Our Loss.

Dorothy Estelle (Burke) Rainson was born in Waterloo Iowa over 94 years ago.

Dorothy, or as I always called her” Aunt Trassie”, was a person who would always find the good in everyone and could always find the positive in a bad situation. She was the person who could always make you feel better. When I was around 3 years old or younger, my mother and Aunt Trassie took me and my cousin to get our childhood vaccinations, a very frightening experience. Her radiant and infectious smile combined with her comforting voice made my childhood vaccinations more palatable. That was my earliest memory of Aunt Trassie.

Her always positive attitude and thoughts, even at a time when things look the most bleak, made her shine and stand above the rest. This same resolve was always a comfort for those she would console during their times of despair. During the time my mother was dying, Aunt Trassie dropped everything and flew many miles to be with her. I know she did this not to be just with my mother, but she was there to help the rest of us get through a very hard time.

Throughout the years, after every meeting or conversation with Aunt Trassie, I was always left feeling good and smiling.

There are many people who could relate the same admiration for Dorothy’s demeanor.

I will miss her smile, laughter and the wonderful stories she would tell, but I do take comfort in the fact that I was able to know and love a truly good and wonderful person, who is now with God.

The Journal

Not often does someone have the foresight to document their life for future generations to view. In the case of William H. Hart, not only did he document a portion of his life in a journal, but he also provided valuable information he gathered at various family reunions. William also gathers various anecdotal tidbits of information from and about his parents and grandparents. While William questions if anyone will even look at his writings or gain information from them. Little does he know that almost 90 years later he has provided us with a view of our family history that we could have only guessed at without the information he has shared with us. It is one thing for him to have written the journal, but without the dedication of his grandson who has preserved and shared William’s writings we may never have gained this insightful view. We thank William Hart for preserving a piece of history for us, and thank his grandson William Sayre for sharing the history with us.

More information from the journal will be provided in future postings

Shanvalley Poem

Over a year ago we received a poem from a 3rd great-grandson of Moses Hart. This poem was written in the late 1820’s or early 1830’s by an Irish teacher named McKinley. McKinley was a friend of the Hart family and wrote this for them as they prepared to leave Ireland for their journey to the United States. The significance of this poem is that it confirmed the names of individuals in our Hart family, not only the names but a poetic description of each person and the area where they lived, all, except the person who reprinted the poem from the original, Moses Hart. Over a year after this important paper was shared with us, Bill Sayre, a 3rd great-grandson of James Hart, also share with us a copy of the same poem, this one included the missing stanza about Moses Hart. The poem is now complete.

You can view a transcription of the poem here: Hart family poem

Samuel Hart

Biographical memoirs of St. Clair County, Michigan to which is appended a comprehensive compendium of national biography; memoirs of eminent men and women in the United States.
Logansport, Ind.: B.F. Bowen, 1903.

SAMUEL HART (b1842 d1915)

Probably no locality in the northern, middle and eastern region of the United States is more favored as a general farming and fruit growing country than the state of Michigan, and this fact had drawn to its confines many of the best agriculturists of the extreme east, among whom is Samuel Hart, of Wales township, St. Clair county, who was born in Orleans county, New York, August 15, 1841, a son of James and Jane (Kirk) Hart. The father of Samuel was among the early pioneers of St. Clair County, settled in the wilderness, cleared off a large tract of land and followed farming until his death, which occurred at the age of seventy-six years, in the faith of the Methodist Protestant church. In politics he was a Democrat, but was never an office holder. At one time he was the owner of two hundred and fifty acres of land, but disposed of the greater portion of it, and at his death had but eighty acres. The family of James and Jane (Kirk) Hart comprised five children, who were born in the following order: Samuel: William, who is a farmer and is married to Margaret Gould; Anna, deceased; Charlotte and Saul, twins. Of the latter, Saul is also a farmer and is married to Esther McCormick.

At twenty-six years of age Samuel Hart was joined in marriage with Rebecca Houghton, daughter of Joshua Hough ton, who came from Canada before the late Civil war, and located in St. Clair county, where he was engaged in farming until 1898, when he removed to North Dakota and settled at Coopertown. Joshua Houghton had a family of seven children, namely: Rebecca, who was called away by death in 1897: John, Luther, Wilfort. Horace, Douglas and George. While a resident of St. Clair County, Michigan. Mr. Houghton was a devoted member of the Methodist Protestant church, and was also active as a member of the Democratic party.

Samuel Hart is the owner of eighty acres of land in Wales Township, which land is nearly all under cultivation and is devoted to general farming and cattle raising. Mr. Hart has cleared up one hundred and twenty acres, and has made all the improvements on his place, these being among the best in the township. All that he owns has been earned through his personal labor and skillful management, and he certainlydeserves great credit for the exercise of sound judgment in carrying out to success all his various undertakings.

In politics Mr. Hart is a Republican, and fraternally is a member of the Maccabees at Smith’s Creek. He has never sought a public office, but has left that pursuit to others, while he has devoted his time and attention to the cultivation of his farm. To Samuel and Rebecca (Houghton) Hart were born two children, namely: Elmer, who is a farmer, married Miss Allie Winn and is the father of two children, Fred and Viola; Lillie is the wife of Fred Winn.