Archive for June, 2013

Gertrude Myrtle Celeste Agnew Worley

June 24, 2013

This was the name of the twin sister of my Grandpa John Wesley Agnew, both born Aug.17, 1892. Looked at some of her records on ancestry today and found that she & her husband had FIVE children, the YOUNGEST being Norma M. who came to live w/ my Grandma & Grandpa after their parents both died, Gertrude in 1935 and Burl in 1938. I never thought about it before but now wonder, what happened to the other kids??  Also never knew her name of Celeste, very pretty name.


Myrtle died at the age of 43. I knew she had died young (I don’t know what of), and that her daughter Norma came to live with my grandparents, John & Mary Agnew. Norma was 8 yrs old when her mother died, & then her father died 3 years later. That’s another story– what happened with Norma.  Why did only Norma come to John & Mary? The Agnews are just something else.

 Also, this WED the 27th will be the 107th anniversary of James Agnew’s death, from a fall off a ladder, while painting a house with one of his sons. He died June 27, 1906 at the age of 65. His WIFE, Carrie, lived 10 more years but was only 56 when she died, in an insane asylum in southern Indiana. Myrtle and John, being the youngest children of James & Carrie, were only 14 years old when their father died in the fall off a ladder. Reading about the Agnews is just a lot of loss, at young ages, of many loved ones.

researching the Brinks / Ingbringhoffs

June 21, 2013

Decided to research my Grandma Cena’s sisters this afternoon & spent the last hour & 1/2 on ONE of them, the oldest, Fannie.

Martin & Trena Brink immigrated & had 5 daughters, Fannie Flora, Martha, Clara, Cena. I remember Aunt Fannie. She always wore long black dresses, & like most of the Dutch women I remember from my childhood, always seemed happy. She wore her hair pulled back into a sort of bun. I remember her smiling.
Learned she was born in Holland– Hetbildt, Holland to be exact. She married at age 20 a Hermann Bouwkamp. He is the ancestor of Bouwkamp Realty in Lafayette. I also remember many of the Bouwkamps & used to go to family picnics w/ them.
Fannie never became a citizen of the US, from what I see in the census. She and Hermann had 5 BOYS, and then– lo & behond– a GIRL. The GIRL was named “Rena” and then “Lena” in the census. I finally figured out, THIS WAS MY GREAT AUNT TINA, who befriended my mom in her last few years, never rejected her for her alcohol problem & in fact brought her back into the Dutch Reformed church & they used to have Bible study together. I have the utmost respect for my Aunt Tina. She was a great lady. She outlived my mom— and I never heard anything of her death, but through this research today, learned she died in 2011— 4 years after my mom— at the age of 98.
Hermann Bouwkamp became a citizen, always listed himself as a “farmer” or “farm laborer” and could not write English in 1900.

Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah no.45-48

June 7, 2013

A long time ago on this blog, I was posting one of these every once in awhile. They are little meditations from a small book written by the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah, which He wrote while walking along the Tigris river after being banished from Iran. (See previous post.) It seems timely to publish this next one in honor of the suffering of the Bahai’s of Iran, their largest religious minority:

“O SON OF BEING! Seek a martyr’s death in My path, content with My pleasure and thankful for that which I ordain, that thou mayest repose with Me beneath the canopy of majesty behind the tabernacle of glory.”

and let’s post the next one along with it, to progress further through this book until it is done. Perhaps I will post one every Friday from now on:

no.46: “O SON OF MAN! Ponder and reflect. Is it thy wish to die upon thy bed, or to shed thy life-blood on the dust, a martyr in My path, and so become the manifestation of My command and the revealer of My light in the highest paradise? Judge thou aright, O servant!”

no.47: “O SON OF MAN! By My beauty! To tinge thy hair with thy blood is greater in My sight than the creation of the  universe and the light of both worlds. Strive then to attain this, O servant!”

All of those are speaking in the tradition of martyrdom. This sounds foreign to those of us in the West, and it has nothing to do with the misguided terrorism going on today. It’s more like the early Christians: Persecution. And it’s more like Peter: You always have a choice. In the end, with all of Peter’s devotion, he denied Christ 3X. Or of course the prime example is Judas. For 3 pieces of gold or silver, he handed Christ over to the murderers. The Bahai’s in Iran always have a choice: Just deny your faith. But that’s like denying God. People should have the freedom to believe and worship how they believe, as long as it does not harm anyone else.

At any rate, let’s end with this last Hidden Word no.48:

“O SON OF MAN! For everything there is a sign. The sign of love is fortitude under My decree and patience under My trials.”

Can I hear, Amen?


Brutal treatment of the Bahai’s in Iran

June 7, 2013

The Baha’i Faith started in Iran in 1844. It came out of Islam the same way Christianity came out of Judaism. It is an independent world religion that believes in the unity of humankind, the elimination of all forms of prejudice, the education and equality of women with men, free education of all children of the world, a balance of the truths of science and religion, and other such uplifting beliefs. One of the Baha’i beliefs is obedience to one’s government. They also do not deny their faith. In Iran, they have been severely persecuted since their beginning there. Since the Baha’i Faith came after Islam, they are considered a heretic religion. The same way Pontius Pilate allowed persecution and crucifixion of Christ, the Baha’is are denied justice in the court system, educational system, marriage and family institution, funeral and burial practices, and any other basic human right allowed other peoples. In the Faith’s beginning, same as the Christians were treated in the time of and immediately after Christ, they were put in prison, tortured and killed in horrible ways. Today it is becoming even worse and more barbaric than a few decades ago. When you deny education to a nation of people, they become more & more barbaric and without a sense of justice and morality. They become worse than animals, subjecting their fellow human beings to barbaric cruelty without remorse. Baha’i students are denied access to colleges just on the basis of their religion. Mothers are being put into prison with their children, and parents put into prison without their children, leaving the children at home stranded, just for saying prayers within their own home. This is the world we live in. We are one world, one human people. I long for the time when peoples of the world will rise up and collectively demand nothing less than a just and peaceful world.

“Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education alone will cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.”

“The earth is one country and mankind its citizens.”

“Now is the time to cheer and refresh the downcast through the envigorating breeze of love and fellowship.” — Baha’i Writings.

This is the story of Farzaneh and Rouhi’s brother ( Perth) which happened recently.
“The judge promptly ordered Kashani to be beaten in the courtroom”
     One of the six Baha’is from Gorgan is Kamal Kashani. According to sources in Iran, guards entered his home and confiscated books, computers, CDs, even wall hangings. Two hours later the guards arrested him and took him in for questioning. He has been in prison ever since.
      Kashani’s wife, Parisa, went to the police station everyday asking for his whereabouts. Finally, after 4 days she received a handwritten note from her husband requesting warm clothing. She was finally granted a visit with her husband after one month of his arrest. She was shocked at how much weight he had lost. She recounts that he had been severely beaten and his fingers were so skinny that his wedding ring would no longer stay on his finger.
      Another Baha’i from Gorgan, Farhad Fahandezh, was beaten so badly that he was transferred to Tehran in an ambulance. One Baha’i prisoner remembers an Iranian official telling his torturer that he was permitted to beat Baha’is as much as he wanted, but was not permitted to kill them for fear of international media attention.
     Kashani’s first court appearance was last February, four months after his initial arrest. At this time he had not been officially charged with specific crimes.
     At the court hearing, Kashani’s lawyer explained to the judge that he had not been granted ample time with his client. The judge planned to sentence Kashani and the other Baha’is from Gorgan after 30 minutes. However, the judge agreed to postpone the trial for three months so that the lawyer could prepare a defense.
     Kashani and the other Baha’is from Gorgan had their second and apparently final court date on April 24. The judge spoke to each prisoner for about 10 minutes. He asked Kashani why he was organizing gatherings for the “service of humanity.” Kashani replied that Baha’is are not permitted to organize gatherings in Iran. The judge then asked him if he prayed at home. “Of course,” Kashani said. The judge asked whether he prayed with his family. Again, Kashani replied affirmatively. The judge then explained that these family prayers amounted to illegal Baha’i gatherings.
     The judge promptly ordered Kashani to be beaten in the courtroom. Severely injured, Kashani could hardly stand for the remainder of the hearing.
The judge announced that he would hand down a sentence the following week. However, the ruling was delayed for nearly a month because the judge reportedly went on pilgrimage to Mecca.
     As the imprisoned Gorgan Baha’is were awaiting the judge’s ruling in Gohardasht prison, Kashani’s wife Parisa was arrested in Gorgan on May 8, which meant that her four children were left home alone. Similar arrest warrants were issued for the wives of the other imprisoned Baha’is from Gorgan.
      After a week and a half, authorities in Gorgan finally confirmed to the children that their mother was in custody. On May 20, Parisa was suddenly released after her children paid a steep fee, which prison officials had demanded.
     On May 22, Kashani and most of the other Baha’is from Gorgan were sentenced to five years in prison. This is the second prison sentence for Kashani. He served a five year term after the 1979 revolution. His brother, Jamal Kashani, was also executed by the Islamic Republic in 1984.
     The experience of Kamal Kashani and the other Baha’is from the city of Gorgan is but one example of Iran’s human rights crisis. Iran’s persecution of Baha’is is one of the most “extreme manifestations of religious intolerance and persecution” in the world, according to UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt.
“Where there is love,
nothing is too much trouble,
and there is always time.”

ancestor Thomas Mitchell

June 5, 2013

We are so Western European. One of mine & my siblings’ 7th great-grandfathers, Thomas Mitchell, immigrated from Ulster Ireland in 1722 at the age of 42, & died in Lancaster County, PA in 1734, age 54. He left a will & had land. They were Presbyterian. We don’t seem to be descended much from Catholics. His great-granddaughter Rebecca Mitchell, married Alexander Reid who was the great-great-grandfather of my Grandma Mary Reid Agnew.

Thomas Mitchell (1680 – 1734) — b.Ulster, Ireland, immigrated 1722.
is your 7th great grandfather
John Mitchell (1709 – 1762)
son of Thomas Mitchell
Robert Mitchell (1734 – 1810)
son of John Mitchell
Rebecca Mitchell (1761 – 1841)
daughter of Robert Mitchell
Thomas Reid (1800 – 1884)
son of Rebecca Mitchell
Alexander J. Reid (1829 – 1909)
son of Thomas Reid
Charles S. Reid (1865 – 1917)
son of Alexander J. Reid
Mary Frances Reid (1899 – 1976)
daughter of Charles S. Reid
John Thomas Agnew (1918 – 1969)
son of Mary Frances Reid
Carol Agnew Black
You are the daughter of John Thomas Agnew