Saturday, August 26, 2017

Returning a 1900 Portrait to her Family

Two weeks ago I received an envelope from a Facebook friend and genealogist that contained  several portraits that were unidentified, but taken by photographers in the town where I currently reside. She thought perhaps I could find resources locally who could help identify those in the portraits, with the end goal of reuniting them with their individual descendants.
I finally had time this past week to share these portraits with Nancy Masimer, Curator of Collections and Exhibits at our local Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center, 612 Royal Gorge Boulevard, P.O. Box 1460, Cañon City, Colorado  81215-1460. Nancy made available to me their listing of photographers in Canon City about the time these portraits were taken.
Only one portrait had any identifying information on the back.Minnie Polly (2)D R Drenkel1 back of Minnie Polly
Since Nancy and I each thought it said Mr. K. L. Polly, Coal Creek, Colo, I searched this morning for that individual in the 1900 census on In 1900 I found Kelso L. and Minnie F. Polly living at 499 Main St, Canon City, CO. Coal Creek is a small town just a few miles SE of Canon City. Incidentally, the residence at 499 Main would have been just one block north of our Royal Gorge Regional Museum, referenced above!
In the 1910 Census for Denver, Denver, Colorado, I found Minnie Polly living as a sister-in-law in the household of William H. and Agnes Nevin. Also in the household was mother-in-law Nancy C. Rogers. That told me that Agnes and Minnie were probably daughters of Nancy C. Rogers, therefore giving me a maiden name for Minnie Polly.
My next search was on, where I found a public member tree titled “Nathan Washburn Rogers Family Descendants” that included Minnie Frances Rogers Polly Loveless as a member. The tree contact is Norma Rogers Benner, whom I also found on Facebook. I’ve contacted Norma through the Ancestry Message Board and through Facebook Messenger. 
As it turns out, her family will get together for a Reunion over Labor Day weekend, just ONE WEEK AWAY. I'll mail this portrait to her tomorrow so she can share it at her reunion. I'll include a print-out of this post so they'll all know how I got the portrait and how I found the family to send it to. Norma and I each agree this was good timing, but then God's timing is perfect!

Update Sept 1, 2017:

The portrait of Minnie and a copy of this blog post arrived at her family in time to be on display at the family reunion (by Norma Rogers Benner). 

Trying to Identify Unknown Portraits

In my next post I tell of receiving several unidentified portraits taken around 1900 by photographers in the town in which I currently live. I visited Nancy Masimer recently, who is the Curator of Collections and Exhibits, Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center, 612 Royal Gorge Boulevard, P.O. Box 1460, Cañon City, Colorado  81215-1460. Nancy gave me access to their listing of photographers who were active in this area at that time.
Here are the portraits I received, with related information on the photographers:
Fricke & Co
Above and below photographer is Fricke and Co., who operated in Canon City, 1882-1901.
The photographer for the two photos below was Royal Hubbell, who was in this area 1896-1901.
Charles E. Emery, who operated in this area 1880-1885 and in Colorado Springs, CO 1893-1901 was the photographer of this portrait below.
It would be wonderful to reunite these portraits with members of each person’s family! Thank you, Fran Jensen, for sharing these treasures and giving me the opportunity to research and enjoy them.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Getting to Know my Cousin Millie Flanders Better

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about getting acquainted with one of my cousins through a genealogy friend on Facebook. I had the same good fortune this week!

Ann L. Wells is a professional genealogist who resides in Crystal Lake, McHenry, Illinois. When I became her Facebook friend I noticed her residence as the hometown of my maternal grandfather, Milo Flanders, his parents Lewis and Sarah Jane (McMillan) Flanders, and his grandparents Jesse G. and Elizabeth Ann (Phelps) Flanders. I sent a private message to Ann simply to comment on our connection to Crystal Lake, Illinois. Her reply is part of the blog post I wrote HERE

Ann brightened my day when she recently sent me a message, asking for my address so she could send something to me. Within 3 days I had received her package in the mail. That kind of wonderful blessing doesn’t happen often enough, it seems!

Millie Flanders article from Ann Wells

Ann thought of me when her local city recently featured a short biography of Millie Flanders in their monthly newsletter.  I learned much more about my great, great grandparents (Millie’s grandparents) as I read this featured article. I was most interested to read that Millie had red hair. My mother Ruby Flanders also had red hair from that Flanders family line.

I’m very grateful to Ann Wells for remembering me when she saw this feature about my first cousin, two generations back. Millie is pictured at left in the photo below, with her mother Lorena (Colby) and her sister Villa Flanders.

 Flanders, Lorena 'Rena' (Mrs. Truman), daughters Villa and Mildred.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Finding another Cousin Connection through Family History Friends

Throughout the many years that we’ve attended the RootsTech genealogy conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, we’ve become acquainted with good friends Bobbie Rogers and Debbie Allen (pictured below). We renew our friendship as we save seats and sit together at the morning Keynote addresses. Debbie and Bobbi live in Arizona and of course we live in Colorado. We’d have never met if we hadn’t happened to start a conversation with them while waiting for the conference to start.
2015-02-12 10.07.37
A few days ago Debbie posted this photo on facebook which identified her friend from School Days, Robyn Nielsen Behunin.
Debbie Allen and Robyn Nielsen Behunin
As a Genealogist, I tend to notice NAMES and recognized the Behunin name as that of one my 2nd cousins. So I posted a facebook comment asking Debbie if she knew if Robyn Behunin might be in some way connected to my cousin Lynne Behunin. Robyn replied that her husband Ray’s first cousin was Paul Behunin. I knew that Paul was the (deceased) husband of my cousin Lynne.  Yes, go ahead and say it. “It’s a small world”. I developed this chart that show all these connections. And you’ll notice that Debbie Allen is also a distant cousin of my husband, Larry Jamison. Many people would react with a “So What?” But I love discovering connections like this. They’re meaningful to me!
Larry Jamison to Debbie Allen to Becky Margheim to Lynn Behunin

Friday, July 28, 2017

My step-kids’ ancestor who really has a story

This week the blog offers a story written by Kelly Kautz titled “The Hochstetler Massacre”. It recounts the story of the author’s 7th great grandfather, an Amish Mennonite named Jacob Hochstetler, and the occasion of his family’s massacre in 1757 by some Delaware Indians. You can read her account at this link.
My husband’s children by his first wife are also the 7th great grandchildren of this Jacob Hochstetler. I prepared this chart below that shows the relationship of my youngest step-daughter Ruth Jamison Brady to Jacob Hochstetler.
Ruthie to Jacob Hochstetler
This is the type of story from our family’s history that can stimulate interest in our own descendants. I hope to spark a bit of interest in Ruth’s daughters by exposing them to their 8th great grandfather’s exciting and memorable story.

Friday, June 23, 2017

My Cousins Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane

Wild Bill HickokCalamity Jane
I’ve recently been doing some family history research in an attempt to verify the validity of some of the relationships revealed to me through the BYU tool “Relative Finder” and’s app “We’re Related”. It seems I have the western gun fighting days and years following pretty well covered with probable cousins such as Butch Cassidy, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Jesse James, Davey Crockett and Clyde Barrow.
Today’s new discovery from We’re Related, which I’m currently researching for validation, tells me that James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok is my 5th cousin 5 generations removed through my Strait family line. My maternal grandmother (Nannie Becker Flanders’s) mother was Emma Cornelia Strait. This chart shows my connection to Wild Bill Hickok.
Becky Margheim to Wild Bill Hickok
Also this week I was notified on We’re Related that Martha Jane Canary was my 5th cousin 4 generations back. Martha Jane was better known as “Calamity Jane”, who at one time tried to convince people that she was the wife of Wild Bill Hickok. No documentation has been found to prove that claim. This chart shows my cousin connection to Calamity Jane:
Becky Margheim to Martha Calamity Jane Canary_Mrs. Wild Bill Hickok
As you can see, this relationship is from my maternal grandfather Milo Flanders’ ancestral line. If Calamity Jane had indeed been married to Wild Bill Hickok, I could say my Grandpa Flanders’ cousin was married to my Grandma Flanders’s cousin.  For now I’m just content to consider that Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane were my cousins.