Saturday, November 28, 2015

My first easy attempt at a narrated photo

I use the Flip-Pal mobile scanner to scan my photos since I can easily use it from my lap in the evenings. I work all day in an office and don't want to sit at a desk in our home office to scan my thousands of photos. 

This week the Flip-Pal company announced a new feature which enables us to add audio to any digital photo. It's called Story Scans. You can read about it by clicking on the photo above. I looked into it and considered it for a few days. This morning I decided to download the upgrade and make the $24.99 purchase for the Activation Key for this feature in the new version 4.0.

I don't like the sound of my own voice, nor do I often record my voice, but I have tried this software out on ONE photo so far. As I shared my first attempt with my cousin Kate, we each realized an added benefit to the recording. She hadn't heard my voice before and also hadn't heard the correct pronunciation of my maiden name, until I said it on this StoryScan! 

My husband is going to love using this, as he's a Story Teller. He can add color to any photo with his recollections and stories. 

Kimball? Does his name have Kimball in it?

My second cousin, Kate Keller, created a group on Facebook for descendants of Antoine LaRoux, b. 1613 in Germany, and died 1689 in New York. This week she posted the information shown in the photo above. The information she provided grabbed at my heart, because the woman shown, Elva Alice (Dixon) Roberts, died at age 33 from a hypoglycemic coma due to paranoid schizophrenia. That's nothing to snicker at. I can't imagine the grief that couple experienced in their short life together. 

Spencer W. Kimball
I noticed that the man in uniform was named Miles Kimball Roberts and he was the son of Miles Hartley Roberts and Iris Kimball. Miles and Elva were married in the Idaho Falls Temple. Any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will recognize the connection of the "temple", "Salt Lake City" and the name "Kimball". Spencer W. Kimball was the 12th President of the Church from 1973 until his death in 1985.  

I asked Kate where the name LaRue tied in to the Kimball-Roberts family that she exposed me to in the LaRue Family History group on Facebook. After Kate lined out the connection, I was able to determine how they also connected to President Spencer W. Kimball. I often create charts that help me follow lineage and I prepared this chart to share with Kate last night.
I'm shown in the bottom right corner, M Rebecca Margheim. My 9th cousin in the LaRue family is Elva Alice Dixon. Her husband is shown in the middle at the bottom. His parents go off to the left, Iris Kimball and Miles Roberts. And the chart shows that Iris Kimball was the 1st cousin of Spencer W Kimball. So my 9th cousin was married to the 1st cousin once removed of Pres. Spencer W. Kimball. 

With a little help from Cousin Kate, some digging on and a half-hour of free time, I was able to establish this visual aid to illustrate my family's connection to one of my Church's notables. That was a fun activity for the snowy, cold Friday night after Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A marriage connects my birth mother and step-mother

The charts shown above show how my brain works when discovering connections in my family history. At the top right we start with H James "Jim" Jones and Helen Marker whose daughter was Phyllis J Jones, my step-mother by her marriage to my father Ernest Margheim. Ernest's first wife Ruby Flanders was my mother. My name "Mary Rebecca Margheim" is shown highlighted in yellow. 

We can see that another daughter of Jim Jones, by his first wife Minnie Kite, was Katherine Jones, who married Homer Dyer. Katherine and Homer had a son Paul, who married Julitta Elsen. Paul and Julitta's son was Steve Dyer.

As I grew up, we visited frequently with, and were close friends of Paul and Julitta and their family. Since I lived with my dad and step-mother I really felt like Steve Dyer was my cousin. 
Julitta Elsen Dyer
Steve Dyer with daughters Justine (left) and Maleah (2nd from left),
granddaughter Leah (standing) and my dad Ernest Margheim
seated in front. 
The chart above also shows that Julitta Elsen Dyer's parents were Nicholas Elsen and Emelia Schwartz. As the daughter of John Schwartz and Elizabeth Geiger, Emelia's had brother William P. Schwartz, whose son was Maurice Schwartz. Maurice's son is Robert Schwartz, who's married to Barbara Jane Smith. 

The chart at the bottom of the illustration shows that Barbara Smith Schwartz is MY second cousin. Her father Wilmer Smith was the son of Edna Becker and Ray R Smith. Edna's sister was Nannie Becker, wife of Milo Flanders. Nannie and Milo were the parents of my mother Ruby Flanders. 
Left to right: Mabel (Becker) Lillich, Esta (Becker) Batchman,
Lew Becker, Edna (Becker) Smith, Bert Becker,
Nannie (Becker) Flanders
Just in the past few months have I become acquainted with my second cousin Barbara Smith Schwartz through Facebook. I recently posted a comment about my discovery of another family connection that involved Julitta Elsen Dyer. When I saw a reply comment from my cousin (through my MOTHER'S family!!) Barbara Smith Schwartz asking how I knew Julitta Dyer, I was surprised that she was asking about someone connected to my STEP-MOTHER'S family. As I noticed Barbara's husband was named Schwartz, I recalled that Julitta's ancestry included that Schwartz name too. Barbara gave me the missing link....her husband's ancestry, and I was able to prepare the chart at the top of this post.  

It's surely hard for any reader to understand the significance of this discovery and these connections. It's one of those cases where "you had to be there". I can't begin to explain the division between my two mother/step-father and my father/step-mother. Because of hard feelings, the division was wider than the parted Red Sea. As I grew up, I thought of them as two separate worlds, with no connection except for me and my twin brother Dennis. We were the joining link. 
Dennis, Becky, Phyllis, Ernest Margheim 1965
Left to right back row: Becky, Dennis, and Diane (Mason)
Margheim, Don and Ruby (Flanders Margheim) Craine;
Front row left to right Jill, Jenice and Julie Craine,
About 1969 
 So as I discover more connecting links, I'm just "blown away". They are of major significance to me. I have fun illustrating all the connections. Sometimes it seems I'm going in circles, but they make sense to me. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Telling my Story: Skipping through the Primary Grades

My twin brother told his wife that in most pictures of us during our early childhood, we were holding hands. This is just one example when we were about 5 years old. Since we're dressed up and standing in front of our grandparents' house in Hoisington, KS, we must have been on our way to Sunday School. I'm so grateful to have been raised in a Christian home and to have attended Sunday School and Church every Sunday. After Dad remarried, our Mom read our lesson to us every Saturday night and helped us learn a Bible verse for the lesson on Sunday morning. Phyllis had grown up in a home where her family went fishing each Sunday and she was extremely happy, after her marriage, to be in a family who attended church regularly. 
It's great that my Dad kept this Sunday School lesson from
Feb. 1957. Each week Mom helped us memorize
the "Bible Words to Remember" on the back page.

Some of my memories from attending school at Morrison School follow.
Mrs. Pearl Dodd was Principal at Morrison School 
until I was in the 6th grade. She also taught 5th 
grade in the mornings when I was in 5th grade.
Kindergarten teacher: Miss Aileen Williams 
  • I knew how to tie shoes and sat on the floor as the class paired up to learn how to tie a bow. My partner was Dennis and I showed him how to tie his shoes.
  • I remember how much I enjoyed painting with Tempura paint on the big easels in our classroom.
  • I played the tambourine when we had music time with instruments.
  • I was stung by a wasp one morning as I was leaving the classroom. One of the mothers who was there to pick up her child put tobacco from her cigarette on the sting. It helped stop the stinging sensation. 
First Grade teacher: Miss Reba Hay
Miss Reba Hay is at far left front row. She was much older when
I was in her class. Her hair was bright white in 1953-4!
  • I cried the first day of school when my mom left me there. I always experienced "separation anxiety" in my younger years.
  • I loved learning to write the alphabet and learning to read. 
  • We had easel chalk boards at home so one day my brother picked up some chalk in our classroom and brought it home so we had chalk for our own chalkboards. Yes, that brought a hard spanking for Dennis. Our parents didn't swat with their hands, or a ruler or wooden spoon. Their "tool" was a board that was 3 feet long, 2 inches wide and 1/4" thick. It was kept in a "broom closet" (the space above the stairway), so when that closet door opened, we shuddered!
Second Grade teacher: Miss Delores Temple
Becky Margheim at Will Rogers Shrine in Colorado Springs,
CO. Oct 1954 while in Second Grade.
  • The only two things I remember about second grade are that I was ill quite often, weighed 47 pounds as a result, and thought the young, slender Miss Temple was beautiful. And she had a sister named Shirley. 
Third Grade teacher: Mrs. Jean Nossaman 

  • Mrs. Nossman read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to us.
  • She got pneumonia during the school year and for several months our substitute was Mrs. Magill. 
  • SRA Reading Lab
  • Part of our curriculum in 3rd grade was the SRA Reading system. I loved it and learned a LOT about birds that year!
  • Dennis and I played parts in our 3rd grade Thanksgiving play about the Pilgrims. That was our first experience on stage in a school play. 
I'll share more about grades 4, 5, and 6 in future posts. Here are a few more photos from our lives during 1952-1956. 
Easter, April 1956, 3rd grade
Ernest, Phyllis, Dennis and Becky
Margheim at Easter 1954
I'll close with this keepsake from December 1953 as Dennis and I served as Ring Bearer and Flower Girl at our Aunt LaVerna Margheim's wedding. I loved wearing that dress and thought I was a real princess that day. Aunt LaVerna had helped Grandma care for us at their home 1949-1952 so I knew her well and loved her very much. It was such a privilege to have been her little Flower Girl.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Telling My Story: Living in a new house and starting a new school

My father married my step-mother Phyllis Jones March 18, 1951 when my brother and I were 3-1/2 years old. They were both working in Great Bend, 10 miles away. We continued to live as a family at my Grandparents' home in Hoisington, KS while Dad and "Mom" had a home built onto the "Basement House" I've written about previously. The house was finished and we moved "back home"  in the Spring of 1952.
The Basement House Dad built in 1947,
2201 Jefferson St, Great Bend, KS
The two bedroom house Dad had built on top
of the basement in 1952.
The house was on a corner lot and had a
two car garage and Shop near the alley.
This is the south entrance that was the same
entrance to the basement in the first picture above. 
Dennis and I lived 4 blocks north of the E. E. Morrison School, so we walked to school. I don't remember ever walking WITH Dennis. But we were only allowed to walk straight south on the sidewalk down Jefferson Street to the school building. Since our dad and step-mother had custody of us following our parents' divorce, our step-mother was always fearful that our mother would attempt to "kidnap" us. She was very strict about our comings and goings. Therefore I grew up living in a "small, rigid world" that Phyllis thought was safe for us. We couldn't walk to school down a neighboring street, or stay and play somewhere before going home. We had a key to the house, since our parents both "worked" outside the home and were expected to return straight home from school. Our neighbor Dona Doughty babysat us through 4th grade and upon her marriage our neighbor Millie Donner watched us after school until Dad got home from work at 6:00 pm. Mom didn't arrive home from her job at Jones Laundry until 9:00 pm Monday through Saturday! 

We weren't home all the time. I don't mean to imply that. Mom gave us many opportunities to get involved in activities. I'll write more about those later. 
Here we are playing in fresh snow in our new yard, age 4.

Dad had plenty of help clearing the porch
and walks of snow!
I remember that Dennis's coat was tan and my coat was green.
It's funny how we remember those details.
This is our Kindergarten picture, Fall 1952, age 4. 
Our Kindergarten Class 1952-3, E. E. Morrison School
Miss Aileen Williams was our teacher for the Morning Class.
I'm at the right end of the front row.
Dennis is 3rd from right in the third row.
I'm grateful to Sarah Hoener Shirer for putting together this web site for our grade school.

 I'll share some of my memories from the Primary grades in my next post.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Beautiful Portraits of Children, but Who are They?

Among the photo collection I inherited from my grandmother Mollie (Mrs. John) Margheim, I found these portraits of children. None of them are identified and I don't recognize any as immediate family members. They were probably children in the 1920s, 30s or 40s. My grandparents lived in Russell and Trego Counties in Kansas and were of Volga German descent. 

I don't expect anyone to identify these kids, but do you think any of them are duplicated? Do you think any of the pictures have the same children in them? Familiar names in my grandmother's collection were Koleber, Margheim, Maier, Schwein, Schneider, Koch, Dietz and Deines.