thegenealogygirl


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Who is Patricia?

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Recently we spent our family night looking at photos of my Grandpa while he was serving an LDS mission in New Zealand.  We also looked at a shoe box of letters he kept from this time and everyone read one.  I read a letter written by his Grandpa & Grandma Skeen.  There was one thing that jumped right out at me:

"Patricia"

“The welfare man came and took Patricia to a couple who have’nt any children.  Well it just made me sick still I think it is better for her she would’nt have half a chanch ove[r] to Ethels”

Do you know how many Ethels are related to Grandma Skeen?!  A lot.  I have been going through my tree trying to figure out the most likely prospects and every one I have considered has been ruled out so far with one exception.  Grandma Skeen has a sister-in-law named Ethel.  I know a little bit about her.  I am beginning to wonder if Patricia is her grandchild or something like that.  This letter was written in 1947, Ethel would have been 68 – maybe age and health would have prevented her from caring for Patricia?  But that seems unlikely too.  Ethel and her husband seemed very stable.  He was an attorney, they lived in the same place for decades.

So now I’m asking myself if:

  • I’ve missed an Ethel I should be looking at?
  • If Ethel wasn’t a relative but a mother of a child who is a relative – girlfriend of someone?
  • If Ethel is a neighbor?
  • Who might be alive that would remember what happened?

I think I’ve been watching too many episodes of Long, Lost Family because I’m just wondering if Patricia has been searching for her birth family and I have this little clue buried in a letter in a shoe box.

I love the thought process that leads to a discovery as much as I love the discovery itself!

Now how am I going to discover Patricia’s story…?


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A Nurturing Time of Year

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It’s that time of year.  A time for planting and as a mother of school age children, a time for transitions.  Transitions from one school experience to summer.  A saying goodbye, a moving on, a time for nurturing from the mama bird.  And if all of that weren’t enough, one of my fellas is actually preparing to leave the nest.

So I’m busy nurturing my flowers and my people.  My blogging will be sporadic until school starts back up in late August.  I’ll be around when I can.

Here are some images of my porch.  We’re mostly off to a good start.  I have two containers that aren’t very happy.  I think the snails are having a grand old time with them.  Hopefully I can get that under control.

I’ll try to remember to post photos at the end of the summer.  My porch looks AMAZING by the end of the summer.  Well, by June actually, but it just keeps getting better all summer long.

Happy Wednesday!  I hope you make a fabulous genealogy discovery today!!


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Photograph Showcase – One More Family Photo

Ronald and Margaret Peterson family

The Ronald & Margaret Peterson Family, 1970

This family photo was taken just before my dad’s oldest brother went on an LDS mission.  It was one last family photo before the first child left home.  My dad is in the back row on the right with the big old sideburns.

Ronald and Margaret Peterson family, February 1981

The Ronald & Margaret Peterson Family, 1981

This family photo was taken just before my dad’s youngest brother left on an LDS mission.  One last family photo before the baby left home.  By this time there were three daughters-in-law, and plenty of grandchildren.

Peterson Family, 1981

The entire Ronald & Margaret Peterson Family, 1981

Look at all those granddaughters!  My brother is the only grandson in that photo.  After four sons, my grandparents had 12 granddaughters and 5 grandsons.  I am the little darlin’ in the front row on the far right.

I’m grateful that these lovely family photos survived and made their way to me.  I’m glad that my grandparents were able to have these photos taken to mark these occasions and remember.

I am planning to do the same for my little family.

As a side note, in my dad’s family of six, every single family member served an LDS mission.  Grandpa – New Zealand, Grandma – California, Uncle Mark – Uruguay, my Dad – Ohio, Uncle Miles – Japan, Uncle Blake – Japan.  Thinking about their service, and my son’s upcoming service, I am considering creating a chart of ancestor missions like the Ancestor Pedigree by Birth Locations.  And then that got me thinking that I should make one to reflect education levels, and one for who I have photos of, and one for who I have any type of recorded story of, and well, you know how that line of thinking goes.

 

Have a great weekend, I hope you make an amazing genealogy discovery today!


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Awesome Genealogy Interruption

Ryan with mission call copy

My oldest boy got a big white envelope in the mail yesterday containing a mission call!!  That envelope totally changed the rest of my day in a happy way.  If you are reading this you are most likely a genealogist and understand when I say I had some chores to do before the crowd arrived. 😉

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We had a map for everyone to guess where he might be going.  After everyone had arrived (lots and lots and lots of kids and some family members and neighbors) we called all the grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles that wanted to be on speaker phone and he opened his call.

My oldest son, that little 2 lb. 8 1/2 ounce baby, is going to spend two years in the Columbia, South Carolina Mission.  He will be teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and serving the people of South Carolina.  He reports to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) on August 17th.

I do not know how to express my joy.  So many happy feels at my house!

If you are curious about what an LDS missionary does, this short video gives a great, basic explanation.

If you are curious about what Mormons believe you can learn a little bit here.

I hope your Friday is as joyful as mine!!


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Tell Me a Story – “So this is Margaret, so this is Margaret”

Tell Me a Story

Tell Me a Story Challenge :

Choose a person.  Then do any or all of the following:

  • Make a list of the top ten stories about this person, a word or phrase will do.
  • Choose one story and tell a compelling, short version that will interest your family members in one minute or less.
  • Tell a more detailed version of that story including photos if you have them.

Note:  You can read about my inspiration behind this challenge here.  I’ve decided to reverse the order in my post.  If you are reading this, you like stories so I’ll start with the full story, then the bite-sized story to hook my family members, then the list of ten stories.

 

Mary Margaret Ellis Peterson, looking left

My Grandma, Mary Margaret Ellis

My grandparents met and started dating in High School.  My Grandpa graduated at the height of WWII.  He knew he would be drafted so he enlisted in the Marine Corps right after graduation.  My Grandma wrote to him and waited for him.  She finished high school and went on to graduate from college (I think Weber College) with a degree in science.  My Grandpa served two years in the Marine Corps and then the war ended.  He was home for a time before he left for New Zealand on an LDS mission.

Grandma had been waiting for a long time.  She had enjoyed her high school and college days but she had more time to wait before Grandpa would be home.  She was 19 years old and she decided she wanted to serve an LDS mission.  She met with her local church leader and together they filled out mission paperwork and sent it into Salt Lake.

Her request was denied.  It’s totally understandable though.  At that time a woman had to be 23 to serve an LDS mission.  Well, she didn’t take no for an answer and sent in papers again, once again requesting to serve a mission.  And once again her request was denied.

She had just turned 20 years old when my Grandpa’s brother Darrell died.  She attended the funeral with her future in-laws.  She was invited to ride in the family car to the cemetery.  She was in the car when President David O. McKay walked up to it.  He greeted my great grandparents who introduced President McKay to my Grandma.  He took her hand in both of his and as they shook hands he said, “So this is Margaret… so this is Margaret.”

The very next week my Grandma received a mission call in the mail.  She was called to serve an LDS mission with one stipulation – she had to return home early.  She had to return home one month before my Grandpa so she could plan their wedding.  She was able to serve for about 14 months in the California mission.  In the many boxes she kept are photos from her mission and a few other items she saved including a letter from her mission president praising her hard work and love for the people in her mission.

My spunky Grandma was a missionary at a time when few women were serving missions and she did it 3 years younger than was allowed.  The more I learn about my Grandma the more in awe I am of her many talents and her great strength.

 

One Minute Story

My Grandma sent in mission papers twice when she was 19.  She was told she had to wait until she was 23 – the current minimum age for sister missionaries.  She met President David O. McKay just after her 20th birthday and got a mission call in the mail the next week.

 

Top Ten Stories List for Grandma

  • Cabbage Patch Dolls, Pound Puppies, can stools, quillos, and more!
  • The movie file
  • Identical feet
  • “You missed a B♭.”
  • Road map brain – travel map trip
  • Our last lunch
  • The Last Christmas Party
  • “I really need to write these things down…”
  • Pouring over her scrapbooks
  • Grandpa’s bracelet, grandma’s curls
  • “So this is Margaret, so this is Margaret.”
  • Two VCRs

 

Note:  My grandparents told me this and a few other stories about their interactions with President McKay several times.  I loved hearing them tell me stories.  This one has been on my mind because my oldest boy is currently waiting for a mission call.  The system says he has been assigned so we are just waiting for that big white envelope to arrive in the mail any day.  Don’t worry – he meets all of the criteria so he will not be kindly told to wait until he is older like my Grandma was. 😉


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FamilySearch Book Scanning Service

Title Page - FWE Book

Title Page for a Family Record Book kept by my 2nd great grandfather Frederick William Ellis.

Among the many cool things in the boxes that belonged to my grandmother was a Family Record Book that her grandfather had kept.  It has a bunch of information that I already knew but it was handwritten by my 2nd great grandfather.  Such a treasure!  And while I say that it is information that I already knew, I think the important thing here is that he actually knew many of these people personally so his record will contain hidden gems that may help answer questions.

Like most of my genealogy adventures, I try to digitize and share what I find in a way that is useful for my family members.  Only one person can physically possess this book at a time but I certainly don’t want it’s existence to only benefit me.

That’s where FamilySearch comes in to help me out.  They offer a free book scanning service during RootsTech.  So I took my book along to RootsTech and had it scanned for free.  That book is now digitized and available on FamilySearch under the “Search” tab in the “Books” collection.  You can find it here.

If you have a book that is not under copyright, or a book that you own the copyright to, or a book that is under copyright but you get signed permission from the copyright holder, you can take that book to RootsTech and have it scanned.  A very cool service.

Additionally, FamilySearch will accept donations of items like journals, family Bibles, compiled histories and so on.  You can stipulate in your donation that they must scan the item and make it publicly available and they will!  The item will then be stored appropriately and can be viewed in person by family members at the Church Archives building.  This is a great option if you have an old item that is in danger of deterioration or if you have special family items and no one to care for them after you pass.  They have different storage methods including very cold storage that they use to help preserve really old items.  In fact, if your item is stored in one of these cold storage areas you have to make an appointment to view your item well in advance so they can slowly bring it to room temperature for your viewing.

I am so grateful for the many free services FamilySearch offers that help me to make my genealogy work available to my family members in a free and easily searchable way.  This book is a treasure and now it can be treasured in every household that descends from Frederick William Ellis and not just in my home.

Here is one last image from the book.  It’s the family group sheet for Frederick and his wife Susan, written in his own hand.

FWE & SKD family group sheet

 

Happy Wednesday.  I hope you make an amazing genealogy discovery today!

 

Note:  I could only find the information for donating items that are relevant to LDS church history.  I know that FamilySearch accepts donations of other items and stores them properly and digitizes them, I just couldn’t find the appropriate link in the time I have…  I’m off to pick up a preschooler.  If you are interested in this info let me know and I will track it down.


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Photograph Showcase: Blanche as a Young Girl

HUBAND, Blanche Octavia, young girl

Blanche Octavia Huband

This lovely photo is my great grandmother Blanche Octavia Huband.  It comes from an album page created by her daughter, my grandmother, Mary Margaret Ellis.  Blanche looks like such an interesting little girl – confident but a touch reserved.  She is definitely a beauty.

As I was editing this photo I considered a few questions for myself:

  1.   When should I edit a photo and when should I leave it as is?
  2.   Do I spend too much time editing too many photos of each person?
  3.   Will photo editing improve so significantly in the future that it would be better to wait to edit?

I don’t know the answers.  Just some questions kicking around in my brain.  Here is the original.  What do you think?

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