Sunday, March 23, 2008
Handel's Messiah- a gift to Robert Heseltine
Just in time for Easter, I received an email attachment from a distant cousin which included an heirloom of our family. The image above shows a book of sheet music of George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" which was given to Robert Heseltine from his church choir at Station Town, County Durham, England. Inside the book's cover was written,
"Presented to Robert Heseltine, Oct 1, 1887, by the choir of the Primitive Methodist Society of Station Town as a token of their appreciation of his faithful service in the choir"
The musical score must have been a treasured gift for the rest of Robert's life as it is even mentioned in his obituary. Apparently he became a noted choir singer and was invited to perform in several churches in the area.
Before the turn of the century, Robert Heseltine immigrated to Barnesboro, Cambria County, Pennsylvania (now, Northern Cambria). In 1894, Robert married Elizabeth WEST, daughter of William and Temple West. They raised 7 children in the Methodist church of Barnesboro. The family is buried at Northend Cemetery, Barnesboro (see image above, click to enlarge).
Robert Heseltine's father, William Heseltine, married Mary Ann Hartley, who was the younger sister of my great grandmother, Eleanor Hartley (married Thomas W. Russell). Thus, Robert was the nephew of my great grandmother.
Source of "Messiah" image: Merelyn M. Davis of CA