Tuesday, July 1, 2014

By his own hands

 As seen in the Lowell Sun, Wednesday, November 15, 1898 a man took his own life.  This man has come to be known as Adam Cunningham of Paisley Scotland and Lowell Massachusetts.   Adam came to this country about 1860 his wife Mary Henderson.  Sometime in the late 1890's Mary passes away and Adam begins to struggle.  Due to the difficult clarity of the original article (see below) the following is a transcription as it appeared in The Lowell Sun, November 15th.

"Adam Cunningham whose attempted self destruction was briefly reported in yesterday's latest edition of the Sun, died last night at St. John's hospital.  His  wounds were inflicted with a pocket knife instead of a with a razor as first reported.
At the time the unfortunate man committed the deed he was alone in the home.
He had evidently been very deliberate in his preparation as a wet whetstone was found lying near the knife which was on the floor close to a large pool of blood.
His first attempt not proving successful, other than to cause a great loss of blood, he endeavored to make a second attempt but his hand was so unsteady that he could not wield the knife.
He then staggered out of the house and across the yard to the house of his daughter, a Mrs. Sullivan, and attempted to tell her what he had done.  But, the wound and the flow of blood so affected his speech that he could not articulate distinctly.
A teenager was sent at once to the **** **** stone yard and the police notified. Deputy Moffat then called the ambulance, but it had already been notified and was then on the way.
When Dr. Durham arrived the man was in a semi-conscious condition and the doctor gave it as his opinion that the second wound prove fatal.
The cause of the Cunningham's sad set was prompted by a combination of troubles, which produced melancholy or temporary insanity. He had recently buried his wife and was out of employment.
The remains have been removed to his late home, 43 Anderson Street by Undertaker Currier.
Mr. Cunningham was born 53 years ago in Paisley, Scotland and came to Lowell 30 years ago and lived here until his death.  His family consists of three sons and three daughters.  He was a cabinet make by trade and had been a hard and industrious worker."

The original article posted to the left is a little difficult to read, so I transcribed it the best I could.  There is one piece that included two words that I just couldn't make out.  I replaced the two words with asterisks (*).  So, if you can figure out what stone yard is mentioned, I would love to know.

While investigating more about Adam, the death of his wife was discovered to be just months earlier this same year.  Mary died 15 April 1898 and both Adam and Mary are resting in the Edson Cemetery, Lowell Massachusetts.

Also, while research Adam and Mary, I was able to find the names to their parents.  So, another generation found.

Adam's parents;  Thomas Cunningham and Mary Rudd, both of Scotland.   Adam was born 1845 in Scotland.

Mary's parents; Robert Henderson and Catherine Graham, both of Scotland.  Mary was born 1847 in Scotland.

Adam and Mary Cunningham are connected to my family tree through an October 1903 marriage of  their daughter Catherine G Cunningham to John Heaney.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Project: Finding George H Reynolds

George Henry Reynolds; where did he come from and where did he go?   These are the question I have about my great grandfather.

Shortly after the death on my mother Mary M Herrick Reynolds, Jan 2001, I realized I knew so very little about my families tree.  Sure, I had the bits and pieces like my father's family is back east and my mother's family is out west in Washington state.  I even had a hint of a great aunt in Florida.  So, I gathered up my mothers belongings and started to piece the tree back together.  It's been better than twelve years putting things together and along the way I have found relatives all over the place.  And now communicate with many.  But, that is another story, so back to George.  When I started digging, I didn't know my great grandfather by name and knew even less about his wife, my great grand mother.

In my mother's papers was a crude tree outlining my father's side, in which it listed my grand father as George Henry Reynolds.  To this point I only new George Reynolds as my uncle.  So, armed with just these small pieces I started researching the Reynolds in Lowell Massachusetts.   It wasn't  long that I discovered my great grandmother; Elizabeth Anna Wat(t)ers Reynolds, her children James, George and Flossie living in 1900 Lowell Massachusetts.  This find explored into finding the rest of my Reynolds family in Lowell.  However, George is still a mystery!

Along the way a documents came to light putting the family in 1892 Woburn Massachusetts and revealing for the first time my great grandfather was also a George H Reynolds.  So, there were three George's in consecutive generations.  The document was a birth certificate for Flossie Jane Reynolds listing Elizabeth Wat(t)ers as mother and George H Reynolds as father.  George is a mason from England and Elizabeth is from Nova Scotia. Then, my grandfather's birth certificate was found in 1891 Woburn.  This certificate conflicts with the 1900 census claiming he was born in Rhode Island.  This birth certificate also listed Elizabeth of Nova Scotia and George a mason from England.

Soon, I had Elizabeth's family in Nova Scotia outlined, include two sets of 3x great grandparents.  However, nothing more was found about George.  No marriage record for George and Elizabeth.  No birth record for first born son James who was born in 1889 Westville or Truro NS, prior to the family coming to the states.  A good thing happen while searching for George in NS, I found living Watters relatives.  It has been so great to communicate with them.

But, and that is a Big But... no George H Reynolds of England.

So, after many years searching and searching for George without finding a hint, I brought in a professional Genealogist to help.  The following is the new findings that were produced.

George H Reynolds b. Nov 1868 England.  The birth date was found in a document from the Lowell Overseers of the Poor Collection 1896 intake record for Elizabeth Wat(t)ers Reynolds.

George Reynolds, mason, age 24, was living at 15 Centre St., Woburn MA in 1892, “residence the previous year, Providence, Rhode Island.   This information was found in a document List of Polls.

1893 Woburn City Directory
George H Reynolds was living at 20 Hovey Street Woburn in 1893.  He is a Currier.  A Currier is a leather worker, so a bit of conflict with being a mason.  A very interesting and supporting find William D Watters,   William is Elizabeth's younger brother.  He too is working as a Currier.    Upon reviewing the document, it reveals three other George Reynolds living in Woburn MA and working as Currier.  I wonder if there is any family connection.  Something to look into.   This document was a city directory for Woburn MA, which I've seen before but had no supporting data to put claim.  William being in the same house is support enough.

In the Overseers of Poor record for Elizabeth, she states that she separated for George in 1894 and at the time of the intake, she thought he was dead.  No records have been found for support the death.

In the Overseers of the Poor record for Elizabeth, she states that George (my grandfather) was born in Providence.   So, it is my thought that the birth wasn't recorded until the family settled in Woburn, thus a registry for George's birth in Woburn setting up the conflict.

No additional records have been found for George H Reynolds thus far, so the search continues.

Armed with the birth date of 1868 for George, I have enlisted three amateur genealogists in the Truro, Stelleraton and Westville Nova Scotia area to dig into finding any information; migration, marriage, birth of son.  Anything to link George to Elizabeth and James.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vampire of Chicago

I know you were thinking this will be a story about Vampires lurking about the shadows of the dark and back streets of Chicago.  So, sorry but this story  about a man labeled a Vamp in 1914-19 Chicago newsprint.

What is a Vamp or Vampire in circa 1914 Chicago.  A vamp is an attractive, dangerously flirtatious woman. A vamp in an old movie might wear tight clothes and bright red lipstick. The noun vamp is somewhat old fashioned, implying a woman who uses her charisma and beauty to charm men into doing what she wants them to do. You can also use it as a verb, meaning to tease or flirt, especially in a showy and manipulative way. The word came into use in the early 1900's, from vampire. Some experts connect the first use of vamp with the role of "The Vampire" in the 1915 movie "A Fool There Was."

Our main character is Gilbert Leroy Tutt, son of John and Luella Murphy Tutt.  Gilbert (Bert) grew up in Chicago Illinois and this is where most of this short story takes place.  According to found documents, Bert was born in either Illinois, Kansas or Missouri about 1886.  However, his brother Leslie claims Kansas City MO as his place of birth, so it is reasonable that Bert too was born in the same city.  By the 1900 census, Bert, his mother and brother are living in 24th Ward of Chicago, which bumps up against Lake Michigan west shore line.  Luella is recorded as married, but John was not enumerated with the family. Round about 1907, Bert marries a Nellie Murphy.  This is the first marriage that I have been able to find and it would fit with Bert's age of being 21.  From this marriage Virginia Tutt was born.  Virginia was married to my father in the late 1940's and thus is the initial interest in this family.  To read more about Virginia click here.

Now, to the few articles that have been found, which will explain events much better than I can.  The images can be enlarged for better reading.

In Chicago Daily Tribune July 10 1914 a filing for divorce.

In the Cincinnati Post July 1914 was found a small little announcement of Divorce.  One has to wonder why Cincinnati?

In Chicago Daily Tribune July 1919 was found a lengthy description of Bert's marriages and now trouble with the law.

Click image to enlargen

The enmesh as it was described in the article was Nellie Murphy in 1907 and she divorce Bert in 1914.  However, the article claims the divorce happened in 1912.  Then, in 1913 Bert is marrying again to Grace Allen, which lasted until 1917, which abandonment was claim for reason.  Who abandoned who?  Then July 4th, 1919, the time of this publication, a Ms Julie Peterson is now claiming to be Bert's wife of six days.   I have been informed that at least five marriages Bert would pass through, but I know of only four.

In the Pittsburgh Press July 1919 another article surfaces "Male Vampire of Chicago"

Click image to enlargen

The above article includes more children born to Bert.  The 4528 Sheridan road address can be confirmed on the WW I Registration card for Bert.  This card was dated 1918.

Of the woman that came and left Bert's life they are;  Nellie Murphy (1907-1914), Grace Allen (1913-1917, Julia Peterson (1919-unk), Wada Bowers (1929-1937-38).

I will end the post for now, but will provide updates as new information becomes available.

Please feel free to comment any new information or corrections.  You can also reach me through Facebook, Google and my email address; billrey at hotmail dot com.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

GoldenrRod CrabSpider

Click for larger image
Goldenrod Crab misumena vatia spider an practitioner of camouflage and stealth.  The m. vatia is a species of crab spider with holarctic distribution. 

In North America, where it is the largest and best-known flower spider, it is called the goldenrod crab spider or flower (crab) spider, because it is commonly found hunting in goldenrod in the autumn just prior to the fall hatch.  It is the young spider that will over winter.

Over the years wandering nature with camera in hand, I have come across a few of these spiders having dinner, each time a bee was being consumed.  Other insects are on the menu too; flies, butterflies, grasshoppers and such.

the end of a bee
Click for larger image
This is plant is part of my Facebook series Learn Something Country . #learnsomethingcounty

Other sites you might be interested in;


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Yellow Goats Beard

Yellow Goat's Beard! Also called Western Salsify. This flower resembles a very large Dandelion when it goes to seed.

Native to western Asia and to Europe. Introduced and naturalized in North America.  Found often along roadside, disturbed sites and most often in full sun.

I've seen this flower throughout Minnesota and right here in my backyard.  According to the USDA site the Yellow Goat's Beard can be found in most to states, minus a few, and the Canadian Providences.

The blooming season is generally April to July and occasionally continues until September.

This is plant is part of my Facebook series Learn Something Country .  #learnsomethingcounty

If interested, one purchase an 8 x 10 at my photo store.
Click here!

What's doin' the Blooming

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Royal Palm Turkey

Royal Palm Turkey
Last spring we (I) decided to add some turkeys to the flock here at Prairie Home Farm.  Looking around the poultry order hatcheries, they all wanted a person to order a minimum of 15-25 turkey chicks.  I didn't want that many chicks all at once without knowing how they were going to fit in.  So, I started searching the poultry social sites like BackYard Chickens and found a kind person in Pennsylvania that was OK with shipping only 6 turkey chicks.  We finalized the deal and boom we had turkey chicks on the farm.  In the bringing the chicks were slow growing, but by the end of summer they were near full size thanks to the abundance of grasshoppers and crickets. Thus far, the turkeys have caused one additional chores or issues.  Even on the coldest of days and nights, yes these birds having access to the inside of the coop, insist of roosting outside.  We just went through the 2014 Polar Vortex where our temperatures were pushed to -30° with windchill down in the -50° range and the turkeys had no trouble managing the cold.  One of the females does frequent the coop more that the others.  The young males (Jake) are now puffing up and strutting!  The young females (Jenny) are paying no noticeable attention to the activity.  They are more focused on eating and sleeping.  The Jakes are so funny, not only do they strut for the Jennys, they strut for anything and anyone watching.   The goats get a lot of attention as they don't shy away.

Over at the Turkey Jake a Facebook page, one can follow the adventures of TurkeyJake, and browse the images of the other turkeys and flock mates.

So, what is a Royal Palm turkey?

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.  The Royal Palm is a strikingly attractive and small-sized turkey variety. The first birds in America to have the Palm color pattern appeared in a mixed flock of Black, Bronze, Narragansett, and Wild turkeys on the farm of Enoch Carson of Lake Worth, Florida in the 1920s. Further selection has been made since then to stabilize the consistency of color and other characteristics. As an anonymous breeder wrote to Feathered World magazine in 1931, “Turkeys of this type of coloration do crop up by chance where different color varieties are crossed . . . but it takes years to perfect their markings.” The Royal Palm was recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1971. It is similar to a European variety called the Pied, Crollwitz, or Black-laced White, which has been known since the 1700s.

Royal Palm turkeys are white with a sharply contrasting, metallic black edging on the feathers. The saddle is black which provides a sharp contrast against the white base color of body plumage. The tail is pure white, with each feather having a band of black and an edge of white. The coverts are white with a band of black, and the wings are white with a narrow edge of black across each feather. The breast is white with the exposed portion of each feather ending in a band of black to form a contrast of black and white similar to the scales of a fish. The turkeys have red to bluish white heads, a light horn beak, light brown eyes, red to bluish white throat and wattles, and deep pink shanks and toes. The beard is black.

Royal Palms are active, thrifty turkeys, excellent foragers, and good flyers. Standard weights are 16 pounds for young toms and 10 pounds for young hens. The Royal Palm has not been purposefully selected for either growth rate or muscling, being used primarily as an exhibition variety.

The Royal Palm lacks the commercial potential of the other varieties, but it has a role to play on small farms, for home production of meat or where its ability to control insect pests would be of value.

Wikipedia offers this definition; The Royal Palm is a breed of domestic turkey. One of the few turkeys not primarily selected for meat production, the Royal Palm is best known as an ornamental bird with a unique appearance, largely white with bands of metallic black. Primarily kept as an exhibition bird, or on small farms, it lacks the size for large scale commercial use. Toms usually weigh 16 to 22 lbs and the hens 10 to 12 lbs.

A relative newcomer among turkey breeds, the bird first appeared in the 1920s on a farm in Lake Worth, Florida, apparently as a cross between Black, Bronze, Narragansett, and native turkeys.[1] Years of selective breeding followed to stabilize the coloring, and the Royal Palm was finally accepted by the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection in 1971. In Europe, a turkey with similar coloration is sometimes called the Cröllwitzer, Pied, or Black-laced White.[2]

Along with the decline of most heritage turkey breeds after the adoption of the Broad Breasted White by the turkey industry, Royal Palms are a very endangered breed today. The breed is classified as being on "watch" status with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. It is also included in Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste, a catalog of heritage foods in danger of extinction.

The toms are noted for being non-aggressive, and the hens are particularly good mothers.

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