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!

Friday, March 21, 2014

My Grandma & Grandpa Smith's address in Peekskill, New York… 11 Gallows Hill Road…
While I was a kid, I never knew the significance of the name of the road.  Years later I came to understand … tonight I looked up HOW it got it's name … now I know:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

New Evidence....

         For the first time in a while, the information below really is stumping me.  When I wrote the book {The Booz In Our Blood}, I had 4 source records for Elsie Virginia Skinner-Huntsman… she is my 2nd cousin 3 times removed.

         The Sources were the Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 
and 3 Obituaries:
News Journal, Mansfield, Ohio, Saturday, December 18, 1965
News Journal, Mansfield, Ohio, Sunday, December 19, 1965
The Times Recorder, Zanesville, Ohio, Sunday, December 19, 1965

         I thought this was pretty good EVIDENCE. 

         Well “think again”!  This week I got an email via Find A Grave regarding a death certificate for Elsie Virginia Skinner-Huntsman {}  from Cheryl Behrend (#39733792).

Though Elsie’s original records when the memorial was created show Elsie’s death as occurring in Ohio, Cheryl sent this update:

Elsie Virginia Huntsman, "West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999"
Name:         Elsie Virginia Huntsman
Event Date:         17 Dec 1965
Event Place:         Newell, Hancock, West Virginia
Gender:         Female
Age (Expanded):         62 years
Birth Date:         06 Jun 1903
Marital Status:         Married
Spouse's Name:        
Father's Name:         Wm. J. Skinner
Father's Birthplace:        
Mother's Name:        
Mother's Birthplace:        
Occupation:         Housewife
Residence Place:         Mansfield, Richland, OH
Burial Place:         Mansfield, Oh
Burial Date:         20 Dec 1965
GS Film number:         858763
Digital Folder Number:         4229959
Image Number:         441
Affiliate Repository Type:         County Records
Reference ID:         Dist. 150, Ser. 300

         My reply to Cheryl:
RE: Regarding Elsie Virginia Skinner-Huntsman
How very unusual... how did you come upon this certificate as I hadn't even THOUGHT to look in WV since there was the Ohio death record and 3 obits?

It IS her, it does say that there was NO AUTOPSY performed on the WV certificate... but on this OHIO document it says there was:

Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 about Elsie V Huntsman
Name: Elsie V Huntsman
Birth Date: 1903
Gender: Female
Race: White
Residence County: Richland
Residence State: Ohio
Residence Country: United States
Death Date: 17 Dec 1965
Hospital of Death: Public - Other
Certificate: 02095
Age at Death: 62
Certifier: Physician
Autopsy: Yes, used for certification
Marital Status: Married

Since Ohio Death Certificates are online FREE until 1958, anything later than 1958 would need to be ordered through Vital Check… as this cost is in excess of $30 and Elsie is a collateral line and not my direct line ancestor… I’m opting out as I already have a West Virginia Death Certificate.

Since this document was from, I can only copy the text for you.

ALSO there are 3 obituaries published and 2 say she died in East Liverpool, one says Lisbon, Ohio. Obits should not be part of the memorial... so I can't post them there for you to see.

I checked and East Liverpool is just 5.5 miles from the Racetrack where she died. I wonder if she was issued a WV Death certificate in that State, then taken to the East Liverpool hospital for an autopsy and this is what registered the OHIO Death record.

Now I wonder if the family was probably told she died where the autopsy was done to "Hide" the fact she was at a Race Track .... and betting? 

Thank you Cheryl for finding this record to add to our The Booz In Our Blood book files.....

Friday, August 9, 2013

Family History and Pioneers.

        I don’t have early pioneers in my heritage… but I do have Grandma Jane… 

I have something near and dear to my heart.  I don’t even know what it’s called, but I spent many hours with my grandmother sticking apples in the top and with a wooden pestle and a tripod of legs {neither of which I have today} we would spend hours squishing apples through these little holes {skin and all… which I later learned is why our applesauce was red}.

My grandmother was not a wealthy woman and other than her engagement ring that is broken and tarnished… this is my only other inheritance from her………..

Before they joined the church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Grandpa George and Grandma Jane had some severe hardships… we have many photos of them… none of which Grandpa was ever smiling!

By 1940, Jane not only was raising two little children, but now had inherited her two siblings as well.  Her father died when Jane was only 14… and now her mother had died leaving her brother and sister orphans… Jane and George took them in and raised them.  Grandma Jane was now raising 2 families.  She was barely 21 years old!

When Rex Erwin, their forth child, was born in 1944… he had a hair lip and cleft palate… doctors told Jane and George to take him home and let him die!  Back then surgery to fix this birth defect was just in it’s infancy.  Because George made a decent living, He was able to afford a high quality surgeon for his son's cleft palate.  Today Rex is still living and quite healthy.

         One day she offered a prayer for her son Kenneth to stop smoking, when promptly after her prayer… the missionaries appeared at her door.  They returned to share the same message with Grandpa George… they both joined and it changed their lives and the lives of their descendants forever!

         One year after joining the church George and Jane and their 14 year old son traveled from Ohio to Salt Lake City to be sealed in the temple.  They returned to Ohio and for another year or so they continued to meet in Downtown Mansfield in the upper floor of a store for Sacrament meeting.

         Since George was a master carpenter and had built many homes and businesses in the area, Grandpa was the natural choice to hire to build a new building to meet in.  It was just down the street from the German Apostolic Church building his own father built.  While showing the inside of the building, which was not yet completed, Great Grandpa stepped backwards and off the 2nd story balcony… falling to his death.  Great Grandpa & Grandma Bogner were pioneers of their own family and had immigrated from Austria/Hungary in the early 1900’s.  They brought with them the skills of carpentry and upholstery and set out to make a living for themselves in that field.

         My grandfather’s special tool (I called it a compass, but I’m sure it was some kind of surveying tool) was lost by his granddaughter down the drain of the baptismal font in the Mansfield Ward building… I still have special memories of how upset he was… and yet so compassionate with a little girl who was just playing with grandpas “toy”.  I was only 3 at the time.

When the building was complete it was dedicated by then General Authority, Harold B. Lee (future president of the church). Bro. Lee went back to Salt Lake and told the brethren that George was the person they needed to go to South America and build chapels.

         Barely 6 years after joining the church… George and Jane accepted the call to serve a 3-year building mission in South America. 

They left on their mission sometime in early 1964... They sold everything... including their home to finance their 3-year stay. During their time in South America, he built and repaired chapels in Porto Alegre, Brazil; Arica, Chile; and Soa Palo, Brazil and in other areas of South America. George became ill towards the end of his mission in 1967, and went to a doctor near the town of Porto Alegre in Brazil. It was determined he should go home immediately. On the plane, before it even left the runway, George Passed away... Jane was left with George until the coroner from Peru came and filled out the paperwork.

Jane came to back to Ohio after Grandpa’s death and My mother came back from New York after a divorce… and the two of them created a home for myself and my brother and sister… thus Grandma Jane began raising a 3rd family! 

Years later, as the 3 children grew Grandma Jane made sure she had her car warmed up and ready to go on bitter cold winter mornings to take all of us to Early Morning Seminary.  Over a span of 8 years, driving 40 minute round trip, 5 days a week, all 3 of us attained Grandma Jane’s goal and graduated from Seminary…

As we grew she helped send me on a mission (the first full-time proselyting missionary in our family).  My brother married and had two children, and my sister married in the Salt Lake Temple and moved to Utah.

My brother would divorce and have custody of his two children… and Grandma Jane began raising her 4th family… her great grandchildren.  How she lived to the age of 82, I’ll never know!

George and Jane gave they’re all and then some... Photos before they joined the church show 2 somber individuals… never smiling in the photos.  Photos AFTER they joined the church are quite different, mostly smiles.  I would have never discovered this gem of knowledge if it weren’t for my work in Family History.  It is amazing to see a physical change in their appearance after their baptisms.  They certainly were pioneers… giving up most of their families, selling all they had, leaving for a mission soon after joining the church… then dying while giving their all… Like the early pioneers, NEVER ONCE in all the time living with my grandma did she EVER complain about the sacrifices they made… in fact, she lovingly spoke of their time together building the kingdom in South America. 

Their descendants have a rich heritage... Our heritage and legacy lies in those who've come before us... They gave us the foundation of the Gospel to build on.

         My mom and Grandmother instilled in us the desire to do right, to obey the Gospel principles… I don’t remember them EVER  PREACHING this to us, they just did it by example!

         One of those examples was doing Family History… of course that was back in the day when the genealogy papers were strewn all over the kitchen table, the top of the dishwasher and even a little card table on the side.  These women were SERIOUS!!

         When I watched them, I was curious, but not too interested in joining in.  I didn’t “roll my eyes”, but I didn’t have much of a desire to research on my own, though I did enjoy the “genealogy trips” many of which were to Zanesville and to Athens, Ohio.

         There came a time when I felt the need to know more, so I got out the genealogy and family history stuff and started studying it.  What I realized was that there were just a bunch of names and dates… almost all of which were NOT sourced.  I had NO IDEA where mom & grandma got this information.  So I set out on a journey to document everything.

         What I came to know was that the work they did was extremely accurate… but I came to know for MYSELF who my ancestors were.  I came to know why I have some strengths, most of them inherited from grandparents & great grandparents.

         I came to know my ancestors and still am meeting new ones.  One is Mercy Ann VanHorn, my 4th great grandmother.    She married Charles Booz.   In 1838 they set out for Ohio from Pennsylvania leaving everything behind them…   She began giving birth to children in 1837 and had one child every TWO years… her last child being born in 1867…   30 years after her first child was born… YES, she was the mother of 15 children!!!!

         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.  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.  Her husband died in 1872, Since he died of “apoplexy”, a term for sudden death, 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.  In 1869, Esther Ann, her 7th child, died.  On the 1880 Census, Louisa, is shown to have had consumption also known as tuberculosis.  This disease seemed to have played a part in attacking this family. Another daughter, Amanda, contracted the disease as well and died from it in 1892. Within months Mercy Ann’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 Ann was “exposed” to TB five times and  lived on at least another 3 years after having watched 6 of her children and a granddaughter die.

         Her strength in pioneering a new life in Ohio has had a lasting effect on me as I have done her temple work and studied her descendants…

Nearly seven years before the pioneer exodus to the mountains of Utah, William Clayton wrote to his fellow Saints in England, urging them to come to Zion, not realizing that Zion would soon be in wagons and handcarts moving west. He wrote: “Although we are … distant from each other I do not forget you. … But to the praise of God be it spoken, all I have endured has never hurt or discouraged me, but done me good. … We have sometimes been almost suffocated with heat…, sometimes almost froze with cold. We have had to sleep on boards, instead of feathers. … We have had our clothes wet through with no privilege of drying them or changing them, … had to sleep … out of doors, in very severe weather, and many such things which you [have] no idea of. … [Yet] we have been … healthy & cheerful. … If you will be faithful, you have nothing to fear from the journey. The Lord will take care of his saints.” 1 CLOSED QUOTE

William Clayton would later pen the lyrics to “Come, Come, Ye Saints” (Hymns, no. 30) during the trek across Iowa. He and a host of others would learn even more intimately during the 1,300-mile exodus to Utah that there is “nothing to fear from the journey” if faith is your constant companion.

In his talk  “You Have Nothing to Fear from the Journey”  in April Conference in 1997, Elder M. Russell Ballard asked this question:
Is there a lesson in the pioneer experience for us today? I believe there is. The faith that motivated the pioneers of 1847 as well as pioneers in other lands and other times… was a simple faith centered in the basic doctrines of the restored gospel, which they knew to be true. That’s all that mattered to them, and I believe that is all that should matter to us. Our faith needs to be focused on the fundamental truths that God lives, that we are His children, and that Jesus Christ is His Only Begotten Son and He is our Savior. We need to know that they restored the Church to the earth in its fulness through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  CLOSED QUOTE

The path of the modern-day pioneer may look different, but it is no less difficult, I watched my grandparents do it and I watch my mother do it as a single mom… it presented hardships and required sacrifice, perseverance, and faith.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell has said, “… Church members did not become inactive while crossing the plains, when the sense of belonging and being needed was so profound.” 7 CLOSED QUOTE

Francis Webster, a member of the Martin Company, stated, “Everyone of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities.” CLOSED QUOTE (David O. McKay, “Pioneer Women,” Relief Society Magazine, Jan. 1948, p. 8.)

         What a powerful statement… do our “extremities” turn us away or make us bitter… or will you, like your pioneer forbears… come to an absolute knowledge that God lives, that this is His gospel, and that Jesus IS the Christ.

I hope that this priceless legacy of faith left by the pioneers of your family will inspire all of you to more fully participate in the Savior’s work of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of his children. And to provide the Temple Work through Family History to make that blessing available to all your ancestors.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ohio Research trip ~~ Mansfield portion

(~~) symbol means that I’ve left out the Last name for privacy.

               The trip to Ohio began about a year or more ago.  I figured I’d make a trip to Ohio in the Spring of 2012 to deliver the book The Booz In Our Blood to the Muskingum County Public Library or the McIntire Library as it is known.  Rose Ellen (~~) works at the library occasionally and she has been a HUGE help in finding documents relating to the family in Muskingum County.

               With the death of Greg’s mother in November of 2011, Christmas and all the other things that led up to trying to finish the book for Christmas, I fell behind in the editing of the book and the deadline loomed closer and closer.  Finally Greg said I should probably NOT try to finish the book for Christmas 2011, but put it off for closer to Spring.  When I did that, Matt Bogner and Amy Bogner (my 1st cousins) posted on Facebook that there would be a family reunion at Loudonville at Matt’s campsite the first weekend in August.  Oh, I wanted to go, but couldn’t afford to do the Spring trip and another in August.  Just then the thought came if I put the trip off till August, I could have more time to complete the book and go to Ohio in August instead of the Spring!  And everything began to feel very comfortable!!

               In April of 2011 a “new cousin” contacted me via (see June 12, 2012 entry for details).  A few weeks later I asked Sharon if she’d like to join me in Ohio for a few days and attend a family reunion and that I’d try to get her to be able to visit as many Bogner’s as I could.  When she agreed, I posted on Facebook that I’d attend and Sharon was invited to come.

               On August 3rd, 2012 I left Springville to return home to Ohio.  This was to be a 10 day trip with 3 family reunions. 

               I arrived at the airport in Akron/Canton about 3:30… Sharon had flown in from Florida and arrived sometime before noon, poor thing had to wait for me!  I found her, we hugged and felt like we’d known each other for YEARS!!  We got the car from the rental company and began heading south to Mansfield, Ohio.  Boy Ohio sure has changed, I bet Sharon didn’t think I had ever lived there as I could hardly navigate my way through all the new streets and new overpasses!

               The Bogner Family Reunion in Loudonville was hosted by Robin and Matt Bogner on August 4th.   Matt is my 1st cousin. Sharon (~~) was also there to visit with her cousin Rex (my uncle), this was their first meeting in Sharon's 72 years!  We first went to eat at the Der Dutchman, an Amish run restaurant in the heart of Amish country in Berlin, Ohio.  Oh my gosh, I forgot how beautiful the rolling hills of Ohio are!  From lunch we went to a craft store and Sharon and I fell in love with some Amish artwork by Billy Jacobs.  I purchased “Grandma’s House”
and Sharon purchased one as well by Billy, but I can’t remember which one.  We then needed to be on our way to the reunion so we headed towards Uncle Rex’s van, only to realize that he’d locked his keys in the ignition!!  Well I guess we WOULD have time to go to the antique mall next door after all.  While Uncle Rex waited for AAA, Sharon and I walked each row of the antique store.  I found a wonderful oval bowl, but couldn’t bring myself to buy it.  I worried about it breaking on the trip home and also didn’t want to spend too much money in one spot since I was only in my 2nd day of a 10 day trip.  I was really hoping to find some kind of treasure when I got to Zanesville.

               AAA got there and off we were to Loudonville to visit with all the Bogners, mostly descendants of my grandparents George Bogner Jr. and Jane Elizabeth Wooley-Bogner.  There were friends of cousins there as well and of course Sharon, daughter of Frank Christ Bogner (Brother of George Bogner Jr.).

               After this long day Uncle Rex drove us back to our Bed & Breakfast.
               Up again early on Sunday the 5th to attend church in my old LDS home Ward… the building my Grandfather George Bogner Jr. built.  Introduced Sharon all around and attended the Fast & Testimony meeting the first hour. 
 We then took more photos of the building outside and a few more inside.  We left and headed up to the Apostolic Christian Church. 
This building was built by my Great Grandfather George Bogner Sr.  He is Sharon’s grandfather.  We got to the building and though there were 2 cars in the parking lot, we could not find anyone inside the building to ask questions of.  The building was unlocked and we went in with the hopes of asking someone if we could take photos.  When no one was found, we did take photos.  Including this one of Sharon and Uncle Rex on the balcony from which their grandfather George Bogner Sr. fell and was killed during the construction of the building.  Aunt Evelyn is on the main floor.

Supposedly he was showing some folks the balcony which was not yet finished and did not have the railing up yet.  When he took a step backwards, and fell over the edge.    This building is just about ½ mile from the LDS building his son George Jr. would build only a few years after his father passed away from the fall.

               We were treated to dinner by Uncle Rex and Aunt Evelyn and then tried to see if we could meet up with more Bogners… it just didn’t work out.  So we took Sharon around a bit and then it was time to visit Aunt Lydia.
               We headed up to the Care Facility that Aunt Lydia now lives in.  Please understand that this meeting with Aunt Lydia (she was my great aunt, but that's what we called her growing up) was wonderful… more wonderful than can be expressed here with words.  Lydia is the SISTER of Sharon's FATHER... the father she never knew! Aunt Lydia is now the only living child left of my Great Grandparents George Bogner Jr. and Theresia Grauer-Bogner.  Our purpose in visiting with Aunt Lydia was to get some answers for Sharon about her father. We were not even sure if Aunt Lydia knew of Sharon's existence since Sharon was a family secret. Even my mother and grandmother knew only that there was a baby born!!   Because this meeting turned into something very sacred and special and due to the fact that Aunt Lydia was a very proper lady and always well kept, photos will not be shared here or on Facebook.  I only wish you all could have been there to witness how special this really was.

               Sharon is 72 (I know she doesn't look it), and Lydia is 92. This was their first meeting in over 72 years!!  Sharon enjoyed her visit as well as Uncle Rex, Aunt Evelyn and myself.  Many of Sharon’s questions were answered… but that only raised more questions.  Some of them might never be answered.  Another of Aunt Lydia’s friend’s showed up to visit with her.  I explained who we were and the importance of this meeting in the hallway with her.  She was so gracious to let us continue our visit with Aunt Lydia.  She promised to send  (and already has), the story of how Aunt Lydia was the first Civilian Patient to receive Pennicillin in the U.S. (Story for another blog).

               From there we rambled around a bit again and then Sharon and I decided that we were extremely tired!  So we thanked Uncle Rex and Aunt Evelyn for their gracious hospitality and told them we just needed to get some rest.  Both of us wanted to get our heads back on and figure out how we wanted to spend the last few hours together and the next day (Monday) since we weren’t going to be together the whole day, but would split up… me to go to Zanesville for the night and she to head to Ada to see a cousin of hers with other genealogy goals to accomplish.

               We got back to the Old Stone House and sat in the family room going over our genealogy when the owners of the home asked if we’d like some homemade ice cream… well certainly!  We gobbled that up and Sharon went for some water out of the fridge.  I decided to open my email and see what I’d missed the last few days.  It was about 8:30 Ohio time and when I opened the inbox, there was an email stating in the subject line:  FRANK CHRIST BOGNER.  I thought that was weird as I was WITH Sharon and didn’t recognize the name of the sender.  I opened it and began reading while Sharon was talking with the B&B owners.  Sourette (~~) says that she is the biological daughter of Sharon’s mother and that she was put up for adoption!  I literally had to read it twice and still felt like crapping my pants!!  Here I am with Sharon on our last night together introducing her to her family, Aunt Lydia and taking her to all kinds of Bogner places …. And now a NEW half-sister is contacting me about wanting to get in touch with Sharon.  HOW did she find me?  Well through my blog, but I was so afraid to say anything to Sharon… but quickly overcame that and practically squealed at her as I caught her by the arm in the kitchen and told her to come and see…. She might just have a heart attack!

               As we spent the next few hours emailing back and forth with Sourette, Sharon came to the absolute knowledge that this was true, that she now had found a half-Sister.  Arrangements were made for us to call Sourette the next morning.  Sleep was hard that night for me, but more especially for Sharon.  We both kept thinking we were in some kind of genealogical vortex!  It was all just so surreal.

The next morning at the arranged time Sharon called Sourette and spent about 45 minutes with her and they agreed to at some future time, meet one another.

               From there we headed out the door after packing up to leave the Old Stone House.  We headed back to Great Grandpa George’s house to see the proximity of where her father lived and the proximity of this Naomi Buell-Karchner, the 2nd wife of Sharon’s father.  As we passed the house, a lady was sitting on the front steps, (at right in photo) so we rounded the corner and thought about not taking photos while she was there.  Then Sharon said she’d like to talk to the lady.  We parked the car, walked up the driveway and introduced ourselves as “Bogners”!  The lady about jumped out of her skin!  She asked if we knew Lydia Bogner?  Goodness YES!  We’d just seen her yesterday… she’s still living.  The lady said she owned the home and was renovating it.  (Hired contractor is at the corner of the home working on a project)  I asked if we might take Sharon inside as this is where her father and grandfather lived,  and I had been in the home many times visiting my great grandparents and getting Hungarian treats (kipfuls) out of Grandma Theresia’s freezer!  She loved showing us the home.  Got a bunch of photos and she told us that Lydia had a box in the attic (thrown away by the previous owner)… had some tiles in it.  Another box was on the countertop in the kitchen… it was from Sharon’s Uncle Jack (Jacob) and Aunt Aileen Shaffer-Bogner … they lived in Colorado at the time near her father.  The box was on the countertop with a mailing label still on it … probably some 40 years later!  How fortuitous was this?  Certainly NOT an accident.
Fridge at left is where Great Grandma kept her "Kipfuls" a German/Hungarian treat.  If you look closely on the countertop just behind the rolled up blueprint papers is a cardboard box... the one with the label from Colorado from Jack & Aileen.

               I didn't get any photos of Sharon and myself together... honestly, I forgot to do a lot of things, but I don’t view our time together a waste… totally the opposite, I only wish I had taken more!  From there we picked up Sharon’s rental vehicle and we went our separate ways.  More sure than ever that this would not be the last time we’d see one another.  I SO LOVE that girl and her bravery to contact me through and her bravery to come to Ohio, spend time with family she didn’t even know, ask hard questions of an Aunt she’d never met AND spend the night in a B & B with a virtual stranger!  No wonder she was able to face this new twist in her life of finding a new half-sister with such courage.  Words cannot express how much I love her.  How proud I am to call her “cousin” and friend.  I am so grateful to have been part of this process and part of the unveiling of everything good that happened during my time with her.  Love you Sharon!

 More about the Zanesville phase of the trip in the next blog.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I "Called the Out" The Mom's I know

     So we this week has been full of new things to do.  I've just been called as the Young Women's secretary.  For those of you who are not of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith, this means I keep the records for the young women 12-18 in our ward congregation.  (Yes, this is a genealogy/family history post... keep reading).  There are about 30 girls.  Not a HUGE job, but for someone who has all boys, who has for the most part served in Primary (president & teacher), Relief Society (counselor and teacher) and in the Scouting organizations in various jobs ... this is a bit scary.  The last time I served in Young Women's, Brian was a toddler!!  Brian will be 27 this month, so it's been well over 20 years since I've served in the YW organization.
     Add to that, the fact that I've NEVER been a Secretary in any organization (kept some scout records), and this figures into a huge learning curve for me!
     A few weeks ago while getting things in order for my mothers' last few days/weeks/months her with us, I recalled her serving as a secretary many times in many organizations.  This remembrance came to me as I was organizing some thoughts to put in her obituary.  I mused on it for awhile and that's when I realized that I'd never served as a secretary in any organization... and then I thought "boy, I bet that would be a fun calling"!!  HA on me!!!  The Bishopric counselor came last week and asked me to serve as the secretary for the YW and I could hardly believe I said "YES" before I knew what was coming out of my mouth.
     With these new thoughts of my mom and with a new set of digital books Greg bought for us to read as "bedtime stories" (yes, most of the time we read bedtime stories together!), (it's called "True Miracles With Genealogy"), I did as one contributor suggested:  TALK with a deceased relative.  Kinda weird I thought, but why not, nothing else has given me the answers I'm looking for.
     I've also told Greg on occasion that I'd like to "slap some dead people"... this is usually when I obtain a record on someone, and the person (usually deceased by this time) who filled out the form or record left a big BLANK in the spot for the part of the record I was looking for an answer to.  So if I feel like slapping a dead person for leaving information off a record, I guess I could also TALK to a dead person!
     So on Thursday morning I left for work with the intention of talking with some dead people!  I first started when I left to go to Salt Lake City (I drive there twice a day from Springville). I had to go to the Orem store, so my plan was to first have a prayer to my Heavenly Father for all my blessings (one of which was that we got Ole Blue running after 9 months).
     That prayer took up the 15 minutes to get to the Orem store.  Then my plan was to TALK (not pray) to my deceased relatives.  That would take the better part of the rest of the trip 30+ minutes.  By this time, I was pretty grateful for a lot of things and covered them in the prayer, so I felt quite brave and bold and decided that this would be a CALL THEM OUT kind of talk.  Yep, I started with my grandmother Jane Elizabeth Wooley who married George Bogner Jr.  I told her how grateful I was for all the things she did while she was in my life.  She was an AWESOME mom, grandma and great grandma.  Grandma Jane raised 4 families!!  Her own kids, her own brother and sister after their mom died, then she raised her daughter's kids (us) and then she raised my brother's kids (her great grandchildren)!  My own mother raised her own 3 children after her divorce and then helped raise my brother's children after he divorced!  They were baby raisin' women.  I told them I'm not quite that good and that I didn't think I could ever take on that kind of task, how you ladies did it ... I'll never know, but I thanked Grandma Jane and then reminded her that she is sealed to her daughter (my mom) and that she is sealed to her mother  Minnie Rhea Adams.
     Then I called out Minnie Rhea Adams, who married Alfred Erwin Wooley.  I told her I knew her life was hard too.  That she raised 3 children after the death of her 40 year old husband when she was not even 38 herself!  She then got in an ugly marriage and divorced, and then a 3rd marriage.  Poor little lady was all worn out at the age of 46.  So I reminded this sweet great grandma that She had her children sealed to her and that she was also sealed to HER mother, Elizabeth Anna Joseph.
     Then I called out Elizabeth Anna Joseph, my great great grandmother who married George Washington Adams.  I told her what I knew about her.   She had 13 children!!  She also died young at the age of 43 shortly after the birth of her 13th child.  I reminded her that her children were sealed to her and that she was also sealed to her mother Elizabeth Henrietta Booz.
     Then I called out Elizabeth Henrietta Booz, my 3rd great grandmother.  She married William McGowen Joseph.  Elizabeth became a mother the instant she married William.  William had 2 children from a previous marriage and Elizabeth raised those boys as her own!  Then she added to her family, 3 children, one child died early and the other two were girls.  Elizabeth worked for a time as a "chambermaid" in the Clarendon Hotel in Zanesville, Ohio.  Times must have been tough for a married woman to work outside the home in 1890 at the age of 40!  I also reminded her that she was sealed to her children, and her mother Mercy Ann VanHorn.
     Then I called out Mercy Ann VanHorn, my 4th great grandmother who married Charles Booz in Pennsylvania about 1837 and traveled to Ohio about 1838-1839 before her 2nd child was born.  I'll bet this wasn't easy.  It also wasn't easy to give birth nearly every other year for 30 years!!!  Yes, she had 15 children spanning a 30 year period. Not only that, but in 1880 one of her children had TB.  Louisa (her daughter) survived and had children of her own, but Mercy Ann was her caregiver in 1880.  In 1892 Amanda Booz (another daughter) died of TB and only months later Amanda's daughter (Mercy's granddaughter) Lillie died of the same dreaded disease... Lillie was living with Mercy Ann when she passed away!  In 1893 John Booz (her son who served in the Civil War) died of TB as well!  3 other children died early as well.  Mercy probably nursed all of them during this time... how in the world, grandma Mercy, did you survive 4 children with TB and still outlive them?  What kind of mother was she???  Well one of her nicknames was LOVE!  Does that give you an idea?  So again I reminded Mercy Ann of the trip to the Salt Lake Temple to seal her to her dear husband Charles Booz and then we spent the next hour sealing all of her 15 children to her.  What a day that was...  But then, for the first time in my "calling out" of my moms I had to pause and with a sad heart reminded her that although she is sealed to all 15 of her children, she is NOT sealed to anyone.  Not because the desire on my part to do the work is not there, it's because I don't know who her mother and father are.  And I called out Charles for the same reason:  I don't know who his parents are either.
     So EVERYONE was asked to help with this mystery.
     My gratitude grew for each of my grandparents in each generation.  As I recalled all I knew about each one, all their joys, sacrifices and heartaches, my appreciation for each of them grew.
     No one has come to "visit" me, and I don't expect them to.  But I know they are there to help me find the sources I'm going to need to finish this puzzle.  Someone needs to step up :}!!  I really don't want to get to the other side of the veil an have to "slap" any of you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New information revealed with "old" eyes.

   A wonderful thing happened a few months ago.  I was trying to find several things pertaining to the Bogners and especially my grandmother Jane Elizabeth Wooley-Bogner.  Mom and Grandma did loads of genealogy, but for some reason, no name had been attributed as the 2nd husband of Minnie Rhea Adams-Wooley.  Minnie Rhea is my great grandmother and the mother of my grandma Jane Elizabeth Wooley.   The love of Minnie's life, (Alfred Erwin Wooley) died when he was not even 40 years old.  Mom & Grandma put a space for a spouse for her in between Alfred and her 3rd husband, John Walker... but for years that space just remained.  In fact while cleaning up my files, I thought surely there must NOT have even been a middle or 2nd spouse for her because in 10+ years of my research (not counting mom & grandmas time)... nothing turned up.

   More than a year ago I found Grandma Jane's marriage record had been transcribed on NewFamilySearch Labs.  I only had the transcription not the actual image.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with genealogical work, transcriptions are records that are typed by common people like you and I.  Their job is to fill in the blanks on a form.  In the case of marriage records usually it has you fill in the blanks for Grooms name / Brides name / parents of each / possibly their birth date or at least how old they were at the time of marriage and other such information.  I copied the transcription down from the website and walked away from searching again for quite a while.  A few months ago I went back in to NewFamilySearch and now they had digitized records of marriage for West Virginia AND there were IMAGES!!!  Oh my gosh, I thought... I get to download a copy of grandma's marriage record!

   I opened this document below and my mind went reeling!!
   See the little snipit of paper in the upper left area of the document????  It says Minnie Harshfield (mother) gives her consent to Jane Elizabeth's marriage to George Bogner.   OH MY HECK!!  Really?  Harshfield, the name of her 2nd husband!

   Family lore was that her 2nd husband was abusive and it was quite a bad marriage.  Some accounts are that he was looking for some money Minnie might have had due to her husband's accidental death from a fall from a telegraph pole.  

Alfred Erwin Wooley at work

   Whatever the reason.  "Mrs. Minnie Harsfield" was Minnie Rhea Adams-Wooley-Harsfield... my great grandmother.  And this document shows she was still married to Roy Harshfield at the time her daughter Jane married George.  Only 4 months after Minnie's  husband Alfred died she married Roy on 23 Sep 1933 (this record is in my possession), and sometime later divorced him.

   Minnie's third marriage was to John Walker.  They married about 1937 but I haven't found the record of their marriage yet.  Minnie died in New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana while she was still married to John.  I'm not sure what became of John after Minnie's death.

   Another Bogner story began about 1940 and still goes on today.
   George Bogner Jr. (my grandfather) had a brother Frank Christ Bogner.  Frank had been married 3 times, and I didn't have much information on the first two wives.  I had the pleasure to meet his last wife Ann, when I was in Jr. High. Mom & grandma took us kids out west for vacation from Ohio.  We went to Frank & Ann's house in Colorado and I remember only two of their children: Linda and Gary.  Their oldest, Donald I don't remember... he may have been married at the time as I believe Gary was already in High School.
   Though I had 3 wives and not much info, I left it that way for years... until I purchased an account and began adding information and photos to the site.  One photo was this one:
of Frank in his Military uniform for WWII.

   It was the 2nd week of April, 2011 and I received an email from a lady stating that  I had a photo of her father on my page.  I went to my ancestral file and sure enough, there was NO CHILD listed for the first marriage.  WEIRD, I thought, mom and grandma were super accurate on family history and why isn't Sharon here?  I searched and quickly found her birth certificate and it confirmed her story and the next email she sent me had that birth certificate attached!  She is definitely the child of Frank!

   Since that time we have corresponded back and forth and in only 6 weeks I get to meet her in the flesh!  In the last year while corresponding, we've solved another mystery together.  The name of Frank's 2nd spouse.  I only had "Naomi", but continued to dig.  I was able to obtain Frank's divorce papers from the probate court from Naomi and found that she wanted her name restored to "Karchner" a quick search in the Mansfield News Journal revealed that Naomi Karchner was the widow of Willard N. Karchner who died in Belgium during WWII.  Further research revealed that she was the daughter of Clarence Buell, a prominent photography shop owner in Mansfield.  The name of his business was Buell-Kraft Studios located in Mansfield, Ohio... and is still in business today!

   Oh, and my goodness, look at the photo above of Frank clearly:  It was taken at Buell-Kraft Studios.

   These are only two of the "journeys" I've been on over the last few years.  They've netted loads of secrets, surprises and blessings in my life that I still can hardly fathom!  I'm so grateful for all the doors this work has opened up and for all the help I've received from relatives here on this side of the veil and on the other side of the veil as well.  I know for a fact that those on the other side are "happy" with these finds and that they've actually had a hand in guiding me to the records I need to confirm all the facts.

   Never dismiss anything, never think you have EVERYTHING just because you have one document, and never neglect to go over and over and over those documents again and again and again... you never know what your OLD eyes will see for the first time on a document you've looked at a thousand times!!