Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Part 5: Genealogy is what I do; Swamp Land

My dad told me a story that he remembered from reading his grandfather's Family Bible. he said that one of our ancestors wanted a horse so he could join the army as an officer. In  order to purchase the horse he sold a piece of swamp land. Later this land was part of the site where the city of Rochester, NY was built.
This is a good example of family tradition handed down and altered with the telling.
I found a similar story in the book written by some of the family in the early 1900s in New York for a family reunion.
In this version of the story my ancestor owned horses and someone wanted to trade a piece of land he owned in order to buy one of these horses, so he could join the army. My ancestor looked at the piece of land and found that it was swamp land, so he did not buy it. This story also says that the land is where current day Rochester, NY is.
Both of these stories were written down around the same time, but they both depend on memories passed down over a couple generations.
Which one is true? Is there any evidence for either story?
I later found out that my ancestor Philip Price did own horses. As a matter of fact there is a record in Maryland calling his land there a plantation and telling that he lost 30 horses in a plague. This is several years before he moved to Rush, New York, but he may still have had horses in NY. Who knows!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Part 4: Genealogy is what I Do: Grandpa's music

Wow, I have been slow about getting back to this!
When I remember my grandfather, Charles Rex price, I think of a quiet man with a head full of beautiful white hair. His birthday was one day after mine and we often went to visit for his birthday. He loved wood and created things in his workshop that different family members still own. Grandpa and Grandma liked to have big family meals in their backyard and they never seemed troubled by the antics of their many grandchildren.
But... there is one thing I know about him, that I don't personally remember. grandpa was extremely musical. He sang and played many instruments. I have pictures of grandpa with his three brothers singing quartets and of Grandpa as the conductor of the orchestra at the big Congregational Church in Pontiac, Michigan. My brother, who is 9 years older than I am, tells me that he remembers listening to Grandpa sing and thought that he had never heard a more beautiful voice. I also have church bulletins that name Grandpa as the soloist or part of a duet (sometimes with my dad). Another thing I have is a box full of music that belonged to him and I have seen some of his instruments.
So... I have evidence of his talent. I wish I could hear him sing and play (maybe in Heaven).
One thing I have tried to track down is the radio programs that he was involved in. According to Dad and my great uncle Edgar, grandpa had a radio program (probably over the border in Canada) and he also played on another program as a guest musician. His program may have been called Rex and Ray or it may have been Charlie and Edith. Dad has mentioned both names. Dad thought that the program he was a guest on had Bible in the title and that it was a local Detroit station. I called a couple stations years ago and was told that they had no archives from the 20s, 30s, or 40s. Maybe I should look at local museums. Any suggestions?