Saturday, December 26, 2020

Surname Saturday - Dickey


Surname Saturday - Dickey

Jessie Amanda Dolan Bolger (1866-1936)

Earlier, when we examined the Surnames Bolger and Dolan, we showed that Nancy’s Great Grandparents were Thomas Edmund Bolger (1861-1926) married Jessie Amanda Dolan (1866-1936).

Jessie’s parents were:
Josiah Dolan (1837-1875) married Sarah Ann Dickey (1844-1931).
Sarah Ann was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Her parents were:

Eli Dickey (1809-1887) married Ann Snyder (1814-1929).
Eli Dickey was a wagon-maker by trade, but also a farmer.

His parents were:

Charles Dickey (1760-1823) married Lydia Thomas (1775-1825).
Charles was born in Pennsylvania.

His parents were:
John Dickey and Judah Saunders

Families are Forever!! ;-)

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Surname Saturday - Dockstader


Surname Saturday - Dockstader

Marietta (May) E. Lynk (1865-1932)

Earlier, when we examined the Surnames Thomas and Lynk, we showed that Nancy’s Great-Grandfather Charles Wesley Thomas (1860-1900) married Marietta E. Lynk (1865-1932).

Marietta (May) was the daughter of:

Sylvannus Lynk (1826-1903) and Mary Ann Dockstader (1824-1905). Thus, today we add Dockstader. Mary Ann was born in Montgomery County, New York in 1824.

Her parents were:
John Jacob Docstader (1787-1837) and Phoebe Dillenbach (1788-1872).
John Jacob was born in Mohawk, Montgomery Co, NY, in 1787.

He was the first son of:
Jacobus Dackstaeder (1763-1807 and Elizabeth Groff (1766-??).
Jacobus was born in Caughnawaga, NY.

He was the first son of:
Marcus G. Dachstaeder (1739-1821) and Elisabeth Schultz (1739-1831)/
Marcus was born in Stone Arabia, NY.

Marcus was a son of:
George Adam Dachstaeder (1709-1791) and Catherine Stahring (1714-??)
He was born in Palatinate, German Pfalz.

He was the son of:
George Dachstander (1679-??) and Anna Elisabeth Unknown (??-??)
George was born in Hanover, Germany.

He was the son of:
Adam Dachsretter (1659-??) and Unknown
He was born in Viernheim, Germany.

He was the son of:
Leonard Dachsretter (1608-1684) and Anna Marie (Unknown) (1659-??)
He was born in Lutherisch.

Families are Forever!! ;-)


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Surname Saturday - Hartman


Surname Saturday - Hartman

Lydia Ann Hartman (1828-1891)


As noted earlier in Surname Saturday - Thomas, Nancy’s Great-Grandfather was Charles Wesley Thomas (1860-1900).

Charles Wesley Thomas was the son of John Evan Thomas (1820-1886) and Lydia Ann Hartman (1828-1891).

From earlier Surname Saturday - Thomas:
“John Thomas, son of John and Elizabeth Thomas was born the 10th day of November in 1820. He was born in South Wales, Camarthenshire, the lower Hamlet of Manordilo. He was baptized by Reverend Prothro, a clergyman of the Church of England, when about three years of age. He emigrated to the America (fall of 1837). I have concluded he came in 1840 as per his biography in the History of Marshall County.

Lydia Hartman, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Hartman was born on the 29th of March 1828 in Kelly Township, Union County PA. She was baptized by J.H.Fries, a preacher in the German Reform Church.
When Lydia passed away, she was preparing to milk the cows on a Sunday evening. She told her son-probably John Jr. she was not feeling well and with out a moments warning her spirit departed.

They were married the 27th of March 1845, at the German Reform Church in Union County in PA. I have found that they had at least 10 children. At least 4 children may have died while they were living in Cedarville, IL. “

We visited Union County, Pennsylvania, and saw and walked on the grounds/land where they lived. He arrived there about 1842, where their first 3 children were born, and stayed about 15 years before moving on to Stephenson County, Illinois, where 7 more children were born. The family then moved to Marshall County, Iowa in September of 1864, where two additional children were born. 

Jacob Hartman (1785-1868) married Elizabeth Leutz (1810-bef 1835). She had nothing further back than this. Jacob was born in Union Co., PA.

Families are Forever! ;-) 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Surname Saturday - Dolan (other)


Surname Saturday - Dolan (other)

Thomas Edmund Bolger (1861-1926)


Earlier, we posted here that Nancy’s great-grandfather was Thomas Edmund Bolger (1861-1926) and that he had married Jessie Amanda Dolan (1866-1936).

His parents were Michael Bolger (1808-1875) and Harriett Dolan (1833-1912). This is where we get the (other) Dolan line.

The parents of Harriet Dolan (1833-1912) were:

John T Doland/Dolan (abt 1800 - 1852) and Sarah Morris (1801 - ?)

We now believe John's parents were:

William T. Doland (1763 - 1838) and Catherine ? (1779 - 1860)

This couple is familiar from the first Dolan Surname Saturday.

They are also believed to be the parents of James A. Dolan (1806-1891) who was the grandfather of Jessie Amanda Dolan through their son, Josiah Dolan (1837-1875). We have not confirmed that John and James were brothers, but there is very strong circumstantial evidence that this is the case.

As noted early, we visited the Marietta, Ohio, area to seek further evidence. This is where both James and John were living before they moved to Cedar County, Iowa, in the 1840s. We also never found evidence that they were not brothers. The search continues.

Families are Forever! ;-)

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Surname Saturday - Lynk


 Surname Saturday - Lynk

Marietta (May) E. Lynk (1865-1932)

Earlier, when we examined the Surname Thomas, we showed that Nancy’s Great-Grandfather Charles Wesley Thomas (1860-1900) married Marietta E. Lynk (1865-1932) - thus, today, we add Lynk to our Surname research list.

Marietta (May) was the daughter of:

Sylvannus Lynk (1826-1903) and Mary Ann Dockstader (1824-1905).
Sylvannus was born in New York and died in Marshall County, Iowa.

He was the son of :

Zachariah W. Lynk (1790—1878) and Sarah (Sally) Harder Lynk (1800-1860).
Zachariah was born in Germantown, Columbia County, New York and died in New Lenox, Will County, Illinois.

Zachariah was the son of:

William Philip Linck (1765 - ?) and Annatgon (Anna) Voland Linck (1769 - ?).
William was a native of Germantown.

William was the son of:

Philip Linck (1746-1830) and Catherine Pulver Linck (1735-1836)

Philip was the son of William… further details unavailable at this time.

Families are Forever! ;-)

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Surname Saturday - Offill


Surname Saturday - Offill

James A. Offill (1819-1904)

Earlier in the Wilson Surname posting we identified one of Nancy’s great-grandparent couples as:
Norman David Wilson (1844-1914) married Mary Ellen Offill (1854-1934). Her parents were:

James A. Offill (1819-1904) married Mary Ann Walters (1826-1921).
He was the eldest son of:

John Offill (1795-1878) married Eleanor Elliott (1800-1879). They spent their live in Kentucky.
He was the eldest son, second child of:

John Offill (1770-1805/10) married Jane Ann “Jennie” Richards (1770-1840/50).
He was born in Virginia. He was the son of:

William Offill (1756- ?) and (wife unknown).[Their other known children were James and John!!]
He was the eldest son of:

John Offill (1720-1780) and Elizabeth Rice (1730 - ?).
He was the eldest son of:

William Offill (abt 1700- ?) and Mary Rucker (abt 1700-1755).
He was the son of:

John Offill (1680 - ?) and (wife unknown).
He was the son of:

William Offill (1660-1712) and Hannah Unknown (art 1660 - ?). He was born in Nansemond, VA, This community was established in 1637 as Upper Norfolk, but the name Nansemond was adopted in 1646. The entire area is now known as Suffolk.
He was also the son of William Offill, born act 1640… location unknown.

Families are Forever! ;-)


Monday, November 16, 2020

Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 8


Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 8

The Busy Builder boys and their projects

“Busy Builders


President…. Lester Brown

Vice President ….Clarence Fick

Secretary … LeVerne Smith


What is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

[NOTE: This is a saying my Dad, Pete, repeated to me as I went off to college!!]



Lilac and White”

On the right side of the image:


Le Verne Smith
Arley Brown
Clarence Fick
Lester Brown
Jerald Johnston
Junior Grim
Wesley Thomas
Howard Fick
Arnold Dobson
Marion Johnston
Wilbur Thomas
Merle Brown
William Johnston”

Since 1925

In the fall of 1925 we gave a “Jack Carnival” which was a very successful event. The school room and the basement were crowed with people who were enjoying themselves at the various booths and games. The proceeds of this carnival were used to purchase the necessary equipment to standardize.
The next February we gave a Valentine Party to which we invited our parents. Most of them came and pronounced it a success. After the play we gave out valentines.
The following May, graduation exercises were held at the schoolhouse. We had a picnic at the end of the year.
At Christmas time in 1926 we gave a program in spite of the fact that most of us had the Whooping Cough. Santa Claus came down the chimney that we had over a window. He brought with him a huge bag of presents which he distributed. We closed the year with a picnic.
The next year on Valentine’s Day we had a party for the pupils. After dinner we played a number of delightful games.”

Continued on the right side of the image:

“In the fall of 1927 we had a party given by the children who had birthdays in the first three months of the year. The next party was given in the winter by the ones who had birthdays in Dec., Jan. and Feb. Then the ones who had birthdays in the last three months gave their party in the spring. We had a picnic at the end of the year at Burgan’s Grove.
In the fall of 1928 we had a party again the same as the year before only the ones who had birthdays in the summer helped too.
On Halloween night we gave a program. Despite the rain we had a fairly large crowd.
In December the school as usual was invited to the community dinner.
At Christmas time the pupils exchanges names and gave presents. We had a tree for the presents.
Our winter birthday party was held on Lincoln’s Birthday.
March 29 we had an Easter egg hunt.
We expect to close this year with our spring birthday party on May 17.
 - - Maxine Smith”

See you down the road… ;-)


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Surname Saturday - Yager


Surname Saturday - Yager

Albert Thomas Yager (1825-1886)
Farmer, Mechanic and a Doctor.
He moved from his native Virginia to Jefferson County, Iowa, by covered wagon (naturally) in 1849.
He moved to Audubon County, by way of Jasper County, in 1874.

Nancy’s mother, Ruth Thomas Bolger, was shown earlier to be the daughter of Wesley Lynk Thomas and Freyda Elsina Weaver.  

Freyda was the daughter of Samuel Lewis Weaver (1852-1925) and Harriet Ellen Yager (1859-1939).

Harriet was born in Jefferson County, Iowa, the daughter of Albert Thomas Yager (1825-1886) and Sinia Gillespie Tyler Yager (1825-1874). They had a total of nine children live to adulthood.

Albert Thomas Yager was the second son of Felix (1789-1830) and Margaret (Deer) (1793-1866) Yager.

Felix Yager was the oldest son and first child of Elisha (1760-1833) and Elizabeth (Barry) (1762-?) Eager.

Elisha Yager was born in Culpepper County, VA, the first son and oldest child of Adam (1738-1813) and Juriah (Berry) Yager.

This Adam Yager was born and died in Madison County, Virginia, and was the 5th child and 4th son of Adam (1707-1794) and Susanna (Kobler) (?-1775) Yager.

This elder Adam Yager was born in Frankenstein, Neubery, Germany, the son of Nicholas (1678-?) and Mary (Wilhite) Yager.

The Nicholas Yager family emigrated from Germany in 1717 to Virginia, near Germanna, and later resided on the Robinson River. He was in bondage for 8 years, until 1725. In 1734 they moved to Orange County which became Culpepper County in 1748. He was the son of Paul Yager about whom little is known.

Families are Forever! ;-)

Friday, November 13, 2020

Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 7


Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 7


Back row, left to right - Fick, Pete, Squeak (Capt.)
Front row, left to right - Bub, Ginger, Hoddy, Tuffy, Sonny, Les, Bro., Billy”

Boys Sports pages


Left to right - Tuffy, Billy, Sonny, Fick, Pete (Capt.)
Squeak, Les, Hoddy, Ginger”

Girls around Table

“Little Citizen’s League


President……………………Ethel Johnson

Vice President………………..Dorthy Fick

Secretary…………………….Ruth Thomas

Librarian……………………… Beth Thomas



LaVerne Smith

Irene Lucht

Fair Play

Wesley Thomas

Marian Thomas

Good English

Jerald Johnston

Maxine Smith


Arlen Brown

Helen Thomas

Dorothy Thomas”

On the right side of the image:


Let me be a little kinder, To the faults of those around me;
let me praise a little more, Let me be, when I am weary, just a little bit more cheery;
Let me serve a little better those whom I am striving for,
Let me be a little braver, when temptation bids me waver;
Let me try a little harder to be all that I should be.
Let me be a little meeker with the brother that is weaker;
Let me think more of my neighbor and a little less of me.



Second and Fourth Friday at 2:30 P.M.


Getting opened by President

Minutes read by  Secretary

Reports from various committees



Closing by President"

On the right side of the image:


Le Verne Smith
Ethel Johnston
Ruth Thomas
Arley Brown
Maxine Smith
Helen Thomas
Clarence Fick
Dorthy Fick
Irene Lucht
Dorothy Thomas
Beth Thomas
Lester Brown
Jerald Johnston
William Johnston
Junior Grim
Wesley Thomas
Esther Fick
Bethene Smith
Fern Brown
Marian Thomas
Howard Fick
Arnold Dobson
Marion Johnston
Mildred Fick
Wilbur Thomas
Merle Brown
Maxine Dobson
Marjorie Thomas”

Families are Forever! ;-)

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 6


Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 6

First Graders on a pony




Green and Yellow



On right side of the image:

“Class Roll

Wilbur Thomas …….. “Billy”

Merle Brown ………… “Shorty”

Maxine Dobson …….. “Sister”

Marjorie Thomas ……. “Mugs”

“First Grade Class History

We started to school last fall.
Miss Christy is our teacher.
Sometimes we have good lessons and sometimes we don’t.
We like to swing, slide and play croquet.”

Right side says: “ALUMNI”

“Class of ’09

Katherine Doran (Salmon) - Bayard, Iowa

Alice Doran (Clarke) - Des Moines, Iowa

Class of ’12

Nellie Wilson (Parsons) - Seattle, Wash.

Class of ’13

Hellen Doran (Leighty) - Guthrie Center, Iowa

Class of ’14

Grant Ballard - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Bois McLaughlin - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Joyce Wheeler (Pierce) - Hinsdale, Ill.

Class of ’15

S.P. Bugler - Des Moines, Iowa

Class of ’16

Duane Wheeler - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Class of ’19

Wayne Smith - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Harold Hartwigsen - Austin, Minn.

Ruth Wheeler - Coon Rapids, Iowa”

On the right side of the image:’

“Class of ’21

Clyde Grimm - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Ralph Wheeler - Perry, Iowa

Volva Rabuck - Ann Arvor, Mich.

Class of ’24

Orel Thomas - Coon Rapids, Iowa

LVene Thomas - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Catherine Grimm - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Class of ’26

Clifford Grimm - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Verse Thomas - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Foster Slocum - Scranton, Iowa

Irene Fick - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Pauline Smith - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Class of ’27

Ralph Johnston - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Charles Grimm - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Harold Grim - Coon Rapids, Iowa

Arnold Thomas - Coon Rapids, Iowa”

I personally doubt that this is a comprehensive list, but rather those who were known at the time. If anyone has better information, I’d be happy to hear it. Thank you.
Great list, in any event. Great to have available for future reference.

This listing is similar to one I have seen from Coon Rapids High School in, I believe, 1919... ;-)

Families are Forever! ;-)


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 5


Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 5

Members of the Fourth Grade in 1929


Dare To Be True


Orange and Green



On the right side of the image:

“Class Role

Lester Brown ……..   “Gus”

Jerald Johnston …… “Tuffy”

William Johnston …   “Billy”

Wesley Thomas …..   “Sonny”

Junior Grim ………… “Ginger”

Esther Fick …………. “Es”

Bethene Smith ……… “Betty”

Fern Brown ………….  “Sis”

Marion Thomas …….. “Smoke”

“Fourth Grade Class History

William Johnston, Junior Grim, Fern Brown and Marian Thomas started to school Sept. 7, 1925.
We were the first class to start in the new schoolhouse and the school was standardized that year too.
Clara Christy has been our only teacher.
Wesley Thomas started the next year and caught up to us.
Lester Brown, Jerald Johnston, Esther Fick and Bethene Smith are with us now.
 - William Johnson, Junior Grim, Fern Brown, Marian Thomas

Lester Brown and Fen Brown are younger siblings of Arley Brown.
Wesley Thomas is the younger brother of Ruth and Dorothy Thomas.
Between Smith is the younger sister of Pete and Maxine Smith.
Marion Thomas is the younger sister of  Helen and Beth Thomas.

There were apparently no third grade students; the right side says: SECOND GRADE

Second Graders on Playground Equipment


All Work and No Play Makes Jake a Dull Boy


Violet and pink



On the right side of this image:

“Class Roll

Howard Fick …….    “Hoddy”

Arnold Dobson ….    “Brother”

Marion Johnston …  “Bub”

Mildred Fick ………  “Millie””

“Second Grade Class History

There was only on in this class the first year. Arnold Dobson and Marion Johnston came in the next year. Howard Fick entered the class this spring.
Miss Christy has been our only teacher.
All of us in this class are good friends.
 - Second Grade

Right side of this image: “FIRST GRADE” - to come in Part 6…

Families are Forever! ;-)


Monday, November 9, 2020

Hall-Bowman-Thomas Connection - Carrie Thomas


Hall-Bowman-Thomas Connection

Carrie Thomas

I have written extensively (both fiction and non-fiction) about life in small-town and rural mid-American, based on life-long experience and observations. The Carrie Bowman Thomas family relationships provide an excellent example of typical relationships in this environment, traced back to first Euro-American settlement in the region. In this case we are looking at The Star Community located a few miles north of Coon Rapids located in western Iowa.

Obit of Claude Thomas, husband of Carrie Thomas

I recently wrote about the first settlers in this area being the Thomas H. Hall family in 1868.
Hattie Hall was a five-year-old in that family. In 1883, she married George Bowman listed in that story as another of the first settlers. Their first child born later that year was Caroline, per the 1900 census. She was always known as Carrie in the community. As noted in the clipping, above, she married Claude Thomas in 1908. They lived their long lives together on their farm on the western half of the same section of land where The Star Church was located in the southeast corner. My memory is that they lived in a big, boxy farm house located on a hill in that section of land at the end of very long driveway coming in from the west.

Claude and Carrie, along with the four of their five children that lived to adulthood, were very active in The Star Church and the Star Community in general. The children attended The Star School and Coon Rapids High School over the years. Their children were:
Orel Elwin Thomas (1909-1993)
Beryl Wilbur Thomas (1911-1911)
Verle W Thomas (1911-1958)
Arnold H. Thomas (1913-1988)
Edith J Thomas Kreger (1922-1987)

Speaking generally, this family well represents the typical rural-small town distribution of relationships.

First, Orel married Margaret Pingery. Margaret was a town girl in Coon Rapids (like my mother). She was one of a large family, mostly females, that married a variety of spouses in town, in the country and out-of-town (I will likely write more about this family at a later time). My Mom, daughter of a bank clerk, always considered herself a “town-girl” but married a farmer and did well at it… as did Margaret. Orel and Margaret lived just a mile west of the farm where I grew up. They lived on the county line between Carroll and Greene counties, on the Greene county side, like us. Their children, Pat and Wilson, attended Willow #3 one-room school, with me. (See Wilson Obit, yesterday)

Beryl and Verle were obviously twins, Beryl died as an infant, Verle married my aunt, LVene Smith, my Dad’s sister, who lived on a farm within two miles. They would have gone to school together. Verle and LVene made their home just to the north of Claude and Carrie in a farmhouse along the road. They had two sons, David and John. Verle died far too young at 47 - though not uncommon. Not only were they active in The Star Church, LVene was also the teacher at The Star School for a number of years.

Arnold married a girl from out-of-town (another common practice), Julia Hicks.
They lived on a farm less than a mile to the west of Claude and Carrie. They had three daughters: Rebecca, Sharon and Claudia. They were all active in The Star Church as well.

Edith married Floyd Kreger, from Fort Dodge, and moved there after their marriage. Again, a common occurrence with small town and rural folks… marrying someone from away, and moving away.

Even with solid roots in one location, people may choose to stay there or they may choose to move off to another location. Such in life. It makes very fascinating observing, and makes the study of family history and genealogy such an enjoyable activity. Thanks for coming along on this little journey with me.

Families are Forever! ;-)


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Sunday Obituaries - Wilson Thomas


 Sunday Obituaries

Wilson Thomas


[Wilson and I grew up one mile apart on our family farms, attended Willow #3 together as well as Coon Rapids High School together. He was one year ahead of me. I recently posted a photo from our Freshman Year.]

Photo and Obit Courtesy of the

Wilson “Willie” Dale Thomas, age 82, of Coon Rapids, passed away on Thursday, October 8, at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines surrounded by his family.
A public graveside service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, October 17, at Oak Hill Cemetery near Coon Rapids with Pastor Joyce Webb officiating. Casket bearers will be Tyler Thomas, Tyson Smith, Clint Reynolds, Kemper Thomas, Kevin Gross, Chris Parkis, Denny Hawthorne, and Lonny Namanny. Honorary casket bearers will be Dave Thomas, John Thomas, Mark Pingrey, Dave Kading, Wes Niles, Randy Spotts, Ron Lucht, and Roger Lucht.
Military honors will be conducted by the Coon Rapids American Legion and the Iowa National Guard.
Those in attendance at the graveside service are asked to abide by Covid – 19 social distancing guidelines.
Those who wish to send memorials and cards may mail them to: The Family of Willie Thomas c/o Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home – 518 Main St. Coon Rapids, IA, 50058.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home of Coon Rapids and online condolences may
be left for the family at

Wilson Dale Thomas
Willie, as he was known to most, was born on April 20, 1938, on his family’s farm north of Coon Rapids. He was the son of Orel and Margaret (Pingrey) Thomas. He attended country school as a boy and graduated from Coon Rapids High School in 1956. Willie worked for Garst and Thomas Seed Company until he was drafted in to the United States Army in 1961. He was stationed in Ft. Eustis, Virginia, and he served two years in transportation.
He was married to Shanda Roles while living in Virginia on September 15, 1962 at James River Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Virginia. Upon his honorable discharge he returned to Coon Rapids and continued to work for Garst and Thomas until 1993. Willie then worked at Farmland in Carroll, drove school bus, and most recently worked at Hartung Brothers Seed Company. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Coon Rapids. He was a founding member of the Coon Rapids Lions Club and he was a past member of the Jaycees.
Willie enjoyed fishing, camping, golfing, bowling, hunting, water skiing, and dancing. Most of all, Willie was a family man and he especially loved every moment spent with his grandchildren. He was an avid Coon Rapids Crusaders fan.
Willie is survived by his wife Shanda Thomas of 58 years of Coon Rapids; daughter Christina McKenney (Dave Halbur) of Coon Rapids; son Michael Thomas (Sherri Swan) of Gilbert, AZ; son William Thomas (Nicki) of Coon Rapids; nine grandchildren: Candace Gross (Kevin), Alysha Reynolds (Clint), Tyson Smith (Kaylinn), Tyler Thomas, Alex Thomas, Kennedie Thomas, Rylie Thomas, Reegan Thomas, and Kemper Thomas; five great-grandchildren: Ava, Jackson, Annabelle, Maggie, and River; a sister-in-law Pat Carroll of Murfreesboro, TN; a brother-in-law Billy Roles of Barhamsville, VA; his special nieces Valorie Hawthorne (Denny) and Vickie Namanny (Lonny); other extended family members and many good friends.
Willie was preceded in death by his parents Orel and Margaret Thomas; his mother and father-in-law Macy and Russell Roles; a brother Howard Wayne at birth; a sister Patricia Lyons; and son Wilson Dale Thomas Jr. at birth.

Families are Forever! ;-)

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Surname Saturday - Dolan (1 of 2)


Surname Saturday - Dolan (1 of 2)

Jesse Amanda Dolan Bolger

This is the first of two Dolan females that married into Nancy’s ancestor lines.

Thomas Edmund Bolger (1861-1926) married Jessie Amanda Dolan (1866-1936).
They were the parents of Frank Bolger who married Hazel Wilson, the parents of Glenn Bolger, Nancy’s father.
[Later we will see that the mother of Thomas was a Dolan from a different line]

Jessie’s parents were:
Josiah Dolan (1837-1875) married Sarah Ann Dickey (1844-1931)

Josiah’s parents were:
James A. Dolan (1806-1891) married Nancy Harrison (1812-1846)

James was the son of:
William T. Doland (1763-1838) married Catherine Haney (1775-1860). These folks were among the earliest settlers of the Marietta area along the Ohio River, coming from Massachusetts. 

Families are Forever!! ;-)

Friday, November 6, 2020

Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 4


Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 4

Arley Brown, Maxine Smith, Helen Thomas




Blue and White



The right side of the image says:

“Class Roll

Arley Brown…. “Squeak”

Maxine Smith … “Max”

Helen Thomas … “Tim””

Note that Arley Brown made appearances in several classes over the years. Same person, working on his father’s farm.
Max, of course, is younger sister of Pete, daughter of William Smith.
Helen Thomas, daughter of Charles Thomas, was a 1st cousin of Ruth Thomas (Bolger). They lived a half mile to the east of The Star School, on the south side of the road.

Sixth Grade Class History

Bethene Smith, Lester Brown, Mary Raygor and Helen Thomas started to school in September 1923. Mary Raygor moved away the following spring. Maxine Smith came into our class the next year. Since then, Clarence and Dorthy Fick were members of the class but dropped out. Arlen Brown joined us in the fifth grade.
- Helen Thomas



“Be Swift to Hear; Slow to Speak”


Pink and White


Apple Blossom”

On the right side of the image:

“Class Roll

Clarence Fick………”Pick”

Dorthy Fick…………”Dort”

Irene Lucht,,,,,,,,,,,,,, “Lunch”

Dorothy Thomas …. “Dotty”

Beth Thomas ……… “Jeff””

Dorothy Thomas was younger sister of Ruth.
Beth Thomas was younger sister of Helen.
They were also 1st cousins, of course.

“Fifth Grade Class History

Our class started in 1924. There were two originals - Dorothy and Beth Thomas. The others who have been in our class and dropped out are - Jeannette Doran, Lester Brown, Bethene Smith, Evelyn Hilgenberg, Esther Fick and Jerald Johnston. Dorthy and Clarence Fick entered our class in 1928. There were five  of us now Clarence Fick, Dorthy Fick, Irene Lucht, Dorothy Thomas and Beth Thomas.
 - Beth Thomas

On the right side, it says: FOURTH GRADE

Continued next time, in Part 5

See you down the road… ;-)

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 3


Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 3

As Promised: The lone Eighth Grader - “LeVerne Smith - “Pete””

Photo obviously take of him back on the farm.

The right side of the image includes:


Rose and Gray

Red Rose”

These next two pages are all writing… on the left:

“Eighth Grade Class History

In the fall of 1920 Arley Brown and Carl Raygor started to school. LeVerne Smith, coming from Union No.6, entered the class in September 1921. In the spring of 1922 one member dropped out - another the following spring. This left LeVerne alone in the class. It has remained so up to the present time.
- LeVerne Smith”

On the right:

“Class Prophesy

I had been in Europe for sometime and had not heard much about the sports of U.S. When I boarded the steamer bound for home, I picked up a sports sheet of a newspaper. I was astonished when I read across the top of the page - “LeVerne Smith is Champion Batter for this Season.” Reading farther down on the page I learned that he had made fifty home runs and that his batting helped the Des Moines Giants very much in winning the National Championship.
I was pleased to know he had made a success of his favorite sport. I recalled how well he liked to play baseball at recess and noon when we went to the Star School together. I laughed to myself as I also recalled how he used to pull my hair and stick his pencil in the back of my neck when we were in primary grades - which usually resulted in my turning around and slapping his face.
- Ruth Thomas”

The left side of the next image has a poem…

’Tis Evening

The sun is setting in the west,
The birdies are going to rest;
Flowers are nodding their dainty heads,
Children are being tucked in their beds;
For ———— ’tis evening.
- Ruth Thomas”

The right side simply says: SEVENTH GRADE

We won’t keep you waiting this time…

On the right side, it says:

“Class Roll

Ethel Johnston - “Sis”

Ruth Thomas - “Ruthie””

On the left side:


Ruth is sitting in the swing, with Ethel beside her, with the glasses.

 Work hard; pray hard; play hard.
-Herbert Hoover

Gold and White


Next comes, on the left:

“Seventh Grade Class History

In the year of 1922 when this class first started there were two members - Maxine Smith and Ruth Thomas. One dropped out in the year of 1923. Clydola Oliver entered the class that same spring.
Arlen Brown came into the class in the first grade.
Maureen Doran joined the class in 1925. Clydola Oliver moved away that spring. Ethel Johnston came from Churn, Iowa, and took her place.
Maureen Doran left the class and entered the Annunciation School in Coon Rapids in the winter of 1926. One more dropped out the following spring.
Maureen Doran came back again in the sixth grade.
When school started in Sept. 1928 Ruth Thomas and Ethel Johnston were the only ones in the seventh grad and are at the present time.
- Ethel Johnston”

The right side of the page says “SIXTH GRADE” but we’ll stop here for Part 3

See you down the road… ;-)


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 2


Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 2

Part 2 begins with “A History of the School” and two neat photos. The top photo is the school, of course.

Click to see larger version

The bottom photo has all 28 students lined up at the rear of the school (the school faced to the east, toward the road.) (A road also ran along the north side of the school, the Star Church being right across that road from the school.)

I can identify my Dad, Pete Smith, sitting right in the middle of the class. I believe Ruth Thomas is just to the right of him, as we look at the photo. We’ll get a better look at most of the students in later photos.

“A History of Our School

The first schoolhouse which was built in 1882 burned in March 1924. The following summer a new building was erected. It was much more modern, with a basement, furnace and separate cloakrooms.
In 1925 through the cooperation of the patrons and under the supervision of Clara Christy our school became standardized. With our state money we have purchased a great many things for the school, such as - shades, oil stove, pictures, Kindergarten table, chairs, playground slide, as well as numberous (sic) other equipment and supplies.
The schoolroom, size 24 ft. x 24 ft. has a window space of 126 sq. ft. on the south, 88 sq. ft. of blackboard, bulletin board 8 ft. x 4 ft., storage cupboard, library and lunch cupboard.
The basement has a furnace room, kitchenette, manual training shop and play room.
- Ruth Thomas”

The next pages simply say “DIRECTOR William Smith” with his photo.

This photo was taken on the south side of his farmhouse. My grandfather, William Smith.

The left side of the next image features the Editors of The Star, with a photo of them:

Edited and published by
the teacher, sixth, seventh and eight grades.
First S.S. Annual”

NOTE: It does say "First Star School Annual" - wonder if there are more out there for 1930 and later?

In the photo, back row, from left: Ruth Thomas, Clara Christy, Pete Smith, Arley Brown;
front row, from left, Maxine Smith, Ethel Johnson, Helen Thomas ( we’ll see them in grade photos)

Below the photo is the list of Editor names:

Clara Christy
LeVerne Smith
Ethel Johnston
Ruth Thomas
Arlen Brown
Maxine Smith
Helen Thomas”

The right side of the image says, “EIGHTH GRADE” - but we need to turn the page to see him!

Next time, in Part 3

Families are Forever! ;-)

Monday, November 2, 2020

Ancestor Artifact - 29 The Star - Part 1


Ancestor Artifact

29 The Star - Part 1

This is a powerful Ancestor Artifact for me and my family as well as for many others in the Star Community a few miles north of Coon Rapids, Iowa, where I grew up… on several levels.

This 33 interior page booklet was prepared under the director of the teacher, Miss Clara Christy, by the members of the upper grades at the one-room Star School. My Dad, Pete (Leverne) Smith, was the only member of the eighth grade class that year. Ruth Thomas (Bolger), Nancy's Mom, was a year behind him and wrote much of the best material in the booklet. Both of their siblings are featured throughout the booklet along with the many other community student members. Pete’s father, William Smith (whom I was named after), was the Director of the School that year. Among many other things we will discover as we share these pages is that there is an extensive ‘alumni’ section, mentioning the others who had ‘graduated’ from the Star School in years past. And, of course, this is the same school where my wife and her siblings attended in later years as well. There are many contemporary photos…

The first page with writing is: “Our Slogan - We Are the Twinkle of the Star”

The next page has a “Dedication:
In appreciation of faithful and sincere cooperation, we dedicate this “Star” to the patrons of the Star district. The Editors”

These next two pages are devoted to “Clara Christy - Instructor” and a ‘Twenty-third Psalm’ focused on their feelings for her:

“Miss Christy is our teacher, We shall not want another.
She leadeth us through the pages of our books, She bringeth us knowledge, for our diploma’s sake.
Yea, though we walk into our classes We shall fear no E’s for she is with us.
Her questions discomfort us.
She prepareth an examination for us in the presence of our ignorance.
She annoiteth our papers with red marks; Our grades runneth low.
Surely, ignorance and failure shall follow us all the days of our life.
And we shall dwell in this old schoolhouse forever. - Arley Brown"

Arley Brown was the oldest son of Roy and Agnes (Rabuck) Brown. Arley was the grandson of Anna (Wilson) Brown. The Roy Brown farmstead was diagonally across the corner northeast of the Star School.

Closer view:

Clara Christy also had an older sister Josephine who taught in local area schools for many years. They were daughters of John and Maggie Christy of Coon Rapids, Iowa.

Families are Forever! ;-)