Monday, May 30, 2011

Military Monday - Victor Hill

In honor of Memorial Day, I would like to post this tribute to my Great-Uncle.

Victor Leroy Hill was born 19 August 1897 at Casey, Clark, IL, son of Charles Taylor and Nancy Jane (Wiley) Hill.
When the Great War broke out, he wanted to fight but the United States had not entered the war yet.  He enlisted in the Canadian Army Overseas Expeditionary Force on 10 Sept. 1916 at Camp Hughes, Manitoba.  He was assigned to the  Canadian Pioneer Unit,  107th Overseas Battalion.  He served as a Private.  While at Camp Hughes, he had his basic training - basically learning to fire a gun and dig a trench.
He sailed from Halifax to England in September 1916 on board the SS Olympic.  He was sent “O’Seas” in February 1917, arriving in Boulogne,  France.  Once the U.S. entered the war, he applied for transfer to the U.S. Army.
Before the transfer could be completed, he was killed in action near Lens, France on 15 August 1917.  The report sent to his family states “The above named soldier was working with the rest of his Platoon near Loos digging a trench, when a large high explosive shell burst quite close to him, killing him instantly”. 
He is buried in Maroc Military Cemetery in Grenay, France.  A large memorial is erected nearby to the Canadians who are buried there.  His mother received a pension of $20 per month from the Canadian Pension Commission until she died in 1960.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chicago Colony New England Women

Today we had a meeting of the Chicago Colony (ie chapter) of the National Society New England Women.  This is an organization of women who can trace their lineage to someone who was born in New England prior to the American Revolution.  Our colony itself is over 100 years old.  It is a very nice group that meets nationally in New Hampshire in May.
This meeting marked a transition - one of our members, Gyda Stoner, became Honorary President General last weekend after serving for three years.  Locally, our colony installed a new slate of officers.  I have been the recording secretary for the colony for the past 6 years and have finally been able to turn over the books to my successor.  I am staying on as Webmistress, though.  I guess 9 years is not enough.
We had a very nice memorial service at the meeting today.  In addition to remembering our members who have died in the past year, each member places a flower in remembrance of her NEW ancestor. 

Here is Honorary President General Gyda Stoner placing a flower.

Our new slate of Officers was installed. 

Here are incoming Colony President Jane Schleinzer and newly elected Honorary Colony President Shari Worrell.  Shari is pinning on the Colony Ribbon.

My NEW ancestor is:
John Ormsby, born 1641 at Saco, ME, died 10 March 1718 at Rehoboth, MA, the son of Richard Ormesby and Sarah Upham.
he was married, on 5 Jan. 1664 at Rehoboth, MA
to Grace Martin, born 21 Sept. 1640 at Devonshire, England, died 4 July 1710 at Rehoboth, MA, the daughter of Richard Martin and Elizabeth Salter.
John and Grace had 12 children - their son John Ormsbee was my ancestor.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Daughters of the Union Wreath Laying

The John Butler Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the Union 1861-1865 (NSDU) has been laying wreaths at the graves of civil war ancestors.  I attended the most recent of these this past week.  After driving for about 3 hours to Elmwood, IL (north of Peoria), we honored Joseph Wheeler.  His great-granddaughter and great-great-granddaughter are members of our chapter.   They were present, along with other family members.
The ceremony was very nice - developed by chapter Regent Shari Worrell.  We learned about Joseph Wheeler, born in 1837 in England and died in 1917 in Elmwood, IL.  He immigrated in 1844, settling first in New Jersey, then making his way west to Illinois.  He enlisted in the 47th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in 1861 and served for over 3 years.  After discharge he was paid the lofty sum of $100.
One of the reasons that I enjoy my membership in these lineage societies is the ability to honor our ancestors by laying wreaths and learning about their lives.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Welcome Cora

We have a new branch on our family tree - actually my in-laws do.  Cora Josefine Edens was born on May 10.  She is the daughter of my niece Melissa and her husband Sam.  She weighed 9 lb. 10 oz. - quite an accomplishment since her mother is very petite.  I can't wait to meet her this summer when we travel to Ohio for a visit.  Here is a picture of Cora with her big sister Lyla.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Illinois Branch, Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims

The Illinois Branch (ie. chapter) of the National Society of Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims had our end of year meeting today.  We had a nice turnout of 21 people who enjoyed a delicious lunch at Braxton's Seafood restaurant in Oak Brook.  Our program was about Lewis & Clark's expedition and was a member participation program.
The NSSDP is a group of men and women who can trace their lineage back to an immigrant ancestor who settled within the continental U.S. before 1700 - a broader definition of Pilgrim than some might think.  The group is nice because, in addition to its co-ed membership, there are junior members (under 20) and associate members (spouses who don't have the lineage themselves).  Many of our members bring their husbands or wives to the meetings.  We were happy to have met our goal of 50 members at this meeting.  Not bad, considering our Branch is only 5 years old!
This meeting marked a change in Officers - those who had served over the past 2 years were thanked, and a new group was installed for the next term.  Congratulations to Gayle Coan, the new Branch Governor, and all the new Branch Officers.  Now it is time for this webmistress to update our webpage :-)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Isle a la Cache Chapter, NSDAR

I must spend this current blog post bragging about one of the newest chapters in DAR - Isle a la Cache Chapter, based in Romeoville, IL.  This chapter was first conceived in August, and by November, we had the required 12 members to organize.  We were confirmed by National in December.  On Sunday, we had our official Organizing Celebration where the State Regent and State Officers officially welcomed us and installed our officers.  We now have 25 members and 2 associate members, and we are still growing!

If you think that the DAR is just a bunch of white-haired ladies with hats and gloves who sip tea, think again!  (well, there are a few hats).  Our chapter is very young, by DAR standards - the average age of our members is 38 and 8 of our members are 21 or younger.  We have some exciting plans for the future in terms of service projects and activities with youth education.

Our chapter name means "Island of the Hiding Place".  There is a small island in the DesPlaines River in Romeoville where the french fur traders would stash their goods. 

Congratulations to Organizing Regent Teri McLeod for a great start on our chapter.