Friday, December 28, 2012

Old Dame and Her Pig an Ancient Tale

I was doing a little sidetracking the other day and came across an old, tattered and somewhat dirty child's story book. I don't remember ever seeing this book before, or maybe I never really gave it much thought when I did. All I know is I found it tucked between a couple other very old books I had in my "keepsake" cabinet. 
There is no title page with a copyright, date, or publisher. The book is very fragile. It has a sewn binding. It also looks like it may have had a harder cover at sometime before. The book is not complete either. The flyer on the wall behind the "old dame" says "Old Nurses Little Library" I have no idea what that means. [On "googling" it seems as though there was a 1868 book which compiled many stories which could have been where my book came from. Just a guess.]

I turned the first page and – this time – took notice it belonged to my grandfather William Dennis Porteous. The words "willie dinnis Portus [h]is book" is actually written in a purple ink. [h] I added to show he had dropped the "h" because that is how English people talked. The spelling of PORTUS was how my great grandfather wrote his surname. The PORTEOUS spelling was first seen being used after they settled in Lake County, Illinois in the 1870s.
Inside the first page is "willie dinnis Portus is book." "His" is spelled phonetically as "is." It was written in purple ink over erased pencil words possibly of the previous owner.

I looked a little closer and I think it was written over another name. I tried to make out what was erased and all I can really make out is the last work as BOOK. So I think it belonged to another earlier on.

Not knowing when or where my book came from, there was a clue on the first page...the words "crooked sixpence" confirmed my suspicions this book was from England. Could my tattered little book have been brought over in 1870 when my grandfather came to America with his parents and siblings? William was three years old. Was he a little too young to read or hear a story like this? Could it have been his older sister's? It was possibly written about 1847. Could it have been my great grandfather John's childhood book. John was born in 1841, he would have been six years old. Would six be the right age to hear this story? 

My PORTAS family are from Lincolnshire, England. There were windmills in many towns...not so many now, but you can still see a few. In a couple illustrations you can see windmills which leads me to think the illustrator could have been from Lincs. They are in both my tattered book and the one below. 

I scanned that inside signature at 1900 dpi hoping (in Photoshop) I could "pull" out the back writing. No success. Will I ever know who the previous owner of willie's book was? I can only guess.


Because my little tattered book was missing almost half of the story (ended at the butcher page), I decided to look on the internet for any information on this story or if someone else had a book like mine. I found many versions of this tale. I found several images of complete books, but none looked exactly like mine. 

I found one closest to mine. It is on the University of California's "California Digital Library" on the Internet Archive website <http://archive.org/details/ancientstoryofol00leigiala> and can be viewed online or downloaded

The illustrations in this book are a little more detailed, but are so close to being the same as mine I would think both book's illustrations were by the same person; I don't know which book is the older.

The author is John Leighton (1822-1912), publisher was London: David Bogue, Fleet St. It is no longer in copyright. According to the website: 
The ancient story of the old dame and her pig: a legend of obstinacy shewing how it cost the old lady a world of trouble & the pig his tail ([1847]). 
I'm not sure if it would be a story our children would hear at bedtime in today's world. They can't compare to the violence and gore our kids see on tv and movies today. To me, well, I like these old tales. I have always loved fairy tales and nursery rhymes, too. There is always a "moral to the story." I hope you enjoy this old tale and remember back in England in 1847 stories had a little odd side to them.
The cover page is more elaborate and if you look carefully at the illustration, there are many
whimsical items tucked in and around. Quite fun to look at.
 The plaque on the wall in back of the "old dame" says "Illustrated by Luke Limner, £8Q" but is different on my book.
As it turns out, the nom-de-plume "Luke Limner" was used by John Leighton who is both this book's illustrator
and a publisher of many other books.





The bottom writing:
"The ancient story of the "Old Woman & Her Pig" is suppose to be derived from a hymn in Sepher Haggadah, Fol:23.  The original is in the Chaldee Language, a translation may be found in "Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes of England" & an historical interpretation in the "Christian Reformer" Volume 17. Page 28.

The Sepher Haggadah, Fol:23 text can be found: 

The definition of Chaldee Language can be found:







Saturday, December 15, 2012

1949 – The best Christmas ever!

I can't recall everything that happened when I was four, but looking at some old pictures of that Christmas brings back some warm feelings of the best Christmas ever!

MEETING THE REAL SANTA
My brother John and I meet with Santa at the Wieboldt's department store (1949, downtown Chicago, Illinois).
They had the real Santa and I got to talk to him! I pulled his beard and it didn't come off! That proved it to me.


I can't remember what I asked for, but I'm pretty sure it was a doll with lots of clothes. I loved to dress dolls in pretty clothes. My mother made many sets for me. They were so pretty. She was a seamstress who saved all the scraps of fabric from wedding dresses, house dresses, and any other items she crafted for other people. Mom would then make a pattern for an outfit for my dolls. 

I wished I had saved more of my childhood...now there are just memories and a few pictures. 

CHRISTMAS MORNING 1949






My beautiful lady doll with clothes was under the tree. I recall it was dressed in a light pink taffeta gown with a beautiful hat just like the bridesmaid's outfit mom made earlier that year. I don't have the doll anymore. It was destroyed in my parents' house fire early 1970s. Under the tree there was a play set of dishes and other items for a play kitchen. There were more dolls, too.

These pictures bring back memories of my dolls and their gorgeous homemade outfits, but the best part of this Christmas Day was what Santa left for me. It was downstairs in the kitchen!


MY KITCHEN CABINET!




Santa brought me a kitchen cabinet! I was so excited when I saw it – now I could cook and play house just like my mom! It had a little electric stove, a goose-neck lamp, and a sink (no water hook-up). Santa left me dishes and little pots and pans. Santa even remembered to leave a cookbook I could make stuff from, and later when I was able to read...it actually came from my grandma.


A little tattered 64-yr-old cookbook. That little stove is the exact one I got from Santa!
The book even had a brother to help (or hinder) just like I had.

"Susie likes to play house. She has a family of dolls. She has a little table and chairs. She has a set of little dishes. And she has a really-truly little electric stove, with a set of little pots and pans! 'Now I must learn to cook!' said Susie, the first time she saw her new little stove." Oh my, I could be just like Susie!

I attempted to make them all with my little pots and pans. What fun. I don't remember if anyone ate anything I made, but I did have fun. The "Pixie's Delights" are actually "S'mores."

My dad was a carpenter and cabinet maker. He made my cabinet for me out of scraps of wood he had from various jobs. I watched him make it; he told me it was for someone else. I wished it were to be mine. On Christmas Day, I didn't care who made it because I knew Santa had asked dad make it for ME

I played with it a lot. As I grew taller, dad would raise it up with a frame of wood at the bottom to fit my size. A few years later the cabinet was moved to the basement room where mom did her canning and I set up a little house. 

I played with it until I discovered boys! Then it was neglected until I rescued it for my daughter's fun, but she didn't play with it as I had. I thought maybe Emily my granddaughter would like to play with the cabinet when she was old enough, but she didn't. The one grandchild who did love it was Martin who spent hours out on our porch making "porkypine soup" out of pine cones, sand, and stones. Maybe that is why he (11 yrs old) is so good at cooking. Times change and playing house like I did isn't what our daughters do anymore.


I loved that little cabinet and never stopped. I think of those days long gone and get a warm feeling. I still have my best Christmas present and the cookbook...but not the accessories. I also have the little round table my dad made for me, and I still use it. It's upstairs next to my computer. For many years I would get the table out for my grandchildren to use when they visited. I bought a little chair so they could do their "projects" or eat their lunch at the table. It was just the right size. 

My kitchen cabinet has gone through a lot over the last 64 years. It is down in our basement just waiting for a good cleaning and fresh paint. I'd like to bring it upstairs to be with me again. I have a great spot in my big modern kitchen for this little 1940s kitchen cabinet. Maybe my cats will enjoy using it. Hmmm...


Hope you all have a "Best" Christmas ever!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!





Sunday, December 2, 2012

Grandma Porteous shook JFK's hand, but voted for Nixon!

Now that the Presidential elections are over and the dust has settled, I found an image of a newspaper article showing my grandma Porteous on voting day Nov. 8 1960. That was the last election she voted. The clipping isn't in the best of condition so the image is a little faded, but you can read the caption clearly describing the 91-year-old voter.

91-YEAR-OLD VOTER –
Mrs. Carrie Porteous of Mundelein (carrying the ballot)
prepares to cast her ballot at Mundelein's Lincoln School in Tuesday's election.
Mrs. Porteous was born in Fremont Township and has lived in the Mundelein area all her life.
John F. Kennedy was elected president. Grandma was so proud; she voted for Richard Nixon. I didn't get to vote because I was in high school. 

Story has it Kennedy's motorcade was coming through Mundelein, past our house on Maple Ave. The children from the school next door would stand out in front to wave. Grandma was asked to be out front of the house to wave, too. She was one of the oldest voters in town so hopefully he would have stopped to solicit her vote -- as the story goes

Grandma was out front waiting for the Kennedy motorcade. He did come by and he did stop. One of his aides came over to ask grandma if it was okay for Kennedy to shake her hand. As the story goes... grandma said she would shake his hand, but she wasn't going to vote for him! And she pointed to her label where the Nixon button was!



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

OMG! Is she who I think she is?

THIS MUST BE MY LUCKY YEAR
Among my first posts I had discovered and explained the identification of my great great grandfather. I never knew for sure, but suspected, if I had seen him until cousin Sharon sent me that picture of the two men in front of "Porteous house in England." [Posted April 29, 2012] Since I have a picture of William Dennis PORTEOUS all I need now is a picture of Elizabeth my great great grandmother.

Picture of great great grandfather (person on far right is unidentified) explained in April 29 post.

I entered the church fellowship hall last Saturday where BIGWILL (British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois genealogical society) holds their bi-monthly meetings. Cousin Sharon was already there. She seemed anxious to show me some more pictures. "I was looking for something unrelated to the Porteous family, but came across these pictures," she said, would I happen to know who they are? There were about 20 images; I shuffled through them and came across a couple of them with names scribbled on them..."Ben Porteous"... "Grama Porteous"...Hmmm? 

Immediately I asked who was "speaking" (er, writing)? We concluded it was Georgiana Porteous SMALL, Sharon's great grandmother (my great aunt). This would mean "Grama Porteous" was Elizabeth (DOBBS) PORTEOUS!

Sharon is probably THE luckiest person in the world as far as family history accumulations are concerned. She has so many boxes of family photos, albums, scrapbooks, bibles, prayer books and more. I'll have to go visit...



Elizabeth DOBBS PORTAS (PORTEOUS)
Wife of William Dennis PORTAS, and my great, great grandmother!
I wish the image were better, but for now, it is the best I have.
It is a picture of a picture I took at the BIGWILL meeting.

WOO HOO! 
During the meeting, I couldn't stop looking at her. Sure looks like she endured a lot. How old is she in this picture? My what an interesting outfit; I love that collar. I can't help but think how life was in Lincolnshire, England (Lincs). What made the family pick up and migrate to Illinois, eventually settling in Kansas in late 1870s? So many questions will be left unanswered. I can only speculate and tell what I know.

ELIZABETH DOBBS
Elizabeth was baptized 28 Oct 1815 in St. Clement's parish church of Saltfleetby, Lincs. She married William Dennis PORTAS 11 Jun 1840, at the Register Office for the District of Louth, Lincs. Elizabeth gave birth to two (known) children: John (great grandfather), and Jane (great great aunt). Elizabeth was buried in the Garfield Cemetery, Garfield, Pawnee County, Kansas shortly after her death 2 Mar 1886 or 23 Feb 1886.

October 28, 1815, Elizabeth Daughter of John & Jane DOBBS, Saltfleetby, St. Clements; Labourer



St. Clement's parish church, Saltfleetby, Lincs
Image by me.

Eleventh June 1840, Solemnized "at this Register Office in the District of Louth in the County of Lincoln."
William PORTAS of full age, Bachelor, Labourer, North Cockerington; father Joseph PORTAS, Labourer
Elizabeth DOBBS of full age, Spinster, North Cockerington; father John DOBBS, Labourer
Witness: William COTE and Hannah DOBBS

William Dennis, Elizabeth, daughter Jane and grandson John William Marshall settled in Garfield Kansas sometime in 1878 (earliest known deed). I have been to Garfield. It is a sleepy little town. It's hard to tell how many people are living there. There are no real stores open. The post office is open. There are huge white silos along the railroad. You can see them for miles. 

Congregational Church in Garfield, Kansas 1873. Picture was in "A Collection Of Articles And Stories Pertaining To The History of Garfield, Kansas. Second edition, compiled and edited by Howard Losey (since deceased).



This obituary was very difficult to find. Many letters, films, etc. didn't yield me any information. Then one day, a Garfield resident, Wilma who I had been in contact with sent me an email about the obit. She just happened to know who was transcribing --  from the newspaper, the obituaries and death notices of the interred in Garfield Cemetery.
Serendipity really happens.


W.D. Porteous 1818-1902
Elizabeth Porteous 1817-1886
Garfield Cemetery of Garfield. You can see the huge white silos on the horizon.
Image by Art Gould.


FOR PORTEOUS RESEARCHERS
My PORTEOUS (PORTAS) family is #1123 registered with the Porteous Associates for a number of years now. When I first discovered the Associates, I contacted Pat who is the "go-to" person; she also maintains the huge database. She said how happy she was I made my family known to them. They knew about my family, but didn't know how to contact anyone. I guess I was the only one researching them. Anyone who is researching PORTAS or PORTEOUS families is welcome to join. Porteous Associates includes all variant spellings.

Check out:

Facebook:





Sunday, November 18, 2012

What now after busting through the brick wall?

Over the years, I have been hunting and gathering PORTAS families in hopes of finding a connection with my family. I've mentioned that before in other posts. I've put together a goodly number of PORTAS families from Lincolnshire, England and I have compiled a somewhat large database. That was the easy part even though it has taken close to 10 years along with seven trips to the family history library in Salt Lake City, Utah. But looking for 5x great grandfather Joseph's baptism has been an ever-frustrating adventure.  

This year's trip to the FHL yielded the big find. I finally broke through the brick wall. With finding his baptism this last trip in October you would think the game was over. Even though I have a feeling of accomplishment, I also have the feeling of more work ahead. It's not over.

Sure I've connected my family with Margaret's family. With her many more years of research on the books, my family now can be traced back to the mid 1600s. Thank you Margaret! Finding one baptism enabling the joining two researches is quite an accomplishment. 

What do I do with all those other PORTAS families I've collected? What happens to them?  How do they fit into my tree? Do they? There are a lot of loose ends to tie up. There are many speculations to prove; many questions to answer. So? 

I have to begin the process of some major data entry, sorting, cataloging all the Parish Register images I have accumulated over the years. My direct line needs to have some blanks filled in. There are a lot of images I know are from Margaret's family. I hadn't spent that much time on recording her family simply because, well, she had done it.


Research won't end. It never does. It just goes on and on. The more information one gathers, the more questions pop up. That is the fun of being so involved in genealogy and family history. There is always more to be done and learned.



SO...JOSEPH AND FAMILY HAVE BEEN ADDED TO WILLIAM AND ISABEL'S TREE
Joseph was baptized 19 Feb 1716, married 6 May 1740, but when and where was he buried? What are the baptism and burial dates of his wife Elizabeth? His father is William PORTAS but what is his mother Isabel's maiden name? 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

GOTCHA! Joseph Portas you can hide no more!

IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF TIME and a little luck
With cautious optimism I write this. Finding my 5th great grandfather's baptism made my day... I could leave the Family History Library with a sense of accomplishment -- finally! 

I flew into Salt Lake City on Sunday, October 14. Monday I began my 8th annual research trip looking for Joseph PORTAS who was baptized sometime in the timeframe of 1700-1720. He is my 5th great grandfather, my brick wall. 

For the past 10 or so years, all I knew was he and Elizabeth MOOR married in Wyham cum Cadeby in 1740. This  trip to the Family History Library's stash of microfilms had to be my lucky year. Every trip I say this and go home without any satisfaction. But this was the year!

GENEALOGICAL GOD OR ANGEL OR JUST SERENDIPITY?
Maybe a genealogy god or angel was with me this trip. Who knows.

Towards the end of the day on Tuesday, I had enough time to start one new parish film. I looked on my list of parishes and noticed I hadn't looked at one film in the parish of Kelstern, Lincolnshire, England. I grabbed it out of the "stacks" and back at my reader I started to quickly reel to my chosen parish. The frame I stopped at wasn't the beginning of the parish, I actually stopped on the page shown below...and there he was! Joseph!


"AD 1716 -- Feb 14 Bapt Joseph Son of Wm & Isebel Poretuss of Lambcroft."

How could I have missed it on past trips? Was this a different roll of film from the first one I visited a couple years ago? Could it be that the surname wasn't spelled PORTAS but rather PORETUSS? No matter...there he was! It's the perfect time period since Joseph married in 1740 and figuring he could be 20-25 years of age. [all dates on this post are Julian calendar.]

The box on the right side is what I had seen last time, which turned out not to be my Joseph, but "said Joseph" who was "buryed July 27" [1719]. He was a Joseph Tuxworth, baptized eight days before and listed in the line above.


Left side box - Joseph baptized 14 Feb 1716, son of William and Isebel PORETUSS of Lambcroft. Right side box is for Joseph baptized 19 Jul 1719, son of Robert Tuxworth and Elizabeth his wife of Lambcroft.
Next line below: July 27 Buryed the said Joseph.
Kelstern, Lincolnshire, England
My digital image.
Left side box - Joseph baptized 14 Feb 1716, son of William and Isebel PORETUSS of Lambcroft.
Parish / Kelstern, Lincolnshire, England
My digital image.
When I "blew up" the left box's image for a better look, at first glance, I thought it said Feb 19 "Sept" which would have meant buried, but on closer examination on the rest of the page, "Sept" wasn't used in any other entry...so it was "Bapt"; even so, I needed to do a little more investigation. 

Comparing one "a" to the next, they were the same. I looked at the "e" in several words, none were the backward "e" we often see in writing from back then and many times mistaken for an "a." What looked like a capital "S" in Bapt. was actually a "B," by comparing it to others on both sides of the page. That in itself made me feel much more confident about what I found. Besides, I had to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing.


[Note: Lambcroft is now Ludford (Parva or Magna). Kelstern evidently administered the religious rights for that nearby village at the time.]


WHERE TO GO NOW?
Cruising through the rest of the parish film, I couldn't find any reference to a burial for Joseph in Kelstern. I did find his father William PORETUSS' burial entry -- 26 Jul 1732, but didn't find any burial entry for his mother Isabel. The search is on...

Jul 26 [1732 Kelstern] Buryed Wm Poretuss of ye Lambcroft.
Parish / Kelstern, Lincolnshire, England
My digital image.
Putting Kelstern parish film aside, I decided to check out another roll of film I had visited many times before -- Wyham cum Cadeby. This is where I knew Joseph would be. Starting around 1732 when Isabel became a widow, and continuing on to 1740 when Joseph married Elizabeth MOOR, I was hoping I would "see" something exciting now that my research had progressed?


Ancient All Saints Church / Wyham cum Cadeby, Lincolnshire, England
My digital image.
SO? WHAT DID I SEE?
This parish record page was a treasure of information. Joseph & Elizabeth and Isabel are on the same page along with a William & Mary Portas. Isabel, wife of William -- look, the white box shows the entry of her burial! Was she there living with Joseph or her daughter Isabel? How many times have I been here before and never thought of Isabel as Joseph's mother!

Arrows on the left margin show several Portas children, too. Baptized are both Joseph & Elizabeth's and William & Mary's. Just above the date 1743, is Isabel Portas (Isabel's daughter, Joseph's sister) marriage entry to a John NUTTLE May 15 [1742]. Now I have to establish who this William & Mary are.


1743 / Isabel Portas buried Apr 14.
Parish / Wyham Cum Cadeby, Lincolnshire, England
My digital image.
THE OTHER COUPLE
In my family tree program I had William entered as the brother of Joseph. Going back to the baptism entry of 1716, Joseph's parents are William & Isebel. Were they the same parents for William? Something didn't set right with me and of course this was an entry of speculation a number of years ago. I had no sources attached to this entry either... YIKES! How would I know where I found his name? I think I got this information off the IGI which should only be used as a guide. I haven't been back to that couple in a long time and didn't realize there were no sources. [Making a note to update.] 

Now I had my doubts about this sibling entry. I consulted (by e-mail) with a another Portas researcher who lives in Lincolnshire, and got a reply from her the next day. Margaret has been researching the PORTAS family in Lincolnshire a lot longer than I and I trust her advice. 

The couple were William Portas and Mary [Wright] married in 1727-Sixhills. Margaret pointed me to North Willingham parish which is closer to Sixhills than is Kelstern. I checked out the North Willingham film and found a William Portas baptized 1709 (I had "about 1710"); his parents were Edward & Elizabeth Portas. I'm sure this William is him.

A CAUTIOUS CONCLUSION
Parents William and Isabel have a son William who married a Hannah Miller. Doesn't look too promising that William who married Mary Wright is a sibling to Joseph; he may be a cousin. In my records, I have this William and Mary having a son named Edward. Joseph and Elizabeth don't have any son named Edward. Joseph does have a younger brother Edward, but the given name Edward doesn't seem to show up that much in other Portas families in Lincolnshire. I must investigate this a little further.

I believe William (Mary Wright) probably shouldn't be listed as one of Joseph's siblings since there is another William with documentation in the family baptized 1711. With a little more "digging" (pardon my expression), I will probably be moving him to another family file. It can get awful confusing when there are so many Williams baptized around the same time and place.

Another thought: Am I barking up the wrong family tree?! I don't think so. All the pieces to this puzzle are falling into place.

WHAT A FIND THIS COULD TURN OUT TO BE!
The Kelstern PORTAS family is Margaret's. She has had a gap in the baptism dates of William and Isabel's children where Joseph fits perfectly. Both my Portas family and Margaret's have been found in proximity during the same period of time. It is hard to believe they wouldn't be related in some way. We just had to prove it. I think I just did. The Joseph find connects both our families. 

More investigation is needed; I'm crossing my fingers I finally found my elusive 5th great grandfather's baptism. Now I'm on the hunt for his burial and more information on Elizabeth. It never ends.




WYHAM CUM CADEBY
That village wasn't that big way back when. All there is left is the church, rectory, and manor house. The churchyard had new burials, but I'm not sure if the parish church is still in use. It was hard to tell when Bob and I were there in 2005. The road to Wyham can be mistaken for a private driveway, which it probably is, but the manor owner allows people to visit the church and graveyard. We came in from above the manor...through someone's farm lane. The church has been sold as a monument according to the website shown below.

You can read more about the village at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~englin/W/wyham.htm


Manor house in Wyham cum Cadeby, Lincolnshire, England.
All that is left of the village is this manor house, church rectory, and the church.
My digital image.


Only inhabitants we encountered in Wyham that 2005 September day.
My digital image.

Wyham cum Cadeby is in the distance, high on the hill in the stand of trees.
I am down by the marsh and where the Humber meets the North Sea.
My digital image.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Portus family settled in Lake County, Illinois

Mary Ann Vamplew gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth Ann Portus, in April of 1864. John PORTUS married Mary Ann VAMPLEW September 1864 in Thornton le Fen, Lincolnshire; November 1864 daughter Elizabeth Ann died and was buried in Coningsby churchyard. Three more children were born to John and Mary Ann: Georgiana 1865, Coningsby; William Dennis 1867, Nether Hallam, Sheffield, Yorkshire; and John Henry 1869, Thornton.


April 1870 John and Mary Ann packed up their family and lives and emigrated from Lincolnshire to Lake County, Illinois. (Previous blog posts -- June 16 and 22 tell a little more about their trip.) 

ARRIVAL LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS
They arrived at the Port of New York May 3. (Blog post June 22) Sometime between then and June 21 (census enumeration below) they arrived in Lake County. I can only speculate they stayed with Mary Ann's uncle John ROUSE.

Uncle John secured a place the Portus family to live until a permanent place could be purchased. It was a small two-story house on Maple Ave. (Rte. 176) in what is now Mundelein, Illinois. It is located across the street from the property where I grew up. (See blog post May 1.) This part of the story isn't all that exciting, but it is the start of the family history in a new land. I know there is probably a lot more to fill in about their lives here in Illinois, and that is part of why we all do our research. 

My dad would mention the house was originally a log cabin and in the basement, you could see the original hand-hewn floor beams. I don't know if that is true or not since I was never privy to just go down into the basement to verify that claim. I have been in the house, but I don't remember much about its interior. Next time I'm in Mundelein, maybe I'll get the nerve to knock on the door. You can see the old barn in back beyond the fence. It was always dark and scary...as a young girl with vivid imagination, that barn held many monsters and I never liked going near the open door.

This is their first house -- a temporary place. 

The Portus family moved into that house in time to be recorded on the 1870 census -- just 74 days after they left England. This was the first census John and Mary Ann were listed as man and wife. I believe this census lays victim to the rural Lincolnshire accent because our surname spelling is recorded as PORTOS. (John spelled it PORTUS on the letter seen on my June 16 blog post. 1880 census the name is spelled PORTEOUS and that is how I knew my whole life until I started researching.)

1870 CENSUS
Here we see the township was "Fremont in the County of Lake, State of Ill., enumerated by me on the 21 day of June, 1870." and the Post Office was "Deans Corners."


The family is listed as: 
    John  28   M   W   Labourer   b. England
    Mary Ann  28   F   W   Wife  b. England
    Georgianna   4   F  W  At Home   b. England
    William D    3    M   W  At Home   b. England
    John H   1   M   W   At Home  b. England

SETTLED ON MIDLOTHIAN ROAD PROPERTY
Sometime after son John Henry died (September 1870) Rockefeller, Illinois (now Mundelein), they moved into a house on Midlothian Road, Diamond Lake (in Fremont Township) which is now part of Mundelein.

Small square and "A" at top shows where the little temporary house is
located compared to the land purchase location "B" on Midlothian Rd.
Photo is a screen shot of a satellite view on Google Maps.
Land on Midlothian Rd. (Diamond Lake) on a 1915 map showing names of neighbors.
This map was posted on the wall of the Lake County (IL) Genealogical Society's library.
This is the front of the house on Midlothian Rd. I can see four people in the picture, but can't identify them
because they are too small. I would think the person in the doorway is Mary Ann and the man standing at the front porch is John. Not knowing what year this image was taken, the two children could be grandchildren --
or if it is early 1870s, the girl could be Georgiana and the boy possibly my grandfather William D.;
John Henry died Sep. 1870. More research needs to be done.
Photo contributed by cousin Sharon Mitchell.

This is of course the back of the Midlothian house.  Mary Ann is in the doorway and John holds buckets. Since John has a beard, this picture must be many years after they purchased the house. The back porch looks like it has been closed in possibly accommodating a newer kitchen. Looks like the time of year is early spring or maybe fall.
Photo was found in a family box of pictures.


I'm not sure if this house was still standing when I was a little girl 60 some years ago, but I do remember my dad telling me about it. My aunt Mildred (Mimi) and uncle Frank Druba built a new house on the property. I think my dad helped build it. I do remember dad saying the new house was built where the old house was, but the new house didn't have a basement...so maybe it was placed juxtaposition to the old foundation. Mimi had some beautiful flowers. There was a foundation of a building near the house which Mimi planted with cosmos and flox and many more too numerous to mention. The butterfies and bees loved this garden. There was so much life in that little space. 

Now all is gone.
Mimi.
This is what is left of that beautiful garden. 
Look up where the house(s) would have been.
Great grandmother Mary Ann 
Great grandfather John
The last time I went past the property, there was a big sign advertising a senior citizen complex. I don't go by there much anymore because it is hard to see the property in such a state. You just can't go home again.


Friday, October 5, 2012

ca. 1920 Carroll Porteous played football at Libertyville with no shoulder pads!

Periodically I revisit my images on my computer just to see if there are any more pictures I can identify as my research advances. So when I came across these pictures, I had to chuckle to myself. I knew I had these pictures of my dad and his high school football team, but I hadn't see them for awhile. The pictures are possibly sometime around 1918 to 1922. My dad, Carroll L. Porteous, went to Libertyville Township High School when the Brainerd building was the high school building. 

I also attended that high school. By the time I was there it had consolidated with Fremont Township and was called Libertyville Fremont High School. I spent freshman year in the Brainerd building and sophomore year in the bigger, modern Butler Lake building a 15-minute walk west on Route 176, Libertyville, Illinois.

I'm an ice hockey fan -- not a football fan, but I sure am a fan of my dad and his football uniform. Dad played in several sports in high school: football, baseball, and track. I don't know about basketball since his nickname was "Shortie," so I'm not sure he played. Family story: he set some track records that were still standing when I started high school in 1959. I never checked it out when I was there.

HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED...
...how equipment has changed! Just look at those helmets... what a hoot! There was no consistent type of helmet from one player to another. The pants, too cool! These guys were tough! Compared to the uniforms of today...well...there is no comparison. 

Looking at them again...what a hoot!

I can't identify any of the players other than the guy who will catch the hike... that's my dad.



Anyone see my shoulder pads?