Philip Howard Spencer dies at 96 years old

Yesterday I attended the memorial service for cousin Philip (with one L like the disciple- he says) Howard Spencer at the Media Presbyterian Church in Media, PA. It was a wonderful celebration of his life with many of his paintings, photos and great stories told by his sons and grandchildren. Cousin Phil, born 24 Jan 1927, died 10 Jun 2023 at Maris Grove Retirement Village, in Glen Mills, PA, was the son of Howard and Mary (White) Spencer.

“He is survived by a sister, Eizabeth Drusedum and three sons, Blake Spencer (Jennifer Brown) of Strafford, VT; Scott Spencer (Barbara) of Rehoboth, MA and Stuart Spencer (Leslie) of Moorestown, NJ. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Christopher McGrath (Catherine), Robin Spencer, Katies Spencer, Annik Spencer Allen (Danny), Samuel Spencer, and Miles Spencer, and one great grandchild, Thomas McGrath. He spent his career as a partner of Spencer Stationary Company in Chester, PA and was a Navy veteran of World War II.

A man of deep faith, Philip was a longtime Elder and Bible teacher at Media Presbyterian Church where he fostered his love of music by singing tenor in the choir. He also volunteered with the Salvation Army for more than five decades. Always charming and quick with a joke, Philip loved to be around people and people loved to be around him. Anyone who met him couldn’t help but feel the warmth of his open heart, curious nature, honorable character, and compassion for others. He loved jazz music, had a nearly encyclopedic memory for song lyrics and could always be found spinning people around the dance floor at weddings and family gatherings, eye twinkling in his signature bow tie. A self-taught, talented watercolorist, many have Philip’s paintings proudly displayed in their homes. Philip will be profoundly missed, but his spirit will live on in the impact that he has left on so many.” ( From memorial program)

His many likes and talents were incorporated in his service, with the City Brass band playing jazzy songs, finalizing with “As The Saints Go Marching In” sung by those in attendance and Rev. Rose Sparrow lifting her glorious voice above all.

I love catching up with the cousins and they were there in multiples. It was a chance to find out who has gotten married, had babies and extended the family, since we were together for Phil’s brother’s memorial service (Robert White Spencer). I will be one of the many who will greatly miss having lunch with Phil and hearing his stories. RIP, Phil

William and Hannah (Milliken) White Tombstones in Pana, IL

Al and I went on another adventure to visit friends and relatives in our motorhome. We visited with Cousins Mark and Colleen Myers in Cleveland, TN. Always fun to hear about Marks latest birding trips. He has been all over the World banding birds and taking wonderful pictures.

Our next stop was Plano, TX to visit Nephews Jeff and Rob. We stayed in a RV park nearby and had the pleasure to meet a group of Venezuelans who were celebrating their friend’s birthday. We talked with one of the couples who gave us a dining suggestion, Hola Cafe. It is in nearby Carrollton, TX. They were absolutely correct that their country’s cuisine is delicious.

On to Tucumcari, New Mexico then heading home. Since we were going across the upper corner of TX and OK then through Kansas we stopped in Kansas City, MO to visit my boss from Adria Laboratories, Karen and husband, Kevin. As far as boss’ go, she was the best. She always championed her employees plans for their career and would take the heat to see that everyone was fairly treated.

On our way through Illinois, we were very close to Pana, IL where three times great grandparents William and Hannah (Milliken) White are buried. I cleaned their stones as good as possible. The rain, if it comes, will help to further clean their stones. I will be contacting a local stone mason to right their stones.

William M. White Tombstone Linwood Cemetery, Pana, IL
Hannah Milliken White Tombstone Linwood Cemetery Pana, IL

I have DAR supplements for both of these ancestors. Thomas White is the grandfather of William and his brother, Thomas’ son, James great grandfather. James also married Sarah White, daughter of previously mentioned and pictured above William and Hannah White. Making two supplements for the same ancestor. Hannah Milliken’s grandfather was Samuel Milliken. I proved him as a new Ancestor.

Samuel Milliken Added as New Ancestor in DAR

What a struggle to get 5 x great grandfather Samuel Milliken proven as a Revolutionary War patriot, but it’s done. Samuel was born in Ireland c. 1727, married Sarah Jardine, sister to Mary Jardine the wife of Thomas White. They lived in Cumberland County, later Perry County that broke off of the former in 1820. Samuel and Sarah are buried in Bixler, Perry County PA

Their son, David Milliken moved west to Braddock Fields, Allegheny County, PA where he and some of his family are buried. The big question for DAR is how did Hannah, daughter of David Milliken marry William White if the family had moved west and William was still in Perry County. They were concerned about Hannah being only about 10 years old, must have stayed behind and not moved to Allegheny County with her family. Why would a 10-year-old not go with them? A lot of speculation, but probably to help with relatives’ children.

I thought that none of the Whites went west from PA, however Hannah Milliken married William White. They moved west through Indiana and finally settled in Pana, Illinois. Al and I took a trip on Route 30 west. Pana, IL is not far off of Rt 30, so we went on what I call “grave digging” looking for William and Hannah’s burial site.

We arrived in Pana, found the cemetery rather quickly and began the search. There was a caretaker working and I stopped to ask if he knew where they were buried. Since they were among the earlier people buried in the cemetery, he directed us to the older section. We parked the motorhome, and I began to look for their tombstone. I knew from FindAGrave what the stone looked like and started up and down the rows. No luck out the driver’s side door, going up and down the rows, so I crossed the road to go up and down that side. After about a half hour, I was back at the motorhome and you guessed it, the tombstone was right beside the RV. AHHHHHHHHHHHH! I figured Hannah and William must have had a great sense of humor to let me do all that walking when they were right there.

Their stone is not in bad shape; however, it needs to be cleaned and reset to be in good shape for many more years. I am calling a local tombstone company to see if they can fix the stone.

Erin Spencer on National Geographic

It was a big surprise when I turned on National Geographic station this week to see our cousin, Erin Spencer, swimming with the sharks on Shark Fest. If you have On Demand you might want to catch the show.

Erin is a PhD student, in marine ecology, at Florida International University, studying sharks, specifically hammer head sharks. I wouldn’t get in the water any place with a shark, let alone a hammer head. They are quite large. Erin and her research group actually spend many hours on the water looking for them.

She is a very courageous person to put herself in that kind of danger to help an apex predator to survive in the ocean. She bravely takes laser measurements while the shark swims around her, looking for a meal, hopefully, something a other than the researchers.

Author of award winning “Explore and Protect the Natural wonders of the Sea: The World of Coral Reefs”, Erin is also an accomplished writer. If you would like a very colorfully illustrated, down to earth, kids book (even adults can learn from it), I would suggest you order one of her books from

It is wonderful to see what our next generation cousins are doing to impact the world. Catch her blog by googling her or go on her Facebook page.

Strolling through Facebook you can find many unusual items to read. I found this one particularly interesting because I frequently get asked if I am related to Milton S. Hershey, Founder of Hershey, PA and infamous for his chocolate town. Most people will recognize the name of Hershey. As a genealogist, I can tell you, my husband is a first cousin three times removed. When you tell most people this relationship, their faces go blank. I could explain this, but then I can imagine you would change to another blog.

Back to HowManyofMe – I found this website and thought I would find out how many Deborah Hershey’s there are in the United States. The results:

There are
people with the name Deborah Hershey in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I thought this was a little low as I know there are 4 Deborah Hershey’s in the Hershey area, but there are also, last time I checked, 100 Hershey families in the local phonebook (back when you were listed in a phonebook). As we have traveled around the USA we have stopped in other towns named Hershey, but I didn’t think to look in their phonebooks. There is a Hershey, Nebraska, for one.

This is a fun exercise, how many of you are in the United States?

Sargent William Walter White (1894-1953)

Co. H, 314 Infantry World War I Taken April 1918

List of men, not necessarily in order: Eister, Stipler, B.Brown, Bolle, Longo, Laux, Kocher, Decker, C. Smith, Cleon Smith, Sgt. Culver, Ferrera, Brady, Hackenburger, J. Kelly, Krocto, Corp. White, Hartzel, Burns, Corp Sally, Heims, Corp. Reed, Howley, Gardner, Fritz, Cathers, Murphy, Edwards, Barefoot, Booker, Crozier

The picture above was sent to me after Christmas, 2021, by Cousins Bill and Kathy McCord. Our grandfather is pictured third row up on the right, peaking around the soldier standing in the second row. This is Company H, 314 Infantry group at Camp Mead, MD in 1918.

Grandpa White enlisted in the Army Nov. 2, 1917 and was discharged Mar. 13, 1919. At the time of the photo he was a Corporal, however on discharge was a Sargent in Co. 35 153 Depot Brigade (formerly 191 Hoboken Casual Co. ). He served overseas for seven months. He participated in the Battle of Montfaucon (France) that was part of the Meuse-Argonne Champaign. This was the first battle to use chemical warfare and was considered one of the most significant of the campaign.

Corp. White also fought in the Malancourt and Nantillious, France battles before returning to the United States for discharge at Camp Dix, New Jersey. His discharge states that he did not have any wounds, however my mom (Martha White) stated that he had burn scares on his arm from the chemicals that were released in the battle of Montfaucon.

According to the CSI Battlebook for the Battle of Montfaucon, “the sector (304) facing north toward Malancourt, Montfaucon and Nantillious , covered not only the most impossible terrain in all the Meuse-Argonne area, but was also placed in front of the greatest obstacle in the sector – the village and area around Montfaucon…. Sector 304 was part of the battlefield of Verdun, fought over by the armies of France and Germany for four years. ” “Within the Avocourt-Malancourt sector, the Germans held on to their most formidable positions on the entire Western Front.

I hope descendants of the 314th Infantry find this photo and can identify their relative. If you would like to share that information feel free to contact me.

Is David Milligan the father of Hannah Milliken/Milligan White?

I am looking for any information that proves the connection between Hannah Milliken White and her father, David Milligan, son of Samuel Milligan. 

According to History of the Families Millingas and Millanges of Saxony and Normandy Comprising Genealogies and Biographies of their Posterity Surnamed Milliken, Millikin, Millikan, Millican, Milligan, Mulliken and Mullikin A.D. 800-A.D.- 1907, Lewiston, ME, Journal Press, 1907, “Hannah, second daughter of David, b. in Swissvale, Perry Co., Penn., Aug 28, 1805; was m. in her 21st year to William White, and settled in Perry Co., Penn., where she united with the Associate Church. Subsequently the family removed to Indiana, and in 1866 removed to Pana, Ill., where she and her husband united with the U.P. Church and she died in 1872. 

David Milligan, son of Samuel Milligan, was born in Swissvale, Perry Co., PA, married Sarah Wallace and about 1814 moved west, where they settled near Pittsburgh (Braddock Fields), PA.  His wife died in 1818-1819, and his children went westward. He dies in 1834. The above book names his children: Samuel died in childhood; Sallie marries John Swisshelm; Robert marries Mary Ann Shortess; John marries Lucinda Elmore; James died young; Hannah marries William White; Peggy marries Robert Graham; Eleanor marries Dr. Joseph Faulkner; Hon. Joseph Milligan marries Janie M. Hawkins, then Harriet N. Fullenwider; and Rev. Thomas Stuart Milligan marries Louisa Frances Warren.

It appears that Hannah may have stayed in Perry County when the remainder of the family moved to Braddock Fields. She would have been about 10 years old at this time. Did she stay with other family who remained in Perry County?

Isaac Long Barn Remembered

Cousin Bill McCord ran across a photo that belonged to Great Grandma Effie Long Bell and passed it along to me. The back of the photo reads “Isaac Long Barn of Landisville (it is really in Landis Valley), Lancaster Co., Penna. From this farm David Long came to Pfoutz’s Valley in 1812. My earliest known ancestor, Effie Long Bell.”

It is a wonderful picture of the Isaac Long Barn that is famous because it was at this farm that the first American born denomination was organized in 1766 -The Church of United Brethren in Christ Church. The farm is six miles northeast of Lancaster city.

Much has been written about this farm. The blue State Historical markers placed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission dedicated the marker June 16, 1960. The text says”The United Brethren in Christ, and the Evangelical United Brethren Church trace their origin to the joint efforts of Rev. Philip W. Otterbein of the German Reformed Church and Martin Boehm, a Mennonite preacher, at a revival held here about 1767. The barn stands a mile and a half to the north off PA 272 (Oregon Pike) at Landis Valley Museum. ” (Ref. Beyer, George R., Guide to the State Historical Markers of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1991)

Although Effie Long Bell may not have known ancestors before David Long/Lang, William Gabriel Long in his book History of the Long Family of Pennsylvania with the help of the Long Family Organization, was able to take the Long/Lang family back a few more generations. David was the son of Abraham Lang and Maria, born in 1743 Manheim Township, Lancaster County, married Catherine Hershey. Aha, I’m descended from the Hersheys as well as being married to one. Abraham Long fought in the revolutionary war as did Catherine’s father, Abraham. Both of these ancestors have been proven, by me, for Daughters of the American Revolution. Just let me know if you want to join the Daughters or Sons of the American Revolution. I have all the paper work.

Abraham Long’s father was John and mother, Anna Long. The Long/Langs had lived in Lancaster County, PA until David moved to Perry County, PA. John was the son of emigrant, Christian Lang, who was said to be from the Palatinate Germany. I have not gone back any further, but it is on my list of research.

Martha B. White Passes at 90 years young

It is with sadness that I share that my Mom, Martha B. White passed away on Friday, September 11, 2020 at Masonic Village, Elizabethtown, PA. She moved to Elizabethtown 5 years ago, so I have had the privilege to share her last few years. She has been such a trooper, always ready for a shopping trip, a visit with cousins or just coming to my house for Sunday pizza and Americas Funniest Home Videos.

Her last major trip was to Hudson OH to celebrate nephew, Bill and Kathy McCord’s 50th anniversary. What a great time we had.

Mom was still very sharp to the end and always ready for a good argument about politics. She was a journaler and kept them for the majority of her life. I have them now and will enjoy reading them for years to come to see her view on current events and her trips.

We will miss her so much, but hope she is now at peace with Dad and Barb.

George Eckert and Samuel Milliken/Milligan

On the hunt for more Revolutionary War ancestors after my visit to Yorktown, VA.  I have now submitted two more on the White side of the family.  They are George Eckert and Samuel Milliken/Milligan.  Now the wait is on for the year it will take before they are reviewed by NSDAR.  In the meantime,  I’m trying to find a woman in my ancestry that may have assisted in the Rev. War.  Always a feather in your cap if you have one of the ladies proven.

Yorktown is a wonderful place to visit.  They have an American Revolution of Yorktown Museum that is worth the trip.  They have an encampment that is very interesting.  This includes a kitchen, medical facility, supply hut and very knowledgeable staff.

Inside of the museum there are many artifacts and movies.  Both are helpful in following the war.  This is a State of Virginia museum.  Kudos to Virginia for such a wonderful asset.  The museum is designed with many areas that flow one into another and they seem to go on forever.  It is truly an amazing place to visit.

Yorktown Victory Monument

The battlefield at Yorktown is also very interesting.  Suggestion – don’t try to drive your motorhome around the battlefield.  We found a couple of areas we couldn’t access because of the bulk of this RV even though it is small by comparison to most.  We saw the redoubts taken by the Patriots, the digs that the soldiers did in the middle of the night to surprise the British, the National Cemetery,  the Yorktown Victory Monument, and lots of wildlife.

The Moore House is especially nice.  It is fully restored and historically is the home where the terms of agreement of surrender were worked out.  It is not the house where the British signed the agreement.  Still worth the visit if you like old homes.