December 23, 2017:


It's COLD here and getting colder by the day, brrrrr. By December 26th the high may be only 3 degrees above zero. Yuck! But it's nice and cozy inside, and filled with the scents and sights of Christmas and Yuletide!

Today I made a crock pot full of my easy-peasy Beef Burgundy, made with a soup can full of sweet red wine (to rinse out the soup can, of course), and four other ingredients: beef (this pot I used beef already sliced in the package for beef stroganoff, and then cut the long thin strips into bite sizes), a can of Golden Mushroom soup, an 8 ounce package of whole button mushrooms cut into halves and thirds (depending on cap size), and a packet plus a little extra of a second packet of dried onion soup/dip mix. I also added a generous helping of ground pepper, dried thyme and dried - and aged (a year and three months, yikes!) of whole basil leaves that I ground up in between my fingers. Then the pot cooked on the "low" heat setting for 4 hours, with only one stir half-way through. The scent permeated the house and even managed to waft out to the street - wowsers - guess I need to get some additional insulation in these 1956 walls! My mouth was watering by the time I made up my first dish (over on-purpose a bit dry mashed potatoes) and gobbled it down, then had half a second dish as well! Now I want a nap.

I have my dark chocolate covered Queen Anne brand cherries (a Christmas must!), Beringer White Zinfandel wine, plenty of new fuel for my gel fuel fireplace and a host of Christmas movies to watch. Best of all, Solstice is done and we had a bit of sunlight day, late this afternoon. Every day, although it is not noticeable right now, it will get lighter a few minutes earlier and the Sun will sink below the horizon a few minutes later each day until the Summer Solstice on June 21. The worst is over, except for the bitter cold of January and February. I think I will go visit my friend Isis in Las Vegas in March - that always perks me right up :)

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all, and may the Season's blessings shower you with good fortune for all of 2018.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Phoebe, Oh Phoebe

Lots of action lately on the Family Tree front.  Some things I can talk about, some things I can't.

One of the wonderful things I have discovered while understaking this ardurous task of hunting down and verifying ancestors is people ready, willing and able to help me along my way!  I have connected with several shirt-tail relatives from different branches of the family tree and we've shared information and insights to our mutual enlightenment and furthering of our goals.  It is almost like magic!

Isn't Gertrude lovely?  Gertrude was one of my Grandpa Frank Newton's sisters.  There is a sgtrong family resemblance, but not with me -- with my youngest brother!  Seems strange to say that, but they have the same brow and eyes, and something about the structure of the face, plus the dark curly hair.  When I received this photograph last night in email I gasped when I opened it, the resemblance was that strong.  I don't know how old Great-Aunt Gertrude was in this photo, but I think she doesn't look out of her teens.

Just the past couple of days things have reached practically volcanic eruption pace with regard to my Newton ancestors and particularly my search for more information about Phoebe, Gertrude's older sister.

Phoebe Newton???

Phoebe, Phoebe.  I am obsessed with finding out as much as I can about the who and why of Phoebe. I am not sure if this image is Phoebe.  I cropped it from a family photo of Great-Grandfather David Newton, wife and some of his children.  Judging by the clothes, it was taken in the earlyto mid teens 1900's.  My instincts tell me it is her, but there is no positive identification.

Phoebe was born on August 11, 1881 and died of cervical cancer with complications on April 16, 1948. I knew Phoebe's birthdate, but not her death date.  That information and the fact that she died from cancer, and more information, came last night via email from a new contact through a contact I established months ago with a relative of descendants of another of Grandpa Newton's sisters, Florence.  Thank you both!

Phoebe evidently had a mind and will of her own, and was a truly liberated woman long before that term ever was dreamed up by Gloria Steinem, et al.

I have confirmed, thanks to other people also looking into Phoebe's past, that I did not overlook anything --(you can drive yourself crazy with that because you just can't find anything in information and records online, but you wonder - what am I missing?  What am I not doing right?  There just are no records of her marriage(s) to anyone at all prior to her giving birth in 1901, 1906 and 1914.  So my original surmise that Phoebe was an unwed mother appears to be the truth. 

GASP!  No big deal these days, millions of women around the world every year give birth to children outside of marriage.  But back then, in this strict Roman Catholic family - I cannot even begin to imagine have three children under such circumstances!

Her first two babies died; indeed, the first child was stillborn.  Her second child died a month after she was born.  I cannot even begin to imagine that, either.  Having a baby and he being dead; or having a baby and she dying a month later of pneumonia.  Maybe she was premature -- you know back then, they didn't have the means to save a premature child whose lungs were not yet fully developed.  Even President Kennedy and Jacqueline lost a baby that way.  So sad. So sad.

On the 1920 U.S. Census she still listed herself as Phoebe Newton, along with her daughter, Geneva, who had been born in 1915. Phoebe listed herself as single. 

By the time Great-grandfather David Newton-Villeneuve died in 1925, Phoebe was Phoebe Mineau.  She was the "informant" on David Newton-Villeneuve's death certificate as "Phoebe Mineau."

On the 1930 U.S. Census, Phoebe was Phoebe Mineau, and she was a widow.  Geneva, now 15, was listed as Geneva Mineau, but I think that was just a courtesy.  Sometimes back then children of the wife took the name of their step-father.  There was no legal adoption, etc. involved, it was custom.

Right now I'm on the hunt for Mr. Mineau. Thanks to the new information provided to me last night, I have first name(s).  I spent part of today doing searches and I think I have found his family and the records to back up my suppositions.  Now I need to find HIM when he was all grown up!

1 comment:

  1. Jann,
    I love that picture! So pretty! I know I owe you an email. Been really busy...
    Will write soon!