Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Mother in State Census at 6 Weeks Old

It’s funny how our brains work. I had gathered the information for my mother’s Milo Ethel and Nannie Flandersparents and siblings from my uncle so I’ve never looked at the Kansas State Census image where they are listed for the year 1925 when my mother was born. Last night I came across it on Ancestry.com and took the time to read the Agricultural Schedule that was included.

Pictured above are my maternal grandparents Milo and Nannie (Becker) Flanders with their oldest daughter Ethel, who was born in 1908. In 1925 their family was complete with these members:

Ethel Viola, born 7 Jan 1908,

Cleo Eldon born 21 Jul 1912,

Infant son, born 28 June 1914, died 7 July, 1914,

Edna Pearl born 3 Dec 1916,

Albert Lavern born 24 Oct 1918,

William Mervin born 4 Sep 1921 and

my mother Ruby Nadine, born 17 Jan 1925.

In the 1925 Kansas State Census, she was listed as 6 weeks old and her oldest brother Cleo was listed as a female “Cles”, daughter! In the photo below you can see Cleo is a boy. He’s pictured at far left, with little baby brother Albert sitting on Ethel’s lap, and Pearl being held by my grandmother Nannie Flanders. If Albert was born in 1918, this picture must have been taken about 1917. I think the photo at the top must have been taken about 1910. My grandmother lost a lot of weight in the years between 1910 as the mother of one and 1917, as the mother of four.

Nannie Pearl Cleo Ethel & Albert Flanders In 1925 Milo and Nannie Flanders lived on a farm in Byron Township, Stafford County, Kansas. In the photo below, Milo Flanders is in the foreground with the horse. I wish I knew who else was in the picture.

milo flanders on farm with cattle 

The agriculture schedule gives us these statistics about their farming operations.

240 acres in the farm

160 acres of Winter Wheat sown in the Fall of 1924

20 acres in corn

1/4 acre in Irish potatoes

2 acres in forage

40 acres in natural prairie grass

1,550 bushels of wheat produced

400 bushels of corn produced

75 pounds of butter made

$200 worth of milk and cream sold

95 chickens as of March 1, 1925

$45 in poultry and eggs sold as of March 1, 1925

$120 in animals sold or slaughtered

1 colt under the age of one, 6 horses, 6 milk cows, 7 cattle, 1 sow, 6 pigs, 2 dogs, 1 horse, 1 cream separator

I found it quite interesting to read the details of their farm holdings precisely at the time of my mother’s birth. She was born January 17, 1925 and her oldest sister Ethel was married two months later, March 14, 1925. By looking at these pictures and reading the details about their farm size, I can get a better mental picture of the family than I can simply by reading names and dates on a Family Group Sheet. I’m grateful I took the time to explore the 1925 Kansas State Census and browse long enough to find the Agriculture Schedule.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I’m Still Amazed at Finding Connections

One of the greatest pleasures I get from doing genealogy is discovering connections between my ancestors and those of my husband. My paternal ancestors are Germans from Russia who settled in Kansas. My maternal ancestors are mixed European, who settled in Kansas. But my husband is from Pennsylvania and West Virginia and most of his ancestors STAYED there. So I’m nearly dumb-founded when I discover people in his database who are in MY hometown of Great Bend, Kansas in the early 1900s or late 1800s. Such was the case yesterday when I found that his 3rd cousin (3 times removed) Elizabeth Yost from West Virginia was married to Clarence Rowe and they resided in Great Bend, Kansas. The pedigree below is for Clarence:

clip_image002[8]

 

Perhaps you can see that his maternal grandparents were Johann Mayer and Anna Maria Becker. They are also MY great grandparents!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reno Street Cars were not Good to this Jamison Family

NVreno-st1910r

I’ve been writing about my husband’s 1st cousin (4 times removed) Samuel M. Jamison, who left his home in Indiana, Pennsylvania in 1849 to join the Gold Rush to California. NewspaperArchives have a LOT of the Reno, Nevada and Indiana, PA Evening Gazettes online at Ancestry.com. Samuel and his family lived in Reno, NV in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Today, from the Indiana, PA Evening Gazette I read this tragic story about Samuel’s son-in-law Nathaniel W. Roff.

Indiana (PA) Evening Gazette, 6 Nov 1907:
NATE ROFF DIED FROM HIS INJURIES
Nevada's Auditor General, Who is Known Here, Succumbs to Internal Injuries
MAN OF THE GOLDEN WEST
Nate Roff, State Auditor, of Nevada, who visited here last year, died on Oct. 29 from injuries received a week previous in a runaway. He and a companion were driving in Reno on Oct 21 when their horse shied at a street car and threw both men out. Roff had both legs fractured, the other many was but slightly hurt. A perforation of the bowels was the direct cause of death and Roff was believed to be on the road to recovery when the change came, death following in a few hours.

He is survived by his wife, Edwina Jamison Roff, a daughter of Samuel M. Jamison, and two sons, of Reno.

Roff was aged 55 years and had spent all but 10 years of that time in Nevada. He was formerly manager of the Oregon Stage Line and a prominent lodgeman and politician. last year he and his wife visited the Jamison families and other relatives here.

By an odd coincidence, Mr. Jamison lost his other son-in-law as the result of a similar accident about two year ago.

This tragedy happened in November, 1907. Read what happened in May, 1913 to his son Claire:

Nevada-trolley

31 May 1913 Reno Evening Gazette:
"Claire Roff, Well Known Young Man, Meets With Accident on Street Car"
His right arm crushed under the wheels of a street car, Claire Roff of 20 West Second Street, lost the member by amputation at a local hospital last night. He will recover, according to an announcement made at the hospital this afternoon.

The accident occurred shortly after 8 o'clock last night. Roff, with several friends, was going to Moana Springs, and boarded the interurban car. According to some of these who saw the accident Roff was standing on the front step, and fell off, his right arm falling over the car track. The motorman, seeing the accident, brought the car to a quick stop and it was necessary to back the car up a few feet in order to get the injured man clear of the wheels.

Sadly, street cars figured heavily in the tragedies suffered by the members of this family.

Samuel M. Jamison: Reno’s First Postmaster

Jamison SM life ended

The headline above was printed in the Reno Evening Gazette September 9, 1909. I wrote about this Samuel Jamison on Sunday, August 21st in a post here.

This is the text of the article:

After a lifetime spent in usefulness, both in a private and a public capacity, the last 50 years of which witnessed the progress of the western county from the era of the prairie schooner and ox team in which he traveled in the '50s to the golden west, to that wherein the steel bands of rails gripped the mountains into a united whole, Samuel M. Jamison, pathfinder, pioneer and one of the founders of Reno, passed quietly out yesterday over the lonesome trail of the Great Divide.

Behind him he left two daughters, Mrs. N. W. Roff, widow of the late Nate W. Roff, and Mrs. W. H. McInnis, and one son, Lisle M. Jamison, the present councilman form the second ward. Seven grandsons also survive.

Mrs. Jamison died 14 years ago, at the age of 68 years, in the same house, known as the old Jamison residence, on Third street, where her surviving souse breathed his last yesterday.

Samuel Jamison was one of the few men really entitled to the much-abused term of pioneer. He was born in Indiana Pennsylvania, nearly 84 years ago, and at an early age crossed the plains, in 1850. He was at Georgetown, Placer County, California, Cementville, Yankee Jim, and was one of the multitude that scrambled for locations in the Meadow Lake excitement. He conducted the post office and telegraph office at Yankee Jim in 1853 and followed the Central Pacific lines to Cisco. From there he followed the railroad  to Reno, in 1868, and was here when the town was begun. In 1869 he was appointed postmaster at Reno, and he continued in that office until 1884.

S. M. Jamison's Dry Goods Store, on Second Street, was one of the first stores in Reno.

Mr. Jamison was always prominent in Masonic circles, and was one of the first secretaries of the Reno Lodge, having been secretary of Reno Lodge No. 13 for over 37 years.

Mr. Jamison was a familiar character in Reno for years past, and he was long held an authority on early times and events. Up to a short time ago his health remained good, but about two weeks ago he was taken ill and from that time failed rapidly. Death was due to a general breaking down from old age.

The funeral will probably take place Sunday.

So he “passed quietly over the lonesome trail of the Great Divide.” I love the descriptions and style of writing we find in the days of the early 20th century. As I’ve researched this cousin of my husband this week, I’ve found references to his diary, as parts of it were published in the Reno Historical Society Quarterly. I know where my next research query will take me! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Touching Dedication for Jamison Memoirs

Maj SS Jamison

Samuel Shryock Jamison (1797-1877) is my husband Larry’s 3rd great granduncle. He’s the brother of Larry’s great, great, great grandfather William “Thompson” Jamison (1793-1845).

The “Memoirs of Samuel Shryock Jamison” are published on Google Books.

  Memoirs SS Jamison cover Memoirs SS Jamison inside cover

I found the ‘Dedication’ written by the author W. F Palmer to be quite touching:

Memoirs SS Jamison dedication

“…If the reminiscences thus called back from the past should shed a ray of light on your lonely path and strengthen your faith in a reunion in another world, with the partner of your joys and cares in this, the author will esteem himself amply rewarded for the little time and labor he has devoted to its preparation. The memory of such a man should not be buried under the sod which covers his remains….”

This Samuel S. Jamison was the contractor who built the Pennsylvania Railroad Station in Saltsburg, Indiana, Pennsylvania, pictured below:

RR_Station_Saltsburg,_PA

I could write many posts relaying his illustrious career to my readers, but tonight I mostly wanted to share that touching “Dedication” to Samuel’s wife, Sarah Ann (Bell) Jamison. She must have felt very honored to read those words of respect about her husband. I personally have great faith that we will be reunited with our loved ones “in another world”, as W. F. Palmer wishes for Sarah. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Momma Couldn’t Go to the Funeral

172A

Pictured at far left in the photo above is Myrtle Critchfield Reber with her sisters and mother in 1947. Myrtle was born June 7, 1906 and had a younger brother Arthur “Conrey” Critchfield, who was born February 4, 1908.

I want to share with you a short story that Myrtle has written about her little brother’s death at age 3 on August 19, 1911:

“We moved back to the house that Father had built for us. That was our home for many years. While they unloaded our things, Conrey and I played in the yard all day. That night Conrey woke up and asked Mother to put on his sailor suit because he was going away. He died that night of diphtheria. We were put in quarantine and Father, who was away at work, couldn’t come home. He made a wee wooden coffin for his son and it was passed through a window. Mother and Bonita lined it with white satin, placed Conrey in the box and passed it through the window to strangers to bury her first-born son. It was a terrible time. Mother was grief-stricken, but had to go on without Father to comfort her. I don’t remember how long we were in quarantine but I don’t think it was for very long.”

Myrtle’s mother Lettie (Mrs. Arthur B.) Critchfield is seated in the photo above.

A few months ago my husband and I were blessed with a gift of some family history that contained remembrances about his great, great grandaunt, Mary Campbell (Mrs. Absalom) Critchfield. The story by her granddaughter Myrtle is one of those many stories in the material we received. As we’ve read these stories, our hearts have grown so fond of Mary and the members of her family. We were so saddened when we read this story that her granddaughter wrote about losing her little brother. Learning of these difficult trials in the lives of our ancestors certainly changes our perspective of the trials we encounter in our lives today.

Tombstone Tuesday: Samuel Stewart Jamison and his Parents

Jamison Samuel Stewart 1842-1916

In the previous post I wrote about my husband’s 1st cousin 4 times removed—Samuel Stewart Jamison (1842-1916). This is the headstone on his grave in Edgewood Cemetery, Conemaugh, Indiana, Pennsylvania.

jamisonssandsa

Buried in the same cemetery are his parents Samuel Shryock Jamison (1797-1877) and his wife Sarah Ann Bell Jamison (1806-1878).

Jamison, Samuel Shryock

Samuel Shryock Jamison

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cousin Samuel Stewart Jamison, the Inventor

I’ve been researching Samuel Jamisons recently to determine which one owned a building in 1896 in Cripple Creek, Colorado. I’ve written stories the last few days about two of the Samuel Jamisons I’ve learned about. Today I want to write just a little bit about the third one, who is a 1st cousin, 4 times removed of my husband.

Samuel Stewart Jamison was born in 1842 in Saltzburg, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, the son of Maj. Samuel Shryock Jamison (1797-1877) and his wife Sarah Ann Bell (1806-1878). Samuel was married to Angela Beatty and worked as a machinist, according to the Federal Censuses 1870-1910. I’m grateful that so many books are now available “free” on Google Books because I found the following information about Samuel Stewart Jamison:

On March 12, 1901 he was granted a patent for a Nut Lock as shown in this diagram.

Jamison SS Nut Lock inventon

His description of this invention says “The object of my invention is to provide an improved form of bolt and nut which shall be cheap, strong, quickly applied, and when once applied will be locked for all time until it is desired to remove it, so that there is no such thing as accidental loosening and dislodgment of the nut.” I think that was quite an important invention!

On November 9 1915 Samuel was granted a patent for a “bilge-water extractor” as pictured in this drawing:

Jamison SS BilgeWater Extractor invention

“This invention relates to boats and more particularly to motor boats and the means for ejecting bilge water from the hulls thereof while the same are in motion”, according to Samuel’s description in his patent application.

I don’t have the mind of a machinist so I think the mind of Samuel Stewart Jamison was special and I beleive these inventions set him apart in a class of his own among my husband’s ancestors.

I have a copy of his Pension Application following his service in the Civil War. I’ll share that story in my next posting.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One of Three Samuel Jamisons I’m Studying

My previous story told of a Samuel Jamison (1860-1914) whom I’ve researched recently who lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and may have owned property in the early mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado (1896). He was not related to my husband’s Jamison family, however.

I was originally researching a Samuel Stewart Jamison who is my husband Larry’s 1st cousin 4 times removed. Larry’s 4th great grandparents John and Elizabeth (Shryock) Jamison were the grandparents of this Samuel Stewart Jamison (1842-1916) through their son Samuel Shryock Jamison.

I came upon a wonderful article at Ancestry.com that was provided by NewspaperArchives.com. It tells of yet another Samuel Jamison with middle initial M. (1826-1909) who was born in Washington, Indiana, Pennsylvania. This Samuel M. Jamison is also my husband’s 1st cousin 4 times removed. He’s the grandson of John and Elizabeth (Shryock) Jamison through their son John Adams Jamison. This Samuel M. Jamison left Pennsylvania for the gold fields of California 30 March 1850 and sometime after 1860 moved over to Reno, Washoe County, Nevada, where he served for many years as the Postmaster. The Indiana Messenger (Indiana Co, PA) of 2 August 1899 reports this story:

“On Wednesday evening last a fine looking man, wearing a wide rimmed hat and having about him the marks of the westerner, arrived on the evening train. He walked leisurely down town and when nearing the Indiana House, stopped and looked about him, evidently looking for something or some person he did not see. J. T. Jamison walked up to him and said, “Old man, who are you looking for?” The stranger, looking as though he viewed the interrogatory as an impertinence, replied, “Well, I don’t know as it is any of your business, particularly, but I will say I am looking for Thomp. Jamison.” “Indeed!” replied the latter; “I am the man you are looking for and your name is Sam Jamison.” “Right you are”, replied the stranger, as he gave his brother a hearty hand-shake.

Mr. Samuel Jamison is a son of the late John A. Jamison and a brother of M. F. and J. T. Jamison, and Mrs. A. H. Apple. Mrs. Belle Thompson and Mrs. J. M. Watt are his sisters. He was one of the party of gold-seekers who left this place March 30, 1850. The party was composed of Mr. Jamison, Willliam C. Boyle, Lawrence Keslar, Fred. Sprankle and his brother-in-law, William Single; William Stewart, of Greenville; George Spottswood, Daniel Howe, Dr. Armstrong, Daniel Row, Henry Gompers and Solomon Simpson. Mr. Jamison is the only one of the party now living.

The party had wagons built in this place for their long journey and on a cold day in March they started for Pittsburg, a large concourse of our citizens escorting them to the Thompson Moorhead farm, when with uncovered heads, they listened to some kindly advice and an earnest prayer by Rev. D. Blair. At parting Mr. Blair presented each man with a Bible and Mr. Jamison says that book is still in his home and is one of his most valuable possessions. At Pittsburg the party took a boat for St. Louis, where they purchased an outfit of horses and males and shipped wagons and animals by boat to Independence, Missouri, which was the starting point for all California emigrants. At that point they left civilization behind them and commenced their long journey of over 2000 miles to California. It was a long and wearisome trip, and the party suffered many hardships and were in constant fear of attacks from hostile Indians. They were 92 days making the trip, and the health of the party was fairly good, but occasionally their provision hampers would get pretty low. The party arrived at Eldorado county in good shape and at once secured claims and went to mining. Their efforts in this direction did not meet with much success, though they secured some gold and in a few years most of them came back. Spottswood, Gompers, Stewart, Singler and Rowe died in California and  Jamison finally located at Reno, Nevada, where he has since lived. He married and his wife died a number of years ago. He has three daughters and makes his home with one of them and his declining years are made most pleasant by the love and affection of three, as he says, “of the best girls west of the Rocky Mountains.” This is his second visit east since he left in 1850, his former visit being made in 1876. He has an abundance of this world’s goods, a sunny disposition, takes things as they come, and though the oldest of the family, looks younger than most of them.

He will remain here some days and then visit the seashore before returning to his western home. He says that 50 years have wrought great changes in the town and the people, and there are but few of the citizens here now who were known to him when he started west.”

I found it interesting to read about the journey to California. But with the mobility of our society today, it’s hard to imagine leaving a hometown, only to return 26 years later and again 23 years after that. A lot can be learned by reading these old stories and studying the lives they report on.

This Jamison Story Needs to be Told

 Jamison Block Cripple Creek

At 246 E. Bennett Avenue in Cripple Creek, Colorado stands the “Jamison Block”, seen in the photo above at right. It currently is the home of the Rocky Mountain Canary General Store, offering souvenirs and gift items. A plaque mounted on the front of the red brick building says “Jamison Block, Cripple Creek Colorado, 1896. Samuel Jamison leased this building to the Hooper Jewelry Company from 1896-1916. A 1900 ad stated Hoopers offered stationery, souvenirs, jewelry, books, film, cards and Kodaks.” The inventory hasn’t changed much since then!

My husband has related the story to me that his great grandparents traveled  from Marion County, West Virginia in the late 1800s to Cripple Creek on the “Wildflower Express” to visit relatives there. Recently I’ve been researching many Samuel Jamisons, both in my husband’s ancestry and in non-related Jamison families to determine the exact identity of THIS Samuel Jamison, owner of the Jamison Block in Cripple Creek (Teller County, Colorado). Since Larry’s great grandparents traveled all the way across the country to the mountains of Colorado by rail in the late 1800s we’ve assumed they were coming to visit family. My research of the past week so far doesn’t bear that out, however.

Last week Larry & I made a trip to the El Paso County Clerk’s office in Colorado Springs, where the land records are stored for Teller County prior to  1900. We found warranty deeds for property purchased by John Jamison of Philadelphia, PA in May, 1896 and sold to his brother Samuel Jamison in Dec. 1896.

CrippleCreekFire1896 April

This photo shows a fire that destroyed much of Bennett Avenue in Cripple Creek in May, 1896. You can read more about this time in the history of Cripple Creek here. A future trip to the Assessor’s office will hopefully shed more light on the property involved.

Our interest was picqued as we read of the land transactions involving both a “John” and a brother “Samuel” Jamison. Larry’s great, great grandfather William “Thompson” Jamison had a brother (Maj.) Samuel Shryock Jamison who had sons named John Clark Jamison and Samuel Stewart Jamison. John Clark Jamison was an insurance agent, war hero, railroad developer and canal builder in Philadelphia in the late 1800s who had another brother Benton Knott Jamison, who owned a large bank in Philadelphia at that time. So Larry & I have been hoping the owner of the “Jamison Block” in Cripple Creek might have been Samuel Stewart Jamison. The time period, the locations, and the business interests all fit.

In my research last week I found a document online that made reference to a court case involving a Samuel Jamison who owned a house in Cripple Creek, resided in Pennsylvania and filed his will in PA, but whose will was also filed in Teller County in 1939, long after his death. As a result of my phone calls this past week to the Teller County Clerk and the Denver Archives (where I learned the 1939 Teller County wills are stored) I got a copy of the will of this Samuel Jamison.

The details in the will revealed the names of Samuel’s maternal grandparents: John and Catherine Nice. As I dug deeper online last night I determined the parents of Samuel Jamison were John and Deborah Nice Jamison. He’s NOT the Samuel Stewart Jamison who’s a cousin of my husband Larry. He’s not even descended from the same Jamison ancestors.

But my research on this name has not ended. There’s still the story that Larry’s great grandparents, Robert and Clara Jamison, traveled to Cripple Creek to visit relatives oh so long ago. Besides the family story, Larry says they were identified in a photo on display at one time in the Cripple Creek Museum.

I must share with you some of the details I learned last night about this Samuel Jamison’s life. His mother [Deborah (Mrs. John) Nice Jamison] died in February 1905 in Philadelphia. Samuel lived with his single sister Jane Jamison and they made out their wills one day apart: Samuel’s is dated 2 Mar 1905 and Jane’s was dated 3 Mar 1905. I found quite a lot of legal information about each of them on Google Books. But the real treasure came when I found the articles below. They’re heartbreaking, but quite interesting.

Jamison Samuel and Jane Suicide

Jamison Samuel suicide

How sad. My research continues, but I hope I don’t discover any more stories like these in any of the Jamison families.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Father-in-Law’s Heroism in Japan

LR Jamison saves lives

Last night I was searching through old newspapers found at Ancestry.com (in partnership with NewspaperArchive.com) for information on Jamison ancestors whom I’ve been studying. Last year I did a lot of research on NewspaperArchive.com but was not able to find newspapers from my husband’s hometown in Greene County, Pennsylvania. So on a whim I typed in my father-in-law’s name for a search. This article pictured above appeared in the search results. As I read it to my husband, who was watching TV near me, I got teary-eyed. I’ve heard Larry relay this story many times but neither of us has ever seen it reported in a news article.

Lt Col LR Jamison

Larry told me the rest of the story that happened that day. As the plane crashed, it plowed through a fence and into homes occupied by the Japanese. Capt. L. R. Jamison (pictured above and below at right) was the Officer on Duty at the Air Base that day. After he pulled the Navigator from the wreckage, he found that a Japanese woman was also trapped under the Dad_and_Larryplane. As he crawled toward her through the wreckage, he noticed that airplane fuel was leaking onto her face. He was afraid the highly volatile fuel would explode, or at the least, burn her eyes, so he found a scrap of tin and laid it over her face to shield her eyes.  He remained there with her until more rescuers arrived to pull her free.

If another Air Force Officer had not come to the house to notify Mrs. Irene Jamison and her sons Dick and Larry that day of the heroism of Capt. Jamison, they would not have known of his selfless service, for in his humility he was hesitant to give the details of his valiant actions. He was a highly decorated pilot who flew in three wars. Those who knew him understood that he was the type of man who would not hesitate to risk his life to save another’s.

We’re proud of Lt. Col. L. R. Jamison, the heroism, integrity and character he displayed as a man, husband, father, Officer, Pilot and Civil Engineer in the United States Air Force.

Friday, August 6, 2010

My husband Larry at 10 years old

Larry with Mom in Japan Dad and Larry in Japan

Today my husband’s brother surprised us by sending these photos from the past. In the top picture, my husband Larry is standing with his Mom, Irene Jamison, while they were living in Japan.

Larry and his dad Lt. Col. L. R. “Dick” Jamison are pictured when Larry was 8 years old. Larry had such a happy childhood….I think that’s evident in these pictures.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Female Glover Cousins

Critchfield

Glover_descendants_chart

Yesterday I was blessed to receive by email the photo above at left of Sylvania Abigail Glover, wife of James Leroy Critchfield. Sylvania lived in Wetzel County, West Virginia 1857-1941. Her husband was the step-son of Mary Campbell Critchfield, my husband’s paternal great, great grandaunt. Pictured above at right is Hester Lily Day (King) Roberts, who was born in West Virginia in 1895 and died in Waynesburg, Greene, Pennsylvania in 1985. Hester is my husband’s maternal grandmother. I prepared the chart below the pictures to show the relationship between Sylvania and Hester, who are Second Cousins, Twice Removed. My husband Larry and I see a striking resemblance in the two women. What do you think?

Sharing T. MacEntee's Genealogy Blog Primer

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I want my grandchildren to know who my grandparents were

I have that title sentence written on the sidebar of my blog. It’s very important to me. My paternal grandparents were like surrogate parents at one point in my life. My parents were divorced when my twin brother and I were toddlers. It was difficult for my dad to be a single father and work enough hours to support us. We all moved to my grandparents’ house until my dad remarried a couple of years later. So I grew very close to my Grandma and Grandpa Margheim (pictured with us below). They were my rocks—my stability and security at the time of my life when I was totally dependent on others for my care.
Dennis and Becky with Grandpa and Grandma Easter 1951
Today I love my grandchildren as much as I knew my grandparents loved me. And I certainly want my grandchildren to know who my grandparents were and what they were like. If my grandparents were still alive, they would treasure and adore all of my grandchildren. We are all members of the same family!

I’ve been working on filling in the blanks in a timeline of my grandparents’ lives. I’m fortunate that my dad is still alive and has been sharing details about his parents’ lives. I can write a more complete story after I have the timeline established.

Dennis B. Neuenschwander was the keynote speaker at the annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy at BYU last week. Noting that quality of life is affected by knowledge of one’s ancestors, he said it gives one a sense of identity and personal responsibility “That, really, can come only in that way. If this is true, is it not also true that our posterity will be so influenced by our lives? If we do not create records that document our lives, or that of our families, knowledge of who we are is lost within a generation or two, and we become those who are lost in obscurity. Without that knowledge, our posterity becomes disconnected from their roots and from the nourishment those roots provide.”

In the Ogden Regional Family History Newsletter dated August 2010, Director Emil O. Hansen writes in his article titled “On Knowing Them”: “We have to be reminded that they (our ancestors) were real people who lived very much as we do and who dealt with problems as we do. They worked hard…they loved their families and enjoyed sunsets and the beauty of the earth as we do. They were our people, those we descended from. If it had not been for them we would not be able to enjoy the life that we live today. Our hearts are more likely to turn if we know their stories.” 

I want my grandchildren to know who my grandparents were. I need to get busy and write more of the stories of my ancestors for my descendants. I want their hearts to turn to them, as my heart was turned to my dear Grandma and Grandpa.