Tag Archives: Thomas Gordon Smith

Scotch marriage record of my ancestors (my Smith grandfather’s great-grandparents)

 

 

John Gilchrist-Agnes Christie marriage record.jpg

 

 

I am one fourth Scotch through my paternal grandfather Thomas Gordon Smith (1885-1967).

Posted here is the marriage record of my grandfather’s great-grandparents on his paternal grandmother’s side.

My grandfather’s great-grandfather on his paternal grandmother’s side was John Gilchrist of Scotland. John Gilchrist married my grandfather’s great-grandmother Agnes Christie. Their daughter Jane (Gilchrist) Smith (my grandfather’s paternal grandmother) emigrated to the United States in 1872.

The marriage of John Gilchrist and Agnes Christie took place in Paisley, Scotland in 1833. “MC” on the marriage record stands for Middle Church. Middle Church describes the area around a parish and also the religious denomination associated with that area. The couple were Presbyterian.

If any family member ever goes to Scotland, they might want to check out Paisley. The newlyweds John and Agnes lived on North Croft Street in Paisley in the late 1830. They later moved to Niddry Street in Paisley, where they were living as recorded in the 1841 Scotch census.

Paisley is where their daughter Jane, my grandfather’s maternal grandmother, was born in December 1834. She died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1907.

Paisley was at one time famous for its weaving and textile industries. Prior to emigrating, Jane (Gilchrist) Smith, my grandfather’s maternal grandmother, was employed as a “winder of cotton.”

Jane’s father John Gilchrist, whose marriage record is posted here, is described as a blacksmith in early records and later as a “boilermaker journeyman.” He was born 1811 to 1815 (a range of years deduced from ages shown on later records). The year 1811 is likely. There was a John Gilcrhis [sic] baptized to a John Gilcrhis and Jean Cameron on 1 Dec 1811 in Paisley (Abbey). This is probably my ancestor.

 

— Roger W. Smith

    May 2018

 

 

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See also my post:

 

“Jane (Gilchrist) Smith (1834-1907)”

https://rogersgleanings.com/2016/04/02/jane-gilchrist-smith-1834-1907/

 

names

 

 

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I passed a clothing store today, Vivaldi, a boutique located on the West side of Third Avenue on the corner of 79th Street.

I have noticed this store before. I used to live on the East Side. The name of the store ANNOYS me.

Why? one might ask.

Because, giving a fancy clothing store such a name is done for no other reason than to create an impression — a faux impression — of unmerited sophistication. It’s almost the same, say, as if my parents gave me the name Wolfgang. What does a famous composer have to do with women’s styles? Nothing. It’s a bad attempt at sophistication showing an ignorance that is irksome.

I don’t mind the use of famous names a priori: say, the Ted Williams Fishing Tackle Store. That wouldn’t bother me. (It might, however, brother Williams’s heirs because of rights to the use of Williams’s name.)

There is a famous bookstore in Paris called Shakespeare and Company. It’s a bookstore and meeting place for anglophone writers and readers. Books. Shakespeare. Shakespeare and Company, meaning the Bard and other great English writers, his literary descendants. One can comprehend that.

 

 

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Later in the day, I got to thinking a bit about personal (given) names. I tend to be rather conservative in this respect. I tend to prefer names already commonly in use. I am not crazy when a name like Tiffany or Amber catches on and suddenly everyone is naming their daughter Tiffany or Amber. (I realize I have no really good reason to object.) And, I don’t like it when kids are given unusual names like Trig and Chastity.

I don’t like it when parents give feminine names to boys (e.g., Shirley; one of my cousins was married to a man whose first name was Shirley) and boys’ names to girls. I feel it could lead to kids having some identity confusion (read sexual identity) and to being teased.

I happen to like my first name, Roger. (So there!) It doesn’t call attention to itself; it’s a standard name that’s been around for a long time. Yet, it seems a bit distinctive in that it’s not that common.

 

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By the way, I found that paying attention to names helped me with genealogical research. For example, my grandfather’s name was Thomas Gordon Smith. He was formally known as T. Gordon Smith as an adult, and was informally known as Gordon. I thought Gordon was his first name.

It turned out that he had an ancestor from Scotland, his paternal grandmother, whose maiden name was Gordon. Information about her was hard to find. My grandfather’s middle name was an important clue; he got it from his grandmother.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

  August 30, 2017

a trip to Massachusetts (and its disappointing aftermath)

 

 

During the month just ended, I took a trip to Massachusetts to attend the American Literature Association’s annual conference in Boston, and also to take photos of personal interest from the point of view of my personal history and also from a genealogical angle.

I grew up in Massachusetts, in the Greater Boston area.

Practically all of my relatives came from Massachusetts. My father’s ancestors, on his father’s side, emigrated from Scotland to Boston in 1872. His relatives on his mother’s side emigrated during the colonial period and lived mostly in Essex County, north of Boston, and subsequently in the Greater Boston area.

My mother’s relatives were originally mostly from Cape Cod; some of my relatives continue to live there.

The following is a trip itinerary with photographs.

 

 

 

Continue reading

My Grandfather, the 1912 World Series, and Harry Hooper’s Catch; Plus, a Couple of My Own Favorites

 

 

In the 1912 World Series, the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Giants four games to three, with one tie.

The eighth and final game was played on Wednesday, October 16, 1912, at Fenway Park in Boston. The attendance was 17,034. The location of the game was determined by a coin toss, which the Red Sox won.

In the game, Boston rallied for two runs in the tenth inning to win the game and the Series, thanks to two costly Giants fielding misplays.

In the fifth inning, Giants second baseman Larry Doyle hit a long drive to right but was robbed of a possible home run by Red Sox outfielder Harry Hooper, who made a great running catch in front of the low fence.

My paternal grandfather, Thomas Gordon Smith, witnessed the catch, as he told me years afterward.

Hooper’s catch was described as follows by Red Sox pitcher Smoky Joe Wood, their ace (who pitched in the game in relief), in an interview for the classic book by Lawrence Ritter (who “moonlighted” as a finance professor at the New York University school of business) The Glory of Their Times:

Larry Doyle hit a terrific drive to deep right center, and Harry ran back at full speed and dove over the railing and into the crowd and in some way, I’ll never quit figure out how, he caught the ball — I think with his bare hand. It was almost impossible to believe, even when you saw it.

Red Sox center fielder Tris Speaker, one of the greatest outfielders of all time, called Hooper’s “running, leaping catch,” as he described it, “one of the greatest catches I ever saw.”

This accords with what my grandfather told me. “I was at the World Series game when Harry Hooper caught the ball and fell into the stands,” he said.

 

 

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To return to the overall game, and its dramatic denouement.

Smoky Joe Wood, who had taken a pounding on the mound the day before, entered the game in the eighth inning in relief of the Boston starter, Hugh Bedient. Christy Mathewson was pitching for the Giants.

The game went into extra innings with the score tied at 1-1. The Giants scored a run in the top of the tenth inning, making the score 2-1 in their favor. They were three outs away from a World Series victory.

In the bottom of the tenth inning, the Red Sox rallied for two runs to win the game.

The last half of the tenth featured a famous misplay, “Snodgrass’s muff.”

Red Sox pinch hitter Clyde Engle (batting for Smoky Joe Wood) led off with an easy fly ball to Fred Snodgrass in center field. Snodgrass dropped the ball, and Engle reached second base. The next day’s New York Times described the play as follows: “And now the ball settles. It is full and fair in the pouch of the padded glove of Snodgrass. But he is too eager to toss it to [left fielder Red] Murray and it dribbles to the ground.”

The next batter was the above mentioned Harry Hooper, he of the miraculous fifth inning catch. He flied out to deep center — Snodgrass making a fine running catch, right after his error — but Engle advanced to third.

Red Sox second baseman Steve Yerkes was walked by Mathewson, putting the winning run on base.

The next batter was center fielder Tris Speaker (a future Hall of Famer). He lifted a foul popup on the first base side, but Giants first baseman Fred Merkle, pitcher Mathewson, and catcher Chief Meyers allowed the ball to fall untouched in foul territory. Snodgrass later claimed that Red Sox bench jockeys had disrupted the players’ timing.

Given new life, Speaker singled home Engle to tie the game 2–2, Yerkes advancing to third. Mathewson walked the next batter, left fielder Duffy Lewis, intentionally, loading the bases.

The next batter, Red Sox third baseman Larry Gardner, flied to Josh Devore in right field deep enough for Yerkes to tag up and score, and the Red Sox won the game and the Series.

The Boston outfield consisted of Duffy Lewis, left field (famous for “Duffy’s Cliff”); Tris Speaker, center field; and Harry Hooper in right. It is considered one of the best outfields of all time.

(How is it that the Red Sox seem to usually have great outfields? They had a pretty good one in the fifties when I was a young fan: Ted Williams in left; Jimmy Piersall in center; and Jackie Jensen in right. Then, later, there were the outfields comprised of Red Sox stars such as Carl Yastrzemski, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, and Dwight Evans, in various combinations.)

From a Wikipedia article, at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1912_World_Series

Fred Snodgrass’s error went down in history as “the $30,000 muff”, a reference to the difference in the winning and losing shares, $29,514.34. (Note: this figure was calculated with respect to the total amounts of the two teams’ shares.) After the series, Snodgrass tried to explain, saying “I didn’t seem to be able to hold the ball. It just dropped out of the glove, and that was all there was to it.”

Christy Mathewson later wrote that “As I look back upon the 1912 series, when we lost to the Boston Red Sox, I see it was the same. Pitchers, outfielders, the whole team collapsed under the strain.”

My grandfather was age 27 at the time of the final game of the 1912 Series. He was employed as a bank teller in Boston. See photo below.

 

 

T. Gordon Smith

Thomas Gordon Smith (1885-1967)

 

 

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Addendum:

 

Harry Hooper’s catch is not often written about, but it was one of the all time great catches.

I would like to mention two of my favorites.

Opening day at Yankee Stadium on April 14, 1967 pitted the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox. Rookie Billy Rohr was the Red Sox starter; it was his first Major League game. He was pitching a no hitter through eight innings.

In the bottom of the ninth, left fielder Tom Tresh led off for the Yankees. He hit a long drive to left field. Left fielder Carl Yastrzemski, who was playing shallow, made a remarkable over the shoulder, tumbling catch to preserve the no hitter.

Yastrzemski’s catch is viewable on YouTube at

 

 

Unfortunately, Rohr lost the no hitter when the next batter, Elston Howard, singled.

Then there was the catch that Dwight Evans made in Game Six — game six of the 1975 World Series between the Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds, that is.

In the top of the eleventh, with Ken Griffey on first, Joe Morgan hit a deep drive to right field that looked to be headed over the fence. Evans, however, made a spectacular catch near the visitors’ bullpen to rob Morgan of a homer, then he made one of his herculean throws to double Griffey off first. The first baseman was none other than Carl Yastrzemski.

Evans’s catch is viewable on YouTube at

 

 

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   December 2016