Sunday, October 9, 2011

Video tribute to my dad using family photos

Three years ago when my dad passed away, my fiance and I spent a huge amount of time on a video tribute of his life. I was never able to get it up on You Tube due to its length - until tonight. I used a ton of his family photos that I have acquired in my genealogical pursuits over the last decade or so. (I have even more now!) For anyone interested in watching it, it is here. It is quite long, so don't feel badly if you can't hang in until the end. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Follow Up to New Treasures from My Mother #2 - Doc and Rose Campbell

I have an update on Doc Campbell and family, whom I wrote about back in June.

In his Handbook of Old Gallatin County, Jon Musgrave, has compiled 19th and 20th century sources, including bios from Gallatin. On p. 232-3, he transcribes (from Memoirs of the Lower Ohio Valley) the bio of my 2nd great grand uncle:

William Campbell, M.D. - 1905

WILLIAM CAMPBELL, M.D., who has practiced medicine at Equality, Ill., for almost forty years, was born two and a half miles west of that town Nov. 12, 1842. His father, William C. Campbell, was born in Virginia about 1789 and came in early childhood to Kentucky with his parents, who settled near Lexington. There he grew to manhood, married Mary Guard, and soon afterward came to Gallatin County, Ill. His wife died shortly afterward and he subsequently married Sallie Gillette Hewitt, the widow of William Hewitt, and a native of Vermont [contradicts census birth place]. They continued to live on the farm until 1858, when they removed to Equality and there spent their declining years. He died at the age of eighty years and she at eighty-two. Of their two children Doctor Campbell is the only one living.

Dr. William Campbell received his elementary education in the public schools of Equality, and began his business career as a clerk in a store. While thus employed he commenced the study of medicine, and after 1864 devoted his entire time to the acquirement of a professional education. In 1867 he was graduated from the Cincinnati College of Medicine, and soon afterward opened an office in Equality, where he has ever since practiced his profession. Doctor Campbell is one of the oldest practicing physicians in his section of the state, has a lucrative business, is recognized as one of the successful men in the treatment of diseases, and stands high with both the public and his brother physicians. He was one of the organizers of the Gallatin County Medical Society, to which he has belonged ever since its formation. As a member of Lodge No. 19, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, he has filled all the chairs, and has taken considerable interest in promoting the good works of the Methodist Episcolpal church, of which he is a member.

In 1867 he was married to Rose Norcross, a native of Evansville, Indiana, and they have three daughters and a son living. The three daughters live in Equality, where Nellie is a Mrs. Purcell; Mary a Mrs. Dempsey, and Nora a Mrs. Wathen. The son, William A., is an engineer on the railroad and lives in Danville, Ill. Doctor Campbell is one of the public spirited men in town, and as a Democrat takes a keen interest in political questions, though he is not what could be called a practical politician.
This biography which was kindly sent to me from a fellow Hewitt researcher answered many of the questions which I posed in my last post about the Campbells, however it also brought up additional questions. It turns out that some of the information contained in the above on Doc's father is incorrect. William C. Campbell has long been a bit of a mystery to many Gallatin researchers. I have made numerous inquiries about him in the past and had learned little about his origins. He was quite well-established in Gallatin and his name appears rather frequently in the town records, however it seems that no one except his contemporaries seemed to know his background - until now.

The bio above provides some clues, which led me to research done by Phil Norf on the Campbells of South Virginia. He mentions a William born about 1787, son of Captain William Campbell and Mary "Elizabeth" Ellison. Norf's exhaustive research places the family of this William Campbell in Augusta County, Virginia and then Tennessee prior to 1784 and in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky from about 1784 to 1806. Afterward they moved to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky and then onto Gallatin County, Illinois. Sound familiar?

Since there are already some discrepancies with the birth info that I have seen for "my" William C. Campbell, the birth date of 1787 is not that much of a stretch. The bio above states he was born about 1789 in Virginia and the 1850 Federal Census lists him as born about 1791 in Tennessee, but the migration pattern fits perfectly with that of Norf's William since "my" William seems to believe he was born in Tennessee, which is where his family was before coming to Fayette County, which was Virginia at the time and not Kentucky.

Norf's work states that William's wife's name is unknown. I have three wives for "my" William. 1) Nancy Graham or Nancy K. Campbell, 2) Mary Ann/Margaret Guard and 3) Sallie Gillette Hewitt (my 2nd great grandmother). The bio above ignores Nancy and states that William C. married Mary Guard before coming to Gallatin from Kentucky, but I found their marriage record in Gallatin in 1837. Since he was already about 50 years old by then, it makes sense that Nancy was the wife that he married in Kentucky who died shortly after arriving in Gallatin. This is further supported by the fact that both Nancy and Mary are buried in Gallatin County with the inscription "Consort of William C. Campbell". It is interesting to note that two of the siblings of William from Norf's research married Guards and at least one married another Campbell. So, it fits perfectly with "my" William who married a Guard and, probably, a Campbell cousin.

Given that: 1) The migration pattern of the two Williams is exactly the same, 2) "My" William married into families that were allied with the "other" William's family, 3) Norf's William became a landowner quite young (1804), inheriting from his father which put him in a position to be well-placed in Gallatin society like "my" William was, and 4) Researchers do not have info on "my" William's early life or Norf's William's later life - it follows that they are the same person.

With that in mind, William was probably born in Fayette County c.1787 when it was still Virginia, and  not in Augusta County or Tennessee as he apparently believed. Since the family had lived in both places previous to his birth, the confusion is understandable. His parents were Captain William Campbell (1748-1800), son of "Black David" Campbell and Jane Cunyngham, and Mary "Elizabeth" Ellison Campbell (1755-1825). In the 1810 Census William is probably the young male living with his widowed mother and three younger sisters in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. At least four of his sisters, one brother and his mother also ended up in Gallatin County by 1830.

The bio above also confirmed that all of my previous research on Rosanna Norcross and her children (that I wasn't too confident about) was indeed correct, except that instead of daughter Nora who is mentioned in the bio, I had Jennie who married George C. Helm on my tree. It appears that Jennie died before 1905 when the bio was written and Nora was born after the 1880 Census and married before the 1900 Census, thus making her "invisible" to me. With the info on her married name provided above, I was able to find Nora and even track some of her descendants forward.

I am happy to say that I feel like I have a really nice full picture of Doctor Campbell's family now and I hope that one of his descendants will happen upon my blog and contact me. Or, maybe I will get a DNA match one of these days to someone with the surname Campbell, Purcell, Dempsey, Helm or Wathen and because of this research be able to recognize the significance. Now, that would be fun!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Following the Footsteps of My Great Grandparents, 1906-1916

I visited San Francisco last week and took a couple of hours to seek out the homes of my great grandparents George and Fredrikka (Herstad) Allen. They were married shortly after the Great Earthquake of 1906, which took place in the early morning hours of April 18. Since George had just arrived at port on the S.S. Sierra a month earlier, I don't know how long they knew each other. He was a crew member and had been in San Francisco off and on since 1903, so it is possible that they had met before, but they were, apparently, not contemplating marriage. George always said that the earthquake "shook them together."  Fredrikka was already 35 years old and well on her way to being a spinster when they married on June 28, 1906.  I guess I have that devastating earthquake to thank for my existence!

George and "Dikka" Allen, wedding photo June 28, 1906

Their 1906 marriage license lists both of their residences as 595 Fell Street, so I started there.

I don't know if they were living together in this apartment building after the quake or if they listed this address because they intended to live together there after their marriage. I have been told that during the quake, George was sleeping in his bed and a very large picture fell off the wall just barely missing hitting him. He then got his things together and immediately went to Dikka's home to check on her. This is, most likely, that place and it, apparently, survived the quake.

For their next addresses, I scoured the San Francisco City Directories from 1906-1919. In 1907 and 1908, George (and, presumably, Fredrikka) are listed at 114 Divisadero Street.

Now, this address is an apartment tucked under the stairs. In 1907, it might have been a larger part of the house or, possibly, all of it.

My grandmother's sister Flora was probably born in this home in February 1908.

The city directories for 1909-1911 as well as the 1910 Federal Census show the growing family living at 230 Valley Street. That means that my grandmother Wanda was born in this home in December 1909.

The house next door has a plaque on it stating that it was built in 1884. The owner told me that this house was subdivided at some point, but has been restored back to its original condition in recent years. This information tells me that the Allens inhabited this entire home. Isn't it homey? When they walked out their front door, they encountered quite a site.

Saint Paul's Catholic Church, located on the corner of Church and Valley Streets, was first the site of a mission in 1876 and construction started on this tremendous building in 1897. Their site says it wasn't officially dedicated until 1911 when the Allens were living there. Funny, since they weren't religious at all. I wonder what they thought of it.

In 1912 and 1913, the Allens do not appear in the SF city directories at all. I know that George was transferred to Salt Lake City at some point in his career to oversee some stores that weren't doing well, so that may be when they moved. If so, that solves the question of when this photo was taken of George. However, that means that he would have been about 32 in it and he looks a bit older than that to me.

Taken in Salt Lake City, UT, c.1912?

In 1914 and through 1915, the Allens reappeared in San Francisco at this beautiful home at 635 Castro Street. It was strange, when I was walking down the street, oblivious to the addresses, I immediately knew that this was their house.

George was, obviously, doing well at his job with the United Cigar Stores and, as a result, "moving up in the world".

You can probably see from the photos that there are multiple doors on this residence. Undoubtedly, it has been subdivided in more recent years. The Allens, most likely, inhabited the whole house. I would need to check the historic property records to confirm this.

Judging from this detail work, someone has lovingly restored this historic home. It is impossible to know if it looked like this in 1914 when the Allens lived here, but I sure hope so!

This photo may have been taken there.

In 1916, the Allens again disappear from the San Francisco city directories. Luckily, I have George's World War 1 draft record, which lists the Allens residence as 663 Fairview Street, Oakland on September 12, 1918. (I didn't have a chance to visit that residence on this trip, but will likely do so next time I am in the Bay Area.) His draft card also confirmed that by 1918, he was the District Sales Manager for his company. In the early city directories and 1910 Federal Census he was listed as simply a clerk. I also notice that he listed the address of his work as 555 Howard Street, San Francisco (another one to add to my list for next time), so he must have been traveling from Oakland to San Francisco daily. Although I know that he loved to walk long distances, that would be too far even for him, so perhaps he had a gotten a car by then.

By the 1920 Federal Census, the young family had moved to Seattle, Washington, leaving the beautiful city by the bay behind.

I've often visited San Francisco, even working there for weeks at a time on a couple of occasions. I have always loved the city, but hadn't really considered my personal connection to it. It was fun this trip to have an excuse to explore the residential neighborhoods, discovering historic buildings and comfy cafes that we wouldn't have thought to seek out if not for following the footsteps of George and Fredrikka. Visiting the homes of my great grandparents made me feel more connected to this historic city than I ever had before and made me realize, one more time, how so many events, places and people make up the road to our existence.

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

Monday, July 4, 2011

New Treasures From My Mother #3 - Arva A. Fargo

Arva A Fargo, c.1897, Chico, CA

Following the trend of images of allied family in the new packet from my mother, it contained this photo of Arva A. Fargo. Arva married my great grandfather's sister Sally Proctor in 1904, but before that he had another family in California. According to the 1900 Federal Census, Arva was born in Pennsylvania in March 1857. His early life has been difficult to trace, but I believe that I found him in Siskiyou, CA in 1860 and Ada, Idaho in 1880. He married Mary Campbell in the latter half of 1880, almost certainly in California, and had four surviving children - Amal (b.1881), Elmore Arva (b.1884), Edna (b.1887) and Lola (b.1894). They are shown living together as a family in the 1900 Federal Census in Pleasanton Town, Alameda, California. His wife must have died shortly after the 1900 Census since Arva ended up in Washington by October 24, 1904, when he married Sally at her parents house in Columbia City. Since she was already 42 years old when they married, they did not have any children together.

This photo is by Hiram Hamilton Frye who was born Sept 1, 1841 and died May 21, 1900. He operated a photography studio at 6 1/2 Mill St, Grass Valley, CA in the 1880s and on 2nd Street in Chico, CA in the 1890s until his death in 1900.  On another of his photos that I came across, it stated that his studio was "Established in 1879", but a Frye Family Tree on states that he was working as a photographer as early as 1874. I found a strikingly similar photo to this one in the Small Family Album. He must have enjoyed photographing middle aged men with beards! From Arva's apparent age and the photographer's location and years active, I would guess this photo was taken between 1895-1900.

I have been diligently researching to find his descendants from his first wife with the goal of sharing this wonderful photo with them. Hopefully, in the future, someone will be happy to see their own ancestor in him.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Treasures from My Mother #2 - Doc and Rose Campbell

This new packet from my mother seems to contain photos of allied family rather than my direct ancestors. Fortunately, I have done quite a lot of research on most of these people, so I still feel like I know them and happily welcome their photos into my collection. It is so nice to finally see their faces.

William and Rosanna (Norcross) Campbell, c. 1900, Gallatin, IL

When I saw the writing on the back of this photo - "Doc Campbell and his wife," I immediately knew who it was thanks to Aunt Cleo's letters. After reading that he was the doctor who cared for the Proctor boys and was related to my great great grandparents Ephraim and Mary (Hewitt) Proctor, I had previously done some extensive research to untangle this part of the family tree. It turned out that Dr. William Campbell (pictured above) was the half-brother of my great great grandmother Mary Hewitt Proctor. I found that Sarah "Sally" Gillett (my 3rd ggrandmother) had first married William F. Hewitt and then after his early death, she married the well-established William Charles Campbell. With her first husband she had two children - William Martin and Mary Hewitt and with her second husband she had (at least) two more children - William and Laura Campbell. Thankfully, Sally's second husband seemed to have had a positive effect on his stepchildren's lives.

According to Genealogy Trails, Dr. William Campbell (1842-1912) married Rosanna Norcross on April 9, 1867 in Gallatin County, Illinois. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find much on her. According to the 1900 Federal Census, she was born in July 1848 in Indiana and her parents were born in Massachusetts and England. I may have found her in the 1850 Federal Census living in Vanderburgh, Indiana with her family, but I am not sure it is her because the name seems to read "Rocena Norcross". The places of birth for these parents do match the 1900 Federal Census (and the 1880 Federal Census). If it is indeed her, then her parents are Allen and Jane (Sangford) Norcross. Apparently, the family was broken up by 1860 since I found most of the children living in other family's households in the 1860 Federal Census. I could not find Rosanna/Rose/Rocena though. I would like to have more information on her, but have hit a dead-end for now.

William and Rosanna Campbell had children Nellie, Jennie, William and Mary. I haven't yet followed their family lines down into the present, but it sure would be fun if one of their descendants was to come across this photo and contact me...Anyone?

Now that I have seen his face, I am inspired to say "thank you" to the good Doc for taking such good care of the Proctors. I know that his sister must have really appreciated what William and his father did for her and her family since she named her first son Charles Campbell and her second son William Ephraim. After all, taking care of each other is what family (biological or adopted) is all about.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Treasures from My Mother #1 - Zora and Ned Staples

Zori & Ned Staples c.1897, St Paul,MN
My mother brought me a baggie of really old photos and memorabilia today from my grandmother's boxes. I thought I had already discovered all of the family treasures that were in my immediate family's possession, but I was wrong. The one that jumped out immediately is this photo of Zora Edith "Zori" Hewitt Staples and her son. As I blogged in the past, I have always wanted to find a photo of Zori. (Aunt Cleo wrote about her here.)

I am in touch with her great granddaughter thanks to Tragically, they lost all of their family photos when their home burned down in the Sycamore Fire of 1977. I immediately emailed her to share this great news. She was ecstatic and happened to be planning on visiting her mother (Zori's granddaughter) on Thursday, so this will be a fantastic surprise!

The boy in the portrait is Zori's son Edwin Herrick "Ned" Staples who was born in 1895. I tried to narrow down the exact year of the photo by researching the photographer. Thanks to the Minnesota Historical Website's list of photographers, I was able to find quite a bit about this photographer. Alfred U. Palmquist, also known as A.U. Palmquist, was born in Finland on 21 June 1850 and died 23 March 1922.  He was well known for his images of Sitting Bull which can be found all over the Internet, including at the Library of Congress, Amazon and various auction sites. He worked in Minnesota from the 1870's to the 1900's and had a number of locations over the years. This photo has the address of 88 West Fourth Street, which, according to the listing from the Minnesota Historical Society below, was his location from 1891-1899. Since he was at this same location for quite awhile, I will have to hazard a guess that the photo is c.1897 when Ned would have been about two years old.
     Studio: Palmquist & Lake
     Address: 32 West Seventh Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1873
     Address: 25 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1874
     Studio: Alfred Palmquist & Company
     Address: 28 East Seventh, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1876-1881
     Studio: Palmquist & Jurgens
     Address: Seventh and Robert, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1883-1885, 1888
     Address: 225 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1890
     Address: 88 West Fourth Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1891-1899
     Address: 10 West Sixth, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1900s

It is wonderful to have finally discovered a photo of the young Zori and to be able to share it with her descendants. I hoped to one day see one, but I never would have expected it to come from my own collection!
[Update - Apparently, this is the only known photo in existence of Ned.]

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Father's Day Present for Someone Else's Dad

A couple of months ago, my son's kindergarten teacher asked me if I could do some work on his family tree. (Famous last words, "Sure!") Then he said that he would like to give my work to his dad on Father's Day. Since I don't do genealogy reports for clients, I didn't have any format with which to present my research to him. Luckily, at SCGS Jamboree last weekend, I came across this beautiful family tree chart. It is 22" x 28" and came with instructions to print and affix the ancestors' names on labels on the tree. It was a lot of work cutting the sticky printer paper just right and getting the labels straight on the tree, but when it was done I was pretty pleased with the final result.

James Family Tree

I concentrated on his paternal ancestors since his mother is from Brazil and I wouldn't even know where to begin with her genealogy. Luckily, his father is very "American" and most of his ancestors trace back to Colonial New England, so there were plenty of records from which to build his family tree. I was also very fortunate that he had some notable ancestors like John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. I purchased the story of his ninth great grandparents, "The Courtship of Miles Standish" by Longfellow and glued his descendancy from John and Priscilla on the inside of the cover. 

Luckily, the Mayflower Society booth at SCGS Jamboree had a very nice printed copy of "The Mayflower Compact". Since, at least, four of my son's teacher's direct ancestors signed the compact and he is descended from, at least, eight Mayflower passengers, it was also a fitting gift. 

Some of his ancestral surnames are James, Gries, Downey, Harris, Bell, Coop, Myers, VanCleave and Swearingen. I found some interesting tidbits like that he shares the famous Vanderbilt family's immigrant ancestor, Jan Aertsen van der Bilt, and his VanCleave ancestors were with my Proctor ancestors fighting in the Kentucky wilderness with Daniel Boone.

Although I had a lot of fun working on this tree, especially when I discovered that he and I are ninth cousins twice removed through our shared Mayflower ancestors, John Howland and Elizabeth Tilly, I do have to admit, I sure was relieved when this project was finished!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Geneabloggers and DNA at Jamboree

I am just about to get on the road to the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree in Burbank. I am looking forward to meeting the many other Geneabloggers who will be there and hearing the DNA talks by Bennett Greenspan of FTDNA and Joanna Mountain of 23andMe. I have been asked to be on the discussion panel for the ISOGG meeting on Saturday at 5:00 pm along with Bennett, Katherine Borges, Alice Fairhurst and UCLA Professor John Richardson to talk a little about DNA testing and my blog "Your Genetic Genealogist". I will be at the ISOGG/SCGS Special Interest DNA booth much of the time when I am not attending lectures, so if you are at Jamboree too, be sure to come and see me!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

This Is The Face Of Genealogy

Four Generations - My grandfather Fred Moore, my great great grandmother Jennie Cole, my great grandmother Blanche Purdy Moore, my dad's sister Yvonne Moore
The Sixth Generation
Thanks to Thomas at Geneabloggers for the idea to respond to LA Weekly in such a positive way.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sepia Saturday: Comparing Photos to Make A Positive ID

I am so fortunate that a previously unknown cousin found me a couple of years ago through She has been a wealth of information about my Finnish family and has shared some fantastic photos and letters. Today she sent me some photos that she found in an old album. Most of them were identified, but this one was not. Immediately, I felt that the woman in the photo was a blood relative. Her eyes reminded me of my Finnish grandmother.

Courtesy Alan and Sara Grostick

It was on the same page as an identified photo of Lea Ahola, the daughter of Jaakko and Ida Ahola, so my cousin guessed that this might be a photo of them. At first glance, I didn't think so. Then I pulled out the known photos of Ida and had to agree. Below is a photo of Ida and an unidentified friend in Vancouver, British Columbia. (My Finnish cousins think that Ida looks like me in this photo.)

Courtesy Antti Honkaharju

In the two photos, the hair is a little different, but the facial features look strikingly similar. I am quite confident that they are the same person. Do you agree?

Ida Sophia Honkaharju, my first cousin twice removed, was born 2 August 1904 in Lapua, Finland. She emigrated to Canada sometime in the late 1920s and married Jaakko Ahola in Vancouver, British Columbia on 26 March 1931. Jaakko and Ida had three children - Esa, Lea and Eljas. Sometime in the thirties, Ida and Jaakko decided to move back to Finland and they settled in Haapajarvi. Ida died on 20 June 1996.

I would very much like to find her descendants. I believe that some of them may still be in Canada. On, I find an Esa Ahola living in British Columbia as recently as 2002. Maybe he will Google himself one day and find this post. I sure hope so!

Find more posts like this one on the Sepia Saturday blog.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 and my Armstrongs

An email from sent me off on an unexpected online journey today. One little "Possible Record Matches" email and a couple of shaking leaves inspired me to clean up the Armstrong branch of my tree.

Years ago when I first started researching my genealogy, I contacted a distant Armstrong cousin who shared her Armstrong/Hudspith Family Tree with me, but made me promise not to put it on the Internet. I kept this promise, but in doing so, I neglected that branch almost completely. All these years later, with the help of my Ancestry World Edition, I have discovered that much of that tree was incorrect/incomplete anyway.

Even with the multitude of international records at my fingertips, I am still brickwalled with my third great grandfather Thomas Armstrong. He was reportedly born 1 Feb 1801 in Brampton, Cumberland, married Dorothy Hudspith in 1829 and then moved to Canada. I attempted to wade through all of the many Armstrong families in England, but was soon overwhelmed. I had better luck finding him later in life in the Canadian censuses and I was also able to follow many of his children and their descendants forward in time. After a couple of hours, my Armstrong branch (at least below Thomas) was pleasingly full and healthy.

Kudos to for pointing out the error in my ways, but they better not do it very often or I won't get anything else done!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - More Letters from Great Aunt Cleo, Part 2

Continuing Cleo's letter from last week:

That summer I worked in a camp across the road from our place. We had thirty boarders for meals the first one at six a.m. when they came home from working the night shift. They were mostly engineers and supervisors. They were putting a tunnel under Lake Youngs which was to be a reservoir for the City of Seattle. It was fed from the upper Cedar River. Below where the tunnel came out there was another camp of over one hundred men. My dad had built the mess hall and many other cabins for the thirty men to live in. We owned forty acres there.

For the four months that I worked there, I made enough money for my first year of college. I received one dollar a day working from six until nine in the evening. I was supposed to get two hours off in the afternoon but didn't always get it. I made two cakes a day and put up thirty lunches after the last dinner. Mrs. Cummings and I did all the work. In four months the only day I had off was the fourth of July.

The tuition at what is now Western Washington University was fifteen dollars a semester so outside of my two weeks in the hospital I had enough money for two semesters. It was the quincy that put me in the infirmary.  Of course, I worked for my board and room. One place the man of the house was Bellingham's head detective. The second was head of P.A.F. Cannery. They went to Alaska every spring so I moved across the street for the rest of that year and all of my last year. There I built the fire in the furnace and cook-stove, took out the ashes, cleaned the chicken roosts and cooked breakfast before going to school. Twice a week I wiped down four flights of stairs because the doctor was coming to give Mrs. Getty her therapy to help her recover from her stroke. She was seventy three years old. The 48 and 50 year old Getty girls worked in Bellingham's leading department store. I had dinner ready the minute they walked in the door six nights a week.

The second year I got ten dollars from my dad a few times for books. All the money I made that summer was from pitting pie cherries across from the Panther Lake school.

I taught two years above Wenatchee the first two years I was out of college. It was impossible to get into King County without experience. At that time there were two thousand trying for those positions and practically no openings. Then I got hired at Panther Lake teaching the first three grades. I received 105 dollars a month for twelve months and lived at home for 25 dollars a month. I had only received 100 dollars on Badger Mt. for the actual months that I taught and paid 30 a month board which wasn't all that great. The board I mean.

After one year at Panther Lake Mom died of a strangulated hernia. I stayed home and kept house for Pop and Chick. My dad died three years later and Chick lived with me on the ranch. Violet [Jurstrum] stayed with me too. When the ranch was sold we moved to Renton renting a house from brother Ray. Violet taught in a school a few miles farther on so we drove together.

After six years at Panther Lake I got a teaching position at Lake Meridian where I received quite a raise and in addition a teachers cottage with light, water, fuel and telephone free. It was here I saved most of my money. After three years I got married to John B (Bennie) Cavanaugh and gave up teaching.

Cleo and Bennie, 1934

We moved into the house I was born in. I had loaned my folks money and at my father's death received property as payment. Eleven months after we were married Jack was born.

(Right) Cleo holding Jack and my grandmother Aune holding my mom, 1939

When he was two and one half we moved to Richmond Beach where Myrna was born three months later. Then we moved back to Seattle into another house I owned. It was next to the home place. My dad had built this house too. After a year we sold it and moved to the Mt Baker district into a house I had bought and rented out. Here we lived for twenty years. The children finished grade and high school and the UW while here. After Jack had one year at the U and Myrna was a junior at Franklin High I went back to teaching at Panther Lake. The first two years I taught kindergarten and the next ten years first grade.

Cleo's students

For nine years I drove out from Seattle sharing rides with different people one of them being Violet. Then we bought a new large eight room house with two baths upstairs and a powder room on the first floor. We have really made money here since we paid somewhat over twenty six thousand cash and now 25 years later is probably nearer to one hundred seventy five thousand. We are less than a mile from the home at Star Lake where I lived as a child and attended Star Lake school. We are still here at 26511 Highland Ave. Kent as of Feb 1991...

When Jack was twelve and Myrna nine we drove through Yellowstone Park and on to Denver. We camped most of the way cooking out. Myrna was mostly responsible for the camping- she loved it. This could have been due to her scouting experiences. On the way there she wanted to stop at every river, irrigation ditch and mud puddle to go swimming. Her dad being a long distance truck driver wanted to plow right through and we made record time. In Denver we stayed a motel for a couple of days. Aunt Bess [Travis Gordon] had us for meals. We saw my cousin Paul and wife Ruth and their two children Richard and Lilah. Richard was fifteen and Lilah perhaps twenty, married with a small daughter...

The Gordons

Since we moved here I have lost four brothers, Everett in 1974 at seventy one years of age. He had cancer of the lungs. His two girls are Jean Hewitt at Salt Lake and Janis Moore in Vista Cal. Charles or Chick as I called him died in 1986 at 77 of Emphysema. He never married. Brother Namond or Ray as we called him died in 1987 at 86 or nearly so of strokes. He has three girls. Dorothy Snider of Bellevue, Doris Ann of Kent and Shirley Barger of Seattle. Roy the last of my brothers died in 1987 also. He had cancer of the lungs. He was eighty years old. I am left without siblings to reminisce with about my early years. Roy has five children.

The Proctor boys

I have a number of health complaints all of which have been in an acute stage for some time. They are diverticulitis, thalacemia with anemia, a severely degenerated lower back and an enlarged weak heart. None of these things seem to be bad enough to do me in...
After retiring about twelve of the teachers I taught with got together every two months for lunch in each other's homes. Also about the same number from my high school at Kent did the same. The last couple of years due to deaths, health problems and some who don't drive anymore we have given up the lunches. I still see a couple of the teachers I taught with in Auburn at retired teachers. I still keep up with a few of my high school chums. Namely Joyce, Thekla, Marguerite Gross, Helen Zanzow and Ruth Hoban...

Cleo, Thekla and Roy in Bellingham

I am one of those few people left who remember their first car ride and also remember seeing their first airplane. I remember the depression before World War One and how we lived mostly on eggs, milk, apples, potatoes all of which were from our own place. In the summers there were vegetable from our garden. My dad had four houses he rented out in Seattle but no one could pay their rent. After the war everyone paid their back rent.

I remember how worried we all were that brother Ray might have to go to war. If the war had lasted one more year he would have been old enough. My folks were so much against the army. It was probably due to their hearing so much about the Civil War. The Spanish American War could have had some influence on their concerns. My folks were even against the boy scouts because they felt it was somewhat in preparation for the army. Their dress was similar at that time or I should say uniform. All this probably influenced my aversion to making a career out of learning to kill people. My folks talked and discussed very openly things of a political and religious nature all our lives. I think this is partly responsible for my independent thinking...

Cleo, 1926

The depression of '29 didn't have much of an impact on me personally but I sure saw it on so many of the people around me. I was teaching in Kent and had a steady income. Ray and Everett had good jobs with the City of Seattle.  I stayed home. My dad's renters couldn't pay their rent again.
I love to dance and when Violet and I lived together we went dancing every week in Seattle. Mostly to the Trianon where Vic Meyers had a twelve piece orchestra. Violet liked to go to the Swedish Hall sometimes. I'm ashamed to say we even went in the middle of the week sometimes to do the shodishes, polkas and hambones. We always came home alone. One sure wouldn't dare do that now..."

For the rest of this letter, Cleo discusses details of her later life and other subjects not relevant for this blog. I have really enjoyed transcribing her letters, greatly appreciate her efforts and hope that more like these will surface in the future.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sepia Saturday #72 - A Trick of Time

I was very surprised to see this photo because I feel like I am looking at myself in a wig. In reality, this is a photo from 1939 of my grandmother Aune Reini Proctor holding my mother (left) with my Great Aunt Cleo Proctor Cavanaugh holding her son Jack. I have never thought that there was any resemblance between us, but the likeness is undeniable here. Strange!

Just a quick entry for this week's Sepia Saturday.

Remembering My Dad, Tony Moore, on his 76th birthday

When my father passed away in 2008, I wrote an obit for him, but was unable to publish it in full. In remembrance, I am posting the unedited version here:

Anthony "Tony" Michael Moore passed away on August 1, 2008 at his home in Vista, surrounded by his wife and children.  Born April 29, 1935 to Fred and Wanda (Allen) Moore, Tony spent his youth in and around the Seattle, Washington area. He received a degree in business from the University of Washington, where he met his wife of 50 years, Janis Proctor. They married in 1958. Shortly thereafter, the US Navy relocated the young couple to Southern California where they settled and raised their family.  A longtime resident of both Rancho Bernardo and Vista, Tony was in management for JCPenney's for over 25 years and in 1988, with his wife, opened his own business - Ear Labs Hearing Aid Centers (Escondido, Vista, Lake San Marcos), retiring in 2005. He was a wonderful, loving husband and father and will be remembered for his strength of character and kindness by all who had the honor of knowing him. Other than spending time with his family, he enjoyed gardening, tennis and the LA Dodgers. His sister says that when he was a little boy, his most ardent wish was to have a family of his own. As a dedicated family man, he certainly accomplished this. He is survived by his wife Janis, his daughter Erin Huffer and husband John; daughter Ann Gingrich; daughter CeCe Moore; son Anthony Moore, Jr and wife Yukari; sister Yvonne Hawkins and husband Vern; brother Sid Moore and wife Shirley; seven grandchildren- Amber, Ashley, Courtney, Rochelle, Paige, Hiro and Nicolas; and two great-grandchildren Harrison and York.

He is greatly missed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Martin A. Moore of Bad Axe, Michigan (1919-2010)

I was sorry, but not surprised, to see that my fourth cousin once-removed Martin Moore had passed away a few months ago. My latest correspondence to him was unanswered and I feared this was the reason. He had been a genealogy enthusiast up until a few years ago and kindly shared with me his research about our shared (3rd and 4th) great grandfather Henry Moore (1771-1827) of Beverley, Ontario, Canada. (I am descended from his oldest son John and Martin was descended from his youngest son William.) He even sent me a photo of himself standing at Henry's grave in Sheffield Cemetery, Ontario, Canada.

Martin standing by the headstone of our great grandfather Henry Moore/More with our cousin Shirley McAndless, 1987. Courtesy Martin Moore

Published in the Huron Daily Tribune on October 1, 2010:

Martin A Moore, 91, of Bad Axe, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010 at Courtney Manor of Bad Axe with his daughter by his side.

He was born Feb. 16, 1919 in Cass City, to the late Phillip and Eva (Martin) Moore.

He was united in marriage to Helen Mae MacLachlan on Nov. 6, 1945 at the Elkton Methodist Parsonage. She preceded him in death May 13, 2010.

He was a graduate of Cass City High School. He also was a member of the Bad Axe First United Methodist Church. Martin farmed near Cass City of many years. He also was employed by Active Industries of Elkton as a production worker until his retirement.

He is survived by, one daughter, Florence Welch and her husband, William, of Attica; one brother, Stanley (Terri) Moore of Bowie, Md.; five nieces, Connie (Chuck) Parker of Charlotte, Ann (Bill) Gotham of Sevierville, Tenn., Joan (Bill) Holda of Dewitt, Cindy Freland of Bowie, Md. and Lisa (Charley) Sandberg of Ellington, Conn.; two nephews, Larry Moore of Alexandria, Va. and Tom Moore of Bowie, Md.; eight grand-nieces, Bethany (Eric) Thomas of Clearwater, Fla., Amanda (James) Brokow of Knoxville, Tenn., Alisha and Lauren Gotham both of Sevierville, Tenn., Lara Sandberg of Ellington, Conn., Alysia and Audrea Freland, both of Bowie, Md. and Sarah Moore of East Lansing; seven grand-nephews, Philip Moore, Portland, Maine, Andy Moore of Alexandria, Va., Kyle Sandberg of Ellington, Conn., Brad Holda of Clarksville, Tenn., Brian (Shana) Holda of Grand Rapids, Jeff (Jennifer) Parker of Okemos and John (Tracie) Parker of Hudsonville; three great-grand-nieces; and two great-grand-nephews. He also is survived by Helen’s two nephews, William (Judy) Britt and Douglas (Connie) Britt all of Cass City; seven great-nieces and nephews; and 15 great-grand-nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife, Helen; his parents, Philip and Eva Moore; one brother, Lawrence Moore; one sister, Ina Bissett; two brother-in-laws, Jack Wendell and Glen Bissett; and a sister-in-law, Ellen Moore.

Funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday Oct. 2, 2010 at MacAlpine Funeral Home “Mac Chapel” with the Rev. Jean Love, pastor officiating. Burial will take place in Colfax Township Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 3 until 7 p.m. Friday at MacAlpine Funeral Home “Mac Chapel” in Bad Axe and from 9 a.m. until the time of service Saturday.

Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Bad Axe. 

Goodbye, friend.