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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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Wordless Wednesday: George Anthony Roberts and Family, 1892

Family of John Roberts and Ella Viola (Daniel) Roberts, 1892, Jasper County, Iowa. Son George A. Roberts, Jr., is in stroller, and Ethel Gay Roberts is held by her mother. Their third child, Edith Mae Roberts, was not yet born.
Family of George Anthony Roberts and Ella Viola (Daniel) Roberts, 1892, Jasper County, Iowa. Son George A. Roberts, Jr., is in stroller, and Ethel Gay Roberts is held by her mother. Their third child, Edith Mae Roberts, was not yet born.

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Family treasure chest of photos, cropped from the original larger picture of all the descendants of John S. Roberts and Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts.
  2. For original, large image please see also Treasure Chest Thursday: The John Roberts and Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts Family in 1892 at http://heritageramblings.net/2014/02/06/the-john-roberts-and-elizabeth-ann-murrell-roberts-family-in-1892/.

Click to enlarge any image. Please contact us if you would like an image in higher resolution.

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 2013-2016 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.

Sentimental Sunday: Roberts Genealogy in an Address Book

Page from an address book of Edith Roberts (McMurray) Luck, with genealogical information of family and friends.
Page from an address book of Edith (Roberts) (McMurray) Luck, with genealogical information of family and friends.

Sometimes the small ephemera left by a person can be so personal that it makes me sentimental about them and the sweet times we had together. Seeing the handwriting, seeing who is important in her life, and just noting that this was information that she thought was important enough to pass on, touches my heart. Edith (Roberts) (McMurray) Luck is a big part of why I love family history so much, so this find made me very sentimental about the times she talked about her family, and drove us all over the county to visit her cousins and elderly relatives. There was only one of the new-fangled copiers in town, and family members would not allow us to take their treasures, so my sister and I copied obituaries, letters, etc., by hand, using a purple Flair pen (the coolest thing to come out of the 60s). There are precious documents that were shared that hot Iowa summer, items that would have been lost forever had we not transcribed them in the 1960s.

Here is a transcription and some details about the persons she listed:

Grandpa Daniels  [Robert Woodson Daniels- Edith’s maternal grandfather] March 21-1862

enlisted Rocklimogen W. Vir

5’8″

Light complexion- Light hair   Grey eyes

discharged fm USA [United States Army] March 25-1865

was 23 years

Born May 26-1843

Died June 20-1922  79 years

 

Grandma Daniels [Margaret Ann Hemphill Daniels- Edith’s maternal grandmother]

Marg A.

Born Sept 25- 1839

died Dec 19- 1915   76 years

 

George Roberts [George Anthony Roberts, Edith’s father]

Born Nov 18 -1861        78 years

died April 18 -1939          5 months

0 days

 

Ella V. Daniels [Ella Viola (Daniels) Roberts, Edith’s beloved mother]

Born Oct 29 1866        55 yrs- 3 mo- 18 days

Died Jan 17 1922        56 yrs.

 

Georgie Roberts [Edith’s brother, George Anthony Roberts, Jr.]  June 30 1965 [death date]    76 [years]   -1889 [birth year]

 

Ethel Robison  [Edith’s sister, Ethel Gay Roberts, married to Bert Robison]  Jan 28 1969 [death date]  78 [years]  1891 [birth year]

 

Winnie Carson [Edith’s first cousin- Winnie Viola Walker was the daughter of Lily G. (Daniels) Walker, Edith’s mother’s sister, and married Archibald Carson (1892-1982)]   June 1997 [June 1897 was when Winnie was born- an error in Edith’s notes]

 

Hilma Stines  [Edith’s first cousin and sister of Winnie Viola Walker, both daughters of Lily G. (Daniels) Walker, Edith’s mother’s sister; married Ruben M. Stines.] Ap. 1900 [birth date either April 1900 or approximately 1900; census calculation indicates about 1902 for birth.]

 

Mrs. Annie Hunniball   [Eliza Ann Fletcher, a close friend and neighbor of Edith as an adult. Annie was born 18 Dec 1880 in Timworth, Suffolk, England, and married Albert John Hunniball (1877-1965); they never had children. As a young woman, Annie worked in one of the palaces of the British Queen.] Died 7.45 PM.

1971  Tues Jan 26- Buried

Thurs Jan 28

 

As I was typing out these names and dates, I thought it somewhat ironic that Edith would have used a page from her address book that had a place for a phone number, since telephones were unknown when some of these persons were born. But then, maybe it was not so ironic, since the lifetimes of these folks spanned a simpler time, leading up to the use of the telephone and even the automobile in the early 1900s. By 1914, the US had the most telephones per capita of any country, so even Margaret Ann (Hemphill) Daniels may have seen or used a telephone before her death in 1915, depending on when it was introduced to their rural area. What an amazing time period to have lived, from the late 1830s until the nineteen-teens and twenties. The changes in technology were just astounding during that time span.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Family treasure chest.

 

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Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, 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.

Mystery Monday: Roberts, Daniel, or ? in Early 1920s?

Possible Roberts, Daniel, or ? Family Picture. Woman on front right is probably Edith Roberts. In with images from the early 1920s, possibly taken in Iowa.
Possible Roberts, Daniel, or ? Family Picture. Woman on front right is probably Edith Roberts, man to her right with bow tie is probably George A. Roberts, Jr., Edith’s brother. (See below.) In with images from the early 1920s, possibly taken in Iowa.

 

This image is in the photo album of Edith Roberts (later McMurray and then Luck), in with images taken in the early 1920s. The woman in the front on the right appears to be Edith, but it is unknown who the other persons are. Since she is by herself and we do not recognize any of the men in the picture, she may not yet have been married nor had her son, Edward A. McMurray. (He was born in 1924.)

We would be very interested in learning more about any of the people in this picture! Please contact us if you know them.

 

REVISED later in the day after looking at more family photos: The man with the bow tie to the right of Edith is probably her brother, George Anthony Roberts, Jr. The woman two persons to the left of Edith, holding a little girl with a barrette in her hair, may be Edith’s sister, Ethel Gay (Roberts) Robinson (1891-1969). The child may be Ruby Robinson, born 1915, or Helen Viola Robinson, born 1921. Ethel’s husband Bert Robinson (1890-1977) may be the man in the back, just to the left of  “Georgie” Roberts. These assumptions/guesses are just from knowing these people in later life and looking at the few pictures we have of them. The man in the center with a tie (in front) may be George A. Roberts, Sr. OR Robert Woodson Daniel. There is a picture of RW Daniel somewhere in the family archives, as I remember Ed McMurray talking about it as we viewed an image. It is on a little cassette video somewhere, just begging to be digitized. Even better would be finding the original, which has not turned up in boxes of family pictures. I am now leaning toward this being a group photo of the Daniel family, as George Roberts, Sr., was not happy with his daughter Ethel’s choice of husband, and he disowned her when she married Bert Robinson; thus, a picture of them all together was unlikely as Geo. Sr. was a strong-minded man (per his daughter Edith). George Sr.’s wife and the mother  of Edith, George, and Ethel’s was Ella V. Daniel, but she had passed away 17 Jan 1922; I don’t believe she is in this picture, which may help date it after 1922 or so. R.W. Daniel’s wife, Margaret Ann Hemphill, died in 1915, so that may also date the photo. Again, any help would be appreciated with identifying the people in this image.

Edited 05/12/15: The man that might be RW Daniel might be correct, but his wife is not in this picture. A story by Edith Roberts said Margaret Ann Hemphill was very thin, and always dressed in dark colors. She was ill for many years before her death, so it is very likely that she is not in this image. RW was bald, per Edith’s story, so that may not be him in the image either. 🙁

 

Still searching for information…

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family treasure chest of photo albums.

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images.

Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, 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.