Friday, April 17, 2015

Seeing the resemblance in grandmothers

This is one of my favorite old family photos, showing my grandmother Amalia "Mollie" Koleber in about 1905. She's pictured with her father George and mother Catherine Elisabeth "Katie" Dietz Koleber, her oldest brother George Jr. and brother Daniel. This family had just immigrated to America through Ellis Island the previous year from Kratzke, Saratov, Russia. 
I absolutely LOVE this picture of my grandmother Amalia Koleber. I've written about it before in this post. I've been studying it to determine a resemblance that Mollie might have had with her mother Katie. 
This is my great-grandmother Katie Koleber, above, on her farm near Wakeeney, Trego, Kansas about 1924. As I look at her face, I see my grandmother's face when my grandmother was in her teens, as shown in the photo above (she's on the left).

This family photo may have been taken about 1926. It shows George and Katie Koleber (seated) with all their family, except Daniel, who had died in 1916 at the age of 18. From left to right standing are Albert, Victor, Henry, George Jr, Fred, and Emil.  
This is my grandmother Mollie (Koleber) Margheim about 1978, at age 76. And pictured below is HER grandmother, my great, great grandmother Maria Elisabeth Maier Dietz (1851-1929). I do see the resemblance that my grandma bore to her grandma. I noticed that my great, great grandma Mary Dietz is holding a handkerchief in her left hand (below). Notice in the photo at the top of this post that my grandma Mollie is holding a handkerchief in her little left hand. 

It's interesting to me to note that Mary Elisabeth Maier Dietz, above, died 5 Sept 1929 and her daughter Catherine Elisabeth "Katie" Dietz Koleber died 18 Nov 1929. My grandmother Mollie Koleber Margheim gave birth to twins, her 3rd and 4th children on 18 Oct 1929. So Grandma Mollie lost her grandma, gave birth to twins 6 weeks later, then lost her mother one month after the births of her daughter Laverna and son, Leonard Margheim. What an emotional time that must have been for my dear Grandma Mollie.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sharing a headstone photo brings me closer to my ancestors

I was happy this past week to get the above message from my Facebook friend Terry Batt. We've corresponded before so he knew that my paternal grandmother's surname was Koleber. The great thing about posting information like this on Facebook is that others can see it and add to it. I was fortunate that Dr. Brent Mai saw this posting and added this information for me: 
Dr. Brent Mai is the Director of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. Brent's grandaunt, Mary "Marie" Magdalena Deines, was married to my granduncle, Friedrich "Fred" Koleber, so he also knew of my Koleber connection. 
From my RootsMagic database, I was able to prepare this chart above that shows my relationship to the Georg Adam Koleber whose headstone is at the top of this story. I'm his second great grandniece, as he's a brother of my great, great grandfather, Johann Heinrich Koleber.  

Terry proceeded to share this headstone also.

He tells me it's the headstone of Heinrich Dietz and is one of the oldest markers in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery. I'ts made of granite, rather than limestone, as are most of the other headstones in the cemetery. You can see in the relationship chart above that my grandmother Amalia Koleber's mother was Catherine Elisabeth Dietz. Thus my Dietz/Koleber connection. 

I found this better picture of the headstone at
In the first photo of the headstone you can notice the carving of the representation of fabric at the top of the monument. In connection with Heinrich's memorial on Find-A-Grave is the memorial of his sister Katherina. The fabric is also visible at top right. 

Evidently a correction needs to be made on the Family Tree at This screen shot of their family's detail page shows Henry (or "Heinrich)'s birth year as 1876, since his headstone tells us he was born in 1879.

These screen shots show the memorials at for the parents of both Heinrich and Katharina Dietz. In the photo above of Katharina's headstone, this headstone of her parents is barely visible at the left. 
I was born and raised in Great Bend, Kansas which appears at the bottom right of this map. My father went to high school in Hoisington, which is just 10 miles north of Great Bend. His father, John L. Margheim grew up in the Russell, Kansas area, seen at top right. This map shows the placement of the Trinity Lutheran, or bender Hill Cemetery in Russell County. 

This little map snippet shows where the Trinity Lutheran or Bender Hill Cemetery is in relation to Canon City, Colorado (at far left), where I currently live. 

It's such a blessing to have friends like Terry Batt, who shared this information and Dr. Brent Mai, who added more details so the people and our relationships have become more meaningful and relevant.

The Katharina Elizabeth Dietz (1876-1901) whose headstone is pictured above, married Frederick Schneider. 

This chart shows her at left with her husband Frederich and son Harold Frederick. At the bottom right is Lefa Virginia Margheim, the first cousin once removed of Harold Frederich Schneider. The chart below shows that Lefa Virginia Margheim is also my first cousin once removed. 
When I determine personal relationships, I'm blessed to feel so much more connected to those ancestors who are represented by headstones in these cemeteries. They aren't just monuments, but they're my family! And they are remembered. These families immigrated to America from the Volga region of Russia. That's why I like the Russian proverb that I use as my tag line: "We live as long as we're remembered."   

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Getting Closer to the Family of my Husband's Great, Great Grandmother

One of my research "brick walls" for the 16 years I've been working on our family's history has been my husband's great, great grandmother Pleasant Horner. She was on my mind this past week so I spent most of today looking for her family online. She was married to my husband's great, great grandfather John Haught, and as I wrote in my previous post this morning, I woke up today to an email that referenced the Haught ancestors of my husband.

As a result of the research I did today, I was able to prepare this chart:
Much to my surprise, I found quite a bit of information on the family of Pleasant Horner on the Family Tree at While I didn't find any photos of Pleasant Horner, I did find this attractive portrait of her sister Mahala. It had been provided to the Family Tree by V. K. Roberts.
Also available there for viewing was this photo containing another sister Nancy Ann Horner with her husband at left:
By looking at these photos of the sisters of Pleasant Horner, I think we can get a good idea of her appearance. 

I found this photo of Colonel Ellsworth Horner, son of Elias and Mahala Horner Villers. 
Further hunting turned up this wonderful story submitted by V. K. Roberts. Larry and I found it particularly interesting since we're members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But our immediate families were not members of the Church as early as the times referenced in this article: 

What's in a name and a dream?

Elias and Mahala Villers decided to name their new baby boy on that 13th day in August, 1868, after a Colonel Ellsworth, the first Union Colonel to fall in the Civil war. Elias had served three years as a Union soldier. Colonel was a honest honorable hard working man. Growing up mid West Virginia's rolling green and wooded hills with 10 other brothers and sisters gave Colonel some treasured memories. He never forgot his roots and beloved West Virginia. He often sang to his children the song, "Mid The Green Fields of Virginia." Colonel Ellsworth Villers was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints the thirty-first of August 1925 in the Iowa River just north of his home in Tama.Grandpa had sent for the missionaries after he dreamed his father and mother visited him. His father Elias had not joined the church while living. Elias told Grandpa in the dream not to put off joining as he had done till it was too late. Grandpa recalls the Mormon missionaries spent a lot of time with his parents teaching them the gospel while living in West Virginia. Grandpa's father disagreed with some points of doctrine and never joined the church. Grandpa remembered hearing one missionary say to his father "Brother Villers, I will preach to you in the spirit world." This was the very same missionary Grandpa saw in his dream preaching to his father.
I'll continue my search for information about Larry's great, great grandmother Pleasant Horner Haught. Today I identified her parents and siblings and was blessed with these photos. Who knows what I'll find the next time.

1882 was a Tough Year for Edward Haught

At the bottom right of the chart above is my husband, Larry C. Jamison, You can see that his paternal grandmother was Rhea Haught, the daughter of Lafayette F. and Priscilla Yost Haught. This post is about Lafayette Haught's uncle and aunt, Edward and Catherine Haught. 

I subscribe to "The John Haught Family" site on Tribal Pages and this morning received an email with family birthday reminders that are found on this site. I usually delete the email due to time constraints but since today's Saturday, I took time to go to the site and look around again. I found information for which I need to submit corrections, but also found information that I'm able to add to my database. There are a lot of supporting documents available on the site.
This chart above shows that Edward Haught and his wife Catherine Haught are first cousins, both grandchildren of Jacob Henry and Mary Magdalena Cannon Haught. 
Edward and Catherine's family is shown in this group sheet above. As I was reading about the family on The John Haught Family site this morning, I learned these heart-breaking facts:
5 Feb 1882, daughter Bertha was born
14 Mar 1882, mother Catherine died at age 35 of Scarlet Fever
1 Apr 1882, 7 year old daughter Martha died of Scarlet Fever, just 17 days after her mother's death
5 Aug 1882, 6 month old baby daughter Bertha died of unknown causes

So in less than 5 months, Edward Haught lost his wife and 2 daughters. He was suddenly a single father to: 
Harriett, age 12
Phebe, age 10
Prudence, age 8
Jacob, age 3 
and Peter "Kinsey", age 2

I see in the 1900 census at Bettelle, Monongalia West Virginia, four of his adult children are still living at home: Harriett, single at age 30 (she died 9 years later), Phebe, single at age 28, Jake, single at 21, and Kinsey, single at age 20. Also living in the household were Edward's mother Nancy, widowed and age 76, and the single 20 year old Rena Simpson, a boarder, along with 4 year old Alice Simpson, boarder. 

Elder Allan F. Packer of the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tells us "Family History is about the Hearts before the Charts". This quick research today drives home that point. The charts show us names, dates, and places, but the documents reveal the details of the lives, the trials, the illnesses and the heartache that our ancestors suffered and endured. Edward Haught endured life as a widow for more than 50 years after he lost his wife, infant daughter Bertha, and 7 year old daughter Martha. When Edward died at age 86, he had also survived daughter Harriett, who died in 1908 at age 39, daughter Phebe, who died at age 41 in 1913, and son Jacob, who died in 1930 at age 51. 

When we look closely at the facts, our hearts are drawn to this family as we realize their heartaches from the losses they suffered.  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I'm anxious to learn more about my distant cousin, Laura Ingalls Wilder

As a Christmas present I received an Amazon gift card. It was good timing because I'd just learned of this new book edited by Pamela Smith Hill. At Amazon we read: "Hidden away since the 1930s, Laura Ingalls Wilder's never-before- published autobiography reveals the true stories of her pioneering life." 

When I was a third grade student in the class of Mrs. Jean Nossaman at E. E. Morrison School in Great Bend, KS it was the Fall of 1955 and I was just seven years old. Our teacher read to us each day. We were lucky that she read several Laura Ingalls Wilder's books. I was just the right age to engage my imagination and live those adventures as I heard them. I thought at the time that those tales had been written "back in the old days". I didn't realize until years later that "Little House on the Prairie" had just been published in 1935. That was relatively recent, as I look back now. 

I'm so glad I have those memories. It will be fun to recall those times in my childhood as I venture through my new book and learn more of Laura's life in her own words. 

This chart shows my cousin connection to Laura. I wish I could share this with my mother. I doubt that she knew Laura Ingalls Wilder was her cousin. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Take a minute to follow that lead

In recent days I've read that Google may abandon their Google+ product in the near future. I have a G+ account, but seldom visit the site due to time constraints. I've followed some recent comments on Facebook (which admittedly contributes to my time constraints) about Google's practice of "storing" our personal photos. I learned a few years ago that all the photo albums I had created on the Google "Picasa" site were automatically transferred to Google+. As the discussion on the topic arose again this week on Facebook, I decided to mark my albums at Google+ "Private". That action included the album named "Grace and Glory". 

To my horror, I noticed yesterday that all the photos in this blog....ALL...were missing. Gone! I fretted over this development for 24 hours. As I was trying to recall what might have happened to cause this, I went back to the most recent photo I had posted on the blog. It was still visible in my photo folder and was named "Picasa". Only by a stroke of luck was it named that. I had created a collage for the photo in the photo editing program "Picasa" so when I uploaded it to my hard drive it kept that name. And then when I read the name, I remembered my ancient Picasa albums and remembered that I had changed the privacy setting on them too, just a few days ago. And since my Picasa photos are automatically transferred into Google+, I realized that by changing the privacy setting to "Private" I removed them from visibility in my blog! With one click they were back and I was relieved! the point of this story. I had considered deleting my G+ account, but hadn't done it yet. I'm learning that I just need to quit changing things! This morning I saw this post in the DearMyrtle Community at Google+. 
Debbie Mieszala had posted about free digital collections about Illinois and DearMyrtle had shared her post from "The Advancing Genealogist" on Google+. 

In my RootsMagic database I have this family group, colored red because they are my direct ancestors on my mother's father's line. 

I went to the site Debbie had posted and I searched for digital collections in McHenry County, Illinois. I found this paragraph about Henry McMillan: 

Henry McMillan, one of the native sons of McHenry County, and a successful farmer of Nunda Township, was born on the old McMillan farm, in Nunda Township, just east of the one he now owns, March 21, 1882. His father, Andrew T. McMillan, was also born in Nunda Town ship, a son of Samuel McMillan. Samuel McMillan was born in the state of New York, where he was married to Jane Ann Wilson, and in 1836 they came to Illinois, settling in Nunda Township, and entering 160 acres of land. There they both died. Andrew T. McMillan was reared in Nunda Township, where he was married to Marian A. Wicker, a native of Vermont, a daughter of Benjamin Wicker. They had the following children: Emma, Charles and Benny, deceased; Henry, Frank Ray; and Earl. Andrew T. Mc Millan was a farmer and owned eighty acres of land, on which Henry McMillan now lives, and sixty-eight acres across the road which was the homestead. He was a Republican, but not active in politics. His death occurred when he was sixty-eight years old. Henry McMillan attended the district schools and learned to be a practical farmer under his father's instruction. On July 2, 1903, Mr. McMillan was married to Bessie C. Hoffman, who died May 29, 1916, leaving her family desolate, for hers was a noble, Christian character, and she was beloved by them and the whole neighborhood. Mr. and Mrs. McMillan had the following children: Eva and Neva, twins; Mark; Glenn; Vera and Nellie, all of whom are at home. Mr. McMillan belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, and his wife belonged to the Royal Neighbors.

This chart shows my relationship to Henry McMillan. I'm his first cousin, twice removed. 

So here's my point. Since I had NOT closed my Google+ account this week as I had considered, and since I have my account set to be notified of posts to the DearMYRTLE Genealogy Community in my Gmail, I saw the recent posting of Debbie Mieszala that DearMyrt shared. I was able to learn of a great new resource for my McHenry County, Illinois ancestors and I found new information on my cousin Henry McMillan. I find old obituaries quite interesting in the way they're written too. "Henry McMillan learned to be a practical farmer under his father's instruction." We don't find that kind of description about our relatives in documents that only tell us dates and places!