Saturday, April 19, 2014

My Aunt's Grandfather sat on Lincoln's Knee

Note: I'm too tired tonight to even recall how I traced this information, but I put a short post on Facebook. I like to keep my discoveries documented on my blog, in case future reference is needed. 
This is Asa Ozias Gere, who's the grandfather of my aunt, Bernice Kent Flanders. From "Stafford Kansas - Crossroads of Time - 1885-1985" pages 91-92 bio of Asa O. and Emma Gere

A boy, Asa Ozias Gere, was born in Covington, Indiana, September 7, 1846, the son of Lyman and Lucinda (Marvin) Gere, and in 1854 moved with his parents, brother John Franklin and sister Maryette to Urbana, Illinois. In Urbana, the family operated a boarding house known as the "Gere House" or sometimes known as the "American House". Abraham Lincoln frequently visited the inn and held political sessions there. As a young boy, Asa sat on Lincoln's knee and talked with him on many occasions. Upon Lincoln's advice, at age fourteen, Asa found employment in Urbana as a printer.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Family Bible entries hold surprises

I'm not in the possession of my Margheim Family Bible, but my grandfather John Ludwig Margheim (1900-1978) had copies of the family pages within his parents' Bible. This image shows the title page from the Bible and points out that it is a German translation according to Dr. Martin Luther. My Margheim ancestors were strong members of the Lutheran Church. 
This is the page on which is recorded the vital information of my great-grandparents' marriage. Jacob Margheim married Marikatrin (Mary Katherine) Windir (Winter) in 1881 in Friedenfeld, Samara, Russia. The English translation from the Bible is shown below.
As I looked at the pages in this collection, I was surprised to read the Scripture quotation at the top of this page, seen above. It says "Remember the days of old, consider what the Lord has done for the ancestors". Deuteronomy 32:7. Since I've spent most of the last 15 years of my life studying my family's history, these words spoke to me in a personal way. I see that the Transcriber added the explanation that the German version does not agree with the English version and they have translated the German version in this case. The English version reads: "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee."

Because of my German heritage, I think I'll go with the German version and I will remember the days of old and consider what the Lord has done for the ancestors. My pleasure!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mother's high school and high school diary


News reports today tell us the old high school building in Stafford, Stafford, Kansas burned last night, evidently from arson. My mother, Ruby Flanders Margheim Craine, graduated from Stafford High School in 1943. This is what the building looked like then:
Several years ago my half-sister Julie gave me the diary my mother wrote in while she attended Stafford High School. Somehow, that makes me feel more connected to this landmark building. My mother spent years and fun times in this building as a teenager. 
I transcribed my mother's diary and also copied the original pages in mom's beautiful handwriting, then made copies for each of her children and grandchildren.

Just today I was looking in Google maps at the corner where my mother's parents lived in Stafford, KS. Their address was 602 N. Union, but it's a vacant lot now. I made a photo of the map, however, because it has significance to me. Shortly after I met my husband, he encouraged me, tirelessly, to research them on the internet. This was in 1991 and I had not yet used the internet for anything personal. I argued with him that I'd NEVER find anything about my grandparents on the internet. My words to him were (over and over): "My Grandpa and Grandma Flanders lived in this little old house on this little old corner in this little old town of Stafford, Kansas. We're not going to find anything about them on the internet!" Words I've eaten many times since then. Of course when I finally gave in and sat down at the computer in the Family History Center at the LDS building in Colorado Springs, I found a lot of information about them. I even learned, for the first time, that I had cousins living in California! News to me! That was actually the beginning of my genealogy research.

I don't have any good pictures of their house when I visited as a child, but here are a couple of photos I do have: 
Becky and Dennis Margheim with Grandma Nannie (Becker) Flanders, Stafford, KS
Twins Dennis and Becky Margheim at Grandpa and Grandma Flanders' home in Stafford, KS. 1949
This is what the lot looks like today from the air:
So many things are gone. But my memories live on!

Connecting Through Find-A-Grave

At a recent monthly meeting of the Consultants who serve in our local Family History Center, I was asked by my friend Linda if I like Find-A-Grave or Billion Graves the best. I replied that I like each of them for different reasons. Without going into all those reasons, I want to focus here on one reason that I like Find-A-Grave. 

Besides posting memorials to our loved ones on Find-A-Grave, we are given the opportunity to post flowers or comments, to honor a loved one on their memorial, or to let any visitors know that we are related to that person being memorialized. 


A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a woman named "Anna", explaining that she saw my "flowers and name" on Find-A-Grave at her great grandmother's memorial. On January 9, 2014, just TWO months ago, I had posted flowers and left this comment: "With love from your great grandnephew. Larry and Becky Jamison". When you do that, your name is linked to your email information. Anna wanted to get acquainted, find out how we were related and exchange any information we could on this family.  We were thrilled and have since communicated with her numerous times.


This is the photo I had found on this memorial. It's the first picture we've ever seen of any of Larry's great grandmother's siblings. 

Charlotte "Lottie" Alnora Meals Cochran (1867-1954), Find-A-Grave Memorial 24398104 
The photo above was not posted on Find-A-Grave by Anna, so she sent us this portrait that was in her possession. It's a beautiful portrait of a 45 year old woman!
Lottie Meals Cochran, 1912
Anna also shared this photo of Lottie (at right) with her sister, my husband's great-grandmother Clarissa "Clara" Jane Meals Jamison (at left). 
The bonus was that Anna shared this photo with us of the FATHER of these girls, Dr. Samuel Meals, who would be my husband's great, great grandfather. 
Dr. Samuel Meals (1815-1884)
We're so very happy and blessed to have met our cousin Anna and grateful that she's in possession of identified photos and is willing to share them with us. 

The lesson here is to get your name posted on the online genealogy sites. Anna would have never connected with us if she hadn't seen that I posted "With love from your great grandnephew. Larry and Becky Jamison" on the memorial of her great grandmother on Find-A-Grave. When my friend Linda asked at our training meeting last week why I liked Find-A-Grave, she commented that she had never thought of putting flowers and posting her name on family memorials. Now she has proof of the value in doing so. And we are greatly blessed by having done so! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

My "Twin" blog site Grace and Glory Plus

A few years ago I created a web site for myself. I have no real need for a site, but it was free, fun and something I could do, so I did it! I set up "A Joyful Spirit" using the Weebly site builder. It served as kind of a "summary" of my presence on the web, with a listing of my blogs, a little bit about myself, an inventory of my genealogy library, and a sampling of the surnames in my family and those in my husband's family that I've been researching. I added some tabs to house useful links to replace my "bookmarks". 

I'm employed here in Canon City, CO as the Parish Administrator at Christ Episcopal Church. Recently it became part of my job assignment to establish a new web site for the church.   My boss selected Weebly as the site builder, which gave me the opportunity to check out the new features I was not familiar with. I discovered how easy it is to add documents to a post on the blog page. Many times I've posted stories in this blog wishing I could attach a document. I've prepared relationship charts and have saved them as a picture file so I could insert them for illustration purposes. 
That explains the "birth" of my twin site, "Grace and Glory Plus". The same kind of blog posts PLUS documents. I invite you to check it out and offer comments!