Friday, April 20, 2018

My Ancestral Connection to the Kirtland Temple

I recently received an email telling me that a relative of mine was mentioned in the Joseph Smith Papers.
Joseph Smith Papers Relative
From this site I read about Peter French:


Ca. 17741–after 1850. Farmer, tavern keeper, hotelier. Born in New York. Moved to Willoughby, Western Reserve (later Lake Co.), Ohio, 1799. Married Sally. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1811, as one of its earliest settlers. Named as one of town proprietors, 1818. Served as overseer of the poor, 1818, 1823, in Kirtland. Served as appraiser of property, 1818, in Kirtland. Among founders of Mentor Library Company, 1819, in Painesville, Geauga Co. Served as supervisor of highways, 1817, 1822, 1830; and as fence viewer, 1821, 1824, in Kirtland. Built hotel, 1827, in Kirtland. Sold hotel and other Kirtland property, including temple lot, to JS and church leaders, 1833, 1836. Moved to Mentor, Lake Co., by 1850.

This chart shows my relationship to Peter French, my third cousin five generations back:
Becky to Peter French 3c5r
I had no idea a cousin of mine owned and sold the property on which the Kirtland Temple was built.
Kirtland Temple

An Obituary Acquaints Me with my Great-Grandaunt

I really enjoy reading obituaries from decades ago, as they often tell us so much about the character and qualities of the deceased person. It seems obituaries of today more often relate the vital facts and accomplishments of people.

I found this paragraph in the obituary of Lorena Colby Flanders, the wife of my great-granduncle, Truman Flanders. A transcription of the clipping follows: Rena Flanders was a true representative of the type of the home-loving, home-making wife and mother. Her family, home and friends filled her interests completely. Her neighbors found her ever a helpful, cheery, sympathetic aid in times of need, and so sweet was her loving, wholesome personality that even those who knew her but slightly felt her dearness. The host of friends who came from far and near to attend the services, and the profusion of beautiful flowers evidenced the wide circle of friendship that was hers. No cross word was known to pass her lips. Even during the weeks of illness that preceded her death, she constantly maintained her usual happy, generous, cheery disposition. Her deep love given to those around her must remain so vivid in their memories that it would seem as though hers will still be a near presence to them. 1925 Sep 10, Flanders, Rena Colby kind words from obit, McHenry Plaindealer, p1
In my collection of family photos, I have this letter/postcard that Lorena “Rena” Colby Flanders sent to my maternal grandmother, Nannie (Mrs. Milo) Flanders.
Flanders, Lorena 'Rena' (Mrs. Truman), daughters Villa and Mildred.
Flanders, Lorena 'Rena' Colby letter on back of photo. To Nannie Flanders.

It’s wonderful that these obituaries are available on sites like so we can discover more about the personalities in our ancestry. Another example of “putting flesh on the bones”.  Even though Rena died the year my mother was born, I know more than what’s found on her headstone. In addition to the photo and letter that I own, I’m thrilled to read more of her personality in her obituary and realize what a fine woman my great-grandaunt was.

Two Cousins Murdered

When stories come to us without any research effort on our part, I believe they should be shared in writing. Last week I was surprised with a story that was found during research by my second cousin, Kate Keller.

This story features Elgin Hobert Strait. The report below shows that Elgin Hobert Strait was my 2nd cousin 3 generations removed. His father Peter Addison Strait was a first cousin of my great, great grandfather James S. Strait.
Margheim, Becky to Elgin Hobert Strait
This is the heart of the story Kate sent to me that was published in the Mason City, Iowa Globe-Gazette in March, 1977:
1977 Mar 21, Strait, Elgin H., Mason City, IA Globe-Gazette, p1
A few days ago I was looking through issues of newspapers at and literally stumbled upon this article when I noticed the “Flanders” name. My mother’s maiden name was Flanders and I’m related to most of the Flanders people in the United States.
1924 May 2 Flanders, Charles killed
This chart shows that Charles was my 6th cousin 2 generations back.
Becky Margheim to Charles Flanders
While these stories are heartbreaking, they’re evidence that often the most interesting discoveries are made when we least expect them and truly are not even looking for them. Family history research never gets boring!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

That Destructive Tree Finally Came Down


At 4:00 pm on the quiet Saturday of August 21, 2010, a very large tree branch broke loose and fell on my car as it was parked in our driveway. The host tree was at least 100 years old and had lived on City property at the edge of our home property at the corner of 1st St. and Riverside in Canon City, CO. The branch smashed the hood, windshield and roof (including sun roof), essentially demolishing the car.


I walk along this property as I go for my daily walks along the Riverwalk here. Yesterday I witnessed hard working employees of a local tree cutting service remove the tree, along with it’s neighboring tree. They were each quite full of tree rot. 


This is the fallen stump of the “Culprit Tree” that destroyed my car 7-1/2 years ago!

I’m happy that it came down before more rotten branches fell, with possible injury to more property or people!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Selected RootsTech 2018 Memories

Larry and I attended RootsTech 2018 Feb. 26-Mar 4, 2018. That’s an exaggeration of the actual dates of the Family History Conference, but we celebrate the event for a full week! We have beloved family members in the Salt Lake City area so we fly in on Monday and spend the day with our family. The Registration lines started forming at 10:30 am on Tuesday and I was number 10 in line. My husband was no. 9 and our good friends from Mesa, AZ were numbers 7 and 8. We reconnect with Bobbie Rogers and Debbie Allen (pictured below with my husband Larry Jamison) each year as we stand in lines and save seats for the events on the Main Stage each morning.
2018-02-27 11.33.45
My cousin Barbara Doying, from Clearfield, UT (pictured below) and her daughter-in-law Karen Doying from Darien, CT experienced RootsTech for the first time this year. I met them as they were standing in the 1-1/2 hour Registration line Tuesday afternoon and we caught up on all things genealogy! Barbara’s mother Esta Becker Batchman was a sister of my maternal grandmother Nannie Becker Flanders. 
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I’m pictured above with Barbara and Karen Doying (standing) and Sue Maxwell, seated. I’ve become friends with Sue over the years as she’s helped me so much with Consultant work and now The Family History Guide (, of which she’s one of the original creators.

I was especially fortunate this year , actually very blessed, to be joined at each class and event by my niece Lisa Jamison. Lisa's mother-in-law Linda Jamison of West Jordan, UT is my sister-in-law. We planned our schedules so we could attend each class together so it was wonderful to have her constant companionship throughout the week. 
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In the above picture,  I’m waiting for an event to start on the Main Stage, along with (l to r) Debbie Allen (AZ), Bobbie Rogers (AZ), Miles Meyer (Vero Beach, FL) and Lisa Jamison (River Heights, UT).

A very special moment for me arose as I was able to say hello and thank Ron Tanner for the exceptional work his teams perform on the Family Tree at FamilySearch. Ron is THE MAN in charge of the Family Tree.
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Each year a group of bloggers who are associated with the GeneaBlogger group on Facebook assemble for a group photo. In past years I’ve chosen to attend classes at the time of the photo-op, but this year over a lunch hour I joined many in the group for the annual group photo. I’ve been a member of the GeneaBloggers for 10 years. You may notice we’re all wearing the GeneaBlogger beads that are gifted to us by DearMYRTLE.
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I was delighted to “run into” my blogging friend Miss Peggy Lauritzen in the Expo Hall, as Lisa and I were perusing the displays. 
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Peggy reminded me that my blog was the first she’d ever read, back in 2008 and it stimulated her to start writing her own blog. Peggy is an Accredited Genealogist and authors “Anxiously Engaged”. It’s interesting to note, as I introduced Peggy to my niece Lisa (pictured below), that Peggy’s sister-in-law and Lisa’s sister-in-law had a history of working together in the film industry! We never know when or where we’re going to discover meaningful connections, which appropriately follows the theme of RootsTech this year: Connect. Belong.
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No RootsTech visit would be complete without time to say HI to my genealogy mentor, friend and my Cousin, Russ Worthington. Russ was staffing the Family Tree Maker booth this year, as that is one of his fields of expertise. Just one of them!
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I was thrilled beyond measure that my cousin Jacqui Maxfield was able to attend one day of the Conference this year. As a busy wife and mother of 8 children still in school, Jacqui is to be commended for being able to chisel a full day out of her busy schedule to assist with Registration and attend a few classes that Wednesday. We were delighted to meet up for a few minutes, as I was also able to introduce her to my niece Lisa. Jacqui’s great- grandfather Fred Michaelis was married to my great aunt Eva Margheim, sister of my paternal grandfather John Margheim. So Jacqui’s grandpa Reuben Michaelis and my Dad, Ernest Margheim were first cousins. I had never met Jacqui until each of us attended RootsTech about 5 years ago.
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I wouldn’t complete a review of my fabulous week in the Salt Palace without honoring our friend Janet Weiss, who is a member of the Custodial staff at the Salt Palace. It was during the 2nd RootsTech back in 2009 or so that we met Janet as she was cleaning up after diners in the Cyber Cafe. We thanked her for her faithful service and acknowledged that we were aware of and appreciative of her hard work. Each year we’ve found Janet and renewed our friendship and thanked her again for her hard work and faithful service. We’ve become friends and next year plan to join Janet and her husband for lunch or dinner!
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I’m sharing a few more photos to give you an idea of the activities, fellowship, friendships and energy of the Conference.
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Me and my friend Miles Meyer of Vero Beach, FL. Miles advised me and directed me on many genealogy topics in my "Early” days, since about the year 2000.
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It was an honor to meet and be interviewed by Scot and Maureen Proctor as one of the Humans of RootsTech article he was preparing. 

It was fun to see my cousin Crista Cowan, the Barefoot Genealogist, who was indeed barefoot as she represented in many presentations and one-on-one help.
2018-03-02 10.28.14
My friend Renee Zamora, of RootsMagic, joins me each morning for breakfast at 6:15 am at the Radisson Hotel. One morning we were blessed to be joined by Jason Hewlett ( who served as the excellent and very entertaining MC of the Conference .
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The best talk I’ve ever witnessed at RootsTech was delivered this year by Scott Hamilton, Olympic GOLD ice skating champion, author and inspiring Speaker. I bought two of his books and hoped to get them autographed. However, I got in line at 12:15 for the 1-2pm signing and was told the line had been closed. Just too many people were wanting his autograph during the time allotted. Scott is being interviewed in the Media hub at the Conference in the photo below.
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I couldn’t begin to relay the extent of the excitement, instruction, and energy offered this year at RootsTech. I invite you to go to and watch many of the classes and special talks that were delivered. They’re available for us to watch at our leisure. I’m so grateful that my husband and I are still able to travel. We did experience a few “hitches” along the way, like a Scooter that wouldn’t start in the airport, a temporarily lost iphone, long and trying exams getting through Security in the airports, and weather delays due to a snowstorm in Salt Lake City on the day of our departure, but each time the good Lord provided us with assistance and we had a successful trip. While I haven’t fully recovered from the fatigue I brought home, I’m certainly looking forward to RootsTech 2019!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The old newspapers told the nitty-gritty

As I’m reviewing old newspapers in search of details about my Flanders ancestors, I came upon an interesting article about a distant cousin, Francis Flanders. Here’s the article I discovered:

Flanders, Francis and Alice Divorce1

This chart shows that he’s my sixth cousin three times removed.


We never realize how much we can learn about a cousin or an ancestor until we read the little details about their lives. I certainly appreciate the fact that the newspapers in the last century reported the nitty-gritty about the lives of the local residents!