He has a birthday this month and even as a kid he had the moves! It’s kind of a version of the Running Man.
August 6, 2014
August 5, 2014
Still… chugging (or maybe puttering) along at my 52 Ancestors… I haven’t totally given up. We’ll see how far I get by the end of the year.
It seems like many people (especially as viewing the world through children’s eyes or memories) have a family member around that they are sure their related too—they’re at all the family gatherings, everyone knows them, etc.—but you don’t quite know how they’re related. Now, yes, not all of them really are related but mostly in my family they have been.
For my Trotter side of the family that was Cousin Carol pictured to the left with my mother and I. This is a detail from a larger group shot I’ve shared before here. She was a regular face at my grandparents’ house. I remember her at Thanksgiving (our big annual Detroit gathering) and at all the in-between visits. But for the life of me I didn’t know how she fit into the family—especially after I started researching them. I didn’t even know her last name. Come to find out she’d been in my database all along but she (like many people in my family) didn’t use the name given in “official” sources within the family.
Cousin Carol was in fact my Grandfather Levi’s older first cousin through Great Grandfather Harrison’s sister, Pearl Trotter. Pearl married George Washington Webb on Christmas of 1905 and had a passel of children in Bradley County, Arkansas. Carol, born Calidona Webb, was the sixth child and second daughter, born in 1913. She married Robert Nickolson in 1935 (recorded as Nixon—though he clearly signed Nickolson) in Bradley County, Arkansas. After that it’s a bit of a blank for me. She may have had a child named Charles? As I mentioned, she was family. I saw her often in Detroit. But I never really knew how she fit.
July 30, 2014
July 16, 2014
Summer outings of long ago… This photo is from a day out at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan, circa 1984. That’s Gran, me and my brother. This is from dad’s photo collection.
July 9, 2014
July 2, 2014
June 26, 2014
The last installment on my Pennsylvania road trip…
Where Gettysburg was a somber experience my next stop was invigorating. The next morning I got up bright and early in the city of York to do research at the York County Heritage Trust. Again, I had emailed ahead to see what I might expect and had received a very positive reply from the head archivist indicating that there was a substantial amount of information on the Helsel/Heltzel/Hoetzel families. I parking at a local ramp and walked a couple blocks to the Museum and Archives. It’s another repository that charges a daily fee for non-members and asks you to put the majority of your materials away in lockers before fully entering the premises—but it’s so worth it.
I could have spent a week here—and as it was I opted to change my plans and spend half the following day there versus making other stops on my last research day. I went in focused on the Helsel family and was very impressed with their systematic approach. With the proliferation of German names they have control spellings and numbers for their research files so, for example, the Helsel’s control spelling was “Heltze”l and the number was 2636. Armed with that, a volunteer pulled a clippings file, and the appropriate sections of cemetery, tax, estate, and vital card files. And the card files in turn led me to detailed transcriptions and facsimiles of relevant church records. And as I started going through those I realized that I could find information on almost all of my German lines within their collection. As I said, I could have stayed a week.
I spent all of day one on the Helsel’s or working through the church records. And the staff didn’t have to twist my arm to get me to come back the next morning—despite the huge one day parking garage bill. In the end that too, could have been helped if I’d asked the right questions up front. When I paid for my copies at the end of the day the receptionist told me that they had access to free parking in a temporary lot behind the building. I’m chalking the day one bill up to a city donation for having such a fabulous research facility.
On the second day, I got up a little earlier so that I had time to walk down to Christ Lutheran Church (where one branch of the family worshiped) and take photographs. At the archives I spent time on my Mohr, Morningstar, Glass, and Kuntz families—all solidly intermingled long before the same families are marrying in again upon migrating to Ohio. If I had more time I would have spent even more time researching my Dice, Coppenhaver, and Grove families. I have no doubt there would be materials to find. Maybe next trip?