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If you enjoy reading this blog, you may also like to read the articles I write each week as the Springfield Genealogy Examiner and as the Ozarks Cultural Heritage Examiner. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a one. You may also enjoy reading about the family stories in my novels at The Homeplace Series blog. You can sign up for e-mail reminders.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wordless (nearly) Wednesday - Our three girls


Wordless (nearly) Wednesday - 

Our three girls


I opened an envelope, and there they were... I was almost - speakless (wordless??)...

Annette Christine Smith

Allison Ruth Smith

Arrion Sue Smith

Families are Forever! ;-)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

52 Ancestors: #4 Ellen Rebecca Miller [Preston]


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
52 Ancestors: #4 Ellen Rebecca Miller [Preston]


This year, Amy Johnson Crow has issues a new 52 weeks blogging challenge:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks


The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. Not only should this get me blogging more, but also to take a deeper look at some of the people in my family tree.

My approach: I plan to make this a Tuesday Theme, and, use it to enhance my WikiTree ancestor profiles. That is, focus on a different ancestor on my WikiTree list of profiles, each week (include possibly adding new profiles), Great idea! Thanks to Randy Seaver's post for bringing this to my attention!




#4 Ellen Rebecca Miller (1850-1912) is #11 on my Ancestor Name (Ahnentafel) List, and is my great-grandmother. She married #10 James P. Preston (1835-1906) my great-grandfather.
I am descended through:

* their daughter, #5 Ellen (Ella) Rebecca (Preston) Ballard (1880-1923), who married #4 William (1869-1939)
* their son, #2 Delbert Leverne (Pete) Smith (1915 - 1977), who married #3 Mary Eileen Kinnick (1918 - 1999)
* me, #1 William Leverne Smith (1939- …)

This ancestor has been perhaps the most [I had tragic - sad is probably a better term] sad, is some respects… or, perhaps, my judgement is colored by this only photo I have of her, the stories I know about her. It seems she had little control over critical events in her life, and I see it in her eyes… or, I imagine it. ;-)

I think of her as "the farmer's daughter" - and western cowboy swept into town, and carried her away to his ranch in the far west, to validate his homestead and give him children. Notice the mix of happy and sad, good and bad, words and inflections in just that one sentence. I know they had good times together. I know she had happy times. I know they had a great set of children who did well in life, in spite of some difficulties (or because of them?!), perhaps. I shared some of these stories last week.

Ellen grew up the daughter of a relatively affluent farmer near Bryan, Williams County, Ohio - the far northwest corner of the state. She was the youngest of four daughters - and four sons (plus two who died as youngsters). She would have been 20 years of age when James Preston came back to Ohio in that winter of 1870-71, presumably partly drawn by the need to finally settle his father's estate, that had dragged on for many years. It appears he also felt the need to take a wife back with him to "finalize" his ranch homestead, as well. At least, we know he did that, whether it was his intent, or not. [Again, you can read 'the rest of this story' in last week's post]

To assure, in his mind, at least, that his daughter remained in Iowa, with or near her brother, rather than getting 're-involved' with James, he bought 4 one-hundred-and-sixty-acre farms. This was generally rich farmland around Coon Rapids where they lived, in the names of the four grandchildren (skipping over his daughter, not to mention her ex-husband, and father of the four children), and naming the four as owners outright at his death, and owners in trust (trust managed by the banker son) during his lifetime. This was with a stipulation that their mother, Ellen, received from the trust, rents from each of the lands to provide support for her. I have give the general details of his intent and actions - the specifics no doubt varied in some details.

This was a fascinating story, shared with me by my parents, and verified independently from the records, since. This was the 160 acre "Homeplace" were my Dad grew up. I spoke about it recently in my post on my Mom's 75 Years Ago Today diary entry a week or so ago! [I wrote this some time back, with a copy of the will.]

We'll never really know the whole story, of course. She lived out her life with her children and some grandchildren around her. Perhaps it was, as we would hope, a happy life. We also know, however, that there was plenty of reason for there to be some bitterness, or regret, in her life. This was passed on to (at least some of) her grandchildren, for sure, in one form or another, whether intended or not. I hope it was the former. I'll try to give her the benefit of any doubt, letting the past lie, and live on its own.

P.S. Later in the day, cousin Rebecca Tribby kindly came up with photo of Ella on her front porch in her Coon Rapids home... I have is somewhere, as well. THANKS, Becki!



Next week, we shift to Maternal great-grandparents. ;-)


Families are Forever! ;-)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordless (nearly) Wednesday - Sept 1955 Smith Family Gathering


Wordless (nearly) Wednesday
Sept 1955 Smith Family Gathering






All of the adults at the Smith Family Gathering.
Back row, from left: Toots, Orrin, Warren, Verle, Pete - my Dad, almost 40
Middle row, from left: (Is this Lyman Smith and wife?), LVene, Eileen - my Mom
Seated front, from left: Max, Mary, Irene, Betty



Just the Smith siblings - brothers and sister - in this one;
From left: Irene, Toots, Betty, Pete, Max, LVene

And, the Smith kids:

Back row, from left: Dave Thomas, Bill Smith (me), Gary Hilgenberg
Middle row, from left: John Tomas, Tom Smith, Becki Pierce
Front row, from left: Dan Smith, Margaret Smith, Jim Smith

Approaching 60 years ago... Coon Rapids, Iowa.


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

52 Ancestors: #3 James P. Preston


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 
#3 James P. Preston

This year, Amy Johnson Crow has issues a new 52 weeks blogging challenge:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
on her No Story Too Small blog.


The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. Not only should this get me blogging more, but also to take a deeper look at some of the people in my family tree.

My approach: I plan to make this a Tuesday Theme, and, use it to enhance my WikiTree ancestor profiles. That is, focus on a different ancestor on my WikiTree list of profiles, each week (include possibly adding new profiles), Great idea! Thanks to Randy Seaver's post for bringing this to my attention!


#3 James P. Preston (1835-1906) is #10 on my Ancestor Name (Ahnentafel) List, and is my great-grandfather. He married #11, Ellen Rebecca Miller (1850-1912) - my great-grandmother. I am descended through:

* their daughter, #5 Ellen (Ella) Rebecca (Preston)Ballard (1880-1923), who married #4 William (1869-1939)
* their son, #2 Delbert Leverne (Pete) Smith (1915 - 1977), who married #3 Mary Eileen Kinnick (1918 - 1999)
* me, #1 William Leverne Smith (1939- …)

This ancestor has been the most "fun" to research and learn about, I suppose, because when I started this journey, Aunt LVene, my Dad's sister, who was then the "family historian" had said to me - "Oh, we don't know much about grandpa Preston" with the implication that they really didn't want to know about him. [The truth was, they knew a lot more than they were going to tell...]

As I've told this story, many times, "What could possible get me more interesting in research someone?" than a statement like that, said in that tone of voice. So, the journey began. Admittedly, he is probably the "black sheep" of the family - but, also, one that is the most interesting, fascinating, and "I can't get enough of him and his family history!"

By 1998, I had enough for a substantial web page - Pioneer Sketches: The Adventures of James P. Preston:
http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~earlyyrs/smith/preston/jppres.html
(Created 4 Mar 1998; Last updated 26 Oct 2002)


[This image of him was found in Orlando, FL, in a library County History book]

On August 27, 2012, I posted his Montana "Biography" on these pages: http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/2012/08/mug-book-monday-james-p-preston.html
This is typical of "bios" printed in County Histories in the 1870s - it was based on an oral interview… no doubt, he believed what he said, but most of the early information was incorrect. Understandable, since his father died when he was two years old, and he left the home of his mother and step-father when he was 17 (or younger) to go to the California Gold Fields.

Since the early 2000's I have worked closely with a cousin and with her extensive research on top of what I had already found, we have now traced this family back to the early 1600s in Massachusetts and New Hampshire along with many of their branches. We will never know enough, about him, or them, but the journey has been a real pleasure, and I expect it to continue, from time to time.

He was, in fact, a very successful gold miner. Period. He made and lost more money than I'll ever see in my life-time. Even in his later years, when he tried to settle down on a Montana ranch and raise Morgan Horses, he would be called back to Superintend "Gold Ditches" in various parts of Montana. In the later years, however, loneliness or just a hard life, drove him to drink too much, too often - like so many of his contemporaries. He appears to have died in poverty because of it.

However, he left four strong children, born in Montana, but raised in my home town of Coon Rapids, Iowa. One son, unfortunately, died of drowning in his late teens. The other two sons each raised fine families (the cousin I mentioned descended from one) and a fine daughter - my grandmother.

Acrimony existed after the children were in school among James, his wife, and her father. His wife apparently became ill, and returned from Montana to her parent's home in Ohio. Her father would not let her return to Montana, the story goes, but allowed her to go live near her brother in Coon Rapids, Iowa, where he was a banker.

During the year she was away from James and the children, the children attended school and seemed to get along fine. We even have copies of school records with his clear signature on reports of their school attendance. When a year had passed, he filed for divorce (which did allow the children to join their mother in Iowa). It was granted, as such. Elements of this episode were no doubt repeated, over and over, in this part of the family that came down to my Aunts LVene and Irene, the daughter of the daughter… Sadly, each of these women (the wife and daughter, died relatively young (62 and 43). Stories for another day...

James did remarry, a few years later, it appears, and did have another daughter - her story is still largely unknown. He divorced that wife - and, he listed himself as Widowed on the 1900 census, along with the daughter. We've found no further trace of the second wife, or the daughter… but we have looked, extensively, and will continue to.

The final story of James comes from relatives, not records. He died, presumably, a few days before Montana began requiring death reports. He was buried in a private paupers grave. A later dispute between the owner of the graveyard and the county resulted in all the records of burials there being destroyed. No records remain.

Sadly, it seems almost appropriate that his incredible life ended that way…

Still, a special guy, from my point of view. ...


Next week, his wife's story...  ;-)


Familes are Forever! ;-)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Book of Me, Written By You - Prompt 21: Hobbies


The Book of Me, Written By You
Prompt 21: Hobbies

"The Book of Me, Written By You" is a GeneaBloggers project created by Julie Goucher of the Anglers Rest blog. The concept: a series of blogging and writing prompts that help family historians capture their own memories and write about themselves.


Prompt 21: Hobbies


This week’s prompt is Hobbies

Home means different things to different people, so this week we are going to explore what it means to us:
    •    Childhood hobbies & collections
    •    Did you share a “passion” with a family member or friend?
    •    Tell us about it – How, why, where
    •    Do you still have any old hobbies – the ones that have been with you since childhood?
    •    Do you still have those childhood collections?

1. Family photography
- my parents got me a Kodak Signet 35 mm camera (VERY nice one) the summer before high school. I have photographed family activities ever since - Summer of 1953 to the present, that would be.


I have thousands of slides and many thousands more of photographs since the slides days ended - poloroids, various cartridge cameras, and now digital cameras. I took few movies, as my kids were little, but little else. I like photos, not movies.

In now blog, and always include family and travel photos as I do.

Probably this led me to my other passion:

2. Genealogy and Famiiy History - began to dabble in the mid-70's when my wife and I each got some materials from parents and aunts - Serious research began in the summer of 1995, after my first year as a professor, and I had the summer off. We travelled all over eastern part of the country in search of records and to "walk in the footsteps." The search still continues… for both of us… though I tend to write now, more than research. We both continue to add to our knowledge, review our records, work at more fully understanding how remarkable our ancestors were and how we can add to that heritage.

3. Christmas 1952 I got a Lionel Train Set - Double Santa Fe Diesel set - added to it over a few years. It is still well packed in storage, and gotten out every five years or so, to show grand children, now. I've written about it here, here, and elsewhere.

4. In the 1990s, I began a "Raccoon" collection. Very active, for a few years. Still have most of it in boxes. Some still on display in my office.


 5. Books - it would probably not be appropriate to exclude books from this list, though they are much more than "hobby" - they are a critical part of life. The hobby parts were possibly some early collections, mostly gone now. Some are in our oldest daughters library in Utah. Many given away. A few hundred sold on EBay, back in the day, when that was just new, and money was actually received. I still have my extensive collection of George Washington and founding fathers/colonial era books. I use them from research for my historical fiction/non-fiction writing.

6. Travel - we've travelled all over the USA. Lived in 12 or so states (depending on how you count). Still visit Utah, Texas, Iowa, and everything in between regularly, with occasional trips to Florida, Louisianna, Illinois, etc.



Families are Forever!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wordless (nearly) Wednesday - Willow #3 - Spring 1946


Wordless (nearly) Wednesday
Willow #3
Spring 1946


[Click to see enlarged]

I've had this on my desk for several days; OK, a couple of weeks, and I keep staring at it!!

This is a photo, by my mother, no doubt, at the end of the school year, on the step of my one room country school, Willow #3, Greene Co, Iowa. I am in the suspenders, right front. My brother, Jim, is stilling on the ground, beside me, looking down. If this is Spring 1946, as I am assuming (compared to some others of nearby time period), he was just a little over 2, I would be almost 7, just completed first grade.

My memory is very clear on some things... failing me on others. Is that Mildred Peverstorf, teacher, on the left? The girl beside her is Shirley Wood, with the dark curly hair. She had an older sister, that looked a lot like the "teacher" - one of my concerns.

The next boy is Dick Hunter, as year younger. I do not recognize the next little girl, or the baby on the lap of Charlotte Shirbroun. Charlotte was in my class, along with Jim Tolsdorf, second from right, in the back. That could be his younger brother, Tom, that Charlotte is holding. The blond boy, between Jim and Charlotte, is Robert Hunter. The girl on the far right, behind me, is the Christiansen girl, who lived on the far next to the school, to the east, just off to the right in the photo. I think her name was Jane... why does it not come back?? ;-)

Going in the door of the school, girl's coat room was to the left, boy's coat room was to the right - and then into the Coal Room - you can see the extention that had been built on, off to the right. Going straight in, of course, led to the main room, where we had school every day.

An interesting trip down memory lane.

Families are Forever! ;-)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

52 Ancestors: #2 Margaret Nellie (Maggie) Soderstrom Smith


52 Ancestors: #2 Margaret Nellie (Maggie) Soderstrom Smith 



This year, Amy Johnson Crow has issues a new 52 weeks blogging challenge:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks


The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. Not only should this get me blogging more, but also to take a deeper look at some of the people in my family tree.

My approach: I plan to make this a Tuesday Theme, and, use it to enhance my WikiTree ancestor profiles. That is, focus on a different ancestor on my WikiTree list of profiles, each week (include possibly adding new profiles), Great idea! Thanks to Randy Seaver's post for bringing this to my attention!



#2 Margaret Nellie (Maggie) Soderstrom (1846 -1901) is #9 on my Ancestor Name List (information based on what I had in my database before further research, below), and is my great-grandmother. She married #8, (#1 in this series last week) Michael Smith (1829 - 1902) - my great-grandfather. I am descended through:

* their son, #4 William Emanuel Smith (1869 -1939), who married #5 Ellen (Ella) Rebecca Preston (1880-1923)
* their son, #2 Delbert Leverne (Pete) Smith (1915 - 1977), who married #3 Mary Eileen Kinnick (1918 - 1999)
* me, #1 William Leverne Smith (1939- …)


OK, trying to read my database and associated folder of information, on the Soderstrom family, I am reminded how many times I have read the material in the folder and then not followed through to pick out the important information and get it properly recorded. Even her name is not correct, and, I do know her correct birth date and place. Amazing. Especially in light of all the time I've spent on Michael! And still need to do more there, as well.

The story is that most of the information, the detailed, documented, most reliable information, comes from a descendant of her father's second wife's family. And, they of course, are more interested in sharing a "whole bunch" of information of little or no interest to me. I need to go through multiple copies of 2001 emails, then, the copies of pages of a book they wrote, and multiple original documents I obtained, that are maybe 20-30 pages with useful information on 10-15 of the pages… a sentence at a time. Is this what genealogists are supposed to do? Of course it is! What fun! Just need to focus.

The sheet I am looking at right now, that I want to enter into my database, is a detailed church directory from her hometown in Sweden. Her name recorded there is: Margreta Petronella Soderstrom. Of course it is. She was born: 16/6 1848. That would be 16 June 1848. Her older brother that I have listed as William Soderstrom b. 1845 is listed as Anders Vilhelm 29/7 1845.  That would be 29 July 1845. And… oh my, each of the mother, father, and three children says: Emigr t. N. America 1850. I didn't have that date either. And, finding the ship record goes on the Research Required list… ;-)

Her younger brother is: Johan Peter 16/10 1850. 16 October 1850. They must have left for America late in the year, as other entries have always said all three children were born in Sweden before coming over. [I had previously recorded him as Jonas Peter (John) 1850 - earlier recordings all based on information from my aunt LVene!] Interesting that the parents information I had was complete and accurate. Amazing! ;-)

Elsewhere on the same page of the church directory is extensive information on her maternal grandparents and many siblings of her mother. These each need to be properly recorded, of course. Must have this on To Do List, as well.

I'll call her Maggie, hereafter, for reference, which does seem to be how she was mostly known in America, in her later life [I'll admit to reservations about that claim, now, as well!]. Born in June of 1848, Maggie emigrated with her family from Sweden late in 1850 (a little over 2 years of age) to the Moline, Illinois area.

In a 1908 book, "History of the Swedes of Illinois," under the sub-title of "The Swedish Baptist Church of Rock Island,"  we find her father, Peter Soderstrom, on the 8th of August, 1852, noted as a member of the Swedish Lutheran Church of Moline. To me, this places him (and likely his family) at a place and time. The reason for this notation is that he then became one of the first three persons, on that date, baptized as charter members of: "The Swedish Baptist Church of Rock Island." The Swedes in America were a close knit group, but had a theological split. I'll not go into that here, but, that issue takes up many of these pages, and mentions many different people that play continued roles in the life of this family - actually, Peter's second family. He soon, essentially, abandons his first family - my family.

Maggie's father, Peter, divorced her mother, Johanna Margreta, in October 1861, in Minnesota. It appears that Johanna Margreta and her three children remained in the Moline/Rock Island area of Illinois. I have not found them anywhere yet in the 1860 census. Family tradition suggests that Maggie, by 1865, at age 17, was already a household worker in the Michael Smith household while he was a soldier in the Civil War, when his first wife died, in September 1864. Michael returned from his service in October of 1864. They married 30 Dec 1869. Their first child, a son, may grandfather, William Emanuel, was born 5 May 1869. They went on to have eight more children; not to mention his three by his prior marriage. [The dates all seem to be correct... they did a few things "out of order!"].

I did have a photocopy of the 1870 microfilm in the folder, Hampton Township, Rock Island County, Illinois, Rapids City Post Office, 18 Jul 1870:
Michael Smith, 42
Nellie Smith, 21
Willie Smith, 1
Mich Smith, 7
Julia Smith, 12
Mary Smith, 10
Mary Anderson, 53, "Lives with daughter" - Ah-ha! Neither Soderstrom nor maiden name, Rolin - Anderson.

More for the Research Required list...

I like to say we focus on the mother's side of the family in our family history research. While I do have a lot of information, here, I have failed to properly record it. Good Reminder. thanks, again, Amy! ;-)

Next time, next week, will be great-grandfather, James P. Preston. Oh, boy, another one that needs more work!



What fun! Great challenge! Great Plan! Thanks, Amy!! ;-)


Family's are Forever! ;-)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ancestors alive 150 years ago



Saturday Night Genealogy Fun
Ancestors alive 150 years ago


Randy had a fun challenge for tonight, but I didn't see it until real late.


It is to determine and list ancestral families alive on 11 Jan 1864 - 150 years ago.

That would be during the Civil War.

The Ancestral (Ahnentafel) Name List is useful here, again. I count 23, for sure, across three generations, as one would expect. There are another 10 or so for whom I do not have death dates, but would likely be in the group.

This is a challenge to worked on as I go through the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - these are the very people I will be looking at, in my series.

Thanks, Randy, for another interesting challenge.

Families are Forever! ;-)

The Book of Me, Written By You - Prompt 20: The Feeling of Home


The Book of Me, Written By You
Prompt 20: The Feeling of Home


"The Book of Me, Written By You" is a GeneaBloggers project created by Julie Goucher of the Anglers Rest blog. The concept: a series of blogging and writing prompts that help family historians capture their own memories and write about themselves.


Prompt 20: The Feeling of Home

 
This week’s prompt is The Feeling of Home
Home means different things to different people, so this week we are going to explore what it means to us:
    •    What does it feel like?
    •    How do you recognise it?
    •    What makes it home -people, place, time

"Home is where my 'stuff' is!"



'Home,' today, is the little cabin with my wife of nearly 55 years, surrounded by our own things; being able to 'be ourselves' without concern for 'catering to others' like when we are away from the cabin. These days, when visiting others, we realize that their concerns always take priority over ours. At 'home' - we can concentrate on us, and our needs.

We have lived all over the country, many states, many houses. Always felt "at home" wherever our stuff was.

Even now, for a week in Austin, for two weeks in Utah, with wife, laptop computer, and suitcase of clothes, can feel at home. But, always great to get back to the cabin. That is HOME, now. ;-)

P.S. Interesting thought: Not knowing this was the Prompt of the Week: Over night, I was thinking specifically about how all the "places" where we each 'grew up' are gone: My farm home, my wife's farm home, our schools, our church. No physical reminders, only memories… and photos, of course. Interesting how that works.


Families are Forever!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wordless (nearly) Wednesday - East side of Smith Farm House - Fall 1944


Wordless (nearly) Wednesday
East side of Smith Farm House
Fall 1944, perhaps


Two photos of the east side of the Pete and Eileen Smith farm house. Jimmie Smith was born in April 1944, so I'm guessing this is that fall, or the next spring - he is front and center. Judi and Gary Hilgenberg are in back - that is me on the right... with my finger in my ear, it appears... about 5 or 6, I assume.

The upper photo was a party. It is all kids, and so man of them... Birthday party?? I really don't know.
Has to be about the same time, perhaps later. Appears there is grass, not just dirty. Fascinating - 70 years later!!  ;-)

Families are Forever! ;-)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

52 Ancestors: #1 Michael Smith


52 Ancestors: #1 Michael Smith


This year, Amy Johnson Crow has issued a new 52 weeks blogging challenge:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

on her No Story Too Small blog.


The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. Not only should this get me blogging more, but also to take a deeper look at some of the people in my family tree.

My approach: I plan to make this a Tuesday Theme, and, use it to enhance my WikiTree ancestor profiles. That is, focus on a different ancestor on my WikiTree list of profiles, each week (include possibly adding new profiles), Great idea! Thanks to Randy Seaver's post for bringing this to my attention!


#1 Michael Smith
- my great-grandfather - is the appropriate place to start based on my stated Approach and Plan. During the past year, working with a number of cousins and other relatives, we have learned a lot more about the family he came from and more about the different parts of the family he raised, in both Iowa and Nebraska. Much of what I've learned has been recorded in my database, but has yet to be added to WikiTree. Much has not been recorded here on this blog, as it needs to be. Based on this shared research, we have created a family Facebook Page based on the descendants of this father, Joseph. Little of that has been shared outside the family group. This omission will be corrected in coming weeks of "52 Ancestors" - here, on Tuesdays!

Michael
was born 16 May 1829 in Nambsheim, District of Colmer, County Haut Rhin in what we now call the region of Alsace-Lorraine, in France. His father, Joseph was a postal tax collector, and moved regularly around the region. My daughter, Arrion, visited the region in 2012, taking some beautiful photos.

Arrion discovered his arrival in American, in New Orleans, in 1845.

She also found his family living in the St. Louis area in 1845.

Micahel's father was Joseph Schmitt (1802-1874) and his mother was Beatrix (Elsie) Fad (1805-1886). We have identified four younger siblings: 2) Caroline (1831-1919), 3) Elizabeth Beatrice (1839-1913), 4) Dorothea (1842-1923), and 4) Valentine (1846-1912).

Michael was actually living and working as a blacksmith in the area, as well.

We, of course, were well aware that Michael had served in the Civil War as a farrier. The new information was to see a copy of his Discharge paper.

We knew they were living in Hampton, Illinois, in the Quad Cities area, when he entered the war. A cousin shared a postcard from that community.

Michael first married in Rock Island, in 1855, to Madaline (Lena) Harbrecht and they had three children before he joined the army for his Civil War Service. Theses were: 1) Julian A. (Julia) (1857-1888), 2) Mary (1858-1940), and 3) Michael (b. 1862). Lena died shortly before he returned from service.

Michael second married, on 30 Dec 1869, in Hampton, Rock Island, to Margaret Nellie (Maggie) Soderstrom (born in Sweden) (1846-1901).
Here is a post of a new (to me) photo from last summer.

They had nine children, the first being my grandfather, William Emanuel Smith (1869-1939).
The others were 2) Johannah Magdalina (Lena) (1870-1948), 3) John Joseph (1872-1953), 4) Elizabeth Barbara (Lizzie) (1874-1939), 5) Benjamin Mickle (1876-1911), 6) Peter Andrew (1878-1878), 7) Dortha Elsieana (Elsie) (1880-1957), 8) Robert Crittenton (1883-1953), 9) Grant Millington (1884-1885).

Currently (prior to my work here) on WikiTree I have profiles for Michael, his parents, his brother, Valentine, both wives, and one son, William. So, in coming weeks, I will be enhancing their profiles and adding the siblings and children as noted above, with each of these folks as one of the "52 ancestors."

What fun! Great challenge! Great Plan! Thanks, Amy!! ;-)


Family's are Forever! ;-)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What's Your Ancestor Score?


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun
What's Your Ancestor Score?

Randy Seaver provided this mission, "What's Your Ancestor Score?"

This exercise is to answer the question, "Family History All Done?"

Of course, we know the answer, is NO - but, this documents it.

I'm pretty happy with the numbers through the fifth, even sixth generation, even 7th and 8th. But, the 9th and 10th - those are 6th and 7th Great-Grandparents, are still very small.

How are your numbers?

I used the Ahnentafel Report in my Reunion software and counted. I knew there was no point in going beyond 10 generations. Frankly I was surprised I had this many.


You can click on the image to get a larger view, if you are interested.

UPDATE, 10 Jan 2014, while doing #2 ancestor of 52 Ancestor project; added Anders Rolin (#76??), so now 151... 14.7%


Families are Forever! ;-)