Saturday, June 23, 2018

DNA and the Search for Our 4th Great-grandmother

Shenandoah Valley
When I began building our Raney family tree on, I confidently put in our 3rd great-grandfather James Rainey (1814-c1869) and his wife, Milla "Millie" Roberts (c1808- after 1880) because our cousin Pat and Uncle Paul knew they had married in Pulaski County, Kentucky, in 1832, although I'm not certain how Uncle Paul knew that. After visiting Princeton, Indiana, to see the old house, they drove down to Somerset, Kentucky, went to the Pulaski County courthouse and found the original entry for James Rainey and Millie Roberts' marriage
Pulaski County, Kentucky
Then they hunted up what may have been the Rainey farm on Buck Creek outside of Somerset. There is a Rainey Road accessing Buck Creek, now used for summer water sports.
Buck Creek, Pulaski County, Kentucky

 I'm still not certain of the identity of James Rainey's father, but will do a future post on two possibilities I've found. Today I want to tell you how I identified Millie Roberts' mother.

Millie's father was John Roberts (c1771-1857). Initially, the only clue I found regarding his wife was the 1850 Pulaski County census. In 1850, in addition to the name of head of household, for the first time the wives and children were listed with their ages and in which state they were born.  John was age 80 and Jane 73. The census-taker wrote their place of birth as Georgia, which I'm certain is wrong. Jane Roberts, widowed for the 1860 census in Pulaski County, is listed as head of household, age 85, born in North Carolina, which makes sense for what I later discovered. 

When I checked the family trees of other descendants of John and Jane Roberts, as though in lock-step they listed John Roberts' wife as Jane West. Jane West, a Quaker, married a John Roberts in Montgomery County, Virginia, in 1798.
Montgomery County, Virginia

Only a few persons who claimed Jane as an ancestor left her surname blank. Most just copied Jane West and her family from other persons' trees. Assuming the majority was correct, I built a wonderful line of ancestry for Jane West and her illustrious Quaker family. Who wouldn't want to claim them as ancestors? Her uncle was the famous American painter Benjamin West (1738-1820). 
Benjamin West self-portrait

I read Jane West's mother's published letters written home to relatives in Pennsylvania from the wilds of Virginia. This was a literate family with strong Quaker beliefs. Was John Roberts a Quaker? I doubted it. And something didn't ring true. John Roberts' family had settled across the Appalachians in what would become Hawkins County, Tennessee, quite a trek over the mountains back to Montgomery County, Virginia, to claim a wife. 
Present-day Hawkins County, Tennessee

We know he was from Hawkins County because when he died in 1857, the death entry for Pulaski County states his father was William Roberts of Hawkins County, Tennessee. No doubt his widow Jane supplied that information. Why would a backwoods boy travel to Virginia to meet and marry an educated Quaker when there were girls in his own settlement, girls whose work habits he could observe first-hand? I contacted a couple of people who claimed descent from Jane West and John Roberts to express my doubts about Jane Roberts' family lineage. They felt strongly about her identity and said to look at the DNA matches. Of course, if a body of relatives claim the same ancestor and match one another, it certainly will reinforce that belief.

Another marriage took place, this one closer to John Roberts' home, in Jefferson County, Tennessee. The previous year, 1797, a John Roberts married Jennie Patton on 9 November. 
Present-day Jefferson County, Tennessee

Jefferson County also appears a goodly distance from Hawkins County on a modern Tennessee county map, so I studied some east Tennessee history. What would become Tennessee belonged to North Carolina, just as Kentucky belonged to Virginia. After the American Revolution, North Carolina gave its Revolutionary War veterans land bounties in Tennessee. In 1780, when east Tennessee called itself the short-lived State of Franklin, the counties looked like the map below. Then the green Spencer county became Hawkins and part of the brown Caswell County became modern-day Jefferson County.
When John Roberts and Jane "Jennie" Patton married in 1797, Hawkins County (formed in 1787) and Jefferson County (formed in 1792) had a common border. 
Holston River, northeast Tennessee

I believe their families lived near each other on the Holston River. 

A clue arose regarding the correct wife for John Roberts when I viewed John Roberts' first appearance in the Pulaski County census in 1810. Near the Roberts homestead is Robert Patton and his family, probably Jennie's brother. People migrated in family groups - safety in numbers on the frontier.

A second clue was when I searched DNA matches for Pat and Jack Raney and myself. When I searched the surname West, I found no matches for descendants of what should have been Jane West's brothers or uncles. But when I did a DNA match search for Patton - oh, my! Descendants of what must have been Jane "Jennie" Patton's brothers and uncles popped up. 

So, what about the Patton family? Are we distantly related to General George Smith Patton of World War II fame?
Patton pins a Silver Star medal on Private Ernest A. Jenkins, a soldier under his command, October 1944.

If we are, the mutual ancestor must be far back in time in Scotland.The surname Patton is derived from the Christian name Patrick.
Modern Midlothian, Scotland (smaller than the original county).

General Patton's ancestors came directly from Midlothian, Scotland to Virginia in the 1750s or '60s. 

Our Pattons probably emigrated from Fife, Scotland, to Ulster (Northern Ireland) in the 17th century, settling first in Newton Lemavaddy, County Derry. William Patton fought for the successful Prince William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland against the deposed King James II in 1690 and was granted an estate.
County Derry (Londonderry), modern Northern Ireland

William Patton's estate of Crogann (Groghan) in Clondevaddock, Donegal, Ireland, lies in the far north on the Fanad Peninsula (on the map below to the right of Lough Swilly). His son Henry Patton was a Presbyterian minister there.

You'll recall the Dougans of North Carolina also came out of County Donegal (but from the southern part), and like the Pattons were Presbyterian. Their story is HERE. Numerous sons of Henry Patton came to America through the port of Philadelphia, and initially settled in Lancaster and Chester counties, Pennsylvania. At the moment I'm unsure which of those brothers was Jennie Patton's grandfather, and so I can't be certain who her father was.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Most of the brothers moved down into the Shenandoah Valley to Augusta County, Virginia, originally so vast, it included modern West Virginia, Kentucky and beyond. 
Shenandoah Valley

Some Pattons moved  farther south to Orange County, North Carolina, where Jane Patton allegedly was born in 1775. (It's the "Or" in the map below)
Jane Patton's family resettled in east Tennessee sometime after the American Revolution. I will tell their story in the near future when I've done more research.
Jefferson County, Tennessee

And so, John Roberts married Jane "Jennie" Patton in November of 1797 in Jefferson County, Tennessee. They had a few children in Tennessee and then more after moving up to Pulaski County, Kentucky, one of whom was our 3rd great-grandmother Millie Roberts (born about 1808), who married our 3rd great-grandfather James Rainey (born about 1814). They migrated up to southern Indiana in the early 1850s and so our family story entered the modern age where it's much easier to track. 

We'll close with "Fair and Tender Ladies," sung by Anita Carter of the Carter Family HERE

Monday, June 4, 2018

Our Cousins of African-American Descent

During Thomas Jefferson's lifetime, a visitor to his Monticello plantation in Virginia observed a youth of about twelve, light-skinned and red-haired. "Who is that boy?" he asked. The answer was that he was a "child of the plantation." For generations, Jefferson's descendants by his slave, Sally Hemings, half-sister to his late wife Martha, knew Jefferson was their ancestor, but his white descendants denied the relationship . . . until along came DNA. If you've a mind to, you can read about that controversy HERE  
It's through DNA that I've come across two of our cousins of African-American descent. I don't mean my son Donovan.
Donovan 1994 before he went bald and entered middle age.
And I don't mean our cousin Erin's and her husband's adopted son Quinn.  
Quinn and the Windy Day
I mean that until James Rainey (1814-c1870) and Milla (Roberts) Rainey (c1808 - c1880) moved their family from Pulaski County, Kentucky, to the free state of Indiana in the early 1850s, our ancestors and their kin resided in the South. Some, although not all, possessed enslaved men, women and children. This blog is about a branch of Milla Roberts' family and their African-American descendants. 

Milla's father was John Roberts (1771 Virginia - 1857 Pulaski Co. Kentucky). And John's father was William Roberts, likely born about 1735 in Virginia and settled in Hawkins County, Tennessee. 
Hawkins County, Tennessee

After living a short time in Pulaski County, Kentucky, William Roberts got it into his head to join his cousin George Roberts down in what was then called West Florida (a part of Spanish Florida), and died in St. Tammany Parish in 1810. That same year President Madison annexed West Florida to Louisiana Territory.
St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana
Now this cousin George Roberts was born in 1745, probably in Virginia, and died about 1810 in Washington Parish, Louisiana.
Washington Parish, Louisiana

He had nine sons and two daughters with his wife Rhoda Payne (1750-1811). Oddly, Rhoda was allegedly reared a Quaker, a religious group that abhorred slavery. 

George made out his will in 1804, claiming citizenship in Hawkins County, Tennessee, so perhaps creating it before departing for Louisiana. He deposited the will with the local commandant in Washington Parish where he settled.  We know he was a slave-owner because after naming his "beloved wife Rhoda Roberts" and his children, and making bequests, he states:

. . and as for my negro woman Lettis and her child Catherine to Belong to my wife as long as she lives and at her death Both to be free. If my wife should dy [sic] before the child is twenty seven years of age she may give it to one of the children to have tel [sic] she is of that age and to be free.
The usual reason for a slave-owner to free a female slave and her child was because he had sired that child. However, it's possible he did so out of consideration for his wife's views.

Of George's and Rhoda's many children, we'll focus on Elisha Roberts, born in 1775 in the Watauga Settlement on the Holston River, in what became Hawkins County, Tennessee. I earlier wrote about the killings by Indians of some of the Roberts family there. HERE

Elisha Roberts left Tennessee for Kentucky, where he married Martha "Patsy" Gill in Green County in 1800. He remained there about ten years, even purchasing land from his father-in-law in 1803. His father and some brothers and sisters having already removed to Louisiana, Elisha and his young family, including three slaves, finally did, also, in 1811, settling in the southern part of Washington Parish. After participating in the War of 1812 as a 1st lieutenant, he purchased more slaves and established a large cotton plantation. His daughter Mahala allegedly was born in this plantation house in 1816.
Elisha Roberts Washington Parish plantation house
In the 1820 census he possessed two adult male slaves, two adult female slaves, six male slaves under age 14 and six female slaves under age 14. 

The family story is that while running down an escaped slave whose wife had been carried to Texas by another master, Elisha rode into east Texas. The land looked good to him and, in January, 1824, he settled his family and his slaves on a large piece of land in what would become San Augustine County in east Texas, on the road to San Antonio. He'd traded a slave to a Spaniard for that land.
San Augustine County, Texas
Race is difficult to write about. I've puzzled over how I would tell the story of our distant cousins' white ancestors. Do we abhor the sin, but love the sinner? I suppose Elisha Roberts would be the first to protest that he was no sinner, but a good businessman, who took advantage of the economic and social conditions of the time. Slavery is wrong at any time, in any place.

Elisha's descendants on, both black and white, appear to honor his accomplishments. His 30 slaves dredged out a creek in San Augustine County and erected a cotton gin there in 1825. Elisha was an alcalde for the Ayish Bayou District in 1831, holding court on his broad front gallery. You'll recall that Texas was still governed by Mexico. He was a delegate to the 2nd convention of Texas in 1833. He gave hospitality to Davy Crockett, Stephen Austin, Sam Houston and others who fought for Texas independence. A Texas Centennial marker with a bronze plaque was placed at Elisha and Patsy's grave-site in 1936. His descendants decided not to clear the site, hidden from the highway, in order to protect it from vandals.
Grave-sites of Elisha (left foreground) and Martha "Patsy" Gill Roberts (right) near their home-site.

When he died in 1844, Elisha possessed 51 enslaved people. In his will he desired that his land be divided into small tracts so that his eight children could draw lots for them. As for the enslaved: 

It is my Will and desire that all the slaves of which I may be posses[s]ed of at my death . . . shall be divided into lots or parcels as nearly equal in value as possible and that all of my children . . . shall cast lots in a manner to be prescribed by my said Executors . . . for the first, second and third choices and so on of said lots or parcels of slaves . . . so as to make as equal distribution of my negroes according to their value among my children as named in the Will as can conveniently be done without disposing any of said negroes to public sale.

Did wanting to avoid the selling of these people at public auction show benevolence, or was it a practical solution to avoid breaking up families, resulting in possible retaliation?

Elisha's daughter Anna Roberts, born  in 1800, married Bryant Daughtrey from North Carolina in Washington Parish in 1818. 
Bryant Daughtrey

Anna and Bryant, their children and four slaves, accompanied Elisha and Patsy Roberts, their family, and 30 slaves to Texas. They appear on Stephen Austin's 1829 Register of Families.

It is Bryant and Anna Daughtrey's son Edward (1825-1904), who in 1855 had a daughter by the enslaved girl Peggy, age 21. Their daughter was named Cynthia. Peggy died about 1860, but Cynthia, known as "Balmer" because her mother allegedly was born in Alabama, appears that year as a five-year-old female on Edward Daughtrey's1860 slave census. She was emancipated in 1865 in Austin County, Texas, where the Daughtreys lived. In 1872 Cynthia Daughtrey married Brister Fedford, a farmer.  They had nine children. Both were literate, as were their children. She is described as "mulatto" on the 1880 census. Cynthia died in 1940 in Washington County, Texas. She is our 4th cousin, 3x removed.

Cynthia Daughtrey Fedford holding her Bible with daughter Ida Ellie

Her descendant Roy, a lawyer in Hartford, Connecticut, claims Edward Daughtrey as his great-great grandfather, and Anna Roberts Daughtrey as his 3rd great-grandmother. I don't doubt him. DNA is seldom wrong. That makes Roy our 7th cousin.                       

We aren't finished with Elisha Roberts' family down there in Texas. Among his many children, Elisha had a daughter Mahala Roberts, born 1816 in Washington County, Louisiana.  
Mahala Roberts Sharp
 Mahala married John Sharp in San Augustine, Texas, in 1838. They had Samuel Houston Sharp in 1839. John Sharp died in 1846, and Mahala remarried a man named Hall, but he died in 1871. In the 1880 census in Crockett, Houston County, Texas, Mahala, now 63, is living with her son Samuel Houston Sharp who, at age 41, is a bookkeeper and a widower. His six children are in the household. Also listed is Fannie Bass, a 25-year-old black servant, and her one-year-old daughter Florence. We don't know what became of Fannie's husband, but we know from the census that she was illiterate. The following year, 1881, Maounzie "Andy" Sharp was born to Fannie. Fannie, Maounzie and their descendants claimed Sam Houston Sharp was his father and DNA now proves it so.
Maounzie "Andy" Sharp (1881-1955)
 Maounzie, who also is our 4th cousin, 3x removed, attended school, married, had children and died in 1955 in Texas.

Descended from Maounzie, Dorothy, a retired human resources professional in Texas, claims Mahala Roberts as her great-great-great grandmother and is our 6th cousin 1x removed (7th cousin, I suppose). It was Dorothy, in an email to me, who described her great-grandmother Fannie as an "enslaved girl." Not that she was still legally enslaved, but found herself in a difficult situation, having to maintain her employment with Mahala Sharp and stay in the good graces of Mahala's son Samuel, in order to care for herself and her child Florence.

If I'm to make a point, I think it must be that we, who have ancestral lines trailing back into the South, shouldn't be surprised to discover that we have ancestors, direct and collateral who, out of a greed for wealth, kept men, women and children enslaved and powerless, used and misused them, and that we are related to their descendants by blood and genes.

DNA matches allowed me locate Roy and Dorothy. I want to thank them for permitting me to post their photos and tell these episodes from their family histories. For me, and I hope for you, DNA is demonstrating how we Americans really are one large extended family

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Close Calls: The Life of Paul Whitman Raney (1913-2005) Part VIII

         Close Calls: The Life of Paul Whitman Raney  

                                                                                       By Patrick Raney

Some of Paul's assignments were top secret, only now coming to light with a little research.  During the Cold War, probably sometime in the 1960s, he served aboard the USNS Albert J. Myer, (T-ARC-6), a Cable Laying/Repair Ship, assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), its exact dates of activity still classified. It is not listed on Paul's service record, but he possessed this plaque, which he gave to grandson Mark Raney, telling him the ship's primary mission was in support of electronically spying on Soviet subs that were off the coast of Japan in the highly classified SOSUS program. HERE 
Named for the first chief of the U.S. Signal Corps, launched in 1945, the Albert J. Meyer  was the last ship to have reciprocating steam engines; its assignments were to transport, deploy, retrieve and repair submarine cables, test acoustic devices, and conduct acoustic hydrographic and bathymetric surveys

     Paul was licensed to “All ships, All waters, Steam, Steam Turbine, Diesel, Diesel Electric, Automated Bridge" and, possibly, early nuclear.  Not bad for a man, who as a kid, had to put cardboard in is his shoes because his family couldn't afford new ones or to resole his current ones.

        Near the end of his career, he completed missions to Vietnam carrying supplies to servicemen stationed there.  On two occasions he met up with his nephew, Frank Raney, son of Denny and Junice, stationed with the army at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. On his first visit, he found Frank bar-tending at the officers' club, his back to the bar.  Paul slammed his hand down on the bar, loudly proclaiming he wanted a drink NOW. You can imagine Frank’s surprise when he turned around to see his uncle standing there wearing that great smile. They had as fine a visit as one can in wartime.

1967: Frank Raney and mother Junice on his return from Vietnam

       On one trip, his ship sailed far up the Mekong River to supply units in the Delta.  A security force squad came onboard at Saigon before the foray upriver because of possible attack from snipers and from enemy underwater swimmers attempting to attach magnetic mines to ships.

Paul in Vietnam
      Off duty on a late afternoon, Paul ate supper and was walking the deck with another officer, enjoying the Delta’s jungle sounds.  Pausing near the railing, Paul noted a ripple in the water to port.  Focusing on it, he realized the rest of the river was smooth as glass.  Alarmed, he alerted the armed G. I. security, pointing to what he saw.  Weapons ready, they watched and waited. When the dark object swam closer on its approach to the ship, the guard opened fire until a reddish bloom appeared on the water’s surface.

      The captain ordered an immediate stop so a motorized boat could be lowered for retrieval. A few moments later the boatswain dragged a body into the boat, identified as Asian.  In the satchel found strapped to his body was a magnetic mine.  The ship and all aboard had dodged peril in a hostile area. If damaged, it would have invited more attacks.

                                           Last Call 

      When he retired in 1973, Paul came ashore convinced he was finished with the “briny.” He had no hobbies; didn’t collect things; just sent or carried home souvenirs for his extended family.

      He did enjoy listening to classical music and reading.  He read an article in the Sunday paper about a new type of hydroponic greenhouse for tomatoes and decided to invest in this venture.  He purchased a unit in 1974 and had it installed in Maltby, Washington, where some laid-off Boeing engineers had installed their own greenhouses.  It included everything: pumps, fans, and eleven hundred tomato seedlings. He diligently planted the tomatoes in pebble beds and watched them grow.  It was an exciting time for him.  Daily work included tying up the plants and suckering them to have only one vine with multiple groupings of fruit. I analyzed the hydroponic solution at our lab and then we made adjustments to the nutrients.  Saved a bunch of money not having to purchase chemicals from the outfit that sold Dad the greenhouse.  Dad and I called our enterprise “Techni-Gardens.” 

      Midway through the growing season, Uncle Sam came calling, needing him for more ship service.  To entice him, they offered 10 years of retirement time for 7 years of service.  He couldn’t say no, so he passed his tomato venture on to Mark, then a high school junior, and to me. As it turned out, they used him only 5 years, but kept to their pledge.  Mark and I harvested well over 15000 lbs. from those 1100 tomato plants. We stripped the lower leaves from the vines, coiled them up and strung up the tops. Some vines grew over thirty feet by end-of-season. We formed a coop with the other growers, sorting the fruit by size into attractive boxes.  But the entire enterprise “came a cropper” as grocery stores had all sorts of impediments preventing them from buying our produce.  We averaged about 25 cents a pound.  Our costs were nearly that with rent on the land and electricity.  When a carload of tomatoes from Yakima would show up in Seattle, our prices were too high.  We’d be in dog heaven now with everyone wanting natural foods.  Mark and I kept it going one year more and then shut it down. We gave a lot of tomatoes to Northwest Harvest and sold in the neighborhood. Dad gave the structure to the Love Family, a commune with a house on Queen Anne.  I’d befriended a fellow there, who brought his home school class to the lab for science labs.  The commune hauled the greenhouse up to Arlington to their farm.      
         Paul had one more assignment outside of his normal duties. In the closing days of the Vietnam War, when the North Vietnamese captured Saigon on April 30, 1975, more than 120,000 South Vietnamese fled, most ending up in refugee camps on Guam. The United States expected to process most for resettlement in America, but as the days wore on, about 1500 refugees decided they wanted to return to Vietnam, despite the consequences. Some were sailors from South Vietnamese Navy ships, who had been evacuated against their will; some felt they were too old to start new lives in America. Tran Dinh Tru, a South Vietnamese naval officer, had failed to have his wife and children evacuated, and wanted to return to them. It took pleas, hunger strikes, militant marches through Guam, and finally the burning of a camp building, before the United States agreed to give them an old commercial ship, the Viet Nam Thuong Tin, on which to return home. It would have a Vietnamese crew and Tran Dinh Tru would be its captain. Read about his 2017 published memoir, Ship of Fate  HERE.
The ship Viet Nam Thuong Tin

        The Navy called on Chief Engineer Paul Raney, noted for his expertise in repair and maintenance of steam propulsion systems. His mission was to inspect, repair and service the engine, electrical system and plumbing of the ship Viet Nam Thuong Tin to guarantee its safe voyage back to Vietnam. 
      On arrival in Guam, he was greeted by his assistant, a veteran New Zealander with similar credentials as Paul.  There was only one fly in the ointment - the power plant had been made by Fiat and all the papers, instructions and engine room plaques were either in French or in Vietnamese.  With the help of some of the Vietnamese, the two engineers were able to rehabilitate the aging engine room and support facilities.  Paul recalled that when he later watched on TV as the ship left Guam for Vietnam, he was pleased to see just a trace of smoke come from the stack. Scroll right to read the letter of appreciation he received.

                                     Final Retirement
         After this episode in his life, Paul settled down to a final retirement.  He celebrated his 50th anniversary with Grace in 1984.

       After she passed away in 1989, he became the typical “snow bird,” traveling to the Phoenix area where a former shipmate and his wife lived.  He enjoyed a week-long trip on the US aircraft carrier, USS Ranger, courtesy of his grandson-in-law, and which included other male family members.  While onboard, he reprised his role as an engineer, much to the delight of the Navy engineer partnering him in the engine room.  Paul spent an afternoon quizzing young sailors on the workings of the ship engine and environs. The USS Ranger was the last of the diesel-driven ships. 
Paul (Right) on U.S.S. Ranger

This was his last trip and a fitting completion of a long career.
1980 Paul, sister Jean, and brother Denny
1991 Paul with sisters Jean and Mary Agnes
      He married Elizabeth Greenwood, whom he met in Sun City, Arizona, and they lived there until Paul died on December 23, 2005, of a sudden stroke at age 92, his luck still holding.

                  Final Call:  “Farewell, Ancient Mariner”

        Paul donated his body to UCLA Medical School.  The students used it for a short in their anatomy studies.  After it was cremated, the remains were sent to daughter Paula.  In April 2006, the family acceded to Paul’s wishes to be buried at sea.  The family hired a boat from the “Good Time” company for a trip out on Elliott Bay.  When the time came for the final goodbye, Father Tony Haycock, a family friend, read a blessing.  Paul’s five children descended to the lowest deck and went aft, facing the water.  At the moment they released the ashes, a gust of wind blew Paul’s remains back onto the boat – as though Paul was telling everyone that he belonged on a ship.  He would have enjoyed the family’s good laugh at the end of his long and adventurous life.

This blogger’s note:
     Because Uncle Paul and his family moved to Seattle before I formed memory, my first recollection of him was when I was about five, late autumn of 1950. We were living in the little house in the Spokane Valley. It was dark outside, a fire was burning in the fireplace in our small living room and I was sitting on the rug, coloring on the coffee table. Dad was away, working swing shift at Kaiser. A knock at the door hurried Mom to open it, and exclaiming, she embraced the man standing there. In my mind he wore a dark uniform with gold stripes on his cuffs - but Pat says he never wore his uniform on shore leave.  I knew that what was happening was terribly wrong. Strange men didn’t come to the house when Daddy was away and Mommy never kissed strangers.  Still holding his arm, she turned to me and said, “This is my brother . . . he’s your Uncle Paul.” That was when I realized she had two brothers.

      At sea so much of his life and in Seattle when on shore, I seldom saw Uncle Paul. At Grandpa and Grandma’s 50th wedding anniversary in 1960; at Dad’s funeral in 1994; when we both visited Mom in the late '90s and had some delightful conversations over a few days. That’s not to say I had no contact with Uncle Paul. Through the years he sent fascinating gifts – A maroon set of silk pajamas embroidered with peonies from Hong Kong for Mom that I later wore as a Halloween costume. About 1954 – that would be when he was ferrying Vietnamese refugees from Haiphong to Saigon – four straw coulee hats showed up at the Denny Raneys where I was spending a week with the cousins. I finally sold my hat on eBay a few years ago. There was a Japanese dragon porcelain tea set for Grandma and Grandpa, the face of a geisha visible in the cup bottoms when held  to the light.  Decorated brass trays on mahogany legs from Thailand were Christmas gifts to his siblings. While David Hunter, Louise’s boy, was living with us, Paul carried Louise’s photograph to Hong Kong and had her portrait painted as a gift for David.  And then there was the large pink lace mantilla from the Philippines, which I wore to mass throughout high school and college. And and this letter I kept, dated 2 May 1961.

Pusan, Korea
Dearest Karen, Jean & Al,
         Received your nice note before I left and I am glad you liked the veil. That of course is all the headgear the gals wear in the Philippines. Actually, the weather is so hot – not much else is worn.
         Did the school year go fast for you, Kerry? Now a sophomore or nearly. You will have to be on your guard as you know sophomore means, “intellectually immature,” so be on your guard. I can remember one professor so many years ago who made an opening statement prefacing a wonderful talk. “I wish I knew as much as a freshman thinks he knows” and darn it, I catch myself being a freshman all over again. So in the maturing process of the mind it is wise to be on guard against the “sophism” which somehow never changes.
       From here we go to Hong Kong where I plan on mailing this note. We leave here tomorrow, Wednesday, and arrive after Formosa, Saturday, 6th May, then back to Inchon, which is north from here and then back to Japan, almost my favorite place. So we should be back in the States about 6 June. My plans are somewhat immature from that date. Guess I’ll take a trip somewhere and rest up.
       Grace received a note from Mother Superior at Inchon, Korea (Star of the Sea Orphanage) for canned milk. It is 85 [cents a] can so you can understand their need. So Grace is getting busy & calling & collecting cases of milk so I’ll have quite a job next trip out.
       So hope everyone is well & happy and hope to see you before too long. Hope you can be in Seattle sometime when I am there. So with love, Paul
Paul and Denny 1928 Princeton, Indiana