Write what should not be forgotten - Isabel Allande

Category: Marshall (page 1 of 2)

Christmas at Williamsburg


Back row: Meg Kelly, Terry Marshall Kelly, Rosann Kelly, Kay Marshall McGee Front row: Maureen Kelly, Mary Ellen Reardon, Beth Kelly 1993 Williamsburg, VA

This is one of my all time favorite pictures! I came across it the other day out of nowhere and took it as a sign that it should be shared. The picture was taken in December of 1993 at Colonial Williamsburg.  My sister Eileen must have taken the picture.  Several of the ladies of our clan met in Williamsburg for a long weekend. My sweet cousin Beth works there and we had such a fun trip. Everything was decorated for the holidays and was just beautiful.
We almost weren’t able to make the trip. On the day we were to leave Buffalo was enjoying bit of a snowstorm – did anyone see the Bills game this weekend? It was kind of like that! We were the last flight out as they were closing the airport. I can still remember watching them de-ice the plane.
We had so many laughs and made great memories on this trip. Beth still works at Williamsburg and her sisters Meg and Maureen live there now too. Maybe it’s time for another trip…

The Route

Family Tree Magazine is again running a writing challenge for the month of November and I am participating again this year. Here is my first piece.

Imagine a route your ancestor took frequently in his or her daily life. Describe that route in detail.

This one had to roll around in my head for a while before the lightbulb went off.  Once it did, I couldn’t wait to write about it.  It is always hard to choose just one ancestor to write about.  While I have been to many areas where ancestors came from, it would be hard to describe in much detail.  

Bank street is where I grew up, it is in the heart of my hometown Batavia, NY, right off of Main St.  The cool thing is that it was a very familiar route for my Grandfather’s as well.

My Grandpa Marshall moved from Brooklyn with his wife and young family to work as a tool and die maker in the 1920’s.  They lived at 234 Bank St in a house built on former farmland. It was built by the company he worked for, Doehler Jarvis. My mom talked about how when she was young (in the 1930’s) the house across the street had horses in a backyard barn.  He lived there until his death in 1965.  It is a solid 2 story house with an attic that doubled as an extra bedroom in the summer time. Most of the houses in the immediate area has the same floor plan. He and my grandmother raised 5 children in that house. Grandpa Marshall would have travelled south down Bank st to Main st and then on to Evans st where Doehler stood.  

Just a block on Norris Ave. away lived my paternal Grandparents, Norm and Maime McGee.  They moved to Batavia from Warsaw in the 1930’s. Norm took a job at the Genesee Trust Bank (which later became M&T Bank).  The bank was located at the corner of Bank and Main St.  Norm would have also made his way south down Bank St every day to go to work.  

At the North end of the street is a baseball stadium built in 1939. Today it houses the New York Penn League, Batavia Muckdogs.  Both of my Grandfather’s were baseball fans and likely enjoyed walking down to the stadium on a warm summer night in the 1940’s and 50’s just as much I did in the 1980’s-90’s. A warm summer night at a baseball game is not only uniquely American but it is timeless. There was a small grocery also at the north end of the block – that place could have an article of its own!

Both of my Grandfather’s would have passed the house where eventually my family would live. My parents were married in 1954 and they moved into an apartment on Bank St  They lived in the apartment for a couple of years before moving across the street to our family home at 134 Bank St.  

Our block of Bank st was mostly residential but includes some commercial property as you move toward Main St.  There were many large old homes on the street that I passed daily coming home from school – these are the same houses my grandfather’s saw on their way to and from work.  Over the years some of the houses remained intact but many more were broken into multi-family homes.  There was also more of a multi-cultural element at the south end of the street as well.  

The house next door to mine was owned by 2 sisters when I was born – their family had lived there for decades.  My Grandfather’s would have passed the stately gray house with its graceful front porch with large white pillars, the beautiful glass entrance way and the elegant interior that featured both a front staircase as a kitchen staircase.  The large two story barn in the back was was largely unchanged in both my grandfather’s time and my own.

Tucked away 3 doors down from 134 Bank is a small Jewish Temple that was established in 1939.  To this day many people in Batavia don’t even know it is there!  I grew up Catholic, went to a Catholic school, my entire family was Catholic, my mother worked at the Catholic hospital (on Bank St).  Almost everyone I knew was Catholic – you can imagine my fascination at the idea of a Jewish Temple just a few doors down!  I would have to think it had my Grandfather’s attention as they went by as well.  

Continuing south toward Main St is 123 Bank St. In 1883 an infamous murder occurred.  The owner of the house – who was a popular business owner, suspected his wife of being unfaithful.  He set a trap for his wife and when her lover arrived the man shot him to death.  He was later acquitted of the murder. It always gave me the chills to walk by that house.

The next block down featured one of the two hospitals in town – St. Jeromes. Established in 1917,  St Jerome was run by the Sisters of Mercy until it merged with the other hospital in Batavia in the 1990’s.  St Jerome’s was also a familiar part of the neighborhood for both my Grandfather’s and myself.  The hospital is located just a stone’s throw from the Genesee Trust Bank. My Grandma McGee was involved with the ladies guild, the hospital employed my mother and my Uncle Emil. Many members of both families were born and died there.  Today I am employed by the hospital and have occasion to visit the Jerome site often.  Even though it looks nothing like it once did – everytime I walk through the doors I can see all as it once was.

As a child I knew every bump and crack in the sidewalks on that street.  I could name practically every family that lived in every house along the way.  Many of the people that lived near Grandpa Marshall worked at Doehler and many had also moved from Brooklyn.  He would have known most of the people in the neighborhood also.  Grandpa McGee was the bank President and was also involved in the local community and would have known the neighborhood well.

I could probably write an entire book about this unusual street that was such an important part of  my life and my Grandfather’s lives.  Single family homes and older homes turned into apartments, the Temple. I can’t speak for my Grandfather’s time but in my childhood it was the kind of place where everyone knew everyone and looked out for each other.  There were 2 large group homes for disabled adults on the street and no one thought anything of it.  There were no protests or petitions,we just accepted them as part of our neighborhood.  We would often see the residents walking past the house on the way to small shop on the end of the block.

Bank St has seen better days and watching its slow decline makes me sad.  Both of my grandfather’s died before I was born. Even though I didn’t know them,  I am so proud to have this street in common with them. It is sort of comforting to think that that we shared this route as part of our daily lives.

Navy Day

October 27 is recognized as Navy Day, a day to honor past and present members of the United States Navy.  For today’s Picure Day I am sharing a photo of my very favorite member of the Navy, my uncle Ed Marshall.  Uncle Ed served in the Navy which allowed him to graduate from Notre Dame University.  He was an aeronautical engineeer, he helped design a Navy plane and worked for NASA.  He was part of the team that designed the oxygen pack that the  Apollo 11 astronauts wore during the first moon walk.  It is on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space museum.  Uncle Ed may have been a “rocket scientist” but he was also very down to earth. He had that wonderful ability to make you feel as if you were the most important person in the room.  As a kid I always remember how he would take extra time to talk to me.  I can’t imagine that anything I told him was terribly riveting but he always made me feel like it was interesting to him.

What other members of the family served in the Navy?  Let me know and I will add them

Joseph Pfundstein

Thomas Pfundstein




Happy Anniversary


Happy Anniversary to my cousin Mary Claire and her husband Dick.  They were married this week in October 1976.  The picture was taken at the Stafford Country Club in Stafford, NY.  I love everything about this picture – Mary Claire is gorgeous. All 5 of the Marshall children are here with spouses as are many of the Marshall cousins.  The clothes and hairstyles are fabulous!

This Week in Family History

One of these days, when I have a little spare time… I am going to work on a calendar to mark family events  past and present.  This is a pretty busy week , we remember 9/11 and celebrate birthdays and anniversarys.  For today’s Picture Day I am including pictures of family celebrating events this week, let me know if I am missing anything!!!

September 9 – Anniversary for my brother and sister in law Mike and Laurie

September 9 – Birthday for my neice’s husband, Allen



September 13 – Cousin birthday buddies! Birthday of Beth Kelly and me!!



September 14 – Birthday of my Grandfather Ed Marshall, born in 1892!


September 11 – Anniversary of my Mom and Dad’s wedding in 1954












**Update**   I can not believe that I left 2 very important events out.  When I was doing this last week I had that awful nagging feeling that I was forgetting something and thanks to my cousin Beth now I know what it was!!! September 13 is a very busy day in family history in addition to 2 birthdays it is also the wedding anniversary of both Ed and Dottie Marshall and Jim and Terry Kelly!

Aunt Terry

Today’s Picture Day is in honor of my Aunt Terry. Teresa Marshall Kelly (1927-2015) Today (August 18) is her birthday and my littlest one is lucky to share his birthday with her! I need some more pictures of her but even without them I have really wonderful memories of time spent together. She and my mom were really close and saw each other through many things during their lives. They were fun to watch together – they always had stories to tell and they always included a lot of giggling. Aunt Terry suffered for many years from Alzheimer’s disease, it was especially heartbreaking for my mom see her bright, funny sister slip away. She was able to recognize my mom even after most everyone else had slipped out of her memory.

Aunt Terry graduated Summa Cum Laude (I hope I have that right) from college and was a teacher until her children were born, later after her children were grown she became a social worker. Terry and her husband had 7 children, one of their sweet daughters passed young. These days whenever we spend time with our Kelly cousins, there is a lot of giggling (kind of like our mom’s).

Happy Birthday to this wonderful lady, I will make sure that our little Sean knows all about his great Aunt Terry

Family Reunion


This is not a very old picture, but I sure do love it a lot.  After many years of talking about having a family reunion, we actually did it.  This is a picture of the Marshall cousins (grandchildren of Ed and Ida Pfundstein Marshall).  We were missing a few but fairly well represented nonetheless.  The reunion was held where I live, Seven Springs in Batavia, NY, on August 8, 2011.  It was such a great day to spend with our cousins!!

Even though the picture is only 6 yrs old, we have lost 2 cousins from this group as well as 2 aunts and an uncle.  10 days after the picture was taken, my husband and I welcomed our third son to the family!  There have been several more little ones added over the years as well.

Even though we are scattered all over, we still get together when we can.  We haven’t had a reunion quite this big in a few years – maybe time to start planning again…

Uncle Emil Part II


The most interesting thing I discovered about my Uncle Emil was that in spite of how many people knew him and how many lives he touched, we didn’t really know anything about his origins  My cousins(along with the rest of us) didn’t know that their father was born in Syria until after his death.  When they would travel over the Canadian border to visit an Aunt, Uncle Emil would say he was from Buffalo.  They knew their Sito (Grandmother) spoke with a thick accent as did their Uncles.  Sometimes Uncle Emil would speak French.  For a long time they thought he had been born in Lebanon – that was close.  Uncle Emil was actually born in Syria on August 28, 1914, his family was likely from a French speaking part of Syria.  As the Ottoman Empire expanded, the country’s landscape changed and in 1925 the area did become Lebanon.  After Uncle Emil’s death they received a letter stating there was still land in his name in modern day Lebanon!  The real breakthrough came when my cousin Yvonne was going through a box of her father’s papers and she came across a document that she couldn’t read.  She sent it to the Rochester Institute of Technology where they translated the Arabic document and found it to be Uncle Emil’s Baptismal Certificate.

Emil was born to John and Tameny Mattar Kimaid. John Kimaid was born in 1875 in Syria, Tameny (Mary) was born in 1887.  John was a successful Tailor and the family owned a home overlooking a bay.  With the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, the family suffered financially and they decided to move to Australia and rebuild their business.  Their first 2 children Antoine (1905) and Yvette (1908) were born in Australia.  Tameny was was approx 17yrs old when her first child was born.  The family was again very successful with their business and after several years they made the decision to move back to their homeland.  Their next 3 children were born in Syria, Paul (1911), Emil (1914), and Victoria (1921).  The family again suffered financial losses under the Ottoman’s.  They decided to leave their homeland for good. The family emigrated to the United States in 1923, my Uncle Emil was just about to be 10yrs old. I was able to find the arrival of Tameny, Boulos (Paul), Emil and Victoria.  They came through Ellis Island arriving in the US on August 1, 1923 aboard the Madonna from Beirut, they listed Sahel-alma, Syria as their last place of residence.  

The family made their way to Western NY and settled in Buffalo – that had to be such a drastic change from their warm homeland!  The family again set up shop as Tailors, they owned the successful Kimaid-Mattar clothing stores in Buffalo.  My cousins remember making the drive to Buffalo to visit their father’s family while he had new suits made. According to an ad in The Courier Express, in 1954 a new suit would set you back $50.

As with many immigrants – their surname went through several variations.  The earliest version is Kmeid and is still used in Lebanon today, when the family came through Ellis Island they were listed as Kemeid, and finally Kimaid.

The family was active in their South Buffalo community and church. Two of the sons, Antoine and Paul went into the family business, Yvette married and raised a family, Victoria became a Nun and Emil graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo and went on to Medical School.  He paid his way by working at a steel mill. He did his residency at Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo and that is where he met my Aunt Lillian Marshall.  Aunt Lil went to the nursing school run by the Nuns at Mercy Hospital.  I didn’t know that part of their history until my mom mentioned it – after I had accepted my first job as an RN at the very same hospital!  I actually met another Kimaid relative while I was there.  Once I knew the story, I was so thrilled to be walking the same halls they once had.

With WWII approaching, like many couples of the time Uncle Emil and Aunt Lil were married quietly, with little fanfare and no family present.  Uncle Emil was stationed down south before going overseas, Aunt Lil flew down and they were married.  They spent a short time together before he left for Europe and didn’t see each other for a couple of years.  It was said that the families weren’t especially thrilled at first, both of Emil’s brother’s had married girls from Lebanon and Lil’s family was German.  Sentiments ran high on both sides. Uncle Emil was sent to Germany as an Army Doctor, he served under General Patton.  While overseas he met his brother in law, Ronald Hermance for the first time.  Uncle Ron had married my Aunt Claire but the two didn’t actually meet in person until they were in Germany.  They were close for the rest of their lives.

After being discharged in 1946 Uncle Emil and Aunt Lil moved to Leroy, NY and he joined the medical practice of Dr. Paul Welsh.  The two men served the area for many years, they were small town Dr.’s in every sense of the word.  I picture a very Norman Rockwell practice. They made many, many house calls and did everything from delivering the babies to caring  for people at the end of their lives.  Leroy was just an hour or so drive from his family and a 20min drive away from the Marshall’s in Batavia.  Uncle Emil also worked at the Catholic Hospital, St. Jerome’s in Batavia – there are a couple of good stories of him laughing while tending to some foolish injury of my family (usually one of my brothers). My mom was an x-ray tech at the same hospital and they were always close. He also served as the County coroner for many years.  In fact he was called to the scene of the fatal car accident where my Grandfather, his father in law had a heart attack at the wheel.  My grandparents had been on their way to his house when the accident happened. He was also one of the first people allowed to go into Attica Prison after the famous prison riot in 1971 He wrote an official, approved report for the State, but he took the things he saw behind those walls to his grave.  It had to be a heavy burden for him to bear.  

I was just about 5yrs old when Uncle Emil died, but I have vivid, happy memories of him, He had a huge model train set in the basement of their home, I remember being mesmerized by it and the wonderful man who wore a train conductor’s hat while running it.  My memories are of him smiling often, while calling everyone “honey”.  When people spoke of him, it was often about Aunt Lil and how much they loved each other.  My mother and her sisters always said that Emil died first so that he could make sure everything was ready for Lil.  My Aunt had battled cancer on and off for several years but Emil was diagnosed and died fairly quickly.  He spent about a month at St. Jerome’s before he died (Sept 4, 1978).  My mom would go visit him and spend time during work.  Sadly she also did the same just 4 months later for Aunt Lil, she passed away on January 11, 1979.  They left behind their 3 children, Suzanne, Yvonne, and Paul who were all their 20’s. Their family continued to grow and at the time of this writing they have a legacy of 3 children, 5 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren.

Addendum 2/18/17: So right after I published this I found a really interesting article from the New York Times published on August 2, 1923.  The article was about the overwhelming numbers of immigrants who arrived to Ellis Island on August 1 – the very day that Emil and his family arrived!  The article says that 15,000 immigrants arrived that day. 16 ships, 35 nationalities were represented.  They had to send ships to Boston and Philadelphia just to deal with the sheer numbers.

Kimaid and Mattar Ad. (1954, November 25). Courier Express, p. 71. Retrieved February 15, 2017, from

Obituaries. (1978, September 07). The Leroy Gazette News, p. 8. Retrieved February 15 , 2017.
Ellis Island Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from

The Kimaid Family

I am excited to be sharing my first guest post today!   When I started this blog, my hope was that other branches of the family would add their stories.  My cousin Yvonne posted this originally on Facebook and gave me permission to share



Back from left: Antoine, Emil, Paul, Yvette. Front from left: Tameny, Victoria, John

Immigration from Syria. My father (2nd man from the left) was born in 1914 in Syria. He and the family migrated to America via Ellis Island August 1, 1923. His father a tailor by trade established a men’s store in Buffalo, NY creating tailored men’s suits. My father did not follow his trade but worked his way through pre-med in a steel mill. He graduated Medical School from Notre Dame University and after residency became a captain in the army and joined General Patton’s army during WWII. After the war he settled in Leroy NY and provided medical care to the residents for 31 years until he died in 1978. This is what immigrants from Syria do… work their way through medical school, join the army during WWII and care for the injured American soldiers, and dedicate their lives to serving a community!




Day 9 off the 30-Day Family History Writing Challenge was to research the hometown of one of your ancestors.



Seussling (Soy-sling) Germany

Seussling was the home of my Great-Grandmother, Catherine Harrer Marschall. She was born in 1853 one of 7 children of Ignatius and Katharina Harrer.  She emigrated to the US in 1882, sailing  to New York as a single woman of 28.  She married my Great Grandfather Conrad Marschall in 1889 at the ripe old age of 36.  They were from the same area in Bavaria, but I don’t know if they knew each other prior to being in the United States.  Catherine went on to have 2 sons Frederick (1890) and Edmund (my Grandfather in 1892). At some point Fred and Ed took the more American spelling of Marshall.

Seussling was her home and is a lovely, idyllic place.  My sister and I had the opportunity to visit it while in Germany in 2014.  It is roughly 200 miles southwest of Berlin. Not far from Wurzburg and in the district of Bamberg in Bavaria. The population of Seussling is very small, around 2000.  It dates back to medieval times – the first mention of a church was in 800 – during  the reign of Charlemagne.  The Catholic church that was in existence in my GG’s time and still stands today is known as St Sigismund.  I can in fact find documentation listing the Priests that served the church back to the 1400’s.  The town of Seussling itself officially dates back to 1013! (The city I live in officially became a city in 1915). I have a hard time wrapping my head around those dates.

St Sigismund was the King of Burgundy in the 500’s. After a defeat in battle he, his wife and children were imprisoned and executed.  This story is told in graphic detail on a series of plaques in the church. At one point in its history the church housed an important shrine and relic of the deceased King.  People would come from all over to view the shrine to St. Sigismund, The relic was moved for safekeeping during a time of war but was never returned to Seussling.


Top Left: the Altar. Top Right: just one of the plaques telling St. Sigismund’s story. Bottom Left: artwork in the crypt. Bottom Middle: sign says 1470. Bottom Right: the site of the original shrine in the crypt under the Altar


We went to Seussling with a cousin who lived nearby, she called ahead and they were ready for us!  We were greeted by the Church caretaker and the town historian from a nearby town.  We had the feeling that they didn’t get very many visitors!  Our  host’s were more than gracious and generous with their time.  They gave us a tour of the church and also the crypt underground.  We weren’t exactly sure what they were doing when they started to roll up the rug and open up a hatch in the floor in front of the alter!  There were faded remnants of original artwork in the crypt – dating back to the early 1500’s. They also took us through the rectory or Das Pfarrhaus and the community building.  I can not even begin to imagine the number of gatherings that building has seen through the years.  Other than modern amenities like electricity and heat, the church probably hadn’t changed very much since the last time that my GG laid eyes on it.  There was something so powerful and emotional to stand in that place, in the place she worshiped, the place in which her loved ones, were baptized, married, and buried.  This church had been a central part of her life in Germany. This is true not only because it was her church, it was also next to her home.  


Left: The Harrer family barn. Top Right: side of the barn and side of the school. Bottom Left: The school house, the building to the right of the school is the church

Directly next to the church, was the school that Catherine attended and next to the school was where she lived.  The house has since been rebuilt, but the barn from her time was still standing.  I can’t fully explain what it felt like to see and touch the place where she lived and to know that it probably didn’t look all that different.  Our cousin knocked on the door and the owners came out and spoke with us.  When she mentioned the name of the family – they nodded and said that of course they knew the name and that the family were known for being Tailors – remember the part where I said she had left in 1882?!

We left the lovely village of Suessling with a book about its history and other memorabilia.  generously given to us. They truly treated us like family who had come to visit.   We took so many pictures and I am forever grateful for their genuine warmth and welcoming nature.  They game me a priceless opportunity to make a deeper connection to my roots.


Neudecker, A., Schubert, E., Schubert, H., & Neudecker, H. (n.d.). Seussling Geschichte der Pfarrei und des Dorfes.

Personal photos taken May 25, 2014 by author.



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