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Posts Tagged ‘Wertz’

Many, many years ago (around 10), as I was posting queries to message boards searching for information on my paternal Amore side of the family, I ran across a woman who I began an email relationship with.  She was the granddaughter of my great-uncle Clarence Amore and his first wife, Nellie Buchanan.  Sharon shared some pictures and what information she had, and I returned the favor.  We were both of the same generation, both great-granddaughter’s of our mutual ancestor William “Henry” Amore and Mary Angelina (Annie) Werts (or Wertz – depending on how they were spelling it at the time).  I believe that would make Sharon and I second cousins.  Her grandfather, Clarence, and my grandfather, Lloyd, were brothers.  The really cool thing (for me) was that Uncle Clarence and Aunt Mary (his second wife) had spent several days visiting us in our home.  I was only a small child, but I remember him very well and would always get a hug from him at the big Amore-Baker reunion held every summer in Coshocton, Ohio.  Not only did we share family history information but we shared stories about our immediate families. 

The communication between Sharon and I slowed in the last five years or so.  Once the initial “newness” of the family history search wore off, we weren’t corresponding as much as we had because the information we found didn’t come as quickly as before.  Sharon’s husband was very ill and needed treatment for cancer, so she spent quite a bit of time with him instead of traveling to find records.  She had written in December of 2004 to let me know that her husband’s cancer had returned and he was to start his chemo treatments as soon as his radiation treatments were over.  Two months later Bob Brittigan passed away.  Now that I think about it, she didn’t email to let me know and I was remiss for not contacting her with better frequency.  I know I’ve emailed her since then, but I’m sure that in her grief and stress that happens after a death (will, taking care of personal issues), it wasn’t important enough for her to contact me. 

Last week I thought I’d see if she was on Facebook – I’d looked before without any luck – and couldn’t find her so I did a google search of her name.  That’s how I discovered that her husband had passed away in February 2005.  I also ran across a listing in the Social Security Index for a “Sharon Brittigan”.  Not my cousin! was my first thought.  But the year of birth seemed correct and the state of issue would have been right.  Finally, I hit upon her obituary via Ancestry.  Sharon died on July 9, 2009.  No cause of death listed other than she died at her home.  I couldn’t tell if she was cremated because it listed the time for her memorial service as well as interment.  I don’t know if she had been ill for awhile.  I have no way of contacting her sons or siblings to express my condolences.  I feel as if I lost a cousin – even though we had never met in person. 

Picture from her obituary in the Washington Post

Sharon Lynn (Amore) Brittigan, widow of Robert Lee Brittigan, Sr. born on January 18, 1943 died on July 9, 2009 at her home in Virginia.  She is survived by two brothers, one sister, two sons, and six grandchildren.  Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, Theodore William Amore, on December 2, 1981 and Dorothy Belle (Moran) Amore on February 13, 2003. Sharon was buried next to her husband in Arlington National Cemetery.

In an email she wrote to me in January 2002, she said, “I’m working on a combined family book that incorporates the history of the times they lived in. It’s a challenge, but I’m learning an awful lot about what all the forebears lives must (or could) have been like. I’ve been to many of the places they came from and can describe those locales as a part of the history.”  I hope that if there really was a beginning family history book, that her children have preserved and kept it instead of abandoning it to that “black hole” where so many ancestral stories, documents, and pictures have gone.  I hope that one day, one of her sons or grandchildren will be searching the web and run across this blog, and get in touch with me.  I’d love to have copies of what she wrote.  What better way to remember her memory then to put her notes and words to use in helping our future Amore generations learn about their ancestors.

Rest in peace, Sharon.

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As I peruse my family file, I’ve come across some of the names listed in the reunion announcement of the first Amore-Werts reunion held on May 25, 1924 at the home of my great-grandparents, (William) Henry and (Mary Angelina) Annie (Werts) Amore.

amorewertsreunion

Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Amore – my great-grandparents

Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Baker – Benjamin and (Louisa) Clementine (called Clemmie) Baker.  Clemmie was the daughter of my great-grandparents, my grandfather’s sister.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Baker – Donald Francis and Emma Isabelle (Endsley) Baker.  He was the oldest son of Benjamin and Clemmie Baker.  Don and Emma’s son with them: Francis Donald.

Clarence W. Amore and family – Clarence was the youngest son of my great-grandparents, my grandfather’s brother. His wife (or soon to be ex-wife) was Nellie Buchanan.  Children: Theodore William and Harold Winifred.

Mr. and Mrs. Foster – Harry and Anna Belle (Baker) Foster.  She was the daughter of Benjamin and Clemmie Baker.

H. Emmerson – I believe this should actually be Emerson W. and Clara Ethel (Baker) Levering.  Clara was the daughter of Benjamin and Clemmie Baker.

Mr. and Mrs. Cephas Amore – Cephas and Ada (Prior) Amore.  He was the half-brother of my great-grandfather.  Children with them included: Ralph C. and Pauline Elizabeth Amore.

Mr. and Mrs. John Reese – John Thomas and Laura A. (Amore) Reese.  Laura was my great-grandfather’s half-sister.  Children with them probably included: Ellis and Edna Reese (possibly also Mary).

Mrs. Dennis Brannon – Nellie (Amore) Brannon, wife of William Denison Brannon.  She was the youngest half-sister of my great-grandfather.

Mrs. William Seater – I believe this should be Gladys Laura (Spragg) Slater (wife of Charles William Slater).  Gladys was the niece of Nellie (Amore), Laura (Amore) and Cephas Amore, daughter of Jennie (Amore) Spragg, and half-niece of my great-grandfather.

Captain R. Amore – Rollo Amore, 5th child of my great-grandparents, younger brother of my grandfather.  Possibly there with his wife, Belle, and children, Beatrice, Florence and Ralph.

Rev. I.H. Amore – Isaiah Henderson (Zade) Amore, oldest son (2nd oldest child) of my great-grandparents and older brother of my grandfather.  Possibly there with his wife, Lulu, and son, Robert.

Miss Marie Buschagen – Marie died around Oct. 23, 2007 as Marie B. Cosier.  Her obituary listing doesn’t show any relationship, however, she is listed as there with Rev. I.H. Amore, so she could be a friend, a parishoner, or relative of his wife.

Mr. and Mrs. Therman Vensil – George Thurman and Cora Etta (Simon) Vinsel.  She was the 2nd cousin of my great-grandmother and daughter of William and Susannah Simon.

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Barcroft – Elizabeth Ann (Werts) and Lewis B. Barcroft.  Elizabeth was the first cousin once removed of my great-grandmother.

Mrs. William Simmons – Susannah (Werts) Simon.  Susannah was also the first cousin once removed of my great-grandmother.

Alex Jennings – Alexander Jennings and wife, Sarah Ellen (Simon) (my great-grandmother’s half-sister).

Mr. and Mrs. John Jennings – Son of Alexander and Sarah Jennings, half-nephew of my great-grandmother.

Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Jennings – Son of Alexander and Sarah Jennings, half-nephew of my great-grandmother.

Belford McLain – Belford and Clara Pearl (Jennings) McClain.  She was the daughter of my great-grandmother’s half-sister.

Delbert Stone – Delbert and Emma Odessa (Jennings) Stone.  Emma was the daughter of my great-grandmother’s half-sister.

Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Werts – John Calvin and Myra Eudora (Sprague) Werts.  Calvin was my great-grandmother’s first cousin once removed.

Lloyd Amore – Lloyd and Ella Maria (House) Amore, my grandparents.

Roy Amore – son of my great-grandparents, my grandfather’s brother.

Mrs. John Shuck – Martha Ellen Adams, granddaughter of John and Elizabeth (Werts) Shroyer.  Martha was the 2nd cousin of my great-grandmother.

Mrs. Samuel Powelson – Anna M. Powelson, wife of Samuel A. Powelson who was the grandson of Charles and Susannah Maria (Shroyer) Adams.  Samuel was the 2nd cousin, once removed of my great-grandmother.

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Shackelford – Walter and Gertrude Pearl (Amore) Shackelford.  She was my dad’s oldest sister.

Charles Fisher – son of Martha Ellen (Shroyer) Shruck (married names also: Fisher/Wiggins) and George W. Fisher.  He was the 2nd cousin, once removed of my great-grandmother.

I believe it’s very important to decipher as much as you can from any news clippings that mention ancestors or collateral family members in order to ascertain the relationships.  This will also aide in determining the accuracy of the news article.

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The summer months signal the end of the school year, the smell of chlorine as we spend time at our backyard or community pools, the sound of ice cubes melting in the tall glasses of water or iced tea, and the call of our nomadic beginnings as we think about travel plans.

Many families will travel from several locations to the “old homestead” or a centralized location for the annual Family Reunion.  Fundraisers may have been held to help pay for the festivities.  Extra hours worked for the overtime pay in order to purchase the airline or bus tickets or to put that (high priced) gas in the tanks of vehicles.  Invitations via email or internet message boards have been sent or posted and replies received.  Luggage will be packed and travel “entertainment” chosen for the young ones.  Genealogy information has been downloaded, compiled and printed out to be shared.  Photo CDs have been copied for those who have requested them.  The agenda for the reunion has been planned – probably a catered meal or pot luck; games to enjoy; a side trip to the cemetery, homestead or Civil War Battlefield; and the business meeting – how much in the reunion treasury, recording of the births, marriages, divorces, and deaths of the past year, a formal portrait of the participants, the planning of the date and place for the next reunion; and then the good-byes.

For those who have never attended a family reunion or can’t understand why anyone would care who their third cousin twice removed is, this is a mystery they really can’t fathom.  For those who have enjoyed or endured at least one family reunion, there was at least one thing that happened that has stuck with them.  Possibly it was trying to hide from a cousin who always has picked on you or being excited to see your favorite aunt.  Maybe there was a terrible storm and rained everyone out of the picnic area.  Or you collected recipes of dishes you’ve been dying to have.  Or you discovered other relatives have the same interests you do and now live close to you.  There is something for everyone.

My experience with reunions was (as the Carpenter’s song goes) Long Ago and Far Away.  As a child I attended at least four reunions a year.  One was a reunion of my dad’s siblings (the descendents of Lloyd and Ella Amore).  We would meet at one of the brother’s or sister’s home for a weekend of food, fun, laughter, drinking (if you were of legal age), poker, singing (courtesy of two of my cousins), puppet shows (courtesy of my Aunt Marie), and arguing from someone!  I remember reunions at my Uncle Paul’s and Uncle Gail’s (both in Detroit), my Aunt Gertie’s (in Zanesville, Ohio), my Uncle Norman’s (in Chicago), and my childhood home in Beavercreek, Ohio.  One of my dad’s brothers, Bervil, made it to (I think) one of the reunions but generally just stayed away.  Most of the pictures I have of the siblings don’t include him – so instead of seven there is only six.  One other thing I remember very clearly was there was a scrapbook or photo book that everyone spent time looking at and reminiscing about.  I don’t remember any pictures that were in that book – I do have photos of people looking at it.  I believe my cousin has that book and unfortunately no one has been able to obtain the rights to even look at it in the last 35+ years. 

The second reunion was the Amore-Baker reunion (formerly Amore-Wertz) reunion.  These were the descendents of Henry and Annie Amore and their daughter Clemmie and her husband Benjamin Baker.  We would meet every August at the Coshocton Fairgrounds at the Grange for a day or eating, meeting, and playing.  I remember one year (one of the last I attended before my parents’ divorce), I was enthralled watching some other girls about my age playing across the way.  I asked my mom if I could go play with them and she told me they were related to me.  Unfortunatley I don’t remember their names or who they “belonged” to.  They were part of my great-aunt’s clan of Bakers.  I thought it was sad that our two halves of the family never ate together or met together.  We were just sort of at the same spot.

The third reunion I attended was my Grandmother’s family.  This was the Wilt Reunion and we would travel from our home in Southwestern Ohio across the Indiana border to Noblesville.  It was at the same place every year except the last few I heard about.  Up the hill was an elementary school with a playground.  That’s normally where I would spend most of my day instead of listening to the business meetings or folks trying to “entertain” everyone with their singing or joke telling.  As a child, I wasn’t much interested in how anyone was related to anyone else.  I knew who my first cousins were and I even knew who my mother’s first cousins were and who my grandmother’s siblings were.  The rest of them sort of got lost in the crowd.  One year the Wilt reunion was held at my Grandparent’s apartment party room and pool area.  I wasn’t able to attend as I was already living far from home.  Another year it was held at my brother’s home.  I showed up pregnant with my second child which no one had heard about yet.  I just remember that my mother didn’t attend that year.

The fourth reunion I attended was as an older child and teen.  It was my grandfather’s maternal side – the Johnson – Blazer reunion.  My great-grandmother – who I wrote about in Katie’s Story - was Katie J. Blazer.  We met at the Glen Blazer home in Urbana, Ohio or at our home in Beavercreek.  Glen was the son of Katie’s brother – making him my grandfather’s first cousin.  He and his sister, Ada, were the last of my grandfather’s first cousins, whom my grandfather knew about, who were around.

The last reunion I attended was a Cousin’s Reunion designated as such for we are all cousins and descendents of my maternal grandparents, Glen and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson.  We met the summer following my brother’s death at my first cousin’s home in Ohio.  Three of us who live in other states (my sister and I and the daughter of a cousin) were the only “out of towner’s” to attend.  Two other cousins and their scattered children were unfortunately not able to attend.  Needless to say we didn’t have a business meeting or any agenda to decide how often we wanted to “reunite”.  Several of us started the day out by caravaning to the cemetery where our grandparents and my mom’s baby sister are buried and to the cemetery where my aunt and her husband are buried.  We took dozens of pictures and ate a lot of good food.  There were eight of us “first cousins” and now that my brother is gone, there is seven.  The last time all eight of us were together was my grandparents’ 50th anniversary in 1966 at their home in Kettering, Ohio.  Since then, at least one of us haven’t been able to attend an event.

This year, as you prepare or plan for the big reunion or family event, make sure you make your list of what you want to get out of it.  Do you want to digitally record each family member sharing a story or a memory?  Do you want photos of the whole gang or just the principal family members or the patriarch/matriarch with separate families?  Do you want to share family history research?  Visit a prominent spot of your family history or ancestory?  Then how do you stay in touch the rest of the year? 

Family reunions are important.  It’s a way to connect and actually meet those who share the same ancestors.  However, what’s most important is how do we keep those connections?  We can cultivate them through frequent phone calls, individual visits, or email/snail mail.  One reason is because – someday that family photo book may belong to the individual who has felt “outcast” from the family and you may never see it again!

(Pictures: Top – My dad & his siblings minus my Uncle Bervil; Detroit 1967; Bottom – Amore Sibling Reunion at my house with most everyone in the picture).

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