First, what I managed to do in April:  I finished the new family tree for the wedding that will happen the end of May.  Yay!!  I learn something each time I do one of these.  And I get distracted by trying to find the family tree image I want to be able to create: I think it would look like a bow-tie chart except the very middle would be the new couple not a child, with then the groom’s and bride’s families expanding out on each side.  I also want to figure out a way to make something like this visually appealing and keep thinking of scrapbooking as one possibility.  Or learning enough computer graphics programing to make my own bow-tie report that could be filled in with any group of people.  Five years ago, Janet Hvorka’s site for family charts included an option to make your own and save it as a pdf (so only 8.5 x 11 but you could include graphic backgrounds and save the tree information).  This is no longer available which is too bad for me.  I had managed (for the first family wedding that I wanted to do it for) to create just such a bow-tie and save it on a decorative tree background.

In May I want to:

1.  combine the timelines a cousin and I are working on of where the various family lines were living from the time they each emigrated to the U.S.  We’ve each done work on our own family lines, but want to combine them.  These are lines where various siblings and cousins migrated and lived near each other.  With any luck we’ll get a good list and be able to create a map showing each family’s locations across time.

2.  listen to all of the audiobook version of Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land which Judy gave good reviews.

3.  begin to pull together the items I want to look for in Salt Lake City.  Judy and I are seriously planning a trip to the Family History Library in the Fall.  So I need to create lists and tables of what is most easily available there rather than online.  This will of course be an ongoing project until we actually go, but including it here will get me started.

In Massachusetts we are celebrating Patriots’ Day today.  It is a holiday celebrating the battles of Lexington and Concord which took place on April 19 in 1775.  So I have been thinking about my patriot ancestors and decided to write about the first one I knew about:  Oliver Snow.

Oliver was born in March 1748 by the Julian calendar or 1749 by  the Gregorian.  Since England and her colonies were still using the Julian calendar for many events, up to 1752, his birth is often given as 1748/49.  He was the first-born of Oliver and Elizabeth Phillips Snow, who lived in Ashford, Connecticut.  His father (Oliver), grandfather (Samuel), and great-grandfather (known as Lieutenant Samuel) had been in Ashford from about 1725, although the family had deep roots in Woburn, Massachusetts Bay Colony..   Lieutenant Samuel and his son Samuel first bought land in Ashford in 1724 and moved their families there.

I have written some before about Oliver (here) after a road trip with my sister to Becket, Massachusetts.  Oliver migrated north and west as a young man to Becket, Massachusetts Bay.  He married Rebecca Wadsworth on July 4, 1771 there, at age 22.  In April 1777 he and his brother Asa enlisted as privates in Capt. Peter Porter’s Company, Col. Benjamin Simonds (Berkshire Co.) regiment serving for 25 days and being discharged in May 1777.  In July he again enlisted, this time in Capt. Porter’s Co., Col. John Brown’s (Berkshire Co.) regiment and served for 7 days. 1  Oliver was 28 years old and the father of 2 when he enlisted.

Over their marriage, Oliver and Rebecca had 6 children together in 13 years.  Rebecca died ten days after the birth of her namesake daughter, in May 1784.  Although I have looked, I have not found a grave site for her, or a headstone, and there may not be a stone.  Soon after her death Oliver married Roxylane Taylor; he had 6 children under the age of 9 and needed a mother for them.  I have not yet found a marriage record for them.  He and Roxylane moved from Becket to Tyringham about 1797 based on the birth of their last two children in Tyringham in 1798 (twins Alvirus and Lucina).  They lived in Tyringham for a number of years.

In the early 1800s Oliver’s oldest children started moving West.  Oliver’s oldest son, also Oliver, moved to Mantua, Ohio which was part of the Connecticut Western Reserve.  In the fall of 1806, Franklin and his wife Lydia (my ancestors) followed.  Several of the others followed a bit later and reportedly in 1822 Oliver and Roxylane too followed.  Oliver bought land in Auburn Corners, Geauga, Ohio and at about age 73 built a house and settled in.  There he and Roxylane lived out the rest of their lives.  She died in 1836 and he died in 1841.  Both are buried in the Shadyside Cemetery and can be found on here.    Since they were born and died before photography was available, these are the only pictures I know of that represent them.



Once again this is going to be short and sweet.  I accomplished at least one of my tasks for March: I wrote about a female relative, although it wasn’t my Aunt Susan but instead I switched to my husband’s line and wrote about one of his cousins.  Since I’ve wanted to pull together my information about her this was a good change for me to make.

I got the first page of the William Denman will cleaned up, and discovered that on going back to the original handwriting I was better able to decipher much of it.  I haven’t managed to get the rest of it done yet but I have hopes for April.

I have gotten the wedding family tree pretty much done – at least as much as I’m going to do for this round.  I still need to figure out how to present it.  I’m still seeking a way to do a couple’s bowtie chart that let’s me put the couple at the center with their wedding date and shows each side for 3-4 generations back.  The catch is that I want to do it myself and not have to send the information off to a pay site and wait for the finished product to come back.  I want something I can use in a sharable CD with the rest of the information that I’ve collected.  Yes, I am being very particular about what I want!

So, April will be primarily devoted to getting this project finished and in its presentation state.  Organizing my files is also on my list, so if there is any spare time, or down time when I need something different to do, that is what I’ll be focusing on.

Sophie was born in December 1909 in SyracuseLevine, Sophie - 1926 - HS picture in yearbook-crop-crop to Chaneh (Harry) Levine and his wife Rachel (Rose) Katz Levine.  I have written briefly about this family earlier (here).  Although they had started out in Syracuse, where Harry’s siblings had settled, they moved to Detroit sometime in the early 1910s.  The family was still enumerated in Syracuse for the 1910 census, but there are city directory listings for Detroit showing a Harry Levine boarding with others from 1909.  He may have traveled back and forth for some period of time, figuring out where to move the family to and gaining work.  Of course, there was more than one Harry Levine in the Detroit directories for that time period, so he may have stayed in Syracuse until the whole family moved.

By the 1920 census the family was all together in Detroit and stayed there for the rest of Harry’s life and through Sophie’s education.  She graduated from high school in 1926 and then worked for several years to earn enough money to go to college.  She told me that she went to the University of Michigan and graduated with a degree in biochemistry.  The 1930 census shows her as a 19 year old, living at home and working as a lab technician at a “sanatorium”.  It is possible that this was a TB sanatorium.  Although she talked disparagingly about her father in her late years, her interest in the sciences may well have come from him.  She described him as liking to read a lot and much of it about science.  By 1940 she had graduated from college (I haven’t yet found a record for her college career), was again living at home and was reported to be working in a clinic as a bacteriologist.

I think she told me that she had met her future husband, Eduardo Mayea, at the University at some point.  He was a Cuban diplomat from before Castro’s time, and must have been the consul in Detroit during those years.  They married in 1946, and sometime shortly thereafter were posted to San Francisco.  They lived in San Francisco, then Spain, and finally Paris.  I was interested to discover that Sophie traveled on her husband’s passport and citizenship.  Since he was a citizen of Cuba, and in the U.S. as a diplomat, there would have been no question of his naturalizing.  I have not yet discovered whether she was required to give up her citizenship legally or whether she did/had to because of his diplomatic status.

In the Fall of 1961, they decided that they could no longer support the Castro regime and defected.  Eduardo was dishonorably discharged by the Cuban government for his relations with the U.S.  Sophie and Eduardo returned to the U.S, and spent some time in Detroit, probably to see Sophie’s siblings and mother.  They then moved to Miami in the mid 1960s and Eduardo became a U.S. citizen in 1967.  He then prepared to take on a role for the United Nations in Ecuador.  The sad end to their marriage was that he suffered a stroke while they were flying to his new post, and he died in June 1968.

Eduardo was buried in Michigan and Sophie moved back to the Detroit area, to live with her older sister who was also a widow.  They lived together for the rest of Mary’s life.  Sophie lived another 31 years remaining active socially and politically until just before her death in December 2012 after her 103d birthday.


I’m running behind (February is a short month!) and struggling with cabin-fever, snow anxiety and cold-nose syndrome.  So this is going to be short.  (To get started, I have to go back up my computer files: it’s the first of a new month already!)

1.  I will clean up and finalize the Denman will transcript.

2.  I will make a draft of the wedding family tree with the pictures I now have.  I will start a plan of how the final sharable-CD will look.

3.  I will write at least one short sketch of one of my female ancestors in honor of  Women’s History Month.  I’m thinking about my great aunt Susan who was a nurse and served in WWI.

4.  If I need more to do (!) I will start transcribing the Michael Marten will.

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