Monday, December 28, 2009
My first post, "The Day of Loss", describes the events of the day I lost my husband.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Christmas Eve we would go to Church where us children would participate in a little pageant, sharing the story of Jesus' birth. When we came home my brothers and I would lay under the tree and just gaze up at all the colored lights and ornaments. Funny how these are the things I remember and not the gifts. Oh yes, it was exciting to open the packages and see what surprises were inside, somehow forgetting what was on the list, and being happy for what was inside. Now, I realize it was not the gifts that made Christmas so special it was the time we shared and the reason we celebrate this day.
This Christmas will be different than those in the past as a touch of sadness seems to fill my heart. But, I do laugh at remembering how my husband would wrap his gift to me in butchers paper. And how he would draw a stick figure man with long arms stretched out to show how much he loved me, and of course it always had a stick-on bow. Funny, I don't remember the gifts that were inside, I only recall how they were all wrapped in love and always made me laugh.
Hold on tight to those you love. And remember the hope that Jesus brought on this night, and the promise he made, that those who believe in Him will have everlasting life.
Merry Christmas to all!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
The one thing I did not expect when I first began my blog was the wonderful people I would encounter along the way. Geneabloggers who encouraged me as I wrote my family history book, “Searching”, and applauded when I completed it. Geneabloggers who cheered when I finally found my great grandfather who disappeared 108 years ago. But, most of all Geneabloggers who have given me such beautiful and thoughtful words as I grieve for my husband. Geneabloggers who understand the pain my heart is going through and are praying for me. Never, did I imagine when I started this that I would become a part of a “special family” of people across the country and the world. So, to my Geneablogger Family, thank you for all that you have given me through your comments. What a blessing you are to me - my “special family". My heartfelt thank you to you all!
Your Sister in Genealogy
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I've written a few times about being a genea-holic and all that it entails. The constant desire to search for the elusive ancestor and being driven almost to distraction in the search. And when that document, photo or history is found doing the happy dance of joy at being successful in solving the mystery. I've also written about how the information can prove to be bitter sweet when you learn the person you are searching for is not the man you held in high esteem.
I've been fascinated by family history for what now seems most of my life. I've been amazed at their accomplishments and felt their disappointment when life became a struggle. I think of my own grandparents and the things they did to survive and the changes they witnessed in their lives. To realize that in their lifetime they went from depending on horses and kerosene lamps to driving a Buick and learning to use a microwave, it makes me realize how special and incredible their generation was.
Over the last few weeks I've pondered over how those of us living today will be perceived by future generations. Will future genea-holics do the happy dance of joy when they track us down? You may wonder why my thoughts have gone in this direction. I've always been excited to receive copies of documents that in some case have taken years to find, but a few days ago I received a document I hoped to never see. It had all the usual information that through the years I've come to expect, but, this time the information was all to familiar and reality set in. Through my tears I read the name of the deceased, as I continued reading and found my own name as the surviving spouse I fell to my knees. All these years of collecting family death certificates, and being thrilled to obtain them, suddenly I realized the pain and heartache that each represented for their loved ones so long ago. Today I look at my collection in new light and say a little prayer for those who have gone before, because now I realize what these papers truly meant. So from now on with my dance of joy, I will take time to remember what the little piece of paper meant in the lives of my ancestors.
So in tribute to my husband who now rests in the arms of God, I want to tell you of a man who was my companion, my love, my partner but most of all my best friend. He listened to my stories of family long gone for hours and never yawned. When he couldn't sleep he would ask for what we called “mu-mu stories”, and I would tell him about how our ancestors crossed the sea and soon I would hear him snore. Now I wonder who will listen to my stories and share the joy with me as I solve the mystery of the past.
He was not a wealthy man in material things, but rather gathered his riches by sharing his love and friendship with everyone he met. In his world there were no strangers just people he hadn't met, being shy was not a word he knew or understood. He could be a jokester and got a kick out of pulling my leg, you would think after 24 years I would be wise to his ways, but somehow I'd always fall for his gags, I only wish this was one of them and I could have him back.
He grew up in the grocery business and worked as a meat cutter until he retired. He received so many customer service awards I could paper a wall with them. His customers loved him and he them. I heard a story from his boss of how he could make his customers laugh and smile by turning his hat to the side, remove his teeth and with a big toothless grin say, “Can I help you ma'am?”. He said they would laugh til they cried. His antics were many, but I loved how they would make me smile, I'd tell him he was weird and he would just grin a toothless smile.
His life was not without pain and struggle and many things could torture his mind, but somehow together we could make life work, forever lifting each other up. Like all of us he had his faults too, but his beautiful and gentle heart made those faults seem unimportant and irrelevant. He never faltered in his devotion to his family and always lent a hand. His love and willingness to help my parents was more than I could ask. I'd always thank him for the things he did for them and he would just say - “I love helping Mom and Dad!” His love for his daughters and grandchildren was endless and completely unconditional. I knew every day of our married life that his love for me grew stronger as mine did for him. Those 24 years seem so short now and I wonder how they could have gone by so fast. But, as I reflect on all the things we did and shared, I realize how rich and full of love every moment was. Even when we disagreed or argued over what seems so unimportant now, it always ended with, “You're wrong, but I love you any how.”
For now, his beat up old cowboy hat, that he wore everywhere, hangs on a dining room chair reminding me that his love remains, forever in my heart and in this place.
So now I begin a new chapter in my life and wonder what it will be like – being just “me” and not a part of “us”. I know that God has a plan and in that I put my trust.
Our 24 year journey through the good times and the bad came to an end on November 29, 2009 at 9:21 pm, Darrell was swept up into the arms of God our Father in Heaven, his journey on earth ended, but his eternal life was born. In my mind's eye I can see his twinkling blue eyes sparkling and shining as he entered through the gates of heaven into the arms of Jesus our Savior. I know that he must be in awe at the wonders he is being shown. I also know that a special place was prepared for him - because Jesus told us he would. I know that God has wiped all the tears from his eyes and wrapped him in His arms and surrounded him with love. Just as we are celebrating his life with us. I know that Darrell is with those who have been waiting for him and that they are celebrating with the angels as he has returned to our Father in Heaven.
For you sweetheart.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Oltman Behrend Onnen”
Saturday, October 10, 2009
(This image is in the Public Domain
Because its copyright has expired)
“We bombarded Napoleon's Coach”
June 19, 1814
“On the 19th we again pursued the Frenchmen, at one point we bombarded Napoleon's coach which he deserted shortly before. We found a number of treasures in it. We marched the entire day until 11 o'clock and slept again under the sky being pretty hungry. The Frenchmen had everything pretty well consumed. On we went the next day the 20th all day and on through the night. The name of the town where we finally camped was, I think, Beaumont.
“On the 22nd we marched on again until late at night. The 23rd was a day of rest, but there was not much rest since it rained all day, so that we were wet to the skin. At 10 in the morning of the 24th we went on and the next days to the 26th, we hardly encountered any enemies. The 27th we got to Compiegne here is where Bonaparte had his castle. When we got to this town the Frenchmen tried hard to throw us back, but they were unsuccessful. On the 28th we got to a town, where the enemy had hidden like snipers, but we pushed them on and our cavalry chased on and captured many of them, also two cannons which were drawn by mules.
“On the 29th we were only three hours away from Paris. On the 30th we rested until 10 o'clock that night, but then followed a 36 hour march to and around Paris. It was so hot we could hardly stand it.
“Early, July 2nd and again we were called to the weapons, and our general told us, “Boys, you had a bad day yesterday, but today we have to be especially brave. We have to take Paris or we are lost.”Compiegne Castle
Join me tomorrow for the conclusion of Oltman Behrend Onnen's letter of 1814.
Friday, October 9, 2009
slept among the dead”
“Dear Parents, Brothers and Sisters,
“On the 16th of June in the morning at 5 o'clock we marched beyond the village where the battle took place, in the afternoon at 2 o'clock we marched to the village and got into fighting immediately and came so close to each other that we fought them by hand and took them prisoners.
Join me again when the letter continues on to the events of June 19, 1814.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
There was for me. Come back and visit me when I share my first inspiration into the world of my ancestors.............
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I also brought home a small box filled with goodies. Most of the things in the box were just little mementos of vacations that my folks had taken. A couple itineraries and hotel confirmations from the 1980s and'90's, and some post cards they picked up on their travels. But, there were also several old old pairs of glasses. Mom had always planned to make a shadow box to display the glasses. But, like all of us, there always are so many projects that we want to do that we just can't get them all done. (Maybe I'll have to do that now.) I thought of Footnote Maven when I was looking at the glasses as I know how much she loves the “ladies in glasses”.
One of the pairs was in a little wooden shipping box. The wires for the ear piece is so thin it's amazing that they lasted. The glasses were packed in tissue paper in the box and as I removed the paper here was an envelope marked Riggs Optical Company, Manufacturer's Jobbers Importers. Apparently the glasses had originally been shipped to a Dr. N. T. Johnston in Upland, Nebraska for my Great Grandmother. I tried to do a little research on both Dr. Johnston and the Riggs Optical Company but haven't found anything so far. Another pair is in, what I thought was a stiff cardboard or plastic type tube case. But, when my Hubby was examining it he seemed to think the case was made from dried leather. The third pair of glasses has round lenses and the frames appear to be made of sirocco.
There was a small little envelope and in it was something only a Mother would keep. A note from me to her written when I was about 7 years old.
Oh dear, what drama!
And lastly a box filled with my Dad's Air Force uniform ribbons and pins. My Dad retired from the Air Force in 1962 with 21 years of service. I can still visualize his dress uniform with all the ribbons on it and the “U.S.” pins on the lapels. A little blue box held his World War 2 Victory Medal which I had never seen before. Oh dear, where did all those years go?
I brought home a lot of things that I probably didn't need and a few things that are part of my heritage. Someday, when my stepdaughters are cleaning out all the things I no longer need, I'm sure they will wonder, why in the world I've kept so many things. But, I'll bet they will haul them all home to their houses the same as me – and they will say – You can't get rid of that! – I'll take it home with me.............
Monday, September 21, 2009
Last year my folks decided it was time to downsize. So the process began – and I do mean process! During the course of sixty-seven years of marriage you are bound to have quiet a collection of things. And believe me when I tell you my folks had a lot. The storage room shelves were filled with gadgets – some given by us kids at Christmas time as the latest and greatest new thing. Great if you can figure out how to use it! Ha ha! There was an array of cookware used only during the holiday – after all how often does one use a casserole bowl big enough for a 20 pound turkey or a salad bowl big enough to hold 6 heads of lettuce? But, when you need it, that stuff comes in real handy. Then there was the shelves filled with beautiful Christmas decorations and craft supplies. Oh my – what to keep? What to surrender?
“Mom – you can't get rid of that pan! After all it's the pan you've made our traditional Christmas cookies in for the last 50 some years”. Oh I can just taste them now – a delectable maraschino cherry cookie bar with coconut – I'm telling you – just to die for. I remember my brother would find the jar of maraschino cherries in the fridge and scarf them all down, so she would have to hide them. The cookies are one of those things that unless you have them at Christmas time – well, it's just not Christmas! She kept the pan.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
As we walked towards Victor and Lizzie's graves I noticed some very unusual mushrooms. Living in a dry climate we only see your basic brown or beige colored variety. These mushrooms reminded me of something you would see in a fairy tale. In fact, when we got home and I downloaded my photo's something totally unexpected appeared. There under a mushroom, that reminded me of an umbrella, was an angel praying.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Early 1900's - July 4th Celebration - Hildreth, Nebraska.
The car pictured here belonged to my great grandfather, Rolf Habben, and was decorated for the fourth of July parade. I'm sure his daughters played a big part in all the decorations - I don't think they missed a spot to decorate! It must have been a great day, with everyone gathering in town. If you look in the background of the photograph you can see the big tent and picnic tables. I'm sure all the wives were busy cooking that day.
(photograph is privately held - do not copy without permission)
Saturday, June 27, 2009
“School days, school days,
Dear old golden rule days.
O'read'n and o'rit'n and o'rithmatic
taught to the tune of a
You were my queen in calico
I was your barefoot bashful beau.
And you wrote on my slate
I love you so, o'love you so
When we were a couple of kids.”
The old school house ain't what it used to be! Forest Valley School stands in a grove of trees that once covered about 3 acres of land before it was cleared for farming. Today, Mother Nature is trying to reclaim the property. The weathered boards that once kept the cold out are slowly decaying. Most of the roof that covered the school entry, where the children kept their coats and lunch pails, is all but gone now. The school furnishings, that cost all of $13.25 back in 1908, are all gone. Vines and weeds are growing from the rooftop and putting their roots into the cracks. Three foot high grass surrounds it. And the trees are beginning to hide the building completely. The mosquito's were so thick in the grass, that I feared for my life, so I did not venture too close to the building.
The school has been closed since 1946. But, if you close your eyes and listen carefully, you can still hear the giggles of children hiding in the trees.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
One of my favorite photo restorations was of a distant cousin of mine that I did for my family history book - "Searching - The Habben/Ufkes Families".
Julius Mietzner & Lena Habben -August 10, 1909
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I hope to be returning soon to my blog as you may have noticed I have not written anything new for a while now.
Through the grace of God who answered those who so vigilantly prayed for my husbands recovery during the last 45 days - I thank you! He continues to improve daily and was able to return home last week. It is wonderful just to have him home and as he continues healing I will again have time to continue my research and share it with you.
I want to thank those who have given me the wonderful awards during my absence. I will acknowledge them over the next few days.
Terri at The Ties That Bind
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Visit Janinealogy at http://janinealogy.blogspot.com/
(photograph privately held please do not use without permission)
Monday, May 11, 2009
I'm so sorry I have not responded sooner, but, family illness has prevented me from spending much time on my blog updates. When I'm able to return I will share these wonderful awards with other deserving blogs that I also enjoy!
Thank you Linda and Harriet you don't know how much you lifted my spirits!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thank you Mr. Sabin for that Sunday - 49 years ago!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I next contacted the Seattle Library through ask-a-librarian, to see if they could find an obituary. Their response was surprisingly quick, although they did not find an obituary right away, they did locate Gustave and Jennette Bebensee in the R. L. Polk Seattle City Directory, for the years 1912 and 1914. So now I knew that sometime between 1910 and 1912 they had moved from Los Angeles to Seattle.
The 1912 directory lists them living at 1229 Third Avenue North. And Gustave's occupation is listed as interior decorator. In the 1914 directory, they still live at the same address, but, the occupation is listed as electrician. It appears that after 1914, Jennette, either moved away or possibly remarried.
The librarian, Mary, informed me it would take them about a week to find and obituary. Mary, not only found his death notice, but, also the obituary in the Seattle Intelligencer, on May 8th and May 10th respectively. I had hoped that there would be a full obituary, one that would outline his life history. Within in the obituary I did learn another tidbit though. Great Grandpa had been a Mason, and belonged to the Alki Lodge #152, F and A.M., and the Masons had sponsored his funeral. The Lodge was established in 1906 and is still in existence today. I have contacted them and am waiting to hear what they might find, if anything.
Seattle Intelligencer - December 8, 1914
"BEBENSEE - At the family residence, 1229 Third avenue north, December 7, 1914,
Gustave Bebensee, aged 57 years. Member F. and A.M. Announcement of funeral hereafter.
Remains at the parlors of Bonney Watson Company, Broadway at Olive Street, opposite
Broadway High School.
Seattle Intelligencer - December 10, 1914
"BEBENSEE - At the family residence, 1229 Third avenue north, December 7, 1914. Gustave Bebensee, aged 57 years. Member F. and A.M.
Funeral service will be held at the parlors of Bonney-Watson Company at Olive street, opposite Broadway High School, Sunday at 1 PM under auspices of Alki Lodge Number 152. F and A.M.
Brother Masons and friends are invited to attend. Internment at Lake View Cemetery."
The death certificate also revealed that he had been cremated and the undertakers name. They too are still in existence. I contacted Bonney-Watson Company in Seattle and spoke with a very nice woman by the name of Denise. She told me that unfortunately the records from those years are in very bad condition. But, she promised to see what could be found. Denise, advised me that he probably was buried at the Lake View Cemetery, and that I should try to contact them also.
Denise's guess was right! Upon contacting Lake View Cemetery, I found another kind woman, who looked through all of the records for me. When she did not find Bebensee, she did not give up, she continued checking by using the death date and variations in the spelling of Bebensee. Lo and behold, she found him, a misspelling of Bebensee to Bedensee was found. She gave me the location of his grave as, section 15, plot 11, D20B. I also learned from her that since my great grandfather had been a Mason, that was probably why he was buried at Lake View. The Lake View Cemetery was originally started by the Masons in 1872. At that time it was called The Seattle Masonic Cemetery. In 1890 the cemetery name was changed to Lake View Cemetery and is located in the Capital Hill area of Seattle. But, was there a tombstone?
A quick search through Find-A-Grave did not produce any results, however, I did locate a volunteer who maintains information on the Lake View Cemetery. His name is Nils Solsvik. I quickly shot off an email to Mr. Solsvik, and he kindly agreed to go to the cemetery and photograph the tombstone, if one was there. I was amazed when the very next day I received an email from him stating he had been to the cemetery. He had originally indicated to give him a week or so to accomplish it. Mr. Solsvik also searched through the cemetery records, to see if Jennette might also be buried there. Jennette, was not buried at Lake View Cemetery, at least not with the last name of Bebensee. From Mr. Solsvik, I learned that my great grandpa was not interned right away either. He was not buried for almost 5 months – on May 20, 1915. Why the delay? It's a puzzle – I'm guessing – lack of funds?
There was no tombstone, but, Mr. Solsvik took about 25 photographs of the area where he is buried and the surrounding area. I am very appreciative of Mr. Solsvik for going out of his way to take these photographs and for allowing me to share them with you. Seattle and Denver are many miles apart, and who knows if I would ever be able to go there to do this myself. A special Thank You to Mr. Solsvik – and the people who volunteer to lend a hand to others in this way!
I have contacted the Alki Lodge in Seattle and am anxiously awaiting news of anything they many be able to tell me. I'm told not to get my hopes up for any more information then that he was a member - but it's hard not to hope for more.
I want to take a moment to thank the many people who have helped in the search – Washington State Board of Health – Denise at Bonney Watson – Mary at Seattle Library, Ask A Librarian – Mary at Lake View Cemetery – Nils Solsvik a Find-A-Grave volunteer – and to James Tanner at Genealogy Star who prompted me to take a second look at the Family Search Pilot Program! Also, to Randy Seaver, who so kindly included me in his “Best of the Best” posts for mentioning my story.
I continue my search for Jennette in hopes that I can make some connection with her family. Always hoping that someone may know more of the secret life of Gustave Bebensee.
I hope that I will be able to share more with you all in the near future.
Friday, April 17, 2009
So slowly I read through the information:
Washington Death Certificates – 1907-1960
Death Date: 07 Dec 1914
Seattle, King, Washington
51 years 3 months 14 days
Birth year: 1863
Married – Jennette Bebensee
I was sure this was at least the same Gustave that appeared on the 1910 California Census. It took me a little bit to figure out if the birthday matched – geeeze - how many days in November, October and September are there? Ok, I'll admit it – I had to look it up. Oh my – that worked out to August 23, 1863 – my great grandpa was born on that date. I thought maybe I was just making it worked so I called my brother in Ohio and asked him to calculate it – he came up with the same. After looking up the Washington State Board of Health and finding out that they charge $32.00 for a death certificate, which I thought was extreme, I was a little hesitant about the cost. At long last to be so close and yet needing that document to let $32 stand in the way seemed kind of dumb – but what if I get it and it's not him - $32 is a lot to pay for some other Gustave. It only took a little nudge from my Mom though and I ordered it. Within 4 days I had the document in hand. I'm 99.9% positive that this is my great grandfather. There are a few elements that are missing that would really cinch it – his parents names are not on the document, apparently his wife, Jennette, either did not know or it was omitted.
You would think after so many years and generations of search that I would be doing the happy dance of joy in hip-hop style – to be the one that finally tracked this man down should be reason to shout it from the roof top – but for me it was bitter-sweet. An overwhelming feeling of grief came over me and I felt an unexplained pain settle into my heart. The news meant that he didn't die some tragic death in an earthquake. It did mean that he chose to start a new life – one that did not include his children. My thoughts went to my grandfather, his son, whose dancing blue eyes filled with tears as a boy, longing with all his heart to be reunited with his father who he loved so. I'm glad he didn't know – so glad he didn't know the truth................
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
My grandfather was just 7 years old when his father and older brother emigrated to the US in 1898. In a letter written in 1899 by my grandfather and his mother to his brother it tells of the how painful it was not to have his father there with them (see my post of December – to read the letter http://terri-thetiesthatbind.blogspot.com/2008/12/christmas-letter-to-nebraska-1899-from.html). The only memory of his father passed on were stories of how his father would take him to the docks in Hamburg to see the big ships that came in and out of the harbor. So in 1994 when I traveled with my parents to Germany it was a must see for my Mom who wanted to see what he so vividly remembered and told her about as a young girl. The docks and locks in Hamburg are an impressive site and I imagine in the early 1890's that it was just as impressive, especially to a little boy.
I think most of us have a grandiose idea of who our ancestors were, that they were honorable and noble people. With the disappearance of my great grandfather in 1906 it was assumed, since the last known residence was in San Francisco, that he must have died in the great earthquake disaster. Something just ate at me about this assumption and I began a quest for some record – anything that would prove that he was there. Searching through every website I could find on this disaster led me nowhere. One site claims only 500 people died in the earthquake. Other's say it's in the 1000's that died, not only from the earthquake itself but from the after effects such as fires, disease and shock. I've also read that the city tried to cover up how bad it really was because they were afraid people would not come there any more. I've searched through all the available hospital records and hotel registers that are available online. Nothing on Gustave Bebensee. Now I realize there were probably a lot of people that died that had no identification and that the conditions were such that possibly there were inconsistencies in the records. But, I just felt he had to have friends or people that he worked with that would report him missing or that would send a letter to the family of his demise – there was nothing.
As I mentioned before I never neglect to look for three particular individuals when I search any genealogy site – my great grandparents the Bebensee's and my grandfathers sister Greta. To my surprise one day up pops the 1910 census with a Gustav Bebensee living in Los Angeles, California. Could it be I thought? I was kind of shaking as I read the information. The age was about right -he was German and emigrated in 1898 – oh my gosh that matches too. But it could still just be a coincidence. I'm sure there could be other Gustave Bebensee's out there – however, when I read the occupation “decorator” - which was what my great grandfather had trained for in Germany and that was his occupation as an adult – I really felt this could be him. Right down to my bones I suspected it was him.
Now if the census had said his occupation was something more common, like farmer, I might have dismissed it, but, decorator – come on – really could there be so many coincidences?
The surprise on the census was that there was a wife listed – Jennette Bebensee – and it stated they had been married for 5 years. That would put their marriage around 1905 -hmmmmm??
Join me again when I will share what I found that has brought me to tears and yet.........
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I'm a genea-holic! Are you?
You can determine if you are a genea-holic very simply - these are the known symptoms:
If there's a burning in the pit of your stomach, an ache in your heart and if the mystery of that elusive ancestor engulfs your every thought – then you are a genea-holic! We genea-holics search every available genealogy record we can find. A census report provides a map of clues into the life of our intended quest. We dig through court records, newspapers, periodicals, county history books and oh yes we even travel into the graveyards where ghost's and goblins hide. We read and reread old letters to search out any morsel of information we can find or have missed. Like a book you can't put down – we swear just one more chapter and we'll go to bed. But then we run across a tidbit that looks promising so we dig, dig, dig until that little glimmer of hope burns out and the trail again runs cold. So we slump off to bed – tired, exhausted and disappointed. We try to sleep but our mind keeps circling – round and round – trying to capture that keyword that we are overlooking. I am a genea-holic and I search for my ancestors that refuse to be found. But know this - I am persistent! – I will find you – if not today – then tomorrow.
I have been fortunate to have multiple success stories in my search for my ancestors. Many I credit to the kindness of strangers who offer help through message boards. Some finds have just been luck, the right keyword and unexpected finds. I've been fortunate to find entire family links that I wasn't even looking for. But, through all my successes and the thrill of finding those elusive ancestors, I still walk away disappointed because in my quest I have been unable to locate the three people that have initiated most of my finds. Don't get me wrong - I'm ecstatic to have found my great great great grandparents and cousins I didn't know existed – but................ There is something different about these three people for me – I have such a longing to know what became of them and their families. It tugs at my heart strings and puts my mind on overload trying to find the right path to go down. Sometimes I think the world must have just swallowed them up or possibly an alien ship came down and whisked them away. Surely somewhere there is a record that indicates they existed?
Over the last 108 years various members of my family, some long gone now, have searched for my great grandfather. His last known residence was San Francisco in 1906. To the best of my knowledge the last word from him was when he sent money to my grandfather in Germany to help pay his passage to emigrate. The plan, as I understand it, was to meet my grandfather in Chicago where they would then travel by train to Elk Creek, Nebraska. My great grandfather never arrived – was he killed in the disaster of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake? For years my great aunt Emma tried to find him and there has been someone in every generation since that has looked for him.
I joined the search years ago when I wrote to the California Vital Records Department to search for a death certificate - I had them search a 20 year range (1906-1926)– to no avail. I contacted the San Francisco Historical Society – nothing. I've searched through numerous 1906 earthquake websites – nothing. Then about 2-3 years ago I stumbled across the 1910 California census report for Los Angeles, California.
Join me again as I tell of my remarkable find. A find that not only made me do the happy dance of joy but also brought sadness.............
Thursday, April 9, 2009
F/O Willis F. Evers
My submission for the 12th Edition of Smile For the Camera - A Noble Life is of my Uncle Willis Evers - I hope you will take time to read my submission for "The Carnival of Genealogy - Uncle-Uncle" - under my title of "Going Home - The Unexpected - Parts 1-10" - that tells his story.