Penultimate Day 2016

Today is December 30, 2016, the penultimate day of the year, a day I review and contemplate the events of the year and, hopefully, set goals and intentions for the coming year.

This was the year I went into retirement. Early in the year I got a temporary position through someone I had worked with at AME. He was with a small company in Dayton that was switching over to a new domain and needed to have all of their laptops along with a few PCs reimaged and configured for the new network. I expected it to be about a six-week job but it stretched into about three months. When I finished that project, I still had about a month before my first Social Security check came in so things got a little tight.

Somehow I managed to get by without additional employment although I did resort to pulling money out of my IRA and nearly wiping out the savings account. I will probably have to find some part-time work to supplement my retirement income. Who knows what’s going to happen when the new administration takes over. What will I do? I don’t know. Computer maintenance is what I do but the prospect continuing with that is rather depressing.

Over the spring and summer months, Tina and I began taking walks together. When the weather was nice, we’d walk in one of two city parks. Sometimes, we’d go to the mall and walk a few laps around each level. The exercise was good and it was nice to spend time together.

Tina made a two-month journey to the Philippines in September. She saved money to pay for it although I ended up contributing some from the IRA money I’d pulled for household projects.

Almost none of the money I extracted from my IRA for home improvement was actually used for that purpose. That’s what usually happens. Car repairs, a new roof, a new water heater, and her trip all cut into it.

I started the process of getting the roof replaced in July after neglecting it for nearly a decade. Working with the contractor and the insurance company, I got it replaced with out of pocket costs coming to less than a grand. The work got done at the end of September. It looks good, it doesn’t leak, and it’s properly ventilated. I’d still like to replace the gutters or at least repait them and finish the gutter guards.

While she was gone, my dad and my sister Laura came down to get a battery I’d borrowed and to see the Air Force Museum. On the way down he had a mild stroke though we didn’t see any definite signs until we’d seen most of the museum. We got him to the ER near my house and they rushed him down to Kettering Medical Center.

His stroke was attributed to atrial fibrillation (Afib). Apparently, he has a slightly irregular heartbeat that causes a heart valve to flutter which thickens the blood, causing a clot. He had another stroke just after they started him on Eliquist but before it had a chance to take effect.

After a few days, they moved him down to inpatient rehab where he made fantastic progress. How many 82-year-old men would be doing a polka with their therapist a week after a stroke? Laura and Erin took him home a couple of days later and he’s been doing well since then. Early this month, Joan moved back up from Florida to help take care of him. He probably does need more supervision now.

I have nothing but praise for the doctors, nurses, therapists, and everyone else to played a role while in his care at Kettering.

My major project while she was away was to have the bathroom done before she got back. I did what I could to smooth out and reduce the concrete in that corner. While ceramic or porcelain tile would have been nice, it would have involved a lot more work than I was really willing to put into it. It would have been more expensive and I really didn’t have the funds to pursue it. I installed 12-inch squares of vinyl tile and it looks good. As expected, I had some trouble around the toilet but, although not perfect, it looks good. I put in an exhaust fan, new baseboards, a new toilet, and towel racks and hooks. There are still a few cosmetic things that still need to be done but I have a fully functional bathroom and she’s happy.

During that time, the water heater went out and I spent about $1800 getting that replaced. Of course, there were complications. Nobody makes water heaters the same size as the one that died so I had to get one with a larger diameter which was more difficult to fit in the confined space of my utility closet. I also had to have
the gas line to the heater rerouted. The old gas line had been routed behind the heater and circled around the front. With one of these homes, nothing is ever as simple and straightforward as it should be.

Early in the year we switched from an electric range to a gas range. I was tired of continually replacing burners. Getting the gas line modified with a shut off valve significantly added to the cost but it was the project was worthwhile. She’s been doing a lot of cooking for Filipino friends and cooking with gas has been a lot more efficient and has cut down on my electric bill without a proportional increase in my gas bill though that could change this winter.

I added a second garden box and built one for the kids. Our garden really didn’t produce as much as we’d hoped. In the spring I plan to remove the dirt and move the boxes to an area of the backyard that will get more sunlight. I think we may have tried to grow too much. I’m going to research something called the square-foot method and give that a try. We may even grow some plants in large pots or something.

During the summer Abigail took an interest in a new Filipino dance group, Sayaw FilipinOH. The group split off from the Phil-AM Pamana dancers and in addition to traditional Filipino folk dances, they do some hip-hop dances. She really seems to enjoy it and has made solid friendships with everyone in the group. As a result, Tina and I have also become more involved in the group.

This year was more eventful than I’d anticipated when I began this review. I guess I did manage to be active this year.

Do I have any goals, resolutions, or intentions for the coming year? I have never had much success with setting goals and intentions in the past and I have no reason to believe that will change. Simplify my life and take better care of myself. How’s that? Oh, and post on this blog more often.

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Harrison House Museum

Thanks to cousin Eve Sproat-Traill for this link to Harrison House Museum & Barn. It’s always exciting for me to find historical links to the family tree. It helps make history come alive knowing that my ancestors were part of it.

Nathaniel Harrison, who built the house in 1724, was the son of my 9th great-grandparents, Ensign Thomas Harrison and Dorothy Thompson. His elder brother, Lieutenant Thomas Harrison, is my 8th great-grandfather.

Daniel Warren

Daniel Warren Homestead - 1715

The Daniel Warren Homestead, c.1715

I’d like to thank my cousin, Eve Sproat-Traill for posting this link on Facebook. It is always a pleasure to read accounts of my ancestors.

The article prompted me to do some research so I found my information from Henry Bonds’ genealogies and history of Watertown and began putting together the data linking my 5th Great-grandfather, Oliver R. Warren back to John Warren the Emigrant (my 10th Great-grandfather) who arrived in America in 1630. The ancestry goes back to the time of William the Conqueror and I’m hoping to explore that sometime.

Some time ago I’d found some records held by the DAR that linked Oliver with his father, Asa Warren and his second son Daniel, information I’d been seeking for quite a while.

Cleveland Burial Records Online

I found an article about the Cleveland City Cemeteries Index in Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter today. I only found five Romigs in the index. Three of them were young children who may or may not be related in some way.

Two Romigs of interest I found were Charles and Auguste Romig. My great-grandparents, Frederick and Hulda and their children resided in their home when they moved to Cleveland from Illinois. My great-grandfather gave their address as his residence in his immigration paperwork. I’ve long suspected that Frederick and Charles might be related but I haven’t been able to find anything to substantiate it.

Cemetery Interment Name Age Sex
Monroe Street Aug 25, 1902 Romig, Baby M
Scranton Road Jul 29, 1911 Romig, Auguste Mrs
Scranton Road May 25, 1914 Romig, Chas 57y
Woodland Dec 15, 1902 Romig, Harry 3y M
Brookmere Jul 17, 1901 Romig, Henry 4m M

I’ll be adding the link to this index to my genealogy page shortly.

Mayflower 390th Anniversary

Mayflower

It was 390 years ago today that the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England, bound for Virginia. As history shows, they ended up in New England. Of the 102 passengers, only 53 would survive the first winter. I can count eight direct ancestors on the passenger list:

  • John Howland
  • John Tilley
  • Joan Hurst Tilley
  • Elizabeth Tilley
  • Isaac Allerton
  • Mary Norris Allerton
  • Mary Allerton
  • Francis Cooke

Three of them — John Tilley, Joan Hurst Tilley, and Mary Norris Allerton did not see the first spring in the New World. John Howland nearly didn’t survive the voyage across the Atlantic. He fell overboard during a violent storm but was able to grasp a line and be pulled back aboard.

Robert Cushman, who was instrumental in organizing the voyage and came over on The Fortune in 1621, is also a direct ancestor. His son Thomas accompanied him on that voyage and later married Mary Allerton. When Mary died in 1699, she was the last survivor of the Mayflower voyage.

Obituary Update

When I last visited Dad back in September, I obtained a number of obituaries from the microfilm archives at the Morley Library in Painesville. Soon after that visit, I put them in web format but I didn’t upload them to my site right away. I finally got around to redoing my obituary index files and got everything uploaded earlier this month. Sorry it took me so long.

Here are the obituaries I added:

More obituaries can be found at Rick Romig’s Genealogy Project.

On this day: 3 Dec 1658

This was recently posted on 4 Dec 2009 by David Sylvester in the First Ships Yahoo Group.

On This Day…

…in 1658, Plymouth Court ordered that any boat carrying Quakers to Sandwich be seized to prevent the religious heretics from landing. A year earlier, Quakers in Sandwich had established the first Friends’ Meeting in the New World. Magistrates in both Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were alarmed by Quaker teachings that individuals could receive direct personal revelations from God. To protect orthodox Puritanism, the courts passed a series of laws forbidding residents from housing Quakers. Quakers themselves were threatened with whipping, arrest, imprisonment, banishment, or death. But driven by conscience, some Quakers repeatedly returned to Massachusetts to preach; four of them, including Mary Dyer, went to the gallows before a shocked King Charles ordered an end to the hanging of Quakers in 1661.

Background

Quakers and Puritans traced their roots to the same religious turmoil in England. Both groups were dissenters who objected to the Church of England’s rituals, dogma, and hierarchy. But Quakers took their reforms beyond what Puritans considered acceptable. Quakers believed an individual could experience the direct revelation of Christ; they rejected ordained ministers and traditional forms of worship.

When the first Quakers arrived in Boston in 1656, they received a chilly welcome. To the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay, Quaker teachings were not just heretical but a direct threat to the authority of the magistrates who governed the colony. Quakers placed the demands of their conscience above the dictates of human authority. In the eyes of colonial officials, this “contempt of the magistracy” made Quakers “instruments of the devil” who sowed seeds of social discord, sedition, and anarchy. The authorities took immediate steps to suppress Quakerism.

In July of 1656, two women seeking to share their Quaker faith traveled from the West Indies to Boston. The authorities did not hesitate to move against them: the pair was confined to the ship while their baggage was searched and their books confiscated. Then they were taken to jail, stripped, and searched for signs of witchcraft. After five weeks in prison, they were returned to the ship, and the captain was forced to carry them back to Barbados. Just two days later, four Quaker men and four Quaker women arrived aboard another vessel. This group spent 11 weeks in prison before being deported to England.

Meanwhile, Quakers had also made their way to neighboring Plymouth Colony. Lawmakers there responded by prohibiting the transporting of Quakers into the colony and authorizing punishment for residents who provided shelter to a Quaker or attended a Quaker meeting. In spite of these harsh measures, two Quakers began teaching in Sandwich; about 18 families joined what became the first Friends’ Meeting in America. As word spread, Sandwich became a gathering place for Quakers. Colonial authorities responded by seizing any vessel that was headed for Sandwich with Quakers aboard.

As the Quaker presence grew, the governors of Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth both took legal steps to prevent Quakers from entering their colonies. Under the Massachusetts Bay charter, the governor had no authority to imprison Quakers. In late 1656 and 1657, the General Court rectified this situation when it passed a series of laws that outlawed “the cursed sect of heretics commonly called Quakers.” Captains of ships that brought Quakers to Massachusetts Bay were subject to heavy fines; so was anyone who owned books by Quakers or dared to defend the Quakers’ “devilish opinions.” As the movement continued to gain adherents, Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth passed even harsher laws. Quakers who persisted in entering the colony were imprisoned, publicly whipped till they bled, and had ears chopped off. Finally, in October of 1658, the Massachusetts General Court passed a law that barred Quakers from the colony “under pain of death.”

Not all Quakers were deterred. One who defied the authorities was Mary Dyer. Arriving in Boston in the early 1630s, Mary Dyer had become embroiled in the religious controversy surrounding dissenter Anne Hutchinson. When Hutchinson and her family were forced out of Massachusetts, Dyer followed them to Rhode Island. During a 1650 trip to England, she met and became a follower of George Fox, founder of the Quaker Society of Friends. Passionate about her new beliefs, Mary Dyer returned to Boston in 1657. She was immediately imprisoned. Her husband, who was not a Quaker, promised she would not preach as long as she was within the borders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and she was released. The Dyers returned to Rhode Island.

Despite the threat of death, Mary Dyer repeatedly returned to Boston to support fellow Quakers who had been imprisoned. Finally, in the fall of 1658, she and two other Quakers were arrested and sentenced to death. When the governor pronounced the death sentence, Mary Dyer responded, “The will of the Lord be done.” A week later, the two men were hanged, but at the last minute, Mary Dyer was granted a reprieve. She reluctantly left Massachusetts, but less than two years later, she returned one last time to defy “that wicked law against God’s people and [to] offer up her life there.”

Once again, she was arrested and condemned to death. On June 1, 1660, she was taken to the gallows. Her husband pleaded for her life, but she herself refused to repent. The execution of Mary Dyer and the other Quakers so appalled King Charles II that he ordered an end to the death penalty for Quakers in all his colonies. By 1677 members of the Society of Friends were free to hold regular meetings.

Three centuries after Mary Dyer’s martyrdom, a descendant left a bequest that paid for Sylvia Shaw Judson, a Quaker woman herself, to produce a life-size bronze statue of Mary Dyer. In 1959 the statue was erected on the west lawn of the Massachusetts State House, where it stands today.

I found this very interesting because my earliest Warren ancestor in North America, John Warren sympathized with the Quakers and was often at odds with his fellow Puritans — On May 27, 1661 the houses of “old Warren and Goodman [William] Hammond” were ordered to be searched for Quakers.

For more information:
Quakers Outlawed in Plymouth, Dec 3, 1658
First Ships Discussion List
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