Baby Pics


Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:It’s Saturday Night again –Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):
1)  Do you have baby or small child photographs of yourself or your parents?  Please share one of them.


Ancestral Photos

Are you ever challenged to look at your genealogical data from a different viewpoint? For me, participating in Randy Seaver’s “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” blogging prompts is that challenge. Each week he posts an assignment or challenge.

This week’s assignment:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):
1)  How many ancestors do you have photographs of?  What is your oldest ancestor photo (the year it was taken)?

To figure out the answer to this challenge, I decided to ‘print’ a pedigree chart for each of my grandparents. I configured these charts to display the primary photos I have assigned to each person.

Leon Crawford – 8 Pictures
Winnie Letha Currey Crawford – 3 Pictures
Edward Osmund Briles – 5 Pictures
Pauline Edith Mentzer Briles – 5 Pictures

Thus, I have pictures for 21 of my ancestors. The oldest pictures are for Nelson Crawford and Zebulon Foster. Both of these pictures are photocopies from a Warren County Indiana book.

Completing this task has also reminded me to keep on the lookout for other pictures of my ancestors.

Do You Remember?


This week’s assignment:

1)  Do you remember your favorite songs in your high school graduation year?  Please tell us all about it.  [Note:  Wikipedia has the Billboard Hot 100 list for each year; Billboard has weekly Hot 100 lists for every year since 1946.]

Since it is reunion weekend for my class, I’m going to broaden the scope of this task just a little bit. Below are events from my senior year:

  • Charles Manson’s cult murders Sharon Tate
  • Woodstock
  • Lt. William Calley is charged with premeditated murder for role in My Lai Massacre
  • Butch Cassiday and Sundance Kid opens
  • Chicago Eight trial
  • Brady Bunch premieres
  • NY Mets win World series
  • Wal-Mart incorporates
  • President Richard Nixon asks ‘silent majority’ for support in Vietnam War
  • Apollo 12 launched
  • First episode of All My Children airs
  • Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl
  • Chicago Seven found not guilty
  • First Earth Day proclaimed
  • Midnight Cowboy wins Best Picture
  • Break-up of Beatles is announced
  • Apollo 13
  • US Invades Cambodia
  • Kent State

Have you guessed the year?

How about a few more hints?

Top Movies

  • Love Story
  • Airport
  • M*A*S*H
  • Patton
  • The Aristocats
  • Woodstock
  • Little Big Man
  • Ryan’s Daughter
  • Tora! Tora! Tora!
  • Catch-22

Top Singles (based on weeks as #1 on Billboard’s Hot Singles

  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters by Simon & Garfunkel
  • I’ll Be There by The Jackson 5
  • Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head by B. J. Thomas
  • My Sweet Lord / Isn’t It a Pity by George Harrison
  • (They Long to Be) Close to You by The Carpenters
  • American Woman / No Sugar Tonight by The Guess Who
  • War by Edwin Starr
  • Aint’ No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross
  • I Think I Love You by The Partridge Family

My Germanna Connection

Well, it’s Saturday afternoon and I’m working on my genealogy while watching the K-State (Kansas State University) football game on TV. As the wildcats were winning their game, I decided to check out Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings blog to see what the ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’ blogging challenge is for this week.

It’s Saturday Night again –Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):
1) Many of our ancestors migrated to a distant place.  Which one of your ancestors migrated the furthest?  Or the furthest in North America?  It could be in one big move, or in several smaller moves over their lifetime.  How far did they travel?  Do you know the route they took?

Thinking about these questions and my tree, I don’t have ancestors that traveled long distances across the United States. Since all of my second great grandparents settled in Kansas, my ancestors didn’t even migrate clear across the country.

Pedigree chart created in RootsMagic 8 (Preview) with color coding enabled

Thus, I have to turn to my immigrant ancestors to find the one who traveled the farthest. And I have to admit that I haven’t done much research of my immigrant ancestors. My tree can be divided into those ancestors who are included in published genealogies and those who are proving to be difficult to research in the pre-1850 records.

Since many of my lines came from England or Scotland, their distance of travel is similar. The branch of my tree that I think may have migrated the furthest is also one with a very interesting travel story: my Briles (Broils, Broyles, Breuel) line.

My ancestor, Johannes Breuel, his wife, Urusla Ruop, and children Jacob, Conrad and Elisabetha have all been identified as members of the Second Germanna Colony. Compared to other immigrant ancestors in my tree, their story is unique.

The We Relate web site includes the following information about the Second Germanna colony.

Second Germanna: Later, in 1717, a shipful of German immigrants bound for Pennsylvania, landed in Virginia with approximately 70 persons, and this second group of settlers (called “The Second Germanna Colony” or “New German Town”) arrived in Germanna (about 2 miles away from the First Colony at the fork of the Rapidan and Rappahannock Rivers, i.e. – “The Great Fork”) in the beginning of 1718. Whether their ship landed in Virginia due to weather (the Captain’s claim) or due to collusion (between Spotswood, his associates and the Captain) is not clear. This second group, was put to work by Spotswood in “naval stores” and were not involved in the iron mines. They were placed on 13,000 acres of land which Lt. Gov. Spotswood and Robert Beverley (and other partners), who needed settlers to move onto the land to lay claim to it. Since their transportation was paid for by these partners, they became indentured servants and were bound to locate to that area. This group of German immigrants, who originated from the Baden, Württemberg, Heidelberg and Neckar regions of Germany and Switzerland, was Lutheran by religion.

The ‘Second Germanna Colony‘ page on the Alexander Spotswood website tells a slightly different version of their story.

The Germanna Second Colony, unlike the Germanna First Colony, did not come to Virginia of their own free will.  Their ship’s captain, Andrew Tarbett, had  promised to take them to Pennsylvania – where we believe their friends and families were headed — on his ship Scott.  But Tarbett had gambled away their passage money in London.  He knew that the Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood in Virginia would pay the costs of their journey if the Germans were delivered to Virginia, as Spotswood was willing to pay to increase the supply of hard workers in his colony.  Captain Tarbett pretended that the Scott was blown off course and “accidentally” arrived in Virginia where he delivered his passengers to Spotswood.

The Germanna Second Colony‘s version of their story is similar to that posted on the Alexander Spotswood site:

The Second Colony, in contrast, came from the Palatinate and the Kraichgau area of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Its members did not come voluntarily to Virginia. These families expected to go to Pennsylvania with other Germans, but their ship’s captain, Andrew Tarbett, had been incarcerated in London for debt, and their money was used up while they waited. Tarbett must have known that Governor Spotswood was willing to pay the passage for another group of Germans, for when he got out of debtor’s prison, he transported these Germans on his ship, the Scott, to Virginia, pretending to be blown off course in a storm. There, lost and penniless, they became indentured servants to Spotswood.

According to the list of second colony members on the Germanna website, Johannes Breuel came from the area of Otisheim, Wurttemberg, Germany. According to Google Maps, Otisheim is almost straight north of Zurich Switzerland and northwest of Stuttgart, Germany.

The Breuel family likely migrated up the Rhine River. If so, they left Europe at Rotterdam to arrive in London before boarding the ship for the Americas.

Thus, my line that likely migrated the furthest also has one of the most interesting migration stories.


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1)  Today is September 11th, and the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States.  Where were you, what were you doing, and how did it affect you?

We’ve all heard those ‘where were you when’ discussions. Today, as I write this blog post, many many people are sharing where they were on the morning of September 11, 2001.

In 2001, I was the librarian and computer coordinator at Nemaha Valley High School. To understand, my memory, one has to understand that we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter or even MySpace in 2001. Instead of getting our information from the Internet, we were dependent on television news.

During that time period, some schools had a service called Channel One. This service connected allowed the school to broadcast television content from Channel One to ALL classrooms. Some schools had this capability, but Nemaha Valley did not have Channel One. We did have access to educational programming such as CNN Newsroom and scientific programming. Most of this programming was received via satellite overnight. If teachers wanted to use a particular program in their classroom, then it would be recorded on a VHS videotape. The teacher then could use that videotape in their classroom.

By 2001, we likely had televisions and VCR players in every classroom. However, we did not have the rooms wired for cablevision. Instead, watching live television was restricted to the office and the library. We did have the gymnasium wired for cable but there weren’t any televisions in the gym.

So, on the morning of 9/11, someone – likely from the office – alerted me to the need to watch the news. Thus, I moved a video cart with a 32″ television into the library and connected it to the cable outlet on the west side of the library. Ringed by bookcases, the library had tables and chairs to seat about 32 students. I don’t remember the enrollment at the time, but the high school likely had around 150 students.

As soon as I turned on that TV, students and staff started showing up. Quietly, they would come in and find a place to sit in front of the TV. All eyes were on that screen. One of the people closest to the TV was our new history teacher, Dennis Hermreck. I’m sure other teachers were in and out of the library that morning, but it is Dennis’ presence that I remember. Occasionally, a student would ask a question and Dennis would quietly answer.

When the bell rang for the end of the period, the students would quietly get up and go to their next class. However, many returned to continue watching history being made. As it became apparent that airplanes were being hijacked, one of our students burst into tears. Her parents were in California and scheduled to fly back to Kansas that morning.

The rapt attention to the television did not end with the end of the school day. Instead my husband and I were constantly watching the news that evening and for the next few weeks.

When the news magazines came out chronicling the collapse of the towers, the Pentagon and flight 93, I happened to be in our forensic coach’s room after school. Her young sons happened to be in the room doing their homework. They picked up one of those magazines and she was struggling trying to explain the pictures to her sons.

As we mourned individually and as a nation, we came together. Instead of being Kansans versus New Yorkers, we were all Americans, united in our grief, united in our love for our country.

Each of us have our own individual memories of 9/11. As we remember, may we also remember our unity afterwards and work to reclaim that unity today.

Junior High


Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1)  Do you have memories of your Junior High School (or Middle School) years?  Please share several o them.

Instead of sharing about my junior high experience, I’m going to share a couple of items from my dad’s junior high years.

The Class Roll

Adrian, Norma
Anderson, Jack
Arnold, Norma Jean
Arthur, Betty
Bailes, Forrest
Barngrover, Orville
Barton, Virginia
Bayless, Aielene
Beck, Phyllis
Best, Robert
Biehler, Karl
Bierce, Donald
Bierce, Ronald
Bishop, Wanda
Blea, Candida
Bolen, Jimmy
Briggs, Aletha
Brock, Chester
Brody, Mary
Bryan, Billy
Burnett, Betty Lou
Burnett, Geraldine
Burns, Harry
Burr, Verna
Burt, James
Butler, Elanor
Case, Charles
Cleveland, Arnold
Cole, Frank
Conard, Clair
Cooley, Hubert
Cowan, Joleen
Crane, Robert
Crane, Phyllis
Crawford, Eugene
Creech, Verla
Culbreath, Doris
Davis, Coleen
Davis, Harold
Dealy, Thomas
DeFord, Doris
DeFord, Leslie
Deines, Burdena
Doll, Kenneth
Doonan, Eleanor Ruth
Bales, Dorothy
Dover, Darrell
Drake, Jane
Edwards, Bob
Eisenhauer, Faye
Eisenhauer, Marjorie
Ellis, Fred
Eversole, Marie
Finklang, Roselyn
Fleming, Neva
Foulks, Charley
Foulks, Harley
Francis, Thelma
Frankenberger, Theresa
Gean, Patricia
Graham, Ray
Guilford, C. A.
Hahn, Donald
Hargis, Carol
Harms, Carolyn
Harp, LaVonne
Harris, Phil
Heinz, Bobbie
Hensel, Alberta
Hessman, Harold
Holland, Wanda
Holladay, Harvey
Hoofnagle, Glenda
Houser, Mable
Howerter, Wanda
Hunter, Bill
Hutchnison, Kenneth
Imel, Eunice Lee
Innis, Betty
Johnson, Georgene
Johnson, Grace
Johnson, Robert
Jones, Juanita
Jones, Phyllis
Keith, LaVeta
Keenportz, Norma
Kelly, Patricia
Kennedy, Leland
Kennedy, Norman
King, Virginia

Class Roll continued on back of program

Knoy, Joyce
Kregar, Harry
Krueger, Frances
Leasure, John
Leighty, Clydene
Lewis, Opal
Lewis, Spencer
Lighter, Willis
Logan, Bob
Lollar, Nadean
Love, Bobby Jack
McCarter, Barbara
McClendon, Peggy
McDermott, Betty
McElroy, Corabelle
Maden, Bobby
Mallonee, Junior
Manka, Georgia
Mapel, Frank
Maricle, Tommy
Martin, Marilyn
Maskus, Phyllis
Maxwell, Richard
Miller, Carolyn
Morrissey, James
Mussemann, George
Myer, Wanda
Newcom, Delores
Nickels, Doris Marie
Noland, James
Oakes, Richard
O’Bryan, Marvin
Oxford, Vernon
Page, Walter
Parham, Robert
Peoples, Luella
Peters, Johnny
Phillis, Estel
Putnam, Barbara
Quillan, Billy
Railing, Billie Jean
Railing, Melva Deane
Raymond, Ralph
Remigio, Ton
Renick, Mary
Reynolds, Jean
Lindsey, Kathryn
Reynolds, Vernal
Rickman, Marjorie
Riley, Esta Lou
Rivers, John
Roberts, Bob
Robinson, Dorothy
Robb, Gwynne
Rowton, Joan
Sahm, Virgil
Samples, Eugene
Schnellbacher, Ada
Seals, Betty
Setzkorn, Alfred
Shaffer, Phyllis
Shea, Robert
Schiffner, Ella
Shields, Junior
Shuler, Elliot
Simpson, Ruth
Snyder, Esther
Snyder, Jean
Spaniol, Frankie
Stagner, Marie
Swafford, Bob
Taylor, Annette
Theis, Charles
Toynton, Jean
Trent, Jack
Urban, Geraldine
Ward, Gracia
Williams, Dorothy
Williams, Hugo
Williams, Joe
Wimer, Royce
Winfrey, Marjorie
Winger, Lois
Wintamute, Virginia
Westemeyer, Barbara
Woodall, Jenny
Woodard, Algean
Wolf, Roberta
wright, Norma
Yancey, Lyla Jean
Younger, Agnes
Sylvester, Vera

Front Page News


This week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun writing prompt is to find the front page headlines for one’s birthdate from a local newspaper.

Instead of doing this for myself, I am going to do it for my grandparents since their birthdates are public information.

As I am working on this project, I am very thankful for my Kansas roots. From its early history, the Kansas Historical Society has preserved many of the local newspapers. Many of those same newspapers have been digitized by the historical society or local library.

Thus, locating this information is relatively easy. For this project, I’m using Since I’m working with my grandparents, I’m looking for the following:

  • 6 Feb 1894 in Newton where my grandfather was born or Dodge City where the family lived most of his life (Harvey and Ford Counties)
  • 30 Jun 1903 in Lansing or Leavenworth (Leavenworth County)
  • 21 Jun 1891 in Burington or LeRoy (Coffey County)
  • 28 Mar 1896 in Yates Center or Neosho Falls (Woodson County)

Instead of searching, I’m gong to use the ‘Papers’ menu to search for newspapers printed on the date in my desired location. Thus, I’m going to put the town in the ‘Narrow by Newspaper Title’ search box and the date in the ‘Enter a Date or Range’ search box. When I click on the UPDATE button, shows the papers available for that location with a date range that includes my desired date.

Since I have used these papers in the past, I know that there are also papers with the county name and not the city name. Thus, I can repeat the search for the county.

I opened each of the potential papers in a new tab. Even though I entered the exact date, the search only used the year. Thus, it is possible to have a newspaper in the results that does include newspapers published in the year – but not in the month I need.

Paper begins August 1894 – thus it does not contain Feb 1894

Since many of these papers were weekly papers, I likely won’t find a local paper for the exact day my grandparent was born.

Weekly Paper

Thus, I’m going to work with the first paper found in the family’s community that was printed after the birth of my grandparent.

Leon Crawford – 6 Feb 1894

  • “Closing Out Sale at the New York Store” 1/4 page ad at top of first page with W. J. Fitzgerald identified as the receiver. The name of the store is NOT given, nor is any address included in the ad. Dodge City Democrat, February 10, 1894
  • “Washington Gossip” Dodge City Democrat, February 10, 1894
  • “They Want Revenge” Dodge City Democrat, February 10, 1894
  • “Real Estate Moving: Houston, Texas, Rapidly Coming tot he Front – The Real estate Market Active,” The Newton Semi-Weekly Journal (Newton, Kansas), 9 Feb 1894
  • “Elections Law: The Senate Passes the House Bill Unchanged,” The Newton Semi-Weekly Journal (Newton, Kansas), 9 Feb 1894
  • “Snider Acts: Threatens Orrin T. Welch with Imprisonment” The Newton Semi-Weekly Journal (Newton, Kansas), 9 Feb 1894.
  • “Bland’s Bill: It Is Taken Up by the House after Much Difficulty,” Newton Daily Republican (Newton, Kansas), 9 Feb 1894.
  • “U. P. Employes: Judge Riner of the United States Court Offers a Suggestion,” Newton Daily Republican (Newton, Kansas), 9 Feb. 1894.
  • “A Diabolical Deed: Bandits Wreck a Train Near Houston,” Newton Daily Republican (Newton, Kansas), 9 Feb 1894.
  • “Chicago’s Fish Supply,” Newton Daily Republican (Newton, Kansas), 9 Feb 1894.

Winnie Currey – 30 Jun 1903

  • “Additional Locals,” The Lansing News (Lansing, Kansas), 3 Jul 1903.
  • “King-Campbell Wedding,” The Lansing News (Lansing, Kansas) 3 Jul 1903.
  • “Prison News,” The Lansing News (Lansing, Kansas), 3 Jul 1903.
  • “Iowa Republican Convention Opens,” The Evening Standard (Leavenworth, Kansas), 1 Jul 1903.
  • “Hans’ Wyrick Badly Injured,” The Evening Standard (Leavenworth, Kansas), 1 Jul 1903.
  • “Julius Sawacski Is Dismissed by Court: The Wrong Allegation Had Been Made,” The Evening Standard (Leavenworth, Kansas), 1 Jul 1903.
  • “N’Nutt and Meeker Trials Tomorrow,” The Evening Standard (Leavenworth, Kansas), 1 Jul 1903.
  • “Last of the Dewey Testimony Yesterday,” The Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, Kansas), 1 Jul 1903.
  • Eddie Hanlon and Benny Yanger Draw: Was a Fierce Fight from the Start,” The Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, Kansas), 1 Jul 1903.
  • “Many Miners Buried in a Mine Explosion: Over Two Hundred Lives Were Lost,” The Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, Kansas), 1 Jul 1903.

Edward Osmond Briles – 21 Jun 1891

  • “Stop and Read: What the New Store Has to Say,” (1/4 page ad) The Courier (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “Over the County: A Large Grist of News from our Rustling Correspondents,” The Courier (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “News of the Week: Gleaned by Telegraph and Mail,” Burlington Independent (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “Kansas State News,” Burlington Independent (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “The War in Chili,” Burlington Independent (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “McDonald Dead,” Burlington Independent (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “Spring Weather Calls for Spring Footwear: Chas, Kahnt & Co., (advertisement),” Burlington Republican (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891
  • Buy Grain: Woodford Brothers, (advertisement),” Burlington Republican (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “To Young Men: Able Appeal to Young Men by Rev. T. DeWitt Talmage,” Burlington Republican (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “Shot Down: Col. S. N. wood Killed in a Court Room,” Burlington Republican (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “McDonald Dead,” Burlington Republican (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “Furious Storms: Damage Caused by Storms in Various Parts of the County,” Burlington Republican (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “Kansas State News,” Burlington Republican (Burlington, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “News of the Week: Gleaned by Telegraph and Mail,” Le Roy Reporter (Le Roy, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “Kansas State News,” Le Roy Reporter (Le Roy, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “The War in Chili,” Le Roy Reporter (Le Roy, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “McDonald Dead,” Le Roy Reporter (Le Roy, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “Silver Advocates,” Le Roy Reporter (Le Roy, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.
  • “A Young Deluge,” Le Roy Reporter (Le Roy, Kansas), 26 Jun 1891.

Pauline Mentzer – 28 Mar 1896

  • “Notice: About two more weeks remains to close out my stock (large ad by Sam Bukofzer),” Woodson County Advocate (Yates Center, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “Spring Arrivals: Stockebrand & Stockebrand (large ad),” Woodson County Advocate (Yates Center, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “Subsoiling in Greenwood County,” Woodson County Advocate (Yates Center, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “Botkin’s Case,” Woodson County Advocate (Yates Center, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “One Farmer’s Pluck,” Woodson County Advocate (Yates Center, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “Sunday School Convention,” Woodson County Advocate (Yates Center, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • 1/2 page of advertising, Yates Center News (Yates Center, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “Editorial Notes,” Yates Center News (Yates Center, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “A Mortgage Ruling,” Yates Center News (Yates Center, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “Heart of the World, by H. Rider Haggard,” The Neosho Falls Post (Neosho Falls, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “Annual Assignments: Southwest Kansas M. E. Conference Stations the Preachers for Next Year,” The Neosho Falls Post (Neosho Falls, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “Our Currency: Secretary Smith and ex-speaker Crips Meet in Debate,” The Neosho Falls Post (Neosho Falls, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “Congress,” The Neosho Falls Post (Neosho Falls, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.
  • “Mail Subsidies: A Sharp Debate Occurs Over Extending System,” The Neosho Falls Post (Neosho Falls, Kansas), 3 Arp 1896.
  • “Kansas State News,” The Neosho Falls Post (Neosho Falls, Kansas), 3 Apr 1896.

Even with this abundance of local newspapers, a search of for birth announcements only turns up one such announcement.


To Mr. and Mrs. J. Crawford of Allison street, a son.

“Born,” Newton Daily Republican (Newton, Kansas) 9 Feb 1894

Even though looking at the front pages of these papers was informative, I prefer to search the wealth of family information that can be found in these local papers.


Do you have a favorite aunt/uncle or great-aunt/great-uncle? Identifying a favorite is this week’s #SaturdayNightGenealogyFun writing prompt.

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:  It’s Saturday Night again – 
time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1)  Most people have aunts and uncles in their life, the siblings of their parents, and in some cases, great-aunts or uncles, the siblings of their grandparents.  Who are/were our favorite aunts and/or uncles?

2)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog post on this post.

In thinking about this question, I have to admit I don’t really have a favorite.

As a young child, I likely would have answered this question by identifying my “uncle LR“. I think one of the reasons that I identify him as a favorite is because his death as a young man is one of my childhood memories that still impacts me today.

As I was writing this, I was curious about how old I was when he died. That’s when I discovered a tool within RootsMagic that I don’t think I’ve used before: the Date Calculator. Basically, this tool allows me to enter two dates and calculate an age. Thus, I entered my birthdate and LR’s death date.

With this tool, I realized that I was under 9 years old when he died. So, what was it about LR that separates him from my other aunts and uncle?

Looking back, I would have to say it is because he was present in my life. LR became a major presence in my life when my parents moved to Dodge City when I was about 3 years old. Even though he was attending college in Emporia and then in Wisconsin for most of that time, he was home for holidays and summers. It was one of those summers that LR was a major help for my mother as the mumps, measles and chicken pox ruled that summer.

It was LR’s presence and then his death that causes me to pick him as a favorite.

Granddad and Grandma Crawford holding my brothers, Grandma Briles and mom standing behind me and LR on the right.

Mumps, Measles, Chicken Pox

#52Ancestors, #Health, #SaturdayNightGenealogyFun

Well, it’s not Saturday night, nor is it Sunday. but I haven’t forgotten about doing a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post. So, let’s pretend, it is Saturday night and some time for some genealogy fun.

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1)  What memories do you have of family sickness or death?  Tell us about one or more of them and how the family dealt with it.

2)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog post on this post.

Do you remember being sick or in the hospital as a child? I was in the hospital to have my tonsils removed around age 5 and had a bad case of influenza while a kindergartner. However, my best memories are of when I got the childhood illnesses of mumps, measles and chicken pox.

Towards the end of first grade, I evidently wasn’t very careful when I used the drinking fountain because I got the mumps. The theory was that another student who had recently had the mumps passed them to me via the drinking fountain.

I remember being placed in my parents’ room and the room being kept dark. I also remember being told that the dishes and silverware I used had to be kept separate from the other dishes and silverware. I even have a vague memory of the doctor visiting me in that room. My mom’s efforts to keep me isolated from the rest of the family remind me a lot of what families are going thru today when someone gets COVID. Thanks to my mom’s efforts no one else in the family got the mumps.

I couldn’t have been released from my ‘quarantine’ very long before I got the measles. This time, I wasn’t alone. Both of my brothers also got the measles.

After recovering from the measles and being released from our confinement, the three of us came down with chicken pox. Thus, we were confined again. I remember the oatmeal baths and the constant reminders not to scratch.

So basically, I spent the entire summer between first and second grade confined to the house. And my mother spent the entire summer caring for a 7 year old, a 5 1/2 year old and a 2 year old.

When I interviewed my parents, I asked my mom about what I referred to as the ‘summer from hell’. Below is a transcription of that portion of the interview:

Me – Do you remember what must have been the summer from ‘hell’ when you had three kids with measles and chicken pox

M – well I remember it wasn’t too bad thanks to grandma and grandpa Crawford and uncle LR. Cause LR was I’ll never forget him sitting there oohing and aahing at the fireworks when you guys still had the chicken pox. Cause you couldn’t go outdoors. And you couldn’t go out and see the fireworks but we could see them from the picture window there in Dodge and he was sitting down there by that window and course Gene was gone he had gone away to school that summer

D – you remember that

Me – I don’t remember that

M – he had left a week early because you got the mumps and he had never had the mumps and how the boys escaped the mumps I’ll never know

Me – you kept me in isolation

M – ya but you know even so, they probably, they’re lucky, they got vaccine as soon as the mumps vaccine came out

Thankfully, we have now have vaccines for the mumps, measles and chicken pox. These vaccines keep children (and their parent caregivers) from going thru a summer like mine.

As adults, we have another vaccine that we can take. This one is to prevent COVID-19. Currently, young children cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19. To protect them, we need to create a circle of vaccinated people around them. So please, protect the children in your life by getting a COVID vaccine.

Sharing WWI Letters

#Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

On Sundays, I often blog in response to Randy Seaver’s Genealogy Saturday Night Fun challenge. Since Randy’s wife recently broke her hip, he has been spending a lot of time with her and her needs. Thus, this week’s challenge was slightly different.


Whatever genealogy fun you want to do – please spend an hour and do it!  Then tell us about it in your own blog post, and leave a comment here which I will add to the Comments after moderation.

In thinking about uncompleted projects, I decided to share the letters my grandmother received from her twin brother, Paul Mentzer, during World War I. Since I had already scanned the letters, I thought all I had to do to share them was upload them to his profile on FamilySearch.

Unfortunately, this simple project wasn’t quite that simple. Even though the scanned images had unique file names, FamilySearch viewed some of them as duplicates. This prevented me from being able to upload all of the images of the letters.

To get around this setback, I created word documents from the images for each letter and saved those documents as PDF files. This allowed me to upload the PDF files as documents.

Thanks to Randy’s challenge the following letters are no longer buried in my files but shared on Paul Mentzer‘s profile on FamilySearch along with the profile of his twin sister, Pauline Mentzer (Mrs. Briles).

  • September 1917
  • November 1917 (postcard)
  • December 1917
  • April 1918
  • August 1918
  • October 1918
  • November 1918
  • January 1919
  • January 1919 (postcard)