Sunday, February 18, 2018

Potato Harvesting in New Brunswick

My mother, Elva Crabtree Harris Rodriguez (1914-1998), was born into a farming family in New Brunswick, Canada. I have an idea that her memories of farm life were not the fondest--she had little use for farm animals or pets, and when I was planning to move to Canada all she could think of was the hard work. And the potatoes!

I came across this old 1955 video* of potato harvesting in the Grand Falls region of Victoria County, New Brunswick. It looks like things hadn't changed so much since the 1930s and 1940s--not so long after my mother would have taken part in the harvests in Beaconsfield, just a 40 minute drive by car today.

Here is a comment on this YouTube video: I remember my grandfather working like this. All the neighbouring families came to help harvest, and then helped the next neighbour, and so on.
Hard work. Bending over all day. I remember very sore backs, and very dry hands.

For contrast, here is a more modern approach to potato harvesting, this time just across the border in Aroostook County, Maine, where the Crabtree family also lived.


* Thanks to Wayne DeLong of the Facebook group, Carleton County Genealogy and Family Trees, for sharing the first video. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Little More About the Wedlock Family

My great great Aunt Cora Bell Ellis (1862-1939) married Silas Filetas Wedlock (1860-1955). The Wedlock family is a fascinating one and I have come across some interesting things about them. So that I can keep track of what information I have found, I'd like to put some of it here.

This is a message board on about the Wedlocks: Just in case this link doesn't work for non-members, I'd like to quote a pertinent bit from Ancestry member Kathy Callaway (I can't seem to find a way to get in touch with her, and if she sees this I beg her pardon for quoting without permission). This comment was in answer to a query about the Wedlock name.

Came across your message - re: Missouri/Iowa Wedlocks: some in my family - here's what I have so far, some of it passed on from a family Bible (one I have not personally seen); some from IGI records online, some from my mother.

John Wedlock seems to be the first one over in our line: b. 1812 Edinburgh Scotland to unknown Wedlock who is assumed to be one of the Wedlocks of St. Hilary, Cornwall (there are many). Married Honora (later called herself, as his widow, 'Woodlock'), of Limerick, Ireland. John's father died sometime between 1815 and 1818, for Honora remarried to a John Law in 1820. They lived in Dublin, where he was a schoolmaster. Son John Wedlock from her first marriage ran away to America when he was 16, ca. 1827-28. He is in the 1830 census for Argyle, Washington County, NY, married to Catherine Runey from Cavan County, Ireland.

Their first child, James Alexander, was born in Albany, New York/ Bennington, Wyoming County, NY on Dec. 22, 1830, when John was only 18. John had two other children with Catherine Runey: Ellen, born in Waterford, PA, and John Richard, b. PA.

John and Catherine are divorced by the 1840 Census, and both are in Harbour Creek, Erie Co., PA. John has "1 female" living with him. 

In the 1850 census he is in Millville, PA, married to his 2nd wife, Mary (Bogart?), of PA. In the 1860 census they have one ten-year-old child, Charles, with them. In the 1870 census, no John Wedlock. In the 1880 census, he is in Pilot Rock, Cherokee County, Iowa, married to his 3rd wife, Rosetta Brooks, who was b. 1843 in Bennington, Wyoming Co., NY - where apparently they had married about 14 years earlier, for with them in Pilot Rock are their two daughters, aged 14 and 12, both born in Bennington, NY.

John is a shoemaker in Pilot Rock. John is killed by a tornado in Quinby, IA nr. Cherokee on Jan. 19, 1894; Rosetta dies the next year. 

Millville, PA was a Quaker town: at some point various Wedlock families became Mormons:certainly by the time they reach Iowa; and many were drawn to Missouri, especially to follow John Smith Jr. in the RDLS movement, later in the 19th century.

James Alexander Wedlock, son of John and lst wife, Catherine Runey, is my great-great grandfather on my mother's side. He, too, lives in Millville, PA - with Anna Purce, the lst of his three wives; and at age 20 has had five children, all born in Millville: Wm. (died young); Lavina O., b. 1852; Rosa, 1854; John R., b. 1857, and Silas Filetas, my great-grandfather, b. 1860. When drafted for the Civil War, he pays another man $100 to serve for him, as he has four small children to support. But in 1864 he is in Pilot Rock, Iowa, near Cherokee, married to his 2nd wife, Helen Gray. 

He homesteads 80 acres - the town of Cherokee now sits on it. James and Helen are still in Pilot Rock in 1870 census, and in 1880; she died in 1886 and is buried in Deloit, IA, which was founded by Mormons. James is 56 when she dies. He remarries for a 3rd time: Eliza VanDyke, and they live in Rich Hill, Missouri. In 1891 he is baptized into the RLDS Church and in 1893 is an ordained Elder. At least one child from first marriage has also come west from Millville: Silas Filetas Wedlock, my great-grandfather.

He lived in 3 towns in Iowa, a number of towns in Missouri, and in Aitkin County, Minnesota; married Cora Bell Ellis in 1879 in Cherokee, IA and had three children: LeRoy Ellsworth, my grandfather, b. June 1880 in Cherokee; Anna, b. 1885, who died at 5 1/2 years, and Harold Arden Wedlock, b. 1900 in Deloit, IA. It is Harold's family who has many descendants now in Missouri, I believe. (I remember seeing Harold and Ethel many times - they were at my high-school graduation in Minnesota - Harold d. in the 1970s.)

Silas and his son, LeRoy, are both working for the railroad in Deloit, IA, in the 1900 Census, when Harold is 3 months old. James Alexander, Silas' father, and his 3rd wife wife Eliza are there, too. When Silas and Cora Bell move north to homestead in Aitken County, Minnesota in about 1911, James Alexander, aged 81, comes too. lives two more years and is buried in Aitkin County. Eliza died in 1935 in Independence, Missouri.

My grandfather Leroy Ellsworth Wedlock married Carrie Usher (still checking date) in Aitkin County not long after his arrival with father Silas and grandfather James Alexander and families ca.19ll. The Usher family had come up by Conestogas from Linn Co., IA, to Aitkin County in 1898 to homestead, and Carrie had become a teacher at the age of 16 in 1901, three years after their arrival. She had been teaching for several years by the time she met and married LeRoy Wedlock. Neither of them was to live long.

In 1913, James Alexander Wedlock died. In 1921 LeRoy and Carrie, now with five daughters (the youngest to live only for 18 months), moved to Missouri to do with his faith in the RDLS Church. Five years later, in 1926, he died at the age of 46 - he is buried in Cameron, MO. Carrie and their four surviving daughters returned to Aitkin County, MN, where she, herself, died three years later (am currently checking date).

LeRoy's father, 'Sal' Filetas, lived to the age of 95 and died only in 1955. Cora Bell had died in 1939 in Independence, MO. Silas lived with son Harold in Hamilton, MO, for a while after she died, then in 1940, at the age of 80, met and married Hattie Burnett in Hamilton. Several years later, they divorced; Silas lived with Harold again, this time in Maryville, MO, and in 1955 was in a nursing home in Clearmont, MO (but used to run away frequently, my mother told me, to visit his grand-daughter, my mother's sister Jeannetta, in Fort Dodge, Iowa). He is buried next to Cora Bell in Independence.

Harold's daughters and their families still live in various places throughout Missouri. Much is known about the Ushers; not yet much about the Wedlocks. I hope this helps towards piecing it all together.

NOTE: I have seen messages regarding Charles, mother Mary - I see these names in our PA family details, above.