Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday's Obituary-George C. VanBilliard

George is my Great Granfather. I found this on Roots Web on Friday night. I have been looking for his death information for 3 years, after I had discovered that I had the incorrect date. He has been found!

George C. Van Billiard

George C. Van Billiard, of North Brookfield, NY, a former resident of Bethlehem, died at his home.

He was born in Freemansburg, on 16th July, 1864, a son of the late Jerome & Ellen Van Billiard, he was 66 years old.

There survive 3 sons, Luther, of Bethlehem, Robert & Raymond, both of Philadelphia; 4 daughters, Mrs. Edward Leidig & Mrs. W.A. Martin, both of Bethlehem, Mrs. David O'Donnell & Mrs. Walter Fellman, both of Philadelphia; Mrs. Newton Bast and Mrs. John Acker, both of Bethlehem; 14 grandchildren & 1 great-grandchild.

Easton Express
Easton, PA
Wednesday, 12th November, 1930
page 5
respository: Name: personal Papers/RGW

I do not know who the last two women, Mrs. Newton Bast and Mrs. John Acker, are since the relationship is not given. But I will try to find out.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thriller Thursday-Sad Case of Poisoning

This is a story about the family of my 2nd Great Grand Uncle, Oliver VanBilliard. The Daily Times of Bethlehem, PA reported on 18 May 1868 that the family had recently moved to another part of Freemansburg. And that the groceries were still mixed up from the move. When Mrs. VanBilliard decided to bake on the Saturday before the 18th, she accidently used rat poison instead of baking soda, "using a good teaspoonful" when baking a cake. When one of the children was hungry she gave them some cake and then had some herself and then fed the baby and all three bacame "violently attacked with nausea". After being treated with "powerful emetics" they were recovering. It was rumored that Mr VanBilliard had purchased a package of soda in a drug store at Bethlehem and had received the poison by mistake. He said this was untrue and he would certify it.

The next day, in "Recovering", the Daily Times said that "the unfortunate ones" were doing much better thanks to their physicians. They said it "may take several months until Mrs. VanBilliard is perfectly restored, she having been attacked the most violently".

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall and Indian Summer

This all started when I was going to make a comment about the beautiful weather today. I wanted to say that it feels like Fall is really here but there is still Indian Summer to watch out for.
I stopped at that point and thought about these days of "Political Correctness" and not wanting to offend anyone, thought I would look up the phrase and its origin. While I have no Native American ancestors that I have found as yet, my first husband, the father of my children, always claimed that there was an Indian Princess in his direct line. I have not been able to find this in my search of his line. I know if he were still with us he would be as upset with me as his mother was when my daughter told her. When I told one of my sons about this discovery, or lack of discovery, he said that the Native American Heritage was so much a part of his father that he would be upset that I cannot find it. I know this is so true.
Well I have gone off on my side rant. I was talking a couple of weeks ago to this same son. I was telling him some family history and stories that I thought, as always that he already knew, but he said he had never knew. He started to laugh and said that I can take a conversation into so many directions. I never thought about how I do that and the vision of diagraming sentences in grade school suddenly came to me. Now that I have thought about that I blame my Irish/British Isles heritage,have you ever seen "Ducky" on "NCIS"?
End another side rant and now getting to what I found out about the origin of "Indian Summer". I found this on It is first recorded in "Letters from an American Farmer" in 1778. "It began to be used figuratively to refer to any late flowering following a period of decline" The official meaning is "an unseasonably warm, dry and calm weather, usually following a period of colder weather or frost in the late Autumn" They give a few of the commonly repeated guesses as to why it is call Indian Summer. The one I like is "When European settlers first came across the phenomenon in America it bacame know as the Indian's Summer."