Saturday, January 8, 2011
I never had the chance to meet Sara (Caskey) Breithaupt, the wife of Ellen's second cousin, Louis Orville Breithaupt, (pictured to the right on their wedding day in 1919) but have come to know her through photos, newspaper clippings and her "book." The book, as Sara herself described it, is her autobiography that she completed in December 1977, when she was 83 years of age. While we try to interview older family members to record their knowledge and memories, Sara produced a thirty plus page 'autobiography', complete with some of her favourite family photos.
Historically, Sara saw a lot, including Wilbur and Orville Wright's first flight around Massachusetts Bay. As the wife of the Queen's representative in the province of Ontario, Canada during the 1950's, she met with many Canadian and foreign statesmen, she attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, but was most comfortable surrounded by family in Kitchener, Ontario.
I am pleased to share a small piece of Sara's story, as told by her in 1977.
"A short time ago I had a delightful, nostalgic hour with the world renowned violinist, Fritz Kreisler, via T.V.
Three men who had known him talked of his life and gave excerpts from his records. It brought back to me so clearly and happily the times I had heard him play while we were living in New York.
But I suppose I should really start this at the beginning, rather than at eighteen or twenty years of age.
I was born in Youngstown, Ohio, on April 4, 1894 and Paul Herbert followed me six years later on August 19, 1900.
Sixty years later I wanted a copy of my birth certificate so wrote the City Hall in Youngstown. They informed me that they had no record of my birth, only that on April 4, 1894 a female child had been born to Herbert Koch Caskey (the Koch is for good friends of his parents when he was born) and to Mary Scott Caskey. No proof that it was me, might have been my sister.
I wrote the First Presbyterian Church for my Baptismal Certificate. It has my name and date of baptism but no date of birth!
I wrote to my cousin, Pauline Jones, in Youngstown to see what she could do, she and a lawyer friend got Aunt Alice Jones, my mother's sister to testify. All went well, the authorities were ready to sign that I was that female child when Aunt Alice, always extremely honest, said: -"But of course I was not there, I was only told" . This put them all into a tailspin but finally to the satisfaction of everyone , myself included , it was decided that I really had been born and not some nebulous sister.
My ancestry has always interested me and I think, and hope, that you, my family, will be interested too. Especially those with Scott or Sara in their names.
I shall take my mother' s family first as I knew them so much better than I did father's.
My great-great-grandfather was George Scott, a cousin of Sir Walter's. George married Sarah Hutchinson who died when their only child was a few weeks old. She, Sarah Anne, married William Bonnell in Bradford, England.
They sailed for the United States in 1841 with their three children, my grandmother, Sarah Jane was five. They left in the middle of winter in January, in a sailing vessel which took six weeks for the trip and Grandma told me every one on board had to cook their own meals.
Now 136 years later, December 1977 the new "Concord" just crossed the Atlantic in three hours and twenty-two minutes."
I think we all have family members, no longer with us, whom we would love the opportunity to sit down with and talk about their lives. Sara is one of those for me.