Linking the Generations
Deceased relative I was named after: Elizabeth Ann Stewart (maternal great grandmother)
How did you come to be in the last Oklahoma Land Run?
What was the day like when everyone lined up and they fired the gun?
Did you ride in the wagon with baby Fannie?
Tell me about your first year on the prairie.
When did you move to Tonkawa proper?
What did you wish for Fannie’s future?
I heard you had eleven kids? How many were with you on the run?
Tell me about your childhood.
Did you have a happy, fulfilling life? If not, why not? If so, what was good about it?
Did your husband really have the livery stable?
What did you wish would change for women?
What would you say to your great, great grandchildren?
Write down the name of a deceased relative who you may have been named after, or who you may have heard stories or “legends” about when you were growing up.
Now that my mother and father are both dead I do realize that I did not really know too much about them, their lives, their history, their thoughts and beliefs. They did not leave much behind. The historic “legends” of my family revolve around my father’s side and one relative who came over to the United States and got established and gradually brought over other family members.
Imagine that you could go back in time for several hours and meet that person and talk to them. What questions would you want to ask them about themselves and their lives? What information about your relative would you like to carry with you when you return to the present?
I would like to know about their day-to-day lives and what the general times were like. What motivated their actions and their level of satisfaction at how things worked out.
Write down the name of a deceased relative who you might have been named after. Imagine that you could go back in time and meet that person and ask them questions. What would they be?
I am named after my father’s father: Morris (Chichinitsky) Chase. In the Ashkenazi Jewish traditions you name someone after a person who has passed away. Every sibling of my father has a girl child named with an M name – My father Sam named me Marian; Martin named his daughter Margie, Louie named his daughter Marcia, and Izzie named his daughter Martha!
What do I know about him? Very little. From genealogical research this is what I have found out: Father: Israel Chase (about 1853-July 8,1923) Mother: Naomi Chamcha (about 1853-December 11,1917) Name: Moishe Labe Chichitnisky. US name: Morris Chase. Birth: 10 January 1873 Berdichev, Kiev, Russia. Immigration: 14 June 1907 Departed Glascow, Scotland Immigration 25 June 1907 SS Laurentine, Boston Ma. Naturalization: 26 May 1917 Cert. 719769 US Dic Ct R.I. Education: Unknown. Occupation: Tinsmith, radiator repair. Death 25 Sept 1937 cancer of pancreas, age 60 yrs 9 months, prop. Chase Metal Body Works, res 150 Pembroke, Providence. Burial Lincoln Park, Warwick RI Area 24 What Cheer Section
Marriage: Fannie Hookman in Berdichev before 1899
It is interesting that I never remember my father talking about his father to me. I remember his youngest brother, Uncle Dick, telling me some stories but unfortunately what he told me is packed up in some box in the basement marked family history.
What I remember: Moishe was a tinsmith in Kiev. I have two tiny wine cups – Kiddish cups – made out of silver that a now deceased cousin told me that he made and gave to her. She was the second oldest of his grandchilden and spent time sleeping over their house. He must have been affluent in Beredichev because I have a beautiful gold bracelet that belonged to my grandmother which was made in Russia and brought over by her. She gave it to my mother since she was the wife of the oldest son.
The immigration story that I heard was that his oldest sister was married to a man with the last name of Broadman. He went to the United States, worked, brought over his wife. This was in the 1890’s. She missed her family so her husband brought over her parent and then each of the brothers. My grandfather, and three of their children including my father came over to Boston on June 25th, 1907. They settled in Providence since that is where the relatives were. My grandfather got a job making head lights or repairing them on the first automobiles. He eventually opened up his own shop repairing automobile radiators. My father quit school when he was 13 (about 1913) to work with him. Uncle Dick says that they weren’t religious. They needed to keep the shop open on Saturdays for business and didn’t attend shul.
However, he said that his father came home on Friday afternoon and washed the floors before the Sabbath.
At some time, he left Providence and moved to Columbus, Ohio because his wife was lonely for her sister who lived there. He was unhappy there and missed his brothers and then moved back to Providence. When he came back, he opened up Chase’s Autobody works with three of his sons. That was the family business for decades. He died of cancer of the pancreas in 1937. I don’t know anything else about him.
So what would I ask him?
The years in Russia –
What was their life like? his parents? Where did they live? What did they do? What was his education? How did he get to be a tinsmith? What was life like for the Jews? How did he meet his wife? Where were they married? What was their life like? Describe the way he earned his living? What was life like for my grandmother with three little boys. When did he make the little silver cups that I have? When did he buy my grandmother the gold bracelet? How did he afford it? How did he communicate with his sister in the United States? How did they come to the United States? Who paid for the passage? I heard stories of families having to escape in the straw of wagons? What that their experience?
The voyage to the United States: How was it? Accommodations? Food? Health? Wife and three young children?
The early years in the United States : How did he earn his living? Find the first jobs? Learn English?
What were his religious practices?
Tell about the progression of houses? Where did they live? Why did they pick those areas?
The later years : The move to Columbus – when, where and why; The move back to Providence The establishment of Chase’s Autobody works
What were his values? How did he demonstrate them?
Family ties and closeness: Tell about your brothers and the family
How do you measure the success of the family
Your role in the family – “Uncle Dick says you were the organizer of the family seders”
Tell about your own family and six sons
What was his relationship like in his marriage?
Uncle Dick says that you used to come home on Friday afternoon and scrub the floors before Sabbath. Is that true?
What religious observances did you follow?
Uncle Dick said that you get the shop open on Saturdays since that was a busy day for you and as a result you didn’t go to services or observe the Sabbath.
Uncle Dick said that you used to try to make wine for Passover and it always turned to vinegar. Comments?
What was he most proud of?
What was his greatest disappointment?
What were his hopes for his children?
I want to carry all the answers to the future. Of course there is no one left of my grandfather or my father’s generation to ask.
Maybe i should ask my children what they would want to know about me.
My paternal grandparents were Oliver and Elizabeth Hatfield Downs. I remember that Grandpa was known far and wide in his area as a self taught veterinarian and was often called to neighbors homes to treat sick animals or help deliver calves or colts. I know that Grandma was a good cook, always had a clean house, and could sew well. They celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary and they died in the same year several years later. They were the parents of eight children, five boys and three girls. All of their children married and had families of their own and I still have a few first cousins left on the paternal side of my family.
My paternal great grandparents were William Downs and Mary Thompson Downs and I know very little about them. He was born in 1820 and came to Illinois from Kentucky and Mary Thompson was born in 1829. I do not know where they are buried.
My maternal grandparents were John and Margaret Lawler Spates and Grandpa died when I was too young to remember him. Grandma lived to be 94 and I remember how hard of hearing she was, so you really couldn’t carry on a conversation with her. However, she always lived at home, did her housework and meal preparation and took care of herself.
My maternal great grandparents were Noah and Ann Juett Spates. I knew that they were buried in a small cemetery in the county in which I lived. I have gone to that cemetery many times, but always found it in disarray, monuments on the ground, weeds as high as my shoulders and almost impossible to search. Four months ago, my nephew was visiting me and said he would like to drive by that cemetery which we did. Much to my surprise the grounds had been mowed
And there right in plain site were the original monuments of Noah and Ann Spates standing on sturdy bases. The monuments although quite old are in good condition and one can easily read the names, dates and other information. Ann’s monument is beautiful with the word “FAREWELL” at the top and two clasped hands in a handshake under the word. I later learned that a lady, who had been named trustee of the township where that cemetery is located, considered one of her most important duties was to restore the cemeteries.
Grandma Spates had four sons and two daughters. I have no first cousins on the maternal side of my family. However, I do have second cousins with whom I have close friendships