Sunday, June 29, 2014

Aunt Faith and Uncle David Blakely

L to R: Bill Young, Grace Bertram Young (David's niece, daughter of his sister Elise),
Faith Crabtree Blakely, David Blakely,
David Jewett Crabtree, Jr., (Faith's brother)
and Charles Blakely (brother of David Blakely)
1 Dec 1946
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Blakely (who thinks this might have been a double wedding)

One of the places I wanted to visit on our recent trip to California was the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery so that I could locate and photograph the graves of my Aunt Faith Crabtree and Uncle David Blakely. 

It was a day that combined a quiet rural setting and recollections of some of my favorite people ever, with the use of some high tech tools  After we did some pre-trip exploration online, the location of the cemetery was entered into our iPhones, which made the drive there from our hotel in Santa Nella simple and direct.

 Once we arrived we found ourselves far away from the sounds of the highway. It was a beautiful and tranquil place.


You can get an idea of the size of those hills by the little dots of cattle grazing near the top. The only sounds were of birds and the occasional cow calling out. 

At the visitor center

A place for ceremonies

We had previously looked up the location of the graves, Section 10--Site 1012, on the website, but there was also a kiosk at the visitor center for looking up locations and displaying maps. 

I wanted to show the view in either direction from the gravesite; looking north...

...and looking south

Although she was always "Faith" to us, my aunt's name was sometimes given as "Faith Muriel," and as "Muriel Evelyn"

embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Claude Bartley Remembers, Part 3

I showed you this photo of the Bartley family in a previous post, but I thought you'd like to have it handy to compare it with a more recent photo of some of the Bartleys, including Claude. 
The Bartley family, [circa 1937-38?]
Front row, l to r: Eugene, Katrina, Wellington, Alice, Velma, Grace
Back row, l to r: Claude, Alden, Herman, Vivian, Martin, Austin
Photo courtesy of Sheila Lafferty

Left to right: Katrina,;Velma; Vivian; Claude's wife, Jean; Alice Flewelling Bartley, and Claude
Date unknown
Photo courtesy of Sheila Lafferty

Part 1 of Claude Bartley Remembers is here; and Part 2 is here

Claude continues with his memories of life in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick, living next door to the David and Edith Crabtree family farm in the 1920s and 1930s. [Comment in square brackets are mine].

April 19, 2014

Hi, Clair. Glad to hear from you again, (thought I may be bugging you).  I enjoyed reading Sadie Crabtree's Memoirs [they start here].

I mentioned before that we never had a car when I was younger, I guess my dad had a model T at one time but I think before my time.

We lived eight miles from the nearest town, Andover, New Brunswick and dad would make a trip to town every month or so, by horse and buggy, to get what groceries, etc. that were needed. I remember when I was perhaps six or seven years old, dad was going to take me to town with him with the horse and buggy, (I was so excited) we had to go by your grandfather's place and when we did your grandfather came out to the road and told my dad that he was going to town, (he had a car) and that my dad could go with him. (That was the end of my trip to town) of course I never had any "bad" feelings against your grandfather.

I mentioned before about walking across the U.S. and Canada border to work for relatives on their farm. Later I bought a six dollar bicycle from some one, ( I don't know who) that made the trip to work much easier, I used that bike quite some time. In 1942 I bought a 1932 Harley Davidson motorcycle and later that year I bought my first car, a 1935 Ford four door sedan, for one hundred dollars, that was the first car we had in the family that still lived at home.

My dad never drove so my younger brother Eugene got his license when he got old enough so he could drive.

I joined the Canadian Armed Forces, February 3, 1944 and was in until June 1946, so the family had the car to use while I was away. I was in the "front Line" only thirty days when the war ended May 8th 1945, I was in Germany at that time.

Again, enough for now.

April 26, 2014

One more Crabtree story.

I mention about being in the Canadian Army in WW 2.

When I returned back home I worked over the border on a farm where I had worked before.

In 1947 I went to work for my brother-in-law who had a Chrysler dealer ship in Perth NB. On the GI Bill I was trained as an auto mechanic, that same year my (now wife) and I decided to get married, we had dated for five years, so thought it was time to "Tie the knot".

Our first son, Murray was born Dec. 10th 1948, just two hours after my birth date, so we celebrate our birthdays together. (When we are together)

Having been born in USA, I always knew we would be living there.  September 10 1951 we moved to the Portland, Maine area where my oldest brother, Martin had moved his family, (two daughters) and his wife, moved from Northern Maine to Southern Maine ten years earlier. I enjoyed working on automobiles and intended to stay with it, but my brother had a small carpenter business going, he offered me a job so I took it, I worked for him twelve years until I started my own business in 1963. Retired from that in 1990.

My brother developed an area which is called Bartley Gardens, which is a very nice area, in the largest city of the state of Maine.

Now to get to the "Subject"

We started going to the church my brothers family attended. Two of your aunts, Bessy [Bess Crabtree Valley York] and Lois [Lois Crabtree Stockson], also your uncle Beecher [Beecher Crabtree] and his family attended, I don't recall seeing Beecher or Lois after they left Beaconsfield.

Our son Murray married your aunt Lois' daughter, Jenny [I think this would be Virginia "Ginnie" Stockson]. It only lasted a few years, not sure why.

We have two sons and two daughters. Murray is now a retired Medical Doctor. The other three are doing very well also.

Hope you can figure this all out.
I have enjoyed this little trip down "Memories Lane"
Have enjoyed this journey with you.

April 30, 2014

Good morning Clair.

We are making ready for our trip back to Maine, May 6th, our daughter, Gloria came yesterday to make the trip easier for us.

In your last e-mail you asked, "what I remember about hospitals and doctors in Canada"?

Mother with having ten children was never in the hospital, even in her older years I don't think she was ever in the hospital.

When my brother died in 1939, of spinal meningitis, the country doctor came to the house to check on him quite often, that is about all I remember.

As far as my wife and I, other than her being in the hospital when Murray was born in New Brunswick, we were never involved with doctors and hospitals in Canada. Then we moved to Maine in 1951.

Guess that is all for now, have a good day and God Bless.

May 8, 2014
Good morning Clair.

We are now back in Maine after a nice winter in Florida. We had a few set backs this time getting here but nothing major, arrived home about five hours later than planned, but didn't mind the delays too much. Will be a little while getting used to the colder weather, but it's not bad now, in the sixties in the day time.

More another time.                             


[Thank you again to Claude Bartley for sharing his memories with us; and to Sheila Lafferty for helping us to connect with each other and for supplying family photos]. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Claude Bartley Remembers, Part 2

Note: I have used two photos from one of my mother's albums to illustrate this post. When I showed them to Claude, he said:  "That is not the school house in Beaconsfield, so it had to be in Maine." However, they are just a little later than the time Claude is speaking of, and they do include some of the Crabtree kids, though not the Bartleys. I just thought they added to this piece. 

[Comments in brackets are mine]. 

Part 1 of Claude Bartley Remembers is here.


Claude continues with his memories of life in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick, living next door to the David and Edith Crabtree family farm in the 1920s and 1930s:

April 14, 2014

Hi, Clair.

I have no objection to you using my writings in your family history blog, in fact I am pleased that you would ask.

About school.

I enjoyed school, but (I wasn't such a smart student).

It was a one room school house with one teacher for all eight grades but I liked all of the teachers. In fact as I think I mentioned before, my two oldest sisters were my teachers. I think we had a new teacher every year. 

One of our neighbours had a daughter (somewhat older than me) that I went to school with, she went on to normal school and came back and was one of my last teachers.

In the eight years I was in school, there was quite a few changes in the number of students (because of ages), older ones leaving and younger ones coming in.

I mentioned before that the school house was on the property line between your grandparents and our farm.

Not Claude's school (see note above)

It was hard to keep warm in the winter, we only had a small wood stove and I built the fire in the morning for quite a few years. I always pitied the school children that had to walk, some a mile or more.

There was twenty to twenty five students in school while I was going there, no one in my classes ever went on to High school. We all lived eight to ten miles from the nearest town. I was twelve years old the first time I was to our town, Andover, N.B. [New Brunswick, Canada], that was May 12, 1937. One family in our neighbourhood had a flat bed truck that took all of the children (that could)  to town for the coronation of King George sixth.

Another photo from my mother's album, not Claude's school

I mentioned I wasn't the brightest "Kid" in the class, (ha). The only thing I went to the top of the class in was my penman-ship which is not much to brag about, but I have had many compliments about it over these many years.

[I had sent Claude a photo of the view I see from my window, looking out at the Organ Mountains in southern New Mexico]. I see the view from your window is gorgeous, mountains are always beautiful. Here in Lakeland, Florida, all I see out my windows (all four sides) is mobile homes and palm trees, etc. and of course the sky is most always beautiful. We bought in this park in 1992 and have enjoyed all these years here, it's a small comunity, 385 units and people from all parts of the U.S. and Canada.

In Maine it is much different, we live in Portland, Maine which is a seaport. We have many large cruise ships docking there in summer. We have fishing, lobster, oysters, etc. We live about ninety miles from the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire, including Mount Washington which is the highest point in the Northeast, six thousand three hundred and eighty eight feet high.

Enough for now.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Claude Bartley Remembers, Part 1

As I wrote in the last post, Sheila Antworth Lafferty put me in touch with her mother's cousin, Claude Bartley, neighbor to the Crabtree family in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick, Canada in the 1920s and 1930s.  Here are some of the memories Claude has kindly sent to me. [Comments in brackets are mine].

April 7, 2014

Hi, Clair.

I received the Crabtree Family Tree [the link to the Remember blog] from my cousin Carmen Antworth's daughter Sheila in Conn, that is where I got your e-mail address.

Going through this brought back many old memories, the Crabtrees lived on a farm next to my dad's farm in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick, Canada before moving to Maine. 

I remember going to school with Faith and there must have been more of the family that I went to school with because Lois was one year older than me [so Claude was born about 1925, as Lois was born in 1924]. The schoolhouse was on the line between the two farms. We used to carry water from the Crabtree's water supply to the school.

April 8, 2014

You asked about life growing up on a farm, if it was all work or some play?

The Crabtree and Bartley farms were very small and both families were very poor at that time.

There were ten in our family and of course all ten were not home at the same time. My oldest brother Martin (1909) was married in 1930, the year my youngest brother, Eugene, was born so there was quite an age spread there. My dad did well to feed and clothe us, I often think about how he did that, we only had a team of horses, no tractor and no car.

The Bartley family, [circa 1937-38?]
Front row, l to r: Eugene, Katrina, Wellington, Alice, Velma, Grace
Back row, l to r: Claude, Alden, Herman, Vivian, Martin, Austin
Photo courtesy of Sheila Lafferty

I think the Crabtrees was in about the same boat, although I do remember your grandfather having a car while in Beaconsfield.

As far as having fun, we had fun with things we would make ourselves, I remember making a pair of stilts out of two pieces of board and nailing square blocks on each one and walking around on them. 

Also when the McLellans [Alma's family] lived there the three oldest, Russell, Louie and Lawrence made a two seater ferris-wheel. It was a little scary, but we enjoyed riding on it.

By the Crabtree Blog, when it gave the McLellan family names it gave the three oldest boys names' as George, John and David, the birth dates were right I thought, but we knew them as Russell, Louie and Lawrence, perhaps nicknames? [Claude was correct about the names; the boys' names were George Russell called "Russell," John Lewis "Louie," and David Lawrence called "Lawrence."]

April 12, 2014

Little late getting back to you.

As I mentioned before about the difference in ages between my oldest and youngest brothers being twenty one years, the oldest of the family were up and gone before we got to know them very much.
Austin, the one older than myself, died in 1939 at the age of 15, that left a younger sister and brother and myself to help with the house and farm work.

Bartley's farm in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick
Photo courtesy of Sheila Lafferty

We had a very small farm (as your grand parents did). We had a team of horses, (no tractor). We grew potatoes, grain and hay and always had a large vegetable garden in which we all worked, 

Mother loved working in her gardens, (vegetable and flower gardens). We also had cattle, sheep, hens, and pigs. Mother was a very smart woman, she cooked a lot and kept us all in woolen socks and mittens, she also liked to sew. We never had electricity, pumping water and everything else was done the hard way, by hand, but not knowing any difference, we didn't mind what we had to do.

As I remember, your grandparents' family moved to Maine in 1934 and the McLellan family moved in on the farm the same year with seven boys [read more about the McLellan family here]. Audrey was born in Beaconsfield. It seems to me they were there a few years but the way the other dates I have they were there only about two years.

Enough for now, more later.

Part 2, and Part 3.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why I Also Owe Thanks to Sheila, Milton, Laurie, Joey, Carmen, and Claude!

Family history research can be a mind-numbing search through records and more records, online and in various libraries and other facilities, but every once in a while, there is a great breakthrough. Sometimes that breakthrough comes through the kindness of strangers. Patricia Pickard (see the previous post), though no longer a stranger, is one such person who came into my life and helped me to understand so much more about my family. 

Would you believe that there are other people who have contacted me right out of the blue with information I would never have found otherwise?  That is what I would like to tell you about today. 

Several months back, I received a message from a librarian named Sheila Lafferty, who had seen my Crabtree family tree on WikiTree
My family came from Aroostook Pentecostal roots and knew the Crabtrees very well. Some are in ministry and still have close ties with the family. Flewelling/Bartley/Lawrence/Goodine etc. I knew Alma as a young person and she taught me how to quilt in my early teens. I was also a classmate of a Anna's granddaughter. [from] Sheila Antworth Lafferty (a librarian at UConn)
In later correspondence, Sheila told me a bit about her family. 
Harvey Flewelling was a brother to my grandfather Milton Flewelling. Another brother, Charles S Flewelling, became a missionary to South Africa from 1927-1969. He was on leave at home when he died so he is buried in Easton Maine. His wife went back to Africa and died there. Another sister, Mabel Flewelling Wright and her husband Moody Wright also were missionaries in South Africa. Two of their children stayed there and married Afrikaners.  
Sheila also sent me links to her two blogs:

Diary of an Aroostook Farmer; The farm journals of Milton Lloyd Flewelling (1901-1996), a farmer from Easton, Aroostook County, Maine. (Milton was Sheila's grandfather).

Diaries of Robert Murphy Fulton; Transcription of the Diaries of Robert M Fulton (1816-1897), resident of Mars Hill, Aroostook County, Maine. (Robert was Sheila's great great grandfather).

A view of the Crabtree homesite from the Bartley farm in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick, Canada
Photo from Sheila Lafferty

The first blog was especially interesting to me, as Milton's diary frequently mentioned his neighbor, "Dave," my grandfather, David Jewett Crabtree; and my Uncle Clifford Crabtree was featured as a part of the entry on the Washburn Pentecostal Church's 50th anniversary convention.

Sheila also sent me information and a newspaper clipping about my Aunt Alma and her family, which I used in the post, Aunt Alma: Memories

More recently, Sheila sent me a link to some of her historical photos on flickr. Among them are photos taken around Easton, Maine, the town where my grandparents were married in 1899. 

I don't know if Sheila realizes this, but she helped me find a whole branch of "missing" Connecticut cousins I had lost track of. She accomplished this by putting me in touch with her former classmate, Laurie MacDonald Pickard, daughter of my first cousin, Brenda Middleton, and granddaughter of my Aunt Anna. Laurie, in turn, put me in touch with other cousins and sent me my Aunt Sadie's memoirs, which had been typed up by another cousin, Joey Cichon III. 

In another email, Sheila said:
My mom, Carmen, daughter of Milton Flewelling, has been reading your blog. I will share it with her cousin Claude Bartley too as he may be of help too.  The Crabtrees lived next to the Bartleys in Beaconsfield. In fact Alice Bartley (sister to Milton, mother to Claude) was the witness on the birth certificate of one of the Crabtree children.
When Claude Bartley got in touch with me by email and offered to share his memories of growing up next door to my grandparent's farm in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick, I was overjoyed. I will share those memories with you, starting with the next post.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sadie's "Pleasant View Farm" Found!

Pleasant View Farm
28 Sargent Hill Drive in Milo, Maine

When my Aunt Sadie remembered her Aunt Sarah Thomas' house where she spent so many of her childhood years (see Aunt Sadie: Separated from the Family), she made us all want to find that house so that we could see what it looked like. 

She said: Auntie...lived on a beautiful estate in Milo, Maine called "Pleasant View Farm." You could sit on the veranda and see the lakes around Mt. Kahtahdin. The house was so vast I would get lost exploring. 

One person took her desire to see the house a step further--she went exploring in Milo, Maine. From the Town Offices, to the Registry of Deeds, to an exploration of the roads of Milo, Pentecostal historian, Patricia Pickard and her husband, Carroll, spent a day talking to officials and record keepers and possible neighbors. Of course she found the house, she's a family history detective!

Along the way, she also found the real estate deed from when William Thomas bought the property, as well as his will, leaving it to his wife for her lifetime.

Pat said, in an email to me: 

I have a copy of a real estate deed drafted on the 12th day of February, 1910, conveying to William G. Thomas the homestead farm....situated on "Sargent Hill" so called, containing 127 acres; also another parcel of land....excepting and reserving from this deed a certain parcel of land, measuring 100 feet by 105 feet, by 100 feet by 105 feet. 


I have a copy of a portion of William G. Thomas' will, probated on the 17th of August 1923. This portion covers fourth and fifth parts of the will:

Fourth, I said beloved wife, Sarah E. Thomas, for and during the term of her natural life, the homestead farm in Milo, being the same conveyed to me by Sarah A. Bradeen, and known as the "Sargent place,".....I also give and devise to my said wife for and during the term of her natural life, the eleven acre bog or muck lot.

Fifth, At the decease of my said wife, I dispose of my said estate as follows, viz: After the payment of the legacies named in paragraphs second and third, then all the rest, residue and remainder of said estate I give, bequeath and devise to my five children, their heirs and assigns forever, in the following proportions: To Hayward S. Thomas and John P. Thomas, one fourth part of said estate or residue to be divided equally between them. To Annie M. Thomas Kinney, William E. Thomas and Bernice C. Thomas, the remaining three-fourths of said residue and remainder, share and share alike. By the term estate meaning to include real, personal and mixed, wherever situated and however and whenever acquired.
Recorded 18 August 1923.

With all this information in hand, Pat and Carroll drove to Sargent Hill Road in Milo. There they found and photographed two houses that were possibilities. 

Pat said: 

Both of these places could easily be called "Pleasant View," because they do offer a very pleasant view (one, east; and the other, south). On one of the locations, I was told by the neighbor lady, that in the early years, one could see clear to the town of Milo from Sargent's Hill, but now the trees have grown too tall for this to be done. Sargent Hill is just one mile away from town. 

I really feel that the last place I took a picture of would be the place. It is a large, large old home. Today, it is very well kept, and the architecture is beautiful. I don't think they could have raised 5 kids in the other house picture that I took. 

Route 16 is the county road between Milo and Dover-Foxcroft, and Sargent Hill is "off" this county road (to the north). I have a feeling that the area was so called because Mr. Sargent owned all the land in that area, and he had a large, impressive set of buildings. I think Mr. Sargent may have been wealthy. There are slate quarries not too far from Milo, and part of this house has slate siding. The house is really beautiful. I would say that the barn is gone, and now they have a two-car garage. 

On the following day, the rest of the mystery was solved. In Pat's words:

I just got a call from a lady (Gwen Bradeen; husband is Paul Bradeen) that lives on Sargent Hill. She confirmed to me that the house that I hoped was the Thomas place IS in fact the Thomas place.

She has been in touch with a lady whose family bought this house in 1940. The father's name was Earl Ingerson. His daughter, Dearle Ingerson Flint, still lives in the general area, and she has pictures of the place. Her husband is just getting out of the hospital, but she will bring the pix over to Gwen and Gwen will be in touch with me. 

Dearle states that the barn was across the street. It burned in 1958.  The black that you see up in the peak on the left are slate pieces that came from the nearby quarry.

By the way, the Ingersons paid $3,000 for this homestead! I need to get a copy of the deed where it was sold so as to see how the description reads in 1940. Without a doubt, not all 127 acres were sold with the house.

Gwen told me that, in later years (1970s), one of the owners used to have Pentecostal revivals out back on this property. Gwen asked me if Mr. Thomas was a Pentecostal minister and I told her that I did not know that he was. 


I do not know either if William Thomas was a Pentecostal minister, but we already know from Sadie that Sarah Thomas was a strong supporter of the Pentecostal movement, and at least one of their sons, Hayward, was a clergyman. Sadie wrote about Sarah:

Now I will go into [Sarah's] religious affiliations. This was in the heyday of the famous evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. Pap was converted to Pentecost under her and Auntie followed suit wholeheartedly. She decided there must be a Pentecostal church in Milo. She bought a schoolhouse and refurbished it. She imported young ministers from the Glad Tidings Institute in California. She fixed beautiful apartments for them. Her motto was "If someone said 'Praise the Lord' it was hang up your hat and make yourself at home."

It would be no surprise that, after Sarah Thomas' death in 1938,  the house would be sold to others of the Pentecostal church, and that revivals would continue to be held there.

I owe the energetic Patricia Pickard (did I mention that she is 82 years old?) and her patient husband, Carroll,  a great debt of gratitude for their successful search to find Pleasant View Farm.