Thursday, June 30, 2011

Study Break

Yeah, I know it is summer vacation and I started this blog to be about design and style, but I'm nothing if not ecclectic so today's post is heavy on history, names, and dates. I'll warn you in advance. This post has a lot of words. And no pictures. And is of very limited interest. Read on if you dare. Or skip over it and check out some of my other posts on style or diy projects. Or cats.

Thanks to the show Who Do You Think You Are, I’ve become interested in researching my family history. My job is in history and I’ve done historic property research in the past which also involves research into the people who called the property home. It always amazes me how much you can put together about the lives of ordinary people who lived hundreds of years ago just based on public records. I’m not just interested in the names and dates and filling in the branches of the tree, but in how people lived, what they did, why they moved across continents or oceans to unknown and often unsettled places. Unless you’re lucky enough to find letters, diaries, or other first person accounts, some of the questions can’t ever be answered definitively from the public records, but a little digging into the larger context can sometimes provide a theory on what may have influenced your ancestors (or former home owners if you’re research is centered around your house and property).

I may write at some point in the future about sources and how and where to go about finding them, but for this post I want to document something for my own reference that I am not ready yet to add to my own family narrative because I haven’t yet made a definite connection with my tree. The historical context is, I think interesting, and may be of interest to others on a similar path even if their connections aren’t with these specific people, and if I can get a stronger tie-in to these people then I haven’t lost the information and can add it into my story. I started my quest with my Irish ancestors because it is their name I carry and because they seem to have been the least documented so interesting and fun for me to pursue the research (a good deal has already been done on the Montgomery County, PA Germans, so for probably at least half of my ancestry it is a just a matter of fact checking and documenting – a tedious task – and writing up their stories). I was surprised to find a possible connection to my Irish ancestors from Germany and immediately wondered what would make presumably protestant Germans move into mostly Catholic Ireland? The names, dates, and places that follow are based on the cited sources. The context is based on my own research.

In the early 1700s, the Palatinate region of Germany was subject to invasion by Britain and France. In 1708 and 1709 they suffered the harshest winters of the past 100 years; these events set the scene for a mass migration out of Germany. At the invitation of Queen Anne, ruler of England and Ireland, 7,000 Germans sailed down the Rhine River to the port of Rotterdam, where 3,000 went on to Pennsylvania and the remaining 4,000 were sent to Ireland to strengthen Protestant interests there for England. In 1710 another large group went to Ireland, presumable for the same reasons (

1st and 2nd Generations
Steuffle von Spuerling was born in Germany in the 1600s. His son Peter Sperling was born in 1662 and died in 1718. In 1690, Peter married, although his wife’s name is not known. It is presumed he was born and married in Germany, as two of his children were recorded as having been born there in 1693 and 1695. His 5th child, George P. Sparling was born in 1699 but it is not known where. 

3rd Generation
George P. Sparling married a woman named Margaret Anna in Limerick, Ireland c. 1724. This is the first mention of the family being in Ireland, so we know they arrived sometime between 1695 when George’s older brother was born in Germany and 1724 when George and Margaret Anna were married. It is possible they were among the 1709-1710 immigrants who fled Germany and ended up in Ireland although there is no indication as to whether George P. moved himself as an adult or whether he was younger and immigrated with his parents and siblings. Before dying, in Rathkeale, Limerick, Ireland on October 11, 1747, George P. fathered thirteen children including the eleventh, William Peter who was born in Killeheen, Limerick, Ireland in 1732.

4th Generation
William Peter married Margaret Fizzel, born before 1734, on October 29, 1754 in Parish Church, Rathkeale, Limerick Ireland. William Peter and Margaret had ten children, including the third Ann, who was born on November 13, 1760. Her next oldest sibling, Anne, was born and died in Limerick in 1758, her next youngest, Mary Catherine, was born in New York c. 1762. Ann’s place of birth is not recorded but we can place the family’s immigration from Ireland to New York between the end of 1758 and c. 1762. Margaret died in February 1820 in North West Arm, Nova Scotia and William Peter died on February 4, 1821 in North Sydney, Nova Scotia.

5th Generation
Ann married Bartholomew Musgrave on September 27, 1778 in New York City. Bartholomew was born December 25, 1757, possibly in Penrith, Westmorland, England. Ann and Bartholomew had eleven children, including the fourth, Anne, born August 16, 1785 in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. It is not known exactly when or why the family emigrated from New York to Canada, but after the American Revolution thousands of Loyalists fled to Canada from the newly formed United States and given the timeframe of sometime between Ann and Bartholomew’s New York wedding in 1778 and their daughter Anne’s Canadian birth in 1785 it is possible they moved for this reason. Ann Musgrave died in Upper North Sydney in 1837.

6th Generation
Ann and Bartholomew’s daughter Anne married Thomas Lochman/Lockman, who was born about 1780, on December 22, 1800 at St. George Church in Sydney, Cape Breton and had at least two children, who may have been Bartholomew Lochman/Lockman/Laughlin and Peter Thomas Lockman who seems to have emigrated to the coal regions of Pennsylvania around the same time as Bartholomew Laughlin, and later moved on to West Virginia. Anne died in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia (genealogy from

Most of the research I have done (and this is, at this time, all online searches based on the work of others, not primary) lists the two children of Anne Musgrave and Thomas Lochman as Unknown with the exception of one researcher, ( who has listed one of Thomas and Anne’s children as my ancestor Bartholomew. I have not been able to identify Bartholomew’s parents, the only info I have, from US Census data, is that his father was born in Ireland and his mother in Canada. Anne Musgrave was born in Canada, I do not know Thomas’s place of birth. The couple was married at St. George Church, which was Anglican. My ancestor Bartholomew is buried at a Catholic Church in Shamokin, PA. While it is possible that the couple married in “her” church because her family was living locally and it would have been important to them, would they then have gone on to raise their family in the Catholic Church (assuming he was even Irish-Catholic). Cape Breton, being largely French and Irish Catholic, surely would have had a Catholic Church. Anne’s father and one of her brothers were named Bartholomew, so this is somewhat of a link too, but not a strong one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Times they are A-Changin'

So I've decided to do a complete makeover, including a new name, for a couple of reasons. First of all, I've created an Etsy ID with the same name. I don't have anything listed there yet, but wanted to go ahead and get my ducks in a row. Second, I wanted something a little more personalized, and finally, I like to talk about my cats. You may have noticed them creeping into some (most?) of my posts anyway so with the new name I don't need to worry that I'm talking about them too much and I even have a few cat-centric posts in mind besides the one I did on creating a litterbox area for them. So there you have it - I'm now One Girl, Two Cats.

And since we're on the topic of my cats, let me formally introduce them. Chloe is my almost-eight year old gray girl kitty. She was born in a feral colony outside my old apartment building. I went on to find homes for her mom's next litter and had everyone in the colony neutered using the Trap-Neuter-Release principles recommended by feral cat advocates like Alley Cat Allies and Alley Cat Rescue. She has very soft fur and is a little high maintenance and probably smarter than I am. I taught her a few tricks like "sit," "sit up," "high fives," "lay down," and "turn in a circle." She's trained me to give her a treat when she flops on the floor and when I see her "in the position" I say "roll over" (she does) but she has to initiate this one with the floor flop.

Quincy is my three-ish year old boy kitty. He was a stray found by someone I used to work with. I adopted him when he was 10-12 mths old and his 2-year adoption anniversary is coming up on July 1. Do you see how his tail curls? It is like that almost all the time. It is a recessive gene and I think makes him extra cute. He can straighten it when he wants, but its natural state is curled up onto his back. It's funny to watch him get excited over a bird and flap it back and forth without uncurling it first. He loves to play games, chase stuff (toys, Chloe), pounce on stuff (Chloe, me), and watch birds and squirrels out of the window. He doesn't know any tricks. They're both indoor-only cats except for an occasional supervised foray onto the balcony.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Year's Update

I don't typically "do" New Year's Resolutions, but this year I made a pledge of sorts to get rid of 365 things - one for every day of the year, and since we're half way through the year I thought it was a good time for an update (and a more organized list than my scribbled scraps of paper). Since I am an eBay seller, taking something from my personal space and adding it to my inventory "counts" as getting rid of even though it may technically still be hanging around here. So far I've cleaned through my skirts, pants, and shorts plus random things here and there. So without further adieu, here is my list.

1. Rusted metal loaf pan

2. Metal loaf pan
3. Pyrex 2 qt. pan
4. Pyrex 2 qt. pan
5. Pyrex 3 qt. pan
(I had a set of these and a set was left behind in my new oven so that is how I ended up with so many - I don't have any kind of weird collecting fetish - for pyrex cake pans anyway).
6. Hardback book
7-11. Magazines
12-14. Random clothing items
15. Ziplock bag full of cards, gift wrap sheets, calendars
16-17. Random clothing items
18-24. Plastic hangers
25. 6 mini-loaf pan pan
26. Beaded jacket
27-28. Christmas ornaments
29. Roller blades
30. Roller blade pads
31. Tan & white loafers
32-33. Old tax software
34. Sony Walkman
35. Small decorative trinket box
36-43. Books & magazines
44. Basket
45. Bag of shred for gift baskets
46. 50-pack cellophane treat bags
47. White blouse
48-51. - Heart shaped trinket boxes
52-58. - Random clothing items

59. J. Crew Marine Blue Beach Dress - SOLD
60. Carole Little Black Linen Tiered Dress - SOLD
61. Banana Republic Teal Silk/Cotton Dress - SOLD
62. Bebe Slim Black Pants - Listed HERE
63. Lilly Pulitzer Blue Skirt with Pink/Green Flowers
64. Lilly Pulitzer "Firecracker" Skirt - SOLD
65. Lilly Pulitzer "Zoo Patch" Lenore Skirt - SOLD
66. J. Crew White Lawn Cotton Peasant Skirt
67. Brown Giraffe Slip Skirt - SOLD
68. Gap Tan Cord Skirt - SOLD
69. Nine West Blue/Gray Wool Skirt - SOLD
70. Autograph Black Cotton Eyelet Skirt - SOLD
71. NY&Co Denim Skooter Skirt - SOLD
72. Ann Taylor Lime Linen Eyelet Dress - SOLD
73. Nicole Miller White Stretch Lace Tiered Dress - Listed HERE
74. Theory Light Wash Jeans - SOLD
75. Theory Med. Wash Jeans - SOLD
76. Talbots Gray Flannel Pants - SOLD
77. Eddie Bauer Red Capris - LISTED HERE
78. Old Navy Coral Capris - SOLD
79. H&M Pinstripe Pants - LISTED HERE
80. J. Crew Madras Capris - SOLD
81. Gap Cord. Jeans - SOLD
82. J. Crew Cord. Jeans - LISTED HERE
83 - 86. 4 Pairs Old Navy Shorts (Brown - SOLD, Khaki - SOLD, Blue, Pink)
87. Lands End White Shorts - SOLD
88. Ann Taylor Coral Shorts - SOLD
89. Gap White Shorts - LISTED HERE
90. Limited Brown Bermuda Shorts - SOLD
91. Tara Jones White Bermuda Shorts - LISTED HERE
92. Red Cross Over Top - Listed HERE
93. Carribean Joe Tropical Top - SOLD
94. Coldwater Creek Tropical Top - SOLD
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