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

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Father, A Son and a Couple of Nickles

Thought you may enjoy a post today from my blog, The Next Chapter - Page 2010 - you can read it at

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Follow Me Fridays - A little late - oops

Original photo as it appears on Linda's Blog.

If you aren't following Linda Hughes Hiser's blog, "Flipside" yet, I hope that you will take a minute to check it out. Linda's blog was one of the first ones that I started following a year ago and still do. Her family stories are great and her photography skills are fabulous and getting better all the time.

Linda is a pretty special gal and always leaves the most encouraging comments, not only on my blog but, on other's that I've noticed. Thank you Linda! So in appreciation to you I took the opportunity to restore one of your photo's that I thought was pretty special. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed doing it for you.

Linda and her brother Ken in 1952. Restored and colorized as a token of my appreciation for all her kindness.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

"The Faces of America" - My Review

Wednesday evening (2/10) PBS presented “Faces of America”. The show was hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; he has hosted and written several PBS specials. Gates is an American literary critic, educator, scholar, writer and editor. “Faces of America” will feature the ancestry of 12 celebrities and and includes: Elizabeth Alexander (poet), Mario Batali (chef), Stephen Colbert (comedian), Louise Erdrich (novelist), Malcolm Gladwell (journalist), Eva Longoria (actress), Yo-Yo-Ma (musician), Mike Nichols (director), Dr. Mehmet Oz (tv host and heart surgeon), Meryl Streep (actress), Queen Noor, and Kristi Yamaguchi (figure skater).

The program appears to be organized as most genealogists do when putting together a family tree. The first episode included two generations, their parents and grandparents, covering a time period to the early 1900's. The show included the world history during those years and the role that their ancestors played and how it may have affected their lives. I think for some, like Kristi Yamaguchi, learning of her grandfathers accomplishments as a soldier during WWII, became very emotional as she suddenly realized the sacrifices that were made by him and her family who were placed in holding camps in the United States.

The story of Ludwig, Louise Erdrich's grandfather, was especially touching to me. Ludwig a German, fought for the German army during WWI and before WWII had emigrated to the United States. He then fought against his birth country during WWII. It most certainly was difficult knowing he could be in combat with his own family. I believe there are many similar stories across the U.S. I know in my own family that is was extremely difficult for my grandfather when his son was sent to Germany to fight during WWII.

I think most Americans are enamored with celebrities and may have tuned into the program out of curiosity. Overall I enjoyed the PBS presentation of “The Faces of America”. From a researchers standpoint though, I would have liked to have seen the celebrities participating in the research which would help to demonstrate the process of obtaining these records. Hopefully the program will inspire others to search out their own family history.

This program runs from February 10th through March 3rd on Wednesday evenings. You can also watch the episodes on the PBS website for those that missed last nights premier.

PBS website:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Not so Wordless

Golden Park, Golden, Illinois - 1907Recently, I was fortunate to obtain a bag of old pictures and letters, from an Aunt of mine to sort through. Unfortunately most of the photo's are not identified; she has had them for a long time and does not recall who gave them to her. I have been able to identify a few by comparing them to other similar photo's. I'm starting to believe that these photo's and letters once belonged to a 3rd cousin of ours, John Harms. My reasoning is that most of the letters are from John's mothers family, and many of them appear to be addressed to his father Herman Harms. John saved many letters written by the Ufkes family from the late 1800's and most are written in German. I'm anxiously awaiting the translations, as one of them was signed by my great great grandmother, Annebken (Ufkes) Habben. Cannot wait to hear the latest gossip from Weisens, Germany in 1894.

The photograph shown above is actually a post card and was sent to John Harms on December 30, 1907. This was one of the only ones that was written in English. The photo is of the park in Golden, Illinois and was sent by Mary Ost. I'm curious if "Ost" is actually an abbreviation of the last name Ostabuhr because there are Ostabuhr's in our family tree. It appears that Mary was running out of room on the card, I think possibly she abbreviated the last name to save space. Hopefully with a little more digging I'll be able to identify Mary.

The card reads:

Halloh - First of all I want to wish you a
Happy New Year. How are you? Are you
still alive? Better send a postal by return
mail and tell us what you are doing.
from, Mary Ost. - Golden.
Collection privately held by Mickie Lynch - do not reproduce without permission.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The 89th Edition of the COG is Published

The 89th Edition of the COG has been published on Creative Gene. The topic for the edition was: Ode to My Family History. The assignment was to write a family history poem.

Joan Hill's submission to Carnival of Genealogy's Ode to My Family History: I Dinna Hear The Voices posted at Roots'n'Leaves , was the featured author of the 89th Edition of the COG. WOW can she write. I hope you'll take a moment to read her poem it really is something!

I must say the Geneablogger pool is full of talented writers, why would you ever need to purchase a book when there is so many good stories right here on the blogs? Hmmmm makes me think we should publish a book?! What do you think?

Please visit Creative Gene's blog and start reading these great writers!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quest of a Genea-Holic Update Continued

Searching for my great grandfather, P.H. Gustave Bebensee, has been a real adventure, with many highs and lows in the quest. I sometimes think he is leaving me little tidbits of information because it's time that our family knows the truth about his disappearance. Whatever the case may be it's been interesting and I've talked to a lot of wonderful and helpful people along the way.
I begin where I left off in my last up-date:
I couldn't read Mr. Sysons email fast enough and my eyes blurred as he told of his discovery. Gustave Bebensee had attended the Nile Temple in Washington on January 11, 1911, and there on page 7, was his signature. How in the world Mr. Syson located this record is beyond me, it had to take many hours. The kindness of a complete stranger to do this is overwhelming. Along with the signature was another clue. Gustave wrote that he was a member of the Murat Temple in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis? One thing I find interesting about his signature is the cross on the letter “B” in Bebensee. I'm curious if this was the artist in him or if there is something significant in the Christian symbolism. Mr. Syson indicated to me that since Gustave was a member of the Murat Temple that this would lead me down a new path. He tells me that the Murat Temple is made up of the Scottish Rite, which from my understanding descends from the Knights of Templar. So I will try to do more research on this.
The information that Gustav was living in Indianapolis again lead me to “Ask a librarian”. I contact the Library in Indianapolis and I received an answer from them in just 2 days. The librarian searched through the city directory for the years 1898-1910 and was able to locate an address for him. Again, the information provided with the directory verified for me that this was my great grandfather. His address was listed in the 1907 Indianapolis City Directory as:
Bebensee, Gustave, Decorator, 408 Unity Bldg, 1224 College Avenue
Wanting to see if the address was still valid I did a quick search through map-quest. Unfortunately, today the house is gone and Interstate 85 goes right over top of where it was. The listing of his profession as “decorator” is one that appears on all the records I have found to date. Gustave Bebensee was a trained artist and from my understanding was a muralist. I keep hoping that one day some of his work will turn up. I'd love to see it.
Mr. Syson also contacted the Murat Temple for me to see if they had any additional information on Gustave, and they did! They showed him as dropped NPD, which means “non payment of dues”, now during this period of time many members could not afford to keep up their dues. I also contacted the Murat Temple and was unable to get any other information. I did notice on their website that they have a genealogy department, so I'm going write to them and see if an application or more information may be tucked away.

This new information has answered another question also. The only photograph that we have of him was taken in Indiana and I often wonder when and why a photo was taken there. My thought is that this photograph had to have been taken around 1899. The reason that I've come to that conclusion lies in a photograph taken of my grandfather at the age of 8. The photo apparently was taken in the home of grandpa's aunt and uncle, who lived in Schwerin, Germany. On the wall behind my grandfather hangs the very same photograph of his father that we have.

So this is what I know so far:
P.H. Gustave Bebensee emigrated from Hamburg, Germany with his eldest son Hans in 1898. After arriving in the U.S. He traveled to Nebraska to his sister, Emma Haack's home and left his son there. Hans was 10 years old and to the best of my knowledge never saw his father again.
A photograph was taken in Indiana, approximately 1899.
Somewhere along the way he met and married a woman who's first name is Jennette. They were married about 1905, while he was still married to his first wife Maria. He left Maria in Hamburg with his 3 youngest children. I have no maiden name for Jennette, but do know from the 1910 census that she was born in Ohio. And that there is a possible tie to the J.C. Austin family from Washington.
In late 1905 or early 1906 he sent money to help his son, my grandfather, emigrate to the U.S. Before he would be forced to join the military. The family story is that he was living in San Francisco at that time. Which I have no evidence to prove one way or another.
In 1907 he was living in Indianapolis, Indiana. And I think he was living there until somewhere around 1908-1910.
In 1910 he appears on the Los Angeles, California census.
By 1912 he has relocated yet again. Now to Seattle, Washington where he appears in the R. L. Polk Seattle City Directory: Bebensee, Gustave (Jennette), decorator at 1229 Avenue North, Seattle, Washington. He also appears in the 1914 edition at the same address, only his occupation is now listed as electrician.
He contracts acute miliary tuberculosis and dies on December 7, 1914.
His funeral expenses and cremation are paid for by Alki Lodge #152, Seattle, Washington. The Bonney Watson Company was the mortuary that handled his remains and service.
His remains are in an unmarked grave at the Lake View Cemetery in Seattle. (Grave #11 – Section 15 – D20-B.)

With time I hope additional information will appear as it has over the last year. And I hope to someday know all the answers to my questions. If I could just get a maiden name for Jennette, I know it would provide me with more clues.


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