Category Archives: Family history
I have another vintage family photo story for you. This one just a little bit embarrassing on my part.
I have another vintage family photo story for you. This one just a little bit embarrassing on my part.
So I’m going through my craft stuff. If you read my post last Saturday you’ll know why I’m combing through my craft supplies.
Anyway I have a small box of family pics I use just for crafts. They’re images I’ve printed on my computer or duplicates I’ve made at Walgreen’s just for the purpose of cutting up and using in projects. They’re in with the rest of my supplies so they don’t get mixed up with my genealogy family photos.
Low and behold at the very bottom of my craft photo box are these two 5×7 black and white pics. My jaw dropped. These people are my 3x great grandparents! I know I have one and only one copy of their photo and it’s here in my craft box not scanned and placed in a digital file or at the very least in their binder.
Holy Moly!! I have no idea how they crept in here among my crafts but thank heavens I caught them before they became part of next week’s Crafting Genealogy. Me who rejoiced less than a week ago over some new found family pics am storing my great great great grandparents among my craft stuff in the basement!!
Before I go on I do want to take a minute and tell you who they are.
Silas Williams was born 20 Aug 1796 in Bucks County, PA. His father Abel was a veteran of the American Revolutionary War.
He married Sarah (Sally) Lappin on 15 July 1819 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. She was born 20 May 1799 in Fayette County, PA. They had eleven children.
Silas and Sarah donated some of their land in Tuscarawas County for a church to be built and to this day their photos hang in the back of the church. That’s how me and my genea-sisters were able to get these photos. Silas died 1 Oct 1848 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio and Sarah passed 11 Sept 1839 also in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.
Just a thought if these folks sound the least bit familiar to you contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org With eleven children I must have a ton of distant cousins out there!
So let this be a lesson to one and all. Don’t let your 3x great grandparents out of your sight. Who knows where they’ll end up!
Now I’m off to scan these old people and make more copies.
Have you misplaced your ancestors? I hope you’ve found them! If so tell me about it in the comments. I’d love to know I’m not the only one about to lose my genealogy card over this!
We all have an ongoing saga we can tell of our search for certain pieces of missing family history. It may be a female ancestor’s maiden name, documentation on an immigrant ancestor’s arrival in this country or family photos. Our list is probably long and with each tiny bit of new found information we just add more to our brick wall to-do list.
That’s certainly true in my own family history research. My father’s family has gaping holes in it. His father was an immigrant and when he left the old country he left the family history there as well. My father’s maternal side is much better researched. I have names and dates but not a lot of personal information. I’ve chalked that up to my dad being the second of nine children and not paying much attention to family stories and lore. In fact that was also the case with his siblings too. Discussing their family lore was not a favorite topic of my aunts and uncles.
So my father’s maternal side is a bit scant genealogy-wise. I have one picture of my dad as a baby. Then his next photo skips his entire childhood and is his high school graduation picture. In fact his baby picture is actually a family picture taken with both his parents and older brother.
This same family photo is the only image I have of his mother, my grandmother. Sadly I never knew her. She died when my dad was seventeen. Her death brought a lot of upheaval in the family and my grandfather remarried several times after her death. Whenever me or my genealogy-buddy sisters inquired about a family bible and photos we were always answered with a shrug and “Who knows?”
Yet through the years we’ve asked about family photos and now when only first cousins remain we’ve always gotten the same “Who knows?” reply. That is until this past Monday. My sisters met a couple of my cousins for coffee and they brought pictures. Not just any pictures. Treasures. Family heirlooms. Pieces of our past.
There were a couple pictures of our grandmother, the woman my dad revered above all others and also her parents! I think she’s just beautiful in the one picture of her by herself. If that wasn’t enough there’s a pic of my great grandparents! My sisters and I had never laid eyes on them before! Oh my goodness! What a find! I couldn’t believe it!
. . . . and my voice rang out “Alleluia!” I still haven’t descended from cloud nine!!!
Just in case we might be related my grandmother is Flora Alice Nantz Frueh. She was born 23 May 1888 in Convoy, Van Wert County, Ohio She died 18 Oct 1932 in Lima, Allen County, Ohio.
Her parents were William Albert Nantz and Irene Louisa Waller. William was born 4 Apr 1868 in Jackson County, Ohio. He died 14 Feb 1953 in Mercer County, Ohio.
Irene Louisa Waller was born 31 July 1871 in Convey, Van Wert County, Ohio and died 13 May 1927 in Lima, Allen County, Ohio.
If branches of our family tree cross email me email@example.com I’d love to talk with you!
I’ve made digital copies of these pics and the originals have been returned to my cousin with the promise she’ll look for additional pics. The possibility there are more photos of this family line almost leaves me sleepless! I can’t wait until the next coffee meet up. I’ll be there!
So the moral of the story? Don’t give up! Perseverance pays off. It may take years but some pieces of our past will come back to us. We just need to continue our search and try to wait (patiently).
Do you have a story of family history suddenly showing up? I’d love to hear it! Let me know in the comments.
October snuck into our lives this week. With warm temps and sunny skies it’s more like the end of August than the first fews days of fall here in Ohio, but there’s no mistaking autumn has arrived. Leaves are changing colors and the evenings are decidedly cooler. My flowers are looking a bit ragged and will soon be plucked out of their beds with the first frost. Even though it’s very warm out now autumn is in the air.
Am I sad to see summer wane? Oh no. Now don’t get me wrong I love sunny summer days with baseball games and barbeques. Summer has a delicious casualness we all love to embrace from the clothes we wear to the food we eat. It’s truly a reenergizing time of year and probably needed with winter soon on the horizon again. For me summer seems to extend through September and that’s okay. Squeezing out those last few moments of sunshine and flip flops is invigorating, but once I turn the calendar’s page to October I don’t mind what fall brings.
October is “get back to your genealogy research” month. Summer is a hiatus from research with so many other events going on. Lots of reading and fact finding gets put on the back burner but once October bursts on the scene I’m thinking cemetery and courthouse visits with to do lists and field trips. In fact October is sort of a “new year” for me genealogy-wise. I take stock of what I’ve accomplished and where I want to go with my research. (2x grandfather James Nance you’re at the top of my list. I’m looking for you!)
Ironically I didn’t realize October was Family History month until I saw several messages about it on Facebook. Here I’ve been celebrating it every October in my own way. So to all of us family historians and genealogists Happy Family History month! Happy October! May the genealogy gods smile down on us as we ramp up our research!
I’m making out my genealogy to-do list for this fall. How about you? What’s on your genealogy agenda? Please share your thoughts in the comments. You may just give us all some inspiration!
As I try to organize and digitize my genealogy files (and I use that statement very loosely), I came across four emails I had saved from 2009. I knew what they were about as soon as I saw the titles “Response from Mom”.
These emails have their beginning four years ago with my dad’s sister Aunt Marg. She was 92 years old then and had slowed down considerably. Although Aunt Marg was in an assisted living center she was sharp as a tack. When my sisters and I would make the two hour trip to visit her she asked about each of our family members by name from oldest down to youngest. We always marveled at her keen mind and hoped we carried that same gene.
In between our infrequent visits to Aunt Marg my sister Mary Ellen had the very good idea to email our cousin Joe, Aunt Marg’s son. She’d ask questions about our family history that Joe printed out and took to his mom. Aunt Marg answered the questions as best she could and gave the replies back to Joe who scanned them and emailed them to my sister. She in turn forwarded the answers to the rest of us.
Here’s one of those question and answer emails:
In rereading all the questions and answers I was surprised at new research leads that popped into my mind. Some rather obvious and simple like checking a City Directory for my great grandparents especially since this information was rather recent.
I’m also thrilled to have more bits of “fleshy” information to add to my family tree biographies.
As happy as I am to have these few emails I wish we had asked her more. She didn’t mind the questions in fact she seemed to welcome them. Sadly my aunt passed away eight months after the last email was answered. Many of my family’s stories are now lost to history.
So here’s a thought. If feasible try some “Email Genealogy”. If circumstances work out and you can contact a family member through email or receive their reminisces that way you’ll benefit from quicker answers and they’ll be digitized too.
A genealogy “two-fer” if I ever heard of one! Good luck in your research!
Whether you’ve been swept up in the recent 150th anniversary commemoration of Gettysburg or watched Kelly Clarkson’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? tracking down your Civil War ancestor and where he fought maybe something you’re interested in. If so here are some resources to get you started.
First check your family tree for men who were born between 1820 and 1843. That’s approximately the time frame of a Civil War soldier’s birth. Then check the 1860 census for the state in which he lived. My research hung up on that fact at first. I thought my ancestor fought with an Ohio regiment only to find the family was still living in Pennsylvania during the 1860′s and so he fought with the 81st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
Now armed with a name and place he was living check my top five suggestions to start your research.
Soldiers and Sailors Database
Provided by the National Park System this no cost resource has compiled 6.3 million names of soldiers and sailors, both Union and Confederate, their rank and the regiment they served. If you have the time to linger this site is filled with scads of information pertaining to the Civil War.
Regimental History – Now that you know the name of the regiment your ancestor served with research that regiment on your favorite search engine. You will find numerous resources from websites to blogs, to books that will detail the formation of the regiment, where they served, which battles they were involved in, their casualty numbers and where they mustered out. There were approximately 3,000 regiments, formed during the war, from both north and south. 2,000 of those regiments have a book written about their service. Some books you will find written by the soldiers after the war, many more by scholars who have studied a particular regiment. By learning your ancestor’s regiment’s history you’ll get the specifics of where and how he served.