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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Society Saturday: National Society Daughters of the Union 1861-1865

The National Society Daughters of the Union 1861-1865 ( is a hereditary society which honors soldiers and patriots who supported the Union during the Civil War. The society was founded by Mrs. Frank Crowell on 9 October 1912. Women who are lineal or collateral descendants of a man or woman who provided military or civil service to the Union during the period from 1861 to 1865 are eligible for membership.

The Society's objectives are:
1. To honor the memory of the men and women who contributed toward the preservation of the Union during the Civil War, extending over the years 1861-1865
2.To foster a spirit of patriotism, loyalty and love of country
3. To uphold the honor of the Flag of the United States of America
4. To give financial aid to Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee

Today I attended the charter meeting of the  Private Joseph Bessette Chapter, which is currently being formed in the Butler, NJ area by Organizing Regent Jennifer Dowling Norato. I am one of the organizing members. New members are welcome!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Family Friends Friday: Malachi Reed

Malachi Reed was in a relationship with my aunt for many years. They were together while I was growing up. If they had been married, he would have been my uncle. Even if he technically was not a family member, he is definitely part of the family history.

Malachi was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 17 February 1948. He later lived in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He worked as a teacher at Lincoln Technical Institute and Camden City High School. He died on 21 November 2005.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thriller Thursday: Martha (Gower) Gatlin Struck By Electric Streetcar

Just before 3:00 PM on 28 May 1905, Martha Ann (Gower) Gatlin, the wife of my 3rd-great-grandfather's brother John G. Gatlin as well as my third cousin five times removed, decided to visit Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee after having dinner at the home of her nephew, Robert Page. She probably had dinner with his widow, children, and mother; Robert, the son of her husband John's sister Nancy, died in 1898. As she moved closer to the Fairfield line's track at the intersection of University and Washington Streets, a streetcar approached. Members of Richland Lodge, Junior Order United American Workmen were on board. As Martha crossed the track, the motorman rang his gong, but she did not appear to hear it. She was struck by the streetcar and thrown to the side of the street. She had been knocked unconscious, and was taken to her nephew's home. She died there at 5:27 PM.

Nashville American, 29 May 1905, page 8

Although the article in the Nashville American stated that she left no children, she had adopted a daughter, Minnie Gatlin (born Tennessee Reed), in 1874.

Martha was buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, by her husband John.

Nashville American, 30 May 1905, page 9

Nashville American, 30 May 1905, page 9

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday's Child: Emma Christina Anderson

Emma Christina Anderson, 2 June 1880. Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940 database, FamilySearch (, citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 5766, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,287,808.

Emma Christina Anderson was the second child of my 2nd-great-grandparents Andreas Troedsson/Andrew T. Anderson and Marthe Elisabeth  Erickson (Eriksdatter). She was born in Chicago, Illinois on 2 June 1880. She died in Chicago on 9 June 1881.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Semla or fastlagsbulle (Swedish), laskiaispulla (Finnish) or fastelavnsbolle (Danish and Norwegian), traditional roll, associated with Lent and especially Shrove Monday or Shrove Tuesday. 22 February 2012. Photo by poo [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday) is the Swedish name for Shrove Tuesday, the last day before the beginning of the Lenten fast. Buns called semla, fastlagsbullar, or fettisdagsbullar are traditionally eaten on this day. Since Swedes no longer observe a strict Lenten fast, semlor (plural of semla) are eaten every Tuesday between Fettisdagen and Easter. They are available in stores and bakeries shortly after Christmas. Swedish bakers sell 2 million semlor on Fettisdagen. The coffee shop Vette-Katten sells 14,000 semlor on Fettisdagen.

Semlor are cardamom spiced wheat buns which have had the tops cut off and the insides scooped out, and then are filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream and sugar. They may be eaten with coffee or tea, or submerged in bowls of warm milk.

Get to know the famous Semla!
The semla – more than just a bun
Shrove Tuesday (Fettisdagen)

Monday, February 8, 2016


Rosenmontag float, Köln, 2013. Photo by MatthiasKabel [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) is celebrated in German-speaking countries on the Monday before Ash Wednesday, which is February 8 this year. It is the highlight of Karneval, the pre-Lenten celebration. The day is traditionally celebrated with parades. The biggest parade is held in Köln (Cologne). Large parades are also held in Mainz and Düsseldorf. Parades can last three to five hours, and include large floats, marching bands, and local associations. Many of the floats make fun of politicians and news events, and can be controversial. Flowers and sweets are thrown to the spectators from the floats. Spectators often dress up in costumes.

Fasching and Karneval 
Karneval, Fastnacht und Fasching
Parade on Rose Monday 
Rose Monday Parade - Carnival Monday in Duesseldorf
Shrove Monday in Germany

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Thomas Burwell Ballow

Nashville American, 2 November 1904, page 6

   BALLOW–Tuesday at 7:05 p.m., Nov.1, 1904, at his residence, No. 13 Berrien street, Thomas B. Ballow, age 61 years.
   Prayers from the residence as above this (Wednesday) morning at 11 o'clock, Nov. 2, by Rev. J. B. Clark.
   The remains will be conveyed to the residence of his brother, W. L. Ballow, near Beechville, Tenn., where funeral services will be held to-morrow (Thursday) morning, at 10 o'clock, Nov. 3.
   Interment at family burial ground.
   Wiles & Karsch in charge.

Thomas Burwell Ballow was born in Tennessee on 29 December 1904. He was the son of Robert S. Ballow and Martha Ann Temple. He married Helen M. Ballow on 6 October 1870 in Williamson County, Tennessee. They had a daughter, Eugenia Temple Ballow (born 2 August 1871), and a son, Robert S. Ballow (born November 1879). He married my 2nd-great-grandfather's sister Sarah Jane Tarkington on 13 October 1885 in Davidson County, Tennessee. They had a son, Thomas Burwell Ballow (born 23 March 1895), and a daughter, Elizabeth Fort Ballow (born 2 October 1899). Thomas died in Nashville, Tennessee on 1 November 1904.