Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Farm & Henry Ludwig

Today I'm thinking of my cousins Don, Lois & Peggy who are undoubtedly hard at work as the days of spring and summer settle in in late May.  They are living on the original family farm in Pennsylvania, and Peggy fills me in from time to time about all the work involved to keep the property running.  I'm happy to say there is still some farm blood running through the Phillips veins.   It was nearly one year ago that some of the Ohio and Pennsylvania (and Colorado & Canada!) cousins reunited on the Phillips farm for a tour of the old stomping grounds.  This Memorial Day the temps will be a bit milder, maybe in the 70's, while last year we suffered through a hot and sweaty day!  Our hosts in Pennsylvania couldn't have been more welcoming and accommodating as we found some shade in the backyard tent for lunch.  A tour through the Baker cemetery, Fort McIntosh and the Old Economy Village rounded out a wonderful day of family history and getting to know one another. 

Group shot from the beautiful grounds of the Phillips Family Farm

 Henry Ludwig Phillips

George & Marie Christine had five children, as I listed out in the January post.  The first child, Henry Ludwig Phillips, has remained an enigma to us.  He was born on April 11, 1831 in Germany, making the journey to America when he was 7 years of age.  What a journey to take through a young child's eyes.  And what adventures faced him after arrival?  With Marie Christine busy with four more children, I imagine a lot was expected of Henry in those early days of travel and settling on the farm.  What daydreams did he have as he worked the horses or went to town on errands? 

While we have no good paper trail for Henry, it is rumored that perhaps Henry worked with a religious group called the Harmonites.  Old Economy Village is a historic community once run by the Harmonites, and formed by George Rapp with his adopted son Frederick Rapp.  It will be interesting to follow up with further research as we have not been able to track down Henry through any other avenues.  The Harmonites were an extremely resourceful, organized and productive group of people.  Once you signed the agreement to become part of their group, you agreed to give all worldly possessions to the group.  Everyone was equal and each had everything they needed.  The only trouble was that upon joining, you also agreed to become celibate, which ultimately led to their demise.  If, in fact, Henry did join in with this group in some fashion it may be hard to trace.  Along with being equal, they did not place name markers on graves.  They were excellent record keepers, but to date, we have not located Henry.  The search remains open on all avenues concerning this family member - he may have joined the Civil War efforts or settled down with a wife somewhere.  The mystery continues!

For my next post, I will be working with the second child of George & Marie Christine - George Peter Phillips.  Most of what we know about George Peter comes from the diligent research of Tom & Carolyn Phillips in Colorado.  I'm so grateful to have their information to include!

Till next time...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Aunt Patsy

Spring has arrived, finally...  While I generally think of springtime as a fresh and colorful time of awakenings and life beginning anew, we here in the Phillips Family are lamenting the loss of a much beloved family member.  Patricia "Patsy" Ann (Phillips) Davis passed away on May 2, 2013 at the age of 77.  She had become the matriarchal figurehead for the Ohio branch of the family, stemming from Harley & Gertrude Phillips' descendants.  She was the fourth of twelve children born to Harold & Gladys Phillips.  She inherited many wonderful qualities from her parents, most notably her mother's special glare or "The Look", which when directed at you was a sign that you were out of line and needed to straighten up RIGHT NOW.  She also patented her mother's slap to the back of the head, which was never hard (more of a love tap), but involved a special flick of the wrist so that the said party misbehaving would flinch and know they had been seen or heard and were not as funny as they believed themselves to be.  They were true talents passed from mother to daughter, as was the love she had for all of us.

Young Patsy
At Work

Bill & Patsy
Children: Mark, Kerilyn, (Patsy) Rob, Ric, Patty, Bill & Grandpa Davis

Sister Kath & Patsy
I will miss her determination and matter-of-factness.  I will miss her laughs, because you had to earn them.  If something were particularly off-color, her children (and some of her siblings) were ornery enough to get her to cave from giving them the Look - to begrudgingly laugh at their misdeeds.  These were the best laughs, because she couldn't help herself.  I will miss hearing about her adventures abroad and how she enjoyed the people she met along the way.  I will miss her.

Below is her full obituary.

Patricia Ann Davis

  • Patricia "Patsy" Davis, 77, passed away peacefully at her home on May 2, 2013.Born in Akron on October 11, 1935 to the late Harold and Gladys Phillips, Patsy had been a Northampton resident for most of her life. She was a graduate of Hudson High School and the Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in Lexington, Ky. She retired as a Registered Nurse from Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital after 32 years of service. Patsy was a faithful member of the Northampton United Methodist Church. Patsy was very active as a missionary, serving in Africa, India, China, and Haiti. She was honored by the Ohio House of Representatives as the Citizen of the Year in 1998.
In addition to her parents, Patsy was preceded in death by her husband, William; granddaughters, Amy and Leah Davis; brothers, Harold, Don, and Jim and sister, Gladys "Boots". She is survived by her sons, Bill, Rob (Laurie Snyder), Ric (Lauren), Mark (Joelle), and Dr. Jeffrey Martin; daughters, Patty (Chad) Heisser and Kerilyn (George) Seifert; brothers, Ray (Joanne), Mike, Dave (Sue Ellen), Bob (Elaine) and Steve Phillips; sisters, Kathleen (Fred) Manning and Nancy Zarle; grandchildren, Bill III, Melinda, Joe, Jenn, Jessie, Matt, Shannon, Shawna (Curtis), Allison, Brian, Tasha, Evie, Jim (Debra), Dustin (Candy), Kyle, and Richard; 18 great-grandchildren; uncles Earl Phillips and Wayne Greenleaf; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Special thanks to Judy Ross, Aimee Phillips, Nancy VanWaes, and to Dr. Schukay and his staff.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Anthony Funeral Home MCGOWAN-REID & SANTOS CHAPEL (at 3rd. St., one block north of Portage Trail) in Cuyahoga Falls. A funeral service will take place on Monday at 11 a.m. at the Northampton United Methodist Church, 852 W. Bath Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223, where the family will receive friends for one hour prior to the service. Cremation will follow and a Committal of Ashes will take place at Oakwood Cemetery at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Northampton United Methodist Church Building Fund. 

I know this is only my second post to the Phillips-Volp blog - and I am now out of order from the sequence I originally planned, but I decided I needed to deviate and include this postIt helps to work through my own mourning process and hopefully to others as well.  I will be following up shortly with the next installment of family information