Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Tug

The Tug.


A Hobby, A Heritage


Mary E Taber was born in Rhode Island in 1917 to parents Edward S Taber b. RI and Johanna Donahue b. Mass. By age thirteen Mary and parents relocated to 10 Garfield Ave just off Laurel Hill Rd. and across from the old American Thermos Bottling Company (AmTBCo) in Norwich Connecticut. Her father Edward a painter, her mother kept house.

Ten years later in 1936 Mary E Taber still lived at home on Garfield at age 19. She was employed at the AmTBCo as an assembler. This information was found on the 1936 Price and Lee City Directory.  The information transcribed in city directories of earlier days gave a wealth of information. Not only did I find Mary worked at the AmTBCo in 1936, I also found she married David Goepfert a man of German heritage, in 1939. The Price and Lee City Directory simply printed “Mary E married David Goepfert.” She wasn’t listed as living in the same household with her parents, she likely moved on with her new husband David.

Charles Taber b. 1914 in RI, one of Mary’s brothers, also worked at the AmTBCo and lived at 44 Bentley Ave just around the corner from his and Mary’s parents Edward and Johanna.  Mary and husband David lived at 40 Bentley in 1948, and then at 44 Bentley Ave.  in 1949. It seems Charles Taber and his wife Helen, Mary Taber and her husband David Goepfert lived at the same address. Charles, Helen, David, and Mary all worked at the AmTBCo.

Mary and David had two daughters, Mary and Patricia. Mary’s brother, Howard S Taber a US Marine met and married Clarissa Alwina Fogg, of their children they had first born Barbara Taber who married Steve Collins and had an only son who currently lives in Virginia. Mary was Barbara’s aunt, her father’s sister. Now Mary’s husband David Goepfert gave Steve Collins a handgun, an antique, to Steve Collins who then gave the gun to his son, Barbara’s only child, Bruce.

Searching one’s family tree can introduce many questions, like mine, who is the boy on the porch with me at age one and my great grandmother Johanna. That boy turned out to be Barbara Taber Collins’ only son Bruce. He was a couple of years older than me and we were in New London, New London, Connecticut at 40 Squire Street when the picture was taken in 1962/1963. Where is he now? We lost track of him. This set the motion for the hunt of Bruce. My aunts and uncle made some contacts, phone calls, sent some letters and checked with the courthouse.

On January 15, 2012 me, my mother, and my aunt went to Bruce’s house. He invited us in! He seems to have a vivid memory of the family he hadn’t seen in years and shared what he remembered with us, including that fact that my uncle Chuck use to beat him up. He asked, “Who is David Goepfert?” We said, “Your great Aunt’s husband.” He told us about the gun his father Steve gave to him who had gotten it from David Goepfert.

This is how we found out about the gun. Remarkable, even more remarkable is that Bruce’s’ hobby is with guns, antiques, and aligning them to perfection. A trade his and my 2nd great grandfather August (us) Nadolny b. in Prussia, had while living at 111 North Street, Norwich, Connecticut in 1910. August Nadolny was also German. He was the father of Clara Nadolny, Clarissa Alwina Foggs mother who married Harry Fogg. Clarissa Alwina Fogg Taber’s grandfather.

David Goepfert died on 21 Dec 1963, family sources say of cancer. This was the same year Johanna Donahue Taber died, near the time me and Bruce posed for the picture on the front porch.  Mary Taber Goepfert passed on 1 Aug 1971. Charles had a heart attack in a bathroom at the old AmTBCo and died on 10 November 1975. Thermos on the Thames is what they call the building now after it was transformed into condos.

A family tree is priceless. One fascinating fact is how trades or hobby’s can be passed down the tree without ever having met the ancestor before with the same likes or skills. Painters, bricklayers, factory assemblers, farmers, etc., skills passed down through generations, or a love for something as unique as an old man working in a pistol shop in 1910, a gun maker, who’s talent was passed onto a 2nd great grandson who today has a passion and a hobby for guns and an antique handgun passed down through the family.

August Nadolny’s last residence known was in Norwich Connecticut at 111 North St. Anna his wife was still living at the address in 1930 at age 70. August was listed in the 1920 United States Census at age 59 with his wife Anna, but wasn’t in the 1930 US Census indicating he died sometime between 1920 and 1930. Through research I found that August and Anna Nadolny where buried at Yantic Cemetery in Connecticut, along with some other ancestors.

A trip this spring will hopefully reveal August and Anna’s actual death year when I visit the cemetery. He and his parents were born in East Prussia around 1861. On 23 Oct 1896 August petitioned to the United States District Court of Common Pleas in Connecticut for Naturalization. He arrived to the US in 1880 according to the 1900 census, and 1881 in the 1920 census, he was 20 and his wife Anna was 18, Mary E Taber Goepfert’s grandparents from her mother’s side.

Benjamin Taber’s wife Mary Jordan

The struggle to find where Benjamin Taber   b. 1794 and Mary Jordan his wife were buried is ongoing. However, the little leaves on have popped up, through which I have found the following information on Mary Jordan my fifth generation grandmother from Coventry, Rhode Island and her family.

Now Mary married Benjamin Taber who was from Sterling, Windham, Connecticut. They had son Edward S Taber, Civil War Veteran, who had son Edward Luther Taber, the painter, who had son Edward S Taber, the painter, and then son Howard Taber, USMC, my grandfather from my mother’s side.

Let’s get back to Mary Jordan Taber, to my amazement after having difficulty finding information on Mary; her family tree begins with Edward Jordan (1585-1634) and Elizabeth Broughton (1584-1637) both from England who together had son Robert Jordan who married Miss Cokers. They together had son Reverend Robert Jordan who married Sarah Winters the only daughter/child of John and Joan Broaden Winters.

Reverend Robert Jordan married Sarah Winters on Richmond’s Island and at the death of Sarah’s father, John Winters, Reverend Robert Jordan was made administer of his estate.

Reverend Robert Jordan became one of the great land proprietors and a wealthy man. He sold the property of Trelawney and moved to the mainland on Mr. John Winter’s estate. The plantation was named Spurwink. At the time the land was Falmouth and then after named Cape Elizabeth. He was one of the pioneers of Episcopacy of Maine. Like many others Reverend Jordan was compelled to leave Spurwink due to the Indians. He left in a hurry and left many of his papers behind. He then settled on the Great Island which was New Castle, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Source: The Jordan memorial : family records of the Rev. Robert Jordan, and his descendants in America [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

Original data: Jordan, Tristram Frost,. The Jordan memorial : family recordsof the Rev. Robert Jordan, and his descendants in America. unknown: unknown, 1882.

Reverend Robert Jordan and Sarah Winters had son Jedediah Jordan in Cumberland, Cape Elizabeth, Maine in 1664. He married Abigail Gardiner, b.1660 also from Cape Elizabeth. Jedediah died in 1735 and Abigail in 1686, he in Kittery, York, Maine, and she in Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire.

Jedediah Jordan had son Robert Jordan b. 1704 in Kittery, York, Maine. He married first Rorahama Abbey and had daughter Sarah Jordan. Robert Jordan married second Rachel Huckins b. Dec 1707 in Dover, Stafford, New Hampshire. Her parents were Robert Huckins b. 12 December 1672 at Oster River, New Hampshire and Welthen Thomas b. 1674. Robert Huckin’s parents were James Huckins b. 1644 in Dover b. 1654, and Sarah Burnham, both from Dover, New Hampshire. They married in 1685. Sarah’s parents were Robert Burnham and Francis Hill. James Huckin’s father was also named Robert, wife unknown at this time.

History is fantastic and for those who foolishly call it uninteresting here’s a good story from the past.  Mary Jordan’s great-great grandfather on her great grandmother’s side had a garrison-house on Oster River settlement in New Hampshire where they were ambushed by Indians in 1689. Eighteen men were killed by the Indians as they worked in the fields. They were all buried under a mound that still existed in 1910. After the Indians killed the eighteen they attacked the garrison- house where two boys, one of which was Robert Huckins, and some women and other children defended their homestead. The Indians set fire to the roof but promised to spare the lives of all in the house. Yet, they killed three or four of the children and had carried away the rest including Robert Huckins who escaped the next day.

I can almost hear Mary Jordan Taber my grandmother from five generations ago tell this family story to her children and grandchildren, that her great-great grandfather was captured but escaped after the Indians killed most his family members.

Story found on source: Robert Huckins of the Dover Combination and some of his Descendants; A Reprint with Corrections and Considerable Additions Including One More Generation, Maps and Indexes of the Article Bearing this Subtitle published in The New England Historical Society and Genealogical Register 1913-1915.

So, Robert Jordan married Rachel Huckins whose father fought and escaped the attack by the Indians and together they had son Edmond Jordan Sr. b. 1729 in Spurwink, Cape Elizabeth, Maine. He married Lydia Parker b. 14 April 1731 in Coventry, Kent, Rhode Island. Both died in Coventry, he on 3 June 1811, and she in 1810. Together they had son Edmond Jordan Jr. b. 15 March 1758 in Scituate, Providence, Rhode Island.

This Edmond Jordan Jr. married Elizabeth Greene b. 14 March 1756 in Exeter, Rhode Island. They both died in Coventry, he on 5 June 1835 and she on 15 January 1839. They are the parents of Mary Jordan b. 1797 and died in Coventry, Rhode Island. Mary married Benjamin Taber from Sterling, Windham Connecticut. Robert and Rachel Huckins Jordan, Mary’s grandparents didn’t live to see Mary and Benjamin wed on 4 March 1814 but father and mother, Edmond and Elizabeth, were alive and living in Coventry were the marriage took place (Marriage Source; Vital records of RI 1st series, birth, marriage, deaths, a family registry for the people).

Generations starting 1585-1982

Edward Jordan-Elizabeth Broughton

Robert Jordan-Sarah Winter

Jedediah Jordan-Abigail Gardiner

Robert Jordan-Rachel Huckins

Edmond Jordan-Lydia Parker

Edmond Jordan-Elizabeth Greene

Mary Jordan-Benjamin Taber: Where are they buried?

Edward S Taber-Mary Phillips

Edward Luther Taber-Isabella Hay

Edward S Taber-Johanna Donahue

Howard S Taber-Clarissa Fogg