Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Generations Link

I was browsing the net looking for anything history. What a surprise, right. I found an article from the Alexandria Gazette Packet dated Thursday, April 7, 2011. Author Michael Lee Pope wrote an interesting piece called The War Begun.

The piece itself was actually about Alexandria Gazette editor Edgar Snowden “who painfully wrote The War Begun” (Alexandria Gazette Packet 2011), in April of 1861. Author Pope wrote that “Snowden was obviously holding out for peace” (Alexandria Gazette Packet 2011). Pope carries the reader back to the start of the Civil War, describing what the author, Snowden, expressed through his written words just as war was breaking out.

Deep into the article, a paragraph beginning with “By Late April” Pope wrote” Federal authorities seized mail boats and communication between Alexandria and Washington ceased” It read, “Adams Express Company no longer carried goods across the Potomac” (Alexandria Gazette Packet 2011).

Ok, wait a minute, am I reading this right. Could I have stumbled across information that links directly to my 3rd Great Grandfather, Capt James Strider? Yes, I think so. Capt Strider’s obituary read that he lived in Alexandria all his life…clue 1. He was a driver of the mail and stage line between Alexandria and Washington…clue 2, and later the driver of one of the Adams Express wagons…clue 3. Then after the close of the war he worked for the Washington and Ohio Railroad…after the close of the war…Jackpot.

Pope said on April 27th Snowden wrote,”Honest laboring men are, everywhere, thrown out of employment” (Alexandria Gazette Packet 2011). My 3rd great granddad was out of a job like many others who resided in Alexandria. But that was the least of his problems, the war soon followed.

It’s a surreal feeling having read this particular piece so soon after reading his obituary and after writing, myself, that though Capt James Strider’s careers weren’t written in school textbooks his jobs were quite impressive.  Guess I wasn’t the only one who thought so since all communications were ceased and two writers generations apart kept the story alive.

Capt. James Strider 1820-1899

Reference: The Alexandria Gazette Packet, 2011,‘The War Begun.’ Alexandria is gripped by wartime fever as Fort Sumpter surrenders and Virginia secedes.  Michael Lee Pope, Thursday April 27, 2011, Retrieve September 26, 2011 from

Refrence:, Obituary from the Alexandria Gazette 4/15/1899, Death of Capt Strider, Retrieved from


Remember Them

A family tree can be large and those lucky enough to find records of a large group of ancestors, puzzle piece them together, read a history of where they were from, and watch as they come alive a feeling great satisfaction ensues.

In 1860 Edward S Taber and wife Mary E Taber, parents of Edward Luther Taber, and Betsey A Taber lived in Richmond, Washington, Rhode Island. Edward S was 23 his wife 26, something about those Taber men marrying older women, son Edward Luther was 6 and Betsey just ten months old. In their household lived Lydia Crandall age 26 and Eliza Biggs age 19. I haven’t a clue why they lived there, one of those things that drive one crazy when searching records, but I do believe Lydia Crandall is the sister of Hannah Crandall who married Edward S Taber’s brother Henry Taber.

Henry had a large household as well with wife Hannah Crandall and children Charles 7, Hannah A. 4, and Julia A. age 2. Nearby was Joseph Taber, wife Sally (Sarah Allen), and daughter Margaret. Joseph is Edward S and Henry’s brother.  Edward S, Henry,
and Joseph also had brother Varnum, and sister’s Abigail, and Emily. All were the children of Benjamin Taber and Mary Jordan.

Benjamin Taber also came from a large family which included sister’s Olive, and Abigail and brothers Constant, Gardner, and Joseph. Gardner married Betsey Larkins.  Joseph married Lydia Jordan whom I believe was Mary Jordan’s kin but have yet to find records that connect the two. Joseph and Lydia had sons Henry W Taber and George R Taber and as if it’s not hard enough to follow Henry W married Abby L Sprague and George married Hannah, maiden name unknown. George and Hannah had sons William O and Joseph and daughters Lydia, Mary, and Hannah.

The Tabers, Crandall’s, Church’s, Jordan’s, Sprague’s, Hay’s, Allen’s, Larkins Phillips, and Moons all lived close to one another and often appearing on the same census pages. All of which the Tabers married into and raised families. Of them, Phebe Moon lived next door to Edward S Taber and his wife Mary E Phillips prior to her marrying William O Taber.

William O Taber was Edward S Taber’s cousin who lived next door to Edward as well. Both Edward and William were age 23 in 1860, Edward married with two children and William O single until he married Phebe Moon the same year (1860). So tight a family they were, many are buried near each other in Wood River Cemetery, Rhode Island.

Their fore parents are Benjamin Taber Sr. and Mercy Hill as shown below. On the left Edward Luther descends from Edward S who descends from Benjamin and on the right William O descends from George who descends from Joseph, Benjamin Taber Jr.’s brother.

Benjamin Taber Sr.
1759-1839 and Mercy Hill 1757-1852

Benjamin Taber
Jr and Mary Jordan                (Brother)                        Joseph Taber and LydiaJordan

Edward S Taber
and Mary E Phillips                (Cousin)                          George R Taber and Hannah

Edward Luther
Taber and Isabella Hay          (Cousin)                         William O Taber and Phebe Moon

Edward S Taber and William O Taber, cousins, were both born in 1836 and lived close to each other and near other Tabers in Rhode Island. By the time each turned age 26, Edward with wife and two children, William O married just three years with so George R Taber (on the way), an order was called to enlist and organize the Rhode Island Seventh Regiment Volunteers to serve in the US Civil War. Edward S Taber joined the other volunteers from Company A at Camp Bliss in Providence Rhode Island. On September 10th 1862 they broke camp and headed for Washington DC. They enjoyed hospitality in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore before arriving to Washington DC on September 12, 1862. Edward S Taber and the rest of Company A camped in Falmouth, Virginia at Camp Mud and fought the battles of Fredericksburg on Dec 13, 14, 15, and 24nd.

William O Taber joined the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, Company G on March 17 1862, some five months before Edward joined. William O and Company G were at Falmouth, Virginia on December 17, 1862 where they engaged in battle. From there and before Company G fought their next battle in Chancellorsville, Virginia on May 3, 1863; William O Taber received a disability discharge at Falmouth on January 9 1863.

Their life stories hidden in records of long ago rich with details but absent of personal interactions, as so, it is unclear whether Edward and William saw each other in Falmouth, Virginia during the Civil War but they were very close. Perhaps through letters from home they learned of each others activities.  Cousins, whose families were waiting for their return.

Edward S Taber made it home to Rhode Island to wife Mary E Phillips, son Edward Luther and daughter Betsey A Taber sometime after 16 April 1863. William O Taber, who was discharged at Falmouth just three months prior to Edward’s return home,  died in Washington DC during the same month as he was discharged (January 1863). Records indicate that William survived the war. His death in Washington DC is baffling, perhaps the victim of disease.

William O Taber came home to his final resting place. His young wife, whom he had just married in 1860, Phebe Ann Moon, left widowed died in 1865 just two years after William O.

Young son George age  3, as I have just found birth records for him, lived until 1899. Turns out young George was born on 10 Septmeber 1862 the same day his father’s cousin Edward S Taber headed for battle. Father, William O Taber, was already gone when he was born.  A sick feeling from this news, young George may have never met his father.

Additional records show a George O Taber living with his uncle Joseph Taber in Rhode Island in 1885. George would have been about age 23 at the time. There is no record of young George ever being married, and there is no wife buried next to him and his parents at Wood River Cemetery.

Just below William, Phebe, and George’s gravesites Edward S Taber, who lived until 1904, wife Mary Phillips, his son Edward Luther Taber and his son’s wife Isabella Hay, and other family members rest in their burial plots. Cousins whose homesteads were close, whose battles in war were close, and in death lay near each other, forever connected.

In all wars remember and honor the dead, pray for those who battled and survived, and remember them as well.

Edward S Taber b. 1836 d. 1904 Civil War Veteran

William O Taber b. 1836 d. 1863 Civil War Veteran

I learned all this from a few US Census and Civil War records! If you haven’t explored your ancestry you’re missing out!

A Little Something Extra

In searching for people one descends access to the information others have can lead to interesting tales about family. I was adding records of ancestors at a fast speed not more than two weeks ago. Deep into the Strider family my heritage was coming to life. Virgie’s father, grandfather, and his sister, Virgie’s great Aunt’s fates were all written in the newspaper both sentimental and tragic were their stories and a little something extra.

Virgie’s father James Strider died from a terrible accident at work when he fell to his death from the roof of the Heurich’s Brewery building in Washington, District of Columbia when Virgie was 4 years of age. Virgie’s Grandfather James S Strider managed the funeral arrangements and buried his son in 1897. Grandfather James S. Strider just two years later was stricken with paralysis at his home at 308 North Pitt Street Alexandria, Virginia. He was 78 years of age and according to his obituary he was a warm friend, a gentleman, and a good citizen. They called him Captain James Strider.

Capt. James Strider lived and died in Alexandria Virginia. He was a driver of the old mail and stage line between Alexandria and Washington DC in his early years. He also drove the Adam’s Express Company’s wagon and at the close of the war (US Civil War) he was conductor at the Washington and Ohio Railroad, then ticket agent, and before death a flagman at King and Henry Street in Alexandria Virginia.

Though not written in school history books his careers (s) were quite impressive. He was a widow when he died, his wife Phoebe passed 1 Jun 1894. It was said severe shock to her system of watching her son, son-in law, and her daughter die led to her illness that left her invalid for a long period before she passed.  Capt. James Stride and wife Phoebe were both born in Maryland, too was the captain’s sister, Virgie’s great Aunt Eliza Strider Latham wife of Mayor Hugh Latham, and spy for the Confederates during the U.S. Civil War.

What? No one passed that tale down the generations! In 1860 Eliza Strider and husband Hugh Latham lived in Alexandria, Virginia in the order of visit for the US Census house/family number 809. There was no house or street number on the census but at this residence they also had the six members of the Strider family, including  James, John, and Phoebe Strider residing in the same house. Eliza and Hugh had children Alice age 17 and William age 12.

In 1863 a newspaper article read that Eliza Latham was caught with contraband and arrested. She was sent to the Old Capitol Prison in Washington DC by Provost Marshal Tait for attempting to pass letters and contraband goods through Federal lines. A family tree member at provided this information and added that Eliza ran messages for Col. Mosby and was captured on Route 7 at a tollbooth by Union Forces with a message to Col. Mosby sewn in her corset. Col. Mosby later raided the prison and freed Eliza.

Hot on the trail of the Striders I found all this information! Another interesting fact is that Eliza Strider Latham too was stricken by paralysis and died at her residence, after her stint in prison and spy career, her death very similar to that of her brother Capt. James Strider. The Old Capitol Prison no longer stands; currently the building that stands on this site is the United States Supreme Court Building. My obsession into the past, what will I find next?

Capt. James S Strider born 1820 in Maryland and died 15April 1899, he survived his wife Phoebe who passed in 1894 and son James Strider in 1897. The Captain’s sister Eliza Strider Latham born 1815 and died 20 Dec 1885.

The Bus Scene

When your child grows to independence and begins to make life choices, it isn’t always easy to stomach. Such was the case for Johanna Donahue Taber and Clara A. Nadolny Fogg. Little snips of stories has led me to believe the two weren’t happy about Howard Steven Taber and Clarissa Alwina Fogg’s union. Well after all what can one do about two young lovers sneaking over to Mohegan Park, in Norwich Connecticut exchanging kisses and planning futures.

Johanna (Granny “O”) was born in Massachusetts, her father to born there and his parents from Ireland. Johanna’s mother was born Ireland.  Clara was born in Connecticut and both her parents born in East Prussia, Germany. Both married men from England, Johanna and Edward, Clara and Harry Fogg. Not unusual but definitely interesting.

I met a woman from Germany and she explained to me that where she was from to call someone Prussian was a derogatory statement. She said people from Prussia were stuck up, stern, stoic, get the picture. Anyway, it was told to me that Clara was a mean one, very strict, and would tell the grandchildren to “Sit on the couch!” as soon as they entered the house.  Little pieces of the puzzle together paints a good picture sometimes.

Johanna and Clara had a huge disagreement about Howard and Clarissa’s relationship. Can’t know exactly what that was but on a Norwich, Connecticut Bus on an otherwise normal day for the bus driver Johanna and Clara met. Imagine getting on the same bus with someone you’re at war with! I don’t know who said the first word or what the spoken words were, or if they consistently spoke the English language, but when tempers fly and it involves the children look out bus driver!

The two burst into an argument that became so disruptive they were put off the bus! 1938 or about that year in the small today but large back then city of Norwich… rumors had to fly! Howard and Clarissa married and had eight children together with or without, and maybe with the blessings of both their mothers.  He bounced around jobs until he finally joined the United States Marines and relocated his family to Virginia.
How does one get the town talking…sneak off to Mohegan Park.

Clara A Nadolny Fogg born 1884 in Connecticut and died 16 April 1964, husband Harry Fogg born England in 1878 and died in Virginia after Clara passed in Connecticut and he moved in with his daughter and only child, Clarissa and her husband Howard. He was taken back to Connecticut to be buried with Clara.

Uncle Eddie

We learned a little about Johanna Donahue (Granny “O”) and Edward S Taber who lived in Norwich Connecticut, the parents of Howard S Taber. It’s difficult to touch the lives of people one has never known but fortunately the living can add life to some characters from the past. Such life stories are often missed when in group settings with random conversations dispersed throughout the crowd. One I caught hold of was that of Uncle Eddie, or as the family tree has it Edward R Taber. I’m not sure what type of disability Uncle Eddie had but it prevented him from living on his own. I was told he had childlike features about him throughout his adulthood. He was Johanna and Edward’s son, second to the last born.

Granny "O" and Uncle Eddie

It’s been said that Uncle Eddie was always by his mother’s side, yes that would be the loving and spoken dearly of Granny “O.” While the other children in order of birth Florence, Charles, Howard, Mary E, (Eddie) , and youngest Harry J. grew up and eventually left home in their adulthood,Uncle Eddie stayed home. Father Edward S Taber worked as a house painter and it is evident that Uncle Eddie spent most of his time with Granny “O” at 10 Garfield Ave, Norwich, Connecticut off Laurel Hill Road.

The Taber’s lived in this house from 1929 until sometime after Edward S Taber’s death in 1947. Life happened over the years, Florence married Howard Lee, Charles married Helen, wish I knew her maiden name, Howard married Clarissa Fogg, Mary married David Goepfert, Eddie stayed home of course, and Harry J never married but had a live in long term girlfriend, not just rumor, and he joined the military. Granny “O” was a widow by 1947.

The house on Garfield Ave was large and after husband Edward S Taber died, assumingly too much for Granny “O” to manage on her own. Harry J was still living at Garfield with her and Uncle Eddie when he wasn’t off with  his new career. He had enlisted in the Army on 16 Feb 1943 in Hartford, Connecticut right around age 19. Granny “O”, Uncle Eddie, and Harry J moved to New London, New London County, Connecticut with Florence, the oldest child, and her husband Howard Lee at 40 Squire Street. Harry J removed to Midway Pass to live with his girlfriend shortly after and  Uncle Eddie remained by Granny “O’s” side until her death in 1963.

A neighbor shared her memories of Uncle Eddie living at 40 Squire after Johanna died. Florence and Howard remained at the residence for some years and became Uncle Eddie’s guardians. Uncle Eddie had little side jobs, such as collecting neighbor’s trash and yard work, and left on a bus during the days. He never married nor lived on his own. But he had a great deal of love and likely was comforted by Granny “O” and Florence all his life.

Uncle Eddie

Edward R Taber (Uncle Eddie) born 2 Jan 1922 and died 2 Nov 1984 in Groton, Connecticut at age 62, loved and cared for by the strength of two women who hung in there until the end.

Virgie’s Husband

I remember when I first started searching for my grandfather’s
parents, William Gilbert Simpson and Virgie Marie Strider. I had few names to
go on but knew they were from Alexandria, Virginia. Doris Moriarty from
Florida, and Norman, Eugene, Janette, and Virgie were the only names I had remembered or was told were in the family. I started with a search for William Franklin Simpson (Bill) my grandfather who passed in 2001.

I searched for hours, obsessively, and then I found it…an
obituary from 1955. It read

“Suddenly, on Saturday, November 19, 1955 at his residence, 609 South Fairfax Street, Alexandria Va., William Gilbert Simpson, husband of Marie Virgie Simpson,
father of William F…”

At this point every little detail about this obituary was absorbed,
all other things happening around me drifted in the background. I found them! I
continued reading.

“…and Edwin C Simpson, Mrs. Janette Kidwell, and Mrs. Doris Moriarty,  brother of Norman, Eugene, and Clarence Simpson, Mrs. Fannie Ayer, Mrs. Laura Hardbower, , Mrs. Effie Bayliss, Mrs. Rena Shaney, Mrs. Marion Hardbower, and Margaret Leake. Friends may call the Demaine Funeral Home, 520 S Washington St. Alexandria Va, where services will be held on Tuesday November 22 at 2PM Interment Union Cemetery.”  

This one piece of evidence! An obituary provided enough
information to plug into my family tree that led me to generations of
knowledge. William Gilbert Simpson, who at age 22 married 17 year old Virgie
Marie Strider, she worked in a shoe factory, and he a laborer…at a florist?  Would have never guessed that one! But there he was on the 1910 US Census with his parents and all the brothers and sisters listed in his obituary.

By 1920 William and wife Virgie resided at 217 Gibbon St, Alexandria,
Virginia. He was a foreman at a shipping yard; she stayed home with three
children Jennett, Edwin, and Doris. By 1930 they resided at 609 South Fairfax
Street, Alexandria, Virginia. My grandfather, Bill was 7 years old. His father William
Gilbert was a Steele worker at Iron Works. Jennett was about 28 years of age
and had moved out if the household, likely had already married Kidwell. Edwin’s
name was shown as Charles Edwin Simpson on the census. Granddad, William and Virgie’s son had grown up to be at one time the most sought after bricklayer in Alexandria.
After his death he received a reward for his work on historical buildings in
Spotsylvania, Virginia. It is funny how a small ceremony and a certificate can
touch people’s hearts and send them searching for who they are.

William Gilbert Simpson born 10 Nov 1888 and died 19 Nov
1955 at his last residence, 609 South Fairfax St, Alexandria, Virginia. Husband
of Virgie Marie Strider, buried at Union Cemetery.