Sunday, December 17, 2017

Arlynn Reed Haight 1902 - 1929

This is kind of a sad post, but appropriate for this time of year.  Below are two letters from my great grandmother (Ida May Smith Haight)  to my grandmother (Esther May Haight Krause).  My great grandmother is spending all her time at the hospital with her son Arlynn who has been ill with pneumonia.  In the second letter, she is very optimistic about being able to take him home in another week, just in time for Christmas.  However, he died 10 days after the second letter was written.  It is heartbreaking to read, knowing from this side what is coming in the days ahead.

One other note:  Ida suffered a fatal cerebral hemorrahage just 3 months later.

727 Gladstone Ave, Richmond, VA
Dec 6 – 1929

Dear Esther,
                I told you I would write after the operation, but there has been none as Arlynn has developed pneumonia and has been quite sick for several days.
He was suffering so last night that Dr. Sweeney had him put in a private room and had a night nurse.  I have been here today to keep track of him.
Dr. Ashton was in here a few minutes ago and said his condition was better than it was yesterday.  He looks brighter to me also.
Dr. Sweeney says the congestion is in the lower lobe of the left lung and really is not as serious as it would be higher up.  I am more than thankful for two things – one that they did not operate and also that he was in the hospital because I really believe they can do more with him here than we could have done at home.
It has turned much warmer again for which I am truly thankful.
Lucy is working every day and seems delighted with her work.  She is not in the store proper, but is in the warehouse around on 7th St.  She has to look up misdirected and other articles that have not been sent out correctly.
For some reason the lady in charge of this department took a fancy to her and asked for her to help them.
Arlynn’s being sick has knocked out all Christmas from my bones, or rather I know I won’t get a fruit cake made but then if we can all have our health and strength I will be thankful for that and it will be as much Christmas as I want.
I will keep you posted and sincerely hope I will have better news to report next time.
Love to all –


727 Gladstone Ave – Richmond – VA
Dec 14 – 1929

Dear Esther,
                I thought to have written sooner than this.  I bring the stockings over here with me every day and it looks like I just get through with them when it is time to go home again.  Of course I wait on Arlynn quite a bit when he needs it.
                The fruit cake came yesterday, my but it smells good and it was lovely of you to make me one.
                I haven’t done one think about Christmas except to buy a few cards.  I go out for a walk every day about three oclock and in that way have bought cards, also Xmas tree ornaments for Amy and that is as far as I have gotten.
                The girls have been right busy that is except Effie, she has been spending all her spare time at the Hospital.  She’ll be sick the first thin she knows but I don’t know what else she can (do)
                Arlynn is improving right along and I hope we can get him home in another week’s time anyway.  He is getting quite restless w about staying here but he is improving right along.
One think I don’t like, he is nauseated so much and loses so many meals in that way, but he is improving even with that.
He was very ill for a few days so we have a whole lot to be thankful for.
Wonder if your weather is as changeable as ours is now, today is like a spring day, don’t know whether it is a weather burden or not.
Am just writing notes these days but am sorry I did not write sooner in the week.
Effie said the children hadn’t written their letters but Santa has been busy anyway.  Mr. Ross is holding his own, I go up to see him every day.
More anon –

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

More Church Records

This is a followup to Sunday's post.

Thomas Henry Smith (1835 - 1926) and Mary Ann Tinkler (1827 - 1887) were married in the Union Episcopal Methodist Church in Washington, DC.  I guessed that this was Mary Ann's church, as I had other records showing Thomas as a member of Calvary Baptist Church, along with their two children, Ida May (1867 - 1930) and Samuel Thomas (1869 - 1962) and both their spouses.

I had been searching for records from Union ME Church without luck until Sunday afternoon AFTER I made my Sunday post here!

I found christening records for Ida May and Samuel, along with christening records for Samuel's wife, Minnie Riggles (1869 - 1938).  It appears that these three were christened in the Union ME Church and later were baptized in and joined Calvary Baptist Church.

Name                         Ida May Smith
Gender                       Female
Christening Date       27 Sep 1867
Christening Place      District of Columbia
Birth Date                 30 Mar 1867
Father's Name           Thomas H. Smith
Mother's Name          Mary

Name                         Samuel Thomas Smith
Gender                       Male
Christening Date       21 Sep 1869
Christening Place      District of Columbia
Birth Date                 27 Mar 1869
Father's Name           Thomas H. Smith
Mother's Name          Mary Ann

Name                         Minnie Riggles
Gender                       Female
Christening Date       21 Sep 1869
Christening Place      District of Columbia
Birth Date                 23 Mar 1869
Father's Name           Thomas Riggles
Mother's Name          Annie M.

Notice that Samuel and Minnie were christened on the same day!  How cool is that?

"District of Columbia Births and Christenings, 1830-1855", database, FamilySearch ( December 2014)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Church records

Thomas Henry Smith and his family were members of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, DC.  I was able to connect via email with Paul Rosstead who was very helpful in finding and sending me copies of membership cards for several of the family members.  It appears that Mary Ann Tinkler Smith may not have joined the church and perhaps instead chose to retain her membership with the church she attended before her marriage.  Records indicate that she and Thomas were married at the Union Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.  I have not found any contact information for that church as of yet, but will continue to search.

I have been unable to figure out how to insert a pdf here, so I will just list the information from each of the cards instead.

Membership Card
In No.   479
Out No.   4469
Name    Smith, Thomas H.
How Received     Letter
Name of Church received from Date of Baptism
Date of Action    3/29/1866
How Lost    Death
Name of Church Dismissed to
Date    11/1/26

Membership Card
In No.   480
Out No.   197
Name    Smith, Ida M.    now Mrs. Ida M. Haight
How Received     Baptism
Name of Church received from Date of Baptism
Date of Action    2/18/1883
How Lost    Letter
Name of Church Dismissed to    Harrisonburg, Va.
Date   5/3/89

Membership Card
In No.   239
Out No.   211
Name    Haight, Willard R.
How Received     Letter
Name of Church received from Date of Baptism   North Bapt. City
Date of Action    5/2/1884
How Lost    Letter
Name of Church Dismissed to    Freemason St., Norfolk, Va.
Date   8/11/87

Membership Card
In No.   480
Out No.   197
Name    Haight, Mrs. Ida M.  nee Ida M. Smith
How Received     Baptism
Name of Church received from Date of Baptism
Date of Action    2/18/1883
How Lost    Letter
Name of Church Dismissed to   Harrisonburg, Va.
Date   5/30/1889

Membership Card
In No.   996
Out No.   2809
Name    Smith, Samuel T.
How Received     Baptism
Name of Church received from Date of Baptism
Date of Action    11/11/1888
How Lost    Erasure
Name of Church Dismissed to    Whereabouts unknown
Date   2/1/17

Membership Card
In No.   2187
Out No.   5937
Name    Smith, Mrs. Samuel T. (Minnie)
How Received     Baptism
Name of Church received from Date of Baptism    10/25/1896
Date of Action    10/15/1896
How Lost    Letter
Name of Church Dismissed to   Presbyterian, Takoma Park, MD
Date   12/23/37

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thomas Henry Smith

A conversation with my cousin yesterday prompted me to write a post about my second great grandfather on my mother's side.

Thomas was born October 14, 1835 in Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka.  His father, who he was named after, was in the army and died there while serving.  Unfortunately, military records are scarce for that time and location.  A brother and sister, also born in Ceylon also died there.  Once her husband died, Elizabeth Butcher Tinkler, Thomas's mother, returned to England with her three remaining children, Mary Isabella, Francis Lenetta and Thomas Henry.

Family lore has it that relatives "kidnapped" Thomas and took him to Ireland to raise while Elizabeth and the two girls came to America, settling in New York.  Thomas ran away from his relatives and stowed away on a ship to join his mother and sisters in New York.

To earn money, he had a fish cart that he pushed through the streets, selling fresh fish.  He was known as "Catfish Tom".  Some time ago I saw a television show on how the Irish were forcably conscripted into the Army during the Civil war.  I am sure Thomas was one of these, although I have yet to find concrete proof.  He does have a quite common name, which makes researching him that much more difficult.  He served in the Army as a cook, being stationed in Washington, DC.  Subsequent census records list his occupation as "huckster" or "market huckster", showing that he continued selling foodstuffs from a cart.

June 20, 1865 he married Mary Ann Tinkler and they had two children, Ida May Smith, my great-grandmother, and Samuel Thomas Smith.  Ida went on to marry Willard Reed Haight, and they had eight children, including Esther May Haight, my maternal grandmother.

Thomas spent his last years at the John Dickson Home in Washington, DC, dying November 3, 1926 at the age of 91.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Minnie Belle Haight, Teacher

Today I'm sharing a photo of Mims and her class of students from 1913, followed by a letter that her father, Willard, wrote to her in 1914.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Smith family Bible pages

It's amazing what you find when you decide to clean up your computer files!  I had totally forgotten I had scanned these from Cynda.  I am showing the originals first, then adding my transcription, as best I could make out the writing.


As best as I can make out the handwriting, these are pages from the Bible belonging to Elizabeth Mary Butcher Smith, with notes from her son, Thomas Henry Smith.

Bible page 1
Thomas Smith born June 24th, 1800, in Munden County, Kent, England
Eliz. Mary Butcher born May 5th, 1808 in Sandwich St., Portsea, Portsmouth, England

Mary Isabella daughter of Thos. And Eliz. M. Smith April 11th, 1828 Portsmouth

Sydney John born June 14th, 1830 in garrison of Columbo, Island of Ceylon

Frances Smith born Oct. 9th, 1831, Kandy, Ceylon

Martha Ann born Oct. 24, 1833, Kandy Ceylon

Thos. H. Smith born Oct. 14th, 1835, Colombo, Ceylon

Bible page 2
Thomas Smith Died March 23rd, 1838, Garrison of Trincomalie, Ceylon

Sydney J, Smith Died Sept, 29th, Colombo

Martha Ann died March 16, 1836, Colombo

Elizabeth Mary Smith Died Oct. 31. 1867, Washington

Mary Isabella Vessey Died Feb. 4th, 1863, Washington

Fanny Cornelia Vessey died August 6, 1862, Washington

Emma Louisa Meany Died August 21, 1861

Fannie Lenetta Meany died Feb. 26th, 1870, Washington

Bible page 3
Frank L. Vessey born August 16th, 1854, Washington

John F. Vessey, born Dec. 6th 1856, Washington

Fanny L. Meany born August 19th, 1857, New York

Sarah E. Vessey born Dec 26th, 1859, New York

Mary I Meany born Jan 1st, 1860, New York

Fanny C. Vessey born 14 Jan 1861, Washington

Emma Louisa born 18th June, 1861, New York

John T. Meany born 2nd Dec 1865, Washington

Ida May Smith born March 30th, 1867, Washington

S. T. Smith born March 27th 1869

Bible page 4
Thomas Smith to Elizabeth Mary Butcher by Rev. Mr. Tyrell, St. Paul’s Church, Dublin, April 4, 1827

Mary I. Smith to Leonard Vessey by Rev. Mr, French, Church Ephiphany, Washington, D. C., 13th November

John J. Meany to Fannie Smith by Rev. Mr. Sathom (?) at the rectory St. Marks Church, New York, June 9th, 1856

Thomas H. Smith to Mary Ann Tinkler by Rev. Lemon, Washington, D. C. June 20th, 1865

Bible pages 5:

Happy day, happy day
When Jesus washed
My sins away
March 17th, 1858

The Lord is my Shebard I shall not want.
(this is the way shepherd was spelled in the rewritten version, but spelled shepherd in the original writing)

(The original faded writing was at the top of the page, and rewritten per margin notes on the bottom of the page.)

Page 6:

Mrs. E. M. Smith
The gift of
Mr. Sheridan

(This was in faded writing at the top of the page and rewritten per margin notes at the bottom of the page.

This was my Mother’s Bible
It was a gift from a dear friend and brother in Christ ----
John Sheriden

Note: around the margin of these two facing pages is written:

My mother was born in Portsmouth, England in 1801.  Rewritten in Washington, D.C. March 9th, 1902, T. H. Smith