Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy Father's Day Mom... and Grandma!

I saw this just this morning and it hit like a ton of bricks… and brought back a quick memory:
When I was young (about 1-3rd grade), mom & dad divorced... At the time my grandparents were in South America serving a mission for the LDS/Mormon Church. My grandma ended up coming home because my grandfather had passed away trying to get home for treatment... he literally passed away while on the plane sitting on the tarmac and had to be removed and taken to a coroner in Peru.
My grandmother ended up coming home alone and waiting for my grandfather to arrive for burial in Ohio. 
At the same time, my mother's divorce got to it's final stages... we packed up our apartment in New York and traveled back home (my mother's home state) to Ohio... there, my mother and grandmother purchased a home together on Hanley Road.  A cute little two bedroom... mom & grandma shared a room, Jodi and I shared the other and my brother got nearly the whole basement with a little shower room and laundry room :}
One day while shopping, I was between mom & grandma and we were talking about our new living arrangement to which I made some comment about "I have a mom & dad... but grandma is kind of my dad"!!  This made mom & grandma laugh and they paused and looked at me with the expression of "why would you say something like that".  And in my silly little girl thinking I was not at all disappointed about not having dad around anymore... cause my grandma just stepped up and began parenting me... like a dad!!
Now my grandma was a tough lady and she didn't put up "with no CRAP" from her grandchildren!  So I understood that even though my mom was a good disciplinarian, I knew grandma was gonna be even more "expecting" of us and our behavior!
So I agree with the meme:  My mom was pulling double duty... and so was my grandmother!!!!!!!!!
My grandmother was also raising her brother and sister at the same time she had two little kids of her own, due to the death of her own mother.  Then at the time she should have retired and relaxed... she raised her daughter's three children... AND THEN she did it again and raised her grandson's two kids!!!!!!!
So my grandma raised 4 sets of kids and my mom raised two sets!!!  So technically they didn't do double duty, it's like quadruple duty or whatever the word is for 2 X 4!!  Necessity... and doing whatever it takes to raise good kids, and my mom & grandma DO DESERVE to be praised on Father's Day... for they were both "Pulling Double Duty".
          Happy Father's Day Mom & Grandma!  You did an outstanding job!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

They are MINE...

I have always felt "something" when thinking of the Jewish Holocaust, the Jewish people.

On my LDS mission {1981-82} I attended Synagogue occasionally and even one of their study groups.  This was 10 years before Schindler's List was released {1993}.

It wasn't until 2002 that I discovered some Bogner's had all died in the same place in Hungary and wondered WHY?????   Research found Gakowa, the Hungarian death camp... My heart felt ripped out and though these Bogners were hard to connect to MY line of descent... they all came from the same area in Austria/Hungary {Banat}... the area my line came from.  Somehow this began to make sense... The Holocaust was not just heartbreaking for me because I felt bad for the Jews, but because I was connected!

About 2012 I took a DNA test and now there's even more proof of connectedness.  My "European Jewish" is 2%... I realize that is not much, but it does show what I've felt all along... since 1981, They are mine... they are mine :}

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My Little Goldmine!

Well it finally happened.  I was "playing on Facebook" when a post from one of the genealogy sites came up.  It was a map of the United States, quite colorful... and the header was something about Newspaper sites... so I clicked on it.  It came up with some cities within Ohio and I scrolled down to see if there was anything from Mansfield... where I was born, NOTHING.  So I scrolled further and went looking for Zanesville... and there it was.  There was a link for an 1897 Newspaper so I clicked on it and searched for BOOZ.  The second hit was this article dated 18 November, 1897 from the Weekly Signal, page 3 column 7:

Death date:  15 November, 1897

I got to the first line and read "Mrs. Anna M. Booz" and my eyes scanned just below where Charles Booz was mentioned and KNEW I had found what I've been searching for since 2008!  Mercy Ann VanHorn-Booz.  I couldn't read the rest of the article for 10 minutes because I was absolutely sobbing and grateful!  Now I know she died in Ohio and the date of her death!  Now I'm sure that she had NOT gone back to Pennsylvania and passed away there.  She was last known alive in 1896 when she appeared in the Zanesville City Directory... but all that meant was that she was still living when it was published... or at least while the information for the directory was being gathered... which could have been as early as 1895!  I couldn't find her alive on the 1900 Census... so I had about a 5 year window to find her death... but she could have died anywhere.  I actually found an Anna Booz who died in Washington DC, but was buried in Pennsylvania and she fit the birth year and the approximate death timeframe... but after more searching I found it wasn't her... 

I searched Death Indexes for Booz... nothing on her, I even searched variant spellings... nothing.  So I searched just Anna in the time frame mentioned... NOTHING, NOTHING ,NOTHING!!!  So now that I have an actual obituary, I went back and looked and there is REALLY NO RECORD of her death in the Ohio archives either in Muskingum (checked when I was there in 2012) and nothing in the online indexes!!  Even after knowing for sure when she died!

Now I'm getting greedy after finding the above article, I want even more.  The above article was found on a Saturday morning while Greg was out of town... and because I was so emotionally overwhelmed with this new find, and not familiar with the website I found it on... I wanted to know if there was another article that would reveal who she was the daughter of, and her burial spot.... yes, I'm greedy that way. I also describe myself as a "pit-bull" when it comes to getting what I want in Family History.

So on the Tuesday following the Saturday find I went back to the newspaper the above article was found in and YES, I had missed the fact that within the same newspaper was another article about "Booz".  

On page 4, column 1 of the same date as the above article... was THIS article:

Oh my gosh.... now I know where she's buried, and it's where I thought she was all along!!!  In the same cemetery as her son John Booz.  I am just assuming that Charles, her husband, is buried there as well... In 2012 while visiting the Wesley Union Cemetery in White Cottage, Ohio, I wondered why John was buried in this cemetery when most of the siblings are in the Greenwood Cemetery in Zanesville proper... I wondered if he chose this cemetery because it was where his father had been buried... 

What I still didn't know on that Tuesday was WHO her parents were.  For that... it would take a few more days of searching.  I then entered the name VanHorn in the search field and this article showed up:

This confirms she is the daughter of Arthur VanHorn & Lydia Featherby!!!  ALL questions are now answered, almost... but then I am a "greedy pit-bull"  :}

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Tree

So I've seen these online many times and basically disobeyed one of the 10 Commandments "Thou Shalt Not Covet".  When my mom passed away she left a tiny inheritance for each of her three children and after spending a bit of money on the kitchen remodel, I had about $150.00 left over.  It sat in my drawer for nearly 9 months (no, I don't keep money in the house, but I did have this little wad).  So I kept trying to think of ways to spend it on something Mom would enjoy… and finally I thought about the trees I've been looking at for awhile… so I decided this is how the rest of the money would be spent.

The tree alone was $150… it's vinyl and the lady who created it lives in China.  I asked her to extend the trunk by 1 foot since it wasn't tall enough to go from baseboard to ceiling.  I already had the oval frames… they are SO AWESOME.  Yes, they are plastic and I bought them at the $1 store a few years ago… I bought a bunch, then when I went back, all they had were the GOLD colored ones but I bought them anyway and thought I could spray paint them black with Krylon's plastic paint.  So lest you think the most expensive part of the tree is the frames… NO NO.  You'd never guess they're plastic… even up close :}.   The Gold colored ones didn't paint up completely, but have a little bit of gold showing through on the filigree in the frame… SO PRETTY!

The wall is 8' tall and 10' wide.  Here's the tree before frames:

And with all the frames:

The most fun is watching my 3 year old granddaughter & 2 year old grandson look at the tree and say "My Family"!!!  I even get the step-ladder out so they can see the ones at the top!

I am a happy girl, and I think mommy would love it and think it was money well-spent.

Monday, September 7, 2015

An Epiphany… my light bulb moment!

My Last Entry here was just weeks before Connor’s death in Taiwan {Aug 22, 2014} while serving a mission for the LDS church.  I haven’t felt the desire to blog, nor felt that anything was of value to share… until now!

      On August 30th 2015, we had a special Priesthood / Relief Society / Young Men / Young Women meeting in our 3rd hour of meetings.  {for you not of the LDS faith, it’s a combined meeting of Men, Women and youth age 12-18}.  It was mostly about Sabbath Day observance, but also some sprinkling of Family and Family History in there as well.

      David A Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke (In a video) of how to help families be happy at home.  He quoted Boyd K. Packer:  “Our ultimate purpose… is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father.” 

      “In the Saviors Restored church on the earth today MULTI-GENERATIONAL families are a primary source of spiritual strength and continuity.”  ~~David A Bednar

We watched a video as he spoke:
“A tree begins as a small seed that germinates and begins to grow and becomes a small tree.  This, we often refer to as a small seedling.  Over a period of time a young seedling develops into a mature tree and produces seeds that fall to the forest floor.  As conditions are right, the new seeds germinate, begin to grow… and the cycle is renewed.  Interestingly, growing trees are nourished in part by the nutrients re-deposited into the soil by older and dead trees.  In a similar way, multi-generational families provide the spiritual nourishment and stability that greatly increases the likelihood of sustained faithfulness across the generations.” ~~David A Bednar

      This video brought to mind a quote from an obituary of one of my ancestors in 1908, it reads: 
      “She was a true believer in God and His power to save.”  This woman was not of the LDS faith… but nonetheless was a true believer in God… AND His power to save.  The heritage of faith in my ancestry puts me in awe!  Especially when, after studying their lives and documenting their journey through it, I realize that their lives were just as hard… if not harder than my own… and they still held to their faith in God!  I want to be just like her… YEARS later, have someone read my obituary or life story and say:  Gosh, she was strong… I want to be just like her.

      Some have commented about me or my family who were within the LDS faith, and even those NOT of the LDS faith who I come in contact with while working in Salt Lake City… Oh you’re so strong, how do you get through this.  I grin as I envision one immigrant from Cuba who looks at me and just shakes his head… trying to understand why I am not a pile of “jello on the floor”… all weepy and completely a mess!  I will explain as best I can in a minute…

      That same night after the Sunday School presentation, I watched my favorite show: Who Do You Think You Are… this one featuring Tom Bergeron.  One of his quotes epitomizes my feelings about Family History:

“It’s not an intellectual exercise… it’s an emotional experience.” ~~Tom Bergeron

Isn’t that so true, isn’t that what we all feel when we study the lives of our ancestors?  Whether you know it or not… you ARE emotionally connected to those who’ve come before!  And it’s the reason today for this blog… I wish to share some deep feelings about my 4th great grandmother and her influence in my life.

Tom Bergeron stated in the segment, memorialized in this meme: 

“Someone dead for over 300 years, if you’re willing to listen, can teach you things about what you are doing now.”  

      When he said that, my heart was touched and I knew EXACTLY where that extra strength had come from during our grieving of Connor!  YES, I have a testimony of Jesus Christ, of his Father and MY Father… His restored Gospel.  I have a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and what it means to me and how it has application in my life… but I needed more… and it was there!  I just didn’t know it until the presentation in Sunday School and the segment on Who Do You Think You Are that it all came together that night… it all makes sense now…

      Let me tell you how…  My 4th great grandmother is Mercy Ann VanHorn.  She married Charles Booz about 1836 and began having children quickly and in rapid succession… a child every other year… for 30 years!  Yes, she was the mother of 15 children!!  12 of those children lived to marry, 3 of them died at varying times in their childhood.

Mercy Ann’s life shows some traits of physical and mental strength … as well as some spiritual strength.  She endured what, at the time, was a long journey from Pennsylvania to Ohio about 1839.  She was probably pregnant with her second child Amanda, at the time!  She lived through the Civil War, with her son (John) serving in that war.  She moved from Springfield Township to Newton Township in September of 1868 and only 4 years later lost her husband Charles to death.  His cause of death was “Apoplexy”, a term for what would now be referred to as sudden death.  This could have been a stroke, heart attack or any other cause that would be quick.  Since it was quick, it was probably shocking to Mercy Ann.  Her youngest child, Cora Belle, was not yet 5 years old when he died.

Mercy Ann also endured much sickness within her family.  On the 1880 Census, Lulu (aka) Louisa, had consumption also known as tuberculosis.  This disease seemed to have played a part in attacking this family.  Louisa survived it and went on to marry and have 5 children.  Another daughter, Amanda, contracted the disease as well and died from it in 1892. Within months Mercy’s son John also contracted the disease and died from it in 1893 and then Amanda’s daughter Lilly also died from it only months after her mother and uncle.  Mercy was “exposed” to TB at least three times, but more likely 5 times.  What mother wouldn’t visit a sick child (Amanda and John) while they lay dying?  Louisa lived with Mercy Ann in 1880 and Lilly lived with her in 1893. 

At the point in her life that we still know she was alive, Mercy Ann had lost a total of 6 children, and her husband!!  The most recent deaths culminated a series of deaths that occurred within a span of 8 months of loved ones close to Mercy Ann.  Her daughter Amanda died 21 Nov, 1892… Her son John died 29 Mar, 1893 and her granddaughter Lilly (Amanda’s daughter) died 16 Jul 1893.  Mercy Ann lived at least another 3 years!  I could hardly imagine her grief as I studied her hard life and I had great respect and reverence for her.  HOW, I wondered, could I love someone so much who died more than 160 years before I was even born??? 

I studied and found all these facts long before Connor’s death… and he knew about the discoveries as I shared them with him.

I love her, I love that her children attended church, raised good, God-fearing families who loved their families and from all accounts had happy and successful marriages for generations (except her youngest child whose marriage sadly ended in divorce, through no fault of her own).  It’s amazing to me that she raised that many children, and did it for the last 24 years of her life without a spouse living to help financially or physically.  Good Grief!!!  She was a tough chic!

So now I watch the “multi-generational” video by Elder Bednar, then I watch the segment with Tom Bergeron and his quote ”Someone dead for over 300 years… if you are willing to listen, can teach you things about what you’re doing now.”  and I come to the conclusion, I am NOT doing this by myself!!  I am not “left alone”!!  I have my “Father” and my Savior, my family, my church family, my friends and yes, even those “family” members… my “multiple-generational family” on the other side of the veil, who firmly declare to me… “YOU can do this”, “you can do hard things”… and I’ve shown you HOW!

God bless them for their strength and for sharing it with me!  I love you all so much!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Exciting New Find

Doing some research for a friend.  However, that research takes me to England and I'm not as familiar with England as the U.S. and until a month or so ago, only has the U.S. version of  So I went back to the research to see what else might be out there.  I got a little further… but this time I also included researching in  I use it frequently and almost as much as, but  THIS find was truly receiving help from the other side of the veil!

We know that Matilda Barbara Coggins married a John Oakes and that after his death in 1862 she married a man with the surname of Brown because she bore a son named David Brown who was born in 1864.  However, the name of David's father had not been known to the family probably since David was born.

I searched the surname of Brown (VERY common name) so I wasn't sure if anything might be found, added that the name of the wife was Matilda Barbara and left the surname blank as I was not sure how it might be indexed with a maiden name or her married surname.

What came up was a Hamilton Brown married to a Matilda Barbara Parkes… I ALMOST dismissed it, but the year time frame was right, so I thought what the heck.  The one that came up in Family Search was the transcribed text from the original document… it didn't have a digital version to view.

When I did find the digital version:

This is what was learned from looking at the actual document:
The person who wrote down Matilda Barbara's name must have HEARD Parkes, but if you look at where Matilda actually signed her OWN name… it's clearly OAKES.

We knew her maiden name was Coggins, but not who her parents were as she was not living with them in 1841.  But adding to the validation that this is "OUR Matilda" was the fact that THIS Matilda on the document has a father James Coggins… matching her maiden name.  So she WAS using her married surname on the document, but the secretary wrote it wrong, thus the transcriber transcribed it incorrectly.

We also NOW KNOW the name of David Brown's father:  Hamilton.
Also revealed is the name of the fathers of both Hamilton and Matilda… and David Brown appears to have been named after his grandfather, whose name was David Brown.

Matilda's father was James Coggins.  Both have occupations for the fathers are listed so this will help the research as we begin the next generation back.

How exciting to share this with Marcie… I called her after 9pm when I found it…. she was THRILLED and so was I!

Never assume that something is not the right document based on the transcription only… LOOK for the digital version and let your own eyes and heart decide if the document and information belongs to YOUR family!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


So the State vs. Frank VanHorn…

While trying to narrow down the marriage date a few years ago… I got closer and closer to their wedding date and then found THIS article dated April 24, 1914.  Guess this narrows it down a bit!!

Wow… a $15 fine… good Behavior?  Yikes!