These two pictures were from the pictures my grandma left. I do not have the originals but they may have been tin types. They could be Tracy or Rusler ancestors coming from Illinois to Nebraska.
Family in front of tent and covered wagon
ladies washing laundry in creek
As genealogists I think many of us question what the end product of all our hard work will be. Maybe we will write a book or make Heritage Scrapbooks. Maybe we will plan and host family reunions and try to share our research with whoever will listen. Most of us have family trees online that we share with other researchers. Perhaps we join societies and write stories for publication. Or maybe we will blog in the hopes that somebody will read your research.
I have dreamed up several such projects. I do plan to write a book – in fact I already have the title. I have also made one Heritage scrapbook and have several more in mind. And last summer I planned and hosted a family reunion in York, Nebraska. And of course I blog. I have also written an ebook for the homeschool blog I post on about doing genealogy as a unit study. It is in the editing phase now but check out our blog as it will be on there soon; www.nextgenhomeschool.com
Now I have started a project that I have been thinking about for a very long time. I am taking the vital statistics of my ancestors and plotting them in a blank history timeline book I bought at a recent homeschool convention. The events for my family I am writing along the bottom half of the timeline. Then along the top I will plot American history events. Not only national events like wars and presidents and such but also state local events that pertain to the areas my ancestors lived in. I want to more easily see what was going on when and where my ancestors lived. If an ancestor was in a war I want to plot what unit he was in and maybe where he fought. Perhaps I will see that my ancestors fought alongside, or heaven forbid, against each other in the Civil War.
My Timeline so far
I have a year to work on this timeline before I want to really put it into action. Since I have been blessed with the opportunity to homeschool I want to make History come alive for my children. I want to use this timeline to make a more interactive American History Curriculum for my sons. When we talk about the Battle of Lexington I want them to be interested because one of their ancestors, Edmund Parmenter, was there. And when we talk about The Civil War we can talk about their 4th great Grandfather, Charles Dyer who was a confederate soldier and died at the Battle of Shiloh – felled by a tree. Or their Great Grandfather Russ, who is still alive and was on the USS Honolulu at Pearl Harbor and fought in the Pacific throughout the war. So many interesting stories and with a timeline I can set them up in historical order.
As to the practical steps of making this timeline. As I said, I bought a blank timeline book but there are several websites where you can make an online timeline with pictures and stories. For some reason I am more of a paper and pen kind of gal when it comes to large projects like this. I did check out a few timeline programs that seemed interesting: SaveEveryStep and TimeToast are two great examples. I chose to make my timeline start at 1600 and move year by year up to current day. I ended up having extra pages and so could have started earlier but I am content with starting at 1600. For each person I plotted their birthdate and location, and death date and location. If I know they fought in a war or were in someplace interesting during an interesting time period I plotted that also. Next I will start plotting American History Events using a pre-made timeline I have. You can also find these online. And then I will go back and look at each person’s life and try to figure out where they were and what they were doing during each event. I’d like to find a story about each ancestor. For instance, I know one ancestor died of the Spanish Flu so that will be included also.
I wonder if anyone else has done their own American Family History Timeline? If so let me know how you did it and how it turned out.
Beryl as baby
Beryl Catherine Richert was born in Lisbon, Linn County, Iowa on October 25, 1905 to George Daniel and Mabel (Moses) Richert. Her brother Edward was two when she was born. When she was a toddler the family moved to Jerauld County, South Dakota. Beryl’s mother Mabel died of an illness in 1914 when Beryl was 9. Her father married Carrie Saville in 1919.
Edward, Beryl, and George Richert
Beryl married George Herman Siefken in South Dakota on September 1, 1926. Herman and Beryl had three daughters, Doris (1927), Inez (1929-1929), and Jean (1931). Inez lived only a day. My mother (Jean’s oldest daughter) didn’t ever even know about her – but she was mentioned in Beryl’s obituary. Sometime between 1935 and 1940 the family moved back to Iowa, Jones’ county (next to Linn County).
Herman, Beryl, Doris and Jean
They lived in Morley and during that time Herman and Beryl ran a small restaurant. I ‘d like to know more about this restaurant and where it was in Morley. In early March, 1953, Beryl had a blood clot in her leg that went to her brain. She died March 14, 1953 of a brain aneurism at the hospital in Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa.
4 Generation – Beryl, George, Karen, and Jean
She lived long enough to see both of her daughters married and to get to know at least one of her grandchildren. My mom was three when her grandma Beryl died. She doesn’t remember her but Grandma left her her watch because they say mom liked to play with it when she sat on Grandma’s lap.
Will Rusler is the boy standing in back
Today I’m writing about the seventh child of Michael Anthony and Augusta Wilhemina Rusler. William W Rusler was born on the farm in York County, Nebraska on November 8, 1886 (or 1887). I thought he had married Laura Etta Morrison late in life and they had no children. But as I was looking through his records today I discovered that he had been married before and had a child in his first marriage.
I have not been able to find him in the 1910 census but in 1917 on his WWI draft registration he says he is married and has an eight year old child. On the 1920 census he is living in York County with his sister, Pearl, and her husband, and it says he is divorced. In 1930 he is living in Custer County, Nebraska and is a Trucker for a Freight Hauling company and he is married to Laura Etta. On this census when asked the age of their first
William & Etta Rusler
marriage he says 21 and she says 16. But she is three years older than he so they were both married before. Which means he married for the first time in 1908/9 and immediately had a child in order for him/her to be eight in 1917. Laura is enumerated in the 1920 census living with her parents in Dix, Kimball, Nebraska as a married woman with the last name Walker. In 1940 William and Etta are renting a farm in Buffalo County, Nebraska but soon after the census they moved to Eagle, Idaho because this is where he filled out the WWII draft in 1942.
William & Etta Rusler Tombstone
Laura Etta Morrison Rusler died in Idaho February 19, 1954. William died in Caldwell, Canyon County, Idaho on June 25, 1958. They are both buried in Wilder Cemetery, Canyon County, Idaho.
So here again I have more work to do. Who was William married to in 1909? When did William and this wife divorce and what happened to the wife and child? All questions I will have to find in Nebraska as I can’t seem to find the answers online.
John E Tracy & Linnie Livingston
Pryor, Oklahoma 1909
Who is Linnie Livingston and why are the Tracy’s in Oklahoma?
Fred & Bertha Chase Wedding
Bertha Mabel was the sixth child of Michael and Augusta Rusler. She was born February15, 1885 in York Nebraska. She married Fred Chase about 1907 and they had a farm in Algernon, Custer, Nebraska. Their daughter Mary was born March 31, 1913. They had a second daughter eleven years later in 1923 named Lillie Genice. My Grandma Mabel was named after her Aunt Bertha. Bertha died May 15, 1967 in Arcadia, Valley, Nebraska and Fred died in 1950.
Mary and Earl Sterns
Mary Augusta Chase married Earl Sterns late in life and as far as I have been able to tell they had no children. Mary died January 1, 1972 and is buried in the Mason City Cemetery, Custer County, Nebraska. In the 1940 census before Mary and Earl had married, Earl was living with Fred Burtzloff.
Mary and Lillie Genice Chase
Lillie Genice Chase married Fred Burtzloff. The Burtzloffs’ had several children. Edward, Barbara, and Lillie Mae. Lillie Genice Chase Burtzloff died August 5, 1995 in Broken Bow, Custer, Nebraska.
Fred, Bertha & Mary Chase
Fred& Bertha Chase
The fifth child of Michael Anthony and Augusta Wilhemina Rusler is George D Rusler. George was born April 9, 1882 in York, Nebraska. He died November 3, 1892 at the age of ten. I don’t have any other information about him. I have seen a picture of him in a coffin with his parents standing on either side. Someday I hope to have a copy to add to this post. I can’t imagine the kind of pain his death caused his family. The cause of his death is on my list of things to research next time I am in York, Nebraska. If anybody reading this has more information about George I would love to see it.