Archive for the ‘Stocking Family Genealogy’ Category
Sherry Stocking Kline
December 11, 2009
Thanks once again to Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers for today’s Advent Calendar Challenge!
December 11 – Other Traditions
Did your family or friends also celebrate other traditions during the holidays such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? Did your immigrant ancestors have holiday traditions form their native country which they retained or perhaps abandoned?
My Stocking ancestors came from England in the 1630′s, and while they inter-married with those of Scottish and/or Irish descent as well as Native American, whatever traditions any of them might have brought with them have been long lost, or interwoven with more recent American ones.
On my mother’s side, I’m still trying to knock down the brick wall that a man named Jones who marries a woman named Smith creates. I’ve read in a book that speaks about our Smith family history that we have Welsh and French on that side.
For my family, it was all about Christmas Eve…
For my family, wherever the tradition came from or whether it began with my parents, Christmas was all about Christmas Eve. We gathered together, Dad, Mom, my youngest brother (still older than myself), my oldest brother and his growing family, and we exchanged presents. And we all knew that the presents that night came from our parents and grand-parents, not from Santa.
But the Christmas Stocking was what held the magic! It came from Santa himself!
Here is an excerpt from mountaingenealogy.blogspot.com that sounds like my experience, too!
“And we aren’t talking about the rather large, decorative stockings of today. These were literally their stockings [socks] that they wore on a daily basis.”
We didn’t have a fireplace, nor even a wood stove, so we pinned the stockings to the couch, usually the side nearest to the door, as that was where the jolly old elf was believed to come into our home!
The stockings that we hung had to be our own!
The stockings that we hung had to be our own! So the presents that we got when we were little were, well, little!
I remember getting tiny little animals that I loved to play with, and most often they were tiny little horses with cowboys and Indians to ride them and sometimes there was candy in the toe, and a barrette for my long honey-blonde braids.
And the good thing was, that as I grew, the socks grew, and the presents became bigger!
How exciting it was to ‘graduate’ from not-so-stretchy little Buster Brown cotton socks to extra stretchy (and longer) bobby socks! Much more room for goodies!
My children used to ‘cheat’…
I continued the hanging of the Stocking’s with my children, though they were allowed to ‘cheat’ and particularly the youngest more often than not scoured the house giggling and laughing, comparing one sock to another while she hunted for the largest stretchiest stocking available, most often her Dad’s calf high athletic sock.
A good thing, that, as they sometimes found their favorite music CD all tucked in with other goodies from Santa.
by Sherry Stocking Kline
December 10, 2009
Thanks to Thomas MacEntee for today’s Christmas Advent Calendar Challenge!
What were your favorite gifts, both to receive and to give? Are there specific gift-giving traditions among your family or ancestors?
Today’s prompt is a tie-in with the Smile for the Camera carnival at Shades of the Departed.
What were my favorite gifts? To receive or to give? Hmmm…
There are several empty places in my family’s circle now, so my Christmas memories are tinged with sorrow as well as joy because I miss those people very much, but there were several gifts that were fun to give, and I remember some I received that gave my little heart joy!
Stick Horses and Cowboy Outfits!
After my nephews came along, most Christmases my folks bought us all something quite similar, and one Christmas when we were all little stair steps, me about seven, and them five and two, we were given the stick horses with the plastic heads and the cowboy and cowgirl outfits to go along with it!
Because we watched Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, HopAlong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, and the Cisco Kid on tv every week we were well-versed in the bang-bang-shoot-em-up outdoor play that included galloping all over our pasture on stick horses to shoot the bad guys. Of course, we were the white-hatted heroes! My youngest nephew, not quite old enough to keep up, insisted on riding his ‘horse’ head down, so his mighty steed’s head got drug all over the pasture!
The most difficult Christmas present I ever bought…
The most difficult Christmas present I ever had to buy was the first one I bought for my mom by myself after my dad passed away. I just couldn’t figure out what to buy. But I found a grandmother’s charm bracelet, with little boy and girl heads, with the names and birth dates engraved on the little heads. By that time, Mom had five grandchildren and one on the way, but I remember standing in the store, feeling very lost and very alone, trying to decide between the choices.
One of the most fun presents we ever bought…
One of the most fun presents that we ever bought was for my father-in-law when our children were small. My father-in-law always hoped that someone would give his boys a train set. (I think so he could enjoy it, too!)
So my husband and I picked him out a neat little train set, and as the television commercial says the look on his face was “priceless.” He set it up in his basement for awhile, and shared it with his grandchildren, and then a few years down the road, when he started spending more time in Texas in the winter, gave it to our children to enjoy.
A Personalized Family Photo Calendar Keeps us All Up to Date!
For the past few years, I’ve e-mailed family members to request family photographs, (whatever they want to send) though the ones where they are fishing, playing softball, and just doing fun things make great collages for the calendar that I make and give to my mom.
I try to focus on a different family group each month, and when possible, feature someone that is having a birthday that month, though in some months, there are several birthdays.
Here is this year’s calendar front, the photograph on the left was taken in 2000, before we lost my brother Gary and my sister-in-law Nancy to cancer in 2001. It shows my mom, with my two brothers standing on the left with their spouses and me on the lower right with my husband. My dad ‘s photo is inset on the right.
I usually make copies for the rest of the family, complete with all the birthdays and anniversaries. They all love it! It’s a great way to help us all keep up with important dates!
There are several places that offer this service…
I bought Broderbund’s calendar creator several years ago, but you can also make calendars several places on the internet, such as at my Heritage Makers’ website, and I believe that Kodak and other places also offer this service.
One good thing about making it with Calendar Creator, and at the Heritage Maker’s website, is that once you get the template set up, complete with birthdays and anniversaries, you just copy and save with a new name for next year, and re-place this year’s photographs with next year’s new ones!
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.
Sherry Stocking Kline
December 4th, 2009
When I was just a little girl, I looked forward each year to my Uncle Frank Stocking’s Christmas card.
It was unique, shaped like a little stocking, with a verse about each member of the family and their travels, triumphs, and sometimes the trials of their life. I still have most of them, stored away.
Sometimes this little Christmas card was my “show and tell” for school, I was that proud of it!
After I married and had children, Uncle Frank’s example became my inspiration. Nearly every Christmas I drew up a little picture (usually of children in old-fashioned sunbonnet and overalls) to depict my two kids doing something representative of our year, and wrote a poem that reflected the years happenings, joys, and sorrows.
2001 was a year of incredible sorrow intermingled with small joys and it is that poem that I’ve chosen to share here:
Kline Christmas Card 2001
I want to be a kid again, it’s Christmas time you see.
I want to hang the tinsel on a lop-sided Christmas tree.
I want to lick the frosting bowl and nibble cookie dough.
I want to call up all my friends and Christmas caroling go.
But most of all I want to wish you Peace and Joy and Love.
And thank our Lord for all His blessings and strength from above.
I hope that kids of every age receive their most-longed-for toy.
And find each day filled with love and the season’s Christmas Joy.
There are days that bring us sunshine, while others bring us rain.
There are years that bring us joy, while others bring us pain.
2001 was such a year of sorrow and sadness in our life.
We pray for comfort and healing from life’s sorrowful strife.
Nancy, my brother Fred’s wife and friend lost her cancer’s fight
In the wee hours of the morning on a January night.
Fifty years of marriage, with five children they were blessed.
Nancy’s smile, her laugh, her faith, her courage, all are sorely missed.
We lost my brother, Gary, on Memorial Day’s afternoon.
He was too young, he was so loved, he died much too soon.
His mom, his wife, his daughter, his brother and “step” sons three,
We each and all miss him so very much you see.
Amidst our grief, we pray for leaders and our troops overseas.
We ask the Lord on bended knee for Peace and safety, Please.
We look forward with hope to the year 2002,
And pray for healing of our hearts and joy that comes anew.
Jarrod’s in K.C., and lucky to be working still at Sprint
We’re thankful that his job was not one of those that ‘went.”
And soon wedding bells will ring in February 2002,
When Marya and Marc tie the knot and happily say “I do.”
Norman hopes each plane he inspects is up to Cessna’s best.
Sometimes he flies with the pilots when they run their tests.
Sherry writes for the Wichita Eagle’s magazine “Active Life”
Web design, “The Mayfield Book”, Sherry has an “active life.”
May this your Merriest Christmas be,
May whatever you wish for be under your tree.
And May God hold you safely in His hand,
As you travel around our beautiful land.
Norman, Sherry, Jarrod & Marya
My Christmas card has changed in several ways. I no longer draw the ‘sunbonnet kids’ as our family has expanded. I now have two adorable granddaughters, and their picture sometimes graces the card’s front.
My oldest granddaughter loves to draw, and I think I will soon be asking her to draw the picture for the front of my card!
Thanks to the inspiration of my niece, I now also include a photo collage with my Christmas cards that I create on my photo software, and so we have a year of our life in word and picture for close family and friends.
Looking back through those cards, it’s easy to see just where we ‘were’ in life, and what was going on each year!
Sherry Stocking Kline
December 1st, 2009
Today, December 1st, would have been my brother, Gary Neal “Sox” Stocking’s 73rd birthday.
If he were still alive.
Gary fell ill in the spring of 2001, just a month or two after we lost my oldest brother’s wife, Nancy Rae (Cook) Stocking to cancer. By the time the doctors ran a PSA test (to test for prostate cancer) it was too late, it had spread to the bones.
Two weeks after his prostate cancer diagnosis - he was gone…
I’m sharing this today on his birthday, because prostate cancer is one of the most survivable cancers, IF you find it in time, and get treatment.
My brother was a get-things-done, take-care-of-business kind of guy. He kept everyone’s car cleaned, the oil in everyone’s car changed, the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed, except for one. He didn’t have time to take care of his own health. He was too busy. I’m not sure he ever had a PSA test, until it was too late.
Gary was a car guy, and he and his wife Sharon showed their little 1926 Model T Street Rod in four states, and people came to his funeral from at least three. In their street rods.
He was the kind of guy that could get on an elevator, say hello, visit with the folks next to him, and have everyone smiling by the time they got two floors up. He was the kind of guy when a car guy he didn’t even know called for help in the middle of the night, he’d get in his pick-up and drive 2 hours to go help him.
He was the kind of guy you could count on…
He was older than me, and when our dad died young, he became extra protective, extra helpful. I always knew if I had car trouble, or any kind of trouble, anywhere, and my husband couldn’t rescue me, he’d be there for me.
When he died I felt like someone had taken the training wheels off my bike before I was ready to go solo. Whenever I got in the car to go somewhere I knew my ‘safety net’, my own personal ‘Triple A’ type rescuer was gone.
If you’re a guy – get a PSA test, before it’s too late…
I’m writing this to say ‘thank you’, to honor him, and to remind any guy reading this to get a PSA test before it’s too late.
Sherry Stocking Kline
November 30, 2009
According to Facebook Friend and fellow Kansas Professional Communicator’s member, Sue Novak, this cool video was created, directed, and choreographed in Portland by Emily (MacInnes) Somer to raise breast cancer awareness.
It’s a fun video with great music and it’s for a very important cause!
In memory of my sister-in-law, Nancy Rae (Cook) Stocking, and in honor of my niece, Lisa, a breast cancer survivor.
by Sherry Stocking Kline
November 29, 2009
How is it that something becomes an heirloom? Is it the value of the object, the age of the object, or the love inside the object and its history?
One birthday present that stands out is one that I still have. One that is destined to become a hand-me-down heirloom. And one that I still enjoy.
We were in South Dakota, my mom, dad, and I. It would be our last vacation with my dad, but we didn’t know that then, or at least I didn’t.
We had been to Minnesota to visit family, my Great-Aunt May Breneman Jones Willey, her son Kenneth Jones and his wife, Lois, and their family, Lawrence, Lynn, Patty, Charles, and Kenny, and we were coming back down through South Dakota, seeing the sights.
My Parents Laughed…
We visited the “dead Presidents” (Mt Rushmore) which was very impressive, went to the Passion Play (the re-enactment of Christ’s life and crucifixion), and I met a girl at the motel that night who was about my age, (soon to be eleven years old) and what was so impressive was this girl had her life already mapped out.
She told me who she was going to marry and that they were going to raise horses together. I was so impressed (Here I was at eleven still waffling between being a jockey or an archeologist!) and hadn’t even thought yet about who I would marry and what WE would do that I told my folks all about the girl I met on the motel swing set who already knew who she was going to marry.
My parents laughed….
Mom and I Huddled Inside the Car…
The next day we traveled through the National Park where a herd of several hundred buffalo thundered across the road in front of the car right in front of us. My mom and huddled inside the car while my dad, unafraid, in typical guy “I ain’t afraid of nothin’” fashion stood outside the car and watched.
Before we came home dad took Mom and I to the Black Hills Gold Jewelry store where the jewelry was actually being made. Dad had promised Mom that when they went to where the Black Hills gold jewelry was made he would buy her a set. So we went into the store where we could see people working on the jewelry.
It took them quite awhile, looking at one necklace and then another. Mom tried on one set, and then another and I kept busy watching the workers, peering into the jewelry cases, and watching the necklace and earring fashion show between Mom and Dad.
But I Had My Sights Set on a Cowboy Hat…
Finally, they had the perfect set for Mom. Then they turned to me. They wanted to buy me a ring for my birthday.
Uh, Oh. My little soon-to-be eleven year old heart had its sights set on a cowboy hat. (Did I mention that I was a tomboy?) I just hadn’t decided if I wanted it to be black hat like the bad guys or a white hat like Roy Rogers yet, but that’s what I wanted right then, a cowboy hat.
I didn’t have the horse to go with it, but I wanted that, too. Mom and dad definitely had other plans.
They wanted me (a tomboy) to pick something elegant…
So we spent some time picking out a ring. They really wanted me to get something fancy, something a little ‘elegant’. I wasn’t then, nor am I now, ‘elegant.’
I remember them saying, “Look how much longer this ring makes your fingers look.”
I didn’t think a ring was going to help my fingers look long and ladylike too much. My fingers were short and stubby then and they’re short and stubby now.
I picked out a simple gold band with the Black Hills Gold signature pink and gold leaves on it. Simple lines. Very similar to a wedding band, but I liked it. After some time spent showing me lots of fancier rings to try to get me to pick out something larger, longer, and more elegant, they gave in and let me get the one I liked.
They chose it for one of my larger fingers, hoping I could wear it when I was grown, and they chose wisely there. I can still wear it.
It looks almost exactly like this one, except it has more than 30 years of wear. It’s plain and simple, perfect for my size 4 1/2 to 5 short little fingers. It’s still my favorite.
A little over a year later, my father was gone…
My father was only 50 when he passed away. Just a few years later, heart by-passes became standard practice, but they weren’t then.
I wonder now, if he somehow knew, that his time was getting short, and he wanted us to have these special reminders of him.
Years later, I can look at the Black Hills gold ring that we picked out that day, and remember the whole vacation, the people we met, the good times we had, and feel the love of my parents surrounding me.
12-01-09 Author’s note: After posting this article, I found the ring that was nearly like mine, and so have updated the photograph, and added the name of the ring’s creator. My dad didn’t know he was beginning a new family tradition between myself, my mother, and my children that day, but he did.
I do think he may have known his time was getting shorter as by that time he had had heart disease for more than ten years and wanted us to have something we could remember him by. My mother, treasuring that memory purchased a cross necklace and another ring at different times in my life, all with that first gift in mind.
by Sherry Stocking Kline
Nov 15, 2009
In 1959 The Clutter Murders Shattered Our Peaceful Life
There are times in your life when some event occurs and it changes your life in profound ways.
Fifty years ago, on November 15, 1959, when four members of the Clutter family were murdered in Holcomb, Kansas, it sent shock waves through our small community and especially in our farm home. And it changed the way our family lived and viewed the world.
We didn’t know them. In fact, we lived hours away from Holcomb. But that murder changed the way our family lived.
The Family Was Murdered for About $40.00…
What we heard on television and read in the newspaper, was that the farm family of four had been murdered for about $40.00.
I remember my parents, my dad and mom sitting at the kitchen table, faces somber, frightened looking even, and my father, saying “If people will murder a family for so little, they will do anything.”
(Later, we read that the murderers had heard in jail that the family kept a large amount of money at their home; but all we knew then was that an entire family had been brutally murdered for such a small sum.)
Murder was something that happened in far-away cities…
Murders like that were something you rarely heard of, they were something that happened in far-away large cities, not something that happened to Kansas farm families.
Up until then, our doors were never, and I mean NEVER locked, not in the daytime when we were gone, not at night when we were asleep.
Up until then, there was no need.
They were always locked at night after the Clutter murders.
Up until then, because the air conditioning we had wasn’t really that great, my folks would put beds and old Army cots out into the back yard on the hottest summer nights, and we slept under the stars.
And before the Clutter murder the only thing we worried about while sleeping outside was getting bitten by mosquitoes, and the only thing I worried about was whether the coyotes we could hear yodeling at each other in the distance would come closer.
We never felt completely safe again…
After the Clutter murders, a new fear, a new possibility had entered our lives and our minds, and that changed our lives.
The peace and safety that had been ours was gone. We never felt completely safe on the farm and we never slept in the yard under the stars again.
You can read more about the Clutter Family at the Wichita Eagle website here.
by Sherry Stocking Kline
November 7th, 2009
It’s Saturday Night and time for the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenge! The following comes from Randy Seaver, http://www.geneamusings.com/. Once again, Thanks, Randy!
Hey, genealogy fans – it’s Saturday Night, and time for some Genealogy Fun!
Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music…), is:
1) Find out the geographical distribution of your surname – in the world, in your state or province, in your county or parish. I suggest that you use the Public Profiler site at http://www.publicprofiler.org/worldnames/, which seems to work quickly and easily. However, you cannot capture the image as a photo file – you have to capture the screen shot, save it and edit it.
2) Tell us about your surname distribution in a blog post of your own (with a screen shot if possible), in comments to this post, or in comments on a social networking site like Facebook and Twitter.
It was interesting to see where the Stocking surname was scattered, and also where it is predominant. It still appears to be more dominant in the United Kingdom, where it originated.
My Stocking immigrant ancestor, George Stocking, came to America in the 1630′s on the ship Griffith from Suffolk, England. It appears there are still many family members in England today.
It was interesting to see the break down for the FPM or Frequency of Family Members Per Million by Countries of the Stocking Name:
United Kingdom 9.72
United States 8.53
New Zealand 1.41
The following is what the map looks like by Regions:
Idaho, United States 76.85
Utah, United States 62.83
West Midlans, United Kingdom 30.65
East Anglia, United Kingdome 24.78
Wyoming, United States 24.36
And then the Stocking surname in my State! And if you look to the county just south of Wichita, which is Sumner County, you will see there are several of the Stocking family represented in this area!
by Sherry Stocking Kline
October 31, 2009
The following is the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenge by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings! Thanks, Randy!
Hey boys and girls, it’s Hallowe’en, and time for some Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! Play either before or after your trick or treating experiences, or even on Sunday morning after your extra hour of sleep (you did remember to set your clocks back, didn’t you?).
Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):
1) Think about your most memorable Hallowe’en – was it when you were a child (candy, games, carnivals), a teenager (tricks and treats), or an adult (perhaps a party)?
2) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post of mine, or in a comment on Twitter or Facebook in response to this post.
3) Have fun!
Looking back at my own memories I realize how lucky we were. We lived in, or in my case near, a wonderful small town where the residents were patient and the bank roof was sturdy.
What was so important about the bank roof being sturdy?
The goal each Halloween, for at least two generations, was to block off the three-block Main Street so no traffic could get through, (at all) soap car and business’ windows, (there were five in my time prior to that six or seven) and to …
Pile as Much Stuff on the Bank Roof as Possible!
In our defense, it didn’t start with my generation.
In my father’s time, horse drawn buggies were pushed, pulled, and hauled up on the bank’s roof.
In my time, for whatever reason, it became the preacher’s kid’s swing sets that made their way onto the bank roof each Halloween.
Just in case one of the p.k.’s (preacher’s kids) read this someday it didn’t mean we didn’t like you or your folks, i.e. it was not a negative reflection on the preacher’s popularity, it was probably because the family was well liked.
And, it was also because the swing sets were handy to the bank and very easily moved.
In Mayfield, in the 1950’s, it was safe…
In Mayfield, in the 1950’s, it was safe for children to go around by themselves. Maybe it wouldn’t be now, maybe not even in Mayfield which is still has about 100 residents, and isn’t that a sad commentary on our times.
My very first Halloween memory is when I was about three or four years old and not much taller than the paper grocery sack my mom sent me off to trick or treat with.
One of the ‘big girls’, Anita Biles or Ginny Barry, took me by the hand, and walked me around the town along with a crowd made up of all ages and sizes. I felt very short, very small, and kind of scared.
My next memory is being big enough not to hold anyone’s hand and going around with friends in home-made costumes. I remember being a hobo often, because the bandannas and ratty clothes were easy to come by.
By the Time We Were Old Enough, the Privy’s were gone…
By the time my generation was big enough to join in with creating havoc, some of the buggies and horse drawn wagons still sat in yards and town fields, but the outhouses (privy’s) were gone. My dad’s generation was known to push over outhouses.(Occasionally some resourceful person moved the outhouse, and the prankster’s fell IN the outhouse hole) and one Hallowwen someone was actually IN an outhouse when it was pushed over.
Looking back, I marvel at the patience of the men who got up the next day, and took everything back to its proper home, because if it was movable, if it could be drug, rolled, pushed or pulled, it made its way to Main Street on Halloween night amidst joyous laughter and much camaraderie. (And for those who cleaned up the next day, please know that I’m grateful.)
We Were ‘Too Old’ to Go Trick or Treating…
As teen-agers, though we considered ourselves too old to go trick-or-treating, we were still expected to make an appearance in each of our town “Grandma’s” homes to receive our treats.
We started out at Grandma Mabel Stayton’s, where my mom, Dorothy Stocking, and my best friend’s mom, Wanda Stayton, both farm wives, sat with Mabel to hand out candy along with Mabel. From there, we traveled to visit at Grandma Eva Downing’s, Grandma Jenny McCreary’s, Valley Heasty’s, Mrs. Washburn’s, Dode and Bonnie Anderson, and Nancy and Rosa Weber’s home.
At each home, we were welcomed with candy and choruses of “My how you’ve grown!”, “What grade are you in now?” and “Be sure and come back next year!”
We had no idea then, how lucky we were to grow up in a small town with such a family friendly atmosphere.
But Traditions Change…
It wasn’t too many years after we Tricked and Treated that the traditions were changed to ones that were safer and were less work for all involved, but looking back, well, memories just don’t get any better than the ones we were lucky enough to create.