Thursday, October 13, 2016

Loyal Christopher

At a place called New Providence, Nassau, Bahamas on the Western side of the Island is a cemetery that is known as Potter's Field.
Western Cemetery Gate, Nassau, New Providence District, Bahamas

There is a grave that reads: Here lieth the remains of Major Christopher Neeley, who was banished from his native country in the American Revolution for his attachment to his King and the laws of his Country, he acted as a Major in the Loyal Militia and a Captain of a company in a Provincial Regiment in the Royal Army.  He died the 26th of April 1807 aged 63 years.

He was my cousin, 1st cousin 6x removed. Let me make it simple, his Grandfather George Pearis is my Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather.He is not my only kin buried in the Bahamas.

Christopher was born about the year 1744, probably in Virginia. He was living in what was called the 96th District in South Carolina having moved there, sometime after 1768 with his mother after his father was killed at Fort Neeley.
 In 1776 he took to arms with the Loyalist Army and was three miles from his home trying to catch up to the Army when he was shot by a Rebel soldier and left for dead. It took him 3 years to recover and in 1779 he joined the Loyalist Army again and was made a Major. This time was not going to go well for Christopher either.

On the 14th of February 1779
an encounter between the Rebel forces and the Loyalists, who were on their way to Augusta, a British held City, broke out in Wilkes County Georgia. That incident became known as the Battle of Kettle Creek.
The Rebel Army scattered and decisively defeated the Loyalists. Christopher was taken prisoner and hauled back to the 96th District South Carolina to be hanged.

This was not going to be the end of Christopher. He was soon transferred to a jail in Orangeburgh South Carolina where he was released after a surety was agreed upon for his good behavior. In 1783 Christopher had a home and property on the Saluda River in South Carolina.

After the dust from the Revolution starts to settle the men who were Loyalists are relocated to Florida and in 1784 we find Christopher living on the San Juan River in St. Augustine Florida.

In September of 1789 Christopher places an ad in the Bahama Gazette regarding a runaway slave. In the ad Christopher mentions he bought the man in May of 1788. Placing him in Nassau at least 4 years after his move to Florida.

Christopher never married and there is not much info I can get without a trip to the Bahamas and who would believe that I was actually going there to research?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Alvin's 5" Leg or Cop the Bottle

Alvin Ansel Warren was born in 1895 in West Virginia.  In 1917 Alvin was living in Parkersburg when he registered for the Draft for World War I. His card says he had blue eyes and brown hair, is short with a medium build. It also says his right leg is 5 inches shorter than his left.

His employer is listed as Essex Glass Company and he calls himself a glass worker. I was curious.
The Essex Glass Company was one of the leading glass milk bottle manufactures in the United States. In 1913 Essex Glass purchased the Standard Milk Bottle Mfg. Co. factory in Parkersburg, West Virginia. 

In 1916 Essex Glass converted the Parkersburg plant to automated machines that were manned by one person and in 1917 the new machines were operating. In 1920 The Thatcher Manufacturing Company purchased the Essex Glass Company.

Because manganese is used as a decolorant in the manufacturing of the Essex bottle they solarize to be a pale purple. Between 1913 and 1920 Essex bottles were marked with an E4 as a logo.  These are found on the heel of the bottles.

By 1926 Alvin is working at the Universal Glass Products Company in Parmaco, Parkersburg, West Virginia. Universal mostly produced milk bottles between 1920 and 1940 and in1950 they started manufacturing liquor bottles. Their logo is UGP.

In 1938 a patent was granted to the Gennaro Boys for a bottle design that separated the cream from the milk in the bottle while pouring the milk. Universal Glass Products Company made the bottles for the Gennaros.  

Because the stern face at the top of the bottles resembled a Police Officer

 the bottles were called Cop the Cream and the company was named 

Cop the Cream Bottle Company. 

In April of 1942 Anvil again was required to register for the Draft. World War II  was happening. I discovered that in 1942 Alvin's eyes are listed as brown (not blue like before), his hair is now grey, he is 5'6" tall, which is still short but here is the interesting part when it asks if there are any physical characteristics that would aid in identification of him the answer he gives is none. The mystery of this is ... Wouldn't a leg that is 5" shorter than the other be a physical characteristic for identification? How did his eyes change color? 

I turned to the next page on the site and the back of the next card says the person is 5'3" has blue eyes, brown hair and is a cripple in his right leg.  Found him!

The scan of the draft cards is out of sync with the way they are presented on the website.  Good to know because only one side of the card has the person's name on it and descriptions may not be of you think they are. But then how do I know the first description was right..... 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Josiah the Cooper

Very great Uncle Josiah Milton Warren was a cooper. He made barrels. In 1910 on the census his occupation was listed as cooper and the industry he was working as a cooper for was a Brewery. He lived on Bedinger Street in Elsmere, Kenton, Kentucky.

I can find no breweries in Elsmere but there were three breweries in operation in Covington Kentucky which is very near in 1910. The Covington Brewery, The New Kentucky Brewery and Bavarian Brewing.  I have no idea at which he may have worked.

Before 1910 he lived in Cincinnati Ohio and there were 23 breweries in operation in 1910. He could have been employed by one of them.
Besides barrels, coopers also made utensils, casks, buckets, butter churns and drums, mostly things that had staves and required the skill of a hooper. The hooper was the title of the worker who put the metal hoops around the staves to hold them together.

The word cooper came by way of the German word kuper from the word kupe or cask, which came from Latin cupa which was a barrel.

A slack cooper made barrels to hold dry goods such as tobacco, nails, vegetables.

A dry-tight cooper made barrels that would keep out moisture and the product inside dry. They were used for products like gunpowder.

A white cooper made buckets, butter churns, and wash tubs, they were made to hold liquids but were not suitable for shipping items.

A wet cooper made barrels that would hold liquids tight for shipping purposes.

Seguin Moreau is a cooperage (a factory for making barrels) that was incorporated into the House of Remy. They produce Limousin oak barrels which gives the cognac aging in them the distinct vanilla notes found in Rémy Martin Grand Cru which sells for about $1500 a bottle making the value of the contents of each barrel a quarter of a million dollars.

What a shame he did not work there.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cigar Maker James

James C. Warren, my 2nd Great Grand Uncle is listed on the 1900 census for Lubeck, Wood County, West Virginia which us near Parkersburg as being a cigar maker. There is no further information on where or with whom as on some census. I was intrigued as to what cigar company may have been in business in Lubeck District of Wood County.

I found Marsh Wheeling Company

 in Wheeling West Virginia. It was the oldest cigar manufacturing company in America. 

They were the makers of the famous Marsh Wheeling Stogies. 
Their cigar box became a well-known hallmark in the tobacco industry.  
                                                       Augustus Pollack
Augustus Pollack Wheeling Stogies 

are another cigar company found in Wheeling. They were known for their Crown Stogies.
John Schneider & Co., Muhn & Brandfass, Brandfass Tobacco Co., H.L. Loos & Bro.. Ebeling & Pebler, H. Seamon & Son and his Nail City Stogie Cigar Works, and many others.

I found cigar makers in several parts of West Virginia but only Wheeling West Virginia is the home of Stogies.  The name comes from Conestoga wagon drivers who would buy the slim small cigars at 4 for a penny.

James died in 1902, he was 27 and there is no more information about him. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ansel Served on an Iron Clad

Ansel Marion Warren, my 2nd Great Grandfather served in the United States Navy.

He enlisted on April 22 1861 at the age of 19  in Pomeroy Ohio. He was a private in Company F of the 18th Ohio Infantry he mustered out on 22 August 1861 due to an injury. 

On June 30 1863 in Marietta  he enlisted and was a private in Company A of the 129th Ohio Infantry and mustered out March 8 1864 due to injuries and medial problems. 

In Cincinnati on September 2 1864 he enlisted in the United  States Navy and was given the rank of Landsmen, the lowest rank given to a Naval recruit indicating no sea or boating experience.  He mustered out August 2 1865. 

In his navy career...

He served aboard the USS Moose,  a wooden stern-wheel steam gunboat. She was built in 1863 in Cincinnati Ohio and was purchased by the Union Navy. Her duty was to patrol Confederate Waterways and she prowled the Ohio River, Tennessee River, Cumberland Rivers. 

He also served on the USS Grampus, a side wheeled steamer. She was purchased in 1863 by the navy and named for grampus griseus, a member of the dolphin family known as Risso's Dolphin. She was stationed in Cincinnati Ohio and was used to help refit and convert other ships into gunships. Her only weapons were 10 cutlasses and revolvers and she contained no furnishings.

He served on the USS Great Western a side wheel steamer built in 1857. She was purchased by the U.S. Navy in 1862. She was an ordnance boat supplying Navy ships on the White River and the Arkansas River with ammunition and arms. 

He served on the USS Benton 


an iron clad river gunboat. She was a former center-wheel catamaran snagboat  first called submarine No.7. and had been built by the US Navy to raise sunken Steamboats under the Mississippi River.

On April 29 1863 the Benton led a fleet of 7 ironclads down the Mississippi River 

Mississippi River at Grand Gulf Mississippi

to Grand Gulf where she was involved in the Battle of Grand Gulf.
She was pierced by a round during the fight and 25 crewman were killed. At one point in the battle the current of the Mississippi increased overwhelming her engines and the Benton was swept down stream.
She was decommissioned in July of 1865. 

Ansel married 2 years later and had 8 children. His trade was a cooper. I had a small barrel he had made but as I was cleaning it several months ago one of the rings slipped and it fell into a heap. I could not locate a cooper to put it back together. 
He spent the last few years of his life in the National Military Home for Veterans in Indiana.