Saturday, June 27, 2009

Welcome to "Grace and Glory"

I'm Becky Jamison, a hopelessly addicted genealogist and I blog about the research I've done for the past 10 years, mostly on my family lines of MARGHEIM and KOLEBER (Germans from Russia to Kansas), FLANDERS from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to Kansas, BECKER and STRAIT from Germany to Kansas, and JONES and MARKER in Kansas, as well as my husband's family lines of JAMISON, HAUGHT, ROBERTS, and KING from the Pennsylvania and West Virginia areas.

I'm proud of our families and have fun telling their stories and showing their pictures. I've made such interesting discoveries over the years, met so many wonderful cousins and relatives who've shared with me, and wish that I'd been able to record those experiences in a blog along the way. Today it's so easy to blog that I feel blessed I'm now able to keep a written record of this journey of genealogy.

You can "Follow" me by clicking on the "Follow" button on the right sidebar and visit me often. I try to add new content every week. Scroll down the page and read some of my recent stories.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Putting Names to Faces: Identifying Another Family Portrait

After researching my family's history for 10 years, it surprises me that at times my thinking is so narrowly focused! I came across this family portrait last Fall at my Dad's house and took it home to scan and identify the family. I didn't recognize them as my grandparents or great-grandparents, so I took the large framed portrait to my dad and asked if he knew who they were. He didn't.

I brought up the subject again last week and this time Dad said he recognized the family as a Deines family, but couldn't recall the individual names. I had posted this photo on the wall of a Facebook group called "Volga Germans" hoping someone could help me identify the famly. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that now! What was I thinking?

My grandparents were Volga Germans, those people of German ancestry who immigrated to America from the Volga region of Russia in the late 1800's or early 1900's. My paternal grandmother's maiden name was Koleber and her mother's maiden name was Dietz. Many members of the Dietz family married members of the Deines family. But Dad was pretty sure the unidentified families in the photos I found at his house were friends of his parents. It was while searching through books in my personal library for the identity of another family portrait, that I came across the above photo, along with all the family information. They weren't UNidentified. Their identities were only unknown to ME. And the book I found their portrait in: "Deines Dynasty, Book I", by Brent A. Mai, my father's cousin. I felt so stupid. I knew I had that book about the Deines family. I knew many of the Deineses were distantly related to my ancestors, but I just never thought of looking in that book to identify this family when I scanned their portrait last Fall! I think my brain is getting rusty!
As it turns out, this is the portrait of Georg "David" Deines (1862-1939), his wife Maria Elisabeth Dietz (1861-1944), with children back row left to right: Henry, Lydia, Solomon, Margaret and George, front row left end: Fred, and front row, right end, son David Jr.
Maria Elisabeth Dietz Deines was the daughter of Georg Friedrich Dietz (1830-1891) and Maria Magdalena Mai (1833-1900). They also had a son Georg Daniel Dietz (1852-1932) who is seated in the photo below at left, who had a daughter "Katie" (pictured standing at far left below) who married John "George" Koleber (beside whom she's seated in the photo below right). Katie and George Koleber's daughter was Amalia "Mollie" Koleber, my Grandmother (the young girl in the picture far below)! Mollie Koleber married John Margheim and in 1921 gave birth to my Dad, Ernest Margheim. So the mother in the above portrait is my great, great grandaunt!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Thrill of Putting Names to Faces: Identifying Old Photos

Last summer I did a lot of housecleaning at my Dad's house to convert a storage room into his bedroom, so he'd be free of using steps to get to his bedroom. The reward to that huge job was that I found many large, framed family photographs in one of his pieces of furniture. I was able to recognize my Dad's parents in many of the old photos, but there were a few that stumped me. I carried the large pictures that were matted and framed under glass, to his room at the nursing home where he was residing at that time, and I asked if he could identify the people. He told me he didn't know who they were, but was sure they were friends of his parents, since it was customary to exchange family portraits with friends in the early 1900s.

My dad's ancestors were Germany residents until the mid-1700s, when they emigrated to the Volga region of Russia. Then in 1886 my Dad's father's family, Jacob and Katie Margheim, immigrated to the United States. And in 1904 my dad's mother, her parents George and Katie Koleber, and two older brothers George Jr. and Daniel immigrated through Ellis Island into the United States.

A few months ago I joined a group on Facebook called "Volga Germans" and posted the unidentified photos on their "wall", hoping someone would recognize someone in the pictures and help with my identification.

Since my dad is now living in his home again, I spent some time last Saturday showing him those photos and introducing him to more features on Facebook. When I brought up the first photo, Dad said "I know who that lady is, that's Mrs. Schwein." I wasn't quite ready to do the happy dance but his comment sure put a smile on my face! The young woman was posing along with her family, whose names I didn't know. But at least I had the first clue---the daughter married a man in the Schwein family. Dad then gave me a second clue...she had a son who had married Millie, the sister of "Coonie" Wilhelm. Now "Coonie" is a nickname for Conrad Wilhelm, and I knew that he was married to my Grandpa John Margheim's sister, Mary. If you're not a genealogist, you might think that's a rather convoluted connection, but if you've spent as many hours studying this subject as I have, it will make perfect sense to you!

My first task was to look again at the siblings of "Coonie" Wilhelm and see if I could positively identify Millie. I found that Conrad had a sister named Amelia. I looked at census images on and found a Schwein family, also living where my dad's parents were living in Hoisington, Barton County, Kansas. I wrote down the household listing and showed it to Dad, and as he recognized names in the household, he confirmed that I had the right Schwein family. Amelia Wilhelm had married Emanuel Schwein. I found that information in an obituary listing for their daughter Irene F. (Schwein) Trageser that had been published in the Osawatomie Graphic, 31 Dec. 2008! The short obituary listing said Irene was the daughter of Emanuel and Amelia Wilhelm Schwein. Lucky me!

So my next search was for the parents of Emanuel Schwein. I found the household listed in the 1920 census (on for Wheatland, Barton Co, Kansas and found his parents to be Henry and Hanna. Incidentally, I made a note of the family living next door: Jacob Maier, wife Mary and 3 children. Okay.....Dad said Emanuel Schwein married Amelia Wilhelm and that Emanuel's mother was one of the daughters in the unidentifed photo that started this whole search. This find on Ancestry of the census listing for Emanuel's parents told me her name was Hanna! I'm really getting somewhere!

I did a Google search for "Henry and Hanna Schwein". I found an obituary listing for Elise E. Schwein. Elsie had been listed as one of the members of the Henry and Hannah Schwein household in that 1920 census image. In the obituary notice, it said Elise E. Schwein was the daughter of Henry and Johanna Maier Schwein. Johanna's ("Hanna") maiden name was MAIER! How happy I am when I see obituaries that list full names of family members, along with maiden names! Too many times these days that information is omitted from obituaries!
Now my task was to uncover the identity of Hanna Maier's parents, so I'd know who this family was. Back to I found a 1900 Census listing in Lincoln, Russell County, Kansas for a Hannah Maier, born March 1884. I knew from previous research that my grandparents lived in Russell County, so it was reasonable that I had the right family in this location. The listing revealed the father and mother as Jacob, born April 1849 and Mary E., born 1850.

At this point I made a trip to my dad's house Tuesday noon and with great eagerness exclaimed that the man and woman in this photo above were Jacob and Mary E. Maier. He was surprised that I'd discovered this much just from the clue that their daughter was married to his Uncle Coonie's sister!

As I sat at home Tuesday evening, I couldn't stop thinking about this family. I started wondering who Mary E. (Mrs. Jacob) Maier was...what was HER maiden name. You genealogists know that the hunt just continues---there's no place to stop! I was still wondering why my grandparents had this beautiful large family portrait. Back to Google!

Again, an obituary held the answer to what I was looking for. An obituary listing for their son Jacob Jr. said he was the son of Jacob and Mary Elisabeth (Koleber) Maier. I was almost in shock! I ran to the telephone at 9:30 pm Tuesday night to tell my dad that Mary Maier's maiden name was KOLEBER. That's the maiden name of my dad's mother and my grandmother Amalia "Mollie" Koleber Margheim! Now it became more clear why my grandparents were in possession of this big beautiful family portrait. And I was excited that I was in possession of this portrait of a family who were my relatives! From the census I saw that Mary Elisabeth was born about 1850. My grandmother was born in 1902, so I knew this lady was too old to be a sister of my great-grandfather George Koleber. By checking my database, I saw that my great-grandfather was born in 1874, still too young to be a brother of this Mary E. Koleber Maier.

It was late Tuesday evening but I knew I had more hunting to do before I'd be able to go to sleep. And I knew that there was quite an extensive listing of Kolebers and their related families online at By searching this site I found this: Johann Heinrich Koleber and his first wife Maria Katharina Huck are my 3rd great grandparents. After Maria K. Huck Koleber died, Johann Heinrich married Maria Katharina Mai and had a daughter Maria Elisabeth Koleber, whose second husband was Georg Jacob Maier. So the mother of this family in the portrait is my great, great, grandaunt! These is not just a portrait of friends of my grandparents, like Dad and I originally thought. Jacob and Mary Koleber Maier were born in 1849....160 years ago. What a treasure it is to have this family portrait! And what a thrill it is to now know who this family is!

I made another wonderful identification for an unknown portrait from this family searching, but I'll write about that in my next post. So check back soon!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

They Worked Hard for the Family: Jones Home Laundry

In this family photo from about 1930 are: back row from left Helen Marker Jones, her husband Henry James 'Jim' Jones with their three children in front, from left Frank, Maxine and Phyllis. In the middle of the back row is Jim Jones's brother Hamilton 'Ham' Jones and his wife Iva, with their two daughters in front of them, Marjorie and Dorothy.
My step-mother of 46 years was Phyllis Jones Margheim, who worked extremely hard for her family from 1933 until 2 days before her death in 1997. She is pictured at 3rd from left in each photo above. She started her working days at age 9 as she helped her parents, Helen and Jim Jones in their family business, the Jones Home Laundry, touted as "The Biggest Little Laundry in Kansas".

Life was difficult for most people in the U.S. in 1930 and in Great Bend, Kansas families had hard times due largely to the Great Depression. As Helen Jones was raising her family of three small children, Phyllis, Maxine and Frank, her husband Jim was working as a saleman for Snap-On Tools. To supplement their income, Helen took in laundry so she could be at home to care for her children. The laundry business grew to the point that Jim and Helen built a large building onto the south end of their house and operated it as a commercial laundry. You can see in the sign above the words"Southeast Door" at the top. This was to direct customers to the proper entrance to the laundry business. Notice too, that this was in the days when phone numbers were 3 digits: "394". The address was 1501 E. 8th St. in Great Bend, KS.
This picture shows Jim (at right) and his brother Ham Jones, who also worked in the laundry business for many decades. Compare this to the photo below of Ham (foreground) and Jim sorting clothes before weighing them in their newer laundry building about 1970.

This photo shows my step-mother Phyllis at about age 20 (1944) with a boyfriend outside the entrance to the laundry. The house window is at the right end of the photo, and the laundry window and door are at her right. My grandfather Jim Jones owned and operated this laundry from about 1930 until his death in 1976. My Mom managed it and put in 70-80 hours every week standing on its concrete floors, washing, pressing and wrapping laundry bundles in heat that reached 120 degrees in the summer, and cold that reached 20 degrees in the winters. Many mornings my mom took a hammer to pound ice off the door handles so she could open the laundry and fire up the boiler at 5:30 am. She finally retired and sold the building in 1977, at age 53. She and her father certainly deserve to be featured in this story about our family members who "worked hard for the family"!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More Impressions of Colorado Family History Expo

Allison Stacy, Publisher of Family Tree Magazine. Her smile lit up the entire Exhibit Hall!

RootsMagic was one of the sponsors of this Expo. Thank you, Bruce & Laurie Buzbee and Michael Booth and staff!

Family Insight is a software product of Ohana Software with headquarters in Hawaii. The Hawaiian shirts and leis added a wonderful touch to the Exhibit Hall displays.

Since I have never attended a Family History Conference, seminar, workshop, or expo, I came to this wonderful event with no expectations other than to learn and have fun. And learn and have fun....I DID!
I was immediately impressed when I checked in to the Embassy Suites with my 3 friends, Patsy, Shelly and Emily, because the facility was brand new and beautiful. Very roomy, open, spacious, and very accommodating. It was an excellent location for this Expo. Holly Hansen, President of Family History Expos hosted nearly 500 attendees and things appeared to go along without a hitch. When a Presenter was not able to attend, Holly stepped in and presented the lesson. My friend Emily was in that class and said it went quite smoothly and was very informative.
Each of my friends had a different line of interest so we attended separate classes. Patsy was interested in DNA and German research, Emily wanted to learn more about doing effective research in England and Wales, and in using court and probate records. She found exactly what she was looking for as a participant in the classes presented by Dr. Arlene Eakle. Shelly found really entertaining classes on "Serendipity", taught by Janet Hovorka, the Chart Chick and co-owner of Generation Maps, "Murder, Mayhem, and Tragedy", taught by Lisa Alzo , and she was so affected by Ron Anderson's presentation on the "Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln" on Friday afternoon that she convinced me to attend the class taught by Mr. Anderson Saturday morning about "Abraham Lincoln's Faith". I found it to be the most touching and entertaining hour that I've experienced in a long time! Mr. Ron Anderson is the author of "A Lincoln, God's Humble Instrument."
Since I serve as a Consultant in our local Family History Center, I attended the three classes presented by Paul Starkey, William Mangum and Steve Rockwood, who all offered information on Family Search that will help me be better equipped to teach our patrons. I was quite impressed with the quality and volume of information they presented on relevant topics. I also use Roots Magic as the software for my genealogy database and I love it! I was thrilled that Bruce Buzbee, developer of this software, was present and conducted two information-packed classes as he walked us through many of the procedures for using Roots Magic and for synchronizing it with the New Family Search.
I wasn't able to take TIME to post anything to my blog during the days Friday and Saturday because I just couldn't steal myself away from any of these wonderful classes long enough to get the job done! I knew I could blog from home, but would never get a chance to learn from these wonderful experts again. You know this was the first expo I've attended and I certainly hope it won't be my last. But it may be a long time before I'm able to participate again. So I made the best use of my time.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Family History Expo First Impressions

I’m happy to report that my friends and I made it to Loveland, Colorado just ahead of a thunderstorm Thursday evening. This Embassy Suites opened 2 months ago so it’s beautiful and very impressive. I was wide awake this morning at 3:00 am, hoping it was time to hit the Exhibit Hall. We enjoyed a delicious complimentary breakfast buffet at 6:00 am and Registration opened at 7:00 am. Bernie Gracy delivered a very enthusiastic and informative talk in his Keynote Address on “Location Based Genealogy.”
Holly Hansen, President of FHExpo, tells me 500 people are in attendance. That just blows me away—especially since I’m fortunate to be one of them. Those 500 weren’t all in attendance in time to attend Bernie’s keynote address, but at the close of that session, nearly 300 left the room and descended upon the Exhibit Hall. I felt like a kid in a candy store and didn't know which direction to walk first. I visited the Family Search booth, then wandered over to Janet Hovorka of Generation Maps. I had no idea the products that her company produces are so magnificent! I was really impressed. I nearly raced from booth to booth, looking at all the goodies, the magazines, handouts, CD’s, magazines, maps, software, etc. I was happy to meet so many of my Facebook friends: Laurie and Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic (in the photo at left), Gaylon Findley of Ancestral Quest, Allison Stacy of Family Tree Magazine, Dean Richardson of Genlighten, and Jean Wilcox Hibben, who provided the entertainment at the Banquet Friday night.
I'll post reflections of Saturday's activities on Sunday, but want to share some photos with you.

At the top is Dr. Arlene Eakle who was so pleasantly welcoming fellow genealogists to her Genealogy Institute booth. In the photo above is Jean Wilcox Hibben with her husband as they presented a musical selection in the Exhibit Hall. At left is Janet Hovorka, working on a project at Generation Maps.
Here is Family History Expos President Holly Hansen visiting with two attendees at this conference.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Countdown to Colorado: 3 Days to Family History Expo

In three days I’ll be on my way to the Colorado Family History Expo 2009 in Loveland, Colorado with my friends Shelly, Patsy and Emily. Eight classes will be presented each hour during Friday and Saturday---how can I clone myself to attend 2 or 3 at once? Each of us has different interests and areas of research, so we're going to "divide and conquer". Shelly, a 30 year researcher, is taking a lot of the fun-sounding classes, like "Wagon Trains and Indian Fights", to be presented by Billy Dubois Edgington, and "Murder, Mayhem and Town Tragedy" with Lisa A. Alzo. Patsy has a strong interest in DNA as it is related to genealogy, so she'll be investigating classes along that line. I'm serving as a Consultant in our local Family History Center, so I'm going to learn as much as I can from the staff of the Family History Library and experts from FamilySearch so I can bring lessons back to our Center staff. I also use RootsMagic 4 for my database and am very excited about participating in two classes conducted by Bruce Buzbee himself! I'm also going to have fun in Janet Hovorka's class "Serendipity and Other Miracles: Why You Need Family History". I've experienced the serendipity in my family research!
I can hardly wait to meet many of my Facebook friends, and fellow genea-bloggers in the Blogger Bistro and Twitter Cafe. I'll be posting tweets to Twitter during the day and hope to post updates to this blog at day's end. I should do that during the day, but how would I tear myself away from the Exhibit Hall with all the wonderful vendors and product displays? From the Keynote Address at 8:00 am Friday morning by Bernie Gracy to the final drawing for the Grand Prize on Saturday at 6:00 pm, the Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colorado will be a ALIVE with genealogists and family historians, from the beginners to the experts and professionals. Holly Hansen, President of FHExpos, promises a very interesting and worthwhile expo that will teach us "The Tech to Trace Our Roots" right here for the first time in our beautiful Colorado!
I hope to see you there. You can also follow happenings on Twitter @FHExpos or on the blog

A Winning Wednesday

Please check out Anne Bradshaw's blog and offer this week. I'd love to have a winning Wednesday and be the recipient of the $50 LDSWA gift certificate.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Be Careful Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane

Last week I was reminded to check out as I read a post by Lorine at Olive Tree Genealogy. I'd looked at it in the past, but it's always good to go back and check later when more items have been added. To my delight (and amazement!) I found that many newspapers have been digitized and added from my hometown of Great Bend, Barton County, Kansas. I first searched for newspaper articles with ny reference to my maiden name, Margheim. I found a lot of them. When I found a newspaper report about a "suicide" in the family back in 1934, I was hooked on searching. What other juicy bits of my family's history could I discover?
Next I moved on to surnames in my mother's family, mainly the Flanders family, her parents. I quickly found the article pictured above titled: "Seventy five attend the Flanders family reunion". To you there's nothing striking about a family reunion attended in 1973 by 75 people. They happen all the time. But I was dumb-struck. And here's why.
When my twin brother and I were age 2 my mother left our family and her marriage to my Dad and moved to another part of Kansas. She remarried and had a family in Wichita, Kansas. Since she abandoned us, she didn't have legal custody of me and Dennis, and we visited her according to a court order, but only for days or weeks at a time until we were 12 years old. We were not allowed to visit her again until we entered college at age 17. During the following years, until her death in 1990, we had occassional visits, enjoyed some good times together, and spent valuable time with other members of her (our) family. But for reasons only I could speculate, she just never could get it right as far being in the"mother" role to me and Dennis. Consequently we didn't get very well acquainted with her extended family.
You might understand that Dennis and I always desperately wanted a close and loving realtionship with our mother. I particularly always felt a great need "to matter" to her. That need was never met. Disappointment visited me frequently as I'd hear of her visits to her family members in my hometown of Great Bend, or of her yearly visits to family graves in a cemetery only 2 blocks from my home when I was married and the mother of her oldest grandchild, and only grandson.
As I was reading this newspaper article this week which reported on the family reunion of her family, that childhood feeling of disappointment that I had become so accustomed to re-visited me. The reunion was held in a small town only a few miles from where I was residing. Probably held on a Sunday afternoon. In 1973 I'd been married only 2 years, had no children and had Sunday afternoons free. How I'd have loved to have been even have been invited. I wasn't a genealogist in 1973 (nor 1983 or 1993!), but I was a Flanders descendant and these were my relatives, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc. I loved them all. I missed them all. I needed them all.
As I thought about this over the last few days, I realized that the fact that a reunion was held with that many people in attendance told me that FAMILY was of great importance to this Flanders bunch. The final paragraph of the article states that the afternoon was spent looking at photographs, visiting, and updating the family tree book. It was decided to meet again on the 2nd Sunday of July the following year. I wonder for how many years those reunions were held. I was never notified of them. Now that I'm doing genealogy, I'm wondering who ended up in possession of the Family Tree Book! I'm wondering where all those family photographs are in 2009?
As I've dealt with those feelings of loss and disappointment this week, I've also become aware of how natural it is that I've developed this passion for genealogy! The Flanders family has a long tradition of preserving their family history. Edith Flanders Dunbar wrote "The Flanders Family From Europe to America" back in 1934. And I knew my mother, Ruby Flanders Margheim Craine, well enough to know how she treasured her family's history and the relationships in her family (her ancestors more than her descendants obviously). How I wish I could have shared this interest, this passion, this blessing with her. But I'm grateful to at least have the newspaper clippings! I'll get over the disappointment again. I have too much in my life for which to be grateful., for one! And Lorine Massey for reminding me to start searching again!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence

Everything I need to know about blogging I learned from Thomas MacEntee, my Mentor at Facebook Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers. And today I learned that there's no end to his giving. I was one of those chosen by him to receive "The Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence".
I borrow his explanation of the award, its origin, and purpose: The award was created in honor of genealogy blogger Janice Brown by Terry Thornton, author of "Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi", who explained that "Janice told us all about the word 'puckerbrush' in an article she posted August 27, 2007 at "Cow Hampshire". Terry elaborated a bit further in a comment: 'On any land allowed to go fallow and left untended, a wild assortment of wild plants grow – in some areas, this wild growth results in such a thicket of plants that it is almost impossible to push your way through the growth.So it is with the growth of blogs --- so many that it is impossible to read them all. But in the puckerbrush eventually a few plants/trees become dominant and influence all who view them through the thick surrounding puckerbrush.And it is those outstanding blogs whose influence spreads beyond just the surrounding rabble of puckerbrush that I'm honoring.' Terry issued this challenge: Henceforth these awards will be called the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence. All blog authors are hereby challenged to name the ten blogs which have influenced their writing the most and list them as a tribute to Janice --- the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Awards for Excellence.
I'm deeply humbled and honored that Thomas thought of me as a recipient when awarding this to the 10 bloggers who have influenced him in some way. My blog is not instructional, not educational, nor professional. I share bits and pieces of my discoveries, my family treasures, and impressions as I journey down this path of discovery into the lives of those in my family who have gone before me and left their legacy to me. My life has been so richly blessed along the way by literally hundreds of others who have generously helped, shared, taught, encouraged, and instructed me. Last Fall (Sept. 2008) when I impulsively created my blog, I was hungry for help, for instruction and encouragement. I found all that when I discovered Thomas MacEntee on Facebook and learned of his BOOTCAMP! It's true that everything I learned about blogging, I learned from Thomas. Thank you very much, Thomas!
Now for the privilege of passing this on to 10 bloggers who have influenced me, whose blogs I read faithfully and diligently and by whom I've been taught, inspired or simply delighted along the way.
4. Harriett at Genealogy Fun
5. Judith at Genealogy Traces
6. Gini at Ginisology
7. Kate at Genealogy Bug
9. Cheryl at Heritage Happens
10. Greta at Greta's Genealogy Bog
Each of these women have supported me and helped me to feel that what I've posted has been worthwhile. I'm anxious to pass this award on to each of these friends and then see who they, in turn, will honor.