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June 17, 2007

A Father's Day Tribute to my Ancestors

In going along with some of the other genealogy bloggers, I am going to post about my paternal line of Fathers.

First, and most important to me, is my own Father. Nick is a hard worker, very dedicated to his family. He is a big softy (though he tries to hide it :) He always tries to help his kids in any way he can and especially loves to spoil his 13 grandchildren. I'm the baby of 6 kids, which allowed me special treatment growing up as well as one-on-one time once all my older siblings were gone. In his 60s now, I hope he will live a long time and get to see all his children and grandchildren grow up. My 2 sons absolutely adore him. My 2 1/2 year old was able to live near him for his first 18 months and they became best friends. He is truly one of my best friends as well. Love you Dad!

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(Katie and Nick Summer 2000)


Next is Nick's father, Max. He was a wonderful grandfather who loved to sing and play sports. He moved from New York to Chicago to be near us when I was in Junior High and he consistently came to all my sporting events. When I decided to try out for the golf team, having never played golf before, he took me to the driving range and taught me how to hold the clubs and play the game. One of the best lessons I learned was to take a "mulligan" every now and again :)

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(Max in 1998)


Then there's Max's father, Leander, who I never knew. He died when Max was a young child. He was a very good commercial artist and would paint billboards around town.

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(Lee - 1920s)


Lee's father was Emil, who was the first immigrant in our line. He was born in Norway in 1866 and came to the United States in 1870. He worked for the Postal Service and had 9 children. Seven of them lived to maturity and then when Lee died at age 33, Emil and his wife raised their 3 grandchildren.

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(Emil in 1912)


Emil's father was Halvor, born in 1823. He and his wife found the LDS religion and joined the church in Norway. His wife joined first in 1857 and he 11 years later in 1868. They endured much ridicule until they could immigrate to America and live with the Saints in Utah.

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(Halvor in 1884)

May 13, 2007

A Mother's Day Tribute

Mothers are very special people. For this Mother's Day, May 13, 2007, I would like to share some of the wonderful childhood memories I have of my mother. She taught me things, she spent time with me, she encouraged me to succeed, and every moment depicts her love for me.

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When I was in first grade there was a reading competition in my class. I think we got a gold star for every 10 books we read and a gift certificate to Pizza Hut for each 100. Somehow, by either my mom's competitive nature or by my own, we both decided that I had to read the most in the class. Mom would take me to the library once or twice a week to get more and more books. Given, these were books with 2 or 3 words on each page, but they counted towards my quota all the same. I ended up reading 1,000 books and got my name and picture in the local newspaper. And 20 years later I still love to read and talk to my mom about books. Sometimes when I can't find a book at my library she offers to buy it for her personal collection and lets me borrow it. What a generous mom!

A few years later my mom decided to teach me how to cross-stitch, one of her favorite hobbies. I think she taught my older sister as well, but Melissa didn't enjoy it like I did. Over the years my mom has helped me go from making a tiny little turtle to cross-stitching a Family Tree. She helped me progress from small patterns to bigger ones until I knew how to do it on my own and now we can sit and share our finished products. She cross-stitches baby blankets for each of her grandchildren, which inspired me to cross-stitch birth records and Christmas stockings for my children. Thank you for sharing your hobby with me, Mom.

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Another memory I will always have of my mom is a meal she would make whenever I got sick. I don't know when it started but I loved to have her make “Eggs & Toast.” She would soft boil the eggs and butter the toast and then cut them both into bite-size pieces and mix them together. It would always taste so good when I was home sick. And even when I was older in college, I got mononucleosis and she was there to take me to the doctor and nurse me back to health with Eggs & Toast. She has helped a lot each time I've had a baby as well, especially during the first few months of morning sickness. Someday I will take care of you Mom! (but not too soon, right?)

My parents shared the title of my “biggest fan” when I played basketball. It was an early love of mine and they put me into camps every summer and paid for lots of events through the years. My mom was the one who started buying me fake Superman tattoos to wear to my games in high school. It became my “trademark.” She also decided she wanted to keep my stats each game and would show up with her clipboard and printed charts. My teammates thought she was over the top, and she was! We lived in a small town with lots of sports coverage in the newspapers, so my mom clipped out every article that mentioned me and now I have 2 photo albums full of memories. My parents were so supportive through my years of basketball that I feel bad for any child who doesn't have parents come to their games. Thank you for always being there Mom and Dad.

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One more memory and this one is the most current. After I got married my mom helped me to get interested in Family History and taught me almost everything I know about researching and finding ancestors. Her and my father have done a lot of work on their lines so I have concentrated mostly on my husband's line. My mom has patiently helped me learn how to use PAF, to find more ancestors, and then to submit ancestors' names for LDS temple work. This has been a wonderful experience for me as we work together and share our heritage. What a worthwhile interest she has awakened in me and I hope we will continue to share it together.

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(Cathy and Katie outside the Nauvoo, Illinois Temple in August 2002)

Thank goodness for mothers and especially mine! I never truly knew how much she loved me until I became a mother myself. What a wonderful blessing it is to know my mother loves me unconditionally and always will. I love you Mom! May we share many more years and memories together. And I pray that I will emulate your example with my own children.

March 13, 2007

Goodbye to my oldest Living Relative

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Ellen E. Bickel

EXETER -- Ellen Elizabeth "Libby" Bickel, 95, formerly of Lincoln Street, died Saturday, March 10, 2007, at the Eventide Home in Exeter.

She was born April 24, 1911, in Tewksbury, Mass., the daughter of the late Eliot Howe and Elizabeth (McCausland) French. She was raised in Massachusetts, moving to Exeter more than 70 years ago.

Mrs. Bickel was well-known for walking to numerous functions and meetings as she was very active with the Exeter Congregational Church and the Women's Fellowship at the Church. She was an honorary member of the Corporation of Eventide, a member of the Exeter Women's Club, a member of the Exeter Historical Society, attended the class reunions at the Radcliffe College in Cambridge into her 90s, and was a volunteer at Exeter Hospital.

The widow of Charles Bickel, who died in 1984, she is survived by one son, Charles E. Bickel of San Francisco; one daughter, Elizabeth B. Hersam of Exeter; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two nephews, Peter E. French and Wallace H. French.

There are no calling hours. A memorial service will be announced in June. Burial will be in the Rural Dale Cemetery, Trenton, Mo.

Memorial donations may be made to the Eventide Home, 81 High St. Exeter, NH 03833.

Brewitt Funeral Home, 14 Pine St., Exeter is handling the arrangements.

January 25, 2007

5 Unknown Things about Katie

Well, I feel honored to have gotten tagged by Craig Manson at GeneaBlogie since I am turning into an inactive blogger. All the genealogy bloggers are tagging each other to play a game of truth. I'm supposed to share 5 things about myself that people may not know. Here goes nothing:

1. I have an undergraduate degree in Travel & Tourism, but have never left the United States :)

2. I love to play basketball and was All-Conference for 2 years in High School

3. My favorite book is Pride & Prejudice

4. I am very weak when it comes to donuts - they are SO good

5. I am a stay-at-home mom with 2 little boys (that's why my blogging is almost non-existent these days). And I want 2-4 more kids - that should be a surprising statement since almost everyone stops at 2 kids these days.

And that's me! Every blog I read in the genealogy world has been tagged, so I'll end my round of the game here.

October 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Great-Grandma

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Birdie was the first and only person to graduate from college (University of Utah) in her family. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher and she taught school for 45 years. She had a reputation for teaching excellence and people would move to her school in order to have her as a teacher. She was married for 3 years and had 2 daughters before losing her husband. Later a German fellow asked her to marry him, but she felt he wouldn't be nice enough to her girls. My grandmother said, "She was a feminist before it was in."

October 24, 2006

RootsWeb's WorldConnect

Recently Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings wrote about Ancestry Member Trees. He wondered if anybody had uploaded their family tree to Ancestry and how it had gone. I proudly commented that I had.

I have my genealogy file uploaded to Ancestry's Family Tree, and RootsWeb's WorldConnect. (I was going to link to my file at Ancestry, but I just realized that having the tree "public" at their site means that my full name as well as all other living members' full names are visible. With all the identity theft issues, I decided I better mark my tree "personal." People can still find out information on my deceased ancestors, but no information on the living ones.) RootsWeb just shows living people's last names. I guess this isn't a whole lot better, but it gives me a little more comfort - and people can't tell which of the living members I am.

Two different women have found me in the last month through my RootsWeb file. One has emailed pictures and information to my mother and me about our Mullins line and the other one has mailed many documents and sources to me on my Bickel line. I also found someone else just last week who emailed me a picture of my husband's GGG Grandmother (picture below), an ancestor who's been quite elusive to us. I've only had my file up for a few months, but I have had some great finds since then.

I was also recently contacted by someone through Ancestry, but we haven't shared any information yet. I'm excited to continue finding more cousins!

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Emily Wilson - Born in 1814 in Kentucky, parents unknown.

(I feel like I just wrote one of those success stories in the RootsWeb Weekly Emails :>)

October 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Great-Great Grandpa Isaac

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Here is a funny story that Isaac's daughter-n-law liked to tell about him.


When Ike and Bernice were newlyweds they decided to visit a relative in Alabama with Ike's parents. The relative was about a days buggy ride away (probably 30-40 miles). Ike and Bernice were riding in a buggy, driving a young brown mare. Ike's parents were coming along behind them in a gig drawn by an old yellow male named Pete.

Now Pete and the brown mare were real fond of each other. Pete grazed in the pasture with her every day and never let her out of his sight. So Ike being "devilish" whipped his mare into a gallop every time they went around a curve on the "turnpike" so Pete couldn't see them. As soon as Pete realized she was out of sight, he would let out a loud Hee Haw and tear out as fast as he could run until he caught up.

The neighbors gathered along the road wondering what was the matter with Pete. They all arrived at the relative's house about noon.

This story always sent Mabel, Ike's daughter-n-law, into convulsions as she visualized Pete running and braying.

October 20, 2006

Great Grandparents

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These are my great-grandparents, Lee and Ruby, courting in 1914. They got married 2 years later in 1916. A sad story - Lee and Ruby died 4 days apart. It is assumed they were given the wrong medicine for something they both had and it accidentally terminated their lives. Believable because they both were young and healthy, Lee was 32 and Ruby was 28. Unfortunately there were no tort lawyers in those days. They left behind 3 young children.

October 16, 2006

Grandma Paula

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This a picture of my Grandma in New York in 1939. She and two of her friends decided to go to New York on a two week vacation to visit the World Fair. On the train to NY they started kidding about staying in NY and getting jobs. They decided to give it a try.

They arrived on a Monday and all had jobs by Friday. My Grandma went to work for John Powers Modeling Agency. The other models were pretty ruthless though and would steal her outfits when she was out on the runway. After awhile she didn't enjoy modeling anymore and decided to get a job where she could use her intelligence and gain some respect.

Paula died when I was very little on October 16. I don't remember her, but I know she was a great lady. A quote from her obituary. "She will be remembered for her twinkling eyes, warm heart, ready sense of humor and dynamic personality. If nothing else is said, she was a successful mother."

October 9, 2006

Great-Great Grandmother

Edla, my great-great grandmother, was a very compassionate and giving person. She was born in Vaksala, Sweden. Two LDS missionaries were proselyting in her town when she was a teenager. They taught her the Gospel and soon she was baptized, though her parents did not join. People in her town would spit at her and call her the "Mormon." She came to America and married a good man and they raised their 6 kids in Salt Lake City.

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October 3, 2006

Happy Birthday Grandma!

In honor of Family History Month I am going to post pictures of my ancestors throughout October. Today is my grandmother's birthday, so she will be first. If she were alive, she'd be 88.

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Mary Ruth (my Grandmother) with sister Bonnie in Utah about 1925.

She is the only grandmother I ever knew. She raised 5 children while working as a schoolteacher for many years. She loved kids and always spent lots of time with her 19 grandchildren. I recently taught my son one of the songs she taught me growing up.

Cherries are Ripe
Cherries are Ripe
The Robin sang one day

Cherries are Ripe
Cherries are Ripe
Let's all go out and play

July 24, 2006

Looking for Hersams

I was recently reading an article in Dick Eastman's Newsletter about a site called Linkpendium. I decided to visit the site and immediately searched the surname list for mine. The only obituary it pulled up was this one:

Ernest Albion Hersam, Mining and Metallurgy: Berkeley

1868-1950
Professor of Metallurgy, Emeritus

Ernest Albion Hersam was born March 9, 1868, in Stoneham, Massachusetts. After his early and preparatory education in the schools of Massachusetts, he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was granted the B.S. degree in 1891. During the year 1891-1892 he served his alma mater as Assistant in Chemistry. The following year he went to the University of California as Analytical Assistant in the Mining Department and was given the added title of Instructor in Metallurgy in 1894. He became Assistant Professor of Metallurgy in 1897, Associate Professor in 1903, Professor in 1923, and retired in 1938 as Professor Emeritus.

Grace Evelyn Danforth, whom he married at Stoneham, Massachusetts, in 1892, passed away in 1901. His only son died in infancy. In 1910 he married Ida Louise Downing at Stockton, California, but lost her by death the year he retired. He enjoyed home life, and both of his marriages were happy ones.

Ernest Hersam died in Berkeley, California, June 24, 1950, and in accordance with his wishes was buried in the family plot at Stoneham, Massachusetts, the town where he was born.

(click here to read the entire obituary)

Since I know my father-n-law was born in Stoneham, Massachusetts, as well as both his father and grandfather, I started trying to find a connection. My husband also got quite interested since he was impressed with this Ernest Hersam's accomplishments.

So this is a post for any Hersams out there who can help us figure it out. What I've found so far:

Ernest's parents were Isaac F. Hersam (born Apr 1827 in Maine) and Mary O. Hersam (born Aug 1831 in New Hampshire). All of Ernest's siblings were born in Massachusetts and they include: Ida E. (abt 1851), Lizzie M. (Nov 1855), and Harry E. (abt 1860).

My known ancestors include:
Richard Horne Hersam - born 9 Dec 1906 in Stoneham, MA
George Alexander Hersam - born 16 Oct 1878 in Stoneham, MA
Reuben Morrell Hersam - born 7 Aug 1832 in Waterville, ME
Daniel Hersom - born 16 Oct 1802 in Lebanon, ME
Samuel Hersom - born abt 1763 in Lebanon, ME

It looks like the Hersams originally started in Lebanon, Maine and then moved down to Stoneham, Massachusetts. Hopefully I can connect these 2 different lines.

June 30, 2006

"Net Results"...an Inspiring Story

I recently found this story shared by Kathy Crawford in the Ensign, February 2004.

I never knew my father nor had I ever seen a picture of him. All I knew about him was the information on my birth certificate: his name, Wharton Kinsey Gray Jr.; where he was born; his age; and his occupation—salesman. When I was in college, I received a letter from the Social Security Administration informing me that he had died. After that, I felt that the chances of ever finding out anything about him or his ancestors had died with him.

In December 1998 I was baptized and became the only Latter-day Saint in my family. I knew family history was something I was supposed to do, but I didn’t know how to proceed. It was several years before I finally learned the names of my paternal grandparents and more about my father—that he had been hospitalized with schizophrenia shortly after I was born.

Armed with this information, I went to the Family History Center to see what I could discover. I was able to find my grandfather in the 1920 census in Boulder, Colorado, and the record of my father’s death in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), but that was it. Over the next two years, I found much of my mother’s family history but nothing on my father’s ancestors.

Then I decided to use the Internet to look for references to my father’s family, since both he and his father had an unusual name. To my surprise, I found a Web site that had my paternal grandmother’s lineage traced back to Connecticut in the 1680s. I was thrilled, but I still had nothing on my paternal grandfather’s line.

Then one evening, one of my searches turned up a reference to a cousin whom I hadn’t heard from in 30 years. I e-mailed him. In his response, he mentioned that someone was looking for me and included the link to that Web site. When I went to it, I discovered a message that said, in part: “In search of Joyce Loutzenheiser, married Wharton Kinsey Gray. … In search of her daughter, Katherine Kinsey Gray.” I immediately sent an e-mail to the woman who had made the posting—Ruth. The next day she replied. She turned out to be my father’s first cousin. I telephoned her that afternoon and, for the first time in my life, actually spoke to someone in my father’s family.

Ruth began by telling me that she and her sister had been looking for me for 10 years. They had cleared out my grandmother’s home when she died 12 years earlier and had photographs, letters, documents, and other items that had belonged to my father and my grandmother. While Ruth had never met my father, she had known my grandmother quite well and had met my grandfather. She put me in touch with the widow of my father’s brother, who also provided information about the family.

There is no question in my mind that this happened on the Lord’s timetable. Now after my first tentative steps into the realm of family history, I have photographs of my father and his parents and grandparents. I know that my son bears a striking resemblance to his grandfather. I have learned that my father was a gifted artist, and I even have slides of his paintings. I will soon have letters that he sent to his mother and the one remaining oil painting that he did. I feel as if half of myself has been restored to me. Best of all, however, I am making a connection with family members I never knew I had.

I know that I have been given an incredible gift and that, as in the parable of the talents, it is up to me to take this gift and make it grow (see Matt. 25:14–30). There is no doubt in my mind that my father, grandparents, and many others are waiting for me to do their temple ordinance work for them. Although I never knew my father, I have been blessed to give him a priceless gift. These experiences have increased my testimony of the importance of family history and temple work and have demonstrated how great God’s love is for each of us.

And now I share a list of my great-granparents, as well as my husband's great-grandparents, in hopes of a relative finding us. I posted this once before and someone found us. :)

Leander Emil Lund (Oct 20, 1892 to Jun 14, 1925)
Ruby Lavern Fredrickson (Sep 15, 1896 to Jun 10, 1925)
Frank Ephraim Chapman (Apr 23, 1892 to Nov 21, 1918)
Birdie Sophia Blomquist (Oct 28, 1888 to Oct 9, 1954)
Lewis Mayham Sherrill (May 3, 1881 to Apr 27, 1952)
Lillian Rose Sherlock (Jan 28, 1883 to Dec 16, 1979)
Edd Reed (Aug 15, 1894 to Jun 12, 1966)
Inez Mullins (Aug 27, 1895 to Nov 15, 1919)

George Alexander Hersam (Oct 16, 1878 to Dec 9, 1960)
Mabel Worthen Horne (Dec 16, 1880 to Sep 17, 1917)
Arthur Swan Clark (Aug 9, 1880 to Mar 18, 1952)
Edith Chandler Abbott (Nov 23, 1879 to Jan 25, 1978)
Charles Bickel (Sep 12, 1870 to Feb 8, 1943)
Anna Louisa Murphy (Feb 7, 1879 to Apr 8, 1954)
Eliot Howe French (Oct 7, 1859 to Mar 17, 1929)
Elizabeth McCausland/MacAusland (Dec 15, 1871 to Mar 20, 1957)

July 5, 2005

Making Connections through the Internet

Recently I found a distant relative's email address and we started to trade information. She lives in Florida and I live in Utah. Our ancestors come from Prince Edward Island and New England. It's amazing that we even found each other living so far apart, but that is the beauty of the Internet. You can find information about almost anyone on the Internet.

This nice lady, Carol, then gave me the email address for a relative of ours still living in Canada, and I am now conversing with him too. I've received pictures and information I might not have ever found otherwise.

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John Barlow Family Picture (great-great-great grandfather right in the middle)


So to encourage the use of Internet connections, I thought I would post the 8 great-grandparents of my husband and the 8 great-grandparents of myself and see if anyone related to us will find it and make a connection.

Leander Emil Lund (Oct 20, 1892 to Jun 14, 1925)
Ruby Lavern Fredrickson (Sep 15, 1896 to Jun 10, 1925)
Frank Ephraim Chapman (Apr 23, 1892 to Nov 21, 1918)
Birdie Sophia Blomquist (Oct 28, 1888 to Oct 9, 1954)
Lewis Mayham Sherrill (May 3, 1881 to Apr 27, 1952)
Lillian Rose Sherlock (Jan 28, 1883 to Dec 16, 1979)
Edd Reed (Aug 15, 1894 to Jun 12, 1966)
Inez Mullins (Aug 27, 1895 to Nov 15, 1919)

George Alexander Hersam (Oct 16, 1878 to Dec 9, 1960)
Mabel Worthen Horne (Dec 16, 1880 to Sep 17, 1917)
Arthur Swan Clark (Aug 9, 1880 to Mar 18, 1952)
Edith Chandler Abbott (Nov 23, 1879 to Jan 25, 1978)
Charles Bickel (Sep 12, 1870 to Feb 8, 1943)
Anna Louisa Murphy (Feb 7, 1879 to Apr 8, 1954)
Eliot Howe French (Oct 7, 1859 to Mar 17, 1929)
Elizabeth McCausland/MacAusland (Dec 15, 1871 to Mar 20, 1957)

June 25, 2005

World GenWeb

After reading about the World GenWeb as one of the top websites used by professional genealogists, I decided to try it out. It was definitely worth the effort. I found loads of information on an ancestral line I've been stuck on for a year. I have had trouble finding information on my husband's Canadian relatives, but I hit the jackpot with this website.

The WorldGenWeb Project is a world-wide volunteer group of genealogists sharing their information. When I went to this site, I clicked on North America first, and then decided to try the Canada GenWeb just for kicks. Our ancestors come from Prince Edward Island (PEI), so I clicked on that location and then went to PEI Lineages.

My husband has 2 sets of great-great-great grandparents all raised in PEI. This lineage section then let me search for each surname and 3 out of the 4 of them were listed on this site. I found lists of Barlows and Ramsays who lived in PEI that were all related to our relatives. I then was able to email each of the genealogists who posted this information and have already received a few pictures from a nice lady named Carol.

I highly recommend the use of this website and I have these 2 pictures to prove it works.

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The Barlow mansion in PEI belonging to John Barlow, born in England in 1808...moved to Prince Edward Island in 1832.

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