Monday, October 10, 2016

Notes From My Grandmother | Potwin Lineage and Genealogy, Bits & Pieces

Somehow, much of my grandmother's hand written and (badly) typed notes and research wound up in my possession. Traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles and back to Chicago again. It sat, in the dark of my mother's closet, until my dad passed and my mom decided to begin her great purge. Knowing I had picked up the torch, the next generation to pursue the Greatest Hobby on Earth, the papers came to live with me. Unsure for many years on just what to do with them, I have decided to bring them out and share them with you - transcribed, of course - no one can read my grandmother's handwriting! But in her own words; mistakes, rambling sentences, and all. I think she will be pleased her work and her writing are once again out in the light.

POTWIN FAMILY bits and pieces. 

Snippets of information that may or may not be interesting. Or relevant. I suspect some Potwin descendant, somewhere might be thrilled to learn of these "notes". found amongst her 'finished' story.

  • Many Potwin's had red hair.
  • The nickname "winepot" was bandied about frequently. As in "Mr Winepot" or "Mrs Winepot" or just plain "Winepot"!
  • "From a letter written by Mother (Mrs I.A. Potwin): Uncle William dropped the 'e' from the name after he came to Iowa; met a man who always emphasized the last syllable as -WINE- and as Uncle Wm. was much opposed to alcoholic drinks decided to fix that, ha! ha!"
  • These notes and records have come to me (ETPT) from Beulah E. Sims Potwin (Mrs. Thomas D. Potwin) She received the notes from her husband's sister - Elizabeth (Bess) - She was a teacher in Emma Willard School, Troy New York and must have gleaned her knowledge (most of it) from researching old histories in research libraries. The only one of the family who did. Her father Arthur E. Potwin(e), became interested after he was married and wrote a genealogy (now about falling to pieces) and at times Bess sent notes. Arthur E. added the 'e' back to his name after becoming interested in genealogy.
  •  Arthur E Potwin(e) was a redhead. As a young man he wanted to be a pipe organist. He was told that was "sissy" so he, having inherited a tobacco farm, became a farmer.
  • By Beulah E. Sims Potwin: "I married Thomas Danforth Potwin in 1907, made several trips to Conn. when my husband's father Arthur E. was alive. I knew all the brothers and sisters. Tobacco was raised in Conn since the Indian days - ten miles from Hartford - East Windsor was just a street of houses - no stores - just farm houses. Negroes had cabins in the woods - took in washings and helped in the homes."
  • Beulah continued: "Elizabeth (Arthur's sister) once said 'just brigands and no accounts went west'. They though my husband very foolish to come west. He graduated from Yale in 1902. I was in school at Oberlin, Ohio. That year my folks went west to Aberdeen S.D. There I met my husband to be - who had started work as city editor on Aberdeen's paper. Came to Oregon four children later (1918) All the family seemed to have inherited the smell of printer's ink."

Rev. W.S. Potwin, early resident and minister of Buchanan County died at age of 91 at his home in the First Ward. He had devoted much of his life to the cause of Christianity.
Rev. William S. Potwin was born in New York state June 9, 1831, being a family of twelve children. He spent his early life in that state. He graduated from medical college in Cleveland Ohio and was engaged in practice for some years. He married Elsie M Barnes in Ellington, NY 1854. In 1864 he came west and located in Buffalo Grove where he continued to practice medicine and operated a farm. About the year 1871 he began preaching the gospel and in 1872 was ordained as a Congregational Minister. Later he had pastorates at Fayette, Monona, Quasquetone and Gatesville. In October, 1884 he came to Independence and has since been residing here.
In the family of twelve of which he was a member, three died in infancy and the others died in young manhood and womanhood with the exception of one sister, Mrs E H Hammond of Independence, and one brother M A Potwin of Corning, Iowa.
Besides his wife he leaves four children: W B Potwin of Forest Grove, Oregon, G B Potwin of Lyons, Kansas; M J Potwin of Aurora, Iowa, and Miss Grace at home. In addition 13 grandchildren and 7 great-grand-children.
In the early days for about a year he was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but Rev W S Potwin spent the remainder of his life in the service of the Congregational Church. 

NEXT: Beulah's letters to my grandmother.

©2016 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved
©1950 - 1980 Elizabeth Twining Potwin Thomas, Private Collection

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