When John Andrew Bravin “Uncle John” was born on March 1, 1922, in Meduno, Udine, Italy, his father, Anibale, was 31 and his mother, Lousa “Louise” Melosso, was 22.
In the 1930 US Census, Uncle John was only 8 years old. He was living with his family then at 924 E. 10th Street, Altoona, PA. The census indicates that both of his parents were born in Italy and that the family language in their home was Italian. In this same year, his younger brother Louis was 5 years old and his sister Madeline was 3 years old. Both Louis and Madeline were born Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Uncle John was a US veteran. He was in the US Marine Corp during WWII and served as a Sergeant.
He died on February 10, 2011, in Altoona, Pennsylvania, at the age of 88, and was buried there.
Here are a few photos from the Groshans family photo collection:
Chauncey was the 3rd Great Grandfather of Eugene Norbert Wiesner.
Here is how they related:
When Chauncey Commodore Hitt was born on August 23, 1812, in Delaware, New York, his father, Isaac, was 27 and his mother, Anne Moore Hitt, was 25. He married Frances Elizabeth Walter in 1839. They had seven children in 15 years. He died on November 14, 1874, in Door, Wisconsin, at the age of 62, and was buried there.
Here is a photo of Chauncey’s wife Frances Elizabeth Walter Hitt that I found on Ancestry and Family Search web sites.
Stories of Chauncey’s life are told in a publication called: “History of Door County, Wisconsin: the county beautiful” Chauncey is listed as one of the first persons to buy land in Door County.
From some of my other research, it appears that just shortly before Chauncey’s death he bought a boarding house attached to a saw mill and turned it into a tavern and saloon to be run by his son Charles. I believe the property was named the “Eagle Hotel.”
These are very small print, and I only have dates and not the names of the newspapers:
Hendrick Jansen Oosteroom was my 8th great grandfather. Here is how we relate:
When Hendrick Jansen Oosteroom was born in 1630 in Netherlands, his father, Jan, was 25 and his mother, Claudina Relyea, was 24. He married Tryntje Lubbertse VanBlarcom and they had five children together. He then married Geesje Jacobs on May 23, 1666. He died in 1670 in Poughkeepsie, New York, at the age of 40.
Here is a photo of records regarding his 2nd marriage:
His name later became Hendrick Jansen Ostrom. A comment made on Family Search.org reads: “The Dutch of New Amsterdam did not use surnames until 1664 when British took control & renamed New York. The surname “Oosteroom” as entered here has seven alternate spellings as seen on records of time frame – whoever could write spelled & wrote what was heard, not what was meant to be heard”
He was also called Hendrick Van Schalwyk which used the place of his birth as his name.
In 1654, there are records of him receiving a land grant for 25 mogens of land in Kill van Kull, the site of what would later be, Bergen New Jersey. Because of problems the settlers were having there with the Native Americans, it seems that Hendrick later took a lease for unsettled land in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, NY. which was a part of British Colonial America. From familysearch.org “He was apparently living in New Jersey when the Indians forced all white persons living west of the Hudson to retreat to New Amsterdam, where his second child was born in 1657.”
My direct ancestor and 2nd Great Grandfather, Garret Spruhan, was born in about 1825 in Kilkenny Ireland. (source reference for birth is the 1860 census) The name Spruhan is rare in the United States and in Ireland.
“Garret Spruhan was a farmer in County Kilkenny. He arrived in New York like many from his country and eventually moved west with the railroads. He married Margaret Denny and had five children. The Spruhan family settled in Crawfordsville, Indiana.The children’s names were as follows: John Arthur, Katherine, William Henry, Eliza J., and Macie.
In 1862 Margaret Denny Spruhan died (She was my 2nd great grandmother). Garret Spruhan returned to farming in 1864 after purchasing land north of Crawfordsville. He also remarried in that year to Ann McKevitt Wood. The family farm prospered over the next four years, as evidenced from estate records. Tragedy hit the family in early 1869 when Garret died.
From the estate records, the Spruhan children were sent to live on farms in neighboring counties. Only Macie remained at the Spruhan farm with her stepmother. Any questions or comments are welcomed.” Note: this means that my great grandfather Henry Spruhan was emancipated at the age of 12!
____________________________ In 1852, at the age of 27, Garrett Spruhan married Margaret Denny. They were married on January 11, 1852 in Hamilton Co., Ohio by a Roman Catholic bishop. In the 1860 census, Garret lives in Union, Montgomery, Indiana. The afore mentioned quotation states that he settled in Crawfordsville, Indiana. (The Civil war would begin on April 12, 1861) __________________________ Garrett had a brother named John Henry. John immigrated to Nova Scotia Canada. He changed the spelling of his last name from Spruhan to Spruin. This is documented in a post found online. http://genforum.genealogy.com/cgi-bin/pageload.cgi?Roanoke::in::36997.html (There seems to be an incorrect piece of information in this post. Garret immigrated in 1850 and NOT 1839. Also, there may be a misspelling of Garret’s second wife’s name.)
Here is the post that I found on-line from family historian Lydia Spruhan: Dear Spruhan Family querers: My name is Lydia Mary Spruhan. I am the genealogist of the family. I can tell you alot about the Spruhans in Indiana. The family began in this country when Garret Spruhan came to America from Ireland in 1839, and married Margaret Denny, also from Ireland. The were married in the Roman Catholic Church, by the Bishop of Pennsylvania. Garret became a naturalized citizen in 1940. I still have his original naturalization papers, as well as official “copies” issued by the Gov’t. He and his wife moved to Crawfordsville, Indiana and began a family, the oldest being John Arthur (NOT Alexander) Spruhan, who is my great-great-grandfather. I have many photos of him, as well as letters to my grandfather from his daughter, my great-great. Eliza, whom you also mentioned, became the first female attorney in the State of Indiana, and carried the name Eliza Spruhan Painter. She ran a charity for Confederate Soldiers from the Civil War. But, I am jumping ahead of myself here. There were many children born to the Spruhans, some of whom died in infancy. They were all baptized at the Catholic church in Crawfordsville. I have the original church ledgers if you would like to see them. When Garret and Margaret were still fairly young, Margaret died. Garret married a woman named Ann McKerritt, also from Ireland, as a second wife. After Garret died (I have never found out whether he died in the Civil War after conscription or of natural causes), the children were sadly separated into different families in the community. I have the name of the family who raised Eliza and the younger children. I’ll have to look it up for you, it’s German. John Arthur and Henry were already of sufficient age to be emancipated as adults. John Arthur married Joan America Bohannon, who is in herself quite a story. Their children are in my direct line, so I can share that history with you as well if you wish. Her family dates back to the pre-Revolutionary times, and my female ancestors and aunts have always been in the DAR due to the connection to John Bohannon who served in the Virginia militia during the Revolution. John Arthur was the railroad man for the stop in Crawfordsville for many years. His son, Fred Garret Spruhan went to Purdue and also became an Engineer. His son, John Galey Spruhan, is my grandfather, also a Purdue grad and engineer. John Halsey Spruhan was the only child of John Galey Spruhan and my grandmother, Beatrice Halsey, who only recently died a few years ago at 93. After John Halsey Spruhan, of Salem, VA, comes Paul Wesley Spruhan, my brother, and then his son, my five-year old nephre Bahe Spruhan. Paul lives in Arizona with his Navajo wife, Bidtah. Both of his children are also enrolled in the Navajo Nation (tribe).
Back to the beginning: The Spruhans come from County Carlow, and County Kilkenny, Ireland. Garret was from Kilkenny, and he has a brother who also emigrated around the same time to Nova Scotia. the family there changed the spelling of their name so it would be pronounced correctly (Sproo-in), NOT Sproo-Han. They go by the spelling Spruin. John Henry Spruin is the brother who went to Canada. His son, John, is somewhat of a local Nova Scotia hero, as he was one of the “Halifax Nine”, who were first responding fireman at the Halifax explosion (when a munitions boat exploded in Halifax Harbor, killing all nine, who were the only fireman who responded, given the seriousness of the explosion and the certainty of death. There are still Spruins in Canada whom I know of.
Back to Ireland: The Spruhan Family are all buried back hundreds of years from Garret’s arrival in the US, at St. Columbkille’s Cemetery in Thomastown. There are barrows in the distance of the ancient Celtic kings who the area around the Nor River (Black River) in Kilkenny. There are Spruhans still there, in the area of Carlow bordering Thomastown, Kilkenny. They are headed by Thomas and Peggy Spruhan, and they have five sons, one of whom I talk to, Edmond, who lives in the Boston area. One of Edmond’s brothers, Michael I believe, lived and worked in Mexico City, and married a Mexican woman. They have a son named Emilio. So, as you can see with the Navajo & Mexican influences, our family is quite diverse.
Of course I have the documents and photos for all of this. There are a few other Spruhans in my home state of VA: Jack Spruhan, my great uncle (Fred Garret’s cousin), and his local hero father, Pinky (Guy) Spruhan RIP, who was the football coach at Roanoke College for many years.
What else are you wanting to know about? Henry Spruhan is your ancestor, I do have a family tree which comes down to the 1980s. there should be two siblings named Paul (not my brother Paul) and his sister Cinnamon Spruhan. they also had a younger brother who died as a child. Cinnamon should be in her 30s and Paul is a young free spirited 20 something. People often search for my brother, Paul, on Facebook, and are si surprized when they find Paul Spruhna from Henry’s line, as he seems to be into counter culture…like Punk Rock or skateboards or similar style.
As I said, you’ll have to ask my some more questions if I’m to help you find (or have myself alreay), the particular documents or information you require.
Interesting piece of sad Famine-era family history: there was a young woman named Bridget Spruhan who jumped to her death from a prison ship rather than be put into a life of servitude and slavery in Australia. For some reason the song “Fields of Athenry” makes me cry, most likely due to Bridget’s experience. Many regards, Lydia Mary Spruhan Salem, VA _______________________ Of Garret’s children, my direct ancestor is Henry Joseph Spruhan who married Caroline Baur. Henry was 12 at the time of his father’s death and was thus thrust into an early adulthood emancipation. (Henry Spruhan was my Great Grandfather)
My name is Linda Claire Hess Groshans
List of generations: Garret Spruhan and Margaret Denny Henry Joseph Spruhan and Caroline “Carrie” Baur Henrietta Spruhan and George K. Hess, Sr. Robert Lawrence Hess and Gretchen Lois Ream (my parents)
Comments from Ancestry.com
“Nor River: The Spruhan Family are all buried back hundreds of years from Garret’s arrival in the US, at St. Columbkille’s Cemetery in Thomastown. There are barrows in the distance of the ancient Celtic kings who the area around the Nor River (Black River) in Kilkenny.”
When William Sprague was born on October 26, 1609, in Upwey, Dorset, England, his father, Edward, was 33 and his mother, Christiana Margaret Holland, was 31. William’s father was a fuller by trade.
William married Millicent Eames on May 26, 1635, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. They had 12 children in 18 years. He died on October 26, 1675, in Hingham, Massachusetts, at the age of 66.
William was one of the first planters in Massachusetts. He had arrived in Massachusetts Bay having left from Upway, Dorsetshire, England in 1628. He probably traveled on the ship Abigail. He traveled to the colonies with his brothers Ralph and Richard. They were some of the first settlers in Watertown and Charlestown. William moved to Hingham in 1634 with his future father-in- law, Lt. Anthony Eames.
Source: North America Family Histories 1500 to 2000, Sprague Families in America
Source: North America Family Histories 1500 to 2000, Sprague Families in America
From source: Great Migration Study Project…”By 1636 William was a proprietor and in ensuing years received several grants of land. He served as a fence-viewer, constable and disbursing officer as well as a selectman in 1645.”
I thought that it was most interesting that in his will, part of his estate were his books valued at 8s.
Source: Great Migration and the Great Migration Begins Vol. 3 P-W
William Sprague, Sr., my 10th great grandfather died the 26 day of October, 1675, but ” not a stone tells where he lies.”
You can purchase this book on Amazon: The Genealogy Of The Sprague’s In Hingham: Arranged In Chronological Order, To The Fourth Generation, Counting From William Sprague, One Of The First … England, In The Year 1628.
On the free website FamilySearch.org the ID# for William is LT3K-KCD
When Celia Marion Joyce was born on March 18, 1898, in Derry, New Hampshire, her father, William Lawrence Joyce, was 22, and her mother, Olive Annis Watts, was 24. She married Charles Edwin Moller on December 25, 1919, in her hometown. They had seven children in 12 years. She died on June 11, 1961, in Hartford, Connecticut, at the age of 63, and was buried in Manchester, Connecticut. (Article below from Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT. 13 Jun 1961)
The children of Marion Joyce and Charles Edwin Moller are listed below:
This article was written by Maude Lillian Meador Groshans who was my children’s great grandmother. Maude Lillian Meador was born on April 16, 1887, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, her father, Robert Meador, was 25, and her mother, Charlotte Shipman, was 22. She married Gottlieb Jack Groshans on June 12, 1912, in her hometown. She died on January 17, 1971, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at the age of 83, and was buried in Streator, Illinois. (note that Maude picked the name Robert Jack for her son. This must have been a namesake because her father was named Robert and her husband was Gottlieb “Jack” Groshans.)
Submitted at the usual rates by Mrs. Jack Groshans 104 Wall St. Eureka Springs, Ark.
SOMEDAY I SHALL BE OLD by Maude Meador-Groshans.
The warning whistle of “fair, slim, and forty”, bids me STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN. FOR THE ENGINE OF OLD AGE IS THUNDERING JUST BEYOND THE CURVE.
Now I have an ambition to be a healthy, happy, likable old lady. For some reason the opinions of the aged seem to set like concrete, therefore I will warn myself of the pitfalls before that time comes.
These are rules and regulations to guide me when I find myself “not so young as I was”.
Do be scrupulously clean physically. A dirty old person is an abomination. A soiled baby is sometimes cunning -an elderly person never. Bathe daily and see that the linen next your skin is spotless. Watch for bodily odors – and use a deodorant. Thus you avoid disgusting your friends.
Be careful of your appearance. I hope my grandchildren will be proud of “the way grandma looks”.
Keep the mind dressed in up to date ideas. You are as young as your mind; read new books, see new plays, hear new music, see new pictures-and do it with an unprejudiced mind -strive to get the modern viewpoint. Don’t let your mind stay in a rut twenty years behind the times.
don’t condemn present styles; they are as beautiful as what you wore thirty years ago and likely more sanitary. If you do not believe it, get out the fashions and examine the hats, skirts, sleeves, shoes, and think it over.
NEVER under any provocation offer advice. Keep still. You had to learn, and it developed you, didn’t it? Why deny others the chance to grow? Besides, people do not really want advice. They tell you their troubles and say “What would you do?” Honestly now, how many ever followed your advice? Can you recall one? And was your advice wise? Free advice is not valued highly. If the case is really serious, send them to a lawyer if it is legal, to a doctor if physical or mental, to a minister if spiritual, and to other professions if technical. At least you will be free from blame if their case is not rightly diagnosed. In the same way, avoid seeking advice from any except those competent to give it, and our friends seldom are – the very fact that they are friends may blind or bias their judgement.
Keep family affairs to yourself. You may be wrongfully treated, but it is human nature to take the side o the absent one (mentally, if not audibly). Besides it is undignified. If you have to live with the younger generation, your years should have taught you the art of adjusting yourself. Surely, you should be wiser than they. Loyalty is a wonderful thing. If you live with an in-law whom you detest, keep it to yourself. Don’t tell your children if you dislike their mates. There is a possibility they dislike you, too, you know, and it isn’t making it any easier for criticism to creep in.
Don’t, please don’t, advise young mother how to rear their children. They invariably resent it and modern methods are different to what they were when you reared yours. “The world do progress”. Besides their mistakes are a help to them. And never correct other people’s children. So many old folks have the annoying habit of admonishing “Now, now, you mustn’t do that. Nice little boys don’t do that”. “Why, Susie, that isn’t polite. What would Miss Blank think if she saw you do that?” Oh, but the children hate it and I have inwardly marveled at the control of the children in not answering as rudely as the questioner deserved . After all, if your grandchildren, or your friend’s offspring are rude, ill-mannered, ill-tempered nuisances, you are not responsible, and so why worry, and why annoy the mother by criticizing?
Don’t begin by being imposed upon by your married children. Taking care of the kiddies while parents take a vacation, or for the afternoon while mother goes to a party or lecture can soon become slavery and your time is no longer your own. There is a conspiracy among young folks that their parents never have anything they are interested in which they cannot leave without warning. They take it for granted that “Mother will be glad to keep the children”. Does the prospect appeal to you? Want all your time mortgaged? Well, I don’t. If you, at the beginning, let it be known that you ‘ll enjoy having them unless you have another engagement, or there is something else you would rather do, the children will soon learn that you do it as a favor. They will find a way to manage without making a drudge of you. Sounds selfish but to offset this, I say there are times when parents should sacrifice to help their children. If daughter is recovering from a wearing illness, or son has had a nervous breakdown and grandmother could keep the children a few weeks, it would be a duty shirked not to lend a hand. What I contend is, young people need the responsibility, as well as the joy of a family and you rob them of character development if you let them shift the load on you .
Get an interest in life – a hobby . Start a collection of something and learn all you can about your collection and similar ones. Study butterflies or birds – keep a record of kinds seen, time of arrival and departure, habitat. Photography may be as placid or as strenuous as you wish. Grow a special flower or vegetable; raise chickens or ducks or squabs or goldfish – do something that interests you. It will help to keep you fit physically, fresh mentally, probably keep you out of somebody’s way.
The most difficult accomplishment to acquire is that of being an intelligent listener.
We all like to talk but don’t we treasure that friend who by cleverly placed question or an apt answer makes us forget how we are monopolizing the conversation? And what a subtle way of acquiring reputation for wisdom.
A sunny natured old person is a joy. Not one of those determinedly jolly old duffers who meet you with a slap on the back and a “Fine day. Ha! Ha!” manner. Just simple good humor.
Don’t talk of aches and pains. All old people seem to have them. People hate to listen – and they seldom care. Tell it to your doctor. He is probably bored stiff but at least he can charge you for listening. ·
Avoid food which you know is injurious to you. Take care of your health. sleep long hours – rest in the middle of the day (a nap is better); drink large quantities of water; eat simple foods; don’t worry about other’s affairs. Life will continue when you are gone.
Cultivate friendships with younger generation, then when contemporaries pass on, there remain strong links with the present and you are getting a new viewpoint.
Save enough to be modestly independent. If you need care in old age, having the money to buy service takes away that humiliating feeling that your relatives are discommoding themselves and families doing what you should have had the foresight to avoid. Better to spend less now and have more later. “If youth but knew what age would crave, it would both make and save”.
So many old folks give away, or sign away their independence to someone on the promise of having a home and care as long as they live. DON’T DO IT. I have never yet seen it work successfully . Keep what you have and pay as you go. Then if you are unsuited you can go elsewhere. This is the most serious fault of the elderly, and I think someway ought to be devised by law to avoid it being done.
I should like to grow old gracefully – no, placidly, and they are not synonymous. Not from a desire to fool the public about my age. Who cares how old I am, anyway? Besides it is a waste of time to lie about your age in your home town. There is always some old woman to tell on you. We all know her. She begins sternly “She is fifty-four, I remember she was born the August after my Benny in June and he was fifty-four the fourteenth.
Don’t take root in a place. All of us are familiar with a pathetic old mother grieving herself to death for her old home and old friends. The prospect of settling down for life sounds peaceful, but we are not masters of our own destiny and changes may come that make it imperative that a change be made. How much better to teach ourselves to be adaptable and enjoy the move than to go mooning around, making everyone miserable around us over the unavoidable.
If you want to be a healthy, happy old person, begin now to lay the foundations. The cheerful, resourceful aged are not sudden products – they developed slowly from youth.
You cannot be a glutton now and otherwise abuse your body and be a hale old person, anymore than you can make a cesspool of your mind now and have a sane, clean outlook in later years. Nor can you let your spiritual life fester with doubts and “isms” and meet death tranquilly.
Be tolerant of other’s ideas and opm1ons. Taboo religious arguments, or political differences . Among women don’t discuss age, weight, or diet! don’t reminisce about yourself. Don’t talk of the good old days – “Today is the best day the world has ever seen, tomorrow will be better”. Don’t express the idea that young people are fools and immoral – our grandmothers said the same of us.