Montrans in the News – Maronites’ Society

Montran Monday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

This week for Montran Monday[i], I found two articles from The Chat (Brooklyn, New York). They both appeared to relate to Montrans that lived in Brooklyn. Neither Mr. Montran nor his wife, May, are a likely fit into my Montran Line.

The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) dated 5 December 1908, Page 27. This article is a brief mention that Mr. and Mrs. Montran and daughter attended a 25th wedding anniversary celebration of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Seibert.

The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) dated 30 May 1925, Page 31. This article is a society page paragraph in which Mrs. May Montran attended a meeting of the Maronites’ Society[ii] along with more than 500 Syrians. 

Sources:

  • The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) Sat, Dec 5, 1908, · Page 27 – Downloaded on July 26, 2019, via Newspapers.com.

The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) · Sat, May 30, 1925, · Page 31 – Downloaded on July 26, 2019, via Newspapers.com



ENDNOTES

[i] Montran Monday – My grandmother’s father was John Montran. She used the surname, as a young child and again when she began in show business. The name is uncommon and most of the Montrans I see in the newspapers are my grandmother during her early vaudeville career. However, with the constant flow of newly digitized material, I often learn of new articles which contain the Montran name. I pay attention to the finding and try to determine a possible relationship of any Montrans to Donna’s father, John Montran.

[ii] Maronites are a Christian group whose members adhere to the Syriac Maronite Church.  A mass emigration from Lebanon and Syria to the Americas occurred in the early 20th century due to famine, blockades, and World War I that resulted in between one-third to one-half of the population. Source: Internet: Wikipedia: Maronites – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maronites

 

2018 – Year in Review

Don Taylor Genealogy – 2018 Year in Review

I hope you are enjoying my Blog.  I find it really helpful in my understanding of genealogy. It, like diaries and journals of yesteryear, help me to focus on what I know and not become distracted by things I think I know. It also helps me focus on one thing at a time. I would like to remind readers that I do accept guest submissions. If you would like to write something that will be of interest to readers of my six primary topics (Brown, Darling, Howell, and Roberts lines as well DNA discoveries or understanding and Donna Montran’s Vaudeville Career), I’ll be happy to consider your submission as a guest post.

2018 Statistics.

I wrote 122 posts during the year, down slightly from 2017.  My goal is to post, at a minimum, once every three days. So, I met my goal by posting an average of once every 2.99 days.

The number of page views went up nearly 70% in 2018 over 2017 and the average views per day rose from 21 views per day to 36.

I currently have 409 blog subscribers – up from 324 at the beginning of the year. Besides direct subscribers, there are other individuals that follow my blog via Facebook, Twitter, and Google. If you do not subscribe to dontaylorgenealogy.com, please do so.

Referrals to my site are as I would expect, Google by far the greatest referrer, with Facebook a distant 2nd.  Fourth was my old blogspot site, so I guess I still can’t delete it.

Top 10 Postings for 2018

  1. My number one post during 2018 was the same as my #1 post in 2016 and #1 post in 2017, “Why I’ll never do business with MyHeritage Again.” I guess people love reading rants.
  2. My number 2 article for 2018 was the 2017 “OMG – Another Half-Sibling,” which spoke about learning of a half-sibling here-to-fore unknown for my mother. Quite the surprise for my mother and her other half-sister, Barbara.
  3. Was my review of DNA Painter. That surprised me along with my Number 4 (next).
  4. A 2016 Review of the website “Lost Cousins”. I guess reviews are high on the types of posts that are read.
  5. Number 5, a “We’re Related,” posting was a 2017 look at three possible relatives, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, and Blake Lively.
  6. Number 6 was a 2014 Ancestor Biography about Lewis Bryan (1755-1839), who was Mary-Alice’s 4th great-grandfather on her Howell line.
  7. Number 7 was my greatest surprise. I had 134 reads of my 2013 post about using City Directories as a substitute for the 1890 Census. It dealt with the Directories available in Smyrna, GA (where I lived in 2013).  I think it was a good article. I should rewrite the article focusing on Scarborough, ME and possibly South Portland and Portland.
  8. Number 8 was “Follow the ‘X’” about how the “zig-zag” pattern of the X chromosome can provide insight into ancestors that the autosomal along cant. (2018)
  9. Number 9 was another 2017 review, this time for Family Tree Maker for Mac 3.1.
  10. Number 10 was another 2017 DNA Article, “It’s Another First Cousin.” There is no doubt in my mind that Debra is a first cousin on my Roberts line. Sadly, her potential half-siblings want nothing to do with proving (or disproving) the relationship. My father had two brothers, one is fairly unlikely, one is much more likely to be this cousin’s father. That said, his father, Bert Allen Roberts, Sr., could easily have fathered a here-to-fore unknown child which could be the father of Debra. Testing of the children of Bert junior’s children could prove or disprove the relationship.

Conclusion

So, of the top ten posts in 2018, four of them dealt with reviews, My Heritage, Lost Cousins, DNA Painter, and Family Tree Maker.  Three dealt with DNA, A half-sibling for my mom, Follow the “X” and Another First Cousin.  We’re Related, Howell Research, and General Genealogical Information all had one article each in the top 10. (Although “Follow the “X” could be identified as General Genealogical Info also.)

I understand that articles posted in 2017 were available for reading throughout 2018, so I’m not surprised that 2017 postings comprised 4 out of the top 10. I was very surprised that 2013 and 2014 articles were also in the top 10.

Next Year

I have found that I overextended myself during 2018.  As such, I have decided to reduce my activities in several areas and focus more on family and Scarborough activities. I have quit doing any kind of (paid) genealogical consulting activities during 2019.  I will also greatly reduce my genealogical society volunteerism and will drop memberships in at least six societies and organizations. I plan to work more diligently on my five research areas, Brown, Darling, Howell, Roberts, and Donna’s Vaudeville and less on my other 22 other genealogical projects. I will continue efforts with the Scarborough Historical Society.

Halloween 2018

Caith “My Halloween Kitty”

Halloween or Samhain is said to be the day where the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. As such, it is an important time to remember those who have passed. Although I try to remember all my ancestors who have passed, this Samhain I want to remember three people who were not ancestors but had a profound effect on my life. Their passing touched me deeply.

First, is my first close friend to die. Steve Plowman was a close friend while I lived in North Minneapolis. He lived about a block away – down the hill to the corner then left a half a block to his house on 24th that adjoined the alleyway between Aldrich and Bryant avenues. On Tuesday, November 24th, 1964, Steve and a mutual friend, Gary Dorf, were crossing Lyndale Avenue in North Minneapolis while a bus was stopped. Gary stopped walking while in front of the bus,  but Steve ran out trying to beat a car that was coming. Steve was hit by the car and died before getting to the hospital. He was the first close friend I had to die, and one of only a few I’ve known that have died due to a car accident. Steve was only 15 when he died. To this day, I am ultra-careful when walking past a bus into traffic and cringe when I see someone step past a bus without using super-great caution.

Sadly, I was in Minnesota a few weeks ago and at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, where Steve is buried, and didn’t realize he was there. So, visiting his grave will be on my list of things to do during my next visit to Minnesota.

Marker – Alvina B Kirks – photo by Don Taylor

Next, is my best friend’s mother, Alvina Kirks. She was a really nice woman. Hers was the first, and only, funeral where I was a pallbearer. It was difficult for me to say anything that would help my friend or the rest of his family. I recall making a conscious decision to do my absolute best to fulfill the honor my friend and his father bestowed upon me asking that I be a pallbearer, at only 16-years of age. Alvina was only 47 when she passed. From her, I learned that even when cancer is taking your life, you can be strong and dignified during the process. She was. I was able to visit her burial site at Fort Snelling National Cemetery when I was last in Minnesota. She is buried next to her husband, Charles N. Kirks.

Gravesite: Mary E. (Raidt) Taylor – Photo by Don Taylor

Finally, is my first wife, Mary. She was an exceptionally good woman and mother to my first child. She was very tolerant and in so many ways amazing. I was married to her for over ten years and don’t rue a day of it. We were so young when we were married and tried very hard to make it work. But the separations of Navy life took their toll on our relationship. She passed away last spring (June). I was able to visit where her cremains are buried at Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Minneapolis. I was saddened that there wasn’t a stone monument there. Cemetery records indicated where she was buried. She is resting with her grandparents, John & Marie (Hawley) Langford. Although she doesn’t have a stone marker at the cemetery, I did create a virtual monument for her on Find-a-Grave. May her life in heaven be more joyous than she ever imagined.

Bryan – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

Bryan is a surname based upon habitation, that is to say, based upon where a person lived or came from. The Dictionary of American Family Names[i] indicates it derives from either of two places called Brionne in northern France (in Eure and Creuse). It also has derivations from the Celtic personal name Brian as in “O’Brian.”

It has been my experience that Bryan and Bryant seem to be interchangeable in my wife’s family line and that occasionally, a Bryan might be known as a Bryant.

Continue reading “Bryan – Surname Saturday”

Schools I’ve Attended – Anoka-Ramsey Community College

1981-1982

My Life
Those Places Thursday

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

I applied to and was accepted at Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC). ARCC was close to home, only 3 miles away so it was easy to work days, come home and eat, then go off to school for evening classes and the occasional Saturday class. I also received a nice stipend from the government based upon my ½ time class load. All my classwork with Chapman College and Chaminade College transferred, so I was nearly a year ahead of the game.

I was able to take some fun classes at Anoka-Ramsey.  I needed another science course for my degree requirements and was able to take Meteorology at Anoka-Ramsey.  What could be better than taking Marine Biology and Oceanography in Hawaii, and Meteorology in Minnesota? It was cool. Freshman English Comp was a drain on my time and resources, but I got through it. I understand it was much more personalized at a Community College than it might be at many larger universities, something I am grateful for or I may never have gotten through.

Apple II – Photo by Rama & Musée Bolo [CeCILL or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr ], via Wikimedia Commons

Computers were relatively new in 1981-2; I had a Psychology professor that utilized the new technology to its greatest.  He gave his students all the questions and all the answers for his mid-term and the final. When we took the actual tests, the questions were a subset of what he gave us and the answers were jumbled up. The professor thought Psych 101 was all about learning and knowing the terms and his method helped assure that students knew them. It seemed strange at the time but makes a lot of sense now.

I wasn’t involved in any sports or extra-curricular activities at ARCC; I was too busy working and providing for my wife and my step-daughter. I was also involved with my community and a commissioner on the city’s Economic Development Commission. I had aspirations to run for City Council and took three courses in real estate at ARCC so I’d know more about the processes of Zoning, Planning, and Real Estate transactions.

Anoka-Ramsey Community College - 2017 Aspen Prize Top 10 Finalist
2017 Aspen Prize Top 10 Finalist

Since I attended, Anoka Ramsey has added another campus in Cambridge, Minnesota. It is a well-known and well-respected community college in the area. It was a top 10 finalist for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s preeminent recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges.

I went Anoka-Ramsey (half-time) for nearly two years and received an Associate of Arts from them in December 1982.