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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quest of a Genea-Holic - Update From April 2009

In April of this last year I did a four part series on my quest to search for my great grandfather, Gustave Bebensee (“Quest of a Genea-Holic”). If you have not read those post you may find them interesting. For those new to my blog I will give you a quick run-down of the story thus far. Gustave Bebensee was last heard from in 1906, when he sent my grandfather money to emigrate from Hamburg, Germany. Grandpa's father was to meet him in Chicago where they would then travel to Nebraska to my great aunt Emma Haacks home. However, he never arrived in Chicago and my 16 year old grandfather had to find his own way. Gustave Bebensee's last know location was in San Francisco. It was assumed for 108 years that he must have perished in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, as he was never heard from again. I'm beginning to wonder how accurate the information that has been passed down all these years is. I have searched through the Langely's San Francisco City Directories for the years 1899-1908 and thus far have found nothing. Now that does not mean that he wasn't there, but only that I haven't located an address for him. As my quest continues it makes less and less sense.

Gustave's youngest daughter spent years trying to locate him or to get confirmation that he had perished, with no success. In the late '90s I took over the search. I sent a request for a death certificate to California, but they had no record of him. I spent hours pouring over records on line, searching through historical sites that included records of the 1906 Earthquake, as well as hotel records, etc. that are available. But, I had no success. Through I did locate a 1910 census report that indicated that a Gustave Bebensee and his second wife, Jennette, were living in Los Angeles, California. Because the information on this report seemed to match the information I had, I believed this was definitely my great grandfather. This became the only record I could find on him until this last year when new information appeared on “Family Search”. A death certificate indicated that Gustave had died in Seattle, Washington in 1914. The additional details provided on the certificate then led me to the mortuary and finally to Lake View Cemetery in Seattle. A very kind volunteer through Find-A-Grave traveled to the cemetery and took photo's of where Gustave is buried.

I then contacted the Seattle Library through the “ask-a-librarian program” to see if an obituary could be located for his death in December, 1914. Fortunately one was located and through the obituary I learned that he had been a Freemason and that Alki Lodge #152 had paid for and made all the arrangements for his funeral. The Alki Lodge is still in existence today. A very generous man by the name of Richard Syson began a search for a record of his enrollment. Unfortunately the search through old records turned up nothing. Mr. Syson indicated to me that my great-grandfather was probably a sojourner, meaning that he belonged to another lodge. He said he would try to continue the search. I felt that the hunt for him was probably at a dead end at this point. I was happy to have what information I did have, and had resigned myself to the fact that I probably would never find anything more.

I had really hoped that on one of these documents that his 2nd wife's maiden name would appear, but it did not. The only additional clue I have is that she after he died she stayed with a family in the Seattle area by the name of C. R. Austin prior to his funeral. I don't know if these people were friends or possibly family, but at this point the clue has not led me down any new paths.

Then in December, out of the blue, I received an email from Richard Syson. My heart skipped a beat when I saw his name on the email. I hesitated to open it, assuming that it was just a follow up to let me know that he was unable to locate any additional information, but still hoping that he had found something. I couldn't read fast enough and my eyes blurred as he
explained that he had..........
To be continued.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Seven Stories

This should be a great series on genealogy searching. It premiers on March 5, 2010 on the NBC network. The series is called "Who do you think you are?
(For those who get my blog by email, you will need to click on the link to my blog to enjoy the trailer to this series.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Recently I received this great picture from my cousin Sandy. Sandy and I have never met, but I'm so excited to be getting to know her through our email exchanges. She tells me the photo is on a picture post card and has no identification. However, she is able to recognize her grandfather, John Weber (left) and my grandfather
Gus Bebensee who is sitting. We have been unable to identify the man standing on the right. I reworked the photo some to improve the quality. Thank you for sharing Sandy! Sorry - hard to be wordless!

(Original Post Card Photo.)

(Photo's privately held by Sandra Childs - do not use
without permission.)


Saturday, January 23, 2010

SNGF - What's your Interest?

It's Saturday Night - time for more Genealogy Fun!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:
* Tell us about your "other" hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc.

Well Randy, I accept the mission. The real challenge
for me is that I have so many things
that I am interested in that there are not
enough hours in the day for all of them. I seem
to gravitate to all things computer these days though.

Of course my first love is family
history and writing. This passion
lead me to develop other interests as well.
In the gathering of old family photo's
I became interested in photography
and restoring photo's as well as
creating and designing photo effects
to enhance them. My photo work
lead me to become interested
in developing unique slide
shows to accompany my work.
And with that I have been
working at starting my
own business.

Through the years I have done a variety
of crafts. Years ago I took up
tole-painting and have done so
many project's I don't think
I can even remember them all.
Before the days of digital book
creations, I added painted pages
to my photo books to add
interest to them.

I used to sit for hours counting
stitches for cross-stitch pictures,
but all of those were
given away and I only have one left.
I thought maybe I'd take up sewing
at one point. I made
a few quilts, but, sewing is not
really my thing. To much ripping!
I also used to paint ceramic
animals, using a technique called
dry brushing. Which is a process of
building color from black
(to add depth) to the correct
color for that particular animal.
My husband and I used to do a
lot of team projects, he loved
building things out of wood.
I'd come up with some crazy idea
and he would try to build it for me,
and then I would add my painting designs
to it. We did that with our grandson
too. I have great memories of Grandpa
and Tony building things,
and then Grandma and Tony painting them
and adding little details.

For over 30 years I worked in the
accounting field, but, after the
company I worked for closed their
doors I've had a difficult time
finding gainful employment.
So I've now made a choice to pursue
the things I'm passionate about
instead and to create my own work.
God willing, my dream of writing
and designing books for others as well
as my slide show work will
become a reality.

The COG - 89th Edition - "Ode To My Family History"

89th EDITION OF THE Carnival Of Genealogy
“Ode to My Family's History!”

The following was originally written for my book, “Searching – The Habben/Ufkes Families”. It represents what I thought my ancestors may have felt as they left their homeland in Ostfriesland, Germany.

The Immigrant 1868

Standing on the bow the ship his thoughts wonder back over the events of the last few months, weeks and days.
The hustle of packing and taking care of the last details had occupied his mind so that there was no time for realizing what was to be left behind.
But now on the ship it all became real.
His farewell to his brother had been a hand shake,
a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Both brothers looking into tearful eyes knowing that this would
be their final goodbye.
Good Luck! Good fortune!
Aufwiedersehen – Goodbye!
Be careful and write were their final goodbyes.

As the ship left the dock, slowly his homeland
disappeared and now only miles and miles of
sea are to be seen.
The children ask how long will it be?
What will this America be, this land of the free?
He answers, we will be pioneers in a new land,
we will till the ground and build our home.
We will praise God for all we receive.
Our home will be built with sticks and stones and
sod from the land we own.
We will work from sun up to sun down and
with sweat on our brow,
we will have chickens for our eggs
and a cow for our milk.
We will grow wheat to grind for our bread,
there will be rows and rows
of sweet yellow corn.
We will grow hay for our animals and our beds.
We will worship our God in the way we believe.
We will choose our leaders with a vote.
We will survive and be free.

Finally in the not so far off distance the outline
of the land can be seen.
Excitement sweeps through the ship like an explosion.
Do you see it? What Papa the children cry?
America! America we have arrived.
People scurry gathering their things for some
the journey has just begun.
Some travel by train and some by wagon.
Most go west for there is their promised land.

Like a ship sailing across the green land
the prairie schooner could be seen.
By day the men, women and children would walk
in the heat or the cold,
through valleys and over hills.
For cooking and heating buffalo ships they would burn
Many did not survive – too weak or too old.
For those who travel by wagon it is hard.

One hundred and sixty acres of land they will own.
This is ours! This is ours you hear them proclaim.
The children play in the tall grasses and
swim in the cool brook.
Night falls and joyful singing you hear.
A celebration of good cheer.
Soon it is quiet and thoughts return home
to those left behind.
He says, “I wish they could see this,”
She says, “I wish they were here.”

A small home for shelter is built.
A table some chairs by the fire will do.
Beds made from straw covered with quilts.
We'll make do.
Next spring we plant so now with oxen we
plow and make the land ready.
We praise God for all we receive.

As years pass more children are born
and some die.
They grow and farm the land.
Some marry and move away.
Momma dies and Papa is left alone.

Opportunities abound for the generations
of children born in this new land.
There are farmers, doctors, lawyers and such.
All because of those who were willing
to board the ships, wagons and trains and
leave all they knew and loved.
Good Luck! Good Fortune!
Aufwiedersehn – Goodbye!

We give praise to God who has given all we received.

By: Terri J. Kallio

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy 101 Award!

Thank you to all who have awarded me the “Happy 101 Award”! It's a pleasure to think of all the things that make me happy, hey maybe that could be one of the things that makes me happy. Ha ha!
Thank you to the following who have given me this award:
Karen at Ancestor Soup
Dorene at Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay
Harriet at Genealogy Fun
and Nancy at My Ancestors and Me

The recipient of this award is to do the following:
l. List 10 things that make him/her happy.
2. List 10 blogs to which this award is passed on.
(I think I've got my work cut out on this to award
it to 40 bloggers - yikes!)

Ten things that make me happy include:
1) My granchildren who bring laughter to my ears
and love to my heart.
2) My family who never waiver in their devotion to
one another.
3) The smell of rain in the spring and watching it
as it dances on the pavement.
4) Good music that can bring back a memory in a
single note.
5) A good meal shared with special people.
6) Midnight chats with my neighbor on the IM.
7) Finding an ancestor that thought they could hide
from me.
8) My geneablogger friends who are always so supportive.
9) Knowing that I was loved by a man with all his heart.
10) Best of all, knowing that God is with me every minute of
every day from now through eternity!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Year In Review 2009.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year and great success in all your genealogy quests.

(For those who get my blog via email you will need to click on the link to view the short slide show.)
Permission to use Dave Villano's music received Nov. 2009. Visit Dave Villano's web site and enjoy his beautiful music at


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