lewis Publishing Co., New York :1906).
Rev. Samuel Porter was an Irishman, born in 1760. He studied Greek and Latin and theology under Rev. McAlillen, and boarded with his family while doing so, all free of charge. He was licensed to preach in 1789, and the year following began preaching at Polk Run and Congruity. He died September 23, 1825, while pastor in charge of the latter congregation. . . .
The first pastor, Rev. Samuel Porter, was born in Ireland, June 11, 1760, and was of Covenanter parentage. He came to America in 1783, and spent some time in Mercersburg. In 1784 he went to Washington county, where he taught school. There he came under the notice of some of the renowned men of the Presbyterian Church, and he was induced to enter upon a course of study preparatory to entering the ministry. He studied under James Hughes, John Brice and Joseph Patterson and others. After three years he was licensed by the Red Stone Presbytery on November 12, 1789, and in April of the following year began his work at Congruity and Poke Run. The region embraced by his congregation was little less than a backwoods or frontier settlement at that time. Many of the people were as wild and uncultivated as the country in which they lived, and they were greatly in need of the refining influences of the gospel. It is said that on one occasion when Rev. Porter was preaching in the weeds, two young men withdrew from the congregation and ran a foot race in full view of the preacher and his hearers. Under his faithful work the congregation increased very rapidly, and in eight years they felt themselves able to support a pastor alone, so Poke Run was taken from Congruity in 1798. This was due in part to the fact that Mr. Porter did not regard himself as physically able to attend to the wants of both people. Congruity congregation promised him a salary of "one hundred and twenty pounds per year, to be paid one-half in merchantable wheat at five shillings per bushel, and the remainder in cash." To this Mr. Porter agreed, and continued his pastoral relations in that church until his death, September 10, 1825, in all a period of thirty-five years.

While Mr. Porter was pastor there, a new stone tavern was built on the pike, scarcely a mile from the church, and was opened by the owner, a very clever and ingenious landlord, who invited the young folks to have a housewarming and dance in his new tavern. Tickets were distributed and guests invited, many of whom were members of Congruity Church. On the Sunday previous to the intended ball, Mr. Porter, after preaching one of his customary eloquent sermons, before dismissing the congregation, said that the Presbytery would meet the following Tuesday in Greensburg, and also said that on Thursday evening at early candle-light a ball would be held about three-fourths of a mile from that place. He said it was to be hoped that all polite young ladies and gentlemen would attend, for it was a place where politeness and manners could be learned and cultivated, and that many other things could be said in favor of such places which it was not necessary for him to mention at the time. For his own part, if he did not attend, the young' folks, he hoped, would excuse him, as it was likely he might be detained by the Presbytery, but if he should return in time and nothing else prevented him, he would be present and would open the exercises of the night by reading a text of scripture, singing a psalm, etc. Then, with full and solemn voice and in his most impressive manner, he read the 9th verse of the 11th chapter of Ecclesiastes; next he announced and read the 73rd Psalm, and then offered prayer. He prayed for the thoughtless and gay, and asked the Great Spirit to guard them from the vices which might lead the youthful minds astray, after which, with a most solemn benediction, he dismissed his congregation. The evening set for the ball arrived and passed away, but no ball was held, the whole community having been awakened by the venerable pastor's words. During his last years he was enfeebled and unable to stand, and therefore preached while sitting in a split-bottom chair which stood in the pulpit.
From Banners in the Wilderness: Early Years of Washington and Jefferson College by Helen Turnbull Waite Coleman (University of Pittsburgh, 1956) --
Samuel Porter (1760-1825) had come from Ireland in his twenties with a wife, and with his trade as a weaver. McMillan gave him free board and instruction; a neighbor (possibly John McDowell) provided for his family. He spent his subsequent life in the expanding border country; as did also John Brice (1754-1811), William Swan (1764-1827), Thomas Marquis (1757-1827), and John McPherrin (1757-1822), whose ministerial studies were directed by John Clark.
Every one of them, except McGready, participated in the local schools which grew into W. and J. Swan succeeded James Rossas assistant to McMillan in his log cabin school; Patterson and Marquis served as trustees of Canonsburg Academy and Jefferson College; Hughes, Swan, Porter, and McPherrin as trustees of Jefferson College; Patterson and Brice as trustees of Washington College.
There were other contemporary ministers and teachers who came a little later and therefore are not named by McMillan among this second set.
Reverend Samuel Porter was my g-g-g-g-granduncle, through my great-grandmother Camilla (Porter) Needham.   

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

10 August 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Keith (1894-1980) and Mattie Walker (1884-1938)

Since I got past the morbidity of the subject matter, I have found the FindaGrave.Com website one of the most rewarding on the whole Internet for family historians.  My grandparents Keith Glen Walker and Mattie Mae Walker (nee. Needham) are buried in Kimball, Nebraska.  Realistically, when is the next time I am going to make it to Kimball?  Sadly, no time soon.  So I post a photo request on FindaGrave.Com, and one of the thousands of members of FaG's army of volunteers goes to work!  Thank you "custer1963" for the reward you have given me and my relatives by taking this picture for us --

Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

09 August 2010

Amanuensis Monday: The Obituary for Mrs. Keith Walker (Mattie Mae Needham 1884-1938)

From the Arnold (Nebraska) Sentinal September 29, 1938 --

Mrs. Keith Walker of Dix, Nebr., formerly Mattie Needham of Arnold, passed away Tuesday at a hospital in Omaha, where she had undergone an operation several weeks ago.  Mrs. Walker is survived by her husband and several children, and her sister-in-law Mrs. Hattie Needham of Arnold.

Funeral services and internment are to be at Dix, Friday afternoon, according to word received this morning by local relatives.
Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

05 July 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Happy Belated Independence Day

I love Independence Day holiday!  No greater proof is needed that how busy I was yesterday.  I never got around to posting on my blog what I wanted to; I never got around to calling my parents to wish them a happy holiday, and I didn't get to do any of my "fun work" like research.  My son and daughter-in-law flew in from the east coast to spend the weekend with us, and it has been fabulous!  What a fine couple they have matured into.

My wife decorated our house inside and out with a patriotic theme.  We had a large meal with my barbecued smoked spareribs at the center.  We spent much of the day sitting outside drinking and talking, shaded from the mid-day heat by awnings.  We watched the 1972 musical 1776 on TCM, which was once an annual family tradition.  The city fireworks were on Saturday night, so we spent the evening playing card games indoors.  It was a great time.

So today I offer the entry for my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather John Needham who served in the Revolutionary War, taken from the published family history The Ancestors and Descendants of Horatio Edmund Needham and Lucina Bagley, Who Married 25 November 1852 in Royalton, Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Wise, 1995) by Melva Kinch Breffeilh and Shirley Kinch Morrison. --
John Needham was born in Salem on 22 Jan 1736, the son of Daniel and Isabella (Armstrong) Needham.  Some time around 1755, his father moved the family to Norwich, Ct. and on 11 Aug 1763, John married in East Haddam, Ct. Esther Willey, daughter of Noah and Sarah (Hart) Willey. . . .John served in the Revolutionary War aboard the ship General Putnam, in the expedition against the British at Penobscot (Maine) in 1779.  Serving with him were his son John, his brother Elias, and several of his Connecticut Valley neighbors.  The General Putnam was commissioned April 23, 1778.  Her master, Capt. Allen, posted these notices: "Gentleman Volunteers who are inclined for a cruise are desired to apply on board, or at Nathan Douglas's Tavern."  Following the war, the family moved to Washington County, New York, and John Needham, Sr. probably died there between 1790 and 1800 (Censuses).  In the 1800 census. Esther is listed as the "head of household" and probably died soon afterwards.  Both Esther and John Needham, Sr. were probably buried in or near Granville, N.Y. but no record  of their graves can be found.
Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

28 June 2010

Aunt Dorothy R.I.P.? Not Yet.

Last month I posted about my feelings for my Aunt Dorothy Grace (McNeill Walker) Nitzsche (1912-1948) and my desire to find her gravesite.  It was not in her obituary so the next obvious step was to order a copy of her death certificate which I did, and it arrived last week.

I was a little disappointed to discover she had been cremated on the realization there might not be any marker for her, but realizing still her ashes might have been interred I knew more research was required.  The certificate said she had been cremated by "California Crematory" which no longer exists by that name.  Some more digging and I discovered it still survives under the name "Chapel of the Chimes."

I called the Chapel and was pleased to get a friendly, caring and helpful lady.  I asked if there was any record of my aunt's remains having been interred?  She put me on hold for several minutes while she looked in her records, Dorothy died sixty-two years ago, these are not records at your finger tips.  The nice lady came back on and said "We have your aunt but I am afraid, she is not interred."  She goes on to explain that the ashes were originally handed off to Dorothy's husband John M. Nitzsche (1905-????), but nine years later her ashes had been discovered in an abandoned apartment in Berkeley, and since they still had the name of the crematory on the container the police returned them to the crematory.  My aunt Dorothy's remains were now being held in storage with the remains of everyone else who were not wanted.  I was stunned and shocked, thanked the nice lady, and hung up.

I began gathering my thoughts.  Obviously my first thought was that my Dad and my Uncle, the last two surviving siblings from this large family, will need to be contacted.  But second all the surrounding questions began.  What happened to her husband, and how did her ashes get abandoned?  Was there a police record?  I called the nice lady at the Chapel back.  She said the only records she had left were from when they took possession of Dorothy's body, which included the order for cremation.  She would check them but it would take a couple hours and call me back, which she did.  The only new thing we learned relevant was that Dorothy's ashes were destined for Cheyenne, Wyoming for interment. Cheyenne was the home of my grandfather Keith Glenn Walker (1894-1980) who adopted Dorothy after marrying her mother, my grandmother Mattie Mae (Needham) Walker (1884-1938).  I asked the lady at the Chapel if I could have copies of all the records mailed to me, and she said yes, and I received them today.

I cannot believe how many times the ball was dropped!!  First there is the gem of a husband who never got her ashes to Cheyenne nor made any permanent plans for them.  Conceivably it can all be laid at his feet.  Indeed while my grandfather never completely followed up, perhaps he was unable to, perhaps John Nitzsche disappeared?  And did my grandfather make arrangements for her interment in Cheyenne, did he pay for a space?  No one survives who would know.  Then there are all my Walker relatives, a huge family albeit with a limited presence in northern California, eight of her siblings survived her and for sixty-two years not one stumbled onto the fact that her remains were missing?!?  Unreal.  Such is a commentary on how contemporary society, and my relatives in particular, feel about cemeteries and things related.

Now what to do?  The first decision is left up to my father and his brother, as I said, the last two surviving siblings.  I am confident they will rectify the situation.  But if they don't, my two sons and I have already decided we will.  We wouldn't be able to live with the guilt if we didn't.  "Treat others as you would want them to treat you in the same situation" is our motto.

So aunt Dorothy may not yet "rest in peace."  But she will.  And whatever happened to her husband is a mystery yet to be solved.

Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

15 June 2010

An Incredible Photo Restoration

The guys over at Legacy Family Tree News Blog posted a before and after example of the photo restoration done for them by Miles at and I was so blown away I had to submit one of my own.

This is a picture of Mattie Mae Needham (1884-1938) with her parents Arthur Herrick Needham (1831-1921) and Camilla Elizabeth Needham (nee. Porter, 1844-1910).  Mattie was born in 1884, so I date this picture circa 1895.  Mattie was my Dad's mother, and my grandmother.  Arthur and Camilla were therefore my Dad's maternal grandparents, and my great-grandparents.  This is the picture before the restoration done by --

And here is the picture after the restoration by --

The difference absolutely blows me away!  Miles not only fixed the damage to the photo, but he brought my ancestors to life!  Click on the pictures to blow them up to larger size.  Look at the details, the cut of the ladies' dresses, the wear on their hands.  My wife said "those are working hands."  Unreal.

Anyway, the price was fair for the work done, and the feeling the results gave me.  If I need anymore pictures restored, I would definitely give Miles first crack at it.

Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

08 June 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Arthur H. and Camilla E. Needham

 Following yesterday's post on the biography of Frank Needham, I thought today I might go with his parents.  This is the joint gravesite of Arthur Herrick Needham --
Arthur H.
Sept 7, 1831 - March 24, 1921
Member 2nd Iowa Cavalry
-- and Camilla Elizabeth Needham (nee. Porter) --
Camilla E.
Apr 11, 1844 - Feb 2, 1910
She hath done what she could. Mark 14-8
Here are Camilla and Arthur pictured holding my late aunts Frances Irene "Jennifer" McNeill Walker Ball (1909-1993) and Beulah Lee McNeill Walker Wistrom (1907-1980).

Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker

07 June 2010

Amanuensis Monday: The Biography of Frank E. Needham (1866-1932)

(Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.  "Amanuensis Monday" is a blogging theme hosted by John Newmark at the Transylvanian Dutch Genealogy Blog.)

FRANK E. NEEDHAM is a substantial
citizen of Custer county, where he owns valuable
farm lands and also a business building
and a cream station in the town of Arnold.
He has spent almost his entire life thus far
in Nebraska and hence considers himself almost
in the light of a native son. He was
born at Princeton, Iowa, August 3. 1866, one
of the four children of Arthur H. and Camelia
(Porter) Needham, the others being: Leroy,
who married Grace Chappie : Bertha, who is
the wife of Grant Mills : and Mattie M., who
is the wife of Keith Walker. The mother of
Mr. Needham died February 20, 1900, but his
father survives and makes his home with his
daughter Bertha (Mrs. Mills), at Forest
Grove, Oregon.

Frank E. Needham was two years old when
his parents brought him to Nebraska and settled
twelve miles east of Lincoln. In 1882 removal
was made to Custer county and a preemption
claim was secured, situated five miles
south of Arnold. There Frank E. Needham
grew up, having as many advantages as the
ordinary farmer boy at that time, as to schooling
and recreation. He remembers that the
Fourth of July was about the greatest day in
the year's calendar, and to celebrate it seemed
almost a patriotic duty. He found, one year,
that he would have to earn the money in order
to enjoy celebrating, and therefore he engaged
to plow a neighbor's corn field. He was only
ten years old at the time, the task was pretty
heavy, and along toward noon he mentioned
to his employer that he thought it was a very
long forenoon. All the satisfaction he received
was a benevolent look from the old farmer
and the consoling remark: "Son, don't you
know while man makes the forenoon, God
makes the afternoon?"

Mr. Needham was united in marriage August
7, 1893, at Broken Bow, to Miss Hattie
Burk, a daughter of James and Martha
(Crabb) Burk. He and Mrs. Needham have
one daughter, Ruth, who has prepared herself
to be a teacher and was graduated in 1918
from the Nebraska Wesleyan University, at
University Place, near Lincoln. Mrs. Needham
has three brothers and two sisters, namely:
John, William, Albert, Mrs. Laura
Rodgers, and Mrs. Emma Beltz. Mr. Needham
owns several properties that he has under
rental, and he is also the owner of twenty-two
acres of land and a substantial business
building in the town of Arnold, where also,
as mentioned above, he conducts a cream station,
in which town he is an influential citizen
in many ways.
Copyright © 2010 by Kevin W. Walker