Monday, September 25, 2017

I Never Tire of Discovering Cousin Connections

It was 9 years ago this week that I created this blog as a place where I could record my thoughts and share my discoveries as I research my family’s history. In observance of that “Blogiversary”, I will display a chart that I created Saturday evening after recognizing some of the connections in my mother’s family. As we research, we gather names and dates and record marriages. But without directly speaking to our ancestors, even parents and grandparents, we often overlook some of the meaningful relationships that they personally knew about. This chart displays some of those relationships that I just discovered two days ago, on the 9th anniversary of my establishing this blog.

Batchman, Stevenson, Becker, Margheim

I’m the person at the bottom left, M Rebecca Margheim. My maternal grandmother was Nannie Becker who married Milo Flanders, as you can see at left. I colored the Becker family members with blue frames or blue arrows. You can see that Nannie Becker had a sister Esta Becker, who married Elmo Batchman.  And the blue arrows at right show their brother J. Fred Becker, who first married Ethel Stevenson, and second, married Anna M. Steen. Nannie, Esta and Fred were all the children of my great-grandparents, Joe Becker and Emma C. Strait. Elmo and Esta (Becker) Batchman are pictured below.

Batchman, Elmo and Esta 1946

If you follow to the right of J Fred Becker and Ethel Stevenson, you can see that Anna May Steen was first married to George Rowe. George happens to be the great-grandson of Johann Becker and Anna Maria Martini, who were the parents of my great-grandfather Joe Becker. So Fred Becker and George Rowe were first cousins, once removed. When George passed away,  and Fred’s wife had died, Fred married the widow of George Rowe, his first cousin once removed.

Becker, Ethel & Fred

Pictured above are Fred and Ethel (Stevenson) Becker. Fred’s wife, Ethel Stevenson, had a brother named Marshall “Jack” Stevenson, who was married to Dorothy Batchman. Marshall is in the photo below, at far right.

Esther, Ethel (Mrs Fred Becker), Evelyn, Virgil, Marvin, Marshall Stevensen

In the chart at the top, you can see that Dorothy was a sister to Elmo Batchman, who married Esta Becker, the sister of Fred Becker and of my grandmother Nannie (Becker) Flanders.  So Fred Becker’s brother-in-law, Marshall Stevenson, was married to his sister Esta (Becker) Batchman’s sister-in-law Dorothy (Batchman) Stevenson.

Then you can see that Dorothy Batchman and Elmo Batchman also had a brother Alfred, who had a daughter Maxine. My cousin Don Haddon married Maxine. Don is the son of Ethel Flanders, my mother’s sister. The Alfred Batchman family is pictured below.

Alfred Batchman family

This isn’t really meaningful, I suppose, in the grand scheme of things. But I find it interesting and significant when I learn of family members who married and knew other family members, connected in such a way as these illustrated.

Here’s a chart I worked up a few months ago, featuring many of the same individuals.

Becker Steen Rowe marriages

Well, this is it for my celebration of my 9th Blogiversary. I’m happy that I started this blog all those years ago and have documented many of my findings and have related some interesting stories to my readers. I’d never have been able to remember them, so I’m glad they’re here where I can go back and enjoy them again.

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.