For Momma - Memorial Slide Show (Turn Playlist Music off before watching)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brothers & Sisters - I Smile For The Camera - 11th Edition

The word prompt for the 11th Edition of Smile For The Camera is brothers & sisters? Were they battling brothers, shy little sisters, or was it brother & sister against the world? Our ancestors often had only their siblings for company. Were they best friends or not? Show us that picture that you found with your family photographs or in your collection that shows your rendition of brothers & sisters. Bring them to the carnival and share. Admission is free with every photograph.

I always seem to find it difficult to narrow down my favorite photographs, so again for my "Smile For The Camera" submission I must submit two of my favorite photographs. The first was taken about 1924-1926 and is of my father (left) with his brother and sister reading a book. The photograph taken on "the home place" in Nebraska is one of the few I have of my Dad as a little guy so it is very special to me. I love their haircuts and tease my Dad that my grandma must have several different sized bowls to place on their heads to use as a guide to giving them a haircut. I also use this photo as the backdrop for my business card.

George, Willis and Johanna - 1924-1926

(Do not use restored photographs w/out permission)

My second submission is a photograph taken of my brothers in about 1949 sitting on the stoop at our grandparents home. Besides it being a photograph of my brothers, I think what I love about this photograph is the emotion that you can see in the photograph. It appears that either one or both were in need of a little comfort.

It'll be OK.......

(Do not use photograph w/out permission)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Genealogy Surnames That I am Researching

I've noticed several blogs mentioning listing your surnames on your blog so that in the event someone is also searching for the same name it will direct them you your blog - This is a great idea! I have found many of my family members by using the search engine. Thank to all who shared this super idea!
My Surnames
Watermann, Kaeding, Bunge, Schippmann, Buss, Post, Saathoff, Gronewold, Schmidt, Habben, Ufkes, Onnen, Ommen, Effinger, Evers, Kallio, Paavola, Aylts, Bebensee, Rebensdorf, Paap,
Sievers, Hüls, Schumacher, Siebels, Cramer, Martens, Pope, Uhrig

Monday, February 23, 2009

Winter Wedding - 1919

Gustav & Anna (Habben) Bebensee
(do not use restored photo's w/out permission)

Most brides choose months like May or June for their weddings, but not my Grandparents. The winter of 1919 brought 15 foot snowdrifts to the community of Hildreth, Nebraska. Roads were blocked and trains were stalled on the tracks. There was no such thing as an SUV or snowmobiles to dredge through the snow, and I'm wondering how they might have plowed the roads. But, when you are young and in love you don't notice all these "minor" details. Gus and Anna just knew they wanted to get married and February 25, 1919 was the date they had picked. As my Mom would say - "where there's a will - there's a way". I'm sure as Grandma's father hitched the team of horses to the buckboard, to fetch the Rev. Hausmann, he was trying to figure out the "way" and the "why". Bundled up with coats and blankets the guests of the wedding arrived in their wagons to the Habben home. Later in the evening several wagon loads of young people came to chivaree the couple. A chivaree is an old custom where groups of young and old gather to sing and make noise under the newlyweds window. The group refuses to leave until the groom offers a bribe of some sort - usually candy or some sort of refreshment. It's all in fun and celebration - but I'm sure many young brides were embarrassed by all the commotion.

My Grandparents were married 55 years when my Grandpa passed away in 1974 and you could still see the love light shining brightly in their eyes. They grew stronger through the hard times and worked together to survive. They raised six children and never failed to show their love and devotion to their grandchildren. Oh how I miss them.

Happy 90th Anniversary Grandpa and Grandma!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Seavers Saturday Night Fun

It's time for Randy Seaver's Saturday night fun - here is the challenge:

"Hey, it's Saturday Night, let's have some fun figuring out who is Number 21 in your ancestry from your memory or your genealogy database.Do you know how to create an Ahnentafel list or Ahnentafel report in your genealogy software? Make yourself number 1 on the list, then create the list or report - you do know how to do that, right? If not, I can help you with FTM 16, FTM 2008/9, and Legacy Family Tree - please ask!What I want to know, since this is the 21st of February (at least where I am right now):Who is #21 on your Ahnentafel list?"

After I unconfused myself I did figure out who my 21st is:

Ida Peters (Dollman) Buss - she was born June 5, 1829 in Nennedorf, East Friesland, Germany. She was the daughter of Peter Dollmann and Engeline Flesner. She married Behrend Braams Eden Buss on March 25, 1855 in Westerholt, Germany. Behrend and Ida emigrated to the United States and farmed in Blue Hill, Nebraska. They had 8 children. Ida died on August 6, 1900 in Blue Hill, Nebraska.

This picture is actually labeled wrong - Ida Dollmann Buss is on the left and her daughter Angelina Buss Goeken is on the right.

Kreativ Blogger Award

OK you all, I give up at 5 blog awards - seven awards is a lot and I see many blogs have two and three awards - maybe seven awards is too many. Any way I'm saving two for later when there are not so many being handed out all at once. I want to get back to my blog writing for a while.
Congratulations to all of the Kreativ Blogger's - I actually think every blog I read has valuable information on it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award - Nominations

My first nomination for "Kreativ Blogger Award" goes to Adam. Adam's site "Don't Eat The Sushi" keeps me in stitches every time he adds a new letter from his Mom - if you haven't
read his blog - you can check it out at
My second nomination of Kreativ Blogger Award goes to "Attic Treasures" at - such a cozy and warm site - I didn'twant to leave. Great job!
I'm awarding my 3rd nomination for Kreativ Blogger Award to Midge at - in celebration of her 500th post! Wow! Congratulations Midge!
My 4th nomination for Kreativ Blogger Award goes to Deb at - Deb gives a lot of really great suggestions for researching your genealogy.My 5th nomination for Kreativ Blogger Award goes to some great advise and good suggestion on what to do with your genealogy files in her article titled "Genealogy and the Family Hope Chest".

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award -WOW

WOW! Wendy at All My Branches Genealogy just awarded me with the
"Kreativ Blogger Award"! Thank you Wendy! I feel very honored with
this award. My buttons are sure busting this morning! I hope you will
all visit Wendy's site at to have
a look at her site - I can imagine myself standing in the fog on the little
bridge overlooking the water that is pictured on her site...... Thank you!
Thank you!

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Searching" - The Commercial - ? LOL

For those of you have been reading my blog, telling of the making of my book "Searching" and my adventures finding my cousins, this is a short little video that I put together to illustrate the book that will soon be available for purchase.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


All red just for today!


Friday, February 13, 2009

For FootnoteMaven - ".....who wear glasses"

When I read FootnoteMaven's blog featuring her "smile for the camera" entry - I too fell in love with the picture of this girl - Mavens description of how she imagined the colors of the girls dress was just so vivid, so after securing Maven's permission I took the picture and colored it for her - Maven I hope she looks the way you imagined her...............

Footnote Maven's description was this:

"Her beautiful blouse sports the mutton sleeves that were the fashion around 1894. She has a locket pin attached to a velvet collar with a lace dickey and diamond stud earrings. I wish I knew the color of this unique outfit. I'd like to think it was pale lavender with a dark blue velvet collar."

"Searching" - It's here

Well after all the anxiety that I suffered over the last 48 hours my book finally arrived today at 12:30PM - What a thrill it was when I opened the box - 6#'s, 320 pages of beautiful photographs . Oh my............

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Searching Up-Date -

After a year of work, and a few years of work before I realized that I would write a book, my self-published book is on it's way from the publisher in Seattle! I paid the few extra dollars to have it shipped 2nd day so it will arrive tomorrow. I really thought about having it shipped overnight, but $70.00 - eeck - my husband would have had a cow! Plus really what's one more day - I'll tell you what one more day is - TORTURE! OK a little menopause lapse.....

I love that you can track these Fedex shipments, makes me feel like my hands are on it - at 2:37 this afternoon it left Oakland, California - but - for where? For all I know it could be in the hands of terrorist - yikes - OK, OK - that's a little melodramatic - but I'm sure you other blogger's out there can relate to my current fits of anxiety right now! I'm really hoping it doesn't snow tomorrow like they say - because I just hate having to wear my snowsuit while I sit on the porch with my sack lunch and thermos of hot coffee - waiting - waiting - waiting......... hmmmm I wonder if I should take some magazine's to help pass the time.........

I must admit I'm a little scared to open the package - did I catch all the spelling errors, date errors, will the pictures look as good as they do on my computer screen????

I wonder if the Fedex man will mind if I take a video of him bringing the package to the door?.....

Silly? I know! I better make sure I have fresh batteries in my camera..............

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Do You Need A Good Laugh Today!

I just have to put in a plug for the blog site - "don't eat the sushi" - I have been rolling on the floor with laughter for the last 1/2 hour reading this blog. With all the worries in the world
today I think we all need a good belly laugh - believe me when I tell you that you won't be able to quit laughing - take a look at the video as well - it's just great - I think Oprah should do a spot
about this blog -

10th Edition Smile For The Camera - A Carnival of Images

The word prompt for the 10th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Costume? No, not as in Halloween. Costume as in dress in general; especially the distinctive style of dress of a people, class, or period. Show us that picture that you found with your family collection or purchased that shows the costumes of the rich to the not so rich, from the civil war to the psychedelic sixties. I know you have them, so share. Admission is free with every photograph!
Your submission may include as many or as few words as you feel are necessary to describe your treasured photograph. Those words may be in the form of an expressive comment, a quote, a journal entry, a poem (your own or a favorite), a scrapbook page, or a heartfelt article. The choice is yours!

It was so difficult to choose a picture for this contest because while working on my book I received so many absolutely wonderful photographs of my ancestors. And since it was my first time participating I wanting to choose one that was a little different than some of the photo's entered. I couldn't choose just one so I had to choose two. I know that the photo's were taken prior to 1917 because Nettie Habben, who is pictured in the photo of the three girls died at the young age of 15 in 1917. The Nelk family lived in Minnesota and the Habben family lived in Nebraska, so the photo's apparently were taken while the families visited one another. The photographs were in need of repair which I did and I took it a step further and colorized them.

Leola, Freda and Nettie

These coats appear to be made from bear fur, although I'm not really sure. I'm wondering if Uncle Fred might have shot the poor bear that contributed the fur? Possibly with the cold harsh winters of Minnesota these coats were available in the local mercantile shops.

Sadly Frank Habben, the only male in this picture, died just four months after his little sister Nettie. Martha's (far right) fur muff is still owned by her family and has been kept in a trunk full of treasures.

I think they all look nice and toasty in their fur coats!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Searching" - Part VIII - Finally Done

After working on the stories that have been handed down from one generation to the next about my Habben/Ufkes family and restoring the faded and damaged photographs for the last year, can I actually say it is complete? I had originally set a goal for myself of October 2008. October came and went along with November, December, and January. I've written and rewritten the stories, rechecked dates and cross check information with other family members and for the tenth time run spell check. Now if they could only invent a program that would write what I mean and not what I type - well that would just be heaven!

My project began as a little 30 page project of photographs of my ancestors that my Mom had in a box. But as my curiosity grew so did the project. Today the project finishes at 320 pages of photographs and stories that have been handed down through the last 150 years and includes 63 individuals. None of which would have been possible without the incredible assistance of two cousins who I did not know before this project. Getting to know my distant cousins Brenda and Jennifer has been a reward unto itself! "Searching" was not designed to be a historical document, but rather a collection of photographs and stories. Some of them I'm sure have been exaggerated or embellished through the years, but, I'm sure there is some truth to them as I was able to locate census and documents that verify some of them.

As with any project it has held it's frustrations. Promised information and photographs that never came, language barriers and things that have come to me just as I thought I would be complete. My last goal was to send the book off to the publisher for printing this last Wednesday, but after receiving a call telling me that some information on one individual was in the mail I had to delay it one more time. But, I want to include what is coming so a small delay. Once that it added it will be complete and off to the printer it goes no matter what!

I'm just so happy that I could pay tribute to my ancestors in this way, making sure they are remembered by future generations. They have been my constant companions for the last 12 months and as I come to the close of the project they have left my little office one by one. But, "The Ties That Bind" will keep them forever in my heart........

Monday, February 2, 2009

"Searching" - Part VII

The family of Maria Rolfs (Habben) Martens has been one of the most difficult families to track down for my Habben family history project. Maria was the oldest daughter of Rolf Habben. She was born in 1857 in Wiesens, Germany. The only information I was able to obtain was her marriage date, death date and the names of her children. After she emigrated with her family in 1868 they settled in Illinois. She and her husband, John Martens moved to Welcome, Minnesota and she died there in 1905. One of my cousins recalls her family talking about her and she tells me that the only thing she can remember was that they said she was so large that when she died a special casket had to be built to bury her. I'm not so sure that it was because she was overweight by rather very tall. In a photograph of the family taken in 1874 she towers over the other family members.

I was able to track down two descendants of Maria's through Unfortunately I knew more about her than they did. The one woman did send me an obituary for her daughter Hilka (Martens) Hüls. I also found a woman in California who was a descendant of her daughter Christena- but again she knew nothing about Maria, in fact she barely knew her name. I did receive some promises of photographs of some of Maria's descendants, but have not received them. I'm guessing after six months I won't. Of course I pulled off all the information I could find on census reports and a few other documents I located - but I had hoped to find something about her life. I just have to believe that there is someone out there that knows something about the family of Maria - maybe one day I'll find them...........

The fact that no one seems to know anything about Maria just confirms to me how important it is to record, document and share the family history.
May "The Ties That Bind" reunite Maria's family with her Habben family.

(please do not use restored photographs without permission)


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