Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Aunt Fanny's Research

Fanny Marsh Grummons would be surprised that this descendent-in-law (did I just invent a word?) would be fascinated with her research. Fanny was the younger sister of my husband's great grandmother, Minerva Jane Marsh Reeder. I am sharing her research here in hopes that some distant cousin might connect.

Aunt Fanny (1873-1956) was doing her research in and probably before 1941. Several of her papers have that date on them. Even though I do not have any source citations of her research, I believe it to be accurate. Why? Aunt Fanny didn't have the advantage/disadvantage of the internet. She wasn't exposed to all the inaccuracies floating around in cyberspace.  For now, I will use her information for the Reeder/Marsh/Phillips/Ayers family tree.

Sometime in the future, when I have the opportunity to put a little more meat on the bones of these birth and death dates, I will look for more verification.  The first place I will start will be in a clue she left. Preston land records B. VII, page 26 details a land transaction of Ayer Phillips (1726) to his brother, Jonathan, of one-half the land which came from their grandfather Ayer.  Their mother's name was Esther Ayer, daughter of John Ayer,  of Stonington, Connecticut.  This is going to be a fun research project.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mondays With Mary # 9 (Soggy Pie)

I saved some of Cheryl's comments for today.  Last week she enlightened us on the rest of the story when Mom and Dad were getting ready to move to the big blue house. Mondays With Monday- Moving a Farm.   The whole family started calling their house this because this was the description our first granddaughter used. It just fits perfectly.  I have been looking for a great picture of the big blue house to accompany this post. However, instead I have recently come into possession of one no one has seen before.  This picture does not highlight the house but shows

the whole farmstead. The whole farmstead before the barn was torn down. It is my newest family treasure because of the barn.  We think this was taken about 1977. Our neighbor found it on the internet.

My Old Aunt Cheryl (4 months older than I am), is a published author. She definitely has a way with words. I hope to be able to include those words occasionally on this blog.  For today, I am continuing with the email she sent after reading about the new cupboards and the kitchen linoleum.  See what she shared in  Mondays With Mary #8.

Again, Mary and Vern's personalities shine through.

"I happened to be staying with them, probably while pregnant with David and Gene working nights, when PBS first came on the air in Iowa.  Mary and I were watching something and Vern came in and sat down to watch too. He didn't realize that there were no commercials on PBS. Mary went to the kitchen and got both me and herself a handful of peanuts.  Vern said, 'Get me some, too' And Mary replied, smiling 'I will during the next commercial'  Needless to say Vern never got his peanuts."

"As far as Vern not eating chicken from the store, that, too brings back a lot of memories ( See Mondays With Mary #4 about cleaning chickens).  I can't tell you how many chickens I helped your mom clean over the years but it was a bunch.  And we would usually do it in the morning before it got too hot, and then your mom would always cook one for lunch.  I would nearly gag because the smell of chicken guts would still be on my hands but it didn't seem to bother anyone else.  Of couse, it never bothered your dad because I doubt he ever cleaned a chicken in his life.  He only ate them and bitched if they were not up to snuff."

"Once we went to a carry in dinner, I don't remember what I made, but Mary made a pie.  I think it was cherry, but it was not apple.  I know.  So at the dinner all the food was set out and everyone was sitting around the huge table eating too much and talking.  Vern finished his second or third plate and went for dessert-apple pie.  He took one bite and announced, 'Jesus Christ, Mary. I would have thought you had made enough pies to know how not to make a soggy crust. You know I hate soggy crust.'  At which, Mary looked up with her usual little smile and said, 'But that is apple and I made cherry pie'.  It think it was Dorothy Anderson who made the soggy crusted apple pie, but it sure cured Vern of speaking his mind about food in public."

Dorothy and her husband, Kenny, were good friends of my parents. I have run across their names many, many times in Mom's calendars. Recently, at our 2015 All School Reunion, I had a chance to talk to their son and reminisce about the days gone by.  He remembers once when he was young and spent several days with Mom and Dad. He was very sick and Mom took wonderful care of him.  She was like that.

July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, I was at the Anderson's for a baby shower given in my honor.

I imagine if Dad offended Dorothy with his pie criticism, she probably forgave him. She knew him well.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Meet Aunt Fanny

and her second husband.

Fanny and David McClelland
Oct. 30, 1943

Using my husband's 3x Great Aunt Fanny's information, I sat down to enter her research into my Legacy database. Typing each name, connecting to siblings, and establishing relationships helps me feel like I am getting to know these family members long gone even if they are not my blood. However, they are the blood of my children and grandchildren.

While typing up information on Jonathan Phillips II, (my husband's 5x great grandfather) I noted his burial place as Hopeville Cemetery. Suddenly I thought maybe I should check this out on Find A Grave. I assumed this cemetery was in Connecticut since this was the state indicated in other information. Yeah, I found it. Find a Grave has this cemetery of only 35 interments right here at my finger tips, and Jonathan Phillips II is one of them.

Then, the internet surfing began. Records, records everywhere. Through a tip on Find A Grave, I discovered a book titled Powers-Banks Genealogy with a detailed section on the Phillips line.  Could this have been the source of Fanny's research? Where would she have come across this book?

Rabbit trails, shiny objects are both references I have read in other blogs about how easily it is to get distracted in this hobby. Well, I just don't care. Here I go down the rabbit trail. Whoooooooooo

I have read through the book Powers-Banks Genealogy in digital form several times. In addition to the title, the cover page reads as follows:
                                  Traced In All Lines To The
                                  Remotest Date Obtainable

                                  Charles Powers 1819-1871
                                           And His Wife
                                  Lydia Ann Banks  1829-1919

                                     Prepared By Their Son
                                           WM. H Powers

So what, you say? We don't have Powers or Banks in either family (not that we know of). However, this book contains information about The Phillips Line (1635-1840) and The Gates Line (1600-1840). Here is a refresher:

grandmother of my husband........Ina Marie Reeder Augustus
great grandmother of same..........Minerva Jane Marsh Reeder and sister of Fanny
great great grandmother...............Celestia Mary Phillips Marsh and mother of Fanny.

Oh, there it is.....The Phillips Line.  In fact Celestia Mary Phillips is mentioned in this book. Celestia's father was Elijah Phillips and he was the son of Esquire Phillips. So that makes Elijah my husband's 3rd great grandfather and Esquire his 4th great grandfather.  Esquire was the son of Jonathan II, his 5th great grandfather. Think I am done? Not even close.

4th great grandfather Esquire married Ann Gates. Her family is documented too. Now there is a lot of information that matches Aunt Fanny's writings. I continue to almost think she had once seen this book. It was published in Ames, Iowa, in June of 1921.

That rabbit trail has been fun, but now I need to sit and digest this valuable information.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Too Many Good-byes

So far, this has not been such a great year. In January, we lost my Uncle John and his first cousin, Jean Stevens Johnson. This blog was actually dedicated to them. The post is called Dedication.  In the spring, we lost my aunt and a dear family friend. Several more posts were written. See In Loving Memory, Twice Glad, and Tribute.                                

A few days ago, I wrote about my aunt who was only three years older than I am and who died July 13, 2015.  And now, we have lost a member of my husband's family.

I mentioned in my Aunt Evie's post titled December, 7, 1941, that it was the first entry for the Wright, Borden, DeHart side of the family. Today it is the first for another branch of the family tree. Today I write about the Tolsdorf side, my husband's paternal family.

Roger Tolsdorf passed way July 18, 2015. This was the day we were interring the ashes of  my uncle and his wife. I am stating 'and his wife' to clarify that she was not my blood relative. Because, she was my husband's blood relative. She was his first cousin, as was Roger. And there were and are many more cousins all descended from a German grandfather that immigrated from the Ukraine in 1892. The  family has an interesting history which I look forward to sharing in the future.

Today, our thoughts are of Roger. He was a jokester and was loved by all who knew him.  Rest In Peace, Roger. You can't imagine how many family and friends are going to miss you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

December 7, 1941

Yes, everyone knows this date as the day that will live in infamy; the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. Yet, on my paternal side of the family, it marks the birthday of the eighth child born to my grandparents, Nina and Albert Wright. The baby was named Nina Evelyn, but always went by Evie.  Evie was my aunt but only three years older than me. She made a great playmate along with my cousin who was my junior by three years.  Once we were playing school and used the bedroom wall as our chalk board. Crayons on the wall didn't go over so well with my mother. Then, there was the time my record player got broken. I have forgotten over the years who played which role. One person told another one to put a pillow on top of the record player to make it a taller sitting spot. The third person sat on the pillow and broke the record player. Everyone thought it was someone else's fault. Was it the sitters fault or the one who placed the pillow? Wouldn't the one commanding the action be to blame. Nothing was ever settled, and I was left with a broken record player.

Below is one of my favorite pictures. I am the baby that little Evie is trying to please with the bunny.

This is my first post about my dad's family and not at all how I expected to begin writing about the Wrights, Bordens, and DeHart families. Of course, the news which prompted these words were not at all what I expected to hear when the phone call came.  My Aunt Evie, just three years older than I am, passed away July 13, 2015.

Remember to enjoy and to live each day....

tomorrow may not come your way.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mondays With Mary #8- Cheryl tells the rest of the story

After reading Moving A Farm - Mondays With Mary, I had a nice long communication from the wife of my dad's youngest brother. My Uncle Gene and Aunt Cheryl bought an acreage and moved just down the road from my parents in the fall of 1969. They helped each other out often. They spent lots of time together. My aunt and my mom even shared a birthday, October 27. I mentioned this is my dad's youngest brother. In fact, he is only five years older than I am. Dad was the oldest of eight kids so they string out over time. Uncle Gene is a few years older than his wife; in fact, she is my age.  So, life has always been fun teasing her about being my old aunt. I consider myself her favorite niece, but there are many others on both sides of her family that claim the same title.

She wrote to say my post about moving was bringing back many memories. I have permission to share some of those memories.  I think you will enjoy her words. If  you didn't know my mother, you will get an inside glimpse of her personality (Dad's too). If you did know my parents, you will just shake your head and laugh.

Cheryl says:

"You have in the post that on Nov. 11 'got rugs and laid linoleum'.  Prior to that, we had gone with your folks for the umpteenth time to look at the big blue house.  Mary was making lists of what would be needed.  She said the kitchen needed new linoleum.  Of course, Vern immediately said what was on the floor was good enough ( it was black with only a few spots of color here and there where appliances had been sitting). And the fight was on.  Gene and I stood back very quietly and just watched .  It ended with Mary saying for the 10th time that the linoleum was rotted and needed to be replaced.  Only this time, she bent over, grabbed a corner and ripped the stuff nearly across the whole of the kitchen.  Vern said she could damn well get some tacks and tack it back down.  But I think he knew he had lost."

Cheryl says that the post also said 'put in some cupboards'. "We'll do a Paul Harvey here and tell the rest of the story.  Mary wanted a pantry and a downstairs closet.  She figured out that she could work it in under the upstairs stairway.  She waited until Vern went to a sale when she knew he would be gone most of the day and proceeded to rip out the wall.  Only problem was she ripped right into the chimney.  She called me in a panic and asked me to come down and help her figure out what to do.  Finally she decided she was going to have to use her "egg money" to hire a carpenter to repair the chimney and while he was there he might as well build the pantry and closet she had wanted.  So Vern lost again."

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 18, 2015

It is the day for our final good-bye to my Uncle John and Aunt Midge.  Their ashes are being interred in the Scranton Township Cemetery where they join many relatives and friends.  They are sharing a plot with John's parents, Bert and Nina Grisso.  Also buried close by are three other children of Bert and Nina. Lena, George and Donald.

 John joins another sister and her husband as well as grandparents, great grandparents, and even his great-great grandparents are buried over only a few rows. There are many, many collateral relatives, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Aunt Midge's parents are buried just down the way as well as some of her aunts and uncles and cousins.

And friends. Everywhere one looks are headstones with familiar names. Many of these were high school friends of this couple or even wedding attendants. They remained friends for a lifetime. Some stayed local, but many had moved away like my aunt and uncle.  Today they have come home. 

I had the following lines from the play Our Town by Thornton Wilder read at my father's graveside.  I think I will want them at mine as well.

"We all know that something is eternal.  And it ain't houses and it ain't names, and it ain't earth, and it ain't even the stars...everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings.  All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you'd be surprised how people are always losing hold of it.  There's something way down deep that's eternal about every human being."  -Thornton Wilder, Our Town

May You Rest in Peace Together

You may wish to re-read the posts written about John and Midge listed below. 

In Loving Memory      

Eugene Vorhies (1877-1964)

From the Family Tree of Withrow/Vorhies/Smith

Estella Vorhies Smith (1876-1959) was the first born child of John Mac and Ginevra Withrow Vorhies. She was born only a month after the family came to Greene County, Iowa in February of 1876. Estella was the older sister of Eugene and Leroy. Eugene's birth 3 October 1877 was followed by Leroy's birth 2 October 1879.  As discussed in early posts,  Leroy was a month or two younger than his aunt, Sarah Jane Withrow (1879-1896), youngest child of Sarah Jane Swartzell Withrow and Joseph Withrow. Unlike the younger Sarah Jane who only reached age 17, Leroy loved a full life as did his brother, Eugene.

The focus here is on Eugene who was well known in the Greene and Carroll county area. He was a farmer and served on the board of the Farmer's Cooperative Association ( now known as West Central Co-op) in Ralston, Iowa for 30 years. He was a life long member of the Christian Church and became a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1908.

By the time I was born and old enough to know Uncle Gene and Aunt Carrie, they had moved from the farm to Jefferson, Iowa. For clarification purposes, they were the aunt and uncle of my grandmother, Nina and her siblings.  This makes them my great-great aunt and uncle. They lived in a nice house on the corner of the main road going into town and a side street. That house has been replaced at some point over the years with another structure. However, when I drive by I still see their house in my mind's eye.

Uncle Gene and Aunt Carrie were married in South Dakota on December 22, 1909.  I don't yet know why they were in South Dakota. I had  always thought incorrectly that it was because  Aunt Carrie was from South Dakota. She was not. Her family was as local as Uncle Gene's.  This is information I have gained from my research. However, I do have a postcard sent to her in South Dakota from her future sister-in-law, Stella Smith, dated 1906. She would have been about 15 so maybe her family lived there for awhile.  I do not know how long they stayed in South Dakota after marrying but I found another postcard from Gene's brother, Leroy and family, addressed to Scranton in January 1910.

First postcard is dated April 6, 1906.  It reads:  Dear Carrie, Received your letter yesterday.  Glad to hear from you.  Hiram has made some early garden and I have 13 hens setting. Come and see us Easter Sunday.  Write again, Your Friend, Estella Smith.
The second card is sent from Yoder, Colorado in January 1910 shortly after Gene and Carrie were married.  Notice that it is mailed to Scranton, Iowa.   It reads: Dear Brother & Sister   Please accept our late congratulations.  Yours Truly, Lula, & Leroy Vorhies
Eugene Vorhies lived a long life, 86 years, eight months, and 2 days. He outlived both his older sister, Estella, and younger brother, Leroy, as well as his young son, Lester.  However, his wife, Carrie, lived to be 98!

This is the front side of the Easter card Estella sent to Carrie Kotas in 1906 when Carrie was in South Dakota.

Lester, Carrie, Gene, and Viola
I would guess this picture to be from the early 1920's. Lester was born in 1910 and Viola in 1912.

A Little Closer View from the Farm Photo

           Card of Congratulations to Gene and Carrie Vorhies from Leroy and Lulu Vorhies.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mondays With Mary #7 (tusk part II)

Since publishing the newspaper article about the tusk that was found in my parent's gravel pit, I located additional information. The year was 1990. (The article can be read on Mondays With Mary from July 6, 2015) So, I pulled out the calendar to see what Mom had to say about the event.

Wednesday   June 6, 1990
     60* @ 7 a.m.  Cloudy- got my hair set in a.m.
      went to Ogden for meat-home @ 12:15-scrubbed
      kitchen floor-painted 2nd coat on east windows
      B-A-5 had bull calf in p.m.  Doug &Ta brought final payment
      on pickup-Melody Egan here to have help on sweat shirt -                             Bushman brought us an elephant tusk.

Thursday       June 7, 1990
       56*@ 7 am sun shining
       I went to Terrill's to take pillow to Jane & Carl. They
       came out later to see elephant tusk - Pat & George here
       about 11 am - watched movie on Carlsbad Cavern
       to Carroll to buy groceries- tub for E tusk- Duane  got sprayer going

Friday.     June 8, 1990
       66* @ 6:30 foggy. Cleared about noon-
       Scranton Journal came in am to take pictures
       of E tusk- George took video of it. Went to Jeff in
       pm to Bell Tower & pork burger supper      home
       6:30 pm     Washed Van.     Talked to Margie in am

So, it looks like there was quite a bit of activity centered around what Mom called an elephant tusk. The next week's entries are filled with names of friends who came to see the tusk.  It was quite the event.

Bushman is the name of the man from the gravel pit that brought them the tusk he had uncovered.  Pat is my mother's sister who was visiting from Oregon with her husband, George. The other people mentioned in her calendar were friends from around Scranton. Oh, and Margie, that's me, is her daughter.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Willow # 3 1951-1952

Turns out I found another picture that Dr. Bill at had put on a different post from the one where I found the group picture I shared on Willow #3 a couple of days ago.  In the picture from Wednesday's post, my husband was the baby. In this picture, he is a first grader (located between the two girls on the top row). The next year after the school closed, some of these students came to Scranton and some went to Coon Rapids. At Scranton Consolidated School, as a second grader, he met me. How about that!

Dr. Bill has the students names listed under the picture. Here is his list.

Top Row:  Mrs. Phelps, Jim Smith, Ruth Ann Christiansen, Tom Tolsdorf, Charolotte Shirbroun, Wilson Thomas

Middle Row:  Robert Hunter, Shirley Shirbroun, Jane Lovell, Jim Tolsdorf

Lower Row:  Gary Hunter, Judy Tolsdorf, Dick Hunter, Bill Smith

Thank you, Dr. Bill.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Willow #3

I am having a problem. I am not getting anything done. I have years worth of boxes from my parent's home that still haven't been completely sorted, stored, given away or thrown out. Oh, I know, I get all sorts of suggestions on this subject. Just leave me alone about it.

I could use my time to work in my flower gardens. It is my therapy. However, after so much rain in Iowa, the mosquitoes are out. I can honestly say I have never seen mosquitoes this bad in my entire life (and it is a long one). Where in the past, one might see a mosquito, they now swarm. Even the sound is daunting. There are soooooooo many. Of course, we live in the country near the timber and the river. It is mosquito heaven.  There are no smogging trucks here to help like there is in cities and small towns. So, I just stay inside.

If you are wondering what all of this has to do with genealogy, I am getting to it. In fact, I am just trying to legitimize the amount of
time I have been spending in my recliner with my iPad reading blogs.

The more genealogy blogs I read, the more I want to read. After I check out some of my favorites, I start seeking out ones I haven't read. Recently, I have been working on setting up searching capability on my blog. This has lead me to trying out some 
searching of my own on other sites. has search capability. Since my blog is listed on this site, I was sure I would find myself. Sure 
enough. However, I found a big, big surprise. A HUGE surprise. A well known blogger (Dr. William Smith) in the blogosphere had a post with my last name in it.  I should say my married last name. He had posted this at least a year before I even knew what a genealogy blog was.

I keep reading about bloggers hoping to find distance cousins with
their sites. Some bloggers talk about cousin bait. I have been hoping I might trip over some distant cousin or two one of these days. Instead, I tripped over a post about Willow #3 in Willow Township, Greene County, Iowa, the one room school my husband and two older siblings attended.  This Wordless Wednesday post for January 15, 2014 was added at

 It consisted of a photo outside the school building with the kids and their teacher. Dr. Bill identified most of the kids including my brother-in-law and my husband. My 97 year old mother-in-law identified the others. The photo is from about 1946 so my husband was a baby. An older girl with dark hair is  holding him. We have no idea why he was at school. It is also a picture that neither of us had ever seen or even knew existed.

Left to right: Mildred Peversdorf (teacher), Shirley Wood, Dick Hunter, Judy Tolsdorf, Charlotte Shirbroun holding baby Tom, Robert Hunter, Jim Tolsdorf, Ruth Ann Christinsen.
In the front on the right wearing suspenders is Bill Smith and his little brother, Jimmie about 2, sitting on the ground looking down.

Can the world get any smaller?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Mondays With Mary

Today is a little different, but certainly still Monday With Mary and I guess with Vern too.

The caption under the not very flattering picture of my parents reads as follows:
Vern (left) and Mary Wright of rural Scranton display an object believed to be a portion of a tusk of a prehistoric wooly mammoth recently excavated from a gravel pit they own northeast of Ralston.  The 30-inch section may be between 8,000 and 10,000 years old.  Preservation experts from the State Historical Society plan on traveling to the Wrights' home to study the tusk.
I was surprised at how well this scan of an already scanned newspaper document turned out.  I no longer think I need to rewrite the article because if interested the article is readable as is.
The tusk was given to the Greene County Historical Society (Jefferson, Iowa) by my parents.  It is now on display for all to see.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Pennsylvania to Iowa 1860

I am thinking that I need a "new system" to alert my readers to which family tree I am climbing now that I am starting to jump around a bit.  The post from July 1 was about my maternal side. Today, the information is about my husband's maternal side. I am open to ideas. Anyone? Anyone? 


Minerva Jane Marsh Reeder (1860-1953) was the fourth of six children. They were the children of Richard and Celestia Phillips Marsh who moved from Pennsylvania when Minerva Jane was just a baby. They stopped in Illinois first.

The baby of this family was Fanny. See Aunt Fanny (1873-1956) It is Fanny's research and writing that I am using to share this part of my husband's maternal family story. Among these records is a writing by Dwight, the third child of the familyI just have a feeling that Aunt Fanny convinced him to do this.

He writes of the family home in Warren County, Pennsylvania and their move to Illinois about 1860.  He says they started out with a team and a wagon.  There were four children. Joseph Merritt about 8 years old, Florence about 6, Dwight about 4, and the baby Minerva Jane (direct line ancestor). The trip included arriving at a railroad, loading everything on the train and eventually arriving in Princeton, Illinois.

He included a story that I found to be very, very sad. "My uncle and family started with us but we had not travelled many days when one of my cousins fell out of the wagon and was run over and killed so the family returned to Warren County". I wonder if this uncle and family were on Dwight's mother's side or father's side.

His mother's maiden name was Phillips.  Celestia Phillips was the daughter of Elijah Phillips and Ellen Thompson Phillips. I am explaining this lineage because Dwight mentions one of his great-grandfathers in his writing.

He mentions that Great Grandfather Thompson came from Pennsylvania to Illinois at the age of 99 years.  While there he jumped on a horse and rode.  He lived to be over 100 years old. So, Dwight and our Minerva Jane's mother Celestia was the daughter of Ellen Thompson Phillips and her father would have been Caleb Thompson, the Great Grandfather Thompson to whom Dwight is referring.

He also mentions that his great grandmother Phillips lived to be 97. So, longevity is on not just from Grandpa Halle Augustus (1890-1990) my husband's maternal grandfather, but from my husband's maternal, maternal, maternal, maternal, paternal side too. Doris/Ina/Minerva Jane/Celestia/Ellen/Caleb Thompson.

Ina Reeder Augustus, Minerva Jane Marsh Reeder, Celestia Phillips Marsh

Three generations of Grandmothers

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Wait is Over!


The wait is over!

I found her.

Who is Carrie Plath?

I know who Carrie Plath is!

She really is related.

Here is a hint.  Her maiden name was Smith.

Now, so that others might get some tips on how to solve genealogy problems.  This was my journey.

I have mentioned before that I knew NOTHING about Hiram Smith, my great grandfather although I knew his wife, Estella, well. Read about him in the post Hiram Smith. As I said, I found a 
person (don't remember who because I hadn't yet learned about genealogy logging notes) who was from Wisconsin that had Hiram Smith listed in one of their family trees.  Hiram was the brother of their ancestor.

Reading other blogs, I came aware of Knowing how helpful http://jefferson.advantage-preservation.  has been to my local research, I decided to see if I could find out if they had any newspapers from the Mason City, Iowa area where the Plaths lived. So, rather than get in my car and drive to Mason City about 130 miles away (which I have  been totally ready to do), I climbed into my recliner, turned on my ipad and signed up for a free seven day trial on Never drive 130 miles if you can find answers from your recliner.

I found an article from 1957 about the 40th wedding anniversary of Fred and Carrie Plath who had been married in 1917. This is three 
years before my grandmother, Nina was married, so they were close in age.  Then, I read her maiden name. SMITH. OMG! I turned back to some genealogy resources (census records) and there was  her family. She was the daughter of Hiram's older brother, James. After James was married, he, his wife and family lived in Wisconsin. Coming full circle here in less than a decade of researching now and then.

Carrie was a niece to Estella and Hiram Smith. When I originally read the article from 1941 about the death of Carrie's son, Edwin, I found the part which said Edwin was Estella Smith's nephew very puzzling. Now I learn it was true.  He was a actually a great-nephew, but let's not get picky.

I have often said that I am just gathering the fallen fruit from the ancestry tree. Fruit being documents I have and research already done.  But the thrill of the hunt can't be ignored.  I might need to designate July 1 as Carrie Smith Plath Day.

First cousins, Nina and Carrie