Friday, October 22, 2010

So Many Ancestors, So Little Time


I was happy when I opened the mailbox today and found my early birthday present. From my dad I got this sweater/sweatshirt/jacket, even though my birthday isn’t until November 5th. I’m going to visit my brother in Texas for a few days next week and I wanted to wear it, so I got it early. I love it (I got the black one).

Actually I’ve wanted this since last April when I saw it on display in the Exhibit Hall of the National Genealogy Conference in Salt Lake City. By mid-morning of the first morning of the conference, the only one left at the “Fun Stuff for Genealogists” booth was the one on display. As I was looking at it, considering whether “one size fits all” would fit me, a lady walked up very brazenly, barged in front of two of us, grabbed it off the hanger and announced to those of us who were “eyeballing it” that it was SOLD! And off she went. I was crushed. I don’t find myself “wanting” very many things as I go through life, but I wanted that jacket! Through the winters I wear a jacket in my house as I sit at my laptop and do my genealogy research. I thought this would be the perfect thing to wear this winter.

Thank you, Dad, for the wonderful birthday present. I don’t wear t-shirts with advertising on them, but I’ll proudly wear this jacket, as it confirms what I know: “So many ancestors, So little time”. That’s hardly anything I need to be reminded of, for it’s what drives my constant perseverance to get the ‘work’ done. So many people in my ancestry, and not enough hours in the day to serve them properly!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Who’s to Blame?

At Geneamusings, Randy Seaver has issued this challenge for us:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and we need more of you to do this, otherwise it may end...), is to:
1)  Read Brenda Joyce Jerome's post
Who or What Do You Blame? on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog.  She asks these questions:
*  Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information?
*  Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off?
*  Did your interest stem from your child's school project on genealogy?
*  If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this journey.
2)  Write your responses on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a note or comment on Facebook.

I’m usually so busy on Saturday nights doing my own research that I seldom take time to write about it, using Randy’s ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’ prompts. But I’ve already added two new posts to my blog today and spent several hours last night researching, so it’s time for fun tonight.

I’m proud to say it was my husband, Larry Jamison, who started me on this quest of researching our ancestors. He prodded, suggested, hinted, encouraged, reminded, and prodded some more. I flatly refused for several years. Of course I knew what genealogy was, as my mother had always taken great pride in “keeping track” of family and my dad, along with my step-mom and grandmother, were members of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia and attended annual conventions. And my dad’s been an “obituary clipper” for many years. But I had no interest in even hearing about conventions or reading obituaries.

After I’d known Larry for a couple of years, I finally yielded to his “begging” and let him take me to the local Family History Center to see what information, if any, we could find about my grandparents. To my total shock, their names were in the computer system and that submission led me to unknown cousins many years later.

It was 7 years after that visit to the Family History Center when I finally got back to the research. My son gave my dad the Family Tree Maker software for Christmas one year. Dad did nothing with it, so I installed it and thought I’d only enter what I’d included in my son’s baby book. That’s funny now that I look back on it…to think I was going to enter 4 generations and STOP! Laugh out loud!

The research on my own family was fresh….I gathered what I knew, what my dad could add, and started the deeper “dig” 10 years ago. However, a good foundation of research into my husband’s ancestry had been done by his first wife, who’d researched about 5 generations 25 years prior to me picking it up and continuing with it.

Thank you to Larry, for allowing me to “blame” you for  encouraging me to just give genealogy a try; thank you to my dad for helping me piece the names of my own family together; thank you to hundreds of other relatives for contributing to my findings, and thank you to Randy Seaver, for the suggestion for my source of genealogy fun this Saturday night!

Our Crazy Connections

Jill Larry Becky Phyllis connections

Over the years of researching the ancestors of my family and that of my husband, I’ve discovered that some of my most thrilling moments come when I discover CONNECTIONS. Yes, I love the stories and the photos, but I seem to get most excited when I’m researching a family line and see a name that I remember being connected to another family line that I’ve researched. I have a pretty good brain for remembering names. Last night I was corresponding with my friend Jill by email and learned of another connection to my husband’s family. My husband Larry is colored blue in the above pedigree. Jill is “in the pink”.

The connection she told me of is not even represented in the above diagram, but just for the record I’ll explain it here: Near the bottom right is the name Annie Kendall, wife of Henry Metz. After Henry died, Annie married George Baker. Above Henry’s name in the pedigree is the name Margaret Dixon, wife of William Budge. Margaret’s mother, Mary Ann, was married first to John Dixon, but after his death, she married that same George Baker.

I’m just blown away when I learn these facts. And I don’t want to hear that common response “Well, we’re all related anyway!” When anyone says that to me, my reply is “Show me how”!

At the bottom right of the pedigree is Eleanor Kendall, wife of Dennis Campbell and sister of the above-mentioned Annie Kendall. You might be able to see that Eleanor Kendall’s 3rd great grandson is my husband Larry Jamison.

When Annie was first married to Henry Metz, she had a daughter Mary Ann, who had a daughter Viola Hawkins, who had a daughter Marie Boice, who had a daughter Gene Marie Linford. I’ve colored her name lavendar. Although Gene resides in Alaska, she and I have corresponded a lot by email and she’s provided me with quite a lot of family information, stories, and wonderful old photographs.

The pedigree shows that Gene’s mother Marie had a sister Eva Boice who married Melvin Knight. Melvin’s father was John Miner Knight, who first married Florence Cornell, and second married Mary Budge, daughter of William Budge and Margaret Dixon, again, the great-grandparents of my friend Jill “in the pink”.

As I was looking at the ancestry of John Miner Knight I saw that his grandfather was Minor Grant Atwood. I remembered the name Minor Grant Atwood from research I’d done about 8 years ago! A quick review of my database proved me right, as I found that Minor Atwood was the great-grandfather of Harold David Preece, who is married to Phyllis Batchman. If you can see the pedigree above, at the top left you see that Phyllis’s mother Esta Becker was a sister of my grandmother Nannie Becker. I’ve colored Phyllis’s name yellow and mine is dark pink. Phyllis is a first cousin to my mother Ruby Flanders so she’s my first cousin, once removed.

Another connection that I have not shown in this pedigree diagram is the Batchman connection between Phyllis Batchman at top left and Priscilla Radke, mother of Jill Budge. Priscilla’s grandmother was Mary Ann Batchman, and Phyllis’s grandfather was Mary Ann’s brother Franklin Nicholas Batchman. This makes Priscilla Radke Budge and Phyllis Batchman Preece second cousins.

In about 30 minutes before I went to bed last night, I created the above pedigree diagram in Publisher so I could get all these connections drawn out and pieced together to show my husband, who “reads in pictures”, as I’ve discovered. He’s a visual person and was pleased with the picture I created to show him these crazy family connections. It looks like a maze, but is interesting to see how two of my wonderful genealogy friends are connected to me and to my husband and to each other.

Maybe I’ll develop the diagram further to show the connection through the Haught family line from Jill Budge to Larry’s grandmother Rhea Haught (shown in the center of the bottom above). Or the connection of Jill’s mother Priscilla Radke’s great grandmother Catherine Stockdale to her great, grandniece and Larry’s aunt: Sara Lee Thompson (wife of his uncle William Jamison).

Whoa, maybe I’d better stop where I am and leave it as a maze, rather than turn it into a spider web! Oh, these crazy connections. I love discovering them and studying them. And yes, I even love developing the diagrams to illustrate them!

My Home State the Year I was Born

KS map 1947

A few days ago I saw a posting on Facebook that referenced the Kansas Dept. of Transportation website where they offer images of historic maps. The map above is from 1947, the year I was born. If you can view it large enough to read, it’s quite entertaining.

My home town was Great Bend, which is near the center of the state. It got it’s name because it’s where the “great bend” of the Arkansas river is. I was surprised when I looked at Great Bend on the map as it was noted with a comic drawing of Frank Robl and labeled as the place where Frank Robl did Bird Banding. My first thought was “And that’s what Great Bend was known for in 1947 ????”

A few miles northeast of Great Bend lies Cheyenne Bottoms, a natural wetland and wildlife area. Frank Robl, it seems, was well known as an ornithologist in the county and banded birds to track their migratory patterns as they came through Cheyenne Bottoms.

I found it quite amusing to read the notations beside many of the towns in Kansas to see what they were noted for during the year of my birth.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Son’s (half) Pedigree Chart


I spent an hour and a half this afternoon taping my son’s pedigree chart together…and used 2 full rolls of Magic tape. It’s 3 feet wide and 13 feet long. I say it’s only a “half” pedigree because it only represents his ancestors on his (birth) mother’s side of the family. I have not researched his “birth” father’s lineage yet. I may have to wait until 2012 when the 1940 federal census is released to begin that project.

To save expense I have not used a professional chart printing service like Janet Hovorka’s “The Chart Chick” --- although I’d LOVE to! I printed the 60 pages out for this chart, then trimmed and taped them together. My husband is good about helping me with the next step..he takes it to a local Copy Shop and the proprietor runs our chart through his blueprint copier and makes one seamless copy. That’s the one I’ll give my son.  That way I can keep the “rough draft” for my own reference.

Now back to inserting photos in his narrative report. I hope to get his book done in another week or so. I’ll post pictures when it’s ready.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Grandma Mollie

Mollie_Margheim_with_Dennis_and_BeckyWhen my twin brother Dennis and I were toddlers, our parents divorced and our Grandma Mollie Margheim stepped in to help Dad care for us until Dad remarried two years later. She became the most important person in our lives. She remained that special wonderful Grandma the rest of her life, which ended in 1986.
Amalia “Mollie” Koleber Margheim was born in Kratzke, Saratov, Russia October 6, 1902. She immigrated with her dad George, mother Katie and two older brothers to America in July, 1904.
John_&_Mollie_1968 Every October 6th I think of her with such dear, loving memories and want to wish my dear Grandma Mollie “Happy Birthday” today.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It All Started with this Postcard

This photo is blurry because it’s a copy of an image from eBay. It’s a picture of little Thelma Steele on a postcard that was offered for sale. I only have a copy because at $40, the postcard was out of my budget. But what I learned about Thelma and the story that developed when I was notified of the availability of the postcard is written up as my contribution to this book that Anne Bradshaw has recently compiled:
This is what Anne says about the book on it’s Facebook page: “The book, "True Miracles with Genealogy" by Anne Bradshaw, is a collection of family history research stories written by ordinary people with extraordinary experiences. These events are part of the reward that comes from doing genealogy. They are the fathers turning their hearts to their children—the spiritual moments as help comes from beyond the veil.
Each account is unique. Each is a miracle. Each will inspire readers as they come to the heady realization that family history work is of great consequence, it is powerful, and there really is a world of spirits.”

My copy just came in the mail today. After I read my own story on page 47, I’m going to read the rest of the book this evening. To get your copy from Amazon, you can go here:
Thank you, Anne, for putting together this interesting and amazing collection of miracle stories in genealogy.