Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Family Connections

I have said that if I could spend a half hour with one person in all history, that person would be Elizabeth "Lizzie" Nunn Siebert. Although I know that will not happen, this week I received a second best when the wife of Elizabeth's grandson contacted me. And this was only days after I had posted the blog about this family!  I am so excited!!! 

I hope family stories and photos can be shared and I can't wait to share all the information I have gathered on Elizabeth and her siblings, one of which is my grandfather Harry Nunn.

In learning about Regina and Nicholas Eberhard, I will know more about Elizabeth's life and possibly learn what happened to her other siblings.  

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Taughannock Boulevard House

The house I grew up in was situated on the ridge of Cayuga Lake along Route 89 eight miles north of Ithaca, New York.

A slate sidewalk brought visitors to the front porch where they entered a wide front hall. A landing to the right began the staircase to the second floor. To the left was a large double living room with stone fireplace. Straight ahead the large farm kitchen provided warmth in winter, and was a favorite family gathering spot year round.  The screened porch off the kitchen served as a sitting area.  The kitchen had two large windows around which cabinets were built. Those windows afforded a view out onto the circular driveway and the pear trees that grew within the circle.

Off the kitchen was a long narrow room with a floor that slanted and served as our TV room. Another door went into the living/dining room area. The house had three large bedrooms upstairs, one bath, and a large walk-in attic. Closets were at a minimum.  The bathroom was small; six of us lived in the house over the summer, and we made do.  

Every house has its “quirks” and ours certainly did. Houses on the ledge of the lake did not have a great water supply. We had a tiny well out back that provided the minimum amount of undrinkable water.  For years we brought jugs of water from the restaurant (Taughannock Farms Inn) to provide water for drinking and cooking.  Baths were taken with barely an inch of water, and laundry was done with an old wringer washer with clothes hung on outside clotheslines or inside clothes racks.
Wringer Washer
Photo from
The house had lightning rods installed along the roofline to protect against lightning strikes, but electrical current inside the house, however, was a problem. When you plugged an appliance in and something else was running off the same circuit a fuse would blow. Sometimes life at the Boulevard house was a challenge. 

During the 1950s a small silver metal box sat next to the front door.  Twice a week the Dairy Lea milkman left milk products ordered from a list, usually made up by my grandmother (pictured below), left in the box. 
Mary "Nana" Nunn - Aug. 1963
The black wall telephone was located behind the door in the dining room. We were on a party line, so you had to listen for the ring to know if the call was for you. During the 1960s the phone was moved into the kitchen.

My parents sold our family home in 1976 and moved to their Florida home to live full time. The house continues to provide happiness as the family living there now loves the house as much as we did.  I am very thankful got for that.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Those Places Thursday - Fremont, Michigan - 1884

 In the process of cleaning out, my mother-in-law came upon three tiny Fremont News Letters from June and July 1884. The recipient’s name, Hiram Dudley, is written at the top.  The News Letters contain “Town Talk,” “Puzzledom,” and “Editorial.” The Fremont News Letters were “published every Tuesday,” and cost 15 cents per year.

Some noteworthy news items from the Fremont News Letters:

Fremont News Letter, June 17, 1884:
Splendid weather for corn.
Fremont Lake will have a steam-boat
While Mr. and Mrs. A. Faught were driving over the track, near the depot, their horse became frightened and ran away, throwing them both out; injuring Mr. Faught so badly that it is feared he will not recover. 
Samual J. Tiden was 70 years old last February.
Tilden says he will not be a candidate at the democratic convention.
The Disciple society will give a lawn social at James H Darling’s June 17th, strawberries and ice cream. Every body is invited.

Fremont News Letter, July 8, 1884
Quite a cyclone Saturday.
No accidents in town on the 4th.
Frank Smith started for Chicago today.
No better point in Northern Michigan than Fremont for a cheese factory.
No fights in town the 4th; but there were two marriages.
James Curtice of Morely is visiting in Fremont this week.
While Mr. Wolford was driving through Main Street the 4th, at the discharge of the cannon his horse fell dead.
John Kelly goes to Chicago with 700 uniformed men, with which he calculates to rule the democratic convention. Kelly is for Flower.

Fremont News Letter, July 29, 1884
The Evening News thinks that our townsman Hon. Ed. E. Edwards would make a good senitor (sic). We agree with the News exactly.
We were behind with our paper last week, but we assure our readers that it will not happen again.
The fire-fiend gave N.B. Clark’s residence a call last Tuesday evening. Loss about $250.
Charles Forman and wife are visiting with their parents near South Ridley.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Woodbury Family

George and Bertha Woodbury
and family about 1900
On the back of this photo Jessie Agard wrote:
Woodbury Family
He - Baptist Minister – Enfield.
Mrs. – Practical nurse was with me when Merritt was born.
(Merritt Agard is my grandfather.)

Being a genealogist I needed to verify the information. According to the 1900 Federal Census this family consisted of: George F. Woodbury (Minister); his wife, Bertha, and their daughters, Mabel, age 8, Grace, age 5, and Marion age 1.  Also in the household is George’s mother, Diane Woodbury.  They are living in Enfield, Tompkins County, New York.  My Wordless Wednesday entry turned out to be not so “wordless,” but I am happy to put names to the faces and to see the nurse who helped bring my grandfather into this world.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Nicholas J. Eberhard, Jr.

Last night’s disappointment turned into happiness this morning when I found the obituary for Regina’s husband, Nicholas. That obit provided me the information I needed – their children.  Below is the obituary for Nicholas J. Eberhard, Jr.

Eberhard – Nicholas J. Jr. beloved husband of Regina (nee Seibert), father of Nicholas J., Marion and Gerard, beloved son of former County Clerk Nicholas J. Eberhard Sr., brother of Virginia M. Nelson and Catherine A. Howard. He served in World War II and was Vice Commander of Bronx Borough Post, No. 1284, American Legion; he was a Vice President of the New York Society for the City of New York. Funeral from the John R. Myers Funeral Home, Morris Ave. at East 163d St. Monday, 9:30 a.m. Requiem Mass St. Angela R.C. Church 10 a.m. Interment Long Island National Cemetery.

[Nicholas and Regina are buried in the Long Island National Cemetery, Section H. Site 11987]

Friday, January 14, 2011

Regina Siebert Eberhard - Disappointed!

In my January 6 blog told I explained how I found an important member of my Nunn family through her bride card. I mentioned I immediately sent off a request and a check to the Queens Public Library for her obituary.  I received the response today with the dreaded words – not found.  Sigh.  Now to develop a Plan B.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Carol Louise Agard Nunn

My mother passed away three years ago today. Sometimes it seems like a long time ago; other times it seems like it was just, well, yesterday.

Wasn't it just "yesterday" when she was a young mother with her full life ahead of her?

Carol Nunn with Mary and Skip
abt: 1948

Every day I thank my parents for providing me with a safe and happy childhood.  And every day I appreciate that my mother, who was not allowed to finish high school because she married, was one of the smartest people I have ever known. Her sayings and advice continue to be “right-on,” like, “The root of all evil is power and greed,” and, “Paper never refused print,” and, “If you can’t say anything nice; don’t say anything at all.”

She also had whimsical sayings such as, “You know it is going to rain if the cows are lying down.”

Thank you, Mom, for your love, protection and for your down to earth wisdom.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter Memories

The third winter storm in as many weeks is winding down, leaving us with almost two feet (yes, feet) of snow to clear from our driveway and sidewalk.  The past few days I made sure we had essentials, and also food we could warm up on the wood stove should we lose power. I drew several pitchers of water for drinking, teeth brushing and hand washing. My husband brought the snow blower into the garage and brought in three days worth of wood. We have candles and flashlights. So far we are lucky – we still have power.
Chuck MacDougall and Mary Nunn
All this preparation brought to mind my childhood and how much fun a snowstorm was.  I didn’t have to think about any of the above; I just anticipated putting on my snowsuit and sledding down our back yard with the neighbor boys.  Just off our slate patio was a gentle slope that ended in a large side lawn where a number of fruit trees grew. We would spend hours sledding down that hill. When done, we were welcomed inside with hot cocoa waiting.
Skip and Mary Nunn with MacDougall boys
Ready to go down the hill
Our large farmhouse was heated with coal; I remember how exciting it was when the coal truck came, put the chute into the basement window opening and all that black coal would come tumbling down into the bin my father had built just across from the furnace.

Our home was large and my parents frugal, so only two rooms were kept comfortably warm in the wintertime. The only bathroom, just outside my room, was heated. The other room was the large kitchen that had doors that we kept closed at either end. We ran from our warm bed into the bathroom, and then quickly down the stairs into the kitchen where Mom welcomed us with breakfast.  Ah, the good ole days. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mystery Monday - Levine and Cantor

In viewing the Manhattan Bride and Groom Card Certificate #6642 for my relatives Regina Siebert and Nicholas Eberhard the witnesses at the wedding ceremony were Raymond N. Lett and Eva Siebert. But also on the card were the signatures of additional witnesses; I assume those were who witnessed the couple filling out the certificate at the Department of Health. The witnesses were Samuel Levine and Estelle Cantor.  These names are not on my family tree – so who are they?

I scanned the previous card, #6641, and found that Samuel and Estelle were listed as the bride and groom. I then went down to #6643 and found that the witnesses listed for that couple were Regina and Nicholas. I then imagined that each couple in line at the City of New York Department of Health witnessed the signatures of the next couple in line.
Samuel Levine and Estelle Cantor 
If anyone is searching for Russian born Samuel Levine whose father is Joseph Levine or Estelle Cantor from Leeds, England whose mother’s name was Hattie Sacker, here is their Certificate and Record of Marriage.  Enjoy the journey.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Family Recipe Friday - Blond Brownies

My husband’s Aunt Joyce passed away last May after a valiant struggle with Huntington’s disease. Joyce’s life wasn’t always easy; I think in some ways we didn’t really get to know her until we were given the task of going through her photo albums and personal papers. 

Joyce always had a camera at hand. I suspect she wanted to be a professional photographer, but life’s circumstances did not allow her to follow that dream. We are thankful, however, that she documented family events using her wonderful photographic skills. 

Joyce was loving, caring, and always available for her nieces and nephews.  And, could she bake!!!  Her cakes and pies were renowned. But the most requested item for family gatherings was her Blond Brownies. 

We miss Aunt Joyce’s mischievous smile and her telling us to, “Say Cheese!” But she will always be close when we make her Blond Brownies.

Joyce Maki’s Blond Brownies
Mix Together:
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup chopped walnuts

½ cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 beaten egg
1 tsp. vanilla

½ pkg. chocolate chips

Melt butter and remove from heat. Mix in sugar. Stir in beaten egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients a little at a time. Mix well. Spread in a greased and floured 9” square pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

This recipe is so good you will want to double it!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Regina Siebert Eberhard - Found!!

My genealogical journey began in the mid-1990s due to curiosity about my grandfather, Harry Nunn. It was a long eight years before I broke through the wall that prevented me from finding him and his family.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the key was his sister, Elizabeth. Elizabeth married Louis Siebert in 1905 and they had two daughters, Regina and Eva. By 1930 Regina was no longer in the household.  She must have married – but whom?

Periodic checking on the website I found a bride card for a Regina Siebert. The card stated the groom was Nicholas Eberhard, Jr.   In mid-December I ordered the film from the local Family History Center. I anxiously awaited the opening of the FHC this week after its ten day holiday. I viewed the film on January 5 and found the bride card was indeed MY Regina Siebert.  She stated her mother’s maiden name was Elizabeth Nunn! Success!!

Through the SS Death Index I found Regina Eberhard died 10 Oct. 1987 in Queens, NY. For only $8.00 the Queens Library Archives will provide a copy of the obit.  The letter is in the mail; my fingers are crossed that it provides further information on this family.   

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - September 12, 1941

Soon after I began my genealogical research I realized I had never seen any pictures of my parents’ wedding.  I mentioned this to my mother and learned that no pictures had been taken with the exception of those on an eight mm camera owned by her Uncle Bill Agard.  Because it was a “moving” picture camera, no photographs were produced.

Consequently, on September 12, 2001 when my parents would have been married sixty years - would have been except my father died in 1988 - it really bothered me that my mother did not have one photo of their wedding day.

Since Bill’s daughter lives in the family farmhouse, I asked her about the film. After several months it was miraculously located and mailed to us. A local technician repaired the tear in the tape and transferred it to a VCR.  But I needed it on a CD so we could put it into the computer and using PhotoShop make stills that we could send to my mother. I mentioned the situation to our neighbor, a commercial photographer, and he said he would give it a try. He successfully transferred the VCR tape to a CD and then showed us how to manipulate the film in PhotoShop. Another neighbor gave us special Kodak paper on which to print the photos, and on March 18, 2002 via Federal Express, my mother saw, for the first time, pictures of her wedding day! 

This photo is a sampling of what we captured from the 8 mm film. Top left is their friend and fellow lifeguard, Chuck Lueder; middle is Mother of the Bride, Maude Agard ; right is Uncle Bill Agard. The wedding party consisted of Maid of Honor Adeline Agard (Tamburino), Carol Agard Nunn, Edward Nunn, and Best Man J. Richard Agard.

The marvels of technology!