Saturday, April 1, 2017

An accidental identification of an heirloom

My cousin's husband recently passed away. As I was looking through photos of his family this morning, something caught my attention in this photo.
Mike, Michele and Jason Kurvink
Mike and Michele were seated at the dining table in the home of my paternal grandparents, John and Mollie Margheim in Hoisington, Kansas. In the background is one of my grandmother's china cabinets. I noticed the plate in the top shelf of the cabinet and recognized it as one I have in my china cabinet today. 
A long-time mystery has finally been solved. I thought my dad had told me this plate had belonged to my maternal grandmother, Nannie (Becker) Flanders. Many years ago I showed it to my mother Ruby (Flanders) Craine who said she didn't recognize it. I was disappointed that it hadn't been an heirloom of my Flanders grandparents. 

I'm happy today to realize this plate belonged to my dear Grandma Mollie Margheim, the best grandma any child could have. So while today I acknowledge the sorrow I feel for my cousin Michele at the passing of her dear husband Michael, I recognize a spark of joy at identifying a precious heirloom from my grandparents. At this point in my life, that's a precious thing!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

There are Poets in my family

I have a small collection of poems written by my mother Ruby Flanders Craine and her brother Mervin Flanders. I recently realized some of my cousins from that family were not aware of this talent in our family. So I'm sharing them here for their benefit.

My twin brother has also authored many poems, but I'll keep them private for now. It's good to know that he inherited his creative talent from our mother. I inherited my strength for names, dates, organization and attention to detail from our father. But I didn't inherit much creative talent! 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Yes, I learned that actor James Ripley Osgood Perkins was named after my other cousin

Thanks to my second cousin Kate Keller, I have the answer to my question in my preceding post. I learned that a distant cousin was named James Ripley Osgood Perkins and I wondered how he might have been connected to another of my distant cousins, James Ripley Osgood. Kate alerted me to the article below: 
We can see in the highlighted area that James Ripley Osgood Perkins was named after James Ripley Osgood, a friend of his father's! I suspected that was the case and am happy to have learned the fact so quickly.

Here again are the charts that show how I'm related to each of these men. 
In the case of James Ripley Osgood Perkins, I'm a cousin connected to Deborah Lovejoy, wife of John Phelps. As we see in the chart for James Ripley Osgood, I'm connected this time through the same John Phelps, husband of Deborah Lovejoy! I love discovering these kinds of connections. Who would have ever thought one cousin was named after another cousin from separate families back in Boston in the late 1800s. Thank you, Kate, for alerting me to this news source! I never dreamed I'd get my questions answered so quickly.

How might my cousins James Ripley Osgood Perkins and James Ripley Osgood be connected?

This week,'s "We're Related" app showed me how actor Anthony Perkins is related to me. Here's the Relationship Chart.

I noticed that Anthony's father was named James Ripley Osgood Perkins (pictured below). A search on Wikipedia informed me of his acting career when he was known as "Osgood Perkins". He was born in West Newton, Massachusetts 16 May 1892.

His name caught my attention because I knew that I had a distant cousin named James Ripley Osgood. I've written about him and my connection to him previously in these posts: (1) We had lunch with cousin James R. Osgood, (2) The Osgood Name Gets my Attention, and (3) The Osgoods Keep Coming Back to Me.
This chart shows how I'm related to James Ripley Osgood: 
Of course when I saw these names, I wondered if or why James Ripley Osgood Perkins was named after Boston, MA publisher James Ripley Osgood. For what other reason would he have been given such a name? 

I don't have that answer yet, but I have a clue: Mr. Perkins was born in 1892 in West Newton, Massachusetts, which is located very near Boston, MA. And James Ripley Osgood died in 1892 in Boston, MA. I'm going to search newspapers from that time and place (if I get a chance) to see if Mr. J. R. O. Perkins' father, Henry Phelps Perkins might have been personally acquainted with Mr. J. R. Osgood. I'm almost certain there must have been a personal connection. I'll write about my findings when I know more. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Cousins connect my maternal grandfather's line to my maternal grandmother's line

I'm so blessed to have a second cousin, Kate (Smith) Keller who's an avid genealogist. She asked me recently if I had a Vivian Aileen Smith in my genealogy database who was married to a Flanders. Kate's grandmother Edna May Becker and my grandmother Nannie Becker were sisters, so Kate knew that my grandmother Nannie Becker was married to Milo Flanders. I did have Aileen Smith in my database, but had no spouse listed. 

Kate told me that Vivian Smith's husband was Joseph L. Flanders. With a little research I found that Joseph L. Flanders was indeed my distant cousin. So Kate and I realized her cousin was married to my cousin and that union connected my mom's father's (Flanders) line to my mom's mother's (Becker) family.

I drew up the above chart to show those connections. It always helps me understand the connections when I can see them laid out like this. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Our Family Connections to RootsTech Speakers

In two of the classes I attended at the RootsTech 2017 Conference, the speakers mentioned who their fathers were. You have to know that, armed with that information, I'm going to see if you might have a family connection to me or my husband!

Two of the guest speakers on Discovery Day were Elder Russell M. Nelson and his wife Wendy Watson Nelson. Wendy told us her father's name was Leonard David Watson and her family lived in Alberta, Canada. From previous research on my husband's ancestry, I knew he had family connections at McGrath and Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada in the early 1900s. They were sent by authorities in the LDS church to settle communities there. So I was curious if some of Wendy's ancestors might have been acquainted with Larry's ancestors.

When I attended the highly enjoyable class that Ron Tanner, Product Manager of the Family Tree for FamilySearch, taught on the future of the Family Tree, I heard him tell us that his father's name was Cleon Burnell Tanner. I have Tanners in my RootsMagic database, so I looked for Cleon Tanner. He wasn't already there, but a bit of research on the Family Tree showed me how he connected to those I already had in my database.  

With that information at hand, I was able to prepare the chart at the top of this post, using Microsoft Publisher to draw the pedigrees and connect them where appropriate. When I finished the tree, I added a few photos for visual interest. 

I won't go into the detail of every family connection, but you can see at the bottom left that I start with Larry Jamison, my husband, and end at the bottom right with ME!

Take a couple of minutes and study the pedigree charts, with the directional arrows showing the descendancies. It probably doesn't matter how we're all connected, but I always find it fascinating to make these discoveries. I don't go along with the adage, "We're all related anyway!" because there are families who can't find a connection to anyone else's ancestry. And we can't simply make them up or force individuals to tie together. I'm blessed to have a pretty good recall of names, which helps me as I discover these connections. And I find them significant.