September 25, 2012

Jacob and Susannah Overmyer Newcomer, GG-Grandparents

My great-grandmother, Alice Newcomer Doty, was born to Jacob Newcomer and Susannah Overmyer Newcomer.  After the Civil War, in 1865, Jacob moved his family - wife, Susannah; daughter, Alice Susan; and son, Lewis Warren -  from Sandusky County, Ohio to Raisinville, Monroe County, Michigan.  Their last child was born there on December 7, 1865, an unnamed daughter who died at the age of one month.
Did Jacob Newcomer serve in the war?  I have found a draft registration that fits his age and place of residence from June 1863.  However, actual military records are many for men named "Jacob Newcomer," and so it is hard to tell if he served by those records.  However, I can find no pension record for him and since he lived to 1921, one should exist if he had served.

In the 1870 and 1880 censuses, Jacob and family may be found in Raisinville Twp., Monroe County, Michigan. Jacob was a farmer, and in both instances, he had a hired man of 17 or 18 to help him.  By the 1900 census, both Alice and Lewis had moved from the home and Jacob, at 65, listed himself as a retired farmer.  He and Susannah had been married 46 years, they reported in 1900.  (They married January 22, 1854 in Sandusky County, OH.)

 Susannah died on July 19, 1905 and the Monroe Democrat ran this very detailed obituary in the paper on July 28, 1905:
"Mrs. Susana Newcomer, wife of Jacob Newcomer, of Raisinville, as recored in the last issue, passed into eternal life on Wednesday, July 19, at the age of seventy-three years, eight months and seventeen days.  Susana Overmeyer was born in Union County, Pa., on Nov. 2, 1831, and when three years old moved with her parents to Ohio.  On January 2, 1854, she was united in marriage to Jacob Newcomer.  To them, whose married life lasted fifty-two years, were born three children, L. W. Newcomer, of this city, Mrs. George Doty, of Raisinville, and a daughter who died in infancy.  
Mrs. Newcomer joined the United Brethren church and forty-two years ago moved with her husband and family to Monroe county, locating on a beautiful River Raisin farm, where they have since resided.  She belonged to the East Raisinville society of the Evangelical church of which she was a faithful member.  Aside from husband and children, there are remaining eleven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, three sisters and five brothers.  The services were held in East Raisinville at the Evangelical church, Reverend Swenk, assisted by Reverends Martin and Shaw, of Monroe, officiating.  It is difficult to estimate the value of a life devoted to Christian work and which, extending beyond the allotted three score years and ten, has been during the long course, so cheerfully sacrificed to the happiness of others, but the sunset of such an existence is radiant and sheds on those around it the peace that passeth understanding."

An obituary printed July 27, 1905 in the Monroe Record-Commercial added this information:
"She was ready for her departure and with Christian fortitude at the hope of immortality, she went to her Heavenly rest after suffering seven days from a malignant fever of malaria fever...The body was laid to rest in Woodlawn cemetery."

So Jacob was left alone.  In the 1900 census, he had moved in with George and Gertrude Ihrig of Raisinville township and was listed as a Boarder.  He was 76, widowed and "had his own income."  Perhaps he kept the farm and rented it out or sold it and had the profits?  I don't think the Ihrigs were related to Jacob or the census would have stated the relationship, rather than the generic "boarder."
In the 1920 census, he had moved in with his daughter, great-grandmother Alice Doty.

In the photo above, taken at the Doty homestead, he is the large man in the suit in front and beside him, to the left is Alice.  The census stated that he was the grandfather, 86 and widowed and, of course, did not work.  The census enumerator visited on January 8th, and by April 21, he had died.

His obituary was quite short, compared to his wife's.  In the Monroe Evening News of April 14, 1921:
Jacob Newcomer, a pioneer resident of this county and father of L. W. Newcomer of the Monroe Binder Board company, died at the home of a granddaughter at Azalia Wednesday afternoon.  Mr Newcomer was 87  years of age and lived in Monroe county for many years.  The funeral will be held at Azalia Saturday afternoon at 1:00 and at the Evangelical church, Monroe, at 2:30 o'clock.  Burial will be at Woodland cemetery."

September 16, 2012

Lewis Warren Newcomer, Alice Doty's Brother

My great-grandmother, Alice Newcomer Doty, was the child of Jacob and Susannah Overmyer Newcomer.  Her story may be read HERE.  Her parents lost another child in infancy, but her brother, Lewis, born November 6, 1861 survived and became a well-known personage in Monroe County, Michigan.

Lewis married Ada Belle Rauch and together they had five children while they lived in Monroe County.
 This photo shows Lewis and his wife, Ada Belle with their children: Irving Albert standing on the left, Daisy Belle and Edna E. in the front center, and little Susan Mary, sitting high in the center back.  Son, Stanley Jacob, was not yet born.
Since Susan was born in 1891 and Stanley in 1897, this dates this photo between those years.

I think Lewis's story is best told in the long, detailed obituary that was published in the Monroe Evening News on May 23, 1939 on page one.

Pioneer in Paper Industry Here Had Been Ill Several Months
Headed Monroe Bank Since Its Reopening
Co-founder of Binder Board Firm in 1904; Later With Consolidated

One of Monroe's pioneers in the paper industry and a community leader, Lewis W. Newcomer died at 4 a.m. today of myocarditis at his home, 44 East Elm Avenue.  He was 77 years old.  For many years a merchant here and in the county, Mr. Newcomer later helped found a local paper mill, served as treasurer of the Consolidated Paper Company since its formation in 1921, and as president of the Monroe State Bank since its reorganization in 1932.  In addition he was active in the Methodist church and in civic organizations until recent years, and his counsel was widely sought on community affairs.

Since his return from Florida, April 15, Mr. Newcomer had been in failing health.  As had been his custom for the last six years, he had spent several months with Mrs. Newcomer t the family winter residence at Miami Beach.  Death came to him quietly this morning, with members of the family present.  (Funeral service information omitted - dk)

Mr Newcomer's early business experience was gained in the butter and egg produce business which developed into a commission produce business.  Later he became associated in a clothing store business and in 1904 organized the Monroe Binder Board Company with the late L. W. Leathers.  They operated the business until 1921 when it became consolidated with the Boehme and Rauch Company to form the present Consolidated Paper CompanyIn the merger, Mr. Newcomer became treasurer and a director and has served continuously since.

Mr. Newcomer was born in Elmore, Ohio, on November 6, 1861, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Newcomer.  He had one sister, Alice, who became the wife of George Doty of Monroe and the mother of Sheriff Harry Doty.  She is now deceased.  When Lewis was 4 years old, Mr. and Mrs. Newcomer moved their family to Raisinville township where Lewis continued to live until his marriage.  He attended the Raisinville district school no. 8 and then the Monroe high school.  Later, he taught at the Raisinville school for five years.

He married Ada Belle Rauch, daughter of Henry and Mary Rauch of Ida, on October 1, 1884.  Mr. Rauch was in the mercantile business in Ida.  The wedding ceremony was preformed by the Rev. Mr. Gramley, at the time pastor of the First Evangelical Church in Ida.  Mr. and Mrs. Newcomer began their married life in Britton where Mr. Newcomer had purchased a half interest in the general store of his brother-in-law, the late E.C. Rauch, who was president of the Consolidated Paper Company for many years.  Mr. and Mrs. Newcomer lived in Britton slightly less than a year when they came to Monroe and Mr. Rauch and Mr. Newcomer engaged in the butter and egg produce business.

The partnership was dissolved after a short time and Mr. Newcomer owned and operated a general store in Strasburg for ten years before moving to Toledo when he bought the J. M. DeMuth commission and produce business.  A year later, in 1895,when Mr. Rauch became a partner in the Boehme and Rauch Company, Mr. Newcomer purchased his brother-in-law's clothing business in Monroe and maintained branch clothing and shoe stores in Clinton and Dundee for a time.

Nine years after returning to Monroe, Mr. Newcomer and Mr. Leathers formed the Monroe Binder Board Company and his entry into the Consolidated Paper Company followed.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Newcomer have been long active in the work of St. Paul's Methodist Church.  Mr. Newcomer served as presidnet of the board of trustees for many years and Mrs. Newcomer taught a Sunday School class.  Mr. Newcomer is a life member of the Monroe Country Club, though inactive in the club in recent years.  He served as treasurer of the Monroe Industrial Commisssion for eight years.  His lodge affiliation is with the blue lodge F. and A.M.

In addition to his wife, Ada Belle, Mr. Newcomer is survived by five children.  They are:
Irving A. Newcomer of Monroe; Mrs. Jason (Daisy Belle) Saunderson of Sioux City, Iowa; Mrs. Millard (Edna) Toncray of Gross Pointe; Mrs. Melvin (Susan Mary) Hollinshead of New York City and Stanley J. Newcomer of Monroe.  There are 12 grandchildren.

The Newcomer house in Monroe in 1904 was the White residence at the corner of Macomb and Front streets where they lived until October 1914, when they built the present home on East Elm Avenue.  The family also has a summer home at Bolles Harbor."
Four generation photo showing Lewis on the left and his (and Alice's) father, Jacob, on the right.  Lewis's son, Irving, is holding his son, Sheldon.

Two days later, a memorial to his character and a review of the funeral was printed in the Monroe Evening News on May 25, 1939.  His estate was probably considered quite large, especially for the Depression era, as he left personal property valued at $250,000.  But more importantly, he was lauded again and again for his personal service to the community as a man... "who was able to retain his idealism, his love of community, and his regard for all the finer things of life along with his business success...A good life has such a continuing influence.  He was...always helpful, always generous, always willing to give, not only of his means but of his time and thought, to every worthy movement in his city or county."

September 12, 2012

Book Reviews - Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke

Band of Sisters
by Cathy Gohlke

Cathy Gohlke, a Christy Award winning author, has hit another homerun with her newest book, Band of Sisters.  Historical fiction, the book follows the lives of Maureen O'Reilly and her sister, Katie Rose, as they leave Ireland and come to New York with the hope of independence and a better life.  It was a rough time for many of the immigrants who came into Ellis Island without the language or skills to support even the most meager of life styles.  But it was especially difficult for young, single girls without families.

When the hope of help from the wealthy Wakefield family did not work out, Maureen and her sister are forced to take what menial jobs they can find, and Maureen begins her web of lies among those trying to help her. Always lurking in the shadows of this story are the predators who wanted young girls to sell for the pleasure of wealthy men.  Maureen soon finds out just how dangerous those men can be.

 The author gave each of the main characters - Maureen and Katie Rose, the poor, Irish immigrants and Olivia and Dorothy, the wealthy society women -  conflicts to deal with and important decisions to make.  It was easy to get angry with both Maureen and Katie Rose at times, but the author lets us understand their situations and the consequences that could lie ahead for them.

 Gohlke not only vividly offers a description of the turmoil and distress of being an immigrant woman, but she also gives a clear picture of the white slave trade as it existed in the early 1900's.  Any young girl was in danger of being captured or lured into the trade, especially those who had no support systems in America. It was big business and even law enforcement would look the other way for their cut of the profits.  Isn't it sad that such young girls and children are still vulnerable to human trafficking today, more than one hundred years later?

I truly enjoyed the book for its historical account of the times, its discussion of an ongoing social problem, and for the characters and story that I became so involved with as the novel progressed.  I can heartily recommend. 

********        ********        ********        ********        ********
Recently Ms. Gohlke was interviewed about her newest novel, Band of Sisters:
** What motivated you to write Band of Sisters?
C.G. - I’ve always been fascinated by the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement. But I was horrified to learn that there are more than twice as many men, women and children enslaved today than at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This book was born of a passion to end modern-day slavery, and most of all, to ask, “What can I do to help in a need so desperate?”

** Why did you choose NYC 1910-1911 to tell this story? And how does human trafficking in that era compare to human trafficking today?
C. G. - I was inspired by an article I’d read about Alma Mathews. Alma was a small but determined woman who, armed with her umbrella and a hefty douse of fury, stood against dangerous men bent on exploiting immigrant women as they entered the U.S. through Castle Gardens, in old New York City. Alma ushered young women to her home, prepared them for employment, and helped them begin a safe new life in the city. It became a full time ministry involving many—all in the early days of the settlement house movement.
But my editor suggested that I set the story later, when immigrants entered the U.S. through Ellis Island. As I researched that possibility, I found that the problem of exploitation and human trafficking had not only grown during those years, but that the strikes of NYC shirtwaist factory workers had made public the desperate need for women to make a living wage in safe circumstances. Necessary elements for the story and high drama were all a matter of public record—everything from the passing of the Mann Act to address the fear of white slavery to the Triangle Waist Factory fire.
Even though our technology, transportation, communication, etc., is different from the story’s era, many countries today are no further in providing rights and safeguards for women than the U.S. was in 1910. Some are further behind.
Many of the same ruses are used by traffickers to lure women into their snare now as they were then: better paying jobs for themselves and/or money for their families, flirtation, pretense of emotional caring and support, marriage, offers specifically for modeling jobs, offers for education, appeals for help of various kinds, plays on sympathies, etc.
In some cases, after having sex with someone they trusted, or after being drugged and forced into having sex, women or children are/were blackmailed. Fearful that their families will not believe them or will accuse them of promiscuity and reject them, they are afraid and feel compelled to sneak out and “service” men when called. Some are sold to traffickers or users by members of their own family, or by someone they trust.
Once trapped—sometimes after being unwittingly drugged and/or blackmailed—women are often transported far from their home (crossing borders to other states or countries). Held against their will through abuse, enforced poverty, lack of ID, lack of language skills, lack of visas or passports, they may simply not know who to trust or where to go for help in the country in which they find themselves. Isolation, threats to their person or their family, repeated brain washing that they are dirty, worthless,unwanted, unloved, and good for nothing but sex with paying customers are all tools that traffickers use to intimidate and control their victims.
Fear of what will happen if they try to escape, fear that they have ruined their lives and will have no other way to live, fear for themselves and loved ones, resulting health problems, feelings of hopelessness and a constantly reinforced sense of self-worthlessness all form formidable prisons for victims of trafficking. Even if it seems they can physically escape, they may not be able to break the emotional or mental chains that bind them.
All those things happened then, and they continue to happen to victims today.

**Your characters are strongly influenced by the question asked in Charles Sheldon’s classic, “In His Steps”—“what would Jesus do?” Why did you choose that book to help tell your story?
C. G. - After all my research I knew I had the historical elements needed. What I didn’t know was the inner conflict of each character, or the answer to the all-important question: “what can I do to help in a need so desperate?”  

I found my answer by confronting the question Sheldon posed in his very popular book of the time, “what would Jesus do?”
If we all truly do what Jesus would do, slavery will end. Jesus never exploited men or women—He uplifted them and showed them a path of hope, a new way of thinking and living. He never used children, or child labor for ease or gain—He blessed little ones, demonstrating their great worth. He never bought or sold babies to fulfill the bride “needs” of a one-child culture. He never bought or sold human organs, or fetuses, or body parts. He never lied to immigrants, never enslaved them, never threatened their families or loved ones or lives if they did not comply with His demands, never coerced or forced, never shamed or punished a single person into submission to His will. But in every way He set a moral compass, employed Divine compassion to the broken hearted and broken bodied, and held to account any and all who victimized others.

**Issues of sex slavery and human trafficking are foreign to most of us and uncomfortable to discuss. How can Christians respond?
C. G. - By speaking for those who have no voice. These are among the poor and needy of our day, in many cases the orphans that Jesus commanded us to care for.
We must remember that the discomfort is ours, and the desperate need is theirs. Being a Christian, a Christ follower, isn’t easy in a fallen world. Doing what Jesus did wasn’t easy or comfortable. He confronted demons and hypocrites. He stood against people who cared more about the monetary value of their livestock than they did about freeing one human being from demonic possession.
Jesus ate with “publicans and sinners” to the ruin of His reputation. Just as He is our example in loving one another and in protecting innocent young children, so He is our example in setting captives free, in loosening cords that bind, in rescuing women and children from prostitution, men from slavery.
In many countries of the world Christians pay with their lives for standing up for their faith and/or for protecting others. I’ve heard it said that only in America do we expect it to be easy to be a Christian. Talking about things that are uncomfortable to our sensibilities don’t seem so hard in comparison to the challenges our brothers and sisters in Christ face the world over.


For more about Cathy Gohlke and information about organizations working to fight human trafficking, please check out her website at: .

**This book was provided to me for my review from Tyndale House Publishers.  The opinions expressed are my own.

September 9, 2012

Book Review - Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling


Whispers in the Wind
by Lauraine Snelling
Book 2 of the Wild West Wind series 

 I had not read the first book in the Wild West Wind series, but it was easy to pick up the story of Cassie Lockwood and the Engstrom family.  Cassie had left a now defunct Wild West show with her friends,  Chief, Runs Like a Deer, and Micah to find a ranch she had inherited half interest in when her father died.  Her father and the also now deceased Ivar Engstrom had been best friends when they invested in the Dakota land.  The Engstrom family was certainly surprised to see her and her claim, but they welcomed her into their fold, except for son, Ransom, who was suspicious and unhappy about the situation.

The plot was slow and slower to develop, with no real action until more than half way through the book.  The reader will find many details on how the settlers lived off the land for their survival and helped each other, which were interesting, but did not really advance the story.  Once the plot unfolded, the author moved it along to a dead end because the next book will pick up the story. 

I liked the way the author wove in the theme of trusting in God and his plan for our lives.  Mavis had such an articulate way of comforting Cassie with that promise.  The author showed us especially well how the relationship grew between these two women. 

The book was an easy read with a good, Christian message, but it was definitely a transitional book moving us on to the next in the series.  

**This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers for my review.  The opinions are entirely my own.

September 8, 2012

The First Doty Here - Edward

So much has been written of Edward Doty, the servant of Stephen Hopkins and a Londoner, it is thought, who traveled on that first Mayflower voyage in 1620.  Generally, he is described as a pretty aggressive, pugnacious fellow who doesn't shy from a good fight or a little controversy.

He is probably best known early on for taking part in the first sword fight in the New World.  Edward Leister, a fellow servant of Mr. Hopkins, and Edward Doty fought a little duel in which both were wounded.  Their punishment was to be tied neck to heels for twenty-four hours, but their master, Hopkins, pleaded for their release and it was accomplished after only an hour.  Edward Doty was one of the men who volunteered to go out into a shallop with nine other men for an exploration of the coast and a search for a good site for their settlement, after they first landed near the Massachusetts coast. I think "Adventurer" was a very appropriate title for our Edward Doty.

I read not too long ago the book, Plymouth Colony, Its History and People, 1620 - 1691, and I kept a list of the court cases and scrabbles that Edward had with his neighbors and the list made several pages!  He must have had a little temper.  The reasons ranged from land disputes to "breaking the peace" to cheating and slandering.  In March 1633, he fought and drew blood from Josiah Cook and had to pay cook 3 shillings and 4 pence for it.

When Edward first arrived with Stephen Hopkins and his family, it is thought that Doty was toward the end of his indenture.  Neither Stephen nor Edward had made the trip to New England in the search for religious freedom.  In fact, Hopkins was one of the dissenters in the group and probably one of the reasons that the Mayflower Compact had to be formed - to set some guidelines for the group.  When Samoset first visited the colony, he stayed with the Hopkins family, so it follows that Edward would have met him, too.  
(Edward's signature is in the 4th column, second to last)

 Eventually, Edward owned land and had servants of his own, such as John Smith who bound himself as an apprentice to Doty for ten years.  It is suggested in Bradford's telling that Edward Doty had a first wife, but no one has determined who that was or what happened to her.  It is on record that he married Faith Clarke and with her had seven children: Edward, John, Thomas, Samuel, Desire, Elizabeth, Isaac (our ancestor), Joseph and Mary.

Edward died before his wife, Faith, and his will has survived, dated 20 May 1655, in which he leaves some parcels of land to his sons when they each reach 21 and if they die before that, the shares would go to his wife.  "And unto my loveing wife, I give and bequeath my house and lands and meddows within the precincts of New Plymouth, together with all Chattles and moveables that are my proper goods, onley Debts and engagements to bee paied."

Edward is probably buried on Burial Hill and since the wooden grave markers are long gone, a memorial stone has been placed there.
Faith, Edward's widow, married John Phillips on 14 March 1666.  It is interesting that they had a sort of written prenuptial agreement in that the children of each would remain under the control of the natural parent only and that Faith could dispose of her own property as she saw fit.  If Phillips should predecease her, she would have a life interest in 1/3 of his real and personal property.  (Plymouth Church Records 4:763.164)  I think that sounds so modern!

Quite a few years ago, we visited Plimouth Plantation and the Stephen Hopkins house where a very talented fellow played the part of Edward Doty (Dotey, Doten, Doughten, etc.)  He never fell out of character despite our questions.
I can't wait to go back again, as I see now we missed some areas like Pilgrim Hall and Burial Hill that I would like to visit. 

One can read about Edward Doty at any of these sites.  Some of the books are online and searchable for "Edward Doty."
The Plimouth Plantation 
The Doty-Doten Family, page 12+
Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford
Signers of the Mayflower Compact by A.A.Haxtun, p. 80
and many more. A Google Search will keep you busy for days!

September 5, 2012

Joseph, Joseph, and Isaac Doty

We have come just three generations from the Mayflower ancestor, Edward Doty.
The next two generations back (my 5th and 6th great-grandfathers), Joseph and Joseph, both settled in Oyster Bay, New York.  Joseph, the father of Peter and Rebecca and my 5th gg, discussed in the last Doty posts, was born about 1708 and married to Lucretia Delong about 1744.  Since the Doty-Doten book is now online, and I don't have any other information on these generations beyond what is printed in that book, I will direct you HERE to page 505, #6902 to read about Joseph and Lucretia.

Joseph's father was also named Joseph and was married to Sarah Davis.  Born about 1680, my 6th gg also was born and lived in the town of Oyster Bay.  Please go HERE to page 501, #6894 to read more about Joseph and Sarah.

The father of Joseph was Isaac Doty, the seventh child of Edward Doty, Mayflower adventurer of 1620.  When Edward died, Isaac was only 6 years old. Born in Plymouth, Massachusetts around 1648, Isaac eventually was the first of the Dotys to make his way to Oyster Bay where he built a house and settled with his family.  Isaac's story may be read HERE on page 496, #8.

So, now the last Doty step is the story of Edward Doty - NOT a Pilgrim, but a servant to an adventurer!