May all of you who are fathers enjoy a happy Father’s Day. Hopefully, you will get a chance to enjoy some R&R, and do something that you like. A special hat’s off to those of you who spend quality time with your children. They are the next generation of leaders, and need you to be good and positive role models for them. Be safe and enjoy this Father’s Day!
Happy Mother’s Day to all mom’s and moms-to-be, today! Motherhood – and parenthood – are such wonderful blessings that are bestowed upon us. We have so many wonderful opportunities as women and mothers to be the role models, protectors, guides, teachers, nurses, counselors, religious, safety officers, and coaches (and so much more) that our children and family members need in our lives. As mothers, we wear so many hats in our lives. Motherhood is definitely a blessing for me, and a vocation in which I always strive my best, as with everything that I do.
May all women who are mothers remember, cherish, and practice with sensitivity, responsibility, compassion, and seriousness the gift that we have been given. Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂
My great grandfather, Jonathan Mead Babcock (1878-1933), was the son of Samuel and Jane Babcock of Villenova (Balsam), New York, near South Dayton in Western New York State, outside of Buffalo. Beyond them, I do not know anything more about my Babcock side of the family. While there are several Babcock’s buried in Villenova Cemetery, the resting place of my great grandfather and great grandmother, Bertha B. (Gould) Babcock (1880-1963), I am unsure whether or not Jonathan had any brothers or sisters. I would tend to believe that he was an only child. When he was born, he weighed 13 pounds. Perhaps that was enough for his mother to desire not having more children, I don’t know. Jonathan Mead Babcock was born in 1878 and died on May 5, 1933; he was only 55 years old. As a man, he was tall at 6’4.” He worked as the Collins Railroad Foreman and Collins Town Constable.
Bertha B. (Gould) Babcock, Jonathan’s wife, was born in 1880 and died on May 11, 1963; she was 82 years old. Both she and several of her family’s ancestors are also buried in Villenova Cemetery. Bertha was one of two daughters born to Albert Allen (called “Arnold”) Gould (1856-1940)and Nancy Ann M. (Rump) Gould (1859-1914). Nancy was Albert’s first wife; she died and Albert married his second wife, Addie (Prince) Gould. (Addie Prince had a sister, known as Mrs. Hoyler, whom Bertha called, “Grandma;” I have a photo of her. I believe that Mrs. Hoyler was Addie’s mother.) Albert Gould’s parents were Alden Gould (1829-1913) and Arvilla (Barstow) Gould (1829?-1906, age 76). Bertha’s sister was Hazel (Gould) Crawford Houston.
Addie Prince’s first husband was Job Prince. They had at least three children, whom I know to be Bessie Prince, Glenn Prince, and Mrs. Harry Trimmer. Bessie Prince married Charles J. Woodmansee, and they had two daughters, Adiline Woodmansee and Vivian Woodmansee. I know that Vivian married Clarence Stoddart, and they had two daughters, Joyce Stoddart and June Stoddart. Glenn Prince married May L. (Baxter) Prince, and they had two children, Winston B. Prince and Ruth V. Prince. Ruth married Ed C. Sterry. They had two sons, Ed B. Sterry and Clendon Sterry. That is as much information as I have on the descendants of the Prince Family.
Hazel (Gould) Crawford (and later, Houston) and her husband had two daughters, Bessie (Crawford) Kibbe and Thelma (Crawford) Ulander. Hazel’s first husband was Frank Crawford, who moved to South Dayton from Ohio, as an employee of the Stove Mill Company. After Frank’s death, Hazel married her second husband, Vernon Houston; they had no children. Thelma and her husband lived in Jamestown, New York; they did not have any children.
Bessie (Crawford) Kibbe married James Kibbe, and they had one son, Bryan Kibbe. Both Bessie’s husband and son predeceased her; Bessie lives in Falconer, New York and is 95 years old. Bryan developed multiple sclerosis when he was about three-years-old, and struggled with it throughout his life. He died as a bachelor a few years ago at about age 50. James Kibbe also died a few years ago. There are several Kibbe’s that live in Falconer and throughout the United States. They are all cousins (now far-removed) to my family.
Cousins to my dad on my great grandmother Bertha’s side of the family further include the Curtis’ and Mather’s. One of Nancy Rump’s sisters was Louise (Rump) Curtis. Louise married Albert F. Curtis, and they had two children, John Henry “Henry” Curtis and a woman known as Mrs. George L. (Curtis) Mather – it is possible that her first name was also Louise, just as her mother’s. Henry Curtis never married, and remained a bachelor all of his life. Henry was an army veteran of World War II. Albert and Louise Curtis’ daughter married George L. Mather, and they had two children, Curtis G. Mather and Lettie Mather. Lettie Curtis Mather was born in South Dayton on July 13, 1891 and died in Jamestown, New York on October 9, 1962.
Henry Curtis had been engaged in his early life, though his fiancé broke off the engagement. From what I understand, he became a miserable and unhappy person after that, and seemed to never recover from it. I remember meeting him at my grandmother’s home when I was about 10 years old. All of the other adults did not want me to be around him, and I discovered why – because nearly every other word that he spoke was profanity. He also spoke very loudly, actually shouting, though he may have done so because he was hard of hearing, I don’t know. At that time, he was about 95 years old. I felt sorry for him, and wondered why anyone could be so miserable and unhappy. Henry died when he was 98 years old – the oldest of my known ancestors.
Curtis Mather, the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Mather, worked for an electric company. A tragedy occurred during his work in which he was electrocuted, and died. Therefore, Lettie Mather continued on the descendants of that side of the family. I discovered this upon speaking with the mother of Michael Denea (formerly of Gowanda, New York) when we began talking about family ancestry while I was about 14 years old.
At the time, I was taking summer piano lessons from Michael, who is an accomplished pianist, and now also an attorney, possibly living in Arizona upon my last knowledge. Mrs. Denea informed me that she was a descendant of the Curtis Family, which would make she and her family far-removed cousins of my family. Michael is a fifth cousin to me. Mrs. Denea provided me with several antique bibles that had been kept in her family. She handed them down to me – four bibles – which I still have and maintain.
Going back to the Babcock side of the family, Jonathan and Bertha (Gould) Babcock had three children, including Eunice (Babcock) McEwen Hembury, Louise (Babcock) Heppel, and Charles Albert Babcock (1911-1961). Charles worked at the Ford Motor Company factory in Lackawanna, New York for a few years before becoming employed with the State of New York in Gowanda in the business office of the Gowanda Psychiatric Center. Charles married Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock (and later, Sprague) of North Collins, New York (I have presented photos and information about her and her family in prior posts).
Eunice Babcock married a Mr. McEwen (I don’t know his first name), and they had two sons, Clarence “Clair” McEwen and Leland McEwen. Clair married Mary (I don’t know her maiden name), and they had five children. Their children were Butch, John, Dicky, Betty, and Tom McEwen. When Mr. McEwen died, Eunice married her second husband, Floyd Hembury; they did not have any children.
When I was in my teens, Clair and his son, Tom, visited my family in Collins, New York, having traveled from Pennsylvania. Clair was very elderly at that time, and he had wanted to get in touch with the family in Collins. Likely, Clair died shortly after that; we have not heard from them, nor stayed in touch following that time. I know that Betty married Joe Hembury; Eunice married her second husband, Floyd Hembury after Mr. McEwen died; and Tom McEwen is father to two girls, including Keeley and another daughter whose name I do not remember.
Louise (Babcock) Heppel married George Heppel in Collins, New York; they had no children. My father remembered that Louise had epilepsy, and experienced seizures. He also said that whenever Louise visited his family’s home, George never accompanied her. He said that he never met George during his life. Therefore, we don’t know much of anything about George, and have only one picture that includes him – the wedding picture that includes him with Louise, as well as Charles and Eunice.
Charles A. Babcock married Bernice Gale (Briggs) Babcock (and later, Sprague) (1912-1987). They had one child, a son named, Bruce (born 1943), who is my father. Bruce married Anna Maria (Krakowiak) Babcock (born 1944) in 1963, and they have two children, Michele Elizabeth Babcock-Nice (me) (born 1971) and my brother (born in 1972, who is divorced and does not have children). (I will provide more detail about the Krakowiak Family in another post.)
My dad worked for the State of New York in Gowanda, New York at the Gowanda Psychiatric Center (34 years) and Gowanda Correctional Facility (3 years), once the State Mental Hospital was transitioned into the Gowanda Prison. Nearly the entire time that he worked at the Psychiatric Center, he was a stationary engineer in the Power Plant. My parents also owned and operated a Sears Retail Catalog Store in Gowanda, New York for many years.
I married John Robert Nice, Jr. (born 1966), a high school physics teacher, in 2002. John and his family are from Jacksonville, Florida, though John moved to and has lived in the Atlanta, Georgia area for about 20 years. John has one sister and several half and/or adopted siblings, through the marriages of his parents. John is a graduate of Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute in Rochester, New York. He also attended Florida State University to obtain his teaching certificate. (I will provide more detail about the Nice Family in another post.)
I moved to the Atlanta area for a professional employment opportunity in teaching in 2000. I had interviewed in many states along the East Coast of the United States for full-time work in teaching; DeKalb offered me the best package, and so, I moved to Atlanta. I had been a volunteer, substitute, and short-term substitute teacher in several school districts in Western New York State for a few years, but was not offered any full-time teaching positions there, though I had applied to about one dozen school systems.
Still single, and having no immediate family ties of my own holding me to the Buffalo area, I decided to move since I was in financial need and had no full-time work in my field. After living in Atlanta for about 1.5 years, John and I were introduced to each other, blindly, but through a mutual teaching colleague in the DeKalb County School System. Within 1.5 years of meeting each other, John and I were married. The next year, our wonderful son was born; he is now nearly 11. John divorced from me in 2009, following our separation, totaling 3 years. We have each remained single since then.
I am a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo (University of Buffalo); the State University of New York College at Buffalo (Buffalo State College); and Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Georgia. I also attended the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland through the University at Buffalo’s Study Abroad Program; and I am currently attending Argosy University in Atlanta. I have two bachelor’s degrees and one master’s degree; am certified as a middle grades teacher (grades 4-8) in social studies and science, and in grades 4-12 social studies; and I am pursuing my second master’s degree, this one in counseling. My total teaching experience, including voluntary, substitute, and full-time work, spans 15 years.
Jonathan and Bertha (Gould) Babcock, Alden and Arvilla (Barstow) Gould, and Albert and Nancy (Rump) Gould, are buried in Villenova Cemetery in Balsam, near South Dayton, New York. Clarence and Julia (Gale) Briggs, and Charles Albert Babcock and Bernice Gale (Briggs) Babcock Sprague, are buried in the Protestant Cemetery in North Collins, New York.
Author’s Note: Information and images identifying my brother have been removed from this post as of April 27, 2016 as a courtesy per his request.
This is a photo of my parents on their wedding day in July 1963. From left to right are Emmett Sprague, Bernice Gale (Briggs) Babcock Sprague, Bruce Babcock, Anna (Krakowiak) Babcock, Wladislawa “Lottie” (Bulera) Krakowiak, and John Krakowiak.
Michael Denea is my fifth cousin. We are related because my great grandmother Bertha (Gould) Babcock’s mother, Nancy Ann (Rump) Gould, was a sister to his great great grandmother, Louise (Rump) Curtis, on his mom’s side of his family.
Since the captions associated with each of the photos are self-explanatory, I have not added more information to follow each one in this post.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading and understanding more about my family heritage!
Dexter Press, Inc. (West Nyack, NY) and Aerial Surveys, Henry DeWolf (Rochester, NY), 1960-1970. Gowanda Psychiatric Center Aerial View, Helmuth (Gowanda), New York.
Photos and information of Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague, 1860-1987. Collins, New York. Currently the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
Photos and information of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014), 1960-2013. Snellville, Georgia.
Sears Portrait Studio (2003). Photo of Nice Family at Christmas. Conyers, Georgia.
Other photographers of other professional photographs, unknown.
In one of my earlier posts, I included a few photos of several of my ancestors on the Babcock side of my family. In this post, I have included school photos that reflect Jonathan Babcock (my great grandfather); Charles A. Babcock (my grandfather) and his sister, Louise (Babcock) Heppel; and Bruce Babcock (my father). These are antique and/or vintage school photos from the Western New York State communities of Collins, and Villenova or South Dayton, New York that are near Buffalo.
This photo reflects the school class of my Great Grandfather Jonathan M. Babcock, probably in Villenova or South Dayton, New York from around 1890. Jonathan is the boy whose head is circled in the picture. The teacher is Miss Barnes, and some of the students include: Winnie Hale; Gertrude Williams; Myrtle Pease; Gertrude Hollister; Atta Pease; Ethel English; Ortie Beach; Tom Simpson; John Rugg; Vern Peterman or Peterson?; Ray Pormer?; R. Hollister; and Jonathan Babcock. There are no other names recorded on the back of the photo.
This is another school photo, likely in Collins, New York, that includes my grandfather, Charles A. Babcock. He is standing, the third from the right, the boy wearing the tie. This photo was taken in 1922. Names of the other children in the photo, in no particular order, include: Warren Fritz; Annabelle Bartow; Harry Kerr; Martha Demerale; Joseph Birtch; Virginia Zilmer; Mary Weber; Lester Andres; Bill _?; Walter Willet; Dorabelle? Bartow; F. Smith; Les Wittman; and Eslie? Fritz.
This is a picture of Collins, New York School District No. 3 from 1922-1923 in what is now known as the L.K. Painter (Community) Center. This building served as the public school in Collins, New York for decades. In this photo is my Grandfather Charles A. Babcock. He is standing in the second to last row, near the left, the sixth boy inside from the left, and is wearing the neckerchief. His sister, Louise, is also pictured, but I’m not sure where she is located in the photo.
My Great Grandmother Bertha B. (Gould) Babcock wrote the names of everyone pictured in the photo on the back of the photo, though I cannot read all of her writing. I will do my best to transcribe the names that she wrote, here, in no particular order: E. Taber; M. Willet; J. Johnson; E. Willet; A. Mendonsa; M. Demerale; L. Babcock; C. Squire; M. Metzger; _ Myrtle; K. Andres; T. Babinger; R. Willet; R. Bentley; C. Gerfel; R. Hire; C. Cunningham; F. Smith; L. Andres; H. Squire; R. Willet; C. Babcock; G. Phillips; E. Castle; A. Metzger; _ Unknown; R. Mendonsa; E. Fritz; H. Taber; E. Cook; B. Long; C. Powers; A. Bartow; D. Bartow; G. Johnson; D. Tarbox; A. Johnson; L. Dittiman; W. Fritz; C. Demerale; C. Taber; L. Blakeley; H. Kerr; K. Schuele; N. Johnson; D. Bettecker; R. Andres; W. Willet; B. Lauman; C. Tarbox; M. Barr; F. Snynder; C. Schmitz; L. Bartow; L. Curtis; M. Barr (twice or a different one?); Leslie Platz; C. Johengen; G. Taber; J. Squire; J. Metzger; L. Metzger; R. Deet; B. Deet; Roy Zilmer; R. Smith; B. Law; L. Powers; Agatha Platz; H. Schuele; R. Weber; E. Weber; A. Law; K Earl.
In this photo, pictured are the kindergarten and first grade classes of the Collins, New York School in 1949-1950. My dad, Bruce Babcock, is seated, in the third row from the front, and is the boy wearing the neckerchief and standing next to the teacher. I can also identify Robin (Johengen) Mentley in the photo – she is seated in the front row, the second girl from the right. I am familiar with her because her daughter, Heather, went to school with me in Gowanda, New York. Unfortunately, no one identified any of the people pictured in this photo – I know of only those two individuals. Additionally, the teacher might be Ms. Schuele, but I’m not sure. She was one of my nursery school teachers when I was four-years-old.
This is a photo of my dad’s fourth and fifth grade classes in Collins, New York with Teacher Marion Dunlap from 1954-1955. My dad, Bruce Babcock, is seated along the front row, the second boy inside from the far side of the photo. My Grandmother Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague wrote the names of everyone pictured on the back of the photo. Sideways, by rows, proceeding from front to back include: row 1: Beverly Martindale; Margaret Armbrust; row 2: Karen Langless; Cary (Cory?) Baldwin; row 3: Shirley Horth; Lavern Parsell; Janet Cohen; Victor Johnson; row 4: Bruce Babcock; Sharon Robeson; Ruth Metzger; Douglas Glass; row 5: Dick McKeon; Paul Meyers; Gary Stewart; Joyce Kerr; Jean Smolarzk; row 6: Rosalind Babinger; Charles Krebs; Larry Frenkel; Bill Baldwin; Herb Simmons; Roberta Erhing; standing, left to right: Marion Dunlap; Lee Fraser; Robin Johengen; Sharon Farner; Warren Farner; Wayne Farner; Mary Alice Carlson.
This summarizes the school photos that I have of several of my ancestors and extended family members, going back three generations to my great grandfather.
Family photos and information of Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague from 1860-1987. Collins, New York. Currently the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
The families of Gale, Henn, Cole, McGee, and Bulson are a big part of my family ancestry on my dad’s mother’s mom’s side of the family. The Gale’s came to the United States from England. William M. Gale, who is my Great Great Grandfather or Great Great Great Grandfather, was born in England. Emily Esther (Costard) Gale (born on Isle of Jersey in the Channel Island, England on January 29, 1849-died in North Collins, New York on July 11, 1917), is possibly the mother (more likely) or a sister of William H. Gale, though I am unsure if he was William Hamilton Gale or William Henry Gale. There were also other Gale’s in the family, including Walter Allen Gale, Harry Hamilton Gale, Julia Emily Gale, Alice Costard Gale, Lydia Ada Gale, and Carrie Camilla Gale. Either William Hamilton Gale or William Henry Gale married Anna (Henn) Gale, and they had a daughter, Emily B. Gale. Harry Hamilton Gale (September 14, 1878-March 1930), an uncle of my grandmother, served in the military in New York State.
All of the Gale’s lived in Hamburg, New York, but for Harry who is later said to have moved to Canada. William (Emily B. Gale’s father) was a successful barber, and owned and operated his own barber shop in Hamburg for decades. They lived on Main Street, and the barber shop was close by their residence. Julia Emily (Gale) Briggs was married to Clarence Briggs, and they had a daughter, Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague, my grandmother – my father’s mother.
My Great Great Grandmother Emily (Costard) Gale’s sisters remained in England, but stayed in touch with her and sent photos and letters to her through the years. Irish ancestry, through marriage, came from one of my great great grandmother’s sisters, Julia McGee; her son was named William McGee. He married and had two daughters, Dorothy and Phyllis. Dorothy married Mr. B. Apps on August 2, 1937.
There were also several members of the Henn Family, who had immigrated to the United States from Germany. From what I have uncovered, I believe that Frank Henn married Anna (Goetz) Henn. They had children, including Fred and Louis, and possibly Anna, Frank, William, and Charles. Fred (Frederick) (born October 20, 1843 in Bavaria, Germany) was a soldier in the Union Army and fought in the Civil War in Louisiana and Virginia. He was a private in Company D, 116th NYVI Regiment of Buffalo. He was wounded in Louisiana, and spent 2-3 months in the hospital, there, recovering. He was honorably discharged due to the end of the war. There is a photo and record of his service on file at the Hamburg (New York) Historical Society. I also have a photo and an item of memorabilia reflecting his service in the Army. He was married to Mary A. Henn, who died in 1896.
When Emily B. Gale died in 1986 and her estate was sold, my family missed acquiring Fred Henn’s medal from his service in the Civil War because it was grabbed quickly by an antique dealer who had a special interest in such memorabilia, and who had arrived just ahead of my parents for the sale. It would have been a wonderful piece to keep in the family. Additionally, I have a beautiful and colorful marriage certificate of a Friedrich Henn and Mahole (Thompson) Henn, reflecting their wedding date as July 27, 1897 in Germany. This is believed to be a different Fred Henn than the man who fought in the American Civil War. Also remember that Emily B. Gale was the only child of William H. Gale and Anna (Henn) Gale.
The Cole’s are part of my family ancestry through Carrie Camilla Gale’s marriage to Frank Cole. Carrie was the eldest daughter of William and Emily (Costard) Gale. Frank and Carrie had a son, Arnold, who married Grace Cochran. They then had three sons and a daughter, including Arnold Cole, Jr., William E. Cole, Eugene Cole, and Norma G. Cole. I have several photos of Arnold Cole as a baby and as a private school student in Buffalo, New York.
I have one image William M. Gale, and a few photos of Emily (Costard) Gale. I do not have any photos of Frank Cole, though I do have a couple of photos that include Carrie with her sisters, Julia and Alice. Julia was my Great Grandmother – my Grandmother’s mom. Emily B. Gale, my grandmother’s cousin, lived with her parents, and never married. She inherited the family home following the death of Anna (as William had predeceased her), though was placed in a nursing home in Hamburg, New York, where she died in 1986. Emily B. Gale owned many amazing antiques and treasures, including antique furniture; dolls; photographs in frames; and Civil War memorabilia of Fred Henn. My family was able to purchase a few of those items at her estate sale just after her death.
William H., Anna (Henn), and Emily B. Gale, and Frederick and Mary A. Henn, are buried in Prospect Lawn Cemetery in Hamburg, New York.
This is an image of William M. Gale, the father of William H. Gale. The image is printed on a postcard, and would have to be from the early half of the 1800s.
Here is Emily Gale with Julia Gale, in Hamburg, New York in about 1890.
This photo is thought to possibly be that of a Gale boy.
This is a photo of Alice Gale, who was one of William Gale’s sisters or nieces.
This photo is of Emily Esther (Costard) Gale, in Hamburg, New York in later life, around 1900-1910.
In her later years, Emily (Costard) Gale also worked at Condenseo Mince Meat in or around Hamburg, New York. This is the best photo that I have of the employees of this company, a photo that also includes my Great Grandfather, Clarence Briggs, and one of his brothers, Howard Briggs, who both also worked there at that time. Emily is seated in the middle, front row of the photo, while the Briggs men are standing at the rear.
This is a picture of Emily (Costard) Gale’s sisters, Julia McGee and Martha Bulson, from 1929 in England.
Here is Martha Bulson an her sister, Julia McGee, in England in 1923. They were sisters of Emily (Costard) Gale.
Here is Julia McGee at Christmas in England in 1923. The flowerettes were painted on the photo by William McGee, who painted pictures. I believe the William was either her husband or son.
Here is Martha E. Bulson with her sons and grandchildren at her ‘Manor House’ in Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, on November 27, 1932.
Again, here is a photo of Martha E. Bulson with her sons and grandchildren at her Manor House in Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, on November 27, 1932.
This is a photo of William McGee in England in 1933.
Here is William McGee (right) with his family. William’s wife is at the far left. The McGee’s daugther, Dorothy married Mr. B. Apps on August 2, 1937. The woman standing next to William is the groom’s mother. The McGee’s daughter, Phyllis, is sitting.
This photo is of Ronald Bulson in England. Ronald was Martha Bulson’s grandson.
This is a photo of my Great Grandmother, Julia Emily (Gale) Briggs as a girl.Here are the Gale girls of Hamburg, New York around 1890.
This photo is possibly of Alice Gale and a daughter, although I am not sure. It is from 1908.
This is a photo of Anna (Henn) Gale with my Great Grandmother, Julia Gale, and Anna’s only child, Emily B. Gale, in Hamburg, New York around 1900.
Anna (Henn) Gale is shown in this photo, in Hamburg, New York around 1910.
Pictured is William H. Gale, husband of Anna (Henn) Gale, and father of Emily B. Gale, of Hamburg, New York around 1890-1900. He was a barber in Hamburg for decades.
This is a photo of my grandmother’s cousin, Emily B. Gale, as a young girl, wearing a fur coat in Hamburg, New York around 1900.
This is another photo of Emily B. Gale as a young girl in Hamburg, New York around 1905.
Again, pictured is Emily B. Gale of Hamburg, New York around 1910.
Here, William Gale is pictured as an elderly man. He was 91 years old in 1938 when this photo was taken, just outside the Gale Family home in Hamburg, New York.
This is a photo of Harry H. Gale, a brother of William H. Gale.
This is a photo of Harry Hamilton Gale as a Union Army soldier out of Buffalo, New York in the 1880s.
This is a photo of Frederick Henn and his wife, thought to be named Anna, in Hamburg, New York around 1890-1900. Notice that Fred is wearing his medal for service in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
This is a funeral card for Mrs. Fred Henn, whom I believe would have been the lady in the photo preceding this image. She died on March 19, 1896 in Hamburg, New York at age 58.
This is a photo that is thought to be of Fred Henn, around 1870-1890, in Hamburg, New York.
This copy of a photo is of Fred Henn, also identifying his regiment in the Army in which he fought in the Civil War. I obtained copies of these items from the Hamburg Historical Society in Hamburg, New York in 2001.
This is a photo on display at the Hamburg Historical Museum/Society. I took a photo of the picture when I visited there. My grandmother’s cousin’s uncle is Fred Henn, who served in the Grand Army of the Republic’s Company D of the 116th Regiment during the Civil War.
This is a photo of Louis Henn, a brother of Fred Henn, in Hamburg, New York around 1890.
This is a photo of a man believed to be a member of the Henn Family.This is a photo of Arnold Cole, the son of Frank and Carrie (Gale) Cole, in Buffalo, New York in 1892.
Here is another picture of Arnold Cole, with his toy horse, probably in Buffalo, New York around 1895.
Here is another picture of Arnold Cole as a boy.This photo of Arnold Cole was taken in 1908 in Buffalo, New York when he was 16-years-old. It was taken outside of a private school that he attended in Buffalo.
Here is another photo of Arnold Cole at age 13, outside of another private school that he attended in Buffalo, New York, in 1905.This is another photo that shows Arnold Cole in Buffalo, New York as a young man in 1909.
These represent some of the many photos that I have of these of my family ancestors. My grandmother, Bernice, had loads of vintage and antique photos that she kept for many years until she decided to burn most of them in a burn barrel used for burning trash in the back yard of her home. One day, when I was a girl, when I was visiting her and there was “trash” burning in the barrel, I asked what she was burning, and she told me. I remember getting very angry and upset, and stated to her that I wanted the photos, and not to burn any anymore. I could not believe that she would burn such valuable memories related to her family heritage!
Therefore, I have many photos of my family ancestors, but would have had many more had my grandmother not put them up in smoke. Additionally, I used to have many more tin types, especially those of the Henn’s, however when my family moved from Collins to Gowanda, New York around 1992, they were unknowingly discarded by my parents. I was heartbroken that such valuable family treasures had been thrown away.
This photo reflects the 15 tin types of my Gale, Briggs, and Henn ancestry that were accidentally discarded by my parents during my family’s move from Collins to Gowanda around 1992.
Again, as in previous posts of photos of my ancestors, the dates included represent the best possible accurate dates and/or estimates of dates of the images.
References and Sources:
Family photos and information of Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague from 1860-1987. Collins, New York. Currently the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
Ryther, James F. (Undated). Personal War Sketch of Frederick Henn. Buffalo, New York. From Hamburg (New York) Historical Society, 2001.
Nearly all of my vintage and antique family photos are from my dad’s side of the family. Because my mother’s family were immigrants from Poland to Germany to the United States through Ellis Island around 1950, I have fewer than a hand full of vintage photos from my mom’s side of the family, the Krakowiak side, though I do have a few. Photos and tin types from my dad’s side of the family include those from the following families: Babcock, Briggs, Gould, Hoyler, Staffin, Gale, McEwen, Crawford, Cole, Ritter, Henn, and Goetz. And, those are just the images, while there are other families who are part of my ancestry, including Rump, Rodgers, and others.
My direct ancestral heritage – in addition to that of Poland from the Krakowiak family – reflects people from England, particularly the families of Gale, Bulson, and McGee; the French and German ancestry of Adelia Staffin; and the German ancestry gained from the families of Gould, Rump, and Henn; and both Hoyler and Ritter (through marriage). The Briggs’ and Babcock’s were also from England, but had been settled in the United States prior to the Gale’s. My ancestry can also be traced back to England’s King Henry VIII, as a result of his many marriages; and Clement Briggs, one of my ancestors, who traveled to Plymouth, Massachusetts from England in 1621 on the Mayflower. The name “Briggs” has many variations; and is believed to have been derived from Saxon William atte Brigge of County Norfolk, England in the 1200s. That is the furthest back in time that I have been able to trace some of my ancestry.
The following photos and tin types are those that I have selected to reflect some of the many images of my ancestral heritage from the Briggs, Staffin, and Gale families, as I know it, so that the richness of culture, values, and family can be shared and enjoyed outside of my family, as well. The photos were taken in North Collins and Collins, New York, near Buffalo. I will make additional posts with pictures reflecting the other families identified in the near future. Note that for photos that have estimated dates, I have tried to date them as best as possible to reflect an accurate time of when they were taken.
This is the oldest tin type that I have that reflects ancestors of my family. The tin type was in the condition seen in the photo when I got it from my grandmother, Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague, so I have carefully preserved it as best as I can.
Adelia was said to have been a short, but fiery and tough woman. It is possible that she was married through an arranged marriage to my great great grandfather, Wallace Briggs, because they married when they were kids. It does not even appear that Adelia is 13 years old in the first picture in this post, however it is believed that she and Wallace were married at about that age. Adelia and Wallace had five boys (Clarence, Howard, Harold, Sumner, and John); and while I am unsure about how Adelia died, it is possible that she died in childbirth. She would have been 26 when Clarence was born (the second oldest son) and 37 when John was born. The oldest boy was Sumner, born in 1879 when Adelia would have been 23.
No one in my family seemed to know how Adelia died, or if they did, they did not talk about it. I know that she seemed to have died at a young age (possibly under 40 years old), and Wallace married a second wife, Veronica, having four boys (Ivan, William, Lawrence, and Leo) with her. Therefore, nine Briggs’ boys grew up and at least seven of them (all but for Howard and William “Bill”) had families in North Collins, New York in the 20th century. Birth and death dates that I have, as recorded by my grandmother, for Adelia’s and Wallace’s sons are as follows: Sumner (1879-1939), Clarence (1882-1953), Howard (1886-1944), John (1892-1934), and Harold (1893-1965).
Sumner Briggs married Frances Creed, and they had four children, including Rexford, Emerson “Coon,” Harriet, and Buddy. Howard Briggs was a bachelor. John Briggs married Ella Rieckhof, and they had one child, Lois, who married Harold Rodgers. Lois and Harold had a daughter, Margo, who had a son, Eric, who would be about my age. Harold Briggs married Emma North; they had a son, James, who married Mabel Orton. James and Mabel had three children, including Beverly, Barbara, and Bruce Briggs. I know that Ivan married Louise Gullo, and they had three children, including twin girls and a son, David (who died in the Vietnam War). Bill married Ruth, but they did not have any children. I don’t know about descendants of Lawrence or Leo.
Adelia (Staffin) Briggs was the daughter of John Staffin and Phoebe (Wilcox) Staffin; and she was the sister of Mary Ann (Staffin) Smith (who married John Smith) and William Adam Staffin (who married Cora Wickham). John Staffin was born in 1830 to Adam Staffen (1804-1869) and Anna (Mathias or Mathis) Staffen (1807-1886), and was brother to 10 siblings. Anna’s father was Johann Mathis, who was a blacksmith, and her mother was Anna Maria (Schmitt) Mathis. Adam and Anna sailed to the United States through Ellis Island from France in 1840, purchasing land in Collins, New York. They had left their home in Saarlouis, Germany to sail from the Port of LeHarve in France, coming to the US with $800.
Adam and Anna were schoolteachers, teaching in a large room of their home; and Adam was also a stone mason and farmer. At that time, the Staffen’s school was the only one in the area, and young men traveled from miles around to be educated by them. They taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and were paid in kind with raw materials rather than money. When Adam and Anna Staffen came to the United States, they spoke fluent French and High German. They were Roman Catholic, and are buried in the Langford Catholic Cemetery in Langford, New York.
Adam Staffen was one of three sons (Jacob, Adam, and Nikolas) of Johann Steffen (1748-1814) and Susanna Girlinger (1766-1833). Susanna’s parents were Phillip Girlinger and Maria (Bauer) Girlinger. Phillip was a farmer in Germany. Johann Steffen was the son of Simon Steffen (1716-1771) and Catharina (Schwartz) Steffen. In 1741, the marriage record of Stefan Simon (who changed his name to Simon Steffen around 1847) reflects that he married Catharina Schwartz, and that her parents were Franz Schwartz and Apollonia (Everhard) Schwartz. Simon’s parents were Dominicus Simon and Catharina (Corsain) Simon. Around 1838, Simon and Catherine moved from Longville, France to Ittersdorf, Germany, although rule changed from German to French rule at that time. It is possible that the move and name change were due to political reasons.
Cora (Wickham) Staffin’s parents were Chauncey L. Wickham and Rosene (Spaulding) Wickham. Cora married William Adam Staffin – brother to Adelia (Staffin) Briggs. Cora and William had (I believe) four children, including Marion Staffin, Charleton W. Staffin, Burton W. Staffin, and Burnell E. Staffin. Somewhere along the line, I do not have an exact record of at least one generation of the family, somewhere in-between Anna Staffin marrying Edward C. Ritter. I do know, however, that Cora (Wickham) Staffin’s grandchildren included Sara Jane Staffin, Mary Ann Staffin, Robert C. Staffin, and Norman R. Staffin. I just don’t know whose children they were – Charleton’s, Burton’s, or Burnell’s.
Marion Staffin married, though I do not know what her married name was. I believe that they had a daughter or granddauther, possibly named, Anna, and she married Ed Ritter. Ed Ritter, to my knowledge, had several siblings, including Fritz Ritter, Herbert Ritter, Mrs. Hoyt Prince, Mrs. Guy Hickey, Mrs. Clarence Simmons, and possibly another sister and another brother, though I am unsure of their names. Ed and Anna Ritter did not have any children. To my knowledge, Ed was a butcher, and I have a tin type of him reflecting that.
This is a tin type that shows my great great grandfather, Clarence Briggs, as a young man, possibly around 1900-1910. I do not know the identities of the other young men in the image.
This photo shows my 15 additional tin types from my Gale, Briggs, and Henn ancestry that were accidentally discarded by my parents during my family’s move from Collins to Gowanda around 1992.
My great great grandfather owned and operated an ice carting business in North Collins, New York. He transported blocks of ice to people’s homes for their use in refrigeration, such as in their root cellars.
This is a photo of Clarence and Sumner Briggs, and possibly Howard Briggs, from North Collins, New York around 1890. It is the best photo that I have of them as young boys.
From what I understood from my grandmother, this photo was supposed to be a silly picture of three of these Briggs’ young men. They went on an outing and had several different photos made on this day, reflecting different backgrounds and venues.
This is a photo of my grandmother, Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague, as a baby in 1912 in North Collins, New York.
In this photo, my grandmother was about two years old.
This is a photo of my grandmother either on the day of her engagement or wedding to my grandfather, Charles A. Babcock.
This is the only photo that I have that shows both of my great grandparents, Clarence and Julia (Gale) Briggs, in the same photo. This was taken in 1946 in Collins, New York at the childhood home of my father, Bruce Babcock.
This is a photo of John Briggs, a brother of my great great grandfather, Clarence Briggs, from North Collins, New York in 1917 before he went off to fight in World War I. There were several Briggs’ brothers who fought in the War, and they all returned home alive.
This is a photo of identical twins, Marie and Veronica Briggs, from April 1941. They are daughters of Ivan Briggs and Louise (Gullo) Briggs of North Collins. David Briggs was the son of Ivan and Louise, and died while serving in the US Army during the Vietnam War. For many years, there was a memorial to David outside the front of the Catholic Church in North Collins, New York.
Here is another photo of the twins. They were about three-years-old in this picture. Veronica was named after her grandmother, Veronica.
I hope that you have enjoyed viewing these photos. I will make additional posts with photos that reflect the others of my ancestral families that I identified, shortly.
References and Sources:
Anna Emerling Spengler (~1980). The Emerling Family Tree: Chapter 7 – The Staffins. Springville/Collins, New York.
Family tin types, photos, and information of Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague from 1860-1987. Collins, New York. Currently the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
The Name and Family of Briggs: Manuscript Number 341 (1984). New York, NY: Roots Research Bureau, Ltd.
Wentland Funeral Home (1968). Funeral Card of David I. Briggs. North Collins, NY: Wentland Funeral Home.
My grandfather, Charles A. Babcock, from Collins, New York, was an athlete and played several sports when he was a teen and into his early 20s. He enjoyed playing football and baseball, as well as softball and bowling. He was born in 1911, and had two sisters, Louise (Babcock) Heppel and Eunice (Babcock) McEwen Hembury.
The Babcock children were born to Jonathan M. Babcock and Bertha B. (Gould) Babcock. Jonathan was from Collins, New York, and Bertha was from the heavily German-American South Dayton, New York. Eunice moved to Pennsylvania upon marrying her first husband, and they had children. After her first husband died, she married her second husband, remaining in Pennsylvania. Louise was the middle child in the Babcock Family. She married George Heppel, and they did not have any children.
I have included some photos in this post that reflect Charles as a member of football and baseball teams; and I have included pictures of Charles and his sisters, Eunice and Louise, as well as a photo of Jonathan and Bertha upon their wedding.
This is a photo of the Gowanda High School Football Team from 1926. My grandfather is seated, second from the left in the front row. He would have been 15 years old in this picture. To identify everyone in the photo, they are as follows: standing: H. Ross, M. Tillotson, D. Smith, R. Rogers, P. Palcic, G. Crouse, R. Dorey, Gerald Donnelly (Coach); middle: P. Smith (Manager), C. Cunningham, D. Saunders, P. Hammond (Captain), H. Rupp, J. Belec, J. Mentley; bottom: G. Keyes, C. Babcock, K. Bentley, L. Klancer, A. Cheplo, B. Gladu.
The 1932 Collins Baseball Team is pictured here, with my grandfather, again, seated in the front row, the second from the left. The men in the photo, in addition to my grandfather, and in no particular sequence, include Clifton Cunningham, Ashley Richards, Charley Daniels, David Eschler, Harold Schrader, Donald Tarbox, Ginger Stevens, Walter Farnsworth, William Edwards, and Stewart Pingrey.
The Collins Center Baseball Team from 1934 is pictured in this photo, with my grandfather standing, the second from the right. In no particular order, the other men shown in the picture are Bret Ayaw, Andy Sykies, Rusty Hohl, Lavern Buckley, Donald Tarbox, Jim Galloway, Carl Betteker, Murray Potter, Charles Ayaw, Clifton Cunningham, Burton Staffin, Bud Hewitt, and Bill Ball.
Pictured are my grandfather, Charles A. Babcock, with his sisters, Eunice and Louise, in 1913. Eunice is the eldest child in the photo. My grandfather would have been about 2 years old in this picture.
My great-grandfather, Jonathan A. Babcock, worked as a railroad foreman and he was the Town of Collins Constable. So, it was only natural that my grandfather, Charles A. Babcock, would be pictured at the Collins, New York Railroad Depot. It was said that he was always a big boy, and he is pictured here in 1914 at 3 years old.
Here are my great grandparents on my dad’s side, Jonathan M. Babcock and Bertha B. (Gould) Babcock. This, I believe, is their wedding picture, and was taken about 1900. I got my height from my great grandfather who was 6’4.”
Family photos and information of Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague from 1900-1934. Collins, New York. Currently the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
Recently, I was looking through photos of my relatives and ancestors, in order to show and explain to my son about some of his ancestral history. There are many excellent original photographs that I have of people, and groups related to schools and Girl Scouts in North Collins, New York, where my grandmother, Bernice “Bernie” Gale (Briggs) Babcock-Sprague was raised by her parents, Clarence Briggs (of North Collins) and Julia (Gale) Briggs (of Hamburg, New York). My grandmother was born in 1912 and died in 1987.
I also have many great original photos of people, and sports teams in Collins, Collins Center, and Gowanda, New York that I will provide in separate posts. For now, please enjoy viewing these photos from yesteryear. Please note that I have identified as many names of the people in the current photos as possible.
This is a photo of my grandmother when she was 11 years old.
This picture is of my grandparents after they were married.
This picture is of my grandparents with my dad when he was four years old. My grandfather would have been 37 years old in this picture, and my grandmother, 36. They waited until they were older before having a child.
Here is a picture of Main Street in North Collins from 1906. Notice the horse and buggy approaching from the far end of the road.
This is my grandmother’s second grade class in North Collins, New York from 1920. It was the end of the school year at the time this photo was taken. They had school in a one-room schoolhouse.
This is a photo of my grandmother’s Sunday School Class in North Collins, New York from 1923. She was 11 years old. Notice that all of the girls are holding rabbits. I believe they were rabbits from the teacher’s farm, where the photo was taken. The teacher is identified as Mrs. Lee Whaley.
Here is a photo of my grandmother’s first grade class with Miss Rockwell in North Collins from 1918 or 1919. My grandmother is seated at the far left row, in the third desk.
A listing of all but four of the the students in this photo includes the following: (Left to Right, Front to Back): First row: Doris Theil; Loretto Ognibene; Bernice Briggs; Naomi Heim; Joseph Diadoto. Second row: Angeline George; John Alessi; Josephine Tempio; Daniel Mecca; Bertha -; Unknown name; Myrle Long. Third row: Anthony Pelligrino; Elmer Bellanca; Joseph Musacchio; Carmella Cocca; Unknown name; Leonard Long; Harold Titus; Unknown name; Sam Agio; Charles Cocca; Sam Compisi; Ethel Valone; Dominic DeMaria. Fourth row: Anthony Veccio; Woodrow Hunter; Jacob George; Peter Compisi; Milly Long; Unknown name; – Compisi.
Here, the 6th grade class of North Collins is pictured from 1923, with my grandmother seated in the middle row, at the far right. All student in the photo are as follows: (Left to Right, Front to Back): First row: Daniel Mecca; Charles Cocca; Leander Russell; Woodrow Hunter; Jacob George; John Riefel. Second row: Leona Reith; Elton Whaley; George Butler; Louis Taravella; Charles Pelligrina; Sam Compisi; Joseph Valone; Joseph Diadoto; Loretto Ognibene; Salvator Schillace; Paul Burgio; Bernice Briggs. Third row: Wilma Mackey; Josephine Macaluso; Marie Ognibene; Nina LiVieeche; Catherine Compiere; Rose Veccio; Lee Percy; Genevieve Geiger; Anna Vara; Mary Thomas; Marion Mendola; Jennie Vara; Conqetta Savage. The teacher, in the middle, back row is Elmer Stearns.
This photo is of the North Collins High School 8th grade class from 1925. My grandmother is standing, just about in the center of the picture. She was a top honor student all throughout her education.
Students in this picture are: (Left to Right, Front to Back): First row: Jacob George; Woodrow Hunter; Charles Pelligrina; Salvator Schillace; Jacob Scheflin; Sam Compisi; Elton Blakely; Leander Russell; Frederick Teltz; Harold Rebmann; Albert Smith. Second row: Wesley Herman; Elton Whaley; John Reifel; Nina LiVeeche; Catherine Compiere; Josephine Macaluso; Marguerite Lawton; Leona Reith; Bernice Briggs; Wilma Mackey; Madeline Thiel; Genevieve Geiger; Mary Thomas; Loretto Ognibene; Charles Cocca; George Butler; Daniel Mecca. Third row: Mae Rehm (Teacher); Myrle Whaley; – Renaldo; Harlan Penharlow; John Ball; Joseph Diadoto; Louis Taravella.
And, how about this photo of the North Collins Girl Scout Troop 1 from about 1927. My grandmother is standing in the rear at the right, next to the woman holding the trophy.
Pictured are, from left to right, front to back: First row: Jean Thiel; Doris Thiel; Edith Dickman; Margaret Ball; Dorothy Twichell; Jeanette Roeller; Rosemary Hewitt; Emogene Stearns. Second row: Helen Ormsby; Delight Tice; Audrey Mitchell; Marguerite Lawton; Lillian Burnham; Marion North; Leona Reith; Pamelia Ormsby; Bernice Briggs; Jessie Walburg. Third row: Josephine Tempio; Nine LiVieeche; Alice Butler; Elizabeth Thiel; Evelyn Ames; Dorothy Geiger; Genevieve Geiger; Marjorie Tarbox.
Family photos of Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague from 1918-1948. Collins, New York. Currently the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
This week, I was voted #1 mom in the world by my son! 🙂 Being a mom is a wonderful thing! It is an experience that cannot be replaced, and must be lived every moment of every day. I love being a mom to my son. As a mom, I do my best to invest as much quality time and care into him as possible. Each and every day, I feel and know that I have been blessed by God to be a mom. My child is the only one I will ever have; and I always do my best to act in ways that will benefit him.
Not only do I have compassion, care, understanding, and nurturance for my own child, I am concerned for the welfare and well-being of all children. Children live in a world that caters to adults, including adult interests, needs, and wants. Sometimes, people overlook what is most beneficial for children, and make decisions and take actions that best serve adults. As a society that I hope becomes more enlightened, I am one who encourages increased understanding, appreciation, rights, and protections for children. And as a mom, I believe this is imperative for the benefit and well-being of my child, as well as children throughout the world.
On this Mother’s Day, let us honor, remember, and appreciate our moms. And, for those of us who are moms, let us remember why we became moms. Each mother is a role model for her children, and has been given a great responsibility to raise, care for, protect, and nurture her child(ren). In our world of increasing adult self-interests, it is vitally important to remember and support mothers, so that they can provide for and do what is best for their children. Thank you to my son and extended family for remembering, honoring, appreciating – and most of all – loving me on this Mother’s Day. 🙂
During Spring Break 2013, in the first week of April after Easter, my son and I spent two days at Disney World. I have visited Disney world numerous times throughout my life, and have taken my son there on some occasions, as well. He and I enjoyed two wonderful days at this wonderful, get-away paradise, wishing that we could have stayed longer. For a single parent on a limited budget, even two days was financially difficult to do, though it was important to get away and enjoy some refreshment even for a couple of days.
On our first day at Disney World, we visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom. My son had not visited the Animal Kingdom for the past seven years, and I promised him that we would go there on this trip. I am so happy that we went because it turned out to be the absolute perfect day! The weather was great, and while it was toasty, it was not too unbearably hot outside yet. The shade of the many trees in Animal Kingdom also helped to keep us cooler.
The highlights of our visit to Animal Kingdom were going on the safari ride, eating lunch at the Tusker House Restaurant with some Disney characters, and viewing the Lion King Show. Each of these activities were wonderful, and we really enjoyed them! On the safari, we saw many animals, including elephants, lions, giraffes, monkeys, crocodiles, and more. During lunch, Mickey Mouse visited with us, as well as other Disney characters. And, the acrobatics, songs, and costumes of the Lion King Show were amazing! Additionally, in the African section, we did some shopping and enjoyed African culture, including music and singing.
On our second day at Disney World, we went to EPCOT. It was another beautiful, yet humid day, and we often got refreshed in the air conditioned buildings or drank water or juice to cool down. At EPCOT, we visited different sections, including Canada, England, France, Morocco, and Japan. We were privileged to see and hear three marching bands troop past us. We also had our pictures taken with many characters, including Alladin and Princess Jasmin.
Also at EPCOT, we rode on the newly upgraded and more modernized Test Track, at which my son designed his own red sports car on the computers there. We extremely enjoyed the 20th Annual EPCOT Flower Show, particuarly with flowers arranged on the ground in the form of flowers and butterflies. While we did not stay late into the evening to see the fireworks, we still had a fabulous time!
My philosophy about children is that they grow up very fast, and it is important to provide as many fun, interesting, and memorable experiences for them as possible. Disney World is a place where I have vacationed very often, having first visited when I was about three or four years old. Now, I have the pleasure and satisfaction of taking my own son to Disney World for his enjoyment. I am happy to have the opportunities and ability to provide for such family enjoyment, and look forward to more visits there in the future.
This blog post is a tribute to all those who lost their lives or who were injured – especially children – in the bomb blasts at yesterday’s Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts. May God bless you all and keep you close.