I love this blog post by Billy Coffey. He says he’s not a genealogist, but in this post, he’s captured the essence of why many of us do this, search for this person, and then that one, hunt for this fact, or that, and try to find out who these ancestors of our truly are, and if we can, what they were like.
Billy Coffey captures most of the reasons why I do genealogy, and he says it better than I ever could.
Like Billy, I’m not looking for the rich and famous. (I would enjoy finding just one, but I don’t think I will.)
Most of my recent ancestors were farmers, and my distant ancestors, on two sides, were people who left their home country in search of a place where they had the freedom of worship. It is these everyday people, these people who climbed on a ship in search of freedom, these homesteaders, and farmers and farm wives, who bravely faced everyday hardships that I search for!
I don’t think anyone could say it better than Billy said in his blog post at BillyCoffey.com:
“Because I am the result of many moments and many decisions that mattered to people with whom I share a common bond. And those who come after me, my children and their children and theirs, will be the results of my own moments and decisions.”
I appreciated Billy putting into words at how I feel about my ancestors.
It reminded me that we’re all a part of the tapestry of history, the tapestry that living our everyday ‘nobody’ lives weaves each and every day.
Thank you, Billy.
I just loved this week’s episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” with Reba McEntire! Since she was raised in our next-door state of Oklahoma, it’s like she’s almost a neighbor!
According to Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers, I’m not the only one who loved this episode! According to MacEntee the number of viewers went up by 1/3rd and it came in second in its time slot! Sounds pretty good to me, though I think it ought to be Number 1 in its time slot!
Check out the rest of the stats for the Reba McEntire episode here at the GeneaBlogger’s website!
I have to say that I’ve loved every one of the WDYTYA episodes, but being a big Reba fan made this one special to me! My hubby, son and I saw her sing in Wichita several years back and she put on an awesome show!
The things that the researcher’s uncovered about Blair’s ancestors, and then this week that they shared with Reba sure was a revelation on the times and the area they all lived in, and reminded me to turn over all the stones in my searches.
I can’t wait till next week rolls around to see what interesting things the researchers share with the guest!
by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 19, 2012
It’s Saturday Night! (well, an hour ago it was!) Time to play the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Game with Randy Seaver at GeneaMusings.com
It’s Saturday Night again – time for some more Genealogy Fun!!
Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):
1) What year was your paternal grandfather born? Divide this number by 100 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”
2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an “ahnentafel”). Who is that person?
3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the “roulette number.”
4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.
5) If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then spin the wheel again – pick a grandmother, or yourself, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!
My paternal grandfather, Elmer Leverett Stocking, was born in 1879. Divide that by 100, and you get 18.79, rounded up to 19.
So, I went to my family tree program, used the Ahnentafel program, and there she was, my #19.
19. Hannah “Juline” BROOKS: born 29 May 1839 in Williamstown, MA; died 4 Jan 1899 in 6712 Wabash, Chicago, Cook Co., Il..
Hannah “Juline” Brooks married Edward Hitchcock 18 Sept 1856 in Davenport, Scott County, IA, and died in Chicago while visiting her son. Juline was my Great-grandmother, Frances “Fanny” Hitchcock’s mother.
Fanny married my great-grandfather, Roderick Remine Stocking in Crescent City, Iroquois County, Illinois, on 3 May 1876, and they moved to Kansas shortly afterwards where they homesteaded in Sumner County, Kansas. My paternal grandfather, Elmer Leverett, was Fanny and Roderick’s first born. Frances, Roderick, and Elmer are all buried in the Osborne Cemetery near Mayfield, Sumner County, Kansas.
by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 14, 2012
Happy Valentine’s Day! We scrambled around to get cards sent out to the granddaughters and now we’re busy sending out e-cards to other friends & family!
by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 4, 2012
Many thanks to Lorine McGinnis Schultz for her “Sharing Memories” 52 Week Challenge!
And this is the Week 2 Challenge so now I’m only two (2) posts behind!
I went for my first airplane ride when I was just twenty years old.
I was terrified. Terrified of heights, terrified of airplane crashes, terrified of flying through the air in something that felt no more substantial and not much bigger than a flying beer can with four people in it.
It all began during wheat harvest of 1969. Bill, my husband Norman’s cousin, was just home from Vietnam and came to Kansas to help my in-laws with wheat harvest.
Bill was also still very much in the middle of Post Traumatic Stress syndrome, though no one knew it by that name then, and that’s how we ended up in a pint-sized plane after harvest flying over the Kansas wheat fields.
Bill was a medic in Vietnam. He had just come back from hopping in and out of helicopters to go to the battlefront to pick up and treat wounded and he told us one story, or maybe it’s the only one that sticks with me to this day, about going out to pick up and treat some wounded soldiers.
Bill climbed down the rope ladder on a mountain top in Vietnam to help treat and pick up wounded soldiers. While he was climbing back up the ladder to the chopper the enemy fired on them, and the chopper took off, with Bill hanging on for dear life, dangling off the rope ladder.
Bill said that one minute he was just a few feet off the ground, then the chopper took off and suddenly he was dangling thousands of feet off the ground. Bill said that was scary enough, but even scarier than that was the knowledge that if they continued to receive enemy fire the men on the chopper would cut the ladder and let him drop to his death, sacrificing him to save the people on board.
That experience haunted him. Retelling it haunts me. I can see him hanging there, and I know that he’s terrified and praying they won’t cut the line and let him go. There were many other experiences he wouldn’t even talk about.
Bill wanted to see if he could handle just going for an ordinary plane ride. So when harvest was over, Bill rented a small plane, I’m pretty sure it was a Cessna 172 or 182, just big enough for four people to ride in, invited us along, and my husband and I found ourselves in the back seat watching the runway fly past and then suddenly watching the ground drop away.
Yikes! I wanted to shout “I’ve changed my mind! Stop! I want to get out!”
But by the time all those thoughts raced through my mind, the ground was far below us and I was trying to look ahead, look up, look to the side, look anywhere but down!
We flew around the county looking down at the farm fields multi-colored patchwork quilts of golden harvested and unharvested wheat, dark green milo, and the lighter green of pastures, all bordered by tan dusty roads and cut into crazy quilt patterns by creeks and rivers.
We flew over the small town we lived in, saw a birds-eye view of our home, and got close enough to Wichita, Kansas to see the planes going up and going down at the airport.
It was fun! It was scary! I don’t know, or don’t remember, if the flight helped Bill to heal any of the bad memories or not, but I know that he seemed to enjoy the flight as much or even more than we did.
To date, I have taken three small plane flights and one helicopter flight and have yet to board a big jet to go anywhere!
By Sherry Stocking Kline
February 3, 2012
Reading Marian Pierre-Louis’ Roots and Rambles post this week brought to mind all the ‘good-byes’ we’ve said to loved ones in the past 10 years.
Too many. And too many that were too young. It is getting more and more difficult (painful) to attend funerals.
Marian’s blog post reminded me that attending them is not only an important part of the grieving process, it’s also comforting to say goodbye and honor our loved ones when surrounded by the family and friends who share our loss.
Her post reminded me just how much that final goodbye helps begin the healing process.
There are two other important opportunities that some of us (may) have during these times of loss, something that we’ve found important with our family losses. One is writing (or supplying the information for) an obituary, and the other is helping to plan the funeral or celebration of life.
In this post, I’m just addressing the obituary.
I know it can be tempting when an elderly person passes, especially if they have been in a nursing home for a long time and their friends and contemporaries are deceased to make the obituary, well, short and sweet. Name, date of death, date of birth, survivors, etc..
Don’t do it.
Most funeral homes have on-line obituary databases that give you the opportunity to leave behind a real glimpse into your loved one’s life without adding too much to your budget. It’s becoming common locally to find shorter newspaper obituaries that include links to longer on-line versions.
What should you put in an obituary?
If you are writing the obituary, (or supplying the information for one) then you have the perfect opportunity to put into the obit what you as a genealogist would most hope to learn from one.
I wrote my first obituary when I was in my early twenties. I sat at my typewriter at work (this was before computers), tears streaming down my cheeks, writing an obituary for six-month-old Travis, my nephew’s first child, for the local paper. It was the least that I could do to honor his life, and let others know of our family’s loss. It was short, mentioned his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, his place of burial, and his untimely death from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
I didn’t have the funds to fly to his funeral, but this, I could do.
Six-month-old Travis had touched many lives, but hadn’t lived long enough to join clubs, win awards, join the military or volunteer.
But the obituary of an older person can be rich and full of facts and information to give readers a glimpse into their lives and aid future researchers.
Besides their full name, including nickname, date and place of death, (some obituaries include cause of death as well) local obituaries usually include what the deceased did for a living, such as “Jacob “Jake” Jones, retired farmer, age 47″and may also add in the date and place of birth including city and state.
Besides the basic info, you will need to include the funeral date and time, family visitation times, and memorial(s) information.
Many obituaries include spouse(s), children, siblings, step-children, parents, step-parents, and grandparents, often in the “survived by” or “preceded in death by” paragraphs, and sometimes include where they grew up if different from place of birth or death.
Include the Things You’d Want to Find…
As a genealogist, don’t forget to add in the things you’d hope to find, especially information that will tell future researchers where to search for information, such as church membership and military service including which branch and where served. Some obituaries include what church they were members of, where they attended high school, college, and graduate school and include degrees obtained as well.
Some obits include clubs he/she was involved with, offices held, honors and awards won, even what hobbies they enjoyed! Did they love to fish? Were they avid skiers? Taught Sunday School for forty years? Were they humane society volunteers?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those old newspaper obituaries we find had photographs of our ancestors? Most online obituaries and many newspaper obituaries today include a photograph of the deceased person.
Many genealogical societies collect obituaries when they are printed in local and county newspapers and sharing your loved ones obituary and genealogical information along with photographs or copies of pictures aids future researchers, and can be another way to back up some of your own family tree information.
Leave Behind a Word Picture…
It’s a simple process to write an obituary that paints a word picture of the person’s life and leave behind a glimpse into their lives for those that follow.
Online Obituary Help & Templates:
How to Write an Obituary – Weebly
Elegant Memorials – includes how-to’s & examples
by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 2, 2012
Many thanks to Lorine McGinnis Schultz for her “Sharing Memories” 52 Week Challenge!
Yes, I know that this is the Week 1 Challenge and yes, I know that makes me four (4) weeks behind! Situation Normal for me!
I have four memories that have to be age 2 1/2 or prior. While I’m not sure which one is the earliest, I think it is this one, as it ‘feels’ earlier than the other three. It’s certainly a funny memory, though I was kind of scared at the time!
I’m standing outside, just about 10 feet south of our farm home, barefoot, with my toes curling in the soft grass. I’m about 15 feet north of the outdoor water hydrant, and about forty feet north of the sand pile!
And honestly, I’m just a bit scared. I’m watching my two (much) older teen age brothers who are chasing each other around and around the yard. (They are 14 1/2 and 16 1/2 years older than I, you see.)
In one hand, they hold water guns, each one shooting a steady and deadly stream of water! In the other hand they carry gallon cans (maybe coffee cans) of water for fast refills. They are shouting and laughing and calling threats to one another as they shoot, dodge and refill their weapons of water annihilation. They are loud, they are rambunctious, and they running around the yard and around me as they jump around to try to miss the other shooter’s stream of water.
I remember being terrified that they might ‘shoot’ me, too, and yet I remember wishing that I had a water gun so that I could join in the fun. I don’t remember any more than that tiny little vignette. Our mom is not in my mind picture at all, so I don’t know if she was in the house or watching nearby, and I don’t remember how it began, or when it ended, or what any of us did next. I wish I did.
2. Another early memory I have is my mother and I stopping at my great-uncle’s home near Wellington and visiting with my great-grandfather, Roderick Remine Stocking, who passed away shortly before I turned three. He was the only grandfather still alive when I was born.
Great-Grandpa Roderick was very tall, white haired, and very distinguished looking. I think it was this combination that put this memory into my mind and also the reason it ‘stuck’ there. I recall that we visited him twice, and then I remember going to his funeral, or perhaps the funeral home shortly before I turned three and seeing him there in the casket. My parent’s had great respect for him and my mother was very fond of him and perhaps that is another reason that his memory has remained with me to this day.
3. One of my favorite early memories is going to the hospital to see my brand-new little nephew, Daryl, my oldest brother’s son! He was born in February, when I was 2 1/2 years old and he soon became my best bud and partner in crime! His little brother came along two years later, and by that time they had decided that children of our age were a danger for contagious illnesses and we were no longer allowed to visit hospitals and so we were not allowed to go see his little brother Brad, or his little brother Marlon, nor either of his little sisters, Tammy & Kris.
4. Looking back over these memories, I remember one more that had to be when I was in the two-year-old range when Gary, the youngest of my two brothers had surgery on his hip in a Wichita hospital and Mama took me along to visit him in the hospital with her. To bribe me, and to convince me to sit still, be quiet, and be good and patient, (not qualities I was long on as a two-year-old toddler) she bought tiny little toys for him to give me to play with while we were there.
Even so, I remember being bored quickly with the ‘be quiet’ and ‘sit still’ required in hospitals and I remember asking Mama “Can we go now?”
19 October 2011
Shown below is a copy of a photograph that my cousin, Larry, shared with me from their family’s collection. It shows my great-aunt, Myrtle (Nyberg) Stocking (Larry’s grandmother), with her mother, Mary, her father-in-law Roderick Remine Stocking, and her children, Wilmer, and the twins Max and Maxine.
I can’t begin to tell my cousin Larry how grateful I am that he shared these photographs with me, and allowed me to add numerous photos of our shared ancestry into my own family tree!
by Sherry Stocking Kline
16 October 2011
I love to check out the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenges that Randy Seaver sends out way each Saturday Night, and this one looks like a great way to quanitfy what research I need to do next! So tune up the “Mission Impossible” music, check out the challenge, and play along!
It’s Saturday Night (in the USA!) — time for some worldwide
Genealogy Fun!Your mission, should you decide to accept it is to:
1) Participate in the Ancestors GeneaMeme created by Jill Ball on the Geniaus blog.
Thank you to Jill for the SNGF idea! Jill is collecting Ancestors MeGeneaMeme entries too.The rules, and the Meme list, is given below in my response.
Here’s mine: The Rules:2) Write your own blog post, or add your response as a comment to this blog post, in a Facebook Status post or note, or in a Google+ Stream item.
The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each itemThe Meme:Which of these apply to you?
2. Can name over 50 direct ancestors. (Definitely would have to cheat and look at my family tree program!)
3. Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents. (I do have photos of all of them, thanks to my mom, and my generous aunts and uncles who have shared their holdings so that I might scan and digitize them.)
4. Have an ancestor who was married more than three times. (I have some who were married three times, but haven’t located any that I know of that were married more than three.)
5. Have an ancestor who was a bigamist. (Not that I know of… Would make the family tree more interesting though, wouldn’t it?)
6. Met all four of my grandparents. (I Couldn’t. Both grandfathers passed away before I was born. I did meet and know both of my grandmothers.)
7. Met one or more of my great-grandparents. (I remember my great-grandfather even though I was about 2 1/2 years old when he passed away.)
8. Named a child after an ancestor. (We did, though not intentionally. My husband’s great-grandfather was named James Kline, and we gave that name as a middle name to our son without knowing that there was an ancestor bearing that as a name.)
9. Bear an ancestor’s given name/s. (Not only do I not bear an ancestor’s name, my grandmother was unhappy with my mom, her daughter, for giving me the name of an alcholic beverage. Unhappy enough that for a time, when I was very, very small, I wondered if the “Carrie” that took an axe to the bars and saloons in Kansas was my grandmother…)
10. Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland. (I have an ancestor from Great Britain, and I probably do from Ireland as well, but have yet to find that link or proof of it. Very difficult with the name Jones!)
11. Have an ancestor from Asia (No.)
12. Have an ancestor from Continental Europe. (Probably. My geography isn’t what it should be….)
13. Have an ancestor from Africa. (No, but my granddaughters do.)
14. Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer (in the US and UK) (Yes, most of my ancestors were involved in farming, right up to my own father, and the same on my mother’s side.)
15. Have an ancestor who had large land holdings (what’s large? Larger than 40 acres? Yep. Larger than 640 acres? Probably.) (Yes, by yesterday’s standards my ancestors had large land holdings.)
16. Have an ancestor who was a holy man – minister, priest, rabbi (Jonathan Oatley in Killingly CT in 19th century, several more in 17th century) (We have ministers in my family, and one of my ancestors was “Deacon Samuel Stocking, son of George Stocking. George was born in circa 1582 in Suffolk, England. Deacon Samuel was born in England also and immigrated to America in 1633. They became part of Thomas Hooker’s party, and George was one of Hartford, CT’s founding fathers.)
17. Have an ancestor who was a midwife (unsure) (Not that I know of.)
18. Have an ancestor who was an author (unsure) (Not that I know of.)
19. Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones (many Smiths, no Murphys, only one Jones line) One large Smith line, one Jones line that quickly turns into a huge brick wall.
20. Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng. (No. Not that I know of.)
21. Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X. (Not that I know of.)
22. Have an ancestor with a forename beginnining with Z (three generations of Zachariah Hildreths, and a Zechariah Barber) (Not that I know of.)
23. Have an ancestor born on 25th December. (Yes, my great-grandfather, Roderick Remine Stocking was born 25 December 1853.)
24. Have an ancestor born on New Year’s Day. (Not that I know of.)
25. Have blue blood in your family lines (supposedly if Royal Descendants book is right) (No. Not that I know of.)
26. Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth. (No.)
27. Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth (nope, one great-grandparent born in Canada is the last one born in another country) (No. Two lines came to America in the 1600′s. Need to get other lines back that far.)
28. Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century (all but 3 or 4 of my 32 3rd great-grandparents. (Have several lines back to the 18th century.)
29. Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier (quite a few) (some, not as many as to the 18th century.)
30. Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents (Austin Carringer, Della smith, Georgia Kemp, Frank Seaver, Thomas Richmond) (Just Roderick Remine Stocking, thus far.)
31. Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X (not that I know of) (My earliest Stocking ancestor, George Stocking, Hartford, CT founder, signed his will with an X. He was, besides being a farmer, a surveyor, so I wonder if he was just no longer able to sign his name due to advanced age, rather than not being literate.)
32. Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university (not that I know of) (Yes, both my grandparents on my father’s side, Elmer and Maud (McGinnis) Stocking attended college, though I believe neither graduated with a four year degree. My grandmother received a teaching certificate and taught for a year or two, perhaps a bit longer.)
33. Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offence (several are in Sex in Middlesex book) (Not that I have found yet.)
34. Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime (logic says someone in 12 generations must have been, not sure about this one) (Probably, but I have not found it yet.)
35. Have shared an ancestor’s story online or in a magazine (probably in Genea-Musings…) (I have shared several ancestor’s short stories online on my blog here, and in the small town history book that I co-authored, “Mayfield: Then & Now.)
36. Have published a family history online or in print (two books self=published and shared with family) (I haven’t published a book, just a notebook that I take to family reunions.)
37. Have visited an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries (several in New England, and the Ranslow Smith Inn in Wisconsin) (Yes, several here in Kansas, and one ancestor’s home in Kentucky.)
38. Still have an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family (not in the family…the Ranslow smith Inn in Wisconsin would qualify if I’d bought it) (My grandfather’s farm was bought by my parent’s and is still owned by my mother. It has been in the family now since 1903. The house burned down several years ago, however.)
39. Have a family bible from the 19th Century (have Bible pages for births, marriages, deaths, but not the Bible) (The only family Bible that I know of is owned by my Uncle and his family.)
40. Have a pre-19th century family bible (No.)
by Sherry Stocking Kline
October 12, 2011
I have been blessed this year with so many who have shared family photographs with me, and this past spring, my cousin Larry brought me a huge box of photographs to scan! I have yet to measure the box, but it is approxinately 1.5 feet by 3.5 feet, and chock full of family photos!
Needless to say, I spent hours scanning and am still trying to make time to organize the results!
The following photograph is my Great-Aunt Myrtle Nyberg Stocking and her husband, Roderick Porter, who was called Porter by his family and friends. Porter and Myrtle were my cousin Larry’s grandparents.
Porter and Myrtle were married on December 30, 1908, and Porter was killed on July 5th, 1924 when he was working on electrical lines.