Tuesday, January 27, 2009

From the Box: Grandpa's Note Book

When I opened the "treasure" box of papers and pictures that I retrieved from my Dad's house recently (that I wrote about here), I first found this little notebook that was adorned with a "bathing beauty" on the cover. The book is a very small one--it measures only 3" x 5". I recognize the handwriting in it as my grandfather's--John Ludwig Margheim. My Grandpa Margheim was born in 1900 in Wakeeney, Trego County, Kansas, the youngest of the 9 children of George Jacob and Mary Katherine (Winter) Margheim. "Jacob and Katie" immigrated to America from Merkel, Russia in 1886, whose ancestors had settled along the Volga River as emigrants from Germany in the mid 1700s.
Grandpa's dad, Jacob, died when Grandpa was 12 years old, so Grandpa quit school and worked to help support the family. So I'm amazed to see that he wrote in his little "Note Book" in cursive handwriting, with accurate spelling. The pages in the picture above reflect what we essentially call "Family Group Records"! My Grandpa was a genealogist, or family historian, or at least the family record keeper! On the page at the bottom right of the collage above you may be able to discern the record of Jacob Margheim at the top of the page. Born 7 May 1856 in Friedenfeld, Russia, died 15 Oct. 1912 at age 56.
This little note book is a treasure to me. Grandpa (pictured at left in 1968) was a rather quiet man and I find it really interesting to see that he kept records of his family members in such a book. I know that's not an unusual practice, but think about it. How many men who were scraping out a meager living for their families on the plains and farms of Kansas in the early part of the 1900s would take the time to sit down and make a written record of their family members? Maybe a lot of them did, but I'm surprised my Grandpa took the time to do this. There are a lot of things we don't know about our grandparents during the years we're able to be with them, aren't there!
Post a Comment