Monday, July 29, 2019

Grandpa Lange's Violin

I wonder how many of my Lange/Jennings first cousins remember visiting Uncle Herbert and Aunt Iva at their house on Little River and seeing Grandpa Lange's violin framed and on display in their living room? I do. And I was always struck by how well Aunt Iva could incorporate cherished family heirlooms and photographs in her well designed rooms. When I saw the Grandpa's violin, it was the first time I knew he played another musical instrument besides the trumpet.

I don't know when Grandpa started playing musical instruments, but this photograph was taken in Essen, Germany, where he worked for five years -- from 1906 to 1911 -- before immigrating to Canada.

Gustav Lange, middle row third from left; personal collection

After arriving in Winnipeg, Grandpa met and married Wilhelmina Schalin. They moved to Michigan and then bought a farm in Maryland in 1919. While living there, Grandpa played in an orchestra at a movie theater during the silent picture era and played the trumpet in a marching band.

Recently, I asked my cousin, Paul, about Grandpa's violin. Paul sent me a photograph of the instrument as well as the information Aunt Iva had been able to discover about it.

Grandpa's violin; courtesy of Paul Lange

Aunt Iva said Grandpa gave Uncle Herbert the violin in the early 1960s when he and his family were visiting Grandpa at the farm in Maryland. (Grandpa died on 23 December 1963.)

Inside the violin is a label that reads: "Copy of Jacobus Stainer, Made in Germany." Also, on the backplate at the top of the body "Stainer" is stamped. Jacobus Stainer lived from 1617-1683 and his violins are very valuable but few have survived. Two were acquired by the Smithsonian. It is also known that Stainer never stamped his name on the violins he made. So it is likely this is a copy of Stainer made at a much later time period.

Two friends of Uncle Herbert and Aunt Iva's were accomplished violinists. They both played Grandpa's violin and said it had a beautiful tone.

There must be some musical talent in the Lange genes. Grandpa's younger brother, Friedrich, signed up for the army band when he was drafted into the Polish Army in the early 1920s. He had never played a musical instrument before, but thought the band would be easy duty. While in the Army he became so proficient at playing the French Horn, he played at weddings after being discharged.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Finding Capt. Thomas Wood's Daughters

Since Capt. Thomas Wood's last will and testament did not name his children, I went back to information about him on the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) website. It listed one daughter:

Sede Wood
born circa 1781 in Bedford County, Virginia
died 16 August 1824 in Adair County, Kentucky
married Henry Dooley on 7 August 1797 in Bedford County

I was able to find an abstract of their marriage in several sources:

Abstract of marriage bond for Henry Dooley and Sede Wood; courtesy of

Browsing through the Bedford County marriage bonds, I found two other daughters:

Elizabeth Wood
daughter of Thomas Wood
married Jonathan Smith on 15 March 1791 in Bedford County

Abstract of marriage bond for Jonathan Smith and Elizabeth Wood; courtesy

Pebe Wood
daughter of Thomas Wood
married Peter Purnal on 15 February 1792 in Bedford County.

Abstract of marriage bonds for Peter Purnal; courtesy of

Since Peter Purnal married again in 1793, I am assuming Pebe Wood died during their first year of marriage.

The marriage bond abstracts for Elizabeth and Pebe state they are daughters of Thomas Wood.

Other people named Wood mentioned in the abstracts:

Josiah Wood
James Wood
Jeremiah Wood

Who are they and what is their relationship to Thomas and his three known daughters?

My three times great grandmother and brick wall was Sarah "Sally" Wood (c1792-after 1884). So I am looking for a son of Capt. Thomas Wood. The search continues but now I have some names to research.

Last Will and Testament of Capt. Thomas Wood of Bedford County, Virginia
Finding Sede (Wood) Dooley: Is She Sally Wood's Aunt?
Sarah "Sally" Wood (c1792-c1884): Has Ancestry's ThruLines Broken a Brick Wall?