Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sorting Saturday -- Getting Genealogy papers organized!

I have been researching my family genealogy since the early 1990’s.  As you can imagine I have gathered a mountain of documents, photographs and other family memorabilia.  All of which requires organization of some kind.  Over the years I have had many, many filing systems, but none was ever quite sufficient for my needs and data retrieval.

Last year I converted to a color coded system for all my paper hard copy records and let me tell you………….what a HUGE difference it has made in my genealogical research!!  I can now easily find data I need when I need it and I can easily and quickly file any new data and documents I discover.  I also have a computer filing system which I will discuss in a later post.

The purpose of this step by step post is to explain how my paper system works in hopes that it could help other genealogy hobbyist to get their paper documents and data into a streamlined organization system.

Step One: Assign colors

I assigned a color to each of my four grandparents, my step-father’s family, and each of my husband’s four grandparents.

v   My Maternal Grandfather is Blue
v  My Maternal Grandmother is Red
v  My Paternal Grandfather is Green
v  My Paternal Grandmother is Yellow
v  My Step-father is Cream
v  My husband’s Maternal Grandfather is Purple
v  My husband’s Maternal Grandmother is Burgundy
v  My Husband’s Paternal Grandfather is Dark Blue
v  My husband’s Paternal Grandmother is Aqua

Step Two: Gather Supplies

v  You will need colored file folders and colored hanging file folders in each of the colors you have chosen to represent your ancestors.
v  Large plastic file storage box
v  File Folder Labels.  You can purchase labels with a colored line across the top in Red, Yellow, Blue & Green. Or simply use plain white labels.
v  One binder for each of your color coded ancestors. I prefer the binders where you can slip a paper in the cover and spine.  If you are color coding just your four grandparents, then you will only need four binders.  Because I have color coded my step-family and my In-Laws I have a total of nine binders.
v  Binder dividers with clear non-colored tabs. One 8-10 sheet set for each of your binders.
v  Colored circle labels.  Both large and small. You can purchase packages of primary colors (Red, Blue, Yellow & Green), our purchase just plain white circle labels and color in yourself. I did this with the other colors I chose to represent my step-family and in-laws.
v  Sharpie pens in all the colors you have chosen to represent your ancestors.
v  Pencil and blue/black pen
v  Stapler
v  Genealogy forms: Individual Record Sheet, Pedigree Charts, Family Group Record Sheets
v  Colored construction/card stock paper (optional)
v  Index cards (size of your choice)
v  Index card storage box
v  Alphabetical dividers for the index card storage box

Step Three: Assemble File Folder Box 

  NOTE: For simplicity in explaining this step I will assume you have chosen one color for each of your four grandparents (Your Primary Ancestors). Blue, Red, Yellow, Green

v  Start by putting the hanging folders into your box keeping like colors together
v  Starting with the colored file folders you have chosen to represent your Maternal Grandfather; place a label onto each file folder.
v  Write the name of your Maternal Grandfather on one folder and place into your box.  Write the name in a Last, First Middle format.
v  Continue writing the names of each ancestor connected to you through your Maternal Grandfather on each of the folders in the color representing you Maternal Grandfather.
v  Continue the above steps for each of your other three grandparents until you have a folder for each known ancestor.

Step Four: Fill your folders

v  Starting with your Maternal Grandfather’s file; staple an Individual Record Sheet to the inside left cover of the folder
v  Fill out the Individual Record Sheet with detailed information about your Maternal Grandfather.
v  Using your colored circle labels; place a colored sticker on ALL documents you have pertaining to your Maternal Grandfather (birth record, census records, marriage records ect).  I place the sticker in the lower right corner of all documents. If you don’t want the sticker on the front of the document, place it on the back. 
v  Place all the documents into the folder with your Maternal Grandfather’s name
v  You will continue this process for each ancestor who you have created a file folder for being sure to place an appropriate colored circle on each document before placing it into a file folder.

Step Five: Assemble your Ancestor Binders

v  Using your colored card Stock/construction paper, make a cover and spin label for each of your four binders using the colors you have chosen for each of your four grandparents.  You can also create a cover using a word processing program on your computer. 
v  Place one set of binder dividers into each binder
v  Label each divider with a surname connected to you through your Primary Ancestor.  For example the surnames connected to me through my Maternal Grandfather are Bestor, Cyrier, Savoie, Hubbard, Chartier, and Force.  I place the labels in my binder in order by generation. Therefore the Surname at the beginning is my Grandfather’s, then his parents, then their parents and so on.
v  In each Surname labeled section place your Family Group Record sheets.  I make two copies of each family record so I have one filed under the husbands Surname and one filed under the wife’s surname. I highlight with a yellow highlighter which person it is filed under (Husband or Wife). Within each section I file alphabetically by first name, then middle.
v  In each Surname section I have a running Document Log for each ancestor in that surname.  This allows me to quickly see what documents I have for an individual and what ones I still need to do research on.
v  Within each Surname section I have a subsection labeled “Maps” This is where I place all maps pertaining to the locations of residence for that surname.
o   I write on each map the first and last names of the ancestor it belongs to

Step Six: Assemble your Index Cards 

Note: I keep my index card file box next to my computer for easy access when I’m researching online.

v  On the top line of each index card write the full name of your ancestors (one card per ancestor) in a LAST, First, Middle format
v  On the index card, write that ancestors’ vital information: Birth date and Location; Death Date and Location; Marriage date and Location. Parents names, Spouses name, children’s names, siblings names; Burial information; Occupation ect. Use both sides of the index card.
v  In the upper right corner of each card place a color coded sticker indicating which Primary Ancestor connects you to the ancestor named on the card.  For my four grandparents I was lucky enough to find index cards with a colored strip on the top that matched the colors I had chosen for each of them. 
v  File alphabetically in your index card storage box by Surname-----First name----- Middle Name

As I stated above, I started using this system about a year ago after years of using various other filing systems… document type, by surname ect, and truly LOVE my color code system.  I am able to quickly find information and I know immediately how each ancestor is connected to me with a simple glance.  I will never file my paper genealogy documents any other way!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday -- Jewell

This is the headstone of my Step Dad Gary Jewell Born 17 Apr 1947 and died 19 June 2002.  He is buried at Valley Memorial Gardens in Novato California

Etched onto the stone is a quote from a Dream Theater song; "The Spirit Carries On" which we heard in his truck just days after he passed away.

This picture was drawn by my sister and etched onto the stone.  It shows our stepdad doing his favorite activity....walking his beloved dogs Emma and Marley who have since joined him in heaven.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sundays Obituary -- Meyrick

This is the obituary for my 3x-Great Grandmother Margaret Meyrick, Which appeared in the Boston newspaper in 1918.

It read

Meyrick--In Roslindale, Feb 19. Margaret , Widow of John Meyrick.  Service from residece of her daugter, Mrs. Emily Bolton 335 Poplar St., Thursday 2.  Relatives and friends invited.

What this obituary does not say is that she was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Lloyd or that she was the grandmother to five granddaughters or the older sister to four younger siblings!

Margaret died on 19 Feb 1918 following complications from a hernia surgery.

My link to Margaret:

Hillary born 1972 California

Sherri Bestor born 1945 Massachusetts

Virginia Stanley born 1924 Massachusetts

Alice Bolton born 1889 Massachusetts

Emily Meyrick born 1865 England

Margaret Lloyd Meyrick born 1848 Wales                                                                          

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Surname Saturday -- Boisseau

Boisseau Ancestors
French Origin: Boisseau is a metonymic occupational name for a corn merchant or factor, one who measured grain. (Provided by

My first Boisseau ancestors can be found in Montreal, Canada in the late 1600’s.  There we find Pierre Boisseau.  It is believed Pierre was born in France in 1646.  In October 1670 Pierre married Anne Faubert, born 1649 in France.  Anne was a Fille du Roi, or King’s Daughter, which was the term given to all female orphans in France.  Pierre and Anne had two sons.  Pierre died in Montreal in 1699 and Anne died 1729.
            Children of Pierre and Anne Boisseau are:
1.     Antione Boisseau born 1680 in Montreal, Canada; Died 1754 Montreal, Canada
2.     Vincent Boisseau born in Montreal date unknown

Antoine Boisseau was born in 1680 in Montreal, Canada.  He married Angelique Bastien, a Native American woman, in Kaskaskia, Illinois.  They had two children.  Antoine died in 1754 at the family homestead in Montreal, Canada.
          *Notes:  Antoine Boisseau was the senior etait l’heritier, but he left the family before he was 20 years old either to be a soldier or a fur trader.  He was gone from Quebec for more than 30 years.  He can be found along the Mississippi River in Kaskaskia, Illinois where he married a native and had two children.  Antoine returned to Quebec with his son around 1734 and took possession of his family homestead, which had been under the care of his brother Vincent.
            Children of Antoine and Angelique Boisseau were:
1.     Antoine Boisseau born 1716, Kaskaskia, Illinois; Died1754 Vercheres, Canada
2.     Therese Boisseau born in Kaskaskia, Illinois; Died in the Mississippi Region date unknown; married Francois Belot 16 Feb 1727 at Fort Chartres, Illinois.

Antoine Boisseau was born in 1716 in Kaskaskia, Illinois.  On 13 Feb 1741 he married Marie-Judith Gregoire-Vanentin, daughter of Julien & Francoise Deserre, in Vercheres, Canada.  They had three known children.
          Notes: In the spring of 1754 it is believed disease hit the family as Antoine senior, Antoine Jr. and two of Antoine Jr’s daughter all die.
            Children of Antoine and Marie-Judith Boisseau were:
1.     Antoine Boisseau born 1741 in Vercheres, Canada; Died 1782 Vercheres, Canada
2.     Daughter born date unknown; Died spring 1754, Vercheres, Canada
3.     Daughter born date unknown; Died spring 1754, Vercheres, Canada

Antoine Boisseau was born in 1741 in Vercheres, Canada.  On 25 Jan 1762 he married Marie-Anne Guertin, daughter of Francois-Xavier & Elisabeth Charron.  They had a total of 15 children; two sons and four daughters got married.
          Children of Antoine and Marie-Anne Boisseau were: (note: only confirmed children listed)
1.     Vincent Boisseau born 1768 Vercheres, Canada; Died date unknown
2.     Louis-Francois Boisseau born 1771 Vercheres, Canada; Died date unknown, Chambly, Quebec, Canada

Louis Boisseau was born in 1771 in Vercheres, Canada.  On 28 Oct 1793 he married Elisabeth Werry-Allard in St. Antoine sur le Richelieu.  It is unknown when he and Elisabeth died. 
          Child of Louis and Elisabeth Boisseau was:
1.     Josette Boisseau born 1798 Chambly, Quebec, Canada; Died 1870 St. Anne, Illinois

Josette Boisseau was born in 1798 in Chambly, Quebec, Canada.  On 25 Nov 1816 she married Francois Chartier, son of Antoine Chartier and Marie-Angelique Veronneau.  They had 14 children.  Josette died in 1870 in St. Anne, Illinois.
          Children of Josette and Francois Chartier were:
1.             Marie-Josette Chartier born 24 Sep 1818 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
2.             Francois Chartier born 20 Feb 1820 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
3.             Louis Chartier baptized 18 Jun 1822 (age 3 months) Chambly, Quebec, Canada; Died 2 Jun 1880 Kankakee, Illinois
4.             Virginie Chartier born 4 Feb 1824 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
5.             Leocadie Chartier born 14 Oct 1825 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
6.             Etienne-Timothee Chartier born 22 Jun 1827 Chambly, Quebec Canada
7.             Rosalie Chartier born 4 Feb 1830 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
8.             Augustin-Timothee Chartier born 19 May 1832 Chambly, Quebec
9.             Joseph-Leandre Chartier born 26 Sep 1833 Chambly, Quebec, Canada; Died 11 Jun 1883 Miltonville, Kansas
10.          Jean Baptiste-Isreal Chartier born 5 Sep 1835 Chambly, Quebec, Canada; Died 4 Nov 1866 Kankakee, Illinois
11.          Genevieve-Philomene Chartier born 3 Oct 1837 Chambly, Quebec, Canada; Died 9 Jun 1880 Kankakee, Illinois
12.          Moise Chartier born 15 Apr 1840 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
13.          Marie-Anne-Ermelinde Chartier born 1 May 1842 Chambly, Quebec, Canada
14.          Raphael Theode Chartier b 17 Jan 1845 L”Acadie, Quebec, Canada; Died 13 Dec 1903 New York, New York

Genevieve-Philomene Chartier was born 3 Oct 1937 in Chambly, Quebec, Canada.  She married Jean-Baptiste Cyrier 2 Feb 1857 in Bourbonnais, Illinois.  He  was born 1838 in Comte St.Jean, Quebec, Canada, son of  Noel Cyrier and Josette-Louise Toupin. Jean-Baptiste (AKA John B.) died 1 Jun 1876 at age 38 years in Otto Township, Illinois. He is buried in St. Jacque de laBend near Irwin, Illinois.  Genevieve-Philomene (AKA Fanny) died 9 Jun 1880 at age 42 years in Kankakee, Illinois.  She is buried in Kankakee.
Children of Jean-Baptiste and Genevieve-Philomene are:
1.             Philomene Matilde Cyrier “Matilda” born 18 Nov 1857 Bourbonnais, Illinois; died 1867 age 10 years
2.             Jean-Baptiste Alfred Cyrier “Freddie” born 19 May 1859 Bourbonnais, Illinois; died 1871 age 12 years in Otto Township, Illinois
3.             Josephine Louise Victorie Cyrier “Victoria” born 15 Apr 1860 Bourbonnais, Illinois; Died 1868 age 8 years Bourbonnais, Illinois
4.             Marie Adele Victorie Cyrier “Delphas” born 14 Nov 1861 Manteno, Illinois; Died in infancy
5.             Louis George Cyrier “George” born 22 Dec 1862 Manteno, Illinois; Died after 1906 Indiana
6.             Henri Amedee Cyrier “Medie” born 30 Aug 1964 Manteno, Illinois; Died 4 Sep 1930 Lonoke, Arkansas
7.             Marie Cerio Georgeanna Cyrier “Georgia” born 21 Oct 1866 Manteno, Illinois; Died 1905 Otto Township, Illinois
8.             Joseph Lucien Cyrier “L.J.” or “Lucien” born 24 Aug 1868 Manteno, Illinois; Died 8 Sep 1913 Ottawa, Illinois
9.             Jean-Baptiste Joseph Edward Cyrier “Edward” born 9 May 1874 Otto, Illinois; Died after 1906 Manteno, Illinois
10.          Matilda Victoria Cyrier “Victoria” born 23 Nov 1876 Otto Township, Illinois; Died after 1906 Los Angelas, California
11.          UnNamed Infant birt unknown

Henri Amedee Cyrier was born 30 Aug 1864 in Manteno, Illinois.  He Married Marguerite Delia Savoie 11 Sep 1888 in Bourbonnais, Illinois.  She was born 12 May 1868 in Bourbonnais, Illinois, daughter of Maxime Savoie and Agathe LaFontaine.  Henri died 4 Sep 1930 at age 66 years in Lonoke, Arkansas.  Marguerite Delia died 8 Apr 1936 at age----in Lonoke, Arkansas.  Henri and Delia are buried together at Carlisle Cemetary in Lonoke Arkansas.
          Children of Henri and Delia are:
1.             Harriet Agatha Cyrier “Hattie” born 12 Sep 1889 Deselm, Illinois; died 19 December 1944 Kankakee, Illinois
2.             Irene Cyrier born Jul 1893 Illinois; Died ----
3.             George Dewey Cyrier “Dewey” born 30 May 1898 Illinois; Died 15 Oct 1967 Lonoke, Arkansas
4.             Annette Cyrier born 1901 Illinois; Died ----
5.             Doreen Cyrier born 1905 Illinois; Died -----

Harriet Agatha Cyrier was born 12 September 1889 in Deselm, Illinois.  She married Donald Hubbard Bestor 12 Sep 1908 in Kankakee, Illinois at St.Roses Church. He was born 23 Sep 1889 in Lanford, South Dakota, son of Robert Bestor and Carrie Hubbard.  Their marriage ended in divorce 20 Feb 1925.  Hattie married Joseph C. Catton 1928 in Topeka, Kansas. Hattie died 19 Dec 1944 at age 54 in Kankakee, Illinois.  Don Bestor died Jan 1970 in Wisconsin.  Death of Joe Catton is unknown.
          Children of Hattie and Don Are:

1.             Bartley Roger Bestor “Bart” born 15 Aug 1921 Kankakee, Illinois; Died 26 May 2007 Sun City, Arizona

I am the Granddaughter of Bartley Bestor.

Copyright (c) 2013, Hillary Marvier

Friday, August 9, 2013


A few weeks ago I headed over to Alcatraz Island with my kids and my MIL for a journey down memory lane which I wrote about in this post.

Our trip was great fun and to top it off, our local paper ran a front page story on my MIL and her time on the island.  You can read that article here.

My kids and I walked down to our corner and picked up a couple paper copies of the article to keep as mementos.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Surname Saturday -- Royse


My research focus this past week has been on my Royse ancestors.  Primarily the Royse family featured in the photograph below.

photo courtesy of Royse desendant Karen Williams
Front row sitting left to right:
Martha Royse, William Royse, Elizabeth Royse, Rachel Royse
Back Row standing Left to right: Allen Royse,James Royse, John Royse (directly behind Martha),
Henry Royse (directly behind William), (two girls behind Elizabeth..I don't know which is which) Nancy Royse and Susannah Royse, Elizabeth Royse and the young girl standing betweeen the two women sitting is Sara Royse
This photo was shared with me by the Great-Granddaughter of Martha Royse Depuy, Karen Williams.  Since receiving it I have been focused on discovering all I can on each person in the photo.

I was very lucky to find many members of this family featured in a book An Illustrated History of Umatilla and Morrow Counties by Colonel William Parsons and W.S. Shiach.  Featured in this history is John F. Royse, Nancy Royse Hardman Johnson, Rachel Royse Tash and William and Elizabeth Royse.

My Ancestral line to the Royse family is:

Hillary C. Green Marvier (1972-Living)

Theodore Stanley Green (1943-1973)
Sherri C Bestor Green Jewell (1945-Living)

Roman Nathaniel Green (1907-1947)
Ethel Talore Jenkins Green Guy (1912-1964)

David Henderson Jenkins (1858-1930)
Verlinda Ellen Hardman Jenkins (1870-1941)

David N. Hardman (1838-1893)
Nancy Royse Hardman Johnson (1850-1931)

William Royse (1816-1887)
Elizabeth White Royse (1819-????)

William Royse (1785-1834)
Martha McGuire Royse (1790-1834)

Frederick Royse (1750-1826)
Sarah Dewitt Royse (1754-1825)

After Fredrick the line gets a bit fuzzy and I need to do some further research before I can confirm going back further on this line.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday -- My First Family Tree

In the summer of 1991 I was visiting my Grandparents, Bart and Virginia Bestor, at their summer home in Lake Tahoe Nevada.

I had told my grandparents earlier in our visit that I was interested in learning about my family heritage.  On a Saturday morning my grandfather sat down with me and he drew out this family tree.  The notes on the tree are mine, but the written tree is what my Grandpa wrote.

This tree is my most prized genealogical possession.  Even after all the additional data and documents I have been able to discover over the last 22 years, none of it means more to me than this simple hand written tree.

What this tree represents for me is a very cherished memory of sitting at my grandparents dining table as they talked to me about their parents and their grandparents and all the stories they past on to me that special day.
My Grandpa past away in 2007 and I am incredible grateful to all the time he devoted to helping me trace his ancestors and all the stories he shared with me so I could ensure his family legacy continues.

It truly is a family treasure!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are -- Christina Applegate


This weeks episode of Who Do You Think You Are on TLC focused on Actress Christina Applegates journey to discover who her paternal grandmother was and why she did not raise her son, Robert Applegate, Christina's father.

Christina first sits down with her father to discuss what he remembers and to look at the only document he has; his birth certificate which states his mother as Lavina Shaw and that he was born in Trenton New Jersey.

Christina then travels to Trenton New Jersey where she discovers the marriage record of her grandparents Paul Applegate and Lavina Shaw in 1941.

Christina continues her quest at the Trenton Public Library where she finds newspaper articles containing photographs of both her Great-Grandparents Ovid Shaw and Lavina Weaver and another article containing a picture of her grandmother Lavina and Lavina's sister. **This is why I LOVE searching old newspapers during my own genealogy research and why I have a subscription to Genealgy never know what those papers will show you!

Christina returns to the archives where she is shown court documents pertaining to her grandparents, Paul and Lavina's divorce and the ensuing custody battle for young Robert Applegate.  Through these documents Christina learns her grandfather Paul was acussed of physical abuse by Lavina and that Lavina is accused of adultery by Paul.  In the documents provided by Peter Applegate Christine finds a letter from a doctor which states Robert Applegate was being malnourished in the care of his mother Lavina.  In the documents provided by Lavina there is a statement from a neighbor of Lavina's stating Lavina was a good caring mother who doted on her young son.  The final court document is the decision of the courts granting custody to Lavina.  This still leaves the question of why was Robert raised by his Paternal grandmother.

Christina then try's to locate a death certificate for her Grandmother Lavina, but in doing so discovers the death Certificate for her Great-Grandmother Lavina Weaver.  This document show Lavina's death in 1946.  This may have had an impact on why Robert went to live with his paternal Grandmother.  Earlier in the journey while reading through the court documents Christina learned the Lavina would sometimes have help caring for young Robert by her own mother and an upstairs neighbor.  Now learning of Lavina Weavers death in 1946, Christina understands that her own Grandmother may not have been able to financially care for her son on her own.

Christina then returns to search old newspapers for any mention of Lavina's death, which her father had been told was brutal...............His paternal grandmother had told him his mother was beaten to death outside a bar!

Through this search Christina discovers her grandmother had remarried and learns of her new last name, which results in finding her death certificate.  The death certificate for Lavina states she died of tuberculosis and cirrhosis of the liver due to chronic alcohol abuse in 1955.  This made Christina's father 13 years old at the time of her death, not 7 or 8 as he believed.

After her search Christina request her father come to Trenton to discuss all she had found.  **This is where the show got very emotional for me. Christina's father is shocked to learn he was much older than he belied when his mother died and is deeply saddened by her cause of death and alcoholism.  Christina tells him he needs to be proud that he broke the cycle and was a great father to her and her siblings.

After their discussion they travel to the cemetery in Trenton where Lavina is buried.  While at the cemetery they learn first that Lavina is in an unmarked grave and second that there is plot reserved for Robert himself! This was Lavina's final show of her love for the son she could not raise!

At the close of the show we are shown a brand new headstone in the cemetery to mark the spot where Lavina Shaw is buried along with her own mother and father.  On the headstone is the inscription "Mom, I found You!"

Over all I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, though I must admit I adore Christina Applegate.  If you have not already watched the episode it is available online here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday -- David Hardman

David N. Hardman
September 1, 1838 - August 30, 1893
Odd Fellows Cemetery, Oregon

David Hardman is my 2x-great grandfather.  He was born 1 Sept 1838 in Indiana to Benjamin Hardman and Catherine Hostetler. On 1 August 1869 he married Nancy Royse, daughter of William and Elizabeth Royse, in Weston, Oregon.  On the 27 April 1870 David and Nancy became the parents to twin daughters.  Sadly only their daughter Verlinda Ellen Hardman survived.  David died in Morrow County, Oregon on 30 Aug 1893 at the age of 55.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Memories -- My Mom

Monday Memories is a weekly blogging feature here at Telling Their Tales.  The purpose of Monday Memories is to help genealogy bloggers to write down their personal history.  Each week a different topic will be offered to prompt your writing.

This weeks topic: Memories of your Mom
Next weeks topic: Memories of your Dad

When I was growing up I believed my mom was a super hero!  She was raising five children solely on her own, and was always there for each one of us.  I have so many memories of my mom that I could discuss, but what I want to focus on are the small things I remember… her hands are always so soft!!

I always loved holding my mom’s hand and feeling her soft skin next to mine.  My husband even once commented to me about how soft my mom’s hands were.

My mom loves to read!  When I was growing up, she always had a book with her no matter where we were.  In those days she loved true crime novels.  Nowadays she can still be seen with a book in hand no matter where she goes, but now she loves historical fiction.

Me & my Mom on my wedding day 6 September 1997

One of my favorite memories I have of spending time with my mom are when we would come home on a rainy day and just sit in the car and listen to the pitter patter of the rain on the roof of the car.  It was so peaceful.   I find myself doing this even today when I pull into my driveway on a rainy day.

My favorite meal my mom made when I was growing up was lasagna.  After my twins were born, she asked me what she could do to help me out and I immediately responded with “Make me your lasagna!”

For the most part, I remember my mom being a pretty laid back parent, but when she got angry, she really got angry!!  When she would point her finger at you, you KNEW you were in BIG trouble!  Her punishments ranged from a smack to being “grounded” to having a horrible cleaning chore like scrubbing toilets!

My mom was always someone I could talk to.  No subject was ever off limits and I never had to worry about her getting upset with me if I talked about sex or drugs or any other “adult” topic.

Today my Mom is my best friend!  We enjoy going to lunch together and having girls days out shopping.

Do you have a memory of your Mom you'd like to share?  Link up here if you do!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Most interesting Ancestor

You can join the fun via Gena-Musing

Here are the details for tonight's assignment:
Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:

This SNGF is based on the 100 Word Challenge ( that school children are participating in around the world.  They are given a word or phrase to write a story about in one hundred words.

1)  Write a short 100 word story using the phrase ",,,the most interesting ancestor I have..." in 100 words.  [Hint:  If you write it in a word processor, you can use Tools > Word Count (or similar) to count words]

2)  Share the story with all of us by writing your own blog post, writing a comment on this blog post, or put it in a Google Plus Stream or Facebook Status or Note.  Please leave a comment on this post so others can find it.

Here's my entry for the week.

My most interesting ancestor is my 5th Great Grandfather.  Christian Hostetler was born 13 February 1746 in Upper Bern, Pennsylvania.  He was the youngest son of Jacob Hostetler and Anna Lorentz who were Swiss Germany immigrants.  Christian was taken captive by Delaware Indians during a raid on the families Northkill Amish Homestead on September 19th 1757.  Christian was held by the Indians for seven years.  After his return from captivity he married an orphan girl, Barbara Rupp , in 1769.  Christian and Barbara had seven children. I descend from his oldest son Abraham.  Christian Hostetler died in 1814 in Ohio.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Those Places Thursday -- Alcatraz Island

Last week I went to Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay with my children and my Mother-In-Law.  The reason for our adventure was a historic one..............My Mother-in-Law wanted to show all her grandchildren where she grew up!!

That's right, she grew up on the island!  She moved onto the island when she was just 10 months old and lived there until she was 13 years old!

Comerford Family on Alcatraz Island 1943
Here is my MIL (little girl on the left) with her mother Monica, her father Jim and her two sisters Carol (center) and Jeannie (right).

For anyone unfamiliar with Alcatraz, it is an island in the San Francisco Bay with a very rich history.  From 1850 to 1934 Alcatraz was a Military Post protecting San Francisco Bay.  From 1934 to 1963 the island was used as a Federal Penitentiary housing such criminals as Al "Scarface" Capone and Robert Stroud AKA "The Birdman." The years from 1969 to 1971 are known as The Indian Occupation of the island.  Today the island is a National Park were visitors from all over the world can come and learn about the islands rich history.

For my family, our trip to the island held a more personal historical value.  From 1940 to 1953 my Mother-in-Laws father, Jim Comerford,  was a prison guard on the island, and what many people do not realize is the island was home to nearly 40 families during the years it operated as a federal prison.  My Mother-in-Laws family was one of those families.

Here my MIL points to the apartment where she lived during her 13 years on the island.  

Sadly, all that remains of the apartment complexes is rubble.  When my MIL moved onto the island in 1940 the apartments were brand new.  Her family paid $50 a month rent for a fully furnished 3 bedroom apartment.

This was my third trip to the island with my MIL and what is always fun is she gets access to areas closed to the general public because she is a former resident.  Here she posses with her six grandchildren (who were seeing the island for the first time) and our person tour guide Lori, in the back upper deck area of building 64.

This is the view of Building 64 from the front as you approach the island by ferry.

This is the back area of Building 64 which is closed to the general public.

This is another view of the back of Building 64.  When my MIL was living on the island she said all the kids."on the island referred to this area as "Chinatown."

As we waited for our return ferry to San Francisco, my MIL showed all the kids photos of herself and her family that were taken on the island during their 13 years living there.  I'll show those and more pictures and stories of the island in future post.