Sunday, March 1, 2015

Timeline Puts my Grandfather's Life in Perspective

Earlier today I posted a story with a timeline of my grandmother's life showing many of the losses she endured during her life. That post can be found HERE. I thought it would be interesting to prepare the same timeline for my grandfather. 
My grandpa was John Ludwig Margheim,youngest of the children of George Jacob and Mary Katherine "Katy" (Winter) Margheim. He was born in 1900 in Russell, Russell, Kansas. 
This timeline shows us that Grandpa lost his father at age 12, in 1912. Grandpa told me he had to quit school at that age so he could work and help support his family. 
One of my favorite portraits of my Grandpa Margheim
on a celluloid plaque.
By the time he was 20 years old he was living on his own and supporting his older sister Lena in his household. 
He married my Grandma in Nov. 1920, at age 20, and sadly, just three-and-a-half months later his mother passed away. Five months after he lost his mother, his first child, my father Ernest was born.

When Grandpa Margheim was 23 he was blessed with another son Alfred.
Just 3 years later, Grandpa experienced the loss of his older brother Alexander, a father of five who was killed in a car accident at age 34. Exactly one year later his older sister Lena passed away from tuberculosis at age 38. This was the sister who was living with Grandpa in 1920, before he got married. 

In 1929, when Grandpa was age 29, he became the father of twins Leonard and Laverna.
In my previous post I wrote of my Grandparents' move from the farmland of Kansas to Longmont, Colorado. It was in Longmont that their little precious son Alfred passed away in March, 1933 from pneumonia.
Left to right: Alfred, Leonard, John, Laverna and
Ernest Margheim
After Alfred's death in 1933 the family moved back to their home state of Kansas where Grandpa gained employment in the railroad shops in Hoisington, Barton County.

In September 1934 Grandpa received word that his oldest brother Fred had mysteriously died in Russell, Kansas.

You can see the family activities in the intervening years in the timeline posted above. But it's sad to note that when Grandpa was 46 his brother Jake died. 

When he was age 50 his oldest sister Eva died at age 67 from a stroke. 

At age 53, Grandpa experienced the death of his sister Mary, then at age 62 he lost his brother George.
John and Mollie Margheim with granddaughter Michele
and daughter Laverna Irelan. 1969
At age 72 he suffered the devastating loss of his only daughter Laverna, who suffered a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 43. 
Left to right: Leonard and Marceleen (Manke) Margheim,
John and Mollie (Koleber) Margheim, Phyllis (Jones) and
Ernest Margheim. About 1976
On July 28, 1978 Grandpa enjoyed an evening at home with his wife and good friends playing pitch at their dining room table, after which he suffered a heart attack and died. 
These photos from my early childhood show what a devoted grandpa John Margheim was and how much time he spent with us, whether it was shoveling snow or building the second story onto his house. He was a happy man, very gentle, quiet, and unassuming. He worked hard to support his family and never complained through all the loss and hardships he experienced in his life. I'm blessed to have been his granddaughter. 

Respecting my Grandmother's Life Trials

I awoke today thinking about the trials my grandmother endured during her lifetime. Of all the people in my childhood, I felt closest to my grandmother. When my twin brother and I were only 2 years old, our mother divorced our dad and moved to another town in Kansas. As a single father, our dad worked hard as an Accountant at Thies Packing Company in Great Bend, Kansas to support us. He kept our house in Great Bend and moved our family to Hoisington, Kansas to live with his parents, John and Mollie (Koleber) Margheim. So as a toddler, I felt like my Grandma Margheim was more like my mom. She was gentle, loving, kind, and adored us as her first grandchildren. 
Grandma Mollie (Koleber) Margheim in her front yard
with grandchildren Becky and Dennis 1949
I spent some time this afternoon preparing this timeline that includes the major events of  her life. As I look at the family births and deaths she experienced at the ages indicated, it increases the compassion I have for her, which in turn increases the respect I have for her in my memories. 

This timeline shows that my Grandma Margheim was born in Russia, immigrated to America with her parents and two older brothers when she was only one-and-a-half years old. As a 13 year old she lost her older brother Daniel.
John George and Catherine Elizabeth "Katie" (Dietz) Koleber
with sons George Jr (at back), Daniel, and daughter Amalia "Mollie".
At age 18 she married and gave birth to her first son, 13 lb. baby Ernest, my dad. When Grandma was 21, she gave birth to her second son Alfred, on Nov 11, 1923.

John, Mollie, Ernest and Alfred Margheim
about 1927.
Just before Grandma turned 27, her grandmother died. Six weeks later she gave birth to twins (with a combined birth weight of 15 pounds!).
Leonard Marvin and Laverna Margola Margheim
Exactly one month after Grandma gave birth to her twins, her mother died! I'm saddened to even think about it. 

Due to the Great Depression, two years later, in 1931 the family lost their farm and moved from Trego County, Kansas to Longmont, Colorado. My father told me that they initially lived in a barn that belonged to family friends. Their living quarters were divided from the animals by a blanket wall. My grandparents were ages 28 and 30, with 4 small children, ages 10-2. 

Within two years of moving to Colorado, my dad's younger brother Alfred got sick and died. 
Ernest Margheim visits the grave of his younger brother
Alfred in the Hygiene, Colorado Cemetery. 
Within months the family moved back to Kansas. All this happened by the time my grandmother was 30 years old.

In contrast, during my first 30 years of life I experienced no deaths in my immediate family. I graduated from high school, then college, taught school, got married and adopted my son by age 28. My husband and I had moved into our 3rd home and established our own family business. Life was good. I'm grateful that I didn't experience the losses my Grandma did.
Amalia "Mollie" (Koleber) Margheim
Oct 6, 1902-June 6, 1986
Looking at the trials and losses my grandmother experienced during her young life increases the compassion I have for her. I've always had great love and respect for her because she was not one to complain, whine, or feel sorry for herself.  She laughed easily, worked hard for her family, and opened her arms and home to anyone who needed a safe place in which to thrive. She was an affectionate person who had a ready hug for any of her family. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Our Cousins are Married to Each Other

I happily made another discovery today that one of my cousins was married to one of my husband's cousins.
My husband Larry Jamison is a 5th cousin 2 times
removed of Charles S. Bickerstaff.
I am a 2nd cousin once removed of
Rachel Dietz. 

You can see that Rachel Dietz (1921-2007), my cousin, was married to Charles Bickerstaff (1923-2008), my husband's cousin.
Memorial Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Jean ღ
Record added: Dec 29, 2007 
Find A Grave Memorial# 23618548
Memorial Created by: John F Covey
Record added: Aug 21, 2008 
Find A Grave Memorial# 29219240
Charles's obituary from FindAGrave: 
Memorial services for 1st Sgt. (retired) Charles "Chuck" Bickerstaff, 84, of Junction City, Kan., will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 630 S. Eisenhower Dr., Junction City, Kan.The graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday a the Kansas Veteran's Cemetery at Wakeeney, Kan. Visitation was held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Penwell-Gabel Johnson Chapel 203 N. Washington. Mr. Bickerstaff passed away Sunday (July 20, 2008) at Mercy in Manhattan, Kan. Memorials may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 630 S. Eisenhower Dr., Junction City, Kan., 66441. He was born August 8, 1923, in Grant Town, the son of Martin and Hazel "Tennant" Bickerstaff. He graduated from Fairmont High School with the class of 1941. He married Rachel Dietz on May 16, 1945 at Olympia, Wash. His wife Rachel preceded him in death on Dec. 7, 2007. They moved to Junction City in May 1966. Mr. Bickerstaff served 22 years in the U.S. Army and served his country during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. In addition to five bronze stars, a silver star, a meritorious medal, he received other commendations. Upon retirement from the military, he was a salesman for Modern Woodman of America. Mr. Bickerstaff was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church and numerous civic organizations. He was a Hixson Award recipient and past president of the noon Kiwanis, past commander of the VFW, past commander of the American Legion, and a member of the Salvation Army board. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; and his brothers, Martin Jr., Richard and Roger. Survivors include his daughter Constance Sue Collins, of Van, Texas; his sons Charles Ludwig, of Dixon, Ill., and Henry Martin and his wife Harriet, of Alva, Okla.; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren; his brothers M. John and Thomas E.; and sisters Ivah Mae Haught, Ida Virginia Stalnaker, and Helen Patricia Law.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

I just discovered a new fact about my great grandparents

During my recent visit to the Family Discovery Center in Salt Lake City I realized how important it is for me to upload photos, stories and source records to the individuals on my Family Tree if I can. One of the displays lets us touch a button to bring up a photo, and any information available for that individual is shown on the huge screen. It can put me to shame if I have that information and yet nothing shows up due to my failure to share it on the site. 

At this display I touched my maternal great grandfather's photo and this profile came up that includes photos. But you can see under 'Stories' that it says 'No stories available'. I need to get busy. 

This afternoon I reviewed my research on my paternal great grandparents, George "Jacob" and Mary Katherine (Winter) Margheim. This is the family I was looking at.
My grandfather John Ludwig Margheim is the youngest boy
between his parents in the front row. 
Until two years ago I thought this was the entire family unit. As I was searching Find-A-Grave I learned that an infant son Heinrich (Henry) was also born to this family (6 Aug 1891-8 Jun 1892). 

Today I looked at the 1910 Census for this family.

For the first time, I noticed that it says that my great grandmother Mary (Katherine or "Katie") had 12 children, with only 9 living in 1910. My genealogy database shows this family unit:
I do have baby Henry listed, but evidently Katie had two more children that I have never known about. I'll bet one was born while the family was still living in Russia, between 1883 and 1886, and perhaps one was born between 1887 and 1891. Oh dear, will I ever know? 

Here's the 1895 Census for this family:
This shows daughter Lena age 5. In the 1910 census above she is age 20. So she might have been born in 1890. However, I got her birth date of 7 May 1883 from the family Bible. A second "Oh dear". 

You might notice in the 1910 census above that the son age 17 is listed as "Samuel". I do know there was no Samuel in the family. That has to be Jacob Alexander "Alex", who is age 3 in the 1895 census (born 12 Dec 1892). The third "Oh dear!"  

I'm surprised that I hadn't noticed these details before. This proves that we need to go back and review our source documents. We just never know what we might discover.           

I visited the Family Discovery Center and made a great new discovery

When Larry and I went to Salt Lake City for RootsTech 2015, we arrived 2 days before the conference started. That gave us time to visit relatives and gave me time to shop at Deseret Book and attend a tour of the new Family Discovery Center that FamilySearch has built in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building east of Temple Square. 

As I waited for the tour to start at 10 am that Wednesday morning I was greeted by Shari Mehling Stone and her friend. It was coincidence that Shari was there at the same time. I met Shari at last year's RootsTech. Her great granduncle's daughter Mary Mehling married my great grandfather, George Koleber in 1931.  
Shari Mehling Stone is 3rd from right in the green sweater.
Shari is reviewing the Mehling information provided at this
display in the Discovery Center. 
After Shari and I visited awhile, another guest arrived for the 10 am tour. We recognized each other from Facebook! I met my new friend Michelle Ganus Taggart. 

I observed as Michelle visited a room that showed historical events about the locations where her ancestors lived.

As Michelle and I continued our visit in the Center, as all curious genealogists do, we shared information about our ancestral families. I told Michelle where I was living in Colorado and she told me her father's Ganus family had lived in Manassa, Colorado around the turn of the 20th century. This map shows the proximity of Manassa to my current residence of Canon City, CO.  

She was surprised to learn that my husband had ancestral connections to Manassa, Colorado too. This 1900 census below for Manassa, CO shows residents Aaron Hawkins and family.

This chart shows my husband's relationship to Aaron Hawkins.
Aaron Hawkins and Larry Jamison are 2nd cousins,
3 times removed.
It's so cool that I was able to personally get acquainted with Michelle in the "Discovery Center" and discover our family connections.   

Friday, February 20, 2015

My 10th Gt Grandfather's in the Joseph Smith Papers

In his LDS Media Talk blog this morning, Larry Richman wrote that FamilySearch has partnered with the Joseph Smith Papers saying "If you have an account on, you can see where your direct ancestors are mentioned in the papers of Joseph Smith. Find out if your ancestors interacted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and other early members of the Church at
I went to the site and signed in to my FamilySearch account and found that my 10th great grandfather, Isaac Morley, was mentioned in the Papers. A brief biography follows: 
 This relationship chart shows my ascent to Isaac Morley.

If you think you have ancestors who might have been associated with Joseph Smith and mentioned in the Joseph Smith Papers, go to this site and check it out.