Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stephen & Margaret Welcheck - Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Stephen & Margaret Welcheck

Married  22 Feb 1887 - this photo was taken in 1937 for their 50th Anniversary.
(They are the subjects of the previous post - Welcheck of Ohio )


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Welcheck of Ohio

Stephen Welcheck b.14 Dec 1864 in Bohemia Austria
Son of Frank Welcheck & Katrina Plumsky
& Margaret (Busch) Welcheck b. 23 July 1867 in Ohio
Daughter of John J. Busch & Catherine Laubenthal
Married 22 Feb 1887 in Elryia, Ohio
Buried in Highland Park Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio

Monday, August 24, 2009

Our Canadian Ancestor's Home

This was the home of Joseph Roy - b.1768 
Son of Laurent Roy & Catherine Cordier.

Built c. 1805

The home is located in L'Acadie (about 35km south of Montreal), Canada.
Joseph married Charlotte Dupuis Patenaude on 19 Jan 1809 in Chambly, Canada.
Their daughter, Theotiste Henriette Roy, is our ancestor.

Posted as part of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival  "Home Sweet Home"(Photo taken in 1997 by Pierre Ducharme) 

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Union of 50 States

August 21st, 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.

Hawaii is the only state of the United States that:

is made up entirely of islands
is not geographically located in North America
grows coffee
is completely surrounded by water
is entirely an archipelago (is a chain or cluster of islands that are formed tectonically)
has a royal palace
does not have a straight line in its state boundary

Thursday, August 20, 2009

S/S Ausonia (1)

While researching my ancestors ship for the previous post I came across the fact the it was sometimes referred to as Ausonia (2). Today I thought I would share the story of Ausonia (1).
The S/S Ausonia (1) was built in 1909 by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson in Newcastle as the "Toronta" for the Thompson Line. The 7907 gt ship was purchased by Cunard Line in 1911, and renamed "Ausonia". In May 1918 she was torpedoed and lost off Fastnet with a loss of 44 lives.

Once before, the Ausonia had been struck by a torpedo, off the south coast of Ireland, in June, 1917, while on a voyage from Montreal to Avonmouth. In this case she was fortunately saved, and her valuable cargo of food stuffs safely discharged.

On the second occasion, while sailing from Liverpool, she was less fortunate. The Ausonia was some 600 miles west of the Irish coast at 5 p.m. on May 30th, when a torpedo struck her, causing a terrific explosion. As her Commander, Captain R. Capper, afterwards said, he saw rafts, ventilators, ladders, and all kinds of wreckage coming down as if from the sky, falling round the after part of the ship. Captain Capper who, at the moment, was at the entrance of his cabin, at once went to the bridge, put the telegraph to ' Stop ' — ' Full Speed Astern ' but received no reply from the Engine Room. All hands were at once ordered to their boat stations, and the wireless operator tapped out the ship's position on his auxiliary gear. Ten boats were lowered, and, within a quarter of an hour after the ship was struck, they had safely left her. When about a quarter of a mile astern, Captain Capper mustered them together and called the roll. It was then discovered that eight stewards were missing, having been at tea in a room immediately above the part of the ship struck by the torpedo.

Half an hour after the vessel was torpedoed, a periscope was sighted on the port bow, and an enemy submarine came to the surface and fired about 40 shells at the ship, some of these dropping within fifty yards of the boats. After the Ausonia had sunk, the submarine approached the boats, and Captain Capper, who was at the oars was ordered to come alongside. Upon the submarine's deck several of her crew were lounging, laughing and jeering at the shipwrecked survivors. After enquiring as to the Ausonia's cargo, the submarine commander ordered the boats to steer in a north- easterly direction ; in callous disregard of the peril which confronted the Ausonicfs crew the submarine herself then made off northwards.

Captain Capper gave orders to the officers in charge of the boats that they were to keep together, and endeavour to get into the track of convoys, the weather being fine at the time. Until midnight the boats were successful in remaining in each other's company, but the wind, having risen in the night, two boats, one of them in charge of the first officer, and the other in charge of the boatswain were, on the following morning, not to be seen.

Captain Capper had assembled the survivors in seven boats, and he now gave orders to the remaining five that they should make themselves fast together. In this formation, they continued throughout the following day and night, when the ropes began to part. They were also retarding progress and were therefore cast off, the boats, however, still continuing to remain pretty well together.

On Sunday, January 2nd, to add to the misery of their occupants, the weather became bad, heavy rain falling and soaking them all to the skin. On Monday and Tuesday, conditions improved a little, but on Wednesday a storm broke, and by mid-day a heavy sea was running, and a gale blowing from the north-west. The boats were now running before this, with great seas breaking over them and saturating everybody on board. These conditions continued until Friday the 7th, when land was at last sighted, turning out to be Bull Rock.

A wise and strict rationing had been enforced, only two biscuits a day, 7 and one ounce of water having been allowed for the first two days, and one biscuit and a half and four tablespoons of water the subsequent ration. The crew were approaching the extremities of exhaustion when hope of deliverance was awakened in them.

Fortunately, on sighting land, the wind fell a little, but it was another fifteen hours before the unhappy survivors were picked up by H.M.S. Zennia, an American Destroyer also assisting. Captain Capper's boat had only 25 biscuits left together with half a bucketful of water — but one day's meagre supply when the terrible ordeal ended.

The little boats, it was calculated, had covered 900 miles since the Ausonia disappeared before their eyes. Under these conditions the conduct of the Cunarder's crew was of the highest order, that of the stewardess, Mrs. Edgar, of Orrell Park, Aintree, the only woman on board the vessel, being particularly courageous.

Special mention must also be made of the butcher's boy, Robinson. At the moment of the explosion, together with the pantry boy, Lister, he was in one of the cooling chambers, and the explosion made it impossible for the two boys to get out. Robinson had several wounds on his hips and thighs, and his left arm was lacerated. Both boys, in addition, had both legs broken above the ankle. Robinson, however, managed to crawl out on both his hands and knees and secure a board and place it across the gaping hole in the deck, thus enabling Lister also to reach a place of comparative safety. The two boys then crawled on hands and knees up two sets of ladders to the boat deck, and were placed in the boats. The doctor attended to the boy Robinson's injuries, as far as was possible, but it was not for 30 hours that Captain Capper was able to transfer him to the boat in which Lister was lying, so that he also might receive medical aid. In spite of their experiences and injuries, both boys remained calm and cheerful, and indeed in high spirits, but it is sad to record that Robinson subsequently succumbed in hospital, as the result of his injuries.

More, however, to Captain Capper than to any one man, was the salvation of the live boat loads due, and it was in recognition of his dogged determination and splendid seamanship that his Majesty the King afterwards bestowed upon him the Distinguished Service Cross.

Source: A Merchant Fleet at War (1920) by A. Hurd available on-line at


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On Ships They Came - RMS Ausonia

RMS Ausonia was built in 1921 by Armstrong Whitworth & Co in Newcastle, as the third of Cunard's six post-World War I "A Liners". Launched on 22 March 1921, she made her maiden voyage on 31 August 1921 from Liverpool to Montreal, and the following season went into service on the London-Canada route.

Built: 1921, Armstrong Whitworth & Co, Newcastle. Yard No: 970
Funnels: 1 Masts: 2
Tonnage: 13,912 GRT
Dimensions: 164.0 x 19.9 m / 538 x 65.3 ft
Engines: Geared turbines from builders.
Twin Screw; 8,500 SHP; 15 kn.

Hull: Steel, 2 Decks and shelter deck, 7 hatches, 20 derricks, fcsle & bridge-426 ft.
Passengers: 510-Cabin Class, 1,178-3rd Class
Crew: 270

On 16 Apr 1926 RMS Ausonia departed Cherbourg (a city in northwest France on the English Channel). On board was our ancestor, Andrew Bauman (b.29 Jan 1901 in B. Oszlop, Hungary) son of Ferenc Bauman & Zsuzsanna Grosz.
The Ausonia arrived in Quebec, Canada on 25 Apr 1926.

In 1927 she was refitted for the new cabin-, tourist- and third-class configuration.

On 2 September 1939 she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted into an armed merchant cruiser; then in 1942 she was converted into a heavy repair ship.

She was scrapped in Castellon, Spain in 1965.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Occupation: Cooper

A cooper is someone who makes vessels comprised of large wooden sticks known as staves bound together by hoops and possessing flat ends or heads such as casks, barrels, bucket, tubs and butter churns.

Related Suname notes:
The trade of cooperage has given us the English name Cooper, Danish name Bødker, German names like Faßbinder (literally barrel binder), Dutch names like Kuiper or Cuypers, the Hungarian name Kádár, Bodnár, Polish names such as Bednarz, Bednarski or Bednarczyk, the Czech name Bednář, the Romanian names Dogaru and Butnaru, Ukrainian family name Bondarenko, Ukrainian/Russian name Bondar, the Jewish name Bodner and the Portuguese names Tanoeiro and Toneleiro. (source: wikipedia)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Le Saint-Jean-Baptiste

A voyage across the ocean - The ship Le Saint-Jean-Baptiste captained by Pierre Guillebaud departed Dieppe on the end of June in 1671 with 120 girls. Yves Landry has listed 104 of the girls (Filles du roi) from the Paris area and in northern France.
Included in the passengers is our ancestor:
Catherine DUCHARME, de par. St-Benoît, rue des Poiriers, v. Paris, Île-de-France
Born 1637; daughter of Jean Ducharme & Anne LeLievre

On board was "The Passenger Sr Bouteillerie with two carpenters, two bricklayers, four labourers to clear land for up to 100 acres. The ship was also a hundred men, one hundred and twenty girls, fifty sheep and lamb, ten donkeys and their offspring, and draperies, blankets and much more for use of man. "

A normal crossing took two and a half months. They arrived in Montreal in August 1671.
Upon arrival the Filles du roi were entrusted to a woman, from France or the colony, who protected them and kept them under strict discipline until married where she would attend and sign as witness to the nuptial agreements.

Catherine married Pierre Roy on 12 Jan. 1672 in Montreal.

"The St-Jean Baptiste" was a 295-300 barrel vessel. The dimensions of a boat of 300 barrels would have been 76 feet in length, 27.33 feet in width and 10.5 feet in depth if using George Fournier’s method which he described in his book, Hydrographie, published in 1643. This type of boat was called a galleon and could be armed if needed.

On its return to Dieppe on 10 January 1672, the vessel brought back from Nouvelle-France beaver skins, moose, stone, wood, pitch, and other rare items.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pony Pictures! - Two Generations - East & West Coast

78th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy -
"Ride 'Em Cowboy- Share Your Pony Pictures"

Photo memories of two generations: Mother & Daughter
One taken on the East Coast, Newark, NJ, by the local Pony Photo Street Peddler; c.1942

The second photo was taken in Southern California at Knott's Berry Farm (when they still had the mule ride!) c.1964