Thursday, May 30, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday ~ A Class Ring Restored (Or: Why I Blog About My Family)

There are times (we hate to admit it) when it seems we are blogging in the great World Wide Web to no one in particular. Maybe no else in the family has really taken an interest in this quest that keeps you up till the wee hours of the night, and you begin to wonder if anyone else, besides you, really cares.

Then, out of the blue, you receive that email.

Mine arrived on April 1st of this year. It read something like this:

Hi Pam,

My name is Gary ... I live in Scarborough, Maine. My wife Deb was going through her "old" family jewelry box and came across a Portland High School class ring dated 1930 with an inscription inside. As we could not put any of Deb's relatives in Portland High at that time (I am an outsider, or "from away" as they say, even after living here for 45 years!) I contacted the Portland Public Library and gave them the info I had on the ring. the lady I spoke to ... came up with a young lady in the 1930 Totem yearbook with a last name of Parsons. Being the family chaser of ghost, I did some searching and found your entry on her passage and interment at Evergreen Cemetery.

I've attached a pix of the ring, albeit a bit fuzzy. My wife would like to return the ring to a family member, no strings attached. If you are open to a telephone call we can be reached ...


Gary and Deb

Attached to the email was a picture of the ring:

What followed was a series of emails and phone calls between myself and Gary and Deb, in which Gary described the engraved "FEP" on the inside of the band. These exchanges solidified my suspicion that the ring belonged to my great aunt Flora Elizabeth Parsons Bustin. We also tried to come up with various possible scenarios as to how the ring came into Deb's possession.

Deb's father had been a Scarborough police officer, and, as I have chronicled in this space, my great aunt Flora Parsons Bustin lived and worked at the Atlantic House in Scarborough as a young woman.  Perhaps Deb's dad found it somewhere in Scarborough and hung onto it. Maybe Flora removed it from her finger at the Atlantic House while cooking (she started out as a "salad girl" and became the Head Pastry Chef).

These conversations ultimately led to my calling Flora's daughter and my cousin Laurine, who now lives in Michigan. Although I was the flower girl in her wedding in 1960, we had not spoken in many years. She was absolutely thrilled to hear about the discovery of her mother's class ring, and we had a wonderful conversation about her mother's early life. She told me that her mother actually transferred from Deering High School for her Junior and Senior years, because Portland High School had a better selection of cooking classes. She has no memory of seeing the Portland High School ring, and doesn't remember her mother speaking of losing it.

As we reminisced about days gone by, we talked about my flower girl debut, her mom and dad, and many other fond memories.*  She and her husband have one daughter, so it is appropriate and meaningful that the ring be given to her. Following an exchange of addresses, the ring was promptly mailed to my cousin Laurine by Gary and Deb in a beautiful quilted box, and a wonderful restoration of a family heirloom was celebrated.

Here's the page of the 1930 Portland High School yearbook, the Totem, where Flora's senior picture and profile appeared: School Yearbooks School Yearbooks

Who knows what would have happened to this treasure if I had not become interested in genealogy, started a genealogy blog, and began adding memorials to Find A Grave, which are now available on

It's the totally random connections like this one that keep me blogging about my family, because I will never know what will ultimately come of all my efforts.

*My mother was Flora's flower girl in 1937, at the age of 5.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cincinnati, OH ~ World War I Honor Roll for Memorial Day 2013

I usually fill this space with stories about my New England and Maritime Canada ancestors. And, last summer, I wrote about the World War I monument in Bridgton, Maine, which lists my grandfather, Howard Seavey.

That story, and quite a few others, are part of an ongoing series started by Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy, where genealogy bloggers are transcribing the names on Honor Roll monuments and plaques around the country, listing them in blog posts, thereby making the names searchable by various search engines on the web. This will enable genealogists and family historians to find their ancestors and build their family trees.

Since I work in Cincinnati, Ohio, I've decided to share the names on a World War I Honor Roll plaque located in the lobby of the federal courthouse, which used to house the United States Post Office. This post will be included on Heather's blog, under the tab Honor Roll Project.

This plaque is located on the right-hand wall just inside the east door of the
 Potter Stewart United States Courthouse in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1917     1918

George M. Ake
John L. Anthony, Jr.
Alfred G. Bach
Edward P. Bradstreet
Paul F. Bauer
Herbert G. Brunner
Raymond T. Bryson
Julius Block
Bernard Bryan
Edward L. Ball
Carl A. Barnhardt
Albert W. Beckman
Fred H. Busch
Wm. L. Dougherty
Edward Esterkamp
Edward E. Evans
Spencer G. Essell
Bernard H. Ebker
Thomas Flanagan
Ben A. Fangman
John J. Glenn
George H. Gravius
B.H. Goertemoeller
Herbert P. Herier
John G. Halpin
Jos. F. Hellmann, Jr.
Robert E. Hoffman
John E. Hendrixson
Jacob L. Haft
Percy H. Hawkins
Jos. J. Heltman
Hannibal Hull
Stanley J. Hill
Ernest G. Ingram
Daniel J. Joy
Mervon Jackson
Marion B. Kohlhepp
Fred H. Kipf
Wm. L. Kottmyer
Erwin J. Knecht
Cornelius J. Keating, Jr.
John T. Knoll
Harry W. Knight, Jr.
Alex. C. Piket, Jr.
Wm. G. Keck
Edwin H. Kinney
George F. Lindeman
Fred Linciman
Earl W. Lichtendahl
Wm. J. Morrissey
Joesph Moeller
Walter H. Moebus
Edward E. Mutschler
George J. North
Joseph A. O'Neil
Clarence G. Ruoff
Samuel F. Ridings
John Rath
Fred G. Rost
Charles Riesenberger
John F. Reinke
Edgar J. Roof
Emmett A. Stephenson
Joseph A. Sattler
Joseph A. See
Louis C. E. Schnelle
Wm. E. Sheppard
Edward F. Springmeier
Edwin W. Schneider
Harry W. Schweninger
Carlisle H. Snell
Edward Schulz
Rudolph G. Schmidt
Clifford C. Scheidt
H.L. Shoemaker
Edwin L. Turner
David F. Tippenhauer
Frank H. Trickler, Jr.
Emeran B. Tillan
James P. Timon
Frederick J. Vosseler
Fred J. Vance
Edwin W. Wright
Amos J. Woeber
Charles R. Welti
Geo. Weidmann, Jr.
Albert H. Westerkamp
Clarence W. Wagner

Woodrow Wilson 1917

E.C. Shaw & Co. Cinti.,O.

An Interesting Footnote

A triumphal arch was constructed for the returning soldiers at the end of World War I. It was set up on the south side of 5th Street, across from the Post Office, now the courthouse, where this plaque hangs. In the photo below, the soldiers, marching east, are passing under the arch inscribed "Honor For Duty Nobly Done."

-- Photo copyright Don Prout of and used with permission

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - An Eastern Star Memory Service

Stella Rowena Hamilton (1899-1966) was my great great aunt. She lived many years in the States, working at the Eastern Star Home in Orange, Massachusetts, near her brother Arch and his wife Margie, and at Smith College's Infirmary.

After she returned to Nova Scotia, following retirement, she lived with her brother Albert "Bert".  The two siblings were the last of the Hamilton family to occupy the the "old home place." in Burnside, Upper Stewiacke. Great Uncle Bert lived there until his death in 1975.

Sister and brother are buried together in Pembroke Cemetery
 in Upper Stewiacke.

Elm Chapter No. 48 Order of the Eastern Star is still very active. An "honour night" was recently held at the end of April, according to the Truro Daily News.*

*This obituary undoubtedly is from the Truro Daily News, and came from my great grandmother's scrapbook of newspaper clippings which I am fortunate to have inherited.