Happy 76th Anniversary Mom and Dad

Love and miss you Mom and Dad!

Voices of Ancestors

My mother and father, Louise Adele Johnson and James “Gene” Rier, married on February 15th, 1943 at the Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Portland, Maine. Their special day was chosen because it was the day that my grandmother Harriet wed Ezekiel Johnson (and eloped) in 1908, and it was birthday of my great grandmother, Nellie Getchell Means, born February 15th, 1857.

Mom lived and worked in Portland at the time. Dad, now Lieutenant Rier, traveled there from Newburgh, NY where he was an engineer and pilot instructor at West Point, Stewart Field Air Force Base. There was a snow storm. Their families from Downeast Maine, Lubec and Machias, had a time making it to the wedding although Dad’s brother, Babe, and Mom’s mother Harriet, did. It was a long rough drive. Dad’s brother Paul, also stationed at West Point as PFC, was his best man. Mom’s maid of…

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My Mom’s 50th Class Reunion

My Mom, Louise Johnson Rier, graduated from Machias High School in 1936. This photo was taken at her class reunion in 1986. I love seeing my Mom with her high school classmates, smiling, with so many familiar faces. Elizabeth Johnson was Mom’s cousin, who was dearly loved and owned Johnson’s Jewelry in downtown Machias for many years.

This photo and names were provided by Irene Vose Robinson.

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Related posts:

Mom and Brother Robert on a Sleigh Ride. Postcard 1920s.

Mom’s Adventures in Portland: Horse Back Riding. 1942.

Mom at 16. High School Graduation. 1936.

Mom Hanging Out with Friends.

Mom Keeps Men at Stewart Field Air Force Base on High Alert. 1944.

Mom and Friends. Rotary Anns Bowling Team Trophy. 1959.

Mom and Dad. Halloween Rotary Party. 1976.

Mom Keeps Men at Stewart Field Air Force Base on High Alert. 1944.

My mother was born 99 years ago today. She was an adventurer!

Voices of Ancestors

mom-planemom-news

The newspaper did not report that Dad took Mom up in the plane that day. But I know he did at least once. Dad said he knew she was a keeper when he turned the plane upside down and she laughed. Mom was always cool as a cucumber in the face of unexpected events.

Interestingly, Dad planned to take Mom up in the plane for a rollover for some time. I present the evidence. He wrote on the back of his picture.

“A snap of me. Do you think I’m getting fat? 177 lbs. I did go 152 lbs. I guess the instrument formation day and night and cross country do me good. The planes will do over 200 and sometime if I ever get the chance I’ll really show you how a stomach can roll.”

Mom never lost the trait of staying calm during an adventure. One day in the…

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Book Recommendation: “Vital Records of Lubec, Maine Prior to 1892”

compiled by Patricia McCurdy Townsend. I searched for my Rier ancestors. My grandfather, Frank Rier, was born April 30th, 1890. Grandfather Frank’s parents were Burpee and Emma Batron Rier. I knew these names and dates but it is nice to have them verified.

In previous research I found my My Great Great Grandparents, Ingraham and Mary Rier, had four children born between 1860 and 1868: Burpee, Bertha E, Alice A and Ida May. Ingraham and Mary were born in Nova Scotia as were their children. They immigrated to Lubec, Maine between 1868 (the date their last child Ida May was born) and 1876, the year Alice died in Lubec. Ida May died there in 1883.

Then, I found a record that I had not seen. Emma Batron was Burpee Rier’s second wife. His marriage to Hattie E Williger of Whiting was published on February 13th, 1883. This book lists their marriage date by Reverend Thomas T. Smith as March 13th, of 1882. There must be an error in one of these records. Burpee’s marriage to Emma Batron of Pembroke was published on February 18th, 1888. There is no record for their marriage. I wonder what happened to Hattie Williger. There is no record of her death in this book.

Bertha Rier’s marriage to Norman A. Gavaza of Annapolis, Nova Scotia was published on September 23d, 1889. They were married September 30th, 1889.

I knew that Burpee’s two younger sisters died young. According to the vital records, Alice died on May 15, 1876 at 16 years of age. Alice’s date of death and age on the Rier gravestone is May 14, 1876, age of 13 yrs. two months. Ida died October 26, 1883 at the age of 15 years and 9 months as recorded in the vital records and on the Rier gravestone. Burpee and his three sisters were all born in Nova Scotia so perhaps the dates of birth for Alice and other family members were not accurate in Maine records.

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To read more about my great grandfather, Burpee Rier, and his parents Ingraham and Mary Rier, see this post:

Visiting the Gravesite of My Great Great Grandparents.

 

“Voices of Ancestors” 2nd Anniversary

was December 8, 2018. The blog has had over 25,000 views from over 13,000 visitors from 62 countries!

All Time Top 10 Blog Posts

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5. Visiting the Gravesites of My Great and Great Great Grandfathers.    

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Christmas Traditions: My Mother’s Cookies

Every Christmas when I was growing up, we made Christmas cookies. A wonderful sugar cookie made with lemon extract and decorated with colored sugar and cinnamon hots. My children learned to make these cookies when they were growing up, then my grandchildren learned too. This year, my daughter Liz and her children, Hayley (14) and William (11) made Christmas cookies with me on Christmas Eve, after having a ham dinner together. What fun! Oh, the memories it brings back and the joy of making more memories. We used many of the same cookie cutters that Mom had and gave to me, horns, curlicues, birds and hearts.

I love looking at my mother’s writing on the recipe card. I have no desire to make a new one. I hope this one lasts for decades into the future. My only alteration of the recipe is to roll the cookie dough a bit thicker than 1/4″. It makes a moist, “fatter” cookie. Cooking time 10 to 12 minutes.

It appears the the lobster (center cookie) had his tail eaten. Who did it? I will not confess. Nibbling while cookies are hot out of the oven is part of the tradition!

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My Grandfather, Ezekiel (Zeke) Johnson

From my mother’s old photo album. Circa 1920s. At the Edgemere cottage, Roque Bluffs.

Zeke was born in 1885 and died in 1968. I remember my grandfather well, and his stories. He was a barber – and an inventor.

His parents were Jesse Warren Johnson (1857 – 1924) and Sarah Jane Marston (1856  – 1937). To my knowledge, Zeke had three brothers: Percy W (1880 – 1932), Charles E (1882 – 1971), and Adin L (1896 – 1972);  a sister, Effie M (1889 – 1985).

To his granddaughter (me), he was quite handsome and debonair. I can understand why my grandmother, Harriet Means, eloped with Zeke in 1908. She didn’t tell her parents, William and Nellie Means, because Zeke was from the wrong side of the river. You can read more about that saga here.