Monday, February 28, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Michael Paul Brown - Vietnam KIA

Saint Gabriel's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Hazleton, PA

Michael P. Brown's Senior Picture



Michael Paul Brown is my 2nd cousin once removed.  He was killed in Xom Dau, Tinh Long An, Long An, Vietnam while the 1/4 ton vehicle he was traveling in was hit by an enemy B40 recoilless round at close range.  Even though Michael was killed before I was born, I feel a connection with him.  A Radio Research Company would be a precursor to the same unit I served in.  The same type of unit and 30 years before I did.  I need to request his military records.  I am curious about the type of job he did and often wonder if it was similar to mine.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Military Monday - Edward Charles Cayemberg

Green Bay Press-Gazette
"Conduct Rites for Lt. E. Cayemberg, Korean War Victim

Special to Press-Gazette

NAHMA, Mich. - Final rites for Lt. Edward Cayemberg, Korean war victim, were held recently at the St. Andrews Catholic church here.  The Rev. O'Neil Durmore performed the rites, assisted by Father Melicam and Father Saciotte, and burial was in the Ensign cemetery.

Lt. Cayemberg was born May 4, 1929, in Pulaski and later moved to ensign with his parents.  He was killed in action in Korea on July 29, 1950, while serving as a navigator on a B-26.

Sgt. Robert Cayemberg flew from Germany to escort his brother's body home and another brother, Sgt. Earl Cayemberg, has returned from Korea for the rites and is visiting a sister, Mrs. Albert Gouin, 817 E. Walnut street, Green Bay.

Among those attending the rites was the 82-year-old grandmother of the deceased, Mrs. Eli Cayemberg of Pulaski, who came with Walter Cayemberg, also of Pulaski.  Attending from Tonet were Mrs. Eli Cravillion and Elmer Guillette.

From Green Bay were Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Cayemberg, Frank Cayemberg, Mr. and Mrs. Pat Cayemberg, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Moureau and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moureau, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fellows, Mrs. Russell Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gouin and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gouin.  Mr. and Mrs. William Kranzuoch of Appleton also attended.”

Hand-dated, July 29, 1950, Green Bay Press-Gazette

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sunday Supper - Guinness Stew over Colcannon

With Saint Patrick's Day coming up (and me being 50% Irish), I've begun experimenting with various recipes so that this year's celebration does not resemble last year's dreadful corned-beef-and-cabbage-makes-me-want-to-vomit scenario.  I wanted to make a good Irish stew in my slow cooker but frankly all of the recipes looked like they may lack a little flavor so I switched to recipes for Guinness stew and after reading several and not finding one that really suited me, I decided to use my new found research of these recipes and create one with bits from all and add a little me to it.  I tried it out last week and it was very good.  It's a "go" for the holiday.  I served it over regular mashed potatoes instead of rice or noodles (that's why I didn't include any potatoes in the stew), but it will be served over Colcannon on the big day.

The Colcannon recipe was created last year.  I took the recipe from my "Little Irish Cookbook" and screwed it up when I did my shopping.  Well, it wasn't really a screw up.  I bought bacon for it thinking that the bacon was supposed to be in there and when I opened the book to start cooking realized I was wrong.  Instead of saving the bacon for another occasion I used the philosophy that "everything's better with bacon" and it turned out to be so true! :)

To be sure there will be more Irish recipes following as we approach the holiday.  They aren't family recipes in the sense that they were passed on to me, but recipes that I am making because of my love for my Irish heritage and wanting to start a tradition with my children that I can only hope they will share with their families as the grow up.


Guinness Stew
(the measurements are approximate but should be close.  Season to your taste!)

4-5 lbs beef stew meat
1 c. flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp beef broth (I used 4 tbsp water and added a scoop of beef paste since I don't keep stock in my house)
1 bottle Guinness (yes I used the whole thing)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp thyme, dried
1 tsp rosemary, dried
1 large onion (it was a monster.  Probably the size of 2 mediums...maybe 2 cups), chopped
1 (2 lb) bag of baby carrots
1 lb of mushrooms, quartered (or more if desired)
1 c. sour cream

Trim meat of any large pieces of fat (if desired) and place the stew meat in a large bowl.  Mix together the flour, salt and pepper.  Add to the beef and toss to coat.  Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add canola oil.  When hot add the beef (in batches, if necessary, adding more oil if needed) and brown.  Place browned meat in the slow cooker (don't cook the meat all the way through.  You just want to brown it.

Add the onion and carrots to the slow cooker.  In a bowl mix together the tomato paste, beef broth, garlic, thyme, rosemary and beer.  Pour over the meat and vegetables.  Set your slow cooker to low to cook (my slow cooker's lowest setting is 10 hours).

About 1 hour before cooking is done add the mushrooms to the stew (they came out perfectly). Tested it and adjusted seasonings to taste (I personally added a little additional garlic powder since the fresh didn't pack enough punch and some onion powder). Five minutes before serving I stirred in 1 cup sour cream.

Colcannon


8 med potatoes, peeled and chopped (The smaller the pieces the quicker they will cook)
1 bunch scallions, chopped (abt 8)
1/2 c. milk
1 small head of cabbage, shredded then chopped (discard stump)
1 lb bacon, cut into pieces
salt
pepper
butter


Place the potatoes into a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Shred and chop the cabbage.  Add to a pot covered with water and bring to a boil.

While the potatoes and cabbage are cooking cut the uncooked bacon into pieces; fry until done.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Remove cabbage and potatoes when done (a fork will easily pierce a potato that is easily cooked).  Drain.  Return the potatoes to their pot to keep warm and for some of the water to evaporate from the potatoes.

While the potatoes are losing some of their moisture add the scallions to the milk and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Mash the potatoes with the milk and scallions, adding salt, pepper and butter to your taste (you know best your you like your mashed potatoes!).  Add the cabbage and bacon and serve.

NOTE:  If the potatoes are too wet simply place the mixture into a pot on the stove to evaporate some of the moisture.  You can simply add the milk a little at a time to avoid this, but ensure that all the scallions get in and aren't left behind in the milk if it's not all used.

Friday, February 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - At the Copa...


I thought the video was rather cute

Sounds - Describe any sounds that take you back to your childhood.  These could be familiar songs, jingles, children playing, or something entirely different.


Hearing Barry Manilow not only brings me back to my childhood, but it takes me to a very happy time in my childhood.  A time before my parents' divorce began.  My mother would play her "Barry baby" records and clean the house or bake, singing the whole time!

My dad hated Barry...although part of me thinks he only hated him because he was a handsome man with talent that my mother adored...or perhaps just because my mother found enjoyment in his songs.  That's just the man my father was and is.  Sadly, because of my father's berating of Barry I grew up feeling as though I too did not like "the songs that make the whole world sing".  As I matured and entered college I realize upon hearing him once more that not only did I enjoy his music because he was talented, but because it reminded me of a happy time in my childhood.

I took to listening to Barry Manilow quite often through college.  I remember a time when my roommate, some other friends and I were sitting in our room listening to Barry, singing aloud and drinking root beer from bottles when our Resident Assistant banged on our door in an attempt to bust us for having alcohol in our room.  How foolish she looked!  How silly the write-up would have been if we had been boozing it up to Barry! :)

So I've come full circle.  I have my own children and I enjoy torturing them with my bad sing-a-longs to "Copacabana" and "Weekend in New England".  They don't generally fight with me when I play Barry.  They get a laugh out of mommy dancing and singing when she cooks or cleans.  While my husband does not share my appreciation for his music, I can say I married a better man than my father because apart from a kind teasing about it, he tolerates it very well!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Following Friday - She Makes Me So Jealous!

I've got a few blogs that I need to do a "Following Friday" on and 2 of them have already been kind enough to do one on me.  I've been distracted and should have done this much sooner. So I'll start at the very beginning...I hear it's a very good place to start...

Jennifer Woods is the goddess divine behind the blog, "Climbing My Family Tree" and she is the reason I've been introduced to you all.  I wanted to start my way down this genealogical path and when I started my blog she told me about Geneabloggers and told me to get my butt over there and recommend my blog.  What wonderful advice that was and I will forever be thankful.

Jenn is more than another genea-blogger to me.  We go back to 1997-ish when we were both stationed in San Antonio, TX.  She was in the Air Force and I was in the Army but I was still lucky enough to work with her.  San Antonio was great for the both of us.  It's where she married her hubby and where I met mine.  Great times, great friends!  Gosh time flies as we get older.  It seems like yesterday!

She makes me so jealous!  Her blog is not only informative and fun to read, but so creative and beautifully laid out!  When I grow up, I want to be more like her :)

I know many of my followers have also been following Jenn's "Climbing My Family Tree", but if you haven't I suggest you head on over and check her out.  You will not be disappointed!


Next week another excellent blog by another dear friend that just started blogging!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Some People Just Can't Be Good, Part I

Helen Elizabeth Bronsavage nee Sabulash was my great uncle, Anthony Bronsavage's, wife.  Too bad she didn't act that way.  It got her in more than a little bit of trouble...

The Plain Speaker, 02MAY1949

"Man Found Shot To Death In Freeland:  Hold Witnesses

State and county police authorities were continuing their investigation today into the shotgun death of Louis Broton, 34, of Freeland, formerly of Harleigh, whose body was found early yesterday morning in the small two-room home at Freeland heights which he had rented only 14 hours before.

An official finding of homicide or suicide was still pending.  Dr. Lewis Reese, Luzerne county coroner, said yesterday at Freeland following the post mortem, "There is no decision yet as to whether this is a case of homicide or a suicide."

Two persons, a man and a woman, who are alleged to have been in the company of Broton Saturday evening, are being held as material witnesses by State Police.  Police withheld their names for the present.

State police said today that the ownership of the shotgun found at the scene has not been determined.  According to their investigation, Broton never owned a shotgun and how the weapon came to be there, has still not been determined.

The body was found in a small room, approximately 8 by 8 feet in size.  It was lying on a small mattress which was on the floor, police said.  The shotgun was also found on the floor, a short distance from the body.

Police said today that Broton rented the home Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the owner, George B. Hudock of 406 Washington street, Freeland.  He and the woman moved a few possessions into the place at about 4 o'clock.

The woman went into Freeland to buy some groceries, she told police and returned home at about 8 o'clock.  she said the man, the other person being held, who also lives in a small home nearby, were drinking beer.  When the men left later in the evening, Broton went into the small room to sleep.

The man's story agreed with the woman's details, except in the time element, police said.  The woman told police she went into the room later and found Broton trying to put two shells into the shotgun.  She took them from him and later turned them over to police.

She said when she went into the room a second time, she found him dead, and immediately ran for help.  She told police she did not hear the shot, although she claimed to be in the next room during that time.  Police were called at 4:40 a. m.

John E. Jurica, of Freeland, deputy coroner, examined the body and called Dr. Reese, the county coroner.

Dr. Jules Foldes, Hazleton State Hospital pathologist, performed the post mortem in the Jurica funeral home, and at its conclusion, Dr. Reese said that cause of death was due to a shotgun charge which had blown off the top of the head.  He added that the charge had traveled from the front to the rear of the skull.

According to reports, Broton was married but was separated from his wife and family, who are now said to be living in New Jersey.

County Detective Michael Cassic, of Hazleton, was in charge of the county investigation.  Cpl. Robert Musser and Pvt. Louis Shupnik, of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation at Wyoming Barracks, took pictures at the scene and also dusted the shotgun for fingerprints.

After the post mortem, Coroner Reese released the body to a brother, Anthony Broton."
The Plain Speaker, Monday afternoon edition, 02MAY1949

What isn't mentioned in this article is that she was married as well, and to my knowledge was not divorced from her husband.  I suppose they were estranged but as far as I know there was no divorce paperwork filed (note to self - verify, just for the sake of good drama shaking the family tree...).  Anthony and Helen had a young 7 year old daughter at home when this happened.  Apparently, momma preferred to not parent.  

So the story is entertaining.  I see holes that I can drive a semi through.  Apparently so did the police...

The Gettysburg Times, 17NOV1949
 "Defendant Weeps At Court Trial

Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Nov. 17 (AP) - The Commonwealth succeeded in (??) the records five statements allegedly made and signed voluntarily by Mrs Helen Bronsavage 38 concerning the slaying of Louis Broton

Mrs. Bronsavage, West Hazleton, broke into tears on Tuesday when a statement which police said she made was read into the records.

The statement quoted Mrs Bronsavage as saying she was glad she killed Broton because she was good to him and didn't deserve the treatment she received from him.

'He threatened me so long, I thought it was either my life or his,' the statement said 'We had quarreled many times and I had taken many beatings and abuses from him I'm glad I killed him because he'd have killed me I didn't deserve to be treated like that I tried to be good to him and was getting to be a nervous wreck' "

A bit different story some 6 months after Mr. Broton was killed and the story must have been getting some media attention since it was picked up by the AP!  There's more to this saga, but we'll take it in pieces.  Wait until next "Thriller Thursday" for another update on the trial and the verdict...

FOLLOW UP (01MAR2011) - Sadly the Luzerne County Coroner will not release information on their reports and there are no trial records for this time period, because I'm told they 1) just didn't keep stuff like that (mmm....K...), and 2) records prior to 1972 were lost in the flood caused by Hurricane Agnes.  Drat!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Romand Kuehl and Leona Boegel

Romand and Leona Kuehl nee Boegel
Romand Valentine Gustav Kuehl (love, love, LOVE that name!) and Leona Boegel were married on May 23, 1931 in Ashford Township, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. 

Romand was the son of John and Dorathea Kuehl nee Hermann and was born on April 7, 1909.  He died on August 16, 1999.

Leona was the daughter of John and Bertha Boegel nee Rosbeck and was born on April 30, 1903.  She died on May 19, 1984.

Romand and Leona had 4 beautiful daughters:  Lorraine, Alice, Helen, and Dolores

Both Romand and Leona were of German descent (although I'm still working on where in Germany).  He was Lutheran and she was Roman Catholic and their children were raised Catholic.  The surnames Kuehl and Boegel underwent the typical spelling changes and an "e" was added after the "u" in Kuhl and the "o" in Bogel replacing an umlaut.  The pronunciation of their names was so different than I imagined.  Kuehl is pronounced "keel" and Boegel is "beagle" (yes like my dog)!  A very important thing to know when searching for records that someone may have transcribed according to what they heard.

Romand and Leona are my husband's maternal grandparents and Dolores is my mother-in-law.  Our first-born son, Benjamin's, middle name is Romand for his great-grandpa.  When my husband and I went to the hospital for our son to be born we hadn't figured out what his name was going to be.  What we did know was that his middle name was going to be Romand and lucky for us before the paperwork was filled out we verified the spelling because we didn't know that there was a "d" on the end! That would have been a mess to correct!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Motivation Monday - Cherie's Got Her Groove Back

Last Monday I was facing one hell of a week.  There was so much non-genealogy nonsense in my life that I had no time for what really matters...my family and continuing down my professional path.  There was even PTA high-school-I'm-going-to-hold-my-breath-and-stomp-my-feet-until-you-do-what-I-want crap.  It was a stressful week, but just as when my children throw temper-tantrums they don't get what they want, well, this chickie didn't get her way either.

Was that why I got my motivation back? Nope.  It was due to a very good friend who sent me an email via Facebook with a genealogy related question.  She only met her biological father once, but wanted to look into her genealogy.  Not being close with him she didn't feel comfortable asking for his parents' names so she wanted to know how she could find out who they were.  A good (and necessary) starting point for research.  With the experience I have, I saw no really easy answer.  She could always try to contact the Vital Records Division in California and request an uncertified copy of her father's birth certificate, but getting one isn't always easy.  Getting a vital record when the person is still living is not easy even if that record is uncertified so since it was 10:00pm off to Ancestry.com I went.

     The information I knew:
     1) Her father's name
     2) Where her father was born (California)
     3) Where her father lives now (Washington state)
     4) Her grandmother's surname (Stanford...she did not know her first name)
     5) That her grandparents were not married and that they were deceased.
     6) That her father used the surname Angel for a time, but wasn't sure why

The surname of her father was unusual...Piplic.  My search turned up few results, but you really only need one if it's the right one!  I found her father's birth on Ancestry and the record essentially told me everything I already knew, but the second record I checked was very helpful.  The United States Obituary Collection turned up one result:

"Tony Piplic died Dec. 10, 2003, at age 88.  Mr. Piplic was born Dec 10, 1915, in Portland.  He was raised in Jewell and served in the Air Force.  He lived in Eureka Calif., and Tacoma before returning to Portland in 1963...Survivors include his son "living" (Piplic)..."

Well, now we had a name for the grandfather since his son's name was in the obituary.  I was able to find Antone in the 1920 census for Portland, Oregon.

Ancestry.com - 1920 US Federal Census, Portland, Multnomah, Oregon, Sheet 22A

In finding this I was able to further tell her that her great-grandparents' names were Lena and Mark and they were immigrants from Austria and that Antone had 2 sisters as of 1920, Anna and Frances.

I sent her information that I found in the WWII Army Enlistment Records showing that he served during the Second World War.  Something that I felt would be of special significance to my friend, since she too is a veteran. 

I finished my email letting her know that I had inquired about the possibility of obtaining an uncertified copy of the birth certificate and that I'd let her know what the state of California said when they got back to me (they still haven't).  Trying to search for "Stanford" and "California" does not provide the best results!  I was going to head to bed, but decided to try one more thing.

Since I had sent her a link to her grandfather's memorial on FindAGrave.com I attempted a search on their website for "Stanford" and "California".  There were 156 matches.  I began scanning through them and opening in a new tab any female with the Stanford surname that would have been likely to give birth in 1953.  There were a few, but it did narrow it down a bit!

I looked through each tab hoping for something that would jump out at me.  Something that would say "This is the one" but instead I was slowly closing each tab confirming a negative find.  FindAGrave is wonderful, but the bottom line is if someone didn't upload her grave, I wasn't going to find it.  As is typically the way with these things, I clicked on the very last tab I had open and saw this picture...

Evelyn Lois Stanford Piplic Cox Angell

I sat there looking at this beautiful woman (without looking at her information, believe it or not), and said, "Oh my goodness, this looks like my friend!" and then I looked at the write up that went along with her memorial:

"Daughter of Delbert & Anna Marie (Desler) Stanford...Twin sister of Everett & sister of Alvey Delbert...When she and her brother were born, they were so small that the family carried them around on pillows!...Mother of "Living" Piplic & "Living" Cox...She was raised in Milton-Freewater, OR...She was married to William Rall, Tony Piplic, Raymond Cox (div all) and in 16 April 1966 married Edwin Angell...She lived in Seattle for many years and returned to Milton-Freewater, after her mother's death...Evelyn was always thoughtful and cheery person. She loved to laugh and enjoyed her family, friends, flowers and gardening...written by her first cousin, Betty."

It was the right woman (and she had been married to Tony after all!).  I was so absolutely excited to be able to share this link with my friend.  It felt like I was giving a gift and just made me so incredibly happy!

Now, I did leave out the part about how I thought Evelyn looked like her.  Knowing that this family was essentially a family of strangers, I did not want to offend her.  The next morning I received a response from her saying that it was nice to be able to see some of her features in Evelyn because she hadn't seen many in her mother's side of the family.

A strange little twist...when I performed the search again on FindAGrave to see the number of hits I got, Evelyn didn't turn up this time.  Odd how that happens sometimes.  Maybe Evelyn wanted to be found...

I know that everything can't be researched on the internet, but I've got to tell you that being able to find both of my friend's grandparents with the information I had in less than an hour made me feel pretty darn good!  Having an unusual surname helped, and having a family member that posted so much information on FindAGrave was lucky, but those factors didn't change how I felt about it.  It was a triumph to know I could pull it off.  It put a smile on my face to know that I had helped a dear friend begin her genealogical journey and as she said it "feels like Christmas".

It all gave me the motivation to get back to where I belong.  This week I'm focusing that motivational energy and I'm getting my genealogical groove back!  No volunteer group is getting in my way!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Woman Found Dead in Tub

Hazleton Standard Speaker - 26FEB1962, pg18
"Woman, 42, Found Dead in Tub by Husband, Son

Mrs. Florence Tabor, 42, wife of Clarence Tabor, 230 East Broad street, West Hazleton, was found dead in the water-filled bathtub of the family's apartment at 4:45 p.m. yesterday.  About an hour earlier she had told members of the family she was going to take a bath.

Chief County Detective Charles Connelly last night said he is satisfied the death was either from natural causes or was accidental, unless the results of a post-mortem prove otherwise.

Dr. Julius Foldes, local pathologist, performed the post-mortem last night at Hazleton State General Hospital.

Tests today indicated she had fallen asleep and drowned, it was reported.  According to Dr. Foldes, her death was attributed to pulmonary edema.

Lieutenant Edward Waitkus of the West Hazleton police said members of the family told him a telephone call came fro Mrs. Tabor while she was in the bathroom and a son went to the bathroom door and called to his mother that she was wanted on the telephone.  When she did not come out of the bathroom in a few minutes, Waitkus was told, both the father and son went to the bathroom where they found her submerged in the water.  They carried her to a bedroom, began artificial respiration, and called Dr. George B. Dornblaser.  The West hazleton ambulance crew and the physician used a resuscitator on the victim for a half hour but their efforts to revive her were unsuccessful.

Deputy Coroner Louis C. Fierro, who was summoned to the home, notified District Attorney Stephen Teller and Dr. Herman L. Feissner, county coroner, who dispatched the county detective to this city.  Detective Connelly witnessed the post-mortem, and later interviewed members of the family.  Trooper Ralph Cameron, Bureau of Criminal Intelligence operator at the local state police barracks, was also called on the case.

Born in West Hazleton

Mrs. Tabor was born in West Hazleton, a daughter of Mrs. Ceclia (Kozlowski) and the late Anthony Bronsavage Sr.  She resided in this area all her life and was employed at Argo Sportswear.  She was a member of the Second Presbyterian Church.

A sister, Anna, prededed her in death.  Surviving are her husband, Clarence, two sons, Paul and Leonard, at home; and the following brothers and sisters:

Mrs. Vincent (Margaret) Wolchesky, Hazleton; Anthony Bronsavage, West Hazleton; Joseph Bronsavage, Hershey; Adele Bronsavage, Hazleton; Michael Bronsavage, Weatherly; Mrs. George (Martha) Zimmerman, Hazleton.

The funeral will be held Wednesday morning at 11 o'clock from the Bonin Funeral Home, Second street, entrance, with Rev. Dr. Frederick B. Crane, of the First Presbyterian Church, officiating.  Interment will be in Mountain View Cemetery.  Friends may call Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 10 p.m."

This article most likely came from the Hazleton Standard Speaker.  I'll be looking for the article when I return home this summer so I can find out the publication information.  According to her death certificate, Florence died on February 25, 1962 so finding it shouldn't be difficult.

Florence was my paternal grandmother.  She died 10 years before I was born.  My father was the son that found her in the tub.  What the article does not reflect is that it was believed by my father that Florence intentionally took too many sleeping pills and then took a bath in order to kill herself.  I imagine it's a difficult subject for my father (I no longer communicate with him).  He had commented that she killed herself, and then other times he would merely state that she fell asleep in the tub and died.  I have little doubt that this event affected him enormously.

Paul, Florence (Bronsavage), and Leonard Tabor
I had previously asked my mother why she would have killed herself.  Her response was essentially that my grandfather was a miserable man (that's phrasing it politely).
Whether the death was accidental or intentional, it's sad that Florence died so young and before I could ever have a chance to meet her.

Something I noted from the above transcription that was a bit odd.  The body was found "yesterday" and already the coroner had finished his autopsy (complete with toxicology...really????) and the funeral was set.  Were things really taken care of THAT quickly back then?  I've seen few articles where the death and funeral are announced so quickly together!

I may have to see if I can lay my hands on the coroner's report.  Not to be morbid or anything, but between my father's need to change history every 5 minutes and my need to know the truth, I feel that I must locate as much information as possible on why Florence died much too soon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - And Her Name is "Marshmallow"

Week 7: Toys. What was your favorite childhood toy? Is it still being made in some form today?

I so easily could have posted this blog under "Treasure Chest Thursday" because this toy will always be a dear treasure to me!  My favorite toy was a doll that I called Marshmallow...Marshie for short.  I still have her (obviously).  She looks nothing like she did when I first got her.  My father told me that he got her for me because he saw her in a store and said that she looked just like me.  No giggling out there!  I was a baby at the time and my eyes were never made of felt! :)

Apparently, Marshie had some wisps of blond hair for bangs where the hoodie starts (my hair isn't blond, but it was when I was little...now it's safely dyed red).  I vaguely remember that her face was painted on pink/beige cloth and her body wasn't always made of terry-cloth.  What you see now is the beautiful handiwork of my mom.  That's no sarcasm.  It's pure love for her daughter and understanding her daughter's love for her dolly.


My mom had to give Marshie several face-lifts and tummy tucks.  It was either that or throw her out and that couldn't happen.  I couldn't sleep if I lost Marshie!  I remember one time she couldn't be found at bedtime and my parents tore the house apart until she was found!  So, as a result, mom would give her a complete make-over time and again so I could continue to love the stuffing out of her!

I don't know what type of doll she was.  I don't know what she was called or anything about her.  All I know is she was bought around 1972 and that she has wires in her arms and legs so you could pose her.  Nothing like posing a Barbie, but I thought it was neat.  I'd love to find a version of her in her original state, but I wouldn't know how to begin.  I'd never replace her.  Just want to know what the original was like.  Surprisingly there are no pictures of me holding my dolly when I was little.  I may have to look harder.  A sort of "Where's Waldo?" search through family photos!

There's no little girl to pass Marshie on to, but I'll be keeping her forever.  I wonder if my husband would think it odd if I cuddled her tonight?....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Hellooooooooooo Nurse!

OK..she's not a nurse, but what a looker!  My gorgeous maternal grandma, Mary Brown nee Quirk.  Hubba! Hubba!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Where It All Started

This probably should have been one of my first "Tombstone Tuesday" posts.  Adam and Jadwiga Tabor are the ancestors that first got me into genealogy.  When I was using my trial membership on Ancestry.com 10+ years ago their names were the first I entered.  I figured with a name like Jadwiga it would be an easy find.  It was and I remember sitting there in our apartment in Honolulu staring at the computer screen and I couldn't believe I had actually found something.  I ran into the other room to rave about it to my husband and I...was...HOOKED!

Adam and Jadwiga Tabor with Clarence and Aldona Tabor
I've since realized that just because someone has a name that I think is unusual, like Jadwiga, doesn't mean it actually is unusual.  Genealogy is a constant learning curve, but I like that.  It keeps you on your toes.  You can learn so much just by going back to the same information and reviewing it days, weeks, months or years later.  A clear head and fresh set of eyes.

Anyway, Adam and Jadwiga are my paternal great-grandparents.  I never met them and really never heard much about them at all until I started researching.  They are buried in the Lithuanian National Cemetery in Chinchila, Pennsylvania.  It took me years to find the cemetery.  My father didn't know where they were buried and I couldn't find the cemetery when I searched.  I had information from their death certificates, but I couldn't seem to find it.  I was searching long distance so it was mainly through emails and internet searching that I finally came across the address for the cemetery.  It's on a winding back road and if you blink, you miss it.  It's a rather small cemetery.  I made sure to not the grid coordinates when I found it though!

A little memorial today to the two who started it all!  Rest in peace Adam and Jadwiga!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sports Center Saturday - It's in the Wedding Vows

My two little Packer fans before Super Bowl XLV

"...To love, honor, obey, and raise little Packer fans as long as you both shall live."  I do.

Our 2007 Family Christmas picture
It sounds so silly, but being a Green Bay Packer fan is no part-time job.  Fans live up to the term "fanatical", but in the positive meaning of the word!  Wisconsin Packer fans are even more passionate about their team (which includes those from Wisconsin that end up elsewhere in this great world!).  My husband is from Green Bay.  Born and raised.  So you know what that means...it was an unspoken part of the wedding vows...

I never watched football growing up, so I became a Packer fan by marriage in 1999 and never looked back.  It's easy to get caught up in the love of such a team.  When I took my Packer vows they were not far off from 2 Super Bowls, a win and a loss.  Losing seasons and the Brett Favre drama lay ahead, but we enjoyed the ride!

Outside Lambeau with our 1st born.  It....was...COLD!
Packer fans don't abandon their team when they are losing.  They support them during the best and the worst of times.  They are extremely loyal...and why wouldn't they be?  The Packers aren't owned by any one person.  They are owned by, well...their fans.  They are a non-profit organization and unique in the NFL.  How could the fans not be proud of that?

Both of our sons had their hospital pictures taken in Packer gear and if we have another child that one will be too.  Our oldest son was born and we flew from Hawaii to Green Bay to have him baptized in my husband's church.  After the baptism we drove to Lambeau Field and put his name on the waiting list for season tickets.  My second son was born, we drove from Tennessee to Pennsylvania to have him baptized in my church and then drove a few days later to Green Bay, stopped by Lambeau and put him on the list for season tickets.
Family photo by the Lombardi statue

Why you may ask?  It can take 40 or more years to get season tickets.  You used to be able to bequeath your place on the waiting list to someone in your will, but no more, so you've got to get on the list ASAP!  You're still permitted to pass your season tickets on in your will, but you need to get them first!  Hopefully, someday our kids numbers for tickets will come up and they'll have their own.  For now, we're blessed to have family members with tickets and usually get to make the pilgrimage to Lambeau once a year for a home game.  We'll brave the frozen tundra any time to watch our team play!

Needless to say Super Bowl XLV was a big deal in our house and we celebrated!  Super Bowl Champions one more time and the Lombardi trophy is back in Green Bay where it belongs.  Yeah, I guess you'd say I'm a full-on convert.  You kind of have to be when you marry into a Packer family!

Thanks to Wendy Muha-Cayemberg for the inspiration for this post!


Son, nephews and S.I.L. tailgating and staying warm

Packers vs. NY Giants game - 26DEC2010
Great action shot! Go Pack! Packers vs. Giants 26DEC2010

The Packers' rivals "Da Bears" who, I'm told, suck

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wednesday's Child - Thomas Beck

Last Thursday I blogged about Edwin Beck and the loss of the majority of his children.  I was going to post this funeral card on Friday and stick with the theme, but figured that I'd save it for Wednesday's Child instead since I've got the obituary to go with it.  I haven't figured out the relationship between Thomas and Edwin, but I must say that the Beck's hadn't had the best of luck.  It's so sad when any child is taken from us, but when a family has gone through so much loss!  My best guess so far, and I haven't done anything yet to confirm this, is the Thomas may be the nephew or grand-nephew to Edwin.  Edwin's father's name was John, so it's possible that John had a son, John, that would be Thomas' father or grandfather.  I'll have to check into that one.

"Thomas Beck

Funeral services for Thomas Joseph Beck, 11, of Route 2, Campbellsport, will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Miller's Funeral Home, 215 Forest Ave., Kewaskum, and at 10 a.m. at St. Kilian Catholic Church, St. Kilian.

He died Wednesday after being struck by a milk truck while riding his bicycle near St. Kilian.

The Rev. Adrian Trost will officiate and burial will follow in the church cemetery.  Friends may call after 4 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

He was born May 20, 1964, at West Bend, the son of John and Patricia Wiesner Beck.  He was a sixth grade student at Wayne School.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by two brothers, Steven and Robert both at home; a sister, Sharon at home; maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Wiesner of Kewaskum; and paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John C. Beck of Milwaukee.

(hand-dated, Aug 6-75)"

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Take a Picture Already!

John Jeffrey Ryan Jr 1971-2000
I love taking pictures. Capturing those special moments on film.  With a digital camera, I may have actually gotten worse and may need therapy.  I'm sure there are times when my family gets tired of me whipping the camera out, but as genealogists and family historians we all wish we had more pictures of our ancestors' "special moments".  That drives me to take pictures, so that my children and grandchildren (and so on) will see the times we went through, who was special in our lives, where we lived, etc.

There's another reason I take so many pictures.  Loss.  When you lose someone you've run out of opportunities.  Opportunities to talk with them, to tell them you love them and to take a picture of them.  I lost 2 dear family members this year as well as a dear friend.  I was good at taking pictures of my father-in-law with the kids although now he's gone I wish I had taken even more.  I had gotten a couple pictures of my cousin, Nancy, before she was killed by her husband...I'm still waiting for the "why" to that one.  I had taken plenty of pictures of my old friend, 1SG/CSM, Chris Raines.  I have these pictures of these cherished people because of another loss when I did not take a picture.

Patrick & John Jeffrey Ryan Jr.
My cousin, Jeff Ryan, died on New Year's Eve 2000.  I saw him on Thanksgiving before he died.  I had my camera with me and took no pictures.  I thought he'd think it was silly.  I was pregnant with my first child at the time and before leaving my Aunt and Uncle's house I hugged him and said that the next time I saw him, he'd be meeting the newest member of the family.  A month later he was gone.  I regret not having taken those pictures.  I always thought he'd be there.  He was only 29.  You never know how long you have with the people you love.

OK...now enough of that depressing crap...

I also realized as I was preparing to take part in the "Home" blog for 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History that I have no picture of the house I grew up in!  There are pictures of my sisters and me on the porch and playing in the backyard.  Pictures of the inside of the house, but none of the house in its entirety.  How did that happen?  Then I began to realize that I don't have a picture of the hospitals my children were born in (less important perhaps), or the church I was married in.  Don't forget that when you're taking pictures of all those great events to get the bigger details, not just the little ones!

The next time I return to Hazleton, Pennsylvania you can be sure I'll be taking a picture of the house I grew up in.  It's changed since I lived in it.  Before my father moved away from there he attempted to paint it.  I may have to get my photo editing software out and change it back because it looks terrible now!

So take plenty of pictures.  With digital cameras it's cheap and easy.  You never have to develop the bad pictures and you can take as many as you like....just remember to label them!...but that's another blog...
Nancy O'Donoghue nee Brown (center)
CSM (ret) Christopher Raines

Motivation Monday - Got some?

I had quite a bit of motivation last week.  Despite the fact that I had a sick kid home with me for much of it and despite that he gave me his cooties.  I'm feeling much better this morning.  Not coughing so much and the faucet that was my nose has turned off.  My team won the Super Bowl so there was much rejoicing last night, well, and this morning and for quite some time.  But motivation.  Got none.  Zip.

PTA executive board meeting last week.  We no longer have a secretary so I've got to type the minutes up and send them out.  I've got to fill out paperwork so we can have our next general board meeting at the school which is in a week and a half from now and I need to attempt to track down donations for lickies and chewies for the few people that might show up.

I have to order something called "segments" for Cub Scouts.  Little mini-patches for the boys to highlight their participation in events.  Unfortunately, I've spent the past several weeks trying to recreate the attendance for all of the events due to technical difficulties and difficulties in getting people to let me know which boys attended what.  It's gotten to the point where I can no longer wait and I need to get these ordered.  I feel bad for the boys that will undoubtedly look at their mostly empty segment sheet and wonder why they didn't get a segment for an event that they attended, but I need to let go and realize that I did all I can.  If their leaders didn't send updates or if their parents didn't check their attendance sheet that's not my problem.  That sounds so harsh.  I hate being like that when it's kids I'm dealing with.

I've also been having other stuff thrown at me in Scouting that is just not my lane.  I won't vent about it here, but I will say that it's incredibly frustrating and just not going to happen.  End of story.  Some people just can't get it through their heads that just because I work from home and just because I'm "starting" my business and working toward accreditation doesn't mean that I have time to deal with their extra crap.

The volunteer activities that I am a part of are because they benefit my children as well as other children.  If more parents would actually do just a little and participate in their child's life apart from feeding them and tucking them in at night these things would be so much easier!

So right now there's no motivation.  Or rather there's no motivation to tackle the stupid "extra" stuff I have to do.  I've got tons of motivation to dive into genealogy.  There's never a question about that, but the minutes need to be typed, the meeting needs to be coordinated and the Scouts need to be cared for.  So I guess I'll make a strong cup of tea, and get to work on the things that are annoying the heck out of me and hope that today will end the "extras" in my life at least for the time being and not mark the beginning of a week that is sure to have me lose my temper.

At least there's enough food left over from the Super Bowl party to feed my family for several days.  One less thing to worry about...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Francis J. Baier

"Francis J. Baier (hand-dated, 25 Jan-1974)

Francis J. Baier, 39, of Route 3, Campbellsport, an employe of Dohr's Market in Grafton, died at 9 p.m. Friday at St. Joseph's Hospital, Milwaukee.

Baier was formerly employed by the Gehl Co. of West Bend.  He served in the U.S. Army for two years and was a member of the Holy Name Society at Holy Trinity Church, Kewaskum.

Born Oct. 2, 1934, in the Town of Addison, he was the son of John and Louisa Denz Baier.  He married Valeria Martin on Nov. 8, 1958, at St. Anthony's Church, St. Anthony.

Survivors include his widow; five children, Diane, Linda, Norbert, Beth and Steven, all at home; a sister, Mrs. Aloysius Beder of Route 5, West Bend; and a brother, Lawrence, also of Route 5, West Bend.

Mr. Baier was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Paul.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Miller's Funeral Home, Kewaskum, and at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity Church, Kewaskum.  The Rev. John T. Budde will officiate and burial will be in the new Holy Trinity Cemetery, Kewaskum.

Family and friends may call at the funeral home from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday."

NOTE: This obituary was transcribed as it was printed.  Any typographical errors in the original have not been corrected.