August 2014

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      

Shakin' the Family Tree on Facebook

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, June 16th, 2012 09:43 am
Unfortunately, I have no photos to go with the theme this week.

So I offer a photo of my great-grandmother, Hattie Chapin Balding, taken in front of the ruins of a Hopi dwelling on a trip to the Grand Canyon in the 1920s.

Before my cousin discovered an old family album, we had no idea our Mema was such a traveler.

Photobucket

This is a Sepia Saturday post. Head over there for other really wonderful old photos.
dee_burris: (Default)
Friday, August 5th, 2011 07:38 pm
Twenty years ago (or maybe a tad more), before I started tracking my ancestors in any serious way, I got a phone call from my second cousin.

He was one of my Balding cousins, the only son of one of my grandmother's brothers.

His father died in 1980, and his mom couldn't live by herself any more. Larry was packing up her house to move her to Tulsa where he lived and could keep an eye on her.

The call was to let me know he had finished the packing and there were some leftovers in the house - bits of furniture and memorabilia, and he wondered if my sisters and I might want some of it.

I said sure, and we made a date for the next afternoon. I called my sisters to let them know.
I can't even remember now if my sisters accompanied me.

But I will never forget what I saw when I pulled into my aunt's driveway.

This portrait, leaning against the garbage cans on the curb.

Photobucket
Fred Chapin, 1858-1938


I grabbed it up as I went in the carport door. I gave it to Larry when I went in.

He looked at me. I told him I found it out by the trash. That's Grampa Chapin.

What he said just floored me.

Dee, that frame isn't worth anything. That's why it's out with the trash.

I may not know much about the monetary value of old portrait frames, but there's one thing I did know.

At that time, that portrait was 100 years old.

So...no Larry, we're not putting Grampa out with the trash.
Grampa Fred Chapin's portrait has hung in whatever humble abode I have occupied ever since then.

I had a very interesting text conversation with my nephew today.

It's his 24th birthday and I texted him to wish him a happy one. We kidded back and forth about where his envelope full of cash was, and I told him I'd remember him in my will.

What he said just floored me.

When I die, he wants this portrait of his great-grandmother, Doris Geneva Balding, Fred Chapin's granddaughter.

Photobucket
Doris Geneva Balding Williams, 1907-1998


I think Grampa may have a new home...



This is a Sepia Saturday post.
dee_burris: (Default)
Sunday, January 2nd, 2011 09:50 pm
Whatever could they have been thinking - Fred and Eada Belle - when they let their only daughter marry at the tender age of 14?

 photo HattieBelleChapinBaldingcrop.jpg
Hattie Belle Chapin, around the time of her marriage in 1901


Hattie Belle Chapin married Victor Claude Balding in Little Rock, AR on 25 Sep 1901. She was 14. He was 27.

She called him Mr. Balding - all her life.

They were my maternal great grandparents.


Their kids called her Mama and him, Pop. The grandkids called them Mema and Pop.

We great grandkids called her Mema, and not too many of us ever met Pop. He died in 1945, just a month after her mother's death.

Photobucket

Victor and Hattie Balding, undated photo


Everyone who knew them said they were head over heels in love with each other.

And Pop's Hattie Belle never let the romance end. She remained a widow until her death in 1976.


Life was hard for the Baldings. Pop worked for the railroad as a telegrapher. There were many mouths to feed.

By the time Hattie was 20, she had three children (my grandmother was the youngest at the time). By 1917, their family was complete, with seven children in all.

My grandmother talked about how the home was run. Every evening when it was almost time for Pop to come home, her mother would go to the kitchen, put on her apron and begin to get supper ready.

Even though times were hard, Victor and Hattie were aware that they were harder still for others. Every holiday, Pop would bring home various and sundry people who had nowhere else to go. Everyone made room at the table.

Pop coached a boys' baseball team when his own sons were young. Mema made their uniforms, and those of their teammates.


Mema loved family gatherings. She seemed content to show up and take her place as a matriarch. And she was good to pose for photos.

She is on the far left in this one, taken in my grandmother's backyard in 1967.

Photobucket


Shortly after that photo was taken, Mema's mental faculties started to decline. At first, it was just a little forgetfulness.

But soon, the forgetfulness became apparent, even to her great grandchildren. I remember going to see her. I'd go into the den to talk to her, and I'd have to introduce myself. If I left the room, and came back, we had to start all over again.

My name didn't seem to register with her any more. So I started saying I was Doris' granddaughter.

She beamed at me. That made sense.

We carried on.


One day when my grandmother and mother took me to see her, something strange happened.

We were sitting and having a nice chat when all of a sudden, Mema got up and left the room.

My grandmother found her in her bedroom, getting ready to curl her long hair and put it back up again. She used one of those skinny little metal curling irons that heated up in its own electrified holder. And real hairpins.

I followed my grandmother in. She asked Mema what she was doing.

I have to get ready. Mr. Balding will be home soon. He likes for his women to look pretty.

It was one of the only times I had seen my grandmother at a loss for words. She helped Mema curl her hair and put it back up again.

Mema headed for the kitchen. Pots and pans started clattering. She was going to make supper.

Grandma tried to stop her - to explain that Mr. Balding wasn't coming home.

Mema shushed her. Couldn't she hear the baby was crying? She needed to tend to the baby and get supper ready before Mr. Balding came home...

My grandma turned away from me, but not before I saw the tears in her eyes.


The decline was rapid toward the end. She was diagnosed with Altzheimers, and the family found a female companion to live in with her.

Mema lived in a world decades past. We humored her.

Her doctor said she was not aware that she had developed breast cancer, and at her age and overall medical condition, there was no point in surgical intervention. He would make sure she stayed comfortable.

Hattie Belle Chapin Balding died on 18 Jan 1976.

And finally re-joined Mr. Balding.
dee_burris: (Default)
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 05:16 pm
Photobucket
Left to right: Hattie (Chapin) Balding, Jo Carleton "Buddy" Williams, Sue (Keene) Williams, Russell Ellington "Linky" Balding, Judith Ann (Williams) Burris Neumann, Jo Duffie Williams, Lucille Balding.

Sadly, only one of those folks is still alive.
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, November 6th, 2010 12:38 pm
One of the surnames on my mother's side of the family is Chapin. One of my cousins was curious about whether I'd be able to connect us to Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of the founders of Springfield, MA.




Photobucket

The photo above is of "The Puritan,"
and the model purportedly was Deacon Samuel Chapin.


The answer is yes. Chapin family history is very well documented, particularly for the family members and descendants who stayed in and around Springfield, Roxbury and other Massachusetts cities and towns.

Samuel Chapin was widely respected in early Massachusetts, as were his sons, daughters and their children afterward. The Chapins had their own version of a family empire in Springfield.

Here is how I descend from Samuel Chapin:
Samuel (1598-1675)
Japhat (1642-1712)
Samuel (1665-1729)
Caleb (1701-1755)
Joel (1732-1805)
Joel (1763-1803)
Joel (1800-?)
Nathaniel F (1827-1898)
Frederick (1858-1938)
Hattie Belle (Chapin) Balding (1887-1976)
Doris Geneva (Balding) Williams (1907-1998)
Judith Ann Williams (1937-2004)
Me

As luck would have it, my direct Chapin ancestors had the same pioneering spirit as Samuel, and were not content to stay in Massachusetts.

Nathaniel Foster, son of Joel, was really hard to chase down. He was born in Pennsylvania, and married Elizabeth Harris about 1853. They had 10 children that I have been able to document, including my g-g-granddad, Frederick.

Photobucket

Frederick and Eada Belle (Parrish) Chapin


Nathaniel and his sons were woodworkers - carpenters and furniture makers. The family lived in Olean, Cattaraugus, New York through the 1880 census, but by the 1 Mar 1885 Kansas census, they were living in Bourbon Co., KS.

Then Fred hopped on over to Vernon Co., MO to marry Eada Belle Parrish on Christmas Eve, 1885. Fred and Eada only had two children of which I am aware, Hattie Belle (my great-grandmother) and her older sister Ruth, who died before 1900.

Photobucket
Hattie Belle (Chapin) Balding,
probably around the time of her marriage


Hattie Belle Chapin married Victor Claude Balding on 25 Sep 1901 in Pulaski Co., AR. They raised seven children in Little Rock. Hattie's parents moved there, too and are buried in Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock.