Monday, May 16, 2016

In reviewing old newspaper articles I discover more cousin connections

My cousin Kate Keller and I have collaborated to collect newspaper articles about our common ancestors, great grandparents Joe and Emma (Strait) Becker and their many descendants. We really struck gold on the Chronicling America section of the Library of Congress web site. The article at left is an example of what we've found from the Great Bend Weekly Tribune of 1913.

Let me break it down for you. The opening sentence refers to Ellen Howard. She married Lew Becker, one of the sons of Joe and Emma Becker. 

The next sentence refers to Edna Smith, who, four months after this article was written, married "Bert" Becker, another son of Joe and Emma Becker. 

The third sentence says Beatrice Stevenson is working at F. Becker's. F. Becker refers to Fred Becker, the oldest son of Joe and Emma. And Beatrice was the youngest sister of Fred's wife Ethel Stevenson Becker.  

The fifth paragraph is about Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Flanders. Clarence was a brother to my grandfather Milo Flanders, who married Nannie Becker, a daughter of Joe and Emma. 

The sixth paragraph mentions Mr. and Mrs. J. (Joe) Becker, their son-in-law and daughter Mr. and Mrs. W. H. (Will and Mabel Becker) Lillich.

The eighth paragraph tells us that Opal and Roberta Diggs (unknown to me) and Edna Becker took dinner Thursday with Mrs. G. P Amerine. Edna Becker is the grandmother of my 2nd cousin Kate Keller and one of the daughters of Joe and Emma. 

The final paragraph in this news article mentions Mr. and Mrs Fred Becker (Joe and Emma's oldest son), Albert "Bert" Becker, their 6th child, again G. P Amerine, a neighbor at Route Three, Mr. and Mrs. Jos. ("Joe") Becker, and their daughter Edna Becker again, who all attended the ball game at Great Bend (Kansas, my home town). 

You might think that's not much information to bother to clip. But to me it says a lot. I can see who went places with other members of their family, how they associated with friends and neighbors, I see they had time and desire to attend sporting events, I see that they took parents with them when they went places, or the parents took their grown children with them, etc. In 1913 Joe Becker was 52 years old and Emma was 45.

As I reviewed this article, an example of many that I collected, I was curious about the Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Amerine mentioned. On August 19, 2012 I wrote a story here on my blog about an Amerine family in my home town of Great Bend, Kansas. I invite you to click the link and read the short story. I found the ancestry of G. P. Amerine online and learned that he was indeed related to Loren Amerine, one of the subjects of this previous post.  As I looked through more of that Amerine ancestry, I was astonished to see the name Flanders. As I mentioned above, my mother's father was Milo Flanders, who married Joe and Emma Becker's daughter Nannie. I'm looking at Amerine ancestry and see the name FLANDERS?? I'm so easily astonished and this really grabbed my attention. I've prepared a chart here that shows where the Flanders name fits into Loren Amerine's relationships.
I'm at the bottom left, M. Rebecca Margheim. At bottom right is Loren Amerine, with three of his children listed, Kent, Clyde and Elaine.
This cute little guy above is Clyde Amerine. Clyde was in the same classroom as my brother and I all through grade school, and attended Junior and Senior high School with us.  A classmate can feel like a relative after you've attended school together for 13 years!
Pictured above is Elaine Amerine with her husband Glenn Mull. Sadly, they both perished in an airplane accident in Feb. 2014. You can read about that here. My dad worked for Glenn Mull the last two years of his working career. 

Clyde and Elaine's oldest brother was Kent Amerine. I was recounting this story to my husband last night after I prepared the chart posted above. I told him it was sad that Kent Amerine was one of the casualties of the Viet Nam war who was from my hometown. I was indeed surprised this morning when I reviewed my news feed on Facebook when I saw that just today that the Barton County Historical Society Museum and Village posted this photo of Kent, along with a story of his loss of life along with other Barton County residents in that war.
My curiosity was aroused about the Amerine family yesterday afternoon as I read the news clippings mentioning my Becker and Flanders ancestors and their association with their neighbors, the Amerines. I discovered the connection to our two families and drew up the chart shown above, and this morning, my hometown Historical Society posted a photo and tribute to Kent Amerine on their Facebook feed. Now what are the chances of that happening? I think there's a message in here somewhere!

One of the messages is to pay attention to the names! I'm fortunate to find it easy to remember names and find them meaningful. I love discovering new connections and I find great value in knowing more about the daily lives of my ancestors. I'm blessed to be able to collaborate with cousin Kate, who introduced me to the Chronicling America site and shares my interest in all that we find in those 100+ year old newspaper articles! 

1 comment:

Michelle Ganus Taggart said...

Woo hoo! What a great find! I absolutely love newspapers. I love how you put it all together, complete with pictures and a chart. (It is getting harder and harder to find time to sleep with all of the goodies there are online!)