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Welcome to the Guest Page of the Blann and Watts Genealogy Site. On this page we are posting e-mails and letters of interest from visitors to the site (often distant relatives) who have kindly sent their feedback or shared memories of the family with us. We invite anyone who has an interesting family stories or comments relating to the material on the site to share them in this way. Old family photo contributions are always welcome as well.



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7/7/2003
"An early Robin Hood era figure, mentioned by author Howard Pyle, was named Sir Roland of Bland."

Obviously Howard Pyle knew your family.  He was my grandmother's uncle, and lived in Delaware where he had an art school.  He taught the illustrators NC Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth's father, and Maxfield Parrish among many others.

 You've done a fantastic job on your family tree website.  What a pleasure to visit!
 

Sincerely,

Nancy Rossi
Francestown, NH

 

 
    Howard Pyle
 


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From: Robert Troy Matthews, age 77 (son of Chilton Troy Matthews)  5/28/2003

Thoughts on seeing www.BlannWattsGenealogy.com

       I couldn’t believe it had been 67 years since I had seen my aunts, who had been my father’s sisters….
      When we visited Maryland [from Philadelphia in the early 1930s], we always stayed at Aunt Maude and Uncle Norman Holmes’ house. My father called Uncle Norman Holmes “fiddler.” Uncle Norman always wore those leather protectors over his shins. He always had bird dogs. The dogs wore collars which had chains attached. On the end of the chain was a short length of wood. This prevented the dog from going through the fence but also contributed to bowed legs.
       Aunt Maude kept chickens and I learned to collect eggs. I can remember the smell of the hen house. I also remember Aunt Maude taking a chicken and cutting its head off. The idea was to chop off the head and let the body drop into the basket. This time, I remember, the chicken body missed the basket and it ran around the yard for a while, headless!
 


 

          
       A favorite of Uncle Norman's was sliced cucumber immersed in vinegar. One time while we were visiting, a man came to Aunt Maude’s. He spent the night and, in the morning, it was discovered that he had gone to the workshop and blown his brains out with one of Uncle Norman’ guns.
 


 

         Uncle Norman Holmes had a crystal radio which is the only one I ever used. My grandparents [Solomon and Annie Matthews] lived with the Holmes. Kerocene lamps were the light source. The Holmes didn’t own an automobile. Rooms were shut off during the winter. A vegetable garden was adjacent to every house. When electricity and water came, the first thing they did was build a goldfish pond and a bird bath…

          Aunt Beryl lived across the road from Aunt Maude with husband Harry and sons, Matthews and Donald. I believe Matthews was much older than I. I knew his first wife Zadith. Zadith was a cousin of Matthew. Matthews was charming. Zadith was good looking. Uncle Harry had a picture of himself in a World War I uniform in the dining room.
 


 

        Long after I was married…my wife and I drove to Trappe. People who were living where Beryl had lived, told us where Matthews was living. Matthews had retired and was [re]married to Sylvia. Matthews told us that Aunt Beryl was living but would not know me. She didn’t know anyone.

         One day, Uncle Harry and I were on the porch swing when a colored man walked down the road past the house and said “Hello” to “Mr. Griffith.” He had been a slave. I never knew what Uncle Harry had done for a living. Donald favored him. Donald worked for the State, building roads. Matthews worked in the Cambridge boatyards, building boats…
 

           
        I knew Aunt Anna Blann as “Aunt Nan.” I think I may only have seen her on a few occasions. I also remember Uncle Melvin. They may not have lived in Trappe [at that time]. I remember two daughters but no sons…

[Below are some pictures contributed by Bob Matthew's daughter, Nancy (pictured with her parents below). Thanks for the contributions!]



More Matthews contributions below by Lloyd Matthews' daughter, Cindy Ohberg, Linda Insley, and the webmaster (thanks to all).
 


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Excerpt from an e-mail by Rick Matthews (son of Lloyd Eddings Matthews, who is the brother of Bob Matthews, whose contribution is posted above)  5/10/03

I just happened to stumble upon your Blann & Watts geneology site.  I found it interesting -- to say the least -- for reasons I'd like to share.

I am a great grandson of Solomon Nicolas Matthews.  My grandfather, whom you identify as "Troy" was actually named Chilton.  Troy was his middle name. You correctly identify him as a Philadelphia policeman.... 
 
My grandfather was a bit of a rogue as I understand it, and his late 1940's divorce (Emma) and remarriage (Betty) caused quite a scandal within the family.

The only one of my grandfather's siblings that I specifically recall from my childhood was Berle, whom you list.  When I was very young, my father would sometimes drive my brother, sister and me from the Philadelphia suburbs to Trappe for weekends.  We would stay at Great-Aunt Berle's house.  I remember sleeping in a featherbed so soft I had trouble climbing out.  I also remember big extended-family Sunday dinners, with the table piled high with enormous amounts of food -- including fresh steamed crabs, of course, and chicken. Sometimes we went out crabbing or fishing on the Choptank.  Other times we'd visit my grandfather's cousin Albert [Thume]-- he was a tenant farmer and was locally renown as a horseshoes champ.....

 


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