Monday, April 19, 2021

Discovering another family CONNECTION to my Husband

One of my greatest joys in researching my family's history is discovering Connections. I may not be directly related to certain individuals, but if I can find a family connection, I'm happy!

Since I'm newly married to William Thompson, I've been adding some of his family's ancestry into the Family Tree at FamilySearch. And in adding family names from FamilySearch into my RootsMagic database, I've had the opportunity to discover NAMES and PLACES of his relatives. When I see names that are familiar in MY family, lights go on in my head and I start studying any connections.
I traced a connection that I discovered, so I prepared the chart above. You'll see me (Mary R Margheim Thompson) at the bottom left and you can see the connection of our families over to my husband, William Thompson at the bottom right. In the text below the chart, I explain: "William Thompson's cousin Jessie Lane was married to Robert Schneider. Robert's brother Albert Schneider was married to Olinda Michaelis, whose cousin John Frederick Michaelis was married to my grandaunt Eva Margheim."

I find it significant simply because my husband, who was born and raised in California, has a connection to my family, who were early Kansas residents. Who would have ever guessed this possibility!

Friday, September 4, 2020

It all goes back to Ulysses, Kansas

Throughout my childhood, I had limited opportunities to associate with my mother (Ruby Flanders) or her family. I knew, however, that one of her older brothers, Cleo Flanders, resided for many years in Ulysses, Kansas. I seem to also remember riding on a train as a young child to Chanute, Kansas to visit Uncle Cleo and his family. He and my Aunt Berta (Alberta Smiley Flanders) are pictured below with their son Ron and daughter-in-law Fran. 

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have come to know a little bit about Sheri Dew, who serves as the CEO of Deseret Book. Here's a brief bio of her from that company's website: 

Sheri Dew is a native of Ulysses, Kansas, and a graduate of Brigham Young University. She has written a number of books, including the biographies of three Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Presidents Russell M. Nelson, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Ezra Taft Benson. She served from 1997 to 2002 as second counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency and is executive vice-president and chief content officer of Deseret Management Corporation.

I was privileged to hear Sheri Dew speak in person a few years ago here in Colorado Springs. This is one of the pictures I took of her that morning.  

I admire her intelligence, faith, talents, and personality. Since I was born and grew up in Kansas too, I've considered her a "fellow Kansan" and often wondered if she had as classmates any of my cousins, the grandchildren of my Uncle Cleo. Today I discovered that one of Uncle Cleo's granddaughters was born just months after Sheri, also in Ulysses, KS. They must have known each other in school. 

I've wanted desperately to learn of an ancestral connection between me and Sheri and my research today uncovered that connection! As this chart shows, Sheri and I are 10th cousins. I'm thrilled!
In the months to come, I'll be in a position to learn more about the descendants of Uncle Cleo and Aunt Berta and will follow up with more on this story about the possible acquaintance of "my hero Sheri Dew" with my cousins and their families. I'll bring you up to date when I know more! 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Nearing 500 Stories in 10 Years and a Cousin's Visit

It was on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 that I created my blog “Grace and Glory” and wrote my first post on the blog. It was a short post, so I’m sharing it here:
Two of My Favorite Words
For my first blog post, I want to explain why I've chosen 'Grace and Glory' for the name of my blog. Simply, they are two of my favorite words. I love the name "Grace"; I love the act of Grace--to honor or favor, to give beauty, elegance or charm, to reprieve. I love the meaning of Glory: intelligence, beauty and splendor, perfect happiness, honor, praise, distinction, height of achievement. How can you beat that?

I will be talking about my life and the people in it, the thoughts I have about it, the lessons I'm learning from it, and since genealogy/family history is my passion, even those in my family who have gone before me and who have come together to make me who I am. I can reflect and recall with grace--to honor my life and family. And I can reflect and recall in Glory--remembering beauty, intelligence, happiness, and achievement. The way I see it--it all fits!

I'm just getting started, and this is my first Baby Step!

The Blogger statistics tell me that I’ve written 492 stories in the past 10 years. I was hoping to hit the 500 mark, but have been busy these last few weeks helping my husband adjust to new health concerns. I haven’t been able to study and share my ancestors’ stories or do any new research into my family history.

I was very blessed, however, to have spent the past three days enjoying a personal visit from my first cousin Nancy Flanders Orrick. Nancy’s father Albert Flanders, was an older brother of my mother Ruby Flanders Margheim Craine. Here’s a picture of a very young me with my uncle Albert.
Becky Margheim and Uncle Albert Flanders
Here’s a picture of my mother with her brother Albert in the late 1930s.
Flanders, Ruby & Albert
I lived my childhood with my twin brother Dennis, my dad Ernest Margheim, and my step-mother Phyllis (Jones) Margheim. Dennis & I visited our mother Ruby after her divorce from our dad and spent a few weekends throughout our early childhood in Stafford, Kansas with her family members. So we did meet and get acquainted with cousins and our grandparents, Milo and Nannie (Becker) Flanders. But as visitors, we missed a lot of interaction with our biological family. 

So when I’ve had the opportunity to spend days with my cousin Nancy, it’s been a real blessing. She has provided ancestor and family information that I’d never have secured otherwise. And more than that, she’s provided a very personal connection to me from that side of my family. I’d have received that from nobody else! We lovingly call ourselves “Sisters”.

2018 Sep 22
Nancy Orrick & Becky Jamison
September 22, 2018
Thank you, Nancy, for making a very special efforts to come to Canon City, CO and spend time with me and Larry, and for sharing your friendship, your stories, your insights, your time, and your love with me. It's the best way for me to have celebrated being with FAMILY at the time of the 10-year anniversary of my personal and family history blog "Grace and Glory". You've given me the meat for one more post here in my family journal. Only 7 more to go to hit that magical 500 mark. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Cousin Connections to a Local Notable

Last week the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center here in Canon City, Colorado posted this story on Facebook about a local notable, Charles C. Rittenhouse. (Charles C. Rittenhouse; Copyright Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center. The information presented in this article is compiled using research conducted by the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.)

The post says:


Today is the birthday of Charles C. Rittenhouse, one of the most prominent architects in Cañon City. Charles C. Rittenhouse lived in the city for less than 20 years but in that time he left his mark in numerous buildings and residences he designed.

Rittenhouse was born in Van Wert, Ohio in 1852 where he first learned the trade of carpentry. He studied architecture in Fort Wayne, Indiana and in 1887 he was hired to draw the plans for the Hastings State Hospital in Nebraska.

Rittenhouse likely arrived in Cañon City in 1890 and began the designs for many of the buildings here in the city. Some of his buildings include the Burrage Building at 506-508 Main St., the Frank L. Smith Building at 501 Main St., the First Presbyterian Church at 701 Macon Ave., and the Cañon City Public Library at 516 Macon Ave. Residences built by Rittenhouse include the Deputy Warden’s House at 105 Main St., the Fred Whipple home at 805 Rudd Ave., and the J.D. Biggs residence at 1103 Macon Ave. His offices were in the Central Block on Main St.

Rittenhouse lived in California by 1910 and passed away in July 1937 at the age of 84. He is remembered through his work as an architect and the buildings that still stand here in Cañon City today.

Happy Birthday Charles C. Rittenhouse!

Charles C. Rittenhouse

Rittenhouse History

I recognized the name Rittenhouse because my step-mother had a close cousin named Rittenhouse Baird. And I knew my sister-in-law’s maiden name was Baird. So I took note at this article about Charles C. Rittenhouse. From the information already in my RootsMagic database, I was able to prepare this chart below that shows cousin connections from Charles C. Rittenhouse to my step-mother Phyllis Jones Margheim and my sister-in-law Linda Junice Baird Jamison. 

Rittenhouse to Baird and Jones

It’s a bit difficult to read because the chart got so big in order to show the generations necessary. But the point is made that Charles C. Rittenhouse of the Canon City fame had a cousin who was also a cousin to my mom, Phyllis Margheim, and to my sister-in-law Linda Jamison. My mom would be so surprised to know this.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

“It is Well with my Soul” for my mother and step-father

The song "It Is Well With My Soul" was written by the successful Christian lawyer Horatio Gates Spafford. His only son died at age 4 in 1871. In 1872, the great Chicago fire wiped out his vast estate, made from a successful legal career. In 1873 he sent his wife & 4 daughters over to Europe on a summer trip on the ill-fated SS Ville du Havre. Since he had a lot of work to do, he planned to follow them later. The Ship sank and he lost his 4 daughters with the wife being the only survivor. She sent him a famous telegram which simply read, "SAVED ALONE...." On his return home, his Law firm was burned down and the insurance company refused to pay him. They said "It's an Act of God". He had no money to pay for his house and no work, he also lost his house. Then while sitting and thinking what's happening to him, being a spiritual person, he wrote a song - "Whatever, my Lord, You have taught me to say - It is well, it is well with my soul". (Shared by Claude Schroeder on Facebook, June 18, 2018). In doing further research on the ancestry of H. G. Spafford, I noticed a common ancestor with my step-father Donald Lee Craine. This chart shows that cousin connection.

My mother and stepfather, pictured below, would be happy to see this cousin connection. They surely both sang this song, as they sang many duets in their Baptist church throughout their marriage. I can imagine my mother, Ruby Flanders Craine, playing this by ear on the piano, as her talent allowed her to do so often.
Ruby & Don

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Stiebens, Straits, and Margheims are getting my attention

I recently received a message from my genealogist cousin Kate Keller, letting me know one of her cousins on my mother’s side was married to one of my cousins on my father’s side. I was grateful for her lead and promptly drew up this chart showing the connections she referred to.
Becky Margheim to Strait_Stieben1
Since I’m “Mary Rebecca Margheim” in this chart, you can see that Leroy Stieben, my dad’s 5th cousin, was married to Juanita Grace Strait, who was my mother’s 2nd cousin one generation removed. I wrote a blog post about this here:
As I filed this chart in my laptop, I noticed that I already had a chart showing this connection! I looked at my blog postings and noticed that I had written a story about this connection back in October 2012! This is the chart I composed at that time.
Becky Margheim to Strait_Stieben2
Two days ago on Facebook, I awakened to this Memory that Facebook shared with me from 2014.
Margheim with Stieben
This is the photo I have in my collection:
Johann Friedrich ("Fred) and Katherina ("Katy") Elisabeth (Deines) Margheim; children (not as pictured) Alma (1900), Edwin (1902), Emil (1904), Elizabeth (1906), Hannah (1908), Isabel (1910), Sieghard (1911-1911), Elsie (1914), Rachel (1918), Viola (1920)
And this is the image of the back side of the photo:

Fred Margheim photo back 20140702133836_00001 typed
I’m grateful that my dad typed this information after interviewing Mrs. Emanuel Flagler. If he hadn’t taken advantage of the opportunity to do that, I’d have no way of ever knowing who this beautiful photograph represented! Notice that Elizabeth Margheim is listed and noted that she married Henry Stieben. So 4 years after I posted this picture on Facebook, I’m again, just this week, reminded of the Stieben Margheim connection that my cousin Kate referred to a few days ago.
A few days ago I received a notification of “Hints” available for my tree at I only had time to review the Photo Hints, noticing that among them was this picture of Elizabeth Margheim, wife of Henry Stieben.
Elizabeth Margheim Stieben
Now this morning I awoke to an email from notifying me of available hints for Leroy Henry Stieben!
Ancestry Hint Leroy Stieben
So in this past week,  (1) I was reminded by Kate Keller of the family connection, (2) I developed a new chart and wrote a new blog post about his connection, then (3) discovered that 4 years ago I’d prepared a chart and wrote a blog post about the same discovery. Then (4) Facebook reminded me of the photo and blog post I’d written 4 years ago with my dad’s photo and description, (5) this week Ancestry offered photo hints and I found Elizabeth Margheim Stieben listed, and (6) this morning Ancestry displays front and center in my email that I have hints to pursue for Elizabeth’s son Leroy Stieben! I think the Stieben, Margheim and Strait families are trying to get my attention. I need to follow up on all the hints available at Ancestry and see what else is waiting for me to discover!