Monday, October 1, 2012

Mystery Monday: who is she?

  Top row right: who is she? I bet she's related to me but I don't know how. On the bottom row left to right are my aunt Jessie, aunt Roxy, Great grandfather William "Ross"well Sampson and Great Grandmother Clarissa. On the second row my grandfather, Norvel "Ray", John "Woodard" Sampson, Aunt Mary and then --oops someone was there for dinner that day, walked in and stood with the others or whatever. I wish I knew who she was.  She seems to have a sly eye looking at the camera. Why didn't someone show me this picture when they could explain it. Ah--the frustrations of the genealogy world.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Workday Wednesday: The package clerk

Grandpa Ray Sampson moved his family from the family farm in 1922 and into Terre Haute Indiana. He began a job at Hulman and Company as a package clerk. Hulman and Company was, and still is,a wholesale grocerer and famous for Clabber Girl Baking Powder. Grandpa worked on the 6th floor, the top floor. Always a hard worker, he also was a valuable friend. One particular young man was sent to work with Grandpa when he was home from college in the summers. Grandpa just knew his  name was Tony and  Tony looked up to and respected Grandpa. A few years into the job Tony graduated from college and his father and grandfather who happened to have started the business  died.  Tony was next in line. He never forgot Grandpa, though, someone who had been his friend in the unknown days.   It turned out that this boy's  name was Tony Hulman and he became the owner of the Indianapolis  500 .Each year tickets to the race came to Grandpa in the mail. When Grandpa died, heads turned to see a quiet man enter the funeral home  and stand in line carrying a bouquet of flowers. Tony  never forgot the man who was his friend when he was really noone.  Grandpa taught that  it matters how we treat anyone on the job as a  simple package clerk.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Funny: Tina gets married

Sarah Jane Benell was the sister of my great grandfather, Charles Benell who grew up in Clay County Indiana. I've been studying their line. So here goes : Aunt Sarah  married a man with the last name of Jones. They had a son named Charles (Charley) and a daughter named  Tina (Tiny).  Tiny married Oscar Butt May 29, 1918. And that is the story of how our family from then on had a Tiny Butt.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Matrilineal Monday: Mom and the "fellow Sampsons"

My Sampson heritage is actually a matrilineal one. My mother was a Sampson-- Stella Thelma Sampson and from there back as far as I can see  my direct line of Sampsons were all grandfathers: She was the daughter of Norvel Ray, who was the son of William Rosswell, son of Sanford Woodard, son of John , son of John . Mom brought up in conversation many times the oral history of the family as did my grandpa.  "They left Virginia in a wagon and came here to start life in Indiana"--always that was the main statement. I just wish I had asked more questions, wanted more detail, made a  picture in my mind like I'm trying to now. Grandpa had 2 daughters so the Sampson named stopped with him in our line. However, his brother  John Woodard Sampson, had a grandson named John Sampson and a great grandson named John Sampson.  Matrilineal Monday--the Sampson family, but a lot of boys sure made it easier to get everyone to fall in line.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Shopping Saturday: Sanford's trip to town

 The oral stories of  Sanford Woodard Sampson, my 2nd great grandfather, have been reaching  my ear lately. Sanford was the son of John and Clarissa Sampson who came on the trip in 1836 to find Indiana. He was 16 when the trip started and 30 when he first settled in Clay County, purchasing land that spring. According to the Clay County History book by William Travis, Sanford went on to become a respected and successful citizen.  He brought the first grain thresher to the area, was a farmer, plasterer and mechanic. He married for the first time in 1856 to Mary Jane Akers and with her had 10 children. He became a widower twice and was married 3 times. He built two  two-story houses for the family as the first one burned down. He owned a Hambletonian horse.  He lived until 1907 and was survived by his 3rd wife and 5 of his children.  Not long before his death the children began squabbling about the money he would be leaving. According to Ron Sampson and his source: the man who as a young neighbor  boy  went to town with Sanford, Sanford asked the boy to hitch up the wagon and take him to town. When in town Sanford went various places paying final expenses, making purchases, even buying an entire wagon load of whiskey. When he was satisfied with his purchases he took the boy to a store and told him to buy whatever he wanted. The boy had a spending spree. They both had a great time and went home with little left. There was nothing left to squabble over.  The punishment by the children?  The date on his tombstone has never been added.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Grandma wrote it down!!

My grandmother Stella Sampson kept diaries from years 1933 until a few days before her death, May of 1988.  I just finished reading and taking notes for the 2nd time on book 1933--1937 and I am exhausted. I am tired after I read one weeks worth of what Grandma did. Housewife was her title. That included, by her daily writings, washing on the wringer washer and hanging out to dry for her household and at least 3  other extended family households and ironing. She each day took Grandpa to work and her daughters to school and picked them up. She made mince pie and huckleberry pie, noodles, strangled chickens and fried them. At lunch people from the family who worked at the nearby Quaker Maid factory came to her house for lunch. She was either cutting a dress out, sewing a dress together, or putting on the finishing touches. That was done the same day she worked on the current quilt pattern. She made jelly out of   even the tiniest serviceberries, and put more goose feathers into the mattress.  She attended ladies aid, visited friends and provided a place for relatives to spend the night. And she wrote it all down! I'm thankful she did.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Workday Wednesday: Cattle buyer

John Stuart Downing(1820-1910), my 2nd great grandfather, and father of Grandma Clarissa Sampson, was a cattle buyer. Recently I ran across notes in the Clay County Historical Society written by his granddaughter Helen Rupert Jones as told to her by her mother Mary Emma Downing Rupert.  The following is a synopsis of what she told of John's life as a cattle buyer.
When John was still a boy, he learned that he was good at judging the quality of hogs and cattle and that he could make more money doing that than raising the animals himself. He eventually became the chief buyer of the Ralston Brothers meat packing business. On his buying trips he "traveled by horseback, wore long leather leggings which came up to his waist and tied his cattle whip around his waist." He carried large amounts of money and learned to outsmart those who would try to steal it. One time his wife awoke to find out their home had been chloroformed so thieves could find the money. Fortunately, John had not picked the money up yet for his trip. Another time the Ralston brothers brought a large amount to give him for buying the next day and spent the night. They warned him to protect the money during the night. John uncovered a hole in the wall above where the Ralstons were sleeping and said if it was taken it was on their watch and he was going to sleep. Interesting and exciting occupation! Workday Wednesday: John Stuart Downing, the cattle buyer.