Saturday, June 25, 2016

Spending A Little Time With Our Schipperke Pup

We are at week five waiting for our new puppy to grow enough to take home and we also have an upcoming family reunion that we will wait to attend before bringing home our prospective new family member.  But today we took a little road trip to see him again or for other family members, to meet him. We got to the breeder's home and were met with sounds of her early warning system. A few little dogs were barking up a storm and notifying the world that strangers had shown up.   His new Dad hadn't seen him in person yet, so got to meet him first this time. 
 Here he is meeting his new Dad's arm.  Such a dinky little dog yet.
 Here he is being held by his soon-to-be mom.
The room lighting is fairly dim for the comfort of the puppies.  Getting the angle right for the light is a little tricky!  He really has two eyes!  As do I :-).
 Here he was sitting on the floor for just a few moments.  And he follows that up with trying to walk around a little bit.  Probably has not spent much time on the floor yet.
Getting stronger and more adventurous every day. 
 I managed to share again and here pup is with Dad.  This provided some cute little close up shots.
 How to choose. . . Oh, well, I'll just keep adding photos.
Plumb tuckered out after all this excitement!
In comes mom -- Kiss Me Kate -- who is a wonderful mom to her pups and off they all went nursing again.  They all seemed delighted to be back in their warm and familiar family and getting another great warm meal.  Kate was very attentive to her pups and knew IMMEDIATELY that there was one missing as soon as she got back in the room.  She definitely could count -- one, two, three -- WHERE IS MY OTHER PUP!!  We gave her back her little pup and all was well. 
It was sad to have to get in the car and return home pup-less, but we know he is being well loved and cared for.  All four little pups are already accounted for -- fortunately.   Our daughter who went along for the day trip fell in love with one of the two female pups -- "the one with the flo-ahh-ppy ears" but when she found out the full cost of obtaining one, decided to save for another day.  We hadn't talked to our kids about the cost of pups these days just all the fun parts!
A cute twosome!  It would be fun to have a couple of little schipperkes.  But for now we will start with just one. We've narrowed names a bit -- but it is a challenging process.
We are very impressed with the dog breeder. Not a puppy mill. Pups raised inside, get attention and socialization and everything is clean and standards are excellent.  When we get our pup in a month and post after all is said and done, we will be happy to give out contact information if they would like.  If not, then that is OK also.  But for now this is not yet our pup so we do respect their privacy!
 Here we are looking at and holding them one more time.  Can't get enough of the sweet little guy.
I hate to wait. . .but am enjoying the anticipation.  CS Lewis says there are three parts to a wonderful experience.  There is the time of expectation and anticipation, then the actual longed-for event, and then the years of reliving the wonderful memory to follow.  So true.  I am enjoying the anticipating part but know it won't compare to having the fuzzy little fur-ball home and running around our house.  The new fence is up and the gates go up on Monday.  Repairs to fence after major windstorm last winter are motivated by safety for new pup.  (Not that he will be outside without supervision for a long time yet.)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Clipping Solves Another Family Mystery -- Finding Carrie

I was looking for photos to post on Facebook for Father's Day when I came across the short obituary seen above.  I had no idea when I picked this up that it would unravel a long-time family mystery!  One of the family history questions I have had for almost 10 years is "Whatever happened to Carrie?" 

My great, great, great Uncle Henry Carlton Richardson was born to Robert M. Richardson and Rosina Healy Richardson on November 18, 1868.  He answered the call to fight to preserve the Union on December 2, 1861.  He fought in the War for 4 years and was injured twice.  On Sept 11, 1864 he was promoted to a Full Sergeant.  He mustered out of the service at age 26 on July 17, 1865.
Henry Carlton Richardson during his Civil War Service
Shortly after his return to civilian life, he married Jennie Whitcher of the Newbury, Vermont
Whitcher clan. It would seem since he came home in July and was married in October that either this was a whirlwind romance, or Jennie had been waiting a long time for him to come home.  Henry's brother Nathaniel  had married Jennie's sister Julia in November of 1861 and that may be how Henry met Jennie.  Anyway, Henry and Jennie had a first child, a daughter they named Cora, on December 2, 1866.  Cora was born in Topsham, Vermont where the Richardson's lived.  In August of 1868, they had a second daughter, Carrie. 
 Julia Whitcher Richardson, sister of Jennie
Nathaniel Healy Richardson, brother of Henry
At this time Henry and Jennie had either moved to Lancaster, New Hampshire with plans to stay there or had decided on an extended visit in order for Julia to help out with the toddler when Jennie gave birth to the second child.  At any rate, they were living with or nearby Nathanial and Julia Richardson when their hopes and dreams were cut short. A short time after Carrie was born in August, Jennie passed away (September 6, 1868). I surmise that after his wife passed away that Henry was counseled by his brother and sister-in-law that he couldn't work and raise two babies on his own and they advocated to let Julia and Nat continue to care for the two children while he pulled his life together after this terrible loss.

Years later one of his nieces would reminisce over his Civil War service, the impact of his injuries on his life and outliving three of his four wives to remark that he "must not have had a very happy life."  For some reason he returns to Topsham, Vermont, leaving his children with his brother's family in Lancaster, New Hampshire.  The following year he married Lydia Marie Whitehill.  Her parents were William and Anna (McLam) Whitehill.   She was also, it appears, a widow of Abraham Patterson Whitehill whose parents were James and Margaret (Holmes) Whitehill.  Lydia also had two daughters from her first marriage, Fannie (born in October of 1865)  and Nellie  (born in January of 1867).  How close the two Whitehill connections were (cousins or no relations) I have no idea. 
 Fannie Whitehill
Nellie Whitehill
The 1870 census records show that Henry and Lydia Richardson and her two children along with a first son born to them, little Robert, were all living in Palo Alto Township, Jasper County, Iowa. They had moved West to seek their fortunes. Henry and Lydia owned and were living on an farm adjacent to one owned by his sister, Rosina Jane Richardson Stevens and her husband David Stevens along with their daughter, my great-grandmother, Ella Jane Stevens.  However, Henry's children from his first married were not there.  A few years later Henry and his family returned to Vermont. David and Rosina Stevens moved back to Wisconsin where they had previously moved before the joint move to Iowa with Henry.

In the 1870 census, Cora shows up still living  with Nat and Julia Richardson in Lancaster, New Hampshire.  At this time she is 3 years old.  Nat and Julia also had two sons born to them, Arthur and Fred.  The three children show up together at various census takings across the years and later Cora marries Harry Bailey, they have kids and fade off into their own family history lines.  But the question remained, "What happened to Carrie?"  I have somewhere in the collection a letter from Julia to her mother in law, Rosina Healy Richardson, where she mentions that a family that wants to adopt Carrie but that Henry wasn't willing to let that happen.  But the name she writes is not legible and at this moment I've lost track of it so can't confirm.  But the story took a new twist today and a lot of puzzle pieces fell into place.

I began reading this short obituary and had no clue who "Mrs. Thomas Kasson" was.  But my great grandmother had saved the clipping for some reason! The name of the deceased's daughter, "Mrs. Mitchell of Hull, Massachusetts" was equally unenlightening.  But then the first ray of light fell upon the page -- survived by a brother, Hiram Whitcher - so there was her maiden name.  And I knew of the Whitchers because of the two Richardson brothers married to two Whitcher sisters.  And then the light blazed because one of the surviving sisters was the very "Mrs. N. H. Richardson of Lancaster, N.H" -- Nat's Julia.  I had found another sister of Julia and Jennie, one that I did not have listed in my family history information.

The next step was to take the limited information I had and search for information on her husband Thomas Kasson using her maiden name -- Whitcher -- as the connection.  The internet has its good side!  Soon I discovered a Naomi Kasson who was also a Whitcher before her marriage.  And surprise, surprise! In the 1870 census record of Thomas and Naomi Kasson who lived in Newbury, Vermont, there is listed a child in their home named "Carrie," -- a one year old.  The large Whitcher family parents and grandparents and all their children were originally from Newbury and here among them was Naomi and her husband. In addition, in the 1990 census the record of Naomi shows that she had given birth to no children (one of the questions asked).  And as a final confirmation of the real Carrie being found at last, in the probate of the will of Naomi Kasson, she makes her niece, Carrie, her executrix.  I always had been aware that my great aunts had known the whereabouts of both of Henry's first two daughters, but they never noted what became of them.  Everyone in their generations knew and didn't think about it enough to write down the information.
Henry Carlton Richardson in his later years
Adoption is a theme that runs through our family history.  My great grandmother Ella Jane was born to Mary Elizabeth Richardson (sister of both Henry and Rosina Jane) and Evi Welch.  Later Ella Jane was adopted by Rosina Jane, her aunt.  Cora it appears was not legally adopted either but she already had the same last name as her aunt and uncle who raised her.  Carrie took the name of Kasson early as in both the 1870 and 1880 census records she is listed as a Kasson. However, when she marries Ambrose B Mitchell, the record of the marriage notes that her parents were Henry Richardson and Jennie Whitcher.  At long last the mystery is laid to rest! 

Henry was married to Jennie for less than three years.  Their marriage took place on October 13, 1865 and she passed away on September 6, 1868.  He married Lydia on March 17, 1869 and they were married for 27 years until she died on March 26, 1886.   My great Aunt Dora wrote that Lydia was "the love of his life" and they are buried together.  He later married Maria Beede Chenowyth, daughter of Jonathan and Prudence Beede, another widow who had two children from her first marriage.  She lived until January 23, 1894. 
Lastly, Henry married Lillia Keyes on July 10, 1894.  She was much younger and lived until 1949.  I know nothing of their marriage relationship, but know the family liked her and were supportive of her obtaining his Civil War Pension. She outlived him and he was buried together with his Lydia, the wife to whom he was married the longest and with whom he had five of his seven children.
Henry and Lydia Rest in Peace Together
So at last Carrie was found -- right where she belonged, just like her sister, surrounded by Whitchers and Richardsons!  Carrie was born to Jennie Whitcher Richardson but raised by her  Aunt Naomi Whitcher Kasson. Cora was born to Jennie and raised by her Aunt Julia Whitcher Richardson.  The sisters grew up as cousins more than as sisters and also grew up as cousins to their other five half siblings born to their father and Lydia.  It's nice to know what actually happened to Carrie!
[Postscript:  For my first cousins and other not too distant relations who might be confused --, a little more identification on Carrie and Cora.  In reverse, following our ancestors in ascending order -- Begin with Ella Jane who was Dora, Susan and George's mother.   Her mother was Rosina Jane Richardson Stevens. Her brother was Henry Carlton Richardson.  Their parents were Robert and Rosina (Healy) Richardson.  I know this gets confusing! Henry is our 3rd great Uncle and Cora and Carrie were our First Cousins 3 times removed.]