Wednesday, April 20, 2022

My 1956 and 2021 Connection to a Distant Vermont Cousin

Last summer my husband and I made our first trip to Vermont to accompany our son as he relocated from Colorado. As we were visiting Springfield, Vermont, my son’s mother-in-law told me of the Hartness House Inn. 
You can read about it here:  
"The Hartness House Inn, 30 Orchard St, Springfield, VT, is small enough for an intimate Bed & Breakfast vacation, yet large enough to host weddings and other events. The Inn is located in Springfield, Vermont just minutes away from I-91.
    The Hartness House was built in the early 1900’s for James and Lena Hartness. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. James Hartness was a man of many interests and accomplishments. He was a successful businessman, engineer, inventor with over 100 patents, amateur astronomer, aviator and the 58th Governor of Vermont.
    The Hartness family, James and Lena with their daughters, Helen
and Anna, hosted many guests in their years at their home. The 35-acre property includes lawns, gardens and woodlands."
Since my "obsession" is Genealogy, as I learned of the Hartness House, I researched it online and discovered that Helen Hartness, daughter of the founders James and Lena Hartness, married Ralph Flanders! My mother's maiden name was FLANDERS! So I had to dig deeper and see how I might be related to Helen. This chart shows my connection:
Ralph Flanders, husband of Helen Hartness, was the 5th cousin of my great grandfather, Lewis Flanders. So the son of Ralph and Helen Hartness Flanders, James Hartness Flanders, is my 6th cousin 2 generations removed. 
I was recently showing my sister-in-law my small collection of school books from my childhood and years as a student at E. E. Morrison School, Great Bend, Kansas, among which I found "New Music Horizons" for Grade 4 in the State of Kansas.  I casually opened it to show her the songs, but first read the list of Contributors on the first page. To my complete surprise, I noticed that Helen Hartness Flanders and Arthur Wallace Peach were the contributors of the song "Jolly Old Roger" (shown below), from A Garland of Green Mountain Song, copyright by the Committee of Traditions and Ideals of the Vermont Commission of County Life." This is the same Helen Hartness Flanders who's married to my Cousin!
    I'm always "blown away" when I discover family connections! I know many people, even members of my own family, who would react "So what!" But I'm so easily amazed and impressed that I look at discoveries like this as blessings. I never imagined that someone who contributed a song to my 4th-grade music book was married to a cousin of mine, and then to learn that she's noteworthy in the town to which my son recently moved. I just had to share this story with my genealogy friends!

Monday, January 17, 2022

I Discovered my Favorite Teacher was my Cousin

In 1957 I attended fifth grade at E E Morrison School in Great Bend, Kansas. In the mornings,  the teacher of our class was Pearl Dodd, the Principal of the school. Right after lunch, Elinor Brining Haneke arrived and taught us through the afternoon. In 1958 when I was in the sixth grade, a new principal, Leo Lake, taught us in the mornings, and again Elinor Haneke taught us in the afternoons. My mother proudly told us that she attended high school with Elinor. I thought that was special. But it was Mrs. Haneke's personality that endeared me to her. I loved her! A couple of friends and I would get back to school before the 1:00 bell rang and watch for Mrs. Haneke to arrive. When she got out of her car, we'd run to her and walk her into the building. I adored Mrs. Haneke. I studied her demeanor, what she wore, how she graded papers, her personality. I've always remembered her November 13th birthday. 

This is a picture of our 6th grade class. I'm standing in the 2nd row, 4th from the right. 

 Leo Lake and Elinor Haneke plan the lessons for the day.

Today I was reviewing my genealogy database and noticed the Brining name as part of a descendancy chart of my relatives. I quickly searched for more information in Family Search and discovered what's shown in this chart.

You can see that Elinor Louise Brining, wife of Ralph Haneke is the 7th cousin of my mother, Ruby Flanders. So my beloved teacher, Mrs. Haneke, was my 7th cousin, once removed. Discoveries like this are meaningful to me. Yes, I'm a woman who's very easily impressed. I'd give anything if I could tell my mom that I'm actually related to her high school classmate, and my favorite teacher!

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 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”.

Thank you, Nancy, for making a very special effort 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.