Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Storm of 2011 By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

What, No Halloween!!

That is the news in a lot of Massachusetts towns, including mine, Acton. As you look at the pictures, you can see why.

Saturday night into Sunday left us with only about four inches of snow, but that was enough to take down many of our towering oak trees, of which we were rightly proud.

All night long, we tried to sleep as we kept hearing 'Crack' and then 'Thud'. The closer the 'thud' the more we worried. Our truck, outside our garage because at the moment we have three cars, came inches from being smushed, and our roof took a hit--luckily a big branch and not a whole tree.

The next morning, without power since early the previous evening, the neighborhood was anxious to get back our power, but every one of our four streets had downed trees. NStar, our power company, would not come in--they wait for the towns to clear the streets.

We did see an NStar truck check out how bad we were--could they get through and begin to work? Neighbors raced door to door to find chainsaws and gather people. Soon, a work crew took over clearing out streets and pulling trees out of the way. The 'chain saw gang' must have cleared six or seven trees. They saved the day as NStar fell in behind them and did their magic.

We were lucky--after only 24 hours and seriously cold houses--we got our heat and electricity back. Many in town will have to wait until Wednesday, they tell us. Other nearby towns have 50-80% of their residents without power.

With so many downed lines and branches, Halloween has been postponed in Acton--WHAT do I do with all of my candy?!

Enjoy your Halloween--I KNOW we will remember our 2011 Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Welcome to the World--Carter Haylon Maney!

Dan and Karen Maney announced last night:

"Meet our new grandson, Carter Haylon Maney, born at 10:15 AM at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, weighing in at 8 lbs. 5 oz. Mom and proud Dad are doing fine!"

Dan and Karen's son Sean is the proud father, Kate the mom.

From all of us here at TaylorBaker Cousins, Congratulations to Dan, Karen, Sean and Kate. And, welcome Carter--Can't wait to see you at a future Taylor Reunion!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Byron Baker, Another October Baby, by Pat Kinsella Herdeg and Aunt CB

Byron Howard Baker was born on October 6th, 1858 in Solon, NY. He first married Tina Smith and they had a baby boy, named Ira. Both Tina and Ira died by the year of 1884.

In 1885, when Bryon was 26, he married Kate Permelia Youngs. Together, they raised five children in Center Lisle—a baby in 1886 that died right away, and then Nancy Ethel, Adin Leonard, Ruth Inez and Lillian Rosena.

Byron, grandfather to Aunt CB, died in April of 1925, so she never knew him directly. But Aunt CB writes: “I know I would have liked him, though, because my mother (Nancy Ethel Baker) spoke so lovingly of him. I think she was a lot like him.
Byron was a gregarious man, a friendly easy-going person, not really cut out to be a farmer, but in those days there were very few options to choose from and this is what he grew up knowing. He did like to ‘neighbor’—he sold books to folks, books printed about national calamities (the San Francisco Earthquake, the Sinking of the Titanic) and as he traveled, he visited and enjoyed the talks.

Ethel loved him dearly and from letters, and memories, so did Adin, Ruth, and Lil. Adin as an adult did however change many of Bryon’s farming methods as soon as Adin bought the farm from his parents, perhaps further proof that Byron was not the quintessential farmer.

In the early 1900’s, with his daughter Ruth very sick with a heart condition (she died from it in 1904) he brought home a puppy “from his travels” as Lil wrote to Ethel (who was at Cortland Normal School). Not sure how Kate liked adding an energetic puppy to the family, but the children adored it, according to Lillian.

Later in the 1900’s, when the two youngest daughters of Kate’s first cousin Florence Longbothum Johnston (who was dying from tuberculosis) needed a place to stay, Byron had Ethel take a team of horses over to their house and bring them to their home for Christmas. One of these little girls stayed on and went to school in Center Lisle.

About six or eight years later, when the girls' father was dying (also from tuberculosis), Byron drove to their farm and did the chores and helped care for him. At that point, Elsie, one of the daughters who years earlier had come to Christmas, was trying to finish school to be able to teach (she was all of sixteen at this time). Elsie had to work during the days to help keep the farm going, but her assignments for the final testing arrived nonetheless. Byron studied them each day and every night, he tutored Elsie so that she could pass them. She often said she never could have become a teacher without him.

Byron did not have many years to enjoy being a grandfather. But Ruth and Arnon remembered him with great love. And at one point, Arnon (three or four years old), must have said he wanted boots ‘like Grandpa had’ because Byron gave Ethel $2 to buy boots for young Arnon.

Perhaps Ethel, who came home from school every day to teach her younger sister, Ruth, how to read and write, fulfilled Byron’s unspoken desire to teach. She had many of his traits—friendly and out-going, listened to everyone’s troubles, loved to ‘visit’ with people—I wish I had known Grandpa Byron!"

Friday, October 14, 2011

Women’s Suffrage Debate—One Hundred Years Ago by Pat Kinsella Herdeg

In August of 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th amendment, giving the Women’s Suffrage Amendment the two-thirds majority of states needed to pass. Women in America could vote!

But, seven years earlier-- almost one hundred years ago--our ancestors were still debating this very topic, as evidenced by this newspaper article. The Oakfield, NY Grange held a debate, featuring speakers on both sides of the issue. As the newspaper article proudly stated “Most of the Speakers to be Women”.

Helping with the negative side, was our own twenty-year-old Floyd Taylor, twin brother to Lloyd, grandfather of many of us. Hmmm....

It would have been a fascinating debate to be at, no doubt about it. I think many of our female ancestors would have had a lot to say, if given the chance.

But, this article is noteworthy also for the second part of it.

Floyd and Lloyd’s younger sister, Florence, turned sixteen. Twenty-six of her high school friends, chaperoned by their teacher Miss Ethel Baker, surprised Florence with a birthday party complete with a candy pull, gifts-- including a ‘handsome silver mesh bag’, and refreshments.

As many of us know, Miss Ethel Baker would marry Lloyd Taylor two years after this surprise party.

As the national elections again ramp up, just a small family history lesson.

Thank you cousin Spencer Drown for sending along this newspaper article.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October Birthdays--Taylors of the Older Generations By Pat Kinsella Herdeg and Aunt CB

October is the Birthday Month for three of the Taylors of the older generations: Cordelia Waller Taylor, her daughter-in-law Emma Carson Taylor and Emma’s son Leon Carlton Taylor.

Martha Cordelia Waller Taylor was born October 13th, 1828 in Elba, NY. She married Daniel Rockwell Taylor and they and their children lived at the family farm, ‘Peace Farm’ in Oakfield, NY. She was a prolific journal writer, and from her, we get many of the Taylor family details of those years. She died in 1908 at her farm home, now called ‘Woodlawn’ by Bryant and his wife Emma, who owned it.

On the Fourth of July in 1900, Cordelia writes: “A glorious family picnic of all the dear boys and their families and ourselves in this dear old home. Rained in the a.m., but cleared up and gave abundant time for our bountiful dinner under the trees, yes and in a tent constructed by the boys. What a grand good time and then came music and singing, inspiring and heavenly.

Orrin, Mary and baby stay, while Carlton goes and just gets home when a terrific thunderstorm breaks upon us. So endeth this happy Fourth.”

One of her sons, Bryant Waller Taylor ( my great grandfather), married Emma Jane Carson. Emma Jane is also a birthday girl this month. She was born on October 4th, 1860 in Geneseo, NY. She came from a warm and loving family. She too was a journal writer, and her pages are filled with brothers and sisters coming to visit and help with her growing family. According to her daughter Florence, she was a wonderful cook.

On September 21st, 1888, Emma writes in her journal:

“Damp and chilly most of the time. Bryant has been trying all week to get his beans in but did not --only a load or two. They were so wet from night rains. We have been sewing on Bryant’s shirts and my calico dress, crocheting, knitting for evening, when Clara would allow it. Corn cutting finished today. Bryant has been picking some apples. There is some talk of going home tomorrow for the last time before we get our ‘new baby’, Libbie (Emma’s sister), Bryant, Clara (now 21 months old) and I.”

The ‘new baby’ Emma writes of is her second child, Leon. Leon was born on October 13th, 1888, therefore sharing the birthdate with his grandmother, Cordelia. That makes him also an October Birthday Boy.

Cordelia celebrates by writing, of course:
Grandma’s Soliloquy
October thirteenth, eighteen eighty-eight!
I'm just sixty years old today.
No happier heart beats in all the land,
Though I own I am growing gray.

Now what do you think was my present rare,
On this my dear natal day?
Was it money, or lands, or something to wear?
To keep my heart young and gay?

Not money, nor lands, nor satins and silks,
Could with my rich jewel compare;
No costlier gift was ever bestowed,
Than a dear little grandson so fair.
A welcome we give from the depth of the heart
To this sweet child of promise so bright;
May he live in the light and the love of his God,
And win in Life’s battle for right.

Leon was Aunt CB’s favorite Taylor uncle. She writes: “He had a neighborhood grocery store in Batavia when we were growing up. After his own marriage dissolved, his older sister, Clara, also alone now, came to live with him in the apartment over the store. These two, raised as all B.W. and Emma's children were to be active in the church, continued to be in their grown-up years. Leon helped many of their neighbors during the depression years with an occasional bag of groceries.

He was a jovial, kind, honest uncle who was part of the Taylor Quartet and always gave us bananas as a treat! He was a great help to his father when he had to care for his stepmother. When she fell, B.W. would call Leon to help lift her up. Leon died in Geneva General Hospital of a heart attack in June of 1960.”

Our Emma Jane died at age 55 in August of 1916; she had a stroke. One month before, she wrote:
“We were all invited to Lloyd’s for the 4th. Arrived over there by 11 o’clock a.m. As soon as Lloyd could get off, we all started for Indian Falls for our dinner and had a nice time. We had some fireworks, after that ice cream and cake. Friends from Basom going back took Lloyd and Ethel home. All tumbled into bed about dead. I for one would have liked to have had it all over again next day so as to do all the things we did not but wanted to on the 4th.”

To Cordelia, Emma and Leon, we thank you for all that you gave to our family, as we continue to carry on the Taylor family journey.

Next, Mom and I will write about three Bakers with October Birthdays-- Byron H. Baker, William Youngs, and Nancy Borthwick Baker.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Birthdays 2011—Part One, by Pat Kinsella Herdeg

October is a great month to get outdoors and walk in the woods—the colors, the smells, the animals rustling around to get ready for winter. AND, it is a terrific month for birthdays. We have a large amount of the ‘Older Generation’ with October Birthdays, so they will get their own separate post later in the month. For now, here are the Birthday Kids:

In Aunt Doris’ family, Cynthia Hawkes Gabrys , Eowyn Brionna Colley (daughter of Kristyne Colley, granddaughter of Charles Hawkes), Stephanee Hawkes ( Steve’s daughter), Sean Towlson (married to Cindy Hawkes’ daughter, Heather), and Cameron Charles Towlson ( Cindy Hawkes’s grandson) all have birthdays this month.

Sean and Morgan
In Aunt Sylva’s family, Linda Kathleen Emhof Arnold ( Sylva’s daughter) is the birthday kid.

In Aunt Esther’s family, Sara Elizabeth Lochner ( Rick’s daughter) blows out candles.

Rick, Sara, Laurie

In Aunt CB’s family, my Pops-- John Joseph Kinsella and my oldest son-- Brian Christopher Herdeg –have October Birthdays.
 Uncle Jack
Brian and Gina

 In Uncle Arnon’s family, Stephen Baker Wright (son of Nancy Taylor Wright), Coreen Elizabeth Taylor ( Jim Taylor’s daughter),  and Curtis Taylor (son of Bob Taylor) are the Birthday Kids.
In Aunt Ruth’s family, Paul James Maney (Michael’s son), and Richard Alan Maney enjoy October Birthdays.


In Aunt Gladys’ family, Kenneth C. Barron ( husband of Kathryn Wood) has a birthday.

In Floyd Taylor’s family, Mitch Taylor (son of Bryant and Eveyln Taylor) also has a birthday this month.

Congratulations to all!!

Watch for October for Older Generations: Emma Jane Carson, Byron H. Baker, Cordelia Waller, Leon Carson Taylor, William Youngs, and Nancy Borthwick Baker following later this month.

Pam and Mitch