Archive for October, 2009

And This Brother Came to Kansas – Tombstone Tuesday – James and Elizabeth (Conver) Kline

by Sherry Stocking Kline
Written for FamilyTreeWriter.com  -  October 5th, 2009

Though family and family history has always been important to me, I have my father-in-law to thank, at least in part, for my interest in researching genealogy.

My Father-in-Law Got Me Started…

It was my father-in-law who put the bug in my ear that “he sure would like to know more about his family” though he also let me know at the same time that he was afraid to find out.

Like many families, there was a ‘story’ involved. Three brothers, or some such number, and one went this way, one went another, they had an argument, and they never spoke again.

The Brothers Argued and Never Spoke Again?

The story that Pop, my father-in-law had heard was that the brothers came west, and then they argued on the way, and one came to Kansas and they never spoke again. And Pop was afraid that I might find something about his grandfather that would be, well, really embarrassing, so though he really wanted to know, he was more than a little hesitant.

He probably knew that the mystery would be a challenge that I couldn’t resist, and he was right.

I Was Clueless When I Began to Research…

I began to research. And it’s funny now how clueless I was when I started. My first trip to the library I was simply opening up Pennsylvania genealogy books looking for the Kline name, hoping to get lucky!

Kline isn’t all that common here, so I had no idea that Kline (meaning ‘little man’)  is pretty much the German version of Smith in Pennsylvania.

Bless her heart, Marsha Stenholm (now retired) of the Wichita Public Library took me under her wing, and we actually found a little info that first trip, and oh, my gosh, I was hooked!

James Ran in the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Race…

Here is the tombstone for Pop’s grandfather and grandmother.  They came from the Venango County area in Pennsylvania, and made a stop in Illinois and also in Iowa, leaving farms there to come to Caldwell, Sumner County, Kansas to make a run in the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Run into Oklahoma.  When they did not win any land in that race, they settled near Milan, Sumner County, Kansas.

James and Elizabeth Conver Kline are buried in the Ryan Township/Milan Cemetery in Sumner County, Township Cemetery, Milan, Sumner County, Kansas.

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James & Elizabeth (Conver) Kline - buried Ryan Township, Milan, Sumner County, Kansas

And though I did find that the siblings may have had some disagreements, it seems as though several kept in touch with one another, even after they all re-located to their new homes in the west.

Still a Work in Progress…

Even though Pop is gone now, this is still a ‘work in progress’ and I’ve connected with other distant branches of the family, and they’ve added much to the family tree information.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Building a Pond and the Leaky Tin Bathtub!

Here is the Saturday Night – time for some Genealogy Fun! Assignment from Randy Seaver at http://www.geneamusings.com/

“We all have childhood memories, but if you’re like me, you’re concentrating on getting the family history of your parents and earlier generations. Let’s think about ourselves here.

Here’s your mission if you want to accept it …

1. What is one of your most vivid childhood memories? Was it family, friends, places, events, or just plain fun?

2) Tell us about it in a comment to this post, a Comment or Note on Facebook, or in a blog post of your own.”

Building a Pond in the Pasture and the Leaky Tin Bathtub!

by Sherry Stocking Kline
October 4th, 2009

And there was the time we kids built a pond in my folk’s pasture.

We weren’t supposed to.  We weren’t even supposed to be home from school.

My Nephews Were Out of School With Colds

But my nephews (who were nearly my age) had stayed home sick with colds, and so, because they were coming to visit, my mom allowed me to stay home from school, too.

Since it was a mild spring day following several days of rainy weather and since we weren’t very old we headed outdoors as fast as we could and headed for the pasture to see if we could find some water.

We had some pretty deep buffalo wallows in our pasture when I was growing up, and they were a constant source of tadpoles and good place to wade after a rain.

We were in luck that day, the buffalo wallows were full and spring rains had filled the little creeks till we were wading in water that was nearly up to our (four, six and eight-year-old-high) knees.

Soon We Were In Water Over Our Knees

But we wanted it deeper! So we grabbed tree limbs, branches, old boards, and whatever else we could, and dammed up the creek.    Awesome, pretty soon we were wading in water over our knees. One of us scrambled back up to the house, and drug back an old tin bathtub to be our makeshift boat.

We set the leaky old tin tub afloat and for quite awhile we took turns, using an old board for a paddle.

We Had a Lot of Fun Till…

We had our own little pond, and our own little boat (bathtub), in our own (huge) backyard. We were so happy. We were going to have fun forever.

We had a lot of fun that day.

Till we got caught. You know how sometimes when you were a kid your mom would be so annoyed she’d take a whack at your backside, and you’d get another one with each step she took and each word she said?

Well, let’s just say my mom was annoyed, and so was my nephew’s mom. We heard “I’ll never let you stay home from school again,” “you ought to have known better than that,” and “you kids could have drowned.”

I don’t think I ever did get to stay home from school like that again.  But  that day was a lot of fun even if I did have to sit kinda easy in the chair later that night.

Unfortunately, though I’m sure it was for our safety, our little makeshift dam was dismantled, and the Good Ship ‘Tin Tub’ never sailed again.

What I’d Like to Have in My Christmas Stocking!

by Sherry Stocking Kline written for Wichita Eagle’s Active Life Magazine – December 2008 (and just in case Santa is reading this, I’d still like to have this in my Christmas Stocking!) If you’ve ever been at a cemetery, library, or family gathering and wished you had your whole family tree in your shirt pocket or purse, you may want to ask your favorite Santa to leave the Pocket Genealogist Software in your Christmas stocking this year. Laura Phillips and her husband Kevin are the developers, owners, and tech support people for the Pocket Genealogist, a nifty little software package that will let you carry around up to a quarter million family members (plus photographs) on your PDA or smartphone, support GPS latitudes and longitudes, calculate dates, Soundex, add data, and search for individuals or places.

Carry Your Family Tree with You…

Carry Your Ancestors With You on your Windows PDA or Smartphone.

Carry Your Ancestors With You on your Windows PDA or Smartphone.

Phillips said that her husband, Kevin, got frustrated while trying to organize his family tree information to go on an out-of-state trip to visit family. He wanted to carry his whole family tree on his PDA (personal digital assistant) and leave his laptop at home. “He couldn’t find a program that would do what he wanted it to do,” said Laura Phillips, business manager and self-proclaimed “dummy tester” of Northern Hills Software’s Pocket Genealogist, “his standards are pretty high. So he put together a program to do what he wanted it to do.”

Software works on Windows Mobile Smart Phones & PDA’s

According to Phillips and the www.pocketgenealogist.com website, the software will run on any Windows Mobile Software, and depending on your PDA’s memory, the program can hold up to a quarter million individuals, allow you to view photographs, calculate those tricky ‘how-are-we-related anyway’ questions, and enter data for transfer back to your desktop computer. “You won’t get a free cell phone that is capable of running this software,” Phillips said.

Decide What Uses Before You Buy!

So before you buy a phone or PDA, you need to decide how you want to use it and what software you want to run and then purchase the smart phone or PDA that will do what you need it to do. Phillips said the Pocket Genealogist won’t work on IPhones, Blackberry’s or PDA’s that use the Palm Operating System. (Phillips said that the Gedstar Pro software program will work with Palm Operating systems.) Besides English, Pocket Genealogist supports nine languages and will import directly from Legacy Family Tree without conversion to a GEDCOM. Phillips said that it also “works with anything that adheres to the GEDCOM standard, including Family Treemaker, The Master Genealogist, and Roots Magic

.”

Desktop In Your Pocket?

“We try to mirror the experience that you have with your desktop,” Phillips said, and added a reminder to software users to “back up”  their information. “Your system is getting hauled around everywhere,” Phillips said, “so it’s important to back up your PDA’s information, just as you would a desktop computer.” Phillips said that Pocket Genealogist is very easy to navigate and has a very low learning curve, making it easy for new users. “I’m considered the dummy tester,” Phillips said, “if I can read the manual and make it work, we figure anybody can.”

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