Monday, May 24, 2010

Starting at the beginning: Castle Garden here we come!

As previously posted here; my Gilmour ancestors entered this country at Castle Garden. Some by way of Liverpool England and the rest via Moville, in Donegol, Ireland.

This is the Dock at Moville, the steps on the left hand side of the painting are where the majority of my Ancestors would have taken their last steps from Ireland onto a ship that would carry them to to America.

This is Castle Garden in it's heyday (later renamed Castle Clinton) where they took their first steps into America.
This was us yesterday at starting point the first leg of our journey:

Devin and Dad at the Gates! (Castle Garden/Clinton) Not only is this where our ancestors entered America, it is also where James and Francis were camped before going of to "'Ol Virginie".
We were intending to leave early yesterday; Around 3 a.m. but we weren't done packing until some time about 1:30a.m. so we slept in until 7:30. After a last stop at the V'ville Hannaford for some last minute snacks and Coffee we kissed Sarah goodbye gave her a couple of "quarters for laundry" and pulled out onto the road about 8:30.
On the road we found an app called "Trapster". In honor of our "departure for the South" we plugged in the "Hillbilly" voice. "dats won dem speed traps up dare yahear!"
Of the 50 some letters and documents I have inherited there was only one envelope. The address appeared to have been written to William Pollock 765 Florida street. On closer inspection it looked as if someone had corrected it to read 764. In the process of researching that portion of my GG-Grandmother's family I found that the number was really 769.

If you look closely you can see someone wrote in graphite "Old Script 4+4 pence. In it I found Revolutionary War Script issued in Philadelphia.

I had a pretty rough time finding first the location of the letter address and then the Church as well. It seems that Philadelphia changed it's street names twice during the later part of century 19th century. My former manager and fellow Civil War Buff Bill Hamm was very helpful in locating a site that let me find the renamed location @ this site:

By using this site I was able to determine that what was 769 Florida Street in 1861 is now 769 South 4th Street. And this is what it looks like today:

It's for sale and I'm in the market but I think it would be one heck of a commute. ...and somehow I don't think I would be able to walk home from Smitty's after a few Guinness' either!
The first document in chronological order is my GG Grand Parents Marraige Certificate.

The ceremony was preformed at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Phila-delphia by Reverend Robert Watts. Watts was quite an interesting historical character and I will be working him into the novel.
Then Bill reconnected me with an old GoogleBook that I had downloaded but forgotten about and had not yet read: "The Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia." It was in PDF format so I searched it and this is what I found:

When I first Googled this location I noticed that there was an empty lot with a small side street running along side it named "Watts" Street named after guessed it: the very same Rev. Robert Watts.

As I drove down it in "Street-View" Something strange happened! Things got all FUZZY-WEIRD but I kept on going where the arrow lead me... ("Go towards the light! Go towards the light!") all of a sudden: "POP!" I was back out of the Street again. So I scrolled around and "BLIP!" A building appeared where there wasn't one before!!!!
"Whoe whata virtual trip man!"

This is what things look like today:

This is what is left of Watts Street.

This is where the building was built over me...

The former location of The Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Off to Baltimore to walk the Riot Trail!
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Location:S Main St,Voorheesville,United States

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