Monday, September 30, 2013

All Blacks: Haka!

Thanks to a work colleague, who is from South Africa, I know how big a deal rugby is in some parts of the world. I discovered a few weeks ago when researching my Semple ancestors, who emigrated from Scotland to New Zealand in 1862, that I have a famous All Blacks captain in my extended family tree.

William Archibald Strang

My South African friend had this to say:

As a kid growing up in South Africa the Springboks vs. All Blacks was, as far as we were concerned, the greatest rivalry in world sport. Those heros from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were spoken of with awe.

The following profile was written by Lindsay Knight for the New Zealand Rugby Museum:

Archie Strang was a clever inside back, equally skilled at halfback or either five eighths position, who may have achieved even greater deeds in New Zealand rugby had he born in another era.

Strang was at his peak in the depression years of the early 30s. But as a stock agent in South Canterbury he often had trouble leaving his job and at the end of the 1931 season when he was still only 25 he retired to concentrate on his work having in those grim depression years being given an ultimatum by an employer for whom rugby had little interest.

A Southlander by birth, Strang moved with his family to Timaru while in his early teens and was an exceptional first XV player 1922-24 while at Timaru Boys High School. He had also played 1st XV rugby for Southland Boys High School in 1921.

He went straight into the South Canterbury representative side from school in 1925 and even as a youngster showed maturity and leadership quality. As a teenager he captained South Canterbury in his first season in a match against West Coast.

Strang in those seasons alternated between halfback and the five eighths, But it was as a five eigthhs that he gained a place in the South Island side for the 1927 interisland match which also doubled as a trial for the following year's tour to South Africa.

A top performance in that and the final trial won him a place in the touring party where his versatility proved to be an asset. He played in 14 of the 22 matches and with Frank Kilby injured for much of the tour filled in as a halfback on five occasions.

He played in the first two tests as a second five eighths and in the second match in the series drop kicked a goal with 10 minutes remaining to give the All Blacks a 7-6 win, their first test win on South African soil.

Despite this heroic contribution Strang was dropped for the final two tests. Because of work he was unavailable for the 1929 tour of Australia but proved he was still a national contender with a starring role for the South in that year's interisland match scoring a try, converting one and kicking four penalties for a personal tally of 17.

After captained a combined South Canterbury, Mid Canterbury and North Otago selection against the 1930 British tourist and scoring a try and a penalty in the 16-9 defeat he returned to the All Blacks for the final two tests.

Playing at first five, he kicked a conversion in the All Blacks' 15-10 third test win at Eden Park and in the 22-8 fourth test win at Athletic Park he scored a try and kicked two conversion. Strang's last test for the All Blacks was again at first five and as captain in the 1931 20-13 win over Australia at Eden Park.

Strang made the All Blacks from two South Canterbury clubs, High School Old Boys in 1928 and then Temuka in 1930. In the Temuka club's centenary book he is described glowingly as "a sound and heady first five eighths" and "a complete footballer."

His younger brother Jack represented South Canterbury as a forward in 1934-37 and played for the South Island in 1935. Archie Strang later became a prominent administrator on the South Canterbury union and for many years served international touring teams in any stay at Timaru as a liaison officer. He was also selector-coach for the Tauranga sub-union.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Genealogy Fosters Global Friendships

I made a "virtual" friend several years ago on a Formula One racing forum. We got to know each other better on Facebook. I knew he lived in Scotland and was a fabulous photographer. I asked him if he would travel to Dalserf, Lanark, Scotland, to photograph the area where my great great grandparents, James Muir and Margaret Semple lived, met, married, worked and had their children before emigrating to the U.S.

Here are just some of the awesome photographs, my friend Andrew Scrogie, sent me:

To see all of Andrew's photographs of Dalserf, visit my Tangled Roots and Trees Facebook album. If you live in Scotland and need a photographer, contact Andrew. I highly recommend his work and his communicativeness.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Turkey

My second cousin three times removed was William Semple. His grandfather's parents emigrated to New Zealand from Scotland in 1862. William served with the Canterbury Infantry Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Forces in World War I. He was killed in action at Gallipoli Turkey on 8 May 1915.

Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey/ Photo courtesy of
My New Zealand cousin was able to visit Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery in 2000 and attend a sunrise service there in honor of her grand uncle, William. What a privilege!

The idea for this post came from Geneabloggers.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Semple Confusion, Not So Simple

My connection to the Semple family of Scotland is through my great great grandmother, Margaret Semple (1850-1920). She was born in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire Scotland on June 22, 1850, to Peter and Janet (Torrance) Semple. When Margaret was 21 years old, she had a daughter out of wedlock. Two years later, she married James Muir, a coal miner, on July 4, 1873. They had seven children before Margaret followed James to Illinois. Two more children were born in the United States.

One of Margaret's uncles emigrated to New Zealand in 1862 and an aunt came to the Massachusetts in the early 1900s. It is Margaret's aunt, Agnes (Semple) Taylor (1844-1919), who is the source of my Semple confusion. Well, her youngest son, Robert Semple Taylor, is really the problem.

Robert Semple Taylor

Agnes' husband, John Taylor, died at the age of 36 of cirrhosis of the liver, leaving her with seven young children. Her youngest daughter, Margaret (holding the baby in the photo below) immigrated to Massachusetts with her husband-to-be and his mother in 1904. Also, onboard, according to records I was able to find, were Agnes and her youngest son, Robert.

Agnes Semple Taylor on the far right, with her daughter, Margaret McNair (Taylor) Isbister, Margaret's adopted daughter, Clara Schomburg, and Margaret's husband, Andrew Thomas Isbister

By 1910, Agnes and Robert were living with Margaret and Andrew Isbister and in 1919 it appears Agnes died. All of the records, including census, World War I and II registration cards, and passenger manifests, indicated Robert Semple Taylor never married and lived with his sister and brother-in-law until 1937 when his brother-in-law died.  Then Robert and his sister moved in with his niece and her husband.

Andrew Thomas Isbister and his wife, Margaret McNair (Semple) Isbister

However, one of my "new" cousins is a Semple through Agnes Semple. Her tree is also well documented and indicates that the same Robert traveled to Colon, Panama in 1906 and came to the United States through New Orleans. My Robert Semple Taylor arrived in New York City in 1900 from Scotland. Her Robert Taylor married Grace Shand Denholm and they lived in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 -- the same census years my Robert Semple Taylor was living with his sister in Massachusetts. Her Robert Taylor had three children between 1903 and 1907 and it is from one of those children she descends. My Robert Semple Taylor never married. Her Robert Taylor was a boilermaker for the railroad and my Robert Semple Taylor was a tire maker at a rubber factory.

Obviously one of us has the wrong Robert Taylor attached to our family tree, but which one?

Update: I believe we have sorted out Robert Semple Taylor. My Robert appears to be correct and my new cousin's Robert, her great grandfather, is still a mystery. My project this week is to see if I can figure out who her Robert Taylor was. This was a caution to me. can make it almost too easy to find records and attach them to your tree.  I must remember to always do my due diligence to ensure they are records for the correct person.

(1) All photographs used in this post are courtesy of Carol Rolnick and retrieved from

Monday, September 23, 2013

Out of Africa: Doctor Livingstone, I Presume

My Aunt Joan was born in Kijabe, Kenya, in 1921. Her parents were missionaries for the Church of God. Not long after Joan's birth, her mother developed altitude sickness as Kijabe was located about 7,000 feet above sea level. Her doctor advised her to move to the coast to regain her health.  Lilly Manson (Bradley) Bailey moved to Mombasa for several months. Her daughters, Elizabeth, Sylvia, and Joan went with her.  Their brother, Homer, describes in his journal an interesting meeting they had with Matthew Wellington, and included an old photo.

From Homer Bailey's journal:

Mombasa is lovely town. One could easily watch the Arab dhows slowly sail into the old harbor, blown by a soft monsoon breeze. Or one might thoughtfully stroll about the ancient bastions of famous Fort Jesus, trying to visualize the lives lost in that place over the centuries. The bazaar where slaves were sold, where masses of men and women still go to buy or sell, is a fascinating spot.

Yet alive in the early 1920s was a man few of us have heard of. All civilized men readily recall Dr. David Livingstone. We know of his life, to a degree, as well as of his death. Seated between my sisters, Elizabeth on the left, and Sylvia on the right, is Matthew Wellington, which is his Baptismal name.

Elizabeth Bailey, Matthew Wellington, and Sylvia Bailey

It was never my privilege to meet Mr. Wellington, but thrilling it would have been to have heard him relate how they prepared Dr. Livingstone's body for the long journey to the coast. Learning why they buried his heart near the spot where he died under a Mvula tree in Chief Chitambo's village near Lake Bangweulu in what later became Zambia.

What a rare memory it would have been to sit on a low stool, all decorated with beaded art, and hear the old one telling of the privations, the dangers from wild beasts, of the unfriendly tribes through which they had to pass, and to hear it all from this one man's lips. Amazing to think Doctor Livingstone's loyal followers believed this white man's body must be returned to his homeland beyond the seas.

That took courage, faithfulness, and a deep abiding devotion to one who had befriended them in Africa. They allowed nothing to deter them until they let their burden rest beside the ocean liner which carried his body away. For all time, David Livingstone rests from his labors in Westminster Abbey.  One of those who endured in order to make the Abbey burial possible now rests beneath the tropical sky in a simple grave with a simple marker not far from the city of Mombasa.

David Livingstone died in Chief Chitambo's village at Ilala southeast of Lake Bangweula in present-day Zambia on 4 May 1873 from malaria and internal bleeding caused by dysentery. He took his final breath while kneeling in prayer at his bedside. His followers, Chuma and Susi, carried his body and journals over one thousand miles to the coast for shipment to England. Chuma was only a boy when Livingstone and Bishop Charles McKenzie freed him from slavers in 1861. He was from the Yao tribe. Susi joined Doctor Livingstone in Chupanga when he was employed to cut wood for Livingstone's second journey.  It is not known if Matthew Wellington was the Baptismal name for Chuma or Susi.

David Livingstone. Photo courtesy of

David Livingstone was one of the most popular national heros of late Victorian Era Britain. He had almost mythical status. What we most likely remember today is Stanley's meeting with Livingstone on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in 1871 when he uttered the famous words, "Doctor Livingstone, I presume?"  Stanley later tore out the pages of this encounter from his diary so we will never know if those words were actually uttered or not.

Stanley meeting Livingstone. Drawing courtesy of

When reading Homer Bailey's journal which as written in 1991 shortly before his death, I find this one of the most interesting stories of his first stay in Africa, but there are many others....stay tuned!

Friday, September 20, 2013

More from My Favorite Person I've Never Met

I've written about Edith Mary Madeline Ternes several times.(1) Edith communicated with a relative named Sofee, who was also interested in researching the Ternes family. They traded information and photos as you can see by this portion of the transcript:

I hate to seem ungrateful, and I'm not, but I am still missing one picture. There is no picture of your mother. I'd appreciate some information too. When and where your mother and dad were married would be a help. I'd like your mother's maiden name too. I need this information for my own research. I like the picture of your father but I barely recognize the man because I keep thinking of a little boy about Peter's age. I do have one picture of your father in which he looks about fifteen or sixteen years old. I found it among mother's things, and it, like the other family pictures comes out once a year to hang on the Christmas tree and be admired. I shall have to make one of my picture ornaments for you. Each year the numerous little pill container ornaments with family pictures inside decorate the trees. They make the tree quite the conversation piece.

They communicated by sending tapes and packages back and forth to each other:

I am delighted to be able to use tapes. Apparently my tongue gets less tired then my fingers do, though I do type this all out before I put it on tape. My memory is bad, you see, and like most old folks I tend to repeat myself ad infinitem. My typewriter is about to be hospitalized. I surely could not have made all these mistakes by myself.

Edith also wrote about her young adulthood:

When I was nineteen years old I had to make a decision for myself. The Terneses were very good to me and sent me to a school for young ladies, St. Joseph's Academy in Adrian, Michigan. I was in the eight grade and very impressionable. The school was run by the Adrian Dominicans, an order of Catholic nuns whom I admired very much. I still admire them.

St. Joseph's Academy, Adrian, Michigan
In my sophomore year of high school they sent me to St. Mary's Academy in Windsor, Ontario. Thereby hangs a tale which I shall tell you some other time.

St. Mary's Academy, Windsor, Ontario

Like most teenagers I was sure I was destined to dedicate my life to saving the world or something equally dramatic so I entered the convent one month after my nineteenth birthday. This altered my living habits considerably and until the age of 28 I saw the family only once or twice a year and was allowed to visit home only three times in those nine and one half years so whatever happened in the family affected me very little. In order to avoid worrying me they told me only the good things. They never mentioned troubles very much. Much of the time I lived in or near Chicago and that was a very long way from home.

In the convent sisters are given about 10 years in which to decide if they really want to make a permanent commitment and take final vows. After Dad's death I decided it might be better if I went home first.

This is the last post about the voice tape transcripts written by Edith Mary Madeline Ternes. It seems a fitting way to end this series of posts about my discovery on the Live from Tormville! blog as I recently discovered when researching other public trees that Edith died in 1999:

Edith Mary Madeline (Ternes) Reynolds Social Security Death Index record.

I'm very sad today.
(1) To find all the previous posts about the Ternes family, click "Ternes" in the Labels section of this page.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

River of Death: Battle of Chickamauga

The Battle of Chickamauga was fought on September 19-20, 1863. Today is the 150th anniversary of the battle.  Some say Chickamauga is from the Cherokee language and means river of blood. Blood certainly ran freely during the battle as there were nearly 35,000 casualties, the second highest number after Gettysburg. The battle marked the end of a Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia called the Chickamauga Campaign. It was the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater.

Confederate troops advancing during the Battle of Chickamauga; drawing by Alfred R. Waud
My husband (Easterly), sister-in-law (Moncrief)(1) and niece-in-law (Bailiff) had ancestors that fought and died at Chickamauga:
  • James Monroe Bailiff (1845-1927) served in Allison's Cavalry Battalion and was wounded on 20 Sep 1863 at Chickamauga. Taken prisoner of war at Louisville, Kentucky; released in the spring of 1864.
James Monroe Bailiff and his wife Eliza. Photo courtesy of
  • George Adolphus Easterly (1845-1932) served with the 8th Tennessee Infantry and fought at Chickamauga.
  • Rufus Harpine Easterly (1842-1919) served with the 4th Tennessee Infantry and fought at Chickamauga.
  • George N Moncrief (1837-19 Sep 1863) was a corporal with the 30th Georgia Infantry. He was killed in action during the battle.
  • Henry Harrison Moncrief (1842-1921) enlisted on 25 Sep 1861 as a private in the 30th Georgia Infantry Regiment, Co D. He fought at Chickamauga. In 1864 he was taken prisoner and was sent to Camp Chase in Ohio.
Henry Harrison Moncrief
  • Leroy Eli Moncrief (1838-Sep 1863) was a private with the 30th Georgia Infantry. He was wounded a Chickamauga and died a few days later at a hospital in Savannah.
During our next trip to visit my brother in northern Alabama, I would very much like to visit the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

(1)The Moncriefs discussed in this post were brothers. Their parents sent six sons off to war; I wrote about them here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Battle of Chickamauga 150th Anniversary

Tomorrow is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga, a battle that took place in north Georgia and east Tennessee. Several of my extended family's Bailiff and Moncrief ancestors fought on the Confederate side. My husband's Easterly ancestors also fought for the Confederate States of America, and he is more than a little miffed to discover that since he's Detroit born and bred.

Battle of Chickamauga, 1863. Photo courtesy of the Digital Library of Georgia


The idea for this post came from

Monday, September 16, 2013

Family Values

I woke up on Friday the 13th and found a very intriguing message in my box on A woman wrote:

Look up William Rolfe Kelley born 10-02-1832 in Virginia and died on 5-23-1922. His father was Radford Kelley. I think one of those trees had his wife listed as well. No one knew who the three sisters he had were. I am part Scandinavian and had a DNA match with another mixed ethnicity member here. Pretty close. 4th cousins. One of my Scandinavian grandparents is a Jennings and I see that Martha Ann Kelley married a Pleasant Jefferson Jennings born in 1820. So this is so great!

This was, of course, extremely interesting since I had three DNA matches with a common ancestor and one was a descendant of Pleasant Jefferson Jennings.  Could this be ancestor number two? And even more fascinating, her profile included a photograph. If she was the woman in the photograph, then she was a very attractive multi-racial woman. Now this was a story!

Pleasant and Martha Ann had four children in Virginia and one child in Ohio before moving to Walker County, Texas, before 1850. Pleasant was an overseer at the Hightower plantation.(1)

William Rolfe Kelley was the brother-in-law of Pleasant Jefferson Jennings. The Kelley family was also from Virginia. William Kelley, his parents, Radford and Susan, and his younger sisters, Mary and Rhoda, were traveling to California "Gold Rush" territory when tragedy struck. Radford, the Kelley patriarch, died. Pleasant Jefferson traveled to Ohio and brought his wife's family to Texas. William Rolfe Kelley got a job as an overseer at the Todd Robinson plantation.

William Rolfe Kelley

What's so interesting about William Rolfe Kelley you ask? He served with the Texas Cavalry in the Civil War. No documentation has yet been discovered that identifies a legal wife. Yet he had ten children by a former slave, Dinah Rush. All evidence, including his will indicates, theirs was a loving relationship and that he cared deeply about his children. Only federal and state laws of the time prevented William and Dinah from marrying.

William Rolfe Kelley's will. Photo courtesy of Keith Kelley

A great great grandson of William Rolfe Kelley has made bringing William and Dinah descendants together his life's mission.  Last year as a result of the hard work of several family members, the Texas Historical Commission erected a marker commemorating William and Dinah's life. The Houston Chronicle covered the historical marker dedication ceremony.

Texas Historical Commission marker. Photo courtesy of the Houston Chronicle
William "Bill" Rolfe Kelly and Dinah Rush raised a family in 19th century Texas despite state and federal laws which banned their union. Kelley was born in 1832 in Buckingham County, Virginia to Radford and Susan Kelley. Bill's oldest sister, Martha married Pleasant Jennings in 1839 and moved to this area (then in Polk County), where Pleasant became an overseer on the Hightower Plantation. Bill became the head of his family when his father died of an unknown illness. By 1851 he joined his sister and brother-in-law in Texas, accepting a job as an overseer on the Todd Robinson Plantation. Dinah Rush was born a slave in Alabama in 1848. Her owner and likely father, Otis Ruch, arrived in this area around 1852, according to an 1860 Census, he owned 17 slaves, including Dinah, who was described as mulatto (mixed African-American and Caucasian heritage).  
Bill Kelley served in the 25th Regiment of the Texas Cavalry, CSA, during the Civil War. In 1863, he was taken prisoner at Fort Hindman, Arkansas, and was later transferred to Fort Butler, Illinois. In 1867, he bought 154 acres of land; ultimately the Kelley farm would encompass nearly 700 acres and become known for its hogs, potatoes, yams and cotton. Bill Kelley and Dinah Rush had ten children: Eliza, Lawson, Mittie, Harley, Lois, Herndon, Susan, Will, Fanny, and John. Laws against interracial marriage prevented Dinah from marrying the father of her children or sharing their surname. In 1884 Dinah died shortly after deliverying her tenth child. Bill died in 1922 surrounded by his children and grandchildren. Today descendants include leaders in business, law, medicine, and education. The products of a loving union and enduring values.
I hope you'll visit the Kelley Family website; their story is truly a testament to strong family ties. Of course, I bought the book about the Kelley family and am eagerly awaiting the next book about the women of the Kelley family.  Saturday, I heard from William Rolfe's great great grandson, who is absolutely passionate about his family history. He provided me with the marriage license for Pleasant Jefferson and Martha Ann Christian (Kelley) Jennings and a page from a book about the history of Walker County. I love people who share information freely! And I'm proudly claiming kinship, albeit by marriage, with the Kelley family.

(1) Pleasant and Martha Ann Jennings daughter, Emily Susan Jennings (1843-1918) married a Hightower, likely a relative of the owner of the Hightower plantation.  Their descendant was my first new DNA match.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Trip Around the World: Kenya to the U.S. (the Asian Route)

William Judkins Bailey took his family to British East Africa (Kenya) in 1920(1) so he could be a missionary there for the Church of God. Their oldest boy, George, returned to the United States in 1924. His next oldest sons -- Homer and Paul Orrin -- returned to Indiana in 1927. The rest of the family traveled through Asia in 1929, including their youngest daughter, my Aunt Joan, who was born in 1921 at the Kijabe Mission Station. Maxwell Bailey was 10 years old at the time the family returned home. This is his description of the trip from his journal, which he wrote several years later:

Nairobi, Kenya, to Troy, Ohio in 1929

We arrived in Torch, Ohio in late 1929. Six months for the journey and all the visits along the way probably is not to far off. A train ride of approximately 300 miles with many stops and layovers from Nairobi to Mombasa could take at least two days. The voyage on the S/S Alora from Mombasa to Bombay, with a stopover at Poorbundy, a day's sail northwest of Bombay, would have taken most or all of a week.  Often after one is safely on board a ship, there could be a couple days of additional loading of freight. A scheduled departure time just wasn't the way it was done.

In Bombay, we visited many places. The most memorable was the Tower of Silence. The Parsees of Bombay believe the human body is sinful and defiled. The earth must not be polluted by burial. Fire is pure and sacred. The body must not be cremated. Hence the tower. The tower is 14- or 16-feet tall and perhaps 40- to 50-feet in diameter with a small door on one side and no roof. Bodies of men are placed along the outer row, women in the middle row, and bodes of children are in the middle. A deep pit is in the center of the circle. Hundreds of vultures clean the bones and scream at each other as the glide through the sky and roost along the top of the tower. The Tower of Silence seemed like the noisiest place on Earth to me!

Tower of Silence in old Bombay

We traveled across India by train. At each stop, at least one man on the station platform walked by the open train windows announcing, Chi gerram, chi gerram -- coffee. He has a large urn and tin cups and for a price, coffee is available.

Monkeys are sacred. No one denies a monkey anything. They will enter the train by the open windows and leave via another window further down the car. En route he may have picked up ladies handbags or anything of value not closely guarded. His owner is a bit richer.

We arrived in Agra about 2:00 a.m. Daddy hired a rickshaw, or two-wheeled conveyance pulled by a man, to take us out to Taj Mahal. He bribed the guard and we finished our nights' sleep stretched out on the marble window sill on one side of the building. When the sun rose, we greeted it from the top of one of the minarets that stand guard at each corner of the main platform upon which the structure rests.

Taj Mahal in Agra

Calcutta is certainly one of the larger, if not the largest cities in India. There are people everywhere, turn as you may, people and more people. Everywhere in Calcutta one would see temples of worship. The show is continuous, hour after hour.

Temples of Calcutta. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum

From Calcutta we made a side trip to Cuttack. This city had been a swamp at one time, inhabited by alligators or crocodiles. Dead babies, live girl babies, any unwanted babies were tossed in. Some imaginative group filled the swamp and on the fill ground built the Shelter. When we visited, there girls of all ages there, sitting on a long porch waiting with their rice bowls for a meal.

We boarded the S/S Takada for the trip to Singapore. Word was passed through the ship's passengers that pirates had attacked the ship ahead of us but we never saw any pirates.

From Singapore we traveled to Hong Kong. I don't believe it to this day, yet I saw it. A Chinaman had his children -- two little boys and a girl -- standing on a long, low bench. Their arms stretched out towards each other and head tilted back so far that teacups could be placed in each hand and forehead. Tea was poured in all the cups. By pure magic, it seemed to me, their feet, firmly on the bench. They leaned back further and further until they were horizontal. Then yet further back until the back of their heads were on the dock. Slowly, they moved back to a vertical position and never a drop of tea was spilled! Of course, coins showered to the dock from the ships' passengers.

We ascended Victoria Peak by cable car before traveling by train to Shanghai. We all learned to use chopsticks there. Father made sure of that. The walls of the houses were made of oiled paper over wooden frames. Since earthquakes are very common, a house built of light materials would do its occupants less damage than heavier ones.

Hong Kong Funicular

From Japan we boarded the S/S Paris Maru, a cargo ship bound for Seattle. I was in my element and all over that ship! One of the crew members had a small radio. I'd never seen one before. Pure magic!

S/S Paris Maru

In Seattle we stayed with my mother's sister's family for awhile before heading by railroad to Chicago. Then a relatively short train ride to Anderson, Indiana, where we attended a reception in the Anderson College and Training Seminary chapel. Another train ride and we were in Torch, Ohio, where my father's brother was the pastor of a local Methodist Church. We settled there on a farm.

(1) To read about the Baily family's 1920 trip to Kenya, click here and here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: 1929 Travel Scene

I hope you are enjoying the series of posts about traveling around the world in the 1920s. I have so enjoyed reading Homer and Maxwell's Bailey's journals and researching their trip to British East Africa, now Kenya.

Here is a scene from their trip:

Bombay in 1929. Photo courtesy CSMVS, Mumbai via Outlook Traveler Magazine

The idea for this post came from

Monday, September 9, 2013

Trip Around the World: Egypt to Kenya

Aunt Joan was born in Kenya in 1921 to a missionary parents. Her brothers, Homer and Maxwell, wrote journals, which a very kind lady sent to me recently. This post is the about the second half of the family's journey to Kenya and was written by Homer, who was 13 years old at the time of the journey. You may read about the first half of the outbound journey here.

Anderson, Indiana, to Kijabe, Kenya in 1929

Our ship pulled up anchor in Egypt and we steamed through the Suez Canal. Miles and miles of desolate sands. True some of that country is less than thrilling. I was surprised to learn, however, that there were connections between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea in ancient times. In those early days the Nile Delta reached as far as Zagazig whence a fresh water canal led to Lake Timsa. The canal from Lake Timsa to the Red Sea was commenced by Necho in 600 BC and was completed a century later. It fell into decay but was restored by Trajan and again later by Arab rulers. Napoleon considered the possibility of restoring it as well, but it wasn't until 1856 that Frenchman Ferdinand Lesseps workable plans for the present day Suez Canal.

Port Said, entrance to the Suez Canal circa 1900-1920. Photo courtesy of the Matson (G. Eric and Edith) Photograph Collection

Aden stands on a wild, rocky peninsula on the south coast of Arabia. A number of minarets stand tall above the city and long before dawn, the call to prayer echoes over the city. Always I have found seaports intriguing. I love to listen to conversation even though I know not a single word. The ways of other nationals and their customs I find simply fascinating.

Names such as Massawa or Mogadishu and Kismayo have a nice feel as they roll off the tongue. These are port cities along the East Somaliland shores. Our ship had tons of freight for these places. Days in port gave us the opportunity to see the local sights. We took a ride in a small boat having a some sort of boxes arranged along the side with glass bottoms so as to better view the shells and coral reef. It is my own belief that those were the most wonderful coral reefs I've ever been privileged to behold. Talk about colors...well, all the colors of a rainbow were there and simply magnificent.

Mogadishu in 1936

Two islands just off the mainland -- Massawa and Taulud -- are joined by an embankment. These form a large sheltered harbor. Our ship anchored there. A massive steam engine was lifted off the deck, swinging over the side. It was slowly lowered onto a small barge tied along side. That seemed a dangerous job for all involved. A sling containing gas cylinders lowered over the side missed the barge completely. A sailor placed some coal in a sack, attached a cord, and lowered it to the bottom, leaving a floating marker.

Fronded palms wave a welcome as you approach the lovely tropical island of Mombasa. It is a most interesting city as it spreads out over the island. When we arrived we dropped anchor out in the bay. There was no pier so all passengers and freight were moved by small boats from ship to shore. Native porters handled the trunks and suitcases. The boatmen dickered with individuals or families as to fare.  The small boat landed us by the custom house steps in late afternoon. Many were given a thorough going over but for us it was quite brief. We were on our way to the rail station and passed native homes all properly roofed with makuti or palm leaf shingles. Little near naked babies and children were out playing in the yards. Women were busily preparing the evening meal.

Mombasa is richly endowed with beauty. Stately palms flutter in the breeze as just beneath them hang the clusters of coconuts. In groves the gracious green mango trees stand tall loaded with luscious fruit. Other strange fruit trees were the guava and loquat. Never before had we seen bananas. Here they were with mammoth blooms, great clusters ripening on the stalks.

Mombasa. Photo courtesy of

The evening train was loading when we came onto the platform. First class was already full. Second class was full as well. Third class was generally used by local people. Father decided we were going third class. The seating was not upholstered, just bare furniture, easily cleaned. These accommodations were purely for utility not comfort. What a simply delightful time as the shrill whistle announced "all aboard." With steam escaping from the locomotive, people waving farewell, some running along the platform, the long train slowly moved out.

Come dawn we were miles from the sea, chugging steadily for the highlands. Later we learned we had passed through thorny forests as well as miles of scrub brush, inhabited by elephants. At Makindu, over two hundred miles inland, the wilderness gives way to great wide open plains. Some of that region is quite dry except during monsoon season. From that point to Nairobi we saw thousands of wild animals of many kinds. It is surprising to me that these beasts, though close to the tracks and the noisy train, seemed unafraid. Our train stopped a few times for wood and water but few passengers left the train until we reached Nairobi.

At the gates of the railway station a broad street leads straight to the heart of the city. Motor cars and taxis were there as well as the man-drawn rickshaws. The contrast between the different races were obvious. The Akamba people sharpened their front teeth and the Luo extracted some of the front lower teeth. The hairdos were equally interesting and very intricate. The use of caster bean oil with red earth pigment coated some people's entire head.

Nairobi in the mid 1920s

We returned to the train to travel to our final destination. The highlands are like a great, wonderful park land. Great deep gullies were bridged by strong girders of steel suddenly changing the sounds of the passing train. We scurried across several trestle bridges high above chasms in which flowed small creeks. To the left was a view ending in the distant horizon of the Masai. Crossing a wide high bridge the train slowed to a stop and we were at Kijabe.

Train on the Ugandan Railway (the same rail line on which the Bailey family traveled) circa 1910

The African Inland Mission is a place of beauty nestled among the lovely forest trees. at the time I think there were some ten homes as well as the church, a hospital, and schools. This was our new home.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday's Obituary -- James Gordon Bailey, Sr

Remember George Bailey? He was my Aunt Joan's oldest brother. According to another brother, Homer, George remained aloof from the rest of the family after he returned from Africa in 1924.

He went on to marry at least twice and had at least five children. James Gordon Bailey, Sr, was one of his sons by Lillian Krull.

This article was published in the Bakersfield Californian soon after James' death:

Jim Bailey, also known as "Chum" or "Senior", to his son, family and friends passed away suddenly the afternoon of September 19, 2006. Jim was born the second of four children to George and Lillian Krull Bailey in Bakersfield, California. He graduated from Bakersfield High School and Cal Western Law School. In addition to being an Army Veteran, he was an accomplished real estate developer in central California.

Jim's father George Bailey, Sr. was a local hotel pioneer opening the Rancho Bakersfield Motel many, years ago.

Rancho Motel, Bakersfield California

In 1957 he purchased his first property, built, opened, and managed the Howdy House Restaurant. That building still exists today. Jim later developed and owned the Macon County Hofbrau, and the Way Station along with numerous other local properties in Bakersfield and Fresno. With his only son James Gordon Bailey, Jr. (Jim, Jr), as partner, he built the Bakersfield Hampton Inn, the Homewood Suites and J.G. Bailey Corporation a Multi Development Company located at 1500 Haggin Oaks Blvd. Jim was a proud and sober AA member since September 16, 1972. His children remember Dad or "Senior" as steadfastly committed to his children who he loved deeply and made it his life's work to provide for them. His children also remember vacations in Cayucos where Dad accidentally broke the limit on red snapper. He loved to hunt, fish and take long walks through the agriculture fields of the valley. He had a passion and enthusiasm for life and never gave up on something he believed in. His children will miss his "big fish" stories, his calls to say "just checking" and his encouragement to always dream big. His favorite songs were: "My Way" by Frank Sinatra," One Day at a Time Sweet Jesus" and "That's My Job" by Conway Twitty.

He was deeply devoted to his wife and her son. They spent the last years of his life traveling abroad in Canada, and Costa Rica where they own homes. He and his wife spent many wonderful times hunting fishing and traveling. Jim was a beloved husband and his wife will love and miss him always. He is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers George Edward Bailey, Jr and Melvin Douglas Bailey. "You'll Always be in our Heart. We'll Miss and Love you Forever" James Gordon Bailey Sr. June 28, 1940 – Sept. 19, 2006.

James G Bailey, Sr. Photo courtesy of
The idea for this series came from Geneabloggers. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Trip Around the World: New York to Egypt

In 1920 the William Judkins Bailey family traveled to British East Africa, now Kenya, to be missionaries there for the Church of God.  This post is from Aunt Joan's brother, Homer's, journal and is his description of the first leg of their trip from New York to Kenya. Homer was 13 years old when the family made the trip.

From Anderson, Indiana, to Kijabe, Kenya

Following World War I, before the dust was settled in certain areas, such as the near East, my folks packed up what to them seemed the necessary belongings and left for Africa. We sailed away from these shores on board the RMS Aquitania out of New York one midnight in June 1920.

RMS Aquitania

The decks of the Aquitania were really roomy. There was something of wonder every place you looked; each stairway led to a new discovery on that magnificent city of the seas. It was like three hotels at least but floating along at considerable speed.

Southampton, England, was our first real stop. That was where our knee-buckled 1918 breeches were labeled "girl garments" by the local boys. We stayed just a day or two and then embarked on the Channel ferry late one evening. When morning dawned we were at the docks in Le Harve, France.

Getting the suitcases off the ferry and to the train station took some doing, but soon we were chugging our way to Paris. I found myself gawking at the sidewalk urinals.

Paris urinals

We didn't stay in Paris long as we had a ship to catch in Marseilles. This ship was old and tired; it's very name eludes me. The name painted on all the usual places was Greek. I will never forget the giant sized cockroaches jumping about among the pots and pans in the kitchen.

Marsailles, France

When we arrived in Egypt, two mules towed the tram car which whisked us along in Cairo. What a city; what a ride! Palm trees were quite new to us. Local people, dressed in flowing robes and turbans, were sitting on the sand by show cases or large trays of dried figs, dates and cakes or coffee. Along some of the streets there were continuous awnings for blocks on end. Men would sit at tables under these awnings and have coffee or play dominos or checkers. Life seemed sort of leisurely.

After leaving Egypt, we sailed to Jaffa, Palestine, and then journeyed to Jerusalem, riding our first narrow-gauge rail train. It was also our first experience with the class system -- first, second and third class coaches. A large crowd gathered to get on the train. There were turbaned gentlemen, veiled ladies, robed Arabs, as well as an assortment of other nationals. Ragged folks, well dressed folks, some ancient and some very young were all eager to be on the train. When it came some people hoisted luggage and friends through windows, they guarded doors to keep out the invasion, saving space for themselves. Conditions were not at all orderly. What a scramble!

Volumes could still be written about Jerusalem that ancient, historical, political, religious, old yet new city. A city destroyed, rebuilt, burned to the ground, resurrected, broken to rubble and still it stands on those memorable hills -- the city of David, the city of Solomon. Oh what a city!

Jerusalem wheat market, 1920

In Jerusalem we engaged a vehicle resembling an old Western stage coach for the run down to the Dead Sea. By the shore we saw a number of excavated squares some two or three feet deep. A small ditch connected each square to the sea. By this method each square was filled with salt water, sealed off, and evaporation left a cake of salt.

Auto on the Dead Sea beach circa 1925. Photo courtesy of

The present Jericho contains but a few buildings. One of the more outstanding was the Hotel Jericho. The walls are painted white and the roof was made of vivid red tile. Mosquitoes were numerous and we slept under netting for the first time.

We walked many miles the day we went to Nazareth. There was war then. Heavy gun fire could be heard in the distance. Traffic was almost non-existent. A military truck came along and gave us a lift. We were taken across the Sea of Galilee in the commander's motor launch. Due to the general unrest in the area, he urged us to spend the night in his military camp. So we had a tent, camp beds, and all the comforts of home.

Syrian soldiers during the Franco-Syrian War

Our wandering from place to place in the Holy Land was halted by the war action between Galilee and Damascus.(1) We saw many large shells along the roads. The three weeks allocated for our visit to the Middle East seemed all too soon gone. There was so much more to see and a lot we would have to remember.

Next for our family was to return to Port Said and our ship.

This leg of the journey will be continued in a future post.
(1) This was the Franco-Syrian war which took place between the Arab Kingdom of Syria and France in 1920.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Surprise in My Inbox: Ternes Family Photograph

I've written about Edith Mary Madeline Ternes before (herehere and here). Edith communicated via voice tapes to a relative named Sofee, who is also interested in researching the Ternes family. They traded information about themselves and photos.

After reading the following section of the transcript last November, I scoured the Internet, looking for the photograph of the Anthony Ternes family Edith described in the transcript.  No luck.  Yesterday morning, I woke up and read a new email in my inbox from one of my Ternes family connections.(1)  Attached was the very photograph for which I had been looking for months. It made my day!

I have also included some photographs of other family members mentioned in Edith Mary Madeline Ternes' transcript that are not in the subject photograph.

Here's what Edith Mary Madeline Ternes had to say about the Anthony and Mary Ann (Horger) Ternes family, which were her adopted grandparents:

The Ternes family was German. Mother Ternes was part French. She lived in a French community, Newport, Michigan, and spoke French. During the first war this led to some rather lively discussions at the dinner table. I have often wondered what Mother would have said had she found out, as I have since I have been researching family trees, that her family could well have been more Spanish than French. Dr. Valade, mother's grandfather traveled from Spain to Canada to Newport, Michigan. That Dr. Valade was your great, great, great grandfather.

Mother's father was August Loranger and her mother was Mary Valade. Mary died and August Loranger married again. His second wife had children of her own and was not too happy to have little Madeline Laura at all. She reportedly treated her so badly that her Grandmother Valade took your Great grandmother to live with her. Thus she was raised with aunts and uncles. This was the reason Mother always felt so close to Clara Valade Beckham. They are aunt and niece but raised as sisters.

Now, if you take the large family picture I will tell you about the people in it. There are three men and a woman in the back row. They are George Ternes, William Ternes, Theresa Ternes and Albert Peter Ternes.

Anthony Ternes Family
In the middle row are Maggie, Anthony, the father of the group, Mary Horger Ternes, the mother of the group and Francis "Frank" Anthony Ternes, my foster father and your great grandfather. Seated on the floor are Della and Frederick.

Let's start with Anthony, the father of the family. He is the son of Christian Ternes and Anna M (Schiller) Ternes. (Note: The patriarch of the family, Christian Ternes, was brutally murdered in the streets of Detroit.) Anthony was born on Feb. 22, 1843 and died on Feb. 28, 1904. Mary Ann (Horger) Ternes was the daughter of John Horger and Margaret Meisel Horger. Mary Ann was born in 1847 and died Jan 21, 1904. The church records show that Anthony Ternes and Mary Ann Horger were married June 1868. Anthony's father Christian Ternes was born in 1807 and died in 1881. His mother Anna Marie Schiller was born in 1808 and died on Dec. 25 1884.

The first boy in the last row is George Ternes. George married May Connolly. They had four children, Edna who became a nun, George Junior was in the war and I believe was at Pearl Harbor. The experience left him sort of at loose ends but he finally married a beautiful young lady (I am still trying to find out her name) They were married just 30 days and she died with spinal meningitis. George was devastated by this tragedy and it was quite a while before he married again but he never could come to terms with the disasters in his life and he finally decided it wasn't worth trying to cope with it any longer so he chose his own time to die. Claire married James Martin and lives here in Dearborn. I do not have her children's names. And then there was Lloyd the youngest. I see him at church sometimes. He is a fine young man with a family and he runs the Ternes Paint Store right here in town.

Hannah May (Connelly) Ternes and her children, George Anthony, Claire and Edna
After May died Lucille Carlen kept home for George and his four children until George married again. He had four children and he married a widow, Marguerite Emback Schroeder, who also had four children. They evened things up but made for quite a household.

Marguerite (Embach) Schroeder/Ternes

The second young man in the family picture is William Peter Ternes who married Elsie Gerstner and they had six children as near as I can find out. (Note: You may remember from an earlier blog post, they eloped.) They were Evelyn who married a Monaghan boy, William who married Madeline Maillue whose father was a lawyer and her mother was an opera singer, Ruth, Joy Marion,(2) Jack and Donald.(3) Ruth was drowned out at the cottage on Hickory Island. She was about three years old. After William died Elsie married a Mr. Deacon and they had one more child called John P. Deacon.

Donald Joseph Ternes

The lady is the back row is my favorite Aunt, Theresa, whom we called Aunt Trace. She married Albert Bernard Carlen a musician and piano and organ tuner and repairer. They had four children, Lucille, Eugene, Dorothy and Bernard. Lucille married William McCleer, Eugene became a priest, Dorothy became a Monroe nun with the name of Sr. Claudia. Bernard married Frances Shulte, a nurse. They had four children, Marie Therese, Dorothy, Kathleen known as Kitty and James. Then they called the whole thing off and were divorced and Bernard married Rose somebody or other. I'm still working on that name too. Marie Therese married William D. Hopkinson and they had six children, Elizabeth Ann, Donald, Ann, Kathy, Amy and Patty. Dorothy married William Beers and moved to California. They have three children, William, Mark and Shawn. Kitty works for the social services in Detroit and has never married. James lives in California and his aunt doesn't know if he is married or not.

The other man in the last row is Albert. Albert was a handsome confident man who was a very successful business man. He and his three younger brothers, Frank, your great grandfather, William and George were in the coal and lumber business for a number of years. The company was called The Ternes Coal and Lumber Company which was quite normal. Albert married Maude Burke and had three sons. Arthur, Howard and Paul. Arthur married Laree but I do not know her last name yet. They were divorced and I believe he married again a girl by the name of Esper, another good old Dearborn name. I believe he had two children Dale and Donald but I do not know by which wife. Howard married a lovely girl with an odd first name. She was Steve Rooney. They had a daughter Burke. I think there were other children but I have not been able to track them down yet. Paul married Patricia O'Reille and they had three children, Paul, Patricia and Michael. About 1918 Aunt Maude died. I remember that very well because the boys stayed with us for a few days. Al later married Helen Reber and had one more daughter Alberta Ternes who married Bill Bent.

The young woman sitting in the middle row is Margaret or Maggie as she was called. Maggie married Peter Neckel and this seems to have been a mis-mating if ever there was one. Margaret and Peter had three children, only one of whom Alice lived to grow up. The other two, Madeline and Alfred, died as children. Alice married Joseph Hammel and had six children Joseph, Robert, Margaret Kohlmeier La Salle Renelda Bonefant and Mary Alice Best.

Neckel brothers, Peter is on the far right

Next in line is Grandpa Ternes, your great great grandfather Anthony who, I understand was especially posed with his knees covered by hands to cover a hole in his pants. When he went into the photographer's studio he tripped and fell, tearing both his pant legs. Next to him sits Grandma Ternes who, by the looks of her must have been the authority figure in the family. I never knew her but Mother spoke highly of her and grandpa too, so there must have been some good to her. Then there is Frank, your great grandfather. He was a handsome man, good, kind, and with a terrific sense of humor. We loved the stunts and tricks he used to pull on us.

I hope you've enjoyed how so many pieces of the Ternes family history are coming together. I am thoroughly enjoying getting to learn about this history and meeting Ternes family members.

(1) My connection is the granddaughter of Christian Ternes, who moved to Panama and changed his name to Charles Ternes De Reuter. His very interesting story may be found here.

(2) William Peter Ternes' daughter, Marion, married Harold Muir, my first cousin, twice removed. They moved to California and had four children.

(3) I have also been in contact with Donald Ternes' daughter on Facebook.