Saturday, December 27, 2008

My 3 New Year's Resolutions

When I was invited to participate in the 63rd Carnival of Genealogy and post my 2009 New Year's Resolutions, I agreed to do it because it's only the 2nd Carnival I've participated in and I thought it would be good to participate. I was anticipating Christmas at the time, but thought I'd have no difficulty changing gears to "planning" for the New Year when the Christmas Holiday was over.

Now that the time has come for me to consider my resolutions, I see that I could easily make a list long enough to accommodate the next 5 years, instead of just 2009. It seems I've fallen so far behind in my genealogy this past year that I have a lot of catching up to do. Thirteen months ago my husband underwent surgery for a hip replacement and in the months that followed I wore several different hats--not one of them being a genealogist! Then 5 months ago my father fell and broke his leg in 2 places, which has left him largely immobile since then. He's doing quite well now as he manages daily life on his own in his home, but as I've had the opportunity to spend time with him since then, I've put my active research up on a shelf. I've been greatly blessed, however, as I've spent time with my Dad, for we've had many conversations about his early life, discussing the times, the trials, the customs and the people from his Germans from Russia heritage. My research has been of the "oral" tradition and it's been delightful.

Which brings me to my first resolution for 2009:

1. As I was preparing Dad's house for his return home from the hospital, I cleaned out closets, drawers, entire rooms. To my delight, I found many scrapbooks, photo albums and framed pictures of people who've lived within the last 100 years. My first goal is to scan most of those photos and load them onto my Picasa Web Albums.

2. My second goal is not as exciting. In this past year I've accumulated quite a stack of papers that need to be taken care of. Emails that need a reply, addresses that need to be entered in my database, documents that need to be filed with the appropriate family. I hope to tackle that stack of papers.

3. And my 3rd resolution has to do with updating my family information on the database. I'm anxiously awaiting Bruce Buzbee's release of RootsMagic V. 4 so I can use it to transfer data from New Family Search to my RootsMagic database, and conversely transfer data from my database onto New.FamilySearch. I worked diligenty on my family information in that database last Spring, but had to put it on hold also as I've tended to more pressing matters.

I'm determined to make progress on these tasks, but relieved that I have a FULL YEAR in which to accomplish my goals!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Discovery of a New Photo of My Mother

There is no connection to my posting of this photo and today being Christmas Day, except that on this holiday I finally had NOTHING pressing to do and was able to spend free time browsing genealogy sites. My second cousin Kate Keller is a fellow genealogist. We've shared many family photos through our personal sites. I'm grateful to her for posting over 600 photos that I've been able to review and many have been saved to my computer for personal use.

As I was browsing her photo collection today I discovered the photo at left of my mother, Ruby Nadine Flanders Margheim Craine. I think it may have been taken when she was about 15 years old. Fifteen-year-olds in 1940 sure don't look like 15 year olds nowadays.

The pictures below are of my mother's next older brother, William "Mervin" Flanders. The picture on the left was in my mother's scrapbook and was his high school Senior portrait. The photo at the right was taken of Uncle Mervin late in his life. I just discovered it while browsing cousin Kate's photos on today too. It's amazing how similar his pose is to the high school portrait taken of him about 68 years earlier.

This is a photo of me with my Uncle Mervin when I was in Hutchinson, Kansas attending his 50th wedding anniversary celebration in April 1998. This was the last time I was able to see Uncle Mervin. He passed away July 21, 2007.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

May we all enjoy the company and the love of our family members this Christmas Season.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Special Women in My Early Life

As I was browsing through photos in my computer tonight I came upon this wonderful picture that really touches my heart. It was taken about 5 years before I was born. And I think it was taken in the back yard at my Grandma Mollie Margheim's house, 114 E. 6th St, Hoisington, Kansas.

Pictured at far left is my Grandma Nannie Becker Flanders and behind her left shoulder is my mother, Ruby Nadine Flanders Margheim. Second from right is my Dad's mom, Mollie Koleber Margheim and at the far right end is my Dad's sister- my Aunt Laverna Margheim.

These women are special to me because they are the women who took care of me during the first few years of my life. I was born in 1947 and in 1949 my mother, Ruby, divorced my Dad and moved away. Finding himself a single parent with two little kids to raise and responsible for working full time at Thies Packing Co. in Great Bend, KS, Dad made the practical decision to move to Hoisington, KS to live with his parents, Mollie & John Margheim. My Grandma Margheim was a homemaker, so for the following two years she became our caretaker and substitute "Mommy". At that time my Aunt Laverna was newly graduated from Hoisington High School and at age 20 was living at home prior to her marriage to Al Irelan. She was like a big sister to me--a really big sister. I loved her and trusted her and spent most of my toddler days in her company. I still am able to remember climbing up on a stool in front of the bathroom sink as she washed my hair with Suave shampoo, and the bubble baths she gave me, I remember sitting very still with my fingers extended as she polished my nails, I remember her putting barrettes in my hair, and showing me how to play her grand piano. I remember "hanging out" with her when her best friend Joanie Miller came to visit.

As I grew up, it was my Aunt Laverna who, along with her husband and daughter, took me shooting--teaching me how to fire a pistol, they took me water skiing and camping at Boyd Lake in Colorado, swimming at Lake Barton near Hoisington, KS, and to the theater in Denver, CO. She taught me how to ride a horse--she was a member of the Hoisington Saddle Club. She gave me piano lessons from age 4 to age 6. She also tapped my knuckles with a ruler when I didn't lift my palms and fingers up at the keyboard! She helped me make decorations for my Dad and Step-Mom's Christmas tree. And Aunt Laverna sang to me and sang with me. How I loved my Aunt Laverna.

I loved my Grandma Flanders---I remember putting earrings in her pierced ears when she was not able to following a stroke. I loved her peach cobbler! I remember sitting on the dishpan at her dining table so I could reach my plate. I remember gathering eggs in her chicken coop and then watching her kill and clean the chickens that she prepared for our Sunday dinner. She was a quiet, gentle and kind woman.

I can't put down in words tonight the love and feelings I have for my Grandma Mollie Margheim and my mother Ruby Flanders Margheim. They're not only IN my heart, they ARE my heart. They have a lot of company there. And they are special for all the obvious reasons, but also because they always made me feel special. That's a wonderful gift!

People who make us feel special at a very young age seem to always remain dear in our hearts. These women will always be special to me!
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm Blog Caroling "Joy to the World"

In response to footnoteMaven's invitation to go Blog Caroling, I'm presenting one of my most loved Christmas carols/hymns:

"Joy to the World!"

Joy to the world! the Lord is come; Let earth receive her king;
Let ev'ry heart prepare him room,
And heav'n and nature sing,
And heav'n and nature sing,
And heav'n, and heav'n and nature sing.
Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns; Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love, And wonders of his love,
And wonders wonders of his love.

However beautiful the words Isaac Watts wrote in paraphrasing the 98th Psalm, "Joy to the World" would not have become the popular Christmas favorite it is without the contributions of two other important men. It is interesting that these two men were from opposite sides of the Atlantic, lived in different centuries, and never met; yet their collaboration provided the majestic melody for "Joy to the World".

The first, George Frederick Handel, was a German-born prodigy who by the age of twelve had mastered the violin, oboe, harpsichord, and organ while studying law at the university! At thirteen, he decided to give up his legal studies to devote his life to music.......His famous oratorio, "The Messiah" was written in the unbelievably short period of just 24 days.

The second composer to have a vital part in bringing "Joy to the World" to us was the American choir director and education, Lowell Mason. Mason was no stranger to hymns, having hundreds of compositions to his credit during his long and fruitful life....In an effort to find a suitable melody that conveyed the joyous message of the words of the 98th Psalm, Mason turned to Handel's "Messiah". Taking musical phrases from different sections of the oratorio, Mason arranged them into a tune he called "Antioch". Wedded to the words of Isaac Watts, Mason's uplifting melody was published for the first time in 1836.

Three very different men from three very different backgrounds united their hearts and minds to produce this beautiful Christmas carol that has lifted spirits heavenward for over 150 Christmases. Their joint inspiration has truly brought joy to the world!
Taken from "Hymns of Faith & Inspiration" by Pamela J. Kennedy; Ideals Publications Incorporated; Nashville, TN (c) 1990

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Cousin's 1848 Letter

It's been my experience that one of the gold mines of genealogy keepsakes is right under our nose on the Internet---at eBay. I think it might be an "often-overlooked" resource for historical documents and heirlooms from our ancestors.

Many of the sellers on eBay are quite effective in their selling techniques. About 2 years ago, I received an email from a gentleman who was selling a letter written in 1836 by a man who happened to be the 4th great grandfather of my husband. This seller had obviously researched the internet to find people who'd listed this man in their genealogy databases. Then he notified them by email of the item he'd placed for auction. I thought that was an ingenious technique. I was able to bid on the letter, was the highest bidder at the modest price of $13, and now am in possession of this treasured handwritten stampless letter from so many generations ago.
Yesterday I got 2 more emails from this seller, notifying me that he's placed for auction 2 letters written by a young woman who happens to be my 1st cousin 4 times removed. First Cousin!!! Yes, it's four times removed, but that's because this was back in 1848. She and my great, great grandmother were first cousins. Her grandfather was my 4th great grandfather. The letters were written to her friend in 1848 and 1850 and reveal a wonderful glimpse into her personal life at the time. Besides revealing much of her personality, they offer an example of her handwriting, level of writing ability, interests, etc. I've placed a bid on each letter and am certainly hoping I can enter the winning bids!

I'll let you know next Monday!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Genea-Santa, Bring Me 3 Dresses

Dear Genea-Santa,
A 'Girlie Girl'. That's what my husband proudly calls me. When I saw these 3 photos of my Grandmas and Great-Grandma, I knew they were 'girlie girls' too. On my wish list are their dresses.
1. Amalia "Mollie" Koleber Margheim, 1902-1986
My Grandma Mollie is standing with my Dad Ernest Margheim and their dog "Ginger" in 1923. I knew my Grandma very well for 36 years and I never saw her dressed in a pretty white lacy dress like this. She sewed her own cotton dresses and the fabric she preferred was always very flowery and colorful. Santa, I'd like to have the pretty white, feminine, fancy dress Grandma's wearing in this picture. Oh, Santa, I'd like to have her hat too!

2. Nannie Becker Flanders, 1887-1962
My Grandma Flanders was married in this dress to Milo Flanders on 18 April, 1906 in Great Bend, Barton, Kansas. I don't remember ever seeing my Grandma in anything but her kitchen apron. She was 60 years old when I was born in 1947 and after giving birth to 7 children, she was just a bit more "round" too. I'd love to have this beautiful white wedding dress that she wore on this very special day! Please, Santa.

3. Emma Cornelia Strait Becker, 1867-1920
I didn't know this Great-Grandma, so I only call her Emma Cornelia--one of my favorite names. She was married to Johann Joseph "Joe" Becker 26 August 1884 in Hodgeman, Ness, Kansas. She was the mother of 9 children, her oldest daughter being my Grandma Nannie Becker Flanders, pictured above, and raised her children on the plains of Kansas. Her life was not easy, nor did she have wealth. But in this picture she looks beautiful to me. I've always felt close to Emma Cornelia--her name seems to sing out to me. So dear Santa, please bring me my Great-Grandma Emma Cornelia's pretty while fancy blouse and black skirt that she's wearing in this picture.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Family Calendar Gift

I wanted to post a new story on this blog today and have been straining for hours to think of an appropriate topic. While I was wondering what to write about, I've been printing out pages of a calendar that I prepare each year to give to our family members for Christmas. Do you see the obvious here? It took me awhile to see it.

Eight years ago I started the tradition of making a calendar for the upcoming year that my husband and I could give to our children at Christmas. Our family was adding a new grandchild each year early in this decade and it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to keep track of birthdays, anniversaries, and special holidays. I found this calendar to be a great solution for this problem. I simply enter the birthday in the appropriate day and have that visual reminder hanging in our kitchen throughout the year. I've illustrated each month with a collage of photos of all the members of our family. Our immediate family now numbers 33 so it hasn't been hard to fill up the space for each month!

I print the calendars at home on my inkjet and take them to a copy service to have a spiral binding added. It's an easy-to-do project. I've kept all the calendars I've made and have found them to be wonderful "time capsules"---a photo journey into our family's growth over the past 10 years.

Other genealogists might want to consider doing the same thing someday. They make good gifts and good keepsakes. If I'm able to make them, they're EASY! I'm not a crafty person. But my family seems to be pleased with these. Give it a try!