52 Ancestor, week 12 Joined Together

When I started genealogy about 40+ years ago, many of my family wasn’t forthcoming with information. Some of them resented me looking into their past.I never thought to ask if my 2nd great grandmother had any siblings. My mother felt she knew her grandmother, but later, I found out that she was born in middle part of 1926 and her grandmother had died in Dec. 1926. So my mother was too young to know her, she was an infant.

So in one of my last publication on WordPress, I believe I told you about a Rebecca Wilfong who was an Aunt to my great grandmother and she left money to her brother’s children. He died rather at an early at age of 56. His name was John Wright, he had married in 1825 and died in 1942. But back in day when I was researching all I knew was his name, no dates, nothing. Till one day recently someone planted a marriage date in my tree. I was so elated. I wanted to see the source and it was correct. Then I was surprised that on their 1825 marriage record showed both of their parents. It was so exciting.

Recently, I wanted to find out more about this Aunt Rebecca, her own husband died two years after they were married. I tried to look to see if it was accident or if they had flu that year. But his death seems to be mystery. Meanwhile I did come across her funeral notice. Here is copy of of what it said:

“WILFONG – On the 22d inst., Rebecca, relict of the late Isaac Wilfong, in the eighty-fifth year of her age. The realives and friends of the deceased are respectfully invited to attend the funeral from the residence of her nephew, William Smith, No. 3700 Baring Street, West Philadelphia, on Thursday, the 26th inst., at 10 o’clock A.M. To proceed to Ardmore Lutheran Cemetery.”

I started wondering who William Smith was, then I looked back on Aunt Rebecca Wilfong Will and noticed I had missed something she had said ‘Thirdly, give devise and bequealth unto my two nieces Susannah Morris, wife of Mathew Morris and Rebecca Smith wife of William Smith, dauther of my Brother John Wright – deceased the sum of money plus she wanted her clothing and household furniture to be divided by these two nieces.’

I had not notice Rebecca wife of William Smith. Then I thought how is one going to find Smith’s in Philadelphia? Well what happen I was looking at the census records and suddenly this thought came to me to check the address, I had to go back to this funeral notice to confirm that the address that funeral was going to be at was 3700 Baring Street. So having an address for Smith I was able to find them in 1900 Census. I feel that someone was guiding me to joined these two hints together. I was so amazed that I actually found the correct family along with their children listed.

My goal is to find all the children of John Wright and Mary Ann Child. John Wright was buried with his parents in St. Paul’s Cemetery in Ardmore, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. His wife was going to be buried in Ashby Vault in a Methodist Church, but they went defunct and they moved all the graves over to Mount Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia. The ironic thing is most of Mary Ann Wright’s children, cousins and relatives are buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery anyhow. I wondered to myself now, why she didn’t she get buried there in the first place?

So far, I have found Rebecca Wright and her spouse and her two children.

I found Susanna V. Wright she married an Englishmen – Mathew Morris, in one of census it was noted he was an engineer – they had two boy and one girl. The girl dies without getting married.

One thing which is unique to familysearch.org – if you and your friends download the app and if you have a tree up – they can show you how you are related to your friends. I also found out that my 4 great grandfather is somehow related to the Wright Brothers Orville Wright (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur Wright (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were American aviation pioneers who flew planes and were well know. I think that is really neat. But I have not gotten back that far. I am still working my way down the list of children of my 5th great grandfather.

3) Emeline or Emma Wright married Samuel Edwards in 1852. They had seven children in 10 years – 6 boys and 1 girl. Samuel was born in 1838 and died in 1868. Emeline was born 1826 and died in 1898 at age 70 in Philadelphia where she had lived all her life.

4) My 3rd greatgrandmother was Margaret Lawson Wright married 1st Walter Elliot Burroughs and had Eva, Edward and William then Margaret’s 2nd marriage was to Abraham B. Childs; Walter seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. But I am not too worried about him quite yet.

But I did find obituary recently for Abram B. Childs, he was out walking on tracks at age of 91, he was hit by a locomotive on Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia. That is second relative in my family that wasn’t paying attention to trains coming on the track that were killed by the trains. I guess there have been many of freak accidents. I knew of couple that came into the library where I worked and one day they were coming back to Kewanee from Neponset and apparently it was late at night and didn’t did hear or see the train perhaps they had music on to high and ran into the train and were killed instantly, it was shocked to everyone. He had twin brother that came to the library. It was very sad. My other relative was potter, he used some clay near railroad tracks to make pottery and he got knocked off by train up in Juniata County, Pennsylvania. I sure when they built the Horseshoe Curve Blair County, PA – they probably had accidents that happened just carving out that massive railway out of mountains etc.

Mary Ann Wright was daughter of John Wright and Mary Ann Child. She married Mr. Head according to her Aunt Rebecca will. But nothing has turned up about them yet.

Sally Wright married Jesse Pinder but haven’t finished searching on their line yet.

I am so happy that one of my brickwalls have crumbled and I had no idea about these people until one day when someone that is related to Wilfong’s came across a marriage date and planted on my tree. I checked the resource and it just was such a shock and joy at the same time. Don’t get discourage. Thinks happen for reason. I am so thankful for new family that I am finding out about.

May you have success in your family history as I have. Till next time.

52 ancestors week 5 branching out…

I have been branching out on my tree. In fact, my other line that I started working on this year is my ‘Child’ line. Somewhere along the way, an ‘s’ got added to our name. I can see if you talking about member of your family you might say Childs and then not think anything aobut it. But our original John Child that came to America from England was indeed John Child, a carpenter. He was widow and came with his son to start a new life here.

Back in 1988 Mr. Guantt decided to try to gather all the Childs families together and he put it in book form. I found him by meeting someone on rootsweb.com. I was sad when ancestry took that site down. It caused a lot of problems for societies that freely used that site and referred to as reference guide. But we moved on from that episode…

One reason I am also participating in this 52 ancestory for 52 weeks is to pass some of these stories that have been handed down to me to my grandchildren and gather stories from others too to include in this study of our famiy. The family that Mr. Guant started isn’t complete so I have been diving more into my the families that needed some attention and have found new information as it comes available and updating the family tree he started back in 1988.

52 ancestors Week 2, my favorite find!

Recently someone added onto my tree in Familysearch.org that my 3rd Great Grandparents wedding date and place. Their names were John and Mary Ann (Child )Wright. I knew of John Wright as when his daughter Margaret died his name was listed as her father on her death certificate. But her mother’s name had been left blank. But that is all I knew about him.

John Wright died early in his marriage to Mary Ann. He was born about 1799 and died in 1842, so he was only 43 when he died. He had been a carpenter probably a hardworking one. On their marriage record mentioned both of their parents.

John Wright’s parents were Samuel and Eliza (Litzenberg) Wright. Which I had not know John Wright’s parents names.

But the most important part of this story is John had sister named Rebecca. She was married to Isaac Wilfong.

I found a will on Ancestry and normally don’t look at them because they are sometimes hard to read. But I did this time.

The amazing thing was that Rebecca Wilfong was very generous Aunt to her brother’s children. She named them and becaues they were older and married their names were listed as married children. Then I was able to find their spouses names and their children. I had never thought to ask my grandmother when she was alive if her grandmother had any siblings. But I had hard time getting information out of them as it was, so probably might not have gotten that from them anyhow.

But I was just so excited because I had no idea what children John and Mary Ann Wright actually had. Because they were grown and married and had children of their own I was able to reap knowing who they married and some of their children had already died and so was able to find them on death certificates. They had four children that I know of now. This Aunt Rebecca also wanted the inheritance tax to be paid out of her estate. I really admired her for her thoughfulness. She even left money to nephews if her nieces were already dead.

So this is one of my favorite finds that I won’t forget about for sometime. It left a footprint in my heart.

52 Ancestors in 52 weeks challenge week 1: Foundations

I have great grandmother who came to America when she was about 10 (1889). They came from Gravina, Bari, Puglia, Italy. I found her Italian birth record online at familysearch.org. Her name at birth was Maddalena Belsanti. But in America she went by Mary Magdalena. But I have referred to her as Maddalena in my story. She was daughter of Michele Belsanti and Francesca Chisena. I have not found any further information on her parents.

For the past two years, I have been concentrating on my Italian side of family. The Belsanti had a cousin buy tickets for passage to South America, however the tickets were for North America. I would not be here. That is story that has been passed down. The Belsanti traveled by ship to America with two small children age 10 and four years old. The oldest a girl and youngest a son. I have followed them in the census records. Last year I signed up for newpaper.com to connect to my Ancestry tree and have reaped much more information. I recommend this subscription.

I found where Madalena’s mother Francesca (2nd great grandmother) but later Americanize her name to Frances was visiting her son in Gloucester, Camden, New Jersey and found that she had died there. I was really taken by surprise. She had died in1919 but was buried in Fernwood Cemetery, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. I understand they had falling out with Catholic church for some reason and that is why they were not buried as Catholics. I don’t know the real reason why they left their faith. My great grandparents don’t have markers on their graves, but they are listed on findagrave.com.

When the last female, Helena Di Mattia died, most the children had been born Mattia’s. In the early years a few of them had misspellings on their birth records, for instanace Mildred was born as Mildred Matter. The sibling before her was named Frances Mathew, the first sibling was named James Matio. Not sure why each child had different surname given to them. Unless the father was running from crime or misunderstand he had with the authorities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Helena died intestate, meaning without a will. Her estated was divided by all of her relations and there were quite a bit. She was one of 15 children that had been born to her parents and was second to the last.. One sister died at age of 2. Angelina gave birth to a daughter and died same day from toxic complications. Angelina born in 1902 and died in 1933 from childbirth complications. She had only been married two years.

My mother was one of them that received money from this estate. But the neat thing I remember and saved the information, was the addresses to all those that became recipients to Aunt Helena’s estate. Which later helped me find ancestors connected to this family. I also recieved Rocco Catalano intention letter to become cititzen in America and that he explained he had changed his name and where he came from and date when he arrived in America.

I have niece that contacted me and asked if I would make two books for her children, and then during Covid 19 another relative from Belsanti/Mattia contacted me asking if I had the Di Mattia tree. I told her I did but had lots of gaps and needed more information to fill the to fill my tree. She was very instrumental in helping me obtain this information. We emailed back and forth, I with questions and her with answers.

But my great grandfather Rocco Catalano, (*Rocco Mattio, Rocco Mattia or Rocco Di Mattia) that changed his name in the census reocrd. One time his first name was his surname and his last name was his first name (Mattia Rocco). Very confusing and wondered what he was running from! He seemed to have had sketchy background and probably will never know the truth about who he really is, what he was running from or where he really came from. We don’t know his parents or if Di Mattia was his real name or name he borrowed.

He came into New York by ship, travel with man that he said there was no relation to himself. He said his name was Rocco Catalano. Later he changed his name to Di Mattia when he married his wife. (There is space betweeen i and M)

When they got married they were both under age. Her father signed for her, but Rocco didn’t have any relatives over here to sign for him. So he upped his age on the marriage application by 2 years making him 21. She was 14 but claimed she was 15. They married during a depression in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1893.. They lived with her parents or her parents lived with them most of their married lives..

My great grandmother’s name was Maddalena Belsanti, she was born in Italy. I found her birth records online at familysearch.org. She came from Bara Italy which is in southern Italy. Rocco came from Northern Italy.

It’s amazing my DNA shows I have 11% Northern Italy and only 2% Southern Italy.

I found one of my grandfather brother’s sons that was willing to share some information about my grandfather. His father and my grandfather were 19 years apart. Yet they still knew of each other even thought they both grew up in different eras. I didn’t not meet my grandfather, I was born 2 months before he died. So I was only a small infant. But this son, Mike told me that he was named after my grandfather, then he shared some new items that I didn’t know about. For instance, my grandfather owned a Studerbaker Automobile in the 1930’s and he would rent his car out for different occassion. He owned Mike’s Barber shop in Darby, Pennsylvania on Main Street. He was closed on Sunday’s and Wednesdays. He was known for the 2 minute Mike, (one of my cousins) told me that.

Most of his brothers were barbers around the suburbs of Philadelphia. He had one sister that was beautician for 35 years. So cutting hair was talent for these folks, plus it put food on the table during those difficult times.

I also found out that he was volunteer fireman. I was told that when he died, there were so many flowers they called the Darby Fire Dept. to bring a truck so they could put all the flowers on it. I think he use to golf too.

Family was important to him too. He took his two girls to see his mother every Thursday and they had spagehitti dinner. My mother shared this information and my cousin Frank and his younger brother Mike would go with their grandpop to the Meadows (meaning a section of Philadelphia) for spagehtti dinner as well. He would help his mom make the meat balls. Not sure what days they went. When my grandfather died, he left a wife, and his two daughters were both married with families.

Here is link to the history of the Studerbaker:https://motorcities.org/story-of-the-week/2021/a-brief-history-of-studebaker

I was also told that my 2nd great grandfather was very loving father towards his children, apparently he was very musically inclined and played Ukelele and all his children would gather together they would sing songs with their father.



I have been sewing a lot this summer. I have come to enjoy the creative part of it. I have made a lot of 6 pocket purses. But I have added inside pockets and recently started adding a zippered pocket inside. I was using two pieces of fabric and then sewing it into the purse. But the last purse I made I was able to incorporate it into the lining of the purse and was able to skip the 2nd piece of fabric I was using. It came out beautifully and patted myself on the back. It was good feeling.

Cotton Fabric Purse #5 , shoulder strap style.

Since then I have been very intrigued with this type of fabric design see below. When this type of design came out on market, I was still working and didn’t even know anything about this. But now I want to try making some texture fabric. I have been looking at a new sewing machine that has more stitches and embroidery stitches. The sewing machines are even digitzed now. I have been using a Kenmore Sewing machine from 1974, that was made to last but doesn’t have these neat stitches that I have been looking at. I have been exploring Pinterest seeking design ideas for a new project that I would like to create of my own. I love nature, the leaves in this texture piece down below. I love the wavy lines and how they created this piece. It brings excitement yet its contentment at the same time. It’s like a gentle breeze that you feel on your face. I love the colors and desgin concept. Just speaks to me, can’t seem to explain it any other way.

That’s all for now, till another day.

3 First Aid Kits

Every once in awhile, one needs to update their first aid kit. Sometimes bandages have may be weird from heat or what have you. Or perhaps the neosporin is out dated. Sometime events happen in our lives that help us to reflect on this sort of thing. One thing happened to a friend of mine. She just sat down to dinner and her first bite was a brussel sprout. The next thing we all knew, she couldn’t swallow and could not breathe. Her husband followed her into kitchen and told her not to drink water. He pounded on her back several times. Then he administered the  Heimlich maneuver. The vegetable in her throat was still lodge in there, her lips were turning blue, she laid down on the floor as if to die. Her husband went out to living room to call 911. She was unconscious and the brussel sprout came out when none of were looking. We stood in awl. Our friend didn’t even know what had happened to her. The rescue team came to the house. They checked her oxygen level and her lungs. They left soon after.

They apparently make DeChoker Device -it’s Powerful Suction To Dislodge Blockage From The Airways. Their website is https://www.dechoker.com

Our family decided to put together 3 first aid kits. One for house and one for each of our cars. Here are some of the things we included: butterfly bandages, cloth or fabric bandages (personal preference), tweezers, oilment, sewing kit, roll of washable tape,guaze pads or roll of guaze, scissors or knife, cold pack, pain relievers, anacid, splints (looks like popsicle sticks, antibiotic wipes, alcohol wipes, gloves, safety pins, chewable baby aspirin for heart patients, allergy medicines or if you may have allergic reaction should carry something to inject to save yourself from having bad reaction. A popsicle sticks could be used to wrap a broken a finger till you go somewhere that someone can help you with this accident.

Besides getting a car kit together. One should think about including practical skills. A first-aid kit is a tool, but any tool is only as good as the person using it.

First-aid kits are one place where personal needs and practical skills come together. There are ways to prepare for emergencies that have nothing to do with collecting supplies. This includes learning practical skills that you can use to protect yourself and others. It might help someone that needs to learn how to use a torniquiet and use it to stop bleeding or how would you handle someone having a seizure or diabetic reaction. Lots to think of and having to act fast to save someones life.

Car Emergency Gift Kit

Now a days, it is best to be prepared…

Have you ever bought a first aid kit only to find the thing you need most is not included. Its really a good idea to sit down and think of all the scenarios that could occur and include that in your car kit. You might need to think about this seasonal too.

Here are some ideas: eye glass repair kit, hand or feet warmers, extra pair of winter gloves and socks; pair of leather gloves, flashlight, matches that have been dipped in parafin or candle wax, a sewing kit – (if the threads are not colors you wear normally exchange them out to the colors you do wear); add some assorted saftey pins they come in handy for all sorts of thing; condensed raincoat, space blanket, tweezers, scissors, craftsmen 4 way screw driver (this is flat with 4 screwdrivers that face north, south, east, and west and can be hung from your key chain as they are all flat; pad of paper with pen inside of plastic bag (if you needed to leave note and the weather was wet, your note would be placed inside the plastic bag that could be hung on a car window or house door so person comes home would see it and would remain dry.; ace bandages, butterfly or knuckle bandages, ibriprofen placed in small jewelry bag; water, protein bar, can goods with flip lids, army canopener, hand wipes in individual packets, prescriptions, rolaids, allergy meds, phone numbers, small bills or change. Some prescription bottles hold quarters quite well or the Airborne blast of vitamin C containers hold quarters too; oragel for toothache or oil of cloves is wonderful pain reliever for teethaches.

I had 2 friend that were sufferring from a tooth aches and was able to help them as I carried oil of cloves in my car, they came in small glass bottles but not sure they are so readily available as they once were; nail clippers, roll of toilet paper wrapped in plastic to stay dry till you might be need it.

What will you add to your list?

Revised Bean Travelor

I left something out of the original story or rather the recipe. As one is draining beans under cold water, I started squeezing some of beans so they would open up. I noticed the taste improved because when the verde sauce was added it seem to penetrate into the bean interior much like when something is being marinated. It us so delicious.

The Bean Traveler

This is going to be short and sweet. There was once a black bean, such a lovely bean. They use to wash and drain and then boil it to death. One day someone came up with the idea of taking a mere little black bean to which he was rinsed and drained from a can. He was placed in small pan and added half of cup of Verde Salsa. They just heated him until he was warm thru and thru. They wanted a more spicy beans so a sliced a green onion was added while he was heated up. Oh my goodness, this was best bean of all. He was lovely on tortilla with rice, he was top bean that everyone loved whether they added pico or an avocado, he was the kind of bean you always dreamed of being. The End.

Try it, you’ll like it.

Meat or Meet

Most times stuff triggers at most un oft times. I have been struggling with depression. So returned to taking antidepression meds. Not all have worked out. Some have weird side effects. One pill caused me to hallucinate which was weird. Glad they had me stop that one.

My imagination is coming back or my creative writing ability what ever you want to call it. I havent written for months yet someone decided to follow me. Not sure why but whom am i to judge.

My main purpose was to talk about eating meat. I have found for myself that sustaining from meat except during famine, cold or winter that I am being kind to my body. I have noticed when I worked I was much healthy than others around me as i didnt participate in eating meat or dairy.

I am retire and still eating more beans and rice. I found a new way to eat black beans. First drain and rinse them then while in strainer squeeze some instead of using a utensil just use your hands. Place them in small pan and add Green Verde Sauce let them simmer or heat slowly as they are marrinaded in verde sauce. They are excellent with rice and tomato and avacado rolled up in a tortilla. Did you notice they have low carb tortilla now?

My newest wrinkle is I found in magazine they made salsa from kiwi. 3 kiwi peeled and diced, 1 avocado diced, jalapena, garlic, salt. Combine.

I like putting slaw on my taco instead of lots of lettuce and then putting kiwi salsa on top. It is soooo good.

I recently made mayo using tofu, my first try was to think and looked like ricotta cheese on top of the coleslaw. Finally got it thin ennough that it looks like coleslaw.

Boy was that yummy. One could add rice & black beans or black beans & roasted sweet potatoes.