Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sepia Saturday: New Treasures From My Mother #4 - Sally Proctor Fargo

Sally Proctor Fargo (1862-1940)
In the packet of photos that my mother recently gave me, was this familiar face. I have quite a few photos of my grandfather Everett Proctor's Aunt Sally (sometimes called Sallie), but in them she is well weathered by the years. It is so nice to see her fresh young face here for the first time.

The photo was taken at Talman Studio in Nebraska City which was, according to the photographer's stamp on the bottom of the photo, located on the north side of Main Street. I spent a ton of time trying to figure out what Sally was doing in Nebraska when I know that she spent her life in Illinois, Iowa and Washington State. Then, I finally used Google Maps and found out it is only about 16 miles from Sidney, Iowa where Sally lived from 1885 to about 1902. That was a lesson that I won't soon forget. I couldn't find anything at all about Talman Studio and it was very difficult to read the name on the photo card, although I did find some local families with that surname, so I am quite sure that is the correct name.

Since I cannot find any information about the photographer, it is difficult to narrow down the time frame of the photo. Sally lived in Sidney from the time she was 23 to 40 years old and this photo could be from almost any of those years. 

Sally didn't marry until she was 42, so she did not have any children of her own and was very close with her brother Daniel's children. In fact, when Sally was very ill in 1938, my grandmother Aune Proctor nursed her back to health even though she was pregnant with my mother at the time. There are a lot of photos of Sally with the family in my series of "Letters from Aunt Cleo".

This is how I am used to seeing Aunt Sally. She looks like a nice lady and I have heard nothing but good things about her. In 1904, she married Arva Fargo (who also had a photo in this packet) at her parents' home in Washington. Judging from what I have heard, sadly I don't think it was a very happy marriage. She was living with her single brother Charles in the 1930 Census, which is interesting because in the 1900 Census she was also living with three of her bachelor brothers. None of the Proctor siblings married except Sally and my great grandfather Daniel and he was the only one who had any children. Lucky for me, he bucked the family trend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One Year Anniversary of "My Tangled Vine"

Thanks to Geneabloggers for reminding me that it has been one year since the first post of this blog and also to those of you who have visited and left your congratulations. It has been a pleasure to be a part of the Geneabloggers community. You all have inspired me to keep blogging even when time is a difficult thing to come by. Although I haven't been posting much this summer with my son home and needing my attention, I have continued to collect "new" old family photos to post and gather information for updates to some of my past blogs.

It has been amazing how many descendants of the people I have posted about have contacted me. Most are cousins of mine, while some are only related through marriage. Through these contacts I have received new and interesting information on the people in my family tree and, sometimes, even photos. I have often ended a post wishing for more information on my subject and, amazingly, I have often received it.

For those of you who have been wanting to start a family history blog to chronicle and share your genealogy research - JUST DO IT! It is well worth the time and effort. I love having a place where I can record all I know about a specific ancestor and use it as a reference later to either remind myself of easily forgotten details or to send to someone who is inquiring about a particular ancestral line for their research or DNA matching purposes. There is a certain satisfaction to weaving the hard-won facts, family stories and almost forgotten tidbits, personal theories and, best of all, photos into a "living" online profile of a long-gone family member that will be (God and Google willing) a permanent record of their lives. It is so much more meaningful than names and dates in a software program and isn't that what we all strive for in our family history research?

I have to say that my favorite part of writing "My Tangled Vine" this year is the connection that it encourages with my living family. It has brought long-lost cousins (and photos!) out of the woodwork, encouraged communication with closer family and even helped to inspire some to write their own stories. What could be even better than that? As a side effect of my blogging, my six year old son knows who his maternal eight great great grandparents are and is fascinated by them! He knows what they looked like, he can show you on the map where they were born and he refers to their names as if he knows them. Not only their DNA, but their memory, lives on through him.

My reason for writing and, sometimes, my reason for NOT writing