A little corner shop

Brooks’ former store, King Street is the one going off to the left in the picture, Pine Street is the one going off to the right.

Sometime around 1855 Almira and John Brooks headed on over to Burlington, Vermont to live. At this time I am not sure exactly when the Brooks started their store in Burlington, but I do know that by 1868 they were living and working at this address which was called ‘corner of King and Pine’ it didn’t have an exact address until sometime between 1872-1882. In this picture it is currently clad in hideous vinyl. It would be nice to see it in its original dress. According to records in 1890 Almira is the owner of the building, and John is still alive. He didn’t pass until 1898. So now the question is why is she the owner of the building and not both of them. Hmmm. Inheritance? She also owed the building next door at 176/178 Pine Street. Which I believe they lived in or used as a home at one time  or another.

The Historic Burlington: University of Vermont website describes the house as:

“This 2 1/2 story, wood frame building, which is clad in vinyl siding and has a pyramidal, slate-clad roof and a 2-story octagonal oriel on its northwest corner, was probably built between 1877 and 1886, although it may be of an earlier date.”

The family actually lived at 79/81 King Street for a year or two, according to city directories. Which is part of the building, see the door off towards the left with the small awning. According to the Historic Burlington: University of Vermont website a birdseye view of Burlington in 1877, apparently, clearly shows no buildings at that location, and the ‘massing’ of the 79/81 King Street building make it doubtful that is was built in the 1860s. I am not sure what we can say about that other than land records would likely clear the matter up along with tax rolls. The address would be considered 174 Pine Street if one numbered it from that side of the streets.

The building was used as a commercial business for a large portion of its life, the lower part being used as a shop of some kind or other, the top being used as apartment rentals. It wasn’t until sometime after the 1970s that the bottom was boarded up.

You can still see the building using google street view. Not very pretty, but it is one of the few remaining older buildings in the town.

I even have an update.

In looking over the website mentioned above, I found two plat maps that have the home listed on them. Which is curious because according to the University’s research the building isn’t there in the 1877 birdseye view map. That may be so, but it shows up on these two:

This plat is from 1853. The family is probably not living here at the time, but as you can see the building is there on the corner of King and Pine.

This map is from 1869. The family is definitely there now, as can be plainly seen by the J. Brooks entry on the map.

The building as it looked in 1933 just barely in the picture on the left edge of image.

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Ahh Politics…

Who said fun couldn’t be had in Congress. Proof that the business of politics really is a circus.

Political Cartoon, 1798 

The above cartoon was created from an incident that occurred in Congress in February of 1798 Here is Mr. William Shepard’s testimony of the event:

Source: Breach of privileges. Communicated to the House of Representatives, February 20, 1798.Date: 1798-02-20; Publication: American State Papers 037, Miscellaneous Vol. 1; Report: Publication No. 104; page 176. Click on images if you need them bigger.

If you wish to read more about this incident, all you have to do is search for “griswold lyon” and you will find all you would need or want to know about it.

That tiny 5%…

Not too long ago I posted an entry talking about the results of my Dad’s upgraded DNA tests. In it I mentioned the fact that his FamilyFinder results (ethnic background) indicated 95% Western European and 5% Palestinian, Adygei, Bedouin, Bedouin South, Druze, Iranian, Jewish, Mozabite.

Wow that’s a mouthful.

As I heard nothing from anyone in the family about this information, I can only assume that no one really understood the significance of this find. So let me clear the matter up in layman’s terms. Here is a simple chart:

The ‘SELF’ in this particular case is my Dad. The chart shows what percentage of DNA he is inheriting from each generation of grandparent. So this means that he inherited his 5% from somewhere in the 2nd to 3rd generation back in the family tree.

So if I look at the family tree chart, some lines can automatically be eliminated: Irish, Norwegian, in America for 200 hundred years. Basically it boils down to either someone in the John/Deadrich line or someone in the Hamm/Isserstedt line. My money is on George Hamm’s unknown father. Remember, he was illegitimate, his surname at birth was his mother’s KNOBLOCH. So we do not know who his father is, and probably never will. (Unless I can find a George Hamm descendant willing to contribute to the DNA pool.)

My theory, admittedly it is pretty sketchy, is that Elizabeth Knobloch had a romantic love affair with a Jewish gentleman and they were not allowed to marry because of the religious differences. But theories aside folks, what this means is that my siblings and I, and my cousins on the John side of the family have 100% Jewish/Palestinian ancestors.

The surname lines of interest are: JOHN, DEADRICH, SCHULE, SCHULZ, ISSERSTEDT, SACHS, NEHRBOSS, KNOBLOCH, Unknown father of George HAMM

This map shows the areas of origin for Dad’s results.

I hope folks will now appreciate the significance of this information. I myself am fascinated and look forward to more refined tests in the future.

Who doesn’t like a famous tavern

While we can revel in the actions of William Shepard during the Revolutionary War, he is not the only ancestor of ours who played a major part in our freedom from British rule. There are quite a few of these ancestors on our Shaw side of the family. Today I am going to talk about Captain Stephen Fay my 7x great grandfather.

The Fay family was originally from Hardwick, Massachusetts. In 1766 they removed to Bennington, Vermont where Stephen, and his wife Ruth (Child), purchased a hostelry/tavern, Green Mountain House, in a town that was currently at the heart of political action in Vermont.

Green Mountain House, more famously known as the Catamount Tavern. (Image found on Wikipedia.)

The tavern also became known as the ‘Catamount Tavern’ because of the stuffed ‘catamount’ (a type of wild cat), that was mounted on the signpost. The teeth of which were bared in the direction of the state of New York. This teeth baring symbol expressed his sentiments regarding New York’s attempts to take over land in Vermont. One of their neighbors was Ethan Allen. Ethan and his Green Mountain Boys used the tavern as the meeting place to plan their opposition to the ‘Yorkers’ who were coming to the area and setting up homesteads. Stephen Fay and his son Jonas were appointed the official agents of the New Hampshire claimants who opposed New York’s highhanded actions. They headed to New York to meet with the Governor and try to settle matters.

The ‘Council of Safety’ which was responsible for the citizens well being during the Revolutionary War met many a night here. This was where they planned and carried out the successful battle of Bennington on the 16th of August 1777. A victory which resulted in British General Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga.

Stephen and Ruth had 10 children some went on to become famous others not so much. It must have been quite a time to see.

Stephen passed way in 1781, Ruth died in 1833.