Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Latvia

Foreign images of a foreign land, but not altogether irrelevant ... 

Putin's military forces are on border of this seaside country a threat that Latvians are not altogether unfamiliar with.

Riga, Latvia
shoreline of the Baltic Sea
Riga, Latvia
skyline
and from today's headlines ............. Riga Castle Historical Landmark fire

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Alida Julia Brownfield and Husband



Alida Julia Erskine (nee Brownfield)
b. Jan 1902 Latvia d. Dec 1971 Tonbridge, Kent, England
(daughter of Minna Dosenberg and Ernest C Brownfield)
with husband Denys Malcom Erskine
b. Oct 1903 d. Dec 1966
(son of  Cicely Grace Quicke and Sir James Malcom Monteith Erskine)
Proprietors of Eccleston Hotel SW1 London England
April 1949

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Aunt Nina with Gretchen, Baltimore, Maryland

Great Aunt Nina
back yard of her home in Baltimore, MD
holding her pet dachshund Gretchen
July 1942
(used with permission from Susan Hill)
 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: John Adam DeLawder, John Lurman DeLawder, Rosa Alice DeLawder


from left to right: John Adam DeLawder, John Lurman DeLawder
Rosa Alice DeLawder  (nee Glotfelty)
most likely taken in Takoma Park, MD cira 1920
 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

First Love: John and Frances

"Capital 'D'-e" {pause} "Capital 'L,'-a-w-d-e-r." I can still hear my grandmother Frances spelling out her last name to persons unfamiliar with the surname. "DeLawder is two words, she said, always ending the spelling with this explanation. Frances clung to the name in honor of her beloved John and his family decades after his departure. 

In keeping with her Victorian upbringing, she remained faithful to her first love. I have said "John DeLawder lived a long and prosperous life after he died in 1924," Frances never allowed his memory to fade. John was the epitome of the knight-in-shinning-armor; or, at least he morphed into this over the years. His thick dark hair, blue eyes, and chiseled features where not outdone by his unabashed tenderness and ambition.


from top left: Rebecca Ruth (b. 1894), Martha May (b. 1897)
Kingsbury (b. 1892), and John Lurman (b. 1898.)
John Adam DeLawder and Rosa Alice Glotfelty married on September 3, 1889 in Deep Creek, Garret MD. John Lurman followed sisters Rebecca Ruth, Martha May, and brother  Kingsbury. The DeLawder family settled in nearby Washington DC, where John Adam worked in the government printing office.

Like the Davis family, the DeLawders where middle class Americans. Both heads of households held long-term government positions, Albert as a clerk for the Pension Department and John Adam DeLawder as Assistant Foreman in the Printing Office.

High school provided an outlet for Frances' outgoing nature and enthusiasm. At home she was expected to be quiet and reserved. Her passion for life flourished in the public high school she attended. She received the praises and accolades of her instructors. At Business High School in Washington DC, she learned typewriting and stenography, she danced, played basketball, played tennis, and swam. Her undeniable charm made her a natural leader, being elected Vice President of the student body government. In her senior year she competed with the rifle team, and dabbled in the theater arts.


from the Washington Post, June 4 1914
Girls Rifle Team
Business High School 1914
Washington DC
(Frances is bottom row, left)



In that same year the Davis family moved from 214 "A" St SE, Washington DC to Takoma Park MD, on the outskirts of the city. Frances' determination to graduate entailed a daily commute on the street cars arriving home barely in time for the evening meal. Frances completed her public schooling in June 1914

Before graduation, Frances attracted the attention of a boy. He was a prize. George, Frances' younger brother by two years, also liked John DeLawder very much and approved of the match. Mutual friends introduced them. John attended the McKinley Manual Training School across the street from Business High School in Congress Heights of Washington DC. From their first meeting, John displayed only his best manners to the girl he intended to court, never engaging in degrading conversation about the "weaker sex." Frances and John shared lunch hours and so began a great love affair. 

Canoeing on the Potomac River, walks along the towpath, and secret passions was everything a girl could want in a boy. With John she was free from her distant father, who never tired of believing that Frances "should have been a boy" and her somber mother who believed that girls where "shedding their femininity."

John Lurman DeLawder
(1898 - 1924)
John graduated from McKinley in 1916 where he had studied science. He aspired to be a bacteriologist. He found his way into the Bureau of Standards (the Federal Governments first physical science research laboratory),  where he was appointed apprentice later that same year. It may have been John's abilities that landed him the position in the Bureau of Standards from instructors at his high school as implied by this note in a closed case FBI file. John understood higher education was the way up and applied himself to study with as much vigor as he worked.

John would spend his weekends with his sweetheart in rural Takoma Park and travel back to the city for weekdays. She mourned his absence those days but John could not be persuaded to marry before he could provide for a wife and eventual children.

The nation’s capital was abuzz with the talk of war as the United States failed to negotiate neutrality in the European conflict.  Young John may have viewed the war as an opportunity to advance his career. At the age of 19 years, John and close friend Francis "Fran" Clarke enlisted in the Army at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C as part of the National Guard.

He and Clarke where immediately sent to Long Island, NY for training at Camp Mills. They were assigned to the Medical Corps. The two friends departed for distant France soon after.

Copyright  ©amanofamily.com 2012

edited by Donora Hillard 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Update

Personal circumstances have kept me from writing the last few months but that will soon be remedied.

I have news that the CIA library has released my grandmothers unpublished (lost) manuscript and expect a copy of it soon. (Thank you Scott Hodes)

How did it end up in the possesion of the CIA?  I hope to answer that question.

Since I have at least a partial copy of one version and a nearly full copy of the another version (seemed she re-typed the story at least twice,) it will be interesting to compare the two complete versions.

It is a grand idea to publish her work, (unpublished manuscript), at least on the internet. Then I could help to accomplish what she didn't see in her life.

Rest in peace dear dear grandmother,
       your love did not return void.


sent to John DeLawder in World War I
Frances Davis
portrait she had sent to her sweetheart
John DeLawder while he served in France
in World War I

Copyright  ©amanoffamily.com 2012

P.S. The manuscript did arrive! Fortunately it is the first version she wrote. The CIA preserved her work. No indication how it ended up in the library but the manuscript is complete.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Christian Heritage

Like tracing the outline of a shadow on the wall, so is recounting one’s family’s spiritual heritage. The sturdy Scot-Irish identity, grounded in Presbyterianism, was passed down generations to men who served in the capacity as missionaries, ministers, deacons and women who demonstrated courageous acts of charity.

Pastor was James Patterson Kerr
Boyds MD Presbyterian Church
c. 1955
Quakers took up the cause of racial equality generations before civil rights came to the forefront of social consciousness. Such was the legacy of Jonathan Lindley whose influence lived on in his great granddaughter and great-great granddaughter, faithful keepers of the light.

It is evident that charity began in the home of Henry Presley Thornton (1783-1865). When Clorinda Coffin married the oldest son Thomas Volney Thornton (1810-1845), a Presbyterian by faith, she was ex-communicated from her Quaker church and family. Sadly, their only child, Harriet, did not survive her first year. When Clorinda was widowed in her husband’s 38th year, it was her in-laws who provided shelter. Following their father’s example, the Thornton men were active in their community as church lay-leaders and financial supporters, to name a few; Edmund Braxton Thronton (1856-1929), Henry Clark Thornton (1852-1930) and George Abram Thornton (1821-1854).

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Home of Mary A Thornton and Edmund B Thornton

"Mother's home where I was married"
1133 Lincoln Ave, Bedford, IN
the property next door is the home of
Edmund B Thornton

"Mothers home" would be the home of Mary A. Thornton (nee Braxton) and "Ed's home," would be the house for Edmund Braxton Thornton

(written by Emma Sickles Thornton where she married Albert Hopkins Davis)
Bedford, Indiana

Reference: The Annals of a Family p. 125
 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (not very this week): A Victorian Poem



from autograph album of
Emma Sickles Thornton Davis 

Mary Caroline "Nannie" Thornton Shaw
March 30, 1874
Bedford, Indiana 
"Let fate do her worst, there are relics of joy,
Bright dreams of the past, which she cannot destroy,
Which come in the night time of sorrow and care, 
And bring back the features that joy used to wear, 
Long, long be my heart with such memories fill'd!
Like the vase, in which roses have once been distill'd,
You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will,
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still."

Your sister, 
Nannie Thornton 
March 30, 1874