Monday, September 28, 2015

Toy Room Exhibit

When looking back at how things have changed from our cloths, televisions and automobiles we sometimes forget about the simple smaller things. No I’m not talking about cell phones getting smaller I’m talking about toys. The toys we had or even the toys our grandparents and great grandparents had. What better way to see and remember what some of these toys were like then visiting the Middletown Historical Society, here in Middletown, Delaware. On the second floor you can take a visit to toys past in the “Please Touch Room”, this is an exhibit that all kids, both young and old, will enjoy. What better way for kids to learn more about history then to let them play with some of these reproductions.

The museum schedule is listed below, if you have any questions about special tours they ask that you contact them through one of the following numbers. (302) 378-8265 or (302) 740-5544.

Every Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  
1st Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. – noon  
3rd Wednesday of each month from noon – 4:00 p.m.  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Mr. Nutter Ran Away

Published on the 16th of August in 1825 in the American Watchman in Wilmington, DE

On Saturday the 16th inst. from the subscriber, near Middletown, Del., a bright mulatto, named Philip Szansberry Nutter, about 18 or 19 years of age. He is about 5 feet, 8 inches high, delicately made, round shouldered, and pleasant with spoken to. Took with him, a black cloth coat, a seersucker do, a striped worsted waistcoat, a pair of tow linen trousers, a pair of blue domestic stripe do., domestic shirt, and black fur hat. I will give Twenty Dollars reward and pay reasonable charges if brought home; or Twenty Dollars if secured to that I get him.
Thomas S. Merritt.    

July 23, 1825.                                                                        67 – tf 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Middletown Goes to War

Middletown Historical Society museum offers a glimpse into the lives of those who have served our country. The museum is open every Friday for those of you who would like to see the “Middletown Goes to War” exhibit, no charge. While walking through the exhibit you might recognize a few faces as well as names. You get a chance to see what some of the lives were like for our service men and women during these battles. You also have the chance to get a glimpse at what like was like back on the home front for our families.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Cemetery - Mine Victim Graves

Published the 14th of July in 1902 in the Philadelphia Inquirer out of Philadelphia, PA
Regular Grave Diggers Refused to Work, So Comrades Dug Grave
But Foreign Laborers Fear a Return to the Scene of the Disaster
Special to The Inquirer.
     JOHNSTOWN, Pa., July 12 – The tragedy is about over. To-day was given up to funerals and requiem mass for the dead.
Mine Superintendent George T. Robinson took a party through the Rolling Mill mine to-day where the disaster occurred. The company is preparing to operate the mine this week. The superstitious foreigners refuse to return to work in that mine.
The regular grave diggers in the Slavock and Polish Catholic Cemeteries refused to do their work because of exhaustion from the previous day’s work, and the comrade of the men who were to be buried had to perform this last sad office.  This summarizes the day’s news in the tragedy of the Cambria mine.
Trenches Served as Graves
     The hard rock of the cemetery soil made the task of digging the seventy graves separately too great, and two great trenches were dug instead. The scarcity of men to dig the graves came very near causing the county authorities to interfere and take charge of the work of interring the remains of the dead miners.
     Almost forty bodies lay in the barn to the left of the foreigners’ cemetery in Morrellville all last night. There was not even a man left to guard the bodies. The corpses in the barn were augmented this morning by four other bodies which were taken to the barn, and as there were no graves they had to be deposited among others.
Grave Diggers in Demand
     The Rev. Father B. Dembinsky made a herculean effort to have men volunteer to go out and dig graves but very few responded. This morning he made a personal canvass among his parishioners of St. Cassmir’s Slavack Catholic Church and succeeded in getting several relatives of the dead miners to go.
     Then Rev. Father Dembinsky made a personal appeal to the official of the Cambria Steel Company and they took action on the matter at once, and sent thirty miners to the cemetery.
     During the masses, which he held for his own people this morning, the Rev. Father Dembinsky again called for volunteer grave diggers, with the result that about five men volunteered their services. At 10 o’clock mass, held in St. Stephen’s Slavish Catholic Church, the Rev. Father John Marlvin made a stirring appeal to the members of his congregation and quite a number of men agreed to go, and at 11 o’clock there were sixty-four men in the Morrellville Cemetery digging graves for the dead bodies of the victims.
Regulars Refused to Dig
     The two regular grave diggers employed by the cemetery had positively refused to take up a digging iron. The force which went to work shortly before noon make great excavation, with the result that by 2 o’clock preparations were begun to bring the bodies from the barn and deposit them in the ground. The men worked hard and fast. Then their friends came to the cemetery and many not in working clothes, who had come to the burring ground to attend the funerals, got down into the holes and worked for ten or fifteen minutes each.
Solemn Church Scene

      In St. Stephen’s Catholic Church this morning the coffins, twenty-four in number, were placed side by side and pointing toward the altar. Others were placed on the tops of church pews, where they remained while the services were in progress. One by one, as a funeral was announced, the pall bearers, and dozens of them aced at numerous funerals during the day, would walk up the aisle, select the desired coffin or casket, always

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Hero of New Castle County

Published on the 26th of September in 1814 in the Delaware Gazette & State Journal out of Wilmington, DE

[For the Delaware Gazette,]

Com. Thomas Macdonough
     The hero of Champlain was born at the Trap, in New Castle County and state of Delaware, in Dec. 1783. His father, Dr. Thomas Macdonough, was born at the same place and was practising Physic there at the beginning of the revolutionary war. At the particular request of his friend, Col. Haslet, who was killed at Princeton, he took the command of a battalion of the Delaware regiment. After his tour of duty was performed, he returned to his native state, where he took the command of a regiment of militia, and where he was afterwards appointed an associate judge in the Court of Common Pleas, in which office he continued until his death in 1795. The Doctor’s father, James Macdonough, was a respectable inhabitant of the county and died at a very advanced age in 1792. Dr. Thomas Macdonough left four sons, James, Thomas, Samuel, and John – James, the elder, entered as a Midshipman on board the Constellation with Capt. Truxton; and, after distinguishing himself under that gallant commander, returned to his native state, disabled by the loss of a leg, sustained in the capture of the insurgent. – At his return Thomas was peacefully employed in a store, in Middletown, in his native state; but catching form James the Soldier’s flame, he entered as his brother had done, as a Midshipman in the naval service of his country. He was then about 17 years of age; and in a profession thus voluntarily and ardently embraced, he was not likely to remain long undistinguished. A speck of war only was seen in our political horizon, and against the Tripolitans the opportunities for enterprise, were very rare. – These, however, when they did occur were embraced by our naval heroes with and eagerness, and executed with an intrepidity and skill which not only astonished the world, but even themselves. Sympathy which gave a single force to their united action, and a generous emulation which stimulated their courage almost to desperation, gave to Great Britain an ominous presage of their future greatness, to their country the loudest and proudest hopes, and made their Barbarian enemy exclaim “ they are more than mortals.” Among such as these Macdonough was eminently, distinguished, and by his conduct in the destruction of the Philadelphia, and the subsequent capture of a Tripolitan gun boat, by the side of Decatur, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
Without the patronage of friends, our young hero advanced by his courage and conduct form the humble birth of Midshipman to a command which covered the heart of the nation, a command by the experience of former wars proved to be of vital importance – where everything was to be created by his genius and protected by his vigilance. 
     In a very gloomy moment he answered the hopes of his countrymen, and in a radiance of glory dispelled the menacing storm. But it was not he! It was the Lord of Hosts who stopped to show to an offending nation, in a moment of despondence, that he will listen to the prayers and nerve the arm of a Christian Hero. An habitual respect for the Christian religion is often mistaken for Christianity, and pressed into service to form the character of the Soldier. – Not such are the claims of Macdonough. His religion appears to be of the vital nature which reached the heart, tempers the affections, and regulates the actions. It may be said in spiritual, as in temporal affairs, that he has fought the good fight and came off more than conqueror. In a letter to a relative, in Delaware, written in June last, after expressing his warm regard for the place of his nativity, and friends of his youth, and promising to visit them if God should spare his life till the close of the present season, he declares the happiness he derives from his reliance upon the merits and attunement of Christ, and earnestly recommends to them a religious life as the only one, which good sense would point out to those continued that there is another world. To his Brother’s widow, left in slender circumstances, he tenders liberal pecuniary aid, and delicately released her from all obligation on that store, by declaring that it is his religion which makes him the widow’s friend. A victory, obtained under the command of such a hero, ought to inspire us with the hope, that God will stay his avenging hand if the people will look up to and acknowledge him to be their God. Let the example of Macdonough teach those to whom the nation has confided its sword, that Religion does not unnerve the arm of the brave, nor lessen the authority of its votary. Before he went into action, he prostrated himself with his crew, before the most high and confiding he the Almighty, they fearlessly met the enemy. When he saw hostile fleet approaching he observed to those around him “they are superiors in force, but by the blessing of God we can beat them.” And so indeed he did. The world has often been called upon to witness the prodigious effect of religion in exalting the human energies. Without recurring to the memorable areas of Joshua, David, and Maccabeus, when a religious dependence on the Lord of Hosts excited to almost supernatural valor, or to the histories of the Romans,  Greeks, and other Pagan nations, whom favorable omens, by inspiring the even a superstitious sense of the protection of Heaven, were sure almost to lead to victory or the combats under banners of the Cross for the tomb of our Saviour, in which were strikingly displayed the triumph of religious enthusiasm over the greatest privations and dangers; we see in our day the striking effects of religion upon an army, which we call Barbarians, but to which enlightened Europe now owes its deliverance. This army, although composed principally of raw levies, yet inspired by a religious confidence, his trumped over the best appointed and discipleship army, let by the most distinguished captain of the age. The Russian gen. Suwaroff knew the poser of religion in the day of battle, and always availed himself of with and Irresistible effect, and in the solemn address of the renowned Kutusoff, and procession of the holy cross, at the battle of Bernadine, who does not see the soul of that valor, displayed by the Russians, in that most sanguinary of all conflicts.
     Let, then every officer inculcate by percept and practice, a regular attention to the duties of religion and God we reward it by a gift of more than mortal strength and valor.
     Various forms of religious duties have been ordered, in all armies from a conviction of their unity but they can never be effectual, unless they are felt as more than forms, by officers and soldiers. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Follow Friday

There are so many great blogs and websites out there that focus on genealogy and the family research. You can’t help but get caught up in reading them and I’ll confess sometimes reading some of the posting twice. I wanted to share a couple of the blogs and posting with all of you, enjoy.
Old Bones Genealogy - “Maryland Non-Population Schedules Online”  
posted on Tuesday, September 15th    
posted by Eileen Souza

Nutfield Genealogy - “Mayflower Day September 16th 1620”
posted on Monday, September 16th 2010
posted by Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Untold lives blog - “Chocolate Soldiers – Untold lives blog”
posted on Monday, September 14th  
shared by Valmay Young   

Deep Roots - “Walking in His Footsteps”
posted Tuesday, September 15th
posted by David James Armstrong   

“See How Easy it is to view Old Georgia Wills & Estates”
posted Wednesday, September 16th
shared by Jeannette Austin

My Maine Ancestry - “Fitter To Be A Chambermaid Than A Preacher – 52 Ancestors #36”
posted Sunday, September 13th
posted by Pam Carter

The Olive Tree Genealogy - “Nursing Sister WW I Photo Album: 29V Sister taking pulse”
posted Sunday, September 13th
posted by Lorie McGinnis Schulze

These are just a few and I stress a few of the great blog postings that have been shared this past week. I didn’t list them in any particular order. Take time to read not only these blog posting, but view some of their past postings. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Don't Give Up

Don’t give up on your research into your family history. We all start out with a tree similar to this one.

But over time of viewing photographs, reading documents and visiting many repositories you begin to see your family tree starting to form.

Then before you know it your tree will become full of leaves and yes maybe a nut or two. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Schedule Update "Cemetery Quick Finds"

Angela Rodesky with ARodesky Genealogy will be the guest speaker in October at the Middletown Historical Society meeting. She will be presenting on her “Cemetery Quick Finds” from our local cemeteries here in Middletown, Delaware.  Members and non-members are encouraged to attend this informative and fun presentation at 7:30 on the 20th of October at the Old Academy Building, 216 N. Broad Street here in Middletown.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Peach Industry Exhibit

The “Olde-Tyme Peach Festival” is well known in the area of Middletown and some of the surrounding towns. It only comes along once a year but luckily the Middletown Historical Society has an exhibit up on the second floor available for you to visit. The exhibit “Peach Industry around Middletown 19th & 20th Century” shows how the peach industry affected Middletown. If you are like me when hear peaches you always think of Georgia not Delaware. This is the perfect exhibit to show you that peaches made a difference in places besides Georgia.  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Cemetery - Allegheny Cemetery

Published the 16th of July in 1869 in the Philadelphia Inquirer out of Philadelphia, PA
A Cloudburst Does Nearly a Million Dollars’ Worth of Damage
The Water Reached the Second Stories in Same Secitons
Part of Allegheny Cemetery Wall Has Been Destroyed and Nearly Two Miles of Track Torn Up. No Loss of Life.
     PITTSBURG, July 13. – A heavy storm to-night, which was practically a cloudburst, did great damage throughout this city and Allegheny Estimates made from reports coming from outlying portions indicate a loss of nearly a million dollars. All street car lines have been stopped.  
     At Forty-eight street water is in the second story of the houses, caused washed away, and nearly two miles by the bursting of a large sewer. Part of Allegheny Cemetery wall has been of the Citizens’ Street Railway is torn up.
     Tones of earth and stone have been washed out to the Fifth Avenue and Duquesne Traction Company’s lines at Soho.
The sewers in Butcher Run and Woods Run, in Allegheny, are reported as having given way, flooding those sections.
No loss of life as yet reported.
     In Allegheny, Perrysville avenue was flooded from one end to the other, undermining the new street railway, rendering it an almost total loss. Seven miles of Saw Mill Run plank road is destroyed, the planks being carried away and the roadbed ruined. The water came rushing down Madison avenue and east streets for feet deep, when the sewer on Compromise street gave way. It plowed its way right through houses in its track and deposited boulders and gravel in front of the Twelfth ward school house eight feet high. 
     The soap factory of George Harley & Son, on Madison avenue, has three feet of gravel on ground floor and $6000 worth of soap was destroyed. The house of John Mueller, on Spring Hill, near Royal Street, was washed down the hill with three children in it. All were rescued, however by brave work of neighbors.

     A landslide on Toboggan street carried with it into the streets below 1000 tons of earth, rock and gravel. All the cellars on Howard street were flooded. This section is in the famous Butchers’ Run district, which was so disastrously flooded on July 26, 1874.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday Spotting - Andrew Dill

Published on the 20th of December in 1825 in the American Watchman out of Wilmington, DE
WILL be sold, for cash, on Wednesday the 28th inst., at the house of Andrew Dill, in Middletown, all the Personal Property of said Andrew Dill; consisting of Store Goods, Stand Casks, Medicines and Stand Bottles; Crockery; a good Wagon and Harness; two Horses, one Cow, &c.
Sale to commence at 10 o’clock, A.M.
                                             ARNOLD NAUDAIN,
                                             WM. KEAN
                                             Assignees of Andrew Dill.

December 19th, 1825                  9 – St 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday Cemetery - Coffins in Flood

Published the 9th of April in 1904 in the Philadelphia Inquirer out of Philadelphia, PA
     Conditions at the flooded Mennonite Cemetery, at Germantown, are growing worse. Yesterday the flow of water from whatever source it may come increased, and exceeded all efforts of the Water Bureau employes to divert it to the street.
It rose to the top level of the famous Rittenhouse family vault, and was overflowing form that and other vaults and graves into the cellars of near-by houses. The occupants of the latter have become alarmed lest the water, probably having come in contact with the bodies of the dead, may spread disease.
     They have accordingly circulated a petition to be sent to the health authorities, asking that immediate steps be taken to check the flood, as they fear an epidemic of disease may result. Some of the residents, whose houses have been flooded, are: Charles Reiner, E. J. Armstrong, Mrs. Roop, Mrs. D. M. Hicks and Harry S. Rahn.
Coffins Were Shifted
     Before the water reached the top of the Rittenhouse vault yesterday morning, Samuel Rittenhouse, foremen of Fire Engine Company, No. 19, of Germantown, a member of the distinguished family whose name he bears, climbed into the cavern to move the coffins of his wife and child who had lain there for about two years. Standing in the icy water waist deep, he shifted the coffins to shelves on a high level which had not yet been touched by the flood. But a few hours later the water again reached them.
      Meanwhile the Water Bureau employes were working several pumps to reduce the level of water.
     In strange contrast to the gruesome environments of the grave was a relic which came up through the pumps. It was a plain band wedding ring. Whose it was or what joyous union it had helped to bind in the forgotten years is unknown. It was turned over to members of the Rittenhouse family.

     The city employes engaged in trying to trace the source of the water flow have so far been baffled. Notwithstanding previous investigations, they are not inclined again to think the water comes from a broken main. The water has been shut off from most of the mains in the locality to determine it possible form where it flows into the cemetery.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Presentation - "Cemetery Quick Finds"

Angela Rodesky with ARodesky Genealogy will be the guest speaker this month at the Middletown Historical Society meeting. She will be presenting on her “Cemetery Quick Finds” from our local cemeteries here in Middletown, Delaware.  Members and non-members are encouraged to attend this informative and fun presentation at 7:30 on the 15th of September at the Old Academy Building, 216 N. Broad Street here in Middletown.