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.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are on TLC -- Kelly Clarkson


Last night launched the new season of Who Do You Think You Are? now on TLC.

In the premier episode we follow singer Kelly Clarkson as she traces the life of her 3x Great-Grandfather Isiah Rose.

Kelly first sits down with her mother, who has been tracing their family roots, so Kelly can get an idea of who/where to start.  She focuses on her 3x Great-Grandfather Isiah Rose.

We follow Kelly as she discovers Isiah was a 2x civil war enlisty, who during his second enlistment is captured at the Battle of Decatur and is held prisoner at the awful Andersonville Prison Camp.

While meeting with the Park Ranger for Andersonville, she discovers Isiah escaped while being transferred to a prison in Savannah only to be shot by a fellow union soldier as he returned to his regiment.

Kelly later finds Isiah became a senetor for Ohio and worked to get a Temperance Bill passed only to fail in a reelection.

Kelly then makes her way to the final resting place of Isaih and discovers many other Rose ancestors in the same cemetery.

At the close of Kelly's journey she returns to Nashville to meet with her mother and share all she has learned about Isiah Rose.

While I enjoyed the adventure and road of discover Kelly went on, Kelly herself drove me crazy!!  At times she seemed very immature such as upon finding the gravesite of Isiah she says "What's Up?"  To me very juevinile.

I am eager to see next weeks episode featuring Christina Applegate.

Wordless Wednesday -- Vintage Truck

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday -- Masssara

This is the headstone of my step-great-grandparents Joseph and Adelina Massara.

Jospeh died long before I was born, but I was five years old when Adelina passed away one month after her 90th birthday.

I remember her being a very tiny women with little to no hair, who wore a bandanna on her head and didn't speak a word of English.  Although my step-father said she did speak English when he was growing up, but as she aged she reverted to speaking only in Italian.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Faces From the Past -- Giuseppe "Joseph" Massara

This is my Step-Great-Grandfather Giuseppe "Joseph" Massara.
I believe this phot of Joseph was taken in the early 1940's in San Anselmo California.

The resemblance to my step-father is incredible!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bloggers Helping Bloggers

A couple days ago (July 13th to be exact) I found a genealogy blog The Olive Tree Genealogy written by Lorine McGinnis Schulze.  I spent about an hour reading various post and easily became hooked.

After reading several post I discovered another blog written by Lorine called Ask Olive Tree Genealogy.  Here her readers can email her questions and ask for assistance in their genealogy research.

I decided to ask Lorine for any tips and advice regarding research on my Great-Great-Grandfather Henry Arthur Bolton, who first immigrated to Canada before moving into the United States.  I have hit many brickwalls in my quest to find evidence of Henry in Canada and locating his arrival in the US.

After submitting my email request, I received an automated response email confirming my submission had been received at Ask Olive Tree Genealogy.  Below is what the email reponse stated......

"Thanks for submitting a genealogy question to AskOlive Tree!
I can't send a personal response but if your query is chosen, I will
answer it on my blog Ask Olive Tree at
Not all queries are chosen. I wish I could choose every one but the
number of questions makes that impossible.
Your query stands a better chance of being chosen if you follow a few
simple "Good Query" rules:
1. Make your query concise and to the point
3. Tell me WHERE you have searched already
4. Tell me exactly what you want to find
*** Please feel free to respond to this email and provide details if
you think you left them out the first time.
There are two ways to find out if or when your query is answered.
1. Watch for weekly updates on my Olive Tree Genealogy newsletter. You
will receive emails approximately once per week. To subscribe to this
free newsletter, go to
Follow the instructions given at that page.
2. Keep checking to see if your
query is posted. It can take weeks before you see it so don't give up.
Good luck and I wish you genealogical success!"

So with that I was ready to wait and see what would come of my request.

Then yesterday, I was reading through blogs I subscribe to via email, The Olive Tree Genealogy Blog being one of them and imagine my utter and excited surprise when I found the recent post was about my inquiry to Ask Olive Tree Genealogy!!!

Lorine gave me so many great tips on tracking down additional information on Henry Bolton, that I can't wait to dig in and see what I can find!! I will be keeping Lorine updated and I will be discussing my quest here at Telling Their Tales as well. 

If you are in search of another genealogy blog to follow, and have not already found Lorine's sites, I highly recommend them!!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

New weekly blog topic....Monday Memories

In an effort to be more active with this blog I will be posting every Monday under the title of Monday Memories.

Monday Memories will be post about my own person history and memories.  Each week I will focus on a different topic such as my favorite toys to my memories of my Grandparents and everything in between.
If you would like to join me on Mondays and post about your own person memories of the topic of the week,  please do so!!, Don’t forget to add your link on Telling Their Tales for other bloggers to find you.

The topic for this week, and a fitting one I think, is “My First Memory.”

The earliest memory, or memories, I have all take place in late 1973 to early 1974.  I say memories because I don’t really know which is my “first” memory, but they all take place at the same location… Grandparents home in Novato, California.

Following my father’s death in September 1973, we moved to my Grandparents home.  My Grandparents were living in the Bahamas at the time and my Uncle, my Mom’s brother, was living in their home in California.  Being a sudden widow with five kids and no means of income my Mom took priority as needing the home and my Uncle moved to an apartment.

I have three significant memories from living at Drakewood Lane in Novato.   When we moved in I was about 10months old and walking and we lived here until I was about 3 years old and my Grandparents returned from the Bahamas.

One memory takes place in the living room.  I was standing between the couch and the coffee table when I saw a red candy on the table.  I clearly remember putting the candy in my mouth and immediately spitting it out.  It was Yucky!  I recall the candy falling on the beige carpet and leaving a little red stain.  As an adult I’m pretty sure the “candy” was in fact a red Sudafed.  I can remember I was wearing white and yellow footy pajamas.

The next memory takes place in the front entryway of the house.  Just inside the front door on the left side was the entrance to our kitchen.  I remember my older sister, who was about 9 years old, was standing in the kitchen entrance and I was standing in the front door entrance.  She had a coin in her hand and she was showing it to me.  Next thing I knew she put the coin in her mouth and “swallowed” it!! I can clearly remember feeling complete amazement that she was able to do that!!  As an adult I can identify he coin as a dime and I don’t think she really swallowed it.  My sister however does not recall this encounter.

My final memory from my very early years takes place in front of the house.  I was sitting on the book rack over the back tire of my older sisters’ bike, a different sister from the previous memory who was about 12 years old.  She was riding me up and down the street.  At some point my foot got caught in the spokes of the back tire!  I can vividly remember screaming in pain!!  My sister attempted to get my foot out, but could not.  Our next door neighbor, who had been tinkering in his garage came out and had to cut the spokes of the tire in order to get my little foot out.  My sister recalls this event as well and she remembers feeling absolutely terrified and so afraid she was going to get in trouble……although she can’t recall if she did or not and our Mom does not remember this event at all.

Do yo have a blog post about your First Memory?  Link up here if you do!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Genealogy Fun

Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:

What day of the week was your Father born? Tell us how you found out.

2) What has happened in recorded history on your Father's birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out, and list five events.

3)  What famous people have been born on your Father's birth date?  Tell us how you found out, and list five of them.

4)  Put your responses in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post at Genea-Musings, or in a status or comment on Facebook.

Here's mine.........

1) My Dad, Theodore Stanley Green was born on Friday August 6th, 1943.

2) Here is what happened on this day throughout history:
1623-Pope Urban VIII is elected
1777-Battle of Oriskany -- bloodiest battle of the American Revolution
1832-Lincoln becomes Postmater of New Salem--appointed by President Andrew Jackson
1862-Battle of Kirksville -- American Civil War
1890 Cy Young pitches first Professional game
1914-Serbia declares war on Germany, Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia
1926-Gertrude "Trudy" Ederle swims the English Channel
1935-Cryogenics is a sucess when a monkey "Jekal" is frozen and brought back to life by Dr. Ralph Willard
1965-Beatles release "Help" album
1978-Pope Paul VI dies
1991 World Wide Web becomes publicly available on the internet
2004-Rick James dies
2012-Curiousity Rover lands on Mars

3)The famous people born on this day in history are:
1697-Charles VII The HOly Roman Emperor
1911-Lucille Ball
1917-Robert Mitchum
1928-Andy Warhol