Saturday, September 30, 2017

Samuel Penrose Cooper (1861-1893) Part 3

I did find Samuel COOPER and a Mary BUNWORTH listed together on a family tree on I contacted Ashley Brown, who I discover is my third cousin. We were both excited to find each other. We scheduled a Skype conversation which lasted ninety minutes. He answered many questions for me about his grandmother, Mary Elizabeth or 'Lily' COOPER, the only daughter of Sam and Mary Bunworth Cooper. Mary and young Lily returned to Ireland after the death of Samuel. Lily was born in Chicago, Illinois. 

I found Mary and Lily back home living with Mary's mother, Elizabeth BUNWORTH, in the 1901 Ireland census in Co. Cork, on Baldwin Street in Mitchelstown.

1901 Census of Ireland, County Cork, Mitchelstown District Electoral Division (DED), unpaginated, Baldwin Street, household no. 5, Elizabeth Bunworth; digital image, National Archives of Ireland, Census of Ireland 1901/1911 ( : accessed 29 June 2017).
Widow Mary would travel to various post offices to teach Morse Code as her livelihood. This is possibly how Mary met
Thomas Henry BROWN, a fellow postmaster. They were married on 29 April 1903, in Rossmine church of County Waterford.
Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, "Civil Records," database with images, ( : accessed 8 Aug 2017), image, marriage registration of Thomas Henry Brown and Mary Rebecca Cooper Bunworth (29 April 1903, Rossmine Church, Rossmine Parish, County of Waterford) citing Group Registration ID 1908479; registration filed 30 June 1903  by Edward James Staunton, Clergyman, in Waterford, unidentified register, folio 343, “First page,” stamped no. 05726717, entry 10.

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, "Civil Records," database with images, ( : accessed 23 Sept 2016), image, death registration of Mary Rebecca Brown (23 April 1912, Main Street, Macroom), citing Group Registration ID 5240291; registration filed 21 May 1912 by R. Donohue, in Macroom Registration District, Co. Cork, undignified register, folio 284, "Second Page," stamped number 04494808, entry 337.
Mary Bunworth Cooper Brown died in 1912 of Bright’s disease or chronic inflammation of the kidneys. 
The following year, on 23 June 1913, Lily married her stepfather's younger brother, George Jason BROWN in Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Cousin Ashley sent me a picture of their wedding day. I love her bouquet. 

George Brown and Lily Cooper on their wedding day.
Photo in possession of Ashley Brown.

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, "Civil Records," database with images, ( : accessed 25 Sept 2016), image, marriage registration of George Jason Brown and Mary Elizabeth Cooper (23 June 1913, The Abbey Church Parish of Kilculliheen, Country Waterford), citing Group Registration ID 1734012; registration filed 1 July 1913 by William Rutherford, Rector of Abbey Church, folio number 383, "First Page," stamped number 05590971, entry 43.
I find it interesting to see Mary or Lily's father, Samuel Cooper (coal merchant) assuming to be alive. Most deceased fathers are listed as deceased.

George and Lily had four children named Joseph, Mary, Thomas and Sarah. Three of the children are pictured below.

Lily and George with their first three children, Joseph, Mary and Tom. 
Photo in possession of Ashley Brown.
Their eldest son, Joseph, died at the age of six of diptheria and heart failure according to his death registration. He died on 2 July 1921. Joseph Samuel Brown (named after both grandfathers) was born on 15 Sept 1914 in Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford. 

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, "Civil Records," database with images, ( : accessed 30 Sept 2017), image, death registration of Joseph Samuel Brown (2 July 1921, Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford), citing Group Registration ID 3340568; registration filed 21 January 1922 by Thomas Power, in           Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford undignified register, folio 360, “Second Page,” stamped no. 04394662, entry 352.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

My Quilting History

Mary and Eleanor at the Temecula Outdoor Quilt Show in 2008.
It all started with Eleanor….Eleanor Burns that is. Happy 40th Anniversary El! Ten years later, I remember turning on my local San Diego PBS station one Saturday morning to find this crazy humorous lady teaching practical sewing skills for “quickly” making a quilt. I was mesmerized. l also discovered that she had a local quilt shop not too far from my location. I called and discovered they gave classes. I asked for a catalogue to be mailed to me. I was amazed by my choices. I decided to make Christmas gifts for my two nieces. I started with the Log Cabin during the summer of 1987…30 years ago for me.

My first class was a weekend class starting on a Friday afternoon and ending on a Sunday afternoon for 48 hours non-stop! Almost a “quilt in a day!”

I remember walking into the front door of the small fabric shop. The rest of the building was a huge warehouse area with long tables set up for sewing machines. I brought my mother’s Sears Kenmore machine. I also purchased my first cutting board, a ruler and a cutting tool that looked like a pizza cutter.

I bought my fabric. I also learned how to choose colors that worked well together and the different tones and patterns of the same colors. Eleanor was not the teacher, which was OK with me as I was sewing again since the late 60s in junior high school. 

Here are my color choices for The Log Cabin pasted on a page in the book so I could see how they all worked together.

The Log Cabin block

I was taught how to iron, fold and cut fabric in a new way that was quicker from my earlier experience. I also learned a faster way to sew the strips together. Wow!

The twin size top was completed by late Saturday night. I also learned a rare way putting the quilt together using her ‘birthing’ method rolling the quilt with the batting, a unique experience. Eleanor calls it her Quick Turn Method. The quilt was finished with the tying the layers together.

I had so much fun, I decided to make another quilt, yet more challenging…The May Basket. I signed up for another weekend class a few weeks later.

I found the receipts. Fabric was $4 to $5 A YARD! 

The May Basket block

Both quilts and matching pillow shams were completed by the fall. 

The twin size quilts were displayed on a full size bed for photo purposes only. They were not made for this bed.

My nieces, Lola and Sara, were so excited to receive homemade quilts from their Auntie Mary at Christmas. My brother knew about the packages and took these photos as the girls opened their gifts. 

My brother even sent me these pics of the girls faking their sleep in bed with their school clothes on one morning!

                                 Sleeping Beauties!

Now 30 years later, my nieces tell me that one quilt was loved “to death” and the other quilt was loved to preservation. I love both reasons. 

I did not sew again until 2000. A dear friend, who was a quilter also, took me on a quilt run, visiting all the local quilt shops in our area. I found Quilt In A Day again. The store had grown and I loved its new look. I have not stopped SINCE. I now have many more finished and unfinished projects to share.

I have had the opportunity to meet Eleanor several times at many quilt shows and guilds. 

Happy Anniversary and Thank you, Eleanor!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

World War II Letters - February 15, 1943 - Written by Stan Cooper

Stan surprises his family by announcing his plans to go back to school! He should have listened to mom to finish Brooklyn Tech High School with two months to spare! He has been studying in preparation for the Naval Preparatory College of Annapolis.

Monday, September 18, 2017

World War II Letters - December 27, 1942 - Written by Stan Cooper


The Christmas holidays have passed with many away from home including Stan. 

Stan's best Christmas present is finding out he will soon be a first time uncle from his elder brother, Bud. 

Stan must have had it difficult with the major battles the USS San Diego faced in the previous six months. He does discuss possibility of coming home "in a pine box."

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My Heirloom Singer 222K

My mother was a seamstress more than a hobbyist  when it came to sewing. In the photo, you can see the pattern envelope along with the directions to the left of her Kenmore machine in 1953.

Six years later, when my family lived in Philippines, my parents spent a weekend in Hong Kong celebrating their tenth anniversary. My father purchased a brand new Singer 222K for my mother. I totally forgot about this jewel until I found a black mysterious box in a back room closet in her home. 

I began to do research on this beauty. My first clue was the serial number engraved on the bottom - EN136969. This twelve pound British model was manufactured in the Clydesbank factory in Kilbowie, Glasgow, Scotland, between January 1958-February 1959. It was purchased on 22 April 1959  in Hong Kong. I found out that this free-arm model is a rarer find in the US than in England. 

The 222K was built exactly as model 221 but had two extra features. The feed dog lowering lever was added to keep the feed dogs out of the way enabling free motion embroidery and darning. Secondly, it has a removable bed to allow a smaller size for hemming cuffs and very convenient mending. Considering this model was made in the British Isles, this 222K is electrically compatible with the US. Yes, that means I do not need to purchase a separate voltage converter. The only upgrade I had done was to change the exposed fabric covered cording to updated plastic wired cording. 

The black case was the newer one as it has a built-in side shelf for accessories and bobbins and a place for the foot pedal on the inside of the case cover. I also found a cute red case containing 6 bobbins, 7 presser feet of different purposes, 2 screw drivers, and the original oil can. Also in the box were the purchase certificate, Singer Guarantee (in Chinese), buttonhole attachment in its own box, and instruction booklet. My how much is this gold gem 60 years later?

I remember, back in the 1970s, my mother purchased an updated Sears Kenmore as she could not find a repairman to adjust the tension on this Singer. I learned how to sew on this “newer” model of the Kenmore. In the 1980s, I learned how to quilt taking local workshops in San Marcos, California, with Quilt In A Day. My first two quilts were the Log Cabin (for my niece, Lola) and the May Basket (for my niece, Sara).

In 2000, I pulled out Mom’s Kenmore again and had problems with its tension. I gave her away.
I purchased a Janome Gold, MY first machine. She was lightweight for me to take to workshops and to sew with other friends.  I also treated myself to a Bernina 630; and later, in 2012, traded it in for my current Bernina 580 embroidery machine. 

I can now sew on the Singer 222K. She just needed cleaning and some oil. She is a keeper, a lovely family heirloom.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

PS (Public School) 33 - Queens, New York

Melissa LeMaster Barker wrote today in her blog, A Genealogist in the Archives, about Autograph Books, the Social Media of Yesterday.

I immediately thought of my father's Autograph Book pictured below with his graduation yearbook from New York Public School 33 of Queens, New York, from eighth grade. 

Public School 33 of Queens, New York

Classmates of class 8B1-Stan circled in blue-1937.

On the first blank page, Stan wrote his first poem at the end of fourth grade in 1933. Was this little book a gift from his parents?

Of all of the signatures I recognized were from family members.

1) Page signed by his mother, Sophie Ramona Pina Cooper. Love her sign off of "Happy Sailing." Did she know he would join the U. S. Navy four years later?

2) Page signed by his father, John Carrick Cooper.

3) Page signed by his sister, Margarite Eileen Cooper.

4) Page signed by his Uncle Edward PiƱa, his mother's  younger brother.

Stan during his years at PS 33, Queens, New York.
Here are some other cute poems from his classmates.

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine,
and the shadows will always fall behind you."
Louise Herman

"Dear Stanley,
What people write in albums,
Always seem the same,
All I have to offer,
Is my friendship and my name."
Mary Redmond

"Last night upon the stairs
I saw a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again next day,
I wish to goodness he'd go away."
Darrow Ormsbee

"Just to make you angry,
Just to make you frown, 
I'm writing in your album
Upside down."
Jane Schneider - this was written upside down

"To Stan 
Don't wait for your ship to come in
Row out and meet it."
Etta Bergmann

Stan went on to Brooklyn Technical High School from 1937-1941. After he joined the U.S. Navy, in the spring of 1941, he did not walk down the graduation aisle with his classmates. See how he corrected this after World War II.

Monday, September 11, 2017

World War II Letters - 28 November 1942 - Written by Stan Cooper

A week later during the Thanksgiving holidays, Stan writes to an aunt and/or uncle, who he is referring to as "Toots." Who is Toots?

He is refers to "reliable sources" that  Ed will be joining in the War. After discussing who this "Ed" is; a family member concludes with me that this Ed is a close family friend. 

Stan also states that he finally received his trombone. His father, Pop, had the horn packaged in a large plywood box by a friend. It was too large to be shipped by the United States Post Office, thus rejected. Pop went to his typewriter and wrote a letter to James Farley, the Post Master General.
Days later, the large package was picked up by a chauffeur driver of a limousine and air-mailed to the Pacific. The trombone waited a few weeks in San Francisco to be delivered to the USS San Diego at this time. 

I found a detailed blog post on the USS San Diego's history. This was helpful in understanding exactly when and where my father was during his service on this ship. Check out Bayou Renaissance Man on the USS San Diego.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

World War II Letters - 20 November 1942 - Written by Stan Cooper

A week before Stan writes home, from 12-15 November, the USS San Diego was involved in another major battle with Guadalcanal; this time giving protection to the repaired USS Enterprise on its second return. The Japanese had taken over the British Solomon Islands earlier in the spring of 1942. The United States wanted to protect their Australian and New Zealand allies by regaining these resources. 1

Stan receives several letters at the same time which were written months before. He hears news from home of many engagements which makes him think of his future bride.

He immediately begins his studies for Fireman First Class after recently passing his Fireman Second Class exams. 

What did the Fireman classes involve for him aboard an Atlanta-class light cruiser? This ship was armed with 16 anti-aircraft guns and 16 Bofers guns. 2  He was part of the Engine Room Force as a Fire Controlman (FC). When he first boarded the USS San Diego earlier that year, his rank was FC 3/c - Fire Controlman 3rd class. After attempting several times, with study and testing, Stan went up in rank to FC 2/c - Fire Controlman 2nd class. 

Fire Controlman's Creed best describes his job description.
I am a fire controlman, a petty officer of the United States Navy, my work is the operation and maintenance of the weapons aboard the fighting ships of the Navy, I am required to know, operate, and maintain intricate scientific precision instruments.
To do this, I must have a thorough knowledge of the work of an electronics technician, machinist's mate, gunner's mate, machinery repairman, operations specialist, and engineman.
My aim in life is to know my job; to know everything that pertains to practical gunnery and ordnance.
As long as there is any operation or piece of equipment I do not fully understand, my job is not complete.
In the event of war, I must be prepared for any emergency.
I must be capable of and competent to fill my station, or perform any operation in the weapons department of my ship; to assume command of, spot, or control the fire of any battery.
In addition to being competent to perform any operation, I will strive to know my maintenance duties so well that I may maintain the battle efficiency of my ship, even on a darkened ship, under enemy fire. This to the end … that the ship may fight as long as she is afloat! 3
Stan is still waiting to receive his trombone that Pop has sent on to him in the military mail.