Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Just Received a Letter From My Great-Great Grandfather

Well, OK so it wasn't actually sent to me - it was sent to his daughter in 1919.  But today is the first time I've ever seen it.  (It was shared with me by a second cousin once removed who found me through my blog.)

Helen & William Benzie
The great-great grandfather in question is William Benzie and he was writing to his daughter, Lizzie who was living in Montana with her husband Fred.  William is writing to let Lizzie know that her mother has died.  William and Helen still lived in Inverurie, Scotland and both are buried there.

Here is the letter that was in my e-mail box this morning when I went down stairs to my office to work on my homework.

10 Constitution St, Inverurie
                  April 20th 1919
Dear Lizzie,
Jeanie and I are very
sorry to tell you that poor
Mother died on the 16th April
through dropsy. She was
ill mostly all winter with
swollen feet and legs up
to the knees and about
two months ago they broke
and ran out water. She
was wonderful well in
health through the winter
but changed about a week
ago then sank very quickly and

 passed away in three days -
- just sleep'd away. Jeanie
came home six weeks ago
and had been attending her
as she could not, even, walk
about in the house, but just
sat in a chair. We are very
sorry, indeed, as we feel such
a want in the house. With
kind regards to Fred, yourself
and family, trusting you are all
well. Your loving Father &
Sister Wm & Jeanie Benzie

Reading this made me, once again, realize the importance of writing.  How thrilled I am over this short two pages that give me just a little glimpse into the life of my great-great grandfather.  "...we feel such a want in the house" - considering he was a dour Scot I imagine that is as effusive as he was likely to be!

Friday, September 16, 2011

What I've Been Doing For 15 Minutes Every Day!

And no smart aleck comments from the peanut gallery, please!  I've been WRITING for 15 minutes each day ~ and here's why:

At FGS 2011 I was inspired by a talk give by Lisa Alzo called Write Your Family History Step by Step. One of the things she addressed was our excuses for not writing. One of those excuses - the one I use - is "I don't have time." As she's talking I'm sitting there thinking, "But I really don't. I work, I go to school, I get home late because of a project I'm working on..." and then she said, "Even if it's just 15 minutes every night, write something."

OK, so how could I say that I didn't have 15 minutes in a day? Heck I spend that much time checking Facebook and tweeting or even watching TV. So, I decided to put a separate page on my blog to start putting in my 15 minutes a day. It's not ideal because I have to update the page each day, but I do like having it out there in the open so to speak.  It keeps me more accountable!

Emma Zaugg age 16
Lisa encouraged us to have a focus - be it a person, a branch of the family, a geographic area etc. On the drive home from FGS I decided that my focus would be Emma ZAUGG, my great-great grandmother.

After just six days, here's what I've learned.

I realize what I don't know and what I want to know.  Oh I've always heard that writing helped to show the holes in your research, but then I didn't exactly think I had holes for this particular ancestor.  I don't when it comes to the events in her life.  I know and have documentation to show when she was born, married, when her children were born and when she died.  I have visited the cemetery where she is buried many times.  She lived her whole life in the same rural county in Ohio and I really didn't think there was much I needed to learn about Emma.

Boy, was I wrong!  Trying to write her life as a story shows me how much background material I need to explore. While she didn't leave a diary, there would be many histories of the area and time that I could read.  I've also pulled off my shelves, "The Expansion of Everyday Life: 1860 - 1876" and "Victorian America: Transformation in Everyday Life, 1876 - 1915" two books that I've had forever but not yet read.  (and by forever I mean almost 20 years - I KNEW I'd need them at some point)

The Graber Farm
And I do have research holes as well.  I don't have any information pertaining to their land - and I know there would be some.  The farm where they eventually lived is still standing and I have this old picture from their daughter's photo album as well as a picture which I took a number of years ago.  One of my questions is why and how this ended up with their oldest daughter and her husband (my great-grandparents) and not with one of their sons. 

 I also have a newspaper article written in 1980 featuring Emma's son Raymond Graber with a story about how his father Rudy had been the first cheese maker in the area.  It briefly mentions Emma as well.  There is a lot from that article that I could explore to add to Emma's story.

One of the totally unexpected benefits of this exercise has been that it takes my mind off my work problems.  That's certainly a good thing right before I turn in at the night! Now, instead of tossing and turning as I think about my current project, I find myself thinking about Emma Zaugg Graber and what her life was like.  With 8 children, a husband and a farm to care for, I'm sure she could have told me a thing or two about being busy!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 0 at FGS2011

I know there are many people posting about the events and I will certainly be tweeting as the days go by.  Not sure how much blogging will happen, but thought I'd put in a quick word or two today.

I called this "Day 0" because I just drove up after work today.  I didn't attend any of the Wednesday classes but I did arrive in time for the Prairie Social which was presented by the Illinois State Genealogical Society and sponsored by

The first group of people I saw included Caroline Pointer, Amy Coffin, Lisa Alzo, and Kathryn Doyle.  It was good to see some familiar faces - as I meet more and more of my "virtual friends" it makes attending genealogy events sort of like a family reunion.  The difference is at this family reunion people WANT to talk about genealogy and don't try to politely excuse themselves the moment they see an opening! 

At the Social I also got to meet in person a few more of my blogger/Facebook friends.  Susan ClarkJennifer Holik  and I thought we were going to go over to watch Genealogy Jeopardy.  As the announcers started explaining the rules it turned out that we were on one of the teams.  We were joined, moments before the game started by Linda McCauley - who didn't realize she had just joined our team!!  The good news is - we won.  We received beautiful picture frames for our astounding wealth of genealogical knowledge...we won't mention that we weren't the only people on the team and the people sitting in the row behind us were the ones who really pulled our team ahead to victory. :-)

After the Jeopardy game I met Tina Lyons and her husband.  She is just as much fun in person as I would expect from reading her blog.  That's one things I've found as I get to met my blogger friends in person - I feel as if I already know them.  Reading what they share in their blogs really gives a good sense of who they are.  I'm never disappointed!!

I also got to chat briefly with Audrey Collins who is here from the UK.  I think she wins the prize for coming the farthest.  I was fun to hear about the various places she's been recently - and it also made me start thinking again about trying to figure out how to go to RootsTech in 2012!

Tomorrow I am all set to learn some cool stuff and hear some great speakers.  I have my three-day agenda all outlined in a color-coded spreadsheet that shows just the sessions I have decided to attned.  (Hey, I work in accounting, EVERYTHING is a spreadsheet to me!)  I have all the handouts for those sessions printed out and in my folder.  
Also, just in case something doesn't work out or I have a change of heart, I have the WHOLE schedule printed out with all the sessions that looked interesting highlighted in various colors and then those hand outs available as well.  It pays to be flexible.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

RIP ~ David Lee Ritchie July 30, 1933 ~ August 31, 2011

September 2, 2011 FREDERICKSBURG -- David L. Ritchie, 78, of Fredericksburg, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011, at West View Manor Nursing Center in Wooster. 

He was the son of David W. and Lela (Saurer) Ritchie and was born in Apple Creek on July 30, 1933. He graduated from Apple Creek High School, class of 1951. He received his bachelor's degree from Miami University in 1955. He served two years in the U.S. Army while stationed in Germany, and then received his master's degree from Miami University in 1962. 

Dave started his career in teaching at Sterling school in 1955, then resumed it when he returned from the service. He taught at Norwayne School District and was head basketball coach and assistant baseball coach for six years. His next teaching job took him to Chardon schools and was head basketball and head cross country coach as well as math teacher and assistant baseball coach. He then went to Streetsboro schools and in 1971 married Vicki (Sutherland). She survives.

This is part of the obituary for my Uncle Dave ~ the full version can be found here.

Reading it made me realize another reason for collecting family stories - for any person there is so much more than just these final few paragraphs. Here are just a few of the things I remember about my Uncle Dave.

He was born on a farm near Apple Creek, Ohio.  The farm was the home of his mother, Lela Saurer's family.  For many years Uncle Dave had a painted picture of that farm that had been handed down to him by one of this Mother's aunts.  That picture now hangs in my bedroom and is one of my genealogy treasures. 

When I was very young I used to tell people I was named after my Uncle Dave.  That always brought some amused looked! I thought it was so incredible that we had the same initials - DLR.  I'm not sure why I equated that with being named after him, but somehow that made sense to me as a child.
The obligatory horse picture taken in Cleveland.

Although Uncle Dave was born out on the farm the family spent his early years in the city of Cleveland.  For many years I thought this picture of Uncle Dave on a horse must have been taken out on the farm.  I have a similar picture of my Dad and in talking to him about it one day he told me he doesn't remember exactly but it was NOT on the farm.  His grandparents didn't have ponies!  This picture was taken in the city somewhere.  

My Uncle Dave, the older of the two brothers.
My dad was the younger brother, but he was the first to marry and have children.  I remember my Uncle Dave living with his parents at least for part of the time I was little.  One memory especially stands out.  It was probably late morning and my sister and I had been asking about Uncle Dave.  Apparently he was still upstairs asleep and the adults all told us to go waken him.  So we crept up stairs and silently made our way across the big open room upstairs until we stood by Uncle Dave's bed.  There was a reading light over the bed - it pulled down from above and to this day I can't remember if we actually pulled it down or if it had been left that way, but we both yelled, "UNCLE DAVE WAKE UP" as loud as we could.  Of course he sat up and hit his head on that light while we ran for the safety of Grandma and Grandpa!!

The farm didn't have ponies, but it had dogs!
That is a particularly funny story because eons later, when he had two very small children and they were being, well children, he made a comment about how well-behaved Jackie's girls always were.  My mom just laughed at that and told him he obviously didn't remember very well.  I don't think she brought up the light incident, but that was hardly the only thing we ever did to torment Uncle Dave.

In spite of that little incident, one thing I remember was when Uncle Dave bought us cowboy boots.  I'm not talking about some pretend dress-up things - these were real, honest to goodness boots and something our parents had told us they would not buy.  Of course they wouldn't because we would grow out of them so soon but Uncle Dave bought them!!  I used to wear them to roller skate because I had the old metal skates with a key.  I could tighten the skates and then still slip my feet out later.  

 We could always count on Uncle Dave to indulge us.

I know that to many people 78 doesn't seem young.  People will always says, "He lived a long and full life" but for those we love there is no number of years that ever seems long enough.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sorting Saturday...and Sunday ~ Trying to Get Organized

Elyse Doerflinger has been regaling us with her organizational efforts and her new desk. She now has a wonderfully organized and well thought out work area. You can see the initial piles of stuff here and the final product here.   I, in contrast, have THIS:

Being roughly 2 ½ times older than Elyse it would make sense that I would have more “stuff”. However instead of 2 ½ times as much, I seem to have about 20 times as much! Give it a few more years and the crew from “Hoarders: Buried Alive” will be knocking at my door. 

 The sad part is that for about 3 months now I've had a dedicate genealogy ROOM.  Yes, a room where I could spread out and organize all my genealogy stuff.  Well, at least that was the supposed to be the idea. In those 3 months all I've managed to do was to rearrange and move book cases so that the 2 with children's books are now in the guest room and the 2 oversize book cases are in the genealogy room.  (You can see them reflected in the closet mirror in the picture on the right.)

I brought in two tables to be my desk and set up my new, BIG monitor and arranged the computer paraphernalia in roughly the order I want it to be.  The scanner is to the left of the monitor and the printer is on a stand father to the left.  That leaves me room to put MORE junk under the printer.

So, what would any sane person do in a case like this? I have no idea, but I can tell you what I did – went shopping!  While Elyse is in love with the IKEA store, I personally want to order one of everything from The Container Store.  While I didn't quite go that far, as you can see it was pretty close.

But seriously how could one possibly organize a room without color-coordinated items?  I spent some time yesterday putting together a nifty little rolling cart that gives me three drawers under the table and right next to my chair.  Of course this also give everyone a great view of the piles still ON the desk that have not yet made their into a drawer or file!  

I'm making some progress, but not yet enough for an after picture.  Hopefully that will come sometime next weekend when I will be done with classes for a few weeks.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun ~ A Tad Late

I know that's I'm late to the party - and on top of that, I'm going to cheat! Several years ago we did a similar exercise for SNGF and I've mostly copied it here. I did do the extra credit pie chart for this go round.

So, here is our "mission" from Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings:

1) List your 16 great-great-grandparents with their birth, death and marriage data (dates and places). [Hint - you might use an Ancestral Name List from your software for this.]

2) Determine the countries (or states) that these ancestors lived in at their birth and at their death.

3) For extra credit, go make a "Heritage Pie" chart for the country of origin (birth place) for these 16 ancestors. [Hint: you could use the chart generator from Kid Zone for this.] [Note: Thank you to Sheri Fenley for the "Heritage Pie" chart idea.]

4. Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a post on Facebook or google+.
 Here is mine - copied from my original post from August, 2009.

1. James Ritchie ~ born on 4 May 1844 at Blebo Craig, Kemback, Fife, Scotland. He married on 26 Jun 1868 in St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. He died on 7 Oct 1891 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ethnicity – Scottish.

2. Jane Swinton ~ born on 13 Aug 1846 in St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. She died on 31 Dec 1912 in Strathmiglo, Fife, Scotland. Ethnicity – Scottish.

3. William Benzie ~ born on 18 Oct 1843 at Oyne, Scotland. He married on 20 Jun 1874 at Inverurie, Scotland. He died on 3 Mar 1922 at Inverurie, Scotland. Ethnicity – Scottish

4. Hellen Lumsden ~ born in 1849 in Udney, Scotland. She died on 16 Apr 1919 in Inverurie, Scotland. Ethnicity – Scottish

5. John Ulrick Saurer ~ born on 23 May 1823 in Berne, Switzerland. He died on 24 May 1899 at Apple Creek, Ohio. Ethnicity – Swiss-German.

6. Caroline Flory ~ born on 20 Mar 1844 in Wayne County, Ohio. She died on 16 May, 1884 in Apple Creek, Ohio. Ethnicity – Swiss-German.

7. Rudolph Graber ~ born on 13 Sep 1853 in Berne, Switzerland. He married on 15 Mar 1881 in Apple Creek, Ohio. He died on 5 Aug 1918 at Apple Creek, Ohio. Ethnicity – Swiss-German.

8. Emma Zaugg ~ born on 13 Sep 1860 at East Union Twp, Wayne County, Ohio. She died on 7 Sep 1919 at Apple Creek, Ohio. Ethnicity – Swiss-German.

9. Edwin S Quick ~ born circa 1855 in Maryland. Ethnicity – Unknown.

10. Susie H Hungerford ~ born 09 April 1867 in Prince Frederick, Maryland. She died 02 Jul 1937 in Baltimore, Maryland. Ethnicity – possibly English.

11. William Eickelberg ~ born on 24 Mar 1863 in Mecklenburg Strelitz, Germany. He married on 1 Jan 1884 in Charleston, West Virginia. He died on 11 Dec 1934 in Denver, Colorado. Ethnicity – German.

12. Nellie Auflick ~ born on 29 Apr 1864 at Minersville, Ohio. She died on 27 Sep 1940 in Pomeroy, Meigs County, Ohio and is buried in Denver, Colorado. Ethnicity – English.

13. Henry Evans ~ unknown

14. Alma ~ unknown

15. August Heinrich Nissen ~ born abt 1850 in Schleswig Holstein, Germany. He died 06 Apr 1914, Broomfield, Colorado. Ethnicity – German.

16. Anna Elizabeth Parkson born abt 1856 in Ohio, Died 11 May 1900 in Broomfield, Colorado. Ethnicity – German.

This was a very interesting exercise! My ethnicity is 25% Scottish, 25% Swiss-German, 18.75% German (or 43.75% Germanic), 12.5% English and 18.75% anybody's guess.

And here is my extra credit pie chart:

This was fun ~ thanks Sheri & Randy!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

SCGS Jamboree 2011 ~ More Fun Than Christmas!

I don't even know where to start to explain how much fun Jamboree is!  It's a combination of family reunion (if all the really crazy relatives showed up), Woodstock (and, no I was not there), a three-day non-stop party, and an amazingly intense learning experience - sometime all at once!

To start with there was the Geneablogger's Welcome Bag.  Please click on the link to see all the amazing vendors who contributed something.  No, really - go look; I'll wait.  See, I told you! This was NOT filled with the sort of trinkets that you quietly discard later.  Oh no - this was the "Christmas" part. We got tee shirts and CDs of webinars and beads and food and a PH testing pen and there were a lot of cool free offers and too much to mention - thus the picture.

On the first night hosted an ice cream social for the Geneabloggers.  Here are a few of the pictures that no one has paid me sufficiently NOT to share.
Ooops, someone forgot to tell Randy Seaver and Cheryl Palmer that the hula skirts were not meant to be worn on their heads.  Their friend there is Peter the Parrot.  He will apparently be making another appearance tonight.

Sheri Fenley was explaining SOMETHING important to one of our hosts.

More to come, but another sessions calls.

 (And someone, who shall remain nameless but his initials are THOMAS is complaining about the millions of pictures in all the blog posts )

Sunday, June 5, 2011

This is the Face of Genealogy

For me nothing exemplifies my genealogy more than this picture.  The youngest girl here is my great-great aunt Laura.  She was born in Ohio in 1901 and it is thanks to her that I have so many wonderful pictures and stories.

Her father - the man sitting - is Rudolph Graber who came to this country from Switzerland in 1877 as a young man of 23.  He came with very little and ended up a successful farmer with a large and happy family.  His wife, Emma Zaugg was born in Ohio to a family that had come from Switzerland sometime prior to her birth in 1860.

I have the original picture hanging in my genealogy room to remind me what the "Face of Genealogy" looks like.

PS - to see what this is all about, stop over at Geneablogger and find more posts about The Faces of Genealogy

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Don't Let Someone Else Put a Swan on Your Head!

So, quick survey – how many of you are reading this wondering how I will relate this to family history!?!?

I’ve been putting together a book of stories from when my sister’s children were young. We call it “The Mouser Family Absolutely True Stories.” I wrote down many of these stories back before there were so many cool ways to put words and pictures in books to share. These are just all in a word document. So, now I am gathering pictures and trying to make them into something to share.

This is the story I am working on today and I just couldn’t resist blogging it as well.

When my sister’s two girls were about 3 and 5, the older one could torment the life out of the younger one just by what she said. One of Kyli's favorite times to tease her little sister was when they were in the car. I guess sitting there in those car seats had to be pretty boring because before too long, Kyli would look over at her sister and say (very quietly), “You have a swan on your head.” Codi would immediately wail, “Mommy, Kyli says I have a swan on my head. I don’t waaaaaannnt a swan on my head!!!” Very often actual tears would ensue. My sister could try to reason with Codi but it didn’t really matter because Kyli SAID the swan was there. Of course Kyli would just sit there with an angelic look on her face. Sometime it would be a dinosaur or even an inanimate object that would be “on” Codi’s head. The results were always the same however. Over the years as we’ve re-told the story – as family’s will – it’s always the swan we use to tell the tale.

As adults, we laugh at how gullible poor little Codi was to fall for something so silly. How could something her big sister said override the obvious fact that there WAS NO SWAN? Yet as adults we do the same thing all our lives – we believe that one bad thing someone else says no matter how many others tell us it isn’t so. We even spend time worrying about that stupid swan and refuse to listen to those we know are “older and wiser” who tell us that really, we do NOT have a swan on our head!

It’s become something of a proverb in our family now, “Don’t let someone else put a swan on your head.”

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hot Off the Press

The latest issue of Shades of the Departed is hot off the press!!  There is a new feature debuting in this issue and I am thrilled to say that I had a small part in suggesting it.  As far as I am concerned, being mentioned in Shades is my 15 minutes of fame - and it's really made my day.

So, drop on over to fM's and pick up your copy today - while they last ;-)

Photographs in Politics

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Family Events ~ March 14 - 20

March 15th ~ On this day in 1881 in Apple Creek, Ohio my 2x great-grandparents, Rudolph GRABER and Emma ZAUGG were married. I've posted previously about the incredible coincidence of my becoming best friends with the great-granddaughter of the minister who married this couple, Edmund ERB.

March 17th ~ On this day in 1800 in Cape Girardaeu, Missour John ROSS, the 4x great-grandfather of my nieces and nephew, is born.

March 19th ~ On this day in 1852 my 3x great grandparents Jacob ZAUGG and Anna Barbara BARTCHEY are married in Berne, Switzerland. [pretty obviously NOT a wedding picture, but the only one I have of them.]

This day in 1892 is also marked by the death of my 3x great grandfather, Thomas SWINTON in St. Andrews, Scotland. I've previously posted a picture of his gravestone.

March 20th ~ On this day in 1795 in Bern, Switzerland Jacob ZAUGG, father of the above Jacob and my 4x great grandfather is born.

Also on this day in 1844 my 2x great grandmother, Caroline FLORY is born in Wayne County, Ohio .

Monday, March 7, 2011

Do You Play Favorites?

Marian Pierre-Louis over at Marian's Roots & Rambles asks, "So I want to ask you folks - Why do you have favorite ancestors? How did you select them?"  Several other bloggers have picked up on this question including a post from Randy Seaver and one from Ken Spangler.  This question fascinates me so I thought I'd play along.

I do have several "favorites" but I don't have as logical reasons for picking them as the others seem to.  I can't really even seem to explain how it happens.  One of my favorites is Emily Jane "Jennie" SAURER.  I have no pictures of her which makes it even more odd that she's a favorite. I remember my Grandma Ritchie (nee Saurer) telling me about Aunt Jennie - everyone loved Aunt Jennie she said.  This would have been something she heard, because Aunt Jennie died before my Grandma would have been old enough to even remember her.  She did have older siblings however so she might have heard it from them.

I have some china that was Jennies that my Grandmother left to me and I display a cup & saucer in a cabinet.  Oh, it's not very good china - but the story was that her husband, Harv Senff, sent away for it just because she wanted it.  I might need to get the rest of that china out of the attic and just used it for some occasion.

She died very young - only 36 - and they had no children.  I always found it rather sad that this funeral card only has her name as "Mrs Harvey Senff" - with no part of her name even included!  Even her gravestone is somehow just a little bit different than any of the surrounding stones - it always draws me to it when I go to the Apple Creek Cemetery.

Maybe one of the reasons that I've always considered her a favorite is that she is the daughter of Caroline FLORY.  I've written about Caroline before here and here.  I've always thought that her picture looked just a little bit sad.  Oh I know they were always solemn in pictures back then, but her eyes just look sad to me.  While I have a picture of her mother, I have no pictures of Jennie. I would think there was at least a wedding picture taken, but it's not something that's come down in my part of the family.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fearless Females ~ Day 3 [a little bit late]

Fearless Females: 31 Blogging prompts to celebrate National Women’s History Month is brought to us by Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist. Be sure to take a look at her post showing the whole month’s worth of prompts and then jump in and play along!

March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

Hildegarde M Ritchie
My name, Diana, is not one that is anywhere in my family tree. My Dad used to tease me, however that they ALMOST named me after his Aunt Hildegard!! My Mom always said that they never even considered that, but to this day my Dad will sometime says, “We really should have named you after Hildegarde and maybe she would have left you some money” or variations on that theme.

I do something very similar with my nieces. I tell them from time to time that I wanted their Mom to name one of them Magdalena. That is a name that appears on the Swiss-German side of my Dad’s family.  I rather like it myself, but my sister wouldn’t go for it. Like my Dad, however, that doesn’t keep me from bringing it up to them in a variety of ways.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fearless Females ~ Day 2

Fearless Females: 31 Blogging prompts to celebrate National Women’s History Month is brought to us by Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist. Be sure to take a look at her post showing the whole month’s worth of prompts and then jump in and play along!

March 2 — Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?

This is an easy choice for me.  I've chosen Nelle EICKELBERG, my great-grandmother and the original "Random Relative" of my first post.

I'm not sure when this photo was taken but it's always been one of my favorites of Nelle.  Her son, my Grandfather, Jack H QUICK used to tell this story about his mother.

On his very first day of school the teacher asked his name and he replied, "Jack H Quick."  She promptly told him that "Jack" was just a nickname and his real name must be John.  She also quizzed him on what the "H" stood for and refused to believe him when he said he didn't have a middle name, it was just Jack H Quick.  Throughout the whole first day the teacher called him "John."

Upon arriving home from school little Jack told his mother about his first day.  He wanted to know if his real name was indeed John and why his mother had never told him that.  Nelle did not think much of this story and the next day marched down to school with her son.  She told the teacher in no uncertain terms that she had named her son JACK and JACK was what she expected him to be called.  [She also straightened her out on the middle name issue.]

While I believe the picture above was taken prior to that time*, somehow whenever my Grandfather would relate this story I always saw Nelle sailing into that school wearing this hat!  She was not someone to be trifled with ~ truly as "fearless female"!

 *My Grandfather was born on July 3, 1911 and so would have started school about 1916/1917 and the style of dress seems to predate that.


Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday to the territory of Colorado!

As I was perusing the blogs in my reader, I came across a post about the sesquicentennial of the Colorado Territory.  It was established on February 28, 1861 ~ 150 years ago today.  As I wrote for the 100th COG, Colorado holds a special place in my family's past as well as in its present, so I wanted to take a little time out to say Happy Birthday.

This year for Christmas we gave my Mom & Dad the present of the whole family going out to Colorado for vacation in August.  It's been quite some time since we've been able to take the whole family out.  Once my sister's children got into high school it just never seemed to work out.  Somehow we managed to find one week this summer and decided it was time to try again.  At Christmas we all wrote down the three things we most enjoyed doing when we went to Colorado.  We want to be sure that we get in all the hikes and trips that everyone remembers.

I'm also trying to figure out how to sneak in a little bit of family history/genealogy - I'm thinking of a trivia game of sorts.  One of the things we all enjoy doing is playing some sort of game in the evening - cards or anything else.  The game doesn't really matter because after about 10 minutes we are all laughing so hard we can barely concentrate on what we are doing!  But shhhh - don't tell my family what I'm plotting...