O Baker Families from PA
O Baker, Wagner, Gamble
O Baker, Coulter, Blews
O Coulter, Kreller, Downing
O Blews Families from PA
O Blews, Covert, Wimer
O Watkins, McFiggen, Laird
O Wheale, Dangerfield Freeth
Sad that the younger generation does not appear interested in
their roots -- nor was I at that stage of life -- and now, I
am showing my age with my obsession to know about the people
who came before me.
This consuming hobby has created an acute awareness of how closely
related we all are to one another. It also makes me fantasize
about their living conditions and the circumstances surrounding
their departure from other parts of the world. It is unthinkable
to me that our ancestors came here on drastically overcrowded
boats facing future lifestyles of hard work, poverty and struggle,
many never even surviving the trip. The child mortality rate
is just inconceivable compared to our modern lives when one puts
together the pieces.
For example, there is the story of Phillip A. Watkins and Margaret
Jane Davies Watkins, my maternal great-great grandparents. Margaret
departed Abergavenny, Wales in 1868 on a grueling journey by
boat to the USA to Pennsylvania to reunite with her husband,
who had been commissioned earlier to Bethlehem, PA to instruct
in the making of steel. She brought with her their four children:
my great-grandfather, Phillip A. (who later went by Arthur and
married my great grandmother, Anna McFiggen); Mary Ann (who later
married Elmer Campman); William (unknown to me); and a small
baby girl (whose name is also unknown to me). This baby girl
died on the boat during the long trip; nonetheless, Margaret
landed on US soil with her three older children intact, and carrying
her small dead child wrapped in a shawl, undetected, preventing
an otherwise absolute certainty of her burial at sea. This little
girl was buried in Duncannon, PA due to a caring mother, who
had unselfishly protected her, even in death.
|Margaret went on to
bear a total of 12 children during their marriage, losing two
others consecutively -- baby Rachel, and another at birth. She
was a woman I will remember for this single act of pure kindness.
All which envisions her to me is this very small photo, but I
have a strange feeling somehow, that she wouldn't mind it being
These struggles and uncertainty are clear in my mind as I view
these pictures, and I anticipate this same awareness in the remaining
members of the family who take the time to view these pages.
this research it has become obvious to me that the men are more
easily located than the women who accompany them, of course,
because they carry the surname. It is my reasoning that the women
are the ones who carried the children for all of these large
families which precede us; therefore, it is my preference to
list the women first for this reason. And I am determined to
continue to locate and update as much information as possible
for all family members.
It is my intent to preserve their past, through photographs and
facts. Yesterday's photographs, preserved for tomorrow, will
breathe life into those who have gone before us.