Friday, August 21, 2015

The Taylor Flag, by Pat Kinsella Herdeg, with CB and Sue Kinsella

This past weekend some Taylor Cousins came a’cousining to visit Mom and Dad (aka Aunt CB and Uncle Jack) as well as Sue and me, and so we pulled out our newest treasure—our Taylor Flag!

Kathy Taylor Mills, Annie Taylor Catherman, Pat Kinsella Herdeg, Sue Kinsella, Charlie Hawkes

Mom was sent the flag by Tom and Joan Doran, son of Florence Taylor Doran, sister to the twins, Floyd and Lloyd. Family lore has it that our Taylor family created this large flag not long after the Revolutionary War ended—either in Westport, CT (where three generations of Taylor men fought—Josiah, Gamaliel and Thomassee blog story), or in Wolcott, VT where Thomas Taylor and his wife Mary and children snow shoed in as the first inhabitants of the area in 1789 (see story here). So, this flag COULD date back to about 1790.

Our flag stands out because of its thirteen stars and the fact that the white stripe tops the flag. Most flags begin with the red stripe.

We have had a textile specialist from the Rochester Museum and Science Center in Rochester, NY look at our flag and she says, “I feel the flag dates to 1825 or earlier.”  She identified the fiber of all the fabrics in the flag as cotton, and all the stitching as hand stitching. Exciting!

Thomas's son, Gideon Taylor, moved to "Woodlawn" (Taylor ancestral home outside Batavia, NY) in the later part of the 1820’s. We do know that the US Census of 1830 has Gideon Taylor in New York. We also have an 1830 letter mailed to Gideon’s wife Phebe in Batavia, NY from her sister in Vermont. The flag has traveled with Gideon and his family. 

Note Flag Hanging on the left-hand side of the House
West Bethany, NY--4th of July picnic, 1908-1910? LtoR--standing--Emma Jane Carson Taylor, Jane Livingston Carson (married to William) seated, back row--Edward Carson, George Carson, Jennie Carson, Floyd Taylor Bertha Carson (married to Ed), Clara Taylor, Bryant W. Taylor, Blanche Carson?, William Carson, Lloyd Taylor Seated--front row--Clayton Carson, Ruth Carson, William Carson (son of Ed), Florence Taylor, Irene Carson

In a 1908 Carson family photograph of a 4th of July picnic, the Taylor Flag is shown proudly hanging from the porch (Emma Carson married Bryant Waller Taylor, son of Gideon). When B.W. died, my grandfather Lloyd inherited the flag. His sister borrowed it, and now Lucille Taylor Kinsella has it. We’ll let you know when we find a home for our Taylor Flag, preferably where it can be preserved and seen by many for its uniqueness and rarity. (Very few post-Revolutionary War Flags from the 1700’s  exist.)

Taylor Flag in 1958, Lloyd and Ethel Taylor

But, for now, we are bringing together the cousinsto laugh, to tell stories, to eat good food and perhaps see some fireworks (of all kinds!)—just the kind of celebrations this flag is used to presiding over. If only flags could talk! Perhaps two hundred and twenty-five years have passed since it was hand-sewn by people who had just lived through a cataclysmic war. And, in the years since, it has hung for many a proud Fourth of July. May it have many more!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Mickey Hawkes--You will be Missed!

My first cousin Carter Michael Hawkes, known as Mickey, died this past Friday. The oldest son of Uncle Bud and Aunt Doris (Taylor) Hawkes, Mickey had been in the hospital for a short time, and it came as a shock around cousin country.

 Mickey and Jan
Steve, Mickey, Aunt Dot, Cindy, Charlie
August 1961

Mickey, Steve
September 1964

Many Thanks to Cousin Chuck Lochner for most of these pictures. Uncle Jack Kinsella took the older photos (Thanks, Pops!).

Mickey’s youngest brother, Charlie, wrote to us:

We thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Our Love to all of you,
" Those Pesky Hawkes Kids"

Friday, July 3, 2015

Graduations! by Susan Kinsella

We have lots of Taylor Baker Cousins graduates to celebrate from all levels of schooling! As the Mom of one of the graduates, I am continually amazed at how fast it seems they have all grown up. So I am including baby pictures to remind us, as well as to celebrate how wonderful they have been from their earliest days and how much we love them all.

Congratulations to all our Graduates!


Three of our cousins graduated from preschool. I love their excitement. They are clearly ready to take on Kindergarten in the fall!

William Colley

Son of Kristyne Hawkes Colley, Grandson of Charlie Hawkes, Great-Grandson of Doris Hawkes
Lockport, New York

Olivia Rooks

Daughter of Jessica Catherman Rooks, Granddaughter of Annie Taylor Catherman, Great-Granddaughter of Harold Taylor
Waterloo, New York

Olivia, Graduation from Preschool

Four Generations: Great-Grandpa Harold Taylor, Mom Jessica Rooks
holding newborn Olivia ("Olive Oyl" to her Great-Grandpa!),
and Grandma Annie Catherman

Leah Walker

Daughter of Kristin Kinsella Walker, Granddaughter of Tim Kinsella, Great-Granddaughter of CB Taylor Kinsella
Clay, New York

Leah, Graduation from Preschool

The first time I met Leah

Elementary School 

Graduates going on to Junior High School!

Kelly Kinsella

Daughter of Jim Kinsella, Granddaughter of CB Taylor Kinsella
Rochester, New York

Kelly, Graduating from 5th Grade at
Pine Brook Elementary School in Greece, New York

Kelly getting ready for one of the epic dart gun wars
at Grandma and Grandpa's house
(big sister Maddy on the left with the monkey)

Patrick Kinsella

Son of Chris Kinsella, Grandson of CB Taylor Kinsella
Cicero, New York

Graduation from 6th Grade, St. Rose of Lima School
(Patrick is third from left in the front row)

Newborn Patrick, held by his cousin Alex Kinsella

8th Grade

New graduates going on to High School in the fall!

Maddy Kinsella

Daughter of Jim Kinsella, Granddaughter of CB Taylor Kinsella
Rochester, New York

Maddy, 8th Grade Graduation Celebration!

Ready for more animal crackers

Aedyn Langstaff

Son of Kayte Barron Langstaff, Grandson of Kathryn Wood Barron, Great-Grandson of Gladys Howland Wood
Brimfield, Ohio

Aedyn graduated from 8th Grade at the
Falcon Academy of Creative Arts

Aedyn as a cute baby

High School

Sara Lochner

Daughter of Rick Lochner, Granddaughter of Esther Taylor Lochner
Rochester, New York

Sara, High School Graduation, with Dad and Mom, Rick and Laurie Lochner

Could she get any cuter? (Why, yes she did!)

Sara Osterhout

Daughter of Wendy Wood Osterhout, Granddaughter of Gladys Howland Wood
New Milford, Pennsylvania

Sara, Graduation from High School

Adorable baby picture taken by Sara's Mom


Alex Kinsella

Son of Susan Kinsella, Grandson of CB Taylor Kinsella
Novato, California

Alex, Graduation from Stanford University, with Julia Sommer
(I'm in this picture, too - way up there somewhere
in the audience at the top of the stadium - can you see me?)

One of my favorite baby pictures of Alex


If I missed anyone, please let me know in the comments and I'll get in touch to get pictures and info to add them in!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Memories of Springs Past By Harold Spencer, Jr.

Another essay from our Carson Cousin—Harold’s grandmother was Anna Carson Spencer, sister to our Emma Carson Taylor

Aaaaahhhh, Spring - time to go trout fishing. There’s a little trout stream that runs through the middle of the village of Springville, NY running under the stores in the downtown section of the business district. Named (of course) Spring Brook, it’s a creek in which all the boys in town fished at one time or another.

Harold Spencer, Jr. with creel, Cousin Liol Washburn with can of worms,
 friend David with fishing rod circa 1942

Trout season, in early days when we were kids, opened at daybreak the second Saturday in April. Nowadays, it’s open all year long. Since cousin Liol (Washburn) and I lived close by the creek, it was a natural that we would go fishing as soon as the season opened, sometimes even while there was still snow on the ground, and ice on the creek. But we always had a good time, as cold as it was. We then fished through the summer months until we were in high school. Later, other matters and interests took precedence over fishing. We continued to fish that creek into high school days, but Liol found greater interest in sports: football, basketball and baseball. Being short, and lightweight, yours truly found it difficult to compete in those sports, so my interests stayed with the outdoors: hunting, fishing, hiking and Boy Scout activities.

Rainbow trout season in New York opened on April 1 each year. A close friend from high school had acquired an older model car. About 1950 we decided we’d make a trip to the Finger Lakes for the opening of the rainbow season. We’d try our luck at fishing the larger fish supposed to be in those creeks. It nearly turned into a fiasco, since it snowed hard, it was very cold, and the creek at Hammondsport was shoulder to shoulder with fishermen. And we never caught a fish. In addition - the heater and defroster in the old car didn’t work. By the time we got home, we were nearly frozen, and starving, since we didn’t think about food when we left Springville.

Spring Brook rises from a swamp close to the hamlet of East Concord (NY), north of Springville. It runs south through the village, and empties into Cattaraugus Creek, which forms the boundary between Erie County and Cattaraugus County. The Cattaraugus flows westerly and empties into Lake Erie. As young kids, (and I mean my cousin Liol and our friends from our class at school) we would explore the length of the creek from the East Concord swamp to the village of Springville. Rarely did we venture along the creek south of the village.

We all had our favorite spots for fishing, for hunting snapping turtles in an abandoned ice pond close to the village, and a deeper section of creek, hidden in a large patch of brush, where we could go skinny-dipping on a hot summer afternoon. Only problem with swimming in the creek: it (the creek) ran through a pasture upstream from our swimming hole, and if it was hot enough, the cows in the pasture would stand in the creek to cool their udders, and during their cooling off period, would do their natural business in the creek, Well, that stuff eventually reached our swimming hole, so out of the water everyone, until the ‘danger” passed. Then it was back to swimming. Our creek--even in winter, we knew where it was safe to cross on the ice.

Harold Spencer Jr. on the right, buddy David on the left--1942

Years ago the State Conservation Department (now named the Department of Environmental Conservation - DEC) would stock trout in Spring Brook at three or four sites along its length north of the village. This happened usually sometime in the spring. In the 1970s they decided to forego replenishing the stocks of trout in the creek. It appears the fish biologists, after testing the creek and the naturally occurring fish, decided that it was a waste of time and money to replenish the fish year after year. I think the fishing pressure from humans has lessened considerably in recent years, so there is not the demand for more fish from this creek. Today, there does not appear to be much water left in the creek either, perhaps due to the number of houses built in recent years in the area of the creek between East Concord and Springville. Since we were kids, there were one or two farms in the area adjacent to the creek. Today I estimate there are 15 or 20 new houses built in the area. And each house has a well, drawing water from the ground, which in the past went into the creek.

And it’s all progress, good or bad, depending upon one’s viewpoint. Kinda glad I’m not a kid today.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Waterloo's 2015 Memorial Day Parade, by Jack Kinsella

Uncle Jack did a write up of this year’s Memorial Day Parade in Waterloo, NY. While the next town over from Waterloo –Seneca Falls—is renowned for being the inspiration behind It’s A Wonderful Life’s town of Bedford Falls, Waterloo has an important distinction of its own—The Birthplace of Memorial Day.

Waterloo held the first formal, village wide, annual observance of a day dedicated to honoring the war dead. On May 5, 1866, the Village was decorated with flags at half mast, draped with evergreens and mourning black. Veterans, civic societies and residents marched to the three village cemeteries. 

One hundred years later, on May 26, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson, signed a Presidential Proclamation recognizing Waterloo as the Birthplace of Memorial Day.

Aunt CB, Jill, Ann, Dennis

Nowadays, Waterloo’s Memorial Day Extravaganza is a three day event complete with musical groups, an antique car show, a 5k run, and a pizza eating contest, as well as the Parade itself.
Dad writes:

It has been over 50 years since I attended a Waterloo Memorial Day Parade and since I attended it this year, I thought I should write up details about it.  Jim is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and since they were marching in the parade this year, he and his two daughters decided to march along with them. He and Jill asked us if we wanted to join them as they drove to Waterloo, and, of course, we said yes.

 The parade formed at Clark and Williams, just a few steps from 16 Clark St (
editor—what a coincidence—16 Clark Street is the house Dad grew up in. Therefore, this is one of the few corners in Waterloo I can picture!). The parade route was to march over to Main St, then up Main past the four corners and end at Lafayette Park (right next to my old Waterloo High School).

 The first questions were, where to park the car and where to sit to watch the parade? CB’s niece, Ann Taylor Catherman, lives directly across from the old Waterloo High School and she told us we could park at her house.  So Jill dropped CB and me (with 3 chairs) off on Main St. right near where the parade was to end (in front of the Genung Funeral Home --
editor—we attended many funerals at Genungs, including the funeral where we kids broke away and opened the back building to get a look at the naked embalmed body of George ‘Bill’ Bailey. Embalmed since 1899, he was a sight to behold that I still clearly see with his long fingernails and skin the color of tea. Fortunately for Bill, Waterloo finally buried him in 1971).

 She then took Jim and the girls to the starting off place and then drove back up Main to Ann’s house and parked the car. She then walked back a block and joined us. Mission Accomplished!! So there we sat at the very end of the parade and had a beautiful view of the whole event.
When the parade was over, we got the car at Ann & Denny's and drove over to Harold's (Aunt CB’s brother).We then had lunch at an Italian restaurant on Main St (Used to be the Fire House) and then drove back to Rochester

Waterloo High School Band

Rochester Chapter of SAR--Jim and girls are marching somewhere in the crowd!