Wilson H. Fitzgerald – “Rags to Riches” in Camden NJ

Genealogy, History
Probably the name Wilson Fitzgerald doesn't ring a bell for you. He was an imposing fellow, but it is the time and events in which he was involved that make him interesting. Wilson H. Fitzgerald... 1. Was a member of the Philadelphia Resolution Hose Company. 2. He built dozens of homes in Camden, New Jersey. 3. Pioneered special business practices in Camden, New Jersey. 4. Once traveled the rails West on one of Raymond's Vacation Excursions. 5. Was guilty of assault and battery against a fellow City Council member.¹ 6. Found a large chunk of human flesh on his property 5 miles from an explosion. 7. Found twenty-five or thirty Revolutionary War cannonballs on his property. 8. Helped his son-in-law escape charges for embezzling from the Postal Service. 9. Had…
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Eye Color and Genetic Inheritance: Dominant -vs.- Recessive

Biology, Genealogy
[caption id="attachment_18792" align="alignright" width="440"] Brown eyes, blue eyes.[/caption] Upon dying, a parent may leave his or her child a pecuniary inheritance. Yet, this is not the first one. Even during life, a parent provides his child with more than one genetic inheritance. One such inheritance involves eye color. Each parent contributes one eye color gene to his child. This means there are two different genes that determine the color of a child's eyes. But if the two genes represent different colors, what color will his eyes be? Observe, Note, Predict During the mid-1800s, an observant man, Gregor Mendel raised pea plants. He noted different plants produced peas with predictable variances. Using deductive reasoning, he uncovered the principle of dominant and recessive genes. After his death, his findings were applied not…
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A Chance Encounter Leads to a Rendezvous with History

Genealogy, History
[caption id="attachment_17629" align="alignright" width="440"] The Breakers Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ.[/caption] A rendezvous with history? One day, a car group of about four of us were traveling through Arrington in Nelson County, Virginia. We turned on to a road called Cold Storage Lane. It soon formed a V-intersection with Copperhead Road. The wedge of land was thin, like a slim slice of cheesecake, and it was easy to see into the woods. Then one of us noticed a stone or two—grave stones. Likely it was a small family graveyard. I asked the driver to stop, as I would sometimes transcribe a small graveyard—write down the inscriptions appearing on the stones—and put them online for others to view. The stones read as follows: Presented by the Employees Of the Breakers Hotel…
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Misfortune Gave Me Life

Genealogy, People
[caption id="attachment_13225" align="alignright" width="440"] The Honourable Sir Wandesforde[/caption] One woman's misfortune gave me life! How is that? Sometimes things just work out that way. One person’s prosperity results in another person’s misfortune. The opposite is also true. One person’s misfortune can result in the prosperity of someone else. In my case, the misfortune of my 3X-great grandmother opened the way for “yours truly” to prosper. How so? Sometime in Ireland during the interval 1791 to 1795, Bridget “Biddy” Kavanagh was born. Most girls married and Biddy was no exception. It was about 1823 to 1825. The man was Thomas Large. The location was probably Castle Comer, County Kilkenny. The couple was apparently in the employ of the “Honourable” C.H.B.C.S Wandesford [1]. He would also have been their landlord. Life Turns…
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Newsflash! Solution to Mystery of a Tombstone Found in a VA River

Genealogy
[caption id="attachment_8599" align="alignleft" width="340"] A tombstone was found in a river...[/caption] There was a tombstone that was discovered in a river in Augusta County. The name was not clear, but what was decipherable included the words, “daughter of J. & S. J. Sutton, born May 17, 1869, died March 18, 1889.” What was the name on the stone? Who did it belong to? Tombstone: SUTTON The name on the stone, if the woman had been unmarried, was Martha C. Sutton. She was the daughter of Joshua and Sallie J. Sutton. But just a little research revealed much more than this. Joshua was married to Sarah Jane Ralston. Sallie is a common abbreviation for the name Sarah. This couple proved to be prolific. Martha C. married at age 18 to Ambrose…
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String Genealogy and My Connection to Actress Clara Bow

Genealogy, People
[caption id="attachment_7729" align="alignright" width="440"] The truly beautiful actress, Clara Bow.[/caption] Clara Bow was a (let's call a spade a spade) gorgeous silent movie actress who suffered an unusually difficult upbringing. Her father Robert though a capable man never prospered. As a result, the family was poor. Her mother Sarah, injured in a fall, suffered brain damage that severely affected her personality and behavior. Sarah was cared for by her daughter, even though Sarah had at one time, nearly murdered Clara. Her Career Although she had been picked on as a child, she was surpassingly successful in her role as actress, making 46 silent films and 11 talkies. Called the “It” girl because of her appearance in a film having that title, she was viewed as a sex symbol of the…
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My Connection to the Royal House of Stewart

Genealogy
What is the Royal House of Stewart? The Encyclopedia Britannica teaches us that the Royal House of Stewart was a family of Scotland, later in England, that dates back to 1371, ending with the death of Henry, Cardinal Duke of York, in 1807. Now I am not British—nor am I directly related to the House of Stewart. I was born in New Jersey of quite ordinary (if interesting) roots. So how can I claim there is a connection between myself and the House of Stewart? The Author’s Mother I am an avid enthusiast of genealogy, the pursuit of the family tree. I have been heavily involved in climbing that tree for nearly twenty years. One branch of the Ayres family, my tie-in (through my mother) with the Stewart name, involves…
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Deciphering a Cryptic 1700s Philadelphia German Tombstone

Genealogy
Decipher a German tombstone? What trick is there to that? I was once deeply involved in genealogy researches. A distant Kite family member had connection to the original 13 settlers of the Philadelphia, PA area. These immigrant families were of German origin. In my pursuits, I had established an email list on a site that went “belly up.” Shortly before that, I had been invited by a Rootsweb representative to transfer my list to their oversight. Interested Researchers As of September 2019, the Original-13 list still exists there. For some, the tombstones of family members of these 13 are of special interest. One tombstone in particular caught their interest. It read very cryptically. Descendants wondered what language was used in the inscription. How did it read? Here is the transcription:…
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Point Loma, California – 1997

Genealogy
[caption id="attachment_5196" align="alignright" width="380"] Point Loma, California[/caption] Editor's preface: Author Ellen Hetland Fenwick sprinkled the ashes of her deceased husband in the waters of the Pacific. In this memorial, she notes other family members with at least symbolic connection with water, including the death of John Sommers, our joint great-grandfather.- VES I hear that the depths of the Pacific are cold. Never mind. You will not feel the chill. I wish you to see all the finny life as you go around the world with unseeing eyes and without having to bother to breathe. I wish for you to go around the world entombed in the lower fathoms. My oceanographic friend says that rather than this fate, you will swirl around the Pacific lower and lower until you come to…
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What is the Origin of Races?

Bible, Genealogy, People
[caption id="attachment_3831" align="alignright" width="440"] Race - Image: IIpdigital, US Embassy[/caption] Interestingly, the origin of races of mankind is quite easy to understand if one does not assume that mankind evolved, but was created as in the Bible account. The Bible indicates the first human couple was directly created, and that the rest of natural born mankind came about through the process of procreation, the passing on of life from one person to the next. From Adam to Noah Adam and Eve were the ancestors of Noah and of Noah’s wife, that one’s name being unknown. By the day of Noah, and under the influence of the demon angels, the world of mankind became violently wicked. Noah was thus told by God to build an ark to carry those who would…
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