Thursday, February 25, 2016

Family Treasure: Name that China

Noritake China Pattern #N3151

Our family treasures take many forms: Bibles, jewelry, documents and photographs. Among the treasures passed down to me are dishes and glassware. They are treasures because they belonged to other women in my family, not because of any monetary value.

I have an old black and white family movie of Christmas dinner at the New York City apartment of my great aunts. When the home movie camera pans around the table I can see my mother, as a young girl, seated between her parents. My great aunts, my grandparents and my mother wave to the camera and smile. It is brief but it grabs my heart every time I watch it. I have had it transferred to a DVD and shared it with my brothers.

In the movie the dining table is elegantly set with fine china, candles and bowls of food.  I have that china and other sets of china and glassware owned by my great aunts. I display it in a glass front cabinet in my dining room and I use it. My brothers and I sit down to holiday meals and use the same china. That makes it a treasure.

Celeste by Meito

However, I wanted to know more about the china. What is the name of the pattern? When was it made? Where was it made? Is it of any monetary value?

I found the perfect website to answer those questions: 

I found it when I was searching the internet to find out if I could buy more pieces of my mother’s Christmas china. Replacements, Ltd. had the Nikko plates I wanted and more accessories for the same pattern. I ordered the dinner plates and they arrived a few days later in perfect condition.

Then I wondered about my great aunts’ china. Looking at the back of the pieces I found ‘Noritake’ who made a couple of the sets. On the website I went to China/Noritake and then, in the search bar, added ‘gold rim, blue roses’. Looking the long list of results I found Noritake, Mystery #42 pattern, circa 1915 – 1919. The sugar bowl & lid are selling for $27.99 and the gravy boat sells for $33.99. Other items are out of stock. If I wanted to I could sell my pieces through Replacements, Ltd. Or, I could ask them to search for more pieces for me.

Another set of china was also Noritake but I could not see a photo of it in the long list of china. No problem. I photographed the pieces & photographed the logo on the back. They have a ‘Pattern Identification Request Form’. Add your photos and your contact information. They got back to me in less than a week with all the details on the china pattern I was seeking. This search was free.

Noritake Mystery 42

You can also ‘Register Patterns’ and they will watch for pieces you want as they become available.

The website also has crystal, silverware & collectibles. If you have family treasures that you’d like to learn more about, go to this website. Or, if you just like old china and glassware, this is the place for you to spend an afternoon!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tranquil Tombstone: Brady, NJ

Bartholomew Anthony Brady
20 Oct 1866 Ireland – 19 Dec 1943 NJ

Immaculate Conception Cemetery

30 North Fullerton Ave., Montclair, New Jersey

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tranquil Tombstone: Bernard I Brady, NJ

Bernard I Brady
4 April 1900 – 10 April 1987

Immaculate Conception Cemetery

30 North Fullerton Ave., Montclair, New Jersey

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentine Weddings

Valentine Day Weddings

14 February 1942 in Mississippi
Sylvia Rayleen Brown & Jessie Miles Hall

Sylvia was my half aunt; my father’s half-sister. She was something of a family secret who I did not learn about until I was an adult. She was a wonderful, warm person and I’m glad we had opportunities to connect, both in Mississippi and here in New York.

14 February 1953 in Ohio
William Thomas Zengler & Kathryn Isabel Waidman

Jessie was my 2nd cousin, 22x removed. We are related through John Franklin & Elizabeth (Burkholder) Wolf. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Book Reports: Women in War

What did our great grandmothers do when their husbands
picked up their rifles and
walked off with their neighbors to fight the Civil War? Did they follow their husbands or remain at home? 
How did those women feed their children? 
How did they keep the home and the family together until their husbands returned, if they returned?

We have researched our military ancestors to discover their units; their leaders; battles they were a part of; pensions received & other details. But what about the women left behind? The men did the hunting/fishing/farming to sustain the family. The men kept hostile animals away to keep the homestead safe. The men owned the land and brought home money. But the men were gone.

I know I come from many strong independent women who did not hesitate to plow a field, manage a store, gather & can food or get a job. But I wanted to know more about these women who were “left behind”.

Nearby I am fortunate to have Hudson Valley Community College which offers many classes and lectures for the community. I heard a lecture there on this topic. Michael Aikey, the retired director of the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center in Saratoga Springs, NY, talked about “Women and War”. He talked about women who followed their husbands off to war and those left behind. Listening to his lecture was a wonderful way to spend the morning.

Michael Aikey shared his reading list with those of us who listened to his lecture. I asked his permission to share that list with you readers and he kindly agreed. If you’d like to know what the women in your family did during these harsh time in our history find a book for the correct time period and start reading.

Thanks, Michael!

Women and War: Suggested Reading List

Abrahamson, James L.  The American Home Front: Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II; Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1983.
Osterud, Nancy.  Bonds of Community: The Lives of Farm Women in Nineteenth-Century New York. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press, 1991.

Ryan, Mary.  Womanhood in America: From Colonial Times to the Present. NY: New Viewpoints, 1975.

Berkin, Carol.  Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.

Booth, Sally S.  The Women of ’76. NY: Hastings House, 1973.

Calhoon, Robert M.  The Loyalists in Revolutionary America, 1760-1781. NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973.

Flick, Alexander.  Loyalism in New York During the American Revolution. NY: Arno Press, 1969.

Jasanoff, Maya.  Liberty’s Exiles: The Loss of America and the Remaking of the British
Empire. London : Harper Press, 2011.

Norton, Mary Beth, Liberty’s Daughter’s: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800. Glenville, IL : Scott, Foresman & Co., 1980.

Paltsits, Victor H., editor.  Minutes of the Commissioners for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York. Albany : State of New York, 1909, 3 volumes.

Blanton, DeAnne & Lauren M. Cook.  They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War. Baton Rouge, LA : Louisiana State Univ. Press, 2002.

Burgess, Lauren C., editor.  An Uncommon Soldier: The Civil War Letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Private Lyons Wakeman 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers. Pasadena, MD : Minerva Center, 1994.

Clinton, Catherine & Nina Silber, editors. Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War. NY: Oxford Univ. Press, 1992.

Giesberg, Judith.  Army at Home: Women and the Civil War on the Northern Home Front. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.

Harper, Judith.  Women During the Civil War: An Encyclopedia. NY: Routledge, 2004.

Leonard, Elizabeth.  All the Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies. NY: W.W. Norton, 1999.

Massey, Mary.  Bonnet Brigades: American Women and the Civil War. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966. 

Richards, Caroline Cowles.  Village Life in America, 1852-1872. NY: Henry Holt and Co., 1913.

Silber, Nina.  Daughters of the Union: Northern Women Fight the Civil War. Cambridge, MA : Harvard Univ. Press, 2005.

Brown, Carrie.  Rosie’s Mom: Forgotten Women Workers of the First World War. Boston: Northeastern Univ. Press, 2002.

Gavin, Lettie.  American Women in World War I: They Also Served. Niwot, CO: Univ. Press of Colorado, 1997.

Greenwald, Maurine W.  Women, War and Work: The Impact of World War I on Women Workers in the United States. Ithaca : Cornell Univ. Press, 1990.

Emert, Phyllis, editor.  World War II: On the Homefront. Carlisle, MA: Discovery Enterprises, (n.d.)

Litoff, Judy & David Smith.  Since You Went Away: World War II Letters from American Women on the Home Front. NY : Oxford Univ. Press, 1991.

Weatherford, Doris.  American Women and World War II. Edison, NJ: Castle Books, 2008.

Michael Aikey; Email:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Time to Write: #9 Final Thoughts [for now]

The Story of the Brady, Coyle, Gardner, Mullane & Other Related Families’

I am in the process of writing the story of my mother’s family. I could truthfully say I have been gathering information for this book since I was a little girl & my Nana told us stories about her childhood in New York City. Those stories and many years of research are now, at long last, going into book form. It is Time to Write. I have been posting about some of the items I am including in that book, such as an index & maps.

As you all know it all takes more time than we think it will. There are delays. Our son in law had knee surgery & I lent a hand in Virginia for a few weeks. Holidays and birthdays came & went. Home again I am working for hours every day.

There has been a change since I began writing my 'Time to Write' posts. I am writing in Microsoft Word, as I posted but my editor is transferring my work into another format. Editor? Yes, our daughter is between semesters at college where she is an adjunct professor pf Physics. She is also my editor. Alyssa is very interested in genealogy and has great computer skills. She is using LaTeX, ‘a programming language to format books, articles & manuscripts’.  As I finish a section she moves it into this system. Now the book is looking very professional. Thanks, Alyssa!

Confession. I think my blog has suffered while I have been working on the book. It is difficult to write both things at once. I want to stay focused on the writing process which means not being tempted to research or go off on any tangents. I am trying to post occasional posts because I want to keep the blog going but it is not getting the attention it did. Even my time in reading & writing comments on other blogs has been cut back. Apologies to those blogs I usually visit.

I hope to add to this ‘Time to Write’ series once I take my work to the publisher. There will still be decisions, like cover art, the number of copies, etc. Should I use a photo of my own for the cover art or use something from the publisher? How many copies should I order? I will blog about those options & my decisions.

Meanwhile I am off to my library/guest room where I use the desk that once belonged to our son for my writing. I am crossing things off the lists on my cork board! 

Is it a Time to Write for you?

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