Monday, September 21, 2009

Things I intend to talk about

I am brand new at blogging and hope you will bear with me during my learning phase. I've spent the last 35 years or so working on the genealogy of my family and in doing so have uncovered some interesting family history along the way that I would like to share. I also want to relate to you how it was for me growing up in a rural community during the time of transition from the horse and buggy to the automobile, airplane and enhanced communication--the telephone. I must confess, too, I am totally addicted to national and international politics and have been known to bloviate (a favorite term of Mr. O'Reilly of Fox News) rather heatedly on current political affairs. I've been around on the planet a little over 83 years so it would be impossible for me not to give you an earful of my opinion on the political situation as I see it every now and then. I promise you though, I'll stick mostly to family history tales involving the multiple ancestral lines I've uncovered in my genealogical research and what it was like growing up on that farm. I welcome any and all comments, information, or corrections--better be sure of yourself, I've been known to "Harrumph" pretty loudly--on anything I publish here.

Some time around 1910 Grandfather (Franklin Raymond Holt, later shortened to Frank Raymond) and Grandmother (Agnes Gertrude Childs) purchased the 100 acre farm located on the south side of Tuscarawas (the Tuscy) road, about 2.5 miles west of the town of Beaver, Pennsylvania. At the time of purchase, there was a small two-story wooden-frame home located about a hundred yards south of the road on the east side of the farm. They soon named the place "Holtdale." Interestingly, near Leeds, England, there is a place called Holtdale. The name Holt is primarily of English origin, but it has also been in use in Ireland since the early 1200's. They later enhanced this place considerably making it into a very comfortable home in which to live. At the time though, they lived in down-town Rochester, on the same street but on the opposite side as the Oriental Theatre.

Grandfather, called Grampa, Grandad or Pop by us kids, set about clearing the place and putting in an orchard. He planted at least a half-dozen types of apples, cherries (both sweet and sour), plums, peaches and grapes. A Holt lived on that farm continuously from 1920 until 1995 when the last Holt, my brother Lee's daughter, Ellen and her family, moved away. Today, only my sister Virginia (Sis Holt) Hume and I together own two small pieces of the farm.

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