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Ancestral Memories: George Singley and Susanna Jellison

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
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Recorded by John Schmeeckle on Dec. 17, 2016


(Dec. 12, 2016, 9:40 a.m.) George Washington Singley will be pleased to talk to John Schmeeckle and will be pleased to have his words recorded. George Washington Singley was the son of a man who was always looking for another opportunity. George Washington Singley’s father thought that he would be able to move the family west, and George Washington Singley was of the opinion that the family was able to prosper in Pennsylvania. George Washington Singley was able to stay in Pennsylvania when his father moved west with the rest of the family. George Washington Singley’s father wanted George to go with him to Ohio, but George had a wife and was pleased to stay in a location where he knew people and knew that his family was well respected. George wanted his father to come back to Pennsylvania, and George expected his brother Nicolas to come back with him. But Nicholas became a Mormon and continued west with the Mormons. George never talked to Nicholas about becoming a Mormon, and George thinks that this was not a decision that Nicholas would have made if George had been with the family. George thinks that Nicholas was influenced by a man who acted as Nicholas’s big brother, in the absence of George, and George thinks that he would have been able to counteract the influence of this man. However, George is just speculating. George thinks that Nicholas made a choice that was appropriate for him, and George is inclined to not condemn his brother.

George knows that his father was upset when Nicholas became a Mormon, and George understands that this was part of the reason why his father came back to Pennsylvania. George wanted his father to return, and offered to take care of him if he came back. By this time, George’s younger brothers were old enough to think of starting their own farms, and George was pleased to help the family reestablish itself in Westmoreland County. George wanted his brothers to live near him, because George knew that having family members nearby increased one’s social status. George wanted to be sure to have as many siblings as possible near him, and he was very pleased when his father accepted his offer to return to Pennsylvania.

George didn’t think of leaving Pennsylvania until after his father died. Then George was of the mind to leave, because he had lost three children. George knew that the loss of three children was a stain on the family’s reputation, and George thought that it would be best for him and his wife to start over in a new state. George wanted to be in a place that wasn’t connected to Westmoreland County. George thought of moving to Iowa, but decided that Missouri would be more likely as a location where George would not meet people who were familiar.

George and his wife moved to Missouri and began anew. They had a family and none of their other children died. George thinks that moving was what made it possible for them to not have any more tragedies. This was George’s opinion, and his wife agreed that moving to Missouri was a good thing. George knew that his wife wanted to be able to stay in contact with her family, and George thought that one or more of her brothers might come to Missouri, but George knew that his wife’s family wouldn’t talk in a way that harmed George’s reputation. George knew that, if he was going to be successful, he needed to have a large family. George knew that he and his wife were starting late, and George thought that he might not be able to have a large enough family to make a prosperous farm. George and his wife had seven children. George was pleased that he had four sons and three daughters. This gave him enough manpower to take care of a big farm, with enough women to do the housework and make clothing. This gave George a sufficient income to make sure that he gave respectable gifts to all of his children. George wanted his family to be known as a respectable and honorable family, and George was pleased that his sons turned out in a way that gave him credit. George wanted to be able to tell people that he was the father of four prosperous sons, and at the end of his life, he was able to do that, although the youngest had just started out.

George wanted his sons to be able to decide for themselves who they would marry, but his sons were pleased to have George participate in their decisions. George knew many people in his community, and George was able to find daughters of respectable farmers for his four sons. George was also able to find men who would be good husbands for his three daughters. George wanted to make sure that his daughter were able to live in a way that was comfortable. George knew that poor farmers had few opportunities to give to their children. George was satisfied with the marriages that his daughter made. George thinks that his life was very satisfactory after he left Pennsylvania.

George wants his descendant to understand that George wanted his sons to know about their family. George was proud of his grandfather’s military service under General George Washington. George knew that his name reflected the family legacy of honorable service. George was certain that he was a credit to his grandfather, although George never knew him.

George understood that he had a cousin with the same name. George knew that he and his cousin were sometimes confused. George wanted people to understand that he was a different man from his cousin, so he began to go by his initials. George thinks that this was perhaps a mistake, because he was never able to explain the full name. George wanted people to know that he was named for George Washington, but George was simply known as G.W.

George wanted it to be clear that he was a patriot, and he knew that in Missouri there was a lot of rebel sentiment. George wanted to have it known that he was the grandson of a revolutionary patriot. George wanted his neighbors to respect his respect for his country. George knew that the majority of his neighbors were sympathetic to the Union. However, George knew that a few of his neighbors were inclined to support the Confederacy. George wanted to make sure that his neighbors wouldn’t do anything to anger each other. George was careful to not push his opinions too far. George understood that, if quarreling turned to armed conflict, families would feel obligated to take up arms in support of those who were wounded or killed. George was fortunate in not having to deal with any strife in his home community. But George knew that neighboring communities occasionally had outbreaks of violence. This often meant that families were suddenly uprooted, because after somebody was killed, it was understood that his kinsmen would seek revenge. For this reason the kinsmen of a man who was killed in a dispute over the Union were often compelled to immediately leave the community.

George wanted to know if his sons would be forced to fight in the war. George knew that it all depended on how long the war lasted. George wanted the war to be over as quickly as possible, but George knew that it wouldn’t end until the Union fought effectively. George remembers hearing news, time after time, of military actions that failed to bring decisive advantage. George eventually despaired of hearing good news. But finally the Union army began to make progress. George was relieved when the Union army was able to make inroads into the Confederate positions on the Mississippi River. This led George to believe that Confederate sympathizers would be much less likely to stir up trouble. And George was pleased to hear when the Union army invade Georgia. George knew that, after this, it was only a matter of time until the Confederacy was dismantled.

George was able to live a good life, and George hopes that his story is of interest to his descendant. This is all that George will say.

(In answer to my question): George believes that his mother was not born in Wales, but that her father was born in Wales. This is all that George knows. George hopes that this is useful to his descendant.

George knew that this communication [with ancestors] was possible, but George did not communicate with any of his ancestors. George was pleased to receive communication from two of his daughters. George knew that he might receive communication from his granddaughters, but he didn’t. Since then, George hasn’t received any communication until his descendant John Schmeeckle began to talk to his ancestors. This is all that George will say.


(Dec. 12, 2016 -- 9:45 am) Susanna Singley will be pleased to talk about her life, and John is welcome to record what she says. Susanna was born into a very large family. Susanna knew that she was the eldest daughter of her father’s second wife, but she didn’t realize the difference between herself and her older sisters. Susanna knew that her mother was the second wife, and her sisters remembered another mother. Susanna wanted to be close to her elder sisters. Susanna knew that she wouldn’t be able to have a close bond with her sisters unless she was able to not be seen as the special daughter of her mother. Susanna wanted her sisters to be good to her, and she also wanted to have the attention of her mother. Susanna knew that this wouldn’t be a problem if her mother and her sisters were close. So Susanna wanted to make sure that her mother and her sisters cared about each other.

Susanna was only ten years old when her mother died. Susanna got a baby sister at the same time, and Susanna’s father quickly remarried. Susanna wanted to be close to her new step-mother, but Susanna’s step-mother had a hard time adjusting to the big family. Susanna wanted to have a relationship with her step-mother, but Susanna was pushed aside. Susanna had to do much of the housework without the love that a daughter receives from her mother.

Susanna eventually got married and had her own family. Susanna wanted to have a big family, but her first three children died. Susanna wasn’t a bad mother, but people naturally thought that she was. Susanna was unable to prevent the disease that carried off her first three babies. Susanna knew that something was wrong, and Susanna hoped to leave the community and have a family somewhere else. This is what Susanna and her husband did. Susanna was married to a man who was respected, from a respectable family. Susanna’s family was also respectable, but Susanna didn’t know her mother’s family well. Susanna knew that her elder brother was named for his grandfather, and Susanna occasionally saw her grandfather. But Susanna’s mother’s death was the end of Susanna’s interaction with her mother’s family.

Susanna wanted to be able to maintain connections with her family, and one of her brothers briefly came to Missouri. Susanna wanted her brother to settle in her hometown, but he decided to move on elsewhere. Susanna had a good family in Missouri, and was very glad that she left Pennsylvania. Susanna wanted her children to grow up well, and she was blessed to have seven healthy children. Susanna wanted her youngest children to be able to marry and have children before Susanna died, but Susanna died before getting to know her grandchildren. Susanna was disappointed, because Susanna knew that if she made relationships with her granddaughters, they would continue talking to her after she died. Susanna talked to her mother and to her mother’s mother. Susanna knew that her mother was caring for her, when she had to suffer with a step-mother who didn’t care. Susanna knew that she might have a similar relationship with her granddaughters. Susanna’s daughters were respectful, but they weren’t inclined to communicate with her during her life, and she wasn’t surprised when they failed to communicate with her after she died. Susanna hoped to have a granddaughter to communicate with, and she was blessed with a daughter of her eldest daughter, who communicated with her and taught her own daughter to communicate with her. Susanna has had good communication with descendants after her death, but after her great-granddaughter’s death, she hasn’t had any further communication until now. Susanna is pleased to have another descendant who is willing to communicate. This is all that Susanna will say.

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