Wordless Wednesday – Cafe in Mountain View, Oklahoma

Cafe in Mt.View, OK

Cafe in Mt.View, OK

This cafe in Mountain View, Oklahoma was owned by Henry and Effie Banks.  Henry and Effie were my husband’s Great Grandparents.  This photo was probably taken in the 1930s.

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Tombstone Tuesday – Where will I be laid to rest?

Cemetery in Iowa where my maternal family is buried.

Cemetery in Iowa where my maternal family is buried.

As a genealogist, death doesn’t bother me.  The dying part does, but not death.  I love wandering around cemeteries. And I spend time thinking about the problem of where I will be laid to rest.  As a Christian I realize that only my bones will actually be in a grave but still I want my place of rest to be in a pastoral field where living loved ones and descendants will visit and remember me.  The problem I have is that my paternal ancestors are buried in a nice little church cemetery in York County, Nebraska while my maternal ancestors are buried in a pretty cemetery in Iowa.  My husband was born in Fresno, California but his relatives are spread out all over the U.S.  We live in Oklahoma with no real family connections.  My husband is one of those that doesn’t really care – he would even go for cremation I think. But I want to be remembered and visited by my descendants.  I wonder if other people my age every wonder about this?

My great grandma and grandpa McConaughy's Tombstone

My great grandma and grandpa McConaughy’s Tombstone

Anyway, for this Tombstone Tuesday I am sharing pictures of the cemetery in Jones County, Iowa where my McConaughy and Siefken Great Grandparents(maternal line) are buried.  It is a beautiful cemetery on a rolling hill, very peaceful and well kept.

My great grandpa and grandma Siefken's Tombstone

My great grandpa and grandma Siefken’s Tombstone

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Amanuensis Monday – Ann Tracy Watt letter

I have tried to transcribe this as written.  The paper is old and writing is faded.   I believe this letter was written to my Great Great Grandmother Maria Artlysia (Aunt Lissa) who was Ann’s sister in law, married to Ann’s brother John Edward.  She speaks of Isaiah who could have been her nephew or her son as both women had an Isaiah.  Rachel was Lissa’s daughter.  Billy was William Tracy, Ann’s brother.  B.N. was Benjamin Nicholas Watt, her son, I believe.  I don’t know who Aunt Jane refers to.  She had a daughter named Mary Jane but she died in 1895 from the information I have found.

Mary Artlysia Boblett Tracy

Mary Artlysia Boblett Tracy

“Armington Oct 31, 1904

Dear sister I will write you a few lines and see if I can hear from you and Isaiahs I have wrote to them twice since I got a letter from them I don’t know why they don’t I am anxious to hear we haven’t had a word from them for six weeks at least I don’t remember when I did get I can’t write much I have a pain my back that bothers me a good deal I had a right smart atack of jaunders last week not so bad as I have been just enough to know I had it.  Aunt Jane is gone to her daughters to Bellflower where is Rachel if she is there tell her I think she has forgot her Aunt Ann I have been looking for a letter from her for sometimes I got a letter from you soon after you went home and I cant remember whether I answered or not I am getting very forgetful poore old woman no wonder so much to think about. Brother Billy poore dear old man he is so porely he cant hardly write to me any more his daughters writes to me now tells me how he is geting along I am about as well as usual

Ann Dilworth Tracy Watt

Ann Dilworth Tracy Watt

except my back and all the rest of our relations as far as I know. B.N. was to visit us four weeks ago I went over to franks two weeks ago and stayed four days I should of stayed longer but was still in the barn I went round among their children I hadent been there since last march now aunt lissa I want to hear from you and yours and from Isaiah particular about you and many as you are both cripples I hope you are both better or well my regards to all every one.

Aunt Ann”

Posted in Gotcher Family Research and Stories, Tracy Family Research and Stories | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Census Sunday – Leo and Mabel Gotcher

Mabel and Leo Gotcher in Oregon on Honeymoon

Mabel and Leo Gotcher in Oregon on Honeymoon

I was one of those that counted down the days to the release of the 1940 census.  One of the first couples I looked for was my Grandpa and Grandma Gotcher.  I was curious to see where they lived and to fill in some of the details of their early married life.  About a year before the release I had ordered and received their marriage license and there were a couple of curious things there.  They were married across the border from York, Nebraska in Belleville, Kansas on September 30, 1938.  There were two interesting things on their marriage license.  First, Grandpa Leo listed his residence as Turebound, Oregon (which would prove useful information when searching for them on the census).  Second, Grandma Mabel listed her age as 24 when I know she was born in 1904 and was therefore 34 and Leo listed his age as 22 when I know he was born in 1917 and was actually 20 almost 21.  There was a 13 year age difference, her being the elder, that they seemed to want to hide when they were younger.

Leo and Mabel Tracy Marriage License

Leo and Mabel Tracy Marriage License

Moving on to the census.  I started searching before the census had been indexed and started looking in York, Nebraska as that is where the family had been for many years.  When I couldn’t find the newlyweds there and I knew that they had lived in Oregon for awhile I remembered the marriage license and started searching for Turebound which turned out to be Terrebonne, Oregon.  There they were.  Here he is listed as being 22 and she is 20. – Actually he is 22 but she is 36.  They both list their residence in 1935 as being on a farm in York, Nebraska.  She is listed as being a teacher and he is a potato grader.  This was a new bit of information for him because we had all heard that he was a lumber worker in Oregon not a potato grader.  But later I found them in the 1940 Terrebonne City Directory and there he is listed as being a millworker for a lumber company – so he must have only been a potato grader for a short amount of time.  The other interesting thing on the census was that my grandpa only had a 5th grade education – not that rare at that time but interesting since grandma was a school teacher.  I have heard stories that she tutored him at some point.

1940 Terrebonne, Oregon Census

1940 Terrebonne, Oregon Census

So how long did they live in Oregon?  The story I had heard, and that these three documents seem to substantiate, is that after Grandpa and Grandma met, Leo went to Oregon to work for awhile.  They probably corresponded during this time.   In 1938 he came back to Nebraska and proposed to Grandma.  They got married across the border because at that time it was breach of contract for a teacher to get married.  After the wedding she went back to teach the rest of the semester and he went back to work in Oregon.  They wrote letters which my cousin has and at Christmas Grandma got on a train and went out to Oregon to be with him.  They lived there until Grandma was pregnant with my Aunt Mary, since she was born in April of 1942 they probably moved back in late 1941.  The story I heard was that she had had several miscarriages and wanted to go home to better doctors when she became pregnant again.   It was fun finding them in the 1940 census and seeing how they answered the census questions.   In my mind, their time in Oregon always seemed like a honeymoon time for them.

Terrebonnne, Oregon Directory 1940

Terrebonnne, Oregon Directory 1940

Posted in Gotcher Family Research and Stories, Tracy Family Research and Stories | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Wisdom Wednesday – Help! My Family Tree is out of Control

I am determined to clean up my ancestry tree this year.  Currently it has 6,932 people and 8,951 hints.  It is driving me crazy.  The problem is that I have so many branches connected to it and I can’t decide; a) whether to prune, b)what to prune, c) where to prune.  Besides my paternal and maternal lines and my husband’s paternal and maternal lines, I also have my husbands stepmother and stepfathers’ lines, 2 of my sister in laws’ lines and 2 of my brother in laws’ lines and also an ex sister in law.  Add to that some of my cousins lines from when they asked me to look into things and make them a family tree.  I just know the minute I prune a branch off that person will get in touch wanting more information.

I also have the problem of adding in siblings and children of siblings of ancestors too far back to really need to know their siblings but I worry that those lines may be the ones that have the clues I may someday need.  There’s also the ancestors and branches that I am unsure of and need more sources for but I am afraid not to add because I might lose the information – how do I differentiate between those with primary sources and those without?

So I am putting out an S.O.S. call.  I need some experienced genealogists to tell me how they keep their online trees under control.  I could really use some advice here.  I have been going through my tree since January, one surname at a time and fixing things, checking all hints, and merging duplicates (thank God for this new feature) but I feel like this process is so slow and may take all year.  The other option I thought of is to start new trees with each line separate – but that seems like a lot of work especially with all the sources and pictures I have scanned into my current tree.

Please comment with how you keep your tree clean and in good order.  Thank you!

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Wordless Wednesday – Janet Baird

My husband's 3rd great grandmother - in Scotland

My husband’s 3rd great grandmother – in Scotland

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Tombstone Tuesday – John Edward Tracy

John Edward Tracy Tombstone

John Edward Tracy Tombstone

Tombstone for John Edward Tracy in Council Cemetery, York County, Nebraska.  Tombstone is located in the middle of a bush near the middle of the cemetery which holds many of John Edward Tracy’s descendants and neighbors. John Edward Tracy was my great great grandfather, Nebraska pioneer and patriarch of the Tracy family.

John Edward Tracy

John Edward Tracy

The tombstone says:

John Edward
husband of
Maria Artlysia Tracy
died
Apr. 28, 1896
aged
64 Y 8M 12D
“A precious one from us is gone, a voice we loved is stilled.  A place is vacant in our home which never can be filled.  God in His wisdom has recalled the boon His love has given.  And though the body slumber here, the soul is safe in heaven.”
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