Edith and Isabel Bunting

New pages have been added with information about my grandmother’s sisters: Edith C. Bunting (1890-1960) and Isabel P. Bunting (1892-1976). Both had interesting careers and never married.

Not mentioned in the articles — As a young woman Edith Bunting spent several summers working in Brattleboro, VT, for the Cutting family, as a cook and helper. (Edith was a trained dietitian.) The father in this household, Starr Willard Cutting (1858-1935), was a renowned professor of German at the University of Chicago, author of numerous books, who was born in West Brattleboro and maintained a summer residence there.

Also, both Edith and Isabel spent at least one summer working at Camp Wyonegonic, a camp for girls (which is still active today), in Denmark, Maine.

Charles Bunting

I’ve added a page about my great-grandfather, Charles Bunting (1863-1933), which includes one of his pen & ink drawings at the bottom.

Charles Bunting was trained as an engineer (Swarthmore College). He worked in the steel industry as a factory superintendent, and later supervised other industrial concerns. I’ve listed his employment history, as described by his sister, Martha Bunting. One oddity in this history was the year he spent working at Swarthmore College, during the school year 1899-1900 (or perhaps 1900-1901; the time frame isn’t clear), as superintendent of the school. This was clearly quite different from his previous and later positions. I believe that his duties were limited to financial supervision. (His cash book for the year 1900-1901 is archived at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.) After this year he returned to industrial work.

Charles suffered from severe deafness in his later years. His condition was attributed to auditory nerve damage, from his many years of working in noisy environments. But according to Martha, although he was “shut out of much which would have given him pleasure and information,” he remained happy, “taking his affliction philosophically.” In fact he seems to have had an extremely pleasant personality. The eminent surgeon Edward Martin, who knew Charles for over half a century (they were friends at Swarthmore), wrote about him to Martha after his death: “This is to thank thee for thy letter bearing on Charlie, a heart of gold, a certain splendor in his attitude towards life, a joyous glory in service to others and complete forgetfulness of self.”

Helen Pyle

Here is a page about my great-grandmother, Helen Pyle (1863-1948). This page shows the general type of family history info that I want to publish: real stories, accurate genealogical data, transcriptions of original records, and images.

I forgot to mention that Helen Cyrus Pyle and her future husband Charles Andrews Bunting spent four years together at Swarthmore College, graduating in 1883. Her degree was in literature; his was in science (engineering). They were on the tennis team together. The “List of Class Presents” from 1883 shows that Helen received a “Sunday School Book” and Charles was given a “Potato Masher.” Charles and Helen were married 5 years later, on her birthday, April 12, 1888.

By the way, if you’re active on Ancestry.com, please check out my family tree: Bunting-Sheldon-Green. These 3 family names are the primary focus, but many other surnames are also there, or will be added soon. I’m trying to build a very solid tree, using lots of documentation (attached documents), with everything carefully checked and any discrepancies resolved. So far there are 91 people and over 200 attached records.

Quaker Influence in America

Recently added: The Influence of Friends on Colonial Life, extracts from an address delivered by Elbert Russell in 1922. It describes many of the important contributions made to American society by Quakers, during the colonial era and afterwards: the quest for religious liberty, the separation of church and state, “liberty of conscience even in matters of state policy,” the principles of democracy, equal rights for women, the ideal of peace (“the substitution of organized Justice, self­-government, and active good-will in place of warfare”), peace with Native Americans, and the fight against slavery.

Elbert Russell (1871–1951) was an eminent theologian and scholar. He was also a Quaker, addressing a group of other Quakers, in these remarks from nearly a century ago – please bear in mind that his observations may have been slightly idealized. It’s a good overview, however, and since the Buntings and many of the other people discussed on this website were Quakers, it is important to establish this context.

I’ve also added a short letter from Elbert Russell to Martha Bunting, dated May 7, 1942. He had very nice penmanship, but I have transcribed his letter anyway. (Note the use of “thee” and “thy.”)

Buntings All the Way Down

I’ve just added a definitive Bunting line of descent chart. It goes from Anthony Bunting and wife Ellen Barker (both died 1700) to the children of Charlotte Andrews Bunting and Sheldon R. Green.

This is mostly the work of Martha Bunting, compiled around 1935, here updated and slightly edited. Please contact me if you have any questions, comments, or possible corrections.

Martha in Biographical Dictionaries

Martha Bunting has been listed in many biographical dictionaries over the years. Here are 6 examples, carefully transcribed, spanning the 20th century. These vary in quality and contain several mistakes in the original documents, from trivial to important. Some of these errors were copied in subsequent volumes, like “photo”zoology, instead of protozoology (Martha’s main field), found in the 1994 and 2000 vols.

Who was Martha Bunting?

Yesterday I published Martha Bunting’s autobiographical sketch from 1935. It’s just over 1000 words long. This is the first time it has been published anywhere, either on the web or in print. It will give you some idea of Martha’s life and accomplishments. (Martha Bunting was also my great-grandaunt.)

Right now there still isn’t much actual content on BuntingTree.com, but more will be coming soon. For an overview of what this website is about, please visit the home page.