Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Henry Marton Bergeron

Henry Marton Bergeron (1889-1918), standing on right, son of Francis X. Bergeron and Mary Elizabeth Reinwand. Photographed during his time of service during WWI, Henry died during the influenza pandemic, his infant daughter having died of the same three weeks prior to Henry's death.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Leland Keith Bergeron

Born on St Patrick's Day 1924, today would have marked the 86th birthday of my uncle, Leland Keith Bergeron. He died much too soon at the age of 41 of a heart attack.

Copyright (c) Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fearless Females: March 6 - Heirloom

Whether or not the grandchildren were allowed to roam around in my grandmother's bedroom, it is one of my many memories of time spent at Grandpa Charlie and Grandma Bergeron's. We never called my grandma by her first name, Mildred, and to me she was always Gram.

Her bedroom was on the second floor of their two story home at 103 10th Avenue in Antigo Wisconsin. At the top of the stairs was a open area with a double bed, a buffet outside of Gram's room and a large radio/photograph where I recall listening to a scratchy 78 rpm record of Thumbelina (yes, I can still recite the story and sing the happy little tune). At the far end was a small storage area created when the staircase was closed off and relocated to the front of the house, and two bedrooms, one of which served as a guest room. Hanging on the wall in the guest room was a certificate, signed by President Franklin Roosevelt, expressing thanks on behalf of the country for the sacrifice made by my uncle, Earle Bergeron, in service to his country. Thinking about it now, I wonder why this token of appreciation was in the guest room and not in either of my grandparent's rooms.

Grams's room wasn't very big: a bed, a dresser, an overstuffed chair in a deep shade of indigo blue and a dressing table with a mirror. There were two windows that looked out the front of the house down Aurora Street and the other looking west over the alley. Other than the times when my cousins and I were playing hide-and-go-seek when we would steel ourselves to hide in Gram's closet (it was situated behind a wall and therefore very dark and scary), my memory of her room is that of quiet sadness. I have written about my uncle Earle on several occasions; his death at the age of 20, two months and one day short of his 21st birthday, had a profound affect on our family.

When Gram died in April 1968 and Grandpa Charlie decided to sell the house and move to Minneapolis, I was asked if there was anything special that I wanted of Gram's. Without hesitation I said I would like to have her jewelry box. When I was given a white covered jewelry box, I was crestfallen. What I wanted was the glass sided box that sat on her dressing table next to a photo of Uncle Earle dressed in his flight helmet and goggles. Inside was a photograph taken of Earle in the front yard of the home on 10th Ave. I thought the box was 'lost to me' until I discovered that my mother had the box. When I told her how glad I was it was still in the family, she presented it to me.

The box now sits on my dresser; the photograph of Earle that once was inside the box is now framed. My Dad shared that this photograph of Earle was on his last day of his leave before heading to North Carolina to begin the long trip overseas. The photo that is now inside the box is one of Earle at Fort Kelly, TX, when he was attending flight training as part of the federal program that created the "Flying Sergeants."

Thank you to Lisa Alzo for Day #6 for today's blogging prompt.

Copyright (c) Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fearless Females: Going To The Chapel

Day #4 of Fearless Females, thanks to Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog, asks the following: Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

I wonder what our ancestors would think if, once they had gotten over the astonishment of television, they watched an episode of Bridezilla not to mention the power of advertising behind DeBeer's campaign to create the diamond engagement ring.  What has become of the wedding of the new millennium? And having a third party plan your wedding? As we said in the 60s and 70s ... we've come a long way, baby!

I've shared my maternal grandparent's wedding photo on an previous post and for today's prompt I couldn't decide which of my great-grandparent's to feature but a coin toss made the decision for me.

The last entry in the above photo is the entry from St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Anoka, MN, recording the marriage of Francis Xavier Bergeron and Mary Elizabeth Reinwand, my father's paternal grandparents. Translated from French to English the document reads: A.D. 1886 die. Oct 26 joined in matrimony S.R.E. Francis Bergeron and Mary Reinwand, witnesses Gulidimus Stack and Julia Reinwand. Officiating Wm. Brennan

Francis and Mary remained in the Ham Lake/Anoka area for their entire lives raising a family of eight children; my grandfather Charles Edward Bergeron was their first born. They buried four of their children as a result of the flu pandemic of the early 1900s and would raise several grandchildren either as a result of death or divorce. I can't imagine they ever spent any part of their life without children to raise and support.

While I don't have a wedding photograph, I do have a photograph commemorating Francis and Mary's 65th wedding anniversary, thanks to the generosity of a distant cousin who is the Keeper Of Everything in her family.

From the November 4, 1948, issue of the Anoka Herald is the following article, found on Page 1:

F.X. Bergerons Feted on 65th Anniversary

Mr. and Mrs. F. X. Bergeron were guests of honor at an open house at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Myrtle Spohn, Sunday afternoon in celebration of their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. Their anniversary fell on October 26, but the celebration was held on Sunday so that more would be able to attend.

The refreshment table was centered with a lovely bouquet of rose and white chrysanthemums, a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Swanson of Burns and an attractive cake with sixty-five tiny colored candles on it was also a feature of the table appointments. The cake was made by Mrs. Armand Faubert of Minneapolis. The Fauberts were former neighbors of Mr. and Mrs. Bergeron near Crooked Lake and were among those present for the celebration. A delicious lunch was served and the remainder of the time was spent in visiting.

Mr. Bergeron was born in East Dayton June 10, 1863, and Mrs. Bergeron in Michigan on September 15, 1864. Both were brought to Anoka township by their parents when very young. Mrs. Bergeron was the former Mary Reinwand and she was two years old when she came to Crooked Lake. Mr. Bergeron was three years old when his parents moved to what is now the Crain Home near WCCO.

Mr. and Mrs. Bergeron were married in St. Stephens church, Anoka, October 26, 1883, and have lived in Anoka and Anoka township ever since. Eight children were born to this union of which four, Marie, Ethel, Henry and Frank, died some years ago. The other four, with their families, were all present. They were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bergeron and Carol of Antigo, Wis.; Mr. and Mrs. Fritz Campbell and sons of Minneapolis; Mr. and Mrs. Earl Bergeron and Gregory of Crooked Lake. Grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many friends also called during the afternoon.

The honored couple receive many gifts along with the best wishes of all. Mr. and Mrs. Bergeron are loved and respected by all who know them and they have a host of friends who wish them well.

Copyright (c) 2010 Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fearless Females: Nancy Ann Stone Space

Today's blogging prompt to celebrate Women's History Month is: Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

While there are several women in my family who have been named in honor of a relative or family friend, I am pleased to say I am the first Cynthia in my family. I have located women who share my name in collateral lines, but in my direct line - I am the first. My middle name, Jane, is courtesy of my maternal grandfather, Harley Space. My grandfather had a fondness for calling little girls Janey. According to my parents, this was the reason for my middle name.

In yesterday's posting I mentioned that the name Sarah Etta was a favorite in my Space family line. My maternal grandmother, Alma Loretta Polar Space, was named after her mother's sister, Alma. My paternal grandfather came from a long line of French Canadian's who were fond of naming patterns - Charles, Nelson, Francis Xavier, Edward, Henry, Jean Baptist - it's enough to cause a meltdown when trying to untangle them all.

The honor of the most unique female first name belongs to my great-grandmother Nancy Ann Stone Space. Grandma Nancy, born June 1854 in Spirit, Wisconsin, was the mother of my mother's father. Shown in the above photo in 1925 with two of her grandchildren, Nancy was the youngest of three children born to Isaac Stone and his Native American wife, who we only know as "Elizabeth". Elizabeth died shortly after Nancy's birth but Isaac managed to continue his logging and trading business while making sure Nancy and her two older brothers, Alvin and Langley, attended school in Jenny, WI (later became the city of Merrill). The family also felt strong ties to the area that became the Lac du Flambeau Reservation where their mother was raised.

Nancy was a very strong willed woman - she had her own horse and buggy and was fond of going off 'to visit.' For many years my mother and her cousins speculated where it was that Grandma Nancy would go. The answer to that question came when I stumbled on an 1896 census for Lac du Flambeau that listed Nancy Space and her children as 'residents'. When the reservation was formed, Nancy wanted to insure that her children would continue to have their right as members of the Lac du Flambeau tribe. It became obvious that her 'visits' consisted of Nancy returning to the reservation during the times when the census was being taken.

Listed alongside the listing of Nancy Space, is the name Equi-sins. The people at the George Brown Ojibwe Museum and Cultural Center at Lac du Flambeau tell me Equi-sins translates as Little Girl. Another common name for Equi-sins? Janey. Maybe I have a namesake after all.

Copyright (c) 2010 Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski

Wordless Wednesday: Snowstorm Snowy Owl

Every now and again, the photography gods smile on you - this was one of those times. While out birding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula with my husband Al and son Chris, we were engulfed in a lake effect snow storm complete with 30 mph winds adding to the challenges of photographing a wary subject. After spotting this female Snowy on a fence post, she flew across a field, landing at the maximum range of  my lens. Sideways snow, a white subject in a white-out and yet, somehow, the shutter tripped in mid-wingbeat.

Copyright (c) 2010 Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fearless Females: Sarah Etta Space McCord

Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has created a series of daily blogging prompts in honor of Women's History Month, which kicked off yesterday, March 1st.

Today's blogging prompt: Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select the photo?

For today's post, I selected a photograph of my great-great- aunt, Sarah Etta Space. Youngest child, and the only daughter, of Zephaniah Allen Space and Margaretta Ann Shankle, Sarah Etta was born 13 May 1853 in New Bethlehem, Clarion county, PA. When she and her brother, Allen, were children, the family immigrated to northern Wisconsin and became one of the pioneer families who settled the village of Jenny, which later became the city of Merrill.

Sarah Etta appears to have been named after her mother's sister, Sarah, and follows a naming pattern with her middle name of Etta. In the Space family, she was always known as Aunt Etta; something that almost derailed a budding genealogist 20+ years ago until I realized Sarah Space and Aunt Etta were one in the same.

This photograph was taken during the time when Sarah and her husband, Myron Hawley McCord were living in Phoenix, Arizonia. Myron, newspaper publisher, lumber baron and politician, had been named as the governer of the Arizona territory. I find it amusing when reading court transcripts that the "First Lady" was known for raising and selling chickens and eggs. Prior to her marriage, Sarah was known for her travels from Jenny to Big Bull Falls (later Wausau), a distance of over 20 miles, to pick up the mail and bring it back to the post office situated in Zeph's hotel, The Eagle House. Sarah Etta made the trip alone on horseback over Indian trails along the Wisconsin River.

I chose this photograph because I see a strong resemblence to my grandfather: the set of the mouth and the auburn hair. By the time this photograph was taken, Sarah's life was not what it appeared to be: there were questions about the legality of the divorce Myron obtained from his first wife, scandal involving Myron's lumber dealings back in Wisconsin, the appointment of Myron as warden in a prison in Arizona and always nearby, Myron's long-time mistress, Mary Emma Winslow.

Sarah Etta died at the age of 50 of a heart ailment. Which isn't surprising.


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