Monthly Archives: October 2011



Odd I don’t know how the link above got there but ok that’s fine. I’ll be over at NaNoWriMo from Nov 1 to 30.


A Month of Dreaming

…and writing as much as I can to meet the 50,000 words within the 30 day timeframe. I hadn’t planned on this and wouldn’t have remembered if it weren’t for reading the posts of many here on WordPress. I have decided to give my ancestry blog/research a break and join thousands of people in the quest to finish a novel in a month.

Like others I will try and let go of the editor in me and focus on just getting the story out. I have an idea for a story, been noting how I want the story to present, but do I have a well planned outline…goodness no. I’m not going to create one either. In fact the most I will do as far as planning goes is to note on a daily bases, or not, where I want the story to go as I’m meeting the 1667 words a day.

Most of my preparing for the month of November is not of the actual story writing but on how I will find the time to peck away at my key board on a daily bases. So in preparation I’ve been going to bed earlier because my planned writing time will be from 4 AM to 7AM when everyone else is sleeping, before my full time job , and after 8 hours of sleep.

So I’ll join many others on November 1st but instead of a well thought out outline I’ll write freely and attempt to just let the story flow each morning and if none of it makes sense in the end well shoot its just a first draft, I’ll revise later. This may teach me a lesson on overthinking everything.


The Nadolny’s

August Adolf Nadolny was born on March 1861 and according to the 1900 and 1910 US Census he was born in Germany. August married Anna Fisher in Germany, actually Prussia and together they came to the US, he in 1880 and her in 1862 or 1861 the two census each give a different year. In June of 1884 they had their first child Clara A Nadolny, their second child Amelia was born in May of 1887 and their son Arthur Nadolny June of 1890. They resided in Norwich, Connecticut at 111 North Street. They were recorded on the US census in 1900 as living at the same address. August was working as a “file hardner” and oldest daughter Clara in a wire mill. Her siblings Amelia and Arthur were too young to work.

Ten years later the family had remained at 111 North Street. August was a gun maker in a pistol shop at age 50 and his daughter Clara was still at the wire mill, braiding. Amelia was no longer at home with her parents, perhaps married, and Arthur at age 20 was working as a carpenter in a shop. My living relatives don’t remember Amelia or Arthur, their great aunt and uncle. They also don’t remember their great grandparents August and Anna Nadolny.  I thought maybe they would remember Arthur.

Arthur was born on 30 January 1890 in Connecticut. He lived and passed away in Norwich. He signed both World War I (1917) and World War II (1942) draft cards. The first when he lived with his parents and the second when he resided at 481 Bank Street with wife Eva. In 1917 he was exempted from service due to a weak heart. He was employed as a chauffeur. In 1942 at age 52 he was employed at the US Finishing Co in Greenville, Norwich, Connecticut.

Arthur and Eva remained in Norwich. Together they had son Arthur A Nadolny Jr. Arthur Sr died on 8 April 1969 at age 79. His son Arthur Jr was living at 180 Laurel Hill Ave., Norwich, Connecticut in 1982. His telephone number was 889-8271. Amazing right there on Laurel Hill. Arthur Jr was my mother’s cousin. She and her siblings do not remember him. I will return to Laurel Hill. Perhaps Arthur Jr had children of his own.

Maybe it isn’t odd that my living relatives don’t remember the Nadolny’s. They were young when they moved to Virginia with parents Howard Taber and wife Clarissa Fogg, Clara Nadolny’s daughter. But they were right there with the rest of the family and I assume buried somewhere in Connecticut where I will find their graves.

Remembering Nona and Sadie

My living relatives from my mother’s side told me about two women they shared memories of from their childhood, Aunt “Nona’ and Aunt “Sadie.”  I began searching for the two and found Nora V Donohue living with Johanna Donahue Taber and husband Edward Taber. She was documented as the sister-in-law of Edward Taber and was a nurse at a private hospital. Also living in the household was Charles Donahue, Johanna’s father.

I was excited that I found this information, but who was Sadie? Well I have decided that Sadie is Sarah Donahue since many Sarah’s were called Sadie. Finding records has been nearly impossible. In 1920 Charles Donahue, Johanna, Nora, and Sarah’s father worked at a cotton mill, he was widowed. I have had a difficult time finding records on Charles’ wife. Her name has been hard to find much less track.

This morning I found… finally… Johanna, Nora V, and Sarah on the same census page living in the same household with mother Florence Donahue. Also there was Charles Donahue, Florence’s’ son. They were living at 1 Wall Street in Westerly Town of Washington, Rhode Island. It is a fantastic find and other Tabers including Isabella Hay Taber from Scotland, Johanna’s mother-in-law lived in the same area. Could this Florence Donahue be my 3rd great grandmother? By the way I was told that Donahue spoken sounds like “Dona-hay” not “Dona-who.”

So Florence worked in a cotton mill as did Johanna and Nora. She was age 55 in 1910. If I have this right Florence died before 1920, because Charles, her would be husband was a widow in 1920. This also brings to question where Charles was in 1910 and what happened to Charles Jr? As researching goes this will take some digging! But it is the closets I’ve come to finding the history of Johanna born in Massachusetts as her father Charles was, his parents born in Ireland as was his wife and her parents.

This all started with, “I remember Aunt Nona and Aunt Sadie.”

The Foggs

Our heritage reaches England, Scotland, Prussia (Germany), and Ireland, and wherever else I haven’t explored, and records from overseas can be a little intimidating. I have access but learning about the family before arriving to the US is a huge undertaking, especially since I haven’t completed the histories of them here in the US.

I’ve learned from census records that William and Sarah (Mumford) Fogg where both born in England, he in 1861 and she 1860, as well as their son Harry Fogg born 1876, my great-grandfather. Harry Fogg is the husband of Clara Nadolny and both are the parents of Clarissa Alwina Fogg my mother’s mother.

Harry and parents arrived to the U.S. in 1883 when he was just age 7. By 1889 Harry shared his childhood with brothers George and John and sister Mary E Fogg. Harry was 13 at the time his youngest sibling John was born. In 1900 Harry and family lived in Norwich, Connecticut.  Harry was 24. He and father William both worked in a woolen mill, Harry as a sorter and father William as a finisher.

There are two 1900 U.S. Census records for Harry Fogg. One is from his residence on June 11, 1900 and the other is record of the William Backus Hospital on June 9, 1900. where Harry was a patient that day. Recorded on that page was his immigration year 1883, his birth date Jan. 1876, his age 24, and his employment as a wool sorter the same as his home records documented on the 11th of June, 1900. What wasn’t documented on the census was Harry’s address, however, on the hospital record it revealed the street name of his residence…Yantic Ct, Norwich, Connecticut.

Harry hadn’t married his future wife Clara Nadolny until about 1915, in fact by 1910 the family relocated to Holyoke, Hampden, Massachusetts on Maple Street. Harry was age 35. He was a wool sorter in Holyoke and his father, my great, great-grandfather was a “weigher,” also at the woolen mill. It is unclear what inspired the family to move to Holyoke, perhaps employment, what is also unclear is how Harry managed to marry Clara after he had moved away.

Clara was born in Connecticut in June of 1884 after her parents August and Annie Nadolny arrived from Prussia. In 1900 Clara was age 16 and worked at a wire mill, ok so it doesn’t seem as though Harry and Clara met at work. By 1910 Clara Nadolny and family were still living in Norwich, Connecticut. Clara at age 26 was working in a wire mill, ten years same employment. I have read that working in these mills introduced hard long hours for very low pay.

In 1920 Harry, Clara and daughter Alwina (Clarissa) Fogg at age 5 appear on the census living in Barre, Worcester, Massachusetts. Harry was 42 and Clara 35. Harry married Clara despite the distance between them. The three relocated back to Norwich, Connecticut by 1930. Harry was age 54, Clara 45, and young Clarissa Alwina Fogg 16. Harry was working in a cotton mill, Clara remained home to keep house, and Clarissa was at school.

The story of Harry and Clara Fogg could be a pick of many. My version is that in 1900 when Harry was 24 and Clara 16 both lived in Norwich, Connecticut. They knew each other from that time and later married even though Harry had moved away to Holyoke, Massachusetts. The two moved back to Norwich after having daughter Clarissa. Soon after relocating to Norwich, daughter Clarissa began her courtship with future husband Howard Taber.

Reccomended Reading

Weaving in Yorkshire, Maggie Land Blanck Retrieved on October 23, 2011

Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, WikipediA Retreived on October 23, 2011

Abandoned Mills: A Paradox of Opportunity and Danger, N.Y. Times By JANE GORDON Published: January 8, 2006, Published: January 8, 2006, retrieved October 23, 2011

Endless Searching

I’ve been missing in the blog world lately but not from the world of ancestry records. Hours and pages of the United States Census records from 1880 through 1920 just about sent me to another world. The world of fiction. Yes, I’m thinking about the fiction world as the National Novel Writing Month nears. I haven’t decided as of yet to enter. I thought I would commit to a Post a Day here on WordPress but didn’t have the focus since I’ve been back in time, in Alexandria, Virginia.

My mission is to settle my heart and curiosity once and for all. The current records I have on Virgie Marie Strider Simpson, my great grandmother, does not satisfy my ideal of factual evidence. Basically I’m not happy until everything adds up to be absolutely connected without any variables making my fact finding and my story of relatives impossible, or untrue.

As of now I have Virgie  as the daughter of James Strider, the son of Capt. James Strider. But an obituary of junior states that he left a young bride but no children in 1897. Odd, Virgie was born in 1893. This bit of information has sent me to search the census of all Simpsons, Striders, Wells, Beaches’, Schoeni’s, Padgettes, and any other surname related to Virgie.

I have to find the missing link of Virgie’s past. She was a Strider before marrying my great grandfather. So I have been intruding in all the Strider’s, and other households from 1880 until 1920. I will find the answer. She first appeared in 1910 as Marie Wells, living in the household of her grandparents, Jos W and Mary Beach.  Then ten years later, 1910, as Marie Strider at age 16, with stepfather Henry T Barden.

Her mother Mary J also lived in both residences, first as wife of Clarence Wells and in 1910 as wife of Henry Barden. It wasn’t unusual back then for young girls to marry early but Virgie would have been four years old when James Strider died. This leads me to assume there was a third James Strider a son of the James who fell off the roof. Maybe.

Most records haven’t lead to such a mystery for me. Sometimes its a good idea to back away, search another ancestor, take a break, or escape the real and sink into fiction. Depends on how long I want to be nagged by the question, did Virgie marry very young, at 16 to another man before my great grandfather?

Back to Back Mysteries

The other day as I was preparing to write another blog and connecting with family members then I messed around and did it again. I have no idea where that expression comes from. Anyway, I found there was something amiss in my tree. Really, again! I have been in the 1880’s for a couple of days trying to sort things out. This is going to take some time. A mystery indeed and it involves Virgie Marie Strider my great grandmother…again. That’s where I’ve been hiding.  I’ll carry on!

Something else has come up. I mentioned before that I was in Connecticut looking into some roots. A group of us took pictures of old homesteads. Well it seems we got a picture of who my Aunts and Uncle says is Granny “O.” She died in 1963. While we were in her old home my family said they saw her face in a mirror hung low on a brick fireplace mantle.

Ok, I didn’t pay attention to that conversation while we were there. I was in happy mode! This is one of those things people can’t explain and some who believe in spirits
swear is true. The following picture was taken on that same day in the same house where my family says they saw Granny “O.”

Granny "O's" Home!

I took many pictures that day and this is the only one that came out like this. I haven’t hit the Halloween spirit yet and this is no joke. If you believe, you’re probably convinced that Granny ”O” was in that house with us and appeared on my Aunt’s face. If your skeptic, you may have already left this blog! For me, I can’t prove that it is Granny “O.” But that also means I can’t prove it isn’t. If it was I hope she jumped in one of our pockets and came home with us…I’m not kidding.


Dreams have a way of keeping the unfamiliar familiar. My father died when I was just five years old. I spent many years in my youth reliving the same nightmare…a man walking toward me with no face. Oh I was afraid and even more so when I woke. But then again I found solace in two memories of my father.

I was told not to play in the wood pile. I took a fall face first into the nail and as I walked with the board stuck to my head I remember hearing a male’s voice, “Linda, hold her!”  Linda is my mother. The instant I felt my mother’s hands grab my waist from behind I saw his arms and the board was on the ground. Dad had pulled it away so fast I hadn’t time to know it was about to happen. I was embraced by his large arms. I never saw his face.

The second is of me crying in a white basinet. It was storming outside. I was an infant. I know how could I remember that far back, but the thing is I do. My father’s hands reached down to pick me up. Again I didn’t see his face. I cannot explain how I know it was my father I just do.  Maybe one day more of the five years I had with him will return in my dreams or memories, but for right now Daddy saved me twice when I was little. That’s my story.

William Franklin Simpson Jr 1942-1966