Saturday, February 25, 2012

Family Names

In this photo, Me, My Grandmother Ellen Mary, and My Mother Mary Bridget
taken around 1970, in Brooklyn New York

I was told as a young girl, that my name " Elaine" was a combination of my two Grandmother's names, my mother's mother, Ellen Mary Tobin Flynn and my father's mother, Ella Johanna Augusta Willamina Werner Krueger Dollen Bauer Debonis.      (Yes, she had a very long name, but that is what it was after 4 marriages.)

My mother, Mary Bridget Flynn Dollen was named after her grandmother, (her mother's mother) Mary Bridget Follet Tobin.

My Grandmother Ellen Mary Tobin Flynn was named after her grandmother, (her mother's mother) Ellen Coffee Follett.

I gave my daughter, my grandmother's name as her middle name, Audrey Ellen Clark. I was unaware of this tradition at the time.

Years ago, it was tradition to name your children after family members, out of respect. It is not as common these days, to see this repetative pattern. I see a pattern in the Flynn Family with the name of Michael, There was Michael Flynn who married Elizabeth Dunlae and their son Stephen Sr named his first born Michael, (1884) who died at age 33. Michael's son William named a son Michael.  Michael's brother, Stephen Jr named his first born Michael (1928), who died in infancy.  My mom named one of her sons Michael (1958), and my sister named her first born Michael ( 1972). This pattern can be helpful in researching family ancestry and in the next breath, I will say it can be very confusing, especially when trying to fiqure out which Michael the information is referring too.

Thomas, is another name that seems to be repeated in the Flynn Family, which leads me to wonder what Michael Flynn's father's name was? ( I am referring to the Michael that married Elizabeth Dunlae)  Michael named a son Thomas, and Michael's son, Michael named a son Thomas, Stephen Sr named a son Thomas possibly after their Father and Grandfather.  In my research, I have found a Thomas Flynn in the Harbour Main area on the "1835 Voters List" that possibly could be Michael's father, I  have not found proof of this as of yet, but it might be a strong lead. The search continues!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Picking Berries

My Mom and her brothers and sisters spent summers picking berries on Flynn's Hill. 
Blueberries are my mom's favorite.  Newfoundland has a very short growing season and is limited in the varieties it can grow.  Here are a few types.
Wild Blueberries

Partridge berries


Creeping Snowberry
Crow Berry - Black Berries


Monday, February 13, 2012

From The Top

Uncle Ray at the Very Top of Flynn's Hill

What a view, from the top of Flynn's Hill!   And to think this was the backyard for my mom and her brothers and sisters.  My Mom often talked about the hill behind their house and the adventures they had on that hill, while growing up.  Aunt Agnes said they called the hill "The Pen" or "The Mountain" and spendt alot of their time on the mountain collecting firewood and picking berries.They often had to chase after the cows and horses that had wandered up the hill from the pasture. A path had been cut through the trees and brush, leading to the top.


These three photos were sent to my mother by Uncle Ray.  On the back of the full view photo  ( the one below ) it says,  " Guess you recognize what this place is."  I believe he sent these to my mother after she left home. She came to America in 1950 to live with her Aunt Agnes Tobin Morey in Brooklyn, New York.  Uncle Ray was about 16 years old at that time.  A nice gift, to remind my mother of home.

I imagine, when one made it to the top of "The Mountain" it was a very good place to think, dream and plan for the future.

A Few Notes:  The above photo is taken in a North-Easterly Direction, to the right is Third Pond which was the pond across from my grandparents house.  To the left is Charley's Pond.  Just past Third Pond is Second Pond and beyond that is First Pond, Small Pond then out to Conception Bay.
In the photo of Uncle Ray standing, I believe behind him is SouthEast and below is Uncle Bill's House.

I wonder who was taking the photo?


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Bike Story

 Uncle Ray on Aunt Agnes' Bike

 Learning the stories of Flynn's Hill did not all come from my mother.  I learned the "Bike Story" during an exchange of photos with Aunt Agnes.  I found  many photos  after my mother's memory was  too far gone. My sister and I sorted the photos and tried to put them in some sort of chronological order, by grouping photo type, families, and of course the age of the people in the photo.  It was  really quite a process  The photos that were unidentifiable or that I had questions about were copied and mailed to Aunt Agnes in Sun City California, she was most helpful and extremely prompt in getting them back to me in Silver Lake, WI.  We did this exchange for several months.  Slowly the pieces of the puzzle started coming together. I truly appreciate her help.

The bike story is as follows - Yes, it is great to see my bike.  When I was 13 years old, I did housework for 2 months during school break.  I was paid $15.00 a month and bought this bike with the $30.00.  MY TRANSPORTATION  TO HARBOUR MAINE FOR SCHOOL! After school I worked on the Navy base in Argentia and did not know what happened to my bike.
That's the Bike Story! by Agnes Flynn May 2010

It is nice to know, that  60 plus years later, Aunt Agnes knows what had happened to her bike! 
 Uncle Ray was using it!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken For Dinner

Chicken Oil Painting 007 [27543] Cerulean Art Gallery

For my mother, living on a small farm in a rural setting, meant, if you wanted chicken for dinner you had to go out to the barn and prepare the chicken yourself.  My mother explained that her father was often away working, for long periods of time. Being the oldest, she had to step up and help out with jobs such as this.  Nanny had many health issues and often did not feel well, she relied on her oldest child to help out with household chores.

Now, knowing my mother, I found this story hard to believe.  She just does not seem like the type of person to conduct such a task, but I believed her.  I think when it comes down to it, she did what she had to do. She spared the gruesome details, but shared her feelings of despising this portentous sinister act.  In fact, she goes on to tell of when she came to America, she found chickens in the grocery store, plucked, cleaned and butchered, ready to place in the oven.  She vowed, she would never cut up a chicken again, and I can say, I never saw her do such a thing.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thinking of My Mother

Thinking of my mother this Sunday morning,about her life as a young girl, her hardships and  her accomplishments. This is a photo of my mother, Mary Bridget Flynn, possibly 12-14 years old.  It is the only photo I have found of her in her teen years. My mom shared stories of what it was like growing up on Flynn's Hill and being the oldest of five.  She had a lot of responsibilities helping her mother care for her younger brothers and sisters. Uncle Ray explained, they always had what they needed, food ,clothing and shoes, but times were difficult, they had no money, no money at all, no pennies, nickles or dimes, for the other things they may of wanted. They learned early in life about working and earning money for the things they needed and wanted. A "good work ethic" is probably one of the most important things, my grandparents taught my mother and her siblings.  Uncle Ray shared that they were encouraged to learn a skill with their hands, because if they could do something with their hands they could always provide for themselves. Furthering their education was a priority in the Flynn home, especially with having a mother who was a former teacher.  I was told, that my mother spent two summers working in  a  " Fish Cannery" processing fish.  She decided that was not what she wanted to do for the rest of her life and when the "Commercial Course" become available at her school, she was one of the first students, she worked hard and learned all she could.  My mother used those secretarial skills her whole life, advancing in any way she could, from landing her first job at the U.S Navy Base in Argentia, Nlfd to becoming a Legal Secretary for the U.S Navy for 33 years, providing for herself and for her children.                       Thank you Mom.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Grandparents House

  My Grandparents House was built right into the side of Flynn's Hill. Nestled in a small cove-type setting at the base of the hill. As I mentioned before, my grandfather wrote that he built this house in 1920, which was also the year that his father Stephen Sr died. My Grandfather had not married my grandmother at this point, but his mother Mary Ann was still living. His nephew, William would of been 10 years old, and had come to live with him and his parents 3 years prior.  I wonder where their old house was located?  Looking at this photo you can see how the house is settled back into the hill, in so much as, the hill, is the back wall of the house, actually part of the root cellar. And there, as I wrote in my last post, the upper right-hand window is "the girls room".

    You can see, in this photo, how the house comes right to the hill.  The small door that is open is the root cellar. I would say, my Grandfather built the stone wall, along the side for support. There was a door inside the hallway that lead to the root cellar as well.  When the house was built, it had no running water nor indoor plumbing and used a wood burning stove for heat. It was not until the 1950's or 60's that they had indoor plumbing, Uncle Ray told me, Uncle George helped Grand Dad install the plumbing . Aunt Agnes states as far as she can remember they always had electricity, although she says many houses in the area used kerosene oil lamps, when she was growing up.  

 In this photo, to the right is my Grandmother, Ellen, playing the accordian, she is sitting with Aunt Hilda (Uncle George's wife) photo was taken  in the 1970's. Aunt Hilda was often always there helping my grandparents.