Agnes Mary Kherley Newport


agnes mom evelyn (smallest)
Agnes (?) with Evelyn and Lucille ca. 1937


  • Ruby Sodawater  Kherley Walker, 1883-1923 (unconfirmed dates)
  • John Kherley, 1871-1910 (unconfirmed dates)


  • Mary Charlotte Kherley, 1899-1947
  • Fred W. Kherley, 1906-1987

Kherley, Kherly, Kerley, Kerly, Curley, Curly, Curry. Any of these spellings finds my maternal ancestors in censuses, newspaper articles, and government documents. “Kherli”, our surname, originates in the German area of Switzerland. Some past census takers confuse Switzerland with Sweden. For my sisters who think we are Swedish, it is unlikely.

Agnes Mary Kherley Newport is the grandmother I never met, the woman who abandons her children and whom we judge harshly for that action.

The picture above, the only one we have of Agnes, shows my mother on the right, little Evelyn with her head bowed in the center, and Agnes. Or does it? Evelyn appears at least two, if not older, leading me to believe this is from summer 1937 at the earliest. The tallest looks young for a 32 to a 34-year-old woman. Is that Irma at fourteen years old instead of Agnes? My mother says no.

1905: Age 1

agnes curley at 1 in a strange house
Charles Johnson – 47 – Farmer

A one-year-old Agnes Curley appears on the 1905 New York State Census. Who are Charles Johnson and Frank Arnold? Note that Charles is born in Sweden! Agnes Curley born in 1904 in the 1905 New York State Delaware County census may not be our Agnes Kherley, but there are many coincidences. This is an area for future research.1

We know from the Colchester, Delaware County, New York 19002 census before Agnes’ birth that John Kherley and Ruby Sodawater marry in 1898. By 1900 Mary is born. Where is the family in1905?

1910: Age 6

(to be continued…)


1New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: E.D. 05; City: Hancock; County: Delaware

2Year: 1900; Census Place: Colchester, Delaware, New York; Roll: 1021; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 0005; FHL microfilm: 1241021.


Ernest Arthur Newport

ernest or earnest newport in his early 20s b nov 24 1896 (2)
Ernest Arthur Newport (1896-1935) in his early 20s


  • Mary Sodawater Newport, 1876-before 1930
  • August Albert Newport; 1861-1937


  • Fred W. Newport, 1895-1895
  • Reuben Albert Newport, 1898–1952
  • Florence A Newport, 1900–1972
  • Frances A Newport, 1900–1966

This initial narrative is a series of discoveries about the Newport family where research is a challenge for every person in the tree. When friends tell me they completed their family tree after a six-month stint with, I am envious, and a tad skeptical. How is it possible I bump into so many brick walls?

My mother, a foster child in the 1930s, lives with several families during her childhood. The Caffrey farm is home during her high school years where a special bond develops. That family seems more like kin than her own brothers and sisters.

I met Newport first cousins long ago leaving me with vague memories, no names or faces that I recollect. Although my mother’s siblings reconnect later in life, by then I was raising my family far away from Pennsylvania in Florida, Texas, and California. Stories and pictures of her birth family are scarce and treasured.

The beginning is a grandfather whom I never met. Ernest Arthur Newport is born to Mary and Albert Newport in the agricultural community of Manchester Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania, bordering the Delaware River and New York State. It is 1896. William McKinley defeats William Jennings Bryan for the presidency three weeks before Ernest‘s birth on Tuesday, November 24th and the Panic of 1896 turns around. Ernest is the second son of Albert and Mary following the loss of six-month-old Fred the previous December. 1

1900: Age 3

The first public record of Ernest is the 1900 US Census taken on Thursday, June 7, 1900, by George W. Lord in Manchester Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. He is the oldest child of 39-year-old Albert and 23-year-old Mary. His younger brother Reuben is one and a half. Three and a half-year-old Ernest was born a little over two years after his father married Mary, sixteen years his junior.

The Newport family lives close by Ernest’s paternal grandfather and grandmother, William and Mary Eva Newport, both born in Germany. Albert and Mary likely heard German spoken during their childhood in their respective homes since Mary‘s parents are natives of Germany, too. William and Mary Eva Newport are both alive until Ernest is ten affording a European influence and second language exposure.

All the children born to Albert and Mary survive according to the census. However, as noted above, six-month-old Fred W. Newport died December 12th, 1895 of “nausea”. The assumption is that the same Mary is Fred‘s mother, and they do not report the death of their first child on the 1900 census.

Neither Reuben nor Ernest attends a school which isn’t surprising at the time given their young age. However, the census reports their mother Mary cannot read or write, and that is unusual in 1900.2

1910: Age 13

Ernest is next found in the 1910 US Census taken on Thursday, April 28, 1910, by Willard Lord in Manchester Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. A new younger sister Frances follows Albert, Ernest, and Reuben on the page, but missing are two members of the family, mother Mary and Frances’ identical twin, Florence. The twins were born in September 1900 after they took the census.

Local newspapers print several articles regarding divorce proceedings against Mary Newport by Albert in 1902 and 1903.3

1918: Age 21

Near the end of World War I Ernest registers to serve his country. The June 5th draft card describes a tall man of medium build with blue eyes and brown hair employed by Ivan Stern’s in Hancock, New York. E. R. Graham signs the Army paperwork along with a stamp: Local Board for Division No. 1, for County of Delaware, State of New York, Delhi, N.Y.4

m g training school camp, camp hancock, augusta, georgia
M.G. Training School Camp, Camp Hancock, Augusta, Georgia5

The induction into the Army on August 27, 1918, occurs at the same location followed by a long train trip to Augusta, Georgia. They station Ernest at the Machine Gun Training Center of the Camp Hancock Casual Detachment as Enlisted Regular Army, National Guard, Enlisted Reserve Corps at the rank of Private. It is a coincidence that “Hancock” is both the name of where he lives in New York and the training center in Georgia.

1919: Age 22

The war ends shortly afterward on November 11, 1918. Ernest travels back north to New Jersey where the army releases him at Camp Dix on February 3, 1919. All of his military service is stateside.6

1920: Age 23

No 1920 census record exists for Ernest Newport in Manchester Township, Pennsylvania. However, a 23-year-old “Everet” lives on Adema Road in nearby Hancock, New York. He is single with a job as a wood chopper at Chem Co. Stories tell of Ernest working in an acid factory and in a wood factory.

Hancock, NY is home when he joins the army in 1918 and I believe this is our Ernest Newport back in Hancock in 1920. Despite the spelling difference, Everet vs Ernest, it is plausible that he returns to his pre-war job. The only troubling point on this census is his parents’ places of birth, both being given as New York. Perhaps someone other than Ernest gave incorrect information to the census taker because we believe Albert is born in Connecticut and Mary in Canada.7

1930: Age 33

The 1930 US Census is taken on Saturday, May 10, 1930, by Stanley Chambers in Manchester Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. Ernest’s wife is Agnes Kehrley whom he marries when she is 16, or not. Their oldest daughter, Irma, later in life told my mother they never did wed.  Although we do need to find the marriage certificate, the information is not credible considering the number of documents and references that exist referring to “the spouse“.

Ernest and Agnes have four children by 1930,  ages ranging from 3 months to 8 years old. His brother, Reuben, lives with them. Their father Albert Newport, on the next census page,  is a widow and the head of the household in which he is the sole occupant. My mother recently told me Albert lives up the hill from their house.   He bounces the grandkids on his knee as he sings a children’s rhyme. (What is the name of this song or the words mom told me?)

There are several discrepancies from previous censuses. The takers note both Ernest’s and Agnes’ mothers as born in Canada. From the information I have now, their maiden names were the same, Sadenwater or Sodawater.  Just a few lines up on the same page we find a Fred Sodawater, born in Canada – English. His parents, born in Germany, means they wrote their children as born in Canada – German. I find this interesting considering Hitler gains power in Europe starting about this time. Whether born in Canada, Canada – German or Canada – English, we see the three Sodawater entries on that Manchester Township page have one thing in common: Mary, Ruby, and Fred, are noted as born in the country of Canada.

We also see Ernest’s sister Frances is now married to Floyd Turner with a child of her own.

As my mother tells, her father is a hard-working dairy farmer who also owns a sawmill which he operates with the help of his brother, Reuben. This thirty-three-year-old father of four purchases home and property from Dr. Frisbee for whom he once worked. It is valued at $2000, rather upscale for the area.8

(We hope she will draw out the floor plan of that large farmhouse with a long front porch as she remembers it.)

1934: Age 37

Ernest does not live to the next census. March 26, 1934, he is granted five months of veteran’s compensation valued at $50.00 total. 9 Is he ill?

1935: Age 38

March 17, 1935, Ernest succumbs at 38 to lobar pneumonia with contributory chronic myocarditis. Dr. F. C. Frisbee, his friend and former employer and owner of Ernest’s property, is the attending physician. His brother, Reuben, is the informant.  Less than one month later his daughter, Evelyn, is born on April 9th.

Agnes is a widow with six children ranging in age from newborn to twelve at thirty-one during the Depression Era.10

Ernest Newport rests on private Newport property in Manchester Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania.11


1Wayne County, Penna.; Register of Deaths. 1895.

2Year: 1900; Census Place: Manchester, Wayne, Pennsylvania; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0120; FHL microfilm: 1241495.

3Year: 1910; Census Place: Manchester, Wayne, Pennsylvania; Roll: ; Page: ; Enumeration District: ; Image: .

4Registration State: New York; Registration County: Delaware; Roll: 1712301: Draft Board: 1.

5Shulman, Isaac, Copyright Claimant. M.G. Training School Camp, Camp Hancock, Augusta, Georgia. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

6Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948;; Operations, Inc.; 2015; Provo, UT, USA.

7Year: 1920; Census Place: Hancock, Delaware, New York; Roll: T625_1096; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 163

8Year: 1930; Census Place: Manchester, Wayne, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2154; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 19; Image: 761.0. Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

10Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1965; Certificate Number Range: 031501-034500.

11Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-1999,, Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1929–1990. Digital Images, 3–5. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Bureau of Archives and History. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,

We finished the last episode of TMITHC, we are floundering

Man in the High Castle (1st Edition).pngMy husband and I need something new to watch. This is a lame subject for today’s blog, but I really thought I would just zip off a short biography that was to be my #52ancestors post for the week. It’s not done, AND we have nothing on deck for TV time, better known to me as my to crochet hours.

I totally misjudged not only how much information I have on my grandfather, but also how long it would take to compose a readable document. It’s going to take days. Until then, I have to come up with something to post…or not. All my organization and planning did not help.

So Philip K. Dick wrote of alternate universes while the rest of the world was trying to get to the moon. Fun stuff. Now what to watch?


The 2018 Holiday Season

robin thicke
Robin Thicke and Band

The Riverside Festival of Lights shuttered yesterday. We began the season in November by walking downtown, about a mile and a half, to watch the switch on of that Mission Inn Christmas display. You will find numerous beautiful pictures of those lights, but that picture of Robin Thicke above was taken by us. Fireworks followed lights and continued for several minutes before the singer took the stage. I was there specifically to hear “Blurred Lines” and despite being knocked down, the experience was just as wonderful as I anticipated.

On the 10th we celebrate my husband’s birthday and then our decorations will be packed away for another year, too. It went so quickly. We had lots of company, a few Scrabble games, a trip to San Diego with friends and good food.

The best.

Easy way to use up scraps of yarn and get an extra blanket

Easy Stash Buster Crochet Blanket – Scrapghan

One of my projects for 2019 was to crochet or knit a thousand Christmas ornaments from my scrap yarn. It’s typical of me to devise a project that is impossible to complete. You can see how ridiculous that idea is yourself.

Before the start of the new year and the ornament production, we had lots of overnight company in our little home. Blankets were scarce.  That’s when I began searching for ways to use up my yarn in afghans or larger. To be honest, once again I was thinking a thousand squares and joining that pile into one or two blankets.

While searching for patterns, I found the Jayda InStitches YouTube Channel with this Scapghan tutorial which works up quickly.

As she says “It’s the Ultimate Odd-Ball, Stash-Buster Project! Grab a big hook, all your leftover yarn and Let’s Stitch Up A Blanket Together!” (click this link to watch)

Just about any yarn can be used, including mixing leftovers of varying fiber content. You will just wash to the most delicate yarn which is a good idea for a like new finish no matter what you use.

Move past the overly chipper attitude and granny square beginning and watch to the end.  It is totally worth bearing with for the simple genius of the solution to an oddball stash of yarn.

My hook size is N – 9.00 mm. I am using all acrylic/poly yarns as I had those separated out from the wool. The half-double crochet stitch results in a nice tight weave and a warm blanket. Okay, plus I can pay attention to all my Brit shows and not a complicated pattern.

It’s possible I will be making two more, one from cotton and one from wool which includes lots of needlepoint yarns. The end is three blankets, and three empty banker box size bins.

We will have a party to celebrate., light bulb on and a bonus

jan 5 2 gives you

I am a long time Thesaurus user when writing. Yes, it may be difficult to tell as you read along, but imagine how much more dreadful the words on this page would be without word prompts. sat awkwardly on another tab, and at times, on a desktop space-gobbling second screen.

Now I have the app, right on my phone next to me. So convenient. Did you know this years ago and forget {{{wink}}} to tell me?

The word of the day bonus pops up first thing in the morning, along with my reminder to exercise. Until today those words were dreadfully wimpy. In case you also don’t recognize the vintage 1800s word, douceur, here’s the definition:

jan 5 1

Back of hand sweeping to her forehead, with douceur, I’m off to wash the dishes.

New Love – The Disc Bound System

img_1003 (2)

I learned about disc binding just a few weeks ago in a chance conversation with my sister. Yes, indeed where have I been? It is just the solution I needed for the many pages of my book previously held in an awkward page-sticking three-ring binder. Now those papers are punched in a way that they can be turned, rearranged and removed easily.

I watched disc bound videos for a few days in which crafty women with perfect makeup, nails, and hair showed me how they use their binders. Although you may think I am crafty, I’m not. I knit, crochet and sew and do a few old-timey handwork projects, but I am proud to say, I have never ever done scrapbooking or much of anything in bright colors or pastels and definitely nothing adorable. (I carry around a darker attitude because I have no dishwasher.) My bindings will be simple unless I discover lots of free time and the willingness to use it peeling and positioning those cute stickers included with just about every planner pack.

Disc bound for me was at first a means to an end…easily rearranging items for my book. However, within hours I could envision organizing my financials and day to day activities using the system.

When I finally made a decision on Levenger, my husband looked at the pricey package deal and said, “This is a fad. It will not last. Something better will come along.” In fact, Andre Tomas and Andre Martin invented the first disc-binding system in the 1940s, about 70 years ago!  Unfortunately, it did not make its way to the United States for widespread use that early. I’m thinking back to all those years in school when the teacher might have bound the millions of papers we filled out in grade school. Or how much easier it would have been doing research assignments for my psychology professors. Or keeping notes. What could be better?

My disc bound assets consist of a lovely leather Levenger daily planner with pockets in the front and 3/4 inch discs; two 3-inch disc plain binders with my book in one and blank pages for future use in any of my binders; a simple financial binder; some organizing notepads from last year which I can punch to fit in; and the top end Levenger punch. The punch was my largest purchase although I did get that and the leather planner for less than half price.  If you have any experience with punches, you know they can be difficult and cease to work. I went high end, which was only $20 more in the end than the Arc punch. I need to cut thousands of pages to file my ancestry research making a heavier machine more beneficial in the long run. As an aside, I can pierce anything to fit in each of my organizers. It is also the reason I went with the 8 1/2 x 11-inch size. The binders will accept smaller pieces so virtually anything can be inserted: flyers, invitations; receipts, impromptu to do lists, etc.

If you are interested in disc bound for any organizing, check eBay for excellent prices on discs and covers. I bought a cover and eleven 3/4 inch discs for $6.00 including shipping. etsy sellers have practical and cute pages you can purchase for download. I found some to help keep me on track if I decide to sell again on those sites. Of course, there is always the Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon each week. Joann’s and Michaels sell disc bound supplies, too.  My items came from Levenger, eBay, Hobby Lobby and Joann’s, all at deep discounts.

This is my first love affair of 2019. We have been spending a couple hours a day together and the infatuation just deepens.