1. The Incomparable Marge, who is the mother of the TOFsprings, shown here in their cute-and-innocent versions:
|Sara, a/k/a Dear in the Headlights|
|Dennis: Wait, What's Going On Here...|
|Elsie Vera Hammontree, mother of the I/M|
|The Marge, imitating a bean bag|
2. Elsie Vera Hammontree (1924-1951) of Oklahoma died when the Marge was very young but she is remembered for humming Strauss waltzes while she did her ironing in the kitchen. Margie was her only child, and her dad never remarried. The Hammontrees had settled in colonial Virginia, fought in the Revolution (two were at Valley Forge, and one died there), went over-the-mountain into East Tennessee, fought with Andy Jackson at Horseshoe Bend in the War of 1812; fought in the Army of the Cumberland under Schofield in the Civil War (wounded at Resaca) and headed west to Oklahoma by way of Arkansas. She married Claude Lee White, whose mother was a Choctaw with the splendid name of Maggie Jam and who raised her two sons alone in Ft. Towson, Choctaw Nation (later part of Oklahoma). For her part, Elsie was the daughter of....
3. Ora Vanora Harris (1901-1967) of whom TOF has no digitized photograph. The Marge was largely mothered by this grandmother (and by multiple aunts) after Elsie died. Ora was a Holy Roller and spoke in tongues, a religious exercise which scared the bejabbers out of little Margie. But when Margie entered the Church, Ora came with her. The Harrises had once lived in Hardin Co., KY, neighbors to Thomas and Abraham Lincoln, and moved with the Lincolns to Spencer Co. IN. (One bore the delightful name of Greenberry Harris.) But when the Lincolns moved again to Illinois, where Honest Abe grew to become famous, the Harrises pushed on to Cold Springs, MO and thence to Indian Territory, where Ora married John Hammontree and bore three daughters and two sons in the bustling metropolis of Quinton, OK. Ora's mother was...
4. Sadie Frances Holland (1884-1918), who had been born in Louisiana and moved with her parents to Chickasaw Nation in 1898, where she married Charles Harding Harris and had five sons and three daughters. She died young of bronchial pneumonia aggravated by measles after a 13 day illness. The Hollands seem to have moved through the Lower South, perhaps starting from Mississippi. Sadie was the daughter of...
5. Annie Eliza Helms (1861-1939), who had been born in Lee Co., Georgia of North Carolinian parents, was married in Claibourne, LA, to Henry Thomas Holland, with whom she had five children: two boys, two girls, and one unknown who died in infancy. They moved to Chickasaw Nation, where they farmed next plot to Charlie Harris, who married their daughter. She died in her late 70s of a brain hemorrhage brought on by hypertension. She was the daughter of...
6. Gatsey [Helms] (c. 1826 - after 1880), maiden name not yet determined, was born somewhere in North Carolina. About 1844, she married Henry Helms, of a prominent North Carolinian family [cf. Jesse Helms], bearing seven children, of whom Anne Eliza was the youngest. Between 1847-48 they moved to Georgia; in 1850 were in Chambers Co. Alabama; and by 1860 in Lee Co. Georgia, where Anne was born. She lived through the Civil War and (to go by her residence) Sherman's March to the Sea. She was widowed sometime between 1860 and 1880, when she was living in Claiborne LA, where her daughter married Henry Holland. Not known when or where she died, or where the somewhat odd name of Gatsey (or Gatsy) comes from.
n. Mitochondrial Eve. Okay, so she's everyone's eventual mother.....
1. Rita Marie Singley (1924-1993) a/k/a "The Mut"
|Mut, displaying her bona fides as a mother|
The Singleys had come from Gemeinde Oberhausen (Upper Houses) in the Grand Principality of Baden around 1854, in the aftermath of the famine, turmoil and oppression following the failed Republican revolution of 1848. They had lived there or in the neighboring community of Niederhausen (Lower Houses) since the close of the Thirty Years War in the mid-1600s. The name had been originally spelled Zängle, which seems to mean "Little Brick." In Nockamixon Twp, Bucks Co, PA, the name became Zingley, later Singley. Her mother was...
2. Helen Myrtle Schwar (1896-1952) a/k/a "Big Mom"
|Big Mom, with her smaller brood: Mut in arms, twins Ralph and Paul below|
|TOF (r) and his Milchgeschwester (c)|
Milk-siblings were those who suckled at
the same breasts.
The Schwar family (the name rhymes with "swear" but lost its umlaut long ago) came from Niederhausen and see the brief recap of the Singleys, above. The name means "heavy," and in the records of Oberhausen/Niederhausen (now called Rheinhausen) the Schwährs were stone masons back to the late 1600s. The stone work on TOF's home was laid by Mut's uncle Leo Schwar. There is a story about Pere assisting him, which will await some other day.
The whole area on that part of South Side was once known as Schwartown for the obvious reasons, not least of which are the stone houses; and the plethora of interrelated families from Oberhausen/Niederhausen contributed to the firm conviction of TOF and his Milchgeschwester that every person we were introduced to was related to us in some fashion. Schwar, Singley, Metzger, Deck, Keck, Breiner, Raisner, Albus, und so weiter all went back to those same two villages on the Rhine at the edge of the Black Forest. Near Eifelheim, if you read famous SF novels....
3. Frances Hungrege (1870-1926)
|Frances: I'll see your five and raise you ten|
Big Mom on far right
4. Magdalena Rieß (1836-1901)
|Magdalena Riess, |
No family shots
5. Franziska Stefan (1799-1856)
|Fishermen on the Rhine|
6. Maria Anna Pflüger (c.1772-1845)
who likewise was born, wed and died in Niederhausen. She was the third wife of Josef Stefan and had by him four children, two of whom died in infancy. Franziska was the second daughter of that name, her namesake having died scant eight months earlier at just about a year's age. After Josef died, Maria Anna took a second husband, viz., Jakob Metzger. During her lifetime, Napoleon was running hither and yon across Europe, including across the Germanies. M. Anna's mother appears to have been
7. M. A. Schwörer (???-???)
who married Georg Pflüger, also a fisherman. But at this point, even German record-keeping falters and it may be that some records were lost during the Napoleonic wars. There is a gap in the microfilms. So far, TOF has not a clue about these more remote ancestors.
n. Mitochondrial Eve
Since she is everyone's maternal ancestor, this means the Marge and I are remote -- very remote -- cousins. But this is no surprise. Considering how many of TOF's ancestral mothers came from Oberhausen/Niederhausen, one is not astonished to learn that he is his own seventh cousin.
We haven't even scratched the surface of those mothers to whom we must credit our mere corporal existence. This is only the pure maternal strain. There are also the mothers of fathers to be considered. Not only Sarah Jane Metzger from (where else) Niederhausen, but Pere's mother Blanche Jean Cantrel, whose ancestry wends its way back through the Pas de Calais, to the delightfully named Sinia Jane Chisenhall, who lurks on the Marge's ancestral tree, to Mary McGovern, of whom a photograph shows her playfully aiming a shotgun at the photographer. (The McGoverns came from the Glan in Co. Cavan, a then-remote and inaccessible valley where they made their own whiskey. She knew how to use that shotgun.) Then there was Nancy Holloway, who was a model for Mae Holloway (up to a point) in "Melodies of the Heart." But we have to draw the line somewhere or we will end up with every mother who has ever lived.
Though, on second thought, why not? Consider them, and yours, added as well.