27 March 2005

Schneider Family

This week I had originally planned to be in Texas doing some research on my mother's family, the Schneider's. Our cousins from San Diego were planning to do a tour of the ancestral sites, starting with Frelsburg and Bastrop, then moving north to Windthorst. I was going to join them in Frelsburg, since it's not far from Houston and I could stay with Adam, but that would have required being away for a whole week. Things are pretty hectic at work, so it was less stress to just stay home. As it turns out, I was lucky I stayed put, as they never made it to Frelsburg. Aunt Anne has been fading pretty rapidly as the cancer takes it toll, so they started their trip in Windthorst to spend what time they could with her. Mom just told me they have found plenty to keep them occupied in that area. Tackling Frelsburg as well would have required one or two weeks.

When I first developed an interest in family history, there was not much to go on as far as the Schneider's were concerned. Grandpa and Aunt Anne always showed quite a disregard for past events. Plus their father had died when they were very young, severing any ties they may have had with the extended family. All I knew for certain was that my great-grandfather, Henry Schneider, had come to Windthorst with his sister's family (Minna Schneider Ordener) in 1894 from south Texas, and that he was born in 1867. So one day I went to the Florida archives and went through all the Schneiders in the 1870 census, looking for a family with a three-year old named Henry. Found Anna Schneider in Frelsburg as a single mother, and knew it was the right family because Henry had a sister named Minna who was two years older. Next step was to look in Frelsburg in 1860, hoping to find the name of the father by matching Anna and the older siblings. I found a Bernhard Schneider with children that fit, but the wife was named Clara and was ten years older instead of ten years younger. Found Bernhard again in the 1850 Census, and again the children matched, but the wife was Anna Clara and (again) was ten years older instead of younger. I knew I had the right family, as it would make sense for my grandfather, Bernard, to be named after his grandfather, Bernhard. I did not know what to make of the inconsistencies with the wives, however, and gradually deduced that he must have been married three times to women with similar names (I would later learn German Catholic naming customs can be very unimaginative, and the same is holding true for the French Catholics). A little while afterwards I found a book about Texas pioneers that had the whole thing spelled out, and was gratified to learn that I had essentially worked it out myself. Nice to see it confirmed though.

In 1996, Adam and Geoff were planning to go to New Orleans for Jazzfest, and I went with them with the intention of taking a jaunt out to Frelsburg before meeting up with them again on the second weekend. It turns out that Adam had wanted to see something of Texas, so we wound up on a 10 day road trip for research and much needed vacation. I'll save that story for a later post, with pictures if I can get my scanner going again.

25 March 2005

Schiavo Circus

I had not planned on adding my two cents to whole Schiavo circus, but something began to irritate me last night while watching the Daily Show. They showed a collage of pundits bashing Michael Schiavo, almost frothing at the mouth with hatred for the man. What struck me was the definite lack of research, or maybe it is that pundits seem to feel they no longer need to do research. Everything I have read about Schiavo from unbiased sources depict a man who did everything humanly possibly for Terry before he saw there was no other alternative. It takes a different kind of love, possibly an even stronger kind of love to make a decision like that.

If all journalists fall to the level of Robert Novack, you may certainly pull my plug.

Your Yankeetexan moment of zen: Jon Stewart's scream after reporting about the Texas law Bush signed that allowed the state to take a baby off life support because the parents couldn't pay.

12 March 2005

Royer Familiy History

I recently got in touch with my father again, and promised to send him the details of the family research I had made a breakthrough on. So here is the summary of the Royer/ Rogers family line I have finally finished, representing everything I have been able to find from Florida and free internet sources. Finding any more information will require traveling, or ordering records, but my head hurts from trying to read French, so I am taking a break for awhile.

I. Jean Royer
was born about 1636 to Jean Royer and Marie Paise at St. Cosme-de-Vair, in a small province of France known as Perche. Perche was originally the Silva Pertica, a large forest on the borders of the old Celtic centres of Sees, Evreux, Le Mans, and Chartres. The Percherons were often caught up in the medieval conflicts between the French and English kings as they fought over the territories south of Normandy. Current residents still retain a Percheron identity, though the old province had been split into four separate departments during the French Revolution.

Efforts to encourage emigration from Perche to the new colony of Quebec began in 1634, when Robert Giffard began to recruit settlers from his native province. Over the next thirty years, 146 Percherons tried their luck in the New World, ultimately accounting for 5% of the total colonists, but those that stayed proved to be very prolific. At the time of Jean Royer's birth, Quebec had a population of 132, 35 of whom were from Perche. In 1662, Pierre Boucher, the son of one the earlier Percheron settlers, came to France to encourage further settlement and succeeded in bringing a large group back with him. It is not known when Jean Royer arrived, but he appears to have anticipated this group, as he was already in Quebec as early 1661. The baptism of Marie-Madeline Baugis on 27 February 1662 reveals she was the natural daughter of Jean Royer and Madeline Dubois, wife of Michel Baugis.

Jean Royer was properly married at Chateau-Richer on 22 November 1663 to Marie Targer, one of the "Daughters of King." The "Daughters of the King" were French girls of various classes who were encouraged to emigrate to New France. Louis XIV paid for their transportation and provided them with a dowry. Marie Targer was the daughter of Daniel Targer and Louise Martin, and was born in the great port city of La Rochelle on 22 February 1642. Her family appears to have been Protestants, as she was baptized at the Calviniste Temple on 2 March 1642. Daniel Targer was listed as a Marinier, but it is unclear if this means he was a local bargeman, or perhaps one the sailors who frequently fished off the coasts of Canada. In any event, Marie's sister Elisabeth had left for Canada in 1659, and Marie followed her example in 1663, provided with a dowry of 150 livres.

Jean and Marie settled on the Ilse d'Orleans, the large island in the St. Lawrence river across from Quebec, residing in the township of St. Famille. They had six children there, but only four survived, and Jean himself died sometime after the burial of his youngest daughter on 4 March 1675. Marie was remarried to Robert Tourneroche on 17 February 1676, and had six more children by him. At some point they relocated to Beaumont, where Marie died sometime after 9 March 1712, and Robert died in May 1722.

II. Jean Royer was born at St. Famille (baptized 6 November 1671), and married Catherine-Marguerite Dumont 10 October 1694 at Chateau Genaple. Catherine was the daughter of Julien Dumont dit Lafleur and Catherine Topsan. Julien Dumont was born in 1648 at Bernieres-le-Patry, Normandy, the son of Jacques Dumont and Marie Maubert. He joined the French army at an early age, and received his nickname of La Fleur during his traditional recruitment hazing and was known officially by this name during his service. He was part of the Maximy Company of the Carignan regiment, which arrived in Quebec on 12 September 1665 to counter the Iroquois threat. Julien elected to be discharged from the army in order to receive a land grant at St. Jean on the Isle d'Orleans in 1667. He married Catherine Topsan, a "Daughter of the King" at Quebec City on 2 November 1667, and they raised seven children on the Isle d'Orleans. Catherine died about December 1693, and Julien married Marie Madeline Tourneroche on 19 October 1694, the same day his daughter married Jean Royer, and they raised ten more children. They moved to La Durantaye about 1702, and Julien died there on 17 May 1715.

III. Augustin Royer was born at St. Jean on 12 July 1703. He married Angelique Pepin dit Lachance (born 1711) at St. Jean on 26 May 1732. Angelique died at St. Jean on 26 January 1790, and Augustin died there on 19 May 1790.

IV. Joseph Royer was born about 1734. He married first Genevieve Therrien at St. Jean on 20 January 1755, and second to Therese Turgeon at St. Charles de Bellechasse on 13 August 1781. He died in St. Jean on 19 August 1821.

V. Jean-Baptiste Royer was born at St. Charles on 14 October 1762. He married first Marie Lepage at St. Michel on 2 July 1786, and second to Marguerite Lacroix at St. Michel on 30 August 1802.

VI. Pierre Royer was born at St. Michel about 1795. He married first Angele Pouliot at St. Charles on 25 September 1821, and second to Marguerite Couture at St. Charles on 15 November 1825.

VII. Barthelemi Royer about 1844, possibly at St.Charles. He married first Marie Malvina Laflamme at St. Gervais on 13 September 1864, and second to Marie Gourgue at St. Germaine on 6 November 1894. According to the 1881 Census of Canada, he was a farmer at Buckland West, in Dorchester County, Quebec.

VIII. Ferdinand Royer was born about 1877. He emigrated to America about 1885 (as stated by the 1910 Census). It is unknown at this time how many of his family came with him, or if he came alone. If he came alone, it was at a very young age, and we can see above that his father remarried in Canada in 1894, when Ferdinand was about seventeen. It is most likely that Barthelemi emigrated, but returned to Canada, and Ferdinand was old enough to decide to stay in Amesbury and work in a shoe factory. He was married on 15 December 1897 in Newburyport to Eve Dionne, daughter of Eli Dionne and Celina Cauoette, who worked at a spinning mill in Amesbury. He appears to have changed his name to Rogers sometime after his marriage.

Ferdinand and Eve Rogers have not been located in the 1900 Census, but they appear in the 1910 Census for Newburyport as Frederick and Eva Rogers, leading me to assume Ferdinand Sr. also went by Fred. If this is our man, the Census taker must have misinterpreted the names. Otherwise, everything else fits. They are the only Rogers couple with a son named Fred of the right age. Fred Sr. was working out as a farm laborer, and he and Eva had 8 children, but only six lived to 1910, Beatrice, Lorranna?, Frederick Jr., Eva, Rose, and Wilfred.

The 1920 Census finds them in Haverhill, Mass., with Fred working as a coal teamster, and his brother-in-law, David Dionne, working in a shoe factory. Fred and Eva have 9 children still living at home, Fred Jr., Rose (both working in a shoe factory), Willard, Victorine?, James D., Olive, Paul A. and Edmond or Edward.

IX. Ferdinand Philip "Fred" Rogers was born 25 November 1902 at 1 Ship Street, Newburyport. He was living with his parents in Haverhill in 1920 and working in a shoe factory. The 1930 Census places him as a private at Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont, and he was probably a trooper in the Third Cavalry. He married Bernice Evelyn Dow about 1939 and worked a series of odd jobs, usually driving large trucks, until their divorce about 1946. After this, nothing more is known of Fred.

11 March 2005

A Day in the Life of Joe Republican

I found this while browsing through DailyKos. Apparently it's an email that's been making its way around. Please enjoy

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that his in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

07 March 2005

Sherry was supposed to be in the paper today, but apparently her quotes were not used. She works for DJJ, and one of the programs they sponsored was to paint cell walls a certain shade of pink to reduce prison violence. Apparently, a particular shade of pink has a noticeable calming effect, and many skeptics have been amazed at the results. The story is here:


The current DJJ head is a Republican, of course, but has been getting praise from the Democrats as well. He was the man the TV show "The Commish" was modeled on, and has not been afraid to take on new ideas. Many Bush appointees tend to ignore facts that conflict with their ideology, and I have heard numerous stories from state employees about how reports have to be rewritten because the conclusions don't match the party platform. The Commish proves it doesn't have to be this way.