Thursday, April 30, 2015

Attention all book clubs: Morristown Festival of Books gearing up for 2nd Year

Once again the Recorder papers have written a great article on the festival and the One Community, One Book (OCOB) initiative. Attention all book clubs: Morristown Festival of Books gearing up for second year - New Jersey Hills: Madison Eagle News: The Morristown Festival of Books’ “One Community One Book” has made its choice for summer reading leading up to this fall's festival: The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken by Laura Schenone. We hope you read the book and participate in the OCOB events on June 10, August 27 and attend the Morristown Festival of Books on October 2-3. Books can be purchased at words and The Bookworm or your local library.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ancestry for Free

At least it is free for six months... if you enter and win the Geneblogger contest. Oh how I'd love to win since the email in my inbox right after the contest announcement, was announcing it is time for my subscription renewal. So if not me, why not you? Deadline to enter is May Day. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Brave Ride to Warn the Patriots the British Are Coming

Surprise, this is not the story of the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, rather it is a story of a young Conneticut girl helping  the Continental Army and her father in 1777. On the night of April 26, 1777 a man came to the home of Colonel Henry Ludington of the Continental Army bringing news of the burning of Danbury Connecticut along with the request that the Colonel’s regiment make haste to Danbury to aid in its defense. Enter sixteen year old Sybil

Sybil Ludington's Ride by Berton Braley

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of a lovely feminine Paul Revere
Who rode an equally famous ride
Through a different part of the countryside,
Where Sybil Ludington's name recalls
A ride as daring as that of Paul's.
In April, Seventeen Seventy-Seven,
A smoky glow in the eastern heaven
(A fiery herald of war and slaughter)
Came to the eyes of the Colonel's daughter.
"Danbury's burning," she cried aloud.
The Colonel answered, “‘Tis but a cloud,
A cloud reflecting the campfires red,
So hush you, Sybil, and go to bed."
"I hear the sound of the cannon drumming"
“‘Tis only the wind in the treetops humming!
So go to bed, as a young lass ought,
And give the matter no further thought."
Young Sybil sighed as she turned to go,
"Still, Danbury's burning-that I know."

Sound of a horseman riding hard
Clatter of hoofs in the manor yard
Feet on the steps and a knock resounding
As a fist struck wood with a mighty pounding.
The doors flung open, a voice is heard,
"Danbury's burning-I rode with word;
Fully half of the town's gone
And the British-the British are coming on.
Send a messenger, get our men!"
His message finished the horseman then
Staggered wearily to a chair
And fell exhausted in slumber there.
The Colonel muttered, "And who, my friend,
Is the messenger I can send?
Your strength is spent and you cannot ride
And then, you know not the countryside;
I cannot go for my duty's clear;
When my men come in they must find me here;
There's devil a man on the place tonight
To warn my troopers to come-and fight.
Then, who is my messenger to be?"
Said Sybil Ludington, "You have me."

"You!" said the Colonel, and grimly smiles,
Sybil's Ride
"You! My daughter, you're just a child."
"Child!" cried Sybil. "Why I'm sixteen!
My mind's alert and my senses keen,
I know where the trails and the roadways are
And I can gallop as fast and far
As any masculine rider can.
You want a messenger? I'm your Man!"
The Colonel's heart was aglow with pride.
"Spoke like a soldier. Ride, girl, ride
Ride like the devil; ride like sin;
Summon my slumbering troopers in.
I know when duty is to be done
That I can depend on a Ludington!"
So over the trails to the towns and farms
Sybil delivered the call to arms.
Riding swiftly without a stop
Except to rap with a riding crop
On the soldiers' doors, with a sharp tattoo
And a high-pitched feminine halloo.
"Up! Up there, soldier. You're needed, come!
The British are marching!" and then the drum
Of her horse's feet as she rode apace
To bring more men to the meeting place.

Sybil grew weary and faint and drowsing,
Her limbs were aching, but still she rode
Until she finished her task of rousing
Each sleeping soldier from his abode,
Showing her father, by work well done,
That he could depend on a Ludington.
Dawn in the skies with its tints of pearl
And the lass who rode in a soldier's stead
Turned home, only a tired girl
Thinking of breakfast and then to bed
With never a dream that her ride would be
A glorious legend of history;
Nor that posterity's hand would mark
Each trail she rode through the inky dark,
Each path to figure in song and story
As a splendid, glamorous path of glory to
prove, as long as the ages run,
That "you can depend on a Ludington."
Such is the legend of Sybil's ride
To summon the men from the countryside
A true tale, making her title clear
As a lovely feminine Paul Revere!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Are you curious who is in your family tree?

We can help you. A Lineage Workshop, sponsored by the Ferro Monte Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, will be held on Saturday April 11 from 10:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Roxbury Library located at 103 Main St., Succasunna, NJ. This drop in workshop is for anyone interested learning how to trace their family history. Attendees will have the opportunity to work with the lineage research team in starting their quest or aiding in breaking down a brick wall. We will have reference books available for your use and the Roxbury Library has computers with access to to further your research.

Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal decent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.  The DAR recognizes "Patriots: as not only soldiers but also anyone who contributed to the cause of American freedom." For those interested in membership, please bring your records and information and receive assistance with application papers.  Current Daughters can also get support from NJ State Registrar Diane Oliver and the lineage research team on completing supplemental applications. If you have any questions regarding this Workshop, please contact us at for further details.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote patriotism, preserve American history, and support better education for our nation's children. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 165,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. To learn more about the work of today's DAR, visit

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Today two of my great grandmas celebrate birthdays. Well they would if they were still with us or the keep track of that sort of thing in heaven.

My 2nd Great Grandma Mary A Shoenfelt Ritts was born 181 years ago in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. She married John Ritts and had six children including my great-grandpa Harry.  Mary's life was tragically cut down when the trolley she was riding went off the bridge and plunged into the Juniata River. In the subsequent trial, her husband was awarded $1200. Family Tree of Mary A Ritts

Harriet Slyder lived her life in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Married to Jacob Embich in 1838, Widowed in 1854 at age 37 Harriet was left with six children; John age 13, William 11, Mary 10, Emma 8, Jacob 3 and 2 month old Harriet. The young family survived off of Jacob estate until after the Civil War marched it's way through Chambersburg as part of the Battle of Gettysburg. To defend family and home, son John took up arms joining the Union Army. After the war Harriet took up jobs housekeeping and sewing to support her family. My 3rd great-grandma at age 68 was buried in the First Lutheran Church Cemetery, Chambersburg. Family Tree of Harriet Embich
Happy Birthday Grandmas!