“Those we love don’t go away.
They walk beside us every day…unseen, unheard, but always near…
still loved, still missed, and very dear.”
Miss you, Mom
Katharine Taff O’Neill (1925-2003) was my mother-in-law. She was one of those rare special people who come and go in your life. Having never met me until a few days before I married her son, she was able to embrace me and make me feel a part of her wild and crazy little family. I could probably write a book about her. But, I thought I would let me son do the writing this week. When he was in 3rd grade he had to write a paper about the life of one of his relatives. He chose Kate. Below is the paper he wrote:
A Spoiled Child
By Graham – written in Spring 2000.
“My Grandma, Katharine Taff O’Neill, was born May 8, 1925 in Philadelphia. She was the only child in her family. The house she grew up in was a 3 story rowhouse. Next door to her lived her Uncle. Her Uncle had 6 boys. She was a spoiled child. In elementary school she was taught by nuns in a parochial school. She liked the subjects of history, reading and math. She remembers when she was little going to Atlantic City to walk on the boardwalk, swim at the beach and play in the amusement park. They did not have sunscreen back then. She also remembers traveling to Boston to visit relatives.
My grandmother went to an all girls high school called Little Flower. She tried out for choir and she made it. She also had to study hard. She enjoyed hanging out with her friends, Anna and Jeannie. They liked to go to parties and movies together. She doesn’t communicate with them anymore because they have passed away.
She didn’t go to college because her mother couldn’t afford to send her. She got married in 1952 at the age of 27 to my grandpa, William Francis O’Neill. She raised three boys, which was the joy of her life. My dad, Bill, was one child, Uncle Dave was another. Uncle Donald was born a couple of years later in 1963 when my dad was in the 4th grade. My grandma worked in a department store, Wanamakers, and she enjoyed meeting and helping people.
My grandma is now 74 years of age. She is kind and nice to everyone. I like to visit here in Philadelphia. She lives with my funny Uncle Donald. She stays at home now because she has been sick.
My grandma enjoys seeing me and spending time with me. She is very loving to me and everyone else. I really like my grandma. My grandma is nice to everyone she knows.”
This post is the first in a series of posts about my ancestors. Amy Johnson Crow issued this genealogical challenge (to write about one ancestor each week for 52 weeks) on her blog No Story Too Small. Having accepted the challenge here is my first post!
Perry Stewart was my second great grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born October 9, 1845 in Washington Township where his father, David Stewart, was a farmer. By 1860 the family had moved to Paris, Illinois where Perry and his older brother, Marion, helped their father with the family farm. After the Civil War broke out and Perry had turned 19, he enlisted in the 66th Illinois Infantry, Company E, on February 4, 1864 as a Private. This company was part of the Atlanta Campaign under Major General William T. Sherman who was charged with preventing the Confederate troops from moving northward. After capturing Atlanta, these same units proceeded on the March to the Sea and the capture of Savannah. In May 1865 the 66th was part of the Grand Review in Washington, DC and later Perry was mustered out on 7/12/1865. He met Mary Ettie Guthrie and they were married in 1873. They continued to live in Paris, Illinois and raised 11 children. Perry worked as a farmer and also in a cigar store. Around 1911 he was admitted to the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, in Milwaukee. He remained there for 8 years. After 1911 Perry and Ettie both listed themselves on census records as either widowed or divorced. Perry left Milwaukee in 1919 and proceeded to Oakland, California where he died on November 24, 1924. His remains were returned to Paris, Illinois for burial.
Here it is..two years since I went “public” with my blog. There were some periods of time when I didn’t post at all…some periods of time when I posted every day. The main thing is that I never completely stopped posting…so here I still am two years later.
For those of you who have visited my blog…thank you! Over the last few years, I have met and become acquainted with so many others who share my interest in genealogy. I have also met a number of cousins through this blog and my website. For that, I am extremely grateful!
Here’s too many more posts to come! Cheers!
Continuing series from the Facebook group called The Book of Me, Written by You about an interesting writing project created by Julie at Anglers Rest which will suggest a writing prompt every week for 15 months.
Our second prompt is:“Your birth –
I was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico at 6 a.m on October 16, 1954 . My sister is 2 minutes older than I am…therefore I am “Baby B”! When we were born we had two older brothers. They were 4 and 2 years old. My mother knew something was different about this pregnancy…she was huge…but in those days, at her age, there were no ultrasounds and the doctor did not want to use X-ray. The story goes that the doctor could only hear one heartbeat…so he pulled my father aside and told him that one of two things would happen…either it was twins and one was dead or that this was a large deformed baby. What horrible news to hear! Luckily my Dad did not share this evaluation with my mom. As it turned out we apparently were lying on top of each other in the womb and that is why no second heartbeat. My Dad said the evening my mom’s water broke she was standing over a floor heat register. When she called his name he looked up at her and steam was rising up and surrounding her. We were small at birth and spent the first week or so in the hospital. I know my mom was glad to finally get us home. I still have the hospital baby bracelets. Two pink beaded bracelets with Pyatt A and Pyatt B beaded into them.
Yesterday I heard about and joined a Facebook group called The Book of Me, Written by You about an interesting writing project created by Julie Goucher at Anglers Rest which will suggest a writing prompt every week for 15 months.
The first prompt is:
“Ask yourself 20 times “Who are you?”
Each time you should give yourself a different answer. This prompt is about how YOU see YOU.”
I am Kathi – with an “i” and not a “y” I am a wife – 33 years and going strong I am a mother – wonderful 22-year-old son I am a sibling – 2 brothers and 2 sisters I am a twin – to one of those sisters I am a family historian I am a computer geek – found my passion in the 80’s and still loving it I am a blogger I am a gardener – mostly successful I am a puzzle solver I am a sewing addict – made my own wedding dress I am a traveler, cruiser – love those cruises I am retired I am a pet lover – especially our beagle, Rascal I am a friend I am a good listener I am a workout fanatic – try to workout 6 days a week I am a good cook – one reason I have to workout so much! I am a morning person – if it’s not done by noon, probably won’t get done I am OCD when it comes to fingerprints on my iPad!
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