Tuesday, May 31, 2016

One Forgotten Piece of Paper - Three Notes

I found this piece of paper in a Girl Scout Handbook that belonged to my aunt.  It looks like she had to keep track of her activities.  She spent 11 hours shopping at the shopping center at the Cross Road Center.  (That seems like a lot of shopping!)  She spent four and a half hours babysitting at the home of her mother's friend.  She spent one hour cleaning the cellar in her home.  And she spent 48 hours cleaning the attic in her home.  This all came to a total of 64 and a half hours.  I wonder over how long of a period she kept track of these activities.

The first note on the back of the paper looks like it contains a time and place she had to be, maybe for some Girl Scout activity.  The address belongs to a home in New Castle, Delaware.  She wrote Saturday, 1:00 a.m.  I'm thinking she meant to write p.m.  She even drew a little diagram of where she needed to be.

The last note looks like she jotted down some things she needed to do on her own time.  When I looked in the handbook on page 473, she had little check marks at numbers two (Pantomime good posture in several daily activities.), three (Have a health examination.  Make a record of the things the doctor advises and carry out his suggestions.), and five (Discuss what is necessary in a well-balanced diet for a girl of your age.)

I will never know if she even remembered that she kept this piece of paper tucked away in her Girl Scouts Handbook, but I'm glad she did.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal uncle taken in his family home in New Castle, Delaware in 1967.  He was killed in action in Vietnam on 10 December 1967.  He was 20 years old.

Paul "Ozzie" Branyan
1947 - 1967

Friday, May 27, 2016

Last Will and Testament

This is a copy of my paternal great-grandfather's will.  A Last Will and Testament is a legal document which identifies those individuals that are to receive the deceased's property and possessions upon their death.  There is very little specifics in this will, but I feel very blessed that my dad gave it to me.

My great-grandfather left everything to my grandmother and her two sisters, and they were to share everything equally.

The one specific in the will is that my great-grandfather wanted to be interred in lot number 495, Garden of Gethsemane at Gracelawn Cemetery, New Castle County, Delaware, next to his first wife (my great-grandmother).  I believe that one of the reasons he was so specific is because he had a very short-lived second marriage and he wanted no question as to which wife he meant.  As a side note, I noticed that cemetery is spelled incorrectly in the will.  Pretty funny for a legal document.

My great-grandfather named my great-aunt (the oldest sister) as the Executrix.  The will states that if she should have died before he did, he would then appoint my grandmother as the Executrix.  Ironically, my grandmother died seven and half years before he did.

There were two witnesses to the Last Will and Testament.  One name is familiar - my great-aunt's (the Executrix) neighbor.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Girl Scouts List

Every once in a while I come across something that gives me glimpse into a family member's everyday life, and I love it.  This is one of those things.  It is a to-do list that my paternal aunt made for a Girl Scouts Christmas party that was occurring on December 20th, probably in the 1960s.

She was going to ask one of her cousins to go to the party with her, so I'm guessing she could bring a date.  She needed to buy one gift for a girl and one for a boy.  Each needed to cost between $.75 and $1.  She also needed to bring a soda and $.20 to a meeting.

I wonder if she had a good time at the party.  Maybe I will come across a picture some day.

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal grandmother and her sister taken outside of their family home in Trenton, New Jersey in 1937.

Kathryn Bunting (1915 - 1998)
Laura Bunting (1921 - 1994)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal grandmother and her (future) sister-in-law taken in 1938, probably in New Jersey.  My grandmother would have been 22 or 23 and my great-aunt Bert 24 or 25.

Kathryn Bunting (1915 - 1998)
Bertha Evans (1913 - 2012)

Always Look on the Back

As I have gone through all of my boxes of old photos and papers, I have been surprised by all the newspaper clippings that my family had collected.  There are the usual things like birth, wedding, and death announcements, and they are packed with useful information.  But once in a while I come across something even more interesting that leaves me with some questions.

Like this photo of my paternal great-aunt working with Wilmington, Delaware's new (at the time) fire-police reporting system.  The first thing I wondered is what year it was in the news paper.  No one wrote a date on it, so I decided to look on the back to see if there were any clues.  That's when I read about a man with the last name of Musmanno who was running for senate.  I did a little Internet searching and found that Michael Musmanno lost the Pennsylvania Democratic nomination for senate in 1964. Now I have a year to put with the clipping!

From some previous research I did, I knew that my great-aunt was a telephone operator in 1946.  It looks like she stayed in the same profession for at least 18 years.  And the best part is I have a picture to put with her doing her job.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Wedding Treasure

My paternal grandparents were married on 1 June 1946.  I had seen their wedding picture, but knew very few details about their wedding.  Going through some of the things I found at my grandparents' home, I was lucky enough to find an invitation to their wedding.

The invitation is very simple, but now I know they were married at the Brandywine Methodist Church in Wilmington, Delaware at 4:00 in the afternoon.

I am so thankful that my grandmother saved this wedding invitation and I am looking forward to finding more details about their wedding.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollee's Cumulative Record

The Civilian Conservation Corps existed between 1933 and 1942.  It employed millions of unmarried men between the ages of 17 and 25 on projects in rural areas owned primarily by federal, state, and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men, to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States.  The men served a term of six months, but they could serve up to four terms. They earned $30 a month, $25 of which was sent home to their families.

This is a copy of my maternal grandfather's cumulative record which includes information about his parents and past educational, occupational, and military experience.

My great-grandfather died when my grandfather was nine years old.  When he finished grammar school, my grandfather got a job to help support his family.  At the time he signed his application to join the CCC,  he had been unemployed for two years.  He left his job as a grocery clerk in December 1932 at 15 years of age.  $25 of his $30 a month earnings while in the CCC was sent home to his mother to help support his family.  Most men in the CCC did the same, naming their mothers as their dependent relative.

My grandfather was in the CCC from 1934 to 1938.  He entered when he was 16 years old and was discharged when he was 19 years old.  He was in two companies and two different camps during that time.

His birth date appears to be 8 November 1917 on the first form, but it really was 18 November 1917.  It just may be the quality of the copy of the form or a written mistake.

My grandfather participated in a number of educational programs.  They included leather work, flower gardening, cooking, first aid, and truck driving.

Most of my grandfather's time was spent doing mosquito control in Lewes, Delaware.  His unit drained mosquito-infested swamps on Delaware farms by digging drainage ditches leading away from the marshy areas. Stagnant ponds and streams, mosquito breeding places, were freshened by pumping fresh water into the stagnant water areas. The fresh water killed the mosquito larvae.

During his time in the CCC my grandfather's interests included sports, reading, leather craft, and flowers.  He also earned certificates in first aid and cooking.

He was discharged on 8 April 1938 when his enlistment expired.  He left without having a new job secured, but in the 1940 census he was working in a smoke house.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal great-aunt taken after her high school graduation in 1937.  She is sitting outside of her family home in Trenton, New Jersey.  She was 17 years old.

Margaret Bunting
1920 - 2008

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my maternal great-aunt taken in 1944 outside of her family home in Trenton, New Jersey.  She was 24 years old.

Margaret Bunting
1920 - 2008

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of my great-aunt and maternal grandmother taken outside of their family home in Trenton, New Jersey in 1940.

Laura Bunting (1921 - 1994)
Kathryn Bunting (1915 - 1998)

Bills of Repairs September 24,1904

 This cover sheet is found in the Civil War Pension File of my paternal third great-grandfather.  The bills were submitted by a pension atto...