Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wedding Wednesday - February Weddings in My Family Tree

Out of 40 couples in my family tree who were married in the month of February, only one couple chose Valentine's Day to get married.  February 21st and February 27th are the most popular days in February in my family, tied at 4 couples each marrying on those days.

On February 4, 1879, my maternal third Great Grandfather Hartwell "Jack" Spann married for a second (or third?) time at "age 66" (truth be told, he was older).  He married Susan A Culver, who at age 56 was marrying for the first time.  Their marriage record has been transcribed and is online at the Wayne County, Kentucky Genweb site.  Unfortunately, the record for his first marriage in about 1820 to my 4th Great Grandmother, Mary ?, is not online anywhere that I have found.  They were my Great Grandma Allie Spann's Grandparents.

Also on my maternal side I have found records online for two ancestors of my Great Grandma Sadie Negley.  My sixth Great Grandparents, Mordecai Hall and Sarah Vines married on February 21, 1744.  St Margaret's Westminster Parish in Anne Arundel County, Maryland was the site.  I don't know how many years they were married because I don't know when either of them passed away.  

My seventh Great Grandparents, John Foster and Elizabeth Greene, were married February 15, 1703 at St Barnabus Church in Prince George's County, Maryland.  He died when he was only 32 years old, giving them only about 17 years together.

On my Dad's side of the family tree a couple of my Seventh Great Grandparents chose February wedding dates.  James Hosmer and Elizabeth Sawyer married on February 16, 1686 in Concord, Massachusetts.  They were married at least 20 years and had 9 children. 

William Harlow and Mercy Rider were married on February 24, 1714 or 1715, together for at least 37 years.  The marriage took place in Plymouth, Massachusetts where Mercy's second Great Grandfather, Richard Warren arrived on the Mayflower.

Wilhemus Fero and Geertruy Van Vracken, my fifth Great Grandparents, were married on  February 27, 1791 at the Schenectady Reformed Church in Schenectady, New York.  I don't have their death dates.  

My husband's Great Grandparents, Robert I Boone and Elizabeth Johnson, were married on February 3, 1874 in Nelson County, Kentucky.  They were married for 26 years. Their marriage certificate is online at familysearch,org.

Several of these marriages occurred during Colonial times.  I won't pretend to know a lot about weddings during that time, but I know they weren't quite as elaborate as they are today.   It would be interesting to know more details about the ceremony, the flowers, the clothes they wore and if and how they decorated.  And whether or not the bridesmaids wore red.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - Photo Developing, Printing and Enlarging 1915

Some of my ancestors owned their own camera, I'm almost sure of it.  So I'm always looking for information on the history of personal photography and developing and printing those photos.  This advertisement from 1915 is one possible place where my family might have sent their film to have it developed.

Omaha Daily Bee, August 15, 1915

After the Pictures Are Taken --

Leave Your Film With Us for Correct

Printing and Enlarging

For the past fifteen years we have assumed that there were enough discriminating kodak users in Omaha who would appreciate superior results and who would not be satisfied to have their efforts handicapped by ordinary methods of amateur developing and printing, to give us a steady growth year by year.  The generous patronage bestowed upon us has simply proven that our assumption was correct.  We have steadily maintained our original policy, permitting nothing short of the best to be delivered by our Finishing Department, which is only a part of our large wholesale and retail photographic supply store located for the past twenty-five years on Farnam Street.  We have at all times, and still insist that correct developing is most important.  Prints are made from negatives, consequently the properly developed negative produces the best print.  All our prints are made on Velox paper - the paper with kodak reputation; they are printed with kodak masks which means even white margins, and they lay flat without being mounted on cards.

Our Special Service  By this we mean that all Roll Films, Film Packs and Dry Plates left with us for developing are carefully examined by our "Special Service" department and where possible, printed suggestions that we think will help improve your next exposures are returned with the order; but we suggest that you talk to our expert, there being no charge and you may receive information that will greatly improve your work.   We want you to get the best possible results, which will mean more work for us.

Enlargements  Many pictures are much more effective in an enlargement than in the original size.  We make beautiful enlargements in Sepia, Buff, and Black and White.  We have several original styles that are made up with broad margins, suitable for framing.  We also furnish Colored Enlargements, either in water colors or in oil.  The oil process is new, giving you a finished picture with all the rich lustre of an oil painting.

Prices  Our volume has increased until it has now reached a point where we enjoy a decreased cost of production, maintaining our high standard of workmanship; therefore we have revised our prices, workmanship as before and the "Special Service" an added feature.

Developing  Film  . . . . .  per roll, 10c  Any size up to
Film Packs, per pack, 25c  and including 4x5

Time of Delivery - Work always ready when promised.  You will not be asked to "call later."  We make good on our promise or make no charge for the work.

Kodaks and Supplies   Our stock is complete, our prices right, and most important, our out right.  If you have an instrument and are looking for information, come in and ask; we will be pleased to help you to the full extent of our knowledge and experience.

The Robert Dempster Co.
Eastman Kodak Co.
1813 Farnam Street  Branch - 308 So. 15th St.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thankful Thursday - Laura Alcorn's Photo

When I wrote about my second Great Grandmother Martha Bell in November of 2013, I mentioned how I wanted a photo of her daughter Laura Alcorn.  Laura's brother Cicero Bell is my Great Grandfather.  Well, it was quite a shock when one day last winter I saw in my Gmail Inbox a message from "Laura Alcorn".  Granddaughter of the original!  She found some things I had posted online about her Alcorn family and I am so thankful that she emailed me!  We shared some information on the family and so I asked her if she had a photo of Laura.  I was thrilled to get a few including these of Laura and Carson, obviously taken some years apart.  The corsage make me wonder if the photo of Laura was taken on her wedding day. 

Laura Myrtle Bell was born August 4, 1879 in Wayne County, Kentucky.  She grew up living with her mother, Grandmother Rutha and two older brothers Cicero and John William.  After she and Carson were married, Laura's mother Martha lived with them until her death.

Carson Armstrong Alcorn was born February 18, 1882 in Wayne County.  His parents were Chesley Samuel Simpson Alcorn and Harriet Frisby Hopkins. 

Laura and Carson were married on October 2, 1902 at Ruthy Bell's in Wayne County.  They were married by J. A. Alley, "M. G." (Minister of the Gospel).   Witnesses were J. A. Clemens and J. S. Stringer.  John Stringer was an uncle of Laura's, married to her mother's sister Elizabeth.  J. A. Alley may have been a distant relative.

Carson and Laura started their life together farming in Wayne County.  Their two oldest daughters were born there and that may likely be where sometime between 1906 and 1910 they lost an infant.  About 1911, they moved to Ionia, Kansas.  They farmed in Kansas until 1923, then moved to Giltner, Nebraska where they farmed for about six years.  That makes it right about the start of the Depression when they left the farm and Carson went to work for Harrison Nursery in York.  After World War II, he and his son Estel began operating a dry cleaning business in Grand Island which Carson retired from in 1953. 

On November 22, 1955, Carson died at age 73 in Grand Island.  His final resting place is in Westlawn Cemetery.  Laura moved to Lincoln after his death and lived with her daughter Lena.  She died on February 27, 1972 at the age of 92.  She is buried beside her husband. 

Their children:

Lessie E.  (September 20, 1906 - March 8, 1996) Married Laurence Gilmore, one daughter. 

Nora E.  (January 3, 1910 - April 11, 1990)  Married Bernhardt Obermiller, one son. 

Elsie F.  (May 28, 1912 - April 26, 1917)  Died of fever (diptheria? scarlet?) in Kansas.

Lena Lavelle  (February, 1914 - March 7, 2006)  Married Hayward Williams, one son.

Mildred  (December 3, 1915 - June 11, 1999)  Married Frank Holland, three children.

Marie  (November 5, 1917 - ?)  Married Morris Swedberg, two sons.

Estel Carson  (July 1, 1921 - August, 1985)  Married Jean Viox, six children. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday's Faces from the Past - Elvie and Elwin Megrue

Written on the back of these photos from the Old Trunk in the Attic is "Elvie Mae Megrue age 14 month"  and "Elwin Elsworth Megrue 10 weeks old when taken".   Easy!  I found in the 1910 census, Elvie, age 9 and Elwin, 6, lived in Howard Ward 1, Clay County, Nebraska with their parents Andrew and Emma and one older sister named Faye, age 13.  Cut to the chase, I also found Elvie's memorial at Find A Grave in the Harvard Cemetery.  She died April 1, 1924 not quite reaching the age of 24 years old and it appears she never married.  I posted her photo there.

But maybe Elwin has descendants who would love to have these photos.  

There are no Elwin Megrue's listed at Find A Grave.  In the 1940 census, Elwin is 36 years old and single, living with his parents in Kimberly, Idaho.  I've learned that many people from around Eldorado, Nebraska moved to that area of Idaho for jobs in the logging industry.  The Social Security Death Index lists an E. Megrue who died in April of 1987 at age 84 in Twin Falls, Idaho.

His oldest sister, Vernie Faye was married to Gerald Morrow Ferguson on September 30, 1927 in Boise, Idaho.  Gerald has a memorial at Find A Grave in the Sacramento County Veterans Memorial Cemetery, but it doesn't look like Vernie is there.

As for the parents Andrew and Emma Megrue, Andrew died May 26, 1948 and is buried in Harvard, Nebraska.  Emma died in Idaho but I have no burial information.  She may be in Harvard also, I'll look the next time I'm there.  

So whether or not there are any descendants of Elwin or Vernie Faye I can't say for sure.  If anyone who reads this knows something, please leave a comment.  These photos belong with family.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wedding Wednesday - January Weddings in My Family Tree

January 1 is a popular wedding day in my family tree.  There are a total of 56 January marriages in my database and six of them are on January 1, the most of the whole month. "New year, new beginnings".  I don't know if you could get anyone to marry you on New Year's Day nowadays.  Maybe those chapels in Las Vegas are open for business.  

Several of my direct ancestors were married in the month of January.  The majority of these are on my paternal side.  I  am working on getting the documentation for all of them yet.  

My second Great Grandparents, Henry Menke and Eliza Knapp were married on January 13th in 1867. Both of Henry's daughters and one son from his first marriage were also married in the month of January.

A few ancestors of my Great Grandma Lottie Roscoe married in January.  My eighth Great Grandparents, John Ruscoe and Rebecca Beebe on January 2, 1650.  My ninth Great Grandparents, Jonathan Barnes and Elizabeth Hedge on January 4, 1665.  My ninth Great Grandfather William Harlow married his second wife, Mary Shelley, on January 20, 1665.  Mary Shelley is a step-Grandmother.  My tenth Great Grandparents Stephen Hosmer and Dorothy Selden were married on January 25, 1602.

Five different generations of my Bliss family line were married in January.  My third Great Grandparents, John Potter Smith and Mary Abigail Bliss were married on January 17, 1847.  Mary Bliss' parents, Austin Bliss and Abigail Bumstead were married on January 28, 1817.  Abigail Bumstead's grandparents, Joseph Bumstead and Jemimiah Bliss were married on January 23, 1774.  On that same day in 1744, Jemimiah Bliss' parents, my seventh Great Grandparents, Peletiah Bliss and Jemima Hitchcock were wed.  Finally, my ninth Great Grandparents, John Damon and Martha Howland, were married on January 15, 1659.

Only two couples on my maternal side chose January wedding dates.  My Fifth Great Grandparents in the McGrath line, Lebbeus Simmons and Mary Douglas, were married on January 27th, 1774.  Ancestors of my Great Grandmother Sadie Negley, my eighth Great Grandparents, William and Elizabeth Seaborn were married on January 28, 1702.  

Mattingly ancestors that I have January wedding dates for in my tree are all on my husband's maternal side.  His grandparents, Mark Thomas Spalding and Cora Lulu Spalding were married on January 10, 1910.  

Three sets of Mark Thomas Spalding's Great Grandparents were married in January.  Richard Spalding and Henrietta Thompson on January 20, 1817.  Aloysius Abell and Mary Fenwick on January 11, 1829.  Robert S Thomas and Matilda Spalding on January 24, 1832.  Parents of Matilda Spalding, Edward Spalding and Elizabeth Spalding were married on January 27, 1806.

The weather is very often a determining factor when choosing a wedding date for people today.  Most of these weddings mentioned here took place in northern states like Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland where it was surely cold in January.  Apparently that wasn't a factor. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Newspaper Clippings - Wayne, Nebraska, 1917

Wayne Herald, Thursday, March 29, 1917, pg 2

"Members of the Public Service club lunched at the Gem Cafe Monday noon and had for main consideration perfection of plans for the forthcoming meeting of the North Nebraska Teachers' association.  These committees were apointed in addition to those formerly named in connection with service for the meeting:  Committee to look after decorating the town. Supt. O. R. Bowen, Frank Gaertner, S. R. Theobald and Mrs. Henry Ley.  It was decided to decorate exclusively with the national colors.  Committee appointed to sell tickets for the grand opera, Frank S. Morgan, Carroll Orr, F. E. Gamble and C. E. Carhart.



Captain James Pile of Co. E, Fourth Nebraska regiment, received a telegram Monday instructing him to immediately mobilize the company for service, and accordingly he sent out word to all the boys to assemble here at once.
There are now sixty men in the company, but it is expected recruits will increase the number appreciably within a short time.  The possible maximum is 150.
Washington, March 26 - Twenty additional infantry regiments and five additional separte battalions of national guard troops have been ordered into federal service for the protection of property in the event of possible internal disorder.  The troops have been called out in eighteen western and middle western states not included in the list of the similar orders made public yesterday.
The war department's statement follows:
Following additional national guard organizations have been called in the federal service for general purposes of police protection against possible interference with the postal commercial and military channels and instrumentalities:
"Illinois, First, Fifth and Sixth regiments, infantry; Indiana, Second regiment, infantry; Iowa, First and Third regiments, infantry; Nebraska, Fourth regiment, infantry; Minnesota, First regiment, infantry; Michigan, Thirty-third regiment, infantry; Wisconsin, Third regiment; South Dakota, Third battalion of Fourth regiment; North Dakota, Second battalion of First regiment, infantry; Colorado, First and Second separate battalions, infantry; Wyoming, Second separate battalion, infantry; Ohio, Third and Sixth regiments, infantry; Washington, Second regiment, infantry; Oregon, Third regiment, infantry; California, Second, Fifth and Seventh regiments, infantry; Idaho, Idaho, Second regiment, infantry; Second regiment, infantry; Montana, Second regiment infantry.
Of these organizations the following are already in the federal service and in consequence will not be mustered out as originally planned.
"Michigan, Thirty-third infantry; Colorado, First and Second separate battalions; Ohio, Third and Sixth regiments.
"It is requested that no details of locality be carried in the press with regard to further distribution of these troops unless given out by the war department."
The new order makes thirty-two national guard infantry regiments called into the federal service for police purposes supplemented by six separate battalions and several detached companies.  They will be assigned to posts in connection with their police work by the commanders of the military departments acting under instructions from the war department.

Press is Cooperating.

Assurances of the cooperation of the American press generally in the effort to recruit the navy to its full war strength of 87,000 men reached Secretary Daniels today by telegraph and telephone from managing editors in all parts of the country.  The department is supplementing its recruiting service with automobile detachments which are searching every county for suitable men.  The machines are stopping in every town, village and hamlet and frequently at individual farm houses in order not to miss any opportunity to secure young men.

Iowa Regiment to Mobilize

Des Moines, March 26 - At 3 o'clock this morning Adit. Gen. Logan issued orders for the mobilization of the First Iowa infantry recently back from the border.  The regiment is ordered to assemble at once in compliance with orders received by Gov. Harding from the war department.



D. L. Negley died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Frank Baker, southwest of Wayne, Thursday, March 22 aged about 80 years.  He would have reached that age if he had lived until next May.  Mr. Negley came to Wayne from his home at Decatur, Ia., by automobile with his two sons, C. C. and D. L. Negley.  A third stroke of apoplexy, suffered after reaching Wayne, proved fatal.
The body was taken Monday to Decatur, Ia., for the funeral and interment and was acompanied by Frank Baker and the deceased's son, C. C. Negley, and daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Ditton, the latter of whom arrived Friday from Sioux Rapids, Ia., in response to word announcing her father's death.  D. L. Negley motored to Decatur Friday.  Mrs. Frank Baker was unable to attend the funeral.

Official war correspondents set a fine example to this extent:  they don't dwell much on the troubles of their own side of the conflict.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Parties

Our 26th annual Caroling party is this year.  My husband and I hosted our first caroling party in 1989 and it has become an annual event.  We were involved in the community theater at that time and had a circle of friends that we partied with regularly.  We would all meet at our house,  then drive around town to carol to older friends we all knew.  Some were parents and other relatives of members in the group.  It often brought some of them to tears and occasionally we were treated with goodies or hot chocolate.  After caroling we would have food, drinks and a good time back at our house. 

Sadly, over time, the people we caroled to all passed away.  We started caroling at the veterans home and hospital and a few years ago added one of the four firehouses in town to our list.  We usually spend an hour or two caroling.

When my daughter was young, I used to get very stressed working full time and trying to do so much for Christmas.  One year we planned a trip to California the week before our usual caroling party night.  About October I put out the word among our group that I wasn’t going to be able to host the party, so if someone else wanted to do it they could go ahead.  Well, another couple hosted the party and didn’t realize we were home that night and we weren’t invited.  Those friends now split the hosting responsibilities with us every other year.  It’s a good break for each of us.  In the 26 years, my husband and I have missed two – that year and one other year when I was sick.  It was so nice that year when the group came to our house and caroled to us.  It brought me to tears!  We have some very wonderful memories of our caroling parties. 

“The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more at”