Friday, February 22, 2013

Jesus is my Best Friend Video

Anna Christine at 10 months with Totally Kids Worship song "My Best Friend"

Thanks, Mom and Dad!

I am thankful for my parents' examples in following the Holy Spirit and letting Him lead them in their day to day and major life decisions. Prayer and Bible study has held a high place with both of them, and they never made it out to be a chore. It was a privilege and as vital to their lives as eating and drinking. I want to live this way too!

Photo credit goes to my brother David Moore

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Samuel B. Hunt

I love finding "new" ancestors for Zachary and our Anna. Today's find? Samuel B. Hunt and his wife Margaret M. Farrow. They had 14 children. I have the names of 11 of them: William C., Elizabeth Ann, Susannah S., Harriet F., Mary Hanna, Jonathan D., Rhoda Ellen, Emma R., George D., Edward S., and Charles J. At the time of their father's death, 10 of the children were still living.

From the Ponca City Democrat, 20 November 1897

The Hand of Death.
Samuel B. Hunt died at his home, east of Ponca City, Friday, November 11, 1897, of apoplexy and was buried Saturday in the I. O. O. F. cemetery. The funeral was conducted by Rev. E. C. Harper. Samuel B. Hunt was born in Hamilton County, New Jersey, October 20, 1823. He was married to Miss Margaret M. Farrow, May, 1844. They moved to Indiana in 1855 and to Iowa in 1865, and came to Cowley county, Kansas, in 1869. He came to the Strip last September. He was 74 years and 21 days old. He leaves a wife and ten children to mourn his loss. His wife is 71 years old. They had been married for fifty-two years. Several of the children live in and near Ponca City. The grief stricken wife and children have the sympathy of their friends in this their sad hour of bereavement.

From the Ponca City Courier, November 18, 1897

Samuel B. Hunt Dead.
After a long and useful life venerable Father Hunt passed away yesterday at his home on the Webb farm east of Ponca city. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. E. C. Harper, at the residence and interment took place in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Hunt had been married for more than 50 years when his death separated them. They have a number of children who have grown to maturity, several of whom live here. To them and to the aged wife the sympathies of this community is extended in the heat of their bereavement. He was born in Camden county, New Jersey, October 20, 1828, and early he became a member of the United Brethren church. Fifty-two years ago last May he was married to his beloved wife Margaret M., who survives him at the age of 71 years. Ten children of the union now survive them.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Knowing God's will has been on my mind a lot lately.  Zachary and I have been discussing some big questions about the seasons of our lives, timing, -- just stuff. Then, my Bible Study at church started working through Priscilla Shirer's Discerning the Voice of God.  The timing couldn't have been better.

I mull things over in my mind sometimes, and if my brainstorming doesn't produce an answer, I pray about it. 

That is all backwards.

One of the main things I am getting from my study is that I need to be bringing every aspect of my life to God in prayer and then be LISTENING for His answer in expectation that His Holy Spirit will speak to me.

Sadly, in the rush caused by external distractions, my conversations with God sometimes resemble phone messages left after the beep instead of vibrant conversations where I share my heart, listen for His voice, and then share some more.

It doesn't have to be that way.

I do want to hear from the Holy Spirit, and He does communicate with me, but I want more.  I want to listen more and involve Him in every decision my family makes. I want to be so involved in my conversation with Him that I talk to Him about whatever is going on in my life first and then wait for His response. That way, I allow Him to be my solution.  I don't need to come up with the answers on my own. I don't need to rely on my wits, common sense, or intuition. Those are all faulty, but my God is perfect.

So right now, I want to slow down and listen for His voice before rushing off to do the next thing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Progress Report

My contact from the Oklahoma Society of Mayflower Descendants sent me an email that was very encouraging.  I read it on Sunday, and it gave me a big smile. Based on her review of my documents, I only need to provide her one more record (which has been ordered and should arrive soon) before she can send my application on. Yes!

According to her emails, the missing Weston death dates (from the early 19th century) should not be a problem since the individuals are listed in the "silver books" put out by the Mayflower Society. The books don't list death dates either, but the two are both accepted as Mayflower descendants. I do hope this is the case.

It turns out the two marriage records on my list are not necessary. They were both for 2nd marriages that did not produce anyone in my direct line and occurred too long ago (1885) to be required.  I will go ahead and try to get them, so my line will be as well documented as possible, but I can rest in the knowledge that they are optional.

I feel that this goal of joining the Mayflower Society is within reach now. It is a blessing my family spent those crucial generations in Maine. This process would be a lot harder if they had spent the 18th and early 19th centuries in a place with less complete records.

I have often thought that my hobbies -- principally quilting and genealogy -- were characteristic of a generation other than my own, so I had to smile when I read the opening of the email I received:

"What a wonderful packet of documents you sent! I can't believe how young you are; I had pictured a retired lady!"

I don't mind that a bit!

Friday, February 08, 2013

3rd Cousins

Just for fun: President John Adams is my 3rd cousin 9x removed.

I can just imagine Mrs. Mercy Weston, a resident of Kingston, MA and mother of 11 children, talking about her relative (3rd cousin), John Adams, during the tumultuous 1770's. They lived only 25 miles apart for some of that time, and the Weston and Adams children were close in age.

It is likely the John and Mercy Weston family moved to Maine in the early 1880s. Their daughter Judith was married about 1781 in Kingston, Massachusetts, but daughter Deborah (my ancestor) was married in 1784 in New Gloucester, Maine. Perhaps the move occurred after the Revolutionary War ended in 1883?

A Kingston record book lists the following about the family:

John and Mercy Weston

Lydia their daughter, was born May 26, 1750
Isaac their son, was born September 12, 1752     Isaac their son deceased 30 October 1752
Jonathan their son, was born August 20, 1753     Jonathan their son deceased August 17, 1754
Sarah their daughter, was born July 18, 1755
Deborah their daughter, was x  January 29, 1758
Celia Weston their daughter, born April 26, 1760
Judith Weston their daughter, born August 17, 1762
John Weston their son, was born December 13, 1764
Rhoda Weston their daughter, was born May 5, 1767
Peleg Weston their son, was born July 27, 1769
Mercy Weston their daughter, was born November 2, 1771

Source Information: Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Provo, UT: Holbrook Research Institute (Jay and Delene Holbrook).

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Applying to the Mayflower Society

I have to say, finding out that John Alden, Myles Standish, and Stephen Hopkins are my 11th great grandfathers made for an exciting day. That was more than a year ago, but the excitement is still here as I work towards proving my descent from the Mayflower families with solid documentation.  That is no easy task, but I believe it can be done.

One at a time, I have been collecting birth, marriage, and death certificates, cemetery pictures, obituaries, census records, county and town histories, and other records that prove the births, marriages, deaths, and family links going back almost 300 years. Thankfully, the 100 years before that (approximately) has already been researched and confirmed by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. At this point, I have a documented date and place for almost every fact connecting me back to Mercy Sampson -- an accepted Mayflower Descendant born in Kingston, Plymouth, Massachusetts on 15 May 1731.

I just need a couple more records before I feel I am ready to join the society.  Now, whether or not my documents are enough or need supplementation is the big question. I have contacted the Oklahoma Society of Mayflower Descendants and submitted my preliminary application.  They are in the process of reviewing the documents I have so far and will let me know what the strengths and weaknesses are.

This has been an interesting journey as I find and share information with my mom and grandmother about our ancestors' origins.  None of us grew up with Mayflower family legends. Being a "Mayflower Descendant" isn't something any of us imagined.  I discovered it quite by accident one day when I finally broke through one of the brick walls in our genealogy.

My grandmother came from a family of Iowa farmers. Their roots go deep there. Five generations lived in that beautiful state.  Most of them were Iowa born, and any exoduses away were short lived.

It is likely my 2nd great grandfather, Lee Beem (shown with his wife Anna), had no knowledge of his ancestors' Mayflower heritage. This was taken in 1905 for their wedding and is the earliest photo we have from this family line.
It all goes back to Samuel and Sarah [Whittemore] Knapp who came from Maine in 1843.  For a long time, that was as far back as I was able to trace the family.  Even now, I have no idea who Samuel's parents are. There are just too many Knapp families in Maine and not enough records for me to figure it out yet.

Sarah's lineage was unraveled after a large number of Maine vital records were added to Finding Samuel and Sarah's marriage record from Rumford, Oxford, Maine was only the beginning of the breakthroughs.   The records led me back a few generations in Maine. Town histories filled in some of the details.

Sarah was the daughter of Isaac Whittemore, Jr. and Mary "Polly" Dean.  Isaac Jr. was the son of Isaac Whittemore, Sr. and his wife Deborah Weston.  It was Deborah who was born in Massachusetts in 1758 and moved north into Maine with her parents John Weston and Mercy Sampson sometime before her marriage to Isaac in 1784.

By the way, I still need proof of John and Mercy Weston's deaths, if anyone is able to help. :)

This is just a glimpse at a long family history that could be compiled. There is so much to learn and discover!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Standing by Herself

Anna gains confidence every day. Guess what we got a picture of yesterday?
Anna stood by herself! She remained on her own two feet without any support for quite a while before lowering herself gently to the ground. Then she did it several more times!

She is really getting the hang of it. She was supporting herself with one of our folding chairs later in the day and let go all on her own.

I am so happy for her. Look at that cute smile!

Many thanks to the proud grandpa, my dad, who took these photos during his visit!

January's Nine Month Picture

Anna at nine months 

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Seven Years, Growth, and the Car

I have been reading over my blog today.  Study.Quiet is seven years old now. Where did the years go? There are seasons when I don't write very much on this blog, and I wonder why I even try.  Then, I read over the posts, and I am so glad I do.  There are memory nuggets on here that are priceless to me.  The hodgepodge of posts I read today reminded me of my college days, the beautiful seasons (especially fall), my courtship and marriage with Zachary, and our little girl that is growing up so fast!

Anna is ten months old now. She is full of energy.  She crawls all over and can walk with the help of furniture, us, and her walker. She even thinks she can climb! Her smile and laugh bring the same from me. She sways to the music, gives me a cute "puppy dog" tilt of the head, and gets into all sorts of things she shouldn't.  She brings me so much joy.  I love her look of wonderment at a tree branch and her serious focus when a breeze hits her on the cheek. Anna has two -- almost three -- teeth now!

Zachary is my hero this weekend.  He has spent hours working on the car so we don't have to pay a mechanic to do it. I love him so much, and I miss him while he is gone fixing our vehicle.  I don't think I have seen this little of him since... Was it before we were married? I know he is exhausted, but he keeps on going.  I look forward to a long drive with him once we know everything is as it should be. 

This is a rambling post -- almost a journal entry.  Oh well. Perhaps now that the ice is broken after my long absence I will be able to focus on writing a few of the things I have been thinking about recently.