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Sentimental Sunday: Roberts Family Pickle Castor

Likely George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

ROBERTS Family (Click for Family Tree)

So just what IS a pickle castor??

It is a fancy jar for pickles, from back in the day when it was important to set a beautiful table.

Details from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

Pickle castors were made of silver or silver-plate, with glass jars about 7″ high to hold pickle spears. The metal frame had a handle for carrying, with a hook for the tongs to use to get a pickle out in a delicate manner. The base was often elaborately decorated, as was the handle and even the tongs of some sets.

Tongs from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.
Tongs from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

The glass jars were most commonly molded in cut glass designs, but more expensive versions used real cut glass. (Many sold today as ‘antiques’ have reproduction jars in them, since that part was often lost to breakage.)

Glass jar from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

The Kovel’s Antiques webpage states that, “Castor jars became more ornate each year, and by 1860, they were cathedral-like pieces.” (The handle on this jar definitely is ‘cathedral-like.’) Pickle castors were still popular in 1890, but had gone out of fashion by about 1900.

I believe this pickle castor belonged to the family of George Anthony Roberts and Ella Viola (Daniels) Roberts of Jasper County, Iowa. It was found in the house of their daughter, Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck. If memory serves, it used to be in the old homeplace that Edith’s brother George Anthony Roberts, Jr. lived in while he farmed the land after their parents retired and moved into town. George and Ella married in 1885 in Jasper County, so this could have been a wedding gift. Rural areas change slower in their fashions than in the big cities, so it likely was still popular to have a pickle castor on the table into the early 1900s. There are some dim memories of such pretties in an upper cabinet in that house or another house that Georgie (Jr.) may have lived in. And we know that the Roberts women made fantastic pickles, so it might have been used frequently!

Another possibility is that this belonged to George Sr.’s parents, John Roberts and Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts, who married in 1857, when pickle castors were at the height of their popularity. If this is true, and they received it as a wedding gift, it would have travelled by covered wagon from Roseville, Illinois to Jasper County in 1868! They probably wrapped it in cloth scraps that would later be used for mending or quilts, then packed it among clothes and blankets in a box stashed inside the wagon. Elizabeth would have probably feared it would be broken when they arrived, but making the trip intact would have been cause for joy after leaving so many possessions behind.

Of course, this is all conjecture, and Edith may have bought it at an estate sale, where she loved to shop. She would not have gone to the sales for her own home until the mid-1920s, though. Additionally, she was not a woman who enjoyed fancy things, so this does not seem to be the origin of this pickle castor.

The design of this is most likely Aesthetic Victorian- seems a bit flowery to be Eastlake, but expert opinions are welcome.

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Kovel’s website– https://www.kovels.com/price-guide/glass-price-guide/castor-jar/Page-7.html

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Tuesday’s Tip: Sharing Clara Shrader’s Autograph Book

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Clara Shrader's Autograph Book

 

Clara Shrader Autograph Book, Cover. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Tuesday’s Tip: Do you have family treasures stashed in a closet or trunk? Share them- your cousins will enjoy learning more about their family!

Our Roberts cousin is doing just that. And so are we, through this blog.

A great-uncle of Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck, William Roberts, left a big and wonderful family as his legacy. William and his family stayed in Indiana while our ancestor, John Roberts and his wife Elizabeth Ann Murrell, migrated to Iowa.

William’s descendants kept many of the family artifacts from their line, and they are a delight to see. We have already posted pictures of family and friends- see “Friday’s Faces from the Past: The William Roberts Family” for the first of nine posts in the series called the “Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection.”

Clara Shrader, later wife of Isaac H. Roberts. From the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection, cropped from picture with Eva Bennett. (Click to enlarge.)

William’s son Isaac Henry Roberts married Clara Shrader, daughter of Mary Ann (Bennett) Shrader. Clara kept her autograph book throughout her life. Completed in her late teens, it obviously was quite an important keepsake to her, and held a lot of memories.

An autograph book was a small, usually hardbound book with blank pages, or sometimes there were lines or images on a page. The book would be passed around to friends to autograph, and they usually wrote a quick little poem. (Those who were born in the 1950s or 60s will remember autograph books as being popular back then too.)

Clara’s autograph book has been lovingly kept by the family and passed down since the 1880s. The current owner has shared the pages of this sweet book for posting, in the hope that not only will descendants enjoy it and it be preserved online, but that descendants of Clara’s friends might see it and get a small glimpse of their ancestor’s personality.

Clara Shrader Photo Album, scan 2. (Click to enlarge.)

Transcription:

Remember and don’t forget

The Bigest fool you ever met

Command you may

your mind from play

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Friday’s Faces from the Past: The William Roberts Family“as the first in the series ” Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection” at http://heritageramblings.net/2016/03/04/fridays-faces-from-the-past-the-william-roberts-family/

  2. Thank you to our Roberts cousin who so carefully has preserved, scanned, and transcribed this autograph album.

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Those Places Thursday: Roberts, Daniel, and Murrell Family Migration to Jasper County, Iowa, in 1868

Typical farm in Iowa, 1875. Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa by Alfred Andreas. Via Wikipedia, public domain. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Murrell Family, Daniel Family (Click for Family Tree)

The trip from Warren County, Illinois, to Jasper County, Iowa, was approximately 175 miles for the Roberts, Daniel, and Murrell families via covered wagon. Although Google maps states it would take 54 hours to walk that far today (and less than 3 hours to drive it in a car), traveling with a heavy covered wagon that holds 1,250-2,500 pounds plus having cattle, swine, elderly folks and children, etc. would have made the trip longer.

A covered wagon, pulled by up to eight horses or a dozen oxen, could travel 10-20 miles per day, depending on the terrain. Since the midwest is mostly rolling hills in that area of northern Illinois and eastern Iowa and there are no mountains to cross, we can hope that it only took the families about 9 days to make the trip, if they could make 20 miles per day. If they could only make 10 miles per day, however, it would take 18 days to get to Jasper County.

But that was just the travel time.

Many wagon trains did not travel on the Sabbath, and accidents with required repairs could slow down the trip as well. The families would have needed to cross the Mississippi River too, which could have delayed them in waiting for a ferry, especially if the weather was bad or the river was flooded, too icy, etc. Since the population of Iowa increased by about 70% between 1860 and 1880, there might have been quite a lot of other families making the trek west, further delaying their access to a ferry. (They could probably not have taken the wagons across without a ferry, even though they would have used tar to waterproof the wooden sides and bottom of the wagon- the Mississippi was/is just too large and powerful a river. If it was iced up, however, they could have traveled across in the wagons, hoping the ice was thick enough to hold the weight.)

Illness, lame horses or oxen, a need to procure food, tools, or even a new wagon wheel, could slow down the travelers. If a lot of things went wrong, their trip could have taken three weeks to a month- a long time to be living out of a 18′ long, 11′ high, 4′ wide covered wagon!

Most of those traveling would have walked the whole way, if they physically could. Children and the elderly would have ridden in the wagon for safety and because they would not be able to keep up at times. The wooden and metal wheels used on the wagons over the jarring roads was so uncomfortable and bone-shaking, however, that most of the adults would have preferred the long walk instead of riding.

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The three families made it to Jasper County, Iowa, sometime in 1868, despite all the potential for problems.

The land and community in Jasper County, Iowa, must have suited the Murrell, Daniel, and Roberts families, as they stayed, bought land, and put down roots. Margaret Ann Hemphill and Robert Woodson Daniel were blessed with another child, Lily G. Daniel, in 1872, who survived childhood, and who eventually married George W. Walker (1872-1961).

The satisfaction  felt by the new Iowa immigrants about their new life may have influenced Ann Elisy Murrell (daughter of Wiley and Mary) and her husband, Aaron Brown (1846-1894), to move west. Ann and Aaron stayed in Warren County, Illinois, until sometime between the birth of their son William Brown in 1875 and son George Brown in 1878; they then headed to Jasper County, Iowa. It must have been a wonderful reunion!

Most of the persons mentioned in this series of articles lived out the rest of their lives in Jasper County, and are buried there, in the rich black soils of the prairie.

Jasper County, Iowa, is definitely full of “homeplaces” for the Roberts, Daniel, and Murrell families.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “Conestoga Wagon” entry on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conestoga_wagon
  2. Google Maps
  3. Family stories of Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck, and obituaries.

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Wednesday’s Child: The Daniel Children and Family Migration

Crossing the Mississippi on the Ice by C.C.A. Christensen, 1878, via Wikipedia. Public domain. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Daniel Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

The second oldest son of Charles M. Daniel and Elizabeth (Thomas) Daniel, our ancestor Robert Woodson Daniel, 24, also travelled in a covered wagon to Iowa with his wife, Margaret Ann Hemphill, then 28. They had with them their first child, who was the mother of Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck: Ella V. Daniel. It must have been a challenging trip, as Ella was a toddler of just 2 years.

Margaret bore 4 children after Ella, but three died in infancy.  We know that John W. Daniel was born in 1868, and Charles H. Daniel in 1869- perhaps she was pregnant with one or the other during the trip, or maybe John died as an infant on the way to Iowa. One or both of the children could have gotten an illness from the water, spoiled food, or an infectious disease- we just don’t know the particulars of the trip or anything about the deaths of their children, unfortunately.

Another child was also born to Margaret and Robert, although we do not know the name of that child, nor when she/he died. Burial records for these three children have not yet been found.

It would have been tragic to lose a child while on the road to a better life, but even more heartbreaking if they had needed to bury a child along the road that they might never again travel.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family records.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
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Sentimental Sunday: Elizabeth Ann Murrell and John S. Roberts

1892- John S. Roberts and Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts, cropped from larger family photo with their descendants. Taken in Jasper County, Iowa. Owned by author.

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Once the Wiley Anderson Murrell-Mary Magdalene Honts family settled in Roseville/Warren County, Illinois, their daughter and our ancestor Elizabeth Ann Murrell met a young farmhand named John S. Roberts. He had moved from the family farm of his parents, John Roberts (1805-1875) and Jane Saylor/Salyers (1806-1880), in Indiana, looking for work in the productive grain fields of Illinois. The convergence was fate, as John and Elizabeth married on 8 March 1857 in Roseville, where they set up housekeeping. Elizabeth’s brother John Henry Murrell was living with them in 1860 and working as a farm laborer. Elizabeth had already borne two sons, William Edward Roberts, born in 1858, and Jason Lee Roberts, born in 1859, so it would have been a busy farm household. Their son George Anthony Roberts (the father of Edith Roberts McMurray Luck) was then born in 1861, and finally a daughter, May Jane Roberts, joined the family in 1863, and was also born in Illinois.

We know that the Roberts family had a friendship with a Daniel family in Warren County. Charles M. Daniel (1819-1875) and his wife Elizabeth Thomas (1817-1885) had both been born in Virginia. Elizabeth and then their son, Robert Woodson “R. W.” Daniel (1843-1922), were born specifically in Rockbridge County, Virginia, just north of Botetourt. This family may have known the Murrell or Honts families even as far back as the early 1800s in Virginia, as suggested by some research that still needs more work. The Daniel family, however, decided to migrate to Missouri about 1845 (R.W. was just 2 years old), and then on to Illinois around 1864-1865. Their second migration is understandable, too, by considering the Civil War, as we did for the Murrell family. Being a border state, Missouri was a very dangerous place to live during that conflict. A farmstead could be raided by the Rebs in the morning, and then have Union troops descend that evening, also looking for food, supplies, and “spoils of war.” And then there were the border gangs that took no heed of any allegiance and were themselves committed to violence… It was challenging for a family to survive in Missouri, no matter the side they championed or who was beating on their door.

“R. W.” Daniel  enlisted in the Missouri State Military Cavalry in 1862, and served until 1865. (More on R.W. in the future.) Some sources state that he was in Warren County, Illinois in 1865, but he did marry Margaret Ann Hemphill (1839-1915) on 18 January 1866 in Pike County, Missouri. (He likely knew her from when he lived there, and may have gone to Warren Co. to recuperate from the war after his discharge.) The couple moved about 150 miles north to Young America, Warren County, Illinois, where their first child, Ella Viola Daniel, was born on 29 October 1866.

The John and Elizabeth Roberts family went to visit and congratulate the Daniel family on the birth of their child. John and Elizabeth took their sons and daughters with them for the visit, per their granddaughter, Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck. It was the first time that little George A. Roberts, about to turn five years old, saw his future wife for the very first time.

And that is why this is a “Sentimental Sunday” post!

 

To be continued…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Vital records such as birth, marriage, and census that can be found on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, etc.
  2. Family stories written and told by Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.