Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Original Question was....

     The original question asked by the family was to find out more about their great grandfather, Louis Roberts. They had always heard whispers and secret comments that he might be the son of a Tennessee governor, but they didn't know who exactly.  The question asked wasn't to find out if there was any specific relation to Governor Austin Peay.  Those of us who have done genealogy research as a hobby or profession know that you might be surprised as to what you find.  Even those of you who have requested research on your ancestors know that sometimes there might be a surprise on the next document, maybe even a “bombshell”.  
     I believe I stated in an earlier blog posting that I was given a limited amount of information on the Roberts family. The goal was for me to thoroughly complete my research and easily fit the puzzle pieces together without redesigning the pieces to make them fit. At the same time I was not allowed to speak with the family or their friends. When doing research it’s helpful to speak with others in collecting some additional information, but I wasn't allowed to do that in this case. I understand why as I’m sure most of you do; the producers wanted this to be a surprise to the family. They wanted capture their honest reactions on tape when the reveal took place. In watching the show you had to opportunity to see all of the reactions from all of the reveals. I can say after speaking with Marguerita Page she was honestly surprised on a couple pieces of information given to her that day. One being as I stated earlier she wrote in asking for information on her great grandfather thinking he was related to a political figure in Tennessee. So imagine her surprise when the family member she is receiving information on isn't her great grandfather but her great grandfather’s cousin and information about his connection to the deceased Governor Austin Peay.  Before that shocking unexpected reveal she also learned about some of the unflattering activities that Albert Roberts had participated in. She acknowledged some of this activities but wasn't aware of all of them.

      I know many of you have questions and have requested more information on the process that brought me to that box, how I was contacted and what information was found that didn't make it on air.  I will be doing my best to answer those questions over the next few blogs, I can’t answer all of them in one blog or it would be a book. Please keep in mind that I can’t answer everyone’s questions out of respect for the family, my clients.  With all of that being said my next blog post will be about how I was contacted and some of the research process. 

     Again I look forward to hearing your comments and questions. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Letter and Envelope in Question Revealed

     Yesterday I was so happy to finally have a meeting with two wonderful ladies, June Esquilin and Marguerita Page who are both sisters here in Clarksville. You might recognize the name Marguerita Page that’s because she appeared on the first PBS “Genealogy Roadshow” episode that aired this past Monday.  Their family reveal was about their great grandfather’s cousin, Albert Roberts and the “bombshell” letter stating that Governor Austin Peay was his father. As you can only imagine we had a lot to discuss, they shared some insight and information that I wasn’t aware of. That’s only because as researchers for the show we couldn’t discuss the research we were doing, not even with the families. I in turn was able to turn over my research along with the documents and a few photographs.  I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet with both of these funny, caring and interesting ladies. Its moments like that, when I hand over my research and see the smiles, shocked looks and tears that remind me how lucky I am to do this type of work. At times we run into some controversial issues, which of course all of you are aware there was some controversy over one document that was reviled on the show. Yes I’m referring to the letter, there was only a portion of the letter that was reviled and that caused many and I mean many questions. Two of the major questions are 1) who the letter was sent to and who wrote the letter and 2) what else was said in the letter.  
     So after yesterday’s meeting, both of the sisters and I signed an agreement giving me permission to discuss the results of the research that I conducted for the show and the process in which I collected the information. We have been asked many questions and for that reason they have asked that I address those and share the experience with the public and media. With all of that being said I now want to take this opportunity to answer the two questions that I mentioned earlier. Below you will see scanned copies of both the front and back of the letter along with a copy of the envelope. If you have a hard time reading it, don’t worry I transcribed both for you. I hope this answers at least two of the questions. But don’t think I have forgotten about the remaining questions I will address all of them on blogs to come.  The next question answered will be what led me to this box to begin with.

P.O. Box 122
      Well I suppose you thought I never would write you again. Your letter was relieved and contents duly noted.
     I spent the Holidays in Evansville, had nice time, but didn’t get an opportunity to see George Hester or Hervie Slaughter. Moss was in Clarksville at the time I think.
     I sent those pictures you were to receive on Friday Dec. 13th. Perhaps I shouldn’t have picked such a day to do so, anyway here is what happened. They were opened by the assistant Post master and returned to me with the admonition they could not he sent by mail. Of course it could have been serious but they did nothing about it.
     They were securely sealed, then wrapped in more paper and tied. I imagine he was tipped off by the town photographer.  
     I might perhaps send them to you later by express but by mail, never!
     I didn’t know until recently that Albert Roberts was former gov. Austin Peay’s son. It must have been a bomb shell when it exploded.
     We are looking forward to a good spring season.
     Tell Alexander if he writes the hotel Dining Room c/o Head waiter about Feb 15th he may get booked for April, May and part of March.
     Of course I am sure he knows it will be as Bus boy as it will take some time to become a waiter unless he has already had lots of experience.
     I suppose the flow of spirits during the holidays brought back memories of the days between 1910 and 1919.
     Our man is busy at present making25,000 post cards will see him when he has finished.
                                 Yours sincerely,
                                         Ben F. Rogers

P.O. Box 122
French Lick, Ind.
                                                                  Mr. Charlie Garnett
                                                                  532 Poston St.
                                                                  Clarksville, Tennessee

After reading this I'm sure it will bring on some additional comments and questions, I honestly look forward to reading them and responding. Thank you for taking time to read my blog. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Governor Austin Peay Letter

     Now that the “Genealogy Roadshow” premiered I feel comfortable answering one of the questions. After attending the premier earlier last week I found myself in a question and answer situation; with the number one question being asked, “How and where did you get that letter?”  I would love to tell you it was as easy as clicking a mouse, but that would be a lie. Face it nothing is ever that easy, and if you do come across a document that quickly and easily then you better look at it closely.

     As a genealogist we find ourselves solving those family mysteries of our clients and our own families.  It reminds me of a class lecture and the example I gave to a couple 4th grade classes last year.  Genealogists are like private investigators, Sherlock Holmes if you will. Private investigators use clues, information they collect from witness and family, they research the scene, documents, photos they even look at the DNA. Private investigators use a wide range of tools to help them solve these mysteries.  Computers, reference books, measurement tools, data bases, forensics and yes even those handy magnifying glasses.  They aren't able to sit behind a computer and solve their cases just like genealogist, we aren't able to sit behind a computer and thoroughly research ours either. We also collect information from family including but not limited to, documents, family bibles, family albums, journals and photographs. We then take the information we've collected, lay it all out and the in-depth research begins.  As genealogy researchers we are lucky to have access to many locations that house additional documents to assist us in our search. Of course we can sit behind a computer and begin the construction of our research, through genealogy sites, i.e.,, just to name a few.  But they won’t give us all of the answers we are in search of.  

     Back to the question, how I got the letter, and where I found it.  Once I received some of the information about the Albert’s family I laid it all out and began matching names, dates and locations. Yes, I then logged into the computer to collect some additional bits of information to aid in my research.  Once I had it all organized and ready to go that’s when I began the “boots on the ground” style of research. I made many trips to the Montgomery County Library and Montgomery County Archives going back and forth continuously collecting more information, scanning documents, newspapers and more. I even contacted the county court house to retrieve archived court records.  I didn't even stop there I made a trip to a local cemetery, carefully walked the cemetery in search of headstones that held family information. With all of this research it led me back to the Montgomery County Achieves, that’s where I was able to locate the letter. It was in a box that had yet to be cataloged, I had to read it a couple of times before I realized what I was reading.

     This isn't the only post I will make in reference to the research and all of the interesting things that I found during this episode of the “Genealogy Roadshow”. All comments and questions about the research I did for the show please ask and comment away. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Genealogy Roadshow" countdown....

     The time is fast approaching for the new PBS series “Genealogy Roadshow” and it’s one of my best kept secrets or should I say hardest kept secrets. I say that only because while doing the research I couldn't discuss any aspect of it with anyone, not even the family that lived here in Clarksville. For those of you who have done any type of genealogy research know that not being able to approach the family can be difficult. But I completely understand why. They wanted it to be a surprise for the family who wrote in asking for help in solving the story that was passed down through generations.

     I’m extremely happy with the show and how it’s being aired, as I’m sure the families who are receiving those long unanswered questions will be.  Time to toot my own horn, if you don’t mind, the first family who will be receiving their answers is the family I researched here in Clarksville. If you click on the link below you can get of taste of what’s about to come. You might catch a glimpse of me in a pink shirt standing behind Josh Taylor, who I might add is a great genealogist.  You might also get an idea of why it might be a shocker to some of those here in Tennessee. I will say I received a mixture of responses and questions at the premiere that I attended on the 17th in Nashville. I’m anxious to hear how all of you feel and answer any questions you might have. So make sure to grab a bowl of popcorn and watch, but if you can make sure to set your DVR to record every exciting, emotional adventure that the families will be taking. 

Taken during the taping of the show in June at the Belmont Mansion in Nashville, TN

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wow! Look Over There....

     You never know where your next research project will take you. I found that out a few months ago while traveling through Clarksville researching a family; yes the same family that will appear on PBS, “Genealogy Roadshow”.   While driving your always told to keep your eyes on the road, but that’s kind of hard to do while searching for a cemetery. Okay maybe not everyone looks for a cemetery but those of you who are genealogist know what I mean.
     With Google map instructions in hand I knew, or thought, I would have no problem finding this cemetery. That was a joke that lost its humor about 30 minutes after driving on narrowing county, yet paved, road. I finally realized that it was time to put the map down, enjoy the drive and maybe the cemetery would magically appear. The moment I did that it was amazing all of the interesting things I began to see.
     Did I forget to mention that three of my kids were with me?  Some of you might be concerned that I took my kids out to look for a cemetery; then again some of you might see a different way. I considered this as not only a bonding moment but also a chance for them to possibly learn a little something. Well I defiantly learned something; they never get too old to stop asking questions. All of you parents will remember these questions. “How much longer is this going to take?”   “I’m getting hungry; I have to use the restroom, what time is it?”  Then my favorite, only because I love my response, “I’m thirsty, can we get something to drink?”  I then responded, with a smile, “Lick your lips and swallow.”    
     Back to the cemetery search and the interesting things we, yes we began to see. I handed one of them my camera, one got my cell phone that was camera ready and then appointed one as look out. The job each of them received was to find unusual things, interesting things. It didn't matter if it was buildings, signs, cemeteries, statues; whatever they found interesting point it out to each other and start taking pictures.

“Hinton Haven” dairy sign is directly across the street for the dairy farm.  Registered Jerseys, Since 1928, David Hinton, Owner. This was along that narrow county road siting back in the wooded area. Good eye!

This building was sitting in a wooded area up on a hillside. It belonged to the same family that owns the “Hinton Haven” sign.  Yes I found this out when I stopped at that local church asking for directions, the land has been passed down through generations and they are trying to restore this “old house”.

    The questions and complaining stopped; I started hearing comments and the click of the cameras. “Wow look over there...” “How did they build that…” “I wonder if they still sell milk…” my favorite “this is pretty cool”.  I started out in search for a cemetery; one that I can’t even mention the name of it until after the 23rd of September. How many of you have heard the old saying…”take time to stop and smell the roses”. Granted we weren't looking for roses but we did have a great learning and bonding moment that we continue to talk and laugh about.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

So Excited...."Genealogy Roadshow"

       I'm so excited and thrilled with my experience in the new PBS "Genealogy Roadshow". I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Genealogist in Tennessee and many other states who conducted the research on so many interesting families and the families themselves can't wait to share the results. It's only days away from airing, September 23rd at 8 PM on PBS, so circle that date on your calendars. I wanted to share this article with you written by one of our local reporters, David Snow, with "The Eagle Post". Thank you Mr. Snow for the interview, kind article and the time you took to write it.

 Local genealogist lands on PBS

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Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 12:00 am
Whether people know it or not, everybody has an interesting family history. There is something noteworthy in everyone’s historical background, and the search to discover one’s roots is as exciting as finding the secrets.
Now, imagine a group of people seeking expert help in finding out about their families’ past — something like the TV show “Antinque Roadshow,” where people bring artifacts to be appraised, but instead seeking information about themselves instead of their treasures.
That’s what you will get with “Genealogy Roadshow,” a new TV series that airs on PBS at 8 p.m. Monday. The show will feature Angela Rodesky, a professional genealogist from Clarksville who helps one person find the truth about his family tree.
Rodesky began pursuing genealogy as an hobby nine years ago while she and her husband, Lt. Col. Terry Rodesky of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) were stationed in Germany. When they returned to the States, she turned that hobby into a profession.
“I was subcontracted through PBS to do the research on a family that happens to live here in Clarksville,” she said. “As far as being ‘on the show,’ I am on the show standing in the background as (the family) is receiving their information.”
The four-episode show is hosted by Josh Taylor, and originated as a reality show in Ireland. It will feature families from Nashville, Detroit, San Francisco and Austin, Texas, seeking their past based on a family story or heirloom.
“I was the ‘boots on the ground,’ so to speak,” Rodesky said. “I did the research for the whole family that will be airing on Sept. 23.”
Rodesky’s research began from tidbits of information provided by the family. The family that she researches thought it may be related to a well-known Tennessean, so the information led Rodesky to death records, birth certificates, newspaper clippings and a trip to a cemetery where the headstones were sinking at the site.
“I had to make sure that wherever I stepped, I didn’t fall into a grave, which was kind of an adventure in itself,” she said.
Rodesky said her research took a month to complete. Along the way, she found murder, questionable legal counsel, drugs, liquor and a letter that confirmed what the family suspected.
“Now, not only does the family have proof, but now, the whole state of Tennessee is finally going to know the truth,” she said.
In becoming a professional genealogist — her business is called ARodesky Genealogy — she finds many aspects of her work interesting.
“Learning about the different journeys that the individuals went on, how tough or easy it was for them, solving those mysteries that families always want to find out,” she said. “It seems that some of the clients I have come to me and say, ‘Oh, I know I’m related to royalty” or Jesse James. Everyone seems to want to be related to Jesse James.
“The path that you take in finding out what their life was like, and then you get to take what it is that you find and you give it to the client and you see the expression on their faces and they say, ‘That makes so much sense now why I like this or why my daughter looks like that.’ History does repeat itself. There are many aspects about it that I love doing.”
Rodesky said a lot of her clients are intimidated by what she may find in her search through their family history.
“What you find is part of the history and the past,” she said. “You might not agree with what you find that your ancestors have done, but that doesn’t make it wrong for you to want to learn about it. It’s just interesting to know where you came from and the trials and tribulations that they went through to get to where they were at and to make you who you are today.”
To contact Rodesky for genealogical research, call her at 913-702-6489 or e-mail
David Snow is the editor of The Eagle Post. Reach David at 270-887-3295 or

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Preview Screening of "Genealogy Roadshow"

     So happy that last night I was invited to attend the preview screening of the new upcoming show on PBS, “Genealogy Roadshow”. If you’ve been following my Tweets and Facebook postings you’re aware that I announced how happy I was to be one of the researchers on the show. Last night the Nashville Public Television (NPT) and the Belmont Mansion hosted a premiere of the Nashville episode.

   They had a fabulous turn out in such a beautiful location; Belmont Mansion, this was the same location they taped the show in back in June. They showed the full episode in the same room that most of the show was taped in. After the screening they followed up with a question and answer segment between Joe Pagetta, NPT Director of Media Relation & Online Strategies, Kenyatta Berry, APG president who appears on the show and the audience who came to the preview. I was even asked a few questions on my research for this episode. Before the showing you had the opportunity to grab a bag of popcorn, soda and some sweets at the candy cart and socialize with all of those who attended. I wish I could tell you more about all of the big reveals that took place, even some of the questions that were asked, but you’ll have to wait.
  The show is going to premiere next week, Monday September 23rd at 8 PM. I’m so excited for everyone to watch and hear all of your thoughts. There are so many wonderful family stories to be told, and this new series will be a hit at sharing those stories.  
  By the way, the first family revel they show is the Clarksville family that I researched, and yes some of you might be shocked to hear what I found.   

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Youth are Eager to Learn about Genealogy

     Back in December during a radio interview with Randy Whited, on the FGS station, I mentioned plans I had to give some presentations to a local elementary school. I also believe I mentioned this in a past blog, “A Day on the Radio”. Well last week I had that honor and was invited to three separate presentations, with around 55 fourth grade students in each presentation.  I had a wonderful time and I have to admit a little surprised to see the excitement and knowledge that some of these fourth graders had.  When I asked each class how many knew what a genealogist was, over 90% in each class raised their hands.
     I put together a slide show of about 15 slides including, my introduction slide.  The slide show consisted of examples of a census, a family sheet, individual research sheets, a six generation chart and many photos.  I also scanned some letters and diary entries and included those into the slide show. I know what you’re thinking, boring and those poor kids. Don’t worry I didn't spend a lot of time on the slide show but what time I did spend the questions and conversations were great.
     After everyone finished discussing some of their family stories I pulled out some hands-on objects. It was hilarious pulling out a coffee grinder that belonged to my great grandmother. A few were surprised that K-cups weren't around during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. I planned ahead and brought along a bag of coffee beans and they had a chance to grind a few beans.  I also brought some photo albums, maple syrup container, rolling pin, wash pitcher with bowl and a pair of ice skates. We talked about the importance of these objects and what they meant to those family members and the stories that go along with each piece. I could just see their little minds a work and actually processing what was being said and then it happened. There were questions about how do they start researching their families. Talking about the quilts they have that their great great aunt made, the pipes that belonged to their great grandfather and the framed passenger list in their home with their family name on it.
    So for all you that are researching your family’s history or those of you who are genealogist and worried that the younger generation doesn't care. Guess what, they do!  All you have to do is talk to them about it, share what you’ve learned and show them how to start their own research.

     I could go on and on about this and I’m sure you will see more post on this subject in future blog post by me so don’t be surprised. But I do ask that all of you take the time to share what you do with the younger generation, maybe they don’t know where to start or who to ask.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I'm Back...

Who knew that when I said I was going to take a short break from blogging to get organized it would turn into a two month plus break. There's been so much that has happened during this organization time, I do plan on sharing. First off let me start by saying that I truly did miss blogging, honestly I didn't realize how much until  I sat down to type this out. I did manage to get so organized that at times I’ve found myself forgetting what folder I placed things in. I even had to dive in and purchase a new computer during all of this, thanks to one of those pesky viruses. So that might explain a week of my blogging break. Oh well, that’s in the past and now it’s time to move on and crack the blogging whip.  Come back tomorrow and pay me a visit, tomorrows blog will be about three of the most moving and interesting presentations that I’ve ever done. See you all tomorrow. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday Spotting’s–from gum balls to weddings…


Clipping out of the Jackson Herald, Jackson, MO April 1907

On last Saturday night some
professionals or some very pro-
ficient amateurs made a raid on
the gum slot machines that were
in our city. They took the two
machines of E. G. Sibley and
the one in front of Bruening &
Kertsner’s and took them up
Houck’s railroad and broke them
open. They got all the chewing
gum that was in the machines
and about $4 in money and com-
pletely wrecked the machines.
These plunderers have not as
yet been found. From the shape
they left the machines in one
is forced to believe that the work
was done by some very worth-
less inhabitants of our city.

Clipping out of the Jackson Herald, Jackson, MO April 1907

Oakridge Indcator: “George
Smith (Little George) and
Birdie Byrd (nee Penny) were
married this morning in Central
hotel, Jackson, by Fred Weltecke,
Esq. The groom is a substantial
farmer about 60 years of age and
lives at Daisy. The bride is a
daughter of John Penny and is
about thirty years her husband’s
junior. Both are experienced
sailors on the matrimonial sea.”

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Treasure Chest - My Wooden Treasure

My wooden treasure chest, so to speak. That would have to be the desk that I set at day in and day out blogging and doing all of my research. The desk that I comfortably set at once belonged to my grandparents, Fred H. and Martha C. Elfrank. This was the first piece of furniture they bought when they were married. I received it after the passing of my grandfather back in 2001 and it has traveled with us where ever we’ve gone. I couldn’t think of a better place to sit and post my blogs, research, write, and run my business. This is a treasure that helps me to produce more treasures.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What, Aunts and Uncles aren't part of our FAMILIES??

     Who knew that my uncle, great uncle or even my aunt were not really my family? I’m sorry I was always under the assumption that they were family; I thought family included aunts, uncles and cousins. But much to my surprise I was wrong. Sorry, hold on, let me back up here and explain.

     See a couple of days ago I was visiting our local library doing some genealogy research and overheard a conversation.  A table of two ladies and one gentleman, I’m not sure but I believe all three of them were related. I know at least two of them were, only because of a comment they both made about their mother. They were sitting at the table skimming over books of research and discussing their finds, as many of us do. So that didn't really shock me, until I heard that the gentleman was disgusted with the research a family historian had recently done.

     From what I gathered one of their relatives, a cousin, who happens to be a family historian, did some research on their ancestor’s.  This gentleman sitting at the table was so upset that research on his mother and father were included in the research this cousin had done.  He didn't feel as if his parents, the aunt and uncle of this family historian, should be included in the report he handed out at a reunion.  For those of you, who know me, know that I so desperately wanted to help and find out why he felt as if they should not be included.  But I didn't, instead I set back and thought of all the possible reasons.

     We all have our reason for doing the research we do. Some of us find this as a passion, business or even a simple hobby,  I use” simple” lightly because we all know that not everything is simple when it comes to research.

     Possibly the cousin who did the research was adopted or maybe from a previous marriage. Or just the simple thought of him completing his work, before the gentleman in the library, was enough to upset him.  Whatever the reason may be aunts, uncles and cousins are just as important as your parents, siblings and grandparents.  If he would have left them off, then handed this report out at their family reunion it would have been incomplete. So please don’t forget to include your aunts, uncles and cousins. 

     I don’t really know everything about this situation, and I’m sure there are others out there like it or close to it. But I know, for myself wither you are adopted or from a previous marriage I always include you in my reports. There are special notations that can be made to explain the adoption or if the child is from a previous marriage. Just don’t leave them out they are part of your tree, your “Family Tree”.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Matrilineal Monday–Martha Colleen CLINTON

     Martha Colleen CLINTON is the next lady I would like to introduce you to. Colleen as she was often referred to was my maternal grandmother and she had a wonderful, fun filled, interesting and active life. She was born on 26 February 1922, in Matthews, New Madrid, Missouri; her parents were Edd CLINTON and Essie Mae STEWART. She had two sisters, Nellie Elizabeth CLINTON and Edra Mae CLINTON. There were four brothers in that house Kenneth Clair CLINTON, Ora Hilton CLINTON, Frank Stewart Clinton and Clarence Eldon CLINTON. She grew up on the farm and lived a simple life like most families did then.
     She married Fred Henry ELFRANK on 3 August 1940 while living in Missouri. They had two great kids, the oldest being Fred Leroy ELFRANK and the youngest Deborah Sue ELFRANK. The lived in Cape Girardeau, Missouri throughout the greater part of their marriage and raised both children while there. As you’ve noticed I'm speaking in past tense, we lost my grandmother on the 3 August 1995.
     Grandma was known as a very strong minded lady that had a point to prove and wouldn't stop till you either truly agreed or just agreed so you could move on. She had a knack with crafts and decorating that was passed on to my mom and me. I forget to mention the strong minded characteristics were also passed on to me. Thank you grandma!
     I know in the past post that I’ve done on Mater Women I’ve always gone to my mom or my dad for their input. I’m changing this up some only because I’m not sure if they are aware of how much of an impact she made with me. When I started this post I couldn't help but cry, I miss so much of my grandma. I wish so much she was here with us to see what a wonderful family I have and to get that stinging love pat we, the grand kids  always got when she was happy. It doesn't matter if we were sitting around playing card games or out back hitting the wiffle ball. Whenever she would give us a hug we would always get a strong loving pat on our legs or on our backs.
     Playing cards was always something we did with grandma. We would sit around this little breakfast bar style table and start dealing the deck, for games like spite and malice or even slap jack. My brothers and I had small hands and couldn't hold the cards so grandma let us lay them out on chairs next to us. The came couldn't start of course until we, the kids, had our soda and pretzels, while grandma would have her cigarettes, and a “Pabst Blue Ribbon,” her beer of choice. We would stay up for hour’s playing cards and no matter what we would never admit we were tired.
     I mentioned that my grandmother was very crafty and she taught me a few things. Needle point is one of the many crafts, I have two pillow cases one with kitty cats playing with a ball of yarn and another one with a princess. Funny thing is I don’t really remember making these with my grandma but I still have them and keep them close. I do however remember us making a trashcan together, strange I know but that was the coolest trashcan. She and grandpa grabbed a couple of those large, cylinder ice cream tubs from “Basket Robbins”, along with some Sears and JcPenny catalogs. We sat in her black and gold craft room and we would rip each page out of those catalogs. Then place a toothpick in one corner and roll to the other, attach a small piece of tape then lay in a pile. I don’t remember how many of those we rolled but we rolled a ton, we carried our rolls and ice cream containers to the kitchen table then began gluing each one on the outside all the way around the container. Then voila we had our new crafty trash cans ready to take home.
     It was always a treat watching grandma play wiffle ball with my brothers and I. Let’s just say, you had better use the restroom before you begin to play or you’re likely to have an accident from laughing so hard. She would grab that bat, step up to the plate, stick her butt out, do a full 360 spin with that bat, chant her batter- batter-swing; while all of this was going on she would shake her butt. You just had to see her; she was so serious about making us laugh.
     No matter how old you were or what you’ve done you could always count on grandma to love you. She might not agree with some of the choices you have made but you were always right there in her thoughts and heart.
I love you and miss you grandma……

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Orphan Photo

This is another photo out of the 1965 album that I purchased while stationed in Germany. There are many small churches just like this on throughout Germany.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Spotting's

     We have all noticed some strange advertisements, for some unusual products or even some that we can relate to products we see today. I thought I would share at least three that caught my attention.  They all came out of the Jackson Herald, Jackson, MO from 1903-1907.

“Made a Well man of me.”
Produces fine results in 30 days. It acts
powerfully and quickly. Cures when others fail.
Young men can regain their lost manhood and
old men may recover their youthful vigor by
using REVIVO. It quickly and quietly re-
moves Nervousness. Lost Vitality, Sexual
weakness such as Lost Power, Failing Memory,
wasting Diseases, and effects of self-abuse or
excess and indiscretion, which unfits one for
study, business or marriage. It not only curies
by starting at the seat of disease, but is a great
nerve tonic and blood builder, bringing
back the pink glow to pale checks and re-
storeing the fire of youth. It wards off ap-
roaching disease. Insist on having REVIVO,
too other. It can be carried in vest pocket. By
all, $1.00 per package, or six for $5.00. We
give free advice and counsel to all who wish it,
with guarantee. Circulars free. Address
ROYAL MEDICINE CO., Marice Bldg., Chicago, IIL


The strength of a child.
It is surprising to find how few parents
know the great strength giving qualities
of good oatmeal. Most of them think
of it as a good for the sturdy Scotch or
the brawny Englishmen, and overlook
its value as a food for children. Every
now and then a mother will take to feed
-ing her children on Quaker Oats and
will be astonished at their improvement
in strength and vigor. Of course, she
tells her friends, and they prove it for
themselves, but every mother in the
country should see that her children are
strong and vigorous. Plenty of Quaker
Oats, eaten often, will do it.
Grocers sell Quaker oats in regular
size packages at 10c, the family size
packages at 25c, and the family size
package containing a piece of fine china
for 30c.
Don’t miss a day; eat Quaker Oats
every morning for breakfast.
For Sale at McAtee
Mercantile Co.

imageMrs. Fred Unrath,
President Country Club, Benton
Harbor, Mich.
“After my first baby was born I did not
seem to regain my strength although the
doctor gave me a tonic which he consid-
ered very superior, but instead of getting
better I grew weaker every day. My hus-
band insisted that I take Wine of Cardul
for a week and see what it would do for
me. I did take the medicine and was very
grateful to find my strength and health
slowly returning. In two weeks, I was out
of bed and in a month I was able to take
up my usual duties. I am very enthuse-
astic in the praise.”
Wine of Cardui reinforces the organs
of generation for the ordeal of preg-
nancy and childbirth. It prevents mis-
carriage. No woman who takes Wine
of Cardui need fear the coming of her
child. If Mrs. Unrath had taken
Wine of Cardui before her baby came
she would not have been weakened as
she was. Her rapid recovery should
commend this great remedy to every
expectant mother. Wine of Cardui
regulates the menstrual flow.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday

Best little orange box in town that is actually a big box of memories. The old, “Town & Country Shoes,” shoe box was recently given to me by my mom on a holiday trip back home. While we were visiting my parents, we sought through some old family photographs and I was able to bring some of them home. That’s right I brought them home in this “orange shoe box”, but don’t worry I’ve placed them in acid free sleeves and boxes. So my Thursday Treasure Chest is the “orange box” pictured below and I’ve decided to scan a few of the photos in and share, no laughing.

orangs box

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The sweet bonnet girl is non other then my mom, Deborah Sue ELFRANK Langston. The rough and tough cowboy and boot wearing cowgirl happen to be my uncle Fred Leroy ELFRANK and my mom.

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The beautiful lady and handsome man pictured on the left are my grandparents, Martha Colleen CLINTON Elfrank and Fred Henry ELFRANK. Now for the other couple on the right, remember no laughing, yes that’s one of the “Seven Dwarfs” and myself.


Yes that’s me in a pink lace dress, my poor daughter was in shock with this one, it was my junior prom.

Just remember some of your treasures might be in a simple shoe box. So pull them out, clear the table, spread them out and share.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Slave Marriage Book Project

Press Release

Slave Marriage Book Project

Project to Save Slave Marriage Book

Kathleen Brandt, the founder of a3Genealogy, Kansas City, Mo,- was researching in Saline County, MO when she eyed a registry: Colored Marriages of Saline County, 1865-1870. One of the first rights granted to freed-slaves was to legalize their slave marriages. Information from these records will link the African American researcher to slave ancestors. It will also further descendants of Slave Masters to reference one more resource in their research.  

A project: Slave Marriage Book was immediately launched to digitize, index and transcribe each page of the book, and the many entries of the legalized slave marriages and children born to the union during slavery.

For additional information visit:
Kickstarter Project:
Hidden Historical Records - A Valentine Find (Cupid and the Slave Marriages)

For interview contact:
Kathleen Brandt

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Look Back at Ancestry Day in Kansas City

  I've been spending the past few days here in the Kansas City area enjoying the Ancestry Day event sponsored by the Midwest Genealogy Center. I'm one of the lucky ones who were invited by close and dear friends that not only welcomed me into their home but is also feeding and entertaining me. Thank you Kathleen and John, I must not forget Sheba who is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever had the pleasure of licking my plate clean.

     For those of you who were not aware this event let me recap on come of the specifics. Independence, Missouris own Midwest Genealogy Center is hosting this wonderful event for, hence the name Ancestry Day. It is supposed to be a wonderful four day event starting on the 14th of March lasting thru the 17th of March.   

     They had a wide verity of speakers during this conference starting on Thursday with Ellen Miller, Angela McComas, Kathleen Brandt (who is taught two classes), and Beth Foulk. I attended all of the classes and assisted in the two classes taught by Kathleen.  Im happy to say that I at least learned something new in each class and had a fun time interacting with those who attended.

     Friday came around and there were only two classes which were fine because some of us had some research to do on our own.  Jolene Clark and Beth Foulk were the presenters on Friday and both of their classes appeared to be full.

     So far I've attended two days of events and I've found there to be some useful information for all levels of genealogist and family historians.  On Saturday I sat in on the Ancestry Day event that I must say was quite large with 1,000+ attendees. The guest speakers were Anne Mitchell, Lou Szucs and Janice Schultz from They not only shared different techniques on using their web site but also shared some personal experience of their own on the road to discovering their familys history. I recommend that you take time to play with the site if you currently have it and find all the interesting search tools, there are many,  if you don't have access to it at home then take a trip to your local library.

     Then came the final day, and all good things must come to an end.  It ended back at the Midwest Genealogy Center on Sunday.  The final presenters for the Ancestry Day event were   Beth Foulk, Cynthia Shiverly and Angela McComas.

     Now as Im sitting here in the KCI airport piecing together my post on this event there are a couple of things that keep coming to my attention. For those who asked the question, I dont even know what that means? they were able to receive an answer, which is always nice.  Attending genealogy conferences are always helpful in some way, you might get the answers to some nagging questions, meet others who have the same passion in genealogy as you and you always have the chance to make new acquaintances and friends. Im glad to say that Ive accomplished all. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Orphan Photo

This is a photo out of the same album from 1965 that came from Germany. I’ve seen a couple pictures of these ladies in this album and another, 1966. I’m not sure but this could be mother and daughter looking through photographs.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Spotting–Happy War Brides

By the middle of next year there will be
60,000 foreign-born girls in this country as
brides of American soldiers. Already there
are more than 40,000 here. The communities
throughout the land where they have settled
have received them with interest, usually
with cordiality. They have been the subject
of many press articles. And of course every-
one wants to know how they like America.
While statistics on such a personal matter
must be unscientific, one writer estimates
that all but five per cent of these marriages
are succeeding. There are instances like that
of the English girl from beautiful Somerset-
shire who could not face bringing up her
child in the grime and ugliness of a West
Virginia coal mining town where her hus-
band’s work took them. Housing shortages,
forcing a doubling up with his family, have
produced mother-in-law troubles. But by
and large even those girls from non-English
speaking European countries like life in the
United States with its liberty of speech and
action, its household comforts, its material
plenty and its freedom from war devastation.
America has a long history of assimilating
other nationals. This indeed has made
America. The newcomer brides, like the
other people from their homelands who have
come to these shores, will make this country
a better place and everybody hopes they will
be happy here.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Must Reorganize

   Wake up fix breakfast; get the kids out the door for school and now the fun starts. Research, research, write, file, research some more, oh yeah don’t forget to grab some lunch. Back to the research and let’s not forget the social minutes throughout the day, which can turn into hours if you’re not careful, Facebook, check email and Twitter. Oh shoot I forgot the clothes, dishes and I need to thaw out some kind of meat for dinner. Now I only have 25 minutes to blog before the kids get home and then back to work, snacks, cleanup, homework and dinner. 

     Okay so this might explain why I’ve been an absentee blogger these past few days I’ve lost control. So now it’s time to regroup, reorganize my organizational skills.  Let’s see if this new organizational schedule I’ve made for myself works because I hate that I’ve been absent from my blog. Stay tuned and let me know what you think.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Spotting- Bolivar, TN

     I bet you thought I would forget to post some of those Saturday Spotting's, guess what I almost did. Sorry. I grabbed three clippings that I saw in the Bolivar Bulletin out of Bolivar, TN in 1866. If your like me all three of these will strike a different emotion, interesting, funny and disgust. But as I’ve said before we don’t have to like it or even agree with it but it was part of our ancestors lives and it might answer that question some of us are seeking and answer too.

The above clipping came out of the Bolivar Bulletin, Bolivar, TN 1866

The above clipping came out of the Bolivar Bulletin, Bolivar, TN 1866

The above clipping came out of the Bolivar Bulletin, Bolivar, TN 1866

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday Treasure Chest – Family History

     Our family black book, boy does that sound strange. When I’m speaking of our family’s black book, I’m referring to a, black three ring binder that was passed on to me by my mom.
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     This is a book full and I mean full of wonderful antidotes, dates, photos, copied documents and research page after research page.
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     On the first page it explains the reason behind the binder. It was an anniversary gift to Henry and Zella (Clinton) Edwards, my great grand Aunt and great grand Uncle Clinton. 

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     It is a book of information that covers 227 years and gives information on over 1850 people. All of the information within the book came from relatives, friends, neighbors, obituaries, records, newspaper clipping. two publications; History of Daviess Co, Indiana A new History of the Kilgore Family. The binder was given to Henry and Zella (Clinton) Edwards on their 50th anniversary. The book was put together by Chester B. Edwards, Garret E. Edwards and Fara C. Edwards and completed on April 1 1971.

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