Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Wordless (Hardly) Wednesday - Engagement Weekend


Wordless (Hardly) Wednesday

 Engagement Weekend

I cannot share a photo without a story. I do not like to write a story with no picture.

This photo image is dated 13 Apr 1958 - slide was getting old when I scanned it, giving it that distinctive red tinge. I’m sure Photoshop can fix it, but I kind of like it as it is.

Another key Bolger-Thomas-Smith-Kinnick moment. Nancy and I came home from our respective colleges with the announcement that we were getting married. Even wore matching shirts - that she made - talented lady, always. She didn’t really care about being in school in Cedar Falls. She wanted to be with me. I was in Ames, and just wanted to be with her while I got me education. Such a thing as living together unmarried never crossed our minds in those days, of course.

Fortunately, this group, our parents in particular, were a strong support group - before we had ever heard the term. We all talked it out. They cared deeply about us and what was best for our future. That was what we wanted, too, of course. We just weren’t seeing it quite clearly, yet. We could be engaged, but not get married until the following summer, when Nancy would have earned her teaching certificate (two year degree at the time). By having specific dates and goals to work toward, we could agree to that. We did that and it worked out just fine. What memories!! Married 61 years!

In these old photos, you always want to look at the background and ancillary things, not just the focus of the picture. Of course, if Nancy’s younger sister, Janice, and my younger brother, Paul, looked at the photo, it would be about them, not the couple in the matching shirts. For those who might not know, or remember, my parents, Eileen (Kinnick) and Pete Smith, are on the left. Nancy’s Mom, Ruth (Thomas) Bolger, (her Dad Glenn Bolger) behind, is holding Janice. On the right are my mother’s parents, my grandparents, Paul and Dorothy (Sorenson) Kinnick.

We are all in front of the fireplace at the end of “The Porch” at my parent’s farmhouse. We would call it a family room or great room these days. It was, indeed, a Great Room. Further note: my model airplanes on the shelf, left rear, and copies of Saturday Evening Post; and many books on the right, even a hymnal. The console TV is at the far left lower corner. What else do you see?

This is family history at its best!

Families are Forever! ;-)

Friday, September 25, 2020

Smith-Kinnick-Bolger-Thomas Connections


Smith-Kinnick-Bolger-Thomas Connections

As I anticipate increased posting to this blog, I’ve been reviewing past posts and am reminded how deep the connections are between my family lines and those of my wife. Of course, they are all rooted in living in Coon Rapids, Iowa, and the nearby communities, such as the Star Community, their entire lives (those of our parents, specifically). Much of this has come from reading my Mom’s diaries, of course.

Here is a post about a 1937 entry:

Part of it reads: Week 11 (Mar 13-19):

On Sunday, March 14, Eileen noted that she and Dot T. spent the day together. Dot T. was Dorothy Thomas, sister of Wes Thomas and Ruth (Thomas) Bolger (my mother-in-law). Eileen had gone to choir practice, last week, and church (Methodist) this week - I'm confident that is how they connected this week.

Here is a photo of the Thomas five in 1960. Dorothy is front, left. Ruth is far left. Bill is front right, Wes is back center, and May is the younger sister, far right.


We have a couple of interesting photos in between these two dates, as well:

This one appears to be just after Wes joined the navy in early 1940s…Nancy appears to be, perhaps, 2, in between Carolyn and Bob. Adults are, from left, Ruth, Glenn, May, Wes, Dorothy, Lewis.

That one missed a brother, Bill… this one fills that in:

From left, May, Wes, Bill, Ruth, Dorothy

Many memories!

Families are Forever! ;-)


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

WikiTree - Where genealogist collaborate


WikiTree - Where genealogist collaborate

While I’ve not been doing much in the way of original genealogy or family history research in recent months, I have not been inactive. I have continued to actively participate as a Volunteer/Contributor in the WikiTree Project. In fact, I’ve earned the badges for over 100 contributions, Club 100, in each of the months April, May, June, July and August in 2020 so far.

I like collaboration. That is why I like WikiTree, and have participated since 2012, when it was still relatively small. It says I have made a total of 4614 contributions so far. I am, of course, a Signatory to the Honor Code. The goal is “Together we’re growing an accurate singe family tree using DNA and traditional genealogical sources.” To date, the tree includes 24,624,909 profiles edited by 739,779 genealogists from around the world.

My favorite part of volunteering at WikiTree as a contributor is that I can add my researched family information without great concern for the peculiarities of the format. It is very well formatted and easy to use. I enter my information to the best of my efforts, others enjoy updating the entries and assuring that source citations, etc. are properly formatted. This way, I can concentrate on my contributions. Basic minimum requirements are name, birth year, death year and sources. Normally, of course, I contribute much more information. Procedures are in place to prevent duplicates or recognize and merger them where they exist. One profile for each person is the intent and goal.

There are multiple ways to contribute, of course. Data Doctors is one of my favorites. They have lists of things that need worked on. You can go in and pick a project and work on it. There is always something interesting to be done. It never ends. The more who participate, the better the results.

Visit, today. See for yourself.

Families are Forever!! ;-) 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Sunday Obituary - Marilyn (Anderson) Taylor - CRHS Class of 1957


Sunday Obituary

Marilyn (Anderson) Taylor

CRHS Class of 1957


A third member of our High School Graduating Class of 1957, Coon Rapids, Iowa, has passed away now in the last four months. We are thinking of each of the families as they deal with their loss.

Marilyn Joyce (Anderson) Taylor

     Marilyn Joyce Taylor, age 80, of Coon Rapids, IA, passed away on Friday, September 18, 2020 at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll surrounded by her family.

     A public graveside service will be held at Union Township Cemetery near Coon Rapids at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 with Rev. Joyce Webb of the United Methodist Church in Coon Rapids officiating.

     Those in attendance at the cemetery are asked to abide by Covid – 19 social distancing guidelines and face masks are recommended.

     Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Coon Rapids and online condolences may be left for the family at

      Marilyn was born on September 25, 1939 in Coon Rapids, IA, and was the daughter of Chris and Beulah (Mahan) Andersen.  She grew up in Coon Rapids where she graduated from high school in 1957.  Marilyn worked at the Garst and Thomas Seed Company as a secretary before starting her family.  Marilyn was a devoted daughter and sister who helped care for her five siblings.

     In 1959, Marilyn was united in marriage to Larry Dean Taylor at Willow St. Methodist Church in Ottumwa by Rev. Cecil Latta.  The couple moved to Bayard, IA, and Garner, IA, with Larry’s career with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and later settled in Coon Rapids.  Marilyn worked as an Avon sales rep, a child care provider and a seed corn processor in the early years.  She then served as a seed lab technician for Garst Seed Company for over 20 years. 

     Marilyn was a devoted mother of three children and grandmother of five.  She spent countless hours supporting, caring and loving her kids, and she and Larry were well known to express their pride and adoration of them.

     Left to cherish Marilyn’s memory are her children: Scott (Nancy) Taylor of Estherville, IA, Jane (Karl) Ritter of Wichita Falls, TX, David Taylor of Webster City, IA; grandchildren: Matt Taylor (Cassandra O’Shea - Taylor), Reece Taylor, Livia Taylor, Kathryn (Andy) Jochems and Alexander Ritter; her two sisters Loretta (Roger) Rumelhart of Coon Rapids and Karen (Jerry) Colbert of Coon Rapids; three sisters-in-law Elaine Andersen of Coon Rapids and Audrey Troutman (Gary) of Coon Rapids and Sharon Bell of Ankeny, IA; a brother-in-law Eugene Taylor (Carol) of Sun City West, AZ and many loved nieces and nephews.

      Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents Chris and Beulah Andersen; her mother and father-in-law Paul and Thelma Taylor; three brothers William, Jerry and Richard; a sister-in-law Alice Taylor; and her husband Larry Taylor in 2019.   


Saturday, September 19, 2020

11th Blogiversary is Today


11th Blogiversary is Today

I began this blog with an Initial Post on 19 Sep 2009. 1179 posts later, here we are. 

I've not been real active recently, but with changing times, I expect this to change in the coming months. If you have not already, I'll hope you'll sign on as a follower to this blog, so you won't miss one in coming weeks and months. One project is to transcribe diaries from 1870s in rurual western Iowa, as settlement communities grew. We've also been getting into DNA analysis to confirm early ancestors. Daughters Annette and Arrion are now active researchers, so I hope to share tidbits that they find here.

Stay tuned, don't get too excited, we'll post as there is worthy material on our families.

Thank you for your continued support!

Families are Forever!!



Sunday, September 6, 2020

Sunday Obituary - Nancy R. Smith, my wife


 Sunday Obituary - Nancy R. Smith, my wife


Nancy Ruth (Bolger) Smith (August 3, 1939-August 31, 2020) of Hollister, MO, passed away Monday August 31, 2020. She had sustained a series of strokes over the past year.

She was born to Glenn Harold Bolger and Ada Ruth (Thomas) Bolger on August 3, 1939 in Carroll County Iowa. Nancy graduated from Coon Rapids High School (IA) in 1957. She attended Iowa State Teacher’s College receiving an associate degree and teaching certification in 1959.

On August 7, 1959 she married her life-long sweetheart William Leverne Smith in Coon Rapids, Iowa. Nancy taught elementary school for a year before becoming a full-time mother. In the 1970s and 1980s, she worked alongside her husband as the business manager in their accounting practice. In the 1990s and 2000s, she managed Vision to Action Publishing and co-authored several books with her daughter Annette on topics related to reading and technology. They also co-authored two books focusing on their family history including After Glow: The Poetry of Laura Wilson Anderson and One Hundred Days: The Civil War Diary of Norman Wilson.

After living in Iowa, California, Mississippi, Arizona, Utah, Kentucky, New York, and Kansas, she and Bill retired to a cabin in the woods of the southern Missouri Ozarks near Branson. 

Nancy enjoyed playing the piano, creating needlecraft, building puzzles, and reading a wide range of books. Her passion for genealogy and travel has been passed down to her daughters. Nancy was immensely proud and supportive of her family. She was a strong women who set a marvelous example for her three daughters.

Nancy is survived by her husband Bill and three daughters: Annette Christine Lamb and her husband Larry Johnson, of Teasdale, Utah; Allison Ruth King of Hollister, Missouri; and Arrion Sue Rathsack and her husband Ben of Austin, Texas. She is also survived by two grandchildren: Alex and Kaylee Rathsack, along with step-grandchildren and great step-grandchildren. She was predeceased by daughter Appril Eileen Smith and son-in-law Ed King.

A private burial will take place at the Union Township Cemetery near Coon Rapids (IA). Plans for a Celebration of Life will be shared at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in her name to the charity of your choice. Cremation services provided by Holden Cremation and Funeral Services, Sparta, Missouri.