Archive for the ‘McGinnis Family’ Category

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – A Day Without Blogging

by Sherry Stocking Kline
Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Recently, bloggers using Blogger found themselves unable to blog, and also found some of their blog posts had disappeared, and this blogging challenge from Randy Seaver comes from that 20 hour stint of not being able to blog!

Hey genea-philes – it’s Saturday Night – time for lots more Genealogy Fun!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  We all know that Blogger (www.blogspot.com) was down for 20 hours from Thursday afternoon to Friday morning.  What did you do with yourself during that time period?

2)  If we lost our blogging platforms for awhile (but not the Internet as a whole), what would you do with your genealogy time?  What projects would you start, continue working on, or try to finish instead of blogging?

3)  Tell us in a blog post of your own, in a comment on this post, or in a status thread on Facebook.

I don’t blog on the Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society blogsite at http://www.ks-schgs.blogspot.com everyday, so I didn’t know that Blogger was ‘down’ for 20 hours and created lots of problems for Blogger bloggers and giving everyone serious blogging withdrawal!

So, what would I do if my self-hosted WordPress went down for 20 hours? 

Panic.

  Then spend time trying to find out what went wrong and what I needed to do to fix it. 

 Then once I learned that the glitch wasn’t up to me and was out of my control, I’d ‘play hookey.’ 

Which is what I did today!   I played ‘hookey’. 

I had ‘stuff’ that needed doing, but the little ‘bug’ that landed in our house this week wasn’t helping me feel like getting things done around the house, and so for a few hours I played hookey.

I went to the Illinois State Genealogical Society, and began searching for the two surnames that I knew came from Illinois to Kansas, McGinnis and Corson

And Voila! 

There they were, my great-great grandparents, Richard S. Corson and Mary Corson, buried in the Bethel Cemetery in Sangamon County, Illinois.  I knew it to be them, because I had some of their information already, but I did not know where they were buried. 

And now, I do.

And that reminded me that I might just be lucky enough that some kind soul had posted their tombstone photo on Find-A-Grave.com.  

Once again, luck was with me and Richard’s and Mary’s tombstone photo was online and may be found right here.   The contributor was listed as “anonymous,” and I just want to say “thank you” to the anonymous contributor who put their tombstone photo on the website. 

I’ve Done Very Little Research on the Corson’s…

I have done very little research on the Corson line as I’ve been focusing in other areas, but as I said, I was playing ‘hookey’ today, and simply out searching to see what fun thing I might find, so I headed on over to Ancestry.com  and then to FamilySearch.org  to try to find them on as many census and other records as were possible.

I was able to locate the Corson family on three different census records, and have to admit that I now have a new puzzle.  On three different census records 1870, 1880, and 1900, there is a person with a different name with the same birth year.

In 1870, there is a 13 yr old male, Francis E, born it appears in 1857.

In 1880, there is a 23 yr old female named Emma, born it appears in 1857.

In 1900, there is a 43 year old female daughter named Fannie and a granddaughter named Fannie (they have different initials).  Fannie would have been born in 1857. 

So, was Francis and Fannie twins?  If so, where was she in 1870? 

My guess is, and it is nothing but a guess, that the Francis E listed in 1870 should have been Frances Emma or Emmaline, and listed as a female. Then it would be sensible for her to be there at the age of 23 listed as Emma, and back home at 43 listed as Fannie, and with a daughter named Fannie also, who was born in California.

I’m Done Playing Hookey for Today…

But, without further research I won’t know the answer to those questions, and since I’m done playing hookey for today, those questions will have to wait.  But the cool thing is, I now know the names of a few of my Great-grandmother Margaret Corson McGinnis’ siblings!

And maybe, just maybe, I will be very, very lucky, and one of my great-grandmother Maggie’s siblings will find this blog, and write me a note that explains this mystery!!

Related Links:

Margaret “Maggie” (Corson) McGinnis Dies at Age 101

Margaret “Maggie” (Corson) McGinnis Sang for Abraham Lincoln

Gr-Grandmother Maggie (Corson) McGinnis & Maud McGinnis Stocking Scrapbook page

Thomas J. McGinnis Obituary

The Corson Family Association

Book: “Three Hundred Years with the Corson Family” by Orville Corson

Carnival Of Genealogy – Scrapbooking my Family History One Page at a Time

by Sherry Stocking Kline
01 August 2010

Off and on for several years, I’ve tried to get started scrapbooking and journaling my photographs.  But it takes a lot of room to gather it all up, and spread it all out.

And I seem to be one of those people who have to change background papers and photographs over and over (and over) till I finally find the combination that I like.  Takes hours. (And usually two more trips to the scrapbook store!)

Then I found digital scrapbooking with a Twitter friend on-line.

So, instead of cutting up my photographs, and then wishing they were a different shape and size, or worse yet, wishing I had never cut them up at all,  now I can digitize photos, crop, re-size, and re-shape to my heart’s content, leaving the originals alone.

I love it!

Below are some of the 12 x 12 scrapbook pages for my family history book that I’ve created.  First, is the page for my great-grandparents, Roderick Remine and Frances “Fanny” (Hitchcock) Stocking and their four sons.

My grandfather is standing on the far right, Elmer Leverett. He passed away before I was born, and I never got to meet him.  (I sooo wish that I had been able to get to know him.)

Roderick Remine and Frances (Hitchcock) Stocking with their children, left to right: Ralph Hurlburt, Roderick Porter, Elmer Leverett and their youngest between them, John.

The Roderick Remine and Frances (Hitchcock) Stocking Family

The photo below here is my great-grandmother, Maggie (Corson) McGinnis and her daughter and son-in-law, Maud and Elmer Stocking.

It looks to me like they are sitting on the east side of  Maud and Elmer’s home near Mayfield, Kansas.  Maud and Elmer’s home was on their farm on the NW 1/4 of 18-32-2W, where they had a quarter section of land. (160 acres).  Later, my parents bought this farm from Maud and Elmer and I grew up here as well.  The house burned down several years ago.

Maggie McGinnis and Maud (McGinnis) & Elmer Stocking

Maggie McGinnis with daughter Maud Stocking & husband Elmer Stocking

The photograph below is of my dad’s parents and his siblings.  What a great photograph! (I wish I knew when it was taken!!)  I really like the burnt sienna colored paper below with it’s hints of other shades, and I added just a few “starbursts” to it to ‘gussy’ it up a little.

My grandfather is seated on the left and my grandmother is seated on the right. My father, Harold Stocking, Sr., is standing on the back row, third from the left.

The Elmer Leverett and Maud (McGinnis) Stocking Family

The Elmer Leverett and Maud (McGinnis) Stocking Family. Standing: Frank, Carl, Harold, Sr., and Alma; Seated, Father Elmer Leverett, Herbert, Frances, Peggy, Mary, and Mother Maud.

While researching and preserving history is very important to me, my scrapbooking is not all about preserving the past, it’s also about preserving and enjoying the present, too, and being able to enjoy it again and again for the future.

Below is the cover from “Giggles”, an 8 x 8 scrapbook that I created this summer for my two darling little granddaughters.  There are several of my favorite photos and fun times that we’ve had in the past few years, and the book is a favorite with the girls as well.  I also think it will help them remember all the fun times that we’ve had!

Savvy and Chloy star in their own "Giggles" book

Jordyn Savannah "Savvy" & Chloy Celyse star in their own Book created especially for them.

Below is a photo of the girls reading their very own Storybook Scrapbook!

Jordyn reads their storybook to her younger sister, Chloy.

Jordyn reads their Storybook to her younger sister, Chloy.

Currently I am using a Family Photo Tree template at www.TurnMemoriesIntoBooks.com to create a 12 x 12 scrapbook page of our family tree. I am  also working on a Storybook for my mother, who is nearly 99 years old, so I’m working with some really neat old photographs, and preserving some fun stories!

Amanuensis Monday – Maggie McGinnis Dies at Age 101

by Sherry Stocking Kline
19 July 2010

Many thanks to my cousin Lynne Bajuk, California, for our great-grandmother Maggie McGinnis’ obituary!

This past week, Lynne sent me a wonderful ‘genealogy care package’ with photographs and this obituary.  Happy Dance!

Fortunately, I was able to find Maggie’s husband, Thomas Jefferson McGinnis’ obituary and send it to her recently.  It has been sooo wonderful to ‘meet’ and visit with Lynne and to be able to share information and work together.  Lynne has many wonderful stories that her mother told her that I’d not heard.  Marvelous!

Maggie McGinnis, 101, Succumbed Sunday

Funeral services for Mrs. Margaret (Maggie) McGinnis, 101, were conducted at the Cedar Vale Methodist church Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 o’clock with Rev. W. E. Burdette officiating.

Mrs. McGinnis passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Maud Stocking, Sunday morning at 6:15 o’clock from arterial thrombosis. Although bedfast since the first of February, Mrs. McGinnis had only been seriously ill since 11 o’clock Saturday morning.

Mrs. McGinnis had made her home in Cedar Vale with her daughter for the past nine and one-half years. She was loved and admired by all who knew her. Despite her age, Mrs. McGinnis possessed a keen and alert mind and enjoyed conversing on current topics. She frequently spoke of her childhood and enjoyed telling of her experiences when she with other girls of her community sang for Abraham Lincoln.

A trio composed of Bill House, James E. Humble and Maurice Smith sang “Abide With Me” and “City Four Square.” As a solo, Maurice Smith sang “Crossing the Bar.”  Mrs. R. D. Oltjen was pianist.

Pallbearers were Marshall Hill of Arkansas City, Herbert Stocking of Elk City, Harold and Fred Stocking of Mayfield, Bob and Jack Yearout of Wellington.

Burial was made in the cemetery at Mayfield, Kansas.

Obituary

Margaret (Maggie) E. Corson McGinnis was born January 19, 1849, in Saugamon County, Illinois (Sangamon?) and died March 26, 1950-, in Cedar Vale, Kansas at the age of 101 years, two months, and seven days.

Maggie Corson was educated in a rural school near her home and in Springfield, Illinois. In 1860 she was one of a group of children trained to sing campaign songs in support of Abraham Lincoln’s candidacy for president. The group on one occasion sang for Lincoln and received his thanks.

At the age of fifteen she united with the Methodist church of which she remained a loyal member throughout her life.

After teaching for three years in Illinois rural and village schools, she was married in 1872 to Thomas J. McGinnis, who was teaching and farming in eastern Illinois.

In 1886 they moved to Kansas, eventually living in several communities in this state.

After the death of her husband at Emporia in 1911, Mrs. McGinnis lived in Missouri, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maryland, and California, eventually returning to Kansas, where the has been residing with her daughter, Mrs. Maud Stocking, in Cedar Vale.

Mrs. McGinnis is survived by three sons – Charles E. of Los Angeles; Eugene E. of Wichita; and Virgil H. of Denver; two daughters – Mrs. Maud Stocking of Cedar Vale and Myrta E. (Ethel) McGinnis of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania; twelve grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren.

More info:

Margaret “Maggie” Corson McGinnis, daughter of Richard S. and Mary (Corson) Corson, is buried in the Osborne Cemetery, Sumner County, Kansas, near the small town of Mayfield, Kansas, with four generations of descendants.

Maggie McGinnis Sang For Abraham Lincoln

A Photo of Maggie Corson McGinnis (and me) on her 100th Birthday

Thomas J. McGinnis Obituary

Three Hundred Years With the Corson Family in America

Treasure Thursday Great-Grandma McGinnis Sang For Abraham Lincoln in 1860

Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Campaign Rally

Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Campaign Rally


Great-Grandma McGinnis Sang for Abraham Lincoln…

This photograph has been in the family for some time and my Great-Grandma Margaret “Maggie” (Corson) McGinnis, (my grandma Maud Stocking’s mother) told her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren that she was a child in this photograph in the wagon on the lower right hand side of the photograph with the sign that reads “Let Me In – Kansas.”

Great-Grandma McGinnis said that she and other children sang for then candidate Abraham Lincoln on this day.

According to my Uncle Herb, and my brother Harold (a.k.a Fred), (both of whom were old enough to remember the story well) Great-Grandma Maggie said that Mr. Lincoln stopped, bent down, and spoke to her about “letting Kansas in” to the Union as a state.

There she was, just a little girl, at a Turning Point in History…

Wow!  There she was, just a little girl, being spoken to by a man who was then a candidate for president.  Can you just imagine?  Did they have any idea that they were at a point in history that would lead to such historically memorable events as the Civil War, the ending of slavery, the assassination of a President, and other major turning points in our country’s history?

In light of what was to come just a few years later, it is no wonder that Great-Grandma shared this story with her children and grandchildren.

I’ve seen this photograph on-line in several places, so I know it must have been a popular photograph in that time and era and I’m glad that Great-grandma Maggie had a copy of this photograph and shared this story with her family.

Other Related Posts:

Corson Family Info:

Wordless Wednesday – Margaret Corson McGinnis’ 100th Birthday

You can learn more about the Corson Family, Book and Association Website Here.

My Corson Family Website and Happy Dance Post is Here.

Three Hundred Years With the Corson Family in America.

McGinnis Family Info:

My Maggie Corson/McGinnis Happy Dance!

Carnival of Genealogy – My Poem to My Ancestors

Maggie’s Husband:
Amanuensis Monday – Thomas J. McGinnis Obituary


Amanuensis Monday – Thomas J. McGinnis Obituary

by Sherry Stocking Kline
26 April 2010

Last week I wrote the exciting news that during a short conversation with my dad’s sister I learned that my great-grandfather had not died in Sumner County as I believed, but in Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas.  A quick call to the Emporia State Library, Emporia, Kansas on Saturday and and early Monday morning e-mail to the genealogy librarian and by mid-afternoon, the scanned image of my Great-Grandfather Thomas J. (I think it stands for Jefferson, but I haven’t seen that on official documents yet!) McGinnis’ obituary, and burial info was in my e-mail inbox!

Thank you, Ms. Sundberg!

Woo Hoo!  Monday Happy Dances are always awesome!  I learned a lot of great info, but the one thing I wanted to learn wasn’t in his obituary.

Who Were His Parents?

I did learn the exact address of where he lived when he passed, that his funeral was in his home rather than the church, even though the obituary mentioned him being a faithful worker in the Methodist Church, and I learned that his body was brought by Santa Fe Train No. 13 to Sumner County, where he was buried in the Osborn Cemetery, Mayfield, Sumner County, Kansas. (I did know where he was buried, and have photographs of his stone.) But the obituary did not mention Thomas’ parents. So far, no death records have been located, and Thomas passed away TWO months before Kansas’ State-wide death records were mandatory.

Here is Thomas J. McGinnis Obituary Transcript – Emporia Gazette May 12, 1911

T. J. McGinnis Dead

T. J. McGinnis died this morning at 5:45 at the family home, 1309 State Street.  He had been sick with a complication of diseases since last July.  He was born in Westville, Ohio, August 17, 1842, where he grew to manhood and taught in country schools for a few years before going to Illinois, where he continued to teach school.

He was married near Springfield, Ill to Miss Maggie E. Carson (my note: should be Corson), and lived there until 1886, when the family moved to Kansas, locating first in Barbour County. (this may actually be Bourbon County)

He taught in several of the high schools in the southern part of Kansas before coming to Morris County, from which place the family moved to Emporia four years ago.  Mr. McGinnis’s failing health preventing from further work.

He was a man of exceptionally strong personality, and many lives have been made stronger by his uplighting influence in the class room.  As a young man he served a short time in the Civil War before leaving his native state.  He was a member of the Masonic lodge and of the A.O.U.W., and was for years as active and efficient worker in the Methodist Church.

Besides his wife he leaves five children.  They are Charles E. McGinnis, an attorney to Pueblo, Colo..   Eugene McGinnis of Ford County, Kansas; Virgil McGinnis, of Pueblo, Colo; Mrs. Maud Stocking, of Mayfield, Kan.; and Miss Ethel, who lives at home.
No definite arrangements have been made for the funeral, but the body will be taken to Mayfield for interment.  The funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Notes:

Maud Stocking was my grandmother, and she used to tell me wonderful stories about my father’s childhood.  I wish someone had told me that by the time I was thirty, those memories would fade like a quilt beyond repair…

Miss Ethel a.k.a. Myrta Ethel, became Dr. Myrta Ethel McGinnis, and taught at Ft. Hays University in Western Kansas, and later at a small college in Pennsylvania.
I don’t recall meeting Gene, Charles, or Virgil.

Thomas J. McGinnis Funeral Information Transcription
13 May 1911 Emporia Gazette

The McGinnis Funeral Tomorrow

The funeral services of T. J. McGinnis will be held at the home, 1809 State Street, at 10 o’clock, sharp, tomorrow morning.  The services will be conducted by Rev. H. W. Hargett, of the First Methodist Church.

Thomas J. McGinnis
15 May 1911 Emporia Gazette

The McGinnis Funeral

The funeral of  T. J. McGinnis was held yesterday morning at 10 o’clock from the home on State Street.  The services were conducted by Reverend Henry W. Hargett, of the First Methodist Church, of which church Mr. McGinnis was a most faithful member.  The floral offerings were abundant and showed the wide circle of friends Mr. McGinnis had made during his few years of residence in Emporia.  The pall-bearers were D. A. Dryer, H. A. Tibbals, J. W. Shawgo, Newberry, William Jay and T. O. Stephenson. 

The body was taken on Santa Fe train No. 13 to Mayfield, Kansas, where the interment was made today.

18 May 1911 – Emporia Weekly Gazette

The funeral of T. J. McGinnis was held yesterday morning at 10 o’clock from the home on State Street.  The services were conducted by Reverend Henry W. Hargett, of the First Methodist Church, of which church Mr. McGinnis was a most faithful member.  The floral offereings were abundant and showed the wide circle of friends Mr. McGinnis had made during his few years of residence in Emporia.  The pall-bearers were D. A. Dryer, H. A. Tibbals, J. W. Shawgo, Newberry, William Jay and T. O. Stephenson. 

The body was taken on Santa Fe train No. 13 to Mayfield, Kansas, where the interment was made today.

Related Posts:

52 Weeks to a Better Genealogy – Letter to the Emporia State Library, Emporia, Kansas

Margaret (Corson) McGinnis (Thomas’ widow) on Her 100th Birthday!

52 Weeks to a Better Genealogy – Week 15 – Letter to Emporia, Kansas Library

by Sherry Stocking Kline
19 April 2010

I recently learned from my Aunt Mary that her grandfather Thomas J. McGinnis died in Emporia, Kansas!  That was very beneficial info, as he is buried in the same small cemetery, Osborn Cemetery, Mayfield, Sumner County, Kansas as two of his children, many of his grandchildren, and a few of his great-grandchildren.

And since I’ve learned one of the fastest ways to ask a question is by telephone, I picked up the phone, found out the Emporia Library’s phone number, and found out who to e-mail with my information request.  My request letter below:

Hello Ms Sundberg,

I was given your name on Saturday, and so am writing to ask if you can help me locate some information about my great-grandfather.

His name is Thomas J (I believe this is Jefferson) McGinnis, and he and his wife, Margaret Corson McGinnis lived in the Emporia area for a time, and that is where he is supposed to have passed away.

What I am hoping to find is his obituary, especially if it tells who his parents are, but I will be very happy to learn all that I can about he and his wife Maggie.

If they lived in the town of Emporia, then perhaps they will show up in a city directory with their address, etc.,

And if you have any way of learning if he had a will or probate record in the court there, that would be helpful also.

Here is some of the info I have for him. I also have the 1880 and 1900 Federal Census and the 1905 Kansas Census.  I do not have the 1850, 60, or 70 census, yet.

Thomas Jefferson McGinnis
birth: Aug 17, 1842 – Ohio (or Illinois according to one census)
death:. May 12, 1911 – Emporia, KS

Married: 1872 – according to Ancestry.com

Margaret Corson

Thomas & Maggie are both buried in the Osborne Cemetery, Sumner County, Mayfield, Kansas

1910 U. S. Federal Census

Thomas J McGinnis
Age: 67
Est birth year: abt 1843
Birthplace: Ohio
Spouse’s Name: Maggie E
Home in 1910: Emporia Ward 1, Lyon, Kansas
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male

Household Members:

Thomas J McGinnis   67
Maggie E McGinnis   61
Mertie E. McGinnis   18
Joseph L Davis         26
George Hetzel            31
Lee J Taylor              23
Daniel Pederson      22
John O’ Brien           24

I understand that there is a $10 charge per hour, so please let me know what I owe you and how best to pay.

Thank you very much,
Sherry Kline
www.TurnMemoriesIntoBooks.com

Ah, the speed of e-mail!  At 6:48 a.m. this morning, I typed my request to the librarian’s genealogist, and by mid-afternoon, I had my answer!

Other Related McGinnis Posts

My Maggie Corson/McGinnis Happy Dance!

Three Hundred Years With the Corson Families in America

Carnival of Genealogy – My Poem to My Ancestors

Christmas Advent Calendar Grab Bag – My Gift from my Grandma Maud McGinnis Stocking

Wordless Wednesday – Margaret Corson McGinnis’ 100th Birthday

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – My Happy Dances!

Sherry Stocking Kline
February 20, 2010

It’s Saturday night!   Time for some more Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy Seaver!  He wants us to tell him about our genealogy “Happy Dances!”

Sounds like Happy Dance Party fun to me!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Happy Dance, Ah-ha Moments or Genea-gasms!

Hey, it’s Saturday Night (again), time for some Genealogy Fun! Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is to: 1) Think of any number of genealogy events or moments that make you have a genealogy happy dance, an ah-ha moment, or a genea-gasm. 2) Tell us about them in a blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.

I didn’t even know there was a Corson book!

Here we go! I just did  a Happy Dance this past week.  When I was doing a few minutes research on my own father, I found he was listed in the  Corson Family Book!

I didn’t even know there was a Corson book!  I love family history books, especially the kind that adds in some tidbits about the people, like what their occupation was, and if they served in the Civil, Revolutionary, War of 1812, Spanish-American War, etc, etc..

I love a ‘peek through the window’ of their lives…

And while I just love filling in the blanks on ancestral charts, I love it even more when I find a newspaper clipping, story, or a family history that gives me a peek ‘though the window’ into their lives.

Corson was the maiden name of my Dad’s grandmother, Margaret “Maggie” Corson McGinnis. And this is a line I’ve just simply not researched much at all, so this may be a fantastic springboard for further research.

Most of my “Happy Dances” haven’t been posted about yet, but that sounds like a fun course of future action!

More Happy Dances…

The Day the Genealogy Serendipity Angels Smiled… is one of those moments when you really believe in Genealogy Angels.  The day I called the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center, hoping to learn a bit about our family history, and connected with a real, live, living cousin.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Three Hundred Years with the Corson Families in America

Sherry Stocking Kline
February 18, 2010

Oh, be still my heart!  This might not be quite good enough to do a Happy Dance, but almost!  I was doing research on Ancestry.com on my father.  I hadn’t done that because I knew who my father was, where he was born, where he died, that he had heart disease, and where he is buried.

So I hadn’t done census research on him. Big mistake!  I did the census research, and learned that in the 1930 census, shortly before he and mom married, he was living with another family as their farm worker.  That wasn’t surprising news.

But the next thing that popped up on Ancestry was a “Corson” family book that stated that it listed my father, his siblings, and his parents, etc.

That’s where the Happy Dance comes in.

The book is titled “Three hundred years with the Corson families in America” by Orville Corson, Middletown, OH., 1939 (2v). V2: 161, 205

Now, all I need to do is beg, borrow, or maybe even purchase this book at Higginson Book Company, and I’ll have a springboard to research my Great-Grandmother Margaret “Maggie” Corson McGinnis, mother of my Grandma Maud McGinnis Stocking, and their ancestors. (I’ve already called my favorite local librarian!)

And if I’m really lucky, there may just be a few glimpses into their personal lives, occupations, and military service  in this book, giving me numerous clues to where to research and flesh out who they were.  Woo Hoo!

Yeah, maybe this is enough for a “Happy Dance”!

Carnival of Genealogy – My Poem to My Ancestors

By Sherry Stocking Kline
February 1, 2010

Smith, Hawley, Laird, Breneman, Stocking & Jones, too
Also McGinnis, Ames, Crabb, Corson
, and other names it’s true.
What inspired these ancestors and led them to leave home
To go far from their homeland and bravely roam?

Who are these brave people who came before?
Oh, How I love it whenever I learn a bit more.
I’m curious about what they sold or they bought,
About their lives and beliefs, even what they thought.

What brought them to America?  Why and when did they come?
What ship did they sail on, where exactly are they from?
All these questions I have, about each and every one,
I love finding clues, solving puzzles is such fun!

Was my Laird ancestor a highland Scots’ ‘prince’ or a pauper’s son?
It’s the hunt and the challenge that makes genealogy such fun!
Each answer brings new questions, then those answers I seek
To answer just one question, solve one clue sometimes takes weeks.

Who was this man, my Jones grandfather so elusive?
Must I dig deeper into the life of his mother and yes -  get intrusive?
Was she un-married/ widowed/ divorced when she married a ‘Crabb’
What was she like, how did she dress? Fashion plate? Or drab?

For religious freedom, in the 1630’s my Stockings sailed
To America on the Griffith, ‘twas from England they hailed.
Part of the history books they became, & helped found a new town
It was Hartford, Connecticut, with Thomas Hooker’s party they founded.

An Anabaptist, our Breneman ancestor left a dungeon deep,
Walked across castle floors and out of the castle keep,
His life spared, he came to America where freedom to worship would be
And down through the centuries, many have fought to keep America free.

In the Revolutionary War, 1812, and World Wars One and Two
Korea, Vietnam, and the Civil War, too.
My ancestors were there, along with many others who served
For keeping our land free, it’s our thanks they deserve.

Great-Grandma (Corson) McGinnis lived to be a whole century old,
My brother still remembers the story she told
About singing for then campaigning Abe Lincoln as a wee child,
When he promised her statehood for Kansas, a territory wild.

My ancestors were farmers, blacksmiths, merchants and more,
Teachers who taught, and those who owned stores
As we build for the future, on their shoulders’ we stand
And our family still has teachers, and farmers who farm the land.

There are plane builders, engineers, and more than one preacher,
There are programmers, a writer, and an NASA astronaut once a teacher
So many different folks now make up our family tree,
As we live here in America, land of the brave and the free…

I tried to intersperse some of the stories and legends that come along with my family.  I can’t prove that my Great-grandmother McGinnis (she would have been a Corson then) did sing for Abraham Lincoln as a child when Lincoln was campaigning, but she did live in the Springfield, Illinois area, did have a famous photograph that became part of the family story, and that is the story that she told her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, so I believe it to be true.

My Stocking ancestor, George Stocking’s name is on the founding father’s stone in Hartford, CT, and there are many documents on-line (and off) about George and the Thomas Hooker party that founded Hartford.  It’s a small world when I found out years later that my Junior High Latin teacher was a descendant of the Hart family that Hartford was named for.

My cousin has been to the castle in Switzerland and even down in the dungeon where my Breneman ancestor was kept a prisoner.  She said that it gave her goosebumps…

Christmas Advent Calendar – Grab Bag

Sherry Stocking Kline
December 9, 2009

When I was growing up, my Grandma Maud (McGinnis) Stocking lived an hour and a half away in a little town named Cedarvale, Kansas .  And though we went to see her and brought her to see us, it didn’t always happen exactly on Christmas.

So Grandma Stocking would pack up a little package for our family. It was all wrapped up in brown paper with packages inside for each of us, and oh, how I looked forward to that little package!

I watched for the mail man to turn the corner and drive down our little country road and when I saw him coming, I would run down the driveway of our farm to the mail box to say hello and check and see if today was THE day.

When the package came, I would run back up to the house with it and begin badgering and begging my mom to let me open it early. Most of the time, she made me wait at least until closer to Christmas. So then it was time to shake, squeeze, and guess what the package had in it.

The present I remember best is the one she made herself.

I can’t remember every present that Grandma sent, and I don’t remember anything that she sent my folks, but the present I remember best is the one she made for me herself.

It was a crayon apron.  It was a pretty pink, girl-y looking with colored braid stitched on it and stitched into  it were slim little pockets for crayons and each pocket had a colorful crayon in it. (I think there might have been a coloring book, too) It was designed to keep my clothes clean I’m sure, but I loved that little apron.

I was thrilled with it, proud of it, and I wore it and used it for many years.  Finally, one of the ties came lose, and we didn’t instantly repair it. And, I was beginning to ‘outgrow’ the tiny little apron.  For a long time, I left the crayons in the apron, and used it to organize my crayons.

I hope the little crayon apron will be there…

I’m not sure what happened to that little apron, but I hope (and pray) that when I go digging through my attic for the keepsakes I stored there many years ago that the little crayon apron will be there.

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