52 Ancestors Week 14: Water

+14 votes
754 views

Time for the next 52 Ancestors challenge!

52 Photos and 52 Ancestors sharing bacgesPlease share with us a profile of an ancestor or relative who matches this week's theme:

Water

Share below!

You don't need to share every week to participate, but those who do will earn badges. If this is your first time participating and you don't have the participation badge, or if you pass a milestone (13 shared profiles in 13 weeks, 26 in 26, or 52 in 52) let us know here. For more about the challenge, click here.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)

I have a picture of my Grandmother Maude M Harvery Dixon and her Sisters playing the surf after they moved from Oklahoma to California in the early 1920's It's one of my favorite photos. 

Marci NadlerFrolicing sea babes

Thanks for sharing this wonderful photo of your grandmother.
Beautiful!
You have to actually click on the photo to see the whole thing. I wish it was color as then the seaweed that was draped on their bodies would be more visible.

Marci
I am related to a Nancy Davis who married Patrick Dixon who was my grandmothers 3rd gr grandfather. Wonder if there is a relation? Dixon was from Scotland.

44 Answers

+12 votes
My grandfather, Harold "Hal" Rammel (1892-1930), was editor of the newspaper in Escanaba, Delta, Michigan.  

He loved the water.  In about 1925 he bought some forrest  land on the northern tip of Lake Michigan.  It was about 15 miles from town.  He started building a cottage on the land.  

There was no water well or municipal water available.  So, the first project was digging a deep hole to place an outhouse over.  Then he started on the cabin.  He got an surplus street sign from the city and used it to named the path to the smaller building.  Thus, the typical phase used when one needed the facility was, "I'm going to Crocket Street".

Hal left this earth before the cottage was totally complete.  But it was good enough to be used as a family vacation spot.

My grandmother, Oma M Allison-Rammel (1895-1995) was a school teacher in Illinois.  So she had the summer off.  She went to the cottage for a few weeks for several years.  Many family and friends would drop in and stay a while.

I spent several summers there in the 1950s.  There was still no water well, so no drinking water.  We took bottles to a small gas station about 5 miles away to get water for drinking and cooking.  

There was a log pipe and a hand pump to get water out of the lake for bathing.  Or one could just go jump in the lake.  Also, this water was boiled so it could be used for washing dishes.

We had a small row boat which used for recreation and fishing.  I cut down some trees and built a raft for diving  swimming.

I guess the love for water, at least lake water, is still in my blood.  About 40 years ago. I purchased a small cabin on Lake Poinsett in SD.  I spend a lot of time there when the SD weather permits.
by Bill Sims G2G6 Mach 9 (95.1k points)
+13 votes

Granville Rogers, my oldest great uncle, worked for Pacific Telephone at Lake Tahoe (water :) in 1923. He was a barber by trade, but also worked where work was available. This photo shows the crew ferrying telephone cable across the lake.  His is a sad story, as he committed suicide due to his colon cancer at age 48.

by Lyn Sara Gulbransen G2G6 Mach 4 (42.0k points)
+12 votes

My mom has several ancestors that made their home in Watertown, Massachusetts, such as Joshua and Abigail (Tarbell) Whitney, Richard and Rose Woodward, and John and Abigail (Eddy) Benjamin.

by K. Anonymous G2G6 Pilot (125k points)
edited by K. Anonymous
+12 votes

This is my first week to participate in the challenge, I thought I'd add this profile of my husband's maternal grandfather as it fits with the topic.

George Kerrigan was a longtime member of the San Diego County Water Authority. It was through this membership that he later became president of the Feather River Project Association in California. Through this Association he provided leadership in the building of the California Aqueduct and the second San Diego Aqueduct. His favorite subject was his conviction that water held the key to Southern California's future and he spoke tirelessly on this subject to the press, his fellow politicians and the public.

George had a large part in the development of Mission Bay Park in San Diego (today the home of Sea World, many luxury hotels, homes, and recreational facilities), the academic and research facilities on Torrey Pines Mesa and the Metropolitan Sewer System. However, he was best known for his leadership in bringing Northern California water to the San Diego area.

by Robin Shaules G2G6 Pilot (889k points)
Some of us in northern California see things rather differently than he did.
I know what you mean, Julie.  I grew up in Northern California and am now back living here.  My mother used to get very upset about "the south stealing our water".
I remember when I was a kid, going to Disneyland and seeing them watering the freeway plants in LA and what a shock it was, cause we were prohibited from washing cars and had even/odd restricted lawn watering up north.
My Mother told me One of the Dixon or Davis family actually helped to build the Aquaduct. I wish I could remember who it was offhand... but you just gave me an idea of my next thing to track down, Who that was in my extended family. Thank You. Marci
I remember traveling from my home in Los Angeles to visit my parents in the Bay Area along the newly opened I-5 in the early 70s.  Then the area was just open land with very few gas stations along the way (about 370 miles), and even fewer other services or homes.  The aqueduct could be seen in various places and it was quite a sight -- hundreds of miles of a cement-lined "river".  It must have been quite a job for those who were employed building it.
+14 votes

This is a 1923 photo of my husband's great grandparents, Andrew and Tennie Jones, at the lake in Springfield, MO. Also with them is his grand aunts and his grandmother holding his father. Swimming and watersports have always been a big part of their family. Swimming has also always been considered very important in my family. My husband worked as a lifeguard as a teenager and so did my two children. Now, this will be the fourth summer for one granddaughter to be a lifeguard, and this will be the second summer for my youngest granddaughter to be a lifeguard.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (322k points)
What a wonderful water related heritage for your family!  Love those bathing outfits and everyone's expressions!
Thank you Sharon for your great comment. I love that Tennie, far left, has had 8 children, and she is wearing a swimsuit and cap, so she must be swimming.
Gorgeous photo Alexis of your husband’s great grandparents, you always have so many amazing photos,

I love the swimsuit

Thank You my sweet friend for sharing this treasure of a photo
+14 votes

Nicholas Noy was a bodice maker in Chepping Wiccomb (modern day High Wycombe), Buckinghamshire, England during the 17th century. He became a quaker and was a member of the Monthly Meeting of Upperside, Buckinghamshire. He was friends with many prominent Quakers and early American colonists including William Penn.
How is he connected to Water? I hear you ask.
Nicholas Noy married the wonderfully named Philocrista Fish. Fish live in water! So there you have it. wink
by Ray Hawkes G2G6 Mach 5 (50.3k points)
+14 votes

My Great grandfather Isaac Newton Robins lived in Alpena Michigan whare he worked as a fisherman for his fathers company.

From 1901 to abt 1905 he was stationed at two-Heart River Harbor, Michigan whare he worked as a surfman. That was a person who went out in small boats to rescue people in ships that ended up on the rocks.

In 1910 he was working as a tugboat capt on the great lakes.

by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Mach 8 (80.1k points)
+14 votes

Well, this is my lucky week! I have a 10th GGM, Sarah (Bissell-17) whose father, Lieut. John Bissell, Sr. built a ferry in 1640 to cross the Connecticut River. He built a house on the east side of the river in 1659. He was an important and early settler at Windsor and the family was connected by marriage with several families in the colony. He died on 3 October 1677. Sarah married Simon Mills, Sr. Why is this a lucky week? I just discovered that Sarah needs to have her father and mother and their history connected to Wikitree! Bissell Ferry Sign in Wnidsor CT

by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (414k points)
+15 votes

My father was in the Civilian conservation Corps Gunlock, Utah. Usually the area was very dry, but rain could cause difficulties quickly. Here the guys are trying a rescue.

by Shirley Davis G2G6 Mach 3 (35.7k points)

Wow,

He certainly needed a rescue! surprise   What a dramatic picture!!!!

+9 votes
When I was growing up, most of our summer holidays were spent at one beach or another or at one lakeside or another. New Zealand has tons of beaches and lots of lakes.

Most of the time we had a caravan (I think americans call them trailers). They were hitched to the car and driven from place to place.. And then there were the years when we had no caravan so we had to make do with a tent instead. Man did that tent leak whenever it rained!!

After my sisters and I left home, the family summer vacations to the beach or the lakes stopped happening for the most part. But sometimes we still made trips to a beach or a lake.

This is my mother at Lake Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand in September (Spring time) of 2019. She had travelled to Lake Wanaka from her home in Dunedin in order to meet a new cousin whom I had met online through our DNA matches.

https://www.wikitree.com/photo.php/8/8c/Stephens-6575-2.jpg

Since my mother is still living, her profile is unlisted so you need to access the photo directly.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (876k points)
I remember walking on the beach near Dunedin in July 2003 on my first trip to New Zealand. I loved it there and have been trying ever since to land a job there. Alas, none of the applications I submitted have panned out and now I'm past the age limit, even for skilled workers. I guess we'll just have to take an extended vacation.
+10 votes

At one time, water was an extremely important form of transportation.  That is why so many major cities are built on seacoasts or rivers.  It is still important--for example, large cargo ships on the oceans and barges on the Mississippi--but now we also have roads, railroads, freeways, and airplanes.

Some of my ancestors depended on rivers to transport their goods to market.  One was my second great grandfather John Randolph Kelts.  He was a lumberman in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.  Each spring, they sent their lumber downriver on rafts.  Then, as now, the water could be treacherous.  In 1861, all his rafts were lost in a flood, one of many disasters he suffered in his lifetime.

by Julie Kelts G2G6 Pilot (319k points)
edited by Julie Kelts

I live in Ft. Wayne where the Wabash Erie Canal came through. I didn't think about that until you posted. It was certainly a safer way to travel.

+11 votes

This is an easy one for me.  John Howland, a passenger on the Mayflower, was swept off the ship into the water on the way to Plymouth.   He was saved by grabbing a halyard, and came back on board.  This is lucky for me, and for his many tens of thousands of descendants, because as one of the younger unmarried guys, he and his future wife, Elizabeth Tilley, became one of the most prolific couples among the surviving Mayflower passengers.  And, John was the only one who had a bath in all that time on board!   https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Howland-21

by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 5 (59.1k points)
edited by Carolyn Adams
+9 votes
My dad built a cabin cruiser in his garage and finished it behind it.  After it was built, we sailed with him on Lake Erie and later at my grandfather's place in Beaverton, Michigan
by David Hughey G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
Sounds like you all had a great time. It was probably even more special because your dad had built the boat. Thank you for sharing this.
+11 votes

My great uncle, Ralph Wallen, was a water witcher.  He was known for being able to dowse for water and determine the best place for a family to dig their well.  He performed this service well into the second half of the 20th century.

Ralph Wallen

by Colleen Chapin G2G6 (8.0k points)
+7 votes

Sioux City was home town to my parents, grandparents, great grandparents and beyond. Every generation has seen major floods, since the town borders on the Missouri, and is enlaced by important tributaries. Inscribed in history are the years 1892, 1909, 1953, 1993, 2011...

The house lived in by my father's grandparents, Fred Ryder and Mary McCarthy, was also a childhood home I remember. Nearby, Perry Creek was a fantastic playground. I can't believe we were allowed to scramble down its muddy banks and throw rocks in the water.

In 1993 that house was totally destroyed by the most devastating flood the Midwest has ever known, and the face of the neighborhood has changed for good.

Picture from 1955 shows the front yard of the house that was destroyed, with the garage in the background.

Front yard near Perry Creek, 1955

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 8 (80.7k points)
+8 votes

People have nice sharing stories of water.

However in our family there is also unpleasant stories where water is involved. my one cousin was staying with my parents during the holidays when he was still young. They were swimming in a stream when he dived in and hit his head against a rock and subsiquently passed. this was very sad in our family

He was only 13 years old at the time. my mother who passed last year at age 87 was still not fond of swimming. I was only 4 months old when this happened.

He was buried on top of his father that committed suicide the year before in 1958

Here is his profile

Petrus Johannes "Pierrè" Prinsloo. Born in Boksburg, Transvaal, Unie van Suid Afrika. Died in Stofberg, Transvaal,Limpopo provinsie Suid Afrika. Prinsloo-254
by Petrus Swart G2G6 Mach 1 (10.6k points)
Sometimes there is so much sadness in a family. May you and yours be blessed.
+8 votes

People have nice sharing stories of water.

However in our family there is also unpleasant stories where water is involved. my one cousin was staying with my parents during the holidays when he was still young. They were swimming in a stream when he dived in and hit his head against a rock and subsiquently passed. this was very sad in our family

He was only 13 years old at the time. my mother who passed last year at age 87 was still not fond of swimming. I was only 4 months old when this happened.

He was buried on top of his father that committed suicide the year before in 1958

Here is his profile

Petrus Johannes "Pierrè" Prinsloo. Born 26 May 1946 in Boksburg, Transvaal, Unie van Suid Afrika. Died 18 Dec 1959 in Stofberg, Transvaal,Limpopo provinsie Suid Afrika. Prinsloo-254

by Petrus Swart G2G6 Mach 1 (10.6k points)
+10 votes
As I've researched my ancestors, I've become fascinated with the historical periods around the person I'm researching and as I've commented before, I have become an avid fan of books and TV/movies that are set in those times. Recently, I watched the Netflix miniseries "Alias Grace" which showed in several scenes just how horrible life could be when you were desperately poor.  

Water fits into this in so many ways. It showed how truly awful traveling across the ocean (the only way to immigrate at that) was for women and children who were kept below decks in squalid, claustrophobic areas with no fresh air, no fresh water, no toilets, etc etc etc. Men at least had the potential for going above deck, and sometimes women could but if one was poor there was a real chance you might not make it alive to the "new" country.

Also, right now when we're forced to stay away from everyone else, when we're stuck in our homes, lately my thoughts have been about the difference between now and the flu epidemic around 1918. Think about getting through this without deliveries, our "virtual" worlds, video games, email... And then think about what it would have been like in homes without water or electricity.
by Saphyre Rogers-Berry G2G6 Mach 1 (18.2k points)
+10 votes

My ancestor Robert Richard Dials drowned while working in the timber/logging business in 1909.  Back then there were no trucks to transport their logs.  In order to transport the logs, lumberjacks would float their logs in the Tug River which would eventually flow into the Big Sandy River and then on to the Ohio River.  Unfortunately, it was a hazardous way to transport their logs because many people drowned in the water.

by Anonymous Williams G2G6 Mach 6 (60.3k points)
At least my own ancestor only lost his rafts in a flood, not his life (as I posted above).  The timber business was dangerous in many ways, and a death in a sawmill was what ended my own line of lumbermen.
+9 votes

William Harvie and his son Matthew were both lighthouse keepers at the Mull of Kintyre. 

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Harvie-483

by Joelle Colville-Hanson G2G6 Pilot (112k points)

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