Monday, November 29, 2010

Every Family Has One ~

…a favorite place that is. Or maybe I should say a place that is deeply a part of the family.

Colorado is, without a doubt, our family’s favorite place to be.  It's also the state that defines my mother's side of the family.

William Eickelberg Family
 My family’s history with Colorado goes back many, many years.  This picture of William and Nellie (Auflick) Eickelberg and family would have been taken in roughly 1887/1888 because the baby in the picture, William Jr was born Feb, 1887.  The family moved out to Denver sometime between William, Jr's birth and the birth of his older sister (my great-grandmother) Nelle who was born in 1885 in Indiana. Eventually Nellie Auflick [the mother in this picture] would see her own parents and both her younger brother's and older sister's families move out to the Denver area.  I've posted a picture of Thomas and Margaret Auflick's gravestone in a previous post.

Although I don’t have any pictures, I do know that the Nissen side of the family (my mother's mother's side) was also in Colorado around that time as they were enumerated in Colorado’s 1885 state census.  They lived near Denver, in what is now Broomfield.  On our recent trip to Colorado I was able to stop at Riverside cemetery and photograph this gravestone.  Anna is my great-great-grandmother.  Her husband, August Henry Nissen is also buried in this plot although his name was not on the stone.  He died 06 April 1914. 

Jack H Quick

My grandfather Jack H Quick – the son of the cute little girl in the picture above – was born in Colorado in 1911.   He lived there for the first 30 some years of his life.  I don't know where the picture to the left was taken, but it was someplace in Colorado where he is taking his first steps.

Jack & Belle Quick far right
I know that he and a buddy climbed Long's Peak many times.  They liked to camp up there.   The mountains were always a big part of his life and he spent vacations in a cabin above Denver that his mother owned.  I have numerous pictures of outings that he took with his wife and other couples up to that cabin. 
Not only did he spend time there, but all of Nelle's children and grandchildren spent time at the cabin. My mom is the cutie-pie right in the front with the floppy hat.  They are sitting out on the porch of the cabin.

Jacqulin Ann Quick,
My mother was also born in Colorado.  For the first 8 years of her life, her grandmother would take her to Dewey Studios in Denver to have her picture taken on her birthday.  I have a beautiful group of pictures of her taken there including this one on her 4th birthday.  So, for my mom, both of her parents were born in Colorado and several of her grandparents were as well.  The Colorado mountains are definitely a part of her ancestry!

While I was born in elsewhere, I've been told that I took my first steps in Colorado. My mother and her parents had taken me out to Colorado to visit some relatives that still lived here. I liked the state so much even then that I decided to start walking.

Much later we took an extended summer trip again going out to Colorado to visit my Mom's Aunt Pearl.  My mom took this picture of us that, surprisingly, did NOT cut off any of our heads!  We had a wonderful time and I remember so vividly being up in the mountains standing on top of a snow drift in June - I thought that was amazing! 

We also stayed in that very same cabin of my great-grandmother's.  She was still alive and we visited her and she came up to the cabin with us.  The thing I remember about that cabin - there was no indoor plumbing but the outhouse has a fancy green toilet seat!  Oh, and did I mention the player piano??  Yes, the cabin had a player piano!

We didn’t get to come out as much after that, but when my youngest sister - the cute baby in the sunbonnet - had her first child the family started going to Estes Park for vacation.  The first year is was just my parents and sister's family.  But that started a new tradition and we began going out almost every year.  My nieces and nephew have wonderful memories of hiking in the mountains.  Here they are taking a break and getting their feet wet in a cold mountain stream.

Codi, Colton, Kyli
We also like to drive up what one of my nieces called "the scary road" which is the old Fall River road up to the top or Trail Ridge.  It's a dirt road which now can only be traveled one way - up.  Along the way there are places to pull off and things to see or short trails to follow.  It is usually fairly cold and here one of the girls has "borrowed" her daddy's shirt!

As recently as last week my parents and sister (NOT the baby in the sun bonnet) were out spending Thanksgiving in Estes Park.  We hiked several mornings and one day even got to snowshoe.  My Mom took this picture of my sister and I up at Bear Lake.  Oh my goodness was it cold - and this was the warmest day of the week!

So here's to Colorado, sometimes our home, sometimes our home away from home, but always that place where family memories are made!

Thanks for the poster fM!

This post was written for the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: "There's One in Every Family" to be hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene. Jasia is looking for 100 posts for this edition - So let's all help achieve that...I'm sure we all have something to share!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday ~ Family Stories

Using the holiday week (and vacation) to catch up on my reading, I was browsing through the hundreds of genealogy blogs I like to follow. I came across a post comparing family stories to gossip and not only that but pointing out that, “gossip is one of the worst traits of humanity.” Wow – so that is pretty much my whole blog. Fortunately, I don’t find the need to believe something just because I’ve read it.

For me family stories are a treasure. They are what put the flesh on the bones of dates and events. I hope that someday I can be that person that Randy Seaver wrote about in a recent blog post.  Being the “spinster aunt” I have a good start – now I would like to work a little bit more on the “wealthy” part!

So, why do I think family stories are important? Well, someday it’s possible that one of my nieces’ or nephew’s children might also be interested in genealogy. They will be able (hopefully!) to find when my mother, their great-grandmother was born, and married and (by then) died. I want them also to know what she was like. After all, she was their mother’s or father’s grandmother – and someone that had a big influence on that parent’s life. She was the “Nannie” that made them quilts and took them hiking out in Colorado almost every summer of their childhood. Maybe they are now vacationing in Colorado as well – a tradition passed down from the time of my own grandfather. There are so many stories I can leave for them so that they will have a better picture of my mother.

A story that I still treasure was told to my by my grandfather – Jack H Quick. He told about being somewhere with his mother and his mother's grandmother, Louisa Eickelberg. He called her "little grandma" and she would have been in her eighties at this time. As they had a number of things to do, and grandma wasn't as spry as she once was, they sat her down in the park and went about their other errands. When they came back grandma was not there. They finally found her in an area where someone was giving airplane rides! As they took grandma out of line (!!) she told them that she had ridden in a ship, a covered wagon, a train, a car and now she wanted to try out this airplane.

Is this literally true? I have no idea because clearly the conversation was not recorded.  She lived to be 92, dying in 1928 when my grandfather would have been 17 so he certainly knew her well enough to have formed an opinion.  Of course he only knew her at the end of her life, but I still treasure this small glimpse of someone I could never know other than through just a few cold facts.

So, that’s my opinion and I’ll keep collecting and recording the stories with the hopes that someday someone in the family might be as interested in them as I have always been.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It Looks So Obvious Now ~

I've admitted it before - I'm the family historian. I'd like to be the family genealogist, but don't always have the time to research as much or as thoroughly as I'd like.  So, as I can, I'm going through my database and looking at ancestors where I think I know everything (all the bmd dates/places) and checking on how and why I think I know.  I've started ordering copies of certificates if I don't have them and I if find they are available.  

I found that the Massachusetts Archives had a searchable index for vital records covering the years 1841 - 1910 so I thought I'd see what they had for the marriage of my great-grandparents, Mary BENZIE and Thomas RITCHIE.  Of course I already KNEW when they were married.  I have this great wedding booklet signed by both of them as well as the minister.  I have always recorded their wedding at 17-Oct-1900.  Their first child, William, was born on 24-Apr-1902.  Very respectable!

It took me a few tries, but finally I found a listing in 1901.  I thought, "Well obviously a well-meaning indexer just has a slip of the finger there!" Anyway, off went my check and request.  On Friday in the mail I received a copy of that marriage record.  Not only did I receive a nicely typed out "official" copy, but for my $3.00 (!!) I also received a photocopy of the page in the register showing the original information.  Big as life it is 1901.

So, let's take another look inside the wedding booklet with the date of 1900:

It now appears that the last zero in the date might have started life as a one!  It gives a somewhat different spin on the wedding in October.  There was Mary, already 3 months pregnant, with her male cousin as witness at her wedding.  Was the couple already planning their move to Ohio?  Certainly by the time their son is born, six months later, they lived in Cleveland, Ohio.  In Cleveland who's to know which year they actually DID get married!

I've looked as several other documents I have - Thomas's petition for citizenship where he give the 17-Oct-1900 date, the 1930 census that asks for age at first marriage.  Both Tom and Mary give ages that would be consistent with a marriage in 1900.  So, I guess I thought I had every reason to use that date - every reason but the best a primary source!