Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Stories

I think the thing that worries me the most at this stage of my life and genealogical research is the stories that we lose with each passing of a family member.  I realized the other day while doing some much needed dusting that I am letting the stories of my own 'treasures' go untold.  I have not even documented my trove for my kids - how will they know that "this is so-and-so's tea pot" if I never write it down?  And the really scary thought is that I may not remember all the stories myself.  I have decided to remedy the situation with my own version of an estate sale/antique auction booklet!

I plan to take pictures of each item, write a description of the item including any monetary value/antique status/other than sentimental information, and then add the information on where I got it, who it belonged to and where they are in the family tree.  While this could certainly eat up a lot of my so called 'spare' time, I think it will be a worthwhile project.  Some things I have collected specifically for each of my children and it would be kind of sad if they never knew why!

Here is my idea for the type of page I will make and how much (or little) information it can include and still be valuable for posterity, most pages will include several items.

This set of china has dinner plates, cups, saucers, creamer and sugar bowl and a serving bowl.  My husbands maternal grandmother (Irma Belle Guyton Herring Olson) owned these dishes and they were passed to me by his mother early in our marriage, this was my first set of 'good' dishes.

They are fine china from Japan with a stylized M and the words 'Arbor' and # '5566'.  The retail value is between $400 and $500 as replacements.I believe them to be from the 1950's as that was a common time for china to come from Japan.

This set of dishes has a little more history.
My paternal grandmother (Charlotte Frick Kiehn) owned these dishes.  Not long after my parents married, my mother commented on how pretty they were, grandma replied that she was thinking of getting rid of them as she never used them, my mom said she didn't think her mother had ever owned any pretty china plates. Grandma sold her the plates, which she in turn gave to my maternal grandmother (Nellie Corinne Quint Medlin) who had them until her death in 2014 at the age of 102.  I never remember her using them but they were there with her 'pretty things' for all the years that I remember.  When my mother asked me if I would like them I just laughed!  They were owned by both of my grandmothers and they have purple flowers - of course I do!!

They were manufactured by Homer Laughlin china and Distributed by Cunningham and Pickett, Inc. warranted 22kt gold hand decorated Alliance, Ohio. and the pattern is Spring Violets.  They were produced between 1953 and 1968.  The value of the set is around $300 - $400 as a set (retail)

I think this may be a lot of fun if I don't try to finish it all in one day (I have tendencies) and it may also get the whole collection of dusted!

Let me know if you have hints for preserving the info on your collectibles.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Project finished!

I had written before about doing the genealogy for our friend Jim, and now it is done!  I have it in a binder, photos copied and labeled, family trees done and headstones for all I could find.  I have also compiled some of the stories that I have found, with the verified and unverified marked accordingly. 

dividers in place!

photos labeled and referenced to their page in the tree!
This was a lot of fun for me as I have really only worked on my own family.  Starting from scratch and not having any "lore" to use in the research was a new experience. 

I also found out some of the tricks that my photo programs will do that I was unaware of (thank you to the oldest son - also known as the family computer guru) so that in the future I will be able to add captions and size the images much easier than before.  I found that both Picasa and Gimp are fun to use, fairly easy to figure out and did a lot more than I thought I was capable of.

It also turned out to be fun to find the 'nuggets' in another persons tree, and I did find a few,  I am very grateful to the New England Genealogical Society for doing the ancestry charts on all the presidential candidates in the past as I was able to show that my friend is related (distantly) to Presidents Bush 41 & 43, President Obama and Governor Sarah Palin!  Who knew those 4 were related?!  I found that his ancestors lived close to Johnny Appleseed, and some of them were captured by indians and escaped.  Half of his family were here on the 5th ship to the Plymouth colony and the other half came after the Civil War.  His story turned out to be like so many - the story of America.

So Jim now knows that some of his ancestors helped build this country and some escaped to America fairly recently, I hope he enjoys knowing about their contributions and that it gives him a real sense of belonging to the bigger picture!

For my part  I learned new things and had fun and really what more could I have asked for?!

Monday, January 26, 2015


Surrilda Cornelia Jackson Hamilton

(photo of - front - Robert Hamilton, Hollis, Surrilda Jackson Hamilton, back row - Ben, Will and Frank)

This lady has been driving me crazy for awhile.  This is my grandmothers mothers (Charlotte Hamilton) mother who married Robert Hamilton.  There were all kinds of theories but all we really knew was that her parents were William Jackson and Mary Bennett and that she was born in Benton, Des Moines, IA in 1852. 
I found a census report from Iowa in 1856 that listed the family all intact living in Benton, but then they are gone as a group.  I will keep looking for the family story, but for now this is what I have found;
Surrildas daughter Anzina Pearl 1886-1890

Wm Jackson
Mary Jackson
Calvin age 16
Evaline age 12
Harvey age 6
Surrilda age 4
Manerva age 2

My Aunt Evelyn had shared a lot of photos with me and in them was a copy of a picture of "Anzina McLain - the McLains raised Surrilda"  was written on the photo.
Anzina McLane Stone and family

I started tracking her (Anzina- this just had to be the source of Charlotte's sisters name - Anzina Pearl, who had died so young)  and found her grave in Yakima Washington, Stone was her married name and McLaine (McLane) was her maiden name I started tracking census reports and trying to find any reference to Surrilda or the Jackson family.  I got stuck, as her father had, unbeknownst to me, married twice and Anzina was from the first wife, whom I found through Anzina's sisters obituary and there it was - her mothers maiden name was Bennett! The same name as Surrildas mother Mary. Now it looked like it was a family situation.  When I started looking in the census for the Bennett family I also found Harvey (Surrilda's brother) living with the Aaron Bennett family in Memphis MO.  From there it has just been tracking down and proving.  So here is Surrildas family as I know it so far.  I have not been able to find any information on her parents and their deaths yet, but I know who her mothers family was and why she was in Missouri.

Anzina McLane is the daughter of Daniel McLane and Drusilla Bennett (Buried at Prairie View Cemetery, Azen, Scotland Co, MO)

Drusilla Bennett is the daughter of Aaron R Bennett  4/15/1815 VA - 4/5/1882 MO and his wife Hannah Mitchell 3/29/1817- 9/3/1865  (Hannah was a little difficult to track as Aaron's second wife had put the phrase "husband of S.E. Bennett" on the headstone!  A lesson about trying to be the last one to die!)

 Aaron Bennett is the brother of Mary Bennett and they are 2 of the 11 children of John Bennett 1/3/1790 VA - 1832 VA and his wife Sarah Raines 1/7/1789 VA - 2/9/1870 VA  (Aaron has Harvey Jackson in his house in 1860)
John Bennett is the son of Joseph Isaac Bennett (maybe Jr) 5/10/1732 Cumberland NJ - 5/7/1808 Pendleton VA and his wife Hannah Starnes. 8/4/1747 VA - 3/18/1814 VA

So the McLanes that raised Surrilda were her mother's niece and her husband who had a child (Anzina) 9 years younger than Surrilda.  Surrilda's older brother Harvey went to live with the uncle Aaron.  Aaron, Hannah, Drusilla are all buried at Prairie view Cemetery.

A note - Drusilla's daughter (Anzina's sister) Florence Emma died in the State Hospital for the insane in Fulton MO according to her obituary. 

I have learned a lot from this search and one of those things is that no piece of information is too small and even if it looks unrelated it may help you someday.  The photo with the legend on it and the obituary of someone who is not an obvious relative were the break-throughs in this search.  Not too sure this is a good thing to have in my mind as I really have a lot of paper already and probably will die with some of it still  unfiled!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

For Those Who Don't Do This Alot

So there we were at the Christmas table with our friends who also had no family coming by for the holidays - our orphans group.  Our friend Jim mentioned in the course of the conversation that he didn't even know the name of his grandparents on either side of his family.  I was of course understandably horrified! (smile) I grew up knowing the 3 past generations and hearing the stories of others so it is a foreign concept to me.  He said he would like to know something about them if only their names, so I volunteered!  I figured there would not be much, sounded like a small family and know the rest of course.  He has a huge family and I was making painstaking progress and then I got back to a point and he has relatives of famous people and I was able to add a whole section that would have taken me a really long time on my own to find.  I have now traced all his family lines back to the first immigrant to America and will begin to put them together.

And it occurs to me that to give a report to some one that is not immersed in this like I am I need to be careful, I need to watch that I don't use abbreviations that are obscure, that I don't make references that are unknown to the general public (when I first got interested I had no idea what a GEDCOM file was, and had a hard time finding it!) and that the "tree" format that I use is easy to understand and follow.  Makes me realize how much 'jargon' I have fallen into.

Ah well, learning new tricks means I'm not an old dog yet?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

As I enjoy my 'just a little skift' of a 'White Christmas' I think back on the Christmases past and those who are not here with us this year, as a genealogist/hstorian I also think of the advantages I have compared to those who came before me in this family.  I am thankful for the blessings I have.  I am thankful for the gift He gave at this time of year!
                                                 Merry Christmas and A Blessed New Year!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we will visit with friends and eat good food and remember to be thankful for all of our many blessings.  I am thankful for those of you who come here and share my ramblings and for those who have become 'friends'.  Thanksgiving comes in different times and manners in different places but this year especially with the world in such a turmoil I will stop and give thanks for my blessings and pray for the same for all of you!      Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am so thankful that I got to see and spend time with my grandmother this year.  Knowing that she would never get to hold Miss Lily in person we took a picture of her holding a picture on the laptop of Matthew, Amber and Lily, this photo then shows the 5 generations of the family alive at one time!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I was so lucky to know my recent ancestors personally.  My kids had 3 great grandmas and 1 great grandfather.  This was the last of them.  At the age of 58 I now have no grandparents left alive.  How lucky I have been!!!

Grandma went home to be with the Lord 11/8/2014 at the age of 102! She was an amazing woman and an inspiring one as well. She said she never didn't eat what she wanted and she was well known for never uttering a word of gossip. She painted and quilted, cooked and farmed, if the tin on the barn roof was blown off she got up there and repaired it-she was amazing. She loved all of us, her family, unconditionally and never saw our faults. We will miss her but I am so glad she is finally home and finally reunited with grandad. Thank you grandma - for all of it - walks and talks and spray painted macaroni covered cigar boxes!  So happy that she was able to be home til the end and that I got to see her recently and spend some more time with her.  It is never enough is it?

This was her official Obituary.  She was Awesome!!

Nellie Corine MedlinNellie Corine Medlin
(September 20, 1912 - November 8, 2014)
Nellie Medlin
Nellie Corine (Quint) Medlin left this world behind and went to her heavenly home on November 8, 2014. She was 102 years old and was able to live at her home under the loving care of her daughters until her passing.
Nellie was born September 20, 1912 in Sullivan County, MO to Walter and Charlotte (Hamilton) Quint, the seventh of nine children. On April 8, 1931 she married George William Medlin. To this union three daughters were born: Irma, Evelyn, and Ramah. They lived on a farm southeast of Unionville before moving in 1943 to their farm north of Omaha. They enjoyed 53 years together before George’s passing. Nellie then moved to Unionville, MO.
Nellie spent her life serving others. She worked side by side on the farm with George, raised very large gardens, sewed clothes for her family, played music with her family at local churches, taught Sunday School and VBS at the Mount Hermon Church and Omaha Baptist Church, played the accordion at church and at nursing homes, made quilts and paintings for family members, and shared her many talents with others. Nellie was a self-taught natural musician and could play the accordion, piano, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. She was always willing to try new things and proved that age was not going to hold her back. She started oil painting at the age of 69, went white water rafting at 80, traveled to Alaska at 85, rode an ultra-light glider at 90, shot a crossbow at 95, and learned to Skype at 100.
Nellie was a Christian example to everyone she met, being kind and compassionate, forgiving, slow to anger, joyful always, and giving thanks in all circumstances. The lessons she taught her family and the memories she created will be greatly cherished.
Nellie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, two son-in-laws, Niel Kiehn and Richard Morgan, one grandson, Courtney Dean Morgan, six brothers (Carl, Ross, Victor, Alva, Harry, and Glen Quint) and two sisters, Carmoleta Minear and Pauline Lewis.
Nellie is survived by her daughters Irma Kiehn of Exeter, CA; Evelyn Morgan of Pollock, MO; and Ramah (Richard) Dias of Hollister, CA. She is also survived by nine grandchildren: Kathy (Dave) Gates, Shawn (Edna) Kiehn, Rhonda (Steve) Rios, Nancy (R.G.) Lowry, Tonja (Ronnie) Wessel, Kym Jones, Chris Dias, Terry Jackson, and Shelly (Gary) Mort, 20 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two sister-in-laws, Uarda Quint and Mary Pickett. 

This was Grandma at her 100th Birthday Party!