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7 December 2003 Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Christmas greetings! Our second half of 2003 was quite busy and full of adventure. Most of our friends and relatives received our July newsletter that we published while on the road for a 7-week journey to the east coast. After returning from that trip we went to Colorado Springs for a weekend for a family funeral. Later we went to Phoenix, Tucson, Las Cruces, and Truth or Consequences.
FINDING OUR EASTERN ROOTS
We had been wishing to take our motor home to the east coast for a long time. There were so many places to see that we knew it would be a long trip and we still would not be able to do all that we would like to do. So we apologize to friends and family whom we just were not able to squeeze into our very busy 7-week schedule. We did accomplish much on this, our longest motor home trip ever.
We departed on 7 July, spent the night in Amarillo, TX, and drove on to Broken Arrow, OK, the next day. We camped at Bluff Landing on the river and visited our friends, Mike and MarylisŽ. Our next stop was the Gasconnade Hills Resort in Missouri. We re-visited the graves of Robertís Shubert ancestors a few miles north in Richland. Since our last visit there, we have become acquainted with more Shubert cousins. We continued across Missouri and spent two nights near St. Louis. We visited our friend, Karola Mitchell. Robert had worked with her husband in the 1960s.
We visited the Gateway Arch and rode inside the arch to the top for a great view of the city and the Mississippi River.
St. Louis from the Arch.
Beneath the ground below the arch is a museum of westward expansion and a couple movie theaters. We saw the Lewis and Clark film. The main part of the Lewis and Clark adventure of the Corps of Discovery began there in St. Louis, as this is where the Missouri River joins the Mississippi. That evening we took a one-hour cruise on the river. Robertís g-g-granduncle, Garrett Shubert, married Bridget Foy in St. Louis on 21 Oct 1857.
Our next major destination was near Pittsburgh, PA. Robert has a distant Malseed cousin living there who had contacted us after finding our web site. We enjoyed spending some time with Larry Schweiger and learning about his branch of the family. We arrived in Hamburg, NY, near Buffalo on 16 July. The Family Motor Coach Association convention was being held there on 18 Ė 20 July.
FMCA Convention. We are at top left, below date.
We were able to spend a day at Niagara Falls.
We also spent part of our last day there at Ft. Niagara on Lake Ontario.
Ft. Niagara at the mouth of the Niagara River.
The convention was a major part of our trip as Linda led one of the seminars. She taught the Promise Quilt to a class of about thirty people. It was very well received. Each person got to make a 4-block wall hanging (or pillow cover).
Linda teaching her seminar.
Lindaís cousin, Carolyn, and her husband, Nelson, were also at the convention.
Our next destination was in the beautiful finger lakes region of New York state. We stayed at Wigwam Keuka Lake Campground on a hill just north of the western arm of Keuka Lake.
Keuka Lake from the campground.
Linda knew that her ancestor, Benjamin Baxter, (Revolutionary War veteran) was buried at Pulteney west of the lake. We found his grave.
Benjamin Baxterís grave.
We also found graves for Newton, Polly, and Lovina Baxter near the town of Italy, NY. We spent some time in the Yates county historianís office looking through some data there and found several references to the Baxter family in both Yates county and Steuben county.
From Keuka Lake we drove to Owego, NY, and spent 2 nights with Robertís 1961-62 Air Force roommate, Gordon Orton, and his wife, Nancy. We had not seen them since our last drive to the east in 1989.
With the Ortons.
From Owego we drove over to Monson, Massachusetts. We visited; Enfield, CT; Hebron, CT; Brimfield, MA, and Longmeadow, MA, where some of Lindaís ancestors lived. (Benjamin Baxter, for one.)
Linda on the Longmeadow green.
We found some Hale graves in Longmeadow, but not the Mabel Baxter that Linda would like to have found.
At the Enfield Historical Society.
We also visited Springfield, MA, and enjoyed touring the famous armory there. (We have a replica 1863 Springfield rifle over our fireplace.) Our next stop was at a campground along the Brandywine River west of Philadelphia. Robertís 3rd great grandfather, John Malseed, settled in Philadelphia when he arrived from Ireland in 1821. Since we now know the cemeteries where several of his ancestors are buried, seeing them was a priority for our visit. Woodlands, where we knew John, Mary, and son Andrew were buried. Fernwood, where Amanda Snyder Malseed was buried. Arlington, where Eliza, John, and a baby were transferred from Philanthropic Cemetery when it was closed. Mt. Moriah, where Henry had been transferred when Machpelah Cemetery was closed. In Woodlands we discovered that there were two Malseed plots. Robertís g-g-g-grandfather, John, had a plot and his son Daniel had a plot. Johnís plot contains 11 burials. [John and wife Mary; Son Andrew (Robertís g-g-grandfather) (But not his wife. Where is she buried?); Daughter Margaret and her husband Thomas Bell and their children Fannie, William, Jerusha M., and Mary M; unnamed child of son Andrew; and unnamed child of son James.] There are no markers whatsoever on Johnís plot. The cemetery office said they had deteriorated and were removed, along with the fencing. Also annual upkeep had not been paid for well over 100 years. The original markers were probably made of marble which deteriorates badly there.
John Malseedís Cemetery Plot. (In foreground)
Danielís plot contains 15 burials. [Daniel, his wife, several of their children, their daughter Sallie and her husband and children.] (Some of these Robert will have to research to figure out who they are.) This plot had one marker which was removed, but the granite obelisk remains.
Daniel Malseedís Cemetery Plot.
We also found the graves of Margery McDonald Mannís family. Margery was Robertís 3rd great grandaunt, the sister-in-law of John Malseed. At Fernwood, Amanda was buried in a plot owned by her father, Robert's great grandfather, George S. Malseed. There is no marker on the plot at all. The family Bible says she was born on 19 Sep 1878 and died on 13 Aug 1879 and was buried at Fernwood. The Fernwood records say she was buried on 8 Dec 1879. (A four month delay for burial? Could that be right?) Arlington had no record of the three children who were transferred there from Philanthropic Cemetery. They said that the transfer re-burials were not well documented. They did have several Malseeds on record, but could not tell us anything about them at the time. (We have since received that information, but we do not recognize any of the names.) We did find the Maultsaid grave there. Mt. Moriah did not seem to have any office on the premises. We followed instructions from distant cousin, Karen, on going all the way to the back right side, but all we found was a very heavily overgrown and completely neglected area. We walked around through some of that mess where we could not drive the car and looked for Malseeds and Gordons, but all we got for that effort was a tick which Linda fortunately found in her hair before it could dig in. (The lady we talked to at Woodlands said that Mt. Moriah has had some very bad press recently. It appears to have been neglected for a long time.) We were especially disappointed in not finding a marker for John and for Mary at Woodlands. Robert was hoping to get additional information from it.
We also looked for some old family homes. Unfortunately, Andrew and Eliza Malseedís home at 411 Washington Ave. in Philadelphia has been demolished to enlarge the adjacent business. The George Shubert Malseed home in Hilltown has been demolished very recently and the property is now a small housing development. We had much better luck with Robertís fatherís childhood home in Merchantville, NJ. We have an old photo of a home in Merchantville which we assumed was the place. We also have an old hymnal that had belonged to Robertís grandfather. It has an address on Irving Avenue written in it. The street numbers have all been changed since 1915, so we thought we would just drive down Irving Avenue and see if the house could be recognized. It could not have been easier. The house has changed very little.
George C. E. Malseed Home about 1915.
George C. E. Malseed Home 2003.
We spent some time at the Presbyterian Historical Society in downtown Philadelphia. We knew that John Malseed had been a trustee at 7th Presbyterian Church and had apparently come to that church when it merged with Assembly Pres. Church. We discovered that Assembly Church had split off from Fourth Pres. Church a couple years before. The society had some records from Fourth Church, and Robert searched them. He was somewhat surprised to discover the marriage records of Johnís wifeís sisters, Ann and Margery, but was disappointed that he did not find a record of the marriage of John and Mary.
Robertís paternal grandmother was a Russell. Her family settled in Lewes, Delaware, probably in the late 1600s, so Lewes was our next stop. Because of our web site, we have become acquainted with Robertís third cousin once removed, Mitchell Holmes Russell, who lives in Lewes. He is active in the Lewes Historical Society. We met him at the antique fair that the society was holding, and then he took us around and showed us where our ancestors lived and are buried. Emanuel Russell was Robertís ancestor who was a Revolutionary War soldier. He was his 4th great grandfather.
With Holmes at Emanuel Russellís Grave.
William Russell, was Robertís 3rd great grandfather.
William Russellís Home.
Lewes is still a small quaint town with many beautiful old homes. (A welcome change from Philadelphia.) Robertís grandmother lived there briefly about 50 years ago.
He remembers visiting her once, but can not remember anything specific about the town. He remembers going fishing off the rock jetty. We went out to the jetty, but it has been destroyed by a hurricane. We also visited some museums and shops and went out to Cape Henlopen and looked out at the Atlantic Ocean. It was hot and humid there. The sailing ship Kalmar Nyckel was docked at Lewes.
The Kalmar Nyckel docked at Lewes.
When Robert was about 10 years old, a bridge was built to take US highway 50 over the Chesapeake Bay and link the eastern and western shores of Maryland. After that his family would take a few days each summer and drive over to Ocean City. The town was a somewhat small and quiet resort town of a couple thousand year-round inhabitants that hosted a summertime population of maybe 10,000 Ė 20,000. The city is only a few blocks wide as it is situated on one of the barrier islands that are found on the Atlantic coast of the US. In 1933, a hurricane cut a channel through the island at the south end of Ocean City. That proved to be a boon to the city as it provided easy ocean access from the bay on the west side of the island, and the city is now the self-proclaimed ďwhite marlin capital of the worldĒ.
On their annual vacations, they would spend some time on the beach, walk the boardwalk, and go to the marina in the evening to see if anyone brought in large marlin or sharks. Robert used to like to spend hours on the bay side fishing for small black bass. He also remembers going fishing in the bay with his dad and catching flounder. He also liked to spend time on the large ocean pier where several men would always be fishing. The family would buy salt water taffy at Dolleís on the boardwalk near the pier.
Ocean City was about 30 miles south of our campsite near Lewes, so we drove down and spent an afternoon there. The weather was clear, and the ocean breeze was refreshing. (We had been sweltering somewhat with the heat and high humidity in Delaware.) Ocean City now begins at the Delaware/Maryland border. It must have a summer population of several hundred thousand. There are miles of hotels, motels, apartments and condominiums. So much has changed in 50 years! However we did go out on the fishing pier, and we did buy a box of salt water taffy at Dolleís where the pier meets the boardwalk. We also had frozen custard, and walked the boardwalk, and watched the charter boats come in the inlet.
Ocean City, Maryland.
Lewes, Delaware, still has much of the small town atmosphere that characterized Ocean City 50 years ago. Lewes, additionally, has a rich history of western civilization going back to the early 1600s. We are glad that the Lewes Historical Society and cousin, Holmes Russell, (one of its directors) are trying their best to preserve Lewesí atmosphere and heritage.
Our next stop was Robertís cousinís home in Towson, MD, where we spent four nights. Among our activities in the Baltimore area was a visit in the nursing home with Uncle Robert Sichard.
With Eleanor, Jan and Uncle Robert.
We also visited Ladew Gardens, and went boating on the Chesapeake Bay with Robertís nephews. The boat trip was great. Nephew Jim has a 30-foot cabin cruiser. We sailed from a Middle River marina down to Annapolis, the capital of Maryland.
With nephews Fred, Jim, and John and wife Maria.
A quintessential Chesapeake Bay light house.
After leaving Baltimore, we spent a night at a regional park near Clinton, MD. We discovered the Suratt house in Clinton and took a tour of the house. During the Civil War it was owned by Mary Surratt, a friend of John Wilkes Booth. Booth stopped at the house after shooting President Lincoln. Later, Mary Surratt was executed as a conspirator in the assassination plot. In Alexandria, VA, we visited Tommy Fitzgerald before moving on to the Shenandoah Valley for two nights. In the valley we drove down to Rockbridge Baths and searched through the cemetery of Bethesda Presbyterian Church. We found the graves of Lindaís g-g-g-grandparents James and Margaret Webb. We also stopped at Augusta Stone Presbyterian Church. It is the oldest Presbyterian house of worship in continuous use in Virginia. The Old Stone Churchís pastor, William Wilson, performed Lindaís g-g-g-g-grandparentsí wedding.
In Portsmouth, Ohio, Robert was unable to find any information about his g-g-g-grandfather, George Shubertís death and burial. Official records were not kept there in 1840, and the cemetery records were destroyed in a fire in 1872. However, he did have copies of the deeds to the property on which George built a house in 1839-1840. The property was owned by Robertís g-g-g-g-grandfather, Garrett Beckhorn. He bought it for his daughter and son-in-law. The county engineerís office showed us on maps where the property is located in the old section of Portsmouth. It is on the north side of 7th Street a little bit east of Market Street. It was originally 30 feet wide and extended north for 439 feet. Later the railroad cut through about half way back. The railroad is gone now, but a levee has been placed just north of where the tracks were located because the Scioto river has meandered in to (or very close to) where the north end of the property was located. There is a house on the property. The front part of the house may have been the one built by George Shubert.
The ďhouse built by ShubertĒ?.
While in Ohio we also visited the famous Native American structure known as Serpent Mound.
After Portsmouth, we drove down to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.
Negotiating ďFat Manís MiseryĒ in Mammoth cave.
We stayed there two hot nights with no electric hookup. The cave was cool and refreshing on the two tours we took. In the evening we enjoyed watching the deer grazing through the campground. We were also treated to a visit by a raccoon family.
We spent the remainder of the trip visiting a series of state parks. The state parks were: Natchez Trace in Tennessee, Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas, Lake Eufala in Oklahoma, and Red Rock Canyon in Oklahoma. We arrived home on 22 August.
FUNERAL IN COLORADO
Not long after returning to Albuquerque, we leaned that Lindaís cousin, Johnny Baxter, had died in Colorado Springs. We took the motor home up there for the funeral on Labor Day weekend.
AIR FORCE REUNION IN PHOENIX
When Robert was stationed in Germany the first time, he was in the 525th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.
Robert in 525th in 1968.
We learned that the 525th was having a reunion in Phoenix in October, so we had decided to make a two-week trip and go to the reunion, and make a couple other stops before returning home. We had never been to a 525th reunion before, and all the people were new to us, but some we had known about through other friends.
Robert (left) at 525th reunion 2003.
We also visited Lindaís cousin, Mindy, and her family in her new home in Scottsdale. We also visited the Heard Museum and the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum.
After Phoenix, we stopped in Tucson to visit Lindaís cousins. Then we went to Las Cruces to visit our friends who live there. Finally we stopped in Truth or Consequences to meet some of our motor home friends.
390-YEAR MALSEED REUNION IN 2004
Robert and his distant cousin, John Malseed, are planning a 390-year Malseed family reunion in County Donegal, Ireland, for 5-6 June 2004. All Malseeds, Molseeds, Maultsaids and their descendants are invited. 2004 marks 390 years since John Molsed was leased land in Ireland as part of the Ulster Plantation. Cousin John Malseed has just had a book published by A.M.G. Publishers. It is ďAn Overview of the New TestamentĒ. Buy it!
Linda is preparing to teach the Promise Quilt again at the next FMCA convention which will be held here in Albuquerque in March.
Robert is now busy teaching someone else how to maintain the churchís computer network, telephone system, and security system. Robert has been working on them for much of the past six years. He will have more time for other projects now. (Like preparing for the Malseed Reunion.)
THE BOTTOM LINE
We continue to be thankful for the Lord's providing for us in all ways. We trust in Him, and pray that you will do likewise and enjoy a blessed Christmas season and New Year as well.
Robert & Linda
Le Gach Deaghui i gComhair na Nollaig agus na Bliana Nua.
Frohe Weihnacht und ein glŁckliches neues Jahr!
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