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The roots behind our roads ahead . . .

Blews family reunion at Gaston Park in New Castle, PA in the 1920s (click photo for closer view)

 

 

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

 


O  Photos

O  Obituaries

O  Documents

 


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 "small".


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.

Through 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.

 


Please take a moment to sign the guestbook so others know your family connection

CLICK HERE to sign the guestbook Or email me directly at . . . benluclar@comcast.net

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