Of all the funeral cards, that circulate out there, I wonder how many ever find their way back to the families of origin. A simple funeral card is the summation of a life lived.
Enjoy the discovery process.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Follow Friday - Lost Family Treasures by Leslie Ann Ballou

Lost Family Treasures by Leslie Ann Ballou is a delightful genealogy blog.  Each post leads from one treasure to another in Ballou’s unique style.  She transports you back in time as you visit her collection of artifacts and mementos.  It truly is a treasure hunt from Ramona’s Flea Market to Pink Antique Store.  Or maybe a visit to Great Grandma Piggott’s treasure box while on the way to the Smedley’s jewelry box filled with costume jewelry.  The Piggott treasure box is filled with birth announcements, special programs and holiday cards galore.  On the business and educational side of life, Leslie shares items like estate lists, ledgers, wills, school report cards and cabinet photographs.  Interspersed among all the finds are beautiful photos of handmade quilts and hand-woven rugs.  Leslie Ann Ballou is a must visit in the genealogy blog world as she ties everything beautifully together in her creative scrapbook way.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Genevieve Akard's Letters

Every genealogist can recall the catalyst that sparked their interest in genealogy.  For Treasure Chest Thursday, I wish to pay homage to the significant elder in the Akard family that inspired me to learn more about our family history.  In 1972, Genevieve Perry Akard, a military wife of my father’s cousin, was passionately diligent in writing and telephoning all the people with the surname Akard.  Her inquiry letter arrived and for our family it was big event because something other than a bill notice had been placed in our mailbox.  I can still vividly recall, standing on the front porch, as I read her letter aloud to my father and sister.  Since mother had died, Dad designated it my responsibility to respond to her letter.
Throughout the years, I would correspond frequently with Genevieve and always welcomed her insight and family stories.  As Genevieve began to age and it came time for her to move in with her children, she once again thought of me.  Her son, David Akard, brought me a paper bag full of Genevieve’s old genealogy correspondence.  Each letter is a treasure and so many riddles solved before I even knew to form the question.  Although, Genevieve is no longer with us—she is in spirit.  She will always be my genealogy spark. ~

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Guest - Marla Hathhorn

Marla Hathhorn has been so gracious to share two funeral cards with the Funeral Cards and Genealogy blog.  She agreed to appear as a guest and has provided wonderful information about her funeral card collection.

"The funeral cards of  William Redmond 1860-1930 and William Redmond 1825-1910  belonged to my grandmother Lavina Redmond Israel, who lived in her own home until her death at the age of 102. The two William Redmonds were her father (see prior post) and grandfather. My grandmother had given the cards to me many years ago as she knew I was very interested in the family history.
Even though I have been researching both my and my husband's family trees for over 25 years, these are the only two funeral cards I have found, so they are very special to me.

William Redmond was born in Ireland in 1825. His parents John & Mary Redmond brought their 5 children to America in May 1847 fleeing the Irish Potato Famine. William married and raised five children, including his son William Andrew Redmond. The elder William's life took him from Ireland to Oklahoma where he died, while his son William lived his entire life in a ten mile area around Wathena, Kansas.

Thank you ~ Marla Hathhorn"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday

Yesterday was a special treat.  My husband surprised me with a short road trip to nearby antique stores.  The fields are popping with wildflowers.  Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, Black-eyed Susan and many other varieties lined the roadway.  Describing the natural beauty escapes my writing hand.  We made our way through the winding back roads to Bastrop, Texas.  Once there, we visited the downtown historical district.  One could almost imagine the days of horse and buggy with shoppers abound.  One old antique shop nestled at the end of Main street was a sweet tuck away place.  When I entered the store, my purpose was to search for long forgotten funeral cards.  Towards the back of the store was a small table with a glass top and nestled underneath was this striking photograph of a beautiful young woman.  Her cabinet card image just reached out to be rescued.  Now, my treasure, she remains unnamed.  Funeral cards will have to wait another day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

William Redmond, Sr. 1860 - 1930

William Redmond Sr.
The funeral card of William Redmond, Sr. has been submitted by his great granddaughter, Marla Hathhorn.  In her recent email she states: "William Redmond was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, and is buried at Belmont Cemetery in Wathena, Kansas.  Please contact me if you have any questions." Click on Marla Hathhorn's name to send her an email.
Many thanks to her for sending her funeral card our way.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Preparing for a Presentation

Today at Funeral Cards and Genealogy, I am preparing for a May presentation at the Red River Genealogical Society in Clarksville, Texas.  The topic is "How to Search for Your Living Relatives."  The subject is a captivating subject and one that has been brought to light by television shows like "The Locator" and "Who Do You Think You Are?"
A thought that occurred to me is how many relatives we have and are not aware of their relationship to us.  The old saying, “You should be nice to everyone—they may be related” applies here.
On my genealogy journey, I have been so blessed to find family members near and far that have enhanced my knowledge of the many family trees I have researched. 
In May, when I present at the society meeting, I will be among distant cousins and friends.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Naomi Perdue Bryant Renfro

The Honeysuckle Tombstone
On the back of this photograph in my grandmother's simple handwriting is "Mother's grave, Age 71 years."  As a child, I can recall my grandmother with tears in her eyes, holding this photograph saying, "This is my mother's grave and there isn't even a tombstone to mark where she is buried."  Little did I know that someday, thirty years later, I would be on a quest to find my great grandmother, Naomi Renfro's grave site, and how important the photo would be in locating her final resting place.
To honor Naomi in death, the family planted a honeysuckle bush at the head of her grave.  In 1930, that is what poor mill workers could afford in lieu of a tombstone.
See the tombstone (upper left of center).  With the assistance of the Sherman, Texas Library staff, I was able to determine the exact location of Naomi Renfro's grave. To this day, the honeysuckle bush still blooms.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Follow Friday

A genealogy blog worthy of following is Caddo-My Home Town, News and views from Caddo, Oklahoma-the small town with a big heart.  Author, Mary Maurer established her blog in October 2005 with three categories, Books, Food and Drink, and my favorite subject, History-Genealogy.
Mary Maurer is the mother of three grown children and proud Nana of three grandchildren.  She is a kindergarten teacher, writer, obsessive genealogist and amateur historian.  Her works can be found in publications such as Birds and Blooms, The Dallas Morning News, Texas Gardener, The Writer and Parent Life.
Next on my wish list is a copy of her book, Caddo, Oklahoma - Presevering on the Prairie.
Many thanks to her for bringing the past to the present for the descendants of Caddo, Oklahoma.  At the stroke of her pen are interesting historical stories to not be forgotten.  A highly recommended read is author Mary Maurer.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

John Ondler 1869 - 1902

Originally uploaded by mrwaterslide

Above is displayed another funeral card from the collection of John Van Noate at Flickr.
It was exciting to discover a funeral card with a 1902 identified photograph of the deceased, John Wesley Ondler.  The memorial verse is very poignant and much can be attributed to the his wife, Elsie and young daughter, Fern--the family he left behind.
Politically active, J. W. Ondler, at one time served as the deputy auditor for Linn County, Iowa.  Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette of March 2, 1899 provides a glimpse into the life of John W. Ondler:
"...Mr. Ondler resigned in order to return to Troy Mills where he is the proprietor of a large and prosperous business.  He found that the loss that his interests suffered through his interests was to great to permit him to remain in the service of the county.  Mr. Ondler was very popular and made many friends and Auditor Jackson was very loath to part with him."
The cause of his death remains a mystery, as news that I can currently access revealed thirteen days before his death: "J.W. Ondler is under the doctor's care.  Raymond Rome is clerking in the store during his absence."  His obituary remains to be discovered.
The good news is four family trees at Ancestry.com have linked to John Wesley Ondler in the 1880 Census at Spring  Grove Township, Linn, Iowa; Roll T9_351, FHC film 1254351, page 372.1, E.D. 276, Image 0746.  It is good to know the family trees may soon display Mr. Ondler's funeral card.
Note:  The author wishes to acknowledge John Van Noate and his generous contribution to Funeral Cards and Genealogy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

January 9, 1889, Reading, Pennsylvania

John Van Noate aka Mr. Waterslide, a collector of old photographs, has a huge selection of cabinet cards on Flickr.  For the next few days, I will research some of his cards that are of the funeral genre.  He has labeled this card as a possible factory or mill fire.  I am not convinced that the building description is correct.  Also, his title, Nineteen Dead, Reading, Pennsylvania may possibly be misleading.
My first attempts at researching this funeral card is the card publishing company was located in Reading, Pennsylvania but the fire incident did not occur there.  The closest hit on NewspaperARCHIVE.com is an news article titled, Nineteen Dead in Fire in The Daily Times dated January 8, 1901.  The story details a fire starting in the asylum section of the building located in Rochester, New York and quickly spreading and destroying the building completely.
This funeral card merits further investigation.
Are there any historians out there familiar with this story?

UPDATE: I posed a similar story on Facebook F.C. & G. and Darlene Bittaker came back with an interesting response of her findings:
"'C. A. Saylor, who operated the New York Gallery at 411 North Sixth Street, Reading , assembled this rare composite of the VICTIMS OF THE GRIMSHAW MILL DISASTER--in record time--to sell as a memento, while interest remained intense. Notice that no attempt has been made at individual identification...and 19 folks are pictured despite the fact the death toll numbered 17.' That I would think surely dates this card to near the date of occurrence. Jan. 9, 1889."
Interestingly, her find leads to another replica of the Commemorative Card on the Destruction of the Mill.  The reverse side of the funeral card is shown there, providing additional clues that Darlene Bittaker discovered.   Interestingly, Darlene provides another link to GenDisasters and a posting about this same story by Stu Beitler, Reading, PA Devastating Tornado, January 1889.  His story provides a list of the dead.  
Everyone be sure to check the comments that researcher, Teresa Martin Klaiber, offered.  She was on the same trail as Darlene.  There are some great history sleuths out there.
From this posting, I hope the reader will see that the author is not always correct in her first observation and attempt to solve a riddle.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Catherina M. Thede

Originally uploaded by mrwaterslide

Shown as Katie Thede--Catherina M. Thede of Crystal, Tama, Iowa at age 2, born July 1897 in Iowa in the Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900, Crystal, Tama, Iowa, Roll T623_460, page 3A, Enumeration District 134. In 1900, she is the oldest child to Peter and Annie M. Thede. Also shown in the census is her younger sibling Elsie, age 4 months. By the 1910 census, Catherina (Katie) Thede is not with her family as revealed on the funeral card.
The 8,926 entries of the family tree, Roots, Branches, Twigs and Leaves by Kathlin4091 on Ancestry.com has the Thede family listed with Catherina missing.
The creator of the family tree will be notified to include Catherina with her family.

Harriet Gale

Flickr "bumanns" has a nice photograph of Harriet Gale's funeral card. Shows she died January 31, 1906 at age 85 years. From appearances, this is from a family historian's collection.

Funeral Card Friday

At the April 2, 2010, Funeral Card Friday event on Facebook, Michelle Mounts asked, “What exactly is Funeral Card Friday?”  The answer is on the first Friday of every month...genealogists are encouraged to check their memorabilia stash for any one funeral card of choice and share a photo or link to the image at the event. If they wish, they may choose to write a short description. All categories of funeral cards are accepted.
Our first event had a nice turn out with the following folks participating:
Tracy McCracken St. Claire provided two wonderful cards.  One image for Alexander Leeper's funeral card, his obituary and ephemera, plus added as an added bonus she provided the link to the Leeper Family Bible.  Her second image was Margaret Ostrander’s funeral card.  She brought to the group’s attention that the card has a 1908 copyright by Wendell & Co. in Leipsic, Ohio.  She posed a great question as to whether the descendant is generally near the publisher location.  So far, on F.C. & G., we are discovering that the deceased are often times within a 100 mile proximity of the publishers.
Dr. Bill Smith of Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories shared a description and photograph of Glenn Bolger’s funeral card.
A short story and photograph of Charles E. Tinker’s funeral card was shared by Pam Warren of Granny's Genealogy.
In response to adding the photo of her ancestor, Odina Neveu, Janine LaFleur Penfield stated, “A genealogist's dream: birthplace and date, using her maiden name along with some cultural immersion. Her photo was on the cover that I now use on her person page in my genealogy software.”
Sheri Bush of Twig Talk had one of prettiest funeral cards.  The funeral card for Gladys Alexander was very vibrant. 
Miriam Robbins Midkiff of Ancestories: The Stories of My Ancestors not only provides a photograph of George Edward Benjamin (a.k.a. Jarig Egbert Binnes) DeVries’s funeral card but details how the card was passed down through the family and provides a citation.  Many thanks to Miriam for acknowledging Funeral Card Friday.
Tami Glatz of Relatively Curious about Genealogy presented the funeral card of Eliza Thompson with her story. Tami was a great commentator to the group event.
Pop Pop was the nickname for George Henry Hughes the paternal grandfather of Linda Hughes Hiser at Flipside.  Her love of her grandfather beams with her telling his story along with a photograph of his card.
If you are Facebook member, check out the Funeral Card Friday event, for all the comments shared with the attendees. Remember to mark your calendar for May 7th for the next Funeral Card Friday.  See you there.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ancestor Approved

Yesterday I was presented the "Ancestors Approved" award by Lori of the Genealogy and Me Blog. As a recipient of this award I’m supposed to list ten things I have learned about any of my ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlightened me and pass along the award to ten other bloggers who I feel are doing their ancestors proud.
To continue to search for the parents of George Bright Frazier (1854-1921).
To continue to search for my mother's first cousin, Beatrice Lindley.
To continue to search for the burial place of Hanora Harrington Walcott.
To share my genealogy findings with my family.
The family photographs in the possession of Carolyn Lucas Hall.
Discovering that my father's first cousin, Velma Williams Patterson murdered her two daughters.
My gr grandfather, William Newton Renfro had fathered 23 children.
To find that Tom Lindley was actually George Thomas Lindley.
The Adair family died within the same month as the Patterson murder trial.
John Schwartz was orphaned by age 10.

Well-deserving of the "Ancestor Approved Award" are:
Branching Out Through The Years by hummer
Gen Wish List by Tina Lyons
High Definition Genealogy by Thomas MacEntee
Graveyard Rabbit of Wichita County, Texas by Robin Inge
Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories by Dr. Bill Smith
Greta's Genealogy Bog by Greta Koehl
The Educated Genealogist by Sheri Fenley
Cyndi's List by Cyndi Howells
Cemetery Explorers
The Robertson-Kubberness Connection by Gwen Kubberness

Thursday, April 1, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #13 - Cyndi's List

Cyndi Howells was among the first to emerge into the genealogy computer world.  Her brilliant idea of creating a list of genealogy resources has been a godsend to many researchers.  Time and time again, when stumped with a brick wall, I have returned to Cyndi's List for that much needed connection or tidbit necessary to move forward.
As part of the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy, I wanted to see how I could promote Funeral Cards and Genealogy -- a relative new genealogy blog on Cyndi's List.  If you are emerging into the blog world and would like consideration of a listing.  The first step is to read carefully Cyndi's instructions to Submit a New Genealogy Link.  In a relative short turn around, after following the guidelines, Cyndi had posted Funeral Cards and Genealogy to the March 2010 What's New on Cyndi's List.  Check us out under March 27, 2010.
Many thanks to Cyndi for providing such a valuable resource to family historians, genealogists, librarians and researchers.  And now, bloggers!

Collecting Funeral Cards

The past couple of weeks has been spent more in preparation and gathering funeral cards to present to the followers of Funeral Cards and Genealogy.  Soon to arrive in the mailbox are six funeral cards.  The cards of the following are: Reuben R. Aldrich; Mrs. Caroline Aldrich; Mrs. Edward Croxall; Sarah E. Kehler; Lillie Puckett and Nettie F. Warner.  Yes, Mrs. Edward Croxall has been reviewed recently, however there will be new development presented from the eBay seller.
Also, there are several March eBay issued funeral cards pending a write up and presentation. 
Tomorrow is a big day for F. C. & G. -- we will have our first Friday of the month, Funeral Card Friday.  Several have signed up to post a photo and short description of their funeral card.  For those of you in the blog world, you are welcomed to attend. Click on Find Us on Facebook.
Who knew a person could have this much genealogy fun with funeral cards?