Friday, July 29, 2016

How heartbroken must Kittie have been

As I was recently doing research on some families from Tioga County, Pennsylvania with the surname of English, I discovered this family group belonging to Lafayette and Kitty (Campbell) English. Notice that their six children were born in a period of 15 years, from 1881-1896. You can also see that by Dec 29, 1894, five of those six children were deceased. The last child, son Raymond survived to adulthood, dying at the age of 60.

I saw that Clara English only lived 12 days in 1893 so I assumed she died of something unrelated to the deaths of her siblings in December 1894. But I wondered what epidemic or disaster might have occurred causing the deaths of these children in December 1894. 

I was very lucky to find this information at the site "Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice. The History Center on Main Street, Mansfield, PA. Death Records of the Tri-Counties". The information below was only published last December, so I was really blessed to be searching for it this summer. 
 It shows that the infant Clara died from "Inflammation of bowels" but the other English children died from diphtheria.
I prepared this simple timeline so I could better understand the tragic events this family endured. Little Grace was born 1881 and Blanche followed in 1882. There were no more births in the family until Flossie was born in 1886. Again no births in 1887 and 1888, but then Nellie was born in 1889. No births in 1890, 1891, or 1892, and then Clara was born in 1893, but she died 12 days later. Death settled in and took the lives of 5-year-old Nellie on Dec 2, 1894, followed by the death of 6-year-old Flossie 8 days later, on Dec 10th. Three days later 13-year-old Grace, the oldest child of Lafayette and Kittie, passed away, and 16 days later 12-year-old Blanche died. 

After losing all five of their children after 15 years of marriage, Kittie gave birth to their only son Raymond in 1896. He lived to the age of 60. I find it amazing that Lafayette English lived to the age of 76 and Kittie lived to the age of 80. Those parents certainly endured more than their share of loss and grief in their adult life. 

I'm reminded, when I see family events like this, to try to understand and respect these families who endured so much and to always be grateful that my struggles wane in comparison.  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

My Cousin Connection to my Husband

As I've done research on my family history and made interesting discoveries of family connections, I've used my skill working with Microsoft Publisher and my interest in seeing things visually to create dozens of charts like the one above. For the past two weeks I've been organizing those charts on a Trello board so I have then in view and sorted by family name. They're easily viewable on my iphone and ipad also, using the Trello mobile app

I made a discovery this weekend that my husband and I have a sort of cousin connection, using a Step-relationship in his paternal ancestry. I prepared the chart at the top of this post to illustrate that connection. I'm sharing it for those who might find it interesting.

I wish I could tell my Grandma Flanders

L to R: Nannie Becker Flanders,
Zella Page Hoover, Ellen Martin
Six years ago I wrote a story on my blog about discovering that I was a cousin of my Grandma Flanders' best friend, Zella Hoover. You can read it here.

"Hoover" as we called her, is pictured in the middle of the photo at left, with my grandmother on the far left. 

Hoover had a son Bennett who was killed in an auto accident in 1949. Bennett's wife, Marjorie Ellen Mowery Hoover, was also tragically killed in that accident, but their two-month-old son "Chris" survived unharmed. As I was growing up and visited my Grandma Flanders and her friend Hoover, Marjorie's mother Ellen Martin resided with Hoover and the two grandmas worked together to raise Chris.  

My research a decade ago showed that I was a cousin of Hoover. My research just two days ago revealed that I'm also a cousin of Matt, the son I adopted as an infant. Just as I prepared to close my computer and go to bed last night, I discovered that my son, through his birth parents' ancestry, and I, through my Flanders ancestry, are also cousins of Hoover. I prepared this chart above to show those relationships. I couldn't be happier to know that my son and I share direct ancestors, and now to learn that he and I are both cousins of this very kind friend of my extended family, Zella Hoover. I just wish I could share the news with my Grandma Flanders!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Video Explanations of my Connections to Guests at Funeral of Helen Marker Jones

Yesterday I posted a story about some of the connections I discovered while reviewing the funeral book of my step-grandmother, Helen Marker Jones. Today I ventured into unknown territory (for me) and created 3 videos where I explain those connections. They aren't without glitches, but they're public, so check them out if you'd like. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Helen Marker Jones's funeral book is full of surprises

Helen Wilma Marker Jones
11 Apr 1904-8 Apr 1949
I recently scanned the funeral book of Helen Wilma Marker Jones, the mother of my step-mother Phyllis Jones. Helen died in Great Bend, Barton, Kansas at age 44 of cancer. At the time of her mother's death, Phyllis was single at age 25, living at home, and employed in their family business, Jones Laundry. 

Phyllis Jones standing at the
front door of Jones Laundry
Phyllis Jones at left. Her mother
Helen Jones at right. Jones
Laundry was at 1501 E. 8th.
Phone number was 394. 
In April 1949 my dad was married to my mother, Ruby Flanders, and my twin brother Dennis and I were almost 1-1/2 years old, living at 2201 Jefferson in Great Bend. 
Ernest, Ruby, Dennis and Becky Margheim 1949
By late 1949 my parents were separated and then divorced early in 1950. Dad met Phyllis in the Fall of 1950 so I didn't ever have a chance to know Phyllis's mother. But Phyllis reminded us of how old Helen would be each year on the 11th of April. I knew she loved her mother very much and was very devoted to her. I've been happy for Phyllis that as she was adjusting to losing her mother, her future husband came into her life, with his little twins, and partially filled the void Helen's death had left.  

As we grew up in the household of Dad and "Mom", Dennis and I followed the court-ordered visitation with our mother, Ruby, and her husband Don Craine until we were 12 years old, when that was discontinued, also by court-order. We knew our mother's immediate family, that of Milo and Nannie (Becker) Flanders, but we weren't allowed to mention them or acknowledge their existence when we were residing in Great Bend with Dad and Phyllis. Phyllis just wouldn't allow it. Consequently, we developed a mental scenario of complete division between our two families. There was no mingling of the relatives, no mention of one side of our family when we were in the company of the other side. I thought of them as two different worlds, with nothing in common except me and Dennis. 

As I've done family history research my eyes have really been opened. My first "shock" was in looking at the 1930 Federal Census for Great Bend, KS as I saw that 5-year-old Ruby Flanders lived one block away from 6-year-old Phyllis Jones. And Phyllis's two cousins, Marj and Dot Jones lived one house away from Ruby Flanders and her family. I KNOW they all must have played together. It was 1930! Kids played outside as often as possible and played with all the kids in the neighborhood. 

As I've recently reviewed the Funeral Book of Helen Jones, I've deliberately studied the entries of the guests. Again, I've been shocked. Not just amazed or interested, but shocked. Many of the guests were neighbors, as I've determined by studying City Directories and City Censuses for Great Bend, KS. Since I've worked the past 17 years researching my family history, I now recognize more names than I would have in the past. I'm going to show some of the entries and explain how they're connected to Helen Jones or to me, because many new stories have emerged. 

The first name that called my attention was Mrs. and Mr. C. W. Hand. A few years ago I helped Karen (Hand) Jaynes do some research on her family. Karen also serves as a Consultant in our local Family History Center and is married to Terry Jaynes, the brother of my husband's ex-wife. I referred to my RootsMagic database and determined that Karen was indeed the Grand-Niece of C. W. Hand. Dad had told me at the time of my research that Karen's grandfather and granduncle had been employed at Great Bend Packing Co., where my dad also worked for 54 years. As I reviewed the census, it showed that C. W. Hand was indeed a butcher at the "Packing Plant". I'm still amazed that my husband's former sister-in-law's granduncle was in attendance at my step-grandmother's funeral in Great Bend, KS. Neither Larry's ex-wife nor her sister-in-law were from Barton County, KS. I met Karen in church here in Canon City, CO in 1996. 
The surprises just kept coming. Look at this entry for Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Flanders. FLANDERS! The name we were not allowed to utter in the household of Ernest and Phyllis (Jones) Margheim. And yet they provided flowers and attended the funeral of Phyllis's mother! This was Everett Albert "Johnny" and Irma (Cook) Flanders. I learned by looking at the census that Johnny and Irma Flanders lived at 1416 8th St in Great Bend, just 1/2 block from the home of Jim and Helen Jones, who lived at 1501 8th St. In fact, I drove past their house for several years as I worked at that laundry through high school and college and had no idea my cousins were living there. Johnny Flanders was the son of Merritt Flanders, brother of my grandfather Milo. I knew Uncle Merritt, but had never met his son. I do have a lot of photos from the high school years of my mother Ruby with Johnny's daughter Betty.
This entry shows Mr. and Mrs. Harley Price. I recognized them as the grandparents of a high school classmate, Steve Price. And my database shows that Harley and Helen Price's daughter Judith married John Franklin Smith, the son of Ray Ross and Edna (Becker) Smith. Again another surprise. Edna Becker was the sister of my maternal grandmother, Nannie Becker, the mother of my mother, Ruby Flanders! There's the Flanders connection again, at the funeral of Phyllis Jones's mother! 
I've highlighted from this page the name of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey McCarty. Harvey's wife Laida played the piano in a western swing band that Dad played guitar and sang in when he was married to Ruby Flanders. Also noted on this page are Mr. and Mrs. James Hoge. I learned that James Hoge's wife Viola is the daughter of L. A. Palmer, Sr, and sister of L. A. Palmer, Jr, whose names follows hers on the register. I've prepared a chart that you'll see later in this post that shows the connection of the Hoge family to my husband Larry Jamison!

This page brought another surprise. I was aware that Mrs. Alvina Buehler was a close friend of Helen Jones, as I've written about previously here. Alvina was a first cousin of Ernest Margheim! Her father George Koleber Jr and Ernie's mother Amalia (Koleber) Margheim were siblings. I was really surprised when I saw the entry for Mrs. Herman Margheim. Remember this was April 1949. Phyllis Jones had not even met Ernest Margheim, but there's a Margheim at her mom's funeral. And Herman Margheim is a 4th cousin, once removed of Ernest. I found that Mrs. Herman Margheim was Georgianna Noblitt and the Noblitts were neighbors of Jim and Helen Jones.  
It's indicated on this page that Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pizinger and their son Donald were in attendance and provided flowers at the funeral. Phyllis attended a dance in Great Bend in the summer of 1950 with Charlie, Rose, and Donald Pizinger. It was Ernest Margheim who noticed her as he played his guitar on stage as a member Earl Haines's band. He asked her to dance. They were married 18 March 1951. 
Ernest & Phyllis (Jones) Margheim
114 E. 6th St, Hoisington, KS
at the home of Ernest's parents,
John & Mollie Margheim
I've prepared quite an extensive chart that illustrates many of the connections that I've discussed here. I'm going to prepare a short video to narrate these connections tomorrow and will post it here. All the names in red were present at Helen Jones's funeral 
You might think it's not a big deal to find connections and relationships among visitors at a funeral in a town the size of Great Bend, KS in 1940. And I agree. But what still stuns me is the presence of family members from my mother's side of the family at a function of the Jones family, my step-mother's family, since I was raised keeping those two sides of my family VERY separated and distinct, with not even a mention of their names (allowed) in each of the others' households! Oh, the things we aren't privileged to know as we grow up. But so blessed to learn about as we study our family's rich history. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

I brought hidden emails to light, a light that shines on new connections

I spent considerable time the past two days "resurrecting" emails that I've saved since 2009, which had all been labeled "Genea-Diary" in my Gmail program. I'd accumulated 237 emails on the topic of family history and filed them in folders according to surname. The information they contained had long since been added to my genealogy database, but I kept the actual emails to help keep track of "who" I got "what" information from. In most cases I hadn't taken time yet to add those details to my database, or some other record-keeping system. 

Since my friend and fellow genealogist Lisa Alzo introduced me to Trello, a handy web-based organizational tool, I've had fun organizing some of my family history documents, photos, families, etc. I've written blog posts about that here and here.

I've either become a "Trello Addict", as my cousin says, or a "Trello Monster", as Lisa says, because when I start my day, I find myself thinking of more ways to use the Trello board organizing system in my genealogy. Friday morning I thought of retrieving my large volume of saved emails and putting them on a Trello board where I can easily see what I have, and with two clicks, be able to read the messages. It took me two full days, but I got the job done! You can see a screenshot of the resulting "Genea-Diary" board at the top of this post.  

The final bunch of emails that I added to the board last night were from a gentleman named Jay Barney, in Oct. 2014, in response to a blog post I'd written. I wrote a series of blog posts on 'Grace and Glory Plus' on my website that featured my house history and the residents who lived in my house 1910-1940. 
In 1920 the James Norton Seip family lived in my house. Here's the story I wrote about that family. 
Since I posted the story on my website, I got an email when Jay Barney posted his comment to my story. I'm sharing that here.
My story was seen by Jay, the great grandson of James N. Seip, and by his cousin Doug Seip. The story also facilitated a connection between Jay and Doug, as you can read in the comments. So let me add that it's good to get the word out through blog posts, as they truly do bring families together!

Last night, as I was finishing my 2-day project of moving saved emails to my Trello board from the "hidden depths" of archived emails, I showed my husband all the emails I'd received from Jay Barney and the related story on my blog about the Seip family residing in our house nearly 100 years ago. I noticed again that Jay had commented that his great grandfather had served in the Civil War. Larry asked me to show that to our son Matt Jamison because he's a Civil War re-enactor. So we went to bed thinking of James and his Civil War service. 

Here's where the story gets interesting. 

This morning we drove through the cemetery on our way home from church. We drive right past it, so often take a quick detour as we're coming home. As Larry was meandering around the narrow roads, I noticed a headstone for a "Hardin" family. My step-mother's grandmother was a Hardin, so I asked Larry to stop and let me make a note of the details on that headstone. It's happened more than once that I've discovered a relative's burial here in Lakeside Cemetery that way. I got out of Larry's parked pickup and walked west to view the Hardin headstone. I noticed, however, that no death dates were entered on the stone. Nothing for me to look up online. As I was walking back to the pickup, I proceeded to walk a little to the east, as there were military headstones decorated with flags for Memorial Day and it looked beautiful. I looked at the name on the first headstone near me and was stunned to see "Jas. N. Seip". I yelled, literally yelled to Larry that the stone belonged to James Norton Seip, whom we had just read about again last night while I was working on my Trello board! I took this picture of Larry standing by James's headstone so you can see how close it was to Larry's truck. 
Larry Jamison stands at the grave of James N. Seip
James N. Seip 4 Dec 1847-29 Oct 1928
Of course I had to get in the picture too!
I'm not able to visit the graves of my parents on Memorial Day since they're buried in Kansas, but I feel like I've been privileged to visit the grave of Civil War veteran James Seip on this Memorial Day weekend. It was noted in his obituary that he was known as "Dad" to this community of Canon City, CO. So I did get to visit "Dad" today! And I really feel like he came to us today. Maybe he came to us yesterday and led us back to him today. 

As I read the story of James on his Find-A-Grave memorial I learned that he "was credited with a larger personal acquaintanceship than the mayor." Perhaps he can add Larry & I now to his list of acquaintanceships! 

But wait, the story gets more interesting!

After we got home from church and our little tour through Lakeside Cemetery, I opened my email. I only had this ONE message since yesterday. 

   Recently the Famly Tree at FamilySearch has enabled their message program like the one that's been available on for several years. I've sent 2 messages via this system, but haven't received answers. So this was my FIRST message from another Family Tree user. It's from "Jennie" asking me for more information about John Nolon and his wife Margaret Robison. You might ask "what's spectacular about that message"? Well, it happens that Margaret Robison was born in 1907, when her parents were the residents of my house. In fact, the house I'm living in is known as "The Wedding House" as it was built as a wedding present for David and Goldie Robison in 1902 by his father Lyman Robison. Margaret is their daughter! And I wrote about them in this blog post when I was writing about our house history.
Margaret Robison is pictured at far left. 
I think I stirred something up when I resurrected some emails yesterday. Letters that had been tucked away and saved, out of sight and mind. When I brought them into the light, I must have awakened the subjects of some of those letters. Besides the letters from Jay Barney about the Seip family and subsequent discovery today of James's grave, I read emails that I'd exchanged with a Patrick Bauer of Florida about a Goodloe family who were early residents of Canon City. My correspondence with him was the result of my discovery of this photo at my office in the local Episcopal Church. 
This photo features Harriette Goodloe with Lyman Morey Robison at her right (second from left in the photo). Lyman is the brother of Margaret Robison, the subject of the inquiry I received today from "Jennie" from Family Tree! So Lyman was a resident of my house at the start of his life.

One more interesting detail: James Seip's wife was named Jennie. My inquiry today from Family Tree about Margaret Robison was from her granddaughter "Jennie". 

By resurrecting the saved emails about the Seip, Goodloe and Robison families, I opened the door to fresh connections the very next day to those families. That's more than coincidence. It's miraculous!