Thursday, December 31, 2009

This is a test...

Today I did an Ancestry public trees search on my husband's great grandfather, John Milton Manley. This isn't new...I periodically do searches to see if anything has been added that is of interest. I specifically do John Milton Manley because I've been trying to get one of the submitters to correct a headstone photo they have attached to John. The submitter had the correct birth and death, but attached a headstone photo that was for the wrong John Manley (and had information that didn't even match their own dates). I sent the submitter the correct headstone photo. I was thanked and have been waiting (since August) for it to replace the wrong photo that is there. I noticed today that the wrong photo is still there. The only thing that's changed is that the submitter replaced the correct birth and death data that was there with dates that match this wrong headstone. Why? Wouldn't people prefer to post correct information? I don't get it. John's wife was Rachel Anna Carrothers. The wrong headstone photo showed John's wife as Mary. The correct headstone photo I sent showed John Milton Manley's shared headstone with his wife, Rachel A. Carrothers. The submitter shows John dying in Iowa and being buried there. John died in Illinois (he has an Illinois death certificate). He can be found living in Illinois in every census from 1880 to 1930 (well excluding the 1890 census of course...but I'm sure he was there then too).

What is really frustrating is that when I did my search today I found 10 other databases that now include this wrong information. It is just being perpetuated!

My test was to send each of the submitters a message letting them know the correct dates and places and listing my sources. It will be interesting to see how many (if any) of the submitters correct their information. I will happily share copies of my sources.

For the record...John Milton Manley was born 25 Jun 1850 in Iowa and died 31 Jul 1934 in Shelby county, Illinois. This is supported by his Illinois death certificate (which correctly lists his wife as Anna Carrothers and parents as Nathan Manley and Catherine Miller), two newspaper obituaries, his headstone (which I personally photographed in the I.O.O.F. cemetery in Moweaqua, IL), and the 1900 U.S. Census.

I will keep you posted on how many submitters want correct information versus how many just want any information. Okay...I'll get off my soapbox now.

They came through Ellis Island...

When my great grandparents came to this country from Wales they came through Ellis Island.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division #LC-USZ62-37784

They boarded the S.S. Aurania in Liverpool in 1896 with their 5 boys - three bags among all 7 of them. I don't know anything about the particulars of their voyage except that it included one stowaway, 30 year old Samuel W. James. I haven't found the date the voyage began, but other voyages around the same time, by the same ship were taking about 7 days.

Image of S.S. Aurania from

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division #LC-USZ62-7307

I wish my great grandparents were here so I could ask them what they thought and felt when they first saw the Statue of Liberty.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division #LC-USZC2-40098

The Davies family arrived in New York on 13 Jan 1896. It's still a mystery to me why my grandfather is listed under the name of Crannog. On his Welsh birth certificate he's listed as David Windsor Cranog Davies.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division #LC-USZ62-12595

The Davies family made their way to Scranton, Pennsylvania. On 13 Jun 1896, Caroline went into premature labor and gave birth to a little girl. The girl died the same day and was never given a name. Was she pregnant on the voyage? The death certificate doesn't indicate how premature. The cause of death is merely listed as "before time." Baby Davies was buried in Washburn cemetery the next day, 14 Jun 1896. There doesn't appear to be a headstone. They probably had very little money to place one. The family stayed in Pennsylvania for many years.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Omaha Valley Cemetery (Homer, Dakota county, NE)

Olive W. Combs (May 22, 1870 - Aug 30, 1871)
Jennie B. Combs (Jan 20, 1872 - Jul 29, 1887)
Sattie E. Combs (Feb 29, 1876 - Dec 5, 1897)
Children of S.A. & M.J. Combs
S.A. Combs (1846-1926)

Monday, December 28, 2009

On this day in our family history...

My great grandfather's brother, William Evan Davis (Davies) died on this day in 1920. He was born 21 Dec 1887 in Garnvach, Bedwelty, Wales (the second of eight children born to Daniel Davies and Caroline Morgan).

William immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1896 and is found in the 1900 U.S. census in Scranton, PA. I haven't been able to find him in the 1910 census. He shows up in 1920 living in Buford, CO having changed his name to William Mullen (and going by the nickname Bert). It's a family mystery as to why he changed his name. One theory is that he didn't like his father and didn't want to carry his surname. Another theory is that he was in some type of trouble in PA and needed to change his name. His older brother, Thomas Stanley Davis (Davies), also changed his surname to Mullen. Some time around 1917 he married Mamie Tiderman.

They had two children, Bill Mullen (born in 1918) and Clifford Mullen (born in 1919).

The family story was that Bert died in a mining accident in Colorado in 1920. While on a research trip in Salt Lake, I found a book titled "Pre-1963 Colorado mining fatalities" by Gerald E. Sherard (also on FHL film #1698298 item #9). I was hoping to confirm the story of Bert's death. I found the following entry.

"Bert Mullen, Rope Rider, American, 31 yrs old, married, 2 children, employed 10 yrs, Routt county, working at Hayden Bros Coal Corp, Hayden #2 died 1920 Dec 28 of heart failure."

With the date I then researched newspapers and found the following articles:

Almost a year later the following article appeared in the newspaper:

I don't know the connection between Shorty Carmen and Mamie or why he willed her everything. At this point I don't know any more about this family or what happened to Mamie or the children. I found a William L. Mullen born on the same day as Bert's son, Bill, in the SSDI. He's has a previous residence in Colorado and died in Yakima, Washington on 9 Sep 1996.


  • Wales, Monmouth, Garnvach, William Evan Davies birth registration #428 (born 21 Dec 1887 and registered 27 Jan 1888)
  • Wales, Monmouth, Nantyglo, 1891 Wales Census, Daniel Davies household #231, pg. 38
  • Pennsylvania, Lackawanna, Scranton, 1900 U.S. Census, Daniel Davis household #152/168, pg. 8a
  • Colorado, Rio Blanco, Buford, 1920 U.S. Census, William B. Mullen household #163/163, pg. 8b
  • The Routt County Sentinel (Colorado) newspaper, 31 Dec 1920 issue, pg. 1, col. 2, "Phippsburg Man Dies in Mine from Heart Failure"
  • The Oak Creek Times (Colorado) newspaper, 1 Jan 1921 issue, pg. 1, col. 5, "William E. Mullen Succombs"
  • The Routt County Sentinel (Colorado) newspaper, 23 Dec 1921 issue, pg. 5, col. 2.

Friday, October 16, 2009

On this day in our family history...

Cynthia (Derrick) Blay died on 16 Oct 1910 in Denver, Colorado. Below is her death certificate (#8269 where she's listed as Caroline Blay).

Cynthia was buried the following day (17 Oct 1910) in Edgewood cemetery, Denver, Colorado (Block 79, Section 28, Lot 10). She doesn't have a headstone. We believe we have photos of Cynthia. You can see the photos and read the story here:

Horace Benjamin (Jeff) Albee died 16 Oct 1961 in Ukiah, Mendocino, California. Jeff was known on the rodeo circuit and had many friends that rallied to help him.

Jeff is buried in Little Lake Cemetery, Willits, Medocino, California.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday...

Daniel Morgan
Born: 9 Jun 1816, in Wales
Died: 4 Feb 1884, in Butte county, California
Buried: Cherokee Cemetery, Cherokee, Butte county, California

-and his wife-

Married: 22 Jul 1845, in Cadoxton Juxta Neath, Glamorgan, Neath, Wales

Janet (Powell) Morgan
Born: 31 Dec 1821, in Wales
Died: 19 Aug 1899, in Butte county, California
Buried: 23 Aug 1899, in Cherokee Cemetery, Cherokee, Butte county, California

"Mother thou art now at home
'Mong angels fair above
But yet below thy child must roam
Till summoned by His love."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Some struggled on in spite of their hardships...

In 1984 Johnny Jean Clark (Mrs. George D. Clark) wrote to the Coles county, Illinois Genealogical Society with information she wanted to share about her grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Burtner. The third paragraph of her letter (image below) indicates she is sending the autobiography of her grandfather.
The autobiography she enclosed was typewritten. There is no indication if it was transcribed from a handwritten document or if her grandfather was the typist. The document is on file with Coles county Genealogical Society (they published portions of it in Vol. X, No. 9 - Oct 1984 newsletter titled "Among the Coles"), as well as Carnegie Public Library in Charleston, IL.

Here are some passages from the autobiography (no attempt has been made to correct the spelling, grammar or punctuation):
"My father, Jacob Burtner and Miss Leah Evinger of Clark Co., Ills, was married 8 Sept., 1846 and lived in a log house 2½ miles south east of Westfield, Ills, on a 200 acre tract, Mother's Father gave her. In this log house I was born May 15, 1848. In Dec. 8, 1849, a brother was born and Mother died and brother also, Dec. 11, 1849. After that, Father took me to Grandmother Burtners for a home. My Mother's people tried to get me but Father would not give me up. So for that, they beat him out of the estate that was Mother's.

Father worked at a saw mill in Westfield, Ills. In Aug. 16, 1851, Father married Miss Malinda Hackett of Coles Co., Ills. He then moved in a little log house with a stick chi
mney on Grandfather's place. We lived there about 2 years. In 1858, I think, we moved up to Douglas Co., Ills on a farm, 80 acres, raw prairie land. We had a hard time, I and Father did, because my stepmother was not good to me and father had to work so hard to make a living and get his land paid for and broke out. Had a fair house, frame, 2 rooms. Rail pens, built up and covered with prairie hay for barn. Forked post put in ground and poles over top and covered with prairie hay on top and sides for shelter for stock. Raised corn, wheat, oats, squashes, pumpkins, beans, potoatos and corn. I dropped corn, barefooted, many day with snakes crawling all round me.

We lived there until 1861, the year the War broke out Between the States. Father went to Grandmother's to do some work in Sept. and took the flux and died there. During this time, there was born in the family, 3 half brothers and 4 half sisters. Two died infancy.

In my Mother's family there were two brothers and two sisters besides herself. One sister died early. The other married Rev. David Brown up near Lafayette, Ind. After Father died, the oldest brother, Daniel Evinger came and took me away from my stepmother and took me up to Aunt Betsey Brown's to live, 175 miles away. I had seen then but did not remember anything about them. They had 4 children, three girls, one boy, most all grown. When Uncle Daniel went home and left me, it most killed me. Never away from home much and among strangers. Cousin Mahala, Aunt Betsey's oldest girl, who afterward went to Africa as a missionary, took me in hand for she was the best girl I ever saw. She was my close chum. She san
g with and prayed with me. Took me to church, to S. School. Got me into church, that was in Dec., 1862. I joined the U. Brethren Church at the old U.B. Church close to the Tippecanoe Battle Ground, Ind. Uncle David Brown help do the preaching.

Cousin Mahala got married and her and husband went to Africa as missionaries. That made trouble for me for my best friend left me. I loved her as my own life."
Coles county, IL probate record #2385, Bk D, Pg. 636 (dated 2 Jul 1855) shows that Daniel Evinger was appointed guardian over Benjamin (age 7) and his "estate which may be wasted if care benot taken" (image below).
On 14 Feb 1865 (at the age of 16) he joined the Union Army, and was mustered into service at Danville, IL. He was in Company B, 154th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and ended up in Murfreesboro, TN.
"When we landed there in March, the weather was awful. Cold, rainy time. Lots of men sick, the measels. Took off lots of men. Hospitals was full. We camped inside the Fortress close to Fort Rosencrans. My company lay close to the Nashville Pike. I got sick. Had the mumps. Was sick when Lincoln was killed. That was the Lonsomest Day I ever saw."
He was mustered out at Nashville, TN, 28 Sep 1865.
Daniel was released as Guardian 14 Jun 1869 when Benjamin was of age. At that time, Daniel turned over $340.49 (Benjamin's estate).
Life was not to become any easier for Benjamin as later entries in his autobiography can attest:
"I got acquainted with Miss Mary E. Robertson and was married Dec. 10th, 1871. I then moved to another farm to ourselves, Spring, 1872, had two teams, had 80 acres for corn, Was in dept some $500. And it Rained. Rained up to July. I made no crop. Gave up everything to my creditor and went to work by the month. Moved to Tuscola in Spring, 73. Mary's father was all right but the step mother was Satan himself. She hated me above all men because I was a Federal Soldier and she was a Rebel and I stold the Girl away and married her. When our children were born, she never came near. Walter was born Oct. 24, 1873 in Tuscola. Wilbur E. was born Dec. 22, 1877.

The next spring I was elected constable and I had plenty riding to do. Last of July, I taken the Flux and in Aug., Walter B. took the Flux and died Aug. 27. And Wife took the flux and died Sept. 8, 1878 and I was Down. My stepmother took me and Wilbur to her home west of Tuscola, 6 miles. I never got so I could walk until in November. Stayed there that winter and work. Done what I could. The old lady came and wanted me to give her Wilbur. I told her No. His mother told me not to let her lay her hands on him. There I was again. Worse off than nothing with a dear baby boy to have to commit to the care of others. But I ask God to help me and I went to work."
In spite of the hardships of his life, Benjamin forged ahead. He was something of an inventor and submitted two patents. One in 1880 (U.S. Patent #231,883) for a "Check Row Corn Planter" (image below).

On 7 Sep 1881 Benjamin F. Burtner married Lucy Foreaker in Edgar county, IL. They had 3 sons (Frank, Horace and Paul) and 1 daughter (Nona). In 1882 Benjamin filed his second patent (U.S. Patent #265,570); this one for a washing machine (image below).

Benjamin died on 16 Jan 1930. His widow Lucy is last found in Wharton county, Texas living with her daughter, Nona Fargason. So what can we learn? We all have a choice in overcome our difficulties or be overcome by them.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Please excuse the mess...

We've changed from our old internet provider to ATT. They told us they could improve our speed AND give us 150mb of space for our web page. So we decided to switch over...what a headache. And now that the switch has been made, they claim that the web space isn't part of the package. So now all the links on our blog are broken and no fix coming in the near future.

Needless to say we're not happy about ATT's misrepresentation. They claim they use an outside company to make their sales calls, and place the blame on them.

Sometimes I really hate computers!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Smile For The Camera - Bling

Okay...the topic of this "Smile for the Camera" is bling. I searched through my ancestral photos and they are pretty much "blingless." What can I say; they were farmers and miners.

But I did find one family with a little "bling." This is a photo of my husband's granduncle, Richard Lafayette Yunker and his family (wife, Flora; older son, Virgil; and younger son, Glenn). All but the youngest seemed to be wearing a timepiece.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Elsie Maxine Vaughan
Fairlawn Cemetery, Stillwater, Payne county, OK

What else do you see????

I was looking through some family photo albums at my Mom's this weekend. I'm not talking about professional portrait pictures...I'm talking about those goofy snapshots we take at various events.

I don't remember what it was, but something prompted me to get a magnifying glass to see something in one of the photos. Well - that started me looking at almost all the photos with a magnifying glass. It was amazing what you see.

I generally look at the people in a photo, but rarely look at the background in much detail. It was a walk down memory lane. Like in this photo of my Dad (taken in the early 50's). Up on a shelf is the cookie jar my grandparents always had. I had completely forgotten anything about this cookie jar - until I saw it. All of a sudden I remembered seeing that goofy cookie jar in their home.

I had a great time looking at the background items in photos. What pictures were on the walls, what magazines on the table, what decorative elements. In this same photo I noticed my Dad is wearing a ring. I don't remember ever seeing him wear a ring. Even my Mom had forgotten.

Take a magnifying glass to your old photos...and see what you see!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why do I make things so much harder than they need to be?

A friend is giving a "Meet the Author" talk about her book "The Oath and The Covenant" (based on the Scottish Covenanters). I'm working on a Powerpoint presentation for her to use in her talk. Sounds easy right? Well it should be, and it was until I wanted to insert a video clip.

The video clip played fine on my machine, but it wouldn't play on her laptop using Powerpoint Viewer. After to some tweaking and fiddling (which didn't work) I decided to do a Google search.

Possible solution #1: Try a different video format. I downloaded a video converter and tried another format. Well...that didn't solve the problem Back to Google...

Possible solution #2: Check for missing codec. Hey...that must be the problem. It requires MPEG1 which isn't on the lap top. I rush off to download the errant codec. I feel that relief that comes only at the end of what seems like hours of frustration. I play the Powerpoint...fully expecting it to work perfectly...uhhhh wrong! Okay...back to Google...

Possible solution #3: Download and install PFC Pro (that stands for Play For Certain). Okay...anything named "Play for Certain" must be my salvation. It installs as an add-on to Powerpoint. I'm using the 14-day fully functional trial version (the paid version is $129!). So now...I'm happy. Why shouldn't I be? I'm using "Play For Certain"...there's no doubt it will work. Arghhhhhh...wrong again...back to Google...

Possible solution #4: When using video in the video to the same place as the Powerpoint. it could be that simple! But I'm desperate...I'll try anything. Guess worked! How could that be? So I go back to my original presentation. The one I did before video conversion, before codec downloading, and before "Play For Certain." It played perfectly! It just needed the video saved in the same place.

If only that Google hit was number one in the search results list! Well that's my day - how's yours?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

They didn't make it easy...

If only our ancestors thought about "us" (their genealogy loving descendants) when they had children, named children, married etc. Some of their choices make our research more difficult and challenging.

Case in great great grandfather, James A. Blay. He was born 9 Jan 1858 (the son of Alexander Blay), lived in Jersey county, IL for a time and by 1889 had moved to CO. He died in 1929 in Denver, CO. He had three wives, one of which was named Emma.

Fairmount Cemetery, Denver county, CO

Then there is James A. Blay's uncle, James Blay who was born 3 Jan 1859 (his father was also named Alexander Blay). This James lived in Jersey county, IL and died there guessed it...1929. The name of his wife? Why Emma of course.

Oak Grove Cemetery, Jersey county, IL

Were they trying to drive us crazy? Personally, I think they are on the other side having a good laugh at our efforts to try to figure things out.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Quote of the day...

"I believe that history is capable of anything. There exists no folly that men have not tried out." by Carl Gustav Jung (Swiss psychiatrist, psychologist)
so true

Where do we belong???

Years ago my father inherited a trunk from his uncle, John Ivor Davies. Among the items in the trunk were two photo postcards - each depicting a young man in what appears to be WWI army uniforms. On the back of one photo (below) is handwritten: "F.H. Robbins Plainview N.Mex" and "In 134 Inf 34th Div."

On the back of the other (below) is handwritten: "J.B. McHugh Ravia Okla."

I would like to unite these soldiers with their descendants, but so far that is proving difficult. I searched the WWI Draft Registration Cards and found:

  • Finis H. Robbins who was born 12 Jul 1896, Hale Center, TX (single). He registered in Chavez county, NM (he was the only Robbins with the initials F.H. that was from NM)
  • Joseph Braker McHugh who was born 22 Nov 1894, Centers, Alabama (single). He registered in Johnston county, OK (he was the only McHugh with the initials J.B. that was from OK)
I can find Finis Robbins in the 1920 and 1930 censuses living in Prairieview, Lea county, NM (single in both). I found a public member tree on Ancestry that included Finis Robbins, but the submitter says he's a distant branch on the tree - so I guess he's not really interested. I haven't been able to find anything for 134th Inf 34th Div.

I can't find Joseph McHugh in the census records. There is an Ancestry World Tree for Joseph Braker McHugh who married Mattie Renfrow (indicating they were married in Ravia OK). A further search in the 1930 census found a Jay B. McHugh (born abt 1899) married to Mattie, but in the vetran column is "no."

John Ivor Davies (the owner of the trunk) served in WWI. Unfortunately, I don't know what division. I assume these young men were friends he met in the service.

Does anyone have any other ideas for tracing these photos?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Cherokee Cemetery

Cherokee, Butte county, California

Friday, July 03, 2009

Another family story proves to be true...

On a visit to my husband's aunt (several years ago) we were shown the following picture and told that Ivan Luther Osborn (my husband's granduncle - pictured above with his wife, Ruth) was a cook on a movie set and died in an airplane crash in 1955. The photo is what was left of the airplane. We didn't know if the crash happened while working on the movie set, and we didn't know where the crash happened. Last week I decided to see if I could prove any of this story.

I checked Find-A-Grave and found Ivan's burial in Memory Gardens Cemetery, Imperial County, California. The death date matched what we were told by my husband's aunt. I checked historical newspapers on Ancestry, GenealogyBank and NewspaperArchive. Nothing. I next did a google search for databases of airplane crashes and found Plane Crash Richard Kebabjian has crash infomation going back to 1920. I checked 1955, but there wasn't a listing for Ivan's crash. I e-mailed Richard (the web site owner) and he was kind enough to e-mail the following newspaper article (from Nevada State Journal) to me. There are still many unanswered questions, but at least we know that the story of the airplane crash was true.

Dies In Crash

El Centro, Calif., April 5. (U.P.) - Ivan Osborne, 48, of Gordon Wells, was killed, and Bruce Bowler, also of Gordon Wells, was seriously injured today when their small plane crashed in the desert 35 miles east of here. Osborne was the pilot.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A page on books...from her book

This is a page from a book that Margretta (Blay) Johns kept to record births, marriages, deaths, addresses and other information. This page lists books. Was she listing them because they were books she read and enjoyed? Or was it a list of books she wanted to read? I don't know. But I wanted to learn more about the books and the authors, and I'm bringing you along on my search: I've listed the books (linked to either Internet Archive or Project Gutenberg), the author (linked to Wikipedia) and reviews or quotes from various sites. I enjoyed this small glimpse into her life and finding out more about the types of books she (probably) read.

John Galsworthy

"They who have known the doldrums--how the sails of the listless ship droop, and the hope of escape dies day by day--may understand something of the life Gyp began living now. On a ship, even doldrums come to an end. But a young woman of twenty-three, who has made a mistake in her marriage, and has only herself to blame, looks forward to no end." (quote from Fantastic Fiction)

"To the reader with a critical instinct, the first impression made by Mr. Galsworthy's new novel, The Dark Flower, is that of keen delight at the sheer technical skill of it, the beautiful symmetry of its structure and its symbolism. It is only after enjoying this feature to the utmost that such lovers of fine artistry will begin to enjoy the equally fine interpretation of an almost universal phase of human life." — The Bookman (December, 1913) - (editorial review from Amazon)

"The story is divided into three epochs, "Spring," "Summer"and "Autumn" three great passions in a man's life belonging respectively to his youth, his maturity and his middle age. Of the three women who successively inspire these three passions, the first might almost have been his mother, the second was of suitable age to be his wife, and the third could easily been his daughter. Such is the substance of "The Dark Flower," a curiously interesting and probing study of man's passions and woman's weakness." (quote is from Fantastic Fiction)

Harold Bell Wright

"The shepherd, an elderly, mysterious, learned man, escapes the buzzing restlessness of the city to live in the backwoods neighborhood of Mutton Hollow in the Ozark hills. There he encounters Jim Lane, Grant Matthews, Sammy, Young Matt, and other residents of the village, and gradually learns to find a peace about the losses he has borne and has yet to bear. Through the shepherd and those around him, Wright assembles here a gentle and utterly masterful commentary on strength and weakness, failure and success, tranquility and turmoil, and punishment and absolution. (editorial review from Amazon)

B. M. Bower

"A vigorous Western story, sparkling with the free, outdoor, life of a mountain ranch. Its scenes shift rapidly and its actors play the game of life fearlessly and like men. It is a fine love story from start to finish." (description from FeedBooks)

"He was hungry for a solitary ride such as had, before now, drawn much of the lonely ache out of his heart and keyed him up to the life which he must live and which chafed his spirit more than even he realized. Instead of such slender comfort, he was forced to ride beside the girl who had hurt him--so close that his knee sometimes brushed her horse-- and to listen to her friendly chatter and make answer, at times, with at least some show of civility." (editorial review from Amazon)

William MacLeod Raine

"The sun had declined almost to a saddle in the Cuesta del Burro when the sleeper reopened his eyes. Even before he had shaken himself free of sleep he was uneasily aware of something wrong. Hazily the sound of voices drifted to him across an immense space. Blurred figures crossed before his unfocused gaze." (product description on Amazon)

Gene Stratton Porter

"...the tale ...starting with the mangled body of a cardinal some marksman had left in the road she was travelling, in a fervour of love for the birds and indignation at the hunter, she told the Cardinal's life history..." (quote from Gene Stratton-Porter, A Little Story of the Life and Work and Ideals of "The Bird Woman")

" the uplifting story of a plucky waif without a name and without one hand, disabled since infancy. Raised in a Chicago orphanage, he survives abuse and harsh circumstances and grows up a brave, loyal, and hardworking young man with a true capacity for self-sacrifice. Freckles becomes a timber guard in the Limberlost swamp in Indiana and exhibits extraordinary courage and resourcefulness on the job. He also falls in love with the Swamp Angel, a young girl whose beauty and kindness bring out the best in others." (product description from Amazon)

"The book is an account of many species of birds that Stratton-Porter studied over the course of five years, including photographs that she took. In each chapter, she discusses a different species of bird and her experiences in the field with that species. She describes in intimate detail her encounters with birds in the Limberlost and how she photographed them in their natural habitat. Her strong feelings against harming an animal or its surroundings for the sake of nature study or photography are evident." (quote from Our Land, Our Literature)

"...uses fishing as a backdrop to tell the story of Jimmy Malone and Dannie Macnoun, who is in love with Jimmy's wife, Mary. In addition, this includes a lengthy biographical introduction on the author's life and work." (from Library Journal posted on Amazon)

"...the timeless story of an impoverished young girl, Elnora Comstock, growing up on the edge of the Limberlost swamp." (product description from Amazon)

"...a very scholarly work and required a great deal of research. It was by no means decisively popular, but was interesting and replete with illustration, some of which were collected abroad with painstaking care." (quote from Wabash Carnegie Public Library's "The Life and Work of Gene Stratton-Porter")

"While making photographs of birds in the spring of 1910, Mrs. Porter became interested in their music, calls, and sounds; the result was "Music of the Wild". She dedicated this book to her husband's brother, Dr. Miles Porter, then a physician in Fort Wayne." (quote from Wabash Carnegie Public Library's "The Life and Work of Gene Stratton-Porter")

"Gene Stratton-Porter returns us to her beloved Midwestern woodlands with a hero modeled after Henry David Thoreau. He and his "wonderful, alluring" Ruth ultimately find idyllic bliss in the pure, unspoiled woods, but not before her mysterious past is revealed and resolved." (product description from Amazon)

Marie Van Vorst

"...the story of a stenographer in love with and loved by her employer, a married Wall Street financier. In Mary Moreland, Van Vorst writes her most sophisticated discussion of the moral issues surrounding marital dissatisfaction and infidelity and creates her most complex and admirable heroine. Mary, a self-supporting suffragist dedicated to her career while searching for a passionate love that is neither compromising nor limiting, is a memorable fictional portrait of a young American woman seeking her identity in a world of shifting social and sexual values." (quote from

Vera L. Connolly

The Lone Trail - this appears to have been a serial that appeared in "Woman's Home Companion" magazine in September and October of 1923. The author wrote other serials such as "Cry of a Broken People" (Good Housekeeping, Feb 1929) and "We Still Get Robbed" (Good Housekeeping (Mar 1929). Columbia University Libraries' Archival Collection holds the Vera L. Connolly Papers (27 boxes of her writings, correspondence, and clippings).

The Blue Book ("The Blue Book Magazine)

And finally she lists Favorite Songs - Hall and McCreary, Chicago, Ill. This appears to be a music publishing company. They published "The Golden Book of Favorite Songs" (1915), "The Gray Book of Favorite Songs" (1919), and "The Blue Book of Favorite Songs" (1924).

Tombstone Tuesday

Eleven year old Emily Susan Yunker spent the morning helping her mother bake pies. Afterward she went outside to play. She was playing around the wagon when it rolled into her; crushing her to death. The pies she baked that morning ended up being served at her funeral. She was buried at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Moccasin, Effingham county, Illinois.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Did you wear pajamas??

My great grandparents lived through the San Francisco earthquake on 18 April 1906. I've blogged about them before ( Today while going through newspaper databases a friend found this advertisement (in The Oakland Tribune, 1 Jun 1906 issue). It made me laugh so I thought I would share.

Don't you just love historical newspapers?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

So close...and yet so far...

Lenore (Hille) Prehn was a special representative for the Southwestern Division of the Red Cross. She had been on the road in Oklahoma visiting some of the 45 charters under her supervision, and on December 21st, 1919 was heading home to be with her family for Christmas. The train she was traveling on (the Frisco Passenger #10) broke an axel and derailed 3 miles east of St. James, Missouri. Lenore was one of two people killed in the accident (the other being J.O. Hopper of West Virginia). Besides her husband, Wiliam Phillip Prehn, she left two young children. She was buried in Kirkwood at Forever Oak Hill Cemetery (Missouri) on Christmas Eve. You can read about the accident here.

She was so close to making it home...yet so far away.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ding Dong, Strawbridge & Clothier calling...

My grandfather's brother, John Ivor Davis/Davies (on the left in the above picture), worked as a delivery man/driver for Strawbridge & Clothier Department Store in Phildelphia in the early 1900's. Wikipedia has a page on the store's history that included the following:
The store began as a dry goods store and was founded by Quakers Justus Clayton Strawbridge (1838-1911) and Isaac Hallowell Clothier (1838-1911) in Philadelphia in 1862. In 1868 Strawbridge & Clothier purchased a 3-story brick building on the northeast corner of Market and 8th Streets in Center City Philadelphia, which had been Thomas Jefferson's office in 1790 while he served as Secretary of State, and opened their first store. But soon the old building was replaced by a new 5-story department store offering a variety of fixed price merchandise under one roof.
In the above picture (dated 30 Oct 1912) he's driving the delivery truck. The picture below was taken at a "farwell party" on 18 Apr 1915. John Ivor is in the back holding the child (not his child).
You can see a photograph of the store with delivery trucks and drivers lined up here. Based on the style of vehicles, it appears the photo was taken about the time John worked for the store.
In 1911, the Strawbridge motto evolved from "Small profits, one price, for cash only," into the trademark "Seal of Confidence," which featured William Penn and the chief of the Leni-Lenape shaking hands to cement a treaty. You can see their trademark on the postcard pictured at Remembering Great American Department Stores.