Friday, December 13, 2013

See You In The New Year!

Hi Everyone!

I'm sorry I missed putting up my Wordless Wednesday photo. Things have been getting zingy with Christmas preparations and work responsibilities, then I went and got sick. Even I can see that sign, lol! As I have a chronic illness that is exacerbated by stress (gastroparesis), I know that I have to start off-loading responsibilities and take things a bit slower so as not to flare. And, believe me, I don't want to be unable to eat anything at Christmas time! So, I'm going to put the blog on hiatus until after New Year's Day.

You all have a wonderful set of holidays and I'll see you in the New Year!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ancestor Highlight: Phillip A. Snyder, 1882-1967, and Pearl Pauline Bailey, 1891-1978, my great-grandparents

Climbing My Family Tree: Philip A (1882-1967) and Pauline (1891-1978) Snyder

Aren’t they a cute couple? (I don’t know who the little boy is.)

In researching my great-grandparents I discovered what treasure trove city directories can be! Philip Snyder and his wife lived almost their whole life in one town, but due to the generosity of the city  of Findlay Ohio in allowing its archive of city directories to be digitalized and put online, through, I know more about them than the once every ten year Census would normally allow me to know.

Philip Aaron Snyder, was born on 18 July 1882, in the town of Forest, Ohio, which was then in Wyandot County (now it straddles Wyandot and Hardin Counties), to John and Katharine (Snyder) Snyder, twenty-one miles outside of the city he would live in most of his life. The woman who would become his wife was born nine years later, on 8 March 1891, in Findlay, Ohio, to Edward Carleton and Martha Emily "Emma" (Wolfington) Bailey.

By the time Philip was 18, his family lived in Findlay OH, where his father worked at a saw mill and Philip was a Motorman, according to the 1900 U.S. Census. His maternal grandfather, who was 69, lived with the family at that time, and his occupation was listed as jeweler. One of his sisters and his only brother had died by 1900. His second sister, Mary Margaret (Mollie) had married Marion Greer two years before. The 1906 and 1909 city directories indicated he lived at 432 W. Lima Street in Findlay and listed his occupation as “laborer”; the directory indicated that this was also his parent’s address. The address, 432 W. Lima Street, is one digit off of the address written on the back of the picture of the house I posted earlier  where the handwritten inscription says that Philip bought the home at 431 W. Lima for his wife (oddly I found nothing else that ever placed them at 431 W. Lima. Perhaps whoever wrote the inscription on the photo made a slight mistake on the address). 

Climbing My Family Tree: 1909 Findlay City Directory, entries for both Philip and John Snyder

In 1900, Pearl Pauline Bailey was at nine years old the youngest child in her family. In the Census, she was listed as Pearl. Three older brothers (Howard, Floyd (or Lloyd), and James) and one older sister, Myrtle (who later became the missionary to China of whom I’ve written before) still lived at home. Her family lived in Findlay Ohio, where her father was a blacksmith. [I’ve found references to another brother also named Lloyd in other sources; one was Lloyd Wellington Bailey and the other Lloyd Weldon Bailey. At first I thought that it was simply a case of name mix-up but Pearl Pauline’s father’s obituary refers to both of these sons surviving him so it appears instead to be a case of parents reusing a favorite name, never thinking how that would confuse future genealogists!]  I don’t know yet how to tell exactly where the family lived in 1900 using the Census, but according to the Findlay City Directory in 1904 the family lived at 519 Hull Avenue (her parents would continue to live there the rest of their lives).

On 8 March 1909, Philip married Pauline (as she was called thereafter) in a ceremony held in the parsonage of the Assembly of God Church; the Rev. T.K. Leonard officiated. Philip was 26 and Pauline was 18. Pauline’s family belonged to that church. I don’t think Philip’s family were members of this church before the marriage, as John Snyder's obituary said he was a member of the Evangelical Church, but Philip and Pauline were members of the Assembly of God Church thereafter. 

The 1910 Census shows Philip and Pauline living at the same address as his parents, with a baby son, Clarence (my grandfather, who was born 22 March 1910), and lists his occupation as Timber Cutter.  The 1911 and 1913 city directories indicate that he was a now a Timber Buyer and that he and Pauline had moved to their own home on 525 W. Lima Street. 

Now that they were in their own home, their family grew in leaps and bounds. In 1912, the couple had a daughter, who they named Christina, and on 3 March 1914, another daughter, Phyllis, was born.  Their son Paul was born in 1917, and their last child, Don, was born on 15 May 1918.

As Philip had had to register for the draft on 12 September 1818, he was undoubtedly much relieved that WW1 ended less than a year later via the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. The draft registration card tells us that, at age 36, he had brown hair and eyes, was of medium height and large build. It lists his occupation as Lumber Dealer and indicates he was self-employed.

Climbing My Family Tree: U.S. Draft Registration for Philip Aaron Snyder

Something must have happened to Philip in the early 1920’s that I have not yet been able to find as the 1920 Census indicates that he is not employed and the 1923 City Directory also list no occupation for him. The 1923 directory does indicate that the family had moved to 305 East Street in Findlay.

In 1925, when Philip was 43, his father died. I don’t know yet whether there was any inheritance involved, but it does look like his life had started to improve by 1925 as the city directory states that he was a Dealer in Native lumber and Buyer of All Kinds of Timber. They are still living at 305 East Street, and, for the first time the directory lists a telephone number for him: Bell Telephone Main 3269-W. He was still listed as a Timber Buyer in 1927. But in 1929, his occupation changed to “Real Estate”.

Climbing My Family Tree: 1925 Findlay City Directory for Philip & Pauline Snyder

The 1930 Census shows that four of Philip and Pauline’s children still lived at home: Clarence, 20; Phyllis, 16; Paul, 13; and Don, 12. Their daughter Christina had married Warren J. Buntz, jr. on 18 February 1929, in a small ceremony in the parsonage of the Assembly of God Church. The Census listed Philip’s occupation as a “tire builder” and states that he works at a [indecipherable] Plant.

The 1931 City Directory indicates that Philip now worked for the National Refining Company, as a Laborer. The city directories showed me that he continued working for that company in various capacities until he retired sometime after he was 66 (there’s a gap in the directories between 1948 and 1955). The 1933 directory showed that the family had moved to 524 Eben Avenue and that Philip was now a Car Worker at the Refinery.  Two of Philip and Pauline’s children had married and moved out by 1933: their daughter Phyllis married Ralph Norris Fry on 24 November 1932, and by 1933, their son Clarence had married Mabel Erwin (my grandparents).

The city directories indicate that in 1935 he was a Repairman for the Refinery; in 1937, he worked in the Refinery’s Car Shop; in 1939, he’s a Pressman; in 1940, he told the Census taker that he was a Wax Man at the Refinery; and in 1941, he was an Oil Worker; from 1943 through 1948, Philip was a Pressman in the Wax Plant of the National Refining Company.

By 1939, Philip and Pauline had moved to 2711 N. Main St, Findlay.  Their son Paul was married sometime before 1940 to Sara May Bowman, and their youngest son Don had joined the Army in the early 1940’s (well, first he joined the Ohio National Guard, but he later served in the Army in WWII). Don also got married sometime in the early 1940’s (probably 1942) to Ardyth Ebersole of Arcadia.  Tragically, Philip and Pauline’s daughter, Christina, died in an automobile accident on 9 September 1942, and her husband was severely injured. Philip and Pauline stepped up to help care for their daughter’s young children. On 13 May 1947, the Findlay Republican Courier carried a story wherein Mr. and Mrs. Philip A. Snyder announced the engagement of their granddaughter, Rosemary Buntz, to Homer Boatman.

Philip must have retired by 1955 as the city directory henceforth lists no occupation for him. He and Pauline live at 2711 N. Main St, Findlay at least through his death, in 1967, at age 84, of leukemia, after being ill for several years. The obituary noted that he was survived by his wife, three sons, Clarence, of Huron O; Paul, of Detroit; and Don, of Toledo; his daughter, Phyllis Fry, of Findlay; 17 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren, and 5 step-grandchildren(!). 

Pauline lived for another 11 years until she died on 30 July 1978 at the age of 87. She continued to be active in her church throughout those years.

[Sources: Findlay City Directories (1906-1959); 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 U.S. Censuses; U.S. Draft Registration Card;  Findlay Republican Courier: 4 November 1925 (p.8), 1 July 1926 (p.12); 18 February 1929 (p.8), 31 March 1942 (p.12), 9 September 1942 (p.2), 6 January 1943 (p.6); 13 May 1947 (p.8), 6 March 1959 (p.9), 13 March 1967 (p.17) at]

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 7, 1941

Climbing My Family Tree: 7 December 1941

On December 7, 1941, the United States suffered about 3,700 casualties in a morning surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Each year we honor our dead in our remembrance of that day of infamy. We should never forget.

But what I somehow did not know until I started doing my family history research was that on December 7, 1941, the Japanese also conducted surprise attacks sending hundreds of Japanese fighter planes and bombers against Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, and other key Allied defense bases in the Far East; these attacks were followed by ground forces which quickly captured the areas. Over 700 American missionaries, men, women, and children, and were caught in the cross-hairs of these attacks. In China and Hong Kong, many the missionaries and other civilians who were trapped in Hong Kong, including 3,000 British, 300 American, and about 100 Dutch, including children, were herded into the Stanley Internment Camp at the south end of Hong Kong Island, where living conditions were extremely poor, unsanitary,  and there was very little food. For some this internment lasted 44 months.  Other American missionaries were placed under house arrest in their own homes, which were taken over by Japanese officers and soldiers. My great-grand-aunt Myrtle was one of the American missionaries put under house arrest, along with the 15 orphans she had been caring for, and others who had sheltered in her home during the bombing. She was held under house arrest, subsisting on one handful of rice per day per person, for seven months, until she was given an opportunity to participate in the repatriation exchange negotiated between the Allies and the Japanese in which some 1500 people (each side), including 500-700 missionaries, were exchanged ship-to-ship in the closest neutral port in Mozambique. I’ve written my great-grand-aunt Myrtle’s story here. Her story and those of the other internees and prisoners of war of the other Japanese surprise attacks on December 7, 1941, as well as those who died in them, should also never be forgotten.  

Climbing My Family Tree: 7 December 1941

[Information drawn from research done for post on Myrtle Bell Bailey, see cites there.]

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: My grandparents -- at 17!

Climbing My family Tree, Wordless Wednesday: Clarence Snyder & Mabel Erwin 1927

The back of the photo says, "Clarence & Mabel, Camp Pittenger, Tiffin OH, 1927"
Clarence Snyder and Mabel Erwin would have been 17.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

I will be enjoying mine and won't be posting anything for about a week to a week-and-a-half. See you later! 

Wordless Wednesday: My Grandpa, Clarence Snyder

CLimbing My Family Tree, Wordless Wednesday: Clarence Snyder, my grandpa (24 Nov 1927)
Clarence Snyder,
on November 24, 1927
Captain of his high school football team

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snyder aka Schneider aka Scneider aka Snider.... AcK!

One of the first things you learn in doing genealogy research is not to be wedded to the spelling of your family name (or any first or middle names, for that matter...or the order of the two names which may be first or middle names)! Spelling was not so important to our ancestors. And if the family was big enough,  names can repeat within the same generation - especially if the first child with that name died early and the parents still like that name, then another child in that family may get the same or a very similar name as their deceased older sibling. The four names listed in the title are the four spellings I've found used for my (probable) third great-grandfather's last name!

I am very lucky, in researching the Snyder side of my family to have a copy of a few handwritten pages by my great-grandmother, Pearl Pauline Bailey Snyder, who took the time to write out her recollections of her (Bailey) and her husband's (Snyder) family in the two generations above. She freely admits in the writing that she's forgotten a lot, and some things she never knew, but it is full of delightful details about the people she could remember. [I will transcribe it for the Tree, so others can read it too.] In addition, someone, perhaps her as the handwriting is similar, hand-sketched out a five generation family tree of the Snyder side. It mostly has names - some with question marks by them. Four names have birth and death dates, and there is one marriage date. The date when John Snyder married Katharine (Katherine/Catherine/Kate) Snyder (Schneider).

Climbing My Family Tree: SNYDER Tree found in family memorabilia

Yes, on top of the usual spelling challenges we have persons from unrelated Snyder families marrying! And both  families contain the names John, Phillip/Philip, and Hannah/Anna in multiple generations! Plus, Ohio seems to be overrun with Snyders in this time frame that don't necessarily seem to belong to either of these families. It's slow going, folks.

I've found great-grandma's notes are helpful, but not necessarily reliable. Or rather, what's there is good, but she tended to leave out family members entirely, and she identified a quarter of the women only by their married name (she didn't include the woman's first name, only their husband's: Mrs.(man's name) I don't know which daughter is which!) and some only by a first name or a nickname. But still it is helpful in confirming that I'm looking at the right family. I'm also following my practice of developing out the brothers and sisters families for at least a generation, as that also tends to help me confirm I have the right family in censuses. I also checked some newspaper sites and a couple obituaries for brothers and sisters were very helpful (they name everyone in the family and where they are at that given moment, and sometimes name parents, too, even if they are dead.) But I still got stuck trying to make the connection above the Philip (1831-1909) that is Katharine's father, who great-grandma says is Jacob.

At that point I decided to go at this from a different direction. Nearly everyone in this branch of the family has been in Hancock County, Ohio for most of the period I've been looking at. They've all been buried in one of three cemeteries. I decided to go look at who has listed in those cemeteries under any possible spelling of Snyder. Jackpot! I think. There's a Jacob Schneider buried in the same cemetery as Phillip Schneider/Snyder and a George Schneider (great-grandma said Philip had a brother George). And Jacob (1792-1871) is born in the same general area of Germany that Phillip seems to have been born in, according to the inscription (which the volunteer for FindAGrave has helpfully translated from the German it's written/chiseled in). I think that they are probably family. I don't know who Phillip's mother is yet, but this is enough for now.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday

Geneabloggers sends out a selection daily blogging prompts  - theme ideas (a choice of several per day -- to help those of us drawing blanks on what to blog about. I had meant to participate in yesterday's Wordless Wednesday by posting a picture [for me, it would have been a "(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday as I couldn't just post without explanation!].

I missed that; but I think the photo also counts as a Family Treasure, so I'll post it today.

Climbing My Family Tree: 1st home of Phillip & Pearl Pauline (Bailey) Snyder, Findlay OH. 1913.

This is a picture of my great-grandparents, Phillip and Pearl Pauline (Bailey) Snyder's first home, at 531 W. Lima Street, Findlay, Ohio. The inscription on the back said that the picture was probably taken in 1913, and that "Dad" (Phillip  Snyder) bought the home (cash) on marriage March 8, 1909.  The people in the picture are identified as "mother" (Pearl Pauline Bailey Snyder), seated on the porch railing. In this photo she is about 22 years old. Her daughter Christina (approx 1 year old) is seated in a small chair on the lawn below her, and the boy standing, all in white, is her son Clarence (approx. 3 years old). Clarence Snyder is my grandfather.

When I last visited my parents I took a picture of the photo in its cardboard frame, as I loved the picture of my grandfather as a child, and the picture of my great-grand-mother who I'd never seen before. Last week, after posting the Ancestor Highlight about my great-grand-aunt, Myrtle Bailey, who was a Missionary to China, I "met", through Facebook, my Mom's cousin and her daughter* who are also doing family history research into Myrtle and other family members. It has been so great to meet them! The child Christina, in the photo, is my Mom's cousin's mother. So I'm sharing this Family Treasure for them also.

ADDENDUM: I will have to research ownership of the house as a 'fact' later since in the 1910 Federal Census Phillip Snyder is shown as renting the house the family lived in at the time of the census.

*I've promised my parents and brothers that I'll not mention them by name (nor any of their kids) in my blog. I've not asked my newly found relatives if they have the same security concerns as my brothers and parents, but decided to play it safe and accord them the same courtesy of not naming anyone living.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Climbing My Family Tree   

If you’ve stopped by the blog recently you will have noticed that I’ve made some changes; well, two main ones.  The first change is to the blog-site itself and the second is that I’ve joined a blogging network, called Genea-bloggers.

The change to the blog-site is that I now have multiple pages! The “Home” page is where my blog entries are posted and I have links to the blog archive on the side, and a cloud of searchable labels below that – the bigger the label the more posts about it. Click any of the labels and it will bring up a list of the blog posts containing that term (or that I’ve labeled as containing that term). The blog archive and the label cloud have been there from the beginning but they are starting to be more noticeable as I’ve gotten a few more posts done. The blog is also searchable from within – I put in a search gadget and it will turn up on Google or other search engines if someone is looking for, say, one of the ancestors I did an ancestor highlight on.

The second page is titled “Surnames/Locations” and I got this idea from some of the other genealogical blogs I follow. Its technical name is “cousin-bait”!   : ) I’m listing, in alphabetical order, all of the surnames I am researching in tracing back our family tree. So, more names will be added as I encounter them going back. Beside each name are the places I’ve found them in earliest to latest. So if someone comes across the blog, and checks this page and says, to themselves, “Hey, I’m researching Erwins in North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, & Ohio, too,” we could be some sort of cousin!  And they might choose to contact me to make our acquaintance and/or to compare family history notes. This would be very cool!  -- And is the main reason I also added a “Contact Me” page, giving out the email address I use for genealogical stuff and other blogs, in a written form (humans will figure it out and, hopefully, spambots won’t).  Or they could leave a comment; I see all comments as they feed into the same email address. I will answer every comment.

I’ve also put in a page listing links to helpful resources I’ve used and another page listing links to all of the blogs I’ve discovered that are interesting and/or give great information as to how and where to research things, copyright law, and other things useful to beginning family historians and bloggers. I did this partially to help others who run across the blog and may be starting their own family research, partially to make sure I don’t lose track of them as my bookmarks are starting to get rather over-full, and partially as a way to thank those bloggers who have helpfully answered my questions when I posted to their comments.

One the top right side of my blog you’ll now also see a badge identifying me as part of a network called Genea-bloggers. I joined Genea-bloggers because through the network website I have the opportunity to talk with (well, type) and learn more about how to do genealogical research from others who love it. The network also offers webinars in research issues and in blogging issues (technology, daily blog post ideas/themes, etc.), which should mean I’ll get better at both.   They also have a searchable blog roll of links to almost 3000 genealogy and family history related blogs, of which this is now one! (I discovered I’m not very original; there are 4 or 5 “Climbing My Family Tree” blogs listed. Ah well.) I’m very excited about this! Oh, and it’s free!  

I can’t promise I’ll follow all of the prompts and become a daily blog. I’m still working a stressful job with long hours and I need to do life chores and read, and eat, and sleep, and such. If I write a blog post every day, I won’t have any time for research; which I love more than blog-writing. But there may be more, and I may learn to write shorter ones. We’ll see. It’s all an adventure, isn’t it?

Why All The Footnotes?

I am aware that some of my readers are wondering, “Why all the footnotes?” in some of my posts. No, it’s not because I’m a lawyer and used to putting cites after everything. Or, not entirely.  I use them for three reasons.

The first has been drummed into me from all the reading I’ve done on genealogy, “Always cite your sources!”  The purpose of citation is to make sure you can find the source of each of your facts again; it also helps you (or someone else) judge the quality of your evidence and thus its credibility, and, if necessary, allows the research to be duplicated.  There is a specific approved format for genealogical research. I don’t know it yet. I just try to make sure that someone else can find it based on what I put in the citation. (I’ve ordered a book on how to do it the right way.)

The second reason is that I’m trying to avoid committing a copyright violation.  Bearing in mind that I am not a copyright lawyer, I’ll try to explain this. [Requisite legal disclaimer: I *am* a lawyer, but not *your* lawyer. This shouldn't be considered legal advice and does not form a lawyer-client relationship. If you want a real legal opinion, retain and speak to a lawyer who regularly works with copyright issues.]

The Copyright Act grants five rights to a copyright owner: the right to reproduce the copyrighted work; the right to prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work; the right to distribute copies of the work to the public; the right to perform the work publicly; and the right to display the copyrighted work publicly. It essentially prevents the unauthorized copying of a work of creative authorship.  There are some limitations on this right, and I’m only going to address those that come up in genealogical research and blogging about it, briefly. [If you’re interested in a more in depth discussion, see:  Copyright Fundamentals for Genealogy by Mike Goad and Copyright and the Old Family Photo by Judy G. Russell]  All that’s protected under copyright is the author’s original creative expression.  Facts and ideas can’t be copyrighted; but how one arranges those facts, and chooses to express the facts or ideas is, as long as there is some level of creativity involved. Another limitation is the concept of “fair use”, which has been developed through years and years of case law but has now been codified in Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is to be considered fair: (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work. It’s not always easy to determine whether something will be considered fair use or not, there are rooms full of long decisions parsing this out. There is no magic number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission, and acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission if such permission is required.  The safest course is to get permission before using the material (an emailed request to the copyright holder can save a lot of angst and stress).

Copyright can expire; when it does the item is then considered to be ‘in the public domain’ and anyone can use it. The duration of copyright protection depends on when the item was created, because the law has changed several times. Happily, for genealogical research, if it was created before 1923, there is no copyright on it anymore, so long as it was published (newspapers, magazine, yearbooks, books, etc.).  If it wasn’t published, it might still be protected by copyright.  The latter arises mostly with old photos, and the problem there is the copyright goes to the photographer and not to the owner of the photo unless it was assigned to the owner at some point.  And then there are about five discrete blocks of time with differing expiration times and conditions in the years since 1923. There’s a nice explanatory chart of those different effects, here.

So what is the punishment for violating copyright, you wonder? The copyright holder generally has to assert the copyright first and if you don’t take it down, then punishment can apply if your calculation as to “fair use” or “in the public domain” was off.  The punishment can range from fines ($200 to $150,000) and court costs to jail time.  
So the reason there were so many cites in the post on Myrtle Bailey was that the source of much of my information was newspaper articles (creative work subject to copyright) published since 1923 and through 1976. Now looking at the laws in effect then, I think most of it was in the public domain and I probably didn’t have to be that obsessive, but I hadn’t really looked it up until I wrote this post. I read a digest of  the copyright law over before starting blogging, but I didn’t refresh my memory before that post. Some of the newspaper articles were written late enough to be still covered, and, while I think my use ought to be considered fair use, I would have cited to the paper anyway.  In the future my posts will probably look a bit less like a treatise.

 Basically, in my blog, I’m going to try to avoid using copyrighted material, but if I do use it, I will cite to the original piece and author if I know it and hope that it falls under the fair use exception. If someone with claim to the copyright protests, I’ll remove whatever I’ve quoted, or the picture I’ve posted. Pictures of family posted in a family history blog that is not written for any sort of profit probably fall under fair use; I’ll still attribute the photographer if I can figure out who it is, to be safe. As I write more about people who lived before 1923, I’ll be less obsessive on the blog, but citations as to evidence will remain important to me in my research.

….Oh, right, the third reason I use cites is that I’m a lawyer and used to putting cites after everything! ;)

[There are no cites in this article because its a mix of facts and my own creative arrangement to those facts. I hold the copyright to this article (for my life plus 70 years!) which is why I have a "Copyright Information' paragraph on the Home page of the blog.] 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ancestor Highlight: Myrtle Bell Bailey, 1880-1970, Pentecostal Missionary to China and Hong Kong, My Great-Grand Aunt

Myrtle Bailey lived a fascinating life in some of the most tumultuous times and locations of the Twentieth Century. I was tempted to call it an adventurous life, but in researching her life for this essay, I was reminded of a quote from a book by Holly Lisle (The Silver Door), “Adventures are only interesting once you've lived to see the end of them. Before that, they are nothing but fear, and being too cold or too hot or too wet or too hungry, and getting hurt.” I expect Myrtle felt the same, given some of what she went through.

Myrtle Bell Bailey was born in Richmond Kansas to EdwardCarleton and Martha Emily (Wolfington) Bailey on January 2, 1880. She had four brothers and one sister. The family had moved to Findlay Ohio, by the time she was twenty.[i]   She joined the Assemblies of God mission Church in Findlay, and became active in the church. [ii]

Myrtle was born into a time when women’s primary role was as wives and mothers and keepers of the home; few women held jobs outside of their households.  But it was also a time when education was becoming mandatory for both genders in many states (so that the women could properly instruct children in the home), and if a single woman wanted more independence she could become a school teacher or a nurse, until she married. While women could not yet vote (and wouldn’t be able to until 1920, when Myrtle was over 40), the movement for women’s rights was becoming active in the country.

Myrtle Bailey lived at home with her parents until she was in her mid-thirties. She worked as a nurse at the Old Home and Hospital on Main Street in Findlay, and then attended and graduated from the Christian and Missionary Alliance College in Nyack NY.[iii] She became her church’s first foreign missionary in 1917, when she was sent to Fat Shan, China, which was a city near Canton. [iv] (picture of passport renewal application, from China, 1919. Found at Click to embiggen.)

Myrtle Bailey passport renewal application China 1919; Climbing My Family Tree

The Protestant foreign mission expansion movement was also underway during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It was initially held a field solely for men as it was considered too dangerous for women. But as the mission field expanded into China, it became obvious that women missionaries were needed since men were forbidden to talk to Chinese women. Many missionary women believed that the home was the most important institution of society, and thus, by reaching Chinese women, the women missionaries could influence Chinese families as well. Missionary women were also drawn to working to improve the lives of women in China, taking up the activist mantle working against foot-binding, infanticide of girl babies, and championing education for women to increase their standard of living. Ironically, while working as missionaries American women were freer, more independent, and more respected in China than in America, as they had to take up more responsibility to achieve their missionary goals. Their stature grew in America as well, as missionary women were periodically rotated back home and required to go on speaking tours to raise money for the support of the missions (during a time when most women were not allowed to speak from the front of the church or serve on church boards) because women wholeheartedly supported other women and were better at raising funds than the men.[v]

Myrtle Bailey lived and worked in Fat Shan, China for five years before being rotated home in the last six months of 1923 to go on a speaking fundraising tour of churches and other mission meetings in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri.  She returned to China shortly after January 1924.[vi] In July 1925, Myrtle was caught up in the beginning of a revolution that swept through China after an incident on May 30th where Sikh police under British command fired on a crowd of Chinese demonstrators in Shanghai, killing 9 and wounding many more. Wide-spread strikes against the British and Japanese followed involving hundreds of thousands of workers, along with mass protests and riots across the country.[vii] Anti-British pamphlets spread around the country, headed with a dagger through a heart.[viii] Myrtle’s co-worker, Mattie Ledbetter, of Alabama, had left Fat Shan because of ill health. On her way to Hong Kong she saw a fleet of gunboats loaded with soldiers formerly commanded by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen (one of leaders of the revolution whose death in March 1925 increased instability in the country) who were on their way to attack the Yuananese troops that occupied Fat Shan and Canton.  "Miss Ledbetter immediately dispatched word to Miss Bailey, informing her of the situation. Quickly assembling her belongings, she left posthaste for Hong Kong. Shortly afterward, the American Consul ordered all American citizens out of Fat Shan and Canton to prevent their lives from being endangered by the warring factions. So great was the necessity for speed that those washing their clothing packed the garments while they were still wet."[ix]

Arriving in Hong Kong on July 17, 1925, Myrtle immediately wired her home congregation in Findlay Ohio asking for $400 for her passage from China to Findlay [context: more than the cost of a car then]. When the message calling for financial help was received by the Assemblies of God Church in Findlay, a campaign was immediately launched to secure the $400 asked for. The amount of the money, however, was borrowed and wired that day to the Secretary of the Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, who, in turn, cabled it to Hong Kong.[x] She embarked for America on the Empress of Australia. She arrived in Findlay, on Sunday September 25, 1925.[xi] She was home when her father died in March 1926.[xii] (Photo of Passenger Registry for Empress of Australia, MB is on first line. Found on Click to embiggen.)

Passenger Registry for Empress of Australia, 1925; Climbing My Family Tree: Myrtle Bailey

Myrtle returned to China either in late 1926 or early 1927. An article in the Findlay Morning Republican on March 26, 1927, reported “Findlay persons who have journeyed to the Orient in hope of spreading the gospel are apparently in no immediate danger according to their friends and relatives who have been keeping close touch with the China situation. …Miss Myrtle Bailey, also of Findlay, and a graduate of the school [Christian and Missionary Alliance College], is reported safe in China.”[xiii] Civil war had broken out in China between the Nationalists and the Communists. In April, 1927, the Communists were crushed by Chiang Kai-Shek in what became known as the Shanghai Massacre wherein hundreds of communists were rounded up, arrested and tortured; most were executed or assassinated. It triggered a nationwide purge of Communists called The White Terror, which eventually caused the deaths of almost 50,000 communists.[xiv]

Upon her return to China, Myrtle moved her ministry to Hong Kong, China, a colony of the British Empire, which is located on a peninsula and several islands on the south coast of China, which neighbored what was then the Canton province.[xv] She lived on the peninsula, on the edge of Hong Kong’s foreign district.  While there she founded two “English” schools, one for boys and one for girls, and two Bible schools, and ran them with the help of three assistants. In 1935, she was seriously injured when struck by a streetcar in Hong Kong. She spent some time in the hospital and then was forced to take a two year furlough back in Ohio. She spent much of 1937 staying with her sister, Mrs. Pauline (Phillip) Snyder.[xvi] During her visit, Myrtle addressed numerous gatherings telling them of her missionary life and cause.[xvii]

Having received a “go-at-your-own-risk” permit issued by the State Department, Myrtle left Findlay, Ohio, on December 12, 1937, to return to Hong Kong, China, happy in the knowledge that she would soon be with her Chinese boy and girl students. Having lived among her charges so long she had become deeply attached to them and regards Hong Kong as her home. Her three assistants had been conducting the two English and Bible schools she established during her absence.[xviii]

Although the country was not then as peaceful as when she left, Myrtle did not fear for her safety. Despite the fact that severe fighting was going on in many regions of China, Hong Kong had been comparatively unharmed since it is a British Colony and the section was heavily patrolled by the British army and navy so that anxiety was minimized, her sister, Mrs. Phillip Snyder, told the local paper. “The greatest existing danger, Miss Bailey told her sister, is that huge quantities of munitions are stored in several secret ammunition dumps in the Hong Kong district and a stray shell or other accident might set one of them off and probably cause a heavy loss of property and life.”[xix]

Myrtle moved back to her home on the mainland at the very edge of Hong Kong’s foreign settlement, next to the Chinese section, and continued her ministry.  She had established two missions, two schools, one for boys and one for girls, opened a Bible school, and kept 15 orphans in her home. She was 57.[xx]

On December 7, 1941, coordinated with the attack on Pearl Harbor, were surprise attacks by the Japanese against Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, and other Far East areas where many Assemblies of God missionaries were serving.[xxi] Myrtle said that “Hong Kong thought it was prepared, but it was caught off guard. The Japanese crept in from the back, camouflaged by weeds and grass. They were in front of Hong Kong before the British saw them move.” Later, on a ferry, one British soldier told her that the Japanese outnumbered the Allies in Hong Kong 20 to 1. She described the night, “The attack was sudden. First the bombers set fire to the aerodromes then they stormed the warehouses where a two year food supply was stored. The Allies could do nothing but retreat to Hong Kong Island.” She said that most of the damage was done in the tenement districts; most of the government buildings and banks were saved. The Japanese took the house opposite her for Red Cross headquarters [Note: referring to Japanese high command, per the Red cross on Japanese flag and not the international relief agency, I think]. Three other houses near hers were taken for barracks. One Japanese officer lived on the second floor of her home. “They just took what they wanted,” she told her sponsoring church, many months after the ordeal.[xxii]

Myrtle was “lucky” in that she was never interned in a camp; on the other hand, she was kept virtually a prisoner in her own home for seven and a half months by the Japanese. Myrtle told her hometown newspaper that she had eight large bags of food, supplied by the Red Cross (the international relief agency) in her home when the bombings came. Fifty people were in her home during the bombings, between the school children, other missionaries, and an elderly Chinese woman who could not walk because her feet had been bound as a child; Myrtle, 61, tried to take care of all of them. The Japanese rationed out one handful of rice per person per day. “I know what starvation is,” Myrtle said. “The older girls knitted for the Japs to get food, and the younger girls sold candy and cakes on the streets. We sold our furniture – everything, even to the typewriter.”[xxiii] It was reported to the Assemblies of God church by other sources that a thousand people a day were dropping dead in the street a day due to starvation. In one hospital alone 600 people died daily from starvation.[xxiv]

Finally word came through a Red Cross relief agency representative that she could leave but could only take four suitcases with her.[xxv] The American government had arranged a repatriation exchange of Japanese diplomatic and business civilians who were in America and Brazil, when the Pearl Harbor bombing occurred, for diplomatic and other official government personnel, businessmen, teachers, missionaries, tourists and others trapped in Japan and China. The Americans chartered the Swedish liner Gripsholm to carry the 1500 Japanese Nationals and make the exchange.[xxvi] Myrtle departed Hong Kong on the Japanese ship Asama Maru, on June 30, 1942. There were 500 to 700 missionaries on the ship, she said.[xxvii]  After embarking at Hong Kong, the Amasa Maru, went to other ports picking up refugees for repatriation.  The ship transported 1,500 Americans and allies from the Japanese Empire and the ports of Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Saigon.[xxviii]

Departing the United States east coast, the Swedish ship Gripsholm had a huge sign painted on the sides signifying the vessel as "Diplomatic. “As it steamed toward its destination it was ablaze at night with lights to alert Allied submarine captains not to attack.  The Asama Maru had large white crosses painted on its sides, hopefully to mark safe passage from marauding American submarines. Since the advent of hostilities the Japanese would not permit their exchange vessels to cross the Pacific. As a result, the East African port of Lourenco Marques in Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique) was selected for the exchange as it was the closest neutral territory to Japan.[xxix]
Climbing My Family Tree: Myrtle Bailey, Gripsholm Repatriation voyage 1942

Upon arriving at the east African port on July 24, the transfer of passengers from one ship to another took about four hours, as the ships moored alongside one another. The Japanese disembarked from the Gripsholm, on one gangway at the bow, while the Americans embarked on another at the stern. On board the Amasa Maru, the refugees had lived, in horribly unsanitary conditions, and were fed two cups of rice per day, from which they had to spend 30 minutes taking the worms from the rice before eating. Once, loaded on the Gripsholm, the 1500 Americans and allied refugees had to wait on Gripsholm’s deck while the cabins were cleaned. There were buffets prepared on the decks, and many Americans kneeled and prayed when they saw the food, while the Swedish crew wept. The Gripsholm left Lorenco Marques (Mozambique) with 1,510 passengers on board, of whom just under 600 were missionaries and their families and 300 were children. It traveled south, around the cape of Africa to South America, where it stopped at Rio de Janeiro, on August 1, to drop off South American diplomats and their families.[xxx] Myrtle Bailey was able to mail a letter to her sister, Pauline Snyder, to tell her that she would be arriving in approximately two weeks (it was the first letter Pauline had received from Myrtle since November 1941). On August 25, 1942 the Gripsholm docked on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River.[xxxi] [First picture is of the Passenger list for the Gripsholm, noting departure from Lorenco Marques. MB is on Line 6. Found at Second picture is of the Gripsholm itself, with the word "DIPLOMAT" painted in huge letters on the side. Click to embiggen. ]

Climbing My Family Tree : Passenger list Gripsholm repatriation voyage 1942

Myrtle was very weary when she arrived, so she intended to rest for a few days in New York before going on to Ohio; but when she received the sad news of the death of her niece, Mrs. Christine Buntz, victim of an auto accident the prior week, she immediately left for Findlay, Ohio, where she stayed with her sister, Mrs. Pauline Snyder.[xxxii] Following her recovery, she spoke at various mission meetings & services in October 1942 (per newspaper invitation squib, she graphically described the bombings) through early November, 1944.[xxxiii]

On September 20, 1947, the local paper noted, “Miss Myrtle Bailey, who has been visiting with her sister, Mrs. Pauline Snyder, 535 Tiffin Avenue, will leave today for San Francisco where she will embark for Hong Kong to return to her work in the mission field which was interrupted by the Japanese Invasion five years ago. The mission school and girls school has resumed operation while Miss Bailey hopes to get a Bible school and a boys school started.”[xxxiv] On July 22, 1948, the paper printed a one sentence notice that, “Miss Myrtle Bailey, former Findlay resident, now serving as a missionary in Hong Kong, may be reached through General Delivery, Colony of Hong Kong.”[xxxv] She stayed in Hong Kong until she retired in 1954 at the age of 74.[xxxvi]

Myrtle moved back to Ohio, where she joined the Christian Women’s Temperance Union, and gave talks about her missionary experience.[xxxvii]

Myrtle had one more adventure that made the local newspaper. This one was much more of the fun sort. On March 30, 1964, the Findlay Republican Courier ran a picture of her and the actor Vicktor S. Yung, with the following caption: “Hop Sing (Victor S. Yung), cook in the television show “Bonanza”, displays some of his culinary art in preparing an Easter dinner of Chinese food for Miss Myrtle Bailey here yesterday. Miss Bailey is a great-aunt of Mrs. Jack Snyder, Elm Rd, in whose home the meal was prepared. Miss Bailey, a retired missionary, spent 33 years in China. Upon reading of Mr. Yung’s visit with the Marathon Oil Company here, she called the actor at his hotel and the two engaged in a true Cantonese conversation. The Chinese food for the retired Miss Bailey was the result.”[xxxviii]  Click to see (I hope - I've tried several different ways to set this up): Newspaper photo

On October 27, 1970, Myrtle B. Bailey, 90, of 1102 Hurd Ave., died at 2:15 p.m. at Blanchard Valley Hospital. She had been ill for the past month. She had been living with her grand-niece Mrs. Jack (Betty) Snyder. A sister, Mrs. Phillip A. (Pauline) Snyder, at 719 E. Sandusky St, survived her, as did many nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, October 30, at the Kirkpatrick-Hawkins Funeral Home, with the Reverend Howard Spriggs officiating. She was buried in Maple Grove Cemetery.[xxxix]

[Myrtle Bell Bailey's sister Pauline Bailey Snyder is my great-grandmother -- my mother's paternal grandmother.]

[i] 1900 Federal Census.
[ii] HISTORY OF FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD, The Republican Courier (Findlay Ohio),28 June 1976, p. J5 []
[iii] HANCOCK COUNTY, FINDLAY AREA DEATHS, Myrtle B. Bailey, The Republican Courier (Findlay, Ohio), 29 October 1970 p. 14 [];1900 & 1910 Federal Census; 1916 passport application National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Passport Applications for Travel to China, 1906-1925; Collection Number: ARC Identifier 1244180 / MLR Number A1 540; Box #: 4428; Volume #: 15. (found at U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007.)
[iv] HISTORY OF FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD, The Republican Courier, supra.
[v] Hunter, Jane (1984), The Gospel of Gentility: American Women Missionaries in Turn-of-the-Century China, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.
[vi] The Morning Republican (Findlay Ohio), 16 June 1923.p. 5 , p. 5; 21 June 1923 p. 5; 26 June 1923 , p. 12; 31 August 1923 , p. 6; 30 January 1924, 2  []
[vii]  MISSIONARY TO BE RETURNED TO FINDLAY, The Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth Ohio), 17 July 1925 p. 2 []; CABLES $400 TO FINDLAY WOMAN TO ESCAPE ORIENT, The Morning Republican (Findlay, Ohio) 19 July 1925, p.2 [];
[viii] MISSIONARY, COMPELLED TO LEAVE CHINA, RETURNS HERE, The Morning Republican (Findlay, Ohio), 12 September 1925 p.9 []
[ix]  MISSIONARY, COMPELLED TO LEAVE CHINA, RETURNS HERE, The Morning Republican (Findlay, Ohio), 12 September 1925 p.9 [] and
[xii] Edward C. Bailey, death date: and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.
[xiii] CHURCH WORKERS BELIEVED SAFE, The Morning Republican (Findlay Ohio), 26 March 1927 p. 9 []
[xvi]  WAR TORN CHINA GOAL OF WOMAN, The Republican Courier (Findlay, Ohio), 12 December 1937 p. 5 []
[xvii] Per The Republican Courier of Findlay Ohio [] and the Times Recorder of Zanesville Ohio [], (multiple dates) MBB speaks at various Mission meetings & services on November 15, 24, & 25, 1936, April 19, 1937 and August 21, 1937.
[xix]  Ibid.
[xx] MISSIONARY TELLS OF JAP BOMBINGS, The Republican Courier, 21 September 1942, p. 3 (Findlay, Ohio) []; Obituary, The Republican Courier (Findlay, Ohio), 28 October 1970 p. 12 []
[xxi] Assemblies of God Heritage Magazine, Vol. II, No. 4, Winter 1991-1992, p. 4
[xxii] MISSIONARY TELLS OF JAP BOMBINGS, The Republican Courier, 21 September 1942, p. 3 (Findlay, Ohio) []
[xxiii] Ibid, and family stories.
[xxiv] Assemblies of God Heritage Magazine, Vol. II, No. 4, Winter 1991-1992, p. 7.
[xxxi] MISSIONARY RETURNS, The Republican Courier, 18 August 1942 p. 13 (Findlay Ohio); MISSIONARY NOW HOME, The Republican Courier, 14 September 1942, p. 12 (Findlay Ohio); MISSIONARY TELLS OF JAP BOMBINGS, Supra.   []
[xxxii] MISSIONARY NOW HOME, supra.
[xxxiii] Per various articles in The Republican Courier (Findlay, Ohio) [], MBB speaks at various mission meetings & services on October 10, 22, & 29, 1942, January 14, 1943, February 6, 1943, March 18, 1944, April 20, 1944, June 27, 1944, and November 3, 1944.
[xxxiv] LEAVING FOR CHINA, The Republican Courier, 20 September 1947 p. 9 (Findlay Ohio) []
[xxxv]  The Republican Courier, 22 July 1948 p. 5 (Findlay Ohio) []
[xxxvii] The Republican Courier (Findlay Ohio), 13 December 1954  []
[xxxviii] The Republican Courier, 30 March 1964, p. 4 (Findlay Ohio) []
[xxxix]  The Republican Courier (Findlay, Ohio), 28 October 1970 p. 12; The Republican Courier (Findlay, Ohio), 29 October 1970, p. 14 []