Thursday, August 29, 2013

Jen on Gen Gets Fresh

Vintage children's shoe collection, in possession of the author

     Today marks Jen on Gen's new look.  For some time, I've wanted to update the look of the blog from one of the standard templates offered by Google.  Without wanting to spend a lot of time learning the process to do it myself, I went looking for a template kit.  The nice folks over at helped me over a technical glitch to get it up and running.  I've also ditched the "work in progress" as part of the description.  Since I've been at this for awhile now, it looks as though I'm sticking around.
     I thought I'd take the opportunity to celebrate the freshened look of the blog by sharing this photo of part of my ancestral kid's shoe collection.  I don't know all of the details, but I believe that the tan and black pair on the right belonged to Katie "Babe" Lois Ives, who was born in Centralia, Lewis Co., Washington in 1904.  The white ones on the left were made by hand out of felt.  There might be a Native American connection:  an ancestor either learned how to make them, or bought them from a local Native American woman, in perhaps rural Washington.  They have clearly never been worn, unless it was for two minutes to admire them.
     I look forward to rummaging in the corners of my memory and collection, and bringing some of both out into the light on the fresh new workspace.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Edward Channell family: treasure among the essentials

Signature of Edward Channell in Bible
(In possession of the author)
     Among my ancestors are  many who made the journey across vast parts of the United States.  No, they didn't come to seek their fortunes in the Gold Rush of 1849, nor were they fur traders, or travelers around the tip of South America.  One particular family, that of Edward Channell, made the sensible decision to wait until the railroad had been completed across the United States, and travel in relative safety and "comfort."
     A recent clean-out of my garage made me wonder:  how did I managed to accumulate so much "stuff," half of which I don't remember having?  I doubt the Channell family were able to bring many possessions with them on the move from Douds, Van Buren County, Iowa, to Centralia, Lewis County, Washington.  Thankfully, among the belongings they picked up along the way are those considered treasures by their descendants.
     Somehow,  their massive Bible, printed as a tutorial, has survived.  Whether they carried it with them, shipped it separately, or acquired it later, I don't know.  The complete title is lengthy, but starts out, "Hitchcock's New and Complete Analysis of the Holy Bible:  or, the whole of the Old and New Testaments Arranged According to Subjects in Twenty-Seven Books..."  It was printed by A. J. Johnson & Son of New York & Philadelphia.  The copyright date, in Roman numerals, is 1875.
Edward Channell family Bible, copyright 1875
     Besides the inscribed name (top), someone kindly included a very specific piece of information.  Considering the long stretch between the censuses of 1880 and 1900, this was most welcome:  the time of the family's move to Washington.  "Edward Channell and Family Emigrated to Wash. Ter. in the month of Sept. 1881."

     I can now visualize this couple as they made the trip across the country by train.  Not only were they leaving everything that was familiar behind them, they had to manage the trip with three young daughters, ages 6, 3, and 8 months!  
     An adventure, indeed...