05 May 2013

A Letter To My Father

When my Dad passed away over 6 years ago, my family was shattered. I couldn't bear to say goodbye and let him go. To this day I mourn and long to see him again. I wrote a letter to my Dad, things I wish I had said while he was still here, and I placed it with him, near his heart, for all eternity.

I had made a copy of the letter to keep with me and to read once in a while. I lost track of the letter though. Recently, I was going through a box and found my letter. I want to post it here so that it will always be available for me to read and I won't have to worry about misplacing it again.

My Daddy, My Daddy, My Dear Sweet Daddy

I love you, I miss you, I wish we could have more time. I had so many plans for us Daddy--trips to take, going to Agape, going out for lunch.

I thank you so much, Daddy, for who you are. I have learned so much from you. My dear Daddy who didn't have an opportunity for formal education, who grew up so poor and without basic comforts & needs, you have taught me what really matters in life. You taught me that you don't need everything to have everything. You taught me how to be a real genuine person, how to truly love in spite of hardships, how to find pleasure in such simple things, how to be humble. I will take these things with me forever & always see you in all I do. You taught me how to see through your eyes and what a truly beautiful way to see the world.

I will always & forever regret the times that I wasn't so good to you, Daddy, and wish with all my heart that I could have just one more chance to let you know how I love you and how much you mean to me. Yet another lesson learned.

What do I do now Daddy? How do I go through life without hearing the silly little things you say, without seeing you play Dr. Mario on Nintendo or solitaire at the table, without hearing you shuffle when you walk, without hearing about and seeing the little treasures you found at Agape?

I'm sorry, Daddy, I didn't appreciate you more, I will live with that pain forever. You were always so good to me & my family. I'm so thankful to have you & the kind of man you are for my father. I have been blessed.

Forever & always in my heart
Forever & always in my thoughts

I also want to keep track of the readings at his funeral mass:
1st reading (read by Shelley Lasater) Revelation 20:11-21:1
2nd reading (read by Bill Gray) Revelation 21:1-5a, 6b-7

14 August 2010

My Salem Witch

One of the most incredible events in US history, an almost unbelievable event surrounded by mystery and intrigue and which has been the basis of many theories as to its cause, is the infamous Salem Witch Trials.

Most of us are aware of the story. Some 150 people or so were arrested and many more accused of witchcraft in several Massachusetts towns in the years 1692-1693. Twenty-nine were convicted and nineteen of those were hanged and one crushed to death by stone. Several died in prison awaiting their trial. In fact, 2 dogs were also executed as accomplices to the witches!

The real reason it happened is probably not a simple answer and one that I am not speculating on here in this post. There are countless articles, books, websites, etc on this subject and are a fascinating read and I encourage their study. Here is one link to a website that has some interesting information related to this terrible event: http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/salem.htm
and here is a website that is involved with identifying and preserving the names of those accused and locating the living female descendants of those accused: http://www.adeaw.us/

The subject of this post is my very own Salem Witch ancestor, Sarah Clark(e) Davis Rist/Rice. And, of course, I think that there could be others in my ancestry, which have yet to be identified. Here is a little background on Sarah and her family starting with her first husband George Davis.

George DAVIS was born about 1616 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. He died on 14 Jul 1667 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States. He was buried at sea. George married Sarah CLARK  BY 1642 of Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.

Other marriages:
AUDLEY, Mrs. Edmond 
May have had a first wife named Mary Audley and then married Sarah who he mentions in his will.
George Davis.___ I, George Davis, beinge bound for Cape Feare, doe now dispose my outward estate as followeth, in case I die before I come againe or shall hear after make any other will; being in health, My whole estate, that I leave in New England, I do bestow vppon my wife and Children, and doe make my wife executrix, and my son, Benjamin, executor Joyntly. My estate to be divided into five parts, two parts I give to my wife and my son Benjamine equaly, the other three parts I give to my five daus to be divided equaly, and to be paid vnto them when they come to age, or when they may, as their mother shall Judg best, and their mothers part she has power to dispose it to her she dies to those or to all of my Children, soe it be to my Children, that are most Loving and dutifull unto her. My house and land I do dispose to my wife and my sone Benjamine, provided my daughters have their portions, though it be in other things. To my sone, Joseph, I give all that I have now in the shipp, and that we cary with us to Cape Feare, with the weavers loome; but in Case it does Miscary before it come ther, and he corn agen to new England, my executors out of the whole estate shall pay him ten pound farther, becaus my Daughters, som of them, are young, and to be brought vpp in the feare of God and well educated, is my desire, which I hope my wife will not be wanting in, therfor their portions shalbe responsable for theire bringinge upp and left to the discresion of my wife what to pay them when they come to age, or when she
dies. I have chosen for one overseer of this my last will, my brother, William Clark, of hun, and doe you chuse another whome you think fit, and give them 40s apeece, and trust to their faithfullnes and care for my poor Chilldren. Dec. 7, 1664. GE0RG DAVIS.
Printed from NEHG Register, Volume 16, January 1862, New England Historic Genealogical Society & Broderbund Software, Inc., Banner Blue Division, March 6, 2001

Soon after George Davis's death, certainly before 1672, Sarah was married for a second time, to Nicholas Rist of Reading [Eaton, 109 110). The will of Sarah Rist of Redding, written 20 Sept. 1697, probated 15 May 1698, touching the worldly estate that my former husband George Davis and my son Benjamin Davis gave to me by their last wills for to dispose of, give and devise the same as follows: to grandson Joshua Davis all ye Homestead.... that is ye same that I now dwell in.. with all the lotts, divisions and dividents. . . .thereto belonging, Joshua to pay to my daughters the legacies hereafter mentioned: to daughter Sarah Cole, to daughter Hannah Boutell, to son-in-law Timothy Wylye [mentioned as William Clarke's nephew and son of Thomas Clarke's neighbor], to daughter Mary Damon, to Susannah Richardson. Executor: Joshua Davis, grandson. Witnesses: Benjamin Burnap, Doroas Burnap, Elizabeth Arnold. [Middlesex Co. Prob. 9:399.] This last witness was the orphaned granddaughter of Thomas Clarke of Readingl Elizabeth Arnold was born at Reading 17 June 1079, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Clarke) Arnold; she married in Woburn, 22 Dec. 1699, James Richardson. At the time she signed this will both her parents and both her Clarke grandparents were dead. Was she then living with her next of kin, her grandfather's sister Sarah Rist? On 11 Aug. 1701 Joshua Davis of Boston, Joyner, and wife Rebecca sold to William Bryant of Reading, blacksmith, inter alia, a houselot bounded by land of William Arnold deceased [Thomas Clarke's son in law]; also a meadow bounded by William Eaton and Major Swaine [Thomas Clarke's stepson); also a parcel of meadow and swamp-land whioh lyeth undivided between Nicholas Fist and me Joshua Davis, arain bounded by land of William Arnold deceased. All these lands were located in Reading. Witnesses:  Jeremiah Swayne, Jn0 White, Joshua Eaton. [Middlesex Deeds, 13:12.1 This grantor, Sarah Rist's grandson, Joshua Davis son of Joseph Davis, was born at Reading 29 Jan. 1673, married there 29th May 1697 Rebecca Peirce, daughter of John and Ruth (Bishop) Peirce [TAG, supra, 25:163j. The grantee, William Bryant, blacksmith, of Reading, had married there on 5 May 1701 Rebecca Arnold, Thomas Clarke's granddaughter, born at Reading 6 Dec. 1661, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Clarke) Arnold. The property described was a part of George Davis's estate as a proprietor of Reading, which estate had passed to Joshua Davis by his grandmother's will, and which he thus conveyed to his second cousin's husband, probably because William Bryant had already or was about to come into possession of adjoining lands which had belonged to his grandfather in law, Thomas Clarke. It's all in the family~ George Davis and Sarah Clarke had eight children, the last six recorded at Reading:

i. Benjamin, d. at Reading in October 1679 (probably on 31 Oct. rather than on 13 Oct. as shown in the printed vital records of Reading). During King Philip's War he Was a soldier in Capt. Poole's Company (George M. Bodge, Soldiers in King Philip's War, 1906, 420). The will of Benjamim Davis, dated the 29th of Oct. 1679, proved 6, 8, 1682, gave his whole estateTo his mother Sarah Rice (or Rist), except two acres to his sister Mary Grover to help her bring up her children while she remains a widow. Executors: Goodwife Rice and John Damon, who was also a witness. Inventory of the estate of Benjamin Davis who departed this life the last of October 1679 taken 5, 9th, 1679, by Jeremiah Swayn and Benjamin Fitch, totaled 158.01.00 Including housing, lands, orchard, neadow, swamp and divident, oxen, cows, steer, horse, bridles, saddle, pistols, cutlash and other acooutemts, guns, one pair Sandiliers, joiner's tools and household equipment very evidently the same coproperty enumerated in their father's estate (Middlesex Co. Prod. 5:171.).

ii. Joseph. d. at Reading 28 Jan. 1676; im. Hannah  On  3 Apr.1677 administration on the estate of Joseph Davis was granted to his widow, Hannah Davis. Inventory amounting to about forty pounds included house, homelot and swamp lands (ibid. 3:166; b:259). Six children, born at Reading, one of these was the ubiquitous Joshua Davis who settled his grandmother Rist's estate.

iii. Hannah, b. 31 May 161.8, d. at Woburn in 1719; m. at Lynn 10 May 16o9, John Boutwell, b. there in 161.5, d. at Reading 3 Dec. 1719 aged 71. years, son of James and Alice Boutwell. Nine children, born at Reading.

iv. Sarah, b. 1 Oct. 1651; m. at Salem, 11 June 1670, Abraham Cole, b. ca. 1638, d. autumn 1715, son of Thomas and Ann Cole. Re was a tailor at Salem; eight children born there (Perley, 2:131.).

v. Elizabeth, b. 16 Jan. 1651., d. at Reading 21 July 1695; m. there 22 Jan. 1678, Timothy Wiley, b. there 21. Apr. 1653, d. there 19 Dec. 1777 son of John and Elizabeth Wiley. Four children, born at Reading. He m. (2) in 1696 Susanna  , who probably d. at Reading 31 Aug. 1732 (Eaton, 126).

vi. Mary, b. 16 Jan. 1657/8, d. at Reading 27 Nov. 1727; m. (1) Matthew Grover, who d. in 16W. Two children. She m. (2) Sammiel Damon, b. at Peading 23 June 1656, d. there 12 Jan. 1723/1., son of Dea. John and Abigail
Source: Book area US/CAN 973 D25 aga v.39
DEATH: Actually died at Cape Fear, N.C.
Sarah CLARK was born in 1620. She died on 3 May 1698 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States. Sarah married George DAVIS BY 1642 of Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.

Sarah had a will on 20 Sep 1697 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States. Her will was probated on 16 May 1698 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

Other marriages:
RICE, Nicholas 
Sarah married Nicholas Rist or Rice after the death of her first husband George Davis.

(Warrant for Arrest of Sarah Rice)

To: To the Constables in Reding
You are in theire Majesties names hereby required to apprehend and bring before us Sarah Rice the wife of Nicholas Rice of Reding on Tuesday next being the 31't day of this Instant moneth. at the house of Lt Nathan'l Ingersalls at Salem Village aboute ten of the Clock in the forenoon, who stand charged with haveing Committed. sundry acts of Witchcraft on the Bodys of Mary Walcot and Abigail Williams & others, to theire great hurt: &c in order to her Examination Relateing to the premises aboves'd faile not Dated Salem May 28'th 1692
[fig=BS30719a][/fig] us *John Hathorne [unclear: ] Assis'ts
*Jonathan. Corwin
(Reverse) In obedence to this warant I have brought the Body of Sarah Rice the wife of Nicolas Rice of Redding to the house of Leut nathanal Ingersons in Salem Viledg the: 31 of this Instant May: 1692
Atest *John Parker Constable of Redding
( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2 Page 52 )

( George Herrick v. Mary Bradbury , Sarah Rice , Wilmott Reed , and Elizabeth Fosdick )
May 26'th 1692 Beeing at Salem village w'th Constable Josp Neale the persons under written was afflicted much and Complained ag'st viz Mary Walcott Ann Putnam upon Capt Bradberys wife of Salsbury & Mary Walcott Ann Putnam : mrs Marshall upon Goodwife
Rice of Reding & Mary Walcott ann Puttnam Marcy Lewis upon Goodwife Read of Marblehead & Mary Walcott Marcy Lewis Ann Puttnam upon Goody Fosdick the same woemen tells them that shee afflicts mr Tufts Negro
attest *Geo Herrick Marshall
( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2. p. 35 )

(Complaint v. Martha Carrier, Elizabeth Fosdick,
Wilmott Reed, Sarah Rice, Elizabeth How, John Alden,
William Proctor, John Flood, Mary Toothaker and
daughter, and Arthur Abbott)
Salem May the 28'th 1692
Joseph Houlton and John Walcot both of Salem village Yeomen made Complaint in behalfe of theire Majes'ts against Martha Carrier  of Andover the wife of Thomas Carrier of s'd Towne husbandman  Elizabeth Fosdick of Maulden or charlstown William Reed of Marble- head the wife of Samull Reed of s'd place Sarah Rice of Reding  the wife of Nicholas Rice of s'd Towne Elizabeth How the wife of  James How of Topsfeild Capt John Alden of Boston Mariner, William  procter of Salem farmes, Capt John flood of Rowley marsh on  boston Mary Toothaker, the wife of Roger toothaker of Belrica,  and Mary Toothaker the daughter of s'd Roger Toothaker Arthur  Abott that lives between Ips. Topsfeild & wenham for sundry acts  of Witchcraft by them and Every one of them Committed on the  Bodys of Mary Walcot, Abigail Williams Marcy Lewis Ann putnam  and Others belonging to Salem Village or farmes Lately, to the hurt  and Injury of theire bodys therefore Craves Justice.
*Joseph houlton
*John Walcutt
Carrier of Andover -- -Marshall Essex
Reed of Marblehead -- Const --
Rice of Reding -- Const -- -
How of Topsfeild -- -Const
Wm procter -- -Const --
( Essex County Archives, Salem )

(Petition of Nicholas Rice)
To the honoured Generall Court now Sitting in Boston
The humble Petition of Nicholas Rist of Reading Sheoweth that whereas Sara Rist wife to the petition'r was taken into Custody the first day of June last and ever Since laine in Boston Goal for witchcraft, tho in all this time Nothing has been made Appear for w'ch shee desur'd Imprisonment or death, the petition'r has been a husband to the Said woman above Tweinty years, in all w'ch time he never had reason to accuse her for any Impietie or witchcraft, but the Contrary Shee lived w'th him as a good Faithfull dutifull wife and alwise had respect #[to the respect] to the ordinances of God while her Strength Remain'd and the petition'r on that Consideration is Obliged in Conscience and Justice #[oblige] to use all lawfull means for the Support and preservation of her life, and it is deplorable that in old age the poor decriped woman should ly under Confinment so long in a Stinching Goal when her Circumstances rather requires a Nurse to Attend her

May it therefore please yo'r hon'rs  to take this matter in to yo'r prudent  Considerations.and derect Some  speedy Methods whereby this ancient  decriped person may not for ever ly  in such Miserie wherein her life is  made more afflictive to her than death,  and the petition'r Shall as in dutie bound  Ever pray
Dated the 19'th october 1692
(Reverse) 1692 The humble petition of Nicholas Rist of Reading
( Mass. Archives Vol. 135 No. 63 )
And here is how it works out for me:
Walstein Tyrrell>Fitz Tyrrell>my Mom>Me

I have yet to contact the above mentioned organization to become a member and have my ancestry noted by them. It is a work in progress.

05 February 2009

To My Ancestors

I see you toiling down the tedious years
You bearded, bent, and gaunt old pioneers
Sowing and reaping, sowing once again,
In patience for an unborn race of men.

I see you struggling in the wilderness
Where failure meant starvation and success.
A cabin in the clearing, roughhewn, rude,
Garments of homespun, and the humblest food.

Tradition scarcely tells me whence you came,
I only know a few of you by name;
I only know you lived and multiplied,
Quite profligate in progeny, and died.

Yet in my heart, I know that most of you
Were strong and steadfast, and that one or two
At least, had weaknesses that still may be
Traced in the trend of atavistic me.

One, I am sure, was blest with Irish wit;
(I'm thankful he transmitted some of it.)
That helped him dodge Dame Fortune's swiftest dart,
And meet misfortune with a merry heart.

One was a rather worthless wight, I fear,
Who, when the bluebird whistled Spring was near,
Forsook his plow--a shiftless, sluggard one--
And roamed the woods alone, with rod and gun.

And one a gentle dreamer was I know,
Who lured by shadows, let the substance go.
'Twas he who dared the raging western sea--
I'm glad he handed down his dreams to me.

I found this poem in a family history book that my Mother's cousin had started. The caption reads, "From Chicago Tribune Detroit Society for Genealogical Research Bulletin #4 November 13. 1937"

22 January 2009

Mini Lesson on Family Relationships

Before I present Lesson #3, which I know I am way behind on, I want to give a little lesson on family relationships.

We have all heard the term "first cousin once removed," but do we all know what that means? Can we identify our first cousin once removed?

In this mini lesson I will try to explain this term and others to help you with your family research.


Lineal relationship: this exists between people who are in the same line, such as you and your parents, your children, your grandchildren, grandparents

Collateral relationship: this exists between people who share a common ancestor, but are not in a direct line, such as you and your siblings, your cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncle.

1st cousin: term applied to your aunt's and uncle's children

2nd cousin: people with the same great-grandparents, but not the same grandparents

3rd cousins and so on: third cousins have the same great-great grandparents; 4th cousins have the same great-great-great grandparents.

Double cousins: a term you might hear; occurs when two brothers marry two sisters-their children would be double cousins to each other.

Removed: distant by degrees in relationship

Once removed: difference of one generation, your 1st cousin's child is your 1st cousin once removed

Twice removed: difference of two generations; your 1st cousin's grandchild is your first cousin twice removed

Paternal: pertaining to the father

Maternal: pertaining to the mother

Granduncle/aunt or great uncle/aunt: your mother's or father's uncle or aunt

Grandnephew/niece: your brother's or sister's grandchild

Affinity: relationship by marriage-not a blood relationship

Consanguinity: blood relationship, can be lineal consanguinity or collateral consanguinity

View the chart I found on Rootsweb.

Try to figure out who some of these people are in your family.

My Rebus Postcard

I had the great fortune of acquiring this postcard, copyrighted 1909, from an antiques dealer in Colorado. It is a rebus puzzle postcard, made as an advertisement from the Sawdey and Hartner City Market Seed Co. in Denver CO. It was copyrighted by Mrs. Stella Gilbert from Council Bluffs, IA.

A rebus puzzle is one that uses pictures or symbols in place of words or syllables. On the front of this postcard is "A Farmers Love Letter". See if you can solve the puzzle, it is pretty easy and so cute. On the back is the handwritten name and address of the intended recipient, Miss Bertha Cooper of 306 N. Seventh St Monroe LA. There is also the post stamp dated for Sep 9, and the one cent postage stamp. There is no written or stamped year, so I don't know for sure when it was sent, but I believe the postage for a postcard was one cent between the years of 1898 and 1952.

This postcard has a little more meaning to me other than its obvious charm. The Sawdey in question here is a relative of mine (although not a blood relative), Curtis Isaac Sawdey. He had this seed company in Denver for a while and then moved on the Los Angeles, where he eventually became the president of the Western Growers Protective Association.

He married Minnie H Medaris sometime around 1900 or so. Minnie is the younger sister of Lily, who is my great-grandfather's first wife (she also is no blood to me). Lily had three sons, two of which were quite young when she died. My theory is that when their mother died, these two boys went from their home in Iowa to live with their maternal grandparents in Denver. I also think that when Minnie married Curtis they took in the one boy and raised him as their own.

I have not found conclusive proof of this, but there is a lot of circumstantial proof. The boy I found living with the Sawdeys has the same first name (Burr) and birthday as Lily's son. He is living with Lily's other son, Walstein, with Lily's parents, and they are both listed as their grandsons. However, Minnie claims him as her son. I believe he is at best only her adopted son. Minnie was only 15 when Burr was born and not even married yet. Also, if this boy is actually Minnie's boy, where is Lily's boy? It seems logical that Lily's husband could have sent the two young boys to live with grandparents when his wife died. It seems unlikely that he would have split them up. It seems highly unlikely that Minnie, at 15 and unmarried, had a son who just happened to be born the same month and year as Lily's son and that she named him the same name.

My great-grandfather, Walstein Tyrrell, eventually married a second time and had several more children, including my grandfather, Fitz. Over the years I have known of Burr, but not much. I knew he existed and I wanted to find him. By the time I started researching my family everyone who knew Burr personally had died. He has been quite elusive, but I have been so determined to find out what became of him. He is my grandfather's half-brother. I want to know if he and my grandfather were ever like brothers to one another. I have found only one record of Burr Tyrrell. I have found several of Burr Sawdey. I know that Burr Sawdey moved to Los Angeles, as did all the Tyrrell boys, including my grandfather. Did they meet up? I may not ever find out for sure, but it gives me a pleasant feeling imagining that all the brothers did in fact get to know each other and hung out together.

UPDATE: The mystery of Burr has been solved and is in detail on my family tree on Ancestry.com

01 December 2008

Getting Started With Research, Lesson #2

In this lesson you will begin to do research. You will conduct your research in your own home. You will be looking at family records, bibles, newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, et c. In addition to these are the stories you've heard-the oral traditions that have been passed down. The objective is to gain the skill and ability to look at these things and other things in a way you haven't before, to glean every bit of information from them, and then to evaluate, analyze, and verify it.

We all have stories that circulate through the family about things that happened way back when and how it used to be in the good ol' days. These stories have sometimes been exaggerated and embellished over time to make an event more interesting. sometimes things are completely fabricated. Other times things are downplayed, especially if of an undesirable nature.

Think about these stories. When did you first hear it? And from whom? Was this person involved, did they witness it first hand? Did it happen a long time age? Most stories are based on a true event, but do not count them as fact until you can verify the information with documentary evidence. Sometimes it isn't possible to verify things, but that doesn't mean you should disregard the story. It is still part of your family's heritage and should be kept and cherished and passed down, just don't pass it on as fact until you can prove it.

Perhaps you are lucky enough to have a family bible that has been passed down. What a treasure this is, especially if someone took the time to actually record events. It may be the only source of some events, stuff that happened before records were being kept by government entities.

Look at your bible. When and where was it published? Try to find out who it originated with and its subsequent owners. Look at the information that was recorded. Did events happen before the bible was published? Is the handwriting all the same? If so, it would indicate that just one person entered all the information and it may not be accurate. Are events recorded in the order they occurred? Were dates or names added in later? Remember these names, dates, relationships, et c. are not facts until you can prove them.

Take these same questions with you when you look at other family records, papers, and photographs. Look for letters, diaries, military papers, photographs, religious certificates, school certificates, organization papers, newspaper clippings, family announcements or newsletters, et c. You need to have an unbiased eye and mind when analyzing these things. Think about answering who, what, where, when, why, and how while going through these things. Look at your photographs. Even if there is no written information on your photos, you can still get some information from it. Can you date it based on the type of photo it is? How about the clothing people are wearing, is there a vehicle in the photo, what time of year is it, is someone pregnant in it, can you tell where it was taken, can you read street signs or license plates? Really look at your photos, use a magnifying glass.

After you have gathered your family papers, stories, and photographs, make a list of where you obtained these things or from whom. Make a list of genealogical information you have found in each. These are the things that will now need to be verified. You will learn how to verify these things in subsequent lessons. For now, just make the list and then put things aside for a couple days. Go back to your items and give them a fresh look-you will probably come up with more information. Read your list-sometimes it will trigger a thought of what to look for in another paper or photograph. Go over all of it again if need be. You will be surprised at the information you can get from these records.

Work on this and be ready for lesson #3 in about a month.

30 November 2008

Remembering the Victims of Our Lady of the Angels

1 December 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most horrific events in recent US history, the deadly fire at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic grade school in Chicago, IL.

This event took place a couple years before I was born. My parents lived in Chicago at the time, my mother pregnant with my older sister, and a nurse at a nearby hospital. My father also worked at a hospital, St. Anne's, where many victims were taken. Our Lady of the Angels was my parents own parish, where they went to church each Sunday. My mother remembers having to work a 3-11 shift that day. She remembers riding the bus to work and hearing the sirens wailing outside. She remembers the unspeakable tragedies that befell the school and overtook the whole city. She remembers the terrible pictures printed in the newspaper, particularly one of a burnt staircase with one small tennis shoe on one of the steps. She has not forgotten and she mourns to this day, as do I.

This fire claimed the lives of 92 children, aged 8-15, and 3 nuns. There is a very informative website dedicated to honoring the victims of the fire. I encourage everyone to please visit Our Lady of the Angels Fire Memorial and read about this terrible event as a way to remember these children, their teachers, and the brave people who tried to save them.