Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

For this week’s mission (should you decide to accept it), answer the question:
1)  It’s story time – tell us how you met your spouse or significant other.  If you don’t have one, tell us about how your parents met each other.

It’s the spring of 1971 and I’m a freshman at Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia. I’ve just started my new job as an assistant in the chemistry department. I worked two afternoons a week – Tuesdays and Thursday – in the storeroom. It was my job to check out and then check in glassware, thermometers and other supplies to the chemistry students. Most of my ‘customers’ were in Chemistry I or II students. Since dress codes for my sorority were still enforce, I was not only one of the few females working in the department, but I was the only one in a skirt. 

Even though my husband and I met that semester, I don’t remember him. He was just another student at the storeroom door requesting equipment. It was during our sophomore year that Mike and I ‘met’ again as we were in Quantitative Chemical Analysis together. Not only did we study together, but we were both working as lab assistants in the chemistry department. 

During our junior year, we were again in class together. This time, it was Modern Physics. Not only were we study partners, but we were seriously dating, becoming engaged in February of that year.

We were married the day after graduation. We started our married life as chemistry and physics teachers. Mike was hired by USD 442 to teach science at Nemaha Valley High School in April of  our senior year — a month before our wedding. In June, I was hired by USD 380 to teach science for Centralia and Frankfort High Schools. Two years later, I resigned my job with USD 380 and began teaching biology at Nemaha Valley High School. 

In 2016, we both retired from teaching after 42 years in the profession. For Mike, all of those years were spent at 214 N. 11th St, Seneca (Nemaha Valley and then Nemaha Central High Schools). The 2015-2016 school year was my 40th year in the building. 

Later this month, we will celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. 

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

For this week’s mission (should you decide to accept it), answer the question:
1)  Have you done a good job of citing your sources in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How are you doing?  How many source citations do you have, and how many people are in your tree?  What is the sources to persons ratio?
2)  Which master source (e.g., 1900 U.S. census, Find A Grave, specific book, etc.) do you have the most citations for?  How many?  How did you figure this out?
3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a post on Facebook.
Randy Seaver provides another interesting challenge thru his ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun‘ to look at my genealogy data in a different way.

Since I use RootsMagic, I thought I’d show how I’m getting the answers to these questions as well as answer them.

The first challenge involves getting the statistics for our tree. In RootsMagic, this is done by going to Properties on the FILE menu.

When I clicked on Properties, it opened the Database Properties window. This window contains the statistics needed to answer the first question.

So to answer the first question:

  • Citations – 51748 in RootsMagic
  • Sources – 3788 in RootsMagic
  • People – 13224 in RootsMagic
  • Ratio of citations to people: 51748/13224 — almost 4 citations for every person in RootsMagic

This is a work in progress!

My first software program was Personal Ancestral File (PAF). PAF was great software – but it wasn’t easy to document the information. I followed recommendations of the time and entered my sources as ‘Notes’. 

My second software program was The Master Genealogist (TMG). I was able to transfer my data from PAF into TMG – and the ‘Notes’ transferred as ‘Events’. Over time, I converted those ‘Notes’ into the ‘Events’ and added sources. When I started on TMG, I configured my citations using Cite Your Sources by Richard S. Lackey (c. 1980). These citations would not meet today’s standards!

When support for TMG ceased, I transferred my data into RootsMagic. About the same time, I was getting back into active research and catching up on suggested standards. This ‘catching up’ affected my citations as I started using Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Hopefully all of my facts have a citation attached, but unfortunately, not all of those citations will be up to current standards.

My 51748 citations come from 3,788 sources. Following Randy’s directions, I created a source list report (All Reports — Source List). Like Randy, I got a long report. I didn’t realize that I would need to visually scan this report to figure out which source was used the most. 

Unfortunately, ranking these sources isn’t easy.When it comes to sources, I’m more of a splitter than a lumper. When I create a source for an article found on Newspapers.com, my source is the name of the newspaper and not Newspapers.com. (Newspapers.com is part of the citation but not the master source.) Similar is true for census records, I don’t have a 1940 census source. Instead, I have a 1940 Lyon County, Kansas census record  as the source. For the 1940 census, I have about 40 pages of citations in this report from counties all across the United States. 

Even though I can’t easily generate a list similar to Randy’s, I did learn something by creating this report: Some of my citations are lacking in detail. In other words, I have work to do to make sure the citation will lead me back to the information.

Thank you, Randy for the challenge!

Occupations


For this week’s mission (should you decide to accept it), answer the question:
1)  What were the occupations of your ancestors?
2)  Please go back several generations (say parents or grandparents or great-grandparents) and list the occupations that they had in the records you’ve found for them.  You could do this, say, by ancestor table number.
1. Me

  • Teacher
  • Librarian
  • Technology Coordinator

2. my dad

  • Teacher

3. my mother

  • Medical Secretary

4. Leon Russel Crawford

  • worked for Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in Dodge City, Kansas

5. Winnie Letha Currey Crawford

  • Clerk for Eckle’s Department Store in Dodge City, Kansas

6. Edward Osmond Briles

  • 1918 – ran a threshing machine
  • 1923 – Owner Briles Garage in Iola, Kansas
  • 1927 – manager of local feed grinding and shelling plant in Iola, Kansas
  • 1930 – manager of a picture show in Buffalo, Kansas
  • 1932 – owner of Lyric Theater in Emporia, Kansas

7. Pauline Edith Mentzer Briles

  • Babysitter after death of husband

8. Judson Foster Crawford

  • worked for Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in Dodge City, Kansas

9. Josie Winifred Hammond Crawford

  • Homemaker

10. Hiram Miles Currey

  • 1900 – Magnetic Healer (according to census) – Delaware Township, Leavenworth County, KS
  • 1907 – carpenter – Lansing, Kansas
  • 1910 – farmer – Rooks County, Kansas
  • 1915 – teamster – Kansas City, Missouri
  • 1919/1920 – baker at a cone factory – Kansas City, Missouri
  • 1925 – section hand – Logan, Gray County, KS
  • 1930 – carpenter – Dodge City, KS

11. Winnie Mae Hutchinson Currey

  • Homemaker

12. Edward Grant Briles

  • farmer – Coffey County, Kansas

13. Frances Arlissa ‘Artie’ Ricketts Briles

  • homemaker

14. Charles Oliver Mentzer

  • farmer – Woodson County, Kansas

15. Nettie Adell Wells Mentzer

  • homemaker

16. Washington Marion Crawford

  • farmer – prior to civil war
  • attempted farming after civil war – but disabilities made this difficult
  • built boarding house in Dodge City, Kansas
  • “selected to look after soldier’s home” at Fort Dodge, Ford County, Kansas

17. Mary Foster Crawford

  • homemaker
  • caregiver – took care of husband after his return from the civil war
  • Boarding House operator

18. Richmond Fisk Hammond

  • farmer
  • carpenter

19. Sarah Ellen Ralston Hammond

  • homemaker

20. Hiram M. Currey

  • farmer

21. Angelina Jane Burke Currey

  • homemaker

22. Albert Hutchinson

  • farmer

23. Julia Harding Hutchinson

  • homemaker

24. Noah Washington Briles

  • farm laborer
  • farmer

25. Sarah Jane Thompson Briles

  • homemaker

26. James Marshall Ricketts

  • farmer

27. Rachel Elmeda Christy Ricketts

  • homemaker

28. George Mentzer

  • farm hand
  • clerk in grocery store
  • helped establish first hotel in Kewanee
  • domestic servant
  • farmer
  • Stockholder – Yates Center Creamery Association

29. Emeline Minnick Mentzer

  • homemaker

30. Thurston Kennedy Wells

  • carpenter – Madison County, New York
  • laborer – Lykins County, Kansas

31. Salome Adell Crandall Wells

  • homemaker

32. Nelson G. Crawford

  • farmer

34. Zebulon Foster

  • farmer

36. Horatio Hammond

  • farmer

38. James Barr Ralston

  • farmer

40. Hiram M. Currey

  • lawyer

42. Henry F. Burke

  • likely a farmer — owned land in Platte County, Missouri before his death

44. Aaron Hutchinson

  • unknown

46. William Gillies Harding

  • farmer

48. Alexander Briles

  • farmer

50. William Taylor Thompson

  • farmer

52. John Lewis Ricketts

  • farmer

54. Samuel Christy

  • farmer

56. Phillip Andrew Mentzer

  • unknown

58. John Minnick

  • shoe maker

60. Ozias Wells

  • Unknown

62. Lewis Crandall

  • likely a farmer in Van Buren County, Iowa

64. James Crawford

  • farmer

68. Richard Foster

  • likely a farmer in Pike County Ohio

70. Dr. Edward Ostrander

  • Doctor

72. Jason Hammond

  • Unknown

74. Jonathan Fisk

  • Unknown

76. David Franklin Ralson

  • farmer

78. James B. McCormick

  • Unknown

80. Hiram Mirick Currey

  • preacher
  • teacher
  • Ohio state treasurer

82. Peter Harris

  • Unknown

84. John Burke

  • employed in agriculture

86. Eli Bland

  • likely a farmer – Cumberland County, Kentucky

88. Aaron Hutchinson

  • engaged in agriculture

90. _____ Merry

  • Unknown

92. William Harding

  • Unknown

94. _____ Fowler

  • Unknown

96. John Briles

  • farmer

98. Noah Rush

  • farmer

100. John Thompson

  • farmer

102. James Evans

  • farmer

104. Edward Ricketts

  • landowner – likely a farmer

106. John C. Reed

  • farmer

108. Ebenezer Christy

  • Unknown

110. Isom Gallimore

  • farmer

112. Phillip Andre Mentzer

  • Unknown

114. Oliver Miles

  • Unknown

116. _____ Minnick

  • Unknown

118. _____ Jones

  • Unknown

120. Green Wells

  • farmer

122. John Kennedy

  • Unknown

124. Hampton Lillibridge Crandall

  • farmer

126. _____ Nafus

  • Unknown

This exercise pointed out:

  • Many of my ancestors engaged in agriculture
  • My use of the ‘occupation’ fact is too infrequent
  • Work is needed to identify all of the ‘unknown’ occupations

Thank you, Randy Seaver, for this challenge to look at my data in a different way!

Birth Order

Do you ever look at your genealogy information in a different way — just for the fun of it?

I find that doing Randy Seaver’s  ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’ blog posts helps me see my data in a different way — even though I’m just doing it to participate in a fun activity.

This week’s challenge, should you accept it:

  1. Pick one of your ancestral lines — any one — patrilineal, matrilineal, zigzag, from a famous ancestor, etc. Pick a long one if you can.
  2. Tell us which position in the birth order that your ancestor was in each generation. For example “third child, first son.” Also list how many children were born to these parents.
  3. Share your Birth Order work with the community on your own blog post, in a comment to Randy’s original post, or in a comment on Facebook, et.

I thought about doing my Germanna line (Briles) but switched to my DAR line.

  1. Marcia Crawford, eldest child and only daughter
  2. Eugene Crawford was the second child of three, eldest son of Leon and Winnie Crawford. Eugene’s siblings both died young.
  3. Leon Russel Crawford (1894-1976)was the second child of seven of Judson Foster Crawford and Josie Winifred Hammond. Leon was the eldest son.
  4. Josie Winifred Hammond (1874-1954) was the 7th child of 9 of Richmond Fisk Hammond and Sarah Ellen Ralston. Josie was the youngest daughter. She had 2 younger brothers.
  5. Richmond Fisk Hammond (1840-1928), was the 10th child of 11 of Horatio Hammond and Louisa Fisk. Richmond was the youngest son.
  6. Horatio Hammond (1798-1879) was the youngest of six children of Jason Hammond and Rachel Hale. 
  7. Jason Hammond (1762-1830) was the eldest child of 9 children born to Nathaniel Hammond and Dorothy Tucker.
  8. Nathaniel Hammond (1733-1817) was the eldest child of 4 children born to Elijah Hammond and Mary Kingsbury.
  9. Elijah Hammond (1711-1800) was the youngest of seven children born to Isaac Hammond and Ann Hendrick.
  10. Isaac Hammond (1668-1715/6) was the fourth of seven children born to Thomas Hammond and Elizabeth Stedman.
  11. Thomas Hammond (abt 1630-1678) was the oldest of four children born to Thomas Hammond and Elizabeth Cason.
  12. Thomas Hammond (1603-1675) was my immigrant ancestor on this line. I do not have much information on Thomas and his family.

Most of the information on this family came from two books. 

  • Genealogy of the Family of Horatio Hammond, Ontario Illinois in the Direct Line from Thomas Hammond (Galesburg, Illlinois: Colville Printer, 1876).
  • History and Genealogies of the Hammond Families in America With an Account of the Early History of the Family in Normandy and Great Britain (Oneida, NY: Ryan & Burkhart, 1904).

Celebrating 50 years

Do you enjoy some of the online genealogy prompts to look at your data from a different viewpoint?

I know I do. Two of my currents sources for blogging prompts are Amy Johnson Crowe’s #52ancestors and Randy Seaver’s #SaturdayNightGenealogyFun.

As I was working on a blog post about love, I found I have several of my ancestors who celebrated 50 years of marriage. Thus, I thought it would be fun to suggest a ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’ challenge:

1) How many of your ancestors were married for FIFTY years?
2) What is the longest marriage in your tree?

I’m approaching my 45th wedding anniversary and my parents were married for over fifty years.

Grandparents:

  • Leon Crawford and Winnie Currey — married Dec 1919; They were married 56 years before Leon passed away in Oct. 1976.
  • Edward Osmond Briles and Pauline Mentzer were married Oct 1915. They were married 40 years when Edward passed away. Pauline never remarried.

Great Grandparents

  • Judson Crawford and Josie Hammond were married Dec 1890. They were married 58 years when Judson passed away.
  • Hiram Currey and Winnie Hutchinson were married 22 years when Winnie passed away. Hiram never remarried
  • Edward Grant Briles and Frances Artlissa “Artie” Rickeets were married in Feb 1890. They were married 57 years when Artie passed away.
  • Charles Mentzer and Nettie Wells were married in Oct 1893. They were married 46 years when Nettie passed away.

2nd Great Grandparents

  • Washington Marion Crawford and Mary Foster were married in March 1860. They were married 29 years when Washington Crawford passed away. Mary Crawford never remarried.
  • Richmond Fisk Hammond and Sarah Ellen Ralston were married in Jan 1867. They were married 25 years when Sarah passed away. Richmond married Mary McClure in 1897. In 1906, Richmond married Mary Reynolds.
  • Hiram M Currey and Angelina Jane Burke were married in 1856. They were married 44 years when both Hiram and Angelina passed away.
  • Albert Hutchinson and Julia Harding were married in 1859. They were married 33 years when Julia passed away in 1892. Albert passed away in 1896.
  • Noah Briles and Sarah Thompson were married in August 1866. They were married 13 years when Noah passed away. Sarah married J. D. Davis but later divorced him.
  • James Marshall Ricketts and Rachel Christy were married Jul 1866. They were married 54 years before James passed away in 1920. Rachel passed away 7 years later.
  • George Mentzer and Emeline Minnick were married in 1867. They were married 45 years when George passed away in 1912. Emeline never remarried.
  • Thurston Kennedy Wells and Salme Adell Crandall were married in May 1861. They were married 35 years when they both passed away. This was Thurston’s second marriage after the death of his first wife, Sarah Hall.

3rd Great Grandparents

  • Nelson G. Crawford and Martha Smith were married in 1833. They were almost married 32 years when Nelson passed away. Martha never remarried.
  • Zebulon Foster and Caroline Ostrander were married in 1833. There were married 38 years when Caroline passed away. Zebulon then married Juliet Fleming.
  • Horatio Hammond and Louisa Fisk were married in 1825. They were married 49 years when Louisa passed away in 1874. Horatio died in 1879.
  • James Barr Ralston and Nancy Jane McCormick were married in 1836. They were married 68 years when James passed away in 1904. Nancy died three years later.
  • Hiram M. Currey married Rachel Harris in 1824. Death dates are unknown since records cannot be found for 1850 or later.
  • Henry F Burke married Elizabeth Bland in 1835. They were married 10 years when Henry passed away. Angelina may have remarried but documentation has not been found.
  • William G Harding and Elizabeth Fowler were married in 1830. They were married 16 years when Elizabeth passed away. William then married Eliza Henderson.
  • Alexander Briles married Sarah Rush in 1836. They were married 36 years when Sarah passed away. Alexander then married Elizabeth Ellsworth.
  • William Taylor Thompson and Polly Ann Evans were married in 1842. They were married 46 years when Polly passed away in 1896. William died in 1898.
  • John Lewis Ricketts and Orilda Reed were married in 1846. They were married 42 years when John passed away in 1888. Orilda died in 1900.
  • Samuel Christy and Lyda Gallimore were married in 1842. They were married 22 years when Lyda passed away. Samuel then married Mariah Burk and Mary Susan Amos.
  • Phillip Andrew Mentzer and Orinda Miles were married in 1816. They were married 29 years when Phillip passed away.
  • John Minnick and Elizabeth Mary Jones were married before 1850. They would have been married at least 16 years when Elizabeth passed away. John then married Phebe Tripp in 1870.
  • Ozias Wells and Mary Keneedy were married in 1818. They were married 14 years when Ozias passed away.
  • A marriage date for Lewis Crandall and Almira Nafus is unknown at this time. Almira passed away prior to 1846 when Lewis Crandall married Anna Tuttle.

Counting my parents, I have SIX sets of ancestors married for 50 years. The longest marriage in my tree was for James Barr Ralston and Nancy Jane McCormick.

Two Degrees

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):1)  Using your ancestral lines, how far back in time can you go with two degrees of separation?  That means “you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor.”  When was that second ancestor born?

My first thought was that I knew my great-grandmother, Josie Crawford.

Crawford Line: Josie Hammond Crawford was born in 1874. She would have known her grandfather, Horatio Hammond (1798-1879) and grandparents, James Barr Ralston (1811-1904) and Nancy Jane McCormick (1818-1907).

Josie would have also known her in-laws: Washington Marion Crawford (1838-1889) and Mary Foster Crawford (1842-1929). Josie’s father-in-law was a prisoner of war at Andersonville, as was her father, Richmond Fisk Hammond (1840-1928).

Currey Line: I kne my grandmother, Winnie Letha Currey (1903-1992). Winnie did not know any of her grandparents since they all died prior to her birth. Her mother, Winnie Mae Hutchinson, died in 1913, when my grandmother was ten. My grandmother did not know much about her heritage. Her thirst for knowledge about her mother’s family is what started my genealogy quest.

Briles Line: I knew my grandfather, Edward Osmond Briles (1891-1956). His grandfather, Noah Washington Briles (1840-1879) died before he was born. His grandmother, Sarah Jane Thompson Briles (1843) was still living in Coffey county, Kansas near where his parents lived. Also living in the area were his other grandparents,James Marshall Ricketts (1847-1920) and Rachel Elmeda Christy (1845-1927). Also living in the area was E. O. Briles’ great grandfather, Alexander Briles (1813-1900). Several of his other great granparents were living, but not in Coffey county, Kansas. William Taylor Thompson (1820-1898) and his wife, Polly Ann Evans (1821-1896) were living in Wapello County, Iowa. Orilda Matilda Reed Ricketts (1828-1900) was living in Clinton county, Indiana. Samuel Christy (1819-1904) was also living in Clinton county, Indiana. Whether the families visited each other is unknown.

Mentzer Line: I knew my great-grandfather, Charles Oliver Mentzer (1869-1955). He would have known his grandfather, John Minnick (1822-1903).

I connect within two degrees of separation to my third great grandfather, Horatio Hammond. Horatio Hammond was living in Knox county, Illinois where Josie Winifred Hammond was born.

Photo Lineage

287f3-genealogyfunThis week’s #SaturdayNightGenealogyFun Challenge involves family photos.

How many generations do you have photographs or portraits of your ancestors and descendants? It can be any line…it just can’t be broken!

When thinking about this, I realized that I have several generations of photos on my Crawford line.

Nelson G. Crawford (1808-1864)

 

crawford_nelson_g

Washington Marion Crawford (1838-1889)

crawford-washington-marion-b1838-1889-portrait

 

Judson Foster Crawford (1866-1949)

crawford-judson-b1866-1940-portrait

 

Leon Russel Crawford (1894-1976)

crawford-leon-b1894-1942-railroad-picture

 

Eugene David Crawford (1927-2006)

crawford-eugene-b1927-1960-portrait

David Crawford

1985crawforddavid

Mathew Crawford

crawford-mathew-b1980-2013-laura-cover

 

That’s seven generations of Crawford line photos.

 

 

 

150 Years Ago

287f3-genealogyfunThis weeks ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’ challenge is to determine which ancestors were living 150 years ago (Jan 1869).

In order to figure this out, I had to look at the data I had for each likely ancestor. Working from the pedigree view in Roots Magic, I clicked on each potential ancestor to open their data.

age1869

With that information on one side, I then worked with a spreadsheet on the opposite side and entered their information.

age-spreadsheet

By using the spreadsheet, I was able to collect all of the information into one place. I tried to copy/paste the spreadsheet into my blog post but it reset the column widths making it difficult to read. So, I’ve resorted to screen shots of each generation.

great

2ndgreat

3rdgreat

4th great

By having this information in a spreadsheet, I was able to sort it by location.

kansas

iowa

illinois

indiana

mi-nc

The second part of the challenge asked whether I have a picture of their residence in 1869. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is mostly NO. However, I do have a picture of the Briles residence in Coffey County, Kansas.

home

This home was built on the original homestead. The land has been passed down thru the generations and is still owned by members of the BRILES family.

This was an interesting way to look at my data. Thank you Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings for this challenge!

Time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Saturday Night 

Time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  What was your best research achievement in 2018?  Tell us – show us a document, or tell us a story, or display a photograph.  Brag a bit!  You’ve earned it!

2)  We all have elusive ancestors.  What research problem do you want to work on in 2019?  Tell us where you want to research and what you hope to find.

Well, it is actually Sunday afternoon, but I thought I’d accept the challenge.

I think my best research achievement for 2018 would be finding evidence to support a story my grandmother Briles told me about her grandfather. According to my grandmother, her grandfather got involved in a creamery and ‘lost his shirt’.  I wrote about finding newspaper articles about a court case referred to as the creamery mess  involving George Mentzer in my previous blog, Creamery Mess.

Upon further research, I found quite a few newspaper articles about the Yates Center Creamery. I also found two court transcripts related to the case. Those newspapers articles and the court transcripts were transcribed in my blog post, Creamery Mess Part 2.

Shortly after writing those blogs, I was able to make a research trip to Woodson County, Kansas. During that trip, I visited with the clerk of courts. It was from that visit that I obtained some of the court case file. I haven’t transcribed the case file (yet), but I found it interesting that George Mentzer’s sons, J. F. Mentzer and C. O. Mentzer were included in the list of defendants.

creamerycourtcase

So what would I like to find in 2019? I’d love to break thru one of my brick walls. Since most of my brick walls involve dead ends in Kentucky, I need to learn more about early Kentucky records. Based on my current research, I believe a lot of those Kentucky lines go back to Virginia. Thus, I also need to learn more about Virginia records, especially the collections of the Virginia Historical Society.

While it sounds like I should be making a research trip to Kentucky or Virginia, I was thinking that I needed to go to the Wisconsin Historical Society to use the Draper Manuscript Collection. This collection of papers may hold the key to several of my Kentucky lines: Crawford, Currey, Thompson, Bland, or Burke. Thus, my immediate goal needs to be to not only learn more about this collection but to use any available finding aids in preparation for such a trip.

Looks like I have some prep work to do and travel plans to make! Where will your 2019 goals take you?

Pets

1966-PeppyI recently watched a video that included a Golden Retriever puppy going down a slide. This brought back memories of our family dog, Peppy. Peppy joined the family while we were living on P street in Lincoln, Nebraska. When Peppy was a puppy, we would take him to Woods Park for him to go down a short children’s slide. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of Peppy going down the slide.

1958-Crawford-Marcia-Terry-David-and-dog-SusiePrior to our move to Lincoln, our constant childhood companion was our dog, Susie. I don’t remember Susie as a pup, but I’m guessing she joined the family after our move to Dodge City when I was three. I do remember the tears when we found out Susie wasn’t going with us when we moved to Lincoln in 1967.

blackyAbout the time I was 8 or 9, a small black kitten joined the family – Blacky. Blacky loved to cuddle, but he was also a fighter. When we first got him, he had to wear a collar with a bell so that the birds would be scared away. One day, Blacky went missing. When he finally made it home, his right front paw was caught in his collar. That was the last day he wore a collar — until our move to Lincoln.

Lincoln had a leash law for cats and Blacky had to be kept on a leash when outside. Since he had always been able to go outside, he adapted to the collar and leash. We would clip his leash to the clothesline giving Blacky the ability to explore most of the yard. The squirrels would sit in the tree and taunt him. They seemed to know the limit of Blacky’s leash and stay out of his reach. One day, he hunkered down and waited. An unfortunate squirrel got within Blacky’s reach. Needless to say, the remaining squirrels left him alone after that.

sunnyShortly after my marriage, my husband, Michael, agreed that I could have a dog. Unfortunately, there was a stipulation with that — the dog couldn’t be in the house. Sunny and I made the best of the situation. Sunny would get to come in for short periods of time — he just couldn’t stay. During the summers, he would join me on my trips to summer school. While in Emporia, Sunny got to stay in the house!

JessieA year or two after Sunny’s death, a small gray cat began visiting our yard. I was allowed to feed her, but again ‘she couldn’t come in the house.’ She became Jessie and was taken to the vet for shots, etc. It didn’t take much time before Jessie was allowed in our house and became part of the family. Jessie was my cat. She loved spending time in my office watching the birds or curling up on the afghan with me for a nap.

Jake MikeWhen Jessie was about 10, a small yellow kitten began coming around the house. About the second day, the kitten jumped in Mike’s lap. Somehow, that kitten knew who he had to convince that he was our kitten! Jake is no longer a kitten, but a big yellow cat. Jake has always been Mike’s cat. Jake is a loving cat and purrs a lot. He allows me to pet him and sometimes will snuggle next to me. However, it is Mike’s attention he craves and Mike’s lap he seeks.

I still long for the companionship of a dog but love having a cat in the house!

Join the ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’. What are your memories of the pets in your family?

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